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Thread: Family life falling apart

  1. #11
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Ooof. Hard situation.

    I very much agree with Sera that you need to talk to a lawyer, ASAP. This is not a relationship anymore, not really. Can that change? Maybe, though the odds do not look good. Time to hedge against those odds by getting a clear understanding of your rights, of how things would and could look if the relationship is formally dissolved in favor of a co-parenting relationship.

  2. #12

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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Ooof. Hard situation.

    I very much agree with Sera that you need to talk to a lawyer, ASAP. This is not a relationship anymore, not really. Can that change? Maybe, though the odds do not look good. Time to hedge against those odds by getting a clear understanding of your rights, of how things would and could look if the relationship is formally dissolved in favor of a co-parenting relationship.
    If I do make clean break from her, she will make it very difficult for me to see the children. It will result in a bitter court battle and she will try and turn the children against me. This is not good for the children. They shouldn't have to go through this.

    I've seen how her mum talks about her dad and how they have a very strained relationship. I fear that initially I will not get to see the children, and further down the line they will resent me for walkiing away from their mum

  3. #13
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    That's why I'm saying you need to talk to a lawyer. You do have rights, plain and simple. Learning a bit about them, and how all that works, is far healthier than sitting around in fear of things you don't actually understand. Will is be potentially very difficult? Yes. Are you already in a difficult situation? Yes. This, at least right now, is about lessening the difficulty through knowledge.

    Is she open to counseling together? Are you? How was your relationship before the birth of your oldest? Strong, loving? Or were some of the issues that are playing out now playing out then, but at a lower frequency?

  4. #14

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    Yes we are currently going go counselling. She is reluctantly going - she said that she will go so that she can tell the children that she did everything in her power to make it work between us.
    Initially when I suggested counseling at the start of the year, she refused to go and said that all of the issues were mine and that I should go on my own, which I did, but that didn't really help because it was issues between the two of us.
    We have both been going for a few month now, I think while it has helped a little, it has not got to any of the main issues - because she is very stubborn and refuses to be criticised - what she is doing is correct and will not let anyone tell her otherwise. She will often argue with the counsellor if she says something she does not like. Everything gets turned on me - it's like I am not there. She refuses to acknowledge my feelings most if the time and when she does she twists it saying that I am making things up anyway so i see it as just a waste of money going there.

    There were issues prior to the birth of our first child - they've just been magnified massivly since the children came along.
    Previously the problems were down to me not being able to spend time with my friends/colleagues. Since we got together I reckon I have seen my friends a handful of times and lost contact with a lot of them. I used to go to the football with a group of friends, this no longer happens. She says that I love football more than her and that I need to make sacrifices and to put her first - I have done this many times and very rarely go to the football now.
    basically since we got together I spend all my time with her and never get the chance to have time to myself and do the things that I enjoy. Now she uses the children as the excuse for me not to go. As i said in my first post, I will sacrifice anything and everything for my children - but there is nothing to sacrifice as just being sat in her house feeling misarable and not being able to spend quality time with the children, while her and her mum watch the kardashians on the tv.

    She doesn't really have any friends as she says that she does not get on with people. She has fallen out with people in her two previous jobs and has decided that she needs to be self employed moving forward as she cannot get along with people. Because she does not have friends and hobbies does not mean that I cannot.

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  6. #15
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    Why did you choose to have two children with her and not marry or live with her? Did she ever want to marry you or live with you? I agree that you should shift focus to custody issues if you don't see yourself marrying her and living as a stable family.

  7. #16

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    We are engaged. It was always my intention/wish to get sorted with House/wedding first. However she wanted children and became obsessed with needing to have children. Children were always on the cards for me, but further down the line. I wanted to make her happy so agreed we would try for a baby.
    Following the issues we had after the first was born, i did say I do not think it was the right time to have a second baby so quickly. We needed to work on our relationship - i guess she grind me down to agreeing to try for a second baby.
    I wouldn't go as far as saying the second baby was a mistake, but I think the timing was. We should have waited got our relationship/family/house sorted first, but she was so focused on having them close together in age i just kind of went along with it.
    I should have stood up to her more, I know that and I feel that I have let her walk all over me for far too long.

  8. #17
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I feel for you.

    Here's the thing, though: You, right now, are as hyper-focused on her being the source of your troubles as she is focused on you being the source of hers. That tug of war can go on indefinitely, with each of you in some way finding fleeting sense of power by blaming the other. She may be more "active" in that instinct, but passivity is a form of action, just as corrosive, and one you sound prone, in this dynamic, to indulge in.

    That's not judgement, but an observation. Were I to play shrink, I'd say that passive part of you existed before you met her and that she knows how to exploit it. It is not calculated, but instinctual, all that. Part of your "chemistry" together, a sour component of whatever is, or was, sweet.

    In other words, she did not "make" you spend less time with your friends. She said x and y about you spending time with your friends, and you chose to respond to x and y in a few ways. Where someone else would have maybe ended a relationship, you spent less time with them, while resenting her for "doing that" to you, and by turning that "sacrifice" into a kind of currency that you expect can be cashed in—for, say, the sort of love and affection you want but aren't quite getting. A precedent was set, and by the sounds of it that same precedent led to having kids in the way you did, and has now led to the family dynamic you're in today.

    Sacrifice is not noble, I'm sorry to say. It is, yes, a thing we do plenty of in life, but it is not a transaction. Just as your infant children do not shower you in thanks for saying up until 4am, and just like any parent will become a shell of a person waiting for an infant to thank them, a partner's job is not to reward sacrifices with love. That's why we pick partners, in an ideal world, where sacrifices hardly feel like sacrifices, but instead extensions of love. They empower us, the sacrifices, rather than drain us. Were I to generously observe the two of you, from what you've written, I'd say you each picked someone who brings out more weaker qualities in the other than stronger ones.

    What to do with all that? Well, time to get active in addressing it. There are children here, and there is your own spirit. The health of latter is essential to the health of the former. You can't, in the end, change her mode of operating—she can only do that, or opt not to—but you can tweak your own and she how she responds to those tweaks. Talking to a lawyer is active, for instance. It is not a chess move in the game of war, but a move for you: gathering information so you are not reliant on her to be the only encyclopedia on the shelf.

  9. #18
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    How old are you two? I too think you need to see a lawyer ASAP, like tomorrow, work out a custody agreement which is on paper and she cannot ignore it. If you have scheduled visitation, she must abide by it. She sounds dreadful to me and I cant figure out why you had two kids with her.

    Call that lawyer, dont let another day go by.

  10. #19

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    Thank you Bluecastle. Very interesting, eye opening and though provoking.

    It's interesting that you say that our chemistry is bringing out the negatives in each other.
    When we first got together, everything was fun - we would always we doing something having fun - we wanted to be together all the time and when we were not together we would be talking to each other on the phone all of the time. But over the last 3 or so years we've hardly done anything together. There has been a massive change in our relationship for a long while, and long before she was pregnant. I'm trying to think back to wondering what is was that changed it - and if I can identify that - can we both make positive changes to rectify the problems

  11. #20

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    I'm 34 and she is 29.
    We genuinly loved each other - and thought we both know what we wanted - a great family life, with loving children. However everything has just turned toxic.

    I know that of course this is all only my point of view and she will have a different point of view. But as I keep telling her, it's my point of view and how I feel, but she just dismisses what I say and says that I am making it all up.

    I did go through a stage of snapping back at her a lot when she would tell me all the things that I am doing wrong - that was also a big problem for her. Now I'm kind of numb to it, i just dont even bother responding to her anymore.

    In my mind I think I have made my mind up - I just feel that I will be letting the children down.

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