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Need some advice

Community Member

Long term subscriber / reader, first time poster.  I need some advice to a situation I put myself back into, but now feel like an absolute <insert swear word> because I truly don't want to hurt my family - but know I am / will.  I was previously separated for 4 years and was very content with being on my own.  At the end of last year (following a lot of lockdowns, etc), I visited my ex (for whom we share a child) and daughter.  Naturally I had missed them last year due to lockdowns, border closures, etc.  However (and this is where I chose a path), I suggested that I missed my ex and my family.  I have since moved back in with them, however the issues that faced us 4 years ago are still there - nothings changed.  I love my child dearly but am more "friends" with my ex.  I feel like an absolute monster and know I am hurting her - which I desperately don't want to do.


The other aspect is where they live (state wise), I have mental health issues and very bad memories of.  Now when I am there, I can feel my mental health slipping and I desperately don't want to be in that mental space ever again.  I haven't told my family this and I know they won't move to the state I love and feel at home.  


I am stuck and have no idea what to do.  Any suggestions, thoughts are extremely welcome.  Has anyone been in this situation before?

2 Replies 2

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Odysey1977,

This sounds like a really tough situation, I can only imagine how torn you feel wanting to be close with your child and to help them feel a strong sense of family - whilst also being troubled by the issues in your relationship with the other parent.

Would you ever consider moving closer together for your child, without living together? I know this may be difficult given you're both based in different states in the past. But perhaps there is a middle ground where you can all feel closer and see each other more, without living together and feeling unsure about what you want as partners/co-parents.

Know that you are doing your very best either way and be kind to yourself. If you are feeling troubled by your mental health, perhaps have a chat with your doctor to explore some options that will support your wellbeing?

We're always here on the forums for support too.

Let us know how you're going when you can.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Odysey, welcome

I have had similar issues with living interstate decades ago when in the AirForce.  Furthermore some bad experiences led to some triggering moments when I'd drive past a past employers entrance or bump into someone I had conflict with.


The problem was that I'd return to my home state and realise I had similar issues there over time. It dawned on me- it isn't the state, it was me.


Eventually therapy made a huge difference, to accept these triggers and find ways to put them at rest.


The other problem you have is the responsibility of your child and the widening gulf of what long distance will do to his/her future. It's likely to suffer and if you end up back in your home state, a plan including frequency and length of visitations could be established with a couples counsellor prior to departure. 


Getting your ex on board, taking advantage of your friendship would be really beneficial to everyone and so much easier with professional guidance. 


Good luck and reply if you so desire.