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has he really changed

(24 Posts)
luluzulu Sun 27-Dec-15 10:57:54

I broke up with my partner of 12 years in the summer, we have a child together who is 5, for the last 2 years of our relationship there was difficulties ie he let me shoulder most responsibility of looking after our child and only really liked to get involved when the child needed disciplined etc. I felt a lot of bitterness that he hadnt turned out to be the dad id hoped he'd be, he still played computer games/watched tv till all hours, would have say over the tv so me and child resigned ourselves to living upstairs most of the time where i would read books, play games, watch cartoons. I didnt mind this and i felt very safe upstairs in our own little world. I felt like a single mother and the bond between me and my child is unbreakable. Over time i grew resentful that i wasnt offered any help and i was begining to feel exhausted, i also held down a busy part time job and did most of the house work only for dp to come home and declare that i'd done f.all! I still loved him and still do in ways he has been a massive part of my life and was mostly supportive of career choices i made and helped out financially if i ever needed him to. I am still close to his family and the split hasnt been messy at all i just told him i wasnt happy and left. During the last few years of our relationship he has been emotionally abusive towards me and treat me as though i was unappreciated, the closeness we once had and the sex life dwindled to nothing (unless on occasion there was alcohol involved), it was horrible at times, i just wanted a kiss before i left for work and i think he did too but he had his guard up i felt he was unapproachable now this made it even more difficult to try salvage what was left. Anyway scince splitting i have moved into a rented place and created a beatiful comfy home for me and the child with the little money i earn, it feels strange going it alone and i doubt myself alot but i have good friends around me who encourage me to stay strong. Scince we split i have seen a huge change in my ex, he is a better dad, manages well on his own, calmer, friendlier, &more appreciative of the things i did for us as a family. I spent christmas here and it was bittersweet to say the least. It was sad that
This is no longer my home, the way it smells, the clothes on the radators, everything is bringing it all back to me and i have cried and felt so sad and low that it is over, im regretting my decision and blaming myself, the guilt of leaving and thinking about him being lonely here in this house makes me feel so sad for him. I feel i have abandoned him, i just keep remembering the good bits and really i just
Want to know how other people have dealt with things in similar situation and has he really changed? Ive left a few times before only to come back weeks later as i never had the courage to see the split through and each time ive came back and things have gone back to normal ie arguing all the time. He seems to be genuine this time and now im starting to feel really bad for doing this. Sorry if my post is too long or a bit scattered but i cant even think straight right now

Finola1step Sun 27-Dec-15 11:02:33

Or it could be that the split has been good for both of you. It may well be time to admit that you are better parents apart than together. Very hard but probably true. flowers

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 27-Dec-15 11:13:22

What good bits were there really?. He was (and likely remains) emotionally abusive and was really a manchild. He could have stepped up but was selfish and chose not to. You did not do that and remained the responsible adult, he ended this by his own actions.

If you have not enrolled on Womens Aid Freedom Programme I would suggest you do so as well as reading about the sunken costs fallacy as well as co-dependency in relationships. I mention that as you state that you feel like you have abandoned him. You are and were never responsible for him.

You and he were not good together. Being apart has done you a huge favour and he seems to be a more responsible person towards his son for it. He has not fundamentally altered in his relationship to you; trying the same tack i.e. going back to him in the hopes of getting a different result this time around is an exercise in futility.

Go forward, do not keep harking back to a past that ultimately makes you feel miserable.

luluzulu Sun 27-Dec-15 11:15:33

Finola1step the main reason i left was because of the damage it was causing our child, he was quite a bully to us both and i didnt want my child growing up an anxious nervous wreck, even my mother in law could see the damage he was causing and agreed his behaviour was bullyish. He has appologised profusely for the way things were and accepts responsibility for his actions, i really do feel he has changed.He would do anything for me to try again at this relationship, what if it goes back to the way it was? What really stuck the knife in is that when i told our child we would be staying at dads over christmas the response was 'yeah, all back together, back to normal' sad

magoria Sun 27-Dec-15 11:17:39

If you have doubts think of your DC.

It is fine to go back and forth when there is just you.

This will be an emotional nightmare for a child. Not knowing if they are coming or going time after time.

It has happened before. Stop the cycle now.

Stay apart and let him be the better parent this way than when you are together an things slip again.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 27-Dec-15 11:24:32

He has not fundamentally changed at all and he has still not accepted full responsibility for his actions. He likely will never do so either.

Re your comment:-
"Finola1step the main reason i left was because of the damage it was causing our child, he was quite a bully to us both and i didnt want my child growing up an anxious nervous wreck, even my mother in law could see the damage he was causing and agreed his behaviour was bullyish"

Putting your son's interests here above your own is admirable, you actually thought about your child here. He was indeed emotionally harming his child because he was being abusive to you as his mother. It was hard for you to leave but you did and even though there are blips currently you and your son will likely be happier in the long run. He will not grow up seeing you being constantly abused by his dad and learning that yes this is how women should be treated.

Your instincts to remain apart are sound ones. Do contact Womens Aid for more support as well, they can and will help you. This man can still be a parent to his child even though you are apart.

luluzulu Sun 27-Dec-15 11:28:01

Attila yeah i have done the freedom programe i have done councelling 3 times also, you are right wen you mention my happiness, at the time of leaving i felt i was taking a huge step forward towards a happier future but all ive felt is guilt and sadness that it has come to an end and i dont know why. Wen i says about remembering the good times i meant the few times we would get aling happily. It was like living with jekyl and hyde there would be a month or so of us getting aling really well then he would change into this bully and it made me sad to see him like that, sometimes i blamed myself because all my efforts were in earning money looking after our child and either sitting at my mothers or over at friends houses, because at times it was unbearable sitting with him we no longer had the connection we once did, and also that we would argue. I feel i should have faced our problems rather than running from them but what also killed me was the lack of intamacy we
Were both craving and it would cause arguments. What i wanted was a nice man to put me first for once tell me what i meant to him, someone who would help more and play a better role in the family. Because of these reasons i felt we had no connection anymore and i didnt want to sleep with him, i felt i was depriving him and he also said that to me. I dont no what kind of answers im looking for here just some guidance i suppose. I just think spending christmas here has baught back alot of mixed emotions although our cgild has had a fantastic Christmas which is whats most important

Jibberjabberjooo Sun 27-Dec-15 11:36:00

You only had a few times where you were happy, being happy occasionally is not a reason to get back together. You should be happy more or less all the time. He's bullied you and is emotionally abusive which outweighs everything else. You haven't abandoned him, you aren't his mum, he's not a child and his behaviour is his responsibility not yours. I think you're looking at things through rose tinted glasses. Do you really think being in a bad relationship is better than being on your own?

luluzulu Sun 27-Dec-15 11:51:00

Thank you for your responses x

luluzulu Sun 27-Dec-15 11:53:29

Jibber no i dont think its better to be in that kind of relationship im just feeling weak at the moment i think. And because he does seem like he has changed but i suppose im just forgetting my initial reasons for leaving.

Jibberjabberjooo Sun 27-Dec-15 11:54:20

The other thing is, having a nice time over Christmas is not representative of your relationship. Christmas is exciting, your DS is having a great time, that doesn't mean you should get back together based on one day.

It would soon slip back to the day to day drudgery, him playing on the computer, you doing all the housework and feeling like a single mum. Of course your DS likes you being together, but he's 5 and you're the adult. And words are easy, he's acknowledged his responsibility, it's easy to say.

luluzulu Sun 27-Dec-15 11:57:02

I dont know why i feel such a strong duty towards him and his emotional well being?But i do. It is over riding my own happiness . it is better we remain apart then my child doesnt have to witness arguments etc. Has anyone else felt like this after leaving this type of relationship?

luluzulu Sun 27-Dec-15 12:03:06

My child is happier, more confident, doing well at school, more relaxed. I need to keep focusing on that not my ex. Before i left my child was shy anxious & clingy. And you are right about this just being a happy time of year etc we all getting along well and exchanging gifts sitting together as a family. When the holidays are over and if i gave him another chance im sure it will go back to the way it was. thank you all for reminding me of whats important in all of this .my sons well being

hownottofuckup Sun 27-Dec-15 12:17:21

I think relationships can develop and change post split. I don't think people remain the same (I know I haven't) and I think not all splits are as cut and dried as you initially think.
I am in a similar situation but some years further on. Some people seem to manage to move on, we haven't and I'm not entirely sure why.
So, no advice really but just to say I think I know how you feel. Be careful you don't end up with this situation dragging on for years.
Despite many good reasons for our initial split I think I always questioned if it was the right thing to do. In hindsight I don't think it was, but that's from the perspective of the people we are now rather than the people were then.
FWIW we have just spent Xmas together as a family.

Chinesealan Sun 27-Dec-15 12:22:07

Don't go back to him. You know it won't work.

Jibberjabberjooo Sun 27-Dec-15 12:25:58

It's ok to have weak moments. You had a nice time at Christmas so it's easy to think that everything will be wonderful if you got back together.

hownottofuckup Sun 27-Dec-15 12:28:14

Make a decision and really put the effort in to making that situation work. You can't split but continue to provide his emotional support. That's what I did. I never put the proper boundaries in place so years later we're still in the same situation.

luluzulu Sun 27-Dec-15 13:49:48

Hownottofuckup thank you for responding to my post im glad there is someone there who can understand how i feel. I know whats best to do and that is to cut my losses like i tried to for years. But it is very hard we keep in contact all the time talking
About our child and we have split on good terms i basically thaught at the time enough is enough neither of us are happy and our child is in an inhappy environment which isnt good for emotional development. Life is too short to be unhappy but scince we have split i think we have both changed alot, things that were important to me a year ago are insignificant now and sometimes i question myself was i expecting too much? And i think he realizes now that the way he was behaving was a massive part of why our relationship went the way it did. I wanted more children and still do i asked him to change his ways i begged him to have more input but too little too late now. Wen i said i need to see some serious changes because we couldnt bring another child into that pitiful life he basically told me t f off and find someone else to have a child with . he is defensive and argumentitive and couldnt see that i was trying to change our situation trying to make it work but all i was met with was immature responses like that. I doubt in the long run that someone can change so dramatically and i think the reason i am having a wobble is because our relationship (as parents/friends) is (mostly) harmonious now

hownottofuckup Sun 27-Dec-15 14:19:15

I have changed a lot since we split, I'm definitely a lot more self aware then I was. However, that was 5 years ago! So a) how would you feel in your own situation dragged on that long? And b) I do think it usually takes longer than 6 months for people to really change.
FWIW we are in a very happy place right now, things seem to have fallen into place. But I think we'd also be in an equally happy place if we had taken the steps to properly move on from the start which, for whatever reason we never have.
I have found counselling to be very, very beneficial. I certainly won't commit to anything without attending couples counselling first, I've had individual counselling for nearly a year.
I've also been to CoDA meetings as I have a tendency towards co-dependcy which I hadn't been aware of.
The biggest positive change for my own situation has, I think, been to start taking better care of myself and putting healthy boundaries in place.

hownottofuckup Sun 27-Dec-15 14:24:58

I've stopped trying to decide whether I need to make things work for us to be separated, or together, and concentrated on myself and let things evolve organically ifyswim. Sorry I don't think I've explained very well, distracted by DC! I'll come back later.

luluzulu Sun 27-Dec-15 14:33:35

Hownottofuckup your sitiation sounds a bit like mine with regards to taking better care of myself and not letting this rule my head, im trying to do whats right for me and my child and taking each day as it comes, if i let myself relax about the situation and look at the bigger picture i feel this has probably been the best thing for all of us in
Lots of ways life is somewhat easier no pressure no getting in from work wondering what ivd done wrong now before i even get through the door. I know he would like to try again but he had plenty
Of opportunities whilst i still lived with him. Im just living for the moment and not making any decisions which i may come to regret. thanks fot your replies

hownottofuckup Mon 28-Dec-15 13:12:55

I've always been quite jealous of people who manage to either be together, or be apart. I haven't managed either!
I hope you manage to move on, it's strange to be in the exact same situation 5 years after we split.
Like I say, I think it's all about boundaries.
I think too, from what I've read on here, that it's quite normal to have a wobble after a few months. The key probably is not to act on it.

AnyFucker Mon 28-Dec-15 13:21:04

Ive left a few times before only to come back weeks later as i never had the courage to see the split through and each time ive came back and things have gone back to normal ie arguing all the time.

There is your answer. Stay strong.

Baressentials Mon 28-Dec-15 13:25:58

Nope. He hasn't changed. Nor will he whilst he still sees you as an option.
Go out there and find someone better, or learn how great it can be to be single.

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