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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.
Its been nice to see the kids this weekend. The wife hasn't csalled them snd turned her phne off and they were asking questions. I think she should treat them a little better than that but she will be the one who loses out by behaving like that.
How do you know she has turned her phone off?
Also you are looking after the children why do you need to contact her? If I was your wife I would only expect a call if one of my kids was hurt and I would only call at night to wishes them sweetdreams.
How she handles her relationship with the kids is her business. When they are with you just consentrat on them.
Info your wife should tell you are things like;
Event the kids have arranged like birthday partys or activities on weekends
If they are sick, dr, dentist appointment and medical info
Parents evenings and school trips (this can come from all the kids as they areold enough to talk)
Ok, haven't updated for a while because I've mainly been keeping my head down trying to move on and only having minimal contact with the wife. I've been staying back in the house because I have come to the conclusion that I shouldn't be the one to leave and the kids really need me around rather than being a bit-part dad. I have always been the main parent in a practical sense.
However I don't think this arrangement will be sustainable in the long run and plan to get more structured help to resolve it. Tonight is our first couple counselling session. I'm a bit nervous to be honest. The aim is not to get back together, but to deal with this situation without arguing.
Stuff I want to say/find out:
Whether or not this 'six months to sort her head out' is bollocks (I am pretty sure it is).
To tell her that we have to make our plans based on the kids welfare first and foremost.
To say that I cannot continue to play the 'family unit' under the same roof while she is seeing someone else. I don't know how this can be resolved though.
To tell her I don't think I am going to be able to hang around just in case she changes her mind. To be honest I have withdrawn a lot over the past few weeks, lost a lot of trust and respect for her, and begun to find myself again after 15 years of being in a relationship.
Not sure what else to say but hopefully this will be positive whatever happens
I'm not sure you should have gone back but you need to do what you feel is best for you and the DCs.
I hope the session goes as planned later.
Cheers for the advice. The main reason I'm here is for the kids- they are used to me being the go to guy. Additionally, if I move out, legally I could be thought of as abandoning them. I think at some point someone needs to move out and I don't think it should be me.
The counselling session was pretty good in the sense that some ground rules were set: no talking about hectic stuff outside of counselling, put the kids first etc. I am going to get out more and so is she. She said she still hadn't slept with the guy and was 'havving some space from him' but wanted to use the next six months to decide what she wants. I said I'm not working to any timescale now and will sort myself out. I don't really see why I should be tied to someone elses decision. Also she has lied a lot so I'm not taking anything she says as gospel.
One other thing I learned: the other guy has a long term partner of 15 years as well. Someone said upthread that they thought my wife might be stalling for time because of something being held up at his end. That rang a bell with me.
The overriding feeling I have is one of trying to get away from this situation but to do it in the most painless way for everyone. Its going to be difficult and there is no quick fix.
You are right, there is no quick fix, but YOU need to decide what YOU want. Like you say, you cant hang around for six months while she
waits for her lover to leave his partner makes up her mind .
You do not deserve to be second best. Find your feet, find your own life and carry on now as a single man.
My XH pulled the same trick. "I no longer feel the same, I don't want to be here anymore, but who knows, I may feel different in three months or six months"...
I divorced him,
See a solicitor. File for divorce, custody of the kids, and a solid financial provision to enable you to take care of them.
It will focus her mind wonderfully on what she wants to do. If she decides her future is with you and the children, you can stop the divorce proceedings in an instant. If she decides that she doesnt want you, youve avoided prolonging the agony for everyone.
Otherwise I can see you still being in the same situation in six months time. Only older, embittered, and the kids more messed up in their minds.
I don't think it should be you who leaves the family home either. Living under the same roof is unsustainable. Get legal advice.
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