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Those of you who've been through it... How bad is divorce?

(25 Posts)
BEAUTlFUL Wed 01-Oct-08 21:56:52

How did you decide enough was enough? Did you keep the house? Was it horrific? Everything I've read has said that divorce is the worst thing that can ever happen to anyone... But DH has been away for 4 days and I really don't want him to come home! It's so much nicer/simpler/happier without him around. I don't think I love him anymore. We've had problems before, lots of them, and though I can see what he gets out of our marriage, I don't know what I do.

So.. How bad is it? And where do I start? See a solicitor?

The thought of starting "the Talk" with DH stresses/depresses/deflates me too. I know he'll be an arse, I just can't face the thought of it.

I'm fed up with having to consider his emotions before my own constantly, iykwim.

It's just easier without him around.

BEAUTlFUL Wed 01-Oct-08 21:59:29

He's away with work, back on Friday. He rang earlier and said he was thinking of coming over tomorrow night (he is working locally-ish tomorrow) for a few hours, then going back to stay at the hotel tomorrow night. I couldn't help it, I was horrified! Interrupting my routine, wanting to be fed something vegetarian... Nooo! I talked him out of the idea.

GypsyMoth Wed 01-Oct-08 22:01:23

its not so bad....til you hear a certain song!!!

BEAUTlFUL Wed 01-Oct-08 22:02:25

What song? I think my theme tune would be "Freedom"...

GypsyMoth Wed 01-Oct-08 22:12:11

ah....you're at the relieved stage!!!

few months down the line,you hear a certain song....kind of gets you!!

hey,you'll survive,i did!!!

don't know your history....mine was a violent bully....but it does get easier..

GypsyMoth Wed 01-Oct-08 22:14:00

mine/our song was "unchain my heart" by toni braxton i think it was....just heard a clip of it on "the family"....

TillyScoutsmum Wed 01-Oct-08 22:20:50

I suppose it varies but I've been divorced twice and both times, the more powerful emotion was of relief. The first one was particularly nasty and totally fucked me up financially, but ultimately, I was glad to get rid.

Second one was more my decision and was actually more difficult because I felt guilty but I still felt a sense of relief.

I would add that I didn't have children with either of them though - so suspect that may make a difference

Chandra Wed 01-Oct-08 22:26:26

Sometimes is more difficult to take the decission than dealing with the consequences of it.

DexH and I tried to save the marriage for years, we decided to end it when we realised that no matter how hard we tried the feelings were gone (decided NOT to wait for hate to arrive in order to part). It was a bit difficult in the first few weeks as we both were unsure of what to expect of the new situation and had our own fears. But as soon as we dealt with that we both were very very happy. He is one of my best friends now. Neither of us have intentions to come back so no hard feelings nor painful memories.

Overmydeadbody Wed 01-Oct-08 22:26:46

I'm divorced and I wouldn't say it was the worst thing that happened to me ever. The initial decision to leave was hard, and the first bit after I left, but the actual process of the divorce itself was fairly easy and non stressful.

The rest was just like any other long term break-up, painful, messy, hurtful, but you get through it.

It is definately worth it, in the long run.

NotBigNotClever Wed 01-Oct-08 22:33:53

If it's something that you need to do, then you just have to get on and do it. My divorce was deeply unpleasant but mercifully quick. exH refused to move out until all the finances had gone through the court, which didn't happen until after we got the decree nisi. I would imagine that it is a great deal more bearable if you can live apart whilst going through the actual divorce, but sometimes that isn't possible.

NotBigNotClever Wed 01-Oct-08 22:37:23

ps: Divorce is certainly NOT the worst thing that can happen to anyone. It can be dreadful, but I know people who have divorced amicably.

BEAUTlFUL Wed 01-Oct-08 23:31:11

Oooh, these are good, thank you. We have struggled for ages, and have mentioned divorce before several times, but didn't have the guts.

Since he's been away it's really brought home (to me) how miserable and stressed I've been in the marriage. I don't really enjoy his company anymore - the thought of us going out for dinner, for example, makes me think "But what would we talk about?"

I've totally gone off sex with him, and had to stop halfway through the other night because it was just squicking me out. It felt too intimate.

We get on OK when we're out, but he is VERY negative about things, his first reaction to "Shall we do X, Y, Z" is always no. That gets draining. There is always a reason not to do something. by nature I'm enthusiastic and keen to try different things; he is a downer.

Plus we have had bad rows where he has lost his temper and insulted my appearance and been slightly physically violent. Not hitting or punching, just pushing - and once he raised a chair up like he was going to hit me with it! Arse.

I think this break is making him keener though, which is a shame. I'd like us both to want to split. I wish he'd meet another woman, tbh. I just want it done.

I'm sure I'll feel like a terrible failure, and we have 2 children whose lives I'll be massively changing (not neccessarily for the better), but it's exhausting being married to him. I know I deserve better. I know he's not good enough for me. And I want a man who can add to my lovely life, not take all my energy away from it.

BEAUTlFUL Wed 01-Oct-08 23:33:50

Would I be in a good position? I mean, if I've been the primary carer of the children, will they automatically live with me but see him every other weekend (or whatever)? Do i keep the house, or any share of it? Am I entitled to a specific amount of money from him for the kids if he sees them regularly?

I need to see a solicitor, don't I...

AramintaAlice Wed 01-Oct-08 23:40:22

I'm really tired but I'll try and get on in the morning and give you a full reply. I've got ups and downs to tell.

lou33 Wed 01-Oct-08 23:40:47

i finally get to sign the divorce papers on monday to initiate proceedings, i have had to focus on my financial affairs, and the fact exh has forced me to go bankrupt, before i could do anything else

BUT now i am able to deal with this, tho the only practical effect it will have to me will be the fact i will lose 200 lbs of dead weight overnight once it is done (house is rented in my name, he doesnt work etc)

i found a great solicitor through word of mouth, who thinks exh is (as i do) huge comedy value and better than eastenders

she has told me i should probably do him for unreasonable behaviour rather than the 2 yr mutual consent thing, as he has already tried to argue when we split, and pushed it back 9 months

divorce is the best thing for me, separation was better for me and the kids too

exh will of course kick off when he finds out i am going down unreasonable behaviour rather than mutual consent, but quite frankly now i couldnt care less

btw, i tried for 4 YEARS to get exh to see we were in trouble but he wouldnt listen

by the time he decided we needed to talk, it was too late

and i dont regret it for a second, because i had not a single doubt i was right

as long as you are sure, then do what you must and good luck

mumoverseas Thu 02-Oct-08 05:56:31

Beautiful, sorry that you are having a difficult time. I can honestly say that divorce isn't the worst thing in the world, its just making the actual decision as to what you want that is hard. you say you don't think you love him anymore but I think you really need to be 100% certain before you take the plunge and go ahead with a divorce or separation. Have you thought about maybe suggesting mediation or counselling to him? He probably has absolutely no idea how you are feeling so maybe its worth testing the water before you jump in?
On a practical note, if you were to divorce, the starting point would be that you remained in the former matrimonial home with the children. A lot however would depend on the financial circumstances. For example, if you have 2 children and are in a 2 bed house (or 3 bed if you have a boy and a girl) then you should remain in the house wiht the children and a deal would have to be reached that would involve your DH getting his 'share' in the equity at a later date. (ie if you decided to sell the house volunarily, re-married, died or when the youngest child reaches 16/17 or whatever age agreed).This is called a 'mesher' Order and is quite common in financial settlements. If however you are living in a house with excess number of bedrooms over needs you are technically 'overhoused' and your DH may have an argument that the matrimonial home be sold and a smaller (and cheaper) property purchased for you and the children. He could then get a share of the equity at that stage.
In relation to child maintenance, if you are able to agree all financial aspects, ie the sale of the house or what happens if you stay in it etc and can agree the amount of maintenance he will pay for the children, then this can be incorporated into a Consent Order to be lodged at the Court for approval. Once sealed (approved) by the Judge it is legally binding. If you are not able to reach an agreement on maintenance for the children, then it will be an assessment by the CSA. They are supposed to be bringing in a new system this year however at the moment, I believe they are still using the old system which provides a flat rate depending on the number of children you have. 1 child is 15% of his net income (gross less tax, NI and pension contributions), 2 children is 20% and 3 or more is 25%) If he is having the children a set number of nights (think it is 102 a year but might need to check that) he can apply for a reduction.
with regards to the residence of the children, the starting point is that they will reside with you and that he will have regular contact with them. Unless there is a dispute there is no need to apply to the Court for any orders. hope this helps on a practical level but I would suggest you try to talk to him before you jump in. Good luck

surprisenumber3 Thu 02-Oct-08 09:33:33

Hi - my divorce wasn't too bad, even though there was a 2 year old child involved. Although I was very lucky in that my XH let me keep the house and even paid my mortgage for a year until I got myself sorted (although I did give him this back when I met DH and he bought him out).

We did our own divorce, no solicitors, and have never argued over access to DS and sort CSA out ourselves (although that has been a bit of PITA).

When he went I did feel complete freedom, like a HUGE weight had been lifted, it's been 7 years now and I have never regretted it.

I know what Brie means about the song though, was in Asda one day doing my shopping years after our divorce and heard two songs from around the time of our divorce 'Against all odds' and 'If you come back', and I was literally in tears. Don't know where that came from and it certainly hasn't happened again!

good luck x

Hassled Thu 02-Oct-08 09:39:58

Divorce isn't the worst thing you can experience - bereavement is. I felt a lot of relief when I left my ex - but that was mixed with feelings of failure that I hadn't managed to make my marriage work and a lot of worry about the effect on the DCs. And although ex is now a good friend, at the time I also felt very very guilty towards him; he took it very badly.

Once I was on my own with the DCs it was relentless and hard work and exhausting, but I also felt I had one less child to worry about - ex had been as demanding as a child.

good luck, whatever you decide

Anna8888 Thu 02-Oct-08 09:41:16

No, divorce isn't the worst thing in life at all.

Kally Thu 02-Oct-08 09:53:56

I got divorced after 26 years... veryone thought I was nuts. Most of my married life was spent abroad in EH country and being alone and single parent to two older children and one little one wasn't easy. He had his family for support and all I had was phone calls etc. But I kept it together altho he was a total arse and showed how inconsiderate he was even more so after the separation. Didn't pay maintenance, made me loose my job by not sticking to routines re the little one (pick ups from daycare etc). It was almost as if he was doing his best to sabotage any step forward I took, only in a subtle way. I had no money for a lawyer and the State appnt me one who was rubbish and I got the lowest of deals re maintenance for little one. Two older kids had to file for themselves and didn't want to.
He then did a moonlite flit to Canada without telling us, and I was gutted for the kids.
So four years on, packed up 5 boxes, (we didn't own a house or were wealthy)5 boxes out of 26 years of memories, and I looked at them and thought 'yeah that's about the size of it'. I came back to the UK after such a long time with little one and we've been here two years now. Happy, resettled, survivors and wiser.
It's a long road, but its as long as you make it. It's different, its readapting, but once you are OUT and learn to appreciate the independance and the liberty, and feel air go into your lungs when you breath, you embrace it with your soul. Being in a bad/unhappy marriage is like a jail sentence. I envy people that have that (in a way)happiness and solidarity and do things right, but I also have a niggling voice always that says 'one of them is the door mat or holds the emotional whip'. I am sceptical about marriage and fearful of relationships that get deep, yet would love to be free of that fear, maybe it just takes time and I haven't got safely to that stepping stone yet, emotionally.

TillyScoutsmum Thu 02-Oct-08 10:07:40

You do need to see a solicitor because everyone's circumstances are different but really (really) generally speaking:-

He would probably be entitled to about 10-20% of the equity in the house (assuming there is any). This may mean you have to sell and move or remortgage.

He will need to pay maintenance for the dc's. The amount will be based on his salary and how many nights per year he has them staying. There is a calculator on the CSA website which will give you an idea of amounts (you don't have to put any details personal to you - just the relevant numbers). If he's willing, you may be able to agree to a lesser amount of maintenance in lieu of him getting his equity out of the house. Its all down to negotiation really

All things being equal, he would be entitled to "reasonable" access. Again - its a negotiation thing but every other weekend and maybe one night per week might be a good place to start.

If you (or he) aren't ready for a divorce yet, you could get a solicitor to draw up a separation agreement which outlines all the financial and access arrangements. This would be the legal position is protected and then when you come to do the divorce a couple of years down the line, it should be much easier/quicker/cheaper to do because all the salient points are agreed.

CAB will have details of marital law solicitors who do a free initial consultation. Solicitors are great for advising but the more you can agree between you, the better (and cheaper !), hence a separation agreement initially might not get his back up as much as immediate divorce proceedings.

You'll be fine and so will the dc's. My parents also divorced and even I felt relief and both parents eventually seemed much more content.

BEAUTlFUL Thu 02-Oct-08 10:38:36

Thank you all so, so much. You are being so reassuring. I feel like a weight has lifted this week with his not being around, and like a big rock has gone from my chest (that i didn't realise had been there). I'm so less stressed, it's unbleeevable.

I don't know how he will take it. We have talked about it before so it will NOT be a shock in ANY way. I would really like him not to live here while it goes through, but am not sure if that'll be possible financially.

I'm making notes of all nyour advice & am boking a solictors apt for next week. When I know what I'm entitled to, I'll have The Chat.

FairyTaleEnding Thu 02-Oct-08 22:01:42

Hi Beautiful! Have been going through this for the past eight months, after finally getting up the courage to make the decision to split.

One thing I did that was incredibly helpful was to go and see a really good solicitor initially for a one-off consultation. I laid all the facts (financial, kids, personalities, resources etc) in front of him and he advised me of the best way to go about it all, what I should be entitled to and recommended mediation.

It was the best money I spent. He was supportive, clear, sympathetic, realistic and helpful. Wish I could have afforded him for the whole thing!

Good luck. I'm thinking of you.

BEAUTlFUL Thu 02-Oct-08 23:49:36

Thanks, FTE! That is helpful. How do i find a good one? And how much was it for that consultation?

FairyTaleEnding Fri 03-Oct-08 21:56:32

I was recommended someone through friends, and he charged his hourly rate - which can vary according to the solicitor. Don't know where you are based? If you CAT me I can give you some details. Hope you're feeling ok.

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