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AIBU to think I can have an extremely amicable separation?

(21 Posts)
Stapler99 Fri 19-May-17 10:17:06

DH and I have been childminders living together for 6 years. I can't do it any more, the kids are picking up on it etc. We are perfectly civil but there's no intimacy or affection. He is very caring and the first person I'd call if I had any trouble but he doesn't feel like a husband. I hate the thought of telling the kids (DS5, DD8), being alone, struggling financially but I can't bear this either. Feels like pretending all the time, it's crap.

He would stay but that's because he has zero sex drive and he doesn't like change. I explained to him that we haven't been husband and wife for so long so our relationship wouldn't change and I didn't want it to. I hate that I'm the one instigating this and pushing it forward.

We've had three bouts of Relate therapy including a cringy sex therapy one. All pointed towards incompatibility.

Currently attending Family Mediation but they suggested seeking legal advice re finances. Probably sensible but can we do this online or something? Do we have to fork out for legal fees? Am I terribly naïve?

Blobby10 Fri 19-May-17 10:41:26

Just come through a very amicable separation and divorce and we are still friends but would highly recommend getting a solicitor for the FInancial Order. Whatever you agree, it needs translating into legal speak so the Judge wont refuse to grant it.

FWIW I employed a solicitor, exH didn't but I made sure that my solicitor understood what we had already agreed. She also pointed out things my Ex needed to be aware of and wrote more detailed letters to him. We split the costs of all solicitors fees between us.

Yes you can do the divorce bit online but if you do this, dont apply for the Absolute until you have the FO in place

Stapler99 Fri 19-May-17 11:24:53

So as long as one of you employs a solicitor? You don't have to both do it provided there is no dispute?

Just wondering about your friendship, does you go to each others houses? Meet up with the kids? Does it work well or confuse them? I'm so apprehensive.

peppatax Fri 19-May-17 11:27:38

Slightly different circumstances but I'm amicably divorced with XH and it's been very hard at times but possible. He's still a very good friend. I'd still call him in an emergency if he could help and he would. DD was 4 at the time and she's got used to it - it's different but not bad, special occasions are obviously harder but day to day she gets a lot of benefits.

Blobby10 Fri 19-May-17 12:08:37

Stapler we were both advised to get separate solicitors and one person cannot represent both parties. However, we had agreed what we wanted with the FO and neither of us was looking to get more than we had agreed so it worked for us. Big thing was we trusted each other not to take the piss!

As far as friendship goes, its not a 'going out in the evenings together' friendship but he still walks the family dogs once a week and we have a cup of tea and a chat, mainly about the children. It wouldn't be too uncomfortable being at the same social event but I admit that when he got a girlfriend last year I was jealous and def didn't want to meet her but it was more because he had moved on and I hadn't.

The key thing is to keep talking to each other grin

Stapler99 Fri 19-May-17 12:41:51

Thank you. I guess him being the main breadwinner and the kids having so many bloody activities that financial issues will be a big focus in this. I just don't want the whole process to be stupidly expensive.

I'll try to find a solicitor specialising in family law.

Mia1415 Fri 19-May-17 12:46:24

My DH and I split up completely amicably about 7 years ago. We did it all ourselves, no solicitors etc. He has re-married with 2 children and is very happy. We are still good friends and would still go to each other in a crisis.

Honeyandfizz Sat 20-May-17 05:27:47

I separated from h last summer after 16 years together. We basically fell out of love some time ago and had drifted apart. He moved into a rented flat and I have just sold our family house so we can both buy a place of our own. Dc (13 and 12) have been absolutely brilliant I completely put this down to the fact that we are still a family its just their Dad does not live here, there is no nastiness or fighting. We have not used solicitors but came to a mutual decision regarding equity and finances (I am getting 75% and him 25%). I do not however have maintenance from him as I also earn a good salary and we divide things fairly. Have you spoken with him about the financial side of things?

The advice I can offer is, for the children to try and remain as friendly as possible, this is what they will be looking for and it will make a huge difference to them.

Stapler99 Sun 21-May-17 01:04:15

We both avoid talking about it all because its too distressing but now that I'm earning (not much but still), I think we can just about afford it. I earn enough to pay the mortgage and no more so i do need him to contribute. I feel bad that he's to move out and rent but there's no other option.

I absolutely want to stay friends.

ScarletChina Sun 21-May-17 03:49:07

Wow I am so glad to find this thread. DH and I have just decided to split, and I hope it will be as others have posted. We are friends but not in love. It's very new decision and one thing I am struggling with is regret. My mind keeps going over the past, 'if only', remembering all the old, good times. This is a completely useless emotion but hard to shift. DH instigated it, I think I would have kept on until the DC were older, but I feel like this is the right decision. In fact the only thing that is truly frightening me is how the DC will take it, they are 8 & 10. Anyone have any advice on that? Sorry to hijack OP.

Honeyandfizz Sun 21-May-17 06:13:35

Op it is hard no denying it, h life completely changed as he moved away from his dc albeit just down the road. There will be tough conversations but it's in both of your interests to sort it out.

Scarlett for my own dc aged 11 &13 then I told them both separately on the same evening as I knew they would both react very differently. We then all got together and reassured them we are still friends but like brother and sister (tried to say it in a way they would relate) and they were able to express their sadness, worries etc. I'd say the first month was the hardest but once they'd got used to h not living with us they've been brilliant. We are friends, still a family and talk a lot and the kids see this.

FlyingSoloFlyingFree Sun 21-May-17 06:49:13

Can't believe you've posted this as it's exactly the situation I'm in. We've just decided to separate after over 20 years together and I desperately want to keep it amicable for DC sake, plus, practically I don't see why we should pay any more to solicitors etc than we need to. Watching with interest and good luck OP.

Poonmig Sun 21-May-17 07:58:40

Just adding that I am also in the exact same position - you're not alone OP.

siblingrevelryagain Sun 21-May-17 08:16:04

From personal experience and those of friends/family in the same situation I can only say that remaining friendly, civil and respectful is what will ensure that this isn't a devastating experience for your children. The kids I know who are struggling with their parents' split are those who are caught in the middle and parents can't be in the same room, or are arguing in front of the children.

My own children were 6, 5 & 2 when we split (DH had another woman, she is now stepmom!), but they have coped amazingly well and are happy and well rounded emotionally and I think it's because they don't have to choose, they don't have the anxiety about what will happen for birthdays, communions etc. in the beginning it's hard, but you have to fake it 'til you make it. Start out being civil and it will benefit you all.

My Ex comes to stay with the children in my (and their) home if I go away for a few days and they need stability of routine, he does jobs in the house for me, we are flexible about swapping weekends, and he takes the children to an evening footie club once a week so I can put youngest to bed. It was hard to begin with but we all reap the rewards.

You once loved each other enough to make a child; it's different now but there's no reason you can't forge a different relationship for the future, even if 'friendship' is stretching it too far.

Your kids (and you both) deserve to live in peace and with harmonious parents.

ScarletChina Sun 21-May-17 10:13:22

Thank you Honey and other pp. it's lovely to hear that this can be managed it way that keeps us an amicable but separate family.

SpottedOnMN Sun 21-May-17 10:29:23

We agreed everything between us privately, filed court papers ourselves for the actual divorce (download from;jsessionid=AD93F59AE31140BC29C6035306FBEBDE ) and shared one solicitor to write up the consent order for our financial agreement. My ExH rang with work legal advice Line just to logic check out agreement.

I would say:

1) be aware that child maintenance can be revisited through the CMS and spousal maintenance through the courts at any time, so if you're the lower earner you should push for a bigger share of assets like the house.

2) many solicitors will push you to fight for more. If you do your ex will engage solicitors who push them to fight for less. You need to be very clear that you do not want this.

3) agree now his things will change in future - adjustments due to work/cohabitation etc - to minimise chances of falling apart when circumstances chance and you're no longer as close.

It worked very well for us, but I feel lucky. And it took a lot of strength if character to resist my solicitor's boss saying I could take him for 30% more a month...

Stapler99 Sun 21-May-17 11:07:50

Thank you everyone. I'm glad im not the only one, In my circle of friends I'm the only one having marital issues and I know nobody who has split from their husband, I clearly live in a bubble.

Spotted, I'll go to a solicitor this week to move this forward, your advice is v helpful.

Scarlet, I'm sorry youre going through this.

Regarding when you tell the kids (I am sure family mediation will help with this), did you leave it til the last minute? That is the part I'm dreading most. I'm also worried that if their dad comes over for dinner or we meet for a day out together, will that not confuse the hell out of them?

SpottedOnMN Sun 21-May-17 19:30:36

Apologies for all the typos in my previous message!

Regarding when to tell the kids, I think it depends how likely they are to figure it out on their own (better for it to come from you than for them to start thinking huge things might be hidden from them) and how calm you both are about it. We avoided doing anything that could tip them off - like sleeping in separate rooms - until I was calm enough not to risk bursting into tears if asked what was going on.

Giraffey1 Sun 21-May-17 20:07:31

It's reassuring to hear from people who have managed to split up in a relatively amicable way. I am splitting up with my H and while we don't have children to worry about, it feels important to try and make the break in the best way possible, particularly as we have to live under the same roof in the interim.

Stapler99 Mon 22-May-17 10:28:18

Giraffey1 I know what you mean.

Spotted, I know what you mean about bursting into tears! Also the keeping things 'normal' but I have to say for years it has felt so weird sleeping in the same bed with someone who feels like a brother.

Blobby10 Mon 22-May-17 13:13:16

My children were older teens but we told them fairly early on - about a month after we had made The Decision! And certainly before anyone else. Had an issue with the eldest a few months ago as he was angry we hadn't confirmed we were divorcing - we had only told them we were separating - but we felt they didn't need to know the ins and outs!

Kids are fine with situation now - they have their Dads to escape to when they dont want to help me round the house and when they dont like the food in my cupboards - I also expect them to cook it themselves so they go to their Dads so he can wait on them hmm.

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