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Think I've managed this all wrong and fucked my kids up

(17 Posts)
HobnailsandTaffeta Sun 28-Aug-16 21:21:23

Loooong story and I've been here a while in various forms so probably recognisable.

Short version married/together 20 years, 3 DC 6 and under. He had a mental breakdown and started acting unreasonably (sleeping in car, lying, financially reckless and hugely damaging, emotional possibly sexual affair denied) ended up in me moving near my parents (3hr away) supposed to be with him, but he just never came. It's been a year now and he still isn't here, still ill but with happy periods, works there but with no income so I am doing this on my own financial and emotional.

But we are still a married couple...

Anyway we basically haven't had a "talk" with the kids, just kept telling them daddy was working, but it's got to 2-3 weeks before he comes to see them maybe for a day or two and disappears off again in the night, hugely disruptive. But as we haven't chosen to split up there hasn't been any formality I guess for them.

Anyway DD1s behaviour is good but she now has real sobbing periods, I've found out in the last few days:

She's told her grandad her dad came to her room one night told her HE loved her but couldn't live with her as I wont let him and don't love him. NOT true I have begged him to come home.

She's told nursery teachers "daddy is separate now and he has a new life without me"

Tonight she's upset with me (overtired didn't want to go to bed) shut her room saying she hated me, when I went the check on her she's refusing to even look at me and I spotted in her hand her clutching a photo of him sad

I'm fucking broken tonight now.

I have to end this formally don't I? Or is it too late and I've destroyed my beautiful precious girls?

I hate him right now, I've tried to hard not to cal time so they can have a family and a father. And it was all wrong. And whatever I feel about giving him time I can't do it can I?

BifsWif Sun 28-Aug-16 21:26:22

Yes you do need to end it.

The uncertainty and not understanding is far worse than you being honest with your children and helping them through their feelings.

BifsWif Sun 28-Aug-16 21:28:20

Posted to soon - If he chooses to come back in the future, then you can discuss that at the time.

I know you've tried to do what's best, but being in limbo isn't helping any of you.

Good luck.

OhTheRoses Sun 28-Aug-16 21:29:06

Didn't want to read and run. No, you haven't messed up. He has. You have been patient. It's probably time to be honest with them. He'll always be their day, maybe a good dad and friend if he gets his act together.

Meanwhile they've got a great mum who has always put them first.

Dolphinsanddinosaurs Sun 28-Aug-16 21:33:31

Oh don't beat yourself up OP, you have done nothing at all wrong, just tried your best to manage a shitty situation! Your girls will be just fine, they have you to be strong for them. It does sound like they need to know the true situation, as they have worked it out for themselves anyway. Can you explain it to them that their Dad is not well, and that makes him act differently to how he would normally?

HobnailsandTaffeta Sun 28-Aug-16 21:45:02

Fuck she's fallen asleep now but left a note on her bed with the photo of him on top.

Her friend wrote her a note saying she was her best friend, she's written on the other side

"No X I am stupid, rubbish, lame, poo and I died"

What have I done, what do I do!

Shit ok so I'm done, I'm formalising this split but how do I repair the damage??!

BifsWif Sun 28-Aug-16 21:53:20

I think you need to sit and have a chat tomorrow. Lots of reassurance, lots of hugs and as honest as you can be.

Don't be too hard on yourself.

HobnailsandTaffeta Sun 28-Aug-16 21:59:37

Thing is so I need to tell him we are at the end of the line first? And as ai have no idea when that will be do I do it by phone?

Oh I hate this, my parents have such a solid marriage I promised that to my kids sad

BifsWif Sun 28-Aug-16 22:09:34

Will he leave? It may encourage him to get the help he needs.

HobnailsandTaffeta Sun 28-Aug-16 22:21:27

Leave here? He hasn't lived here for a yer, he's over 3 hours away and comes every few weeks.

HobnailsandTaffeta Sun 28-Aug-16 22:21:46

Thank you for replying btw, feeling a bit dark tonight.

Rachcakes Sun 28-Aug-16 22:30:15

Your little girl is sad and confused, understandably. It's a sad and confusing situation, but not of your making.
Kids are tougher than you think. The best thing you can do for her now is to make a firm decision, which will help her feel less confused.
Once she understands that dad lives away but she will see him on xyz days, she'll feel less confused and more secure. And in time the sadness will lift.
I went through a very messy and confusing break up when my children were a similar age. It dragged out over a few years. That was 10 years ago and now my boys actually tell me they like having two houses, two bedrooms, two Christmases etc.
Look after yourself. You're in a difficult situation and you've done the best you can to protect your children from it. But it's time to start putting your life back together with him living apart. flowers

HobnailsandTaffeta Sun 28-Aug-16 22:59:28

Thanks Rach, how did you explain it to them in the end?

And how did you get happy and move on?

It's very hard to let go of the person who was your soulmate for so many years

Isetan Mon 29-Aug-16 06:15:56

Kids can handle change, it's the uncertainty that messes with their head and by prioritising someone who views you as an option, just enables them.

Call your H and end the uncertainty, for both you and your DD.

pallasathena Mon 29-Aug-16 07:43:38

And tell your kids its not their fault. My kids told me years later that until I said that, they thought their dad had left because they were naughty!

Rachcakes Mon 29-Aug-16 08:11:06

It was hard because he messed them around a lot in the early years. I just said Dad wasn't well and wanted to be on his own. All the usual things like 'it's not your fault' and 'you are the most precious thing in my world' etc.
Moving on was hard. He was my soulmate too, for many years. There are times I still see a glimpse of it now, but we've both built walls to protect ourselves. I remarried. The step-family set up is hard and not what I planned for us but it's better than the chaos and heartache we were going through.
I know that he just doesn't think or feel like I do about our family.

Isetan Mon 29-Aug-16 08:33:54

He's abusing your DD by telling her lies about you and the situation. Your poor DD is understandably confused and she needs at least one parent to trust and rely on and that obviously isn't her father.

Let go of the man he supposedly was and accept the arsehole he's become. If you don't do this now, you risk letting her father's behaviour and your acceptance of it, becoming her relationship role model.

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