A kick in the teeth

Sometimes I wonder how many times we can get kicked in the teeth and get back up again.

I’ve avoided writing too much about my past relationship on here, mainly because I try not to think about it too much. It is a sad thing that is in the past, but what is really getting me down is that my ex is making it almost impossible for me to move on.

We separated several years ago and since then we have been through our times of being civil and not so civil. I was the one who left, and I carried a lot of guilt with me about that. I gave up on our marriage and I moved out. In divorce terms, I was the “at fault” party. I didn’t want to get into a slanging match about it so I accepted “guilt”, lost friends and gained new ones, lost an old life and gained a new one – I moved on. That whole thing – the ending of an almost decade-long relationship – cost me dearly both emotionally and financially, and now, many years on, I’m still paying the price.

A year later I met T. He wasn’t anything to do with my leaving, and I met him entirely by chance (although possibly it was meant to be, considering how many things we had in common and how many of the same places we’d frequented). We now have a nice life, a dog, Dog (well, that isn’t his name but anonymity to protect the innocent!) and we were even trying to start a family.

But… It wasn’t to be. No family yet other than ourselves and Dog (which is a great family by any stretch, but not as complete as we were hoping for).

And now… our dreams of a white picket fence have been shattered.

My ex has been delaying any settlement since I moved out and this means that he lives in a house that I jointly own and still pay towards. Even though I reduced how much I pay, it’s still a significant amount that means that I can’t save much money, and it still means he is living in a place subsidised by me – and for which I’m still jointly financially liable. It meant that I got deeply into debt when I first moved out because London property is super expensive, and it has taken years for me to dig myself back out to a point where I’m almost debt free (I’ll have paid off my loan by the end of this year, and I made a herculean effort to pay off credit card debt).

Meanwhile my ex was depressed/stressed due to the break up and consequently didn’t go into work for over a year, resulting in him losing his job. Before this happened, I kept asking him if I could stop paying the mortgage and transfer it into his name, but he delayed and delayed until he didn’t have a job – and then the mortgage lender wouldn’t let us transfer it as obviously he had no income. Oh and just to make things even worse, we are joint owners (as married couples tend to be) so if at any point he decides not to pay the mortgage, I’m liable for all of it, so would have to pay a mortgage for a house I don’t even live in, plus our rent. This also means that we can’t get the final divorce papers because you have to have a financial agreement to get those, so I’m still married to a guy I haven’t lived with for years and I have a new relationship we can’t make official (and we were even going to have a baby until the miscarriage) – all because he won’t settle.

In the beginning I felt sorry for him. I felt guilty and I felt like it was my fault for not wanting to be with him any more – and even though I had a really bad time for the first year we were apart, I still took the blame on myself. People are judgy in separations, I found. And people decided I was the bad guy in all of it and I took the blame on myself because I knew that on paper, I was the one who’d done wrong in acting in such a way that we finished our relationship. In truth, we both did wrong over the years – we had our amazing times and we had our wrongs. Nobody asked about the years and the times and all the hurts before then. I went through some bad times in the time before I met T, and until I did, I didn’t realise that a lot of things that people had done to me would not be acceptable in a functional adult relationship. My ex did some things that hurt me deeply and I only just realised were wrong – he was my first grown up relationship, and I thought that’s just the way it was. I let myself be the bad guy; I let myself be sucked into some bad situations, and it took me a long time not to feel a deep sense of guilt for leaving – and perhaps I still do.

When I met T, for a long time I was a bit untrusting of him and of the relationship. I kept waiting for something to go wrong and for him to hurt me, for him to cheat on me or for the whole thing to fall apart. On bad days I remember what the old times were like – panic attacks and wondering if I would ever feel secure – but years with T have healed me. Dog has healed me. I’m generally a completely different person – a fatter, more contented person – and a lot of the time I let myself forget about the bad times.

And yet – the money still keeps going out of my bank account. I have sporadic attempts to get my ex to settle but eventually decided that we would be able to scrape together enough money to get our own mortgage, in our own house. One of the reasons I really want to move is to get ourselves into a proper family and security situation – to get our white picket fence, like I wrote about in my previous post. It’s the fulfilment of a dream. And one that has a little toddler running about in the garden, pulling on Dog’s tail.

Today, I finally realised that maybe both of those dreams aren’t going to happen.

In my last few posts I’ve been hopeful, because that’s all I can be. It looks like I’m finally going to get my fibroid operation next week – after months of wondering and waiting. We had to go private and I’ll have to pay the insurance excess, but it skips the queue on the NHS so that’s something. There’s no guarantee that I’ll then be able to get pregnant, but it sure as heck wasn’t going to happen without, as the fibroid was given as a likely cause of a pregnancy not happening or not continuing. There are still no guarantees of anything when it comes to pregnancy, and the fact is that I’ve only managed to get pregnant once in 15 years, and that started with IVF and ended in miscarriage.

And last week we put in an offer for our house with the white picket fence. It was a little too low so we scraped around over the weekend and found people who were willing to lend us some money for the deposit. We’d been told by a mortgage broker that we could get a mortgage, minus the liability from my other mortgage – so a mortgage that’s lower than we would otherwise be able to get, but a mortgage nonetheless.

The reason I really want to move from the area where we currently live is that last year I was mugged. I wasn’t injured but some of my stuff was taken and it really shook me – I don’t feel safe walking home at night any more. It is also an area where people really don’t like dogs (due to the cultural mix where they consider dogs to be unclean) and so I don’t like that aspect either. We have a great apartment and it’s big enough for little Dog to run around in, but no garden and obviously it’s less nice taking him out when people look at him like they’re disgusted, and I’m a very obvious ethnic minority. However, it makes no sense to move (due to the expense and the decent deal we have on rent) until we manage to buy something.

Anyway, I thought we were getting somewhere and had found our house. I was even imagining all the stuff we’d do to it. We’d managed to scrape some promises of loans together so we would be able to put in an offer today which would hopefully be accepted. But finally today my appointment with the lawyer came round. I thought I should try and get some legal advice on what would happen if I bought a house with T.

And… boom! The lawyer told me in no uncertain terms that I should not enter into another mortgage when I still have a mortgage with my ex. That I’m in a really risky position because he doesn’t have a job – which means he has no means of paying the mortgage. And that in the next year or so it’s very likely he will default on the mortgage and I’ll then be liable. Not only that, but he might also claim on any mortgage I subsequently get with T – even though we haven’t lived together for years, and even though I’m still supporting him financially for a house I no longer live in. Right then I could just see our dreams falling apart.

My friends have over the years asked me why I don’t “just kick him out”. It’s not that easy. I can’t evict him from the house – I didn’t even want to do so in the beginning, but now I’m wondering if it will ever be resolved, and whether I’m going to have this financial burden hanging over me for the rest of my life, with no hope of resolution. I find it kind of mad that you can have this attachment to someone and an obligation to them years after you have separated and when you don’t have any children. He can just continue to live in the house, not get a job, and I have to continue to pay for him. If he decides not to pay, I have to pay – and I can’t do anything about it. The only recourse I have is to take him to court, which could cost a shedload of money – money I don’t have easily to hand, and money we were going to put towards a deposit on a house. Instead, it looks like I’ll have to put it towards taking someone I once loved with all my heart to court, because I have no other way to move on.

I can’t move on with my life. It’s been years now and he hasn’t tried to resolve anything – it’s like he doesn’t want me to move on or be happy. I guess I can understand that, but that’s not how I feel about him. I really want him to be happy – I’m sad that it isn’t with me, but I would love it if he could meet someone else and build a life with them. I don’t want him to be sad for the rest of his life, but equally I know that despite all my trying, I wasn’t the one to make him happy. And meanwhile, all that time he won’t let me move on and I will still be tied with him – in a marriage that is over and a financial dependency I can’t break. I can’t get a house with the man I have lived with for several years. I can’t get married to someone I want to spend the rest of my life with, who until July I was even going to have a baby with. And I will keep having this stress of the financial and emotional burden hanging over me, which is not the best way to be when you’re dealing with infertility.

know I am lucky and I remind myself every day. But I look around at others today and I think: why can’t I have the simple things? Why can’t I have a kid and a house and to get married to the man I love? How long am I going to be punished for?

Usually I try and be happy – I try and look on the bright side. But today… Today my dreams are a bit broken. And I feel sad.

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30 comments

  1. dinksbydefault

    Nothing is forever, although I am sure it feels like it right now. Something will eventually give with the ex & housing situation, it probably won’t happen in the way you want it to but you are a master of adversity and will handle it like a pro! AND you get your fibroid removed sooner than expected, which is very good news. Chin up 🙂

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  2. Savannah Mae

    People are judgy! They are quick to jump on the bandwagon of pointing blame, but fail to look at both sides of the situation. I can only imagine the frustration you must be feeling, and to be completely honest, you are handling it much better than I would have. You are a good person and one day, this will all make sense. Until then, happy thoughts love. Keep your chin up!

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    • Nara

      Thank you! I appreciate it. It does feel like punishment right now… Just have to hope that he sees sense. I don’t know what else I can do as I don’t want to take him to court. But I don’t want to have this hanging over me for the rest of my life either. 😦

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      • Savannah Mae

        Hang in there girlie. You (he) can only look a gift horse in the mouth for so long. I know that you don’t want to take him to court, and I completely understand that financial repercussions that go along with the judicial side of things, however, if there is no other option to let you move on with your life…

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  3. My Perfect Breakdown

    I am so sorry that you are struggling so much due to your ex. I hate the emotional and financial struggle that results from divorce, it just seems like no-one wins. I don’t know if its an option for you guys, but can you look into mediation? i know its used here frequently and it greatly reduces the legal costs. While today is a bad day for you, I do hope tomorrow is better. I doubt you’ll have a solution tomorrow, but maybe just a bit more sunshine. Sending love your way.

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    • Nara

      I think we could possibly try mediation… I’ll have to suggest it. Seeing a lawyer is so expensive. One hour today cost hundreds! I’ll get over it… I’m back home now with T and Dog, and we are ordering a consolation pizza. So no matter what I do have them, and pizza! X

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      • Arwen

        I second a vote for mediation, my sister was in a very similar situation and eventually (it still took a while) the mediation had him agree to take on full liability after a certain number of months where she would still pay.

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  4. thegreatpuddingclubhunt

    This is so tough. Really your ex sounds like a complete dimwit for doing this to you. You could threaten legal action to him? Tell him you saw a lawyer and you want to avoid taking it that far?

    I still have a house and mortgage with my ex (we didn’t marry though) from 10 years ago, we eventually came to a verbal agreement that he has no liability for the mortgage and he gets nothing from the house when it’s sold – it is still in negative equity…so I took that problem on. But I rent it out now. When the day comes that I sell/re-mortgage I hope he will honor his side of the deal! When we first split to get over the whole who gets what business, we initially split the flat in half – it had two bedrooms, so he effectively rented out his room, and I lived with a lodger.

    Does your house have two bedrooms? Perhaps it is a halfway house to suggest that as the house is equally half yours that you rent out your room to a lodger for, say a year (help de-risk any chance of defaulting), then agree to sell once he has found somewhere to live – or to buy you out. He needs a deadline to get his arse into gear!

    I know it doesn’t help you now and you want to move on…I’m sorry he is being a poo head 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thanks! Yeah I’ve been trying to avoid the legal route (this is first time I’ve consulted a lawyer – I’m at the end of my tether). In the time since we separated I’ve known people get married and divorced! It sounds like you managed to sort something out with your ex… I just can’t get another mortgage now and in London it’s really not helpful to rent long term. Plus I just feel disappointed about the house we really loved! A garden for Dog!
      Our house does have spare bedrooms but I don’t think it would work with a lodger – firstly I don’t think my ex would agree to it and secondly it’s not in an area where people typically rent (it’s not in London or near anywhere people work). I guess he could rent it out but it would involve him moving out first, which he’s shown no inclination to do. I’ll just have to speak with him and see what we can agree – I don’t want to go to court but I do feel like he has had several years now to get this sorted out! Thanks for the sympathy and the suggestions… I’ll have to give it some thought and try and figure out a way!

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      • thegreatpuddingclubhunt

        you are truly caught between a rock and a hard place. Ultimately he is being unreasonable, even if you did decide to leave him, it is not your fault and he shouldn’t be treating you this way. If you did take him to court you would win…but you would both be poorer for it, he needs to wake up and smell the coffee!!! I hope you can find some amenable way.

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      • Nara

        Yeah, the lawyer said I would win. But it could cost tens of thousands worst case which isn’t money I want to spend on court fees! I may not have much choice though if nothing happens. :/

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  5. mamajo23

    I am so sorry you are going through all this. It is too bad when a marriage ends (especially with no kids) that you can’t just move on and cut ties. I imagine it feels like your wings are clipped. I wish I had advise but all I can say is that I am so sorry and that no one is responsible for someone else’s happiness and I am glad you found your current partner so all this mess still feels so worth it.

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    • Nara

      Thank you. I know, I can’t believe you can go from really loving someone to being in this situation. My main thing in the beginning was I felt so bad and still really loved him. I didn’t want him to lose his home etc. But I feel like he’s never going to move unless I try and progress it. And that means I can’t move on in terms of getting a house and so on, or even marrying T! (I think he’s not too keen on the idea now he’s seen what a pain it is! Maybe we’d just do it symbolically rather than legally!) And you’re right… He is definitely worth it. I can deal with anything if I have T and Dog… It just feels a bit overwhelming sometimes, but I’ll be fine! Thanks xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. stealingnectar

    I am so heartbroken for you that you are stuck in this situation. It’s very unfair and he should feel horrible for freeloading! Thinking of you and wishing this whole thing away for you – as it should be. Looking forward to the goodness to come!

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    • Nara

      Aww thank you chick. It’s so frustrating sometimes I could cry! (Except I’m British and we don’t cry!) We just took Dog for a walk and we’re talking about the house. It’s disappointing but hopefully we will have more time to save up and can still get a house in a year or so… I bet we will always think of that house and wish we had bought it though! But just need to have a good talk to myself and be thankful for what I have! X

      Liked by 1 person

      • stealingnectar

        Aww…I am pretty tough on people usually, but I would say this is a good time to have a pity party! I could cry for you! You WILL get these dreams of yours though! A beautiful home complete with T, Dog, and a little one is really not too much to ask from the universe. I will WILL it to speed up for you though! Hugs!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. flatwhitetogo85

    I’m so sorry to hear all of this. What a complete nightmare! It’s unbelievable that this can be allowed to happen. I’m so sorry about the legal costs and the potential court action, which must just add so much extra pressure onto an already situation. Just remember that people less strong than you have got through this, so you will do to. Can you not just send Dog round to duff him up? He he. Joking – I would never condone violence :p

    I really hope things get better soon x

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    • Nara

      Agh, Dog is the worst guard dog / attack dog ever! He would go and lick anyone – he loves all people so I’m not sure he’d have any kind of intimidating effect! 🙂
      Thanks for the encouragement. I’m just feeling sorry for myself but we’ve had pizza and things seem better! 🙂

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  8. Surviving Infertility

    Im sorry you are feeling down today. But I do think it is normal, okay, and necessary for us to take these days to be upset. We cant always be happy and see the bright side, especially when the truth of it is that we have so much negative we are battling all the time. You are doing the best you can with all you have on your plate-which is quite a lot. Im sad your house dreams feel through with this bad news about your ex and Im hopeful he will have a change of heart so u dont have to resort to court and the costs associated with it. Maybe next week will bring that and some other good news…with the fibroid finally going bye bye! Hugs ❤️

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  9. ashleykyleanderson

    Wow. That is really terrible and frustrating. I don’t even know what to say about it other than it just isn’t right! I hate that he is holding you hostage this way and that there doesn’t seem to be any easy solution. I would hope that he’d come to his senses and release you from this obligation, but I understand that you’ve already been waiting a long time for that. Your freedom is long overdue.

    I’m so sorry for this bad news… I know how heartbreaking it is to feel as though you will never get to experience the things you dream about and want most in life. I can so clearly picture your little toddler chasing after Dog in the garden and I hope that someday (preferably soon!) that becomes a reality for you. Keep fighting for that dream even when it feels too difficult. ❤

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  10. Arwen

    So sorry about this and sorry I haven’t replied to your email yet. What a useless git. It’s so utterly unfair that you are held over a barrel by this man and I’m so sorry your dreams for a house with t and a garden for dog are again on hold. I wish I could offer you advice other than keep keeping on my dear.

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  11. ourgreatestdesire

    I am so sorry. I’ve never been through a divorce, well, except my parents but that’s just maddening how he can live in the house that you’re still paying for. There’s no way to force him to sell the property? I’m just so sorry…I’m sure you’ve thought everything through a million times. I hope that you can get him to be somewhat cooperative on this manner very soon. I think that’s just crazy how one party can actually stop the divorce from happening and being finalized. Nobody should be forced to stay in a marriage that isn’t good for them.

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  12. 30yr old nothing

    G-D exes… I had that same guilt issue and the debt. Ugh. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this when you’re ready to get on with your life. Just know that it just means that that house wasn’t the one for you. There’s a better one coming.

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