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Still feeling guilty 4 years on(16 Posts)
4 years ago I left the family home with my 3 young dc. I was at breaking point. The only communication I was getting was snide remarks, criticism and the silence. I was very unhappy and feeling totally broken. I never thought I had it in me to leave. I was totally financially dependant having 3 young children, never went out and had no friends or family nearby. I went to my mum's 150 miles away as that was the only place I could go.
I started working and rented my own place and recently bought somewhere with the help of my mum.
I tried about a year ago to get a divorce but he would not attend mediation and my costs with the solicitor rising so I gave up. He still lives back in the family home that was.
I have never stopped him seeing the children and facilitated it as much as I can. In the beginning he'd come and see them one weekend and I'd drive down the next. Then he started coming less and turned down my efforts to take them saying he was tired or busy.
Now it seems to be only during the holidays for a few days.
2 of their birthdays just passed. He put money in my account to buy some presents from him but no cards or visit.
Dd rang him tonight asking if they could go down (I told him it was half term this week well in advance) or if he was coming and his reply wS 'not the best time at the moment'.
My two younger ones are less and less interested and don't bother to call him or talk if my older one does. He hardly ever calls them.
This evening I just had a huge wave of guilt come over me looking at my 11 year olds face trying to smile when she was really sad and disappointed.
I don't know why he is not bothering now. Is it because he feels too bad when they leave or because he just can't be bothered?
He is a workaholic and always put work before us rarely spending time with us when we were there but what if he rely did care?
I'm so confused and upset for the kids. I also feel so much guilt.
I have always stayed on my own so there has never been anyone else involved.
Please help me out with my confusion.
I know it is hard but you shouldn't feel guilty. You've done all you can, he is the one being difficult or uncaring with his children. All you can do is tell the children what you have done and that you are waiting fro him to respond. In the end they'll make their own minds up about him, although it will hurt in the meantime. You cannot make him want to see his kids.
Ive had to go back to an old thread to remind myself.
Please don’t feel guilty. He is an adult and it is his responsibility to ensure that he parents his children, even if it is a coparenting arrangement. He’s basically neglecting that responsibility, and it is a responsibility. It disgusts me when people treat children in such a way. Remember how he treated you and the reasons you had to leave. I bet you are such a calmer and happier mum because of that. I wouldn’t be surprised if your ex was behaving like this purposely to piss you off. Or he’s just a very selfish, irresponsible and uncaring individual. Either way, you cannot be responsible for his behaviour. You have clearly tried and tried to facilitate contact. Maybe you could try to explain to him the impact it’s having on your children, especially the 11 year old. I’m sorry for your children; as long as they feel loved by you and each other I think that is the best you can do.
I just read your thread from 2015. I’m so glad you got out. You have done amazingly. He is truly a shitty person. Did you ever get a financial settlement after you left?
Minion, I am sooo much better. I am me again. I've been working for the past 3.5 years now, did some more studying and managed to get myself a mortgage with help from my mum.
I feel less lonely being on my own than I was with him.
No settlement. I tried about 1.5 years ago to divorce but he was awkward and first agreed to mediation but bailed out 2 days before. My costs were rising from the solicitor and I couldn't really afford it knowing he'd could be difficult. In some ways like this he still controls the situation but at least it's from a distance. Another reason is the guilt thing which holds me back.
He sends me money each month and I have put an interest in the house down there as a precaution.
After 5 years you can divorce without having agreement or cooperation. But I don't know what will happen with the finances and the house. A judge would probably order him to sell the house and give you and the DC a percentage of the proceeds.
I'd imagine it'd be a costly business, though.
Oh, and what are you feeling guilty about - taking the children away from their father?
Ok that’s good re putting an interest in the house. At some point when you are in a position financially, get the ball rolling with a solicitor so they you can financially disentangle yourself from this selfish man. Xx
I couldn't help but notice your Dds birthday in your previous thread. He didn't make any effort on the day back then either when she was literally on the doorstep.
He hasn't changed but you have you're giving your children a chance to be happy and live in a much more relaxed home. Don't feel guilty about that.
Hey, I'm so sorry to hear what you've been through but massive well done on being such a strong mama. I know from experience that holding it together for the kids when they've been let down by someone is incredibly difficult. You're doing all you can to show them what a responsible, loving parent looks like. You have nothing to feel guilty about and should be holding your head up high.
As other have said, you won't need his consent to begin divorce proceedings after five years. My advice would be to get yourself an appointment with citizens advice to explore the process and have a discussion about potential costs and whether you may be entitled to any support. You will have to tackle this at some point and you are entitled to a share of your marital asset, the house etc. Good luck!
Thanks all. Love mumsnet. It's you who got me out of there in the first place.
Don't feel guilty about the children. Your ex is the one who has narrowed the contact down to the bare minimum. That is 100% not your fault.
It is unreasonable to feel you should've stayed in a bleak marriage just so your DC saw their father, if, since the split you have tried to help them see their father but he didn't want to.
Your daughter's sadness is caused by her father, not by you.
You don't HAVE to use a solicitor. DIY divorce is very common and this is what my ex and I did. All you would need to do would be to put your case on the financial side of things on paper to the court and then go along to court, representing yourself, and let the judge decide. Even if you don't have an officially sanctioned financial settlement, you can still get the decree absolute so you are free to remarry. My wife and I were perfectly happy with our rather quirky financial settlement, the judge asked to see us but we declined as we couldn't be bothered with it. But in a situation where you cannot trust your ex you would need to get the settlement official.
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