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On the cusp of separation

(56 Posts)
Verso Tue 16-Aug-16 16:58:33

I have my half-hour free legal consultation on Thursday to talk about separation. I am not yet sure how I feel about divorce. My (D)H has been manipulative for years, but it was only a blatant lie about something fundamental at the weekend that made me wake up.

Fundamental. Financial. Potentially fraudulent. Illegal.

I am still in shock and he just doesn't get it. He seems to think life is a game, somehow.

This realisation has also made all the other emotional and sexual abuse that I've put up with really really obvious. It's appalling, really, and I've just let it go on because of some weird sense of "duty" and the fear of losing my girls.

So a big dose of reality is in order. Facts. Figures. Probabilities rather than vague speculation. I hope someone is out there who can offer words of wisdom. If you know of other agencies who might be able to help me (ie not just the CAB and solicitor) do please let me know.

AChickenNamedDirk Wed 17-Aug-16 23:08:45

Hi OP.
I d been there in your shoes. Was at solicitor last October. Final split at Xmas.
8 months on nearly now.

It's hard to know the answers to your questions without more info about your circumstances. Do you work? Own house ? Does he work? Can you sustain yourself financially ?

Making the final call and living with it has been really hard but the right thing for me.
I couldn't live the rest of my life in misery.

The thing I had that was helpful in early days of very painful separation was a list of all the incidents that had led us to the point. I had to be reminded and remind myself (and still do) why exactly I made the choice I did.

You CAN do this and you will get through it and out the other side.

Keep posting if it helps. I'm no expert but oh get your situation and how hard it is to make the separation move

Take care

Pandamanda3 Wed 17-Aug-16 23:22:33

Oh versco you poor love!
Have you had a look at womens aid online they have some really good tips on all aspects you mentioned. As with the post above, I completly agree write a list & remind yourself how free you will be and when the time comes why you did it.

You have rights hun don't forget it im only just starting to believe I have after just finishing a bitter 2 year battle finalised about a week ago now, but I do read through to remind myself of all my reasons.
And yes do post i too would be more than willing to help if i can, think when you've been threw it I know for me I feel for those about to start the process as its hard but so worth it. Tell yourself your worth more than the misery he's subjecting you to and worth ten of him the rat!
Freedom is around the corner and happy times to come
Take care x

Verso Fri 19-Aug-16 11:55:03

Thanks for your replies, both.

It's difficult to answer all the questions without "outing" myself, as our situation is quite distinctive, but I'll try. I work full time. My DH gave up work in 2010 because of illness. That was very very hard for both of us. We own our house and have 2 DC (11 and 7).

For a long time I've struggled to keep everything together - long commutes, difficult working situations (I'm quite senior so it goes with the job), chronic health issues of my own etc etc

Typical trigger was being on holiday (again). Somehow we rub along pretty well most of the time at home, as DH has found ways to help out. But once we're on holiday somehow everyone relaxes and it's up to me to do everything...

I had a bit of a meltdown on the last day blush. It's not that he can't do anything - he just sometimes chooses not to.

The final straw though, was that he blandly said to me at the weekend he fancies going back to work.


Verso Fri 19-Aug-16 12:02:27

So either I've been played for a fool all these years, and he's well enough to work (which means a huge financial problem as he has a lot of money to pay back to pensions and benefits...) or he isn't well enough to work and is somehow completely delusional.

Either way, I'm gobsmacked.

I "fancy" going part time but I never got a choice. He told me he was quitting and I had to suck it up.

Anyway. Long story short - part of the reason I stayed was because he threatened to take the girls if I ever left. Seeing the lawyer was brilliant because she confirmed he just can't do that. He also can't use my anxiety and previous PND against me (again threats to call me an unfit mother due to mental instability) because I take professional advice and am doing everything I've been told to do by my GP.

Verso Fri 19-Aug-16 12:04:15

Oh and financially I'm sorted because I pay for everything anyway. The facts have made me feel so so much stronger.

millymollymoomoo Sat 20-Aug-16 08:52:35

You'll need good legal advice. As he doesn't work you could end up losing significant chunk of assets, with him as main carer and resident parent with spousal maintenance as is the case for many women who divorce and don't work. He can't just take the kids but could argue he should be the resident parent. Undoubtedly he'll he be entitled to significant share of assets

Pandamanda3 Sat 20-Aug-16 14:08:46

Totally agree with the above thread verso, you need to really be 100% aware of what you'de loose or gain etc...aside from being free from torment you don't want to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. If you could bear, would you not be able to call his bluff and say 'great idea, you go back to work, let him, if he's calling your bluff you'll soon see,
Then you could say "that would work out well actually because Id like to go part time, spend more time with girls and have somebody bloody look after me for a change!

To think you could end up shelling out for him, when your the poor victim here, no way!!!! You sound like you've been through so much already, going through pnd looking after your girls, him & your own health whilst being the main bread winner 'my goodness you are so stronge!

Before you say anything to him about your feelings ensure your going to be ok.
At the end of the day if you go off sick with say your health issues or stress etc... And then you we're to announce you can't be with him no more and asked him to leave then surely you couldn't be required to keep him financially as you'de be the main carer for your girls and you'de need supporting yourself. Don't let him scare you into thinking he'd get the girls just because you've suffered previous illness it's not your fault and doesn't make you un-fit in anyway hun to be honest you are so stronge to be going through all this if you've been caring providing and supporting him then how can he then argue they stay with him?? Your their mum and a good mum at that a good role model for them so don't firget it or get trodden down by what he says.
Do keep in touch let us know how your getting on x

Missgraeme Sat 20-Aug-16 14:16:58

Tell him u are more than happy to do 50/50 childcare now.
And he can pay 50/50now.

Verso Mon 22-Aug-16 11:04:59

Thanks so much for your posts, everyone. My friends IRL have been amazing too, so I feel quite buoyed up and supported.

My lawyer was great and assured me I'm not likely to lose either my daughters or the house, especially as I am able to pay the mortgage on my own (and currently do!) and he is disabled, with a condition that is only going to get worse over time.

I want to give mediation a go. We talked about counselling over the weekend and DH isn't keen but sees the point I think. It's the least he can do to salvage this marriage... we will see. If there's some genuine change, perhaps there is something to save?

Pandamanda3 Mon 22-Aug-16 12:20:58

Well good for you verso.
If he is willing to do counselling then you go for it, my friend said to me once and I remember it like it was yesterday 'if there is still one ounce of you that still loves him then hold on so tight to each other and make it work'. Which I did but it sadly wasn't a two way thing for him and hence got worse couldn't be saved. but if yours is give it your all!
you never know it may just get were you want it to be!
You've had advise now and it stands you in better sted your probably more confident about it too which will make him think. You've come this far sweet heart I wish you both the very best it's worth a chance, good luck and good on you.

Always on here for gab so let us know how your getting on!

Verso Tue 23-Aug-16 13:05:16

So I arrived home last night and he'd made a list of "issues" he wanted to bring up at mediation - except he wanted to talk about them there and then. I was quite pleased he seemed to be taking things seriously, until he started coming out with the list:

I don't tidy up properly, apparently.
I don't provide enough money for days out
I don't do enough exercise for the amount of food I eat.
etc etc

He prefaced each one with, "I know you'll be upset about this but I just mean it as constructive criticism."

So that's that, then. I called Women's Aid today and said I believe I'm in an abusive relationship and I want out - and they agreed. I spent some of the morning looking up old and desperate messages on here from 2005 and 2008, when I was on maternity leave with both our children. He's a bully.

Pandamanda3 Tue 23-Aug-16 16:09:00

Good god is that man a bloody fool???
You poor love, verso listen you tried your hardest to fix things it's clear from what you've said it's definitely him not you, lovely he is a bully and a bloody idiot sorry but he is!
You don't do enough exercise for the food you eat? I do hope you told him were to go!
But I app it's not easy, I haven't done a days exercise in 25 years ha! Who carers as long as your healthy happy and ok.
You are not duty bound to fill his pockets either he sounds lazy spiteful and selfish even if he's I'll he could try and be grateful for such a brilliant wife.

Gosh PLZ do not listen to him it's bullying to wear you down hun. I hope womens aid have given you some reassurance and help. I'll always be here to talk too hun it's aweful having been through it & still suffering it makes my skin crawl to hear it happening to others

What are you going to do now versco? Be strong YEH! Thinking of you

Verso Wed 24-Aug-16 05:05:07

I can't put next steps on here in case he reads it but I am planning and have support in place.

I found a damning pair of emails from 2014. One where I (kindly, politely - why?!) pointed out his abuse and asked him to stop. I explained quite ariculately how his behaviour made me feel. He replies, with a brief apology (ie doesn't deny that what I've said is true).

I have been in such denial and fear.

He sent me a text yesterday saying he wanted to hear my thoughts in the eevning. I was going to go along with that - at least he wants to talk, right? But then after writing my list I felt so sad and sick I didn't want to do it. He was uncomfortable in the evening - itching for the conversation. But I ignored it. He could have asked, couldn't he, rather than sitting there with a face on and expecting me to ask 'what's wrong?'

I closed the bedroom window at bedtime as the traffic noise bothers me. Usually I have to put up with it on warm nights as his comfort is more important to him than mine. He was NOT happy. But didn't get up and open it - and nor did I.

Baby steps. It's only by doing this, standing up to him in tiny ways, though that I realise how much I've spent my life trying to please him.

Pandamanda3 Wed 24-Aug-16 11:08:52

Morning hun
I do agree don't give anything away if you think there is a chance he has your user details. I also agree that no you shouldn't have been made to give your thoughts on things either, at the end of the day does he not understand that this is why you discuss it at therapy? Or else he would just real of a load of nonsense over you telling you your wrong he isnt like that, he is probably trying to change your way of thinking before you go and say it in front of therapist which to me is a bully. I can read him like a book haven't even met him. Iv studied half my councelling course wasn't allow to continue the last & final exam as my ex-husband made me quit.
He is clearly trying to rule you and wear you down, your right he could have said so what's your list? But didn't he would rather make you feel uncomfortable. Try and be relaxed around him don't give anything away and make sure your ok your protection is the most important thing remember look after you and your girls if he starts just do as you usually would or walk off to another room. Your being so brave you know you keep telling yourself freedom isn't far away it keeps you going.

Pandamanda3 Wed 24-Aug-16 11:18:29

See too you were up early? Are you sleeping ok? stupid question really, I bet your not with so much going on, try to make sure you get your rest too you have a lot on your plate and it sounds as though he's happy to sit and let you do all the hard work, so when you can rest! Put your feet up even if you got to tell him your exhausted and don't feel so good see if he will look after you a bit for a change. He may ease off you a bit and give you a break. He knows at the end of the day your the bread winner so he won't want to jeopardise that.
Lord he may actually have to do a bit himself!

Be stronge chin up, we're here with you every step of the way and soon you will be posting how happy you are 'promise!

Verso Thu 25-Aug-16 06:16:46

Hi panda. No, I'm not sleeping great, to be honest, but I'll be fine. It's weird though, suddenly realising how scared I've been of him, for years. That's no basis for a healthy relationship.

I can hear him moving about upstairs. He was suspicious because I woke up early and wanted to come downstairs... I have spent so long walking on eggshells. It's ridiculous. I realised some time ago that even when I'm on work trips abroad with back-to-back meetings and jetlag, I feel so much more relaxed than I ever do at home.

These trips (a couple a year, so not many) are part of my job. He says he doesn't 'mind' me going on them. Er, what?! I have to go on them. If he did 'mind' would that mean I have to stop??

Pandamanda3 Thu 25-Aug-16 14:10:54

Hi verso well im glad you've got the trips as a break to be honest, at least you can have some normal down time to be yourself.
Walking on egg shells is awful idone it for that long 😒 it's two years on for me & im still find myself at times jittery
If I know he's at the bottom of St waiting for my son I go into a panick so I fully understand you.

He's not soft, the more we talk the more I see just how cunning he is to be honest your going through hell and it's so wrong.

Do you think it will be long before you can get yourself in a better safer predicament?

Do you think he's really that Poorly & unable verso or do you think he's playing on you?

Try if it's at all possible and safe to make notes a diary 'just write each little scenario or comments he's made and how it's madecyouvfeel, it's all evidence of the misery and it helps to remember each little thing, some may be important later on. Like this is a good reference for you.

Only you can get so bombarded with the situation times & dates can be a blur so just if you can log it all.

What do you think he'd say if he did come down to you in the morning? Your hardly breaking the law getting up early.

Keep in touch hun thinking of you x

Verso Mon 29-Aug-16 06:02:15

Well Women's Aid told me a divorce could take years and 'it all depends on the judge on the day'. Apparently the judge could order us to remain living together, with timed access to the shared portions of the house. That is a simply appalling prospect. How could that be in the best interests of the children?!

I will get further legal advice. I feel even more trapped after what she said.

Pandamanda3 Mon 29-Aug-16 10:02:58

Morning verso
Highly unlikely the judge will order shared living?
Don't worry, if your situation is all amicable ok but it's not your scared of him he's nasty controlling and a bully. You can go to the judge for an occupation order to have him removed but once you tell him your thru you make it clear you wish for him to leave if he starts then you call the police. I was set to go for an occupation but it got nasty before I had chance and he was removed by police. You do not need to be put off by scenario's that may not even apply to a women in your position. Your scared of him clearly' so I doubt any judge will force you and your girls to share a home with a man who is making your life miserable he's not and cannot put you and your children in a position of harm its not safe it would be volatile so no no no! It's not gonna happen. Yes divorce can take years, you don't know or notice tbh as once your in the situation you plod along stage by stage. As each phase has time limits and you need to give each side allocated time to complete each part so time just goes bye but nothing you can't handle and nothing compared to living a life of misery. Most of the time spent in divorce is waiting for hearing dates solicitors etc.. Do not worry yourself verso honestly. Once he's out your hair and you collect your emotions re-settle and adjust with the children you will be so much stronger and time well you really won't care how long it takes x x

Pandamanda3 Mon 29-Aug-16 10:17:17

Also collect all your evidence up of his behaviour towards you how he puts you down, the nasty situations you've had and how threatened and scared you feel to get your own legal advise, tailored to your specific predicament not worst case scenarios or possibly's. Be clear in your mind which way you want to go.
I imagine by the sounds of it he would get legal aid so Id advise watching that because you work and could possibly have to fund your part yourself that happened to me. But look there are plenty of people who have done this to advise you, I will always tell you if I can as much as I can of my situation if it helps you and can explain what happens next etc..
Don't panick I can sense you are hun and Iv been just like it. You get worn down by him the worry the stress and trust me you don't need to be. You concentrate on keeping yourself healthy safe and strong and your girls looked after and the rest will all fall into place you will see.

Are you ok?? How has he been in general since we last spoke?
Thinking of you lovely x

Verso Wed 31-Aug-16 11:28:38

So the abuse has stopped (although he got quite angry with me this morning when I dared to express my disagreement with something he did yesterday).

Next step: reporting to police, crime number and non-molestation/occupation order.

One step at a time...

Verso Wed 31-Aug-16 11:30:00

I had good advice today from some specialists. Thanks for your ongoing support, panda.

Pandamanda3 Wed 31-Aug-16 12:33:27

Hey versco oh good im glad you've had some good personalised advice it's better as its specific to your situation then.
If he's all of a sudden stopped the abuse, he knows he's in the wrong or has probably picked up that your at point break and your not going to stand for it no more, he's obviously thinking about things, probably as he knows you keep him and he's most defiantly thought 'what will I do!

my ex-hub did exactly the same his mood changed dramatically and he became strangely quiet! Even my ds's picked up on it. I later found out he had been for advise already but didn't tell me.
So he was clearly expecting our separation.
I found out he was trying to see if I left him what he'd be liable for and he figured if he could tone his behaviour until my ds was of age then I may stay & at least he wouldn't have to pay for us.

Pitiful really as I could see him itching and gritting his teeth many a time but checking himself. But it didn't last and hence he became so unbearable I called the police.

Prior to that night versco I did apply for an occupation order he wouldn't leave house and situation was unbearable so my solicitor applied for hearing and sent him 7 day notice to move out or we go to court. He was determined he was not going to comply and it was actually the 6th night out of his 7 that he flipped and threatened me causing me to call the police. They then arrested him for this & other stuff but they told him its best he vacates property and stay away or he'd likely find himself being served an injunction.

Pandamanda3 Wed 31-Aug-16 12:45:03

So yes I know we're your at now, your being so strong hun you really are just keep on with it and don't let him pressure you in anyway.
Even though he's stopped the aggression please still be on your guard with him and keep yourself safe.

It's easier said than done I know and it's beyond dreadful feeling on edge looking over your shoulder every five min, awful it's like you just can't be yourself for worrying.

But you have to keep focusing on the future for you and your dd's.

Do keep us in the loop, Iv been worried for you, having just been there it's horrible to know other people have to suffer too, it just shouldn't be.
To love somebody so deeply and trust in them so much then they hurt you, really does knock you for six.

But as you said one step at a time.
Take care & keep in touch x

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