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Any experience of temporary separation?

(50 Posts)
Roodolf Fri 09-Dec-16 03:36:31

Last weekend I found Internet conversations between my H and a number of women. I asked him to leave, which he eventually did - and he has several family members locally with spare rooms, etc.

He's not given me space really at all - loads of texts and insisted on talking before I was ready - he admitted he has been chatting online to other women on and off for the whole of our marriage - we've been together 6 years. He also said he's sleeping in the car and will freeze to death if I don't let him come home.

I don't want him home, can't handle to be around him, and if I ever can I will need to see his acknowledgement he has a problem and his commitment to change.

I don't think I'm unreasonable to ask for a month or even 3 as a trial separation where he gets counselling, stops hassling me, let's me decide what I want to do? Has anyone had experience of this and how did it play out? Anyone with a partner in recovery from this kind of addiction/behaviour?
(I am a serial namechanger but a long standing MNetter and I did post after some suspicions last year which he just denied and I naively let it go.)

Roodolf Fri 09-Dec-16 08:31:31

Wrong title and wrong time to post - hope it's ok to bump. Not sleeping well!

Hermonie2016 Fri 09-Dec-16 08:49:18

No direct experience but I think what you are asking is reasonable.
The sleeping in car is manipulative.I suspect he wants to avoid telling family members so won't go there.Not taking responsibility is a bad sign.

I think your instincts to put in place boundaries is good for you.How he responds to that is an indicator of his willingness to change.
I think genuine change does take time, so will be a longer process than 1 month.However you should be able to get a commitment from him to get counselling and for him to talk about what triggers his need to act like a single man whilst married.

How old is he?

LostSight Fri 09-Dec-16 09:05:53

He has no need to sleep in the car and will not freeze to death. That kind of pitiful exaggeration / implied threat would annoy me further. It's just another attempt to browbeat you.

I did have a separation from my husband. I didn't call it a trial separation though, I just told him the relationship was over. He did know, from quite early on, that getting back together wasn't completely impossible though.

Ultimately, I had to explain exactly what I wanted from him, and point out that compliance with my requests was the best chance he had. He managed to do so, after a short period of flailing.

I think you have to know that you will make it permanent if he won't comply with what you've asked, and follow through if necessary. For me, it was all about setting appropriate boundaries and making myself stick to them, as well as him. Trial separatiion suggests to me that you really don't want to leave, so he might see it that way as well.

No experience with a serial online chatting problem though. If it's taken you so long to find out, it would be really difficult to rebuild trust. Are there children involved? The only reason I even considered getting back with my husband was because we had a family. If we hadn't, I'm fairly sure I would have cut him loose and not looked back.

Roodolf Fri 09-Dec-16 13:54:16

Thank you for the really thoughtful posts. He's 50. No children together - he has adult DC.
I do feel he's not taking responsibility for what he's done and what needs to change. Hermione it's really helpful to know that you think the car thing is a sign of that too. He's being manipulative even if he doesn't realise it. I said I would meet him to talk this weekend - he's insisting it's at home whereas I really don't think that's a good idea. I know he's going to be really upset and imply I'm overreacting. I guess I do what you suggest Lost , say what I need and that if he can't or won't do it - and mainly it's find himself some counselling, find somewhere to stay so he's not coming back into the flat every day while I'm out, and find someone to develop accountability with.
Just needing a bit of support thru this. Maybe review after a month and see how I/we feel. Great timing eh?

Kr1stina Fri 09-Dec-16 14:04:50

What you want is not unreasonable e.g. He needs to stop contacting you and get some therapy .

When in fact he's doing the opposite , plus he's disrespecting your views, suggesting you are over reacting and pressuring you to do things you don't want to do.

Personally I wouldn't meet with him at all this weekend . But you have to please do it in public at Starbucks etc. You know, he's just going to

Manipulate you
Blame you
Excuse himself
Tell more lies about the past
More fake promises about the future
Try to make you feel sorry for him
Threaten you

Why put yourself through it?

ElizabethHoney Fri 09-Dec-16 14:08:10

You're not being at all unreasonable.

I wanted to mention that out of all the couples I've known who've had a trial or temporary separation (20?), it always ended up being permanent. Not that you'd be unreasonable to want to split, but it's worth knowing that the separation would probably make that more likely.

riceuten Fri 09-Dec-16 14:13:54

Let's be straight here.

He's bombarding you with texts and messages and saying he's sleeping in the car to try and guilt trip you into accepting him back. I think you've been very reasonable in the circumstances not to dump all his gear in the front garden and tell him to collect it. Hermonie2016 has is right - how he responds to that is an indicator of his willingness to change. At the moment, if you accept him back, nothing will change.

Change the locks, change your phone number and tell him to leave you alone.

liletsthepink Fri 09-Dec-16 15:05:00

He isn't respecting your wish for space because he doesn't respect you as a person at all as he's been cheating throughout your marriage. Don't give into his whining as it's all self pity and minimising his behaviour.

Tell him each time he contacts you, you will add another week to the month of no contact that you have already asked for. Hopefully, that will shut him up for a while!

TheNaze73 Fri 09-Dec-16 15:33:40

My ex, asked for some space, so they got it. And a divorce.

Roodolf Fri 09-Dec-16 16:30:47

TheNaze if that's what he wants after cheating our whole marriage thru, he's welcome to make that call and divorce me. I'll be better off financially if he does so.

I was going to meet in public Kr1stina. I need to at least ask, properly, for what I need. And see if he's willing to do it. He probably will do all those things and I am absolutely preparing myself to cope with it. I don't think I can just change the locks riceuten can I? House is in my name as his XW still lives in theirs and he doesn't want to put any pressure on her to sell and move. But it's his home, and we are married.

Writing is pretty therapeutic, thank you.

user1481140239 Fri 09-Dec-16 17:00:47

Bollocks does he have to sleep in his car, if he is it's to manipulate you into feeling sorry for him and letting it all slide, and to avoid telling his family. What makes you think he wants to or will change if this is his reaction?
Apaling. you deserve better OP.

Hermonie2016 Fri 09-Dec-16 17:12:07

Do you suspect he was unfaithful in his first marriage?

I think the texts are a sign of him panicking but after a few days of having calmed down I think how he deals with you will set the tone.

What do you want it hear? Is there anything that he could say to repair the breach of trust?
I would try to let him speak and if possible be in listening mode, observing him.Does his body language support what he is saying? What's his ability to show empathy for you, can he see that trust is broken.

userformallyknownasuser1475360 Fri 09-Dec-16 19:12:25

OP I'm going through what I hope is a trial separation at the minute- dw asked me to leave and this was down to my drinking too much. That was three months ago, I am now sober and during the three months that I am sober I have started making massive changes to my lifestyle no alcohol, started yoga better with 11 yo DS etc.

Up until a couple of days ago I wanted desperately to get back together with DW, and I'm pretty sure that I still do.....however I have put a lot of work into trying to better myself , but seem to have got the cold shoulder from DW the whole way through, don't get me wrong I deserve it. Dw has said that there are things that she doesn't feel ready to talk to me about, I'm not sure if that is about things I done, how she felt when o was drinking or how I treated dsd - in any event there doesn't seem to be forgiveness coming my way and I am beginning to think that it might be better for both of us to make a clean break.

Personally I think that your DH might be doing the things he is doing because he doesn't want to lose you, if you want to lose him that is up to you. I would suggest that you set out your stall, tell him exactly what he needs to do and give him a timeframe to work to.....tell him then you will reconsider For me it is the not knowing that is killing me. For your DH if he doesn't give you the time and space that you ask for I think you have your answer.

Kr1stina Fri 09-Dec-16 19:30:02

User - how long did your wife put up with your drinking causing problems in your marriage ? Unless it's less than three months I think you need to be patient and prove to her that you have changed. Words are cheap.

In the past, did you ever promise her that you would cut down / stop drinking, only to relapase? if so, how can she know that this time you mean it ?

It doesn't sounds to me that you any insight into the damage caused to her and your family by your drinking . And I'm just a random stranger on the internet. No wonder your wife needs some time.

Hermonie2016 Fri 09-Dec-16 19:38:37

User, 3 months is no time at all if you have had alcohol issues.

The not knowing is something you might have to tolerate as it's a very short time in the scheme of your relationship if you have an 11 year old son.

Don't expect forgiveness yet, work on building trust and perhaps seek joint counselling.

I think you are looking at a year realistically.It might feel a long time but if you want the relationship to work out long term there has to be time investment.
Sure you could start a new relationship but would you really be happy knowing you were not patient enough in your marriage.
Your wife can't afford to get this wrong again for the sake of the children so give her credit for trying to do the right thing.

userformallyknownasuser1475360 Fri 09-Dec-16 21:49:37

I'm sorry and I understand that you are trying to help, I put this post up to give OP the benefit of my experience, and let her know the way I thought when DW insisted I left the house. This wasn't a "poor me" post or a seeking advice post, I have tried that in MN but anything I said/tried was wrong and the advice was generally "leave dw alone to get in with her life you caused all the probs and even when you try to take responsibility for then you don't know what you are doing and are still wrong etc etc"

I appreciate you are trying to help but at this stage I am not going to get into that again, on this thread I was trying to help by coming from the point of view the OPs husband may be coming from.

Roodolf Fri 09-Dec-16 22:33:15

It's ok - user raises some important things. Firstly that I don't want to become someone who uses digs and behaves in a loveless way - that's part of the reason I want to stay separate so I don't turn into that. I've had to be pretty cold towards him this week however because otherwise the texts get worse. And because I don't want to give him false hope. I hear the benefits of a time frame, for both of us to know where we stand.

Hermione yes I know it was an issue in his 1st marriage. I was a mess when we first met - I've turned a lot around though and I thought he had too.

I am finding how upset he is so hard to take. That I have the power to stop it. But he caused all this, right? And this is just the consequence of that. Thank you to all who have supported me today - I really do appreciate it.

Splishing Fri 09-Dec-16 23:09:02

You've already had a lot of good advice OP. You've said you are finding it difficult to deal with how upset he is. Speaking from experience I would question is he upset for what he did or upset because he got caught?

Cricrichan Sat 10-Dec-16 00:22:55

I don't buy it op. He's so upset?? Really? So why was he chatting or worse with other women? How can you trust that he's not taking things further ? I can't believe that if he was unfaithful in his first marriage and has been chatting to women during your whole marriage that things haven't gone further.

And how dare he be upset when he's betrayed you during your whole marriage? Wake up op and see this man for what he really is.

Roodolf Sun 11-Dec-16 17:56:44

Well, I saw him.
It seemed to go really badly, that he wasn't prepared to do what I'd asked and just kept on with the "but..." excuses. He wants me to help him get help - I've made it pretty clear that he needs to start this process. However, he has found somewhere to stay and says he will give me space. And then texted again a couple of times. Actions are definitely speaking louder...
I'm exhausted - in my pyjamas already and struggling to stay awake. This week has been awful. Seeing him is really hard, all the feelings flood back. I thought I had a really supportive, caring husband but under it all, I was being betrayed. I don't know what I need from this thread, sorry - just to get it out maybe.

RandomMess Sun 11-Dec-16 18:03:09

Sounds as though he has no intention of taking responsibility for his behaviour or changing sad

Decide what is best for you - perhaps block him from your phone or something if he continues to harass you with these texts.

Kr1stina Mon 12-Dec-16 08:29:52

I'm so sorry OP, no wonder you are exhausted . It's shock and grief . As you say, you thought you had a happy marriage and now you discover he has been cheating all the time you've been together and also on his first wife. So it will take you some time to process everything and decide what you want to do.

Have you told your friends and family and are they supportive ?

I can't believe it's been a week and he still hasn't got any counselling or joined any self help groups . He obviously not that upset or he woduo he making more of an effort. You are competeoy right to insist that he jar to organise all this himself.

Is he still coming to your house each day when you are out ?

Kr1stina Mon 12-Dec-16 08:35:48

And ts ok to use this thread for whatever you like - it's yours. You can just rant if you want. Or ask for support.

Roodolf Mon 12-Dec-16 13:20:40

Thank you Kr1stina and Random - he seems to have agreed to give me some space so I am going to try and mentally 'shelve' any decision making, just get thru a busy fortnight at work, and then some time off over Christmas.

My close friends know, I don't have loads of family but I have told one relative. My friends have been great - very wise and supportive. I just felt, MN has been so well thought out when I've had small issues before, and I really respect the advice I read on here, and I can write at crazy awake times instead if texts waking a friend up. Sorry, I know that wasn't why you asked. I feel like he's lost his right to secrecy in this now. I'm not telling loads of people, I don't want awkwardness if we get back together.

He has been in the house every day. But today I'm not planning to go out so really hoping he stays away. No texts yet either.

I have been super productive today. I am proud of myself - there, I can be positive in this!

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