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    • Westminster
    • By Westminster 7th Oct 17, 4:46 PM
    • 809Posts
    • 497Thanks
    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 5
    • Torry Quine
    • By Torry Quine 8th Oct 17, 5:40 PM
    • 16,985 Posts
    • 25,973 Thanks
    Torry Quine
    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
    Many who have replied did so because they have experience of disability changing a relationship, myself included. Yes it tests a relationship but that doesn't excuse the way you have expressed things.

    With a diagnosis of MS it was always a possibility that she would become totally dependent on others, thankfully you are well off, others have no choice but to do much of the care themselves.

    I do hope you get this sorted for all concerned.
    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
    • thepurplepixie
    • By thepurplepixie 8th Oct 17, 5:42 PM
    • 667 Posts
    • 1,195 Thanks
    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.
    Originally posted by Gavin83
    I don't know exactly what the reasons were but I assume as she couldn't work that was part of it. Maybe the judge just thought he was a selfish !!!!!!! and wanted to punish him. He did fight but in the end his solicitor told him that in view of his wife's condition and his earning potential, he did have a well paid job, he wasn't going to win. Mind you the same solicitor didn't think he would lose everything in the first place. Everyone was gobsmacked as you sort of think 50/50 is normal.

    Just to show what he was like he took early retirement so she got less pension than expected. I think it's called cutting off your nose to spite your face.
    • thepurplepixie
    • By thepurplepixie 8th Oct 17, 5:44 PM
    • 667 Posts
    • 1,195 Thanks
    thepurplepixie
    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.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    I agree from the partner's point of view but what about the children?
    • sleepymans
    • By sleepymans 8th Oct 17, 5:44 PM
    • 605 Posts
    • 901 Thanks
    sleepymans
    Two innocent young kiddies brought, knowingly, into this situation........ffs take responsibility!!
    Goddess
    • thepurplepixie
    • By thepurplepixie 8th Oct 17, 5:46 PM
    • 667 Posts
    • 1,195 Thanks
    thepurplepixie
    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 seriously thought about what sort of life your children will have? By the way don't make assumptions, plenty of us have been carers for longer than you.
    • Westminster
    • By Westminster 8th Oct 17, 5:56 PM
    • 809 Posts
    • 497 Thanks
    Westminster
    Many who have replied did so because they have experience of disability changing a relationship, myself included. Yes it tests a relationship but that doesn't excuse the way you have expressed things.

    With a diagnosis of MS it was always a possibility that she would become totally dependent on others, thankfully you are well off, others have no choice but to do much of the care themselves.

    I do hope you get this sorted for all concerned.
    Originally posted by Torry Quine
    Many people have experience of many things but that doesn’t automatically imply expertise in everyone else’s situation gleaned from speed-reading / selectively reading posts on an Internet forum.

    Taking offence on behalf of others is one of the things to be expected but for all of you this is all purely theoretical as it doesn’t directly impact those reading so not sure why people rush to get offended and to insult someone else.

    One of the good things about the Internet is it grants a certain anonymity that allows people to express some of what they actually think that they may not verbalise in a face to face situation.

    I don’t feel my thoughts require ‘excusing’ - particularly as they are just that at this stage - my thoughts and not my actions.

    I have not concluded a course of action but I am finding this a useful process to clarify my thought process and to see things from several other perspectives. So thanks for all the input.

    I have decided against directly replying to all posts as it would take a long time and the vast majority (particularly the initial replies) were from this jumping in with both feet without taking time to clarify any of the numerous gaps - for example my children will not be caring for their mother any more or less than they do now (such as picking up things she may have dropped etc).

    The children have previously been cared for in the home by agency provided live-in carers who were there for my wife while I was away with work.
    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.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 8th Oct 17, 6:22 PM
    • 1,463 Posts
    • 3,065 Thanks
    IAmWales
    Many people have experience of many things but that doesn’t automatically imply expertise in everyone else’s situation gleaned from speed-reading / selectively reading posts on an Internet forum.

    Taking offence on behalf of others is one of the things to be expected but for all of you this is all purely theoretical as it doesn’t directly impact those reading so not sure why people rush to get offended and to insult someone else.

    One of the good things about the Internet is it grants a certain anonymity that allows people to express some of what they actually think that they may not verbalise in a face to face situation.

    I don’t feel my thoughts require ‘excusing’ - particularly as they are just that at this stage - my thoughts and not my actions.

    I have not concluded a course of action but I am finding this a useful process to clarify my thought process and to see things from several other perspectives. So thanks for all the input.

    I have decided against directly replying to all posts as it would take a long time and the vast majority (particularly the initial replies) were from this jumping in with both feet without taking time to clarify any of the numerous gaps - for example my children will not be caring for their mother any more or less than they do now (such as picking up things she may have dropped etc).

    The children have previously been cared for in the home by agency provided live-in carers who were there for my wife while I was away with work.
    Originally posted by Westminster
    You claim to be taking on board what people are saying, but in the next breath suggest people do not understand, are taking offence on behalf of others, are jumping in without clarifying their understanding.

    We understand you all too well. I have no doubt that if people in "real life" knew your thoughts they would be equally disgusted. I'd be far more blunt to your face.

    If you are ill, please see a doctor. It's the only explanation I can think of for you being so entirely lacking in feeling.
    • Torry Quine
    • By Torry Quine 8th Oct 17, 6:25 PM
    • 16,985 Posts
    • 25,973 Thanks
    Torry Quine
    You claim to be taking on board what people are saying, but in the next breath suggest people do not understand, are taking offence on behalf of others, are jumping in without clarifying their understanding.

    We understand you all too well. I have no doubt that if people in "real life" knew your thoughts they would be equally disgusted. I'd be far more blunt to your face.

    If you are ill, please see a doctor. It's the only explanation I can think of for you being so entirely lacking in feeling.
    Originally posted by IAmWales
    I can only imagine they expected a different reaction.
    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
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 8th Oct 17, 6:38 PM
    • 15,937 Posts
    • 39,726 Thanks
    FBaby
    Well you came here for advice and decided not to send the letter, so I you did the right thing posting.

    Is there anyone in real life you could speak with, someone who would not just tell you what you want to hear, but also know enough about you and you wife to give you more personal advice?

    Whatever you do, take your time. The issue seems to be that you have fallen out of love with your wife. Have you identified exactly why that is? Most spouses of disabled people find it hard, but many still love their partner, which is why they are staying with them, so there's got to be something else. I think it is important to separate your issues with love from your issues with being a carer.

    As you've said, no-one can predict the future and for all you know, after the shock and hurt, your wife might accept the decision and who knows, maybe might be relieved too. Maybe being married to you is not great either and maybe she feels she has no choice because of her disability. Maybe you'll be better friends to each other than spouse. You just need to remember that each action you take, you need to also consider the impact it will have on her.
    • Lizabeth21
    • By Lizabeth21 8th Oct 17, 8:04 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Lizabeth21
    “still a level of affection here but also great sadness”

    My suggestion having read every word (carefully) would be to think about what attracted you to each other in the first place and think about it carefully. Talk to your wife too about what attracted you to her and her to you! Communication is really important rather than having all these desperate and possibly extreme thoughts/ramblings. Your wife may surprise you.
    I hope you and your family can find some peace moving forward.
    • happyandcontented
    • By happyandcontented 8th Oct 17, 8:38 PM
    • 752 Posts
    • 1,510 Thanks
    happyandcontented
    OP, it seems that the illness is not the sole issue in your marriage, you appear to have stayed longer than you would have if your wife had not been so ill. Is that fair? So, what do you do? Stay out of pity/obligation or go and feel like a heel? Only you can decide that but if you do go your obligation to your wife will still exist via the happiness/lives of your children. For life, all of it.

    So, it will come down to throwing money at the care package; Nanny, carer and relief carer, all of them, not just one or two, but all three. You cannot sacrifice your children's childhood for your own happiness. Inevitably, as they grow they may resent you out of loyalty to their mother, you have to be prepared for that. Money to pay for care will not replicate family life and they will miss out, however much you tell yourself differently.

    So, given that money is not a problem you have, you do have a way out, to take that route will cost you dearly, probably much more than you realise now, but it does exist. You have more choices than many in your situation, choose wisely for all involved.
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 8th Oct 17, 8:40 PM
    • 1,191 Posts
    • 1,816 Thanks
    pearl123
    I disagree with you. We only live once and if you're that unhappy, do something about it. Just handle the hurt you will inevitably cause others very carefully. Having read again, I now think the OP is genuinely trying to do right by all but I suspect the way they have gone about it is a bit bull in a china shop. I do still think there is an element of me me me and arrogance, but I do disagree that it's selfish.
    I feel for the children who were brought into a situation which both parents knew would likely be the situation with regards to their mum's health.
    Originally posted by goodwithsaving
    To be honest i deleted my post, but I also don't mind it staying either. I could perhaps understand if OP felt that his mental health was severely suffering or if he was depressed.
    I've been a carer for decades. Some things one can't run away from!
    • bagpussbear
    • By bagpussbear 9th Oct 17, 7:42 AM
    • 757 Posts
    • 2,535 Thanks
    bagpussbear
    OP for the sake of your wife, children and yourself, please make an appointment to speak to Relate. And if you are feeling depressed, a doctor's visit.

    This is such a life changing thing you are planning on doing, and absolutely crushing your wife and children, you have a responsibility to get help from every other source.

    Other people cope, and have good and happy lives, with disabled partners, and there is no reason you can't either, but with adjustments and a different mindset.

    Please give Relate and the doctor's a shot.
    • Westminster
    • By Westminster 9th Oct 17, 7:54 AM
    • 809 Posts
    • 497 Thanks
    Westminster
    Relate is something I will be looking in to.
    Originally posted by Westminster
    This was me yesterday.

    Thanks for all the input.
    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.
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 9th Oct 17, 8:46 AM
    • 439 Posts
    • 653 Thanks
    BBH123
    Men / women fall out of love with their partners for a meriad of different reasons and when couples split up its always painful emotionally and then practically ,the assets have to be divided , child care arrangements made etc etc.

    The OP's is getting of a lot of demonising because his partner has the added complication of being disabled, well thats not his fault and in fairness to him he has not just cut and run, he has stated he is chewing things over in his own mind and has said he is going to be supporting his family financially.

    What more can he do, he doesnt love his wife, if you took the disability out the equation it wouldnt attract so much criticism.

    Thousands of children have divorced parents and these 2 would divide their time between dads new home and mum and carers home, 2 loving homes so I can't see long term problems. I also wouldnt want to be his wife knowing my husband was with me out of a sense of duty and guilt rather than love.

    As an aside the only choice I would have made differently is that if I had married someone with an illness that could potentially be life changing I wouldnt have had children.

    OP whatever your decision I wish you and your family well.
    • Lambyr
    • By Lambyr 9th Oct 17, 9:06 AM
    • 349 Posts
    • 1,599 Thanks
    Lambyr
    The OP's is getting of a lot of demonising because his partner has the added complication of being disabled
    Originally posted by BBH123
    Part of it, perhaps, but not all. The OP is hardly facing up to his responsibilities. He seems to be of the belief that if he potters about, organising things in the background, then that will somehow soften the blow for his wife when he announces he's leaving. He's stated no obvious attempt to talk to his wife, and his letter, which thankfully he has agreed not to send, was full of justifications to make himself somehow look better. Indeed, he seems to believe that getting things "ready" for his departure, while keeping his wife in the dark is somehow a noble thing.

    Let's be honest, rather than face difficult conversations, or even the potential of an argument, he wants to scoot off while his wife is still quite busy in the "crying over the dropped bomb" phase. Hell, he's even looking to arrange a live-in carer with virtually no input whatsoever from her.

    So that'll be fun; "There's no easy way to say this, but I haven't loved you for a long time and have spent the last few months quietly making preparations to leave. I've got myself a flat nearby and I just want the laptop and the car. Oh and this is Maureen, she lives here now to look after you.

    I've got myself some professional advice too on how to divvy things up, even though I'm not really fussed about having anything. I just thought it best if I was completely prepared for my exit so at least one of us was.

    Don't worry, though, you can keep the cats and I'm sure the kid's sunny disposition will cheer you right up! I'll be off then. Feel free to drop me a line if you need the router rebooting."
    She would always like to say,
    Why change the past when you can own this day?
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 9th Oct 17, 9:13 AM
    • 439 Posts
    • 653 Thanks
    BBH123
    But any split up can be like that can't it,

    there is never a 'nice' way to split up , always a party will be hurt more than the other is if its not their decision.

    This from the OP to me sounds like him chewing the cud, trying to think of all the possiblities and options and coming on here to glean some perspective.

    There are clearly some on here who think he should put up and shut up but i'm not one of them.

    Heartbreak comes to all of us whether we are disabled or not.
    Last edited by BBH123; 09-10-2017 at 9:15 AM.
    • Lambyr
    • By Lambyr 9th Oct 17, 9:19 AM
    • 349 Posts
    • 1,599 Thanks
    Lambyr
    It doesn't change the fact that every day, he's lying to his wife's face, does it? It doesn't even matter whether she's disabled or not. While he's making these plans and writing these letters and not telling his wife a thing, he's lying to her either directly, or via omission. Does she not deserve the respect of knowing that he's planning to leave? He's clearly come to that decision yet continues to keep her in the dark. Does she not deserve some say in her own future, in her own care, in her own kids?

    No, he's decided he's going to make all the decisions while also pleading for an adult approach to everything after he drops his bomb.
    She would always like to say,
    Why change the past when you can own this day?
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 9th Oct 17, 9:37 AM
    • 439 Posts
    • 653 Thanks
    BBH123
    or maybe he is just thinking through all the possibilities and options to come to the very best way forward for his wife and her needs not just emotionally but practically aswell.

    Its not about 'lying' behind her back or subtefuge, its about giving everything careful consideration before presenting a best case scenario about how her needs will be met and that he has considered the needs of the children aswell given the circumstances.

    Lets not forget he will be burdened financially for years to come
    which will impact any future partner / children / homes so its not like he has packed a bag and left her to the welfare state.

    I cannot imagine this is an easy decision but if you dont love someone you dont love them, its not siomething that can be forced and this man is pretty young to consider spending the rest of his life with someone he doesnt love.
    • Judi
    • By Judi 9th Oct 17, 9:46 AM
    • 15,155 Posts
    • 61,844 Thanks
    Judi
    The thing that riles me is the fact they had kids in the first place. This illness you don't recover from. Why oh why?!

    Take love out of the equation, this was always going to happen.
    'Holy crap on a cracker!'
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