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Wife is divorcing me

(5 Posts)
DadInShock Thu 11-May-17 10:26:38

Man here, long time lurker but this is my first post. I need some advice from people who have been through this awful time so that I can understand how best to deal with it/.

We have been married for 35 years and most of the childrenare grown up, our marriage has had its bad times and good times. This year hasn't been perfect but it hasn't been awful either.

At Easter my wife went away on a trip, and the next day I received a letter from her solicitor saying she wanted a divorce. This hadn't discussed at all so was a bombshell. She has since told me that she saw the solicitor two weeks before it was sent. Not a word to me about it.

I've begged her to reconsider and try counselling but she is adamant that she can no longer live with me and wants to go. I'm slowly beginning to accept that our marriage is over but I'm desperately hurt that we couldn't discuss it before.

I accept that I've done things that were wrong, but I also feel that I'm not 100% responsible for this breakdown. It takes two I think.

Finances make it easier if live together during the divorce process and my wife says that her solicitor has advised her that this may be the case for several months after the divorce comes through so we may be like this for a year. I don't understand how she can think that, but still say she can't live with me anymore. One of us could move out but I don’t want to because I want to enjoy her company for a little longer. Ridiculous I know.

How do people manage this? We have our good days when it is almost like normal, but also our bad days. I'm on an emotional roller coaster of disbelief, shock, anger and love. We want to make this work, has anyone managed it? Does it get better? My wife tells me that she is at a totally different stage because she has known what she wanted to do for so long.

I feel I have two different wives, the one who saw a solicitor and wants a divorce, and the other who is caring, affectionate and wants this to work. I don’t understand how she can be so emotionally detached.

I'm waiting for the draft petition to arrive today, I feel sick.

We have talked about finances, the house is the only asset. My wife wants her solicitor to handle everything, I think that we have to agree something and then let the solicitor advise on whether it is fair or not. I don't see how two solicitors can decide our future with our input. How does this work?

So many questions but the rest of my life starts today and I don't know what to do.

peukpokicuzo Thu 11-May-17 10:34:29

Sorry to hear this. You are right that you are in shock. It will take a while for this to sink in. Don't make any decisions yet.

You can't make someone want to be married to you. You will need to accept it eventually but it is OK to take your time to get there, and to mourn the loss of what you had hoped for.

You are right that letting the solicitors handle everything isn't necessarily the best plan. Solicitors are expensive and you will both be better off in the long run if you can amicably agree how to divide assets without paying huge fees.

I'd be surprised if the house was really the only asset. Do neither of you have a pension? A good pension with 35 years of membership could be worth the same as a house, if not more.

Hermonie2016 Thu 11-May-17 14:10:43

Yes it's shock and still very recent.You will go through a period of intense emotions but eventually come through.
Do you have family support?
A lot more marriages break up at this stage and I believe it's an increasing trend.

Marriages can end for many reasons and often not 1 persons fault, perhaps you have both changed in 35 years and are now different people.

Does your wife want to make it work? You say she does but her actions suggest she's intent on moving forwards without you.If she really doesn't want to be married it's best to give her the space she needs.If you have hurt her then sincerely apologise as either way it's good to have a respectful relationship as you have albeit grownup children.

It will be up to you and your wife to agree a finance settlement, solicitors will advise on the law however as every couple is different it usually is about finding a compromise so that both parties can be housed and have finances to live separately.It may mean you both have a reduced standard of living.Is there pensions?

DadInShock Fri 12-May-17 08:46:35

peukpokicuzo and Hermione you are right there are a few more assets such as pensions, but nothing so complicated that it needs a team of solicitors decide. We have already agreed 50/50 and so the most complicated decision will be who gets the dog.

My major concern is about the next 6 months, we want to live together amicably but already tensions are setting over ridiculous things like who gets the main bedroom and who sleeps in the spare. Pathetic I know but maybe an indication of what is to come.

Does anyone have any advice on living together whilst divorcing, what boundaries need to be set?

Hermonie2016 Fri 12-May-17 12:34:26

It will be difficult to live together as it's hard to emotional detach from the person you have lived with for 35 years.
I would suggest you treat it as a flat share arrangement..dont sweat the small stuff.Try to be respectful to each other and establish some practical rules..do you share food? Who cleans bathrooms?
If you assume flatmates then you'll to make it equitable.

There will be brighter times ahead, make sure you talk to family or friends as often men's choose not to discuss feelings.

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