Single father in desperate need of financial help. Below please take time to read my story
In 2020 I emigrated from the UK to Bulgaria with my partner her eldest children and the children we share together( in picture). We dreamt of having our own small holding and living off the land.
Using my savings from a career in teaching we bought an old Bulgarian house which had not bathroom, kitchen inside , as well as basic electrics.
I was determined to be able to renovate our home myself, but had no knowledge of doing this previously. I began working with some English tradesmen in the day (for a Bulgarian wage of £20 a day) and renovating our home at night. I was also very keen to learn Bulgarian as our children were living here, it was important that we could become part of the community.
I began to notice that upon returning home in the day that my partner was constantly in bed and the the care of the younger children was left to the elder children. She claimed she felt isolated, so to help her with this we began socialising more with the local Bulgarians and English community. Further I took phone contracts , bought televisions and internet which made it easier to contact family and friends.
As we went through our first 6 months I began to notice that my partner would be very keen to go out drinking (with me) and our new friends. I’ve never been a big drinker but felt that this seemed to make her happy. This became a pattern, where I would work all day, spend some hours working at home, and socialised in the evenings.
As we moved into the spring period of 2021 I was becoming worries about finances, and that the picture at home hadn’t changed. My partner was now sleeping a hangover off each day, and when returning home I would find her in bed on her phone. The children would often not have eaten anything substantial and I would find myself cooking and cleaning on top of the priorities I had. I had been raised to look after my family, to treat my partner like a queen and to work hard to provide, but the more I did the less my partner did.
I decided to talk to my partner about my concerns where she told me she wanted to explore polyamory. My world turned upside down. I had no knowledge of polyamory so researched and began speaking to people from this community. When I understood this meant she wanted to explore and “open relationship” I felt broken. She claimed to have feelings for someone in the village and said she had been messaging him. This person was in our social group in the village and she wished me to be open to accept it if I really loved her.
I did really love her but this really hurt my self esteem, ego and confidence. Socialising now began to become the priority for my partner. I tried to resist this but she said that I was scared and intimidated by the other man, which made me feel like I had to prove I wasn’t. I would find her constantly flirting with him in front of me, which really hurt. When at home I tried to speak about it, which created constant conflict.
As the weather turned warmer, house more liveable, I had found work with a group of Bulgarian and English people renovating houses. I was earning more money and also becoming more skilled. The pressures of finances were for the moment reduced. When I would return home I found the children at home without my partner. When I called her I would find her in the centre of the village drinking with groups of men, of which her interest was always part of.
Conflict between us seemed a daily routine. I was working, tending to the garden, cooking, looking after the animals while my partner was drinking and spending money on herself. Almost worse it became obvious that many people realised that there was something “going on” with my partner and this person, which further affected my mental state.
I decided to try to be open to polyamory, maybe I could be, my partner suddenly began to be nice to me, saying I was now a real man. I also saw her began to help in the home. In some ways things seemed like they were in England. This was short lived. As we were in the company of this man she was overtly affectionate to him , and ignored me. As the weeks went by I found her leaving the house for mini dates , secret meetings and I was funding it all. We were now dependant on Bulgarian wages to survive.
My mental state dropped lower and lower, to the point where I felt like I had no point continuing with life. One evening I sat in tears with the intention to end this nightmare. I thought about my children who were my motivation in life, and thought what am I doing . I returned home the next morning and ended the relationship. My partner tried to persuade me to continue and said she would treat me better. I didn’t want to break our family so decided to continue for the time being. We made some agreements and I felt I would see how it went. This lasted a matter of days until she ventured out to shop for clothes for the children. When she returned I noticed that she had also spent my money to buy her other love interest presents too. This was the final straw and I then ended the relationship. We lived in the house together and conflict was consistent. I said she needed to contribute to the household financially equally as I did. She began to nasty and called the police to say I had attacked her. This was unfounded and seen to be malicious however to protect myself I left the property and stayed at a friend’s house, which had no bathroom or kitchen. I had just went backwards 2 years. I also have 50% care of my children. I was getting by, and my ex was now asking me to pay her to have our youngest child during the day, because I prevented her from working . I said if you have a job then we can talk but until then I think this is unfair. I am now in a position that I can only work 2 weeks a month and I cannot provide enough for my children. When not in my care I work every hour I can and then when they are with me this is what I live off. My savings have completely gone, and I love day to day. I recently have been told by my 5 year old daughter that her mother is constantly out at night, and during the day sleeps all day. She says she doesn’t get to go out and play because her brothers can be bothered. In the last 4months everytime I have collected the children they have had an abundance of headlice, they are continuously dirty. My youngest son I believe is on the spectrum, and he often is left at home by my ex as he is “difficult” to manage when out.
Recently I stopped paying the internet and her mobile phone, and her response was to again make a malicious allegation to say that I had stolen the children’s passport and that I was planning on abducting the children.
I don’t know what to do anymore, I can just about make it by day to day, I need to seek legal advice but cannot afford this either. Any financial help would be life changing for not just me but my children’s life also.