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Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

Old Apr 11th 2013, 11:19 am
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Default Re: Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

Originally Posted by haggis supper View Post
After 15 years of marriage Mrs Haggis and I seem to have found ourselves a long way apart. Despite counselling last year we're further apart than ever. We don't argue or fight but just don't talk and we're both deeply unhappy. She wants to try counselling again but I suspect this is driven by the fear of divorce and the impact on our lives and our kids rather than any real desire to stay with me.
I'm really sorry to hear this Col.
It sounds like you've really stopped communicating, and that's a bummer. On the other hand, marriage counselling is so varied depending on who you see.
When I saw one, I had this guy telling my husband that he was allowed to yell at me because it was 'healthy', regardless of the fact that I found it intensely intimidating (that night was the last time we saw him on my insistence) and the next counsellor we saw said that it was not allowed as I had been yelled at a lot as a child and this was abusive...
From my experience, counsellors are very different and it pays to find one that you connect with and who you feel 'gets you'.

Of course, the last thing you want to do when you feel your marriage is coming to an end is keep trying, simply because so much energy is devoted to this incredibly negative experience and 'vibe' within your relationship... but I would recommend you summon every little bit of energy you have and keep trying.

It doesn't really matter if her counselling is 'driven by fear of divorce'... Sure, divorce, when you're thinking about it IS frightening. I think more so for women who tend to end up as main carers of children, more so than guys who can be 'single and unencumbered' again to a certain degree...

On the other hand, there's nothing really wrong with wanting to 'keep trying' for whatever reason because frankly, divorce is shite and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
Does it matter what her motive is? Perhaps by continuing to talk with each other, you may find something worth pursuing together? Perhaps by continuing, there may be a breakthrough for you, and it may be possible to recover something and re-negotiate your relationship.

Marriage is bloody hard, esp when it's with the person who you had kids with. You were both young and you grow, not always together and not always at the same rate.
Kids blow things apart, work and life happen and sometimes you can find yourselves so damn disconnected, that you just don't know what to do or how to do it.




I'm not too sure what I feel but I also suspect any desire not to separate is simply the fear of what happens next.
There's nothing wrong with fear. Fear is a healthy indicator and your mind is telling you that this is not comfortable and not somewhere you particularly want to go. It's unchartered territory.

I'm mildly terrified at this point, not to mention exceptionally sad. I just don't see any future with her but the thought of separating, selling the house, the impact on the kids and starting all over again at 43 is overwhelming. It also concerns me greatly that she will want to go home (she's very homesick) and will want to take the kids (aged 12 and 10) with her.
Well of course you are. And the sadness you feel is totally normal... you're mourning the loss of something very real.
I did it all at 40 and a few years later, I find myself with someone who I have an incredibly happy and meaningful relationship with. It's great. Obviously there was some tricky stuff in between that I had to navigate.

She is, of course, entitled to 'go home' but she can't remove your kids from the country without your permission, so that's one issue you should let rest.

Divorce in Australia honours a father's desire to see his children and encourages 'shared parenting' arrangements.
You can have your children live with you up to 50% of the time (or more, depending on agreements) but that is your absolute right to demand that and it will be honoured.
I hope that's put your mind at rest about that one.


The only 'advice' I would really give is this.

We get married so young... we grow.. two paths which are meant to be together, somehow. When you look at how near impossible that is, it's a freaking miracle that marriages stay in one piece at all, given the different rates at which men and women mature.
At some points, one person is ahead of the other, or branching off in a totally different direction... and the ideal is that we're meant to 'converge' at some future point again and live happily ever after. Sometimes we do, other times we don't.
When we don't and find ourselves on some island, feeling totally isolated from the one we have loved for all that time, it's a real shock to the system.

Immediately we think 'divorce' or whatever. And the thing is, that whilst things are 'bad' , it doesn't necessarily mean that we HAVE to do anything for a while. When you think this way, the pressure is on and a 'decision' must be reached....Well it doesn't have to be that way.

Why not take a step back and just breathe for a while and have a think.
You don't actually have to decide ANYTHING right NOW.


At some point, Mrs Haggis was the light of your life, otherwise you wouldn't have married her. At some point, you were the light of her life... you have these two gorgeous human beings you raised... things must have been pretty good.

I will say, as a woman who may have been the main 'child raiser', it can be particularly challenging once those kids are past a certain age and you find that all of a sudden, you have to re-negotiate the entire terms of your life. You want more but you're not sure what.
You want the passion and romance back that you once may have had, but you're all too busy living this life with all these people in it.

I'm not sure how you worked out the terms of your family life, but I'm speaking personally on something I know really affected me and is hard for women in general.

So my advice is to just slow this down.
It is also to find another counsellor and to perhaps both get some individual counselling too. It sounds like you could both really do with some.

Agree to a plan together. If you feel you can sit down and chat... then do it.
Put a time limit on how much time you feel you both want to keep pursuing it and don't be afraid to negotiate more time if you feel you need it.

Her not being able to talk ... well don't take that personally. She may be depressed and it may have to do with her home sickness.
Women who are depressed can't talk because there's no energy to do it... you may well feel the same.... so give her and you both some space...

And so if that's the case, just chilling out for a while may help that process.

Don't make any major moves. Don't agree to a separation because they don't work (google it). They're just a pre-cursor to divorce and being apart won't help you fix whatever this is (if you want to).

Don't get romantic and think one night out will fix it. Don't pressure her into a decision. Don't assume prozac will fix this or that it's 'all her'... (I know you won't but just wanted to say it anyway)
Don't fight.
Don't call each other names.
Be respectful.

DO start trying to touch each other, if she and yourself can tolerate it. Hold a hand, touch her arm and be caring... make eye contact and even if you're not talking, keep your lines of communication open in a non threatening environment... take a walk in the park... somewhere without 'history'.
If you're still touching, you're communicating...

Do consider whether her unhappiness stems from her homesickness.... Would you rather still be together or rather be in Aus? Really take time to consider your possibilities.

I don't know what you promised each other when you got married, but that old 'in good times and bad' still stands.
I don't mean that you must stay married, but simply that marriages go through really, really, REALLY shitty times.
Damn it... they bloody do and anyone that says they don't is delusional. And on that basis, perhaps this is one of those times...

And just because you guys don't know how to fix it yourselves, doesn't mean that it isn't fixable.

Some huge % of people have regrets about ending their marriage and say that it was salvageable and that if they'd tried, they could have saved it....
So really, exhaust every avenue before you have to go to the divorce point.
Saving a marriage, I think, is really possible and I know people who've done it... because they wanted to. They weren't afraid to strip away all the BS and get on and do it.

On the other hand, if all is truly lost, then being divorced at our age is nothing. If you're truly apart and there's no way to reclaim or re-negotiate a new relationship, then don't be afraid of what lies ahead.

Kids bounce back well. They're used to it from school and you'll probably find they're expecting it or talking about it with their friends. Don't be afraid to talk with them about what's going on if you haven't already.

When I divorced, I had nothing here. No family, no friends... I've built a great life for myself, married a wonderful Aussie guy and my life is amazing. Better that I be married to this man for one day than spend 15 years miserable.

Staying in a shitty marriage teaches your kids how to be in a shitty relationship too. That is SO not what you want to teach them because they'll go and repeat your mistakes... So whilst divorce is 'terrible' for the kids, actually it's not. It depends on how you do it.

My ex husband wasn't nice to me through our divorce. That would be an understatement. But not only did I survive that, I have married again and created an amazing life with an amazing person. My kids see their father two weekends per month, which is disappointing. I never wanted that to be the case, but it's his choice. He'll never get that time back again. They're great kids, they hardly remember the time surrounding our divorce and they're doing great with us.

There is such a thing as a 'good divorce'. You agree to remain friends, to be respectful to each other, never to bag each other out in front of your kids, to equally split your assets and to support your kids together. You agree to keep being great parents and keep contact and planning and provide security for these people you created together.
I didn't have that but I know people who do.

Just be really, really sure that it's what you want and life is amazing on the other side. Alternatively, life can be amazing still married too... sometimes things need fixing different ways.

I karma'd you my email addy if you want to chat ever.

Good luck Col. You're a great guy and a good man and I know that you'll make the best decision for you all.

x

Last edited by TiddlyPom; Apr 11th 2013 at 11:36 am.
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 5:09 am
  #32  
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Default Re: Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

Colin, if you would like to go for a beer or 8 and talk shit for an evening, I'd be glad to help you take your mind off things. You helped me before I emigrated and I haven't forgotten that, I also know that when your life changes you can have challenges rebuilding a social life as a single person and you often need different places to go (mental and physical....). I'm only a few ks away from you... let me know if you need to...

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Old Apr 12th 2013, 5:27 am
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Default Re: Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

Folks - can't thank you enough for the comments and support. It has helped, especially at a very low point when I was in danger of making life changing decisions.

Tiddly - what can I say ?! Thank you so much for such a cracking post. So much common sense and perfect timing for me. I'll flick you a separate note.

As an update, Mrs Haggis and I had rather unpleasant words yesterday morning that my daughter heard. I then spoke to my daughter and told her I would be leaving - which I instantly regretted. I thought it was best to be honest with her but I immediately felt guilty.

I therefore turned up at the counselling session yesterday afternoon. Seeing my daughters reaction I realised I owed it everyone to try one last time.

To say the session was traumatic was an understatement. My wife was filled with what I thought was anger but was really frustration. She brought up incidents from 4 years ago and complained about the most trivial of things. Even my positive efforts in recent weeks (taking her out, sending flowers, buying chocolates etc) were just dismissed. I sat open mouthed for 30 minutes as it all poured out. She managed to find a negative for every positive action I had taken and dismissed everything I had tried to do in the last 6 months. Fortunately the counsellor stepped in, offering the view that perhaps she was too demanding and that I had little chance of success.

I left after 75 minutes but Mrs H stayed on for another 30 minutes. It seems the counsellor told her she was "behaving like a princess" ! My wife was gobsmacked but suddenly realised that she was being unreasonable and that I had made a huge effort but she had chosen to just ignore it.

I certainly feel much better knowing that someone independent has offered a different perspective. Mrs H feels better as she now realises I was trying, I did love her and I did want it to work. The problem remains though that she doesn't know why she was so frustrated and why she has been looking for negatives, faults etc. There are obviously a few underlying issues that need to be addressed so Mrs H will see the counsellor again and I suspect further joint sessions will be needed.

As Tiddly mentioned in her wonderful post, a good counsellor is invaluable. We had seen another who was woeful but this lady has been superb. As Mrs H said last night "she just gets us" and is able to calmly assess and explain how we are both feeling and has not been afraid to highlight our inappropriate actions.

Where now? Well the band aid was well and truly ripped off yesterday so I'm hoping we can start talking again and taking one step at a time. I think we reached as low a point as is possible so perhaps (as Yazz would say) the only way is up !

Thanks awfully folks
Col
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 7:20 am
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Default Re: Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

Originally Posted by TiddlyPom View Post
I'm really sorry to hear this Col.
<snip>

Good luck Col. You're a great guy and a good man and I know that you'll make the best decision for you all.

x
Bloody Hell you can't half natter... and what makes it worse is its all such bloody good advice !

Have some Karma.
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 9:44 am
  #35  
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Default Re: Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

If your wife wants to meet a group of women who I think are similar in age and all been through similar experiences then we are more than happy to help - I myself have both been divorced and had marriage problems in my second marriage (the anger etc sounds very familiar) No judgements - just a good laugh and if we think someone is wrong or being unreasonable we certainly say so - tough honest love with a lot of laughs thrown in. PM me is you want. I am also home alone for the next few weeks as OH has gone back to the UK for work and to surprise his family!
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 11:11 am
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Default Re: Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

Originally Posted by TiddlyPom View Post
I'm really sorry to hear this Col.
It sounds like you've really stopped communicating, and that's a bummer. On the other hand, marriage counselling is so varied depending on who you see.
When I saw one, I had this guy telling my husband that he was allowed to yell at me because it was 'healthy', regardless of the fact that I found it intensely intimidating (that night was the last time we saw him on my insistence) and the next counsellor we saw said that it was not allowed as I had been yelled at a lot as a child and this was abusive...
From my experience, counsellors are very different and it pays to find one that you connect with and who you feel 'gets you'.

Of course, the last thing you want to do when you feel your marriage is coming to an end is keep trying, simply because so much energy is devoted to this incredibly negative experience and 'vibe' within your relationship... but I would recommend you summon every little bit of energy you have and keep trying.

It doesn't really matter if her counselling is 'driven by fear of divorce'... Sure, divorce, when you're thinking about it IS frightening. I think more so for women who tend to end up as main carers of children, more so than guys who can be 'single and unencumbered' again to a certain degree...

On the other hand, there's nothing really wrong with wanting to 'keep trying' for whatever reason because frankly, divorce is shite and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
Does it matter what her motive is? Perhaps by continuing to talk with each other, you may find something worth pursuing together? Perhaps by continuing, there may be a breakthrough for you, and it may be possible to recover something and re-negotiate your relationship.

Marriage is bloody hard, esp when it's with the person who you had kids with. You were both young and you grow, not always together and not always at the same rate.
Kids blow things apart, work and life happen and sometimes you can find yourselves so damn disconnected, that you just don't know what to do or how to do it.






There's nothing wrong with fear. Fear is a healthy indicator and your mind is telling you that this is not comfortable and not somewhere you particularly want to go. It's unchartered territory.



Well of course you are. And the sadness you feel is totally normal... you're mourning the loss of something very real.
I did it all at 40 and a few years later, I find myself with someone who I have an incredibly happy and meaningful relationship with. It's great. Obviously there was some tricky stuff in between that I had to navigate.

She is, of course, entitled to 'go home' but she can't remove your kids from the country without your permission, so that's one issue you should let rest.

Divorce in Australia honours a father's desire to see his children and encourages 'shared parenting' arrangements.
You can have your children live with you up to 50% of the time (or more, depending on agreements) but that is your absolute right to demand that and it will be honoured.
I hope that's put your mind at rest about that one.


The only 'advice' I would really give is this.

We get married so young... we grow.. two paths which are meant to be together, somehow. When you look at how near impossible that is, it's a freaking miracle that marriages stay in one piece at all, given the different rates at which men and women mature.
At some points, one person is ahead of the other, or branching off in a totally different direction... and the ideal is that we're meant to 'converge' at some future point again and live happily ever after. Sometimes we do, other times we don't.
When we don't and find ourselves on some island, feeling totally isolated from the one we have loved for all that time, it's a real shock to the system.

Immediately we think 'divorce' or whatever. And the thing is, that whilst things are 'bad' , it doesn't necessarily mean that we HAVE to do anything for a while. When you think this way, the pressure is on and a 'decision' must be reached....Well it doesn't have to be that way.

Why not take a step back and just breathe for a while and have a think.
You don't actually have to decide ANYTHING right NOW.


At some point, Mrs Haggis was the light of your life, otherwise you wouldn't have married her. At some point, you were the light of her life... you have these two gorgeous human beings you raised... things must have been pretty good.

I will say, as a woman who may have been the main 'child raiser', it can be particularly challenging once those kids are past a certain age and you find that all of a sudden, you have to re-negotiate the entire terms of your life. You want more but you're not sure what.
You want the passion and romance back that you once may have had, but you're all too busy living this life with all these people in it.

I'm not sure how you worked out the terms of your family life, but I'm speaking personally on something I know really affected me and is hard for women in general.

So my advice is to just slow this down.
It is also to find another counsellor and to perhaps both get some individual counselling too. It sounds like you could both really do with some.

Agree to a plan together. If you feel you can sit down and chat... then do it.
Put a time limit on how much time you feel you both want to keep pursuing it and don't be afraid to negotiate more time if you feel you need it.

Her not being able to talk ... well don't take that personally. She may be depressed and it may have to do with her home sickness.
Women who are depressed can't talk because there's no energy to do it... you may well feel the same.... so give her and you both some space...

And so if that's the case, just chilling out for a while may help that process.

Don't make any major moves. Don't agree to a separation because they don't work (google it). They're just a pre-cursor to divorce and being apart won't help you fix whatever this is (if you want to).

Don't get romantic and think one night out will fix it. Don't pressure her into a decision. Don't assume prozac will fix this or that it's 'all her'... (I know you won't but just wanted to say it anyway)
Don't fight.
Don't call each other names.
Be respectful.

DO start trying to touch each other, if she and yourself can tolerate it. Hold a hand, touch her arm and be caring... make eye contact and even if you're not talking, keep your lines of communication open in a non threatening environment... take a walk in the park... somewhere without 'history'.
If you're still touching, you're communicating...

Do consider whether her unhappiness stems from her homesickness.... Would you rather still be together or rather be in Aus? Really take time to consider your possibilities.

I don't know what you promised each other when you got married, but that old 'in good times and bad' still stands.
I don't mean that you must stay married, but simply that marriages go through really, really, REALLY shitty times.
Damn it... they bloody do and anyone that says they don't is delusional. And on that basis, perhaps this is one of those times...

And just because you guys don't know how to fix it yourselves, doesn't mean that it isn't fixable.

Some huge % of people have regrets about ending their marriage and say that it was salvageable and that if they'd tried, they could have saved it....
So really, exhaust every avenue before you have to go to the divorce point.
Saving a marriage, I think, is really possible and I know people who've done it... because they wanted to. They weren't afraid to strip away all the BS and get on and do it.

On the other hand, if all is truly lost, then being divorced at our age is nothing. If you're truly apart and there's no way to reclaim or re-negotiate a new relationship, then don't be afraid of what lies ahead.

Kids bounce back well. They're used to it from school and you'll probably find they're expecting it or talking about it with their friends. Don't be afraid to talk with them about what's going on if you haven't already.

When I divorced, I had nothing here. No family, no friends... I've built a great life for myself, married a wonderful Aussie guy and my life is amazing. Better that I be married to this man for one day than spend 15 years miserable.

Staying in a shitty marriage teaches your kids how to be in a shitty relationship too. That is SO not what you want to teach them because they'll go and repeat your mistakes... So whilst divorce is 'terrible' for the kids, actually it's not. It depends on how you do it.

My ex husband wasn't nice to me through our divorce. That would be an understatement. But not only did I survive that, I have married again and created an amazing life with an amazing person. My kids see their father two weekends per month, which is disappointing. I never wanted that to be the case, but it's his choice. He'll never get that time back again. They're great kids, they hardly remember the time surrounding our divorce and they're doing great with us.

There is such a thing as a 'good divorce'. You agree to remain friends, to be respectful to each other, never to bag each other out in front of your kids, to equally split your assets and to support your kids together. You agree to keep being great parents and keep contact and planning and provide security for these people you created together.
I didn't have that but I know people who do.

Just be really, really sure that it's what you want and life is amazing on the other side. Alternatively, life can be amazing still married too... sometimes things need fixing different ways.

I karma'd you my email addy if you want to chat ever.

Good luck Col. You're a great guy and a good man and I know that you'll make the best decision for you all.

x
What an absolutely fantastic post, so much commonsense and wisdom.
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 11:33 am
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Default Re: Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

Originally Posted by haggis supper View Post

Where now? Well the band aid was well and truly ripped off yesterday so I'm hoping we can start talking again and taking one step at a time. I think we reached as low a point as is possible so perhaps (as Yazz would say) the only way is up !
Ahhh, that's really good news. She obviously has a lot of frustration and resentment... it sounds like things are moving for you both in a positive direction. I hope that continues for you all.
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 12:11 pm
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Default Re: Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

Originally Posted by Hebe View Post
I am also home alone for the next few weeks as OH has gone back to the UK for work and to surprise his family!
sorry it just did not sound right given the context of the thread. But I know you mean well
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Old Apr 13th 2013, 1:58 am
  #39  
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Default Re: Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

Sounds like things are on the right track, whatever the outcome at least you are both trying and that means a lot. Try to keep talking. If the love is still there, then there is always hope.

Hope it all works out for you.


Originally Posted by Jon77 View Post
My advice would be to hide all your money and just hand over the house keys to your wife now.

Men don't stand a chance when it comes to divorce I am sorry to say, kids should always be considered first of course, but all possessions will basically be considered your wife's.
Originally Posted by Jon77 View Post
No I actually wasn't suggesting that women in these situations are gold diggers I was suggesting that the family law courts and family lawyers do all of the work for the women on her behalf. The women doesn't need to be a gold digger as family law is clearly defind to advantage the female in every way possible, the women doesn't need to do anything as the law as it currently stands will do just about everything for her.

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petition...renting-laws-3

All I am advising is that the person who started this thread won't find as much legal assitance as his wife will, should it unfortunately go down that route, which we all hope it doesn't. There is no equality when it comes to family law and every man should take this in to account when they face a situation like this.

(Taking children out of the argument as they should be given every support and advantage possible and both sides should share an equal responsibility there, but again the law doesn't think so, the role of the father is not equal to that of a mother in the eyes of the law).
Not always.

I left the house with just a TV, a 2 seater settee and an old knackered fridge. I have had to start all over again. I also have a very nice $15k debt which I had to take out to pay for a solicitor just to get the right to see my 13 year old daughter from Friday to Sunday once a fortnight.

I wanted us to have shared care (something we discussed before I left as he was worried I would 'take his kids away') but after 3 months in court I couldn't afford to fight any more so had to settle for 48 hours a fortnight.

He on the other hand had to pay out almost nothing... even though he was the one that refused to go to mediation - a free service designed to sort out these things.

It took me almost 18 months of fighting to get to see her at all before I could get the certificate I needed from the family counselling place to enable me to go to court.

By that time her dad has poisoned her mind against me so much she didn't want to come and spend any time with me at all.

The only way I get to see her now is because she 'has' to come. Although I don't really see her because she sits in her room from getting here to going back again posting on Facebook how she want's to be 'at home' and how much she hates me. Sometimes I wonder why I bother, but I live in hope that one day she will at least see that I want to spend time with her and will actually see that her dad is a manipulative, petty, controlling, selfish and downright nasty man.

So no, I disagree it's not all one sided at all.
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Old Apr 13th 2013, 6:42 am
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Default Re: Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

Originally Posted by Wendy View Post
Sounds like things are on the right track, whatever the outcome at least you are both trying and that means a lot. Try to keep talking. If the love is still there, then there is always hope.

Hope it all works out for you.






Not always.

I left the house with just a TV, a 2 seater settee and an old knackered fridge. I have had to start all over again. I also have a very nice $15k debt which I had to take out to pay for a solicitor just to get the right to see my 13 year old daughter from Friday to Sunday once a fortnight.

I wanted us to have shared care (something we discussed before I left as he was worried I would 'take his kids away') but after 3 months in court I couldn't afford to fight any more so had to settle for 48 hours a fortnight.

He on the other hand had to pay out almost nothing... even though he was the one that refused to go to mediation - a free service designed to sort out these things.

It took me almost 18 months of fighting to get to see her at all before I could get the certificate I needed from the family counselling place to enable me to go to court.

By that time her dad has poisoned her mind against me so much she didn't want to come and spend any time with me at all.

The only way I get to see her now is because she 'has' to come. Although I don't really see her because she sits in her room from getting here to going back again posting on Facebook how she want's to be 'at home' and how much she hates me. Sometimes I wonder why I bother, but I live in hope that one day she will at least see that I want to spend time with her and will actually see that her dad is a manipulative, petty, controlling, selfish and downright nasty man.

So no, I disagree it's not all one sided at all.
Indeed Wendy. I left with sweet FA. A bed, a sofa and kid's beds, a few kitchen things and a half knackered washing machine...
Moved into a rental, thank crunchie for Centrelink helping me out, otherwise I would have had to stay in an abusive situation.

Most people don't even get to court. I haven't been. I didn't even have a property settlement either. He just avoided doing one. He's kept all his super etc. I left with no money, no job, no nothing.

Your situation is all the more hideous because your ex is such a prick to do that to your daughter and eventually, when she grows up a bit more, I hope she realises what he's done to her.
People who act out to influence their kids like that are the lowest of the low. It's not love, it's control.

Hugs.
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Old Apr 13th 2013, 6:49 am
  #41  
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Default Re: Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

Originally Posted by TiddlyPom View Post
Indeed Wendy. I left with sweet FA. A bed, a sofa and kid's beds, a few kitchen things and a half knackered washing machine...
Moved into a rental, thank crunchie for Centrelink helping me out, otherwise I would have had to stay in an abusive situation.

Most people don't even get to court. I haven't been. I didn't even have a property settlement either. He just avoided doing one. He's kept all his super etc. I left with no money, no job, no nothing.

Your situation is all the more hideous because your ex is such a prick to do that to your daughter and eventually, when she grows up a bit more, I hope she realises what he's done to her.
People who act out to influence their kids like that are the lowest of the low. It's not love, it's control.

Hugs.
Yes I hope she realises too.

He was fine at first...when he thought I would go back. As soon as he realised I wasn't it was all out war for him to keep control of me, which he does through my girl. While he is alienating her against me, he has some control still.

I hate that he has that, but the only way I stop it is by walking away from her. I am not prepared to do that though.

I look forward to the day in 5 years time when she is 18, that I can tell him exactly what I think of him...and it won't be pretty
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Old Apr 13th 2013, 6:57 am
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Default Re: Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

You probably won't care so much then. :/

I hope not anyway. x
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Old Apr 13th 2013, 7:05 am
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Default Re: Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

Originally Posted by TiddlyPom View Post
You probably won't care so much then. :/

I hope not anyway. x
To be honest, I'm not really sure I care that much now.
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Old Apr 13th 2013, 11:28 am
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Default Re: Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

Originally Posted by Wendy View Post
Yes I hope she realises too.

He was fine at first...when he thought I would go back. As soon as he realised I wasn't it was all out war for him to keep control of me, which he does through my girl. While he is alienating her against me, he has some control still.

I hate that he has that, but the only way I stop it is by walking away from her. I am not prepared to do that though.

I look forward to the day in 5 years time when she is 18, that I can tell him exactly what I think of him...and it won't be pretty
Give me his address
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Old Apr 13th 2013, 12:45 pm
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Default Re: Contemplating divorce - advice much appreciated

Originally Posted by haggis supper View Post
Folks - can't thank you enough for the comments and support. It has helped, especially at a very low point when I was in danger of making life changing decisions.

Tiddly - what can I say ?! Thank you so much for such a cracking post. So much common sense and perfect timing for me. I'll flick you a separate note.

As an update, Mrs Haggis and I had rather unpleasant words yesterday morning that my daughter heard. I then spoke to my daughter and told her I would be leaving - which I instantly regretted. I thought it was best to be honest with her but I immediately felt guilty.

I therefore turned up at the counselling session yesterday afternoon. Seeing my daughters reaction I realised I owed it everyone to try one last time.

To say the session was traumatic was an understatement. My wife was filled with what I thought was anger but was really frustration. She brought up incidents from 4 years ago and complained about the most trivial of things. Even my positive efforts in recent weeks (taking her out, sending flowers, buying chocolates etc) were just dismissed. I sat open mouthed for 30 minutes as it all poured out. She managed to find a negative for every positive action I had taken and dismissed everything I had tried to do in the last 6 months. Fortunately the counsellor stepped in, offering the view that perhaps she was too demanding and that I had little chance of success.

I left after 75 minutes but Mrs H stayed on for another 30 minutes. It seems the counsellor told her she was "behaving like a princess" ! My wife was gobsmacked but suddenly realised that she was being unreasonable and that I had made a huge effort but she had chosen to just ignore it.

I certainly feel much better knowing that someone independent has offered a different perspective. Mrs H feels better as she now realises I was trying, I did love her and I did want it to work. The problem remains though that she doesn't know why she was so frustrated and why she has been looking for negatives, faults etc. There are obviously a few underlying issues that need to be addressed so Mrs H will see the counsellor again and I suspect further joint sessions will be needed.

As Tiddly mentioned in her wonderful post, a good counsellor is invaluable. We had seen another who was woeful but this lady has been superb. As Mrs H said last night "she just gets us" and is able to calmly assess and explain how we are both feeling and has not been afraid to highlight our inappropriate actions.

Where now? Well the band aid was well and truly ripped off yesterday so I'm hoping we can start talking again and taking one step at a time. I think we reached as low a point as is possible so perhaps (as Yazz would say) the only way is up !

Thanks awfully folks
Col
Col, I wish you all the best and really hope it works out one way or another.

Your last post made me think of my mother and how she always seems to find the negative in every situation. It screwed me up a bit growing up and my parents' relationship is one that I certainly do not want to reproduce. My mother's negative outlook stems mostly from her frustration with herself and the life she has led up to now. Don't get me wrong, she's had a pretty good life, but if she were honest with herself, she would agree that maybe it wasn't the life she could/would/should have chosen. Her main mean of communication is complaining. There is a very insightful chapter on that in this book. I read it in French and it helped me realise how much I had learnt from my mother and how much I did not want to become like her in my relationship. What I am trying (and most likely failing ) to say is that what you said about your wife sounds like maybe she has more issues with herself, her choices, her feelings and her expectations, than with you or your marriage. However, it is sometimes easier (and less confronting) to blame others for our unhappiness. It sounds like maybe separate counselling could be the best choice for now, especially if you have found a good counsellor. And maybe, just maybe, if she faces up to what makes her so negative, she might learn to reverse that before it is too late.

Not sure if you watched the "Making Couple Happy" series on the ABC, but it shows many different aspects of a few different relationships and it is a great way to start thinking about your own as well.

That's it for my 2-cents-worth. I wish you strength for the journey ahead.
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