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Topic: After 27 years of marriage she’s left and I’m gutted

  1. Dumbdom
    Dumbdom avatar
    12 posts
    21 October 2020

    My wife and I were married for 27 years, 2 beautiful daughters in their 20’s. My wife works in hospitality, myself construction, both in our 50’s, the relationship has always been a work in progress. She is not a very romantic person, never has been, I guess some of it stems from her upbringing, my upbringing the complete opposite. Sometime ago I was a fly in fly out worker, it lasted 6 months. I was getting home every Friday night and her being out with one of her of her friends at the local watering hole or out with work friend. She would then get up Saturday and go to work, not leaving much time for US time. I should have said something but didn’t and I spiralled downhill feeling worthless, empty, gutted and no self esteem. She gets very into socialising with her work friends, occasionally I was invited sometimes I’d go, sometimes not, when they all get together they talk work, fair enough but I don’t want to hear because that’s all she’s talking at home. She’s been to Bali twice with work people, I haven’t gone, my choice, didn’t want to hear about their work all the time.

    I was diagnosed with Depression at start of this year, which I’m on medication for and have spoken to Professionals about. I’ve told all my family and friends and received 100% support. She left me because she said we needed time to breathe, I hadn’t been the easiest person to live with I’ll admit that, I did tell her my depression stemmed back to when I was working away and coming home to an empty house and that she ranked well down on her list of priorities, she doesn’t seemed that concerned that her actions bought it on, she says she’s sorry but never made any attempt to rectify it, I think it’s lip service

    She said she needs her own space, in 8 months that we’ve been separated I’ve had her over to the family home and cooked her dinner, she did say she didn’t want to lead me on, I understand that. I thought we were making some progress.

    She told me recently that she’s going away in the new year with friends, I said that it hurt because to me that said she wasn’t figuring I’d be in the picture. She then said she doesn’t see us ever getting back together.

    I feel worthless, gutted, emotionally and physically destroyed, thankfully I’m close and very grateful for the love and support of my daughters, family and friends, they give me reason to get up, it’s a challenge.

    I just struggle as to why after 27 years she walks away from me

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Mr Paul
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    21 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    Welcome to Beyond Blue.

    Your story is a familiar one. My wife of 30 years did the same thing to me. The only real point of difference is that we had no children. With the benefit of hindsight, I think this is because children would have interfered with busy social life.

    Without getting into too much detail, throughout the marriage, I would go off to work, leaving my wife free to pursue her social activities. This arrangement worked for 22 years. I would come home from work, and she would tell my about her busy day.

    Around the time I retired, alarm bells started to ring. It all started when I was informed that she was "building a strong network of friends, because she would need their support as she got older". At that point, I realised that I had passes my use-by date. I realised, that my retirement was an inconvenience and her social network of friends came first.

    After eight years of playing second fiddle, I was then informed that "I contributed nothing to the relationship". Evidently a life-time of shift work, a roof over our heads and financial security equated to "nothing" in her world. We separated soon after.

    I wish I had the answers. Some women stick around for good times, but lack depth and commitment. Ironically, these are the qualities they look for in a man.

    Welcome to the struggle!

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Jsua
    Jsua avatar
    195 posts
    21 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    Hello Dumbdom.

    I just want to stat off by saying how brave you are for coming for support and that you are not alone in your experiences. You seem to be a caring, loving and compassionate person who is very concerned about your health and your Wife's change in behavior. It's strikes me when you mentioned that she has asked for time and doesn't want to lead you on, even though she had all the space in the world and she should be happy and eager to see you.

    Look. I don't want to suggest anything, however, healthy people don't treat their relationship or their partner like a dust-bin. Healthy partners value the other's needs, wants and support them where possible.

    And this brings me to personality.

    If her personality is quite restrictive (i.e black and white) she will have a hard time loving herself which means she cannot love others. She maybe trying to fill a void within herself and is either needing space to think about improving herself or is looking for someone else to fill her own issues that she cannot resolve on her own or with you.

    Please focus on you and make yourself the most happiest person. Just focus on making you the best you can be because you deserve love and happiness.

    :)

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Dumbdom
    Dumbdom avatar
    12 posts
    21 October 2020 in reply to Mr Paul

    Mr Paul,

    I very much appreciate your thoughts and the time you took to reply. It’s nice to be able to talk to someone about this.

    As I’ve mentioned I’m very lucky to have the support of my daughters (I wish you had had something similar) and family & friends.

    It just leaves you feeling used, empty and useless.

    If I had treated her in the same manor I doubt if any of my family or friends would have supported me and I wouldn’t have blamed them. I do know that my family & friends check on her, I’ve told them she’s been part of their life for 30 years, so they need to keep communication open.

    Thanks again Mr Paul appreciate your thoughts

    Power to you brother

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Dumbdom
    Dumbdom avatar
    12 posts
    21 October 2020 in reply to Jsua

    Dear Jsua

    Thankyou very much for taking the time to read my post, consider it and reply, it’s very much appreciated, truly.

    I take on board all your thoughts and must say that it struck a cord when you talked about the healthy relationship and not treating them as a dust bin, that is exactly how I’ve felt for a long long time.

    I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to continue to use your post as a regular reminder to myself.

    Again my many many thanks for your time and thoughts it really does mean a lot to me

    POWER & PEACE TO YOU

    2 people found this helpful
  6. Jsua
    Jsua avatar
    195 posts
    21 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    Hey Buddy.

    By all means. Reflect back to it as much as you need too. I am usually floating around her on the daily while doing my usual job- top secret stuff lol.

    Anyway, just to recap, focus on you (and the kids of cause), find anything that you can to improve yourself, exercise as much as you can, adjust your diet if required (both help to increase serotonin = happiness), connect with others if you start to become socially isolated and just try to be you and learn more about who you are.

    I ended my relationship (m+m) over a month ago (not because I though I could do better) due to being emotionally and physically abused. That is the rough stuff but I have been trying to really learn from this.

    The key is h a p p i n e s s which comes from......drum roll...….Self-Compassion. Look up Kristen Neff on Self compassion if you need some motivation - you will be amazed how much you can improve yourself.

    Take care buddy.

     

    2 people found this helpful
  7. Mr Paul
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    21 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    The best thing you can do, is to stop blaming yourself.

    For some inexplicable reason, it is the trusting spouse that feels used, empty and useless after separation. These feeling are amplified when there is no apparent reason for the separation.

    Cheers

    3 people found this helpful
  8. quirkywords
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    21 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    Dom I feel uncomfortable with your name but I know where it comes from.

    I am sorry you are feeling very low. Just from reading your posts I can see you are loyal, determined, strong and loving person.

    I have not had much luck in relationships and I know when one relationship breaks down one starts looking inward.

    Sometimes we can not understand why people do what they do, when we think everything is ok.

    Thanks for sharing your story honestly as many people who read but dont post will be able to relate to you and not feel so alone.

    2 people found this helpful
  9. clownartist
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    75 posts
    22 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom
    My story is similar, married for over 20 years , two estranged children in their twenties. My wife spent most of her time socialising and flirting with anybody but me. I cannot stress how harmful this behaviour is to your self esteem.It is emotional abuse ,it gradually wears you down and your confidence disappears .In hindsight I became very angry that I tolerated this behaviour .I have no interest in pursuing another relationship, I am lonely but feel glad I am not tolerating this abuse .Its better to be alone than wish you were alone.Its very hard to accept the rejection .Stay strong man.
    2 people found this helpful
  10. ecomama
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    22 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    Hi Dom

    I'm very sorry for the down on yourself feelings you have. I'm sorry for all the heartache too, for you and everyone else here feeling the same.

    Sometimes break ups say a whole lot more about the other person than ourselves.
    Reflecting on our own part is healthy though too.

    You sound like a lovely man who would have liked romance in his life, who works hard and cares very much for his partner.

    IDK why you'd put yourself on the shelf tbh!
    Short term that's completely understandable and we DO need time to heal.
    Please don't do this long term.

    There are really lovely women who would like to know a good person like you!

    After a long, horrid marriage I also thought "I'm done".
    I AM SO GLAD a wonderful man found me. We were just friends for a long time and we did grow to love each other very much.

    Not all relationships are drama and mismatched. Some are really beautiful and I'd love for you to hold hope there are people who'd like to know you too.

    My "leg ups" during separation were the following: have a look if you like and let me know what you think! They reallllllllyyyyyyy helped me lol. ALOT.
    * the 180 - works a treat
    * the gray rock strategy

    and ofcourse Chumplady.com - full of humour and a brilliant group of people sharing and supporting each other.

    Please let us know how you're getting on Dom and other members.

    EM

    2 people found this helpful
  11. Dumbdom
    Dumbdom avatar
    12 posts
    22 October 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Quirkywords,

    Thanks for the support and caring words. Thanks for taking the time to read my post and offer your thoughts, it is extremely appreciated.

    I know that it’s not the end of the world, a lot of people tell me that. it’s just it feels like it when I’ve got nothing to do and you sit any think. I’ve got to stop thinking, easier said than done.

    cheers and nothing but the best of health & wealth my friend

  12. Dumbdom
    Dumbdom avatar
    12 posts
    22 October 2020 in reply to clownartist

    Clownartist,

    I must say I feel a lot like you, I think.

    The wife has said to me “you’ll find someone else, that deserves you, you’re a wonderful person, caring you’ve looked after me all these years, gave me breakfast in bed every weekend. Didn’t stop me from doing anything etc”

    There is the old adage once bitten twice shy. I don’t know that I ever want to go through this feeling again. After investing 27+ years and getting destroyed. It hurts too much to think about putting it out on there again.

    I must say that I do enjoy my own company at the moment so there is that I suppose.

    Clown thanks for taking the time to read and send your thoughts through, I appreciate it

    POWER TO YOU BROTHER

    1 person found this helpful
  13. Dumbdom
    Dumbdom avatar
    12 posts
    22 October 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Dear EM,

    Thank you for reading my post I’m truly grateful.

    I will look at the recommendations that you sent through.

    I’m very happy for you that you’ve found a wonderful person, you sound very brave for entertaining or considering this new relationship. I personally could not ever see myself looking again, I know people say never say never. Even my mother in law has encouraged me (I’m her favourite son in law, the fact my wife is an only child helps)

    I do know that I’ve got to start looking after numero uno. I had 2 siblings front me today and tell me I need to get selfish and put myself first. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day.

    EM to you I hope that you continue to enjoy your new life and thanks again for your time

    1 person found this helpful
  14. ecomama
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    22 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    Dear Dom

    I agree with your siblings, it's great to know they've 'got your back'.
    I'm really glad you have them.

    The 180 & Gray rock techniques show us how to put ourselves first.
    Also by doing these we can begin to block the person from our minds.
    Freeing ourselves more and more over time.

    There's alot of work to be done and I know how hard this is.

    You are extremely worthy to love and be loved.

    The funny thing for me was that I wasn't looking for anyone AT ALL. I was repulsed by the notion tbh! I felt completely "done" with any form of relationship like that.
    I turned down multiple blind dates and other approaches altogether.

    We connected when he was also going through separation / divorce and very much still in love with his exW.
    We truly were only friends but became best friends. He was the only person whom I felt really understood what I was going through. He felt the same.

    Our friendship became stronger over a year and it was then we decided to take the leap so to speak. This was 2y after my separation, 18 months after his.

    No way did either of us think that we'd get together lol.

    I'm telling part of my story in the hopes that you may be open to making new friends or perhaps socialising outside your current circle?

    This may all be far too soon and I get that too.

    Kindest regards
    EM

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Dumbdom
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    12 posts
    24 October 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hey Em,

    I’ve got to thank you again, I’m so happy that you mentioned “grey rock” as soon as I read it and I’ve got to tell you it rang alarm bells.

    Now I know it’s only been a short period of time, but since reading it I feel so much better in a short time frame. I’m going to adopt it and run with it.

    1. I’m going to tell my wife that I’m glad this has happened that she’s walked, no longer will I be emotionally or mentally abused by her.

    2. Right now I couldn’t give a stuff what she’s doing or what her future plans are. She can have her new life and friends that’s fine with me. I’ve got my family and friends of over 40 years

    3. I’ve asked my daughters not to tell her what I’m up to a day to day basis. They don’t blab to her, she asks them and they just tell her, nothing sinister just conversations. I told them that it’s only fair. I don’t know what she’s up to, therefore she has no right knowing what I’m up to. I’m going to tell my wife, not to ask the daughters because it’s not fair on them.

    3. I’m going to tell my wife that our relationship is now that of a business relationship pure & simple. It has to be that way because we’ve got a house, mortgage etc. If it wasn’t for those things, I’d have nothing to do with her at all.

    4. I’m my own man now going forward. No one is going to tell me what to say or what to do. My daughters will have to tell me what to wear (I’m coloured blind) often getting told that doesn’t go with that lol.

    5. I feel empowered to move on.

    Thanks again I feel like a completely different person now, no sadness, no anger and no bitterness, for the first time in a long long time.

    Today is the first day of a new life

    1 person found this helpful
  16. Mr Paul
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    24 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    Hi Dom

    I'm glad that you are feeling better. It is not an easy task.

    A word of caution if I may. To my knowledge, Gray Rock is a defensive strategy, typically used to protect yourself from the ongoing abuse of a narcissist, psychopath and other personality disorders. If your wife is none of theses, it will be ineffective. Either way, it is not a treatment.

    Step one is to acknowledge and stop the abuse; Gray Rock might be the way to go. Step two is to recover from the abuse; Gray Rock will not help here.

    The road to recovery is a hilly one, with many turns.

    1 person found this helpful
  17. Dumbdom
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    12 posts
    24 October 2020 in reply to Mr Paul

    Hi Mr Paul,

    I understand where you are coming from in relation to Gray Rock and of course I’m going to adapt it to my needs. I understand Gray Rock is about protecting my emotional & mental state and not the answer to everything, but I feel it’s a tool that I can start with.

    One of big issues that I’ve struggled with over the 8 months of separation is wondering what she’s up to etc. Knowing she can check anytime what I’m up to by asking the daughter that I live with and I wouldn’t have known that she was keeping tabs. But now I’m feeling that I’ve broken away from that.

    By simplifying our relationship to a business relationship then I feel I’m taking the emotions out of it and putting up a screen to protect myself.

    I do know that there will be ups & downs along this long road, however I’m feeling better equipped to face them.

    Mr Paul I very much appreciate your thoughts and advice on not relying on Gray Rock to solve all my issues

    Cheers

    Today will be a good day !

    1 person found this helpful
  18. ecomama
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    24 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    Dear Dom

    WOW! Your words so sounds affirming and I'm SO glad you're reaching / reached a new stage in recovery.

    I really LIKE your dot points! I got goosebumps reading your post lol.

    I liken ANY strategies you use as a "tool for your backpack".
    You have "a job to do" and you need tools. Throw ANY tools that sit right with you in your backpack and you can call on these when and if you need.

    Funny you said "I'm treating this like a business transaction" or such... that's EXACTLY what my GP said I had to do at the time! lol.
    She also said LOOK at the relationship as though you were in business with that person.
    Would you EVER go into business with them now you know?
    No.
    Done.
    Exit this business.

    This snooping is unbelievably ridiculous isn't it!

    I taught my VERY young children (under 12yo) what to say in response to all the nosey questions..."I don't know dad, ask mum".
    On repeat.
    Ofcourse he persisted and if he did... they were to practice the "pregnant pause" ie don't answer.

    I know your girls are older but these "tools" come in handy in many situations lol.

    I also know that my situation warranted me to have a fleet of semi-trailers full of tools lol!
    Seldom is this needed.

    I hope you can pop in and let us know of any developments as you progress through.
    There are pitfalls that Mr Paul, myself and others may help you avoid in the financial settlement fiasco.

    Well done you
    EM

    1 person found this helpful
  19. geoff
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    13477 posts
    24 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    Hello Dumbdom, I too after 25 years married join you and the others who have kindly posted their own situation, so my heart goes out to all of you, because it certainly isn't a pleasant feeling, we expect the marriage vows to be true, unfortunately, they have little value to us.

    My position was slightly different, I was depressed and using alcohol as a way of self medication as well as taking ADs, so eventually, my wife moved out (not the first time) and filed for divorce.

    We still talk to each other and do see one another as if nothing happened, but we certainly couldn't live together again, in some way I wish we could, but I'm happy living by myself and have good communication with both my sons and grandddaughters.

    Hope to continue tomorrow as I'm logging off.

    Geoff.

    4 people found this helpful
  20. Dumbdom
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    12 posts
    25 October 2020 in reply to geoff

    Geoff,

    I’m guessing it might be awhile before you see this message after celebrating your tigers victory.

    Thanks for reading my story and taking the time to share yours. Thankfully I never got to the bottle stage, I feel for you, it’s not like we set out to be miserable and difficult to live with, in my case as I’ve said before it was her actions that tipped me.

    Can I give an example, I’d would be interested in how everyone would react to it

    Last summer, we hired a beach out with 2 other couples ( Friends of over 30 years) for 10 night. She had to work a couple of days. She had 2 days off early into our 10 days, did she drive the 75 minutes down to spend it with us. No she drove 120 minutes to see her old boss ( widowed male about 48 years old) and stay at his place. Now I’m not saying anything happened, but you don’t think my mind is then running at 1000 miles an hour.

    That’s the sort of actions that destroyed me and she didn’t see any issues with that.

    Now I’m in a better place. No longer do I dwell on these I feel better today than yesterday and tomorrow is going to be better again.

    Congratulations on your Tigers victory, time to change your profile picture

    1 person found this helpful
  21. ecomama
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    25 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    HI Dom

    You're a very patient person.

    IDK what you thought at the time but this would have been very obvious to me.

    Paired with the solo trips overseas, the nights out partying when you were a FIFO etc, I think your exW behaved as a single person, not a married one.

    I think exW will REALLY miss your income.

    EM

    3 people found this helpful
  22. geoff
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    25 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    Hi Dumbdom, thanks for getting back and I will have to change e picture but will probably need the end to do so.

    What you have said would also put a large query on trust and it certainly would put a large cloud on the relationship.

    By her not realising the consequences is beyond belief and question the marriage, there is no justifiable reason why this should happen.

    I'm pleased you are in a better space and the wisdom learnt from this means the world to you.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  23. Jsua
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    195 posts
    26 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    Hi Dom.

    Glad to see that you have formed some really interesting actions and set some goals to help you deal with your current situation. Just be safe and don't try moving to quickly, sometimes we let things get to far ahead and we burn-out, so try going at a nice and decent pace - to protect yourself.

    "Last summer, we hired a beach out with 2 other couples ( Friends of over 30 years) for 10 night. She had to work a couple of days. She had 2 days off early into our 10 days, did she drive the 75 minutes down to spend it with us. No she drove 120 minutes to see her old boss ( widowed male about 48 years old) and stay at his place. Now I’m not saying anything happened, but you don’t think my mind is then running at 1000 miles an hour."

    Why on earth did you let her treat you like that. She should have been with you, not her old boss. Anyway, time to counitue your

    1 person found this helpful
  24. Jsua
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    195 posts
    26 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    .....Oooops!

    .....It sounds like you are feeling a lot better, as long as you are putting yourself first.

    Have a nice day.

    2 people found this helpful
  25. Dumbdom
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    12 posts
    26 October 2020 in reply to Jsua

    Hi Jsua,

    Thanks for your thoughts and support.

    It wasn’t like I wanted or more importantly deserved to be treated like, there’s no decent excuse, I guess it was habit, albeit a poor habit at that . But I do understand where you’re coming from, I know your not having a go at me, but merely asking how I could allow myself to be treated like that. It was just typical of her selfish attitude and lifestyle

    I’ve got to say how wonderful it is to have people on line willing to read and share their experiences and thoughts.

    I hope to be at a stage soon where I’m in a position to listen to other peoples stories and offer them the kind of support that I’ve received

    1 person found this helpful
  26. ecomama
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    26 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    Dear Dom

    For now we're here for you. No pressure to directly help others at all.

    You sharing your story is helping more people than you even know. We have far more readers here than posting members.

    You're already helping others.

    Dom, just to address a point that came up about 'allowing someone to treat you this way'.
    IME once a person decides to put themselves first ALL the time, ahead of their marriage, their family and even planned vacations... well there's nothing you can do to stop them.

    They're not teens you can take their car keys from etc.

    You sound like you've been a committed husband, father and financial provider to the best of your ability.

    It wasn't you who let this fail. It was exW wanton careless disregard for all the things you held as a priority. As any committed family man / woman would.

    You deserve to be commended for your steadfastness and patience through all this.

    In a way she released you from further suffering on this level at least.

    You don't have to answer any questions at all but if you feel you can share....
    Has any talk begun on financial settlement etc?

    EM

    2 people found this helpful
  27. Dumbdom
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    12 posts
    27 October 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Dear Em,

    As I’ve mentioned the advice and support I’ve received from all of you means more than words would cover.

    There hasn’t been any discussion at all about a settlement, other than I said to her we would put the family home on the market in the New Year. She is adamant that this will not happen, she said she’s done this and she thinks morally that it would be wrong to sell the home, especially as one of our daughters is still living here. At this stage she must feel guilty, I’m not sure that will last I’m sure one of her new confidantes will advise her to the contrary very soon.
    So at the moment we are joint in banking etc as we’ve got utilities etc for the family home being deducted.
    Thanks again for the support and ongoing interest

    Cheers

    Dom

    1 person found this helpful
  28. ecomama
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    27 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    Hi Dom

    Do you plan to divorce?

    If I were you, I'd strike while the iron's hot and ask her to sign a Binding Financial Agreement.

    You can do whatever you see fit ofcourse. You can always phone the free Men's Legal Service to get an idea of how things stand.

    Besides the obvious reasons I'd move fast for a BFA... the other financial reason is for Superannuation entitlements.
    I'm assuming your Super is far more than hers (as mine was FAR higher than exH also)... your Super would be gaining and it'll need to be split if that's the case... something to consider organising sooner rather than later.... ALL up to you.

    Hope you're doing well.

    EM

    1 person found this helpful
  29. geoff
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    28 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    H Dumbdom, my apologies for my last reply, the portable keyboard I'm using goes to sleep, so what I expect it to be typing doesn't appear and haven't had a drink since last December, so I'm sorry if you couldn't read what I was trying to say.

    Parents buy and sell a property mostly for the benefit of locality but mainly for improving their finances, now or in the years to come, kids are taken into consideration, but to keep the house or sell it shouldn't rely on our kids, there will find their own way when the time comes, and have their own agenda when love falls their way.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

    3 people found this helpful
  30. Mr Paul
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    28 October 2020 in reply to Dumbdom

    G'day Dom

    A word of caution; do not rely on an informal agreement about property settlement. Many separating couples have had their informal agreements overturned by the court, 10-15 year after separation. It is a dangerous strategy.

    Your wife has betrayed your trust once, there is no reason to think she won't do it again.

    Something to think about!

    Cheers

    2 people found this helpful

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