Help – Separating and finding it hard to cope regarding children.

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  • #45745 Report


    I don’t know where to turn to for support.

    I am a Father of two beautiful boy 4 and 6. Who are my world.

    My ex-wife, and I  are still going through the divorce initiated in August but delayed due to Covid.

    She sleeps away from the matrimonal home 5-6 days a week with her new man, but comes back to take the boys to school, then works from home, then collects from school, then works from home, then leaves.

    In the mornings I get the boys ready for school, breakfast, and homework.  After school I feed, homework, read, bathe, and settle them for bed. I have always done this. Even before separation.

    There is so much background to this sorry tale.

    But to be concise: She turned around to me in July to say that we were just friends, after having at least two affairs, with the last one I now know continuing.

    However I have now found out, through my eldest 6, that they are going day trips. with her new man. This hasn’t been discussed with me.

    Today, which has prompted this search for help, my ex text to say the boys were not coming home but staying with them. There had been no discussion with me. We are also in lockdown? if that is relevant.

    I just need help to cope with this situation, I feel powerless, and suspect I am. So what can I do?



    #45756 Report



    I’m just a new member to gingerbread and although I can’t offer you any practical advice, I hope someone can.

    I know what it feels like to be in situations  where you feel the other person is controling everything and you can’t seem to change it, however I am sure there will be something  you can do and I hope someone will be able to offer some advice soon.

    Keep strong and keep loving your boys.


    #45757 Report


    Thanks for your words.

    I just need to know how to emotionally cope with this.

    Every turn seems to hurt me more. I have come to terms that my marriage is completely over, and I accept there will be someone else in her life.

    Why does it have to include the children – I know that they are both of our children, but she has paid them no interest up until this point.

    I also know I should be glad for the children that she is now showing an interest, but it hurts so much that the family is being ripped apart,  with as far as I am concerned a stranger.

    Selfishly I just feel I am being erased and replaced. My ex wife, My home, and now with my Children.

    How do I cope with my feelings. Please, I need some form of help.




    #45758 Report


    Good morning

    Just remember that you are their Father and that cant be replaced

    Its not right that some parents can show and interest as and when it suits children should always be the main focus

    As Hope7 said keep loving them and seek some advice so you have a better base of what help there is available for you. Its perfect time Monday start of the week

    Hope everything ok

    #45759 Report


    I do love them, the are not an accessory.

    It now appears for whatever reason she suddenly wants them included in her and her new man life.

    I know I have to accept that – no matter how much it hurts.

    What I don’t know is how to cope with it.  My youngest is 4. He doesn’t understand, you say I am his Father, but will he remember?

    The other day whilst we were in the park, he said to me Daddy you never come to the park with us. I take them to the park every week. He’s 4. How can you be sure he will know I’m his Father, or what I am to him. I know this is selfish, and not really his concern, as long as he is happy.

    Everything is stacked against me.

    I just don’t know where to turn to for help. I don’t know how to cope with my emotions. I want to keep them safe, and in their home.

    I’m finding it really hard to cope with this. My feelings, my emotions, my urge to keep the safe.


    #45760 Report


    I didnt mean you i meant your ex

    Yes children absorb everything and never forget. My son is 3 he is very clued up. His Father not involved and through his choice doesnt want to ever be there so my son knows its me and him. If i meet someone it will still be me and my son but also someone else spends time with us now and then

    Does your son maybe mean as a family unit like with his Mum?

    You do keep them safe. You are putting so much pressure on yourself be kind and realise its a huge life change for you all it takes time to heal the feelings but people are there to talk to. Doctors this forum the helpline

    I had to isolate few weeks back as i caught the virus i cried i worried about being in with my son for 2 weeks i rang a place called Family lives i literally  chatted for an hour to the lady on the phone and it really helped me. Give them a call

    #45761 Report


    That’s my concern.

    They adapt, and absorb everything. They will have had a nice time we her new man. I am sure.

    I am replaced, not needed now.

    Its this I need help with, I will try the telephone line. I really need to know how to cope.

    Thanks for the help.


    #45762 Report


    As long as your children are cared for thats all parents main concern. It must be worrying and daunting the fact a new man will be in their lives I cant relate as my sons Father not been involved so doednt matter who he with. I have been with someone though for 13months my son really got on well but he was never going to be his Dad

    Yes try the helpline. I honestly feel it will help talk through your feelings and they were great with me. It important you look after yourself and I understand how worry can manifest

    You are good enough you are their Father and will not be replaced please dont fear this

    I freaked about being stuck in for 2 weeks. How would i manage. I hated days in. My son would hate it my mentao health would go right through the roof. But i spoke to family lives and she helped me focus on the very basics in life and how all we needed was each other and warmth food tele etc. Nothing 3else matters. It turned out fab my son was amazing he understood we couldn’t leave the house and we really had the best time. I now love days in and realise its work shops all other aspects of life that stress me

    Hope you are ok and im here to chat today

    #45787 Report



    Things are escalating.

    I received a text from her this morning to say “that her solicitor is starting a ticking clock to sort out living arrangements and childcare, this sorts it out legally within 12 weeks”

    What does that mean?

    I have contacted Child Law, until we see the document its hard to say.

    Anyone experienced this?

    I petitioned the divorce based on her adultery, she signed a confession statement, but its held up in processing in the Courts at the moment. Original submission was August, we are yet to receive petitions.

    I just don’t know what to do. Things are unravelling so fast.

    In fact I’m being paranoid now, I guess anyone can read this post.



    #45789 Report


    Hi sorry to hear about the text you have received

    Take a minute sit down and breathe. I would suggest ringing  support service they can help you process what is important right now and your health and mental wellbeing is important your better able to do things when you are a little clearer and calmer

    Ring the family lives. It was literally like an hour counselling for me the lady listened and said ring anytime. I hvent rang back since but i know if im faced with difficult situations and find myself too weighed down i can chat and offload and it helps having someone impartial listen and offer advice

    #45800 Report


    I called Family Lives, and spoke to a lovely lady. It was nice to offload, but, and this is no criticism, they cant change what’s happening.

    They suggested a couple of  avenues to pursue – I spoke with Child Law afterwards, and will try to speak to Families need fathers this evening, after I have settled the children.

    I need to be able to process and cope with these emotions.

    As I said things have escalated, her new man is now coming to “Our” house at 20:30 because I said before the children spend time with him, I want to at least meet him.

    Ironically our divorce petitions have also been finally received today.

    My life is in turmoil.



    #45802 Report



    Glad you rang up. Your right no one can change it but the idea is to offload your thoughts and feelings. Thats all we really can do and lean in support. No ome can live our lives for us but they can be a source of support and an outlay and they can signpost so i hope they helped little

    Your life is changing and you need to give yourself time to let the feelings heal. Be honest and talk to people

    We all have times where we feel this way its normal its not the end it is end of one chapter and beginning of another. I have to take antidepressants but theu dont change my life. I caught the covid and freaked out. Ive had a horrible relationship for 13months been really damaging to my mental health but now i am soon to be free and things do change

    You won’t feel like this all the time but when you do dont beat yourself up about it. A lot of people feel same even those in relationships it may seem all good butwho knows what goes on behind closrd doors

    #45804 Report

    deleted user


    I can in some ways really relate to what you are saying and I truly feel your emotions. I have a little boy who is 2 and a half years old. Me and his dad split up around a year and a half ago. His dad was seeing another woman behind my back, and then he got into a relationship with her and started a family with her pretty much straight after we split. They now have a baby together and it’s all happy families. We both share access to our son and we actively co-parent. In some ways it goes well, but in other ways it doesn’t. I have felt like my ex point scores with me a lot. He tries to make out his parenting and what he does is better than me. He likes to take control of situations in which suit him – and not always necessarily are in the best interest of our son. I feel if he wants something done a certain way and I disagree to it, then he will just do whatever he wants anyway – and sometimes to spite me. I feel that his girlfriend is perhaps behind some of this. I get the feeling she interferes a lot and butts in and influences some of the things he says and does. I am always firm with him and always tell him when I am unhappy about something or have a problem with something. However, behind closed doors, I still struggle with a lot of anxiety and stress over this. The prospect of having to co-parent with an ex who can be such an idiot (understatement) sometimes, and his interfering, meddling girlfriend causes me so much stress. I can completely relate to how you feel in some areas. The only advice I can offer is the same things I am doing to help me cope. I have good support networks around me. I have people I can talk to. I am having counselling sessions. I have been encouraged to stay firm and strong and remind myself that I am one of his parents and I have rights and I shouldn’t let his other parent ever take control. I also shouldn’t let anything he ever says or do affect me. Of corse, it’s so easier said than done. However, I have gave this a try and it does make me feel more powerful and stronger when I refuse to let anything he does get to me. It feels even better when I am firm with him and I decide to take control a bit more. For instance, if he tries to tell me how something is going to be, then I will turn around and take control and I will refuse and be something like ‘well no, actually that isn’t happening’. It does make me feel more powerful. He’s his parent, but so am I, and I won’t be trodden on something, as if I don’t have as many rights as he does or something, or that he is more in control than what I am. Please tell yourself that you are the father , you are one of the parents and you have rights. Don’t let her take control and always be firm and make sure you also take the control in situations. Don’t feel powerless – as you are not at all. X

    #45807 Report


    Hello wideawake

    I am sorry you have felt this way, I totally understand you. I am not from this country and I am going through divorce. I am in charge of the kids (6 and 3) and he moved out a month ago. At the beginning he showed me a face I never knew almost like he wanted to erase me as you say.

    It is impossible not to feel like everybody’s lives are carrying on and you are the only one out of the equation even when you do all the work.

    But I can tell you something: even when they are very young, kids realise who is always there for them, who didn’t leave, who they can turn for comfort and safety, who makes a home.

    So it may not show now, but what you are planting in their hearts and their subconscious will show with time. Remember that.

    Focus on you, the healing process is long and not a straight line, process this as something you have to live. One day at the time. It helps me sometimes.

    Hope it helps, and do not lose faith nor hope that life will eventually be better.

    #45813 Report


    Thanks for the advice. I appreciate all the comments.

    I don’t know if I have done the right thing or not, after meeting with her new partner.

    She would not allow me to meet him on his own.

    He is nice, I expected him to be, but he doesn’t know what has really gone on, or the truth.  The timeline – and hence the urgency of involving the boys in their lives – is not correct. She hasn’t told him the truth about the breakdown of our marriage, and the reasons. Their relationship is based on lies. I bit my tongue, but said that they needed to be honest with each other, as if they were involving the children they needed to be transparent as I didn’t want things to crumble.

    She became agitated several times and tried to walk away, he calmed her, and they stayed.

    I probably have made things worse. She will not like the truth to come out, and I have definitely planted the seed.

    Everything I do seems to work against me. But surely I need to protect the children from unnecessary disruption? Or am I being selfish. Destroying their relationship would not be in my interests, you can image the wraith that would be turned against me. But protecting the boys is?

    I was calm throughout, but mind is now racing.


Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 28 total)

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