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My SO is depressed again... thanks to his Ex-wife and kids

1wonder woman's picture

Well here comes the Holidays and of course my SO is already depressed and so moody.  No matter what I try to lift his spirits nothing works... I can't be his children and that is all he wants for Christmas is time spent with his kids... sad but true.   Sadly it is me that has to deal with his emotional state of mind all because of the way his children treat him like crap. Every Holiday he gets like this because he is missing the hell out of his children!! He has not seen his son in 4 years!! His son is 24 and he disowned his father 4 years ago all because his mother is narcissist and she controls and manipulates all three children and fills their heads up with lies to turn the kids into hating their father!  Now his oldest daughter that is 22 has not came out and said she has disowned her father but her actions tell him other wise she has nothing to do with her father... sure she will except his gifts but ignores his text message and phone calls and unless she is getting a gift... but for the most part she makes up excuses for not spending time with him. For the past 4 years these children have abused their Father... no Happy Fathers Day... No Happy Birthday no text message or phone calls not one gifts not one card NOTHING his two adult children have good paying jobs but they buy their father nothing. I always take the 12 year old shopping and I see to it she buys her father gifts from her. I do try to make some positive impact on this child... Sadly now his 12 year old is becoming a reflection of her siblings she is now treating her father just like they treat him like crap.. she lies to him... backs out on their palns to spend time together and ignores his text messages and phone calls... She did not text him Happy Birthday even after I texted her that morning reminding her of his Birthday!! My SO will text all three of his children Merry Christmas... Happy New Year  and he will get no reply back...  he will buy them all three gifts and he will get nothing in return no thank you's.  Then the depression sets in... NOT FUN! 

A few weeks ago my SO texted both of his daughters and he made plans with both girls he was going to take the girls out to eat and all three were going to go see the movie Frozen 2 and they both agreed to the day and time,  He was so looking forward to this day! Well don't you know his ex-wife saw the text message on her daughters phone so she beat him to the punch she took both girls to see the movie together on purpose. YEP SHE DID THIS TO HURT HIM ON PURPOSE!!  Years ago before their divorce my SO took his 2 girls to see the first Frozen movie together and this was a special memory for him and the the girls knew he was so looking forward to taking them to go see the second movie. When his 12 year old told him the news last week that her mom took them both to see the movie he went into tears right in front of her... she had zero empathy she is just like her mother!! She is only nice to her father when she wants something from him.. .Now ever since he heard this news he has been down and depressed and very moody. Not fun! 

Then yesterday he reached out to both of his daughters wanting to set a day and time to get together to celebrate Christmas together for once. Of course his ex-wife is taking all three kids on a 2 week trip out of town or is she really? Who knows? She lies all the time...As usual his ex wife must hog their children all to herself she does this on purpose to hurt him! She is so selfish... 

I know this man is grieving the loss of his 3 children... it has to hurt like hell I can't imagine. This I do know divorce causes grief and it hurts like hell!!  But like I told him before... lets try and make sure we are on a trip every Holiday from here on out this way the kids can't hurt you! He needs to stop stepping into the mouse trap that causes him pain!! He needs to stop texting and stop buying these adult kids gifts... send them a card with a I love you... I miss you and I'd love to see ya  and leave it at that! ENOUGH! STOP THE PAIN! Like I told him if I were him I would redirect my love... my time and my gifts to someone else... maybe a needy child that will love and appreciate him the way he deserves to be loved. He needs to put a stop to the abuse... take away the ammunition and there will be no more pain!

futurobrillante99's picture

That's really sad for him.

Please don't let him wallowing in this mess bring you down over the holidays. I would be compassionate, but I would get on with my life, having fun. If he says anything, tell him that you hurt for him, but he has a choice to let this tear him down or to find a way to experience joy and happiness because clearly, this situation is completely out of his control.

If you keep yourself busy and disengage from his sour moods, I think he won't enjoy being miserable by himself. He might snap out of it and join you doing fun things. Just make sure he knows if he joins you, there will be no moping and pouting.

SteppedOut's picture


All of your holidays should not be ruined. 

1wonder woman's picture

He even said the other day he does not know how I put up with him and his emotional mood swings and he said he wonders why I have kept him in my life? He also said he is so lucky and so blessed that he has me and my children in his life. He does love my two kids and my kids do lift his spirits and after he spends time with them he says he is so blessed to be a part of my beautiful family.  But then he says I just wish my kids could be so loving and so excpeting like your kids have been... he says where did I go wrong?  I did not raise my children to be like this... 

I thought about it... see when I had to let go of my two children they moved out to go to college I was depressed sad a emotional mess.... but I still had another child at home that got me through those bad days of letting go of my first born. My SO had to let go of all three of his children all at once... wow... sure he got to see the youngest twice a week in the beginning but one year later his youngest child started have anxiety o bad she stopped spending the nights with her father... in one year he got to see the child maybe 2 times if that now he gets to see her maybe 6 hours per month if that... Plus he had to let go of his two older kids right away... these two kids would not return his text messages or phone calls so he lost all connection right away. His son disowned him just 6 month after the divorce.  This man is grieving and I know that pain too well.  I lost my husband to cancer. But his children are still alive... I know he wants to see them... he wants a hug... he is missing the old life he use to have the bond with his children. I know he deeply loves his children..  I told my SO... if I were him I would go find the two adult children and I would sit them both down and we would have a very long long talk... I would tell his side of the story of the divorce. These children are adults they can handle the truth the truth is their mother filed for the divorce she wanted the divorce not their father.  She was in love with another man when they were married. the very man that she is engaged to right now. These children have only heard their mothers side of the story... lies on top of lies. 

As I see it he has two choices... talk to his two adult children and try to get them back into his life.  Or let them go... just stop sending gifts stop texting... just end things. 

Siemprematahari's picture

I feel for your H deeply but please do not join his pity party. Schedule fun things for you both and do not allow his X & kids to rob him/you of having joy in your life. He has to get to a point where he places his health and mental well being first, even if that means not feeding into their BS. If he continues this way his health will be sure to suffer and you'll be the one picking up the pieces. Self care is key and I'm not saying he needs to get over it but he needs to find healthier ways on coping with the alienation and estrangement. 

Wishing you both strength, love and light. I know its not easy, keep your head up. 

1wonder woman's picture

My SO knows how his depression is robbing of us both of the JOY that we could be having... he does apologize and he even says he is so blessed to a part of my beautiful family. When we get around my family and my children he becomes so much happier.

I try but it is not easy... try pushing a depressed man out the door to go see Christmas lights... or I will push him into going to a Christmas party... sure afterwards he is all smiles and he will say thank you for pushing me... I had a great time just what I needed... grrr I love when he is happppy but when he is sad it is not fun at all. I talked to him yesterday I told him it is our choice to be happy or sad. Lets choose to be happppy.... he smiled he said I know but it is so hard I wish it was that easy ... he then said my heart aches... and I get that he is grieving the loss of his children..

I know this is parent alienation at it's best... My own parents were divorced when I was seven years old but there was none of this parent alienation crap going on thank God!! It is sad to witness... I feel for my SO and I also feel for his children too because I know every Holiday that goes by is a memory that could of been lost for ever... Sadly time is running out and his children do not see what I see... cancer taught me how precious TIME is and the relationships we have here on Earth... the best gift we can give our children is our TIME a memory... not material... things not money.

I will keep my head up thank you... I got this... I am as strong as they come!

tog redux's picture

From someone whose DH was alienated from his son for 3 years - he's got to stop the wallowing in self-pity, pick himself up and get on with his life. He's letting his ex have every bit of the power and control she wants to have over him. 

I know losing his kids is hard, but he has to find some happiness elsewhere. Keep the door open, stop chasing his kids, and find a way to survive and thrive.  Most likely, his kids will be back in the future. In the meantime, him falling apart and getting depressed won't help anyone. 

ESMOD's picture

I think this calls for a little bit of tough love with him.  He needs to understand that while he is moping and pouting around about his children and his EX wife.. his ACTUAL wife.. who loves him is suffering from his moods.  He is punishing YOU.. his Ex and his kids don't care.  That's sad.. but it's mostly sad for his kids who are losing out on a relationship with a great man.

I think sometimes you need to change up the game.  Plan to go away for Christmas.. if not this year.. the next.  Go somewhere warm in the sand.. take a cruise.. when his kids magically decide they wish they could participate.. well.. gee.. we will see how things go and maybe next year you can come if your mother will cooperate.


1wonder woman's picture

Exactly what I was thing of doing... next Holiday I will make sure we are away some where that will bring us both JOY and HAPPINESS!

Siemprematahari's picture

ESMOD~I agree!

I'd say something like "hey H I planned this, if you want to join great-if not I'm out. Hope you have a great day". Don't put off any plans because he wants to wallow in self pity and take you down with him. Sorry buddy but I don't do pity parties. He has to live in the present and right now you are it. So if he wants to continue living in the past that's on him but you have better things to do with your time......


1wonder woman's picture

I tell him all the time let it go... let it go... move forward learn from this grow from this but do not allow your children and their choices hurt you... rob you of one more day of happiness... they are not worth it.. their loss... their choice... but he too has a choice... everyday he makes the choice to be happy or sad!! He is grieving the loss of the connection to his three children and I get that... but at least they are still alive... who knows maybe down the road they will come back into his life? Lets hope so. 

futurobrillante99's picture

Try talking to DH about it less and just go make yourself happy. Men tend to notice that they are moping ALL ALONE and their partner is happy and having fun the whole while. Less words. More action. Let him get bored with moping all by himself while you're loving life.

2Tired4Drama's picture

You sum it all up nicely in your last paragraph.  But the bottom line is that your DH must come to the realization that this is the truth: He will probably never have the kind of relationship he wants with his kids, and he needs to embrace happiness elsewhere in his life.  

If it's not too late, I would go ahead and plan a "staycation" in your own town or nearby if you can.  Start a new tradition and follow through with it every year from now on - when holidays roll around, the two of you are doing your own thing. 

1wonder woman's picture

I know he is grieving... he is missing his three children. I can't imagine letting go of two children all at once and now it has been four years and the more time that goes by he is missing them even more. He loves his kids... sure he gets to see the youngest maybe twice a month for 6 hours but at least he still sees her.

Next Holiday I will be booking us a trip and I will see to it we are gone.  

ndc's picture

Are these adult children who treat him like crap the kids he is "protecting" by allowing his ex to default on the mortgage, ruin his credit, etc.?  Did he ever file bankruptcy?  Frankly, I think he needs therapy to help him get over this.  I'm not sure how you continue to stay and let him pull you down.

Rags's picture

Time for the come to Jesus sit down with DH. Make clean, clear and short.

"Your moody depressed bullshit over your toxic children is ruining MY holiday. You pull this crap every year and it has to stop. Knock this crap off. NOW!"