Welcome to the Healthy Families forums!

This is a space to ask questions, share experiences and support each other. Find a relevant thread or start your own!

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community and have a read of the community rules. Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

  • share on Facebook
  • share on Twitter
  • Print page

Topic: Accepting that separation from wife is a matter of when and not will, what are my first/next steps, I have two young children that I cherish.

  1. Mr K
    Mr K avatar
    26 posts
    6 January 2020
    After a long time of fluctuating between hopelessness and hope I've finally started the process of accepting that my marriage is over and separation is only a matter of when not if. I don't know where to start though, I've been so reliant on my wife for years that I don't know how to manage money, super, tax etc. Never mind how do I tell my beautiful children? How will I cope with being a single Dad hopefully with at least shared custody. How the hell do I manage working full time and dropping kids at school and day care it seems impossible and terribly hard on the children. I'm so time poor whereas my wife only works two days each week and has had a much longer time to process this stuff. I don't even have family here in Australia as I'm a permanent resident, does that status make a difference? I don't know where to start and I desperately want to do the best thing for my little girls. I earn a decent wage but i'm completely naive about how Super works, my wife has always taken care of stuff like that and I never dreamed we would separate. I know other people cope and hope that some informed advice will help me process this nightmare. I've told my parents which was very difficult and a huge step in accepting things but being overseas they are unable to help. How do I get through this and minimise any harm to my kids. I'm 45yo but feel like a lost child myself.
  2. Aaronsis
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    118 posts
    6 January 2020 in reply to Mr K

    Hello Mr K

    It is really great that you have come to get some support on this, I am so very sorry that your marriage is looking like it will be ending and that your relationship with your wife has not taken the path you always hoped and expected it would. It is a really hard time, although, it is not impossible.

    Firstly can I say that the way we role play things in our head and create scenarios that may never happen, can be really damaging and I know this is hard not to, but..it rarely works out the way we play it out in our heads. Then there is alot of stress and anxiety all for nothing.

    Can I also say that children are so very amazing and are probably aware that there is a situation between you and your wife, they are very perceptive. Also, the way you manage this will also be helpful in moving forward with your wife as a parenting partner, if you can keep things on a friendly and amicable level it is so much better for you and for you wife but ultimately your children.

    If you are most certain that there is no repairing this relationship, that if you can walk away knowing with every ounce you tried then I think the next step is to have the conversation with your wife and then perhaps start looking for a place to live. There will also be a conversation with the children and I know it is scary and very very terrifying but remember the role playing thing and try to push it aside. Keep the information age appropriate and assure them that this is not their fault and that you both love them dearly and that will not change either.

    There are some tools on the Relationship Australia website as to having these conversations etc...I have put the link here for you.

    https://www.relationships.org.au/relationship-advice/tip-sheets/separating-from-a-partner

    Please take care of you and reach out to call lines if you need some support during this time. You are not a bad person for leaving your marriage. I think we all get married with the intention of it being forever, sometimes this is not the case. It does not make us bad or horrible people.

    You can get through this Mr K, I think having a chat with your wife is the first step and ensuring there is nothing to work on.

    Every bit of my strength to you.

    Hugs

    AS

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Mr K
    Mr K avatar
    26 posts
    6 January 2020 in reply to Aaronsis
    Thanks for your reply AS, It is horrible and I've started looking at relationships Aus for advice but it's still hard to process. I've compromised so much to try and stay in the relationship but just don't see how we could come back from this. At this stage my wife is the one who wants the separation whereas I guess I'm at the point of accepting that it's now inevitable. I admit I do catastrophise things in my head and I'm very afraid of the unknowns I guess this is just part of the process. I'm doing my best to try and look after myself, I know I will need to be stronger. Any strategies for talking with my wife would be great, I am admittedly angry (at least internally) that this is the path we have to take, not so much that I feel rejected but more that this will have an affect on my little girls. I'm feeling more realistic about my relationship with my wife ending but I don't know how the kids will be affected by this. I don't know how this will affect my work, finances residency status anything, all those unknown unknowns. I don't expect perfection but I would like safe and happy, especially for the little girls.
  4. Aaronsis
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    118 posts
    6 January 2020 in reply to Mr K

    Hi Mr K

    I hear what you are saying and the unknowns are very scary and hence why we do think and overthink and let our brain tell us how it is going to be. Maybe if I share some of my story it can give you some hope and some help too.

    So after deciding we were going our seperate ways I went and rented a unit and started collecting furniture on ebay. I too work full time as does my ex, I moved out the next week with minimal things and as long as there were rooms set up for the kids that was my concern. We wrote up a calendar and we sat together and filled it in with kids activities and what nights the kids where staying where, who was collecting them..all the finer details of the kids. We soon moved to week on week off, we swap over on a Sunday night, we hand uniforms over and any clothes and then they are returned to the other person on the Sunday night in the state we received them. I do my grocery shop on the Sunday before they kids come and make sure I have a meal plan and lunches sorted and snaxs so that I can manage work and don't feel stressed about what is for dinner etc. As we share 50/50 and earn roughly the same we dont have child support to pay as we sorted this out ourselves. If a child needs new shoes one will pay and the other transfers half. Essentially on your week you do as you please, within the good premise of parenting. It is nice to have chats about parenting to make sure your kids don't play one off against the other, we called this out straight away..if dad says no the answer is no...if we need to have a conversation with out the kids around to "disagree" we dont do that infront of them so as to present like a united front. This also helps the kids as they see you cooperating and working together. Sometimes you are the bad guy and sometimes you are not, but overall if you can work together it is better for every one.

    The bills and things like that are mostly on line now and you can create accounts and pay them from your account. You will be able to manage this, you sound like a very smart person.

    I think as long as you make time for the girls and let them feel sad and let them know it is ok to be sad, to watch and see if they need any extra support, also letting school know this is happening is helpful as they can help and watch too and also just take it easy on them for a while.

    One motto i live by "If you care about doing a good job, usually means you are"...it is when you don't care things can go wrong.

    Hugs

    Sarah xx

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Mr K
    Mr K avatar
    26 posts
    6 January 2020
    Oh so difficult, I've managed to keep myself relatively together for the past 24h but just now really feel like having a cry, feeling that it's just too unfair and feeling petrified of the emotional trauma we are all going to go through. I HATE THIS! How the hell do people get through this I can't get beyond the thought of whats to come and all the advice, even when it makes sense is so very hard to enact. I hate this I know it's grieving but oh my goodness grieving is hard when you feel alone. Grieving the loss of what has been your support it's too hard.
  6. Aaronsis
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    118 posts
    6 January 2020 in reply to Mr K

    My heart goes out to you Mr K, it is a really tough time.

    Please you cry...you let it all out and get it out, you are allowed to feel sad and you are allowed to cry. Your family as you know it is going through some changes and yes, it is like grief.

    I hear what you are saying and it is terrifying and it is so all very unknown....you are stronger than you think and you are not going to be alone when you have us here. Reach out and keep talking, do you have a friend or a family member that you can call to talk to? If not that is fine as the Beyond Blue line on 1300 22 4636 have some wonderful people if you feel you need to talk.

    My advice is try to do one step at a time and not let the other steps cause you anxiety and terror, I know you understand this but it is important to just deal with what you can and what is factual, not the scenarios that run riot through your thinking. Start with a chat with your wife, think about your words and staying calm and working out how you want to communicate what messages you need to tell her, maybe you can write some things down. Just try to get through this stage first...try not to think about the what ifs..the should have's and the "emotional damage"...as I said, it sometimes plays out very differently.

    I am in no way discounting how you are feeling, it is so scary, but just do small steps and do one step at a time. Keep talking here and use your support people, like even a GP if you feel you need to also. We are here and we care about you.

    Huge hugs

    Sarah

  7. Mr K
    Mr K avatar
    26 posts
    7 January 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    Thanks for your advice and support. I've been asked out to watch cricket in Brisbane this Thursday by a friend I haven't caught up with properly for ages. Initially my thoughts went to "I can't, I'm needed at home" but I've decided to go. I realised in a moment that I've denied myself access to my friends and opportunities to make new friends for such a very long time and now when I really need friends I'm just not sure who to turn to. Admittedly I would usually be the half of a partnership who would opt to stay home with the kids so I'm a huge part of the reason my friendships are limited but I genuinely enjoy caring for my girls so the sacrifice seemed worth it. I've compromised so much to try and fit into my wife's life that some days I forget who I was. Now my identity needs to be the father/daddy of my two little girls. It's easy typing this now, later I may break again, I guess that is going to be a pattern for a while? How do other people manage their time? I need to learn so much and feel like there is so little time, the exhaustion is setting in again already but so far I've managed to keep going to the gym and work etc. How am I going to fit in all the learning, rebuilding friendships and manage my well-being? Is there a simple way to show children that you are always there for them even when you're not present? I love putting my kids to bed and being home when they wake up, I love being there if they wake during the night, I'm besotted with them I know and I know other people manage their fuller relationships better than I did but how, with very limited family available and a shortage of friends what option do I / did i have?

    The kids still don't know and other than my parents I'm not sure who else does know. My wife is very secretive so won't say anything to anyone including me until she has all plans made at which point we are blindsided by her actions. I think she has been making plans for quite sometime and suspect that my financial contribution to our life together has been the only issue she can't easily fix, I don't know I'm guessing. I wish I could move forward but with so little support and the effort of keeping it together emotionally in front of my girls i'm just so very tired.

  8. Aaronsis
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    118 posts
    7 January 2020 in reply to Mr K

    Good Morning Mr K

    That is so fantastic that you have accepted to go to the cricket with your friend, this is exactly what you "should" be doing......ok..so you are already starting the cycle and the process of the new way your life is going to be and that it wonderful, it is as simple as saying yes to invitations and also reaching out to mates to instigate a catch up too. However, as I said yesterday, try not to get overwhelmed with figuring this all out in one day. Just take one day at a time and make the choices that sit right for you on the day, then do it the next day, try not to feel like you have to write the rest of your life in one day. Just enjoy today as best as you can and start engaging and accepting your friends again. This cricket trip will be just what you need so enjoy. As you mentioned you have pushed some friends away, there is no reason you cannot reach back out and say exactly that to them, you have pushed them away, you have realized that they are important to you and you want to reconnect, just be honest, no one can fault you for that.

    Something i find really helpful is writing and I have used this for two big events in my life, one was my separation from my husband and the other was my brothers passing. This is a personal log, you dump whatever you want there, it can be anger, swearing, blame and even questions...but you dump it on those pages and you may never read them again, you might but it is so good to cleanse and to dump it there.

    I think taking it one day at a time and making a choice each day to do something for you will help with filling you time. So some nights I just like to chill on the couch and read, some nights I catch up with a friend and go to dinner and a movie, sometimes I see my family, it actually becomes a really nice blend as when I get my kids back on the Sunday it is all about them. In that week I don't usually see friends unless they stop in.

    I hear what you are saying in that you need to manage so much and there is so little time, there really isn't, that is just anxiety talking to you, you have the rest of your life to make some beautiful memories with your girls. You just keep doing what you are doing with regards to them, you make time to do special things when you have them, and that might be a picnic or a day at the park, activities is what they want..your time and attention.

    I think take some control back for you...running out of words..will continue in the next message with you.

    Sarah

  9. Mr K
    Mr K avatar
    26 posts
    7 January 2020
    Ok today I told my boss about the potential and likely separation situation I've recently found myself in. I hope, I have done the right thing disclosing? My own reasons are that "if"/"when" there are days when my work performance is reduced or sub-standard he will at least know it isn't a work related or ability issue. I've told him I'm determined to keep my work ethic and stay as focused as possible as I need the security for myself and my girls. I only hope that firstly I can maintain this and secondly my situation won't prejudice or negatively change our working relationship. I feel really vulnerable at this stage and although there has been a lot of great support and advice which I am grateful for and hope continues, there have been quite a few stories that have to be honest filled me with dread. I don't want to get into a predicament too complicated to come back from and do something drastic. I'm literally crying for help now. Why does this sort of pain have to come at a cost? Why is there so much money to be made from others suffering?
  10. Aaronsis
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    118 posts
    7 January 2020 in reply to Mr K

    Great to hear from you Mr K

    Firstly I think it is great to keep communicating with your manager and letting work know is a great idea. Not only can they offer support, sometimes in the way of EAP (Employee Assistance Programs) but also in the way of being supportive if you do need some time off, or are late due to kids appointments or illness. It is good to be honest with them, this is one are you can control so it is good to keep the things you can control in check.

    I know this is not easy, try to change your mindset on this if you can as negative can breed negativity and seeing this as "going down the rabbit hole" already puts you in a space of "this is bad and everything will go wrong".

    If you can see this as a new beginning for you, like waking up with fresh eyes and making a fresh start in your life. By having some wonderful times with your girls, with new available time for your friends and for yourself. The power of the mind really is an amazing thing. I know what I am asking is hard as it is a painful time, however if you can try to shift the negative thoughts that is helpful.

    I think perhaps also taking some control back as i was getting to before, perhaps not waiting to let your wife lead this but you taking some of the lead too and therefore lessening the anxiety and "the waiting game" for her to do something, getting rid of the "blindsiding". I think you can have a light chat with your girls as they may start to get the idea that there is something not the same, you want them to hear this information from you, and not start thinking things in their heads or asking others and therefore getting inaccurate information. How do you feel about talking to your wife to mention to her that it is time to talk to the girls? This sort of lead by you can also demonstrate to your wife that you are wanting to make good outcomes and keep the relationship amicable and on good terms, by not waiting until things get ugly to deal with them.

    One day at a time, one step at a time. You can get through this time Mr K, you can.

    Hugs

    Sarah

  11. Png
    Png avatar
    1 posts
    7 January 2020 in reply to Mr K
    I went through a very bad divorce i haven't seen my children for 6 years i can see the light at the end i try not blame myself but no matter how much you think about it you will never find the answer what happened i dont think my family could live with my sadness and depression you do feel better as time goes. I cant tell you what to do but i know what you feel
  12. Mr K
    Mr K avatar
    26 posts
    8 January 2020

    Taking some advice I'm writing this not expecting anything but just to write it. Yesterday I just could not sleep, I took anti anxiety medication and sleep medication and was still unable to sleep for more than a few minutes before waking over and over. Obviously this has left me feeling low, tired, overwhelmed and bitter. I say goodbye and I love you to my little girls this morning as usual and already I'm missing them. How am I going to cope not being there it's those moments that fulfill me, being a daddy is who i want to be. Every time I read something related to separation I feel like the whole process is going to leave me unable to support them physically and emotionally never mind financially.

    My headspace is all over the place from a mixture of mixed and direct messages from my wife. For example she has been direct saying "We are incompatible" she has made it clear that she sees no point in trying to fix our relationship. Then she has helped plan a holiday together later this year inclusive of my parents, she last night discussed my Birthday, end of April. Last year we sold a house that was in her name only and bought a house in both our names, there has also been talk of investment property etc. How is it that she can enter these arrangements and be so determined that we are incompatible, it seems cruel and overly complicated. Maybe I'm just being naive and there is some reason that I wouldn't have considered? There is so much I don't know, I don't know if she has spoken to her family or her friends, I know she is seeing a psychologist but she made it reasonably clear it wasn't to save our relationship. I don't even know if she has said anything directly or indirectly to our children. Today is going to be a struggle, I'm exhausted constantly on guard, confused and emotional. I need to be strong at work and in front of my kids but it's tearing me apart. I feel so incredibly isolated and that's one of the hardest parts. I find myself scanning these forums looking for similarities hoping I'll find answers and comfort but so far the answers have been hard to accept and the comfort fades quickly. I know my parents and my kids would miss me if I were gone but at the moment I feel like if I were to just vanish nobody else would even notice.

  13. Aaronsis
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    118 posts
    8 January 2020 in reply to Mr K

    Hi Mr K

    I am so glad you are writing, be it here or in a book, but as long as you get it out and keep talking, well typing!

    I hear that the thought of not being able to take your girls to school everyday and not being able to say I love you every day and how are you going to support them, can I suggest that this will not be the case..you most certainly can tell them everyday you love them, you can take them to school, this might be in your arrangement with your wife...see there is no black and white to this, this is between you and your wife and what works best for your family, you might not do week on week off..you might see them everyday, you might actually benefit from perhaps writing down what you would like a day, a week to look like.

    One thing though I what i am hearing loud and clear is your confusion with the situation is causing you to create scenarios and causing you anxiety. I think you really need to have a chat with your wife and explain to her how these future plans are causing you confusion and you are not sure, do these future plans include you?? I think once you get some clarity from her and have a conversation about the marriage and if in fact it will be ending and what she sees as the way forward.

    I am glad that you are reading the posts and other people's situations, it is where we get strength to know we are not alone, however ever person's experience is different so please don't get discouraged if you read something that doesn't resonate with you, everyone is different.

    I am so very sorry this is happening to you and that you are in such pain and confusion. It really is so very hard to manage.

    Do you think you could have an open and honest conversation with your wife and try to establish what the way forward looks like?

    Sarah xxx

  14. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    2075 posts
    8 January 2020 in reply to Mr K

    Hi Mr K, welcome

    In 1996 I was in a similar situation. After 11 years of emotional abuse and me working 3 jobs so my wife could stay at home with the kids, I made a suicide attempt. At the last minute I remembered my dad telling me once- "better to be a part time dad than no dad at all" So I survived. My brother didnt, he went that way. So first lesson is self preservation for your children and best health services utilised.

    One week later I left my wife after a smoke ring was blown in my face. I kissed my girls 7 and 3yo on their forehead as they slept and drove away. Tears streaming but when I got to the end of our street I burs tinto laughter- I survived her!

    I rang my childrens principle daily for 6 weeks to see if our kids were coping "Tony, they are coping better than you, children are far more resilient and adapt to situations, as long as you are a dad to them they will be fine".

    Yes, it wasn't easy. I had my 3yo say from the back seat "we want to keep you". I had my eldest say "come back home daddy". I wrote emotional poetry that would break the heart of the hardest person.

    Initially I lived in a 10ft caravan in a caravan park. My girls would sleep on the lowered table. Then after 3 months I spotted a block of land and bought it. It had a lot of growth to clear so I'd spend my spare time doing that and I realised suddenly I was more tired and dwelling less- I had a direction, I had distraction. Then I bought a kit home and built the house myself. My kids came over on weekends and watched it going up.

    By 12yo my eldest came to live with e and my new partner. At 28yo as I was about to walk her down the aisle she turned to me and said "thanks dad for making it here". She'd known of my attempt and my struggles to do my best for her.

    My message is this- you are her only father and any replacement will be sub standard. Your pending separation is not your fault nor is it your wifes as she agrees you both are not compatible. That incompatibility is a good reason for you both one day to sit down and openly discuss the separation and how you can put your kids future as your priority. Some couples can communicate ok after the split, others no hope.

    Google and just read the first post of each

    Beyondblue topic distraction and variety

    Beyondblue topic worry worry worry

    Beyondblue topic relationship split

    TonyWK

    4 people found this helpful
  15. Mr K
    Mr K avatar
    26 posts
    8 January 2020

    Thanks for sharing Tony, There are similarities and differences in our situations. You describe abuse, which isn't an obvious factor for me. My wife and I don't "hate" each other (well with certainty I can say I don't hate her), certainly from an outsiders perspective we appear to function as a normal couple. There has however been no intimacy or affection between us for a long time. I had been at fault initially now the pendulum has swung over to my wife being the one who won't reciprocate. There was a time when she suggested marriage counselling but I was too ashamed, embarrassed and wouldn't go, I thought we could just fix it. Let me assure you that if there was a second chance option I'd go to anything I thought would help. I did go to a psychologist a while ago but my wife wouldn't consider it at that time. Over the years I've watched my wife hate her various workplaces and have supported her decisions to reduce hours, leave work to study etc even though I knew it would reduce or financial security. Better to be poorer than see her unhappy. I've pushed away friends and turned down offers to socialize so I could spend my time with her and in the past years with my kids. I still work hard and have managed to steadily work my way up in my career. I've always shared unconditionally my earnings, never withheld money and although at times I've had a sook about her going out I've never denied her time out with friends. I support her decisions about the kids including any discipline matters even when I've personally believed decisions to be harsh or disproportionate. I've never cheated on her or ever bad mouth her to friends family or others. I've done as much as possible for my girls the only limitation is when I have to go to work or my one and only night out which i spend at the SES. I changed my gym routine to very early in the morning so I wouldn't miss anytime with her or the little girls. I try to do as much as possible at home, I do washing cooking cleaning gardening shopping tidying etc, probably not as much as she would like but I've never just not done it with the expectation that it will be done. Admittedly all our financial matters were left to her but it was with the genuine belief that she was simply more proficient with that stuff, as I mentioned I had/have no issue providing money but am hopeless at managing it. I hate that I'm coming across resentful, that isn't my intent I'm struggling to see where other than lacking intimacy I was so bad?

  16. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    2075 posts
    8 January 2020 in reply to Mr K

    Hi

    I fully understand. What I realsied though with my first marriage is that doing all those chores over and above your 50%, being a good dad and husband, doesnt (sadly) compensate for incompatibility. she said " "We are incompatible" she has made it clear that she sees no point in trying to fix our relationship."

    So, the grief process it seems is your challenge now. I've explained how kids are resilient and will cope better than you. You best way you can help your kids is to care for your own mental health. A trip to your GP would be a wise move.

    TonyWK

  17. Mr K
    Mr K avatar
    26 posts
    8 January 2020
    How long does it take most people to get over a separation, how long does it take to set up a new life and what sort of quality of life can a single dad expect? How can a reduced quality of living be a good thing for my children?
  18. Aaronsis
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    118 posts
    8 January 2020 in reply to Mr K

    Hi Mr K

    You have raised some great questions there and as heartbreaking as this is, there are no factual answers to those questions. The time to get over a separation is so very personal and varies for everyone, some move on straight away, some struggle for a very long time. I think it is being aware of how you are feeling and getting assistance if you are not coping. What sort of life can you expect as a single dad?... a very good one, dare I even say that you have the potential to have a very happy life, right now you are not happy and therefore the possibilities for it to improve are very likely.

    Children are so much more happy when their parents are, if two people are living together in a toxic environment, and are still married this is a much less desirable environment than a child living with two parents who are separated but who are happy, living independently and living life. You cannot drink from an empty cup and you must ensure your happiness and your mental health and your life is in check, then you can give to your children, your love and your happiness.

    You ask how a reduced quality of living is a good thing, I am not sure what you are measuring this on, but your children will live with you in a tent if you are happy, and they feel safe and they are loved. From what I am hearing from you, you would walk the ends of the earth for your girls, so if you are in a tent, a caravan, and really shabby house...to them they do not see this, nor does it matter to them. If you lived in a mansion and had access to everything you wanted but had arguments and fights and silence and pain in your marriage and in your home they would feel this. I think you understand what I am trying to say to you here.

    In time you will be able to be happy on your own, to make choices for you and to be in control of your life. It does not seem possible now I know, but it really is and as I said before, the fact you are taking this all into consideration and it is important to you, I don't think you can get it wrong.

    Just another comment, you asked how long does it take to set up a new life.....do you know what..you already are.....

    Hugs

    Sarah

  19. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    2075 posts
    8 January 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    My eldest daughter still mentions the fairy garden she played in outside her bedroom window of our newly built house I built. She never mentions there was no carpet, wardrobes, etc.

    Tony

    2 people found this helpful
  20. Mr K
    Mr K avatar
    26 posts
    10 January 2020

    So out with a mate to watch the cricket last night, first time I have been out independently with a mate for well over a year I believe. I had a great time and this particular mate has been down a very rough road with separation himself. As much as I wanted his counsel as a survivor at times it was super confronting to hear how some friends disappeared, others misrepresented him to make his character seem bad etc. All this just to limit access or obtain money, ultimately to punish him. Wow the stories of how bias and unjust the court system can be are terrifying. He was so right about the difficulty of "Acceptance" it is so hard accepting the changes or contemplating the possible changes. Life at home is back to life as normal, to all intents and purposes a fully functioning family, just without the affection between me and wife. Kids are happy and healthy, bills are paid, food in cupboard etc and wow I even managed a social evening without the world coming to an end.

    I still can't sleep properly which is taking a toll I hope the anti anxiety meds will take the edge off that for me soon but I do feel pretty exhausted. This process is so isolating I'm so relieved I found this forum.

  21. Aaronsis
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    118 posts
    10 January 2020 in reply to Mr K

    HI Mr K

    I am so happy to hear that you had a great night with your mate at the cricket!! Just what you needed and in fact what you need to keep doing. Reconnecting and making time so that you too have things in your life that give you joy outside of the girls and your family. I am so happy for you, that is fantastic.

    You will hear lots of stories and just like anything in life, choose what is relevant to you, some things are and some are not, so please don't get caught in others experiences that may in fact be just that..their experience.

    I am so pleased to hear that things are somewhat peaceful at home, could you use this time to discuss with your wife what has just happened, how it has made you feel, that you want the future to be brighter and that you both need to do work to ensure that this relationship moves forward successfully, or if in fact there is still no connection and she sees an end, that you can do it with as much grace and peace as possible, for everyone's mental health.

    It is great to hear from you and how positive you are feeling today, that is wonderful. I too am happy you found the forum here and I hope that we have given you some strength, you deserve happiness Mr K.

    Hugs

    Sarah

  22. Mr K
    Mr K avatar
    26 posts
    10 January 2020 in reply to Aaronsis
    Thanks Sarah, I hear what your'e saying about using this time to talk unfortunately I just don't feel up to that yet. It's like I've written before about asking those direct questions, I can't bring myself to just open a door that may let a nightmare in. My eldest daughter turns 9 in February and I guess I don't want to burst her bubble prior if at all possible or just before she returns to school, well at all ever if I'm honest.
  23. Aaronsis
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    118 posts
    10 January 2020 in reply to Mr K

    I hear what you are saying Mr K, and I do get it, why bring the clouds in when the sun is shining...however...if the clouds are lurking it is best to be prepared.

    I totally get that after some pretty emotional time you would like to enjoy this peace, and especially prior to your daughter's birthday. You talk if you feel up to it and when you feel up to it, no pressure at all. Just take care of you. I think a little clarity could be good for you though, just so you are not anxious about what the future looks like.

    I am so pleased that things are peaceful for you now, you may even find that seeing you are doing your own things and spending time with friends, this might be a wake up to her as well that you in fact will manage should you have to, on your own.

    Huge hugs

    Sarah

  24. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    2075 posts
    10 January 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi Mr K

    Great you went to the cricket.

    You might know now how distraction does work, different environment, clear your head, different company etc.

    When in low mood this is what you can recall and act on it.

    TonyWK

  25. courtza
    courtza avatar
    1 posts
    12 January 2020

    Hey Mr K

    This is my first time on this site and reading your topic and the advise people have been giving you has been comforting.

    I am going through a very similar experience.

    Your post on the 10th of Jan how home life is back to normal apart from the relationship with your wife is where I am at now. For me though I seem to be repeating the same cycle over and over.

    I was on meds for 10 years or so which just numbs the fact that my marriage was a disaster. 12 months ago I quit the meds and started exercising and trying to be more active socially which has really helped but I still have some really dark times.

    Things are currently really bad as I know the problem but can't seem to find a solution. I'm considering getting back on the meds knowing that this will make it bearable but it's certainly not the solution going forward as I'll just be back in the same holding pattern

    Sorry for hijacking your post, I will continue following your story and hope it all works out for you.

  26. Mr K
    Mr K avatar
    26 posts
    13 January 2020 in reply to courtza
    Hi Courtza, I'm so sorry you are experiencing this too. It's really difficult because the few people you are close enough to disclose this stuff to have no answers either. My life other than my failed relationship is pretty good, not perfect and not as good as others but on the whole not bad. Arguably you could say the same for my wife and yet clearly there is something so missing that she wants to throw what we have away and start again. As a mate pointed out a big part of this is the overwhelming feelings of failing, rejection, not being considered worthwhile or good enough. It's bloody hard. My head is all over the place with the constant mixed messages, e.g. plans for the house, holiday plans etc and all the while I'm constantly thinking something else is being planned too, i.e. a formal separation. Life goes well enough until my wife has a bad day then the bitterness returns and who knows whats going to happen. My parents both got emotional on the phone last night, it's hard for them too they have heads full of memories, walls covered with photos and are as confused as I was initially. One of my biggest hurdles at this stage is my fear of the future, I don't feel strong enough yet to face things so I'm living with uncertainty and my head keeps taking me to the worst case scenarios. I haven't slept properly for such a long time and that fatigue isn't helping. I'm too afraid to ask direct questions as I don't want to hear bad news and I don't want to force an ultimatum. For better or worse at this stage I'm just letting things kind of play out even though it's tearing me apart slowly. I just hope that either this thing resolves itself or that I find some inner strength through all of the adversity on the way. Keep in touch Courtza, if it wasn't for this forum I'd almost certainly be in a darker place by now. The advice is great even if it is too hard to action yet and the support and the fact that someone, even a stranger cares, does make you feel valued for a moment.
  27. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    2075 posts
    13 January 2020 in reply to Mr K

    Google

    Beyondblue topic inner peace- the glory of being you

    Beyondblue topic abuse and its grey boundaries

    Beyondblue topic planning a healthier mind

    TonyWK

  28. Mr K
    Mr K avatar
    26 posts
    17 January 2020
    Broken promises, secrets, friends who turn their back, fear of the unknown wow such a heavy burden. I'm so sick of the subtle deceit. I realize that any and all of the normal interactions my wife and I have are part of her delaying tactics whilst she puts her life together. Last night she unexpectedly went over to visit a friend who has recently separated with her partner, he walked out on her in that case. Anyway its all to do with planning the next steps etc. I feel really sad about the possibility of lost time with my girls (Terrified in fact) and am also really low about the potential loss of contact from my extended family. I really am starting to build up a picture of what the loneliness other separated dads have described. My wife and friends have arranged for us and kids to go out to the pub for dinner this evening, the deceit lingers and I don't know how long I can keep going. I worry so much that my eldest (8) daughter must see this and it must be affecting her, it's not fair.
  29. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    2075 posts
    17 January 2020 in reply to Mr K

    Hi Mr K

    Re" I worry so much that my eldest (8) daughter must see this and it must be affecting her, it's not fair." and recall part of my reply- "I rang my childrens principle daily for 6 weeks to see if our kids were coping "Tony, they are coping better than you, children are far more resilient and adapt to situations, as long as you are a dad to them they will be fine"."

    Not that it is easy to ignore - your feelings of not being in control of your daughters emotions.

    Also the thread - Beyondblue topic worry worry worry is a thread I recommended and it is to specifically address what you are feeling.

    None of this worry would be doing you any good, in life there is a balance needed

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/staying-well/the-balance-of-your-life

    So I hope you might indulge in some relation and some distractions. All of us here know that hard work pays off with any effort you make.

    TonyWK

  30. Mr K
    Mr K avatar
    26 posts
    20 January 2020
    Writing as I still feel that the support and companionship I get from the forum is a big part of my not falling apart. I've had a very frank discussion with my wife and it is absolute that separation is the only possible outcome. So where to from here? We will set up different bedrooms in our home for now and that will be the point when we disclose to the kids. Now that this is out in the open I'm determined to try to work everything out so that the little girls are always first and foremost. I've asked my wife to try and tone down the animosity and to communicate with me. I get the impression that she has been telling friends I'm in denial and purposefully making things difficult, I can see how it's all too easy to be painted in a poor light. Anyway for whatever reason I don't think I'll ever really know, we are no longer a couple we are on the road to separation and I need advice on how to manage this process so my kids are best cared for. How do we co-parent separated? Where do I go to to learn about basic finances all the stuff my wife did for us previously? How do people move beyond a relationship that failed but become friends for their children? What don't I know that you can advise me about? Any and all advice and suggestions would be very welcome!
    1 person found this helpful

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up