losing hope...

Old May 19th 2014, 9:23 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
What a horrible position for you to be in, so sorry.

You say all his family are around him, who you have now lost. Is this true? if you previously had a good relationship with your in-laws maybe that could be a way forward. You could maybe sit down with them and tell them what is going on. You may find they are on your side and think your husband is being unreasonable, and may be able to talk some sense into him. I know if I was in the same situation as you, my FIL would read my husband the riot act.
That must be a great feeling for you. Unfortunately my in-laws have passed on leaving a fairly clannish set of siblings who 'closed rank' so to speak.
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Old May 19th 2014, 9:38 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Originally Posted by Karrie72 View Post
That must be a great feeling for you. Unfortunately my in-laws have passed on leaving a fairly clannish set of siblings who 'closed rank' so to speak.
Oh I'm sorry. I hoped that would be another angle for you.

Best wishes, I'm hoping you can come to some solution.
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Old May 19th 2014, 11:56 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Originally Posted by Karrie72 View Post
That must be a great feeling for you. Unfortunately my in-laws have passed on leaving a fairly clannish set of siblings who 'closed rank' so to speak.
TBH that what I thought you'd say. Blood is thicker than water as me old mum used to say.
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Old May 20th 2014, 2:47 am
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Default Re: losing hope...

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
Oh I'm sorry. I hoped that would be another angle for you.

Best wishes, I'm hoping you can come to some solution.
Don't feel sorry, it's just the way this family operates. I'm glad to know you have more support from your inlaws.
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Old May 20th 2014, 4:23 am
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Default Re: losing hope...

Karrie72....Over the years through a great deal of turmoil a poem my Mother sent to me always came and comes to mind. "One Day at a Time" and it really is the best way to look at it.

Dont look at the big picture look at what you need most and thats security for you and your children and that means your husband doing whats right by you and them. A lawyer will give you the information you need but your husband has to pay for the children and for you so you need to get that sorted and were you are going to live. Once you have that all settled then you can move on the the next stage.

You do not know what the future will hold for you just get yourself sorted and strong. Things will fall into place, when plans fall through it is a shock and it can be really depressing but keep putting that one foot in front of the other.

Make a list of things to accomplish during the next few months and go from there. I wish you all the best never let someone else get the better of you it might take a while but you will get there in the end. Sometimes the road can bend and take turns but just fill the time with planning for your future.
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Old May 20th 2014, 11:57 am
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Default Re: losing hope...

Originally Posted by trottytrue View Post
Karrie72....Over the years through a great deal of turmoil a poem my Mother sent to me always came and comes to mind. "One Day at a Time" and it really is the best way to look at it.

Dont look at the big picture look at what you need most and thats security for you and your children and that means your husband doing whats right by you and them. A lawyer will give you the information you need but your husband has to pay for the children and for you so you need to get that sorted and were you are going to live. Once you have that all settled then you can move on the the next stage.

You do not know what the future will hold for you just get yourself sorted and strong. Things will fall into place, when plans fall through it is a shock and it can be really depressing but keep putting that one foot in front of the other.

Make a list of things to accomplish during the next few months and go from there. I wish you all the best never let someone else get the better of you it might take a while but you will get there in the end. Sometimes the road can bend and take turns but just fill the time with planning for your future.
Thank-you Trotty. never a truer word was said. I'm finding it it incredibly hard to think beyond the next 5 minutes. I'm definitely taking baby steps and going day by day. Hard when your spouse is on you to think about how you're going to support yourself in the immediate future. Facing people and working is not easy right now.
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Old May 20th 2014, 12:55 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Originally Posted by Karrie72 View Post
Thank-you Trotty. never a truer word was said. I'm finding it it incredibly hard to think beyond the next 5 minutes. I'm definitely taking baby steps and going day by day. Hard when your spouse is on you to think about how you're going to support yourself in the immediate future. Facing people and working is not easy right now.
This bloke needs a good kick up the arse! I wouldn't advise you to be the one to give it to him though, Karrie He wants it all his own way - out of the marriage and you jumping through hoops to make it as easy as possible for him. I've no doubt it would suit him if you got a full time job immediately, but I've also no doubt that this is far more connected to what he'll need to pay, rather that what's best for you.

He can get stuffed, Karrie. All you need to concentrate on is you and the kids. This is where legal advice is unfortunately imperative for you. It's only when you find out what you're entitled to as the primary carer for the kids, that you can begin to make the transition to being a single Mum.

I take on board previous posters' advice not to antagonize him unnecessarily. But that doesn't mean you have to do ANYTHING he tells you you 'should' be doing. I don't think it would hurt to tell him that what you do is no longer his business, he's opted out of that. You'll get through this in your own way, at your own pace. As for him, whatever financial and other consequences he faces from the divorce, they can't be as bad as those he's forced on you.

By all means make an effort to discuss anything directly to do with the kids, even though he obviously want his cake and the pan it was baked in too. But as for directing your own actions from here on in, bugger him. He needs to remember that this situation is his choice.
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Old May 20th 2014, 2:36 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Karrie72..I think your spouse wants to ruffle your feathers and pull you down dont let him do that to you. Remember the saying "Keep Calm and Carry On"....Make that your motto. It will annoy him to hell.....Don't let him get to you just keep taking those baby steps and move forward and forget out the twit......I would get that lawyer and get it all sorted then tell him to bugger off....can I say that.....But keeping calm and letting him see that he is not geting to your will really annoy him. Discuss what needs to be discussed and as for him telling you what to do tell him that its nothing to do with him as long as he pays child support and I dont know what your are entitled to but whatever it is make sure its down in black and while....and forget about him.
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Old May 20th 2014, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Yup put it in the hands of lawyers - I spent decades listening to and getting dragged down by my mum's shenanigans because she wouldn't - in fact I'm feeling quite agitated just thinking about it.
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Old May 20th 2014, 11:24 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
Yup put it in the hands of lawyers - I spent decades listening to and getting dragged down by my mum's shenanigans because she wouldn't - in fact I'm feeling quite agitated just thinking about it.
Yes, children can be the victims in all this. I'm sorry to say my children have seen some tears from me. I don't want them to see me as a victim or resentful of them that I'm facing spending the rest of my life here. But the disappointment is so great, I can't help it at the moment.
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Old May 20th 2014, 11:27 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Originally Posted by trottytrue View Post
Karrie72..I think your spouse wants to ruffle your feathers and pull you down dont let him do that to you. Remember the saying "Keep Calm and Carry On"....Make that your motto. It will annoy him to hell.....Don't let him get to you just keep taking those baby steps and move forward and forget out the twit......I would get that lawyer and get it all sorted then tell him to bugger off....can I say that.....But keeping calm and letting him see that he is not geting to your will really annoy him. Discuss what needs to be discussed and as for him telling you what to do tell him that its nothing to do with him as long as he pays child support and I dont know what your are entitled to but whatever it is make sure its down in black and while....and forget about him.
Thanks, that makes sense. I can't tell you how helpful it is to have wise insight during this isolating and traumatic time.
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Old May 20th 2014, 11:38 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Originally Posted by Karrie72 View Post
Yes, children can be the victims in all this. I'm sorry to say my children have seen some tears from me. I don't want them to see me as a victim or resentful of them that I'm facing spending the rest of my life here. But the disappointment is so great, I can't help it at the moment.
Totally understandable. That's why you have to take it in small chunks, like trotty said. One thing at a time. Have you found anyone for legal advice?
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Old May 21st 2014, 12:31 am
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Default Re: losing hope...

Karrie72,

I don't think it is such a bad thing for your children to see a little of your distress. You can tell them why you are sad and you don't need to lay blame, they will form their own opinion of their father's role in this themselves. As long as you let them know that they have absolutely nothing to do with what you are feeling, that none of this is their fault and none of it is about anything they did wrong or anything they can change or control.

Whether they see you cry or not they will already be very aware of your unhappiness that is unavoidable. The important thing is not that you hide all your tears but that you make sure they know this is not their fault. Children are very egocentric, their belief that the world revolves around them also makes them think that they must be the cause of their parents unhappiness. Do not assume that they know none of your unhappiness is their fault, be sure to actually state that to them.

I wouldn't voice an opinion as to whether their father is being unreasonable and lacking in basic human compassion (or indeed an all round sh*t) I would just explain that sadly you are no longer in love as a married couple so will divorce (again assure them that its no blame of theirs and that you will both always love them) and that the law says that without the permission of the other parent no mother or father is allowed to move to another country with their children. The law makes you very sad because you (as they know) miss England very much.

It would not be good for you as their Mum to blame their Dad but I don't think you need to make any excuses for him or not state the facts as they are.

Long term, there have been lots of good suggestions. Do you have medical insurance, if so I would urge you very strongly to make some appointments with a therapist. A good therapist will help you draw on your own strength as you move through this, they will help you see the wood for the trees and will also help you to not be emotionally bullied by your ex.

Right now you are reeling and also grieving terribly for the loss of your dream of returning home. For the moment try not to think of the not being able to move home as permanent because that thought is devastating and overwhelming for you. Take it a step at a time, first things to be done are find a lawyer for basic advise and a therapist for emotional support.

I understand that right now things look grim but don't focus on the blackest of outcomes (not being able to move) until all possible options available to you have been fully explored.

If your husband is not seeking sole custody at this point then I feel that it is still possible that after the dust settles he may see that whilst he can stop the children moving to the UK he can not stop YOU doing so and that if you were to move his life style would have to change COMPLETELY because he would have to look after his children 24/7. (I know you wouldn't move without them but lets not have him be so sure you wouldn't).

If he wanted to be a single parent then he'd be going for full custody, so I think whilst he may believe he holds all the cards he actually does not.

Speak with a lawyer who has plenty of prior experience of expat divorces and who really knows the law regarding them. Get a full understanding of what you will be entitled to with regard to child support etc.

Then maybe ask about what the situation would be if you were to make a visit by yourself to the UK - obviously you would want to be sure it could not be used against you for custody - maybe it would be good for him to see what it is like to be a single parent for a little while and maybe he won't be so sure that he wants to gamble that you would not return to the UK alone permanently.

Also pursue those UK jobs, he sounds like he is the type to be motivated by money so it would be good for it to be made clear to him that if you have to remain in the US you will find it very hard to get a job that paid well - so he would find himself the sole source of financial support for his children. Whist on the other hand if you were in the UK you would have great job prospects and much less expensive child care options which could (if he wants to play nice) all add up to less child support being needed from him.

Also ask the lawyer how far away you would be allowed to move from him within the US, lets not make things convenient for him! If the law will let you increase the geographical distance between you in the US he might decide that he'd rather see the children for a nice block of time in the summer rather than doing a ton of driving to see them in the US.

The way I see it, you may not be able to force him to let you move with the children (unless your lawyer is able to find a way around for you) but you can slowly illuminate him as to how you and the children being in the UK (with regular visits by the children to him - summer hols etc.) could actually end up being a preferred option for him, one that allows him the opportunity to have quality time with the children in the summer Holidays etc. potentially saves him a ton of money and allows his children to grow up with a healthy and happy mother.

We need to find some adults who grew up in the situation he is proposing and let them tell him what their opinion of their father ended up being!

One last thought is with regard to whether the situation will always be that you can not move back. Remember your ex may meet and marry someone else and that new wife might actually prefer his ex, and his children with her, to be all the way over on the other side of the Atlantic. Just another possibility to give you hope that it might not be forever.

Chin up, get going on those lawyer and therapist appointments those are your first steps.
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Old May 21st 2014, 12:53 am
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Default Re: losing hope...

:-( I am so sorry you are going through this.

I am not far away, and I know we've not yet met but if I can do anything to help please PM me.
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Old May 21st 2014, 1:48 am
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Default Re: losing hope...

Karrie72,

Good luck. You are entering a huge storm and it will be very testing. You are getting some good advice here. I may have some to offer.

I have been in a protracted international divorce for 3 years. My ex is a megalomaniac banker who moved back to our 'home country' to be with his girlfriend. He left us in England (we are British citizens and Australian citizens). Our children were born in England and lived there for 11 years.
I eventually gave in and moved to Austrlalia. The children and I are very unhappy. Most of my immediate family live here, however, once the initial rush of family gatherings subsided, busy life took over and we really don't see that much of each other. I miss the 'special-ness' of family o/s visits - it worked well for us.

OK. So here are a couple of things I think you should do. Record everything. Phone calls, contact with your children via any social media form, requests to see the children. Be absolutely honest and unbiassed. Just record what is going on, when, where and how.

Be on your best behaviour at all times. How you react to emails, phone calls etc will be used against you. I know you don't have to prove yourself, however if it gets messy and goes to court, anything you have said or how you have acted will be twisted and put on display. Be calm, be consistent, be clear. You do not have to respond to every email written to you. Keep it business - like.

Figure out if you have the fight in you, bc it sounds like it is going to be mighty and very expensive. My legal bills ran into the hundreds of thousands. This was frustrated by my ex who simply didn't turn up to crt etc. He wanted to financially ruin me.

Figure out scenario A and B. Don't glamorise how life in the UK might be etc. I've lived there for the last 12 years. I love the UK, but it has it's quirks. Education is tough. It's expensive etc etc. I say this bc the life your children know, the routine that you have, the roots you have made (don't underestimate this - seriously), their friends, their school, the support group around you now (other mothers/friends) is difficult to replicate. I am living through this now and constantly ask myself WHY? Why did I leave that? Family is great, it is, but can your day to day support network be replicated? If your children have lived their lives in the US, moving them to the UK is going to be tough on them. I know you don't want to hear that but it will. The two are VERY different cultures (I've lived in both, love both).

Consider mediation. My husband was/is a complete bully. Mediators will protect you (you don't even have to be in the same room). They are skilled at working with tough situations. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO AGREE TO ANYTHING.
You can think things over. You can agree to tiny things, small changes, for example, when he can call the children, or giving him monthly 'updates' on schooling etc.

The law will want the status quo for your children. Stability is king. Maintaining a stable, reliable, safe environment for the children with contact with both parents is what the courts want. This needs to be your mantra. I wanted stability for my children, and so kept them in the UK until the end of their primary school. Again I know this is not what you want, and if you are going for the "BIG FIGHT" this is something to be carefully considered.

Currently you do not have legal custody of the children. You are in essence their primary carer. You might think about getting this finalised. Australia used to favour 50/50 custody. There is a slew of research on how damaging this is to children. Shared custody does not mean 50/50. It means that the children spend quality time with both parents, not equal time. The needs of the child will be taken into account, so this is where the stability card gets played. They need a stable home environment, they need one main residence to call home, place to do homework etc. Also if he has "abandoned" them and is not in regular contact, the longer that plays out the better. If he is emotionally unstable around them or emotionally abusive to them, keep notes.

It might not be forever. Mediation might allow you to agree to spending the long US summer break in the UK every year. Not your ideal but not a bad compromise.

Financial security. This is really something to consider very carefully. I almost hate to say this, but if your ex is going to support you and the children, the less you do to upset that the best. It is not to be overlooked, unless you can financially provide yourself. It is his biggest card to play, and it can get really messy. However a life with children and constant money worries is hellish - for you and the children. They pick up on everything, and money worries is always high on the list. I will say, that once the money is sorted out (and don't underestimate what you need from him as children get more expensive as they age) many arguments fall away.

This is a multi pronged problem. You really need to put a 'business' hat on or get help from a good strategist friend. Your primary concern should be for the welfare of the children, theirs and your financial security, their stability. It's probably not the outcome you wanted to hear, but I've lived through this. At the time I couldn't make sense of all the advice...My head was foggy. It is the stress that does that. Now I can look back and see my mistakes.

Good lawyers are good. Many lawyers will find out what your net worth is and work off that. You need to be careful here. One of the first places I would go is to a financial planner and find out what you need for x number of years. You have children and money is a huge factor in their stability. Chasing unpaid support, while living o/s is impossible.

And finally to echo another piece of advice...do take one day at a time. Learn to compartmentalise, so that this doesn't consume all your energy and head space (really important).. You need to be able to spend time as a family without this clouding things. Try and address the divorce when you feel emotionally up to it - there fore do not read emails until you are prepared for it. Sleep well. Try and build a bridge with his family. They are probably scared that they are going to lose their grandchildren/cousins. It is probably the last thing you want to do.

Good luck.
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