T.K. asks from Auburn, WA on September 20, 2010
Help, Feel Lost with No Answers
My boyfriend and I separated about 6 months ago. We have a 9 year old daughter. I really though it would be just that, a separation. We went back and forth not knowing what we wanted. I wanted a stronger relationship and better communication. Just a month ago I thought we were doing great hanging out all of the time talking, well he just randomly says we need to slow down. We had a huge blow out and he said thats it we are done. I struggles with that for the first few days then was fine. Well last night he tells me there is someone else that he is very interested in and all of the sudden I became immobile, paralyzed and sick to my stomach. I knew we were done but the thought of him with someone else and the thought of my being a fully single mom scares me like no other. I called out from work haven't moved from the couch. Please help. I know that only time will heal, but any advice is welcome.
A.C. answers from Boston on September 20, 2010
I have been a single mom since my daughter was an infant. She just turned 14. It was very scary at first, but once I got used to it, I decided that I love it. I don't have to share or compromise. All of the responsibility is mine, but so are all of the rewards. My daughter can never use the excuses "but dad said I could", or "dad will let me" etc...Also being just the two of us, I am able to do more for her and us than if I had more people in the family. I would trade raising her alone. No it's not always easy, and money can get tight, but you are stronger than you realize and you can do this. If you contact the local YWCA in your area, they can direct you to all of the services available to help you, and like Beth said, get an attorney and arrange custody and child support. Just because you weren't married it doesn't give you automatic custody, and no matter how you still feel about this man, you need court ordered child support to ensure that your daughter is being taken care of by BOTH parents. Good Luck, and stay strong.
6 moms found this helpful
P.B. answers from Spartanburg on September 20, 2010
So many of us went through the same thing, so many of us came out stronger and wiser than before. Please, focus on being a good mommy for your child and get your things together so that your living conditions will not worsen. You are right, all it takes is some time to heal and to your surprise it'll fly by faster than you think. Get off that couch and don't let a man be the source of your happines. Your life is worthy with or without him. Set a good example for your daughter and show her what a woman is made of. She needs you more than you need her father. You'll do fine, you'll see.Just believe in yourself, you'll find that you are an amazingly strong creature!
5 moms found this helpful
K.F. answers from New York on September 20, 2010
I know how you feel but I want to offer to you some words in love and encouragement.
Step 1: Get off the couch.
Step 3: Get a regular exercise routine (15-30 minutes of aerobic exercise will really help.)
Step 4: Visualize your future and write it down.
Step 5: Have some great friends you can talk with or seek professional help from a pastor or licensed counselor.
Step 6: Make a plan for child support and visitation (your daughter has a right to be supported by her father and by you.)
Step 7: Brush the dust off and keep it moving. Don't spend not one more minute talking or thinking about him and what has happened. He isn't worth occupying so much space in your mind unless he is paying your rent for the space.
For at least one month don't speak to him, why afford him the luxury of hearing your voice. If you must talk to him, only speak about your daughter, don't entertain any other talk because it has been over 10 years of non commitment from him and you don't have to put up with another minute. Arrange everything for time with his daughter and support through a friend or family member. You need time to heal without opening the wounds he has caused you. Even let someone else listen to the messages from him, just let them know what you only want to hear about your daughter and nothing else. There is no more talk. Give yourself permission to grieve the loss of this relationship, time to heal, forgive yourself for the "wasted years" and anticipate the opportunity to thrive in a new loving relationship with all of the successes you desired for your daughter.
You deserve better than this. More good news is you won't have the expense of a messy or clean divorce. You are still vibrant enough to have a wonderful life. You will be teaching your daughter through your actions how to handle broken relationship and how to be gracious. Don't focus on what your don't have, focus on what you do have. Take this advice from some one who has been there and done that.
5 moms found this helpful
B.B. answers from Washington DC on September 20, 2010
I'm sorry you're going through this. It hurts to be rejected like that, but at least he was honest, and didn't string you along while keeping his new love interest a secret.
The first thing you absolutely need to do is get a lawyer in order to establish his child support payments. He has a moral and a legal obligation to support his child.
Do you have a good support system of family and friends who can help you out and be there to listen and offer hugs and advice? Lean on them until you get the hang of this single parenting. It's not always easy, but you can do it. It's amazing the inner strength you can summon when you've got a little one depending on you (been there, done that!)
Good luck to you -- I'm sure you'll be fine.
5 moms found this helpful
L.A. answers from Austin on September 20, 2010
Ok, you are a mom and do not have the luxury of a nervous breakdown. You need to be strong for your child. She needs to see that her mom, can keep it together and go on.
Now you may have a small "Pity Party" for about an hour today, but since you have the day off you have a lot of work to do and not much time.
One good thing about all of this, at least you now know what the problem with your bf was, it was him. You cannot change his mind. You can now get on with your life. You deserve to be respected and totally loved. You did not deserve this behavior from him after all of these years.
So now you need to make sure you and your daughter is cared for.Call a relative or friend to come and sit with you if you do not think you can handle this alone.
Call an attorney so you can make arrangements for child support and visitation.. I am serious. Do not let him talk you into, "we can work this out on our own". You need to treat this as a business, because your daughters future will depend on it. She should not have to have a mom who is always a nervous wreck about finances and be able to keep a schedule for your daughters life to stay as orderly as possible.
Schedule a time for him to pick up his thing. You two, need to decide how to explain this to your daughter and be willing to do whatever it takes to make sure her life is not disrupted.
Always take the high road. Do not speak bad about the ex or the people in his life. Give truthful answers to your daughter, but try to use words like, "he did", "he said", " I feel"," I will",
Let her know the 2 of you are now a team and so you will be working together and depending on each other to share her feelings. She can tell you anything and you will not use it against her father.
Let her know that things will be different, but it is all going to be alright. Always remind her this is a grown up thing, and you both will always love her and this had nothing to do with her.
I am sending you strength.
5 moms found this helpful
S.W. answers from Minneapolis on September 20, 2010
I'm sorry you are going through this. You've gotten some great advice from other responders. I just wanted to say that you don't have to be "a fully single mom" - you are a co-parent to your daughter along with her father. Please work together to make the best life you can for her. (I am a co-parent to a 8 year-old girl and will always do my best to work with her father to keep us both equally involved in her life).
4 moms found this helpful
S.T. answers from New York on September 20, 2010
You are entitled to a day of feeling really bad & sad about the end to this season of your life. Before your daughter gets home from school you need to get off the couch and take a shower. Get yourself together physically. It will take a while to get past the pain - so prepare yourself for it. Some days will be better than others depending on how well you take care of yourself.
Unfortunately, as much as you'd rather a clean break, he will be in your life for as long as you both have a child together - or forever. Your daughter will need her father. Girls need to know that they are loved by the most important man in their life - if for no other reason try to maintain civitility with the knucklehead for your child's sake. She will be a more confident young lady one day if he father stays involved in her life. Please do everything you can to encourage it - as much as it goes against everything in you.
Now - for you - run, do not walk, to someone who can help you get the child support you'll need. Not sure how things work in WA - but since you were living together you can probably collect / set aside / make copies of the financial records you need now to prove his current income if that becomes neccessary in the future.
There won't be good answers for this short term. But you will be able to do this. You will be able to do the things you need to do - get a new apartment/home if necessary, set up anew bank account, etc. You and your daughter will be able to create new traditions. Communicate honestly with her - explain that this is an situation between you and her dad - make sur she knows she is loved and adored. (If neccessary, beg the knucklehead to communicate to her how much he loves her.) Explain that it's going to take some adjustment and things may feel different for a while - jsut like getting used to a new classroom or a new teacher - but that you're in it together. Don't allow yourself the feeling of doom - you can't afford it! Whether you go into this negatively or postiviely you will come out on the other side - and the results will be better if you go into it telling yourself that you'llget through it - cause you will. And you will be a better, stronger person when you get to the other side.
Reach out for help. Allow people to help you if they offer. It's not only a blessing to you but it blesses them - people want to help so let them. If you have sibling, parents, cousins, friends let them know gently that you may need their emotional or physical help (think painting, moving, babysitting, cup of coffee and a hug).
Finally, pray. Ask God to show himself to you - be honest and if you're skeptical of the existence of God - say so. He's heard it before. Ask for help, for strength, for the ability to get out of bed tomorrow and go to work. God may bring people in to your life that will provide you with a depth of emotional strength that you wouldn't otherwise have. Go to church, sit with your girl and sing some songs that you used to know, or never heard of.
One day you'll look back at this day as the end of one season of your life and the beginning of another. Winter is over and you're headed for Spring.
3 moms found this helpful
S.R. answers from McAllen on September 20, 2010
I know it is really hard, and yes, it will take time. But no, time will not heal you, you have to do it yourself.
First things first, get off that couch!!! don't panic, you're obviously scared, but you need to focus in your work,and your daughter, she will need you. don't skip work, God knows things will be worse if you lost your job!!.
If you can afford it, give yourself a haircut, or a new hair color, something to help you feel revitalized and dress up.
Now that you are have prettied it up, sit down and write a list of things that you have to be grateful for: daughter, job, roof over your heads, food, the shoes you bought a week ago, your pretty skin, comfortable underwear, everything and anything!!! and post it on your fridge... Now start living one day at a time, it won't be easy, I'm not gonna lie, but, look at this note, and focus every time you start thinking about him, when you start thinking about him, it means you're not busy enough, so, get busy, clean your home, do extra work, kiss and hug your daughter, whatever, and you will see, how little by little you will do this more for yourself, than to stop thinking about him. This is a proven method, worked pretty well for me, and brought me many advantages, like a better job and eventually other things.
Remember that your daughter needs a strong mom, and also, remember the best thing of being a mom is that you'll never be alone, and there is always someone who loves you unconditionally, no matter what.
I hope you find this helpful, Good Luck, Lots of hugs, and kisses, and hang in there, you'll be ok!
2 moms found this helpful