Please tell me I didn't just mess up my kids lives :( - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 17 Old 05-29-2010, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dp and I just decided to separate. He is angry and is insisting I pretty much pack up my stuff and leave in the next couple of days (the house is in his name only, we are not married) I think I am doing the right thing. The main reason for my decision is that I don't want my kids to grow up thinking it is okay to fight and treat other people badly the way they are witnessing (no abuse, just constant misery).

Please, can anyone offer a little support that I am not screwing them up for life by making them split their time between two homes

This was both a quick decision and it has been coming on for a long time-years really. He claims he won't fight me for custody, but I"m not sure whether to believe him. In the past he has said he will. I am about to call my parents to tell them I am coming up with the kids to stay with them (I know they will be supportive, they are amazing). I barely make any money, but I think they will help me out for a while. I am going back and forth between feeling like this is the rigth thing to feeling like I am destroying their world, especially me dd who is 3. She is so attached to her home and her room and this is going to be so hard. Anyway, now I am rambling and crying and trying to make sense of all this, but I would deeply appreciate any kind words you cuold give me and stories about how your children can still thrive like this.

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#2 of 17 Old 05-29-2010, 10:01 PM
 
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*hugs* Just remember why. It's not going to be easy, but would you rather have your kids see their mama struggle and make hard decisions, or grow up in a toxic house thinking that the things that forced you to this decision are normal?

Sounds like you made the choice you had to make!

I left this winter. DS just turned three the first week after I moved out. He's transitioned beautifully! We had some struggles the first couple of weeks. But he settled in and this is home. Never mind that STBX still lives at our old house with all of DS's old furniture and things...our new house where *I* am is home. He likes to visit at Daddy's but prefers to sleep at my house (we're working on that).

It's hard, but, a year out from my hard decision to leave I can tell you that the world is a very different place now! DS is happy, I'm happy. I'm rediscovering some parts of myself that have been shelved for a decade and finding that I have the emotional energy now to do some of the things I just couldn't think about before.

Hang in there!! Hug your babies. Let your folks take care of you a bit, and know that it's going to be hard for a while. But I bet within a few days of living somewhere else, you'll find that you start to breath more easily. There will be major ups and downs. But eventually the ups will outnumber the downs. It took me years to decide too. But hitting bottom and finally making the decision was the hardest part. Moving forward, even when things were tough, I could see that world on the other side. I had hope and PEACE. And I could breath again and make plans for the future.
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#3 of 17 Old 05-29-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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Just remember that whatever the circumstance, a happy mama means happier DC. You're exactly right to think that you'd be modelling unhealthy behaviour patterns by remaining in a conflict-filled relationship. Your children are resilient and they will adapt. Yes, your DD loves her room now, she might also be very excited if given the opportunity to create a new space for herself.

As for your DP, since you both agree that the relationship isn't working out, then you both owe it to each other to let the other person go and find happiness elsewhere. There will be anger, resentment, sadness and a lot of apprehension as you try to figure out what the other person is going to want or how he's going to react, but that's all normal.

I honestly don't think you're ruined your children's lives: you're leaving to be happy and to create a healthier environment for your kids.
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#4 of 17 Old 05-29-2010, 11:36 PM
 
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In my situation, staying with my ex would have ruined my DS's life more than leaving. He doesn't have to see his dad call his mom a c*nt anymore. My DS will be six in August and it's been almost three years since I left. My DS barely misses his dad at all. He rarely talks about him (but that's because my ex is busy with his new family and is mad at me for moving an hour away so he's ignoring DS out of spite, I think.)

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#5 of 17 Old 05-30-2010, 12:07 AM
 
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Would he agree to moving out for just a short time, so that you can gather up your things at your own pace, rather than rush out of there? maybe that will give you more time to prepare your dc of what's next?

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#6 of 17 Old 05-30-2010, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone. I am at my parents, and now am freaking out that I did the wrong thing and should have tried harder to make this work-which I know in my head that I really did try and try, but I am still hoping there is a way to work things out. Right now he says that since I left and "abandoned" the family (I left him and stepdaughter at home, took my two kids with me) he is no longer willing to try. Also, no he gave me an ultimatum yesterday when I said that I wanted to stay with my parents for a couple of days to think things through and he said if I went it had to be for good and he would pack up my things and send them. He is definitely not thinking rationally right now and it just makes me really really sad that things had to go this way. And likd I said, it is really hard to stop second guessing myself and listening to him tell me that all I had to do was stay one more day and we could have sat down and made changes and this time it would have been different etc. etc. etc. Ahhh!

Anyway, so far the kiddos are doing fine, although I haven't told dd that we are not going back yet. THank you for the support, I have a feeling I will be here a lot over the next few weeks. I just need to get some of this stuff out of my head, KWIM?

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#7 of 17 Old 05-30-2010, 11:19 AM
 
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I'm sorry but when ultimatums start cropping up, it has to make you wonder if you even *want* to get back together with that person. Anyone who won't let you have a few days to think things through is clearly a) insecure and b) controlling and manipulative (gotta love the blameshifting). I completely understand how heart-wrenching this situation is (I also left a H and a DSS), but try to trust in the fact that if you're doing this, it's because it was meant to happen. Who knows what will happen down the road, in 6 months or in a year, but for right now, you've given yourself the gift of space to think. Perhaps a few days or a week of no contact might also aid your reflection.

*hugs*
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#8 of 17 Old 05-30-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halfasianmomma View Post
I'm sorry but when ultimatums start cropping up, it has to make you wonder if you even *want* to get back together with that person. Anyone who won't let you have a few days to think things through is clearly a) insecure and b) controlling and manipulative (gotta love the blameshifting).
EXACTLY.

Someone on your side, who really would work on making things better, would give you some space. Even if he's hurting and angry, he'd be ok with that space.

FTR, I took that space for a few days and STBX was hurt but accepting. He was someone who really would have done anything to change and save our marriage. But there wasn't anything he could change to fix our marriage. The only reason I mention it is because someone who really will change will give you that space and gladly if it will help you think things through and possibly save your relationship.
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#9 of 17 Old 05-30-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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ultimatums are not right. you probably have done everything you could to make it work.

your kids will me happier if they have a happy mom...and you WILL be happy! you will. give yourself some time and space. let your parents take care of your kids a couple of hours a day (if thay can and want to) and take time for yourself.
when i separated and went back to mom´s place, i couldn´t take care of my son. the deppression was so big that i didn´t want him near me...terrible huh? but i didn´t let him go either. when i did, when i let my mom take him to the park, for icecream etc...i saw my son was better.
take care of yourself, i don´t kknow how old your kids are, but i wouldn´t tell them anything for a month or so, until you KNOW what you are doing.
it´s ok, you´re on vacation! take it easy, eat healthy, sleep well and play w your kids!
you´ll be fine!
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#10 of 17 Old 05-30-2010, 09:28 PM
 
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Abusers often use that cycle. How perfectly timed that he said the day following when you left he was going to sit down and talk and was going to change for real this time. I wonder how many times you have sat and had the talk and he promised to change. And maybe did, for a week, and then went back to his old self. I might be way off, but I know from past experience and the experiences of others, that is usually how these people work. Especially with being so manipulative and giving ultimatums.

Like others have said, it is going to be hard. But it gets easier as time goes by - you will hear this over and over and that is because it`s true. I just got a letter in the mail for my appearance in court to finalize the divorce and in the back of my head I still wish exhusband and I could make it work. That`s the emotional side of my brain, the realistic side knows we made the right decision by divorcing. Trust yourself. You know your situation better than anyone else, and you are doing right by your kids to get them away from the constant fighting and ill treatment. They will benefit from having a happy and healthy Mom. Hugs!!! You are very lucky to have such supportive parents.
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#11 of 17 Old 05-30-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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My therapist recommended the book CrazyTime (which I admit I have not gotten out of the library). She says it talks exactly about the back and forth of the early days of leaving.

Hugs, and good luck.
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#12 of 17 Old 05-31-2010, 10:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halfasianmomma View Post
I'm sorry but when ultimatums start cropping up, it has to make you wonder if you even *want* to get back together with that person. Anyone who won't let you have a few days to think things through is clearly a) insecure and b) controlling and manipulative (gotta love the blameshifting). I completely understand how heart-wrenching this situation is (I also left a H and a DSS), but try to trust in the fact that if you're doing this, it's because it was meant to happen. Who knows what will happen down the road, in 6 months or in a year, but for right now, you've given yourself the gift of space to think. Perhaps a few days or a week of no contact might also aid your reflection.

*hugs*
I didn't read the other posts after this, because I really agree with every word written here.

I'm still in the begining of all this myself, but deep down somewhere I still think DD and future LO will be better off out of the situation I was in.

I am so sorry you are dealing with this and going through this. You have always been such a great Stepmom pal to me and always offered such great BTDT advice.

I'm thinking about you.

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#13 of 17 Old 05-31-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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I'm sorry you're going through this Your 3 yr old can always spend time in her room when she visits daddy. And she will also have a NEW room at grandma's and that will be exciting! I made a point to let my kids know that we are family and we stick together when we went to new places and that their dad was having a hard time and needed to work on things so he couldn't come with us. Don't worry about the kids adjusting to the change, kids are very resilient and accepting. Focus on being clear-headed and thinking things through logically and being clear about your expectations and goals in life. Everything else will fall into place.
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#14 of 17 Old 06-04-2010, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi mamas-
sorry I haven't been back to update-I have just been trying to maintain and not think about things too much.

Things are still kind of up in the air- we have had a few conversations about what we need in order for this to work, but haven't really come to any conclusions. We actually have a counseling appointment next week, so hopefully that will be good. Right now I feel like we are on just two totally different pages. I have stayed really strong though and feel like I am holding my own in these conversations and am much more aware of how he often shifts the blame to me, so that is progress. Now if only he could see it without me having to point it out!

It is really hard to hear those words "emotional abuse" because I just can't imagine that happening to me for all these years, but so much of what you are all saying rings true. Thanks for giving me something to really think about it, and anymore information on this would be appreciated.

JSMa, Hi again! While I'm sorry you are in this position, you sound great-and congratulations on your pregnancy!! I'm sure you can sympathize how hard this is, especially with a stepchild back at home-he hasn't told her anythign yet and it is getting more and more awkward the longer we are gone.

So anyway, lots to think about, and while I am still hopeful that we can work things out, I do feel good about taking this (big) step back and really considering what I need here. I guess the question is how to get the point where I can really believe that we can change as a couple.

Thanks again everyone!

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#15 of 17 Old 06-04-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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A good book to look at is "Why does he do that? Inside the minds of angry and controlling men" by Lundy Bancroft

Thyra recommended it to me, and it really did help a lot more. It's a good book as it shows differences between someone just being angry sometimes and saying the wrong thing, vs a pattern of it and it then falling more under the lines of abuse.

It also has a great list of how to tell if he is changing. Which is very eye opening and can give clarity to a situation as well.

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#16 of 17 Old 06-04-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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take a deep breath. and you are doing what is best for yourself and by default you are doing what is best for your children. be gentle with yourself.

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#17 of 17 Old 06-05-2010, 04:37 AM
 
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Seriously, you didn't mess up your kids. You know that deep down, I think. Kids really are resiliant.

I am glad that he is willing to go to counceling with you. Whether that helps you to work things out or gives you both clarity to end the marriage, it will help.

Stay strong mama.
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