Fiance's behaviour erratic and confusing. Should I take him back?
October 20, 2010 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Fiance's behaviour erratic and confusing. Should I take him back?

In a strange dilemma. The 35-year-old man that I fell in love with and was convinced would father my children walked out on me earlier this year. He said he wasn't sure if he was in love with me and felt pressured at the prospect of marriage. He disappeared for five months, only to return later and explain that "we should be friends".

Now, eight months later, he's completely regretful and in a total mess. He's proposed marriage, explained that he had bags of issues that he was trying to sort out and felt inadequate around me. He assured me there was no one else involved just a heapful of "psychological issues that he was working through".

I'm confused, my head says, you've invested seven years together, make this happen. Heart says, NO NO NO - I can't go through the pain of this again.

I have to say, he is not a bad man. He has a kind and gentle heart. I'm just more confident and self-assured, which I think makes him feel inadequate sometimes.

I do want to take him back, but am veering on the side of caution. We're meeting up next week and I'm wondering what it is I should say. Thoughts?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (19 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This is a stunt post. You are banned for a week for abusing Ask MeFi. -- mathowie

 
Give him a chance.

Trust, but verify.
posted by General Tonic at 10:22 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, is this guy your maybe partner? I don't mean that in a flip way; the stories and timelines mesh perfectly.

I think this kind of drama makes it really difficult to make decisions in any kind of clear-headed way - outsize emotions and situations with big gestures make it impossible to look at things with perspective. Just wait. Wait six months or a year, build the life you want without him, and then see if he and where he is at that point would make a good addition to that life. Trying to build something on the current rocky footing is no way to start a life together.
posted by peachfuzz at 10:23 AM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


...this story sounds familar.

You're not spaceandtime30's ex are you?
posted by missmagenta at 10:24 AM on October 20, 2010


Um... is your fiance by any chance this gent?
posted by julthumbscrew at 10:24 AM on October 20, 2010


This sounds very much like the "other side" of these previous Asks.
posted by phunniemee at 10:26 AM on October 20, 2010


oops
posted by phunniemee at 10:26 AM on October 20, 2010


You're not spaceandtime30's ex are you?

Hmm, you're not spaceandtime30 trying to see what advice your ex would get from AskMe, are you?

Too cynical?
posted by headnsouth at 10:29 AM on October 20, 2010 [13 favorites]


So, either this guy is your fiancé, or YOU are that guy, playing a trick on us.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:29 AM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe take him back but give it a lot of lot of time before you let it get serious. I would wait months before considering this a serious relationship again, and years (multiple years) before calling him your fiance again.
posted by natteringnabob at 10:30 AM on October 20, 2010


Give him a chance. Do it on your terms, but it seems to me that your heart has a strong inclination towards a certain course of events. Let it happen. Best of luck.
posted by gadha at 10:31 AM on October 20, 2010


I would wait until he is stable psychologically to make this decision. He needs to be seeing a therapist and making notable progress.

There is the chance that there is an underlying psychological issue that has caused his erratic behavior and until that is definitively ruled out, it would be madness to expect his behavior to change.

I also suggest couples counseling once he's more stable, to help you both make this decision together and discuss expectations, fears, etc. You may still decide that you're not interested but it will help add some time, thought, and structure to this process.

I rarely suggest therapy here but this is far beyond anything you could hope to manage on your own.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:32 AM on October 20, 2010


Somebody that abruptly walks out on you is not your fiance, he's your ex-fiance. And how can you ever trust that he wouldn't do this regularly? I think for you, and especially for your theoretical kids' sakes, you should move on. You (and they) need someone reliable. Dropping out and disappearing for eight months is not the best indicator of reliability.
posted by headspace at 10:32 AM on October 20, 2010


You all can take your speculations to the contact form, but anon questions are approved by mods.

Stop derailing.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:32 AM on October 20, 2010


Hmm, you're not spaceandtime30 trying to see what advice your ex would get from AskMe, are you?

I considered that too but I was being nice ;)

If you are that guy's ex, he seems sincere but it also seems like he has a long way to go psychologically - he's making the effort but he's not there yet.
posted by missmagenta at 10:34 AM on October 20, 2010


If you get back together, I think you're basically going to have to start over from scratch -- which means not dismissing or forgiving things as confidently as you might after 7 years together, but instead trying to evaluate his quirks and problems as if you had just met.

Five months is a LONG TIME to disappear. Easing back in ought to be something you do very slowly, in case you need to get back out again right away. If he can't take it slow like this, then you still have a very big problem. In fact, the fact that he proposed.

BTW, don't suppose it could be this guy?
posted by hermitosis at 10:34 AM on October 20, 2010


(Boy, in the time I took to search...)
posted by hermitosis at 10:34 AM on October 20, 2010


Metalk thread to talk about identities. Give anonymous a bit of room here, people.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:35 AM on October 20, 2010


...and if you're not, we really can't know what will happen either way but having 'invested seven years' into the relationship is not a good enough reason to stay with him. Listen to your heart.
posted by missmagenta at 10:36 AM on October 20, 2010


Whatever factors led him to break up with you in the first place haven't gone away. If it was a problem in the relationship that he perceived, those problems will still be there. If it was some sort of mental instability or similar on his part, he is still going to be struggling with those difficulties. What you need to remember (and need to remind him) is that, whether it was a good outcome or not, something led to the two of you breaking up before. If you want to try again, I suggest you make it contingent on the two of you exploring what, exactly, led to that outcome last time.

In the end, you get to decide how committed you want to be to this person. You get to decide if he's worth trying again, at all, and how slowly you should take it this time, if you want to at all. If you decide it's worth another shot, you'll be doing both of you a favor for insisting to go slowly, feel things out, and work to understand what happened before.

It's up to you. It depends on what you want.

(And you definitely can turn to those previous threads to find some good insight into this sort of situation. You'll be able to see what other people told someone in a situation eerily similar to your ex's, and you'll also be able to get some insight into what sorts of things might be going on in your ex's own mind.)
posted by meese at 10:37 AM on October 20, 2010


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