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Thread: Does a man ever stop wanting his family back

  1. #1
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    Does a man ever stop wanting his family back

    Itís been seven months now. Iím past the rose colored glasses, impulsive need of ďI need herĒ. My thoughts about everything is passive. Iíve grown holding down a second job as well as dating, excercising, pursuing new hobbies. But Iím at a point where I still want her back. I want my family back. Does this ever go away?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    Of course it's normal to feel that way. You had a lot invested, and it's not just about her you also lost family, friends, the life you had. That's a lot to get over. Will you get over it? Yes. Time my friend, it simply takes time.

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    So true. It is my family. Especially through the holiday season

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    The holidays magnify negative feelings. We're bombarded with these images of "perfect" families & when our realities don't match up to those images we feel bad.

    You & your children's mother split up. That is the harsh reality. You still have your kids & you need to do whatever it takes to normalize this time of year for them. If you didn't dine with them yesterday, schedule a redo this weekend. Establish a new tradition: maybe they have turkey with their mom on Thursday but have leftovers with you & go shopping over the weekend.

    Similarly make Christmas / Hanukah traditions. They don't have to be on the exact day. Years ago my mother staked her claim to Dec. 26. Other family members claimed Christmas Eve. Figure out what works for you.

    Eventually you will need to let go of the idea of your EX as "family". She has opted out. Focus on your kids & the joy you bring into each other's lives.

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    The holidays are tough. Iím struggling too with being in limbo with my ex girlfriend and having been adopted into her family for these kinds of things like holidays only to have none of it now that we are ďbetween labelsĒ. I made myself some fajitas yesterday for thanksgiving lol.

    I used to say I wanted my family back. It helped me hide the vicious realities of my ex by bundling her in with my children. ďWell yeah, she needs a lot of work, but itís for the kids...Ē Only time or a new lady will take your mind from her. And when that happens the reset actually begins, and you have a chance again. A few years ago I was in your exact spot. Ten year relationship, five year marriage, two kids, and boom divorce. She went wild on Tinder. I had to get my feet under me. It really, really sucked. But today, because I finally walked away, she lived with all the folly and self-destruction of her life where she now knows it wasnít all my fault and that there was a reason she honored me as her man and husband all those years. So sheís now always hinting at rekindling. And a few years ago I would have literally crawled through broken glass to have her as an option again. Now I see a maze that just doesnít seem worth figuring out anymore. Not enough cheese in there. Not enough happiness and too messy.

    Youíll maybe get there and if you do, your ex wife will likely be the last thing you want. Fate is weird and cruel and beautiful like that. I donít say that to insult your love or your devotion. I say that because youíre a sleeping giant. We see stories where the strong hero is under a spell where they forget their powers or identity. These breakups weaken us so badly because we question our foundation of understanding in our own lives. What could be more devastating? You mean the ground under my feet, despite Iíve felt it under my feet so long and made all my choices and rationalizations with the ground beneath my feet... itís not there? Itís like an existential nuke. Throw in chemical addiction to love and interactions and weíre just a zombie trying to reclaim our own senses. But youíre a giant under the spell of all this, and youíll come to, and you will snap this crap in half like a twig and start marching on to something happy without all this weakness-inducing pain... whether itís your ex or not.

  7. #6
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    Originally Posted by MrWindupBird
    The holidays are tough. Iím struggling too with being in limbo with my ex girlfriend and having been adopted into her family for these kinds of things like holidays only to have none of it now that we are ďbetween labelsĒ. I made myself some fajitas yesterday for thanksgiving lol.

    I used to say I wanted my family back. It helped me hide the vicious realities of my ex by bundling her in with my children. ďWell yeah, she needs a lot of work, but itís for the kids...Ē Only time or a new lady will take your mind from her. And when that happens the reset actually begins, and you have a chance again. A few years ago I was in your exact spot. Ten year relationship, five year marriage, two kids, and boom divorce. She went wild on Tinder. I had to get my feet under me. It really, really sucked. But today, because I finally walked away, she lived with all the folly and self-destruction of her life where she now knows it wasnít all my fault and that there was a reason she honored me as her man and husband all those years. So sheís now always hinting at rekindling. And a few years ago I would have literally crawled through broken glass to have her as an option again. Now I see a maze that just doesnít seem worth figuring out anymore. Not enough cheese in there. Not enough happiness and too messy.

    Youíll maybe get there and if you do, your ex wife will likely be the last thing you want. Fate is weird and cruel and beautiful like that. I donít say that to insult your love or your devotion. I say that because youíre a sleeping giant. We see stories where the strong hero is under a spell where they forget their powers or identity. These breakups weaken us so badly because we question our foundation of understanding in our own lives. What could be more devastating? You mean the ground under my feet, despite Iíve felt it under my feet so long and made all my choices and rationalizations with the ground beneath my feet... itís not there? Itís like an existential nuke. Throw in chemical addiction to love and interactions and weíre just a zombie trying to reclaim our own senses. But youíre a giant under the spell of all this, and youíll come to, and you will snap this crap in half like a twig and start marching on to something happy without all this weakness-inducing pain... whether itís your ex or not.
    man I love the way you write.

  8. #7
    Silver Member waffle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MrWindupBird
    But today, because I finally walked away, she lived with all the folly and self-destruction of her life where she now knows it wasnít all my fault and that there was a reason she honored me as her man and husband all those years. So sheís now always hinting at rekindling.
    I'd be careful about assigning thoughts and feelings to someone that you can't possibly have any real knowledge of, as far as what REALLY goes on inside someone's head and what their true motivations are. I have no doubt my xH has similar thoughts (hopes) about me as far as my life being "worse" without him and perceived regrets and/or rekindling (because he has shared those assumptions with others), and I promise you nothing is further from the truth. We usually see what we want to see. If we want to see someone doing poorly without us, that's what we will see.

    On the other hand, maybe that's the secret. To make the break-up essentially YOUR choice and YOUR decision as opposed to hers, it puts you more in control of a situation that you were/are not in control of and didn't want.

    To the question of whether or not you ever stop wanting your family (read: your old life) back, I've never seen anything that makes me think there is a One Size Fits All. I've known of men 20+ years divorced who never moved on, and some that achieved acceptance within just a few months. It is a choice.

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    Iím not trying to sound like Iím boasting about my ex wife. Iím referencing an ongoing series of conversations she initiates, during which she is very specific and open about the pain sheís in. Itís a challenge to be there for her in some capacity while communicating that there is no future together I can envision.

    Owning a breakup you didnít initiate definitely seems like a good idea almost always. It puts you on more equal footing where many people are often distrustful of desperate people; and it also puts you in a position to own the problems and change what you can change if the changes are something worth enacting.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Splintered and fractured families are so commonplace nowadays. You make do. Have workarounds.

    Since you're a father, make arrangements and take turns spending time with your children during the holidays and throughout the year.

    Holiday season is hard. Not every family is a "Norman Rockwell" painting. Not every family is a Disney feel-good movie or sappy Hallmark movie. Don't get caught up with these sentimental feelings because when you get down to the details, it's way overrated. Sure, my family and I keep up traditions but truth be told, it's a relief Thanksgiving is over. Just as I had predicted, there is at least one relative or in-law who "acts up" and says something disrespectful, humiliating and inappropriate. I'm relieved that I survived Thanksgiving yesterday! There were 40 guests! I cooked and washed pots 'n pans until I dropped! I helped my sister. I couldn't wait to go home! I'm bracing myself for Christmas because there's one in-law on the other side of the family who's a pain in the neck. Once it's post-New Year's Day, life returns back to normal, thank goodness.

    Feelings go away with the "out of sight, out of mind" mindset. You keep carrying on by moving forward.

    Family togetherness is wonderful IF everyone is compatible and respectful. If it isn't, we're all trying to sustain traditions for the sake of the younger generation such as the kids. Adults have to cast their feelings aside for the sake of the young people such as what my husband and I are doing.

    My in-laws have kids from divorced homes and they take turns with holidays and weekend visits.

    Don't preoccupy yourself with media images and nostalgic memories. You do what works best for you and your life with your children. Yes, holidays are special but what really matters is how people treat each other everyday habitually; not just holidays, celebrations or special occasions.

    Make the best of your situation.

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    Back to the OP's question:

    Yes it does. If your experience is anything like mine....

    First, you start to realize that you have a lot of freedom you didn't before. You can do things for yourself. Grow the beard she wouldn't allow, save up and buy that convertible she vetoed, live a bit.

    Second, you really enjoy your time with your children, it becomes special. Kids need some routine, so stick to the co-parenting plan.

    In time, your children grow up. They do their own thing anyway at the point, and that family unit is part of history. And the years fly by.

    I have one in his 20's who is arriving shortly for a month of university vacation over Xmas.

    He is going to eat everything in the fridge, drink all my beer, monopolize the sofa/TV, and empty my wallet.

    Outstanding, in every way.

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