When we read about emotional abuse, it tends to be about women. Sadly, men are affected too. This is an appeal to give a broken man some hope.
Going back 10 years Bob* (I can’t call him by his real name for fear of the woman concerned finding out) was married to his ex-wife. He wasn’t happy and although they had been together for many years the marriage was short. She was controlling and abusive. They had a daughter Poppy*, who was very small at the time. Bob LOVES Poppy and wants the best for her as any father would. As the marriage dissolved he wanted her to have everything and to be a good father, so he signed the house they owned over to the wife. Everything he owned. He thought he was doing the right thing. Within 3 months the ex-wife put the house up for sale, and as it was in her name, took all the money leaving Bob penniless. 10 years on, he still owes £60,000 from this and struggles to make all his monthly repayments.
Bob had NOTHING. He managed to get a bedsit but that pushed his budget and he was living with no furniture, barely a stick of clothes, living on cans of beans where he could. He saved every penny so that he could buy his daughter a cot for when she stayed with him. He slept on the floor with not even a cover for months so he could provide something for Poppy. He literally had nothing. His ex-wife then decided she was going abroad for 2 years. Bob fought this in court to try to keep his daughter. This unsuccessful fight put him in more debt, but he had to try……. He wanted his daughter to know he would stop at nothing for her. When she was taken from him, he spiralled into a state of depression- something which he still suffers from today.
He remarried several years later and now also has a 2 year old child with his new wife. He has taken on full parental responsibility for her child from a previous marriage (the father has little contact- something Bob will never understand). This child has health conditions and requires extra help and love. He has Poppy 2 days a week and every second weekend, so is still fully involved in her upbringing. He loves all his children and is a GOOD father however due to the previous debts, is trying to feed a family of 5 on £40 a week.
There will be people screaming at this saying ‘get a job’. Bob has a job. He has a good job and works hard. He would take on a second and third job but has to commute 2 1/2 hours each way every day to the one he has. He has to do this to earn the salary as there are no prospects in his area. This 5 hour daily drive is taking its toll and he is getting home at night exhausted but wanting to spend time with his children before passing out on the sofa. He makes the commute in a car which is so old it is dangerous, but Bob has no other way to get a safer car or get to work. This position is becoming harder and harder and Bob is a wreck. He is a shadow of his former self.
While he provides all the essentials for his children- food, clothes, love…..his ex-wife is demanding he pays for much more for Poppy- the latest being to pay or her to go on holiday with her friend. This wouldn’t be a shock, however the ex-wife remarried a wealthy man, now owns several houses and is already taking Poppy on holiday 3 times this year. The ex-wife only has Poppy and spoils her- doing much of this as a ‘1-upmanship’ against Bob. She thrives in belittling him. She puts extra pressure on Bob to give Poppy expensive gifts and it destroys him not to be able to do it. He pushes himself to the limits to provide the things demanded, but then in the interest of fairness, has to also give to his step child and toddler. It eats him inside that he can’t provide for them all.
His ex-wife has total control over Bob and he feels there is no escape. If she doesn’t get her own way she is verbally abusive, threatens to take Poppy away so Bob will never see her again and she constantly puts him down. It is hard for Bob to stand up to her as she is manipulating and intimidating. While there are now laws in place regarding this, Bob has no money to fight it in court and feels totally helpless. He is in a situation he feels he can’t get out of and his depression is getting worse. His self-esteem in very low and he feels he can do nothing for his children, despite working every hour to give them everything he can.
The demands are becoming so great that Bob is slowly falling into a black hole, which I fear he may not make it out from. He has nothing at the end of the month, despite driving 5 hours a day to do a solid 10 hour day job. He is exhausted and at his wits end. The debt created from him trying to do his best in a divorce, where his only crime was not to love his ex-wife, will be with him for 20+ years and he is not sleeping at night from this. The children are suffering- while he can’t provide more than the basic needs, and now has less and less time, they are the ones who are losing out.
This is an appeal to try and help a hard working but desperate man back on his feet. The money donated will be used to help reduce debts, which will reduce the stress on him and allow the children to have more. It will also be used to pay for a solicitor who can look at the terms of the divorce and set out a structured plan for Poppy where unfair demands cannot be forced upon Bob and the threat of ‘you won’t see her again’ can be removed legally.
Bob is a good man. He is kind, thoughtful, hardworking and loving. He doesn’t drink or smoke and has not spent a penny on himself in years. There are many men who chose to ignore their children in such cases, but he is trying his hardest to be a part of her life - living with the constant threat this will be taken away from him. He just wants to give his family a life - not expensive holidays or endless toys, just enough so they can occasionally go to a fun park or the cinema.
Fathers often get the raw end of the deal with these situations as the mother is given more rights. Men are chastised for not doing enough, but when they do, the system is against them. This is the story of a man who has been emotionally abused for over a decade and who is losing hope of having his daughter, when he is trying so hard to have her in his life.
This is a plea to help a man in utter despair. Please help.