29 December 2020 at 12:41 pm #47388
This is going to be a long one just to warn you.
I decided to join this forum after a little research online surrounding being a new single mum. I’m not sure I’m even in the right place so please tell me if not.
The social stigma attached to this phrase is still making me recoil a little, which I know sounds awful.
I’m not even sure what I am looking for here… Reassurance. A little support from others in the same position. I never ever even dreamed I would be in this position.
My, now ex partner, and I had been together for two years and we decided to start a family. I had our daughter in February this year.
However, it became increasingly apparent that he was not happy making some of the life adjustments needed when having a baby.
A number of incidents had happened which led me to decide to end the relationship:
I lost a lot of blood when giving birth, which is common. He would not help at home with housework. I was on iron injections and tablets hoping I wouldn’t have to have a blood transfusion. I’d be left to do everything whilst horrendously exhausted.
During the height of this summer, she was around four months and not coping with the heat. He was looking after her and when I got in, she was screaming her head off with reddened cheeks and sweating. I’ll be honest, I went ballistic. He said he had the fan on his dog because, “he has heatstroke”.
He never bonded or spent time with her and when I raised this, he’d gaslight my feeling and deflect. When I got upset he would call me mad and tell me I have issues, whilst tapping his temple with his finger as if to reinforce my lunacy.
I ended the relationship as I was not getting any support from him. He became a huge rock I was carrying around which I can’t deal with now I have baby. And he never put up a fight or challenged my decision which reinforced to me that I had made the right decision.
I left him a couple of weeks before Christmas. I felt awful for doing that as it was her very first Christmas.
Going forward, I guess I feel incredibly lost. I worry about her coming home and asking, “why doesn’t my daddy live with me and the other girls and boys daddy’s do”?
What on earth am I supposed to tell her. My decision has landed her in the position of not having daddy at home to grow up with.
I’ve been crying myself to sleep every night since as I don’t want to cry in front of her.
Despite his selfishness and failure to stand up, I now find myself in a position where I’m going through a breakup which ended negatively, still having to juggle the feelings of hurt because the love will take time to fade and I have baby on top.
I am luckily enough to have a very supportive family network but, at the risk of not wanting to sound like a “victim”, I really am struggling.
He told me the other day that he’s much happier without me. Just one last kick whilst I’m already down I suppose.
I thank you for reading if you’re still with me after all that.29 December 2020 at 2:05 pm #47391
@FurBag36 – first and foremost, welcome.
If it’s reassurance you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.
There’s a few points you raised, which resonated with me. Points I, myself, constantly ruminate about, which still cause me overwhelming pain and distress 6 months after my separation.
I’m constantly victimised by the same intrusive thought as yourself – and it’s incredibly traumatising. The one in which I see my 8-year-old daughter at school everyday trying to answer her friends when they ask her as to why her daddy doesn’t live with her.
A few days before Christmas, my ex fiancée of 10+ years also tried to kick me again and play the man, and not the ball (apologies for the football analogy). However, it proved counterproductive as, being 6 months further down the line than you, rather than umbrage I felt stronger. It reminded me not to deviate from my plan, and to get to where I am going.
I guess what I’m getting at here is that, after all the bullets I’ve taken to the chest this year, I should have been buried alive… left for dead. But through forums and good people, which you mentioned you have through your family network, I didn’t quit. Us humans are more resilient than we think, and we give ourselves credit for.
How many crap hands has life dealt you thus far? Do you think it will stop? No. Never. We’ve all experienced tragedies in life, yet we’re all still here fighting. We rebuild and go again, instead of admitting defeat. Myself included. There’s only one way my life can go in 2021, and surely it cannot be any further southbound.
Strangers or not – we’re here for you.29 December 2020 at 2:59 pm #47394
Thank you for replying. I really am finding this entire situation so overwhelming. Made more so because our own child is involved. It’s not just a regular break up.
Yes, the thought of that very instance in the playground breaks my heart. Just reading it puts a lump in my throat.
I don’t ever want to be in a situation where she blames me. I’m still very much in the opinion that, having both parents at home is what is best for the foundation in a child’s upbringing.
I can give her all the love and security in the world but she needs a male figure, her daddy, at home.
It is that age old, “time is a healer” isn’t it. In some ways, I wish I was six month further down the line.
The initial feelings of hurt and rejection are so painful and not just rejection on my part, he has in part, rejected our daughter too and it just pierces me so deeply.
You are right, I have fallen many times and I guess it is a case of rebuilding and becoming stronger each time.29 December 2020 at 3:23 pm #47397
@Effusive How did you go about telling family? Only the aunt I’m staying with knows what has happened.
How am I supposed to tell everyone?!29 December 2020 at 4:02 pm #47401
Touché yet again.
It’s like our psyches are one and the same.
My biggest fear now is that we are not role-modelling a healthy, stable and loving relationship, which in turn means my daughter will not have a blueprint for her own healthy relationships later on in life and the cycle will repeat.
All I can do now is continue to be the best dad I can be, the same way I have been for the first 8 years of her life, albeit in a different house, and stamp my imprint on her throughout her formative years.
PS. Yes. Unfortunately now we have to leave time to continue to do what time is supposed to do. Heal.
Don’t get me wrong, some days I’m flying with the birds – others I’m sinking with the stones – but compared to where I was in June my transformation is remarkable.
PPS. I guess it was easier for me to tell my family as they had no other option. I don’t think they were expecting their 39-year-old son to show up on their doorstep on Father’s Day with a few clothes and some toiletries. And when he did, I’m sure they were expecting him to be gone again within a few days after the dust had settled.
Honestly, my advice to you – just be honest and tell them. For me personally, I don’t believe there is as much of a stigma surrounding single parents anymore. Plus I’d hate to think how many hundreds of millions of relationships the world over became a Covid-19 casualty this year.29 December 2020 at 4:28 pm #47404
@Effusive My gosh, yes. I worry so much that she’ll grow into one of those young girls with “daddy issues”.
I know to some this may sound incredibly irrational but I really do fear exactly that! That she will not have a blueprint to follow! It would be all my fault! Messed her up before her life has even begun!
Yes, being loving and supportive is all you can do but it’s the fear that it isn’t enough isn’t it.
I’m definitely in the same boat. Some days I’m really upbeat and so ready to grab the bull by the horns. Then other days, like today, I’m an utter mess!
I’ll cry so much when I wake my eyes look as though I’ve been punched. Red and swollen.
You’re right. It does happen to so many. There’s another woman on here who I messaged and my heart really does go out to her.
I really do appreciate your advice. Thank you so much.29 December 2020 at 5:32 pm #47406
Hindsight is a wonderful thing – but the signs were all there for me to see from day one with regards to my situation. My ex fiancée came from a never-ending list of single parents in her family. Each and every single one. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, which in turn only amplifies my fears exponentially.
My parents have just celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary. The difference between our two families are day and night.
By all means cry. But please don’t blame yourself. Open yourself up to vulnerability. At first, it might make you feel weak. Long-term it will actually make you stronger. From what I have read, you have done absolutely nothing wrong. And I’m a firm believe in staying together simply for the sake of the children is wrong.
My mantra is everything that has ever happened in my life, thus far, is preparing me for the moment that is yet still to come.
For my story that I thought was written, which wasn’t after all…
PS. You’re welcome. Although I have a dog in the race, which is thankfully nearing the finish line now, my advice is always here if and when you or anyone else should need it; we’re all in this together, after some solace.29 December 2020 at 7:44 pm #47410
Yes well this is it. I’m ordinarily a very well together person. I can pull myself together when needed, I’m very grounded and able to make rational decisions without too much emotion…for a woman. (Tongue in cheek).
However this whole ordeal really has led me to think I’m the one who is nuts and in the wrong.
He’s taking zero responsibility. Whilst I know it takes two to tango and there are two sides to every story, I do question myself.
My job has helped me to develop the patience of a saint but even he tests me!
Yes I agree. I remember my parents not getting on from a very young age. It’s a horrible environment to be in. That’s why I have always been so aware of not wanting to have that for children I had. Alas, here we are.
That is also why I blame myself. I was grown up when my dad finally couldn’t put up with my mother any more but I worry it’s still linked to me.
Then again, I could never have foreseen he would have decided that he didn’t actually want to change his life for a baby in the end.
Little insecurities like that I need to shake off. However, you are right. The cards we are dealt are shaping us for something!29 December 2020 at 9:23 pm #47415
You are not alone!!
Im going through the same thing. My daughter is 6.months and also going through a break up right now. He wants the best of both worlds family unit waiting for him yet leading a single life free of commitment and able to chase skirt.
Im heartbroken as I too have parents who have been 38 years together and I really want the family life and too have been worrying about ‘daddy issues’. But equally he has been vile to me and equally i dont want to stand for that or show my daughter to accept that behaviour.
- The dad does show interest but on his terms and only for the nice bits meanwhile ive not slept for the last 6 months doing all the graft. He wants to be friends for our daughters sake but he has hurt me so bad that friendship is off the scale for now. I can’t be friends while im trying to heal. Shes too small for me to leave her with him so he visits and its rubbing my face in it like torture as he starts to get close… I called him out on this that he cant keep us warm for when hes ready… Its not fair.
And if we stay friends and have family days what happens when another does come into the mix or she asks why we aren’t together and why is this not how it always is… Who is going to tell her no.
But i too worry about not having a positive male role model29 December 2020 at 10:42 pm #47417
Hi @Ribena, thank you for messaging me.
Yes, he very much wants to live a single life but then expects us to be there waiting.
Yes, he’s very mean to me. As you say, I can’t stay and have her growing up thinking his behaviour is acceptable or that it’s ok for a man to treat you like that.
It’s not just a break up. It sounds weird but it’s almost a form of mourning. Mourning for the loss of the relationship we had. How we used to laugh and joke together. Mourning for his love, the way he used to cuddle me. I feel so cast aside and I’m even more heartbroken for our daughter.
You’re right, I could never stay friends with him after this.
I should have seen it would be a recipe for disaster when at eight and a half months pregnant he refused to whip the hoover around for me and turned around and said, “if you want it done do it yourself”.
That’s the good thing about relationships before kids. You can leave and cut ties. It is exactly as though they’re rubbing it in your face.
My aunt has said that our daughter hasn’t formed a bond with him yet and as he’s been a complete….beep….to just get rid of him totally. She will not know or understand the disappointment. But if she was five or ten, older even, it will hurt her if he continues his behaviour.
But I can’t. I feel that whilst she has no voice to decide for herself, I can’t do that. I feel it’s my duty to try until she’s old enough to understand and decide. Then again, maybe doing that is what would encourage, “daddy issues”?!
It’s hard to know what to do.
It’s her first birthday in February and I’m trying to arrange her party. I’m trying to be the bigger person and include him but he doesn’t seem to be at all interested and just gives me one word answers. It’s so hurtful.
I wish I could tell him to just clear off but I’d be doing that out of selfishness and not thinking about her.
Do you have much support from family? What do his family think of his behaviour?31 December 2020 at 9:55 pm #47483
The best advice i was given was to encourage and include then if he says no its on him…but set yourself a limit if he disappoints or says hes going to turn up and doesn’t rain hell fire!
HIs family are sypoortive but in terms of his behaviour i think its more to his side now… My family and friends are not impressed however and they have said when my daughter is old enough she’ll know the truth or find out herself…
I feel like im to blaim because i chose poorly and so beat myself up about it alot!! I just hope im enough and when you hace someone treating you like you’re not enough… Its so hard.31 December 2020 at 10:45 pm #47484
Hi there, I too am newly separated. I had been with my husband almost 18 years, after 2 years’ of married life it transpired my husband has a drug addiction. Initially I enabled him to continue with this drug addiction and turnt a blind eye for the sake of our kid’s we have 3 children together
..to cut a rather long story short and after £25,000 of debt I finally had enough and gave him an ultimatum either he get professional help and quit or he looses me.
..skip ahead 2 years and what I naively thought was changed behaviour (although I had my doubts’) it transpired that he is using again. This time a different drug of choice which deceitful left him undetected.
I have now asked him to leave our family home and set boundaries of him needing to admit his addiction and seek help again for the sake of our children.
He has left the home, is still denying taking drugs and insists someone planted them on him! Which of course I dont believe! And now he has gone to stay with a friend of his that also takes drugs. He is now persisting to call my children. Clearly high and drunk and upset them and I dont know what to do.
I cannot stop him calling them, they would blame me but I am so fed up of his behaviour. I am hopeful to move on with my life but he is going to make it extremely difficult. I also worry about how I am going to afford to run a home, support my children and work part time as we are in the midst of a global pandemic!
If anyone has any advice or guidance I would appreciate a friend to talk to. The stigma that comes with a spouse having an addiction is a big one and I feel alone.1 January 2021 at 12:18 am #47485
@Ribena Yes I have been considering the same thing. My aunt worries about that very thing. Him disappointing her. I guess as you say, I’ll have to set a limit. Either way, I think she will see what he’s like as yours will.
Yes, I think exactly the same thing. I blame myself and in hindsight question rushing into things.
@Promum Hun, that sounds like such an isolating situation.
Firstly, if he is intoxicated, he should NOT be calling the children. You are within your rights to stop that.
That isn’t healthy for them to see and hear that growing up.
If he can’t sort himself out then you are the only protection for the kids. You need to think about them. You have to filter them from this.
There are a number of agencies who can help you with this. From drug charities like Frank to the police. Orders and restraints can go in.
He is damaging those children.
If you need to message me anytime, I’m here. You’re not alone.6 January 2021 at 10:43 am #47664
Hi.I’ve been reading the messages here and I’ve noticed ppl feel break ups/separation /divorce become a pattern etc & fear their kids will not b able to break the pattern.Well really?! So how does that answer my question?! I come from a long line of solidly married and stable people,so do most of my friends some of whom are now single parents.If separation and divorce develops into a pattern I must be a novelty.I’m totally not! Please stop fretting about your child in the playground.50% of marriages break down nowadays so your kids are in good company.Amongst my ‘tribe’ divorce is still terribly stigmatized.I have a bunch of kids and we have survived and occasionally feel like we might thrive!! Your kids are growing you in a different world than we did & while of course it hurts us like hell,there’s a big chance they will be fine.No,great!!! So many super successful people come from deprived backgrounds…all they need is love….well yeah.8 January 2021 at 12:56 pm #47812
@gummibear123 Whilst the breakdown of marriages and relationships may be a common thing, everyone deals with that in a different way.
I think it’s easier said than done to tell someone not to fret about it. No matter how common it may be, it’s still never an ideal scenario for any parent to see their child in.
These are the concerns and emotions people will naturally roll through.