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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 She is now withdrawn secretive and staying out and it doesnt help that i feel low at times from the isolation of looking after the boys.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

Jux Thu 14-Mar-13 16:12:33

Well, thank goodness she's gone.

Now dad, please please please do as Izzy begs. Hie thee to a lawyer posthaste!

foolonthehill Thu 14-Mar-13 19:40:20 if you can't get a personal recommendation then have a look on this website for a law firm specialising in family law.

Many will give you a free first appointment, get their advice but don;t be afraid to shop around a bit, it is important that you are sure your solicitor understands what you have been through and what you need.

these people may have good advice
and definitely do.

Don't go into hibernation, protect yourself and your boys so that whenif her new business venture hmm fails to materialise you don;pt find yourself funding her expat lifestyle

taneba Fri 15-Mar-13 10:23:08

hmm.. just saw this thread, and have browsed through it. interesting to see how almost all respondents immediately rounded on dadwithbaby's ex-wife. none of us knows her story as she might tell it; this is not really fair to her.

having a close relative who divorced his wife, and having seen them wage war against each other (which has lasted the entire life of their daughter, now 21 and totally messed up), i couldn't help noticing the one-sidedness of the debate, and the vituperation directed against ex-wife. i suspect that ex-wife's circle of friends is talking about dadwithbaby in the similar terms. it's quite amazing how two people can perceive exactly the same series of events through such different lenses. when perceived through the mists of time, the he-said-she-said / he-did-she-did disappears into a haze, and all that's left is a lot of emotional damage, the most serious bit of it inflicted on the children.

things that i have picked up over time:
- sure, divorce your wife / husband, but continue to facilitate the bond between children and departed parent. boys can have a very, very special relationship with their mothers - maybe it's the coming-out-of-the-womb thing. when they need emotional support, it's their mothers they talk to - it's "unmanly" to talk to dad or friends. in this sense, boys are far more alone than girls. it seems clear that ex-wife is not a positive factor right now, but you need a mental health professional / child psychologist to help you assess whether they will be better off in the long-term without her in their lives.
- as polly said, "vilification won't heal the family" - it will just force the kids to take sides. i know someone's going to shoot me down for this, but just look at the language on this thread.
- again from polly - "Focusing on her 'abandoning' <kids> is emotive and immature. Focusing on healing the family in some way, might help."

dadwithbaby, i've noted your post that you "shall not bad mouth their mother to the boys", and i believe you - but it's psychologically very hard to be slagging her off on the internet and in the next breath be defending / being complimentary of her to the boys. i think your emotions will creep in and infect your facial expression, tone of voice, choice of words. and children are extraordinarily intuitive. if they never sense your hostilty (and never hear anything hostile from you about her), they will remember it - and when mature enough, i promise you they will understand what it meant, and their esteem for you will multiply ten-fold.

you have a story to tell, but i hope that with time, you can avoid it consuming you. fires spread quickly when left uncontrolled, and could burn your kids irreparably.

no idea re polly's hypothesis re mental breakdowns etc., but in terms of toning down the emotional intensity (or at least the expression of it), i'm firmly with polly on this one.

Xales Fri 15-Mar-13 13:10:32

All posts on here are one sided.

Should we take the ones posted by men with a pinch of salt as they are posted by men and there maybe extenuating circumstances? Or should we give them exactly the same support and advice we would give if a woman had posted the same?

None of us know 'the truth' of any of the posts on an open forum.

Midwife99 Fri 15-Mar-13 14:05:53

Agree with xales. We should take people's word for what they think happened & give support accordingly. Male or female. This guy has 5 kids, one with special health needs & a toddler. His ex has gone off with another man to live in Greece. He needs some support.

Jux Fri 15-Mar-13 17:17:37

Asolutely. What's the point in even talking to someone if you're going to constantly think about what the other person (with whom you have no contact and who doesn't give a shit what you think anyway) might be thinking? Do you do that with your RL friends, taneba? When your best mate says her mum's been horrid do you jump up and down and wonder what her mum's side is? Wen your dh says his boss is a twat because of x, do you tell your dh that his boss must be thinking about things differently from dh?

I assume not, or you'd be Billy No-Mates, wouldn't you?

badtime Fri 15-Mar-13 17:56:39

OP, I work for a Legal Aid solicitor.
A solicitor will allow you to sign the Legal Help form without proof of means. They will then pursue information about your income. Unless you are on Income Support, income-related ESA or income-related JSA, a letter from the DWP or whatever won't do you any good anyway - just bring your bloody bank statement, and get to a solicitor as soon as possible. Don't be fobbed off.
You need to sign the form in the next two weeks or there will be no Legal Aid available. GO TO THE SOLICITOR AND SIGN THE FORM. STOP WASTING TIME.

izzyizin Fri 15-Mar-13 18:09:48

Your ill-judged attempt to talk the talk, taneba, suggests that you've yet to walk it.

If you had trodden the path which dad and others have unwittingly found themselves on, I feel sure you'd be aware that 'toning down the emotional intensity' is an ideal which may take some time to achieve.

In the meantime, this board provides a secure place for those adversely affected by the unsuspected duplicity of a spouse/partner to vent out of sight and earshot of their dc.

If you had taken time to read this thread thoroughly it would not have escaped your attention that your assumptions, which imply dad is sounding off to his dc in the same manner as he feels free to do here when they're tucked up in bed, are as unfounded as they are insulting.

Come back when you have some semblance of understanding and sound advice to impart to those who are in shock and hurting badly. Or stick around in order to look and learn from the diverse tales on this board with the proviso that should you fail to discover that the collective wisdom of mumsnet is as empowering as it is inspiring, you don't give up the day job.

izzyizin Fri 15-Mar-13 18:15:52

Cheers for that badtime - you've imparted in one concise paragraph what took me an age to cobble together try and get over to dad in my seemingly endless ramble grin


dadwithbaby Sat 16-Mar-13 00:47:26

Izzy in many ways your probably right part of me did hope that she would see the error of her ways so to speak. Her finally leaving made everything oh so clear. The advice given here is sound and was tempered by my deluded hopes. I will not miss the legal aid boat and I'm fully aware that I haven't heard the last of her. The last few days have been consumed by caring for my boys half of which have come down ill.

Thankyou badtime for your post very informative and yes i probably have been fobbed off but no more thankyou.

Taneba where do i begin..... If i were to post my initial OP as a woman stating how my husband was saying how much he loved me sharing intimate moments and planning with me and the children what we were going to be doing ie holidays etc. Then a couple of days later has moved in with a younger woman and within weeks has left the country for a new life and left me alone with five children to raise.... you and many others would be saying what a bastard.

Its not a debate is it. I post what me and the boys experience lets get it straight she has abandoned her children and husband for a younger man and the dream of a new start in a sunny land. When i talk to the boys its all about us moving forward and improving life for us. The importance of their mother to them is not in question what is in question is their importance to her. I think i have toned down the emotional intensity as you call it. But I feel your assumptions are biased due to my gender which should be irrelevant. Men do not have the monopoly on being manipulative self serving bastards shock
The story i have to tell is not consuming me as I have five other priorities that consume both my time and thoughts.

Jux thanks xales thanks foot thanks midwife thanks

Izzy you are a wise sage and within the next few days i hope to post about a positive meeting with a solicitor in the meantime thankyou thanks

taneba Sat 16-Mar-13 22:06:15

oh no....

dadwithbaby, i apologize unreservedly for the distress my post must have caused - i expressed myself very badly. my concern was over the impact this narrative would have on your boys, not whether it was valid or not. i agree with you - it is absolutely not a debate. my point was - there is no "truth", just your truth and hers, and it is at best useless and at worst harmful to allow it to take centre stage. i feel that in these situations there is no right and wrong, no winners and losers - just losers and worse losers. i was only suggesting a shift in focus that would minimize the loss, especially for your kids.

in response to your hypothetical question about a symmetrical situation with genders reversed: no i wouldn't be calling the man a bastard... it's unhelpful and irrelevant.

i make no assumption, gender-based or otherwise, about you or your ex-wife other than the fact that you are both human, and therefore likely to respond in very human ways - obviously this did not come through, and i deeply regret this. i feel very guilty for having made you feel the need to defend yourself when you are going through so much.

as for assumptions... i just realized (from the responses) that you and others may be assuming i am a woman - which i am not. or that i have had no experiences that might inform a situation like this. (is it possible that some might assume a man is less qualified to comment?) - no no delete that, i could't survive another bunfightwink. but all this is also irrelevant.

i am really happy to hear that your conversations with your children are forward-looking and positive.

you won't see me for a while - for the time being, i am going to slink away and "develop some semblance of understanding and sound advice". i have learnt a great deal on this site, one of them being that if i ever wanted to put the fear of god in someone, i would threaten to unleash the local mumsnet brigade on them <rubbing bruises> grin.

again, please accept my sincerest apologies. i do wish you and your children all the very best!

Midwife99 Sun 17-Mar-13 07:16:49

That was good of you to apologise taneba smile

OneHandFlapping Sun 17-Mar-13 07:59:43

Dadwithbaby, I have just read your horrendous story, and I just wanted to wish you and your sons all the best for the future. You sound like an amazing dad.

SugarPasteGreyhound Sun 17-Mar-13 16:46:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dadwithbaby Sat 23-Mar-13 23:11:34

I now have all appropriate paperwork and solicitor sorted before the deadline smile

Well shes been gone 10 days now and she has phoned once briefly asked to speak to the boys but none of them would talk to her. She still doesn't understand why, still believes she is in the right. confused. The boys are convinced that she is not coming back as she has been using fb to flaunt her new abode and lifestyle.

I must confess that i'm getting more annoyed as the revelations continue to surface. Me and the boys have for all intent been sidelined by the her family and contact with the children has stopped.

The school has changed its stance now is taking the line that my son is a threat to others as he came out on top when he was jumped by a couple of boys in the street. I am currently working on getting him into another school and hopefully we should have some news about the house in early april.

Midwife99 Sun 24-Mar-13 10:44:20

Crikey dad - you're going through such a lot at the moment. Hand holding offered. Your boys know the truth. You are their rock!!

izzyizin Wed 27-Mar-13 00:16:34

I'm immensely relieved to hear you've got a solicitor in place - when will you be seeing him/her?

As for your stbxw, don't be taken in by what you might see/read on social networking sites. The bottom's falling out of the Cypriot economy and it's already no picnic for those who live there.

Re your ds's school, have you invoked the LEA's complaints procedure?

Xales Wed 27-Mar-13 14:26:38

You sound a lot calmer now that she has gone!

She will never accept what she has done wrong as that means looking at her self and she really wouldn't like what she needs. Her family brought her up and so they are all cut from the same cloth. So don't be surprised if they act like wankers just like her. To accept their daughter could do something vile means thinking they may have created it. Far easier to blame you being so evil that she had to abandon the children to. That their lack of protection for the children from the beast they believe you to be speaks volumes they are too thick to realise.

Life is shit out in that region as izzy says. Don't be surprised at contact/requests for help or to come back when the roses wear off.

Good on your son for sticking up for himself. Stupid school. Easy to blame him it saves them having to look at themselves again.

Good luck for the future.

cjel Wed 27-Mar-13 15:53:36

Dad I hope you deal as well with real life as you seem to be. I wish you all the strength you need to take care of you lovely boys.x

Jux Wed 27-Mar-13 18:40:37

Good luck dad. You've been pretty stoic so far. I hope that now she's gone, and you've got immediate things like solicitor, school, house moving, you and your boys find time to reinject your lives with joy and laughter.

Have fun this Easter. Start of a new beginning.

dadwithbaby Fri 29-Mar-13 00:53:04

The solicitor will be in the next week i made sure i got all the legal docs filled in and submitted.

I know that cyprus is in the shit having difficulties and hopefully they will both suffer wink. Surprisingly her sister has stepped up and offered support and has implied that she has "had words" with my stbxw which didn't go down to well with her. I am reserving judgement on that as actions speak louder than words.

I agree that leaving the boys with me and disappearing says more about her intentions. I now have reason to believe that the "affair" was going on for at least four months and that is gutting to say the least and compounds my of feelings stupidity in not having seen the signs. In the words of my son i had shit in my eyes but hey i'm not important at the moment the boys are i can wait... btw there are still plenty of people acting like twunts and i suppose that may or may not change over time.

In regards to the school it does not fall within the LEA it operates outside the usual recourses. I am approaching it in another manner and have involved other professionals to help. wink

On the plus side my son has had an psych assessment and although he still has issues he has not self harmed for a while and has come off the medication and is making progress which i am both happy and relieved about. The house itself is more relaxed and hopefully in this coming week i will have news relating to us staying in the house as i have a meeting with representatives from the housing association.

I do appreciate all replies so thankyou all thanks

izzyizin Fri 29-Mar-13 03:34:52

When you meet with the HA reps, please please please don't settle for anything less than the tenancy being transferred into your name FREE AND CLEAR of any arrears accrued before the time the former tenant (your, hopefully, soon tbxw) left the property.

If the HA don't offer an arrangement of this nature, or agree to it, DON'T sign anything and tell them you need time to think about what it is they've offered and discuss it with your solicitor before getting back to them.

I'm glad to hear your ds is making progress. What's happening with your oldest, your dss? Has his attitude towards you improved?

skyebluesapphire Sat 30-Mar-13 11:41:03

well done for sorting out all the paperwork. I hope the meeting with the solicitor goes well. Like Izzy says, you need to get the tenancy agreement in your own name now, free of any previous arrears that are in her name.

Sounds like your DS is doing well which is good news too.

I hope everything continues to go ok for you

dadwithbaby Tue 09-Apr-13 01:07:39

Well its been all go have been keeping myself busy so i don't dwell on things suppose it helps being school holidays. It does get lonely and i do find my mind wandering, I have hardened there is no coming back to the family unit for the twisted witch just need to stay strong the wife. Speaking of witch we haven't heard a thing from her; the boys don't mention or ask after her atm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing.

I have had a visit from the housing officer who is considering putting me on the tenancy they still have their heads in the sand in a month or so... I should be hearing from my solicitor tomorrow so will hopefully discuss all options available.

On a positive note I am completely redecorating the house making it ours and breathing some new life into the house. The boys have all got over their bugs and as such are a little more energetic.

Im still taking the medication and know i haven't dealt with all this on a personal level yet. Personally i don't think i have hit rock bottom yet or maybe i have who knows. I seem to be having some sort of crisis wink and have gone and dyed my hair red lol thought i'd give people a reason to gawk.

Anyway thankyou for taking the time to read thanks

Midwife99 Tue 09-Apr-13 01:11:22

Bloody hell Dad I can't believe she hasn't contacted the DCs! Wow! Shocked! Hope you're ok!

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