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Need support – dad trying to cope with family

Need support – dad trying to cope with family

Casual scribe

Need support – dad trying to cope with family

Sorry to bother. Briefly: me and my wife have two small children, one just starting school and other in daycare. We live far from our home country and have no family around.


I got a good permanent position for myself abroad, in a very good city. My wife decided not to move with us straight away, since she got a good temporary job in her dream field in the country where we live at the moment, but in a different city.


3-4 months ago we decided that she would take her job, be there for experience and contacts, and use this to find a job in our new hometown. Meanwhile I became a “single dad” during weekdays, taking care of the children, household and my job until our move to the new country. She visited us in the weekends and occasionally on weekdays (a short holiday and 2 weekdays during a sickness period of our younger child). For now me and the children did not move yet, so we live on the same country as she but on different cities during the weekdays.


Here is where I need support: to my mind, this situation would be temporary. She would take her time to get all needed and focus on being able to move with us. But in practice I feel that she is becoming comfortable with the non-parenting life while I get depressed and buried in parenting. She gets here on the weekends and barely take part in our routine. Wake late, does not have patience with the children, if going out with then usually needs me to support (as in bringing snacks, or cleaning the house, or making meals). Sometimes even asks me to babysit while she goes out with friends. She does not clean stuff in a regular basis, does not do laundry, tends to be angry at minor things (like not finding cheese on a Sunday morning) and worst of all, repeatedly use “I will leave” or “I will not come back next week” with the children if they misbehave. I can see some signs of abandonment on them, and definitely feel left to the side by her.


I also do not see much energy being used by her to be with us after we move country. She says she wants to, but takes no action in finding jobs there. For example: there are groups there working with her subject of interest, and she could try to make a bridge between them and her current job. But so far she did not even contacted them, and gets annoyed if I ask about it or offer help to start.


In a way it feels that our home is now her summer cottage. She come to be on holiday, not to be part of the family. And sometimes it feels she sees me as a household employee, not a husband to share the family and duties. As examples: while talking about hobbies for the children in the new city, she said it is better not to be on weekends, since she might be there and it would make it harder for travelling (in other words, it is better if the hobbies become my responsibility as well during the weekdays to not make her tourist activities hard). Also, this week she has an important thing in our city. To celebrate she is making a 3 day party in a cottage. And out of the blue she casually mentioned that 4 of her new coworkers are coming to the party and will stay in our apartment. She did not ask what I felt, just told me as if my opinion does not matter. Then these people leave on Sunday, she on Monday morning, and I am left behind with the mess and children for the whole week.


Getting help is being very hard. By being a man, and also by being a family (not divorced), I could not get enough priority in the family counselling services. But our move to the new country is coming, and I feel that I am becoming depressed and anxious about everything. I need to reach out and ask for help to avoid a breakdown.


Please, if you can, comment on this case. Let me know what you think. Disagree with me if needed. But leave me some sort of feedback, experiences, suggestions. I cannot keep thinking I am the only person going through these things.


Re: Need support – dad trying to cope with family

Hi @Father_of_two sorry to hear about your struggles with your wife and children right now. It sounds like a difficult position to be in as you are moving to a new country and you seem to be getting the hunch that your wife might want more freedom. Does she agree to counselling and if so, is this something you can pay for? It can be difficult to receive support from family services and sometimes it can take time as well. Would you be open to seeking family support in the country that you are moving to? It might be worthwhile looking into this as it may take some time for you and your wife to resolve some matters. Sometimes these things cannot be "fixed" by a certain date and time, they are resolved in their own time.

If you wife is not open to seeking support through a counsellor or another professional this may make things difficult engage these services and both of you will need be invested in the therapy. Is there a way to reach some sort of agreement where she is able to have some free time but also help you with the children? What do you think you could use as a bargaining tool with her? What deal do you think you could strike that would honour you, her and the children?

Casual scribe

Re: Need support – dad trying to cope with family

Thank you for your answer. Counselling and family support are things I am looking for in the new country.
Community Manager

Re: Need support – dad trying to cope with family

@Father_of_two that sounds like a really helpful plan. 
Hope the move goes smoothly and please feel free to touch base here any time you need to talk.

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