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Offline kurganTopic starter

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what happened
« on: August 10, 2014, 07:31:06 PM »
Hi guys ,long story short,wife had a midlife crisis and now I'm a single dad of 3 in the army ,money's sorted , childcare everything including work is okay ,the problem is me I still love my wife but have put feelings aside to make life easier for the kids but I now realise this hasn't helped.The ex lives in a bed sit as this is all she can afford I've gone ubove and beyond helping her out as much as I can which also hasn't helped but the main problem is her visting the kids .They can't go to hers and she can't afford to take the out much so she seems to think it's okay to come over feet up on the sofa and sit in my house as long as she wants ,the kids make a fuss then 10 minutes later they are off doing there own thing and she just sits there.I've tryed walking the dogs or just getting out but some times I really don't want to,  this is everyday.I'm now worried about birthdays and Christmas. What the he'll do I do.I've tryed just growing a pair and getting on with it but it kills me to see her ,outside of my home I can deal with but inside makes me so miserable .any ideas would be great cheers

Offline am123

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Re: what happened
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2014, 10:16:52 PM »
Hi Kurgan,

Tricky situation. 

A few things came to mind reading your post...
If it is over between you and the ex, then..It. Is. Over. She is not your friend, buddy, mate. She is your ex-partner with whom you are co-parenting your children. She has her life, you have yours. Live separate lives...stay out of hers, and keep her out of yours. Treat her professionally, with courtesy and with firm boundaries. Her coming over and staying is ok...if she, you and the kids are all clear on what is going on....i.e, is for a reason, is for set times/days, will continue until an agreed period, mum has plan for alternative which will start to happen by an agreed time, etc, etc.  otherwise the kids, you and her may start getting different, possibly conflicting expectations about what is happening....i.e are mum and dad getting back together, will she leave again, etc, etc.

If it is not over between you and the ex...then decide what you want. A lot harder to do, especially when new living arrangements are in place.  What would serve the kids best? Ask them. Ask other fathers with similar situations (try Families Needs Fathers forum). Take a good amount of time on this...make sure you know what you want, and be realistic about what to expect from you, her, effect of restarting a relationship on the kids,  etc, etc.

Take your time...maybe ask your ex to put the visits to yours on hold while you figure things out....or buy some tickets for activities (swimming, cinema, pizza, etc) she can take them too instead of coming to yours. Make it clear though it is not a regular thing and will only last for the time you need to decide things for yourself.

Good luck!
 

Offline kurganTopic starter

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Re: what happened
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2014, 06:44:53 PM »
Thanks definitely given me something to thing about. As is life it's a lot more complicated but cheers for the reply it's really helped.

Offline Sqizzer

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Re: what happened
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2014, 01:08:27 AM »
Hi Kurgen and welcome. I'm sorry about the circumstances that have brought you here but time and strength with grow and it will get better.

First of all this is new territory for you and you'll have to feel out and figure out what works best for you and your kids as every person here has a different set of complications that make the straight line a little difficult to navigate. Allow yourself the time to try things and if they don't work go for other options. We can all advise as best we can from our experiences and opinions and you can choose whichever way you want to go from there. Nothing is ever guaranteed but you know what is best for your little crew

Of course you still love your ex. That doesn't just go away. You need to give yourself the time to digest and grieve before you can let those feelings go. It took me far too long to find that place for myself and holding onto it for so long did so much more damage and allowed so much more hurt to occur - I ended up delaying the inevitable for another year. There was too much damage done and by the time I had figured out there was no way we could go back I'd fascilitated an extra year of unnessecary damage. I guess you really need to figure out for yourself the difference between wanting to protect her (which would still be your natural instinct) and actually loving enough to be able to forgive and move forward together. You also need to consider how she feels regarding you - if the love is gone that's pretty much done and dusted and you'll be fighting a losing battle.

My situation is different to yours but I had the same 'visiting at home' scenario that was a bad bad idea. It was both for his convenience and not being able to fascilitate taking care of a baby in his living situation which was a worry for me - so convenience for my piece of mind too. It didn't work and became a serious bone of contention. I was basically taking care if him without the overnight benefits plus the added stress. There are many things she could do with the kids that don't cost - parks are free. As suggested above you could get the ball rolling with a few suggestions and paid for outings. Send them out on a picnic etc. What use is it to have her around if the kids don't have the advantage of her full attention or emotional contribution if she is just there to put her feet up on the sofa and veg? If she's not emotionally capable of more (which sounds harsh but is sometimes a sad truth) then limit it to small bursts from which you can all grow. I personally feel (many may not agree) that my son benefits more from a smaller amount of time with his dad than forcing him to take him every full weekend as his dad isn't capable of giving that much energy to his son. I accept this is what he is capable of. He chooses the minimum amount of time (it's not forced on him with him begging for more) but my son gets total daddy most of the limited amount of time he's chosen and not 'nasty-I'm-sick-and-tired-of-your-demands' daddy who appears after a little more time than he can handle. Maybe restricted access could give everyone the time to get their heads around what is happening and finding a way to give the kids the best option available. This may not necessarily include what you hope would be the best way forward now - but something you never imagined that's provides a happy calm for your kids and yourself. This would not be a final thing, nothing is, just a starting point from which you can all move forward and find your feet.

Allow yourself to grasp and grieve for that image you had of what the rest of your life was going to look like. That's a tough one but things have changed for you and admitting that is a very tough and brave thing to do

I'm sure you've considered this, I get  the inkling from something you said, but considering her situation and emotional state recently - continuing the way things are would just be enabling her? She has no reason to change things. She may not get to that place on her own without needing to

If you're thinking about Christmas and birthdays already - make your plans and allow some wiggle room for her to have time too. This way you can give her the option to come along and if it involves tickets - she needs to stand on her own two feet. She has the time to save and join in but if not then at least there is time that she could spend with them as well - preferably not from the sofa. First separate Christmas is very tricky and I would choose the option of altogether (if you can cope with it) for a peaceful happy day. Not everyone can do this and if not then split the time between the two of you. Later on you can figure these things out but this is the first one. My first one was joint, the second was split but he just didn't bother pitching up, now he can visit but it's not a shared/split holiday anymore. It evolved but is now set due to his choices.

From here the choices are up to you. Good luck and I hope you find a happy medium. I'm sorry for the thesis - this is a lot longer than I expected

Oh and well done for getting your feet firmly on the ground regarding the basic needs for your kids. That can be tough in a tight spot and you kept your head on and put their needs first in an emotional earthquake. You go daddy!!!
be KIND... for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about!

Offline zanywoman

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Re: what happened
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2014, 08:45:56 AM »
Hi Kurgen,
When my ex and I first split I had exactly the same and it was awful. He would be here every night except thursdays from leaving work until the kids went to bed and all day on sundays. I would be the one feeding and taking care of him. He would hardly spend any time with the kids but would be in whatever room I was in usually being ruddy awful if I'm honest. he even walked into my bedroom where I was hiding once and when I told him I didnt want him just walking in as I could have been getting changed or anything he said 'well its not like I havent seen it before is it'!!! Cheeky sod!!! When he wasnt visiting he was phoning 'the kids' all the time and insisting they put me on the phine so he could rant and verbally abuse me.

Eventually I put my foot down and first made it clear that if his behaviour didnt improve I would not be allowing him in the house - he would have to take the kids elsewhere (It took a few times but it did eventually work). Then I gave him a date by which I expected him to have somewhere to live where he could have the kids or else he would have to start taking them away from MY home. I think i gave him 3 mnths - and kept on reminding him so he wouldnt 'forget'.  This gave him the kick up the a*se he needed and we get along lovely now.  (Thats a long story cut very short lol). It wasnt easy by any means but it was essential to my peace of mind, and to his relationship with the kids because the situation was very bad for them too.

She is a parent mate and part of that role includes making sure you have what you need for your kids - including somewhere they can stay with you.  This will continue for as long as you let it - shes got it all her way and wont be in a hurry to sort out anything without a push from you. Sorry - its not going to be easy but needs to be done for the sake of the children as well as both of you.

Birthdays and Christmases you will sort out as you go - the first ones will be hard whatever you do but they do get easier as you find an arrangement you can both live with.

Good luck whatever you decide

Tracey xx

While we teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life's all about.

Offline WT4

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Re: what happened
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2014, 05:18:56 PM »
Hello

I have nothing to add to the excellent advice already in this thread ... except to say: well done for stepping up to the plate.

Good luck, I hope you find a way forward that works for all of you.
Two things we give our children: roots & wings

Offline kurganTopic starter

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Re: what happened
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2014, 10:25:05 PM »
I don't know what to say but thanks I never expected replys like this ,thanks guys it's really helped and definitely going to help me out .thank you all

 

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