Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Dh suggesting divorce, I want to work at it, is there a way ahead?(19 Posts)
Please bear with me this might be long. Don't have anyone in RL to talk to.
After a row on Saturday and silent treatment yesterday, dh has said he wants to talk about divorce. This is the last thing I want particularly as there is light at the end of the tunnel regarding my very difficult work situation. I am trying to hold it together in work and waiting to talk to him this afternoon if he can get off before dd gets back from school. Please hold my hand.
Things haven't been great with dh basically since I went back to work after maternity, nearly 4 years ago. I work shifts 5 days off 5days on but have a 200mile commute plus spend time away with work, this changes in February when I will work 20 minutes from home with virtually no nights away.I have been trying to get this move for 6 years.
When I work dh does the majority of childcare, dd has just started school, drop off is 7.45 and pick up is 5pm. Pick up isn't an issue but drop off means dh has to start work late, generally this is possible but he has become resentful of having to bend around me. I have no slack or flex from work my parents help when they can, having dd at weekends if I'm away but dad isn't driving due ill health and mum worried about him, d sis also helps but has major probes with her job at mo. This plus my friend/cleaner who babysits once a week or so, taking dd to swimming if I'm working, is all the help we have.
I leave everything organised for school and activities, tea in the fridge if I'm working etc. I pay half dd school fees and all her swimming and tennis classes. Dh and I both earn reasonable wages, I moved into his house before we got married 10 years ago, it is morgage free. Dh has significant assets I have some debt that he isn't aware off. This has built up because of my commute and the fact I paid all nursery fees for 3 years. I buy the majority of dd clothes etc this doesn't bother me but what gets to me is the fact I have to do all the organisation. I Also do dh accounts and all his bills and admin as he hates/refuses to do it. We don't have a joint account.
I am hoping, given he let me cuddle him through the night that I can talk him round, I don't want to leave but am aware dd might be better off with 2 parents who co parent instead of there being an attitude all the time.
Where do I start, my parents know things aren't great but don't know how bad they are, d sis thinks dh is out off order so would probably back separation. Dh has mentioned he would get custody as I'm away with work. I work in a skilled profession but jobs are scarce and my part time is about as family friendly it gets. When I am off I do everything including taking dd out at weekends so dh gets a break.
How do I tackle the road ahead?
Ask yourself what he contributes to your life and to that of your dd. If its only money, a good solicitor should be able to arrange for that to continue after divorce.
Why do you want him? You sound so worked off your feet that you don't have time to think about whether you want to hang on to him because you love him, or just from habit.
Personally, I think if people want to go, and talk about divorce, its past the stage where you can rebuild. But some people try, and some must succeed.
So he wants a divorce and threatens you with custody and yet you want to make it work?
I would wonder why you do all the organising to suit him? I would also wonder if he has someone else lined up. I would be seeing a SHL if I were you, you need to protect yourself and your assets too.
Thank you, finished work for the day waiting to see what he has to say when he gets here. Tidying the toy box to distract me.
You seem to do an awful lot of the work in the relationship. I'm not sure I get your work pattern - when you're on are you away for 5 straight days? I assume you're not commuting 200 miles a day? Why are you having to leave tea in the fridge? It's like you're using a babysitter and you have to make life as easy as possible.
Why did you pay all the nursery fees for 3 years? Why is money still so compartmentalised after 10 years and a child?
If he resents having to adjust his working schedule for his child (what a fucking prince - welcome to the world of nearly all working parents) why would he want to have custody in the event of a split? Does he realise if she was living with him you wouldn't be popping in with tea every day?!
It sounds like he resents the hell out of having to share his life with a partner and a child. So he doesn't share his finances and makes the rest difficult and basically your fault, for not being a SAHM (although I suspect he would also greatly resent the financial drain if you were).
What on earth do you get out of this relationship? If this were your dd describing her marriage to you, what would you say?
Just a thought, you are away an awful lot...is he doing things whilst your away that he'd rather you not know about, so because your situation changes in February & you will be home a lot more he is suggesting divorce as he either doesn't want to give these things up or they are incompatible with you living being at home more?
It just seems that you are seeing the work changes in February as some kind of magic ointment that will make everything OK. .
The bottom line is that if he wants to divorce then there's not a lot you can do apart from protect yourself now before it happens. You know when you do his bills & admin, are there ever things that come up that you wonder at, say some odd purchases or transactions in odd places, although when you ask him he can explain them...?
No odd patterns or transactions, I'm away a maximum of 3 nights a time other blocks I drive every day around often a 9 hour shift. He isn't up to anything as far as I know, dd is generally here and she would say if anything strange was going on.
I wonder if dh is depressed, tired all the time, as am I as dd wakes at least twice a night. He is drinking more than normal. Since dd was born he has given up his only hobby, which was how we met, but is now my career, something he encouraged me to persue at every stage. He will go for a drink in the afternoon, if I'm off I join him to spend some time together before dd comes home. We go out about once a month together neither of us go out otherwise, except he sees me having a break when I go out for a meal with colleagues when working away, something he is jealous of. I have a much under used gym membership but only go week days if he is at work, unless it's taking dd to activities there at the weekend. He is 20 years older than me, I don't think he envisaged a 5 year old dd, but we discussed having her at length before ttc.
He was married before and I supported him after his ex left, I was not the other woman, and an acrimonious divorce 15 years ago. So I don't think there are any skeletons in the closet, too much mud has been slung that I am well and truly aware of.
Dh is certainly no angel, but has never cheated on me, and has overtime said I would be better off with someone else but coming from a family that stays together for better and worse I don't want to give up, if that an old fashioned view perhaps?
I want to do what is best for dd she loves her dad.
What reason has he given that he wants a divorce now?
I want to do what is best for dd she loves her dad. He will still be her dad whether he is married to you or not.
As someone else mentioned above, he could have someone else. Of course he can find the time to cheat if he has had his head turned
Sounds like the argument gave him the reason to tell you he wants to split up
You work your arse off and yet you still organise everything around the house and with your DD and you do all your DH's accounts? And it's your DH that's not happy? WTF?
Why did you end up in debt from paying nursery fees??
Let him talk about divorce. Let him talk about the practicalities of managing a young child if he is the parent with primary residence, or whatever it is called. Or even if you end up parenting 50:50 he is still going to have to manage ON HIS OWN for that 50% of the time - school pick up/drop off etc etc. Let him work that one out.
Let him think about the financial aspects of a divorce - mortgage free house and "significant assets". He thinks you just leave, he continues to live in the house and keeps all his assets to himself?
I think I would be calling his bluff and seeing whether he still wants to talk about divorce or whether this is an empty threat because he's hacked off. And if he is hacked off because of your work patterns and having to do the majority of childcare when you are working - ask him what he suggests as an alternative.
I don't think he has anyone else in his life etc. you said he still lets you cuddle him at night which is still a good sign. Perhaps he is just tired of feeling like he's doing everything for the child. I know you say you do a lot too. Do you show him appreciation for what he does? and in what ways do you show this appreciation?
I think him, not having his hobby anymore might also make him a bit upset, have you encouraged him to take that up again? Even once a week, go do it with him or w.e. and spend some quality time together doing something you both love, the thing that brought you togther in the 1st place.
My fiance and I had been having a lot of arguments so we bought the book '5 love languages' by Gary Chapman. Brilliant book. Perhaps you should give it a read. and your husband too. Helps you to understand eachother more using love language, which is different for everyone. Maybe your husband doesn't feel loved in the right way etc... i dno, worth a try.
I don't think any of us can comment on the way you divide labour, childcare or finances really. It is obviously a very stressful situation and I'm sure you both have both justified and imagined grievances.
All that matters is that, for him, rightly or wrongly, with or without justification, the marriage feels like it's at the end of the road.
If he is truly unhappy then he has done the right and fair thing in raising it rather than allowing it to limp on, or looking for another relationship.
I guess you need to talk to him and see whether it can be saved, and whether he's willing to put in the work necessary to do that - counselling for example.
If he isn't then I fear that you have no choice but to accept it and begin discussing the practicalities, but I think he may be surprised at how the assets will be divided.
But then, you don't want him to stay because he doesn't want to give you half the house do you? You want him to stay because he loves you, or wants to rekindle the love you used to have. Any other reason will just result in a more acrimonious split further down the road IMO.
I think it's fairly rare for a man to want to divorce unless there is someone else in the wings. I think that now he has suggested it his mind is propbably made up, I know that's harsh but I think it's the truth.
If he wants a divorce that's it. You don't get to say no. He doesn't need your agreement. He can leave because he is not happy, as could you.
You yourself think DD might be better off with parents who co-parent without the bad atmosphere at home.
I find it rather telling that you mainly want to stay together because that what families should do. Yes that is old fashioned. You don't get special medals for years of service in an unhappy marriage. You mainly hurt your children by making them live in an unhappy home.
All this talk of silent treatment, you leaving dinners behind (wtf?!) etc suggests that he is a garden variety bully and the threat of divorce is simply another stick to beat you back into line with. Have you been standing up for yourself lately? Do you need putting back in your place? Punished?
If he thinks he will become resident parent and his problems centre around the fact that he is the main carer for your DD, it does not make much sense for him to be suggesting divorce. I think you should ask him to see how much difference the move makes to your family life. I think, though, I would be inclined to negotiate your expectations of workload before February comes or I really fear he will push all of your Dds care onto you. He sounds worryingly traditional.
I would suggest you get legal advice now so you know where you stand, even if you do continue to try to work it out.
He has been planning what to say to you for a while and his version reads he gets the house, most of the money and residency of your children
even though you do most of the parenting Your lawyer's version will go somewhat differently, especially if you drag things until February when you will be home and presumably much more obviously the primary carer.
I have to say he doesn't really sound worth fighting for but the break up shouldn't be entirely how he dictates it. And yes, he probably has lined up someone else, even if he hasn't done anything. Most men won't leave without someone else in readiness and I suspect your imminent arrival back in the house has forced his hand.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.