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.
advice for a dad? tricky times(135 Posts)
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.
Day one as single - not going too bad so far. We're going to try relate to set 'ground rules' for the separation. If I was of the mind I could go for the house as she had the affair and I have always done more with regards to bringing up the kids. I'm not going to do that though as she has already been upset about losing everything.
I would like a house of my own where I can have the kids half the time and a joint account in which we both put equal money into for their upbringing. I have money in our house which I would need to get. We would both be more skint but I can't stay in the house with her knowing she is seeing someone else-she has offered that I stay.
Skaboy, the courts don't care whose fault divorce is in assigning the assets, maintenance etc, you really really do need to get some good legal advice, there is a poster called olgaga who posts with lots of useful links and info.
dh has a friend whose wife (the lower earner and pt) had an affair. He is now paying maintenance for the children (of course) and to her and has had to move to a tiny flat. She would not agree to the shared custody arrangements he proposed so he doesn't see the DC very much etc. (Moving out probably won't count in your favour with that kind of thing.)
Thanks for that
She hasn't even been able to cope the last 24 hours with the kids. I'm here at the moment sorting them out. I doubt she will want to or be able to get main custody. Her years of medical records are proof. I am going to get legal advice but its very early. She went through a bitter divorce / house settlement with her parents and doesn't want to do the same thing here. Neither do I to be fair. It was her who suggested co-parenting from the same house but I cannot live there if she is seeing someone else. Its not fair on the kids to have to suffer my being sad, the lies about where mummy has gone etc
I also am starting to realise that the morphine she has been taking is another factor. It has made her cold and callous. It coincides with our decline of relationship and she has lost all her empathy. She would never have had an affair before or lied so compulsively. She says she feels dead inside. I think she has sapped all her ability to think of others and every decision she makes is a selfish one. Even now I have to sift through all her proposals to work out what she thinks is in it for her. Her mum and best friend say they have never seen. Her like this. Its such a sad situation.
I'm being really positive in the mornings but start to dwell on it when it gets to this time of night. I really hope there is a happy ending whatever.
I'm sat here thinking: have they turned everything off, what if there's a fire etc. She will be dead to the world on medication and if I was there I was always the one 'on duty' and would wake up if there was anything which might be a danger to my family.
Don't blame the morphine. From the minute my XH became obsessed with OW, he lost all empathy for me and became cold, callous and with no care for me whatsoever.
The man I had always classed as my soulmate suddenly became a cold hearted stranger.
Sadly it's just par for the course.
Just look after yourself from now on, don't worry about her...
I agree with Skye, Skaboy. The morphine is a red herring here. It's the affair that has made her cold and selfish to you (and others). People who have affairs become like this because they need to be to allow themselves to have the affair. it's all part of the script. (I'm sure someone else will be along soon who can explain it better than me.)
You're doing yourself a massive disservice if you give a get out of jail free card because of the morphine.
Remember, she's not been cold with the OM, so it's a choice she's making.
Look after yourself and your kids. You've still got a lot of life ahead of you, too much to spend it with someone whose priorities are now elsewhere. She'll realise in time what she's lost, trust that.
Yep cheers for that. She has become pretty cold and callous. I don't know what's happening at the moment. She offered me to stay over tonight. I haven't said either way. I'm helping a lot with the kids and the housework-trying to do it for them really, and then going back to stay at my friends. She has said she thinks she might have made the biggest mistake if her life and wants six months to get her jead together. I don't know how to play it really.
Look after yourself and don't hang around for her to sort herself out if it's not the right thing for you.
[skaboy] I will say to you what I have said to other friends in the past - what is it that YOU want? She seems to be pulling all the strings and keeping you as a back up. Don't worry about what she wants, she will deal with that herself! What is your ideal outcome? Look after your kids and protect yourself emotionally and financially. If she said it was all over with OM would you really want her back? Look forward a year and think how you want it to be; only you know the answer to that.
What she is actually saying Skaboy is give her 6 months to see how it pans put with OM. If it doesn't work out you are her fall back option. Please do not do that to yourself.
Live for now--this relationship is over. Could you ever trust her again -seeing this cold callous side of her--forget the morphine THIS IS HER NOW.
Get yourself some legal advice try get yourself somewhere where you can take the kids away from the house.
Don't stay over tonight....
When my XH walked , he said "who knows, I may feel differently in three or six months time" . I hoped he was having some sort of breakdown but when he revealed his true colours by having deceived me with OW that was it.
I was not going to hang around for a few months and see if he changed his mind. I am worth more than that and thanks to the advice in here I divorced him.
I agree that she obviously wants six months to see how her life goes with OM. That isn't fair to you at all and is a very selfish request for her to make. Don't put your life on hold for that.
See how it goes at Relate. Hopefully it'll help.
I also hope you get advice soon with regards to the custody split of your children.
Im so angry reading your post
1) You cant leave children with someone who can not look after them. She is not putting the kids first cos she should have moved out and left you to care for them. Could you ever forgive yourself if something happened to them just cos you didnt ask her to leave?
2) You have rights and needs too. Make an appointment tomoro to get legal advice regarding childcare and finances. You need to legally separate your assets to provide for your kids as you can not trust her to do it.
3) You need to relise that relate only works if both people want it to work and are honest. It should be dw making the appointment and trying to fix the relationship not you. You need to.go radio silance, let her see and feel that you are not there. Dont reply to txt, set up access and make sure kids are safe with her.
Why cant she move out of the family home?
You sound far to nice for our own good and everyone knows nice guys finsh last. I think you need to start building a future without her in it.
Read the other threads on here as they give a good plan to follow and good advice and get the book "not just good friends"
Its hard but you need to see your wife as seprate from your children and look at her actions not her words.
Also I think its really shit that you have to leave the house and kids just cos your a man and you didnt do anything wrong. I think the person who has the affair should be the one to leave but then life isnt fair.
Im not much help but I really wish it works out for the best for you and your family xx
Its really helpful to read all the replies in the thread. She has said she is not even sure if she wants to see the other guy and that the problem was falling out of love with me. I want to end up happy whatever, and I feel that I need my own space away from her. I don't mind being the one to go if we have an agreement to share costs of kids and childcare and for her to buy me out at some point down the line. If its all done fairly it can work.
I am concerned that she has been getting my older two to do a lot of the work when I am not there. My daughter was very emotional today because she had to get up at 6.30 with the youngest and couldn't concentrate on her homework. This is something I will have to address in counselling. I don't mind being the one to sort out relate because the purpose is to establish ground rules to seperate-we're not doing it to get back together.
As for the six month thing. I could be a completely different person by then, not want her back or even be with someone else myself. I have told her this. I will be a lot stronger by then as well. Its just very messy at the moment trying to think practically when the emotions are very raw. Our wedding and family photos are all over the house and I notice she is still wearing her ring. Marriage and a mortgage has probably made this harder to get out of.
Your job is to do what's best for your children, and for you. Is it not your job to pander to her whims while she mucks you and the children about.
What is best for your children is to be in a stable, loving, nurturing home. What is the best way to provide that or the closest to that that is feasible in this situation? Family courts are charged with looking after the children's rights not the parent's rights. If you were the decision maker at family court how would you arrange your family at this time?
What is best for you is not to be at the whim of her caprice or to be worried about your children's safety, IMO.
I don't agree that the person who had the affair has to move out. Life is not that black and white. What is best for the children is more important.
Agree medation is the way forward to seperate and relate can only help with communication and.truest issues not the pratical stuff or legal stuff that needs sorting.
If you get tax creadit you need to notify them of the split as benefits will be change as your ex is now a single parent and poll tax. If you have made a will it needs changing.
You need legal advice asap.
What have you told the children?
Its confusing for them if you go back everyday and then leave again. They need a new routine and you need to set boundries with your ex.
Ok, will try to sort out mediation and I'm also going to see a solicitor. Neither of us want a messy end to this, so its just about getting a short term solution for the next few months.
The kids know we have seperated and the older ones know why. Their routine is staying the same at the moment. We are taking it day by day.
I think you would do the DCs a big favour if you got a plan together (after speaking to a solicitor to get the best options sorted out) and told the DCs what you expect will happen.
You've told then you have separated and why but they must be v anxious and worried about their future, poor things, especially with an unstable DM 'caring' for them. They might be frightened that you will go off and leave them with her or leave them homeless or whatever. For their sakes you should try to move forward.
Skaboy: Hang in there, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and 'this too shall come to pass'.
Your wife sounds like the biggest fool.
Skaboy, I think you have been incredible.
I am going to be a negative voice here, but having read the thread I really want to tell you this. Divorce has a grieving process like any other loss and although your wife is being amenable at the moment , sooner or later she will start to get angry. Whether she is right to get angry or not, she will be mad with you for leaving. Thats when problems with the children and access and money etc etc start.
I really think you should make an appointment with a shit-hot divorce lawyer and go and see them. You don't have to start anything yet, but once they have seen you it means they are tied to you and wont be able to represent your wife. You don't have to tell anyone.
Please consider this. You want to be acting in a way that gives you the best chance of getting the good access to your children if this turns nasty. Sooner or later all her friends, her family, her "friend" will all be giving her advice on how to get the best from this situation and you need that advice too.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.