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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!

Skillbo Fri 01-Feb-13 18:40:29

Ah ok - and the CB was always in my name, just went to his bank account. I did tell him he needed to change this (and got the forms at least twice) but he never did... hasn't helped himself there at all!

Thanks again - am feeling a bit better about things... Helps when kids don't play up smile

badtime Fri 01-Feb-13 16:30:30

Income-based JSA isn't related to NI contributions.
Also, I thought getting child benefit meant that a SAHP's NI contributions were kept up?

Skillbo Fri 01-Feb-13 15:04:05

Not sure if he's able to apply for job seekers as he hasn't been paying NI for the last 3 years, for obvious reasons!

And you're right, his choice and all that. It just feels like he's now my unpaid childminder which seems unfair - but must see past that and keep remembering he left me.

badtime Fri 01-Feb-13 14:59:23

I will say, though, if he does claim Jobseekers, he will have to seek a job. That may actually be the best way of sorting stuff out. He should claim Jobseekers, and apply for jobs, and when he gets a job, he would have to stop his SAHP fantasy, but not because you were stopping him.

Remember, he chose to leave. He needs to live in the real world, and that includes dealing with his finances like an adult. Wanting to be a SAHP in his situation makes it seem like he just doesn't want to get a job, like all the other NRPs.

btw, I immediatedly assumed OW too.

Skillbo Fri 01-Feb-13 14:46:22

Thank you - i just still feel so responsible which is stupid but he's not a bad man and he's the father or my kids... argh, wish i didn't feel like this sad

badtime Fri 01-Feb-13 14:38:36

He would now be entitled to income-related benefits, I think. Your income would not be taken into account. All he has to do is sort out his claim.

You are not being unfair and you should not feel guilty.

Skillbo Fri 01-Feb-13 14:20:31

I know I'm doing the right thing but i just need a bit of support.

I told him about the child benefit today - as in, it now comes to me, and he got quite upset. I explained that as he's no longer here, there isn't any reason for him to have it, it's for the children. He did say he is still there for the children and will now have nothing to spend with them.

I have said i can leave him some money for a few bits but DD is in pre-school 3 and a half days and all the local groups he goes to are free (good old Sure Start!) There will always be food for them and i will cover his monthly bus pass so he can get here but that's all i want to do! It's actually quite a bit of money which i never realised.

I'm not being unfair, am i? He admits he's treated me like shit and so doesn't expect anything from me but for some reason i feel guilty as i know he has NO money! I have suggested he goes to the job centre, not just to find a job but to see if he is entitled to some support.

I just feel like the bad one here - that's not right, is it?

LineRunner Mon 28-Jan-13 23:39:03

I moved my DS from pre-school to nursery near my work after my EXH walked out. My DS was absolutely fine. It was hard work but I was happier with the flexibility and independence.

Skillbo Mon 28-Jan-13 22:58:18

and linerunner - no, nite really. I think he's just ashamed but whether this is because of lack of feelings or feelings for someone else, i just don't know.

Onwards & upwards!

Skillbo Mon 28-Jan-13 22:56:37

The reason for the care to.remain at ours is that DD is at pre-school about 5 minutes walk from here, 3.5 days a week. MIL lives about 45 minutes walk away and H doesn't drive... so it makes little sense to trundle them all that way etc to just come back. i will say that i think on the day DD doesn't go and for when he only has DS that they should go over there but for ease of school run, it just makes more sense - for now!

Good advice about protecting my privacy, feelings wise - i already feel quite vulnerable and raw (and a bit foolish) for saying i would try again after everything so think will just be nice when the DC are around but no more!

LineRunner Mon 28-Jan-13 22:49:39

Sorry did he look at you (at counselling)

Charbon Mon 28-Jan-13 22:48:29

Hmmm...I bet the therapist was as suspicious as us. Because they know that when a couple has children, they don't just walk out without discussing any problems or attempting counselling unless something else major is going on in the shape of an alternative and secret life.

Go and get some legal advice, but now he has made it crystal clear it's over, aim to make your interactions very businesslike and confined to the children and division of assets. Put up a wall about your private thoughts and your private life from now on - he's lost the right to know them.

This is as you know one of the reasons why I think it's a bad idea that he will continue to treat the family house as his home. I can see no real reason why he can't parent the children from his mum's for now until he gets his own place. Have you thought about speaking to work to see if you could negotiate later starts for a short while in order to drop the children to MILs and he drops them back on your return from work?

Eventually too, please organise a regime where he cares for them some evenings and weekends so that you get a break if you need it - but that can come in slower time. I have to say I think it's no coincidence that he's fixed it so that he's got his evenings and weekends free now.

LineRunner Mon 28-Jan-13 22:45:19

It might not be an OW as such; it might be looking at dating sites and 'the grass is greener' kind of shit that some people naively get in their minds.

At counselling did you look at you, look you in the eye?

Anyway, glad you are ok and definitely get that legal advice. Glad you have found support on MN and it's always here.

Skillbo Mon 28-Jan-13 22:35:15

We went to our first counselling session tonight and he admitted he doesn't even want to try and salvage anything - it is completely over in his mind which i think means i need to get completely over it too sad Pretty soul destroying hearing your 'partner' of 9 years saying they don't want to even see if there's even just a small spark remaining!

So I have some time booked in for some legal advice in the morning to find out my status with the house and the children - am pretty worried but i need to know where i stand. I'm also sorting out the child benefit, speaking to the council and the tax credit people... there seems little point in flogging this dead horse and whilst i am devastated, i have to recognise that my life will go on. Just alone for now sad

I think for now, it will be in both our interests for him to continue being the SAHP without living here so i can return to work but i'm not sure this is a realistic long term thing. But for now, and pending legal advice, seems the best option.

I'm still not convinced of an OW but who knows - at least that won't be as much of a shock as it once might have been if it does turn out to be true.

Thank you as always - some good advice here and will always be grateful for the support.

Skillbo Sun 27-Jan-13 13:10:52

Thank you - i just got panicky after reading the thread where even though the man was abusive, because he was the primary carer the poster couldn't be guaranteed to keep their son. My husband has never been like that so i just got scared that my babies would be taken... maudlin and mushy, sorry about that!

expatinscotland Sun 27-Jan-13 09:53:52

'I am so scared he could take my children away from me'

He can't. He left and is a 9-5 childminder. He left. And when he was there, he was . . . a 9-5 childminder.

LineRunner Sun 27-Jan-13 00:24:21

Well he can't, Skillbo.

Be strong and calm, come back tomorrow, and sleep well.

Skillbo Sun 27-Jan-13 00:21:36

I am so scared he could take my children away from me sad

katykuns Sat 26-Jan-13 23:48:29


StitchAteMySleep Sat 26-Jan-13 23:05:27

Have pm'ed you Skillbo <hugs>

LineRunner Sat 26-Jan-13 22:01:12

OP, you just need to contact the Child Benefit office and explain that your DH has moved out, and explain that he lives at your MIL's address, and ask for the CB to be put in your name.

Then stop this farce of letting him half-live in your home.

Daddelion Sat 26-Jan-13 21:01:54

I had the child benefit switched to my name.
I had to fill in a form and send it off, my ex had to fill in and sign forms and I think I had to fill in and sign another one after that

This was last year, at the moment as far as the CSA are concerned he's the resident parent.

LineRunner Sat 26-Jan-13 20:31:44

My advice would be the same if the genders were reversed also.

KitchenandJumble Sat 26-Jan-13 20:22:47

Loads of sympathy to you, OP. You must be absolutely reeling. He left less than a month ago, is that right? I'm impressed you are able to function at all under those circumstances.

I know nothing about the legal side of things in the UK, so bear that in mind. I would absolutely not want the man who had walked out on me to have free access to my home. It would be soul-destroying to come home from work every day to see him there. And as others have said, it could confuse the children if they saw Daddy at home every day, especially if he hung around into the evenings. Much better to make a clean break, especially with children this young. They would easily adapt to the idea of Dad's house/Mom's house. He could continue caring for the children during the day but in his new residence, if that was ageeable to you.

However, now that your family situation has altered so completely, I don't think I would be comfortable supporting him while he looked after the children. I completely disagree with a previous poster who said that it wouldn't be in the best interests of the children to be in paid childcare. If I were in this situation, that is exactly what I would want. I'd arrange for paid childcare of some sort, with the expectation that the (ex-)husband would find employment and eventually help pay for that expense (among other household expenses related to the children). This is no longer the case of a SAHD but of a dad who walked out with no warning. It would make my blood boil to think that I was working all the hours God sends in order to fund his living expenses. He should be supporting himself financially.

Lest anyone accuse me of sexism, this would be exactly my advice if the genders were reversed and the SAH parent were the mother. I'd still advise finding paid employment ASAP.

Good luck to you, OP. It is such a dreadful situation and I wish you all the very best.

MisForMumNotMaid Sat 26-Jan-13 19:55:15

You just phone child benefit say he's left and you are now the resident parent. I emailed them when ExH left. He was a SAHD and our DS's were 1 and 3. He wanted to be friends. Turned out another women was involved. My mum, an avid daily mail reader, likes to quote 90% of men leave after they've started an intimate relationship with other women.

Have you checked your tax credit situation. You can potentially get upto 70% childcare fees and this could obviously make a big difference.

My MIL isn't local. She is onher DS's side but she's also an aly. Would she enjoy babysitting. So you could have 1 night a fourtnight/ month out?

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