Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Hubby leaving after Christmas..help me make a plan!(161 Posts)
This is my first post so please help me think straight.
DH told me on Friday night he is leaving after Christmas. We split up 10 years ago for 8 months because his drinking got out of control following a cancer diagnosis. I asked him to leave after huge rows.
Things haven't been great for some time. He was miserable in his job as a chef and his 2 attempts at a catering business left us with debts (including an outstanding VAT bill of £22,000). He left catering and started in a job which is poorly paid in comparison and means that he has been working away most weeks.
But he was happy and me and the DC adapted.
I had to go back to work full time last year because of the changes in our circumstances and that has been hard because I have a health problem that makes it tough for me. But the DC are happy with the childminding I put in place so that's ok.
I guess it got tough for me 2 years ago when he started drinking again and began to get nasty. He left me in tears at a wedding and I left. It took 2 months for him to apologise and I haven't gone out with him as a couple since.
But we rubbed a long ok and so I thought this was married life.
He forgot my birthday last month and I was really angry. More so because he travelled 300 mile journey to make it to his mum's birthday 3 days beforehand.
He hasn't slept in our bed since then...but I was still shocked when he said he was leaving after he spends Christmas with the DC. He told my "best" friend when she called over 2 days later. They weren't close and I'm wondering if he was testing the waters with how the news would be received. She sent him a long text later. I got 1 saying "I'm shocked..I ll phone you later in the week"
I asked him today if this is what he wants because it's hard to go back once it's all started. He said he didn't and he loves me. I asked later on is he coming back to the bed because the DC are asking what is going on. He said he would.
But he didn't
Please tell me what to do.I know there are a lot of wise ladies. Who have been through this and survived...help!
Sorry i don't know what to say but didn't want to leave you with no replies, sure someone will come along soon x
You sound as if you're in shock and I wonder if you really believe it yet? Are you trying to see if he is really serious? Do you think he is playing some sort of game with you? Are you both expecting the other to fold?
I would proceed as if he meant what he said and let him change his mind if he wants. You need to sort out your benefits situation first. Then you need to sort out the 22K debt -- for this you need to go and see a solicitor, and check what you personally are liable for in the event of a split. You also need to talk to a solicitor about the process of divorce, issues around custody and visitation, child support payment, etc. Then you need to start looking for a job and getting childcare sorted.
At the same time you need to gather your own support network of family and friends around you.
Do you love him or are you just used to him?
Thanks Thingsthatgobump x
I hope you guys can help me make sense of it all
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thank you mathanxiety
I am frozen in shock. I keep crying, then panicking and then going numb again.
I don't know if I should try to talk more or tell him to go now.
I've told him I don't want him to go..what are the signs that he is leaving before he leaves iykwim?
I have what Ive now learnt on mn is called a narcisistic mother so no support there. I'm going to have to talk to friends. Oh god that makes it real.
Ok, got a find a solicitor..
Thanks again mathanxiety x
I do love him but I struggle with his drinking.
My dad was an alcoholic and I thought I was smart and married a man who could handle his drink.
Now I'm not so sure. One of the things he said he is fed up with is my nagging about his drinking: he can't stop at a few and 2 weeks ago he stayed out all night coming home at 7 am. He didn't ring. This hasn't happened in years but it made all my old stress come back.
How do I cope with these feelings?
I did think about it but not sure he would after his experience with his xw.
It's the not knowing if he is going or not that is killing me.
We've been together for 15 years. How do I cope if he goes?
OP, your situation sounds horrible. Yy to discussing with a good RL friend who can support you through this. I have no experience with alcoholism, but I think that is the part that would worry me the most. Perhaps it will be better for you and the DC if he goes?
He has just lobbed a hand grenade into your life after years of sniping and keeping you on edge. No wonder you are traumatised. Don't wait around torturing yourself wondering will he/won't he. Don't leave it all in his hands.
Take a little control when your nerves have settled some (you are not going to feel normal for a good long while but give yourself a few days to make sure you are eating and taking normal breaths again) -- maybe book a free half hour with a solicitor for some time next week and go to your local CAB office whenever you have a chance towards the end of this week? Take notes and ask every question that pops into your head. Have financial details ready when you go to both places.
When you know a little better where you stand you will feel a bit more powerful. Part of what is tearing you apart is the fear of the unknown as you rightly say.
Ask yourself how you would cope if you were to have to put up with another 15 years of all nighters, etc? If alcoholism is not stopped it doesn't go away and it doesn't get better. Are you up for more? Could you deal with more nights when he disappears, more shrugging off of your 'nagging' and insults to your intelligence, more knowing that you are taking second place behind the booze, more of you and the DCs adapting and him doing his own thing pretty much regardless of his responsibilities, more debt (this is as sure as the sun will come up tomorrow morning), more nastiness to you and an indelible negative effect on the children, and more game playing with his aim being to perpetuate his nice comfy life with meals and clean clothes laid on and his drinking unchallenged, and to heck with your feelings?
Lean on your friends. You are right to give your mother and father a wide berth. And if you have never given AlAnon for families a shot, maybe give them a call? (A lot of instructions there...)
I know it all hits you like a ton of bricks when that big 'What If' suddenly becomes reality before you feel ready for it, but really all you can do is plan and try to be sensible while acknowledging your fears but also your strengths -- don't forget you have strengths too; try to find them and be proud of them -- and just put one foot in front of the other until you get through this.
There is always the chance that he is trying to scare you into silence and submission with this threat of his and keeping away from the bed.
No matter what, looking at your rights and the possibilities that are open to you will put you in a better position -- maybe one where you could move things along in a direction you want them to go? Maybe you could decide you have had it to the back teeth and you would be the one telling him to piss or get off the pot so to speak -- find himself a place to live and tell you when he will have his things gone before you get a charity to take it all away in bin bags.
You have a bit of thinking to do.
Tell him to go now. I'm sure that this 'after Christmas' business is convenient to him but a couple of months more of this cruel treatment, the not knowing, is already shattering your life and destroying your confidence. No returning to the marital bed to keep up appearances.... children deserve honesty and will see through pretence. He can still see the DCs at Christmas... just in a different location.
Tell him to leave and then see a solicitor straight away. Talk to your friends. Make it real and take charge of the situation so that things move at your speed and your way. You've been given the runaround for many years, by the sound of it, and this is long overdue.
Why let him wait until after xmas ? That is ages away. It won't help the dc for them to be under this senstence, but more importantly, it is torture for you
Tell him if he wants to go, he goes now
Is he waiting for a cozy nest to fall into ?
Send him on his way, and make that appt with a solicitor today
Another one who thinks he should go now. He's said that's what he wants so shouldn't mess you and the DC's around for a moment longer.
The childrens lives will not end if he isn't there on Xmas day. If family life was that important to him he should have bucked his ideas up long ago.
Use a free solicitor session, CAB, Homestart, explain what's going on to your employer so they can help you muddle through.
I had the leaving after christmas with my abusive ex. Excruciating.
I see no difference between your situation and mine tbh, he sounds vile, mean and cruel.
Yes whatever happens, it'll hurt, but within days of him going, you'll see your life get better.
I'm 2yrs on and never been happier in my life!
This will actually be the BEST thing that happens for youlove.
You do need to take back control. So today, talk to CAB and set up a solicitor's appointment.
You need to tell him he needs to go now. If someone wants to leave, once they've made the announcement they need to leave, it is unfair on the person left (and any children). You especially don't want him around to wreck your Christmas; however bad it might be without him, it will be worse with him there but planning to go (even if he pretends).
You don't have to hide from him that you are devastated, but I would cling onto your dignity as much as you can. Not for his sake but your own self-respect.
If he tries to back track, I would still make him go, and sort his life out. He has crossed one of those boundaries, and he needs to deal with the consequences.
Tell the bastard to leave now. If he's not happy - tell him to go! Why should he make you pretend to be happy for the sake of a family Christmas? He just told you he doesn't want to be part of the family any more. You might even find that the DCs thank you for it.
My father was an alcoholic. Family life was hel , but looked normal to the outsiderl. My dad was always drunk on a chair in the living room, and my mother was miserable. One day I snapped (age 16) and told my father to leave. He did. My mother and I were so much happier with him gone. Our house found the laughter again.
You are a strong woman. You may not think it now, but you will be amazed at how much strength you can muster up. You fight for your family to be happy again - without him!
It sounds like you would be not only fine without him, but great. You are used to him being your husband but he doesn't sound like much of one. He cannot keep you on tenterhooks like this - if he's going then he has to go immediately.
he is being cruel - as well as this bombshell, he is expecting you to bend over backwards to accommodate him during the next couple of months. It sounds like he checked out of the marriage ages ago, leaving you to catch up.
Why after Christmas? why not now? I suspect he has OW and its more convenient for them to move in together then. What kind of Christmas will it be? The DC will know
You are NOT a doormat so don't be one.
Take control and tell him to go now.
*The DC will know that things are not right and the tension will be awful
goodenuff please take some initiative here. He has to go now, you can't live like this for the next couple of months!
Perhaps getting to grips with the practicalities might help you - it sounds as though you'll be a lot better off without him in the long run. He is treating you very badly and the sooner he leaves, the sooner you will get some self-respect:
Relationship Breakdown and Divorce Advice and Links
It is useful if you can get to grips with the language of family law and procedure, and get an understanding of your rights, BEFORE you see a solicitor. If you are well prepared you will save time and money.
If there are children involved, their welfare, needs and interests are paramount. Parents have responsibilities, not rights, in this regard. Shared residence means both parties having an equal interest in the upbringing of the children. It does not mean equal (50/50) parenting time - children are not possessions to be fairly divided between separating parents.
A divorce will not be granted where children are involved unless there are agreed arrangements for finance, and care of the children (Statement of Arrangements for Children). It is obviously quicker and cheaper if this can be agreed but if there is no agreement, the Court will make an Order - Residence and Contact regarding children, Financial Order or Ancillary Relief in the case of Finance. Information and links to these can be found in the Directgov link below. Residence and Contact Orders are likely to be renamed Child Arrangements Orders in future.
Always see a specialist family lawyer!
Get word of mouth recommendations for family lawyers in your area if possible. If you have children at school, ask mums you are friendly with if they know of anyone who can make a recommendation in your area. These days there are few people who dont know of anyone who has been through a divorce or separation theres a lot of knowledge and support out there!
Many family lawyers will offer the first half hour consultation free. Make use of this. Dont just stick with the first lawyer you find shop around and find someone you feel comfortable with. You may be in for a long haul, so it helps if you can find a solicitor youre happy with.
If you cant find any local recommendations, always see a solicitor who specialises in Family Law.
You can also find out about Legal Aid and get advice on the Community Legal Advice Helpline on 08345 345 4 345
Or search in your area for Community Legal Advisors:
Co-operative Legal Services offer DIY/Self-Help Divorce packages, as well as a Managed Divorce service. Their fee structure is more transparent and they have a telephone advice line as well as offering really good advice on their website:
You can read advice and search by area for a family lawyer here:
You will also read good advice and find a family lawyer here:
Some family law solicitors publish online feedback from clients Google solicitors to see if you can find any recommendations or feedback.
You will be encouraged to attend mediation. This can help by encouraging discussion about arrangements for children and finance in a structured way in a neutral setting. However, it only works if both parties are willing to reach agreement.
If there has been violence or emotional abuse, discuss this with your solicitor first. Always get legal advice, or at the very least make sure you are aware of your legal rights, before you begin mediation. This is important because while a Mediator should have knowledge of family law, and will often explain family law, they are not there to give tailored legal advice to either party - so its important to have that first.
Married or Living Together?
This is a key question, because if you are married, generally speaking you have greater protection when a relationship breaks down.
Legal Issues around marriage/cohabitation and relationship breakdown are explained here:
DirectGov advice on divorce, separation and relationship breakdown:
Legal Rights and issues around contact are further explained here:
I found these guides from law firms quite informative and easy to read there are others of course:
Before you see a family law solicitor, get hold of every single piece of financial information you have access to, and take copies or make notes. Wage slips, P60s, tax returns, employment contracts, pensions and other statements savings, current account and mortgages, deeds, rental leases, utility bills, council tax bills, credit statements. Are there joint assets such as a home, pensions, savings, shares?
If you have no access to financial information, or you are aware that assets are being hidden from you, then obviously you will not be able to reach agreement on finances. If there are children, as you cannot divorce without adequate arrangements being agreed on finance and children, you will have to apply for a financial order anyway. If there are no children, and you are unable to agree on finances, you will also have to apply for a financial order (follow the Direct.gov links below). This seeks financial information from both parties going back 12 months. So it is in your interests to act quickly once you have made the decision to divorce.
If you are married, the main considerations of the Family Courts where parties are unable to agree a settlement are (in no particular order of priority):
1.The welfare of any minor children from the marriage.
2.The value of jointly and individually owned property and other assets and the financial needs, obligation and responsibilities of each party.
3.Any debts or liabilities of the parties.
4.Pension arrangements for each of the parties, including future pension values and any value to each of the parties of any benefit they may lose as a result of the divorce.
5.The earnings and earning potential of each of the parties.
6.Standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.
7.The age of the parties and duration of the marriage.
8.Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties.
9.Contributions that each party may have made to the marriage, either financially or by looking after the house and/or caring for the family.
CSA maintenance calculator:
Handy tax credits calculator:
Handy 5 Minute benefit check, tax and housing benefit calculators:
CAB Benefits Check:
Other Support for Women Children, Housing, Domestic Violence
www.womensaid.org.uk/ and refuge.org.uk/ - Helpline 0808 2000 247
www.ncdv.org.uk/ - Helpline 0844 8044 999
www.gingerbread.org.uk/ - Helpline 0808 802 0925
(Note that there is usually an appropriate link on these websites for England, Wales and Scotland where the law, advice and contact information may differ.
The only way you can cope is by taking control of this and agreeing it's time to split and telling him he has to leave immediately. You will feel so much better once he's gone.
He isn't a good husband, is he? He's awful. He thinks he can control you and it's time for you to show him that he can't.
Why after Christmas? What sort of Christmas does he think you will all have with that hanging over you?
I think if you know he is certain about his decision to leave I'd be asking him to leave now rather than live in limbo. Although I appreciate this isn't what you ultimately want.
Gosh, this must be just plain miserable for you.
how are you today, OP ?
Join the discussion
Please login first.