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AIBU to think of separating or NOT separating?

(18 Posts)
SleepIsForNinnies Mon 04-Jan-16 17:23:23

I'm not sure what to do. My DH is a very unhappy man, because of a job he hates. He has no alternative career options apparently. He's ratty and lashes out, I know it's stress. I've tried to be very supportive and patient but I find it difficult that he finds me & the children so irritating so much of the time.

We're a patchwork family so have a child from a previous relationship each plus one together. It also turns out that my eldest has a SEN, which makes my DH's home life extremely diffcult. They clash constantly. I feel like I have ruined DH's life.

My eldest's SEN means I can't go to FT work (I'd never get childcare). I work from home PT but I don't even meet the tax threshold. So if we separated my only option would be benefits.... an idea I hate!

I also have a European passport so if we were to separate I'd be able to claim benefits for three months, then I'd be expected to "go back", even though the children are British and I've lived in the UK for nearly 25 years and have always paid my taxes here etc etc.

I just can't decide what to do to lessen the misery for everyone concerned - divorce or not divorce??

RNBrie Mon 04-Jan-16 17:26:46

Goodness. Putting aside what is best for him, do you actually want to divorce him?

It sounds like you're doing OK but he's miserable and you're trying to solve his problem for him. I'd imagine it would be far better to encourage him to solve the problem himself either with a job change or lifestyle change.

Do you talk about this? Does he acknowledge he's unhappy? Does he want to get divorced?

SleepIsForNinnies Mon 04-Jan-16 17:36:09

I actually just want him to be happy. But don't know how to make this happen. I think I've just given up basically. Apparently he has no other career options just now (highly specialised field, top of the ladder, yadda yadda). I have offered to support him set up his own business (sell house, live in a hovel, I could get a regular PT job perhaps) but I don't think he's in a good enough place to do this.

Realistically, in the 10 years we've been together he has ALWAYS been stressed out by work (he has climbed the career ladder during that time). So I'm not wildly optimistic about a change anytime soon....

He travels on business so much that agreeing about the kids' swimming lessons is a challenge, let alone decorating the house or saving the marriage.... so although we talk, we don't talk enough.

Morganly Mon 04-Jan-16 18:14:24

I think you should see a solicitor or at least the Citizens' Advice Bureau to find out what your situation is regarding your right to remain in the UK plus how much financial support you will get from your husband in the event you divorce. Is it only the lack of benefits that would force you to leave the UK rather than your residency status?

You will certainly get maintenance for your child together and probably a substantial share of the marital assets - house, investments, his pension etc. Are you getting any financial support from your eldest child's father?

You could probably earn more working outside the home during school hours so there would be no need for childcare for your eldest.

RNBrie Mon 04-Jan-16 18:56:43

Are you happy?? Or is his misery making you miserable??

My dh had a job he hated for two years and it was just awful for everyone. He made excuses about nit leaving until I more or less told him I couldn't live like this anymore and he started looking immediately. It took a while but he found a much better job and the change in him was enormous. So I do understand.

I guess if he won't change and you're miserable then divorce or at least separation is your logical choice. CAB and a solicitor and go from there.

Idefix Mon 04-Jan-16 19:16:34

Could you apply for citizenship not sure how it works so that you have entitlement to remain? I know this doesn't help with the wider issues.

Being a job you hate and being 'trapped' by responsibilities must be incredibly frustrating and soul destroying. But this is something only he can do something about, with support from you. This doesn't sound so likely at the moment if options have been discussed.

Finola1step Mon 04-Jan-16 19:19:31

First things first, sort out your citizenship situation. If you were able to become a British citizen, like your dc, your situation may be a lot clearer.

SleepIsForNinnies Mon 04-Jan-16 19:38:06

Thanks for your replies, RNBrie and Morganly. His misery is definitely making me miserable. And it's making the children miserable too. I just don't know what to do for the best! We've both been through a bitter separation once and would hate to put the children through that (again)! But I can't make him happy either.

The only thing preventing me from staying is the money - I have to be self-supporting to stay, but there isn't a restriction on how long I can stay if I can pay my own way. Having looked at the .gov website there are vague mentions of being possibly allowed to stay if you're a carer of a child in fulltime education - so that's something at least.

I get a pittance from the eldest's dad because he's self-employed (and a very difficult person). But we get DLA at the middle rate (about £300 a month) at the moment. So perhaps being a single parent would be doable. Not that I'm relishing the thought.... is there another way?

Sprink Mon 04-Jan-16 19:39:01

I don't understand why having a European passport (EU country?) means you have to leave.

I have one and was living in the uk (with all that provides in terms of health care, etc) well before marrying my British husband.

SleepIsForNinnies Mon 04-Jan-16 19:40:29

Ah, thanks, Idefix and Finola too. I actually do qualify for citizenship, so perhaps getting that sorted would actually really help. Thanks! The peace of mind might be worth the £1000 under the circumstances. Thank goodness I earn a little bit of my own money at least.

SleepIsForNinnies Mon 04-Jan-16 19:42:06

Sprink - the rules have recently changed. You can stay on an EU/EEA passport if you're self-supporting (i.e. have a job/business) but my difficulty is that with a child with SEN I can't work fulltime.

Sprink Mon 04-Jan-16 19:44:05

have to be self-supporting to stay, but there isn't a restriction on how long I can stay if I can pay my own way

Well, that clears it up a bit but you must get proper advice about your rights to stay and receive government help for you and your family. Speculating will just cause unnecessary worry.

Also, please do talk to your husband. You might be surprised.

Finola1step Mon 04-Jan-16 20:08:29

Definitely get proper advice on your citizenship status, benefit entitlements etc. By sorting this first, you will then be able to decide if you continue in the marriage because you choose to rather than "have" to (due to practicalities).

Idefix Mon 04-Jan-16 20:21:42

I think it would be worth a thousand pounds for that kind of security, just sorry that I can suggest anything more positive about your relationship.

SleepIsForNinnies Tue 05-Jan-16 11:12:22

It probably is worth a grand, but a huge part of me just detests the idea of applying for citizenship just in order to claim benefits. It just feels wrong. AIBU? Or is it a case of beggars not being choosers, and the children's right to be near their dad?

hefzi Tue 05-Jan-16 11:13:26

If your children are British citizens, you would be entitled to stay until the youngest is 18, even if your eldest child's SN mean you have caring duties and can't work outside the home.

That said, you need to think about what you want with regard to your marriage, and what would be best for you - your husband's unlikely to change, in all honesty, so it depends on whether you can make changes to make it tolerable for you or not. But put yourself first now - not him.

SleepIsForNinnies Tue 05-Jan-16 11:38:43

Thanks hefzi, I'll look into that. That would be a relief! Before my youngest turns 18 I would be able to return to work anyway.

I just can't decide about what I want. I don't want to be a single mum and I don't want to put the family through a divorce. But my husband is so pissed off with me & the kids and we're both so stressed now.

He mentioned relate but when I asked (nicely) what the marital issues were for him, top of the list seemed to be that I don't keep the house 100% immaculate and he sometimes runs out of clean socks. (I pay for a cleaner and always do the pre-cleaner tidy up.)

Schrodingersmum Tue 05-Jan-16 13:07:19

Have you looked at carers allowance? If your child is on middle rate dla and you earn less than £100 week you could make a claim

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