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Leaving wife

(58 Posts)
oldshilling Fri 27-Sep-13 11:14:28

I'm a man, I got married young, I never really lived on my own (except uni).

I've been married for 10 years.

We have two children.

The marriage is a sham, my wife has a succession of emotional affairs on Facebook, which she thinks I don't know about (I have found out in the past).

She acts like things are normal, and gives no indication of what she's doing.

I have made threats to do stuff in the past, but she has seen enough times that I don't carry through. There's no point in me confronting her again, because I'd just look stupid having done it so many times before.

What do I do?

ofmiceandmen Fri 27-Sep-13 23:49:30

If all this is true- then his wife has lost the right to use the DC as some 'human shield'. He did not chose to be in this position - her actions have made this set of circumstances play out.

He is the kids father as much as she is the kids mother. is his contribution any less?

By setting up trust funds the OP protects his children's interest now and in the future.
She has broken her part of the marriage contract so he no longer has a duty to care for her. it's that simple. She works - so she can now live within her actual means. seems very fair to me.

He is not setting out to destroy her but is allowing her to adjust to her 'actual means'.

Whatever she has saved in all the years - she is most welcome to it, I'm sure.
He sustained the family financially , she she sustained the family equally practically. now shake hands and let her go off to foreign chap perhaps they can use his savings grin wish them good luck.

Now go make yourself whole.

the alternative is she fleeces you. cheats and gets the dosh - nice. and by the way it's not 50% she gets -
it's circa 70% when you consider all homes, pensions, children maintenance etc if you go down the 'head in sand' route. (aka as the chump route).

ofmiceandmen Fri 27-Sep-13 23:52:06

and apologies if it feels harsh and dramatic- but I'm afraid it is.

you could trust that she is amicable and reasonable - but look what happened the last time you trusted her.

she's told you who she is (over and over again)- time to listen.

perfectstorm Sat 28-Sep-13 00:17:05

What's harsh is that at no point have you stopped to think about the welfare of the children. Not once - and no, hiding money in trust funds for their adulthood is not thinking of their welfare when most vulnerable - as children. Your whole post is about money - make their primary home a poor one, pack them off to boarding school so she can't claim primary care anymore, create a war between their parents. Uh huh. Very child-centred.

And OP has already stated that the savings are family/joint savings, too, so he'd have to account for them. Judges aren't idiots and when a man divorces his wife after placing large sums of money outside reach, if she has a decent lawyer he'll look as guilty of asset-hiding as he in fact would be.

If their father works very long hours and their mother did and does most of the care of the children and running of the home, then that has more value in terms of their emotional wellbeing, yes. It doesn't mean his contributing financially isn't important to caring for them too, obviously, but don't kid yourself that he could have raised them as effectively and well as with a wife who shouldered most of the domestic burden. Their family pot was partly created by the person lifting those responsibilities from the OP. You might not like that fact, but fact it remains.

I've already told the OP I think he deserves much better and should leave, but you know very little about this, as do I (she's had Facebook conversations that cross a line - what extent they crossed a line and what they entail, neither of us know, as the term "emotional affair" covers a multitude and varying degrees of sin) and forgive me, but it sounds rather as though you are projecting your own horrible experiences here, in advising drastic and questionably legal actions on another person's life. Several lives, in fact, given wife and kids are involved. This is not just about gender. I've seen men here whose wives have behaved absolutely disgustingly and I've advised them to up the time with their kids to support a claim for shared care, and to not take any crap. But I've never advised either side to rip the other off because that's just... wrong. And you're doing it on solely gender grounds, because you feel aggrieved over your own divorce - right? Apologies if that's wrong but that is certainly how your postings read.

No, he shouldn't be fleeced and I already said he needs to seek legal advice as soon as he possibly can to take steps to avoid that, so he can get his ducks in a row. But there's a difference between being self-protective and being a complete shit. A difference between ensuring he has a fair settlement and sees his ex-wife out in the cold, along with their kids, when she's actually pulled her weight as far as we know as a mother and housekeeper so the OP could work as hard as he has.

My father was a complete shit to all his ex-wives. Did all the sorts of things you say. All his kids despise him and I have no contact, and he will get near my kids over my dead body. And I didn't even like the stepmother he shafted the most badly - she treated the kids from the first marriage like crap. But he also shafted my half-brothers in evading sharing family assets with their mother, and I find that reprehensible. I also find it abhorrent that, however much of a cow she was and probably is, he took her running his home and raising his kids for 15 years and then screwed her into the ground and out of what was fair at the divorce. It was her money, too.

Do what you want, but be aware the consequences may be that the children of the marriage will draw their own conclusions about what sort of person that makes you. In my father's case the general conclusion is "sociopath". We despise him. In my husband's parents' case, he's on good terms with both - and they are with one another - after a divorce settlement that saw both housed and both able to live reasonably well. I know which childhood was preferable and which set of divorcees are happiest, too. My FIL is a genuinely contented and happy man, who's been blissfully esconced with someone else now for 15 years, is on great terms with his ex-wife and has a son and gs who adore him. Chump? I don't think so.

I suppose it depends on what matters most to you in life.

oldshilling Sat 28-Sep-13 02:28:15

Yes my wife is foreign.

I'm quite fortunate with regards to potential child custody arrangements in that I spend more time with my children than my wife. I work from home, I pick them up from school (she drops them off), and I take them on most of their trips and outings. My wife isn't keen to take them on days out.

In my case my wife hasn't facilitated the family pot at all (as I make my money at home while the kids are at school)

It wouldn't be appropriate for my children to go to boarding school, and it's not appropriate to punish my wife by depriving them of contact with her.

I like the idea of a trust fund. One that covers their school fees up to age 18 would speak for quite a substantial portion of my savings, and there would be less then to split. The amount of savings that we have is hugely arbitrary. Many couples have nothing so when divorce comes the wife is left with nothing, I don't feel that she is deserving of half of our savings when I have carefully managed, budgeted and invested over the course of our marriage and when we first got married we were indebted and my prudence got us from debt to £££. (Her own family all make very poor financial decisions and we actually recently had to bail out her mother from debts of over £10k, which were just down to very poor money management). It seems rather random and arbitrary that my (to be ex) wife should be entitled to a large sum of cash, which she hasn't contributed to, and couldn't hope to have earned herself.

I told my wife a few months ago that if she wanted to go she should go and have however many relationships she liked, but while she was married to me, no way.

She didn't listen. The Facebook man she had met before, in her country. She carried on with him on Facebook after meeting him in person. And then it stopped after I made some interventions. I told her to block + delete, but she refused.

She went away for the weekend earlier in the year to see a female friend. When she came back her friend [on Facebook] asked how her 'boyfriend' was. This was some random bloke she met in the club. She deleted his number from her phone and also deleted SMSes she sent to him. But I was able to find a record of the SMSes, and also the deleted phone number. But I don't know what happened.

We went back to her country recently. As I knew, the Facebook man was nowhere near where we staying. And then someone said to me 'X, has he wronged you'. And I said 'Yes'. And he said 'He always asks whether you're around, he's scared of you'. It turned out he had come back, presumably because my wife was there, and had been there for 3 weeks.

My wife had met him, and said nothing to me about it. I don't really know how often, because I would be looking after the kids or whatever and she was 'at her mum's house', or something.

After she came back she has been messaging him on Facebook. She's very paranoid, because she wipes the messages to him regularly, even though she always signs out of her Facebook, and regularly changes the password. I haven't read all the messages, for this reason. But I've seen she said 'I miss you. sad It's so hard being far away from you.' and 'I call you every day, but we can't get to talk'.

So it's inappropriate at best, and anyway I made the entirely reasonable request that she should have no contact with this man at all. She doesn't care and thinks she can do as she pleases.

Obviously I can never trust her at all. I feel she has a mindset whereby she cares for her family + her children but not me. Her family can trust her, her children can trust her, but I can never ever again trust her (and I did before trust her - I didn't set out to spy on her, I placed my complete trust in her for many years, I never told her not to meet men, or suspected that she was messing around, it was just her carelessness that brought it out).

SolidGoldBrass Sat 28-Sep-13 02:36:26

Did you buy your wife in the first place? Your posts come across as though you consider her somewhere between a pet and an employee.

Yogii Sat 28-Sep-13 09:16:00

If she's a low earner then she'll struggle once you split. If she takes 50% of your savings she'll go through them and then come to you when the kids need support in the future. You'll end up paying more towards them than she will, because she won't have the cash and you'll want to provide what the kids need.

Therefore, agreeing a separation of some of the savings into a fund to provide for their education etc. is a good idea.

But then, take a 50/50 split on the rest, and get out.

There's one over-riding fact, the sooner you split the sooner you stop paying into the joint account.

Lazyjaney Sat 28-Sep-13 09:26:20

Take the hard nosed advice here, and do it sooner rather than later.

joanofarchitrave Sat 28-Sep-13 09:34:21

Get some serious legal advice asap. I think you are in a strong position. I also think that the sooner you get out of this relationship, the sooner you will have some peace in your life.

I would also advise some therapy, as you sound as if you have low self-esteem. You have provided for and cared for your children, you are their world and you should feel good about that.

perfectstorm Sat 28-Sep-13 10:06:04

I agree you're in a very strong legal position because you're primary carer for the children. Contrary to common belief, that is what matters - not gender. Honestly, go and see a very good solicitor and sooner rather than later. Primary carers are the usual main beneficiaries in any split because housing and caring for the children is the courts' priority, and there is rarely enough for both sides to carry on living as they did when a family unit. But at the same time, leaving your wife really struggling is not fair on the kids. I'd try to ensure she has some provision, at a reasonable level. It hurts them when one parent is really impoverished - my brothers have been so distressed by that with their own mother.

In these circumstances I wouldn't blame you in the slightest for establishing a trust fund for the kids, and if you're self-employed/a freelancer and they're being privately educated it might actually be a pretty prudent thing to do, anyway. You never know what the future holds, after all.

Finally if you work from home and have really low confidence that's a bit of a self-perpetuating cycle. Polo seems a ridiculously expensive (and very macho) hobby for most, but if you were to think about your main areas of interest (Music? Theatre? Cinema? Books? Football? Anything at all that you have a genuine interest in) and try to look for a group dedicated to that interest, that could be a real opening to some new friends and a new life. I know it's cliched advice, but a book club was so good for a lot of people I know. Like many cliches it's oft-repeated because it's true on many occasions.

This is such a horrible situation. I hope things resolve for you less painfully.

curlew Sat 28-Sep-13 10:23:53

Establishing a trust fund to enable the children to continue their current education is prudent, sensible and just.

"Squirrelling away money" to enable you to "play the pauper" isn't.

ofmiceandmen Sat 28-Sep-13 10:38:06

Op - I didn't magically guess that she was foreign and yes I read between the lines you were the main child carer. I've been there.
You have most likely blamed your W's detachment as PND or something or rather and came to the rescue so that kept you on a high long enough but reality has dawned and the excuses and tinted glasses are off.

keeping it 'truthful'-
you will most likely eventually lose in the courts ref the DC. she will get primary-residential custody. you may get 50% time but she will be nominated as the residential parent.
Why you ask?
1. the courts - esp magistrates - sadly still see women as the 'mother' figure and are reluctant to remove children from the mother - see baby P, daniel pelka etc

2. you are the main bread winner - magistrates want to retain a family set up and subconsciously they will feel if they gave you the kids your earnings could suffer, or that she will be out in the cold

3. She is foreign -
I eventually lost as they felt I was denying the DC her culture and language WTF! (considering I speak 4 other languages incl spanish, italian and french)
so big tip! communicate to the courts that you want to encourage regular visits to her country so the children experience it and language exposure.

4. Public perception- in front of a judge you will always win. facts! but once on front of magistrates you will be a faceless man who mirrors all the twunts that MNers are constantly on about.

your child care = controlling
you main earner = financially controlling
her depression = awww shame
her cheating = she was looking for a way out
her not looking after the children = PND but miracle she has recovered or is getting help
you main earner = she will be a penniless divorcee awww bless we cant have that.

So prepare for it, fight tooth and nail, but be ready for it to happen.

Good luck

curlew Sat 28-Sep-13 10:57:34

Oldshilling- treat ofmicenadmen's advice with circumspection............

TheCrackFox Sat 28-Sep-13 11:21:12

I really think you need to get some proper legal advice not just some randoms on the internet spouting off.

TBH it sounds like your wife has had more than an emotional affair.

50/50 would be fairer on your children. Their childhood should be a happy one and not some pawns in a long drawn out battle of attrition. However, the trust fund for their education (don't forget university too) is sensible even for people not splitting up.

LordLurkin Sat 28-Sep-13 11:23:06

mice are you fucking serious? You are advocating him to be hugely dishonest and corrupt and also to place himself on dodgy legal grounds?

Also you can get statements going back 6 years from the bank and all 1 year of frugal spending on the same income will do is boost the expected savings pot.

ofmiceandmen Sat 28-Sep-13 11:25:11

I actually agree with curlew

treat my advice with circumspection

my aim is to present a balancing perspective as the advice prior to this was very 'kid gloves'

Best of luck

curlew Sat 28-Sep-13 11:38:24

"my aim is to present a balancing perspective as the advice prior to this was very 'kid gloves'

Balancing? Putting the children in boarding school then lying to the court? Wow.

TheCrackFox Sat 28-Sep-13 12:13:59

Yes, nothing says "I love you" more than by living like papers, then putting them into boarding school and divorcing their mum. Still, the Op could use the money he saved on the divorce for all the therapy the children will need as adults.

TheCrackFox Sat 28-Sep-13 12:14:55

Living like paupers, even. Bloody autocorrect.

oldshilling Sat 28-Sep-13 12:46:58

Thanks for your perspectives. ofmiceandmen's POV is not one I'd follow all the way, but I thank him for it, just for showing me the other side of the coin, so I can come to a sensible compromise in the middle.

I'm not actually sure if my wife would ask for half the money anyway, so it's just a perspective.

I took the kids out swimming yesterday after school, and I was musing the situation over in my mind. My kids get long school holidays and I was considering taking them away with me, to her country. Just me and them (although I know a family who is also going there).

She's only been working for a little over a year. Last summer was pretty miserable, we didn't go anywhere, because she was working. Last Christmas we didn't either, because she had to work up to Christmas and the only flights are expensive (normally I like to leave the earlier part of December when it's much cheaper).

So I'd leave her behind and have Christmas in the sun rather than spending the holidays at home in the cold + dark.

I think it would surprise her, she probably doesn't think I'm organised enough. She'd be jealous though.

I'd take the kids to see their grandmother. I like my mother-in-law. She's a good person, even if she is haphazard.

I would also investigate the legality of our marriage while I'm out there. It's possibly not legally valid.

Actually I have been thinking about therapy, separate to this, for a while. I emailed a CBT psychologist on Friday, but she hasn't replied yet. I'm hoping it would better equip me for coping without my wife and just not being the loser in this situation.

My wife earns £15k. I don't know how much you need to get by any more. We used to manage on around £30k, with the occasional holiday.

curlew Sat 28-Sep-13 12:54:59

"I would also investigate the legality of our marriage while I'm out there. It's possibly not legally valid."

Why is this relevant?

oldshilling Sat 28-Sep-13 13:16:36

If the marriage is not valid, then we were never married. In that case she has few rights.

curlew Sat 28-Sep-13 13:18:35

"If the marriage is not valid, then we were never married. In that case she has few rights."

That is absolutely not true. You need good legal advice and quickly.

gybegirl Sat 28-Sep-13 15:40:21

In certain countries, if you are not married the father has NO rights over the children!

perfectstorm Sat 28-Sep-13 16:00:35

OP, please just go and see a good lawyer.

And please bear in mind that having the marriage declared invalid (you're right on the impact on financial claims, of course, at least in this country) may have a huge emotional impact on your children. They are the product of that marriage, after all. In fact as a rule of thumb the more conflicted any split is, the worse it is on the kids. I'd also point out that £15k is ten grand a year below the average wage in this country and well below the poverty line, too. Is that really how you want your ex to live, given her role in the children's lives? ofmiceandmen is driven by vengeance and bitterness, to judge from his posts, and that is a shortcut to very damaged children indeed.

Again, a good lawyer. And the CBT sounds a good idea as well, though I'd also ask your GP to refer you to a psychologist privately (you're not ill, so won't be eligible for NHS treatment) for a more general chat. CBT can be great for changing damaging patterns of thought, but if you are trying to work your way through this kind of situation then someone to talk it all over with would be helpful too, I think. Counsellors can be great but are far more hit and miss, and if you have the money a GP-referred psychologist would IMO very possibly be a lot better.

curlew Sat 28-Sep-13 16:12:26

"And please bear in mind that having the marriage declared invalid (you're right on the impact on financial claims, of course, at least in this country"

Not necessarily- they have been together 10 years......she will have a good case.

Lawyer. On Monday.

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