confused. whats more important.?
Hello, first time posting but needed to find a safe place.
Ill try to keep it simple and short.
me: two kids (8&12) live with me, see dad fortnight weekends (court ordered). marriage ended due to DV and Ive finally recovered to the place where I am almost back to normal functioning (or whatever that may be).
him: two kids (9&11)4.5 yr relationship. shares kids 50/50 with his ex - not court ordered just mutually agreed.
us: together 5 years, had child together who is now 2years old. Lived in or own places first 3.5years, then moved in together before baby was born, this resulted in his kids living primarily with mum during the week and weekends with us and then approx 70/30split with school holidays (to us for longer time). Ex wife and kids started having problems with the arrangement about 9 months ago, kids wanted dad closer to them. our houses are 2 hours apart. Dad ended up moving back to where older kids were. Our relationship continued, albeit difficult as I feel like a single mum to 3 kids and miss him consistently.
We are struggling with not seeing each other, he misses our youngest and my kids miss him terribly also. I am currently in a position where I feel happy and building confidence again. seeing a psychologist for best part of last 7 years and dealing with what the medical field label PTSD from my first relationship. I am so so scared of loosing the most wonderful man in my life, and we both are really upset and confused as to what we need to do or more importantly whats more important in our lives at the moment.
I can not move to where he lives currently, I am finally settled with kids, schooling, working, study, and have a huge extended support crew and family close by who I see almost daily. The thought of moving to where he lives terrifies me, its like history coming alive and I know I cant go back to that mental state again. Its very close to where my ex lives. He on the other hand doesn't want to leave where he is because of his older kids and now blames me for not just moving myself and the 3 kids to where he is. I don't know how to explain to him why Im so scared. Ive tried but he thinks its just excuses. I wish it was.
We want to be together but it feels like we live separate lives and everyone is suffering (except his kids as they are happy with the week at dads and week at mums). I guess Im after any advice anyone has, how to deal with emotions, its like i live fifo when we see each other weekends. Im just lost.confused.
Hello needingadvice2018 and welcome to the forums.
I think your partner needs to take a good long look in the mirror before criticising you for not moving.
You have a stable position where you are. Support network. A sense of hardwon safety and stability. You also have a 2 year old!! All four other children are old enough to understand why they need to travel. Your 2 year old is not.
Likewise your extended support network helps you to be able to work and study. This is incredibly worthwhile. Domestic violence crushes your self esteem. It is a great thing that you are studying and working and building your confidence.
How long realistically does he expect you to continue a fifo relationship? Or does he think you will give in and move to him? I do not think he seems to have considered the needs of you, your children or your baby at all.
I think him packing up and moving is inconsiderate. Yes he has a duty to his elder children but what about his baby?
Why should you move? If your ex is nearby I would be staying well away. Do you have a therapist you see? What about having a couples session. The therapist will be able to support you and validate to your partner that the fear you experience is very real.
His elder children are important too. But where is the compromise? Why is it on you to uproot your life when you are happy at last?
I hope you keep writing. The forums are a gentle place and you will find support here.
Thank you both for the replies. Its difficult. I love him and have been through absolute hell (and survived!!!!) and my guard was up for so so long. But he really is someone I connect with on so many levels. I miss him not being here and just around... originally he was doing a week there and then a week here... but it felt like one week was ABC and the next was XYZ.... and this made it super hard on the kids but also me... I seem to be emotionally unstuck with the constant switch around time. He is devastated I won't move, Ive tried explaining why but to him I can easily move, my kids can move, I have no important things keeping me where I am.... he says he cant move because his kids cant move (as in they are shared with their mum so their school is where he lives).
I really don't know what to do, we don't want to separate but Im not coping with FIFO lifestyle. Seems so much happens - one week he wasn't here our bub was super sick, I went 3 days with perhaps 7 hours sleep total and I was exhausted thankfully my family stepped in and assisted with school runs, dinners etc and bub ended up in hospital.. but dad was stuck where he was because he has no support down there so no one to look after his kids so he could leave. His parents live in a different state. Its not that I couldn't cope but rather things like this make me realise just how much I miss him, and how much I want to be with him all the time, as do the kids. But neither of my kids want to move as its been a pretty horrific state to get to where we are now... subjected to so many interviews, courts, DV meetings and I only now feel free again. GGGHHH my rant is so petty but I just don't know whats best. 😞
I know your partner has older children he has to take responsibility for, but moving away to be near them meant he took himself away from his current partner and the child you have together. What about his responsibility to your child? To you? It seems he has chosen supporting his ex & their children over supporting you.
I'm sorry if that sounds harsh but he made the choice to move and leave you, when you look at it objectively that is what has happened. You have a great support system where you are and it would be risky, with your history, to leave that behind. Also moving back closer to an abusive ex is not something you would want to do, that's very understandable. I'd be questioning why your current partner doesn't understand that.
There are other ways he can see his older children more, like travelling on weekends or having them stay with you more often. Has your partner explored any of those options? Is his intention to live near them permanently? If so, he's clearly expecting you to move. If you don't want to (and you have valid reasons), that's a big problem. He needs to be open to discussing the options with you without blaming you or insisting you change everything for his sake. Relationships are about compromise, not sacrifice.
No, your rant is not petty in the slightest. You are feeling torn from a place where you have done a lot of hard work to feel confident and stable, and your kids are settled.
What I don't understand is why your partner thinks his ex and his older kids' needs/wants are more important than yours and your baby and children's needs? He has a life and responsibilities with you and the 3 kids, it doesn't seem fair that with that in mind, he just up and left to be closer to his older children because they started to have a problem with the distance and he now expects you to uproot everything as well? After essentially leaving you as a single mum with 3 kids and sick bub to care for ...
It just sounds like there wasn't much thought and consideration put in about how this affects you, it seems to be about him and his other family? You matter just as much! Your baby and your children just as much!
With a bit of thought and discussion I would be surprised if a compromise couldn't be reached. At the moment you're 2 hours apart ... would it be possible to move halfway so he can still be relatively close to his older children and you can retain your (extremely important) support networks, work commitments, stability etc? Maybe not, with school catchment areas ... but I'm just thinking out loud. Actually it's not really fair to expect to uproot your kids again, after everything they've been through ...
I think your partner is being unfair in his request, and for him to say you have nothing to stop you leaving where you are now ... does he not recognise hope important everything you've built there, stability for your kids etc. is to your wellbeing and security? That feels a bit belittling to me.
You Are Important!!!
Hi again, just a little update.
We had a conversation about the situation, but in reality nothing has changed. We both seem too set in our ideas of what we want. I tried to explain that I feel he just moved and left me however he believes he was only moving here for 12 months then directly back and that I was going with him (and the kids). Clearly our communication must have been bad as I would never agree to move to his area, nor put that sort of pressure on the kids.
I think Birdy you've hit it right, just feels so belittling that he doesn't understand where I am coming from. I totally get he has both a responsibility and expectations to be there for his kids, but yep being the '2nd family' isn't fun. He said he never puts them (first family) first... that he does all the driving and drags his kids to see us on their weekends (between two different sat and sun sports his kids play so he drives them back for the games etc). It just so tiring. I take my kids down to his place but we have had events on here that they have come to hence why we haven't been to his place for a few weeks. Regardless its a petty argument.
It seems yet again Ive made the wrong decision with a relationship. My only saving grace is that this guy is not one who would ever hurt me physically or emotionally (I get relationships are emotional but not in the way my past has been). I wish things were different and it was a fairy tale ending but its not.
I tried to explain to him that his coming and going every other week is just so disruptive, then the times he's away for work always has to impact 'my weeks' as he won't do it during his kids weeks. Unfortunately I don't think I've explained it too well to him because he just got upset and asked 'well what about my time with baby? when do I get to see baby'. He's now asked for baby to go to him every wednesday-sunday (week when he has his kids). Baby will be going to same childcare he used for his older kids and then he will work from home when possible etc. I am so so torn about this. I don't dislike child care as I believe it has its place, but to take baby away from home base and into day care so baby can see dad and older kids for a couple of hours at night just seems so unfair to baby. (baby is 17 months - sorry i wrote 2 yrs above). I don't want baby to miss out on time with dad and stepsiblings, but just not sold on driving him there to go into care. sigh. wish I had a magical wand.
What am I doing wrong? 😞
Ok I'm just going to throw it out there... Does he want this relationship? He's just thrown a bloody child sharing arrangement at you! What the hell.
No. Wednesday to Sunday! In daycare! When bub has a Mum and extended family capable and willing to care. No way. That is utter crap. Baby is 17 months old for goodness sake. His older kids get to play happy families but his 17 month old has to travel and have a routine all over the place? No way.
As you can see I feel pretty strongly about this. I think your partner is being a total arse and thinking of himself not your baby.
What do your family have to say about it? I don't think you're doing anything wrong. Personally I think you seem remarkably calm. I'd be an utter banshee by now.
Time for a really blunt conversation I think. As in finding out who he is committed to. He's happy to move and uproot your life to help his ex wife. But wants you to drive and drop off your baby for half the week or move near your ex where you will be isolated and unsafe.
Maybe having a family meeting might be an idea. With a counsellor would be even better. They can point out to him this is utterly unreasonable.
I am really sorry to hear you have now been thrown this completely unfair situation.
I agree with what Nat has written above.
The scenario he has requested is, in my eyes, absolutely ridiculous. How on earth is this fair on your bub? I can't even fathom how your partner could think this was a reasonable scenario, and how this could be good for your baby?
Again, he seems only to be thinking of himself and his older children's wants and needs.
What do you think of Nat's suggestion above, about a family meeting with a third party mediating?
Thank you Birdy and Nat, I am thankful for your replies honestly.
I understand he misses out on seeing our baby, and his kids obviously miss out tremendously by only seeing bub one every fortnight/month depending on their weekends. I certainly don't have any issue with the amount of time he or his kids spend with bub and my kids for that matter - honestly we were going along really well as such a nice family unit (getting adjusted to everything takes a lot of damn time!!) and I certainly don't want to distance any one at all. He was the father figure in my eldest's eyes and that connection is really hard to watch the pain now its basically broken - I feel like the failure in it all because if I wasn't so stupid to be so scared about my past then I probably would have moved. I cant get him to understand this, Ive worked out he is slightly emotionally dumb (I cant think of a better way to say it). Sort of like if you cant see a injury then it doesn't exist?
Yes I would certainly prefer bub doesn't go into day care just for the few random hours at night they would get together - and I really wouldn't want this to happen until bub is possibly another year older and the comprehension kicks in - at the moment with bub it's all about eat, sleep, drink, bath, repeat 🙂
Yes I have now booked a counselling session - but not with my therapist as I don't want it to look like its staged, someone completely independent who won't know either of our situations/backgrounds. Its still a few weeks away however. Don't suppose there are any suggestions of how I can approach him/the situation until then? I feel like distancing myself and the kids isn't really fair, although its the easiest way I know how to cope and continue to function as the best parent I can be. I hate seeing my kids so hurt by all of this.
really appreciate the replies thank you both.