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partner is going through a divorce, why am I getting upset?

(27 Posts)
friendlyanimal Fri 22-Feb-13 12:54:48

I am with a really lovely kind, gentle man and we have a really happy relationship. When we met he had been separated from his wife for about 10 years and she has a new partner for more than 4 years. She is now divorcing my dear partner on the grounds of 5 yrs separation. He doesnt like talking about his marriage as he wants to "forget" and "put it behind him" but from a few things he has said it sounds as though his wife was very independent and rather cold emotionally. He was an extremely attentive father even though he was not living in the family home for most of the children's growing up, but he spent any time his wife would allow with the children. (the children are now grown up). Dear Partner is being (superfically) very calm about the divorce, although I sense that he doesn't trust his wife and is nervous of the legal process and financial outcome. I am trying to respect his space and not upset him by going on about it, but I feel so agitated and emotional. I feel he has been treated so badly by his wife and is likely to be short changed in any financial settlement. I am concerned that he is too "laid back" about the process. I get so worked up but I feel I can't let the dear man know as that will just add to his burden. Oh dear!

friendlyanimal Sat 23-Feb-13 11:09:02

Very interesting responses, thanks guys, and especially Wafflyversatile for helping me to understand where he is coming from and Babinage for helping me to see my own problem. There is a lot more I could say to explain, I totally understand those who say I shouldn have got involved with someone who was separated, not divorced, but we are where we are (as they say) anyway it has helped a lot to air this. Thanks all! xxx

PuddingWhine Fri 22-Feb-13 23:39:51

I briefly went out with a man during his divorce, and although I had really liked him, it turned me off him that he felt hard done by because his wife had got 25% of his pension. I felt like saying to him, what do you think , that you bring two children into the world and you don't take a financial hit? if you and your wife hadnt had children you'd both have big pensions, but you DID have children, so thta costs, either when they were tiny, or now, when they are almost raised and you split up.

He was a nice guy and I had liked him up til that point but he just seemed to have a sense of entitlement that parenthood be something that left his xw with an interrupted career, lower salary, lower pension...........

A dicorce aims to equalise the standard of living afterwards, in theory. In fairness to the OP's bf, he might not be worried about this. He might get this.

WafflyVersatile Fri 22-Feb-13 23:12:32

there not their The shame. blush

ClippedPhoenix Fri 22-Feb-13 23:11:38

You sound a bit too cringy about your dear loving partner. A court of law will divide things "equally". If I were you I'd start to wonder why he's such a star and so gorgeous and she's such a hound.

WafflyVersatile Fri 22-Feb-13 22:59:41

When couple split up and start divorce proceedings it often seems one or other or both will be convinced (rationally or otherwise) that the other will try and do them out of what is rightfully theirs. I don't think it's unnatural that people worry about this once a relationship breaks down and their is ill-feeling. It's a bit like you are doing this bit by proxy for your DP.

Do try to relax. There is nothing to worry about yet.

badinage Fri 22-Feb-13 22:32:04

In an earlier post, you said that she established the business after they split up and you also said that you were 'quite sure' that his ex wife would ensure that she was recompensed for her 'sacrifice to parenthood'. If she wasn't able to work and earn as much money/gain rungs on the career ladder as him for a period in their marriage, because she was looking after their children, any recompense is fair. But has she or he actually said that's what she's looking for in a settlement, or is this all in your head?

As far as I can see she left a relationship that was no longer working and expected her exH to do his fair share of looking after the children and helping her get back on her working feet after she gave up work to have his children. Where's the unfairness in that?

He didn't 'help' her with childcare when she was working. He simply looked after his own children.

She's not your enemy. You are. You're seeing this woman through a rather warped lens because you're jealous of her past with your partner.

If he's been an involved father who's paid his dues in time and money, that's a good thing. If he feels no enmity towards the mother of his kids, that's also a very good thing.

But if you want a good relationship with his children in the future, you've got to ditch this irrational jealousy and sense of enmity towards his ex wife and their mother. She's done you no harm and poses no threat.

friendlyanimal Fri 22-Feb-13 21:07:29

Yes, wafflyversatile, I think you have understood his situation better than I had. I am a relative newcomer in this, so it is raw to me, but in fact he did say to me that he went through the grieving and sadness a long time ago. I just find his calm, sensible attitude amazing. I think I've cracked it now, I understand! Thank yoy.

WafflyVersatile Fri 22-Feb-13 21:00:48

Not sure why people are being so harsh with you and responding to things you haven't said but whatever.

They split up and moved on a long time ago. The children are now grown up and they are finally getting round to the formality of a divorce. The emotional part of the divorce was mostly over a long time ago so maybe it's not so surprising that he's being laid back about a few formalities. If you and him are ok financially maybe from his pov he'd rather just have a smooth process and not argue too much over the financial stuff as even if the split ends up not being entirely fair in his view it's not worth building it up into a horrendously stressful process that brings up old hurts for the sake of a few thousand here and there.

friendlyanimal Fri 22-Feb-13 20:53:32

All good points, thanks

Casmama Fri 22-Feb-13 20:52:53

Sorry xposts op

Casmama Fri 22-Feb-13 20:52:16

How long have you been together? It sounds like he is asking you to mind your own business and how you think that you pushing him to be more aggressive in the divorce settlement will return his self-respect I dont know.

friendlyanimal Fri 22-Feb-13 20:47:09

Yeah, OK, you're right, akaemmafrost, I needed a sane perspective! Thank you

akaemmafrost Fri 22-Feb-13 20:37:26

Butt out.

It's nothing to do with you, really it isn't.

friendlyanimal Fri 22-Feb-13 20:33:41

Hi Badinage, you've got something right, I think I am suffering from jealousy for what they once had. This is my problem. I am also very insecure due to my relationship history. I honestly dont think I have a problem with women. Yes I must accept that their long love affair and marriage and the children they conceived are their own responsibility (and joy), after all I have a history too, and two lovely children. Just to put you straight though, his DW never lost out on any earnings, she runs a thriving business and always had child care and help from DP and mother in law. I accept your point that its no help to either of us if I "trash" his wife, but frankly I try very hard to say as little as possible about her, which is exactly why I needed to let off steam to you guys! BTW I dont think he is still hung up.on her, its just me who is.

badinage Fri 22-Feb-13 20:10:16

What a totally weird way to view this situation OP. Do you have a problem with women, I wonder?

They were both responsible for their marriage and the conception of their children. If his wife lost out on earning power because she looked after their children, it's only fair that this is recognised in any financial settlement. It's totally normal to want to live separately if a relationship is over and either of them had the right to end that relationship. If he's been an active father, that was his children's right and his responsibility.

If his wife was 'ver cold' during their marriage, he could have left if that was making him unhappy. It's also a good thing surely that she was 'independent' although you seem to be describing this as a fault.

This is their own business. You got involved with a man who hadn't got round to divorcing his wife, which was your choice.

Is that what you're really upset about, that he's still hung up on her and is a reluctantly divorcing man? And you think that by trashing his wife this will help him get over her?

friendlyanimal Fri 22-Feb-13 19:07:57

MrsJR you have got me so wrong. I am totally independent financially and I am.not, repeat not, interested in his marital money. Thank God I dont need to buy a lottery ticket or get a second job to get a better income. I care for the man, I am concerned for his welfare, mostly emotionally but also for his stress levels. The finances are totally unimportant. I just want him to get his self respect back and get the wife who doesnt want him and only used him as a sperm donor and handyman out of his life. I love him, not his assets.

MrsJREwing Fri 22-Feb-13 19:02:59

oh ok, well support him then if you have plenty of money, leave him and his wife sort things as they are.

friendlyanimal Fri 22-Feb-13 19:01:14

I totally take yr point about the children's perception MrsJREwing. This is a whole other can of worms which I would love to get right. I really hope I can. Note to self to hold back and not open big mouth! In fact I am financially solvent and not really interested in his marital money. Sorry, I don't get what you mean, Xales, yes he did spend lots of time and responsibility with the children and was asked to leave by the ex, so I guess she ended it.

MrsJREwing Fri 22-Feb-13 19:00:52

It always shocks me when people date married people (married to someone else) and seem blind to the fact his finances are linked to his wives till court proceedings are over, it's their financial pot.

Buy a lottery ticket, get a second job, save etc if you want a bigger income, don't damage a fragile family to gain a bigger income for yourself.

Xales Fri 22-Feb-13 18:47:38

That sounds right doesn't it? Lots of time and responsibility with his children but not living with the ex when the relationship is ended?

PuddingWhine Fri 22-Feb-13 18:46:18

Very true mrs jrewing. and percentage of pension is not recompense for a "sacrifice for motherhood" but rather, for a sacrifice for motherhood.

MrsJREwing Fri 22-Feb-13 18:39:21

I always thunk it better these things are sorted before new partners come along, then they just have to accept the situation.

Be carefull op, you will get the blame from his children and rightly so if they see laid back Dad influenced by you, your perceived greed for his money could damage his family.

friendlyanimal Fri 22-Feb-13 18:34:40

Thanks for your input, guys. Puddingwhine, I am quite sure that she will ensure that her "sacrifice for parenthood" is recognised, even though she asked him to leave the family home as she preferred to be alone, and after this, he still helped her to establish her own business which is now thriving. In fact, he rearranged his working hours so that he could help with childcare.
ZenNudist, you are so right and "trying to forget about it" is exactly what he would say; trouble is, he forgets about it too and seems unwilling or unable to defend his case. It is hard not to demonise his ex, as friends and family (even her own) say that she treated him (and everyone else) very harshly. He was not at all happy having to live away, but in his usual quiet peace-loving way, he did not challenge it. It seems he had lots of access to and responsibility for the children, he was just not allowed access to DW and not allowed to live under the same roof. Yes, I can guess what you're thinking, and I think it's weird too.... I do wish I could be reserved and matter of fact, but I just get angry, secretly!

ZenNudist Fri 22-Feb-13 18:16:00

I don't know what to say about you feeling upset. It's his business, try to forget about it. Easier said than done.

I think there are 2 sides to the story and you only hear his. In not saying you shouldn't support him but try and keep an open mind. avoid demonising the ex, especially if he isn't.

Any split of assets will be done fairly. If he was absent for his dc childhood then his ex has already borne a disproportionate burden of responsibility for their family. If he wasn't happy about his access to dc he could have challenged it at the time. Thing is it sounds as if he is dealing with this in a reserved and matter of fact manner. Try and do the same.

PuddingWhine Fri 22-Feb-13 18:01:33

Sounds like a man i was seeing, decent kind etc... but when the assets were split so that her sacrifice for parenthood was redressed, ie.she got some of his pension, he felt hard done by. so "fair" is subjective. what is fear? does he fear that his x will get half of their assets......

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