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AIBU to think that even if I lose everything, I have to be brave and get divorced

(25 Posts)
thinkiamgoingcrazy Sat 27-May-17 06:05:34

That horrible moment when you wake up and then remember the facts of your life after a few seconds when you were blissfully unaware sad.

Basically the relationship between H and I has completely broken down now, having been not good for a long time before that.

I am terrified of the fall out of divorce as H will make things difficult I know, but even if I lose everything (catastrophising I know) and the dc decide they want to live with him, do I at this point just leap and do it because emotionally my life is utter shit at the moment? No affection for a long time, verbal and emotional abuse fairly regularly, and H controls the majority of large financial decisions - eg. his name only on the house etc.... so that I feel insecure about my future despite having been together for 21 years and having 3 dc. He considers that he has worked a lot harder at certain things and that they are therefore his.

He has a temper and he is going to go ballistic when/if I instigate a divorce as he will see it as me crossing him. He will also start hiding things (if they aren't already hidden as a few years ago he bought a property which he hid for almost a year until I found out - I have posted about this before). I can't imagine living in the same home while this confrontational process is going through, but all the advice is to stay put and I understand why.

My life is dominated by my obsession with my failing marriage and I don't want to be like this for the rest of my life sad.

But I also don't want to lose everything or come away with very little due to H's bullying (that I anticipate will take place), and then be bitter / unable to cope financially for the rest of my life. But maybe it doesn't matter anyway - I am 48 and most of my life feels like it's over.

Shayelle Sat 27-May-17 06:10:57

Im so sorry and it sounds like an awful situation. No sensible advice but offering a hand to hold and surely you wont come out with nothing, you have been married for so many years, dont stay at let him make you feel like this anymore. Fwiw i dont have kids and im single aged 36 you can be very happy on your own xxx

Changedname3456 Sat 27-May-17 06:21:55

You'll be due at least half the equity, some of his pension, probably some spousal support and then child maintenance (if the dc decide to live with you). The standard advice in situations like this is to gather as much evidence as you can ahead of actually splitting.

He's not going to be able to hide the two houses which, hopefully, there's some equity in and pensions will be difficult to hide too. There should be a savings account into which your salary has been going and a good forensic accountant should be able to track a lot of his assets down unless he's offshored some of it.

I think you just need to get a decent solicitor, take their advice and then get the ball rolling and on to the financials as quickly as you can so he has less chance to hide assets. Don't forget that if he does manage to lie to the court this time around, you'll have a decent chance of reopening the financials once he feels it's all over and starts trying to rub your face in what he's got away with (assuming he'd be that vindictive / daft).

GreenRut Sat 27-May-17 06:22:19

Hi op, it's natural to catastrophise over what might happen if you take the leap, you're human!

One thing you could do to maybe help you is to see a solicitor just for an initial consultation - they'll be able to put your mind at rest re: what is most likely to happen / be the outcome.

Have you thought about speaking to women's aid?

My best friend was in exactly your position for many years - psychological abuse, controlled financially and for a very long time, just out of fear, she couldn't find the strength to leave. She had her 'enough' moment around this time last year and yes, it's been horrendous, he's behaved true to form (and actually worse than anyone ever imagined he would), yet I am delighted to report that almost a year down the line, she is a changed woman. She has her life back, and her abusive stbxh has got, well, nothing. And that's even more than he deserves.

NaiceBiscuits Sat 27-May-17 06:26:39


The starting point for divorce is a 50/50 split, including all pensions, investments, houses etc. Just because he wants something to be true, doesn't make it true.

Have you got 'all your ducks in a row'? Have you got copies of:

- last three bank statements . If you have no access, get to your bank with your bank card and ask them to print out the statements for the accounts you have access to. They may make a charge for this, but it's worth it. Also, make sure that you get the online banking details changed so that you can have your own access.

- Copy of his last three payslips (or of his last couple of tax returns)

- Copies of any other financial paperwork that you can find. Concentrate on bills etc that show your current standard of living.

- Details of the secret house

- Backed up copies of any abusive texts or similar he may have sent you

If you have children under 18:

- Do you claim child benefit? If not, you need to apply for it beforehand, in your name. It takes a couple of weeks and you can't claim for child maintenance or tax credits unless you have it.

Telling him....Can you have a friend in the house when you tell him? Or contact Women's Aid for advice on how to keep yourself safe if you think he may get violent.

CatsDogsandDC Sat 27-May-17 06:47:56

Agree totally with naice. Get copies of everything you can and keep them out of the house with a friend or in a safe deposit box before you start the divorce process or tell him you want a divorce. If your DC are younger than mid teens, put their passports there too.

Copy as many bank statements as you can get access to as he is known to be an asset hider. Often a transaction out of a bank account will show the existence of another bank account.

Once you are ready to start the divorce, your solicitor can help you (very cheaply) put a caution on the title of the two properties so they can't be sold without your consent. Because you are his spouse but not registered on the title, you have the right to do this without his consent. It's designed to protect married women in your position.

Cary2012 Sat 27-May-17 09:51:24

Yes to getting your ducks in a row, good advice above.

Yes, I think you need to get out of this, because it is possible to live as you are and be healthy.

Ideally he needs to go, but if he won't and it does sound unlikely, you need Woman's Aid to give you advice.

I think you should be 100% sure you have everything ready before you make the leap.

See a solicitor before you tell him, get advice. I had seen a solicitor twice before I split with abusive ex. I knew exactly where I stood financially, legally and it really empowered me. It also meant that he was served with divorce papers a week after we split, which gave me momentum to see it through.

Yes, ideally you should stay in the family home, but your mental health and wellbeing must come first, always.

Cary2012 Sat 27-May-17 09:52:15

Opps, should say 'impossible to live like this ...'

AnnaNimmity Sat 27-May-17 10:14:57

Knowledge is power! Go and find a solicitor, get the process moving.

I divorced in my 40s after 25 years with my exH. It's a difficult process, but I don't regret it one bit. Your life isn't over - it's just starting!

My exH also a bully, hid things (wouldn't disclose his income) - I found a really good solicitor and moved quickly. He obstructed every step of the way (we had to go to Court) until he caved at the last minute. It was all about power and control for him. Once that process is over you can move on and start living again. Good luck!

Carollocking Sat 27-May-17 10:37:27

Do not move out if you can manage it,make sure you have as much paperwork as possible and copies if can't get the originals.

MixedUpShookUpGirl Sat 27-May-17 11:53:51

You have to get legal advice, OP, you just have to! You can't lose "everything" if you have property as property (and often pension) is a joint marital asset!!! Echo those who say get as much paperwork together quietly, photocopies, etc.

Emotionally, you may need support. Women's aid, a counsellor, other family or friends?

Whyiseverynameinuse Sat 27-May-17 13:43:18

Hi OP. I'm a bit further down line to you but not as far as AnnaNimmity, similar issues with bullying, control and financial abuse. STBXH is obstructing everything and contact is also an issue. We've been to court twice already and looks like more before this all gets sorted.

It's stressful and complicated but believe in your decision. I wish I'd signed up for counselling earlier to help with the days when i have doubts or just a c**p day. Also a solicitor with experience of dealing with abusive ex's is very helpful - mine was recommended by my WA contact and has been superb.

flowers for you and all the others on here going through similar. We ARE doing right thing for us and our children.

thinkiamgoingcrazy Mon 29-May-17 12:09:12

Thanks for all your answers.

H has gone away for 3 days with one of our dcs, and I am oddly now feeling all chilled and that I don't really need to get divorced, despite the fact that we haven't spoken since October confused? WTAF is that about?

Anyway am ploughing on with my plans. Today I feel as if I am being greedy / unfair confused.

Probably H will get home and be unpleasant about something and I'll remember why I no longer want to be married to him confused.

thinkiamgoingcrazy Mon 29-May-17 12:34:46

(Even though actually I still feel very attached confused).

ImperialBlether Mon 29-May-17 12:38:28

You two haven't exchanged a word since October?

IonaNE Mon 29-May-17 12:39:36

OP, the longer you put up with abuse, the more you're fuelling his fire and the more extreme he'll get. Do everything that NaiceBiscuits suggested and get a good solicitor. You are feeling better right now because he is not there. Doesn't that tell you something?

thinkiamgoingcrazy Mon 29-May-17 13:32:46

Yes I do feel better because he isn't here and I don't have to deal with his moods, our complete inabilty to communicate and my weird existence when we are in the same house. It's quite surprising how little time it takes for me to feel better and less desperate. But of course I haven't been through the divorce yet so am to an extent burying my head in the sand.

Yes not since October ImperialBlether or only for absolutely necessary logistical things. There is a long history of H not speaking to me for weeks after arguments, and after a horrible outburst of his last October, I just haven't done what I would normally do to get him to speak again (though never about the argument) - which was normally to send him an email asking him to stop not talking. After weeks of going round with a knot in my stomach.

He did make a couple of overtures to me but the look of hate on his face as he bellowed ARE YOU STUPID? at me across the room last October in front of our 2 frozen to the spot dds, meant that I finally decided that actually, there is never going to be and end to the fact that he could behave like that at any time.

So I have massively detached. And he hasn't spoken either (normal for him and for his family when they often fall out).

thinkiamgoingcrazy Mon 29-May-17 13:34:00

There is a solicitor who has given me some advice but the whole thing feels like wading through treacle because it is difficult to combat my own doubts.

weatherbomb Mon 29-May-17 13:42:59

it is difficult but you can do this. be aware, he may have been getting legal advice too especially if he has form for hiding things. I would suggest that he's more worried about what you are entitled to which is why he behaves as he does. It's not normal though, not normal at all. Get as much paperwork as you can whilst ges away. how old are you DC? for you flowers

IonaNE Mon 29-May-17 14:20:40

* the look of hate on his face as he bellowed ARE YOU STUPID? at me across the room last October in front of our 2 frozen to the spot dds*
OP, please don't say that after this you are still having doubts. Your DDs are growing up thinking this is what a normal marriage looks like. If either of your DDs was being treated like this by her husband, would you have doubts in advising them?

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 29-May-17 14:26:45

Please don't spend the next three days in 'paralysis by analysis'. Spend the time getting, copying and storing information - you have the perfect opportunity.

thinkiamgoingcrazy Mon 29-May-17 14:32:04

No I absolutely wouldn't.

But I haven't been perfect in this relationship, hence the doubts..... But then I guess who is. And it's not like I haven't told H the things I find difficult - many times over the years. He doesn't love me basically.

The "Are you stupid" event was because I had told him that if he thought ds hadn't eaten enough (ds is 15!) he could make you a meal. I had already sorted the kids out with getting themselves as sandwiches and they had had pasta. From the sofa and behind his PC, H said he thought ds probably wanted a cooked meal. I snapped a bit and said "you do it then". (In hindsight I think he hadn't heard the bit about the pasta). So then I was treated to "what?" said in a dangerous voice - I repeated it (knowing I was done for) and that's when the are you stupid stuff started. Followed by sarcastic shouting asking me if I thought I was clever.


thinkiamgoingcrazy Mon 29-May-17 14:33:17

I like that "paralysis by analysis".

The 3 days are almost over sadly. I have managed to do a bit more preparation.

thinkiamgoingcrazy Mon 29-May-17 14:33:51

Make him a meal.

thinkiamgoingcrazy Mon 29-May-17 14:35:38

Apologies for typos.

It doesn't even sound like such a tragic event (the are you stupid one) but the shouting and the look on his face were awful. And it's not the only time there have been outbursts like this, followed by weeks of silence.

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