Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Do I give it another go?(45 Posts)
DH and I separated just over eight months ago. The decision was unilateral from me after years of feeling deeply unhappy and having to support the family financially, emotionally, practically and in every other respect over a period of about six years. I had previously raised my unhappiness many times, but was ignored, ridiculed or belittled. It was a classic case of me reaching the point of no return and one day just cracking and saying "enough". Since then, things have been pretty hard, as DH is still not accepting the situation and continues to recriminate that we should have done more to address the problems in our relationship. Our DD, who is five, took it very badly initially, however is now starting to settle into a new routine. She sees her dad three days a week, including one overnight stay. We are trying to be civil to each other, at least in front of our daughter, and most of the time manage to do so. Since we've separated, if I'm completely honest, I haven't missed him. I feel lonely at times, yes, and being a lone parent is no picnic, but I felt like I was a single parent when we were together anyway, as I used to get no support from him. If anything, I find that things are easier and more straightforward now that I don't have to carry him as well. And yet, when he, like today, points out that we would all be better off together, and that I am basically ruining our daughter's life and mine in the process, there is a part of em that believes that and I doubt myself. There is a part of me that looks back at the good times and wishes that we could go back to that. I just don't know what to do. Our issues are big, but not unsurmountable. I can see he is making a big effort to address some of those issues: he is now earning good money; he is being more attentive and reliable; he is attending counseling. But try as I may, I still don't trust him. After all, he had everything to lose in this separation and everything to gain if we get back together, so of course he would erasures for that to happen. I am also very wary of giving it another go and things falling apart again; I've seen it happen and it would be devastating to our daughter, who is only starting to adapt to the new situation. Has anyone else been in this predicament? Do people really change?
I believe people can change but as you said, you don't want to create more stress for your DD. Why don't you try a date night? See how behaves, how you feel about it afterwards. You might get on, you might see he hasn't changed one bit or you might find you still don't feel for him what you used to. Its a small step rather than taking a big leap.
I agree with Little give him more time to prove himself, so you can feel safe, secure and you feel you can trust him again.
Tough one, it seems there was no major event leading to the break-up but a drip-drip effect of being taken for granted, and also ridiculing and ignoring your concerns is not good. So, you have very valid reasons for wanting to split. Also, he could have sorted all this BEFORE you actually broke up and didn't, but waited until after.
Sometimes people change, sometimes trying a date night might help, but I think you need to trust your instincts - the fact he is framing this as you ruining your and your daughter's lives is not good, and maybe suggests that despite the surface changes his attitude has not changed deep down and he is still not taking your concerns seriously or taking responsibility for his part. Apart from the fact he has everything to gain, I think this is why you struggle to trust him, as you are getting the feeling that perhaps things haven't really changed.
The fact you are feeling less frazzled and your daughter is settling down since the split is instructive, maybe take some time (as much as you want) to see how you feel by yourself and enjoy getting to know yourself again, and then contemplate if giving it another go is what you want - but at your pace. Maybe suggest this as a possibility and i think his reaction to this/ level of patience will tell you a lot of what you need to know. Good luck.
He probably never thought you would actually leave.
What does he mean by this "we should have done more to address the problems in the relationship". It sounds like he has still not accepted full responsibility for his actions and blames you also. He is certainly blaming you for supposedly ruining his child's life and yours to boot. However, you are finding that things are now easier and more straightforward because you are not carrying him as well. Such men rarely if ever change.
You still do not trust him. That is the clincher here. Where there is no trust there is no relationship.
he had everything to lose in this separation and everything to gain if we get back together
I have been in your predicament, and no, OH did not change. He reverted to his previous behaviour after a few months. We split for good after that.
The accusation of ruining DC's life is really him saying you are ruining his
life. Tough, I say.
I haven't been in your situation, but no doubt many others have, and will give you some feedback soon.
What I don't really see is what's in it for you? You don't seem to have any desire to be with him, and although he's making changes, is seems like too little effort too late. And I can relate to your situation pre-breaking up, so know how wearing it can be, and how it can jade your feelings towards someone.
If you want to explore the possibility of mending things, however, is it possible to look at dating one another, taking it slowly and seeing where it goes- perhaps along with some relationship counselling?
(Oh, and totally agree with the posters pointing out that he is out of order for laying all the blame at your door, when in fact you've put up with a lot from him whilst trying to communicate your unhappiness- he needs to accept his responsibility, or no go..!)
Sorry I also don't see him taking responsibility therefore you'd be going back to the same old shit.
Stay as you are, if he really wants to change, let him prove it to you, words are cheap OP.
I also don't really see how you can be happy with a person that caused you years of unhappiness, people do and can change but not that much and he doesn't sound changed one bit.
I agree with the others, seems like he has done what he thinks he needs to do to get you back. If you go back I imagine it will slip back to how it was. Your daughter is starting to cope and will be benefitting from seeing a strong, happier mum, and probably more quality to her time with her dad than when he was at home leaving everything to you.
I'm really surprised that people are suggesting date night based on your OP!
He's being a shit!
He's hardly saying "you know what, I fucked up, please let me prove I can be better", is he? He's still being horrible to you. And you don't miss him.
Of course he's earning good money now - because you're not carrying him!!! That's hardly him making a change for you.
I'd get counselling of your own.
Is he really going btw? Wouldn't be the first bloke to bullshit that he was.
I think that people might change, with a lot of effort. However an entrenched dynamic between partners is very difficult to erase. I tried getting back with my ex
idiot and it was all of 2 days before he made some unnecessary twatty comment, designed to make me feel small (obviously hadn't told the kids at that point).
Thanks all for your insights. Giving me a lot of food for thought. Just dealing with bedtime now but will be back later xx
LittleLegs, we try to meet for lunch a couple of times a month to communicate about our daughter, as we have agreed not to discuss anything of substance in front of her (makes her very anxious) and we found that if we leave it to whatsapp, sooner or later we are going to have a bust up. Whenever we’ve met, I’ve never once felt a motion to hug him or show him any affection- my instinct is to stay away, and it shows in my physical demeanour. He’s picked up on that and he’s even remonstrated in the past that I wasn’t “greeting him properly”, so now I try to do a polite kiss on the cheek, but sometimes I don’t even feel like doing that. When I question myself, I wonder if I’m just shutting him off because I’m afraid that I might still have feelings for him but scared of getting hurt again. Normally when I break up with someone who has hurt me, I really break up and burn all bridges. Obviously I can’t do that here though as we have a child together and he’s not going anywhere.
Dreaming, quite. It does feel to me like it’s too little too late, but then, we’re still fairly young (mid-thirties), so is our daughter, what does too late really mean? Part of me is still hanging on to that dream of a happy family. However the reality is that he has shown me, over a long period of time, what happens when we hit hard times. What happens is I’m left to deal with all the shit while he retreats into himself, giving me zero support. It’s a one way street. We have had some counseling, but I stopped it after about five sessions as I felt we were going around in circles- he was very blaming, although he does acknowledge that things were incredibly hard for me, he continues to put a “but” at the end of each acknowledgement, which makes it pretty hard for me to accept it as an acknowledgement.
12purpleapples, he is spending way, way more quality time with our daughter than when he was at home. Every single weekend it used to be just me and her, I’d leave the house in the morning cause I couldn’t bear to see him mooching around all day doing sweet FA, come back later afternoon to find him in the same place. It was so utterly, devastatingly depressing, disappointing, and ultimately it broke my heart. That’s the bit he doesn’t get, just how let down I felt.
Cabrinha and Missyaggravation, to be completely fair last weekend I felt, for the first time, a twinge of nostalgia (I had a very vivid dream that brought back some good feelings). Then we met today and he 1) called me a liar to my face for denying that I ever stated that he could have 50/50 custody (I actually feel quite strongly about that so I know I would have never agreed to that); 2) stated that my decision to separate and my subsequent attitude is “disgusting”; 3) stated that me and him (and his family) are “not of the same ilk” (meaning he would never have made the decision to split) and that he wished he’d have realized that a long time ago. And then he said I keep being nasty to him because I sent him one snappy message at the weekend stating “no, you wouldn’t understand” when he texted me at drop off time to ask if our daughter could come back the next day instead!!!!! arrrrghhhhh.
greysheep by the way your post summed up my feelings perfectly. My gut feeling is telling me "no", though I'm not sure how far I can trust my "gut", which is all over the place a lot of the time
The fact he is still accusing and unpleasant towards you whilst wanting you try again...
Well erm just no. You are so much better off without him!!!
I think you've got your mind made up, you don't want to be with him and he doesn't make you happy. Don't get back with him for the sake of your daughter, she will be much happier with a stress free, happy mum.
It sounds over to me Fantasy, it really does. Everyone has wobbles and doubts when the emotional blackmail starts but that's all it is. I was married to someone like this and I ended it for similar reasons to you. I don't regret it at all.
Toystory4 did you also wonder what it might be like if you tried again? I keep excusing his behavior thinking he is upset, plus separation/divorce is really not the done thing in his family, they're very traditional and believe in working things out, he is perceiving this as a failure and he is furious!
His ego is wounded because he has lost social status within his family. He is being nasty to you about it, shows you no empathy, you don't trust him (quite rightly) and can't bear physical contact with him.
It really is over, OP.
It would be futile and cause everyone (including your dd) upset to try again. Two things are important now:
Stability for your dd.
Sanity for you.
Don't go back.
So in other words, he definitely doesn't have your back, he's sure to cover his own backside though eh.
Can't think one reason to try again, he's not even acknowledging any mistakes, he actually sounds incredibly immature.
he’s even remonstrated in the past that I wasn’t “greeting him properly”, so now I try to do a polite kiss on the cheek, but sometimes I don’t even feel like doing that.
This made my stomach churn. He still thinks he owns your body. Stop doing things you don't want to do. It's your body and if you want to shake his hand, wave at him or give him the finger, that's up to you.
He is a thoroughly unpleasant man. Don't for one minute believe he's changed. He's STILL blaming you for everything!
I understand that nostalgic thing that sometimes occurs. But it's not nostalgia for what you had with him - it's nostalgia for what you wished it could be.
He told you that you weren't greeting him "properly" and you adjusted your behaviour despite utter revulsion. That kind of answers the questions "Do you want to try again? Do you desire this man?" and all that stuff. Not to mention the nasty, cruel slant to his every word and his playing judge and jury over you. Horrible, horrible man <shudder>
You're regaining your own emotional balance and self. Why jeopardise everything you've achieved?
As you have said, OP, you don't trust your own feelings at the moment, and the danger at the moment is that you let sentimentality for a not-very-good relationship pull you back under.
Read over what you have written here whenever you feel yourself wavering, and take strength from that.
You don't even like him, and who could blame you ?
It's another no from me
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.