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Am I wasting my time with this man?(81 Posts)
Hi, I am hoping to get some impartial advice on this situation. I have been seeing a man for around 8 months. A bit of background; He split up from his long term partner and moved out a year ago. They have 2 sons together, the youngest is 6 years old. They were together 10 years. I am 29 & he is 37. I had known him a while, just to say hello to but then a couple of years ago we bumped into each other on a night out. We talked all night & there was a spark. Nothing happened though as I knew he was in a relationship, although he told me he hadn’t been happy for years but stayed for the kids. We didn’t speak again after that night out until he messaged me saying they had split up and asked how I was. We started messaging and then began seeing each other. I was cautious because he had only recently moved out. The split was mutual and they are still friends. However he has struggled to deal with not seeing his kids every day and they still do things as a family, days out etc. He says they are friends but there’s nothing romantic there anymore and hasn’t been for a long time. But he also admitted she wouldn’t take it very well if he knew he was seeing someone else. He has told me he is still trying to figure out his new life. I have said to him several times it would be easier if I wasn’t involved. He kind of agrees but says he can’t stay away from me. As it’s now 8 months I have been seeing him and nothing has changed, do you think he needs some alone time and I need to remove myself from the situation? Any advice would be appreciated. Ange
I'd probably just get rid of him TBH, theres plenty of other people out there to date who will put you first. Your not going to know where you stand with him and are going to be second fiddle to his ex with all the days out etc. I bet he would go back like a shot if she would have him.
I wouldnt be sleeping with or getting emotionally involved as you are setting yourself to be used and hurt IMO.
I'd get rid of him and just move on.
I’m sorry to say I agree with the poster above. I was in a very similar position until Christmas and it ended badly with me feeling, exactly as stated, very hurt and used. The fact that you have already expressed doubts and he had agreed with them signals that, IMO, you need to step away now.
It’s intoxicating to hear something like he “can’t stay away from you” but the whole situation sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. I’m so sorry.
Thank you for your replies. Sometimes you need an outsiders opinion and it’s very helpful to hear your views. Leogrrl, do you mind me asking what happened? Did your bf get back with his ex? I don’t think mine wants to get back with his ex but I do think he is finding it hard letting go of that “family unit”. It’s almost like he’s wanting the best of both worlds so i guess your right when you say I should walk away.
It's difficult to say. He could just be having difficulty transitioning from family life. The main issues are whether he still wants to be with his ex and whether he's serious about you or are you a rebound/distraction for him. How do you feel? Does he treat you Well?
Hi Ange, yes, he ended it with me and got back together with his ex. He said it was because of not being able to be with the children every day, and not her, but it all sort of came as a package it seemed. The children were of a similar age to your boyfriend’s, too.
He and I are not in contact anymore but it is still very painful. Of course the outcome may be entirely different and I really hope that it is in your case, but I think in situations like this one has to protect oneself (especially if your feelings are become strong). It seems easy for men who leave their former partners and children to decide that they miss their old life and to slip back into it. In my case I felt that with me he might have been ‘trying on a new life for size’, IYSWIM.
If he is finding it hard transitioning from family life then it might be best that he does it alone, so that you’re not the collateral damage. Of course I don’t know anything about how he is when he’s with you, so all my comments are about the context. All I can say is that the difficulty with missing the children rang massive bells for me.
Thank you so much for your reply Leoggrl. I’m so sorry you went through that. Has he ever tried to reach out to you since going back to his ex? And how long had they been split up before he went back? I think mine would go back for the kids but he knows he can’t live in a non romantic relationship, and like you say they come as a package. It’s definitely opened my eyes that I need to step out of the equation as right now I’m filling a void. Only when I’m gone will he think about what he wants. Our situations do seem very similar. My guy also has a very big fear of what would happen if his ex meets someone else and a new man plays dad.
He went back after about 9 months (but that includes a lot of push-pulling where he thought he wanted to go back, then not, etc). Altogether it was 18 months of knowing him (like you, we met and felt an attraction but nothing happened until much later). I am so much wiser now! If I could do it again I’d walk away at the first sign that he wasn’t 100% available and ready to be in a new relationship. He said a great many things (declaration of love, future, life together) that didn’t match up to his actions (basically not disentangling life from his ex-partner). Now I would judge any future relationship by actions!
He hasn’t been in touch explicitly since finally deciding to go back, but we work in the same field so some indirect contact happens occasionally.
To add, I’m sorry you are also going through this and I hope that whatever you decide brings you peace. Best wishes!
Wow Leogrrl, I completely relate to what you have said. The non distangling of his old life. There’s a reason he isn’t closing that door and you are right, I do not want to get caught up in that. I should have walked away earlier on but they convince you there’s no way on earth they would go back. Thanks so much for your replies to me, you have helped me more than you will know x
It depends on what you want and how you feel.
He sounds like he is able to tell you where he is, and is truthful. Can you work with that or do you want more from him?
If you want marriage and babies, then this won’t work for you, but if you like him and it’s working, then why not?
I don’t think he offers me enough to be honest and I see that now. I am not bothered about marriage but I don’t want to be someone’s secret.
"If a man values you, you won't be treated like a secret"
I think he moved on too quick, maybe you were there to help him get over what he was in with his ex and keep him from going back to her. However, the fact he won't admit to being with you and so is acting to his ex at least, that he is a single guy is not on. I have a feeling if you leave him he will go back to her. You have been what he has been using in order to not go back, as like you say he doesn't want to be with someone he doesn't love. But I think he will end up going back.
Coming out of something where I was kept as a secret, I had to leave. It's so hurtful knowing that someone can't express to others that they are with you. He should absolutely be telling his ex he is with you, and if he's not then clearly he's not ready to be dating yet.
I’ve recently been in the same boat and just walked away.
I honestly felt like an intruder on their marriage and it ate away at me. I’m not a jealous person and I believed him when he said he didn’t want her back, but he wants that family unit more than he wants a new life and where did that leave me? Now where. I was an add on to their exsisting little bubble and it was really depressing
I would advocate walking away - it doesn’t have to be forever, but you have to be sure that they are disentangled. I wasted over 2 years of broken promises about the disentangling he claimed he wanted to do - but he always had an excuse as to why it wasn’t a good time
You are worth more
Hi OP, sorry you are going through this.
Separated myself with kids, and was seeing a separated man with a child. I had complete clarity over my own situation re shared care, and the new man (NW) was struggling to find his level - exW had moved with the child; he was uncertain where he should live or what his future would be.
What it came down to for me, after a few months, was that I was dancing around his uncertainty, being ‘available’ and feeling knocked back when he was ‘not available.’ I had a huge amount of sympathy for his confusion and sadness and sense of loss, we had a lot in common, he was utterly gorgeous, and I was smitten, but I couldn’t make him be ready for a relationship, not with me at least.
If you step back and put the ball in his court, I think you will find an answer fairly quickly. Me? I last saw him in January. I resolutely didn’t message him since, and guess what, he hasn’t contacted me either. So there is my answer.
It is utterly lovely to start something new and have hopes. I loved the early romance and the messages and the meet-ups. But I don’t think you are onto a winner here, for you, for now.
Nothing should be this much hard work after 8 months.
I really don’t think he’s a good person or really that interested
For your own sake move away, at this stage they could get back together.... even a year down the line
I don't think it's sensible to date anyone who is that soon out of a 10-year relationship and has two kids. It's a big change. When I broke up with my ex after just over that time, I was not in the right place to date for a good six months, and that was without kids involved.
I think it’s a lot easier for men to go back if their wives will take them.
I think women tend to have more clarity about something that’s over
And this might sound controversial, but I think if men are simply comfortable, then being “in love” is not as important in a relationship
But obviously this is just from personal experience
The amount of times my ex told me that he didn’t love his ex (and still doesn’t apparently) but it’s nothing to do with love and more to do with family.
You have your answer, he's told you that his `ex` is still very much part of his emotional life, they are still together in some way if she would be upset if he met someone new, I'd get rid because I wouldn't want a part time partner who is involved to such an extent with a so called ex.
Sounds like he wants to have his cake and eat it. After 8 months you shouldn't be a secret, your feelings should be more important to him than that.
I think you deserve better than he’s willing/maybe able to offer you.
As PPs have said, while his life may be complicated right now, 8 months in, you should be in the lovely, romantic, fun and easy stage.
Being with a man who has children, especially if you don’t, is a massive deal and can be very difficult to navigate. Being with a man who has children and is still very involved with his ex is a non-starter. It’s just going to be too much hassle.
If he’s really out of the relationship, he’ll be happy to be both feet into this new one with you. That’s clearly not the case as he’s unwilling to even admit he’s seeing someone.
Be with a man who proudly declares you’re together. Who’s happy and excited about creating a life with you. That’s what you deserve. Go look for it
Thank you for your replies. I have ended things. I told him that he needs to sort out his life but I won’t be on the side whilst he figures things out. I personally think he’s playing his ex on so she doesn’t move on because his main worry has always been another man bringing up his kids.
Well done and more power to you! You sound lovely.
You really do.
You’ve done the right thing. Absolutely.
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