Kate - posted on 08/25/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )
I have just turned 40, and have been seperated for 7 years. My ex and I were married for 10 years and had 4 children together, the youngest of whom was born with 26 abnormalities and has to date had 40 operations and 70 admittances to a specialist childrens hospital at the other end of the country.
The children are now 14, 12, 11 and 8.
The 11 year old is a child genius so has needs at the other end of the scale, which I feel guilty about because I dont have time to nuture her talent.
The 14 year old was the sweetest wee boy you would ever meet but has started to go wayward which has broken my heart. I have recently changed his school and hav had to pay uniform, books, fees and now a $35 a week bus fare.
The 12 year old loves sports and being with his dad, who is absolutley useless. He used to have them most weekends but all theyd do is watch tv, very rarely going anywhere and coming home unbathed with all their washing.
He has never contributed to any of the childrens expenses, including my numerous trips to hospital, without my parents I would never have coped, considering he has never once even taken a day off to care for them whilst we have been away.
Recently he decided to accept a job transfer 2 hours away. This means with the kids regular sports, activities and social events he rarely has 4 of them even for 1 night. If he does, they have to travel 2 hrs there and back just to watch tv. He now has a girlfriend who has 2 children and is now the centre of his life. I am not jealous at all, I left him and would never go back, I am just so sad for the children, who deserve so much better than an exhausted mum who barely has enough money to feed them.
I pay $300 rent, $250 food, $80 petrol (going into hospital twice a week and running kids everywhere), $50 phone, $60 power, $35 bus, all school stationary, camp fees, school fees, uniforms, trips, drs appts $40 a week, clothing etc. This leaves us -$80 per week.
He moves cows so has free rent, through his work a fully maintained vehicle including petrol and phone account. I guess his only expense is power and food for 1, although the kids (in their 24 hr period with him have told me they get her groceries as well). All of his furniture including full dvd library, plasma tv is brand spanking new.
I have all our old furniture which I have never been able to afford to update, and as my car has recently broken down, my parents have had to help me finance another vehicle. He also has a 4 wheel drive ute of his own.
Unsurprisingly, I have just been diagnosed with a severe depressive episode, and an underactive thyroid. When he comes to pick the kids up he is obviously relaxed, well rested and meets a hagged wreck - still no compassion or care for the kids well being.
Where do I legally stand when he pays his $245 a week mainteneance? That dopen't even cover my rent in this tiny 2 1/2 bedroom house. I feel like giving up, but the kids keep me going. My GP recentlky sent me to a psychologist who in her report said I was depleted and without help would only continue to deteriorate.
Please can someone offer any suggestions, I am so exhausted I can hardly think straight.