UK Dads

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Crushed_Dad

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UK Dads
« on: April 20, 2016, 08:40:49 AM »
Any other UK dad's out there with young children? If you'd like to share them I'd be interested to read your experiences, either with coping day to day or the whole separation/divorce process and how you've rebuilt.

I'm with my wife at the moment regardless of the numerous threats of separation and divorce.

Currently I don't think the situation bad enough to warrant leaving, not when compared to being such a limited presence to our kids.  That's even before addressing the financial ramifications of breaking up with a 40 year old mother of 2, with no job, limited career opportunities, bankruptcy history, looking after 2 children under 4 within the London commuter belt, whilst renting as we've been priced out of the market.

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guitarman

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2016, 06:40:02 PM »
Hello Crushed_Dad. You are not alone. I'm in the UK too in a similar area. I have a uBPD/uNPD sister. I am not a father. What you have posted here and in your other posts reminded me of what my sister's ex-husband went through with their children who are now in their twenties. It's all so familiar.

You need support. Please get in touch with your local carers centre www.carers.org they should have someone who specializes in legal matters. They should also have a support group you can join.

You could also join your nearest Rethink Mental Illness support group where you can meet other mental health carers www.rethink.org .

Keep posting. There is lots of support here as well.

Best wishes.

"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2016, 02:34:36 AM »
Many thanks guitar man, will follow that up, it's very helpful.

Out of interest how have the children developed over that period, do you believe there's been a significant influence on them?

Sounds like your nieces and nephews are lucky to have someone from that side of the family who recognises the issue and can try to stem the tide. My wife's side have been lured in to thinking that the problem lies squarely at my door, only my father and brother understand and whilst that's a great support we feel like we'll never be in a position to try and address this problem.

I'm currently involved in a large IT project at work, on similar projects people have been refused holiday during their duration. When trying to explain that to her this morning I got this in response.....

"What not time at all? It's ok, no need to reply to that, I'm used to you not taking time off in school holidays to help"

What purpose does that kind of message serve? I get 25 days holiday a year, in the previous 4 years I've had to sacrifice 4 weeks for paternity leave, as never been in a job long enough to qualify for it, and 7 days for professional courses because I can't do it at evenings and weekends. Every time we have spent a week off together we disagree on things to do because I'm having to second guess her agenda anyway so it just ends up miserable.

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kiwihelen

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2016, 04:12:21 AM »
Crushed Dad, there are a lot of UK fathers on Shrink4Men forum who have negotiated 50:50 custody.

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2016, 04:20:40 AM »
Really can't see how that'll work, I commute currently and even where I am it's a 12 hour day 6-6. I pay 1/2 my salary in rent and train season tickets alone.

Come divorce I would be fully expecting that in addition to child maintenance of around £200 a week) I would be anticipate to contribute 1K a month towards their accommodation to stay in the area (sleepy market town Dacorum borough).

Shared custody would probably have a more detrimental effect and my family all live 80 miles away.

Sorry I really appreciate the effort, and I'm trying not to turn away all advice, just very hard to see alternatives to the status quo.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2016, 04:22:33 AM by Crushed_Dad »

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2016, 02:18:02 PM »
Saw a solicitor today, pretty much reinforced what I thought. Kids rightly come first and my wife will totally align herself with them. With work commitments, I have to provide for them and their future so they stand a chance, which means she has custody as I'm out 12 hrs a day. In turn she'll need accommodation and subsistence at which point I'm done for. If I petition things might be better but with a high conflict I fear all our 40k's worth of savings will be wasted in battle

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guitarman

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2016, 03:39:52 AM »
Hello Crushed_Dad

This group might be able to help you.

Families Need Fathers https://fnf.org.uk

I have a friend who is in a similar position as you and they have helped him.

Everything must be so stressful for you.

Best wishes.

"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2016, 04:01:35 AM »
Many thanks guitarman, when I have a quiet moment I'll follow up on this.

As mentioned previously I'm hoping to maintain a close bond to the kids and if that means making some personal sacrifices and being in some positions then so be it. The FOG is the stressful part, the second guessing and never knowing where we stand, not knowing how she'll react to suggestions, or what I'm going to be blamed for next. We're due to move to next rental next week which once in, will settle things down.

Long term my aim is to keep put. All our parents are divorced and they all own their own houses, and given her dad's place is worth about £3M!!! and her Mum's over 300K I know my wife will be taken of. When that stage comes it'll mean a separation wont be future threatening. Cold and calculating I know and quite sad when you think of it.

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guitarman

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2016, 04:14:29 AM »
I know what you mean about FOG and second guessing. It's what if? what if? what if? all the time.

My rule is to stay calm no matter what happens.

You have to plan ahead for the worse case scenario for your children's sake and for yours. It's not being calculating at all. It's called being a good parent.

Best wishes.
"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

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Downbutnotout

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2016, 09:58:18 AM »
Hello, I'm a UK dad of two(10&8).  My stb ex demonstrated BPD traits that got worse once children came along.... accusations of me having affairs with explicit swearing at me in front of the child's..."dad's a mother fxxxxx" "who are you fxxxing?", Hyper controlling, projecting, trying to alienate me and the children from my family, paranoid accusations about her p/t job colleagues.  It got to the point that I couldn't condone the behavior or let the children hear and see their dad and his family being falsely portrayed or let the think this was what a marriage should be.  It was also affecting my relationship with my eldest.  4 months ago with much sadness I initiated divorce.    This opened Pandora's box..... vile claims were made to police and SW that I was domestically abusive, that I was controlling and that I was financially abusive (I actually paid for all house costs and mortgage).  She took sons mobilephone of him so I couldn't call them, and when I tried landline no answer and next t day solicitor letter saying claim of harassment made to police.  Whilst investigated and interviewed by police I had no contact with children.  Fortunately police and SW were great and saw it for what it was, but I still had to implement court order to have children stay over becauae she wouldn't agree or go to mediation (children need both parents for goodness sake) and like a bully she backed down and court order was rubber stamped.  Now battling on finance.  She gave up pt job saying i made her ill.  I pay mortgage and all bills in lieu of child maintenance as i agreed through solicitor (although she still pursued csa) in interim to make  sure children provixed  for.  she didn't disclose the 1k+ of benefits she is now getting on her form e or that she has been working pt.  There is equity in property for her to be mortgage free on a smaller property for her and the children and I will willing pay child maintenance.  I have also given her all the white goods furnishings etc so that she has a ready home.  I would then have a massive mortgage until very old and a tiny property but she is pushing for more and wants 1k spousal maintenance in addition to the above and her benefits.  Wow.....2k a month with no mortgage, very nice.  I will not have enough left to rent, let alone a mortgage or billls.  I am very lucky that I have great family and can stay with them for as long as needed but having worked so hard to get a nice house and being back with mum and Dad in 40s is kinda hard.  The financial part is hard as is not l knowing how it will be resolved.  However, the key point is that my relationship with the children os great, it is free, m
Natural and without negative propaganda (at least not when with me) and it means the children are free to make up their own minds. I have never critised their mum and this is key,  despite them telling me the bad things she says.  I sympathise massively with you.  My future is unclear and scary but I know that I tried so hard to make the marriage work, it couldn't and that the children have at least a "normal"(whatever that maybe, but at least not bpd), when with me....they can then form their own opinions and I believe children are quite perceptive.  I wish you well.  It is open to various opinions but my view is that it is better for children to be free of the negative atmosphere of a bpd environment and that although I have less time with them the quality is great .  Good luck

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Squeeky

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2016, 11:09:27 AM »
You're not alone.

I'm probably a step short of where you are at the moment, but have all the same concerns.

Wife currently has no income (time off with baby, new baby on the way). Mortgage of 1k+ per month, housing market now in the shitter. I' not sure I can face moving out of a nice house with garden that we only moved into a few months ago back into some pokey flat which we finally escaped (and tbh which I probably can't afford anyway, think more like bedsit).

She's quite happy to swear at me in front of the kid (and on one occasion slapped me hard around the face while I was holding our then 7 month old - I was so close to calling the police at that point).

As I said on another thread, I post this not so much to compare experiences but rather because I know that reading that I'm not the only one experiencing this has certainly helped me. I hope it can do the same for you.

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Downbutnotout

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2016, 04:57:10 PM »
Knowing that others are in the same situation gives comfort that we aren't the crazy ones and that we have to trust our hearts and instincts.  That said, it is so sad that this is such a prevalent condition and that a Rocky long and steep patht leads to   better life.  Financially the future is scary but I had my children stay this weekend, it was great, no looking over my shoulder, being analysed or critised.  We went camping.  Just honest, heart fault genuine quality time.  It has give n me strength.  My thoughts and best wishes to those in the confusion of not knowing what to do.  Sharing our stories can only give us strength

Re: UK Dads
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2016, 09:36:21 AM »
Hi Crushed_Dad and everyone else. Thanks for starting the thread. I joined up yesterday after wondering nearly all night just how much more I can take.
My wife hasn't been diagnosed with anything but I suspect NPD from what I have read. We have an early teen daughter that I think the world of: she is smart, talented, kind and a credit to us no matter how screwed up we are, often in front of her to my great chagrin. I despair when I think my wife is the major female role model for that child and I can only hope that her intellect and inquiring mind will save her from acting the same way towards people that her mother does.
I suspect I may find myself using these forums (fora? fori? whatevs) as something of an "abuse diary" so I apologise in advance for boring anyone! There has been a long history of nastiness and controlling behaviour when I think about it and I am sometimes disgusted with myself for not having the courage to walk out, though I think my loyalty to and desire to protect my daughter is the major reason why I haven't been able to. If my wife knew this I am almost certain she would leave and take our daughter with her as she has threatened to do this before, adding that "the courts always give custody to the mother" for good measure.
So here goes, diary entry 1: a couple of weeks ago, in the car, taking wife and daughter to the airport for them to go stay with my mother-in-law for a couple of weeks. M-i-L is very elderly and is losing marbles at an alarming rate; I don't begrudge the visits for that reason even though they are pretty much every school holidays. It's not a cakewalk to look after home and pets as well as go to work all by myself. The longest I have been away from home on a holiday of my own in twenty years is five nights.
Anyway, I digress. A row started in the car on the way to the airport and even though I tried to stop it, the sniping and belittling remarks continued even after I said "please stop, you're upsetting me." They got back home on Monday and within two hours the row had been re-started. Eventually I disengaged and she went off, ranting to the world in general: "my father wasn't like this!" "never wants his family to go forwards!" "never does anything in the house!" as I sit there looking at the new shelving units and window blinds I spent a day putting together while they were away. Fuck my life.
I look after the finances of my local branch of a national campaigning organisation. This morning I was counting up some cash in order to bank it, doing so and recording it took maybe five, ten minutes tops. A short time later I get "you know where I can see you in a couple of years' time? Begging on the streets with all this work you do for free."
I didn't engage - it took a lot of willpower not to and to remain standing there open mouthed.
She's digging away at me so much and so often that it's having an adverse effect on me at work. She can't be told as she has decided she hates my boss. It's nothing personal really because she actually doesn't have a good word to say about anyone, me included.
I'm sick of being a punchbag for someone who appears to hate herself so much that the only way she can feel better is to put others down. She is seeing our couples counselor by herself tomorrow morning and provided she remembers to go I suspect she's going to come away from it stewing and will take it out on me later.

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Buzz2406

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2016, 11:05:03 AM »
Hi all,

I joined the forum yesterday for exactly the reasons that you are all recounting now. I too am a UK Dad and have been married to my wife for 16 years. We have two lovely boys aged 16 and 13 whom have done well academically despite the many distractions that my wife chooses to create.

I have endured the raft of behaviours that you all describe and eventually one morning as I was shaving I looked at myself in the mirror and thought "How did you get here?" The issue with my wife (and I am sorry gentlemen who are struggling financially) is that in addition to the behaviours your wives display my wife hoards money. We went to the solicitor a few months ago to draw up wills and it transpires that she has £120K stashed away that I knew nothing about. She has never released her full share of family finances and instead only releases a small proportion of her salary (which is the same as mine) which means that she has also amassed £12K in her personal account. The joint account is always overdrawn, as am I, as I put all money plus some into family finances. When I challenge her over this she states that she does this as I go out spending all the time. There is no truth in this and in fact the opposite is true. She also said that having worked part time for some years it was her time to accrue some money (but who was keeping things afloat when she did this???? ME!)

The thing I find most distressing is the psychological and emotional abuse which I have reported to the police and a local domestic abuse service, which took a lot to admit with them as often I am left questioning my own sanity. Anyway, long story short, I have finally taken the steps to divorce her in the knowledge that there will be a long and rocky road ahead for a while, however like some of you I am doing this in the knowledge that I can care for my boys when they are with me in the way that I choose to be. I will be able to do this in the knowledge that I won't be observed and criticised when doing this and that I can further build on our relationships in my own way and prove to myself that I am not a bad, unemotional, scary man that everyone is afraid of as she suggests frequently.

My thoughts and best wishes go out to all of you and I hope that we will all reach a point where we can experience a life that is not hard work and emotionally draining and gives us a chance to experience life the way that we want to without it being dictated to by A N Other.

Take care guys and will share my divorce journey with you if you like and hope that you will continue to share your experiences with the rest of us.

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Downbutnotout

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2016, 09:28:02 AM »
Apologies in advance for the very long post.  Having endured 10 months of hell since filling for divorce and finally reaching closure, I wanted to share my experience for the benefit of others who are also wading through the P.D treacle, and to encourage you to stay strong, focused , and to believe in and trust your instinct.  I was scared for my future and it was a black place but there is light ahead.  I was/am fortunate to have a wonderful family to have gotten me through.

Background:
Married for 11 years with two boys aged 10 and 8.  During the marriage my ex displayed many signs of BPD; controlling, isolating me from family, constant accusations of infidelity, paranoia, illogical thoughts, verbally aggressive (and occasionally physically), gaslighting and a huge amount of projection, belief that everyone was out to get her.  The intensity and frequency was increasing.  It got to the point where I simply couldn’t condone the behaviour, accept the false statements, character assignation of my family and me and let the boys think this was “normal” behaviour.  It was already beginning to damage my bond with my eldest who was being poisoned by ex and destroying who I was and the way he saw me.   

Separation/Divorce:
In many ways my ex’s behaviour during this time has mitigated any feelings of regret or conflicting emotions that I could have had.  She pursued a progressive and sequential campaign to try and destroy me emotionally, reputationally and financially, and this has actually reinforced my view that I had no choice and that I’ve made the right decision as had as it was.

Headline acts by my ex once divorce process initiated:
•   Refusal to discuss anything, obstructive and extremely aggressive and threatening legal correspondence
•   False accusations to police and social workers meaning a period of no contact with children either in person or on phone – swiftly rejected by authorities
•   Removal of children’s phones so no contact, refusal to answer land line when I rang and then claims I was harassing her
•   Refusal to let children stay with me resulting in need for contact order.  She backed down a few days before court appearance and agreed to order without challenge....hmmm!!
•   Despite me paying all bills, mortgage etc in lieu of maintenance pending decree absolute, she still pursued child maintenance agency.  Agency told her to go away
•   Despite me paying money directly to her, she raided joint account (bank failed to action my request to freeze – long story resulting in need to sort out with Financial ombudsman) adversely affecting my credit rating
•   Only on threat of police attending did she enable me to recover my personal items, and only then with me providing a list of such items which she “dumped” in the garage for me to collect (note I still jointly own house and had legal right to enter property) .
•   Resigned from her employment saying I made her too unwell to work and that I therefore had an obligation to financially support her (note I paid the mortgage, bills, maintenance etc, whilst rented a room elsewhere)
•   Failure to disclose £1k month benefits she was claiming in addition to my payments
•   Failure to disclose that she actually was working
•   Information that she took out loans of £20k during our marriage that I knew nothing about and refusal to disclose what it was used for but expectation that I pay it off.
•   Sold family jewelry (expensive) that my mum gave her, within a week of our separation.  Whilst these were gifted and hers, sadden that with everything going on she was focused on this within such a short period when there were more important things to discuss
•   Crazy financial settlement demands – all house equity, half pensions, £1k a month maintenance plus open order that if she got into financial difficultly (which she will) I was obliged to financially support her for life.
•   Ex bad mouthed me and my family to the boys.  I never once retaliated and I believe this has strengthened my relationship with the boys. When they said these things I simply asked them questions so they could form their own opinions i.e. “why do you think she says that?”, “what is the impact of what she says?”
•   Too many other things to mention

Outcome:
We had to go to court to agree financial settlement due to her steadfast refusal to discuss anything.  My position was always based on providing for the children and the deal reached was pretty much that which I had offered 5 months prior to the court i.e. she wasted time and massively increased legal fees.  Court was avoidable.  She walks away (once family home is sold) with enough equity to buy a property mortgage free and a contribution to her loans.  I also gave her all the household items.  I have no further obligation to her save for child maintenance which I pay very willingly.  The law is not fair and when the mother “plays the system” the father will be disadvantaged.  The solace that I take is that my boys are well provided for financially and that hopefully the hardwork that I put in in establishing a nice family home will be passed to them in the form of an inheritance from my ex. She may have benefited financially but sadly I believe that she will never be happy.

Negatives:
•   I take a pittance financially from the house and the years of hardwork, but with hardwork and prudency I will eventually be able to secure a small property which I will have to furnish from scratch.
* Clean break - I can move on with no connection
•   Loss of dreams and expected future
•   Sadness and question whether ex really was who I initially thought she was
•   Made me more cautious and more guarded with people

Positives:
•   Wonderful relationship with my children – freedom, no checking over my shoulder, no bad mouthing of Dad, boys are free to form their own opinion of me and my family.  Less quantity but much much better quality
•   Great honest holidays and time with boys – camping, fires, outdoors, mud!! Their mother would never do these things
•   Rebuilt relationship with wonderful family and friends
•   “Normal” life -  My future is within my own influence and I am able to shape where it goes

If you’ve read this far well done!!!!! 

Key message is stay strong no matter how bad and nasty it gets, trust in yourself.   There were many many times that without the support of my family she may have come close to destroying me and I would have given in to her bullying just to end the stress.  I am proud that I have not lost one day of work despite all the stress and vileness.  My future is there to be rebuilt (I am fortunate to have a well paid job and that there was equity in the property.  Without this my future would have been  different). 

Stay strong, good luck 

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judithr

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2017, 05:49:30 PM »
My son has been living in the U.K. for the past dozen years and has been married for the past 6; they have a pre-schooler and a new baby. When they married,  she seemed slightly anxious with a little OCD but since the first pregnancy, she has become more and more difficult, throwing public tantrums like a toddler, belittling him in front of the kids, accusing him of having affairs, texting and calling him endlessly at work, and even hitting him. My son's European father also lives in the U.K. and his sister is there frequently for work, so he does have some family support, but his wife does her best to isolate him and her parents blame him. And to top it off, he is the family's sole support and financially struggling. This past summer I sent a book on living with someone with BPD to him at his office and he took it home, where she found it, so she is punishing me by refusing to let me see their children, including the new baby. It's very hard not to take this personally even though intellectually  I know she is deliberately doing this to drive a wedge between us.
Any suggestions on how to help him and the kids? I live on another continent.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 05:55:55 PM by judithr »

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littlemisssunshine

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2017, 03:42:45 AM »
Hi, as female in the uk with a non diagnosed but i strongly suspect narcissistic personality disordered mother, i totally emphasise with you brave men, your lives sound like a living hell and my heart goes out to you all. I have watched one of my husbands friends be put through a living hell after he split with a horrid women. What I don't understand is why the men in most relationships that finish when there are kids end up being ripped off so badly financially it makes me mad, we are suppose to live in a equal society now a days but clearly this is bullsxxt why the women can't work and everything be equal is completely beyond me.

Sending love and hugs to you all.

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2017, 04:26:16 AM »
My son has been living in the U.K. for the past dozen years and has been married for the past 6; they have a pre-schooler and a new baby. When they married,  she seemed slightly anxious with a little OCD but since the first pregnancy, she has become more and more difficult, throwing public tantrums like a toddler, belittling him in front of the kids, accusing him of having affairs, texting and calling him endlessly at work, and even hitting him. My son's European father also lives in the U.K. and his sister is there frequently for work, so he does have some family support, but his wife does her best to isolate him and her parents blame him. And to top it off, he is the family's sole support and financially struggling. This past summer I sent a book on living with someone with BPD to him at his office and he took it home, where she found it, so she is punishing me by refusing to let me see their children, including the new baby. It's very hard not to take this personally even though intellectually  I know she is deliberately doing this to drive a wedge between us.
Any suggestions on how to help him and the kids? I live on another continent.

Sounds so similar to my situation and wife. Only thing to do is leave but it's the hardest thing to do, I try and get by as best I can but have moments of absolute fury when I see what my life has become and how she's dragging us all down to her level.

I'd certainly love to leave but closeness to my kids and relative financial comfort stops me. I have no attraction to my wife anymore.

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2018, 03:03:37 AM »
Wondered if there are any more UK dads out there