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Advice needed please


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It is now nearly 4 weeks since my partner of 18 years left me and our 3 young children. He has moved in with his parents, leaving most of his belongings here. He has told me that he is not coming back to me but will do everything to support me and his children. He wants us to be good friends there are times when we will be working together, so obviously we will need to get along. I am feeling very hurt and rejected at the moment but he is being very kind towards me. He doesnt appear to be in any hurry to remove the rest of his belongings from our home and pops in to see us on a regular basis. Is it possible to become good friends??

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it is possible to be friendly with an ex, but you need to give yourself some time and space after the breakup to heal and move on emotionally. otherwise being 'friends' can become about you hoping he will come back and taking his friendliness as a sign of this, when he has really moved on emotionally... that way you don't heal, and your hopes are dashed constantly...


he may want the comfort and familiarity of your home life, yet he can come and go as he pleases and have no commitments, and could be dating or whatever when he is away from you. So i would not allow him to act like he still is committed to you when he isn't.


Keep the visits short, to just exchanging the children for visitation, or dealing with the details of the divorce, etc. I would tell him that it is harder on you emotionally to have too much contact right now because you need to really accept that he is gone, and his continued presense is confusing.


So you can be civil and behave decently during the divorce, but don't allow him to act like he is still close to you, when he has made the decision to leave you... Lots of people who are left by their spouses do this, and really it is just a way of avoiding reality and not accepting that he is really gone and won't be back.

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I understand what you are saying. He really doesnt know what he wants at the moment, he really is acting completely out of character. He really does care for me (and he genuinely means it) but needs time away to sort himself out. His children are his world and would do anything for them.

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I think then if he is confused you should be attending marriage counseling to help him sort it out, and should also set some kind of time limit on him 'finding' himself in regard to you... please don't waste years while he flounders around... you need to set checkpoints where you re-ask questions about whether he wants to get back together or not, rather than leaving it open ended for him to waffle indefinitely (while possibly meeting other people).


sometimes people who first separate from spouses are not honest about real motivation (i.e., they are interested in someone else, but don't want that known until they make up their mind or don't want to be charged with adultery in a divorce because it lessens their chances of a good settlement and custody issues)...


so if you want to give him time, that is fine, just make sure that the time is worthwhile to both of you (counseling), and that he doesn't leave you in limbo for a long time while he experiments with being single again (or having his cake and eating it too... security and comfort with you and the kids, and the freedom to date and do what he wants on his own time)...

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