Gransnet forums


bad marriage , no escape

(32 Posts)
CS1958 Fri 26-Feb-21 12:18:19

i am 63, and in a bad marriage approaching its 40th year.
Too much to say here as its insane why i stayed when i look back over what has gone on.
In short though i am very honest in my failings through the years, but DH is not, saying it would be fine - if only i did...

However i have worked in jobs i hated to ensure a regular income and that bills are paid.
By contrast he has a lifestyle as an erratic jobbing small builder. He is good at what he does, but does not get his bills in on time, hence unreliable cash flow , so I pay all the household costs, mortgage etc. And he gives me money towards bills as and when.
In 2019 things were good between us for the first time in many years and i was hopeful... but then in November 2019 i discovered he was having an affair with a recently widowed woman. he was remorseful, and i agreed to give it a go.
He left in November but not to live with her, and returned in March 2020 just before the first lockdown. I think she ended it because it was messy. He says he ended it. I dont believe him.
Again there is far too much here to give you the real story, but it was a dreadful time.
I then found out in May of 2020 that this is the 3rd time in 15 years he was mixed up with this woman ( who has moved onto someone else now) . I met her and had a grown up conversation with her, so know so much detail. I believe her not him.
I asked him to move house with me for a new start at this point in life as we were getting on, I have always hated where we live - (he loves it )and he agreed, we have been here 30 years.
it was difficult in lockdown to make this happen and so time ticked on - and he is now refusing to move.
Yet he was willing to leave me for her, but yet not leave the house for me.
He rages at me says i make his life a misery, and i now regret him coming back.
I want to retire - he has no pension but i do, so i think he knows he needs me for his old age.
He wont leave, says why should he. I cant afford to leave and rent as pay all the bills and loans and wont default. And then cant retire.
There is 2 years left on the mortgage . The house is worth 300k, i said we can go halves , but he refuses to sell, it a joint mortgage but i pay it all.
I know i am subtly controlled and manipulated, there is no violence, but instead child like rages from him. I think he really wants to be with this woman and now she has another blames me, but he will not talk a single word, just goes off the deep end about me, calls me names etc..
I know i have made alot of these problems by always giving in, but i have no family ( parents dies when i was young ) no siblings. We have 2 sons who don't like their dad, but also don't know the extent of the problems at home. They have issues of their own, so i don't burden them. And tbh life was tolerable - as long as he got his way. but i had friends and a job, and it was ok.
I spent money on a counsellor, but while it helped me, as soon as I speak to him I crumble as he goes nuts. Yet i am quite feisty, and pretty articulate, whereas he goes mental and sounds like a 5 year old, yelling and raging. I am at the end of my tether now
He has trapped me, and I hate him for it, i am spiraling into a dark place, and barely surviving emotionally. I am starting to wonder if he is mentally unwell - he has some odd behaviours, and is 66. I don't know where to go with any yof this and its taking its toll on me.

JaneJudge Fri 26-Feb-21 12:23:29

flowers This sounds so hard sad

He cannot force you to do anything, have you spoke to anyone legal about your finances? have you ever contacted women's aid about the freedom program? I think it would be worthwhile talking to both your sons about what is going on, if you are close, so they can support you x

Bridgeit Fri 26-Feb-21 12:27:06

Take legal advice from a solicitor. Get your ducks in a row & go . Best wishes

ExD Fri 26-Feb-21 12:36:08

Isn't there a scheme whereby you can have a half-hour consultation with a solicitor for free?
However, in the short term I would recommend Citizens Advice, and Womens' Aid.
But what exactly are you asking for here? Have you decided you want to leave (because you can you know) or are you asking for hints on how to stay and manage your situation. I work with a lady in her 70s who has just left her husband (for similar reasons as yours) and is, so far, happy as a sandboy. There are all sorts of groups who can help you, and you can close accounts (such as the electricity bill) when they are no longer your responsibility. Once you have left, the household bills have nothing to do with you - including the mortgage.

ExD Fri 26-Feb-21 12:37:54

Hithere Fri 26-Feb-21 12:42:07

There are always escapes to a bad marriage- but they are choices you might not be willing to make so the person stays
He hasn't trapped you. He cannot make you do anything you dont want to do

You describe a life of enablement. What can you do to change it?

He is abusive, cheats repeatedly, ... what is going to make you reach your bottom and say "I am done, i am divorcing you?"

Dont hand him your power, take it back.

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 26-Feb-21 12:44:39

TBH if it was me I would wait until he had gone out, I would get the locks changed then I would put all of his stuff in bags in the front garden and not let him back in. Before doing this I would get together all of my financial papers ready to present it to a Solicitor to prove that I had paid the bills, then I would move the cash out of our joint account into my own.

Let HIM go to see a Solicitor or the CAB, let HIM incur expenses to try to get his hands on your house your pension and your money. Why should you rack up charges?

Anyway that’s what I would do............

Redhead56 Fri 26-Feb-21 12:48:09

Its sad you are having a difficult time at this time of life. You have been given good advice here so far act on it asap. I personally would not waste good money on counselling. Talk to your friends just getting things of your chest helps a bit.

If you can't have a decent conversation with your husband don't bother getting shouted will upset you more. Occupy your mind with anything to pass the time and go for walks if you are able. Seek advice sooner than later.

timetogo2016 Fri 26-Feb-21 12:49:11

You teach people how to treat you,as Hithere put it,you need to take your power back.

FlexibleFriend Fri 26-Feb-21 12:57:35

That's illegal Oopsadaisy1 but you can start divorce proceedings without so much as a conversation between you. He can't refuse to move the courts can order the house to be sold and a division of percentages to each of you. To me it sounds as if the OP is scared of being alone and would rather enable this man than end it and start over. Oh you may have a pension OP but the courts can order that to be split too. So before you decide see a Solicitor and find out where you stand. Hia ongoing affairs are irrelevant as you're still together if 6 months have passed you are seen as forgiving him.

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 26-Feb-21 13:01:32

flexiblefriend it might be illegal, but he would have the hassle of trying to get back into the home and he would know that she meant business.

KaazaK Fri 26-Feb-21 13:02:49

I was in a marriage for 46 years that wasn’t brilliant. Due to an accident the last 5 years were quite traumatic. My husband died 2 years ago. I’ve dyed my hair, lost weight and (before lockdown) enjoyed life like never before (including a new man!). My only regret - should have done it years ago!
So take legal advice and get out of the marriage. You cannot get those years back, I never thought I could manage financially on my own but I’m managing. So get your life back - you won’t regret it!

Tea3 Fri 26-Feb-21 13:05:55

Get shot as soon as. Don’t waste any more time on this loser.

Grandmabatty Fri 26-Feb-21 13:27:28

If you are looking for advice then it has to be consult a lawyer to find out where you stand. You should let your children know what you are doing. You cannot change the locks of a matrimonial home to keep him out, tempting as it sounds. Unfortunately this would be held against you. I know,as I wanted to do just that and my lawyer was very clear that I should not. The fear of being alone is greater than being alone.

NotSpaghetti Fri 26-Feb-21 13:30:01

I really feel for you as I know this is a massive step. It won't be easier if you wait till you are retired, though, and I sense that's what you are thinking.
At the moment, technically at least, you are both working which is easier in some ways as you won't keep going over things all day every day and you will probably be out and about again in a few months.

IF you can face 20 or more years of this, then consider staying... but I sense that you now want to be yourself and enjoy life a little. Make a pros and cons list. Just look at which is longest.

I would rather have a tiny home and struggle a bit than a big home where only sadness can be found.

Contact a solicitor for a free session and give Women's Aid a call for a first chat too. They will have info and lots of experience in this area. He really is undermining you and belittling you. What would you say if this was a daughter or a close friend?
If you feel desperate some days don't forget the Samaritans who provide a listening ear.

Someone earlier said not to bother with counselling - I'd say counselling is worth every penny if it helps you work things through. Don't rule it out.

Be bold. You are stronger than you think. And wiser too. You are the expert in how you feel. You can make changes. Once you feel able to spread your wings a little you will surely feel lighter as you will be free of oppression.

You are not alone. Thousands of women every year make this sort of big change. Although there will still be some darker days, I'm sure, I haven't heard of any yet that has regretted it.

Good luck. Be strong. Find out your financial options and make a firm decision.

NotSpaghetti Fri 26-Feb-21 13:35:18

CS1958 If you decide to separate or divorce, I think you should gently raise your reasons and your sadness with your boys (as others suggest).

They may not be as surprised as you think... and they will surely have your best interests at heart.

You may not want to worry them but they will need to know, and it is better that they hear something true from you than later hear nonsense from your husband.

Take care.

Peasblossom Fri 26-Feb-21 13:56:46

Go to a solicitor. See exactly where you stand. Then you can make a decision knowing what that will mean in practice.

There is escape, if you want it but as Hithere says it may making difficult decisions. But you are not trapped unless you chose to stay.

GreyKnitter Fri 26-Feb-21 14:08:11

Not wishing to put a dampener on things, even if and when this went to court and they ordered the house to be sold - it will still takes ages for this to happen if your husband is dragging his feet and you’ll have spent thousands on legal support. My daughter and her two young sons left her abusive husband and the court were not sympathetic to he needs - she’d paid most of the household bills and mortgage as they said she still has earning power which was more than her husbands so didn’t need more than half of the property. He withdrew from several sales of the joint property for various tenuous reasons and its only now after 3 years that’s she has been able to release her part of the equity and that was in a slightly dubious - but totally legal way. Do make sure that you get proper legal advice and accept that it’s not always as easy as sounds to get rid of him if he is determined to stay.

Nicegranny Fri 26-Feb-21 14:10:42

Please don’t waste your life with this man a minute longer.
Do something and take control !

FarNorth Fri 26-Feb-21 14:23:55

One joint owner of a house is entitled to insist on a sale, if they want one. Other joint owner(s) can't block it, but may delay as GreyKnitter said.

nadateturbe Fri 26-Feb-21 15:33:00

You are not trapped unless you choose to be.
I left my lovely house (not home) and part bought a much smaller older house which was a happy home.
You are wasting your life. You are not dependent on this man. You can get help to leave ( plenty of advice given) or stay and be miserable.

sodapop Fri 26-Feb-21 16:54:45

Yes sometimes it's necessary to lose out financially to gain freedom and happiness nadateturbe I did exactly that. Each person's circumstances are different of course.

nadateturbe Fri 26-Feb-21 20:09:00

Circumstances vary of course Sodapop and we're not all the same.. But I don't think it's worth staying in a marriage for financial security. It wasn't easy leaving . I was a civil servant and had to work part time in a library as well for a while but it was worth it. CS1958 sounds more than capable of making a new life for herself.

NellG Fri 26-Feb-21 20:24:20

There's already lots of good advice here, so I wont repeat it, but I will add that losing money/things/a house is unfair, awful and regrettable - losing your sense of self and your sanity to someone else's appalling behaviour is something much worse. When you get to the end of you life which would you rather, a nice house and the mental torture of living with a man you despise, or the memories of a good few years of freedom and (hopefully) happiness? I'd rather have the second in a tent living off baked beans. Best wishes, I hope you work it out flowers

Sparkling Sat 27-Feb-21 18:22:31

Just go to a solicitor, there’s always a way out. Life’s too short.