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Mother of my child left me. I'm 23. Son is 1

Community Member
I don't even know where to begin, it's absolutely killing me. The house we shared, it is now my responsibility to pay for everything. The dog she brought for our family Christmas present, is now my responsibility............... We went on dates, so often that they were special, but not so often they lost relevance. We went on family getaways, sometimes for a day, sometimes for a week. We were so happy together everything was falling into place I even had an engagement lined up. I never thought of life without her. That wasn't a possibility anymore, what a silly thought. We had the perfect little family creating the perfect memories.... But not anymore. She just decided to have a break, which drove me insane. Not aggressively insane, more a lose sense of reality insane. The break went a bit too well for her I guess, she decided its best we separated. And that was a couple of months ago now. I'm not coping well at all. I'm not seeing any light in the situation. The scary thing is that when you have everything you have everything to lose. And here I am feeling lost. Useless. Self esteem non existant. Confidence disappeared. Although my son is everything to me I feel I have lost my purpose outside of him. Everything I done was for the family I created. Since the break I've lost the plot and lost her respect dimming any chance of reconnecting. I don't know what to do
4 Replies 4

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Jaydad and welcome,

I'm glad you found your way to the forums and asked for help. This place is a gentle and supportive place to be while you piece yourself together again.

I say that because you sound utterly shellshocked and shattered. When reading your story I felt sad because I can see myself feeling that way if my husband ever leaves me. Some of us love deeply. So the idea of losing this loved one is like losing a part of yourself. I understand that.

How does this help you? By recognising you love to the expense of your identity. The challenge is to slowly learn all over again who you are as a person on your own terms.

Is this easy? Hell no. But worth it. You are NEEDED. Your son needs you. Maybe now it isn't obvious as he is so little and stuck on Mum like glue. But in time without you he will be lost. That's a goal to live for. To look forward to.

Your wife may have decided to leave. That may be permanent. The hard part now is to harden yourself towards her enough to survive. Aim for one day being friends but for now focus on your son and being involved but also protect yourself from your wife and focus on you.

How? Time to live. Sign up for classes. Find a hobby. Go out with friends. Maybe even fight for equal custody of your son. He is your baby too and you are just as important to him. Noone will ever replace you as his Dad. Just because your wife has left does not give her the right to sole custody. The benefit of more contact is you will still have family. He is your family. And you won't be alone.

I will write more later. I have to go into psychotherapy now. Who ever heard of therapy at 630pm! So convienient.

Please take care of yourself. You are going to get through this. It feels absolutely devestating but it is up to you to keep asking for help and to try again.

Your family is not lost. Think of your son and pour all your love into him instead until you feel a little stronger in yourself.


white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Jaydad, welcome

I hope I can help you. Been there done that allows for experience to see clearly what you need to do.

Prioritize: you've already started with your son. Spot on. You will always be his dad. You will be ultra important to him. Priority him by maintaining a communication stream with his mother. Text us good as it removes her voice. Stick to him as a topic, very important. If a friendship comes it can come later.

Self: taking care of your owm well being. Posting here us a good start. Monitoring your stress, emotions etc is a GP visit. Please dont discount that benefit

Boredom: the evil trap. Keeping yourself busy is a key. Please google Topic: depression, distraction and variety- beyondblue

After my split I worked 3 jobs and, built my own home. Being so tired resulted in sleeping as my head hit the pillow.

Dating: also important even if still in the grief stages. Sometimes having someone to spend time with can- make you laugh, see that others can spark interest and you can get some confidence back.

confidence: google Topic: the best praise you'll ever get- beyondblue

Child support: my advice is, pay what you need to pay. Any extra she would like from you have a receipt book nearby so she can sign it for money received and get rebated from child support. Use your own money for your boys entertainment.

When my youngest daughter was 14yo she needed teeth work $5000. I paid it without any reduction in support. Then it went to $8000, $11,000 and finally $15000. All paid by me. After I paid it all and her ops finished my ex claimed for more money from csa. So be aware if you do extra is can bite you. Had I vlaimed the $15000 on support $7500 would have come off my account. Kindness in financial terms to ones ex isnt wise. It should be strictly business.

Step mums: too early for that but I'd strongly advise that a nurturing lady is good for a single dad. Nurturing= loves all kids.

Hope that helps.

Tony WK

Community Member

It is absolutely devastating, I wish nobody would have to go through this but the sad truth is its inevitable for some. Alot, actually.

I Have lost a part of myself. Honestly she was the greatest part of myself. I have become a great person throughout being with her, and vice versa. We made each other better and I know this to be true.

II know my son needs me, he's not completely stuck on mum since the break up I've had him probably the majority, 60 40. I'm strong for him. But not for myself.

Can you elaborate on the part about hardening myself towards her,please?

We are still friends, on and off with her mood but over all still friends. We're very serious about our son and both being a part of his life, thank God.

But friends, that just doesn't cut it for me. I cannot bare the thought of being only that. I want her to be happy of course, but at the expense of my happiness, I am somewhat selfish and don't see this working out for me forever.

As for activities, I'm a top level footballer in my town, I have alot of friends who are aware of my situation and often being there for me. I work most days that I'm not with my son and generally pretty busy. But I have the constant thoughts flooding me. I cannot seem to shake it, never in a million years would I have thought I'd need help especially from strangers online. But here I am. Being busy isn't cutting it for me either. Simply put I'm heartbroken and it's getting the better of me.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Jaydad,

I'm sorry it took me ages to reply. I haven't felt able to reply until now.

This worried me..

But friends, that just doesn't cut it for me. I cannot bare the thought of being only that. I want her to be happy of course, but at the expense of my happiness, I am somewhat selfish and don't see this working out for me forever.

I think what upset me about this comment was the bit about not seeing it working out for you forever. Her feelings are out of your control. You love her. You want her to change her mind and try again. But that is out of your control. So what if friends is all she has to offer? What happens then?

When I said harden yourself towards her this is what I meant. You have to find a way to deal with the idea that she may not want to reconcile and that is her choice to make.

What I saw in broken families I knew is resentment. One moves on. The other is angry and hurt. But regardless of the best intentions the victim usually ends up being the child. Torn between two parents and loving them both. Kids are pretty smart. They pick up on tension very quickly.

By hardening yourself to her I mean forcing yourself to protect yourself. Plan for the worst. Accept help from friends. Seek out a good therapist.

It is ok to want her and love her. But this isn't healthy if she has moved on.