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Separating after 30 years - HELP!

(36 Posts)
scarletts Mon 17-Jun-13 05:22:51

This is a long story, but I need to get it all out ? and if anyone has the time to read, I would be VERY grateful for some support and virtual hugs.......

I have known my husband for over 30 years, and been married for 27 years. We have 3 teenage daughters (18, 16 and 13) and have enjoyed a happy, comfortable family life.

Fourteen years ago we relocated from the UK to Ireland due to his work. It was tough leaving my friends and family, but we have made a good life for ourselves here. Cracks began to appear in our marriage after he started a new job (with the same company) which necessitated him being away from home during the week. I missed him terribly and struggled with my role as a "single mum" during the week. Things became harder after his recently widowed mother came to live with us. She was an amazing lady and I got on very well with her, but a series of strokes and poor health rendered me a full time carer and it was tough. I couldn't help but feel a bit of resentment towards my husband as he gave me so little thanks or emotional support and expected me to just get on with caring for our daughters, his mum ? and continue to work part time, while he worked away all week. His mother eventually moved in to a nursing home and it did make life easier. Sadly, she passed away 6 months ago.

About 4 years ago I started to become suspicious of my husband. His trips away became longer, sometimes staying away all weekend, He started spending a ridiculous amount of time on his laptop at home in his office at home on his new genealogy hobby and his mobile phone was always bleeping with texts which he would instantly reply to ? not something he was ever quick to do with work related messages. Eventually, in October 2009 the truth came out ? he was having an affair and was going to leave. We talked, we cried, and talked some more. He had it in his head that I wanted out of our marriage because I was always complaining, and he accused me of being unfaithful to him as I had, understandably due to the time we spent apart, developed new friendships with people he did not know. The OW was an old girlfriend from his past, before he and I were married and it got me wondering exactly how long it had been going on. All our married life? Did they have kids together? He was very economical with the truth, so I had to play detective, hack his computer and get all the sordid grisly details of their affair.

After much heartfelt discussion and soul searching, he agreed to end the affair and we decided to concentrate our efforts in fixing the marriage. I set up counselling for us, but he only attended one session with me, as his work schedule made it difficult for him to attend. In hindsight I think he only stayed because he was too weak to tell his daughters or his mother the ugly truth. We muddled along and seemed to be making progress, but I always had a nagging doubt and the trust was never restored. More importantly, he never showed any remorse for what he had done and it made it so hard for me to love and respect him as I had before. At that time I also wrote to the OW a couple of times, just so I could get her side of the story. I did not want a screaming match and I was, under the circumstances, very controlled. I figured women were better at talking. She eventually replied confirming their affair was over and she did not want anything more to do with him as he had let her down so badly.

Last summer he confessed to me they had been seeing each other again, but it was definitely over. But I was more sceptical than ever. When a Valentines card arrived from her to him at the house this year I confronted him again and he swore blind he was not seeing her. However, a few weeks later, just before Easter, he announced to me that our marriage was over and he wanted a ?proper? relationship with her.

Since Easter I have gone through the emotional see-saw of begging him to stay, feeling utterly broken and suicidal, white rage and anger about just how much of an idiot I have been to cling to the hope we can ever have a happy ever after, and outrage and disbelief at him for doing this to me, and or daughters. Throughout all this I have spoken to nobody until recently. I figured that I had to protect our daughters and our friends and family?s perception of our marriage. I guess it was a case of once everyone knew, there would be no going back. So I have kept the entire trauma and upset to myself for all these years. I became withdrawn from everyone, a shadow of my former bubbly self and very, very lonely. But finally, I have spoken to my mum, my sisters and a couple of friends. I am also seeing a counsellor and I am now only beginning to realise just what psychological damage has been done by keeping this secret to myself for so long.

I do not want him back. I am sure of that. Even if he grovelled on his belly, I could never trust or respect him again. If I could I would throw him out of the house tomorrow and say ?good riddance?. But I can?t. We have to work out a separation agreement and a way of co-parenting. Our daughters still do not know and we have not ?gone public? with our separation as we have agreed to wait until after our daughter finishes her exams later this month. And the agony of keeping up this ?happy families? pantomime is agony. Ageist this backdrop we are trying to work out the best way to separate.
His proposal is that rather than come home every weekend, as he has been doing by and large for the last few years, he will come home every other weekend, thus spending one weekend with the OW in the UK and one with his family in Ireland. It is made all the more complicated because we live Ireland and his work and OW are both in the UK. My initial reaction was that he could not come back to the family home, but how else can he see his daughters (assuming they will want to see him) if I don?t allow him back to the home to visit them?
I am still in a very bad place. However, it is becoming very apparent that the decision to end our marriage is one he made a very long time ago. However, I am struggling to process the enormity of it all. They say the deeper the emotional attachment, the deeper the pain. His emotional attachment and resulting pain are negligible. However, my emotion attachment to him is profound and the pain is overbearing. He represented my hopes, my dreams and the rest of my life. All the struggles of recent years, the forced time apart, the darker days of caring for his mother - it all seemed worth it as I was clinging to the hope we were working together towards a brighter future and happy ever after in our life together ? taking pride in our daughters growing in to young adults, grandchildren, travelling together to all the places we talked about, entertaining, enjoying life and each other. And now that future is gone and I am facing a deep black hole. I won't be fobbed off with all the clichés of "time is a healer", "you will meet someone better", etc. I know I will get through this but right now it is fucking hard to see how. He accuses me of being too emotional, of acting the victim and he does not seem to want to comprehend, let alone care about the effect this is having on me. I do accept a certain degree of responsibility for the position in which we now find ourselves and I wish I had acted sooner to fix things rather than talking about it every so often and then ignoring it and hoping it would go away. But there is no future in the past ? it is all ancient history now.

He does not seem willing to take any responsibility or show any remorse for what he is doing to me. He simply expects me to willingly sign up to his ?I want my cake and I want to eat it" agenda, care for our children (and God knows they are going to need that in HUGE doses), maintain an enormous house and continue to live in a foreign country (which we only moved to because of his job), launch myself in to a new career because our finances will not support his new agenda - all this against a backdrop of having me future hopes and dreams smashed and coasting off in to a blissful sunset annihilated. I am totally broken and the person whom I would always turn to and rely on is the engineer of my situation.

So that is my story. Why have I written it all down here? I guess I need a few friends right now and advice as I negotiate the terms of the separation agreement.

I have painted my husband as a total bastard ? which is exactly what he has been to me. However, he does have a strong sense of duty and I know that he in spite of what he has done to me, he adores his children and he shares my wish that their pain be minimal and their lives be destabilised as little as possible.

I am sorry this is so long. Writing it has been very therapeutic though.
Thank you for reading smile

MumnGran Mon 17-Jun-13 05:47:28

I have now read of so many women going through this after (aprrox) three decades od marriage that I am starting to wonder if its a syndrome!
When it happened to me, I felt I was the only woman in the world for whom life was over.
Bless you scarletts - I hear your pain, and uncertainty. For what its worth, I think you are doing an amazing job of staying strong.

It does seem though, as if it is all being played to suit your errant husband (STBEX?). He is still "having his cake and eating it" ....simply with the spin that it is the best way to cope with things for your children.
With the best will in the world ....none of your children are babies now, they are all able to understand, and although it will be heartbreaking for them, they do need to hear the truth. However well you have been 'covering up' ......kids are not stupid! Certainly your eldest needs to be treated as an adult, and to be honest may be your greatest supporter. MY DD2 was the same age when my marriage was destroyed, and she became my greatest supporter. Really, a tiger in my corner!

Just my spin, but I think you need to allow your anger to have a little more free rein, quit being so accommodating, and work out what YOU want. Why do you have to stay in a 'huge house' and try to maintain it on your own? ....sell, and move to something you want to live in!! why do you have to tolerate having an ex who has effectively left you, staying back in the house every fortnight. Tell him to book into a bloody hotel.

Sending [tea] & flowers and an unmumsnetty [hug] ...because having such a life change after so many years is massive........It may also be the start of a far far better life!
Keep posting.

Crazycake Mon 17-Jun-13 05:52:06

I'm so sorry this is happening to you, I don't have much advice I'm afraid, but I can hold your hand whilst someone useful comes along. FWIW I would make him stay in a B&B whilst visiting the children, you owe him nothing and you certainly don't need to make it easy for him, if anything, sharing your marital home twice a month will confuse your DC and give them false hope. You sound lovely, your girls are lucky to have such a caring mum x

deXavia Mon 17-Jun-13 05:55:43

Wow - I've read that whole story (and yes he is a twat!) and no where do you mention what you want to do. And really really I think you need to get to that place. Your whole life and planned future has been thrown up in the air by his selfish actions and that's awful - but you can decide where the pieces land.

What do you want? He wants you to sign up for "care for our children , maintain an enormous house and continue to live in a foreign country (which we only moved to because of his job), launch myself in to a new career because our finances will not support his new agenda " So what do you want?

I see you say your MIL "was" wonderful so I'm going with the assumption she is dead. So by family in Ireland you mean you and the DC's. Tough ages to move as far as schooling is concerned but not impossible. Only you know if the friendships you and they have in Ireland are worth staying there for. In other words ... is Ireland "home". If not ...have you considered where is "home"? What happens when the 13 year old leaves home? I know you'll want to put them first but do take into account 5 years, 10 years time esp. if you have to restart a career for yourself.

So what do the finances really look like. What are the odds of getting a job/career where you are? Solicitor and spreadsheet - work out the cold reality of the situation and then start from there.

As for trips back to see the kids, of course distance makes it tough but don't let him back in your home, that has to become your sanctuary. He can find a B&B or stay with friends. And remember your kids are of an age where they aren't going to want to give up all their plans every weekend to see him. What happen when/if the 18year old goes to Uni somewhere?

Sorry I'm a very practical person so of little use to help you through the black hole - and I'm afraid I may just have given you more questions to think about. But please don't just accept his version of the future - please pick your own. flowers or wine as you prefer

mummytime Mon 17-Jun-13 05:59:06

No he doesn't come into your home. Your DDs are 18, 16 and 13, they are perfectly able to go out and meet him somewhere and look after themselves. In fact they can arrange contact with him, you do not need to be involved at all.
I suggest you start getting legal advice. Can you divorce him in Ireland? Would it be better for you to divorce him in the UK? As he lives in the UK and that is your country of origin I believe that is totally possible

Most importantly: What do you want?

MumnGran Mon 17-Jun-13 05:59:49

echoing deXavier ..... you really do need to talk to a solicitor, and discover how to protect yourself financially!!

Dirtymistress Mon 17-Jun-13 06:04:46

You aren't facing a 'big black hole' of a future. You are probably, after maybe six difficult months ahead, about to have the time of your life. I simply cannot see how he had enhanced your life in any way over the last 30 years and I suggest you start treating him with the amount of respect with which he has treated you. Honestly? You will turn around in a few months time and be overjoyed he is no longer in your life. It's a new dawn, it's a new day and all that.

onefewernow Mon 17-Jun-13 09:07:14

Get him OUT.

He has your self esteem on the floor.

And he is setting things up to suit himself entirely. The only reason he is there is that it is convenient for HIM.

By the way, regardless of the state of your relationship, he has no excuse to lie and cheat on you as a solution. Not that it ever is a solution .

You have nothing whatsoever to gain from letting him stay. If it is regarding money, he has to pay anyway.

Just get rid and you will start seeing things more clearly.

onefewernow Mon 17-Jun-13 09:13:59

He has chosen his future. His accommodation and travel arrangements to see his girls is his problem. He didn't take that into account when making his plans because it did not occur to him to takes your needs or feelings into account.

It is not at all healthy to have him returning to your home, and actually confusing for the girls. And I notice their exam timetable didn't prevent his announcement at this time.

mrsmciver Mon 17-Jun-13 09:38:22

Hello scarletts,

I feel for you, I know your terror. I am in the same situation as you.

Men, and their mid life crisis. They want to be adored, they don't want the mundane of life.

You can private message me if you want to. I will listen to you and understand what you are going through. It is so very hard, I am 9 weeks down the line and everything is still very raw.

But most definitely do not have him coming to your home. Keep a stance on that. It will not help your recovery if you have to see him. Keep your distance from him so that you can help yourself and your daughters. xxx

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Mon 17-Jun-13 11:18:18

And he says you are too emotional etc - kicking you when you are in so much pain. He really is a selfish cold hearted bastard.

I think you are going to have to keep up with this sad and sorry charade until your daughter finishes her exams at the end of the month. Awful for you, but unfortunately it is a question of damage limitation.

It must be the last thing you want to face, but you really must pick yourself up and go and see a very good solicitor.

I will keep watching this thread, because I know that once you have been through all this mier you will come out the other end much much better.

Keep going it will get better xx

skyeskyeskye Mon 17-Jun-13 13:01:39

I understand that you are maintaining the charade for your daughters sake for the moment and that is admirable, but as soon as the exams are over, then you need to sit them down and tell them the truth.

Get some good legal advice, find out if it is better to divorce UK or Ireland as somebody suggested.

and as somebody else said, decide what YOU want. I agree that your H does not need to come to the house to see the DC once the truth is out. They are old enough to visit him wherever he is staying, and to go out with him. He left the family home, and therefore it now becomes your space and he should not intrude on that.

Look after yourself now, decide what you want out of life and put plans into action.

overtheraenbow Mon 17-Jun-13 19:36:41

Echoing what everyone else is saying ( look at some of the other 30 years threads , there seems to be a few out there)
You have to decide what you want now , he clearly has made his choice and is not considering you or your daughters, in spite of his ' sense of duty' gah these MLC's ( mid life crisis's) and their f*****g sense of duty , shame it didn't stop them leaping into bed with these OW!!
You now have a choice how you live the rest of your life ! I was also relocated abroad due to ex's career ( which I had given up mine for to support his! ) I packed my bags and came ' home' beat decision I made as having family and friends and a new start was the best thing I could have done!!

Joy5 Mon 17-Jun-13 20:33:07

I'm in the same position as you, just 18 months down the line, after months of my ex telling me it was over, just not telling anyone else.

From experience i'd say end it don't let it drag on, then you and your daughters can start to re build your lifes. I'll regret for ever the last few months of my marriage and the anger my ex showed, but at the time i was falling apart, i'd developed an eating disorder that took until last year to sort out.

I too thought it was only me in this situation, but theres loads of us it has happened too where the husband has a mid life crisis and walks out on his family, as you've found another woman is involved. Still can't understand how a husband and father can walk out of his family, leaving behind all the shared memories, to just walk into another family as if he'd always been there, leaving his old one behind.

Its not your problem how he sees his daughters in the future, thats for him to work out. Its a hard thing to learn to stop being responsible for our husbands, but once you've separated you only have to consider yourself and your daughters.

Sending hugs, know how hard it is to deal with this xx

scarletts Mon 17-Jun-13 20:44:45

WOW - i am humbled and heartened by all the responses on here.
Thank you all so much

I was awake all night last night (as has been the case for the last few weeks) and i wote my post having poured over several others on this forum and other online forums. I am not looking for a pity party and I have already (kind of .... almost) got beyond the heartbroken sniveling wreck stage and am trying to toughen up.

Whilst he can not cope with me crying (he is an emotional cripple!), neither can he seem to cope with a stronger more determined me. If i say anything he does not want to hear (eg. i have lost all faith in you, i do not trust anything you are telling me) he responds with aggression. It hurts, but it also helps strengthen my resolve.

Many people are asking what do i want.
Honestly, I do not know.
All i do know is that i want to protect my daughters and i do not want to attempt to repair our marriage. It is over and he is history.

Even 2 weeks ago i would have said i want him back and i want the OW out of our lives and make every effort to get our marriage back on track. However, i am a realist. I cant see how i can ever forgive him for what he has done to me - and i cant see him ever showing any remorse.

I am see-sawing between on one hand shoving all his belongings in black bin bags and changing the locks on the house, and on the other hand agreeing to his suggestion of coming home every other weekend to "co-parent".

Kicking hm out might give me short term satisfaction, but it seems a bit childish when there are a lot of practicalities to consider.

He does do a lot around the house when he is here and it will be like having a free handyman in to work through a list of jobs (which i know he will do). There are benefits for me in this option. Also, he does not wish to split our finances in the short term and we shall continue to have a joint bank account with his total salary financing the household. As it stands, he has always earned the money, and i have always spent it. He does not need much money to finance his relationship with the OW as she has a house and a decent income of her own, and it would appear that up until now their relationship has been financed out of his work expense account.

I am fortunate to have a few friends in the legal profession and they have given me some sound advice on drawing up a separation agreement in my favour, but their overriding advice has been that the option he is proposing is most financially beneficial to me.

Right now i am just focusing on my daughters and i want to ensure their pain is minimal and life continue for them as "normal" as possible. This will mean remaining in the famiy home with me. With him having been away from home so much over the last few years, it wont be altogether unusual not having him around - so we are lucky in that respect. Beyond that, i will have to be guided by what they want.

I am telling my eldest daughter after she finishes her exams. I have a mother/daughter day out planned - lunch, spa treatment and shopping. I think the circumstances will be right to tell her that day. As regards the other 2 daughters, we have agreed to tell them together, presenting a "united front" when he is next home, in 2 weeks time.

Their reaction will ultimately dictate what happens next. They might not want him to come home, in which case a more nuclear option of throwing him out and drawing up separation agreement will be the only option.

The way i see it we have been together for 30 years, we have shared a lot and we do know each other better than anyone else. I would like to think we can maintain a functioning relationship for the sake of our daughters, and each other. I don't want to fight him, I just want us to reach the best solution for our daughters - and for me.

Harboring hatred and anger serves no purpose. Yes, he has treated me badly and i am broken, but i keep having to tell myself i will get through this and emerge from it stronger.

I read the passage below one one of the hundreds of online sites i have visited. It has really struck a chord:

"Are you trying to control what course your marriage is taking? Are you bent and determined to control how another person responds to or behaves toward you? Stop and think about what you would be doing differently with your life if you only let go of your need to control that person.
When you wake up tomorrow, let go of your need to be in control. Choose to do something that will bring enjoyment to your life. At the end of the day you won't be able to deny that you've had a better day, so much better than those days when you are trying to control and influence others."

I really wish i could subscribe to this every day.
Today is a good day. I am feeling positive.

I am not sure if all i have said makes sense.
Perhaps i have read too many self help shite and am WANTING to be reasonable.
Tomorrow something might happen to send me back in to free fall.

All i do know is this is a very bumpy roller coaster ride and nothing can be thrown at me to make me feel any lower than the darkest days of the last few weeks.

Thank you all for being there for me on here.

MumnGran Mon 17-Jun-13 22:54:39

You sound very 'together' scarletts have obviously looked at all angles, and are opting for the damage limitation route .... which is great if your ex is following the same script, but ONLY if it is not continuing to damage you emotionally.
To put it differently, if you can handle having him come to play handyman twice a month, then ...why not?! personally, I would have been a total wreck and probably reduced to locking myself in the bathroom sad

I think what I am trying (badly) to say, is please be sure that you are not just keeping yourself under very tight control in order to maintain what seems to be a reasonable approach. There is nothing reasonable about this sort of crisis, and if you keep yourself too tightly reined it is likely to come out in different ways.

Great that you have legal friends who can advise, and that the monetary deal on the table will allow you to continue pretty much 'as is'. That is a massive inducement to keep things sweet, but again my experiences say "make sure it is in writing with every 't' crossed" ..... because you really can't trust them as far as you can throw them. once they have started down this path. As you have found out with his previously broken promises.

Brilliant to hear you sounding so strong this evening smile

scarletts Tue 18-Jun-13 00:07:11

Thank you MumnGran - very wise words.

You are absolutely right. My confidence is in shreds and it is very, very hard to maintain this reasonable approach when a large part of me wants to just hide under a duvet and cry. When he is home of a weekend my head goes to mush and i behave irrationally - conciliatory one minute and moody or tearful the next. And when he is gone i can start to get some perspective and pick myself up.

I do worry about how i will cope with him coming home once the new arrangement is out in the open. Will he expect me to do his laundry, cook his meals etc just as in the past? I don't want to be forced out of my home but i can see a situation whereby i will just clear off for the weekends he is here as being in his company will be too much to bear.

And what of the OW? Not that i give a toss about her feelings, but i am sure she wont be happy with such an arrangement and it wont be long before she is putting pressure on him to spend less time here and more time with her.

As regards the splitting of finances i also have my concerns. Whilst the keep everything as it is arrangement is fine initially, perhaps it is best to get some sort of separation agreement drawn up immediately to confirm what we have agreed verbally. Right now his guilty conscience and his apparent desire to not leave me or his daughters in a worse financial position, will mean he is more likely to readily agree to my demands. A few months down the line he might well be less generous and start siphoning off money from the shared "pot".

It is quite a surprise to learn just how many others on this thread have commented on men and their mid life crisis. He has this huge sense of entitlement, feeling that life has short-changed him and now he deserves to have "everything I want." No remorse, no appreciation of the consequences of his actions and, no real idea what he truly wants any more. He could really benefit from some sort of counseling or therapy - but he would never agree to it as that would mean facing up to his flaws, and he could never hack that kind of reality check. I do not want him back, but I do hope one day he will emerge from this MLC and realise just how much of a fool he has been.

Arrgghhh! Feeling confused and tired sad

Mimishimi Tue 18-Jun-13 00:42:42

I really think you need to go and formally see a solicitor rather than just take the advice of friends or consider his wishes. Your two eldest may well be out of the house for a majority of the year soon and if the house is so large that it needs frequent repairs, you might find yourself wishing to sell and buy a smaller place with the proceeds. It would also help in terms of a real fresh start and establishing that space as your own, rather than as the 'family home' which your ex will feel entitled to drop into. Certainly don't do ang cooking or laundry for him if you do let him stay in the house. Why not broach the idea of a B&B with him when he wants to visit next time? It will help with you making the emotional break and I daresay the OW would be happier with that arrangement too. As tempting as it might be to spite her, all that will end up happening is that he will play both of you like a fiddle, and think himself King Muck for getting two women to cater to his needs. Don't get nasty unnecessarily but be firm with him that you plan to carry on with life just fine without him ( even if you are yourself unsure of that it will plant a little seed of self-doubt in him about his importance).

MumnGran Tue 18-Jun-13 05:57:07

scarletts - I agree with much of Mimi's sentiment.
Did not mean to confuse and befuddle you by asking how much your reasonableness was draining you, and am sorry if it had a negative effect ..... but your reply does make me worry even more for you.

One of the biggest problems for us, in these situation, is that we have spent decades putting the needs of family first. That's pretty normal, but right now I think your own needs are screaming at you, and you are applying the logical headset to shut them up?
However logical the plans may be, you are going to continue to feel manipulated and upset unless you have a plan which meets your needs.
That is a fast route to depression, and what sounds like a miserable existence for you.

What do you want in your future? I cannot believe that it is staying where you are for the next five years or more, moving out twice a month while he comes back and plays at happy family? the practical solution may not always be the right solution, and what is coming across is that the 'right solution' is causing you even greater stress than he has already put you through, with little to no hope of moving on with a new life of your own. Where does your growth and healing fit into this plan?

In your posts I hear a strong and together person, capable of deep thought and acute analysis of self and situation .........so why are you coming at the bottom of the needs list? thats not even the role model I think you want for your girls, really?
Sending flowers because I think you need them, and have a feeling they are in short supply sad

mrsmciver Tue 18-Jun-13 07:49:12

Hi scarletts,

You sound really strong and together, you will come through this, I can hear it in you. Far better than I am, I am a heaving mess.

Please take the advice from all the posts on here. Please do not let him into your home. Tell him to find somewhere else to see your daughters. You have to. If he continues to live in your home at weekends it will eventually drag you down, and you cannot let that happen when you sound so strong. Thinking of you x

scarletts Tue 18-Jun-13 15:39:59

Hello ladies!
Well this morning i am back at rock bottom!
I drove him to the airport this morning - he wont be home again for 2 weeks, during which time our eldest daughter will finish her exams and i will talk to her about the separation. When he is next home we plan to tell the other 2 daughters. What started off as a reasonable conversation in the car (at 4.30am!) turned very nasty when he started telling me what i could and could not reveal about our troubles to our daughters. It ended with him storming out of the car at the airport and leaving me a sobbing wreck by the roadside. Asshole!

As regards telling our daughter, my view is we give them the facts, try not to lace it too much with our own personal hurt (ie no tears or name calling) and then answer any questions they have with absolute honesty. He wants to give them just a basic overview saying he has fallen in love with someone else and our marriage is over, but "don't worry kids - very little will change as far as yoi are concerned."

They are smart kids, they will have questions and we are going to have to answer them - honestly. I want them to know that ending the marriage is his choice, not mine, but he has said that if i tell them that, then he will tell them my behaviour drove him away. He went on to itemise all my flaws, and he seems to have fabricated in his own mind a very skewed picture of me. It is almost like he is trying to deflect his guilt by painting me a the culprit - and that is just wrong on so many levels. I am not whiter than white, I do have my own flaws and I do take a degree of responsibility for the breakdown of our marriage. But I am not the one who is having an affair and it has never been my agenda to destroy our marriage. I happen to have very deeply held religious views on the sanctity of marriage and even though we shall be separating, and almost certainly getting a divorce ultimately (he has alluded to the fact he wants to marry the OW) I can not see myself ever replacing him or having another intimate relationship. To me the marriage vows will stay true to me until i die, even though he will move on and i will, i hope, find a new and brighter direction as a separated person. But that takes a huge deal of imagination from where i am sat right now.

I have read over all the comments in this thread and the PM - thank you to everyone who has given advice and support.

What seems glaringly apparent is i should
1. Get proper legal advice
2. Not agree to his every other weekend visit to the family home (already today he has downgraded that to one every 3 weeks - and how long will it be before it is just a card at Christmas?!!)
3. Decide what i want for ME

I will arrange to see a solicitor this week
As regards him coming to the house, I am beginning to realise that what he is proposing is too high risk and i don't think i would cope emotionally. But i will still reserve making a decision until i have found out exactly what our daughters want.
And finally, what i want for me. I cant begin to think about that. Right now i just want to get through each day and function as a human being.

Yep - today is not a good day sad

MumnGran Tue 18-Jun-13 16:01:22

Scarletts, I am so sorry you had such a rough time with him.
Next time, just tell him he can pay for a taxi because you are not prepared to be yelled at and that if he cannot speak to you in a civil way then future communication will be via solicitor.

I am not someone who swears, but ffs!!! ...is this man used to getting his own way all the time?
He throws a tantrum because he doesn't want the children to be told why he is leaving, other than some disneyfied "mummy and daddy aren't best friends anymore". Go for it your way. They are not toddlers, so treat them as the young people they are and tell them the truth .... and do not be scared by the threat that he will tell them you drove him away. They are 13-18 yrs old!!! does he really think they aren't aware of exactly how the household dynamics work. My ex tried something similar, because he didn't actually want a divorce because of the settlement cost ...... it worked about as well as a chocolate teapot with my two. They have lived with him for too long.

I think you have to really take on board that this is no longer a partnership. He may still want the controlling vote, but he has given up that right!! You are now making decisions for you, and your children. If he doesn't like the way it goes .....well, he chose this route, not you.

I like your itemisations scarletts, think you are getting your head around protecting your interests a bit more, and don't want to sem strident in what I am saying ....but you seem such a nice person, and so reasonable about it all, that I am becoming furious on your behalf!!
As for not knowing what you want for you at the moment ....thats normal, so don't stress it. What matters is that you are starting to see that YOUR needs should be higher on your agenda than his.

Offering brew and unmumsnetty [hugs]

onefewernow Tue 18-Jun-13 16:04:20

Poor you.

Sod him. It's pie in the sky if he really thinks they won't work it out. On that subject, I can't see that it is at all in their interests to have him in the house afterwards. You are not a robot- you siny won't cope and the atmosphere will be awful for them. I think you may have to make the decision yourself, as what they say they want in shock and what they need ate two different things.

Also, they are old enough to hear that you didn't want the split.

onefewernow Tue 18-Jun-13 16:06:55

Also, it is said a lot on here, but he is no longer your friend.

Your interests and his no longer coincide. They can't.

So you must make decisions based on the interests of you and the children only. You can bet he will make his based on his needs only.

MumnGran Tue 18-Jun-13 16:09:39

So you must make decisions based on the interests of you and the children only. You can bet he will make his based on his needs only

Sums it up succinctly!! He does not have your interests at heart .... at all.

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