Tag Archives: Chattel

Living as a Chattel

Freedom not ownership

The other day I realised that living as a Chattel gave me certain freedoms, ironically as a Chattel by definition is being someone’s property/slave. 

Let’s be clear I do not want to be a Chattel and hate this Victorian law that labels me as my ex husbands property until I remarry, he settles or either of us die (although he can do what he likes).

However there are certain perks, the primary one is I don’t have to be anyone else’s chattel, I can not make the same mistake again. No rushing into marriage or co-habitation for me. My codependent and romantic nature cries out to be some bodies ‘the one’, but my chattel status removes my ability to form a committed relationship, so I don’t have to commit, or worry if I’m sure or doing the right thing and neither does a lover. The stakes are so high I can live in a permanent state of never having to risk being owned by anyone else.

I could remarry and lose the stake in a business I helped set up but I’m not going to give away what’s rightfully mine for a marriage that despite my commitment could be thrown away by someone else’s wandering cock, like last time. I don’t have young children and won’t have more, so the need for marriage isn’t there. I admit my conditioned nature of social norms sometimes dreams of marriage and happy ever after but my chattel status squashes that down to an uncomfortable niggle. People change and I’m not sure if I want to or need to take that risk again. My chattel status gives me (and any lover I have) the perfect excuse to never address the future, to live in the moment. 

When your options are reduced life becomes simpler, freedom? Why would I want that? 


Gay rights will help hetrosexual human rights

Becoming a chattel


Two women (or men) fall in love, they are 18 and penniless.

Three years later they marry.

They both work but also start their own business. 

At 27 they start a family and decide that one will give up her career to bring up their family in the way they both want. 

Business goes really well. One works full time while the other rears the growing family and supports her partner in the business. 

At 45 the partner that works in the business full time has an affair and wants to end the marriage. 

Now what do you think happens

Their assets get split equally and both move house.

The partner who has control of the business gets a big mortgage and continues a very lavish lifestyle. The child rearer can not get a mortgage so lives frugally within her means.

But what about the business? The partner that cheated keeps the business while the other now non-skilled partner gets a payment each month from the business. The court decides 4% of the business profit. Which is just enough to live on, the cheating partner gets to keep 96% of a thriving business.

The law dictates that the partner that now owns the business can have intimate relationships and remarry without any consequence. The non skilled partner can only co-habit or remarry if she forgoes her monthly payments from the business (that she helped set up and enabled the controlling partner to succeed at whilst having a family as well). The controlling partner could opt for a final settlement but that doesn’t make financial sense, this way she has a loan that might just dissapear and has no interest.  She also gets to control her ex’s life.

That is the law as it stands today for hetrosexuals. I don’t think gay people will stand for this in their relationships. 

This happens in hetrosexual relationships because in uk law today women are regarded as chattels when they marry.


Chattel definition


1. Law An article of movable personal property.

2. A slave.

How many women say ‘What I earn pays for the childcare’. How many men?

The assumption is that it’s the woman’s wage that pays for the childcare. Even if the money goes into the same pot, the joint account, in our thoughts, women earn their salary less the childcare. I don’t know any men that think they pay even half the childcare if their children’s mother works.

It really bugs me the ingrained misogyny that us girls utter ourselves and buy into. I heard one radio dj interviewing a female singer who had recently given birth, his first question was – who’s looking after the baby? I know he would not ask that of a male singer who’d recently had a child. I wish she had asked him back who was looking after his.

Jeremy Vine recently mocked that Ed Milliband didn’t know what his wife spent on the weekly shop. How funny but even worse is that Jeremy Vine assumes it’s the wife’s job to the shop and the husbands to check what she’s spending. We should search out and challenge these assumptions we have inherited. 

marriage with a narcissist

Cohabitation and marriage with a narcissist.

One legal definition of cohabitation is living together as man and wife. So after 25 years of marriage I should be well qualified on what that feels like?

So to me that means a sexless relationship, possibly once or twice a year.

A relationship where I am scared and dominated and kept in my place, a doormat.

It means my cohabitee does whatever he likes, goes away for weeks at a time on ‘boys trips’ that end up in a brothel. Arrives home in the early hours and if I dare to question I’m in the wrong and if I ask again he will be unfaithful as that’s what I deserve for being suspicious.

It means his car is an Aston Martin and top of the range land rover, my car he lends to me is a Clio.

It means he rarely interacts with the children and does not think about their needs.

He doesn’t have any child care responsibilities.

He gets very drunk every Friday night and Saturday night and is too hungover to participate in any weekend family time. If he’s even about.

It means he’s too busy to take phone calls from me or the kids.

It means I am a housekeeper.

A place where I have no financial control.

I was never more alone than when I was married.

So no I do not want to marry or cohabit, I never want to be that person again.

Would you marry again? It’s a feminist issue

Against human rightsWould you marry again? It’s a feminist issue.

I married too young, with no consciousness of the legal contract I was entering. In my simple almost childish romantic youth I thought it was about love, that we were declaring a commitment of love to each other.

I didn’t want the obey words in but had no idea that in the eye of the law what I said was irrelevant. I did not realise I was selling myself as a chattel to this man. Chattel derives from the word cattle, need I say more? I was a moveable possession in law that he took responsibility for. It makes me curious how same sex partnerships will cope with divorce? Will chattel and owner be defined by earning capacity? Or do civil partnerships not have this antiquated law defining them in divorce. If so why can we not have hetro civil partnerships?

Why does it matter? Well apart from human ownership being slavery, it matters in divorce. My ex was given a choice. A final settlement, finishing things nice and cleanly and enabling us both to move on with our lives. Or maintenance payments – effectively an interest free loan with the side effect of him owning me in that should I co habit or remarry he never has to pay the money he owes from the life and business we built together. Guess which my narcisist ex chose?

I don’t believe I had a choice, I could leave with nothing from 25 years of building a life and business together except half the value of our marital home or receive maintenance payments for life that meant I did not have to work on minimum wage. A clean break would have given me the capital to make my own business work for me. Maintenance means a subsistence life, plus what I can earn. I’m in no doubt he could afford the clean break but he wouldn’t give me a clean break. I live in paranoia, it’s in his interest that I die or marry.

I don’t want to be a chattel

David Cameron is going to pay war widows and widowers their pension even if they remarry or cohabit as its ‘just wrong’ not to. I totally agree.

I really hope this changes the law for divorce, that we will no longer be chattels of the highest earner. No more alimony or maintenance where if you remarry you lose the money you were once entitled to.

My ex is very wealthy, and in finance his leaving was planned and the money well hidden. He sees maintenance as an interest free loan that might just disappear and I believe loves the narcissistic control that I can not afford to remarry while he is free to do as he likes.

If marriage was a business contract, I would be entitled to a percentage of the business we built together over 25 years, as he has rights to see the children he once ignored. And I’d be happy to have my share as shares or staged payments without the forbidding of any permanent relationship. ! my human rights and freedom curtailed. In business there is often an exclusion clause forbidding you to set up in business for a certain time and radius after a partnership is ended but in our case he ended the contract, his choice yet I have the exclusion contract.

I do hope in these times of same sex unions and the prime minister seeing sense for pensions in the forces it will be evident as the inevitable divorces happen that this idea of a chattel in divorce, is seen as unfair to human rights.

Chattel definition
Personal property is generally considered property that is movable,[1] as opposed to real property or real estate.

I would also like to see the law changed that no person can be the chattel of another, do we really want this in marriage today?