Monday, 23 June 2008

Not a home

I'm sure my friends have been telling me this for ages that, despite my feeling that things have been split fairly, I have given up quite alot and should not feel as guilty as I might do and also should not expect or accept losing more.

One aspect of this hit me on Sunday when I realised that where I live now is simply a flat, which contains little, if anything to make it a home. My son was over for the weekend and we went out on Saturday (to cold and rainy Liverpool) which was okay but pretty tiring for both of us. When we got back my son was a little upset (his legs were hurting, he was tired) and I ended up having to call B because he kept asking to go home and sleep in his own bed. We convinced him to stay, B was going out on Sunday morning, but she had to bring round some DVDs and things for him.

Then on Sunday we had a lazy day, played on the Wii, watched some DVDs and generally slobbed around. Only when it got to the afternoon when we'd kind of run out of things to do did it hit me that there was nothing much in the flat for my son to play with and none of the things you kind of acquire in a house to make it a home.

It also struck me that this must be a problem for any partner who moves out from the family home, it's really hard to, for want of a better word, compete, with the parent that remains. Equally it must be difficult for anyone who is not the primary carer to not be able to provide the kind of environment that their children would want to live in, it seems there will always be some sort of inequality.

In my case I think I have put myself in the position where I elected to leave and restrict my accommodation and living expenses so that B and my son could maintain the same level of comfort that they have had before. I felt quite low about all of this yesterday when I realised that my son may not want to be staying with me and that I'd be the 'poor' parent in a sense. I still feel low but maybe a little angry as well that B still blames me for everything and keeps insisting that I got "what I wanted" ... I'm not really sure I wanted all of this or deserved it.


Anonymous said...

If it's any consolation things do get better sort of. When I split from my ex I left as I think a lot of fathers do leaving behind most things in order to make thing less painful for the kids.

One piece of of advice I will give, don't be too eager to fund your ex's life style and keep her in the one she has grown accustomed too while you were together. You're no longer together so she has to accept that she will have to change her lifestyle. You will end up being the poor parent and when you do have your son over you wont have the cash to entertain him.

I learnt this lesson the hard way. My ex-wife squanders the maintenance money on £50 hair cuts while I buy my clothes from charity shops. I know there's nothing wrong with charity shops but every once in a while I would love to blow some cash on something shiny and new. Call me bitter and twisted....yu'd be damn right.

Keep the blog coming.
Best wishes.


Anonymous said...

Firstly, N - just because your wife reacted the way she did you shouldn't assume Fiona's will also. And don't forget there will be a period where they will deal with the loss of their entire way of life (they are not the only one going through major life changes after all and in their case not through their choice) through various coping mechanisms such as retail therapy.

Plus Fiona you have to admit it's not stopped you buying fancy shoes you will wear very rarely and getting expensive hair removal treatment. (Post of the 14th)

As for your son not wanting to stay with you, I suspect it is far more to do with his confusion over what is going on than material matters. It amazes me he hasn't asked you yet why your hair and nails are suddenly getting longer. And he will be picking up on his mums discomfort even if he doesn't realise it. You should have asked your GP about family counselling at the same time.

Fiona's Boots said...

First I should say that I strongly suspect I know who the second anonymous comment is from - if it is someone whose name begins with K and whom I know in real life then I would say that I VERY much appreciate your comments and you are more than welcome to phone me and tell me when I'm being an idiot/selfish/etc. If it's not this person then I still value the comments nonetheless.

I should also state in absolute fairness that I am not aware of B squandering any money that I give her, most of it is paid direct to cover bills and such for a start, but she simply does not do that with money, quite the opposite.

Also, while B has reacted badly to some aspects of this situation (and this is certainly hard on me from my point of view) she has been utterly amazing overall. As she, quite rightly pointed out, she didn't break anything, throw any of my clothes away or any of the other things that could be considered "justifiable revenge" under the circumstances.

Regarding my spending. Yes, I have spent money on shoes and laser treatment and certainly this could have been spent on other things to make the flat more of a home. I obviously don't think of such things when making purchases like that and certainly in the case of the laser hair removal this is something I feel I must do for my own piece of mind.

In summary I said to B when we split that my intention was to make sure that she and my son had a home and maintained as close to the same standard of life as before. I hope to be able to stick to that as best as I can because I think it's the right thing to do.