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That marriage is just a financial transaction that serves many women badly and want to warn others before they take the leap?

(137 Posts)
thinkingmakesitso Fri 30-Oct-15 19:12:54

I just don't think it is made clear enough that marriage is all about money and that people who marry people who do not earn as much as them stand to lose so much and do not realise it.

My stbex was a sahd but had never had a career before he met me - he didn't want one as he sees himself as a musician/writer/free-spirit/free-loader. I am a teacher and have struggled over the last 8 years to excel as a mother and a teacher, cramming as much work as I could into my dc's sleeping time and devoting all my free time to my children, pretty much.

Following his infidelity, which I cannot divorce him for due to not 'getting my head around it' during the designated 6 months the law allows, partly as a result of his failure to disclose the whole truth, I must apparently give him half my pension and, though our house has insufficient equity to make it worth selling it, should consider him a primary carer as he still takes the children to school and picks them up. Yes. Because he has no job as he doesn't want one. I have had three child-free days this week and have spent them working, Christmas shopping, cleaning dc's bedrooms and buying them bedroom furniture and rearranging their rooms to accommodate it. I am exhausted. He has spend his child-free days (6 days) writing his novel and hanging out with friends. Yet he is the main carer because he takes them to school and picks them up. WTF. All organising, thinking, planning is done by me. Yet if he wanted the dc (I am almost certain he doesn't, but will find out for sure when I raise the 'd' word with him) I should accept that he may well get them and I would therefore have to subsidise him to enable that to happen.

I have a friend who is about to enter into a very similar arrangement that I had with ex and I want so much to warn her. Of course, she and her dp are happy and in love now, but I did not marry and procreate with ex thinking that he was a shit who would do me wrong, yet he is and did. I know I WBU to say this to her, but I really think many people enter into marriage unknowingly.

TattyDevine Fri 30-Oct-15 19:15:47

Sorry it worked out so badly for you. I'm finding it pretty great. It's not for everyone though.

HelenaDove Fri 30-Oct-15 19:17:15

Marriage.........Great for the man. Lousy for the woman.

Jack Nicholson in The Witches of Eastwick.

DontBeAThoughtlessBirdie Fri 30-Oct-15 19:19:22

Whoa there, missus! Not everybody will end up like you have. You made an abysmal choice for a husband and are now - literally - paying for it.

Why didn't you SAH and kick his idle arse into employment?

SpanglesGalloway Fri 30-Oct-15 19:21:49

What about all those examples of women who have given up career and financial opportunity to support their husband in his career and raise the children? We'd all encourage her to get married to protect herself.

lorelei9 Fri 30-Oct-15 19:22:31

YAnBu

But gender is irrelevant. Both parties should get a legal briefing before entering into it. I often express concern when people say they haven't got much to lose. If you lose half of several million, you're still okay.

If I lost half my flat and pension I would be beyond screwed, precisely because I'm not rich. I no longer have relationships but always said I'd never marry and that finances would have to be separate.

SpanglesGalloway Fri 30-Oct-15 19:22:46

And I also second dontbe... you made your choice in a husband

meditrina Fri 30-Oct-15 19:23:36

Yes, marriage does serve to protect the lower earner (especially if they have passed up on opportunities in order to contribute to the family in other ways) and provide continuity for DC with their primary carer.

The financial settlement and arrangements for DC are not related to the reasons for ending the breakdown of the marriage. So even if you had started the divorce within the 6 months required for an adultery petition, it wouldn't have made a difference.

thinkingmakesitso Fri 30-Oct-15 19:24:06

I'm not bitter about those who are happily married, honestly, I'm not. For them, this is irrelevant, but IF it does go wrong (and it does for a lot of people) I just think that the law is not fair, particularly in cases like mine where there is 'role reversal' and the law sees the SAHP as a vulnerable, down-trodden 'little woman' and the bread winner as a bullying husband. There seems to be no taking of cases on their own merits, and it fucking stinks, imo.

Chill out, those who are in happy marriages - you have no need to worry, and I'm happy for you, really smile.

Diddlydokey Fri 30-Oct-15 19:24:48

It's more a warning to not let one partner be the sole earner. Huge disparity between earnings will be felt by the breadwinner in a divorce regardless of who the wronged party is.

The argument is that your ex being a sahp allowed you to work. He provides the childcare.

I've seen threads on here where the higher earner has hidden money and assets for this purpose.

I suppose the warning should be to the higher earner but both should have an awareness and the impact should certain events happen.

I'm sorry he was a shit sad

thinkingmakesitso Fri 30-Oct-15 19:28:07

But why does marriage have to protect the lower earner, if they were ever thus and passed up no, absolutely no, opportunities to become a SAHP. In fact, it suited them very well, as they got a few years off from feeling like they should be doing something they weren't? Why can't cases be looked at more on an individual basis?

Yes, I made a bad choice, but, as I said , he didn't come with a warning and was a decent enough sahp (shagging in our bed aside, with 2 yr old downstairs) - my point is he gave nothing up to do that, and is no worse off now than he would have been had we never met.

meditrina Fri 30-Oct-15 19:35:43

"But why does marriage have to protect the lower earner, if they were ever thus and passed up no, absolutely no, opportunities to become a SAHP"

Probably because you were happy for them to be your dependent, and so they might get a transitional time to re-establish a career. It's all up for negotiation, and such factors as length of marriage, contribution to the family, previous and current earnings, can all be considered.

You need proper legal advice about your specific circumstances. And yes, it will be considered individually. It always is.

NorthernLurker Fri 30-Oct-15 19:35:55

The thing is OP you can easily do this to your post:

'My stbex was a sahm but had never had a career before she met me - she didn't want one as she sees herself as a musician/writer/free-spirit/free-loader. I am a teacher and have struggled over the last 8 years to excel as a father and a teacher, cramming as much work as I could into my dc's sleeping time and devoting all my free time to my children, pretty much.

Following her infidelity, which I cannot divorce her for due to not 'getting my head around it' during the designated 6 months the law allows, partly as a result of her failure to disclose the whole truth, I must apparently give her half my pension and, though our house has insufficient equity to make it worth selling it, should consider her a primary carer as she still takes the children to school and picks them up. Yes. Because she has no job as she doesn't want one. I have had three child-free days this week and have spent them working, Christmas shopping, cleaning dc's bedrooms and buying them bedroom furniture and rearranging their rooms to accommodate it. I am exhausted. She has spend her child-free days (6 days) writing her novel and hanging out with friends. Yet she is the main carer because she takes them to school and picks them up. WTF. All organising, thinking, planning is done by me. Yet if she wanted the dc (I am almost certain she doesn't, but will find out for sure when I raise the 'd' word with him) I should accept that she may well get them and I would therefore have to subsidise her to enable that to happen.'

I don't think marriage does serve women badly as long as there is an acceptance of equal contribution. Your ex should have contributed equally to the family. He clearly hasn't but there's nothing wrong with the principle that if one partner is at home their 'work' is of equal value to wage earners. That means in the case of divorce that yes pension etc will get divided up.

Aliceinwonderlust Fri 30-Oct-15 19:38:34

Your situation terrifies me. However I'm Not sure marriage is to blame here- why wouldn't you be in
The same Position unmarried?

I feel for you though, what a total
bunch of crap.

thinkingmakesitso Fri 30-Oct-15 19:41:28

I haven't gone very far down the process yet, but it seems from what I've been told so far that he is the main carer as he takes them to school and picks them up. There seems to be precious little consideration of the finer details of the relationship, and affair is now irrelevant hmm.

I would never, ever get married again; it just seems to be a way of getting people to take responsibility for others.

trian Fri 30-Oct-15 19:43:00

you'd be unreasonable NOT to say it to her if she's a close friend, and it's fucked up situation where anyone thinks that it would be unreasonable to say it (although I know quite a few people would). Society shouldn't put you in the position where you need to have this difficult conversation with her, but it does because collectively, as a society, we refuse to educate people about the reality of marriage and marriage with kids and property law, so all we have to rely on when we're thinking of entering into marriage etc is our own research (which most people don't do and aren't really encouraged to) and whether or not anyone cares enough about us to risk being seen as a party pooper by just pointing out what the mathematical and logical FACTS of the situation are, in relation to the law etc.
It just makes sense that everything is made clearer before marriage and before having kids and buying a house, and I think there are quite a few couples where, if you sit them down separately and take them through a few different scenarios and get them to say what they think is fair, would not agree with each other and this may lead them to splitting up sooner rather than later and saving everyone, including themselves, a load of hassle. Come to think of it, an app could do this job!
I would be very pissed off if I was you cos he sounds like a right lazy bastard, loads of us would like to spend our time doing creative stuff but most of us don't have much or any time to do this cos there's more crucial work that needs to be done, like being a teacher.

aprilanne Fri 30-Oct-15 19:45:10

i know you are angry op but look at it this way .i have always been asahm .my hubby always the bread winner not because i am lazy but because it suits our family hubby a bit old fashioned but thats another story .if hubby and i divorced i would expect half his pension our home to be sold myself and sons get a little flat and i would be main carer .its the same except the kids live with you but if he was the samp he was the main carer .sorry but its true .you cant have different rules just because you are a woman

AutumnLeavesArePretty Fri 30-Oct-15 19:46:25

You weren't forced to marry him and could have kicked him into employment at any time. So many allow it to happen, children come along and it's an excuse for the other to ditch the job if they even had one in the first place.

However I do think the 50/50 starting point is wrong where the other party refuses to work. There are very few jobs that a spouse has where it makes any kind of work impossible for the other person.

What you can do is encourage your children to choose equal partners that share it all and not opt out of parts.

specialsubject Fri 30-Oct-15 19:46:33

sorry you ended up with such a loser - they aren't always easy to spot.

but general man-hating is as bad as general woman-hating.

hope you can jettison him and improve things.

CrumbledFeta Fri 30-Oct-15 19:52:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thinkingmakesitso Fri 30-Oct-15 19:53:17

Thank you train that is just what I think. Marriage is discussed as being all about flowers and hearts and big dresses, when really it is a financial and legal agreement, but that is just glossed over.

aprilanne In your case, that is fine, but my case is not your case with the genders reversed. I am not a 'hubby' who is a 'slightly old-fashioned' breadwinner. I am every bit as much of a main carer as my ex. I breast-fed both dc until they were about 3 (nights mainly - I was back at work and shattered); I go to work stupidly early, while they are asleep, so I can get back as early as possibly to maximise time with them; I put an enormous amount of mental energy into parenting (sounds wanky, but don't know how else to put it) that ex doesn't; I spend pretty much all free time with my dc - he doesn't. Even he says he sees me as more of a carer than he is, and he said that before he left.

Wohm are not just old-fashioned men without penises!

LynetteScavo Fri 30-Oct-15 19:54:06

What the OP has learned is; no one partner in a marriage should be the sole earner or the sole child carer.

The OP has lost out here. Financially, and spending time with the DC.

The soon to be ex-H is the winner, if you look at it like that.

Which means many, many women who have not worked, devoted their lives to running the house and raising children and financially relied on their husband have been winners in the past.

Or maybe it's not all about winning and losing. hmm

Muckogy Fri 30-Oct-15 19:55:32

you married the booby prize, OP. but you know that by now.

for some, yes - marriage is a financial transaction. i know a guy who married because the FIL is loaded.

stargirl1701 Fri 30-Oct-15 20:00:23

I think you are confusing a fairy tale notion of a wedding with marriage. For me, marriage is about finding a partner who truly is my partner - in all aspects of life. I waited until I was sure which was my mid 30s. It was a legal and financial arrangement which had little to do with the actual day of the wedding.

The counselling sessions we had with our minister over the months before we married helped us express our expectations.

What marriage preparation did you do with your ex-husband? It's quite different from wedding planning, IMO.

thinkingmakesitso Fri 30-Oct-15 20:04:12

I didn't have a big wedding, far from it. We planned the set-up - it seemed to make sense. I feel a fool, yes, but it seems there is no recourse for people in my situation.

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