Anyone else getting on with ex but feeling confused by lockdown?

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    Has anyone else had to spend lockdown with their ex as they’re no-one else? It seems like everyone else is at war on here but we are getting on ok. We have both made a huge, huge effort to get on to support each other and the children during lockdown as there is no -one else to help. I think we’ve coped really well but 2 months in its really taking it’s toll. The pressure of having to be nice and controlled in front of the children is hard. He is getting very upset at not being in the family home (he moved into a house around the corner as lockdown started) and I feel really bad for him. neither of us can move on whilst this is going on and we’re both confused as to what we want. He’s scared that directly lockdown is over I’ll need him less and we’ll both move on and he’ll be more lonely. which I feel so guilty about. We’re both desperate to see friends and family to help us get perspective on this. I think he’d get back together but I really don’t think I can go back. There has been too much hurt and abuse and heartache. I just don’t believe he’ll ever change that much.</span>

    My husband shut down from me completely during our marriage and was emotionally abusive, shouted at me and the boys and turned us into anxious wreaks. we were all so broken and lived walking on eggshells. I was scared of his reactions as he would question everything i did or said and critisize. He is undiagnosed ASD like his father and has lived with shouting and negative responses his whole life. As a result he never coped well with my autistic sons outbursts and regularly made him distressed too, which was harrowing. He refused to talk about money and never shared any financial information with me, I basically spent 10 years raising the children alone whilst his job was his biggest focus. He was always good around the house and helped with domestic chores, always did the right thing by us but we didn’t ever have calm, love or happiness. Over the years I grew so indifferent to him and actually ended up hating him and was desperate to shield the children from his anger. Sex was a massive issue too. In the end I couldn’t take any more and had an affair (horiffic I know), but finished it after he had a complete breakdown when he found out. So we have both hurt each other. Roll forward and many, many chats later we have finally sorted our finances out, both are having separate therapy and he has moved out to a place around the corner. Unfortunately this has all happened just as lockdown started. So we decided to make a huge effort to get on for the sake of the children as we realised we’d only have each other and he was keen to still be able to help me out with the children, which is great. So the lockdown has forced us to be civil and given us time to talk more. We both recognise where things went wrong, he is hugely regretful of the way he treated us and is getting therapy to work on his anger issues. Obviously he cannot forget my affair but does understand why he pushed me away. I feel tremendous guilt for what I did. I handled it so badly. So he is still coming round everyday to see the boys or have dinner with us and at first it was ok and the boys have two parents not fighting who are supporting each other and being respectful. However two months in and it is getting so hard. He is really struggling as its so painful for him to have to come to the family home and then leave again. I feel awful for him. I helped him assemble some IKEA furniture the other day at his and it was weird being at his. We’re like two friends that don’t really like each other and are awkward. I keep looking at him to see if I can feel a glimmer of love again. I keep looking to see if I can love him again, but I just don’t think I can. He still doesn’t trust me, he still checks to see what time I’m up until on whatsapp and checks my facebook. I have to keep all my browsing history deleted on my laptop as I know he’s go snooping to see what I’ve been looking at. I still see glimpses of the old times (like if I am late I get this knot in my stomach and fear that he’s going to be cross with me) and sometimes he still can’t handle my autistic son, which is distressing. I am a teaching assistant and look after special needs children and have a very calm restorative approach to parenting and our house is lovely and calm with just the 4 of us. no fear. But he doesn’t understand my approach and always thinks hard discipline is best. I can’t bear it. I don’t see I will ever be truly free from him anyway so sometimes I think whats the point in fighting for my own life. I will never be able to go on dating sites as he’ll be checking to see if my profile is there. He will always like to have some control in my life. He is still texting me to check i’ve put the bin out etc.. But he loves the children and dog so much it breaks my heart. He is a good man and has our best interests at heart. We both so miserable. How do we move on?

    #40418 Report

    south London

    Hi little DF,

    i am not sure what advice I can give .. but just thought I let you know I recognize a lot in your story. My ex and I are also the only one in south London of our family / friends and therefor we had to get closer because of the lockdown. It also gave both of us weirdly time to think as I was made furloughed so could just focus on our 2 year old daughter, which helped him as he still needed to work. It meant that he could take her for the weekend , so I got some actual time for me!

    Its stange, my ex cheated on me and left by the time our daughter was 4 months old . (We had been together for 10 years and our daughter was planned ) Those first few months were horrible and so messy when we broke up. He moved in with the new girl and after some fighting he came to see that he couldn’t walk away from our daughter so we started to share her care.

    Fast forward a year and a half later of slowly building up trust in my ex again, two months into the lockdown and he has broken up with the new girl. ( probably lock down stress..) It is true , we have been spending more and more time together, we are still getting on very well as I feel i worked hard at that new being parent together relationship. Spending time with him is not unpleasant.. He is saying he want to start our relationship again.  But I really don’t know what to do. My feelings have changed, I have changed and yet before all this I was so happy with him.. and as you say: he will always be part of my life any way! You

    I would say just hold on, don’t give in! this lock down gives every one a distorted view of life really. It might be very hard for your ex now, and yes maybe even harder when lock down stops but it might just be the only way for him to get happy in the future. To get through this lonely stage and learn from it.. His children will always be there, perhaps explain that you are not taking his children away from him.

    About the cheating: there is a very good book on cheating by Esther perel. It really helped me to understand how my ex could do such a thing, and it might help you with your feelings?

    Hope this is of any help.

    #45568 Report

    I needaliein

    Hi little DF, am new to Gingerbread, but recognised something of the reason I joined in your post. My ex has undiagnosed aspergers, and a similar attitude on control of me &  harsh discipline for our child. We got on well enough thru 1st lockdown and managed to work together sharing childcare etc a bit more…but the strain began to tell on me. He would turn up every single day, not engage with our daughter, who would then play up to get attention…and leave me tense and exhausted with a strung out child to get to bed…He crossed the boundaries with our daughter a few weeks ago,  completely lost his temper and was physically and verbally aggressive to her…He still does not think he did anything wrong because ‘she was being naughty’. She didn’t want to see him and certainly didn’t want to be left alone with him after that. The new lockdown I am finding hard and lonely, but honestly, home is so much calmer without him here. My daughter and I are both more relaxed as I.m not having to constantly manage her behaviour and his moods to stop him from losing it…I know what you mean about never being free, but you are entitled to happiness and to be with someone who values you and enriches your life rather making it harder. Keep going, things will get better 🙂

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