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Just arrived in the land of the separated -what do you wish you had known when you started out on this?

(20 Posts)
needtomoveon Mon 21-Sep-09 14:50:11

We split before the weekend and H moved out to temporary accommodation. It was all very calm and reasonable (he wasn't drunk which helped!) But he has a lousy temper, a drink problem and is clever and manipulative. I know him well because we have been together for 12 years!

I have made a note of the things agreed so far and have rung a mediation service to get our finances in order. I am also doing the maths on how long I can afford to keepthe house going - not too long realistically but just long enough so that our (very little) children don't have to deal with Daddy going, Mummy miserabled and starting school in 3 months time as well as a house move.

Anyone got any pearls of wisdom/websites?

needtomoveon Mon 21-Sep-09 14:51:09

Mummy miserable - appear to have a knackered keyboard to add to my woes!

twicebitten Mon 21-Sep-09 20:42:31

You will come through this and be happy again.
Your children will adapt
You will make a new life for yourself.
Only he can take control of his life and stop drinking but you no longer have to live with it and the consequences or his terrible temper.

Make very clear and timetabled access arrangements - do not deviate.

Build in fun times for yourself and the family.

Get support from other Mums - get support from every-one.

Take up all offers of help.


Photocopy all bank books, statements, passports, all accounts joint and his.

Try a good counsellor - ring Women's Aid

ChasingSquirrels Mon 21-Sep-09 20:56:47

I'm not sure there was anything tbh.

I KNEW that I would get through it and be happy again (maybe I wish I knew when the light at the end of the tunnel would start to appear - but I did know that at some point it would).

I leaned on friends and family alot, sometimes now I even lean on ex - it took quite a while before I let myself do that.

My advice - one day at a time, make time for yourself, accept help, make sure you and your children have some treats to look forward to, one day at a time.

overmydeadbody Mon 21-Sep-09 21:02:09

That actually you will be happier single than you where before

That you don;t need to occupy so much time analysing the past or worrying about how he is coping. You can cut the emotional ties completely and move on faster.

Don;t feel or bahve like a victim.

elastamum Mon 21-Sep-09 22:58:26

I have read a great book called leaving him behind, you can get it on amazon. It really helped me think about how i was going to establish the boundries between us. You will some day be happeir than you were before and dont be ashamed to tell people and to ask for help when you need it

needtomoveon Tue 22-Sep-09 09:38:35

thanks esp for the book suggestion - I like to read something to help me work out what to do. I am quite nervous reading some of the stories on here. He came back last night to see the kids and stayed as his temporary housing is some distance away (he does have a driving licence and a car, but don't get me started). anyway I asked him to be clear about when he would see the kids so I can tell them. I think a routine is good and the older DC is really into days of the weeks etc as they are focusing ont hat at preschool. But he was his usual evasive self. He is an arsehole really - an amenable one - but an arsehole. He will con convince a lot of people that I am the wicked witch of the west. I just have to hold my head up high and remember that three of the people I am closest to were not at all surprised I said we were splitting up.

Hard though isn't it? I was pleased he had time with the kids and he made me a cuppa this morning which I needed as the kids had a dreadful night (both got awful colds) so I had very little sleep. He didn't get up in the night to them though. Sorry waffling on here. Have to go out soon to a coffee morning for mums of toddlers and paint a "happy face" sad

thesilverlining Tue 22-Sep-09 21:53:46

only thing I wish I'd known (or more to the point believed) that I WOULD find someone else who WOULD be lovely and great in bed etc etc when 6 months ago all I felt was I'd never love another, my soul mate was gone etc etc.....would prob still seriously consider taking ex back mind but the more this new thing goes on the less likely I am to do that

That was something i really wished I'd known when it was all the first few weeks/months


alypaly Tue 22-Sep-09 21:58:41

hello ,split up with my DP when ds1 was 6 and ds2 was 1.5. Had hard times but mainly good. Still unfortunately single and find it hard to find nice mums in the same boat.

got all our seperation agreements written up legally in something called a 'deed of seperation 'and had joint custody of both children done legally too.

alypaly Tue 22-Sep-09 21:59:06

keep it amicable for the childs sake

OrangeFish Thu 24-Sep-09 14:29:31

My advice would be very simple, be forgiving. The worst about getting divorced it's not to come out empty handed but not able to trust anyone again. So... control the damage (to you and your children)


Ensure you get the best solicitor you can pay for.

curiositykilled Thu 24-Sep-09 19:14:41

Be reasonable and forgiving but never ever cover up or take responsibility for your ex's inadequacies even small ones. Keep things separate, don't get involved with the ex's life or with being friends, be civil and reasonable and friendly. Have your own things for the children at your house and him have his own things at his, have your own prams/car seats e.t.c. Basically give yourselves as little chance to fight over something small as you can. Make sure you give your ex the trust and respect he deserves even if he doesn't give you the same. Never speak about the ex negatively in front of the children but be honest about things.

curiositykilled Thu 24-Sep-09 19:16:00

oh and make sure you never link the concept of paying maintenance to the concept of contact.

curiositykilled Thu 24-Sep-09 19:19:57

and only ever treat any money the x pays as extra income, never rely on it. It is also better to have a financial arrangement that works properly rather than one that is particularly fair e.g. my ex's earnings are such he'd be required to pay nearly twice what I ask for. He knows I know and the reason I asked for x amount is because it is an amount he will always be able to pay in any circumstances and since his job situation and wages are unreliable he will never have an excuse for not paying and will be incentivised to work harder rather than penalised by paying a larger amount of support. This is better for you because you will get money more often.

curiositykilled Thu 24-Sep-09 19:21:49

OH and don't EVER let him stay over again. That'll send the kids mixed messages.

Madascheese Mon 28-Sep-09 06:23:03


I wish I'd been less sensitive about what was put in statements for the divorce. I got myself into a right pickle over things he said that weren't true.

If it ends up going down the court route (remember you can do it through mediation and agreement) accept it will possibly be vile and get your head down and get through it.

The more fun you have with your kids the easier it will be. You'll probably have to really work at doing fun things to start with but very soon, it'll be second nature.

Good luck

mrsmortenharket Mon 28-Sep-09 10:40:31

don't believe him when he says that he will keep things amicable - as soon as he thinks you are seeing someone, out comes the green eyed monster and everything changes and he will change the rules to suit him.

get a bloody good solicitor,

contact csa as soon as poss (they may get bad press but there are some good ones),

keep contact diary

keep separate diary of who you phone, when, summary of conversation etc an keep it by the phone

mrsmortenharket Mon 28-Sep-09 10:42:15

also second advice about keep your head high and don't badmouth ex to kids. however awful he is and badmouths you to them, dd is only 4 and already realising what a crap person he is sad for her but i did warn him

that's not to say that all x's are the same tho.

OrangeFish Mon 28-Sep-09 19:49:03

And also remember that it doesn't matter how amicable you are, how non jealous you both are, how friendly things are, DO NOT let go of anything of value to avoid the court.

Because, you might be very reasonable people but don't forget that his or your next partner might not be.

OrangeFish Mon 28-Sep-09 19:50:15

That means keep it nice, but keep it fair. Don't trust he will be there for you/your children in the future because... he might not be.

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