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TOPIC: Relationship Breakup - access - am I being naive?

Relationship Breakup - access - am I being naive? 6 years 3 weeks ago #35878

OK, just found this place, so first post... I guess I just need to sound off and also need a little advice.

I was with my wife for nearly 20 years, married for 12 and we have one daughter, aged 9. My daughter and I have always been very close. I have always put her to bed every night, given her her bath and got her ready for school every morning.

My wife is very set in her ways and a very very controlling person - if it's not her way, it is wrong...very wrong. I'm not going to sit here and do her down, that's not fair, but they are very much the facts and obvious to everyone who knows her. I am extremely laid back and pretty much put up with anything. It worked for years..but I admit I made a rod for my own back.

Anyway, to the outside, everyone thought we were the perfect couple. The problem was, I was putting up with more and more - my opinion counted for nothing, very strict 'rules' on everything we did, I was unable to see my family, tracked where I was the whole time via my iphone and she gave me a budget of every penny I was allowed to spend, leaving me with £40 per month for myself...Money wasn't massively tight, I have a decent job, but she gave up work to look after our daughter, which we agreed to together, but then never really went back and I always felt railroaded into this. She recently went back until she had saved up enough money for a new car and then gave up again. She refuses to 'do' credit and overpays mortgage, etc. All very admirable, obviously and all very much out of my hands. I just earned the money and handed it over without question. She is extremely clever and organised and very well educated (she carried on her education after she stopped work) and could easily earn twice my wage if she worked full time.

Anyway, the relationship started to fall apart, and she started to get more demanding, which got worse as I became more apathetic to her rules and started pushing the boundaries as I refused to live like that any more.

And, yes... very predictable. I had an affair. With one of her friends. Stone me now.

Well, my wife found out and I sat down and explained what had happened, with I must admit a little relief. There were obviously a lot of heartbreaking conversations and when asked to choose between them, I told her I would be moving out, but to be away from her primarily, not to be with the other woman - but that I would be with the other woman in the long term. I also admitted to having been very down and unhappy, even having suicidal thoughts the night it all came out (the worst thing I could have said).

So, now I have moved out into a really nice rental house. I am happier. My work has improved and everyone has said how happy they are to see the change in me. My family have held their tongues for years and are being fantastic. My new relationship is blossoming and I am genuinely very optimistic.

So, here's the obvious problem. My wife still controls everything. I had hoped it would be easy, amicable and grown up. She has put everything down to some storyline she read on Mumsnet about men being depressed and blaming it all on their family and walking out. She convinced me I was depressed and insisted I saw a doctor - on the day I moved out of the family house. Who promptly gave me a course of anti depressants. I stopped taking those after 2 weeks as I genuinely felt I didn't need them or the counselling my wife thinks I should have. So, as she sees it. She needs to 'protect' herself and my daughter. She has turned my suicidal thoughts from the conversation we had, to a 'suicide attempt' and any conversation where I ask her to justify how inflexible she is being, she later states I am being vile and aggressive. In the 'interests' of my daughter, I now live by the following rules:

I am not allowed to ring my daughter. She has to ring me.
I am allowed 1 hour with my daughter after work one week night and one day at the weekend 9-5
During the visits I have to have my phone tracker on, so she knows exactly where I am
So far, I have not been allowed to have my daughter overnight. This is happening for the first time in a couple of weeks- with a bunch of rules.
I am not told anything of their whereabouts. Where my daughter is when she is not with me.
I am not allowed in the family house.
She is not prepared to even start talking about increasing access outside of mediation.
I still pay 2/3 of my wages to the joint account - she has asked me to remove my name from this.
She has listed all major assets (excluding several expensive items I bought her as a gift) and wants a 70/30 split
She is 'emotionally not ready to work' - so I do not know when she will be paying anything towards the mortgage of the house

We are heading for mediation at the second attempt after she refused to see the first one again after taking a dislike to her after the initial interview. A shame as I thought the mediator might really help me, she seemed really fair and shocked at how things had gone so far. We have gone to second mediator for an initial consultation, who was very much paint by the numbers, disinterested - couldn't even remember my name through the interview and took a personal call while on my (£2 + VAT per minute) time. All these costs are coming out of what I have left of my wages - I can't afford to see these people too many times and I don't want to pay for a 3rd mediator!

What I am asking is, can she do all this? I suppose I need a solicitor - but the money scares the hell out of me. There's no way I'd qualify for any sort of legal aid, but I don't have spending money in my pocket. We need to go through mediation as we need someone who can be impartial and accurately record what has been said. But a mediator can't make suggestions and put forward my case - which I seem to be unable to do without being labelled as aggressive (if you'd ever met me, you'd know how laughable this is)

Thanks for reading ... maybe I just needed to vent...

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Re: Relationship Breakup - access - am I being naive? 6 years 3 weeks ago #35944

Hi Split_Bus,

Welcome to DAD. Feel free to vent - that's what we are here for (and other things of course....).

Thanks for your honesty - we don't judge so there will be no stoning on this forum, what's in the past is in the past.

I can imagine why you feel your current levels of access and the demands from you ex are unacceptable but you are dealing with it in the right way. Mediation is really the best place to try to come up with a solution. Often mediated solutions seem to be the ones that work - if both parties are prepared to enter mediation with open minds, be prepared to comprimise and try to see the other persons point of view.

Have you checked out our Divorce and Separation section of the site for some advice ?

If you have a specific Child Law enquiry because you don't have legal representation at the moment we can ask out Child Law partners the Coram Children's Legal Centre to pop by and offer you some advice. If you need some Child Maintenance questions answered we can also ask Child Maintenance Options to pop by and offer some sage words as well.

It might also be worth your while reading our Mediation - your questions answered article.

you may also find this web app Sorting Out Separation helpful.

If you feel court is your only option for better access then you can represent yourself - you don't have to have a solicitor. Many dads on the forum have represented themselves successfully in court. Check out this handy guide in the Legal Eagle section of the forum.

We are all here for you - even if you just want somewhere to vent.

Keep talking.

Gooner
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Re: Relationship Breakup - access - am I being naive? 6 years 3 weeks ago #35945

Excellent...

Thank you!

Kev
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Relationship Breakup - access - am I being naive? 3 years 4 months ago #75837

Hi, was just wondering how things are going for you now Split Bus? I may need to go to mediation sometime soon as my ex controls absolutely everything regarding our little one and I know from the few times I've challenged this she doesn't like it one bit. It actually reflects our relationship - her getting her own way and me compromising all the time. I'm just worried that if I mention more access and overnight stays she could stop me seeing him altogether!

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Relationship Breakup - access - am I being naive? 3 years 4 months ago #75842

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Hi there

As it's been nearly three years since this thread was generated Split Bus might not be around to respond to you anymore. However we have many current members that can relate to your situation. It is daunting to make that first step, sometimes mediation is all it takes to get things moving in the right direction, but sometimes the ex will fight dirty to maintain control.

Mediation is your first step to try and get a fairer deal for your son, it's his right to have both parents fully involved and this is the stance the courts generally take. Depending on your sons age, the court will want to see a proper schedule of contact that should include overnight stays and extra time during holidays and christmas.

At the moment you may be feeling pretty helpless, but once you start to assert your position as his father it's likely this will empower you to take the necessary steps to change things for both of you.

Best of luck

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

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