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My children's father

(12 Posts)
ChasingSquirrels Sun 21-Jun-09 22:41:24

My ex and I split up about 15mo ago. While our relationship hadn't been at its best for a couple of years I had no idea he was so unhappy, one day he came home, burst into tears and said he could no longer go on in our marriage. We had been together for 16.5 years, since we were both 19.

Of course I hurt, alot - as old threads will stand testament to. And I had some wonderful support, both in RL and on here. Thank you all.

Ex moved out within weeks and we agreed from the outset that he would have the boys one night mid-week (picks up from me just after 5pm and drops them at school / CM in the morning) plus a 24 hour period (5pm - 5pm) over the weekend.
He wanted them all weekend, I thought that was unfair. He then suggested all one weekend and 24 hours the other weekend, again I wasn't happy with that. We didn't go with the every other weekend norm as I felt our then just 2yo wasn't ready for that, ex had worked away alot and ds2 was very much mine, and I couldn't have coped with it either.
I would be happy with the every other weekend now, both for me and ds2, but ds1 doesn't want that - he wants to see his dad every week. So fair enough, we accommodate the odd weekend away but in general maintain the 24 hours thing.

It was not easy in the beginning, I hated them going, tbh I would have rather he had died. But I did know that it was in the best interests of the children that they maintained and developed their relationship with him.

He pays maintenance for them, on time and without question. He pays for ds2's childcare costs on the day he drops him off. We have reached a settlement of our finances which I feel is fair to us both, without dragging it through legal channels.

Despite what he did, which I feel was wrong in terms of not addressing his unhappiness with me at an earlier stage, he is a good man - he just did a crap thing. And he is a better father now than he was when we were together.

I no longer love him. I am over that. But he is someone I still care about, and I think he feels the same way about me.

I hope that we can continue to parent our children to the best of our joint ability, and to rub along in this unwanted situation without impacting on our boys too negatively - I am sure they have suffered over the last year, I hope there has not been too much damage.

I'm not quite sure of the point of this thread, partly it is cathartic, partly it is an antidote to the vast number of negative threads about ex's.

FischFrau Sun 21-Jun-09 22:54:21

Chasing, that sounds great. I think you've been incredibly grown-up about things and it sounds as though he has too.

Perhaps unintentionally, your last sentence (esp the word 'antidote') implies that you think there are a lot of women doing their exH's down unfairly here. I don't think that's true, but I'm v glad things have worked out as well as they have done for you.

ChasingSquirrels Sun 21-Jun-09 23:01:23

No, I don't think that, I KNOW there are an immense amount of arseholes about - I couldn't find the right wording. I know that my ex and I are lucky in each other, but in some ways lucky wasn't the right word either

moondog Sun 21-Jun-09 23:03:51

How civilised amd grown up it all sounds.Good for the two of you.

It makes a change to hear of peopel who put their kids first and not last.

MollieO Sun 21-Jun-09 23:08:27

CS I think the difference between your ex and some of the exes of other MN is he is keen to maintain contact with his dcs and also keen to support them both emotionally and financially. It takes two to make that work.

For a lot of us there isn't the willingness on the ex's part to do that. In that case there is nothing you can do and the result can be incredibly painful. Especially today when I had my 5 yr old crying because he has no contact with his father and there is nothing I can do to change that. It really breaks my heart for him sad.

ChasingSquirrels Sun 21-Jun-09 23:11:52

I do appreciate that, I was not trying to say anything about other situations. My last line was ill-thought-out.

My heart breaks every time I read the kind of thread you are talking about, I can't imagine the pain involved and can only hope that your child (and others) will grow up secure in your love.

The difference probably is, as I said, that he IS a good person.

FischFrau Sun 21-Jun-09 23:28:17

Understood, CS. I'm sure it's not been easy, your dc's are jolly - well, lucky's not quite the right word, but ykwim - to have parents like the two of you , who put them first even when you've been in pain yourselves.

lostdad Mon 22-Jun-09 08:11:16

CS, I dream that one day my ex will have the attitude you have and do what you've done.

It can be the hardest thing in the world to work together with an ex; on the other hand as it's for your dc it's also one of the most important. If you can't do it for them, what can you do it for? wink

You're right - there are arseholes out there, but I think that at the end of the day most people are fundamentally decent.

I would hope that my ex (and others who feel the same as her) would read this thread and realise it doesn't always have to be a never-ending procession of arguments, snide remarks, solicitor's letters and court hearings. It can be what it should be: Working with your dc's other parent, seeing them as a `natural ally' and enjoying the miracle of seeing them grow.

notevenamousie Mon 22-Jun-09 11:31:43

CS - thank you.

I am struggling deeply with my ex's behaviour just lately and am feeling very angry. And penniless, and like the sole parent.

But you are an ordinary mum doing an extraordinary thing - the absolute best for your kids. I hope I will look back at this time and think "we worked through it for dd" - but all I can promise is that "I will work through it for dd". Sigh. Thank you for at least giving me(us?) something to aim for.

ChasingSquirrels Mon 22-Jun-09 18:10:24

I am sure we are all trying to do the best that we can for our children, I am just fortunate that I my ex and I are (mostly - I am NOT pretending it has been all sweetness and light, and that there aren't moments!) able to work together in this.

Mousie - even if you (together) can't do it, then you (singular) can. And really - that has got to be harder to deal with, and more applaudable.

MaggieBeau Mon 22-Jun-09 20:25:28

I think I could have been a lot more gracious re access if I'd been living in the house we always lived in, and receiving some maintenance.

I don't mean to undermine the distance you feel you've come, and I totally get that bit.

My x has never made it easy to meet him half way.

I could definitely be ONE half of a couple who met eachother half way. But you can't make another person meet you half way.

oldraver Thu 25-Jun-09 15:46:12

CS... it just sounds as though you are making the best of what was a bad situation and moving on making the best lives for your DC'S, maintaining an amicable parent relationship with your ex. Thats seems a rare thing and is something to be proud of

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