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    • Westminster
    • By Westminster 7th Oct 17, 4:46 PM
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    Westminster
    Considering separation from Disabled partner
    • #1
    • 7th Oct 17, 4:46 PM
    Considering separation from Disabled partner 7th Oct 17 at 4:46 PM
    Hi all

    Forgive me if this reads liked jumbled ramblings but this is my thought process so far.

    Background
    We have been married for 12 years.
    We own a mortgaged property together - it’s in both our names but I don’t recall (without digging out the paperwork) whether it’s joint tenancy or tenants in common.

    Draft letter to my wife
    I have been drafting some text to put in a letter to my wife as I expect it all to get very emotionally charged very quickly and I want to make sure I get everything across even if it’s much later that she reads it:

    Firstly I realise that while it is very difficult for me to say these things, it will likely be very significantly harder for you to hear them and for that I apologise. What follows is a rather rambling selection of my thoughts and decision making process over this difficult situation.

    I have been unhappy in our relationship for quite some time although have made several attempts to force myself to change my feelings / views but I have been unable to do so.

    I am finding the physical and emotional demands of helping you meet your daily needs too difficult and it is making me very depressed. However I am not ‘blaming’ you for this - I just feel that we have grown apart in the same way many ‘normal’ couples would, we just have an extra dynamic. In all honesty, if it were not for your MS, I would probably have left several years ago so I really have tried hard to make this work.

    While I still have affection for you and do care what happens to you moving forward, I have not felt love for a long time and have felt somewhat trapped by our situation and your condition as I would otherwise have probably done something about this a few years ago.

    I know you have been sad for some time (possibly also depressed?) but have avoided trying to confront it as I didn’t want all this to come out before I had got your situation as ‘ready’ as possible for my departure. To this end, I have been trying where possible to put on a ‘front’ to keep things together due to the above.

    Perhaps you are wondering if there is anyone else in my life - I can 100% percent say that there is nobody else and never has been anyone else. I haven’t as much as held someone else’s hand and I have no interest in finding anyone else at this time.

    The boys are the most important thing to me and to help secure their future I intend to do what I can to keep my flying career so that I can continue to provide you all with a secure home. I hope their sunny disposition can help you through this and will always be on hand to help as and when I can.

    I want to be very clear that I would love to have the boys living with me but its impractical with my work schedule and very unfair for you.

    I hope we can maintain shared custody so that some of the time when I am home (and when convenient to you) the boys could live with me for some of the time.

    I hope that we can keep a good relationship / communication going forward and while I fully expect this news to be extremely difficult, I also think you would very much prefer to keep the boys living with you and I am happy for them to do that and hope we can arrange an informal access program to fit in with my work etc. I intend to rent a property nearby so that I can help out with them as much as possible and so that we can share access / custody of the boys - particularly during the school holidays.

    I hope that once the initial dust has settled, we will be able to share the parenting decisions as much as is possible.

    Obviously the cats were a gift and I am happy for you to keep them. In fact there is very little I would want to take with me apart from those few items I would naturally see as ‘mine’ which would be laptop / server, my car etc. Everything else is up for discussion and I’m happy to leave you with pretty much everything else as you choose. While you may not want me back inside the house, if you do need any help with internet etc them I am happy to offer assistance. I will try to get as much as possible about the household accounts all together so there isn’t much you need to do.

    I’m taking my time over this process before I tell you as I want to make sure your situation is as stable as possible before I leave. I am hopeful that after the initial sense of loss from having to start using aids etc, that you ultimately feel better as your agency staff will be here solely for your needs so you won’t ever feel like you are ‘disturbing’ someone else when you need something.

    I haven’t yet had any professional advice on how the house / finances should be split but will probably do so before I tell you. My aim is to try to maintain the status-quo as much as possible. We don’t have any debts apart from the mortgage and I realise you won’t be able to buy me out of my part of the house so probably I will see if there is a way for me to keep my name / share in the property while you all continue to live there. I will then seek professional advice on what level of financial provision I will be required - but my intention is to fully meet my commitments.
    Last edited by Westminster; 07-10-2017 at 4:54 PM.
    Hi. Martin has asked me to tell you I'm a Board Guide on the following boards: Mortgages & Endowments, Mortgage-Free Wannabe, House Buying, Renting & Selling, Small Biz & Charities' MoneySaving and Charities.

    I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts on there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
Page 4
    • Torry Quine
    • By Torry Quine 8th Oct 17, 1:07 PM
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    Torry Quine
    What a desperately sad situation. I can see where you are coming from in terms of your whole relationship and feelings have changed, but please, have a talk with her. Don't just give this letter, speak to her face to face-She deserves that. It could be, given her diagnosis, that she is fully aware that your feelings have changed and she herself may be having the same thoughts as you. That said, I do think it's rubbish that you appear to be jumping ship from your terminally ill wife and mother to your children because the dynamics of your relationship have changed. Maybe you could continue to live together with the children, as companions? Does she have any family close by?
    Originally posted by kezzygirl
    His wife isn't terminally ill.
    Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving . Albert Einstein.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 8th Oct 17, 1:14 PM
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    pearl123
    I’m a long term carer so I do have some sympathy for OP. However, I would say that there are some situations that one should not extract onself from.

    If op is a pilot then his work would act as an escape. It’s not as if he’s stuck in the home all the time. With two young children and a disabled wife there is no escape in my opinion until at least the children are considerably older.

    If you really can’t stand living with your wife then I suggest you consider living in different rooms or find a place with attached self contained accommodation.
    I also suggest you get a review done to see if more services can be offered for you.
    Op you are luckier than some. You can escape to a well paid job. Plus you can afford a carer. I have been a carer since the age of six to the present day aged 50.
    The parentification of a child is soul destroying. Children are just not mentally able to cope with such responsibilities. You children would feel forced to help and carry a mental burden if you left. Op if you are finding it a struggle how do you think your young children would feel when put in a similar situation.
    Protect your children not yourself. Additionally, your letter comes across as cold.

    Many people do find being a carer a miserable task!
    Last edited by pearl123; 08-10-2017 at 1:21 PM.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 8th Oct 17, 1:30 PM
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    Pollycat
    That said - most of it is at least somewhat constructive and I have certainly decided against the letter. Not that I expected to just hand it over and walk out, I was thinking of leaving it with her having spoken to her face-to-face.
    Originally posted by AnotherUserAcc
    You didn't say this in your earlier posts though.
    In fact, it came across that you did intend to just hand the letter over.
    It's a very detailed letter if you really did intend to talk to her first then leave her with that letter.

    Just do what you need to do, you dont need to justify yourself here. This forum is usually all about looking after yourself so not sure where the vitriol has come from. Others have left their spouses for far worse reasons and not had this spite. My close family member had MS so I know what it can do.


    But you must talk to your wife about the children. See if she feels she can cope with them. It can be quite a task getting 2 children out of the door and up the road for school when you're able bodied. What about school meetings, shows and other things that require a parent to attend school? Do not make your small children her carers - they deserve a full and normal life as much as possible.
    Originally posted by Money maker
    The OP put his life on a public forum, when you do that you can't control what responses you get.

    The majority of the 'vitriol' has come from the - in most posters' opinion - pretty insensitive and brutal letter.
    • maman
    • By maman 8th Oct 17, 1:41 PM
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    maman
    Thanks for coming back to explain.


    I think my original post was pretty close to the truth of the matter.


    I agree. I had very similar thoughts when I read the letter. It may be the case that he's finding the caring wearing but there's no need to add further hurt to a hurtful situation by unloading it on her.

    I can see why he needs to keep his job. He's going to have massive financial commitments for many years to come. Part time / child friendly wouldn't cover that.

    As for the suggestion that he should care for the children. Surely to take the boys as well would be devastating for OP's wife and a very cruel solution.

    I'm sure OP has thought long and hard about this decision. Carrying on feeling this way would result in increasing bitterness and resentment and a horrible atmosphere for everyone.

    I think those posters suggesting OP should just pretend that all is well and soldier on are, although compassionate, being idealistic. It's not an ideal world. Stuff happens.
    Originally posted by maman

    Too may posters seem to have 'shot from the hip' and let hearts rule heads. Having sifted through some of the more vitriolic and unrealistic posts I think there are a few good points there. I agree you should talk to your wife face to face if at all possible. I still think focusing on the effects on you of the disability rather than the fact that the love just isn't there any more is not the way to go. I think bits and pieces about fixing broadband and kittens isn't necessary unless you're asked.


    I can see why you've sorted out a list for prospective agencies. It's probably been useful to you to try to commit your thoughts to paper. You'll probably need more than one carer, maybe a nanny with some flexibility built in for the 60% of the time when you're around. It won't be easy to find these people but I'm sure you know that.
    • thepurplepixie
    • By thepurplepixie 8th Oct 17, 2:17 PM
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    thepurplepixie
    This is a Strange letter. It's like "I'm leaving you and I'm taking legal advice about how to get all my money out of he house, but don't be concerned because I'll always come round and fix the broadband"
    And how generous I am not taking any furniture or cats because I am such a wonderful man. I'm leaving you, but please can you note that I am doing it in a really great manner so no hard feelings yeah.

    Find a kinder way. And don't Push the point of your generosity while you are leaving. Think about it from her point of view and not yours- it's just possible that it's not top priority whether or not you met somebody else, but don't write your letter as though you are husband of the year for having no interest in meeting somebody else.
    Originally posted by Poor_Single_lady
    He might be in for a shock. I knew someone who did the exact same thing except he only had one child. He lost any share in the house, it wasn't just that his wife was allowed to stay there till child was an adult or until she died it was transferred to her lock stock and barrell. She also got spousal maintenance on top of the child support and she got half his pension. He did feel sorry for himself and the other woman, oh yes there was another woman, was distraught and was a bit surprised that no one was terribly sympathetic.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 8th Oct 17, 2:44 PM
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    FBaby
    Just do what you need to do, you dont need to justify yourself here
    I agree. It's not the decision to leave that I reacted to. Almost 50% of marriages fail (or whatever that figure is nowadays) and in most cases, it's not a case of 100% the fault of one or the other. Disability or not, there are many factors that leads to a divorce. People get hurt in the process, but again, that's life and we get through it.

    My issue is the letter because it comes across to me that the intention behind writing it is to absolve yourself of the guilt of leaving so you can feel better about your decision. This in my view is a selfish thing to do and the circumstances make it even worse.

    If you want to divorce, then accept that she is going to be hurt and accuse you of many faults. All you can do is go through the process with dignity, knowing that you really are doing everything you can to minimise the hurt for her and your kids.

    I hope she'll get the right emotional support to deal with this. I can't imagine how frightening this will be for her, but there is no point of you staying just out of pity and a sense of responsibility because that's not what marriages are about.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 8th Oct 17, 3:35 PM
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    *Robin*
    Can't help wondering whether OP has Aspergers or a personality disorder - he writes just like my late husband [an Aspie] might have done in similar circumstances.
    Second thought - I sincerely hope OP tells his employer about all this conflicting stuff in his head at the moment - really do *not* think he should be in charge of a passenger aeroplane until he's had counselling and / or sorted out his home life and feelings first..

    To be practical: Can the bungalow be extended? Look for funding to have a purpose-built flat added for Wife + carer, so that OP can stay in the main house and supervise his children. Because OP chose to bring two children into the World despite his wife's condition, he has forfeited the right to walk away! Kids come first!
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 8th Oct 17, 3:47 PM
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    onomatopoeia99
    He might be in for a shock. I knew someone who did the exact same thing except he only had one child. He lost any share in the house, it wasn't just that his wife was allowed to stay there till child was an adult or until she died it was transferred to her lock stock and barrell. She also got spousal maintenance on top of the child support and she got half his pension.
    Originally posted by thepurplepixie
    And there you have just explained why marriage is a terrible idea.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
    Home is where my books are.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 8th Oct 17, 4:08 PM
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    IAmWales
    Fortunately I’m not in a fragile mental state as some of these comments could push such a person to do something very highly regrettable and perhaps people need to consider the impact (like I am from what I have taken away from the comments so far).
    And how the hell do you think your wife would feel after receiving that letter? You've completely dehumanised her, made her into nothing more than a condition that needs to be managed.

    But it's all about you really, isn't it?

    I'm a disabled person, I'm all too aware of how stressful it can be for my family. If I received a letter like that I would see myself as such a burden that there would be no point in carrying on.

    (That's the polite version. I'd be banned if I said what I really think of this so called man.)
    • thepurplepixie
    • By thepurplepixie 8th Oct 17, 4:16 PM
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    thepurplepixie
    And there you have just explained why marriage is a terrible idea.
    Originally posted by onomatopoeia99
    Depends if you are the OP or his wife.
    • meer53
    • By meer53 8th Oct 17, 4:19 PM
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    meer53
    I've been on the receiving end of someone just like the OP. Except i got no explanation by letter, he just decided he was off and went. At the time i found it impossible to function normally for weeks, i had a 2 year old and a teenager at the time, plus i worked full time and managed my husbands business. Add in a disability and i don't really know whether i'd still be here now.

    There is no good way for the OP to do what he is planning, but one thing i do know, presenting her with a letter is a really bad idea. Grow a pair and talk first.
    • Westminster
    • By Westminster 8th Oct 17, 4:20 PM
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    Westminster
    For those who missed it - the below was me.

    I have already taken on the advice to disregard the letter - thanks all for that input. I’m not an expert in breaking up so all advice gratefully received.

    Also - please note the first word in this thread title. This is not a firm decision but essentially me ‘thinking outloud’ So bear with me on the rambling nature of what I have written

    I'm the OP but having technical difficulties with my account. In the meantime I put together this reply:

    Well I clearly wasn’t expecting a pat on the back but I am a little taken aback at the level of vitriol here.

    That said - most of it is at least somewhat constructive and I have certainly decided against the letter. Not that I expected to just hand it over and walk out, I was thinking of leaving it with her having spoken to her face-to-face.

    Relate is something I will be looking in to.

    There appear to be a few misunderstandings here I would like to address:
    Firstly this is a highly complex situation (like any family) and putting every detail on here in the first post would end up being a novel. Unfortunately people like to tend to fill in the gaps with their own interpretations.

    Fortunately I’m not in a fragile mental state as some of these comments could push such a person to do something very highly regrettable and perhaps people need to consider the impact (like I am from what I have taken away from the comments so far).

    The children will not be carers. We have had a carer (my sister) living with us for the past 2 years and it will be a 24x7 live-in carer that we will have moving forward. She is leaving due to depression. Prior to this we briefly had an agency and then before that we had my mum and mother in law - neither of which were physically and mentally able to continue.

    My wife is perfectly mentally capable to continue her parenting role and for me to take the children away as I am more ‘capable’ would likely destroy her which I do not want to do. Being in a wheelchair with physical impairment doesn’t mean you can’t be a mummy.

    Taking another job will be tricky as I doubt there are many jobs that will have me at home for 60% of the year (far more than most parents) while also allowing my family to continue living in a large house in the south east of england with a commensurate mortgage. The property needs to be large to accommodate 3 bedrooms (including 1 for a live-in carer).

    My expectation is that I would continue to pay the mortgage until the kids are 18 along with spousal financial support and fully covering the children’s expenses.

    I will be living within half a mile and hope to have the children living with me for as much of the 60% of the time I am not away with work. They will likely see me as much as they do now and have done since they were born.

    My wife was diagnosed while we were engaged and we got married 2 years later. The nature of MS is that it his highly variable and when we married you would not have known she had the condition but within 6 months we had her first wheelchair and I quit work shortly after to become a full time carer.

    We barely survived on carers allowance / income support and just about kept hold of our house during the next 2-3 years and I did end up with significant depression during this time.

    She was in a worse state than now and fortunately (10 years ago) she was given chemotherapy as a medical trial which made a remarkable difference to pretty much self sufficiency (while still self-transferring herself to a wheelchair).

    When we conceived our first child she has been medically stable for a number of years.

    Her ability to self-transfer went about 6 months in to that pregnancy but was otherwise relatively stable other than that up until about 3 years ago and it has been a general decline since then.

    Point taken about the clinical nature particularly of my second post. The reason being that I cut&paste the email I sent to a couple of agencies. There are practicalities and as a third-party, it is important they understand what our requirements are before we end up interviewing every single agency out there to be told at the end that they can’t help (this happened to us a couple of years ago).
    Originally posted by AnotherUserAcc
    Hi. Martin has asked me to tell you I'm a Board Guide on the following boards: Mortgages & Endowments, Mortgage-Free Wannabe, House Buying, Renting & Selling, Small Biz & Charities' MoneySaving and Charities.

    I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts on there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    • Jenniefour
    • By Jenniefour 8th Oct 17, 4:29 PM
    • 1,162 Posts
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    Jenniefour
    Others have left their spouses for far worse reasons
    Originally posted by Money maker
    We don't actually know the bigger reason(s) why OP wants to leave, he hasn't said anything about that - he said:-
    "...if it were not for your MS, I would probably have left several years ago so I really have tried hard to make this work.".
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 8th Oct 17, 4:47 PM
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    pearl123
    Careers are often despressed. I would suggest if OP feels low that he visits a doctor for some support for himself.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 8th Oct 17, 4:57 PM
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    Pollycat
    Also - please note the first word in this thread title. This is not a firm decision but essentially me ‘thinking outloud’ So bear with me on the rambling nature of what I have written
    Originally posted by Westminster
    After what you've written in that letter, if your feelings really are as you say they are, do your partner a massive favour and leave her.
    I'm certain she would be devastated to find out how you see your life with her.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 8th Oct 17, 5:11 PM
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    Gavin83
    He might be in for a shock. I knew someone who did the exact same thing except he only had one child. He lost any share in the house, it wasn't just that his wife was allowed to stay there till child was an adult or until she died it was transferred to her lock stock and barrell. She also got spousal maintenance on top of the child support and she got half his pension. He did feel sorry for himself and the other woman, oh yes there was another woman, was distraught and was a bit surprised that no one was terribly sympathetic.
    Originally posted by thepurplepixie
    I'd be curious what the justification was for this as I'd imagine situations where the wife gets everything and the husband gets nothing (which is what this basically is) are extremely rare. Genuinely surprised he didn't fight this a little more.
    • kelpie35
    • By kelpie35 8th Oct 17, 5:14 PM
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    kelpie35
    I think you are very brave to have written down just how you are feeling in your situation.

    It is so difficult for men to express their feelings and be open about their lives.

    I do not have an easy solution to your problems but if for your sake, your wife's and your children's happiness is to move out, then that is what you have to do.

    There maybe people look at you and think you are being cruel, but we have not walked in your shoes.

    Please take care and do what is best for all of you.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 8th Oct 17, 5:27 PM
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    Pollycat
    I'd be curious what the justification was for this as I'd imagine situations where the wife gets everything and the husband gets nothing (which is what this basically is) are extremely rare. Genuinely surprised he didn't fight this a little more.
    Originally posted by Gavin83
    I'm curious too.
    • Westminster
    • By Westminster 8th Oct 17, 5:33 PM
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    Westminster
    It must be very comforting for so many people to live carefree lives free from all doubt and with fantastic hindsight premonition for what the future holds.

    As stated (in my admittedly long and rambling posts) I fully expect (if I do go through with this) to financially support my wife (probably for the rest of her life) and my children. I couldn’t really care less about my share of the house - money is not a problem we have thankfully. Although I would gladly give up the money and return to poverty if it would cure all our problems.

    Knowing a few people who have split with children I can only hope to retain an adult line of communication as it is those who have done so that seem to have the best outcome.

    Unfortunately for me the love left several years ago although caring is not a job you do for glory or riches and as stated there is still a level of affection here but also great sadness.

    Hopefully those that instantly jump to conclusions don’t find themselves in a similarly difficult position as you will find it tests you very greatly.
    Hi. Martin has asked me to tell you I'm a Board Guide on the following boards: Mortgages & Endowments, Mortgage-Free Wannabe, House Buying, Renting & Selling, Small Biz & Charities' MoneySaving and Charities.

    I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts on there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 8th Oct 17, 5:36 PM
    • 1,738 Posts
    • 4,692 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    It must be very comforting for so many people to live carefree lives free from all doubt and with fantastic hindsight premonition for what the future holds.

    As stated (in my admittedly long and rambling posts) I fully expect (if I do go through with this) to financially support my wife (probably for the rest of her life) and my children. I couldn’t really care less about my share of the house - money is not a problem we have thankfully. Although I would gladly give up the money and return to poverty if it would cure all our problems.

    Knowing a few people who have split with children I can only hope to retain an adult line of communication as it is those who have done so that seem to have the best outcome.

    Unfortunately for me the love left several years ago although caring is not a job you do for glory or riches and as stated there is still a level of affection here but also great sadness.

    Hopefully those that instantly jump to conclusions don’t find themselves in a similarly difficult position as you will find it tests you very greatly.
    Originally posted by Westminster
    Have you any responses at all to the serious practical issues some of us have raised?

    Also, why are talking about people having carefree lives when a number of disabled people and carers have responded to you and identified themselves as such?
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