Can anyone confirm that I am not going crazy?

I'm looking for some advice. Dont really know where to start. The last three years have been a rollercoaster of emotions. My marriage ended after ten years suddenly. It was an unhappy marriage, only staying together for the kids, but my emotional state when it ended was of failure for my children, not of the loss of my marriage. Shortly after this I fell head over heels in love with a fantastic man and this made me feel alive again. Alongside this fantastic time, was all of the drama of the marriage ending. My ex husband was abusive, threatning and eventually demanded that I move out of the marital home as he wanted it back. Even though he had been living the high life and not paid one payment to the mortgage in the six months that he had left. Eventually myself and my children moved into my partners house and home life was fantastic, although we still had the constant drama from my ex. In time we bought a new house and moved in together properly as a family, with a new start. Things with my ex seemed to calm down however he was still calling the shots when it came to the children and felt that he could tell me what to do, how to dress them, even though I was with them and looking after them 24/7. Shortly after this my dad was diagnosed with cancer, which resulted in him being told it was terminal. I didnt deal with this and I am ashamed to say that to this day, I still deal with it in denial. After we had moved into our new home, I discovered I was pregnant (planned) and the fairytale seemed complete. I suffered a horrendous pregnancy and was admitted to hospital several times. I had a few dark days to say the least. My daughter was born healthy and it was decided that I wouldnt return to work and would have the ability to look after the kids and the house whilst my partner provided for us. Now my ex husband has decided to take more of a role in the children's life, however this is causing major grief between myself and my partner. I must admit, I do find it easier just to go with what my ex says because the hassle is not worth it, however my parnter is furious at this. He has now said that he doesnt want him at the door picking up the children, and that he should only have a set night per week that he gets to see the kids. My children arent bothered either way and are very stable happy kids. Alongside the fact that my dads health is going downhill I feel myself existing rather than living. I am constantly "nervous", stomach always in knots, unable to sleep at night worrying about things. I am always thinking about things in the future and worry about what will go wrong with them. I've started switching my phone off as when my ex phone's me my parnter goes crazy. This sounds as though he is a nasty person, he is not, he is a fantastic human being, however just increasingly frustrated at the situation. What am I going to do. I feel as though I am constantly down, I am a brilliant mum, which I would never ever let anything change, but I am now more dowan than up. I am seriously thinking about leaving and renting somewhere, just to be on my own with my kids, but I love my partner so much, I dont know what to do? Sorry for rambling on, this is the first time I have ever done anything like this.

7 Replies

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  • Wow, that's quite a history and a lot of emotional upheaval in a relatively short time. No wonder you are feeling the strain. I am glad you recognise the good parenting job you are doing: don't allow anything or anyone to damage your good feelings about this.

    It sounds as if things are getting out of control between you and your ex and you need some additional input before it all gets too much and puts more strain on your current relationship. At the risk of sounding trite, have you considered going either to Relate, which helps people with all sorts of family relationships, and the Citizens Advice Bureau which could help you by pointing you in the right direction of some legal advice? You need the legal advice to help reach an acceptable agreement between you and your ex regarding the children which you both can stick to and that your ex won't overstep.You would then feel the pressure is taken off you more and it would help you focus on your relationship and that of your children.

    You could also see if there is a Family Lawyer/Solicitor who could help and set some guidelines, but I'd start with the CAB first with Relate to help you and if you wish it, your partner too, some much-needed emotional support.

  • Hi Lele

    Well, to answer your first question first, no, you are NOT going crazy, you're being put in an impossible position and have had some huge life changes to deal with - not to mention your ex's totally unreasonable attitude! Yes, he has a right to see his children, just as the children have a right to see him, if they want to - but this should be by agreement/arrangement - if necessary legally enforceable. It does sound to me as if your ex is using the children as a means of not really letting you "go" - slightly dog in the manger attitude. There are solicitors who can help with this sort of thing - I'm not an expert, but i would think it would be possible to draw up a legally binding agreement as to when/how often your ex has access to the children, then he would have no - or very little - reason to phone you. If you go to the Law Society site:-

    lawsociety.org.uk/choosinga...

    and look in the drop-down menu for Mediation - Family - it should give you the names of solicitors in your area who are experienced in these situations.

    The other people you could try would be Relate - they do support people through divorce/relationship break-ups - go to:

    relate.org.uk/life-channel-...

    This isn't probably for me to say, but you might consider pointing out to your partner that his "going crazy" whenever your ex rings ISN'T helping you, it's just making the situation worse, and maybe ask him to back off a bit for a while. sorry if i'm speaking out of turn :(

    Hope the above is some help, and really hope your Dad's health improves too.

    Love

    Rose

    xxxx

  • Thank you so much for your responses. The only problem I have with these type of things are when ever I try and legally arrange something, then all hell breaks loose with my ex and his family. Which then leads to more anxiety incase I run into them when I am out. I have tried and tested all avenues, however, the only easy way out of this is to relent and agree to last minute arrangements. This has become a way of life now, but if I have something prior arranged then obviously I would say this. I have no problem with my ex seeing the children as and when he likes. We started off with set days however this didnt work so I left the opportunity for him to make the time to see the children when he wanted. I dont want them growing up thinking that I prevented anything, and hopefully when they are older they will see what type of man he is and make up their own minds on contact. No one in my family has any idea how I am feeling. I have become wonderful at hiding it and pretending that I am just having an off day. This is almost every day. I realise that everyone has an off day, but some days I would be perfectly happy just switiching off my phone, locking the door and shutting the world out and pottering about in the house with the baby until my other children come home. I cant sleep for worrying abour irrational things, stomach is constantly in knots about anything and everything. I have definately changed from the person my partner first met, but cant see anyway forward in getting this unexplained behaviour solved.

  • This may sound a bit too simplistic but would you consider showing your partner this blog? To see how you feel. He sounds a good person but is allowing your ex to manipulate the situation and get under his skin, exactly what your ex probably wants. Is it worth giving up? Picture the smile on his face if you left your partner to live alone where he can continue to control the situation. Picture that smile before you make a decision and ask out of you, your partner, your children and your ex who would be the happiest if that was to happen.

  • Hi,

    I wonder if, for now, it would help you to let things continue as they are with your ex regarding access to your children. This may conflict with advice you've received previously but sometimes trying to take on too much at once can be too hard when you are anxious or depressed. As parents we have to sometimes make the difficult decision of allowing our children to continue seeing their estranged parent, even though it makes life very difficult for us, as we know that's what's best for our kids. I completely agree that they will be able to make up their own minds about their father when they are old enough and decide for themselves whether they want to have a relationship with him. If they are happy with the current access arrangements then that is the important thing.

    You have had two very stressful life events happen to you in a short space of time, separating from your ex, and his subsequent difficult behaviour, and the news about your dad and this has clearly been exceptionally hard and has taken it's toll on you mentally and emotionally. This would definitely account for how you are feeling right now. Never underestimate the effect having a baby has emotionally either!! I think it can be very hard when something positive, like having a baby, happens at the same time as something like your dad's illness. This can cause you to feel conflicting emotions, which can be confusing. I feel it would be a very good idea to see your GP to discuss arranging some sort of therapy. This would give you the space to discuss your issues with someone impartial and give you some support. I also wonder if you have discussed, with your partner, how you feel about his animosity towards your ex and how this is impacting on you. His actions are very understandable and he is obviously being protective of you but it sounds like this is making things harder for you. He sounds supportive so maybe if he understands that his behaviour is making the situation worse he might try to be a bit more relaxed about your ex.

    I think tackling each problem one at a time is an easier way to cope with problems and maybe once you feel a bit better in yourself through accessing therapy you may feel stronger and more able to tackle the problems with your ex. It is a cliché but taking one day at a time does help too rather than worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future, I find trying to stay in the moment helps me.

    One last thing, I think it is amazing that you have maintained your confidence in yourself as a mum, this is so positive. That's something worth remembering, that you've been a good mum during a very hard time, when you're feeling down, to give you something good to focus on and a confidence boost. I hope this helps! Good luck!

  • Thank you so much for this response. I've read it over and over and it is the only thing that has made me feel calm in what has been a very stressful day. I think Liau dealing with one problem at a time is what I should be doing, it realistically can get overwhelming very quickly because I think of everything that is happening, and think what would suit other people to make the situation easier and before you know it I've create an if but maybe scenario with the worst case outcome. My partner has been there throughout the whole stage of my dealing with my ex and has witnessed his lazy attitude of being a dad. He does everything for my older two as he does our baby and is fantastic with them. They, in turn, love him very much. I do understand why he is like he is, and do fear that one day this may come between us but I strongly agree in an open policy for access to the kids. They are twelve and six and I never want them to hear bad of me or that I stopped their dad from seeing them. Even if it does grate on me that he plays the dutiful dad as and when it suits him. I am confident that the truth will out eventually. I am learning to deal with my dads illness slowly but surely and hope to get my relationship back on track with him

  • I'm so glad it helped! This is the first time I've been on a forum like this and was a bit nervous of saying the wrong thing!!!! I know what you mean about feeling overwhelmed and thinking of the worst case scenario. It's hard to think things through rationally and in a positive way when you are feeling highly anxious. It is hard being the partner of someone who has children with an ex who is difficult. I have been in that position for 8 years now and it's very difficult not to resent the ex when you can see how unreasonable and selfish they are being. So I understand where your partner is coming from!! I think if you stop children having contact with a parent they tend to put them on a pedestal and not view them realistically, that's why it's so important they have contact, to see the parent for what they really are. And they will, don't worry!! I think, from what you have said, that you are doing really well considering all you have gone through and should be very proud of yourself!!

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