Two steps forward, three steps back

I don’t like to post about private private things, but sometimes I feel like I just need to vent. Today I feel like I’ve been making all this progress, trying to get a new job and new house and new fertility (ha!), but it feels like it’s two steps forward and then I’m running backwards. (Not easy to run backwards but I seem to be doing great.)

In previous posts I mentioned that I split up with my ex a long time ago. I mean, years ago. In the intervening years I met T, and he and I (and Dog) are a unit. However what I may not have mentioned, and what doesn’t occur to most people is that I am still married to my ex. He lives in the marital home I moved out of years ago, before I met T. And for a while I carried on paying the mortgage contribution that I always did (just over half of the mortgage as I also contributed towards bills) and then I reduced it over time, but I still pay a proportion of the mortgage (around 1/4 – 1/3) as he can’t afford to pay it on his own.

What happened since I left is not something I fully understand, but it ended up with him losing his job and essentially being unable to work. So I’ve continued to pay towards this mortgage. For a while I tried to get it sorted out and transfer the mortgage to him, and then nothing happened. And then he lost his job which meant that the mortgage lender wouldn’t give him a mortgage, because he had no income. So then I tried all of last year to get something sorted. The fact was that he couldn’t buy me out, because he had no income. And he didn’t want to sell the house because that’s the only thing he has left.

Basically I know he is emotionally and mentally fragile so I’ve continued to support him financially. I earn considerably more than he does (especially now he doesn’t have a job) so although it was a stretch and prevents me from saving anything myself (until I made huge efforts to pay of debts and finally had more, last year) I still pay it. And I felt guilt for leaving in the first place. (And maybe also relief for finally understanding that it wasn’t a healthy place to be.) And sorry for him for being unable to look after himself. So I carried on paying, and I didn’t sort anything out. I didn’t want to pressure him.

Every time I pressure him, like I did at the beginning of last year (and probably half heartedly the year before, and…) he ends up having a meltdown and not being able to cope with it. He’s been getting better and finally agreed to a solution which was for my stuff to go in storage (as he didn’t want me to come round to the house and pick it up) and for me to transfer my half of the house to a mutual friend who could afford to be nominally on the mortgage. I don’t really care who gets it; I just want to be separated financially. 

This started off as being a rather poor deal – he put down the deposit initially (as I was only young and hadn’t any capital) and the proposal was that I get around 10% of the house value. This is kind of bad but over time it got eroded because he couldn’t afford it, with the final value of what I get paid to transfer the deeds being around 2.2% of the house value and less than a year’s rent where I am staying now. The idea being that he will offset the remainder of the payment to be paid in 10 years, when he will either have the money or sell the house.

In the end we’re so far down the line now that I just want out. I have agreed to everything, just to keep the peace and to try and get out of the agreement. We can’t even finalise our divorce until we have sorted out the financials (it’s a condition in the British courts that you have a financial agreement to finally get divorced). In the beginning I wanted to fight for my fair share (which would be 50% of the value less the deposit he put in) but now I would basically give it away for nothing. Well, I am doing – it’s 2%. I paid half all those years and I get 2% out of it. Nuts.

What’s really upsetting me now is that we found a place to buy. We can afford it whether or not I have the other mortgage – the payments would be about what we are paying in rent now. However there are now changes happening with Stamp Duty in the UK. (It never rains but it pours!) This means that if you have two homes then you have to pay stamp duty (a kind of tax) on both of them. The second home has a 3% surcharge on it. It’s meant to catch out “fat cats” who have multiple residences, not some middle manager who’s trying to get a divorce and whose ex hasn’t managed to settle. Believe me I’m not making any money here.

I guess I’m just feeling kind of depressed about it (not clinically; don’t worry) because I feel like I’ve conceded on everything. And we still haven’t sorted it. T and I have now been together longer than my ex and I were married! (It was a short marriage but a long relationship.) It’s crazy that I can’t just be let go and that we can’t both (my ex and I) move on in our lives. I feel like there are a lot of people making a lot of money out of this, and neither of us are benefiting. My ex isn’t benefiting from being in the old house which probably reminds him of us. It’s really sad because it is a lovely house… I really loved it when we bought it. But it’s a reminder of sadness now. And T and I are stuck in limbo because we can’t get our marital home (let alone get married! Not that I even want to any more!) without me settling with my ex. It seems nuts that I am still linked to this person who I am not with any more. He’s older than me and I never expected him to be financially dependent.

Don’t know what I’m trying to say here. I guess there have been some glimmers of hope. I had the other job interview last night – subject to many last minute changes, it went pretty well. Unfortunately it was a complete personnel change for one reason or another, so I ended up meeting the guy’s boss, which I guess is a good thing! And he was great. Although a bunch of stuff made me feel like I’d be more upset if I don’t get the job, like working all over the weekend on the presentation – it was oddly satisfying, but then I felt invested in doing well! Clever them! The meeting was really positive but now I’ll just feel more upset if I don’t get an offer. And the ones last week who were really positive – I’ve heard nothing from them either! It’s a bit of a weird limbo. I guess that’s where I am now… Limbo.

Work wise it is tough. I’ve had a pretty bad time lately and I’m feeling quite negative about it. They just treat me like **** sometimes which makes me react badly… And then I’m sure people think I’m terrible, and it just kind of gets me into a funk. The funny thing is that the non worky-work stuff (people at work who I don’t work with) is pretty good. I feel happy to see people and stuff, and a lot of them are nice. Of course, fat pregnant b**** is still hanging around like a bad smell but for the most part I ignore her. And I think she’s going off in May or something so not long now. (Actually seems like ages.) I just feel worn down by being treated badly a lot of the time, but equally I know it could be a lot worse. I mean, I could be treated badly and get paid badly. At least I can afford to live.

Argh, this is a depressing post probably but just me venting! There are good things too. I think sometimes it gets on top of me. Like I’ve done all this swimming but ultimately I’m swimming upstream and as soon as I stop swimming, I’ll be right back where I started. Sometimes it feels like the universe is punishing me. “You left someone so you are never allowed to be happy!” I’ve done everything I can to make his life easier, and I’m still being punished. Even if I did go back, it’s just not fixable. And I know what a proper, equal, respectful, loving, demonstrative and fun relationship is like now. (Not to mention dog sharing! I don’t think we could ever split up because of Dog.)

Generally in myself I’m okay. But sometimes when you sit and take stock, and yet another person announces their pregnancy, and more people bring kids into the office (I’m just being mean here – they were cute, not babies, so I was happy to entertain them and encourage them to eat sweets and get a sugar rush like the bad auntie I am), and everyone else has a house that they can work on and settle in, rather than a rented place (ours isn’t so bad – it’s cool inside, I just don’t like the area)… Etc etc (insert contrasting not screwed up life here)… Well, sometimes it wears you down.

But! We are okay. I still think for all this crap, I’d do it again. I would give up my previous existence, give up my house and my comforts and my 3 holidays a year and my big garden to come and live in a one bedroom studio with T and Dog. I’d give up my designer handbags and my smug marriedness and nice middle class life to come and live in grimy London. Really I would give it all up as long as I had T and Dog.

So yeah, I’m having a bit of a morose day. But I’m lucky I have those glimmers of hope, and for that I’ll keep swimming.

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31 comments

  1. mamajo23

    It must be so hard to have things lingering that keep you dragged in the past. I had a sorta similar situation and when it was finally over I cannot tell you the freedom I felt. I hope you get that soon. I really feel strongly that this is the year so many things are going to go well for you. Great job on the interview and good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thanks Jo! I’m just feeling sorry for myself today. I kind of can’t believe it could have come to this – 2% and they still haven’t settled! Nuts! I just want it to be over. Hopefully I’ll get a job offer. I really do hope as otherwise will feel like I spent a whole lot of time on nothing!

      Like

  2. Babyscienceproject

    What a shitty situation – and it sounds as though your ex has come out of it rather well. You are obviously a caring person because frankly, a lot of people (ie, me) would have taken a rather different approach! Hopefully you can resolve this soon, sounds like a horrible weight around your neck. Nothing wrong with having a rant about it.

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    • Nara

      Thanks. I really feel quite bad for venting about it now… It’s just so frustrating though! I don’t understand why it takes so many years to sort out. I think it will help both of us to move on if we can get it sorted out. Thanks for sympathising! X

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      • Babyscienceproject

        Hate to say it but some people (maybe your ex?) like to drag things out and prolong the inevitable. It falls to the ‘doers’ to sort things out on their behalf. It’s a blimming pain in the arse and I am guilty of always ‘doing’ and therefore enabling others lazy behaviour. Hope you get it sorted soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My Perfect Breakdown

    Awe this lingering stuff just sounds miserable! I think you have every right to vent and be frustrated.
    I’m so hopeful the job will come through for you! It sounds like the interview was great so I’m hoping it works out!! ☺

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    • Nara

      Well, I have had good feedback! So I’m hopeful that it will happen! 🙂 I don’t like to count my chickens though so I came sure that it will, but it’s nice to have worked hard on something (the presentation over the weekend) and to have a positive response!

      As for the other stuff, I am frustrated but I guess I just have to keep hoping. It’s really nuts that it’s taking so long. I know folk who split up after us and have moved on and everything in the time we’ve still been trying to sort it out! Agh!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. circumstance227

    I wish I had some magic words here. I don’t. (But I think you should talk to Lyart – she has more experience in this kind of stuff than I do.) In my world, money has only the value I choose to give it. (I can say this because I am not in any danger of falling into abject poverty – but from what I can tell, neither are you.) The same is true for freedom. My well meaning advice: decide which one you value more – money or freedom – and give the other one up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Yes, I thought of Lyart here after her previous posts. I am the same as you about money… It’s really not about the money. I’m fine to move on without money and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past X years. It’s more about the link to my ex and the financial liability… It means I can’t get another mortgage very easily.

      Like

  5. EmilyMaine

    Wow you are exceptionally generous! Your ex has done well out of this. It is not your role to care for him but you are doing it anyway. Obviously I don’t know the specifics of your situation so I am sure you had your reasons but like Babyscienceproject says, many wouldn’t. I had a house thing with an ex fiancée way back when and he was being so shit about me getting out of it that I had to give him 5% extra and I thought that sucked! You are a good person so even if you feel like you are running backwards no one can take that away from you xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Yeah, it’s really not about the money and more about the responsibility. I kind of don’t care about the money so much – I know that sounds nuts but I learned to live without it. I left with nothing and have built myself back up (and initially got into a shedload of debt as I was paying for two lots of accommodation). That was tough and that was when I needed the money. Now I would love some money but I am not expecting any. I do think that it’s unreasonable not to be financially separated when we have been emotionally and physically separated for so many years. And if things had gone differently, I’d have a new baby with my partner by now, and I’d still be married to my ex. Still paying his mortgage. Crazy.

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    • Nara

      Oh and thanks for the good person comment! I’m not sure I am, but I do try and be fair. I’m sure during the period of separation he’s felt that I’ve been unfair (as I did the leaving) and I’ve felt an enormous amount of guilt over finishing it. But sad as it is, I would still do it again for the chance of happiness. And I really hope he can find happiness too. X

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  6. Amy M.

    I’m sorry that you’ve been put into this situation. This reminds me somewhat of when I left my ex years ago. I got married young and stupid, just before I turned 21. I left him 10 months later. We had a house and car together, and I stupidly just walked away and tried to forget about all of it. I didn’t know he left it all for the banks to repossess and joined the Army. I didn’t know it ruined my credit until years later. He refused to divorce me, and 8 years after leaving him I finally figured out how to do it on my own without needing his signature on the paperwork. It took years for my credit to be repaired…but really I’m finally rid of him and have moved on. If you have to take the loss and get nothing just to be finally rid of the situation, it’s worth it. Can’t you just sell the house all together, and let him fend for himself? Not your fault he doesn’t have a job. I don’t know how the system works there, so I can’t really give advice. My only thing is saying that even if you take a hit and a loss over it, it’s best to just finally sever ties and be done with him for good. Hang in there!!! *hugs*

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    • Nara

      Wow! Yes that does sound like a similar situation… Basically I have no rights to get this sorted unless I take him to court. I would have to evict him. It’s very frustrating! I agree I’m happy to get nothing from the house. I’ll be getting virtually nothing! I’m really okay with that… Just hope it can happen soon. Glad that you managed to do it finally! We haven’t quite gotten to 8 years but we are heading that way!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Ah, I’m not that kind and generous. I kind of wish I wasn’t in the position to have split up with someone. It sucks. But I do feel happier now than I was then… I just wish my ex felt the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. 30yr old nothing

    I really really hope you get the new job. I understand your frustration and I get the guilt you felt with your ex as well. I left my ex with all my stuff when I moved out and took on all of his debt too. The guilt continued for a long time. He has mental issues as well and ended having to move back in with his parents. Letting go of that guilt was the best feeling when I was able to do it (That and paying off all my debt eventually). I really hope you’re able to find a resolution soon. Thinking of you! x

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    • Nara

      Ah, it sounds very similar. I felt like I couldn’t evict him from the house. But I also feel like it has been several years now so I haven’t rushed it. It’s tough when you feel like that person is in a state because of you. I know if this hasn’t happened then my ex wouldn’t be in this state, which is a lot of responsibility to feel. Which is why I’ve pretty much given him all the money! I guess men have been in this position for many years so maybe it’s not unexpected that some women would be in this position now. 😦

      Hopefully I’ll be getting positive news about the job soon! I had really great feedback so I’m hoping that translates to a job offer!

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      • 30yr old nothing

        That definitely is a lot of responsibility. I’m sure lots of women have been in this position. So unfair. I often wonder if I didn’t care (as I’m sure he wouldn’t have if the roles were reversed) and took all my stuff if he’d dust himself off and move on like a grown up or if I was enabling him even more by relenting. Anyway… Can’t wait to hear about the job!!

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  8. stealingnectar

    I love hearing how you are feeling about everything. Good job on the interview, btw! It really stinks that it is so hard to untangle from your ex…with all the positive changes you are making, I feel sure a few of them will come to fruition. Thanks for keeping us updated!

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  9. flatwhitetogo85

    I’m sorry things still haven’t been resolved with your ex. How frustrating! I just hope things get sorted soon, even if that means an even greater financial hit, so you can move on with your life. It is all extremely unfair. The stamp duty on the second home is total madness. It was definitely not designed to catch these sorts of situations!

    Any updates on the job interviews? I so hope that you are offered something soon so that you can leave your current place. It sounds awful!x

    Like

  10. notabroodychick

    I really feel for you with your nightmare situation, and am impressed how patient you have been with your ex. Hopefully things will get sorted sooner rather than later now so you are free of him!

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you. I don’t want to hurt him so that’s the main reason everything’s taking so long. I could have tried to take legal action against him ages ago but it seems so mean! I’m hoping this is it finally.

      Like

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