I bet you all know the drill too: All evidence on the effects of parental separation  suggests that the single most damaging consequence on children is conflict between the parents. Basically the consequences of why or how your spouse leaves you may mean everything to you, and to how much they shatter your heart, ego and finances, but they all pale into insignificance when it comes to your children and conflict with their other parent.

Ok, so I know the theory, I know it means I have to avoid conflict with T. But what about practice?…

I am so sad, so angry, and above all so scared of being hurt again, that hearing his voice on the phone when he rang the children last night immediately triggered a panic response in me. I could not bear it. So how can I be expected to be rational and level-headed when it comes to negotiating the many issues co-parenting will inevitably throw our way ?

Especially watching my son being hurt every other weekend when only his sister goes to stay with the guy they both used to call daddy.

I feel lost.

Coldplay – Lost:


22 thoughts on “Lost

  1. I understand this very well. Those damn circumstances of how/why they left.
    My wife is mad at me because I don’t show her support. She brings up the fact that I always told her I wanted her to be happy…and then throws in the “unless it was with J” (with whom she had 2 affairs). It seems to make no sense to her that I’m less than ecstatic for her ability to find her “true love” given that she cheated and left me to do it.

    There are many ways to leave a marriage that may allow for better relations after it is over…but lies, betrayal and deceipt are not the way to generate this.

    Every text I get from her, every email and every time I hear her voice talking to our son is like a knife wound. it twists my gut into a tangled mess.

    I don’t display open hostility toward her, not do I badmouth her to my kids…but I sure as hell am not friendly either. Whether I ever can be again, I doubt given the circumstances of her leaving and throwing family, love and finances into turmoil.

    I know I should try harder for my kids…but i’ll admit to being human on this subject.

    For you. trying to be civil while you see the hurt it is causing your son has got to be torture. Think academy awards….which is what you should get every time you need to interact with T. Wishing you success and peace.


    • Yep, I’ll defintely keep those academy awards in mind :)!
      I can imagine that it’s the same sort of gritted teeth exercise for you, and ooh, I do get the twisted gut effect too, very pleasant.
      Look, one of my cousins went through exactly the same scenario as you: wife had affair with nutjob, he found out, they fixed their marriage for four years, had a second baby, then woosh, she disappeared into the sunset with nutjob. Five years on, he’s happily re-married, she’s no longer with nutjob and still single, trying to rebuild her life. Hope it’ll give you a bit of hope? x

      • I hope the theme of this is not which sex the partner is, but that the person who LEAVES is the one who ends losing out. Which would make you, me, Surrey Gal, and LFBA all winners eventually — excellent!

        • The theme is definately not prejudiced toward one sex or the other.
          I agree…the one that leaves is usually the loser…(and statistics say this too)…but the innocents (children) never win out. The knowledge that their hero/mom/stability or any other of the exmplar descriptions, is a liar and cheater is never good for them.

          RE: 5 yrs. Sounds like a plan. I’ve never been to Switzerland, France or other places exotic!! 🙂

  2. Why only your daughter goes to T??? I don’t understand?
    I made a mistake of fighting with my ex in front of the children. That was the biggest mistake ever. If you can avoid it, please do. And I’m not overly protective about my children, I sometimes swear in front of them and stuff, so for me to say “avoid arguments with T” imagine how bad it must be for the little ones.

    • My son is from a previous relationship. He and T had formed a very close bond, especially as my son’s dad is not really involved, but apparently that was not enough. Things are complicated but in short T is letting my son down arguing that it is my son who does not want to see him…Great excuse.
      I don’t think T and I have fought in front the children, the hardest for me is to not say what I think of T when I’m with friends, need to vent but the kids are around…

    • Well, let’s say that someone doing what he does must have big personal issues…And that I’m probably better off without him. There, it’s out, first time 🙂

      I miss the person he was, but not the one he is.

  3. Could you get T to visit a child psychologist with you so that he can hear from an expert the effect his behaviour has on the children? I’m going to one with my husband in a couple of weeks to discuss appropriate custody and how to minimise harm to the kids.

    Fuck I hate that I had to type that last part. I never in a thousand years thought I’d married someone who would look for ways to ‘minimise’ the harm to his kids. Why not just avoid the harm, asshole.

    Sorry, I’m cranky today.

    • Custody??? You have not mentioned that there have been any final decisions. Has something changed?

      and yeah…why not avoid the harm. A marriage is a partnership and not just about the whims or decisions of one party.

      I do not advocate staying in an unhappy marriage. But first the parties should be honest and try to work it our rather than run to fantasy and try to compare family with it. In order for my wife to “live in the moment”, she chose to become a 1/2 time mom.
      I don’t know if she’ll ever really appreciate what the cost of that will be.

      • BUDDHA – No, no final decision. But no changed mind or changed attitude.

        I made the appointment with the child psychologist back when he first said he wanted to leave and thought he was going to have the kids move back and forth between us every couple of days. I thought, and still think, that is an insane idea for a 4 and 2 year old and that everything I’ve read indicates that children that young suit a larger amount of time with a primary carer. I asked him if he would agree if a psychologist told him it was better and he said it would be hard, but he would do it.

    • I understand your crankiness, it’s tough isn’t it? And minimising the harm to the kids sounds pretty hollow when you think, you could just try to make things work again with their mum for example.
      I don’t think T wants to hear what a child psychologist has to say, and I don’t think a good psyhologist would guilt someone into staying in a relationship…Sdaly the realisation has to come from him and there is nothing I can do.

  4. Hey there,

    We have a custody agreement for our daughter, every other week end and half of school holidays. When he first left, the same informal agreement applied for my son, but this is no longer the case obviously.
    T threatened to ask for 1/2 custody of our daughter a couple of times, and while I do believe this is the fairest solution for the kids, I refuse to separate my children half the time. I don’t think he really wants 1/2 custody anyway, it would interfere with his own living the moment…I totally agree with, the cost of being a part time parent is high.

    • I would be happy with every other weekend. Although I’d probably suggest we do every Saturday instead, so it wasn’t so long between visits. No idea what he would want for holidays as he wouldn’t be able to get enough leave.

      I don’t believe 50:50 time is usually best for children (every family is individual of course), based on what I observe as a teacher. It is a nice theoretical idea, but it is problematic in practice.

  5. Tsk!! I hate thinking about poor C (what do you call him on here?) every other weekend!

    I have a nice photo of T from our wedding. Perhaps I should post it, we could all print one off, throw darts at it and the feelings of the group will catch him up in a Karma-ish sort of way!

    Can’t wait to see you next month though be warned i may kidnap you all to keep you away from the bastard.

    Stay strong lovely lady

    • Jo, I call him my son…Possibly need to find a better name :o)! But yes, the consequences on him are by far the hardest thing to come to terms with.

      I cannot wait to see you guys either, it’ll be weird to be back in the UK again, I was happy last time I came. Life was so different.

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