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For those of you who have left your partners

(13 Posts)
flashingnose Mon 10-Jan-05 11:54:34

Do you ever have any regrets? I've always believed that a two parent household is the ideal and to be maintained at all costs, but I'm having doubts now as my DH and I argue so much. I wonder whether the kids would prefer to be living with just one parent (almost certainly me) or whether they would always wished we'd stayed together. Hope you don't mind me asking.

karenanne Mon 10-Jan-05 12:01:16

hi flash

i have lots of regrets and for a long time felt alot of guilt.my split was very unexpected and i always felt id rather be together for the kids than have them in a one parent family.my dd is 4 and shes coped remarkably well with the split,she even had to change schools very suddenly, my ds is 1 so hes abit too young for it to have had an effect.
obviously they miss their dad but they get to see alot of him and we have remained friends although there has been ups and downs i can now say its for the best.

i now realise staying together for the kids wasnt possible and for me and my kids its been a bit of a bumpy ride but we're getting there.

hth

flashingnose Mon 10-Jan-05 12:06:27

Thanks karenanne, I think I know that once the dust has settled, that things will be happier (and I;m sure that my dh will be a much happier and better dad), I just wondered whether anyone wished they'd "stuck it out" for the sake of the children. I'm asking the question because, amazingly, I don't have any friends or relations who have separated or divorced.

kymbo Mon 10-Jan-05 12:13:48

I think people who are having relationship problems can sometimes bring out the worst in each other. You may be a happier person when on your own. My parents split when I was 6mths old,so I never knew what they were like as a couple,but they still argue now, and it makes me think I was probably better off living with just mum. The question is,do you feel happier? Your children probably do wish you stayed together sometimes,but if they see you're happier,they may realise it was for the best.

charliecat Mon 10-Jan-05 12:17:00

Im a child from a single parent family. I am glad my mum left my dad. We were all happier. I used to go from friends houses, where there were 2 miserable parents and I hated the atmosphere, and that was as a visitor, not as the poor child who had to live there.
Of course, if you can sort it out and be happy then do, but sometimes it cant be done.

Sheila Mon 10-Jan-05 12:59:08

I would always advise anyone to stick it out if they can, for as long as they can, unless life with your partner is really intolerable. This is for your sake as much as for the kids - being a single parent is really, really tough, and if your dp stays involved with your kids (or if he doesn't!) the arguments don't go away - just take a look at the lone parents topic!

I left my dp when ds was 2 and can honestly say that the 1st year was hell. It's getting easier now he's nearly 5 but I still have little money and no social life, and xdp is still in my life making problems. I do feel I have more dignity now, but it's been very hard won.

Might be different if you're leaving for somebody else tho'

DillyDally Mon 10-Jan-05 13:27:34

I left my ex when I was pregnant and have never ever regretted making this decision. I have a few things in my favour though a) a great supportive family and b) financial independence through working so I never have to ask the ex for cash. he provides maintenance which I put in a high interest bank account for DD.
DD has only ever lived with me and will not have the agony of a split and the upheaval that brings.
I think this helps her. I also did not leave for any one else and have been alone for two years now (with no-one esle in sight). It is tough being a single parent but the rewards are worth it. My DD has one happy parent (me) and one not quite so happy but I am also convinced the ex pays her much more attention now he has to work at it than he would have done otherwise. And by working at it, I mean in terms of making a specific effort to come and see her.
If you want any specific questions answered, i would be happy too.

Caligula Mon 10-Jan-05 14:04:30

Hi FN
I'm with Sheila and would argue that you need to do all you can to try and fix what's wrong before going down the one-parent route. I wouldn't advise anyone to stick it out; happy mothers make happy children, sad, resentful mothers make unhappy children; but I would advise you to do all in your power to get your relationship to a stage where you and your DH can be happy together. If need be, seek outside help, go to relate. But you can only do that if both of you are serious about wanting things to work; I spent years trying to make something work before realising that I was the only one trying. It needs both parties to work at it, one party on their own can’t do it.

It's difficult to explain all the weighing up that has to be done without going into a long and detailed description of the problems xp and I had (CAT me if you want to know more, I don't want to bore everyone with the details), but the upshot was that I had to weigh up the likelihood of making things work out versus the time it would take, versus the damage which all the time being done to my DS and also to me and to any future children. The upshot was that I decided the least damaging option for all of us (possibly including xp) was to cut my losses and split.

I don’t have the slightest doubt that it was the right thing to do. I am much happier now, my DS is very much happier, and DD has never known their father so doesn’t feel the lack of him.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

flashingnose Mon 10-Jan-05 14:22:05

Food for thought here. I have to say, I thought people would tell me to leave but I'm grateful for all of you "telling it how it is". My dh is one of those people who loves his children dearly but actually doesn't like being with them all the time IYSWIM. This makes for tension and misery - I can't see how he'll EVER be happy in our current set-up. I'm very unhappy (first time I've admitted that) but am willing to put my feelings to the bottom of the pile if the effect on the children would be very detremental (6, 4 and 1).

I just feel I;m teetering on thr edge of a very high cliff...

Caligula Mon 10-Jan-05 14:26:08

FN, the fact that you are very unhappy is detrimental to your children.

All chant together:

Happy mothers make happy children.
Sad mummies make sad children.

SuzySox Mon 10-Jan-05 14:32:47

HI Flash,

I haven't time to read the other posts but I just wanted to say that I have no doubts whatsoever about leaving the father or my child.

Imho it is more important for a child to grow up in a stable and friendly environment than it is for them to grow up in a 2 parent family.

My dd doesn't have to witness arguements, the belittling of her mother and she has two parents that can give their best to her instead of two parents tearing strips out of each other.

Another this I think is (and it may not be the case with you but) that I have a dd and I didn't want her growing up thinking that it was ok for a man to treat a woman the way my xp treated me. I didn't want her to think it was ok for a man to do it to her.

She is surrounded by family that love her and is happy and settled, hopefully, one day she has a role model in her home that is as good as the other male role models in her life such as my father and brother.

Have probably rambled a bit as it's been an emotional day but just wanted to add my tuppence worth

Moomina Mon 10-Jan-05 14:57:25

I left xh when ds was six months old, and although obviously I am sad that the marriage didn't work out, and of course I would rather that we were all together - but happy - I have never really regretted my decision. We brought out the absolute worst in one another when we were together, we fought constantly, we made each other utterly miserable. And when fights began to get physical (my fault as much as his), I left. I didn't want ds growing up in the kind of environment where he would witness his parents trying to throw each other down the stairs, screaming blue murder at each other, walking out every other weekend.

Now we are separated, xh and I actually get on pretty well, but I would never go back. We made a rotten couple, but we might just make a good mum and dad - maybe even friends! Ds sees his dad several times a week, they adore each other, and things appear to be working out okay.

Every situation is different. We had big problems from the start so it wasn't quite so much a case of trying to get back what we once had as trying to accept our mistakes and move on in a way that would be least painful for everybody. I am lucky in that I have massive family support - if I hadn't had my parents to go back to then things might be different - but it's still hard. But there's nothing more miserable than a bad relationship - I'd rather be on my own for the rest of my life than be that unhappy with someone else again.

Sheila Mon 10-Jan-05 16:31:28

Maybe the message is to make sure that if you do leave (and I still think this should be the very last resort) that you have LOTS of support (financial and emotional) where you're going. You will need it. Trouble is that it's not always easy to think rationally about where you're going to if you're desparate to get out (as I was).

I agree happy mums make happy children, but there are lots of single mums out there who aren't happy (poverty, isolation anyone?).

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