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.
The big fat mess I've made of my life(54 Posts)
I'm at a bit of a low point at the moment. I am on the verge of panic all the time. I need to be strong as I am only at the beginning of what looks like a long messy divorce but I am struggling and my situation feels dire.
I moved to the country I currently live in 6 years ago to work. I met my stbxh a few months later. Whirlwind romance, both keen to settle down and get married, start a family both about to turn 30. Thought it was different to previous relationships as no games or anything, he was just keen and helpful and kind. I earned a lot more than him but didn't care about that. He struggled to find a job and got one but just a low skill type job that he felt he was too good for. We got engaged and then I got pregnant, by this point we'd been together about 8 months. I inherited some money and decided to use it to buy land and build a house. This went in his name as not being a citizen of this country meant I couldn't have it in my name.
We got married, had 2 dc and our relationship just got worse and worse. I was isolated and living in quite poor and basic conditions. On maternity leave I was on less than half my income and with his low earnings too we were very hard up. Things felt constantly on the verge of crisis. He never wanted to do anything or go anywhere, even to take the kids to the park or go for a walk. He became nasty and spoke to me in an aggressive way. Our communication was terrible. He put me down a lot and seemed to feel that he himself was very hard done by. He was only really happy when he was drinking, he would drink at home every night but he never went out, neither did I. He made it seem like I was not able to do a lot of things here and that he had to do them, eroding my confidence and independence. I was unhappy but was coping and going along ok on a certain level. I went back to work after each maternity leave and I enjoyed my work and got on with people there, felt less isolated. And enjoyed my dcs.
All the money I earned just disappeared, there was always something to do on the house or the cars (both of which I bought). My parents helped us out financially at times and he seemed to scorn the idea of paying them back and in the end they would say we didn't have to anyway.
In Feb of last year I had had enough. I initially told him I wanted to separate and I saw he was just going to manipulate me to stay or refuse to leave and I just rented a flat and moved with my dcs. I was very happy to be away and the dcs (aged at the time 18 months and 3.5 years) settled in. He saw them every weekend initially and then I changed it to every second weekend as they were so disrupted by seeing him every weekend. He also said toxic things to them about how he wanted us to all live together etc. I found a family therapist to talk to us both to try and get him to understand the effect on the children but I think it had little impact.
When I left he immediately said he had problems and he felt terrible for the way he'd treated me and he started going for counselling. But I didn't love him any more and I was so happy to be free from him and to have control of my life and money back that there was no way I would want to reconcile.
I decided after a few months that as I was feeling stronger and clearer about what I wanted, I would like to move back to the house and him to leave. I was spending a fortune on rent and bills and the house was paid for by me so I thought I may as well live there. Plus more space for the dcs, a garden etc.
Initially he refused to leave. He said I can't just change my mind as and when I feel like it and he doesn't have to do what I say any more. I went to see a lawyer and in effect pressed charges against him. He was furious about this. He left the house and I moved back in, although legally the house is still his.
We started divorce proceedings and I thought we would have to just go through court as he was so difficult to deal with. However, he suddenly wanted to try and agree out of court and so I drafted a proposal and he seems to not agree, though I believe it is far better for him than it would be if we went through court. He is trying to do everything to avoid putting the house in my name, including putting it in the children's names. He hasn't paid a penny towards them since I left and he is now quibbling over the amount of maintenance I have proposed, which is the minimum by law. He makes out he is the victim because I have taken his family from him and that all he wants is to be with his children. He turns on the tears every time I see him and says he still loves me and crap like that. He is going to fight me for custody.
I despise him. I don't want to be in this country any more. I am trapped, I have wasted all my money on something that is now tying me here even more.
My lawyer said the battle over the property could last up to 10 years and he will most probably get part ownership.
I can't see how he could get custody but the fact he'd even try to disturbs me.
I have been so understanding towards him throughout this and all it's done is make my own situation worse. I have nobody here really. I feel like the future is so bleak and desperate and yet I have to stay so strong to give my dc a good childhood and to make sure no-one can take them away from me.
This year is going to be about me fighting for everything. I need to get sole custody and financial contributions from him. I then have to fight for my house and try to leave this country. It's not going to be easy. I am seeing a psychotherapist as I wonder what made me get into this situation in the first place. I clearly need to work on myself in some ways. I was in the UK for Christmas and really felt what I am missing. I came back yesterday and dcs have gone to his for a week to stay with him and his ridiculous parents (father alcoholic, mother enabler/ controlling apron strings firmly in place) in their tiny shitty flat.
My dcs deserve so much better than this. So do I. What a horrible mess. I don't know what I want from writing this, maybe just to get it out, just to feel less alone. I have a lovely family but they are far away and worried and stressed by it all and I don't really have any good friends now. Been away too long and drifted from people back home and moved house a lot and where I am I don't know anyone I can really trust. I was seeing a man I really liked for a while but he left to work in another country. We're still in touch and he's the only other person who I can talk to about things.
I'm sorry you are going through this, it sounds like you have had an awful time with not much real life support.
I don't really have any practical advice re dicorce/legal side but I think it may be important to reach out for support in real life so you feel less isolated?
Is there anyway you can go and stay with your family for a few days, grab a cheap flight etc. or is it really not practical?
Sometimes friends you have drifted away from will suprise you if you reach out?
Can you get him to agree to the sale of the house, split the proceeds (taking into account the money he owes for maintenance) and try to get back over here? You need people in your corner.
Thanks Clockwork, no, not practical for me to go back again now. I've got things to do anyway. I do need to try and find some friends I guess. I did try getting in touch with some of my old friends a while back and exchanged a few messages but that's about it, I don't see how I can expect more considering I'm far away and haven't exactly been there for them the past few years.
He doesn't want to sell the house, he wants to tie me to this country (anchor his children here in his words). Dealing with him is not like dealing with a decent, normal person. Earlier today he again told me that this is unfair on everybody (me breaking up the marriage) and that the children would only suffer for being from a broken home. He just wants me to take him back so he can carry on cruising along on the back of me.
I think he has an idea that if he can spin things out for long enough he can manipulate the children to say they want to live with him when they reach an age when they can decide (15 here) and then he can get his way back into the house and leave me with nothing.
He sounds utterly delightful. It looks like your only recourse is going to be down the legal route, can he be forced to pay maintenance and agree a settlement (as he would in this country)?
Why cant you sell up and agree a share? Usually its split between adylts and kida... or is ge trying to keep you there?
Oh Jesus you poor thing.
You know what, shit can happen to anyone - bad things happen to good people.
Yes maybe your twat radar wasn't working properly when you met this bloke, but you fell pregnant quickly and things just ran away with you. Also sounds like he hid himself very well.
Remember it's he who is the abusive arse, not you. So don't beat yourself up too much please.
Question - what do you really think is the most important thing to him, what he really wants to get out of all of this? If you focus on that you might get to a good bargaining place with him.
Oh and re old friends, you'd be amazed how helpful and supportive real friends can be in times of desperate need even if you haven't really kept up with them. Have you told them how bad things are?
He should be forced through court to pay maintenance yes, but the property issue will probably have to be separated as it's complicated and he doesn't want me having ownership. He wants it in the children's names because he knows I am going to be in a worse position that way, he's definitely not thinking of their best interests.
Yes he wants to keep me here for his own selfish reasons.
What has your lawyer said about the land/property being put in his name? I'm presuming you can prove it was your money and that's why it may take a while?
Moonriver 1 has a good point regarding what he really wants. It could be a good barging tool.
Lots of and for you and be good to yourself. He sounds a vindictive piece of work.
Can't you do the legal battle from the UK? Just move back, rent and wait for the sale of the house to plod on. 10 years is a long time to be stuck there.
Despite it being in his name, would it not be a joint marital asset whereby if you divorce, you either buy him out or vice versa or sell the house and share the proceeds?
In your circumstances I'd come back to the UK. If the property is going to take 10 years to sort out that's 10 years living somewhere you don't want to be. Let him put the house in the children's name if that's the only way. And then leave. That's what I'd do. Otherwise it's more years of misery. Time to cut your losses.
I agree with Vivenne. 10 years of hell or put the property in your children's names?! I'd go with giving my kids a good inheritance and start again for yourself.
I think it's better for the children to stay in their country where they have been brought up. It will enable better contact for them to see their father.
Your assets belong to both of you and therefore he should get a share in the property. If he had t looked after the children you may not have been able to earn as you did.
I would advise caution re. just moving back to the UK with your children. It depends what country you're currently living in, what its laws on child custody are, whether or not it's a signatory to the Hague Convention and what action your husband takes.
If all he wants is the property, he may allow you and the children to move back. If, as you say, he wants to force you to stay there, he may be able to do so through your children. Get good legal advice.
Is he a citizen of the country or are you both British?
I can't come back to the UK, that would be kidnapping. He won't let me leave. And doing the legal battle from there would be very, very expensive and I don't have that kind of money.
I should get majority share of house as most of the money came from my side before we married. I proposed that I have 100% ownership but that in the case of sale I give him 20% but he won't agree to that.
I can't even rent it out because it's in his name and he told me before that he wouldn't agree to renting it out. He is awful, just awful.
As for what he wants, he wants a home and a family and seeing as how he is in a dire financial situation he won't find that again easily. He landed on his feet with me and he doesn't have it in him to do it off his own bat as he is weak, lazy and entitled.
what sort of country are you in?
Middle East? Latino? Eastern Europe? Western Europe? ....?
Information is power, can you find out the law/rules on this kind of situation in the country you are in?
Headofthehive, he did not look after the children, he worked in his low paid job and I paid for child care as I am doing now. Being in this country isn't good for anyone, it's a miserable, struggling place where the people have a terrible mentality and growing up here will compromise their whole future.
The country is important, as when I was in Argentina for example I was not allowed to leave the country with my children without a notarised official letter from my husband expressly stating I was allowed to do so.
I'm in Europe, part of Hague Convention and he will do anything to stop me taking his children away.
I'm not giving up my house. If it goes to the children and I leave it will go to ruin or he will be living in it. I need the money from that house to make a future for myself and my children and I am not going to allow him to stand in the way of that. By backing down I am just caving in to his bullying and manipulation.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.