Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
advice for a dad? tricky times(135 Posts)
I posted this in another thread as a reply, but a responder suggested I start a new thread therefore some of it is copied and pasted.
I'm a dad of 4 with a wife who has serious health problems and have signed up for this forum because I have nowhere else I feel I can get support for the tough time we're having at the moment. Recently I became aware she was having an 'emotional affair' (emails and texts to. A work colleague, it had already got to the point they were telling each other they loved each other). I've worked full time and carried the family for years and you can imagine I was very upset to find that despite this she still felt that she needed to see someone else. Her justification was that I neglected her- the way I see it is that I had become a robot, working, essentially a single father in terms of the practicalities of bringing the children up, and being a carer for my wife. She would get me to get long lists of stuff she needed in town to keep me out long enough. Its truly horrible to think of the betrayal.
After finding out I wasn't sure if we could go on but she pleaded that she has finished with him and wants to make a go of it with me. However she has been distant since and I'd be lying if I said I believed her fully that this is the case. We're in a bit of a state of limbo, and she puts her apathy down to needing to 'get better' before dealing with our relationship. However we just don't seem to be dealing with it at all. She managed to find the energy to instigate and maintain the affair whilst being this ill. Part of me thinks that she is just keeping me around to do all the practical stuff like looking after her and bringing up the kids.
At the moment I'm really just trying to make myself trust her because the alternative is a life of constant emotional pain. I have been trying to weigh up the situation to work out whether it is worth it at all. The family I had worked to build for years is my justification for giving it another try. I hated having to analyse everything my partner did or said to work out if she was lying. Its harder in a sense because the usual thing for a dad to do is move out but my kids need me and I really want to see if we can be happy as a family.
I don't know of any Dadsnet sites so I've arrived here to see if I can get any advice or ideas to try and get through this.
Thanks for all the kind words and advice. It has really made the difference. I'm trying to get through this tough time to a point hopefully where things will be better. I really appreciate you taking the time to post your thoughts. I'm on the case with the solictors, counselling and house-viewing as of today so will probably post another update soon.
How old are your children?
How are they doing today?
Have you told your employer about whats happening at home? Some companies have free legal advice for employees or counciling, it might be worth contacting hr?
Yes my boss is very understanding and we have a free counselling service for staff. My kids seem ok, but as others in the thread have quite rightly said, they now need a firn idea of what is happening. My ex is back to selfish-mode, probably seeing the honme-wrecker again and is not really communicating again. I'm more determined to break away than ever.
Another day, another argument. I told her I needed space to get my head into being single. I suggested me moving into rented accommodation but she said that would cost us too much. She told me she is still seeing OM. The ensuing text exchange webnt thus:
Me: Think we need to start thinking about divorce and splitting up the house. The 6 month space thing is utter bollocks if you are seeing that c*nt whilst you're supposed to be deciding about whether or not you want to be with me. I just need to move on now for myself and the kids. We can go and see a family mediator or something but I'm not prepared to wait around if you are seeing someone else. I've had as much as I can take and it hurts too much x
Her: Ok. Book an appt then. I will fight you tooth and nail to keep this house as I put thousands in it. I get a loan.for the 8 grand and see you through CSA. I wanted space
Me: You've really fucked us over. I didn't ask for any of this. You've hurt me more than you know and I'm allowed to vent - I haven't even been unreasonable. We will talk tomorrow. x
Me: My whole world has been broken and continues to be ripped apart day by day. I think I need to get counselling myself as it is stopping me function properly and causing outbursts like that. I don't really know what to do. I just want to wake up one day and everything is ok again
Her: I agreed to counseling, I asked for time. My heart is breaking too. I want to.love you like you deserved to.be loved not just coast along and be unhappy. I am deeply sorry I have hurt you and I swing between thinking I made the biggest mistake to feeling that I can breathe and think. I will always love you, but it's not enough. I wanted time apart to get myself right Why can't you just give me sum fuckin space? Why? Am going to sleep now. I want us to be a family whether we together or not thats separate.
Me: Try to imagine loving someone for 15 years, thinking you'll spend your life with them, then one day you find out they've been seeing someone else, and they will continue to see them even though you forgave them when you found out. Its utterly horrific and although there's no excuse for me losing it that is why I feel so messed up. I don't know how I'm going to recover from this but I need to which is why we need to see a consellor and sort it properly. You have asked me to understand your recent actions which are 1000 times more hurtful than what I did tonight and 1000 time less forgiveable. We just need to get through this first rollercoaster and then things may calm down, even if we never get back together
Her: I dont have to.imagine I have and continue to.love you, just not like you deserve to be loved. I would love to.get the relationship back.on track but I need some fuckin space. Stop texting it not fair am
Ill I need space. Just let it be for tonight. Please.
Me: I'll stop texting and I love you. Tomorrows another day. I hate arguing with you. Night x
Have you told her you have made an appointment with a lawyer?
What was you trying to communicate about with your ex? When emotions are running high its sometimed a good idea to take a brake for a few days. Dont see her dont txt her, get some space and think about what you need and want or just dont think at all just take a step back from the drama.
I agree with your wife. Stop txting
You still think you have a relationship with your wife but you dont its over. You cant make someone love you and why would you want to?
Your wife loves you like a brother not a lover. She respects you as the Father of her children and relises you will both be in their lives but you dont get to be with her anymore.
Its blunt but the truth. The game plan has changed and you need to greave for the life and love that you have lost.
How can she miss you if you dont leave her alone. Yes its hard but to not do it is abusive.
You need a lawyer, you will have to sell the house and split the money so you both can rent or buy somewhere to live or for one of you to buy the other out but you need a lawyer to send that in writing to your wife.
So your plan should be;
1) stay away from the family home, do not call your wife or txt her untill its your time to see the kids
2) make an appointment with a lawyer
3) can you stay with family untill the house is sold or untill your wife takes on the mortage and give you your share of the equaty? If not then you will have to stay in the family home untill it is sold or you are bought out.
Also going thru csa is not a bad thing and should not be taken as the threat it was intended to be as you know you have to financialy support you children.
Do not have a joint account with your ex as she could get you into debt. If you have a joint account you need to see the bank and take your name off it and stop your wages going in and work out the maintance you need to pay and when.
I guess im saying you need to financaly detact from her asap.
The last thing I want to do is spend time in the same house as her. I need a clean break whatever. This is such a mess
When im being blunt I should also say you sound very dependant emotionally on your wife.
Maybe you should go out or do something just for you. Start finding yourself again. Or do something new that you have wanted to try.
Stop using "i have to learn how to be single again" as a threat to your wife eg your fucking someone else so im going to as well. Its just childish.
Your best bet is to remain emotionless and sort the pratical stuff out and not communicate with her about personal stuff. Remain calm cool detacted and factual. Do not be drawn back into the drama.
It is not a mess, its just a failed relationship.
You still have you and your kids and you are a family.
You will have a new life and more time to do what you want to.
At 14 your kids can chose to live with you. They have a chose to live with you.
The space thing is a load of shit. My XH walked out saying he needed space but kept on texting OW. If she was genuinely confused she would stop contact with both of you.
If you want to move out then do that. It's not all about her. Who gets what regarding the house will be decided by mediation or a court. If its legally owned 50/50 then that's the point they start from. It doesn't matter who put what in.
But please do not communicate with her any more for your own sake, other than stuff regarding the children. It won't do you any good.
Thanks for the advice. I know I'm not helping matters by communicating more than I should. The six months thing is bollocks and has an emotional hold on me. So I need to break from it somehow. I can only see myself getting right by getting a place of my own and having a seperate life
It's so tricky. You need to communicate but not communicate as the texts you've pasted.
She does need space but that doesn't mean you have to be a doormat and wait on her decisions.
It's hard, this point in time, because you're teetering between split up and fight for the relationship How you behave in one situation is incompatible with the other situation and you end up with mixed communications which confuse everyone. You both need space to come to decisions about the future.
Once you are clear in your own heads you will then communicate on just that agenda.
If at all possible I'd negotiate a complete embargo on all conversation about the relationship unless in counselling or agreed controlled meetings. Hard but possibly helpful. Also set a timescale for a decision.
That sounds fair. I might suggest that tactic. I think its naturally heading for that anyway in some senses. We're in different places though as she is with someone else and trying to call all the shots wrt the kids, house etc. Whereas I am effectively single, no fixed abode and no grounding to speak of at the minute. I think I need to get a six months let somewhere, offer shared custody of kids and I'll pay my half of the mortgage in that time. I would be mega skint but at least I'd be able to get some head space.
You dont need her permission to rent your own place. Just do it.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
What do you want to happen?
How do you see your life being?
Solicitor appointment, relate counselling (to seperate amicably) and house view all booked!
Short term, I want to get out of the grief cycle I'm in, move out and have the kids 50/50. I obviously want the wife to get better too so maybe when the resentment dies down I can support her, but I need some time away from her at the moment. I can't think long term yet, but perhaps an exit from the mortgage and to build a new life should be the goal. I'd be lying if I said that there isn't part of me that hopes one day we might get back together, but there is another part of me that wishes otherwise. Its very difficult bouncing from different emotions at the moment, but I'm trying to plough through it! The solicitor said on the phone that its not time to get too far down he legal road yet, but he will give me some info when we meet.
you can separate without starting a divorce, but you do need to know what your rights are so that you can be prepared.
You are on an emotional rollercaster and will be for some time, use this thread to help you.
If you get the urge to txt her write it down and wait abit then see if you really needed to txt her.
Lots of people here are going thru the same thing and can help. Also your experiance might help others.
Its hard not being with the person you have spent 15 years with and im guessing you were young when you got together. Is this the first time you will have lived alone as a adult?
Life will get better for you, just hang in there untill it does.
Bowled over by the support I've had on here to be honest. I was 21 when I met her and being single is a bit scary.
That's a really good idea about the texts. I almost want to hide the phone from myself sometimes.
I think I've had the worst of the shocks now: finding out about the affair, split up, found out she is still seeing him. It can't really get any worse now can it?
I'm trying to make plans and keep busy. I will wobble sometimes but I need to take ownership of my situation. Looking forward to a time when things are better!
With regards to your ex have you talked about introducing the om to your children?
Its a good idea to ask her to wait so the children get use to you living part first before introducting them to the man that split you up.
I honestly can't see them taking to him in that regard. She has said she won't have him round the children and I believe her.
She will at some point in the future.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.