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How can you possibly move on with your life when your ex won’t let you. So drained.

(57 Posts)
funinthesun19 Sat 22-Aug-20 18:07:06

I have so many goals and hopes and dreams now that I’m out of the toxic dysfunctional relationship that I was in for a decade.
But my ex just will not let me go. Won’t let me move onwards with my life because he’s so unhappy. This leaves me feeling guilty and responsible for his happiness. He won’t take steps to find his own happiness or make his own life easier. It’s like I have the magic wand and the only thing he wants me to do is take him back. After everything that happened I just cannot do it. He’s had countless chances over the years and now I’m done.

I just want to be happy and focus on rebuilding myself and giving my children the best life possible. And it’s frustrating that he’s still got a hold over me!

OP’s posts: |
MyOwnSummer Sat 22-Aug-20 18:54:38

Advice that I often see on here is to use email and text only to communicate, and only respond to information about the practical arrangements for child contact.

Do not engage in any verbal or written discussion about any other topic- Google grey rock.

You can absolutely do this, you are not his mental health support worker.

HomeTheatreSystem Sat 22-Aug-20 19:03:59

This leaves me feeling guilty and responsible for his happiness

Stop this. You are not guilty and you are not responsible for his happiness. Whilst you continue to shoulder this level of unwarranted accountability for your ex, you will never be able to forge ahead with a new life for yourself. He is an adult and responsible for his actions: stop pandering to him and let him walk in his shoes.

If you find yourself unable to step away, then you need to seek counselling as to why you feel so beholden to him.

Elieza Sat 22-Aug-20 19:09:33

He’s still manipulating you. Find a coping strategy that prevents him doing this. As others have said text and email probably best as you can respond when it suits.

If he starts saying how sad and lonely he is, how his flat is too small, how he hates his job (or whatever pish he is spouting, difficult to guess) get a few stock phrases ready.

Such as. ‘I’m sorry to hear that. I hope you feel better soon’

‘I’m sorry to hear that, I hope you get things sorted soon’.

‘ I’m sorry to hear that but I really have to run, dc is shouting me - shouting into the phone I’m coming darling’ so he thinks the child is needing you, and say goodbye and hang up’.

Don’t engage. Eventually he will get the message.

chatterbugmegastar Sat 22-Aug-20 19:10:58

This leaves me feeling guilty and responsible for his happiness

That's a choice. Choose to feel differently and you can restart your life

willowmelangell Sat 22-Aug-20 19:14:40

Is he using emotional blackmail, verbal or text? Or has he stopped eating or showering? Is he turning up at your house, sitting in a car and watching for hours?
Is that your dc or shared dc?

Emancipated Sat 22-Aug-20 19:14:43

You are not responsible for his happiness. Or anyone’s for that matter. You need to internalise this truth and then you can move on.
Stop engaging with the emotional.

bakedoff Sat 22-Aug-20 19:19:21

Are you still talking to him? You probably need to go as no contact as possible

funinthesun19 Sun 23-Aug-20 07:58:24

I definitely do think I need counselling. I feel like if I don’t make sure he’s ok something bad will happen.

If he starts saying how sad and lonely he is, how his flat is too small, how he hates his job (or whatever pish he is spouting, difficult to guess) get a few stock phrases ready.

They’re the usual things he says to me. I’ll use your responses.

Is he using emotional blackmail, verbal or text? Or has he stopped eating or showering? Is he turning up at your house, sitting in a car and watching for hours?
He just says his life is over and he’ll never be happy again. He doesn’t feel like a dad to the kids anymore etc.. He goes on about his flat being a mess and the water not working properly. It all just makes me feel backed in to a corner. He’s never eaten properly because he’s what I think, a borderline alcoholic. He’ll have a pot noodle at 2am after drinking all night. As for showering, he says he doesn’t like his shower so he doesn’t shower very much and whenever he comes here he uses mine! Also he doesn’t know how to work his oven and washer. I’m at my wits end I really am.

I’ve told him what to do to make his life better but he won’t listen. The only thing he wants to do is come back here but I don’t want him to come back here. I don’t even feel like my life is any better right now than when he was here!

Is that your dc or shared dc?
Shared DC. He does come here regularly to see them and I’ve said to him get your drinking sorted, get your flat cleaned and your water sorted and they can stay over with you if you want. But it all falls on deaf ears. He just wants to come back here.

I do still care about him and I just want him to be ok. This is partly why I’m so beholden to him. I’m not sleeping or eating very well myself at the moment because I just feel so nervous and sad all the time.

OP’s posts: |
Disfordarkchocolate Sun 23-Aug-20 08:01:39

On top of what everyone else says he needs to be in your house far less. Grey rock will transform your life for the better.

angelofthelight Sun 23-Aug-20 08:08:07

You need to stop letting him see the children in your home. If your worried about his drinking does he have a family member who could supervise like his parents or a sibling?

funinthesun19 Sun 23-Aug-20 08:20:10

He won’t want his family getting involved with anything. He’ll just say they’re trying to control him or something. They’ve also offered for him to move in with them but he said he’d rather be homeless.

OP’s posts: |
ByGrabtharsHammerWhatASavings Sun 23-Aug-20 08:23:59

Tell him he can't see the kids at your house anymore. No more coming over to eat and shower and mope or whatever. He gets his shit together then he can see the kids at his. If he can't get his shit together then he can see the kids at his mums, or at a contact center. Or not at all. That'd probably be the best outcome tbh. Block him on everything except for one source of contact that you set up specifically to discuss the kids, and only use it to discuss the kids. Don't entertain any other types of conversation. Oh and did I mention, stop letting him in your house!

DragonPie Sun 23-Aug-20 08:26:30

Stop letting him have a shower at yours and see the kids in your home. Currently you have no boundaries, you need to set some.

He is a grown man and more than capable of sorting out the water and his flat. He is not your responsibility.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 Sun 23-Aug-20 08:27:35

Not much to add just wanted to repeat what others have said because this is a very common problem. Stop talking to him about stuff that isn't about the kids, have very bland replies if you do have to respond and stop letting him see the kids in your house.

Another thing i've found helps slightly is to bring other people into the mix, especially professionals. For example, if he complains about being depressed, tell him to see GP. If he complains about flat, tell him to see letting agent. If he's not eating properly tell him to see a nutritionist - you see where i'm going here - you can't fix all these problems can you? Genuine question - can you resolve his water issue in the flat? No, the letting agent has to deal with it.

You've got yourself and the kids to worry about.

Chocolate123 Sun 23-Aug-20 08:31:42

No wonder you are drained. Not trying to be cruel but you are allowing him to treat you like this. He's no longer your problem he's a grown man. If he doesn't eat or shower let him be. No more with the kids in your house. He's totally manipulating you so he's more clever than you think.

SortingItOut Sun 23-Aug-20 08:36:12

This sounds exactly like my ex husband when he left, i pandered to him for months and i ended up feeling like we were still together but with no sex.

If he doesnt know how his oven or washer work then i assume you cook for him and wash his clothes?

He is playing you by pretending to be incapable and vulnerable so you do everything for him.
He will soon learn how to do things if you stop.
Either stop letting him do things at yours and leave him to sort himself out or maybe go round, show him how things work and maybe write it down and after that refer him back to what you showed him.

He doesnt want his family getting involved because then he cant manipulate you, what he means by his family will try to control him is that 'if my family help with the children i wont be able to control you anymore'

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries

I've recently posted on a thread by counters who is going through similar so dont want to repeat myself too much but suffice to say when there are no boundaries it will turn into a shit show before too long.
My ex ended up stalking and harrassing me until i was too frightened to do anything.
I'll see if i can link to the thread and i might copy and paste the longest post of mine.

It got to the point that with my new boundaries in place that when he would text to say he would kill himself or life wasnt worth living i would just reply 'ring the samaritans' and then ignore any more messages.
Might sound callous but i had previously tried talking to him but then he saw that as a green light that i loved him still and continued to bombard me with messages beghing for another chance as he thought the only thing that would stop his hurt was getting back together.

You dont necessarily need to grey rock but you definitely need boundaried.
Is his water really an issue?
Stop him showering at yours for a start, he will either have to go unwashed, wash in the sink or get it fixed.

Rainbowqueeen Sun 23-Aug-20 08:37:23

Set rules. He only sees kids out of your house. If he moans tell him you will organise visitation at a contact centre at his cost.
Make an excuse and hang up any time he starts talking about anything other than the kids. Someone’s at the door, pot boiling over etc. you are not a therapist. He has options. He needs to man up and use them
Get in the habit of texting or emailing arrangements for kids. No need to talk except in case of emergency. Screen his calls. If arrangements have been made dont answer. Tell him to text if he needs to change arrangements.

Take control. You will feel better and so will your kids. You are letting him do this out of habit. You both need new habits

SortingItOut Sun 23-Aug-20 08:37:39

Counters thread:

Shedpaint Sun 23-Aug-20 08:39:18

He is not your child
He is an adult who needs to take control of his own life or if he can’t do that then get External help to do so.

You must get therapy to stop the guilt and the feeling that he is your responsibility.
He is not. At all.

Even when we are in a marriage we aren’t actually responsible for each other we just agree to help each out.
When we leave a marriage we are most certainly not responsible for the other.

Please OP. Reduce contact.
You aren’t helping him by still letting him act as a child who needs to be helped and rescued. You aren’t helping your kids who need a father not a sibling and to form their own boundaries in future relationships
And most of all you deserve to get on and live your life in a way that makes you happy.

You won’t be a nasty person if you cut him loose. We only have one life.

Tell him he isn’t able to come over to shower, reduce conversation and suggest he pays for someone to fix his flat etc.

Don’t answer the phone to him, brief texts about the kids contact only and get on with your life.

SortingItOut Sun 23-Aug-20 08:40:32

This is copied from counters thread and is my post about why boundaries are needed early on:

I know you feel guilty but you need some better boundaries.

How your husband is acting now is what my ex husband did to me after 18mths seperated and 3 months divorced after he found out i had spent my birthday with a man, it got worse and worse and he put a tracker in my car, drove past my house continually, came into my house while i was out and took my personal stuff,threatened suicide messaged me 100s of times a day and left me in fear for my life that i had to put cameras up outside my house, lock all my windows and doors even when i was home and only walked my dogs on the main road outside my house instead of the countryside in case he lay in wait for me.

Do not reach this stage because it is terrifying and you will feel your life is out of control.

My mistake was feeling guilty for ending the marriage and trying to stay friends and co-parent when i should have just co-parented with him and not been friends.

I was married for 17 years and together 19 years, he had suffered with his mental health for many years and our marriage was emotionally abusive and peppered with emotional affairs conducted by him.
His mental health ruled eveything, work, family life, hobbies etc and the only reason i stayed after the emotional affairs was because he threatened suicide.

And after the first affair i never forgave or forgot but brushed it under the carpet so he saw that as the green light to continue.

When my daughter was 8 i made the decision to leave when she was 18.
In the end i ended the marriage when she was 15, the trigget for ending it then was finding a message on his phone asking a woman on a date.
I hadnt checked his phones for years as i knew i would leave eventually but one day i did and found that message.

I told him that night the marriage was over and he had to leave, so he did his usual and sulked in bed for 2 weeks, the usual would be me talking to him again and brushing it under the carpet, instead i went to see a solicitor and got advice to get him out.
That shocked him enough to find a private rental and move out 2 weeks later.

We stayed friends, i would pop in to see him when i collected my daughter, life was good, i was no longer controlled or disrespected and i felt free.

What i didnt realise was that by doing this he had hope that we would get back together, he thought it was just a punishment to make him behave and i would have him back eventually.

Even after 6 months when he told me this and i told him it wasnt a punishment and it was really over he still kept thinking i would get back with him.

During this time i was proceeding with the divorce and he kept threatening suicide, he was even sectioned at one point but eventually the divorce was done and life continued.

Then came my birthday and i had been seeing a guy for a few months and we went for a meal on my birthday and my ex couldnt contacy me all day.
The next day after putting 2 + 2 together he confronted me, i admitted i had spent the day with someone.

That night he attempted suicide and told me what he had done, he went to hospital and was then discharged and that is when the campaign of harrassment and stalking started.

I blocked him on whatsapp first as he messaged on there and if he didnt get 2 ticks immediately he knew i wasnt home and thought i was with a man and would then message our daughter asking where i was.

I then blocked him on text after he would messsge 100s of times a day begging to try again, how our marriage was good, blah blah blah, i told him to stop messsging about our marriage and we would just discuss our daughter,he refused and kept messaging so i blocked him.

He even slashed a tyre on the vanof the man i was seeing when it was parked at my house one night.

Now we are no longer friends, we barely co-parent, our daughter barely sees him as he is unstable.

Its gone to shit.
If i had my time again i would have ignored the guilt and put better boundaries in place from day one.

Please dont be like me and after 18 months have a barrage of abuse because you kept things amicable and then the shit hit the fan.

Aussiebean Sun 23-Aug-20 08:47:30

When my uncle told my aunt he couldn’t do the washing beige didn’t know how to work the machine, she gave him the manual.

He doesn’t want to work it out because he is expecting you to pick up the pieces for him.

And you are. You listen to him and allow him in your house.

Aussiebean Sun 23-Aug-20 08:47:44

Because he

ALLIS0N Sun 23-Aug-20 08:55:19

Shared DC. He does come here regularly to see them and I’ve said to him get your drinking sorted, get your flat cleaned and your water sorted and they can stay over with you if you want. But it all falls on deaf ears. He just wants to come back here

So you have told him that He can continue to see the kids ( eat your food, use your shower, wash his clothes ) at your house for as long as he wants. You are incentivising him to “ not cope “.

Elieza Sun 23-Aug-20 11:45:29

All the posters above are right.

Imagine one if your children refusing to do something.
They would get a timeout or whatever so there are unpleasant consequences.
They learn that if I do A I get consequence B and I don’t like it. That’s how we learn about actions consequences and rewards.

So his refusal to learn to be independent has had what negative consequences sequences? None.

His refusal to learn has actual benefits for him!

Tidy flat = don’t get to go to her house. I like going to her house. Therefore I won’t tidy my flat. And I will get to see her and she’ll feel sorry for me and might take me back.

Learn to work white goods = if I don’t learn I get to go to her house to use her white goods therefore I won’t learn to work my own. Plus if she thinks I’m starving she may feel sorry for me and she’ll take me back.

Ring letting agent to repair shower in flat = If I don’t have it fixed I can go to hers so I won’t get it fixed or that will stop. Plus if she thinks I’m not looking after myself she might take me back.

See what I mean. There is good reason for him NOT to take responsibility for himself and become independent.

As others have said don’t let him in your house. Tell him it’s no longer convenient so if he wants to see the kids at his he has to tidy his flat and take them there. Or it will be outside contact only such as park, cycling with dad, whatever outside. Or a contact centre. Whichever he prefers. Just not inside yours.

Is he in a shit flat because if money? Is that something which will have to be considered?

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