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Supporting my recently separated and exhausted friend(7 Posts)
Details: my friends has been married for five years, two DC (5 and 3) house is in her name. A teacher by profession now a full time foster carer to a 14 year old.
Husband: dysfunctional upbringing, mother an alcoholic, no coping strategies with life, to use a Scottish phrase "torn faced" all the time, children stressing him out. All came to a head on Christmas Day, muddled through, CBT sessions booked but my friend asked him to leave two weeks ago after yet another round of him going from "I love you" to "you're a cnt" in five seconds.
He is reluctantly staying at his mum's saying he won't have a failed marriage behind him but at no point acknowledging his contribution to the breakdown or making any effort at showing my friend he is working through his issues. After a long text chat today she concluded that he doesn't love her, doesn't even like her, just wants the trappings of being together - the house, routine, food in fridge. He told her tonight that as she won't be his wife he won't see the children ever again. It may be a threat but she is exhausted with it all, has the worry about keeping her house safe for her DC and foster child, scared to make the situation official (SS do know they are separated) in case the placement is ended.
Has anyone gone through anything similar, how did it pan out? What can she do? I scanned the relationship threads hoping to find a support one similar to one I joined after a mc that proved such a comfort and lifeline, is there any such thread on here for newly separated?
I'd suggest that your friend uses you and other friends for moral, emotional & practical support but that. at the same time, she starts planning for his departure and getting good information from professional agencies. That means Social Services, solicitors, Womens Aid or similar (since he is abusive) and even the police if necessary. She needs to have the courage of her convictions and avoid hiding the truth from anyone. What she'll need most from you is to listen and keep offering practical support (even if it gets turned down). It will be difficult because he sounds persistent but, with outside help, I think she can get shot and get a life back.
He is reluctantly staying at his mum's saying he won't have a failed marriage behind him but at no point acknowledging his contribution to the breakdown or making any effort at showing my friend he is working through his issues.
Because that's the adult way to deal with problems and put effort in to repair a relationship .
Frankly if that's his attitude she is going to make better progress without this man in the DCs' lives.
As well as Cogito's suggestions, if she does read MN I'd direct her towards the Being a Parent section, (Lone Parents), Body and Soul section (Separation/Divorce) and Other Stuff section (Legal Matters).
child maintenance guide for single parents
Look at advice from Citizens' Advice - if she is in Scotland:
or in England:
For her own safety and that of the DCs at home she really has to prepare for the worst, hope for the best in case ex decides to create any problems.
If he is volatile and unpredictable I don't see she has an option but to inform the fostering agency that her marriage has broken down.
Thanks Cogito and * Donkey* some really good advice and links there. My friend and I meet every Tues for mini gyms with the wee ones so I'll show her the thread (she's not on MN) tomorrow.
She is really strong and her years of working with excluded pupils at secondary school has helped enormously in dealing with her ex, always remaining calm but firm. It makes me so the women who are in similar situations but don't have the confidence to get out.
She is strong. Please tell your friend that she is strong. A weak person would not have lasted anything like this long. The 'weakness' of strong, resourceful, resilient women is that they persist in trying to fix things long after others would have walked away. It's not lack of confidence necessarily (although that is bound to get eroded) but the determination to make it work that keeps them going back for more punishment. So she is strong.
Please also tell your friend that, even though this period is very difficult, it does get better and she will have a better life eventually. There will be moments when she thinks back to his behaviour, slaps herself on the metaphorical forehead and thinks 'why did I put up with it!?' - and I'm sure you wouldn't mind her bending your ear when they happen - but things do improve.
You're a good friend bluesatinsash hope your friend seeks professional advice.
If the husband is so dysfunctional, how did they get so far in the fostering process?
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