Does reconciliation ever work out? - Talk About Marriage
Reconciliation This forum is for those focused on reconciliation and success stories from people who have been through separation and reconciled successfully.

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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Does reconciliation ever work out?

My husband and I were married for 8 years. We have only been separated for about 2 months. We have been living apart and have not had any contact until Easter. Our kids have been living with me and he did not have visitation until Easter. We haven't spoken to each other, but he left a letter in one of our kids backpacks saying that he was going to change, that he was going to get help for problems that he has and he wants his family back together. I'm pregnant, due in 2 months, and emotionally a mess. It has been extremely difficult transitioning to a single parent and making a lot of sacrifices. I don't want to make the wrong decision, on either end of the spectrum.

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 08:06 PM
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Re: Does reconciliation ever work out?

Separations tend to make things worse. There needs to be interaction for things to progress well.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 08:39 PM
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Re: Does reconciliation ever work out?

What does he need to change?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 08:44 PM
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Re: Does reconciliation ever work out?

It is good to have a break, a breather however, you need to be taking some action, such as getting IC or MC, concrete steps to either fix it or to move on.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Does reconciliation ever work out?

If I were to decide to try to reconcile I would put in an effort to do so. As it stands right now I'm planning to let the divorce go through.

He is very controlling. He wants things done his way and only his way. Such as, our school-aged kids have been homeschooled (by me) because that's what he wanted. He chose what we had for dinner everyday, even though I was the one making it. He didn't control every single aspect of our life, but many. More towards me than our kids. Towards the end his control behavior got worse and he was doing things such as taking my cellphone or car keys and being very controlling and stuck in his ways towards sex. He wrote a 4 page letter about how he wants to fix himself, that he knows he has a problem and was wrong, doesn't want to lose our marriage and family. I don't want to be stupid and give him a chance, but I don't want to be stupid and not give him a chance.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:12 PM
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Re: Does reconciliation ever work out?

That isn't controlling, that's considered domestic violence/abuse. By taking your cell phone and keys is very abusive. If he is being honest about getting help, he needs individual counseling and then marital counseling.


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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 01:56 AM
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Re: Does reconciliation ever work out?

So there was no infidelity, right?

Before you tried to reconcile, he would need to go to counseling to learn not to be that way. And he would have to stop the abusive behavior for the rest of his life.

You too need to go to counseling because you allowed him to control and abuse you. You need to find out why you allowed it and how to never allow it again. If you don't do this, you will end up in another abusive relationship.

and then to reconcile, you two would also have to go to marriage counseling to learn completely new patterns in your relationship.

For example, you probably need to get a job. You should never put yourself into the position of letting him, or any man, being able to isolate you and control finances.

No one can tell you what to do.

If you want to try to fix your marriage get all the help you can so that both of you learn new behaviors. And do not move back in together until you both have been through counseling and you have a strong support system to help you if he relapses.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 02:11 AM
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Re: Does reconciliation ever work out?

People can change if they are committed to do so. He needs professional help as do you, you sound co-dependent. You have to ensure that your children grow up in a healthy environment.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Does reconciliation ever work out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hifromme67 View Post
That isn't controlling, that's considered domestic violence/abuse. By taking your cell phone and keys is very abusive. If he is being honest about getting help, he needs individual counseling and then marital counseling.
He said he already stared counselling and wanted to do marriage counselling as well when I felt ready.

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So there was no infidelity, right?

Before you tried to reconcile, he would need to go to counseling to learn not to be that way. And he would have to stop the abusive behavior for the rest of his life.

You too need to go to counseling because you allowed him to control and abuse you. You need to find out why you allowed it and how to never allow it again. If you don't do this, you will end up in another abusive relationship.

and then to reconcile, you two would also have to go to marriage counseling to learn completely new patterns in your relationship.

For example, you probably need to get a job. You should never put yourself into the position of letting him, or any man, being able to isolate you and control finances.

No one can tell you what to do.

If you want to try to fix your marriage get all the help you can so that both of you learn new behaviors. And do not move back in together until you both have been through counseling and you have a strong support system to help you if he relapses.
I am not aware of any infidelity. Maybe since we have been separated, but that wouldn't be infidelity I guess.

My husband said he has already started therapy and wants to do marriage counselling as well, when I'm ready. He has said a lot of things that will change and has implemented some of them.

I know that I have to learn to say no instead of going along with everything. When we first met I wasn't a pushover, but I wanted to keep him interested and it spiralled out of control.

I didn't want to give up my career. It was cheaper to stay home than put our children in daycare and private school. My husband wanted the older children homeschooled. I'm working on getting it back now.

I want to stay away from him because it was hard enough to leave the first time. But if we can work on it and fix it I don't want to let the divorce go through (long ways from that still).

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Originally Posted by aine View Post
People can change if they are committed to do so. He needs professional help as do you, you sound co-dependent. You have to ensure that your children grow up in a healthy environment.
I left because of my children. They have always been my top priority. When they could tell that something was wrong I left. I didn't want them to be exposed to that.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 08:51 AM
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Re: Does reconciliation ever work out?

Here is the thing, Y17...

Yes, people can change. However, it does not happen overnight. Also, for someone to COMPLETELY change (which is what is needed here) is rare. Normally, change is a 5 degree alteration in course trajectory, when he desperately needs 90 degrees or greater based upon what you have written.

I would let the divorce go through. Tell him that if he is committed, he can do individual counseling for a year following the conclusion of the divorce. Then, at the end of that year, you can reevaluate whether or not you want to try to reconcile based on how well he co-parents with you.

@turnera would have some good suggestions regarding things to look for in that year.

I'm sorry you are here, but glad that you recognize that things cannot continue for you as they are.

Take care.


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"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Does reconciliation ever work out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by farsidejunky View Post
Here is the thing, Y17...

Yes, people can change. However, it does not happen overnight. Also, for someone to COMPLETELY change (which is what is needed here) is rare. Normally, change is a 5 degree alteration in course trajectory, when he desperately needs 90 degrees or greater based upon what you have written.

I would let the divorce go through. Tell him that if he is committed, he can do individual counseling for a year following the conclusion of the divorce. Then, at the end of that year, you can reevaluate whether or not you want to try to reconcile based on how well he co-parents with you.

@turnera would have some good suggestions regarding things to look for in that year.

I'm sorry you are here, but glad that you recognize that things cannot continue for you as they are.

Take care.
It doesn't mean much because the bad outweighs the good, but he was a good in some aspects. He spent nearly all of his free time with me and the kids, he works a lot in a high stress job, he's really good with the kids, he always helped as much as he could with the house and kids. I want him to change, but he has always been this way. It was just hidden in the beginning. I want him to change for the right reasons, for himself and our kids. Not for the wrong reasons, to just get me back, to avoid the massive amount of child and spousal support he's getting slapped with, to have control again. I don't know if he is capable of the massive about of change that is required. I don't want to be thinking like this just because I miss him and life is hard right now.

I think, and I could be wrong, that if we go through the whole divorce process then that's it. We are not going to have a quick, easy divorce. There are too many factors and assets in play. It is going to destroy any chance at reconciling.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 11:44 AM
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Re: Does reconciliation ever work out?

It's extremely rare that people change. Usually because they do not believe they can. The people around them often remind them of who they are trying to no longer be.

I'm going to say something that may upset you, but the truth is, the quickest way to get him to change is for you to change yourself. If you change and you have the constant interaction with him, he will have no choice but change.

That means you will have to respond to his controlling behavior in ways that you have never done before. You will have to learn how to apply and enforce proper boundaries. You will have to learn to apply consequences for his actions while having patience as he learns to change. It will be just as difficult and awkward for you as it is for him. At least, it will at first.

Changing who you are is as simple as changing what you do and what you think. That said, it is so difficult for people to believe that they can change that they usually believe that divorce would be easier.

Truth is, it's only easier to believe in.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 12:43 PM
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Re: Does reconciliation ever work out?

This right here should tell you all you need to know.

If he were committed, he would be willing to take the year to work on his issues, which are large.

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I think, and I could be wrong, that if we go through the whole divorce process then that's it. We are not going to have a quick, easy divorce. There are too many factors and assets in play. It is going to destroy any chance at reconciling.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Does reconciliation ever work out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by As'laDain View Post
It's extremely rare that people change. Usually because they do not believe they can. The people around them often remind them of who they are trying to no longer be.

I'm going to say something that may upset you, but the truth is, the quickest way to get him to change is for you to change yourself. If you change and you have the constant interaction with him, he will have no choice but change.

That means you will have to respond to his controlling behavior in ways that you have never done before. You will have to learn how to apply and enforce proper boundaries. You will have to learn to apply consequences for his actions while having patience as he learns to change. It will be just as difficult and awkward for you as it is for him. At least, it will at first.

Changing who you are is as simple as changing what you do and what you think. That said, it is so difficult for people to believe that they can change that they usually believe that divorce would be easier.

Truth is, it's only easier to believe in.
Would having a lot to lose not give a person enough motivation to change?

For 8 years everything that he said went. I know that I would have a hard time standing my ground. I would have to learn to do it though, and not give wiggle room for him not to change. He has demonstrated that he has a temper, especially leading up to my leaving. It is another thing that he has to work on and I know it would make me nervous to be around him and go against what he wants. He has become physical to varying degrees and he said that he is working on that and won't come near me until he has it under control. There are other things that I would need him to do or agree to before I would feel comfortable being around him again. Hopefully in time the uncomfortable feelings would lessen.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Does reconciliation ever work out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by farsidejunky View Post
This right here should tell you all you need to know.

If he were committed, he would be willing to take the year to work on his issues, which are large.
He said that he would take as much time as needed to fix himself and allow me room to breathe. He didn't say anything about stopping or postponing the divorce but I just have a feeling that fighting in lawyers offices and court is not going to help our situation. We had a prenup that is being thrown out and he isn't happy about that.
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