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confused. whats more important.?

Community Member

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.

11 Replies 11

Hi all,

I'm back as needed to see if anyone can give me clarity I presently can't see.

we tried again for a few months to continue the long distance stuff... it's hard. He's so committeed with his older kids and work and he does make a big effort when he can to be here for me or my kids... but I just can't continue. I've told him I don't want this sort of part time relationship, twice now he's made it clear his primary concern is his kids (inc our child together) and both times I've been so upset that he thinks his time with them is more important the our time together. Am I being unreasonable? I have done years of councelling (from previous marriage issues and dv) and all professionals have always told me it's important to prioritise your spouse/partner and your family/kids come second to that... like a h Utes voice together.. yet everytime he has a decision to make he chooses what his kids want.. they seriously call the shots over him, and his ex wife still manipulates every issue to end up with him just giving up his side of the argument and agreeing to what she wants... it is beyond frustrating. When it comes to things between us he never bothers to 'fight' for 'us', yet the other day he told me I've never bothered to support him or his kids or be a part of their life.. but in reality living here and having the Bub has really restricted me the past two years.. I don't know. I am so lost and feel like everything in life is just too hard. I haven't felt this way in years, I was petrified of going back to feeling like this and right now I couldn't care if I didn't wake up. It's a horrible situation as on the outside no one would know.. I am doing exceptionally well with the study and getting invites from professors for things that would normally inspire me.. my family/friends would think I'm doing great, I never let them see me in this down state.

I love this guy, but obviously not enough if I won't move to where he lives. How do you know when to just walk away, I've ruined another child's life by giving them a broken home. Life is not much fun

Hi Needingadvice,

I'm sorry you're still having such a hard time. Nothing in relationships ever seems to be resolved quickly or easily. It takes a lot of work, from both parties, to keep a relationship going.

Just a couple of things:

1 - I don't agree that leaving a relationship, if that's what you decide to do, will ruin your child's whole life. Not if leaving is what is best for that child's mother. Not if staying in a relationship with that child's father is going to cause you years of stress and anxiety. It might not be ideal but you can make the best of things, be a loving mother and give that baby the best start in life whether or not you are married to its father.

2 - There is a difference between parenting children and letting them run rings around you. It might be that your man can't draw that line, especially if he is still letting his ex run his life, even in a small measure. It sounds as though he hasn't detached from her, or his feelings about the family they used to have. Not enough to fully commit to you, in any case.

You said earlier that you booked a therapy session. How did that go? Is there any chance your partner would attend a couples session with you? You clearly have a mismatch of ideas when it comes to what commitment means. It is possible you could still negotiate something where you both get a little of what you want. If you still want to. You say you love him, but don't forget to also love yourself. I guess you are getting to the point you have to decide if you want to keep trying with this relationship or not. If you do, your partner will have to meet you half way at least.

If you don't...take care of yourself so you can take care of your child. Don't let this take you down into a depression. You are not a failure if this relationship doesn't last. Like I said, it takes 2 to make something work. I'm sorry I can't tell you how you know when to walk away...I guess everyone's benchmark is different. But really looking inside and figuring out what is best for you should lead you to the answer.