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i dont know what to do :(

(204 Posts)
dadwithbaby Thu 10-Jan-13 19:10:32

I am a stay at home father looking after 5 boys youngest just turnt 2 having problems with the teenagers. My partner of 17 years was abused physically and sexually as a child but has been trying to carry on with life. That all changed a few weeks ago when all the past was brought up when our son was having a counselling session. She now walks away from me i am not allowed to show any affection (cuddles) or am i allowed to tell her how special she is. She says she cannot be in a relationship while she sorts herself out. I love her more than anything and it is tearing me apart thinking that she may no longer love me and also that she is going through this alone. She is now withdrawn secretive and staying out and it doesnt help that i feel low at times from the isolation of looking after the boys. I just dont know where to turn or how i can help my beautiful wife who is my world. When alone i just want to break down and cry and to be honest have done a number of times after she has said some hurtful things. :'( help please

izzyizin Tue 29-Jan-13 01:36:27

What do the council have to do with this and by h/a are you referring to a housing association? Are you and your w named as joint tenants to a social housing property?

If you don't get your act together and seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in divorce and family law, you may find that your w pre-empts you and issues her own petition to divorce.

I urge you to consult a solicitor as a matter of urgency especially if, as it seems, you may be entitled to legal aid as the rules are changing at the end of March - you may find yourself stymied if you haven't got the werewithal to initiate divorce and family court proceedings to secure the future stability and security of yourself and your boys.

Many solicitors offer a free half an hour consultation which should be sufficient for you to at least be able to confound make certain stipulations to your w, including the need for planned contact with all of the dc which should take place outside of the marital home in order to avoid any further unseemly scenes of the kind which was witnessed by them tonight.

dadwithbaby Tue 29-Jan-13 11:35:21

visited the council as we get some help for rent etc and yes h/a housing association. The tenancy is in her name and she left leaving a notice seeking possession on the property.
I understand the need to start the legal ball rolling its just the finality of it, this is something i would never have considered when i married her it wasn't just for the good times and unfortunately i'm finding it hard to let go.
I just wish that it had never come to this especially when our son is in the vulnerable position that he is...i mistakenly thought that we would get through this period of stress together didn't once think that she would find comfort elsewhere but as you said earlier izz i was naive.
I am in the process of trying to change everything over to me atm. In regards to an earlier question im on prozac atm and it aint helping.
I didnt think that the emotional pain would be this intense usually im very rational but that seems to have gone out the window for the moment.

Jux Tue 29-Jan-13 16:01:41

FGS!!!! Get to a solicitor or you will lose everything. Stop messing around, protect your kids.

izzyizin Tue 29-Jan-13 18:53:59

She left leaving a notice seeking possession on your housing association home?

Is is the case that she's racked up some rent arrears but the HA haven't yet instituted County Court proceedings to repossess?

dadwithbaby Tue 29-Jan-13 19:42:38

Jux i am protecting my kids and have taken steps to ensure this other things are ongoing ie the house and izz no they havent instituted proceedings as i made an agreement to pay the arrears just before she left but yes she left a notice on the house.
I have changed all the tax credits etc so have to wait for them to be processed.
My main priority is the welfare of the children and those professionals involved feel that im the most able and stable person to care for them.

Jux Tue 29-Jan-13 20:51:12

Sorry, dadwithbaby, that wasn't meant to be admonitory, only urgent and shocked.

Good that the professionals have recognised that you're the fit parent; that should go a very long way. Well done for getting the rent sorted with the HA.

She's one cheeky and overly-entitled, er, person grin

dadwithbaby Wed 30-Jan-13 23:56:14

Well dont know what to say really have spoken to the wife and each time we speak her story changes and the heartless attitude towards me intensifies. I am heart broken and feel almost permanently sick, she says she sorry but the expressions and attitude say otherwise. Tomorrow we are going to discuss arrangements for the boys ( she means baby ) in regards to visitation. seeing as her visits to see the boys are getting shorter i expect she'll ask for a couple of times a week to see them (him). I have said i will leave the house for an hour or so to give her time alone with them (him) as she knows i will not allow our children to be in the presence of a drug user she cannot take them to her new residence.
Do these emotions ebb because these seem to be intensifying. The sense of loss at times is overwhelming i feel extremely anxious when i go shopping (she works there). My chest still tightens when i see her, but i know its all but over but theres that annoying lil part of me that hopes its a dream. I know the reality is that shes gone not coming back i just want to be sure i have the strength to tell her to jog on if she does try and return.
I am seeking legal advice for the house and children. Once i wipe the debt that she has left me and the boys are moving not far but for a fresh start smile

izzyizin Thu 31-Jan-13 00:36:45

Assuming you are entitled to legal aid, as I've said (29 Jan 01.36) you are best advised to go for the jugular divorce now on the grounds of her unreasonable behaviour, desertion, and adultery before the rules on entitlement change.

With regard to the rent arrears, I would have preferred to see a different outcome whereby the HA pursue your w as the former sole tenant of the property for any sums outstanding.

There should be no difficulty in respect of the HA transferring the tenancy into your sole name immediately as, were they to succeed in repossession proceedings, your local authority will be statutorily obliged to house you and your sons and in such cases commonsense usually prevails.

With regard to your w's seeming attempt to cherrypick which of your sons she sees at any given time, I would suggest you make it clear to her that this is a case of all for one and one for all and any contact which takes place in or outside of your home will not be subject to her, whim but will be conducted in the best interests of the dc.

You're still reeling from the shock and the extent of your w's duplicity and there's not a lot anyone can say or do to speed you through the healing process - but it will happen and, in the meantime, I would suggest you confine any conversations you have with her to matters relating purely to contact with the dc and their general wefare and wellbeing.

A solicitor can advise what you may expect in terms of division of any jointly owned property and child support, but I suspect you may need to file a claim with the CSA for cs payments which can be taken at source from your w's wages/salary - this may give you some scant consolation if you should see her working.

I'm sorry to say that you should prepare yourself for the possibility that your w may have another child with the om sooner rather than later and may subsequently claim that she is best placed to be the primary carer of your dc. This possibility is all the more reason why you should let your head rule your heart and act now, both in respect of divorce and in estabishing residency of the dc.

dadwithbaby Sat 02-Feb-13 22:53:11

Feeling low and the loneliness seems to be consuming me the happy pills arent working.
I have made a decision that im going to start divorce proceedings and am going for a residency order. If she can walk out on me and the boys when one is such need then i cannot trust her to look after their interests. Although it hurts to think that she could have changed so much in less than a month.
Atm she comes and goes from the house as she pleases visiting the boys (baby) for an hour tomorrow she is actually taking all the boys out for a bit thats if they co operate with her.
My days are now spent solely with the children ensuring that they know they are loved but when it comes to that time of the day when i know she is coming i feel sick and anxious. I'm finding it hard to talk to her as she involves the children when i say shes being unreasonable in her coming and going as she pleases its not fair on me or the children.
Despite all this i miss her she was my best friend and i thought soul mate. I can feel that my anger is gently simmering atm and im not sure how long i can keep my mouth shut while she takes the piss out of me and the boys.
The longer this goes on the more i doubt her concept of love. She has put her own selfish needs ahead of the family instead of communicating with us she has betrayed us. Our 14yr old has taken a turn for the worse with his self harming but she doesnt think its related to her behaviour. The oldest boy nearing 18 is not mine but i have raised him since he was 3mths old now treats me like something you would tread on and im worried that his aggression is going to explode im still supporting him and have not treated him any differently but it hurts as hes pointed out the last 17 1/2 years raising him count for nothing and that i mean nothing to him. My other two sons are coping atm but are seeking more cuddles and reassurance which im more than happy to give.
The 2 yr old is another matter he is extremely attached to me now and is anxious when she visits if i leave the room he always seeks to follow. The only way that she can get him to go anywhere with her is if she mentions the car. Im extremely frustrated that she can be this thoughtless and that her actions would have no consequences, well for her they don't yet it is me and the boys living with what she has done.

izzyizin Sun 03-Feb-13 09:15:33

Keep taking the happy pills - they won't turn you in an all-singing all-dancing life and soul of the party, but they will take some of the edge off the ramifications of having the rug pulled from under you, so to speak.

The lonlieness you are experiencing is an inevitable consequence of having put all your eggs one basket by makng your w the be all and end all of your social world. You won't make that mistake again, will you?

Look to expand your horizons by making friends in your locality through organisations such as Gingerbread here: and through community activities promoted in your local press/online. Tempting as it may be, please don't go looking for 'romance' as rebound relationships rarely last or end happily and you need time to ease yourself into the role of single parent to your dc.

With regard to your 17+yo, if he is undermining the stability you are attempting to maintain for your boys by treating you with similar contempt to that displayed by his dm, I would suggest you invite him to live with her or point him in the direction of the YMCA who can steer him into independent living. This may sound harsh but as you've mentioned his 'aggression', the needs of 4 dc outweigh his at the present time and it may be he'll benefit from 'tough love' in the longer term.

Use your anger to provide the motivation to get the practicalities sorted, such as instituting divorce proceedings and establishing residency for your dc. When the tenancy of your home has been transferred into your sole name, you will be better placed to call a halt to your stbxw swanning in and out when it suits her and cherry picking which of the dc she is going to grace with her company on any given occasion.

You can do this, dad. Hundreds of thousands have done it before you and they're living infinitely more fulfilling lives than when they were shackled to spouses/partners who were less than they appeared to be.

izzyizin Sun 03-Feb-13 09:16:14

dadwithbaby Sun 03-Feb-13 12:26:04

Ty Izzy i have no intention of looking for or finding romance i have pretty much given up on love so to speak. I thought my wife was my soulmate and we had always talked and planned what we were going to do together this continued up until just before she left :'( .
You are correct in saying i put all my eggs in one basket i gave all i had to the family but it seems that she couldn't do the same and no i wont be making that mistake again. Once i gain control of the house things are going to change order and routine will be reintroduced for the wellbeing of the children.
She thinks the grass is greener on the otherside well she can stay there. I do love her but im not prepared to be walked over for her own selfish needs when she walked out on us when our dc needed us most.
She is in for a shock if she thinks she can have her extra marital cake and still walk in and out of mine and dc's lives treating them as accessories just to maintain the caring mum image thats she been crafting. Contact with the boys needs to be meaningful not gratuitious.

izzyizin Sun 03-Feb-13 15:02:37

That's the spirit, honey!

And when she discovers that green patch she's standing on is actually a cowpat, feel free to rub her nose in it grin

dadwithbaby Sun 03-Feb-13 16:15:31

Well have had the "final chat" with my supposed soul mate and its clear there is no remorse, guilt or chance for reconcilation. Our marriage for all intent was a lie .
She took 3 of the boys out but could only manage an hour :/ as if thats acceptable. She is no longer the person i fell in love with and married the self interest that she shows makes me feel sick inside and it's clear now that the boys need protecting from this.
It's all my fault i didnt give her enough attention, that alone makes me feel sick she gave nothing of herself it is clear why now.
Like i said previously i will stay single and put all my energy into the boys and dealing with their needs, but inside im dead 17 years of my life given to one woman only for it to be destroyed and be told it was all a lie. My confidence has gone and feel worthless despite that i know what has to be done and it shall be im just not sure what will be left of me after this :'(

Skyebluesapphire Sun 03-Feb-13 16:35:50

It took around 8 months for my XH to feel any remorse over what he did to me. Sadly, that is par for the course as well. They cannot feel any empathy towards you because that would be admitting that they are doing something wrong, which of course, in their head, they are not.

I thought that my XH was soulmate and it is very difficult when you realise that it is over for good.

You have to put yourself and your boys first now, look after them and yourself.

I am on the happy pills and they can take a few weeks to kick in, so keep on them. My dosage was upped after a couple of months as I was starting to go downhill again, so keep taking them and keep talking to your doctor.

Things will get better in time.

dadwithbaby Sun 03-Feb-13 22:29:41

I am going to put me and the boys first and i can see this getting nasty apparently im lucky she hasnt taken the boys yet and that i have no rights in regards to deciding when and if she can see them.
Funny how not spending time with the boys has never bothered her in the past. The reason she never took the boys is because it would cramp her new relationship and the boys wouldn't accept him.
The only communication im really getting from her is in regards to the 2yr old and that boat has all but sailed she spent little time with him when she was here even less now. The maternal instinct is all but gone she can talk a good game but has no idea what our children are actually like or how they think.
She wanted to take our son who self harms i refused and now i learn that she was going to use his depression as leverage to get "extra help". Her wanting him was pure self interest and i'm glad i shot that idea down. Its sad to say but said son cant stand to be around his mother.
I know i have been played like a puppet and now shes finished playing shes cut the strings tbh each day is a struggle with thoughts running through my head i know that im never going to know the true reason for what she has done to us. Seeing her is torture for me atm but i have to remain strong for the boys.
Each night is a struggle with the baby refusing to be left alone so hes in bed with me atm needing reassurance that im not going anywhere.
Im staying on the happy pills dose doubled and rebuilding the family minus the wife. I will not be taking her back no matter how much i love her and i do. Shes burnt her bridges i have given her opportunities to realise what she is doing she wants green grass she can gorge on it im putting a fence up in my garden so to speak.

dadwithbaby Tue 05-Feb-13 00:40:24

feeling low today its been nearly a month since she left and i still feel sick and numb. She is still walking in and out of the house without a care in the world and its eating me up inside.
She is so cold towards me its hard to believe that four weeks ago i believed she was my best friend and soulmate :'(
I just want to crawl in to a hole and stay there but i know i cant the dc's need me, they are my reason for being now. They help me subdue the pain while they are awake but the nights are awful the whole scenario just keeps playing over and over in my head.
Sorry for the moan but cant vent elsewhere sad

Homebird8 Tue 05-Feb-13 07:32:52

Vent away Dad. I wish I had any words of wisdom for you. Simply know that you are not alone. There must be some way of stopping her walking in whenever she fancies it. Has she given up on the idea of taking the boys out?

Jux Tue 05-Feb-13 08:57:40

Vent as much as you like, dad.

Have you had legal advice about this? Particularly contact? The children have the right to contact with their mother, she (as the absent parent) does not have the right to see them. It's an important distinction.

Jux Tue 05-Feb-13 08:58:22

And she has no right to walk in and out of your home.

mummytime Tue 05-Feb-13 09:33:36

I hope you have a good lawyer?
Is the son who self-harms 14? If so there is no court which would go against his wishes (especially if backed up by specialist advice) as regards contact.

You do need to make sure all of her stuff is gone, and that she can no longer access your home.

If you need any further practical advice then do contact CAB.

Do let yourself have time for yourself in all this. Look after yourself, try to get some exercise, and make time to meet people you can talk to.

dadwithbaby Tue 05-Feb-13 09:49:25

At the moment i am fighting for the home as its still in her name hopefully will get some good news in the next day or so.
I have to play the game atm as things are in transition our self harming son has just turnt 14 and he has no intention of going anywhere.
Time for myself is non existant atm unless you count when i torment myself at night. I have the 2yr old who is very clingy atm (understandable) and i dont like the idea of leaving my 14yr old alone.
I still feel like this is some kind of nightmare but the kids tell me otherwise.

mummytime Tue 05-Feb-13 11:43:33

I assume your 14 year old goes to school? Whilst he is at school do you go anywhere with your 2 year old? As a man it might be harder to find a really nice, supportive toddler group, but I would try. The one I went to had a small number of Dads, and was very supportive.

dadwithbaby Tue 05-Feb-13 12:03:43

No he isnt at school atm he has all but given up. i'm trying to help and encourage him as are the mental health services but its been one step forward and when the wife walked out it was five steps back.
Im not keen on leaving him alone and i keep engaging with him trying to build his confidence and give him hope but he isn't buying it atm. It doesn't help that he knew about his mothers actions before any of us as he caught her out.
I have been referred to a dad's group and am waiting for them to contact me with details as its not a public group.

mummytime Tue 05-Feb-13 14:09:29

Okay if he isn't at school, then I would at least try to make sure you all get out every day (if just a walk in the park). I believe fresh air and sunshine help mental health (and do stop him sinking into the security of his pit).
Is he involved in any activities outside the home? Is he doing any home learning?

I hope the referral to a Dad's group comes through soon.

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