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Women who want a divorce but don't want to lose the lifestyle

(89 Posts)
MaryTheBookeeper Fri 03-Jul-20 20:47:35

I feel very sorry for women in this position. I have 3 friends in this position & another one told me the same last night. She wants to divorce because there's no love left & they've been living separately under the same roof for the last two years, but she won't go through with it because she still wants to keep full access to the holiday cottage & not have to think about the bills being paid.

It seems like such a common theme, women wanting divorce but often the man has the higher earning power & the woman is left looking at a step-down in quality of life. So they stay stuck in dead marriages for the financial security. It would be different if pay was equal, I still believe there's a long way to go there.

I just feel sad. 4 of my closest friends, stuck married to insensitive, controlling or disinterested men & no way out of it because they don't want to lose the financial quality of life.

blondenana Tue 07-Jul-20 23:49:43

Paddyanne some wives would love to work, and some husbands are very controlling and wont allow it
Not all wives sit on their bum all day either
When i left i had to climb out of a window and get the children out while he was at work, and before a certain time as he used to come home to check on what i was up to, which was nothing, but he was
Had to secretly arrange with my sister to get a friend to take us miles away to my parents

annep1 Mon 06-Jul-20 22:39:57

I agree to an extent, eg if health problems make it difficult. but not because you want to keep an expensive lifestyle or access to a holiday home. It won't make you happy.

Hetty58 Mon 06-Jul-20 22:39:38

I hadn't heard of any women stuck in dead marriages - until I came on Gransnet. Here, it's a recurring theme.

Their marriages can't be that awful, though, must be bearable, or they'd certainly leave.

JuneRose Mon 06-Jul-20 22:26:26

I agree with oodles. Until you have walked a mile in someone's shoes you can't judge their situation. Deciding to leave a marriage whatever the circumstances is a huge leap of faith and if there are factors such as health, wealth and loneliness to take into account maybe some women just haven't got the hope, the energy or the strength to go it alone.

mrsnonsmoker Mon 06-Jul-20 12:55:44

I don't think anyone would feel any sympathy or be "sad" for women who stay because they like having everything paid for! There's a thread on here at the moment with a lady who (like myself) wants to leave but is struggling to see how she can afford any accommodation at all let alone a holiday home!

Self respect and peace of mind would be more important to me as long as basic needs are met.

annep1 Mon 06-Jul-20 12:48:25

Yes its good things have changed.
But women often still will have to accept a change of lifestyle. You have to decide what's most important.

oodles Mon 06-Jul-20 12:42:38

Childminder not likeminded lol

oodles Mon 06-Jul-20 12:42:14

@annepl that's right, we don't know old these women are, who are staying for apparently frivolous reasons, but again we don't walk in their shoes and we know that often fathers do not pay for their children's upbringing and women do often sink into poverty while the father carries on much as before. Even when no children it can still be very hard, a friend at present is trying to leave her nasty husband who has deliberately done everything in his power to put not just as spanner but a whole toolbox in the works, he has had her run up huge solicitor bills, she is happy to take her share of the family home and her savings and leave him with the rest including his pension, and it has nearly caused her a breakdown. If she spends more on solicitors she will have nothing to buy a house with. Possibly these women deep down fear that sort of situation
When I divorced it was accepted that had I not provided the back up that now ex would not have got as far up the career ladder that he did. , so no hesitation in granting me part of his pension.
Very few nurseries back in the day and not the regulation of childminders there is now. When I used to take son to playgroup there was a childminder there, and she was not kind to the little ones she had with her, if not have had her look after my dog tbh. So glad things are better now, obviously not all were like that, a friend likeminded after school children and is have been happy for her to look after mine but no way of telling not the inspections etc there are now if you didn't know them personally

annep1 Mon 06-Jul-20 07:23:18

I can just see that Misty!

misty34 Sun 05-Jul-20 23:21:16

When I left my husband of 30 years, who had had a drink problem, myself and 15 yr old daughter had to take off quickly as he found out about our plans. We fled with one carrier bag as he grabbed all other cases etc. We found ourselves at a bus stop around the corner and boarded bus. Looking in the bag we had 2 pairs of knickers and 4 t shirts between us. We laughed there was nothing else to do. The only way was up!

annep1 Sun 05-Jul-20 16:12:43

Hi Oodles, you made some good points. Things were different years ago. It was difficult to get childcare as you say, so those women who worked often did short hours during the day to be home when school ended, or worked at night. So often no chance to earn an income or have a career equal to the husbands. And probably did the majority of the housework and cooking as most men expected it. So it's not fair to criticise those who didn't work.
My MiL did everything during the day, left dinner prepared and then went to work in the mill. Some life.
We certainly didn't sit doing nothing, there's a lot of work to looking after children and running back and forward to schools, doing homework whilst preparing dinner, and when men came home often we still had work to do.

But that was then. I do feel it's better for women to work now if they can, and husbands share the household tasks more now.

Eloethan Sun 05-Jul-20 13:31:59

As I understand it, depending on the length of the marriage and some other issues, most assets are split down the middle.

Of course, that can still make a huge difference to lifestyle for a couple who have only one residence because the proceeds of that home have to be split and a much cheaper home found for each party.

But I can't understand someone putting up with an unhappy marriage just to have access to a holiday home and to avoid paying bills. Single people have to house themselves and pay their bills.

Caro57 Sun 05-Jul-20 13:17:08

"4 friends stuck married" - there's two sides to every story.
Having said that whilst I never had that sort of lifestlye I knew I would rather sleep rough than stay married to No.1 DH. I wonder how bad it really is?

oodles Sun 05-Jul-20 12:05:01

@annepl neither did I sit on my ass as a SAHM, I added as much to the marriage as I would have done had I gone out and returned to my previous job, locally the only people who seemed to make a profit on returning to work with young children were those who had family locally who had childcare provided by family members, who were I guess in effect, 'sponging' off other women, rather than their husband, or worked shifts with husband ,so someone was always available for the children, had that been us it would have been the nightshift for me as now ex went into work late and worked late and always went out of an evening, I never got evenings off, husband never even took a day off to look after the children so I could go to my grandmother's funeral. When my children were little I used to sometimes feed a young lad up the road far too young to be left on his own while everyone was at work, after discovering that he spent the money given to him for food [chips - only local takeaway, as too young to use the cooker] on sweets, so I'd do him beans on toast, a sandwich or whatever. But hey the parents were working, so all good. I try not to judge other women but I fail in situations like this, I'd never have been prepared to do that, no idea if it was because they couldn't afford childcare or like me had no family around. Even as they got older they still benefitted from having someone there who could help them with their schoolwork and broadening their education, which has I believe paid off massively looking at the well rounded and well-educated adults my children have become, they are hardworking, caring and compassionate and understand that people need to work together, for the common good, and not like some might have predicted, spoilt and selfish. I could have become a childminder and looked after my neighbour's child while she looked after mine, that would have led to the same actual extra income into the household, in fact probably less as there are costs to running a business, and I guess I'd have needed a car extra costs. Yet somehow I am the one in the wrong, not contributing to the household or local economy. I was able to volunteer around the children and benefit the community in that way, and being voluntary I could drop it when I needed to and pick it up again when I could.
Doing the DIY, repairing things and basically everything to do with running a home has served me well now I'm single as I'm used to doing everything, it's nothing extra for me, but I know that ex has found it extremely hard to adjust to doing things for himself.
When I started work being able to pay a married woman's stamp had only just been abolished, things were very different back then, if I had my time again I'd do differently I'm sure, I'd chose a man who was prepared to be an equal partner, who would do his bit with the home and children. Back then marital rape was legal, and anything I did earn, I did manage some occasional one-off things, or interest from savings, had to go on his tax return. It was classed as his. I've never thought of my mother as being like a prostitute either, to be honest.

harrysgran Sun 05-Jul-20 10:19:08

After reading the posts I just hope future generations of women realise the importance of financial independence and not depending on a man as a meal ticket

annep1 Sun 05-Jul-20 08:43:29

I must add though, I think a wife is better to continue working and keep her own income. I wish my own daughter had.

annep1 Sun 05-Jul-20 08:38:01

Paddyanne I was a SAHM with 3 children. I cetainly didn't sit on my ass. You've no right to say that.

As for staying in a bad marriage, my friend did that and her last few years were miserable. She envied me my courage to leave. I worked f/t and also did a weekend job for a while to survive but it was worth it.

Sys2ad2 Sun 05-Jul-20 08:28:07

I am staying because he wants half of everything despite the fact he has already had that in failed businesses and giving his kids money and lending money to friends that never paid him back. Now he wants half my company pension me to sell the house and give him half. I have paid all the bills, mortgage etc for 30 years so he has no right but the law says different. I think the law should change and only have claim to what a person has contributed and never never anything from a company pension male or female.

blondenana Sat 04-Jul-20 22:39:05

I don't feel sorry for women or men[and yes some men do the same]
I had 2 bad marriages, very unhappy with 4 children in the end to look after, got nothing,as it was all in their names, and they found a way out of sharing it,and very rarely any maintenance either, both are still much better off than me
In those days there was no CSA to make the husbands pay, and it meant going back to court each time
If money and possessions mean more to these people it's what they choose,so up to them
I couldn't live with someone i despised or even didn't love anymore,

Doodledog Sat 04-Jul-20 22:22:40

Yes, there is middle ground between the two extremes in my post.

I was not at all saying that I have no sympathy with women who stay in marriages out of fear of the unknown, or for her children; but they are not the circumstances described by the OP.

annsixty Sat 04-Jul-20 21:12:29

It is possible for a wife to stay for security for herself and her children which does not mean luxury or a good lifestyle.
Some women are so scared of the future they cannot contemplate leaving.
Let us not condemn all women who stay for their children and security, it takes enormous courage and sacrifice.

oodles Sat 04-Jul-20 20:14:24

@Doodledog indeed, not at all the same, for any woman in the unchosen dependence so very hurtful to be described as like a prostitute.
Never underestimate how difficult it is for a woman to leave, and it's not for lack of bravery, if a woman truly is only staying for a good lifestyle it is not for anyone to judge, none of us know what anyone's life is like in private.

Chewbacca Sat 04-Jul-20 20:06:49

I'm not sure about that Doodledog; I suppose fear of losing a standard of living or status in the community they live in, could be just as paralysing to some women as a fear of physical, emotional or mental cruelty is to others. But there comes a tipping point for some where, no matter what causes the fear or trepidation of being on one's own, they finally find the courage to leave everything and step into the unknown. Some are braver than others. Some are more scared than others.

Doodledog Sat 04-Jul-20 19:55:22

I think that it's quite possible to sympathise with someone who is ground down by a controlling partner and has lost her confidence whilst at the same time having no sympathy with women who have (apparently) admitted that they are staying with their husbands so that they don't lose access to the holiday cottage and prefer to have their bills paid for them.

The situations are not at all comparable.

BlueSky Sat 04-Jul-20 19:01:41

Rosiebee my story is so very similar to yours! flowers