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So DP lets it slip that finance is behind his reluctance to marry me

(101 Posts)
Birkoff Fri 16-Nov-12 11:52:16

My DP was married for a long time. He has a good job, earns a good wage and his ex wife never worked a day in her life. When they divorced, she naturally took half of everything despite the fact that she never contributed a penny (his words, not mine). He admitted he was bitter about this as he feels he works "his bollocks off" for years and ended up having to give half of it away.

Anyway, we've been together coming up to 2 years now. I've always wanted marriage and he's kind of avoided the subject. At the weekend I asked him if he'd ever get married again, his reaction was "why when everything is fine as it is?" sad I told him I'd like to get married and he said "let's see how things go then".

Last night he made the mistake of getting drunk and admitting that he won't get married as he doesn't want to lose out financially again when it all goes tits up. Basically, he wants to make sure that if we split, I'm entitled to nothing of his.

I'm gutted. Not because I want half of everything but because I didn't see us ever breaking up and if we did, I would have hoped finances wouldn't have been his first concern.

Am I being unreasonable to be really hurt by this?

If he was telling the truth (which I highly doubt) then he's quite right to want to financially protect himself.

So his truth is that he worked and his wife never did - really, you believe that? hmm Never had children? When he met her she was on benefits or living off her parents?

I think you need a little more information.

NicknameTaken Fri 16-Nov-12 11:56:12

Not, you're not being unreasonable. He hasn't got over his bitterness, he sees women as bitches who are out to profit financially from their men. If he doesn't really trust me, why would you want to be with him?

NicknameTaken Fri 16-Nov-12 11:56:56

Ahem, doesn't trust you. Not me.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 16-Nov-12 11:57:43

If there were children involved he is being a big harsh on the ex.

This is not fair on you though is it.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 16-Nov-12 11:58:13

Bitter sounds the right word. He sounds very bitter.

apachepony Fri 16-Nov-12 12:00:31

In fairness, I would be cautious too if I had been bitten once. Marriage in the uk is a really bad idea if you're the higher earner/have more assets.

Did they have children? In which case, his ex-wife wasn't exactly contributing nothing. And if they didn't have kids, why on earth in this day and age was he happy for his wife to stay at home and play 1950's housewife instead of getting a job?

Unless of course he was happy for her to take a financially dependant and subordinate role in their marriage. Which really tells you all you need to know about his attitude towards women and relationships.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 16-Nov-12 12:01:33

YANBU. However, I can see his point although the 'get nothing' thing is pretty unreasonable and pessimistic. Once bitten twice shy and all that. It's sentiments exactly like your DP's that mean the pre-nuptial agreement is gaining in popularity for people second time around who bring more into the marriage than a suitcase of clothes.

Perhaps a non-drunk conversation about marriage, finances and protecting his assets is on the cards? Or perhaps you're having second thoughts entirely about someone that selfish? Whatever you do, don't have children or otherwise make yourself reliant upon a man who regards his money as solely his....

NicknameTaken Fri 16-Nov-12 12:03:03

It's one thing to be cautious - I've steered clear of relationships for nearly 4 years after a really bad marriage. What I haven't done is gone into a relationship treating my new P as if he had all the bad traits of the old one.

Did he have dcs with his former wife? Because if he resents supporting them, I would have very little sympathy for him.

Pootles2010 Fri 16-Nov-12 12:03:46

Agree with Lapsed - quite apart from obvious concerns of him thinking you will divorce eventually, he doesn't sound overly nice tbh.

He was happy to be with her when she wasn't working - assume looking after his children, or just generally being housewifey and subordinate to him, then expects her to feck off when they split? Nice.

Birkoff Fri 16-Nov-12 12:06:20

They did have kids although he reckons he did most of the childcare, came home from work and did homework with them, made their packed lunches etc all whilst she laid on the bed all day/night??? Sounds crazy doesn't it but I've never met her so can't really comment on how likely this is. But yes, she was on benefits when they met.

The thing is, I DO earn. I would be financially contributing. I'm not on a massive wage (around £22k) so he would still be the main earner but it's not like I'd be living off him.

The idea of sitting down and writing out a contract that I won't fleece him in the event of divorce makes me feel cold. What's the point in marriage if we're having to write financial contracts up before we even reach the aisle?

expatinscotland Fri 16-Nov-12 12:06:37

I had a boyfriend who measured contributions to a relationship in terms of pounds and pence. He banged on about 'earning a crust' and was bitter about anyone who out-earned him or earned the same without working as hard as he felt he did, or about people on min wage because he'd worked for less in his life.

Had, being the key word.

He was selfish in a lot of other ways, too.


Whatnowffs Fri 16-Nov-12 12:06:38

He sounds like a prat, maybe its time to re-evaluate

Whatnowffs Fri 16-Nov-12 12:07:48

actually, scrub that, you sound like you suit each other very well. He begrudges paying money for his kids?? You believe all this bullshit do you?

PickledFanjoCat Fri 16-Nov-12 12:08:00

What if you had children though and didn't work for a bit? Would you feel he thought those things about you then?

I think he needs to sort his head out a bit.

So they had children and he still says she didn't do anything - again, sounds unlikely.

Does he pay his child support reluctantly? Does he see the children, have them to stay plenty?

How he financially treats his children should tell you everything you need to know.

Birkoff Fri 16-Nov-12 12:09:06

Where did I say he begrudged paying for his kids? He pays maintenance weekly without fail.

expatinscotland Fri 16-Nov-12 12:09:35

'They did have kids although he reckons he did most of the childcare, came home from work and did homework with them, made their packed lunches etc all whilst she laid on the bed all day/night??? Sounds crazy doesn't it but I've never met her so can't really comment on how likely this is.'

I'm sure she did hmm.

Anyone who considers being a SAHP as 'living off' him or herself was immediately dumped by me, tbh.

And DH was a SAHD for 4 years. I worked outside the home and everything earned went into one joint account because I see us as partners, not a pair of flatmates.

I didn't say he begrudged paying for his children, I asked if he did. Does he pay the right amount or does he complain about it?

Does he have them to stay, do you all get on well?

His ex wife may well tell you a different story re him and his life with her.

Also men who still speaks with real bitterness about any ex wife can also be a red flag.

Does he have any contact now with his children?.

Helltotheno Fri 16-Nov-12 12:11:55

To me, as a woman, if you stay at home to raise children and do a great job of raising them, you shouldn't be criticised for not working outside the home, and if that's the case, of course she'd be entitled to something. I'm assuming there were other issues ..

But otherwise I sort of see his side. If I were him, I don't think I'd marry again either! Sorry, no help to you...
But I'll say what I always say in these situations: if marriage is in your plan and he doesn't want it, you're better off cutting your losses and finding someone who does.

expatinscotland Fri 16-Nov-12 12:12:04

Just search around here for the number of women who are using their savings and/or bursaries to pay 'their 50%' even though they are staying home with the kids whilst their partner or husband who outearns them by double of more goes to the bookies, indulges in expensive hobbies, or goes out.

I don't get people who see their partners in terms of what they 'contribute' financially. Go get a flatmate and shag him, it'd be more honest.

Is he much older than you OP?.

Birkoff Fri 16-Nov-12 12:12:30

Sorry Lauries, that comment was aimed at WhatNowFFS

He never complains about maintenance, does have them to stay over every week and takes them on holiday once a year.

Birkoff Fri 16-Nov-12 12:13:32

He's 10 years older than me.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 16-Nov-12 12:14:41

" What's the point in marriage if we're having to write financial contracts up before we even reach the aisle? "

Newsflash... marriage is a financial contract. Once you sign on the dotted line this confers various financial rights. I know it all gets dressed up (literally) with hearts and flowers but it is quite a hard-nosed financial deal at its core. If he has significant assets that he wants to protect - and I'm in a slightly similar position myself only I have no ex to take into account - then it's a reasonable thing to do.

Helltotheno Fri 16-Nov-12 12:15:22

Sorry just saw the other posts. You'd be naive to believe everything he says....

Look he feels he's been burned and it's really his choice whether he wants to marry or not, you can't make him. The broader question here is whether he's right for you at all....

My DH also feels he was screwed over by his ex wife - and having met her, I do believe him. She also never worked and wouldn't get up in the mornings.

However, he wanted to get married again, new start, new person, new life etc. He put all that behind him and knows its not me.

I think you need to have some serious talks with him.

B1ueberryMuff1n Fri 16-Nov-12 12:18:19

I lived with a man like that. He hadn't been married before but I was the woman "who never worked a day in her life".

We never married so I had no rights to anything. But I was a domestic slave for years. I did all the childcare, all the washing, I bought the tickets so he could park his expensive car outside the house, I dropped of his dry cleaning.

It's true, I was not PAID. But to say that I didn't work a day in my life would be a very sexist way of looking at things.

So in your shoes I'd 1) try to get to the bottom of what he means when he says that his wife never worked a day in her life. Does he value anything other than money and if this is the case, does he understand that somebody sacrificed their time (and their own potential earnings) to do the things he considers worthless - but still expected done?

and 2) you have to protect yourself with a man like this. If you want to stay with him you need to have your own income and buy your own house and rent it out and you need to force him to meet you half way with the childcare and not do a tap more than 50% round the house. If you have to pay cleaners and childminders so that you can afford to own your own investment property to rent out and be able to nurture your own career then make sure that that cost is met fairly by him.

Even some decent men do not quite grasp that it is the cost of having had children that has left them broke after a divorce. WHO do they think raised the children? who was with them while they were at work? I think a lot of men who consider themselves decent and fair totally over look this fact....... if THEY weren't with their children when they were at work who was with their children???

Do you want to get married because you want to have children? If so you have a lot of questions to ask him about pooling money, working as a team, taking maternity leave etc. Don't have children with someone without the protection of marriage if there's any chance he has financial 'issues'.

If you want to get married just because you want to get married then he has every right to protect himself financially (as do you). You could have a pre nup and then it would be void if you had children anyway? how do you feel about that?

It's not about hurting you, it's to protect himself. No doubt he thought he would be married forever before.

B1ueberryMuff1n Fri 16-Nov-12 12:19:28

ps, I was the one who ended up financially screwed by an x who was determined not to risk losing any of his assets.

A split between cohabitants can in many cases be just as drawn out, painful and protracted as a marital split. Cohabiting does not make any subsequent split any less complicated. I think he would be extremely nasty in the event of any split.

Why would you want to be with someone who actually regards all his financial assets as his alone?. Remaining his partner puts you in a very poor legal position in any event, he knows this.

He will not marry you. You have to decide whether this is acceptable to you or not. If you want marriage (and perhaps children), then it won't be with this person.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 16-Nov-12 12:22:36

My DP's ex wife got half and rightly so. She's bringing up the kids which is bloody hard work! DP still does over and above what he "should" do and again rightly so. He's also never said a bad word about her.

I don't like your boyfriend.

expatinscotland Fri 16-Nov-12 12:25:24

What Attila said.

Cahoots Fri 16-Nov-12 12:25:53

You need to be clear to him that you do want to get married one day but that you are happy to wait awhile. Two years is not that long. You could set a deadline and see what happens.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 16-Nov-12 12:26:05

Hate to hijack the thread but what would people do in my situation? Lone parent owning a very expensive property almost outright that I have worked hard to pay for over the last 20+ years. One DS to whom it would all go in the event of my death. If I married my boyfriend tomorrow and he moved in he would not be contributing towards the mortgage (because there isn't one), just household bills. I'm too old to have more children so that's not an issue. He earns a decent salary etc. But.... should we split in a few years' time, he'd be entitled to try claiming 50% of the property as a marital asset, depriving not only me but my DS in turn. Would I be heartless to set something up to protect that asset?

MulledWineOnTheBusLady Fri 16-Nov-12 12:26:30

He reckons she did nothing because he made the DC's packed lunches? hmm

I think he has a lot of stuff to process. Yes, he's been bitten, but he's being pretty irrational about it. If you're willing to wait while he sorts his head out, I don't see what's wrong with that. But he will have to make some effort. There will have to be A Conversation.

B1ueberryMuff1n Fri 16-Nov-12 12:26:56

I recently dated a man who also felt 'screwed' in his divorce, but being a mother I had empathy with his xw and although I was very fond of this guy and I think he is a nice man I could see that part of his belief that he was screwed was his own failure to appreciate that his wife had definitely played a bigger part raising their kids. Her career sacrifice had been greater. Yeh, she might be able to work more now kids are older but that's not the point. The point was the judge saw that they should emerge from a fairly long marriage with equal wealth, and so, he will have to hand over some of his pension to her.

But because I am a mother myself, although I understand why this bothers him, I tried to put it to him that that is the price of having children more than it was the price of a marriage or the price of a failed marriage.. That chunk out of your pension later is what some people paid in massive childcare costs when the children were tiny. I don't know if it got through really.

Some men want it both ways OP and your man sounds like one of them.

expatinscotland Fri 16-Nov-12 12:29:44

You need to be clear to him that you do want to get married one day but that you are happy to wait awhile. Two years is not that long. You could set a deadline and see what happens.'

Two years is plenty of time, particularly if the OP is in her 30s. She's under no obligation to be 'happy to wait awhile' and see what happens.

NicknameTaken Fri 16-Nov-12 12:31:34

Cogito, that's a different scenario and yes, I think you should make legal arrangements to protect that asset for your ds.

It's a different thing from having your face permanently set in a supsicious squint, convinced that your boyfriend is a user-in-waiting, and refusing to take any steps that may entitle him to anything.

Dahlen Fri 16-Nov-12 12:31:57

He may well have done the homework and packed lunches, but the truth is he wouldn't have been able to "work his bollocks off" if his XW wasn't shouldering the vast majority of childcare. Well, he could have paid for professional childcare and cleaning services, of course, but over those 18 years I think he'd have paid a lot more than the half of everything she took from the marriage when they divorced. I don't like the sound of him TBH.

However, I understand where he's coming from about wanting to protect himself from another divorce. Many divorcees feel like that at some point. It doesn't mean they don't care about their partners, but it does mean that they are not yet sure enough about the relationship to be prepared to take the risk. That may change over time or it may not.. You'd be the best judge of that, not us.

One thing I'd bear in mind purely on the snippet of the conversation you've given us is that he obviously doesn't see your relationship as equal. What you each bring to it is measured in financial terms only in his head it seems. That's not a very healthy start to a relationship as it instantly creates a power dynamic with him at the top.

B1ueberryMuff1n Fri 16-Nov-12 12:32:02

He sounds very annoying OP. You'd have trouble with this man if you had children with him. He believes that being at home with the children all day is nothing. Would he do it? I doubt it.

What was his xw's earning potential? If she had worked would he have willingly supported that and the childcare costs that came with it? Or did he want her at home, not appreciating the role of childcarer or homemaker and not acknowledging the loss of her own career potential either? NOT to mention the time! week in week out, 24/7 being there for the kids.

He sounds like a total misogynist who wants it both ways. He wanted this from her but has no acknowledgement whatsoever that her time was worth anything. HER time was worth nothing in his eyes. The only thing of value was bringing in MONEY.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 16-Nov-12 12:33:59

"It's a different thing from having your face permanently set in a supsicious squint, convinced that your boyfriend is a user-in-waiting, and refusing to take any steps that may entitle him to anything"

But that's what I'd be doing, wouldn't it? According to the logic here, if I did not throw open my deeds as well as my arms, it must mean I don't trust him and that I think he's a gold-digger... Aside from his rather jaundiced views about his ex-wife, why is it OK for me to protect my assets but not the OP's boyfriend?

expatinscotland Fri 16-Nov-12 12:34:02

Do you live with him? Is he one of those who earns twice or more what you but you're still paying half of everything?

B1ueberryMuff1n Fri 16-Nov-12 12:36:00

ClippedPhoenix, I agree with you. I didn't grudge my xbf's xw confused grin her settlement.

Because any body who has a couple of kids knows that a man who can say that a mother never worked a day in her life is CLUELESS.

i'm a single mother and to be honest i feel like i have ten years of "working my bollix" off as well. NOthing to show for it mind you.

The man I dated was nothing like my x, but just knowing that he considered himself screwed in his divorce did not endear me massively to him. It's funny, being a mother, you just won't tolerate that nonsense. My xbf did not trash his xw though in fairness to him. It was the legal system he believed had screwed him. I disagreed with him!

B1ueberryMuff1n Fri 16-Nov-12 12:37:35

Dahlen+1 "Like"

ClippedPhoenix Fri 16-Nov-12 12:42:41

Exactly Blueberry. A man that did what the OP's boyfriend is doing, when I was dating was the biggest Red Flag ever for me, it spoke volumes and they were blocked/dumped.

WakeyCakey Fri 16-Nov-12 12:42:51

I understand completely where he's coming from. My DP had 85% of his assets taken from him by a wife who 'didn't work a day in her life' but she was a SAHM for 3 years even before she met him as she had another child.

He could never of started a business without her doing all the childcare and everything for the house and I actually have huge respect for her for the way she has raised her children.

Your DP doesn't have to get married if he doesn't want to. And He is being sensible by wanting to look after his money and take care of himself financially.

If marriage is that important to you then maybe you shouldn't be together as you seem to want different things?

KittiesInsane Fri 16-Nov-12 12:44:59

I read the OP and briefly wondered if you were dating my brother.

He met his wife over the internet and regards her son as his -- would have liked to adopt him but wasn't allowed to. Three years down the line, she left him and

- is arguing that anything she earned outside the home, he should REFUND to her as her contribution to the household, but that his earnings and pension are half hers.

- is arguing, despite working part time, for permanent spousal maintenance as well as child maintenance.

- is threatening to withhold all access to the child if he argues, and in fact is doing so right now.

Incidentally, her earnings potential was not being affected by caring for her/their child. At first her mother was caring for him, then our parents.

Now, I'd say he really has been royally screwed over, and yes, he's bitter (and this isn't his normal state, which is hopelessly optimistic and naive, on the whole).

It may be legal, but in this case it's surely at least somewhat unfair.

NicknameTaken Fri 16-Nov-12 12:48:18

Cogito, the way I see it, you are talking about taking a particular legal step for the benefit of your son. I wouldn't have a problem with the OP's P saying "There are some assets I want to ringfence for the benefit of my dcs". He's not doing that, his intention is just to block her getting anything. Plus, he didn't have the decency to discuss it while sober, he just got drunk and let it slip.

WakeyCakey Fri 16-Nov-12 12:50:36

And also just to add, after 2 years you don't sound very affectionate of his children?
That may just be something I am picking up that isn't there but I know after two years I was head over heels for my DSD and still am, it just seems strange you haven't really mentioned how they might feel about the whole situation? After all, its not your money, its theirs smile

Helltotheno Fri 16-Nov-12 12:54:17

Would I be heartless to set something up to protect that asset?

Cogito you'd be absolutely mad not to. Your DC should come first. If I were in your situation, I wouldn't marry at all because I wouldn't even want to be vaguely in the situation where there was even the tiniest threat to my DC's financial security wouldn't cohabit either, but I think if someone wants to make a go of it again, they really need to protect themselves and theirs. In your case, I would be making sure your DP had no claim to the house at all (harsh? mabye, but that's why I personally wouldn't cohabit).
Have you mentioned it to your DP?

B1ueberryMuff1n Fri 16-Nov-12 12:55:37

If I manage to buy a house I certainly wont' be getting married. But then, I was the one who was genuinely screwed the last time round. Not the one who erroneously believed they were screwed!!! BIG difference!

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 16-Nov-12 13:01:04

Luckily there is no DP, just a boyfriend, and marriage is not on the cards. But the principle is the same, so I don't want to judge the OP's boyfriend harshly on the basis of him protecting assets alone. Having also had a very bad experience with a spendthrift exH who left me in all kinds of financial shit despite earning a pretty healthy income, I can't get too upset about his bitterness either without more information. Some of us actually do have grasping, selfish and generally crappy ex partners.... Being a SAHM doesn't turn someone into a latterday saint.

senua Fri 16-Nov-12 13:05:30

They did have kids although he reckons he did most of the childcare, came home from work and did homework with them, made their packed lunches etc all whilst she laid on the bed all day/night???

So why are the DC with her and not him?

Helltotheno Fri 16-Nov-12 13:05:53

just a boyfriend, and marriage is not on the cards.
Well that's better, but he'd still have rights if you cohabited. Also, if you did decide to do something and told him... and his reaction was any less than favourable, that would be a serious red flag but I'm sure you know that smile

<I'm such a cynic me>

I don't judge OP's BF harshly either... if he doesn't want to go that route again, that's his entitlement. The onus is on the OP unfortunately to decide if she can live with that.....

fromparistoberlin Fri 16-Nov-12 13:10:05

unless you want to sign a pre-nip, I cant see this moving anywhere fast

sorry! I can see your POV, and I can he was (financially) very wounded!

B1ueberryMuff1n Fri 16-Nov-12 13:18:47

if you do have a prenup, make sure you have your own that will make him stop and think, eg that you have your own property to rent out and that is your pre nup, and that any childcare costs are shared proportionately to your incomes, cleaners are paid proportionately to your income.

NicknameTaken Fri 16-Nov-12 13:19:18

Cogito, I think there is a difference in the motivation - the desire to benefit someone you love (your dc), and the desire NOT to benefit someone you are supposed to love.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 16-Nov-12 13:26:55

I don't get the difference in motivation really. If I had no DCs and I wanted to keep my hard-earned house purely for reasons of security.... bearing in mind that the b/f has a decent income and no-one would go short... would that be a bad motivation?

Dahlen Fri 16-Nov-12 13:28:03

While pre-nups aren't legally binding, and being married supersedes any arrangements where spouses attempt to keep assets separate, there is now a fair bit of case law where pre-marital assets have been retained by one spouse. The main thing is to document the source of the asset and the value of it at the time of marriage.

NicknameTaken Fri 16-Nov-12 13:34:44

Cogito, if your b/f gave up his income in order to live with you and look after the domestic side of things, then yes, I would have an issue with you trying to avoid sharing your assets with him. If he has his own income and hasn't sacrificed that for you, then I don't see the problem with you protecting your pre-marital asset.

Cogito - I think your rationality is quite different, you've finished child bearing so you're less likely to be disadvantaged in this relationship, the entire mortgage predates your relationship, and you want to leave it for the benefit of your son.

What wouldn't be different is if he paid the majority of the bills now because you couldn't - then I would think he would be 'buying' a share. But if you're continuing to contribute to the house bills equally then it seems that the house should remain yours imo.

Op, i think you should sit down and think hard about this relationship.

I'm not taking sides with anyone.

if you are young and striking out in life then you are entitled to the "first view" of everything in life should you so choose, big white romantic wedding, children etc.

Now some divorced people see all these steps through new glasses and go on the journey with you - it's all exciting and different and new again.

Others simply haven't worked their way through the change curve and can't get out of the blame and bitterness.

He sounds like the latter I'm afraid. Do you expect a magical wedding day, overwhelming birth of your first born and an exciting journey into the future with this man?

Helltotheno Fri 16-Nov-12 13:50:26

Yes to the above... and the other thing to consider OP is that it mightn't be that he doesn't want to marry, it might just be that he doesn't want to marry you and is using the finance as a cover. Just a thought... Of course, nobody could know that unless they were inside his head...

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Fri 16-Nov-12 13:54:44

To be honest, I would not want to marry (or even be with) a man that is so vitriolic against his ex wife, and seem to be telling you lots of lies about her and their life.

Paiviaso Fri 16-Nov-12 14:02:27

OP, as hard as it is, you need to clearly take in what this man is telling you.

He doesn't want to get married. You would like to get married. Dealbreaker.

"I told him I'd like to get married and he said "let's see how things go then"". This sounds like he is willing to string you along in order to keep you quiet on the marriage front. Awful.

He also doesn't seem to respect SAHMs, judging from the fact he thinks his first wife did absolutely nothing to contribute.

It doesn't sound like this man wants a family. He wants his money to himself, and a nice girl to hang around with. Which is fine, but not what you want.

Don't bury your head in the sand.

PanickingIdiot Fri 16-Nov-12 14:18:16

What Cogito said.

Marriage is a legal and financial contract first and foremost. Depending on the circumstances, the couple's plans to share (or not) work and childcare, their assets and earning potential etc. it benefits certain people. But not everyone. It sounds like it wouldn't benefit him, which is fair enough (though he probably exaggerates about the ex-wife, he's within his rights to protect himself.)

I would definitely renegotiate, however, if you were planning to have children with him or give up your livelihood for him for any length of time. In that case you'd be right to protect yourself as well, and he'd have to understand that if he truly considered you his partner.

Being unmarried, in and of itself, doesn't make you worse off or vulnerable financially, and people who use it as an argument (OMG-you-won't-be-entitled-to-zilch-if-you-split-etc.) do come across a bit greedy. You could be single and then you'd have to earn your own living your entire life and wouldn't be entitled to a penny of anybody else's money either. There's nothing inherently cruel or unfair about having to work for your own money and living within your means. Ditto protecting one's existing children and putting them before another adult who can earn and pay his/her own way.

Of course if you were to mutually agree that one of you gave up work for the common benefit of the family, then that partner would be entitled to protection, and marriage may well serve that purpose...but a lot depends on individual circumstances, and it looks like in this case it may not be the best option for him.

Fairylea Fri 16-Nov-12 14:28:18

If she stayed home and raised the kids and looked after the home so he could persue his career then she is entitled to half. If she wasn't there he would have had to pay child care or give up his career and either take a less paid part time job and juggle child care or stay at home.

He needs to realise his ex wife supported him to achieve his lifestyle. Of course she is entitled to half and if he can't see that then I don't think he's the kind of man I'd want to be marrying or even be in a relationship with. And I say that as a woman who has been divorced.

NettleTea Fri 16-Nov-12 14:34:08

also maybe she put her feet up for a short while after looking after them and looking after the home all day, but just expected him to take over his share of the eveing/weekend share of houswork/childcare. they were HIS children after all....

wrinklyraisin Fri 16-Nov-12 14:41:24

My partners ex wife quit work soon after they married, then developed a progressively more serious (and hidden) online gambling addiction. As a stay at home wife she "managed" the finances and took out credit cards etc without anyone's knowledge. They had a baby, and she developed pnd which meant she couldn't move from her bed yet still spent thousands per month without his knowledge. Eventually after 3 years of deceptive behavior on her part, and some denial of the situation on his, they split up. It was then that he discovered the extent of the financial crisis. They had to go bankrupt as a couple and he's going to have that on his record forever. He paid for everything into their joint account, trusted her to be managing everything. Now he has 50% custody of their child, pays above and beyond child support quite happily (as he should!) HOWEVER the substantial amount he gives his wife is still going on her gambling habit. He can't do anything about that as the law states the mother can do what she wishes with the money as long as the child has a roof over their head, food and clothing. He pays extra for her clothing as she comes to us in crappy stuff. She's always pleading poverty yet won't get a job as she's "depressed" yet can go on gambling weekends away to casinos etc.

My point is, he's wary of marriage again as he was royally screwed. I'm not his ex though and he can see I work hard and pay my way. But it's a struggle for him to accept I won't do the same thing as his ex as she really did mess up his financial life and continues to do so. I can't blame the op's partner for wanting to protect his interests. The fallout can be terrible, and far reaching.

There are plenty of nasty exw as there are nasty exh

But do you want the same things now - that's the issue.

startlife Fri 16-Nov-12 14:52:44

OP, there is general consensus that if you have dc's you should look to protect your assets in a 2nd marriage so could you talk to him about this. He might not have thought of solutions - i.e he could get married as long as the assets are safeguarded for his children rather than 2nd wife?

I'm in a similar position to him, and did remarry but I'm relying on my H's good nature (I hope) to safe guard my dc's future. I was a lone parent for a few years and worked very hard fulltime to support my dc's without any financial support. If you have been in this position I think you do have empathy for your DP.

I guess the warnings that comes from your post is his attitude to his ex, it's highly unlikely she did nothing, do listen hard to what he is saying as it reveals an attitude. I was the higher earner and I would never say a SAHP does nothing. Don't just take his word for this - question him as I think you may learn something about his personality and values.

My H didn't seek legal advise when splitting with his ex so his divorce settlement was definitely in favour of his ex. He has however never resented the settlement, just realises that he should have got advice.

If your DP had legal advice it's highly unlikely she got more that entitled to.

wrinklyraisin Fri 16-Nov-12 14:59:17

Yy I agree that his attitude to his ex is very revealing. No matter how much anger etc he feels, she is the mother of his children and he DID love her at some point. My partner NEVER bad mouths his ex. Yes she has caused issues for him. But she is the mother of his child, she was important to him for years, she isn't an evil person. I actually like her too. She's got a gambling problem and makes poor choices in life. However, she's part of the "package" I have accepted so she's treated with respect and civility, so that their child is brought up in an environment that is kind, considerate, mature and respectful. My partner bitches about the situation occasionally as it really does suck. But he's always very respectful in how he talks about his ex. I really value that in him.

homeaway Fri 16-Nov-12 15:37:47

Have not read through the whole thread but abroad you can have a marriage contract that states whatever assets you go into a marriage to stay yours. If you have bought a house together then you are entitled to half that if you split up.

homeaway Fri 16-Nov-12 15:38:59

should read marriage with stays yours.

Wrinkly, I probably would have agreed with you before I met DH and his ex. Sometimes it's true.
There's a thread right now (this is bad form, isn't it, sorry) where the guy has been dumped brutally and she wants more money - you can imagine he might talk bitterly about his ex and want to protect himself next time.

I still think, op, the question is, do you want the same things in the future?

wrinklyraisin Fri 16-Nov-12 17:01:08

I've just read that thread. My partners ex is a little like that tbh. The sense of financial entitlement. However, she's not a complete bitch like that poster. She's not done me wrong personally. But she's hurt (and continues to hurt) my partner financially. It's tough sometimes but We are trying to maintain the moral upper hand by treating her civilly so their child isn't a pawn in some stupid game. I will say that she doesn't always afford us the same civility.

gettingeasier Fri 16-Nov-12 17:16:21

I think once you have been through a divorce you do see things differently and realise forever may not mean forever. I can see why you are upset OP and unless you've walked in those shoes it would seem a bit calculating and unromantic

I am in a solid financial position now, past child bearing years with 2 DC . I would never cohabit with someone without an agreement in place to protect what I have for my DC and I in the future. I wouldnt ever want my finances entwined with someone else and likewise would not claim on anyone elses. This all sounds cold and business like when I read it back but to me financial security is of paramount importance.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 16-Nov-12 17:52:47

tbh i can understand where the op's oh is coming from - he worked hard and lost half of his income/savings

he is just trying to protect his self - my brother is very rich and if he ever got married i would expect him to get a prenup to protect him - obv if they had children he would pay but why should the new wife get 100 of 1000's if they divorce?

CogitoErgoSometimes - get a cohabitation agreement drawn up - this is what i have-i own my house (no mortgage due to dh dying last year sad and being paid off) met a new partner and we have recently moved in together - it basically says he is not entitled to any of my house if we spilt up - cost around the £1000 mark but worth it - he was more then happy to sign it, as said he loves and wants me, not my house - if your new man dithers/says no then that would ring alarm bells for me

i am just protecting myself, just as i think the op's partner is

girlinabluedress Fri 16-Nov-12 18:52:54

Sorry, but I think that the financial issue is a red herring, if he wanted to be in a lasting relationship with you, he'd be throwing caution to the wind and asking you to marry him. Men don't think rationally enough about these things when they're smitten - even if they've been bitten before.

I have seen it happen with male friends and BIL - they swore for years that they'd never remarry/marry, giving all sorts of reasons (financial, losing independence, don't want a big fuss). But all of a sudden they meet a certain woman and they do a complete about-face.

DH took a huge financial gamble/hit when he married me - he was on a six figure salary and just about to buy a house in the SE, with a 60% deposit. Me: dependent on benefits, had a dc already, health issues not currently working. Financially it was madness for him to marry me, he'd certainly be making a loss if we ever split. But he never ever spoke of protecting himself, began to refer to all assets as 'ours' as soon as we were engaged, has always been happy to have open access to our joint finances, provides for ds as if he was his. That's how a marriage should be, regardless of the financial/earnings split. DH still thinks he's the one who's gained more out of this marriage, 'because he gets to be with me'.

I am not after DH's house or other assets, but if he'd ever said to me that if we split, he wanted to ensure I was entitled to nothing of his, it would make my blood run cold. Part of being in a lasting relationship is being a partnership, and you just don't do that to someone when you're working as a team. (And I would say that applies regardless of which gender has the most assets - I think if you're unwilling to share finances then that attitude will penetrate through each aspect of your relationship and make a difference to how close you get as a couple).

Apocalypto Fri 16-Nov-12 19:09:25

He's being perfectly reasonable. Divorcees are more likely to get divorced, so for him to just hope it all goes better this time would be fantastically stupid.

There are many issues to do with how men fare in a divorce, but I would guess that there are two major ones. The main one is that if the man has funded his wife to stay home and parent the children, the ex-wife's claims are often couched as though by fathering children, he has done her an injury for which she needs to be compensated.

The other is that regardless of the circumstances, the divorce settlement is the same. If he discovers his wife used to be a prostitute, or is a drug addict, or is continually unfaithful, or is a serial shoplifter, if he divorces her - she still gets 50%. No other contract is like that. If a fridge salesman lies to you to sell you a fridge, the contract is voided, and you are entitled to be put back into your previous financial position. If a woman lies to a man then marries him, she still gets half of everything, or more if there are children. I believe divorce courts can even order ex-husbands into debt.

The latter is probably why the OP's bloke put up with a crap wife for so long. He could have walked, but it would have had the financial consequences it eventually did have, and he was in denial. Crap idle wives do exist, just like crap idle husbands exist, but crapness doesn't alter what either can expect from a divorce.

The law on this will not change until a few independently wealthy career women are beggared by divorce courts in the course of separating from SAHD husbands who turn out to be punters, porn fiends, serial adulterers or paedophiles. Until then, which I think is about 30 years away, men's best bet is not to marry at all, in which case women's best bet is to remain financially independent. We are already seeing both of these things happening.

Apocalypto Fri 16-Nov-12 19:11:54

@ blondes

I think you would be excoriated on here for being so mercenary about "your" house if you were a man!

The so called Deed of Trust is a truly Orwellian term. It would more accurate to call it a Deed of Mistrust because that's what it is.

Mollydoggerson Fri 16-Nov-12 19:15:23

Love him for who he is and not what you want him to be. He has been burned and possibly eternally scarred, accept his position or move on.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 16-Nov-12 19:18:05

very true Apocalypto grin

but im protecting my assets - which tbh i wouldn't have if my dh hadnt have died last year sad and therefore wouldnt be in a new relationship with no mortgage, as i would still be happily living with dh

seems its those that have nothing (money or property) that think what op's oh is doing is wrong

would they feel different if they owned a house out right or had £50k in the bank/earnt £100k a year etc

maybe im cynical, but as i said my new man was more then happy to sign this agreement drawn up legally - and all is fine smile

nkf Fri 16-Nov-12 19:22:23

Hes never been keen to marry again. All that's changed now is that you know the reason. He's come clean as it were. The ball's in your court now. Painful and not easy but you know the deal. What do you want to do?

AThingInYourLife Fri 16-Nov-12 19:23:05

"To be honest, I would not want to marry (or even be with) a man that is so vitriolic against his ex wife, and seem to be telling you lots of lies about her and their life."


nkf Fri 16-Nov-12 19:27:51

I've just seen that he has children with the first wife. He's just a embittered divorce. Do you really want that?

B1ueberryMuff1n Fri 16-Nov-12 19:30:51

yes. I agree with AThingInYourLIfe. marry &/or have children with a man who thinks that children raise themselves while they are busy "working their bollix off", they are men who will ensure you have a Very.Hard.Life.

you've been warned.

Helltotheno Fri 16-Nov-12 19:56:43

but im protecting my assets

You are absolutely right to do that. Sorry about your DH.. glad you found love again smile

And the OP's bf is also not wrong to want to do that (for me it's not a woman v man issue) and the position for the OP is still that if she's not getting what she wants, she should move on.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 16-Nov-12 21:17:24

Thank you hell smile

OneMoreChap Sat 17-Nov-12 13:25:57

Anyone who has assets is a fool not to protect them.

Whether you want to trust someone enough to spend your life with them is another question.

Were I single again, would I ever remarry? No.

I don't want more children, and I don't want to dilute my inheritance any further.

Does the OP want kids and DP doesn't?

B1ueberryS0rbet Sat 17-Nov-12 13:31:51

The 'asset' i brought to the table was my time. Some men think that children raise themselves I think. I wouldn't send my children back, and for all our differences my x would not wish that either. The asset I lost was my time and my potential. It doesn't count though. That was nothing. I know I wasn't married though so it really was for nothing in my case!

OneMoreChap Sat 17-Nov-12 13:34:53

If you have children with somebody, without marrying them to ensure there's a reasonable prospect of protecting your joint children... you are ill-advised, I feel.

B1ueberryS0rbet Sat 17-Nov-12 15:08:34

Yeah....... I know. :-/

ike1 Sat 17-Nov-12 15:27:17

Yep. This might sound cold, but it was one of the reasons I married, to insure that any kids from the relationship would be looked after financially. Ironically I was the one who had a veryl inheretance to protect when I divorced. However, my ex was decent and did not ask for anything other than some of the equity in out property. It suited him to take a smaller pay off than his entitlement rather than wait until the kids were 18 to have half of the property. If I was to marry again, I would do everything I could to protect my money for my children. I know what it is like to struggle thanks!

ike1 Sat 17-Nov-12 15:28:09


ike1 Sat 17-Nov-12 15:30:01

In fact I dont see the point in marrying in my position, mortgage free home, enough kids, own income....thank goodness I am not the romantic type! Lol...

ike1 Sat 17-Nov-12 15:35:15

In fact OP I have been seeing someone for 2 years aswell, but made it clear from the beginning that it would be unlikely I would get married beacause of similar reasons to your chap.

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