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I have had enough - I want to leave after 11 years but cant afford to with DDs and we never married. Dont know what to do.

(170 Posts)
lifeswork Sun 02-Feb-14 10:36:30

We have been together for 11 years. I moved into his in 2005 when we were both in our early 30s and we have two DDs. He inherited our home in full at a young age before we were together. As such only his name is on the deeds. We had a good life together and have never had to worry about mortgage payments, just bills and family expenses.

We never got married because he was adamant he didn't want to very early on in our relationship. He said he was scared about the consequences if it went wrong. I pushed as it meant a lot to me to be married for our children but he always belittled the whole idea of marriage which has got to me over time. This is a conversation we have had so many times over the years.

The last 12 months his refusal on marriage and also managing finances has broken any feelings I had for him as a partner. We have been arguing more than ever and sometimes he loses his temper/shouts/storms out of the house and will not come back for hours. He is a good dad but I have had enough of feeling like he wont open himself up to be with me forever. I know he loves me still and I have been trying to work on my own feelings without letting him know how I feel.

However he has been asking what is wrong and the other day I told him all. He refused to even consider getting engaged. Said he would always be with me but having witnessed the consequences of divorce amongst his friends/family he still wasn't going to marry. He even refused to put my name on the deeds of the property and he laughed when I said it would make me feel secure. He said it was in his family before me and his will clearly stated that if he died it would be left to the children with me being able to stay for life.

I have had enough. However I am scared about where to go. We have a joint account for bills but the bulk of our salaries goes into our separate accounts. I have a large sum saved up in my account/savings so could get a deposit together for somewhere in the next few months.

However I cant afford to get a mortgage for a house/flat big enough for me and my daughters in the fairly nice area we live now on my own. I would have to move away from the area which would mean moving my children into a different school. I would also have to move away from my family who are local. I don't want to increase the disruption to my children.

We both earn around the same above average salaries and work FT. I have contributed to the house in decorating costs and paid part of the money for an extension to the property - about 10% of the overall cost for upgrading some of the cheaper stuff (fixtures/fittings) he picked out originally. He has more money saved up than me because he doesn't spend much on himself or us. I pay for most of the children's clothes/presents. He pays for their hobbies. We have always been 50:50 on childcare costs. The house is worth around 400k.

Where do I stand or has anyone been in a similar position? As we are not married do I have a claim on the house as I would like our children to stay in the family home. Ive been reading up and it seems like I do not other than for what i have spent in improvements over the years which would only be about £20-30k. I'm so upset by this as I dont see why I shouldn't have the same protections that a wife would have. If we were married I'm guessing the property would have been divided 50:50 or I could stay until the children left school.

What I'm not sure is that as we have children under 18 with him does this change anything about what I am entitled to as an unmarried partner or if i can stay in the house until they have finished school? He has enough in his own savings account that he could buy another place outright.

Please help. If he changed his mind on marriage I would stay but I cant see that happening.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 02-Feb-14 11:09:15

What you need primarily is good legal advice from a Solicitor who can give you the relevant facts of the matter.

Re this comment:-
"I'm so upset by this as I dont see why I shouldn't have the same protections that a wife would have"

The simple fact here is that you do not, many unmarried women whose relationships fail find this out to their cost both emotionally and financially. They are not looked after. "Common law wife" has no status whatsoever in this country and the law sees you as two separate individuals. Basically what is his is his and what is yours is yours. You have little to no legal protection at all when it comes to him and this could easily become a protracted legal situation. Do you have receipts and bank statements to show that you specifically paid £X towards home improvements?. He I think is within his rights to ask you to leave if he wanted to.

Re this comment:-
"If he changed his mind on marriage I would stay but I cant see that happening".

Really, you would stay if he married you in spite of the other elephants in the room like his failure or refusal to manage finances equally.

I doubt very much that he ever intended to marry you to be honest, he was of that mindset from the get-go and never wanted you to be a full part of his life. He wanted to keep all his money and house to himself. You were never put on the title deeds early on in the relationship and he made it clear that marriage was not part of the deal. You accepted that selfishness on his part initially but went on also to have two children by him. Whose surname do they have?. I presume you only stayed till now because you thought he was eventually going to change his mind.

He is not a good dad to his children either if he treats and has treated the mother of his two children like this. They have heard the rows, seen him leave, seen all too clearly perhaps how the two of you are towards each other now and perhaps even blame themselves for their parents relationship woes. He is still responsible for them financially but not yourself.

Bonsoir Sun 02-Feb-14 11:13:38

You seem upset that he won't marry you in order to give you a claim on what is very clearly his house.

I'm not surprised he is wary!

Blu Sun 02-Feb-14 11:23:09

Are you sure you could not get a mortgage for somewhere affordable? Within a practical distance from the school? Remember that you would have a child support payment from him and possibly other benefits. Council tax discount, etc.

To play devils' advocate, if are both working and earning and you have not given up your salary / career to bring up your joint children, why would you have a claim on his house? He has been clear from the outset that he didn't want to marry, and you have had the advantage of living rent and mortgage free during all this time.

In his position I'm not sure I would effectively give my house to a man who had been doing equal amounts of parenting and earning to me and who would then require me to move out of my house and leave my kids there, or sell my house and take the kids with him!

I would view the current situation as much more unfair if you had become a sahm and he refused to marry.

There is something very circular in your situation of wanting to leave because you have n claim on the house but would love him enough to stay if you got married. Have you tried counselling?

Blu Sun 02-Feb-14 11:26:27

Create your own security: put your salary / savings into a mortgage on a small flat and rent it out! Or good savings. The money you would otherwise need to be spending on a mortgage or rent

phoolani Sun 02-Feb-14 11:31:07

Good legal advice needed before you do anything. It used to be that if you'd contributed to the house, you got an interest in it, no idea if it's still the same...tho it seems to be reading this:
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/relationship_breakdown/options_for_homeowners/beneficial_interest

lifeswork Sun 02-Feb-14 11:54:19

I do have security in the sense I could raise enough deposit for a small 2 bedroom place but not in the area we live currently I couldn't (and not for a good 20-30 miles area as i've looked) I do appreciate that I have benefited out of the relationship too. We have had much more disposable income than would have been the case. I just wish I had saved up more earlier when I could have. He has always saved more than me purely because he doesn't really like to spend money. I also feel that I was disadvantaged by not being able to get on the property ladder myself.

I have some receipts for the bills I have paid re: improvements but not all of them.

Re: comment - "You seem upset that he won't marry you in order to give you a claim on what is very clearly his house."

It know legally it is his house but it has been my and my childrens home for so many years now. It was just a house before I moved in and now its our family home. I have just grown tired of feeling weary about the insecurity of it all over the last 12 months.

It just seems like moving the children away just so I could afford a place of my own would be unfair on them and I worry how they would react to me when they got older. If I moved out with them the areas I could afford dont have the greatest schools compared to the area we are in now.

Re comment "He is not a good dad to his children either if he treats and has treated the mother of his two children like this"

He is a good father. He is generous with the children. He is just so selfish financially between me and him, always looking to do the cheapest thing or nothing at all. Always protecting his own back.I know he would support the children regardless of what happened between me and him though.

lifeswork Sun 02-Feb-14 12:03:16

"There is something very circular in your situation of wanting to leave because you have n claim on the house but would love him enough to stay if you got married. Have you tried counselling?"

We haven't tried counselling as I have been trying to work out my thoughts by myself. I think it is something I might suggest and see how he feels. He wouldnt want me to leave I know that so it might be useful to go through the counselling process and see if we can get help to work things out. I know we cant carry on living like this though as things are so tense between us.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 02-Feb-14 12:18:34

"He is a good father. He is generous with the children. He is just so selfish financially between me and him, always looking to do the cheapest thing or nothing at all. Always protecting his own back.I know he would support the children regardless of what happened between me and him though".

Is he really a good father?. You cannot readily talk to him because it ends always in argument. You state he has no idea how you feel; I would beg to differ in that he does and does not care how you feel either. He's basically saying this is who I am.

You would like to think of him as a good father because you can also say nothing at all positive about him from your point of view. Your own relationship with him is poor. Writing that is also a default position on your part. He would support the children but not yourself and he never really has.

What do you get out of this relationship now?.

You have accepted this for the last decade and had two children by him as well. Why did you accept someone who has always maintained the greater share of the power throughout your relationship?. He was never willing to give you anything.

You really do not want your daughters to grow up thinking that this is how men really behave. Only inherently mean ones behave as this man has done.

There is a saying, "mean with money, mean with love". He is both.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 02-Feb-14 12:26:06

"It know legally it is his house but it has been my and my childrens home for so many years now".

Well you have lived there but you still have no claim on it so that counts for nothing in a legal framework. He I think is within his rights to tell you to leave if he so chooses. And I doubt very much that his family will help because they may well side with him.

I have to look at you though; were you so blinded by love for this man initially that you were unable and perhaps even unwilling to really see the power imbalance in this relationship?. That has been there really all along.

I have no doubt that you love him but I do not think he feels the same way about you. He has never committed to you and his excuses for not doing so are just that, excuses. He seems commitment phobic.

WhiH2Osky Sun 02-Feb-14 12:56:52

"I would have to move away from the area which would mean moving my children into a different school." "I don't want to increase the disruption to my children."
"I would like our children to stay in the family home"

You can get away from your partner and cause the children minimum disruption if you can't get past feeling dissatisfied with his arrangement to leave his house to your children in the event of his death with the proviso that you will be able to live there for the rest of your life by leaving the children in the family home with their father.

Either you love him enough to stay in the comfortable home which he provides for the family and for which you don't pay or you don't love him and so you leave. At the moment you seem willing only to stay if you have a claim on his house. I think I can understand his reluctance to provide anything more than the home which you already enjoy and the not insignificant security which he has already put in place.

MrsKent Sun 02-Feb-14 13:03:44

If you loved this man you wouldn't be worrying about your financial security when he's not around. If he loved you he'd be worried about your financial security in case he passed before you... I d

MrsKent Sun 02-Feb-14 13:05:15

Sorry, sent too early...
... I think the issue here is the relationship, not the finances but by talking about house, payments, contributions, entitlement you are both avoiding a more serious conversation.

lifeswork Sun 02-Feb-14 13:16:41

"by leaving the children in the family home with their father"

I wouldn't/couldn't leave them.

"Why did you accept someone who has always maintained the greater share of the power throughout your relationship?. He was never willing to give you anything."

I feel trapped and stupid for getting into this situation. I understand he has made provision for me in his will but what if he changes his mind. Other than his responsibilities to the children he could do what ever he liked without any consequences. I would manage if this occurred but it would alter my life forever.

He has never shown any signs of doing this. The arguments have increased over time as i have just wanted him to see things from my point of view. I've never doubted he loves me. I just dont think he has ever trusted me enough to give me full security. I thought he would change his mind over time. That lack of trust is why I think I have had enough and always feeling like I have to keep him happy.

I do not doubt his commitment to us as a family though but it scares me to see the weak position I am in.

Sleepyhead33 Sun 02-Feb-14 13:47:29

Could you use the money for your deposit to purchase a buy to let where the rent coming in paid the mortgage off in time? Would this give you the financial security you crave and so be able to carry on the relationship with your partner? If this is what you want.

shartsi Sun 02-Feb-14 14:17:18

Ofcourse he does not trust you. He knows you want to take his house, you have made it clear to him. I would not marry someone who kept going on about my house too.

Branleuse Sun 02-Feb-14 14:21:30

If you want to leave him because he won't marry or put you in the deeds to his family house, then it seems like he's made the right decision

SolidGoldBrass Sun 02-Feb-14 14:21:54

This man basically set up the relationship so that he could have you as a housekeeper and childrearer while retaining all the money and power for himself. He will have thought all the way through your relationship that whenever he gets bored with you he can throw you out and get a new partner. It's been deliberate all along.

Branleuse Sun 02-Feb-14 14:26:37

You're being very dramatic about marriage.

Marriage doesn't give any security. Divorce is easy and very popular.

Trifle Sun 02-Feb-14 14:31:57

It's his house and it always will be. Just because you have furnished it in the style you like doesn't make it your house. You can't make a claim on the house simply because you don't want to slum it in a poorer area. The schools issue is of no consequence as their present address could be used when applying for a place.

RandomMess Sun 02-Feb-14 14:40:20

I would buy myself a one bed place and sleep on the sofa whilst the girls have the bedroom. Afterall it seems like you will have 50:50 care anyway if you both work FT.

Branleuse Sun 02-Feb-14 15:55:47

Yes, buy a onebed flat and move in. Also don't forget to stamp your feet and slam doors while you're moving out. Maybe even stick your tongue out

thecatfromjapan Sun 02-Feb-14 16:03:48

Monyey is often a symbol of emotional stuff. All of you saying that the poster is mercenary hussy after this chap's house ... well, I suspect that the house just sums up the fact that this man has never fully committed.

Having children is a really big deal, and it is more of a commitment on the woman's part than the man's. We live in the C21 but childbearing and childbirth is still a risk. It's an open secret that childbirth and childrearing take chunks out of women's bodies and health in a way they just don't for men. For instance, my bladder is still fucked and I technically died on the operating table while bringing dd into this fine world. Thank goodness we live now, with masses of medical aid.

So, theoretically, if you have children together, that should be the most amazing, huge sign of commitment.

Alas, we all of us know that is not the case.

I'm guessing that what the OP is struggling with is that, all through this relationship, this man has held back: emotionally, psychologically. He just has. The house and marriage business is just a huge, unarguable, tangible fact.

I think the OP is still struggling to articulate all that fully, which is why she is saying in one breath that her partner loves her totally, etc. and then, in the other breath, is telling us that, actually, he is going to let her leave because he's choosing (effectively) his house over her.

I think that is what this boils down to. It's not so much about the money, it's about the OP giving her dh an ultimatum: Who do you love more? Me or your bloody house?

OP, I think you know which way he's going to choose. And that is bloody sad. His sodding house is never going to give him two children, or love him, or care for him, or do those hundred small things that humans do for the ones they care for. He's a twat for choosing the house.

On the plus side, you have two children out of this, and 11 pleasant years, and a great future, full of love, ahead of you - because you actually know how to love. We all make daft choices sometimes: the trick is in knowing when to draw a line under a mistake, and how not to make the same mistake twice.

Good luck.

thecatfromjapan Sun 02-Feb-14 16:14:11

You know, in an ideal world, people would be honest. He would have said: "OK, darling, you go ahead and do all those totally committed things, but the fact is, I will never really commit to you. I will always keep a little bit of me back. I don't love you enough. Perhaps I will never love anyone that way. Perhaps it's just you."

And you would then have chosen, rationally, whether to go ahead in a relationship-with-children with this person.

Thing is, most of us just aren't capable of that level of self-knowledge, let alone honesty.

So I guess he told you all the above symbolically. And I guess a little bit of you did know what he was saying, but you either thought he'd change his mind, or he was wrong, or you decided not to listen. That's why you are focusing on the house - because that was the thing that was standing in for this conversation.

I think you should try counselling. Who knows, perhaps he has changed his mind after all these years. At the very least, you can get all of this conversation out in the open, which will probably be good for your peace of mind.

I really hope things turn out massively better for you.

GatoradeMeBitch Sun 02-Feb-14 16:15:46

He is not going to marry you or sign his house over to you, you know that. It seems he does prioritize the house over his relationship with you.

You just have to decide what you want to do with that information. You accept it, and move on, maybe eventually buy yourself a place for security and rent it out, or you leave him, and take the downshift in lifestyle. Just think very carefully about all the issues around that before you commit. Are things good aside from the house issue? Because you may be in a stronger position to build you own security while staying put there for at least a few years!

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