Yes, I Too, Am a Non Custodial Mother

And it sucks. I left my "marriage" 2.5 years ago, and have been ducking ever since. The guilt I feel is overwhelming at times. I miss my little girls so much, the pain is unbearable. Mostly, I guess I just beat myself up all the time, which is dangerous to do, especially when prone to depression. Anyway, my story is I married a Dutchman 20 yrs ago so that he could remain in this country. Nice guy, very nice to look at, decent provider. I did fall in love. He thought he loved me too. We produced 2 beautiful girls in time. As time went on, and I gained weight from giving birth, I found that the physical side of the marriage was not there. We were good roommates but not husband and wife. On top of that, I really thought that there was something horribly wrong with me due to the fact my husband wouldn't touch me. Then, came the affair on my part. Believe me, didn't make me feel very good. But, at least I knew it wasn't all my fault, I could still be considered desirable and attractive. Well, long story cut short. I couldn't stand my lies and deceit anymore, and left the loveless marriage. Since then I have accomplished some things- Got an A on my thesis and completed my MAS degree. I actually got a job in my field of study- water resource managment. I am with a partner who is also in the environmental field, and who desires me and loves me and whom I love deeply. But, my children live far away, I see them in the summer and Christmas and Birthdays. The guilt is overwhelming, society's judgement is harsh, vilification from my family cuts deep, and so on. I know I am missing out on the best years of my daughters lives.

Anyway, can anyone here relate?

unknownlegend763 unknownlegend763
8 Responses Feb 8, 2009

I'm so glad I found this. I am overwhelmed with guilt. I have been the non-custodial mom for 10 years. I live 1 mile away from my ex and I see my son 4 days a week, have never missed an orchestra concert, baseball game, award ceremony, etc. but I still feel so guilty. Especially when people ask so "when is your son coming to live with you" or "is he still with his dad"? My son is 15 yrs old, goes to a great school, has straight As, and my ex married a woman that makes a lot of money. He has had a great life! I think I care too much about what people think about me. My son loves me and understand why he lives with his dad. But I can't help to feel depressed and guilty

Your story is very simular to mine.

I feel overwhelming guilt too, sometimes. I feel immense pain too.

Me too! But I think our kids will understand the sacrifices we had to make when they are older. Hang in there!

I can relate to you so much all the way to how you feel about your children. I have been out of my marriage for almost 3 yrs and I also live far way from my kids. I also met someone who made me feel worth it and respected me and till this day has never been abusive to me . Me and my x were good at being parents together but there wasn't anything between us. During the 18yr marriage we both made mistakes and cheated on each other . I have 3 boys 19,18,9 I fought for custody but it was costing to much and the more I thought about it the more sense it made for him to have custody. The 2 older boys wanted to stay in jersey and I was a stay at home mom since I was 18 and I didn't feel it was right to take my youngest away from his bothers and I was scared of not being able to take care of my son finacially. I felt when it came down to it my x had a more secure life for them. I didn't want to depend on another man after realizing thats the only reason I stayed in my marriage. So my x has all three of them and with my choice I lost most of my family including mother. I am in therapy and trying to move on and my boyfriend is always there when I am hurting. I love those boys and I know that my choice was in there best interest wheather people think I am right or wrong there best interest is what matters. I think and talk with as much as possible but I have falling into a very depressed spot. I need to do as you did and become a better me and improve myself and thats what I liked about your story . Than I can do more for them and as they get older and need more I can give more. My oldest have there own live and I don't see them as often as my 9yr old. They do plan to drive down to va soon.
I see my 9 yr old summers and whenever he has more than 3 days off from school. When I get down to jersey I have the chance to see them all together. Its just hard to live with the loss of being with them everday!

I have 3 children with my ex and I am the non custodial mom. My 8 year old daughter does not understand why she can't live with me. My children haven't lived with me in over 3 years and they're 16, 11 & 8. When we first separated 3 years ago I really felt the kids were better with their father because I was the one moving and making the changes but I cannot move past the guilt of hurting them. I see them every other weekend, pay child support just like all non custodials do, I get them anytime I want so alot of times it every weekend (we are 3 hours apart). I am consumed by guilt though, guilt over not being there, hurting my kids and leaving them to wonder why? I have been to counselors, support groups and it helps to share and get support.....but at the end of the day when no one's around it is the most painful, gut wrenching feeling to know that what I caused by leaving was more painful to my kids than what I feel every lonely night. I think the hardest part of all of this is getting me to move past the pain and guilt I feel because of a decision I made that effects my kids the rest of their life. It sounds so completely selfish on my part.

This happened to my cousin when she was 10..... And she and her mother are best friends today---- your children will be old enough to understand~~~ keep being honest with urself and them~~~ and healing will come.... Let urself b forgiven so your children can have a healthy, happy, hopeful mom!!!!!!!

I know how you feel too. My ex and his wife got custody 8 yrs ago when my daughter was 5yrs old. They live 550 miles away and the court ruled that I have to pay for all the travel expenses for me and hers, so needless to say, I don't get to visit very often b/c it's just too expensive. <br />
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She's my only child and it breaks my heart that she and I both have been robbed of all these years together b/c they had the money and influence to manipulate the system. It sucks big time!!

I hope you are right, KristyLanae. I have been struggling with this for two years. Everyone says, "One of these days they will realize that you love them infinitely and that it was all their father's money and influence that made this happen", but it's not enough for me when I am missing some of the best years of their life right now.

The negative stigma related to being a noncustodial mother is very harsh. That's why its so important for people to talk about it. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to walk away, even though it some times is for the best. Both your stories are very touching and just because we can't always be with our children doesnt mean we love them any less. In time I think they figure that out.

I relate to your story quite a bit... My children have been out of my custody for almost 4 years but only officially almost 2. It was a hard decision made but I did it for them... I am bipolar (treated for my depression) and I need to be cared for emotionally and can't be there as a full time mommy. My ex and I get along well because I do not ripple the waters at all and he pretty much lets me visit the girls whenever I'm able to come to town. I moved to another state almost 1 1/2 years ago and that is when I realized I may have made a mistake but I am married (for once in my life happily to a man who appreciates me) and we are in his home town taking care of his mother. That doesn't make the pain less... BUT I do talk to my children often and send them care packages once a month. I hold onto the hope that maybe I'll get to see them more often than once every other month or every three months but with the economy the way it is I find myself out of work and no way to pay child support and no way to go home to visit my little monkies! Your message meant the world to me... I have a real hard time even talking about it and they haven't lived with me in almost 4 years. I just really related to your story about the love there and then not there after the children were born. I'm glad you have a loving partner! That will get you through the pain, mine has been a CHAMPION and my best friend taking care of me on my really bad days and loving me and my children and supporting every decision I make. You are a strong woman for taking this step and talking about it... I'm just now starting to trust people with my story... People can be rude because they always think we were child abusers and that is just not the case. Thank you again for sharing! Elizabeth