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Urgent perspective needed - DP, his kids and weekends

(75 Posts)
rollermydisco Fri 23-Nov-12 23:19:40

My partner of 8 months spends every weekend with his 3 young boys.

He split up with their mum about 15 months ago. For a while they did the every other weekend arrangement which is obviously most common, then about 2 months into our relationship he pretty much went back to being with them every weekend, at her house -not staying over but there from morning til bedtime. This was because his ex partner got to a point where she apparently could not cope with the kids being away from her any more , it was making her very depressed, which I can imagine must be terribly hard. She lost her job at the time around that time (has a new one now) and think it all got a bit much.

It's been six months since I saw him at all on a weekend, except for maybe the odd Sat or Sun eve from 9pm til 8am next day - even these are rare as its kind of pointless to drive 2 hours literally just to go to bed together.

I haven't met his children as I don't feel it's right to so early on in our relationship and so soon after their mum and dad split. Also, his ex knows of me but has made it very clear to him he must not introduce them. She often makes threats about taking them away altogether, which although probably completely untrue, scare my partner to death.

I won't go into details but I have absolutely no concerns about the nature of his relationship with his ex, none at all. If anyone is good enough to respond, you can certainly question this but that really isn't the point of my post.

The point is I am completely torn - after 6 months and no real weekend time (we live about 2 hours drive from each other by the way, but see each other in the week) , I've basically said he needs to bring himself away from there even once a month say on a Sat afternoon so we can have a proper evening together. This reduces him to tears, saying he cannot bear to miss out on anything with the kids. He says he wants to, for our sake, but it kills him.

I feel like a cow for essentially demanding he be apart from his kids who are so precious to him.

As mentioned, his ex will not let him take the kids away from her at weekends - their split wasn't acrimonious (but was more him than her by all accounts) so she's quite happy to have him around if it means she doesn't have to be apart from them.

Am I being unreasonable to ask a devoted dad to give up a little bit of weekend time once in a whole for me? He claims he loves me, talks of a future etc, but he really cannot deal with being away at weekends without breaking down.

He sees them about 3 nights in the week for bedtime, seems fine on the other 2, no meltdowns then. But says that's because he isn't missing out like he would at weekends.

Does he need to man up, get some backbone and stand up to his ex, or should I just live with and applaud him for wanting to see them a lot and for him and his ex partner managing a good co parenting relationship?

What do I do?

SavoyCabbage Fri 23-Nov-12 23:24:45

It all sounds so difficult. I think it's understandable that he wants to be with his children as much as he can.

I think he should have snapped up your compromise of saturday afternoons once a month!

Do you see him during the week? If not then its not much of a relationship. It sounds like he wants to put his children first, which is right really, and he isn't ready for a relationship. Or isn't able to have one.

mammadiggingdeep Fri 23-Nov-12 23:27:24

Sorry but are you absolutely, 100% sure they're not together at all?? If they didn't want to be together anymore then they have chosen to parent apart from each other, but from what you've described they're not are they? How can you be with him if you never spend a weekend with him?? Hmmm, a strange situation. Do you think it's something that will change long term?? If you stayed with him and things go well, would you see yourself having children with him? How would that work??

ponybaloney Fri 23-Nov-12 23:27:56

I think that you are being entirely reasonable.

olgaga Fri 23-Nov-12 23:29:45

It doesn't sound to me as though he's ready, or willing, to move on and have a serious relationship with you.

Does he envisage a time when he might be able to go back to every other weekend? He might talk of a future with you but I don't see how on earth that's going to work.

ImperialBlether Fri 23-Nov-12 23:31:47

I think I'd give him up as a bad job, to be honest. I can't see it improving at all. You would be much better off with someone who's single, who can see you whenever you both want to. You'll carry on with this miserable state of affairs for years if you're not careful and his ex wife will continue to cry and say she can't bear to spend a night apart.

You'll probably find when she gets a boyfriend she discovers she doesn't mind as much.

By the way, what's happening with you both at Christmas?

Earlybird Fri 23-Nov-12 23:31:50

Do you have children of your own? If so, you would understand his dilemma.

I've been in your shoes.

It is not about telling him to 'man up and get some backbone'. He loves his dc, wants to see them, and has a huge lifetime obligation to them. He is doing the best he can for all concerned. You cannot ask him to choose. You knew the situation when you got involved.

If what he can give is not enough for you, then you should find a partner who is more available. Fwiw, the relationship sounds untenable, purely due to obligations and logistics. It is virtually impossible for him to give you want you want/need/are asking for.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Fri 23-Nov-12 23:32:44

Hmmmm tricky, on the whole i don't think your being unreasonable. Sounds like the ex is just trying to control him, his life and relationship. If your going to have any future together something will have to give sooner or later. As he can't live his life forever like that (and neither can she). Sooner or later she's going to want a bit of life back rather than her ex hanging round all the time.

Maybe the way to play it is when he next talks about the future, just mention your wondering where and how it will fit in with her demands.

picnicbasketcase Fri 23-Nov-12 23:35:36

I think you are being very reasonable indeed but I can't see any way thus relationship can work out. He can't have the children to stay, he can't introduce you to them, their mother has effectively made him off limits to anyone else. Sorry.

rollermydisco Fri 23-Nov-12 23:50:48

Thanks for all your replies.

Early bird - the suggestion he should "man up" etc was probably a bad turn of phrase - I meant more, should he be seeking a tiny bit more control back from his ex when it comes to the kids. I totally understand he has a huge commitment to them, and I am glad he is living up to that for their sake, it obviously just means I miss out if I choose to stick around.

Ref Christmas - no idea, not been discussed in any depth yet.

But don't think we ll get that far to be honest.

He talks often about just needing time to adjust, that he ll get there in time and be able to cope with separate time, as will his ex he believes. But guess I can't wait forever.

I don't know how other parents manage the separation from their kids when they split - I don't have kids myself so can't even imagine how painful it is. Yet others seem to manage it, even if its very hard at first, but my partner and his ex don't want to do that, do they. And why should they put themselves through that pain I guess, if there's no need to.

The only reason he'd be doing it would be to make me and him work better, and I'd never suggest a relationship should take precedence over someone's kids.

So yep, looks like I'm on a hiding to nothing sad

Earlybird Fri 23-Nov-12 23:58:01

Sometimes a fab man 'unattached' man simply isn't available at all - even if he is legally and/or morally available.

It is painful to realise, but at least you've 'only' invested 8 months. My advice would be not to waste more time or energy. You can make him a priority in your life, but he can't do the same. Look for someone who can give you what you want. You'll be much happier.

Earlybird Fri 23-Nov-12 23:58:27

fab 'unattached' man

glasscompletelybroken Sat 24-Nov-12 10:07:28

I think this kind of contact arrangement is confusing for the kids and will make it impossible for either parent to form any kind of successful relationship with anyone else, which is not good for the kids either.

Your DP needs to get a proper contact arrangement in place - through the court if necessary. He is their dad and it is completely unreasonable for his ex to dictate how and when he sees his children.

Unless there were very good reasons against it a court would more than likely do the standard every other weekend and perhaps a day/overnight during the week.

Why is it ok for the mum to say she can't bear to be apart from her kids at the expense of the dad? Presumably it is just as difficult for him to be apart from them as it is for her?

As far as the rest of it goes - only you know if you can accept a relationship where you will always come second because that is how it will be.

olgaga Sat 24-Nov-12 13:57:47

Why is it ok for the mum to say she can't bear to be apart from her kids at the expense of the dad?

Well it doesn't really matter why she feels like that. Or why he feels like that - because let's face it, he seems happy enough, at the moment, to fall in with her wishes. Not everyone does feel like that - but they both apparently do.

Three young children is quite a handful, and she probably didn't ever envisage she would have to be a mum, work outside the home, and have to do it alone apart from every other weekend when "fun dad" swoops in and then she doesn't see them at all for an entire weekend, having done all the hard work during the week. I suspect that's at the bottom of this.

Things will probably change as the children get older, but OP's choice is still to waste her young years hanging around waiting for that to happen, or find someone without children who can put her, and their life together, first.

Charbon Sat 24-Nov-12 15:20:55

I think if you were a parent yourself, you might question some of what you are being told more rigorously - and he knows it.

So in fact he knows that no mother can withdraw children's rights to spend time with their father unless there are serious threats to the children's wellbeing - and even then, family courts and social services have to be convinced of the threat. Other parents will also tell you that men who claim this as a reason for their decisions and actions are often using it as a smokescreen to hide choices that would not bear scrutiny by a new partner.

Secondly, all parents know that after separation it is healthier for children to accept that their parents' couple relationship is over and that the family dynamic has changed. The best way to do this is for children to spend time separately with both parents and to see the non-resident parent outside of the family home.

The most obvious reason for this situation is that both your partner and his ex wife are still attached to their couple relationship and the family life it created.

I would also add that alternate weekends are never enough for a committed parent of either sex - and they are rarely enough for children, whose rights are paramount in all this. So the original arrangement would never have been satisfactory for children who loved their father, or a father who loved his children.

Be careful about the picture your partner is painting about his wife's motivations. Instinctively and logically, it is obvious that these are obfuscatory and designed to conceal his own motivations. If you haven't spoken to his ex wife and heard her version of events, be very circumspect about what you are being told and why.

mouldyironingboard Sat 24-Nov-12 15:37:20

It doesn't sound like he is really ready to move onto a new relationship so you will always feel second best. He and his ex are both being unfair to the DC as it would be much better for them to spend weekends with their father in his home.

You would be much happier if you end this relationship and find a partner who can see you at weekends, even if they have children from a previous partner.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 24-Nov-12 15:40:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Xenia Sat 24-Nov-12 15:42:42

Why can't he take the children out in the day with you there at the weekends?

Why can't he be there all day with the children but leave at say 5pm on Saturday and spend the rest of that night with you and get back to the family home at say 7am on Sunday?

I don't actually think it's unreasonable for a parent to want to spend the weekend with their children and help with them. They are very hard work and no reason the poor mother should be lumbered when it's a joine enterprise whilst he hangs around with a lover. What is weird is that she cannot cope with him taking them out. THey could come and stay with him or at your place every other weekend and then the next weekend he goes to them at their mother's.

If you want to keep him I think you need to work around his preferences here though for now.

Tryharder Sat 24-Nov-12 15:44:55

The XW can't bear to be apart from her DCs for an entire weekend? Weird!

I'd run like fuck. You have been entirely reasonable but in the end, you deserve a life and a real relationship too. Not twiddling your thumbs every weekend and holiday while he sits playing happy families with XW.

CremeEggThief Sat 24-Nov-12 15:52:08

I don't think he's ready to move on yet either, sorry. I think you have to ask yourself if what you have now is enough, and if it's not, you need to end it.

Charbon Sat 24-Nov-12 15:52:11

The XW can't bear to be apart from her DCs for an entire weekend? Weird!

or possibly untrue.

CabbageLeaves Sat 24-Nov-12 15:59:40

I think you have to accept his choice because otherwise he will resent you. Up to you whether you wish to proceed on those terms tbh

Funnylittleturkishdelight Sat 24-Nov-12 16:05:19

Does your work pattern allow you to see each other during the week? I can't work out when you actually conduct your relationship?

Wowserz129 Sat 24-Nov-12 16:08:19

I don't think he's ready for another relationship at all.

It's a hard one because on one hand it is unreasonable to ask him to take time away from his children when he doesn't want too but on other had I understand why you want him too.

Personally I think it's a case of put up and shut up or move on. He really doesn't sound like he is ready for a relationship but I do sympathise with your situation.

WhoNickedMyName Sat 24-Nov-12 16:09:04

Do you only have his word about this whole set up? I'm sorry but I just wouldn't believe him.

So he's there 3 nights a week for bedtime (does he go there straight from work?) AND all day/evening Saturday and Sunday.

Slightly unhinged, threatening ex who "will not let him" take his own children away from her at weekends.

Nah, I'm not buying into that at all. Are you really sure they're even separated?

Anyway, it matters not. What matters is that weekends are out of bounds for you and him, as are three weeknights. Your relationship is never going to progress. I'd get out now because while you're wasting your time with him you're missing out on the opportunity of meeting someone with a much less dysfunctional set up.

Wowserz129 Sat 24-Nov-12 16:09:46

Also I don't know many single parents who would not want even 1 day a week away from their children to do the washing, see friends etc so I think this arrangement is very strange.

sweetkitty Sat 24-Nov-12 16:11:57

Sorry but this is all a bit odd.

A friend has recently split with her DH, she is forced to hand her DC over all weekend one fortnight and one weekend day the next. She doesn't have a choice. She also has no say where he takes them including out with his new 20yo girlfriend!

The point I'm making is that his ex cannot make demands like this and although it is unbearable for him to be away from his DC I think he should commit one weekend day a month to you.

orchidee Sat 24-Nov-12 16:16:41

It doesn't sound like he has time for a relationship with you.

What do you do at the weekend and on these weeknights that he's with his kids? I fear your life is on hold while you could be out enjoying yourself.

If you really feel strongly about him you could take a break and see how you feel in a few months.

Something about your post reads like you're the OW. I do not imply that he hasn't really split from his ex, just that you're only getting the crumbs.

I hope you can sort this out. Personally I think you may be better leaving him to it and moving on yourself.

orchidee Sat 24-Nov-12 16:19:17

I meant to add, 8 months into a relationship should be a fab time, weekends away, nights out and loads of fun.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 24-Nov-12 16:45:08

So two months after you become his gf, ex decides she wants him seeing the DCs under their roof every weekend, he's round to tuck them in 3 week nights out of 5 and oh not forgetting, he's not allowed to introduce them to you anytime anyway? Let me guess, is his ex dating anyone?

There's being a good dad when 2 adults separate and all that entails, and there's cosy times excluding you. Good luck trying to change anything before Christmas, that won't happen! Sorry OP give up now.

orchidee Sat 24-Nov-12 16:50:12

Oh and you sound lovely smile
Do you think you may be putting his needs above yours?
However great he is, I think you could be happier without him.

colditz Sat 24-Nov-12 16:54:50

Actually, he has a choice in this. He could apply through the courts for a shared care arrangement, giving him 50% of the time with the children. If it is decided in court that this is a good idea, and given his level of contact is as if they live together, it probably will be, then she has to make the children available for 50% of their lives. She has no right to stop him doing ANYTHING as long as it isn't damaging to the welfare of the children. She cannot say that you cannot meet them, she cannot say that he cannot take them out of the house.

She is playing him like a harp, he is playing you like a harp, they don't parent as if they have split up at all and he won't have time for anyone but her until he sorts his act out. Him using tears, and blarting and snotting to shut down your discussion, won't solve this, taking it to court will.

olgaga Sat 24-Nov-12 19:32:00

Charbon - the voice of reason. So true.

Xenia Sat 24-Nov-12 21:21:49

cold, yes in theory but how many mothers are jailed for not making children available at all for years? Virtually none. Many just totally ignore those court orders and suffer no consequence so he needs to tread carefully.

rollermydisco Sat 24-Nov-12 22:22:03

Wow thanks all for your replies they have been really helpful. Will try to answer your questions and sorry for not coming back to this sooner.

We do see each other several nights a week, I'll sometimes travel to him after work and let myself in to his on the nights he s round there with the kids and wait til he gets back around 9, work means i can base myself over there a couple of days a week, or he ll come over to mine. We seem to make it work fine in the week, although we never have much time together.

As for his ex, from what I've been told (I know, I know) , she really doesn't relish a day off here and there, she feels like she's being punished if she has to be without them.

I can't help but think the reason he won't leave at say even 5pm on a Saturday eve having had all day there, then go back Sunday for example, meaning he doesn't miss out on too much with the kids, is that it'd loom suspicious to his ex. I've been thinking about this all day since I posted and I can't help but think she may think they are in fact working on things. He says he's told her about me, but I only have his word for that, it could be she thinks reconcilliation is on the cards and she doesn't actually know he's seeing someone?

Or maybe I'm being paranoid?

Whoever said they haven't let go of the family side of being a couple is spot on, so looks like I am a bit of a third wheel.

I'm going to talk to him tonight and pretty much say I need to see some changes or that's that. I also think I need to press a bit harder for the truth about their set up.

He's only left there at 10pm.

I feel a fool sad

ohfunnyface Sat 24-Nov-12 22:27:35

Don't feel a fool- he's a fool. He's neither a husband, nor a boyfriend. His fickleness isn't going to make him happy in the long run.

expatinscotland Sat 24-Nov-12 22:52:24

This is a non-starter. No 'I need to see changes' or any of that. He's made his choice and it's his kids and not you.

It's only been 8 months, you don't have kids right now yourself, this is a long-distance relationship as well. Do yourself a favour and find someone who's less attached.

olgaga Sat 24-Nov-12 22:53:30

Get on with your life OP. The only reason things are the way they are is because that is what he's happy with. Believe me, if he wasn't happy with these arrangements he'd have done something about it by now.

This isn't about her - it's about him.

rollermydisco Sat 24-Nov-12 23:05:02

I know I need to end it and try to move on.

I have tried to do this before but he is so incredibly persistent in trying to convince me otherwise, that its all going to change, and he wears me down every time. Have to admit I have fallen for him very hard and the thought of not speaking to him every day and seeing him again makes me feel positively ill.

I know I'm being pathetic and there are people with real issues on here so I'll stop bleating! I guess I've just always been torn between thinking I was selfish to expect some of his time, versus thinking I deserve so much more than he can give me. If he really wanted to change things, he would do.

expatinscotland Sat 24-Nov-12 23:13:31

Yes, you really need to move on. This is not a healthy relationship for you. This guy has too much baggage and isn't ready for a workable relationship.

olgaga Sat 24-Nov-12 23:16:23

Hey you're not pathetic roller. You're a good person, kind - and you deserve more than this. He's having his cake and eating it by the sound of it.

I'd cut it and move on, for sure. Sad for you though. But you'll look back one day and feel no regret whatsoever. You really don't need this.

Newmama99 Sat 24-Nov-12 23:21:31

It doesn't sound as he is ready for a relationship. He is obliously not ready to make time for a new woman in his life. And you owe it to yourself to find your happiness. Tell him how you feel and do the right thing for you.

My personal experience is that my partner's ex used to push the kids towards us as much as she could when she heard he had started a relationship with me (another woman). It was challenging at times, and we nearly broke up, but at the end we made the most of it, and when his ex realised he brought us closer and the children were having a great time with us, she changed completely and now does the oppposite: trying to break the relationship the children have with their dad and me... but it was not as bad as what you describe. I hope you'll find your happiness.

Charbon Sat 24-Nov-12 23:46:50

I'm always very wary about believing negative stories about another person when there has been absolutely no corroboration, especially when the tale doesn't stack up.

It's my hunch though that his exW doesn't know he's in another relationship at all, hence despite a 'separation' of 15 months you haven't met the children and have been told that his wife won't allow an introduction. I wonder whether the children actually think their parents are separated? Or whether his wife does?

Have you been introduced to his extended family and his friends OP? Or is that out of bounds too?

Anniegetyourgun Sat 24-Nov-12 23:54:01

Everyone's issues are real, honey. It's your life. You're as entitled to ask for support as anyone else.

expatinscotland Sat 24-Nov-12 23:56:38

It really shouldn't be this hard, OP. I'd forget about trying to find out the real truth, issuing ultimatums, letting him wear you down and just be really clear.

You deserve someone more available.

He isn't.

CabbageLeaves Sun 25-Nov-12 09:12:05

Can you set a date for change. The problem is that often in this sort of discussion you cannot demand instant change. So promises are made....

And not kept ...and time passes ....and you go through same mental gymnastics ....but talking about it seems pointless because you've done it before. Ongoing sadness but with the hope of change... (Which doesn't occur)

If I was the man here I'd feel massively drawn to time with my DC. What I'd need to understand is that time with DC is not being questioned but that time should be with you and DC not the ex. Focusing his thoughts on the fact that he cannot expect another partner to be excluded at weekends is important so he makes the choice about where his life is going.

I know people say don't introduce DC to we partners too early etc but quite frankly the biggest most important test in a relationship for me is how my DC view that person. It's a non starter if they are not bloody brilliant with them. So meeting is important.

WhoNickedMyName Sun 25-Nov-12 18:29:00

How'd it go Roller?

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that possibly his wife thinks they are giving it another go. Why on earth would he need to stay there at her house until 10pm on a Saturday night? Surely the children aren't up that late.

If you don't mind me asking - Have you met any of his friends and family? When you go to where he lives, do you go out in the local area or does he keep you tucked away at his place? Is any part of his life open and accessible to you?

butterfingerz Sun 25-Nov-12 18:53:08

Doesn't the mum want a bit of a breather from her kids? Or is she working full time? (Sorry missed whether you've said that or not).

God I'm with my kids 24/7, if me and my DP ever split I'd throw a small party if he were to take them away for the weekend!

And looking further down the line, what if you got pregnant with him, how would that work with the current arrangements?

Most kids should be in bed between 7-8 so don't see why he needs to be there til 10.

I don't think what you're asking is unreasonable, sounds like hes seeing them pretty regular, whats one saturday afternoon a month? Thats nothing.

shinyblackgrape Sun 25-Nov-12 19:25:37

This all sounds very suss.

8 years ago, I was going out with someone in the same situation. He had twins with a DW from whom he was separated. However, they still lived in the same house (albeit in separate bedrooms - allegedly).

He had to spend every weekend at home with the children and DW - apart from the odd random few. I suspect she was away those weekends.....we had to see each other during the week etc.

After 3 months, I got totally fucked off and dumped him. He did move out shortly after that but I'm still not 100% convinced that they had truly separated when we were going out.

I was 25 and, maybe selfishly, didn't want a boyfriend who I couldnt see at weekends. He also lived about 90 mins away which made it even harder

I don't actually think that the guy I was going out with was actively lying to me. However, I do think when people have children and want to spend a lot of time with them, there can be a blurring of the boundaries with husband and wife. It's pretty normal for couples who have split up to have a bit if to-ing and fro-ing before the final split.

The fact that he has to stay til 10pm makes me think that there is something similar going on here too. But, in any event, even if not, he's just not free to have the type of relationship with you that you want

I know that people may think this is selfish but I decided after that not to go out with anyone with children and whose life was as similar as mine as possible - single, no children, professional (so understood long hours etc). I don't believe actually that opposites do attract and build sustainable relationships. I met DH a few years later and I think our relationship works on that basis. I know that lots of people think differently to that however but just sticking my 2p in.

Please dont waste anymore time on this guy - you'll always be second best and you deserve more.

expatinscotland Sun 25-Nov-12 22:32:38

Look, you live a 2-hour drive from this guy, and you have no kids or attachments and he has 3 kids and an ex.

Get friggin' real. You don't need all this.

Whatever the reasons or the truth. He's with those kids every weekend and whatever the reason, those kids should and always will be his no. 1 priority.

Don't you think you deserve someone without all this baggage?

I used to run a mile from guys who had kids when I was single and didn't have any, because I knew I was too selfish for such a set up (I was fairly young, too, 30).

There are plenty out there who don't havet this or who are years on from their divorce and have custody set-ups that don't change.

Honestly, you need to get shot of this. It shouldn't be this hard.

expatinscotland Sun 25-Nov-12 22:35:58

'I know that people may think this is selfish but I decided after that not to go out with anyone with children and whose life was as similar as mine as possible - single, no children, professional (so understood long hours etc). '

Not selfish at all. I saw it as acknowledging I wasn't equipped or willing to deal with it, so it was better for his kids, me and him if I didn't enter into such a relationship. I felt it was more mature to acknowledge it wasn't for me and avoid it.

shinyblackgrape Sun 25-Nov-12 23:53:38

expat - phew! Glad I wasn't the only child avoider grin

expatinscotland Mon 26-Nov-12 00:08:22

Not at all. I was 30 and even then no way! Wouldn't have been fair to the kids, IMO, because I just wasn't prepared to deal. Hats off to those who can and do, they're bigger people than I am. But I knew enough about myself not to visit that on little kids. I didn't even have them and thought, nah, that's not fair on them, I'm too selfish.

rollermydisco Mon 26-Nov-12 02:37:32

Can't sleep after having the worlds most annoying conversation with him a couple of hours ago, I wish I'd just sent a "this isn't working for me" text and not bothered listening to his piffle.

But managed to establish the following through his tears:
1. He's struggling financially (is self-employed and business is crap) so doesn't think he can manage two homes much longer (no idea what their support arrangements are)
2. His eldest isn't doing well at school (aged 10) so needs stability
3. His ex has asked him repeatedly to move back in
4. So, he's going to move back in as soon as his lease is up on his current flat
5. He's sorry and wished he'd told me sooner but wasn't sure what to do
6. He loves me and if he changes his mind hopes I'll take him back (the cheek of the man)

To those who asked - no I never met a single friend or his family (although he only really has his mum who lives other end of the country) so yes, all this was staring me in the face.

Safe to say I've told him to get lost and never contact me again

Feel oddly relieved although I'm sure some hurt and humiliation will hit me in the morning.

Thanks all for your insight and giving me the push I needed to get to the bottom of it all!

Roll on Mr Right .... smile

rollermydisco Mon 26-Nov-12 02:46:25

Ps just to clarify - I have no issue with him doing what's best for his family - only wish he'd been more honest about everything.

shinyblackgrape Mon 26-Nov-12 06:15:03

Very sorry to hear this but at least you know the situation.

I hope you told him not to fucking bother with point 6?! hmm

Right, you will get a certain element if drunk calli g/texting it even doner when he's fallen out with his wife etc. Be prepared for that. Do not enter in to any dialogue. Delete all texts. Do not answer phone. Be prepared for the contact to be increasingly self- pitying/inflammatory (you never really liked me etc) to try and draw you in. However, this is a total deadloss so you'd just be going back for more of the same. Do ease do just ignore and thank your lucky stars for an escape. You could have wasted months more on this guy.

shinyblackgrape Mon 26-Nov-12 06:16:10

Re drunk calling etc - post should read : "even when sober"

shinyblackgrape Mon 26-Nov-12 06:20:29

And listen (hope this doesn't sound too smug) but I'm now married and the reason I'm up at silly o'clock is because I'm overdue with first DC.

DH has many annoying traits (as do I) but was single with no kids when I met him and unfailingly honest. You deserve that too.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EMS23 Mon 26-Nov-12 06:43:48

I've only just seen this but FWIW, I think you've had the best outcome. It hurts right now but he wasn't available and this is for the best. You could have wasted years being strung along.

Do something really lovely and indulgent for the next few weeks. Take your mind off him completely and DO NOT be tempted to go back to him.

StrawberryMojito Mon 26-Nov-12 07:09:09

I wish I'd seen this earlier as soon as I read you first couple of posts I recognised the situation completely. I became involved with a man who was separated (prior to me) with a child few years ago. He too, gradually started spending more time at his exwifes house 'for the child' and I felt I had no right to question this.

Over the course of a few months, I went from feeling like I was his new girlfriend to feeling like the other woman, even though I had started out with the full belief his marriage was over. He strung me along by making me feel like I was unreasonable for questioning anything but eventually confessed that he was moving home. It was awful and took a long time to get over but I was well rid. I still see him occasionally and he gives the impression of still being unhappily married. His problem. I am now happily married to someone else.

CabbageLeaves Mon 26-Nov-12 07:18:15

I'm so sorry disco

You sound far too nice and sane for him though

exoticfruits Mon 26-Nov-12 07:39:28

I know it is hard,but it is for the best, which you will come to see in time. You would just have had a life of endless problems. I have been in a similar situation and it took time to realise that finishing it was the best thing we did, and never again would I start something with a man that I term 'the walking wounded' - you can't actually help or get the relationship you want. Best wishes.

olgaga Mon 26-Nov-12 07:42:35

Oh dear Roller I'm afraid this is rather what I suspected. You've had some good advice here to take with you into the future - especially about being wary of one person's uncorroborated story. Hope you aren't feeling too bad, you have definitely done the right thing.

He has been very dishonest. I feel sad for you, his wife and children too.

Charbon Mon 26-Nov-12 10:25:56

Very glad you've had some clarity OP.

One of the nastiest aspects of this is the lies he was telling about his wife - and still is, by the sounds of it. He traded on a stereotype about a child-obsessed, clingy wife who couldn't cope. He set you up to believe negative things about a woman you'd never even met.

You seem like such a straightforward and kind woman and I'm sure you only believed all this because you haven't got kids yourself yet and perhaps haven't come across this very familiar dynamic of a manipulative man who likes to pit women against one another as adversaries. As long as a woman is blaming another woman in a triangle of this nature, it takes the heat and the scrutiny off the man's choices - and the most manipulative characters know it.

I'd be pretty certain his wife has got no idea he was in another relationship. It makes me wonder whether they ever separated and even whether she knows about the existence of his flat. I wonder whether the children ever went there? It's even possible that his wife thought he was working away overnight when he stayed with you there.

You say you've got very attached to him and so that might mean you're vulnerable to more lies from him. If it will help to strengthen your resolve if he comes calling again, it might be worth doing a bit of checking behind the scenes. He's deliberately made that more difficult for you to do by excluding you from family and friends, but there's quite a lot on the internet about people these days, from a google name search.

orchidee Mon 26-Nov-12 11:26:17

I hope you can move on from this quickly and painlessly.

It sounds like you've dodged a bullet. He's either confused or deluded but the message of "staying together for the kids/ will you be there if it doesn't work out?" Should be taken as a warning to run and not look back. There's a lot of dishonesty in him, the why is irrelevant. You've been honest and open and expe Ted the same from him. This is not your failing, it's his. Try not to take it personally. I know you feel he was a good catch in other ways. Perhaps reading the "red flags" thread here on relationships could be useful. Best wishes.

WhoNickedMyName Mon 26-Nov-12 14:09:30

6. He loves me and if he changes his mind hopes I'll take him back

shock The cheeky fucker!

I second all of the advice about not entering into any dialogue with him about anything. Delete his number and forget he even existed. You're probably hurting like hell at the moment... Be nice to yourself, keep yourself busy and arrange some treats to look forward to, even if it's only a trip to the hairdressers or a mooch round the shops. And most of all, be grateful that you didn't waste any more time on this wanker.

I am absolutely angry on your behalf!

expatinscotland Mon 26-Nov-12 15:31:43

OP, please please do yourself a favour and don't hook up with men who have so much baggage. Honestly, it's a PITA you don't need.

rollermydisco Mon 26-Nov-12 17:51:37

Been busy at work all day, thanks all for your replies.

He has emailed today asking to talk and called once but I'm ignoring. Think he's probably trying to make himself feel better. And as far as I'm concerned every attempt at contact with me is just another betrayal of his wife which just consolidates how much I hate him.

StrawberryMojito - your experience sounds chillingly similar! It's exactly how I've felt , like some kind of other woman. But it was always so hard to challenge him about spending time with his kids! It's not like being in the pub or playing football, I honestly felt awful and completely unreasonable to even challenge him on it even though it made me so uncomfortable.

I've spent pretty much all my adult life in relationships (actual ones I mean, not illusions like this one!), I'm 32 now, think I need to have some time to myself, and my god I will always trust my instincts going forward - if something doesn't feel right it generally isn't eh!

Shinyblackgrape - hope the little one is along soon!

Thanks all again for your support and kind words.

CremeEggThief Tue 27-Nov-12 09:34:42

Hope everything works out for you, OP. You have had a lucky escape. thanks

OneMoreChap Tue 27-Nov-12 14:20:48

I'm sure some ex's can be very difficult.

Fortunately, things are much more sensible now. Suggest he get's a solicitor, and pursues a sensible contact arrangement.

Him being miserable won't help the kids much, and seeing him in a new relationship won't kill them either.

If he won't do it... look for a new partner.

OneMoreChap Tue 27-Nov-12 14:21:44

dear lord missed the last update. You're well rid.

exoticfruits Tue 27-Nov-12 19:08:30

See it as a lucky escape-good luck for the future.

ProphetOfDoom Tue 27-Nov-12 20:00:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsFlibble Tue 27-Nov-12 20:32:59

rollermydisco Well done for staying strong and giving him the boot, reading your post says so much to an outsider, that hes been playing you, well dont for ending the game, and get back out there, hes not worth any further thought. Good luck x

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