Suddenly a single parent

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  • #43148 Report


    I never thought I would be writing this but after 12 years together my partner is leaving me . We have an 11 year old who is absolutely devastated. Things have never been easy and after I discovered messages on his phone to a woman who he works with he told me he is miserable and is leaving. I am devastated and I don’t know how I will cope with the emotional fallout, supporting my daughter all the practical stuff…we only brought a shared ownership property 9 months ago. Does it get any easier? He is still in the house at the moment and still messaging the woman , it’s awful to feel replaced so quickly and so devastated and have to pretend I am ok for my daughters sake…he seems happy as anything which does no help. How do you put aside how awful this is and how low it makes you feel to do what needs to be done…I feel like I would just like to hide for the next 6 months.

    #43149 Report


    Hello Marceline,

    bin there after 16 years with two children and we just had moved to another town for her climbing up the carrer ladder, She imediately started a relationship with a collegue 9 years younger than her in her new job, which was going on for month behind my back. It was devastating for me and when I found out and I was basicaly shell shocked. She is an absolute control freak, so the family structure was build around her to accomodate her every needs. Which made it even more difficult. But that was our thing. The kids in new schools, far away from our friends. I was mostly on the phone. I think the boys went through the same mist as I did and forward 4 years I can say, they took a beating but they are mostly ok now. If grades are anything to go by, they are fine. After two weeks into the nightmare I went back to a friend for 10 days break as it became apparent there wasn’t a chance for keeping a healthy environment for the children. She was just too self centred to even imagine it. She just wanted me out to start her new life.  I went back after being pampered and started a new life. I rented an appartment, we went through mediation, which wasn’t very helpful in our case but still layed the foundations to move on from. Trying to calm things down, taking a few steps back, I lost a lot in the first few month but I regained it all. I was a bit unlucky because the appartment was not ready to move in immediately so we had to live together for two month until it was ready to move in. This was a challenging time but I had a few good friends who looked after me and managed to keep me on top. Their advice was gold in our case. Never try to stop her from meeting the guy. Never moan and keep your physical distance from her, keep yourself occupied ( our garden would have been good enough for Chelsea ), delete all your social media accounts and keep your hands of everything like her phone or computer, it won’t help. Keep up all the routines with the children even if you have to go on crouches. And so I did, mostly. The more into it, the more the abuse started to come in more stark and when everything was at boiling point and she started attacking me physicaly I was finaly ready to move out. I am happy now and often asked myself why I did all this to myself all those years. But that is my problem. So if you find an amicable way to separate, try it. Hopefully your husband isn’t such a morron. Somebody here mentioned nesting. Something I suggested as well.

    I did everything to support my ex in her job and her relationship even after the separation and always took the younger one when she wanted to. I had the right of first refusal, which means you need to be asked first. It is a very handy thing to have. I was self employed so lucky there and we have an after school club as well. Our eldest one moved out with me, much to her surprise and yougest one moved in a short while ago. We live by the seafront now and their mother hasn’t changed much, is on her third boyfriend. We treat her like bad weather. It comes and goes and sometimes there is sunshine.  Over the years we managed to keep up the basics of co-parenting and yes it gets better. In our case It did.

    You are in a deep hole now, not your fault. If you stick to the basics, keep it simple, don’t start a war but move on step by step, you have a good chance of coming out of it. I hope this helped you a little as you are not alone in this and any advice is just what it is, advise. If it doesn’t fit your situation, just ignore it.

    #43151 Report


    Hi Marceline,

    I haven’t posted on this site before but read your post and it hit me hard, I feel your pain. I got home from work 6 weeks ago and my wife had packed up the car, she drove off and moved in with her ‘boyfriend’ that evening. They are now looking to buy a house together. We have 2 kids under 10 and it was an awful shock; I hadn’t known anything was wrong.

    Everyone deals with these things differently but I felt the same as you. I wanted to hide away. But I didn’t… I forced myself to get up every day and kept busy. I talk to family and friends and share how I feel and the love that I used to show my wife I now put into looking after the kids. I have used apps such as Headspace to help manage my anxiety and stress, and am now trying to focus on the future.

    It’s hard to turn off how you feel about someone you’ve been with for so long, but I keep reminding myself that if she could do that to me, in the way that she did, then I will be better off alone. It takes time to get to this stage. I also have to constantly remind myself that I will feel sad, angry, anxious and stressed. But I’ve learned not fight these feelings… I accept them, deal with them when I get them and then work through it.

    So sorry to hear what you’re going through.

    #43162 Report


    Thank you so much for the replies. It’s good to know there is a way through all this because it definitely doesn’t feel like that at times right now. I am sorry to hear that there are others who have/are going through similar.  I suppose I struggle to get my head around how you can give so much to someone, and be so much a part of each others lives only to have them discard you so callously. My daughter is my number one priority but I would be lying if I said the prospect of spending years co-parenting with someone who has done what he has. It feels unfair that I have to deal with the everyday and the fallout whilst he sweeps in and gets to be the “fun parent” I guess I just have to do what has been suggested and except I am going to feel a range of emotions and try and move on taking it step by step. He is moving out tomorrow less than a week after me finding the messages and him telling me he was leaving. It’s just all happened so fast .

    #43166 Report


    Hi Marceline, me too. In early March he told me he was no longer happy in our marriage, he lied at first but eventually admitted he’d met somebody else, at work. We were together 18 years, married 16, two kids and a dog. I know you’re shell-shocked about this happening so fast in your case, but in ours it dragged on excruciatingly for 5 months through Coronavirus lockdown, the whole family stuck in the house together 24-7 and him refusing to break things off with her and refusing to discuss and also refusing to leave the house and go be with her and leave me alone with some semblance of sanity. Finally, I made him leave in July, we’re nesting now but it’s a struggle because of his secrecy. Last night I found confirmation he booked a trip to Greece (same country we honeymooned in) with her, but he’s not mentioning it to me. So maybe he thinks he can just go and come back into the house and breathe germs from abroad, the plane, the gf, and whoever she lives with, all over our kids (one is asthmatic)???  Anyways, I wish you peace. Just keep venting to friends like here, journaling and meditating help, and so does envisioning the what you want in your life going forward. I made a list of things I hated about life with him, and a list of things I love about life without him. Also, don’t believe for a minute they are happy now, happy people aren’t capable of treating others the way they do. Here’s a quote I love from Harriet Lerner’s Why Won’t You Apologize: “at some level he could not be as happy as he appeared or even believed himself to be, because people who deceive and diminish others are not deeply happy and fully at peace with themselves. Letting go of anger requires us to give up the hope of a different past along with that of a fantasized future. What we gain is a life more in the present, where we are not mired in prolonged resentment that doesn’t serve us.”

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