New here – separating and devastated

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  • #56093 Report


    Hi all,

    On Thursday last week my partner of 25 years with whom i have a 7 year old son said he wants to separate.  We had been having a really rough time and i must admit the last 4 months ive not supported him nearly as well as i should have but i thought we had an agreement that we were both going to seek individual counselling (i have  he hasnt yet) and then some joint counselling. This has been completely taken off the table and he is saying he wants a 50:50 co-parenting agreement. This was a week ago and he is pressuring me to agree to an immediate empty nest situation. Last night he said he would be generous and agree a 2:1 in my favour in the interim. He has spent 3 nights at his parents over the last week. He wants me to stay away for a night but i just want to be with my son and cant bear the thought of leaving him for a night when i know so many more such nights are on the horizon.

    My soon to be ex is generally a good dad and i absolutely do not want to prevent him having time with his son.  The thought of my son only seeing his dad for a long weekend every other week is heartbreaking for both of them. However i am really struggling to come to terms with all this in such a short space of time. What is the usual turnaround on these things?

    Additionally In 7 years i have only spent 1 full night away from my son and even then he was only 4 roads away at my parents. I know my soon to be ex works and so many things he is unable to do but it doesnt change the fact i have done 99% of all school runs, taken him to every kids party, taken him to church, take him to the park at the weekends because his dad wants a lie-in, taught him how to ride a bike and swim, did 99% of the lockdown homeschooling (even though his dad was furloughed and at home), been on every holiday with him etc etc. Therefore a 50:50 split doesnt seem fair – for me and most importantly my son. When not in school or at activities he is either just with me or with us both. I think i can count on my hands the number of times his dad has taken him on a solo outing – something i encouraged. I should also point out his dad has extended school holidays off so its not like there hasnt been opportunity.

    How do we get through this without mud slinging? If we went to mediation what would it cover? How do i cope with the separation from my son? Am i being unreasonable not to agree to 50:50?

    I am grieving and dont know where to turn.

    Sorry for the long rant, any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you

    #56096 Report


    Errrrr.I read your post and then I re-read it.How can you say you haven’t supported your husband ‘nearly as well’ as you should?! You seem to have been very busy doing everything for your son while his dad seems to have made so little effort in that department and you write that he hasn’t sought help as agreed, while you have.Obviously it’s not the business of an outsider to interfere between you but this would explain why you feel so attached to your son and don’t want to give up so much time with him.Nobody could blame you,you’re not being selfish and it’s nice that he has 2 parents who love him so much.If your husband hasn’t done his part why do feel you need to give in to his demands so fast? If he will listen to what you say mbe you could explain you need a few days to think it over.If you think every 2nd weekend is too little or too much you can adjust it to what You want.There’s no official timetable if you’re not in court.As you say splitting up was his idea,you can call the shots.You are not unreasonable at All! It’s often difficult not to end up mudslinging if people are purposely difficult or selfish but every situation is different and some people manage it.

    #56097 Report


    Totally feeling your pain here. I have very similar circumstances with a 9, 15 and 17 year old. Their father moved out to a 1 bed down the road, occasionally has my 9 year old son when he’s not working and puts no effort into seeing or speaking to the other two. He’s also found a new girlfriend (we only broke up in April) and she has kids and lives about 100 miles away. He can’t find time to see our kids now let alone when things get more serious with her. I’ve never been apart from my kids but he has when working. When you said you are grieving, it really resonated with me. I don’t know what the answers are yet but you may want to speak to a family lawyer about the childcare arrangements. The 50/50 arrangement may be so he doesn’t have to pay you any maintenance. Hopefully that’s not the reason, but grief makes you think unhelpful things. I’m not sure I have said anything to help but I wanted to let you know you aren’t alone. Xxx

    #56099 Report


    Thank you for your replies.  I dont want to paint him as a bad dad. At home he is great, lots of imaginative play, making cardboard dress up costumes, lots of lego and the like. I  addition he does spend lots of time with him. But when i go to my parents with our son whilst invited he wont come because he doesnt like my dad, when weve had some weekends away he wont come because he needs to stay home for his hobby. So there are always points over the weekend when ill do something just me and josh but he doesnt.


    Last night he said i was taking his son away from him by not agreeing to a night away. I was flabergasted – hes the one who wants to leave and take my son away from me for 50% of the time!

    Hes trying to paint me as a  codependent parent which he can then use against me. I love my son and i want whats best for him not me but it is so hard to deal with the forthcoming loss and hes tell8ng me im unreasonable.

    #56100 Report


    Yep.It’s 2021.We are All unreasonable😯

    If you spend time with your kids you’re  codependent.

    If you worry about them you’re a helicopter parent.

    If you make them clean up after themselves you’re abusive.

    If you say No to anything they’ll probably report you.

    If you want more contact time with your kids your selfish.

    If you don’t you’re also selfish.

    Damned if you do and damned if you dont🙃

    Might as well do what you want and enjoy it.


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