Dear Chump Lady,
Why did it take two months after D-Day for my husband of 19 years to come to me crying, apologizing and saying there is no-place else he would rather be than home with me?
He left me and my son two months before D-day. I felt it was all a load of crap and avoided him for the next two weeks while he continued to cry and sleep in his car in my driveway. Then all of a sudden, POOF it stopped, why?
He completely changed and said he was fine, why? That was a month ago and since then I had a change of heart (temporary) and asked him to come home. His answer was no, (WTF?). He felt he would rather go on a date instead. He said he didn’t think he is strong enough to handle the way things would be because of what he did.
I think I’m losing it. How much twisting of my mind can he do? I actually asked him to spend the night twice this month to be with his son (sleep on the couch) and he said no-thank you, I’d rather not because it might be too confusing for our son (16). Also, he says he has been finished with the OW for two months.
Seriously I’m about to stab him in the neck with an ice pick only I don’t have one. What the hell is going on?????
Stop trying to untangle the skein of fuckupedness. Who cares what is going on in his mind? Ask yourself — is this relationship acceptable to YOU? He had an affair and he walked out on you. Whether he’s still with the OW or they broke up doesn’t matter. He abandoned you and your son, refuses to work on the marriage, or see his son. What exactly here do you think you have to work with?
His pitiful latter day “sorry”? That didn’t last terribly long.
For what it’s worth, my guess is he’s probably still in his affair or dating. He would prefer the narrative in which he’s not a cheater, so he says the OW isn’t in the picture. He’s Not Such a Bad Person. He’d probably also prefer to not sleep in the driveway or on a sofa.
Look, I think he’s a crapweasel, but he has a point that returning to sleep at home would be confusing to your son. Your son is a teenager. They can grab a bite to eat, go see a movie. Dad sleeping over is more about you trying to preserve the appearance of familial normalcy. And this shit isn’t normal. Dad walked out. Dad is dating. Those are good signs you should be seeing a divorce attorney, not fluffing the pillows awaiting his return.
And sleeping over isn’t about your son, Debbie, it’s about YOU. It sounds like you threw him out and then had second thoughts about that. Perhaps, at some level, you enjoyed him doing the pick me dance for you, feigning his apologies and sleeping in the driveway trying to prove himself. You wouldn’t be the first chump to think those tears are for you and signified True Remorse.
When you took him at his word, that there is “no place he’d rather be” than home with you — he poofed. So, Debbie, it wasn’t real remorse. It was genuine imitation naugahyde remorse. It’s time to trust that he sucks.
See, the problem with most cheaters, is that they don’t stay gone. They boomerang for kibbles. Perhaps the OW threw him out, perhaps there’s more than one OW, maybe the air mattress got deflated. Who knows? But he came back because he wanted something from you — cake, a bed to sleep in, sympathy for the affliction of his stupidity — and you asserted yourself. You said no. So, he eventually figured you couldn’t be played and he went looking for a new sucker.
Now, if he were really, truly remorseful, he would not have put you in that position. He could’ve asked respectfully to work on the marriage, stayed nearby, been transparent, gone to counseling, provided immediate temporary support orders. There were many ways he could’ve demonstrated his sorry other than some sit-down strike in your driveway.
He didn’t do those things. When you caved, when you relented to have him back — he met your vulnerability with more mindfuckery.
Nowhere in your letter do you say he’s been direct with you. “I want a divorce. Let’s work out a settlement.” No, he speaks in mixed messages. He wants his family back. He doesn’t want to “confuse” anyone. He’s not “strong” enough to handle reconciliation. (Poor sausage.)
Mixed messages are to goad you into the pick me dance. “Please come home!” or “I won’t make demands of you in reconciliation, if you’re feeling weak!”
In other words, he’d like you to beg him back into cake-eating.
Don’t do it, Debbie. Face that he’s given you NOTHING to work with here, and lawyer up. (((Big hugs)))