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Breakdown of relationship and rights advice please(19 Posts)
I just need some impartial advice about my current life mess, please please comment if you can.
my parter and I have been together 8 years and have 2 children, age 4 and 6. Even when I was pregnant with my first I felt he didn't support me, and I have multiple memories of times he's been unpleasant over the years. He comes across as very charming and seemed to have all the same views on life as I do but it wasn't how it first seemed.
For example when my first child was small and I was struggling with breastfeeding and just being a new mum, I remember him shouting at me because I wanted him to wait with her for 10 minutes after his night shift so I could just have a shower. Once I forgot to buy bread and he shouted at me for that too. And once a week or so after m C section he shouted at me because I'd not dragged the wheelie bin back in over the shingle drive after it had been emptied. He didn't help me with her, he didn't support me breastfeeding her, I was lonely and miserable and a bit depressed I suspect.
He's 3 times quit jobs he's had without discussing with me first so we've existed for some time on my savings and my wages. I remember when my first child was small we did this and it got to the point where he was just drinking and not really doing anything and I had to tell him he needed to get a job. In between times he has contributed something to the running of the house and costs, by giving me cheques, but it's all been a bit hit and miss. I earn a lot more than him so I've paid for our house, which needed to be big enough for rooms for his 2 older sons to stay in.
At times he's been supportive, for example, about my work when it's been stressful, but many times he hasn't. When my training post finished and I had to apply for the next job, which was a very stressful time for me, he didn't even say well done when I got the job, he wasn't happy for me, he just said he didn't want to particularly carry on living where we were living, although it was my wages which paid the rent.
He is kind to the children but I am almost always the one to provide all care, routine and structure, and also discipline. Sometimes, for example when I ask for better manners at the dinner table from them, if they're playing with their food for example he will copy them to get a laugh from them.
He is very critical of what I spend my money on, for example, I can't buy anything new for the house because he would criticise it. He smokes and drinks beer. I try not to criticise this but I think it is hypocritical of him to pass comments on what I buy (and I don't buy a lot or spend alot) when he spends a lot on things which damage his health and that of those around him.
Both my daughter and I have been diagnosed with asthma but when I told him that the GP had said that having a parent who smoked being a big risk factor for developing childhood asthma, he got angry. And yet last year he blamed me because she got a persistent ear infection after she'd had the nasal flu immunisation (which I'd consented to), he didn't think the ear infection was anything to do with him smoking at all.
Anyway he had previously said that he would move with me from the city we lived in to be close to my parents who live in a village 2 hours drive away. Last year a job came up for me close to my parents. I discussed it with him on numerous occasions and he always said I should go for it and he would move with me, he was happy etc etc. He said he would give up his job and move and find a new one in the new place.
So I went through the interview process, I have a very responsible job and the whole application and interview took several months but I got the job. I then was trying to organise where we would live and where the children would go to school. He wouldn't come to see the area with me although there were several opportunities for him to do so. I tried to describe various villages and town locations to him. I reliquished the places at the first school where they got places because he said he didn't want to live in that place. I remember trying to show him pictures of places on Google images and him not wanting to look.
So in the end I came down on my own and chose a house, I actually got quite desperate because it was 3 weeks before the moving date and I hadn't found anywhere, so I ended up with a house about 3 miles from the school with a plan that this place would be a stop gap and hopefully we would buy somewhere in the same village as the school eventually. My parents looked after the children for me whilst I did all this.
When we finally moved he hated everything about the new place. He was very angry. He applied for a job but didn't get it and since then he's been back up to the city to do a couple of weeks work, but not applied for anything else. He would be able to find work in a care home easily as he is a nurse. We've been here since November. He hasn't given me any money towards the house since sometime last summer and I know he's at his overdraft limit.
He still buys his beer and cigarettes. He said he wasn't buying any Christmas presents although in the end he bought me a top off the market. For my birthday I would get flowers and some choclates from the co op and often alcohol ahtough I don't drink much (because the effect it has on him disgusts me). He's very overweight and often doesn't seem to bother to wash.
We've been arguing about more or less everything. One of the few responsibilities he has had has been to take the children to school in the mornings, but they were late 3 times. He won't go the shorter country route to the school but insists on the longer route. My daughter was so upset about this that I've changed my work times to start 30min later in order to take them to school. He was just angry about the house location and the drive.
In addition my daughter (the 6 year old) has struggled a little to settle in, she obviously misses her old friends. He's been really reinforcing this and not been helping her to find anything positive about the move, although there's no way now we could move back. When she's got upset about the move, which she only does with him, I think because he really encourages it, he blames me and is angry with me although the move was something I thought we had decided together.
My heart just feels totally closed off to him now. I feel that he has betrayed my trust in him being a partner and caring about me as a person, and us as a family, so many times, that I have lost faith in him. I always worked to keep the family together because I thought it was best for the children. He's said on numerous occasions that he would leave me. But I've always encouraged him not to. But now somehow I feel at the end of my rope.
When we discussed it he actually then refused to go. He said he wanted to make the relationship work and he would tell the children, if it came to it, that I had kicked him out. He agreed to go to relate although as with everything else has left it to me to find out about it, and I'm sure I'd be the one paying.
I really don't think relate is going to work. He's gone back to the city this week to work and I am so much happier without him. I want to end the relationship. I've hung on for so long for the children but I dont feel I can do it any more.
I just want someone to tell me whether they think I'm doing the right thing.
And the other thing is he was going on about expecting to see the children one weekend a month and 5 weeks holiday a year including alternate Christmases. It breaks my heart to think of them being dragged back up to the city once a month and how that will affect them. I have seen him talking to his sons about their mother and "how crazy" she is, almost wanting them to pick a side between him and her, and I don't want our children to be in the middle of that. And I have read about "Disneyland Dads" who don't uphold any boundaries or control in order to be the "fun" parent, and I am worried about the effect that will have on them.
He's due to come back on Sunday and I think I am going to speak to a solicitor tomorrow if I can about my rights and how to proceed. But please if anyone has any experience of this, then I would be so glad to hear it. Although in some ways I know maybe they would want to see their Dad, to be honest when he's not around they don't miss him, it's always me that does everything for them anyway, and I'm not keen for them to be split between us. So from my point of view the less they see him the better.
Any thoughts or similar experiences would be very much appreciated.
Only you can decide whether splitting up is better than staying together, given the impact it's going to have on you and the children - although from what you say it sounds like you will be much happier apart than together. However, he is the kids' father and they have a right to a relationship with him.
Life is too short. You are doing the right thing.
Do you see him actually bothering with the DC if you separate? Or will he be off smoking and drinking forgetting them?
Well the funny thing is that all the times he threatened to leave us before, he said he wouldn't bother with any parental contact. I think actually he's doing it now because he doesn't want me to split up with him and he knows I hate the thought of not seeing them for whenever times they would be with him. I do wonder whether he'll sustain it, though. Thank you for your support, I'm grateful.
All the way through that, I just kept thinking over and over again "thank fuck you're not married".
You can lose the parasite without paying him off.
He sounds fucking awful.
Yes, he'll be a shit dad and say shit things - but he's going to do that when still with you anyway. So I'd just accept you'll have the joy of that, bf dump his lazy arse anyway.
Going to the city with their dad once a month is no big deal at all. I take my child 3 hours away about 1 week in 5 to spend the weekend with her cousin. It's an outing and we love it!
So much sympathy for you... It all sounds like seriously hard work. But what a hard decision. No advice but
Thank you all I'm so grateful. Cabrinha your reply made me smile and gave me courage and so did the flowers LaPharisienne. Thanks.
I'm with Cabrinha. He will be a nightmare ex as he has been a nightmare partner. I'm glad you're seeing a solicitor. You will need a hard hat as passive-aggressive people like this don't like to be left. You deserve a better life than this and so do you children. He will talk a lot of talk and probably threaten to seek residence of the children, but this is unlikely to translate into him putting much effort into his relationship with them. He will go for the cheap tricks - trying to make the children feel sorry for him and slagging you off, like he does with his previous ex. All the more reason to leave him. I would play your cards close to your chest for now and don't go overboard with trying to be fair towards this back-stabbing user. Good luck!
Agree you should LTB!
You sound like an amazingly strong woman. I can only wish you all the best! And good luck!
The difference between having a shit partner and a shit ex - on the children - is that if you have a shit partner, you're telling your kids that it's okay to be treated like this. A shit ex is still a shit Dad, but at least the kids know that you agree with them. When they get older and see his flaws, they'll be thinking oh, that's why Mum kicked him out not, why does Mum let Dad be shit?
This seems like a no-brainer. He undermines your work and your parenting, he provides no financial support and no childcare responsibilities, you don't find him attractive or enjoy his company and he doesn't want to live where you want to live. Very rarely have I read a post where the kicking-out of a partner will leave so little a gap.
Definitely continue separating. You will be so much happier. And richer!
It's all about the long game I'm afraid. Being open and honest with your kids in an appropriate way. When he slags you off you just say to the kids so what do you think. They'll get pretty good at judging everyone on their merits.
Try and show your kids better male role models if possible was the advice of my psychiatrist. I don't mean a new boyfriend.
I wouldn't bother with relate but do work on yourself and your own boundaries. I had a fab shrink but I've had some useless ones too.
Ltb! He's dragging you down, and your kids. Do you want this for the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years?
You are definitely doing the right thing. He sounds awful, and it seems like he will struggle to motivate himself to maintain reliable contact with the children when he is gone.
How lucky that you didn't marry him.
You sound very strong, and I think its important also to hold onto the fact that you are doing the best thing by your children here also. You are teaching them all the time how to behave and how to live, and they will use you as a model to set their expectations on, don't let them grow up thinking that this is a reasonable situation for them to aspire to. Your children will come to their own conclusions in time, and that will probably shift about as they get older - its normal to reassess the past as time passes and even if they did initially give any credence to things that your partner said, its likely that they will have a more mature take on things as time passes.
Thank you all. I'm so grateful. I worry that ive given a biased account of him but ive tried not to. After all that he sent me an email last night saying that he was looking at a photo of us from a rare evening out a year or so ago and how pretty I looked and how he loved me etc etc and I was thinking what am I doing. But then I thought if he really loved me he would have helped me with the move or let me have a lie in occasionally or supported me in some way, taking me down to the local once every blue moon doesn't count for much. on that night out I had 2 cocktails which I only had to be sociable and is the most I'd ever drink and then we came home and he had about 6 more bottles of beer. I'm just so worried about how to do all this, when to tell him and how. He isn't going to give in easily and im sure he'll use the children as a weapon, get them as upset as possible to get at me. Thank you all again so much for taking the time to read and comment, I'm grateful to you all. Your comments give me strength.
If he isn't able to prioritise the best interests of the children when you deliver the news to them, and tries to use it as an opportunity to score points then I think that suggests something about how good he is at being a father.
You don't sound biased, or like you have an axe to grind. You sound as if you have been coping unsupported with a horrible situation for too long.
How he behaves when you end it surely reinforces that is the right decision.
Judging by past behaviour, is he likely to want to have the kids regularly?
You have done enough for him, and got nothing in return. Dont waste any more years with him, please.
The house is rented? And you are not married. If you have a joint bank account, take all your share out, put it in a new one of your own and at this point, you can tell him it is over.
As he is an abuser, you need to prepare yourself for the histrionics. But dont let that get in the way of your future without this funsucker.
I'm just so worried about how to do all this
Where does he stay when he's in the city?
I'd call him and tell him you are done.
Tell him not to come home and to stay away.
(I know it's not really that easy but it could be!)
If tenancy agreement/mortgage for the house you are living in is in your sole name, I suggest you do what melons has proposed and change the locks so that he cannot gain access.
the other thing is he was going on about expecting to see the children one weekend a month and 5 weeks holiday a year including alternate Christmases They all say this, but very few of them follow through and I doubt he will when you make it clear that he will have to apply to the family courts and pay the court fees for a childcare arrrangements order which will first require him to attend meditation sessions to draw up a contact schedule.
he sent me an email last night saying that he was looking at a photo of us from a rare evening out a year or so ago and how pretty I looked and how he loved me etc etc All those years with barely a kind word or deed and he comes up with this twaddle which cannot be seen as anything other than him having realised that you are exceedingly close to booting his cocklodging arse out of your home.
Don't look at the bigger picture in any other terms than you flying high without this freeloading waste of space dragging you down, and take all of your concerns regarding the possible effects on your dc one day at a time as in the long run you're all going to be far better off in every respect without him than you are with him.
you flying high without this freeloading waste of space dragging you down
Love it! This says it all for me!
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