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Long term separation thread

(44 Posts)
horsetowater Thu 11-Jul-13 12:15:42

We may have met before we were grown up.
We may have children that won't cope with change.
We may have seen our parents friends or relatives die.
We may have friends that have never known us separately.
We may have dependent financial arrangements.
We may have property that can't be moved from easily.
We may have partners whose concept of feminism and equality is limited.
We may have a shared history that covers the best years of our lives.

And if you say yes to all of these it seems so much easier to stay than it is to go. I have been on here for years talking about leaving, and finally the time has come but I would like to share this experience with anyone who can offer support.

Pippinlongsocks Thu 11-Jul-13 17:43:25

I totally get your list. I am leaving my 30 year relationship right now. Have been going through the process since January this year. Selling family home, buying a new property etc. It isn't easy but it is not impossible. There will be highs, lows, scary moments, crying etc but as long as deep in your heart you know you are doing the right thing you will cope even if you don't think you are at that moment. I have found posting on here at the moments when I felt I didn't know what to do has been a lifesaver. There is so much wisdom. You just have to keep taking small steps and getting through it. I am happy to help, hand hold etc. Go for it as it sounds like you know what you have got to do. Tbh you can look at all the reasons why you might not do it but it won't change that you are obviously unhappy and need to change life for the better. Be strong. you only get one chance at life!! good luck xxxi

horsetowater Fri 12-Jul-13 11:41:29

Pippin thanks for that, it is very hard and as said, so much easier to stay. Everything is so settled, schools, family etc. Any major change now is going to be very hard. What age are your children btw?

Joy5 Fri 12-Jul-13 12:26:41

Thanks pippin, having a big down moment myself, split with ex 18 months or so ago, his choice due to OW, everything seems to be going his way, needed reminding that MNs is fantastic. Had a really bad week, just needed reminding that one day i will be ok again smile

Hope you're ok horsetowater too, its not easy, all i can say is get through each day one at a time, it does get easier, and keep on taking little steps as pippin has already said. You'll have bad moments, i've had more this week then in the last few months with stuff whats happening, but i know i'll pick myself up and carry on and feel more positive again. xxx

Pippinlongsocks Fri 12-Jul-13 13:58:24

I only have the one DS who is 12. It is easier where he is concerned as he wanted us to part as much as I knew it was the right thing to do. I appreciate that is not going to be the case in every situation. I do still feel that he will need time to adjust to everything though and will miss what family life (albeit not brilliant) that he is familiar with. I had many doubts at the beginning even thinking that maybe I was over reacting but tbh having gone through these last challenging months I have seen the true colours of my H even more and I thought He couldn't be more horrible to me and he was. I know that he will never ever respect me as he just doesn't have it in to. That is not something that can be repaired/worked on in my view. I just keep reminding myself that today and then tomorrow is another day closer to getting a resolution to the situation, even when it feels that not much has happened (that's dealing with a house sale/purchase, never easy!). Just keep thinking that one day we will all feel better for taking the little steps leading to the big steps. Let's be each other's support team! We CAN do this and be happier. If we don't get shot of the wrong man we might not find a good man to love us (I am still hopeful!!!!) xxx

horsetowater Fri 12-Jul-13 15:51:30

Yes yes to the support team!

There's a lot of support on here but it tends to be LTB advice with little understanding that it's not that easy to ltb when you've been together for so long, for many many reasons.

The other thing is that older men come from a different mind-set - many still have very traditional views that to younger women seem outrageous so the support and advice given on here is more of a reaction of outrage and not realistic or in context.

But yes - called him yesterday evening when I arrived at the station (11pm, something I do rarely), he didn't walk up to meet me, said 'you should have asked'. And today got shirty on the phone when he thought I wasn't listening to his plan (I was listening, made all the right noises). Any interaction with him is complicated, misunderstood or confused.

And at the same time there are 1001 things going on - with kids, schools, holidays, car, family stuff, friends, long term house stuff. I'm juggling so many balls I think if I turn away for a minute everything will come tumbling down.

Pippinlongsocks Fri 12-Jul-13 16:39:27

Oh horsetowater your post sounds oh so familiar! Are we talking a man with a Victorian attitude to life? Although my H is not older than me he has always had an extremely old fashioned view. This is very difficult to work with. Just last year when what was meant to be my birthday outing to London was cut short (he wanted to return home to get to the pub to be with his older than him friends) and I was told I should have negotiated prior to setting off if I was expecting the outing to encompass a day and an evening I just knew I would never be able to fix things alone because you just can't work with that out moded attitude of the little subservient woman wanting more. It's ridiculous. All that complication, confusion and misunderstanding is all to have you on the back foot doubting yourself. Are you making a plan at all? I planned for 8 months, mainly studying property to see whether I could afford to go it alone. I have been pleasantly surprised at how much better off things have turned out. People also come forward to help in lots of ways. Just start with a plan, break it down into chunks, a plan will emerge, believe me. I also pictured and wrote down what my dream would be if I could make it happen. Funnily enough all I wanted each time I thought that through was some peace from all the drama and arguing and second guessing. Cheering you on from here. Don't be afraid to let one of the more minor balls drop just to see what will happen either. It won't be as bad as you think! Xxx

horsetowater Fri 12-Jul-13 16:45:27

all I wanted each time I thought that through was some peace from all the drama and arguing and second guessing

I don't have any big dreams, just this. ^

Live in London so a downsize will be a huge issue, and unavoidable. We may have to move out. That's the part of the plan I can't get my head around.

Pippinlongsocks Fri 12-Jul-13 17:00:26

Would you have to move that far out? Would it be so bad. I said I wouldn't move from where I am now but actually I am doing so. Admittedly It doesn't affect the school issue too much but having made the decision I now can't wait to escape to the new place and totally start afresh. Just think it through, consider what would be so bad about it. Everything has positives and negatives. What you may think you can't compromise on could bring benefits that outweigh what you first thought. Go on try it... I dare you! You are only thinking at this stage. You don't have to do it right now but it might open up your thinking.... I started off this way and a lot of fog cleared and I started making decisions.

horsetowater Fri 12-Jul-13 23:11:21

So there's me on the 30 years thread talking about how hard it is to break the bond and how nice people don't break bonds.

The thing is I've been disengaging from this relationship almost since it began. There were doubts from about day 3, then at week 3 came the first big row and at 3 years it was make or break. There has always been conflict and that's why I am attached in a practical way but emotionally I think I'm over it already.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 13-Jul-13 08:12:54

" it's not that easy to ltb when you've been together for so long, for many many reasons. "

Any judgement is a pro/con process. The worse you believe the relationship is, the less your list of reasons to stick around matters. However, the more excuses you make for poor behaviour (like it being OK for older men to have bad attitudes to women) and the more you minimise the effect on yourself and any children, the relationship goes from being 'terrible', to 'bad', to 'not so bad'. Then your list of reasons to stick around suddenly become compelling.

akaWisey Sat 13-Jul-13 08:49:38

It's said that people who live in war zones get used to the fighting and the bombs.

It's also said they get used to the way the fighting and the bombs makes them feel.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 13-Jul-13 08:56:34

I agree with that akaWisey and it's a big reason why I often suggest to people that some time apart can help them think more clearly about what they actually want out of life. Even a short time out of the war-zone, away from the noise and the anxiety, can help remind them what 'peace' feels like. Doesn't always work - quite a lot of people end up going back to the war-zone a few times before they finally get the courage to stay away - but I think it's a useful step.

horsetowater Sat 13-Jul-13 12:33:31

No I've never got used to the fighting and the bombs, it's never been comfortable to me but I'm strong and cope. Of course when I was younger I sat and analysed it and made excuses for his behaviour or accepted that we were just different temperaments (all backed up by other people I spoke to). He was never a bad person, generally a nice man. It is only fairly recently that I have realised that it doesn't need to be like this and it's really not right or normal - even though I do know other people who live like this, I know I don't have to now.

Before we had dcs (15 years ago!) I could take the stress but when they arrived it took it to another level - I needed to protect them from our conflict - which is when I began to question it more. Then when I discovered mn I found all the ltb EA threads and got angry with him. Then I thought it was AS - his ignoring and lack of co-operation is one of the worst things he does.

Advice telling someone like me to leave was always too extreme - he had to be a bastard / twunt but I knew he wasn't quite that. You can't despise someone who is part of you. I enabled his behaviour by staying with him.

Cogito your advice to 'temporarily' separate is a good one and would work for us except for the financial impossibility practicalities of running two households in London.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 13-Jul-13 13:12:42

I'm sorry but it's only impossible because you're not adequately motivated. Saying you need to protect your kids from the conflict is not borne out by your actions. If you can't afford to buy in central London, try renting in the suburbs. If you can't afford to be inside the M25 try further afield. There is always a way if you really want something to happen.

Pippinlongsocks Sat 13-Jul-13 16:49:04

I agree with Cogito... There is a way if you really want it. You sound like you know the truth of this situ but you don't sound as if you are trying to detach. From personal experience once this starts to happen you wonder why you didn't take action sooner. I can't now believe I have stayed so long although I do know my reasons then were valid to me and I think I have timed it right in terms of economic reasons and that my DS is older now and if he doesn't want to spend time with his father he will be comfortable saying so. Although at times I feel sorry for my H as one day I know he will be in a world of pain with the realisation of what he carelessly threw away or at the very least he will hate doing all his own domestics! I still would not like to think of him as "part of me" urggghh. Only my DS is a part of me. I think this thought is not helping you (with respect). Let that one go and forge a new life for yourself and you DC's.

horsetowater Sun 14-Jul-13 01:36:06

Cogito, dcs 13 and 15, escape to the country/suburbs is one option but a major change for them. The alternative would be a house share with a friend in a similar situation. My earning capacity is limited and I am a carer - a decent income would enable us to stay in the area and not have to change schools.

I do own half the house but the proceeds would only be enough to cover a one bedroom flat.

horsetowater Tue 06-Aug-13 13:57:13

Dreading the holiday. Keeping a brave face but feel it will be our last.

TheConstantLurker Tue 06-Aug-13 15:28:26

Hi, my ex and I have spent almost three years separated but living together. I can understand a lot of what the op posted.
I started threads about my situation but got little support or even understanding and I find black and white attitudes extremely unhelpful and undermining. The phrase 'it's complicated' bounces around my head a lot.
I've found it so hard to come by good advice but recently managed to get through to Gingerbread where there was complete comprehension, sympathy and practical help. They are experts. I am now armed with some knowledge of the rules on one partner leaving a jointly owned home and I hope to use that to lever myself into my own rented home.

horsetowater Fri 04-Oct-13 10:51:50

Not sure if anyone's out there still, but I have just spotted a rental house near both dcs schools that I can actually afford.

This would enable us to be somewhere even if it's only temporary while the house is sold.

horsetowater Fri 04-Oct-13 11:01:30

I keep thinking it's all going to go wrong.

akaWisey Fri 04-Oct-13 11:23:26

Doubt is normal. Don't let it get in the way of exploring this opportunity.

horsetowater Fri 04-Oct-13 11:27:26

I have put the agent's number in my phone, not rung. If I ring they will ring back, probably when he's around, and I am a crap liar.

horsetowater Fri 04-Oct-13 11:28:39

I know we have to separate, it may as well be now. But it would be easier to stay put.

BitOutOfPractice Fri 04-Oct-13 13:01:34

It may be easier OP but would it be better?

If they call when he's about, just ignore it and call them back later

Come on, call them now. It's just a phone call xxx

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