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How to help ex husband without helping him?

(52 Posts)
LuxLuxLux84 Fri 22-May-20 21:07:32

I have been separated for two years and divorce has been in process but not concluded yet mainly because of my guilt at my young children’s’ feelings. My STBXH was a real shit during our marriage- no affairs but gaslighting, verbal abuse , being incredibly mean wit his physical help when I was parenting an extremely intense autistic child and then a new baby. My life is now a real struggle mentally and physically and I fave all sorts of worries and despair about the future. I have also nursed hopes that he Might realise his part in the marriage breakdown rather than his finger wagging accusations that I have been “ completely unreasonable” have no control over my emotions etc etc . All
I have had from him have been Sleazy advances. He works as a consultant in the nhs but has no savings, lives in a rented one bedroom flat and has no friends. He has no family here. He has not told his colleagues he is separated do they all think he lives with us. I have Long been concerned that he is drinking and he has confirmed this. He hasn’t seen kids since lockdown as we talked about how he would come if he got tested etc. It’s been really hard and I’m sorry he hasn’t seen the kids but it’s been a relief not seeing him. He usually comes once A week And I Leave him My house and car As in the situation has been too
Much for my autistic child to go out (
My children love him as he is very
Affectionate and Playful with them. I am
Run ragged mentally and physically but at the same time I know my mental strength despite his suggestions that I have some kind of mood disorder . He was going to come here tomorrow but when I expressed some concern about catching it from
Him ( I’m worried as kids have no other family if I get sick) he told me he had been drinking heavily and needed to detox. I told him that I couldn’t help him and that he never appreciated any concern from
Me during our marriage ( he accused me of being controlling When I tried to suggest anything relating to self care ). I have told him it’s up to
Him and I can’t help him.
I feel bad for saying this and predict at a later date he’l Tell Me what an awful human being I am
. My tendencies are always to get inVoiced and try to help and it’s never appreciated. Does anyone have any advice- experience with an ex h letting themselves go to seed like this, successful outwardly etc and blaming his misery on you? He switches between telling me I’m a great mum, a good person etc etc to making me feel like I’m responsible for all of his miseries and everything wrong in his life and in mine. He regularly attempts to sext me and acts hurt when I rebuff him
But it’s so deeply offensive when I’ve had the bone achingly exhausting days I’ve had and need so
Much to be spoken to
Like a human being and offered
Love and I get this grim horny stuff.

Clumsyduck Fri 22-May-20 21:14:19

Men like this are such fkin drains . Honestly you sound a really nice person but he is not your problem stop wasting your energy on him

BumbleBeee69 Fri 22-May-20 21:20:43

Stop all contact FFS

LuxLuxLux84 Fri 22-May-20 21:31:42

I don’t know how I stop all contact when we have two small children and the autistic one. Is not able to cope with going to his place yet. He doesn’t take them out because he can’t keep them both safe which I sort of get as I massively struggle but I do cope just about . He has no money to get a bigger place than his rented one bed. I am comfortable financially due to a family trust fund ( not massive) which he resents hugely. I have realised during lockdown that I need a break and I need him to have them overnight at his place every other Saturday but if he’s drinking too
Much etc i don’t want my 2 year old daughter there. My autistic child throws things inside ( no concept of hard items or soft jumps off and climbs furniture, Throws things out if windows if he can etc, my 2 year old runs taps, runs I opposite direction and screams with laughter when we are out it towards water etc - it’s c difficult so I do worry about their safety. He also Lives on the other side of lomdon.
Kids talk about
Missing daddy and daddy coming home. I have no other family.
I can’t see any way out of
My situation at the
Moment. Do you think I did the right thing telling him I couldn’t help him?

mellicauli Fri 22-May-20 21:35:13

Complete the divorce.
Tell him you will report him to the police if he sexts you again
Every time you think about helping him, do something nice for yourself instead
You’ve done enough for him and he’s just a taker so will never give you anything back for you

Vretz Fri 22-May-20 21:36:30

I think you're being really reasonable as a man. I think PP was suggesting talking to him only about the kids and ignoring all other contact. It's a reasonable thing to do, as he's not getting the hint that it's over.

Re the kids, it's sensible to have something legal in place about communication and the boundaries. A court can ratify that, and it's appropriate here. If he continues focusing on you, then you do have a harassment case here.

Fanthorpe Fri 22-May-20 21:44:41

I think you’ve done a hugely good thing by removing him physically from your daily life. His behaviour isn’t good enough for him to play a part in the children’s lives. If you have the resources find some childcare (after lockdown) so you get some respite.

A good dad keeps his kids safe and wants their mother to feel secure in his ability to care for them. He’s just a tiresome drain by the sound of it.

Take care of yourself, you’ve got a lot to cope with.

Porridgeoat Fri 22-May-20 21:46:44

Can he have one child at a time to build his confidence up? One child one weekend, other child following weekend and so on.

Then post lockdown he can have them both together one night each weekend.

B1rdflyinghigh Fri 22-May-20 21:52:03

So you're ex is a grown man who earns at least £75k a year lives in a one bed flat, drinks excessively, cant manage his own children and sexts you. I'd say that you are perfectly within your own rights not to help him. In fact I applaud you.
Are there any respite type places that can assist you with having a break from your autistic child? Just to give you a rest?
I think that you're doing amazing well. Be proud of yourself.

pog100 Fri 22-May-20 21:52:12

Agree with the others, it's not your role to "help" him anymore. Keep contact to strictly visiting children arrangements.
How come he can only afford such a small place and no car if he's a consultant? I assume he's paying you child maintenance but still?

LuxLuxLux84 Fri 22-May-20 22:14:23

My son is too small for respite. I am protective of him, he’s bright, husky anxious, complicated. He is very hard work because he is very repetitive and rigid and controlling and you have to understand his patterns and his use of language to avoid huge Anxiety meltdowns. Until he’s a little more robust I can’t send him onto the care of strangers. I’ve tried nannies but I always end up deaki g with the difficult episodes myself as they don’t know what to do even the ones who say they have experience and charge more for it. And having A nanny arias makes my son more difficult- it’s very hard.

I feel so bad for my children about he life I’m giving them. I am all set for them to hate me and blame me in later life. I very day o do all I can- we bake, we go on picnics with all the difficulties we gave and episodes and at the end of every day I feel
Physically like I have run a marathon and Emotiomally I have nothing left so when I get a horny text and joy a “
I’m sorry , I love you, what can we do?”
Or a “ I’m so down - you all
Loom like you’re having fun” I feel so let down. I just don’t know how to make this better for any of us. No solution seems happy in any way,

LuxLuxLux84 Fri 22-May-20 22:14:59

Like you’re having fun ( I share photos with him )

Clumsyduck Fri 22-May-20 22:52:23

If he sorted himself out an became a better parent then of course that would benefit your dc and yourself so I can understand you wanting to help him become that in that regard however I don’t think you can help him . And you shouldn’t have to he is a grown man

He sounds selfish as hell .

Iris27 Sat 23-May-20 07:45:27

He is not your responsibility any longer and you need to be clear on that to himself and yourself. I think if you try and disengage from him and his problems this will help your mental state somewhat.

It sounds like you're doing a great job with the kids in your circumstances but I think you're right - he is in no position to help you at the moment. Please remember it won't be like this forever. Try and get through each day and see it as a win when you do. Longer term I think you need to find some way to get yourself some respite - even if it's just a plan for something when ther kids are older.

At the moment you are takingon the worries and stresses of the children.. I think if you stop hoping this man is going to change and just accept him for what he is, and completely disengage from his problems then you might start to feel better. You don't need his crap on top of what you're dealing with. Please at least start with this. Dont react to his finger pointing. You don't need to. You both know what's really going on here, he's a mess, and it's nothing to do with you.

One day he might take responsibility and sort himself out. But that's completely on him.

Practically wise, i get why you have him round yours for the kids. How long do you leave them? Can you start to extend the period so you can get a full day to yourself?

Iris27 Sat 23-May-20 07:46:26

*worries and stresses of three children that's supposed to say

Spillinteas Sat 23-May-20 08:39:39

Lux stop sharing the photos. You are both still so connected and you need to cut the cord. He treated you like shit when you were together and he is still relying on your energy now.

The next time he earns you a stupid message block him. If you can tell he is about to start sending you messages pre warn him.

‘Look if I start getting silly messages I’m blocking you. This really isn’t on. We are not with each other anymore’

Have you ever had sex with him whilst you have split up?

MitziK Sat 23-May-20 09:36:41

As an NHS consultant/doctor, he has access to extremely high quality detox facilities via the BMA - at the nearest Psych Hospital to where I live, there is a dedicated unit/ward for inpatient detoxification and counselling/therapy, for example. It's a very fancy place compared to the standard NHS wards. All part of the wellbeing support that is freely available if a doctor or medical student contacts them.

There is no need for you to get involved in the slightest.

You cannot let your children go anywhere near somebody like that.

You cannot help someone like that.

Make sure you receive the maintenance you are entitled to and use some of it to get help without subjecting yourself to a sleazy drunk or wondering whether he's going to pass out drunk and your child gets hurt due to lack of supervision.

LuxLuxLux84 Sat 23-May-20 09:59:45

Iris27 thank you and apologies for all
The typos in my Late night post! He Gomes once a week 11-3/4 pm so I leave him the car and lunch for kids and go out. I hate it. If it’s cold/ raining etc it’s miserable. There is so much I could do alone in the house if he’d take them out but he can’t keep them safe and I actively don’t trust him too as I am fit and very hyper vigilant and I struggle. . If I look good ( in his opinion not nine) he flirts with me and I fawn because I am deeply insecure and also it’s either that or all
My peat up rage will come out. When I met him he didn’t drink, He chain smoked though. He gave up smoking when we had our son ( I begged) He has chewed nicotine gum for the last 6 years. He started drinking when the marriage started getting very rocky about 4 years ago. It’s so sad because he is a successful ( doctor) , very funny, extremely intelligent and once good looking man and our marriage could have had so much promise. He just put all his effort into work and the. Expected to come home and okay chess on his computer for hours, watch tv, relax completely and
As I was not working and he grew up on a family bv where he never had to do chores in the house he expected to do nothing domestically and getting him up empty bins or mow lawn even when pregnant caused contempt and rows. Getting him to shower before 2 pm and take my son out for an hour at the weekend when I was on my knees with exhaustion became a battle I often gave up on and would walk my son in the park surrounded by dads and kids as they were letting their wives have a rest. And yes he accused be of being controlling trying To get him to shower but before you all do too I had a sensory seeking, still breastfeeding 3 year old snacking plates and climbing the walks literally and I needed him to take my child out and give me a rest. He would eat me “ rest” was all o cared about and I don’t want to spend time as a family!
This often meant I didn’t get the rest as it wasn’t worth it and didn’t want to spend time with him as I thought he was so mean.

LuxLuxLux84 Sat 23-May-20 10:00:09

He comes not Gomes

LannieDuck Sat 23-May-20 10:47:03

You needed someone who would parent. That's totally reasonable, and his refusal to do even the smallest part of the hard work is the reason you eventually split up with him.

He still expects you to do it for him - he does one hour a week of fun-time with the kids in the easiest environment. You do everything else. No wonder you're exhausted.

In addition, he expects you to sort out the rest of his life for him - e.g. his drinking problem. Why is that your problem to sort out for him? Why isn't it his problem? Why is none of it his problem?

You're separated. He needs to take on his own burdens and stop trying to dump them on you. Don't let him make you feel bad when you won't take them. You already do all his parenting for him.

LannieDuck Sat 23-May-20 10:48:01

(Sorry, the 1 hour fun-time Daddy was when you were still together. I see he does 1/2 day now.)

Gutterton Sat 23-May-20 11:37:46

You have been dealt a v tough hand. You need to divide and conquer in order to conserve your finite mental energy so that you can do the best for your DCs and yourself. You need emotional space and air and he is sucking this from you.

So this means priorities and compartmentalising.

Your xH living his indulgent single life with zero responsibilities and all the time and space in the world does not get to feature.

He is not a priority and does not get to drain you of limited emotional resources that you need for yourself and your DCs,

Rearrange communication. Don’t send him photos - you are giving him the illusion that he has created these magic moments for his DCs. Stop that. Have zero communication except about contact - only on email that you will look at once a week. Block his phone - he is sexually harassing you and emotionally manipulating you.

If you have legitimate concerns about his ability practice and patient safety - you could lodge an anonymous tip off. But don’t get involved in this mess - he has abandoned you with enough mess already.

Once you have restored a small amount of energy by removing this drain - think about other ways to cope. As PP said taking one child at a time - might help - even to the park now it is summertime.

Other practical support - even if you had a nanny for a few hours a week / day as a spare pair of hands to help - and over a 6 month period they built up to having alone time?

Turn your back on your XH - he is the last straw - the drinking and him telling you about it is a manipulative tactic to drain you even more - don’t been drawn. You can’t carry him.

LuxLuxLux84 Sat 23-May-20 19:11:58

Gutterton I have zero concerns about him professionally- he has always been incredibly professional at work and his reputation in that regard is extremely important to him .

I have fought the urge to call him today to see if he’s ok. There was a thread about how lonely single people are during lockdown on this site and it made me feel bad as he is utterly alone. However when he thinks that’s a good reason to text me inappropriately because he “ needs to f**ck” my sympathy is somewhat dampened. He’s emotionally tone deaf but is righteous about how much he understands how things are for me. I am
Moving towards being ready to finalise my divorce as I am so revolted by him but I feel like if he killing him, giving him a green light to self destruct, I’m also weirdly fearful although I’m not sure why. I am also convinced that my kids will grow up to hate me particularly my daughter or that she will go wild as a teen because of what I’ve done.

category12 Sat 23-May-20 19:53:43

OP, you need to detach emotionally - you're not responsible for him.

You have to remember the 3 Cs' of dealing with an alcoholic: you didn't cause it, you can't control it and you can't cure it. And any mental health problems he has, only he can help himself, you can't do it for him.

Read up about co-dependence and enabling.

He's a full grown adult man and he will make his own choices.
You need to make the right ones for yourself, and your kids, which are categorically not ones that have you sacrificing yourselves to him.

category12 Sat 23-May-20 19:55:07

And you need to block him on your phone and only have contact via email.

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