Sad single dad 😢

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  • #12256 Report


    Hi everyone, I hope you don’t mind if I share my story here. First I’d like to say that there’s two sides to every divorce so I’ll try to keep this as factual as I can.

    Life’s not been very good for me, at nineteen I started suffering from the most crippling anxiety you could imagine. After all this time (25yrs) I’ve been absolutely terrified for no reason but when I met my ex wife, things were on the up. I’d come off the meds and started my own business as a handyman. I told her on our first date that sometimes I might seem distracted and distant but I’ll only be trying to relax and not have a panic attack.

    Then a few years later in the space of 5yrs, my nan died, my dad died after a long and painful struggle with Parkinsons, and my younger brother died from a short and painful fight with bone cancer. Even my dog died (aged 4) and he was like a son to me.

    As a family, we decided that one of us should be around for our daughter as much as possible. It’s not the state’s job to bring her up. I reduced my hours to part time and supported my wife to study for a masters degree in HR. She started to earn a lot more and things were looking up. I fitted a new kitchen, bathroom and started the loft conversion for our daughter’s new bedroom and to make our modest home a 3 bedroom house.

    One day, completely out of the blue she came home from work and dropped the bombshell. Bought our daughter in and told her (she’s seven). I didn’t know what my rights were and I was a mess so I packed a bag and went to my mum’s who was on holiday. I sat down there , it was cold and I was shaking. By chance, my best friend had just got back from his holiday and I really needed him. He came over, took one look at me and took me to his house.

    In the next few weeks, I managed to get the best lawyer ever. She was a friend of the family and after hearing about everything, she offered to help me for free. She told me that I had to move back into the house and my wife couldn’t stop me. I was terrified as my panic attacks were back up to 10 plus a day and I couldn’t cope. But I did it, I had to sleep on the floor in the Lounge and was utterly miserable. Then our new dog broke her back leg and it got infected. She lost half her foot, and in total, 145 separate vet trips and £7000 later, my money was gone (but at least I had my dog).

    Then I discovered that she had been making 2-3hour calls to one number up to 8 times a day (we had a family sharing O2 account and she didn’t know I could see her bill). Well it turned out to be her ex boyfriend and that was that.

    My lawyer asked if I wanted the house to be sold, if I wanted to grind her down financially with letter after letter, as you probably know it’s about £80 a letter and mine were free. At this point I realised that my daughter was more important than our problems and our behaviour was going to hurt her. I did some research and booked a matrimonial valuation to make her an offer for me to move out if she paid for my share of the equity. After a lot of hassle and me having to knock £10k off the price, I left to live in a poxy one bedroom annex at my friend’s house.

    At least now I get to see my girl 50/50 and am recognised as the primary carer which I have been since she was born as I did everything for her and was a working house husband.

    I didn’t even get a Father’s Day card today. I feel utterly alone and depressed. I’ve turned to drinking and I’m on benefits. When my daughter is with her, I’m completely alone and sometimes I won’t get the chance to talk to anyone. I’m trying to be strong, my dad and brother would have wanted that but sometimes I feel helpless. If you’ve read this, thanks for your time.


    #12262 Report


    Hey John, stay strong – PM me anytime. I’m a Daddy who didn’t get a card today as well.

    #12264 Report


    You come across as a reasonable man, who’s really gone through the mill. It’s taken courage to share your story & the only consolation I can offer is that you are not alone. X

    #12266 Report


    No real advice but you are not alone. Take care of yourself and vent on here anytime xxx

    #12304 Report



    really sorry to read your story and to hear you didn’t receive a card today. Such a shame when mums don’t realise it’s a day for children to recognise not anything to do with a parents divorce.

    Try and stay strong, I know thats easy to say but think about what you want for your daughter and create it ( you already have in some ways by being strong enough to stand up for 50/50 access and equity) it’s obvious that you love your daughter very much and she will see this and will love you.

    children are really smart, even little ones and they work things out eventually. When they are bigger they know the people who cared and the people who messed around or did mean things.They can always tell a good heart and your love and time you spend with your daughter will be showing her your good heart.

    it does sound like you are depressed and I hope you are getting the help you need to cope with your feelings. Don’t be alone in this, ask for help when you need it.

    you mentioned that you were a handyman and that you started converting a loft, that’s a pretty cool thing to do and not many people could do that. Have you thought about building your own little business? That way you can work it round when you have your daughter. There are some government schemes that could help you get started or even get you tools to just do odd jobs to begin with?

    As a single mum who will give anything a try but has to admit she isn’t great at DIY I’ve found there’s a massive shortage in handymen (that don’t rip you off or think they don’t have to do a good job because you are on your own). So id jump at having a great handyman like you I could contact. Start with offering it to friends and see if doing that helps with the time when you don’t have your daughter.

    stay strong and I wish you a very happy Father’s Day and all the very best for the future

    #12355 Report

    De24 mum

    Awe such a sad story to read but you had the confidence to share it. I have three young children 2 of whom are my grandchildren and their older brother and I was devastated that they made cards and we bought one and dad didn’t turn up to receive them. Kids were gutted. I was gutted. I felt angry and had no one to talk to about it. But I have to plod along. It’s a lonely life and it didn’t help my partner cheated on me last year so he had to go. I felt as if he had died as for me it wasn’t over he ended it with cheating. I have never felt so alone as the invites out stopped the visitors stopped do the kids frighten everyone off I wondered. I have struggled on and also work while they are at school and feel I’m barely existing at times just like right now I’m so tired. But I have turned things round slowly. I will get through it all and hopefully find love again one day but I take each day as it comes. I have to as its just me and the kids but we are tight we are strong and although lonely I am happy. You will get there you must. Get back out there doing little jobs and take it one day at a time

    #12482 Report


    So sorry to hear this mate and you’re brave for sharing this – shows how strong you really are.  Try and keep away from the booze mate as it might just bite you in the ass later down the line – may be a visit to your GP – not necessarily for medication but a referral for some psychological support perhaps?

    #12485 Report


    Hi sorry to hear that you have been through such a tough time. I take my hat off to fathers that make an effort, you sound like you genuinely care about your daughter, she will realise that & benefit from your love and you being there for her, stay strong for yourself and her, stay focused – easier said than done but keep reminding yourself that you’re moving forward through a process,  you will get more settled in time. Keep the positive in the front of your mind, when you get chance, do fun and new things with your daughter – step out of your comfort zone sometimes.

    As a single mum, I have recently been struggling with the post-emotional effects of separating from my daughter’s father, the relationship between us became even more one-sided when i was expecting our child, to the point of me raising our daughter alone…he just lived with us as a spectator (and he’s had past experience from being a father before), I literally was left to get on with it

    I repeatedly asked him for support to be a closer family unit – to the point of ‘begging’ for support but nothing really changed, so I started living as if it was just my daughter and me, not a healthy way but didn’t know how else to cope especially as a new mum, it was clear that he never intended to be a family man, he is very much a ‘me, myself and I’ person.

    Even though I have my down days,  I look at how far I’ve come with raising my daughter and feeling better tthan I did, it reminds me that i must carry on, I can’t give up! I believe time helps healing.

    Be strong, embrace positive support and keep good friends close.  🙂



    #12550 Report


    Hey buddy, you’ve had it tough.

    I’m lucky that my two boys live with me for the majority of the time, but my wife and I only separated a few months ago, but FD was still tough and she tried to make out like I was being unfair by her not seeing him – she is also HR and was f*cking a guy from work….VERY good example of HR policy!

    Here if you ever need to chat.


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