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How do I tell him its over
I separated from my partner of 21 years almost 2 years ago. We have lived separately for 10 months. He has PTSD ( currently untreated). Long story short he wanted space, cheated and lied. He eventually stopped seeing the other woman. I told him he needed to sort himself out before we can even think about fixing us. I thought moving out would give him reason to do that. It hasn't. I tried to get him to talk about everything for a while. Now all of a sudden he wants us to start talking about things because its painful for him not knowing what we are doing and we need to either sort it out or move on. His words.
I'm worried about his mental state and how he is going to take it when I say we cant be together. He doesnt have any support close by except me and the kids (21, 18, 14). How do I tell him it's over and still be there for him?
Hello KLB, please let me welcome you to the forums.
A situation like yours is always very difficult when it involves yourself but in general unfortunately happens quite often, this doesn't make it any easier for you and I'm very sorry.
By separating doesn't give anybody the chance to cheat behind your back, it only complicates the situation and basically puts another spanner in the works.
If he has PTSD as you have said, then he needs to see his doctor and get the ball rolling, with possibly medication as well as counselling by a psychologist so that he can decide what he wants to do, but firstly if he wants to get back with you, he needs to stop seeing this other girl.
You need to ask the question to yourself whether or not this something you want to happen, get back or go your own way, and I think you have answered it in your last sentence.
You can’t rebuild your own self-esteem if you keep breaking promises you’ve made to yourself and whether you allow your partner to make promises he has to prove himself, however, just say that you will listen to him while he's being counselled if that's what you want to do.
Smart move looking for other perspectives on the matter and coming online for support and Geoff has given you a great response!
I think you need to put your own well-being first before any of this!
If this is a situation that you don't want to be in any longer or have the risk of it being on repeat, then there is your answer. But if you believe you can work it out, then go for it. In my opinion i think you should definitely have the conversation but maybe in a controlled environment with a couples councillor?
Maybe you could have a session or two first and express your concerns to them about his PTSD and how he'll cope with the news etc..?
It may even be worth reaching out to him suggesting he seeks support prior to agreeing to engage and sit down and talk through things or maybe even reach out to someone who he is close with? Family member, Work Colleague, mutual friend? (Can be risky as it's . quite personal)
You never though. Maybe once you speak, you may be able to work things out and find some sort of resolution between the two of you that works. These situations are always tricky but communication is the key. Being cheated on and lied to, really destroys the trust so i can totally see things from where you're standing and i think it's very sweet of you to still consider him and his mental health position before making any decision. You deserve a pat on the back for that i think!
So definitely have the talk, even if talking hurts, it's better to be all out in the open than to have things un-said or lied about. it makes it very difficult to move on regardless of which way you decide to go. Both of you, including him will need to make some kind of peace with it, i guess.
Another thought.. Maybe write down a pro's and con's list and discuss it with him and see if he sees things differently.?
I hope things work out for the best! Please push him to seek some professional help if he is suffering from PTSD or any other mental health condition.
Sending you positive vibes! Good luck! 🙂
Thanks for the replies Geoff and Rabbit33,
He was seeing the other woman long before we separated. So definitely cheating. He is no longer seeing her.
He has sought help for his PTSD previously, however after a few months on meds and a couple of counseling sessions he feels better and stops it all. He agreed to couples counseling at one point but changed his mind. He is very depressed at the moment and there is alot issues for him. His Dad passed away suddenly in November and he is struggling with finances and work.
Communication has never been his strong point. He seems to feel more comfortable discussing things over messenger rather than face to face. Which frustrates me. I have suggested he writes some things down before we talk. I feel like I am the one that has had do and change everything even though this is what he wanted. It still feels like it's all about what he wants. I tried to get him to talk about things for quite a while and I think I gave up on it a little because he wasnt putting in any effort. I went out drinking with some friends a couple of times and I think that scared the hell out of him. So now he wants to work on things. I dont think he realizes it's not going to be a quick fix.
The other thing I dont understand is why am I so afraid of hurting him after everything he has put me through?
Your last comment resonated with me. There have been many times I have considered leaving my husband but have not done so as I was always conscious of hurting him! Not me! Him!
I don't really know why this is. Maybe because a part of me will always love him.
Maybe I wanted the marriage to last and not fail at being a couple.
It could be a feeling of control perhaps, the control he has over me at times.
It may be an expectation I have from life experiences that people don't separate.
Have there been hurts in my past I have not faced that make me realise I don't want another to feel hurt by my actions?
Can you write down your thoughts and see if you come up with any reasons and ideas for why you don't want to hurt your husband.
Writing things down can certainly clear the mind.
Hope you manage to work out which way you want to go and feel comfortable withthat decision.
Cheers from Dools
Thanks for your reply Dools.
I think for a long time I excused some of his behaviour because of his mental health issues. I just cant do that anymore.
We had a talk today. Everything still seems to be about him and what he wants. I told him we cant be together and that we will try to sort us out after he sorts himself out. He still seems to think that it is going to happen soon. It's going to take a while and there's no guarantee we will get back together.
He has agreed to get professional help again. But he seems more interested in working on us then himself. Hopefully he gets the help he needs.
Hello KLB, I think you are a good person because you can't be with someone when all they want to do is look after themselves and also you don't know how many sessions he will go to, as there is so much he needs to discuss with a therapist and then try and put it into practice.
I think you need to stick to what you have originally decided on doing and this is when he needs to respect your position and the situation you are now in because you know what you want and have made up your mind.
You're a sensible person and it's not going to be easy when he continues to do everything the way he wants.
Please keep in touch.
Hello KLB, sorry it's been a day or so for us to get back to you but have you thought about seeing a counsellor yourself.
Do you know where he is going or do not particularly care?
Yes I was seeing a counselor when we first separated, which helped a little. But I felt she was too interested in getting us back together. I have been meaning to go back to the doctor to find another one but havent as yet.
His father passed away recently and he has gone to help his step mother sort things out.
We had a talk before he left and I feel like he is not understanding that we cant work on us until he sorts himself out. Even then there is no guarantee that we will fix things. I am not ready at all to risk going back and having my heart crushed again. I feel like everything is still on his terms and all about what he wants.
It has dragged on for way too long and I think maybe it's just too late.