My ex and childs father seemed to be always up and down. At times we'd be very happy doing things as a family and other times we'd be fighting because he felt like he didnt have any freedom and would lie. (we're young parents) Now we are in the middle of breaking up and im torn between litterally just not leaving so i dont have to go back to work AND go to school at the same time and miss time with my daughter. OR i could stand my ground and leave but be spending litterly most of my week working and my daughter would be with either my mom or my ex and not me. (shes 6 months old) Im very torn because it makes me feel like im being a push over and not sticking up for myself in a unhappy relationship but honestly idk if i'm ready to work, go to school, and be a mom. I'm very afraid i will miss spending all my time with my daughter and also not have control over what my daughters doing when shes with my ex. Has anyone else had experience similar to this?
Mine may not be the popular opinion. In fact if I hadn't lived it I probably wouldn't give it. I say stay as long as you can and try to change the way you think about your living situation. At the same time you should be working toward getting yourself to a better place so you CAN leave and things won't be so hard.
After my son was born my relationship changed and ex was suddenly not the attentive loving guy I had fallen for. We struggled to get along and find our way and be happy. We tried a lot of different things to improve our situation but nothing really worked. There would be periods of calm and periods of strife. But for the most part I was unhappy enough to leave from the time my son was a little over a year old. I stayed and kept trying for my son though. I wanted him to have two parents who stayed together. I did not want to be a single mom. But I also knew that my ex did not hold many of the same ideals about raising children as I did. He thought our 6 month old should enjoy a banana split with us- and why give him plain potatoes when there is gravy? He thought our 3 year old should watch Jurassic Park with him, etc, etc. When we went anywhere ex would just walk and count on the 3 year old to be following him- no concern for him running in the street, getting lost, etc, etc. I could go on and on. I knew the longer I stayed with ex the safer ds would be and the happier I would be about the way he was being raised. I knew I had more control over the situation staying with him than separating from him.
A series of events happened the year my son was four that I felt showed me how little ex really cared for me anymore. In January I left him in anger and frustration because of something that happened. I only stayed away one night but while I sat in that hotel room crying I pulled out paper and pen and made a plan. I wrote down all the things I needed/wanted to do before I left him- things that would improve my situation- like paying off my car and like looking for a job. And also things that would just make me feel like I was working toward leaving- you know like cleaning out the attic- bringing things to goodwill- whatever. I knew I wanted to leave in August so my son could start school where we were living and not move after the school year had started. I tried to think of my situation as a roommate situation and having the roommate allowed me the luxury of being with my son and trying to improve my situation.
I went back and lived with him for the next 8 months as we had lived for the past 5 years. I still tried to talk to him about things and hoped things would improve- but I planned for and worked toward leaving. Some may think I wasted all those years that I was unhappy- staying with him. Maybe if I had left when ds was a baby I would be in a new relationship already and happily settled down or whatever. But I have never regretted it at all. In fact so many things that have happened over the past year since we split that have made me really glad that I waited until my son was older to leave. Some examples- his dad started dating a week after we split and the woman moved in 6 weeks later, 3 mos after that she and her 3 kids moved out, my ex lives in the 4 br house we shared but my ds does not have a room there or even a BED, he usually comes home in the same clothes I send him in (3 days later), he doesn't eat a fruit or a vegetable ever at his dad's house, he does drink plenty of soda though, he has no bedtime, he has watched rated R movies and played rated M video games. I could go on and on.
It's not ideal. I still don't like ds living that way- but it is much easier giving up the control when he's 5 years old (now 6) and I can talk to him about this stuff. If I had to deal with his father doing the stupid, self centered things he does and ds was still a baby. I think I might've gone a little cuckoo. I would've worried for his safety- most definitely. And I would've tried to contriol things I couldn't and there would've been tons more drama and discord. Almost everytime ds comes home and tells me something about the weekend instead of being pissed I say to myself- thank goodness I stayed as long as I did.
Sorry this turned out so long. I hope it's a little helpful.
thankyou!! this helped a lot. This is pretty much the same situation I'm in and honestly I've thought multiple times about going to a hotel and staying for a night or to just so he would be scared that we aren't come back but i haven't yet. It's not like its horrible and i get abused or anything its just that i think he has really stopped caring if i was upset about things which makes it ok to do whatever he wants because he knows when he comes home i will just yell at him and nothing wil every happen about it. i think your idea of making a list of everything you needed to do/get before you left him was a very good idea and I'm going to do that tonight. Thanks so much for telling your story:)
I agree. Stay for the time being, unless abuse develops. Finish school and give your child a chance to become verbal and have some early self-advocacy skills. It will be much easier in a few years. Just be very careful to avoid having another child in the meantime, so you don't end up back at square one.
I don't think it's necessarily bad to stay (as long as you and the child are safe), but I would strongly urge you to be doing something to better your lives (school comes to mind). Then when you are done with school you CAN leave and be in a better place with your child.
Another thing to keep in mind- depending on what you are going to school for, you can do online programs in many areas. This will allow you to still spend time with your child but keep you on the path to freedom.
Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)
I also agree with staying as long as you possibly can and having your life set up so you can leave and be secure. That said, please, please, please don't let yourself get sucked in to emotional mind-games. You'll hate yourself for it. Conduct yourself with dignity, and respect, and even if he acts like the worst over-grown toddler ever, remain someone that your child can be proud of.
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