Gransnet forums


I left my husband after nearly 40 years?

(65 Posts)
Seajaye Mon 22-Apr-19 14:39:02

I'm a first time poster and have been wondering if I am doing the right thing. I left my husband two years ago after his behaviour towards me become intolerable. Psychological abuse mainly, although it was bearable when I had the children to consider. However I've not had an easy menopause and my patience and tolerance levels have totally exhausted, i.e he continued to sulk, gave me 'the silence treatment' , hiding pieces of my jewellery, belittling me in front of friends to the extent I have spent the last 10 years being very uncomfortable inviting anyone over, he starts DIY jobs and never ever finishes anything, he has previously pretended to be in employment when he wasn't, expecting me to fund a new car, and to pay off his debts. I simply can not face retirement with man. But I ask myself whether this is the menopause taking over my rational decision making? I must have loved him once, we had 3 children together, now grown up with their own lives. But for the life of me I do not know what I ever saw in him. I have worked hard and full time all my life and I know this could be financial suicide but we have enough equity in our house to buy a modest house each. But he will not agree to divorce after 2 years separation and I do not wish get into a tit for tat legal wrangle or to upset the family dynamics by telling the family the truth. I am also lonely and isolated on a small rented flat.

He has however got himself decent employment since I left ,but threatens to give it up if we divorce to maximise what he can claim. I seek a 50/50 split. Any wise words out there please?

aggie Mon 22-Apr-19 15:00:26

Do you need a divorce? Call his bluff by lying low , get advice , I think you can get free after some time without washing the dirty linen in public

shysal Mon 22-Apr-19 15:14:18

I divorced my ex in similar circumstances, couldn't stand the thought of retirement in the same house. You will be entitled to a 50:50split. I think I am right in saying that he cannot contest a divorce after 2 years separation. Most solicitors offer a free 30 minute appointment, so I suggest you do this as soon as possible to find out exactly where you stand. We did as you mention and sold the house to buy a small one each. I must say I have never been happier and would never want to share my home again!
I was menopausal at the time but it never entered my head that it had clouded my judgement.

FlexibleFriend Mon 22-Apr-19 15:15:06

I'd be inclined to tell him that I was moving back into the house, well I wouldn't have left it tbh. You can be separated while living under the same roof. I doubt him giving up work will maximise his claim. I wasn't working at the time of my divorce due to ill health. That didn't stop the judge telling me to pay him 125 grand. Everything starts from the 50/50 split and is adjusted from there by need. So mine could have been worse although paying him £125 grand felt awful to buy him out of a house he'd never contributed to. Yes it's better to do it without solicitors if you can but sometimes that's not possible.

FlexibleFriend Mon 22-Apr-19 15:17:11

I think being menopausal gave me clarity, the thought of having home all day made me want to top myself and there was no way that was going to happen.

Laurely Mon 22-Apr-19 15:20:59

So sorry to read this, but I think you are doing the right thing.

If you haven't already done this, your next step should be to see a solicitor who specialises in divorce/family area, and arrive at a clear understanding of the financial implications of whatever you do. (I am under the impression that since you have already been separated for two years, you can have a divorce whether he likes it or not, but I may be wrong.)

You are under a lot of stress, so look after yourself. Don't drink except socially with trusted friends, eat well, walk in fresh air every day. Try journaling - writing down how you feel, what you are thinking, exploring possibilities on paper. Treat yourself to a notebook/journal you like the look of, and Google for ideas. I found Stephanie Dowrick's 'Choosing Happiness' a very useful aid to thinking about my situation when I needed to do so.

You say you feel isolated in your small, rented flat; but that isn't a reason to go back to a man whom you 'can't bear'.

Best wishes for whatever you decide to do.

crazyH Mon 22-Apr-19 15:53:31

Shysal, I think it's after 5 years

FarNorth Mon 22-Apr-19 16:09:21

Your judgement sounds just fine.
Even if he did seem attractive, once, he's shown himself to be anything but.

As already said, get advice on what your options are and how they could pan out for you.
You call the shots, not your husband.

midgey Mon 22-Apr-19 16:53:25

Re your title- Good for you!

Telly Mon 22-Apr-19 17:29:39

I would that you need sound legal advice. You have made a big step and now need to firm up the practicalities.

BradfordLass72 Tue 23-Apr-19 08:20:00

Forty years of abuse? Enough is enough!

I note you've been apart two years so this is not 'first month nerves' and like the other friends here suggest, best talk it over with a solicitor to see exactly where you stand.

I am sure life will seem wonderful once you get the legal stuff over and can move to somewhere less isolated and begin a new and happy life. flowers

I do hope it all works out for you and you stay with us on Gransnet.

Cabbie21 Tue 23-Apr-19 09:01:21

It is five years separation that doesn’t need agreement, two years if you agree.
This link Also goes through the financial situation.

Unfortunately you won’t get much detailed, personalised advice in a free half hour from a solicitor. They will talk about the fees and legal costs. Try to get a fixed fee if it is straightforward, as often the costs of going to court, with endless arguments can be huge.
Couple are also expected to use Mediation as the more you can agree on, the more money you will save.

Lazigirl Tue 23-Apr-19 09:27:13

The new divorce law will be passed "when parliamentary time allows", which hopefully will be sooner rather than later. This will mean that you are able to have a divorce without agreement, if marriage has broken down, without blame or waiting for 5 years. It depends on whether you can, after two years, hang on a bit longer?

SparklyGrandma Tue 23-Apr-19 09:32:41

No it’s 2 years. A solicitor most probably advise him to agree to divorce. His own after you get a solicitor.

Sparklefizz Tue 23-Apr-19 10:11:26

You deserve better! Remember this. flowers for you.

fluttERBY123 Tue 23-Apr-19 10:15:14

I'm pretty sure it's 2 years with mutual consent and 5 if one party is objecting.

Cabbie21 Tue 23-Apr-19 10:16:07

Yes, see my link above to citizens advice

Beejo Tue 23-Apr-19 10:17:00

Remember the menopause is also known as 'the change of life' for good reason. This is the new you working towards your new life flowers

keffie Tue 23-Apr-19 10:27:07

You are and have been in domestic abuse for 40 years. Your now in the aftermath. You dont recognise it just as I didnt.

It's nothing to do with the menopause. We look for excuses without realising it as we are so used to how we lived.

Our heads want to justify why something is happening. What he is doing is emotional and financial abuse plus much more. Take a read of the link at the end of this post and ring them for support:

I too, was in domestic abuse for many years so I do identify. I have rebuilt a good happy life

Coolgran65 Tue 23-Apr-19 10:32:57

I worked as a legal secretary (matrimonial) and the timings on applying for divorce are (were) 2 years with agreement, and 5 years without agreement. I am retired 10 years it believe this still applies.
Financial division..... doesn’t matter if he is working or not... starts at 50/50.

Do you have a decent pension. He could make a claim on that.

Theoddbird Tue 23-Apr-19 10:34:32

Divorce laws are about to change....there was something on BBC breakfast about it a week or so ago. This is going to make everything much easier without waiting so long. Oh and you are definitely doing the right thing.

Spiritual Tue 23-Apr-19 10:34:48

I always thought it was me before menopause and thought it was my hormones that left me feeling depressed, irritable, etc. During the menopause I realised it wasn't me but he was totally unreasonable and when I changed found that he had always been into lots of aficionados behaviours over the 33 years of marriage which was why we had always been broke and I was always bailing us out. My solicitor told me I couldn't afford to divorce him but I did. I even gave him our private pension of nearly £2000 per month but I have never been better off financially and emotionally. I am free and not dominated and possessed. My home is my home and believe it or not financially I am so much better off. I still work a little at 74 but it is work that I want to do and enjoy. Good luck, hopefully you have a couple of good friends who will support you. My kids weren't very happy e with me for quite a while because my ex was very manipulative but we are back and close again now.

icanhandthemback Tue 23-Apr-19 10:38:49

Please get legal advice. You will find that most people, once served with the divorce papers, do not get into a tit for tat because they really can't afford to.

jaylucy Tue 23-Apr-19 10:49:00

One thing makes me think "how did you stay with him for so long?"
He'll be sadly disappointed if he thinks that if he packs in work to claim benefits he'll get more - not under the Universal Credit system he won't! You no longer even get the total cost of your rent/mortgage paid if anyone living with you is working , or is able to work!
Don't take any notice of anymore of his childish threats , and don't even think of going back to him.The loneliness you are currently experiencing must surely be better than putting up with this nasty piece of work. Take steps to get in contact with your friends - you may be surprised that they have been aware of what your husband is like, however hard you tried to hide it! From there, you can begin to build a new social group - you can join in groups that follow your own interests without having to ask permission!
If there is any way to show that it is you that has paid the majority of the bills - mortgage, car, day to day expenses, it will work in your favour, but I do really think that you need to get some legal advice from a solicitor- I found that it was easier for them to take up the arguments on your behalf when I divorced my husband - I didn't even have to speak to him if I didn't want to !

Legs55 Tue 23-Apr-19 10:49:31

Legal position is that if there are grounds ie Adultery you can file for Divorce after 1 year. 2 years separation Divorce can be granted if both parties agree. If your H will not agree to a Divorce unless you can prove unreasonable behaviour I'm sorry you have to wait 5 years. This will of course change if the new Divorce Laws are passed by Parliament but Divorce may still not be straightforward.