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Feeling sorry for STBXH

(10 Posts)
CherryBlossomPink Sat 22-Oct-16 22:00:43

We are 3 months seperated and I feel like I'm finally coming to terms with the split (his choice as he no longer loved me)
I have moved out of the marital home and it has been put on the market - he sleeps there on occasion, but isn't really living there still.
I started mediation process (which he agreed to) and received a letter today from the mediation service to say he still hadn't been in touch - I sent him a text asking if he had changed his mind so I could let my solicitor know.
I have had a response back saying he still wants to go ahead with it , but has been struggling to find the time and money, but will be in touch with them early this week to sort - he asked me to bear with him as he is struggling.
He told me he has no life, no friends, no money and is battling depression, he acknowledged it was his choice but that he is really struggling.
Am I wrong to feel sorry for him despite all the upset he has put me through in the last few months? I know my family will tell me he has brought it on himself and that it's what he deserves, but I'm finding it hard to turn off 17 years of feelings quite so easily.
Sat here in tears feeling so low for him and my default is to want to help - how do I toughen up, or is this just a stage of the process I need to go through?

Splishing Sat 22-Oct-16 22:34:44

I don't think you are wrong to feel sorry for him. You were together for a long time and you probably still care for him despite what has happened. It is however a stage that you probably just have to go through. My only concern would be are the reasons he is giving for the slow progress with legal matters genuine. Only you will know if he is being honest here. Could he be using it an excuse. He is maybe realising what he has done and having second thoughts? Maybe life apart isn't what he thought it was going to be.

tallwivglasses Sat 22-Oct-16 22:46:39

My advice is to feel sorry for 10 minutes and then get on with your life. He chose to leave.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 23-Oct-16 07:08:44

There's nothing wrong with feeling sorry for another human being, even if they did bring it on themselves. We don't always make the best choices in life for one reason or another, and a bit of compassion doesn't go amiss. However, the important point is, his feelings are no longer your problem. He didn't want to be with you, that's his decision to make, but if he doesn't have the dreadful burden of living with you (!) he doesn't get the benefits either. It's hard to switch off 17 years' worth of being in the habit of sorting things out for him. But you not only don't have to, you can't sort them out now. It's not your life to sort. So a non-sarcastic "I'm sorry to hear that" and then getting on with sorting your own problems (that he left you with) is pretty much all you can do.

Cary2012 Sun 23-Oct-16 08:08:47

OP, you can't just turn your feelings off like a tap. 17 years is a long time, and naturally your default setting is to reach out and support him.

You need to work on changing this though, because your heart hasn't caught up with your head yet.

My ex wanted out after 20 years of marriage. He denied an OW although she very much existed, they are still together five years later. I instigated divorce and he stalled.

I'd get long winded emails from him saying he was in a bad place, it was all moving too quickly etc etc. Yes, he was having second thoughts. I could have reached out, but I forced myself to ignore them and only discuss the practical stuff with him. This was because I could never forgive him or trust him again, so even if he might be wavering, I wasn't I wanted the divorce as soon as possible.

It isn't unusual for the partner who instigates divorce to stall or have doubts. But you have to be focused on what you and only you want.

I felt a pang of sympathy for my ex, but he had turned my and our kids lives upside down, so I ignored it, and left him to deal with any regrets. If you want out, you have no choice but to do the same,.

notagainnellie Sun 23-Oct-16 08:55:32

I also get pangs of sadness and sympathy for the position my stbxh is now in - very hard up, pretty grotty flat etc. However, like yours, he brought all this on himself and I see my ability to feel sympathetic as a sign that, despite what he has put me through, my humanity is still intact and I am capable of sympathising with another person who is experiencing difficulties and with whom I have a lot of shared history. I know, certainly up to about 6 months ago, I could have had him back had I so chosen, but then he would probably have messed me around again and left me feeling more bitter and 'damaged'.

Acknowledge your feelings but then put them aside and get on with rebuilding your life. If he sends long, waffly emails, I would keep replies quite brief and factual, with the barest of references to his feelings, if any. Don't feed it - he left you and now needs to seek support elsewhere.

Trifleorbust Sun 23-Oct-16 13:06:22

Where is he living? If the family home is on the market, what is being mediated?

I have no doubt he is struggling and I don't blame you for having residual feelings about that, but my cynical bone tells me he may be trying to win your sympathy en route to a financial settlement. He knows you very well - is this tactic likely to work? It would with me because I'm a big softie.

CherryBlossomPink Sun 23-Oct-16 20:33:52

Thanks everyone - I have no idea where he is staying, as far as I know most nights with a friend to be closer to work, but I have deliberately not asked as I'm not convinced there wasn't/isn't another woman involved. The mediation is to confirm the split of equity and resolve his claim on my pension - I have no clue if he is playing on my sympathy or is genuinely depressed as he has a history of depression - it's just hard to stop the instinct to try to help.
I know I need to toughen up, but I still care what happens to him as much as I wish I didn't!
I don't think he wants to reconcile, and unless there are major changes neither do I, I just want to move on.

Cary2012 Mon 24-Oct-16 10:17:59

Then only engage about practical stuff, just business like responses to emails, don't do small talk or ask him how he is.

I know it's hard to stop caring, when it's been so instinctive for many years, but force yourself to,

Your wellbeing is your only concern, his is his issue.
Never forget, he chose this.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 24-Oct-16 12:03:50

Of course it's hard to stop caring.
It's only been a few months.
I'm 6+ years out now and I feel sorry for my ExH.
His life has not panned out well and it is all his own fault.
But I still feel sorry for him and the example he's setting our DD!

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