20 November 2020 at 9:56 am #45961
Hi im a new member here .
i would like your advice on something that has had me awake in the night for the past 2 weeks.
My ex is spanish i met her in the uk we got married had a child bought a house all was peachy for 4 years .
we decided to move to spain because of childcare and work life balance in 2014.
As soon as we moved to spain i noticed my Ex’s behaiviour had changed, and her family became very possesive and demanding this caused many arguments. to the point she did not want me to have any friends or be social apart from with her family. at the same time she became pregnant again with twins.
after 2 years she wanted to seperate ,i hesitated in the begining but in the end i gave in hoping some space will clear the air and we can rebuild.
but even though i admitted my faults she could not accept her part or her familys part in this mess.
after the split she wanted me to sign a document she wrote to give her custody of the children i said no and she got angry.
a few month later i thought we were getting on the path to recovery, i would visit her on a daily basis spend days with them. but she did not want her family to see us together at one point we were holding hands and she broke off as soon as she suspected her brother was near, then she told me to sign a legal document in spanish at this point i did not understand very well legal jargon and like an idiot i signed trusting her. it was the separation papers that gave her custody this was in 2017 .
I was given visitation the alternative weekend fri evening sat and sun, and summer holidays , xmas and the odd bank holiday. slowly my spanish was improving and i had a steady job in madrid.
i hired a lawyer to ammend the agrrement and get more visitation and every year even though i was not living with her she would call the police and say i was beating her. Now in spain the law is very baised for a man , there is no equality you just have to acuse a man without proof and the police will arrest you that day and you spend the day or weekend in a cell untill a judge can see you . this happend to me 3 times on all 3 occasions exonorated and without charge. and the woman has no reprocussions even if its false allegations.
all this so i would not win custody or shared custody.
so for the past 5-6 years i have been struggling living in a foreign land away from my family and friends in the UK, i have spanish friends in spain but its not the same. living in a small 3 bed apartment. “Franco piso” that is too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter, noisy neighbours , its not a nice place.
but madrid is an expensive place so i cant even move, my rent is 500 and i pay 600 child support in spain if you dont pay child support you go to jail even if you have lost your job and cant they see men as a bank and the mothers as caregivers welcome to 2020 equal rights.
to give you an example in spain you have to do your own tax self assesmant even if your an employee and its very complicated with a lot of legal jargon, and if you have paid too little tax they give you a woping bill like 2k you have to pay then and there. this has happened to me for 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 in all i have paid 8k in one year because, the tax office just checked the tax papers last month for the past 4 years spanish efficancy.
now im 39 and i came to spain with 40k in savings and i had a very good job but madrid is expensive city even if you earn 42k, that taxes are higher than the uk Electricity is dearer, cars are expensive than the uk , you name it on top of this the law is not on my side with the kids regardless that i take the kids to the doctors i go to teacher parent events i feed bath , clothes 3 kids by myself, and i see very little of them. my kids have not even been to the uk and met my family for 5 years , she once agreed i can take them and she can come along , i gave her money she bought tickets confirmed with may family i had it written in paper , she then changed her mind it went to court and even with all the evidence i lost , courts stating kids are too young, prosecutor said yes , judge said no.
the divorce is still not settled since 2017 in spain my 2nd lawyer tells me maybe january we will know if you can have shared custody. i wont hold my breath.
and i have been doing this for maybe 5 years . im struiggling to save in spain for my retirement, for the kids university for as house and im on 42k i work 50 hours like many of my spanish collouges.
my kids are now 8 and the twins are 5. they speak english and they get on with my new partner very well whom i live with.
due to the expensive city, the stress of the justice system, the stress of tax man not having my family and friends i know staying in madrid will be the end of me and ruin me financially and mentally the only reason i have stayed is for the kids.
but lately i have had this urge to go back and i have been speaking to my partner. i want to go back to the uk when the kids are a bit older maybe in 5 years but before im 50 to try and recover some kind of financial stability.
when the kids are older and they can undertstand that im not abandoning them , they will always have a home in the uk when they want to come, im always at the other end of a phone call, skype, and i will see them in summer and xmas, bank holidays im hoping that when they are teens it wont be a big shock because i was there present when they were growing up and i had an impact from there birth and they wont feel abandoned.
my question is . is it selfish to think like this or to return to the uk after 5 -10 years. should i stay untill they all turn 18 at the risk of distroying my sanity future.
by the way only come to live in spain if your retiring , you will struggle if you want ot work and live21 November 2020 at 12:10 am #46010
That sounds rough.Sadly, I think you’ve only been used by that family for money.
You are an amazing person and incredibly strong for sticking by to watch your kids grow up.
You seem to have a logical plan, what with waiting till the kids are a little older – when they hit their teenage years it’s likely that they will be off doing their own thing anyway. My dad lived in Germany for 8years, he left when I was around 7 actually. He flew back to the UK most weekends during that time to see me and my siblings.
If you leave the country and start to get your mental space back, then you may notice a power shift/ the ex will lose some control over you? Possibly.
Whatever you decide will be tough but you have to question what version of you will be the best you? And what version would you want your kids to see.
I left an emotionally abusive relationship and at first felt guilty that my child wouldn’t grow up in a family setting, but now I’m relieved that she gets to see me relaxed and happy – she has become a happier child even! (Even though it’s hard for me to do, I still take her to see him. Even if he tries to gaslight and manipulate me still.)
I guess back to your context, the controlling and emotionally abusive behaviour will never change from the ex, but that time spent with your children should be quality. So make your mental space a priority.
Best wishes21 November 2020 at 9:31 pm #46045
Spanish hell indeed! I think Angelena has said it all, it’d be better to recover a bit more mentally for you and the kids. Man, sorry for going through all that.23 November 2020 at 4:55 pm #46125
Thanks for the support. i had the kids this weekend i spoke with my 8 year old who still remembers his life in the uk.
i mentioned that when he is older i would like to return back to the uk one day. he asked if he would have to wait a long time before he could see me again or come to the uk . i replied it wont be for a very long time and he will be old enough to visit or live there if he chooses to.
we have 5 – 6 years to think about it
thanks for your help