I stumbled upon your blog after my husband cheated on me for the third time, and then left me shortly after our second child got home from the NICU. So firstly, thank you. Reading all of your articles got me through the first couple of dark months.
I’m writing you because my husband has had a classic change of heart and has been trying his hardest to get me to come back. And sadly, it feels like it’s been working lately. He is in therapy and has apparently been diagnosed with BPD. At times I see him saying everything I wish I would have heard years ago. He says he realizes he was too wrapped up in himself to take care of my emotional needs. He deleted the dating profiles he created the second the word divorce passed his lips. He says he’s learning to like himself.
He’s also willingly missed his days with our older kiddo and then called me names when I asked him not to bail again, so I’m not completely delusional and convincing myself that he’s truly a unicorn.
Here’s the thing. I’m really struggling with thinking about the future. I feel like the strong, take no shit woman I wanted to be in my twenties some days, and others I feel really lonely. I worry about my kids and how this all will impact them. I’m sad about selling our home that I was so excited to buy. I never liked being single and I was really happy to put my single days behind me, or so I thought. So every time he texts me to tell me that he loves and misses me, a tiny part of me wants to give him a second chance.
So please lay it on me. Tell me that giving him a fourth chance would be the biggest mistake of my life. I promise to come back and read your response every time I even remotely consider it.
Here’s your giveaway sentence that your husband is still a bag of flaming dog shit.
He says he’s learning to like himself.
Oh the poor moppet. He abandons you with an NICU infant because he doesn’t LIKE himself? However are we going to bolster such a sad sausage? Tell him how pretty his hair looks? Compliment his sweater? Buy him an ice cream? We must keep all the flattery flowing lest his self-esteem falters and he fucks a rando.
HE LIKES HIMSELF JUST FINE. Too much in fact. He’s an entitled fuckwit.
Don’t you see the implied threat here? By casting this little “I abuse my wife and children” problem as an “I don’t like myself” problem he makes it ALL ABOUT HIM. Cradling his fragile ego. Catering to his ever-changing happiness index. Mustn’t hold him accountable! He might not “like himself”!
He should DESPISE himself for what he’s done. But he doesn’t! He feels totally ENTITLED to reconciliation and a FOURTH chance with you. Batshit ENTITLED.
If I spilled red wine all over your white sofa three times (oops!), should I insist on a fourth glass of merlot?
If I stole from the till, should I demand that they make me bank president?
If I sprinkle arsenic on the cupcakes, should I be invited to another company picnic?
He has absolutely NO RIGHT to “try his hardest to win you back”!
He says he realizes he was too wrapped up in himself to take care of my emotional needs.
Oh here’s an idea — he can RESPECT your emotional need for safety and BOUNDARIES and getting away from him. He can stop being “wrapped up in himself” (read — desperately needy for a chump) and welcome the consequences of his abhorrent behavior. He should make this an easy divorce. He should be generous. He should hold up his end of the parenting and SHOW THE FUCK UP FOR HIS CHILD.
He hasn’t done that? THERE IS YOUR SORRY.
And you, Thrice, you need some goddamn boundaries. Put down the hopium pipe and commit to NO CONTACT.
I’m really struggling with thinking about the future.
Well, you need a vision. Let’s imagine a strong take-no-shit woman enjoying the peace and tranquility that comes from not living with an abusive fuckwit. Imagine not being called names. Imagine joy. Imagine your walls singing.
I feel like the strong, take no shit woman I wanted to be in my twenties some days, and others I feel really lonely.
There is absolutely nothing lonelier than living with a remorseless cheater. (Oh but he feels remorse! I hear you say. No, he does not. See how I’ve laid out the evidence above.)
Some times new lives are lonely. But they’re lonely and peaceful and have the possibility of adding good company. You are lonely now with chaos and abuse and a man who does not respect or love you. Or his children. No loving person could abandon you as you came home from the NICU. That’s front row seat in hell, unforgivable.
You don’t need THAT person to un-lonely you. There are a bazillion people on this planet more worthy of spending time with. Like, I’d rather have a conversation with the county tax assessor about graduated income rates than 5 seconds with a fuckwit who abandons BABIES.
I worry about my kids and how this all will impact them.
Don’t model abuse. That will impact them. Be mighty and build a new life and teach them how to have boundaries with fuckwit dad. Live that example.
I’m sad about selling our home that I was so excited to buy.
No one gets out of divorce unscathed. There will be other homes. You don’t keep an abusive fuckwit because you like your granite countertops. Slap yourself and put your values in order.
I never liked being single and I was really happy to put my single days behind me, or so I thought.
Single isn’t a defect. Fronting a fake marriage to take back a fuckwit for a FOURTH time is a defect. It’s a very bad look.
I understand wanting to be coupled and there is nothing wrong with that, but you should not want it so badly that you will accept ABUSE and model that to your children.
Humans are notoriously bad at threat assessment. Your imaginary time alone at a bar stool, or being stood up for a date, or having an awkward coffee with a man who flips his collar is not on par with the suffering you’re living now. The suffering you will CONTINUE to suffer because he WILL NOT CHANGE because he HAS NOT CHANGED. (See “name calling” and “demanding reconciliation” also “mindfuckery”.)
So every time he texts me to tell me that he loves and misses me, a tiny part of me wants to give him a second chance.
Oh really? Because a tiny part of me wants to stab his eye with a cocktail fork. Aren’t urges funny?
Block the phone. Quit taking his calls. Put down the hopium pipe.
This isn’t a second chance. (In the very next sentence you write “FOURTH” chance. I reckon it’s more like 1,765th chance.)
You are strong and you can do this. Please leave him for good. Big ((hugs)).