A client of mine recently had a confusing interaction with her ex-husband.
The two had been separated for some time but had children together and maintained a civil relationship.
One day he came over and spent the day at her place playing with the kids and behaving as if nothing had changed.
After a day of goofing around the children had been put to bed and instead of immediately leaving he stayed. He sat on the couch and the two of them enjoyed some alone time together. They spoke in depth, joked, and even flirted. They did everything you’d expect an in-love couple to do except become physical.
Eventually, he leaves.
Even though he’s gone she’s left with hopes for the future.
How else would you react to such a positive experience with your ex?
But two days later she receives a call – it’s him.
He makes it clear that he doesn’t want a life with her, not even a friendship. They’ll keep in touch for the children but wants no relationship out of that partnership.
Naturally, she’s flummoxed.
From hot to cold in two days her dreams of getting back together were squashed.
But why did this happen?
How could those intimate feelings sour so quickly?
There is no quick answer that will make his 180 make sense.
Let’s dive into why men send mixed signals, how to deal with mixed signals, and how you can move forward.
What you’re currently going through sucks.
It’s difficult to move forward with your life when your husband’s behavior is making you question where their head is at.
So let’s talk about why he’s sending mixed signals.
If you’re on the verge of separating or already have, his feelings of discontent have been building.
For a while now whether he’s repressed them or not he’s been thinking about leaving you. For whatever reason, he’s ready to leave.
Don’t get me wrong though, he can’t forget the past. You two have shared a life together for many years. He can’t rewrite the past, can’t completely write over the attraction he still may have for you.
It’s difficult to completely cool over someone after spending countless hours with them. It’s also natural to have second thoughts about your new future. A future that looks nothing like the past, one you had grown perhaps not to love but at least to be comfortable and familiar with.
It’s these two things that keep that spark alive. These two things that confuse him and occasionally make him lash out with love and affection.
Yet soon after he’s behaved lovingly he once again regresses to the mean. Once again he recoils and becomes reticent behaving as coldly as ever. It’s because he thinks he’s made a mistake. He’s made his mind up and has done so in a calculating fashion. He doesn’t want to relapse into a relationship he’s leaving just because his feelings get the best of him for a hot moment.
He still may have feelings for you -he may always have feelings. But he doesn’t want to do away with all the work he put into pulling away from you and starting his own life.
We tend to mirror those we’re around most.
Mirroring is the behavior of mimicking those we’re trying to impress or have feelings for, however, we can also mirror those we spend vast amounts of time with.
The second reason he’s sending you mixed signals has to do with mirroring.
What we hold onto internally has a way of manifesting itself. Maybe we’re wounded, repress our feelings, or have internal struggles we haven’t effectively dealt with.
Humans are more porous than you think.
What’s inside eventually has a way of coming out. What we decide is how we want our internal worries to be released. Will they be addressed in a healthy manner or creep out when we’re not looking and wreak havoc on our relationships?
Whatever internal issues you’re dealing with are infectious. They have a way of infecting others.
If we put out negative energy, those around us will pick it up. So if you are anxious, depressed, and always have your fight or flight response turned on, others will feed off those emotions.
Now I understand this may be triggering.
You were the one that worked hard to keep the family together, that is trying to heal the wounds and keep the family together and now you’re being made to believe it’s your fault.
I can understand how this is upsetting but listen.
Understand that everyone has aspects of themselves that need healing. Aspects that are worth investing in. While we may not be able to change someone else’s mind and heart we can certainly change our own. Whether you know it or not you have the capacity to change. To address what needs improving.
Instead of focusing on what he needs to change focus on mending the only thing you have power over; yourself.
Now that we have an understanding of why men send mixed signals, let’s work on addressing the situation at hand and moving forward.
It’s easier said than done, but to turn this suggestion into practice let’s talk about what’s going on in his mind.
You, like your husband, live a unique reality. A life that only one person will ever truly understand. How he’s acting is a result of his sum life experiences. You’re not the only thing in his life, thus you’re not the only thing affecting his psyche.
His professional life, friends, ambitous, and internal issues all play a role in his current behavior.
The best you can do is live your best life and say that you did everything you could to improve the relationship. But regardless of your best efforts, he’s lived experiences that prevent him from getting back together.
That’s not on you.
So instead of dwelling on why you think you let him down, understand that you can’t be everything for him. Know that you did your best and don’t beat yourself up.
This will make it easier to move forward with positivity and optimism.
Accept your thoughts and feelings. Embrace them, understand them, and keep only the positive thoughts and feelings when moving on.
Look there’s a great big amazing world out there waiting for you. When one relationship dies it opens up the space to have another one. Make yourself receptive to new experiences by engaging in empowering and healthy activities.
Do what brings you happiness.
Connect once again with friends and family. Spend time investing in rebuilding relationships and activities that you’ve overlooked these past years.
In other words, fill up your bucket.
Patience is a virtue, moreso patience will help you gracefully transition into the next phase of your life. Whether that phase includes your husband or not is up to you.
Dont expect overnight shift in your relationship OR your mindset
Put in the work and change will come. Don’t let your ambition die on your lips.
I have clients that have welcomed their husbands back after 3, 6, 9 months, or even longer.
Healing is an active process that doesn’t always come naturally. If you don’t change your relationships won’t either.
You may not be aware there’s even a path forward, but there is.
In my program, The Authentic Relationship System, I provide women a tried and true blueprint that will help them heal, mend broken relationships, and move forward in life with confidence. Through an online curriculum and Zoom discussions, I’ll help you find your happiness again.
But before that, I’d like to learn a bit more about you and your romantic life.
Let’s chat via a 1-on-1 session so we can learn more about each other and how my program can help you get the most out of your relationships.