Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Getting Over Ex-husband...Spending Less and Less Time with Kids


#1

My children’s dad left me (by email) 3 years ago. He was in the middle of a huge midlife crisis and I had been focusing on our then 15 yo daughter who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at age 11. I’m sure I had not given him enough attention and I struggled with depression as we tried to get daughter on the right meds and to attend school. That was a big shock to me. He always said he was happily married. However, he had reconnected with a high school friend and they had started a relationship (found that out later via FB).

He was attentive and active in the kids’ lives while he lived in the area. He promised us he would not move until our son graduated from high school (son is a freshman this year). 1 1/2 years ago he announced he was moving to live with his new wife (married girlfriend who lived 2 1/2 hours away and they lived apart for a year). So my Tuesday/Thursday and every other weekend break came to an end. Step mom does not understand my daughter’s illness. Why would someone with a mentally ill child marry someone who refused to go to Family to Family and learn about the disease?

Long story short…kids dad is slowly phasing out of their lives and I’m left to raise and support my mentally ill child (who is doing great!) by myself. He travels with his new family and does not drive to their town to visit them. He only sees them if they travel to where he lives now.

So…I’m angry, bitter and frankly, pissed off. I would like to have the freedom to travel and not worry about my adult child (19). I work daily to let go and know that I’m doing what’s best for my kids.

Is this normal? I’m beginning to enjoy my limited life but the resentment creeps in when I least expect it.

Thanks for letting me vent.


#2

As you should be, he is week…


#3

Yes, it’s super normal to feel that way. Lots of divorced people don’t live up to their responsibilities, commitments, and connections. It’s even harder when there is a child who needs a little bit more connection and closeness. You are angry not just for yourself, but for your children.


#4

He’s horrible. Now start asking for help and support from extended family, friends, neighbors and community. The worst that can happen is they say no. The best is that you develop new friendships.


#5

Cacymom, this is so hard on marriages and relationships. I’ve been married 34 years and last year my husband started saying he was going to leave and not tell anyone where he is going. It was like my God, don’t I have enough on my mind. After a few times of saying this, I finally called him out and said if you are going to leave, do it and quit talking about it. I guess he got the message cause I don’t hear that anymore.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring.


#6

Good riddence, I say. Be strong mamma!

Please remember that YOU did the right thing to focus on your mentally ill child instead of your husband’s insecurities. I hope that you, too, soon get the break you deserve.


#7

I work so hard not to be bitter. It comes in waves. I am so angry with him for putting me in this situation. I know I am responsible for how I react to things I cannot control. He’s living a responsible free life and I’m left carring for our child. I know this is a process. I have good days and bad getting past this divorce. Today seems to be a bad day. Thanks for your kind words.


#8

Been through a similar circumstance. I think that having a sense of personal integrity and reliance on God is my path. We can only control our own choices and it is hard at times to see the right way to go.

But I am glad I don’t have to live w the poor lifestyle and lack of God in his lifestyle.

Separating the darkness from the light is how I think about it.

You can face and do anything if you know you have a foundation.

It’s not easy but there is a peace that comes.

Best to you!


#9

The reality is that there are no physical barriers, even in a marriage with children.
Things work because the family chooses to unite and support each other on an individual basis, at all times and in all ways.
Things stop working when one (or more) members decide to stop doing those things.
And there is no physical barrier to prevent that from happening, it is strictly a matter of personal decisions made internally.
In all reality, nobody wants someone in their home who doesn’t want to be there themself. They wouldn’t be dependable or helpful at all.

Certainly, you have plenty of reason to be furious about the situation!
But there is a perspective that isn’t quite so terrible.
First, that’s a self-correcting problem. You don’t have to do anything to fix the problem. He’s no longer a factor for you to consider in your day-to-day.
Second, that your home is minus one detrimental and undependable source of problems.
Third, that you get to decide how you meet tomorrow according to your own set of morals and needs.

And none of that is meant to be new information. I know you already know all of this.
But my parents stuck together until their youngest graduated highschool. What they got in return was all the same strife and problems prolonged for years longer than it should have been. Their home was equally as far from positive and supportive as it would have been had they divorced sooner. Possibly even moreso.
As the Son who moved out and stopped depending upon my parents before they really grew away from each other to the point of divorce discussions, it had absolutely zero berring on my own life. I still had two parents who accepted my phone calls and offered advice about career and life, both before and after their divorce.
For my brother, who stayed with our parents through their divorce process after he finished highschool, it may as well have happened sooner. Having an awkward, difficult and sometimes hostile home didn’t help him any.
Years later, after my parents divorce, they are both much happier and content on a daily basis. They found new people to marry, and new adventures to tackle.

My mother took the forefront of helping my brother with his diagnosis. My father remains much less involved (for reasons that are extremely rational and logical, if detailed in explanation, trust me).
Again, personal decisions made internally. There is no physical force that compels a person to act, or even participate emotionally in family. Just intent and will to do so.

So, right or wrong isn’t really the underlying issue. Deeds are done and things happen.
What it seems divorce stirs up the most (in both parties) is the memory of the few good times, seen through rose-colored lenses, and also the keen knowledge of how things could have been, had both parties been ideal people in an ideal world.
I assure you nobody is an ideal person in an ideal world.

In circumstances where a relationship doesn’t play out as we had hoped, our consolation prize is all of the potential and opportunity to focus on our own needs, making changes within ourselves, and living each moment going forward with intent and a destination in mind.
You may have some added individual responsibility in this scenario, but you also have unilateral executive and moral power again. Use it to make things happen the way you want them to, minus the influence of your ex.


#10

Really enjoyed your thoughts and your style of communicating !

Good for your smart mind !

Terry.