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Don't know what to do, feeling stuck(40 Posts)
Please help me sort my head out!
I've been in limbo for about 3 years, wanting to split up with my husband, but just not being able to make the move to do it.
I don't love my husband any more, we don't have any sort of physical relationship, and I spend most of my time between disliking him at best and hating him at worst. I can't see a future to our relationship at all; we've been to counselling and it hasn't changed the fact that I don't love him and I can't get over some past hurts (him continually putting work before our family, not responding to my asking for help when I had PND, amongst other things).
However, we have 3 children. And as much as I can see no future at all with my husband, nor can I imagine my future without seeing my children every day, or very nearly every day. I feel completely stuck. My husband is adamant that he wants 50/50 custody, if not more (he currently works full time and me part time but he has suggested that he should be the full time carer for the children and I should work full time, despite the fact that his full time wage is more than 3 times mine, and there are no hours at work anyway for me to work full time). I quite simply cannot go from being a pretty much full time mother to only seeing them 50% of the time. I can't do it. I don't want that for me, and I don't think it would be the right thing to do for them given that I do the majority of their care currently.
What can I do?? I can't see a way out of this and I feel paralysed. Help?!
Could you sit down with your Dh and simply thrash out things from a purely practical position? E.g., financial to begin with.
He thinks the finances should be split 50/50 as well. Which I don't particularly agree with but am more inclined to agree to rather than the custody split.
I'm sorry I can't help much. This recommends mediation to come to a decision but if not the courts decide.
I think he might want you to feel trapped. What he is saying and what he will do may actually be two very different things. I thought child support was initially calculated in current salery so he couldn't demand you get a full time job if he had main custody and I have a suspicion given your current position a court would side with you (if everything weights up even) so the children aren't out of pocket but that's just my own speculation with no experience.
I think if I were you I would seek professional advice and see where you actually stand.
Do not be in limbo for yet another three years (it has really achieved nothing apart from more anguish for you). Your children are also learning about relationships from you as well as your H. This is no legacy to leave them as children, what they are currently learning here is that a loveless relationship is the norm.
I think he is using your children to control you and keep you where you are. Have you as yet sought legal advice?. If you have not you need to do this and as soon as you are able.
It is very unlikely that he would actually receive 50/50 given that he currently works full time and you are their full time carer. Is he really going to give up work to become their full time carer; I think not. Its an underhand tactic on his part to keep you there, its a very low and dare I say a controlling move on his part to do that. He knows how caring you are with your children and he is using them against you. He is pushing your buttons, he knows how to hurt you and will stop at nothing to make sure that objective is achieved.
You are not as powerless as you think you are, take some of the power back and seek legal advice. After all knowledge is power.
"He thinks the finances should be split 50/50 as well. Which I don't particularly agree with but am more inclined to agree to rather than the custody split".
Do not agree to anything before seeking legal advice
I think you are going to need a decent lawyer and one who is well used to the tactics that abusive men employ against their former spouse. He really does want to make all and every aspect of you separating from him as long and drawn out as possible as punishment for you leaving him.
I have spoken to a solicitor. He has been really good regarding the financial side of things but less so on the custody side. His experience is that courts don't tend to order a 50/50 split, although I am not sure how true this really is having heard of lots of people who have done a 50/50 split, and he said that one night during the week and every other weekend would be more like what he would get if it went to court. He suggested mediation if we were unable to work it out ourselves, which so far has proven to be the case. We had worked out a rough plan, but then my husband worked out the exact percentages of how much each of us would have the children and he decided it wasn't enough (I think it was about 65/35 in my favour).
It feels that the knowledge is part of what is keeping me stuck. I know that I could end up in a position where the children are with their dad 50% of the time. I just can't bear the thought of that.
Ok, you don't have to agree to anything first and foremost.
When you split he won't have any say in your life and the decisions you make.
He can suggest what he wants but you don't have to agree, let the courts sort it after mediation if he continues to want to call the shots.
As for your children, I know how you feel, it's hard but you will learn to adjust and really make the use of the time you have together.
A completely different situation but when my dd went away to school I felt like my insides were being ripped out, I couldn't cope at all to begin with. In less than a year it has begun to get better. I have real issues with this stuff too, so maybe wouldn't take this long for someone else.
You have to do it if it's the right thing to do, your children deserve to be happy and they will be happy if their parents are. You deserve to be happy and staying in a loveless marriage where resentment has built up won't get any better.
I'm sorry I can't help more, but there are those on here who are very knowledgeable and wise.
"He really does want to make all and every aspect of you separating from him as long and drawn out as possible as punishment for you leaving him."
I completely agree with this. He is going to make it as slow and difficult as possible, and I will have to drive it all. I don't know if that makes him abusive or just desparate.
"You deserve to be happy and staying in a loveless marriage where resentment has built up won't get any better."
Thank you. It's useful to read that. Of course you are right, and I know I need to focus on how things will be better once I am out of the relationship, but it's so hard to get stuck on the negatives.
I would crack on while you are the primary carer and not be distracted by his 50/50 threats which he is using to paralyse you.
Does me being the primary carer hold any weight if it were to go to court?
You can't afford to take it to court, no one can really. How old are your kids? Can you wait it out? Plenty of people do, though it's not a popular view on MN.
The youngest is 4.
Do you mean I can't afford to take it to court because I'll end up with an unsatisfactory (in my eyes) judgement?
MiddleClassProblem thanks for the link. That seems to say that joint residency is awarded in 20% of cases, which is helpful to know as I had no idea how likely it would be.
If he works full time, how involved is he day to day? School, nursery drop offs? Cooking their meals? Homework?
He works about 40 hours a week but not every day as he does shifts. On a working day (3/4 days a week) he will see them for 15 mins in the morning, but is home after they are in bed. On a non working day we take them to school together and pick up together, I usually cook and he will sit and watch TV with them. 1 day a week I work a long day so I will see them in the morning for an hour but won't be back until after they are in bed so he takes them to school, picks them up from after school club at 5.30, takes them home, cooks dinner and puts them to bed.
I do all of the washing, cooking (he might cook 1/2 meals a week), food shopping, 80% of the homework with them. We have a cleaner so not much time is spent on that during the week.
He pays the mortgage and all the bills. I buy all the food and anything that the kids need (clothes, swimming lessons etc). He doesn't give me any money, and I had to cancel our child benefit as we were over the threshold. He said that on cancelling it he would give me the money that I was no longer able to claim, but he hasn't.
No - I mean that going to court is really expensive.
You post at 19:42 indicates to me that a 65:35 split is about right. I expected you to say he is a workaholic from sunrise on Monday to sunset on Friday, and saw the children on his terms at weekends. It doesn't seem like that at all, far from it. Given the amount of time he does spend with them, taking them to school and doing homework with them, why is it that you (to paraphrase) 'cannot bear the thought of them spending 50% of their time with their dad'. Taking into account your other comment that you can't see a future without 'seeing your children everyday' it is not difficult to find no sympathy with you. He doesn't put his work before his children based on my experience. Not being sympathetic to your PND is a separate matter in itself, but are you working at your relationship breakdown also?
SleepingTiger, I wasn't arguing the 65/35 split, he was. I would have agreed to it. I think your experience differs from mine in terms of our opinions on whether he puts his work ahead of his family. Of course from a few posts it's impossible for you to know my whole story. He has made choices in the past, consistently and over a number of years, where he has put his work ahead of his family. Choosing to do extra curricular work instead of spending time at home. Choosing to travel abroad for 3 weeks in order for him to do something that he wanted to do (of no benefit to the family). Opting to choose to work an extra night shift that left him moody and tired the next day and sleeping on the sofa for 3 hours when he could have been spending time with his children. Making those choices indicate to me that his family are not his priority. The reason I find it so difficult to imagine life without them 50% of the time is because it is so drastically different to how life is now. I would say that at the moment I am with them at least. 80% of the time. That might include times when my husband is around too, but still, I am there for them 50% of the time. So the 50% when they are not with me is not a dig at my husband, it is merely that it is so completely alien to me and not what I or they are used to. We have had 3 lots of counselling regarding our relationship breakdown.
MiddleClassProblem finances are separated in that we each have our own bank accounts, yes. We do have a joint account but I don't think there is much in there, other than the money that he pays in each month to pay the mortgage and bills.
Does me being the primary carer hold any weight if it were to go to court?
Given the circumstances you've outline in your post at 22.18, the fact that you have always been primary carer for the dc will hold weight in the family courts.
Trust your lawyer. I very much doubt your h will be willing or able to keep his end up in a 65/35 split of child care when he realises that you intend to spend any free weekends/nights in the week pursuing
other men an active social life and I would suggest that a 70/30 split of marital assests in your favour is appropriate as well as achievable, plus 50% of his pension pot etc.
In case you hadn't realised, your h is a controlling arsewipe and he's following the hackneyed script of saying he wants 50/50 childcare because he reckons he'll be able to get away without having to pay child maitenance. Ha! As if!
OP I totally get it. I am always surprised out however the smallest thing everyone says LTB but then you risk losing your kids half the time. It may not happen but the risk is still there. I could not cope with only seeing my kids 50% of the time either as I want to be a mum who is always there for them, it's the most important thing in life for me even over having a relationship.
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