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DP misses his DC terribly and it is ruining our relationship(73 Posts)
Please please please wise Mumsnetters, help me see this situation clearly because I don't know how to handle this anymore!
I have been in a happy, loving and caring relationship for nearly a year. DP is divorced with two DC, amicable split, gets along well with XW. We are in love and in a stable, committed relationship. They split 18 months ago and share DC 50/50.
The issue is, he massively struggles with adapting to post-divorce life in relation to his DC. He gets really anxious about them (for no particular reason) or extremely sad when they go to their mum's. When he has these moments, he retreats in himself, doesn't want to leave his flat, doesn't want to go anywhere. He stops sleeping, and engages in OCD-type of behaviors to calm himself down. He essentially swallows in his sadness and anxiety until he feels better and is ready to face the world again.
While I am sympathetic about how hard it must be for a parent to share his DC and adapt to this new life, his struggles are having a massive impact on the relationship. Our time together is already limited because of his DC 50/50 custody, but it gets further limited when he has these moments and essentially hides in his cave. At the beginning I used to go and spend time with him at his during these moments, but I realized it is actually worse as he is so down that we end up having a terrible time as a couple. So instead of seeing each other 2 or 3 times a week, we end up seeing each other every other week for example.
We can never plan anything in advance because I am never sure whether he will be in a "good mood" or "sad mood". I feel like his struggles don't allow the relationship to progress and flourish, in spite of his strong feelings for me and his commitment. I try not to take this stuff personally, but it is really becoming a problem for me because it means being in a relationship that is not meeting my needs.
I am really in love with him and him with me, so I find the idea to end the relationship very difficult. At the same time I am on my wits' end with the current circumstances.
What do you think I should do? Supporting him through this hard moment of his life? Or tell him I don't think he is in the right place for a relationship at the moment?
He moved onto a serious relationship 6-8 months after the split which suggests to me he definitely was rebounding. I know it’s tough to hear but he isn’t in the right place for a relationship right now and if you stay things will never improve.
I think you should take a step back from this relationship. It sounds like you’re the 1st GF post split, these type of blokes often have major issues! It’s not you it’s him.
You should not have to live your life on hold because someone is unable to live theirs. Sorry know you love him but pining at home for so long doesn’t sound like fun for me. I prefer being with someone who finds being with each other reenergising , fun & something to look forward to. He sounds like a lot of work for little reward.
Are you involved with the kids ?
Life is too short to spend it with someone like this OP. I personally would not support anyone in this way in a new relationship, thus risking my own MH and happiness. He would have my sympathy but I would be off.
He's not ready for a relationship. Is he really in love with you or are you a crutch to him?
I would avoid looking for long term commitment from this person
Yes, absolutely he needs to find out what his new life is and how to manage it on his own. He's not ready for another relationship.
I think I struggle to see what is happy and loving by what you are describing. I worry you have low standards for yourself and are not really seeing how this isn’t very loving or happy at all
Also he has his DC 50/50 which is a relatively decent amount of time. I understand feeling low and anxious if you are an EOW parent - you don’t say how old they are but they may be at school for most of the day, does he feel the same way then?
Have you ever asked yourself whether this behaviour is exactly why his marriage broke down, and this is just the type of person he is? You may well have seen a different happy side when he was trying to put on a brave face in the early days
He isn’t ready for a RS, or he is just not very good at them
He's not ready for a relationship. To protect yourself, back off. When he's ready he might contact you again. I'd be pursuing other dates to be honest.
Or tell him I don't think he is in the right place for a relationship at the moment?
YES - do this!
He is not ready.
He got with you way too quickly after his separation.
His head is not in the right place.
He needs to do some serious work on himself.
And he needs all his focus to do that.
He needs to see his GP as a first step.
Or has he already done this?
Is he on any medication?
He needs something to manage these mood swings.
But it's not you.
Leave him to it.
None of this is fair on him on you.
He's not in the right place for a relationship at all. But I'd also be interested to know whether these behaviours pre-date his divorce, or perhaps contributed to it.
He isn’t ready for a relationship. This should be the honeymoon period in a relationship, not you walking on egg shells depending on his mood.
Are you sure he's not pining after the family life he had and not just his DC ? You would think that as he has them 50% of the time he could enjoy his freedom the other 50% of the time and enjoy spending time with you but it seems this is not the case unfortunately.
I was with a man for 18 months who was similar (not the staying indoors and hiding) and it was guilt. He felt guilty about trying to move on, felt guilty about letting them down, felt guilty about missing out even though his ex had moved on completely. His ex asked him to leave because he was moody almost all of the time and she fell out of love with him. He kept saying he was working on being less moody and had taken it on board, but right up until the end of our RS he was moody pretty much all the time. Always a reason for it, or wouldn’t talk about it. Nothing had really changed he was just moody about something new
Maybe he’s grieving. He’s lost a lot. Socially he’ll be considered “lucky” that he sees his kids 50/50 but missing out on half their life is really bloody hard.
I’d encourage him to seek to support, and I’d encourage you to also seek support.
I think he is definitely grieving and feels guilty about enjoying his life outside the DC. It is obviously not rational.
That is why I have been patient and understanding about it for nearly a year, but I wonder if there must be a limit to how much I am willing to put up with?
For reference before the split he was the main carer, so his involvement with the DC has definitely been reduced since then.
DC are 7 and 9.
Why did his marriage break up, OP?
Was it anything to do with his MH? These 'OCD-like' behaviours haven't come from nowhere, does he use them to calm himself in all stressful situations or just relating to the children?
I agree with others. He's not ready for a relationship. He might even be with you because you are 'safe'. He needs to work on himself before he gets involved with someone else.
Marriage broke up as they both grew apart and became friends and housemates. They are on great terms and XW has a boyfriend with whom DP gets along well.
Oh FFS bin him and move on. There is no shortage of men out there - why waste any more time on this whinyarsed loser?
Well it looks like classic depression to me. Would he go get some help with that so that he isn't having his quality of life significantly damaged by low mood?
Its understandable that a divorce and feeling you have failed as a partner and potentially a parent could led to depression, so treatment might be a big turn around for him.
This relationship isn’t going to stay the course. I would call time and move on. He just isn’t ready for more.
I agree, it sounds like he's not emotionally ready for a relationship.
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