Newest Member: Serenity7

Divorce/Separation :
Distance Parenting and Life Reboot/Mental Health

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 Reegz (original poster Member #40391) posted at 6:00 PM on Sunday, September 5th, 2021

Right now, I’m at a critical juncture in my life, and staying around where my ex-wife and children are is not a healthy option. I’m depressed and need help. The chickens are coming home to roost. My career is in the toilet, I’ve gained 100 lbs in the last year and I’m constantly depressed and staying would make things worse. My life has slowly crashed and burned basically since I’ve was married.

I’ve tried to stay around and things have gotten worse. I'm severely depressed. I need help and I'm willing to get it. Fortunately for myself, I have some family and friends who through an intervention yesterda are willing to help me get help. I'm not addicted to drugs or alcohol. They are worried about my mental health and want me to be around for my children. I need to do something different in my life or I’m going to die.

I need to take care of myself before I’m able to take care of my kids. I have been offered a lifeline by caring family and friends to reboot my life and career. I’m going to do it.

How do you deal with being a long distance parent? I’m going to be about 3 and 1/2 hours away. When I get in a better place and my career is rebooted (I’m studying Cybersecurity) I'll be in a much better place and can more effectively parent. I want to be capable again and be around my kids again. Any suggestions on how to parent and deal with distance?

My WS is open. There are no custody or visitation limitations. The only good thing, is that this is in large part to her finally taking her share of responsibility for the downfall of our marriage.

Me: 48 BH
Her: 44 WW
Clues Discovered - EA - May/June 2013.
D-Day - Confirmation of EA and discovery of PA - August 20, 2013.
4 to 8 month PA and EA.
12 yr and 9 yr old daughters.

posts: 90   ·   registered: Aug. 22nd, 2013   ·   location: New York
id 8687223
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ChamomileTea ( Member #53574) posted at 6:47 PM on Sunday, September 5th, 2021

As a daughter of divorced parents, whose father basically abandoned us, I'd say that if you're going to leave the vicinity, you should still be in constant contact, ie. video calls daily, frequent texts, snail mail with cards and small gifts, etc. They should NEVER hear you complain about the support you pay to their mother. In fact, they shouldn't hear any criticism of her, regardless of the fact that she cheated. Bear in mind that you are leaving them with her. "If you thought she was a bad person, why would you be leaving them with her?" that will pop into their minds if you're critical. And here's the toughie... you can't replace them with a girlfriend and/or a ready-made family. If they think you are leaving for a woman or a woman w/kids, you will have chosen someone else over them. Until you're in a position to parent properly, you would do well to keep your focus on your girls. Remember that the goal here is to know as much as possible about what's going on in their lives so they can FEEL known by you. You should know who their friends are and their current interests. You should take the time to talk to them about whatever stuff that's on their minds and ask them to tell you about how they're really feeling. Be open with them (albeit age-appropriate) about what your daily life is like so that they know YOU. The information age is the best time ever for keeping up long-distance relationships, but it does take effort. These are your babies. They are worth the hour or so a day it will take to make sure they still feel loved and supported while you're out of town.

Good luck. I hope you're successful and that you'll be feeling better soon! smile

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 6:49 PM, Sunday, September 5th]

posts: 4520   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
id 8687228
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Cooley2here ( Member #62939) posted at 7:26 PM on Sunday, September 5th, 2021

Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype. There is no reason you cannot stay in daily touch with your children. It’s just a matter of setting up a time and doing it. The one thing I can tell you about kids is if they are told you’re going to do something then do it. They need to know that you are true to your word.

To thine own self be true. Shakespeare

posts: 2905   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8687233
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jb3199 ( Member #27673) posted at 2:36 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021

What CT said.

They have to feel your interaction with them. It's exponentially more difficult long distance, but as already stated, you have means at your disposal via technology to do this.

A quick cautionary tale: My brother and his wife divorced after 30 years of marriage. They adopted a young girl from a toxic environment, who at the time of the divorce was a teenager. This was her second family that was breaking up, and I can only imagine the unfair weight that she must have carried. Anyway, after the divorce, my brother told me how disappointed he was in her lack of reaching out to him. The last time that they spoke, after several weeks of no contact, he told her that she has a phone, and it is not difficult to call him.

I lit him up. I told him that he was no fucking victim in this ordeal.....she is. And if he knows that she has FOO issues that are most certainly rearing their ugly head now, it's his job to double...triple...infinitely-down on his efforts to stay in contact with her, and give her the guidance that she not only needs, but wants.

It's easy to not deal with issues that are not directly in your face. So while I do think that this reboot may be a very good idea(if you are truly COMMITTED to it....not just as an escape mechanism), you are going to have to put as much effort into your children as yourself. "Actions, not words" is a mantra that works here as well as anywhere else.

Good luck.

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married 28yrs.(together over 30yrs.)

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day(s): Enough
Accepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

posts: 3818   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8687280
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Catwoman ( Member #1330) posted at 1:45 PM on Wednesday, September 8th, 2021

While I don't disagree that you can parent from a distance, it doesn't mean you should.

Being 3.5 hours away means you miss impromptu events and things that a 7 hour round trip means that you miss--games, performances, etc. As kids get older, their peer group becomes more important, so your time with them becomes more limited. Sometimes those car rides going to or from an event can be the best ways to connect. I'm afraid you'll miss out on a lot by moving so far away.

Is this the *only* choice that you have? The *only* way to get help? How long do you think it would be until you could be closer to your children?

They only have one childhood. I'd think this out much, MUCH more thoroughly and from their standpoint.

Cat

FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

posts: 32936   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2003   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8687551
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