My ex is moving away with my 10-year-old – I regret our breakup

4 Mar 2024

"My 10-year-old daughter is moving further away with my ex-partner.

I’m devastated that I won’t get to see the best person in my life as frequently. We’ll still get half our weekends together, but no weekdays.

Anon

It’s heartbreaking to hear your situation. Most importantly, your daughter needs to know that your love isn’t limited by geography. Your actions will show this, of course, but it’s helpful to explain that you’ll always be there; not only when you see each other but by phone and video whenever she wants.

You’ll be sharing your daughter with her mother and mother’s partner, as well as new friends and neighbours: how do you want to be part of this new life? Allowing her to share her world with you and keeping an open conversation about new people in her life shows your love.

 

I also wonder how you truly feel about the new partner: if it were me I’d probably be riddled with jealousy that they get to be around my child when I don’t, and I know I’d need to take care of my own emotions rather than display them to my child.

You might want to punch his lights out – not because of who he is because it sounds as if he’s very caring – but because you might feel that he’s stolen your family. Or you might want to tell him how important your daughter is to you and let him know you’re  trusting him to protect her, to listen to her, to see she comes to no harm.

My suggestion would be to befriend him, or at least be on good terms, to make him a known entity. Let his name be spoken by your daughter too, as part of her new reality. I acknowledge this might involve putting your love and care for your daughter before your own hurt, feelings of rejection and probable anger and deep sadness.

 

Perhaps there are also emotions with which to make peace surrounding the end of your relationship with your ex-partner? Did you  feel angry or resentful when they told you she was moving, and does that initial reaction need to be repaired so you can both bring your child up consciously and lovingly, parenting with a united front of similar values and boundaries?

Her announcement might have revealed that wounds you’d hoped were healed were deeper than you’d realised. Perhaps, in the back of your mind, you hoped there was a chance of one day getting back together. I wonder whether you’ve somehow been trying to redeem yourself since the relationship broke down.