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Accepting that separation from wife is a matter of when and not will, what are my first/next steps, I have two young children that I cherish.
Hello Mr K
It is really great that you have come to get some support on this, I am so very sorry that your marriage is looking like it will be ending and that your relationship with your wife has not taken the path you always hoped and expected it would. It is a really hard time, although, it is not impossible.
Firstly can I say that the way we role play things in our head and create scenarios that may never happen, can be really damaging and I know this is hard not to, but..it rarely works out the way we play it out in our heads. Then there is alot of stress and anxiety all for nothing.
Can I also say that children are so very amazing and are probably aware that there is a situation between you and your wife, they are very perceptive. Also, the way you manage this will also be helpful in moving forward with your wife as a parenting partner, if you can keep things on a friendly and amicable level it is so much better for you and for you wife but ultimately your children.
If you are most certain that there is no repairing this relationship, that if you can walk away knowing with every ounce you tried then I think the next step is to have the conversation with your wife and then perhaps start looking for a place to live. There will also be a conversation with the children and I know it is scary and very very terrifying but remember the role playing thing and try to push it aside. Keep the information age appropriate and assure them that this is not their fault and that you both love them dearly and that will not change either.
There are some tools on the Relationship Australia website as to having these conversations etc...I have put the link here for you.
Please take care of you and reach out to call lines if you need some support during this time. You are not a bad person for leaving your marriage. I think we all get married with the intention of it being forever, sometimes this is not the case. It does not make us bad or horrible people.
You can get through this Mr K, I think having a chat with your wife is the first step and ensuring there is nothing to work on.
Every bit of my strength to you.
Hi Mr K
I hear what you are saying and the unknowns are very scary and hence why we do think and overthink and let our brain tell us how it is going to be. Maybe if I share some of my story it can give you some hope and some help too.
So after deciding we were going our seperate ways I went and rented a unit and started collecting furniture on ebay. I too work full time as does my ex, I moved out the next week with minimal things and as long as there were rooms set up for the kids that was my concern. We wrote up a calendar and we sat together and filled it in with kids activities and what nights the kids where staying where, who was collecting them..all the finer details of the kids. We soon moved to week on week off, we swap over on a Sunday night, we hand uniforms over and any clothes and then they are returned to the other person on the Sunday night in the state we received them. I do my grocery shop on the Sunday before they kids come and make sure I have a meal plan and lunches sorted and snaxs so that I can manage work and don't feel stressed about what is for dinner etc. As we share 50/50 and earn roughly the same we dont have child support to pay as we sorted this out ourselves. If a child needs new shoes one will pay and the other transfers half. Essentially on your week you do as you please, within the good premise of parenting. It is nice to have chats about parenting to make sure your kids don't play one off against the other, we called this out straight away..if dad says no the answer is no...if we need to have a conversation with out the kids around to "disagree" we dont do that infront of them so as to present like a united front. This also helps the kids as they see you cooperating and working together. Sometimes you are the bad guy and sometimes you are not, but overall if you can work together it is better for every one.
The bills and things like that are mostly on line now and you can create accounts and pay them from your account. You will be able to manage this, you sound like a very smart person.
I think as long as you make time for the girls and let them feel sad and let them know it is ok to be sad, to watch and see if they need any extra support, also letting school know this is happening is helpful as they can help and watch too and also just take it easy on them for a while.
One motto i live by "If you care about doing a good job, usually means you are"...it is when you don't care things can go wrong.
My heart goes out to you Mr K, it is a really tough time.
Please you cry...you let it all out and get it out, you are allowed to feel sad and you are allowed to cry. Your family as you know it is going through some changes and yes, it is like grief.
I hear what you are saying and it is terrifying and it is so all very unknown....you are stronger than you think and you are not going to be alone when you have us here. Reach out and keep talking, do you have a friend or a family member that you can call to talk to? If not that is fine as the Beyond Blue line on 1300 22 4636 have some wonderful people if you feel you need to talk.
My advice is try to do one step at a time and not let the other steps cause you anxiety and terror, I know you understand this but it is important to just deal with what you can and what is factual, not the scenarios that run riot through your thinking. Start with a chat with your wife, think about your words and staying calm and working out how you want to communicate what messages you need to tell her, maybe you can write some things down. Just try to get through this stage first...try not to think about the what ifs..the should have's and the "emotional damage"...as I said, it sometimes plays out very differently.
I am in no way discounting how you are feeling, it is so scary, but just do small steps and do one step at a time. Keep talking here and use your support people, like even a GP if you feel you need to also. We are here and we care about you.
Thanks for your advice and support. I've been asked out to watch cricket in Brisbane this Thursday by a friend I haven't caught up with properly for ages. Initially my thoughts went to "I can't, I'm needed at home" but I've decided to go. I realised in a moment that I've denied myself access to my friends and opportunities to make new friends for such a very long time and now when I really need friends I'm just not sure who to turn to. Admittedly I would usually be the half of a partnership who would opt to stay home with the kids so I'm a huge part of the reason my friendships are limited but I genuinely enjoy caring for my girls so the sacrifice seemed worth it. I've compromised so much to try and fit into my wife's life that some days I forget who I was. Now my identity needs to be the father/daddy of my two little girls. It's easy typing this now, later I may break again, I guess that is going to be a pattern for a while? How do other people manage their time? I need to learn so much and feel like there is so little time, the exhaustion is setting in again already but so far I've managed to keep going to the gym and work etc. How am I going to fit in all the learning, rebuilding friendships and manage my well-being? Is there a simple way to show children that you are always there for them even when you're not present? I love putting my kids to bed and being home when they wake up, I love being there if they wake during the night, I'm besotted with them I know and I know other people manage their fuller relationships better than I did but how, with very limited family available and a shortage of friends what option do I / did i have?
The kids still don't know and other than my parents I'm not sure who else does know. My wife is very secretive so won't say anything to anyone including me until she has all plans made at which point we are blindsided by her actions. I think she has been making plans for quite sometime and suspect that my financial contribution to our life together has been the only issue she can't easily fix, I don't know I'm guessing. I wish I could move forward but with so little support and the effort of keeping it together emotionally in front of my girls i'm just so very tired.
Good Morning Mr K
That is so fantastic that you have accepted to go to the cricket with your friend, this is exactly what you "should" be doing......ok..so you are already starting the cycle and the process of the new way your life is going to be and that it wonderful, it is as simple as saying yes to invitations and also reaching out to mates to instigate a catch up too. However, as I said yesterday, try not to get overwhelmed with figuring this all out in one day. Just take one day at a time and make the choices that sit right for you on the day, then do it the next day, try not to feel like you have to write the rest of your life in one day. Just enjoy today as best as you can and start engaging and accepting your friends again. This cricket trip will be just what you need so enjoy. As you mentioned you have pushed some friends away, there is no reason you cannot reach back out and say exactly that to them, you have pushed them away, you have realized that they are important to you and you want to reconnect, just be honest, no one can fault you for that.
Something i find really helpful is writing and I have used this for two big events in my life, one was my separation from my husband and the other was my brothers passing. This is a personal log, you dump whatever you want there, it can be anger, swearing, blame and even questions...but you dump it on those pages and you may never read them again, you might but it is so good to cleanse and to dump it there.
I think taking it one day at a time and making a choice each day to do something for you will help with filling you time. So some nights I just like to chill on the couch and read, some nights I catch up with a friend and go to dinner and a movie, sometimes I see my family, it actually becomes a really nice blend as when I get my kids back on the Sunday it is all about them. In that week I don't usually see friends unless they stop in.
I hear what you are saying in that you need to manage so much and there is so little time, there really isn't, that is just anxiety talking to you, you have the rest of your life to make some beautiful memories with your girls. You just keep doing what you are doing with regards to them, you make time to do special things when you have them, and that might be a picnic or a day at the park, activities is what they want..your time and attention.
I think take some control back for you...running out of words..will continue in the next message with you.
Great to hear from you Mr K
Firstly I think it is great to keep communicating with your manager and letting work know is a great idea. Not only can they offer support, sometimes in the way of EAP (Employee Assistance Programs) but also in the way of being supportive if you do need some time off, or are late due to kids appointments or illness. It is good to be honest with them, this is one are you can control so it is good to keep the things you can control in check.
I know this is not easy, try to change your mindset on this if you can as negative can breed negativity and seeing this as "going down the rabbit hole" already puts you in a space of "this is bad and everything will go wrong".
If you can see this as a new beginning for you, like waking up with fresh eyes and making a fresh start in your life. By having some wonderful times with your girls, with new available time for your friends and for yourself. The power of the mind really is an amazing thing. I know what I am asking is hard as it is a painful time, however if you can try to shift the negative thoughts that is helpful.
I think perhaps also taking some control back as i was getting to before, perhaps not waiting to let your wife lead this but you taking some of the lead too and therefore lessening the anxiety and "the waiting game" for her to do something, getting rid of the "blindsiding". I think you can have a light chat with your girls as they may start to get the idea that there is something not the same, you want them to hear this information from you, and not start thinking things in their heads or asking others and therefore getting inaccurate information. How do you feel about talking to your wife to mention to her that it is time to talk to the girls? This sort of lead by you can also demonstrate to your wife that you are wanting to make good outcomes and keep the relationship amicable and on good terms, by not waiting until things get ugly to deal with them.
One day at a time, one step at a time. You can get through this time Mr K, you can.