How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Elliott, LPCC, NCC Your Own Question
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Elliott, LPCC, NCC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Elliot. Now that I feel you are aware of my issues. I am not

This answer was rated:

Elliot. Now that I feel you are aware of my issues. I am not going to explain my past. out of the blue I have discovered I now only want to focus on myself. Obviously I will do what is right by kids, but I do know I need to consider myself more. BUT I ACTUALLY DONT KNOW HOW. Since I last spoke to you my mind has moved on. I know I do not love my ex, I think when settlement is sorted it will be easier. My ex has not helped trying to make it all work ie kids ,girlfriend etc., so therefore I am exchausting myself in the effort of keeping kids happy and ex aware he needs to be with them. But today ex rang explaining he had to be with his g/f as her mother was ????? dying and that he couldnt keep his arrangements with our son, instead of being understanding , I got really angry and this made me realise I have had enough. I know it is not good that her mother is dying, but because of their past behaviour I feel he will want to support her forever if necessary at the expense of our kids. My issue is, how do I balance the dissapointment of the kids re the fact that he is not around enough? But also how do I stop myself getting annoyed at him and go on happily with my life keeping kids in toe. I do not love or even like this man now, that is acutally an isssue in itself as I am very aware I can not transfer my feelings to kids re same. But thats the issue. I am looking forward to my future, money or not, warts and all. But I not prepared to spare my ex and yet dont want kids hurt. But at times I feel I would be better off totally without him, but I cant be like that because of kids.
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear V,

Thank you for getting back to me. This situation with girlfriend's dying mum is putting a strain on you. You are already happily rid of him in the relationship. Because your children still care for him, he is a necessary evil in your life.

Instead of thinking that you are doing this for him, reframe your thinking into the other view that you are doing this for your children. He has disappointed you enough and you cannot expect him to be there for you when he has chosen to be with this other woman.

This is not about him, but about being the caregive who puts her children first because their father does not. You don't have to say a word to them about his behaviour. His actions tell the story and they know who is there for them.

You do have to tolerate him because of the kids. Try to make your interactions as smooth as possible by ignoring him as much as possible and controlling the situation by peaceful disengagement from him. In that way, any drama that occurs will be on his account and not on yours. Best of all, the children will see that you are not engaging in negativity and they will not only learn this positive way of engaging difficult people, but they will admire you all the more for your calm and mature demeanor.

You cannot remove him from your life. All you can do is minimise the contact and the negativity in terms of words or body language, and you will control the situation.

I shall keep your family in my prayers.

Warm regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I understand what you are saying, I know he is an necessary evil. I know what he is like. But I get frustrated re the fact he offers no solution re way forward re g/f etc. He knows kids want nothing to do with her. I am not prepared to reach out to her anymore , I did IN PAST and then ended up having to get sol involved re harrassment from her, He makes a mess and then I try to make sence of it. But ur right , instead of me getting annoyed, ignore him ,expect nothing, and keep true to me and kids. I just be afraid that kids will end up with issues later in life. But once settlement sis orted I do feel I will feel free and not tied to him which I also feel will help kids


Dear V,

Thanks for getting back to me.

It is very frustrating because he offers no help and no solution. You don't have to reach out to her and you do not have to solve Sol's problems. They are HIS problems. He owns them, he brings them upon himself, and he can lean on BB. That's his choice and he'll have to take what support he can get from her. He left you and he is no longer your responsibility.

You are beginning to see a clear vision of the future and it looks good for you and for the kids.

Hang in there and continue to be strong.

Warm regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, I know he has BB for support etc. I am well aware that his problems are his problems. But when I say I end up sorting all out, eg He says he will do something with son for the day as I go to work. Then im at work ring son, dad has gone off somewhere with bb and I have to make sure son is ok etc. Thats an example . Another is he runs off with bb when he has said he will take daughter somewhere, I have to step in. I know and dont want to be responsible for him but I do have to make sure all else re home work and kids are covered. Thats what I mean. I could give you loads more examples. With bb he is organised etc because it is army. With me he leaves chaos and I am fed up to the teeth with him. I dont care that he is with BB, but the only reason that my kids are good is because I am sensible and capable. I look forward to having my own home, key and money, At present I am the rented family home, he wont move all his things out, despite me moving most for him. He lives in another old house we own, looking onto the foundations of a house we were building. Can you get a picture now , of what I mean re sorting things out. He still has a key to this house. He dosnt use it and solictor is aware, ( but he dosnt want to give it to me ) Whats that about.? . I get frustrated and up in arms re his behaviour when it directly effects me and kids, and I refuse to let him away with it. I am well aware as I do, I push him to BB. But I can not pussy foot around him, he is not a child and if he has to be pushed to her , well then she hasnt got him, despite appearances. If she has got him, well then why does he want his key to here?????? Him and her are always going to be about. Him and I have kids, I know you said I could handle him quietly but it dosnt matter if I shout or whisper. Recently when I have been asking re plans re kids etc he is back to doing what he does best, XXXXX XXXXX passive aggressive with me and making plans and not following through. We are getting closer to settlement. ( after two years of him not suppling sol with the details required, but he will say its all my fault.) Why is he not just getting on with it eg he has and old car and trailor here, Why?????? Thats what I mean when I say he does my head in. I have come a long long way and I am well aware I will cope and be happy and keeps kids on straight and narrow. But sometimes I just need my head sorted. By talking to folks along the way, I understand my reactions and have managed to cope with his behaviour, But I feel I have overshoot the runway and now want to get him out of my life, but I am stuck with him and her , I am sure they feel stuck with me, but I have moved his things over but as said he is happy to keep things over here,they are to big etc for me to move on my own. . Rightly or wrongly I am going to do and say what I feel is right at the time, no planning or manipulation because at times if I say white he will say black. If I said black he will say white. It is not about winning with him its about , keeping myself right. I do resent the fact he has told lies about me and that he has done nothing to keep my kids in touch with his kids, I was able to do that for 18 years. But even at that I can cope, but at times I feel I am never going to be truely free of this man. Sorry about rant, but I do remind myself I am not the girl that used to cry. In the past I could have got the police re his and her behaviour to me but I talked it over with solictor and chose not to as it takes things to a level that is more difficult for kids. Ex and BB aware I saw a solictor , that was enough to stop behaviour. I do resent the army etc having no idea what he was and is like with me, but re me starting a big issue with the army re same ,( I do have evidence) I actually just want to move on, that I think is the best revenge. Its strange, my psychiatric training has been both a blessing and a curse. It gave me the understanding to manage the situations but unfortunately tolerated too much. Now I wont tolerate anything.

Dear Jean,

If ou won't tolerate anything then change the locks to your house so his key won't work.

Have someone more the big stuff outside of your house and tell him to get it.

You will be free of him when you take the actions required to do so.

Half measures are not working. If you want him out of your hair then you will have to do whaever it takes. Venting about it makes you feel better but it never makes for any real change.

I wish you courage and strength.

Warm regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I may be repling to you twice. I did do a reply but computer went funny, so unsure if you got same. Yes I will move all and did intend to do so. But I have had so much to cope with so much and keep kids sane, nither them nor I could handle gaping spaces in the home ( plus if I had moved things outside, I am sure he would have let them stay there. ) Anyway it is all wraping up ( solictors have been slow and I have had to cope with ex not always being available with money ) so even if I had wanted to,I couldnt be bother moving things, my head needed to be clear which is much more important. But thanks to being able to rant I am now where I am . Kids and I all ready to move on, emotionally etc etc etc. When my head is clear real and better change happens. I have been glad to speak with you. my friends and family have been great but I do not want to burden them with stuff like this. Also I have needed the little shoves along the way. Many Many Thanks. I do not want poor you answers , I prefer someone to say it the way it is. I also have to stop trying to fiqure ex out. I have fiqured him out . Thats why I through him out .SO therefore I need now to have faith in my own ability to live my life happily and I will. What did I get from my marriage????? Two of the best kids in the world, the ability to show people divorce happens but your not dead. I still have great memmories of my marriage, despite all . re my ex I have accepted he is the father ro my kids. When I started the divorce, he could not get his head around the fact we could still parent togeather while not married. I am sorry that maybe he still wont be able to do that ( thats what I find strange, (he is with , the love of his life) but cant handle the parenting thing with me. I am on my own and despite ranting to you I can. To conclude ( I have to remember I have not got my settlement yet ) would I do it all again. Yes it was worth marring him, but yes I was right to divorce him. But By doing what I am doing with you, stops me getting bitter etc etc. This is all leading to me being free in mind , body soul etc I want to be tied up with happiness, not held back with the what might have beens Thank You

Hi. I only got one reply.

Your are very welcome. I am here to help. It sounds as if you are coming to terms with the reality of your situation. If is what it is and you cannot change him. You can only limit your contact and keep him and his belongings ou of your life.

He is symbolically keeping a few things to claim some kind of ownership or connection but he is giving nothing in return , so now is the time to back off from him and go on with your life without him.

I wish you great success.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you