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Moving on / New Relationships
#1
Alright chaps, I suppose I'm just posting this to get a feel for other peoples views and experiences just to see if my experience isn't uncommon.

Split beginning October last year so 8 and half months now. As way of background my wife said she needed 'time' and asked me to leave family home for a bit (which naively I did). I understand she met someone new within a week (or at least that's what she says) and I know he was introduced to the kids within about 2/3 weeks of me leaving (bear in mind some of this I found out after the event). I also understand he started living in the house in November some point (for example I know he got put on the council tax bill beginning of December).

It's been a bit of a bumpy ride. We have now for the last few weeks final settled into a pattern where I have kids alternate weekends and every Thursday for a few hours after school. Not entirely ideal but I understand a pretty typical arrangement having spoken with my solicitor and bearing in mind I work full-time / ex is stay at home Mom.

I began dating someone start of the year (off tinder). Too soon really and I was concerned it would be jumping from frying pan into fire as she clearly had a few issues. It was a bit sporadic with what was going on but came to a final end in mid-April and things have been quiet on dating front since. Just a couple of dates and one lady I'm texting but at moment at least no idea if will lead to something.

I've got my own place renting and will be moving to a family home in a few months so that side is sorted (that will be my own place - bit of a long story).

I think the thing that has surprised is my complete lack of interest in reconnecting with ex mates etc. More in to my running these days and am thinking of joining a running club to do it at least once a week (as they go out in the evening and I understand some do it weekends too). I go out after work for a drink now and then but I suppose have become a bit of a loner. 80% of the time it's fine and doesn't bother me. There are times, however, such as the one day a week when I work from home (the day I see kids in week) where I think because I'm on my own all day I do feel a bit lost. Not depressed or anything but just a bit lost in terms of where I am and how things have panned out.

Thankfully the divorce looks like it's heading in right way and finances I've got a decent deal agreed (or at least decent in the sense of what I realistically could expect).

Just interested in other experiences and if what I describe is not uncommon.
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#2
Practically:
You should be going for at least 5 nights a fortnight with your kids.
The financial settlement should be enough to rehouse both you and the kids adequately i,e. Not sleeping on sofa beds
Good that you’re staying fit.
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#3
I've been advised a standard access arrangement can look like one Friday - Monday over a 2 week period. So assume my arrangement isn't untypical
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#4
Don’t know your full circumstances but I would definitely go for more access than that - if that’s what you want.
You appear to me to be a bit passive in this process. There’s lots of good advice on here about what’s achievable if your prepared to be assertive.
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#5
Putting the access to one side, this isn't weird...

You are maybe wanting a bit of time to get your head straight, and certainly many blokes who find themselves single cut loose and then realise there are 'issues' and start peddling back (I did...) even now, three years separated, one year divorced, great girlfriend for 8 months I'm keen to have time alone to just think things through, well certainly for some of the week.
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#6
Thanks both. The access is a pain. We have 4 kids aged 10, 8, 5 and 4 so the basic practicalities don't help the situation. Plus I'm in a 2 bed flat until end of August when I move to a 3 bed house. I'm slowly building the access up so next will be Sunday's on my non-weekend for a few hours on top of what I mentioned above. I think ex will start work as well in September so that will involve perhaps another evening in the week.

My job doesn't help as it's not exactly 9 - 5 and the one day I work from home at the moment is probably about as flexible as I can afford to be.
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#7
You can get better access, but you need to also be realistic as kids need certainty, the problem is it’s a vicious circle. If the children don’t stay overnight then that day doesn’t count in child maintenance calculations. I found it extremely maddening at first that on Sundays I’d be the one responsible for breakfast, lunch, dinner, daytime activities etc all at my own cost, but because they went back to their mums at 7pm for bed she was entitled to be paid for that day….?? Eh come again?....  I wanted my kids more anyway, and I was able to go for shared care because of my work which I eventually got, but the rules on how Child Maintenance is calculated is still very badly weighted.  

Sorry I digress. What your feeling is probably far more normal then you realise because other than on here blokes/fathers do not talk openly about their feelings. It seems like a horrible thing to say now, but I went through a time when all I wanted was the occasional bit of ‘how's-your-father' rather than entertaining the idea of another relationship so I used women. I needed time to be alone, be me, decorate my place strictly to my tastes, eat and drink what I wanted, everything was about me outside of my time with the kids. Eventually I got it out of my system and I wanted to share my life again, I started looking for actual dates rather than 1 nighters and here I am married again, albeit happily now.
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