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#1 of 16 Old 01-01-2010, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm shocked at my own weakness and it makes me embarrassed. Despair is a good word to describe how I feel these days. I am usually someone who can keep it together... and I think most of the people around me think I AM keeping it together. If only they knew how fragile I feel. How, right now, I have moments where it feels like it would be better to be dead. I'd never do it... but the thought sounds freeing. Free me from this divorce hell.
I should consider myself lucky because I do not miss my ex. I do not want him back. I am not distraught at all over the loss of him. The thing that is wrecking me is this situation and my children.
My ex left because he was interested in another woman (and for other reasons obviously). Our divorce was final on Wednesday. He's been seeing her all along and introduced our children to her in November, telling me that he was going to take it slow. I am pretty sure he had our kids spend the night at her house last night, although he's not told me that. He's had the kids all week... this is the first time I've EVER been away for them. The only night I've ever spent away was to have a baby. So this week has been hard anyway. No kids, court for divorce, and the anguish over the idea of my kids at her house.
Part of me can see that it's dumb. If the kids are happy, and having a good time with their dad, I should be grateful. They are lucky to have a father who loves them and wants to be active in their life.
But the mother in me is kicking my ass. Tearing me up from the inside. THEY'RE MY KIDS. And my 4-year-old did not even want to come to the phone tonight to talk to me. I haven't talked to him all week.
My deepest, most pathetic fear is that the kids will prefer to be with him and her. What do you do? How can I manage this? What if it's true?! Stressed out mommy, trying to pay the bills, lonely sad pathetic mommy... vs. daddy and his happy new girlfriend.
I couldn't leave town this weekend because I have anxiety. Anxiety like you might have leaving your newborn for the first time.
I'm sorry to write so much. I feel like I'm going to throw up right now though and need to get this out. Part of me wants to just throw in the towel, give him custody, and then... I really would have nothing to live for. Why force the kids to live with me if they don't want to. (I don't really know that... just dramatically imagining the worst).
Have any of you experienced your kids wanting to be with their dad over you?
I am at a loss today. I've had too much.
I know in my heart that I am the more stable parent (despite this crazy post) and that I provide them with their base, that I do all of the work to care for them, that I am the parent who puts their needs ahead of my own... that my family is the strength... that they will grow safer, stronger, more cared for here... but it sure must be FUN over there.
Words of wisdom please....
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#2 of 16 Old 01-01-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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Oh, mama! No words of wisdom, just a big hug.

When do your babies come home to you?
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#3 of 16 Old 01-01-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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Despair sounds like a pretty natural response to everything that's going on for you right now. It doesn't make you 'weak' or less of a person to feel horrible about being away from your kids, having had your DH cheat on you, and possibly having your kids at the house of the woman he cheated with! You have every right to do a little grieving and railing against the situation.

What can you do right now to take care of yourself? You sound burned out and, frankly, depressed. Is the intensity of what you're feeling recent, or has it been going on for a long time? The reason I ask is that you may need some outside help to overcome some of your despair if it has been going on for awhile. Your adrenals are probably shot from all the stress you've gone through, if nothing else. Is it possible for you to get some naturopathic care, or counseling, or acupuncture, or even just a day at the spa?

I've been there (recently) mama. Sometimes I feel like handing over my daughter and throwing in the proverbial towel. Sometimes I really regret the decision to have her, and then feel even worse, racked by mother guilt. But thoughts like that are just expressions of the desire to escape a really bad situation with her dad, and extreme exhaustion, kwim?

Do you have friends and/or relatives who can be with you right now? Anxiety is exacerbated by isolation, so even if you can just talk to someone on the phone or go out for coffee for a little while might help in the short-term.

The intensity will pass, mama. Not as quickly as you'd like, to be sure. But you will survive this time and look back on it and wonder how you ever made it through. You sound like a very strong and capable woman, who is also human. You can't really ask more of yourself than that.
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#4 of 16 Old 01-02-2010, 12:51 AM
 
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Especially the last paragraph.

I am so sorry.
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#5 of 16 Old 01-02-2010, 12:54 AM
 
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s mama! i have no advice because i dont know what its like, but i had to post some s your title gave me the goose bumps!

keep your chin up- you are strong!

Your life doesnât change by the man whos elected. If your loved by someone you can't be rejected... decide what to be and go be it! If your a caged bird brake in and demand that somebody free it.
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#6 of 16 Old 01-02-2010, 04:59 AM
 
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artgirl,

I am so sorry.
things will get easier. You need to focus on yourself as much as possible and use the time you have alone to do the work you need to, to heal.
you are stronger then you think.


There's nothing you can know that isn't known. ~ John Lennon
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#7 of 16 Old 01-02-2010, 07:42 AM
 
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My parents divorced when I was 5, and I lived with my Dad after that. After a few years he was in a serious relationship, so for about 5 years of my life I spent a lot of time with this lady who wasn't my Mom. BUT, no matter how much time I spent with her I never for an instant thought she was better than my Mom nor did I love my Mom any less. I can't remember even comparing them! So please trust that your children LOVE you. If they don't come to the phone, I know it's heart-breaking, but kids don't always have a sense of what could hurt other people's feelings. But they know that you are their rock: don't you think that if they fall and hurt themselves they ask for Mommy? Or at night they say they want to see Mommy or sleep at Mommy's house? Of course they do!
Trust in your little ones! It's hard to see them broaden horizons that don't include you, but it doesn't take away from your special bond.
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#8 of 16 Old 01-02-2010, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you everyone.
I asked him this morning if they all spent the night at "her" house and he said yes.
I've always co-slept with my kids... do I have the right to ask how they slept over there? There's no point to me asking is there? If my kids wanted to curl up with her would I deny them that? Would I ask them not to love her to protect my frail self esteem? No. I'd like to, but I never could.
But in the meantime I don't know how to manage myself. I feel like broken glass.
And my baby (2 yrs) still comes home to sleep with me but the pressure for him to stay the night is intense. Do I allow it? With them sleeping at her house?
Am I blowing this so out of proportion because of my fear? I think I am. I think my self-esteem is so low right now... I feel so freaking unloveable and crappy that I doubt that my kids COULD love me as much as their dad and "her". I feel so unfun, so old and worn out. So unattractive in every way. If I had healthy feelings about myself this would mean nothing... or almost nothing. So what... they spent the night somewhere with their dad. It has no effect on what we have together, just like when I go out with my friends doesn't affect how I feel about them.
It's just been very lonely and quiet this week without them. I guess when all of them are around I can't wallow like this.
Thank you for making this time a little less lonely with your responses. I feel like I've drained my IRL support and don't want them to start thinking I'm as pathetic as I feel.
This is hard.
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#9 of 16 Old 01-02-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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It sounds like a really rough time - no wonder you feel overwhelmed! I know how you feel... for me, it was a relief when my ex moved out, and nothing but relief. Never missed him. But the process of dealing with visitation issues - that was hell. (It still is, sometimes, although I'm more used to it.) At any time, but especially at the beginning, there's just something not right about having to send your little family away. And in your case, to add insult to injury, to be with another woman even though you just got divorced!

It sounds like the visit is too long. A whole week away, even though you just got divorced? Can you modify the visitation schedule and ease into it more gradually? And hang onto the 2-yr-old if you're not comfortable with overnights.

It's just too much at once, it sounds like (too many life-changing events bunched together into one week!). Your kids will come home, they'll still love you... time somewhere else won't change HOME, and home means you.
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#10 of 16 Old 01-02-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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Apart from what I said earlier, when I was probably age 10-15 when my dad had his girlfriend, your situation touches my heart so much because I can relate to the feeling you are describing. I am also terribly attached to the intimacy of my relationship with my children and the idea of having them curl up with another person would also make me cry my eyes out, I would feel very jealous (for lack of a better word). I think its healthy for you to feel so strongly, because A) this isn't a woman you trust (the other woman) so it doesn't come naturally for you to hand your children over to her, like say a grandparent or aunt for example, and B) your babies really are little, if they were 10 or so then you would surely take it better.
I send you big hugs and stay strong. You can't come to terms with this overnight, maybe there's also a way to talk to your ex about transitioning into this a bit slower?
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#11 of 16 Old 01-02-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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You and I have the same story - except I have so far talked my ex out of overnights with my 4 and 1 year olds cause my babe still nurses constantly -- I have no idea how I'm going to handle it since two hours kills me ~ so no words of wisdom... just commiseration
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#12 of 16 Old 01-02-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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i'm not a single parent, but your thread caught my eye, and i couldn't not post. my dh's parents are divorced, and my MIL went through a lot of what you are going through. i can tell you that your feelings are completely normal and justified. please don't beat yourself up over how you feel! you are going through a very stressful situation and it makes perfect sense that you are overwhelmed and anxious. divorce is a truly horrible thing to go through, especially when there are children involved. even though you don't miss your x, i'm sure that you are mourning the end of the relationship.
is there anyway that you can talk to him about having the children over at her house? i would be very honest with him, and tell him that it would be easier on you, and your children, if they stayed at his house, at least until the smoke clears a little. he is making a big mistake by trying to force this woman into his children's lives. they will have a problem with it eventually.
it makes sense that you are worried that your children will abandon you for her. i imagine that you feel very disposable and vulnerable right now. all i can say is that your children will never, ever prefer this woman, or any other woman, over you! children love their mothers above all else. sure they may have fun with other adults, but nobody can replace mom. intellectualy, i'm sure that makes sense, although it might be hard to believe it right now. you can get through this mama!

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
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#13 of 16 Old 01-02-2010, 03:10 PM
 
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a whole week away? really? That sounds very long. Could that be modified? My kids are 9, 5, and 2 and they spend two nights a week with their dad from 5pm until 7:30pm and then one day during the weekend he takes them from 11am until 10am the next day. And that's only been in the last 2-3months. During that time they don't want to talk to me on the phone and the baby doesn't ask for me and they have a blast with their dad(and who wouldn't? I'm the mean one who puts them to bed on time and makes them eat their veggies and he lets them watch tv all day long and miss naptime and eat chicken nuggets and fries every meal). And yeah, it hurts my feelings a little. And I'm fragile like you described some days. But seriously, I think it's a very normal reaction. I think a whole week is just too long and I think that your kids ARE having fun at their dad's house but I don't think that they don't need or want you in their life and "she" is a newer, better version of you. Think of it this way(and don't get offended please), even children who are abused and neglected love their parents. Even if they are placed in safer and more loving homes, they still long to see their parents and have their love and attention. There is no substitute for the love of your parents. This woman could and should never try to replace you. The kids might be enjoying the novelty of the new woman but she will never take over as mom.

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#14 of 16 Old 01-02-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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is there any way he would agree to just visiting this woman's house with the kids and take them back to his house to sleep at night? i would think that introducing another person into this situation so early after the divorce is final that it would be counterproductive to healing for the kids and a judge would see that and support it.

and no, if you aren't ready to allow the 2 year old to spend the night, I wouldn't. you don't have to let him walk all over you and give him exactly what he wants. it's a co-parenting relationship, not you-give-and-he-takes.

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#15 of 16 Old 01-02-2010, 08:19 PM
 
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Just sending hugs. Love 'em when they come back home and use the time as best you can when they aren't home and that might mean -- zoning in front of the tv or going to the mall and people watching or baking or cutting coupons or reading a book, or soaking in the bath or cleaning the house top-to-bottom -- whatever feels manageable; this is a stressful process ... I know!

HUGS!!!

M

PS Who is currently in a state of semi-paralysis because of her stress so she knows whereof she speaks ...
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#16 of 16 Old 01-03-2010, 12:05 PM
 
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My 5yo does prefer his dad and step-mom over me. My 2yo prefers me. Children are not capable of making these kinds of decisions for themselves. The courts try hard to make sure children of divorce spend time with both parents (outside of dangerous circumstances). When I'm disciplining my 5yo, and he tells me he likes his step mom more than me, I say, "I like her more too! But you still have to listen to me!" Even kids whose parents are married often prefer one parent, or try to play games between the parents to their own (the kid's) advantage.

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