Female perspective please(34 Posts)
Upfront, I am new to this so don't know all the acronyms etc so please be patient. Dad of two (one of each) who separated from their mother almost 2 years ago. But seem to have got absolutely nowhere with respect to finances, children etc despite 2 Court appearances and massive legal bills. I am just after a sense check (I guess you might say AIBU?) as to whether this is normal or whether I need to manage my expectations.
Separation was mutual (it hadn't been good for a while) and we agreed timescales for legal paperwork, dealing with finances in the interim, continued interaction with the children. However within 3 weeks of me moving out (why, oh why did I do this?), bank accounts were emptied and closed, access to the children was severely curtailed and divorce petition filed. It has gone downhill since. My ex has refused to engage in mediation (tried twice), spent all our life savings (cars, holidays, clothes etc), constantly demands more and more money despite having a good income herself and denies me reasonable access to my children as well as slagging me off to anyone who'll listen regardless of whether there is any truth involved. Two different High Court judges have given clear advice and direction which she just ignores. I have continued to pay for everything (school fees (sorry if you don't agree with this), interim maintenance above and beyond) but it is never enough. I have essentially given her the house plus over half my monthly income but she wants more. I don't know what else to do?
Have I just been unlucky and been with someone who has turned overnight from being relatively reasonable to being vindictive and nasty (and greedy)? Or is this common behaviour in such circumstances? We have a final hearing for the finances next Spring (with a different judge) and I have a separate application for the children ready to go as no progress with her on this front either (saying goodbye to several £000 more for the privilege of both). Can anyone shed any light on this? Thanks in advance.
Based on what you say, and we only have one side of the story, then your Ex turned into a prize B.I.T.C.H. and is punishing you for something.
Women who use their children like this make my blood boil!
I would have a look on-line at what she is entitled to as maintenance.
Then tell her that is all she is getting until she is willing to co-operate for the sake of the children (you will need to keep paying school fees for now)
You have nothing to lose. She withholds access anyway. She slags you off anyway. You are already the bad guy according to her and anyone that will listen so it's time to cut her off!
Sorry you are going through this. But continue your court battle and don't give up on access to your kids (although it sounds like you won't anyway)
Unless she is holding a gun to your head, why are you continuing to pay her these vast sums of money?
It sounds as if you have been given very poor legal advice and support ( unless you are a multi millionaire and what you are supposed to cough up is par for the course.)
You need to decide what you want and take legal advice - again- on what is fair. She has no right to the house and if she is a high earner she may have no right to anything except payment towards the children. Private education is a luxury and you do not have to continue to subsidise that unless it's what you want too, and then your other contributions would be scaled down accordingly.
Man up and get a bit tougher with her and find a decent lawyer who can support you.
Thanks for this, much appreciated. So I'm not going completely mad! Yes, only one side of the story but that's all you get within a forum like this. I'm sure her perspective is different (in fact I know its different) however its the behaviour I struggle with not the "right vs wrong"... She filed for divorce (which I did not contest despite both of us agreeing to wait 2 years) but wants to retain everything that goes with the marriage except one thing, me. And by filing you have to accept the consequences, or do you?
Greekgoddess - thanks for the advice. Yes I agree with you but have been trying to be reasonable to keep things on the level and as calm as possible as well as to prevent further loss of contact with the kids. I have reduced maintenance to the limit based on the children in an attempt to force the situation but no joy as yet. School fees are a luxury however its what I want to do for them. Sorry not a multi-millionaire (yet) but with aspirations to get there one day...
To take it at face value it sounds like you've got lumbered with a woman who is basically trying to fleece you.
Have you got yourself a good solictor? Keep account of all the money she's taken/spent, and all the money you've spent on her and the children since the split.
The court should redress the child access issues.
So if you've been in front of two high court judges, have neither of them produced a contact order she must adhere to? And a finance order.
She has in effect, stolen money from the joint assets. I'd be seeking better legal advice if I were you.
By all means keep paying the children's school fees as they should not have to suffer even more changes than have already happened. But ensure that you're not paying her any more monthly maintenance than the amount detailed by the CSA.
Exactly, - if you've seen two high court judges and she's ignored their directions then you need a better solicitor.
I don't know where you live OP but 2 friends of mine received excellent support in high-income led divorces from the legal firm of Charles Russell, London - can give specific name of a partner there is it's a possible option for you.
What do you think is going on, OP? Why is she so angry at you?
Thanks for your messages and comments. Greekgoddess, thanks also for the recommendation, I know some of the folk at CR. However my experience to date (with a variety of solicitors, both mine and talking to others) is that they are there to run the process and not much more. They can offer advice however it is up the the client (i.e. me) to make the decision. Similarly the judges have asked whether this can be resolved without an Order and ex's barrister says yes (!), so no further action is taken. Given that the ex is being so aggressive, I took the line of not rising (or lowering myself) to it and maintaining the "fair and reasonable" line throughout. She has chosen not to which is why we are where we are. Should we go to Final Hearing then the gloves are well and truly off and everything will get raised...
As for why is she so angry, to be brutally honest I don't know. Things were not great between us for a long time and I guess she had a vision of what the future would look like. However this will no longer come true. Or maybe years of unhappiness have come to the boil and she is looking out for herself. As mentioned before, she wants to continue with all the trappings of the marriage/lifestyle but without the person who paid for most of it. "Cake and eat it"?
I think she's taking advantage of your unwillingness to be seen as unreasonable and pushing her luck as a result. I wonder if the whole court/lawyer/judge aspect is fuelling the fire? In some cases where things have well and truly broken down you need that emotional detachment in order to get things settled. In other cases, that same detachment can turn everything into a 'winner takes all' computer game
Call me a cockeyed optimist but have you tried recently getting together with her just as two people who used to feel something for each other and see if you can't 're-personalise' things a little? Because I really feel for your DCs in the middle of all this. What really fucks up kids in divorce is not the separation per se but how the parents handle it. Turning Dad into the enemy is not doing them any favours, regardless of how fancy a school they attend.
If you don't get anywhere face to face, I suggest you have no option but to go 'gloves off'. It's a huge pity but I don't see many alternatives.
I don't think it is "brutally honest" to say that you don't know. it shows that you don't know her or what is actually going on with her, inside, at all. So what you see from the outside is 'cake and eat it'.... just a surface interpretation.
So you came here ostensibly asking for input .. To have light shed on this mystifying occurrence.
My input would be that your utter ignorance about what your wife feels is deeply integral to her actions toward you.
We can't get attention one way, well, we'll get it another.
I think that's unfair PP. The OP says the relationship had been bad for some time and it was a mutual separation. No-one knows what's going on inside another person - even one they are married to - if that person doesn't reveal it. We can all only judge others by their actions and words.
I was typing while Cogito posted. Cogito always posts very sane good sense.
I don't suggest you go gloves off with someone as upset as your wife. I'm going to assume she isn't a "mercenary bitch" or any such finger pointing cliche.
I think your job is to find out what that person you married is actually going through and how she feels, and stop being Mr Nice Guy who is very distant.
Yes, only one side of the story but that's all you get within a forum like this.*I'm sure her perspective is different (in fact I know its different) however its the behaviour I struggle with not the "right vs wrong"*.. She filed for divorce (which I did not contest despite both of us agreeing to wait 2 years) but wants to retain everything that goes with the marriage except one thing, me. And by filing you have to accept the consequences, or do you?
It sounds as though she is very angry at you. You say you know her perspective of the story is different than hers. I'm sorry OP...you come across as a slippery customer to me. I'm not going to validate your unknown position and invalidate that of your wife's.
You are struggling with her behaviour, I understand that. That's absolutely the limits of my knowledge on this one, given what you've said. She's acting out against you big time and I assume there are reasons for this mess.
The OP and DW appear to have led a fairly wealthy lifestyle It's not been said whether the DW has an income of their own but it's clear that they're taking the view that they must maintain the wealthy lifestyle... plus a bit.... and that they have made this a top priority objective. Whether it's done out of spite, anger, punishment or a 'he can afford it' sense of entitlement egged on by lawyers or friends is impossible to say and - dare I say it - not especially relevant. What is safe to say is that the DW currently is uncooperative verging on hostile and there's an obsessional quality that has escalated.
My suggestion is not to find out how she feels but to de-escalate it a little. Failing that, it's important to bring this to a swift end.
Finding out how people feel, listening, talking, communicating, shifting the pent up emotion, is cathartic, and a classic de- escalating technique.
OP does say this though so would assume she does earn or get given her own money despite having a good income herself
Riverland- I am struggling to see how you are being so charitable to the wife based on the information given here.
The time to be understanding and all touchy-feely has surely passed now that the divorce has been filed and the W is acting like a bitch? Why should the OP bend over backwards to understand why?
It doesn't matter quite honestly why the wife feels angry- it's too late for that- and divorce is 'no fault' - so she is is not going to get more cash even if she thinks his behaviour was unreasonable or whatever.
She is a high earner. Like it or not there are some women who do divorce their H's and want nothing more than a good payout and then they will start again....
OP you need to man up and find a solicitor who will help you do this. If your wife is 'ignoring the advice of 2 high court judges' then that implies she is or would be in contempt of court so you need legal back up to sort this out. I can't believe it isn't there via someone like WL at CR.
if this was the wife posting no-one would be suggesting she try to get to the bottom of why her xh is so angry, so why should this be assumed the other way around?
Op I would suggest that you do perhaps try and communicate with her, just the two of you, but in the event this is not possible then tell her that her entitlements are to child maintanence for your children, and the rest will be decided in due course. There is no rule which says she will be entitled to stay in the family home, and if she has her own income she won't be entitled to any of yours. Spousal maintanence is generally awarded on the basis the partner has given up a career to bring up children etc but if she is now earning again it's unlikely this would be an entitlement.
Reality is some women do turn into bitches after a separation in the same way some men turn into bastards.
Sorry... missed the part about having a good income herself.
Why would I not be charitable to the wife and suggest she be given the chance to work through her anger?
What possible reason could there be, to be anything other than charitable?
If she is cold and calculating and uncommunicative because she has something fundamentally wrong, like narcissistic rage, then this would become apparent via the encouragement to talk openly about what is going in with her.
I'm responding directly to Op's request that we 'shed light' on his wife's mysterious behaviour.
I'm suggesting it is naieve to demonise another human being because it is convenient to do so, it's moral laziness.
It's not his role to psychoanalyse his wife and her bad behaviour. The marriage is over. It's the finances that are now the issue.
Imagine the outrage is a man was behaving badly during a divorce settlement and the MN chorus pleaded with the wife to understand him.
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