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advice for a dad? tricky times

(135 Posts)
skaboy Sun 17-Feb-13 10:26:27

I posted this in another thread as a reply, but a responder suggested I start a new thread therefore some of it is copied and pasted.

I'm a dad of 4 with a wife who has serious health problems and have signed up for this forum because I have nowhere else I feel I can get support for the tough time we're having at the moment. Recently I became aware she was having an 'emotional affair' (emails and texts to. A work colleague, it had already got to the point they were telling each other they loved each other). I've worked full time and carried the family for years and you can imagine I was very upset to find that despite this she still felt that she needed to see someone else. Her justification was that I neglected her- the way I see it is that I had become a robot, working, essentially a single father in terms of the practicalities of bringing the children up, and being a carer for my wife. She would get me to get long lists of stuff she needed in town to keep me out long enough. Its truly horrible to think of the betrayal.

After finding out I wasn't sure if we could go on but she pleaded that she has finished with him and wants to make a go of it with me. However she has been distant since and I'd be lying if I said I believed her fully that this is the case. We're in a bit of a state of limbo, and she puts her apathy down to needing to 'get better' before dealing with our relationship. However we just don't seem to be dealing with it at all. She managed to find the energy to instigate and maintain the affair whilst being this ill. Part of me thinks that she is just keeping me around to do all the practical stuff like looking after her and bringing up the kids.

At the moment I'm really just trying to make myself trust her because the alternative is a life of constant emotional pain. I have been trying to weigh up the situation to work out whether it is worth it at all. The family I had worked to build for years is my justification for giving it another try. I hated having to analyse everything my partner did or said to work out if she was lying. Its harder in a sense because the usual thing for a dad to do is move out but my kids need me and I really want to see if we can be happy as a family.

I don't know of any Dadsnet sites so I've arrived here to see if I can get any advice or ideas to try and get through this.

skaboy Thu 21-Feb-13 23:11:32

If relate is going to take any more than a week or two then I'm outta here. Sleeping in the spare bed tonight. Said I need space too. Told her my only ask is that she doesn't see anyone else until its over. We might have to time share the house somehow. Don't know how much I believe / have faith in her effort to keep this going. Guess another sleepless night is on the cards

blueshoes Fri 22-Feb-13 14:08:28

If you leave the house, is she well enough to look after the children on her own? Will she move the bloke in to help out?

wallypops Fri 22-Feb-13 20:59:58

Why on earth would you leave the house? Sorry but she is the one that needs to go, and sharpish too. She wants her cake etc etc

Do not discuss anything until you have seen a lawyer. Find out how you can keep the kids and the house and get her out. At the very least it would appear that she thinks she has all the power. You love her, want it to work. She thinks she will get the kids and the house and you will be miserable plus paying her child support and alimony.

skaboy Fri 22-Feb-13 23:39:48

I'm feeling really positive today after numerous talks with longtime friends. They have reaffirmed the positvity they feek I project in adverse situations to the extent that I really don't think I'm going to lose out either way here. To be perfectly blunt I think my wife has been bullshitting her way to armageddon and everyone I have talked to from her best friend to her mum thinks she is completely in the wrong. I can't be hurt any more than I have been already. Even if she is lying now, she will only hurt herself in the long run. I'm going to focus on the kids, myself and getting back to a good quality of life. Admittedly I'm not very savvy with solicitors etc but actually I don't think I'm that bothered about money, property, materirialism etc...just making sure myslef and the kids have a happy life

skaboy Wed 27-Feb-13 00:47:37


Well things just seem to be bumbling on with no conclusion. I'm waiting for her to 'make a decision' which she won't do till she talks to relate (how long does this take?)

In the meantime she 'wants space' to make a decision. I have been giving her this and then some. She went back to work this week. She has been really naking an effort aesthetiacally (she looked like she was off for a night out) just to go into work, where coincidentally the other guy works

I have been seeing my friends more, buying new clothes and doing my own thing for the first time in years- she has commented on this.

I actually don't know what to do here. I can see both eventualities evenly: one where we reconcile and everything is ok and the other where we split and actually I think I'll have a pretty good life thank you very much.


Darkesteyes Wed 27-Feb-13 01:20:17

Hi, Only just spotted this thread. So sorry to hear you are going through this. She is not being fair by keeping you hanging decision wise let alone the other stuff thats been happening.
Its good that you are spending time with friends. And socialising. I hope you are finding good support there.

FlatCapAndAWhippet Wed 27-Feb-13 01:41:30

Totally wrapped up in herself.

I'd ask her to leave.

skaboy Wed 27-Feb-13 09:43:37

I guess the only reason I haven't finished it is so that one day I'll be able to look my kids (and myself) in the eye and say I tried my best. I'm waiting for the relate sessions and to find out exactly whether she is going to make a proper go of things. We were happy not so long ago and for the majority of the relationship. I guess I've made my bed, but I won't wait forever.

I'm not sure about asking her to leave as its different being a dad. Also she's a lot more savvy than me on rights because of her job so my bet is she knows all the tricks to pull.

Doha Wed 27-Feb-13 16:48:16

It sounds like she is waiting for this work colleague to lick his fingers and she will go running to him.
You are being kept in the wings as a reserve.

Please please do not let yourself become your wife's back up plan, her fall back option or her second choice what ever you want to call it.

You are far far to nice to be treated like this. Let her go-she will live to regret it but by that time you will have moved on and will have realised that you deserve better

skaboy Wed 27-Feb-13 19:49:34

Doha that's pretty much what I'm thinking. I'm building up my confidence to front this whole thing out with her. Can't live in limbo any more. I'm going to be honest and say I'd rather we split if I'm being considered as a back up plan. Life is too short!

Corygal Wed 27-Feb-13 19:55:50

Yep, Life is too short. And you'll get the house and the kids - be prepared for a shitstorm when she finds out, but by then it will be too late.

Giving her time for decisions is reasonable, but enforce the deadlines you set - start leaving rental leaflets lying about.

AutumnDreams Wed 27-Feb-13 20:16:25

Skaboy......I`m so sorry, but I think she knows exactly what she intends to do, that she has, in fact, got a full blown agenda. Something is holding her plans up for the moment - maybe the OM is sorting out loose ends. Listen to your friends, and step right up to the plate. She is treating you shamefully, and you are worth so much more. I think the Relate thing is just a smoke screen, and she probably has no intention of going. Actually, this is a form of mental cruelty, this carrot dangling. You really need to let her know that you have taken enough sh*t, and want definite answers. I wish you well.

Shybairns Wed 27-Feb-13 20:22:19

skaboy Does she not value the family life that you have together? What does she say you do wrong?
I'm mid divorce and although it was my decision in the end to go down this route my hand was forced to to my H making absolutly no effort to meet me half way and try marraige counselling or anything. He'd given up on the marraige but wanted me to be the one to make the decision to end it.

Divorce is shit (as you would expect) The guilt, the hurt, the financial struggle.

Does she have any idea what she's giving up on? I know you do.
If you think she does then it really is over. You deserve to be appreciated and loved whole heartedly, you deserve happiness. And your wife is the one supposed to be giving you this.

elastamum Wed 27-Feb-13 20:34:07

Poor you.. Go and see a solicitor and work out what you want if you split. there is no reason you cant have shared care, esp if you already do most of the childcare. You can live walking distance from your wife and the children spend 1/2 the week in each house. That way they can maintain a good relationship with both of you. I know a few working parents with this arrangement and it seems to work.

skaboy Wed 27-Feb-13 21:35:23

Corygirl thanks, I'm getting ready for the shitstorm but still not overly sure I'll get the house or kids.

Autumndreams, believe me I'm coming to see how ruthless she actually is being. I am going to front the whole thing out calmly tomorrow after work. Little bit scared but also quite philosophical in a weird way.

Shybairns. I really thought she did. Maybe some part of her still does, but the thing is she has the cold heart of a lady who is constantly tanked up on opiates for the last few years. I'm going to request that the kids hear the truth from her before we go public as, especially the older two 13 and 12 have been picking up on all this and are really fragile.

Elastamum, I would really like it if it can end up as fair as that. Given time it might happen hopefully.

skaboy Thu 28-Feb-13 08:17:12

Oh dear its D day and I've had no sleep. I think I'm going to play it safe. Just start the conversation off calmly and see what happens. I'm almost thinking of leaving it till a day when I'm thinking more clearly

Doha Thu 28-Feb-13 13:31:13

Don't put it off any longer Skaboy. Tbey way she is acting is making you not think clearly. Perhaps with "The talk" you will get some clarity.

Good luck

hellsbellsmelons Thu 28-Feb-13 13:55:38

You are waaaay to nice for her.
I cannot believe she is behaving like this after what she has done.
I know you want to try but I don't understand why?
From what you have told us here she is a very self centred and selfish person.
Why do you want to continue with that?
You seem lovely and you'll find someone who truly loves and respects you. It's what you deserve now!

carelessdad Thu 28-Feb-13 14:42:15

OP, go for it! I was being treated like shit in my relationship, and eventually said enough is enough. The now ex-wife then tried a sudden nuclear Armageddon against me, as she realised that her comfortable selfish life was going to end. I coped, the kids coped, and we got the house. We're all much happier, except for the ex-wife who is sitting in her empty new house and looking forward to the kids next visit. Ex-wife decided there was no room for compromise, and she's now having to live with the consequences and blaming everyone but herself.

You can get what you want.

carelessdad Thu 28-Feb-13 14:49:47

p.s. Originally I was staying for the kids. My youngest was younger than your two. Much to my surprise, he announced early on after the split than he wanted to stay with me rather than his mother. Again surprisingly, a school mum came up to me at a function about 6 months after he moved out to say that she'd noticed he was a lot happier and brighter than he had been before, and was, 'a different boy'.

I should have split up earlier.

skaboy Thu 28-Feb-13 19:35:38

The talk happened. - asked for honesty, she admitted she loves me but is in love with the other guy. I said I'd had enough. She suggested I stay and co-parent but I cannot handle living under the same roof if she is seeing him so have left. I'm still doing practical stuff with the kids day to day and sofa surfing I think until I find somewhere. Splitting the house and money is going to be a world of pain but I'll deal woth that in time. It was the worst thing in the world to leave my kids and the house but if I can get my own polace quickly it'll be ok.

In a way I think I have a better position now being single than her with herr doubts about whether she has made the right decision (her 20 texts so far this evening paint a picture of a girl who doesn't know who she is anymore or what she wants.) I genuinely feel for her, but I'm going to have to look after myself and the kids in the short term. I think she thinks I might take her back if it goes tits up with the other guy.

Dozer Thu 28-Feb-13 19:52:26

OP you should seek legal advice urgently.

Doha Thu 28-Feb-13 20:02:14

Please do not keep answering her texts.
She has to live with what she has done and that does not mean keeping you at her beck and call at all times. Detach detach detach-you no longer being there might bring her to her senses when she realises just what a cock up she has made and the dream of lie with this OM is not so good in RL.
Please seek legal advice and have your ducks all lined up before she starts making demands.
Are you wanting custody of the DC'c or joint custody or regular access.
I am sorry but not surprised it has turned out this way but as l said up thread Please do not be her fall back option.
Good luck x

Lueji Thu 28-Feb-13 21:21:50

If she was a man, I'd say she wants to have her cake and eat it...

Detaching from her and the impossible situation she has put you in is the best

Skyebluesapphire Thu 28-Feb-13 23:24:07

I agree, get legal advice ASAP. Look after yourself and your children. Your wife is not your concern now. She has made her choice, let her deal with it.

Ignore all but essential texts regarding the children. That is the easiest way to protect yourself in all of this.

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