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Learner single parent...

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Lalad, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. Lalad

    Lalad Senior commenter

    In a nutshell, OH moved out 3 weeks ago following a lengthy MH crisis and now seems to be going through a mid-life crisis as well, but this post is not about that. We've been married for a long time (our eldest is 19) and to be honest I never thought this would happen, ever. Part of me accepts what has happened but part of me thinks I will wake up soon and find it's all been a bad dream. I'm finding it difficult to get used to him not being there, and to the children spending time in his flat as well as here. It feels really strange.

    I don't really know how to put this - is it usual to feel like this? If your partner left you, how did you deal with it?At the moment he is splashing out on the children bigtime when he takes them out - is this some kind of guilt trip to make up for what he's doing?

    I would welcome any advice.
     
  2. Lalad

    Lalad Senior commenter

    In a nutshell, OH moved out 3 weeks ago following a lengthy MH crisis and now seems to be going through a mid-life crisis as well, but this post is not about that. We've been married for a long time (our eldest is 19) and to be honest I never thought this would happen, ever. Part of me accepts what has happened but part of me thinks I will wake up soon and find it's all been a bad dream. I'm finding it difficult to get used to him not being there, and to the children spending time in his flat as well as here. It feels really strange.

    I don't really know how to put this - is it usual to feel like this? If your partner left you, how did you deal with it?At the moment he is splashing out on the children bigtime when he takes them out - is this some kind of guilt trip to make up for what he's doing?

    I would welcome any advice.
     
  3. no advice to offer but didnt want your post to go unacknowledged. Big hug.
     
  4. Lalad

    Lalad Senior commenter

    Thanks rory - that's the best hug I've had all day x
     
  5. Gosh, there's a lot in there, and hard to post and do justice to all that you must be feeling.
    On the splashing out big time, not totally sure on the mindset which accompanies it, but it's certainly been an ever present part of my daughter's relationship with her father and I'm guessing it's not uncommon. This lead on to an, all time spent with daddy = Christmas type feeling, all time with mummy = party pooper (bedtimes, tidy your room, no you can't do that etc etc). That said she is now 16 (we split aged 4) and is developing a greater rationale.
    Splitting where children are concerned, again i can only speak from my own experiences. Was it hard? ... most definitely, probably the most difficult time i have endured. The feelings of failure were huge and took a long time for me to come to terms with. That said, i did, and in truth am glad about the path i took, it was the right one (though you couldn't have told me that at the time).
    Your situation is different, married 20 years+ and children grown to semi-independence and beyond. It is difficult for me now, to try and comprehend your feelings; i can't even think to offer pertinent advice.
    Just as in the above post, i wanted to acknowledge your situation {]much love to you [​IMG]

    Hope you find a way through this.

     
  6. Just to echo what the others have said. It isn't easy. My kids were 8, 5 and 1 when he left and it was very hard. It tok a long time to come out the other side. Strangely it didn't take the older ones long to realise that he thought buying them things was his way of trying to make me seem the 'bad' one. I never spoke badly of him to the kids, but over the years he stopped having anything to do with them - not even birthday cards. It's 23 years ago now but there are still times I wonder how I could have been strong enough to get on with life. It wasn't easy but when I look at my children and grandchildren I feel very proud. TAKE CARE and look after you. You are special.

     
  7. Lalad

    Lalad Senior commenter

    Thank you for taking the trouble to reply. I know it has only been 3 weeks but it feels like a lifetime. He is resisting any attempts by me to communicate/discuss things. The younger children are 12 and 14 and have stayed overnight with him twice - I hate them going there but don't want to prevent them going as I don't want their relationship with him to suffer. It feels almost like a bereavement. Sometimes teaching is difficult as my mind is just not on my work at the moment, and planning and marking have suffered - but equally I think if I took time off I would go to pieces. Some of my teaching colleagues know what has happened and they are being fantastic at the moment even though I feel as if all my teaching skills have gone out of the window.


     


  8. Hun, it is a bereavement... 20 years of living with a man who no longer exists... he is now A.N.Other, not your DH, best friend, lover etc.



    You are being a good mum, not acting on those impulses ypu know would have a negative impact on your kids (you haven't even told us, anonymous forum peeps, he was a cheating, 2 timing no good b*stard) and trying to keep it all together....



    You can feel whatever you like... and you've got a half term coming up, if the kids stay with him for a couple of days you can have a red wine and chocolate wallowing / man hating pity party sesh! But you also need to show the cheating, 2 timing no good b*stard (insert the reality in your own mind as you read that bit) that you can cope quite well without him, thanks.



    Actually, you need to show you that you can. So go on, feel sorry for yourself, mourn the passing of a long term relationship.... then pick yourself up and get on with it! Get out there and enjoy.....









    (and hugs to help you through the miserable bit)
     
  9. TC7

    TC7

    My marriage broke up after 21 years and it does feel like a bereavement, but you do come through it. I now have a reasonable relationship with my x. I found that there was no one to discuss things about the children with. Part of me felt resentful that they had just walked away and only had themselves to look after, on the other hand other things were easier as you run the show....Even today I think perhaps it should'nt of happened and in hindsight perhaps we should have struggled through UNTIL I have to be with him for longer than 24 hours and then I know it was the right decision, as we are far happier friends. In the last couple of years I have made him take responsiblity for the children at times by ringing him and telling him they are his as well. He has been quite helpful when I feel the children and I have had enough of each other. You do need some close friends who will listen to you, so you can unload. Best of Luck.
     
  10. Had the same problems. Check your car handbook - it will give you tyre pressure and most of air systems at garages are digital so it's easy to get it right. Coolant and antifreeze are the same . Check back of bottle for instructions - most petrol stations have it and can offer advice or go to a halfords or car shop and they can help too. My ex also had prblems with his meds. Take care of yourself.
     
  11. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Every tyre shop I've ever been to will check tyre pressures and fix as necessary for no charge... they rely on the good will for you to go back there when you need new tyres!




     
  12. You know, it was the practical things that really got to me, I used to swear and curse my ex ( to myself, honestly) when I was trying to do things like build flat pack furniture, paint the ceiling ( I'm only 5'2) or move heavy equipment! I got so frustrated that I had to do those things on my own. It was, in reality, just an emotional release, an excuse for a good cry and chance to throw things around the house[​IMG] Because I had ( still do!) two young children, I felt I couldn't cry about anything else. but these things gave me a "reason" I coped with all the divorce threw at me but burst into floods of tears trying to re-wire a plug!

    So don't worry, take a deep breath, and buy yourself a good DIY manual, it was much better therapy for me than anything else! ( and I'm a whizz with plugs[​IMG])


     
  13. PlymouthMaid

    PlymouthMaid Occasional commenter

    Nearly 8 years after we separated, one of the things that really bugs me about my ex regarding the children is his ability to cherry pick what he does do or what he gets involved in. I am usually left looking like either a wicked oppresive witch as I wont let them do certain things or a tightwad since he still splashes the cash a lot. It is difficult sometimes.
     
  14. Lalad

    Lalad Senior commenter

    Thanks - I don't feel quite such an eejit now!
    PM...I'm also being portrayed as the wrongdoer at the moment, but fortunately the children wont have any of it. Also, it's difficult to splash the cash when he has walked out leaving you to pay all the bills...and enforce all the rules.
     
  15. Lalad

    Lalad Senior commenter

    Since I last posted here I wish I could say things had got easier but to be honest they haven't. OH seems to be determined to press on with ending our relationship. Just wanted to ask how do you manage Christmas? I don't know whether to include a note with the christmas cards, and if so what to put. I can't really put his name on the cards as he's no longer here, but if I dont, and dont include a note, people will wonder why not. Aargh, why is life so complicated? Also, how do you sort out who spends time where at Christmas? My daughter says he has said he wants them to spend the morning of Christmas day with us and the afternoon/evening with him but I think that would ruin the whole day.
     
  16. Theres no right way or wrong way to do things, just go with your gut instinct on what you need to do for the kids. They also learn very quickly that the tirade of prezzies and money splashing is a pretense (kids are pretty savvy) and it wont last!!!!! Then dad becomes boring and they avoid him!! Just put yours n teh kids names on the cards and people will realise, getting the first of everything out teh way is the hardest, but after that you get to think, I did this and i did it myself.

    The kids will let you know where they want to spend christmas, its also not fair of him to discuss it with your daughter before he has you!

    Keep smiling, it does get easier xxx
     
  17. My ex walked out on Christmas Eve, so you can imagine how jolly I was feeling! Luckily that gave me a whole year before I had to send out Xmas cards and most people just knew by then, so I only put "our names " on and didn't include a note, most people are pretty clued up and work out what that means!

    As to Christmas, my children have always spent it with me, (my view being that I have them the rest of the year through good and bad so I want them for the "best" day of the year!) Ex also lives abroad so this is less of a problem, personally I would stick to my guns and have the children for Xmas Day, they could then spend all Boxing Day with Dad and have 2 Christmas Days!
     
  18. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    I have a slightly different view, I don't think it is unreasonable for one parent to talk to the children about things prior to talking to the other parent. It is just life and what happens. All of us who are, or have been, single parents can't really claim to run everything by their ex, it just doesn't work like that. My children always spent half the day with me and half with their Dad. It is such a special day and children often want to see both parents on that day. As mine got older it changed to be Christmas Day with one of us and Boxing day with the other one. It's not easy being a single parent and thinking about what the children want can be difficult, we can convince ourselves that what we want is what the children want. (Not saying anyone is doing that here)

    Sorry, I've probably not been helpful at all. We seperated in a November and I just didn't write his name on the Christmas cards. Things are tough now but they will get easier.
     
  19. having read through my earlier response, it does sound rather mean-spirited- and I'm not, honest! For the first 4-5 years after ex left, he wasn't in the country for Xmas so I simply got into the routine of having my sons on Christmas Day. When he did start to come back to England over Xmas, they were old enough to have an opinion, I suppose they were used to the way things had become and didn't really want to change it, I just didn't try very hard to convince them! Now we have reached an amicable agreement, if he is in the country he can see them whenever he wants BUT they still want to spend Christmas Day at home( and I think that's the key, this is their home and thats where they want to be) so he spends Xmas with his parents and New Year with his sons.

    I think what I'm trying to say is that every situation is different, it depends on the age of the children, the reason for the breakup, even practical arrangements such as where he sees them ( my ex doesn't have a house in this country so when he does see them it is usually at my house!) and you have to work out what is best for your children, and for yourself!



    Good Luck , whatever you decide- and someone will end up feeling disappointed and angry whatever you do! thats one of the joys of being a single parent!
     
  20. Lalad

    Lalad Senior commenter

    Thanks for your replies - it's good to have some different viewpoints. The children are 12, 15, 17 and 19, and the older two have both said they think it wouldn't be fair to split the day - they suggested Christmas day here and Boxing day with him. Haven't asked the younger ones yet, or discussed it with OH, as he is being very uncommunicative at the moment - emails and phone calls go unanswered. I suppose I will have to raise it with him at some point. He's only 20 miles away so distance isn't a problem.
     

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