UK Dads

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Buzz2406

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2018, 09:01:06 AM »
Hi guys,
Wow crushed Dad. This whole situation that we face is so desperately horrible and we often feel helpless. I like many have tried to leave and nearly got to the point of divorce but just got hovered back in mostly because I missed my boys and she was actively preventing me from seeing them.

I have turned a corner and started being different with my wife. I have made the concerted effort to no longer be a victim to her rages and awful behaviour. I have taken a lot of time to reflect on this and now act in a completely different way in that I regard her as an irritation that can be ignored. The foundation for this was to fully understand my own boundaries and needs and although I was initially scared of the anger and rage that would inevitably come of this I took it for what it was which is essentially her own hatred for herself. I have no attraction to my wife anymore, as I have seen so many of you say but my love for my kids is my driving force and focus and her needs no longer interest me.....and she knows it. This has worked for me and it won't work for everyone but I wanted to come on to here and empathise with you guys and say that it is so helpful knowing that I am not alone in this and that I am not the only one that struggles with this on a daily basis.

My thoughts are with you all

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2018, 11:21:56 AM »
Buzz, it's nice to hear you're able to employ the tools here and get some success.

Personally I on't think that'll ever be possible with my wife for a few reasons, 1. I don't think I can regulate my emotions in the heat of battle to navigate he minefield she'll lay down successfully. 2. I think she'll eat me up easily if I tried.

I think now it had reached the point where my relationship with the kids is being so negatively impacted by my presence in the house and the way I'm strung up it may now be actually better to live in my dads spare room 60 miles away. I've been away 3 days and miss them beyond words.

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2018, 07:20:58 PM »
Crushed,
I can empathize with you.  When i started putting up boundaries to the controlling behavior, the rages intensified.
Couples counseling caused the rages to become more frequent and intense.
If I did something to benefit or protect the kids, she would try to turn the kids against me (and the rages would intensify).
The aggressive pressure for me to always do as she said was excruciating and often times i caved and did what she wanted even if it was not the best thing for me or the kids.

I also had to leave at times to keep from exposing the kids to conflict, arguments or to avoid abusive situations.
It feels terrible to leave your kids but at times you have no choice.  It is better to leave temporarily than to have them witness abusive behavior.

My message for you is to not give up.
Many here have gone through very similar situations. (both men and women)
I was able to leave with the kids and get a protective order.
It took a lot of help from a lot of other people, so start building your network.
Go to support groups if you can, see a therapist, talk to family and friends, find a lawyer, document everything.
Don't give up on yourself or your kids.  You can do this.


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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2018, 05:40:03 AM »
Crushed,
I can empathize with you.  When i started putting up boundaries to the controlling behavior, the rages intensified.
Couples counseling caused the rages to become more frequent and intense.
If I did something to benefit or protect the kids, she would try to turn the kids against me (and the rages would intensify).
The aggressive pressure for me to always do as she said was excruciating and often times i caved and did what she wanted even if it was not the best thing for me or the kids.

I also had to leave at times to keep from exposing the kids to conflict, arguments or to avoid abusive situations.
It feels terrible to leave your kids but at times you have no choice.  It is better to leave temporarily than to have them witness abusive behavior.

My message for you is to not give up.
Many here have gone through very similar situations. (both men and women)
I was able to leave with the kids and get a protective order.
It took a lot of help from a lot of other people, so start building your network.
Go to support groups if you can, see a therapist, talk to family and friends, find a lawyer, document everything.
Don't give up on yourself or your kids.  You can do this.


thanks Finding, I feel like all the ammunition is now stacked up against me, she has incidences of me raging like Saturday and an issue over the summer when I yelled at her mate (who my wife was constantly telling me was letting her down). There have been several others too. Saturday was the key though, that's the only real time the kids have actually witnessed a full blown meltdown, fortunately it was and has only ever been shouting.

I've let all this stuff sit inside burning away for so long that I'm really struggling to keep it in and I find I lose my temper far more easily these days because I just yearn for an escape.

The baiting, loaded questions, traps, threats, accusations have been so frequent and so often I struggle to keep count. I've just found a diary I've kept at work that I've not updated since Sept 2017.

The sad thing is I can't afford either a counsellor  or lawyer and have a feeling I'll be paying her legal fees when the time arises too.


Have you left for good? How do you manage?

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2018, 08:28:09 PM »
My advice is to find an outlet for your anger, don't direct it at your wife.
Talking to people helps, I found that the men's group i went to was good for that.
Just talking about it, getting it in the open, expressing your anger, frustration, sadness whatever it is and having people listen is helpful.
It cost $15 for each drop in, it was affordable and having other people weigh in on your situation will help you to address what your own issues are.
We all have our own issues that need to be dealt with also.

The domestic violence center in our area provided some free counseling to me and my wife both together and separately.
They only offered a limited number of sessions, but it was still helpful.  It exposed some of my ex's behaviors.

Start writing in your diary again.  You must do this for yourself.
at one point I was really down and something that was helpful to me was to write 2 things each day that I did well, small successes or victories, and maybe one goal for tomorrow.  the goal can be something small like making a commitment to write in your journal again tomorrow or giving up your daily coffee, beer , whatever and saving the money for something that will help more in the long run, or getting up 10 minutes early to go for a walk before work.
It sounds simple and foolish but it will actually help if you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

We all slip sometimes.  You are under a lot of stress, so don't be too hard on yourself about it.
Make a promise to yourself to do better next time.
It will be helpful for you to practice keeping your cool at all times with your wife.

I am fortunate that I have a good job, but at the moment I will not be able to afford my legal fees either.
Most of my income is going to support my ex, 75% goes to her and only 25% to me and the kids.
Of the 25% I have left, half of that goes to fixed expenses for the kids like school fees, extracurriculars, education savings.  The rest just pays for fuel for my vehicle and some groceries.
I am living with my parents, they are largely supporting us.
The legal system is absurd.  It goes both ways, I have heard stories of battered mothers receiving $1 per month child support.
Sometimes we like to think that men get the short end of the stick but its not always true.

I have left for good.
No reason for me to go back to her ever.
In our relationship I gave and she took.
She took to the point that I had nothing left to give, physically, emotionally, financially.
In return all I got from her was criticism, blame, accusations, threats, insults, control, stalking, harassment and abuse.
I can't go back to that.

In my situation my ex became very aggressive towards me and at times towards the kids.
I had lots of proof of her behavior from professionals.  Children's services, psych ward hospitalizations, police reports, domestic violence counselors, her employer.
The key is to expose the harmful behaviors if there are any.  Journaling is good, but if you can have someone else witness its much better.

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Crushed_Dad

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« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2018, 07:01:00 AM »
It sounds like you've things a lot more difficult than me from  the experiences you've listed. I hope that things can carry on getting better for you and the finances improve. May I ask how old you are?

I'll find it very difficult to attend meeting etc, My commute and working day takes up 13 hours of my day. By the time I'm home all I want to do is eat and not do anything. I'm thinking if I'm living with my dad I might begin some study again as that will help with job security and future prospects down the line. As well as giving me something to aspire to and some measure of success as you've mentioned.
 I also need to spend an hour each day journal-ing and listing out any correspondence. Especially given now, the penny has dropped on my wife the situation she could be facing and the hoover is well and truly out.

I know I'll face all the things you've listed if I go back too, yet being close to my kids and financially independence are so close to making that all worthwhile. I'm being told my little boy is getting more and more upset the longer I'm not there and it breaks my heart. I'd be kicking the can down the road as I'm sure we have and even though I made a promise that I never want my kids to see like Saturday ever again, by going back , the chances increase exponentially.

It's so hard knowing what to do for the best.

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2018, 05:43:54 PM »
like you, I kept going back because of my kids.
My ex would ask why I left and tell me that leaving made the kids upset.  She guilted me because she had to explain to the kids why i left.
I found later she mostly lied to them about the reasons why i left.  She could not take accountability or tell them the things she said and did.
She blamed me and told them that she made me leave because i was violent (which was completely opposite of what really happened).

I'm sure that my kids were actually upset, but it was better for me to leave than have them exposed to the situation between me and my wife.
You do need to protect them and do what is best for them.  This can be your mantra for how you deal with your wife.
Your kids need you to be strong, if you decide to go back they need you to show them how to deal with difficult situations properly instead of displaying anger.
Even leaving when things are out of control teaches the kids that they don't have to put up with abuse.
Turning and walking away if you are being abused is a better reaction than yelling and shouting.

You have to decide what to do.  If you can learn to cope long term, or maybe just cope long enough to get out.
Or maybe you have already had enough and are not going back.  That's something that you have to decide.

Making some time to journal is definitely important.

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2018, 06:04:22 AM »
like you, I kept going back because of my kids.
My ex would ask why I left and tell me that leaving made the kids upset.  She guilted me because she had to explain to the kids why i left.
I found later she mostly lied to them about the reasons why i left.  She could not take accountability or tell them the things she said and did.
She blamed me and told them that she made me leave because i was violent (which was completely opposite of what really happened).

I'm sure that my kids were actually upset, but it was better for me to leave than have them exposed to the situation between me and my wife.
You do need to protect them and do what is best for them.  This can be your mantra for how you deal with your wife.
Your kids need you to be strong, if you decide to go back they need you to show them how to deal with difficult situations properly instead of displaying anger.
Even leaving when things are out of control teaches the kids that they don't have to put up with abuse.
Turning and walking away if you are being abused is a better reaction than yelling and shouting.

You have to decide what to do.  If you can learn to cope long term, or maybe just cope long enough to get out.
Or maybe you have already had enough and are not going back.  That's something that you have to decide.

Making some time to journal is definitely important.


Your counsel is incredibly helpful. Thank you for your guidance......

I know deep down the right thing to do is to leave but there are a number things which are really causing me to consider staying.... I need to try and come to a decision about this....

Advantages of staying.....

Being around the children daily!!!

Financial Stability
- not living in my father's spare room for 10+ years
- being able to have days out and even a holiday with the children once a year.
- ability to change my 16 year old car for something new in the not too distant future
- not having a season ticket increase of 1100
- not having to pay 20 a week car parking at train station
- Not incurring an extra 40 a week in fuel charges)
- All of this before we get to division of assets.

Commute Stability
- Since I've left I've arrived late to work every day but need to be on that train in case required to connect to work early
- It's a 75 minute trip each way to see the children from my father's house.

Not fulfilling the life I had planned for the children or me


Disadvantages of staying

Have little or no input to family activities, long term direction.

Having my fathering undermined when it deviates from her will

Being subjected to abuse, threats, accusations, blackmail when my actions or thought process deviates from her will

Having her family and and school kids parents influenced against me

Possibility I may not be able to keep my cool

Not fulfilling the life I had planned for the children or me

It's sooooo hard and my father has taken pity on the situation, he doesn't know what to suggest or what to say. It's such a crazy situation....

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2018, 01:14:54 PM »
Crushed,

Great job on writing out the pros and cons!

I also did this to make my decision.
Next step is to think about what your values are and decide what you value more.
Is it more important for you to have financial stability and more time with your kids or is it more important for you to live a life free from control and abuse?
And if you decide to stay, can you you find ways to manage, limit (hopefully stop) the abuse and cope?
Use the toolbox!
I would never recommend someone going back into an abusive relationship, but many do.  It depends on the situation.

I found my values got lost in our relationship.  I had to really sit down and think about what my values were and then it became clearer to me.
It took time.  Lots of time.  It also took a lot of work to think and write things down, I could not actually do it when I was around my wife, I needed time away from her influence and constant pressure in order to think straight.
I needed to talk to other people, family, friends, support group, counselor, social workers, etc. to get my priorities straight.

Once you make a decision and accept that it was your decision you regain some control of your situation.
You take accountability for the outcome even if you can't control the outcome. 
I had to accept that it was going to be difficult financially, that I would give up my possessions, that my wife would try to shame me publicly (and she did), the court battles, her trying to turn the kids against me, etc, etc.
I decided that being in a relationship with her was not worth all of the rest of it.  I also decided that staying with her was not best for my kids.
In the end I feel like I still made the right decision.
My kids now live most of the time in a drama-free home.  They can relax and be themselves, they are not living in fear of emotional or physical abuse.  Their grades are better in school, they know their family and grandparents (under wife's regime they were not allowed to).
I am much healthier and happier and that alone is better for the kids.

Your kids need you in their life either way.  I don't know what the laws are there, but here the courts aim for 50/50 parenting unless one parent is clearly unfit.

Again, it is awesome to see that you are taking the proper steps to make a decision.
Writing things down is a very important part of what you have to do.
This way you can look back and remind yourself why you made the decision and what your values are.
You are a good father and your kids deserve to have you in their life and you deserve to be in theirs.

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2019, 06:23:32 PM »
Crushed,

How was the holiday season?
I noticed you have not been on the forum in a few weeks.
How are things going?

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Thomas5244

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #30 on: March 15, 2019, 05:35:06 AM »
All,

This was a really interesting discussion for me. I too am in the UK and at a much earlier stage than most i.e. know I need to leave the martial home but currently have nowhere to go to due to limited funds. My wife is adamant that she can change, after me going through 2 years of pain and suffering with her not bothering at all. Only at the point where I literally announced my intent did she change. IMO it's too little too late and I can honestly say I have fallen out of love for her.

I have 3 amazing kids, who have been affected by her BPD in more ways than I could describe. She has no income whatsoever and I have been responsible for everything for a very long time! 

Everything right now seems very daunting, plunging me back into a depressed state (which I thought I had gotten out of over the past 2 years).  Marriage counselling done (she cancelled after 4 sessions),  she had an online affair for 4/5months....the list goes on. All of this has created a gulf for me, I am simply no longer interested in being in this relationship.

She is now laying it on thick (its only taken 2 bloody years) but I am just not interested....full stop

I am keen to understand how people are getting on.

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2019, 07:17:39 AM »
Crushed,

How was the holiday season?
I noticed you have not been on the forum in a few weeks.
How are things going?

No different really, it all keeps going round in circles, same as ever. Whilst there's no stand up arguments I just keep myself to myself.

Not journalling or anything anymore either. Not really seeing the point.

Given up to a certain extent.

In addition one of my major releases (distance running) has been taken away via injury.

I hope things are ok for you.

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2019, 07:22:51 AM »
All,

This was a really interesting discussion for me. I too am in the UK and at a much earlier stage than most i.e. know I need to leave the martial home but currently have nowhere to go to due to limited funds. My wife is adamant that she can change, after me going through 2 years of pain and suffering with her not bothering at all. Only at the point where I literally announced my intent did she change. IMO it's too little too late and I can honestly say I have fallen out of love for her.

I have 3 amazing kids, who have been affected by her BPD in more ways than I could describe. She has no income whatsoever and I have been responsible for everything for a very long time! 

Everything right now seems very daunting, plunging me back into a depressed state (which I thought I had gotten out of over the past 2 years).  Marriage counselling done (she cancelled after 4 sessions),  she had an online affair for 4/5months....the list goes on. All of this has created a gulf for me, I am simply no longer interested in being in this relationship.

She is now laying it on thick (its only taken 2 bloody years) but I am just not interested....full stop

I am keen to understand how people are getting on.

Thomas, in a similar boat. The thing is we're pretty much hamstrung unless we have adequate funds to make a transition as harmless as possible.

I can only deal with it one way. Focus on work and keeping friendships alive outside the family.

My wife has totally divided our family and too an extent I've allowed that to happen too via anger triggered by helplessness.

I just try and think of the kids and hope that by having a financially secure-ish, semi-happy home I'm doing less damage than living in poverty 60 miles away.

I wish there were answers but everywhere I've looked it seems it's all stacked against us.

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Thomas5244

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2019, 07:39:56 PM »
Crushed_Dad,

I am sorry to hear this. I took the plunge over the weekend and called it a day, after 18 years of marriage. It was not easy and I am still suffering the consequences. I just couldn't do it anymore, I deserve to be happy and one gets just one chance in this life. It was the hardest thing I've ever done but I stick by my decision, even though I am now deep in the FOG. Guilt is the hardest and most brutal feeling right now, questioning whether I have done the right thing, am I being selfish, have I destroyed the family? It requires a constant reminder that I have indeed done this for the right reasons, this will pass and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I have booked some time with a therapist on Friday as I need to start working on myself, regaining some degree of confidence and strength for what's to come.

We all deserve to be treated fairly, have feelings reciprocated and be happy in the relationships in a balanced fashion.

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2019, 06:19:03 AM »
Good for you, I hope it brings you what you need and hope the future path can go as smoothly as possible for you considering what you're dealing with.

I wish I had your strength but I do have a plan.....

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2019, 04:57:26 PM »
Crushed,

Good to hear from you.
Keep your chin up.  Perhaps journaling is not your thing, but make sure that you have some outlet.
Keep coming here or find a friend or family member that can support you emotionally.

There will be ups and downs, that is inevitable.
Whatever your decision, embrace it and keep focused on "why" you are doing it.


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Crushed_Dad

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« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2019, 07:17:24 AM »
Crushed,

Good to hear from you.
Keep your chin up.  Perhaps journaling is not your thing, but make sure that you have some outlet.
Keep coming here or find a friend or family member that can support you emotionally.

There will be ups and downs, that is inevitable.
Whatever your decision, embrace it and keep focused on "why" you are doing it.

I wish I had time to journal, being part of it, also wish i had the ability to deconstruct and carefully remember why all the things happen and what's exactly occurred. Half the time I'm not particularly proud of my reactions though either. I'm very much a fight fire with fire type of person, wish it wasn't always the case but it's ingrained, probably from seeing my father desperately frustrated by my mum and her will. I engage far too much, I know that and I know it doesn't help matters, certainly if the kids are present.

The issue we have is that we can go months with nothing but very small scale episodes and lots of things I'll brush under the carpet at the time but are snowballing in the back of my head as the resentment grows. Then when something I find completely unreasonable happens all that negativity that has manifested will release too.

We're currently hardly talking, once our eldest is asleep we re-watch old Game of Thrones in silence (in preparation for last series until it's time to go to sleep. Up at 6am, work til 6pm, shower, get ignored by the kids til they go to bed, eat dinner, repeat. 5 days of the week.

It's like clockwork.

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11JB68

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2019, 01:36:03 AM »
Just wanted to say hi, and I hope you guys don't mind a 'us mom's hanging out here with you. Sometimes I find I can relate most to you guys.
Married for over25 years, most of those deep in the fog. Almost left about15 years ago But was afraid uPDh wouldn't let me take ds, and was afraid to leave ds with uPDh. Now ds is21, in college, I've signed on to school loans and committed to helping pay them. I make more than uPDh and was told if I leave I'll likely have to pay him support :( mostly because he is unable or unwilling to work a regularfull-time job...it's beneath him. Anyway thanks for letting me hang out.

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Crushed_Dad

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« Reply #38 on: March 27, 2019, 06:12:19 AM »
Just wanted to say hi, and I hope you guys don't mind a 'us mom's hanging out here with you. Sometimes I find I can relate most to you guys.
Married for over25 years, most of those deep in the fog. Almost left about15 years ago But was afraid uPDh wouldn't let me take ds, and was afraid to leave ds with uPDh. Now ds is21, in college, I've signed on to school loans and committed to helping pay them. I make more than uPDh and was told if I leave I'll likely have to pay him support :( mostly because he is unable or unwilling to work a regularfull-time job...it's beneath him. Anyway thanks for letting me hang out.

It's cos we're stuck in the same steaming pile of sh1t ultimately.

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: UK Dads
« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2019, 03:21:39 PM »
Crushed,

You have to make time to do things with your kids.  Start by setting aside 15 or 20 minutes once a week to sit down with them and have some family time.
Plan to do something that they enjoy, or teach them something you enjoy, make it goofy and fun.  The kids need to see you smile once in a while.
My sister in law was trying to help us for a while when things were really bad, once a week she would send us a challenge to do with the kids.
Sometimes exBPDw would participate, other times she would work against us the entire time.  But I still made sure that we made time to do it whether she cooperated or not.

Some of the things we did:
Thumb wrestling. We each drew a character on our thumb using pen or sharpie then had "matches" leading up to the exciting gold medal round. (trash talk about how you are going to take them down, but let the kids win) exBPDw pouted about not winning this one and me praising the kids instead of her, she took the trash talk seriously.
Family crest: we discussed our values as a family and our individual strengths then we put it all together as a family crest and posted it on the wall. exBPDw pouted about this one too, she was upset that not everyone listened to her ideas.  We collected ideas from everyone but she thought hers were better so she refused to participate.
mannequin challenge: This was an internet challenge a while ago, take a video of the family doing something frozen in time, search it up on the internet to get an idea.  You will be amazed at the ideas kids come up with. even exBPDw had fun with this one!

Think of things that you enjoyed when you were younger, draw a comic strip, do a craft, build something, cook, teach those kids to do the things you know how to do!
This probably isn't socially acceptable nowadays, but I still remember my grandfather showing me how he rolled cigarettes when I was 4 or 5 years old.
This is the fun part of being a parent.  Parenting is hard work, but teaching and watching your kids learn new things is very rewarding.
My kids are 12 and 14 now so my dad and I are teaching my son to drive, how to fix bicycles and my daughters are very creative and mom and I are teaching them to sew, draw, paint, grow plants.

You can read to them if they are younger, I made a point of spending a few nights a week reading a chapter to them before bed.
It takes 15 or 20 minutes and it is something your kids will remember forever.
We read The Hobbit, The Journey of Edward Tulane, The Life of Pi and a few others.
If they are younger,do something messy like finger painting, or go catch frogs and tadpoles, splash in puddles, dance and sing or put on a puppet show with socks and a cardboard box. 

Making time for a weekly family meeting to discuss things that effect your family is a good idea too.  I found it incredibly difficult because exBPDw would sidetrack it and make it about herself and whatever perceived wrongs happened to her during the week.  I had to work very hard to keep it from becoming a blame-fest because she would us it as an opportunity to tell everyone what they had done wrong in the last week.  Then everyone would get defensive and it turned into a bad situation.
I still did it though, I mediated my living heart out and showed the kids how to deal with her.

I know it's hard when you are bearing the weight of supporting the family, a dysfunctional relationship with your spouse, looking after kids, etc. but in the end you will be glad you made the effort.
You have the ability to do this, and you are the one that has to make it happen.  No one else is going to do it for you.
Not only is this something you should do, it is something you must do.  Take the time, make it a priority.  Be a leader for your children.

This seems bad now, because it is.  But you have to accept responsibility that it is up to you to make it better.
Refuse to be a victim!
The other option is to accept that steaming pile you describe and allow yourself to be stuck.

11JB, you can hang out here any time you want!  Glad to see that someone is using this part of the forum!