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Ex husband, new partner, need advice

(20 Posts)
headofdepartment Fri 14-Apr-17 12:03:45

Bit of a long story but here goes.

Me and the father of my 3 dc got divorced three years ago. We'd known each other since our school days, lost contact in uni and then reunited and had almost two decades of marriage. However, as time went on it became apparent things weren't working out, and we went our separate ways.

But even though I no longer am close to him at all, we have so much shared past together and have been through so much that I feel the 'spark' will always be there, and sometimes I would do anything to have him back in my life. A few days ago I got a long email from him saying that due to a change in job direction he's moving to our area and wants to see if there's any possibility of us getting back together.

Only problem is, I've recently begun seeing someone new. It's only been a few months but we have already discussed future plans together. He's a polar opposite of exH, very open and sweet and caring compared to exH who is more emotionally closed up. He's great with my dc, and I think he'd make the most amazing stepdad and husband.

But - our relationship is too boringly safe. That's such a horrible thing to say, but what's even more horrible is that, if there was even the slightest chance of things working out again with my ex, I would take it in a heartbeat. I haven't yet replied to the email, as I'm taking my time to sort out in my head what I want and what I feel is best for my dc. Please don't think I'm taking the relationship I have with my current partner for granted, or that I don't care about him - I really, really, really do. And that's why I feel like I'm a horrible person for being willing to throw that away for someone who it didn't work out with last time, yet who I have known forever and feel is my soulmate.

Any mumsnetters out there willing to offer much-needed advice?

Rainybo Fri 14-Apr-17 12:06:32

Why did you split? That's probably the most relevant detail.

If your ex is just coming back now that it is convenient then I'd be wary.

headofdepartment Fri 14-Apr-17 12:10:15

Rainybo there were a number of factors - him spending all day everyday at work or on business trips, which wouldn't the case in this new job of his, also the fact that he is so emotionally closed off which led to fights as I'm really the total opposite.

stitchglitched Fri 14-Apr-17 12:13:47

I think you should end things with your new partner. You find him boring and still have feelings for your ex. It isn't fair to him to drag things along if your heart's not in it and better to do it now before he gets involved with your kids, everyone gets attached etc. Then you are free to explore reconciliation with your ex if that is what you both want.

TheNaze73 Fri 14-Apr-17 12:15:03

I think you should ditch both of them. Never go back & who the hell wants boring & steady. That's surviving not living

Ellisandra Fri 14-Apr-17 12:16:04

I'd back off from allowing very new man to be great with your children, when you're not sure about him. The kids don't need to be caught up in this.

Try to make the decision about new man independently. Think back to before this email - was he boringly safe then, or just good safe?

Really think hard about why you split up with your ex. Your soulmate, two decades, three kids... it wasn't a whim, was it?

Ellisandra Fri 14-Apr-17 12:19:11

Right - so his personality has been to put work above you.
And presumably as he's moving back, he also has put work above very frequent contact with his kids?

That personality won't have changed.
So what if you have him home every night because his job has changed? That's circumstance not real change. Give it 2 years and will he be in another work away job, or will his personality be showing through him spending weekends on hobbies not family? You know him best. As I said above - there's a reason you split up with him.

headofdepartment Fri 14-Apr-17 12:19:37

Before I got the email I always considered the relationship pretty boringly safe, but now more so - I think it's made me realise just how much it is.

I think we both felt that we'd fallen out of love with each other, after so much time - though now of course I'm not sure that's the case, at least on my part.

Rainybo Fri 14-Apr-17 12:31:56

I think the Naze has it spot on. Ditch them both.

I would also be interested in how he has maintained a relationship with your children.

Perhaps you need to think about whether being low priority feels more like love for you.

Ellisandra Fri 14-Apr-17 12:33:17

Right, you weren't satisfied with the new man.
So - most likely you need to end that.
Only reason I'd say not to is if you are a bit drawn to drama (you mention fights with the ex) and you need to recalibrate what is safe / boring / drama / bad. Maybe therapy...
But chances are, new man just isn't right for you.

You really think you split up with him because you "just fell out of love?"

Try remembering some of the frustrations of his emotional availability and the times you were left to raise the kids alone whilst he prioritised work. Were those not real issues? Not just a bit of "falling out of love"?

You need to be realistic, because if you get back together with him, those problems are still there.

It's convenient that he wants to pick up when he's coming back... how do you think he'd react if you said "I still love you - but we divorced for a reason. We could date but not tell the kids at all for 6 months and at the same have couples counselling to address our communication issues"?

If he regrets the split and wants to make it work then he'll jump at you giving it a chance.

If he doesn't want the hassle of counselling and not just being able to hang out at your house (because the kids would know) but having to put in effort to date - well, then you'll be flushing out that he's seeking comfort of what he knows, and convenience.

Good luck with what you do - but - take it slow.

I'm an old cynic who worries he wants to fast track just moving back in. Just remember that picking up where you left off, means picking up a relationship on its last legs and going through divorce. What does he plan to do (and you) to improve it?

Cricrichan Fri 14-Apr-17 13:03:37

I agree with ellisandra.

Isetan Sat 15-Apr-17 07:26:35

Your children really do need a break from the drama.

Your Ex is an ex for a reason, if changing jobs was all it took, why the hell didn't it happen sooner? He isn't your soulmate, he's someone you have a long shared history with. Nostalgia has softened the reality of what it was really like to be in a relationship with him, essentially he has to be a different person and his email doesn't indicate that.

It sounds like you are prepared to settle far to easily, hence talking about the future with Mr Boring..

LoveDeathPrizes Sat 15-Apr-17 07:33:15

I think it would be amazing for you to get back with your ex, but an email because he's moving closer? How to make you feel like a happy convenience! I'm sorry but if he wanted it that badly he would've have made sacrifices before now.

LoveDeathPrizes Sat 15-Apr-17 07:33:47

Sorry Isetan Pretty much the same post.

Sweets101 Sat 15-Apr-17 07:38:15

Having done the going back think, I'd be quite wary.
First of, you split for a reason. Secondly, the split itself can cause more issues in restarting the relationship than there were first time round.

mummytime Sat 15-Apr-17 08:14:45

Umm the thing that struck me was you've only been seeing this new man for "a few months" but have already introduced him to your kids? That is far too fast.

Please think about the children and grow up.
Never "go back" it will become everything it was before.
Don't settle for boring. Maybe don't get involved seriously with anyone until you know that if ex came to "whisk you off" you would just laugh as you are happy as you are.

On the other hand if this is a plot for a book - rethink it, its tired and cliche.

robinia Sat 15-Apr-17 08:20:58

Don't settle for boring.
But if you do decide to give ex another chance, do give it a long time before introducing him as such to the dc. Presumably as he's moving closer he would naturally see them more but do not let them think that there is a chance of reconciliation unless you are 100% sure.

thethoughtfox Sat 15-Apr-17 09:25:19

New man 'boringly safe' That reads like life with ex was unhappy and full of fights which you mistake to be the same as love and excitement. Could that be the case?

Isetan Sat 15-Apr-17 09:26:11

Op, why are you so desperate to settle? What do you think the impact on your children is of your revolving door relationships?

I suspect your Ex's email didn't even attempt to address the issues that contributed to the split, instead proximity convenience appears to be the driver. What type of parent has he been since the split? Has he prioritised time with his children?

The answer isn't to fill the space with the most convenient man but the most suitable and neither of these men tick that box.

End your relationship with the new man and be very cautious about your Ex, his email is not an indication of you being on the same page. It sounds like you love the idea of it working more than the reality.

SaltySeaDog72 Sat 15-Apr-17 09:47:50

Woah, new bloke is 'great with the kids' and 'plans for the future' after a few short months?

You think a change of job is all it takes to solve relationship problems? He quite possibly just likes the idea of having someone to wash his pants.

I'm sorry but the only relationship worth your investment right now is the one you have with yourself.

I suggest you have time alone and some therapy.

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