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Is DP being unreasonable paying me maintenance before he’s moved out?

(80 Posts)
Shortwinter Mon 14-Oct-19 11:16:19

I am a SAHM, I have some part time work that doesn’t pay much. I gave up a good career as our child has special needs and I provide the professional care. Also we live miles from anywhere so I’m feeling stuck.

Me and DP are separating. However as DSs school is good, we agreed to wait two years as I want to move back to where my family support is and where I can also get back into work. I could find my feet then, but the schools are not as good.

DP does not want to move out, it’s his house, and I cannot, long story but I would not be eligible for housing benefit. DP is very mean with money, he has never let me have access to his bank account and he has a large mortgage on a big house that we don’t really need. He earns a lot of money, a lot, and has a nice car. Which apparently leaves little for anything else, and he’s always complaining that I spend too much on food and house stuff.

Recently he got mad as I paid for a birthday party for DS and had dental work done that I’ve been waiting 2 years for. I asked to go to a social activity group but because we live so far out and I haven’t got a car, I asked him for a lift and he said no I’d have to take the bus there and back. Which is impossible he’d never be home early enough. Now he’s saying that we have to have another chat about money - which means him telling me to spend less. I don’t know what I can do I know he’s amassing a lot of wealth in his house that will stay with him. I’ve said also that DS needs professional therapies as I’m worn out doing everything myself, but it’s like getting blood out of a stone. Once my family gave me money to help out with DS and out of pride I think he gave me £500 for ‘me’ and £500 for DS therapies. I just couldn’t that he doesn’t see these things as a core cost!

His new suggestion is that he pay me a minimal maintenance while I live in the house instead.

I just feel so angry and humiliated. I’ve thought very hard about moving but honestly school is so important (it’s a special needs school) and very hard to get a good one, that I will not leave yet. How do I stay and find this workable?

Shortwinter Sat 19-Oct-19 22:00:57

Thank you @MrsCBY I read your advice carefully. I have been on the fence about abuse - but I did read stuff and did find women’s aid helpful. I think the main issue is leaving, and feeling unable to. That’s just not me being helpless, he does make it very difficult but it’s quite hard to pin down. He procrastinated for months about mediation. Told me we had to have it all thrashed out and that I could not leave with the kids until we do. But then hold up having those talks etc... in the meantime I’m stuck as a SAHM and feeling my options narrowing.

MrsCBY Sat 19-Oct-19 16:57:19

Good thar you’ve taken advice, Shortwinter.

Couple of your posts stood out for me.

I did contact women’s aid a while ago, I felt kind of a fraud as I do not fear for myself, and DP is in fact very friendly and personable


It’s like he has two layers. One layer of being a good, decent and kind man. Which is absolutely there. And another underneath where he does not see me as a human being

This could be said of so, so many abusive men. They are often charming and persuasive, and appear to the outside world as entirely decent people. But it is a front.

Don’t be fooled into thinking his “layer” of being a good human being is “absolutely there” - it’s not. A man who doesn’t fully see (and treat) his partner and the mother of his child as a human being is not good, decent or kind; he really, really isn’t, no matter what other good qualities he may appear to have.

This is financial abuse and control, and that’s a form of emotional abuse too. Most women who are being abused in some way have the same tendency to downplay and minimise it; it’s a normal reaction. But you really do deserve support with this. It might be worth contacting women’s aid again, or doing the freedom programme online.

I think your instincts about getting out and getting away sooner rather than later are sound. The sooner you can get away from this man and back to some financial independence the better; your son will benefit from you being in a better position too, even if the schools aren’t as good. (How do you know that, btw?)

Shortwinter Fri 18-Oct-19 23:53:14

Just a quick update. Thanks so much for your responses so helpful.

Solicitor has advised to be very wary of DP paying a fixed amount to me whilst living together, as indeed this could set a precedent for maintenance later. So anyone who may potentially be in the same boat take heed!

Bellringer Tue 15-Oct-19 19:12:31

Just leave, honestly, it will be better for your boy too.

Shortwinter Tue 15-Oct-19 19:04:41

@Schuyler thank you. It’s like he has two layers. One layer of being a good, decent and kind man. Which is absolutely there. And another underneath where he does not see me as a human being. He’s no interest in a relationship, I think he quite likes still living with his son, having me around, but being able to keep all his money, sleep with whoever he likes and answer to no one. How the hell did I get here?

Schuyler Tue 15-Oct-19 18:45:41

Oh love, he’s done a right number on you. flowers what a nasty odious little turd. He’s backed you into a corner and using your son as a weapon. From what you’ve said, you clearly have acted in your son’s best interests to the detriment of your own while he lives the life of riley.

Sadly, there isn’t lots of help out there for parents of children with additional needs. It’s really tough. It sounds like you’re taking all the right steps e.g. seeing a solicitor.

I’m sorry I don’t have any specific advice but I wanted to say you are not unreasonable and you are acting like a loving, caring parent. I cannot see how you’re going to live with a man who treats you so badly, it’ll really hurt you emotionally. You deserve better.

OhioOhioOhio Tue 15-Oct-19 16:24:45

Omg. He's a prick. You need a solicitor. Now.

RandomMess Tue 15-Oct-19 16:13:53

It's really shit that you are being penalised by your ex by putting DS first thanks

Shortwinter Tue 15-Oct-19 16:11:40

You can’t replicate that I meant... it’s taken me three years to get to this with DS, nearly 2 years waiting list for school and 1 year working with the teachers.

Shortwinter Tue 15-Oct-19 16:09:17

Thanks. I keep making the mistake of thinking we can sort this out reasonably. I need to hang on to my solicitor and sadly maybe I do need to just move very soon despite school. It is a shame as they really get DS and he’s made his first ever friend. I’ve worked very hard with the teachers to get tailored support and he’s thriving. You can replicate that and I wanted just a couple of years for DS to progress.

GrumpiestCat Tue 15-Oct-19 15:39:37

Ah bugger was reading on the run and not paying attention. I do think he's trying it on so I hope you find a way out that's fair on you

Shortwinter Tue 15-Oct-19 15:30:32

@GrumpiestCat thanks but unfortunately not married. Obviously if I did it again...

GrumpiestCat Tue 15-Oct-19 15:23:55

Solicitor now and initiate divorce and a financial order. You will be substantially and significantly better off. He's stalling and controlling you. End it!

Shortwinter Tue 15-Oct-19 14:52:24

@Bellringer yes once I move I can absolutely find my feet through things like lodgers. I wanted to have lodgers here but DP will not allow it. Once I move, I have a plan with family and friends, first few years will be tough and I may need to juggle work / home schooling therapies for DS etc - however I have plans to share a mortgage with someone, and if I can make sure DS is happy and progressing well, then I have a good CV (big old) and qualifications, and will build it up so that in 5 years I am stable.

@ExhaustedFlamingo really good point. I’ve messaged DP with my concerns about ILs - so there is a record - as they arise - but I’m worried it will come down to he said, she said. DS did have an unexplained cut one time, and said his cousin hurt him. DP said I was making it up.

I have contact with SS as is normal with his special needs, and said I had concerns to them with ILs however they didn’t seem concerned! Although for the past year DS has had very, very little contact with them. Because DS time is now filled with activities and I don’t let him play with ILs unsupervised. Last few times their kids were there and it was clear to me they were bullying DS, taking his IPad, playing really rough games involving hitting, telling DS to do exactly what they wanted - I obviously intervened each time but amazingly, DP did not seem to even notice. No one did.

Shortwinter Tue 15-Oct-19 14:34:38

Thanks so much @averythinline @Bellringer @RandomMess @ExhaustedFlamingo @mumwon and @NoSquirrels I was actually in tears reading your posts today. It means so much to me that you’ve bothered to write, it gives me quite a bit of strength. smile

My solicitor is in court all this week but I emailed her, and as I did so I realized the most worrying thing - he’s withdrawing his access to finances just before he’s said he wants to sort out separation / access / custody agreement. So I may have no money to pay for my solicitor who is really good! I know I could get legal aid but he can pick anyone he wants. He’d originally said he would pay all my solicitor fees and I believed him. So of course it makes sense now. We’ve been living like this for 2 years already, so why now? I feel totally stitched up. angry

Yes I’d definable home school, and there are schools in home area, just not as good and worried not managing some aspects would send him right back when We’ve made so much progress already, that is one thing DP agrees on, that I make a huge difference to his son.

averythinline Tue 15-Oct-19 13:55:18

Are you sure there are no schools on the area you want to go to that can meet ds needs?
Maybe call and talk to the Sen department in your new area ... families move all the time even those with children with complex needs

Bellringer Tue 15-Oct-19 11:49:30

Women's aid deal with domestic abuse, including financial. I hope they can advise about your housing benefit situation, or try shelter. It can't be right that you have no money and no access to benefit. I presume you have thought about having lodger etc to help with costs, maybe babysitting, when you move

RandomMess Tue 15-Oct-19 09:10:50

If a person provides life long care for their disabled child (that goes to a specialist school and has therapies so urm yeah clearly needing a lot of care) by default they cannot be a cocklodger because you know the reason they can only be available to do a part time poorly paid role is because they have this time consuming responsibility already!

A cocklodger provided nothing of value no money and no caring role...

I'm sure the Op would love to have a child that could use mainstream childcare and go back to her well paid career and not be reliant on her ex. Instead she has a life of poverty being a carer for her DC.

ExhaustedFlamingo Tue 15-Oct-19 02:49:08

Loads of advice here but can I just return to the subject of how in-laws (and partner too??) treat your son. When you're finally able to move out, while you're not preventing contact you don't want joint custody due to very genuine concerns over your son's wellbeing. Can you start collecting evidence of the things they say/do which show a lack of understanding/care towards your child.

If you're able to present a case which proves that they're not the loving, caring family they purport to be, and don't understand your son's particular needs you'll be in a much stronger position. Plan, plan and plan ahead to gather what you need. I've got an SEN child in special school so completely appreciate your concerns.

Another random thought - presumably your child is changing school in two years, hence the time-scale? Have you thought about home-schooling him for two years? Lots of SEN families do it and you'll probably find a big community in the area if you look. Also means you don't have to put up with this shit for two years.

mumwon Tue 15-Oct-19 00:39:55

op has protected her ds privacy by not disclosing his form of disability - it could be quite complex & he needs therapies plural - which is time consuming & as she stated she has to travel & dc father wont help wont pay. So who is she going to get who is qualified to care & who feels able to & would most likely charge higher fees. Obviously the person who has stated she is living off her dh has not had to deal with a dc in this position. However I would advise that you need more advice on claiming state funding, If your dc has a specific condition (like epilepsy, or Downs, or Cerebral Palsy, Autism,etc) I suggest you go to the Charity concerned & ask for advice about benefits. Your husband is financially abusing you (&/or ) your dc

NoSquirrels Tue 15-Oct-19 00:26:34

Nonetheless, I do stand by the comment that he should not subsidise your lifestyle, but he certainly has responsibility towards his son and that is why I said to go through the right channels and get something in place so that he is.

It’s perfectly good advice in general, Donna. But not in specific OP’s situation.

I asked - why did your solicitor advise that, sounds odd. OP says - if I move and my DP goes for 50-50 contact and he will leave DC in his family’s care then my disabled DS will be unsafe.

Read it again.

Shortwinter Tue 15-Oct-19 00:25:35

You just haven’t read my thread and called me a cocklodger. And that if only I wasn’t so uninformed and went to CAB I’d be fine. So yeah, pretty offended. If I took your advice I’d have no home, and DS would be looked after by ILs who basically dont care or see that he is bullied by their kids and tell him to run into the road etc as it’s funny.

Shortwinter Tue 15-Oct-19 00:21:38

@DonnaPaulsenSpecter I’m not coming to any arrangement that does not put DSs well being in the centre. Or does the child’s wellbeing not be the centre of decisions any more? Especially a very vulnerable one.

DonnaPaulsenSpecter Tue 15-Oct-19 00:19:51

OP, informing you about looking for further advice to get help with your current situation is the worst advice? Lol, okay then.

No one said you need to uproot your child to a new school, but that there certainly is other help you can get from authorities to help you with your current circumstances with housing and additional help to support you. How you can take that as offensive is beyond me.

But you are right, being a cocklodger is never a good thing. Long term staying with the ex is not feasible, what would happen when he or you find someone else? How will this impact your mental health etc.

Nonetheless, I do stand by the comment that he should not subsidise your lifestyle, but he certainly has responsibility towards his son and that is why I said to go through the right channels and get something in place so that he is.

But you go ahead and get offended.

Shortwinter Tue 15-Oct-19 00:19:34

@NoSquirrels thanks.

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