Divorce arises from a lack of connectivity between two parties. Both get into their head the person they're with is no longer for them. You both split up, eventually move on, and hopefully get on with your life. That's how it should work, right? Not always.
Reddit user, u/werewolfbarmitzvah03, had a story to share and asked for whatever help she could get with her situation. She began:
My husband (M25) told me (F26) a few months ago he wanted a divorce. Today he said he made a mistake.
I'm gonna start this out by saying I don't know what I'm looking for here. Reassurance? Helpful anecdotes? Outside opinions? I think I know what I want but how can you ever be sure?!
I'll try to make this short and sweet, please let me know of any helpful information I likely missed. Been together nearly 9 years; married for just over 4.
In January he told me he didn't want to be together anymore. As we aren't just "together" we're married, I wasn't sure what this meant. We talked, we figured some sh-t out, we agreed on counseling, we did nothing for three months.
In May he told me he was leaving to go stay with a friend. After a lot of back and forth I went to stay with some family, he enjoyed his alone time where he could be autonomous and alone. We went to a few sessions but after a lot of drama with his family I came back home in June. That night he said he thought we should get a divorce. I agreed since it felt like the whole thing went from an "us problem" that we could work on together, to a "him problem" in that he stated he just wanted to be alone.
He has been one of my very best friends for the better part of a decade - obviously this sucked. But I'd been dealing with the idea for a few months now, I was processing, I was finally telling my family and friends, I was becoming okay with the whole moving on thing. We talked about keeping in touch to an extent. I talked to a recruiter about joining the Navy. Things were okay.
Unfortunately we've been living together still (in separate rooms) because of some financial stuff, so we do see quite a bit of each other. This past week I really started thinking about what moving on would look like. Do I want to just have fun? Do I want to be by myself? Do I want to swear off men and go live in a shack in Scotland with a bunch of sheep? Who knows.
So last week we went out for a drink where I may have gotten a little petty and mentioned some boys at work that had been paying attention to me and how I felt about it and what I was going to do about it. I'm not sure where this came from as I generally do not act like that, just a culmination of feelings that busted out in an immature way in order to get a reaction. Well that worked! He was pissed.
We talked (and cried) a lot this weekend. Mostly just about being sad it has to be this way, awkwardness of not being together anymore, blah blah blah.
So today he sits me down to talk. What percent over him am I? I think I made a mistake, I don't want to file the papers I wonder if you want to work on this. Uhhh???? Awesome. Great. Except that for 8 months now I've been coping with the fact that you don't want to be with me and trying to deal and now all of a sudden you miss me and you f-cked up??? Now you realize that you don't want to live without me?
Not to mention there was a whole thing today where he got infuriated I was texting another guy because obviously I got his number with certain intentions (and I did, was I not supposed to be moving on over all this time??) and how he feels so stupid now and he shouldn't have said anything. I just don't know which of the thousand feelings I have to actually feel at the moment.
I always laugh at the posts where they say at the bottom "sorry, this got long" but uh, sorry this got long.
I feel hurt still over the back and forth and the general behavior of the past year. I just don't know if I want to try to work it out?? And not because I'm talking to some guy because I just got his number today, it'd be pretty easy to shut it down, but because I genuinely don't know if I can get past that hurt and what feels like betrayal. Is this a mistake on my end?? Should I be trying harder to salvage this??
Tl;dr - Husband wants to end things. Flash forward a few months though my processing and just kidding I made a mistake! Let's work it out, he says. I don't know where I stand or what I want
Continue On As Planned
What has he been doing all this time? Has he been going out or talking with other women?
He's been fine being separate all this time but now that it appears you could actually put him behind you he wants you back.
You're his safety net. He wanted to go out and do his thing, drink, party, sleep around, whatever. But still have you at home waiting for him so when he was done he could come back and continue as if nothing happened.
He's been expecting you to be there ready to let him crawl back into your bed.
Now that you're making moves and letting him know you're not going to do what he imagines you doing. He realises he's going to lose a good thing. If he can't have you no one can.
If I were you I would continue with the separation.
Time Changes PeopleGiphy
I had something similar happening with my then financé. He treated me like I didn't exist for months and was set on leaving.
Then when I actually accepted that was really happening and moved to my parents place, got with a boy to have some fun, he was suddenly all "oh I want to try again". I said yes, moved in again and realized I lost all respect for him during those months. I couldn't do it, I felt trapped and I left for good a few weeks later.
It's my story, and we weren't married. If you chose to stay, go to couples therapy because this won't work well without. And watch things closely, maybe you are better of without him (I was).
Come To Terms With Being Seen As His "Toy"Giphy
Like a child, he is only interested in his toys when they're about to be taken away. It's no coincidence he became a lot more interested in reconciliation only after it occurred to him that you were about to move on.
Expect that interest to evaporate as soon as you appear okay with going back to the status quo of being his celibate roommate.
Remind Yourself It's A Betrayal
I genuinely don't know if I can get past that hurt and what feels like betrayal
It is a betrayal, and you shouldn't forgive it.
He told you in January that he wanted to break up with you. He presumably meant it, because you do not tell your partner of 9 years you want to end the relationship unless you mean it. And now he just wants you to forget the last 9 months of misery, loss, loneliness, and self-reflection, and just carry on the marriage as though the last year didn't happen?
No. He doesn't deserve you. If he regrets his mistake, that's on him. He can live with it. You are not a yoyo he can spin around at his whim.
Remember How Far You've ComeGiphy
He's using you as a safety net. Now that you've shown him that you are more than capable of being happy without him, and with men other than him, he feels jealous. Who knows what he's been doing while he was "alone", but I suspect that if he's pursued other women, he has not been as successful, if at all.
I would move forward with your separation. You seem like you've gotten to the point where you want a divorce more than you want to be married to him, and frankly I don't think this relationship has much of a shelf life if you do decide to stay married to him.
Think Of What's Going On Behind The Scenes
His girlfriend dumped him. If you take him back he will do this again when he gets another girlfriend.
Make Past Actions KnownGiphy
An ex put me through this. The breakup blindsided me unlike in this case, and was really upsetting. But after a couple months I was pretty much ok with it. Can't make someone be with you, right? And I want to be with someone who WANTS to be with me. Not someone I have to convince. So I told him nah, I don't want to be friends, he was right, we should both just move on.
Well then he starts sending me flowers and sh-t and asking why I don't want to talk to him. Uh...... because you dumped me, maybe?
In the end I had to get forceful with HIM. You broke up. It's over. You made your choice, stop calling, stop emailing, you wanted to move on so move tf on.
I don't believe he was cheating. I saw no signs. I think he was just a broken confused person who thrived on NRE and drama. He wasn't interested anymore when we started to get comfortable in the relationship so then he had to create drama to keep it interested.
It's Okay To Acknowledge This Is Hard...
I agree with other posters that he likely either had someone on the side that dumped him, and you are his safety net, or he sees you moving on and doesn't know how to process the feelings of jealousy and possessiveness that are cropping up, or some combination of the two.
But, this is about you and how you feel... I would say it's totally reasonable to feel hurt, betrayed, and as if you have "shut down" and have nothing left to give to this person and this relationship. Honestly, people can't just throw you away and expect to pick you up in the same condition they set you down. You are right to protect yourself moving forward. But only you can decide if that means ending this for good and moving on, or trying again with this guy with both eyes open.
Personally, I know for me, once someone shows me I'm disposable when shit gets real, I'm inclined to believe them and find someone who can commit. So no, "should you" isn't a question you should be asking. "Can I" or "Do I want to?" is the question you should be asking yourself. If the answer is no, give yourself permission to accept that.
Will it be hard to separate from someone you grew up with? Sure, but that doesn't mean you should force yourself to stay in a relationship that is no longer working.
...But, Remember This Simple Piece Of Advice:Giphy
As the saying goes, "if it's not HELL YES, it's no."
Your husband keeps changing his mind. That's not a hell yes. You deserve someone who doesn't even have to THINK about whether they want to be with you.
I hope you find them. This one blew his shot.