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I made the decision (whilst struggling with postnatal depression) to end my marriage 10 years ago. He then became almost non existent in dc's lives. If I'd stayed...

(43 Posts)
CakesRus3 Sun 06-Sep-20 16:22:58

My dc's would have a dad that is in their lives. There would be 2 incomes coming into the household. I would be less exhausted being both parents. My granddaughter would have a granddad.
I thought I didn't love him. I actually had no feelings. I had difficult pregnancies and births. Put on lots of weight. He was never abusive. He worked hard. I was just so selfish in making that decision. Did I think the grass was greener, no clue. If I was the person I am today, I would have helped myself, worked through the marriage as no marriage is perfect.
It's been 10 years and in that 10 years it's been exhausting. Physically and mentally. I decided to go back to school to become a nurse. To become financially stable. All the way through telling myself it's all going to be ok. It was so so difficult as a single parent but I made it through. He moved on quickly and he saw the dc's less and less. These days it's hardly ever. They haven't even been to his house. He's never taken them on holiday or had them over for Christmas.
What I can't seem to move on from, is the fact I made a selfish decision and it's backfired on myself and my dc's. I have always over compensated to ensure they were ok and didn't miss out. Is this my karma? Just needed someone to talk to, I don't have family. Always appreciated support here.

OP’s posts: |
Wakemeupwhenthisisover Sun 06-Sep-20 16:31:14

Well from an outsiders perspective you made the right decision as what sort of loving/good man stops seeing his children?

You sound like you’ve done so well and worked hard to provide a stable and loving home for your children. I’m appalled at your ex hardly seeing his own children, that is not the action of a loving father and that is not your fault!

Houseorflat Sun 06-Sep-20 16:45:21

Seems like you‘re seeing him through rose tinted glasses To choose not to see his children/grandchildren well I would not want to be married to a man who could make that decision Don’t blame yourself op

Thisisnotnormal69 Sun 06-Sep-20 16:50:26

Whether you’re together or not, he chooses not to see his own children, he’s a shit father who clearly doesn’t care about them. I don’t see why you being together would change that as this is clearly who he wants to be. You can’t take responsibility for that.

PaternosterLoft Sun 06-Sep-20 16:50:47

You were married to the type of man who has children who haven't even been to his house. I don't think the last 10 years would have been easier with him - they would have just been a different type of shit.

You have achieved so much more in this last decade than you would have with him - and you have your children. He does not.

Catsrus Sun 06-Sep-20 16:56:55

He would have been a shit father anyway, but with the downside of you having to live with him and see him being a shit father every single day.

He has shown you who he is.

Minimumstandard Sun 06-Sep-20 17:05:45

Being a parent is tough. Being a single parent is even tougher flowers. Doesn't mean that you made the wrong decision.

Fallowdeerhunter Sun 06-Sep-20 17:07:38

I think his behaviour has shown your were entirely correct to leave him. What kind of parent doesn’t see their child?

audweb Sun 06-Sep-20 17:07:53

Wait? So you spilt but he never saw the DC’s? Whose choice was that? His? You shouldn’t have to stay with someone to make them a father who is present in their life. That choice is on him. Plenty of people co parent without being together. Let go of the guilt, it sounds like you were present for your children and he was not. That’s on him. Not on you.

audweb Sun 06-Sep-20 17:09:37

For the record my daughters dad is barely present in her life. That’s his choice, I have never put up barriers, in fact I have quite often been the one to push for involvement. His crapness is not on me. I will not take on that emotional baggage, you shouldn’t either.

MagnificentDelurker Sun 06-Sep-20 17:11:49

You made the right decision and be very proud of yourself for the life you made. It is shit that they don’t have a father in their life but that’s not your fault.

Coyoacan Sun 06-Sep-20 17:14:14

OP, are you really taking the blame and responsability for what your ex does?

Just stop it. You don't have to compensate your children for their crap dad.

workhomesleeprepeat Sun 06-Sep-20 17:14:22

I think if you stayed he would have turned out to be the same shit dad he is today. Unless you made a massive effort to block contact between him and your children then I don’t really see why he’s dropped out of their lives.

When you say about 2 incomes - does he not give you money for his kids? Don’t put blame on yourself for this shitty man who won’t see or pay for his kids. Stop blaming yourself for gods sake.

VimFuego101 Sun 06-Sep-20 17:16:27

A truly good dad wouldn't have disappeared from their lives. I think you may be looking back through rose tinted glasses a little.

category12 Sun 06-Sep-20 17:20:16

What kind of man loses interest in seeing his children?

If he was a decent man, he would still be very much in their lives.

That's on him.

PickAChew Sun 06-Sep-20 17:21:58

If he'd been in any way decent, he would have made every effort to be in his children's lives.

Zaphodsotherhead Sun 06-Sep-20 17:23:39

You can't think this way. Yeah, maybe you would have had two incomes, but maybe he would have been injured or sick and unable to work for most of your children's childhoods. Maybe he would have been a rubbish dad even if he'd lived with you (he wasn't a great absent dad). Maybe life would have been easier, or maybe it would have been hard but in a different way (if he didn't become a hands' on dad you could have ended up parenting and clearing up after him as well).

Single parenthood is hard. But it's a lot better than staying with someone 'for the sake of the children', taking bad, inconsiderate or disrespectful behaviour for the sake of having that second income and another pair of hands.

StoneColdBitch Sun 06-Sep-20 17:25:07

Depends why contact broke down really. Did you put up barriers? Were you controlling or micromanaging of his contact time? If not, and he chose to drastically limit contact despite no opposition, then that reflects very poorly on him.

CakesRus3 Sun 06-Sep-20 18:15:17

Yes, you are all right. I tell myself this often. He has proven who he really is. I question how it would have been. Reading here, it makes me see him for who he is. Especially now you have asked how contact stopped. It's bringing back memories. It gradually got less and less. He took them to his mum's every other weekend for the first year. In this time he met someone and moved in together. He continued to take dc's to his mum's every other Sunday instead of the weekend as he wanted to coach football. I have never put barriers in the way. The opposite, I would have really appreciated his support. He sometimes cancelled but would never rearrange. He has never been to a school evening. Christmas he picks them up and takes them for tea and drops them home. He's never asked to have them. One year I was really poorly on the new year. Dc's asked to go to his to celebrate as they were looking forward to it. He refused. There has been times I have begged for him to have them for me to work but he just refused. I was stuck in traffic once and he was so angry that my middle dd became so anxious. He said he would drop them to my mums who lives miles away. I begged him to wait. In the end I just let him decide when he would collect and pick up. I tried to ask him again about 3 years ago. Explaining that it benefits the dc's as I can take them on holiday. He refused. He continues to holiday every year. From that day, I haven't communicated with him. I work extra hours so we can go on holiday. Followed by guilt because im always shattered. I don't ask him for anything. Things my dc's say when they have seen him make me feel so sad for them. The more I am typing the more I'm wondering why I even posted. I just remembered another incident. I won't bore you with it all. You are all right. It is alot of guilt that I need to let go of. I'm just struggling at the moment. It's so hard, alone.

OP’s posts: |
Coyoacan Sun 06-Sep-20 18:21:22

Please let go of the guilt. All your choices have been looking for the best for your children. If you've made mistakes, that is because you are human.

Guilt can be very destructive in our relationships with our children. I am shameless but my friends that have felt guilt towards their children have not allowed their adult children to mature.

category12 Sun 06-Sep-20 18:55:12

OP, maybe you could do with seeing the GP, as you sound very weary and low. It may be that you're depressed or run-down? It might be worth getting checked out for physical causes and if not looking at counselling and/or meds.

From what you describe of his behaviour, you are well-rid and your guilt is so misplaced. Sometimes women internalise anger (which would be well-placed at him) as depression and self-loathing.

Also, could Gingerbread help at all?

PaternosterLoft Sun 06-Sep-20 19:20:47

He won't have become that man overnight- I would bet his attitude was a contributing factor to your PND and how you felt at the time. Perhaps you couldn't see it or identify it but somewhere your mind and body were screaming 'no this isn't right.'

What support do you have from friends and family?

PicsInRed Sun 06-Sep-20 19:21:51

He sounds utterly shite.

I bet he either caused, or greatly exacerbated your PND.

History has determined that you made the right call. I'll bet he is no loss to the family and they're the better for having had all of your loving care - and none of Mr Disappearing Act.

troublingtimes Sun 06-Sep-20 19:51:16

You left him for a reason. Remember that. You are a fantastic mother. He is a terrible father. Go get some therapy so you can let this go. You deserve peace. Enjoy your kids. You’ve earnt them

CakesRus3 Sun 06-Sep-20 20:52:45

Thankyou everyone, really appreciate it.
Yes, I do need to maybe chat to someone. Work is difficult at the moment too so probably making me feel worse. I have a couple of friends but don't like to say too much. They know I'm struggling at work etc. I haven't said too much about anything else.
Thankyou again!

OP’s posts: |

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