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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:
FreddieMisaGREATshag · 12/05/2013 14:45

This thread is odd.

FreddieMisaGREATshag · 12/05/2013 14:47

Oh god I just realised that would sound like I was troll hunting and that's not what I meant at all. Blush

I just meant, without any other context, I don't understand the point of the thread or the Question you're asking.

enpointe · 12/05/2013 14:47

Is it? Sorry.

OP posts:
shewhowines · 12/05/2013 14:47

Why is he to blame or both to blame? He did everything in the house whilst he was working and she was a sahm. She failed to keep a hygenic house for her children afterwards. He is a caring involved dad who actually wanted to care for his kids fulltime as he believed this was best for them.
Yes, he made a mistake in having an affair, rather than just leaving to begin with , but I would imagine he stayed for the kids sakes and the marriage was over long before then.

He is now fed up of excessive phone calls making him panic. She didn't stop when asked to. She can still contact him by email and i'm sure he wouldn't mind a phone call i a real emergency.

I can't see how he can be blamed at all.

enpointe · 12/05/2013 14:48

I suppose part of me still feels a bit annoyed and pissed off at her behaviour towards me (and that really is unreasonable Grin) and her behaviour towards her ex is part of that pattern if you see what I mean?

OP posts:
enpointe · 12/05/2013 14:49

shewho - that's pretty much how I see things!

OP posts:
scaevola · 12/05/2013 14:55

Failure to keep a hygienic house does sound like severe depression or other MH condition.

I am also wondering about the timelines for this. Reactive depression during a spouse's affair isn't uncommon, including before the affair is discovered simply because of the change of behaviour by the unfaithful spouse and the lies/deceit/abuse that accompany the betrayal.

I think her needs might be the more urgent ones. Do you know what support she is getting now?

AnyFucker · 12/05/2013 14:55

You still haven't said what this woman did to you

enpointe · 12/05/2013 14:58

scaevola, the house was in a bad way when they were together, I don't think she was depressed at the affair although I accept she may have been depressed for other reasons. She doesn't behave as if she is but I do know that of course that doesn't mean she isn't.

AF - she stole what added up to a significant amount of money, stole presents from my DD and other expensive items.

OP posts:
HollyBerryBush · 12/05/2013 15:01

I don't think you can ever apportion blame in other peoples relationships.

It's only those in those four walls that knows what really goes on. The most charming of people can be utter shits once the front door is closed.

AnyFucker · 12/05/2013 15:02

Then distance yourself properly which doesn't normally consist of speculating about her private family business on the internet

WorraLiberty · 12/05/2013 15:07

I'm a SAHM. My DH works some very hard and unsociable shift patterns.

But if I let the house get in that sort of state, I'm quite sure he'd love and support me enough to help me do something about it, for all our sakes.

I doubt his first thought would be to fuck another woman.

So it's quite possible the marriage was dead anyway and he used the state of the house as an excuse to get out.

Either way, they need to sort out the money issue and if they're going to share custody 50-50...despite having 3 kids in a small flat, she's going to need to be able to contact him isn't she?

enpointe · 12/05/2013 15:23

lol if AIBU was populated by people only minding their own business, it would not be the busy forum we know and love ...

Worra, he did. Repeatedly, hiring cleaners, buying dishwashers, doing it all himself, you know, like you describe? It wasn't one day the house was a mess then the next he found another woman. It was 4 years of that followed by him meeting someone else. Then he decided to leave his wife.

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WorraLiberty · 12/05/2013 15:27

I just don't know how any house with hired cleaners and one parent doing it all themself can get into the state you describe?

I mean a state so bed that SS got involved?

It just doesn't add up. And by that I don't mean I think you're lying btw...just that someone might be spinning you a line regarding 'repeatedly hiring cleaners' and him doing it all himself.

enpointe · 12/05/2013 15:31

worra, I went to the house, honestly. It was bad. It got that way because she let two toddlers, a dog and two cats rampage through it. I went once with my DD and was going to stay the night. I ended up making an excuse and going back (2 hour drive.)

I had quite a bad episode of depression in my twenties, and my house got in a bad way. I actually (longish story here but anyway!) moved out to live in London for a bit, came back after a year and a half and I was sickened with myself I'd lived in that state for over a year. Her house was ten times worse.

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shewhowines · 12/05/2013 15:34

worra Presumably, it wasn't that bad when he was living there but got that way after he left.

WorraLiberty · 12/05/2013 15:37

OP I'm not doubting the state of the house

What I'm doubting is how much he did to help/support her and whether or not he repeatedly hired cleaners.

But it might be as shewhowines said.

Either way it's fucked up and he needs to get a 99p sim card and give her the number. Otherwise 50-50 custody isn't going to work.

enpointe · 12/05/2013 15:39

yeah shewhowins, I think it was ok - not good but not terrible - when he lived there but now it should be condemned, honestly. It made me feel sick, it really did.

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mumandboys123 · 12/05/2013 16:27

you've fallen for the 'I've had an affair and I'll do anything at all but accept responsibility for that' bullshit that people who engage in affairs always do.

Then reason for splitting was a man who betrayed his wedding vows and made the relationship downright impossible to continue. The marriage did not break down because she 'wasn't coping'. Decent people who love and care and want the best for people, don't have affairs and walk out on someone who 'wasn't coping'. They deal with it. And if it gets to the point where it's intolerable to live with, they leave without the need to set up a new relationship prior to doing so. Setting up a new relationship is pure selfishness and takes account of his needs only and ignores those of his wife and in particular his children.

She was probably depressed and needed help to overcome that. She probably now feels desperate. She probably can't understand what has happened and wants answers. It is pretty standard affair behaviour to not give answers, rather to just blame and blame some more. I probably called my ex too much in the early days of our marriage breakdown (hindsight!) but what he wouldn't have told you is that he lied, lied some more, refused to tell me where he was, refused to admit he was living with the other woman, refused to tell me where he was taking our young children and who he was introducing them to (indeed, the eldest one came home after seeing dad one day saying he had 'secrets' he needed to keep from me) would have been enough for me to have him apologise, say he'd been having an affair, that he was now living with her and that the children would be taken there. It was all I needed to know.

There are two sides to every story. I suspect hers at the very least would be interesting. Mine is a very sad story of years of low-level verbal and mental abuse, young children and forced to stay at home 'cos of financial constraints whilst my self employed husband went out and shagged our 'family business' book keeper for several years - had a child by her which he somehow managed to keep quiet - and all the time I grew more and more miserable, lonely and depressed. I had no idea why - he came home every night - but my internal 'radar' on these issues was so 'off' due to the years of telling me how stupid I was. Our home was a mess and when he finally walked out he tried to take the children with him. It was dragged through the courts and he didn't win 'cos he's a liar and it was pretty obvious to anyone looking in what was going on. There are people, however, who he fooled - I was spat at in the street by members of his family, have 'friends' that wouldn't speak to me, that kind of thing. I would suggest if you're not a 'friend' of either of them you stop gossping. Or actually be a 'friend' and support whichever one you think is in the right.

coppertop · 12/05/2013 16:43

How could he have done everything if he was at work full-time and also presumably spending time with his OW? Confused

Interesting though that "he did everything" is later clarified to mean that he threw money at the problem by "hiring cleaners, buying dishwashers,".

I'm not sure someone who complains about how much money he pays for his children, while busy buying a flat with his OW, is all that deserving of sympathy either tbh.

digerd · 12/05/2013 17:10

The OW is probably using her wiles to get him to financially support her DD at the expense of his own DC.

coppertop · 12/05/2013 17:28

So first it's his ex-wife's fault and now it's the OW's fault?

How nice for him that he has people to absolve him of all wrongdoing. It's all the fault of those pesky women in his life, eh.

AnyFucker · 12/05/2013 17:35

The Op isn't pesky at all

It looks like she luuurves him Wink

enpointe · 12/05/2013 18:50

Lol AF - I've only met him once Wink bit young for me!

I don't think it is her 'fault' the marriage fell apart. I think they were both to blame. She kept the house in a terrible state, spent a lot of money (still does) and behaved like a teenager, basically. He met the OW in March and moved out in May so it's not like he was shagging someone else all through their relationship, although like I've said all along, he shouldn't have done it.

I don't think I said he complained about how much he spent for the children, just that he reduced payments according to how long the kids were with him - she doesn't spend a lot on the kids.

I'm not gossiping anyway, I'm talking on here Grin and I'm not really a friend either.

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mumandboys123 · 12/05/2013 19:00

yes, you are gossiping. And probably gossiping about someone who's life has fallen apart in quite a spectacular way and who probably feels...rubbish right now. Even worse if you're not really a friend. If you're not really a friend, how could you possibly know the ins and outs of their relationship, what money he did/didn't throw at the 'problem', details of text messaging, messages left etc. etc. etc.

You are far too involved in something that clearly doesn't concern you and are taking an incredible amount of detailed interest in someone's life who you clearly don't care for at all. With 'friends' like you, who on earth needs enemies? !

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