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How do I get it through to my ex that it is over.

Community Member

Hi everyone, I am nearly at my wits end. My ex partner and I separated on boxing day of last year. I had had enough of his disrespect, selfishness, lies and drug use. We had been together 14yrs and have a beautiful little girl about to turn 4. Our lease hasn't run out and both our names are on it, so neither of us has moved out yet, but we are in separate bedrooms. I fell out of love with him a couple of years ago, due to the disrespectful way he treated me, squandered our family money for drugs, didn't make an effort to get work and watching him not put our family first, I didn't feel like I or our daughter were a priority in his life. So after a shitty Christmas where he treated me and my family like dirt, and decided not to spend Christmas day with me and our daughter, I decided enough was enough. He is still trying to get back together, he asks for intimacy which I deny as I don't want to give him any false hope. He tells me that our daughter deserves both of her parents together and in a loving relationship. He tells me that I am choosing to shut him out, and not love him. He sucks the life from me and I feel like I am about to break. My anxiety was great earlier in the year, nearly non-existent, after getting over the initial shock of it all, I was so excited to just do me and not have to worry about him anymore. But then a month or so ago my anxiety has become almost unbearable, my GP suggested hospitalisation, that I didn't go along with as I don't want to give my ex anything he may be able to use against me. I know it doesn't help that I am working and trying to complete a Post-grad degree as well. He also uses that against me, that I am putting uni in front of my family. I am doing this for me and my daughter, to make sure I can provide a good life for her and I spend loads of time with her. He has tried to say that our daughter cannot spend alone time with my family because my brother and his fiance are poly-amorous, but not currently, and my mum likes a wine or 2 once to twice a fortnight, sometimes not even that often. I think he is just trying to find anything to get at me.

He has said if you don't want to be with me then kick me out. I have told him many times I don't want to be with him and I have asked him to leave before, but he won't and it's like he forgets all this and then says I am stringing him along for my own convenience. I don't want to live with him, he is not making my life easier. How do I get him to see it is over?

8 Replies 8

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Anxioussinglemum~

You sound a very responsible and realistic parent and are trapped by being under the one roof with your ex. Working plus uni is a hard set of tasks to do, and being a single mum is pretty taxing all by itself. So if you can combine all three you are dong an amazing job.

Having your daughter stay with family at times sounds pretty normal to me, and I'm not sure that the things you mention should in any was prohibit her from staying with them. It is a responsible loving attitude that is important after all.

Your ex's behavior before you broke up and now all seem part of an undesirable self-centered pattern. I am not sure there is much you can say will change this.

Reading your message it would seem to me the best solution is if you simply did not live in the same house as your ex. While I realize there is a lease do think there is any way this might happen? Could you and your daughter stay with family for instance?

You mentioned you had medical support, how about personal support? Do you have family or friends who are close enough to lean on? Even just talking about things can really help.

I hope to hear from you again


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Anxioussinglemum, and a warm welcome to you.

You have a few options here, first, you can go to Real Estate agent, tell them that you don't want to be on the lease agreement any more and what can you do, well there are a few ways,

-if you get on well with the landlord, talk to them and tell what your situation is

-they may agree that it's OK just to leave as long as your ex pays the full amount

-or the RE or yourself can find someone to move in and share the house with your partner

-or he can find someone to move in

-you will have to go 30 days notice (depending on whether someone can move in straight away )

-ask about your half of the bond money so you can get it back

-you can apply to the get an order from the Civil and Administrative Tribunal which can terminate your
responsibilities or someone else to move in

-make sure your name is removed from the lease, either wise you are still liable to pay any costs if any damage is done to it

-make sure your name is removed from the gas and electricity companies

-you may have to apply for a termination in the Tribunal

-You may need to make an application for Termination for Excessive Hardship to the tribunal to end your responsibilities if you cannot agree with him about ending it

If you do this then it would be clear that you don't want anything to do with him.

Let us know if you want any more information.


Hi Croix and Geoff,

Thank you both so much for your replies. I really appreciate it. It can sometimes feel super isolating going through this, so when I came across this forum and saw how supportive everyone is I didn't hesitate in reaching out.

We don't have any family closer than 2 1/2 hrs away, so staying long term with family is not an option as I need to work. I have a friend in town that has offered for my daughter and I to stay with them but I find it very hard to impose myself onto other people and I have social anxiety as well so it's not always possible or easy to talk to others . I still feel nervous about taking my daughter away from him as I know he loves her and he is a good dad when he is not overwhelmed by the breakdown of our relationship. I suppose I am really scared of doing something wrong that my ex may be able to use against me later on down the track.

I know I have to do all the things you suggest Geoff, thank you very much for your advice and help. My rational brain is screaming for me to do those things you noted, my anxiety and fear are the things that are stopping me. I just keep hoping he will get it and do the right thing and move out or allow me to move out without a shit storm fight. One of mantra's that have got me through a lot this year is 'Feel the fear and push through it'. It works most of the time, just not always. How is it that an internal, mental feeling like anxiety and fear (maybe they're the same thing) have such a physical hold over a person? Some days I feel really strong and other days the only reason I get out of bed is my daughter, she deserves a stable, consistent, happy (even if it is sometimes faked) mum. I just feel so completely overwhelmed sometimes, it's ridiculous!

Then what's even more of a mind warp is the times where I feel sorry for my ex, and those feelings then make everything seem even more impossible.

I'm sorry, I know the only person that can fix this is me, maybe I just need to let it all out in a safe and supportive environment. I can't tell my mum & dad everything all the time, they just worry, and he still has to live in this town and work so I don't feel like I can really talk to my friend or work colleagues here.

Thank you, gentlemen for taking the time to read my post and replying. Have a lovely week.

Dear Anxioussinglemum~

I suppose the first thing that occurs to me is that the lease will run out sometime and that will bring matters to a head. I'm sure you must have thought about this, maybe even seeing it as a way to force your hand. May I ask what your plans are for then?

I can easily understand you not wanting to provide your ex with ammunition for the future, and being sorry for him at times in very natural too. However if your doctor is talking hospitalization then you are in a horrible position already and really need barriers or boundaries for your own protection and so you can always be present for your little girl.

I don't know what you think, do you think it is possible to coexist in the same house? What do you think the effect of the current situation is on your daughter? What would you like for her long-term?


Hey Croix,

Thank you for replying.

Yes, if all else fails then one of us will be moving when the lease runs up. I'm hoping he will see sense by then and it won't be a fight for us to finally separate properly.

I am doing everything I can to be present for my daughter. Her and I are super close and I am trying my very best to keep her from being exposed to this situation. The majority of our 'discussions/arguments' are done when she is not with us or after she goes to bed. I am aware that if she wakes up it would be scary hearing the way her dad talks to her mum. I try to stop things before they get too heated and the other night I called the police on ex because he wouldn't leave me alone and barged his way into my bedroom and into me, nothing more thank goodness, but I needed him to see that I was serious when I say to leave me alone and I would do anything to protect me and my daughter. He has since pulled his head in, not sure for how long, and is like a dog with his tail between his legs.

I wish we could coexist in the same house, it would be like living with a flatmate, but I don't think it will work for us long term if he can't accept our separation and let go. This would not be good for any of us, my daughter is definitely my number 1 priority and I have been trying my best to protect her from any of this.

It's super difficult though when I want to take her out to do something, or vice versa, and my daughter wants both of us to be with her. I'm hoping that she will adapt to spending time with us one on one. I suppose she will have to because my ex and I together is just not sustainable, he might be happy but I wouldn't be and my daughter deserves a happy, stable mum to be able to rely on.

Dear Anxioussinglemum~

The fact he barged in and you had to call the police is horrible and in a way shows your ex is not accepting the situation at all. I guess you have a pretty clear picture of the situation and are being realistic. Being reluctant to force the matter and leave or have him leave is very understandable.

Trying to explain to your 4 year old why you cannot all go out together would be heart-breaking, and no easy way to do it. It may sound silly to say so but at times in impossible situations where there was somebody very much at fault I've been able to use anger as a support. When I was invalided out of my occupation was a case in point. Perhaps anger against your ex who was the person that has caused all this might help?

As far as your daughter is concerned I think she is lucky to have a mum with so much love and strength. In these sort of situations there is a great tendency to doubt yourself, that would be a trap


Hi Anxioussinglemum, ASM if I can abbreviate your title, hope you don't mind and sorry if you don't want me to, maybe you can let me know.

There are a couple of things in your replies I hope I can make you feel at ease.

''Feel the fear and push through it'' could mean that the only way to get rid of this fear is to go out and do it, that way the more often you do it the less fearful it will be, might sound to be OK but sometimes it's not that easy, which I thoroughly understand.

It's not going to be pleasant living with him, and maybe you could put a lock on your door and when your daughter wants to come in, have a special knock code.

I only wish the lease had ended and perhaps you could make a list of what you want to take with you, then give it to him somehow.

Have you been keeping an eye out for properties to rent and if your friend has a garage/shed where you can slowly take what you want and store it there, except I hope he doesn't know her.

I just you to look after yourself as well as your daughter and more than pleased that the police can now be contacted again if needed, they don't like any violence towards women, and they will protect you.

Keep safe.

Best wishes.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi anxioussinglemum

People can grieve in many ways - over the death of a loved one, a loss of familiar environment, the loss of a relationship and so on. With the typical 5 stages of grief being denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, I imagine you have been through them all at this point in regard to your relationship. They might have looked something like this:

  • Denial - Things aren't really as bad as I think
  • Anger - Why can't he make more of an effort in this relationship?!! I can't believe he doesn't care!
  • Bargaining - Maybe he'll change. Maybe things can't get any worse.
  • Depression - I can't accept things are over. I'm so sad things are so bad, etc. I can't accept my life is going to change.
  • Acceptance - I am someone who no longer accepts this relationship. I am someone who no longer accepts being this person and living this way. I am re-identifying with a new much healthier life (aka changing my identity).

I imagine you have reached the acceptance stage, which is why you wish to move on now. My question is 'Has your partner completed the process?' Is he at the point where he's denying things are over and/or is he angry? Perhaps he's trying to bargain at this stage ('Our daughter deserves both her parents together in a loving relationship'). A bargain might also be 'I promise I'll change!'

The reason for me putting across the grief aspect is so you can see where his head might be at, giving you a little insight into his words and behaviour. With some insight, you might be able to be more effective with your dialogue towards him (with words he can relate to). Not sure. Carefully bringing him closer to acceptance is just one way of managing the situation. Geoff and Croix have already given you many other productive angles.

Take care of your daughter's mum anxioussinglemum, she's a super special person