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Don’t want to leave my kids behind

Community Member

I wrote a post in Sept last year saying I felt stuck in my toxic relationship. I’ve realised it’s not due to my partner but overwhelming feeling of abandoning my kids 14 & 16. My partner refuses to move out the family home & my psychologist says that it would be easier for myself to find a new place to move into given his refusal. My kids would also hold a grudge against me if I kicked their Dad out, he’s the one with most issues & as per my psychologist the kids usually stick with the parent that’s most vulnerable.

based on this feeling of losing closeness with my kids I’m having thoughts to stay until the kids move out but so unhappy in my relationship at the same time. I moved out for few months last year snd had hardly any contact with kids & then they started saying comments that I couldn’t have any say in their life, given their Dad has zero boundaries for them I decided it was best for them I move back into the home.

has anyone been in similar situation & moved out & how did things go with kids?

7 Replies 7

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion
Hi, welcome

I'm saddened by your situation, I've had similar many years ago.

It's difficult to comment when we don't know the teens personalities and family dynamics.

Children can be resilient with separation. A blink of an eye and the youngest will be 18yo.

What separation would be ideal? A rented premises between school and their family home so they're tempted to dtop in on the way home? Or you can share the picking up and stopping off?

With my then step son 15yo I purchased an old can with the plan we'd restore it together. That didn't work out but was an idea. Also ideal is to come to an agreement with your partner with shared access, transport, opportunity to enjoy their sports and hobbies, if living nearby all that is possible is you both agree.

That's the ideal. Pursue that is the goal. You might not get all you want but to have goals is good.

How are you going emotionally. I know it takes it's toll.


Hi Mark

Ideally I would set up a home environment where kids felt comfortable and we had kids week on week off. That week that we have kids would be that parents responsibility for the pickups drop offs etc.

I guess because I’m the parent that sets boundaries I fear they may not want to stay with me and even if they agree now that they are old enough to choose not to.
I also fear they could spiral down into drugs & alcohol with the free rein they will get with their Dad. He literally has no boundaries or rules & condones disrespectful behaviour at school etc.

I guess I have that overwhelming feeling of responsibility for them and possible things that could go wrong during the separation.

the burden takes its toll as does the unhappy relationship on everyone.

Ideally he would just move out the family home but he is so insecure he would never make that choice.

So your fears is that because you have rules and appropriate restrictions on your teenage childten, they are more likely not to visit you. Also that environment would turn into a "free for all" that might lead to substance abuse or other lifestyle.

This sounds like you have held the household reins - kept it all together. I honestly can't predict the future but even if they didn't stay over, you'd likely take them out for dinner and ask them questions etc. My other thought is that teens get into drugs etc regardless of united or separated parents.
You can't save the world.

My priority in my answer is your well being. If you did part ways and you were happier then you'd serve your children better imo. Waiting another 4+ years until the youngest is 18yo won't be easy.

What are your thoughts?

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hey Rumnraisin

Tricky spot!

I'm not sure that I believe your psych about the kids staying with the most vulnerable parent... my kids chose to stay with me... for so many reasons. They even said they'd rather live in a tent in a field than anywhere with ex.
Possibly and I hope the abuse my kids suffered is far worse than what your kids have...
Anyway they were begging me to make him leave in the end.
I did come what did.

I guess some points stand out to me... you thinking of the possibility of staying until the kids leave home.... that could be another 10 years... not just 18yo.

Have you considered being "separated under the one roof"?
I did that for a long while.
Ex wouldn't leave - but I realised later it was all for the property = money.
Ex had had his ducks in a row since before he even met me! (I had property. He had minus nothing - in debt).

The separated under one roof looked like....
I had locks put on all the internal doors.
"Split" the week in 3/4 kind of responsibility which worked like a sink hole lol.
Did NONE of Hs laundry etc.
Paid for none of Hs bills for once too!

Please consider contacting Women's Legal Service. It's free and I found them the best legal service to access for myself.
There are moves to make and NOT to make in the eyes of current Family Laws.
Once you know your legal parameters, you may think of things in a different light... up to you.

If you could share the following, it might help any guidance you receive from the forum members....
- do you rent or own a home or have a home with a mortgage?
- do you have joint accounts?

I would split all finances asap as far as you can possibly go.
"Share" 50% kid's costs as much as you can.

Looking forward to hearing back from you.


Hello Rumnraisin, thanks for your comment, and no there is no easy solution to your problem, simply because the freedom your kids have with your partner may backfire on anyone who is concerned, that can't be for sure and I hope doesn't happen, I suppose that's why we put boundaries on what they can do, whether or not they are obeyed only time will tell.

It's not unusual for kids aged 14 and 16 to copy what their friends have suggested and are actually doing themselves and could happen even if you set boundaries, so setting exclusions may or may not work.

If you kick your partner out then there could every chance your kids would follow and go with him, but your own health is just as important because if the kids want someone to talk to and your partner isn't home, then they may come to you depending on the situation, but cautious of knowing your thoughts.

The help will be able to build up your strength and teach you how to talk with your kids because their minds are at an influential age, about to drive a car etc and although they could believe what their parents say, their friends may have a stronger effect.

You have to make a decision and would like to hear back from you when you're available.


Community Member

Thanks for some reassurance as it eases my heightened anxiety of thinking all time of what and ifs. As you have all said that my kids could still go down wrong path even if we stay together, and that if I move out then it’s the kids choices if they come stay with me or not and there’s not really a great deal I can do about it.

the decision to stay isn’t for financial reasons, we have several investment properties either of us could move into & I have a enough money to go & though we own business & work together, can easily find a very good paying job to support myself financially. Access to money is no issue as the responsible partner I pay all bills & have access to all accounts via internet, I would say I have more security than my partner does so that doesn’t come into play.

my partner is a good Dad my kids love him a lot & he’s definitely the favourite in the family. It’s such a messy situation. He gone from Being addict on heavy drugs to now being addicted to a lesser drug & is a functioning addict. He was recently diagnosed with ADHD & on medication for that and has heightened emotions now due to this.

at end of day life is short though & everyone deserves to be happy & i am far from that I need start putting myself first for once.

My parents seperated when my sister & I were similar ages & we both went through a hard time & both spiralled out control & turned to alcohol. Tho k that also plays on my mind. I need put my big girl pants on & stop finding excuses 🙂

Hello Rumnraisin, I think you have said those magic words ' everyone deserves to be happy' and definitely includes you, but before you can do this is to make a decision, not so much 'put my big girl pants on ', well not necessarily because you need to do it at your own pace and what's acceptable for you.

Take care.