UK Dads

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #40 on: March 28, 2019, 06:18:38 AM »
Don't get me wrong we do a lot, but all of it is policed by her, there's no way I could possibly take them out for more than an hour without her being present and the only reason she's present is to criticise.

We go on walks, bike rides, play football out the front of the house, go football training, go to the cinema, do his homework (when time allows), play hide and seek etc. Last week I took them to a farm-play park. Trust me they're not left wanting for time spent with us but as said all under the watchful eye.

My father has just bought a kayak and I'm hoping we can go out on it over the summer, she's already registered her disdain but hoping when my lad sees it he'll be so excited she wont be able to say no.

 My lad is 6 and my little girl almost 4.5 and she's still not spent a night under a different roof to them. She control everything and wonders why I'm dis-interested. Even football practice has been taken away from me .

We will split one day, we're both resigned to that fact and in full acceptance but for reasons already noted keep charade going. As soon as we split and I have time with my kids without her presence they'll be a significant shift I would think.

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11JB68

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #41 on: March 29, 2019, 12:10:30 AM »
One problem I've had with uPDh is that he gets extremely jealous of any time I spend alone with ds.

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #42 on: March 29, 2019, 11:39:07 PM »

It's great that you are spending time with them!
I had the same problem with exBPDw having to control things.
If activities were not approved by her or not going her way she would get very difficult, make excuses, imagine catastrophes that could happen, get blamey, hold back, argue, etc.
When I started talking to the kids more at bed time she would make excuses as to why I shouldn't, she would come up with other things I had to do immediately, she would change bed time for the kids,  start cutting me down in front of the kids, etc.

So all that to say, it's a common struggle.

On the other hand, parenting decisions should have equal input.  No one parent makes unilateral decisions.
Your spouse should not be making it difficult for you to do things with your kids.
If it's that lopsided for either parent,
I often heard "I decide because I'm their mother" "Mother always knows what is best".

I know it's hard to pull out of the dynamic that you have with your wife, but can you just say flat out "It seems like you don't trust me with our children" or "Why won't you not let me do things with my own children? What is your concern?" or "
With personality disorders there is a massive insecurity driving their actions.
Perhaps getting her to voice her concern or insecurity then validating it may change her tune?
There is a possibility she will come up with something  completely absurd that makes no sense at all (trust me I have heard almost every one out there).  Read a little bit on personality disorders and all of the books have the same approach if you truly want to get along with her.  Validation.

"I understand you think rabid mutant alligators will submerge our kayak and devour us whole.  That sounds very frightening.  Is there anything I can do to make you feel better about our kayaking trip?  I will take all the safety precautions that I feel are necessary."

You can expect push back, but then you need to put up a boundary.
Don't argue, defend or engage in other shenanigans.

"No, I will not be cancelling my trip with our son but I will call you when we are done so that you do not worry"
If's she's anything like my ex, she will twist and turn like she's being exorcised when you say the word "no".

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #43 on: April 01, 2019, 05:51:54 AM »
I do understand Finding, I really do but the simple thing is I really can be bothered and don't have the required will/energy. I have very little time left in my life outside work that I don't see the point worrying about how I should conduct my every last step away from it. I'm an adult and I treat people how I expect to be treated, and if others make it too difficult, or make my life unhappy, I simply don't entertain them and can't be bothered with her. As such, I try and make the most of my time with the kids as I get it, but it's not what I'd like whilst under her governance.

I'm certain she is hell bent on sabotaging every single thing about my life and relationships with others, yet still says she wants me to be happy!!?? She has no realisation that it's her behaviour that makes me miserable, our life and lack of anything interaction as a family unit with other people outside family or people she likes. She then goes around to her mother and friends getting all the "enablement" she doesn't get from me and the validation of her one-sided BS that she'll spout about me. She will reject this though on things I've said or done though, usually in reaction to unreasonable behaviour in the first instance.

I've asked her frequently why she rejects or has to argue with everything I suggest or do, her answer?

"I don't do that"

In the end I just laugh at the absurdity of it all and walk away.

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #44 on: April 02, 2019, 05:49:59 AM »
there's a lot f interesting comments at the end of the article below....

I would imagine there's a large number of people in a similar situation as us on here with it going largely unreported....

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/life/ditching-marriage-might-biggest-mistakegeneration-z-makes/#comments

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #45 on: October 25, 2019, 06:02:48 AM »
Looks like we're heading for the fourth separation period of a 5 year marriage.

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Sniperon

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #46 on: October 29, 2019, 01:47:44 PM »
Crushed Dad, there are a lot of UK fathers on Shrink4Men forum who have negotiated 50:50 custody.
That's right.

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #47 on: November 01, 2019, 06:21:02 AM »
Crushed Dad, there are a lot of UK fathers on Shrink4Men forum who have negotiated 50:50 custody.
That's right.

Although I appreciate the input and that's refreshing to hear I would rather not get 50:50 custody if I'm working or commuting 13 hours a day. I would rather the kids not spend time with non-family carers.

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #48 on: December 02, 2019, 07:13:15 AM »
I've left the house again. After some pretty shocking behaviour from myself and my wife on Saturday morning and typically in front of the kids.

This has happened plenty of times before and her hoover is already out, all based on the fact that I'm the one who needs help and that she's little miss perfect according to all her friends and mother. She's also saying that it's me who'll ruin Xmas for everyone especially the children.

I've been down for a number of months now, it's just a culmination of many things and a realisation of where life is for all of us. I'm medicating this by the pub, basically trying to make myself feel awful physically to match my mental mood and phase out everything that's wrong in my life. All of time this is just alienating the family from me and giving my wife all the ammunition she needs to propel her propaganda to all and sundry. Although I didn't hit her I did grab her on Sunday morning and wanted to kick her down the stairs, she was goading me on the basis that I said I might as well jump in front of a train given where life has ended up for us. It's just another example of awful levels I've stopped to and terrible choices I've made in the face of her provocation. There's too many examples to rattle off now. The only way out is to remove myself from the firing line.

Obviously this is why I had to leave. My fear is if I keep going back this could escalate and I'm scared that if I get any kind of criminal record I lose my job and they'll inevitably lose the house. One of us has to be mature enough to say enough is enough although another fear is that we've been here plenty of times before.

I don't worry for the immediate welfare of the kids as with any true BPD she lives purely for them and wants them to have the life she didn't. I already miss them terribly but the fact is that they don't even know the real me, they know the miserable guy who's taken his frustrations out on them in the past, who comes in hungover as he's trying to block out his misery and who's just not a very nice guy.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 07:30:55 AM by Crushed_Dad »

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #49 on: December 02, 2019, 03:45:39 PM »
Crushed,
Likewise, i have done and said things that I regret.
I have acted in ways that were immature and not helpful to the situation.
I have turned to crushing beers in front of the TV very night to avoid dealing with my wife or to forget about our problems.
I can't change the past, I can only change what I do now and in the future.

Now for the hard advice.
It's up to you to change this.  You can choose how you react and how you deal with the stresses.
Only you can decide what you do with your time (going to the pub and drinking too much) and how you deal with conflict.
I understand that it is hard, things are difficult to deal with but you need to find healthy ways to deal with them.
It will eventually get better.  It might be pure shit right now but believe me it won't always be that way.
Your children need you in their life and they need you to be healthy.
If you can't change for your own good, do it for them.

I found that when I changed how I was coping and how I dealt with conflict it actually made my life harder with my ex.
One would think that your partner would be happy when you completely stop drinking, start taking care of yourself and stop arguing and getting upset.  In my case it was the exact opposite.  My ex didn't care about me, only what I could do for her.  This was what spurred me to leave as well as for the wellbeing of my children.
In a way I  think my ex liked it when I was down, it made her feel better and when I started to change she actually tried harder to keep me down.
The biggest thing that helped me change was journaling and going to therapy.
Get yourself a notebook and see a therapist, in my experience these were the tools I needed to make the necessary changes.
Use this situation as a catalyst and take the time to work on yourself.

Or don't and keep heading down the path you are on.  You get to choose.

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #50 on: December 02, 2019, 05:29:10 PM »
Crushed,
Sorry, but I have more hard advice for you.
You need to be truly honest with yourself.
This is one of the hardest things to do, but it is absolutely necessary if you want to see the changes that are required.

In one of your earlier posts you said that you treat others the way you want to be treated.
Is this true? Or is it only some of the time?

In one of your previous posts you talk about not wanting to spend the time or energy, you "can't be bothered by her", "you don't see the point worrying about your every last step".  All of these comments sound to me like you just don't want to do the work that is required.
I can tell you from experience that what is coming next will be much, much more work.

You also talk about her actions making you miserable.  So what are you going to do about it?
You can't change her actions, but you are responsible for your own happiness. 
You being miserable is completely under your control.  You will be happier when you take responsibility for your own happiness, make a decision and own it and live according to your values.

I'm talking about truly changing the way that you view yourself and others and how you deal with conflict.
If you decide to separate, your spouse will likely be much tougher to deal with than she is now and you are going to have to be that much more careful of your own actions.  When it comes to child custody, the initial months and years after separation are really what tell the judge who is the better parent, not what happened during the relationship.
I'm not talking about just trying to act differently, but asking yourself "why did I react this way?" or "why do I do this?" or "does this align with my values?" "do my actions agree with what I think and say about myself?".
Once you understand why and you address that problem you will actually start to change the way you think.

Often we act in anger or retreat into bad habits when we are afraid.  Afraid of being seen as weak, afraid of losing control, afraid of being hurt emotionally, afraid of losing relationships, afraid of losing financial security, afraid of failing.
These are all real things to be afraid of, but you need to face them. 
Be honest, be humble, be vulnerable, be authentic with yourself.
Think about this when you think about your nights at the pub and your arguments in front of the children.
What are you afraid of?  Does getting drunk or arguing help with that? Probably not.

Don't get me wrong, I am not blaming you and I'm not saying that this is all your fault.  It's not.
But you are responsible for your half.  This is the part that you have to be accountable for.

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #51 on: December 03, 2019, 06:46:01 AM »
Finding, thanks for the time and thought you've put in to our correspondence.... I struggle to have anyone to speak to who understands what goes on. My father tries having had my mother put him under similar stresses but it was at a 5/10 compared to the 8-9/10 he thinks I'm living with.

The hardest part at the moment is that whilst being honest with myself I'm neither strong enough or motivated enough to make anything happen. I see all of the outcomes and none of them are anywhere close to what I'd like. And yes, it appears that right now I'm not treating others the way I'd like to be treated. I'm depressed, jealous, disappointed, resentful, guilty, frustrated but most of all just very angry. And no, my actions and reactions certainly do not align with what I say or believe in. I'm a hypocrite in that regard. But I am responsible enough to acknowledge it and take responsibility for it.

You're right I don't want to do the work that's required to have a life with my wife.

I don't know what I'm going to do about it. I have no plan, few resources and about 2.5 hours between getting home for the day and going to sleep in order to get up and doing it all again.

I'm not antagonising the situation. Everything monetarily will continue to be provided.

Currently I'm afraid of my entire future, life will never be what I'd like it to be with or without my family. I'm afraid of the consequences of going down either route. Every choice I've made in recent times (especially this year) has ended in disaster. I've chosen not to be around my children, just yesterday I had my bike stolen from work, I've had knee surgery this year as a result of choosing to go down off-road dips on bike, I've been told I've permanently damaged my ankle as a result of choices made running, I've lost thousands as a result of booking a family holiday and by leaving the house I'm currently incurring an additional £200 a week in travel costs.

Right now I feel I have the weight of my whole family pushing down on me, normally I'd do anything to prop it up and push it higher but with everything and what normally happens as a result, I just feel like getting squashed.

I know that's not the way to deal with it btw, I know what the right choices are going forward, I just don't think I'm capable enough to carry them out.

My father said to me yesterday, I don't know how you do it, how you carry on, I couldn't, it was never this bad for me. My response was, I have to, there's no other choice.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 07:18:17 AM by Crushed_Dad »

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #52 on: December 03, 2019, 01:00:21 PM »
Crushed,
I know it seems hopeless right now.
You will come out of this entire experience as a stronger person.
You have the support of your dad, which is a great thing to be thankful for.
When I left, my parents were there for me, even though they had been treated poorly by me in the past.
This was another one of my regrets, under intense pressure from my ex we didn't see them much and they didn't see our kids for months and years at a time.

You are not a hypocrite.  Everyone makes mistakes. You are allowed to make mistakes.
Be kind to yourself, but also be honest with yourself and make the effort to not make the mistake again.
Write down the mistake you made and write down what you are going to do next time when the situation comes up.

You are definitely capable enough to carry out the right choices going forward.
You are stronger than you know.

One of the things that I did was write down in my journal every day, three small goals for the next day.
It takes about five minutes.
They were small things like get to bed on time, spend 10 minutes with my kids, walk the dog, etc.
Healthy habits and good choices.
The next day go back and see which ones you accomplished, it gives you a small sense of reward and accomplishment. 
It helps you to believe in yourself and raise your confidence that you can follow through with the right choices.
it also helps if you can write down something you are thankful for or something that made you happy.  It can be the smallest thing, a smile from a stranger, a sunny day, a roof over your head, etc. This slowly changes the way that you think.

The plan will come slowly.  You don't need to have all of the answers right now.
Write down your priorities and that will help you come up with a plan.
Your first priorities should be yourself and your kids. 
Your kids need you healthy.  Your kids still need to see you regardless, make this fit into your schedule.

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #53 on: December 04, 2019, 11:59:16 AM »
Thanks again, going to see them tomorrow for the first time since saturday morning where they saw me at my worse.

Whilst I can't wait to see them, and give them a massive hug, I'm also apprehensive as I've let them down and feel like I'm continuing to the closer we get to XMAS.

The one thing I'm certain of though is that I've nothing to share with my wife except pleasantries. I know the hoover will be out, it has since the first day I left alongside the venom and malice when I can't tell her what she wants to hear.

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #54 on: December 04, 2019, 07:03:17 PM »
Crushed,
My heart goes out to you.
I know exactly how you feel, I have been in your shoes.

Let your children know that they are loved,

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #55 on: December 06, 2019, 03:58:54 PM »
Crushed,
I also want to remind you that you are a good guy in a bad situation.
Keep being a good guy, make good decisions and you will pull through this just fine.

There will be times when things seem insurmountable, like everything is stacked against you.
But remind yourself that it won't always be this way.  Keep your chin up, take care of yourself and your kids and you will be just fine.  The biggest reminder for yourself will be to not engage in any sort of arguing, fighting or vindictive behavior towards your spouse.  "disengage".
I don't mean that you have to be a push over and go along with whatever she says. 
But don't fight over it.  I'll give an example.

When I left I was paying for everything.  I was paying for our home and expenses, I was paying her spousal support, I was paying for her vehicle insurance.  She would not cover any of the costs for kids education, extracurricular activities, nothing.
Basically 3/4 of our combined income was going towards her and 1/4 was left for me and the kids.  My cell phone was in her name and she cut it off days after I left.  She picked up the family dog from daycare and wouldn't let me see him.  On top of this she would throw jabs about me being cheap and demanding that I pay for additional things that were her personal expenses.
Extremely frustrating for sure, and it just makes you want to scream and lash out.
I just did not respond.

When I could no longer afford to pay all of the bills, I told her that I couldn't afford it and that I would close my accounts if we could not come to an agreement.
I gave her notice and asked her to contact me to work something out, when she did not I just closed my accounts.
This resulted in name calling, slandering on social media, but she still didn't get a reaction from me.  Arguing about the facts of life doesn't change them.  Stick to your guns and follow through without creating drama.

She still doesn't support the kids, but we will have to go to court for that matter.
Again, no point in trying to argue over it, it's a fact of life that you have to support your kids.

As i said earlier, if you think she is difficult now just wait until you leave for good.  She will likely try whatever she can to get under your skin and hurt you.  Just make sure you are not doing the same to her.






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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #56 on: December 06, 2019, 07:14:14 PM »
Thank you finding, sounds like you have plenty to deal with so spending the time to write to me is all the more appreciated! I read every last letter more than once, you really help.

I had a good morning with the kids yesterday, theyíd clearly put aside the last time they saw me which was nice. I told them each individually I loved them dearly.

I got to the house early before school to do that, and helped take them to school. I had to spend time with my wife alone prior to school Xmas play and my lads new school open day. I stayed quiet and offered minimal in terms of input. My lad is clearly suffering from anxiety and reaction issues but thatís a result of us both. We agreed at least on that.

Aside from that itís been a week of total dog turd. My folding bike was stolen from a basement car park at work that should require two fob entries, as ďall belongings left are the owners responsibilityĒ I canít claim except on the house insurance. Itís 1.2k to replace. Incurred 250 in travel expenses on top of what I normally pay plus a 4hr commute Tngt.

Doing some simple maths this week means that 90% of my gross salary will be taken up in commitments, either to the house or travel. I will not be able to live independently until one of my parents dies. Thatís the long and short.

Right now I feel like the unluckiest person in the UK. But, no matter what, Iíll keep going....

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #57 on: December 11, 2019, 07:36:00 PM »
Crushed,
Definitely sounds like a rough week.
On the positive side, you got to see your kids and it sounds like they were happy to see you too!

Hopefully you can work something out with your wife regarding your home.
When I initially left I felt obligated to keep up with paying for everything that I had paid for previously.
Even things that were luxuries for my ex like satellite TV and the home phone and internet.
I was so used to providing her with the things she wanted and I knew that she would be angry with me if I stopped.

From what I have read, you spend a lot of time and resources commuting.  Is there any way for you to make a change with that?  Is it possible for you to find a job closer to home?  Can you do anything about where your children live so they can be closer to you?

Often we just accept the way things are and change ourselves or our habits to fit without questioning it.
I challenge you to question the status quo and ask yourself if there is a way to make things easier on you (rather than easier on your spouse).  I can speak from experience in saying that I usually did the same, I changed my habits and situation to make life easier for my spouse rather than looking after myself.  I took the path of least resistance.
I needed coaching from my parents and from a counselor to see that other people could change to make things easier on me.  It may initially require some conflict, you may have to draw a hard line on some things and that may be unpopular.
Some things you may choose to continue to suffer in order to do what is best for your kids.

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #58 on: December 12, 2019, 08:22:46 AM »
Changing job would mean a 30-50% income drop sadly. I'm very well paid and very well looked after fortunately, but the compromise is the 13 hours a day spent working and commuting. There would also be a loss of private healthcare and pension contributions.

Obviously, as is the case with so many PD's my wife has no formal employment and hasn't since the birth of our first child. Since both kids have been at school she has done some part time cleaning, but that only covers her personal expenses (the only thing I said I would never pay for). When I had about an hour alone with my wife last week she did concede that she would look for a more meaningful job and help contribute to some of the outgoings (we all know these words mean very little but at least shows some understanding) but when it comes down to it, £100 or thereabouts a month makes very little difference. I would feel guilty penalising the kids by stopping the Satellite TV, Broadband, Prime as you've mentioned, we don't have many subscriptions. I also have to pay for their car too as we live in a small village about 1.5 miles from the main town and without that they couldn't go to school. It's travels costs that are the real issue in our household.

I understand your points and what you're saying, I just think over the next 2/3 years it wouldn't be possible to either relocate to be closer or try and sanction them in any way. My aim isn't to make things easier for her but to keep the kids happy and my reputation with them intact.

A recommendation I could certainly follow though is the looking after myself option. Whilst I don't have the time to visit any kind of professional I do have family, I also need to get back in to better routines regarding exercise and so on.

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #59 on: December 13, 2019, 03:21:18 PM »
My situation was a little different as my ex is on a good amount of disability plus i am paying her support, so she has the means to cover expenses.
Interestingly, it was no problem when I stopped paying for the satellite and internet.  She picked up those bills no problem.
She would not want the inconvenience of going without that!!!
She has no problem paying for luxuries for herself or for paying for expensive meals out for the kids or brand name clothes.
She feels that she deserves it and that's how her money should be spent.

It was when it came down to paying for the basic living expenses that she threw a tantrum.
That has always been someone else's concern and not her problem.
She had only lived on her own for a few months in her late teens and early twenties and she couldn't hack it.
She couldn't manage having to pay bills out of her own salary and have only a little left to spend on herself.  She moved back home shortly after.
When we first started living together I asked her to cover some of the household bills and that only lasted a few months before she started calling me names and going into full resentment mode because I was making her spend some of her money on essentials.  That should have been my first sign.  Then when we got a joint account she burned through my savings within a month or two.

I'll also say that now I have no cable or satellite tv in my home, my kids are with me the majority of the time and there are no complaints.  We do have netflix and a streaming music service so that kind of makes up for it.  They couldn't live without internet though!

It sounds like a difficult situation that you are in for sure.
I am not sure about what your plans are with your spouse.  Are you planning on separating permanently?
If you are planning on separating you will have to make some unpopular decisions at some point.  I don't think you can keep paying for a home that is not close for you to see your kids or close to your work.
It's a fact of life that lifestyles will change after separation and it sounds like only you are compromising here.
Life will basically remain the same for your wife and kids and you will be worse off.

Perhaps your wife will have to get a job that will cover her car and luxuries like television and internet.
You for sure will feel guilty if you decide to stop paying for some things, but the fact is that your wife could also pay for those things if she wanted to.  The guilt should be shared equally, it's not all your responsibility.

You also admit that travel costs, both time and money, are the real issue so I think that's where you need to focus