Worst decision a woman could make(631 Posts)
As a working mother with two children to support, my divorce has made me see that getting married was the worst financial decision I ever made.
I have been the higher earner so will lose a big chunk of the money that I have made throughout my life. I also have the kids to support (happy to).
My ex will get a big payout having benefitted from my income as well as his own for years.
Why would any modern woman marry? Oh, because we are all influenced by society (and hormones) to think it’s a good thing.
People say I am arguing like a man. But the law was surely designed to protect a stay-at-home mother with children from a husband who leaves. Not to protect a layabout-at-home father?
It worked out badly for you. Sometimes it works out badly for men. Sometimes it works out badly for people who aren't married and separate. People need to have a good hard think before they commit to another person and start a family.
I agree in many ways. I think that marriage is almost always a mistake for a higher earning women, as the law simply does not take account of the fact that post divorce you end up supporting your children far more than a man would in a similar position. I do appreciate this may not always be the case, but it has been the case in my experience.
I certainly did not think through the financial implications of marriage, and it is worth considering whether you understand the impact of marriage before entering into it.
I also think that marriage can give a false sense of security to women who give up work to care for children or only work in lower paid jobs to fit around child care. Once the marriage ends, whilst they may get a share of the house and pension, they are almost always worse off, and suddenly expected to support themselves.
Yep, totally agree. I've been in the same boat. I'm now in a very happy relationship but I will never, ever marry again. I honestly don't see the point of it.
This is how most divorcing men feel as generally they tend to be the higher earner.
Where’s the honest advice to women pre-marriage?
When I married more than 20 years ago it was very unclear how a divorce would work out. The information was not available like nowadays.
You go into it thinking all will be fine - doesn’t everyone?
@TeeBee “don’t see the point of it” is exactly how I feel. Yet the whole narrative of our times is it’s a wonderful thing etc.
There is no real advice pre marriage - I had no clue how what a bad financial move I was making. I wouldn't enter into any other contract without reading the small print, but just went ahead and got married as it seemed to be what people did.
I do get that higher earning men would say the same. However, they don't then tend to provide as much support to their children, both financial and emotional, as women.
Playing devils advocate here... why is your ex a lazy layabout surely he is the SAHP?
If a male wrote that about their wife everyone would be up in arms and tell you that the you do not need to work or financially contribute to the household as being a SAHP is valuable (I see it argued on here as being more valuable) input.
From my perspective I agree, never been married, never will, I earn more than my partner but I want to protect inheritance for my DD from a previous relationship.
He wasn’t a SAHP - he worked! But he didn’t lift too many fingers around the house.
My husband also worked and did very little around the home or in terms of childcare. Whilst we both worked, and I earned more, I still did all the home admin, planned childcare arrangements, and worked flexibly to meet these arrangements. My contribution was greater, both at home and in terms of earning money. This tends not to be the case with higher earning husbands, although I know there must be exceptions.
Dillydally - not getting married is the best idea
I agree OP, and am in a similar situation. Divorce is proving to be extremely costly to me. My STBEXH was the sahp, and literally did nothing but watch tv while the DC were at school. When we met he had nothing, no house, and only his income from a low paid job. He has left with a house that he has bought outright, and a monthly income from me. He rarely has the dc. Yes, I was a complete fool, and fell for his lies and games, but I agree that there should be more awareness raising of the financial implications of marriage and potential reasons not to.
I am in a significantly worse situation now, through my own stupidity and naivety. If someone had spoken to me at the time i may not have listened, but if it was made more generally known and talked about them I may have thought twice. There seem to be more and more women in this situation (also acknowledging that it can work the other way too).
This is exactly my situation. Faced with an abusive husband who's convinced me for two years that I'm a paranoid freak (no in fact he was carrying on various relationships of differing degrees with other women) I held down a full time job, looked after 4 children and a new home that we bought 2 years ago. I did this with flexible working and good childcare while he spent 50 hours a week in the office with his "very good friends". Now I've had the courage to ask him to go he's decided that he'd like spousal maintenance from me, he's openly admitted he stayed with me for my income, and has no intention of contributing anything to our children who are living with me because some of the things he did recently indicate he's a risk to them (supported by police and SS) - he isn't paying CMS but they'll sort that out for me. I am now faced with potentially having to sell the house that he never contributed a single penny to - even the deposit money was mine from another property I owned. There's barely any equity but he still wants to force a sale. He feels I "made him depressed" and all of his behaviour is my fault so therefore I owe him something financially. Genuinely as a female high earner I would never advise getting married given the situ I've found myself in.
@flower64 that’s terrible. No one would seriously agree to this if they thought that their so-called loving “partnership” would end like this!! There is not enough information warning women of the perils. And the longer you suffer the situation the worse the outcome.
It’s not that simple surely?
The mistake was marrying the wrong person
Obviously they don’t advertise themselves as the wrong person at the start! Anyone can make a mistake, even Royalty!
Similar situation. Higher earner, we both worked but I earned significantly more and also covered the vast majority of child rearing, admin and homemaking. I now pay for the vast majority of what the kids need, and they live with me 100% but he still wants his cut.
My friend is worse. Her ex now lives in a flat paid for by her, he didn't bother his arse with the kids or home or work (kids were in childcare while he sat on his arse)
Sorry things are rough OP. I think that it usually makes sense to be protective of the lower income earner who stays at home. I guess part of marriage is taking the risk that both parties will benefit and give and take.
It isn't perfect and obviously goes wrong when marrying someone who turns out to be a 'layabout' and doesn't contribute in any way during the marriage, and letting this go on.
It’s a cad’s charter, isn’t it? Surely this is not justice!
In the 21st century it’s a luxury for anyone with kids to “stay home” - I’ve raised two and worked all the way through!
I suppose your biggest error was letting the marriage continue when he didn't contribute "fairly" to the workload.
It sounds like he was a cocklodger? Had you ended the marriage a lot sooner then he wouldn't have benefited so much financially!
So really the big myth is "wifework" that women do everything whether the work for money or not... also that marriage is about love rather than a legal contract!!
I agree with @Mrskeats and @RandomMess. Your biggest mistake was marrying the wrong person, having children with that person and allowing the marriage to continue for as long as it has.
I am always suspicious when a man or woman states that because they are the high earner then marriage doesn't make sense for them, yet they are happy to commit to starting a family with their partner. If someone doesn't trust their partner enough to merge financial assets then I really struggle to understand why on earth the partner would be keen to procreate knowing this. It just speaks volumes about commitment and on my opinion creates all sorts of potentially dodgy power dynamics in a relationship/family.
@bumpitybumper - statistics show 50% of is marry the wrong person. Glad you are so perfect anyway.
This seems to happen a lot now - woman works ft as does the man however the woman ends up doing most of the house stuff, child stuff and carries the mental load. And then if she earns more she keeps all the "stuff" and gets to pay for the privilege of keeping it and having done it for all those years.
I can see your frustration but think of it as your free of the dick and can be independent strong lady x
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