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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I don't post much but have read often.

My story is similar to others:

She is 28 and I am 33. Kids are 6 and 4. Together for 10 years and married for just short of 3.

Received the ILYBNILWY speech on 01/04/2012, as far as I was aware we had the perfect 2.4 children family life. Good income, happy holidays, few arguments.

Three weeks later she tells me that my friend (her 1st love when she was 16, they went out for a year) and her have feelings for each other. He has no children and is like a bachelor version of me. I commence divorce proceedings the following morning.

Within two months he is around my children and they live like a family. He may as well be wearing my shoes.

For four months I go out alot and try to replace what I have lost but to no avail. I drank too much until I realised it wasn't helping and have been looking into 'who i am and what do i want' for the last 6 weeks or so, much less alcohol has had a great effect.

Two weeks ago she informs me they have bought a family home (very nice 5 bed, blah blah) which they move into that weekend (she had moved out of the matrimonial home and into rented with him staying over.)

She still breaks down often as to 'what she has done to our family' and to be honest that has allowed me to be protective of my financial position. I think she is happy she is with him but still coming to terms with the guilt of what her extra 'happyness' has cost and to the huge effects of it all for all concerned. She was a stay at home mum and I think bored with mundane family life.

Now I find myself in an odd situation, my divorce was final last week and the financial court order is probably two weeks away. I have been lucky financially as she has not gone after me in that respect. The person she has gone with is very similar to me even down to looks. He is a good earner and was in a sense 'bachelor' me whereas I was 'family' me due to us having young children and responsibilities.

At present I see the kids for two or three nights each week.

My problem is :

1. I cannot shake the feeling that I am not needed here anymore. My job can be done anywhere in the world, my kids love their new 'step-dad', why do they need me ? And why do I want to put myself through the pain of watching someone else live my life ?

2. At the age of 33 I seem to struggle with self doubt, will anyone love me, if she did this to me after all I gave to her then surely it will just happen to me again ? Am I good looking etc etc ?

3: Why don't I just move away and find someone new and start a new family, if he wanted my old one so badly he can have it.

I am not sure how 'normal' these feelings are and friends I have spoken to have said that when I find a new partner alot will change but that could be years away.

Help . . .
 

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1. You will always be their father. That bond simply cannot be broken. I think many men worry about this. Ex's BF wanted my job. Kids love him ... but it doesn't compare to how they feel about daddy. He has come to accept that he shouldn't try to fill my shoes with the kids.

2. Sounds like you did the right things from a self-esteem perspective, when you discovered her affair.
Quite simply, if you can love once, you will love again. Feel what you feel, but accept, and expect, that you will not always feel this way. Don't 'feed' the negative. Build up more of the positive. The best outcome of a failed marriage is to turn around, pursue, and lead a fulfilling life. It's up to you.

3. Do what you need to do to make your life better. I moved over an hour away to be closer to work and my family ... got grief from the ex, and she played the 'kids' card. I didn't bite.

Heal yourself. Take the steps necessary to do that. Then you can clearly make the best choice.
 

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Man oh Man.. Do I feel for ya.
The ex did the same thing to me. Ive been divorced for more than a year now, a few months more..
She moved a dude in 3 months after I moved out and he lives "like a happy family" with my ex, kid, and exmotherinlaw. They still live in the marital home, but it has to be sold next year per decree.

I bartered with the ex during writing the parenting plan we were going to submit to the court, to get my daughter every other week, for the whole week. Because finances for me are so very hard right now, having her over for the week sometimes makes me wonder if Im the boring place to come to, becuase I dont have internet or cable t.v. yet at the house. But, the time with me is spent interacting, and not 100% on the computer/internet while her mom's face is buried in her new mans lap.

Ive wondered the exact same thing, if I should just step out, move up north, start over... even in a job aspect, it seems so desireable.
But, little clues from my kid (10) lets me know Im needed. Yours are still so young, its hard to get those clues, but I am sure they need you, their real daddy. I wont let the ex, in all her b.s. push me out of my kids life, no matter who or what she moves into the marital home, and I dont think you should either. But there is a very large part of that which seems trapping, becuase I have to watch the ex move on, every day, with her new dude, and havent gotten much of a chance to be away from it enough, to find myself again.

I believe that your feelings are normal. Ive had them, and they are hard to shake, and very painful. Being that your divorce is so new, and youve had to watch the ex move on all happy-like, i imagine its just as excruciating.
Its weird that she picked someone like you, becuase my ex did too, long hair, band background, plays guitar.. Only, I work, hes got a part time construction gig that makes him have to live with her...

No telling what possessed them to ruin the family, but that was their choice, and all that happy-tuned b.s. you hear is becuase they are desperately trying to convince themselves that its that way. You cant fake reality for long.
Dont give up. Them kids are going to need a solid place, (you) when the sh!t hits the fan at their moms house. Those kinds of decisions sometimes allude to a deeper problem that will affect other areas of their lives.

Take it easy on yourself. Nothing will remove your blood ties to the kids, no matter who she moves in.

Ive not dated. I dont feel interested in finding a woman to commit so much time to right now, becuase I just did that for sixteen years. Its ME time bro!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies and your thoughts

I took the day off work today as kids are on school holidays. Took them ice skating and just sitting on the sofa having a bed time cuddle (i'm in the UK).

Feel much better overall, funny how easy your mind can swing your emotions so much.
 

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Glad that you are feeling better. The swing in emotions are normal!

I did want to respond to the previous problems......

My problem is :

1. I cannot shake the feeling that I am not needed here anymore. My job can be done anywhere in the world, my kids love their new 'step-dad', why do they need me ? And why do I want to put myself through the pain of watching someone else live my life ?

You kids and you have a special bond. No matter what. This replacement "dad" is not your. If anything happens to him and your ex. He will walk away and more than likely abandon the kids. He isn't tied!

2. At the age of 33 I seem to struggle with self doubt, will anyone love me, if she did this to me after all I gave to her then surely it will just happen to me again ? Am I good looking etc etc ?

Normal. I had the same feelings and I was 45 years old and "to old" to start again. Three years later, I am engaged to be married! Work on you and keep walking forward.

3: Why don't I just move away and find someone new and start a new family, if he wanted my old one so badly he can have it.

See #1. Kids aren't replaceable and you know it.

I am not sure how 'normal' these feelings are and friends I have spoken to have said that when I find a new partner alot will change but that could be years away.
 

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You are their daddy and it seems a pretty good one at that, don't ever think of leaving your children, they love and adore you and what is more they need you in their life.

We are all full of self doubts but we try to strive past them.

I have an estranged that left me not once but twice whilst pregnant and he hardly see's his children and he insists on being called daddy and 5,000 miles away, but he has never been there for his children and what is more he doesn't seem to know why.

So i had an ex partner that had no sexual interest in me and a estranged husband that didn't want to be a family but wanted children then left us, yeah i feel so desirable :D ;) :p
 

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That is so seriously tough.
You have made me stop and think very hard.
Ages 6 & 4 is a tough one, they are so young, I am sorry to say this but the first thought that comes ot my mind is that you may end up being the "Uncle-Dad".
And the selfish me thinks, Is that a Bad Thing? I mean, they will always be your kids...and it is very nice to know they will have a good home in which to live in. So you have no fears about their care. But I totally understand your question: Are you even needed anymore?
You can and will totally love and be loved again for sure.
And yeah, what is stopping you from moving away to someplace new and starting again?
I would find it very hard and your story makes me thank God that my kids were 11 & 15 when my breakup occured. They will always truly be MY kids.
But those young ages...that's really tricky and I feel for your situation.
If you stay and make an afffort to be their Dad, it's all good but it occurs to me that you will forever be "hovering" around the Mother's life. And how do you NOT get competitive with the Step-Dad in all that?
I am sorry but if it were me and the Step Dad was in fact a cool guy that was loving and caring and the Mother had her life in good order, I would move away, start fresh in a better place, do that which I could not have done since I started a family instead....
You will always be their biological Father and one day they will come to you and perhaps start a relationship with you as adults.
It's a real tough situation. I am sorry it's happening to you.
 
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