Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Single dad feeling alone, having a wobble(45 Posts)
So I am having a little emotional wobble and I guess I am just getting it off my chest. Feeling heart broken again.
I little back ground history (keeping it as short as I can). Middle of last year my wife said see wanted some time apart. I as time moved on I started to uncover a whole web of lies and an affair. She moved 90 miles away and took the kids with her. I honestly loved her with all my heart and always devoted myself to her and the kids. I was heart broken and it nearly destroyed me. In November she said the kids where not coping well and wanted me to have them. I was over the moon and its great to have them back living with me. She have moved in with her boyfriend and has made a whole new life and friends for her self.
So here I am today working full time shifts and bring up a 4 year old girl and a 9 month old boy. Lucky with the help of family and friends when I am at work. It is knackering, if I am not at work I am doing housework and looking after the kids.
I thought I was moving on OK. I still talk to my EX and every time I see her in person I don't see the same woman I once loved. Its as if someone else has stole her body.
But that grief for what I have lost hit me like a ton of bricks again today totally out of the blue. I just started crying. In away its harder because I no longer feel anything for her when I see her. So I know the wife I would have once died for is gone and never coming back. I realised how alone I am. Despite having my kids and my friends, I no longer have my soul mate and lover. I honestly thought we would be together forever. I must admit its made harder knowing that while I am working my nuts off to give the kids the life they deserve she is happily shacked up with another man having the good times I miss so much with her. Me and the kids have been traded for a fat middle aged man (12 years older) and a carefree life style. I just cant believe how we have been thrown on the scrap heap. It breaks my heart every time my little girls says she wants her mummy. I am also left with all the reminders such as the teddies I have bought her over the years, the photographs everywhere. The thing what really set me off was a little note she left for me a few years ago. I wont go into detail but it ended "I want to spend all my life with you". I honestly though she loved me as I did her.
Without my soul mate I have realised on an emotional level how alone and isolated I am. I have realised by bring up the kids I have scarified any hope of finding a true soul mate. I would love to find my soul mate but I wouldn't have to time to meet and spend with them. I literally have no free time in my life. Don't get me wrong I love the kids more that anything and would always sacrifice this for them but it still sucks not having that emotional connection with an adult. I miss the woman who I could share everything with, my hopes, my fears and my heart. I miss having my lover too. Someone who I know their body, their turn on's, their erogenous spots, their desires and they know mine. I miss that powerful connection when you make love to someone who you know inside out and both lust for and love. I just miss having someone adult to talk to and someone I can put my big arms around and snuggle. Also I know this is a bit sad but I miss someone to cook for. I cook for the kids but its just kids stuff and baby food. I no longer have anyone special to cook something special for and enjoy a nice bottle of wine with.
This realisation of what I have lost and that I will probably not get it back just really cut up today. To contemplate I life without a women who I truly bond with makes me feel so alone on that emotional level. So if you have read so far and not died of boredom of me going on well done. I just really needed an outlet to get my sadness off my chest. I never thought at age 32 my life would turn out like this. The one thing that makes me happy is knowing the kids are happy (they were not before they move down) and doing well. They amaze me every day. I was overwhelmed by the task when my ex dumped them at my door. But I really cant believe how well I am doing. I have found things inside me that have amazed me.
OP I'm sorry, that sounds so hard
In a way you have been bereaved and you're grieving for the future life you thought you were going to share with your wife. You do need to give yourself some time to heal (I know that's a cliche, sorry)
Don't believe that this is the end and you'll never find love again - there are plenty of women out there who would be perfectly happy to date a single dad and when you look at the amount of single parents who do go on to marry again, you will see that you won't be alone forever - although it will take time for you to get to the stage where you even want to think about dating again.
It sounds like you have a good support network of family and friends around you - lean on them, let them know you're struggling at the moment and invite someone round to have a couple of drinks and some takeout and a good old moan, maybe?
Is your ex paying child maintenance, BTW?
1DAD - your post is so sad, but you are doing amazingly well. You should allow yourself to grieve for what you have lost. It is still early days and there will be plenty of time for you meet someone else
Even though I'm female I very much relate to this op - the grief and isolation of being a lone parent. I have been a lp since my kids were 2.5 and unborn - they have similar age gap to the op.
Op it gets easier but you need to build a life for yourself as best you can though I know it's very difficult especially working week days as that's when play groups/baby activities are.
Are you getting tax credits - could you reduce hours? Are there any lone parent groups nearby?
I can't believe a woman would willfully give up a 4 yo and a baby. Is she suffering pnd?
I agree with others. You do need a chance to grieve. Suddenly the person you loved and spent all your life with is no longer by your side and it is hard especially when you have two very small children to care for. I found myself very isolated.
Schlong i can. My old neighbour had three lots of children all living with their Dads. She was so off with the six year old that visited at the weekend that i thought it was her step daughter and she was resentful of her being present in a new relationship but no she was her daughter.
Shortly after i moved so did she. Leaving the third lot of kids 13 months and two and a half with their Dad.
She liked cute snuggly newborns. Once they were starting to get active she wasn't interested
OP your grief is still very raw and it will hurt. Your ex left six months ago? That's not a lot of time for someone to heal and move on with their life - particularly when, in your case, you're working FT and raising your two DC. Please be kind to yourself and allow yourself permission to be sad about what has happened. You aren't going to just bounce back from this in a matter of months - it will take time for you to feel okay and to trust again and to be used to being a LP to two such small DC. Lean on your family. You're lucky to have them close by to support you, and talk to your friends too. You may well meet someone else down the line, but don't feel you have to rush back onto the dating scene or that you're destined to be alone forever. Give it some time. Seriously.
It's only 6 months since your life was torn apart, and you will spend some time grieving for the loss of the life you thought you had and the future you thought you had together. All that takes time.
Also, between work, your dc and the home you must be completely knackered. The important thing is to make sure that you are eating properly and are looking after your health. If you want to cook, could you focus on cooking things that you can freeze so that on a day when you feel too tired to cook you have something ready and nutritious that you can defrost.
As your children get older they will be ready to eat more and more "grown up" food. In fact, you could even try them with small tastes now. The more different types of food that they are exposed to, the less (fingers crossed) chance of them becoming fussy about food. I can remember dd, just before she was 2, demolishing a whole artichoke which she loved as she could throw the leaves into the bowl in the middle of the table. Before, I would never have imagined that she would like it.
Another thing is that if there is a chance that you might be depressed is to go and see your GP. If you are, a short course of anti-depressants could help you over the most difficult period.
Big hug OP. There is nothing I can say to make it better, but as a single parent I can relate to so much of what you say - the exhaustion, the need for adult conversation (it's one reason I spend so much time hanging out on mumsnet...), the frustration of cooking endless children's meals rather than real food. It's unrelenting. When you add into that the immense pain of your breakup, it must all feel totally overwhelming.
(You are not the only man I know who's in this situation - I know a couple of men in RL whose wives just upped and left with someone else, leaving the kids behind. There's this immensely powerful myth that all women are natural mothers, and that no woman would be able to do this unless she was mentally ill, but actually that's not based in truth).
All I can say is keep talking about it, keep buggering on somehow, and hopefully it will get better with time. (No useful hints on how to deal with the loneliness, I wish I had).
Thank you everyone. Its nice of you to give me hope. The problem is I could only muster a couple of nights and some times in the day a month and to be fair a woman deserves more attention than that. I wouldn't be able to free up anymore time as time with the kids is more important. I work 35hrs over 4 days a week and there is no option to reduce my hours. A least on the plus side I am paid very well and not entitled to tax credits.
There is a whole lot in my life to be happy with. I have great kids, good family and friends, a good job and a nice house. I know in many ways I am a very lucky man. But still I feel like I have lost a big part of myself and it hurt so bad. There is so much I miss and I just don't know how it happened. I am also so sad for the kids. I just wish someone could put that missing piece back in.
fitfor My son's birth mother is like that. Loves the attention of being pregnant and having a newborn, then gets bored. She walked out on my H, leaving my (her) son behind when he was three. She originally left his older brother there as well... even though my H was not his dad
Actually OP I should have mentioned that in my first post... it definitely did not put me off my H. Son was 5 when we met
X-post - with a 9 month old, no you can't free up much time. But they will get older, and their needs will decrease.
When you are a lp to a baby you need to find social stuff with them. I would have gone nuts without my mum friends during the day and hanging out at soft play etc.
My exp was a single Dad too - his exw left him and their 4 year old daughter for another fat older man like a pp has mentioned. It was all quite yuck and the child was devastated. I can't understand these women
Oh I'm sad at hearing this post, I can't believe a mother would hand over her 4 year old and 9month old baby.
Despite her new relationship, I think she will still need lots of support, and the kids will need their mother. Ah, it's too sad.
Single mum three boys....You will be ok.
You will meet someone eventually who will just want to be with you regardless of juggling and time constraints.
It's all so hard at the mo but you will be ok
OP, my heart breaks for you. I'm going through similar, although I have just one dd who is 7. It's awful being the one who didn't cause this, but being the one who sees how upset the dc are. And I totally get what you are saying about having to grieve for a person who doesn't exist anymore. I miss exactly the same things about my stbxh.
Do not worry about how you'll find a new partner, because from reading how you describe being in an ltr, you'll find someone who deserves you. It's very early, 6 months is not much time at all for such a big loss. You owe it to yourself to wait until you are happy on your own - this way you'll avoid being manipulated by someone. I'm not sure it's right to say this to a guy, but you are at the moment quite vulnerable.
With time, you'll find that being on your own will be easier, and your children will be older, making it easier to find time to connect with someone.
There are, sadly, plenty of women who'll understand your need to put your children first, because they are in the same position. I know because I'm one of them. They'll also be worrying about the time they'll have available and whether someone else will be able to accept that. There are also women who'd consider a man who already has children when they don't - I was once in this position too, and the only reason I didn't charge forward with getting to know him was that I felt he was still holding a big torch for his ex and wasn't ready for a ltr.
And finally, I expect my stbxh to support me financially, not because I'm a woman, but because it's me who has dd. I hope you have a really good solicitor.
1DAD I´ve no doubt whatsoever that you will one day find a lady to share your life with. You sound so kind, thoughtful and sensitive and, more than that, you love your kids and are prioritizing their needs. What potential mate wouldn´t be moved by that?
The situation is obviously going to feel overwhelming for some time as you adapt to being a single parent while your world has been turned on it´s head while grieving for a wife you thought you had and a future you thought you had planned out.
I´m glad you´ve got a terrific support system too. It´s at times like this we know who are real friends are. You have a lovely, close bond with your children and frankly, it´s your wife´s loss What a stupid, reckless, deceitful cow!
As a random aside, I believe there´s a programme on BBC 10.35pm tonight about loneliness. There was a chap on the BBC Breakfast show today who´s wife left him and he´s in the show. Not sure if it´s relevant or of interest to anyone reading....
I can't give you the hindsight of experience, but I just wanted to say that you have articulated so accurately the devastation of being the one left behind and the tremendous effort of just keeping the show on the road. Your post has brought me to tears.
My friends and family have been utterly amazing. I desperately try not to think too much about the loneliness because I think if I give in to it I won't get up again.
But I honestly won't let one person's utter selfishness be the defining act of my life. At some point the wind will change and something sunny will turn up.
Thanks for the support. I want her to see the kids as much as possible. Like I say we do talk as I need things to be good for the kids. I send her pictures of the kids most days. She does love them and see them about every two weeks. But actions speak louder than words and deep down I fear the new man is number one priority for her. And yes I am human so regardless of gender I can be vulnerable like everyone. In regards to devorce she said she is happy to sign the paperwork off and be done. So hopefully no hassle. Just bigger fish to fry at the moment so probably give it a year or so.
It feels a lot better thanks to you guys. Feels like I have vented a lot of trapped steam building up inside. Like I say it just hit me out of the blue. Been moving on fine over the last month and then all of a sudden like a knife in my chest.
You sound like a pretty amazing dad and a great guy generally! Stay strong and know that you kids will know and love you forever xx
Your post moved me OP. I'm so sorry you have had to go through such heartbreak. As time goes on I hope it will get easier for you and that you will meet your one somewhere down the line. I'm sure you will
Your children are still very little. Having two under 5 can be exhausting and with you doing the majority of it all on your own, just makes it even more of a challenge. But as you know it is so so rewarding. As they get older I'm sure it will get easier too.
I haven't read all the responses, so sorry if I repeat someone. I just had to get down here and post. OP, your post made me feel like crying. I'm also a single parent to only one child, and she hasn't been abandoned by her father at all, but I have some of the same issues. I miss adult company, and support for all areas of my life. I live in a foreign country because I cannot take my daughter away without her father's permission. I miss him, the man he USED to be. He only lives a minute's walk away but he's a wound up coil ready to punch the nearest thing which pisses him off. This includes a pair of pyjamas which went missing and a painting which falls down.
Anyway, back to you. The nights were long without your kids, and now you get no free time. I get this on a weekly basis with my only child, rather than month on end, so I can only imagine the pressure you are under. In actual fact, I believe those who have NO contact from the other parent have an easier life, as you have total control. Your children are a product of what you thought would be a happy family which included their mother, but the reality is different, and it hurts.
Long term is made up of lots of short terms. Short terms are difficult but in the end they become the long term so you need to sit and think about where you want to be in a year, five year's time with your kids. They are your future and yes it's lovely to think you could be the Hollywood superhero dad who did it all by himself and their kids give you a shout out in their acceptance speeches, but the reality is that they need to feel this way about you every day because you are now the only person they trust and boy do they need just one person to trust...
I've decided I'm not going to waste time thinking about how I need another adult in my life to share the ups and downs. I've got one shot to get it right as a parent to a wonderful daughter and I'm not going to mess up the 'long term' even though the 'short term' is making me want to rip my head off and throw it against a wall because I can't split the load with someone. Do not underestimate your kids. My 3 year old told me she was sorry for being mean to me the other day... how can a 3 year old be mean to an adult???
Forget their mother, she's moved on. It's her major loss. Protect your children, put the barriers up around them, get yourself known as the one and only carer to all the authorities because if she can leave you for another, abandon her kids and dump them on you then you can guarantee she has it in her to try to reacquire them when she's feeling lonely and desperate.
Where are you OP? Your post struck a chord with me as I can completely relate to the isolation and lack of adult conversation. I have been single since 2009 and it's getting montonous now. If you are local to me I'd be happy to chat
Join the discussion
Please login first.