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I thought I was doing so well, but this weekend was awful. Please help me get back on track.

(6 Posts)
Scrumplet Mon 29-Jun-09 10:34:01

My ex and I have been separated for a while, but he has been seeing DS (5) away from me/the family home only for a few months - every other weekend, one night a week and sometimes a meet-up in the week.

I thought I was handling this really well, but this weekend (when my ex had DS), I felt so low without him. I missed him terribly, and then when he arrived home, he ran into my arms smelling of my ex's aftershave, and wanted to tell me about all the wonderful things he'd done with his dad. I was later insisting on a (very necessary) hairwash at bathtime, and got: "I don't want to live with you anymore - I want to live with Dad." Plus a few more variants of the same throughout the evening.

This morning, he told me that, on a road trip they'd taken yesterday, Daddy smoked all the way there and back. (My ex used to smoke once every few months, socially.) DS said that when he's older, he's going to have at least one cigarette a day. angry sad

His dad has asked if he can now see DS after school on a Monday, too, to do an activity which DS and I have previously done together. My ex has asked if we can regularly spend time with DS together, because it will be beneficial to DS (which is true) - but bar the essentials (parents evenings, birthdays, etc), I don't want to do things together, and feel guilty about that.

I miss DS when he's away. I find it hurtful - when he's back - that he'd sometimes rather live with the one person who has hurt me more than anyone. I despair at some of the things my ex does with DS/ideas he instils in him. I feel selfish and guilty about not wanting to have 'family' time all together. I feel threatened that, all of a sudden, my ex has been socialising a lot with people in the village DS and I live in (which he didn't used to do). And where I live, there seem to be happy families and expectant mums at every turn.

I know it isn't always this hard, because until this weekend - which took me by surprise - I thought I'd been handling it really well.

Is it normal to find separation - and the time that your child is with their other parent - emotionally overwhelming sometimes, even months, years, down the line? And what are your tips for getting these feelings under control and getting back on track with my new life? Thanks so much.

mrsmortenharket Mon 29-Jun-09 11:12:36

hi scrumplet, it is very normal to feel that way. and fwiw i used to put dd in the bath as soon as she come back from her dads as she used to reek of his aftershave, you know if you stand in the same room as someone when they spray deodorant and it hangs about on your clothes? that kind of thing.

dd also said to me that she wanted to live with daddy not me and it really really hurt. the only thing i could think of was that daddy works funny hours so you wouldn't see much of him. it tends to happen most when i have to tell her off for somethingwink'i want daddy, you're naughty'.
don't feel guilty about wanting to do things separately, it is a waste of your energy smile

don't let x intrude on your time with ds, this is something you do with your son and is quality time for you and your son. be firm and polite and don't give in on this one. do yuo speak to any of themoms at school? i've had tostart doing this and ut was hard as i'm a little shy but it does get easier. ask one of your ds's friends for playdate and ask the mom if they would like to come over as well for cuppa, or say that they're welcome to stay for cuppa, perhaps.

mrsmortenharket Mon 29-Jun-09 11:14:25

<apologies for spelling mistakesgrin>

Scrumplet Mon 29-Jun-09 11:54:17

Thanks, mrsmortenharket. Yes, DS says these things when I'm asking him to do something he doesn't want to do. I know I'm supposed to let him express himself and get all this stuff off his chest, but it does hurt. I might tell him next time that, well, if you were with Dad right now, he'd want you to wash your hair too - I don't want him to get anywhere with trying to play each of us off against the other.

I am friendly with several mums at school and we do have playdates. We have a sleepover tomorrow. So this side of things is OK. I need to find some meaningful work, I think - for financial independence and to give me a dimension to my life unrelated to DS and my ex. I have applied for a few jobs, but no joy so far - it's a tricky time to get back into employment after being a SAHM.

Anyway, thanks for your post. I'm keeping busy today. The sun's shining. I'm sure this blip will pass.

notevenamousie Mon 29-Jun-09 16:31:52

It feels so overwhelming at times over a year on, and my dd is clearly less verbal than your ds (she is 2.6). She talks about Daddy constantly and it hurts, to be honest. I don't know how to give you some hope, except I think in coming years, they will see. I am sorry I am no help. I know the weekends apart have got a bit better, I try and get rested (my dd is currently with XP) and ready for being the best Mum I can be. It is hard though. I am sorry not to encourage you enough, I can only say that having people to identify with helps me hugely, and that isn't just lone parents.

mrsmortenharket Wed 01-Jul-09 09:33:54

it does hurt tho doesn't it? sometimes when it gets a bit too much i do snap and be a bit irritable but i try and say sorry as soon as possible. it's got to the point now where i have developed a thicker skin than i used to have wink so now, thankfully, most of the time, i can just brush it off my back and comfort her as that is what she really needs. take last night, for instance, it was too hot for her to get to sleep easily (half nine plus, last night shock) so she was getting herself upset and wound up and she was really missing her dad. it is a good idea however, to tell him that his dad would want him to wash his hair as well, can you guarantee that your x thinks the same way? not for your benefit or his but your son's?
my point is that you might not be able to but if you can keep saying the same thign in the same manner to your son, than when he is older, he will gradually learn who is there for him when it matters most ((((((())))))

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