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Ex Fiancee and I maintained a long distance relationship for 6 yrs. I'm 45 with 3 adult children, she's 36 with no kids/never married. We had the baby talk early on and were on different pages, but kept going anyways.

After a few yrs of saying what the other wanted to hear, lying to ourselves, etc. we finally had the talk and ended things around May (me saying I couldn't have more kids). Post breakup, we maintained some communication, a few couple week gaps here and there. I tried not to reach out in an effort to help her move on and have the family she wanted, but being without her really made me think about how much I missed her and wanted to be with her. Put serious thought to kids with her and reversed course. The thought of a family with her excited me. Reached out last week and told her of my change of heart.

We've had a couple of convos, but although she still deeply loves me, she can't get over the fact that I didn't feel this way yrs/mos ago. She went through a deep depression and finally feels like she's moving forward. Also wonders if I've changed my mind because I'm lonely (kids are back to college).

Kicking myself thinking if I only would have felt this way 4 mos ago, we'd be together. I don't know what to do next- go silent for a while is the 'get your ex back' strategy, but I feel like this is different since we both still deeply love each. I welcome any advice.

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Doesn't sound like a wise decision, you'd probably regret it and it wouldn't be fair to the next generation of kids that you really didn't want in the first place.

As far as the "go silent to get your ex back" strategy, well that's rather over rated.

Even if they come back sniffing around, it's more of a curiosity sort of thing. Nothing's really changed, so nothing's going to change, if you know what I mean.

She knows you don't want kids, smart woman- she also knows you're just telling her what you know she wants to hear and it's not a good long term strategy for success.

 

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I see how it would easily come across as having kids just to get her back (to her and everyone else), but I feel that I put a lot of thought to it and sat on it for the past couple mos to make sure that wasn't the case before I reached back out to her. Had to make sure I was 110%. Previously, I had just disregarded it due to my age and the age of my kids. 

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I know you're really trying here but it still sounds like you'd do anything to be with her even if having kids isn't really in your plans.

Think of it this way- how would you feel if she came back to you and said she's just fine being together without kids versus her saying she'd be with you only if you agreed to have a few kids.

Would it matter either way?

 

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The two of you weren’t on the same page from the beginning, but you went forward anyway. Now you miss what you had, but the fundamental thing you didn’t agree upon is still there. You’re now having a change of heart in order to get back to the good stuff is what it sounds like to me. Ultimately your heart won’t change and either will hers. The honest, fair and respectful thing to do is to let it go with grace. 

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I know exactly what you meant- trying to prove that I'm caught up in the moment and would do anything (ex- having kids) just to get her back. I was trying to say that that's not the case, but I can understand how my shift in stance has her questioning my motives.

This isn't the first time I've thought of kids with her. Pre breakup, I did a lot of the same thinking, talking with friends, praying, etc. I thought I could do it and we discussed it, but I got 'cold feet'. The last few mos being alone allowed me to reevaluate my life, what I want, etc. Believe me or not, I slowly warmed to the idea, so sat with it for some time to make sure that it was not a feeling based on loneliness or desire for her.

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Unfortunately, the right thing and the hard thing are usually the same thing.  

While you think you could do the kids and family with her because you miss her, you know in the long run you can't. 6 years is a long time to not take the plunge if that's what you wanted. 

You know that old song, there's a danger in loving someone too much, because sometimes love just ain't enough? It's beautiful and sad bc it's not the fairy tale ending.  

You need to accept that this hurts. as all love ending does...  You do love each other but you're wasting time and delaying your true and happy future holding on to something that does not work. 

4 mos ago you did the right thing. Now you're acting out of fear of the future and the unknown... you're not thinking things through clearly.

You really need to work on yourself. Your value of yourself and staying true to yourself.  Get focused on something you have not had time for before... learn something, get yourself together (if you're not in shape, eating healthy, taking care of yourself etc) find a project (clean out the garage)

Hang in there. Push towards the future. Don't look back. 

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3 hours ago, Stanlek2 said:

but being without her really made me think about how much I missed her and wanted to be with her. Put serious thought to kids with her and reversed course. The thought of a family with her excited me.

Why are you saying this now... after 6 years of nil?

 

3 hours ago, Stanlek2 said:

Kicking myself thinking if I only would have felt this way 4 mos ago, we'd be together.

You mean 6 yrs ago?

 

3 hours ago, Stanlek2 said:

We had the baby talk early on and were on different pages, but kept going anyways.

After a few yrs of saying what the other wanted to hear, lying to ourselves, etc. we finally had the talk and ended things around May (me saying I couldn't have more kids). Post breakup, we maintained some communication, a few couple week gaps here and there. I tried not to reach out in an effort to help her move on and have the family she wanted, but being without her really made me think about how much I missed her and wanted to be with her.

Yeah, I feel it's a little too late.  Should not have reached out again at all 😕 .

 

READ the top lines again.. ' We had the baby talk early on and were on different pages, but kept going anyways.

After a few yrs of saying what the other wanted to hear, lying to ourselves, etc. we finally had the talk and ended things around May (me saying I couldn't have more kids)'. 

 

- IMO, things should have just ended there with you two.  You could not give her what she was wanting... And I think after 6 yrs of that, why try to come around now?

You've got a few older adult-like children now?  Is maybe best to remain this way.  To go on for 6 yrs and no change, says enough.. Is truly what you did NOT want.

 

Is it maybe best now to stop reaching out and let her heal & move on?

 

 

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I think you need to listen to your gut on this - the gut that you've been silencing since you lost her. 

For the last several years, you have not wanted more children. I can nearly guarantee that this change of heart wouldn't last, OP. You would probably find yourself in a couple years' time kicking yourself because you have a demanding, crying baby at nearly 50 years old with the prospect of having a dependent child under your roof until you're pushing 70 and otherwise would be looking forward to your retirement years. 

And in any case, it sounds like she is ready to move forward without you and no longer wants to do this with you. She's had time to get used to the idea of building a family with someone who is sure from the get-go of what he wants, so yes, I think this is too little, too late. I imagine it will ultimately be best for you, too. 

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6 hours ago, Stanlek2 said:

Also wonders if I've changed my mind because I'm lonely (kids are back to college).

I would also wonder that. And if your "change of heart" is just because of loneliness. Your kids are out of home so you would be left alone. With her gone too you now miss anybody so you are emtertaining the idea of kids to "fill your home" again. 

It doesnt work like that. She hoped that you would still want kids with her but you dismissed her because you have 3 on your own. But now after you saw how it is without her and how empty your home is, you entertain the idea. Some decisions we make are irreversible. Meaning that after we make them, there is no going back to the stage you were before. You dissapointed her and she is ready to move on. If you feel lonely find some other woman to keep you company, dont bother her.

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6 hours ago, Stanlek2 said:

- go silent for a while is the 'get your ex back' strategy, 

Sorry this is happening. It's odd that you believe the red flags are having children when you wasted six years in a LDR.

You were never really together. You never moved forward with anything. Nothing. Not even living near each other.

Let go. You didn't want a cohesive relationship for six years, why now?

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9 hours ago, Stanlek2 said:

I see how it would easily come across as having kids just to get her back (to her and everyone else), but I feel that I put a lot of thought to it and sat on it for the past couple mos to make sure that wasn't the case before I reached back out to her. Had to make sure I was 110%. Previously, I had just disregarded it due to my age and the age of my kids. 

I know of a story somewhat similar. Man in his 50s - wife died.  A woman he'd met before his wife died- a classmate in her late 30s/early 40s - became more - but she said - no dating unless you want to have more kids (he had 4 kids).  He didn't think he did.  Changed his mind within the year -they were still just friends -and told her - huge change for him -I knew him personally -not her - they married years ago and have 2 kids.  She did have trouble knowing what to do but she did believe him and he followed through.

I think it is possible to have a change of heart.  The problem is -she is 36 -and it's best you try to get pregnant ASAP (I started trying at age 40, almost 41 - worked but emotionally stressful and it was a reconciliation story too).  She doesn't have to believe you and for her it's a big ask because if she invests even more time... she doesn't have much time left.  Are you sure your change of heart is solid?

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9 hours ago, Stanlek2 said:

I see how it would easily come across as having kids just to get her back (to her and everyone else), but I feel that I put a lot of thought to it and sat on it for the past couple mos to make sure that wasn't the case before I reached back out to her. Had to make sure I was 110%. Previously, I had just disregarded it due to my age and the age of my kids. 

I don't buy this entirely -you're a dad -you didn't just glibly "disregard" based on age/age of your kids -there was more to it. What was the more to it? Get to the bottom of the more to it so you can determine whether that more part is resolved too.

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I get it. I respect everyone's views/points on here. It's impossible to condense the feelings/emotions/discussions of a 6 yr relationship in an online post. It's also impossible for me to fully explain what all want into my change of heart and my current feelings on the situation.

But if I have truly changed my mind, it sounds like the best approach is to leave her alone and hope that she comes to believe me. I fully understand that it's not likely at this point. 

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11 hours ago, Stanlek2 said:

I maintained a long distance relationship for 6 yrs. I'm 45 with 3 adult children, she's 36 with no kids/never married.

You already wasted 6 years of her life from 30-36. Now you want someone to babysit you because your kids went to college? She doesn't need to see "change". She needs to walk away and be with someone who wants what she wants. You as well need to start fresh with someone local who you have something in common with.

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I wouldn’t trust you either. She ain’t got no time now to take any risk. You had 6 years to think about it seriously and came to the same conclusion. You miss her but with a child you will miss the life you had with her more. The dynamic of your relationship will change when a crying baby takes over your lives. All her attention will be on the baby leaving you out on the sidelines. I get it we desire more what we can’t have especially when it’s taken away. And I know that is what is at play here. The decision was made and it was the right one. Give it time you will see. 

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Your ex-fiancee has misgivings which is perfectly natural in most people.  She went through the stage of long depression,  eventually accepted permanent parted ways,  picked herself up,  brushed herself off and starting anew without you.  She is moving on and prefers to keep going forward with her life. 

Remember this:  "Once bitten,  twice shy."  How true it is.

Unfortunately,  many people are not given second chances.  Save that for the movies.  Why?  Because the ones who were hurt so badly don't wish to risk getting hurt again.  In order to prevent an ounce of risk,  in their mind,  it's better to be done with the other person without them in their lives.  There is zero risk going this route.  They're so done at this point. 

I can relate.  Our stories are not the same but there are parallels regarding universal human nature.  I've been very badly burned.  In my case,  I actually forgave the first time and what happened several years later?  A very damaging repeat!  That's it.  I was stupid and had a softer heart back then.   Nowadays, I'm a tough, hardened soul.  Bad experiences taught me how to protect myself the very painful way.  I no longer allow people to get away with it.  There are always very harsh consequences in this life.  Fool me once,  shame on you.  Fool me twice,  shame on me. 

Respect and honor her wishes by giving her what she wants.  If she wants to be left alone, leave her alone and don't bother her.  This is what you can do.  It's unhealthy to resume contact unless you wish to be merely her texting buddy. 

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Distance is 8 hrs. 6 years went by in a blink of an eye. A couple years in, we had discussed her moving here to be with me. We got engaged, started wedding planning, then Covid hit, so hit pause. Later in the relationship, we discussed me moving there, which I'm fully prepared to do. I've always wanted to live in the south, my brother would be near by and regardless of her decision, I'm getting tired of living where I do (lived here all my life).

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8 minutes ago, Stanlek2 said:

Distance is 8 hrs. 6 years went by in a blink of an eye. A couple years in, we had discussed her moving here to be with me. We got engaged, started wedding planning, then Covid hit, so hit pause. Later in the relationship, we discussed me moving there, which I'm fully prepared to do. I've always wanted to live in the south, my brother would be near by and regardless of her decision, I'm getting tired of living where I do (lived here all my life).

Why didn't you marry and have a party later? I know of many people who delayed their wedding a couple of months -meaning the wedding reception and/or married and had a party later.  I don't buy it.  

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1 hour ago, Stanlek2 said:

She wanted to have a big wedding (her 1st) and have her dad walk her down the aisle. The delay had nothing to do with kids or reluctance to move.

Right -so the two of you prioritized the party over the marriage.  Certainly her dad could have walked her down the aisle during a renewal of the vows later.  I don't buy it IMO if she wanted to marry you and have a family that badly. Most women in their 30s prioritize the marriage over the party even if it's their first and wouldn't delay to that extent if  they truly wanted to get married.  (myself included).

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10 hours ago, Stanlek2 said:

Distance is 8 hrs. 6 years went by in a blink of an eye. A couple years in, we had discussed her moving here to be with me. We got engaged, started wedding planning, then Covid hit, so hit pause. Later in the relationship, we discussed me moving there, which I'm fully prepared to do. I've always wanted to live in the south, my brother would be near by and regardless of her decision, I'm getting tired of living where I do (lived here all my life).

Hmmmm....Well to be honest you deciding to have kids with her doesn't really seem like the most thought out decision. I mean, I know six years is a long time to be together but your relationship was quite long distance. You also didn't live together, right? How long would you actually spend together at a time and stay with each other? 

I understand in some more traditional countries people don't live together until they're actually married and that's what people often did back in the day too. It just seems though that having a child is a very big commitment and you haven't actually lived together longer term to see how that would go.

The other issue is for six years you didn't want more kids and even a few months ago also didn't and that's why you broke up. Like everyone else I'm finding it a bit hard to believe that after six years you really did change your mind and now you want kids.

I don't think the fact you're 45 is a problem in and of itself. You're not that old though you would be an older new Dad. It's more that yeah you already have three adult children. I know obviously you've thought it through because you know exactly what having children actually means, you are not blind or naive to that. You have plenty of experience of being a parent and I'm sure you love your three children.

The thing is if you ask for your ex back then you really need to step up I think and actually marry her and have kids with her. She is 36 now and she did spend six years on you. I think it would be really unfair if you got back together but you still didn't follow through. I mean after six years neither of you had even moved to the other person, let alone moved in together or got married. I'm not trying to be rude but what does that really say about the level of commitment you had to her?

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