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The 'broken' family guilt- It gets worse this time of year doesn't it.

(9 Posts)
extrastrongblackcoffee Mon 23-Nov-15 14:01:24

Hi,

Just wanted to get this out really. My dds dad and I split 3 years a go and I've always struggled with my guilt. It seems to be getting worse with time, but this time of year it just seems to rocket and my heart absolutely breaks for my dd.

My ex and I were simply not right for one another and we argued a lot. I think there was a lot of resentment there. I felt trapped, but eventually it became too much and after weighing everything up, I believed leaving would be the best thing. Not just for me, but mainly for my dd.

The split was tough in the beginning, but wasn't as difficult as I feared. Over time though, I've noticed she struggles more and more with the whole set up. She sees her dad once and fortnight and has recently started staying overnight. We're both engaged to new people and she gets on well with both and has a very close relationship with my dp.

It's getting to the point where she cries every time her dad drops her back home and asks why we can't all live together. I feel like we're going in the wrong direction. I try my best to explain why that can't happen, but the bottom line is, she wants that more than anything and can't see past that....because she's 8 bless her. It's completely understandable.

My parents are still together and whereas I didn't have a perfect home life (pretty much) I always felt safe and secure. I don't feel I'm giving my dd the same. I can see she's heart broken and with Xmas coming up, her feelings are only going to be more intense.

I'm not sure why I'm posting. For some advice? Some handholding?

Thank you for reading.

Cabrinha Mon 23-Nov-15 14:09:31

It is tough, and my 7yo who has generally been very settled goes sometimes say she'd prefer us to live together (over my rotting corpse).

So - flowers

Is there a dustance issue? Once a fortnight is such a small about of time to spend with her father. Is it at least two full days Sat/Sun? She might feel less in need of having you back together if she was getting a more even spread of time with you both.

Try not to project your feelings that it will intensify over Xmas onto her. My child doesn't have any of this "it's all about family" stuff in her head. All about presents more like! That's quite an adult approach to Xmas.

extrastrongblackcoffee Mon 23-Nov-15 14:49:39

Thanks for replying cab.

Well we live 1 1/2 hours away and he often works weekends, so once a fortnight is probably as good as it's going to get. He lives in a one bed flat atm, but hopefully soon he'll be getting a 2/3 bed house, so it will be much easier for her to stay. As it stands, she sleeps in his bed and he sleeps on the sofa.

I'm trying the "but you'll get two Christmases!!" thing, but I know she'd much rather we were just back together and were all under the same roof. She's asked me a few times now if my parents are still together and her dads are still together, why aren't we? Why can't she have what we had/have? I don't have a magic wand. What she wants is impossible. I would be miserable and resentful again and I'm only just starting to feel alive! I couldn't have been the best mum whilst feeling so awful all the time. It doesn't help that I think her dad is still in love with me and I worry that he's giving that vibe off around dd. That's a long story, but it makes things 100 times more complicated.

Cabrinha Mon 23-Nov-15 15:03:17

One bed flat and sleeping on sofa is fine. Better she has her own room to feel settled there, but it is no reason not to increase contact time.
I don't think she's seeing him enough - is it a full weekend when she does?
Why can't he change his weekend working pattern?
Why isn't he taking her out to dinner midweek?

extrastrongblackcoffee Mon 23-Nov-15 15:12:06

I agree about the flat. Not ideal, but it's fine. He says it's too much of a trek to come more than once a fortnight and would probably say he can't afford to take her for dinner if he's had to fork out £30 for petrol. He can be a bit of a nob unfortunately and will sometimes call me and ask me what he can do with her. Or he'll call and ask if he can drop her off early because he's run out of things to do. Nice. He does that even if he's just seeing her for a day!

extrastrongblackcoffee Mon 23-Nov-15 15:14:54

Oh and regarding work, he's self employed and I think sets himself unrealistic deadlines, so will work 6 days a week minimum usually.

BrandNewAndImproved Mon 23-Nov-15 15:15:28

Could he not pick her up from school once a week but you collect her to even things out?

extrastrongblackcoffee Mon 23-Nov-15 19:27:47

He doesn't finish work before 7 most nights, so unfortunately no, that wouldn't work.

She has a bday coming up soon and she's told me that unless we're all together, it won't be a bday.

Winterisntcoming Mon 23-Nov-15 20:49:04

Did he move 1 1/2 hours away?

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