‘I left my wife for another woman and now my eldest children won’t talk to me’

A few years ago I left my wife for another woman. At the time I didn’t tell my ex why I left, although she did suspect there was another woman. She now knows I am in another relationship and I think she is using this to turn my children against me.

There was no conflict in our marriage, we just grew apart and were sleeping in separate bedrooms. We were like brother and sister and not husband and wife. It was a difficult decision to leave as I adore my children, but to be honest I thought I could have it all when I left. I love my new partner, but now my eldest children (teenagers) won’t talk to me and the youngest seem to just tolerate me.

Sometimes, I resent my current partner because she left her marriage for me, but her children still live with her. I try to stay in touch with my children by messaging them and trying to meet up, but I get stonewalled most of the time. I think my ex should be doing more to encourage them to spend time with me.

I’m still their dad and I want to be part of their lives. Is there anything I can do to make this happen?

Answer: Separation comes at all kinds of costs and you are in receipt of one of the main ones: the children do not simply adjust to the new arrangements and carry on. For children, the parent who leaves has changed their lives forever and they may feel just as abandoned as the spouse.