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Seperation Guilt

(19 Posts)
Vivalaviva Mon 11-Jan-16 10:10:25

Posted on Dadsnet, but it is a little quiet there..
Myself and my wife split recently, after a couple of years drifting apart, numerous attempts at giving things a go, me just falling out of love and feeling I was in the wrong marriage and unhappy despite a decent life, home and settled and happy children.
We had been together 15+ years and kids still young. I have moved to a new house locally and we share the time equally with the kids.
I am having almost debilitating feelings of guilt, loss and loneliness in missing my kids and not seeing them everyday, and thinking about the impact upon them. They are coping relatively well, with a few wobbles, but I know they just long for mum and dad to get back together and it'd make them so happy. I care for my wife as the mother of my kids, I used to love our lifestyle which I have now lost due to having to continue help paying the mortgage whilst renting a new place, but just do not love her and despite her best efforts and promises that she has changed, cannot get the feelings back I once had long ago. Too much water under the bridge, it's like I have woken up to everything that was wrong in our marriage.
But I have an overwhelming sadness that I have difficulty shaking, sometimes feel my life is falling apart. My friends have been rubbish on the whole, I think they thing I am mad, and just aren't particularly supportive. Really really struggling and just don't know what to do sad

hellsbellsmelons Mon 11-Jan-16 10:15:22

Your kids will be far happier with 2 happy parents living apart than being the reason their parents are unhappy for the next 10-20 years.
Staying together 'for the kids' very rarely works out.
Keep going. The guilt will fade although may never go away completely.
You've done the right thing.
You get one shot at this life.

dadneedshelp72 Mon 11-Jan-16 10:20:18

Why did you fall out of love ?
Giving things another go - In what way ?

How / Why did you fall in love with her originally ?

Vivalaviva Mon 11-Jan-16 10:24:53

Thank you.
Why did I fall out of love? Lack of intimacy. Drifted apart. Some bad rows that made us both see the worst in each other, some things said and done just can't be unsaid or undone. The fact that I just fell out of love and would prefer to spend time with friends than her, and each time we tried, going out on dates etc, would have little to say, end up in a row etc. Lack of communication. Ultimately different people in many ways, the differences we overlooked in the early days but they seem to have raised their head again.

itschristmasagain Mon 11-Jan-16 10:46:43

vivalaviva: I am on the verge of my marriage ending (unless something drastic happens) and for similar reasons, I don't think I love DH any more, too much stuff has gone on for me/us to be able to turn it around. Communication not brilliant, and basically deep down there is a feeling that it just isn't right for me any more despite DH being a lovely lovely man and brilliant father. I feel the guilt already and we are still together.
It's a shame that your friends aren't supportive of you. Sometimes it is difficult to articulate what exactly it is that isn't right and if your marriage seems outwardly happy then people just don't get it.
Thanks for posting, it has made me realise that if/when the time comes that I will need to keep reassuring myself it is the right thing.
I have dampened down this feeling for quite a while as I don't want to mess our DS up by splitting the family up, but having read a few posts on mumsnet from children of parents who stayed together for the kids. I now understand that it is not the best for them in the long run. This creates whole other baggage for them. In my opinion, if you can co parent with your ex in a way that the kids know that they are supported and loved and that you and your ex are still essentially a team in bringing up the kids with no slagging off the other etc then I think you can minimise the damage to your kids.
My parents splits when I was a toddler, and one thing that I remember is feeling incredibly guilty about leaving my dad after visits. I felt he couldn't cope on his own (even though he could, it was my misjudgement, plus I was only a kid so it really wasn't my responsibility). My point is that both you and your wife need to remain upbeat and united that this is the right choice, and live full and happy lives so that your kids can see that good can come of upsetting situations.
Good luck.

spudlike1 Mon 11-Jan-16 10:50:28

You sound like you are very depressed get some good counselling /therapy. Learn to
know yourself better , it will help you a better dad .

pocketsaviour Mon 11-Jan-16 10:57:31

It sounds like you are feeling very low, which is only to be expected when a marriage ends. In effect you are grieving for the "happy ever after" that you thought you were going to live, and realising that although you may be happy in future, it won't be with the mother of your DC. That is a hard thing to accept.

I think you're hanging your feelings of sadness and loss on this hook of guilt about your DC, who you said yourself are coping well. I echo a PP that the important thing now is to ensure that you and your ex co-parent as a team with the welfare of the DC in the forefront of both your minds.

How long is it since you moved out?

Vivalaviva Mon 11-Jan-16 11:00:37

Yes I do think I am a little depressed. Am doing the right things, exercise, socialising where I can drag myself out as well as afford it, and doing stuff with kids.
Myself and wife are amicable but she wants us together, breaks her heart, and the kids know this. They blame me although they don't say it. It breaks my heart to hurt them. I don't know whether I am strong having done this or weak. I wasn't happy in marriage, but harder now to remember how I felt as she is now showing me how perfect she is or could be.

spudlike1 Mon 11-Jan-16 12:07:49

Maybe you just weren't happy ..and are blaming your marriage for this .

The complexities of being human .

I think you've got a few things to understand about you actions / feelings , you sound very confused .

spudlike1 Mon 11-Jan-16 12:17:47

Have you told you wife about the pain you feel?
Was she compassionate?

12purpleapples Mon 11-Jan-16 12:18:22

I think that you need to focus on your children and go forward with your wife parenting the best that you can together. If you continue to feel uncertain about your relationship maybe having a future then maybe there is something there to work on, but be careful not to chop and change things too much - it sounds like they are managing to cope with you having left, but if you go back home and then leave again I expect that will be far harder for them to cope with.

Vivalaviva Mon 11-Jan-16 12:42:42

We are focussed on the children, I think, and they are getting through this. We both see them a lot, but they understandably have trouble with us not living together and to have to go to and fro between homes - it's been 3 months and from day one they've stayed half the week with me.
My new place is, in comparison to the family home, a hovel! I needed to stay local as I take them to school half the week, their friends are here and so are mine, but that meant not much for the minimal rent I could afford. If I am honest that causes some resentment for me. Wife is staying in our beautiful house that has literally everything, I am staying in somewhere less than half the size that has nothing. I am aware it should be about the kids, and I am anxious that any harm is minimised, so I don't want to uproot them on top of everything else. So at present I am sucking it up, saying nothing, but I think that every time I drop them home, and go into my old home and see everything we had, it really brings me down.
I have told my wife about my feelings but that it is wrong to go back, I think, because I miss the kids and my comfortable home and lifestyle, she understands and wants me to miss her too.
As for giving things another go, I have considered it but I have done that before, it unsettles the kids, didn't work, and seemed tout both our lives on hold for nothing.
I guess the thing for me was do I stay in a marriage until the kids are all 18, where the risk is i am not in love , and then feeling entirely alone, having wasted 10+ years, and being potentially too old to find another love. Or do I make the painful leap now, when I am still relatively young, and can hopefully find true love? Thing is I sometimes think I still have a lot to offer but struggle with that when I feel so low.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Mon 11-Jan-16 13:35:31

it sucks, my friend I think you need some good therapy to help work through this

I am also on the verge of splitting, and I am so FUCKING scared as I know I will feel like this (how you feel)

and yet, I cannot contemplate staying with DP either

and my friends are shit too, they cant help it but the simple fact is ALOT of people stay in sub standard relationships, so when a peer ends one, its all a bit crap and they cant support what they don't understand

Invest some time and money into talking through this with a good professional- its worth every bloody penny

you have made your decision, and not lightly either. Now the work is on getting your head clear and happy again

it might be you get back, but it needs to be 10000% the right thing to do, and that's where a good therapist can help

ah life hey

spudlike1 Mon 11-Jan-16 13:48:39

Yep suck it up , stick it out , and get some therapy money well.spent .
Total respect to you for putting kids first

Vivalaviva Mon 11-Jan-16 13:53:42

Thanks, yes it sucks!
Best of luck, make sure your head is right and you are sure, and get all the help you can get.
Someone said to me that may friends will keep their distance for various reasons - don't want to be seen to be taking sides, think its catching, are jealous of the bravery to leave someone you do not love and don't want to be too close to that in case their partner thinks the same...
Someone help me out with all the abbreviations though, DP??? Is there a guide somewhere as to what all these abbreviations mean?

hownottofuckup Mon 11-Jan-16 13:58:50

Well if your upset by the thought that having left your wife she still gets to live in her home surrounded by the things you acquired together, cheer yourself up by the fact that when you divorce you can take half?
Really though, if you've decided to end the relationship it does seem fair enough that you are the one to leave the family home, don't you think?
I get you are grieving, that is fair enough, but don't waste time resenting your wife, she has lost out too.

You need to look to the future, I second the idea of going to counselling, it really is money well spent.

hownottofuckup Mon 11-Jan-16 14:00:09

There is a guide but I don't know where it is. D is dear, p - partner, w - wife, c - children, and so on.

hefzi Mon 11-Jan-16 17:37:55

Acronyms are here

I'm another one that suggests you go to counselling to help you explore your feelings around why the marriage ended and the future: it's worth investing the time and money in yourself.

12purpleapples Mon 11-Jan-16 18:15:58


"I guess the thing for me was do I stay in a marriage until the kids are all 18, where the risk is i am not in love , and then feeling entirely alone, having wasted 10+ years, and being potentially too old to find another love. Or do I make the painful leap now, when I am still relatively young, and can hopefully find true love?"

You would also be inflicting the exact same thing on your wife, without her having any say in the matter. If you aren't interested any more, at least it gives her the chance of finding someone who loves her. If you prevaricate until the children are all 18 then how much harder would it be for her to find someone, if you decided to leave (which I imagine would be much much easier then?)

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