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    Hey Kkasxo,

    All good here – in the usual semi-chaotic run up to leaving for our travels, it’s amazing the number of things to do and people to see when you’re heading off for a couple of months!

    Sorry to hear you had a couple harder days and yeah, feeling like Rudolph is never exactly helpful even at the best of times, let alone when tired already.  Tbh, I think busy can only keep you distracted for so long before you have to deal with things that are eating at you. It’s a good way to make sure you don’t wallow but once you are out of the pit, it’s time for action. The hard part being to know what the “right” action is huh.

    I think you’ll find if you can work out what “right” is to you – your energy and strength for action will come back – it’s indecision that kills it.  Sometimes we know instinctively what is “right”, even if we don’t want to do it or admit it to ourselves or others. And sometimes it takes a bit of logically figuring it out and then comparing with your emotional answer to get there. For example, if you were to make a logical list of the pros/cons of staying with Mr A, you would quickly see what’s real, what’s wishful thinking and what is fear speaking.  It’s also helpful as often what makes sense logically on paper lets you know that it just isn’t what you want to do in your heart of hearts.

    Both choices, staying or leaving, are absolutely fine – there are no wrong answers here, no mistakes, just learning and life happening. But making a choice and going with it is more powerful, more energising, than spending your days pondering it over and over. And over 🙂

    Rant away as ever, always good to hear from you.



    Hi Manon,

    A different perspective, perhaps a way in to why you can’t let this go, when you can’t stop letting your SIL have this piece of power over you when you don’t need to let her do so.  I understand it’s frustrating your husband won’t agree with you and you probably feel let down that he’s “picked her over you” on this one thing. You can’t understand why he doesn’t see them the way you can.

    But it’s not really about taking sides.  I suspect given your own family, you were eager to find another family who loved you and when it started so well, had high hopes. When these incidents occurred, it would not be very surprising if they triggered all the same old feelings of betrayal and not belonging to your own family – and now also this ‘new’ family are rejecting you, not including you.

    Like others have said, it does seem a bit of a pathetic power play by the SIL who wants to be in charge, come what may. But if it wasn’t a trigger point for you because of your own history, you’d be much more likely to see it the same way – and it wouldn’t bother you so much as it does.

    You have your own healthy and happy family now, your husband and kids. That’s huge, awesome and wonderful given your struggles. Try not to punish your husband for not seeing what you can see, perhaps try and explain your own perspective too. Then accept it is isn’t going to be the bigger loving family you wanted and that’s ok – you already have what you want and need in your own family.



    Hey Kkasxo,

    For sure, like Shelby’s concerned about, there’s a natural limit. A good friend had her first child at 42 last year but yeah, if you want to have biological children, women don’t have as long as men.  You got more time than you think – yours is a different concern in that you are ready and wanting to go there soon and he just isn’t in that space.

    Out of curiousity – do you think he’s ready to be a dad, even if he doesn’t? Do you see yourself getting the support and help you’d want? I see the marriage thing as not really an issue, I know it’s something you want which is obviously fair enough but it really doesn’t change anything in reality apart from legally. You get unmarried couples more committed and happy than married couples, marriage doesn’t create real long-term commitment, just legal rights.  But having kids with someone is defn a huge step and given how much you guys have been through I’m kinda glad that even you’d want to wait until end 2020 to give yourselves some time to see if it is working and he is committed and in a good place to support you.

    Sounds like you are working it through well enough. Couldn’t agree more on your last point. When you’ve been through and survived your worst, you just know you can do it again if you have to. Well done on being brave enough to think about what you have to do, either way.



    Hey Kkasxo.

    No worries, hope work settles down – been there, done that – it’s tiring stuff, battling through.

    So, Mr A…..I see…..yeah, that’s pretty much what I was getting at – if you put a timeframe around your hopes/expectations, it very quickly helps to see if you are both thinking the same way.  Two years is a pretty reasonable thought – apart from having fun you’d also want to make sure you guys are back on track and happy too before getting into marriage and kids. His reaction says it all right.  That much freaking out suggests he is a lot less ready for marriage/kids. It’s really helpful in one way for you, if not what you want to hear. At least you know where he is at.

    Funnily enough allegedly my mum had to pretty much push/persuade my dad that it was the right time for kids, he was a bit more like your Mr A, hey, what , already?!  Though they were already married for 4 years and in those days you were deemed past it at 21!

    You’ve got an amazingly good, clear view on it – exactly right. It isn’t anybodys ‘fault’ if you now want different things – or even if you want the same things but at different times. If you could get him to think through when he would see it happening and compromise, then great. If not, sad but ok, you can deal with that too. Better than waiting till you are 30 and it still doesn’t happen. As we’ve always said, you can’t change people and you can only deal with the reality in front of you.

    Take care, it’s tough, but you sound like you’re doing ok working your way through it.



    Hey both.

    Brr, bit chilly back here isn’t it?!

    Shelby – congrats on your last day – must have been pretty emotional, I know mine was. Even when you want to leave, it’s still a big change. I’m really glad to hear you are going with the changing things option – nothing was going to change by remaining where you were. Well done on going through with it and yeah, it’s another nice ego boost when you already have job offers coming in.

    It does sound like your ex played quite a strong parental-like role for you so I guess it’s not surprising that’s who you wanted when you felt so bad the next morning. Yes, one of the tougher parts about growing up is learning to self-sooth as I believe it’s called. I just call it being able to pick yourself up when you have to. Each time gets easier and it’s an important part of any future healthy relationship. The difference in a strong, balanced relationship is that you don’t NEED the support, but it’s very appreciated. Huge difference.

    So what is the plan now – still thinking of going ahead to Oz or tempted into one of the new offers?

    Kkasxo m’dear – how goes it? I’m guessing by the two month thing you mean that was the minimum period you guys had to stay before being able to give notice to leave if you want to. Would you be able to keep the flat by yourself/with another house-mate. Or even stay in it with Mr A but declare the relationship part over? Complicated, that last one but I have seen some friends go that way purely for practical reasons until both get sorted.

    Curious though – if Mr A is 10000000% committed to the relationship……then how does that tie up with not wanting to move forwards yet? Just having too much fun as he is? It’s not like getting married changes that part at all – kids, yes,for sure but marriage is no real difference if already committed? So I’m guessing the two come as a package deal for you, get married and start trying for kids? Out of more curiousity, if he did agree – do you think you guys are in the right place emotionally to start a family?

    Thinking about it – I’m suspecting it’s always going to be this way. It’s just who he is and you you can’t expect him to change that.  Like with the flat – it was only when you gave him no choice on the timing that he came through. I suspect it’s going to be the same with marriage & kids – it’ll have to be you deciding it’s May next year ( or whatever! ) and he either goes with it or not. What do you reckon?

    Take care both.



    Hi Peggy – wow, thank for that, very appreciated. Been a while since anyone’s likened me to anything angelic 😉

    Let’s just hope it helps Tannhauser and we can support him through his pain.



    Hi Tannhauser.

    A question  – do you want to change?

    I know you regularly post on here about your extreme pain and anger and resultant loss of faith.  The anger at life not being fair and not following what you were taught to believe in.  I think you are especially angry because you wanted to believe so badly in god – he was the one real hope you had left as a way out, as some help to get you through this and it let you down.

    Now you see the reality and it scares you, expressed as anger and a need to try to remove others of their beliefs. As it happens,  I do not believe in god either but I see no need to try to convince others of the same, in the same way I see no need to convince anyone of my beliefs. If something is true to you, it does not need other people to share it to validate it.

    What matters is what “not being an arsehole” means to you. What kind of person do you want to be. What does a realistic ‘good life’ look like for you. The one thing that stays true in all people’s stories about coping with chronic pain is that accepting it as part of life, as part of your reality, is one of the hardest things to do but also one of the most liberating.  Instead of beating up yourself/god/family/friends/anyone who will listen about the things you can’t do, focus on what you can. Celebrate each time you are able to paint or play something. Rest up as best as you can when you can’t. Learn the new limits of your body and work with them, instead of screaming against them.

    Yes, this is going to sound like the proverbial ‘horse-shit’ to you I suspect. But read others stories, talk to others in similar situations. This is about accepting reality and learning what helps to cope best, what helps you be the best you in difficult circumstances. This is about accepting that loss of hope for a cure and releasing the anger at ‘why you’ and the let down of religion.  It is what it is. Accept it, work with it.  Pause for a second when you feel anger before being the arsehole – it has it’s time and place for sure but make it deliberate, not just your go-to reaction.

    You continue to reach out on here for a reason and that reason is because you are angry – but deep down below that is pain and fear. There are plenty of people here who would still willingly try and help and support you through this. Something it sounds like would be a benefit in your life right now as it does not seem you have a lot of support. Your angry front will put off a lot of people – help them help you, help them see the real you, the one you want to be, the one that is still possible, despite everything.




    Hey Kkasxo,

    Tbh, I was trying to stay quiet since you and Shelby were chatting and my travel stories didn’t seem a great fit at that point….

    Honestly though, sometimes, actually most of the time now I find – simple is both the best and most honest. We’ve not done much apart from walk, hike, eat and drink ( 1.25 for a large glass of good red anyone?!? ) – the place we are in has zero English and it’s fantastic.  The guys in tight pants on horses for the fair were an interesting display too!!


    You know what though, when I read your words – I know what you need to do and I know you know it too. Relationships run their course, you have learned what you were supposed to have learned and your heart knows it is time to move on.

    I actually don’t believe you are destined to be one of those aunties, though I remember feeling the same at the time. You have to make space in your life first before new and better things/people can fill it. You know that. It’s just not easy to cut that last string.


    Bizarrely – and not something I expected to share – I had a dream about my ex few nights back. It was actually amazingly peaceful where I let him go, no blame, no anger, no regrets. Despite being over him for a long long while, it was a good feeling waking up.


    Let the good into your life – make the space and I’m pretty sure you will find you feel more positive, even through the sadness of letting go of old love.


    Take care – you too Shelby.







    Hey both. Or I should say ‘Ola’, I guess, since I’m out in Andalucia now. Very very rural part of spain, last few days has been their local feria so a proper authentic experience all round, love it.

    I didn’t want to disturb the chat you guys have going so will leave you to it – just wanted to say it was good to hear you say you are finally ready to be happy Shelby, I hope you do act on it.  Kkasxo, it’s tough when you are stuck in a situation you want to change – I know you will have the strength to do so when you are ready.



    Hey Kkasxo,

    Ah, I’m sorry…..that’s no way to enjoy the rare event that is a sunny bank holiday in the UK…..

    All good here, visited parents today before heading out to Andalucia on Weds. Had a bit of an upset with my sister – my whole family are a bit emotionally up/down and can be hard work – but all good now. Had a bit of a weird moment out on our bikes when we got stopped/diverted by a fatal cycle accident – one of those there but by the grace of type things. Not that I’m religious but it was odd as a number of things stopped us setting out when planned which meant we missed the accident timing. Always a slightly surreal feeling.

    You will be ok, I just know it. You just need to gather the strength for the next phase. Indulge your feelings, sofa, netflix, snacks…….hide from the world and recuperate until you are ready.

    Take care both.



    Hi Shelby,

    Sorry for not being more thoughtful you were at work, hope you are ok now. Thought I had better wait to the weekend before writing again.

    As ever, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Hoped it may help you understand better why you are finding it so hard and help give you a way forwards, when you are ready, if you are ready.

    You don’t need me to tell you that letting go of the extreme pain would not be disrespectful, nor in any way, shape or form meaning they didn’t matter. Ofcourse they mattered, they always will. It’ll sound trite but the best way to honour their memory is remembering the happy times together, to be glad of the time shared and that you had such love in your life.

    I’m sorry for upsetting you, trust you understand why. Take care.




    I’ll write this as gently as I can as I know it is triggering for you. But from everything I’ve learned about and that you have shared so openly, I wouldn’t be being honest with you if I wasn’t brave enough to speak up about what I see as the elephant in the room here, even if it will upset you.

    You believe you are deeply grieving the loss of your ex and the hopes you had for a life together. And that is absolutely true but I do not believe that is all. I believe it is also triggering the extreme loss of two incredibly important people in your young life, your Mum and your best friend/step-Mum.  I suspect you did not allow yourself to feel the huge pain at the time, way too much to handle without help. It hurt so bad it had to be contained. I suspect you may well have been brought up to manage feelings, to pull yourself together and suppress them as best as you can instead of being able to express them raw and naturally. I think the depth of those feelings scare you as to how you would ever get back to yourself.  Since those deaths you have buried feelings so deep you haven’t even known it, not known your true self. Looking to ensure they can’t hurt you, keeping you safe. The relationship with your ex was the first relationship since where you allowed yourself to feel, to hope. That feeling of panic each time you sensed it may end, that anxious attachment style – purely triggered by panicking you would have to feel something akin to those deep sense of losses which you still don’t know how to handle.

    Kkasxo has been incredibly brave in sharing her pain and how there is a way through. I know you can do the same and we’re all here to support you.  I’d love to hear you have been brave enough to return to your therapist and try that grief method he proposed – they sound like a wonderful person to help you through.

    Hugs and strength to the both of you.



    Morning guys.

    Hope it went well last night Kkasxo. Have you noticed that when you write here about stepping up and taking action, you sound way more like your old self/your new ok self. There’s just something about moving past indecision into action that puts the brain into a different frame of mind I think.  I think you are spot on – this isn’t about forcing Mr A to do anything, that wouldn’t be fair either. But if he sees the whole kids/marriage thing as ten years off still – that’s important for you to know! I suspect he just hasn’t really thought about it in a timeframe sense though, just one of those things he will do eventually.  Like everything else he approaches, it’s theoretical right 🙂

    Funnily enough, I have been exercising a real lot lately – mostly because with so much upcoming travel I need to have a few spare pounds for all the tasty food/wine I will doubtlessly find….  It does make you feel fantastic to be back in shape though and it’s amazing how quickly the stamina comes back once you get going.  I have to admit, it’s so much easier to do now that I’m not spending 5 hours each day commuting on a train!! So kudos on making it fit whilst working.   We actually had something similar to your Fit-bit a while back and they are awesome at motivating you. There’s a lot of heart issues in my family history so I defn prioritise exercise and the bands were so encouraging showing my heart rate getting healthier. We used to walk up and down airports just to make sure we hit our 10,000 steps when travelling – some strange looks!

    Shelby – how goes it all? Realised I went at least two posts without mentioning travel – crazy 😉   Was updating my budget yesterday ( hey, it can’t all be rock n roll…. ) and worked out that by the end of the year we’ll have spent 161 days away – for just over £10k. I was pretty impressed since we’ve not been budget all the way. Plus it’s good to know I am really am getting on and doing all the things I want to try. As we’ve said, life is short – make the most of it.

    Take care.




    You are getting a lot of good advice on here and yet you are unable to change. Plus you continue to focus on things which as a grown man you can recognise are not the priority here.  You can sense it is as frustrating for others trying to help you as it is for yourself.

    I understand that when you are so far down in the dark, it can seem impossible as to how to escape.  Your sense of helplessness is real – but it is a feeling, not the truth. You do have options, including financial ones.  If you truly want things to change, you are going to have to be the one to change them. It is not going to happen if you continue to do nothing but hope that your current partner eventually tires of you or that her family will step up to take care of her. It is not going to happen if you continue to hope that your ex that you pine for returns wanting you and takes you back to a happier place. Simply – waiting for others to take the responsibility of your life is not going to happen – it is your life and yours to change. Your other choice is to accept this is how you will be for the next two years and further – is that what you want?

    So – you need a plan. You need to focus on practicalities for a while, not emotions. I get it, you are a very emotional man but you are focusing on the wrong things and torturing yourself and others with you.

    Financial options – you have already said you have a lot of stuff/assets. Instead of looking for a place big enough to keep them, these can be sold to raise funds for the deposit. Yes, you might not want to but these are your choices given where you are at. Your girlfriend has options too. Cell phones are a luxury when you can’t afford food. Even in the US, there are benefits she should qualify to apply for to provide food and shelter for her kids. Have either of you even talked to your local government rep about what financial help is available. I would suggest she goes on her own as do you. There are also plenty of resources online who will help you and her work through where money can be saved and what help is available. Your situation is not uncommon.

    So there are options – just not ones you may want to consider or take. You are not hopeless, the situation is not hopeless – there is a way out but it involves decisions and actions, not more hoping and wishing things were different. And not more distracting yourself with daydreams of better times.

    If you don’t deal with the reality in front of you – it won’t change.  We are all here to support you, it’s not easy. But is is doable. If you really want it to be different, that is. Small steps and you will be on your way to being the man you want to be, at least be the man your ex would want if she were free.

    Take care.





    If you look at this from an outsider’s perspective, I think you too would be wondering just what it’s going to take for you to see the reality here.

    You are in an abusive relationship and have been for a long time – putting up with way more damaging behaviour than anybody ever should. You have stayed because you believe it is beneficial for your child to have a father present – even though you can also accept that all the evidence points to the complete opposite. You continue to believe this guy can change despite again all evidence to the contrary. He has no reason to change and does not want to change.  And then for some reason you start worrying more about your love life than your own safety and the safety of your child!!

    I get you are probably scared of being alone, raising a child without a partner. A lot of people struggle to leave someone until their next safety net (aka relationship/strong possibility of one) is in place.  I understand why you were driven to find that emotional connection with another man – but he is not your way out of this.

    I get you have invested so much in this guy it is hard to give up on the hope he will change. Where do you really see this all ending though??

    However much you may wish it was otherwise, the reality here is that he won’t change and the damage being done to yourself and your child by staying in the abusive situation is what is real. It is not ok. Even if you accept it for yourself can you really accept the responsibility of injury, both physical (future) and emotional (existing), to your child.

    I understand that taking that final step and reaching out to the contacts you have been given is difficult. One way to think about it is it is actually the only thing that may get him to change – he will not do so by staying as you are. And then at least you know you have kept your child safe whilst you see how it turns out.  If the contacts are too difficult for you – at the very least take up his Mum’s offer to stay with her so you are not alone in dealing with this.

    The only way this is going to change is for you to take action. The sooner you do, the sooner it can get better, whichever way the relationship(s) work out.

    Hoping you take care of both you and your child. Hugs.

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