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We've broke up but have to live together for the next 6 months.

(40 Posts)
HappyGoLuckyGirl Fri 21-Feb-14 21:06:34

Previous thread here

Briefly, my DP and I have been working on our relationship after I found out that he had been on dating sites, had a fake facebook profile, had a sexting relationship with a woman for (I'm pretty sure) all of our relationship and had issues surrounding his use of porn in lieu of a healthy sex life. I found all this out when our DS was 3 weeks, he is now 8 months.

The other night my DP stopped sex to have a wank over images of women. (More on this in the above thread).

We've had the chat tonight. I told him I meant it and I wanted us to split up, having almost come close a few times over the past 7 months.

We have agreed to try and spend as much time as possible apart and take turns spending time with our Son.

We have a joint tenancy, neither of us can afford to leave as of yet and neither of us has anywhere to stay in the mean time. We are expected to receive a large sum of money in roughly 3-6 months time, which we will use to go our separate ways.

I don't know how I am supposed to do this. How do I try and get over what has happened when I still have to see him everyday? I'm so disappointed that my DS is going to have separated parents, I didn't want that for my baby. It was my biggest hope that I would have a stable family home for my children.

I'm terrified of what the future holds for me and my DS. I don't even know if I can afford to live on my own.

I'm so sad. I love him to pieces but I just can't keep feeling so humilated. How am I supposed to get over the father of my child? The man I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with?

How the fuck do I do this? sad

Offred Fri 21-Feb-14 21:21:27

Why can't he stay elsewhere?

read this advice from CAB

HappyGoLuckyGirl Fri 21-Feb-14 21:35:14

Because there is no where for him to go really. He can't stay at his Mum's as she has just left her long term partner and is in a two bedroom flat with her new partner. The second bedroom belongs to her youngest son.

His Dad lives miles away and he wouldn't be able to get to work.

He can't stay with his step-dad as his sister, her partner and their daughter are living there.

It's just not practical. Plus, it's a break down in the relationship. It would be different if he had done something deserving of being thrown out.

Offred Fri 21-Feb-14 21:47:40

would he not be able to rent a room near to work and carry on contributing to your rent or if not could you claim housing benefit?

Offred Fri 21-Feb-14 21:48:41

he has done something deserving of being thrown out btw.

Apart from that it is not best for your son for you to continue to live together after you split up.

AmazingJumper Fri 21-Feb-14 22:52:35

I'm sure it isn't for the best - but it sounds like the only way given the circumstances. At least you're not trapped forever.

Cabrinha Fri 21-Feb-14 23:05:25

I did it for 4 months, didn't want to waste money on rent whilst I bought another house.
Easier for me than you perhaps, because although he'd cheated, his previously cheating had killed our marriage so I was glad to end it. So neither of us was upset about the split, fighting it, trying to sleep with the other...
We actually got on slightly better as I was much more relaxed - I hated being near him before, as I was so unhappy and disgusted with him.
It worked for us because there were no blurred lines and because we were both able to be polite.

My advice:
- separate bedrooms
- don't worry too much about artificial boundaries - it's OK to still cook for each other and eat together
- get some weekends away (family, friends) so you get some respite because it is stressful. Are you on maternity leave? Get away somewhere for a week!
- start living your single life now. I dated when still living together (though not at my house!) Not right for many, but my marriage was long dead... But get out with friends, it helps to break up time when you're together, but it will make you feel you're moving on too

It will actually go quickly... but only do it if you can trust him to be respectful - e.g. no nasty comments or angling for sex

It isn't ideal, I do think you should consider every possibility for him to move out first! But it may be do-able.

Elocampane Fri 21-Feb-14 23:08:31

happygoluckygirl - not much I can add, in similar situation.


olathelawyer05 Sat 22-Feb-14 00:19:03

Offred - Maybe you can put him up and he can crash at yours? I mean, seeing as you're so desperate for 'him' to move out of the home he remains liable to pay for. I'm sure that would help.

Offred Sat 22-Feb-14 00:22:50

how weird ola.

Why would any parent want to maintain a situation that was damaging to their child either by forcing their ex to share living space with them or deliberately leaving their ex and child without secure housing confused

Hope you aren't in family law!

Offred Sat 22-Feb-14 00:23:30

(and you should know what parents with care are entitled to and why if you are a lawyer)

SolidGoldBrass Sat 22-Feb-14 01:32:26

This man is a total cock who doesn't think women are human. He has a major madonna/whore complex going on - he doeesn't want to have sex with you as you are a 'pure' Mother whereas women who have sexual appetites are dirty whores.
You can't fix him.

As to coping with the living-together-for-financial-reasons, as long as you know there is a time limit, it's bearable. Treat him like a flatmate you don't know very well; be polite but distant. And get yourself set up with an online dating account and go on a date or two. It doesn't really matter who you date (though take the normal dating safety precautions) it's about demonstrating to him that he's dumped and you're moving on.

And please don't worry about being a separated parent. It's much better than bringing a child up in a house where the father is mistreating the mother and she is accepting it - that demonstrates to DC that it's OK for men to get their own way at the expense of women.

olathelawyer05 Sat 22-Feb-14 02:32:29

"Why would any parent want to maintain a situation that was damaging to their child either by forcing their ex to share living space with them or deliberately leaving their ex and child without secure housing confused"

You're absolutely right - perhaps its HappyGoLuckyGirl rather than her ex who should move in with you then. That would solve the problem, no?

Go on, tell me exactly why he should move out of his home because 'she' doesn't wasn't live with him for the 6 months? Why does she (in your eyes) get to enjoy this privilege above him? Why have you automatically tied in the child's interests with 'her' rather than 'him'. Funny that one hmm......Women and children first eh?

"Hope you aren't in family law!"..."and you should know what parents with care are entitled to and why if you are a lawyer"

No I'm not, and I don't need to be to know that what you are hinting at is nonsense. Tell me, what exactly are 'parents with care' entitled to? You seem to think they are entitled to kick the other parent out of the house at will, and I don't know where you've got this idea from as it is completely wrong. I don't see any reported violence/harassment, so neither can seek an injunction against the other. There isn't even an entitlement to child maintenance in this case as yet, because they still live together with the child.

The OP says they have a joint tenancy, not yet enough money to move, and that the only 'free' moving option would make his job (i.e. how he earns money to look after the child you care so much about...) very difficult. However, you seem to have completely ignored this information in pursuit of your own agenda to kick 'him' out of the house.

(PS. HappyGoLuckyGirl - I am not having a go at you in the slightest, just the skewed perspective you are being given).

Offred Sat 22-Feb-14 13:27:44

I haven't. She's the SAHP and on mat leave. He has work and therefore can't do the childcare. hmm

Did you not read this thread or the other thread?

Offred Sat 22-Feb-14 13:29:14

Parents with care are entitled to stay in the family home and to financial support to be able to do this if the have no or limited earnings and were previously supported by their ex.

why don't you know this? Are you really a lawyer?

Offred Sat 22-Feb-14 13:37:11

Unlike you what I'm concerned with is the child's welfare, not either parent's perceived rights.

It isn't healthy to live together when you've split up. You should therefore investigate every other possibility. Often people don't or can't see all the possibilities themselves.

The op's ex would have to give up his job to care for the child and the op would have to return to her job which would be a completely unnecessary change to the child's circumstances that a court would never order.

She is a SAHP and he is a WOHP which means he is the one who should move out. This is because stability in the child's environment and care is of paramount consideration so staying in their home and being cared for by the same person is in their best interests.

Even if there were no fault involved this is still the case but in this case it's his unreasonable behaviour that has led to the breakdown in the relationship and therefore out of respect he should leave.

A moving option doesn't need to be free. I haven't ignore that option, I made other suggestions precisely because I was listening to the op.

I don't agree that the op doesn't need protecting either. No, no orders are in place, they often aren't at all but definitely aren't only hours or days after a split. There is evidence of abuse in her previous posts.

HappyGoLuckyGirl Sat 22-Feb-14 13:45:52

Thank you for all your replies.

Offred - I don't wish to throw him out. When I agreed to work on our relationship 7 months ago, I accepted what he had done and wanted to work through our issues. Just because we haven't managed to sort through these issues and the relationship has broken down, does not give me the right to throw him out of his home.

At the moment he contributes significantly more than I do because I am at the end of my maternity leave and I'm not getting paid.

Furthermore, I do not appreciate you saying that continuing to live together would damage our son. I can assure you it would not. There is absolutely no violence or abuse in our relationship and my son will have no clue that anything has changed.

Cabrinha - thank you for sharing your experience. He's staying in the living room on our blow up bed, I definitely do not intend to sleep with him as I don't want to confuse and hurt him. I don't think I am going to be dating as I need time to grieve and get over what has happened but I see why you suggested it.

Elocampane - I'm sorry you're in the same situation. Hugs.

SolidGold - I did think about the Madonna/whore complex but I don't think it fits with his personality and actions. I don't agree that he doesn't think women are human, he does treat people (women included) well. He's kind, generous and all through our problems he has been affectionate and complimentary.

He has serious issues regarding his confidence and self-esteem due to the severe and prolonged bullying he experienced as a child and young adult. I feel that talking to other women and watching porn makes him feel wanted and attractive, it's also easy for him to pretend to be someone he's not, as I think he is ashamed of himself. The same way that many sexual abuse victims feel ashamed and blame themselves.

He is very damaged and I want him to get help to work through his issues so he can be happy. Not just for me but because I know how it feels to feel that way and without dealing with it, he will always be miserable and feel worthless.

ola - thank you for understanding why I do not wish to throw him out. It's not practical for us and I do not feel that this situation justifies removing him from the family home. If I was going to do that it should have been 7 months ago.

We had a long talk last night where I explained why I couldn't be with him if he wasn't willing to work on his issues and get help. It is not fair of him to expect me to forgive all that he has done whilst not doing anything about it himself. He admitted that the thought of getting counselling frightens him as he is scared of what might come out and what he may find out about himself.

That was very long, sorry!

Offred Sat 22-Feb-14 13:46:07

Ola (and op if you are interested and can find access to it) - why don't you have a read of Liz Trinder's “Shared Residence: A review of recent research evidence” (child and family law quarterly December 2010). It articulates exactly why shared parenting law in a society where gender roles are tightly defined is bad for children by looking at evidence from Australia where they introduced shared parenting law in 2006.

IMO there is a problem with men being marginalised from the home and family in the same way women are marginalised from the work place. However, in reality the fact that women end up with care most often is indicative of societal structure rather than bias in the family court system.

A parent's rights based approach is outdated and demonstrably bad for children. The welfare principle now means decisions are made in the best interests of the children - this often ends up with maternal care arrangements but this is because of gender inequality.

Offred Sat 22-Feb-14 13:48:51

With respect it does sound like there is some emotional abuse tbh.

The tension, even if there isn't and the confusion caused, objectively speaking, will not be best for your son. Even in the most amicable break up.

Doasbedoneby Sat 22-Feb-14 13:56:33

We stayed in the same house for 8 months after separation, both our children are now bank robbers.

Oh hang on no they're not, time passes and 7 years later they're fine.

(And we do shared care)

Offred Sat 22-Feb-14 14:11:32

Co-operative shared care arrangements can work well for children. My point was really that they are not usually possible in our current gender divided society and forcing them is bad for children. There's some evidence they are damaging for under 3s even if co-operative.

I don't think that anyone would argue it was better to carry on living together after you split. I was simply suggesting the op explore all the options before deciding to commit to living in the same house.

I also think there is some EA in which case it makes it more important to live separately but despite no evidence and just based on prejudice I think ola's done a very good job of making it look like I'm just some rabid man hater. Which is disappointing really only because I think he's managed to convince someone to carry on in a situation that may be unnecessarily tough and not even look at other options (all I was suggesting).

MostWicked Sat 22-Feb-14 14:16:44

A friend of mine did this and she managed fine. They had 2 kids and continued to work together on doing things with the kids and childcare.
They slept separately, I think that is important, but they kept civil to each other so still ran the house together (washing, cooking etc)
I think it takes a bit of time to settle into your new roles. You might need some new ground rules, so some grown up and possibly tricky conversations might need to happen, but it is doable.

Keep a calendar not too far away, so you can keep in mind that this is temporary, your child will not suffer, and it will be worth it in the long run.

Offred Sat 22-Feb-14 14:17:56

And I wasn't ever advising anyone to kick anyone out. Not sure why that's being attributed to me? It is best to live separately if possible, the possibilities should be investigated, the op is the current SAHP and would become the parent with care so it would be reasonable to suggest that she stay in the current house and he move out, they arrange finances accordingly. I was suggesting a discussion and joint decision rather than an unceremonious packing of bags and dumping on the lawn.

Lostlou Sat 22-Feb-14 14:30:16

I've done this. OK no kids involved but my (now) ExH and I decided that we were to separate. It was a mutually agreed thing, with issues on both sides that I don't think are relevant here.

For a couple of months, just to make sure it was what I really wanted, and to give us both some head space, I rented a room from a friend nearby. Financially this wasn't going to work long-term so once we'd agreed a split I moved back in.

We spent nearly 12 months (yes, really) living under the same roof. We agreed 'house rules' as follows and Cabrinha has also suggested similar above - I'm sure there were others but these are the basics:

- day to day life would continue as normal with household chores, roles carrying on as before. My ExH panicked a bit that I might ignore him and just cook, wash etc for myself but I'm not that callous. So I did most of the stuff like cooking, shopping for food, washing and ironing. He did 'man' stuff whatever that is .

- separate rooms. No physical contact.

- remain civil as if living with flatmate. ie if one was going to be late, not turn up, going to family or friends house we would let the other know by text if not face to face.

- no members of opposite sex to either party to be brought into the house (except 'normal' friends and family) whether or not the other person was in the house. As far as I am aware this was adhered to by ExH (it certainly was by me).

OP I know your circumstances are different but it IS doable with very little if any grief if both parties are prepared to tow the line.

Good luck!

HappyGoLuckyGirl Sat 22-Feb-14 16:07:05

Offred - I would appreciate it if you left my thread, as your comments are completely way off the mark.

For your information, my DP hasn't talked me into this arrangement for his benefit, it was my idea! Stop telling me that by living together after separation we are going to 'damage' our son, that's ludicrous. It would be damaging if we were arguing all the time or if there was violence in the relationship, which isn't the case. And, no, there hasn't been any EA whatsoever.

I'm glad to hear of other people's experiences of this. I do feel that we will be able to handle this as we both care for each other and there has never been any purposeful nastiness in the relationship, we never have screaming matches and respect each other as people. We want this to be as amicable as possible and want nothing more than for us both to have loving and committed relationships with our son.

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