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How To Cope with 'Wonder-Dad' and his Fabulous Girfriend?

(11 Posts)
kodathekat Mon 04-Aug-08 13:03:16

Hello everyone...

I've thought about joining for advice before, but after spending an hour at the weekend moaning about my xh to his sister, (so wrong) I thought it was about time...

He first left me, "because you only have one life and you have to make the most of every minute" (nice) over four years ago. Because I am a giant muppet, I took him back time after time because I was stupid enough to believe his crap, and of course for the sake of the dc's.

Anyway, last time was last year. Not dv'd yet because up until now, I couldn't be arsed to sort out the p'work. I'm so glad I'm not with him any more, but some days the reality is hard to cope with.

I'm single, don't think I can ever trust my lousy judgement again, but I find it desperately hard. I'm crap at taking decisions, struggle to fit everything in and basically only get by, by the skin of my teeth. My family don't live nearby, the only friends I have are smug marrieds from the school run and although i still have contact with my xh's family, it's on a very superficial level, blood being thicker and all that.

I can cope with all this most of the time. The thing I'm most struggling with is this... How do I stop being insanely jealous of my xh? I don't want him back, but he takes enormous delight in dropping little hints about the wonderful trips away, nights out and fabulous meals with his latest, unbelievably clever and totally wonderful partner. Being on my own, I don't do any of these things, can't afford to and even don't want to, but it makes me really jealous.

On top of that, the DC's do it too. It's hard to get through to my nearly-9yr old that I don't want to hear all about brilliant f**cking whatever-her-name-is, her superb job (she's a lawyer, I'm a sch dinner lady) her highly amusing friends and the wonderful times they have together. XH is loaded and extravagant, so they have loads of exciting days out when they spend time with him. When they come back it's "oh, daddy and her took us to such a place" and "Do we have to do that, it's so boring, daddy would take us to such and such a place. Daddy's promised to take us etc etc etc.

Grrr. I can't compete with wonder-dad and his friggin girlfriend and I don't want to. I also, sorry kids, don't think its strange for them to spend time at home playing with their toys. I just want to get on with my life, but the whole situation with him drives me up the wall and I just can't find a way to stop it being irritating and hurtful. We unfortunately have alot of contact because youngest DS is autistic and up until now won't spend a night away from me.

It's driving me crazy. When the DC's are spending their time with me, I am a much calmer, happier person (well, most of the time!). But before he arrives to pick them up or to drop off the youngest, I get so het up. I don't want him back, but he tries to be very controlling and I just don't want to play any more. I just need some serious advice on how to deal with him, I guess. I appreciate this is nothing to some of the traumas alot of people have to deal with, but I'm very unhappy and some days quite desperate. I long for the days when the DCs are older and I won't have to have any more contact with him. I don't hate him, but i wish I could move far, far away. or that he would!!

FioFio Mon 04-Aug-08 13:11:26

Message withdrawn

ivykaty44 Mon 04-Aug-08 13:17:06

hey stop it now you are a blardy good young woman, you are raising dc's, working outside the home, cleaning, shopping, budgeting (otherwise you would go under not get by the skin of your teeth)keeping a roof over the dc head, bath the dc, cook for the dc, take care of them when they are ill, make them happy, keep them healthy, help to bring them up to be wonderful young people which is one of the toughest, heardest jobs in the whole wide world (good good neuro science could be easier!)

Then on top of that your youngest has special requirements good god I really do take my hat of to you.

I am single and have been for 10 years and have two dd 15 and 9 (eldest moved in with her dad 6 months ago)It is a tremendous amount of effort. I just turn off to the "daddy" talk so I don't actually hear it and say mm yes mm yes lovely. Life isn't so rosy on the other side you know - makes me wonder why he is saying so much?? Probably regrets his actions and is over compensating by saying to much me thinks......

Time will help and heal but most of all shut of from it, infact as he is the controlling one it probably will not for him - he probably hasn't moved on other wise he wouldn't be behaving as he is, dropping hints trying to control (cos if he had moved on he wouldn't be doing these things)

As for the girlfriends they wouldn't be where they are now if they hadn't had dinner lady's everyones job is important to the wheels of life wink

Get a notebook to write down handover stuff so he doesn't need to loiter on doorstep or have to exchange these pleasantriers that are not.

Tell him the notebook is better then nothing about youngest gets forgotten.

Kewcumber Mon 04-Aug-08 13:22:18

ooh loads of sympathy - think I would struggle to restrain myself from stabbing him in the leg with a fork everytime we icks up. Not sure there's much you can do otehr than keep repeating to yourslef that you don;t want him.

With DC's you can either have a serious talk with them and say thatyou are really pleased that they have such a nice time with him and his girlfirend but that it makes you bad that you can;t afford to do the same things with them or grit your teeth and just smile nicely and say "how lovely that you have such a nice time with them"

AMAZINWOMAN Mon 04-Aug-08 14:08:49

I would find this really hard too. He seems to be enjoying "rubbing your nose in it" doesn't he.

However, I find it is only insecure people who feel that they have to say things, in order to make themselves feel good. He sounds like a controlling bully.

Do you think he would say the same things if they didn't bother you? is that worth a try, saying through gritted teeth, "she sounds wonderful, have you set a date? I will start divorce proceedings if you want"

im sure there must be other parents who have been through this situation, who can offer advice too

ivykaty44 Mon 04-Aug-08 14:40:08

Oh yes, if your up to a bit of wooden spooning

"Do I hear the sounds of bells"

"Do you want me to start the ball rolling with the divorce - wouldn't want to hold up anything special up (har har)"

"So glad your settled it gives the dc stability having just the one g/f around"

ilovemydog Mon 04-Aug-08 16:49:17

Oh, lawyers are just so last year!

Here's what I would do: when the kids come back from visiting their dad, be all enthusiastic and ask them what they did, act all interested, and ask them what they would like to do on a budget - because that takes quite a lot of imagination! Make it a game...

Could you and (ex) DP at least agree on activities for the kids - that you don't want them to get spoiled, and for a special treat it's fine...

misi Mon 04-Aug-08 17:36:42

I am a father and I can say that on the odd occasion, your ex may be secretly wishing he was back with you. ok now you can get up off the floor and stop laughing, but what you need to do is stop rising to him. he seems to be taking pleasure from putting you down, so if you can stop feeling like he is he will get bored of it (does that make sense? having trouble writing what I am thinking).
if he is so impressed and liking his new life, why did he keep coming back to you? must mean that there is something about you he has trouble living without?? he may have a responsibilty problem, going off with all and sundry but needs you as a support as he is really a scared little chicken who needs his mummy original ''rock''? the controlling side is often a sign that he does not know what he wants or is unable to let go. I helped a mum through court last year with an ex like this. his problem was that he is a failed bully. he met his wife when they were 15 and dominated her for many years. when she finally had enough and she booted him out, he had a few failed relationships but always tried to come back to her. eventually he met a woman who had a dominant personality and he fell into being the bullied one. the only way he could express his so called masculinity was by renewed bullying and domineering of his ex and the kids. a lawyer would have a dominant personality too perhaps? any similarities with your ex and you?
by thinking negatively about the situation and of yourself, you perpetuate the situation. who cares what you do for work? be the best mum and parent you can be, that is all you can do and all you need to do. when he asks about the divorce, say ''ok, when are you going to start it, you've been saying you will for ages but have kept putting it off, have you got your doubts and want to get back with me?'' also if he goes on about the trips he takes, say to him '' well if you can afford those sort of trips, maybe I should go to the CSA to get more money?''
write down the phrases that most irritate you and ''make you jealous'' post on here as I am sure there are people on here that could suggest suitable replies when he next mentions them grin

just re read the other posts and think I mis read it before.If he doesn't mention divorce etc, why not get the ball rolling yourself? it may make him fall to ground with a tremendous thump. if he is using you as a safe haven, then take it away from him, nothing like a good dose of realism to wake a bully up!!

kodathekat Tue 05-Aug-08 11:53:25

Thanks everyone

Yes, I did let him completely dominate me when we were together, and I think it all started to fall apart at the seams once the kids came along, esp our youngest. He began working away from home, so I had to start taking more control and, looking back, he didn't like it. He comes round and points out things that need doing around the house, (his investment) which makes my blood boil. Thing is that he backs right down now when I tell him to get lost and mind his own business.

He does keep making noises about us getting back together, even though he's in this other 'wonderful' relationship. I've told him I'm planning to start divorce proceedings once the DCs are back in school. He alternates between being flippant about 'sorting it all out quickly on the internet' and asking me if I'm really sure its what I want. At the moment he's sulking, so he's really upped the 'guess what we've been doing' offensive.

I try really hard not to let on how much he pisses me off, but another of my serious problems is that he absolutely believes that he knows me better than I know myself. I really work hard to keep things from him, not to tell him stuff that's happening to me, but of course the DCs are a marvellous source of information.

Do you know what the most scary thing about all this is though? I couldn't see what he was really like until now. And, more worrying, my father was a terrible bully to my mum and us kids. Still is to my mum, but I have very little to do with him. Now, how's that for some really warped psychology, that I ended up in a relationship where history repeated itself. Learned patterns of behaviour, or what? I obviously am wired to be attracted to domineering people. So much safer on my own!!

Btw, I'm not ashamed of being a dinner lady, I always say that someone has to make the sandwiches!! We'd starve if we were all brain surgeons..

misi Tue 05-Aug-08 12:58:03

exactly kodathekat.
dinner ladies are very important people, I was ''in love''with one of the dinner ladies at school, she was niiccceeee wink (I was 7 grin )

most of what kids do is learned so it is reasonable to say you copied your mum. but it is never too late to change and you have started the road to that change.

my ex thinks she knows me better than I know myself too, it is the misplaced arrogant streak these people have. I now love to surprise my ex by doing things she does not expect of me and I must say I have enjoyed doing so on a few occasions grin

the one thing to remember about these types of failed bullies, is that they have no real backbone and rely on your subservience as you have seen, they rely on your unswerving love as that is how they survive, by making you more dependant on them. when you challenge that they become confused, something else you have seen with him now. let this give you the strength you already have inside but don't know about it. you have seen what you can do with a few simple words and mainly the word NO
you can do this and get on with your life without him.

TheApprentice Tue 05-Aug-08 13:04:00

Hi . I havent read the whole thread, but just wanted to say I sympathise. But if he's always rubbing in how great life is/his new girlfriend is etc I would be tempted to think that perhaps it isnt all as rosy as he's making out tbh.
Why is he so keen on going on about how wonderful things are for him? If he was truly content he'd just get on with it quietly. He's obviously trying to make you feel insecure and you need to ask yourself why he wants to do that.

For what its worth, my friend was in a similar situation for a couple of years, and then her life started to get masses better and she felt like she no longer needed him, and his life then got worse, girlfriend left him etc etc.

So hang on in there!

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