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Old 06-09-2006, 09:56 AM   #1
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Advice For A New Single Father

Things aren't going very well. I'm not looking for sympathy or anything like that...but my wife and I are deciding to separate. This is a big, hard decision on our part. Some people have come into our lives and decided to tear our marriage apart for the time being. Something had to be done...things just haven't been working out. For the time being, my only priority is being a great father to my son. Any words of wisdom from some other single parents, would help me get through this right now. This is the hardest step we've could take, so far into our journey through life.
I'm picking up the pieces and trying to be strong for my son, and my family. Things kinda suck right now...but I gotta hold my head up high and take pride in myself and my choice to be a single parent for the time being. Thank all of you who have been there for me!!!
E

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Old 06-09-2006, 10:09 AM   #2
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Eric, you have friends here who are always available to lend a non-judgemental ear.

I've been through divorce and know what it can do to you. You are starting out with a good attitude and have your proirities in order.

Remember, your well being is the most important. You cannot do your best for your child, job or wharever if you're not in good shape yourself.

Better days are ahead.
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:11 AM   #3
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I can't imagine what you must be going through. I feel for you Erik!

Like Andy said, you have the right attitude. Being there for your son and family is what you need to do and it is great that you know that.

I wish you all the best of luck and I really hope this turns out as well as it can!
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:24 AM   #4
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I'm so sorry that things are going so badly for you right now and no I am not a single parent, BUT I am a child of a single parent. My mother raised 4 kids by herself with no support from my (HA HA) father.

If things aren't working for you two, then it is best to separate and see what happens. You didn't say how old your son is or if he would understand what is happening. I know that I was happy...actually thrilled when my mother could take no more and divorced my father.

I can't tell you too much about single parenting except to watch out for (I didn't do this because I despised my father) your child playing off of you and your wife. Such as if dad says no about something that he wants (video game, tv, toy) then turning around and asking mom for it next time he sees her.

You will need to sit down and explain to your son (if he is old enough) why mommy isn't around and don't lie to him, tell him the truth. Make sure that you tell him as many times as it takes that it isn't HIS fault. Children do understand more than you might think and I do remember feeling guilty when I heard my mom crying at night.

I know it was hard on my mother raising us with very little money, but she did the best she could and not one of us were ever arrested, got in a fight, did drugs or drank too much. Spend as much time with your son as you possibly can, especially at first so that he doesn't feel abandoned.

If you are having a hard time, I am positive that there are some support groups out there that can help. Also getting into activities with your son will help him adjust to the situation too.

I know this is rather rambled, but am typing inbetween the work coming in and am not taking a lot of time to compose my thoughts. I know that later when I have time, I could probably tell you more but I have a feeling that you will get a lot of compassionate answers and help from those here that care.

God bless you and keep your head high and a smile on your face.
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:33 AM   #5
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I'm sorry that you are going through such a hard time. Just remember to love your son as much as you already do, be caring to his distress,but, be firm in your beliefs if he tries to test your limits. Don't say anything badly about your wife in front of him, this can be very bad. He will be okay. Just try to communicate with your wife the best that you can for your son's sake.
As much as you love him, he will be just fine. I wish you all the luck in the world through this.
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:48 AM   #6
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I've been through two divorces. The first one was pretty painless, because my daughter was very young. I moved back to Illinois from Louisiana, and her father never came to see her.
The second one was **** for everyone, especially the kids. My oldest daughter was old enough to move out, and the youngest chose to live with her father. He and his parents bad-mouthed and degraded me to the point that she and I had virtually no relationship until she was grown and married. Now, we are very close.
I had given up on love, when finally found my soulmate at the age of 38. Our 21st Anniversary is coming up in July, and we are happier than ever.

Things will get better for you, Erik. Just remember not to bad-mouth your spouse in front of the child...she is his mother, regardless of your differences, and it will make him feel insecure. Hopefully she will cooperate, so that your child will know he is loved by both of you and he doesn't have to "choose" one or the other.
And make sure he never feels that it is his fault. Children blame themselves for everything.

If you need to talk, I'm always here.
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:50 AM   #7
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Erik, just remember that things are bumpy in the beginning and will smooth its self out in a while. My husband was a single father (until I came into the picture) and I rember him getting really stressed about stuff. Just remember to do what is best for your baby, respect your ex-wife, never badmouth her or any future stepfather, and try not to judge, if your lifestyles (yours vs. ex) end up very different. Good luck.
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:53 AM   #8
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((((Erik))))

I am so sorry to hear about your situation... I have never been a parent, let alone a single parent, so I am not the best person to inpart any kind of wisdom on your circumstance, but I just wanted you to know that my heart goes out for you and your boy.
Try to focus on the bright side of life, and never forget how blessed both of you are to have each other. Try to be there for your son for whatever the needs he has, as much as you can, and let him know always that he is loved, which he needs so badly.
We are here for support in any way we can. Hang in there and keep your chin up, and all my best wishes!!
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:34 AM   #9
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Hugs to you Erik.
I was a single mother for more years than I care to remember...
the best advice I can give you is love your child enough to say NO.
Keep on being the dad and don't let your son take control... when you're feeling guilty it's so easy to try to make up for things by giving the child everything he wants. Give him what he needs. LOVE.
Make sure to only say good things about his mother too. Feelings formed at a young age can last for a life time.

Good luck. I'm here if ya need a shoulder.

smiles, T
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Old 06-09-2006, 12:08 PM   #10
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good luck to you. I know you will manage it with the love of a father!
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Old 06-09-2006, 02:35 PM   #11
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Erik,

I am not a parent, but my brother and I were raised by Dad when my mother left us (we kids were 7 and 8). Dad worked full time and had help raising us - from his parents, friends and neighbors, and some high school girls who he hired to be in our home with us after school and make dinner and do some cleaning for us until he got home from work.

We didn't have much money, but Dad worked on establishing simple little traditions with us.

For example every Saturday, we had hot dogs and beans for dinner, then later, Dad would build a fire in the fireplace and the three of us would watch Gunsmoke in our pajamas, each of us with a Slim Jim and a soda. Christmas time, after dark, he took us riding around several towns, hunting for the houses with the best lights. He was always there for Little League games, choral recitals, all our "kid stuff". And as badly as he was hurting, he never said a bad word about my mother (when we were little, anyway).

Those kinds of things are the things we remember best about our father, who stuck by us, doing a heck of great job, learning and growing up along with us.

Best of luck to you, Erik.

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Old 06-09-2006, 05:36 PM   #12
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I love my wife, still...right now the hardest part is coping with my feelings for her. There have been a lot of bad choices she has made to deal with things not working out...I still right now think she is my soulmate.

But I know we will give our 4 year old son an overabundance of love...with zero bad-mouthing on my level...and she has told me the same. Right now she feels like she doesn't deserve me, even though I am the best father/husband in the world. The simple fact is she has fallen out of love with me, due to feelings for someone else.

150% given every day for my son's welfare from me. He is my world...right now instead of looking for a rebound, or anything like that I just want to be Connor's daddy.
Thanks to all who have given me wisdom, and kind words...I really appreciate it!
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Old 06-09-2006, 05:46 PM   #13
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I hope you find counceling for your own well being. Some people get very overwhelmed when they find Mr. Perfect. Just find peace for yourself and know that you have that beautiful boy to show the love that is there, even if she tries to deny it. She does still love you, or at least has some feelings or she wouldn't care what she said to you. Being IN love and loving someone are two different things. Sometimes, not having them both bothers some people. Take care of yourself. We are always just a click away if you need us.
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Old 06-09-2006, 06:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik
Things aren't going very well. I'm not looking for sympathy or anything like that...but my wife and I are deciding to separate. This is a big, hard decision on our part. Some people have come into our lives and decided to tear our marriage apart for the time being. Something had to be done...things just haven't been working out. For the time being, my only priority is being a great father to my son. Any words of wisdom from some other single parents, would help me get through this right now. This is the hardest step we've could take, so far into our journey through life.
I'm picking up the pieces and trying to be strong for my son, and my family. Things kinda suck right now...but I gotta hold my head up high and take pride in myself and my choice to be a single parent for the time being. Thank all of you who have been there for me!!!
E
Sorry to hear this Erik. I dont know the age of your kids but try to keep the same routine they had before the separation ( eating, bathing, school activities, etc). If you and your wife are choosing to remain friends that is the best thing for the kids. Communicate with your wife about the kids, and expect the same from her if she will see them. It's a tough road for kids, so do whatever you can to make it as easy and painfree for them. Keep them involved in as many activities as you can!! This will keep their minds off their troubles and keep them healthy and active, and oh yes tired too! Most of all, just be there for them when they need you.

Good luck Erik
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Old 06-09-2006, 07:42 PM   #15
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Like others said, don't say anything negative about her in front of your son. My mom left my dad for someone else and while he didn't say anything nasty about her at first, there was always an awful tone in his voice everytime her name came up or every time she called. And as we got older he started saying some bad things about her. Which makes me understand just why she left.

Try to establish, hopefully, a friendship with her. If not that, at least talk to her about your child and make it the easiest for your son as possible. I hated having to pass messages between my parents. It's been 15 years and my dad still holds a grudge. My sister is getting married next year and inviting both of them will cause such worry. My dad will put a dark cloud over the wedding because he still can't get over it.

Good luck to you Erik! We are all behind you. You have your son's best interest at heart and that is most important!
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Old 06-09-2006, 07:49 PM   #16
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Pretty much the same everyone else said. One thing you might want to do if you haven't done already is to start some traditions between you and your son. But's nothing's final yet right. Did you guys talk about going to counseling? Even if the seperation if final, counseling may help with anything dealing with your son.
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Old 06-09-2006, 09:11 PM   #17
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Erik, you have my sympathy. I was a single mother for the same reason you are becoming a single father (my daughter was five). My experience leads me to advise the following: surround yourself with loved ones - friends and family, accept their help; get counseling for you and your son; stay strong in your faith; never badmouth your xwife and keep communication open at all times - all kids play mom and dad against eachother, I think it is magnified in divorced situations. The future holds ups and downs, stay focused as Connor's dad - I will pray for you my friend.
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:49 PM   #18
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erik, i hate to say this, but the sooner you drop the "soulmate" routine and realize that she's got a lot of freakin problems, the better off you'll be.
my guess is you are going to have to eat a lot of crapola from her (this is a simple judgement based on the fact that any person able to fall in love with anyone else while married with a kid is pretty f#$%^d up, and exceedingly immature. AND divorce laws are extremely unfair and gender biased.)

i'm sorry to be so abrupt, but it's time to face up to things, considering there's a child involved. this is a HUGE thing in his life, so there's no time to be wishy washy.

i think andy gave you the best preliminary advice, from what i've read so far.
take care of yourself first. get used to catching yourself feeling sorry (for yourself) and like you can't understand what you did wrong. you didn't do anything wrong. it sounds like your only fault was choosing the wrong person to try to build a life. sh!t happens to the best of us. you will make a lot of mistakes in life, hopefully not all this big, but you're not perfect. accept it, and get ready to move on and not repeat them.

once you get your feet under you and forget the love-lost crap, only then can you be a competent parent. if you feel ok about yourself, you'll have no need to belittle your ex to your child, no matter what happens. in fact, your strength will help carry you and your boy through whatever the ex throws at you, and will solidify your father/son relationship. and if there is any possibility of reconcilliation - for the boy's sake if nothing else, then you can't be a patsy or doormat for a proven loser.

i haven't been divorced, but have been very close. fortunately, nothing has been done on either part to force a hand in my case. life is a work in progress, i hope.

i have been through 2 very rough breakups of long term relationships tho, losing an awful lot of dreams, possesions, and time along the way. dreams and possesions can be regained. the last cannot, so realize that every move from now on must be thought out, not based on emotions.

infidelity is about the worst thing to get over. been on both sides of that. no matter how much someone is sorry, the relationship is damaged, and at best it will take many many years to even begin to get back to square one.

well, whatever you decide, good luck. i hope it works out for you and your boy, and your ex realizes the amount of pain she's caused, and does the right thing by her son.
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Old 06-10-2006, 10:37 AM   #19
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Erik, I agree to give up on the "soul-mate" stuff. Marriage is hard work in the very best marriages, forget the concept that some higher power has determined that someone is the perfect person for you. YOU determine that, then after that you work your patootie off (as does that person). Marriage isn't 50/50, or 60/40, or 90/10. It is 100/100. The higher being doesn't change diapers, scrub toilets, or go to a job they hate every day to put food on the table.

You don't mention if you are the custodial parent or not. No one has mentioned the "buying the kid" routine. Kids are very susceptable to favoring the parent who buys the off. Be it actually financially or by favors the other parent doesn't allow (foods, bedtimes, etc). You get into a good parent/bad parent contest with a kid, and the only loser is the child.
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Old 06-10-2006, 10:48 AM   #20
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I disagree with those saying forget about the soulmate stuff. Knowing that you are with your soulmate is a powerful thing (and it has nothing to do with a higher power).

Everything that Claire said about working hard still applies, but knowing that you are with your soulmate makes that work worthwhile.
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