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Boyfriend leaving me and our two kids(12 Posts)
I'm sure you've read these kind of threads countless times, but I could do with getting this all out.
So, I've been with my boyfriend for around 16 years and we have two gorgeous kids - 5 and 8. I gave up working around 8 years ago to look after the kids while my boyfriend's career flourished.
Our relationship started to nosedive around 5 years ago (for him) and probably around 3 years for me. We never argued and got on very well, but we drifted apart. He did his own thing in the evenings and so did I, but we were always there for the kids. About a year ago, he started to really pull away, snapping at me and the kids all the time. He started acting slightly oddly - wanting to get tattoos etc.
Just before Christmas, he started trying to encourage me to make new friends and start up hobbies etc. Then last week, after us barely talking for a day or so, I brought up the fact that our relationship was in a mess. He then poured out his heart, saying that he had wanted to leave for a while. He felt he would be a better dad by only seeing the kids every other weekend. He felt we had totally drifted apart and that our relationship was irreparable.
I am devastated. I wanted him to have his space, move out and give each other space, but he insists he wants to do it permanently. He is in a very good job and I am unemployed, so I feel totally stuck.
There are other issues. I suffer really badly from anxiety and looking after the kids on my own makes me totally panicked and sad. I am an okay mum when my boyfriend is around, but when I'm on with own with them, I find I am shouty and unloving towards them. They're going to need support when my boyfriend moves out (in a few days). They're already struggling to come to terms with daddy moving out and I am useless around them. I wanted so much more for them (I come from a broken home myself), but now we're stuck financially and I am falling apart. My boyfriend doesn't understand that being on my own with them could damage their mental health, but at the same time I don't want him to be with us if he doesn't want to.
I know I should be grateful for what I have, but I feel totally alone. My friends and family are supportive, but it doesn't seem to help this terrible feeling I have about our future.
Please - any words of wisdom? Should I just give him space or simply accept that it's over?
I also suffer from anxiety - I'm sorry I don't have any advice on your current situation but I strongly recommend you ring your doctor or google the mental health for your area if you are in the UK (as sometimes you can self refer ie don't need to speak to a doctor first).
I have had CBT on the NHS on and off for a few years - Anxiety is something that can be sorted. You just need to be taught the skills to understand more about your self beliefs, what is triggering you and skills and tools to resolve the feelings. This will not just benefit you but it will help your children as you can then teach what you have learnt to them or model it in your behaviours.
Whatever happens with your relationship, it sounds like you need some support so I really urge you to speak to your doctor or local mental health team so you can be put on the waiting list. Its really easy to do - you just send a text and they will call you for a 30min chat and then you will be on the list.
I can guess this will seem overwhelming to you at the moment - but you said yourself you have not been happy for three years. Sometimes significant change can end up being super positive - this might be the first step you need to find a way to resolve your anxiety and start living the life you want to lead.
If this man does not want to live with you - it might seem hard at first but what is also happening is its not just space for him - its also space for you to free you up to have someone come into your life who cherishes you.
Look around at all the succes stories on mumsnet, you will get through this and be happier for it. Good luck.
same time I don't want him to be with us if he doesn't want to
Well that's tough.
He's a dad - he doesn't get to be a part time one every other weekend.
Could you pick up your career where you left off?
Could you get a job or is your anxiety too much at the moment?
I'd suggest to him a 50:50 split of the residence of the kids.
That's the starting point.
Not every other weekend.
He needs to pull his weight and he needs to understand that!
You need to get your career back on track so it's 50:50.
Get to CAB and a solicitor and see where you would stand on benefits, housing, maintenance, etc.....
It's a shame you didn't marry - it leaves you far more vulnerable.
I’m so so sorry, that sucks honestly. I think you have to accept it’s over. Agree with him contact and when he’ll have the kids as that will make it easier for you to have a break and be less “unloving”. Based on how often he has them, decide/look to CMS for child maintenance. If you share the kids 50/50 then you won’t receive any but he will support them when he has them on his time.
Start looking for a job. What kind of job did you have before ?
Absolutely pull him up on the eow thing. I wish I hadn't been so pole - axed with shock when my ex left and fucked off some distance away. He's dad of the year on the 4 days a month he has them which does not include school runs, homework, tedious everyday parenting, juggling work etc. We could all be fabulous 'parents' on that score, if by parenting he means basically having a couple of fun days. The fact that you are demonstrably and openly saying you cannot cope well alone puts him firmly in the 'piece of shit' category for deciding he just can't be arsed anymore.
I echo what others have said - seek urgent help from gp, get as much support as you can from family and, whilst you are not married, there will be financials to deal with. He can't legally be forced to do more than CMS but if it's not a total arse I'd like to think he might consider paying more to help you manage in the short term at least.
Why doesn’t he want to see the DC more often ?
YEs agree tell him he can leave you but he cant leave the kids. EOW does not work for you and needs to be closer to 50/50
So he thinks he will be “ a better dad” only seeing them EOW... Funny isn’t it that so many fathers think parenting is only optional for them but compulsory for mothers ?
Given your anxiety issues I would be tempted to tell him that I would move out but would be happy to see the children EOW. I know you probably won’t actually do this .. not many women do .... but it might concentrate his mind on his responsibilities. I suspect 50/50 is the way to go in reality , although I suspect he will squirm at the thought of looking after his own children for this long.
Start looking for a job as a matter of priority and tell him that as you will be working ... just like him ... that he needs to organise child-care etc. and that he doesn’t get to just fuck off into the sunset because children are “ inconveniences”. Push your mental issues and say you can’t parent them on your own ...
You have my sympathy being with this selfish piece of work.
He felt he would be a better dad by only seeing the kids every other weekend.
I'm speechless. What a bastard.
At the moment you are struggling to cope when you are on your own, so he does need to be take an equal share of their care. I wouldn't articulate it to him in this way. You need to insist he has 50% care so you can work and rebuild your life. Use the time you get back to resolve your issues with anxiety and rebuild your professional life.
That is the only good option for your children right now. Your boyfriend doesn't get to decide to opt out of parenting to your detriment. He had 8 years of you putting yourself on the back burner. Now he needs to find out what his share of parenting is.
I say this gently, but you were very silly to have children without being married when you gave up your job. And alarm bells should have been ringing much earlier that you are vulnerable.
Practically you need to find out where you stand financially. You should be gathering every scrap of paperwork you can find and seeking advice from CAB. Reach out to friends and family and build your network.
What is your housing situation? Make claims from tomorrow morning and start working out what your options are.
I am sorry OP, this situation is horrible. But you need to put your children first, then yourself and let your boyfriend worry about himself.
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