Newly single mum of 4 boys- any advice!

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  • #18999 Report



    My husband of 18 years moved out today after a few weeks of us not getting on. Very abruptly and out of the blue and I am left alone with our 4 boys. My eldest son is heartbroken and won’t stop crying- I don’t know how to help him! I don’t work so have no income coming in although my husband has said that he will pay for the house and most of the bills so I need to find a way of feeding and clothing them. I am already receiving child tax credits so would they be increased to help me out. What else would I be entitled to? I have a few health issues at the moment as well which is not helping. I need to try and find some work to fit around school hours as there is no one else to collect my youngest twin boys. My head is a confused mess and I am trying to stay strong for my boys but I am lost and don’t know what to do. I have very little support and no friends to talk to so feel very alone. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated right now!

    #19020 Report



    i totally understand how you feel, I only have one son and I am finding it so difficult to adjust to. I think this time of year doesn’t help either. I was with my partner for 15 years and he cheated on me.

    If you want to PM feel free I know how lonely it can be x

    #19040 Report


    I understand too…my husband also of 18 years left me and my two children two years ago for another woman and il never forget how painful it was and how my son too cried and cried. You’re doing so well with 4 boys!

    Just remember you are stronger than you think.

    my ex doesn’t pay me anything so I had to work for 16 hrs to get working tax credits. I’m not sure how the universal credit works now though. It’s really hard but you can do it and you will be so proud of yourself when you do and a great example to your kids as the strong one.

    Pm me too if like.🙂

    #19041 Report


    Hi. I’ve never used a forum before.

    My husband after nearly 10 years has had enough of me.

    I had PND after both children and he is exhausted and has left me.

    I feel lost too and also to blame.




    #19043 Report


    Ginger, on a completely practical level, there are a few things you can do immediately.

    Call the council & claim your 25% discount on council tax.  Arrange a half hour with a family solicitor to be clear what you are legally entitled to. Check if there is an afterschool club or a childminder who collects from your younger children’s school.

    Google the govt benefits calculator to estimate what you should receive. Having more information will make things less scary.

    Reassure your eldest by getting into an access routine ASAP. He will feel less distressed if he knows he will see his dad frequently. Try to keep as many things “normal” as possible. And keep things as amiable as possible which I know is hard but is important to support your children.

    So sorry this is happening.  💐

    #19046 Report


    Thanks for all of you replies. It helps to know that there are people out there to talk to in the same boat. I just feel so angry and confused that he could just up sticks and leave so abruptly and put the kids through hell. He is saying that maybe we need some time apart and he doesn’t know what will happen. He met up with my eldest son yesterday to try and explain but my son has come away from the meeting clinging onto the hope that he will come back so I hope that he hasn’t given him false hope. My husband has got a new phone, cancelled his Instagram and Facebook accounts so really feels as though he is detaching altogether.

    We haven’t worked out the practicalities yet as things are still too raw but that is something we need to do. Kathy, thanks for the practical advice. I have put in a new claim for tax credits and the guy there seems to think I will get the full whack as I have 4 boys and not working so in the short term, I think money will be ok as long as my husband pays me what he is saying he will. I will ring the council on Monday and tell them and I also need to open a new bank account as we have a joint one. In the one instance, I am trying to be practical and forging ahead with what needs to be done and on the other hand, I am hoping that he is going to say that he made a mistake. My heart feels as though it has been ripped into a million pieces and I don’t know how to deal with that. I am putting all of my energy into dealing with the boys emotions but not addressing mine at all! He is the absolute love of my life and I just can’t fathom a life where he is not in it! 😢😢

    #19084 Report


    Hi Ginger1002

    Thanks for sharing your story and we’re glad other members of the community are able to support you during this difficult time.

    To get advice on all your benefit and financial entitlements as a single parent you can call Gingerbread’s adviceline on 0808 802 0925. Lines open on 2nd January. It can take a while to get through but it’s free to hold.

    Take care


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