Dear Suzie, I am a 37 year old woman and I have been married since I was 19. We have 4 children and as far as I am concerned we were happy. Recently I got a new job (my first since my youngest child was born 5 years ago). I work nights 1 week in 4 and days the rest of the time. I recently came home from a night shift to find an answer phone message on our home phone from a woman who was calling my husband to thank him for last night. The message was graphic describing what she would do to him the next time \”the frump\” was at work. I confronted it and he denied it but theres no way I believe him. I want to leave him but cant afford a place on my own as the mortgage on our house is in my name and comes out of my wages. I also don\’t want to seperate him from our kids as they love him dearly. I cannot stay with a man who treats me like this and just need to kno some places I could go. I have no family alive and none of my friends have the space to take on me and the kids. Please help me.
But why should you go? If you really feel you can’t share your life and space with him anymore it’s he who should leave, and you can ask a solicitor to help you set this in train and enforce it. The house is in your name, any judge asked to settle such a case would say the home is for the kids and the parent who will care for the kids…and that means you.
Most solicitors will offer a short initial discussion for free or a nominal sum. Contact Resolution – first for family law for one who will help you do it with dignity and a minimum of argument. And separation between adults does not have to mean children lose a parent – you can co-parent from different homes; it just takes a bit of work and effort.
Children never want parents to part, but they do want any conflict to end. Unless you and he can settle this, your family is not going to be a place you would want to raise them, in an atmosphere of anger, pain and distress. That would be far more harmful to them than seeing their family separate.
See a solicitor but also make and appointment with a counsellor – either through your doctor or at Relate – and have a proper, open and honest discussion. Give him a chance to explain and insist in return he hear your feelings of hurt and humiliation. There is just a chance you can mend this. After all – that answer machine message sounds deliberately provocative. Could be a minor flirtation that went wrong with someone who decide to be ‘a woman scorned’. You’re lucky she didn’t come round a boil the bunny! If not – remove him from your home and your life, but not from your children’s life.