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Straw poll - what would you do at this break up point?(11 Posts)
Ladies (and gents), I'd love to hear your opinion on what course of action to take.
I have a 1.2yr baby boy. About 4/5 months ago, I went through a depressive/anxiety episode. It may have started earlier but I was too caught up in a new born to realise. I was properly diagnosed 1m ago, and actually have significantly improved my mental state since, with counselling (alone), learning to sleep properly, more positivity at work, seeing more friends etc.
The result of that, and the reappearance of my mother in my life (I wanted my son to have a relationship with her), and she is a very difficult character, meant that I was NOT coping well with life, and the effect of that was that I took it all out on my partner (10 years, very peaceful and happy, not married, planned child together).
I accused him of cheating (he didn't), I woke him up in the middle of the night to argue. I said he was an awful father (he is a bit crap, but probably no worse than many other new fathers), I walked out a couple of times, I threw him out, and forced him to move out... All very crazy girlfriend behaviour, and I'm sure not entirely uncommon but very out of character for me. He's emotionally a complete avoider, and cannot bear any sort of confrontation, and I think he could not cope with seeing someone he loved treating him like that. That said he didn't help the situation by communicating or being generally supportive in a more obvious way (e.g. He'd buy me a cake when he thought I was upset when really I wanted him to hold me and tell me that he loved me).
Anyway, result of all of this is that he broke up with me a few weeks ago. His exact words then was that he could not see how he could carry on with me in a relationship, certainly not now... Since then he's said several times that he just does not have hope that we can rescue things. He was also extremely angry with me, and for a while we could not even speak a civil sentence. Though I think we are over the main anger now, and he says he just feels bad for me but he can't change his mind.
I was heartbroken, I loved, and probably still love him deeply. We were really best friends, and got on so well (even at the worst, we'd still have the odd wonderful evening together, though often with friends). However whilst I recognise that I love him, I also see that perhaps there is no future for us, and feel that I can move on. He's tried to be involved in our sons life still but he doesn't live with us, does no bedtimes, night wakings, and we have no set weekend child sharing plan (mostly because we had lots of things planned together and we still wanted to go to them together with our son). He lives in a flat close by (I can tell if he's home) we rented for our family (empty except for him now), and has rather passively aggressively removed my key without me knowing so I can no longer go in (though I did go in to pick fights a few times and he really didn't like that). I live in a flat with our son.
He comes in every morning (he still has a key) and plays with our son for 10/20 minutes before he goes to work (works late), and occasionally lets himself in (with notice) at the wkd if we have plans together.
Our friends who know us tell me that I should be patient, he's still hurt and angry and is more than happy to ditch most of he childcare duties and hit the town every night for a while, but he will realise what a fool he's being when he's friends, all of whom are dads, can't go out every night, and will come back and reconcile, as we really did have a very happy history together and are generally very compatible. They say I should try to stay strong for me, him and our son, let him enjoy his time with us (he still would like to see me and our son together, but also happy just to take the baby), and he will realise that he was actually quite happy and it was my mental state that led to the breakdown, and when I'm better (which I feel I am) we can work things out. I also notice that he has kept momentos of our time together in his flat, and got me birthday presents, and hasn't been overly keen to tell anyone that we have split (though could be embarrassment that he left the mother of his baby). I also said that if he thinks it's over he needs to return the keys to my flat, but he refuses to do so, saying its just more convenient for him to see our son if he has them.
Now, he keeps telling me he sees no hope for the relationship, and as he's usually a pretty honest guy I have to say I probably believe that is what he thinks. At least now. As said earlier, I am in a good place, and have lots of things I enjoy in life that's not him, so feel like I could try for a cleaner break.
Question is, what shall I do? I thought perhaps I could move to a different flat, so that he doesn't have free access and so I don't have to see how late he gets in every night (makes me fume, when I have to do bath and bed and can't leave the house), define visitation and child support, and just get on with my and my sons new life. But then I know that if I do this there is zero chance that we could reconcile, and that sliver of hope makes me want to stay put, do things on his terms (for now), be happy with the current situation, and see what the future brings.
What do you think? I'm happy to provide more details if necessary. He's not an awful man nor a monster, he's doing what he feels he can, and he's not actively trying to hurt me and certainly not our son.
Thank you in advance!
Ps should add that in his mind he sees our break up as a gradual thing, that we will immediately become good friends (pah, we were never friends, only lovers/partners), and we can work out the break in little bits over a long time. That absolutely doesn't work for me in the medium to long term, it needs to be partners and friends, or coparents and no friends. Perhaps I can feel we can be friends in years to come but not next week!
I think you should not be together as a couple as a lot has happened and I don't think you both will ever get over it. You said you're in a good place so leave it at that, otherwise be prepared for a life of going over the same things in arguments.
Sort the key situation and look to the future without your child's dad as your partner and embrace the challenege
Also, you need to sort out the contact situation.
I would start with one weekend day a week as well as a weekday evening or two.
As your child gets older, maybe every other weekend for the full weekend and an evening or two in the week. Just my opinion though.
You need to move on and put this relationship where it belongs, in the box marked 'FINISHED'.
A fresh start is what I would advise. Move to a new place that hasn't any memories of your time together, put in place an acceptable level of visitation that satisfies your need to move forward and his rights to see the little one. Accept that you have been through a very traumatic time but you can't let it define you.
Accept too that he's told you its over which means that it is OVER. Acknowledge that friends are just being kind and projecting what they want to happen which is very fluffy of them but you can't spend the rest of your life waiting for him to have that 'aha', moment.
Focus on yourself and your gorgeous baby.
I think for your recovery you need to move on. Move home if you need to but at least change the locks for the time being or add a door bolt or chain that sends him the message it's not ok to use the key.
It's almost Like he's treating you like a criminal or a child, not someone who has been unwell, recognised that got help and is making an effort to move forward and I would say the same to a man before I get accused of MN double standards. OP fully recognises her actions and the consequences but this does NOT mean it's ok for your ex to call all the shots and make all the choices in his own best interests whilst you do not do the same for yourself like some sort of pariah. I'm sure you can co parent together but apart, but you need to have boundaries. He's got his own already so now is your turn.
I suspect he's confused and conflicted and it does sound like whilst you are sympathetic to him and how he must have felt during the difficult period, and regretful of your actions he isn't affording the same to you and for this reason I think you have nothing I would want to salvage from this.
Your friends are right. He will be angry and hurt so a lot of what he is saying, and doing, right now will come from that.
All you can do is decide what you want....if you want to see if you can repair the relationship then make that clear to him and give him time. You will need to take ownership of what happened though and apologise, apologise, apologise. Ask him if he can forgive you. You forced him to leave. He did what you asked. How would you feel if he had done the same to you? He will need a lot of time to heal from that and rebuild his trust. Be honest with him. Tell him what you have told us. Then give him time to think.
Would you race back to someone who had thrown you out? No. He may decide he can't take the risk of it happening again. His choice. If you want him back then give him time to make that choice. No need for knee-jerk reactions or hurried decisions.
In the meantime, make sure you are well, truly well. One month of counselling is nothing. Keep going. See your GP. If you need medication, take it. If he comes back to you, you can't afford for this to happen again. Ever.
Lot of water under the bridge, OP
For the sake of your DC, you both need a clean break asap, sharpen up the boundaries, as they are currently too blurred, and over time it will be detrimental to you (keeping alive a sliver of hope is damaging and won't enable you to move forward) and to your DC (confusing, kids need definites not inconsistency).
Don't delay, it will become harder the longer you put things off.
So you've only had problems in your relationship for 6 months. I think your friends are right, it is too soon to write it off completely. Keep going to counselling and stay friendly with ex. Get him to have your son for an overnight or weekend and go out with friends. Keep focusing on improving your mental health ... that should be your priority right now.
You need to break free from him & do your self a favour. He's doing nothing wrong yet, it's winding you up & it's not your job now to get wound up by him. Move on
Hi, Thank you all for your replies. There is a bit of a mix in views, that actually make me feel a bit better about how I can't quite make a decision in my head...
I have been, and will continue to be, honest about apologising, recognising my input this this break down, and keep a line of communication open (if he wants it). I still do love him but I know I don't want to love someone who doesn't want to love me. Distance will allow me to do that.
I have decided to look for a new place about 10 minutes away. This way he can still see our son everyday if he wants to (if he says that 10 minutes is too far to travel then that says something about him too, I guess), and I can look forward to a fresh start in my new life without him. I think I'd be happy to spend some of the weekend with him and our son at the same time for now, but I can see how that goes and how I feel about that. Perhaps once I've moved I'd be able to deal with the pain of watching us play happy families as I would properly understand that this is just not a reality any more.
Thanks for all your suggestions.
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