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Is it possible to resurrect a relationship you thought was absolutely over?

(18 Posts)
inveteratenamechanger Sat 19-Sep-09 13:00:36

Would really appreciate some MN perspectives on this, as have had very good advice over the last year or so (under different names).

XP and I split up about 9 months ago by mutual consent. We have an 18 month old DD. Our relationship went rapidly downhill during pregnancy and after she was born, in large part due to his reluctance to take part in family life. He was never abusive - just lazy, crap, and distant.

Our split was amicable but absolute - I bought him out of the house, he bought a new place nearby, we separated all finances etc.

I have really enjoyed being single, and did not miss him at all.

In my mind, the relationship was completely over - I had moved on, and could not contemplate any kind of reconcilliation, although we continue to get on well and he has become a very good dad and reliable co-parent.

BUT...
...we had a talk the other night and he appears to have done a lot of thinking. He obviously regrets the split, and admits that he had become very distant, and that family life had fallen way down his list of priorities long before DD came along. He now sees this as a huge mistake. He says that I was right all along, and he is now ready for the sort of relationship that I had envisaged.

This sort of apology is absolutely unprecedented, and I think genuine.

He's not putting pressure on me to get back together, just to spend some time together and see if we can recapture the fun side of our relationship (platonically at first).

I am surprised to find that this quite appeals to me.

Would this be a huge mistake? Have people got back together with exes and made it work? (I mean in the 'our relationship is stronger than ever' sense, rather than patching things up.)

Thanks in advance!

DubyahDotHoochieMomma Sat 19-Sep-09 13:06:43

Message withdrawn

inveteratenamechanger Sat 19-Sep-09 13:12:13

Thanks, DDHC. That is what I'm thinking too. Luckily he is not putting any pressure on, and is respectful of the fact that I have moved on in a lot of ways.

DubyahDotHoochieMomma Sat 19-Sep-09 13:37:01

Message withdrawn

purplepeony Sat 19-Sep-09 13:44:32

Sounds like the perfect solution for you all if it works.

Take it slowly and see how it goes.

inveteratenamechanger Sat 19-Sep-09 13:46:20

Thanks, purplepeony - good advice, as I am a bit impatient, so will need to rein myself in on this one!

inveteratenamechanger Sat 19-Sep-09 20:09:53

Bumping for the evening MNers. TIA for any perspectives/advice.

bibbitybobbityhat Sat 19-Sep-09 20:14:49

"I have really enjoyed being single, and did not miss him at all".

I think this is the most telling sentence in your op and would advise you not to resurrect your old relationship, tbh.

I feel sorry for your ex in a way but if you split up when your baby was only 9 months then I am assuming your relationship must have been absolutely unbearably dire (rather than just a bit crap?) so why go back to it? You are both the same people.

If you can be amicable when apart then that sounds good to me.

inveteratenamechanger Sat 19-Sep-09 20:28:01

Hmmm, I see where you are coming from, bibbitybobbityhat. I think this is why I am posting on MN rather than just being happy about it. I am worried about jeopardizing our current amicable set up.

The relationship was dire, and all meaningful communication had broken down, so there didn't seem to be any way to fix it. He refused to go for counselling. He says now that he was acting like an idiot, was terrified of fatherhood, and had his priorities all wrong (i.e. home life at the very bottom.)

So I suppose the hope would be that rather than going back to the dire relationship where we were at loggerheads, we would have a better relationship, based on similar priorities, and of course our shared love for DD.

He also says he would like more DCs now, whereas before he was adamant about stopping at one. But obviously this would be something for the very long term.

bibbitybobbityhat Sat 19-Sep-09 21:42:42

I think you are in a very difficult position. If he has bared his soul this much to you and suggested he'd like more children with you and apologised for being so shite before then you may well feel like giving your ex the benefit of the doubt.

But from a distance I just don't think you should. I am disconnected and don't know either of you, but what can have changed so much in him since you have been apart that he genuinely wants to take on all the responsibilities of fatherhood now? Perhaps he just thinks he's been a bit of an arse and could do better? Perhaps his family are mad at him for screwing up? Why this change of heart? Do you believe him? Can you risk the potential hearbreak if you don't trust him 100%?

dippymummyto2boys Sat 19-Sep-09 21:46:30

If he seems genuine then surely he could be given a second chance, especially if you going to keep this platonic for a good while first?

Good Luch with whatever you choose!

bluebump Sat 19-Sep-09 21:52:16

This sort of happened to me although my DP and I had split up because he had cheated on me. We had been together 4 years before it happened, and lived in our house for 2 years on and off after it had happened (he flitted between me and OW), it was awful and I couldn't wait to leave him. He bought me out of the house and we went all of a month before we started socialising again and about 4 months later we started dating again and I think about another 2 months after that I moved back in and I never left so ended up buying back into the house and we've gone on to have DCs etc.

I guess you have to really want to be with him. For me it took me leaving for my DP to suddenly realise what he had lost - BUT, I have written lots of posts on here about how he refuses to give up the OW as a friend and at one point looked like he may go back to her when I was pg. All has worked out for us now thankfully but it hasn't been as straight forward as just getting back together and it being great again.

I don't see any harm in you taking it slowly and seeing what happens, good luck!

pasturesnew Sat 19-Sep-09 21:57:05

I think you could give it a try on a platonic basis and if he wanted something more serious try counselling again, if he still refused to go at that stage then you would know he was still not different enough. Actually I wonder if he might have had some counselling already to talk you in this way or if a friend of his has moved on into a happy family life and he has a male role model he didn't have before?

Can't hurt too much surely to go out for a meal or something and see how you get on.

tammybear Sat 19-Sep-09 21:57:32

Hmm it's a tough call. You said you've been happy single and you get along now which is good, especially for your DD. If things were to go wrong again, it would be a shame to have that ruined. But also, if he has seen the error of his ways and feels he has changed, and you believe him, and you take it slow, then you could give it another shot.

I got back together with an ex. For me, it is the only thing I regret in my life. It ended up being a lot worse than the first time, with all the same problems coming up and even more sad

At the end of the day, everyone is different, and people can change if they really want to. I suppose it depends on whether you want to take a chance and risk it?

inveteratenamechanger Sun 20-Sep-09 19:30:04

Thanks for your messages, everyone. I went to bed last night after my last post.

Lots of really good points here. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond.

Bibbetybobbity - I think what has changed for him is that he has HAD to take on the responsibilities of fatherhood on the days when he has DD (two full days and two nights each week), and he has really risen the challenge and surprised himself by enjoying it. (Up until then he thought he was a crap and incapable dad - but of course didn't tell me than until now.) He has also had to run his own house - I used to do most of the domestic organising in our relationship - and again, I think he has been surprised by how much he enjoyed e.g. decorating the house. (A big surprise to me too!) I do believe that he is genuine, but of course it would be naive to think that all of our previous problems would disappear as if by magic.

Bluebump - thanks for sharing your experiences. It sounds like it was a rocky road, but I'm glad things worked out in the end.

Pasturesnew - absolutely agree about counselling. He has already said that he would like us to go to counselling now and I agree that it would be an absolute must to stop our old problems recurring.

Tammybear - sorry to hear about your regrets. This is what I am afraid of. I think we would have to take it extremely slowly.

I don't really believe that people can change that much, and if XP had always been a lazy negative arse I wouldn't even be considering this. But what complicates it is that he got involved with some very time-consuming activities about 2 years before DD was born. He admits now that they absorbed him to the point where he was unable to relax and enjoy himself, and where he saw everything, including domestic life, as an unwelcome distraction from these activities. (They weren't anything dodgy, by the way, more along the lines of volunteer work.)

He has now given them up, and I have started to remember the old XP (pre-activities) who
was a lot more fun to be with.

So I am not expecting a complete character change - more a return of the person I used to love.

I did not love the XP I split up with and I did not miss him. But if the old XP is back, then I can imagine rebuilding a relationship with him.

Sorry, this has got rather long. I hope it makes sense. Thanks again for helping me think this through - it is helping!

The thing is, he used to be a much more fun and relaxed person, but he got involved in some very time-consuming activities about 2 years before we had DD. He sees now that he became obsessed with them, and that they replaced home life as his top priority. He has now given them up. So in a way, it is if he is going back to being the old XP, who was not perfect (who is?) but was a much better partner by far than the XP I split up with.

inveteratenamechanger Sun 20-Sep-09 19:30:57

Sorry, ignore the last paragraph, it just repeats what I said earlier.

pasturesnew Sun 20-Sep-09 19:45:49

Sounds quite positive actually. I think a lot of dads get a lot more confident once their child is out of the little baby stage, could be happening a bit more here.

If he is willing to go to counselling then you can go out for a bit, see how you feel and if the answer is that you don't want to be a couple then the counselling will be helpful as co-parents anyway, and if you do want to be a couple, it will help you establish a good basis for the future.

Good luck!

inveteratenamechanger Sun 20-Sep-09 19:49:05

Thank you pasturesnew!

Yes, I think it was a classic new dad freakout - but thankfully he really made a huge effort with her once he had moved out (rather than just legging it) and they have a great relationship now. Which is fantastic, whatever happens to us as a couple.

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