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13 year Relationship Ended and one confused Dad

(65 Posts)
DarthDad Wed 31-Jul-13 05:54:08

Hello all, first post so I'll try and keep it brief but I would love for some advice and perspective about my recent problem.
Myself and OH have been together for 13 years, married for 7 and have a wonderful 3 year old DS.
When DS was one there were significant strains happening in our relationship, arguments, tension and general ill feeling. We were living in Yorkshire with our respective families from Manchester and the Midlands. OH was so desperately unhappy and wanted to move back to the midlands.
We put the house up for sale in 2011 and I began looking for a new job. As things progressed the tension grew worse and we decided that she and DS should move down to the midlands and I would follow.
We got her setup in a tiny house in the same village as her Mum and I would work up North during the week and stay with them from Friday until Monday and obviously when I had any holidays. It was difficult but the changes soon made themselves apparent and OH was a lot happier and was getting back to her normal self, we got DS into a fabulous nursery and all I had to do was keep looking for that elusive job.
5 weeks ago I started my dream job, it let me work from home, pick DS up from nursery and spend more time with OH. Life was finally getting back on track.
Last Sunday after a family day out she announced that she didn't love me, wanted to be on her own and wanted me out of the house.
That has been all the explanation I've had, we spoke about seeing a councillor when I moved back in order to address any previous problems but now she will not entertain the idea. So I find myself in pieces, in a town where I only know her family and back to square one.
So much for keeping it brief, I'm lost and broken and would love for your thoughts and advice, you seem to be a friendly bunch on the whole.

mayaswell Wed 31-Jul-13 07:51:50

You might get more responses in Relationships perhaps?

This sounds like a miserable turn of events, you must feel crushed. I've got no advice as its hard to know why she's done this, it seems very cruel from what you've described. Hope you are getting to see your DS, and coping with work, I think that's all you can do at the moment.

DarthDad Wed 31-Jul-13 08:16:00

Thanks, yes crushed is probably the best way I feel right now.

I do get to see my DS and get weekends with him but it now involves staying at her house while she stays at her friends or mums. I want to be fully involved in weekly life having missed so much of it.

Is there an easy way to repost/move this into relationships or do I just start anew?

mayaswell Wed 31-Jul-13 09:18:42

You can contact HQ and ask for it to be moved, or just start the thread again in Relationships. I think you are very brave asking for support, it must be difficult to see it all written down.

DarthDad Wed 31-Jul-13 13:40:13

Thank you for your help, it is difficult to see it in black and white but I have no support network here and the anonymity of this platform helps.

myroomisatip Wed 31-Jul-13 13:47:10

I am sorry that things have turned out this way for you.

Do you think that she has just got used to you not being around? Or is it possible she has met someone else?

MoreThanWords Wed 31-Jul-13 13:53:58

I would think she has just got used to being without you. That may have evolved into a situation where there is someone else now on the scene, or not. She is getting her social and 'family' needs met by being close to her mum, and probably feels you are surplus to requirement. I'm sorry you find yourself in this situation.

Would you be able to buy/rent close by so that you can have more time with your son?

(Just an afterthought looking at the timing of the move etc- did your wife have post-natal depression?)

NatashaBee Wed 31-Jul-13 13:58:03

So sorry for you hmm you say you get to see your son at weekends, could you also see him during the week since you mention you work from home? If that's something you would want, I'd work on getting it in place ASAP - courts generally tend to stick with the status quo. Some parents even split access 50/50 if it fits well with school and they live close together. So you don't necessarily have to accept seeing your son just on weekends. Could you go to mediation to see if you can work out how to separate amicably?

DarthDad Wed 31-Jul-13 14:27:03

Morethanwords - I think you've hit the nail on the head, she has been going out more with her old friends and has got used to me not being there. I also believe that post natal depression was the root cause of this but something we didn't see at the time. I'm trying not to think about "someone else" but she says its definitely not. I don't know what to believe at the moment.

Natashabee - I'm looking at some flats this weekend as that's the situation I'd love to be in, I think (hope) I'm a very hands on Dad and I don't want to miss out on anymore. I'd love to have him with me during the week. I'm apprehensive about doing this on my own but I'm trying to focus on work and DS.

I would love to go to mediation to get this sorted but she is not entertaining the idea, I am scared that it may well escalate at a later date if we don't.

MoreThanWords Wed 31-Jul-13 15:02:08

Is she viewing mediation as 'reconciliation'? Maybe you could outline to her what areas you want to get agreement on, ie contact, maintenance etc. and suggest that it would serve well to start as you mean to go on.

Chances are there isn't anyone else; but she has now been virtually a single parent for a while, and it's become the norm for her.

Is there something like swimming classes you can take your son to at weekends/evenings, so a) you get time with him; b) you go somewhere where you can meet other local parents (quite possibly other dads if you go at the weekend).

DarthDad Wed 31-Jul-13 18:49:40

Yes that could well be the case with the mediation, she's a determined girl and I'm not one for giving up but I'm struggling to get the message across. We've just spoken and she has agreed to meet me on Friday so we can collect DS from nursery together.
Also just been told DS has a party to attend on Saturday (she works Saturday) so that will be a baptism of fire for me! Although I'm quite looking forward to meeting some of the other parents.

MoreThanWords Wed 31-Jul-13 22:45:53

Yes, you need to get your face 'out there'! Build up your identity as an involved dad etc - there's bound to be other dads at the party - and if not, plenty of mums who will want to gossip take pity on you smile

ofmiceandmen Thu 01-Aug-13 07:37:13

Darth some actual practical advice.
Depression may have been the reason for all the tension and friction and ultimately the move but depression rarely changes the inner person.

What to do now, protect yourself. same thing MNetters would be telling a woman.
You need legal advice and quick, because you are now in a situation where she has set up a 'pattern'. DC in school, new home (who's paying for this) in a new location.
hence forth the courts will only see you as the non resident parent, the chances of 50/50 child sharing are non existent, no matter how good a dad you are. You will most likely have to pay for the home, and if you are the major earner you will most likely be paying for her upkeep (yes, no word of a lie). Of course as you are a loving dad you will naturally want to pay more than the minimum for maintenance and you should, just set it up now and maintain a record of what you contribute.

I gave up working away from home when DC1 was born (thankfully I was a partner so could do that), took care of all childcare at home, feeds, baths, play. got left as a single parent, whilst she went to 'discover herself', and a year later she waltzed in and after a few wins/appeals/lose etc she now has our DC's (her mother looks after them- as she is struggling) both under 3 at the time.

Take your head out of the sand. See it for what it is. right now it's over, deal with it as such. if things change then all you have done is set up a system that provides stability for your DC.

ofmiceandmen Thu 01-Aug-13 07:50:01

PS: read your own POST.. sorry to say this - she left you in 2011. she may not have said 'i'm leaving', but that's what happened.
She checked out mentally and physically and moved away.
You didn't decide together (stop kidding yourself), she drummed it in enough times for you to accept, made life uncomfortable, argued daily I imagine, cried and left with a smile. She hasn't looked back - except maybe with pity.

Time to accept it. you've been separated for 2 years almost with occasional moments of intimacy - I guess mostly when it suited her.

Lazyjaney Thu 01-Aug-13 07:58:52

Agree with getting legal advice, you risk being relegated to cash dispenser and weekend babysitter while she goes out. I think there is no chance of a reasoned, mediated outcome, she has everything running her way as things are - why change?

Vivacia Thu 01-Aug-13 08:13:53

Have I misread, or am I right in thinking you are now living at the new home, working from home? Can you not stay with the children and her move out?

DarthDad Thu 01-Aug-13 10:35:19

Wow quite a lot to take in there, looks like i've been a bit of a mug but I don't think my head is in the sand now. Yes we've had problems for a while and yes technically it's been a separation since 2011.
She is now paying for everything at her house with DS, I am attempting to set up mediation with the view of sorting out our assets such as the house up North.
I am living between friends houses at different locations currently as it is easier to get to DS. I will be spending the weekend at her house with DS while she stays at her mums. We need this mediation as we have never been able to discuss finances properly. Small backstory - she has twice racked up significant credit card bills that I am still paying off. I also have paid for the bills and mortgage on the house up North. I was hoping that we could come to some sort of amicable agreement until I manage to offload the house. I can't afford to take on the mortgage and rent a place so I am stuck in this situation currently.

ageofgrandillusion Thu 01-Aug-13 11:22:04

All i would say is get some good legal advice as to where you stand financially - pay for it if need be, it will be money v well spent in the long run.
She has almost certainly met somebody else, despite what bull she might feeding you.
Given her track record and daftness with credit cards etc, you are well shot.

skyeskyeskye Thu 01-Aug-13 11:37:56

I wouldn't say that you have been separated since 2011 if you spent Fri-Mon with them every week... you obviously thought that you were together at that time...

You need to get legal advice. Marital assets start at a 50/50 split and it works from there, depending on equity, where the child lives etc.

I also think that she has probably met somebody else. When they announce very suddenly that they no longer love you and they won't consider counselling, there is usually a reason why.

You need to sever all financial ties with her as much as possible if she is likely to get into debt. Mediation is a good idea to discuss everything

chamonixlover Thu 01-Aug-13 11:51:07

If I were the OP, I'd be devastated by some of these comments.

Being abandoned by your partner without an explanation is hugely traumatic, losing normal contact with the children must be even worse and YOU the innocent partner being asked to leave even worse again. I feel heartbroken on behalf of the OP.

I don't have answers for him, but you have my thoughts.

welshharpy Thu 01-Aug-13 12:31:50

Op, something very similar happened to my parents when I was a kid. My dad got the job of his dreams but it meant he was abroad for a few months at a time and this went on for a few years. My mum in the meantime raised us, got herself a part-time job and learned to drive and basically learned to live and thrive without my dad. When he eventually did come home permanently their relationship was destroyed. They divorced after a couple of years, it wasn't just down to him working away but that definately was a factor.

Op, get some legal advice and get everything done officially, you sound like a lovely hardworking dad and do not deserve to be treated like this.

ofmiceandmen Thu 01-Aug-13 12:43:36

Darthdad you are not a mug. being a caring person is not the same.

Some males have a X trigger that kicks in when they have children. You bend over backwards to protect and nature that family and some might even say you become less of a man (societies warped version of a man). but it means you accept behaviour you shouldn't all in the aim of the greater good (family) and you stand up less to what you know to be right or wrong.

Then the true character of your partner comes out - do they
A) see it for what it is and still respect you regardless or
B) take advantage, lose respect for you, feed you crumbs, and exit long before they ever admit it to you.

Your Ex (because that's what she is) falls into the latter.

Don't beat yourself up for being a caring guy. and please don't do the "I'm tired of being a nice guy" and go mess up some other person in the future.
Just find you again, know what you will accept and won't and work at being a great dad.

DarthDad Fri 02-Aug-13 19:00:43

I am most certainly not going to mess with anyone's head in that way, I don't have the energy.

We had a relatively amicable meeting, I am now in her house with DS whilst she has gone to her Mothers and its quite a struggle being here TBH.We spoke about access and the house up North, she is expecting something from it but won't take responsibility for the loans. She is also under the impression that I have a vastly inflated wage because of my new job and company car and alluded to the fact that due to this I can afford the mortgage on the house, rent and loan payments. She will not entertain mediation and thinks we can sort it with brief meetings like this afternoon.

I'm struggling with what my next move is? I don't want it to get ugly if I take it further and I need to keep her family onside.

skyeskyeskye Fri 02-Aug-13 19:58:12

You need to be honest about your finances. Everything will go on form E if it comes to divorce

All you need to provide to her is the CSA minimum, that's how it works. I'm not saying that's right but that is the law. You obviously want to keep a roof over your DCs head but she is in cuckoo land if she thinks that you will be able to afford to carry on as you have been.

She needs to face up to the reality if the situation. If you can't agree on stuff then mediation will be required before you can go to court, if it were to get to that stage.

welshharpy Fri 02-Aug-13 20:13:30

Dear god, she expects you to pay for the upkeep of your joint property plus rent (that you also unexpectedly have to pay now cos shes decided it over when you moved down) and then to top it all off, bills aswell?! That is one seriously greedy woman! peeps on here seem up on all the legal channels, get yourself covered with a solicior and the CSA and dont be pushed around! Good luck Op.

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