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Thread: Family life falling apart

  1. #1

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    Family life falling apart

    Hi all, I'm new to the forum and really need some help trying to put things into perspective. I'm on the brink of ending my relationship with my fiance.

    We have been together for 5 years. Engaged for 2. We have two children, 15 months and 7 weeks, both of which were planned. We do not live together. She lives with her mum and our children and I live with my parents. The plan was for us to save up to buy our own place but this is taking longer than we both expected.

    I have been very unhappy, pretty much since the birth of our first son. From the start, everything was her and her mum, and for me I was just a convenient person to have around, to go and get something or go and do the shopping. I was an outsider, I wasn't allowed to do anything with my son and when I did I was told it was wrong. It wasn't wrong, it was just different to how she and her mum did things. I had difficulties bonding with my son, because I wasn't able to do what came naturally to me, I was having to adapt and do what was natural to her and what she thought was best. Our relationship became very strained and I pushed myself away.

    Our first child was breast fed for approx 6 months and our new baby is currently being breast fed - I accept that this is her role and not something I could/can do. I'm going to focus on my relationship with our 15 month old here because that is the long standing issue and I know that a newborn needs to be with his mother, especially when breastfeeding.

    We have pretty much argued every other week for the last 15 months. Everything I do is criticised. I can only do what she tells me I can do with our children. It always comes back to routines. She says that I do not know his routine, like when he is tired, when he has his nap, when he goes to sleep on an evening - despite the fact that I shower/bath him every night. There is always an excuse - she says that I do not know his routine, while saying that he does not have a routine - he will sleep when he is tired. He will show when he is tired and that is when he will go to bed - always usually aroiund the same time depending on when he woke up from his afternoon nap. He will come up to me, lay his head on my knee and cuddle me - HE IS TIRED - yet when I ask him if he is tired - I get the same response back from her every time - he always does that. Even though he is tired, we then have to wait until she decides it's bed time - basically she will not acknowledge that I can read him like she does. It's so frustrating - afternoon nap time - he again showed signs he is tired - I asked him if he wanted to sleep (acknowleding my son who is showing me he needs something - he cannot yet talk) - yet again, no he is not tired, he always does that. 5 minutes later he is asleep on her.

    Whilst I do his showers, I am not allowed to put him to bed because I do not do this properly. He always wakes up when I put him to bed - he always wakes up when she puts him to bed - then I get blamed somehow - because I should be able to put him to bed and look after him.

    My parents have seen my 15 month old approx 8-10 times since he has been born. They were smokers and the first reason he could not come around to my parents house was because the smoke still exists in the house - total redecoration of the entire house.
    From that moment on, there is always a reason why my parents cannot see him - for example when he was going through a stage of putting everything in his mouth, he put my mums finger in his mouth (he did it with me a number of times) Her hands were clean as she washed them prior to us arriving - yet it was my mum putting her finger in his mouth. My parents and I were not allowed to kiss him, despite her and her mum kissing him all of the time. It got to the point that my parents seeing him so little, when they did see him they were so excited to see him - they they're overbaring. They have seen him 8-10 times in 15 months and for approx 30 to 60 mins each time.

    As it was causing a problem, we arranged a meeting between my parents, her, her mum and myself - this didn't end well - as usual it turned into an argument where she is right and no one elses opinion counts. My parents haven't see my first born since his 1st birthday, and the new born since the day he was born.

    Because my parents see very little of their grandchildren, I try and take as many pictures for them as possible. Before I send any pictures to my parents I have to send them to my fiance for her approval and because she should see them before anyone else should - yet she does not do the same back. I am not allowed to take any pictures of the children in her house - yet we very rarely leave the house.

    They is a clear issue between her and my parents - i've tried to be reasonable - she doesn't want them in her house, she doesn't want to come to my house, she doesn't want to leave the house - so my suggestion is to take the 15 month old to see my parents either at their house or somewhere neutral - no, because she does not trust me, I do not know his routine & it will effect his sleeping habits.

    I am not allowed to take him out on my own because she doesn't trust me. She criticises everything I do. It's got to the point that I am so used to getting told I am doing something wrong, and so afraid of doing something and being told that I am getting something wrong, that fear takes over and now I get simple things wrong - like putting a nappy on correctly. I'm scared of doing anything with my children. I am a shadow of the person I used to be. I am literaly like a zombie.

    We are not living together. I tend to stay at home/my parents each night and go visit the children each night and weekends. Stay, do the shower for the 15 month year old, watch some TV with her and then go home. I usually get home around 1-2am each night and start work at 9am. Any spare time that I have (when not working or sleeping a limited amount) I am at hers/her mums house, basically just sat there while they watch rubbish reality tv/game shows on the TV. I used to stay over, but as our relationship has strained I have stopped staying over.

    I used to enjoy watching sports but I am not allowed to do this anymore, because I have to sacrifce things I enjoy for the children. I have no problem in sacrificing anything whatsoever for my children. What I do have a problem with is spending my spare time sat in their living room - that is literally all that I do. Before we got together I used to go to the football, every game, home and away. Due to family commitments I now go hardly any games - because I should be spending quality time with my children/family. Only it's not quality time, it's sat in the living room being criticised all the time and living in fear of doing something that I am not allowed to do. She never wants to go out, and says it messes up his sleep. So bascially we have to stay in pretty much every day, and if/when we go out, she's always angry with me.

    I used to do a lot of overtime at work, to try and save for a deposit for the house, but i'm not allowed to do any overtime because she needs help with the children, only she does not accept any help. Basically I go to work and then I have to go to hers until the children are asleep. Then we watch some tv because it's the only time she gets to relax. Occasionally the 15 month old will wake up in the night - she gets really angry and frustrated, but she will not let me help. So I am bascically just sat there in the living room until she comes back down - sometimes I'm there until 4am, then have work at 9am.

    I feel like she wants to control all aspects of our childrens life and my life and does not see me as an equal parent. I am reaching breaking point at being controlled all the time. I have literally being miserable/unhappy since the birth of our first born. We have spoken about this a number of times and have been seeing a relationship counsellor. She twists everything I say and says it's untrue or a lie and the session usually focuses on her agenda. I have had enough.

    I did end the relationship around 5 months ago, only to agree to give it another try. Because she was pregnant with our second baby, and because she made it clear that I would not be part of either of the childrens life and I would not be named on the birth certificate of our second baby. She said that she would try and change and that she would try and help me learn what to do with the children. Basically from them on, I have to do what she says with the children and cannot use my own mind - yet when I ask her how she wants me to do something, she tells me to use my own initiative. I'm lost, I don't know what to do any more.

    I'm now at the stage where I am thinking it would be best for clean break from the relationship. She has made it clear that she would make things difficult for me to see the children - however I know that I have rights. I am thinking that although I would have less access to the children, I would have more quality time with them (have very little quality time at the moment) and I would begin to repair my life.

    I'm sure there are lots of things that I am missing here, im basically just asking for some perspective - am I right to feel like this? Should I be a better partner/father? Am I being selfish?

  2. #2
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    I think you need to apply for part custody. She and her mom are taking mommy role just a little too far . It is called alienation of the other parent . Talk to a lawyer immediately .

  3. #3

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    Thank You Seraphim, I have spoken with a couple of friends at work who were concerned for me (after noticing a massive decline in my personality) and they have pretty much said the same.

    I'm just at the point where I'm scared to making that final decision - atleast currently I go around each day and see my children. I fear that she will turn them against me and she has pretty much said that she would do that when I broke things off previously

  4. #4
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MercMan
    Thank You Seraphim, I have spoken with a couple of friends at work who were concerned for me (after noticing a massive decline in my personality) and they have pretty much said the same.

    I'm just at the point where I'm scared to making that final decision - atleast currently I go around each day and see my children. I fear that she will turn them against me and she has pretty much said that she would do that when I broke things off previously
    You need to document everything and see a lawyer . Never, I mean never have another child with this girl. And she is acting like a spoiled girl. You have seen what she’s like now so never do that again . Get a lawyer immediately . These are your children too. She didn’t create them out of thin air and you have rights too.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Unfortunately stalling living together as a family is just not working. You need to get an apt together and live as a family. All the issues and problems you describe are a result of you living with your parents, being an off-site dad and her living with her family. Stop using 'saving for a house' as an excuse not to live as a family and allowing your and her parents to do everything, pay everything and stir up all the issues you are having.

  7. #6

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    Wiseman, I agree with you to a certain extent. You see, up until the last 6 or so months I have been pretty much living there and staying over almost every night for the 3-4 years. It's only recently where I have been staying away. The original plan was for us to stay other at both houses, initially just me and her, and then when the first child was born, for all 3 of us to share houses. Initially that wasn't possible at my parents due to lack of space, but once my brother moved out there was more space, so straight away I decorated and had planned for us both to spend time at both houses - that never happened because she would have been uncomfortable - but it's ok for me to be unfcomfortable at hers.

    I don't believe she would leave her mum if I am honest. When we have looked at houses in the past, we have never really agreed on where we would get one. I am more realistic - there are some good areas where you can get good value for money on a good 2-3 bedroom house. Only she wants the best - which means we have to save up 30-40k for a deposit to get her "forever home" in a posh area of the city, which would also be close to her mum, so her mum could come and visit - it can't be too far away from her mum because although she drives, she only drives where she knows and gets confused when driving somewhere new.

    I believe some of the problems stem from us not living together in our own house, but not all of them.

    The problem have is if we do agree to buy somewhere and it doesn't work out, then I will end up having to move out and continue to pay for a house I cannot visit.

    Renting is not an option, she will not rent as she sees it as wasted money - which I tend to agree with, but we do not have enough for a deposit at the moment to buy our own place.

    Everything comes back to money - I pay for maintainance of the children, and we also have a small joint account for emergencies if we need money for the children, yet when the baby monitor happened to break when I was using it (looking it up online it is a known problem that breaks), I got the blame from breaking it and had to go out and buy out of the little amount I had left that month leaving me with nothing to put towards savings because I broke it (it just broke). So rather than using the emergency fund for the exact kind of thing it was for, it had to take out of the limited money i had left, leaving me with no money for the last 2 weeks, having to borrow from my parents for fuel so I can go to work and visit the children.

    Our finances have over the last 6 months become totally seperate and she has made it a case that what is hers is hers and what is mine is ours kind of thing - she has become very controlling and keeps her things seperate and can be quite secretive. The joint children fund that we have, she has stopped paying into that and took her share of the money that she has paid into it - assume that she thinks I am going to steal it.
    Currently I am struggling to put anything towards savings due to outgoings and over the last few months reduced income following the birth of baby number 2 I was off work for 3 weeks and since returning to work I have not been able to do any overtime.

    So whilst I agree that moving in together may solve some issues, I do not believe it is the answer to all of our problems.

    Also, wiseman, to clarify, my parents arn't doing anything - they're not allowed to see my children.

  8. #7
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    I would get a lawyer in the morning .

  9. #8

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    Thanks Saraphim - I guess getting some legal advice is a wise idea - No harm in looking at my options and knowing my rights

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    You need to support your children one way or the other. Whether you are married, living together, separated, divorced, etc. If you question her use of the funds, get court ordered child support for a fair price. Since you are living more like divorced parents than a couple anyway. What are you paying her parents for utilities, bills, food, housing, babysitting, etc for your children?

  11. #10

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    The money that I am paying to her for maintainance is in line with what the courts would award - plus i will generally go grab a few bits of shopping a couple of times a week. I asked how how much she needed to support the children and pay the amount she asked for.

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