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Newest Member: Daughterofthemosthigh

Divorce/Separation :
Children away

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 Perdita1 (original poster member #67654) posted at 8:51 PM on Sunday, April 14th, 2024

D Day was in 2018. Divorce finalised 2021. Children all currently under 13.

I’ve had a rough few days. For the first time, XWH has taken the children on holiday and I have stayed at home. It is the longest that I have not seen them ever (for various reasons, they are with me the most of the time, and even on his days I will often have to help out so I see them).

This was my choice. I have been feeling burnt out and so I decided not to travel but take some time to catch up on sleep and get things ready for the new school term. I was also hoping to catch up with friends etc. But it seems that as soon as I could slow down my body gave up and I got sick. I have been stuck in the house feeling rubbish and getting increasingly frustrated that I’m not making the most of the ‘me time’.

So, I’m not in the best place mentally. But XWH just stuck the knife in. The children were iffy about going away without me and have been calling me while they have been away. Today XWH said on the second call of the day ‘it’s weird how after a few days they don’t miss you as much. I ask them if they want to call you and they say no’.

That just made me feel ugh. Logically I know it’s a good thing that the children can do days with their dad and not miss me too much. But it still hurts. Or maybe I’m just over-sensitive because I am sick. Who knows.

Someone knock some sense into me…

posts: 195   ·   registered: Oct. 29th, 2018
id 8833514
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 10:37 PM on Sunday, April 14th, 2024

Aww sweetie, you are just sick. Logically, you know those children are living in the moment they are living in, and you also know the XWH would brag like that if he could hurt you into the bargain, but I don't think that is originating with them. Just hearing him telling you that he asked them, is the stab. But you are weak and now you need to take care of yourself, so try to look at this as time to nurture you!

posts: 2072   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8833520
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little turtle ( member #15584) posted at 1:43 PM on Monday, April 15th, 2024

Just because they said they don't want to call you doesn't mean they don't miss you!!!

I think it's easier to handle time away without the calls. Take the time to refresh and get well. ♥

Failure is success if we learn from it.

posts: 5612   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2007   ·   location: michigan
id 8833553
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EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 2:54 PM on Monday, April 15th, 2024

Today XWH said on the second call of the day ‘it’s weird how after a few days they don’t miss you as much. I ask them if they want to call you and they say no’.

I agree with the OP's; do not put too much into that. They do miss you. AND you would rather have them enjoying themselves while away than being miserably homesick. That would make you feel much worse.

But it seems that as soon as I could slow down my body gave up and I got sick.

This was your body forcing you to rest because it needed it.

One of the mistakes I made was trying to jampack my 'free' time with stuff (projects, friend meet-ups, etc). Mentally I just felt I needed to make the most of that time. That was a mistake; once I learned to use some of that time just to RELAX and veg, I did much better.

So do not worry you are not making the most of your 'me time' because your body is telling you that is exactly what you needed so you ARE making the most of it. We all know - having time to just do nothing is not able to be accomplished when our kiddos are back home. laugh

posts: 6903   ·   registered: May. 31st, 2009   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8833566
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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 3:42 PM on Monday, April 15th, 2024

Today XWH said on the second call of the day ‘it’s weird how after a few days they don’t miss you as much. I ask them if they want to call you and they say no’.

First of all, your XH could have simply said "They're adjusting well". Asshat.

I have a lot of experience with month-long summer camp. I went for several years, as did my two DDs who were also counselors. New campers are typically nervous about going to camp, homesick for a couple of days, and then they settle into new routines and don't miss home as much. The process is normal and follows a well-established pattern. Also, think of it this way: The reason that they're doing so well is that they're secure in their relationship with you (and their dad) and are developing appropriately. smile

Remove the "I want you to like me" sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror, where it belongs. ~ Susan Jeffers

Your nervous system will always choose a familiar hell over an unfamiliar heaven.

posts: 1335   ·   registered: Mar. 10th, 2023
id 8833576
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BSPheonix ( member #72159) posted at 4:48 PM on Monday, April 15th, 2024

Those words were said to hurt you. Ignore them, they are not true. Your children love you unconditionally. Find something to occupy yourself with while they are away. Eat well and try to sleep well if you can (that is, look after yourself).🙏

posts: 146   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2019
id 8833585
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homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 6:40 PM on Monday, April 15th, 2024

I agree with everyone. He’s an ass***e.

With my sons, they had a great time away with their Dad and I was so sad. Shortly thereafter he stopped getting them at all and they were absolutely devastated. It tore up my heart and theirs to see him with OW’s son and him not attending anything of our sons.

So while it hurts you right now, thankfully they are not hurting. Hugs and you will get thru this. Keep posting we’re here to help.

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5503   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8833600
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 6:59 PM on Monday, April 15th, 2024

Another one here who thinks he is an a**hat and either said the words to try and hurt you or is completely tone deaf.

fBS/fWS(me):51 Mad-hattered after DD (2008)
XWS:53 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
DD(21) DS(18)
XWS cheated the entire M spanning 19 years
Discovered D-Days 2006,2008,2012, False R 2014
Divorcing

posts: 8834   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8833609
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 Perdita1 (original poster member #67654) posted at 11:11 PM on Wednesday, April 17th, 2024

Thank you everyone. Your posts really really helped. I have now recovered and am rushing around as usual, the children are home and routines are being rediscovered.

Definitely it would be much much worse if the children were suffering being away from me. That is a really good point. And if the children would suffer if their dad didn’t see them that would hurt me too (although in reality I do the vast majority of the parenting so it’s often hard for me to see the wood for the trees on that point). Sadly XWH is more of a Disneyland dad. I used to think that was ok when we were married - he liked the flashy days out, I did the more homey day to day things - and I thought it was ok because we were bringing different things to the team. Then I found out about the cheating and I struggled to think that he was ‘good enough’ to be around the children (although, keeping my logical head on, I have never tried to deny him access). I’m rambling somewhat, this is a sensitive and triggering area for me.

Is XWH trying to hurt me, or is he tone deaf? I’ve always given him the benefit of the doubt and gone with the latter in these kinds of situations. Just assumed that he just didn’t get how his words would be perceived. He had an odd childhood and I always blamed that. But the replies on this thread have given me pause…

posts: 195   ·   registered: Oct. 29th, 2018
id 8833841
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BSPheonix ( member #72159) posted at 4:12 PM on Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

Is XWH trying to hurt me, or is he tone deaf? I’ve always given him the benefit of the doubt and gone with the latter in these kinds of situations.

I think, if you don't know, sadly, we won't -- since you know him better. Does it matter? If you knew he was attempting to hurt you, how would things be different? Would you act differently? Would you inform your children when they're older if they asked? I know my wife is trying to hurt me and, is spreading lies that can be extremely damaging. I intend to tell the children when they are older if they ask and I think they're mature enough to handle the truth. I will then have to pick up the pieces. Sadly, my wife doesn't realise that the lies she is spreading potentially gives her less than 5 more years with our eldest. It's all very sad...

I should add that, like your XWH, my STBXW has a narcissistic, emotionally-distant mother and, I pitied her that and made many excuses for it. BUT, I had a very rough childhood, as do many others (who has a perfect one?!). At some points we become adults and have to own and address our issues, not allow them to destroy the things we should love...

Hoping you are having a good day.

posts: 146   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2019
id 8837307
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 Perdita1 (original poster member #67654) posted at 1:09 PM on Friday, May 24th, 2024

Thanks BSPhoenix. Yes, at some point we do have to own our issues. And recognise and try to deal with them.

Like yesterday, I had an important appointment so only got back to the children at bedtime. XWH had had them after school. My older child tells me that the little one has been on electronics all afternoon (usually there are no screens after school). Both were grumpy and tired. Then the older child commented that daddy was working (his usual reason for chucking the kids on electronics instead of engaging with them). I just murmured ‘uh-huh’. What was interesting though is that the child then noted that daddy wasn’t WFH yesterday.

My instinct was to cover for XWH - explain away the lack of engagement. I sort of did, then sort of stopped. Sometimes I just can’t anymore.

posts: 195   ·   registered: Oct. 29th, 2018
id 8837676
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 3:19 PM on Monday, May 27th, 2024

Want to share a couple of stories:

I manage a single-dad who has his two adolescent kids on an irregular basis, but probably averaging 10 days per month. First couple of years after divorce it was 50/50 custody with switches every Friday or so. Then his wife relocated so it’s a 2-hour drive. This is all done with consent and their relationship is about as amicable as divorces can be.
This guy is one of the most driven workers I have. When he doesn’t have the kids he’s doing 50-60 hour weeks, working weekends... whatever is needed. When the kids are with him... totally different. Might be doing 20 hours, rarely reaching the desired 40. But this is all done with my knowledge. He always gives the required 100% work – only not in 8 hours per day batches.
Knowing this is a season and knowing that I can use him so often when so many of his colleagues need to go get their kids from daycare or spend the afternoon at a school recital or whatever, makes him valuable to me. We can work around his days with fewer hours.
He has shared that when the kids arrive he has cleared all the time-consuming chores: done the laundry, cleaned the house, done the Costco-run and all that. He wants to spend the 5x24 hours he has with his kids with the kids and for the kids.
He also says that he actually thinks he spends more time with his kids than previously. Previous to this he often just shared space with them but was coming home daily tired from work, from grocery-shopping, from doing housework, hitting the gym... This way he can focus on work, then focus on kids.

A friend of my wife’s – a nurse just like her – works every shift she can the week she doesn’t have the kids. She will do double shifts, even sleep at the hospital to start again 8 hours later and whatever. This allows her to be at home most of the week the kids are with her. On those days she does "shorts" – shifts from 10AM to 2 or 3PM – maybe every second day. Every second weekend she doesn’t have the kids she takes time off work.
Like my colleague she says by doing this she has more time for the kids. Plus she’s actually making more money than doing her previous 8-4 shifts five days a week.

I guess I’m trying to get across that not having the kids shouldn’t be negative. It gives you time to do stuff that allows you more time when they are around.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 12479   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8837945
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