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Has anyone had a 'successful' trial separation? DH has moved out. Kids are tiny.

(23 Posts)
PenelopeChipShop Tue 16-May-17 09:19:12

Just wondering what my odds are really. DH has moved out 'temporarily' because he 'needs space' (even though he has barely been here in body or spirit for the last year at least).

He is continuing to come back to visit the kids for one or two bedtimes and one weekend day per week. Before he left he was saying things like he doesn't love me romantically any more and that we don't have anything in common (this is true in terms of interests but it has always been true and we've always done our own things but then told each other about it if that makes sense).

There's a whole sorry back story involving his emotional affair but I don't know how long it would take me to type! I don't think there's an OW now, I jus think he doesn't want to be in a family. He hates all the work that goes along with the dc. They're 4 and just 1.

Can anyone give me hope? Even if it's that eventually I'll be better off without him?!!

PenelopeChipShop Tue 16-May-17 09:22:51

I just have this sinking feeling that he isn't going to want to come back after the times up. In some ways, certainly practically, I am completely fine without him. I'm so used to functioning with the two of them without his help. Have own car etc.

But when I start thinking about special times like Christmas, birthdays, holidays, I panic. I don't ever want to spend Christmas without the children. And my oldest was loookg forward to a summer holiday - I can't manage to take them both anywhere fancy on my own, youngest is 13 months and a complete mischief, walking, climbing, etc. I need another pair of hands. I never thought I would be here. 🙁

MrsBertBibby Tue 16-May-17 09:27:21

Make him take the kids out. On his own. He will soon realised being a contact dad is a lot harder than a regular dad. Stop letting him play at being dad in your home. He needs to learn what being separated is really like.

lampshady Tue 16-May-17 09:30:29

If he hates the work that DC involve I think unfortunately you have your answer. He wants all the good bits and none of the shit, including getting his kicks from other women.

It will get easier as the DC get older, but by then you'll have realised he's a useless husband and mediocre father and you'll be in a much better place. I'm sorry you're going through this, but it will get better and easier. Make sure he's doing enough that you have "space" too and aren't saddled with all the shitwork.

LanaDReye Tue 16-May-17 09:33:07

If he comes back now will it be conditional - everything his way as he's done you such a favour in returning?

Wouldn't you like freedom to be yourself and to be valued for being you?

I was with exH for almost two decades. In the end he showed me no respect when he left for OW, but my life is now mine. I don't have to please him or be second place. It's hard having time away from DCs at first but then it's time to develop and try new things.

Crunchyside Tue 16-May-17 09:34:18

Sorry I haven't been in this situation but I'm the child of divorced parents and I do feel that it sounds like you're all better off apart.

If their dad is a bit miserable about family life, that's not going to be nice for the kids growing up whereas if they see him once a week (or whatever the arrangement will be) and he actually makes an effort with them on those days, that might be better for everyone.

I'm sure it'll be a tough year or so without help but when your younger one gets to about 2 or 3, I do think it becomes easier, and by that point your older one will have matured too.

There's no point sticking together just for the thought of holidays and special occasions either. I didn't get to go on a lot of "family holidays" with my single mum as she couldn't afford it but we did visit family in America once, and we went to Legoland and Windsor for a weekend, had a trip to Scotland etc. Nothing fancy or glamorous but really magical childhood memories - kids don't have as high expectations of holidays as adults do! Christmas you just have to make it work however you can - plenty of divorced families do this I'm sure if you have a look on here you will find lots of different ways people handle Christmas arrangements and still have a nice time.

When I saw the title of your thread I wondered "what's a 'successful' trial separation"? I assumed it would mean one that ends in a real separation! If it's got to this stage the relationship is probably beyond repair and it's time to move on to a new stage of your life. You could spend decades like this otherwise. You only live once, don't waste it in a miserable relationship.

PenelopeChipShop Tue 16-May-17 09:37:44

MrsBert yes I am doing. I'm working a couple of days this week (am freelance so it's irregular) but on one of those mornings I'm going to go out at 7am and let him get himself and both kids ready (oldest is at school so timing matters) then go and do a day's work. He has NEVER done this. I'm also using the weekend time that he's here to do my own thing as otherwise there's no time for me to recharge.

I'm just staggered by how selfish he has turned out to be. All he thinks about is what he needs and wants. I feel like he's completely disconnected from us. Recently the baby was quite ill with a virus and I had to take her to the out of hours doctor (about 8ish at night). He didn't even come home to babysit the older one as he knew my mum could help me. He even went out for dinner before coming home. If that had been the other way around I would have rushed to check how my baby was.

Didiusfalco Tue 16-May-17 09:38:10

MrsBB has it. Please don't let everything be on his terms. Think about what you want. Do you actually want someone who is so lukewarm about you/dc. Terrible for your self esteem. Is he worth it? I'd bet not.

Algernonplonkerthethird Tue 16-May-17 09:40:14

It irritates the fuck out of me when I read threads about so-called dads pissing off after kids are born when they realise the hard work that goes with having kids. Actually leaving the woman literally holding the baby. Let him go. Find someone mature who is deserving of you.

LesisMiserable Tue 16-May-17 09:49:04

I cant fathom why you had another child when it was already going wrong? I think that was selfish of both of you tbh. But now you're here. He has made a selfish(without the negative connotation) to leave and have space. If he doesnt want to be a family he can't be forced, he cant even be forced to see his children and with that you have my utmost sympathy because its horrible. Regrettably I would lower your expectations that he will come back/step up. Unfortunately breaks up with children are the most painful thing I think you can go through but you can get through it and at least you don't have the guilt that you split the family. I realise how cold comfort that is but it becomes sometimes the only thing you can cling to.

BiddyPop Tue 16-May-17 09:59:50

While you are doing your own thing at weekends, he needs to take the DCs out and look after them in his separated accommodation - not in their own house. This is what he chose and he needs to make it easier on you - not making a mess in the house and starting to understand the realities of caring for them.

You should also be able to relax in YOUR own home and space at the weekend when he is taking care of the DCs, not HAVING to go out for that. So sometimes meeting friends for coffee or going to a movie or whatever is good, but sometimes you want to clear out a closet or just have a long relaxing bath or do the flowerbeds - all of which require you to be at home without the DCs underfoot. And you should be able to do that. After all, HE can do that most nights in his own place through his own decisions (in terms of deciding to do things that caused the separation (you mentioned an EA) - regardless of who made the decision that he was moving out).

Stuck16 Tue 16-May-17 10:07:12

I could've written your post myself a year ago.
Last June my now exh moved out, he has depression and said he needed "space" to get himself well and then he'd come home a better husband and dad.
Well he had his time, I waited, I looked after the kids, I slept with him still, we celebrated our wedding anniversary, we told each other we loved each other daily.
Then, 4 weeks ago when the subject of him moving home came up he said he felt I wasn't interested in that happening and I wasn't making enough effort with him. What he means is he wasn't the centre of my universe because we have 2 DC the youngest is 3 and so when they're around they're commanding my attention and he doesn't like it.
Then it all came out that he's actually started seeing someone since March and ever since then he's been the biggest dickhead going.
I think by making out I'm some monster it eases his guilt about what he's done.
So whilst I had all the hope and will in the world for our separation to be temporary and helpful, it wasn't because he wasn't interested in actually making it work.

The thought of not spending Christmas with my kids plays on my mind a lot- especially as we always go to London to see family for the whole week. Currently exh doesn't live somewhere where he can have the kids overnight so for now he can't have them at Christmas anyway.
I wish I was further down the line to be able to say you will be better off- it's all still very raw and incredibly painful, I'm having to do things in small steps just to get by.
When I don't have to see him or have contact with him I am fine, better than fine in fact. However he seems to take pleasure in rubbing his new relationship in my face and doesn't often leave me in peace.
The key is to have as much structure and schedule as possible, something I'm struggling to get exh to agree to but I know once we get things set in stone it will make it easier for everyone

WicksEnd Tue 16-May-17 10:48:41

Sorry but t sounds to me like .hes pursuing someone else, edging his bets to see how it goes.
Hold your head up high, pass him the kids to have wherever he's chosen to go and do something for you.
Show him how capable you are then tell him to fuck right off.

ImperialBlether Tue 16-May-17 10:51:26

As far as Christmas is concerned, I wouldn't even consider spending it without my children, in your situation. You are doing all the hard work every day of the year - there's no way he should bounce in and have them on Christmas day. No bloody way.

I think it's clear he's not coming back. I'm sorry you're struggling, but it's better to face that sooner rather than later. What a waste of space he is.

PenelopeChipShop Tue 16-May-17 14:38:32

Thank you for all the replies. Oh crap baby just woke so will be back later to reply fully!

Adora10 Tue 16-May-17 15:06:13

What a bloody disgrace, how you can you have a jot if respect for him, he has walked out on you and two tiny babies, for what, to see what else is out there, he's already got form.

Stop allowing you to live in limbo coming and going, set a date and discuss if it's even a good idea him coming back; I'd not want him after him doing that, he's not got your back at all OP, only his own.

Adora10 Tue 16-May-17 15:07:37

Let him spend time with his own kids without you there to clean up or support him, they are his own children let him spend time alone with them; he sound unbelievably selfish.

PenelopeChipShop Tue 16-May-17 15:54:15

LesIsMiserable - to be clear, I found out about the emotional affair within a couple of weeks of discovering I was pregnant with no.2. And I was 'lucky' enough to fall pregnant almost straight away. So in one stroke discovered that he wasn't happy in the relationship but had chosen not only not to share that with me but to carry on trying for a baby in the full knowledge that he was going behind my back with another woman.

Thanks for pointing out that I was selfish for having another baby though!!!!! I didn't know about any of this until it was too late. My daughter is here now and she's fabulous so I wouldn't change her. But yes, had I not happened to fall pregnant that particular month, the truth is that I would NOT have two children now. But that's the hand life - or my DH - has dealt me.

Stuck16 Tue 16-May-17 17:23:41

OP my exh did the same to me- trying for a baby for 4 years, fell pregnant finally- overjoyed for a few weeks then he started being weird, said I'd changed, wasn't as affectionate anymore (wasn't really in the mood for affection when I was throwing up 24/7 and exhausted)
He was distant through my whole pregnancy and when I was 37 weeks pregnant he went through my phone and decided I was trying to have an affair with one of my best friends.

You don't need to apologise for being duped into believing all was fine

MsWanaBanana Tue 16-May-17 17:37:52

Wow LesIsMiserable. If only OP could find a time machine so she can go back and un-make her 'selfish' decision to have another child. Helpful advice there

PenelopeChipShop Tue 16-May-17 19:42:27

Wow Stuck16 so sorry to hear that. Sounds like your partner went off the whole idea even sooner than mine. How long ago was that for you? And how are you doing?

PenelopeChipShop Tue 16-May-17 19:45:19

TBH Adora I am not sure that I do want him to come back, certainly not the way things were anyway. Oddly he has been much more engaged with the kids since not living here, I guess as he knows that's his only time them til next time... even though in practice he's seeing them the same amount of time as before. And I have more time to myself not less as I go out...

PenelopeChipShop Tue 16-May-17 19:47:15

Sorry Stuck I've realised you posted more fully above too. They sound really similar!!!

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