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To ask how to co-parent

(16 Posts)
Stuck16 Tue 18-Apr-17 09:48:44

This is long- sorry
DH moved out last June initially saying he no longer loved me, wanted a divorce etc but 6 weeks later said it was actually because his depression and anxiety which he's had for years was getting on top of him and he needed time and space to get himself sorted.
He conceded it was a dick move to not be honest from the outset and had caused a lot of unnecessary pain and upset.
The idea was he'd get himself sorted then we'd work on our relationship as clearly there are issues for him to feel he can't get better around me.
He moved into a houseshare so can't have the children there- it's in the contract no under 16s allowed. Since he moved out his contact with the kids has taken place at my house, he's never taken them out or anything.
Last week he told me he wants to make the move permanent, doesn't think our marriage is worth working on, he feels it's been over for ages. Seems to boil down to a lack of sex (youngest is 3 now) and what he perceives as a lack of interest in him on my part and keeps saying "life's gotten in the way"
I've told him it's fairly normal when kids are young for the parents to lose sight of their relationship but when you realise it you go out on a couple of adult only dates etc not file for divorce.
Last night he told me he's met someone else- I must have mug written on my forehead to not have realised sooner.
So, how do I co-parent how? He still can't have the kids at his house, hasn't got the money to live anywhere else but I don't want him hanging out at my house anymore either.
I only let him here as often as he was because I was of the impression it was only a matter of time before he was well enough to move home. I still love him and just seeing him as much as I will have to is going to break me. I worry though that if I don't let him in the house at weekends etc he won't bother to take the kids out and then they'll lose their dad even more. So how do I handle this now?

OfficerVanHalen Tue 18-Apr-17 10:03:53

Ahh dear that's awful, but not surprising tbh - i would brace yourself for finding out that this has been going on for a good while. And how convenient for him to find himself digs where he is in no danger of having to be responsible for his own children hmm

Anyway, the important thing is you are starting a new chapter of your life and even if you don't feel that way now, you are better off out of this relationship. You must not allow this situation where you are stuck with all the bad bits of single parenthood and none of the perks (bit of childfree time, being the queen in your own castle) to continue. It's not bad for you to refuse to facilitate his contact any more - if he was a decent father he should have considered this before now. What steps has he taken exactly to find more suitable accommodation for a start?

The trick is going to be asserting your boundaries and not letting him take the piss anymore while still sounding friendly and amicable at least in the first instance. And DO NOT let him palm his responsibilities off on his ow - he sounds like the exact sort of lazy manchild who would do this.

Do his parents live nearby? What is your relationship with them like? Could he possibly have contact with the dcs there to start with while he looks for a home?

Armadillostoes Tue 18-Apr-17 10:14:51

Hugs OP. One thing that strikes me is that this isn't your problem to solve. He needs to work out how he is going to manage the logistics of his situation. Don't run around after him. If he doesn't want to be in a relationship with you, he shouldn't expect you to solve his practical problems. He has treated you really badly, don't let him have his cake and eat it. In the medium and long term making him take responsibility for his own patenting will also benefit the children.

OfficerVanHalen Tue 18-Apr-17 10:20:28

Yy agree with armadillos. Nothing wrong with making a couple of helpful suggestions to him in the first instance to shore up the reality that this is now his problem, and that things cannot continue with him living it up in his bachelor pad then popping back at his convenience like a teenager from uni but do not do the emotional labour of solving this entire thing for him.

Stuck16 Tue 18-Apr-17 10:34:40

He's made no attempt to find somewhere else to live. I found him the houseshare to begin with as truly believed it was temporary.
He's NC with his mum, his dad lives 200 miles away as do my family.
I think I have been far too accommodating and that probably hasn't helped matters. My DS whos 9 already says he blames me for his dad leaving

OfficerVanHalen Tue 18-Apr-17 11:49:19

Oh love sad

That must be really really hard to hear. You know he doesn't mean it tho?

You haven't been 'too accommodating', you took him at his word that this was a temporary situation and you did the legwork in trying to resolve it. It's a shame that he's thrown it back in your face but it can't be helped.

Would he consider mediation or counselling together to work out where you go from here?

On the up side it is clear that this man is no loss as a partner or a father so once you get the practicalities in place you might start to feel as though a weight has been lifted off you. Was it always all you doing the hard work of keeping the marriage together? Was it always you eating shit and carrying on as normal for the sake of harmony? You will start to feel so much better once you're in a life where you don't have to do all this.

thethoughtfox Tue 18-Apr-17 12:58:36

He deliberately signed a contract that meant he couldn't have his children over. This is his problem to solve. He'll need to take them out. Don't let him use the house, and you, and a base for his convenience.

Karmin Tue 18-Apr-17 13:13:32

You need to have a conversation away from the children and say as of next Monday the current arrangement is ending. I am happy to have the children available for contact on x days/nights they can be collected from here but contact will not happen here.

Basically you need to stop facilitating him, also start to progress on legal advice. If you think you will be unable to agree you need to make an application to court for a contact order.

The fact that he cannot have them at his is not your problem, in fact anything to do with his life is not your problem. But you do need to be prepared that he may stop seeing his children for a while either because he can't make it work or to punish you.

The initial period will be rough, he will probably not cooperate. At all times though with the children you need to be the bigger person, always be neutral or positive about him to the children.

Once things have settled down you need to work out what the contact agreement should be and think about maintenance.

Regarding your 9 year old, he may need a very basic overview of the reasons why you have separated keeping it to the facts and not emotive. He is likely to lash out where he feels most secure though.

Good luck, stay strong and be gentle on yourself!

flamingnoravera Tue 18-Apr-17 13:14:42

I think you are entirely within your rights to say something along the lines of "as you seem to be moving on so well and quickly, I can now withdraw my support from you. This means you will need to make your own arrangements for contact with the children as my home is no longer available for you. I shall expect that you as the barest minimum will put the children's needs first and I look forward to your sharing your ideas for a co-parenting with me very soon. In the meantime, I am afraid you can no longer visit with the children here, I will have them ready for you at (insert usual visit time) and you can pick them up.

It's the drip dripping of information and lies that hurts. You have no further reason to help or assist him and he clearly has taken you for a ride for longer than you imagined. Get firm and assertive and be the sugar plum fairy when the children are within earshot (but firm). Be prepared also for him introducing the children to the OW as he will probably need her help to sort out the contact and spending time with his own children. It will hurt like hell for you and will probably get worse before it gets better.

He will accuse you of not putting the children first if you deny access to the home for contact. Do not let this shift your resolve. He was not putting the children first when he forgot he had a family and replaced you with someone else.

But it will also get better, just keep strong and let him sort this mess out, not you.

Stuck16 Tue 18-Apr-17 16:03:43

Thank you everyone. He's already told me today he's sick of me calling the shots- he only told me last night it was over for good. He has to help with the school run on the days I work so unfortunately will be at my house for the next 3 days in the morning and evening that can't be changed.
I am going to phone him tonight to try and have a proper conversation with him about things

OfficerVanHalen Tue 18-Apr-17 16:08:07

I honestly do not think mentioning 'as you are moving on so quickly' is a good idea wrt the contact arrangements as he will see it as op being jealous or petty rather than just having good boundaries and expecting him to do some actual parenting. The aim is to be amicable and pleasant but not a pushover. I'd keep it neutral, refer to needing to make longterm arrangements for contact. I would not mention his behaviour even though it would kill me

chastenedButStillSmiling Tue 18-Apr-17 16:08:56

I'm so sorry. This is awful for you and horrible of him.

My only advice to you is if you only put your DC first, above all your emotions and hurt, it can only be the right thing for them. Easier said than done, I know.

Good luck. Things will change and settle down, so it won't always be this way. I hope you get to move on very soon.

OfficerVanHalen Tue 18-Apr-17 16:10:03

Oh well once he sorts himself a big boy place to live out he can call the fucking shots every other weekend can't he while you go out drinking tequila and ogling men of easy virtue

Stuck16 Tue 18-Apr-17 18:13:44

He's now refusing to talk to me tonight. I'm the one who's been walked out on so why am I the one behaving reasonably?

KC225 Tue 18-Apr-17 21:19:53

He has behaved and is behaving badly. His playing with your emotions has been particularly cruel.

He may need to restart communications with his mother, what about siblings, cousins etc., he can take them out - summer is approaching so that shouldn't be too hard. You need to look after yourself now OP. You deserve so much better than that

Stuck16 Tue 18-Apr-17 21:40:58

His mother is a lost cause, he is genuinely better off without her. He is also NC with his sister and doesn't know his cousins due to his mother being NC with her brother. It's a complex family that's for sure.
For 13 years it's literally been us two and then the kids, until now.

I love him but I hate him

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