Separating and living in different countries and struggling!

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  • #6036 Report


    My (soon to be Ex) wife and I are separated and getting divorced.

    I live in Spain (but am British) she has moved back to the UK to live. The children live with me in Spain.
    She sees our two boys (one is six and autistic, the other is two) about once a month, she comes here and sees them.

    Other than the logistics of paying for childcare while I work, I am utterly at my wits end at this situation.

    The last time she came she was in a foul mood at the children the whole time, parenting in a way that is totally inappropriate and her  behaviour affected the boys dramatically.
    She is currently here again, yesterday I went out to do Christmas shopping and to leave her alone with them as I figured I am probably the last person she actually wants to spend time with.
    About two hours after I left I got a message that I needed to come home as she thought “the boys had been good for an hour” When in actual fact they were throwing bottles/glasses/anything breakable out of a window into the neighbours garden. Who were, understandably furious as there was broken glass everywhere.

    About five minutes after I got home the police arrived. Marvelous.

    The whole situation is a disaster, the boys behaviour is dramatically different when she is around. My relationships with my neighbours are getting ruined.
    And without sounding selfish, but my first opportunity to actually go out and see my friends for an evening out since early October and my last until at least late January has been taken away as I had to pick up the pieces of her “parenting”.

    I’m at the point where I want to tell her not to see the children, to stay away until she can actually get her head together. But I don’t know who that will actually benefit.

    I just feel that I have been put in a really challenging situation with. That I have no choice but to deal with, but at the same time I feel utterly isolated. I don’t know what to do (and right now, moving back to the UK is not an option)

    #6166 Report



    sorry to hear your story it does sound horrendous but it does sound like you are doing the best you can in a very tricky situation

    I want to ask questions like does she pay you money ? Etc did u guys separate recently as that is a tricky time for Children if it was recently

    I ask because my situation is I have moved back to live in the UK after having lived in nz for 12 years  I separated from ex husband 1 year prior to moving back so now it’s 2 years I solo parent 2 children and there are /have been lots of very trying issues many mostly helping my children emotionally

    I don’t have the same struggles you do but it has got easier

    Are you well supported in Spain? As that’s really important

    #6175 Report



    That sounds like a nightmare. Do you know anyone else in a similar situation there? What’s the situation like regarding help for parents of children with ASD in Spain. Can you join a parents’ group.?

    My ex and I divorced 10 years ago – and he left to work in another country. We both live in Asia though. Both of our children live with me – my oldest son has autism too. I work full time. When we divorced, my ex wouldn’t  submit his financial documents to the court, and even though he has a well-paying job, he couldn’t be ordered to contribute financially   because of this. So he didn’t. This was pretty hard in the first few years (ST/OT is expensive over here although childcare is cheaper than the UK)

    He does call them, and they visit him (he pays flights and buys expensive gifts for them – usually electronica – I think the gifts might be mitigating a deeply-buried sense of guilt. He also finds it easier to just hand our son a screen rather than talk to him.  I tried putting my son on a GFCF diet for a while to see if it would help, but  their dad preferred not to bother with this.

    When he visits them here (about twice a year)  he’s often late – and sometimes cancels at the last minute. My eldest son used to find this incredibly distressing, but he’s older now and although he worries, he can talk about it more now.  When they were younger it wasn’t a picnic, and I recognise the kind of glass-throwing ‘party’you mention.

    When the kids were younger I joined some parents groups for English-speakers, which helped me over the worst of it.



    #6195 Report


    My husband and I moved to france(he is French)a few months back. We have since split up and my daughter and I have returned to England and he us still living there. It’ very hard with parents living in different countries. I’ not sure when my daughter is going to see her dad. It’ difficult and and I can relate on that level.

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