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Husband affair, breakdown, court battle and now this...(17 Posts)
Hello everyone. I have never posted on here but am getting desperate and would really appreciate some support.
A year ago, after our second child was born, my husband told me he had serious mental health issues and needed some time away from the family to resolve these issues. He promised nothing was going on, repeatedly swearing on the lives of our children that he wasn't having an affair, so I supported him. He was, of course, having an affair and took advantage of my trusting and supportive nature in every possible way. Anyway, he had a complete breakdown when it all came out, crashing his car and displaying extreme agitation in front of the kids so contact has been restricted because of this. He was seeing them regularly at his parent's house but he was leaving them to go and see the OW and behaving aggressively towards family members so I stopped overnight contact and he sees them for 3 hours a week in a contact centre. He has refused every step of the way to work with me to allay my concerns and it has ended up with him taking me to court. Despite basically abandoning them to have an affair, he wants them half the time. He is still with the OW and has treated me so appallingly, sending me vile emails and refusing to progress anything with the divorce.
It seems to me he's in a mess. He said he wouldn't be able to contribute financially to the mortgage but then the next week shows up with a new motorbike. I am embarrassed that he is the father of my children. I received an email today saying he couldn't pay the child support and that he had asked the OW to pay it!! I mean I just can't believe what he has become. Cafcass are saying he should have them more and even though he lives 45mins away and he works very long hours, the OW may be able to drive them in her car to and from nursery to faciliate a midweek visit. I am in shock at how unfair this all is. Am I being unreasonable to think this?
I am asking for help for anyone else who has gone through this or something similar to offer me some reassurance that this will pass. I have stayed so strong throughout the whole thing, trying to encourage a relationship between the children and him despite my feelings, but I feel like I can't take much more.
Thank you for reading.
Really sorry you are going through this. I don't have much advice other than assume you are getting good legal advice (if not change solicitors?) and have tried or could try mediation?
I appreciate your feelings but leaving home and having an affair is not reason enough not to be allowed contact with your children, nor is a 45 minute journey or working long hours. If he has MH problems that mean he is a danger to them or himself then that is another matter.
I think that you have to disentangle money from contact and his MH issues.
So sorry for you - it's bloody awful. Are you getting RL support?
Is this a real question? Sounds very similar in tone to another one re. escorts. Hate to see genuine people's responses being wasted. I don't know for sure of course, but have a feeling ...
Yes I'm getting a lot of support from family and friends. He has completely cut himself off from everyone, including his parents who have been incredibly supportive of me. I have a good solicitor and tried mediation but he wouldn't talk to me unless I gave him shared residency and then walked out.
I completely agree that I need to separate everything and focus on the children and what is best for them and that is what I have tried to do. I want him to have contact and I want him to be the Dad he used to be to them but he is no longer that man for whatever reason. My worry is that he is doing this to 'win' rather than because he genuinely wants to have them.
Has anyone had experience of a father behaving like this and then once it has all been settled in court, they lose interest? I find myself hoping this happens, at least until he sorts himself out.
You need to ensure you are not acting out of revenge yourself. He may have behaved very badly towards you but if you want the best for your children that would entail regular contact with their father.
Ask yourself how you'd feel and behave if he'd had a breakdown while being faithful and staying with you. Would you have wanted to limit contact with your children then?
You can't turn back the clock and he's never going to be the man you married - in the sense your marriage is over, but he can still be a good father and you should support this move.
If he is unwell then that needs to be addressed in terms of contact, but if he is not then he has every right for equal contact.
What do you mean by 'sorting himself out'- what is there to sort?
Would his parents support your claim?
Can't believe I've just written that
He must be being Mr Reasonable when he sees cafcass. Have you all this documented - all that's happened? I can't understand why they'd go from 3 hours supervised contact to joint contact. It doesn't make any sense.
I'm so sorry you're going through this. fwiw what I can see is a woman who wants the best for her kids. You'd go along with contact if you felt he was safe. You don't feel he is safe
btw to whoever posted that the best for kids is to have a relationship with their dad - NOT ALWAYS.
It does royally piss me off that this is applied as a blanket policy. for goodness sake, sometimes it is much worse for the kids to have a relationship with a headfuck parent. Goes without saying but you wouldn't think it when the PC brigade get on the bandwagon
Start to document everything.
Everything he does from now and everything you can remember from the past.
Keep all the horrid texts as 'evidence' as well.
As you are getting legal advice, not sure what else I can say.
Sorry you are going through this.
springydaffs - thank you so much. I am absolutely desperate and hearing people's assumptions that I am acting out of revenge is heartbreaking. I haven't been able to explain the whole story because it would go on forever but I understand that this will inevitably mean that people don't know the full story and can only comment on what they think.
Yes the parents (and wider family) have had to support me with statements etc which has been devastating for them to do but they are acting in the best interests of the children. He is a master manipulator and pathological liar and will obviously come across as the model parent but when you look at it, he is not that at all and it terrifies me that he has everyone fooled. I have everything documented; all the lies he has told (including the whereabouts of the children) and Cafcass just seem to accept that he isn't a very nice person but the children should still see him (which I accept, to a degree). They have not said they recommend shared residency; possibly it will gradually progress to every other weekend and a midweek visit. I have got my head around every other weekend but the midweek visit is something I will continue to fight.
How old are your children? Have they expressed how often they want to see their father?
You are clearly having a rotten time but you need to separate out his 'bad' behaviour towards you and his behaviour towards your children. Unless his lies etc are endangering them then although it's terribly hard for you then have you a case for less contact ?
I'm still not clear why you are obstructing this other than you are angry with him for his desertion and his behaviour towards you.
Not being critical- genuine questions.
Just to second springydaffs. There comes a point where one has to apply some commonsense and ask - in your case for instance - what this complete fuck-wit would be bringing to the party in terms of enhancing your children's lives. It seems they are low down his list of priorities and they would quickly pick up on that if they saw him, which would be damaging in itself. If i were you i would be doing everything in my powers to - legally - get this shit out of their lives, for good.
I am absolutely desperate and hearing people's assumptions that I am acting out of revenge is heartbreaking
People talk all kinds of shite on the net, just ignore it.
I understand your concerns OP. I can only echo pps who say document everything, the email regarding child support, new motorbike, manipulations, lies all of it. It's very good that you have his parents' support.
If he works very long hours, does he really has the wherewithall to take on a midweek visit. It seems dependent on the OW doing the ferrying? Has she actually agreed to this? What if she gets fed up with it? Or they split up?
It's very easy to say, but try not to panic, but if you have a good solicitor, and the support of the parents, then you're on strong ground.
What is his current mental health status OP?
You may be able to request a psychological evaluation when it goes to court.
The children are 4 and 1. He has not been a part of the youngest's life but does not acknowledge that extended periods of time away from me could cause emotional damage because he is 'just as much of a parent to him as you are.' Biologically yes, in reality no.
I requested sight of the mental health report as I knew he had one after his breakdown. He would not show it until the court told him to but nothing came up. At the risk of sounding bitter, it was full of lies! My solicitor has said there is not a lot I can do about it. I expect there is a personality disorder but I think I have to accept there is no way to prove this.
I have no idea what the OW thinks about it all. I doubt he will ever let me talk to her because he lied to her just as much as he lied to me. I questioned what would happen if they split up and that I felt uncomfortable relying on her to look after the children and the response was that they have to judge the situation at the time. I have a meeting with him next week so I will just ask how he thinks it is going to work and hope he hasn't thought it through.
His behaviour has affected the children in that he has been negligent, they are not his priority, he favours the eldest, he doesn't visit them when he could (despite telling the eldest that he would). I am trying to protect them from being abandoned when everything goes wrong again.
It's such a difficult situation. I totally understand your concern about children of that age.
What he demands now, even if he gets it, he may not actually put into action.
I would imagine, given the info here, that if he hasn't bonded with the 1 year old and favours the eldest, the chances of him sticking at taking both children every other weekend and midweek, with all the disruption that would entail, is fairly slim.
Has he even asked the OW about the driving? Do you think he's just volunteered that himself?
Perhaps the courts have to look like they're favouring kid/dad relationship but at the last minute do a swerve. Let's hope so
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