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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't really know what I'm looking for, but I need something & you've all been so helpful.<br><br>
A brief recap for those of you that don't know, E asked for a divorce in November, hired a lawyer but has done nothing else. We've tentatively agreed to try to live in the same house, separate rooms, until December 2006. The main reasons are for him to have a daily relationship with dd, and for me to finish my MLS. We can't afford 2 households. I've been a SAHM since dd was born.<br><br>
I really don't think things are working out. All the same problems as being married but now there is no common goal, ifykwim...E is still irresponsible, doesn't do anything unless asked, plays the disney dad card (rarely says no, always fun, feeds her crappyish food, etc.) ... and I just feel this hate welling up inside me. I hate that he's done this, I hate that I have to be away from dd going to school fulltime, that I'm going to have to go back to work & be away from dd, I hate this whole situation I've been forced into.<br><br>
I want to divorce now, but two major things are holding me back. I want to be home with dd as much as possible and I want to keep my house. I don't foresee being able to buy a house anytime in the near (or not so near) if we sell this one, especially on my one salary.<br><br>
If I wait until December/January, I'll have a job & my sister & her husband will co-sign a mortgage since I'll have no work history for almost 5 years. I'll try for something part time to spend as much time with dd as possible, although she's scheduled to start kindergarten the following September (2007).<br><br>
It sounds like a good plan, but I feel like I'm 'selling my soul' a little bit. How do I know? I *know* no one can answer that question for me, but I feel like I'm in such a bad place. I don't know what to do, on the one hand I want to just be rid of this & get on with my life and on the other hand I want to establish the best sort of life for me and my daughter. It's only 9 months but life is short. Ughhh..I go back & forth on this all day.
 

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Hugs. It's soooo hard, transitioning, on all of you.<br><br>
More than a house, more than anything, your dd needs a mama who can be as at peace as possible with the situation.<br><br>
Maybe you could work out some written ground rules with your husband, perhaps apply for a legal separation, so that you can function emotionally more as roommates, if you decide the drawbacks are worth the emotional drain? Living separate will bring its own set of emotional liabilities -- it seems like there are a variety of options available to you, all imperfect.<br><br>
The hardest thing for exh and me was settingi up that new dynamic, even living separately. Things like baths were issues for major conversation. I think it's unrealistic to think that if communication was difficult married, it will be better divorced -- the difference for me was, I was able to be more direct when I was not trying to hold the marriage together.<br><br>
Whatever decision you make, be fluid in it. Your ex has hired a lawyer -- have you talked to lawyers? A therapist? Remember that what you decide now needn't be permanent -- if you decide to keep at this plan, you can change your mind next week or month. Or tomorrow. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent">
 

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I also lived with my X for about a year after we seperated and we dealt with it by behaving as friends. In the end it has been harder bc of the limbo. It sounds like you have a great opportunity to end that (it's so easy to get into that when we live together) ((((hugs))))I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it go away for you but I can't, no one can. I agree with the pp in that you need to have your own lawyer and therapist to help you get through this.<br><br>
If you could only remain strong (i know you can) then things will fall into place. If this situation is affecting you too negatively then you need to find a way out. Can you ask family for help, friends?? I'm sur alot of people want to help in any way they can. Don't compromise your mental health...I have no advice, just my support ((((hugs)))) (for some reason i've lost my smilies)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Kristi & Kelly, I'm really having a hard time with this.<br><br>
To answer some of your questions....I have seen a lawyer & will most likely go with him when the time comes. I know where I stand legally, but it's mostly financial concerns of keeping my house & being with dd.<br><br>
I know a house is just a house & anywhere with dd will be home, but it does represent such a sense of stability for me. It's also an investment that I think will serve me well over the years. I live in a very expensive area (where I now feel trapped that I have to stay) & there's no where to really move around here that would be significantly cheaper, where I'd feel safe & comfortable living with just me & dd. Part of me says, if it's really that important to keep the house, then suck up the misery for awhile longer & stay here. The other part of me says it's a freakin' house, get an apartment with dd, be happy and anything can happen later to buy another house.<br><br>
I am seeing a therapist, the same one I was seeing both alone & with E for marriage counselling. I don't know how much it's helping right now, but I figure it can't hurt also & it's good to vent. I choose him specifically for the marriage stuff, but I don't know if he's right for me. I've only been going every other week, and may stop for awhile.<br><br>
The ground rules don't work, which is one of the reasons I'm getting so frustrated. He's agreed to do X & I've said it takes compromise from both of us to make this work, if he wants to have time with dd every day. He yes'es me to death, says how important dd is to him, it's great for a few weeks & then it's back to the same crap. Substitute me being important to him in the previous sentence & that's how our marriage has been. I feel like he's saying dd isn't important enough to do what he has said he would. I didn't think communication would improve, but it's gotten worse. He's really immature & avoids discussing anything uncomfortable (except, of course, asking for a divorce).<br><br>
The friends thing doesn't work either, since he lies & is very petty, selfish & passive-aggresive as I've found out since our relationship took a downturn.<br><br>
I think I do need to realize that not every decision doesn't have such far-reaching implications, that channging my mind is an option. I obsess over the idea of making the wrong choice or right choice (as you can tell).<br><br>
I guess I feel like I keep waiting for things to fall into place & they still feel so up in the air.<br><br>
Thanks for reading all this. I don't mean to write a novella each time I post <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> .
 

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Having had to seriously struggle financially since ds was born, I would wait as planned.<br><br>
But, it really is up to you. You must decide if you can somehow block your dh from getting on your nerves. Maybe just knowing (and silently repeating) that it's only temporary can get you through.<br><br>
Hugs,<br>
Liz
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bu's mama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Part of me says, if it's really that important to keep the house, then suck up the misery for awhile longer & stay here.</div>
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Could you ask him to leave and take in a roommate?<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Sorry things are so tough. I remember that feeling (ex and I lived together for way too long after deciding to separate and for pretty much the same reasons) all too well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again mamas....Liz, I'm really trying to block things out, I jsut don't know how well it's working since I get so fed up. I'm trying to keep the big picture goal in mind of how it will be a year from now, that I will be in a good place all around, but lately it's not enough to keep me going.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Dragonfly</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Could you ask him to leave and take in a roommate?</div>
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Unfortunately, my house is way too small. The bedroom that E is staying in fits a twin bed & a dresser & that's it. Dd's room is the same. I also don't know about taking someone in with my dd in the house. It just doesn't sit right with me.<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Dragonfly</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">...I remember that feeling (ex and I lived together for way too long after deciding to separate and for pretty much the same reasons) all too well.</div>
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How do you feel about it now? Was it worth doing? What did you get from it in the end? Would you do it again, knowing where you are now?
 

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We did it because of necessity (we're also in a very expensive area) and I probably wouldn't go back and do it again. It was one of the most stressful times of my life and I'm sure that wasn't good for ds. It also just carried our ill will on longer so it took us longer to heal once he moved out. It's been over 2 years since then and we're in a good place now. I don't think that our remaining in the same house contributed at all to us being in a good place. If anything, it impeded our ability to get there faster.<br><br>
The only thing I did get from it were coping skills. I had to learn how to affirmatively tell myself that his messes, rudeness, etc. were not going to bother me. Over and over again. I suppose some growth came from it, though I'm not sure that it wouldn't have come anyway (and in a lot less stressful fashion), had we been living separately.<br><br>
These are some incredibly difficult choices to make, I know, and there is no easy answer. The only thing I can suggest if you do stay in the house together is to work really hard on adjusting your own mindset. Get involved in things that are positive and completely separate from him - things that are for you alone or you and your daughter. Adjust your expectations. Don't acknowledge his messes or his offenses. Water off a duck's back, you know?
 

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If it were me, I'd sit down and do some major soul searching to find out what is truly important to you.<br><br>
I am a firm believer that we can find the best in any situation. We can choose our emotions, we can choose our state of being. If you really, really want to keep the house and such, then find a way to re-frame your life. Find a new way to look at him, look at the situation, etc. There is a book (sorry can't remember right now) of a holocaust survivor who made the most of his experience. I often think, man, if he could do that, I can handle this crap right now.<br><br>
Staying the way you are and being miserable is good for no one. People are able to make the best of a situation though and you will be amazed how much he 'changes' when you change first.<br><br>
When I get frustrated with my ex, I force myself to see him as the little boy who didn't get the love he needed, who never had an example of love, who never set out to hurt anyone.....but doesn't know how to do better because he is scared and angry and hurt inside. He must keep everyone at a distance, be rude, make others look bad, etc. because he is trying so desperately to make himself somehow feel 'right.'<br><br>
If you really can't re-frame or find a way to feel happy no matter what.....then go.<br><br>
Feel free to pm or email me if you'd like some help re-framing your current situation.
 

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Bu's Mama: It is a tough situation: I have been there. Best of luck to you.<br><br>
My ex and I ended our relationship and then continued to live in the same house for an addditional eight months. The hold up was housing: we co-owned the house and I really, really didn't want to lose it. Custody of the children was never in question -- they were to stay with me (and I too have always been a stay at home, work from home, student mama). But the ex wanted to punish us all by taking the house, and it took a while, with me working with a lawyer to bring about a workable resolution. On my own I wouldn't have been able to buy another house -- and we had only just bought this one when I was eight months pregnant, and then it was all over between us by the time the baby was just a couple of months old. I really didn't want to go back to renting! Nevermind that renting would have been just as expensive as the mortgage. But, if I could get him to agree to legally quit his claim to the deed, then the mortgage would revert to being in my name (I also refinanced at this time and got a lower interest rate). Anyway, there were a lot of hoops to jump through and paperwork to do but I am so glad I did.<br><br>
All of that said, it was still really, really hard! My ex is an emotionally abusive man, and a poor parent to our sons -- but I would have had to get a court order to get him to move out and that wouldn't have been possible without a so-called "better" reason than those. During those months he did **nothing** in terms of parenting the kids, or doing anything around the house -- mostly he stayed away, though he did continue to pay his half of the bills. But he wouldn't move out until he was good and ready, and with us co-owning the house the one who left (even without signing a quit-claim deed) would lose some amount of right to the house. That's what my lawyer advised me anyway. Ironically, it wasn't until he signed the papers that he did begin to behave in a manner which would allow me to get a court order to get him thrown out, but by then he was on his way out the door anyway ...<br><br>
It has been three years now since he moved out and I am still so grateful for this house! It represents not just housing stability but an investment. I was laid off (from my well paying work from home job) a year ago, and have returned to school, but owning my own home gives me something renting never did.<br><br>
Interestingly, through the difficulties of those eight months, my three children and I grew even closer: ex did himself no favors in terms of building a healthy relationship with his children during that time. By demonstrating his mean spiritedness and selfishness and lack of commitment to family and healthy parenting the children were able to see him for who he truly is and that resonates today. Also, he hasn't changed: so the one who was a baby then and who is 4 now and who doesn't remember ever living with his father, now sees him the way his older siblings have always seen him.<br><br>
Detaching from him completely during those months is what helped me -- just letting his behavior wash over me like water over stone -- that, and staying healthy through good eating, exercise, mental health care etc; and refusing to be passive; and holding on to the knowledge that all I had to do was be patient, get all my ducks in a row, and I would end up with the house and kids and he'd be gone. And that's what happened.<br><br>
(Ack! Sorry to go on for so long! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you so much everyone. I really appreciate your responses and thank you for sharing your experiences. It helps to know others have been through something similar. I've been mulling over how to make this work & (for today anyway) I'm going to just keep on doing my own thing. I really want to be done with school in December, so that is my main focus right now, besides trying to spend time with Hannah.<br><br>
I am really angry at E for forcing me into a place I don't want to be. It hurts to tell dd, no I can't play right now because I have to do schoolwork, something she can't help me with (she usually helps me with everything around the house). It hurts when she says 'mama I miss you when you're at class.' I still don't know how to deal with this anger, I'm trying to just love her and make the best of each day and when the that doesn't work, the best of each moment.<br><br>
I'm very overwhelmed with school right now, so that has contributed significantly to my frustration. Speaking of which, I have to go finish a project but just wanted to check in with you insightful mamas!
 

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I'm so sorry you are going through this *hugs* I'm struggling right now as I live with my mother and I'm trying to get INTO college and my stbx is no help at all he barely sees our ds once a week.<br><br>
I hope you can figure out what is most important for you and your dd and follow that road without regrets. I will pray for you.
 

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I don't have any advice but being a single mama with a not so great father figure for your dc is so hard I just wanted to give you a <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Wow, Mama, what a difficult position. I am so thankful to have been single and unattached since Day 1 of my pregnancy! I don't need to deal with these hard issues. However, that said, I can offer my 2 cents. Having watched my sister stay in a marriage situation because of finances, kids, etc with her now ex (thankfully) I don't think it's worth the emotional toll. If you are feeling the misery, your child most certainly is whether you perceive it or not. If you can swing a small 1 BR apt, get one. You said your family is willing to help you with a house in the future, maybe they'll help you out with getting into an apt. A house is a hassle and you can be just as settled in an apt. File for separation or divorce so hubby can start paying child support. Once you are out of the house, I presume it will need to be sold. I'm not sure if you're name is on the mortgage, but if so, you'll get a chunk of the sale if any money is made off it.<br><br>
I guess my bottom line is that leaving and being on your own is difficult too, but you've shown that you are strong and can put up with just about anything. You CAN make it on your own. There is financial help available to help you. The longer you stay the worse your emotional health becomes and the harder it becomes a year from now to cope.<br><br>
I don't know if anything I said is helpful but my thoughts are with you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 
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