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Coping with losing your home

17 replies

NextChapter2019 · 07/04/2019 21:42

Just looking for a bit of a hand hold really and any advice from anyone going through the same thing.

My DH and I are divorcing and I can't afford to buy him out of our home. He can't afford to stay in our home without me so the short story is our lovely home which we have spent years renovating will have to be put up for sale.

I'm so gutted knowing I'll have to leave this place, it's the only place I've ever truly felt at home. It's all so sad. I walk around out home in the evenings and look at all the things we have done to make this place our home, the decorating decisions, the time and energy we put into this place and the dreams we both had of having a family here one day.

I won't be able to afford to buy anything near as nice as our matrimonial home. And won't be able to buy anywhere in such a nice location. It is what it is, I don't want to sound spoilt, I'm just grieving the loss of not only my marriage but also my lifestyle and surroundings.

We are get to work out our finances and what will happen in our consent order. Luckily we do not have children. Luckily I have a reasonably good job so with my borrowing potential and hopefully having a reasonable deposit from the divorce I should be able to purchase somewhere new for myself, if that's what I want to do.

The "first world problem" I'm facing is that I really don't know what to do. The truth is I don't really want to live anywhere else. If I purchase somewhere it will be a flat in a bit so nice area. In many ways I'm very lucky and I know this, but this is a space we can all share our fears and true feelings and this is just how I'm feeling today during this one day at a time journey.

How has everyone else handled the loss of their home?

What has everyone in a similar situation to me done?

Have you all purchased your own flats? Have you managed to find happiness in your new homes which are so much less lovely than where you used to live whilst married?

A part of me feels like buying somewhere is such a huge commitment, should I just rent somewhere for a year, but that's a huge waste of money surely if I could buy somewhere. But I worry about the future and if I'm honest my work has been suffering due to how upset I am all the time. What if I take on a mortgage on my own and then lose my job?!? Then what if I was to meet someone new down the and I'm the stuck in a mortgage etc. I could do a house share but I'm not sure if that would just depress me, like it would be a massive step backwards.

As you can tell my head is all over the place. Truth is I'm just very frightened.

It would be lovely to hear any advice or positive stories or just hear from others who are also feeling as I am.


OP posts:
Dancer12345 · 07/04/2019 21:52

When I got divorced I was very sad to be leaving my home too, but equally felt like I couldn’t stay there due to too many memories. People said to me “it’s just bricks and mortar” and at the time I didn’t agree with that. Now I’ve got another home, this one feels even better than the first as it’s MINE! The memories of the old one have faded - yes I still think it was a lovely house, but I don’t get sad about it.

Buying can seem scary on your own, but houses can be sold or rented out. If you get somewhere where your mortgage isn’t horrendously high, then even if you lost your job you could manage for a bit on savings or a lower paid job. That’s what I always think. As sad as I’d be to lose my job, I wouldn’t mind working anywhere to pay the bills and I know I don’t need as much as my current salary to live off.

Divorce is a really hard time, very stressful and scary. Be kind to yourself. If you don’t want to rush into buying you could get a short-term let for 6 months to give you some breathing time.

thetigerthatcamefortea · 07/04/2019 22:01

Although I can’t quite relate to the loss of a home. (It was my ex husbands house before he met me and I didn’t ever truly love it) I can very much relate to the loss of my life as I knew it.
I am still in rented with my settlement money locked away whilst I decide what to do. I really really love my rented home.
It’s tiny and sometimes not fit for purpose as I have children. But it’s my home now and I feel safe and settled and right now that is ok.

The loss of our lives together is a hard one. For the most part I focus on the here and now and try to be a “yes” person. I try to constantly push my own boundaries to do things I wouldn’t of done before.
For the most part it works. But 18 months on I still have my moments. Today has been one of them. My children are with their dad. I’m at home pottering and have felt alone.
But these days are becoming few and far between.
It’s a new chapter. And if you are anything like me there will be as many positives as negatives. You just have to see them.
For me, one of the big ones, was getting home from work and sitting on the drive for a moment dreading going in the front door, knowing we would almost certainly fall out.
I now, open my front door and i feel at peace.
My biggest piece of advice is just take it one day at a time. New adventures, a new home, and new memories. Hour by hour.

Yellowshirt · 07/04/2019 22:45

I lost my home in September. I've been in rented since. A one bedroom flat.
The dreams I had for my house, the deposit I paid, the work we did together and the extension we planned all gone.
I wish I had thetigers..... motivation at the moment but I just can't motivate myself. I can't plan for a future. I don't want to own a home by myself or travel by myself. It's just lonely and rubbish.

Itsnotme123 · 08/04/2019 07:00

Even though I was the one that walked out, I miss the house and garden. I took some of my things with me, and then started missing items I had left behind. Some months later my ex handed over everything else of mine, and allowed me to go round the house choosing what else to take ( all items are jointly owned in a marital house) I’m lucky to have an amicable divorce going on. I find it’s things like the fire place or the crockery that I miss.

He’s buying me out, and I’ve found there’s sooooo much on the market, that it’s not hard to find something that fits needs and budget. But I don’t mind if I go to the other side of the country to find it.

I’m really looking forward to moving and starting a new life, with a house that I can call my own. In fact I’m looking into buying something here and a small house on the beach in the caribbean as I have contacts out there. Think of it as an adventure, it’s exciting !

thetigerthatcamefortea · 08/04/2019 21:50

I understand how @yellowshirt feels.
It’s really tough. We too had an extension planned. We had got through the tough planning application and we’re all set to start.
The only way I’m managing to move forward is to do everything differently. Instead of the same but alone.
So in real terms that means I honestly can’t face a holiday alone withe the children (we have always holidayed a lot)
So instead of looking at holidays in normal holiday destinations I’m planning shorter, busier trips like going to Amsterdam. (It might be a disaster! But it beats watching 2.4 families sit on the beach and feeling lonely.
I resent my ex husband living spitting distance from the school and me not being able to....
i resent that I know he had what used to be mutual friends round flor Sunday lunch with our children yesterday whilst I was home alone.
But as I said I try really hard to say yes to every offer (even though I hate it most of the time) just to distract my self.
I left for work this morning knowing that I wasn’t going to come home and wallow tonight..... that meant I either stayed at the office late and caught up or if I felt up to it I would go to the cinema on the way home.
I get in to bed every night tired but at peace I’ve got through another day. And tomorrow the sun will rise and I do it again. Before you know it you have got a day or two under your belt where you didn’t cry or you didn’t feel alone.
It’s hard. This is never the life plan. And so few people relish change.

VivaVegas · 09/04/2019 07:04

We had done the extension and having only moved here a few years ago transformed it into an amazing house. Ironically it was just finished last Summer when he out of the blue announced his behind repair terminal unhappiness.
I'm in a different position that I could stay here but reality is it's too big for me and DC and would drain me financially but worse for me is all the plans we made here and the happy memories that he has now destroyed.
But it's easier for the DC school, nothing needs doing to it now and it would give them stability.
I just don't think I can move on if I stay.
Another massive decision forced on me for which I hate him for as he sits in his rental seemingly oblivious as to why I'm so upset and cross about what he's done.

MayhemNowCertain · 09/04/2019 07:13

I kept the FHM as Ex Wife could not afford to either buy me out or to live there. She has fairly new house of her own and took whatever furniture she wanted from FMH.

Walking into the FHM so see it empty after the 8 years spent making into a home for the Son and Daughter was a bad experience.

Pippioddstocking · 09/04/2019 07:29

OP I know how you are feeling . Loosing my home was very destabilising , like the final insult .
However , I decided I never wanted anyone to be able to take my home away from me again so managed to buy a small house without a mortgage that is now 100 percent mine. I'm slowly doing all the things I want to it and now it feels very much like home.
I drive past my old house daily ( it's on my commute ) a new family live there now and it doesn't even feel like I ever lived there .
Life is different , together we were lucky to have a very fortunate and comfortable life but surprisingly I haven't missed the money one bit.
This is only a year on so you will get there , I promise .

whitesoxx · 09/04/2019 07:34

You don't sound particularly attached to your job. Maybe see this as an opportunity to completely overhaul your life. A new start.

What is your budget? Research areas around the country you might like to live where your budget will stretch further than a flat

stucknoue · 09/04/2019 07:46

Has anyone moved areas completely? Did it work? I have a friend up north where I could buy a similar house to mine outright.

TanMateix · 09/04/2019 07:59

The day the judge said the house was to be sold I cried all the night. It was NOT “just a house” but a project I invested years and £££ on, a place where I felt safe, with a little community I love and a piece of my identity.

Not knowing what was going to happen is what makes things worse, once you know you have a ”safe place” you can eventually call home, the stress will go down so fast you will be surprised.

I found it comforting to go through lots of magazines, books, and articles in small space living so when I started looking for a smaller place I had a lot of ideas on how to make a little house functional and look, if no bigger, at least great.

I managed to buy my ex out at the last minute through an unbelievably good mortgage deal an independent financial advisor got for me. If you have not seen an advisor yet, please do. You will have hopefully some positive news to help you buy a house you like.

ElizabethinherGermanGarden · 09/04/2019 08:11

I was completely shocked by how easy it was to leave my marital home - I moved into my parents' house for a year when my husband and I split up. It devastated me how shallow the roots turned out to be, despite all the work we had done on the house and how much I loved it at the time. I felt very homeless and inconsequential and superfluous for quite a long time because of it.

I bought a much smaller house that was a wreck and did it up - horrible process but now feel very strongly about that house as a home. It gets better and you will remake your own home and feeling of being rooted.

whitesoxx · 09/04/2019 08:37

Stuck go for it. Especially if you already have a friend there. Could you get an air b&b for a while in the area?

TanMateix · 09/04/2019 09:07

Stucknou, I didn’t move after divorce but I have moved a lot throughout my life. My advice would be to stay or go to where most of your network of support (family/good friends) is.

I moved to a lovely village, to a pretty house a few miles away from where I lived before. I never imagined that the lack of regular bus connections (or most importantly, the fact that most of my friends do not drive/have cars) was going to land me in the most miserably lonely years of my life. Despite the nice house, I was very unhappy, even when exh and I had each other back then.

If there are things that you love in that area, a nice job with the possibility of making new friends then move but if the only advantage is cheaper house prices and a friend who might be busy with her family most of the week, it may be better to stay put.

spritesobright · 09/04/2019 10:52

I'm potentially facing the same situation, OP. It's heartbreaking and scary. And I can identify with so many of the posts on here.

STBXH even threatened me that if I didn't agree to his child access terms, he wouldn't let me live in the marital home. It was such a manipulative thing to say and totally underestimated my devotion to my children - their wellbeing is the top priority, not the home. Though I also think that staying in the home will provide more stability for now.

Similar to VivaVegas we had just undertaken a big set of renovations and were about to carry out another when STBXH "out of the blue announced his behind repair terminal unhappiness."

If you are thinking of leaving a marriage why bury your head in the sand and continue to pay thousands towards planning and architect fees for a project you will never continue?

I love my home and especially the changes I made AFTER he left like tearing down the horrible garage that took up half the garden and replacing it with a lovely flower bed and patio area.

Recently however, a friend who is also separated decided to sell her home and she seems to feel a sense of freedom about being financially independent and starting afresh. So in some cases I think it can be quite liberating.

I also agree with TanMateix about the value of being in a support network so even if I had to move home I would want to be in the same area where so many friends live nearby (I have no close family).

I'm sorry to hear that you're going through this OP but as you point out, so many people do as well and it sounds on here like many are able to make it work and even find peace with the decision.

jamaisjedors · 15/04/2019 12:30

This is a great thread.

I am in the process of separating from H and the attachment to our family home has really taken me by surprise.

In the past I have resented the family home and all the upkeep necessary on it, but now I am feeling very sad walking around seeing all the hours of work we did on it and in particular our beautiful bedroom where I sanded and painted the floor and picked out the colours I had always wanted.

It is interesting to hear from others who are further down the line.

I suspect I will end up being relieved to be renting and not feeling responsible for a while. The house I will be renting is quite big too (I would have rathered something smaller but there is nothing on the market to rent currently).

I don't want to buy too quickly once I get the equity from the house because I don't want to be tied down if my needs change as the DC grow up and agency fees and taxes are so high here (and house prices do not necessarily increase that much) that I would need to stay put somewhere for at least 6 years.

Seapoint2002 · 15/04/2019 13:11

I think it will be hard initially as you are really going back to start on the property ladder again. But try and see it as a positive and maybe buy somewhere you could let in the future if you met a new partner and bought your next 'dream' house.

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