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My husband is having an affair - now what?

(52 Posts)
Fireplaces Tue 30-Jul-13 20:18:46

Have name changed.

I just found out that my husband of ten years is having an affair. It looks like its the end of our marriage. As well as the emotionally impact on me, I am being kept awake by the by financial implications of my future. Namely, how on earth do I, as a SAHM, manage to pay the mortgage and bills after a split?

I am so worried and would be grateful for some advice from those who have been through it.

Some background; I am a SAHM and have been since our children were born. DH works for a top rate salary. We are in a house that is in both our names, and the mortgage is too. I paid half the deposit , and some mortgage when I was working, although the house was always way more than my salary alone could afford. Now I am a SAHM, my DH pays the mortgage and bills.

If we split, I understand that I can stay in the house while my children are in education, but who would pay the mortgage? There's no way I can pay it on my own....I have no income. I will get a job, but my salary will be a quarter of my husband's and will still not be able to pay the mortgage, let alone food, clothing for children, utilities etc. Would my husband have to pay, even if he wasn't living there? Or would we have to sell the house? (50% of the equity would not pay for another house anywhere around here). Or is there another way that provides the house for the stay at home mother looking after the children?

I am sorry if this is lengthy. My head is all over the place. I would be very grateful for some help here.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 30-Jul-13 20:25:11

I'm sorry you've had a nasty shock and I know what you mean about being kept awake worrying. My best suggestions are that you get as much real life support from friends and family as you can, take a little time to think and then get some proper legal advice. Some solicitors offer a free initial consultation where you can get a lot of the answers to your questions.

Regarding houses it varies from couple to couple. If he's prepared to keep financing the mortgage until the children are grown, that might be something you agree between you. If he wants to set up fresh and can't afford to run two places you may have to sell, split the equity and go that route. It really all depends on the sums involved and how cooperative everyone is prepared to be.

Good luck

MissStrawberry Tue 30-Jul-13 20:30:08

Is it really up to him whether she gets to stay in the house or not? shock.

YvyB Tue 30-Jul-13 20:34:10

I'm so sorry. What a shitty situation to be in. You've had a hell of a shock. You must feel very scared. I'm about to go through my 2nd divorce (I must be a dreadful judge of character!) So I know a little bit about it.
Firstly, all your assets are now 'marital assets' ie they belong to you both, regardless of who paid what. Secondly, the priority in a divorce is to ensure any children are properly provided for. As you are their main carer, that means you will be prioritised in terms of providing housing etc. Your husband will just have to get to the back of the queue. As you are currently not working, a settlement may well require your husband to continue to house you and the children until the youngest is 18. This may be in your current house; it may mean you need to downscale a bit. If that is the case, your husband might be given a "charge" on the house. In other words, he will be awarded a share of it but he will have to wait until your children are 18 until the house is sold and he gets his share.

Lots of solicitors give free first consultations. It's well worth going to talk to a few so you can have the reassurance of hearing the likely scenarios from the mouths of experts. Please try not to be too scared - whatever happens the needs of your children will come first and a court will not make them (and therefore you) homeless.

Hope that helps a tiny bit.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 30-Jul-13 20:36:53

It's not his decision exactly. The legal starting point is a 50/50 share of any marital assets, including the family home if applicable. Some couples agree that the children shouldn't be disrupted and if one partner earns enough they might keep paying the mortgage, offsetting that extra cost against a bigger share of the proceeds when the property is eventually sold, for example. But if the higher-earning partner can't afford a reasonable standard of living for themselves and to fund the mortgage on the former family home at the same time, then there is often no realistic way to avoid selling up.

Sleepyhoglet Tue 30-Jul-13 21:00:26

Do you have evidence of his disloyalty so that you can divorce him rather than vice versa. You need to get a free initial session really.

Does your husband know you want to divorce him? Can you get advice etc before anything changes?

Do you have any friends or family who specialise in family law?

I hope someone comes along soon who has good advice.

So sorry for you.

My only piece of advice would be to collect together paper work - bank statements, payslips, mortgage info etc, and go get some professional advice. Maybe from CAB.

Hugs x

Fireplaces Tue 30-Jul-13 21:03:02

Thanks for your replies.

I have suspected for a couple of weeks but finding proof has been a sickening blow.

Realistically we have been nothing more than companions for ages, but I still believed in my marriage vows.

Do you have any advice with regards to paperwork. Should I be photocopying proof of income / pensions etc before it is removed from my reach?

Sleepyhoglet Tue 30-Jul-13 21:08:59

Probably a good idea to get photocopies of bank statements etc. If it were me, I wouldn't be saying anything at all to husband. Make sure he can't read this. Let him think everything is normal until you are ready to take action. If necessary lie and make up a reason to withdraw cash and pay for some advice.

Good luck.

Never been through this myself, but I would be inclined to be photocopying anything like that.

lemonstartree Tue 30-Jul-13 21:18:19

Get a lawyer. Get a good lawyer. do NOT rely on him saying he will be 'fair' ; 'look after the children' etc etc

If its over, then do it properly; make sure not only your current, but also your future needs are assessed and adequately/evenly/fairly met.

I say this as a higher earning woman who ended up paying her ExH to divorce (alot) ... It may be seen as antagonistic, but its better than being 'dependent' on his good will.

Photocopy everything - any savings statements, pay slips, pensions estimates - the lot.

the starting point is 50/50 in a medium/long marriage. The needs of the children are priority. If they are to reside with both of you - even EOW with your H, he will need adequate accommodation - and if he cannot afford that as well as supporting the former marital home, you may both need to downsize. You do not say how long you have been a SAHM - he may need to provide spousal support for a limited time while you prepare to earn your own living, This is unlikely to be for more than 2 -3 year unless your children are very young. He will retain responsibility for supporting his children.

Get good advice. Fight your corner. Do NOT lie down and think it doesn't matter

Spellcheck Tue 30-Jul-13 21:26:08

You poor thing, I've been there and know that sickening feeling.

Do what I didn't do, right now - get evidence of his earnings, bank statements, mortgage statements, payslips, pension statements, all the financial stuff for the last year if possible. Photocopy them, and hide them round a friend's house. That way, he won't be able to do what my sneaky shit of an exH did and hide half his income, thereby ensuring he only has to pay the bare minimum towards the upbringing of our 3 DCs.

My ex had run up so much debt against the house that we couldn't afford to sell it, so I stayed here and we pay half the mortgage each. When our youngest is 18, I have to sell the house and the equity will be split 75% to me and 25% to him. My solicitor said this was fairly standard as the DC reside with me. CAB should be able to advise you before you see a solicitor, although as your H was unfaithful he might agree to pay your costs, which mine did (the least he could do...!! Actually, he was glad to be shot of the marriage and the burden he imagined we all were, the twat).

It's been a struggle but life is so wonderful without lies in it. xx

Fireplaces Tue 30-Jul-13 21:38:22

lemonstartree I have been a SAHM for six years and my youngest is five years old; do you know whether it is likely DH may have to pay spousal support? (And what sort of value : is it usually enough to pay the mortgage and utilities for example?)

Missbopeep Tue 30-Jul-13 21:51:04

I think it's likely you would have spousal support for a period of time. A friend of mine had been married 24 years, they had no children and she didn't work ( though had at one time when first married.) Her DH was a very high earner. Her lawyer told her she could expect maintenance for around 2 years whilst she re-trained or found a job.

In your case, if the mortgage is huge and the equity is low, then I'd think you would need to sell up because your ex would not be able to provide for 2 homes. They decide on NEED- so if you are now in a 4 bed house but only need 3 beds then you might have to sell and divide assets and your XH would need somewhere big enough for the DCs to visit- so 3 beds or 2 plus sofa bed if they are boy/girl.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 22:17:37

Hello there, I am sorry for your troubles

have a look at this excellent that will help answer some practical questions for you x

cronullansw Wed 31-Jul-13 01:18:24

Why does this have to be the end of your marriage, selling the house, disrupting the kids, living apart for the rest of your lives, leaving the man you married....?

Get the affair ended, get him to understand how close he came to losing you all, get it all out in the open, then get on with your lives.

A marriage can survive a stupid, pathetic little affair.

You've been together years, got married, made life changing decisions, had kids, raising kids, and he's had a few shags - so what?

Yes, yes, he lied / deceived you etc etc, Horrible, I'm sure, but ffs, you do not have to destroy EVERYTHING you've done together because of this.

Sleepyhoglet Wed 31-Jul-13 03:49:21

I agree with cron. Do think it through very carefully. Marriages can be rebuilt. But don't let on that you know anything till you have a back up plan.

Silver15 Wed 31-Jul-13 03:59:25

I'm with cronullansw.

I wonder if you have been considering divorce for sometime?

Chandras Wed 31-Jul-13 04:17:41

I'm with Cron too. You have more history together with him than the new person, there are the children too. in 90% of the cases straying husbands come back to the wife, so... Wish for the best, plan for the worst, but don't give up on your marriage yet.

As for staying in the house until the children are 18... Not necessarily, it depends on what assets you have and your salaries. If there are not enough resources to fund a place for him and keeping the marital house, you may be asked to sell. Having said that, if his salary is much higher and you have the children most of the time you will get a considerably bigger chunk of the equity than him. But you might need to fight for it

Mixxy Wed 31-Jul-13 04:26:02

Do you really want to stay married to a man you're more like a companion to while he's off knocking boots elsewhere?

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 31-Jul-13 05:21:26

I have replied on the legal thread, but on the relationship side. It is all very well suggesting to try to stay together, but both of you have to want it and both of you have to want to work really hard to fix it. Please don't allow him to do want my ExH did pay lip service to wanting to try, but still actually see OW. He maintains that he wanted to save our marriage, but I didn't. I wish I had just made a clean cut when I was in your situation, but instead had months of awfulness.

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 07:15:15

that would be him that destroyed the marriage, not you

Do not take any blame for his weakness and deceit

If a few shags with another woman is your deal breaker, then so be it

You do not have to swallow such shabby treatment...this is not the 1950.s where women put up and shut up to keep the family together

He destroyed his family for a cheap shag...if your respect for him has gone, it is gone

Chandras Wed 31-Jul-13 08:36:16

The important thing is to find some silence around yourself and ask yourself the question "what do I want to happen?"

The answer may surprise you, you may find the energy to work for this marriage or see this as the oportunity to break free. The only thing that I can tell you is that if you decide to leave him is that things will change, but that doesn't mean that your life will be worse.

Many years ago, a friend who have been hearing me complaining about my husband for ages said "Chandras, how would you feel if someone told you he is having an affair?" And with that question I knew my marriage was over, he was not having an affair but the first thought that came to my head was "great! At least he will leave me alone for a while."

I cannot say that my life is easier now, quite the oposite, but believe me I have been much happier ever since. Being married to someone you no longer love, no matter how well you get along, is soul destroying.

Boosterseat Wed 31-Jul-13 09:05:36

I'm sure, but ffs, you do not have to destroy EVERYTHING you've done together because of this.

Are you fucking serious cron? HE destroyed the marriage.

Why make the OP feel as if she has to do anything but take care of the children and herself right now?

A few shags? how insensitive are you?

OP - take care of yourself and your children right now, be kind to yourself and read up on your rights AF posted an excellent link. If you choose in your own good time to work on your marriage, the changes have to come from him, he gave himself permission to cheat and therefore needs to identify what entitled him to do that and change that behaviour but it is not your fault and you can’t change anyone but yourself. Take care x

Wellwobbly Wed 31-Jul-13 09:14:20

Why have you become companions?

Is he a workaholic (ie emotionally unavailable anyway)?

The best book on how to handle an affair (and I have read lots) is 'I don't love you any more' by Dr David Clarke. It is Christian but just keep in mind that Christianity is the distillation of 1000s of years of human experience, and you can see the truth of what he says quite easily.

What he says is: the affair is 100% your husband's fault and it is HIS SIN.
Get good and ANGRY
Shout it from the roof tops and get your friends round you.
Use that anger to propel you in what to do that is best for you.

I made a huge mistake. I kept silent, and tried to fix things. The message my H got was that he had got away with it, and his disrespect increased.

It is a good book.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 31-Jul-13 09:17:27

I do think you have options.

Keep quiet, but find out what your prospects are, get legal advice. I am not legal but think you have to be wary of letting someone know you have made copies of anything financial on which your name does not appear. I would still want to keep track of any outgoings, any conspicuous spending, any disposal of assets. Start discreetly garnering rl support.

Confront him, give him an ultimatum, hope he listens and reforms, hope he doesn't carry on, either openly or by covering his tracks better.

Sit back do nothing, play nice, hope he doesn't greet you one day with "We're done, you're out, f-off". He may have one OW, he may get frightened off if she makes demands or gets pregnant, you'll be in the dark.

Whichever, I think if I were you I'd be very careful about ever sleeping with him again without using protection. Are you going to get yourself checked out for STIs?

Wellwobbly Wed 31-Jul-13 09:20:52

WARNING: some out of touch judge has expressed huge concern at the 'underhand ways' spouses use to access the other's financial records. (Does he not understand power imbalance?).

So, if your H has not given you financial information freely and fairly, you cannot use that information. (yes, seriously).

He, of course, wouldl not lie on his Form E!

So try and engineer a financial sounding email so that the answer is 'yes, go ahead' so you can tell your lawyer there is no underhand copying. Because we were discussing our tax returns I could do it.

Does he know you know about the affair yet?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 31-Jul-13 09:26:07

I thought that was it, Wellwobbly. Of course he would be open about finances, stocks and shares, endowment policies, pensions because he's such an honest trustworthy.... Oh, hang on a minute...

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 31-Jul-13 09:32:07

Cron - your post is so wrong on every level, but not surprising given your views about women hmm

HE chose to destroy everything - HE is the one throwing everything away. Not Op. HE is the one breaking his vows.

Even if it was a few shags OP has the right to end the marriage. No one has to put up with cheating. She isn't like some women who sadly have such poor self esteem that they will put up and shut up.

How do you propose OP get the affair ended? She cannot make him - only HE can end the affair.

Fireplaces Wed 31-Jul-13 09:40:10

Thanks for your replies.

No, I have not confronted him yet.

It is not just a few shags, the emails go on and on about how much they love each other; this from a man who cannot say even a quick 'I love you' to me and hasn't done for well over a year. He is sending this stuff while is in the same room as me. He is acting like the classic cliched middle aged man having an affair with his secretary.

Realistically I think the marriage is probably over, because for months now I have been thinking that I actually dislike him these days a lot of the time. He makes me so cross inside...little things that he does or doesn't do make me so pissed off at him. The physical relationship is appalling (he refuses), we don't hug, cuddle, or do more than an occasionally kiss goodbye. If we spend more than a few hours together we snipe and bicker and snap at each other.

But the trouble is, I then worry so much about finances and money in the future, (will I have to move away, how will I live on no money, will he fight to get custody of the kids, what will everyone say) that I then start thinking that I can't say anything.

But then I come on MN and see that I need to be careful about arming myself with information, deciding what I want/need to do, and preparing myself emotionally before I confront him.

The trouble is, my head is all over the place. I am looking after the children full time (summer hols), but while I am doing so, all this stuff is whiz zing around in my head about different financial and emotionally aspects of all of this. It makes it difficult to find out what the most important stuff to do is.

onefewernow Wed 31-Jul-13 10:02:57

Wellwobblys idea is a good one. Email him on some pretext noting all your assets in accounts.

Fireplaces Wed 31-Jul-13 10:09:37

I think I might copy first and send the email after!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 31-Jul-13 10:11:56

You can't do it all in one go. Take it in small chunks set yourself a task a day. Arm yourself. You may not need to use it but give yourself a boost.

If H is distracted and happy he may be in a giving mood, why not put it to good use ask about a few days away for yourself and DCs? He's liable to leap at it. Then, stay with trusted loved ones, see if there's somewhere to live with a good school and possibility of employment in an area you'd have a support network. If ultimately you'd have to downsize you might as well go for a place you won't be isolated.

skyeskyeskye Wed 31-Jul-13 10:13:50

You need to get some good legal advice. I would copy everything (I did), but people are right in saying that you shouldn't. However, if he misses something off Form E at a later date, you will have the proof that he has "forgotten" it and it can be mentioned that you know that he has this pension, or life insurance or whatever.

My solicitor told me that judges see it as important that both parties have a roof over their head. Joint assets start at 50/50 and work from there depending on access, maintenance etc, so you could end up with say 70/30 split of the house.

If the house is bigger than you need, ie, 2 DC, require a 3 bed house and you have a 5 bed house, then you could be forced to sell as it is surplus to your needs.

Spousal maintenance is very rare nowadays, you would be expected to get a job and provide for yourself. Maintenance is as per CSA level, a set % of income, unless he agrees to pay more.

If the house is adequate, then he cannot force a sale until the youngest child is 18 and a charge for his share of it, will be put on the property.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 31-Jul-13 10:16:54

Make a list and do one thing at a time.

Try and not think too much ahead.

Get real life support from family/friends.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 31-Jul-13 10:21:40

If OW doesn't have DCs I may be wrong but I wouldn't rush to assume H will immediately leave you to live with his object of desire with your offspring in tow. Far more likely they'd be jetting off on holidays and enjoying romantic weekends away together.

I don't think you should feel ashamed or embarrassed by what people think. If one partner wants more or extras it doesn't signify the other is lacking.

lemonstartree Wed 31-Jul-13 10:24:45

then he cannot force a sale until the youngest child is 18 I am sorry but that is not correct. It is true that the needs of the children are paramount, but bOTH parents need accommodation where the children can stay. Therefore if there is equity in the marital home than needs to be released so that both parents can house the children, this is what a judge will order.

One option is that the mother and children stay in the FMH and the father has a % share when it is sold in the future

OP, you may be poorer after divorce ( I know I am) but your marriage sounds a very lonely place, so you are likely to be a lot happier; you will be providing a better role model for your children and you have lots of opportunities ahead of you.

Do copy the stuff, so you can 'remind' him of he leaves anything off the Form E. You don't even have to disclose to your lawyer that you have done so, but protect yourself and the DC...

skyeskyeskye Wed 31-Jul-13 10:38:39

obviously different solicitors give different advice, I am only repeating what mine told me 12 months ago, which was that the judge would not make me sell my 2 bed place as I could not get another 2 bed place in the same area for the same money and that as the house was not beyond my needs, then I would not be forced to sell it. He stressed that the judge does see it as important that both parties are housed, but that the children's needs are paramount.

If the equity in the house is not enough to provide deposits for the purchase of 2 new houses, then the children's need for a roof over their heads is seen as most important and therefore that is when they will not force a sale until the youngest child is 18.

This has happened with several of my friends, where the XH now lives with OW, or rents and the XW remains in the marital home, but knowing that it will have to be sold when her youngest reaches 18, unless of course she can remortgage and pay XH off by then.

OP - you really do need decent legal advice that is specific to your own circumstances.

Missbopeep Wed 31-Jul-13 10:41:00

You need to think about what you want.
At the moment you have gone into overdrive and want to sort the practical stuff.

But what about your marriage?

I'd suggest you decide if you are prepared to carry on if he is contrite and willing to accept blame and make a huge effort.

The only reason I say this is that my close friend reacted as you did, when her H had an affair, and got as far as sending her H a divorce petition. He refused to agree to the divorce as he wanted to try to save the marriage.

To cut a very long story short, it's on ice and after 18 months of couples counselling they are still together. Meanwhile it has cost her / them around £5K in legal bills for work done to date ( they have alot of assets and it's complicated.)

All I'm saying is don't rush in.
In some ways though you almost sound relieved that this has happened as it gives you an exit from something you weren't happy with anyway- is that right?

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 31-Jul-13 11:00:01

Missbopeep - Don't you think your friend's H came back exactly because she took control of the situation?

I have seen on here again and again how true it is that LOSS is the only thing that motivates cheaters - when reality hits them and they realise they are losing their home comforts and family life, they come back begging for forgiveness.

The begging and pleading for them to come back rarely works - the cheater is then rewarded for his shitty behaviour, they get to call the shots and lose respect for the betrayed party.

Fireplaces Wed 31-Jul-13 11:01:49

missbopeep I am so confused that sometimes I feel exactly like that and an hour later, I feel the opposite

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 31-Jul-13 11:02:35

I took from OP's intro that she was very much apprehensive about future security (who isn't?) but of course Fireplaces, weigh up what you can tolerate, how your DCs will be affected and what good or otherwise it does you AND your DCs to remain under the same roof where there is no longer love or respect between the two adults.

Missbopeep Wed 31-Jul-13 11:13:48

Mad- I don't know. They veered from him wanting a divorce and saying he felt unable to meet her needs, to her wanting a divorce then saying she didn't. My own feeling is that each decided against divorce because neither was willing to go through the upheaval, and were equally afraid of being alone in their late 50s.

I don't think your assumption really applies because they don't have DCs and they are multi millionaires so each would have had a good settlement.

OP in your shoes I'd be open with him and tell him you know. Then I'd ask him to leave the home so you have time and space to think.

newlifeforme Wed 31-Jul-13 11:25:18

I'm so sorry you are going through this, you must still be in shock.

How long have you had problems in your marriage? It maybe that your marriage can't be saved but please don't panic, you can't see solutions for the future yet but over time it will all become clear.If your H is a high earner its likely he will have sufficient income to support your housing needs until you are in a better financial position.

I would encourage you to talk to friends & family..there is no shame in this, you will need support as it must be so hard carrying this whilst trying to have a normal life for the children.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 31-Jul-13 11:56:17

MissBo - Home comforts does not mean money. Your friends will have build up a life with friends, relatives, familiar/domestic stuff, habits, routines etc. Loneliness as a result of losing your spouse can be a powerful motivator.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 31-Jul-13 12:01:23

OP - don't make any long term decisions as you will keep changing your mind. Just take time and space to think things through and process your feelings.

You need to consider the possibility that the problems in your marriage go back to when he met OW and the start of the affair. Many cheaters often become distant, withdraw from family life, pick petty arguments, be critical and so on.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 31-Jul-13 12:06:18

They do this in order to create a gap and also to justify their cheating.

Missbopeep Wed 31-Jul-13 12:14:44

Mad- I don't really want to detail everything about my friend here as it feel disloyal and they may feel 'outed' if too much is said.

Some of what you say applies to their situation, but a lot of it doesn't, due to their circumstances which don't fit the usual living arrangements for couples. That's all I want to say on it.

My post was for the OP to suggest she doesn't rush into a divorce as feelings can change.

CheeseFondueRocks Wed 31-Jul-13 12:29:39

I think, no matter what the OP wants, she needs to get legal advice and sort the practicalities asap.

I don't know about affairs and what is normal but if the OPs husband goes on and on about how much he loves the OW, he might as well be planning to leave anyway. And then it would come as a shock to the OP, she'd be unprepared and the husband has already had the time to make financial plans to hide assets etc.

So I would proceed as follows: Think about whether you want to save the marriage or not but while doing this, prepare for divorce. When you are armed with information, confront husband, take control and see what he has to say. If you both want to save the marriage, you can still do so at this point. But at least there's a smaller chance you and your DC will be screwed over more than you already are.

Wellwobbly Wed 31-Jul-13 15:08:00

And how long has the marriage been terrible? For the year and a half the schmooping and affair has been going on for?

Charbon talks about this: you can tell when the m starts deteriorating from the time he starts locking on to OW.

Get that book by Dr David Clark, then get legal advice (it does not mean you have to act on it), then get bloody furious and TELL THE WORLD. Rent out billboards if you have to.

It is incredible what shock does to luuuuuuuuuuurve.

NeedlesCuties Wed 31-Jul-13 15:36:58

You've been given some great advice here, OP.

Sorry you're in this situation, but you seem like you have your head screwed on well, so I think you'll be ok in the long-run.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 31-Jul-13 15:45:49

So sorry, just re-read the thread, saw this,
in 90% of the cases straying husbands come back to the wife

I don't know if this is true, if so, do all the wives want them back?
Of those men, how many will cheat again?

If we are accepting figures off the Internet I read that 86% of those men are confronted with evidence by their partners still lie.

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