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Support thread for those going through divorce..?

(183 Posts)
ChangeAfoot Fri 04-Jan-13 18:04:59

It looks as though H and I are going to get divorced, have first appointments with lawyers booked over the next few days. I'm feeling horribly erratic - it was his decision but we've been miserable for ages and he's very difficult to live with. There's also been an affair (his), and his non-stop complaints and criticism, and in recent months his unemployment, to wear us down.

I was wondering if there was already a support thread for those going through these trials, because I'm so up and down and absolutely gutted about the end of "the dream" (albeit a shit one where you wake up in a cold sweat wink) and worrying about what lies ahead - social pariah-hood and destitution, if my worst fears were ever to be realised. I'm so tearful a lot of the time, although am already having flashes of feeling lighter and wondering whether I'll look back and thank my lucky stars.

If there isn't already a thread, and anyone else in a similar position fancies venting with me, then be my guest grin

<seethes in anticipation>

mowmi Fri 04-Jan-13 18:34:09

Hello, I'm 7 months in but can't get my husband to leave house! Happy to vent onc ei get the little one to go to bed!

Hope you are ok.

She70 Fri 04-Jan-13 18:40:52

I'm I'm for a chat/vent/support. I haven't actually started divorce proceedings yet but will do. My h moved out of our home almost 2 months ago now leaving me with 2dc, 5&2. Devastated doesn't come close even though things hadn't been good for a long time. I did actually think we were doing better but it seems not. Some days I really struggle to get through, others I feel ok and almost excited about the changes. That doesn't last long though. I think I've averaged about 4hrs sleep a night since he left so am running on auto pilot much of the time.

I look forward to chatting!

NoThankYouToSideSalad Fri 04-Jan-13 18:54:19

It's on the cards for us for 2013. I'm initiating it -have been unhappy for years and our relationship is as dead as a dodo. We sleep in separate bedrooms and haven't had sex for 9 years (my choice). Tried to convince myself for years that I could live without intimacy and affection for the sake of DC. Instead, I became a miserable shadow of my former self. Fortunately, my OH finally accepts it's over and we will separate as soon as I can get back into work - not easy in the current economic climate.

In the meantime, I'm preparing myself for singledom by re-connecting with old friends and looking after myself. Finally feeling the "old" me returning which is a very good thing! grin However, whilst excited by the thought of my new life, I sometimes feel completely overwhelmed by the thought of what my future will entail: telling DC; coping with 2 DC, 2 dogs and a full-time job (hopefully); the financial responsibility for myself and DC; and the horrors of dating again.

MirandaWest Fri 04-Jan-13 19:03:23

I am going to get divorced in 2013 - XH and I separated in April 2011 and I think we're going to wait until the 2 years are up so we can just d it that way. Want to pay my tax bill before starting things but will go and see a solicitor for a free half hour at some point.

Think I may need prodding to actually get around to doing things - tbh if I waited for XH to do anything I think we'd still be married in about 30 years time hmm. There's not much in the way of finances (we made a mess of them a few years ago and needed to sell our house and rent when that happened) so at least no house selling to do. We are amicable enough and DC see him regularly. Maintenance is based on CSA and I adjust it for how many nights he has them oer month as it alters from month to month.

I am a lot happier now then towards the end of the marriage and the DC are fine too. Just want to be properly unmarried as DD puts it smile

MirandaWest Fri 04-Jan-13 19:04:10

Dating can turn out to be an unexpected pleasure as well I have found grin

ChangeAfoot Fri 04-Jan-13 19:42:55

Glad it's not just me then was worried for a brief moment grin

Thanks all for replying. mowmi - you will know me under a different name (I'll PM you... it was from the ttc days!). Sorry to hear you're going through similar. H too wants to live here until things are sorted; we're only on day 3 and it's already driving me mad.

She70 "devastated doesn't even come close". Big hug. I can't get my head around my future landscape. (Wondering if you're the same age as me from your MN name...) smile

NoThankYou - I also need to get back to work, having been a 'trailing spouse' when I was pg and moving abroad. We moved back a year ago (thank GOD this didn't happen while we were still there..). In a way I think this could be the making of me because I've been so bloody miserable and drained by all the crap in our relationship, it's been a struggle to think about doing anything other than trying to be a good mother and keep a relatively functional house.

And Miranda - thanks for the positive spin re. dating - I can't even imagine such thrills!

NoThankYouToSideSalad Fri 04-Jan-13 20:02:59

She70 I have found that just the process of looking for work - getting the suit back on, joining LinkedIn, chasing old contacts- has given me a huge confidence boost. Now, that just needs to translate into a job! smile

Miranda - I fear I am a complete dating wuss. I lurk on the mn thread and the thought of OD fills me with absolute horror. Good God, I just don't think I could cope with random men sending me photos of their genitalia - eeeeuuuuww!! shock

NoThankYouToSideSalad Fri 04-Jan-13 20:07:51

Ooops - comment re work should have been addressed to Change blush.

She70 Have you spoken to your doctor about your lack of sleep? Poor you, you must be absolutely shattered with such little sleep and 2 young DC.

Dillie Fri 04-Jan-13 20:29:30

I will book my place here too.

I have told my H I want us to separate 2 weeks before Christmas. My timing sucked, but I couldn't wait until the new year. It is because of many things, his jealousy mainly and the guilt trip he runs because I want a life! Plus sometimes making me feel no more than a piece of poo on his shoe!

He wrote me a letter at new year (that my 7 yo dd found part of!) saying sorry for everything. Sorry for the put downs, snide comments, not trusting etc. He says he will fight his demons but can only do that with me and dd by his side!

He refuses to move out. I am in the spare room which I have made comfy. It is driving me crazy! He wants to wait 6 months, but I don't think I can wait that long!

Financially I am slightly better off staying in the home, plus I won't have to uproot my dd from her friends and her school is just down the road.

So I am kinda stuck. I am having therapy to help me with anxiety and depression caused by this mess! I want him gone, but I am taking to a wall! sad

She70 Fri 04-Jan-13 20:41:36

salad no I haven't spoken to a Dr but think I will have to next week. I am so tired that some days I don't think I function normally. Not good. Any idea what they might prescribe as I've never taken any pills. Getting to sleep isn't a problem but I generally wake at 3/4am and then my mind starts working overtime. I have so many unknowns about the future that I feel very unsettled and insecure. I hate it.

I'm also on the look out for a job. Need yo get my cv updated then I'll start hitting the agencies, LinkedIn etc. I used to have a good job so hope I'll find something that I can work round the children. I feel bad for my 2-yr old but I'm sure she will love nursery. But its just something else to feel guilty about isn't it?!

change yes its probably a good guess that we are the same age unless you are 70 smile

How did you all go about finding solicitors. This is my next challenge!

NoThankYouToSideSalad Fri 04-Jan-13 22:17:29

She70 I have no idea what a Dr. may prescribe. When I have periods of sleeplessness, I take a 10mg tablet of Phenegran. They are an over-the-counter travel sickness medication, but they knock me out!

Re. CV, etc. Are you in/ near London? Women Like Us is an organisation which helps women get back into work. They run regular CV clinics as well as life & career coaching which may be helpful to you. They are also linked with TimeWise which advertise part-time jobs. If you are interested, the Women Like Us website will have dates and details of their workshops.

Have no idea how to find a solicitor or at what stage I should be looking for one! Would also appreciate some guidance on this.

ChangeAfoot Fri 04-Jan-13 23:15:52

About to head to sleep after a whole evening of chatting to (lovely and supportive) friends on the phone about recent developments. The sad thing, in a way, is that none of them seem to be surprised by it. I'll be back in the morning to write more. On the solicitor note, I'm meeting one next week which was recommended by a barrister friend-of-friend I met last night. I think it's good to go by recommendation unless you have the luxury of having oodles of cash and being able to just pay for the most expensive. I have been shocked the past two days at the numbers quoted to me on the phone - the woman I'm seeing next week isn't based in central London but just outside, but my friend said if she was getting divorced, this was who she'd use, and she was half the price of the other people I'd spoken to. So fingers crossed...

She70 Sat 05-Jan-13 07:39:13

change How far outside of Central London? I am in Kent but could travel in if necessary. I went to see a solicitor in the few days after I found out my h had gambling debts to get advise and it cost me £319 for 1hr and 12mins of her time!! I'm now too scared to approach any for fear of finding out that this is an average hourly rate! People keep talking about seeing one who offers a free half hour consultation but I can't seem to find any in the Yellow Pages.

It was funny how many of my friends were surprised but not that surprised when I told of the split. They were surprised at the gambling debts but that's because he was always so tight with money. He was obviously saving it to put in a fruit machine!

salad yes I'm close to London. Well in Kent but only an hour away. Someone recommended Timewise to me at the weekend so I've had a quick look. My first priority is to update my cv. It hasn't been done since I started my last job so 10 years ago now. Will check out the website too.

I feel so overwhelmed by everything at the moment. It is still early days but I cannot live with all the uncertainty. The biggest one for me is trying to figure out what to do with regards the house. Sell or stay??!! I just cannot decide and pros and cons for both. If I'm going to have to move, and potentially away from the area as I won't be able to afford anything locally, I'd like to do it soon so that my ds can start a new school year in Sept in a new school rather than mid-year. Doesn't give me much time to decide though.

ChangeAfoot Sat 05-Jan-13 09:39:55

She70 - I'll PM you her details in case you're interested - I don't think she'd be too far from you at all smile I called her because she does Legal Aid cases and I wasn't sure if we'd be eligible (H hasn't worked for 6 months but we're not due to equity etc), but it turns out that her firm have just started offering fixed price offers for divorce, much like the Coop do.

It's a nightmare otherwise I think. I very definitely didn't want to have to just start trawling through the YP or similar..!

ChangeAfoot Sat 05-Jan-13 09:41:11

PS: I asked on here and was told to look for a lawyer on the Resolution website. Have to say living where we do it either seemed to throw up local High Street firms (none of which distinguished themselves for me) or the top central London ones (mega $$$).

She70 Sat 05-Jan-13 14:26:06

Urrghh, another vile encounter with x. I hate how he puts things into my mouth that I haven't said, twists it all to make out I am the bad person here when it was him that f*cked up and walked away from us. Even when I calmly ask him, when exactly did I say xyz he insists I did and no matter how much I say I didn't he refuses to acknowledge. Think we will have to go to mediation to sort anything out as at least then, in front of other people, he can't make up what I said and how I said it!!

His ability to make me doubt myself and rile me is amazing. He has made me into a person I am just not. In his head anyway. I guess its how he justifies himself.

I commend those that are still able to live with their ex's after agreeing to separate. There is no way I could! My biggest relief is when he walks out the door and then I know I don't have to see him for another week!

ChangeAfoot Sat 05-Jan-13 15:12:38

Oh you poor thing. How often do you see him then, each weekend?

I'm very disconcerted here. H went out last night and I called him in a rage at 2am because after previous form, I started seething that he might just not come home and I find his doing whatever he wants whenever he wants utterly infuriating. He was pissed and unbelievably affectionate on the phone, which just left me cold. He's been charm personified today, coming back from doing some chores with macaroons for me and the girls ("I've got a gift for you and Mummy!")... but it's very unnerving. Before he went out last night he was vile, and sent me a series of cold/smug/taunting emails about how what he did was none of my business. All designed to rattle me. Am slightly wondering whether seeing a sol for the first time might have put the wind up him slightly; who knows. Certainly the impression I've been given by the 3 people I've now spoken to is that I'm not in that bad a position, but who knows what he will have been told by someone aiming to represent him. It frightens me to think...

She70 Sat 05-Jan-13 18:42:57

Its so scary isn't it change , not knowing what they will be advised. Can you not come to some sort of agreement without involving solicitors or is that impossible?

I hate hate hate that my x gets to do what the hell he likes. It maddens me that he gets to lie in every day and never ever asks me if I'm ok, how I'm coping etc. I just have to tell myself he is the bigger loser as he misses out so much with the children. And will continue to do so. His visit today last 3hrs before he had to leave to meet somebody. He hasn't seen them since last weekend and isn't now seeing them for another 2 weeks. You'd think he could arrange to meet whoever it was at a different time and actually spend some time with the children.

ChangeAfoot Sat 05-Jan-13 19:25:29

Hugs to you. I have the opposite problem with H in that he is gunning for 50 50 residency/access and I REALLY don't want that. I want them to largely live with me and although I am happy for him to see a lot of them, I want them to largely live with me in one home and then visit a 2nd home, rather than have two equal homes (if that makes sense?).

We've had a horrible exchange today of the "see you in court!" kind; with him saying "yeah, but we'll see whose money runs out first and then see what happens!" with a sneer (he is a high earner normally although currently not working; I am a SAHM with no access to money at the moment). He is absolutely adamant that despite my being the primary carer for the children since birth and him being, well, erratic at best, that he'll get equal treatment. It's a massive deal for me because I really want to stay in the marital home so my DCs life can continue as normal as far as possible; whereas he seems set on disrupting it as much as possible - turfing them out of their nursery, moving houses, and totally changing their routine. <end of rant>

It's all been a bit more civil this evening and he has suggested we talk later. I find this living together thing just so damn hard - I made dinner this afternoon and it really bloody jarred having to make it for him too... but it felt stupidly petty not to have him sit down with me and the children. We're sort of playing happy families for the DC when behind closed doors it couldn't be further from the truth sad

Btw, check your inbox - I sent you details of solicitors earlier, in case it's of any use. smile

TheSilveryTinsellyPussycat Sat 05-Jan-13 19:45:16

Careful folks - the divorce and the settlement are two different things.

My divorce was cheapish, my settlement about £3000 inc VAT, that was with me doing a lot of the preparation of financial stuff (kids grown). Ex represented himself, this made things more complicated.

Am in NE England, which won't be the highest fee area, paid 120 per hour I think. Sol did negotiating after discussion with me, and did it v well.

If anyone is dealing with an abusive or fuckwitted Ex or Stbx, why not join us on this thread

She70 Sat 05-Jan-13 21:06:26

Oh change I totally sympathise and can understand why you don't want to move, disrupt the children etc etc. I am in exactly the same position. Ideally I want to stay in the marital home but x is saying I can't because I can't afford to buy him out. He also speaks to me in a sneering, patronizing tone. When I pull him up on the way he talks to me, he turns even nastier.

I don't know how you manage to cook for your h. Are you doing his washing as well? I managed to live in the same house for a week only before I had to say enough is enough. My x would probably happily live like that forever. He had his meals cooked, washing done, saw the children etc. What's not to love? Only difference was he had to sleep in the spare room but given he hasn't wanted sex for about 5yrs that definitely didn't bother him!

I got your mail thanks and will follow up on Monday. I also found a local solicitor using the link above who I'm going to call on Monday too. I'm going to ask them about mediation as we have no chance of agreeing anything between us. I wonder if my x will try for joint custody. It will be difficult surely if your h works as how will he collect them from school etc ?

TheSilveryTinsellyPussycat Sat 05-Jan-13 22:56:52

The principal thing the courts look at, if it gets that far, is provision for the children. Look on the Resolution site for some solutions to the housing question, some of which allow house to be lived in by parent with care and DC until the youngest reaches 18.

You can get quite far down the legal route fairly cheaply - I had to, as Ex would not even provide financial details to my sol, as he had no sol of his own - if he had, they would certainly have advised him to do this. It wasn't until presented with a Form E from the court that he gave them (I knew them anyway, though)

TheSilveryTinsellyPussycat Sat 05-Jan-13 22:59:05

Also, Ex refused to go to mediation. I had an inital assessment appt with them, which cost £100 (not on legal aid); he didn't even reply to their letter requesting him to make an appointment. It would have cost both of us, you see!

HappyNewSkyebluesapphire Sun 06-Jan-13 01:26:30

My friend did her own divorce online and only paid the fees for Dili g various bits with the court, but her ex was totally amicable which helped a lot.

I got divorced in November after X walked out at Easter.

I got legal aid luckily but it will still cost several hundred for the remortgage and transfer of deeds.

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