Wish me luck

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    <span class=”s1″>Firstly, if anyone gets to the end of this, thank you for your perseverance – I’m offloading. It’s incredibly long, possibly not entirely coherent and certainly waffly. But I feel I’m going into battle and have to steel myself for the challenge ahead. </span>

    <span class=”s1″>My partner and I have been together almost 16yrs but it’s been up and down much of the time. I have wanted to end it for a number of years but he didn’t want to be like his dad and leave the kids (who I know will be quite devastated). Financially it would be very challenging and he would need to move back to his mum’s a 2hr drive away and find a new job. </span>

    <span class=”s1″>Consequently I allowed myself to be persuaded that, providing it didn’t impact on kids negatively, staying together in the shorter term at least was the only feasible option, till finances improved and kids were a wee bit older. </span>

    <span class=”s2″ style=”font-weight: bold;”>On good days we can have moments when we enjoy each other’s company. On others he can be highly critical , controlling/coercive and sometimes emotionally abusive- he has some narcisisstic traits. He can be very jealous (e.g if he thinks I’m looking at another male). Ironically he cheated on me in the early days, we split, then got back together again.</span>

    <span class=”s2″ style=”font-weight: bold;”>I know that he also messages women, including at one time inappropriate messages with a staff member at my kids’ school which I challenged him over. I have long suspected that it was more than messaging and probably not limited to one person but I had no real evidence – he is superb at gaslighting. I told him it needed to stop and was quite explicit in my condemnation of his behaviour and in particular that he was defecating in his own back garden, so to speak, by choosing a staff member (and possibly with another mum) at my kids’ school. </span>

    <span class=”s2″ style=”font-weight: bold;”>He seemed contrite at that stage and as I considered our relationship already dead, I let it slide and haven’t policed it much since. To be honest I was no longer emotionally invested and whilst I knew he wouldn’t tolerate it if I did it, I was probably half-way to accepting he could have dalliances so long as he didn’t do it close to home, didn’t impact on the kids and he remained civil to me and curbed his jealousy/coercive behaviours. </span>

    <span class=”s2″ style=”font-weight: bold;”>I have felt like I assumed the role of a ‘buffer’ between him and friends, family everybody else. So that I shield or sanitise his bad behaviour from the outside world and in so doing enable this relationship to limp on till such a time as we’re ready to separate. </span>

    <span class=”s1″>So we have bumbled along co-habiting/ co-parenting. My approach was civil and platonic. I have said this was what I wanted if we stayed together. But he seems to forget and falls into same patterns, expecting me to overlook previous behaviours, be playful, chatty and receptive when he gets in from work, show him affection and occasionally intimacy. I have been cool, am not always very responsive and haven’t obliged which in part has, in his mind, justified some of his behaviours.</span>

    <span class=”s1″>A few days ago I was contacted by a friend’s husband who told me my friend (whose kid used to play with mine and is at my kids’ school) and my partner had been seeing each other and the husbad had moved back to his parents with the kids after an explosive row. </span>

    <span class=”s1″>I confronted my partner who admitted (after some denial) that they had had a fling. I told him that I was not prepared to live like this anymore and that we needed to plan next steps for breaking up so we arranged to talk today. To be honest I viewed this as the push or justification I needed to make the break.</span>

    <span class=”s1″>Meanwhile my ‘friend’ has since emailed me.</span>

    <span class=”s1″>She asserts that she had ended the relationship with my partner a few weeks ago, not it seems from guilt (she is yet to explicitly apologise) but when his jealous and controlling behaviours started becoming more obvious. But until recently he was still attempting to communicate with her.</span>

    <span class=”s1″>She said she had to talk to somone so mentioned it to a mum friend at our school. This mum friend told her that another mum at school had been messaging with my partner some time previously. He had become troublesome, showing up at her house uninvited etc. When she cut communication he messaged her through her child! She was obviously concerned about lack of boundaries and controlling element to his behaviour. She apparently has since moved home (not sure if because of him) and had warned my ‘friend’ off him. </span>

    <span class=”s1″>At this stage I don’t know if this is yet another mum, or the staff member I knew about before.</span>

    <span class=”s1″>Obviously it’s quite devastating and infuriating to know that the kids might find out, that his needs have greater priority than his kids’ needs. That my ‘friend’ did this to me, I am re-evaluating our friendship as she was someone I would have turned to over this. And I am angry, sad and humiliated thinking that half the school know – and I continued on, unblissfully unaware.</span>

    <span class=”s1″>And so I’m preparing for the break and thereafter. How to manage financially and practically, how the kids will cope (middle one is already a worrier/anxious, the youngest is a real daddy’s girl). How I’ll communicate it to family and friends, (I am introverted and find these sort of things difficult to talk about, I also don’t have many close friends nearby. And can I juggle my work with being a single parent?</span>

    <span class=”s1″>As to the conversation, I know there is going to be a formidable mountain to climb in terms of unpicking the practicalities – finances, living arrangements, how/when the kids will see him. </span>

    <span class=”s1″>Then the talk with the kids themselves and the impact this will have on them, the fallout.</span>

    <span class=”s1″>But before all that, he will have to accept that the game is up. He will no doubt deny, downplay, gaslight, but his behaviour has been so egregious and he is seemingly uncaring of the potential impact on the kids so I know his leaving is the only acceptable course of action. I know he/they won’t see it that way in the shorter term at least. But I am in no doubt it is the best outcome for me and the children. </span>

    <span class=”s1″>And I am quietly excited at the prospect of a new life, of freedom and of removing this Albatross from round my neck. </span><span class=”s3″>🤞🏼</span>

    <span class=”s1″> </span>

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