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My marriage is over and my entire life has been taken away

(143 Posts)
sosolow48 Sat 26-Dec-15 17:50:21

Hi everyone. I hope no one minds a childless lady posting but these forums have been a lifesaver over the past few months, reading about similar experiences. In June this year my husband declared that his feelings had changed. We have been together for over 10 years and married for 4 1/2 years. June July and August were horrendous, as I got more distressed and emotional, he got more cold, distant and hard-faced. He then moved into a rented flat in September (an hour away), saying it was merely to give us space and that it was temporary. For a short spell in November he made it clear he 'could see us getting back together'. But I became aware as the weeks went on that he appeared to be happy with us getting together only once or twice a week. I was really uneasy and anxious but whenever I brought it up he would accuse me of 'pushing him'. Then after a series of events a few weekends ago, things came to a head and he declared although he had tried (?), his feelings hadn't come back and he no longer 'saw me in that way'. Needless to say the whole thing has brought me to my knees and I can barely function. I suspect there is someone else but can't know for sure (he denies it of course). I am now in a position where I have lost my marriage, my best friend, I can't afford to stay in my beloved home, and on top of all that, after leaving my job 2 years ago to start a little cleaning business with his blessing, in order to support myself living alone again I will have to begin job hunting in the New Year. Also our dog will have to be rehomed (although my Mum has said she will have him). Everything I have lost and all the changes and upheaval ahead of me are completely paralysing and I truly can't cope with it all. The only thing stopping me ending it all at the moment is a fear of it failing! Part of me knows that I will get through this but a large part of me truly doesn't have the mental or emotional strength to do so. The thought of starting again at 48, after I honestly thought I had found my happy ending, is agony. Sorry for such a long post but I hope someone can offer some words of wisdom.

Millionsmom Sat 26-Dec-15 17:55:54

I have no words of wisdom that'll help you right now, but you will pick yourself up again I promise. flowers

Get angry, get sad, then you'll get happy again.

Lots of 'us' have been like this and have come through it. It just takes time and a safe place to vent. Sometimes that is all you need.

Happydappy99 Sat 26-Dec-15 18:03:44

Take the time you need to cry and to rant and to hurt. It does get better in time, you will rebuild and recover. I'm 1 year out from my marriage falling apart (he's now married to the OW) and things are much better x

Learningtoletgo Sat 26-Dec-15 18:05:04

So sorry to hear that OP flowers

Have you had any advice about your legal position with regards to the house/assets etc?

Things look black now but that's because you're in the thick of it. Are you sleeping? Have you seen your GP and talked about how you are feeling?

HoundPaws Sat 26-Dec-15 19:23:18

Ive been there, I left my abusive ex, my parents died and I had to move away to get away from the ex and start a new life alone in another part of the country that I didnt know. I now have a lovely life here with friends and a new partner and am very happy. I am sure that will be you too in time x

RedMapleLeaf Sat 26-Dec-15 19:30:40

You can and will do this flowers.

PouncerDarling Sat 26-Dec-15 19:35:33

I don't have any salient advice for you, but wanted to let you know that you aren't the only one struggling at this time.

ovenchips Sat 26-Dec-15 19:38:43

Sorry to hear all you are going through. The thought of losing our partner and having to go through all that change would cause any of us to feel like we'd been kicked in the stomach. Take your time and concentrate on your feelings.

Tbh I think the husband you cherished and saw yourself with forever doesn't seem to exist any more. You've described someone who has been keeping you dangling for months and whom you suspect is having an affair. That person is not someone to cherish and want to be with forever.

'Part of me knows I will get through'. This phrase is what you need to cement yourself to in the rough times. You will get through and even though you absolutely don't want to have to do it, you will make a good life for yourself.

sosolow48 Sat 26-Dec-15 20:03:02

Thank you so much Ladies for your quick replies, even on Boxing Day! Yes Learning, I have had an initial meeting with a Solicitor and have another in January with a different Solicitor (advice meeting along with changing will & severing joint tenancy). It all makes it so horribly real. H put in the deposit to the house when we bought it 9 years ago, and he thinks he automatically gets that back and we then split the remainder. The solicitor (along with research I've done online) says that the starting point for settlements is 50.50. The courts apparently lean more towards needs & requirements and as I'm in a position where I'm having to start from scratch, the solicitor said my needs would outweigh his. He earns enough for him to be able to stay in the house & buy me out. I'm hoping we can come to an agreement between ourselves about splitting assets, he's not an unreasonable person at all & I don't intend being petty or vindictive. BUT I am going to need every penny I am entitled to in order to move forward. To go from my lovely home and garden (just a semi but my 1st owned home & very precious to me) to living back in a flat on my own again just fills me with horror. Ironically I'm someone who is generally good in my own company but I've been so lonely over the past few weeks, wishing he were here. Yesterday (Xmas Day) I chose to stay home on my own and I felt so hurt and tearful at our situation. There's still a sense of unreality about everything, how the hell did we get here? I have so much stress and anxiety about every single aspect of all this, with every fibre of my being I don't want to be in this situation. I miss the relationship that we had desperately and wish the clock could be turned back. I have admitted to my part in what went wrong but he didn't communicate his unhappiness to me and it looks like he emotionally switched off quite a long time ago which is crushing to think about.

peggyundercrackers Sat 26-Dec-15 20:17:38

If he put in the deposit why would you not just give him it back? It's his money no matter what the legal stance is. I would have said 50:50 if there was kids involves but you say there isn't. Why would you try and take something which isn't yours?

thelaundryfairy Sat 26-Dec-15 20:19:47

So sorry to hear this. You sound very much like a go getter and have many things going for you so I am confident you will get through this and come out of the whole experience stronger, more successful and, eventually, happier. I wish you every good thing, and plenty of self-confidence and love.

sosolow48 Sat 26-Dec-15 20:23:19

Thank you Ovenchips, I've noticed a recurring theme reading other people's stories on MN over the past few months, about how the H you once had has possibly now gone and been replaced by a selfish, self absorbed version. I do think that a lot of this has been about that old chestnut 'the spark' going. It seems that it's only women that can see that the spark generally changes at some stage in any long relationship, married or not. Men appear to feel that if they don't feel the spark anymore, it means the relationship must need replacing. I'm hoping that there are some men out there who carry on enjoying a relationship throughout ALL it's stages!

springydaffs Sat 26-Dec-15 20:25:52

So sorry for your awful shock flowers

I haven't been through this myself but I have had other devastating losses. Ime the first year is a blur but you swing in and out of the pain and shock of the loss - but you will be focusing on practicals which will help you get through it. It does take time but it is not all dark but any means - the dark times you are facing now, though intense, will pass. As a pp said, anger (when it eventually comes) is rocket fuel for your healing and restoration.

Keep going, one foot in front of the other, day/hour/minute at a time xx
(PS do write your posts in paras - you write well but hard to decipher when in a block of text)

IonaNE Sat 26-Dec-15 20:33:24

OP, at 48 you are still young.
I think it's great news that your mum can have your dog, you won't lose him.
Well done for seeing a solicitor and taking positive action. Once new year comes the job market will rev up - it will be a good time to look for a job, if that's your plan.

Cabrinha Sat 26-Dec-15 20:38:14

Peggy the OP absolutely should go for a needs based settlement if she altered and reduced her financial position with his blessing as part of a decision within a marriage that she had every right to believe was permanent. (because marriages are supposed to be permanent)

OP reduced her earnings to start a business in agreement with him.

Sosolow, the loneliness will not be as bad as you think right now. It's especially lonely because you're in limbo, in your marital home and still in the position of expecting things to work out. You'll be OK on your own soon, it'll be a hard slog, but how you feel now is so very temporary.

A house and garden is not better than a flat because it's bigger.

I divorced and left a 4 bedroom detached house with 100m long garden, for a small 3 bed semi.

You know what? Now I'm all "WTF were you doing paying 2x the council tax and crazy heating bills for a fancy house?"
I prefer my house now! You may feel that way about your flat (or smaller house, or cheaper area house) soon. Because it's happiness that makes it a home, not size. And you'll be happier when this limbo has finished.

Well done on cracking on with the solicitor. My advice is that too many women give up hard cash to be amicable because of kids. You don't need to consider that - don't worry about being amicable. Chances are, what you and the law and a decent person sees as fair, will be unfair in his eyes. So just don't waste time worrying. You will kick yourself if you give up money that you need and are fairly entitled to, only to later find he was cheating on you which - I'm sorry - really could be a possibility.

And starting again at 48? Reframe it! What a blessing to have the chance to start again! Pity the poor women unknowingly or knowingly stuck in bad marriages. Not you - you have the world ahead of you, when you're ready to grab it!

Starting with a new job! A chance to meet new people, get a confidence boost as you succeed, and earn more money. Lovely!

sosolow48 Sat 26-Dec-15 20:39:56

Hi Peggy, please don't misunderstand me in thinking I want to 'bleed him dry!', but in terms of divorce all assets are taken into consideration so both our savings, both pensions, the house deposit, my car (his is a company car). I'm going on legal advice and even with no children the general starting point for splitting assets is 50.50. As I mentioned I have another solicitors appointment in January so that I at least then have some firm advice & knowledge about how this all works (having never been in this position before!) And the fact remains that I have been put in a difficult situation, in which I have had no say. I would have been more than willing to do whatever it took to make my marriage work, I'm not remotely religious but I married for life and wanted us to grow old together.

MadamCroquette Sat 26-Dec-15 20:40:41

Peggy I'm not sure you're right about that. If they're married, I think assets are joint. That is why some men make such an effort to conceal money. It's not "his" money but theirs. You could argue on some moral level she should give it back but if he earns more, it's fair that he has put more into their joint home and that the assets are then fairly split according to what will allow them both to move on. (I am not a lawyer though)

OP I wouldn't make any statements to him about what he can have – let lawyers handle it. The laws are there for a reason, to help you survive this situation - you have every right to take what the law awards you.

Sorry you're going through this.

expatinscotland Sat 26-Dec-15 20:53:58

Listen to your solicitor, not posters like peggy.

Get whatever you can, you're going to need it.

Sorry you are going through this.

IceBeing Sat 26-Dec-15 20:59:12

OP it sounds as though you became so absorbed in the role of home owner and wife that you have forgotten all the other wonderful fulfilling things you have been and can be again.

You aren't just a wife, you are a whole person with a lot to give and to take from life. Losing this one aspect of yourself isn't the be all and end all. Try to remember the things you valued before and think of the things you can value in the future.

sosolow48 Sat 26-Dec-15 21:01:22

Thanks Cabrinha for your words. When H and I met in 2005 I was living in a rented flat which I loved and working full time. Like a lot of people money was quite tight but I was pretty content. Also like a lot of people I have had quite a lot of unhappiness and dramas in my life and moved around a lot (sometimes my choice sometimes not). So when H and I got together I truly thought a) I had found one of the 'good guys' and b) I had found my happy ending at 38!
I have loved the life we have had together, we were so alike in so many ways and had all our lives and hopes and dreams ahead of us. Among all the factors that I'm finding hard, is realising that at some stage I stopped making him happy. No question that he has behaved badly this year and has actually been cruel at times, but ultimately he isn't a bad person and inevitably you lose confidence in who you are and how you look.
At the moment it's impossible not to think that my whole life has been picked up and hurled backwards 10 years. I know 48 isn't old and somewhere inside I know that I have a chance of starting over with someone else further down the line, but right now I feel empty and lost.
I've remembered the paragraphs Springydaffs!!

VocationalGoat Sat 26-Dec-15 21:07:00

Your entire life has not been taken away. It just feels like it because your investment has collapsed and your world has been turned upside down. Your life is unpredictable... for the moment. And this is frightening and incredibly heartbreaking. The day will come, oh yes it will, when you will look back and literally chest bump yourself and think, "Holy sh*t, I did it! I made it through to the other side, saw the light again and it wasn't that bad."

Your capacity to live life to the full, to desire happiness and feel love will never die, regardless of how difficult times are now. Your life is not over. And this will pass.

Peggy is wrong. 50:50 all the way. You won't even have to fight for it. And it's ridiculous to suggest that you don't deserve his asset because you didn't have children.

"I would have said 50:50 if there was kids involves (sic) but you say there isn't. Why would you try and take something which isn't yours?*

Ridiculous statement. End of.

I married a man who was divorced. They had no kids. The split? 60:40 in ex wife's favour. She also got half his pension. This is not unusual and she was not 'lucky'... it's what the judge considered to be fair within the framework of the law.
Make sure you ask for a clean break when you divorce so that he can't come back ten years from now and appeal any decisions made in your favour.

TinyDancer69 Sat 26-Dec-15 21:53:51

Peggy - the OP is asking for support. Was your comment intended to support or just make an unhelpful point?

OP- I feel for you and it must be very painful right now. You will move on and be happy again - it'll just take time. But I think once you're in a place of your own you will feel much more positive flowerswine

sosolow48 Sat 26-Dec-15 22:00:05

I am so thankful to all you Ladies taking the time to comment. I have been following dozens of (quite old) threads over the past few months and it's quite strange that this is MY story that people are helping with!

Madamcroquette - I haven't engaged in any conversations with H about house & finances, I specifically wanted to wait until I had gathered some legal advice & knowledge before we sit down during January to have THAT conversation. I'm not looking forward to that, I've read enough stories of how civil relationships can turn dirty once money starts being discussed! I'm sure that neither one of us wants it to go to court though, preferable that it's either between ourselves or mediation at the most.

Vocationalgoat- it's interesting what you said about your husbands ex wife. The solicitor I saw a couple of weeks ago implied that I could possibly start by asking for 60.40, although I hate to think how that would be received!!

What's tricky is that although he is living in a rented flat he is still paying into our house as normal, although an agreement was made with the mortgage company to halve the payments for 6 months. Part of the stress and anxiety comes from knowing it's very possible that I won't have got a job by February when his lease is up. He won't be able to keep paying out for two properties as he is now for much longer, but at the same time I have said that I need to get a job BEFORE I leave the house.

It's a balancing act between feeling grateful that he's being reasonable in that sense, and feeling 'well you put us in this position so you'll just have to wait until I've got myself sorted with a job and a flat!'

sosolow48 Sat 26-Dec-15 22:31:03

Thank you Tinydancer for your words. It's funny you should say that about eventually getting my own place again. As heartbroken as I will be to have to leave here, my home and life for 9 years, I think it's very true that if I could fast forward to already having the new job and new home, it would be easier and a slight distraction too.

The immediate future is a bit like being stuck in a painful timewarp; sadly there's no going back, but until I'm able to I also can't move forward!

MissApple Sat 26-Dec-15 22:51:52

May I ask, is there another woman involved?? What did he do at Christmas? If someone else was invlved, it may make you think differently

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