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.