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Even though we are separate why am I doing all the work?

(49 Posts)
2712 Sun 26-May-13 22:23:40

DH and I are living in same house due to me not being able to afford to move in somewhere else, but to all intents and purposes are separated.
however, he seems to think this gives him carte blanche to leave it all to me.
The DCs come to me for everything ( I even get interrupted when I'm in the shower) as he does nothing for them, ie, put them to bed or get them a drink if they are thirsty.
I get them up in the mornings, get them dressed, fed, ready for school. I drive them to school ( he never offers even though he is sometimes working nearby), pick them up from school, bathe them, put them to bed, help with homework, read bedtime stories, watch DVDs with them, play games with them, etc. He does none of this, in fact, he doesn't even know the names of their teachers.
Don't get me wrong, I love doing this stuff for them but it really galls me that he comes home from work then just spreads himself out in front of the TV for the rest of the evening and doesn't help out.
We may not have a "relationship" anymore but we are polite in front of the DCs. However, that is changing fast and I have had to bite my tongue lately as I find myself doing the housework and looking after the DCs whilst he relaxes.
Today he played golf all moening then came home at lunchtime and fell asleep on the sofa. He was there all day until 9.30pm whereby he made some comment about "being knackered" and went to bed. I have been with the DCs all day plus cooking, ironing, bathing and bedtime.
Am I being played for a fool and how do I change this situation?

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 27-May-13 02:58:32

So, you can't afford to move out. He won't move out. Your DC are young enough that they need someone to get them ready or get them a drink. How long are you going to live like this? 10 years?

Get a new solicitor and force a sale. You will not be able to keep this up, keep your kids happy and keep your MH intact doing this for a decade.

2712 Mon 27-May-13 08:40:01

We already "split" the house in theory, as in he gets the lounge with the big plasma 3d tv, and I get the dining room with the 14 inch portable with no tv ariel.
Afraid the house isnt really big enough for us to live with our own spaces. I now have images of "The war of the Roses" movie each with our own wing of the house. Then again, look how that ended.
It's just so draining.

NoSquirrels Mon 27-May-13 09:54:09

To be clear:

He 'views' the house as his (but you are married and it is jointly yours).

He works in paid employment (so believes he is 'worth more' than you).

You look after young children and get no 'payment' (i.e. not even the tax credits). You also get no 'time off'.

He won't leave and you can't afford to leave.

He has never even watched a DVD with the kids, let alone anything more! (I am gobsmacked at this, even shit dads can watch TV with their offspring, I mean, seriously?!)

Please see another solicitor, steel yourself to be the one who 'makes it difficult' (although, of course, it's him that's doing that) and GET WHAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO!

Which, for the avoidance of doubt is:

Money from the sale of the marital assets (house) and anything else you may be entitled to as an equal partner in the marriage.

Proper contact arrangements, so your children can build a relationship with their father and you get 'time off' to build your own new life.

A place to live that is your home, all yours.

Maintenance payments from your H's salary towards the upkeep of his children.

Get angry, OP. Don't try to be civil 'for the sake of the kids'. Does he do anything for them? Do they deserve to see his behaviour in a good light? Get angry and get some action started on evicting him from your life.

(BTW I don't mean scream and shout at him in front of them, I mean harness the anger and put it to postitive use by taking steps to get him out.)

Life may be miserable for a bit, but it will be miserable for a whole lot longer unless you get it sorted. Short-term pain, long-term gain. You have a responsibility to your DCs to be happy and the best mum you can be (especially if their father is rubbish), and you won't be that unless you steel yourself for some unpleasantness in the immediate future.

Thurlow Mon 27-May-13 10:00:25

Just echoing what nosquirrels says. It's time to get really, really pissed off with him. There's nothing that he is going to change about this scenario, is there? So you need to change something. You are married, you can do what has been suggested above. Who cares if the house is his pension plan? Make him deal with it.

I'd imagine the alternative to getting angry and getting a divorce is you carrying on as you are now, getting more and more depressed about it, an in the long-run that's going to be worse for your kids.

He is not going to change and do more for the house and the kids. If he was going to, he would have done it before you separated.

Offred Mon 27-May-13 10:09:14

Completely agree with nosquirrels!

Offred Mon 27-May-13 10:11:37

Sounds like he is being a domestic terrorist; punishing you for daring to think about leaving him tbh. It is a statement of intention; 'if you leave you will have no money, no house and I will do even less for the kids, this will make you grateful for the tiny amount I did before'. What a shithead!

DoingItForMyself Mon 27-May-13 10:12:07

What is your pension plan OP? I imagine that as a SAHM you imagined that you would both be in it together and that the house would provide for you both. It still can, you just can't wait until retirement, you need to cash it in now.

If you move out with the children and instigate a divorce (I would suggest his unreasonable behaviour rather than waiting 2 years for a no fault divorce) he will probably be ordered to sell the house, this will give you something for a rental deposit and you can then claim housing benefit to enable you to pay the rent.

As well as him providing for his children, you will be entitled to tax credits/income support depending on your circumstances/the ages of your DCs + child benefit. You could get a part time job if it helps and it may even be good for you to feel that you have moved on and are helping to provide for your DCs too.

Its sad but there really is so much more help for a single mum than for a married one, so make the leap (especially if you can rely on a parent/sibling to help you out in the short term.) Some benefits will be backdated to the date you separated, regardless of how long it takes them to sort it out, so you could get a lump sum to start with to help set you up. It won't be easy but at least you will have one less 'child' to take care of.

ihearsounds Mon 27-May-13 10:12:23

The only way for things to change is to start divorce proceedings. You have no money, or very little, so won't have a chance to save for a deposit and move then to start the divorce.

What he is doing is trying to force you out of the house. Why should you? So what if it's his pension plan. What about his children?

You say at the moment you have the little bit of tc, what other money do you have? Does he pay any money or just happy to eat and drink what you buy?

SolidGoldBrass Mon 27-May-13 13:10:05

Remember that you don't need his permission to start proceedings, and it is not up to him to decide that he keeps the house for his retirement. You are not his property, his servant or his inferior just because he earns a wage and you do not.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 27-May-13 15:54:30

You need to start the divorce process (preferably with a new solicitor) and force the sale of the property. In the meantime, even though you've been advised to stay, if it is not working out then you can move out with the children rather than carry on being treated as an unpaid maid. It's inconvenient but it's an option. There is financial and other help available if you do some research with agencies like the CAB or your local authority. He would be required to carry on supporting the children (through the CSA if necessary). Once you get your share of the house proceeds you can use it to start fresh.

2712 Mon 27-May-13 16:39:58

I think he believes that, whilst I am still living in the same house, then I should carry on as before, ie, cooking, cleaning, etc for the family. I did bring up the subject of him doing more around the house and with the DCs when we first separated but, as he never seemed interested in them before, then he simply carried on in the same manner.
Prior to the split he never:
cooked a meal in 11 years of marriage
read a bedtime story to any of the DCs,
sat and watched a family DVD with us
arranged, mentioned or suggested a family holiday
took the DCs swimming
took the DCs to the cinema
helped with any homework
went to parent evenings
After the split I thought he might, just might want to do these things, but no.
I think I believed that the shock of the split would make him sit up and realise just what he was prepared to lose but he just doesn;t seem to care about anything apart from his peace and relaxation when he's at home.
Only this afternoon, he made himself some toast. I was washing the pots and he left a right mess then just put his empty plate into the washing up bowl. I know what I should have done was brain him with the plate, but I just sighed heavily and cleaned up the mess. After all, we have to live there too so I refuse to live in a pigsty.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 27-May-13 16:45:13

After all, we have to live there too No, you don't. I'm going to be harsh, get down off the cross. I don't know why you think this split would be a shock, what exactly has changed for him? You are complaining but there is currently absolutely no reason for him to change. At least when you were together, there was an expectation that spouses try to keep each other happy. There is no such expectation for people who are separated.

ihearsounds Mon 27-May-13 18:44:53

You dont have to live there.
There is help from tax credits. there is child benefit. There is income support/ job seekers. then there is money from maintainance. plus help towards rent with housing benefit.. Some councils also do a ret deposit scheme where they will help you with the deposit..
. I dont mean to sound harsh but the only person in the way is you. You can either remain as you are, as a scivvy for this person, or take the children and leave.. You dont need him for anything.. Then once you are away start proceedings. His financial future shouldnt stop you from anything. None of that will benefit you. What will benefit you is to be away from him.
Of course he isnt going to do anything, becaue he knows he can make a mess and you will clean it all up.

ivykaty44 Mon 27-May-13 18:55:05

stop cleaning
stop cooking
start going out
get yourself work a job

get out

he isn't going to change

so move on and don't look back

Springdiva Mon 27-May-13 20:50:18

We are all on this planet for a limited time. This includes your DCs. Why should much of your and DCs limited time be trashed by this man.

Get things moving, don't let it drag on any longer.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 27-May-13 22:05:58

If you were separated ie not living together, he would have set times for contact with DC. What do you think he would do if you set a time for him to be in charge of DC and went out somewhere by yourself? Do you think he is so selfish that he would neglect them ie not feed or supervise them properly? Or would you come home to a massive mess?

2712 Tue 28-May-13 10:56:29

I have left the DCs with him on occasions, mainly so i can run some errands. But I'm always on edge as he tends to just let them wander off to play outside and very rarely keeps a check on them. Have come home before to find DS1 grounded for being too noisy, DD crying because some boy on the park took her bike off her, and DS2 crying as he fell off his scooter.
The one bright thing on the horizon is that I have booked a long weekend break to the seaside for me and the DCs. He seemed most put out that he had not been invited along! He has had 11 years to sort out a family holiday but never has so I am going on my own with them. It is probably going to be hard work chasing 3 kids around on my own but I have used my meagre savings and paid for entertainment passes so they should have a good time (fingers crossed)

Offred Tue 28-May-13 11:22:32

Stop playing these passive aggressive games with him.

A holiday will be nice but it uses up savings you could have used for a deposit on somewhere to live. That would be a much better use of the money if you have limited funds.

Threatening to leave him will not make him change himself. He will likely always be exactly the same as he has been or worse. By the sounds of it he is not interested in you or the children, simply what you can do for him. Now you have threatened to leave he is most put out, not that he will lose you but that he may lose what you do for him, what he feels entitled to from you and what he thinks you are unreasonable for not wanting to do.

He sounds so entitled, reckon this that you have described here will only be the tip of the iceberg.

2712 Tue 28-May-13 11:26:53

I don't see how taking my DCs on holiday can be classed as passive aggressive behaviour. I just feel that they and I need a break.

SolidGoldBrass Tue 28-May-13 11:32:40

I think the holiday is a good idea, as having a break from him and his selfishness will hopefully give you strength for the future, but you really need to get some legal proceedings started before you go. Ideally, you need to get the man out of the house and the locks changed, though this probably isn't possible - if he is still living there when you go on your break, do be prepared to come back to a dreadful mess of dirty dishes and unemptied bins.

If you have any possessions that you really value, I would actually suggest that you either take them with you on the holiday or hide them well. This is the sort of man who will 'acccidentally' spoil things you care about to punish you.

Offred Tue 28-May-13 11:33:13

Because you are highlighting that it has made him mad. The same as not doing his washing/ironing. Same as he is passive aggressively being super lazy pointedly at you. You are at a stand off.

I don't think you really intend to leave, from what you've said you are hoping threatening to go will mean he pulls his socks up. It hasn't, it won't, he is not interested in having the kind of relationship that you want (as equals), if he was then you wouldn't have reached the point of threatening to leave and him responding to that with digging his heels in.

This will go on and on unless you give in to what he wants or you actually take steps to end it.

Offred Tue 28-May-13 11:37:28

But yes it isn't the holiday per se it is the 'I don't have money to leave' (because he is financially abusive btw) juxtaposed with 'I've used savings to buy a holiday'. It makes me suspicious that you are prioritising things which will help you tolerate staying... Not thinking you are criminal btw not at all, you are displaying what I think are a lot of signs of being abused, including getting embroiled in these relationship battles that are often characteristic of living with an abuser.

A break might be good but not if it just helps you stay.

noxius Tue 28-May-13 11:47:46

Stop playing the helpless victim, you are neither.

How long will the status quo continue if you do nothing? Are you really prepared to live like that indefinitely and let your children do the same?

Take back some control and start divorce proceedings. Sell the house, seek employment, and apply for financial assistance in the meantime if needed

NoSquirrels Tue 28-May-13 12:05:41

A good break, where you don't have to think about him, because you have booked it and paid for it all yourself, will probably help. You'll have a nice time, cope FINE with 3 kids (you do it all the time, don't you?) and see that you need him for nothing.

But go and see a lawyer and start divorce proceedings. He sounds like you shouldn't waste another minute of YOUR LIFE on him.

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