How to separate

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  • #55701 Report


    Back in January I made the decision to break up with my husband of 11 years.  It is the 4th time I have done this due to his behaviour over the years.  He agreed to counselling the 3rd time.  But went back to his old ways within a couple of months – like always.

    He has never been there for me, and although he will deny it, the kids either.  Although I have always worked full time; and up until the last 3 years, in similar roles as far as position and salary.  He has left me to deal with everything.  The housekeeping, banking, holidays, birthdays, kids events – you name it.  Lockdown was even worse with home schooling, holding down a job and he would never speak to me, saying he was too busy – but always found time for a chat and a beer Zoom call with friends!

    In the past he was out with friends, drinking all the time.  I am not close in location to my family and lost pretty much all my friends during the depression of being on my own with 2 small children to bring up on my own.  My own pride not allowing me confront him to make him spend time with us.  I always believe that I will never ‘make’ someone like me if they don’t want to.

    Since January he has been doing everything he can to be ‘perfect’, which he is doing a pretty good job at – but I’m done.  Unfortunately, he will not accept this and keeps saying that I need to be open about and let him back in.  My feelings mean nothing.

    I was screwed over at work in January as they stopped paying me as they had no money (a long winded story about how they never registered me for PAYE when they said they did and then COVID hit.  So he has been paying for everything – which he can more that afford.

    So I was/am totally trapped in a house that I have never been able to call home, pick furniture, put pictures I like up, etc etc and I have a very scary breakdown in late January.  He is aware that I know I’m trapped in the house and have been for the last

    It’s taken a while, but I have just finished my first week at my new job and when my first pay check comes in next month, I’ll be on my way to start saving for a deposit to rent somewhere.  Which is a massive relief.  I need to get out of here ASAP and feel this is the best way.  Although he has been helping a lot, he knows how I feel about being trapped and my depression being worse over it – but will not make any move to give me the space I need and hovers over me all the time.  Even when our flat became empty and he could have gone there.  I was going to move in there, but with no money coming in till I got a new job I couldn’t afford it.  But he could have.  I just need to get out until we can sell both properties.

    My worry now is that I can barely afford a 2/3 bed place I need on just my salary and Family Allowance, but I’ve heard horror stories about me having still pay my half of the house as well.

    I have no idea of what happens money-wise.  I’m just doing my best to get as good-a-job as I can so I can just walk away.  But this also means  I’m not around to deal with childcare and will have to find the money for that too…..

    I’m so confused and all the 2 different advice websites I’ve been to days totally different things.  I just want to go and speak to a person.  I need to know if there is anything other than family allowance, by way of help till I’m back on my feet and can buy somewhere.

    any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    #55715 Report


    This is rather confusing.Why would you want to leave him when he’s Finally pulling his socks up? Surely if he’s got the message and started behaving it would be a shame to drop it all now?

    I’m not preaching bc I obviously don’t know the details but if you say you’ve suffered from depression and ‘a scary breakdown’ it must have been pretty ‘scary’ for him as well.It’s very frightening watching your spouse go through a frightening experience like that.Have you taken his side into account at all or is it all about you? Like I said I’m not trying to preach,just wondering.

    Also why do you keep saying you’re ‘trapped’?

    You state you lost your friends due to your depression and due to your pride did not discuss his lack of assistance in bringing up the kids etc.Many men are clueless unless you tell them straight what you need,so I’m not sure why you blame him.It’s possible he thought you were ok with it all.Maybe to an extent it Would be sensible to have an open discussion if possible and both be honest about what’s been going on.It sounds like there’s been a lot of mindreading which is often inaccurate.It would be a shame to throw in the towel if there’s a chance of fixing things where kids are involved bc however you slice it,they suffer every time.

    #55741 Report


    It is confusing.  This is the 5th time this has happened in the 13 years we were together.  My parents have said the same over the years, but they now understand he will never change and I will keep going through this cycle.  As soon as I agree to make another go of things everything goes back to normal around 6-8 weeks later.

    This is my 4th proper breakdown now – he has been with me through all of them.  My parents had to come and get me and take me back to theirs on one occasion as he ‘had plans’.  Another time, he stepped over me whilst I was on the floor saying ‘he hoped I felt better’ on his way out the door – leaving me with 2 small children.  The couple of occasions, he has helped me – but I cannot help but resent the fact that he put me there in the first place.

    As far as ‘men are clueless’ I couldn’t agree more.  But when does Clueless turn into Utter Disregard.  When I am heavily pregnant and bleeding with our second child (first child very Preemie) and he wouldn’t come home/to my work to take me to the MAC Unit (Maternity A&E) because he was helping out his old company clear out a building before he started his new job.  After quite a few of these types of situations you can’t help but have resentment start to set in.

    I begged him to go to counselling with me when the kids where younger, but he always refused.  He is not a ‘talker’.  However, on our 3rd breakup, he agreed.  Said all the right things.  Said he felt terrible for the way he had treated me.  It was all back to normal about 3mths later.  I have given up trying to talk to him.  I’ve tried so hard till I’m blue in the face over the years.  He agrees that he is very hard to talk to and doesn’t communicate well.

    A very abbreviated version of my situation is that I lost my job in January due to COVID and have not had the means to move.  Even when our tenants moved out and our flat came up for rent.  I had no incoming coming in.  Therefore I am trapped.  He knows how I feel, he knows I can’t go to my parents as it is too far away to commute to school and clubs and friends for the kids.  He could have afforded to take the flat, but he also knew he didn’t have to as I couldn’t go anywhere anyway.  He is now panicking because I have another job and can afford to leave now.  Just can’t really afford to get a place big enough for 2 growing boys.

    I can’t tell you the number of times I have had to instigate these discussions because things get so bad.  Make him talk to me when he has no interest in doing so – even when our situation has gotten so bad we are practically growling at each other whilst passing on the stairs.  Desperately trying to understand what is going through his head.  But he just doesn’t want to.  You get to the point where you just have to realise that someone is ‘just not that into you’.

    As I say, even my family are saying now that I have done everything I can to fix it and I need to move on.  And that’s saying something coming from my family, I can tell you.


    #55744 Report


    😊 I’m not laughing,as this really isn’t funny -but your last line did make me smile as I’m sure some other people will too as it sounds all too familiar to some of us.

    At the end of the day only you can know what’s really going on and what it feels like and no one else can judge.

    It’s very complicated obviously with a lot of history,I just wish more people who Could try harder,would.

    Whatever you decide between you should just hopefully lead you to a happier place with no regrets either way! Good luck with whatever you do.

    #58202 Report


    Hi Reg21uk,

    so sorry to hear you’ve been stuck in this situation.

    also sorry for the obviously really unhelpful & spammy comments above, you don’t have to answer stupid people 🙂 . this forum is generally great & can be amazing, I know the team are putting in a lot of effort into sorting it out & really do care. so it will get better, your doing the right thing reaching out.

    massive very gentle hugs & love to you & your mental health… i can completely relate.. personally i’d really struggle in this environment too. Sound like you are really doing your best through this, & amazing you’ve been able to start work again & create a way out for yourself as much as you were forced into it. – shouldn’t be underestimated how wonderful it is you’ve done this.

    for specific legal advice about the housing, divorce & finances, its probably worth calling the gingerbread helpline, they have some awesome tools to help work out any extra support you could be entitled to & can often signpost / help you find more support in your local area too if wanted.

    If it’s alright to say… you say he hasn’t been supportive, but also that you are leaving him for his behaviour, have tried to leave a few times & his behaviour has got worse again after counselling – and ultimately.. he is still being very hostile & controlling?

    it sounds like this could be coercive & controlling (which became illegal in 2015), it doesn’t matter if you relationship started before this, and its still illegal if it’s an current or ex partner.

    really might be worth getting some advice or support from the national domestic abuse helpline, they can connect you with support for your mental health (It’s normal for headcases to affect our mental health un-funnily enough!) & they really understand the traumas of it with buckets of wonderful connections to really heal & overcome this in the long run, they can also connect you with legal & financial advice too; with the specialist understanding of how abusers tend to exploit a lack of awareness. (not everyone understands, it’s worth having a dv specialist for dv!)

    also the charity ‘relate’ have some great resources to help with mediation & counselling, they really understand the toxic dynamics of abusers & how to manage them… if he’s open to it; they can also work with him separately.

    – personally i wouldn’t of recovered without their support & know many many folk they have helped, so these charities are worth trusting 🙂

    you are really not alone in this experience, things can & will get better xx

    hope this helps & much love xx

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