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I left my husband in the midst of depression. I basically took away my dd's chances of having a dad.

(18 Posts)
cupcakesmakeyouhappy Wed 29-Nov-17 19:57:24

It's been a few years but I still carry guilt. I had a terrible upbringing. No role model. I had no identity (only realise that now) as I was alone from the age of 17 (emotionally unavailable, mum growing up and an abusive step dad).
When I met my dd's dad it was like I was being saved from a life of pain. Although, what I didn't realise is how much my past was going to effect my marriage. I suffered with depression as a teen and thought it had disappeared until I suffered pnd. It had a massive impact and I thought I was unworthy of love. I never looked after myself, isolated myself and had no confidence (emotional abuse continued from step dad). I was angry for feeling this way as I should be happy. I basically disliked myself so so much. I continued to feel like I had no identity (I only realise that now).
I ended my marriage. He moved on very quickly and started distancing himself over the years. He now only sees them 2 Sunday's a month. He doesn't take interest in anything they do socially or at school.
In that time I found me. I'm a completely different person. I could never be like my parents, my dd's come first.
Although we are all happy, me and my dd's. I feel deep regret. I took away their family. Their dad. I feel if I was the person I am today, I would not of ended my marriage.
Has anyone got any similar stories?
How do I live with the regret of taking that away?

Jenala Wed 29-Nov-17 20:11:11

My first thought is that perhaps you had to go through that process (leaving) in order to find yourself and become the person you are today. You're not like your parents were and it sounds like you are happier than you were too. All of this is beneficial for your children. If you had stayed with him yes they might have a dad and family life but would they have you, the mother you are now?

You can't know of course but you may have stayed depressed and you certainly wouldn't be the person you are today. It sounds like you should be proud of how far you have come and whilst I can understand thinking 'what if', ultimately your experiences, including leaving your husband, have led you to relatively good place you are in now. It sounds a bit trite I guess but I think it's true.

I've done some stuff in the past that I really regret but at the end of the day I'm generally happy with how life is now, and it wouldn't be the way it is without both my good and my bad past experiences iyswim.

NellyNouNou Wed 29-Nov-17 20:12:57

OP we can only do what we feel is right at the time. We cannot turn back time and be different people then as we all grow and move forward.

Cut yourself some slack. There is no benefit to anyone in regret.


cupcakesmakeyouhappy Sat 02-Dec-17 18:59:25

Sorry for late reply! Thankyou, and you're both right. I think I'm at that age (midlife crisis) and with Christmas around the corner, lots of feelings and emotions going on. I saw a wedding pic today and couldn't stop staring at it, so strange. I wish I could go back and tell the younger me a few things. Never mind 😊

DancingLedge Sat 02-Dec-17 19:20:53

It is NOT because of the marriage breakup that DC's Dad doesn't take an interest in their social or school lives.
Okay, not being there all the time makes it harder for a NRP to stay in the loop of what's going on in DCs lives- but that spurs some fathers to try harder.To see their DC every week, to keep that connection. Some do this.

Other fathers, whether resident or not, let's face it, feel that the DCs school stuff and social stuff is really wife work, and are not really their concern.

Unless you moved huge distance away/refused contact/etc., I think blaming yourself for him being a somewhat distant father is just not on. Some fathers base their lives around DC they don't live with, others don't. Being an adult, that is his responsibility, not yours.

cupcakesmakeyouhappy Sat 02-Dec-17 19:44:22

That is very true! We live in the next street and I have always tried to encourage contact. He just cut it, slowly. Now it's like a chore and that is sad. I question if my dd's feel his emotional unavailability as they're getting older. I sometimes wish he would cut contact completely as more damage is done when fathers are dipping in and out of children's lives. I posted because I felt guilty for this happening as I asked for the divorce!

Reflexella Sat 02-Dec-17 20:08:42

Wow no, you are not responsible for what sort of parent he is.
Maybe you are looking back at your relationship with rose tinted specs?
My thought in reading your post was that if he’s not that great a parent, he probably wasn’t that great a partner?

cupcakesmakeyouhappy Sat 02-Dec-17 20:21:23

I was very depressed! I wish I wasn't but I had a terrible childhood in which I couldn't understand why I felt the way I did. It's only now, I do understand and I have overcome so much. He was emotionally unavailable. Not a mean or abusive person. Maybe he was just unavailable because I was always so depressed. I guess I will never know.

Flopjustwantscoffee Sat 02-Dec-17 20:21:36

My parents split up, and due to various reasons ended up n different parts of the country. My dad put every effort into spending time with us as the none resident parent and I had, don't still have, an excellent relationship with both parents - they've both been there when I really needed them. It's sad if your dad doesn't end up having that sort of relationship with her father, but it's nothing to do with your decision to break up, and everything to do with his (unfortunate) decision to withdraw from her life after you seperated

Flopjustwantscoffee Sat 02-Dec-17 20:23:21

Also, if you'd stayed together it's highly likely that he would have continued to be fairly disinterested/emotionally unavailable to your daughter as she grew up. It would have been less obvious to other people, and probably easier to rationalize/find excuses for, but I'm not convinced it would have been better for her

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Sat 02-Dec-17 20:26:49

He lives streets away and sees his dc twice a month? Yeah, that's definitely not on you. He's a shit excuse for a father and I'm questioning whether it's this sort of trait in him which is why you wanted to leave in the first place (mixed in with the other things you mention).

It's a huge shame for your dc, but he's to blame for that entirely.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sat 02-Dec-17 20:32:46

That is very true! We live in the next street and I have always tried to encourage contact. He just cut it, slowly. Now it's like a chore and that is sad.

If he had divorced you would you have not bothered with your kids? Of course not. This is on him not you.

cupcakesmakeyouhappy Sat 02-Dec-17 20:48:35

This has helped me so much, thankyou! I have never thought of what life could of been like if he continued to be unavailable emotionally, towards our dc's. Yes, it is a disgrace and it saddens me more than I can explain. Oh wow, thankyou everyone. I have felt guilt for quite some time.

Reflexella Sat 02-Dec-17 21:09:25

Maybe you were depressed partly due to his emotional unavailability.
Don’t blame yourself, keep rolling x

just5morepeas Sat 02-Dec-17 21:14:03

He now only sees them 2 Sunday's a month.

Then quite frankly he's an arsehole and you're better off without him.

Any man who sees his kids as little as that is worth no time at all in feeling regret over.

Isadora2007 Sat 02-Dec-17 21:16:58

Have you considered that you chose an emotionally unavailable man similar to your Mum? It was probably familiar to you on one level.

Your children sound like they hugely benefitted from the changes that have happened for you, and their dad being an arsehole is NOT your fault. No way.
Be kind unto yourself- you have done fabulously well to get where you are now. flowers

DancingLedge Sat 02-Dec-17 21:34:59

Again, you're putting responsibility on yourself.
Maybe he was just unavailable because I was always so depressed.

So he was emotionally unavailable when you were married, and has continued being so regarding DC , after divorce.
Nope, that sounds conclusively like it's him. Just how he is.

I find myself wondering if you , being depressed,on some level, chose someone who wasn't too demanding, wasn't really up for being emotionally intimate.

Whatever. You didn't cause his interactions, which sound like quite a lifelong pattern. You did not cause this.

What you did do, which was certainly the greatest gift you could have given to your DC, was to leave an unhappy relationship, and overcome your depression. Those are considerable achievements, which will contribute to your DCs ability to grow up happy and healthy. Go you!
Celebrate what you've given to your DC.

Does my divorce guilt story resonate? Was watching a lovely family , on a family day out, and feeling sad/ guilty that this would never happen again for my DC, because I left their father. Real heart stab moment.

Then I shook myself, and remembered that, on a typical family day out, there would have been huffing, blaming, sulking. And that we actually had more fun without him.

cupcakesmakeyouhappy Sun 03-Dec-17 15:31:34

Thanks everyone 😊 really interesting thoughts....
I met my ex when I was at a very low point. He was from a religious background and I looked at him as my saviour. What I really needed, looking back, was to save myself.
I clung to what I thought would help me. Judging before knowing the real person.
There are so many traits I have picked up being in an unemotional relationship. Being bought up in an emotionally unavailable home. Many years on, I am accepting myself more, being kinder to myself.
I'm not sure I would of if I stayed married. One thing I have learnt here is, remembering back and trying to find but never could so yes maybe it was because of my marriage.
Reading here about doing my dd's a favour, yes I see this now. Thankyou everyone, it's lovely to be able to chat.

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