Home > Emotional > How a Separated Father Can Move on

How a Separated Father Can Move on

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 20 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Separated Dads Moving On Kids

Let’s start this by saying you never move on from your kids. They will bring you joy and grief and sleepless nights as they grow, whether you live with them or not. However, there are ways to move on from the pain of not being around them every day.

It’s not something that will happen overnight, or even in a matter of a few months. Like most things involving emotions, it’s a gradual process, but it’s one you can work through and emerge on the other side.

Setting Goals

One way to Cope With Life As A Separated Dad is to set goals for where you want to be in a year, two years, and five years. Working towards those goals can set you on a path where you can move ahead and leave the past behind. These can be emotional goals, work goals, educational goals, anything you like.

Set up markers for yourself so you can see how you progress. Even if things go slowly, you’re still going forward, and it’s still measurable.

Your Kids

At first, you’ll find yourself missing your kids a lot, and worrying about your Relationship With Them, whether it will suffer from your lack of presence. If you keep in close contact with them, though, and make the most of every opportunity for contact, things will turn out much better than you initially imagine.

However, that nervous feeling is likely to persist for a while, and you might find yourself walking on eggshells around your children, wanting them to be happy with you. But eventually you’ll relax, and simply be yourself with them. If you had a strong bond with your kids before, you’ll find that it won’t go away just because you’re not there every day. Remember, they’re probably as full of fears as you, wondering if you’ll still love them.

Over time you’ll relax around each other, and enjoy things just the way you used to before. In fact, since your time together will really be spent together, rather than in the same house doing other things, you might well become even closer.

New Relationships

A good relationship is an excellent way to move on, but that’s not a reason to rush into one. Take your time and let things develop naturally. Two things you should have learnt from your split is that there are no guarantees in life, and that relationships take work. Rushing things, or trying to move too fast, can rupture something that might have been good. However much you might want to feel part of a couple again, let it grow naturally, if it grows at all. Not every attempt will work, but each one will take your further from the hurt in the past, and you’ll realise other people can still find you desirable. (Read our article on Dating As A Separated Dad on this site.)

The constant throughout everything, will be your relationship with your kids. As they grow, inevitably they’ll grow away from you a little, making their own friendships, and in time moving away to start their own adult lives. Remember, though, that would happen whether you were with your ex or not. And by the time it does, you’ll be settled in your new life.

It’s a cliché, but ultimately, the only person who can move you on and make you happy is yourself – but your kids run a very close second.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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Need of Advise Myself and my partner has been with each other for six and a half years we first met in 2009 over a Internet dating site in the uk . We got married 8 months down from that period on February 2010 though because I didn't recognise the warnings signs about being with a controlling partner and issues with her behaviour It has serverely gotten worse over time. It all started with my partner wanting me to go live with her and her father in london though couldn't get work in there area I only tryed living in my partners fathers house for 3 weeks until my partner got me to change all my debit accounts to all joint bank accounts including saving . During the three weeks when was living with my partner I Intimation by my father in law twice wanting to square up to me even though I would not cause any seen and inappropriate Intimation towards him and in 2009 when I took my relatives to see my partner for the first time my partner went with one of her friends drinking down the road and when she arrived back she throw both myself and my relatives outbecause I said to her why are you so late the behaviour I received from my partner and her father was disgusting . Through having travelled 2 1/2 hours back to my home that night she rang to apologise which I throught was genuine . but instead after time went on it got worse I was being controlled in February 2010 we got married which I through this person was genuine and decided to make it work with her. At that period my partner was 43 and I was 34 which I was gullible . In 2011 when I remained living with my relatives my partner and I talked about getting our own place and to be independent from our families that year we went in a bank and got a large loan out to originally help pay for our first property though also because my wife also was having difficulties with conceiving we also put this on the large loan. Though from 2009 to 2013 my wifestill wasnt living and I was commuting to and from London everytime when my wife got pregnant I did the same including my wifes 3 pregnancy emergencies in which she remainedliving with her Disabilied father in london in there Housing Association 3 bedroomedcouncil let which I again felt quite strange about my wifes chooses as we brought our house October 2011 and having done all the decorations myself for ourhouse ready to be parents in our new home I felt seroiusly belittled and used When my wife remained living with her father we got loans to modernise it. Though at this point I knew I was being taken for a ride my wifes behaviour was unreasonable if she didnt get her own way she then she would be emotionally cruel towards me I felt trapped though I loved our children and was over enjoyed with becoming afather for the first time everytime I went to support my wife I left my work during night shifts to be there for our children when they was babies. Though what truely upset me is that when my wife remained living with her father in londo
LB - 20-May-17 @ 1:16 PM
Dan - Your Question:
Great article. Thankyou. Thank goodness there is positive support for us dads. I'm in Australia. The sentiments penetrate across expansive geographical distances, cultural differences. It is needed everywhere.

Our Response:
Many thanks for your comments. We are glad you have found the site useful and hopefully it resonates to dads all over the world.
SeparatedDads - 22-Apr-16 @ 11:46 AM
Great article. Thankyou.Thank goodness there is positive support for us dads. I'm in Australia. The sentiments penetrate across expansive geographical distances, cultural differences. It is needed everywhere.
Dan - 21-Apr-16 @ 3:29 PM
David - Your Question:
My Wife has a non molestation order against me which is in force until next October. I breached the otrder on a number of occaisions and went to prison. now I am out I found out my wife has moved away and taken everything and all my personal belongings have been destroyed. her solicitor obviously will not help I cant contact her or her friends and I havent seen my children in a year. I just dont know what to do. I am on benefits and can not afford a solicitor. I dont know how to go about seeing my children.

Our Response:
If you wish to locate your children, in order to apply for access, you can apply via a C4 form, which is an application for an order for disclosure of a child's whereabouts. However, although the courts will make every attempt to locate your children, the address and whereabouts may still be kept confidential if your ex requests this. However, it will still allow you to seek a contact order. If you are on benefits, you may be able to apply for a waver of the court form fee. Also, if you can't afford solicitor's fees, you may be able to self-litigate, please see link: Legal Aid Withdrawal: How to Represent Yourself, here.
SeparatedDads - 26-Nov-15 @ 11:12 AM
My Wife has a non molestation order against me which is in force until next October. I breached the otrder on a number of occaisions and went to prison. now i am out i found out my wife has moved away and taken everything and all my personal belongings have been destroyed. her solicitor obviously will not help i cant contact her or her friends and i havent seen my children in a year. I just dont know what to do. I am on benefits and can not afford a solicitor. i dont know how to go about seeing my children.
David - 25-Nov-15 @ 4:46 PM
Jonathan - Your Question:
My wife left me over 6 months ago. We were only married for 2 1/2 years. Together for 15. She a daughter from a previous relationship. Who is now 17 and our other daughter who is 9She left me because she was fed up with me. I think she just wanted her single life back. I have my daughter almost every weekend. My ex seems to just want to party.we speak each day. I give them everything they need. I've giving everything I've got to fix this but keep failing The rejection is killing meI've tried everything from holidays to new cars. Flowers gifts. Constant reassurance of my love. She says she still loves me but can't ever see us fixing things I found out that she slept with someone else at the weekend. I'm devastated. Or should I continue trying to fix things to try and save our marriage It's the loneliness that's kills me most.

Our Response:
I am very sorry to hear this. It sounds as though your wife is very confused, if she is on one hand saying she loves you and yet behaving in the opposite way. Have you thought she may be lying because she does not want to hurt your feelings? I'm afraid, there is no definitive answer for a question like this, apart from giving the situation time. Please see link: Checklist: the Emotional Stages After Separation, hereand Dealing With Being Alone, here. If only there was a magic pill that we could take to make all the pain go away, but it really is a situation you have to deal with head-on. How you deal with it is one of the most important issues. While you may still love your ex, you have to tread a fine line between being too soft whereby she may take advantage of your kindness to making sure you keep your own self respect, so that she knows you are not a push-over, and in turn can respect you. Keeping the lines of communication open is important, but you also have to let her see you are beginning to get on with your life without her. It may sound like a cliche, but getting out and having new experiences will help both your lonliness and self-confidence, and a natural self-confidence may also be the key to winning her back. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 6-Nov-15 @ 10:31 AM
My wife left me over 6 months ago. We were only married for 2 1/2 years. Together for 15. She a daughter from a previous relationship. Who is now 17 and our other daughter who is 9She left me because she was fed up with me. I think she just wanted her single life back. I have my daughter almost every weekend. My ex seems to just want to party.we speak each day. I give them everything they need. I've giving everything I've got to fix this but keep failing The rejection is killing meI've tried everything from holidays to new cars. Flowers gifts. Constant reassurance of my love. She says she still loves me but can't ever see us fixing things I found out that she slept with someone else at the weekend. I'm devastated. Or should I continue trying to fix things to try and save our marriage It's the loneliness that's kills me most.
Jonathan - 5-Nov-15 @ 1:53 AM
Sam - Your Question:
A following on from my previous email; my son is 6. My wife and I have agreed that we want to sell the house and go our separate ways, however she won't do so until financial and custody rights are resolved. She's instructed a Solicitor who is talking about custody, child maintenance and spousal maintenance. Is there a guide on how much spousal maintenance is likely and how the proceeds of the house will be split? I'm 40, my wife's 42, our sons coming up for 7, we have £280,000 collateral in the house, and I'm currently the sole worker at £72,000. Any advice would be appreciated in advance of the Solicitors resolving. Many thanks. Sam

Our Response:
I'm afraid we couldn't give advice, as issues such as this are dependent upon many contributing factors.
SeparatedDads - 17-Aug-15 @ 2:50 PM
A following on from my previous email; my son is 6.My wife and I have agreed that we want to sell the house and go our separate ways, however she won't do so until financial and custody rights are resolved.She's instructed a Solicitor who is talking about custody, child maintenance and spousal maintenance.Is there a guide on how much spousal maintenance is likely and how the proceeds of the house will be split? I'm 40, my wife's 42, our sons coming up for 7, we have £280,000 collateral in the house, and I'm currently the sole worker at £72,000.Any advice would be appreciated in advance of the Solicitors resolving.Many thanks.Sam
Sam - 15-Aug-15 @ 7:54 AM
Sam - Your Question:
After years of living together rather than loving together I decided to end my relationship with my wife. It's early days but there's no going back. We were in the middle of a house sale but my wife now refuses to sell, even though I promised a healthy maintenance, or required maintenance plus paying for a separate mortgage for her. I can't afford to move out unless we sell and I set up two smaller mortgages. The best thing shot living together is seeing my son everyday but I would love to sell up and set up separately. Is there anything I can do to encourage her to sell, beyond offering to get her a place/mortgage as I have already done?

Our Response:
You could take the matter to court and let the court decide whether to force the sale. However, you don't say how old your son is. If he is young then the court may decide to let your ex stay in the house in order to give continuity to his life until he was older and no longer dependent. Therefore, if you take it to court there will be a cost and a risk that your ex may be granted leave to stay in the house with your son. Some legal advice may be useful here.
SeparatedDads - 7-Aug-15 @ 1:52 PM
After years of living together rather than loving together I decided to end my relationship with my wife.It's early days but there's no going back.We were in the middle of a house sale but my wife now refuses to sell, even though I promised a healthy maintenance, or required maintenance plus paying for a separate mortgage for her.I can't afford to move out unless we sell and I set up two smaller mortgages.The best thing shot living together is seeing my son everyday but I would love to sell up and set up separately.Is there anything I can do to encourage her to sell, beyond offering to get her a place/mortgage as I have already done?
Sam - 6-Aug-15 @ 1:35 PM
My wife of 8 years has decided to leave me for another man. Im devastated as I didnt see it coming and love her dearly. But shes moving in with him. Weve arranged that she will continue to pay her share of the mortgage and ill stay in the house where my daughter will stay with me 4 nights a week. If she decides to change this, do I have any way to force her to keep the agreement without a court forcing maintenence payments that neither of us can afford?
Baron - 29-Jul-15 @ 8:46 PM
@Moni - I am sorry to hear this, but if someone wants to go, you really have to let them. There is a saying that is a really good benchmark: 'if you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were.' I know it is very hard, and even though it might not seem it, but be sure you are not alone, there are thousands of people the world over that are suffering the same as you are now - but it does get better and you will find love again. You have to begin to live your life again, meet new friends, do things you have always wanted to do. Try and view it as a new beginning, and not as an end.
Sal - 27-Apr-15 @ 11:10 AM
Hi i have agirlfriend of whom we have been dating for almost five yrs, we are notiet married i love her so mach we got misunderstandings i tried to exolain to her bt is not admiting t. She is planning to leave me and continue with her life but i would nt lyk her to free me....What should i do to bring her back
Moni - 24-Apr-15 @ 6:50 AM
@Sadly- I am sorry to hear this. Cafcass will usually do a thorough investigation in order to get to the facts. However, it is always down to how the judge sees it in court. I hope at some point you will get the relationship you want with them.
Ken - 31-Mar-15 @ 1:58 PM
I have not seen any of my three children since jan 2012 nor have my parents. Their mother is very sick as it would seem is her partner both of whom have offered a series of increasingly serious allegations against myself and my family in ongoing family court proceedings. The judge, Cafcass and the local authority have taken the allegations as fact without investigation and now I have a circuit judge asking me why I am bringing another application to the court when my children don't want to see me. 5 years into this nightmare and I'm in a state of total disbelief at the injustice and shear incompetence of the professionals involved and the depths of depravity two desperate lying rats have gotten away with. I am frightened for the children and nobody will listen
Sadly - 29-Mar-15 @ 2:34 PM
Hi I haven t seen my son 3 years since I got separated from15 decembre 2013 my wife she didn t answering my E/mail and my telephone calls.Please could you help me how can i meet my son I MISS HIM A LOT think you
khalid - 3-Jun-14 @ 1:26 PM
Yeah my ex and I have a four year old and she has costody and invited me over to the house to see him she calls guys up and kisses and bed time if you know what I mean gets mad at me threatens to call the cops so she asks me to stay away what do/can I do
Mike Mckowen - 23-Feb-14 @ 1:55 PM
My partner's daughter is 2 1/2 years old and he hasnt seen her since 24th December 2012. At the time he last saw her, his ex and him had a huge argument and since then she has denied him any contact at all. I keep out of it for the sake of my partner and I have never met his daughter and do not intend to until he has an arrangement officially in place and has re-established a bond with her over some time. But how is he supposed to do any of this when his ex is constantly telling him no? She has now changed all her numbers and moved home, so he has no way of contacting her. He has been declined legal aid but we cant afford to pay court / solicitors fees. He is close to giving up because he doesn't know where to turn. I feel she will only let him see his daughter if they get back together - but they have been separated for over 2 years now and they were only together because she fell pregnant so quickly into the relationship (within 1/2 months). Please can someone point me in the right direction or tell us what we can do from here - it is killing me watching him suffer like this purely because his ex partner is acting like a petulant, spoiled child.
Nat1989 - 25-Jun-13 @ 7:22 PM
Hi I haven't seen my 2 daughters since I got saperated from my wife from 1st may 2013.please help me how can I meet my daughters. Thank u
addie - 4-Jun-13 @ 1:01 AM
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