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Amicable divorces -- tell us about yours

(18 Posts)
iamsomeoneelse Tue 07-Jul-15 10:43:25

Have you managed to pull off the enviable Holy Grail of split-ups -- The Amicable Divorce?

If so, how did you achieve it? What tips would you pass on? How long have you been apart now, and how are your kids doing?

(PS: I realise, of course, that every case is different, and your experience may not be translatable to other people's situations...)

Dowser Tue 07-Jul-15 10:54:28

Sits back with a cuppa and waits patiently....

Someone must have managed it ;-)

whatyouseeiswhatyouget Tue 07-Jul-15 11:01:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OllyBJolly Tue 07-Jul-15 11:25:04

Not to start with (--would have run both of them over with a tractor if I'd had the opportunity--) but after 18 months we got to a place that was reasonably amicable, and by the time the divorce came through we could probably be described as friends. Now the DDs are older, and he lives 500 miles away we don't have a lot to do with each other. He did ask me to edit his CV a couple of months back on the promise of a nice lunch that will never happen

I knew people who had gone through a break up and let the bitterness define their lives and I knew I didn't want that. I tried very hard to get on with things. It helped that I got a job very quickly (SAHM before) and had a brilliant CM. I did spend six months seriously depressed - not eating, not washing, crying every day, and did contemplate taking all the pills at once so it wasn't all sweetness and light. I think it also helped that my DCs were very young (2 and 5 mths) so they were too young to know what was going on really. I think dealing with divorce and older children must be much more traumatic.

From his side, he is the kind of guy who needs everyone to like him. He still has the ability to make me laugh out loud and it's hard to hate someone like that (much as I would have liked to at times!). He kept maintenance payments very low but not an issue as I had a good income. His career was meteoric - six figure salary and first number isn't a 1! A couple of times when I was in jobs I hated he offered to support me if I wanted to leave. He's not a bad person.

He married the OW who was lovely and great SM to the DDs. He's now binned her in favour of a GF a year older than DD1 hmm. Never met her, no need to. DDs still meet up with SM.

It can be done but not easy.

JohnFarleysRuskin Tue 07-Jul-15 11:32:28

I have a very good relationship with exDH. I love his GF and kids. We split when DC was 3/4 - over 10 years ago.

However, I wouldn't say we had an amicable divorce. Divorces are hard and painful - I don't think you can skip those emotions really. The first year WAS awful as we pushed and pulled over who gets what and who spends the most time with DC and what was fair and not fair etc.

I worry that some women (and men) go for 'amicability' rather than assert themselves...If there is any time to assert yourself, then this is it.

tumbletumble Tue 07-Jul-15 11:34:01

My grandparents did it. My grandma was the one to meet someone else but as I understand it the marriage wasn't great by then anyway. Their split was so amicable that they continued to have a joint account for years afterwards! They both just took out what they needed. They both went on to be happy with other partners.

I have.
Divorced XH last year, when we realised we could finally afford it we decided to call an end to the whole charade.
There has been pain and many long tearful conversations but we are mostly on the same side still.
No fighting over money because there is none.

Sickoffrozen Tue 07-Jul-15 11:42:24

Mine was and is even with exh marrying the Ow. It's over 10 yrs ago but we get on fine now and our daughter is happy that we do.

FretYeNotAllIsShiny Tue 07-Jul-15 11:45:33

Almost five years since I split with my second husband. The day after we split, we talked. I promised him that I would do my damnedest to keep things easy. In the early days that meant the girls being able to ring their dad whenever they wanted, and he would come and see them after school. I think they saw him more after the split than before. Gradually this settled into me having them during the week, and them staying at his at the weekends. They were 9 and 7 then, and now are 14 and 12.

We've never argued, though to be fair, we weren't a very argumentative couple, we just drifted apart. We're still good friends, and he'll come in for coffee when he drops the kids off. We're actually still married, I wanted to leave it two years for the no fault, and now I can't afford it.

We still co-parent and communicate about the kids a lot. He's still very much involved with my children from my first marriage, he raised them for ten years and has not walked away from them. He's a good bloke to be honest. So much so that we got back together a couple of years ago... it lasted only weeks.

My advice is communication, compromise and keeping your mouth shut. Don't sweat the small stuff. Their dad may do stuff differently to me, but his rules are his and mine are mine and the kids can whine about that all they want. We do back each other up, and any "well dad lets me do that!" is countered with: "those are his rules, not mine".

I think that personality can have a lot of bearing on a post-split relationship. People who always have to be right, or who consider their kids to be theirs are going to have more problems than adults who can concede that fault and blame on the parents part is best kept out of the arrangements. It's hard to let go of bitterness but worth it. My first marriage ended very bitterly. Lessons were learned. I'm back on speaking terms with him too, but it took 15 years.

catsrus Tue 07-Jul-15 12:23:23

I did. It involved me biting my tongue and not kicking up a fuss about money even when I knew he was screwing me financially. I decided my own emotional health and that of my dc was worth the money. I knew he had the potential to get very nasty if I dug my heels in. He is financially much better off than me but has lost some very good relationships and the respect of his children. I am financially OK, I always made sure I was able to earn enough to support myself if needs be, and the 'settlement' from the divorce will fund my retirement ( I didn't go for a portion of his pension as that was a huge emotional sticking point for him - he still got half the other assets).

When I have a big repair bill on the house I sometimes think I should have got a SHL and gone for a proper division of assets, but overall it was better for me to do what I did. I know people whose divorce ripped the family apart - mine didn't, I still see my ex ILs and socialise with them, that was more important for me and the dc than fighting my corner.

TopOfTheCliff Tue 07-Jul-15 12:37:04

That's interesting Catsrus that you define amicable as you "not kicking up a fuss over money" . I had the same with my XH. He wanted it "all to be amicable" but what he meant was he wanted me to agree to everything he proposed. I got a good solicitor and we mediated our way through it all to a good solution including a 50 :50 split of everything including his pension. then it all came unravelled when he went back on an agreement over supporting our DCs. That was HIS sticking point and like you I rolled over for the sake of the DCs. I know he will never ever back down on this issue so I live with it and swallow my anger. The DC know I was shafted by him - he has 3 times my income - but they respect me for what I do for them.

So OP you can have amicable if your XH is a nice man but if he isn't you will have to swallow shit to keep it all sweet.

Two more years and counting here - then they will all be through education and I will be free of him and his controlling ways!

catsrus Tue 07-Jul-15 12:49:11

our exs sound very similar Top - I keep telling myself that his lifestyle is not one I ever wanted anyway (multiple overseas holidays with OW/DW, I haven't had a holiday in 4 yrs). I just want enough to keep the house and feed us, then feed myself once the dc have gone and pay the bills. Mine didn't give any maintenance for the dc because we were going to share care 50/50 - they never spent a single night with him and then he moved in with OW, in a different part of the country, 4 months after leaving. He contributes to them when he feels like it and they act suitably grateful.

I would rather be me.

nrv0us Wed 08-Jul-15 13:02:40

Must be hard to keep focused on the end goal and avoid getting ensnared in the process.

iwashappy Wed 08-Jul-15 13:53:40

Was very hard to start with, OW involved, but we both wanted it to be civil. Split up last December and it's settled down the last few months into fairly amicable.

I wouldn't say we are friendly, still too raw for that, but we are civil and it was important to me that we could talk about issues relating to the children and still support and help them jointly when necessary.

I've had to bite my tongue a lot and let some things go because frankly he would have still done what he wanted to anyway. We had a few spells when he was nasty and I dreaded going into work (we work together) so it was important to me to get peace of mind and be able to work without stressing about him.

He's been very fair about the finances guilt which has helped a lot as I think things would have turned nasty if he'd tried to screw me over and I'd stood my ground, which I would have done over that.

My children are older, 22 and 16, my eldest doesn't have much to do with his dad as he doesn't have much respect for him but they are in touch. My youngest sees a lot of her dad and to be fair to him he has, most of the time, tried really hard to make an effort with the children. I think I might have thought differently if he'd not made an effort with them. I don't think I would want to be amicable with a man who couldn't find time for his own children.

So basically I think both parties need to really want it to be amicable even if it means making sacrifices and doing things differently to maintain civility. Lots of keeping quiet and focusing on what is important to you rather than things you can't change. It does take both parties for it to be amicable though.

Keepingsecrecy Wed 08-Jul-15 14:05:21

would have run both of them over with a tractor if I'd had the opportunity

sorry but I did like this statement grin

BitOutOfPractice Wed 08-Jul-15 14:53:00

I am on very good terms with my exH. He's one of the first people I talk to if I have a problem. We often call for a chat. We co-parent our kids (around 60/40) and have never argued about that.

He's happily settled with a lovely woman and we all get on well.

redredwineandlotsofit Wed 08-Jul-15 15:17:36

I divorced 15 years ago. Sat down one day and discussed why marriage was not working and decided that we would be better apart. Sorted all divorce and finance details between us - only needed solicitor to take his name off house deed. We agreed that as he had in effect 'given' me his half of the house then agreed to small maintenance. He was allowed access to DD whenever he wanted (within reason). When he rang to chat with DD we would also have conversation. DD is 19 now so makes her own arrangements to see/talk to him but XH does still contact me just for a chat/advice as we consider ourselves friends.

I'm still part of his family and see my MIL regularly and if they have family occasion then I'm invited too.

XH has had girlfriend for last 10 years, wonderful lady who I get on well with and who accepts that I'm still around - I have new DP who also gets on well with them both.

I always tell him he's the best XH anyone could have asked for.

ArthurScargillsgingerpube Wed 08-Jul-15 15:58:03

We managed it. She decided to call it a day in 2011 and truth be told neither of us loved each other anymore, but had two amazing daughters. We had three things going for us though, no money to argue over, nobody else involved and we were both solidly determined to make the best of a bad situation for the girls. We agreed joint custody, never argued and remained firm friends. We now socialise with each other and our new partners. Just because you fall out of love does not mean you have to fall out of friendship. We had a great 20 years together, but it was time to move on.

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