Dh works away, he has been away for 3 weeks, due home in under 2 weeks and planning to officially split once he is home. He knows it's on the cards, we haven't spoken since he went away, he has phoned the kids 3 times and that's it. Without going into it all, reason for split is his attitude towards the Dc since they were born (now 5 + 3), always seemed like they were an inconvenience, never spent ant time with them and now they never seem to measure up, full of criticism towards them, never encouraging etc. I've had enough of it all bow, feel like I'm constantly trying to shield them from him. Anyway since he went away this trip, my Ds been missing Dh loads, upset at bedtime, can't wait for him to come home and has this image of a dad that plays lego lots and spends lots of quality time with him. He sat and built a lego truck one morning in the 6 weeks he was at home because Ds had asked and asked. Obviously Ds doesn't know that we are going to be separating but it's almost like he has a sixth sense about it?? And its making me feel awful about breaking the family up...
It seems to me that your son is craving his fathers attention and doing things to get it, meaning he knows how his dad feels and seeks to overturn it. So when this man comes home and acts as you say he does, with disdain and disinterest, your son is going to get hurt.
Under those circumstances it seems that you are doing the least worst thing......x
I think you’re doing the right thing splitting up in these circumstances. I split with my similarly disinterested ex when my dd was 4. It actually worked better when she only saw him once a fortnight. She’s now 18 and gets on pretty well with her dad (and extremely well with her much more involved and caring stepdad).
@bluejelly thanks, I'm hoping that he will become a better dad to them once we split, it'll be a shame that it has come to this but I know it's better for everyone to get out of this situation. Life is fine when he's away and he will be fine on the telephone but since ages it has been a disappointment when he gets home.
A man I know confesses he wouldn't have such a great relationship with his ds if he has stayed married. . He will need to be there for ds and step up to parenting when he has 50/50. You aren't damaging him so stop feeling guilty. .
Maybe after the first night of having them he won't want to!! It's a big step for a df who hasn't really bothered with his dc. My advice is don't fight the overnights or he will insist on them to spite you (ime) - let him experience parenthood at its fullest for now. .
Since I split with my exh, his relationship with the dc has drastically improved. He regularly takes them swimming (which is something he had NEVER done in the 4 and 11 years of their lives). He takes them trampolining and to the cinema - Disney dad to the max. But they're happy with it! I did them a favour. Plus the criticism, which was a massive part of the reason for his leaving in the end, hardly happens and if it does well they don't have to live with it every day! I think he wants them to think he's great so he's not gonna ruin his Disney image is he? He is on his best behaviour. If he upset them I would just reduce his contact and I think he knows that. You are DEFINITELY doing the right thing.
My exH was totally absent dad to our two DC when still living together. They barely missed him as he was always unavailable to them. When he moved out, he stepped up to see them once in a week (now gone down to once fortnightly) and now having experienced his attention, they miss him much more. Still exH does not see them enough, but at least there is that undivided attention for a day. My boyfriend actually sees and enjoys my DC more than their own dad. My DC are mildly confused with the situation (early days still), why dad cannot see them more and why this strange man enjoys actually getting down and playing with them, but I been gently explaining to them. DC are 9 and 7. I have been separated for 1.5 years. Boyfriend of 1 year introduced to my DC a couple of months ago.
If this is any help to you at all OP I felt awful guilt ending things with my DD's dad. He didn't do anything wrong but I had fallen out of love with him. He spent all his weekends on his hobby and I was left to parent dd on my own, however she adored him.
After the split he became and still is a much better father. He uses the time he has her now to spend quality time with her. It worked out so much better than I was worried about.
Thanks for your replies. It will be great for the kids if this how it works out like this for them. It's a shame our marriage has to be sacrificed before it may happen though. There's so much resentment built up over the years because of his behaviour that I do not actually want to be with him anymore. We are not the family unit I had imagined we would be, far from it!