Can I talk through options for the DC when H and I separate please?

(6 Posts)
riverbank Tue 02-Apr-13 14:32:51

I have name changed (using a different email address and posting on 'in private browsing' for this) because H did look me up on MN before, and although we are both doing our best to separate amicably I want to be able to think things through without him seeing my working out and possibly using my random thoughts against me. I have been here absolutely yonks though and live in an ordinary house that is not under a bridge. If you recognise me (and you might) please don't link to my threads.

H is reluctantly agreeing to separate, it would not be his choice but we are having counselling and he says that he can see that I am beyond the point of reconciliation. We have two primary-aged DC and we both want to make things as easy as possible for them. I proposed that we leave the DC in our house and that H and I move back and forward when it's our turn to have them. We are fortunate to be comfortably off so we could afford to rent two small flats for a trial period of a year. He did consider this initially and thought that he would be with the DC from Thursday school pick-up until after church on Sunday.

H then came back with the proposal that as I felt that my life had been ruined by him and the DC (I don't feel that at all) that I should move out and 'find myself', he would give up work and look after them full-time and I could 'visit' when I wanted to. I told him that that was a non-starter (and I'm positive he could never give up work anyway, he would go insane within six weeks).

So his most recent proposal is that I should move out. He will stay in our house and do the morning routine with the DC. The au pair will drive them to school (H can't drive). I will pick them up from school and look after them until he gets home from work, at which time I will leave the house. I will have 'my' room in the house for when he is working abroad so I can stay overnight with the DC then. I just think that this is all kinds of wrong, it gives him all the control (because he decides when he wants to get home and take the DC) and but he has very little responsibility because I will still be feeding them, making sure they do their homework, doing the shopping etc. Basically my life will be just the same as now only not sleeping in my home anymore and with most weekends off. I'm pretty sure that it would put me on some dodgy ground legally too as I think where the DC sleep is considered to be where they are residing, so from a court's POV he would have sole charge of the DC.

He is a workaholic, everything is less important to him than his work life. He is also a very smooth operator and so he is selling this to me as being for my benefit when clearly it suits him best as it allows him to work whatever hours he wants knowing that I am there at his convenience. He is such a good salesman that he has convinced himself that he is doing me a favour by offering this, so we won't be discussing it again until we are back with the counsellor as if we keep talking about it he will get cross with me for being ungrateful and stubborn (it has been a bit of a pattern in our marriage).

What I don't want to do, because it would be the most disruptive thing for the DC, is to have to move out with the DC into rented accommodation and just send them back to H for weekends. However if I can't find another proposal that would be acceptable I think that's what will happen. I can't make him move out of the marital home, and he doesn't think he should have to as I'm the one breaking up a perfectly good marriage. hmm

alarkaspree Tue 02-Apr-13 14:47:57

I really sympathise and you're obviously doing your best to keep things as easy as possible for your children, but I think it sounds as if you are hoping for too much in trying to make this amicable. Your H's suggestion is madness, and to be honest the idea of you both moving back in and out of the marital home sounds unworkable too.

I have no personal experience of divorce but over the last four years my kids have had fairly disrupted lives - we have moved overseas, then moved to another different city, along with changes of home and school. They have taken it all in their stride and are perfectly happy. I think you are perhaps underestimating how adaptable kids are and you'd be better off making a proper break that works for the long term - so establishing two proper, separate residences straight away. Otherwise you risk starting off with an arrangement that is too difficult to maintain, and having to make more changes in a year or two.

MaBumble Tue 02-Apr-13 15:00:03

I can see that you ate attending counselling, but I think you need legal advice (and I'm guessing he won't like that, but has probably already sought it himself)
I understand you don't want to disrupt the children - but they may find the whole thing confusing. You need a home, so does your husband. And The children need to understand that you are not together anymore when you do split. Who is the main carer?

BTW just because you are driving the separation does not mean its 'all your fault'

riverbank Tue 02-Apr-13 21:16:56

I am the main carer, I'm a SAHM. He's pretty good and could look after them if he wasn't working all the time. I think really doing everything would be a shock to the system for him but he is quite effective and can keep them clean, fed, safe etc. The DC don't seem to have a favourite, they are happy to be with either of us and we both follow broadly similar routines with them (bedtime, mealtime, computer usage policy etc). They are used to him being away for several nights at a time, and they are also used to travelling with him while I stay behind or travelling with me while he stays behind.

DS has behavioural issues so he is very hard work at times, he is mercurial and goes from calm and relaxed to angry, miserable and violent in an instant. We have also moved country a couple of years ago and DS really likes the house we currently live in, although I suppose he would adapt. He has a friend who sometimes lives on this road (Dad lives here, Mum lives about 5 mins walk away) so he has seen co-operative separation in action which would hopefully minimise his anxiety. DD is very adaptable, but when DS is miserable so is she because he torments her (and anybody else nearby).

I will have to check out good lawyers, I don't really know how the system works here but I do have some friends who have divorced so I will take them out for coffee and get hints and tips from them.

MaBumble Tue 02-Apr-13 23:43:53

I think from what you say you could keep this as amicable as posdible, but don't think that you alonevhave to make sacrifices to keep everyone hap0y. I'd suggest mediation to sort out all the details, but def with the being it of legal advice. Are you in the UK?

I'd also suggest asking MNHQ to move this to relationships where there is more traffic, and wiser people than me.

goodlifemummy Sat 06-Apr-13 14:09:24

This sounds extremely similar to my situation. We are separating my choice not DH's we have DTDs age 8 and DS age 2. He wanted me to move out of family home and farm me in as au pair basically so he would technically "have custody" I said the children stay with me. I work away up to 9 days a month maximum so he already does his but during those days, he also wanted them a couple of nights during the week expecting me to drive over get them up take to school entertain 2 yr old for the day clean house cook dinner etc until he got home when I would wave goodbye again. Not happening. It got a bit angry and nasty for a while, but now I am moving out with kids into rented accommodation in same village less than a mile away and he is staying in family home as he wants to buy me out, I could never afford to! He will look after them on the days (usually weekends) that I work and we'll figure out any extra nights as we go along, he will sometimes pick them up after school and take them home for dinner. We've managed to make it amicable and be flexible with each other and I think that's really the key, but I was adamant that the kids go with me much as I wanted to stay in my home with them, I've accepted that if they are with me then wherever we live will be our home.

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