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Are men really able to forget/block out memories and move on?

(38 Posts)
Cherryblossom200 Thu 09-Mar-17 13:42:14

Hello all,

I wasn’t to sure where where to to this post as it sort of covers a few areas. But I thought maybe it was best placed here.

I met someone about 3 years ago, had a 4 month relationship it was great, met his family, went on holiday together etc etc he is 40 and never really settled down with anyone. Anyway to cut a long story short, I fell pregnant - he wasn’t happy about it (despite banging on all the time about wanting a family and talking about what our children would look like) he left as soon as I told him and continued with his plans to move abroad, which he did. He sent me a message saying he doesn’t want any contact with me. So I have have never contacted him or asked for any money to bring up my daughter.

I’ve seen one photo of him and he looks very happy. How are men able to compartmentalise their feelings and move on as if nothing has ever happened? If that was me, I think it would always be at the back of my mind.

Thanks to anyone who replies.

HelenDenver Thu 09-Mar-17 13:45:14


Yes, some people can do this and some can't.

But from a single photo, you can't tell anything!

HelenDenver Thu 09-Mar-17 13:46:11

And of course, the pregnancy was never "real" to him as he wasn't around; I suspect it's the same with respect to your DD.

Hacpac Thu 09-Mar-17 13:48:06

I think there is something in the saying "you wont miss what you have never had"

Some men leave before the baby is born for this reason.

MusicToMyEars800 Thu 09-Mar-17 13:49:28

this baffles me... can't give you an answer but I have a friend who is a single mum her dds dad left her and moved abroad and has never met his dd. all I can say is you are better off without him, keep him updated on his dd and keep the evidence so you can show you dd when she is old enough, she can see for herself that her dad is an arsehole that left you both and never bothered to make any effort.

Cherryblossom200 Thu 09-Mar-17 13:50:42

Yes that's what I think too. He has never met her so has never developed a bond. It's very in keeping with the type of person who he is, keeping relationships at a distance.

My daughter is very much loved and lucky to have a lot of family close by to support us, so hopefully as you say she won't miss what you never had.

Cherryblossom200 Thu 09-Mar-17 13:52:57

Ha Musictomyears - it's incredible isn't it? We're very happy and content, the two of us smile I most definitely don't want him back in our lives. But like you say it baffles me as to how someone can carry on with their lives as if nothing has happened. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night TBH.

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 09-Mar-17 13:55:08

Yes - my husband can put all sorts of worries etc into boxes and pack them away and sleep soundly whilst I have sleepless nights over the smallest of things.

He can also do it with past traumas seemingly too and just carry on.

I suspect some women can do this too but it does seem (without wanting to stereotype anyone and get flamed!) a particularly male trait.

Cherryblossom200 Thu 09-Mar-17 13:57:45

I think I would rather deal with my issues than bury them in a box and try and forget about them- surely it will come out eventually..?!

OrangeStar Thu 09-Mar-17 13:58:50

Interesting question OP, and something I have wondered too.

I would like to think one day down the line when they're in the nursing home perhaps, they might look back, and where they've behaved badly be remorseful.

I also wonder if the actual thought/fact of having to financially support a child and/or have a relationship with him/her terrifies some men to the extent that they actually do blot it out. I had a boyfriend many years ago who told me that if he ever got a woman pregnant he would leave the country hmm. Years later I had a different battle which runs along similar lines. These days too they might justify it with 'well she can have an abortion if she doesn't want to go it alone'. Still, I really don't know how they do it though ...

littlefrog3 Thu 09-Mar-17 13:59:23

I don't know how men are able to compartmentalise. But they do do it well. Like they have affairs, whilst (allegedly) still loving their wife. Whereas a woman will not usually have an affair unless she is unhappy in her marriage.

That said, re your man not wanting to know his child, I have actually known several women who have never wanted anything to do with their own child. One woman had her child at 18 and let her mother adopt her. She moved away shortly after she had the child, and has had nothing to do with the child since. She rarely contacted her parents either (the child's grandparents.)

The 'child' (my friend) is 40 now and has a 10 year old girl who the birth mother has nothing to do with either. The birth mother has 2 sons (33 and 30 now,) who she worships, but she acts like her daughter doesn't exist. Even at 40, and after having her grandparents raise her quite well, my friend is still devastated by this. Not least because they died when she was 32, and her birth mother worships the 2 lads and their children (2 boys each.) But still does not want to know my friend or her daughter.

Also, I have known a couple of women who left the husband and kids when the kids were 3-6 y.o, and never looked back.

So it's not just men who do this. Though it is more common.

I am very sorry your ex is a dick and I hope you and your child will have a lovely life without him... ............... flowers

HelenDenver Thu 09-Mar-17 13:59:30

I can compartmentalise and i have a vagina.

It's not "not dealing with things", it is focussing at my choice on certain things.

Probably could not forget i had a kid though!!

Cherryblossom200 Thu 09-Mar-17 14:06:31

Very true, I have known of women who have walked away from their children. But I think it's less common. Men seem to be able to do it so's horrifying really.

I guess it's just something that I find interesting, and not just in the perspective of men leaving their children, in general they seem to very good at blocking out problems and moving on so much quicker and easily then women do. I've seen men move from relationship to relationship as if the last person meant nothing to them.

Hacpac Thu 09-Mar-17 14:14:47

They probably didn't cherry. Some men just want a woman, any woman.

NotDavidTennant Thu 09-Mar-17 14:23:01

Men do this kind of thing because they can. A selfish man can walk away from his child and often not face any significant consequences. Society expects women to be the primary carer, so a selfish woman can't do the same unless she has someone else willing to take on primary care of the child, and even then she will likely face a lot of social approbation.

BretonRose Thu 09-Mar-17 14:29:08

Someone once said to me that their theory on how this is possible is because so many women and children used to die in childbirth. So men have the ability to switch off from it. It's just that selfish badtards choose to activate it by never seeing mum/baby during or after pregnancy.

I've known at least three guys who swore they wouldn't be trapped by a pregnancy become devoted dads as soon as they saw the baby. Couple were even really ashamed of their previous attitude and one of those is still happily married to the mum.

Cherryblossom200 Thu 09-Mar-17 14:33:45

Interesting theory Breton, and I do think a lot of mens hearts would melt if they ever did meet their own child. A part of me just thinks it's also plain being scared. He was constantly scared about getting close to me in the relationship, that it wasn't really a surprise he decided to run.

I can't imagine there will be a happy ever after with me and my daughters father, I could never forgive him for what I did.

PaterPower Thu 09-Mar-17 14:36:21

"Like they have affairs, whilst (allegedly) still loving their wife. Whereas a woman will not usually have an affair unless she is unhappy in her marriage."

Oh come on.. you're massively generalising there! Women will frequently come on this site and say "DP is great, good father etc but there's this guy, and we just have a connection" (paraphrasing somewhat, but it's the general gist).

What does "unhappy" mean anyway? It's just as often a grass-is-greener situation for the women as it is the men. And if the women can be "unhappy" but love their partners (they just don't feel that "spark" anymore, he's not paying them enough attention these days, the other guy was "there" for them, FGS) why are the men not allowed to feel that?

DustyMaiden Thu 09-Mar-17 14:46:08

I know someone who walked away and looked like it was easy, now in his late 40s he has a depression and drink problem. It has clearly affected him more than he thoughts.

HelenDenver Thu 09-Mar-17 14:52:05

I think there is a difference between men and women with children though.

I don't think we'd be surprised if a man who had donated sperm carried on about his life without thinking much about it; I'd probably feel similar if I donated eggs.

But the act of pregnancy makes a difference, IMO

HelenDenver Thu 09-Mar-17 14:53:48

...and I suspect this guy doesn't think of your child as "his" in the same way that I wouldn't think of a child from my eggs As mine.

Not an excuse - his behaviour sucks. But I expect that's the rationale

Cherryblossom200 Thu 09-Mar-17 14:58:57

I agree Helen. Apart from the fact he kept talking in our relationship about how he would make a great dad (!!!) how he wanted a daughter (!!) and what our kids would look like (!!!!!!) he chose to not use protection and didn't like the outcome.

HelenDenver Thu 09-Mar-17 15:04:03

He didn't use protection and was surprised when you got pregnant?

Stupid as well as a cock, then!

HelenDenver Thu 09-Mar-17 15:05:55

I will say, I wouldn't judge him for not wanting to progress with a pregnancy after a 4m relationship - he may well have meant "some day" when banging on about kids.

I do judge him for not using a condom and for buggering off without at least contributing monetarily to his child, though!

Cherryblossom200 Thu 09-Mar-17 15:06:19

Yes, very well put Helengrin

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