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Gutted that ex has gf

20 replies

cotswoldbrown · 29/08/2013 03:33

Haven't posted before but can't sleep and feeling exhausted. My ex moved out of the family home about 4 years ago but had always worked overseas for weeks at a time and things weren't always great when he was at home. I'd be cross with him for going away and then be just adjusting to having him back when he'd be off again. My children were young and it was always hard work. My dad passed away just over 3 years ago and I as in a dreadful state and hh had moved out before and been renting a house nearby which the children each had a bedroom in - he had been out and brought beds, wardrobes, dressing table, bedding. He had to move out as it was being sold and 2 years ago this Christmas he moved in to a 2 bedroom flat closer to my house but the children had to share a room
I've gradually been feeling better and got over the grief of losing my dad and my ex and i seemed to be getting on better , no arguments and i was happy for children to stay with him for a few nights- we just arranged things as and when he came back to UK.

He told me by email in May this year he had met someone and being seeing her a while. I was shocked and just cried as I he'd kept saying over the past couple of years he didn't want anyone else and would never want another relationship. He came back at end of July and she was at his flat for some of the time so kids didn't stay until she wasn't there. I spent the whole week he was here just crying. He's now been back for last week and this, and says he's marrying her and I'm just distraught. he now says they planning to get married.

Haven't slept in weeks and can't close my eyes without thoughts of our relationship flooding my head. We didn't get divorced as although I filed a petition it took me 3 years to get the solicitors to do this as it wasn't what I wanted to do, but it was just too painful to carry on being a relationship where I felt he didn't want to be with me. I think I thought that because he hadn't finalised anything that he perhaps didn't want to divorce either. I think i thought that one day he would give up the overseas jobs and come back .

I can't see a way forward. and how i can get over this - she's now at his flat as he says they dont want to be apart and so I 've said my kids can't stay as think its soon for them to meet her in small 2 bed flat. DD self-harmed er arms last week adn ds has started wetting the bed again- ex says this is my fault I should accept the situation and I'm making things difficult with my 'attitude'.
Wish I could sleep without these thoughts filling my head and without crying constantly

OP posts:
Wishfulmakeupping · 29/08/2013 03:47

Didn't want to read and run- it sounds like you've had so much to deal with in the last 4 years OP and you've come through it all. Maybe you need some more support now would you feel comfortable going to the Drs? They might be able to help short term.
Focus on keeping strong for your dc I hope things feel better for you soon

cotswoldbrown · 29/08/2013 03:48

thanks for message. Friend said yesterday I should go to Drs to perhaps consider something to help me sleep. just wish it wasn't so painful tonight

OP posts:
Wishfulmakeupping · 29/08/2013 03:56

If you could go dr Tomo that would be a huge step forward I think- please don't be fobbed off by the Dr receptionist if they like mine its hard to get an adult app- tell them its urgent/emergency if needed I think it is you haven't slept properly in weeks.
Just reading the last section of your OP again I can totally understand why you wouldn't want your dc staying at his at the moment has your ex been taking the dc out or seeing them in the day? Is this something you could encourage?

cotswoldbrown · 29/08/2013 04:07

yes he took them out today and yesterday but its hurting knowing she's in his flat. I can't make him see that its too soon for them to meet her - she's also an expat, 13 years younger than him with no children. My mum told me tonight that when dd was there last week he gave her a bottle of perfume from the gf, but dd didn't want to tell me as she knew it would upset me. I feel they are working on buying favour- they have had lots of money, jack Wills clothes, new iphones in the last week form him. he hardly wanted to know in the past 2 years , going days without contacting them, missing birthdays.

i feel like the frumpy middle-aged wife left to look after the kids while he trotted round the globe as a single man.wish i could hate him but just feel gutted and can't think how i move on

OP posts:
Wishfulmakeupping · 29/08/2013 21:54

How are you today OP? Did you speak to a dr?

cotswoldbrown · 29/08/2013 23:48

yes went to Drs this morning and they prescribed an antidepressant. My dd had self harmed last week and again this morning while I was at Drs - a friend had popped over to check on her but i think after it had happened- told drs about the 1st episode and he wanted her to be seen immediately so somehow i managed to get her there this afternoon without lots of resistance and we are arranging some family counselling.

This pm ds had football match and wanted dad to watch, he texted me while i was driving to ask where it was so i didn't rpely but then he texted again to say if i didn't reply he would tell ds why he hadn't shown up! i replied that bluetooth not working - feel as if shouldn't have bothered replying at all! Ds playing , dd all over, piggybacks etc, good that 2 other women stood and talked me through the whole match. friend been tonight and played scrabble with both dc.

long hours of sleep approaching and hoping so exhausted from lack of sleep that tonight will be better. thanks for support

OP posts:
Wishfulmakeupping · 30/08/2013 02:32

Wow sounds like you've got so much done today. I'm sorry to hear about your dd but family counselling sounds really good that should really help. Good for you going to doc see how you go with the tablets if you feel like they are not working keep nipping back that's what they are there for sometimes they can take a long time until they feel like the tablets are doing anything.
Focus on you and your DCs you are strong OP

cotswoldbrown · 30/08/2013 03:51

wished i could sleep again, and my mind was going crazy with thoughts of everything. cant wait for him to leave uk on sunday but ds wants him to come to football on sat too

so scared for dd and that she is finding it hard and feel thats it my fault and just wished i could deal with this all but the thought of him being back at halfterm and it being the same makes me feel so out of control and i know i can't alter the situation as ex is so blinkered to the pain of the dc.

spoke with sols yesterday and they will try and further the financial agreement which i'm worried he will backtrack on what we verbally agreed some months ago, before all this. i know it would be best to move house as the hse is too big and the garden is turning to a jungle but ive lived here for 11 years and in the same village for 14. my family are 2.5 hours, all my fiends are in the village and it seems so hard to think about moving to a different village in the local area. the house has got so much clutter in it i don't know where to start, and its all over whelming

friends are being supportive but i feel as if im drowning in the chaos

OP posts:
mathanxiety · 30/08/2013 04:08

You need help.

You need to find out how soon you can get into counselling. If you have to go on a waiting list for NHS counselling can you get some through work, or can you afford private?

Seems to me there are several issues here but they boil down to the fact that this man was never really available to you yet up to now there was always that slight chance that you and he would ride off into the sunset, together forever if only you could discover the magic formula and tame him, or if he somehow fell on his head and came to his senses. That ship has now sailed and you are coming apart because the dream is over.

Are you a person who prefers a dream over reality?

Will you be able to rally and start seeing yourself as much more than a has-been? What would it take to help you see yourself in a more positive light? The fact that she is 13 years younger than him and has no children and that he has been gallivanting around the globe for years says nothing about you at all.

Other issues regarding the children:

The material things being lavished on the children right now will not matter in the long run unless you turn this into some sort of issue. Keep on being mum, keep on providing what you have been providing for them, and do not doubt yourself or start looking at the children as if they are fickle beings whose heads could be turned by stuff. They love you and they need you -- but they need you whole and healthy; the only person who will be poisoned by the turmoil and fury you are now feeling is you and that will in turn hurt them.

They need to you to be there for them so they can deal with what is now happening in your ex's life, and you need help moving on/ examining why you did not accept any finality to the relationship's end so that you can be there for them, as well as being much more at peace within yourself.

They will find it hard to talk to you about all of this if you are in a heap or if you show them how much all of this is affecting you. You must not put them in a position where they feel they have to choose between him and the new woman in his life, and you. No matter how much effort it takes, you need to swallow hard and put on a neutral face for them, make it clear to them that you are there for them, and do not wear your heart on your sleeve. Do not dwell on the unfairness of this either -- seek help for your own issues and be determined to get through this and you will succeed.

I highly recommend the two of you find a mediator to help you both come to an agreement about visitation of the children and communication regarding events / developments in their lives. I recommend you get a schedule established so that the children know where they stand. You can bring up the issue of the GF at mediation but if they are living together or intending to marry and the children are not small children, then the question of whether it's too soon for them to spend time with her is probably irrelevant. Sucks but it is what it is. For his part, he will need to resolve to never again threaten to play your DS against you as he did wrt the match. This can be brought up in mediation and I do not think there is any mediator who would accept that there was any justification for that sort of behaviour. Family Mediators Association

Obv you are now going to go through the divorce process so you will need a solicitor. The mediation could form part of the wrapping up of the marriage (a lot of divorce courts farm out visitation and custody and child support discussions to mediators anyway).

You made a really good decision in going to the doctor's and I hope you will get some sleep and feel calmer. Going forward, you can start dealing with the grief of losing the dream of this relationship but you will probably need help getting through that.

I know this is really hard.

mathanxiety · 30/08/2013 04:13

Having said all of that, perfume was a very ill advised gift to give to your DD. It is like asking her to wear another woman (not putting that very well but what I have in mind is your exH sort of allowing the GF to 'mark' the DD with her scent).

cotswoldbrown · 30/08/2013 05:36

thanks so much, i've been on the phone to the samaritans for the past 1.5 hrs- poor guy having to listen to all my crap! your answer is all logical but its so hard. it really was losing the dream that he would come back and dont know why i feel like this- i've had tonnes of counselling previously and seem to have got to the bottom of when i started to feel out of control- i started with bulimia at 18 , which has only got better in the past year. I've read so many self books on co-dependency that i find it hard to believe that i've become one of the people i've read about but the more i read the more i could tick all the boxes of the actions that are the signs of co-dependency. I also feel scared of letting go and moving onto become a different person- that sounds crazy as i write it, but all the books and websites suggest learning some form of sprituality and that scares me

the idea of a mediator is something i hadnt thought of to help sort out the communication because he will be back next school hols- before i've got time to sort my head out to be able to deal with him- god i can't cope with thought right now- why do i feel that i would still wnat him to turn into a kind person on this as that was the problem that he was so emotionally unavailable who ran off round the globe whenever i pushe d for more. one year he spent about 40 nights spread over the year here and there stayng in premier inn /lodges when he just had to bolt of the door when it was getting too much for him.

how to get through the days without my heart my sleeve in front of the children is going to be so hard and i know what youre saying is right but then feel that i want them to choose me- is that because he didn't?? this isnt my first marriage the first left me after 14 months of marriage for someone else so i feel as if he kids choose me its unconditional and he's never been here for them - in person alot of the time or with any real understanding of them.

ds starts to secondary school on Wed and i need to be strong for him as he's so sensitive. theres another football match on sat and as much as i want to be there think it would be better for dad to take him on his own ?? is that the right thing to do- would it spare my feelings to not see him??

cant wait for him to leave uk and i get my feelings under control. want to jump forward a year and see the person i could be without him but ca't see that as the contact with him will be every 6/7 weeks and could be a roller coaster as it has been for the last 4 years.

i so don't want them to like her or for her to pretend to play house with them.

just seen its starting to get light, why am i in this crazy life??

OP posts:
ParsleyTheLioness · 30/08/2013 05:57

Cotswold my story is kinda similar to yours. Two years ago, I was getting on with my life, in a not brilliant but not terrible marriage. In three weeks my now XH marries again. He had been OD and introduced her to my DD without my knowledge, within a couple of weeks of my chucking him out.
He held up the divorce until the last possible moment, costing both of us more money in legal bills, and then at the last moment co-operated, and announced the new wedding before the divorce was through. So I have every sympathy. It's hard.
BUT he was a crap husband. He was abusive, often in subtle ways. He gaslighted, and was emotionally unavailable. (I see yours was geographically unavailable, but he may have absented himself this way also?)
It's not going to be easy to deliver my DD to the wedding of her father. I shall be very sad. Sad for the loss of a marriage, albeit one that wasn't working. Sadder that my judgement was so out (and yes, it was a second marriage for me too) that I chose this arsehole of a human to be my precious dd's father.
My dd, 15 self-harmed a few times. Counselling has helped her enourmously.
I struggled to cope with it at first, because I always thought he loved me, and even know he will not completely let me go. I get unnecessary texts, and he has bought a buy-to-let round the corner from me despite living some distance away.
I am now getting, slowly, my head round it. I have a new man! It's only been a couple of months but he seems like a Nice Man so far. And I had forgotten what they were like.
May you too be reminded when you are ready. x

mathanxiety · 30/08/2013 06:33

I am so glad to hear you were talking to the Samaritans. You are reaching out and that is a great thing. You have a lot of spark in you.

There is a quote from Paulo Coelho (sp?) that I dimly remember about how life will send you a new hello when you are able to say goodbye to something else.

It's a big chance to take, that new things will come your way, maybe bigger or better things, maybe just different things, but sometimes you have to take that leap of faith.

I recommend some counselling for yourself before you ever start on mediation as your ex seems to be (ehem) something of a jerk. You should look for some debriefing from abusive relationship counselling. Try Women's Aid 0808 2000 247 - maybe the Freedom Programme would fit the bill? Or some individual counselling they could recommend. You don't have to have been hit to be a victim of abuse.

Have you ever come across 'Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men' by Lundy Bancroft? It addresses control in relationships. There is also this article I came across a while ago that you may find interesting. Psychological abuse can damage just as much as physical abuse.

ParsleyTheLioness · 30/08/2013 09:40

I agree that the counselling would be very useful.I still think about accessing it, now I am beyond the point of just surviving! Was put off by my experience at Relate, but Mathan's lead sounds worth pursuing.

cotswoldbrown · 30/08/2013 09:55

thanks, didn't finally get much sleep but a little. have called my mum this morning and asked her to come and stay to just help me get through the nights.

i've arranged to see a counsellor( did this on monday) who works on co-dependency- does that sound as if it the area- i've read lots of books- one by Robin Norwood- Women who love too much, over and over which seemed to hit the spot. I had been trying to work through the plan over the past 2 years but hadn't quite got there it seems!!

taking my dd to the drs and leaving her to speak with him was one of the hardest things i've ever had to do but i can't see her in pain emotionally like this when it isnt hers to carry.

i'm a pa at work and have to multi-task and i know that i'm am an outgoing gregarious person its just my emotions that i can't control! I'm also involved in girl guiding and manage a really successful group- i'm so together in some parts of my life:)

ParsleytheLioness - great name - what does 'gaslighted' mean? he was always unavailable from the start- it used to be visits to the pub , and then when he worked in uk he'd leave to stay in hotels, then gradually spent more time away- when he worked in papua guinea i started to get the message that he was in the next day time zone- how far away could he get , lol.

pls carry on messaging i'm finding it immensely supportive, thanks

off to try and do some work while friend is coming to stay with children, don't feel i've ever need my friends more than now

OP posts:
ParsleyTheLioness · 30/08/2013 15:34

There are links to gaslighting explanations which would explain it better, but briefly, tis from the film Gaslight(?) which I think might have been Hitchcock (?) where the bloke wants out of the marriage and to move his mistress in, so they set out to make the wife think she's losing her mind. She isn't, but they mess with her head, moving stuff about, then pretending it was there all along. IME most gaslighting is done more subtly than that, but is designed to give the impression that the other person, usually the woman, is a bit neurotic, and is overreacting to the man's behaviour. Mine would put me down, get subtle digs in about my looks etc, then when I objected would say I was 'looking for hurt where there was none'. This was intentional, and only became obvious when he upped the ante somewhat. Mine was unavailable in that he would sit in another part of the room on his laptop, with headphones on, and pretend not to hear you until you had addressed him for the third time. He also removed himself to the spare room for the last year of our relationship as he had a bad hip. Apparently. The sex was a bit crap as he had diabetes and associated problems, and had been offered help by the doctor, but didn't care about me in that way apparently. TMI, but maybe some of these will ring bells, or have you thinking of stuff like that...

ParsleyTheLioness · 30/08/2013 15:39

Actually OP, I identify with the co-dependency thing. We had got into the habit of him doing a lot of the 'man' stuff. He drove, because he used to wince when I driving is quite good btw, just another put down, but the less I drove, the less confidence I had driving long distances etc. Since he went I have done a lot of this stuff on my own, and I can do it, always did before him, but he knocked my confidence so much he encouraged this co-dependency.
Yes, its hard when children need to talk about painful family stuff with proffessionals. I found/find it excruciating, but I know its for the greater good.

mathanxiety · 31/08/2013 07:01

I think you need to look at the deliberate ways he led you up the garden path and not focus inwardly on yourself looking for your alleged faults. Bancroft is good for this.

From this site: Don?t blame yourself for what the other person is feeling or how they are behaving. Don?t look for ways to change yourself to try to fix another person.

Gaslighting is making you doubt yourself, your perceptions, your reality and your sanity. It is a form of shaming. A gaslighter will make it clear your driving or your cooking or your way of cleaning the toilet is not up to snuff. He will say you are 'too sensitive' or you 'can't take a joke' when you are hurt by a barbed remark. You will be made to feel you are a nutcase if you express an opinion when you have your period, or when you feel justifiable anger you will be accused of some sort of bitterness or hysteria. It can be done very subtly, with a rolling of the eyes or an inclination of the head, a wince when out driving, a sigh when dinner is presented or a redoing of the toilet accompanied by shaking of the head.

Wishfulmakeupping · 01/09/2013 13:52

How are you feeling OP?

cotswoldbrown · 09/09/2013 21:49

well he went back abroad so everything has calmed down for me. my mum came down and after watching ds at a match the children were upset at him leaving and so my mum persuaded me to let them go with ex back to his flat where gf was. That was an agonising hour but least its done now. Wish ex had been more co-operative about children meeting her gradually. think my dd has self harmed a couple of times since and she was very cross with me over everything last week. this week has started much better- this has been the case for the last few years , that when he has been gone a while we settle in to our routine.
I went to see a counsellor last week who works especially about co-dependency and she seems as if she understood where I was coming from.
My ds started secondary school and seems to be settling in ok too.Hes speaking with his dad on phone too which is good.
Ex rang twice last week after kids had gone to school when he was replying to my emails about money for school stuff, I didn't answer the 2nd time as feel i just need to sever communication ftb.

In the meantime a guy who I hardly knew called at the house just to say hello out of the blue and has since left me flowers and wants to meet for coffee.Can't think that i'm ready for anything new atm but it has picked me a bit this week!

Back to counsellor tomorow and contacting Drs re appt for my dd to see if thats something she may be able to do.. A friend suggest I have a hormone level check too to see if i'm perimenopausal as i do think I lost the plot to a scary level. My mum was a tremendously supportive when she came down and think it was one of the closet times we've had in years. Hoping things will continue in a positive light and I'm feeling more stable when ex ext comes back in half term.

OP posts:
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