Conflicting words and actions

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2007
Conflicting words and actions
Sun, 04-28-2013 - 7:09pm

I'm new to the boards.

I'm finding a lot of solice in all of your posts.

I'd like to offer up my story to gain a bit of percpective from others who are going through seperation/divorce.

My estranged husband and I were together for 15 years, married for 4.  We've had our issues of course, especially since we were so young when we first got together. So the events that have transpired aren't in a vaccuum.  The past year has been packed with confusing, hurtful, and life changing events.  We were seperated off and on for 5 months, he came back for 2 weeks with true definition that we would work it out and be together. Then I found out he was cheating and I need time.  It was then he decided that we needed to get a divorce.  I didn't and still don't. 

But, he moved out to LA with his sister about 2 months ago.  That felt like a pretty big definate that there would be no chance for us. 

At least once a week I get a call from him.  He tells me how much and why he misses me.  He tells me he wishes it all turned out differently.  And all the while he is usually balling.  He hasn't sent the paper work for our divorce so I can file out here.

I'm having trouble with all of this because I want to hear from him, I like hearing that he misses me, it gives me so much hope. But it doesn't change the fact that he is across the country and doesn't mention getting back together.

I don't know what direction to head.  Is he playing with me to help ease his pain and transition? Or is it worth holding out with hope that he will want this marriage again?

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Sun, 04-28-2013 - 7:22pm


Welcome to the board. I hope you find helpful advice and experience here.

Have you talked with a divorce attorney in your city? If not, I advise you to do so ASAP. No.1 you need to know your rights and responsibilities in the event of divorce. You also need to know if you're going to have to pull the trigger on the divorce. You should begin by gathering up all your financial information: bank accounts, insurance policies, 401Ks, bills, credit cards, loans, etc. You'll need this to give the attorney a fair view of what you've got to divide.

Secondly, it always fascinates me that often the spouse who leaves always tries to insure you're still on the hook. Did your husband leave for another person? Or, was it along the lines of "I don't love you any more," or "We have grown apart?" Either way, he's hedging his bets. If he moved across the country perhaps he thought if he was physically that far away it would be easier for him to leave the marriage. (Or the other person lives there and he's testing the stability of the relationship by moving to that community).

Here's the bottom line: by calling you once a week and expressing love and regret, he's keeping you on the hook, just in case whomever he left you for doesn't work out. And don't think for one instant that's not possible. Even if there isn't anyone else, he's probably acutally unsure about the consequences of actually divorcing you, that's why you haven't seen any papers.

Truth is, sooner or later the pain of indecision or not being able to move forward will outweigh the pain of rejection and you will file the papers. Be prepared for more tears, begging, and other words that make you wonder if you're making a mistake.

Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2007
Sun, 04-28-2013 - 7:52pm

Thank you for your response wisdomtooth2020. 

"Truth is, sooner or later the pain of indecision or not being able to move forward will outweigh the pain of rejection and you will file the papers."

This really resonates with me because I have twinges of wtf and feel really motivated to file.  But I'm really not on board for this divorce.  Somedays it makes me feel pathetic and desperate. Other days I feel good for "waiting".  And some days I don't even think about it and just go along with my life.  The rollercoaster is maddening.  So when is enough, enough? 

He said he left because he thought we had grown apart.  We were seperated for 4 months.  He came back for 2 weeks and wanted it to work and then I found out he had been cheating on me. After that he said that was it. Divorce was the only option.  We went to file papers in February.  He moved to LA in March. He could be trying out a relationship but he tells me it's not like that. I don't think he understands the actual enormity of a divorce.

If I filed I would absolutely question if it is a mistake.  I know his actions should really be speaking louder than his words but the hook is really deep.  I'm having some real trouble knowing what to do. My gut, my head, my heart are in a constant battle.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 04-29-2013 - 4:43pm

I think at some point you will just be tired of waiting around and then you will want to file.  Unless there is some financial issue now (like you would need an order for temp. child support or something like that) you don't have to do it before you are sure.  When he calls and gives you the sob story, then I would put the burden back on him--if he misses you so much, then it was his decision to move away--you didn't tell him to go, and if he thinks he wants to get back together, then what is he doing to make the marriage work out?  Otherwise it's basically all hot air and maybe feeling sorry for himself.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Tue, 04-30-2013 - 1:55am

"We were seperated off and on for 5 months, he came back for 2 weeks with true definition that we would work it out and be together. Then I found out he was cheating"

When was he cheating? During the 2 weeks, during the separation period, or at some earlier time in the past 15 yrs? Interesting that when you are the one to say "I need time" he decides to bail, when 2 wks before he was ready to work it out.

What do you think about setting a "deadline" in your own mind, for when would be a reasonable time for him to have reassessed the situation and to know if he wants to move back and try again, or be done with it. Like others said he could be just keeping you on the hook to feed his ego or in case things don't work out in L.A. Or he's one of those guys who think "I don't want to be with her but I don't want anybody else to have her either".

15 years is a long time to be with somebody so its not going to be easy to walk away from it without any sadness or misgivings for mistakes made. He may be telling the truth when he says he misses you and wishes it had worked out differently, but that is not the same thing at all as saying "I made a mistake, I'm truly sorry, and I want to prove it to you that we can work this through".

I think you need to be thinking about if YOU want this marriage again: do you want to be with a guy who cheats, with a guy who plays with your head, who doesn't seem to know his own feelings?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2007
Tue, 04-30-2013 - 12:40pm

He cheated on me and then decided we should seperate.  During that time he was still talking to this girl (icing on the cake is she's 22) My trouble with that was he lied about it when I asked him point blank in a very unthreatening way.

He has said that he bailed because he didn't think we could recover from yet another strain.  I think a lot of that comes from shame and inability to take ownership for his actions. 

I think setting a personal deadline would be a good idea.  Last time I did this for myself is when he came back.  And then the whole process started again.

Wrestling with the confliction between feelings and rationality and has been my biggest obstical. Rationally, why should I put up with this? He's seemed to have made his decision by moving away and initiating the process, what am I holding on to?  But emotionally I am so attached. I love who he is at his core but of course there are serious flaws could trump that. And then there's the whole "for better or worse"  I commited to him for a reason.  And then it comes back around to holding on to someone that doesn't want you.  I just seem to be going in circles.

Thank you for all of your responses. Each one gives me a bit more perspective.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Tue, 04-30-2013 - 3:03pm

"He has said that he bailed because he didn't think we could recover from yet another strain.  I think a lot of that comes from shame and inability to take ownership for his actions. "

Until he is willing to take ownership and do everything it takes to prove to you that you can trust him again, your relationship cannot be repaired. The fact that he chose to move thousands of miles away speaks volumes. Maybe he doesn't want to make the effort to rebuild from another strain?

"I love who he is at his core but of course there are serious flaws could trump that."

What are his core values that you love? Have you made a list of his pros vs his cons?

It sounds like he has driven all of the changes in your relationship: he decided to separate, to get back together, to part again. Have you made any of the decisions or are you just riding the tide to see what he will do next?

I suggest going several weeks of NC (no contact) and see if that helps to clear your mind. Regularly hearing things that give you hope (that may be false) is probably clouding the issue. Meanwhile try to go out with friends, take up a hobby, etc so you can experience having a life without him in it. If at the end of that NC time you still want to work things out, ask him point blank when he will be ready to accept responsibility for his actions and work on rebuilding your relationship.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Tue, 04-30-2013 - 7:18pm


Then you're not ready to be the one to pull the trigger. Maybe you won't be; he will. Either way, one of you will not be able to stay in limbo forever and that person will file.

Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2007
Thu, 05-02-2013 - 3:28pm

I don't feel ready to pull the trigger.

But it's exhausting just allowing things to happen to me. I need more control over my life. I feel foolish.

Two days ago he called me two nights in a row upset that he missed me. It eventually turned into bickering and pointing blame on me.  So he takes me on this rollercoaster with him.  He gives me this hopeful feeling and then rips it away all over again.  I allow it to happen.  I am too available to be walked all over.  It's because I trust him against all odds.  When will I recognize that I can't trust him.

I've started.

I told him to send me his paperwork for a joint  divorce by the weekend.  If I don't have it by Tuesday I will be filing on my own.

Thank you for all your words of wisdom and encouragement. I truly appreciate it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Thu, 05-02-2013 - 4:34pm


It does appear that your husband holds the cards and that you need to take some power back.. Good for you in recongnizing that and hopefully you will gain power more and more ...

So if you file it will show that you mean business and then your husband will either work on the marriage or he will sign the papers ... This way you will get out of limbo and move on and get closure. What I find when I got my divorce years ago was the closure that I needed after many years of verbal abuse and me leaving ex and trying to survive.. After I got the closure and that took about two years we both wanted the divorce.. Only thing mine sued me because I refused to pay an attorney so when he sued me my attorney only charged me l,500 dollars.. and being in a support group and counseling helped me alot.. It was not easy and there was no easy way but it was done.. My ex had a gfriend already the time we were separated and although my ex is a nut it still hurt alot but you get through somehow....

There were times I had to take  control and take power back so that ex couldnt walk all over me. Yes I know that feeling for sure..

You never know if you do get divorced your ex could come crawling back and what is the worse that could happen? you get back together or get married again or both move on..

Good luck