Advice from both separated dads and those who repaired their relationship

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    • #28253

      Hi all

      I’m in a pretty tight spot at the moment. My partner and I have a 4 year old child and another on the way. Our relationship is (and always has been) not a very good one – we are so different from each other and that creates a lot of friction. We are attending counselling at the moment to try and work towards a brighter future. However, it is very hard to see one considering our differences. If any Dad’s out there have experience of being in a similar situation I would really appreciate any insight you might be willing to share.

      If you persevered with the relationship, was there anything that made the difference? To be honest, even just hearing of others going through similar and emerging in a happy place as a couple would be great – it would be good to know that this can actually be done.

      If you have been in a situation like mine and the relationship ended, how has that panned out? Are there positive aspects? Has anyone managed to forge a good relationship with their ex partner? One of the hardest things about considering this outcome is the unpredictability and there is obviously an awful lot at stake.

      Please feel free to PM me if you would prefer not to publish your response on this thread.

      Thanks in advance.


    • #28255

      …also, if anyone has any suggestions on where else I might be able to find advice/support regarding this, please share.


    • #28272

      Hi, I feel your pain and understand ( in part) what you are going through. Best thing I’d recommend to start with is to chat about what you both have in common, what you both love and what you both share. It’s important to rediscover what you both share a passion for and how doing or sharing that activity will help you laugh and love again. Also worth both individuals writing a short list of what you want in a relationship – sir down with your partner and ask if they can give you what you want – that could be – hugs, time to chat, understand your emotions and feelings and respect how you feel ! It’s a two way street so you need to listen to what your partner needs to and be willing to flex and change and compromise. You can’t expect someone to hangs while you continue to do what you have always done ! Good luck – make an effort and see what you can do differently!!! Definition of insanity “ doing the same things over and over again expecting different results”

    • #28286

      Thanks so much for your reply. It is good to hear someone hear things from my perspective. That sounds like sensible advice and something I’ll act on. It is so hard not to feel pessimistic though. We have been through a lot of this before and ultimately nothing has changed. It takes a good level of humility for someone to listen to the other person, take it on board and alter their mindset and behaviour. My partner is a very rigid person who is hypersensitive to any perceived criticism, which isn’t a particularly compatible trait with humility. I really hope that this time it can be different and we owe it to my kids to really try, it is just hard not to feel defeatist about it.

      Thanks again mate.

    • #28434
      Dan Marchant

      Hi J, I have a Dad within our closed group who would like to contact you regarding this.

      He has been though this himself and believes he may be able to help.

      Are you in our closed group on Facebook? If you are drop me a message and I’ll give you his contact details.

      I’m Dan Marchant one of the moderators.

    • #28446

      Hi Dan
      Thanks for getting in touch. Yes, I’m in the closed facebook group. I can’t see a private message link on here (sent you a friend request in case that enabled one). I’ll see if I can find you in the FB group. Cheers.

    • #28501

      Hi J

      It doesn’t say if you are married…I have assumed so. If not some of this doesn’t’d be in a grey area.

      Everyone would hope that your relationship would recover, there are much better people than me to post words of encouragement and tips. Counselling, help, negotiation etc these are all massively good things and should be at the absolute front of your mind/plan. I do genuinely wish the best for you.

      Meanwhile, from someone who has experienced a massively destructive breakup, here are some thoughts, if you do these things you may have a massively easier/better/less bad time. These are reflections of tragic outcomes, not suggested next steps!

      If your relationship is collapsing, you may not be able to judge how acrimonious it may get. As soon as you live apart and poison is whispered into ears things can change rapidly.

      1. Genuinely put your kids first in every decision. It doesn’t mean you get a worst deal, in fact it may mean you have to fight for a few years in their interest. Just make sure beyond any reasonable doubt that it is their best interest. Document what choices you make and why, tell the other party and keep a diary of your decisions and actions. Do a bit of research so you have the same understanding of ‘their best interest’ that a judge and Cafcass will use. Keep your evidence, evidence is everything in court, they don’t really give a toss about histrionics or oscar winning speeches.

      2. Don’t say or do anything you wouldn’t be proud to tell CAFCASS and a judge (or your child in a decade). Don’t be drawn into it. Certainly don’t write it down. Assume you are always being videoed or recorded somehow. This also reflects ‘just don’t become that person’. If it goes bad everything will be conspiring to bring out the worst in you.

      3. If it all goes south get some good advice before blowing everything you own on solicitors, even if the situation is unpleasant and fiercely contested. I listen to barristers advising their clients in loud pompous voices in court waiting rooms for £500 an hour. Its disgusting and sometimes they treat them like cattle and use a near ‘head or tails’ approach when negotiating. Its not difficult to act as a “Litigant in Person” saving virtually all court costs but it does carry significant risk if you get it wrong.

      4. The ongoing financial thing will define your life for 2 decades. This is a really difficult one. If you fight tooth and nail for everything, then rest assured that the CMS will make sure that you support your kids by a formulaic amount for 18yrs. If you give her everything then rest assured the CMS will make sure you support your kids by a formulaic amount for 18yrs. As a father you need to be strategic about this and make sure concessions and decisions reflect the fact that in a decade or so you will still may be paying mum 20%ish of your post tax income irrespective of how your lives have changed, how much you gave her or your current situation. Remember that CMS has nothing to do with the court financial outcome unless the relationship between the two is unambiguously Ordered. And the CMS? Don’t get me started. Its just not fit for purpose.

      I hope this isn’t relevant to you. I would be interested to see if other voices on the forum think this sort of talk is unhelpful or too dark.

      They say acrimonious divorce is in the top three most stressful things you are likely to experience. It really is.

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