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Finally got the courage to post
Hi All,
I've been lurking on the forum for the past year, since my ex first seriously suggested separating, and this is my first post.  Apologies if it’s rambling and I’m sure you’ve heard similar a million time before. The stories on here have really helped me, and I'm still amazed how our ex’s can go from wife to cold heated ex so quickly.

I thought I was coping Ok until today…so here goes. I know this is of no help to any of you, but it might help to know I’m in a similar positon, similar age etc to a number of you. And I know how much it sucks.

Wife and I were together 10 years, met on holiday and I moved 300 miles to be with her when she became pregnant 2 years later. We were married 6 years and have 2 kids, 5 and 7. Like most of you I would have stayed and tried to make it work, despite the fact she is very controlling and criticised everything I did. The familiar story of she gets annoyed that she does everything, but nothing I do is ever good enough. Like a lot of you I’m a very hands on dad, do as much childcare and housework as she does, probably more as she works longer hours. Our problem was bickering, she’s very critical and snappy and I react to it, so seemed to be in a perpetual argument.

We went to counselling in which the councillor took me to one said and said I’m fighting a losing battle. She then she spent the entire 6 months we were supposed to be working on our relationship being even more moody, miserable and critical than normal. I now realise nothing you try means anything once they get that separation idea in their head.

6 months ago she decided it was over. I knew the relationship had problems, but like most dads we have a lot more to lose, kids, family home etc, and so was more determined to make it work.  We then lived together until the end of December when I moved into my new house, which backs on to my old street, she bought me out and stayed in the family home. This was so I could see the kids everyday and have a 'friends' relationship rather than husband / wife.

The plan was to move out on Jan 12th, but the ex decided we needed to tell the kids about our separation 2 days after Xmas, and like others have said it was the hardest thing I have ever done. The fact they could see my new house over the road made a huge difference, but it was still a dreadful event. My ex even snapped at me when she though she saw a tear in my eye. I’m not ashamed to admit I cried for 3 days straight. I had never experience physical pain caused by emotions until then, my heart literally hurt! The loss of all my future plans, the kids stability of one family home, and the thought of a life ahead of complications. But mainly, feeling so sorry for the kids that they were the unlucky ones, the ones whos parent couldn’t make it work. I would die for my children, so why couldn’t I put up with my wife for them??

Since then I’ve been over to see them everyday to either take them to school or take take them to their various clubs etc, and 2 nights a week they stay at mine. As naive as this sounds I was determined that we would be the exception, genuine friendship and co-parenting in best interest of kids, 2 happy parents etc.

It’s still the hardest thing ever as not living with your kids is pretty tough. Every minute you spend on your own that you would normally be with the kids is heart wrenching. But it was going OK and I felt quite positive a lot of the time. On a few occasions I was suspicious she was seeing someone, little things I noticed when going over, like her buying food she didn’t normally eat, open bottle of wine in fridge and washing up for 2. I found out she’d been on a blind date, but she swore she hated it and realised she wasn’t ready. So I thought I had a bit of time to get used to the new arrangement before I had to worry about new boyfriends etc, although I was still suspicious.

Today when I dropped the kids bags off after dropping them at school I can across some boxer shorts on the bedroom floor (I’ll admit I had a snoop in her room, I know that’s wrong, but the paranoia took over)  

I rang her and she admitted she had been seeing someone since Christmas, a  week before I moved out.  I was upset because she had lied to me on so many occasions about it, and I felt completely humiliated that she had been sneaking around behind my back, and also forced me out and told the kids sooner than expected because she had obviously met this new man. Also, that she was doing this across the road in the kids house, it just felt very disrespectful. And then there’s the pure jealousy that she is sleeping with someone else so soon, I couldn’t even comprehend being with someone else at this point.

So that brings me to today, I thought I couldn’t feel any lower than I have and now this. My daughter said she though my house was a bit small last night, my ex kept the big family home and comments like that are hard enough to hear, but finding out about my ex seeing  someone else on top has brought me to a new low. She actually went on her fisrt date with him the same I haven’t covered myself in glory today, lots of texts to the ex about how hurt and upset I am, I know this needs to stop.

I know I have it better than a lot of guys on here seeing the kid everyday, but could really do with some advice on how to cope - am I over reacting. Her feeling is we’re not together anymore and she can have a private life. Which I agree with, but why do I feel so angry, hurt, jealous and upset about it.

And do the feelings of failure go? 43 and living on my own in small house. Not what I had planned.

This forum seems a real help to a lot of people, so looking forward to some advice and to hopefully help others in a similar situation

You haven’t failed. The marriage failed which takes two. 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce so you have lots of company. We are merely statistics.

You are in your children’s lives almost daily which is fantastic and you may well have a case to go for shared care 50/50.

It’s tough, very tough in the beginning but it DOES get better. You maybe need a little bit of distance from her. Do all the things you are doing like taking kids to clubs etc but try not to go into the house if it hurts. Have some boundaries.

Be friendly and polite at all times and don’t let anything show. Tell yourself that when the lovely dovey stuff wears off with the new guy that he will see the moody, critical side of her just as you did. Rushing into a new relationship is not a good thing. Some recovery time is best.

She is however entitled to move on if that is what she wants and no matter how you feel you cannot stop it. Forget the lies and stuff as what is done is done and it can’t be changed now You probably should not text her regarding it any more. You’ve said how you feel, saying it twenty times more wont do anything. Once is enough.

Look after yourself and keep yourself busy so that you don’t dwell on things too much. Don’t worry about the size of your house, a house can be huge but not necessarily a happy house. If you have fun with your kids when they stay over then it’s a happy house Smile keep it a happy house where the kids enjoy coming to.

It is still early days for you and it’s hurting , a year from now things may well be very different. Virtually all of us on here have survived the darkest period , proof enough that is IS survivable and that there is life after divorce or break up.
My advice is write letters you don't send. It really helps. But do not send them! Pen and paper - have it around all the time. There is something cathartic about hand writing a letter, getting it all out and by the time you get to the end of the letter, something has happened and you feel different and a bit better and realise something along the way. Hard to explain. I even got to the point of colour coding them which made me feel better too! Angry - use a red pen. Miserable - use a black pen.

Ok so I was 43, divorced twice, trying to sell a house for 7 years and towards the end buying one carrot a week and managed to sell before it got repossessed. Went weird for a year and antisocial. Then life just opened up and wow. You go through something and it is really bad - but when you come out the other side - it is better than it ever was before.

I can't imagine having to go to your old home every day to see your children. That must be hard. I think you will start feeling better when things get to a different stage. Where the children stay with both of you regularly and feel they have two homes. That can help them too as the longer you go to their old home to spend time the more they wish you were still there.

Separation is hell. I lived in a house with my ex waiting to separate for 3 months as we had to wind a business up.

Can recommend joining something new and meeting new people. A night class or learning a new skill or something.
Thanks for the replies guys, great advice, your words really do help and I appreciate you taking the time. I speak to my family but they get angry, which doesn't help me at all. Friends are 300 miles away and have busy lives of their own.

I do need to find a new outlet, I can't sit here dwelling, it's driving me mad. I'll try the letter thing.

Thanks again
Sir that's a sore one....but the good thing and most important thing is that you are still there for your and your kids is what matters now....let her get on with it( I know easier said than done)....but don't show her or the kids that it gets to you....time to get your life on track the guys said keep yourself busy when not with the kids....
Rob74 totally feeling your pain, my wife left on Monday with the kids. We get on well and I was willing to work at it but she played the love you but not in love card. From then on I have been struggling to accept its over but very slowly getting there.
You say your mates are 300 miles away, get a whatsapp group going with them is my suggestion you can rant on there and believe it or not mates humour/banter on the subject helps take you out the dark place....

I also went on the RELATE website and you can do a free councilling chat for 35 minutes, that also helped me get out what I was feeling at the time.
Other things I have done is using the gym more, getting my house sorted on the days kids not here so when they are here I am all theirs.

My ex will not doubt be dating before me and that will kill me I know but there is absolutely nothing I can do and I know that.
My relationship with her has finished and by focusing on what I can do not what she is doing then it will make me happier and therefore my kids happier.
Come on here and chat....we are all on this journey at different stages but this site is excellent for support
Make sure you have some free time for yourself. Pop down and see you family and friends now and again and take the kids with you when you can.

It might be a good idea when talking to your family to tell them that their anger doesn’t help at this time and that you would prefer support and a listening ear instead.

You will likely get lots of people saying do this or do that but sometimes you have to trust your instincts as to what is right for you and your kids which minimises conflict with your ex (hopefully) .
Yes it's surprising how friends and family react. I found I didn't have any friends really - except one - from childhood, who was a rock - and said - come and stay. After that I made it a mission to get back in contact with friends from a long time ago - from before marriage, and did a round trip and visited all of them. A project. Projects help too. Two projects. One for you and your life and one to show the kids there are interesting things to have projects about. Not sure what but maybe start a project they can get involved with when they come to you (building a den in the back yard or something.

Why are your family angry? And why at you? Is it because they are anxious about seeing their Grandchildren? Even so, as Hazy says, it's not helpful. Ignore them. Sometimes talking to a stranger in a cafe is better than talking to family.
They get angry with her, but she isn't a bad person, a big cold maybe, but she is decent. Our marriage just didn't work, do I don't need to be told what a b@tch she is. I need constructive help, which you guys seem to have plenty of.

I didn't sleep well, can't get thoughts of her with this new man out if my head, in what was my bed. She's only known him a few weeks and it seems wrong he is in the kids house (when they're not there) around their things, photos of them and me. It feels like life is going to be so complicated from now on, I just want to stop feeling so sad
Its the hardest thing I have ever faced is trying to switch off my emotions thinking of my ex going with someone else but she has chosen that path and like it or not I cannot change it. When I step back and think about it I try to turn it round and look towards me feeling better about myself, meeting new people.....we are still young and the more you try to work out why you split the more it will eat you up. I have unfollowed her/her friends on facebook, I take my time responding to text messages dont be at her beck and call.

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