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Stay at home dad - no longer at home

(83 Posts)
Skillbo Sat 26-Jan-13 13:56:14

Not sure what i want from this thread to be honest but am struggling a bit and i think getting it down can be a help in itself.

My husband walked out the day before New Year with no real warning. He says he no longer loves me but thinks I'm great and wants to remain friends. We have two DC; DD who is 3 and DS who turned 1 two days before he left sad I work FT and he was the SAHP - something he says he loves and wants to continue. This is where i am struggling so much.

I know it is me he has left (made that quite clear) but i am finding it so painful to be around him. I am signed off work until mid Feb as can't face returning at the moment so I am home too. He wants to basically pick up where he left off - so being with the children when i work but not living here or being with me. I feel this is unfair but obviously don't want him to not see his children (who adore him). He just gets the fun bit while i do the nights, bath time, bed time, the early mornings on any day off i have... H even had the balls to say 'that's what you get with kids though' when i had a bitch about it!

DS is oblivious of course but DD knows something isn't right and i think this could confuse her even more...

He has stayed with the children since DD was 6 months for which i will be eternally grateful but i think he needs to find some work so he can start to support himself - he is currently staying with MIL, the most passive woman who will just let him stay and do fuck all (her other DS was unemployed for 7 years whilst living with her!) I don't want him to use the kids as an excuse ('couldn't take that job as i was looking after the kids' kind of thing) but think him not working is all part of the problem!

We're going to regular counselling as of Monday but I don't know what i want from that anymore - have gone from desperately wanting him back to enjoying time one on one with my kids and realising how selfish he is being!

Sorry this is long and rambling... I'm just so unsure of everything!

Charbon Sat 26-Jan-13 16:35:57

Now you've added further detail about the errands in the evenings, staggered bedtimes, sleeping on the sofa and attachment to a laptop, I'd be even more sure of an affair.

If your objective for the counselling is to find out what went wrong, if he's still denying there's someone else I think it will be a waste of time and money, although I agree that counselling for you on your own might be very helpful. When someone is harbouring secrets and telling lies, couples counselling can actually be harmful to the person left behind, because they are left with a false story about how their behaviour eroded the departing spouse's love. This causes people to blame themselves.

If you are going to rebuild your life, it is vital that your exh parents during 'unsocial hours' so that you can get out with friends and possibly meet new people. But he needs to parent from his own home, just as you will be doing in the future.

Charbon Sat 26-Jan-13 17:00:26

Meant to add, if he has a contract phone tariff, do his bills still come to the house? Or if he does online billing, can you access his account from your own device?

I honestly think that when someone suddenly leaves a relationship with children, giving the partner no chance to work on any (probably imaginary) problems, all the kid gloves should come off, especially if the abandoned spouse is torturing themselves with wondering what they've done wrong and how come they missed the signs of unhappiness. This is why people who leave and keep secret the real reason are incredibly cruel and don't deserve privacy rights any longer.

LineRunner Sat 26-Jan-13 17:09:22

Charbon It was the phone bill arriving that finally uncovered my ExH's lies.

He also left unexpectedly.

He also didn't give me a chance to 'fix' things, despite our 2 DCs being very young.

He lied and lied and lied. Probably including to himself, his OW and subsequent GFs. The man's a mess and hardly even sees the DCs now.

I think I was meant to beg him to come back under any circumstances. I didn't. Best call I ever made.

expatinscotland Sat 26-Jan-13 17:14:16

Get legal advice because I strongly suspect there is someone else.

Charbon Sat 26-Jan-13 17:26:08

Yes LineRunner. Thankfully I've now seen so many people liberated from unnecessary angst and self-blaming in these circumstances, by going against their nature and playing detective. There are some really unhelpful messages about 'nice' people not snooping, or that they are degrading themselves by doing so. When someone's mental health is being threatened wondering what the hell has just happened to them, trying to find out as much information as possible is eminently sensible and I've never met anyone yet who has regretted doing so. The sight of a phone bill with hundreds of texts or calls to the same number is a visceral image for many women in this situation and it really does help the necessary anger to come through. It also stops all the wondering, hoping and worse still - pleading. In fairness, the discovery of an affair also sometimes brings things to a head, the affair is ended and a couple can rebuild their marriage. Discovery therefore either fast-tracks the recovery as an individual or as a couple.

Skillbo Sat 26-Jan-13 17:27:02

Sam - I certainly don't have the money, I am not in a well paid job particularly and money is a struggle so this would not be an option. I am probably naive but surely if he wants out, it is his responsibility to set himself up? Not sure why this would be my responsiblity?

Our house is in joint names though so am guessing that he could, legally, move back in and make me move out? Am going to call my work assistance as they offer legal advice just so I can get my head round this as am now worrying that he will do this and I will end up without my husband, home and children sad

Skillbo Sat 26-Jan-13 17:29:33

He has a PAYG phone and I have already tried to access his side of the laptop but other than a few wrestling sites, there's nothing in the browser history although I would like to be able to see his FB account.. can't get in there though!

Charbon Sat 26-Jan-13 17:32:06

Why, did he keep the password secret to you? Do you still have the laptop?

LineRunner Sat 26-Jan-13 17:36:29

OP, I doubt he could move you out, or would want to move you out, to be the full-time carer and mortgage-payer.

It sounds like you were doing more of the 'shared care' anyway if you were in charge of wifework and childwork all the time you were home, which is a lot more than the hours that you were at work.

Skillbo Sat 26-Jan-13 17:36:43

I don't know which is odd.. all my onine accounts, you start to type in my email or whatever and everything automatically slots, so he'd have no problems getting into mine. But then, I have nothing to hide!

And yes, do still have it as I got it through a work scheme and we both used it.

Charbon Sat 26-Jan-13 17:44:38

Depending on your browser, you might have a list on the laptop of saved passwords. Go to the tools menu and have a dig around.

If you co-own the house, he cannot force you to move out any more than you could have forced him to move out.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 26-Jan-13 17:55:37

BTW.... have you checked your accounts? Does he still have access to family money?

MisForMumNotMaid Sat 26-Jan-13 17:56:41

Financially have you frozen him out of all your accounts,particularly bank accounts?

Have you notified tax credits?

Have you notified your local council you may qualify for a single person council tax discount?

Have you checked the benefit checker to see if you might be entitled to any other assistance?. try turn to us for a quick check

SamSmalaidh Sat 26-Jan-13 18:00:26

You need to think about what situation you want here though OP.

Do you want to stay in the house with the children and he do the childcare while you work?
Or him live with the children and you have some kind of access arrangement? Should he live with them in the family home, or they all move to his mum's, or into another place?
Or you stay in the family home with the children and organise childcare for while you work and the children visit him for contact at his mum's?

It's unusual for children not to stay with the primary carer in the family home after a split so I think you need to consider how this will work. If you don't want to leave, don't want the children to leave, but don't want him to look after them in the family home, then what option have you got left?

MisForMumNotMaid Sat 26-Jan-13 18:08:36

With 168 hours in a week looking after children for the 40ish working hours in a typical week doesn't make him the primary carer.

LineRunner Sat 26-Jan-13 18:10:49

OP could still be considered the primary carer if the husband does just the 5 x 8 or 9 hours a week, and she does everything else. He sounds so flaky I'd advise she gets daycare anyway if she is able to go back to work in Feb.

He needs to get a job and a flat.

SamSmalaidh Sat 26-Jan-13 18:11:16

I haven't read anything to suggest that the dad does no childcare outside working hours, other than the OP feeding the baby in the night?

Charbon Sat 26-Jan-13 18:12:26

There are several other options Sam.

They could co-parent 50-50 from separate homes.

The husband could care for the children during the day from his own place, but still care for the children some evenings and weekdays. It's normal for a woman non-working parent to care for the children most evenings in fact, with her exH seeing the children one or two nights a week and alternate weekends.

The current arrangement where he gets his evenings and weekends free doesn't benefit the OP at all. When is she meant to have a social life?

Skillbo Sat 26-Jan-13 18:13:37

I haven't started to sort out the finances but I think that I will definitely do that. Talking on here has made me realise that even if we were to sort things out (which is looking less and less likely), it is going to take a long time and I need all the help I can get.

And you're right Sam, I think the best choice is to continue as is with him watching the children in the home whilst I work as this is what I can afford, he has offered to do and means the children get a sense of normality back. Can't forget what one earlier poster said (Cogito?) though about children thinking the parents will get back together if we continue to share the family home?

I know he is the primary carer but I can't face the thought of not being in the same house as my children at night and not being there for them when they wake up. DS is only just 1 and still bf and I can't imagine him not having me when he needs me... It's just not something I can even consider! I know it must be this hard for him too but IT WAS HIS CHOICE! I am just not willing to have my children live elsewhere and will fight that forever... which is probably not fair on them but I just cannot bear any other option sad no matter what the practicalities might be... I don't work out of choice, I do it as a neccesity and I don't feel I should be punished for trying to provide for my family by losing them.. I know this is probably unfair but it's how I feel.

Charbon Sat 26-Jan-13 18:15:49

The OP has said:

"i do the nights, bath time, bed time, the early mornings on any day off i have..."

which means it's reasonable to assume that she's caring for the children every night after work and at the weekends too.

Charbon Sat 26-Jan-13 18:18:23

No it was me who said that him caring for them in the family home bewilders children and gives them false hope. It's also an invasion of your privacy and leads to blurred boundaries. I really wouldn't recommend it.

Skillbo Sat 26-Jan-13 18:27:51

To be fair (hmm) to him, my husband didn't completely check out when I got home but I pretty much always cooked and didn't stop until the kids were down. I also did all the night wakings but did get lie ins at the weekend - although we normally did one day each even though I left him in bed every morning and he wouldn't come to bed until hours after me...

I am finding thought that the reality of being by myself isn't half as scary as I thought I would be which is one thing I have seen repeated a lot on this topic but is sooooooo true! As hard as this is, spending time with my children despite the circumstances, has been amazing and whatever happens, I think I need to concentrate on my family more. I just need to get through this bit first, I guess.

LineRunner Sat 26-Jan-13 18:29:13

My ExH used to come and go at first, as he felt like it. I must have been insane. He'd left us; lied to us; cleverly threatened me; started withdrawing money; and I still felt his access to the house was in the DC's best interests.

He was lying to everyone of course so I had no back-up.

If I could turn the clock back.....

StripiestSocks Sat 26-Jan-13 18:33:29

No, what you feel is not unfair and is natural to feel. You need to grieve but also try to get your practical head on. Seriously, legal advice as soon as possible and in the meantime just do everything you can to care for yourself.

I agree about home boundaries point but I think it can wait til after legal advice, it is common to have a few weeks like this, it is if it continues long term that it muddles the kids, surely? But long term, it needs sorting so clear spaces defined I think.

LineRunner Sat 26-Jan-13 18:33:40

Funnily enough my ExH started up with the OW when I said I was wanting to take on a new (better) job, and left when I started it.

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