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i dont know what to do :(

(204 Posts)
dadwithbaby Thu 10-Jan-13 19:10:32

I am a stay at home father looking after 5 boys youngest just turnt 2 having problems with the teenagers. My partner of 17 years was abused physically and sexually as a child but has been trying to carry on with life. That all changed a few weeks ago when all the past was brought up when our son was having a counselling session. She now walks away from me i am not allowed to show any affection (cuddles) or am i allowed to tell her how special she is. She says she cannot be in a relationship while she sorts herself out. I love her more than anything and it is tearing me apart thinking that she may no longer love me and also that she is going through this alone. She is now withdrawn secretive and staying out and it doesnt help that i feel low at times from the isolation of looking after the boys. I just dont know where to turn or how i can help my beautiful wife who is my world. When alone i just want to break down and cry and to be honest have done a number of times after she has said some hurtful things. :'( help please

Madeleine10 Thu 10-Jan-13 19:38:28

Oh you poor man, I'm so sorry - for both of you.

When your wife says she has to "sort herself out" what does she mean? Is she prepared to have therapy/counselling regarding the past and the abuse?

Have you any support- family, friends that you can talk to, you sound so isolated.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Thu 10-Jan-13 19:44:40

While I appreciate that this is hard on you FFS it is a lot harder on your wife. She is dealing with her own serious distress, and she must be in agony. It's simply too much to ask if you are expecting her to show you physical affection at present. I'm afraid you have to accept that right now it's not about you. You may find it helpful to have some counselling on your own account, but the only decent thing you can do for your wife right now is give her space. To someone who is dealing with the trauma of abuse, even a cuddle can feel very threatening.

dadwithbaby Thu 10-Jan-13 19:54:36

This is not about me i fully understand that my wife has issues to deal with. I am more than happy to let her do what she needs to do in order for her to be happy which is what i want more than anything. I do not expect nor pressure her for affection of any sort i have never pushed her in that way during our relationship that aspect of our relationship has always been on her terms which i respect what i was saying was that it is soul destroying to see her go through this alone and not for me to be allowed or able to help. She has people to turn to and talk to I on the other hand am not allowed to mention/talk to anyone who may know us hence i am posting in a forum asking for help/advice. ps dont assume that because i am a man i think purely in terms of myself i dont my wife and children always come before me and always will.

Madeleine10 Thu 10-Jan-13 20:20:15

Yes, well anyway....is your wife having any counselling or therapy, dad, or at least hoping to do so? The abuse you mention is far too serious an issue, if I'm reading this correctly, to be dealt with by talking to friends, withdrawing (not just from you) and disappearing. The picture you paint is of her in deep distress but unable to communicate and coping very badly with the trauma - perhaps understandably as this is a very recent revelation

Are you able to talk to her at all? Not about the details etc, of course, but to help her to see hiow she can at least begin to get proper professional help, and start the very long road to recovery?

izzyizin Thu 10-Jan-13 21:23:20

It seems she's saying she can't be in a relationship with you 'while she sorts herself out', but if she's withdrawn (from you), secretive, and is staying out, maybe she's found someone else she can unburden herself to.

Xales Thu 10-Jan-13 21:46:45

I don't think there is a lot you can actually do if she won't accept/doesn't want your help.

The best thing you can do is let her know you are there if she wants and you love her and then spend your time looking after your DC and yourself. If that means you need to talk to people or get help for yourself so that you can best be there for your DC then you should do that. She cannot ban you from support for you and your DC no matter what she is going through.

Would your household be better if she moved elsewhere for a while until she has gained some stability?

HilaryClinton Thu 10-Jan-13 21:51:13

So is her plan/expectation that she will contribute to the family in zero or minimal way and you will facilitate that as necessary whilst shutting the fuck up! Not acceptable on this indefinite basis at all

amillionyears Thu 10-Jan-13 21:59:13

First off, she still loves you.
Second, it does sound like she needs some time alone, but it sounds like it has been a few weeks now.
Are you able to have normalish conversations about everyday stuff?

Am a bit confused about your son having the counselling session. Was that for something related to your wife?
And is she having any counselling herself?

dadwithbaby Fri 11-Jan-13 02:03:45

in response to previous post my son is having counselling as he has been bullied badly at school and resorted to self harming which is heartbreaking.
I wish i could believe that she loves me still as she has spent the last 6 nights out until early hours 3-5 am turns off the mobile and has lied about going around a friends house.
The boys have all noticed this but i am lying to them saying she is around said friends house but i know she isnt.
Im trying to give her the freedom she says she needs to sort herself out. I really dont want to argue with her it is too harmful for the children.
I'm at my wits end am i to believe my gut or my wife. It hurts as i would never do this to her i have sacrificed friends/family to be with her. All my time is dedicated to her and our children it's hard holding in the tears when the little one asks where mummy is. I save the crying for when hes asleep in his cot. I cannot allow myself to break down in front of the boys.

izzyizin Fri 11-Jan-13 05:24:43

Unsurprisingly given the circumstances, you've been respectful, patient, and forebearing, but it appears your dw is taking the piss advantage of your concern and consideration for her emotional welfare.

I'm sorry to say it's probable she's unburdening herself, so to speak, with another man and I suspect they've been doing considerably more than talking for the last 6 nights.

Sit your dw down and tell her that unless she is willing to re-engage in family life with you and the dc, she should look to live elsewhere while she 'sorts herself out'.

I have no doubt you'll make it clear to her that you are not necessarily expecting her to resume marital relations but, as it would be unreasonable for her to assume you're willing to live like a monk indefinitely, you trust she will seek counselling to resolve issues that should have been resolved many years ago in order that you can both embrace and enjoy the physical intimacy inherent in a loving relationship.

There's no need to be confrontational; simply state your case calmly and say that. after a full on 24/7 week with the dc unrelieved by her company, you're willing to take yourself down the pub or round to a friend for a few hours tonight/Saturday nght if she'd prefer to have some time alone with the dc, otherwise perhaps you can plan to watch a film together or organise some family activity.

No matter how hard you've tried to minimise/disguise/normalise it, their dm's frequent absence from the family home, coupled with your distress, won't have gone unnoticed by your dc and this state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue ad infinitum.

Given the seriousness of your eldest ds's problems, it's in his best interests for his dps to work together to bring about a positive outcome for him and, as the primary carer, you should seek external support if your dw is not willing, or feels unable, to give him the quality time and attention he needs.

I find it grossly unfair that you are under orders not to talk about these matters to anyone 'who may know us'. Do you have any close friends or family members you would feel able to unburden yourself to, and who you would trust to respect your confidences?

dadwithbaby Sun 13-Jan-13 00:20:31

Well as of now she decided that she can no longer be around me and cant/wont tell me why. She has alot of anger directed towards me. Tbh it hurts like hell and yet again im alone in our bed after settling the children and shes out again. I have repeatedly tried to talk to her even begged. Apparently i have no time for her.... I do her washing cook her meals make sure she has everything she needs for the following day look after the children and try to look after the house as the boys terrorise it. I even make sure there is money for her nights out.
If i dont know why she can not be around me how can i address it... she and my boys are my world.
She decided that she is going to move out and take one of the boys with her. My son that self harms because of bullying. I personally cannot see it helping him as i am the one who started the fight to get him help and am trying to build his self esteem/confidence. Im not in a position to fight this as she could get nasty i would lose all the boys and what would be the point in life then :,(
On a personal note i visited my gp had a tear or two and have now been put on happy pills..something i never thought i would do.

dadwithbaby Sun 20-Jan-13 00:13:40

well she has now left and admitted she is with this "friend" in my gut i knew this would happen and i feel sick to the core and heartbroken. Its now just me and the boys... they were right and i was a fool for trusting her.
Sad thing is i would have her back in a heartbeat... i feel as if my heart and soul have been torn apart and have no trust in anyone at the moment dont know if i ever will.
I gave all i had and it never really mattered.

izzyizin Sun 20-Jan-13 00:19:46

In saying 'she has now left', are you saying she's moved in with the other man'?

BettySuarez Sun 20-Jan-13 00:24:40

I'm so sorry OP sad

You need to consult a solicitor ASAP

With regards to your son self harming, we have been through this too. Is your son getting support from his GP? Is moving schools a possibility?

ElectricSheep Sun 20-Jan-13 00:35:57

So sorry OP, you must be feeling terrible.

But don't regret your trust, it's not your fault she's a scumbag.

And don't worry about losing the boys. If you've been the stay at home parent and main carer it's very unlikely she'd ever get custody.

I second advice re seeing a solicitor or CAB asap.

Jux Sun 20-Jan-13 01:08:40

So sorry, dadwithbaby. Please get yourself a good solicitor - one with teeth! Get all the advice you can. Go to CAB. If you have access to her payslips take photocopies of them, and of bank statements. Is the house owned by you, or rented? Whose name is on the Deeds/Contract?

There are agencies who can support you through this time, for instance The Samaritans.

Above all, find a solicitor experienced in family law.

Did your eldest son go with her?

Jux Sun 20-Jan-13 01:09:06

Oh, and document everything.

Skyebluesapphire Sun 20-Jan-13 02:25:23

So sorry. Please don't torture yourself if she has criticised you. This is a common thing with cheaters, they have to blame it all on you in order to be able to leave.

You have a difficult time ahead, but please start planning for your future, see a solicitor, go to CAB, tell friends and family so that you can get support. It does get easier but it does take time.

BettySuarez Sun 20-Jan-13 09:50:03

How are you this morning OP?

dadwithbaby Sun 20-Jan-13 10:07:42

Yes she has moved in with this man and yes apparently it is all my fault. At the moment all the children are with me and i intend to keep it that way. The house is in her name and she has left a debt on the house.
As for myself cant help but thinking what if ? i did this/that would things be different. but i know that this was her intent and i could not have done more i gave her everything i did everything. I know things were tough with our son but not once did i think about myself and throwing it all away. I honestly thought that we were a partnership and that we would get through the bad times how wrong was I.
On a personal level i feel numb and its probably a good job i started happy pills a week ago now.
Looking back over the last week or so i can see how she laid the groundwork for her rational with those around us and the support network that has been involved with our son and ironically supporting her who has not really faced the difficulties that our son is going through I have been seeing it all and trying to cope with it. But nevermind its all about her isnt it.

Xales Sun 20-Jan-13 10:14:57

Sorry you are going through this OP.

You have to be strong and look after yourself and your DC. You can no longer spend time hoping and waiting.

Like all cheats she is a nasty little liar.

Basically the reason she couldn't come near you and was angry with you was nothing to do with her past. That was an excuse. The reason was because you were not him and she couldn't bare to have you touch her after she had been near him. In her mind she would have been cheating on him.

She is not your friend. You cannot rely on her to do the right things. Basically she and OM are top of her list of priorities.

She doesn't care about you and from your posts it seems she has minimal care about her children right not that she could do this when one of them is going through a really shitty time without a care about how this would affect him.

You were not allowed to seek help from close people not because she was turning to them but because she probably wasn't ever talking to or with them and it would have blown her sordid little affair open before she was ready.

Use them now. Do not be ashamed to ask for all the help you need and they are willing to give. Do not be embarrassed and think you have done anything wrong and so cover it up. There was probably nothing you could have done. Exactly like the women who post on here about how they turned themselves inside out to be the perfect Stepford wives their OH still treated them like shit and dumped on them.

It is not your fault. No matter how you feel like a failure the flaw was in her.

Get yourself to the CAB and to a solicitor. Find out everything your are entitled to, any discounts for council tax etc. Make sure you have all the paperwork you need to protect what you need for yourself and your children. As I said before you cannot rely on her to do the right thing even if she says she will out of guilt right now.

You may not feel strong enough to think about divorce and permanent separation but a session with a solicitor will let you know where you stand which puts your mind at ease on the practical things.

Please also consider an STI clinic, just in case.

You will get through this. It takes time but one day it will be a little easier and then another a little more.

BettySuarez Sun 20-Jan-13 10:26:15

I'm so sorry OP and while I sympathise with your wife re her childhood experiences (have been there myself), I really don't think that this is the real issue here.

She has been having an affair, plain and simple.

You now need to get really tough.

Speak to a solicitor about starting divorce proceedings and CAB about the benefits and support you might be entitled to.

I don't know whether there is a 'women's aid' equivalent for men? There must be some support organisations out there?

Stop engaging with your wife, she will use every opportunity she can to lay blame for this at your door.

In the midst of this, you must also be desperately worried about your eldest DS with his self harming sad. How terribly hard this must be.

We have been through this with our daughter, also caused by bullying so please feel free to pm me if you want to as I am more than happy if you need to talk this through and share the burden.

I would also recommend having a look through some of the threads in Relationships. A lot of other posters have been in your position (admittedly most of them are women) but the advice given re dealing with this type of behaviour (your wife's) is excellent and will help you to recognise and deal with it more easily.

Your wife is following a well trodden 'script'. Make sure you know how to spot the signs.

BettySuarez Mon 21-Jan-13 20:04:06

How you doing OP?

Jux Mon 21-Jan-13 22:20:45

Please dadwithbaby, please find a solicitor as soon as you can, and find out what you can do to protect yourself and your children, and to ensure you get the best you can for you all in terms of a settlement.

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