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any advice/support for how I can manange til I can get out? is it really over? LONG

(47 Posts)
theansweris42 Wed 19-Dec-12 22:13:10

This is very long am sorry. Also I am in Sydney so posting now but might not be able to come back for a while. DP (not so D any more I think) and I 20 years ago in 1993, lived in diff cities back then so we dated but it was a bit on and off. However, we have been in a relationship since 1997.
We have lived in London, Europe, travelled extensively. He is in IT and his job therefore allows us to move. I?ve always worked in the various places. He spilt with me in 2002 but then got a cancer diagnosis and had long treatment etc and I was supporting him. We got back together, having not really spent significant time apart, in 2004.
I have an MSc and the makings of a good career but my CV is a bit patchy as we have enjoyed living away and travelling so much. But I think I could find work at a reasonable level. Currently SAHM - we have two DSs, ages 3.5 and 2.3 .
DP?s finances are much more secure than mine in that he has investments (which might not be worth much I guess) savings and two London properties. We have always had separate finances and paid half and half of everything? even though he is the much higher earner, I?ve had OK salary too so it has not been an issue. He has not allowed me to be on the papers for the properties. When I?ve addressed it he says it is not needed as we will soon be getting a property together. Been saying that for years and it has not come off. He speaks as if I am a gold digger and after his cash (he doesn?t exactly say those phrases) and it ends up an argument ? he raises his voice and becomes angry. So in effect I?ve paid half the mortgage but this has been ?rent? really. DS1 born March 2009, my mat pay ran out c. Feb 2010 when I went back to work until DS2 was born ? went back to work really cos DP being huffy during the time (about 1 month) that he had to ?pay for me?. I can fight his attitude and argue but I just think with an attitude like that, what?s the point of discussing it? So with DS1 he never had to ?support? us as such.
Since 2007 we?ve been back and forth to Australia. DS1 born London, DS2 in Sydney. DS2 born Sept 2010. I did not work from Sept 2010 ? March 2012 (caring for home and boys).
On the latest trip, we returned after 18 months to the UK in Dec 2011 as we felt long term future not in Aus and so time to return to UK or Europe and settle. He was then unable to find a job. He was adamant that we had done the wrong thing and should return to Sydney. During this time I went back to work (reluctantly as boys small & Dp has money, but needs must) and paid all household bills and everything for the boys. I always have got their prams, cuts, stair gates, clothes etc etc.
As he was jobhunting I also paid for 3 days childcare. Then, when the jobhunt was not working, I was still not able to pull them out for him to look after, as he had started a loft conversion and the work was v disruptive ? DP said. Had it all been the other way round of course I would have had to manage around the work. Although this significant increase to house value will not benefit me directly, he says it is right that I paid this childcare as the boys will benefit from this money, eventually (when he dies??). Also of course he had the money to pay for this big work while I was working & paying childcare.
During this time the only dent he will have made in his savings will be his personal expenses and going out ? which he does not scrimp on. There were a few comments about (supposed to be ?jokes?) about me not giving him ?spends? as he had done to me after DS2 born ? by this he means the housekeeping. He then got a job offer in about June 2012 we felt we?d made our minds up then and returned to Sydney in Sept 2012. he has a job here on good money (not HUGE but good) and we have found a nice house to rent. Very expensive here though. I get some money each week but I have nothing extra to spend ? this is do-able ? but I know he has more. I have never been allowed to know his actual pay or the details of his finances. I have told him this makes us not really financially together and is not OK now we have DS1&2 and also that he will not plan for the future and this makes me worry etc
Due to managing on the one wage in 2012 and me having to pay for everything (bcos I ?had an income?) I accrued debts. I have money on a bank loan and on an interest free credit card ? interest will start in Feb. He knows about the debt but not the full amount as he will be angry. He has said, after a lot of pushing, that he will pay some back ?for me? (gggrrr) when finances sorted in new year. But will he? And even if he does ? no insight - he has also said he feels annoyed that I have debts after spending on fripperies (childcare, boys clothes, gas bill ? yes I did go for occasional meal with a friend).
I went to a solicitor and they said I would be entitled to half the house we lived in in London but not to savings etc. (even though I have used all mine for us to live and he, er, hasn?t) but I thought we might be able to work stuff out, I don?t know what I thought. I was aware that we have 2 DSs (DP is a nice Dad and interacts with them loads but not really any practical help and no help at night ever ever ? but I have enabled this! Am such an idiot)
So anyway the stuff about money (no support given with DS1 so mat pay and savings gone; minimum given with DS2 so savings gone; childcare and no contribution from him in 2011 so now debts), his sending me to Coventry for transgressions for years, his unreasonable outlook about spending (eg told me off for getting two little 10 quid raincoats. In England!), his inability to say he loves me, his criticism and put downs, his unsupportive attitude when I had PND after DS2 has finally led me to realise that I can?t make it better, I can?t make us happy and I can?t undo the silliness I have done allowing all this to happen. But I can try to make going forward positive. BUT I am here, in Australia, we can?t run two houses, I have no practical support. So I think we ?ll have to just manage for a couple of years and then return to UK. But we have I think spilt up. But we sit and eat our evening meal together, we chat, we have a glass of wine and watch a film. I feel so sad and also like I need closure but I cannot get out or get the ball rolling. I cannot and will not return immediately to UK (here since Sept only!)
I admit I am afraid of his moods and the black place they put me in, I would rather try and smooth things along given that we are in the same house by necessity. Also for the boys. DS1 sensitive and aware when things not good. We can get along for now because we have to.
But how do I manage my sad feelings so that I can survive this time? I went to counselling in London this year which was OK. He sort of agreed to go to Relate but then said could we not afford it ? but nights out and loft conversion affordable of course. Also how can I manage the conversations about money? I need him to balance out the money ? but the conversations always go awful ? I do mention it but I guess I do back off half way and agree to sort it out later ? as I always have e.g. ?we?ll get the next house together? ( at some unspecified date). So I get nowhere and it festers.
I think we both know we have spilt emotionally (he seems OK with this ? I feel sad ? I think I stil love the good bits) but it seems impossible practically. And I think part of me STILL thinks it might be OK ? so ideally I need to get away?but?.?? Any thougts would be so welcome to give me some clarity 9its not me is it?) and some hope?..I feel so sad and such a fool. I want to smile and enjoy my boys. I?m not depressed, but am feeling the effect of all this. Dp does have good points and he is unhappy too.

theansweris42 Wed 19-Dec-12 22:16:58

I'm not sure whay all those question marks appear - they were other punctuation marks....

theansweris42 Wed 19-Dec-12 22:17:25


Bluestocking Wed 19-Dec-12 22:24:06

I'm so sorry, this sounds really tricky. There are lots of people on here who can give very good advice. Shame he won't go to Relate, because you're going to need to talk to each other to find a way through this whether you split up or stay together. Sending you an unMN <hug>.

hevak Wed 19-Dec-12 22:33:25

Your poor thing - you've had a tough time by the sound of it. My first thoughts are to the practicalities, which I think will help guide your feelings/coping strategies. Mainly - do you want to live in Sydney or London long term (without him)? I believe the law is quite strict about one parent taking children out of the country of their "habitual residence" in the event of a relationship breakdown. If you want to stay in Sydney then you can perhaps bide your time to save enough to rent a place on your own - are you working at the moment? If you want to be in London in the long term then it's a bit trickier.

I'm sorry you've had such a tough time - it sounds pretty awful if I'm honest. I'm sure others will be along soon with better advice (I've probably cross posted with them!). Good luck!

theansweris42 Wed 19-Dec-12 22:37:22

Thanks Bluestocking, it's all a bit garbled, just feeling confused!

theansweris42 Wed 19-Dec-12 22:41:37

Thanks Hevak, yes it does feel tough and I think part of the problem is that i try to cope instead of seeing that things are too much. We both see Sydney as a temp thing ( was meant to be such a nice time!) so I don't think we'll have an issue about taking the boys without one parent. I guess i will jobhunt in the new year and if I get lucky, get some childcare and just have a seperate life in the same house...many people do, I know, but seems very hard to me.
I have some other issues about family and rubbish childhood and all this bogs me down a bit but I have worked hard to try and see things clearly - but this has led me to see that my limited expectations of DP are just that - limited and that it's not good enough now that we have the DCs.

Bluestocking Wed 19-Dec-12 22:43:03

I think hevak's advice about considering the practicalities is very sound. Would you feel better if you were working again? As well as giving you some money of your own, it would give you a life outside the home. I couldn't tell from your post whether you have support from friends/relatives in Sydney or whether you are a bit isolated.

theansweris42 Wed 19-Dec-12 22:44:43

yes isolated really although one very nice friend and a few local Mums. Yes I prob would feel better if working, that's the plan. Though DP says it would be good if I can stay off til DS2 turns 3...

Bluestocking Wed 19-Dec-12 22:50:31

If you would feel better with a job, then you should go for it. Good quality childcare will not damage your toddler - as I'm sure you know! Has DP been reading Oliver James on the subject of childcare for the under-threes?

theansweris42 Wed 19-Dec-12 22:54:01

he has the three year idea from somewhere, maybe Steve Biddulph? do you think it is a valid idea this three year thing (esp. for boys, I think it is said - why??)
he may feel guilty about the last few months as they took ages to settle and I felt broken before I got to work as they cried a lot and were prised off me. But they did settle of course. And DS1 says he never wants to go again. But then again i think he needs it...
but then again I may be giving him too much credit

HisstletoeAndWhine Wed 19-Dec-12 22:54:16

I don't like the sound of him at all. There is a lot of financial control there, the sending you to Coventry and your fear of his moods and the black place they put you in.

He sounds abusive.

If that's the case, know that it's all him, and not you. Know too that you can't do anything to change him.

Relate is not advised in Abusive situations. You would do well to get counselling for yourself though.

Focus on you, your DC and work out what YOU want, and go for it.

theansweris42 Wed 19-Dec-12 22:57:39

Thanks Hisstletoe. I think, in my quiet honest (with self ) moments that he is <whisper> abusive. he doesn't "mean" to be. I feel guilty about thinking it - seems mean to label him. But he is, I think, he is.
I should say also that I could spend a bit longer as SAHM but I have to service the accrued debts - got some money in bank in UK but it won't last. Also i get money each week for food etc but nothing for trips or extras for me like a haircut - so I guess I need to earn.

Bluestocking Wed 19-Dec-12 23:01:46

Oliver James started it, I think, but that fucker Steve Biddulph probably took it up with glee. I'm sorry to be rude but both of those arseholes would prefer all women to be barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen.
Personally, I think it's crap - I think there is (sadly) some very poor childcare out there, but as long as you're prepared to pay for good childcare with the right ratio of well-qualified (and nice!) staff, then I can't see that it does any harm. I am biased because my son was in nursery four days a week from the time he was 13 months old and he seems to me to be very well-adjusted, and very securely attached to me and his dad.
Of course DS says he doesn't want to go - he's worked out that this is a button he can push to control you! He doesn't get to make the decision about whether or not he does to nursery, you're the grownup and you make the decisions.
Agree with Hissletoe that he does sound very controlling. I'm going to bed now but will check in again tomorrow. Do something nice for yourself today, even if it's only a flat white in a nice coffee shop. xx

theansweris42 Wed 19-Dec-12 23:05:22

thanks so much, i really mean it.
hilarious about Biddulph!
sleep well

minmooch Thu 20-Dec-12 07:30:10

There is a massive amount of financial abuse here. It seems to me you have no financial security for you or your children and not being married makes things very difficult. I would get yourself a decent solicitor to give you the best practical advice s/he can give you as to where you would stand financially when you split. You can then make decisions for you and your children. With this knowledge you have the power to take control of your life.

theansweris42 Thu 20-Dec-12 10:27:32

Thanks minmooch, solicitor gave me some idea...its not a great position for me legally. But I can provide for DC if I work, so will do that. It's more a Q of how to live thru this bit, til can seperate...I asked this eve what our income avoidance & pissed offness from him. Sigh. Going bed now, thanks

Bluestocking Sun 23-Dec-12 14:45:58

Hi OP, how are you today?

theansweris42 Sun 23-Dec-12 22:03:18

hi there, alright, things not getting better though! I thinkit IS financial control. I asked him what is the family income so we can budget and save if we can...he said he did not know as we have moved to Aus and so lots of one off expenses etc. I said (calmly) OK i kow that but what is the income - maybe in the new year when we are set up we can do a proper budget. He said he is not telling me as it is his income. he has never wanted to share his financial info with me. There are other things which just happen all the time such as we went for the Christmas food and I went in while he took DCs to park nearby (hot here) and when I came out he was annoyed that I had took too long. Was about 45 mins and have to go to a couple shops not just one supermarket as the shops are a bit different here to UK. And the thing is in the shops I knew he would be and ran around the shops trying to be fast enough. This is an e.g. I really want to leave, but am so stuck as away form UK and no support here. SOmetimes feel OK and think will just look for a job, wait a year and then plan to go back and sort out a seperate home for me and lovely boys (he will agree to this) but then at other times I feel overwhelmed and like I can't manage to live with him and stay mentally healthy and Ok for all those months. Realistically though, I have no choice.
Thanks for coming back and asking.

Bluestocking Mon 24-Dec-12 09:02:12

At least now you've clarified to yourself that this is financial control!
I also noticed in your OP that he was quite happy for your DSs to be in childcare when it suited him (while he was involved with the loft conversion and job hunt - I hope you can detect the sarcasm in my voice) so he doesn't have a leg to stand on if you want to put them in childcare now so you can get a job.
I would really encourage you to find a job - I think that having some money of your own, as well as the day-to-day activity of your job, and the company of your colleagues, will be a huge help in making you feel more positive and in charge of your situation.
I hope you are able to have a good time over Christmas and New Year. Keep us posted. Here's a festive, tinselly <hug> for you and your darling boys.

HisstletoeAndWhine Mon 24-Dec-12 09:24:22

I can only echo this, the scales are falling from your eyes, and you can do something about it, you really can. Even if you don't come back to the UK, you can get a job and support yourself. Remember that his mystery income can be discovered when it comes to enforcing child maintainance, and tbh, as he's brought you out there, you ought to get assistance with funding a home too. A job though eould show you how great you still are, it'd do wonders for your strength and self esteem.

theansweris42 Tue 25-Dec-12 23:08:31

Thank you for your posts. We had an OK christmas day - bit weird for me as I don't feel in the moment, as my mind is always on the idea of splitting up and wondering where we'll be next year. We did pressies and food and DS1&2 had a great day, so that's the most important thing.
I will be job hunting as soon as I get childcare sorted - going to start seriously looking for 2 places for them in Jan. I do feel your support and it helps a great deal. Happy Christmas.

suburbophobe Wed 26-Dec-12 00:07:15

I'm sorry I couldn't read the whole lot (long and few paragraphs).

But he's financially abusing you, that's for sure.

Please secure your financial future for you and your DCs.

MordecaiMargaret Wed 26-Dec-12 06:13:39

Hi theanswer, I'm in Aus too, are either of you permanent residents of here? As far as I know you two would be judged as a common law marriage here so no different if you're married or not.
My situation is kinda similar to you, working now but can't afford to have two houses and its clouding my judgement about splitting up.
Sorry I have no practical advice just wanted to let you know you're not alone. It's so rough when we're so far away.

BranchingOut Wed 26-Dec-12 07:03:59

So sorry for your situation. I don't often write this, but he sounds like an arse.

I think the best thing to do is to work out whether you would come out better or worse in the UK or Australia.

eg. UK has CSA, what does Australia have?
Laws around division of property.
Laws around contact for children
Laws around any provision for spouses
Costs of living, childcare, support for working single parents.

I know it is not helpful to you, but my relationship has run for almost the same amount of time as yours, with a child of a similar age and has some issues too - but I am so glad when I think about the time I stuck my neck out, there in the financial adviser's office when we were arranging our first mortgage, and insisted that the monthly payment was drawn from the joint account we had set up to pay for our wedding, rather than just from my husband's account. It was embarrassing to do so in front of someone we did not know, but it has helped to set a clear precedent that we were both contributing to the mortgage.

sad for you and for other women in your situation.

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