Tag Archives: divorce

Christmas is done again

Christmas is over for another year, thank God.   I used to really love Christmas, it was my favourite season, but since the family breakup I do not enjoy it at all.  However, it is for the kids and that is what makes it worth it.  Or……it was until this year.

Christmas day meant the visit of the ex and her father to spend the day, I could put up with this as it is, well, Christmas.   The day went ok, and I managed to get her to leave at 4pm so not so bad.  I was left thinking it may not have been as bad as I suspected it might be.  The kids seemed happy and it was all over with no bad feeling.

And then we had boxing day.  The kids went to the ex’s house, and I phoned them the next morning.  It was on this call that I discovered an alternative Christmas day had occurred with her father and sister at her new place.  A new pile of gifts for the children, some tagged from the ex and her partner.  Here are the issues I am massively cheesed off by this.

Firstly, this was very deliberately planned behind my back.  Her dad has always been very honest with me but this time not, it was sly and dishonest but I have got used to it with her family.  Nobody had the respect to tell me what was going on, and She had no respect at all to discuss getting gifts for MY children from her and her partner.  For me, this should have been discussed.  My children receiving gifts from another man (I use that word loosely) is something that should be agreed upon, my daughter doesn’t even like him.

I have said that in 2015 things need to change, so I am taking this as one final hit.   I sucked it up as usual only this time my ex is well aware of my anger because I didn’t show it.  I just went quite and held her stare, she actually looked quite scared.  She started with the usual sentence of “it isn’t what you think” but anyone else who has been through this will know that actually it IS exactly what I think.

Moving forwards, the positivity will not be affected by this.  I need and will be looking after number 1 and things like this will have to roll off me I guess.  I will go with everyone’s advice that her time will come, I do so hope it does.

Roll on New Year, I have plans for you.

Each day is another step forward

A major part of being in major debt and dealing with an affair, and the subsequent split/divorce, is that you are always looking to make improvements.  When my life was stable, as in I was happy and with manageable standard debt like credit cards, I just took life as it was.   Having your life largely controlled by external factors doesn’t just change you emotionally, it changes your whole way of acting.

A large part of every week is looking for improvements that will lead to a saving of some sort, small and large savings all help.  Sometimes I get a result, this week I have saved 25% off my council tax yearly bill after the local council conceded that I do in fact live alone.  I have been trying for 2 months to prove this, made difficult by the fact my ex is still on the mortgage and electoral role.  A fact that is changing next year by the way.   A fantastic saving though that will help me enormously.

This is another example though of a saving that helps not just me, but my children.  Every extra penny gives us a better life, or as better a life as I can give them.

My competition entering continues to go well, another 3 kids prizes won this week.  Makes the effort worth it.

I often wonder where my week has gone.  I spend the week working, being a dad, entering competitions, following up ways to get in extra money (PPI claims, Financial Ombudsman are 2 good examples), and online shopping around.  Oh and Ebay, a way of making money and finding things you want at a fraction of the cost.

I do hate it though, I would love a life of not having to do this.  It takes a lot of work, but the rewards make it worth doing.  Perhaps I miss out some things I like but not all, and at least I get my children 4 nights a week.

I read a lot of other debt related blogs, and I know they read this one.   The biggest fact I had to learn quickly was not to sit and break down.  It is unlikely you will ever get out of it by sitting and praying for a miracle, so look for ways to make it better.   Savings and advice will always help.  You might not like some of things you have to do, for example my Insolvency decision, but if it can you through the other side then never worry about people’s opinions.

You can never stop feeling ashamed by your situation, just don’t dwell in it.

Was it ever good enough?

There are times, after the split and divorce, where I have to wonder if what I had to offer was simply not enough.  Remember for last Christmas her partner bought her a 14K car.  He also moved her into his 4 bedroom ‘marital home’, the same home she was after from the start, and then fully redecorated from scratch to her standards and requests (demands).

He also employs her as an assistant, and now the kids tell me she has a luxury tropical fish tank with her favourite puffer and angel fish in.

Do you know what it feels like?  Everything I said no, or not just yet, is presented on a plate.   In my world we had real life, kids and bills to pay.  Everything came with time, in fact she had 3 new cars to my one.  I have to admit though, I thought I had done extremely well to provide everything for my family, but evidently it was not enough.

However, she fails to see the bigger picture.  Her partner’s wife, once divorced, was very vocal about how relieved she was to get away from his controlling ways.  Employing her, giving her a car, providing a home where her name isn’t on it at all is controlling.  In effect, he could take it all away in a heartbeat and secretly I do hope that happens one day.

I have to wonder if I had backed down and said yes to everything, would she have not cheated?  Of course she would have, her nature would not have changed.  It was only a matter of time, but it doesn’t stop a little bit of resentment on my part watching her swan around like Lady Muck.

I think my house is ok, and my kids love it.  I spoke to them the other day about if daddy ever wins some money on the lottery, that we will move to a nicer home and they both demanded we stay here.  The house is still very much their security I guess.

There is only so much you can do, if someone is always looking for something better then you are fighting a lost cause.   I never feel jealous of her lavish new lifestyle, just very bitter based on my daily struggle to make ends meet.   Today I had to replace some clothes for the kids, and get a gift for a party.  The ex saw them, commented, no offer of paying half as usual.

It is honestly like she left this life behind and just started a new one, left the house / me/ friends and just got new ones.

One day though, I would love to see envy in her eyes.  If only for my personal gratification.

For the next person that I choose to share my life with, I will most definetly be good enough.

Irritants after a break-up

Why am I writing this post today, well my ex broke protocol when it comes to social media.  We have a rule on Facebook where we do not put images of new partners on there, it offends family members and upsets the kids.  This is not an issue for me as I have remained single but my ex is still with the guy she cheated with.  Up until last night that rule stayed in place,  but today a Halloween party shows them together and lots of comments about them.  This is the usual middle finger in the air to everyone.

The agreement was, from my family and I to her, that if (when) it happened we would remove her and thus this will now happen.  There will be the usual rants and raves and excuses on how they have accidently appeared, but sadly we have heard it all before.

This is the final straw, you see I am very respectful.  I do not slate her in public and prefer to stay out of conversations about her.  I have also stayed out of the many many situations where people have wanted to get hold of her, these are the previous friends she has stitched up, partners of men she has approached and so on.

I mention irritants, there are so very many.  The biggest one for me is the total failure by Karma to punish her in any way for the multiple wrong doings.  I am not aiming for a beat up session here, but these are actual facts.  She is well known as a compulsive liar and a master maniplulator, and has no disregard for who she hurts.  Don’t get me wrong, people always get the tears and “I’m so sorry” but sadly it has all been heard before.   Hence, Karma…time to step up.

But, what is a massive irritant to me this time is her band of friends.  You see, when the affair came out and everything else she had done also came out, she lost all bar a couple of friends.  Somehow she latched onto a new band of younger girls who seem to worship her.  They clearly see her and her guy as a nice couple but right here is the kicker, they all know the history of what they both did?  What he did to his family was similar by the way.  Being as all those new found friends are married you would think even one of them would think it morally wrong?  It appears not.

Why does this actually irritate me?  Well, there is a pattern you see.  Every few years she causes a near nuclear bomb explosion everyone drops her, and she starts again.  It has happened at least 3 times since I have known her.  It irritates me that she can move on like that but, as stated above, she somehow manipulates the situation for them to feel sorry for her.  It is an astonishing skill, one I would love to intervene in.  I would love to turn up at one of the many ‘girlie nights’ and say “hold on, what she has told you is utter rubbish and here are ten people who will tell you differently to her story”.

So this is why I want life to pay her back, I am simply amazed she just moves on and people love her!    How come I have to struggle why she moves onto another life of luxury where she pays absolutely nothing towards it?  She is the mother of my children so I don’t want anything bad to happen to her but I would absolutely LOVE to see her publically ousted by someone.  This may sound cruel but why does nobody from her new group stand up and think hold on, this girl wrecked 2 families and she is sat her dining at my table.

I really struggle to understand it.

I try hard not to judge people, when I meet people with a past I try to understand it but this is different.  It is a trend, it has happened many times and so many people have been hurt by her.  If a queue formed it would snake around the block!

Not often I have a rant but at some point it would be nice to sit back and smirk.   Who else wouldn’t want to?  When someone cheats you want to see them fail from that point on, not  to sit back and watch their life get better!

I just felt like getting this off my chest.

An affair need not break you

I started blogging for my own reasons but naively I never realised the impact a blog has.  People follow your blog to see your journey, where you came from, why you are here and to join you in where you end up.  They follow you because there is an aspect of their lives that runs in parallel with your own.  A lot of my followers have come from a broken relationship or marriage, largely due an affair.

The feelings that pour out on those blogs are all too familiar but I wanted to share why I think you can come through it.  I’m no expert, I just have first hand experience.   I have learnt a lot, so I am going to type it up in the home some of you can try and look through where you are right now, and see where you will be.

Nobody can tell you how to react, everyone reacts differently but the theme remains the same.  Betrayal, a complete shock and the feeling of being totally let down by someone you assumed would never do it.   You choose to be in a relationship with someone you have a mutual respect with, someone you want to do everything with.  When you discover they are not that person, there is natural shock.

There are different levels of an affair, depending on whether you are married, have children etc.  But and affair is an affair none the less.   It causes a lot of pain and sadly causes you to question yourself as a person.   That is the other level of an affair you see, the fact that it reflects on yourself.  What have been people been thinking behind your back?  Do people now assume you are bad in bed?  Am I boring?  Was I not good enough?   The questions go on and on, and it is our human nature to try and reason with something we cannot take in.  In reality though, there is no answer, the person who had the affair did it for their own reasons.

They will always try and justify what happened with those reasons, but ultimately they decided to do it.  In everyone’s life there are crossroads, and different paths leading from them.  They were at that crossroad, do they have an affair or not?  That is their decision alone, and you yourself have no bearing on that decision.  You will be told it was a mistake, it just happened, they were lonely and other such excuses.  All excuses, no blame on yourself.

How do you react though?  It is natural to be devastated, and for it to be constantly on your mind.   Whether you hate that person is to be decided, but we all miss a trick in that we need to instantly protect ourselves.   You will be swamped with support from everyone but sadly, nobody truly knows how you feel.  There is a social perception of obvious feelings but each and every person is different.   If you had lower self esteem than another person perhaps, then you would be affected more.

I suppose I was lucky, I had suspected for quite some time so when it finally all came out it was a relief. Finding out all the actual facts was the hard part.

Reading some of your blogs, there is pure pain in your posts.  Time does heal, but a lot of these posts are people hanging on to the fact that the relationship can recover.  If you can make it work, then fair play to you.  But, sadly, it will never be the same as a line has been crossed.   That person has done the unthinkable, if you take them back can you ever truly move on like nothing has happened?   I had the option to make a go of it (her words not mine), but no thank you.  The person who had the affair, once you have forgiven, will never quite respect you again because they got forgiven!  In effect, they got away with it.

Anyone that can move on from an affair, I wish you the absolute best luck in the world.  But anyone struggling, stop beating yourself up every day.  You cannot change what has happened and it doesn’t need to destroy you.  It also doesn’t need to give you any trust issues with future relationships.   Remember they did it, not you.  The self esteem issues are their own.

Find yourself a distraction, and repair yourself.  The world is a big beautiful place, put yourself back out there.  I will be, but only when I can afford it!

Single parenting is a balancing act

Wow, what a week.  Utterly flown by, made harder by the children being off for Half Term.   Co-ordinating this event is hard enough as I have to work out where I will be with work, whether the ex-wife can accommodate, what the kids want to do and it goes on.  I used to love Half Term when in a stable relationship, it was a chance to have family time.  Now, it’s more about balancing everything to make sure the kids have a nice time.

However, balancing is only done on my part.   It hasn’t just been work this week, I have had a mountain of paperwork to do for this meeting today, I have also had to have painful dental work and of course, do my job!   It has been co-ordinated well until yesterday when my son had to finish his football early to attend a party in the afternoon.  It seems asking my ex-wife to head out on her lunch hour to collect him and drop him back to me was apparently as impossible as re-inventing the wheel.  All I need sometimes, is a little help.

I take my job as a parent very seriously, even more so since being a single parent.  As much as you think you do a great job though, there are still times you need help.  It is simple impossible to do everything yourself, there are just never enough hours in the day and there will always be timing clashes.

I have always been careful to make sure work has not been affected and I am incredibly lucky (not a word I use often with my life!) to be able to work from home a few times a week.  Sometimes, my worlds do come close to colliding though.

What else I find amazing, is the perceived roles of a single parent.  I will do anything for my kids but my ex will do the glory days but I am still expected to pay for everything major.  I am never tight, but it was her decision to leave and the children are ultimately both of our responsibilities, expect for the bills it seems?

I need to be clear, I am not here to slate my ex wife but I am here to give everyone a clear vision of what it is like to balance being a single dad, and to try and achieve everything on very little money.  So my point is when did it become the responsibility of one parent to do all admin, all bills, all treats and be the voice of reason?

I am mid life now, this is not how I envisioned my life to be at this stage.   My children are as happy as they can be now though, and miss out on nothing.  But the more I try and resolve this debt, and the busier my job gets I need to start getting some real help or the balance of work v family will ultimately fail.

Family Portraits

We have concentrated a lot on debt recently, for good reasons, but this blog is also about divorce.

Half Term next week, so a week off for the kids from school.  When they break up from school they bring home all their projects, PE kits, etc.  Always nice to read through them and see what they have been working on.

My son has always been closer to his mother.  This is totally natural in a boy, also he is quite young.  Admittedly over the last year though, he has definetly become closer to me but I always expect drawings and writings to predominantly feature his mother.   As stated before, whatever the cause of the breakup you must never speak untoward of the children’s mother – as much as you would love to!

Checking through his pictures, his recent project was family.  Instant dread of course, but it was an interesting insight this time.  All the pictures, entitled ‘familee’ (sic) still contain only 3 characters.   We have touched on this before of course here, but this was a specific project.  He has to write as well this time.

My daughter has been quite vocal about the breakup with multiple questions, but my son has always been quiet about it.   But evidently, he is well aware and has many questions of his own.   The difference between this set of drawings and the last is it includes location.  If you check the drawing of the house, it is actually split in two.   One side is my side, one side is his mother’s.  It is actually quite clever.

Above my side is the sun, over hers is the rain.  Interesting isn’t it?

I don’t have the children much this weekend, last night my son gave me a hug and asked if he had to go tomorrow.  I said it was up to him but I can see he knows he has to go, he doesn’t want to upset his mum.

Being the stability and strength for my children is paramount, it is also why I have never let the sceptre of debt interfere in their lives.  I go without so they don’t have to.

I do not give moral advice, but anyone reading this think carefully before doing something you regret.   If you have children, they will be affected.  Not just talking about splitting up a family here, families split for genuine reasons other than a marital affair and sometimes it is unavoidable.   Just let them be children, where fairies and magic exists.  Adult traumas must not intertwine, a child should remain child as long as they can.

The adult world is not a great place to be.

Why does a single parent have no power?

This is from my experience, but I would welcome comments from other single parents.   It is my experience that, despite my ex moving out 3 years ago, I have no power at all.

The first example is this weekend, I was due to have a weekend to myself and had some great plans.  But now I am having the children.  This is ordinarily fine as I love having my kids, but now I am forced to cancel my plans with little or no notice.  This has happened a lot.  It infuriates me, her social life continues with nights out, champagne bars, weekends away but what about me?  I rarely go anywhere, and if I do it normally gets stitched up.

The cynical amongst you will say “tell her no”.  But, how do you do that when it comes to your children?  Like I have said before, the children always come first so I suck it up.  But how can my life every truly move on?  I am destined to remain the children’s security and support until they are 18 whilst their mother enjoys her ‘fabulous’ new life?  It would seem so.

Example 2, I did my financial review with my mortgage company as I am still negotiating payment holidays or reduced payments for 2 months.  I should say, I have never missed a single payment and don’t intent to, it would have just freed up extra money.  Upon the review conclusion, because I have been totally honest with them about the relationship status, I  have now moved OUT of the criteria of payment holidays and are no longer eligible.  So I then asked how to remove her from the mortgage, again..a different review to see if I qualify.  So, I have paid every single solitary bill for 8 years, she has no interest in the property as has lived elsewhere for years but she still has to be included?

Honestly, I am stuck with the spectre of my ex.  I am stuck in time while she moves on rapidly.

Do you remember my post about having a plan nobody will back?  Well it is still continuing, you are simply not allowed to resolve or improve your situation, it almost makes you wish you had not put anybody’s name on anything.   I just feel completely and utterly trapped in multiple financial agreements that she has contributed absolutely nothing towards, but also need her permission to change anything.

This country is so utterly messed up, there is no support at all for single parents or empathy actually. One person moves on whilst the other person struggles with their head barely above water.

Not a happy day today.  I just cannot see a way out of all this…

Sometimes the truth has to wait

As a parent, I would never lie to my children.  It is important not to do that, and it teaches them a valuable life lesson – in my opinion.   However, there is an agreeable difference when it comes to divorce as there are some details that you have to swallow as an adult.

Some questions are easy to answer, an example from my daughter “why do adults get married if they only divorce?”.  This is a perfectly acceptable question from a child who has watched her parents spilt up.  It’s a tricky one, answered with cliché answers of “sometimes adults just fall out of love, but we still love you very much”

And there is my issue, you simply cannot answer truthfully can you?  “Sorry darling, but mummy was naughty and decided she didn’t want us to be a family”.  And why can’t you answer this way?  Well, quite simply, because children have a perfect view of the world so I am forced to swallow the truth and anger and reply in the most mature way I can.

That’s life isn’t it, you protect the children and their innocence.  When it comes to an affair, one adult must always maintain a safe supportive demeaner, whilst the other one waltzes around stating bizarre sentences which only confuse the children.  One classic from my ex is:

“mummy and daddy will always love each other, but mummy loves someone else more”.

Brilliant, and I am trying to refrain from sarcasm in my blog, but it is obvious that all questions should be put through me for filtering!

One day, the children will be old enough to demand the answers and they shall receive them.  Despite what my ex put me through I will never slate her, as she is their mother.  But rest assured, the anger I have for everything will never rest.  The kids will then make their own balanced decisions, and I can rest easy knowing I did nothing to influence this.

Tricky being an adult isn’t it?

house has gained in value…….dammit

When I first found out about the affair and my ex left, my house was the same price I bought it for.  Result…no equity to split with her.  However, she then took so very long to sign papers and finalise the divorce the house market has recovered.  Recovered so much in fact my house has a value of £195,800.  My mortgage is roughly £165,000 meaning an equity of thirty grand.

The excitable amongst you will now raise a beer and say “yay, you have cleared your debt”.

Not so my friends, and here is why.  Firstly, my ex still hasn’t asked for her half of the equity so £15k would be hers.  The reason this never happened is because the children still live in the family home 4 nights a week and was informed if she took the money I would be bankrupt and thus homeless.  She doesn’t need the money either right now on account of being looked after financially it seems!

Secondly, to get equity from a property you need to remortgage.  This is a no no as my credit history is now appalling.  Oddly when I took out the mortgage 8 years ago my credit score was superb, so good in fact if I applied for anything credit related the people would bow as they said yes!  I joke of course, but it was good.

So, I am actually worse off.  If my ex did her own research she would realise there is more money in the home than she realised.   Luckily she is pre-occupied but for home long?

But what if I declared bankrupcy?  yes I would lose my home but the equity would completely clear the debt and I could start again.  That is a very very attractive option and one I would welcome had I not had children.  This is their home, I made sure I kept hold of it after sound  advice from a child psychologist and the children themselves wanted to “stay in our family home”.

I suppose this isn’t totally bad news, at least if I do have to go down that route of putting my hands up, extending my middle finger to the Inland Revenue and going bankrupt, I know the debts will be paid off.  But I am still fighting to avoid that as you know

What I would like, from the government, is some sort of law where if two people have a joint mortgage and the relationship goes sour, that the mortgage should not be affected when the other person is taking off the house ownership.  I mean, why does the mortgage company care how many people live in the home if the mortgage is being paid?  In my case I paid every single payment yet they won’t give me the mortgage in my name.  Makes no sense at all.

Couples are the creditors favourite, but try to get the same approval as a singleton?  No go I am afraid.

Time to shred that new valuation!