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DH asked for divorce then changed mind 2 days later

(53 Posts)
Alphyn Sat 23-Jan-16 09:02:17

Long backstory, not sure where to begin but here goes: DH and I have been together for 16 years, married for 8. Have 2 DC under 4. The past few years have been somewhat difficult looking after DC although things are improving over time. DH is great with the kids and usually does more of the household chores since he is more tidy and I've been working long hours the past year.

We had some arguments in Dec and a long conversation about whether our relationship has a future or if we're just staying together for the kids. DH has ED and the GP he (finally) saw didn't want to prescribe anything and DH has been reluctant to see another GP so our sex life is almost non-existent and I've given up trying to initiate since he feels pressured.

Also I think DH has been at the very least flirting with female colleagues over the years (seen various texts, eg I missed you last night but many happy memories kept me company). When challenged, DH has denied, promised to maintain better boundaries, claimed colleague is a flirt and promised not to delete texts to prove that he has stopped. However, I occasionally check his phone and have noticed that he has been deleting texts from another female colleague recently. When challenged, he said that he has the right to a private life (eg. he wants to be able to vent without me seeing what he's said) and has been defensive.

Anyway, after a recent episode, we had another talk about why we're still together. I said I wanted to make it work but the following day he called me to say he wanted to split up and let's talk when he got home the next day (DH does shift work so is not home some nights). He said he still loves me and cares about me but the only reason he would be staying is for the kids. He felt that he had been doing so much for me and still I wasn't happy with him and he had nothing left to give. On the other hand, I feel we barely talk about stuff other than the kids / practicalities and he has such lively text banter with his female friends.

We sat down to discuss finances, childcare, etc. Initially he said he was thinking of divorce instead of separation. I suggested how we would divide assets (I manage all our finances) and custody but when asked his opinion, he said he was unsure and seemed daunted by it all (he hadn't thought about how it would work). He then asked for more time to think about it (eg temporary separation) and left for the night.

The next day, when I came home, he said he wanted to try to make it work but I suspect in his mind that means me trying harder, having more date nights and sorting out his ED. He won't promise to stop deleting his texts and in my mind, he hasn't even acknowledged the turmoil he has created over the past few days. I was actually making plans for my life post-split and I don't 100% trust him anyway despite his assurances.

I just have so many questions in my mind really. Is he / are we having a mid-life crisis? AIBU to check his phone? Did he cheat on me? Why did he change his mind?

GingerIvy Sat 23-Jan-16 09:04:46

Is it possible he had a replacement lined up (or someone to stay with) and it fell through, so he's decided to stay until something "better" comes along?

Sorry, but that's the first thing that came into my head when reading this.

BoboChic Sat 23-Jan-16 09:05:16

I suspect that there a lot of underlying unaddressed issues in your couple that a therapist could help you with.

Chasingsquirrels Sat 23-Jan-16 09:05:18

Your post is all about him - what do you want to do?

bb888 Sat 23-Jan-16 09:05:54

If you had got your head around splitting up and were feeling good about it I think thats significant.
The text about happy memories makes it seem like he is doing more than flirting.

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Sat 23-Jan-16 09:06:29

No he isn't having a mid-life crisis. He's having an affair, or at least he has in the past. If he hasn't had one, he's wanted one.

I think once someone has effectively told you they want out of your marriage, things can't ever be the same. If he has changed his mind (and not just, say, asked the hypothetical OW if he can doss down at hers/calculated the maintenance) then he's going to have to show you he's changed.

But from what you say I would help him leave. flowers What do you get from this marriage?

GingerIvy Sat 23-Jan-16 09:07:28

I agree that you need to start worrying less about what he wants, and more about what you want.

HortonWho Sat 23-Jan-16 09:09:52

I think you haven't changed your mind and from what you wrote, you think divorce is best at this point. It doesn't matter if he's now changed his mind (he'll change it again). What matters is you looked at this future in front of you and saw a light at end of tunnel.

MigGril Sat 23-Jan-16 09:10:33

You have two young children life is always hard with two young children. But I'd be worried about the his not being honest with you. He's realised it'll be harder for him on his own.

Maybe you should insist on counselling if he really wants to make a go off it still.

mix56 Sat 23-Jan-16 09:18:54

Carry on with the divorce.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 23-Jan-16 09:23:37

Your post strikes me as entirely about him and his behaviour - why don't you have a think about what you want and what you need smile

And let's set about getting you that

Cabrinha Sat 23-Jan-16 09:24:53

Fuck what he wants.
That you were busy sorting out the practicality of diocese not weeping and wailing says everything.
You really don't sound like you want to be with him.
If he wasn't texting other women I'd suggest counselling...

Alphyn Sat 23-Jan-16 09:25:32

We have such a happy family life and I don't want to mess up the kids' childhood. But recently, every time we have a serious disagreement, I imagine what it would be like not having to put up with his BS. And to be with someone who actually desires me (ie not just being the mother of his children / best friend).

And I hate being consumed with jealousy / suspicion, and having to sink to snooping in his phone (which he seems to be more inseparable from lately).

I am the main breadwinner at the moment so finances are not an issue if I decided to leave. I've told him I would not put up with his cheating, not even for the sake of the children. Sometimes I think maybe my behaviour is driving him away but the fact is the fishy texts go way back to the early years of our marriage before DC.

Purplecan4 Sat 23-Jan-16 09:28:00

Your dc are at difficult, demanding ages as they have been for years now. Whilst you've been caring for them, he's been pleasing himself.

From what you've written in your op, it's very likely your dh has had sex with at least one of those women. I don't buy the ED either, I reckon that's his mind doing it because his mind knows what he's been up to with other people.

I would issue him a choice- either he confesses absolutely everything and you jointly make a decision to start again or you get divorced right away.

He sounds extremely dishonest and right now he is offering you absolutely nothing. Men don't ask for a divorce and leave their little children generally unless they have someone waiting in the wings.

Anomaly Sat 23-Jan-16 09:28:38

How can you trust him? You can't so the marriage is over.

Like a lot of men he hadn't properly thought through the ramifications of splitting. I think he also expected you to fall all over yourself to keep him.

Don't let him control this situation. Decide what you want.

YouGottaKeepEmSeparated Sat 23-Jan-16 09:29:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bb888 Sat 23-Jan-16 09:31:05

If your children had an adult understanding of the situation I expect that they would not want you to tolerate his behaviour here.

PennyHasNoSurname Sat 23-Jan-16 09:32:39

I honestly think you are letting him have too much of the control here.

He decides whether you divorce or try again. He decides what he wants to do privately and demands you accept his right to privacy. He is the one who gets to decide the future of your relationship.

Take this bullshitter by the horns and start divorce proceedings. You dont deserve to be dithered over like he is doing.

ImperialBlether Sat 23-Jan-16 09:35:16

Regain control, OP. If you want him to stay (no idea why you would) then encourage that he stays and you both have counselling. Otherwise help him to pack. He's a cheat and a liar and he has ED that he wants you to resolve yet he rebuffs you when you try. He sounds horrible, frankly.

NNalreadyinuse Sat 23-Jan-16 09:38:29

I think you ahould go ahead with the divorce. You can only make a relationship work if both parties are committed to it and frabkly he isn't. He is unwilling to give up his extra curricular love life (there is no way he is 'just' friends with these women - at the very least he has been trawling for sex).

As for that 'entitled to a private life' bullshit, as his wife, you are supposed to he the one he shares his intimate thoughts with. You are supposed to be his private life.

Agree with pp that this all seems to he about him and no one appears to have given any thought about what you want or need. Him being good around the house or with the kids is irrelevant - that is the least a functioning adult should be. They are his kids and his house too - he isnt doing his share out of a desire to be helpful to you

The fact that you can see a positive future without him is very telling, as a pp said. I think you would be far happier without him dragging you down. He is inherently selfish.

Whocansay Sat 23-Jan-16 09:39:08

I think he threw in the d word to put you back in your place. You took it seriously and he paniced.

I would concentrate on what you want to do.

And I don't he's being truthful about the docs appointment.

Alphyn Sat 23-Jan-16 09:41:16

I want him to confess and just tell me the truth as I have no proof. I don't think he ever will. I don't want to take such a huge step without evidence. I know that I have a tendency to be paranoid even from when we were first dating as teenagers so maybe he is telling the truth, I don't know.
To be fair, he has always pulled his weight with the childcare, more so than any of the other families so cannot be faulted on that front.

Scarydinosaurs Sat 23-Jan-16 09:41:46

The lack of trust has clearly ripped out what is at the centre of any relationship- desire. How can you want him when you feel so rejected by his behaviour? From what you've said, I could imagine it feels repellant to look at him now, knowing that he has these multiple duplicitous relationships with other women.

I would reject his offer of 'trying again' as a knee jerk reaction. Remind him nothing has changed, and until he can be faithful to you (the relationships sound like EA) then you cannot even contemplate reconciling.

I hope you can find the strength to hold onto your first thought: life without this BS.

Doublebubblebubble Sat 23-Jan-16 09:44:05

To me (just reading the thread title made me think this and then reading the op it somewhat confirms it) it sounds like he has/had someone lined up and they've changed their mind/it wasn't That serious for them so have said no to whatever your h was planning. His shadiness regarding his phone also rings alarm bells. I think that if you got your head around getting divorced and whilst not necessarily happy were comfortable with the idea its probably a good idea to maintain your heading x I wish you luck op flowers

spudlike1 Sat 23-Jan-16 09:44:26

It sounds as though he doesn't want to be in the marriage. But when you sat down and worked out the reality finances etc he changed his mind .
He's pathetic

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