Hi...Background...married about 20 years, 4 children, (ages 6,12,17,18)...I have been stay at home mom since my first child was born...I have 4 year B.S. Business degree but like I said, I haven't been in workplace for 18 years...My husband makes decent money and we live in a nice house, but we have a large mortgage, no debts otherwise.......We have always had a tough marraige, but never thought he would actually want to leave...He is verbally abusive at times and very domineering. I do love him, but dont like the way he treats me half of the time. There is no physical abuse or substance abuse. My husband has informed me that he is not happy and wants to see what it is like to be on his own, but doesn't know for sure if he is making a mistake or not. He wants to build an apartment in our basement so he is basically can see the kids whenever he wants and because it would be hard to afford a separate apartment and still pay mortgage, etc. He doesn't want a legal separation as of now because he is not sure if he would want to get back together in future and doesn't want to spend the money. SOOOO, I told him that there has to be a certain amount of time to make the decision and then I would want him to move out, or we would have to sell the house because I said I wouldn't want to live in the same house as my ex-husband for years. He said that I can't make him leave the house and he is not selling the house because we would lose too much money because the housing market went down and we bought at high point. (We wouldnt be in the hole, but would lose a good chunk of money if we sold now)..... That being said, I am worried that he wants to live in the basement, have full access to kids (although he knows he couldnt just come up into the house whenever he wanted), not have to "pay" me like he would in a divorce.....I am wondering if this is all part of a master plan so he doesnt have to go the child support, alimony etc route and he would be able to live like this indefinitely without the financial hit....OK.so here are the questions: I know I have the option of filing a separation, but what are my rights as far as him being in the house? If I file separation, does he have to leave? I can not bear to live in the same house with him if we are truly apart. I would not be able to go on with my life if that were the case. And should I let him build the apartment (yes, we would have to build an apartment to do this)and hope he will have the decency to leave when we are permanently separated? Is it a mistake to have that apartment built.... In a way, I am hoping for him to realize that he is making a mistake and want to come back for the right reason, but am I being stupid and gullable and will make things harder legally for myself later. If I knew this apartment thing wouldn't hurt me legally, I would be willing to try it for a few months, but if things didn't work out, I would want him totally out so I can start a life over for myself. Could I make him leave after I file separation. Anyone know the legal answers to this? I am in NY. Thanks for any advice.
cdm9999- I'm sorry to read about your situation. I think your concern that your husband wants to avoid the financial obligations he will incur if the two of you were to divorce is valid.
I am not a lawyer, but based on experience and observation, I believe the following are correct answers to your questions.
I don't know about being able to file for a separation. If there is physical abuse, you can file a restraining order which will require him to vacate the premises. If you file for a DIVORCE, I think that based on your current situation, at some point the courts will compel him to move out of the house. Until that time, he will have the legal right to be in the house.
Whether or not you let him build the apartment is up to the both of you to decide. If you build it nicely, and end up divorced, you might be able to rent it out for some extra income. However, if I were in your shoes, I don't think I would go that route. More on that below.
The only way I could see you being gullible and stupid about this is that converting the basement into an apartment will cost money that would be otherwise available if the two of you end up getting divorced. I do not believe that building an apartment will affect your legal position later.
So those are my best answers to your questions. I will now move on to advice!
cdm, it seems like your situation is very salvageable. While your husband is guilty of bad manners and harsh language, he hasn't hit you or screwed around on you. The problem is that he currently doesn't seem to appreciate your good qualities, so he wants "space." For your part, you want him to be nicer to you, and appreciate that he has a pretty good life.
It seems to me that there are some things you could do to get what you want and make the marriage better. But your husband is pissed off and thinks he can set things up where he gets all the benefits of marriage without most of the responsibilities, and avoid the financial hits a divorce would cause.
It seems like the two of you would benefit greatly from marriage counseling. The trick here is to make your husband understand that his life will be really sucky if the two of you divorce. If he understands that, he will want to work on changing things so that both of you are happier.
Ultimatums are a terrible way to run a marriage, so I don't advocate sitting him down and saying "we go to MC or I'm filing for divorce." Maybe approaching it along the lines of "look, we have a good life, and we have some problems, but I think we could be a lot better of we got some outside perspective" would persuade him to go and put some effort into changing.
As far as the basement goes, rather than an apartment, make it into a man-cave! This would let him feel like he had a place to go to where he could "relax," and if he had that, he probably wouldn't even notice when the kids are down there watching TV with him. Plus, it would be a place BOTH of you could go to and watch a movie on a Friday night. Try to avoid having a bed down there- make it where he has to come back up to the master bedroom to sleep.
I didn't spend a lot of time discussing divorce strategies here, because based on what you have written, it seems like, again, your marriage can be re-directed into healthier territory!
I wouldn't agree to building an apartment. He is trying to avoid child support and alimony like you said. Honestly I think you need to talk to a lawyer. There are lots who will
give you a free initial consultation. The laws differ so greatly from state to state so it's hard to say what is true for you legally. Posted via Mobile Device
Thanks for the advice....to answer some questions and comments:
We have been going to counceling for almost a year and not seemed to change anything.... He is claiming that he wants to see what it would be like to live without me and to decide if he really feels that he wants to be with me or not. I don't know why he feels this way.... we are compatable sexually, although haven't had sex in a while because I feel that he would be using me at this point. We don't have money issues, we have a good life (other than our relationship), no inlaw trouble or any of some of the typical problems. He just isn't "happy" with me. He wants a "soul mate" and someone he can laugh with and be compatible with. I feel it shouldn't break up a family and long time marraige. We have a great community we are involved with and have lots of mutual friends. No one knows about all this going on. Because he is unhappy, he is making me miserable, blameing me for anything that goes wrong, yelling at me if anything goes wrong...i am walking on eggshells wondering when the next outburst will be. I do have to say it has been like this throughout our relationship to some degree, but now is worse and now he is pulling away.
I don't want to break up and would hope we can reconcile, but I don't want to be blinded and make an unwise decision and I don't want to stay being treated so horribly...I also wonder if I am crazy to even want him at this point since he is doing this to me or should I just cut and run because a spouse wouldnt do this to another spouse if there was real love there.....
As far as the future "girlfriend", he claims he would not have women at the house and would only want to see how it would be to not be around me, although I think he would try to meet women. I did say, I don't want to see some girl sitting next to the pool and he said he wouldn't do that.
The main issue: BUT I don't want him here at all once the decision is final about separating /divorcing. Once he/I file for separation, will the courts most likely make him leave? How does that work? That is my main question. Can he stay in that downstairs apartment for years until he makes the decision to move...feels like I have no power in this, or do I? thanks.
cdm9999- if he wants to "see what it would be like to live without me and to decide if he really feels that he wants to be with me or not," well, that changes things up, in view of counseling not working.
In answer to your questions, first, once one of you files for divorce, what happens will depend on the particulars of the filing. Worst case may be that he will not be required to move out until the divorce is final. However, a good lawyer may be able to get him out of the house sometime after the initial filing but before the divorce becomes final. You will need to consult with a lawyer to find out the specifics of what is possible.
Can he stay in the as-yet-unbuilt downstairs apartment for years until he makes a decision to move? Yes, if you let him.
You are unsure if you have any power in the situation or not. You do have power, if you choose to exercise it. You can establish and communicate to him boundaries on what you find acceptable in the marriage. And then if he chooses to cross your boundaries, you can respond appropriately.
For instance, you can say, "husband, you can have 3 months to figure out if the single life is for you, and if you haven't made up your mind by then, I'll make it up for you."
But, really, at this point, it sounds like his head is so far up his butt that you're just going to be wasting time. If he really wants to cake eat ("see what its like to live without you while living 20 feet away in the basement) there's no good reason not to "give him the gift of missing you."
Read up on the 180, and start living it. If he stops paying his share of the bills, go ahead and file for divorce, and try to get him out and living on his own as quick as you can. I swear to God, guys can be so stupid. And I say that as a guy......
You should talk to a real lawyer. I think you very well could have a legal battle on your hands if he decides not to leave, but in the end, the court orders can be done to get him out of the house. But it sure wouldn't be a "friendly" divorce at that point, which (IMHO) is when it will really affect the kids.
Definitely need to talk to a lawyer. He might not be bringing women back to your place but what if he essentially moves in with a woman while making it look like he is still living with you in his apartment? Then he will be starting something new with someone else while avoiding having to pay child support or alimony. I seriously suggest getting a lawyer so you know what your rights are.
I would say no to it all.
IMO. Building an apartment in your basement is permanent and if his intention is to see what it is like then why make changes to the home? It could even hurt its resale value. You should check with a Realtor before doing that to see if it will hurt or help the value of your home.
Seeing what it would be like is not staying at home in the comforts and life the two of you build together. No it means actually leaving and living away from you and the kids. Having to stretch his dollar and supporting him self and paying child support. It is not becoming a basement troll and avoiding paying the money out where he should.
Talk to a lawyer. Find out your options. You need to be thinking about you and what you want if he stays and what you want if he goes and start having an idea of what you will need to do once he has made up his mind.
What I don't understand is it will cost what, 20,000 to put in an apartment? And assuming he's self sufficient in that apartment, the rest of his expenses would be exactly the same as if he was living in his own place. So unless he's planning on being there long enough that the $20,000 is cheaper than his rent, it would cost less and be less hassle than if he just rented a place for 3 or six months. If, as he says, he just wants some time to sort things out...
To me, building that apartment is a long term solution (to him). For all I know, it will give him tenant rights, making it difficult to kick him out. Spend a couple hundred dollars up front and talk to a lawyer. Also spend some time thinking about whether you want to be married to an ass that wants to put you through this.
He is claiming that he wants to see what it would be like to live without me and to decide if he really feels that he wants to be with me or not.
Translation: He wants to cheat and this makes him feel better about it.
I agree that you should not go along with him turning the basement into an apartment. But you might not be able to stop him from doing it. As someone else brought up, how is this going to work when he starts to bring dates to his ‘new apartment’.
If he builds the apartment, lock the door leading to the apartment. Have your attorney get a court order saying that he now has a separate residence and he’s not allowed to enter the “upstairs apartment” where you live.
I’m concerned about your comment “have full access to kids”. He’s their father. He has as much right as you do to have full access to the children. Be careful about having an attitude that you ‘own’ the children and/or that you are going to use them get money.
You have a lot more control in this situation than you seem to think you have. It does not matter if he agrees to a separation, divorce and to sell the house. You have as much say in these things as he does. He has decided what he wants. You need to decide what you want. Then have your attorney work the parts of your desires on which the two of you disagree.
If you file for divorce or legal separation the court will tell him how much he has to pay you each month in child support and spousal support.
Do realize that you have the obligation to become self-supporting? Your children are all old enough for you to go back to work. One of the best ways back into the work force is to go back to school and get your MBA.
While in school get a work-study job or some kind to part time job to build your work history.
Originally Posted by cdm9999
I being stupid and gullable and will make things harder legally for myself later. If I knew this apartment thing wouldn't hurt me legally, I would be willing to try it for a few months, but if things didn't work out, I would want him totally out so I can start a life over for myself. Could I make him leave after I file separation. Anyone know the legal answers to this? I am in NY. Thanks for any advice.
Go talk to an attorney and find out the affect the apartment will have on you. It can be set up so that it looks like, and is, a separate residence.
Giving into your husband the time he wants can hurt you. He could be consulting with an attorney and setting himself up so that he has the upper hand in the divorce it looks like he is moving towards. And the more you give into this nonsense, the less likely he is to take you and your marriage seriously. Right now he has the best of both worlds…. You and his children while he can do whatever he wants. Put and end to this nonsense and file for divorce. Hit him hard… set up spousal and child support, lock him out of the main part of the house and in his ‘apartment’ and let his head spin. IMHO, shock and awe is the only chance you have of saving your marriage. Being nice to him and giving him what he wants will only encourage him to continue down his current path.
Remember that a divorce can always be stopped before the day it is made final. So if he wakes up and starts acting like a husband you can stop the divorce process.
He could turn that basement into an apartment in one day… all he needs to get started is a microwave, hot plate, toaster oven, mattress, small table and one kitchen table chair.
So here’s a plan of action (I know you might not use it but just want to give you some ideas.)
See an attorney and get yourself setup to file for divorce in 1-2 weeks.
Get photo copies of all of your financial information, all accounts for assets, liabilities, expenses and income. Store these copies at the house of a trusted friend or family member’s. Make sure you get online account passwords, etc as well.
Go get up checking & savings accounts in your name only if you do not already have one. Put only enough in it at this time so that he will not notice that you took some money.
Go out and buy the basics for your husband’s new apartment. He can live in the basement while he builds his new, swanky apartment. Don’t set it up just put the stuff down there.
He should be served at work and the papers should list his residence as the basement apartment and yours as the main house. They can say that you have already been living separately for however long it’s been since he lives in his basement apartment. So on the day that he is being served the divorce papers do the following as early in the morning as you can: 1) Change all the locks on the main part of the house and lock him out. It’s your place now. He has his new apartment 2) move 3/4 ‘s of all the money in all of the joint accounts you know of into your personal accounts. You are the stay at home mom so you need to take more than 50%.
When I filed for divorce from my son’s father, my attorney had an interim time sharing plan for the children and a child support / spousal support plan filed that day. See if your attorney can do this.
Wow... you all are tough! It is so unlike me, but I know I have to really think about this. And yes, I need to go to consult with a lawyer. I understand the possibility of him establishing residency and really making it hard to get him to leave...although around where I live i dont think you can legally have an apartment for rent in your house, so maybe couldnt consider it a separate living space legally....dont know. And not sure if I can stop him from doing the renovation if I say no. I believe it would increase value of the house and he said that if we stay together we can maybe use this for an apartment for my son when the time comes. And I dont think it would cost an incredible amount of money because he does the work himself.
I also agree (and I have told him so) that if this whole deal is to feel like what it would be like ,it wouldnt really be a true scenario....... he wouldnt be paying child support (which would be a lot in our case-we have 4 kids and he makes good money) and alimony and paying his own way somewhere else. Plus 2 sons go to college in next year or two....And when I said he wants "full access" to the kids in my post above, i mean having a scheduled visitation schedule and not just seeing them whenever he wants....I would be flexible with a schedule, but still would like to have set days/times legally...you never know.
I just am not sure if he is being truthful with me about the intention... I just can't imagine him trying to "screw" me over, but then again, this all is happening and I cant understand why.... I am just a trusting, optimisitc person who couldnt imagine him doing this to me. He assures me that he has no alterior motives about the apartment but then when i say i might not want it and that under no circumstances would want him there if we totally broke up(i was very clear on this), he says that (yells I should say) that he is not selling the house "PERIOD", because we would lose too much money from what we paid for it and that he is not paying a couple of thousand of dollars a month to live somewhere else while we "try" this. My head says red flag, but I just dont know.
And there is a part of me that thinks that he will realize he misses me and what he has and WANT to come back and then our relationship be better. Like I said before, other than his intermittent nastiness and put downs, we have a good life...just not a real close connection like he wants. I think its his fault though, but he thinks its mine...so who knows.
I am scared (part of me says run because things wont change) and even if he comes back, he will do this to me again (he has done it twice to some degree over the last 20 years) and part of me thinks maybe if he sees the light, we can be reasonably happy together) BUT can I forgive and forget?
I know I would tell my friend, if they were in this situation, that they should leave and he doesnt really love them the way they should. But many of us know easier said than done when you build your life around someone.
OK things have changed.... he just admitted to having facebook contact with is first long term girlfriend from when he was 18-20ish ...he's 48 now..... and she just got a separation from her husband and they want to try to make a go of it together....he claims that she won't start anything serious until he separates from me.... He says to me that he doesnt know if it will be a mistake and he is afraid to lose me because I am "such a great, nice person" and he may regret it if he left me and then wanted me back....that's why he wanted this trial separation so that we wouldnt disrupt too much financially, family, etc in case we got back together.....
I was super angry and said that even if I gave him "permission" to have this fling , he wouldnt be able to tell if their relationship was really long lasting or not....the first few months of a new affair is probably exciting and still in fantasy land....so i just dont think i have a choice in this....looks like i have to file for divorce which makes me sad and angry................
He asked me if i planned on going right for divorce instead of this trial and I said just what i said above (it wouldnt be a real test to date her for a few months) and if I told him that he couldnt do this, he would resent me, always wonder about what could have been with her, and still treat me like crap because he is angry and resentful.
What makes this so hard is that he is a great provider, good father, decent person (except this sucks), no addictions, we have a great life together (other than the stuff i mentioned) , love his family and we have 4 super, great kids....On the flip side, he is an angry person and doesnt treat me the way a husband should treat his wife.............such a shame this is happening!!
It breaks my heart to read this and I found this thread while searching for a situation you are describing. I was so compelled to post that I created an account JUST to answer your post.
I have been married for 18 years, have 3 kids and also am a SAHM. My husband is a good provider and is a generally nice guy but shocked me last year when he requested a separation.
I have been in counseling (which he abruptly quit after 4 months) and we have utilized a mediation service to work out the terms of our separation. When he says there is not another woman, I believe him. However, in researching my predicament I found out something else, that has crushed me. I believe my husband is afflicted with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
He doesn't beat me, hasn't had an affair, but after much prayer and guidance, have come to realize that he has exhibited a pattern of mental and emotional abuse and I have been fighting it, unknowingly my whole marriage. I am not affliliated with the following website, but please read the following description of a narcissist:
It is the most comprehensive finding I know of for this condition, which is not widely known. After your jaw drops, please forgive yourself for being in this predicament and GET OUT.
Seek a lawyer so you can understand your rights and DO NOT AGREE to anything WITHOUT a third party. Initiate a NO CONTACT protocol IMMEDIATELY. The free eBooks on the site detail the NO CONTACT procedure for dealing with a narcissist.
I am a devout Christian that does not believe in divorce and I allowed my husband (unbeliever) to leave. He has attempted to bully me, coerce me to agreeing to unreasonable custody demands and even assumed that I should leave while we share custody.
While I don't believe in divorce, being married to a narcissist is like being married to an alcoholic and I will no longer accept abuse. If he does not purse a separation, I will and have already lined up a lawyer who deals with collaborative law.
I understand that this seems rather drastic, after all, "it's not so bad". Trust me, if the man you married doesn't want to be with you but is willing to shirk all responsibility and hide in an apartment downstairs, he is only thinking of himself. When you finally realize (as I did), all the emotional suffering you endured as you tried to love him, you will understand that he is not capable of thinking outside himself and you need to be FREE of him.
My husband is leaving and getting an apartment. However, if he didn't, I would take my kids (much younger than yours) and make an escape plan. Yes, it's THAT important.