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I know this marriage has reached it's end, but sincerely in need of advice

(10 Posts)
afaz Sat 26-Sep-09 11:52:06

This will be a long story. I have to get this off my chest. For me, this relationship needs to be over. I need advice on how to proceed.

My husband is a serial adulterer. We've been married 5 years, together for 7 in total. We have a daughter together, a teenage son (from my previous relationship) and twins from his ex (who stay with us at weekends).

Right now, he is abroad again with his family. This time is for 3 weeks in his car. I can't remember hw many times he's visited alone this year (4/5 maybe). We've visited once or twice as a family each year since getting hitched.

Anyway... Our two year engagement was wonderful. I honestly don't believe he was unfaithful during this time.

We were married in May 5 years ago. A month later, I fell pregnant. Three months into the pregnancy, I discovered he was having an affair.

At first I'd hoped it was simply a fling. Though it almost killed me, I said nothing for almost two mnths, hoping for the best. then I reached breaking point and confronted them both. It ended, though he still lies abut it through his teeth. I know I was not wrong - she admitted the affair. The evidence was everywhere.

We stayed together. He is "dad" to my son, and the father of our daughter. In many ways I would have felt ashamed if our marriage had ended, as though failure would be my fault.

He has had more affairs since. These have been more difficult to prove, though I did confront him. Again, the lies.

We have reached breaking point on numerous occasions. Each time, he would not willingly leave me. Each time I feel guilty. I didn't want the marriage to end, and for my children to be without their dad.

A couple of months ago, when everything seemed perfect, I discovered his extremely unsavoury activities online. I'm an IT professional, and honestly found those first few things accidentally when fixing his work computer.

First came the discovery he'd become a member of dirty flirting sites like horny matches dot com. The kind of site where ppl go to find no-strings partners.

Then I discovered an email addy he had tried to keep from me, and easily guessed the pw. What I found there was far worse. no messages from particular women, but many more memberships to similar sites. I also found out about his FB account - in a different name - where he is friends with many women from his own country. One of them has even created a "fansite" for him. It makes my skin crawl.

I know he also chats on MSN while at work. I have not been able to access those logs, yet suspect the worst.

We do have a great sex life. there is no need whatsoever for him to seek pleasure elsewhere. I can only imagine this is a huge ego trip for him, like an addiction he simply can't give up.

Here is my situation right now:

I want a divorce.

I do not want to deal with this anymore.

This relationship should really have been over months (if not years) ago. He is abroad right now, so his presence is having little affect on my emotions.

In 12 days time, he will be back home. I plan (and need) to tell him the relationship is over. For good, this time.

But I am very very scared!

We have a home here together - a rented council house, and the tenancy is in my sole name.

We also have a house (fully paid up) in his home country. This is in his sole name.

We both have a car. In own names.

I sincerely doubt there will be any question that the children will stay with me. He is incapable of looking after them himself. Almost all aspects of parenting are my sole respnsibility, and always have been.

So... if I tell him that it's over, this really means I want him to move out. I know he will have a place to "stay" - he's self employed and has a bed in the back of one of his shops - allegedly in reaction to our most recent almost-split.

At present, I imagine he has little idea of my feelings. To be brutally honest, I kept my suspicions from him before his big trip on purpose - if I'd mentioned this before, he may not have decided to come back. For the sake of the children, I do want him to be present in their lives.

I have no evidence of an affair - just suspicion, which he could attempt to pass off as innocent flirting. Solid evidence may make it easier for a final split.

I'm worried he may get angry - not physically abusive (he has never laid a hand on me), but angry at me for being the cause of the split, and for making him start building a new home and life for himself.

My main concern is my children. These past couple of weeks, while he's been away, they have both been very upset. Especially my daughter. Though he is not often "around" as a true "dad", they do miss his presence terribly.

Furthermore, if this split makes him angry he may try to take our daughter abroad. This frightens me immensely. He is originally from an Arabic country, and to make matters worse his brother is a very high ranking police officer. If he could get her over to his country, he could easily hide her from everyone, and I'd have no chance of ever getting her back.

This is something he once threatened (in anger) during a time of great problems with his ex.

Obviously, as we are married he has equal parental responsibility for our daughter. He will be granted access, and I do want him to see the children. But I'm scared of what could happen.

I need to know my legal standpoint, as soon as possible.

Financially, I will be okay. I am self-employed, and for the past few months have been filtering some money into a savings account he doesn't know if. Worst case scenario fund.

There is not a huge amount of money in the pot, certainly not enough for a long expensive legal battle.

My hope is we may be able to divorce amicably. All I want from him is the means to support our children, ie: leave me the cooker, beds for the kids and the basics to get by. I don't expect maintanance and can manage without.

Please, please offer me some advice on how to proceed.

I don't know what to say to make him understand that this is over, and that there is no longer any hope of trying again.

I don't know how to keep him in a calm state so he can still be around for the children.

I really need to know if there are steps I may take to prevent him abducting our daughter abroad.

I appreciate anything you could say, to make this clearer and easier for me, and less traumatic for him.

Thank you for reading down this far. I look forward to any advice you wonderful ladies may be able to offer.

lizzy6 Sat 26-Sep-09 16:49:32

there's a lots of stuff here and the good news is that you do really seems to have thought it all through

legal advice will help here as will getting together all of your financial info - both will help you know where you stand and make you feel more empowered and able to deal with the situation

other than that I just think that remaining calm yourself (I find this hard myself) and taking things step by step will help a lot

RubysReturn Sat 26-Sep-09 16:56:19

If you are able to tolerate it, I would say nothing to him until you are able to get your affairs in order. Can you find a solicitor with experience of parents of different nationalities to advise. The resolution website gives info on family solicitors who are willing to work with others in the group with a view to getting a fair deal for everyone, rather than 'bleeding dry' the former partner.

Can you ensure your dds passport is in a safe place. If she has dual nationality, could you apply for another, to ensure your husband could not apply for one with a view to taking her to his home country?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 26-Sep-09 16:57:47

If your daughter has a passport, hide it where he'll never find it, somewhere out of the house, perhaps with a friend? If she doesn't, get her one and hide it, so he can't get one for her.

FiveGoMadonTheDanceFloor Sat 26-Sep-09 17:05:56

Agree with passports, lodge it with the bank. Also make an appointment to see a solicitor ASAP.

thumbwitch Sat 26-Sep-09 17:16:34

There may be some kind of help available from various charities, such as this one, PACT, and you could try this govt website first, as it has a helpline phone number to ring for those who are afraid their child could be abducted and taken abroad.

Phone them and see what they say.

BertieBotts Sat 26-Sep-09 17:25:44

I am sorry I don't have any advice relating to the issue with your daughter other than to reiterate everyone else's points about the passport - it would be very difficult for him to get her out of the UK without a passport, I would think.

I just wanted to say on the other point - him staying calm and being in the children's lives - that is not your responsibility and you should not feel guilty if he does disappear. Of course he will be feeling very angry to begin with and so remember his first reaction may well not last. If you can keep calm in your dealings with him and stay reasonable, you will be doing absolutely right by your children. Unfortunately there is not much you can do to protect them if he does decide he doesn't want contact But you can help them feel more secure by staying consistent yourself. And however they feel now, they will not blame you when they are old enough to understand fully.

afaz Sat 26-Sep-09 19:36:16

Thank you all so far for your insights and advice. Earlier this evening I spoke to my Dad about the whole situation - he and mum would certainly be willing to help me hide the passports (and of course are a wonderful support for us).

DD is of dual nationality, and has the foreign passport too. I know HB can easily get another copy of this passport without my knowledge.

Thumbwitch, those links are exactly what I needed. Have taken down the numbers now so I can call Monday when the kids are at school.

I realize I should get legal advise ASAP, but am concerned about the costs. Honestly, money matters are of little concern to me. I realized a long time ago that hb could easily hide as much of his assets as he chooses, and I am in a position now where I can manage financially without his support. TBH, I already pay most of the household bills from my own earnings. He does earn a lot, but tends to spend this on his frequent trips (and the occasional spend on me/the house, which I can't help but wonder are gifts offered in the name of guilty feelings).

@RubysReturn - I think now I've reached the stage where I cannot tolerate it any more. Financially, I've been preparing for some time. Mentally and emotionally too, or at least, I'm trying to!

These past few days have been simply awful. Each time he calls, I feel dread at wondering what he could be up to. Sometimes it even makes me feel physically sick.

To be around him much longer upon his return while trying not to say anything would feel unbearable.

I still have 12 days before his return, and will endeavor to deal with as much as possible during this time. It is likely to come as a great shock to him though we do sit and talk!

tryingherbest Sat 26-Sep-09 19:38:06

Sorry you are going through this.

Sorry you are going through this and I would say that you seem like you've thought things through well.

Your fears about your dh taking your kids abroad does resonate and I agree with posters re hiding passports - can you get a trusted family member to hold them in a safe along with birth certificates etc.

Another great organisation who can tell you your rights and empower you is www.reunite.org and a divorce solicitor who also specialises in cases parents of different nationalities will also be able to help greatly.

Do keep your head and don't be inimidated by his family connections - I'm assuming he hasn't actually threatened anything?

Are you based in N. London - if so I can recommend a solicitor but they don't take legal aid. Most solicitors are willing to give free initial advice lasting one hour.

And keep your cards close to your chest - don't tell him a thing until you're ready to act.

RubysReturn Sat 26-Sep-09 19:58:43

Good for you preparing in advance. My friend is going through something similar atm. She had not realised how much prep she had done subconsciously.

I do think an hours legal advice might be a lifesaver (about £150 in SE based on her experience).

Such a shame when a marriage becomes so awful. I hope things improve for you. fwiw my friend does not look unhappy, more relieved now.

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