Posted by: Elle | 2006/10/28

Alone vs Lonely

The blues hit me big time today. It's been less than a month since my divorce and it is so much harder than I anticipated. Thought I was ready for this, prepared for the hardships but I guess one never really is. Was alone and lonely for a very long time in my marriage and did so many things on my own anyway. I'm coping OK with my two children and things are for the most part "smooth sailing". I just have to deal with these feelings of anger toward the ex. He is still living and working abroad and was supposed to come back at the end of this year, but has decided to extent his stay by another six months. Life seemed to have gone on for him. Apparantly found himself someone and has even informed me about this "fortunate development". I don't care. What I do care about is that his children really misses him. That they want him to be close-by, to see him often and he seemed to only be worried about the financial implications should he come back to SA. Interesting that he reasons being so far away will enable him to provide better for the kids but what he chooses to ignore is the fact that money can and will never make up for the huge void they feel and experience everyday not having dad around. Life is so short, kids grow up so fast, changes physically and emotionally from month to month and he is missing out on that. I get stick for not sending photo's etc regularly and yes, of that I am guilty but not because I'm trying to be a "b-with-an-itch", but simply cause I can not be bothered following the kids around with a camera, snapping happy and less happy moments to forward to him so he can still be part of their lives accross the miles. Don't have time for it, hell, hardly have time for myself. His TV blew up and I have to hear that he doesn't have money to replace it, but what he forgets is that he could carry down the upstairs tv, connect it to his satelite-box and other gadgets and still watch whatever he wants to, albeit just on a smaller screen.

Anyway, could become a very long moan-and-bitch letter so better I stop and get off the bus.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hello Elle,
Interesting issues raised here. One can be happy while alone, or lovely in a crowd. He sounds like the sort of guy who dimly recognizes that he's no good at being loving in the way you would want, and tries to provide money as a substitute, without really recognizing that the money in no way provides the satisfaction a wife or children need from him. You're right thatthere's no onus on you to keep a happy snappy set of pictures for him --- that would be to satisfy his theopretical interest in the kids, but it does them no good at all. It might help slightly to keep them a part of his life, but of course it in no way keeps him a part of their's. But what can you say to a man for whom having to make do temporarily with a smaller TV screen is a major calamity ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Gordon | 2006/10/30

Your words tell me that you are as strong as my mom. Im 47 now and she managed 5 kids on her own. I agree. the camera bit is hollywood and you dont have to jump when he presses the remote. I know that my 3 brothers and sister would be on your side . Dont rely on him- hell ,he complains about a tv to you. You are way ahead of him and he'll never catch up. cheers

Reply to Gordon
Posted by: Been there | 2006/10/29

Hi Elle
Your letter made me realise (gratefully) what an extraordinary healer time is. I was in the same position 10 years (!) ago, and still have the father-abroad situation. At the time it seemed - as it must surely seem to you now - an almost impossible task. If I may, I'll share a few tips that really worked for me:(1) He is their father. Don't ever give him the opportunity to accuse you of hindering that relationship. (2) Him missing out on his children, is his loss. Your job is to support your children through this transition. Focus on that. (3)Don't ever say anything negative about him to them or in front of them. It is the most liberating thing to have that power.(4) Go to a lot of trouble to have fun with yourself. You will be a rich emotional source for your children if you are ok with you. (5) Believe and trust that you WILL feel better, and that these horrible emotions will become more manageable, because they truly do. You must want to, though.
Today I have unbelievably strong, healthy children, with a healthy view on the world and themselves. I so hope that you are ready to get this, you are on the verge of such a powerful and enriching experience! And you will definitely make it! Best of luck!

Reply to Been there
Posted by: Anonymous | 2006/10/29

You are better off without his ***hole. Any man who bitches just because he has to watch TTV on a smaller screen than before, will never grow up. Having said that, however, I do feel sorry for the children. If not for them, I would have suggested that you never see him again.

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