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Broken...and in need of advice

(22 Posts)
janette15 Sun 12-Jun-11 22:21:33

I've been mulling over whether to post for ages. My situation is quite complex and I don't want to bore everyone. I am feeling desperate, lost and lonely and unable to sleep with anxiety. I am so tired.

My DP and I have been together for 7 years with one child. We are unmarried but living together. Before we had our child we split and got together several times, so the relationship was volatile due to the baggage we are both carrying. I wanted to get married, he had issues with trust and commitment and yet wouldn't let me go. God knows why I kept coming back, but I have the rest of my life to figure that out. I now know that love is meant to enrich your life and make it better, not cause anguish. Still, when we found out I was pregnant, we were both genuinely happy and love our DS more than anything in the world.

Throughout the pregnancy we had stressful situations to deal with from both our families. DP who is self employed didn't have work coming in and didn't do much to look for any (probably through feeling depressed), which left me feeling vulnerable and scared. I worked up until the last moment, and then my contract expired. Once the baby was born, I also found out about my DP's disasterous financial situation, where basically he hasn't paid tax for years. To this day I don't understand how this is possible. I want us to resolve this but we haven't got money reserves to cover what he owes; on the contrary, we have debts. I want us to get confidential advice but he just burries his head in the sand. This is affecting every aspect of our lives; getting married (we are engaged), buying a home etc. I feel that every expectation I have from a relationship and life has been nulled and have seriously thought about getting out, but can't afford to.

To the divorced/separated mums out there, how do you manage financially? I have no support from family. Even when things had gotten bad, they just send me back to work it out. I had a reasonably good job before but now work part time. Even if I go back to full time, I don't see how the salary can cover living costs + childcare.

I suggested DP looks for permanent work or changes profession to bring in a more stable income so we can dig our way out, but no chance. I am now going back to school in hope of landing a job that pays more. My general attitude to life is to deal with problems head on, his not to face them. He is a good dad and I feel that by splitting us up I would devastate DS; on the other hand I feel like I am drowning and that my spirit is broken.

Has anyone been in a similar situation, and if so, what did you do?

Thanks for reading.

pickgo Sun 12-Jun-11 23:19:19

Sorry your feeling so low about all of this, money problems can really drag you down.
If you're working more than 16 hours as a lp you can claim tax credits which will top up your income to about 15k with 1 DC.
I think you've really got to insist that you see a debt advisor asap (CAB will direct you to one). If he won't go, go on your own. But it's good news that you're not married because if the debts are insurmountable he could go bankrupt then you could both start again.
I think marriage is the last thing you should be contemplating with all these issues to sort out, not least his reluctance to confront problems that affect both of you. If he won't do this it doesn't bode well for the long-term. Why not just postpone marriage for a bit?
Good luck and get some individual professional advice to start with you'll feel a lot better for it I'm sure.

buzzsore Mon 13-Jun-11 00:22:21

If he hasn't paid the tax man in years, he's in deep shit.

You don't say how you feel about your dp, other than the ubiquitous 'he's a good dad'. He can still be a good dad if you split up, if him being a good dad is the only thing left between you. You don't sound happy together, don't let worry about money keep you there if there's nothing else. As pickgo said, you'd be entitled to tax credits and you could be entitled to housing benefit etc; not to mention, your dp should pay towards your child's upkeep. (There's no saying things won't get a lot worse financially with your dp once the tax man catches up with him). Use the 'entitled to' website to find out where you stand.

If you stay together, he absolutely has to confront the debt & tax issues, they will not go away. I would not marry him or combine my finances with him in any way while he is in this situation.

janette15 Mon 13-Jun-11 16:40:22

Picgo and buzzsore, thank you for your contributions. Yes, he is in deep shit. Needless to say, we are not in a good relationship because he never feels like talking or resolving anything - he just keeps saying we can't afford to pay and therefore he can't come clean. All of this is putting him under pressure, and therefore irritable, angry etc. I am in despair and cry regularly as I am very unhappy. This is not how I think a partnership should be. But then I see my DC running towards him shouting "daddy, daddy" and I feel like I would be a monster to split them up, especially because DC is a boy. I own a home and yes, marrying would have disasterous financial repercussions, but I also resent being with someone who is blocking me in life; can't buy a house, can't have a stable family through marriage etc. It makes me sick to my stomach, because I want all these things for my DC. I want us to create something and that is currently impossible.

I don't know what to do or how to make it on my own unsuported. I have shyed away from saying anything as I can't take another row.

janette15 Mon 13-Jun-11 16:41:00

Sorry for mispelling your nic Pickgo...

TechLovingDad Mon 13-Jun-11 16:45:41

Why would you consider marrying someone like this? He could come clean, chances are he'd have to pay in instalments, he just doesn't want to do anything about it.

Someone who makes the mother of his kids worry like this, is NOT a good dad. Of course DCs love him, they'll love him just the same when he sees them regularly while not being a pain in your life.

janette15 Mon 13-Jun-11 16:52:08

TechLovingDad, as things stand I don't want to marry him. Of course there are relationship issues to resolve before marriage should take place, but even though I am rational about it, there is an emotional part of me being terribly sad about not being married to the father of my child. What a mess. Never thought adult life would come to this. I keep going over my decisions in my head trying to figure out how I could get it so wrong. My poor little boy.

pickgo Mon 13-Jun-11 23:42:15

Hey what's a 'k' between mners!
But hang on hang on, your 'poor little boy' doesn't give a flying hoot what debt his daddy has got - all he'll be affected by is whether his mummy and daddy are happy.
And for you BOTH to get to a happier place he's really got to get this debt under control. The first step is to see a debt counsellor for advice - but it really is JUST advice, your BF won't have to follow it if he doesn't want to - it's simply information that is relevant to his situation.
I think you probably should do a bit of hard thinking here - if he saw a debt councellor and started to get himself sorted would you be willing to review things in say a year, for example?
Or, have you really reached the end of the road and need to distance yourself now?
You surely can't proceed with marriage if you own a house - you'd lose it if you married.
As Techdad says, he can be a great dad without you marrying. He can be a great partner too - you don't need to be married. As long as your Dc knows what arrangements are and his dad sticks to them to create stability I'm sure Dc will be fine.

janette15 Tue 14-Jun-11 18:18:28

Thank you again Pickgo :-). Your common sense posts bring me calm. I wrote the BF a letter explaining exactly how I feel about everything, and asking him for us to either address our issues urgently or go for the least devastating separation. I left the letter in his bag yesterday and now am waiting to see what happens next.

I would love us to work together to overcome these problems and start building a future for our son. Of course I would love that the most. But if things carry on as they are then I need to get out as I can't live like this anymore. I feel like I constantly have a knot in my stomach. I feel as if I have reached the end of the road in my ability to tolerate, but am not in a postion to distance myself for practical/financial reasons.

Can you suggest any debt counsellors? Is Citizens Advice the best?

buzzsore Tue 14-Jun-11 19:03:23

I don't know where to find good debt counselling, maybe you could find out/ask on the 'moneysavingexpert' site/message-boards? Otherwise I think CAB will be able to advise you or put you onto someone. At least CAB are independent, so should give unbiased information.

I hope you get the answer you need and deserve to your letter.

Winetimeisfinetime Tue 14-Jun-11 19:19:15

janette if your dp has struggled to find work then it could be that he owes very little or no tax. How long has he been self employed ? Does he know approximately what his income has been over those years ? Presumably he hasn't informed HMRC that he is self employed which is why they haven't been after him for any tax.

A friend of mine did a similar thing to your dp and didn't declare his self employment for years and the longer he left it the more scary it became but it did eventually get sorted and it actually turned out that he ended up with tax refunds for the first few years as he had earned so little.

natwebb79 Tue 14-Jun-11 19:35:30

Really sorry to hear you're going through this. I'm paying off debts caused by an ex through CCCS - they really are amazing! Very non judgemental and take you income versus outgoings into account etc. I've managed to pay off nearly £20,000 so far. Some months when I've been skint I've just phoned them to say I can't make a payment and they've been fine with it. Really hope you manage to resolve it.

pickgo Tue 14-Jun-11 23:08:30

I think CAB are a good first point of enquiry - they'll know what's availasble in your area.
Good luck OP you sound like your thoughts are a bit clearer now at least. Hope he responds positively to your letter.

janette15 Fri 17-Jun-11 22:25:19

Thank you buzzsore, we have a CAB very nearby so I will give it a shot. I also heard of Tax Aid. Winetimeisfinetime, he has struggled to find work but he hasn't paid up for 5+ years, the amount is probably significant. The worst bit is not knowing. Natwebb, I'll look into CCCS - are they are a debt management company? Not sure they handle tax problems.

Pickgo, I felt better for letting it all out in the letter but basically though he is trying to be sweet, he hasn't acknowledged the letter, which is infuriating. I poured everythink into it, saying that I hope he understands the meaning of what I am saying, and basically he's just ignored it. It just sums up the whole 'not dealing with it' attitude. He comes from a very troubled family and I am well aware that communication isn't easy for him (even harder than an average bloke) but I didn't expect him to to say anything at all. He is making more effort to be sweet and loving, but it is hardly enough considering our circumstances. I want to ask him about the letter, but I really feel I shouldn't as it would be me making initiative AGAIN. What do you think?

SpringchickenGoldBrass Fri 17-Jun-11 23:28:49

Sorry but this man is not going to change, or address his problems. He is just going to ignore them and hope they go away, and he is also going to ignore you until you shut up and go away. Well, he doesn't really want you to go away, he wants you to carry on looking after him, but now it's time to put yourself and your DS first. Don't marry this utter loser FFS. Talk to CCCS yourself - you don't need his permission to do so.

janette15 Sat 18-Jun-11 00:12:22

I just asked DP if he had read my letter, and he said that he didn't have the time. He does work long hours, but he also chose to pursue a leisure activity this evening, so he found the time for that. He asked me not to be angry and that he thought it was some official document (because I coped some pages from a book and put them in the envelope too). I didn't say anything, but he could tell what I thought so he took it to read (I would have preferred if he read it in private and had the time to digest). I heard a sigh or two but he hasn't said a word since and is now snoring on the sofa.


MilkandWine Sat 18-Jun-11 08:46:42

Opinions? Well I'm afraid in this case the phrase 'Actions speak louder than words' has never applied more.
You write him a letter spilling out all your emotions and he responds by falling alseep. I'm sorry but this is a man who clearly doesn't give 2 hoots as to how you are feeling. He want's to continue with his head in the sand and he is quite happy for you to carry on feeling angry, scared and resentful as long as you don't rock the boat.

I would continue to seek the advice of the organisations other posters have mentioned and leave this man to sink into debt on his own. You are clearly a sane, sensible woman and you do not have to put up with all this shite.

I would be furious if I were you, it would be the final straw quite frankly, how DARE he treat your feelings with sucg bloody contempt. I can't help but echo SCGB summary of this guy, he is indeed a loser. Quite literally as well, as he is choosing, by acting the way he is, to loose you.

strawberryjelly Sat 18-Jun-11 08:47:47

Opinion- you need to start planning a life on your own.
if he can't be bothered to read the letter what does that tell you?

Re his tax- what's going on? I am self employed too. when he was 1st s/e he should have informed HMRC- did he? if he did he would have been sent many reminders to complete his tax return. presumably he didn't tell them. he is breaking the law and he can be made to pay tax for up to 5 previous years plus interest.

Most people who are s/e estimate that 20% of your incoming pay has to be put aside to cover the tax bills.

If you know what he earned that would give you some idea of figures.

HOWEVER none of this is your problem is it? he is an adult who is breaking the law and does not appear to give a toss about the impact- emotioanally and practically- on you and your son.

he is not being a good dad. get that out of your head. A good dad is one who does not break the law, and who does not put his partner and son in this position.

it's not simply about playing with the child or being "nice" to him.

it is about being a grown up and acting responsibly within the law.

why do you want to be part of this?

Stop referring to yourself as "Broken" for a start.

Turn that into angry and pissed off.

Get yourself on the best college course you can to give yourself some skills for a better future-and leave this man.

Smum99 Sat 18-Jun-11 10:52:02

I have been in a very similar situation with my ex, knot in stomach due to stress, writing letters that got ignored, tax issues that I worried about. My ex wasn't a bad guy just an adult who couldn't handle life's responsibilities. You have a choice, can you continue to live like this? Does your DP have the ability to deal with issues or is he just unwilling to? You are not a bad person if you decide you can't continue with this stressful life. Your child can still have a relationship with his dad, my DCs (who are now older) love their dad but know he's not someone they can rely on.

When we separated the relieve was overwhelming , as you're not married your ex's debts are his. Sounds harsh but you really can't take on his responsibilities, you are only responsible for your life and your son's. You are likely to be financially better off by being a lone parent, do research the benefits that could be available and find out if you can increase your hours at work.

Re the tax situation - it is completely resolvable, but your ex has to do it. He will need to take advice - maybe legal in the first instance about how he approaches HMRC, he will need to take a view on his earnings over the last 5 years, and prove that income - how is he paid, does he invoice? Working on a self employed basis can be tax efficient as you get to write off legitimate expenses, the result is that tax for SE person vs PAYE is lower.
I would recommend he gets advice - there are lots of good forums on financial matters - moneysavingexpert (as recommended earlier) would be excellent

janette15 Sat 18-Jun-11 15:35:25

Smum99, he DP is not a bad person either - he is damaged and irresponsible and now, because this got out of hand, desperate. As for falling asleep, I don't know how could he - the letter was pretty to the point, there is no way I could sleep if I read something like it.

I am seriously thinking about splitting up as this isn't how I want to live my life and he isn't listening. However, there are a number of steps I would need to take beforehand, like finding a full time job. I am already studying for a quite demanding postgraduate course and balancing this, a full time job and a toddler without any help or support is frightening, as is finance - we all know how much childcare costs. Not sure how I would pay for a roof let alone anything else.

Also the limbo man that he is, DP wouldn't make it easy to split up. He would probably just ignore that too, which means DC and I would have to leave and we have nowhere to go.

Strawberryjelly, I am only feeling as broken as any other woman who comes to realise that her family life is a farce. I am pissed off, angry, resentful - you name it, but ultimately sad and concerned too. I have tried EVERYTHING to get through to this man and turn things around, without success. I am just tired.

Thank you all for your opinions/suggestions.

SpringchickenGoldBrass Sun 19-Jun-11 00:05:16

He isn't listening because he DOESN'T WANT TO. He doesn't give a flying fuck about your distress. He's not going to do anything about the situation for your sake. See a lawyer about making sure you are financially separated from him, and also about your right WRT the family home, and move out. Don't bother asking him, telling him, discussing it with him. You've done that already and he hasn't taken any notice. Just get rid.

janette15 Sun 19-Jun-11 00:44:50

OK, spoken to DP about the letter and our financial situation. He said he was truly exhausted last night (he didn't start reading the letter until after 12am) and fell asleep. I know that not reading it immediatelly is sloppy, but at least now that he has, we have discussed things a bit with more discussion to follow. Have found a financial advisor in the area who is a tax specialist and we will consult them. DP says this is always on him mind too and that he wants to do something about it. He is just really crap at sharing and communicating. There have been instances in the past where he was trying not to let on something is worrying, only to cause me more concern that way. A problem shared is a problem solved, right?

Anyway, we will have another session tomorrow and I will want to see firm and definite outcomes, ie actions and not just talk. Will keep you updated.

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