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to think friend's ex-husband isn't to blame in this instance?

120 replies

enpointe · 12/05/2013 14:12

My friend split up from her husband a year ago, and they have two pre-school children. I'm using the word 'friend' here for the sake of convenience: while on the one hand we haven't fallen out as such, her behaviour to me at a mutual friend's wedding was so appalling I am trying to distance myself from her.

The reasons the marriage broke down were quite complex but ultimately, the husband did have an affair with another woman, who he left my friend for. I don't condone this behaviour for a minute. However, it also has to be said that he had reason to be very unhappy in the marriage, mainly due to the housework and childcare (he did everything, despite the fact she was a sahm and he worked full time) and she has struggled with keeping the house safe and hygienic to the point where social services have been involved. A custody battle was started then, and he was given more access to their children (50-50)

Anyway things broke down to the point where they weren't being civil to one another as he was getting a lot of requests for the same amount of money he was paying to start with even though the children were with him less time. He started to get an increasing number of texts/voicemails just saying "ring me, urgent." He asked her not to do this because it made him panic but she carried on, so he has changed his phone no and asked for contact to be via the solicitor or through email only.

Is he BU? She thinks so.

OP posts:
Movingtimes · 12/05/2013 14:16

Hmm, so he cheated on her, walked out on her, she isn't coping very well and you want people on MN to hoick their judgy-pants up. Glad you're not my 'friend'.

DameFanny · 12/05/2013 14:19

How did she behave at the wedding? Does it fit a pattern of behaviour?

Tryharder · 12/05/2013 14:20

Diificult to judge without knowing all the facts and in particular without knowing how many calls she was making.

FreddieMisaGREATshag · 12/05/2013 14:20

He sounds like an utter charmer.

WorraLiberty · 12/05/2013 14:21

Why do you care if you're trying to distance yourself from her?

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour · 12/05/2013 14:24

Without knowing all the facts, from what you've written he doesn't seem unreasonable at all. It does sound like an awful situation for them all though

It does bother me sometimes that men are seen as 'abandoning' their family if they leave. I know some men do, but as long as they are taking equal responsibility for their dc then why shouldn't they leave an unhappy relationship - we certainly encourage women to leave if things are bad

Hissy · 12/05/2013 14:26

If SS were involved, why is there only 50/50 care. Why did he not get majority custody?

The situation you describe sounds similar in lots of ways to my former boyfriend's marriage. His ExW is suspected to have Borderline Personality Disorder.

If that is the case or could be then really helped him.

enpointe · 12/05/2013 14:28

Fair enough Worra.

Movingtimes, she wasn't coping (if you mean in terms of the house and so on) before he left, that's one of the key reasons they split.

DameFanny, yes, her behaviour at the wedding was pretty dire.

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CloudsAndTrees · 12/05/2013 14:29

He IBU to not allow her to contact him other than through email or a solicitor. There are plenty of valid reasons why she might need to contact him over the phone.

It depends how clear he made it that she shouldn't use the 'ring me- urgent' thing unless it what actually urgent, and it depends how trivial the things were that she contacted him about and how frequently. If she was particularly over the top, then he may be justified, but it would take a hell of a lot for someone to want to be virtually uncontactable when the other person has their children.

McBalls · 12/05/2013 14:29

Well yes, she sounds thoroughly unreasonable.

But then it's not a great leap to think that you are presenting events in such a way as to invite a specific response. You've had a falling out, so it would feel cathartic to have a bunch of people agreeing with you that she's awful.

Basically, meh.

enpointe · 12/05/2013 14:29

Hissy, largely because of the houses. She is still in a HA property which has 3 bedrooms while he and his new partner have bought a property but it's quite a small 2 bed flat.

That's interesting what you say about the BPD. Her behaviour has at times been very strange.

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enpointe · 12/05/2013 14:30

McBalls, I suppose, I just wanted to explain that so I didn't get a load of "some friend why didn't YOU do something" posts.

Then I got one anyway Grin

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WorraLiberty · 12/05/2013 14:33

Lots of kids live in small 2 bedroom flats

If she's as bad as you say, there must have been a reason why he was denied custody, surely?

Lj8893 · 12/05/2013 14:34

Sounds like they are both to blame for different reasons.

Why do you care if she's not really your friend? Are you the new woman?

CloudsAndTrees · 12/05/2013 14:36

She can be a decent parent to her children at the same time as being a nightmare partner or ex.

There is no reason she should lose her children to him, especially if SS have visited after she has recently been left by her partner. They would have hoped things would improved as time went on.

PumpkinPositive · 12/05/2013 14:37

Are you the woman he left her for?

shewhowines · 12/05/2013 14:40

Given the facts you have said are accurate, YANBU.

WorraLiberty · 12/05/2013 14:40

Also it's possible that being at home with 2 pre-school children while your DH is fucking someone else, can bring on depression of sorts. That's not going to help with the housework is it?

How long did the affair go on before he left her?

He's had a busy year...a split with his wife, buying a property and a custody battle (a quick one at that).

So really neither of them sound like shit hot parents, but I hope she gets the help she clearly needs.

enpointe · 12/05/2013 14:41

No, I'm not the woman he left her for! Grin

Worra ... I don't know. It's to do with space, anyway. His new GF has a daughter as well so it would be pretty crowded. He wasn't denied custody, but he increased his access to the children.

She's fine as a mum - doesn't hit or anything like that - but the house isn't safe as she does seem to struggle. The kids have funded hours at nursery 3 days a week and other forms of support so she is being monitored.

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LessMissAbs · 12/05/2013 14:41

YANBU, in that you sound as though you have gone off this woman because of her own behaviour. If a situation is that bad, it might be better to restrict contact to through a solicitor or email (which can be pretty fast if you have it on your phone).

Just because she has had children doesn't mean she loses responsibility for the consequences of her own actions and choices in life. Just the same as with men.

Lj8893 · 12/05/2013 14:43

So why are you asking? What's it got to do with you?

I don't mean that in a rude way, I'm just wondering why you care if your not involved and arnt really that close to either party.

enpointe · 12/05/2013 14:43

Yeah Worra I do agree with you there. I don't attempt for a minute to say cheating on someone is OK or acceptable behaviour, it isn't, obviously it isn't.

Sorry, I used the custody battle thing out of context. It didn't go through the courts, it was a sort of verbal battle and eventually the compromise of the kids being with the XH four days a week was reached.

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scaevola · 12/05/2013 14:43

DC aren't "pay per view", but evn if they were he should be paying more if he has them less (standard formula - he's paying less directly as he has them less, but they still cost about the same).

No matter how unhappy he was in his marriage, it's not justification for an affair. His wife needed help tthe time of SS interventions, or at least common decency of a straightforward split without 3rd parties.

But I do think he's done the right thing now in stating admin only contact about the DC. An email account for this, which he checks frequently, seems a good arrangement. It might also be good to have a separate mobile phone for use only with her. This might provide reassurance for her when DCs are with him (and he can turn it off when they're not).

enpointe · 12/05/2013 14:44

Lj, I don't know. Just passing the time, I suppose.

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Lj8893 · 12/05/2013 14:44

Fair enough :)

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