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Ex Wants Me Back

XH had his version of the talk with me. He thinks I should be over my little snit by now and we are meant to be together. He told me that he “is not giving up on me”. He says no matter what happens between us he will be kind to me for the rest of my life. He says he owes me that and more after the way he has previously treated me. He says he is committed to improving things so I can fall in love with him again and we can have the life I always wanted with him. He detailed all the things he is doing and working on to make things better. Sex seems to be the sticking point he hasn’t figured out how to make better.

He has been nicer and kinder to both me and his siblings, true. If he had treated me kindly, with respect and as a partner during the seven years we were married I would have tolerated the sexlessness. I would have accepted it to keep my family together, to not have to admit my marriage failed to myself or in public. I never wanted to be divorce. If he had been my friend, made attempts at sexual connection with me and expressed love I probably would have fooled myself into believing the sex didn’t matter. So I suppose I am grateful that he did not do those things because the emotional abuse took away my blinders to the sexual withholding being part of the abuse and destruction to my self-esteem.

I have never been unclear with him. I have told him that my goal and high hope is for us to co-parent the young adults we raised together and be able to be friendly to each other because our friends and families are deeply intertwined. I figured he would realize once he had time apart that he was happier without me. I expected that there would be a moment of realization that we were ill-matched and that he could find someone that fits his needs better. I figured that he would reflect on how angry, anxious and unhappy he was and come to the same conclusion I have. That hasn’t happened.

I do not think I can completely cut him out of my life without any contact due to the children we have raised together and how intertwined our friends and families are. I can only continue to repeat the same things and live my life by my new choices.

He never heard me when I expressed my frustrations and communicated my needs when we were married. He certainly did not rise to meet my needs then. I guess it comes as no surprise that he now still isn’t hearing me. He thinks all it takes is to be a little nicer, less grumpy and a bit more responsible to make me fall in romantic love with him again. Even in his “I am not giving up on you” he is dismissive of the loneliness, sadness and impact to my self-esteem that his choices had. He still seems to think this is simple, as if I hadn’t already run down every simple solution available to us during the marriage before finally, desperately deciding that some things can't be fixed.

He just doesn’t get it. He still doesn’t know how much he doesn’t know.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Changewilldoyougood Changewilldoyougood 31-35, F 18 Responses Jan 3, 2012

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We eventually give up.

do you want a suggestion ?

I do not understand. ???

"There is time for work. And time for love. That leaves no other time." Coco Chanel<br />
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Sounds as if you gave it your best shot. Press on toward love.

Sometimes it REALLY is too little, too late. I'm on that cruise ship too - think PUH lease really? If you would have done these other things (not sex) YEARS ago, I would have cared. Now I don't care and I don't try. Oh well.

Just one thought CWDYG. In your post, you still mentioning hoping your stbx realizes he will be better off, etc.. Time to let go of those expectations as well, lest you find ways to help him see. It is no longer your place to be his conscience, his guide or his emotional crutch. For the time being, its too early to be clear on the friendship boundary. As an example, right now, hugging or hand holding to comfort can muddy the disengagement process for him and you, especially if that has been the extent of his intimate contact in the past. It encourages the sense that things are still the same. Juat my two cents.

I think so often, people become complacent in their relationships and dont miss it or realize it until its gone. I think as well, after being told no for so long , it becomes why bother, why set ones self up for another denial. Sometimes you have to just stand there on cut glass, because the rejection is worse. I certaintly dont have any suggestions, god knows Ive been married for 28 years but looking at what is there after 28 years is really sad. The "golden years" Ive heard of those, just havent experienced them.. Keep your chin up an sleep on your decesions keeps them from being impulsive.

"I am not giving up on you". That is sooo patronizing, petulant, arrogantly self-serving, solipsistic and, to make my feelings quite clear: **** headed. <br />
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It would make me spit brass tacks coming from somebody who's been ignorant and uncaring and abusive previously in a relationship. Serious WTF moment.<br />
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Reminds me of my mother :"I know better what you think than you do, because I am your mother". (original quote) She only ever wanted everybody around to be the furniture in her fantasy world and never gave a thought to the possibility that people might have thoughts and feelings of their own, that weren't an extension of her solipsism.

Refusers just DON'T get it.....never will. I hear ya though. If I had been able to trust her with my heart, to trust that she actuually cared about my want's, my desires, my needs I might have been able to tolerate the SM...Then again now that I HAVE experienced ****** again....NOT.........lol

If she actually cared about your wants, your desires, your needs, you would not have been in the SM to begin with. So you go, and go and go until you just can't go any longer. lol

Wow I said something similar to her when we split. It was I gave &amp; gave &amp; gave until you took all I had

"I gave &amp; gave &amp; gave until you took all I had"... perfect way to express that.

I would say as my opinion to go about your life, date other ppl when you feel its right, but keep an open mind, you never know things may change for the better, if he can show that he can change and be better at all he needs to fix and you have to remember its a 2 way street, I'm sure you wasn't an angle either, it does take 2, it my be 90-10% but you had a part..just keep an open mind..maybe he realized that you wasn't as bad of a person then he thought..maybe he regrets what he has done..idk just a thought..take care and I hope whatever the matter and whatever you choose works out for ya:)

Another well meaning person without a clue. . . .

I take responsibility for a lot of it. I tolerated abuse and took on too much responsibility without expecting him to step up. In some ways I think my willingness to take things on when he didn't taught him a) it was easier to let me do it and b) I didn't believe he could do it (which wasn't true, but an unintended effect of myself being a well meaning person without a clue). Now I have a clue. Thank you for your thoughts. I think in many ways he and I are well matched to create dysfunction instead of harmony. I won't slide into that again.

I stopped reading at " 90-10% but you still had a part". Yes, keep that mind open to more of nothing ChangeWillDoYouGood!

CWDYG, you're describing a variety of my circumstance as well. My wife and I are codependent. I had (well, still have) a need to be "Mr. Fixit." I guess it was far stronger than ever I had imagined, so it quickly progressed from a virtue to a vice. She is emotionally needy and was coming off an abusive relationship when we met, and had an emotionally abusive and neglected childhood. So I appeared to her as all the security in the world, and in capital letters. She fell in love with that. I saw a bird with a broken wing and "knew" that I was the one who could "fix" her. Bad, bad mistake on my part. It was the kind of thinking that fueled my arrogance just as I fully believed I was learning real humility. I was so completely off the map in that regard that I shudder to think about it today. So we were both needy, codependent and together made the perfect storm.

There is profound love and there is spiritual dysfunction that masquerades as profound love. When you're in the middle of all that it is hard to understand that the two things are not the same. Its harder to understand which one you've wrapped yourself up in. For me its taking a lifetime to figure out and the SM aspect is but a part of it.

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I'm reading this, thinking, you're smart & aware, but<br />
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Noooooo......<br />
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Do not listen to this siren! Stuff cotton wool in your ears. Adopt the approach enna and genguy have suggested. Anything but have this being played at you, after all you've been through.

He can essentially embark upon a regime of therapy / self improvement / enlightenment for all he is worth. <br />
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It does not now nor in the future have any direct relevance to you in any marital sense.<br />
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Hopefully, his new and enlightened attitude (should it happen) might make whatever dealings you are obligated to have with him a bit more tolerable.<br />
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What he does from here on is his choice. How much exposure there will be to it is your choice.<br />
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Tread your own path.

Without a doubt, even if he'd been nice to you, the sexlessness would have brought an end to the marriage. One cannot continue to deny his/her fundamental needs to satisfy another. It's just not possible in the long run because denying your fundamental needs leads to resentment and anger that gnaw away at your soul. So, you did the right thing, and I hope you feel grateful to be out of a situation that wore you down and kept you locked in a pattern that sucked you dry. There is always that lingering feeling of "what if" when relationships take a turn we didn't anticipate. But just remember back at how unhappy you were in that marriage for so long. I'll bet the potential regrets are mild in comparison to the debilitating rejection you felt. There is plenty of time ahead - who knows, he may rehabilitate and become the man you need. In the meantime, get out there and have some fun so in the unlikely chance he makes a complete turn around, you will have some new experiences upon which to ba<x>se your decision.<br />
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Blessing to you.

Elseewy2011 said:<br />
"Don't wait for him to tell u how is he going to solve the problem. tell him, hey i think we can solve it that way, are you up to it, do you agree, do you have suggestions. so please.. rethink and try to look at it from a different perspective."<br />
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I think you are very well meaning but this comment is just nonsense! Do you REALLY think that, after seven years of a sexless marriage, that the OP (CWDYG) has not done this??????<br />
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Because you are not in a sexless marriage, you do not understand the dynamics that are peculiar to that specific marital problem. This is NOT a situation where the other partner WANTS to fix things!<br />
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The low libido spouse is very HAPPY with no sex (or very little sex) and does NOT want things to change. And whenever one person in a partnership will not cooperate with the other, change is NOT possible.<br />
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Your thoughts are well intentioned, Elsee, but you do not know anything about how these situations really work . . . .

He was perfectly content doing exactly as he pleased. No amount of couples counseling, separation (we separated once before - I should've stayed gone), family interventions, talking or threats would ever get him to change things. Why should he have? It was working for him quite nicely. That's how my own nature was my undoing. Working on being more selfish, less giving and actually, less patient. I was too much of those things and it came back to haunt me.

Elseewy2011: " it is easy to run away and say enough is enough ". You do not know how wrong you are.

Agreed, leaving is one of the hardest things you will ever do. Choosing to allow someone who means a great deal to you to survive without your support when you know they have huge issues is assuredly _not_ easy.

That is SO true!!!!

Thanks for the support. Yes, it has been extremely hard.

In my experience, my refuser and I are two pieces of a puzzle. It is very easy for him to run away and not work on problems. It is agonizing for me to run away and say "enough is enough." This is our endless cycle. And it's one sided. +1 that "running away" is the hardest thing I've ever faced before.

SF, that is a perfect way to describe it. It is interesting how so many of us are in the same two ill-matched pieces of a puzzle dynamics together. Birds of a feather...

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"If he had treated me kindly, with respect and as a partner during the seven years we were married I would have tolerated the sexlessness" My ex treated me with great respect and kindness, both during the marriage and during the breakup. It was not enough to keep me in a SM. I started to lose myself, which is the worst thing that can happen.<br />
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I wish you all the best!

You're right. I'm not saying I *should have* compromised myself like that by tolerating it. I know myself though and I know at least by history that I have put up with more than I should at times. It's something I am working on. Hence cutting someone I used to call a friend out of my life recently for pulling **** that was disrespectful and uncalled for. I am noticing sooner (yay me!) and working on setting and maintaining firmer boundaries all around me. I have decided that you either treat me right or you get the heck out of my life. Hopefully I can maintain this boundary with XH and keep him out.

Very similar to me. I tolerated the sexlessness while he was still nice. I wasn't happy with it, but I lived with it. Never strayed. After four years of not being so nice, I found this place. I'm a slow learner.

I'm a slow learner too :-(

it is sad that everyone just give up that way or believe that no one can change. I am not defending him because I am a man. I am not saying that he will change either. That something no one can know. However, if you can forget all the pain, or put it aside, do u think what he is saying is genuine or not. But you got to put the bad things aside to be able to think and judge correctly. We all do mistakes, i am sure you done too. It takes two to tangle. SO don't be mad if you also had a share of that problem. It is human nature that we look at others mistakes and forget ours. I am going through a second divorce. Even though i can tel you how miserable she made me. but i am also wrong. because i didn't deal it with corectly. i could've been more wiser ,and maybe more understanding. So i blame myself before i blame her first. I know i was reacting to her actions, but that is not the way we should be. but at the time, i gave myself that excuse, she is selfish, so i reacted to that to be selfish as well. but later i recognized that not because the person in front of me is bad, i got to be bad too. It is your choice to give him a chance or not. it is easy to run away and say enough is enough. but you spent 7 years, and thre got to be good days and good characters he has that got you attracted to him in the beginning. so think of those, and try again, maybe as dating first,, Trust me everyone can change.. as long as they can admit their mistake and know what they did as wrong. <br />
Don't wait for him to tell u how is he going to solve the problem. tell him, hey i think we can solve it that way, are you up to it, do you agree, do you have suggestions. so please.. rethink and try to look at it from a different perspective.

-----" it is easy to run away and say enough is enough." If you truly believe this statement then apply this only to YOURSELF. Maybe for YOU it was easy, but for other's, leaving is the most DIFFICULT thing to do. Staying is far far far easier.

"Trust me everyone can change.. as long as they can admit their mistake and know what they did as wrong. " Oh, yes - I agree with you wholeheartedly. The issue here is that after years of that NOT happening, the refused spouse has pretty limited options. It's a little like the difficulty we have when we still love our spouses even though we are starving. It would be SO EASY to resolve this if we didn't care! But we do care and we do love - and that is why we suffer.

Everyone can change if they choose to change. What happens when they don't choose to change? Then one person is stuck yet again with unhappiness. It won't be me this time around.

Sometimes the change comes way too late.

i didn't mean that you have to be stuck with the guy, if he is not changing, or u feel he is not serious in changing, then u r doing the right thing. all i know , it has to come from both sides. not from one side, otherwise it won't work.... but everything is possible. and yes change can happen as long as we are still alive..

no my friend. i didn't leave, she is the one who is deciding to leave, and i know i am still trying, but she thinks it is all my fault, and i can't say that is bull****. but i learned from professional, you can't control what others think or say, you can only control yourself, so i am not going to waste my breathe putting all the blame on her and just concentrate what i could do

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The important thing is this IMO. He "hears" now what you tried to say for so many years, because finally HE is affected by it. In other words, he is seeking to "fix" things now because HE wants things to go back to how they were.<br />
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All those years of not "hearing" you occurred because HE was happy - and could not care less if you were. Now he is NOT happy, and thinks he can get his happiness back by convincing you he is "changed". I call bull ****!<br />
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He is manipulating the situation for all it is worth - for his own ends, as usual.<br />
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You may need to limit contact - rather than cut it off. Such as: tell him he cannot call you except at "x" time on two days a week. Refuse to meet up with him except for once a week or fortnight. Express these rules as being for HIS benefit - because you can see what an emotional toll it takes on him when he has constant contact with you!!!! <br />
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You might also consider telling him that he could undergo regular therapy to better understand why he treated you so badly. "Because you wouldn't want the same things to happen over again in any new relationships would you?" I see the chances of him attending personal therapy as less than zero, but it would serve to remind you that HE sees no reason to change his ways. All his words are just that - words!

This story sounds familiar to me, Enna, and I like your supportive response. It resonates for me now too!

I like that plan. I feel like in some ways he has too much access in my life, but considering the twins live here with me but aren't blood related to me I feel a bit beholden to ensuring that they can have access to him without being caught in the middle. He lives out of state at this point so our actual interaction is limited except the last few weeks when they have had him here (staying in hotels) for work. He left today to go back to his home. I have suggested therapy. He used to have a therapist. She was one of those pat-him-on-the-head and say you've had a horrible childhood no one can blame you for being so messed up kinds of therapists. He went to her weekly for two years. See where that got us? divorced. HA! He says he is planning to go to therapy (where he lives) but hasn't done it yet. I won't be holding my breath. I don't want to reconcile and I agree it's all talk and bull ****. I was frustrated that NOW he wants to make things better. It *is* because now his life is impacted by it though; when mine was, he really didn't care.

Words of wisdom.

"It *is* because now his life is impacted by it though; when mine was, he really didn't care." REMEMBER THIS!

AMEN!!!!

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The last line says it all. Hold on to that for all that it is worth