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I think I'm going to have to go back into a bad marriage

(20 Posts)
queenofbaddecisions Sun 01-May-16 08:30:20

I left h over a year ago. I live abroad in his country, he was controlling and I'd say abusive, I was very unhappy and felt trapped. I have 2 dc now aged 2 and 4. I was very happy when I left, had another relationship, but he moved away. Now we're in the divorce process. However, things have become pretty much unbearable for me here. I have always been a much higher earner than him and he's not contributed any money since I left, but at work, through some stupid mistakes and some not very nice people, I have ended up in a situation where my working environment is extremely unpleasant, I am gossiped about and penalised and really have no friends here or family.

I thought I could stick it out for another year, get divorced and then try to leave, however, my h is not at all accepting of the situation, wants to stick with the marriage and not lose his children, no matter how bad the relationship is. He is unlikely to agree to me leaving, which he has to do for me to be able to go. So I am more trapped than ever and more unhappy than ever.

The divorce process is very slow and long and drawn out. I also have a house that I paid for but is under his name. I have had to agree to joint custody and the house being 50% mine and 50% in the children's name, in order to reach an agreement. If we fought it out in court I would almost certainly get sole custody but if I want to fight for the house it could take up to 10 years and I'd still not get 100%.

I am so desperate that I have told him we can go for counselling together and try and fix the marriage, on the condition that we move back to the UK this summer. He has agreed to this, but I feel so so anxious about it. I don't really trust him, I'm afraid he is trying to back me into a corner and leave me in a worse situation than ever and then try to take the children from me. I am afraid I will crack mentally and he will achieve this.

We have spent some time together this weekend, this has been brought on partly by my daughter needing to have an operation. It has been difficult, on the one hand he does do a lot on a practical level, he loves the children and me, he says he is ready to address the problems we have between us. On the other hand, when he is around I feel so incredibly tense and anxious, I have no love for him, I find him very irritating and annoying. In order to leave, I will have to go for counselling and try to talk about things openly and give things a chance to be repaired, but once I am back in the UK, I should be in a stronger position to leave, have family support around me, and not be taking the children away to a different country to their father. Who knows, maybe in this process I will again want to be with him?

I really cannot at this point see an alternative. Does anyone have any ideas? Or any suggestions as to how I can get through this with minimal damage to my sanity and most importantly, my children.

Naicehamshop Sun 01-May-16 13:14:47

Sorry- no real help but didn't want to leave you hanging. My gut instinct would be to get back to the UK no matter what it takes as hopefully you will be in a much stronger position here. Good luck with

ThisisMrsNicolaHicklin Sun 01-May-16 13:45:37

It sounds awful. Do you feel you could manage the situation to get you back to the UK? If so would it be worth doing what he asks in the short term? Good luck op.

queenofbaddecisions Sun 01-May-16 14:32:45

Thanks for your replies. I feel like as long as he isn't living with us for now and we can go for counselling to address some of the problems we have with communication and working together as a family, maybe I can get through the next couple of months here and then hopefully once we are in the UK the landscape will look different. Here I am very much alone and there are some very stressful things about where we live which have almost certainly contributed to the breakdown of our relationship in the first place.

I am having counselling myself at the moment and have been for months. My therapist says that I need to be honest with myself about it if I am just faking a reconciliation to move back to the UK and then break up with him again. But I am confused as although I am that desperate to leave, I do also think that I did at some point love him enough to start a family with him and maybe I just didn't try hard enough to make it work. I did try to talk to him about things many times but he didn't respond well, however, now he has lost everything he is ready to properly try.

Another problem is, I developed feelings for somebody else and now it's very hard to go back to the relationship with my h as this other person was much more suited to me in many ways. But my dcs only have one dad, and I think I owe it to them to try and keep the family together. It makes me feel very stressed and miserable to think of it though.

ThisisMrsNicolaHicklin Sun 01-May-16 15:14:31

No, you don't owe it to your children to stay. My mum stayed with a similar man (I don't call that bastard my father) and it was terrible.
So what if you are not being honest? You are doing what you need to do to get you and the children to a better place. That's the priority for you and anything else can be sorted once you are back home.

BoogieTime Sun 01-May-16 15:16:54

Get everyone back to the UK by whatever means. File for divorce here.

Kr1stina Sun 01-May-16 15:18:59

Your plans sounds like the best one possible in your situation . Move back to the UK together. Have you applied for jobs here ? Have you put your house abroad on the market ?

If not, you need to do so ASAP . How much notice do you have to give in your current job ? Are you excepting your 4yo to start school in the UK in the autumn ?


PeachFuzzzz Sun 01-May-16 15:23:59

Absolutely get to the UK, and if you still feel the same divorce him here. It puts you in a much stronger position.

queenofbaddecisions Sun 01-May-16 15:28:11

I spoke to my DM earlier about it, she and my DF have been totally supportive of me leaving and keen to get me back to the UK. We have thought about all the options and before I considered this reconciliation option they had accepted that I would stay here for another year and then they would help me to return to the UK- rent a place for me and the DC etc. Initially we wanted to do that this year but I felt that it would cause too many problems with H and was unrealistic.

Now I told my DM my latest idea, she is supportive of me trying to work on the marriage and moving to the UK, but is 'not comfortable' with the idea of me being dishonest with h about it and is afraid that trying to move so soon will 'put too much pressure on us' and it will all go wrong.

I told her, I am at rock bottom and desperate and at least if I'm there I will have my family behind me if he tries his bullying, controlling behaviour again. She did agree but I feel that she is hesitant to fully jump on board. I understand it's hard for them as I have kept changing my mind about what to do, but I really need their support and I feel let down that while they always say I have their support, right here when I need it, I'm not feeling it.

There is no way we can make this move without their help, but if I have to stay here another year, to me, it is pointless to even try to go for counselling etc and I may as well just push on with the divorce.

springydaffs Sun 01-May-16 15:28:41

oh love. You don't love him - and that's it. There's nothing more to it. You don't want him, you don't love him.

Just because you loved and married him once, doesn't mean you have to try to love and stay married to him. I loved and married my exH but hell would freeze over before I'd love and marry him again.

Your kids are far better off with a happy mum than a stressed and miserable mum. Knock the idea of getting back with him on its head. It is not a viable option.

But getting back to the UK is. What a lifesaver! I'd do the absolute bare minimum to get back to the UK, then make the divorce final.

queenofbaddecisions Sun 01-May-16 15:36:26

We won't sell the house here as at the moment it is highly unlikely it would sell and there are still some things to be completed, we built it and it doesn't have it's own electricity supply yet and there is no proper road yet. We would either rent it out or just have someone maintain it.

I'd have to give notice on my job soon, h wants me to wait until we have had at least one counselling session before I do that.

Yes I would want my 4 year old to start school in September, but where we would move to is quite a rural place and school places shouldn't be an issue.

H is looking into work opportunities through his current job which has offices in the UK. I would not get a job until we moved there as I teach and so it would be too difficult to apply from here. I could maybe do supply or find a part time job. My parents would help us initially to get on our feet.

CommonBurdock Sun 01-May-16 15:39:35

Hi OP I've unfortunately been in your situation or v similar.

We moved back to the UK from
Europe 3 years ago, he never wanted to and the marriage was already in a complete mess. Result? Kids now back living with him in his country and I'm in the UK. Officially joint custody but in practice I see them a lot less than I or they would like.

I posted about this same issue on MN back in 2012 before we went back and posters were also, understandably, urging me to get back to the UK by whatever means. However, I now feel that, despite XH's incredibly controlling behaviour and certain of his cultural attitudes that partly got us into the mess in the first place, it was very unfair for him to be in that situation. He didn't want to live or raise kids in my country any more than I wanted to raise them in his. I insisted on the move back home because I was absolutely desperate. The whole thing has blown up into a horrible mess and to protect my kids from conflict I've let them stay with him. After all, in the eyes of the law parents are completely equal, whatever you or I might feel about that. The mother has no more right to a child than the father.
So be aware that if you do bring them back to the UK knowing in your heart that your marriage is over, prepare yourself for the most almighty battle and potential heartbreak.

springydaffs Sun 01-May-16 15:42:47

Burdock flowers

Kr1stina Sun 01-May-16 15:42:54

So you husband can get a transfer to the UK and you will apply for jobs once you get here ? Are there plenty jobs in your subject in the area you are moving to ?

You say you are a much higher earner than your husband so I'm guessing you are in a promoted post, so why would you only want to do supply ?

Kr1stina Sun 01-May-16 15:46:02

And your mother has made it clear that she doesn't want to be involved in any deception , so leave her out if it . Tell you are reconciling and moving back to the UK. What happens in the future once you are settled here is up to you.

Are your children EU/ British citizens ?

queenofbaddecisions Sun 01-May-16 15:46:33

Oh god, CommonBurdock, that is terrible. Would you have stayed where you were with hindsight? How would things have been different now if you had? Would you say I'd be better staying here, going through with the divorce and trying to get sole custody and then leave with his permission? He has said that he would give his permission if I wanted to move back to the UK and in the custody agreement we were going to put a clause about him not unreasonably withholding agreement for me to move abroad if it was for my career or the children's quality of life etc.

queenofbaddecisions Sun 01-May-16 15:49:53

I am earning much more not because I am in a promoted post but just because I am employed as an expat and he is on a local salary. I teach primary so there's always some jobs, but I'd be happy to move out of teaching if needs be. Yes my children have British passports.

Kr1stina Sun 01-May-16 15:59:13

That's good . So perhaps you need to get some legal advice about what your situation would be here in the UK.

Burdock situation sounds awful - I'm guessing that her children were older and had lived abroad for most of their lives so chose to go back there with their father?

queenofbaddecisions Sun 01-May-16 16:04:54

We have informally sought legal advice through friends in the UK and have the contact of an excellent lawyer who specialises in these things if it was really a desperate situation. However, from other peoples' experiences here even local lawyers would give the UK preference as this is a developing country riddled with problems and the UK is seen as a much better place to live and raise children.

My h is also not really in a position to fight me as he and his family are relatively poor compared to mine and though it sounds unethical that does work in my favour.

CommonBurdock Sun 01-May-16 17:10:42

In answer to the various questions, Yes I am glad I came back and stayed here. With hindsight it was the right and only viable decision for me, as I am and always have been the main breadwinner and I'm self employed. For many reasons living and working in the particular set of circumstances in XH's country was intolerabke and was affecting my mental health to the point where I could no longer work or give them what I saw as a decent future. It would have been best for the kids' education and future as well, but alas the controlling unreasonable egotistical side of XH really cane to the fore after the split and he completely refused to listen, I was wrong and a "whore", apparently, for leaving him and so he had to keep the kids to give me my just deserts.

To the PP that said my kids were older and chose to go back, well that's only partially true. They were all three wanting to come back with me at the end of last summer but XH refused to listen to me or them, and insisted that they stayed with him. To avoid upsetting and confusing them I've not pushed it further. I want emotionally secure kids, as far as possible.

OP luckily your situation sounds different. It's fantastic that he'll consider putting in that clause about giving you permission to come back. If you separate and/or divorce in his country and are primary carer after the split AND the higher earner, all you then need is his permission. If I were you that's what I'd focus all my energies on, getting that consent from him. Concentrate on the opportunities of taking them to the UK, not on the negatives of the situation. Anything done as a half-truth or based on false promises is going to come back and haunt you in the future and if there's any legal action in the future you'll be painted in a negative light.

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