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My Ex-husband Tells Me He Wants To Be With Me Again But Won't Move Out Of His Girlfriend's House


I have a really messed up situation that I hope some sort of enlightenment can help.

My ex-husband and I have been trying to work things out, we have a 3 year old son. When we were married, he had an affair on me with the woman he is living with currently. Well, he left her saying that he made the biggest mistake of his life leaving me and our son but moved out into his own home. He did not want to be with her anymore. He lost his job and couldnt make it so he asked her if he could move back in just for a bit to get things together then he will be gone again. He didn’t ask me to move in because at the time we werent talking, I was still upset about the whole situation, divorce, etc.

These past couple of months, he has been telling me that he made the biggest mistake of his life and that he will do anything to get us back, and wants to make sure that I trust him again, and that there is absolutely nothing going on with her, but he doesn’t have the resources to move out anywhere right now. I will admit I still do love him, and I would like for things to work out eventually, not only for us but our son.

My HUGE problem is that, now if I am going to make the effort to work on things with him, I DO NOT want him living there or having anything to do with her. I told him that to make things work, you cannot be living there, so I offered for him to move back in. That way he can be with his son again full time, which is what he missed the most, but would make things easier for me to deal with as well with her being out of the picture. He keeps saying that he can’t move out of there yet, but he will when the time is right. And that I should be looking at the situation as this is only a stumbling block and that when he is back, we have the rest of our lifetime to be together. I am thinking you have got to be kidding me… The way I see things is that if you really want to make this work, you will do anything, right? I see it as, he has a choice and he is not making the right one for our relationship. And it seems like he is just making excuses.

Am I selling myself short? Am I wasting my time? What do I have to do to get him to realize how serious this is? I told him there are things that I will tolerate and there are things that I will not tolerate, and it just seems he keeps coming dangerously close to things that he knows I won’t put up with. I want this to work and it seems that the only thing I can come up with is to give him an ultimatum. Thank you.

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I can’t help you with enlightenment (grin!) but I can give you my perspective, which actually closely mirrors your own. If your husband is with this woman for purely financial reasons as he claims, then your offer to have him move in with you should be acceptable to him, provided that he truly wants to be with you and make your marriage work. There is something else going on that he has not been straight with you about, I think. He may be continuing a relationship with this other woman (which seems likely given that he is living with her). More charitably, he may be thinking that she can’t live without him and he is afraid to hurt her feelings. Either way, I think he is making excuses to not act the way he says he wants to act.

There is a phrase to the effect of "voting with your feet" meaning that how you act is a better indicator of how you truly feel versus what you say. "Talk is cheap" is another cliched way to express this sentiment. "Put your money where your mouth is" is still another. All of these common phrases exist to suggest to people that they need to act in concert with the goals and values they talk about. I don’t see anything wrong with your insisting, gently but firmly, that he do just that. I think if you don’t insist on him choosing you (within some defined amount of time) that you will indeed be selling yourself short. You have to be willing to lose the whole thing, becuase if you aren’t and give in to his demand (to stay involved with you and this other woman at the same time) you will not like yourself. That is a worse fate than being alone.

More "Ask Anne" View Columnists

  • Lexus Girl

    OMG! I am going through almost the same situation. My husband and I are not divorced, but have been separated for 15 months. We have been married for almost 20 years. He filed for divorce and then told me he thinks he made a mistake. This was 4 weeks ago. He too can not afford to live on his own, so is living with his girlfriend. He assures me that nothing is going on and he plans on leaving as soon as he can find a place that he can afford. Neither one of us are ready to live together again, yet. We are going to counseling, which he suggested we do. I feel I have been patient enough and didn't give him and ultimatum, but did say that I would like for him to be out of her house in two weeks for him to go and cancel the divorce. I don't think that is a lot to ask considering that I am giving him another chance. Don't insist on a date, suggest a date, when he needs to be out. If he can't accomdate that, I would say move on. I know I will even though it will kill me. I still love my husband very much.

  • karen

    My husband and I got married when I was 6 months pregnant and he promised to love me and my previous children, after our daughter was a year and a half he moved out saying he needed to get his head straight, and a lot went down in those 9 months. He moved in with this girl and told me they were just friends and then finally admitted they were an item, but it had only been going on for about 3 months. This was after he started fooling around with me again. So me being the spiteful person I am told her about it....did she leave him nope she stayed.

    I do love him and I am not sure why. But now he has said he knows he made a mistake and he knows where he needs to be but he needs to do it on his own time and in his own way. He is scared of confrontation he says and wants to make sure she is alright before he leaves because she is such a nice person.

    But he says he loves me and has known it for a long time and that he has dug himself a huge hold and needs to dig his way out of it. He agreed to family counseling, and marriage counseling.

    I am just unsure, I mean ok yeah I love him but if you really wanted me back wouldn't you just move out and be done with it? And does he really think I care about this woman's feelings? Can I really trust him again? He swore he would never cheat or leave me again.

    I know marriage is hard and it is something you have to really work on, and that 50% of all marriages fail. But when he left me the first time it killed me, should I throw abandon to the wind and go for it or should I just say you suck no way.

    He knows he has issues, a strange childhood, sexual abuse as a child, no father. And he suffers from depression at times. Do I forgive him because of his circumstances?

    I just don't know, and how long am I supposed to wait till he ends it?

  • Patty

    Don't allow him to move back until the other woman and the relationship is OVER! The only way you can begin to work things out is if the relationship is OVER - and don't fall for "We are great friends!"

    Good luck. Take care of children.

  • Gale

    For whatever reason I thought I was the only one going through this. I am sorry to everyone, but I know time will heal the pain. I cannot understand women who stay with men who are not completely divorced. Yet they feel justified in being with them.

    I cared about my ex, but now after all that, I know he really does not love me. He is more selfish and even with his gf, he has cheated, yet she stays. I wonder if people like that will ever be truly in love. He only loves himself and will do things for himself and not anyone else.

    At first, I thought I loved him, but then I realized that I was not letting myself move on even though physically I did the keeping busy, changing my lifestyle, etc. Emotionally, I was still waiting for him to come home. And I cannot stand that gf of his, but somehow, I let him use me as a counselor and for venting about her, just so he can go back.

    Truly, men like that are cowards. They do not have enough courage to be with self respecting women. They choose women who do not even honor the sanctity of marriage because those women also have issues and they are too scared to be alone. They would rather be miserable with someone than try to find true happiness in themselves alone.

    I hate that they are together, but we as individuals need to make a choice to stop caring for men who frankly do not deserve us.

  • Madeline

    Hello. I am not married and never have been, but I know about boys. Not men. I'm talking about the lying, cheating, self-obssessed BOYS of the world. He says this and he says that... he says it's over, he says he loves you. If he really loved you he would have been thinking about you while he was with this other girl, he would have stopped dead in his tracks because he would think of YOU and HIS SON. If the thought of you and his own son did not stop him from cheating, you cannot trust him. Once a man cheats, it is easier to do it again. He is still living with her?! Honestly, if you offered your home to him and for some "financial" reason he cannot move out, that is a LIE. He could move out of that house and deal with the finacial stuff later. He should feel disgusted to look at that woman. He should be at your feet, begging. It is not your fault. He loves you? Then why is he hurting you? Why is he still living with a woman who he obviously likes enough to have sex with while his unsuspecting wife and son are waiting home, wondering where he is? Be strong. Set down the rules and give him one chance to follow, no strings and no excuses.

  • Anonymous-1

    I too have been separated for over a year and finally filed for divorce and I am waiting on a court date. My husband has been seeing the other woman this whole time but had the nerve to ask to come back home the other night. He said he would break it off with her if I could gaurantee that I would stay with hime and we would be together for the children. They are 7 and 3. He said we could try to learn to love each other again. That was a great offer don't you think? I have full custody which he gave me so I would not mention her name in the divorce and my girls and I are doing fine. He has never been alone and I just think he is a crazy man. He told his girlfriend what he did and she is mad but is still with him. Women like her and everyone else need to STOP the cheating. If you are done with one relationship then finish that one before moving on with another if you have children. They are the ones hurt by this. I can't accept a man that has done this to me for so long back into my life. I have self esteem and I am not a door mat. Women need to stop this nonsense and not keep taking the creeps back when they continue to cheat. Teach your sons not to cheat and your girls not to mess around with anyone that is married or separated.

  • Anonymous-2

    The song says it all, " I'll do whatever it takes to turn this thing around". The guys are looking for the soft landing. Don't you deserve a man that runs to YOU, honors YOU, cares for YOU. Grateful to be with YOU and your loving soul. I have just been through twelve months of this...and will divorce in six weeks.

    Can you believe what happen last weekend? A really great guy approached me and said," Hey, how is the hottest single girl in town doing?" Leave the louse, move on. My sons will learn that This is no way to treat a woman. That, friends, is my new legacy.


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