Newly single dad struggling

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  • #25900 Report


    I’ve recently split with my partner who now has the kids and has dictated to me when I can’t and can see them, she’s got someone else who she has already introduced to the children after just 5 weeks of knowing him, he spends more time with my kids then I do now in an average week, I moved to her from up north so I have no friends or family and I now live in shared accommodation as that’s all I can afford, life is slowly going downhill, how do dads cope, make new friends try and get out and be social I struggle with anxiety and social anxiety especially, thanks for listening

    #25921 Report


    Hi LD, that must be very difficult, I’d hate it. I don’t know what your tactics should be next, but I think a call to the single parents’ helpline at Gingerbread might be a good start.

    I hope you get it sorted

    #25926 Report


    I know exactly what you are going through mate. I separated two years ago with my ex partner. I went into a mini depression as nothing made sense anymore. My ex also met a geezer who she introduced to the kids at four weeks of dating which I found had to take in at the time. The relationship didn’t work and she got dumped by the guy. The best advise I would give is not to ask the kids about this guy when you have them. Also don’t say anything to your dad ex regarding this new man, keep it strictly business ie pick up the kids and leave. I know how much it hurts when a new man meets your kids and sits where you used to when you were a family. Trust me time is a great healer. I never thought I would be where I m two years ago. My suggestion is to get a new hobby; gym,reading cycling etc it will make you take your mind away from things. I have been lucky in that we share  50/50 parents and we get on well. Good luck pal chin up.

    #26002 Report


    the problem I have is I moved down here to the southeast coast from the northwest so all my family and friends are back up north, my sole focus since living here was my now EX and our 2 children I never saw the day coming that we would split so socially she was my social life, if I went out for a meal it was with her, or cinema her, or a gig\festival her, or we would go places with our kids for their fun, now like you said another man has taken my shoes, she hardly knows him herself yet in last 4 days ive had just 2 hours with my children which was on Monday being dropped off at a park with them then picked up 2 hours later on the dot, where as he was with them all weekend took them out to im sure more exciting places then a park, and has probably spent time with them Monday and today, its hard to know he may have been around my kids anything from 30/45 hours in last 4 days and ive had just 2, she always said your their daddy he wont replace you, yet how can it not feel like that now this man is around for my kids and I get to see them for such a short time on her terms and if I kick up a fuss I don’t get to see them I cant complain or ask what shes been up to, I cant moan about how hes now in my shoes or why he gets more time then me, I miss my kids so much but they are only 2 and 4 years old, my eldest is autistic it just feels at that age the more he is involved cos they are so young the more they may warm to him and forget who their daddy is and I become the stranger and they say wheres daddy when im with them, ive already had my eldest son whos autistic tell me im not his best friend anymore, and when I asked who was, he said the new mans name, it broke me totally broke, how can I tell a child whos already struggling in the world he lives in what he has just said destroyed me? I wish I had someone to talk to, an online group, a video conference, maybe a gamer dad who wants to vent while gaming at same time, im so disappointed there seems to be no groups locally for me to join try and make new friends create a social life for myself, I can only see this going one way

    #26011 Report

    Hi lonelydad

    Sorry to hear that you are struggling.  You can use our website to search to see if there are gingerbread groups local to you.  We have groups which run throughout England and Wales, but if there isn’t one near, why not consider setting one up yourself?

    Please have a look at our groups page and see if there is one close by.

    Hope that helps, Justine

    #26018 Report


    I’m not great at advice I can’t imagine what it must feel like to hardly see your kids and being limited to 2 hours. Hope you manage to fight the anxiety and join a group to try and make some friends. Do your family/friends come and visit you? Maybe try and go up and see them for a few days it might help to see them. Im also originally from the north and living in the south now but luckily have now got most of my friends here now. I’ve also got a child with autism so totally get how hard it is for them to understand the situation, I really hope you get to see more of them. feel free to vent on here I’ve just discovered this website it’s good to know there’s people who know what I’m going through!

    #26043 Report



    It’s a pretty horrible situation I know, we’ve all been there and all on here are going through it to some degree (from very recently to several years down the line) so you’ve come to completely the right place. What I can tell you is that all the “what if” questions you are asking yourself now is normal – I asked myself them a lot, but then found that as you start to get used to what’s going on, you’ll be able to think more clearly and start to plan. I’ve just spent the best quality time I can with the kids, so they know I love them – yours will too. This other guy has only been on the scene for 5 minutes, and it’s entirely possible that the relationship won’t last – you will never be replaced as their Dad.

    If they’ve got Time to Talk via the NHS in your area, you can self refer – it’s been brilliant, and really helped.

    Also, think about hobbies – join the gym, martial arts, 5 a side, anything like that – you’ll meet people there and make new friends.

    Maybe speak to a Gingerbread Advisor to find out about increased access rights – 2 hours here and there seems a bit harsh to me.

    This place has been a godsend for me and really helped me and others to come to terms with what’s happened and start to move forward; 2 months down the line and I feel so much better and ready to face the future again. You’ll get there too.




    #26146 Report


    Hi mate , the law has come on a long way , look into a c100 form its £215 and you can print it off and fill it out yourself ,or you can pay a solicitor to do that it then gets put to a local court and will be seen before a judge its the step forward to get the right amount of time spent with your children or joint custody , iam a fulltime dad and have been for 10 years now with full custody so feel free to ask away i will try help if i can , i hate the way women/mums dictate on times hours etc for the children its changed alot us men have alot of rights , stay positive my friend 👍


    #26186 Report


    Hi All,

    Maybe I shouldn’t join in this conversation butI just wanted to say I completely feel your pain. My husband of 16 years left just after Christmas and found himself a new and younger model 🙁 – there were many reason to why we separated but he pushed it over the mark once he met someone else and then lied about it, it just broke my heart!

    Although he’s caused me so much pain I would never in a million years use our children as a weapon to get what I want. He is still their father and he loves them dearly and I always let them know how much daddy loves them even though mummy and daddy are apart. My two boys adore their daddy and I’m sure your children feel the same about you too. Children can sometimes say things that can be very hurtful but you will always be their dad and a big part of their life.

    It’s really tough having to start all over again especially if that person was your best friend and you did everything together. You will find another path and you will make new friends. I know this might not help right now but this is what I tell myself everyday and that my boys are my world and that they rely on me and that keeps me going on my very low days.

    I wish you all the best and I know there is future happiness for you.


    #26187 Report


    Really sorry to hear you struggling.  I’m a few years down the line but still dread her meeting someone and allowing them into the “family home” and it did mess my head up for a bit but more than that it was the thought of her introducing him to our son.  As time went on though (he’s 6 now) the fear of having the position of Dad usurped has gotten gradually less as my son shows more and more how important I am to him.  The only way of dealing with stuff like this is to focus on the things you can control… you can do nothing bout your ex but you can focus on being the best dad you can and that will speak for itself and your kids will certainly be aware especially if the other parent’s time is being taken with their new relationship.  In time you will meet someone yourself and when you do the feelings of loss of that previous relationship will diminish, (not so much the grieving of the loss of the family unit you once had, that always remains) but you certainly will find that good relationships are not unique… there is no such thing as “the one” and your life isn’t over when things don’t work out … it just takes on a different direction.  I couldn’t imagine being the other side of this 4 years ago… but things can eventually get to a good place (at least for you and your kids independently of the ex) and you will start enjoying life again. It just takes both time, support from good people and hard work but you will get there.

    #26340 Report


    I am trying to deal with things, this week is my ex birthday week as she calls it, she’s 30 and has had lots of things on so I’ve been used for lots of baby sitting which I’m not complaining about I’m loving the time I’ve got with my kids while she’s out with family friends and her new fella but next week will be back to reality and the the short 2 hour visits, she also thinks it’s gonna be a good idea for me to meet this new man tomorrow! So when I go round to see the kids he will be there then the two of them are going out alone while I have the boys for a couple hours then when they come back I’ve got to go again and he will be with my kids for the rest of the day, my hours tomorrow are 12:30-2.30 so I’m guessing he’s taking her out for a birthday lunch or something, it’s so tough and it does feel like the kids are forgetting me in some ways it doesn’t feel the same the bond I had with them is slowly slipping away I’ve been gone about a month now and with him the new man In the picture it really feels like my 2yr old and my 4yr old aren’t the same with me as they used to be, probably just in my head but the way they act now feels different to me she says I’m always their daddy and I’m being stupid but I notice little things that upset me so much, anyway once I’ve had my visit tomorrow and met this guy I will have to post again on how it went it’s only gonna be a brief meeting like I said they going out but still gonna be very awkward and strange to see another man with my ex I still love her and would take her back in a heartbeat

    #26383 Report



    This is a really tough time I know; it will get better, time is the best healer, and in a few months once things have settled, your perspective will change a bit and you will feel better – I know, I’ve been there and am slightly further down the road than you. The pain and overwhelm comes in waves – you might feel ok, and then suddenly a wave comes. These waves will get less and less as you go forward, I promise.

    Speak to GB about access rights, and they should be able to guide you; it sounds like your ex wants her cake and eat it – happy for you to see more of the kids on the proviso it benefits her. Talk to GB’s Advisors and see what they suggest.

    Most importantly, you’re doing the right thing by your kids, which is being there for them. If you don’t want to meet this guy, just say no! Remember, she doesn’t have the right to control you anymore, you do what’s best for you. Over the past few months, I’ve learned two things;

    1) To  let go of the past relationship, which is really tough, but empowering too – I would not take back my ex (how long before it comes to a head again?), and I can see opportunities now in front of me

    2) Most importantly, I am in control of my life now, and I will decide what I do and don’t want to do. As long as the kids are ok, and I’m ok, and I’m doing my best for them, that’s all that matters.

    You’ve got this – just keep moving forward, think on paper (when you have an overwhelm, write it down and reason it out) – same with good things. You’ll find yourself planning for the future, and the waves that come will get less.

    Keep going, you’ve got this!




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