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Anyone else feel responsible for their ex-husbands happiness?(9 Posts)
As the title says really. I am feeling very worn down by my needy ex-husband.
Bit of background: We were together 16 years, married for 15, divorced 5 years now. We have two dc age 13 and 14. We had a great relationship and a happy marriage until he had an accident leaving him with a permanent disability leading to him having to give up his job and falling into depression. After a slow decline in our marriage and several attempts at relationship counselling we decided to split. It was very amicable and sad but we co-parent our two dc together well.
The trouble is he has no-one in his life other than our dc and his elderly mother. He has become a shell of his former self and only really leaves the house to go to work once a week (he works for a charity one day a week) and to go to the shops and visit his mother. I am his only friend.
He cannot run his home properly and struggles with his bills and budgeting – I find myself still doing some of these things for him. I feel responsible for him to maintain a home for our dc who spend 2-3 night a week with him.
I have access to all his accounts and online bills etc. I know he is not budgeting for his future. I bought him out of our marital home with an inheritance, but as part of our divorce settlement he can live their still until our youngest is 18, so another 5 more years. It made sense for him to stay in the home as we had it adapted due to his injuries. He was awarded some compensation which he now uses to supplement his living expenses. The trouble is he really doesn’t need to dip into this! He is quite open with me about his finances, he works one day a week and claims some benefits and child benefit which covers his bills and food. He lives rent free in what is now a house owned soley by me. He also has the £70k that I paid to him for his share in the house (after paying off the mortgage).
I know he is spending because he is depressed. He is going through his savings / house money / compensation at about a grand a month! He spends his money on little stuff, like books and dvds/cd’s and stuff for the kids, takeaways etc. I have tried to talk to him as I think he should be saving this money to get a small place of his own when he has to move out of the family home – I’m worried he won’t have any money left in 5 years and I will want to sell that house to pay off the mortgage on the property I now live in. he just says that 5 years is a long time and jokes that he may be dead by then anyway. He just doesn’t seem to get it.
I know he is lonely but he spends a lot of time texting me, mostly about stuff to do with the dc, but often it will just be about stuff he’s read in the paper today or seen on tv etc!
He is a great dad, but as our dc have got to their teens they want to spend less time with him (us in general really) and I know he is missing them when they are off with friends etc.
Sorry, just offloading, just wondering if anyone else is in a similar position / can advise
I think you are enabling him, but does he help you with the DCs? e.g., does he do school runs etc whilst you work?
You must be very comfortably off to be able to let him live like this, so I can imagine he sees no need to be independent.
I am sorry, I know he's the father of your children but my god, stop doing all this for him, he's a grown man, he's not a good dad, he's happy to sponge off you and hold you to ransom over is depression.
You are right though, in 5 years time he will have nothing left but will expect you to sort out his life - again, just stop doing it OP, he's not your responsibility anymore, let him fuck up his own life, it's his choice, you should not be babysitting him like this and it looks like he's taking full advantage of the situation.
Nothing in compareision but I was with my ex 25 years and I'm 45 now.
The only reason I was with him most of the time was because he said he would jill himself if I left . I believed him and he tried to .
Fortunately I told someone whose advice I could trust 100% .
I knew the answer as do you , but sometimes you need to hear it from someone else .
You sound like you yourself have friends . Do you have a best friend and could you print off what you've written and ask her read it .
True friends will give you sound advice and lots of support .
Primarily you are absolutely not responsible for your ex husbands happimess .
I'm no good with the legalities in finances hopefully someone else will be,, but it all sounds very much in his favour .
He will never change and move on while your doing this .
You need to move on and sorry to be brutal but he has plenty of money ( at present ) to adapt a home himself . He is making a choice to rely on you and when your not around he may continue to choose to see no one except his mum . That's his choice .
Initially I worried so much about my ex . Now I thank hod he's living worn his mother still and we all have a life now !!
Thanks for your replies. I will and answer some of your questions:
yes he does help with the dc. he doesn't do the school run as they walk to school now they are in their teens, but he used to. He does have them in the school holidays, although the older one is with friends a lot now. I do work full time so this of course helps me out and means the kids are looked after. They usually go to his house after school to see him (if they don;t have an after school club or anything) and he will drive them to friends / clubs etc. We only live 5 mins down the road and he will often step in and collect a parcel for me etc if i need him too etc. If i ever ask a favor of him then he is more than happy to oblige. I think he likes ot be useful.
i have distanced myself over the past 2 years as i just found that i worried about him too much. I don't want him to move out yet as the house is nice and big for our dc to stay with him. When they are older he won't need a place as big. I've suggested him buying somewhere smaller now and renting it out and making some money from it now and then him moving into it when I want to sell the family home.
Op just as a totally different perspective
What's the legal stand with him being in your house ?
If he's been there long enough can he then claim it as his property out right?
Squatters rights type thing it does happen, also is he now a sitting tenant and will have to be sold as so with the house. I think you might be on dodgy ground with him living there etc
I'de be seeing a solicitor about your legal standing
The house is owned outright by me, we had a consent order done as part of our divorce which states he can live in the house until our youngest dc is 18. I can then sell the house and he is owed £30k from the sale. I paid him £70k to remove him off of the mortgage and buy him out. It was all done through solicitors and signed and sealed by a judge so all legally binding.
Yes, I still feel responsible for my ex's happiness.
We were married for 18 years, together 25 but he was very depressive, quite angry sometimes and I got fed up walking on eggshells. He's had the shit end of the stick, lost his mum, dad and brother within a few years, was abused by his sister when he was younger, just generally not had a lucky life. I loved him dearly but I fell out of love with him a long time ago, it took me a lot of years to pluck up the courage to leave as I didn't want to destroy his world anymore than it already had been.
That was 2 years ago and I still feel terrible, the guilt eats away at me and although logically I know I cannot be responsible for his happiness I sometimes even think about going back just so he has a good life again....I wouldn't go back but sometimes I feel I should. I've given him an easy ride re money - I left the marital house with my son and have started totally again, not asked for or received a penny off him, that's how bad I feel for him. There's nothing more I would like to see than him happy and settled with someone else and then maybe, just maybe, the crippling guilt I feel for him will go.
I am with you OP and Betty, similar situation and often find myself contemplating going back just to ease the guilt (divorced for 2 years). My life is so much better without him, but can't see an end to the guilt. He too has blown the money I gave him for his share of the house and I dread what will happen as he gets older.
I wish I could offer advice, hopfully someone else will post with tips how to move on.
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