looking for support- STBX begging to take him back - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-16-2011, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I am very shaky right now. My husband who I split from about a month ago is falling apart and I feel bad for him. It was completely my call on the spliting up and he wants to move back and be with me and the kids. He came today to get more stuff and the whole time was pressuring me about trying again and working things out. He asked for a timeline of when he thought we could go on a date and talk. He asks if we can seek counseling (we could never afford it and i'm not up for that, I dont think it will help our problems) he wants me to make a list of what he needs to change. Basically, he is saying he will do whatever it takes to be back with me. he says he "knows" I feel the same and deep down I still love him and want to be back with him...well I don't feel that way. I am still very sure of my decision but when he does this I start doubting myself and get feeling...well...shaky I guess is the best word to describe it!

So I guess i'm just looking for support, has anyone else gone through a seperation/divorce like this with the other party being so desperate to get back together and leaving you feeling like you could be wrong?


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#2 of 8 Old 02-16-2011, 03:01 PM
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Your post brought back such vivid memories for me. I initiated our split and my XH kept trying to convince me it was a mistake. Deep down I knew that I just didn't want to live with him anymore, but it was hard to turn my back on someone I cared about despite our problems.
The way I got past it was to get angry. Up until that point I mostly felt guilty for breaking up
Our marriage, even if it was a bad marriage. One day I was talking to my mother about how XH was begging to move back home because his new apartment was awful. I felt so bad for him. That was when she told me something he had done years before. The little tidbit she told me was actually just the tiniest detail, but it brought clarity to a lot of other things that had happened in our relationship. At that moment I was able to tell him that without a doubt we would never reconcile.

Not everyone will have such a moment of groundbreaking clarity. Regardless you need to let go of your guilt. Letting yourself feel a little anger over why you are breaking up may help. ( It is ok to change your mind too)

Mom to Kira March 2009
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#3 of 8 Old 02-16-2011, 03:10 PM
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Yes, and it's awful to feel so undecided, so {{hugs}}.  A combination of things helped me remain firm in my decision and to feel confident that it was the right decision...1.) I read the book Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay (I think that's the title...something similar anyway).  People seem to really like or dislike (dislike because some think it pushes toward divorce, even when it isn't necessary) this book... I really liked it.  IMO, if you're able to look at your relationship objectively and honestly, the book can help.  2.) I made a pros and cons list, and I wrote pages and pages in my journal about why I thought leaving the relationship was the right thing to do, with examples and everything.  If I started feeling indecisive, it helped to read back through my writing.  3.) I spent some time being very, very reflective...reviewing our past and present relationship, allowing myself to look down two very different roads into the future, one road being "what if I stayed" and the other road being "what if I left."  I tried to be extremely realistic when thinking about being a single mother...the bad and the good.  I went through possible financial and living situations, thought about how it would feel to possibly be lonely, broke, etc.  I also tried to be realistic about what I could expect if I stayed in the relationship.  My STBX also promised to "change" but when we talked further, he never could "get" what my problem was with the relationship.  We'd also discussed several issues over and over (and over) for the past 10+ years, so if he hadn't made an effort in that time, I didn't see it happening now.


No one can say I didn't think through my decision!  :-)  And doing all of the above helped me remember why I made the choice to leave, and to stick with it. 

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#4 of 8 Old 02-16-2011, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
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thank you, thank you both. that's what I needed!

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#5 of 8 Old 02-18-2011, 06:55 PM
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I had similar experiences.


For me, I had a few images I'd force myself to bring back up to my mind and think about when I'd start feeling guilty, or when he'd call and beg.  I had valid reasons and just because he was sad doesn't mean my reasons weren't valid anymore.  Sometimes, it was really, really hard but either reading through my blog from the unhappier times or pulling up those visuals or forcing myself to go through a few of the really bad arguments would get me through that time of grief and guilt.


Busy, hectic, HAPPY single mom to 3 awesome kiddos jumpers.gif DD1 (10) DS (8) DD2 (6)

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#6 of 8 Old 02-22-2011, 03:19 PM
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I'll share my experience from the other side of the fence...


Seven years ago my ex-h had what most of us would call a midlife crisis.  There was an affair (and there had been other, online affairs, but this one was the biggie) and we were definitely on the brink.  He said he was in love with his affair partner, had always loved me but was never 'in love'...blah blah blah.  He was a wreck.  Our kids were very young, 3 and 4.  I hadn't worked outside the home since they were born and I felt totally vulnerable...financially and in every other way.  He didn't know what he was going to do, but he was on the brink of leaving.  I begged, pleaded and was desperate for him to stay to work things out.  After weeks and weeks of the hell of uncertainty, he declared he was staying.  I was relieved.


Fast forward a few years later...in the meanwhile our problems didn't improve.  I sunk deeper and deeper into depression, fuelled by the anxiety of never knowing if he was happy, if I could trust him.  I ended up on antidepressants when I was no longer functional, a real wreck.  (And yes in the meanwhile he did continue to have affairs.)  A year and a half ago he announced he couldn't stay in our marriage.  By this point, after everything he'd put me through, I snapped.  I didn't beg.  I didn't want him to stay.  I wanted him out.  I was getting off the crazy carousel. 


Him leaving me this time around was the best thing that ever happened to me.  For a bunch of reasons, I wouldn't have left, at least not for a long time.  Today, a year and a half later, I'm happy, my kids are well, my ex and I have a good relationship, and I'm in a new relationship myself.  I often wonder what would have happened in those years if he HAD left me the first time around...no doubt I would have been a wreck short term, but I really do believe I would have been in a better place sooner, and with less grief along the way.


The best thing imho you can do is be honest with him, as much as it pains you to do so.  He's scared and he's desperate, but stay strong and do the honest thing.

Happy single mama of Girlchild (10) and Boychild (9).
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#7 of 8 Old 02-22-2011, 07:07 PM
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I'm with ExOfficia on this one.  I was the one that he walked out on.  We had been married twenty years.  He announced that he wanted to leave AND left ON our 20th anniversary.  Talk about a blow.  I don't think I ate or slept for a month.

I begged and pleaded, we went to two different counselors--one time each (that part was a joke).  In the end, he had already made up his mind.  Your ex will survive this.  He will.  In fact, he'll probably do better than I will ever do--in my position.

I REALLY suffered during last summer--and you could probably look back at a bunch of my posts and read the pain in my "voice".

I needed a "sign" that I could make it on my own.  Well, for me--it came in the form of a house. 
Here's the story--I think you'll like it---I live in an upscale expensive resort town in Virginia.  I literally could not afford to rent anything in my area (based on my pathetic income--I was a stay at home mom forever and even though I have a PhD, taking off time to have babies and raise them until school age took a serious toll on my professional life)...anyway...I was going to meet this real estate agent who was going to show me a house in my price range--but he was 45 minutes late.  So in the meantime, I drove around the areas where I had never really been and stumbled upon this darling little house.  Well, I called the agent on the sign and because it was Christmas Eve--she wasn't busy and showed me the house before I went to see the rental (which turned out to be gross).

Long story short--I bought the cottage.  I am poor and broke and have run up my TJ Maxx card buying little bits of furniture and will probably be paying off credit cards until I die.  But it's mine.  And it's the fact that I COULD make that made me gather strength--SLOWLY.  I wrote the contract for the house on my birthday (end of December).  And I closed at the of January.  I'm saying this so that you will not stay due to guilt.  If it's that bad--he knows it, too--even if he doesn't want to admit it.  I might be single until I die (and at this point, I'm fine with that)...but I'm feeling like more of myself every day.  I can paint colors I like; I can turn up the radio and dance in my kitchen (which is tiny)...and I can leave dirty clothes on the floor (which I won't do).  But it's me.  Ex has recently threatened me with this and that--and I am finding that each time he pushes me--instead of fighting--I just drop back, realize how mean he is and what a bully he is and take care of myself.  And that self-care is really the best thing that he could have given me in abandoning me.  I'm doing well.  Your ex will recover.  I did--and I lost a lifetime--literally.

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#8 of 8 Old 02-22-2011, 07:52 PM
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I went through this for about two years after I left my ex. I don't know why I let it drag out... part of me was afraid he would turn really nasty if I just said, leave me alone. Partly I was looking for signs that he really was willing to change, to stop being a self centered child. But he wasn't. What did I think was really going to happen in two years that hadn't happened in the last ten?


If you're sure, and it sounds like you are, just let him have his grief. Sometimes the hardest part about a breakup is facing our own part in it- and there's nothing you can do that will take that pain away, no matter how guilty you feel. It's his own path. In the end, I realize that I didn't do either of us any favors by letting that emotional bond continue- it really would have been less painful for him if I cut it completely right from the start.

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