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I think my husband has left me.

(394 Posts)
Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 00:44:26

But I don't actually officially know. How pathetic does that sound?

I've nc for this and I don't know why, possibly because it makes it a little bit less real, less connected to me.

I have no one I'm able to talk to about this now and anyway sometimes you just need MN advice don't you? All the way up to starting the thread I just wanted you lot to tell me what to do, now I don't know what to write. Because I don't know what the fuck is going on.

A couple of things have made sense in retrospect but at the time (and we're talking this week, not months or years) I just thought it was work and christmas/family stress. He's been quiet a bit, not had a great appetite and not slept well, been perfectly polite but exactly that, polite, distant although not cold while I tried really hard to get talking - and I have wracked my brains trying to see what else I missed but I'm coming up with nothing.
He's been at his mother's a lot over Christmas for various reasons (and yes I know he was there, he's got no other indicators pointing to affairsville really, although nothing could surprise me anymore) only dropping into the house to get ready to go to work and lunch. I was worried and tried to get him to talk to me but he wouldn't. Friday he said he needed to clear his head and went for a drive, he was reasonable but not normal when he got back. I asked if he would take a break or at least go to the doctor, I thought his problems were down to exhaustion and told him I was really worried he was heading for bigger issues.
Yesterday he's at work all night, he gets home today and tells me he's got to go and see his mother but he's seeing a Dr in the evening - his friend, actually a Dr but a friend none the less, for a 'chat'- I backed off, just said if he wouldn't talk to me please talk to his mum, she loves him yadda yadda, I'm glad he's talking to his friend and I hope it will be helpful.
Hear nothing, text for news, he'll let me know.
Get a text ' x has said go back to mum's, chill out there away from work area and see how things are in the morning. Sorry.'
I was sceptical of the exact advice being reported but thought fuck it, if he has a break we can sort things out when he's got his head back.

So it should have ended there. This is the pathetic part, we share a computer, I went to log in to facebook and his sign in details were in the box, I always forget to check, looked back across and it said password incorrect. Thought balls I only changed it last week, saw it was his and the auto fill had put the usual one in - his password was changed at 9.15 this morning. Was a bit eh? but logged in to mine to see I have been unfriended. Now I don't set much store by fb but this is so random. He never uses the fucking thing, why go to the bother of that mid breakdown (which I had attributed this to initially)? If it was a friend I wouldn't think anything of it but unfriending your wife (not deactivating the account) when you don't use it seems a random point to make. I checked email accounts - we have our own but often share for stuff- all the passwords have been changed. Today.
I spent the day trying to work out all the things I could do to take the load off for him, try to help without really knowing the problem from him, concerned he's on the brink of working himself to death and I was in a bit of denial. Then that; it confirmed my gut feeling so I decided to pack a bag, send him to his mother's more permanently while we sort things out properly and try and shield the kids from any of this uncertainty with a work trip.
Text to tell him this, non-confrontationally, no reply. Found his wedding ring left in the bathroom and he doesn't take it off normally. Had a cry while packing his bag and now I'm just - ? -

Not 24 hours ago I would have said he is a decent, kind man, excellent father and we had a solid marriage. We discussed separation when we had pfb and we both said as amicably as possible - no mess, grown ups, with mediators if necessary. Even if he left me I would have laughed in the face of anyone that said he would leave the dc like that...which brings me back to him just having reached the end of his tether.
I'm sad, alone, am desperately worried about him and want to be with him but also have no idea if he has actually had a crisis and wasn't in fact a massive bastard that was too chicken shit to tell me to my face, I'm angry at him, furious really. And then just distraught because I love him and can't believe he would do this if he had a choice. Except he has, hasn't he?

<holds hand>

Darling I'm going to finish reading your op, will be back x

carrotsdotty Tue 31-Dec-13 00:49:49

Am thinking about you holding your hand, wishing you the best my love x

WaitingForPeterWimsey Tue 31-Dec-13 00:50:05

So sorry you are upset thanks

Could he just be having a breakdown?

CheckedPjs Tue 31-Dec-13 00:50:30

OP I'm so sorry!

You just need to ask him, in person or over the phone, maybe he just needs a break or maybe he's come to the end. If it's the latter I'm so sorry

manaboutthemaison Tue 31-Dec-13 00:51:01

He sounds very troubled, i wish you both well.x

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 00:51:37

I'm sorry. I've been on my own for not only today but really most of Christmas I just blurted and it is long and doesn't make sense because whichever way, fury or despair, I'm crying and my face is all fat and my head hurts and he's fucked off and is probably sleeping, the fucker.
I feel less alone getting it out though so I suppose that saves waing through it.

AnUnearthlyChild Tue 31-Dec-13 00:53:27

<holds hand also>

CheckedPjs Tue 31-Dec-13 00:53:52

brew (i don't drink sorry) biscuit cake thanks

I wish you well OP, how are the children?

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 00:54:19

Oh, lots of replies I hadn't expected, so x posted. Thank you for your replies it means a lot.

I have tried calling and texting, he's not answering nor is his mum but I don't blame her I'd do the same for mine...well not quite so coldly but whatever. I'm just having to wait until he feels like getting in touch.

LackaDAISYcal Tue 31-Dec-13 00:54:54

Not sure what is going on with him, but so so sorry you are going through this at this time of year. I'm facing my own relationship demons at the minute and just wanted to show some solidarity. Do you think there is an OW? hence the defriending on FB and chaning the email passwords?

MuttonCadet Tue 31-Dec-13 00:56:50

He does sound very confused, I hope that you can work it out.

EllieInTheRoom Tue 31-Dec-13 00:57:04

Is he definitely at his mothers? Have you checked?

I'm so sorry, you must feel so awful.

As soon as is practical get over there to demand what is going on.

Have there been any problems in the relationship?

I'm angry for you. I don't think midlife crisis or breakdown at all. I think if it was mental health related his doctor friend would have given him sounder advice then to just go to his mothers.

Either way, he's behaving like a massive selfish twat.

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 00:57:34

Thank you for hands. Hands and hugs all gratefully received.

Checked - dc are fine and snuggled in bed. I told them dh was visiting Nanna and then had to work. I wouldn't usually lie to them but I don't actually have any truth to tell them so opted for my own version of moral cowardiceI guess.
No idea what I will do if this all implodes.

saggytummy Tue 31-Dec-13 00:57:49

I would suggest just trying to sleep, hopefully it will happen then in the morning start the jungle drums, try his mum, the friend etc. wanted to make sure you weren't alone. We could all juxtapose what's going on in his head but if it's some sort of mental issue only he can tell u or one of those he has confided in.

Pancakeflipper Tue 31-Dec-13 00:59:17

Ohbyethen, he's a coward and that makes it harder for you.

I hope the hurting becomes bearable then gradually diminishes so you have fun again.

saggytummy Tue 31-Dec-13 01:00:16

His mum should have the decency to answer your calls IMO sorry didn't realise you had tried this already. You could try looking at his FB page for any clues though I know you said he has defriended you.

handfulofcottonbuds Tue 31-Dec-13 01:02:57

I'm so sorry you are going through this - so confusing for you.

I know it's a bit sneaky but have you tried different passwords to get onto his FB page?

You deserve answers and I hope his DM isn't answering her phone just because it's late. He on the other hand does owe you an explanation and I hope you get it soon.

stickysausages Tue 31-Dec-13 01:03:27

I'm so sorry, hope you can work it out thanks

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 01:03:27

You see that's what I don't know! I was desperately trying to pin it on something fixable but if he's just been a selfish twat for the sake of being a selfish twat then - marriage up in smoke. I'm not going to deny it could be an affair, although it seems less likely than the other 2 options that still makes it an option.

I've contacted friends and they haven't heard anything, he's not with them. I know he was at his mother's when I last had any contact and she wouldn't let him go roaming if he was struggling. I'm sure she would call me if something concerning happened if only for the sake of the dc.
With that reasoning I felt like maybe the only thing I would get out of tonight is some thinking time because it doesn't look like I'll get answers. If he doesn't present himself or contact me in the morning I'll get a babysitter and head over.

knockedgymnast Tue 31-Dec-13 01:03:27

Sorry to hear this, op. I think he is having some sort of crisis rather than a breakdown. Like you, rightly, said he has changed passwords etc & also taken off his wedding ring, which to me, seems quite pre-meditated rather than a sign of desperation iyswim?

I don't know and perhaps I shouldn't speculate but I rely hope you get to the bottom of it. The truth.

Holding your hand.


Oh I'm so, so sorry sad

Has he got form for this?

It sounds like he could be having a breakdown. Have you been under any particular stress recently?

I'm afraid that I'm going to go into practical mode - have you got any joint accounts? If so have you checked to make sure that they haven't been cleared out? If everything is still there then I would transfer as much as you can out of there - if he isn't well then there is no telling what he could do.

When did this all happen? You say you've been keeping it in?

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 01:09:46

Handful - as sad as it was, yes I did try any passwords I could think of, nada. Friends have reported no activity. But there's always private messages isn't there.

Knocked - thank you that's what I was failing ot articulate. Initially it seemed like crisis point and was really worried he would teeter over the edge as he suddenly acted more acutely stressed. But there are a couple of quite cold, rational and patently pre-meditate (like 10 hours before I knew anything) things that point to this not really being any kind of desperate act. Apart from a desperate act of cowardice sad it feels so awful to write that about him because I really idn't think that would ever be the man I knew.

EllieInTheRoom Tue 31-Dec-13 01:11:57

What sticky said ^^

It certainly looks like he never had any intention of returning tonight, no matter what his mate said.

I think his mother is behaving awfully by ignoring you. She either knows he's a dick and is protecting him, or, even if he was having some sort of crisis (which I don't believe) she should be in touch with you, as his wife, to alleviate your worry.

I hope you're ok! It's probably pointless to say this but do try to sleep or at least rest.

handfulofcottonbuds Tue 31-Dec-13 01:13:54

It's all so strange, unfriending his DW, taking off his wedding ring where he knew you'd find it. He's just left you and your DCs and won't give you any clue as to why?

You must be in bits love, Were there any other signs other than him clearing his head? Are you in touch with his Dr friend?

knockedgymnast Tue 31-Dec-13 01:16:47

Ohbythen, it must be awful for you sad

And the only thing you have to go on are his actions, which seem quite conflicting. Almost like he could be leading a double life.

Like I said, I don't want to speculate .

Unfortunately, only time will tell.

Poor you sad

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 01:18:01

ohfour - No form no, never. Keeping it in tad dramatic sorry, all unfolded from early hours last night, last saw him about 10am. Didn't speak to him, was spoke to as he left.
Have separate main accounts, joint account intact so transferred most. Felt bad about him possibly finding no money in case he needed it. Ridiculous.
We have faced a lot of stresses generally and historically (death, money, illness, caring and disability strains) but always weathered them well (ha!) but I wouldn't say we have had any relationship issues. Well clearly we bloody have but I obviously didn't notice. It's all been external recently, family and his work. I thought we were dealing with that, I didn't know we had us problems to deal with.

The fb thing is definitely weird - I mean, why would he do that confused - especially if it isn't something he uses regularly?

It just doesn't make any sense?

handfulofcottonbuds Tue 31-Dec-13 01:21:30

Have you got family or friends close by you can lean on?

Darling that's long enough to keep something like this in -I can imagine that hours feel like years sad

Have you got any rl support?

And do not feel guilty about the joint account - you need to make sure that you and the dc are as ok as you can be. No matter what has happened or why he has done this, they are your priority x

knockedgymnast Tue 31-Dec-13 01:24:33

ohfour, I was thinking the same thing. His mum knows a lot more of what is going on, I fear, which could be why she's ignoring your calls.

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 01:26:22

Thank you everyone that has responded - truely, genuinely thank you, sorry I'm not name checking everyone but your replies are so appreciated.

Handful Wtf? is pretty much all I can get my head round at the moment. I start to get angry or sad or worried and my brain just cuts out leaving a big what the fuck in it's place.
When he went for a drive to clear his head he wasn't gone long, I thought it was suss but he seemed genuinely cut up about 'stresses' - other than that no. I mean for fuck's sake I was giving him a hair cut in the bath Sunday while he chatted, I thought he'd started to feel a bit more able to talk to me.
Sadly no number or contact details for Dr friend as work friend none of our personal friends have his details either. Unless I call his surgery which is a bit deranged. I feel a bit deranged.

I don't think he was coming home. I'm not sure he plans on coming home again. And that makes me feel like I can't breathe.

Darling it is very, very early days - wtf is, I am sure, what an awful lot of posters in your position experience. I'm not saying that there are any right or wrong answers, only that you shouldn't beat yourself up or be surprised that you don't know what way is up at the moment.

How long have you been together?

handfulofcottonbuds Tue 31-Dec-13 01:32:22

If you can sort out childcare and hopefully get a friend or family member to go with you, then I think you need to go to MIL's tomorrow. You can't deal with this for another day. This is totally unfair on you and your DCs.

I know you probably won't sleep tonight but as was said up thread, try and rest if you can.

I can't imagine what you're going through but I know there will be support on here for you tonight x

FloraSpreadableMacDonald Tue 31-Dec-13 01:34:06

Dear OP....I could have written your post in August. We went on holiday, had fun, etc...then i had a few days away with kids and i came back and he had gone. My dp suffered clinical depression and i put it down to that as he was on a real low. Things had been odd looking back...changing his computer password, putting a lock on his phone, going to the gym a lot.....I came on MN and got good advice. One poster suggested he was having an affair. I said no way. Ive recently apoligised to that poster as i found out that he was having an affair. I could never have believed it possible. It lasted only a few weeks after that but i struggled even then. Ive discovered that a monkey doesnt let go of his nice homely branch till he has another one to swing too.
I sincerely hope its not the case but as an outsider looking in, it points to that.
I hope you find peace and that things work out the way you want them.

sad so sorry for you op xx

LackaDAISYcal Tue 31-Dec-13 01:34:45

so sorry ohbyethen, try and get some sleep and hopefully there will be clarity in the morning. Feeling for you so much xx

Lweji Tue 31-Dec-13 01:35:55

So sorry. sad

You did well in taking the money. He did leave you with the children with no regard for them, or you.

TBH, I'd be changing the locks tomorrow, or locking the doors from the inside. Not so much to keep him out, but to make sure he couldn't escape from actually explaining what is going on if he does show up.


FreeAtLastAtLongLast Tue 31-Dec-13 01:36:46

I'm so sorry you're being treated like this, just awful hmm

If you're able to manage something to eat, perhaps something with carbs, it might help you to sleep?

Where abouts are you op? Is there anyone who could look after you for a couple of days?

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 01:39:06

I'll be able to speak to Friends in the morning, they deserve an explanation anyway.
Not that I quite know what to say.

I do think his mum knows what's going on, which is a bit of a stab in the heart. I keep thinking if it was my sonI I'd do the same but I know I wouldn't hurt his wife by not at least telling her he's safe. O don't know what he's told her, it could be anything.

Sorry for typos, got the shakes now I've told you. It's feltlike years yes, but unreal. Realisation not of what I suspected deep down earlier but really actually this is happening realisation has hit me I think. Because it's not going away if I just carry on as normal. It probably never will. I just wish it would. If it won't I just want to know why.

Shakes are understandable sad

I know this may not be the best of ideas, but have you thought about having a wee dram of something to try to calm the shakes? (Too much probably wouldn't be a good idea but a little might help?)

Lweji Tue 31-Dec-13 01:47:13

If he is ill, or even having mental health problems, I would have expected his mother to explain it to you, so that you are not worried, nor the children.
It's really amazing that they are not being considered in this by them.

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 01:49:04

Sorry x post again.

I'm lucky I have friends I can call, family when I feel up to doing his dirty work. DC Will be well looked after.
Thank you Flora for sharing... I don't know, couldn't put it past him now really. Is that better? He just didn't love me enough versus just didn't love me. Neither really.

I desperately want him to come back so I can tell him toleave on my terms. Except when I see him will I? Carbs sound good but can't face much. Might open his Christmas biscuits...even if I just chuck them to the dogs.

handfulofcottonbuds Tue 31-Dec-13 01:53:16

Open his flipping biscuits! Have a cup of tea with sugar in, you are probably in shock lovely.

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 01:55:46

No booze for me, medication prevents it.
I'll have to put my game face on soon anyway.

My children do not deserve this. I could deal if it was just me but you're right. If their dad won't think of them surely she should?
Crying again which is making me angry and desolate in equal measure. My babies sad fucking fuck.
Sorry but just... what? This is so wrong.

You do not need to put your game face on sweetheart, the only thing you need to do is take this second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour.

One of the wisest things I've read on mn is the phrase "this too shall pass". It doesn't feel like it now, you probably think that the pain will never end, but it will. And you will come out the other side stronger and more fabulous than you have ever been.

But for now, baby steps x

Definitely go to see his mother tomorrow - unless you have a trusted friend or other relative who could go round there on your behalf and check whether or not your husband is there.

If he isn't there and his mother won't tell you where he is or claims not to know, then I would actually advise informing the police. On the grounds that he has been 'unhappy', taken off his wedding ring and disappeared - these could be seen as indications of a suicidal mindset.
I'm not trying to scare you as i think it's far more likely that he is being a twat and off with another woman, but you could probably use the threat of police involvement to make his mother tell what she knows.
And if he is there but won't speak to you, come home and contact a solicitor about sorting out the finances and the house etc. If he's posturing for attention, he needs a good kick in the cock; if he's decided to leave you then you need to protect yourself legally and financially.

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 02:04:50

Thank you everyone for your support and advice. You have helped immesurably in getting my thoughts together.
I'm sat in bed so if I do flake out at least won't wake up at the kitchen table.

Not long I suppose until it's a decent hour and I can start ringing people.

FloraSpreadableMacDonald Tue 31-Dec-13 02:05:04

Op....have a virtual hug.
You will have so many questions. I found it helpful to jot them down. If he refuses to speak then email him your questions.
Luke you, if one of my sons were in this position, id support them but his wife too, as the mother of his children. My mil was biased but she would share what he had said to her.
I agree with the others, you are in shock. Its hard to function when you also have the children to consider.
Im 5 months down the line. It does get easier but please in the meantime, lean on your friends and family. You will have bad days but you can do it.
Really hoping you get some answers.

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 02:12:00

Thank you Ohfour

SGB - I did worry that he was out to jump of a bridge but I actually don't think that was/is the case. I will be going in the morning as soon as someone can be here for the dc. Unless I hear first, which I doubt.
I kept quite a lot in my name (although cash poor have some assets) as my mum got left completely high and dry by my father. I thought I had chosen better. I obviously haven't but at least I can keep my children fed.
It had been a standing joke I'd be better off if we divorced. How bitter that tastes now.

That's good, I'm glad you've made it to bed x

Have you got a list of people you are going to contact? Sorry to ask something practical, but it's something you could do in advance with a view to getting as much love and support around you as possible x

Darling it can happen to anyone at any time. Sometimes no matter how wisely you feel you choose there can always be something to turn around and bite you on the arse.

Are you and your mum close?

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 02:18:16

Thank you Flora ideas noted. Although maybe 'WTF ARE YOU DOING YOU TWAT?' doesn't quite count as a list. I cannot believe I'm laughing at that. I wish I could be sure to hold on to now, but think I will come back to angry, sad and betrayed. Foolish.
I suppose only one of us gets to not give a shit.

Another hand to hold here. So sorry that you are going through this.

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 02:23:23

Ohfour - thank you. And I'll keep saying thank you, your presence and time means the world.
Sadly not close with my mum but she'll not see the dc go without and will be practical help. That's plenty. She's never been good at emotional support.
I will probably get a speach about how awful men are. I spent my life saying some people are but most men are decent. She'll point that out to me, even though it's still true.

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 02:23:58

Coola thanks

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 02:24:19



Practical help is good - it will free you up to seek emotional support from other sources.

Yes, some men are shits, but then so are some women confused no one can generalise like that! it just doesn't make sense......

Lweji Tue 31-Dec-13 02:41:44

You mentioned earlier you wanted him to go back so that you can dump him.

You still can maintain your dignity. Reporting to the police is a good idea, that's what people do when others disappear.
But you can also send him and his mother a message saying he can collect his stuff from outside the front door. And send him the contact for your solicitor.

I hope you manage to rest tonight and have some good real life support.

Cerisier Tue 31-Dec-13 02:42:04

Another hand to hold. I hope you manage to get some sleep and tomorrow brings some answers. He is being cruel not telling you what the hell is going on. If he is at his mother's then shame on her for not letting you know he is safe, although she might have assumed he has told you and she might be trying to keep out of it. What a nightmare.

shoom Tue 31-Dec-13 02:42:33

Obviously ignoring your calls is not on, but considering that you have children I think this is unforgivable. His mother too.

I hope you can talk to people in real life tomorrow and get some support. Your head must be spinning trying to work out what's going on. It is very cruel to ignore you. I second the pp who suggested threatening reporting his disappearance to the police if when speaking to his mum, you sense she is holding back.

If he does appear of his own volition in the morning I hope you are able to get answers from him before letting him in.

AcrossthePond55 Tue 31-Dec-13 02:43:15

I'm so sorry you're going through this. My suggestion is to try to focus on the things you CAN do now, not to try to figure out the inner workings of your husband's mind. Until you actually speak with him, you won't know where you stand so why torture yourself with 'what ifs'. But you can take a hot bath/shower & shed a few tears. You can make sure your finances are in order (although it sounds as if you've done that). You can find all the important paperwork you may need if things go south from here. You can look up a good solicitor or research family law. Make lists, lots of lists, of questions, ideas, plans. Shoot, you can rearrange the spice cabinet alphabetically if it keeps you busy. The main thing is to try to stop those nasty little thought-hamsters from running endlessly on that mental hamster-wheel. The last thing I could ever do in times of stress was sleep, so I just found things to keep me busy until I could take some type of action. Sometimes I wore myself out, sometimes I didn't. But I often found I was more alert after a sleepless night of housecleaning than I was after a restless night of lying in bed trying and failing to sleep.

Ohbyethen Tue 31-Dec-13 02:59:23

ohfour My mum is not very logical when it comes to men. Sadly she's very bitter, it only hurts her as both my father and her next husband have moved on. I don't want to be full of poison like that. But it has been a blow to everything I've built my life around, everything I saw wasn't true. A decent loving man, one of the best of a really decent bunch that I am lucky enough to know, seems not to be.

I'm still swinging between hurt anger and trying to find an explanation, any feasible explanation at all, that will be good enough to make it all be ok again. Unfortunately I am already in the realms of ridiculous fantasy. I can't think of one that ties everything together without some significant reaching.
I think that tells me that what happened today was I was the last person to find out my husband has left me.

Acrossthepond - that made me smile, mostly because our spice rack is propped against the fridge waiting for someone to put it back up...!
Looks like I'll be getting another pair of hands to help with that.

Lweji , Shoom - I will hold that in reserve, if she won't tell me I haven't got enough restraint to tread gently. If I judge it's warrented I will actually call them too but I think he's tucked up in his old bedroom now tbh. Sad thing is I would have done nearly anything to help him if he was unwell or needing a break. He made me think he was at such risk, was overwhelmed and in pain but that seems so far from the truth now.

Cerisier - thanks

whydidthishappen Tue 31-Dec-13 03:09:58

Dont mean to freak you out, but I wouldnt rule out suicide.

Go round to his mothers tomorrow and say that he is missing and you are reporting it to the police. She'll cough up the truth or will have it dragged out of her by the cops for hampering an active investigation.

Then go get a solicitor.

Really shocked at your husbands behavior. You poor lady.

Across what a beautiful way of putting it - nasty little thought hamsters. So accurate!

Bye if you feel up to it have a look at some of the threads on relationships - there is so much useful advice. Regardless of what happens, you might want to book to see a solicitor ASAP - many of them do free 30 minute sessions. If you use them wisely, you could see multiple solicitors gathering as much information as you can. Also, if you approach a solicitor first, then they cannot the represent your husband as it would be a conflict of interest.

Make sure that you get all your important documents together and keep them safe. You could even give these to a friend to look after. Passports, birth certificates, drivers licence, marriage certificates, insurance documents, bank statements, utility bills (just in case you need proof of address for setting up another account).

Contact the council, if you are the only adult in your home then I think you're entitled to a reduction in council tax.

Don't forget that the CAB (citizens advice bureau) may well be able to help.

Above all you need to look after you and your dc. No one else matters. Please don't be afraid to ask for help - get as much scooper as you can from as many sources as you feel comfortable with.

You may not get an explanation I'm afraid darling, which potentially leaves the most dreadful state of limbo. But it sounds like you will have a clearer idea once you visit mil tomorrow.

What is your relationship like with his family?

Tonandfeather Tue 31-Dec-13 03:19:38

I'm really sorry but I think this points to an affair, not a breakdown.

He had the presence of mind to go to work, unfriend you, change passwords, remove his ring and drive between locations. That doesn't sound like my observed experience of a breakdown.

How do you know for absolute certain he's been at his mother's in the past week? When did you last speak to her?

It's very possible he is someplace else and has forewarned his mother not to respond to your calls, promising he will tell her all later.

What's changed lately? Different job? Different workpals? Different phone behaviour? Changed habits?

You could take the computer to a shop (we have them over here) that will restore pages visited, assuming he's deleted all history? They might also be able to locate secret webmail accounts.

You poor thing. I am very sorry you're going through this. x

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Tue 31-Dec-13 03:23:03

Your poor poor thing. I wish there was something I could do for you. What a selfish man he is being. There is nothing worse than not knowing. Than not getting answers. Phone calls ignored.

You're doing very well and you'll continue to do so. I hope you get the answers you need x

I can imagine that it's the not knowing that is torture sad

You do realise that this is all his doing, not yours? It's ok to be angry x

bragmatic Tue 31-Dec-13 04:06:44

I'm here too. I'm really sorry. It sounds like torture for you. Hang in there. x

I hope this morning brings some information. Not knowing is the worst part, because you aren't sure what you are dealing with so it's hard to begin to actually deal with anything.

Once you know what the hell is going on you'll be able to make decisions and plans in whichever direction you choose.

I hope you managed at least a little sleep.

Wishing you strength.

EllieInTheRoom Tue 31-Dec-13 08:11:43

How's it going OP? Really hope you managed to rest x

TheCrumpetQueen Tue 31-Dec-13 08:31:33

So sorry you're going through this, op. hope you managed to get some sleep.

I think he too is having an affair, sorry. He's been so distant and cold and going out a lot - all points to it

Boredandfridgegazing Tue 31-Dec-13 08:36:55

Do you know his login for Facebook? If so, you can pretend you are him and press the forgot your PW button.

I've not done that - honest hmm

HOMEQCRICH Tue 31-Dec-13 08:36:57

The lack of contact unanswered calls etc is absolute torture. It happened to my friend and was far far worse than any break up that she had been through. I feel for you. X

HOMEQCRICH Tue 31-Dec-13 08:39:25

Ooh bored what a terrible thing to suggest.
Inserts big grin smiley here (can't figure out from phone!)

nomorebooze Tue 31-Dec-13 08:39:49

hope your doing ok OP? so sorry your going through this alone! just 1 question do you know for definite he's at his mums now ?????

Boredandfridgegazing Tue 31-Dec-13 08:40:09

Information is power Home grin

Hope you get some answers this morning.

ItsBiggerOnTheInside Tue 31-Dec-13 09:05:58

More hugs from me. I remember very well how it feels when your DH starts behaving in a way that just does not make any sense. Like a stranger in a very familiar body sad.

I'm sorry but the Facebook thing says to me that he is communicating with someone or people and he doesn't want you to know what it is (tagged into photos etc). That suggests an affair to me.

The practical advice here is good. Get some real life support ASAP to stop you thinking you are going bonkers. Keep posting here. We are always here and lots of us have been through this.

I'm sorry this is happening to you. What a coward he is being. I'm very sorry to say that it sounds like classic affair behaviour. He is using Facebook to communicate with her hence changing the email passwords. He has probably been at his mums but using that as an opportunity to communicate with her without you around. The distance, physically and emotionally, that he has created all yell cheating. I'm very sorry, he's behaving so badly. I hope it's not cheating but in any case his coldness and disappearing on you are barely forgiveable.

I think its possible he isn't at his mums but has warned her he has left so she is feeling awkward and avoiding you. It all sounds too premeditated to be a mental health crisis and I think if you keep digging you will find evidence of another woman.
Hope you can stay strong during this it sounds like a living nightmare

Fairenuff Tue 31-Dec-13 10:48:45

If he is not at his mum's and she doesn't know where he is, I agree with others who suggest reporting him as a missing, vulnerable adult. The police will speak to his mum too and she might be more forthcoming with them. If she genuinely doesn't know, they will look for him.

Thinking of you x

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 31-Dec-13 11:58:30

I'm so sorry, ohbyethen. What a cowardly and deceitful way for your husband to behave. I think that your MIL is not being very fair either; she could at least ring to you say, "He's here, he's ok but doesn't want to come how for now". That's not being disloyal to him but is at least being decent to you.

I know it probably doesn't feel like it right now but you do sound very strong from your posts, even with this tempest blowing your life in bits right now. Get your support from wherever you can. Your children are very lucky to have you as their mum.

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 31-Dec-13 12:17:10

Agree he is showing all the classic signs of having an affair sad

How awful to have left you hanging on like this. This man is not your friend anymore and will be so enthralled to OW that I would start taking control by taking steps to protect your finances.

So sorry for what you are going through op, hope you get some answers soon.

Shame your mil cannot have some decancy by atleast telling you he is there.

mumandboys123 Tue 31-Dec-13 12:41:57

Just wanted to comment although I'm afraid I'm not going to give you much hope.

My ex walked out on me just over 5 years ago and sent me an e-mail to let me know he wouldn't be coming home. One of the first things he then did was block me on Facebook and change his passwords - like you, we knew each other's passwords and could access each other's accounts. His family never contacted me - and still haven't. I found out a couple of years in that he had told them that I was physically and mentally abusive to the point of actually raping him on a regular basis. So, I guess from their point of view, they have nothing to say to me! I only found out because my sister-in-law split up with my ex's brother so she suddenly had no loyalty to their family - it was an eye-opener, believe me! (And just to be clear, none of that is true!).

He denied he was having an affair for over 6 months. This was despite the fact he had moved in with her on day one and introduced the children at day eight and introduced his family within the first week (if sister in law is to be believed.) And frankly, things haven't improved over time. He still lies constantly to the point where I now generally get things right only by believing the opposite of what he says! He was a decent guy - and would today I am sure very much pride himself on being a 'nice guy' and a 'family man' and a 'good catch'. He has paid no maintenance at all (self employed), the other woman was hideous (used to slap our eldest child across the face) and he dragged me through court for residence of the children (he didn't win). At one point, he disappeared for about 18 months entirely. I have learnt to live with and so have the children and at some level, I just pity him 'cos he's made such a mess.

Assuming you are dealing with similar and not a genuine breakdown, I wish I could be more positive for you other than to say that you will get through this and you will come out the other end a better person for it. I have achieved a lot in the last few years - moved house, decorated, retrained as a teacher and now work full time. Our children have struggled and it's heartbreaking thinking about what should have been but it gets easier and you learn to live with the positives and deal with the negatives.

I will keep checking back at your thread and I have my fingers crossed that you have a positive outcome. Know that even if it is that he's left for someone else, you are not alone. Take care of yourself as best you can and be strong for your children. xxx

Iworrymyselftosleep Tue 31-Dec-13 12:43:30

I hope you're getting some answers.

I'm thinking of you - good luck

God OP this is devastating. I hope you're finding some answers today.

citruslemon Tue 31-Dec-13 13:17:00

I think it's highly immature of him and the MiL not to let you know where he is as you have kids. God forbid if the kids were ill or something happened they'd want/need to know. Obviously, he's not in the headspace to deal with that or think about it, but still....
Hope you're ok babe x

FloraSpreadableMacDonald Tue 31-Dec-13 13:27:30

I oncereported my ex as missing to the police when he disappered 3 days. We had argued and he stormed out. He wasnt answering his phone and no friends or family knew where he was. The police were really helpful. He turned up, had stayed in a B&B but thought it ok not to contact us. He got reprimanded by the police!

FunnyFestiveTableRunner Tue 31-Dec-13 14:42:38

How are you OP? Just read this and am sad for you. I hope things are clearer for you today and you are getting answers.

Its0kToBeMe Tue 31-Dec-13 14:47:51

I have been in your situation and my DH acted much the same. Appeared depressed, quiet,emotionally checked out of the relationship even withdrew affection from the children. He was having an affair of course. I made every excuse under the sun for him. Still do sad

Hope you find some answers.

Josie314 Tue 31-Dec-13 15:29:45

I don't have anything useful to say, but I am thinking of you, OP.

mammadiggingdeep Tue 31-Dec-13 15:50:29

Just read the thread.

Op really hope you're ok. I agree this could be affair behaviour. If it is, protect yourself and try to keep your dignity.

Holding your hand and hoping for the best

LiesDamnLiesandSoggybiscuits Tue 31-Dec-13 17:29:56

Thinking of you OP. Hope you at least have some answers today.

SugarMiceInTheRain Tue 31-Dec-13 17:39:22

Thinking of you OP, and hope you will be able to get some answers very soon x

Buzzardbird Tue 31-Dec-13 17:55:37

De-lurking just to say I hope you are ok Op.thanks

Loggins Tue 31-Dec-13 18:22:01

Just read this OP.
Hope today has brought you some answers x

I wish I had some words of wisdom for the OP - the best I have to offer is a hand to hold. I am just glad that MN has so many women who are more wise, and sadly more experienced than me, and can offer the OP so much advice and support. This is why I will hear no wrong of MN.

Oblique27 Tue 31-Dec-13 18:35:52

What a chilling and sad situation, I hope you have some answers soon

wizzler Tue 31-Dec-13 18:42:36

Thinking of you OP... hope you are ok

OldBagWantsNewBag Tue 31-Dec-13 18:44:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GeekInThePink Tue 31-Dec-13 18:52:27

Thinking of you OP
Hope you get some answers

tawse57 Tue 31-Dec-13 18:59:30

So sorry to hear this. Can't add any more as others have said it all already. Thinking of you :-)

How are you doing? Have you seen mil?

I so, so hope you've got some support xx

nopanicandverylittleanxiety Tue 31-Dec-13 20:38:56

I hope you have some support this evening xxx

he is just an arsehole beyond belief

kinkyfuckery Tue 31-Dec-13 20:44:30

How are you OP? Have you had any contact today?

MsAspreyDiamonds Tue 31-Dec-13 21:11:33

How are you OP? I hope the new year brings you answers and clarity. Good luck.

Please come back to update us when you are ready.

OP I hope you are ok. His treatment of you is unacceptable. I hope you get some answers soon.

Mellowandfruitful Tue 31-Dec-13 21:55:42

Nothing useful to add but thinking of you OP. I can see how the not knowing is worst of all.

mumandboys123 that's awful, I'm glad you have found ways to cope with him and his crap now.

SweetTeaVodka Tue 31-Dec-13 22:10:35

I have nothing helpful to add, I'm afraid, other than some hand holding. I hope you are getting tbe answers and support that you need. Unmumsnetty hugs

BeQuicksieorBeDead Tue 31-Dec-13 22:16:43

Hope you are okay op. I keep trying to think of reasons for changing passwords... Might he have been worried about being hacked? My dp takes his ring off quite often in the house. maybe it isn't as bleak as it seems if he is just having a black period.

ThistleVille Tue 31-Dec-13 22:23:23

Thinking of you this evening x

cjel Tue 31-Dec-13 22:40:07

Thinking of you tonightxx

Aldwick Tue 31-Dec-13 22:41:44

Hope you have got some answers today - not knowing is far more unsettling than knowing - even if it's not what you want to hear

Goldchilled7up Tue 31-Dec-13 22:56:18

I hope you're ok.

CrapBag Tue 31-Dec-13 23:14:16

Hope you are getting some answers. sad

clio51 Tue 31-Dec-13 23:58:37

I've just read this out to my partner for a males view to see what his view was!
It was that's a bit suspicious think he's jacked it in

Sorry. I feel for you and send ing you hugs

My ex hubby acted normal towards me up until he didn't come home all night and walked in at 8 next morning(I'm worried sick all night no sleep etc) he walks in and says I've been with a girl all night WTF
Turns out he'd been having an affair for 6 weeks I and I never had a clue as the devious bastard was good at acting
Hence that was the end of that
Me and my 4 yr old left.

I really hope it's not that for you, but as was said it does seem premeditated the name changes, fb and sorry the worse to me the wedding ring.

I'd get round there Tomoz and get some answers. Waiting will do you head in(just like tonight) you need to know for your own peace of mind.

Stay strong

ThePinkOcelot Wed 01-Jan-14 00:37:09

((((OP)))) hope you have some answers now, even if they are not what you want to hear. Anything but this limbo. Take care of yourself xx

IsobelEliza Wed 01-Jan-14 00:55:08

I just wanted to add that a breakdown would also make him withdraw, act selfish, insist on silence from his mother. Don't rush into writing off your relationship. If he's having a breakdown he will need your support.

JollySantersSelectionBox Wed 01-Jan-14 01:16:24

OP hope you are bearing up okay today.

Delurking just to ask - have you thought about contacting his employer? Perhaps the HR department?

If he was due back at work tomorrow you could call them with your concerns?

If he is pissing about and being selfish it might shake him up a bit?

So sorry - leaving you to pick up the pieces and face the kids. Awful. Make sure you have some RL support. brew

BonaDrag Wed 01-Jan-14 02:22:47

It's not fucking good enough, especially not when DCs are involved.

He is behaving like a total arsehole OP, I'm sorry you're going through this, but whatever he is doing, don't let him get away with it. Make the fucker pay.

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Wed 01-Jan-14 02:23:45

Hope you're okay OP

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Wed 01-Jan-14 03:23:11

I hope you got some answers today - even if they weren't the ones you were hoping for. If he was married to me, he'd be hoping he was having a breakdown because if not I'd be murdering the stupid, selfish bastard sad

Megbeth Wed 01-Jan-14 04:05:19

How are things today OP?

happytalk13 Wed 01-Jan-14 04:25:27

Oh dear, op. I'm sorry he's being such an immature, selfish coward.

I'm afraid to say that this looks extremely like an OW situation - having been through it, it bears all the hallmarks.

I hope you get answers sharpish but you may not for some time.

BranchingOut Wed 01-Jan-14 09:00:56

Came back to this thread ASAP this morning, hope that you are ok.

lizzywig Wed 01-Jan-14 09:18:14

Thinking of you OP. I hope you're getting some answers.

SugarMiceInTheRain Wed 01-Jan-14 11:07:55

Hope you are bearing up. It is sounding more and more like an OW situation, but I'd be tempted to ring his employer as JollySanters suggests. Or the police non-emergency number as you are worried about your husband as he seems to have disappeared. Might give him a kick up the backside.

notapizzaeater Wed 01-Jan-14 11:20:07

Has he no other family you could ask just to let you know he's alright ? Then when you know that get angry....

clara26 Wed 01-Jan-14 11:36:11

I've been lurking hoping you are okay op. It really is a horrible way to treat you. I hope you are okay. envy

cjel Wed 01-Jan-14 11:38:57

Thinking of youx

FloraSpreadableMacDonald Wed 01-Jan-14 12:16:41

Thining of you too.

IsabellaRockerfeller Wed 01-Jan-14 12:19:53

I hope you have had some news as to what's going on OP.

What a horrible start to the New Year for you.

PassAFist Wed 01-Jan-14 13:09:19

I hope you have managed to get some answers today OP. What an awful start to 2014 for you.

Thinking of you x

impatienttobemummy Wed 01-Jan-14 13:59:09

I second the calling the police idea, sorry this is happening OP

meeeemo Wed 01-Jan-14 14:16:33


lunar1 Wed 01-Jan-14 16:34:40

I hope you have some answers by now

Ohbyethen Wed 01-Jan-14 19:30:41

I'm sorry I didn't get back yesterday. By the time I had the time to do it I couldn't summon the wherewithal to form a scentence. My continuing gratitude to everyone, reading replies has helped me to keep my resolve instead of collapse in a heap.

Story so far:
He did turn up at home at about 6 am. It doesn't seem like there is an ow and he is dealing with a 'mindfuck' (his words) in a really selfish way.
It's clear he is struggling with being overwhelmed with stress but the way he has chosen to act is unacceptable.
He said he needed a couple of days away to get his head straight before he could talk to me and sort stuff out.
I said it was too late for that. Previously I would have done anything to help and support him, take the pressure off and try and make things better. But he is not so ill that his actions have been anything other than a choice.
I told him that he had removed my choices, he had decided what he was going to do and just expected that I would hold the fort and wait around for him to return and tell me how my life was going be affected. That he hadn't sought help, he hadn't removed the what he said the source of stress was from his life by getting signed off for a time and actually the only thing he had done was remove himself from his wife, home and children - his choice when things were hard was not to pull together as a partnership and let me help, work around it in the best best way to give him family support and keep us all together but to opt to abandon his family and leave.
I reiterate he is not so ill he is having a breakdown, he's under stress and it's hard but he is fully functioning and rational - just being an immature selfish prick about it.

I said this isn't my choice, it's my reaction to his fait accompli - and that is if he can up and leave, with no explanation etc then I had no choice left but to protect my children first. That means no opportunity for them to be put in a position where he does this again and they find out, they realise his self involvement made him entertain no thought of them, what would happen to them, where they would live if anything happened. And that's ignoring the anguish I felt when I didn't know what was going on.

What I wanted to say was come home, come home be next to me let me help and we can fix it together. But he didn't think of us at all and he wanted to get away. It feels like he's stressed and struggling not because of work but that he doesn't have the courage to end things and wanted it to be down to me.
I'm not sure he actually thought that far ahead to be honest. It's galling that he has dropped a bomb in our lives but hasn't considered the repercussions of his actions or effect of his decisions at all - it just has not occured to him because he put so little thought in.
He was gobsmacked and surprised I told him to leave and that I was effectively suspending our marriage as of now because 'but this is nothing to do with you, I just need to get my head straight' - having to explain that he made it about me and our children when he ditched his responsibilities with less thought than he put into his last pair of shoes made him slightly shame faced.

I am struggling that he has been so selfish, acted with so little respect for any of us and has apparently harboured the thoughts that he is perfectly able to suit himself and we will all wait on him. He's more important than all of us. That's not the man I married.

I couldn't quite bring myself to ask for a divorce even though I can't see a recovery for us without a sea change in his attitude but I have said I will not consider any moves to come home unless he - seeks immediate appropriate help, takes responsibility for his behaviour and offers an apology that demonstrates he has understood the effect of his actions.
As and when he presents that I will consider talking to him but it is not a list of things that will get his feet back under the table.
It feels harsh, rash and controlling, possibly disproportionate but I cann't have my children's lives at risk of such disruption just on his whim. I will not.

So yesterday and today I have gathered documents, got photocopies and all that jazz. I've researched how I am likely to stand financially and the benefits of keeping the house vs selling up (it will be less continuity for the kids but I think we will be more secure financially if we sell) how to get divorced (because I didn't actually know how to do that) what usual terms are and how long it takes. I've told family so everyone is on the same page - most have been very supportive and open to letting me make my own decision as far as sticking together or not so that was helpful - and I've got numbers and information. I feel as prepared as I can be.
I tried to be practical and able to move quickly to protect every asset for the dc if I need to - I never thought he would do anything like this so that keeps jolting me into sense when I feel bad about acting so cynically. I hope that now I'm in the strongest position I can be I can make better decisions for long term instead of just taking him back so we're not homeless or broke.
The hardest thing now will be not to crack, take him back or ask him to come home because I miss him, he is the love of my life and I think about him as the excellent husband and father he appeared to be. Him acting so badly makes it harder too because my heart's trying to tell me that he would never do that if things weren't really bad and actually he needs more love and support and needs to come home.
So far my brain is saying he's getting tough love but your children have to come first and they don't deserve this.
Considering he has now been away from home (apart from one 90 minute collection of his things and an argument) for 3 days he hasn't contacted me once to check on the children, his silence speaks volumes sad

Apologies for the novel it's been a crowded couple of days and my brain seems to have left home as well. Right now I feel in limbo and am waiting for him to make his move and then I can see where I stand. I'm mostly angry, spent a lot of time being angry. Then dissolving into tears but sure enough I'm angry again. Very, very tired.
thanks to you all.

God you poor thing sad
Did he explain the Facebook thing?

50shadesofgreyhair Wed 01-Jan-14 19:38:25

Been lurking, and have to say I am full of admiration for you and the way you are coping. I know it is hell for you, but you are a strong lady, who is putting her kids first. Well done, I salute you x

You have acted unbelievably strongly - well done. Your kids are lucky to have someone like you to protect them. He's behaving abysmally.

wallaby73 Wed 01-Jan-14 19:41:23

Wow, WOW! I've lurked on this thread and can i just say you have just shown, in the way you have dealt with him, such courage and dignity; i think the line you have taken making it clear the impact of his thoughtlessness and selfish behaviour, that you feel forced to protect your DC and stand up for yourself is just exemplary, you should be SO proud of yourself, your DC's are very lucky to have you as their mother x

JollySantersSelectionBox Wed 01-Jan-14 19:46:02

Sounds completely rational to me.

The ball is fully in his court, I hope you find some peace and resolution. thanks

Holdthepage Wed 01-Jan-14 19:46:58

Another lurker who wants to say that the way you have stood up for your DCs & their right to have a father who puts them first is amazing.

Instead of waiting for his next move why don't you send him a text reminding him that in his 3 days absence from your lives, he hasn't once enquired about the DCs.

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Wed 01-Jan-14 19:53:10

Oh my word.

I admire the hell out of you. You're actually amazing.

I really hope this works out how you want it to, but absolutely well done on being strong and doing what's right.

LoisChristmasPuddingLane Wed 01-Jan-14 19:53:17

You are amazing. Well done.

PassAFist Wed 01-Jan-14 20:00:05

You have done an incredible job of sticking up for yourself and your DCs, well done OP.
I hope you are feeling some measure of confidence in your ability to face the future, whatever it may hold. I wish you much luck in 2014.

SugarMiceInTheRain Wed 01-Jan-14 20:02:09

Wow, well done for standing firm and leaving him in no doubt as to the seriousness of his actions. I hope things work out for the best. I admire your courage and the articulate way you've dealt with him.

Ohbyethen Wed 01-Jan-14 20:03:47

Thank you, blubbing again now. I don't feel like I'm dealing with things particularly well, it feels cold and heartless and hard but it's probably because I still can't get my head round what's happened.
I've had no real answers - he doesn't know why he did it being the response to most questions, like the fb one. Friends have rep. Or he loves me very much and our marriage is so important to him, except he had no answer when I asked why he could show us all so little respect and act in our detriment if we were so important and that his actions made a liar of him.

I don't know about sending him a text. On the one hand I think he deserves to feel the shame such a reminder would provoke (I would hope) but on the other I don't know if I can face responding to an enquiry that would be insincere because I pushed him for it. I want him to want to know and if he doesn't then he doesn't deserve to know. But I don't know if that's selfish of me. I just want to have them close to me and in a bubble of happiness, I don't know how to carry on with that if I have to face the reality that he doesn't seem to care.

Ohbyethen Wed 01-Jan-14 20:05:17

Oops, Friends have reported no unusual activity on fb so obviously just trying to make a childish point.

Fairenuff Wed 01-Jan-14 20:07:43

What makes you so sure there is no other person involved?

TheCrackFox Wed 01-Jan-14 20:08:40

You kick ass.

LoisChristmasPuddingLane Wed 01-Jan-14 20:10:42

I'm still thinking there might be an OW involved. Where did he go?

MuttonCadet Wed 01-Jan-14 20:11:02

Oh well done, that must have been incredibly hard, you should be proud of yourself, you are protecting your children from hurt and dealing with the practical aspects.

Exactly the right approach, keep posting and keep talking to your support in RL, it'll keep you going.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 01-Jan-14 20:12:09

Another one who thinks you have shown so much strength - your DC are lucky to have you as a parent who will put their needs first.

Pulling the rug from under him is exactly the right thing to do - if you do ever decide to take him back (on your terms), he will have far more respect for you and will think twice before pulling a similar stunt again.

MuttonCadet Wed 01-Jan-14 20:12:43

I wouldn't bother texting him, it just opens lines of communication when you might be better keeping them closed for a couple of days to give yourself time for this to sink in.

MissBurrows Wed 01-Jan-14 20:15:13

I'm sorry OP. You seems very sweet and cvaring, I'm so sorry you've been treated this way by the man you love.

I hope it works out for you. xx

MissBurrows Wed 01-Jan-14 20:15:28

*seem *caring. Sorry my typing is terrible.

shoom Wed 01-Jan-14 20:18:07

Whatever happens, the an excellent role model for your children.

He now has time to think up reasons for his actions. I expect he'll try to give you a few, but they won't stand up to scrutiny. He didn't have good reasons at 6am because he expected... What exactly? Doesn't matter, you've shown your self-respect and he has something real to think about now.

I am sure you'll get a good resolution.

Ohbyethen Wed 01-Jan-14 20:26:01

You know what - I actually don't think it matters if ther is another woman or not. I know that sounds strange but it's his actions that have caused this and if they are because he's selfish and immature or because he's having an affair then that atually makes very little difference to the outcome. His betrayal of us is no less or more if he's playing away.
It couldn't hurt us any more. Is it any more pathetic? I don't know. If there is any kind of possiblility of him coming back then logistically I would need to be sure of different things but actually if I can forgive what he's done then I can forgive whatever the cause, if I can't it really doesn't matter if he's seeing someone else, he'll have lost something far more precious.
As far as it goes he's been where he has told me he was going to be, once I told the family what was going on they have been keeping in contact with me and trying to help. Part of that is passing comment on what he's been up to or what they know, and in isolation too so there's no big cover up. I'm finding it hard to care. I think I'm feeling a bit detached from the hurt of it tbh.

I don't really want to text him but was thinking of asking an opinion on it - I find myself agreeing that actually radio silence is just easier for me. I already have to think about it all day and speak to people. I'm not chasing him for something he's unwilling to give. We are an amazing family, I'm proud of my children and we don't have to beg anyone to love us.

EllieInTheRoom Wed 01-Jan-14 20:32:27

You're brilliant!

Hope you're ok though, it sounds really tough.

Did he mention why he took his wedding ring off? How can he say it wasn't about you when he did that? You're right he made it about all of you.

Do you know what he is apparently stressed about? Is he having a hard time at work and is that all it is?

Ohbyethen Wed 01-Jan-14 20:32:30

Thank you.

Shoom - I think he expected that I would be so relieved and so grateful he had graced me with his presence I would fall weeping at his feet and agree to anything he wanted. It was previously unlike him but that really is the feeling I've been left with.
He has treated us with so little respect Ithink we had become objectified in his head and so imbued with little real personhood and he was shocked when I said no and didn't fit in with the narrative he'd plaed out in his head.
I have self-respect, I have value and worth but even if I didn't my children do.
I have held back a bit because I didn't want to make decisions out of hurt and anger and end things in a fit of pique. But unless he either has a good truth or becomes Tolkien in the intervening time I can't see what I accept as valid for acting this way, not enough to open us up to the risk of him leaving again anyway.

EllieInTheRoom Wed 01-Jan-14 20:34:40

I agree, don't text. Especially if you think this will be easier on you. You need to do whatever makes it easier for you.

I think pretty much whatever you text him now could be construed as an easy way back in. It should all come from him now.

MusicForTheMasses Wed 01-Jan-14 20:36:37

You are bloody brilliant! I really admire how you are handling the situation and are protecting yourself and your kids. x

Ohbyethen Wed 01-Jan-14 20:39:37

Ellie - thanks, feel like a big arse! Apparently that was a misunderstanding, he only took it off to unblock the toilet. There's so much wrong with that I can't even begin. Possibly the fact that the toilet was never blocked nad if he did it then it was sorted with such stealsh it was as if it never happened...oh wait.
No I think it was part of trying to pull focus on to how tortured he was and it back fired because he didn't like my response so now he's just lying or obfuscating his way out of things because he can't admit he wanted attention and has behaved appalingly. All I know on that score is he has said it was work and that work would make sense - it's justthe rest of the stuff that doesn't so I don't know if it's a convienient peg to hang something else on.
No idea if I ever will know adn that makes me so sad.

Ohbyethen Wed 01-Jan-14 20:40:55

Oh so many typos and missing words. I'm sorry, I hope it makes enough sense to be readable.
I think I may have broken my keyboard by crying on it. Ridiculous.

WeAreDetective Wed 01-Jan-14 20:42:32

Well done on staying strong for you and your children. It's a hard, hard thing to do. You rock!!!

EllieInTheRoom Wed 01-Jan-14 20:44:35

You are not an arse!! At all. You're doing absolutely the right thing, whichever way this goes.

That toilet BS is staggering. The whole thing is mind boggling really.

Bless you. Try sticking it on the radiator for a bit!


shoom Wed 01-Jan-14 20:45:41

I hadn't mentioned the possible OW aspect earlier because I thought it was a red herring.

It seemed that he was in a bubble of thinking about himself when he disappeared. The wedding ring / fb / "my doctor friend said..." business sounded self-indulgent to me. There's either a reason that can be worked through, or there's not.

I'm really impressed with how you've handled this. I don't feel in a position to offer any advice, but radio silence seems right. The next moves should be about you and the needs of your DC. Last week was about him. This week he can think about his family.

I suspect you've given him a shock and a healthy dose of "my wife is amazing".

nopanicandverylittleanxiety Wed 01-Jan-14 20:48:06

I think you are doing the right thing and coping brilliantly.

Don't text him re children. They won't know he hasn't asked. So it would only be for your benefit. I would want to see when he chose to do it.
Has your mil explained why she didn't answer your calls?

impatienttobemummy Wed 01-Jan-14 20:55:04

You are amazing OP very well handled you are a tough cookie x

Ohbyethen Wed 01-Jan-14 20:59:58

It is self indulgent, shockingly so and I just can't understand it. I feel like I'm completely in the dark and I hate that he didn't think that he was imploding our lives. I feel like my future has been stolen. My husband has been taken from me because it's so out of character, I would no more have thought he would do this than me. My chest hurts and my head hurts and the person I would turn to is the one that caused this and I thought for a second that was going to kill me.

Haven't spoken to MIL, it seems she's keeping her head down as she has avoided SIL and BIL too - I don't know why, maybe she disagrees with them supporting us, maybe she was told a pack of lies and feels bad, maybe she's struggling with his behviour as much as we are. I'm not going to ask her to choose between her son and her grandchildren but I'm happy for her to keep out of sight for now. I'm guessing she will get news of the dc from sil. It's surprising because she loves them very much. But she's big enough to make her own decisions, if they don't include us that's up to her.

Ohbyethen I am really sorry that you are in this position. However I really admire the outwardly strong stance you have taken to defend yourself and protect your children. You are an amazing woman although you may not feel like it just now!

You are right to be proactive when it comes to the paperwork and legalities of things. You don't know what is around the corner and it's best to be prepared for every eventuality. Knowing your position in all situations may also help you feel stronger and give you the confidence to move forward in a direction that may feel a bit scary.

2014 has started for you in a completely different way to what you envisaged, I'm sure. It could also be your year, you never know. Stay strong and hang on in there. Keep plenty of tissues to hand, those tears catch you unawares sometimes. thanks

Ohbyethen Wed 01-Jan-14 21:08:28

Sparkle thanks

When my EXH left us, his whole family immediately stopped communicating with me. I couldn't figure it out because he was the one that left, I didn't want him to. It turns out he told them I was to blame, that I had had an affair and that he needed their full support and loyalty to keep me away from him as I had mental health issues.

None of that was true, it turned out he had the double life with a pregnant mistress elsewhere but neither I nor his family knew anything about that. I found out through a blazing row with him months later over maintenance. Have never spoken with them or him since.

Just because someone says something doesn't make it true but when someone does put it out there it's very difficult to prove it's false. Just bear that in mind when dealing with your MIL - it already sounds like she has heard something from him and is supporting him.

notapizzaeater Wed 01-Jan-14 21:11:36

I would imagine she's reeling too and trying to make head and tail of it.

Well done for being so strong, you are right, you are worth it !!

nopanicandverylittleanxiety Wed 01-Jan-14 21:13:56

Maybe she is ashamed of him. I would be if I was her x

daisychain01 Wed 01-Jan-14 21:22:03

Just to give you a supporting hug, ohbyethen, you are such a credit to yourself and your little family. Stay strong. Your husband underestimated you massively, and I hope he can come back and give you the real explanation and apology ( not just lip-service ) which you and your DCs deserve.

It would be really good if your situation can be resolved because underlying all the hurt and anger, it sounds like you do love DH a lot but arent prepared to put up with any crap and manipulation. Good for you, you are a credit and inspiration to womankind with your strength and dignity.


Ohbyethen Wed 01-Jan-14 21:26:18

Sparkle - That's awful, how cruel. And how dare he? I'm sorry you had to deal with that and at least now you don't have to deal with them. I'm sure he's perfectly able to twist the tale however he wants, she's not the most canny, particularly when it comes to her beloved son.

notapizza Nopanic - both possible options. I don't want to form an opinion really or get something in my head that will colour my responses to her - she could be as faultless as anyone else and not even know the truth as hasn't spoken to anyone. It could be she has decided it's him that matters most of all, in all fairness can I blame her for that when it is exactly what I have just done? I'm worried that letting myself be angry with her will make it easier to be less angry with him. It's hard not to weaken anyway and it removes all of his responsibility for doing it in the first place if I let myself think 'she should have shaken him and sent him home, told him he was a fool, why didn't she send him back?' when it was never her responsibility to do.

happytalk13 Wed 01-Jan-14 21:27:08

I am seriously in awe of you, OP. You are obviously not only a fabulous mum but a fantastic catch too and incredibly strong and together.

Ohbyethen Wed 01-Jan-14 21:27:20

DaisyChain - thanks fake it till you make it I guess!

FloraSpreadableMacDonald Wed 01-Jan-14 22:11:04

You have coped so well so far...good job.
I went through similar in July...i came home from a few dsys away with the kids and he had packed up and left, leaving me a business like letter and one for our eldest son.
I put it down to a MLC and his depression. I still tried to help him. Exactly 4 weeks later i snooped at his phone when he was visiting the kids and found texts to another woman dating back to 2 weeks aftef he left.
He still claims he met her after we separated. I have discovered i no lonnger believe a word he says.
It did bother me and i thought it wouldnt. It didnt last thankfully.
So despite him swearing to me no one else was involved when he left, he had lied through his teeth.

I hope this isnt the case with you. I admire the way you are handling this. I hope you manage to move forward the way you want to.

Lweji Wed 01-Jan-14 22:12:00

For what is worth, I really admire how you handled it all.

You are right to take steps to face the worst outcome. You really can't leave it to him and allow him to treat his family as he has.

You are doing the right thing for you and the children.

DalmationDots Wed 01-Jan-14 22:38:35

Just to say how very strong you seem. Well done for sticking up for yourself and your children and not letting him think his behaviour is ok.
Stress is no excuse to act that way, he is grown-up enough to know when stress is too much, to see his wife is doing everything to help him, to talk to you.
I hope things resolve and he sorts himself out and comes back with better answers. I do hope you can sort things for the sake of DC and your happiness and that he returns to the loving husband and father I'm sure he used to be.
Well done for now for making sure he knows that the children come first and what he did WAS unfair and disrespectful to them, and you. It is an important lesson for men acting this way to realise and hopefully something which shook him and he will never forget form now on.
Not saying this is what is happening for you but....My exH used to act depressed and stressed (later discovered he was having a hideous affair) and I, like you, did everything to make things easier. I planned a house move to nearer his work, researched schools for the children to move to and would cook and clear up after him as he was 'extremely stressed'. I wanted him to get through it for the sake of his health.
When I first found out about his affair I took his excuses of his depression and stress and believed it. I tried even harder to make his life easier and change things to help him. What an idiot I was. He lapped it all up, lied and lied and lied until one day he walked out. I felt a fool. I wish I had had your strength from the start and asserted what was acceptable and the importance of our DC, then maybe he never would have gone down the road of affairs. I am in admiration of you, I truly understand how hard what you did must have been.

Thinking of you x

AcrossthePond55 Wed 01-Jan-14 22:41:54

Ok Ohbyethen, right now I'm picturing you with a child cradled in each arm, your head held high, hair blowing in the breeze, straddling the world, and I'm hearing 'I am Woman, hear me Roar!' playing loudly in my head.

You rock on! Whether things work out for your marriage or whether you decide that you are moving on, you have handled this with great dignity, strength, and clear-sightedness. And that is worth treasures untold. Your children are lucky to have you. And your 'D'H should be down on his knees, willing to do anything (especially go to counseling), to have you back.

QODRestYeMerryGentlemen Wed 01-Jan-14 22:56:00


FunnyFestiveTableRunner Wed 01-Jan-14 23:00:27

You have handled things with great dignity OhBye. I hope your husband is bitterly regretting his stupidity tonight.

I wholeheartedly agree with tablerunner - you should be extremely proud of yourself x

TyrannosaurusBex Wed 01-Jan-14 23:22:07

Delurking to express my admiration. You are an amazing mother. You are handling this perfectly.

clara26 Wed 01-Jan-14 23:27:23

I have no advice to offer but I wanted to say how brilliantly you are dealing with this. Your dc have a wonderful mother. Stay strong, I'll be thinking about you. Xxx

NamasteNatalie Thu 02-Jan-14 00:12:04

You have done the best thing that you could have possibly done. You have called him on it big time. Whatever the outcome, I think it will be decided quickly. Usually when a partner goes off on one, whether due to an affair or just that they are shirking their responsibilities, they to and fro backwards and forwards in a selfish way, working out their options, whilst everyone else involved is left in limbo. You have called him on it straight away. This should shock him into action and make him realise what he has got and what it is worth to him. Once he has done that you can then decide with a clear head whether you want him back or not. Sometimes you think you love someone, then this happens, then you realise that they were a bit of a twat after all and you can get along without them and are actually happier. You never know how you may feel.

Good luck. You are strong and smart. Keep telling yourself that. The only loser long term here is him and I really, really mean that.

springysofa Thu 02-Jan-14 00:17:01

Well done for putting strong boundaries in place. imo it's the best thing to do when all else is madness.

This reminds me of, back in the day, men who suddenly disappeared. I say 'men' because it was usually men. I knew one man who did it and, unusually, a woman who did it, leaving her husband and her kids (she was a vicar's wife and couldn't cope with the pressure and expectation of that role. She had counselling and eventually went back after 2 years).

I'm not excusing him. It was leaving his wedding ring and almost literally stepping out of his life that reminded me of the examples above - both left their wedding ring. In a way it's a kind of suicide but without the act - stepping out of life, shedding it like a skin.

I'm so sorry you're having to face this. I don't know where you can go from here, I guess it's one step at a time. but I do think that the strong boundaries you are upholding will be a help to everyone in this, him included.

springysofa Thu 02-Jan-14 00:20:13

Not that you should be 'helping him' iyswim - it's up to him to sort himself out now, in whatever way. I'm sorry his mum didn't feel it was appropriate to talk to you, leaving you going out of your mind wondering what was going on. Seems cowardly to me - she could at least have taken the call and said he was with her and he was safe, which would have gone some way to lessen the shock and worry of it all.

Just read your thread OP and agree with others, you're so strong and amazing. You're the mother your dcs deserve. Thank goodness they have you as he's not solid is he? What a shock for you though.

JollySantersSelectionBox Thu 02-Jan-14 00:56:34

If he lied about cleaning the toilet, and took time to do the soap opera diva change of facebook password then goodness knows what sort of drama he's fed his mother.

My DH made a monumental financial cock up once and lied about it. Even now I don't think he can quite believe what he did. I was so angry about the cover up I kicked him out of the house. He turned up at our friends house and asked to stay. Slept in their cellar and only came out for meals with a hang dog face.

Didn't tell them once that he had fucked up. I looked like the sadistic bitch who'd kicked him out and cancelled DS's birthday party on the same weekend. TBH my focus was finding a fucking accountant and sorting out the shit big time. They of course felt sorry for him.

Only 6 months later did I tell them why, they were shock.

So perhaps he's the same with your MIL. She is probably creating a thread in her mind that you are making his already stressed life uncomfortable enough that he's got to leave his kids and sleep in his single bed.

But you know what? Sod it all. Don't worry about her, and what she did or didn't do.

It feels like some massive drama vacuum that was planned to give maximum emotional torment. While you sat thinking of different ways to tell your kids dad had suffered a breakdown, or worse sad he was eating toast at mums.

I'd keep radio silence if I were you. It would be all I could do not to headbutt the selfish sod.

Be angry if you need to op, you have every right to be furious, vent and rant on here as you need to.

Ohbyethen Thu 02-Jan-14 09:50:50

It feels like some massive drama vacuum that was planned to give maximum emotional torment. While you sat thinking of different ways to tell your kids dad had suffered a breakdown, or worse sad he was eating toast at mums.
This is exactly how it feels. Initially I thought what Springy mentioned, just escape, he's cracked & gone to be a new person; devastating but I can get my head round that.
But he hasn't, as soon as I wasn't doing what he thought I should he was dancing around trying to fan the flames and redirect things.
After I spent that night not knowing if I was going to identify a body soon, then scrambling to make sure he had to go not the dc from the house & all that agonizing shit I trawled through and he's done it all to be sat with tea and sympathy.

I want to kill him. Every drop of love I had for him has congealed. How fucking dare he? How can he look me in the eye when he should be in physical spasms of shame?


sugarcoatediceberg Thu 02-Jan-14 10:08:31

Big hugs to you, OP. I think you've handled this brilliantly.

I know others have said it, but I wouldn't totally discount the possibility of there being another woman. Strange, sudden out of character behaviour does often go hand-in-hand with someone having an affair.

I think his mother is being a complete arse. He's a grown up an although of course she wants to be supportive to her son, she should also realise that there are others that can be hurt by his behaviour and not just let him hide behind her apron strings.

Buzzardbird Thu 02-Jan-14 10:09:01

Wow, has he always been such an attention seeker? Is Christmas a hard time for him because the focus isn't on him?

You are being incredible, your children will be very proud of you and will grow up not to be doormats either.

Wish I had good advice about what to do with the anger you rightfully feel now.

Fairenuff Thu 02-Jan-14 10:13:56

Yes it does sound like he shed his skin and wanted out of his life. But he didn't go far, probably just to his mum's house.

He didn't think what torment his wife would be going through, or the impact of him abandoning his children. He expected to be greeted with joy when he returned and solicitous attention.

How? How could he think that. How can a person be so selfish that they can put their 'loved ones' through so much pain?

Even if you did take him back could you ever look at him the same way again?

Holdthepage Thu 02-Jan-14 10:15:47

You have every right to be angry. He has totally underestimated you OP.

The sad thing is, with someone like you as a partner, any problems he had could have been sorted out together as a family.

Ohbyethen Thu 02-Jan-14 10:29:06

I have no idea what's going through his head or how he's built things up so a) this seemed in anyway a good or appropriate idea b) there would be no consequences but instead just a joyous home coming.
He has never been like this, it is out of character.
I have no idea how he could get from normally decent, lovely man to this selfish, self absorbed, childish creature.

I also cannot think of one single, solitary thing he could say to account for this that would allow me to give the go ahead to get our lives back on track.
I thought I could forgive him nearly anything if he just worked with me - but this feels like true colours time & his aren't what I thought they'd be. I don't know how I'll feel when I see him but my love and respect is damaged beyond belief. I think it died when he involved the dc in his wholesale abandonment.

I feel weak and broken. I don't feel strong. I don't believe I have any other choice though that isn't selling out on the dc. It's so soon but I can't see that there is any chance of coming out the other side of this with a marriage and future all together. Very confused and tired and sad. Being so angry hasn't given me energy or fight I feel like it's sucking me dry. Desperate for it all to stop.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 02-Jan-14 11:04:47

I know you have said it does not really matter but what you say in your last post (i.e never been like this before) suggests strongly that there is someone else.

It sounds like you are crashing - be kind to yourself, take things easy and do nice things for yourself (e,g a long hot soak in a bubble bath, a coffee in a cafe with a magazine, a walk, a trip to a gallery etc).

I would talk to a real life friend or relative - you need to offload.

Buzzardbird Thu 02-Jan-14 11:08:49

Do you think he would consider going to counselling? Mainly so that you could get some answers.

desperatelyseekingsolace Thu 02-Jan-14 11:09:58

Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus on here: understandably you are feeling weak and betrayed but your behaviour is inspiring and you are handling this brilliantly.

Meerka Thu 02-Jan-14 11:12:20

ohbyethen just thinking of you and wishing you strength.

NamasteNatalie Thu 02-Jan-14 11:20:25

My DH does this thing when he is in a crisis. He says to himself, well there is nothing I can do about it, I won't let it ruin my life and then he just gets on with it. Me, I usually spend dramas crying and in a depressed mood for a while. You are doing the best thing in what you are doing. You are getting on with it, in a way showing him that, well we are your family, but if you are going to act shit, we will carry on without you regardless. Your shit is not going to drag us down too.

Your MIL has shown her spineless, true colours too. He is a chip off the old block. Yes, he is her son, but she is not sticking up for a 5 year old helpless boy in the playground. He has either fed her a line or she is just covering up for him. If I was her, I would be on the phone to you to see if you are all OK, regardless and to get your side of the story. By taking sides she is setting herself up for a fall later, as in, she won't be welcome by you later on when she realises her son has caused a shit storm.

Wow. This is almost exactly what happened to me a few weeks ago, except we weren't married. I completely get everything you're saying. I wasn't as strong as you've been, to my eternal shame, and have done and said some pretty regrettable things in my confusion, loneliness and hurt. But I'm on the right path now I think. You are an absolute inspiration.

For us, the coldness and distance was so sudden. It has since transpired that he did in fact leave for someone else. A colleague who I had previously welcomed into our home, been friendly with, spent evenings out with, who had met my children and sat at my kitchen table. He says he 'made sure there wasn't an overlap' - I think expecting some kind of respect?! - but I think all he meant by that is that they didn't fuck until he'd told me he was moving out (over text!) during his disappearing stint. But he's always been quite unstable - with quite a few BPD traits - so it's kind of a relief. Once the love and hurt subdues, and it has to, things will be OK. They will. I'm having to move in the next couple of months too, it's all so shit.

I'm so sorry you are going through this but you are doing absolutely the right thing. What a bastard.

JollySantersSelectionBox Thu 02-Jan-14 12:00:32

OhBye have you ever studied the Kubler Change Curve?

It might be worth having a look at. It's a simple explanation of the emotions and expectations people go through when they experience a large change in their lives. It's used in business a lot, but understanding the patterns of emotion you feel might help.

Shock, denial frustration and anger are very normal patterns in a short time. Don't feel bad about how you feel at the moment. Have you some real life support , someone to spend time with you and the kids for the end of the week?

It may help you to decide what steps you want to take next (exploration), what you will accept (him visiting the kids, attending counselling with him, a meeting on neutral ground to talk) and what you won't (permanent or temporary). Perhaps write a list? Once you have a short term idea of what YOU want next then perhaps fix a date to speak or meet?

This would help focus you out of anger and into accomplishing a move on of sorts.

Change curve

I agree with Jolly, you'll go through a gamut of emotions. Keep strong.

Moreisnnogedag Thu 02-Jan-14 21:39:48

ohbye I don't have any advice to offer but just wanted to sound out my support. It may not feel like it but you are amazingly strong and whatever happens you and your children will be ok.

AcrossthePond55 Fri 03-Jan-14 00:45:17

Even though you say you feel weak, you are handling this with a great deal of strength. I think the problem with so many men (maybe women too) is the fact that they don't realize the consequences of breaking trust. Once broken, trust is not easily mended. You can still love someone desperately, but if you can't trust them, what is the point?

Your H has broken your trust. Only you know if he will ever be able to earn it back. Or if you even care to let him try.

Whatever your decision, it's obvious that you are putting your children's needs first. You can never go wrong doing that, as far as I'm concerned.

Ohbyethen Fri 03-Jan-14 00:58:56

Thank you all for your continued support and insights, I'm sorry I'm not doing very well at keeping up. I am looking at useful suggestions and keeping comments in mind though.

As far as having an affair goes - he came home today and seems completely oblivious as to how devestating his actions have been, he really seems to just be being a very selfish, immature and wilful fool, to that end he has been summarily dispatched back to his mother's (from whom there is still no contact). He cannot seem to give up this tragic, tortured, poor soul act no matter what I say to him - he seems to be being so spectacularly self absorbed and teenaged (not that I've met any teens that would behave as he has tbh) the intoduction of another person, even that just had sex with and fed him, would take too much focus away from himself.
I don't think he is having an affair, although I have been a relationships regular long enough to absolutely agree with posters flagging up those aspects of his behaviour. However looking forward if he is/was having an affair at some point it will all come down to trust. I will be able to access his phone/emails/social media should I feel the need but as many, many women who have been in that awful situation have found out most of the gaps must be filled in by questioning rather than 'hard evidence'. Apart from his behaviour there are no external indicators that he's currently having an affair - whatever he may have been doing before at the moment he's not going anywhere or seeing anyone, he has today told me he has managed to get time off work, sil has said apart from the visit he's been doing nothing but an excellent impression of a garden gnome at his mother's - so he isn't finding the wherewithal to shag around right now.
When I said before it doesn't really matter if he is or not I think what I mean is so much will hinge on having to take a risk and will rely on trust that the cause is nearly irrelevant. Not getting explanations, answers, alongside what he's actually done mean I don't think I am able to extend that level of trust or forgiveness. Having to place our security on a balance of probability, hope he's been honest, is not something I'm prepared to do at the moment and that won't change if there is a woman/man/horse/narrowboat in the background or not.

Suggestions like counseling are not being ignored, indeed I really do recognise their value, but right now he is too busy wallowing in self pity to see our needs are not being created soley to persecute him and I just don't want to hear anymore of it. I'm not in a place to offer him any goodwill.
I hope that will change. I hope at the very least to be able to handle things calmly and amicably for the kids. Who he still hasn't bothered to check on.
He said he would 'come back tomorrow to see how you're getting on' and wanted a hug, I'm amazed I didn't lamp him. I said he wasn't welcome to come back as and when he fancied, he may ask if it is convienient to arrange a visit tomorrow, he asked why he couldn't have a hug from the woman he loved, I was literally dumbfounded and he did not get it at all when I said it wasn't fair and that if his choice was to abandon us with no thought to our welfare he had forfeited access to any of the benefits of family. Those are the consequences and he has to face them for once, I wasn't doing that for him any more either. Then I lost the moral highground completely when I told him he could just bloody well fuck off and stay fucked off until he grew up and started taking responsibility. all went brilliantly sad

shallowkitty Fri 03-Jan-14 01:04:27

you are doing well though, showing such strength. I think you are doing everything right, he seems to have lost the ability to feel any empathy if he cant imagine how it would feel to have that happen to him. It must be like he has turned into someone you don't know. I have been following the thread, you are an amazing parent.

Ohbyethen Fri 03-Jan-14 01:07:51

Acrossthepond - thank you, I was penning that novel as you posted but I think that's the gist isn't it, fundamentally I have no idea if I will ever be able to trust him again. And that's massive.

I have to try and decide now how to go about handling the information with the children. Firstly because although there are huge changes for them I can't give them any answers. I will have to try and word things very carefully and, secondly, because if I can't wrap my head around it, how can I expect to make this into nuggets of info that will fit in their little heads? I also have no idea when he might decide he's bothered about seeing them - they need to see him and I could force his hand but I'm too concerned about his behaviour or what he might say to go ahead with making him see them, but the longer they don't see him and don't know the more of a shock it will be if he continues to detach himself from us all. At the moment they're happy and I feel damned if I do, damned if I don't.

Tonandfeather Fri 03-Jan-14 01:16:02

I think I've caught up now. You've done so well with the boundaries you've created.

This really does sound like he's guilty about something that's so far short of the values he's held for years. I don't know what he's done, but I have a feeling this will be like peeling an onion and more will be revealed as time goes on. Do you have access to his bank accounts and credit card bills?

Tonandfeather Fri 03-Jan-14 01:16:58

The reason I think it's guilt is because he sounds like he's in shock.

CustardoPaidforIDSsYFronts Fri 03-Jan-14 01:21:28

you are amazing, and outwardly so strong. I admire you greatly, just had to say that

Ohbyethen Fri 03-Jan-14 01:25:07

Ton - it has become a bit of an epic read hasn't it?
I have access to the joint account and our shared credit cards. I don't have access to his own account, previously all the admin was open anyway but now of course I can't check. It's possible he has taken out credit/loan/cards on that account that I don't know about.
Years ago we nearly lost the house due to him making a monumental fuck up with the mortgage payments (he had set them up to dd his account not the joint) that he kept secret and just ignored, in all fairness there were extenuating circumstances I was very unwell and so was our child, his mother was unwell and things were very difficult. I sorted it out and since then nothing else has happened. I would say I'd be surprised if he has been stupid enough to get into a similar situation - but I would have been surprised, now I have no idea and it's possibly more likely I am about to find out something awful very shortly and it isn't going to be an OW.

Ohbyethen Fri 03-Jan-14 01:27:39

Custardo - thanks and Shallowkitty thanks
I'm desperately hoping my brain keeps working, because the rest of me wants him to come home and is fantasising that if he did that the real him would come back. Magical thinking at it's finest!

Tonandfeather Fri 03-Jan-14 01:39:28

His personal account might hold the key. Has he given you access to his Facebook account again yet? Did you find out whether there are any secret e mail accounts on your shared drive?

Buzzardbird Fri 03-Jan-14 01:42:08

You are being so strong. Must admit the bit about losing the moral high ground when you told him to "fuck off" made me laugh as you come across very composed grin.
He must be very confused as to why his attention seeking isn't working...poor lamb.

whitsernam Fri 03-Jan-14 01:51:30

You have not lost the moral high ground!! He needs to see, hear and feel the results of his actions. Bravo to you! I have a good idea how difficult this is for you, but you have every step of the way put the family's needs (DCs) at the front of your mind. I'm sure it's exhausting; give yourself a nice cuppa and a hot bath, and to bed with you. Please.

Ohbyethen Fri 03-Jan-14 02:02:21

Ton - Nothing new or different found on computer at all, history all intact so I don't know, he could have been doing things incognito or not doing them at all. Not on fb still. He's not changed in terms of public use of it - he may be private messaging but who/what/where/why I don't know, he doesn't have any people on there as he never used it. I might require him to show me tomorrow but I can't help but feel that's what he wants, to be able to be the aggrieved party. I don't know, that could be utter rubbish of course!

Buzzard - not going to lie, it was the most heartfelt fuck off I've ever uttered! I have tried desperately hard to remain composed and neutral so the situation as it stands remains firmly of his doing. Plus, as you say, I cannot stand the attention seeking he's doing. I have previously let him wallow a bit and made generally soothing noises until he got over himself (not that it's ever been on this scale!) but now even his stupid gormless 'poor me' face is like nails down a black board to me. Uncharitable, clearly.
He was purposefully sick today so I would stop talking and back off (because he was so stressed and upset, funny he had been fine until he wasn't getting the appropriate reaction). When I didn't go through immediately he was noisily vomiting he strung it out and then started crashing about knocking things down as if he was collapsing (he wasn't), he has sunk that low. I sat on here until he gave it up as a bad job. I know that sounds like I am now being needlessly cold and bitter but honestly if you had been here, my youngest did similar but 'falling' out of bed - I'd said no more story (after two read throughs of the same book, I'm not that mean) and shouting for me wasn't working, I heard the suspect thump and peeked through to see the wardrobe being kicked as he was laid on the floor shouting 'help mummy I'm falling' because he thought the first thump hadn't been loud enough.
It was like watching a terribly written sitcom and I still can't believe H did it. I think a fuck off was the least he deserved really, but it's still a shame I gave it to him!

Ohbyethen Fri 03-Jan-14 02:06:48

Whitsernam - Thank you. And thank you for prompting me, I'm being a bit hopeless tbh. I am in bed and the dogs and cats are all in a pile around me. It makes me feel better there's no room for him anyway.
I will try to go to sleep and be sensible. Just winding down really.

Tonandfeather Fri 03-Jan-14 02:10:02

Does he get bills for his cell phone? Can you access those?

He's retreated into child mode hasn't he? I'd have been just the same as you and would have said what you did too. How nauseating to see an adult being this attention seeking. I noticed that when he messed up before with the house money, you sorted it out. Is that a familiar dynamic? He makes a mess and you clear it up? Did his mother?

Why has he been going to see her so much anyway?

It is definitely not a shame that you told him to fuck off! If he is going to act like a tantrumming child, being "sick" in an attempt to extort sympathy, then treat him like a child (although I don't condone telling a child to fuck off - age appropriate language and all that jazz grin )

You sound fabulous Bye - so, so much stronger with every post. You should be really proud of yourself.

Ohbyethen Fri 03-Jan-14 02:33:55

I can log in online I think, I'll have a look tomorrow.
He really has gone full child. Usually though no, we deal with things together, he does have an ostrich streak but usually for big things he has been an equal participant. His mother has always caused problems and lent on him to sort her out, that became both of us sharing that so he got a break.
I have provided a cushion for him definitely, shielded him somewhat from having to soley deal with general life consequences but within a framework of reciprocity really. So he hasn't got a history of this and small scale stuff was generally dealt with too, even if he felt overwhelmed he would at most take it out on a dog walk and then be fine. Or not apparently.
I think he's seeing her so much because he has nowhere else to go. She will be relishing the fact he ditched us and came running to her so will be indulging him for now, but as soon as the novelty wears off she'll have no interest in giving any actual support. He wouldn't be able to go and stay at his father's as he would be told to get home. Sil/Bil have dc and are further away, I think he knows he wouldn't get much sympathy there. He is being her but to extremes - selfish and dramatic. I'm still surprised she has acted quite so badly though because she has really been a superb, reliable and loving grandmother, it was notable how she calmed right down.
He usually has real difficulty in dealing with his mother's more difficult moments as they seemed to be chalk and cheese. But now he's being the mutant version of her, in 3d and surround sound. I'm not sure what to make of it really because I don't know what she is doing or saying, it's just supposition based on her lack of contact.

Ohbyethen Fri 03-Jan-14 02:35:54

Ohfour - Thanks, that made me smile maybe I should use 123 magic, it might do the trick.

WeeBitWobbly Fri 03-Jan-14 02:45:45

Wow OP such strength

Well, if it acts like a child and throws it's toys out of the pram like a child, I guess there is a good chance that it will respond to 123 magic like a child!

Honestly, what the actual fuck does he think he's doing? Your dc behave better than he is at the moment. Which is actually very sad when you think about it.

AcrossthePond55 Fri 03-Jan-14 04:50:57

Yes, it's all about trust, really. That's the basis of any strong relationship, be it friendship or marriage.

As far as your children, well, how much can you tell them when you're still not sure, yourself? I guess if it was me, if they aren't asking, I wouldn't be offering, you know? Children (especially younger children) are really good at mentally ignoring things they don't want or aren't ready to deal with. Other than that, I think the usual 'Mummy and Daddy are disagreeing with each other, but we both love you very much' will have to do for now if they are asking questions. Sometimes I think that in our wish to be sure our children have enough information to feel secure, we actually tell them more than they need to know, especially early on in a family 'situation'.

MistressDeeCee Fri 03-Jan-14 04:58:56

*Annoyed - he's run off to mummy like a great big baby, instead of facing issues. The FB password change rings alarm bells. If its not a physical affair, its an emotional one. I dont feel he's had a breakdown, keep saying Im sick to death of it being mentioned on so many relationship board threads when a man is treating his DW like shit!! Its not a breakdown, its selfish, callous, many things - but not a breakdown. He owes you an explanation. I hope you get one. & sorry, I dont admire his mum in this at a woman she should have touched base with you and her grandchildren whilst all this is going on. My DM loves my brothers to bits, it makes me roll my eyes at times. But no way would they be allowed to stay with her whilst 'deciding' about their relationship and leaving DW & DCs in limbo...she'd kick them right back where they came from. I hope it all sorts out OP and you know one way or another, soon. What an absolute cheek, tho...all this wishy washy biz..he owes you more than that.

FergusSingsTheBlues Fri 03-Jan-14 07:35:10

OP, what does he actually expect and want you to do?

His behaviour is mind boggling. You need to keep him away with these antics, has he forgotten he has children in the house when he's doing all this?

teenybash7 Fri 03-Jan-14 08:20:15

De-lurking to say I really admire the way you are handling this. And to say also that I think it will do no harm for him to be told to fuck off. In his self-absorption he may not see how terribly he's hurt you. A bit of strong emotion alongside your incredible control is a powerful combination.

Thinking of you. ('Fake it till you make it' - my new mantra!)

Lweji Fri 03-Jan-14 08:20:45

Then I lost the moral highground completely when I told him he could just bloody well fuck off and stay fucked off until he grew up and started taking responsibility. all went brilliantly

I'd say it went brilliantly, actually. smile (sorry, just reading the updates now)

I think his moral ground is so low that you can tell him to fuck off as many times you want that you are still higher.

You are doing well.

I'm just expecting suicide threats, although his behaviour initially hinted at that possibility.
It does feel like he has screwed up massively and is taking attention away from that.
I'd be careful about debts, yes. Maybe seek to confirm separation officially at this point, with banks at least.

MadAboutHotChoc Fri 03-Jan-14 08:37:37

I really think the next opportunity you have, you need to ask him to hand over his passwords there and then. If he is serious about wanting to make up, then this is the very least he can do. Does not mean you are committed to taking him back - you cannot do this until you know the full picture anyway.

WeAreDetective Fri 03-Jan-14 08:48:35

This is very like what happened to a friend of mine. Very similar indeed. They are back together but it took a hell of a lot to build the trust back. He wasn't having an affair, he just had some sort of melt down.

I think it's good you lost it! Keeping calm is good but he really does need to understand how fucked off you are!

WaitingForPeterWimsey Fri 03-Jan-14 09:28:21

Oh op I am so sorry hmm

It does now sound as though he may need some real help. The throwing up and thrashing around sound quite worrying to me. He should go back to the GP ASAP, I think.

Ten years ago my then bf started behaving somewhat like your dh has done. I was very upset when he then announced we were finished and told him to get knotted. I thought he was just being selfish and stupid, made him leave and screened his calls/texts.

Immediately after this (as I found out much later) he had a full scale nervous breakdown - couldn't go to work, lay on the floor of his kitchen, left his job. It took him months to recover and when I saw him 6 months later he was barely recognisable - massive weight loss, very fragile and really quite unwell. He had seemed the most grounded of people.

RollerCola Fri 03-Jan-14 10:15:03

Keep going op you're being incredibly strong. My h does the attention-seeking 'ill' thing. He had a catalogue of minor illnesses over the last couple of years that I always helped him with, supported him etc. He never once thanked me, he just played on them even more, preferring to adopt a 'woe is me' attitude than get any real help. Now we've separated he likes to tell me how these health issues have spiralled out of control (it's only a bad shoulder ffs) and tells me how hard it is for him, he can't sleep blah blah.

I now just change the subject each time he starts. There's nothing I can do or say to make him feel better. He doesn't want to feel better, he just wants to let me know how much he's 'suffering' He soon stops when I ignore him!

Fairenuff Fri 03-Jan-14 10:46:17

Your dh has a responsibility for his own health, including his emotional and mental wellbeing. He should be seeking help from his gp. That is not your responsibility OP, you cannot make him go.

I think you are right to tell him to leave until he is ready to behave like a responsible adult, be open and honest with you and show more than a passing concern for your and children. If he really wants his family, he will seek help for himself first and then come back to explain the outcome.

But all of that is not your problem to fix. In fact, you can't even if you wanted to. Just concentrate on yourself and the children. Think of it as a permanent separation and start rebuilding your lives. I think you should get some legal and financial advice so that you know where you stand.

Regarding the children, you could maybe tell them that their father is not very well at the moment and needs to be away quite a lot but that he will see them when he can. Let them know that they can talk to him on the phone and you will answer their questions as best they can if they ever want to ask?

bleedingheart Fri 03-Jan-14 11:04:37

Just came across this thread and wanted to add my support and awe at how well you have handled this OhByeThen.

It must be so hard to get past something like this as it is almost impossible to lust after or respect a man who has behaved in this way. Perhaps he is ill or on the verge of a breakdown but the Facebook and email changes scream dark secret!

Good luck OP, so glad your children have you to rely on.

I know you say he and his dm are chalk and cheese but it sounds as if you two are as well? You sound like his mother (albeit a good one). He sounds very juvenile.

50shadesofgreyhair Fri 03-Jan-14 14:13:51

So much of what you are going through resonates to me, and my gut, through bitter experience, tells me that there is an OW involved. My ex, after 20 years of marriage and four kids turned into the self absorbed 'teenager' you so aptly describe. He denied the existence of an OW, even after I threw him out (after cold, distant, cruel clinical behaviour) for the sake of my own health. Even when he went on holiday with her, three weeks after leaving us, he denied her existence - saying that he had met her following our break up. What rubbish, I had seen the texts, read the emails, etc., and still he denied.

So, three years down the line, with young adults for kids, here is how I suggest you cope. You sound a lot like me, in that the trust appears to have gone, and you simply cannot see how this could be repaired. I think, like me, you have lost a lot of respect for the 'man' you married, and nothing will get that back. I posted a lot for advice on here, and the wise Mns (some might remember me, I was Saffysmum then) told me that I was doing well, when in fact I felt like I was falling apart. Looking back, I am amazed I got through it, but I did, and though it is a cliche, what doesn't kill you really does make you stronger. So, take it day by day. Tell one or two people you can trust in RL and lean on them. Expect to have days when you just want to curl up and cry under the duvet, followed by days when you feel that you are filled with so much adrenalin you can barely sit still. You will grieve for the past, and also the future you thought you had before you. The term 'smug married' probably applied to me totally - now I take nothing for granted. This is what I did:

I filed for divorce, after finding through CAB a very good lawyer. This I did because I knew myself very well, and knew that regardless of another woman or not, the man I married no longer existed. The practicalities of this gave me focus.

I went no contact with him (and still am - I only respond to discussion about the kids, and only then if it is absolutely crucial) he found this hard to take, and he too said, that he was in a bad place and 'needed a hug'. This was met with derision and scorn, I have treated him ever since as I would a business colleague I need to work with sometimes, but I have interest in whatsoever. Going no contact as soon as I threw him out gave me space to grieve, and time to focus on myself.

Go easy on yourself. Don't expect too much, and don't think that a couple of good days mean you're in the clear, you will crash and burn - just ride it out and see it as part of the process.

Keep your kids close, and support them as much as you can - you will draw strength from each other.

Lean on us here. It helped me more than I ever thought possible.

shoom Fri 03-Jan-14 15:05:24

I also laughed when I read the "fuck off!" part. It must be so frustrating, I imagine you genuinely feel better when he's not there, so for now at least he must stay elsewhere. Well done on insisting that he makes an arrangement rather than turning up when he feels like it. How awful if the children witness these histrionics.

I hope he sees sense and you get a real apology and see new behaviour, although that self-insight seems far away today. At least if he does turn around, it's hopefully come from him (and your actions) rather than his mother making him see sense. From what you've said, any time off work will likely be spent wallowing, rather than on constructive thinking and sorting out his thoughts and plans. I'm sure you would enjoy an indulgent day yourself but you haven't abandoned your responsibilities as a parent.

Anyway that's enough about him. Do you have anything nice planned for the weekend? I hope you and your children enjoy it.

justgivein Fri 03-Jan-14 20:07:50

Please give your husband more time.He sounds like me
ten years ago stressed with work kids relationship pressures.I dissappeared to my mothers got drunk for 3 days because my better half knew how to hit a nerve during arguments.All before fb but I also took off my ring .
We sorted it all out and learnt to compromise.Now married 22 years please give him time and not divorce hastily.

FestiveSpiritedwolf Fri 03-Jan-14 21:06:49

I think this just about sums things up:

he asked why he couldn't have a hug from the woman he loved

Because he hurt you, you didn't want a hug and you are a seperate human being whose feelings matter, you are not just there for his gratification. Love isn't just a cosy feeling of liking being around someone, its about respecting and caring for another person, he hasn't done much of that in the last few days. That hug would have been to comfort him, not you.

I think you have handled this with dignity and I think it was sensible to find out the legal and financial likelyhoods of seperation. Even if you do decide to continue the relationship, it is better to do so from a position of knowing the facts rather than through fear of the unknown.

Must admit I feel a bit foolish now you've highlighted that I don't know how I'd go about divorcing my DH. I don't want to, but it seems daft to get married without knowing the system for undoing a marriage. Its not terribly romantic, but maybe everyone should be told how it works before the registrar accepts the notice of marriage. grin

I would be interested to know how long it takes for him to show genuine interest in the children, he really is being a selfish git isn't he?

FestiveSpiritedwolf Fri 03-Jan-14 21:32:16

Sorry, didn't mean to sound flippant there about his interest in the children, it must be heartbreaking for you and (in future when they are aware of it) for them if he continues to behave the way he is.

Justgivein The problem with just waiting for him to decide what he wants is that it completely skews what should be an equal relationship into a powerful decision maker and someone waiting around with no agency.

Its okay if they sort things out and decide to continue the relationship, but he can't just walk back into the family without acknowledging that it was totally unacceptable to walk out on his family and to fix whatever problems he had that made him think that was a reasonable option. It is better for the OP to negotiate these things, and to consider whether she even wants to continue the relationship so that if they do get back together it is as equals who have sorted out any underlying problems, rather than someone who is walking on eggshells afraid of him walking out again.

DoubleLifeIsALifeOfSorts Sat 04-Jan-14 11:19:39

Op im so sorry you're going through this. I think you are behaving so incredibly well and with wisdom and truthfulness - although I know that it doesn't make it any easier. You are treating your feelings as important, which is such a good thing to do - its very easy to fall into the trap of belittling your own feelings in order to 'get him back'. And that's so so wrong.

Agree with the last poster about inequality produced by such a selfish and powerful behaviour - which would just be strengthened by you just accepting him back and letting him treat you and your dc as he wants, when he wants flowers

justgivein Sat 04-Jan-14 12:18:12

Am new to msnet male and just concerned alot of replys designed to hasten seperation and not encourage patience and working at wife was patient when I behaved like a twat now we are happier than ever with 3 achieving kids.

SweetSeraphim Sat 04-Jan-14 12:29:57

Don't be a knob just

springysofa Sat 04-Jan-14 12:38:10

Pack it in Sweet - many posters have suggested the OP is 'patient' but haven't been called a knob.

Fairenuff Sat 04-Jan-14 12:46:09

now we are happier than ever with 3 achieving kids

Actually, just, I think this is a very strange comment to make as an example - 3 achieving kids. What does that even mean? Do you only value 'achievers' or do you only measure your own success and happiness through others.

It seems to me that whilst your wife may have decided to forgive and forget your twattish behaviour (your words, not mine), you have still not taken responsibility for it.

You are still blaming your wife for your actions. Why did you disappear to your mothers? You say it here yourself -

because my better half knew how to hit a nerve during arguments

So, it was her fault then? And you are still saying it, so you haven't really moved on hmm

Tonandfeather Sat 04-Jan-14 12:47:37

It's a knobbish post and typical of men who think that women should just suck up twattish behaviour and patiently wait while men get around to NOT being twattish. When someone says their children are achieving, that doesn't mean they are happy either. Anyone insisting that this brilliant, sorted woman should be patient and work on her marriage when faced with this ridiculous self-absorbed manchild is STILL being twattish.

nauticant Sat 04-Jan-14 12:51:05

Dads being twats doesn't stop children being high achieving so long as Mums indulge twatty behaviour. Great.

Orangeanddemons Sat 04-Jan-14 12:52:58

Why should she be patient whilst you behaved like a twat?

You were the twat, it was your choice. She didn't have to put up with it.


DoYouLikeMyBaubles Sat 04-Jan-14 12:59:11

No-one should have to be patient when their partner is going off on self indulgent escapades with not a word to his wife and CHILDREN.

The OP is doing absolutely the right thing by maintaining her boundaries and protecting herself and her children. Maybe the husband will come out of this 'episode' healthier and prepared to be a responsible husband and father again, but in the meantime OP has to assume he won't. She will do him no favours by indulging his pathetic behaviour, it's enabling and will not help, so nobody should be advising her to do that.
Nobody will end a marriage on mumsnet's say so.

UptheChimney Sat 04-Jan-14 14:41:43

justgivein who kept the household running and looked after your children and paid the bills and got on with things when you decided to go on a blinder and disappear?

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Sat 04-Jan-14 15:03:20

His username is quite apt.

SweetSeraphim Sat 04-Jan-14 15:07:29

Sorry, no, I stand by my post. The OP is reacting to this situation with bravery and sense. Why should she put up with his behaviour? As far as I'm concerned, just was lucky that his wife was so 'patient', but that doesn't mean that it's right for anyone else.

justgivein Sat 04-Jan-14 15:10:15

I apologise I meant happy well balanced children
wrong phrase.My wife is wonderful very strong and she looked after the kids etc.I,m concerned because this loving father throws a wobbly over Xmas because of who knows what pressure and many pósters instantly assume ow or leaving.Not all men can keep strong all of the time we sometimes need space maybe dont enjoy arguments and pressures mean better to take stock elsewhere.

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Sat 04-Jan-14 15:14:26

I have no problem with men coming on here, I speak to a few and have one male friend on here, but what I don't like is a lot of them seem to think they speak for all the male sex.

The thing is when you're a father and a partner you can't just go 'throwing wobblies' and if you are under pressure and need some time away (which is understandable), the very least you could do is acknowledge their presence and have the respect to give them some peace of mind, even just a bloody text.

And I think it's a ridiculous and very selfish attitude to think 'oh it's okay, i'll do one, the wife will watch the kids'.

Lweji Sat 04-Jan-14 15:17:34

Where is the loving father?
Surely not one who took off without an explanation.

I understand taking time off, but not leaving the supposedly loved ones like this in limbo, with the wife not knowing what to tell the children.

SweetSeraphim Sat 04-Jan-14 15:21:59

<Not all men can keep strong all of the time we sometimes need space maybe dont enjoy arguments and pressures mean better to take stock elsewhere.>

Yeah, unfortunately, we don't get that luxury mate.

Fairenuff Sat 04-Jan-14 15:24:54

OP's dh did not 'throw a wobbly'. He disappeared without a word.

He abandoned his wife and children and although he has now turned up he doesn't see that he did anything wrong and is still looking for sympathy.

just your wife did not look after the children because she is 'wonderful and strong' - she did it because she is a parent with responsibilities and that is what you have to do. If she had taken off too, your children would have been taken into care.

I have every empathy for people who feel overwhelmed, have mental health problems or feel like they need a break. And guess what just, not all women 'can keep strong all of the time, we sometimes need space, maybe don't enjoy arguments and pressures mean better to take stock elsewhere'.

So, what should people do when they feel like that? They talk to their gp, their family, their friends. They explain that they need a break. They leave a contact number in case of emergency.

UptheChimney Sat 04-Jan-14 15:26:32

If you're a parent you don't have the luxury if having a wibbly. You have to stay strong for your children. I know I did when my OH died. I had a young child at the time and couldn't indulge in a 3 day bender to blot it all out. Much as I may have wanted to.

happytalk13 Sat 04-Jan-14 15:28:28

This man could have acted like a grown up and talked to his wife about it - instead he ran of to his mum's without so much as a work (basically) and some very questionable actions that look like he wanted to make the OP think the worst (leaving his ring - and I don't buy his explanation) and de-friending her on FB etc and now expects her to just carry on.

He wasn't expected to keep strong, he was expected to include his WIFE in his decision making process. Keeping her in the look, sitting down and talking with her was a responsibility that he decided to abdicate and once he abdicated that he abdicated a pile of other responsibilities.

This is nothing to do with the stupid stereotype of "men have to be strong all the time".

And I'm sorry but the whole breakdown thing coupled with the silly internet blocking things still smacks of a seriously whiffy fish - I had almost the exact same thing done to me - Ex fuckwit moved in with the OW 1 month after he completely abandoned us taking everything including our home with him. I drove him to it though, so that's completely ok.

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Sat 04-Jan-14 15:47:15

Yes I think the last thing I'd be doing if having a breakdown, is blocking people on facebook hmm

Meerka Sat 04-Jan-14 15:48:22

He disappeared without a word totally unexpectedly, and took steps to shut her out of his life - changing pws, unfriending her on FB, leaving his marriage ring etc.

Since reappearing, he's behaving like a baby.

he's slapped her in the face damned hard and forgotten anything about his children.

If someone has a bad breakdown, a fair bit of support and help is nice. But it can't be demanded, only asked, specially when they've gone out of their way to shit on their partner and tell them in actions 'fuck off, I'm not connected to you any more"

justgivein Sat 04-Jan-14 15:54:44

So your assuming I dont share the responsobilities...into care.....u have no idea wife unfortnately had depression fot 4 months....all men are pathetic shits and dont lov their kids .I m off to talk Ferraris

Fairenuff Sat 04-Jan-14 16:00:36

You abdicated your responsibilities just and you are still trying to justify it.

When you abandoned your wife, if she had felt overwhelmed and 'thrown a wobbly' like you did and also abandoned her children then, yes, they would have been taken into care.

She coped because she had to. You didn't. Face it.

Fairenuff Sat 04-Jan-14 16:01:23

Oh, and the 'all men' statements again. Don't judge all men by your own standards. It's demeaning to them.

Lweji Sat 04-Jan-14 16:02:04

It is better if you go off to talk Ferraris if you can't even read the posts properly.
People were also just replying to what you said on your post. Regardless of how much you supported your DW, I'd you did a runner without bothering to tell her and the children what was happening, then you were a bastard. You were very lucky to still be with her. Or she was afraid of leaving you.

RollerCola Sat 04-Jan-14 16:02:35

Come on Just, think about it. How would you have felt if your wife had 'had a wobbly' and disappeared off to HER mothers for 3 days with no explanation. Leaving you to do everything, and expecting you to welcome her back without question after it?

If you have children you simply can't just disappear like this. You are their life, they are yours. You can't do it, and believe me I've wanted to go off somewhere myself plenty of times.

Why do some get to do it? Because they don't care about anyone else but themselves.

happytalk13 Sat 04-Jan-14 16:13:19

Yes, simply fucking off because things got too much for you is unforgivable behaviour - it doesn't mater how bad things have gotten. And blaming a partner's depression for fucking off and leaving them in the shit just shows you and a harsher light.

AcrossthePond55 Sat 04-Jan-14 16:16:34

Justgivein, would you still feel the same if your wife had 'done a wobbly' (stupid way to phrase, it's called 'desertion') leaving you alone, frightened, and trying to keep it together for your children? If she had just (as OP's husband did) walked out with no explanation only to return a few days later with the selfish attitude 'I needed some space/time but lucky you, I'm back!'? So many men think it's ok to just take off to 'get themselves together' and are so surprised when the women in their lives tell them to just stay there! If you and your wife, together, 'negotiated' your absence in advance to clear your head, that's one thing, it's another to just disappear.

And do you really think that we women don't 'need space', that we 'enjoy' arguments and pressures? You think we really wouldn't like to 'take stock elsewhere'? There were times in my marriage/child-rearing years that I just wanted to crawl under a rock and stay there. But I couldn't, because I had responsibilities, as did my husband. Who, by the way, never 'took stock elsewhere' but managed to deal with what we had to deal with AT HOME, with the help of counseling. We did what couples everywhere do; turned TO each other to work out our problems, not turn away from each other to avoid them.

A loving, mature adult tells his/her partner "I need help, I can't cope. Help me".

I'm sorry if this comes off rather harsh, Justgivein, but so many men are given a pass on this type of behaviour. The wife is just expected to keep the home fires burning and wait patiently for him to decided whether to return or go his merry way, leaving devastation behind. I'm glad you and your wife were able to stay together, glad that you were motivated to work things out.

shoom Sat 04-Jan-14 16:19:19

Can we just ignore that stuff as the thread could be derailed?

Lweji Sat 04-Jan-14 16:21:27

I do hope that you, Just, didn't leave your depressed wife alone with the children without an explanation, because that would be a very high level of bastardness.

In any case, did you expect us to be upset by your flounce? grin

SweetSeraphim Sat 04-Jan-14 16:22:59

But it's relevant shoom. Just is a prime example of how OP's H thinks he's justified in his behaviour.

AcrossthePond55 Sat 04-Jan-14 16:24:16

I just read your last post more carefully, Just. You're saying your wife suffered from depression. Before or after you 'did a wobbly'? If it was before, then what you did, in my book, was unforgivable and very damaging to her mental health. If it was after you had your little 'holiday from responsibility', I'm not surprised she was thrown into a depression!

RollerCola Sat 04-Jan-14 16:26:22

It is very interesting actually, as it gives an insight into the other side of this. How a man reaches that point and how he deals with it. Admittedly I don't think Just will get many sympathisers..but it might let us see the other view.

shoom Sat 04-Jan-14 16:28:20

I think everyone has made good points and illustrated why that attitude is nonsense, but the poster either won't be back or won't listen, so the thread could be derailed.

happytalk13 Sat 04-Jan-14 16:38:26

I think Just's minimising of his behaviour is highly relevant to this thread and not de-railing it all. I doubt he will come back but the points that have been made by him posting and the replies are helpful, I feel.

shoom Sat 04-Jan-14 17:03:59

I think the point's been made though, however I don't want to derail the thread myself.

Lweji Sat 04-Jan-14 17:06:37

Worse than minimising. He was trying to guilt trip the OP with "my wife is much better than you because she was patient with my selfish and uncaring behaviour, you should be like her".

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sat 04-Jan-14 17:13:26

Having seen my ex bf deal with something like this I can understand why Just is saying what he is.

My ex seemed sorted - I took his behaviour as selfish/cold/histrionic. Actually he was struggling very badly and just walked out of work, went home to his parents and completely gave up on life for several months. He wasn't trying to be unkind - he was just totally not in his right mind. Months later and when he didn't want to get back together any more he apologised profusely and was mortified - he couldn't believe it himself.

I didn't take him back at the time because (unlike op's DH, I think) he had actually told me it was definitely over and he didn't love me any more. I felt there was no way back from that.

Having seen what my bf went through I can believe a good person could act totally out of character due to stress/despair. Whether I would take them back would depend on whether I believed they still loved me, wanted the marriage to work, were truly sorry, wouldn't do it again and if I could move forward as a couple and felt the dc would not be negatively impacted.

happytalk13 Sat 04-Jan-14 17:15:13

Yes, you're right, Lweji - I missed the guilt tripping. It works so well on so many people.

Ignore OP. I'm another one who continues to think you are absolutely doing the right thing. I wish I had your balls.

happytalk13 Sat 04-Jan-14 17:17:11

Yes, but waiting, the OP's H didn't just walk out on her without so much as a word, he walked out on his children too. And now expects everyone to jump through his hoops. There is no excuse and no justification at all.

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sat 04-Jan-14 17:44:33

Happy the behaviour is absolutely not ok. I'm not saying it is. No excuses.

However, even the best of us can behave very badly when mental well being is affected.

It's a question of whether it's right for the person in question to even consider forgiving. If they don't want to, that is absolutely their right.

happytalk13 Sat 04-Jan-14 17:59:18

I agree, people can behave very badly at times. IME decent people behave badly and quickly realise they have, others expect people to simply work around their bad behaviour.

Meerka Sat 04-Jan-14 17:59:48

OP, how are you?

Ohbyethen Sat 04-Jan-14 18:19:28

Sorry, hectic time here. Need to get the dc sorted and read replies, will be back later to update/reply properly.

Thank you.

Spink Sat 04-Jan-14 18:31:32

Actually I kind of agree with Just in in one way; that IF this is all the result of the OPs dh not being able to handle stress / mental health problems then giving him some time & support may be a way to go. Women DO sometimes feel unable to cope & 'escape' too. That's the thing about MH crises, if that's what this is, rational thinking or behavior can go out of the window.

Yes, his behaviour towards her and their children has been appalling. OP has done brilliantly to be so clear with him about his actions being unacceptable. Maybe the next step is to make sense of why it's happened?

Lweji Sat 04-Jan-14 18:36:02

That's fine, but it still doesn't explain his behaviour now or his mother's.

HowlingTrap Sat 04-Jan-14 18:41:15

The unfriending/taking off a wedding ring is fishy and very calculated.

I wouldn't be thinking breakdown in your shoes

I'm so sorry op.

Offred Sat 04-Jan-14 18:41:27

Plenty of people suffer from stress/despair without disappearing from their spouse/children at a moment's notice.

I feel resentful of this crap about "waaaah you don't understand how bad I felt" well yes actually I do. I've been through some awful things, I've got chronic depression/anxiety because of it, have one time felt so bad that I planned 24 hrs away in a hotel to have a breakdown but I even bloody well arranged some emotional support for xh from his mother and made sure the kids were looked after by xh. I've never and would never just disappear without a word and I don't believe there is ever an excuse for doing that, no-one is ever that stressed. People who are very seriously mentally ill and generally erratic maybe but not otherwise healthy people who are under stress.

Offred Sat 04-Jan-14 18:44:37

It isn't to do with feeling bad or not being able to handle stress. It's to do with feeling entitled to waltz off. If I felt entitled to waltz off, when I felt bad, I'd do that very often.

LookingThroughTheFog Sat 04-Jan-14 19:29:06

Plenty of people suffer from stress/despair without disappearing from their spouse/children at a moment's notice.

This. I know not everybody responds and reacts in the same way, and everybody's mental health crisis is different, but, as the OP has stated clearly; if he were suffering from stress, and had told her that, she would have supported him.

That doesn't appear to be the case.

Only the OP knows whether he is exhibiting behaviour that might be a sign of a mental health crisis - simply going to his mother for a day doesn't necessarily constitute a sign of a crisis.

Plus, the immediate conversation needs to be; I think I might be stressed/depressed and I'm not able to cope. This is how I'm going to start fixing that. Can you help me?

Not; I'm going to run away and hide and hope the magic pixies fix this for me.

The former is responsible and grown up, the latter isn't.

I have masses of time and sympathy for people who have mental health problems - I do myself. It's been monumentally hard for all the family, and I fret about DH having to cope, and to get the children through it, and I'm constantly aware of how my behaviour effects them. But at the end of the day, nobody is going to magic it better for me. It takes effort. It's fucking hard work. But it needs to be my effort, and because I'm putting the work in, they have something to support. Trying to hold up a mentally ill person who's not prepared to make any effort to help themselves is like trying to build a tower out of sand. You might have something that looks vaguely like it might work, but it's all superficial; a fairly weak wave will knock it down.

I don't blame anyone from walking away from a mentally ill person who isn't prepared to at least try to help themselves. Frightening as it is for me to think it, I wouldn't blame DH for leaving me over it, and I'd respect him even more if it meant he could protect the children from me.

Spink Sat 04-Jan-14 19:31:34

All I'm saying is that it isn't beyond the realms of possibility that his actions could stem from MH problems. Not all severe stress/ MH is obvious.

In some ways knowing your partner is a 'safe' person to leave your dcs with makes it less selfish than a parent 'escaping' when there is no one else around to care for the kids.

It could also be that there is some 'dark secret' or 'just' that he is acting thoughtlessly & selfishly, or there might be something else behind this.

Which of those it is surely impacts on how the OP (sorry, I'm being crap & forgotten your mname) decides how to respond?

Fairenuff Sat 04-Jan-14 19:31:49

IF this is all the result of the OPs dh not being able to handle stress / mental health problems then giving him some time & support may be a way to go

It is his responsibility to seek that help and support from his gp if that is the case. That is something he should have done before disappearing.

What if he had been a single father, in charge of this children. He would not have abandoned them then. He only did it because he knew the OP would be there to take care of them.

Even now she doesn't know what to tell the children because he hasn't given any explanation.

Offred Sat 04-Jan-14 19:37:14

If it were just about MH and stress then more people would be waltzing off. The crucial part for me is what I said that if he has MH probs or has had a breakdown or is suffering extreme stress, to waltz off like that he is ALSO a person who feels entitled to waltz off.

Spink Sat 04-Jan-14 19:46:30

I am not saying his behaviour is ok in any way or to say if MH probs are playing a part that excuses him. As I said before his actions are appalling & OP has done well to make that clear to him.

What I am saying is that if MH probs are playing a part in this, it is not the same as if his actions stemmed from a 'normal' emotional state.

I'm not sure I agree with the entitled thing. I think it could be an explanation, not that it must be the explanation.

JollySantersSelectionBox Sat 04-Jan-14 19:50:25

When my husband suffered a mental breakdown from Post Gulf War related stress he certainly didn't carry out a calculated plan of closing down Facebook friends and removing his wedding ring.

He didn't leave the family home, but one he did drop in at a mutual friends house before coming home from work to talk about things he thought I couldn't bear to hear. Our friend was so concerned about his behaviour and mannerisms that he brought him round in the car to try and get some help sorted and let me know what was going on. He was also worried about me, and DS.

If this had been a complete breakdown that drive your DH to be incapable of normal thought then surely he would've exhibited some off key behaviour in front if his family. The fact that his mother also abstained from contact speaks volumes to me.

The fake vomiting and thrashing about speaks volumes. He definitely needs counselling and time to review the results of his actions. Until the OP is absolutely sure this won't happen again she has every right to protect her children and her own sanity.

Please let's not forget how the OP spent her New Year - sat In torture wondering if her husband/father of her children was alive or dead. For me, I'd need a bit of alone time myself to pull through that.

Hope you're feeling ok today Oh. X

Fairenuff Sat 04-Jan-14 19:50:55

Even if MH problems are playing a part, there is nothing OP can do about that. She cannot sit around and wait for him to seek professional help.

All she can do is tell him what is acceptable to her and keep her boundaries safe. If this doesn't make him seek help, I don't think anything will. He is prepared to lose everything because he walked out on everything.

My ExP did something like this - just went AWOL. I thought he'd had some kind of break down and I think he sort of had but actually that was the symptom ratger than the cause. I think it was induced by the guilt he felt about wanting to end the relationship and from his affair. He didn't have the emotional maturity to explain or take responsibility so just disappeared.

I found his house keys hidden and when I went through the wardrobe realised he's taken his most used clothes.

I'm sorry OP. I felt like I was losing my grip on reality. I think I had PTSD symptoms.

Whatsthefuture Sat 04-Jan-14 19:54:22

My ex did the same with me starting a year before we eventually split up. I did everything you are doing now. The advice I was given at the time from a truly wise friend, which I ignored, was to leave him alone. Don't seek him out for relationship conversations. Just step back and continue to live your life, hard I know, give him space to get through the crisis. It is good advice.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Sat 04-Jan-14 19:57:52

His actions seem quite deliberate to me, and not the actions of someone not thinking clearly. Removing the wedding ring, blocking the OP, disappearing with no word, not responding to attempts in contact from OP, not having someone else let the OP know he was OK. All very specifically aimed at the OP and not to reassure her in any way. He didn't disappear altogether, leaving his whole family in a panic over what happened. I think his reaction to the OP's reaction is quite telling. He clearly expected to be welcomed home with open arms, the OP suitably grateful after enduring the emotional torture he inflicted. He thinks he was justified and the being sick/falling down routine was to try to continue to manipulate the OP into giving him sympathy. Rather than him actually be contrite and acknowledge how shitty his behaviour was, and how hurtful it was on a number if levels, he's continuing with the histrionics.

I think the OP has the measure of her DH.

Lweji Sat 04-Jan-14 20:57:27

I'd think anyone with a mental breakdown sufficiently strong to just simply leave partner and children without an explanation was in need of specialist medical treatment. Not just hang around at mum's.

Lweji Sat 04-Jan-14 20:59:30

I had two colleagues who had mental breakdowns in college. They were not the same when they returned. It had taken a toll on them. One had disappeared for days. Not even their family knew about her.
That's the type of mental breakdown that justifies the partner being patient and understanding, IMO.
Not the type that just needed a few days of quiet.

Spink Sat 04-Jan-14 21:02:41

I completely agree that the OP is right to be clear with her dh that his actions are unacceptable & to give herself time & distance from him to look after herself & dcs.

I don't think any of us here are able to make sense of his actions - there could be any number of things going on, not all of which mean there is no way back from this.

I'm a MH clinician so I guess I come with that 'bias' & maybe look for it. But, I can say from experience that it is not unusual for people to do things that look very odd when they feel overwhelmed. the OP has said this behaviour is very unusual for him & that must be equally important to take notice of.

As I said before, of course there are other possible reasons for him behaving the way he has, I'm not claiming by any means that it must be MH & that he should be excused if so.

OP, what I'm saying might be well off the mark for you- you know him best of course- I just wanted to echo some of what others have said that the dh you thought you had might still be there. Wishing you ALL the best with coping with this.

whitsernam Sat 04-Jan-14 21:04:48

OP is very wise. What was that story about the blocked toilet? Refusing to answer her calls or texts. His mum going silent. It's all just too much. And he STILL isn't worried/asking about the DCs!! This does not read at all like someone with MH crisis, and I've seen people in MH crisis more than once. Also him trying to get her sympathy by pretending to be ill.... How sh*t is that!

OP is reading him quite well, I'd say.

Tension good post

LookingThroughTheFog Sat 04-Jan-14 21:12:50

I did almost do this twice over the summer while in a really bad patch. The second, and perhaps worse occasion, I ended up sitting in the graveyard behind the house, trying to work out how to get the bag of school supplies I'd just bought back to the house, while simultaneously wondering how to get out and away. I had no idea where I'd go to - the point was 'away' and not towards Mum or DSis or anyone. I wanted out of my life, completely.

My grand plan that I eventually came up with, such as I remember it, was to just live in the graveyard. I thought I could swap the school supplies for a sleeping bag, and perhaps a bit later, a tent, and that would be fine.

The first time was easier, because I couldn't move or speak. My husband knew there was something wrong, but I wasn't able to tell him I was going to just go up the road for a while. My plan then was to just stand in the road until someone came to take me away. But like I say, I couldn't move, and as soon as I could speak, I started babbling at DH until we were able to get my thought processes back on track(ish).

Most of the time when I'm low, but not quite that low, my primary concern is for the children. I start thinking of the logistics of how my perfectly capable husband would manage the school pick up without me. And he is a great and committed and competent father.

So, yeah, I think I am basically preset to 'don't walk out on the children.'

The suicidal times are harder to put in those terms, and obviously harder to think about dispassionately. All I remember about those times were being terrified that I would actually die, and doing my utmost to prevent this happening, but being very aware that I might not be able to. I remember desperately wanting to prepare DH and DC for that eventuality.

I don't know why I'm putting this here. I think just to come clean and say that I have nearly been there, but fought it.

Logg1e Sat 04-Jan-14 21:17:09

Your mother-in-law's behaviour is strange OP, especially given the fact that children are involved and even the time of year. How has she been more recently? Makes me wonder what she thinks (and had been led to believe) of the situation.

AcrossthePond55 Sat 04-Jan-14 21:57:52

No matter why OP's H took off the fact is that her trust in him is broken. So regardless of why he did it (MH issues or just being a self centered jerk), she feels she can no longer trust him and at this point doesn't know if she really cares to try. I can understand that, totally. Who would want to live with somebody you can't fully trust? To not know if he will take off again if he hits another 'rough patch'. Even if her H is having mental health issues, that doesn't mean that she has to take him back if she doesn't feel it's in her or her DC's best interests. He certainly doesn't appear to be asking for help and his behaviour certainly doesn't warrant her taking him back 'as is'. If he asks for help for a mental issue, sure, help him if she feels like it without sacrificing her or her children's peace. But not necessarily admit him back into her life permanently. At least not until he's had a lot of counseling and proving to her that he can be relied on.

BranchingOut Sat 04-Jan-14 22:00:53

You are good to share that, LookingThroughtheFog.
I hope that you are feeling better at the moment.

Sencho Sat 04-Jan-14 22:21:15

There is a whole spectrum of MH issues - no one person follows the same actions of another person even if labeled/diagnosed with the same MH issue. People DO act completely out of character when under extreme stress and emotional turmoil - it is quite easy at times to appear to be perfectly 'ok' in front of certain people/audiences and carry out seemingly 'sane' actions a moment away from a totally dysfunctional actions. And regularly swing between the two. The blocking on FB is not necessarily the action of some twit - people going through mental trauma carry out a plethora of confusing and misunderstood actions, which we all grasp as evidence that they are really just idiots acting like idiots. The pretending to be sick episode could easily be the actions of someone with BPD. Or yes, just some pathetic bloke shirking his commitments. No one knows yet. I've seen some 'crazy' stunts by mentally ill people and anything, anything is possible.

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sun 05-Jan-14 01:06:10

Fog, I hope you are feeling better now. It was very good of you to share what you have experienced.

Spink, I am not an hcp let alone having any kind of specialist health knowledge, but it's interesting what you say about people acting very oddly - I remember my ex being so unkind the day before we split - very out of character. It looked totally calculated and determined though. I thought he was very in control. Actually he was in the grip of a total crisis.

Much later he once called to say he was just lying on his kitchen floor, had no food to eat and couldn't leave his flat. He couldn't leave his flat because he was afraid of work colleagues happening to see him.

He was usually solid, sensible, conservative, thoughtful - unfortunately he also experienced a breakdown.

LookingThroughTheFog Sun 05-Jan-14 06:40:13

Oh I'm much better now, thanks. Lots of drugs and mental health workers taking care of me at the moment. We're doing well. DH assures me that he doesn't want me to leave.

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sun 05-Jan-14 10:25:58

That sounds good, Fog. Really pleased to hear you are doing ok.

Oakmaiden Sun 05-Jan-14 22:56:25

There seems to be an awful lot of "OP, Your husband can't really be ill. I have seen people have MH problems and it didn't look like that". Because everyone's mental health problems are different.

PLaying devils advocate: it is just possible that the OPs husband got to such a low state that he thought "I am no good to anyone - my DW would be better off without me dragging her down. The children will be better off without me. Everything would be better if I were just gone." and then took off his ring, disconnected on FB, and went. Not from lack of caring about them, but because he did care, but feels so hopeless.

Yes... I might be identifying here...

That isn't to say that OP should just forgive and forget, even if this were the case. Just that it isn't necessarily dh being a bastard... His thoughts might just be all muddled...

Or he might just be a self centred bastard. But it would surprise me if he was really a self centred bastard but had managed to hide it so completely up to this point in the marriage... I think if people are acting unusually then there is generally a reason for it.

OP - I hope you are OK. I guess at this point not even you know what is really going on - but your strength amazes me.

Ohbyethen Wed 15-Jan-14 23:37:30

Hello, I apologise for just not coming back, it wasn't intent just circumstances. I remain incredibly grateful for the support I received.

He came home citing poverty and nowhere to go and the next sentence was telling me he wanted a divorce. I managed to get him to the Dr purely for his own health. Although this time has felt like months it hasn't been that long I see, but he offered me hope that this wasn't him and intentional cruelty - I offered him love and support. He kept me on the merry go round but now he has called it quits again.
I made what might be considered a poor move in order to keep my husband. Because I still love him as much as I ever did and was not party to the story in his head that gives him the buffer of such detachment.
In order to keep this as brief as possible I won't recount the things he said, they were cliche & cowardly but it pains me to see him hurting...even if it is the pain of his own guilt.
I have to come to acceptance now. But I can't drop the ball, I have to carry the consequences and keep going so it is happening in small doses at night. A long and painful road unfortunately made more difficult by the fact he is still here. Something I currently have no solution to. It could drag on for months as we tie up the commitments we made. I'm hoping to make that not the case but I'm prepared to swallow this hellish limbo in order to get the most from the house etc as I need to do my best to protect the dc. They are accepting of the situation, not fools but thankfully a bit of childish self absorption and antipathy to change is working in my favour for now. Of course it will be me that it bites on the arse soon.
It's an imperfect solution as solutions go but my choices have been least worst... pretty much the extent of them tbh.
He was talking & I thought I could see light. Now, nothing. I've told him he has to take responsibility for his choices and he cannot co opt my feelings as justification (I just can't hurt you any more) - now I have taken the ball back & am not discussing things that make me vulnerable - my love & forgiveness - he is back to being a git.
I offered everything on a plate but he won't even try. I can't do any more.

Thank you to all of you, from the bottom of my heart.

Tonandfeather Wed 15-Jan-14 23:47:37

You sound like a truly lovely woman anyone would be proud to call a friend.

I'd advise against remaining in the same house together while you untie the strings. Not good for you or the children.

How did you get on with the cell phone bills?

Because if this is not an affair, I'll eat my hat.

shoom Wed 15-Jan-14 23:49:35


It has all happened so quickly, and you had to guess what might be going on, it must be so hard when you've tried everything you can to help.

Keep posting and hopefully we can help, or just listen. Take care.

Ohbyethen Thu 16-Jan-14 00:00:44

Thank you Ton. I don't feel it at the moment!
Nothing of note, same as it ever was, few more calls to his mother. I asked outright & had a shufty on his phone and there is sweet FA.
I still harbour suspicions but although he might be being a bastard right now he's still not clever. I know that sounds like a cunty thing to say but it's never been a failing iyswim.
Hat remains unmolested for now, but I don't think it should get too comfortable. I don't know.

I do want us in different places. Whatever the reason for this he is in no fit state to parent so will not be staying with dc/pets. So I either have to move all of us or him. Tbh now it looks like he's going to find somewhere because the consequence stew is getting too unpalatable for him. Funny he couldn't when he was getting wifey duties - now I keep saying 'that's not my problem, that's a wife problem' he seems to be able to reach for something somewhere. Possibly.

His mum didn't know what was going on, he only told her tonight - for the past 10 days she thought we were playing happy families. Her question to him was 'well what are you going to do now?' rather than extending an invite. It's a small comfort that some rocks have been strewn on his smooth path to the good life.

Except not really. Because I'm a fucking fool & still feel bad. Bollocks.

Ohbyethen Thu 16-Jan-14 00:02:08

Thanks Shoom.
You guys are ace.

Tonandfeather Thu 16-Jan-14 00:13:27

Yes he needs to go. You're doing and saying all the right things, but it doesn't need me to tell you it's a bad atmosphere for children to live in.

I wouldn't have expected to find anything on his phone, but the bills maybe. Unless he's got another phone or device of course, or messenger system that doesn't show up on the data.

You are definitely not a fool. You gave this your all, even against your better judgement. You can look your children in the eyes when they are adults and say "I tried".

Of course you feel bad. You are going through a trauma. Are you getting any personal help with that?

Ohbyethen Thu 16-Jan-14 00:31:56

I have looked at all I can look at & found zip. He is saying he wishes he had answers to give me closure. I'm not digging any more, eventually everything comes to light. I'll face it when it's in front of me. There's too many people, too many shared things for a secret to remain secret for long if he stays in the area.

He does need to go. I want him to stay and everything to be built back up but it won't be, I know that and I'm not hanging on to him. But short of calling the police (about which I'm sure they'd be thrilled and not actually be able to do much) I'm rather stuck - he's not abusive, he's not transgressing the law, it's his home. I'm not sure they grant court orders for making everyone sad.
Honestly I want to dump this on his plate, but obviously I am not doing a great job for the dc if I do.
I do have a counsellor...because life was already shit. My mum has cancer. My brother died. Abusive childhood. I'm sure I've outed myself now.
My deal, my problems and up until ten days ago not issues he had said one word about having a problem with. So, it's just another bit on the pile. Even my counsellor was open mouthed, as I was mostly crying it didn't really matter she couldn't muster much to say.
I never ran away. And I'm pissed off he gets to. And that makes me feel petty and bitter.
But, world keeps turning so, have to keep up really.

Ohbyethen Thu 16-Jan-14 00:34:38

Oh god the self pity! I regret posting that horribly sniveling read now. As if I'm the first woman in the world that got done over. Apologies.

Tonandfeather Thu 16-Jan-14 00:42:43

Oh my word, you have a lot on your plate. I'm so sorry.

I suppose all you can do is to keep trying to appeal to his fathering instincts and keep asking him to find somewhere else to live, for the good of the children.

Glad you've got a counsellor.

You are entitled to self-pity! Don't try to squash that down one bit. There are no prizes handed out for being stoic. Lean on people and grieve.

Plomino Thu 16-Jan-14 00:46:04

Ohbye then , the fact that other people lives might be worse doesn't make your pain any less valid or 'worthy' . You have nothing to apologise for . Nothing .

Ohbyethen Thu 16-Jan-14 01:00:08

Thank you both. Seems a bit inadequate really but sincere all the same.

I'm tired of being so bloody tired. I have a counsellor because I am leant on. I don't do the leaning because I can deal, I am a coper, competent and calm and sensible in the face of a crisis.
And it's shit being that person. And you're right there's no tea and medals.
All I got from him when I said I wanted to run away, I wanted to be able to just be anywhere else was 'don't say that, they need you'. Yup, everybody needs me, nobody wants me.
Appealling to him atm is like appealing to a brick...except at least a brick never pretended to be anything other than a brick.
I want to know why I feel humiliated? I haven't done anything, I don't feel that other people divorcing should feel shame or embarrassment but there it is burning away.
It's my pity party happy hour clearly, better out than in I suppose.
What a mess.

shoom Thu 16-Jan-14 01:05:51


Any (normal) person would find this horrendous. Look after yourself. Maybe encouraging him to go to his mum's might help. If he wishes to stay at home and not face the reality, then making things uncomfortable for him might be necessary. I don't know how far you want to it, but I'm thinking along the lines of him buying and cooking his own food etc. No family days out. No polite chat.

shoom Thu 16-Jan-14 01:06:38

If you're worried about outing yourself just report that post for deletion.

Ohbyethen Thu 16-Jan-14 01:17:50

I have said that, exactly that actually! I'm not sure his mum will have him back, she doesn't sound too impressed. I'm hoping she will cave after an appropriate time of making him feel bad. I will see if I could push that along.

I'm actually not at all fussed about being outed, here or rl, it's all coming out in the wash anyway. I just had a knee-jerk about people guessing who I was because my posts contain a lot of praise and love for my stbexh and I couldn't quite face having that read - advice about acceptable behaviour that I would never put up with (although I didn't), Well it would be farcical now.
But it actually doesn't matter, it was in good faith, just jabs me in the guts a bit.

Tonandfeather Thu 16-Jan-14 01:21:40

Nobody wants you?

I'm sure that isn't true.

The woman you come across as in the written word is a woman whose company people will seek out and treasure. You are wanted.

Don't devalue yourself because one miserable, cowardly little man says he doesn't want you.

You are not the sum total of a weak man's desires.

I'm sure your girlfriends treasure you and your children want you very much. Don't diminish their value. It's worth so much more coming from them than him.

Ohbyethen Thu 16-Jan-14 01:38:25

Ton, you are spot on. It is true. But life is busy and I end up not speaking to anyone about me, but that whole hyperbole is a product of having a wallow!

The problem is this isn't the man I know, I love and built a life and future with. The man who is the love of my life, whom I respected and adored. Except it is. This is him now, showing cruelty, cowardice and craven hollow words that I never dreamed I would see. I've gone from normal life to uncertainty to divorce in a shorter time than it took him to choose his last car.
You are right. But I wish you weren't.
I don't want to phone people because when the wave breaks it all comes down. Because I'm terrified about where we go and what we do now even though I know I will cope and do it and I know I have friends that will hold my hand.

So I feel a coward too.

Ohbyethen Thu 16-Jan-14 05:42:52

So it's 5ish, I haven't managed to sleep.
I felt all rawr until about 10 minutes ago. Now it's nearly time to begin again.

I wish my brain didn't find it so easy to be a BAMF at night time and so difficult during the day. I'm not channeling an all action hero at all (which I am aiming for, just on the off chance I get a helicopter, unlimited funds, retire to an island and get to keep my pets) just a whingy scaredy cat. A friend posted some motivational fluff on fb & all I can muster is a big fat fuck off. I blew a raspberry at the computer screen. It's possibly a new low.

I would like to sit in bed, in my pants, eat ice cream untilI'm sick and sob, gut wrenching, chest hurting, brain emptying sobs. Properly, full Bridget Jones (not previously an aspiration) - where's my bastarding ice cream sobbing pants party? Where the fuck is that? Except now I'm too bloody pissed off to do it properly and would just grind my teeth, seethe and then swear because the ice cream made my teeth hurt more.
Bastard, bastarding, bastard, fucker.

Sorry, just needed a bit more fuel for the fire there to get me through the day. I am rock solid, this is not allowed to hurt today, if my fury was physical it would be like standing on the surface of the Sun & I may melt my own head.
You do not fuck over my children... bingo.

You're amazing. You are so strong and resilient and funny and clever. You are an awesome woman and you will get through this
You're in the very middle of the storm right now and it's hellish but it will blow over and you will be left with the broken fences to mend, the washing to retrieve and wash again, the children to soothe and cuddle back to sleep. And you will manage it all because you are a motherfucking superhero flowers

MrsBennetsEldest Thu 16-Jan-14 07:43:47

You are everything Eirik just said.

I have found strength to deal with my own shitty situation by reading your posts. You are amazing. flowers

Deathwatchbeetle Thu 16-Jan-14 08:21:04

His mother might not have known/been unimpressed but why did she not ring you back if you had been ringing her? Surely just a call back to say yes he is here but doesn't want to speak to you would be better than you imagining all sorts.

If it was meit would suddenly not that convenient for her to see the children any time soon but then I can be utterly childish!

Princessdeb Thu 16-Jan-14 08:43:08

Dear Ohbyethen,

You are awesome! Courage isn't not being scared or sad or angry it's keeping going despite feeling like that. There are times when getting up in the morning, putting a smile (for smile read grimace) on your face and putting one foot in front of the other takes more courage than anything else in the world. You are doing that every day, you arekeeping everything together for your DC's. In short you are amazing and just know that if right now you can't believe that everybody on MN believes it for you. Xx

Holdthepage Thu 16-Jan-14 09:02:37

Ohbyethen - I was hoping that your absence meant that you were working it out together & you were scared of facing the wrath of MN for TTBB(Taking The Bastard Back).

He sounds like a real prince & long term your life will be better without him, although I know it probably doesn't feel that way at the moment.

Enlisting the help of his DM is a really good idea. I know she is annoyed with him but if you can convince her that it would be helping you & your DC if she took him in, it would get rid him from your home.

Keep letting off steam on here, there are plenty of sympathetic strangers listening & wishing you well.

shoom Thu 16-Jan-14 09:16:51

Maybe it's time for working on the practical stuff- talk to solicitors, get info about both your assets and income etc. Take control.

Then have an ice-cream party.


nauticant Thu 16-Jan-14 09:30:21

You're ace OP, but just in a shitty place right now. When you do manage to get him out of the house life will improve hugely. You've just got to plod on determinedly until you get to that point. And in the meantime, seek the support of those who would like to help you (because they like and respect you).

Ohbyethen Thu 16-Jan-14 10:08:34

Damnit people, stop making me blub fgs!
I am trying to hold on to what outside me looks like, how it seems she feels.
Who can crumble with the power of MN behind them?

Practical things would be good but he isn't in a place for that right now. I fear with the money of his father behind him I can't fight whatever foolhardy plan enters his head. If his lawyer disagrees, no matter he'll find another and just pay until they say yes.
It's the kind of money I will never see.
I can't trust him to keep his promises to us, his dad will pay for custody of the dc - it doesn't matter if he won't get it, he has much deeper pockets & can just keep me in court until I've nothing left.
I will be talking to a solicitor, I meant to before the hope. I need to 1) stall until he's in a better place 2) box clever with an inspired idea from said solicitor.
I can't really go into the gory details but this is probably the worst time ever for this to have happened & there is a lot at risk (I mean we're not special, it's not worse than anyone else but I can't rebuild what I may lose. It is just stuff, but it's education, most likely) - it all sounds like cryptic bollocks but it's also long, boring and a bit 'properly' identifying.
In order to decide on 1 or 2 I'll have to wait and see what they say.

Mil...bleh, I can't even begin to deal. She could have done things very differently. But so could all of us. She kept her head down & waited for it to go away, I can't blame her for doing exactly what I want(ed) to do! She wouldn't even be on my radar if her son hadn't done what he did. I don't feel it's fair for every poor sod getting dragged into his drama to cop any more from me. You help your son. You interfere in a marriage - you can't win, you keep well out of it - you can't win. If you'regoing to be in the wrong choose the easy way I guess.
There is one focal point here - him.
He wants to play divide and conquer, try to isolate us allfrom each other then he can try that, but it is his game and I will have no part of it.
And! And! I don't even get to bloody say 'well I don't know, don't look at me?!' I'm making my own fucking medal. Out of sweet wrappers, a big fat chocolate coin one 'I am not a bastard' Big letters.
Big ones. Capitals maybe. And he can see it knowing full well he is doing an excellent impression of one.

desperatelyseekingsolace Thu 16-Jan-14 10:26:51

Sorry OP. You are in a shitty place. But you have approached this with dignity and a clear head. You have some tough weeks/months ahead but you will be fine.

Ohbyethen Thu 16-Jan-14 17:05:16

I feel ok.
Weird to say but it's true. For now, but for now is good enough.
I have a clear conscience & that is bringing peace. I have mourned the loss of what I thought the future would be. I can see potential in a new future, maybe he gets well & starts being a good father again. Maybe he won't, for that I will have sadness for him and the dc.
Maybe we come out unscathed by anything but superficial scars - all of us I hope, just not together.

The practical things will be hard. I expect to feel the hurt again but whenever we have lost something I always say 'the more you love, the harder you will grieve for them but that is a price worth paying for the time you had the joy of a full heart' I'll be honest, usually for pets but...
I think I do feel that - I haven't wasted 14 years, I have lived and loved them, I gained more in the dc & happy memories than I will lose. It was happy, the happiest of my life and that is important and can't be taken. So I mourn the loss of the happy times I thought were coming to make room for the times that will come, whatever they may be and wherever they take us.
Life is a precious thing, I have a brain, I have a bit of a broken body but it'll do & I am resourceful. Most of all I am hopeful.
I felt like my whole world smashed, into irreparable shards but actually - I built it, so if I can't repair it I'll build it again. Graft is good.

So I'll be sad, I'll wake up and hurt and I will be angry but it's hurting because I love him wholly and completely. I made my vows honest and with loyalty. He gave me a lot and if he can't give me more, well that's ok. Or it will be ok. Later. And later is fine.
Okay-ness is ok. I hope my love turns into compassion, I hope he is happy. We will be happy, even if it drives me to the edge and dangles me over. Even if this is all I can put in my plus column- it's a bloody good score.
I reckon, anyway.

Holdthepage Thu 16-Jan-14 17:10:25

He's the one who needs dangling over the edge, by his ankles & from a great height.

mistlethrush Thu 16-Jan-14 17:17:06

I'm pleased to see some positives creeping back in there Ohbye. Hold onto that feeling, and look to the future for yourself and your children and do what you need to to get there. thanks

Dinnaeknowshitfromclay Thu 16-Jan-14 17:40:27

I may be waaaaay off beam here you not think that the money coming along may be at the root of this? He sounds like he wants it all to himself and by doing all this now, right now, it is a way for him to achieve that? That would be my cynical take on this lot! I think you are amazing too by the way, Ohbye.

Tonandfeather Thu 16-Jan-14 17:48:31

Amazing woman.

Ohbyethen Thu 16-Jan-14 17:54:39

I think one possible solution is to combine both your posts! Whatever I need to do may be dangling him by his ankles! grin

I meant it to be positive. I feel as positive as I think I can be. There is no way to navigate this that bypasses hurt, maybe a lot of little hurts along the way as well as the big one. But really it should hurt, the end of love hurts, but I can feel it as a healing one not what I thought would kill me. Not for long, but long enough to panic, long enough to let that terrify and paralyse me.
It could eat me alive because I can feel it there and it's not really getting smaller but it will. I can't change it. I had no voice, no input or choices but I can choose this. I can face it in fear but that's exhausting. Or I can stand up and I can find out if I can juggle on a unicycle.
If I can't, well then I just get a sore arse, get up and try again.
Or I could just lay on the ground. Either way.

I think I have gained enough to be forgiving. If I was perfect maybe there'd be a bigger case to answer. The biggest loss is our children. If he is in a place where he can lose them, there is nothing I can imagine more painful. Anything I can add would just be like tiny pebbles on a mountain. I hope he stops being a fool before they see him as one, for both their sakes. We have lost a child, I have had mental health problems so all I can conclude is It must be a horrible place that I don't wish anyone to be. If it's 'just' selfishness, that's probably a higher price to pay.

Ohbyethen Thu 16-Jan-14 18:01:51

I think it might be the bleach fumes confused lovely clean bathroom though!

Dinnae - Fil will pay for things that crop up against the family but son, he is disappoint. Stbexh will see very little in cold, hard cash because daddy doesn't like him but can't bear a slight against them. He got set up with some assets that will remain his, to go to the dc but if what relatively little he will get is worth more to him than us, it better be some hard working money!

enriquetheringbearinglizard Thu 16-Jan-14 19:33:14


I've read your entire thread with my jaw dropping open and I don't really know where to start commenting (but I will) other than to give you a whole Wembley Stadium sized standing ovation.

You said
We are an amazing family, I'm proud of my children and we don't have to beg anyone to love us
too right and you make sure you remember that.

I can't imagine the worry, fear and shock you've been going through, but to have kept so strong, even though you don't think or feel as though you have been, and to keep such a wicked sense of humour, you really are an amazing person and that's without everything else you cope with.

Something tells me that you and your DC are going to be just fine. It won't be plain sailing, of course it won't, but life rarely is anyway. You'll look back and wonder how on earth you coped, but you will.

It's hard to credit that someone you love so much and felt so at one with, can treat you and his own children in such a way and that your MiL stands by. I love and support my children but if they treated someone like this, no way would I retreat and ally myself to them only, but there you go.
I hope you do have as much close and practical support as you need, but I would say feel free to post at liberty on MN as the whole force is right there shoulder to shoulder with you.

springysofa Fri 17-Jan-14 00:00:42

Falling apart isn't such a bad plan btw. Though I've never quite got the current 'be strong' philosophy tbh. Maybe I'm not a 'be strong' type. But if your heart and life have been ripped out by the roots, I think that's justifiably a falling apart time (as well as a 'self-pity' time, though I wouldn't call it that myself).

What I have found out about falling apart is that it ends up that there is very, very little that one needs to do to keep everything on the road. It's surpising how little is needed - a bit here and a bit there and that's it! Each day does it's own thing and you deal with those things as they come along and you don't have to be holding up the world if you don't want to (or don't think you can). Being strong is over-rated imo (see above).

Unless being strong is your thing but, even then, you can scale right back, pare it down to the absolute bare minimum, because things still tick along in a surprising way. Even the big things xxx

EATmum Fri 17-Jan-14 00:58:36

Your strength and dignity in dealing with this are amazing. I hope life treats you with more kindness, very soon. thanks

Ohbyethen Sun 19-Jan-14 03:48:58

Not really being brave, still feeling it, still struggling but the world keeps on going & things need to be done.

He has announced he wants the house sold, tried giving me a date to move out by so it could be gutted & decorated. So now I know I will be facing a fight too.
It's difficult to comprehend how he could be doing this - he feels bad when he is doing selfish bastard things & so says lots of guilty appeasement. My sympathy for how he must be feeling is drying to a trickle as he sinks further into selfish wallowing, using his illness as an excuse to hang every selfish thought & feeling on, ignoring the fact he doesn't have to indulge them and act. He is being astoundingly craven.
So, time to saddle up & prepare for an expensive game of silly buggers.

It's a remarkable brain bender to utterly love someone still while feeling contempt and disgust at their behaviour. Knowing it is as much them as the bits you liked. Although it will probably make things easier in thelong run.
Thank you for sticking with me! It's massively helpful to have support that isn't being told ' he would never do that' and having to explain every day that he did, has and is and that I can't stop whatever awful thing I'm doing to drive him away and beg him to come back because he doesn't want to and I haven't done/not done anything.
Sol appt made so hopefully he'll get a bit more reasonable before things get official. Not holding out much hope of that sadly.

wallaby73 Sun 19-Jan-14 07:24:38

No disrespect to other threads, but this is the most inspiring (nay articulate) thread i've ever read. You do know OP that he can't force a house sale nor (what an idiot) give you a "date to move out".....i assume you do, and his actions show he hasn't taken any sort of legal advice.....

mistlethrush Sun 19-Jan-14 08:24:30

Hmm, definitely need to speak to your solicitor and find out what is reasonable and what rights you have - I'm sure, though, that he can't just order you out of the house.

Allergictoironing Sun 19-Jan-14 08:55:46

Heh pretty sure he can't just demand the family home is sold from under you and the DC, at least not until there is agreement and/or a court order.

Is your solicitor appointment soon? If not, for peace of mind it could be worth getting one of those free short consultations from a different solicitor just to get that clarified; this would have the added bonus of it being one more solicitor he couldn't use grin.

GeekLove Sun 19-Jan-14 09:17:31

If your children are under 18 then don't you have the right of parental residence? I'm not sure he can make you out of the house if you don't want to.

Lweji Sun 19-Jan-14 09:25:17

Idiot is a good word.

He really can't push you and the children out like that. He'd have to have a court order.
So, tell him to FOTTFSOFAFOSM.

Your solicitor will tell you what your rights are.


Ohbyethen Sun 19-Jan-14 11:58:49

I know, it's ridiculous. Thing is I'm sure he knows it too, so maybe it's posturing, maybe he has just forgotten? Either way he won't be proceeding on his terms.

Due to everything I will probably need to get the house sold, unfortunate but, so it's not a case of being able to just keep it and fend him off (relatively easily done). I looked at CSA to try and get an idea of financial input from him. I just get a plan together and he does something to make me have to get a new one. He told me he's giving up work and will live like a little Prince at his mother's (so she's back on board is she?!) He won't be claiming anything, daddy will pay.
Sol appt tomorrow, he will be using his family's so I don't need to go creating a conflict of interest around town which is a shame as I imagine that is both useful and satisfying! Will be getting more than one opinion though to try and ensure I get someone who gels with me and makes a lot of the right noises - I want to attempt to avoid issues I know other MNers have had with poor representation.

In reality there is little he can do currently and I hold all the cards. His father is taking little interest in events. I'm holding on to that positive to get through picking over the bones of our life. It's exactly as shocking as seeing your healthy horse keel over 2 furlongs from home.
If he gets his father involved I may have a big problem, but currently he's just managing to reign himself in enough to not start something. He knows I'm going to fight him and he knows I will do it alone regardless of how much my family want him back or support him so I think he's just being too chicken shit to really let loose all of his selfish ideas (like all the money and house and car etc).

What I didn't do yesterday was have a therapeutic think whilst clutching his life insurance certificate. It definitely had nothing to do with the loose stair he hasn't fixed even though it's only him that falls down it. Because that would have been equally childish.
I sadly have to admit I used his razor to shave every bit of body hair I could find, cleaned it out with the nail brush and tidied away the new blades so they were safe nd sound. Still waiting to feel bad for such awful behaviour. It'll happen soon probably.

Lweji Sun 19-Jan-14 13:10:16

Are you sure he's leaving the job and not being sacked?

Regardless, he is reaching new depths of bad parenting if he is simply trying to avoid CSA.

shoom Sun 19-Jan-14 16:38:28

The razor! Inspired! grin

I hope the legal advice reassures you about what he can do without your consent. Hopefully very little, apart from move out.

TeenyW123 Sun 19-Jan-14 16:49:08

You don't have to fight him. All you want is to be assertive. Assertive as to what's best for the children first, then you. Stand your ground. In fact, be a bit cheeky and ask for slightly more than you could reasonably expect, then you can "compromise".

Ohbyethen Sun 19-Jan-14 22:22:11

Yes, fight was probably the wrong word. It's just today I'm finding it hard not to feel adversarial. I want to knock his head against the wall until he snaps out of it. Because everything leads to more things for me to deal with, with dc/house/pets because he isn't/won't and they suffer if I decline.
I just want to get to a point where I can just plod along dealing with practicalities without it feeling like a visceral pain. Truth is if he turned to me now and took it all back, asked to start again I would say no. And I would turn him down - so why can I be so clear about that but not stop wanting that exact thing to happen?
It's like giving myself a poke in the eye.

I'm in bed cuddling the dogs. I can keep them happy at least!

Ohbyethen Sun 19-Jan-14 22:27:10

Lweji - heard no whispers about sacking. He hates this job now and just wants to jack it in. It would not surprise me in the least if supporting the children has just utterly failed to occur to him in his little bubble of glee that he can just fuck it all off.

SanityClause Sun 19-Jan-14 22:38:02

Someone DH knows recently went through a fairly nasty divorce. He was unfaithful, and she, unsurprisingly, took no prisoners as far as the settlement was concerned.

Apparently, he threatened to give up his job, or at least asked what would happen if he did. The judge gave him short shrift!

TinselTownley Sun 19-Jan-14 22:44:42

Ohbyethen, in the last day since my own husband dropped the bombshell and seemingly deleted our years together like he was emptying the waste paper bin on his desktop, I have read this whole thread and couldn't admire you more. I wish I could offer you some comfort but I can't figure out my own fluctuating state of mind right now. What I would like to do is say how inspiring your strength, care and eloquence is. I am so sorry for all you have been put through. The man's clearly an idiot.

Ohbyethen Sun 19-Jan-14 22:45:18

I wonder what will make him take responsibility for himself and see that he has squandered honest opportunities to be supported in favour of being so melodramatic. That actually he's doing himself as much harm as anyone. Maybe a judge treating him as he is behaving, not the person he thinks he is would do it?
I'd prefer un-messy but we'll have to see!

Ohbyethen Sun 19-Jan-14 22:50:34

Tinsel - I'm sorry you're facing the same. It's really shitty. I think I'm struggling with the complete lack of reasons - I'm sure there are some but buggered if I know! Thank you for that though, even though I feel a buffoon! I hope everything gets easier for you soon.
I'll 'sort' yours if you do mine. Criss cross grin wink

Ohbyethen Wed 22-Jan-14 00:02:42

Right, solicitors seen and plan starting to come together I think.

Unfortunately he has been so lovely today. I have been spurred on to make concrete plans for out security because of his actions. I encouraged GP visit etc purely for him, he hasn't been taking his ADs long enough for them to be the cause of it so one the one hand I think you could control this and you chose to be so cruel, on the other I wonder if it's due to the fact I made a move to get gone and the good mood is just the joy and relief. Both options make me feel like crap. I keep having to fight the urge to hug him, try and make it all not have happened, but there really is too much water under the bridge. He says he feels like he's lost everything and he was punishing himself, that he's sorry. It's true he's lost everything but he mostly punished us, he doesn't want us to go or stay. I can't make that ok. Even if I could forgive him, how many years could I live in uncertainty before we crumbled? I begged him not to say and do some of the things he did if he wasn't 100% - now he's not and that's really sad.

Anyway we're here at the end of the line, it's just the practicalities now. Thanks to all of you for being here & keeping me going, it has been a hard and lonely time and you have been amazing. Thank you thanks

Lweji Wed 22-Jan-14 05:50:32

Just reading your last update, he's probably being nice because he knows you're on the way out and still wants to keep the door open.
He must have had a rude wake up call and is trying to backtrack now, seeing what he stands to lose. sad

Glad you've got legal support and a plan.

MissScatterbrain Wed 22-Jan-14 10:18:21

I agree he is playing nice on keep his options open.

He seems to be all "me, me, me" - how he has lost everything, he is the one being punished etc. Nothing about how he has devastated you and his family, the pain you all are in and so on. He is so self absorbed. You cannot be with someone like this as he will never take your feelings into consideration.

Lweji Wed 22-Jan-14 11:00:38

And he's tried the tough approach, of threatening not paying for the children, selling the house, etc. That didn't work as he expected, so he's on plan B now.

So typical!

DIYapprentice Wed 22-Jan-14 11:19:00

I've just caught up with your thread. Gosh, you have been through so much!

I'm glad you can come onto MN and get all of this off your chest.

I think you should document the facts with as little emotion as possible.

Your soon to be exH wants to just jack the job in, knowing he will be financially supported by his family.

Document that he has said that - if he does it, document that as well.

Document how much you are spending and how much (or, more to the point, how little he is spending).

When it comes time for the courtcase for the division of assets a judge can look at this behaviour, and award you a greater share of the assets as he has taken deliberate actions to not financially support his family. YOU will need those assets because he is clearly showing with his behaviour that he has no intention of doing the honourable thing. Judges generally don't like seeing husbands/fathers behave like that.

BTW, a family solicitor might be free for him, but they will not be specialists in family law so could easily overlook things that a specialist divorce/family solicitor won't.

Is there anyway of getting your FIL on side? Does he want to see his grandchildren regardless of his own son?

If you could prevent your FIL seeing you as a family adversary that might help you.

Ohbyethen Wed 22-Jan-14 19:28:53

Excellent advice as usual and noted.
Fil...don't know is the honest answer,but all experience tells me it is highly unlikely. All I can do is what I have done (write to them both -pil divorced- as neutraly as possible and offered continued contact and being reasonable) I can't force them to talk to me.
I'm getting dumped by them all it seems, I assume they are quite happy that they will see the dc when they are with their dad.

I'm trying and I'm doing my best but I am still very much groping around in the dark. I'm talking but nobody seems to be listening, or if they are it's not translating into talking back to me. It's hard to answer questions here - valid, sensible and pertinent questions - when I don't have the answer. A lot of forging forward has been done on the basis of dealing with practicalities and my own supposition. How flawed that supposition is or isn't I don't really know - before now I would have predicted his behaviour pretty successfully, this reassured me I knew him - now I'm trying to predict his next moves off the back of not even a month's history. Truth is I don't know him any more, or what he will do and his parents less so - they have completely ditched us.
I'm trying to be positive so I don't crumble as there is noone else to pick up the slack so I don't feel particularly obliged to belly crawl any more. It's unlikely I would have got Fil onside before all this as he is a monumental dick (who didn't like me working, not providing acceptable grandchildren, having fertility problems even though they were H's etc etc) so I can't quite muster the enthusiasm to creep now.
My dc will not suffer if I don't so I won't.
I have done my damndest to be reasonable and make things go smoothly and have had bugger all consideration in return. So I will continue to be reasonable, have offered an olive branch but as that has all been summarily ignored I am using my energy on the important people, my children. I'm obstructing no one but it's time for other people to take some responsibility.

Of course, that may change tomorrow if I am not having an angry and hurt day. Because today all I want to say is a great big fuck off. It's been a difficult one and I'm probably just tired.

Allergictoironing Wed 22-Jan-14 20:20:09

" It's hard to answer questions here - valid, sensible and pertinent questions - when I don't have the answer."

Look on these questions you don't (yet) know the answer to as a list of things that you do need to find out. OK many of them you may already know you need to sort out, but there's likely to be a few questions on here that you hadn't even thought of smile

Ohbyethen Thu 23-Jan-14 05:24:52

It would be lovely if they would just bloody tell me though instead of me having to feel like I need to invest in thumb screws to get even the simplest response.

Heavy sigh seems to be my default setting at the moment! Worst Christmas present ever. Except the Christmas that my grandmother died. I might skip it this year.

springysofa Thu 23-Jan-14 09:46:26

FIL sounds like a thug. An ignorant brute.

Ex may be making the 'right' noises at present but I tend to think he's a cardboard box with a wet bottom: liable to go at any time - particularly with the weight of family, commitments... actually, the weight of life . Look at who is male role model was hmm

I'm not surprised a heavy sigh is your default setting at the mo. It's been a monumental headfuck, all in. ((hug))

springysofa Thu 23-Jan-14 09:46:48

*his role model

Ohbyethen Thu 23-Jan-14 16:19:57

He wrote to me, received the letter today.
Basically a ' so sad, appreciate your input, see ya'.
Fil that is, not stbexh.
While I want to write back I suspect it would be better to just go through solicitors and deal with h.
It feels so unjust.
But then life isn't fair and stating it has never changed things.
I have fired people with more thought, care and consideration. But it could have been worse, so silver linings time I suppose.

nauticant Thu 23-Jan-14 16:31:09

Are you not grimly amused OP to see that the FIL's letter is actually your username?

Anyway, I'm sorry that you've had such an ordeal, and a spectacularly fucked-up Christmas, but at least you now know the only way forward is pure practicality, distancing yourself as much as you can from this fucked-up family, and to focus on your kids and yourself.

stooshe Thu 23-Jan-14 16:47:32

Delurking, OP. Have courage and keep on keeping on. I can't think of anything else to say. I am amazed at your courage and the ability to see the bigger picture, no matter what is thrown at you. You have a good heart. Don't make anybody take that away from you.

Ohbyethen Thu 23-Jan-14 17:14:40

Ha, true. I am now having a wry smile over that, thank you Nauticant.

It's still so baffling to me, so heartbreaking. But detachment and keeping on with the practical will see us through to the edges of the bigger picture and a better time. I absolutely won't but I would like to get away from them all, shield my babies in a bubble of happiness and all who reside in it love them totally so they are never touched by indifference, feeling that one parent who should be their staunchest ally in fact is not troubling himself with their wellbeing.
That all their grandparents would move hell and high water for them.
I can manage that treatment of me because however I feel adult, romantic love is conditional. But the love for your children being so easily cast aside is like a clutch of razor blades when I think about it.

So we say 'Good bye and thanks for all the fish, so sad it had to come to this...' I'm humming it a lot, cheerily hoping I can laugh through some of the darkest moments. Knowing there is no brand new replica being rebuilt for us to move back into as if the Earth wasn't blown to smithereens.
We have our towels and we Don't Panic.

mistlethrush Thu 23-Jan-14 23:03:06

<passes towel>

Do what you need for yourself and your children. Stuff the rest!

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