Between homeschooling, working from home and lockdowns, 2020 has put a strain on many relationships. But one woman has had her whole world turned around after her husband of five years rang her from a hotel to tell her he "hates" their kids - and he's not going to come home again.
The real kicker? He assured her he is still very much in love with her and wants a relationship still - he just doesn't want to see the kids.
In an episode of The Dear Prudence podcast, the letter was discussed, and the hosts couldn't believe what they were reading.
"He says he never wanted them, but he had them because he was so in love with me and he expected to feel parental love once he bit the bullet," the letter read. "But he never has. And now that the new baby is here, it's reinforced that he can't stand to be a father."
The woman hung up on her husband, however she remained calm and had this dignified response despite it being "unbearably painful' hearing him talk about their kids like this.
"After a few hours, I called him back. I told him, I know we're living through stressful times and he's been stuck in the house with the kids more than usual," she explained. "And every parent has felt like running away at some point."
Telling him if he needs a break he should stay a hotel to calm down and talk to a therapist, however he replied saying he's felt this way ever since their eldest child was born and "he's been planning his escape for months".
"This started when our oldest started stealing my attention when she was born," the upset mum explained.
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The woman said her husband kept declaring his love for her then tried to convince her to "get a baby sitter and going to his hotel to have sex and pretend our kids didn't exist for a couple of hours."
"We'd had many in-depth talks about kids and the kind of future we both wanted before we got married and before each kid," she adamantly said.
"I'm starting to think of how I could have manipulated him into having kids against his will.
"I'm furious at him for saying he hates our perfect babies and at myself for saddling my babies with a father like this.
"How do I navigate this without traumatising the kids?
"I will want to divorce him and take him for all he's worth right now. But I recognise that I'm angry. And the most important thing to me is protecting my kids."
The podcast host Daniel M Lavery, and special guest Alicia Harris, said the distraught woman should take her husband's actions very seriously. They told her although it's normal to want to protect the children, it's going to be difficult to stop them from being traumatised by the events.
"I think the sooner you can accept that that's going to happen and that what you can do is help them through it, not prevent it from happening, the easier things are going to be," Lavery said with Harris agreeing.
"Please do not like feel like you need to continue a relationship with someone who says that they hate your kid right now."