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Am I trying too hard or being over sensitive?

(33 Posts)
swannview Mon 20-Feb-17 22:24:32

Have posted previously and received some great support, so here I am again.

Brief recap: married for 12 years with 3 DC. Emotionally and physically abusive marriage in which I fell out of love and decided I wanted to end it last summer. Constant walking on eggshells, feelings of not being good enough, resentment etc. He left the marital home and I stayed with the DCs.

I have no surviving family and because of his living circumstances where a friend has recently moved in, it means I have primary care of the children, and for at least 6 weeks now, this has been without a break. I have struggled, a lot. I have been put on anti ds by my GP due to lack of confidence as a result of being put down so many years.

For the sake of the children, we are trying to remain civil. He is due to open a new business this week and has been tied up there as a result. Its a good 15-20 minute drive in the opposite direction from school to home and over half term last week, I made the effort and took the kids to see him there most days whilst I knew he didn't have much flexibility. If I hadn't have done this, he wouldn't have had the time and so at least he can't throw it back in my face about me not making an effort on my part- or so I thought.

After school tonight, they said they wanted to see him. I called to check if he was available and he said to bring them across. We must have stayed around 30 minutes, and in that time, all they got was a hello and a kiss on the cheek. When I realised he was too busy to come and sit with them, I told them that it would be best if we left as I also didn't want to get stuck in rush hour traffic. He then made some smart comment directly to the children about me being bored, and that when I brought them tomorrow he would take them home so they could stay longer. Stay longer and
do what? Sit on a table and watch their father do anything and everything but interact with them when his business partner was happily sitting with his own DW and DD when we arrived?

When I told him that I had brought the children to see him, which on the phone he had no problem with, he replied that I wasn't doing him a favour, I was doing the children a favour  I actually thought he would appreciate me making the effort to bring the kids to him as much as I have, because I don't want them turning around in a few years time telling me that I was the reason they never saw him, when in fact, if it was left to him, they probably wouldn't see half of what they are doing now.

This coming from a guy who was adamant on joint custody, yet hasn't looked after his kids once in the past six weeks at least.

I am tired, burning out, and trying to juggle life with three DC, one of whom has a disability. All the while trying to keep their relationship with their father healthy, yet I get the feeling I just have mug written across my face 

Inneedofaholiday2017 Mon 20-Feb-17 22:35:03

Oh dear - really feel for you. It never stops does it. That's what gets me about a bad marriage it's rock or hard place (crap marriage or stress and exhaustion of single parenting). I also feel did your dc - although they are prob not as hurt /notice his behaviour as much as you do.
I don't think the not doing anything when you arrived was a prob as personally I think it's fine to just 'be' and spending low key time together just normal life.
But you need to stop driving the kids over!! You are already knackered why make more work for yourself?
He'll always be like this and he'll never be the perfect dad - you can only control your reaction to him.
Have you any other family who could help give you some time off?
Can you afford to pay for help like a cleaner or babysitter for a few hours a week?

Inneedofaholiday2017 Mon 20-Feb-17 22:44:55

And ps you are not trying too hard or being over sensitive. Your ex-h is a prat and using you- it's not fault tho - it's his!

HappyJanuary Mon 20-Feb-17 22:49:09

Instigate divorce proceedings and get access set in stone. That way you'll get a break on the days/nights they're with him and the logistics will be up to him too. What you're doing currently isn't sustainable and is breeding resentment on both sides.

swannview Mon 20-Feb-17 22:49:24

After this evening, I certainly agree in that I need to stop ferrying them over. He is just as capable to make time for them when he wants to see them.

Unfortunately I don't have any family. Parents are deceased, no siblings and extended family haven't been in touch for around 10 years. I have a couple of friends who could help here and there if I needed a babysitter. I'm on my second week of the anti ds and they've knocked me for six in terms of feeling tired so I am usually in bed by 9.30 anyway!

I think because the children are really the only family I have, I just want to do what's right by them and see them happy. They wanted to see their dad, tell them about their day etc and that's why I made the effort. DS is having surgery next week as a result of his disability so I will soon see if he steps up to the mark.

Think some days I just wish I had someone to look after me too sad

Inneedofaholiday2017 Tue 21-Feb-17 00:16:53


Please prepare yourself that your ex isn't going to step up next week. Just plan for him not to come etc and then if he is there or does anything for your ds it'll be a bonus. It'll be too much having to go through that and deal with him playing up too.

Are your kids young? Have you a health visitor you can speak to?
Or does the hospital your ds is treated at have a counselling service you can speak to about dealing with a disabled/sick child? most do...

Inneedofaholiday2017 Tue 21-Feb-17 00:18:03

And I can see why you drove your kids - I think I would have done too but you can't protect them from him

swannview Tue 21-Feb-17 03:03:51

They are 9, 8 and 6 so I'm lucky that in a sense, they are fairly self-sufficient I.e not babies! At times they can be like my best friends, but unfortunately they've started to reach that age where they constantly rub each other up the wrong way which often ends in screaming and tears confused

My GP has referred me for counselling. She is lovely and reminded me when I went for my check up yesterday that I'm doing a great job which was really nice.

I think I'm used to picking up the pieces/holding the fort etc as to be honest it was a similar scenario when we were a couple. However, in terms of the kids, I have probably giving it to him easily up until now. Perhaps it's time he stood up and took responsibility as a dad instead of me handing it to him on a plate.

AllTheLight Tue 21-Feb-17 03:11:13

I agree with HappyJanuary - I think you need to get a proper contact arrangement in place so everyone knows what to expect.

AllTheLight Tue 21-Feb-17 03:13:38

At the moment it sounds like you're making a lot of effort and he's not appreciating it - but possibly he genuinely doesn't realise you're making the effort. Eg today, as you phoned up and asked if you could bring them, maybe he thinks you were at a loose end and thought it would be fun, ie he was doing you a favour rather than the other way around?

swannview Tue 21-Feb-17 03:36:31

Maybe you're right AllTheLight. Things have been a bit tense between us for a few days now- him with work, me with half term and the kids etc. I would have preferred to have gone straight home but the kids wanted to see him and the novelty of his new work is still fairly new so I didn't want to let them down.

Just because we didn't make it as husband and wife, I would never want the kids to lose out as a result- he is still their Dad. I think I'm just upset because I'm trying my best as a mum to keep them happy, whilst also doing him a favour, yet all I seem to get is the short straw confused

swannview Tue 21-Feb-17 19:28:57

I've really struggled today sad

Feel a bit like a spare part who is just thing to wing her way through life. The kids bickered from the moment I picked them up from school. DD (8) screamed at me to shut up in the car when I tried to reason with her. DS (9) has spent most of the evening back chatting and DD (6) refused to eat her dinner then has spent the past half hour crying that she is hungry.

No phone call from him. Nothing. I purposely didn't take them to see him today. I am drained. I am trying to play teacher/referee/cook/cleaner etc to three kids who, quite rightly, don't see how damn hard it is. I have had two nights of broken sleep. I can't see any light at the end of the tunnel. It's a constant battle of trying to keep everyone calm and happy, and hoping that I get through a hour at a time without someone crying over something.

I have paid my solicitors fee, but am still short of the court fee to start proceedings. I don't know why, but I also feel it's a step I'm scared to take. I don't love him. I resent him for the past 12 years- the way he's made me feel. The way I am left to pick up the pieces. The way I have to care for the children without him making an effort. I am lonely and scared. I'm scared I won't cope. I'm scared I won't be enough for the children.

He covers up his actual income and so the maintenance I receive will be a pittance. Why is this next step such a hard one for me to take? sad

RandomMess Tue 21-Feb-17 19:38:10

You need to learn to detach (not easy) it is your job to make the DC available for contact - it his to turn up and spend time with them.

Yes it is rubbish that you have zero parenting assistance however, his earnings is all for him - you and the DC will never see a penny so don't cover up for him. Don't run around to facilitate things between him and the DC. Yes be flexible with times etc. but do not be a doormat!

You and the DC need stability and routine, he isn't going to step up, so detach from him, from working out how he can be so awful to his DC and focus on you and them.

flowers I hope you start to feel better soon flowers

swannview Tue 21-Feb-17 19:52:49

Thank you RandomMess and I k ow you're completely right.

The DCs need and deserve a happy Mum. Some days I feel as though I have it all together, and days like today, I wonder how I'll make it through the next ten years.

I get to cherish the little moments like them helping me make dinner, singing to out favourite songs, learning their new likes and dislikes etc, but I also get the brunt of their bickering and tantrums sad

I feel as though I'm failing them. It's not all about possessions, but I'll never have the cash to flash, the fancy car or the restaurant to my name. I know one day they'll realise how hard I worked to being them up, but at the moment I just feel like a donkey sad

swannview Wed 22-Feb-17 20:37:04

I am posting on here agin to avoid rebelling my story in a new thread. Here goes:

He told me today that I would have no chance in trying to get spousal maintenance from him. Basically I have been a SAHM since 2007. He has a business in his name and recently got a friend to run it for him for a percentage of the weekly takings whilst he goes and runs this new place that has been paid for by someone else.

He declared his income for 2015-2016 as £8700 which I know is a blatant lie. The rent he pays alone is £9000. On average it means he makes what, £50 a day? Well even that isn't true because on paper he pays more out in rent a year than he earns.

A friend has said that if this is investigated then he would be in serious trouble. The prat (ex) told me that if I was to ever get him investigated, that costs would be recovered from equity in the house. Said friend has said he is doing this to scare me.

Which brings me into his new work. Again, his true income won't be put down on paper because that's how him and his friends work. They pay the accountant to alter the figures. He will get paid cash in hand.

Is it even worth me pursuing? What proof do I have? I'm worried I'll get dragged down in it all too, but at the end of the day, I'm only after what I feel I'm entitled to sad

Inneedofaholiday2017 Wed 22-Feb-17 20:42:09

You need a good lawyer.... have you instructed one yet?

swannview Wed 22-Feb-17 22:06:19

I have. He has been highly recommended. The only problem is, is that I've paid his fixed fee, but for some stupid and unbeknown reason, I'm holding off paying the £550 court fee.

It's a fear of the unknown and that sounds really daft. I know we have no future, but everything being so final is like the final nail in the coffin. I feel as though I'm cutting off all support (even though technically there isn't anything anyway).

I think a lot of this insecurity stems from the emotional abuse in the marriage, and it's almost like I can recognise the strength and power in me sad

Mangoandpassionfruit Thu 23-Feb-17 08:43:53

This is so hard and I have been there. You just have to hold firm, go with the court and also instruct the CMA. My Exh threatened me with all sorts of things that would happen re finances. It was just another part of emotional abuse. I stopped discussing it with him and just ploughed on. I didn't get the best deal re settlement but I kept the house with a mortgage and the CMA completely no hassle awarded me £800 per month for child maintenance. Please just keep pushing forward. You will get there but it is so hard. Also as other posters have said stop running them around to see him. I did so much running around trying to make it all better I made myself ill. I don't do it now, no he doesn't see them as much but the children have a happy and balanced mum.

swannview Thu 23-Feb-17 19:58:29

I did it. I paid the court fee and I actually feel strangely calm and collected!

When I initially instructed the solicitor, he said he would refer us to mediation which would reduce my fees to him as it would save lots of calls and emails between both solicitors.

I'm not sure how long to expect now time wise, but I've told the solicitor I want to push for all I can in terms of maintenance. It's now starting to feel all so real, but the one positive thing is that I can feel myself becoming free and it's a lovely feeling.

Inneedofaholiday2017 Thu 23-Feb-17 21:25:57

Well done op! You cant keep compensating for your shitty ex-h to your kids trying to smooth over his bad behaviour for him but you can show them what a lovely, kind, strong woman and role model you are.

swannview Thu 23-Feb-17 22:18:07

Thank you so much smile

I felt/feel very in control, but had a bad evening with DS who had the ultimate meltdown because he'd saved his money and I let him order a computer game last week which was due to arrive today. It didn't. All hell broke loose and it was the last thing I needed, but I kept my calm and tried my best. I was called the world's worst parent despite trying to reason with him.

He has mild CP, but I also wonder if he has emotional development issues as he can overact quite a lot and appears to be emotionally immature in comparison with some of his peers. He has his review in a couple of weeks so at least I know I don't have to go long without any help and input.

After losing my Dad at 16, losing my mum at 23 and almost losing my son at birth, I always told myself that at least divorce won't ever make it on the list. Goes to show that you never know what's around the corner.

cestlavielife Thu 23-Feb-17 22:25:37

Counselling for you very necessary...and ask for emotional support for the dc too.
Their behaviours may reflect their confusion and anger with their dad letting them down .
Don't ferry dc to him.
He needs to make the effort or not.

Take any support offered for you and dc. If d's has a disability there may be services you can access and for siblings too.

swannview Thu 23-Feb-17 22:33:35

Thank you cestlavielife

My GP has referred me for counselling so thankfully I'm just waiting to hear back from that. The GP is lovely and as I'm on a lose dose of anti ds, I'm going back to see her the week after next for my first month review. They have been making me feel very tired which isn't ideal when I'm doing most of it on my own, but she's prescribed them for a reason and so I'm willing to see it out.

I'm going to ask for some help from the learning mentor at school. She has been great and is aware of the situation, and I know the kids can openly talk to her too.

It all feels so surreal at the moment. I only transferred the money to the solicitor this evening and he won't have even checked his emails yet! I have every faith in him as he has come highly recommended. I think the strangest thing is that now without a mum, dad or partner anymore, I have three little children in my life and that's it sad I'm lucky to have a handful of close friends, but in the grand scheme of things, it's a scary world out there for a woman facing it all alone.

llangennith Thu 23-Feb-17 22:45:29

You're tiring yourself out trying to do what he wants so he's still controlling you.
If he wants to see the DC he can make the effort. You'll find coping with your DC without constantly taking their other parent into account will be much easier.

swannview Thu 23-Feb-17 22:56:05

Yes you are right. I told him firmly last night that I wouldn't be ferrying them around anymore as it takes both parents to make the effort where the DCs are concerned.

He is still convinced that they won't want anything to do with me a few years down the line when he has all this money and a flashy car etc. I told him straight that money can't buy their love and that in years to come when they look back on their childhood, they'll always remember me at assemblies, sports days, plays etc.

It's hard, but I'm trying and I'm getting there slowly but surely with not letting him get to me as much as he has in previous years.

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