Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
i dont know what to do :((204 Posts)
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 She is now withdrawn secretive and staying out and it doesnt help that i feel low at times from the isolation of looking after the boys.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
Is the Education Welfare Officer involved? They are there to try to help your child readjust to going to school after an extended absence, not just for truants. It might be worth trying to enlist their help. Establishing some sort of routine normality into his life, where he spends some time doing the things all 14 year olds have to do, may help him.
I don't know the background to his situation, so you have been down that route, or there may be other factors involved, but I am worried that in missing school for a protracted period he is putting himself at a disadvantage which he may never be able to make up. This Government don't seem to believe in life-long learning.
From what you say in your OP, your boy has been badly bullied at school, which is why he can't go.
I'm so sorry you are going through this nightmare. There are many people on here who have been through the same - do look out some of the threads on 'relationships'. imo it helps to know you are not alone. Or, it helps a bit, but not much in the initial stages when the pain is absolutely immense.
I really don't know what happens to these people who abandon home and marriage for another relationship, kicking into touch those left behind. It's as if they're possessed: someone on another thread a long time ago said the husbands who had done this had 'gone over to the dark side' and I can't help thinking that's an apt description. It's as if they have a total personality transplant overnight...
You say it is not good for the kids to be with a drug addict - is the OM a druggie? Or do you mean your wife? If she is taking drugs, that could account for the dramatic change in character; though, sadly, the majority of people who do this aren't on drugs but are high on another type of drug...
The pain must be immense, as she was your whole life. It does look like you made her your reason for living and did everything for her. This is not good for her (and, of course, you) and perhaps later on in your recovery you may be able to address possible codependency.
I do hope support is in place to help you (and of course your kids) through this awful time. At the moment your lives have been hit by an explosion and it will take a while to see where all the parts land. Try to be patient.
It is not right for her to be coming and going when she pleases. YOu really must put a stop to that. Does she have a key? I would also be very wary of her taking one/some of the kids - as someone said upthread, it is very hard to get them back if she does this.
However, she has abandoned them and it may not be as hard to get them back as it is for some, but nonetheless you don't want the kids going through any unnecessary added trauma and upheaval. You can get a free first half hour with a solicitor to set out your case and see if you are eligible for legal aid: it's amazing what they can cover in half an hour - you really must get this ball rolling. It is very disruptive for the kids to see her every day. Apart from anything, the upheaval for you is not good for them. YOu need to get steady and try to find your footing after this awful blow.
Keep going. YOu can do this. The prozac takes a while so hold on. Please make sure you get out in the fresh air and eat healthily (if you can't face much then try to cover the main food groups eg protein [nuts?], fruit/veg, calcium [cheese, milk], carbs [brown bread etc]) Try not to eat crap because it makes you feel much worse. Make sure you get enough sleep. Exercise is an amazing anti-depressant so try to get out for even a walk because it does wonders. You have to attack this from all sides and practical steps to protect you physically are far more effective than you may realise - you need to be strong, not just for you but for your kids.
You sound amazing, dad.
thankyou for you comments.
When i said druggie i meant the OM he likes to partake in class A's and has just lost his job (caught stealing but was given option to resign).
Been reading the script and yes she followed alot of the usual behaviours and muggins here too busy looking after her and children accepted the excuses ie depressed, you got nothing to worry about i only love you etc....
She is now totally detached from me doesn't really speak smiles lamely in front of dc's and today she couldn't be bothered to spend time with the children on her day off.
It seems i have no choice but to go to court to secure the house as she truly shafted us and i'm also going for a residence order as i'm not having my boys with them and happily the social worker agrees that dc's living with wife and om is not an option.
Had parents evening today also for one of the younger boys and yeap she didnt go or ask how hes getting on at school not impressed at all with that. Incidentally have informed teachers of the situation and that now i will be sole point of contact but despite all that's happened he is doing well and i am so proud of him for that.
Still i feel gutted and it feels like our marriage was a lie. I feel physically sick when i see her. She has changed so much in such a short time that she almost unrecognisable to me. All the people that use to talk to us ignore me now but thats to be expected as she has spent some time with O/M before she left talking down our relationship and how she was neglected/emotionally abused :/ I must admit it hurts to be percieved in such a way but i'm biting my tongue and trying to remain dignified.
I will try and eat :P but im a nibbler atm so no promises. I will be strong for my boys and save any weakness for when im alone.
As your w's moved out there should be no requirement for you to go to Court to secure the tenancy and, as I've said, I would expect it to be made over to your sole name and for the HA to pursue her for any rent arrears accrued during the time she was named as sole tenant of the property.
Please, dad, make an appointment with a solicitor who specialises in divorce and family law. As previously stated, entitlement to legal aid in these matters will cease in a matter of 8 weeks time and, as solicitors are becoming increasingly in demand by those seeking to beat the deadline, you should look to book a consulation as a matter of urgency.
FWIW your marriage wasn't a lie until she decided to become a liar in order to play fast lose with om.
Hold your head up, dad - the truth always wills out and she will get her comeuppance when it becomes known that she's a neglectful and emotionally abusive parent who walked out on her dc for a thief and a druggie .
Hey Dad, just thinking of you and sending a little unrequested positive vibe your way. Hang on in there and come back to vent whenever it might help.
Well tbh its been a bit of a shit day found my son has cut himself multiple times on his legs he feels that life is shit atm which is understandable seeing what his mum pulled on us. I have sat with him and talked let him know hes not alone and that i will be with him every step of the way no matter what happens.
Also found out that the wife has been planning the whole episode for around 6 months and i feel like a right twat how did i not see that...oh for hindsight :/
To make matters worse or to inject a sense of urgency they intend to move to join his family in greece in the near future. Not impressed at all only found out because a confident of theirs felt guilty with the whole picture they have been painting of the friend saving a bullied and abused housewife from the evil husband.
Legal action is now a matter of urgency and yes i will be divorcing her on the grounds of adultery and going for a residence order any doubts i had about doing so has been removed by this information and the attention she is paying to the two year old.
Yet again she couldn't be bothered to come round and see the boys sent a text early evening to say she wasn't coming. That has to and will change once i gain some sort of control as its not fair on the boys its as if shes coming round just so she can say shes seen them when all she does is sit the chair and text away to O/M.
I think you're right Dad to go ahead with all the legal matters. You are everything your boys need and if she wants to
piss off relocate overseas where she will be far from your DSs then that just puts the cap on it. I'd act quickly though. She's already 6 months ahead of you, although it doesn't look like she wants to try any funny business over the boys. Be careful about any paper work she gives/sends you. If she took any of them with her without your say so she'd be in breach of The Hague Convention.
Also make sure the HA are abreast of the situation. They're going to want their debt sorted. Have you got sole tenancy yet?
I think your DS being able to share his self harm with you and discuss his feelings is very positive. You are somehow, through all the difficulties of your own situation, providing him with a rock of a father to support him. You'll get him sorted, I just know it. Possibly better once 'she' is a long way away from him.
Do you have any RL adults to spend any time with? You really need someone now. Sending you a and an e-listening ear whenever you want one.
Thankyou for all responses they are appreciated. I think i have been too soft and holding out false hope. I have accepted that we are over in terms of our marriage just having trouble turning off the emotional aspect.
I wont be signing anything and im keeping records of her visits and non visits just in case.
The housing association are aware that she has gone but are dragging their feet in this situation and i will be chasing them again in the morning.
I know that road my son is on is a long one and i will be there for him but its gut wrenching to see his mother come in and fawn over the baby and have no time for him or his other brothers.
I dont really have any RL to discuss things with as it would complicate things ie things would turn nasty so i tend to keep my own counsel to an extent. I have made it clear to the health professionals involved that i now operate an open door policy lol they can visit at any time.
Once again thankyou
Forget chasing the HA yourself, dad - that, together with divorce/custody/residency and financial matters, is what you need a solicitor for and, as I've previously said, I would be looking for the tenancy to be transferred into your sole name free and clear of any rent arrears.
Please make it your priority today to source a solicitor who specialises in divorce and family law and get the ball rolling asap.
Ty izzy for the advice i have got support workers now dealing with the housing association. I wont be able to go to a solicitor until the end of the week as its all go with the boys hospital appointments, therapy and counselling sessions.
Today has been a bit of a roller coaster finally we have a family support worker although im a bit dubious about them but will stick with it for the boys. Also after having no financial help for the last month its finally getting sorted so i don't have to call in any more favours lol (was running out of those).
Well that was as good as the day got from there it went downhill. My son climbed on to roof and threatened to harm himself so naturally me and estranged wife went to find him and help. I found him took him home had a visit from police explained his depression and that hes on meds not to mention recent departure of said mother. Hes in a bad place atm im trying to offer as much support as he will allow me to. The STBXW didnt bother to phone or text to see how he was instead sent a few abusive messages telling me to f/off.
I told her that her actions have had consequences and that she has made her bed and she can now lie in it. I'm extremely annoyed that instead of cooperating for our son she trying to score points in front of the new beau in her life.
Funny how someone you feel you know so well can change so much in such a short space of time. It seems as if her maternal instinct has been erased its all me me me and how she appears to others. I no longer recognise the person she is and this new face i'm seeing i don't miss at all. If anything i feel apathetic towards her but that may well be the happy pills lol
Thank heavens you found him Dad. I can't imagine how scared you must have been and how worried for him you must still be. At least he can rely on you to find him and take him safely home.
I don't have practical advice for you although Izzy's is a source of reliable and practical support. I'm glad that you have plans to seek legal help though. Your week sounds incredibly busy with all those appointments. Hang on in there. You will get it all done. Perhaps your 'happy pills' are making all the difference.
Anyway, in a completely unpractical way I'm here if you need a listening ear.
Dad, what an awful day. Thank goodness you found him, and thank goodness he has you.
Glad you're getting some help at last. Why are you dubious about the family support worker?
Hang in there. You will get through this, and you will get through it together.
Keep those texts. Document everything.
Didn't get to bed till 5.15 this morning couldn't sleep worrying about my son he had a good cry and that was a good thing he cant keep it all in. He feels his life is shit and cant see any positives but I'm working on that and he will notice in the near future. I have made it clear that despite all that is happening he and his brothers are my priority and i will do whatever it takes for him and them, no matter what I'm not giving up and nor should he.
Well today my son hasn't been too bad apart from arguing with his mother via text :/ over who he should or shouldn't talk to. I've said to him that i trust him to talk to who he feels he can trust ( better out than in ). Yes he will talk to me about somethings but other things being a teenager he wont atm.
Took his younger brother to his hospital appointment a lil bit of good news there in that he wont need another operation in these six months.
His mother had the baby for a few hours and when i got back decided to have an argument with me relating to depressed son, she still doesn't think that boys have been affected by her leaving for O/M and that it was our fault she left us as we needed to learn a lesson. Story change again from her now she says our marriage was dead for a few months before......So i asked why all the plans holiday as family, moving home and above all why was she still initiating sex and telling me how much she loved and wanted me. I mean we last had sex 3 days before she walked out. Her response was dismissive and cold, to be honest i couldn't be bothered to respond it just felt like another turn of the knife.
Ah Jux i am dubious of the support workers as initially they were all taken in by her story of abuse. It was only her sudden change of behaviour/attitude during one of our meetings that cast doubt on her story which is now one of many stories/ reasons for her walking out. I have kept every text etc.
Homebird thank you for your concern and comments, not forgetting you Jux thankyou also
Izzy thanks for your previous comments also
All of your comments are read and considered by me it is nice to get a different perspective and helps with the loneliness thankyou
Support workers do not necessarily have the expertise to negotiate with the HA on your behalf, dad, and while I appreciate that you have other demands on your time, obtaining sound legal advice is key to you being able to provide the stability and security your dc need in the short and longer term.
I'm somewhat concerned that you refer to 'not being able to go to a solicitor until later this week' as the impending changes to legal aid in divorce and family matters are causing many firms to become fully booked and you may not be able to 'drop in', as it were, to obtain advice when you are free to do so.
Under the circumstances, I once again advise you to make an appointment as a matter of urgency with a solicitor who specialises in divorce and family law for a date which is convenient to you and which is, preferably, not later than the end of this month.
Given the state of play between yourself and your w, it may be that she will steal on march on you and I wouldn't want you to endure more sleepless nights simply because you haven't otbained sound counsel relating to your legal entitlements in respect of residency, contact, child support, and divorce matters.
Great news about an operation not being needed soon for littler DS. I hope that means his health is stable at the moment and it'll buy you a little time before you all have to deal with that.
I'm not surprised you struggled to sleep thinking about your conversation with bigger DS. Keep reiterating what you said to him and carry on showing him you are his rock. I wish you had a rock too.
Try not to apply logic to the ever changing stories. It seems that the link with reality is nonexistent. Your keeping of the texts sounds very sensible. Observe and document and don't give the madness more headspace than you can help.
Do you ever get a chance for a bath? I heard some interesting research which suggests that a nice warm bath followed by a period of cooling off actually prepares the body for sleep. Rubbing your eyes should help too. The brainwaves created prepare the heart for sleep too. Do you know anything about relaxation techniques? Some really basic ones, concentrating on tightening and relaxing muscles, usually help me take my mind off the insistent loops when things are tough, and help me drop off. I know this is a massive over simplification. You do so need your sleep though and anything safe and sustainable is worth a try. If you're still struggling to sleep go and see your Dr again. Perhaps some night time pills to go with the happy ones might help you through.
Deep breath and keep coming back to your thread. We're here.
Thankyou for your responses
Izzy i understand that the support workers may not have the expertise but at the moment every little helps I am unable to see a solicitor till later in week as i have numerous sessions for the boys this week its all go atm but dont worry i will be gaining advice and starting a few processes.
Homebird ty for your concern regarding other ds he's quite content considering and as for my depressed son i've taken him out for a bit today and plan to get him a few new outfits this week.
I've given up trying to apply logic to the ever changing stories all they seem to do is justify her stance and behaviour. I dont really care what story she gives to be honest I know full well what she did and when she changed so i dont need her changing the timeline to ease her guilt (thats assuming she feels any). I get some time to myself that's when i pop on here lol.
Sleep is a bit of a commodity at the moment but i can live with that for the time being. Its not just a case of being unable the lil one is a bit fussy as well atm and tends to be in with me and doesn't really want to let go. I think the happy pills are apathy pills because most of the time i just don't care about anything that doesn't involve the boys.
Once again thankyou
Well Valentines day was a complete downer got numerous messages telling me to f/off because i asked her not to come to the house as I found it difficult for her to be there. She couldn't understand why i'd be upset seeing her :/
My boys have been good and are all engaging well at the moment. I am hopeful that we are beginning the journey back to some sense of normality. lets hope it continues.
Oh, dad, Valentine's day can be hell! We tend to ignore it in our house, tbh!
I am so glad that the boys seem to be settling again and hope that continues. I think it is quite natural and right to focus on your children at a time like this, when everything has been thrown in the air, and you are just waiting for the stuff to fall to the ground again so you can see what's there.
It's great that you've got an appointment with a solicitor - sorry, just reread your post; have you amde an appointment or are you planning on just turning up? Probably better to make an appointment, they can be busy and you want the best one at any given practice. Just remember that you are doing it for the boys. It is important for them, particularly as they seem to be regaining equilibrium, so you really want to avoid losing their home with little or no money. They deserve the best, so seeing a solicitor is ensuring that the basic securities will be there.
Good luck. Hope all goes weel for you over the next week.
Feel totally dejected today all i can seem to thinkabout is the wife and how shes putting so much effort into this new relationship. I know im torturing myself but when im alone i cant help thinking if only she put that much effort into me and the boys how different would things be. At the moment the only thing holding me together is the boys apart from them i feel empty. Im trying to get out more but everywhere we seem to go are reminders of happier times which are now just distant memories. Sorry to moan i just feel lost :'(
I haven't posted before but I've kept up with your thread - you are doing amazingly well holding everything together for your boys in spite of your wife's appalling behaviour. You really are an inspiration although I understand that won't make you feel much better on nights when everything gets on top of you. It's normal to feel how you do but better times really do lie ahead where you will reap the rewards from your dedication to your family.
Someone mentioned the samaritans above. If you need a sympathetic adult to talk to at any time of the night or day they are always "open" and are not a religious organisation.
Beaming you supportive thoughts (and you have my respect and admiration for how you have dealt with what's been thrown at you).
Well today has been a bit of a kicker tbh. The wife was suppose to spend some quality time with the boys but managed an hour very little of which was actually with the boys :/
She decided that she wanted to "talk" it seems that she's planning to leave the country in the next couple of weeks and would like me to break it to the boys (wtf). Her reasoning is that "she" can get help quicker in greece than here in the uk as if i'm that stupid. She admitted that she has no relationship with the boys and feels that none of them love her. I cant believe that she's that self absorbed that she cannot see what this is doing to the boys, she knows damn well that she was loved in this home.
None of this is about her getting "help" and to destroy a family under this premise is a load of bullshit.
I'm gutted for the boys that she's doing this it will be one more nail in her maternal coffin so to speak.
The next month or so is now going to be hell for all of us i have no idea what the fallout of this is going to be but its not going to be pretty. Looks like this slide aint hit the bottom yet and the burden is only going to get bigger
oh she is a piece of work isn't she I don't know how anybody, man or woman, can walk away from their own children.
It will be difficult for you, but please try and get all the help that you can from friends and family. Have you got a Sure Start Childrens Centre near you? They are brilliant for help and advice and support.
Your boys will grow up and learn for themselves what their mother is like and they will love and respect you for being there for them.
Well, I suppose it's to be expected that she doesn't have the decency to tell the boys herself, and dumps that delightful duty on you.
TBH, once she's actually gone, you'll find it a bit easier to move on as she won't be swanning in and out all the time, and you won't have any hope of her showing any maternal feeling this time, or this time,.....
But do hide all the passports where she can't find them. Just to be on the safe side. Probably totally unnecessary. But.
That woman !
She chose to walk away from so much and can't even face herself over it. That's why she's demanded you tell the boys what she is planning to do. I'm actually amazed she's even bothered telling you when she's going. All part of her desperate attempt to make her actions sound reasonable to herself.
I hope that Jux is right, and her departure stops your soul destroying hope that she may change. Or that you might one day be able to rely on her. What do the boys do when she's there but not taking any notice of them?
Well done for getting out as often as you can. It's important for both you and the boys that you can have good times together and start to build some new memories. Are there any places locally that are new to you all? Might be worth going a little further afield to avoid the places you all went together sometimes. Perhaps your local library might have some ideas in the local section?
Anyway, as always I'm here and would love to sit down for a with you to listen properly. Carefulobserver's suggestion of the Samaritans might be useful too.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.