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should i give us another chance?


charity

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hi everyone, please take the time to read!!!!!

my ex and i had a very on/off relationship over the course of about 5 years. we have 2 children aged 11 months and 2.at the moment we are in different countries but he will be coming here soon for 6 months. let me start by saying that my ex is a good man in general.he is fun, wise, intelligent, and caring. however he is not a great partner and between his issues and mine we never seem to be able to last. we broke up after baby no 1 was born. we had problems that really shouldnt have broken us up such as money issues and differing opinions on things. a major fault he has is forgivness. when we argue he carries it to another level and can be cold for days afterwards whereas i forgive pretty fast and go back to being normal. anyway we got back together pretty soon and things were great for awhile, then we started to have problems again, he became cold and distant again, started making a lot of new female friends,he's a musican and frequently meets other women.it is always just friends and i trust him but find it HARD to handle i became really insecure and jealous and again we finished. found out i was pregnant for the second time. we decided to give it another try. now its worth saying that each time we got back together we did it NOT agreeing on what had caused our break up. he would say that i demanded too much, didnt appreciate the good things he did, and was too jealous and tried to control him. i would say that he was behaving like a single man instead of a family man, has no boundries and has a unhealthy cut and run attitude when it comes to normal arguments. still we got back together, and when the second baby was born we broke up after about 2 months!!!! basically everyday after work he was hanging out with friends and not coming home till 8 or 9. we never had dinner together, i would be tired after minding the kids all day and almost be ready for bed. he never included me in his social life and i nearly had to beg for us to do anything together.it seemed to me that he loved being out of the house and saw me as just..... there you know? i felt like he had no consideration that i may need a ''life'' too besides just the kids and the house. he never saw that it was a hard job me being there with them so close together in age, and so young. so yes we broke up and this time it seemed for good. i was devastated. i suppose i'd better tell you why ,after the bad picture i just painted of him.lol.well he knows me so well now, we can sit up for hours talking and laughing, we play games, we have a good sex life, he gets on with all my friends, he helps me with issues i have regarding my family, he is honest to a fault, i'm just so used to him and i love being with him, i love doing things with him and he is a good father. there is nothing i love more then just spending normal family time with them. they are my everything.

 

so after this break up he went back to his country for a few months. and he got involved with someone else. this was the first time in all our break ups that he met someone else. this girl was 20 years younger then him and 10 years younger then me!!!! needless to say it didnt last. apparently she said that it was obvious that he wanted to be with his family and it wouldnt work between them . meanwhile while he was getting on with things , i was having a tough time. i went to counselling and found this forum and started to work on some issues and see what really went wrong in our relationship. i reallized that i had been controlling and very dependent on him to make me feel happy. i had become needy and insecure and i resented him making new friends even guys.i also recognized that he definetly had not stepped up to his responsabilities, he has a massive ego, and really enjoys the single mans life and so we were better off apart. i went LC and tried to keep it just about the kids and after 8 months i found that i was strong enough to talk normally to him again and try to be friends. however in all this time anytime we discussed our relationship , he would NEVER take responsability for anything that had went wrong in it. i went to visit his country with the kids( i used to live there and have friends there) and i rented an apartment. he came by and saw the kids frequently. he asked me to be there a lot as he finds it hard to deal with them himself and i am still nursing the baby. as the weeks passed i resigned myself to the fact that i still loved him but i tried not to let myself get too involved in it. i could see too that he had feelings for me and i just knew he was thinking'' what if..... if only....'.

i was wondering,am i ever gonna stop loving this man, will anyone ever compare? i came back home anyway. now he has called me and told me that he realizes that he has failed me on so many levels, he says that he neglected me and our relationship, that he reacted wrong to my insecurities and my neediness and and that his lack of forgiveness is detrimental to himself and others.he promises to put me first in the future, get more involved in family life and will always make time for us as a couple......... sigh. he says he realized when i was there with him that he never stopped loving me and that we lost our way but now we can do it this time and he is ready and wants to get married, i just do not know what to do. i told him yes to trying again, but i dont feel good about it. everyone is against me getting back with him. i change my mind on the hour every hour. on one hand i know we are not compatible, we have different boundries, and it is such an effort for him to spend quality time with me. i know that he is capable of really hurting me and its so scary. on the other hand,this is the first time he has taken responsability for our break up and has made promises to change. do i not owe it to all of us to take the chance too see if he really can. i certinly didnt envision me raising my kids as a single parent. all opinions welcome and i would love to hear from DN if you are there.

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hi everyone, please take the time to read!!!!!

my ex and i had a very on/off relationship over the course of about 5 years. we have 2 children aged 11 months and 2.at the moment we are in different countries but he will be coming here soon for 6 months. let me start by saying that my ex is a good man in general.he is fun, wise, intelligent, and caring. however he is not a great partner and between his issues and mine we never seem to be able to last. we broke up after baby no 1 was born. we had problems that really shouldnt have broken us up such as money issues and differing opinions on things. a major fault he has is forgivness. when we argue he carries it to another level and can be cold for days afterwards whereas i forgive pretty fast and go back to being normal. anyway we got back together pretty soon and things were great for awhile, then we started to have problems again, he became cold and distant again, started making a lot of new female friends,he's a musican and frequently meets other women.it is always just friends and i trust him but find it HARD to handle i became really insecure and jealous and again we finished. found out i was pregnant for the second time. we decided to give it another try. now its worth saying that each time we got back together we did it NOT agreeing on what had caused our break up. he would say that i demanded too much, didnt appreciate the good things he did, and was too jealous and tried to control him. i would say that he was behaving like a single man instead of a family man, has no boundries and has a unhealthy cut and run attitude when it comes to normal arguments. still we got back together, and when the second baby was born we broke up after about 2 months!!!! basically everyday after work he was hanging out with friends and not coming home till 8 or 9. we never had dinner together, i would be tired after minding the kids all day and almost be ready for bed. he never included me in his social life and i nearly had to beg for us to do anything together.it seemed to me that he loved being out of the house and saw me as just..... there you know? i felt like he had no consideration that i may need a ''life'' too besides just the kids and the house. he never saw that it was a hard job me being there with them so close together in age, and so young. so yes we broke up and this time it seemed for good. i was devastated. i suppose i'd better tell you why ,after the bad picture i just painted of him.lol.well he knows me so well now, we can sit up for hours talking and laughing, we play games, we have a good sex life, he gets on with all my friends, he helps me with issues i have regarding my family, he is honest to a fault, i'm just so used to him and i love being with him, i love doing things with him and he is a good father. there is nothing i love more then just spending normal family time with them. they are my everything.

 

so after this break up he went back to his country for a few months. and he got involved with someone else. this was the first time in all our break ups that he met someone else. this girl was 20 years younger then him and 10 years younger then me!!!! needless to say it didnt last. apparently she said that it was obvious that he wanted to be with his family and it wouldnt work between them . meanwhile while he was getting on with things , i was having a tough time. i went to counselling and found this forum and started to work on some issues and see what really went wrong in our relationship. i reallized that i had been controlling and very dependent on him to make me feel happy. i had become needy and insecure and i resented him making new friends even guys.i also recognized that he definetly had not stepped up to his responsabilities, he has a massive ego, and really enjoys the single mans life and so we were better off apart. i went LC and tried to keep it just about the kids and after 8 months i found that i was strong enough to talk normally to him again and try to be friends. however in all this time anytime we discussed our relationship , he would NEVER take responsability for anything that had went wrong in it. i went to visit his country with the kids( i used to live there and have friends there) and i rented an apartment. he came by and saw the kids frequently. he asked me to be there a lot as he finds it hard to deal with them himself and i am still nursing the baby. as the weeks passed i resigned myself to the fact that i still loved him but i tried not to let myself get too involved in it. i could see too that he had feelings for me and i just knew he was thinking'' what if..... if only....'.

i was wondering,am i ever gonna stop loving this man, will anyone ever compare? i came back home anyway. now he has called me and told me that he realizes that he has failed me on so many levels, he says that he neglected me and our relationship, that he reacted wrong to my insecurities and my neediness and and that his lack of forgiveness is detrimental to himself and others.he promises to put me first in the future, get more involved in family life and will always make time for us as a couple......... sigh. he says he realized when i was there with him that he never stopped loving me and that we lost our way but now we can do it this time and he is ready and wants to get married, i just do not know what to do. i told him yes to trying again, but i dont feel good about it. everyone is against me getting back with him. i change my mind on the hour every hour. on one hand i know we are not compatible, we have different boundries, and it is such an effort for him to spend quality time with me. i know that he is capable of really hurting me and its so scary. on the other hand,this is the first time he has taken responsability for our break up and has made promises to change. do i not owe it to all of us to take the chance too see if he really can. i certinly didnt envision me raising my kids as a single parent. all opinions welcome and i would love to hear from DN if you are there.

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Look, to me, it's pretty clear that you BOTH have issues. Issues which have gone unresolved time and time again. Unless something changes then you will always get the same result.

 

Now, good intentions without actions mean nothing. You've been hurt many times and are wary of giving him another chance, he knows this. So many times people have these "epiphanies" where they all of a sudden realise what went wrong in their relationship. Unfortunately, just because they know this doesn't mean they will change.

 

The only thing that makes people change is their own desire to change. The process of changing also takes quite some time. I'm not saying they become a "different" person kind of change - more so they become a better "version" of themselves.

 

Look if I were you, I would tell him you need time and space to think about it - thus you go into NO CONTACT, for at least 2-3 months (preferably more considering your long history) and in this time he should work on improving himself. Meanwhile you work on healing yourself.

 

"i was wondering,am i ever gonna stop loving this man, will anyone ever compare?"

 

You won't stop loving him. You will care about him and remember him always. He was an integral part of your life at some point so you're not just gonna forget him all of a sudden. But if being with him is causing you hurt then you need to leave.

 

Don't think that there aren't other men out there just as good or better than him. That's a lie we tell ourselves because we're desperate. Being a single mother is hard but it would be much worse being in a loveless/dysfunctional marriage with children.

 

There are men out there that will not see your having children already as an obstacle to finding love with you. I split with my ex a while ago and have met a woman with 2 children recently - I think she's fantastic.

 

Don't sell yourself short, you deserve better than this. Either something has to change with him or you will move on and love again no matter how difficult that may seem right now.

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thanks cl76, yeah i dont want him to change really, just be a better form of himself like you said, and me too of course.

NC is out of the question as we have the children and while i did have LC for a few months , it just felt so.... fake. i dont want to go back to that again. i really believe that if i tell him no, that i can still somewhat be friends with him. omigod did i just say that??? i am sooooo fooling myself right? the other night he called me and i had decided that it wouldnt work but i just couldnt tell him, just could not say those words. the next morning i was like totally opposite, all ready to go for it and give it that last chance. so undecided, so confused.i did date a guy who was nice for a couple of weeks but he was really into me big time and i felt smothered, maybe i just wasnt ready. it just felt wrong

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See this other thread called "people rarely change", I think this is how you're feeling about him. You want to be with him but you know you can't.

 

The "fake" feeling is a desire for a relationship which isn't there, being together doing things though LC without actually being "together". Maybe I am wrong here, only you know the real reason.

 

The confusion you feel is your heart and emotions driving your thoughts/actions, you need to control those emotions and go "strategic" in stead. This is not easy as we humans are emotional creatures by nature.

 

Let me ask you how are you going to feel if you just stay "friends" and he meets someone else? Will you still want to be friends then?

 

As far as meeting somebody new you have to be "ready" before you attempt to do that. That means loving yourself again and letting go of your ex (as a love interest - of course you maintain LC because of the kids). Now you don't want to jump into something heavy so take it slow and enjoy yourself.

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I believe that it is a fallacy to think that people can't change. I think they can if they are basically a good person who has been making bad decisions. Sometimes people are innately selfish and they will never change. But some people have simply been behaving in a selfish manner and have come to that realisation. At that point they decide to do something to change their behaviour.

 

This is part of growing up. From the time we are babies we are selfish - and there is good reasons for that. But as we get older it is our parents job to make us realise that we are not the centre of the universe and that if we want good relationships we need to understand that other people are important too.

 

It would be interesting to know something about how he was raised.

 

i see two things that may give some hope about this man:

 

first - he has acknowledged his poor behaviour and is not making excuses for it. That is very positive.

 

second - his ex-girlfriend broke up with him because she said it was obvious he was not over his family. That is significant because it is the opinion of a third party who recognised independently what he was going through.

 

The word 'epiphany' is over-used but it may have some resonance here. It may be possible that he has looked into the future and not liked what he has seen there. And that the past and he 'freedom of action' was not freedom at all but had it's own restrictions to happiness.

 

So - what to do?

 

If you still love him and want to give him a chance I think you could. One final chance. But not a full-bore reconciliation. he needs to prove that he is not acting on the impulse of the moment or because he is lonely. But that he really wants the family life, that his love for you and the children is the paramount importance for him - and that will take some time.

 

So give him that time and opportunity in a way that leaves you the option to end it again with the least disruption if he reverts to his previous behaviour. How you do that is a matter of logistics and you are best placed to decide how that might be accomplished.

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thanks DN. that helps a lot. i have always found your advice to others very fair and wise. yes he was raised in a very strange way.he has 6 siblings and he is the third. his father left when his mother was pregnant with him. he was sent to live with his grandmother for a few years. he doesn't know why and he will not have that talk with his mother. they have a difficult relationship. he loves her but he believes that she does not love him. from what i have witnessed myself, i can see why he thinks this. she is a ..... tough woman and his ''free'' ways do not impress her at all

 

i have suspected myself that he is just lonely at the moment and, as i am and always, have been there for him then perhaps he is just going back to his last option....me. i know that sounds insecure but unfortunetly i am not secure in knowing his feelings for me. 8 months is a long time broken up and yes, i feel that we do have to take it slowly.

 

i will thinks about it a bit more anyway.

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he was sent to live with his grandmother for a few years

That happened to an uncle of mine and he became very selfish as a result and ended up estranged from his own son. It is a harsh thing for a child to realise that neither parent wanted them and, even if the reasons were practical at the time, the sense of rejection is nevertheless real.

 

But - it may be that he now realises he is doing the same thing to his own children and wants to reverse that. If he doesn't make that connection it wouldn't hurt to gently point it out.

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thank you thank you for posting this!!!! I am in a master of social work program and if I thought people couldn't change, then we as a society would be in really big trouble. I admit, I acted selfish in my previous rel. to a man who adored me. I spoiled it with my insecurity. Life is a series of mistakes, learning, growing. If you're not growing or learning, then you might as well be dying. Hopefully, with each difficult breakup or experience, we learn something about ourselves. No couple is perfect, no relationship is perfect and sometimes we are too immature like DN said to realize it at the time. Sometimes it takes growing and realizing what you have lost in order to make changes.

 

If you love him, like DN said, take it slow and make sure he's amking positive changes. and give him a chance. he's not going to change overnight. noone does. but if you want to make it work, then it's worth a shot.

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