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Coping without my kids
I have recently seperated from my wife of 20 years. We have 2 children 15 and 9. For the last 3 years i suffer from anniexty and mild depression. Im struggling with the shock of not being around my kids all the time. The thought of not seeing them as much really hurts me. Me and my wife are still friends so seeeing the kids is not an issue. Im so scared to lose the relationship i have with them. Sorry this is all new to me and has really got me down.
Hi modus and welcome to beyond blue.
I am sorry to hear of your separation. Having been married for that number of years and now separated there would be a hole in the in your life to fill - everything is disrupted. I would hope (/think) that you relationship with them would lessen - they are still your children and you are their father. And how long it will take you to "recover" will be unique to you. You might want to look at support groups for help or get outside professional help to help you find way of managing/coping? Your feelings are normal.
Peace to you
Hi Modus, welcome
As Tim said there is support groups one being “Dads in distress” please google it. They also have a Facebook page.
I separated from my first wife in 1996. A week earlier I’d had an attempt in my life. I started off my separation in a 3 metre caravan in a caravan park. My kids were 7 and 4yo. The first couple of months was the hardest, like you grief was uncontrollable and night shift with security work was lonely and distressing.
Id collect the children each fortnight. How do you react when your youngest daughter , sucking her thumb says “we want to keep you” then the oldest says “when are you coming back”? I’d stop the car and act like I’m looking in the boot for something- I was howling!
Then it all changed for the better. I spotted a country block of land and bought it. Suddenly I had a place to go in my spare time. Then a kit house arrived. Overnight my grief stopped, because I was occupied and distracted.
My kids would come and see a new home being built. I was too exhausted from shift work to grieve besides I had direction.
At one point I considered returning to my narcissistic ex, a friend at the caravan park advised “never go backwards”. Glad I didn’t, she twisted my mind.
You are lucky to have a friendly ex. I had to endure that narcissistic attitude even after divorce due to conversations about the children- it meant 11 years of marriage in hell plus 14 years he’ll after divorce. It was so bad when my youngest reached 18 I cut off all contact with their mother.
My eldest when she reached 12yo came to live with me- why? Because her mother was a narcissist to her. When she reached 19yo she severed all contact and calls my 2nd wife mum.
She is now 31yo. A few years ago she got married and before we walked down the aisle she said “thanks for making it dad”. She knew I nearly didn’t 20 years earlier. As I walked her I wondered “who would have taken my place”?
The flip side is my youngest ended up with the same narcissistic traits as her mother and has been cruel to me on and off for 13 years since she was 14yo. For my sanity I had to sever the relationship 2 years ago. I’d still talk to her but she wouldn’t succeed in hurting me again.
That is some of my history. The message is clear- you have some luck in having a friendly ex, you will recover and adapt- your kids will also, likely easier than you.
Whatever transpires, doing your best is good enough