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Husband has ended it.(1000 Posts)
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New user looking for advice.
Short story - We have been married 20 yrs, 2 kids 16 and 19. 16 yr old is at college and 19 yr old is away at Uni (1st yr). We have a 4 yr old dog.
Never been the best marriage, but I thought we were ticking away. Wrong! OH has apparently been thinking for some time he wants out and has made that decision. Btw it's probably a 50/50 'blame' for this. I'm not the easiest person to live with, as I have just been disagnosied with depression probably going back to PND with DS.
He emailed me (we do things that way, not healthy, I know) 4 weeks ago saying he wants out. I rang him to talk and he basically said he's had enough, he's detached and would rather live on his own. I said I think we can work through things and can talk it out. He said we need to talk and that was that. He picked our son up from the station on his way home as son was coming home for the weekend and nothing else was said. Even when we took the dog for a walk the next morning.
Then 2 weeks ago I received another email from OH saying the same as the first, wondering why I’d been acting normally (I thought he’d been thinking about things as I had mentioned on the phone but apparently not) but telling me he's been looking for places to stay near his work which is 45 miles away. It's just about doable re: money wise, as he spends a lot on petrol.
We have a mortgage of 82K (11 yrs to run), joint debts of 42k (credit cards only). The house is worth about 280,000 I think so plenty of equity there. But obviously taking into account the mortgage and debts that equity is cut in half.
The problem I foresee is my situation. I have had no job for pretty much all of our marriage. I worked until we had our first 19 yrs ago but it wasn't financially viable to carry on so I stopped. I had a 1 yr admin contract about 10 yrs ago at a kids nursery (it was closing down so lady who worked there wanted out for another job). But that's it. I don't have any career qualifications unfortunately.
I do want to work and know I have to but my confidence level is pretty much 0. I don't have any real skills to speak of and am terrified right now! Yes it's my fault I am in this situation but I am 'sh*ting' myself right now.
After 1 week of doing nothing but job searching I do have a part time (16 hrs) job starting on Tues in the evenings at local diy store. I could have done another (carers) job I had been offered but right now I don’t feel I could commit to something that needs so much emotional involvement and more hours for not much more money.
We made the work decision for myself together and OH hasn't pushed it (we both don't like confrontation). It worked for us. And as he left early and came back late workdays it meant I looked after everything here at home.
We have a dog which means working full time is out at the moment as we don't really have family close by or friends to let him out during the day. If I can move into a full time job with good wages I can obviously pay a dog walker (or come home to let him out)
OH says he wants to talk so we can make this transition as smooth as possible. So do I. I am not after fleecing him. I just want a roof over our heads and money to pay the bills. I know in time the house will have to be sold but right now it's worrying. I don't really want to end up renting. And even flats around our way are quite expensive.
OH has said that bringing things up about the separation is ‘tough’ as I’m not particularly receptive. Well go figure! I will talk about it but obviously I am angry/emotional whereas he’s way past that point.
What would people advise as the next steps to take? I don't even know where to start as my head is spinning. Right now I am concerned about my daughter (mainly, as son is the independent one) and the money. The kids are OK with it and they aren’t surprised! Strange response but makes me feel slightly better they’re handling it well.
At the moment things are amicable but OH wants to rent a room in a house (private) which is further away from work than first hoped and is more money. Once we know my wages we can obviously nail the finances but right now I’m still worried.
I’d love to keep the house and the mortgage payments are very reasonable as the rate is so low but I would never be able to get a mortgage to cover what we owe as my (soon to be wages) are so low plus the debts are taken into account. OH is on about 4 times my soon to be wage.
You need to find yourself a SHL (shit hot lawyer) your H will likely be obliged to pay you spousal maintenance as you have been looking after the DC/home whilst he's built a career. Alternately you get the lions share of the equity.
You should be able to stay in the home until your youngest is 18 but I would negotiate this until he is early twenties as in reality DC do not leave home/pay their way until much older than 18 these days.
Your H is very deluded if he thinks the equity and debt is simply split 50/50 with a long marriage where he has been a high earner.
He has probably found a new partner which is why he now wants to move on, can't see any other reason for taking more expensive place further from his work than necessary otherwise. Go and see a solicitor and get proper advice on what you are entitled to. A Wife who hasn't worked to allow husband to focus in his career has to be compensated because you can have no reasonable expectation of earning anything like as much as he does in the future and going forward so it isn't a 50/50 split usually, it is likely to be that you are entitled to more from the matrimonial assets i.e. 60/40 or 70/30 depending upon your ages etc. You may also be entitled to financial support and your children will definitely be entitled to support too due to ages and the older one being in ft education for the next 2 1/2 years. Go see a solicitor and remember that you have worked towards your joint assets for the last 20 years even if he has been the one being actually paid he couldn't have worked as hard or as many long hours with a young family of you hadn't been there to take the load at home.
You cooked and cleaned for him and made it possible for him to earn the salary he does. I agree you need a SHL and don't be worried about 'fleecing' him. He owes you.
I think he has met someone, that's why he doesn't want to talk about it.
You definitely need to get some legal advice, many solicitors will give you 30 minutes for free. Congrats on the job, good luck with it
What are your daughter's plans? Is it likely she'll leave home to go to university too? If that's the case it's more than reasonable to ask that you remain in the family home until such time. DH will have to pay you maintenance for her too, while she's in full-time education. Not sure about spousal maintenance, but a lawyer will help.
Also if you are working 16 hours a week on a low wage you should be eligible for some tax credits. It's moving over to universal credit but if you book an appointment at the job centre they will tell you what you are eligible for and help you put in a claim.
I agree, see a solicitor. Do NOT attempt to negotiate any of this yourself, as you clearly have no idea of what is fair ( I mean that kindly ) .
In your list of assets you don't mention savings or pensions , why is that?
Your H seems to feel that he gets to walk away from all his responsibilities, as you have said nothing about his plans to see and suport his kids, both of whom are in FT education and won't be self supporting for at least 4-6 years.
You are doing really REALLY well , to stay so calm . And also to have found yourself a job after just a week. You are much stronger that you give yourself credit for .
He owes you. What a lot of bullshit.
You can't assume that you not working meant he could fly up the career ladder; he might well have done that anyway.
Clearly running up 42k of credit card debt meant that really another salary was needed as that's an awful lot.
Such an anti feminist thread. Lots of women work and bring up kids single handed and are successful. Imagine the replies if this was the other way round? Be loads of people saying why doesn't he work?
If he wants out to be on his own, he's the first man in history. Suspecting OW related to his job, and get the SHL pronto.
Your situation is not a million miles from mine op.
I've been married for 26 years - not particularly happily. I've now decided that I want to leave this year - been thinking about it for ages . Even with me being the instigator (haven't actually said anything yet) it's still very hard to move from a secure and familiar situation into the unknown.
I second the advice to see a SHL (advice I will be taking myself!) Of course you don't want to fleece him, but you will be left in a difficult financial position if things are just split 50/50. You sound as if your head is spinning - understandably - but don't let yourself be persuaded into a position where you are getting less than you deserve and need. He could show a bit more empathy and kindness too!!
Take a deep breath. Be practical. If necessary, get angry - you should not be just cast aside like an old piece of clothing. I am thinking of you.
Wow - I could not agree more about anti-feminism - what a horrible post Mrskeats.
I think you've had great advice OP. I would say very little, as he doesn't want to discuss his sudden decision and take all the professional advice recommended.
It's not horrible I just hate this attitude. Why should someone not contribute for 20 years?
There would be no tolerance on her for a man to do the same.
Is no one looking at the 42k on credit cards or just me?
How did that happen? Plus I can't work because we have a dog? Really??
Yeah, because providing childcare andruning a home and doing the wifework is "not contributing " .
Well good luck trying to find someone to do this for free.
Did the OP say that she ran up the debts alone on getting her nails done ? Because I was assuming that the debts and the dog belonged to them both.
Maybe you know differently ?
Why should someone not contribute for 20 years? Not contriute cash, you mean? Because that someone had done all the house keeping and chid rearing, as agreed between the people involved.
There would be no tolerance on her [sic] for a man to do the same. Well, there has been, on quite recent threads, too! There is no difference between a SAHM and SAHD... or are you saying there is?
Is no one looking at the 42k on credit cards or just me? Yes! Debts the family/partnership has racked up....
How did that happen? They, as a partnership made poor decisions... that may have seemed reasonable when they made them!
Plus I can't work because we have a dog? Really?? Not quite what was said... and OP did elaborate!
I can see what you mean, I too am not sure why OP waited for so long to get back into work, volunteering, etc. But think your irritation is misplaced, it is certainly unhelpful - unless you have a spare Tardis OP can borrow!
Maybe their income does not cover their lifestyle and maybe the husband felt the pressure of being a sole earner also.
And I don't believe it's easy to walk into a well paid job after not working for so long in today's climate.
I feel irritated because of the clear double standards on this site in general.
You are a sahm or dad really when your kids are almost adults also I think. Plus the op doesn't say he did none of the housekeeping or child rearing does she?
I just dislike this 'he owes you' attitude. That cuts both ways.
The op said that she " looked after everything at home " while he worked.
And that she gave up paid work when he first was born because THEY couldnt afford childcare, so a joint decision.
And she HAS had paid work since , read her OP.
Anyone who can go out and find a job within a few days is far from lazy, as you are rather rudely implying Mrskeats.
Completely agree Blanche.
As I posted a few minutes ago, I am in a similar situation. I just thank God that I went back to work some years ago so I have some income. However, my career very much took second place to his, and my salary is much lower than his.
I had to fight to get a job out of the home and he sulked when I took it, but I can just imagine how difficult things would be now for me if I hadn't - not just financially but because of the total lack of confidence that you feel job- wise when you stay at home for a long time.
You are doing well to have got a job so quickly, op. Stay strong.
Get a good lawyer asap - reasonable people can become very unreasonable very quickly once they get the upper hand. A lawyer will stop that happening.
Best of luck.
Believe it or not mrskeats but the advice above is not specific to either sex! It applies equally to either sex partner who has made a decision with their partner for one person to step back and run the home and raise the family to allow the other person to further their career. It tends to be the man working and the woman staying at home but nowadays that isn't always the way things work and there are plenty of sahd and same sex partnerships that this applies to equally. The person who works has frequently also had a better more active social life (due to work functions etc) and has frequently spent more money and had more actual leisure time too over the years due to the presumption that 'they work hard every week so are entitled' whilst the stay at home person clearly has an easy life! Whichever sex the person at home is they are entitled to be compensated for the fact that they have to all intents and purposes put their life/career/ambitions on hold for the benefit of the family as a whole. It is manifestly unfair for the OP to be expected to let her husband walk away from his family and responsibilities and get to keep half of everything without the corresponding expenses of running a family home (which one parent at least has to maintain) for the sake of the children.
Just reread your post op and noticed that you have been diagnosed with depression ( before all this started, if I understand you correctly). You are doing well - kudos to you.
The kids are 19 and 16 I believe. A bit beyond the need for childcare now.
I never used the word lazy. Naive though.
I agree that there will very likely be another woman around to have spurred his decision on.
But I think women need to be very careful if putting themselves in this type of situation especially as the op says her marriage wasn't great either.
All you sahm also make sure you pay into national insurance too or you may not get a pension either.
I also think the comment about the dog is quite harsh. OP is shocked and may be seeing all the problems right now and not the solutions.
He won't be allowed to walk away in any case. He will need to declare income/pensions etc if they divorce. Plus maintenance for the youngest.
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