Tag Archives: family

Christmas is done again

Christmas is over for another year, thank God.   I used to really love Christmas, it was my favourite season, but since the family breakup I do not enjoy it at all.  However, it is for the kids and that is what makes it worth it.  Or……it was until this year.

Christmas day meant the visit of the ex and her father to spend the day, I could put up with this as it is, well, Christmas.   The day went ok, and I managed to get her to leave at 4pm so not so bad.  I was left thinking it may not have been as bad as I suspected it might be.  The kids seemed happy and it was all over with no bad feeling.

And then we had boxing day.  The kids went to the ex’s house, and I phoned them the next morning.  It was on this call that I discovered an alternative Christmas day had occurred with her father and sister at her new place.  A new pile of gifts for the children, some tagged from the ex and her partner.  Here are the issues I am massively cheesed off by this.

Firstly, this was very deliberately planned behind my back.  Her dad has always been very honest with me but this time not, it was sly and dishonest but I have got used to it with her family.  Nobody had the respect to tell me what was going on, and She had no respect at all to discuss getting gifts for MY children from her and her partner.  For me, this should have been discussed.  My children receiving gifts from another man (I use that word loosely) is something that should be agreed upon, my daughter doesn’t even like him.

I have said that in 2015 things need to change, so I am taking this as one final hit.   I sucked it up as usual only this time my ex is well aware of my anger because I didn’t show it.  I just went quite and held her stare, she actually looked quite scared.  She started with the usual sentence of “it isn’t what you think” but anyone else who has been through this will know that actually it IS exactly what I think.

Moving forwards, the positivity will not be affected by this.  I need and will be looking after number 1 and things like this will have to roll off me I guess.  I will go with everyone’s advice that her time will come, I do so hope it does.

Roll on New Year, I have plans for you.

An affair need not break you

I started blogging for my own reasons but naively I never realised the impact a blog has.  People follow your blog to see your journey, where you came from, why you are here and to join you in where you end up.  They follow you because there is an aspect of their lives that runs in parallel with your own.  A lot of my followers have come from a broken relationship or marriage, largely due an affair.

The feelings that pour out on those blogs are all too familiar but I wanted to share why I think you can come through it.  I’m no expert, I just have first hand experience.   I have learnt a lot, so I am going to type it up in the home some of you can try and look through where you are right now, and see where you will be.

Nobody can tell you how to react, everyone reacts differently but the theme remains the same.  Betrayal, a complete shock and the feeling of being totally let down by someone you assumed would never do it.   You choose to be in a relationship with someone you have a mutual respect with, someone you want to do everything with.  When you discover they are not that person, there is natural shock.

There are different levels of an affair, depending on whether you are married, have children etc.  But and affair is an affair none the less.   It causes a lot of pain and sadly causes you to question yourself as a person.   That is the other level of an affair you see, the fact that it reflects on yourself.  What have been people been thinking behind your back?  Do people now assume you are bad in bed?  Am I boring?  Was I not good enough?   The questions go on and on, and it is our human nature to try and reason with something we cannot take in.  In reality though, there is no answer, the person who had the affair did it for their own reasons.

They will always try and justify what happened with those reasons, but ultimately they decided to do it.  In everyone’s life there are crossroads, and different paths leading from them.  They were at that crossroad, do they have an affair or not?  That is their decision alone, and you yourself have no bearing on that decision.  You will be told it was a mistake, it just happened, they were lonely and other such excuses.  All excuses, no blame on yourself.

How do you react though?  It is natural to be devastated, and for it to be constantly on your mind.   Whether you hate that person is to be decided, but we all miss a trick in that we need to instantly protect ourselves.   You will be swamped with support from everyone but sadly, nobody truly knows how you feel.  There is a social perception of obvious feelings but each and every person is different.   If you had lower self esteem than another person perhaps, then you would be affected more.

I suppose I was lucky, I had suspected for quite some time so when it finally all came out it was a relief. Finding out all the actual facts was the hard part.

Reading some of your blogs, there is pure pain in your posts.  Time does heal, but a lot of these posts are people hanging on to the fact that the relationship can recover.  If you can make it work, then fair play to you.  But, sadly, it will never be the same as a line has been crossed.   That person has done the unthinkable, if you take them back can you ever truly move on like nothing has happened?   I had the option to make a go of it (her words not mine), but no thank you.  The person who had the affair, once you have forgiven, will never quite respect you again because they got forgiven!  In effect, they got away with it.

Anyone that can move on from an affair, I wish you the absolute best luck in the world.  But anyone struggling, stop beating yourself up every day.  You cannot change what has happened and it doesn’t need to destroy you.  It also doesn’t need to give you any trust issues with future relationships.   Remember they did it, not you.  The self esteem issues are their own.

Find yourself a distraction, and repair yourself.  The world is a big beautiful place, put yourself back out there.  I will be, but only when I can afford it!

something on the horizon

A rare childress weekend for me, that is how it works.  The ex has the children 3 nights a week and it so happened that 2 of the 3 days/nights were Saturday and Sunday.  Rather than sulk about it I took the opportunity to do some things for myself.  Had a friend to visit which was nice to catch up, finally mowed the garden, did a few other odd jobs.  Also, cleared my tv planner!

Spent some time with my family too, some good news for them as they may be about to complete on their home.  Being as they have gone through a total nightmare with this house sale and chain, it was nice to see relief and smiles on their face.

What is strange though is that since my important meeting and the subsequent results from it, there are 3 potentials of money coming my way.  In effect, just waiting over the horizon ready to help me out.   What are these potential cash influxes?

1. My dad said he will be giving all of his kids a cash injection after the house sale.  This is not a given and I never feel that comfortable accepting money, but anything will help.

2. I was involved in a car accident in July, not a bad one so no need to worry, but enough to damage my right shoulder.  This has gone nowhere but oddly, since my meeting and the very next day in fact, I got a letter saying the 3rd party had admitted full liability.  Now I can receive some compensation.  Again, this is not something I have asked for nor faked injury.  Whatever the figure is, it will help.

3.  I qualify for a bonus at work as I have delivered all my targets, as confirmed over the weekend.  This is 20% of my wage (minus tax of course Mr HMRC), but a nice pot.   Again, this will definetly help.

I realise that I struggle to stay positive, but I do believe if you can somehow improve your situation it tends to open other doors.  This has happened many times.  If I am down, I stay down.  Nothing seems to help, but if I somehow improve my situation by a little bit it seems to allow other good luck to follow.   This may sound ridiculous, I am aware of that.  But, you have to admit the timing of the 3 potential cash injections is very odd bearing in mind that I have been living on pennies for months.

Any of those cash injections should clear the debt not included in the liquidation plan.  This SHOULD just leave me with personal debts and loans.   I am paying those though so importantly, no threatening letters or phone calls.

Not a bad weekend really.

Family Portraits

We have concentrated a lot on debt recently, for good reasons, but this blog is also about divorce.

Half Term next week, so a week off for the kids from school.  When they break up from school they bring home all their projects, PE kits, etc.  Always nice to read through them and see what they have been working on.

My son has always been closer to his mother.  This is totally natural in a boy, also he is quite young.  Admittedly over the last year though, he has definetly become closer to me but I always expect drawings and writings to predominantly feature his mother.   As stated before, whatever the cause of the breakup you must never speak untoward of the children’s mother – as much as you would love to!

Checking through his pictures, his recent project was family.  Instant dread of course, but it was an interesting insight this time.  All the pictures, entitled ‘familee’ (sic) still contain only 3 characters.   We have touched on this before of course here, but this was a specific project.  He has to write as well this time.

My daughter has been quite vocal about the breakup with multiple questions, but my son has always been quiet about it.   But evidently, he is well aware and has many questions of his own.   The difference between this set of drawings and the last is it includes location.  If you check the drawing of the house, it is actually split in two.   One side is my side, one side is his mother’s.  It is actually quite clever.

Above my side is the sun, over hers is the rain.  Interesting isn’t it?

I don’t have the children much this weekend, last night my son gave me a hug and asked if he had to go tomorrow.  I said it was up to him but I can see he knows he has to go, he doesn’t want to upset his mum.

Being the stability and strength for my children is paramount, it is also why I have never let the sceptre of debt interfere in their lives.  I go without so they don’t have to.

I do not give moral advice, but anyone reading this think carefully before doing something you regret.   If you have children, they will be affected.  Not just talking about splitting up a family here, families split for genuine reasons other than a marital affair and sometimes it is unavoidable.   Just let them be children, where fairies and magic exists.  Adult traumas must not intertwine, a child should remain child as long as they can.

The adult world is not a great place to be.

how do mum’s know????

Weird isn’t it?  I have done absolutely everything possible to hide this nightmare from my family, and I mean everything.   Largely due to pride and the fact I desperately tried to fix this.

We all know my reasons, I hate being the black sheep of the family.  I am the only one who is divorced, who’s wife had an affair and ran off, the single parent struggling…….I could go on.

The thing is, it is down to pride but also I have always been able to fix things.  By hook or by crook I have paid so much money back and even this month I have paid off another £700 from other debts than the HMRC ones.  But I think it has been obvious from my demeanour something is dreadfully wrong.  I know I have been very quiet and generally downtrodden, and I haven’t meant to be, but when you are beaten you are beaten.

Weirdly, I spoke to a financial specialist today about IVA’s.  It is the ONLY debt solution that will allow tax debt to be included, so I was considering this and thought maybe, just maybe, I would be able to keep this a secret.

Then my mum rang tonight.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, they always know.  The normal conversation then cut short with “can’t you tell me what is wrong?”.  tried to get away with it but then she countered with “tell me about your tax debt and how I can help?”.  How did she know you wonder?  Well, my mail was redirected, she kept a couple back and opened them and was shocked at the content of the letters, or more to the point “the disgusting wording of the letters”.

However, I haven’t told the whole truth yet, I have told her I am still looking at options but I immediately felt better.

How did she know eh?  I don’t mean because she read the letters, but how did she know there was something seriously wrong?  You see, part of me is never to have a breakdown, I just go quiet and look at options myself.  I don’t think I have been massively different but obviously I was.

Perhaps, this is life telling me I have tried every option and now to go with the obvious one and get help from my family.  And I have tried everything as you know.

Decisions still to be made but a door has been opened, so if I come clean it won’t be a complete shock.

Never under-estimate the power of a dog

Up to 3 years ago I never owned a dog, nor wanted to actually.  But if I had wanted a dog, it would have been a miniature sausage dog.  Not very manly no, but I thought they were ace.

About 6 months after the discovery of the affair, and with the ex staying elsewhere a lot, she randomly turned up one day with a  dog as a “present for me”.  Despite the quite obvious fact it was a guilt gift, my reply was not a “thank you” but more of “what the hell am I going to do with a dog?”  There was too much upheaval already, a dog would only add to the issues.  After all, I didn’t know what was going to happen with the house.

However, the dog cage door opened and out trotted a puppy.  Not just any puppy, but a miniature daschund.  And then it happened, he walked up to me and looked at me.  What could I do?  I admit I loved him immediately, and we bonded quickly.  The children adored him and he adored them.

My mindset then changed, this wasn’t a bad thing.  My children were smiling and giggling, chasing and being chased by the dog.  He was also amazing company for me, as I had become quite lonely very quickly.  If you are used to living with someone for a large amount of time, when they leave you feel a loss.

In the last 3 years, the dog has made the house a home again.  He is awesome, I don’t mind admitting it.  He has listened to many a moan from me, watched endless episodes of Breaking Bad by my side and often gone for walks to help me clear my mind.

Now I wouldn’t be without him, but I find it sad the children miss him terribly when they stay at their mother’s new house.  She made a fateful error of buying another sausage dog to stay there but the children love their one.  When they come home, the dog rushes to the door and the kids rush to him and they roll on the floor together.

Whilst an animal cannot ever replace the family unit for children, the unrequited love between them fills a void.   It was a godsend for me, I had spent ages wondering what I could do to re-assure my children that everything would be ok.  What is lovely though is going in their bedrooms and seeing photos of the dog by their beds, or hand drawn pictures of him.  He also appears in school drawings!

I believe the children have associated the dog with the house, and in turn – security.  The dog represents a loving playful welcome and he is ultra protective of them, so they feel safe.

So don’t discount the joy a pet can bring, I certainly did and was so pleasantly surprised.   They say a dog is a man’s best friend and at this current time, he is mine.

Your children’s doodles can tell you a lot

At the end of each school day, when I have the children, I empty their school bags.  Out comes the rubbish but mostly it is letters or homework.   Same for every parent.

However, you children’s drawings can tell you a lot on how they see things.  It so happened the project for my son this week was to make a mini book called ‘My Family’, which immediately makes me very nervous.  It makes me nervous as I am a father who just wants his children to be happy and I guess I worry there may be something bad in the drawings.

The book was yet another eye opener.  You see, my son has always been a mummy’s boy although not as much as he used to be.  I would never discourage my children’s love for their mother, nor bad mouth her, as much as I would LOVE to!  His little book was 6 pages of how he perceives his family and his home.  Cheerfully entitled My Famile (sic), the book opened up to a picture of 3 people.  2 females, a male and the dog!  My heart sank but I read the rest of the book anyway, which showed the house and his favourite parts which was pretty much his bedroom and his FIFA game!

But I was too quick to assume, my son wanted to describe the book.  The drawings  were not of 2 females and a male, they were himself holding his sister’s hand, and the tall person was me.  I did well to keep my composure as he described that this was his family NOT mummy.

He is so young but wise enough to distance his mother from the house set up.  Nobody has prompted this either, I just assumed he would be closer to his mum.   He then informed me that being home with me makes him feel safe.

In a divorce or the break up of parents, we fail to spot that children form their own assumptions and reasons on how things are.  The most important thing is not to lie, but you can choose to withhold facts as the truth will only cause upset.  And, as proven today, your children will make their own mind up and tell you in ways you can never expect.

Keep an eye on those doodles if you want to understand what your children are thinking, they can tell you a lot.

It’s no using hiding, we’ll find you – Part 1

There is such a stigma with failure isn’t there?  Everyone wants to be a success, and have the best of everything but what do you do when you perceive everyone else is doing better than you?  In reality, they probably aren’t but when you are in such a hole, everything seems so much worse.

It is bad enough knowing you have debt, and hardly any spare funds.  You find excuses not to go out, not to buy new clothes, you miss key events etc and so forth.  You miss them as you need to save money but also because you cannot face people.  Oh the face you put on when forced to confront family and friends.  I think friends don’t notice any difference but close family certainly do.

The problem for me is I am the oldest of 4 children, and thus should set an example.  I felt such shame, I still do.   It took me a long time to admit to my family I was in real trouble with money, but the delay was not just down to embarrassment.  The marriage nightmare catapulted into the public eye once again, despite me wanting to keep myself to myself.  But, when the affair came out, everyone had advice and wanted to console me.  But how did I feel, humiliated even further.  Anyone that is on the end of an affair suffers humiliation and never let any psychologist tell you anything different.  When someone rejects you for another, you have questions as to why they are a better choice.  And remember my readers, the affair had no direct relationship to the debt.

So there I was, the perceived black sheep of the family.  My own family was breaking apart, and I had to keep the front up of being ok.  To be fair, I am very good at that, but mostly to make sure none of my personal crisis’ had any impact on my job.  That worked, nobody had any clue at any of my jobs unless I told them.  I would be good at acting I think.

As the separation and divorce progressed, I knew I would have to admit the debt too.  But you must try to understand, I had a great life.  No debt, a nice home and lovely family.  But that had changed so drastically, I felt it was too much for my family at the beginning.

When I did tell them, it spilled out like marbles from my pocket.   However, I still held back some of the debt figures, those I felt I could deal with myself.  The debt I told them about was the huge HMRC debt I owed.  I say huge, I owed them 100K at one point and had somehow cleared 87K on my own.  Later in the blog I will explain how I did that. 

My family leant me the 13K to clear the immediate debt, I should have gone to them earlier.  Do I feel better, no, I still owe 13K, but my family doesn’t threaten me every week.  And that we will discuss in part 2.