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Trying to please everyone 18 months down the line

(33 Posts)
Pleasingeveryone1 Fri 01-Apr-16 16:55:11

I don't know what to do anymore.
I want to be free I suppose.

I have been split from my exdp for well over a year now, he left me for someone else and as sad as that made me it was his behaviour afterwards that really knocked me.

I feel like I have tried to aim for the perfect separation but instead I think it's just created an imperfect fog around me , myself and I.

The children are happy and unaffected, well I'd like to think so.
I've worked so very hard to ensure this, I utterly dote on them, I work whilst they are at school, cook from scratch, fresh uniforms every day and house is always tidy.

My relationship with their dad is ... Probably overly nice, overly accepting - scared of hurting him, scared of becoming the ex that he hates or bad mouths --- I know I need to be less considerate of him and how he feels, I know that.
I have never used the children as a weapon, he has had the children when he was supposed from the day he left.
I don't make demands for time or money from him other than what he gives.
I just want for an easy life. I send emails and update, or converses when he emails we do get on. We have even managed a fair few dinners out together.

The children see two parents at pick ups who genuinely get on.

I have also remained in contact quite regularly with his mum, she has been good to me and the children but lately I am wondering if I am beginning to lose tolerance with her. I'm also a little disgruntled that nobody has ever really said to my ex what have you done to your family!! She emails every week - she'll then be in touch with the ex and so even if I haven't spoken to him he knows what we've been up to etc.

If I'm honest I feel a bit suffocated - I feel like I am pleasing her when I have no need to have a relationship with her anymore.

I feel like my ex has got this wonderful relationship with his ex and his children but all because I have took the upper ground, he is able to call and chat, we can do parents evenings and school plays together.

He left. He caused someone a lot of pain and maybe just maybe I am not cut out to be this pally anymore.

How do I be free but without hurting him or being seen as an awful ex in the process ? And so that my children are still unscathed.

AnyFucker Fri 01-Apr-16 17:19:06

Stop the family meals. Stop the cosy chats. Communicate only about arrangements for the children. You don't have to make a big "event" of cutting down on contact, just do it gradually.

I wouldn't be "pally" with someone that discarded me in this way. It is possible to be civil without letting someone completely off the hook.

Pleasingeveryone1 Fri 01-Apr-16 17:38:37

I used to be quite hard hearted.
I wouldn't suffer fools there are friends who've done less that I still can't forgive.

I want to just get on with my life safe in the knowledge I'm not going to some how end up with the blame he is not with his children.
I have always wanted to ensure that I did the right thing even though he didn't by us.

AnyFucker Fri 01-Apr-16 17:40:21

You would be doing the right thing to keep it just to being civil. His relationship with his children is for him to manage. Nobody else matters and if they blame you for anythign they were not worth knowing any way.

Pleasingeveryone1 Fri 01-Apr-16 17:49:06

You just hear of so many horror stories.
I thought at first we were wonderful to be as to get along so wonderfully but the more I see others who put far less effort into anything other than nice on the door step and to contact about the kids I actually think they are better off.

I'm sure none if them have the attack of guilt I do every time their ex drops the kids off after the eow visit- I also felt comfortable knowing that he didn't feel an anger towards me.

I just want to be the best for my children and I think my overly friendly management of our co parenting relationship has chipped away at my self worth.

AnyFucker Fri 01-Apr-16 17:51:46

Your self worth is worth more than keeping this cheater sweet

Pleasingeveryone1 Fri 01-Apr-16 18:17:48

I just need to be a bit selfish I think and remember that I'm important to.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Fri 01-Apr-16 18:23:35

Why would it matter if some people thought you were an awful ex?

Pleasingeveryone1 Fri 01-Apr-16 18:26:32

I don't want to be portrayed by him as awful.
I don't want his family to have cause to say I was awful.
People whom I don't know or have no association with I don't care for their opinion but those Who know or knew me I don't want to give reason for the blame to lay at my door it makes me feel uneasy.

I also do not want my ex to have cause to bad mouth me - or to ever try and blame me for his relationship with the children.

I suppose I'm just trying to keep everyone happy and that is what I said is inevitably suffocating me.

AnyFucker Fri 01-Apr-16 18:28:11

Stop doing it then. You are important too.

TheDatingDoofus Fri 01-Apr-16 18:29:19

I'm sure none if them have the attack of guilt I do every time their ex drops the kids off after the eow visit

Why on earth would you feel guilty??

cantakerouscow Fri 01-Apr-16 18:34:06

I can relate to this. My exH and I separated last July. My decision though, so slightly different. However, like you i have tried so hard to keep things calm and peaceful. Every time the kids have a little milestone - think 6YO loses a tooth - I email a pic out to him, his mother and mine. His mother has never once dropped me a quick line of thanks. Jeez - how long would it take?

When the exH drops this kids back he comes in and wants to talk to me about his life? He doesn't seem happy, so I feel guilty and I go with it. He still occasionally flips out and phone up to rant about how I've ruined his life. And I know I should just hang up.

I too am now getting to the point where I can't be bothered with it all. Like you, I find it exhausting and suspect it's delaying me moving fully to the next stage of my life.

Maybe it's time we need to get tougher?

Pleasingeveryone1 Fri 01-Apr-16 18:36:18

I don't know really.
It's all been such a confusing experience.
I'm just worn down both my ex and his other woman made me feel like it was my fault, chipped away at me and now I am so aware of everything and blame myself.

My ex is back to normal now, ie no longer on the defensive and no longer preaching about his happiness and that has unsettled me to.

When you see your children having to say goodbye to their father I blame me for not being good enough, for not making some one happy or that I wasn't even worthy of respect. If I had been my children wouldn't be parented by a mum who works herself silly to maintain such a perfect life! They'd have two people sharing the load.

AnyFucker Fri 01-Apr-16 18:40:08

I don't even undetstand what you are saying now.

You are blaming yourself for your dc saying goodbye to their dad after a weekend with him ?

He is the one that consigned himself to weekend dad status. That was his choice.

Pleasingeveryone1 Fri 01-Apr-16 18:43:38

Not the act of saying goodbye - more that their father is then gone from their loves for two weeks until the next contact it's very hard to watch.

AnyFucker Fri 01-Apr-16 18:44:46

That was not your choice and not your fault. Take it easy on yourself.

Walkacrossthesand Fri 01-Apr-16 19:09:33

It is very hard, as the one who was left & didn't want any of this to happen - I was you, 20 years ago.

When you were together, the family was a unit - now you must see 'you and the DC' as a separate entity from him, and he makes a separate 'him and the DC' axis. No, it's not what you wanted, but you had no choice in the matter.

As others have said above, being civil does not mean being friends.
You are doing all you need to by facilitating contact, and not badmouthing daddy to the DCs. He has chosen to split from the family unit, so family meals (unless it's e.g. specifically for a DCs birthday) are no longer on offer; nor does he have access to you as a sympathetic listening ear. It's not fair on you.

Redraw the boundaries, and the pain will ease.

VinceNoirLovesHowardMoon Fri 01-Apr-16 19:15:12

Why are you projecting this happiness onto your children? It doesn't sound like they are unhappy at all. Lots of children live with their mums and see their dads eow, it's quite normal. They won't be scarred for life by it. You're swallowing all this guilt for something that a) you didn't cause and b) isn't even causing your children distress. Why?

Pleasingeveryone1 Fri 01-Apr-16 19:22:22

Because it's not what I wanted for my children.

AnyFucker Fri 01-Apr-16 19:24:19

Nobody does, love

But one in three marriagrs break down. Your kids are far from unique to their classmates.

Pleasingeveryone1 Fri 01-Apr-16 19:24:52

And I'm not projecting.
I'm providing an environment where there is no animosity, no awful bitter mother, no worrying about dad !
They are unphased. They are happy because I have worked my hardest these 18 months to hide from them, to build a new life, buy a new house and still get up every morning even when he kicked us out and made sure they felt safe and secure.

I work with children and seeing how damaged some are has made me want to do everything I can so they don't view this as hindering them.

AnyFucker Fri 01-Apr-16 19:28:11

You thinking less of yourself for something you had no control over is not going to assist that process. Seriously. Hold your head up drserve it.

One day your kids will know this. But not yet. The fact they are unphazed is how it should be. And no thanks to their cheating father who put his own needs before theirs. in

VinceNoirLovesHowardMoon Fri 01-Apr-16 19:34:46

Nobody wants to split up, and have to manage every last bit of everything themselves, up to and including making sure contact goes well. I understand, believe me I do. But you have to stop with the guilt. At some point you have to say to yourself 'yeah I have some regrets but life goes on' and give yourself permission to move on and be happy.

Pleasingeveryone1 Fri 01-Apr-16 19:38:48

I know nobody does.
I also know there are millions of people on their own in worse than my situation. I am lucky I have my own home, a good job and my children are happy and healthy but I am allowed to vent about the plates I'm juggling - I am allowed to express that I feel suffocated and I am allowed to feel let down.

AnyFucker Fri 01-Apr-16 19:40:08

Of course you are.

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