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Staying together for the kids?

(59 Posts)
BadBadDadDad Mon 01-Dec-14 20:46:58

Good evening, I'm desperate and in need of someone elses point of view. I'm 35 years old man and I have 2 sons (5 and 3 years old)
I have been married for 10 years.
My marriage "finished" 4 years ago, we live in seperate rooms, eat our own food, dont wear wedding rings, my wife hates me I think and I dont like her much either, but we have 2 kids and I dont want to be part time dad. Once she got fed up and went to Italy for 1 year - I went through agony without the kids sad when she said she's coming back I was just happ to have my kids back full time.
We behave nicely around kids. I take them out on my own so we spend lots of time together. Thing is: I feel dead inside, I feel trapped and stuck, she says that if I leave I wont see my kids, that she will say in court that I had affairs, been bad father etc etc. I'm thinking maybe lets stay together until boys r 16/18 years old? I dont know.....
I cant see such young children dealing with nasty divorce, bitter mother and part time dad.
She's a part time dentist and doesnt earn enough I think to live on her own. Is staying for the kids good idea? sad

LegoAdventCalendar Mon 01-Dec-14 20:49:34

You need to see a solicitor as soon as possible. You do know she cannot leave the country with your kids without your permission, don't you?

BadBadDadDad Mon 01-Dec-14 20:57:06

Lego - she went to see her family to "catch a breath from us" holiday.
Then she decided to stay and honestly I felt powerless... :/

Handywoman Mon 01-Dec-14 21:01:41

Don't let that happen again (re kids being kept from you).

You know it is irrelevant to the court whether she says you had an affair or not. It won't affect contact. Unless there are very compelling reasons court will advise ample contact with your kids.

You need legal advice pronto. Get out of this 'marriage'. Your kids will NOT thank you for staying...

mamababa Mon 01-Dec-14 21:02:09

No, it's a terrible idea to stay together for the kids. It will get worse and worse and as the kids get older they will quickly realise the atmosphere. life is too short. The kids will benefit in the long term from happy parents, millions adapt. Better now than when they are 9 & 7 or 11 & 9 IMO.

See a solicitor, she cannot take your kids out of the country without your consent as you have PR.

Good luck

Tobyjugg Mon 01-Dec-14 21:03:28

Accept the inevitable and end it is my advice. That may mean legal separation rather than a divorce but papering over the cracks like this will only mean that when the break finally comes it will be all the more painful (for all concerned) by virtue of it's being delayed. See a solicitor, establish your legal position and do some hard thinking about your long term future.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 01-Dec-14 21:06:00

All staying for your children will do is teach them that a loveless marriage like yours is their "norm". They will come to realise that you stayed because of them and they will not at all thank you for doing that to them. What do you think they will say, they certainly will not say "thanks dad". They may well detest you and wonder why you put this lady before them during their miserable childhoods. These children are not glue and should not be used as such to bind you and your wife together.

Better to be apart and happier than to be together and miserable as you both are now. Someone has to be the grown up here and end this miserable charade marriage, to not do so is selfishness.

You need legal advice and as soon as possible, preferably before Christmas too.

Windywinston Mon 01-Dec-14 21:14:18

One word - don't.

More words - you're teaching your children that happiness isn't important, that misery is normal. They will not develop healthy relationships with this as their benchmark.

Also, you deserve to be happy, life doesn't have to be that miserable.

Your wife needs to know that the Italy stunt was unacceptable and illegal I'm sure. As for her finances, if she doesn't want to work at marriage, she needs to work at being single, which may mean she has to increase her working hours.

LegoAdventCalendar Mon 01-Dec-14 21:15:51

'Lego - she went to see her family to "catch a breath from us" holiday.
Then she decided to stay and honestly I felt powerless... :/'

Next time, she cannot take the children without your permission. See a solicitor, too, and make sure they know about this.

TheFriar Mon 01-Dec-14 21:19:38

Terrible idea. Do you really want your dcs to grow up thinking that your 'marriage' is the norm and ok?
Do you want them to have a marriage like this?
I'm pretty sure the answer is NO.
Staying in that situation will have strong repercutions on your dcs and the bad consequences will far outweight the good sides.

Go and see a solicitor. If she is using fear/threats to keep you in the house, then the best thing you can do is to learn as much as you can about what you can do and can't. And what she can do and can't.
Don't let her go abroad with the dcs
And remember that she can't take them away from the uk wo your permission. The uk is their home country. She can't just leave wo you and wo your full agreement.
Btw Italy being in the EU, if you had gone to a judge, she would have had to send the dcs back to the uk.

TheFriar Mon 01-Dec-14 21:21:32

Oh and don't think that if you stay put it will better fir the dcs. They will know you are fighting. They will know she hates you. They will know you do too. They will know about the threats etc.
all they will learn about is fear and how to control your'partner'.

BadBadDadDad Mon 01-Dec-14 21:28:13

Thank u all so so much.
I felt like an idiot posting here about my "marriage" I feel so powerless as a father, I fear that she will tell boys that I don't love them if I move out.
I dont want them to suffer, when we live together at least I have them with me, she cant tell them anything bad about me etc. its just awful, i feel like total loser.

BadBadDadDad Mon 01-Dec-14 21:32:11

Also my parents keep telling me that I have to stay for the kids and that after divorce boys wont be close with me, she will turn them against me etc. they call me every day to remind me about that!

Novida Mon 01-Dec-14 21:58:04

Hi Bad- you are under pressure from all angles with your wife threatening you with not seeing your boys if you leave and your parents, who I assume are your main source of support, agreeing with this.
It is terribly sad to hear you say that you feel dead inside. Can you imagine feeling like this for the next 10-12 years? Apart from anything else staying as you are will have a hugely detrimental impact on your health.
I don't really understand why your wife wants you to stay if she too is unhappy in the marriage?
Surely you would be better apart? Better for each other and ultimately for your boys too.
Take the good advice offered here by other posters and go and see a solicitor who specialises in family law when one parent may be inclined towards taking the children to live abroad. The CAB can advise on appropriate solicitors in your area who will give you a free half hour consultation. You can try a few different solicitors until you find one you like. This sounds like a situation where you need to start making some plans of your own and by seeking professional help you will gain strength by talking about the situation you are in.
I feel very sorry for you feeling trapped - you cannot live the best years of your life like this. Your children will not thank you for it. Your parents are surely well intended as they must also fear that they will lose touch with their grand children if you divorce. Maybe they would benefit from you sharing the information you get from the solicitor and some honest talking from you about how you are feeling 'dead inside'. Surely they will want to help and support you through this once they know how bad it is for you. Good luck- and you don't sound like a baddad at all. On the contrary when your boys are old enough to understand they will be glad you did what you have to do in order to find happiness for yourself and them.

notfromstepford Tue 02-Dec-14 11:56:22

When my DH and his ex-wife split, she told their daughter that "Daddy doesn't love you anymore, that's why he's gone". She was 3 years old.

She knew that wasn't true. She loved staying with him at the weekends and he never bad mouthed her mother although she did him (and subsequently me). His daughter was smart enough to know her mum was talking nonsense and it never adversely affected their relationship as dad & daughter. She's now 22 and we are all still close.

So what I'm trying to say is - children are smarter than you think, so don't worry about leaving - you can still have a great relationship with them.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 02-Dec-14 12:08:32

Your parents have given you really poor advice and are not being at all helpful here; your children will not thank you for staying within this sham of a marriage if you choose to.

You are not powerless here and you need to seek proper legal advice asap.

TheFriar Tue 02-Dec-14 12:23:34

You do realise that you can share the time spent with your dcs 50/50 don't you?
That they aren't babies anymore, even the youngest is going to start nursery and they can stay at your 50% of the time.
There us no reason why you won't be able to see them at all it that you will loose that relationship.

Please don't is ten to your parents. Their advise is poor and not reflecting what is going on nowadays.
Go and see a solicitor and ask for shared residency. How this would work etc. what are your rights, and so on.

But you have to DO something about it. This is no aife that you have atm. And you are doing your dcs no favour at all.

fromparistoberlin73 Tue 02-Dec-14 12:36:06

you need a lawyer

you need to think about 50:50 custody- it will happen if you want it to.

dont assume that "she gets the kids"- more and more the norm is for shared parenting.

Think about money, budgets and school locations etc- you might havwe to move further out to manage 2 rents - she might have to work FT

forearmed is forewarned OP- start saving

i have similar its depressing as fuck to live like this.

ps how can she just fuck off the Italy? once they are at school she wont be able to do that again!! I would document that and use it against her TBH (machiavellian I know) but thats fucking disgusting to do that

millions of people divorce and sucessfully share custody- you too OP

the fact you both work is good

and dont listen to your parents on this one grin

but start to prepare a case NOW-

Boys in especial need their dads- I am reading "Raising Boys" and whilst some of it is hokum I 100% agree that boys need a strong parental figure growing up- unloess you are violent she cannot take your boys away- FACT

why is she threatening you? whats she so scared of you think? |I think understanding her fears might pave the way

she might well de depressed in the UK and want to move back to Italy, well tough titties- she gave birth here, and they Dad is a brit- she has no rights to fuck off home and thats whats probabkly upsetting her

TheLittleOneSaidRollOver Tue 02-Dec-14 12:39:56

If she is a bad person and you are a good dad, you should be looking for as close to 100% residency with you as possible.

If you are both nice but just not good together, you should be looking for 50/50.

Do not stay living together. Your children will hate you both. I speak from experience.

I cant see such young children dealing with nasty divorce, bitter mother and part time dad.
Now you are being daft. They'll be fine. They are currently dealing with bitter mother, desperate crushed father, confusing home life, no end in sight.

See a solicitor. Don't rely on what she tells you about your rights and the likely outcome of a divorce. She's a dentist who hates you, not a divorce lawyer with your best interests at heart, right?

fromparistoberlin73 Tue 02-Dec-14 15:29:29

this tickled me "She's a dentist who hates you, not a divorce lawyer with your best interests at heart, right?

OP I know how fear can hold you back- but hopefully this will empower you to do some research- you wont lose your babies

CogitOIOIO Tue 02-Dec-14 15:52:13

Just adding another voice to say 'see a solicitor'. Find out what your various rights and responsibilities are and err on the side of 'formal' rather than thinking you can leave anything to goodwill and promises. Access to children after divorce is determined from the basis of what is best for the children, not what is best for the parents. Children have a right, within reason, to have equal care from both parents. Your exW would not, for example, be able to up sticks and go to Italy without consultation as that would deprive them of contact with you.

Please make a better life for yourself 'for the children' rather than believing you have to stay trapped. You will not be fooling them, just short-changing yourself.

BadBadDadDad Wed 03-Dec-14 13:20:47

Thank you so so much for all your replys... Means a lot. To be honest I felt 'weak' for posting here... I thought maybe everybody will side with my 'wife' or tell me that the right thing to do is to stay by her side... Thank you. Thank you.

BadBadDadDad Wed 03-Dec-14 13:26:34

My wife wants to stay in this marriage because she is very very religious, religion means everithing to her. Also its easier money wise to live together. I think also she doesnt want me to meet anybody and for the boys to have a stepmother...
Honestly I'm just scared, I dont want to be weekend daddy, my parents r pushing really hard to stay with the family... They say that all children after divorce r not so close with their fathers, that they will resent me, in the future will only need me for money etc. heartbreaking.

CogitOIOIO Wed 03-Dec-14 13:28:26

There are plenty of people here who were those self-same kids, forced to grow up in icy or bad-tempered households, knowing their parents didn't relate to each other the way other people's did no matter how good an act they thought they were putting on. There are also plenty of people here who worried like crazy how they would cope with shared parenting or how their DCs would cope with two households....but that it turned out to be nothing like as horrible as they anticipated and certainly not as horrible as being trapped in a bad marriage.

So what are you going to do next that will get you constructively out of this bad marriage?

CogitOIOIO Wed 03-Dec-14 13:36:43

Your wife's motives for maintaining this state of affairs appear selfish and unreasonable. She can't expect your money and exclusivity and offer only hate in return. Your parents are being excessively pessimistic. There are some women who deny fathers access to children out of spite and there are divorced fathers who dodge their responsibility ... but with mediation, goodwill and a good lawyer, you should be able to avoid that. Especially if your wife genuinely is religious and subscribes to the idea that children should be able to 'honour thy father and they mother'...

If you love your children and are conscientious about time together & creating stability for them post-divorce, they will return your love

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