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Recently separated, hate my new life

(95 Posts)
CarrieMayBe Sat 15-Apr-17 15:09:56

Discovered husband's affair last November, he eventually left the day after Boxing Day despite my attempts to save our marriage. We have 4DCs.

He has the kids EOW and one night on the weekend inbetween. He has just had them for the past week, they return later today.

They love going to his, he is all out Disney Dad but I'm glad they're happy - I do appreciate them not wishing to go would be much harder on everybody. I enjoy my freedom to a certain extent when they're not here but I do miss them terribly.

Divorce process has started, I am frankly terrified of the future as I was a SAHM for most of our 20yr marriage. My solicitor assures me I'll come out ok but I'm in a constant state of panic over finances for the future. I need to train as something in order to earn a living but I have no idea what to train as and how to work around the children. They have been through so much and I hate the thought of putting them in childcare in the school holidays but again, I accept that they will need to get over it. Just seems so unfair. I panic constantly about where I will find work and what it will be. I don't need to work yet as STBEx is currently paying a good sum in maintenance and I'm claiming all I'm entitled to. It will need to happen upon our divorce being finalised though and as youngest child is almost 7 there are no reasons why I cannot work and I want to anyway. Just don't know what to do when I have no qualifications and no family to help me out.

STBEx meanwhile seems so settled. Obviously he wouldn't tell me if he wasn't but it certainly appears that way. No money worries, no fear about his financial security and apart from his contact times with the children he never has to worry about childcare etc for them. I feel he has thrown our entire lives up in the air and walked away without so much as a care. I hate him so much for this and I don't know how to let go of the bitterness and resentment. It tears me apart not knowing what he's doing when he doesn't have the children, I suspect he is still either seeing the OW or has someone new. Crazy thing is, our marriage was miserable and he was a shit husband so I do know that deep down I will be happier eventually but I can't see how to get to that point.

I go out at weekends fairly regularly and have a good time with friends but when I'm at home alone all I want to do is cry. I've been fighting tears all day today. I just feel so sad at what my life has become, I'm almost 39 and I feel like it's over and actually I wouldn't care if I didn't wake up tomorrow. This isn't what I mapped my life out to be like, I didn't want my children to come from a broken home and have 2 separate lives. I don't want to be a single parent and despite how unhappy my marriage made me feel - and it would feel even worse now knowing about his aldultery - I'd take him back in a heartbeat just to be able to return to 'normality'. He doesn't want me though and that cuts like a knife.

20yrs...and for what? I'm so lonely and spend hours on dating sites but despite getting lots of attention I don't have any confidence left after all he's done so would never dare meet anyone. Yet I crave to be in a relationship just so I don't have to spend so much time on my own. Someone to share things with. I have friends but they're all married so have little time for me and certainly not at weekends as they're all doing family stuff.

I just want my old life back, how do I even begin to get over this?

EssentialHummus Sat 15-Apr-17 15:19:00

I don't have any practical advice, but the key word in your post for me is "recently". This is all so sudden, and so new, that you really can't be expected to have everything sorted (or even much of a plan) at this point.

Work-wise - what have you worked as in the past? Education levels? What do you need to earn at a minimum? What are the hours you could feasibly work?

Social stuff/dating - please don't put pressure on yourself. Arrange to meet friends when you both can. If you need to, find something else to take your time at weekends (volunteering, a long walk, repainting a bedroom, whatever).

flowers

Misstic Sat 15-Apr-17 15:21:19

OP, I know you are hurting now and there is little I can say to lessen that feeling. However, take comfort in knowing that that feeling of despair will pass. You will be happy again. Just work at it. You have a wonderful life ahead with lots of possibilities. It sounds exciting to be considering what career to embark on.

Don't worry about whether or not you ex is happy or settled. This will drive you mad. Chances are that the grass is not greener but that is his problem and not yours. Focus on you. Be kind to you.

Wishing you the best.

Platimum Sat 15-Apr-17 15:22:30

ADJUSTMENT is not your new life.
It is adjustment.

IDontLikeMyUsername Sat 15-Apr-17 15:24:17

Right, you're still relatively young and so there is time for you to retrain for a job/find work that you enjoy and pays your bills.
Likewise there is no reason why you may not find another much better relationship at some point. I wouldn't rush into one though just to be with someone. You don't need a man in your life to validate it.
You ex has been a shit and you will be happier without him.
Your children will be fine. Try not to think in terms of broken homes and single parent. Think positive role model and happy home.
flowers for you.

CarrieMayBe Sat 15-Apr-17 15:46:43

Kind words there, thank you. I know it's still very recent but I get the feeling that my fiends think I should be over it by now. They've stopped asking me how I am, I feel it's a little like a bereavement - I'm still very much at the stage where it's all I can think and talk about yet their eyes kind of glaze over as much as to say it's been nearly 6 months since I found out and 4 since he left so I should be over it by now. Still feels like yesterday to me. Doesn't help that in the 6 weeks between my discovery of his affair and him making the decision to go I became very ill with the shock and stress of it all. My weight dropped to 36kgs, I had a chronic chest infection that would not shift, I felt I was slowly dying and I looked like I was. I looked vulnerable and victim-like which garnered much shock and sympathy but now I've put on a stone or so and look so much healthier I think people think my mind is healthy too and that's so far from the truth.

As for previous careers, I was a teaching assistant for a couple of years before having my 3rd child. I didn't get any qualifications as at the time they weren't required. I am about to sign up for a level 2 TA course and have a placement secured for 2 days a week at the kids school which all sounds positive but it's the last thing I actually want to do but fits in so well with the school hours etc. My dream is to work in healthcare, nurse or midwife ideally but I couldn't possibly cover the 12hr shifts especially the early/late starts and finishes. Just impossible and I really have looked into every which way possible and there just isn't one. The reason my ex is happy to have the DCs at least one night every weekend is because he refuses to help out during the week as he cant fit his work around school runs or childcare. I have another 4yrs until my youngest is at high school and I'm hoping there will be a way to achieve this then but it seems so far away.

I am having therapy but the appointments are very sporadic but I have one coming up a week on Monday. I don't find them particularly helpful though as they can't solve the problem and when I try and discuss how angry and bitter I feel she just tells me it's normal and she's be more concerned if I didn't feel that way. I think she's good, but I already know what she says she usually tells her service users - things like to look at what I'm gaining rather than losing etc so she was ready to sign me off at my last appt a month ago as I'd come so far. Think I was just having a positive day that day!

innagazing Sat 15-Apr-17 15:57:54

flowers for you.
It's tough and takes time to adjust. You sound as though you may benefit from some anti depressants so maybe discuss this with your GP. They can make a massive difference.
Have you considered childminding as a new job? Either for preschoolers or just doing the wrap around care for kids already at school. You'd be self employed and you'd be able to work the days and hours that suited you.

ImperialBlether Sat 15-Apr-17 15:59:53

It is a really awful time, just after a break up. No wonder you're feeling at a loss.

As far as work is concerned, I was wondering whether you could take a few years and do some sort of training or maybe a degree, if you'd like to. That would take you up to the time when your youngest is going to secondary school. Education would give you the holidays free - I can't see you earning enough to pay for childcare in the holidays, tbh. I know you want to do midwifery or nursing and you can do a two year Access course at a further education college which would prepare you for university. Would that make things easier for you? I think you'd still get the same benefits as the college usually fixes the hour for that reason.

quietcountrylanes Sat 15-Apr-17 16:00:28

Is there any possibility of reconciliation?

TheLegendOfBeans Sat 15-Apr-17 16:04:43

Four months is absolutely nothing, not after 20 years not after you knocking your pan out to try and save things. My heart goes out to you, marriage breakdowns are fecking awful, like a bereavement. Don't be too mad at your chums; sometimes folk don't want to "bring it all back" by asking "how are you" when it's all you wish they'd say.

Anyway; I'm just going to spaff a couple of things here:

Having no family to help with childcare
You need to explore every option available to you. Do the council do any kids holiday clubs; i.e. morning art clubs? Re; paid childcare, seek advice from CAB - can you get state assistance?

Having no qualifications
What are you good at? What do you like to do? Are you a problem solver? Are you maths-headed? Speak to a careers adviser at your local college and do questionnaires online. If you strike it lucky you could end up working and studying at the same place. Get advice about course fees from Student Loans.

Persevere with your chums, it's funny how a divorce can send friends heads spinning too. Meanwhile find a way to enjoy the house being empty. Yoga? DIY? Getting into box sets of the TV programmes your STBXH used to hate you watching?

Good luck, but give yourself a break too. Rising from the ashes takes time xx

CarrieMayBe Sat 15-Apr-17 16:06:31

I've wondered about antidepressants but have been on them long term before, in fact only came off them at the beginning of last year, and I know they just made me feel numb which is great in the short term but solves nothing long term. Not ruling them out though as I do feel so weepy all the time and sleep terribly so I know all the signs of needing them are there.

I have considered childminding but the house will be going up for sale asap and I have no idea where I'll end up living so for that reason alone it's not really something I can pursue at the moment. Also, and I shouldn't really say this given I'm heading towards a possible career working with children, but I'm really not keen on other peoples kids! Particularly pre-school age, it's not a stage I ever really enjoyed with my own children, I much prefer them at the ages they are now! I could do wraparound care I guess for older children, I will certainly give it some thought, thanks.

I did the lion's share of all house stuff and childcare during my marriage yet I feel so lacking in confidence with regards to parenting my children alone. Why is this? I constantly feel they'd be better off with him, he does so much more fun stuff with them than I do, all I seem to do is school runs/preparing their meals/clearing up after them. I don't really spend much quality time with them as they're at his every weekend, sometimes all of it but always at least one night and full day. I find it hard not having another parent to bounce off or refer issues to - we barely communicate so it's not the sort of scenario where I can ring him to discuss anything although of course I would if it was serious enough. I just find everything about being on my own so bloody hard and hate all the responsibility for the day to day stuff being on my shoulders alone. All he has to worry about is what to do with them at the weekend or which takeaway he'll order for them. There's an overbearing feeling of unfairness about all this and I need to find a way of letting go of it but I just do not know how to.

CarrieMayBe Sat 15-Apr-17 16:27:39

Massive crossed posts there!

Definitely no chance of reconciliation. Apart from the fact I know it would be a train crash as I could never trust him again, he doesn't want me. Simple as that. I don't think he misses me or has any feelings for me in any way. I knew once the DCs knew we were splitting that would be it, no going back as neither of us would mess them up like this only to renage on it a few months down the line. This really is it.

I'd love to do an access course and then a degree but I'd be 5yrs out of work and don't know how I'd support myself in that time. Plus the degree courses for nursing or midwifery are full-time work placements so within 2yrs time I'd be expected to work those 12hr shifts which are 7-7 both night or day. I'm an hour away from the hospital so childcare would be impossible at those times. Believe me, if there was a way I'd do it like a shot.

There is childcare available locally for normal working hours (between 8am-6pm) so I could manage any other job - I just don't know which job to do! All that seems available as an unqualified person is care work which again seems mostly awkward hours. I'm terrified tbh sad

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Sat 15-Apr-17 16:32:36

IME if you both work then responsibility and cost of childcare is usually 50-50, so it would be your ex's problem half the week (or every other week) and half the holidays. Don't forget that.

CarrieMayBe Sat 15-Apr-17 16:36:01

In an ideal world it would, yes, but realistically it can't work like that. He runs his own business and would lose it if he had to work around the children and no one would benefit from that happening. I suspect he could help out more than he does but I could never rely on him to do so - this is the man who never took any holiday during our marriage apart from a week in the summer very occasionally and a week at Christmas but only because he shit down for that week and companies he deals with did the same. He was a workaholic which contributed massively to the state our marriage was in when his affair started.

CarrieMayBe Sat 15-Apr-17 16:36:29

*shut grin

Euphemia Sat 15-Apr-17 16:36:56

Your TA plans sound good. It's something you know you can do, and it takes away the worry of covering the school holidays.

The first year is the worst. So painful! Don't expect much of yourself. You're doing a great job looking after your DC. Look after yourself too.

There's no way you're ready for another relationship. You're young yet - plenty time to meet someone nice. But you need to be mentally ready for that, and you're not. Take some pressure off yourself. smile

I agree with PP that antidepressants might be a good idea, maybe a different type to last time?

Once you're out and about getting work experience/qualifications you'll feel better. Out interacting with people in an environment that isn't clouded by your marriage, separation and divorce. Having normal conversations. Laughing. smile

quietcountrylanes Sat 15-Apr-17 16:38:14

Well, you sound like a lovely woman and gorgeous mum to me.

I'm sorry you've been treated so badly and my heart goes out to you flowers

CarrieMayBe Sat 15-Apr-17 16:38:36

Although to pick up on your point - would the children have to be in residence with him 50% of the time for that to be the case? If they live with me and only stay at his at weekends then surely what occurs during the week is no responsibility of his?

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Sat 15-Apr-17 16:42:05

The thing is that he can't just abdicate his responsibility for the children and child care because 'he has a business'. When he was supporting you as a SAHM then that was fair enough, but once he isn't you can't be expected to carry that full load anymore because you need to work and have the right to him carrying his share of the childcare.

CarrieMayBe Sat 15-Apr-17 16:46:10

So could I reasonably expect him to cover childcare 50% of the time without them actually living with him for that amount of the week? I do not want them staying with him any more nights than they already are, it's broken both mine and the DCs hearts this week being at his even though they've had a lovely time they were in tears before they left and have spoken to me on the phone and said how much they're missing me. I reassured them obviously and didn't let on how much it was upsetting me but I can't have them spending even more time with him. Not yet anyway, it's all still so raw.

So, if for example I was to find a job 4 days a week would it be reasonable to expect him to pay for half the childcare in the holidays even if they were coming home to me every night? Or is it just if they were spending those nights with him in his house?

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Sat 15-Apr-17 16:50:49

I do suggest you start thinking carefully about this and talk it through properly with your solicitor. Unless he is going to compensate you financially and permanently for working in a low-paid job so you can fit it round the children then you need to come to some sort of formal agreement. Otherwise I predict that inn5 years you will be struggling seriously to make ends meet in a miserable job and he will be living very comfortably with a substantial income. It is not your job any more to facilitate his life, because he has removed you from that obligation. Obviously you want to be sensible about it, but don't just enable him to have it all his own way.

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Sat 15-Apr-17 16:53:22

Sorry, cross-post with yours, but yes you could negotiate that he pays for childcare to allow you to work, though really I still think that is a cop-out as you will still be doing the organising of it all which is a pita. And really you need proper weekend time with your DCs too, you should get a full weekend with them regularly.

CarrieMayBe Sat 15-Apr-17 16:55:40

My solicitor is going to push for spousal maintenance but even if I get enough to live on it won't be long term - if I'm awarded it long term then the amount will reduce - so I will still need to train and be working within the next year or two I anticipate.

This is all part of the bitterness, I was a SAHM to facilitate him being able to build up his business without having to worry about anything that went on at home. He will go on to enjoy the financial rewards of that business for the rest of his life (we had no pension provision in place as he intended to either get someone in to run the business in his retirement so we still had an income or to sell up and live off the considerable proceeds) so whilst he will never have to worry about his financial future, I'm left with very little and even getting to that point will be a struggle as I'm the one who has to build a new life whiskey ensuring it fits around the children.

How the hell can that ever be considered fair?

CarrieMayBe Sat 15-Apr-17 16:56:37

Whilst not whiskey! Although he drank enough of that during our marriage, he is alcohol dependent hmm Although claims he no longer is now he's left me!

Madlizzy Sat 15-Apr-17 16:56:42

It's only 4 months and you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself. For the moment, just concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other and getting yourself on an even keel. Even though my marriage wasn't good, it still took me nearly a year to get my head together and now I'm happy. I was with my husband for nearly 20 years too. I'm rediscovering who I am, and I really love the fact that I don't have to consider another adult in decision making or with what I want to do. I love living on my own. I am happy to date, but there's no way I want to live with anyone, or indeed spend all my time with them. A part time man will suit me nicely. At risk of sounding trite, time will heal you and things will get better.

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