what on earth was I thinking - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-20-2010, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not sure if this is a vent or plea for advice, but I have to get it out. I have somehow allowed STBX to talk me into "trying" again, and I am so surprised and mad at myself. A similar situation happened a few months ago...we weren't attempting to reconcile, but I did agree to put all thoughts of divorce on hold, and think about everything for about 6 weeks when all I really wanted to do was move forward with filing. I finally gave him my decision (still wanted to divorce), and *thought* we were moving forward. This was about a month ago.

The entire time we've been separated, STBX has talked on and on, ad nauseum, about how he doesn't think the reasons I've given him for leaving are "valid" and "bad enough to get divorced over." He seems to go back and forth between trying to charm and cajole me back, and being angry and accusing me of all kinds of things (from stealing legal documents from our old house to having an affair...none of which is true). During the last few weeks, however, we've managed to have some really great conversations. Nothing that would make me go back to him, but I was thrilled that he was being friendly again and that he finally seemed to "get" some of the things I've been trying to tell him for years (involving our relationship issues). He even apologized and admitted past mistakes. He's also telling me, not completely unfairly, that he didn't realize a lot of our issues were issues, so he doesn't feel he's had a chance to fix them. And he's started going to church. He hasn't gone to church, or wanted to, in at least 20 years. (Granted, he's only been a few times, so we'll see if it lasts.) AND, yet another kicker...he somehow found his wedding ring and started wearing it, even though he's refused to wear it (due to his job) for the last 12 years. When I asked him about it, he said he was wearing it because he missed me and he had been thinking about what I'd had inscribed on the inside of the band ("Always").

So, a small part of me (the romantic, loves a fairy-tale ending part) thinks all of that is sweet, and well, hey, we do have a lot of history together, not to mention that beautiful child of ours, so why not give it another go? We could go slow...it doesn't mean we're actually getting back together, just that we're exploring the option...we would definitely have to dive into our past issues and resolve them appropriately, of course...blah blah blah.

The rest of me (the logical part of me who remembers only too well what our reality has been for years) is veeerry suspicious of STBX, and is saying to my other side...what the HECK are you doing?!!

Anyway, guess which side won? Now I'm more confused than ever. Yeah, it would be pretty great, if we could work things out and trot on our merry way through life together. And yeah, we do have a LOT of history together, from the time I was 16, and at least on the surface, we had a pretty great life (the house, the child, financially stable). I hate throwing all of that away. But I didn't just decide one day, on a whim, to walk out on all of that. It took years of the marriage and our relationship going downhill, me denying it, and then slowly waking up to how bad it was. Then even more years while I tried to fix our relationship and myself. It was bad enough when I left that it took me from March until just a few weeks ago to stop being in an almost-permanent pi$$ed-off state. Since I've left, I've been happier and more relaxed than I've been in a long time. Part of it is because I'm living with my parents, and they help with DS, plus I don't have an entire house to care for on my own...but a huge part of it is because I'm out of (and took DS out of) the toxic environment our home with STBX had become.

And I haven't missed STBX at all, in almost 6 months. I don't want him around me, physically, and I really don't want to talk to him more than I have to, even when we're having a good week. And you would think my answer to this situation would be clear as a bell after writing down everything I've just written, right? If someone else had written this, and then asked me what I thought, I know very well what my answer would be. Leave (or rather, stay left). Do not pass go. Get out.

But in a weak moment this weekend, I let STBX convince me to try again. I should be happy, or at least hopeful, but all I can think about is how I can get out of it. But if I try to get out of it, I'm afraid I'll make our relationship even worse, and I'll also prove what he told me the other day...that he thinks I have no idea what I want. Gah!! What a pickle. And I am such an idiot.

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#2 of 8 Old 09-20-2010, 12:38 PM
 
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You don't sound happy about reconciling. A lot of history together isn't worth staying for if a lot of that history was miserable.

And who cares what he'll think if you back out? I personally could not trust someone who "seems to go back and forth between trying to charm and cajole me back, and being angry and accusing me of all kinds of things (from stealing legal documents from our old house to having an affair...none of which is true)."
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#3 of 8 Old 09-20-2010, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MissLotus View Post
You don't sound happy about reconciling. A lot of history together isn't worth staying for if a lot of that history was miserable.

And who cares what he'll think if you back out? I personally could not trust someone who "seems to go back and forth between trying to charm and cajole me back, and being angry and accusing me of all kinds of things (from stealing legal documents from our old house to having an affair...none of which is true)."
Well, yeah. I don't even know if I care so much about what he would think, as I'm worried he'll be mad enough to try and take revenge, or even just be extra ornery, during our divorce proceedings. I'm also still having a tough time trusting myself. I wonder if I'm thinking clearly, or if I've twisted reality to fit my (wrong) perception of things. For example, STBX is fond of telling me how controlling and angry I was, and how I would yell at him, which I have no memory of. I can't deny there may have occasionally been raised voices, but I have never *yelled* or screamed at anyone in my life. It's just not in my personality. I get plenty mad, but I internalize it, I don't verbalize it.

And that last sentence you wrote is definitely true. I would have a hard time trusting, and forgiving, him for a lot he's said and done.

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#4 of 8 Old 09-20-2010, 12:58 PM
 
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Not a very good basis for a "fresh start". And if he's already casting things up to you, and swiveling back & forth in his approach - and this is while he's trying to woo you back! - imagine what it would be like once things were back to status quo.

Give yourself the fairy tale ending where the strong mama leaves the manipulative guy in the dust, and ventures forth to create a beautiful life of her own. Because you have a lot more control over that one!
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#5 of 8 Old 09-20-2010, 01:05 PM
 
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Wow, just call him up and say, that NO, when you are alone for five minutes your remember how life really was and that you are happier and more positive about your life alone than excited about life with him. Just say no. If you can't say it write it in an email and then only communicate by email in the future. It sounds as if he has too much knowledge of your guilt triggers to trust yourself in person with him.

I want you to know that on a personal level I really do admire you for taking your stand at all!
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#6 of 8 Old 09-20-2010, 02:20 PM
 
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Your stbx sounds JUST like mine! We met when I was sixteen, creating a lot of confusing history together. When I first left, he started acting all sweet and weirdly sentimental in between bouts of blaming me for everything and telling me he hates the person I've become blah blah blah to be followed by "i love you"s and "I want you back"s. He swings back and forth so much that it was so hard for me to not feel guilty for leaving. He'd act like he wanted to try again though I know he is still the exact same person, just with a new guise. Its very manipulative behavior and it took me years to realize what was going on in our relationship.
It sounds like he's just scrambling to get some control over the situation, making you feel unsure about yourself, trying to keep the most comfortable situation for himself. It also sounds like your gut is telling you to get out, which I think is the most important thing to listen to at times like this.
I know how hard it is and I'm sorry you're there!

Divorced mama to baby girl (7/5/06) and baby boy (8/5/08) Into anything fun and creative!
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#7 of 8 Old 09-20-2010, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, mamas. :-)

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#8 of 8 Old 09-20-2010, 05:45 PM
 
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I think that you can 1) get divorced and be happy, or 2) reconcile and be happy, but the key is that you have to make the decision that that is what you're doing. If you're not committed to reconciliation, it won't work. Reconciliation requires a lot of work for both people. It takes two to let the marriage get to this point and it takes two to get it to a good place. If one or both of you aren't willing to do the work it takes, it just won't happen.

You sound a lot like my husband a year ago, actually. I don't mean that in a bad way. He was just in a place where he'd say he wanted to reconcile and then change his mind five minutes later. He was confused. And he was resentful that I wouldn't just let go. I did eventually let go, and we are reconciled now. I think my letting go and being willing to move on maybe helped things a bit.
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