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Am I Being Sensible or Cowardly?

(13 Posts)
Somefantasticplace Mon 25-May-20 17:54:24

Decision to divorce made (by me) in January, 28 year relationship, 23 years married and 2 DCs over 18. The decision took 2 years from the point where I decided I wouldn't put up with his moods and the silent treatment any longer. You could say that it ended for me then but it took me a long time to be brave enough to face a future alone and to say the words out loud to him.

I had hoped to divorce using the new 'no fault' divorce law that is making its way through parliament, except it has now stalled and I have no idea if or when it will become law.

Which leaves me with a problem. Do I divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour and get it over with or do I wait and see what happens with the new law? What I can't work out is if I'm still so afraid of his reaction that I am choosing to wait to avoid dealing with his anger and resentment, or if it's sensible to wait and do this as amicably as possible for everyone's sake.

We are still living in the same house, which will have to be sold, and both DC s are with us for lockdown. We are in separate rooms and don't eat or spend any time together. It kind of works although if I wasn't working full time from home I don't know how I'd cope.

My fear is that I'm still worrying about his feelings and letting my dislike of confrontation stop me from doing what I should. On the other hand, moving things on now would make the atmosphere at home awful for the DCs. I'm also worried that if I leave it too long a judge might think that things can't have been 'intolerable' as I stayed and not grant the divorce.

Any advice or words of wisdom?

OP’s posts: |
MarkRuffaloCrumble Mon 25-May-20 18:01:06

I don’t think they’ll be able to use the last three months as evidence of anything - we were told to stay out and the majority of us, unless in immediate physical danger, did just that.

FWIW I originally went with Unreasonable behaviour, but it took so long for me to get round to filing it, I was able to use the 2 years separation instead!

Could you start from 2 years ago when you mentally separated from him? What did that realisation look like? Did you share a bed or still have sex? Have you stopped doing things for him that you would otherwise have done? Would your ex be likely to contest it if you said you’d been separated but stuck living together throughout that time to save you having to list his UB?

MarkRuffaloCrumble Mon 25-May-20 18:01:36

Stay out = stay put (stupid phone!!)

begoniapot Mon 25-May-20 18:06:44

I would wait until lockdown ends and (hopefully) your DC move back out or normal life resumes. To have nowhere safe to go (even if it's just a hotel) if he kicks off would frighten me. Then I would start divorce proceedings under the existing law, unless the new no fault law is very rapidly going on the statute book. I went for unreasonable behaviour but left out the verbal and physical abuse and just kept it fairly non controversial. Separate bedrooms, not cooking for each other, not talking is an unreasonable way to live. I put my H had racist, misogynist views which I found upsetting, moods, silences etc. The judge accepted this and issued the decree nisi initially. I didn't want to give H reasons to refuse to sign. I did it diy. The gov. website is really helpful.

funnylittlefloozie Mon 25-May-20 18:08:09

Does your husband accept the divorce? Is he likely to contest it or kick off? Because if he is resigned to it, he may accept a slight "fiddling" of the dates on which you separated. The divorce courts dont check, if you are both in agreement. You can be separated and live in the same house.

begoniapot Mon 25-May-20 18:10:03

The judge only disallows the nisi on the grounds of putting up with certain behaviour is a year or more has gone by and you've put up with it. Eg. If H was unfaithful and you'd just lived with it for 5 years, that would not likely be an acceptable reason. It has to be something fairly recent, but past behaviour can also be put down as part of the bigger picture.

Somefantasticplace Mon 25-May-20 21:43:56

Thanks all for replying and for your help. @MarkRuffaloCrumble and @funnylittlefloozie although he has accepted that we will divorce, he doesn't want it and won't do anything to encourage it so it's unlikely he would agree to saying it's been 2 years.

His main aim is to make sure that everyone knows that this is my decision (read fault) so he can appear the innocent victim. He can never be wrong so any thought that I would call his behaviour unreasonable would cause a reaction, probably to resist and delay things.

I suppose being in the same house is getting to me, I just want to move on with my life, get a home of my own and get rid of the knot in my stomach.

I guess it would make sense @begoniapot to just wait a bit until lockdown eases and see how things are then. DC will be off when universities go back in the autumn so I suppose I can wait until then.

OP’s posts: |
MarkRuffaloCrumble Mon 25-May-20 23:42:48

Nobody gets to see why young divorced except whoever processes the paperwork - he can tell his friends and family whatever he likes! Just go with unreasonable behaviour and maybe keep it fairly light - they don’t have to be big reasons. Have a google for some ideas.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Mon 25-May-20 23:43:51

*why YOU’VE divorced

So fed up of autocorrect!!

user1635482648 Tue 26-May-20 00:23:43

On the other hand, moving things on now would make the atmosphere at home awful for the DCs

It sounds pretty ghastly already tbh. I don't think you're doing them any favours by dragging it out. It must be so demoralising.

My fear is that I'm still worrying about his feelings and letting my dislike of confrontation stop me from doing what I should

And the fear of it becoming real?

It sounds like you've come a long way and I take my hat off to you for that. Unfortunately some things are always going to be scary/awful no matter how long you stall or how much time you spend preparing - sometimes you have to give yourself enough time to cobble together the best survival pack and mental readiness you can and then jump, knowing there will be a period of "just keep going, just keep going" but that you're doing it to make life better in the long run.

Does it matter what nonsense he tells witless people? You know the truth of your own life, and you will be moving forward to better things.

If the most control he has left over you is making up silly stories to comfort himself, that's not a bad outcome!

Somefantasticplace Wed 27-May-20 22:20:31

Sorry to take a while to reply @user1635482648 and @MarkRuffaloCrumble, been a little under the weather, not the virus thank goodness.

You are both right of course, it really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks but I still seem to be concerned about what HE thinks and I wish I wasn't.

I've decided to have a (paid) session with a solicitor and talk things through in detail. I had a free 30 minute session in February and I liked the person I saw so I'll ask for her. Hopefully she can help me word a few examples of unreasonable behaviour as I have downloaded the divorce forms and started to fill them in. It helps to think I'm doing something to move things along, even if I wait for a while to submit them.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply

OP’s posts: |
MarkRuffaloCrumble Thu 28-May-20 09:20:59

Well done, I think that’s the best course of action. Of course if he’s going to stall things, then he will. But you don’t have to start from a position of bowing down to him. That’s a sure fire sign that you need to get out!!

If you go with a few examples of things he can’t refute, rather than intangible ‘unreasonableness’ it doesn’t matter if they’re not big things. I was told it could be as simple as leaving the lid off the toothpaste - as long as it’s something that you find unreasonable, it can go in. Ideally there should be mention of the most long standing annoyance, the most recent and the most serious.

Cambionome Thu 28-May-20 09:27:06

Well done op - speaking from experience advice from a good solicitor makes a massive difference.

I would keep trying to move slowly but surely forward with the divorce - it can take so long anyway that it's probably best not to waste any more time. Good luck. flowers

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