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to think friend's ex-husband isn't to blame in this instance?

(121 Posts)
enpointe Sun 12-May-13 14:12:35

My friend split up from her husband a year ago, and they have two pre-school children. I'm using the word 'friend' here for the sake of convenience: while on the one hand we haven't fallen out as such, her behaviour to me at a mutual friend's wedding was so appalling I am trying to distance myself from her.

The reasons the marriage broke down were quite complex but ultimately, the husband did have an affair with another woman, who he left my friend for. I don't condone this behaviour for a minute. However, it also has to be said that he had reason to be very unhappy in the marriage, mainly due to the housework and childcare (he did everything, despite the fact she was a sahm and he worked full time) and she has struggled with keeping the house safe and hygienic to the point where social services have been involved. A custody battle was started then, and he was given more access to their children (50-50)

Anyway things broke down to the point where they weren't being civil to one another as he was getting a lot of requests for the same amount of money he was paying to start with even though the children were with him less time. He started to get an increasing number of texts/voicemails just saying "ring me, urgent." He asked her not to do this because it made him panic but she carried on, so he has changed his phone no and asked for contact to be via the solicitor or through email only.

Is he BU? She thinks so.

CoalDustWoman Sun 12-May-13 20:09:12

Why has he left the children in a situation where ss are involved because of the state of the house ?

Birdsgottafly Sun 12-May-13 20:09:26

You wouldn't let your daughter go into the house when he lived there, it was that bad? I work full time and am a LP, yet manage to have a reasonable house. if she was deliberately creating mess and dirt, he should have contacted the MH crisis team, he certainly shouldn't have found a bit on the side and up and left his children in an unstable environment. You need to keep out of it.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Sun 12-May-13 20:12:50

OP, you actually quite disgust me. Waaay bored to tears with your life. Too many of your miserable kind at pre-school days, judging everyone.

YABU. Mind your own fuckin business yeah?

Birdsgottafly Sun 12-May-13 20:15:12

Also, if nursery places are being funded then the children must be on a CP plan, is he telling you the full truth about that?

WafflyVersatile Sun 12-May-13 20:16:20

sock you know custody is not that simple when exes can't reach agreement. IIRC he works full-time and yet was awarded 4 nights a week, more than 50%. The family court seem to think even working full-time in a 2 bed flat and her being a SAHM with 3 bed house the kids are better off spending more time with him.

MammaTJ Sun 12-May-13 20:18:07

My ex left me because 'I didn't keep the house tidy enough, I was rubbish with money, I did not do enough for him'

For most of our marriage, I worked 48 hours a week to his 38. I figured he had 10 hours of housework to catch up on before I even had to start. I did do all the housework though.

He actually had an affair and left and I would have had a good deal more respect for him if he had left, not had an affair and left.

Our DD has lived with him for the last 4 years. For the last 2 he has refused to answer my rare phone calls. Apparently DD is able to pass on messages. When she has been struggling at school it would have been a good deal better to be able to talk to him and try to work out how best to support her.

The man you are talking about needs to tell her that he will not answer dramatic demands to 'ring-urgent', he needs ring because xyz. A practical solution to a real problem.

CoalDustWoman Sun 12-May-13 20:20:54

It wasn't court ordered. I'm shocked that if things are that bad he is not stepping in and making sure these kids are ok all of the time. Am I odd? Why hasn't he organised his life around his kids? One of them has to, surely?

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 12-May-13 20:22:36

If he really wanted full residency and she's really that bad why buy a house that would be so unsuitable ( against a house that ss deamed to not be fit for children to be in).

That bit is that simple.

FCEK Sun 12-May-13 20:24:19

I wonder if the OP is the OW?

Birdsgottafly Sun 12-May-13 20:25:04

WV, that suggests that there is a justifiable reason as to why the ex is living the way that she is ie some form of MH problem, rather than just failing her children because she cannot be bothered to parent, tbh.

WafflyVersatile Sun 12-May-13 20:25:41

It's simple to get a mortgage on a 3 or 4 bed house? Tell me how! I want one.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Sun 12-May-13 20:26:37

Certainly comes across that way FCEK. No objectivity whatsoever.

WafflyVersatile Sun 12-May-13 20:26:58

Most abusive husbands have MH problems or personality disorders. I don't see many people jumping to their defence when their ex wife wants them to stop contacting them.

This thread is odd.

CoalDustWoman Sun 12-May-13 20:27:51

There are 2 kids. They could share a bedroom. But he would rather live with the new woman and her child.

Bogeyface Sun 12-May-13 20:39:04

So she is (at least from his POV) a crap mother who cant cope and his children are living in squalor?

And he has decided to buy a small flat instead of putting his children first and renting a bigger place so they can live there?

Yeah, he sounds really caring, really like he is putting the kids first. He has put his OW's DD above his own ffs!

quesadilla Sun 12-May-13 20:44:11

I also strongly suspect there is more to this than meets the eye. Being bad at housework isn't - on its own - a reason for walking out on a marriage, let alone for an affair. I think it's highly likely the marriage was effectively over a long time ago and that the husband's behaviour contributed more to this than you are acknowledging. It does also clearly sound as if she is depressed now, regardless of whether she has been formally diagnosed.

Birdsgottafly Sun 12-May-13 20:46:59

WV, they do if they leave, leaving the children with the ex and shack up with someone else and their child, then refuse to have contact outside of office hours. There will be a CP plan in writing and you can bet that the children's SW won't agree with him not being contactable. I suggest that he puts it to the SW and does as directed.

EglantinePrice Sun 12-May-13 20:47:09

Now when I had two pre-schoolers I really didn't cope very well. For many reasons. Thank God my DH was supportive and really did more than his fair share - rather than have an affair.

So I will begin by saying I have no sympathy for him.

I think the AIBU is should she have to contact him via solicitors...? Shit this doesn't sound very maintainable esp at weekends or in any kind of crisis.

It really comes across how much you think she is BU. Comments like 'she doesn't spend a lot on the kids' just make me wonder how on earth you know this. You clearly hate her and I think you're being a little U.

AnyFucker Sun 12-May-13 20:52:24

OP has denied she is the OW several times now

Make of that what you will

CookieLady Sun 12-May-13 20:53:07

The ex-h sounds like a fantastic father leaving his dc with a mother who clearly wasn't coping. Nice.

IneedAyoniNickname Sun 12-May-13 21:43:23

This thread is very interesting.

My ex left me, he says it wasn't for another woman, but the dc met her 6 weeks after we split.
He tells everyone that will listen that he left because the house was so untidy, that he used to come home from being at work all day and have to do all the housework, etc etc.

In actual fact, he worked 5pm-9pm 4 days a week, which isn't all day imo.
He never did housework, even on the 3 days he wasn't working
According to him, he should be allowed a lie in whenever he didn't have to get up for work (ie everyday) if I was lucky I'd get a lie in, but only once he'd decided to get up around 9/10am. In other words, I would have to get up with the dc, then if I was lucky I could go back to bed for 30 mins.

Yes the house was a mess , really bad in fact. And like ops 'friend' ss were involved. However, there was never any suggestion of his contact increasing, or him having custody.
I had horrendous depression which ex claimed he didn't know about. This was made worse by him constantly berating me, nagging, moaning and telling me how shit I was.

If it was that bad, why didn't he take his dc and run?
I'd love to hear the 'friends' side of this story!

WafflyVersatile Sun 12-May-13 21:48:12

What is a CP plan?

I know someone who tried to leave his abusive wife (no, I'm not before you ask)

He didn't in the end because he didn't feel strong enough to battle her for custody, FOG?, when she was threatening that he would not see his kids again if he left and all the other manipulation etc. He also couldn't bring himself to 'hurt her' by leaving with the kids. He didn't know the proper way to leave an abusive relationship. And his efforts resulted in threats and abuse. He downplayed her behaviour. He tried what he thought was best but he had not had suitable advice and ended up moving back in and having a nervous breakdown. Men know/fear that working full-time versus SAHM means they will not get custody.

He also did more childcare and more housework than her despite him working ft and her being a SAHM. I think this thread reminded me of that.

I'm really quite shocked here sometimes at what seem to me double standards. Poor brave abused women. Spineless cowardly men.

Part of me hopes this is him. Even if his kids are not with him 100%

maddening Sun 12-May-13 21:52:11

so was as involved while they were still married/together?

LineRunner Sun 12-May-13 21:59:16

CP = child protection

Bogeyface Sun 12-May-13 23:11:17

This is a man who is trying to excuse his shitty behaviour at a) having an affair, b) leaving a woman who clearly has/had mental health issues and c) leaving his children with that woman.

If she was so shit then he would have either left with the kids or taken steps to have her removed from the family home. He did neither. He buggered off to live with his shag in a nice new flat where no one was making demands on him.


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