Tag Archives: he’s leaving

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

n.

1. Law An article of movable personal property.

2. A slave.

So you want a divorce? 20 thoughts.

So you want a divorce? Some tips if you have kids on how to keep it amicable from someone who failed. Do as I say not as I do! My biggest regret about my divorce is that we couldn’t keep it amicable. Written from the female perspective as I am, but I’m sure you can adapt it however your relationship is made up and balanced. 

1. Don’t post anything on face book or other media. Delete your account or at least post nothing. Your ex will grow resentment (yes they’ll find it even if blocked), your kids won’t understand that your fun without them isn’t a reflection on them or why you are being snide about dad. If they are young they will see it soon, it’s out there, just don’t. 

2. If you have the money be generous, if you don’t be grateful. Split it in half if it’s been a long marriage. 

3. Make a final settlement, otherwise you (or your new partner) will always resent paying or receiving and not be free.

4. Don’t ask your ex for help, no light bulbs changed or cakes made. It’s over.

5. Try to avoid lawyers, at least as much as possible, you have to legally disclose how much you have  to them and they seem to be able to make their fees exactly that! A good lawyer means one who’s made amicable divorces in the past, not a Rottweiler that will screw your ex.

6. Don’t text, email your ex anything but facts about the kids. No calling them a moron or sending emotional emails about ‘winning’ the divorce. Yep he did!

7. Do text them lots of info about your kids, so they know about sports days, the cat dying and events and what’s going on in their lives. Kids are terrible at coms. Schools are generally pretty hateful and uncommunicative to dads in my experience. 

8. Be prepared to lose most of your friends, don’t worry it leaves spaces to make new genuine ones. 

9. Be final. No getting back together and then splitting. It will break your kids hearts. 

10. Don’t play games and get mean, no starving ex to get them to sign (yes he did), your kids will suffer and you will only look bad. 

11. Don’t stop access to kids, for any reason apart from their safety. Set up a good routine.

12. If you disagree with something for kids, like phones, you can tell that to ex but you can’t stop it. You can’t micro manage their world with your ex anymore than your ex can manage yours. 

13. Try to work around arrangements, lives are complicated but you can say no, sometimes making an ex husband take responsibility for the time he has his children and finding his own care arrangements can help the kids see daddy cares. Try to give notice.

14. If you do alternate weekends try to make it a pick up after school, then whole weekend and drop back to school. That way you get a chance for a proper relaxing weekend without home work and meals to prepare. He gets to do meals, homework and washing with kids and bonds through that (it really is the little things that count), the kids get a great role model of capable dad and the bond is stronger. 

15. Don’t send messages through kids, they get forgotten/missed and the child is drawn into your fight. Try to acknowledge messages politely so everyone knows what’s happening. 

16. Regular child sharing is great, as a woman it was my first taste of freedom for years and I learnt to value it, if you poison your child about ex they will not want to go and you will be exhausted and fed up of asking friends for a favour. 

17. Pay your maintenance when it’s due. 

18. Don’t speak ill of ex, it’s hard as we naturally need to alienate them to allow us to move on, (who wants to moon on about someone whos rejected them!)but your kids love them much as they love you, if you alienate the children have some very confused feelings. 

19. Make your new partner understand that you may not appear to hate you ex, but you will never be together again, reassure them. 

20. Be honest about your assets, including the bullion and the old stamp and the designer number plate. This is the mother of your children. Remember karma. 

The first few months after he left (3)

Over the next few months the bottom fell out of her world, she spent most of the day’s crying. 

Her sons 14th birthday was in 10 days and she had arranged a go-carting party for him. He said he was coming too, she spent so much energy gathering herself for the torture of that day.  

She fantasised that he would see what a happy family they were and turn around and say sorry, he’d been an idiot let’s make up. But nothing happened.  

She asked if there was another woman, he said no. Another wave of days over took her. It was a month till Christmas. She booked some counselling with relate but it wasn’t till new year. She found a lawyer. She worked on the house renovation she was doing. The plan had been to move in the new year and she focused on that. By Christmas she had lost two stone in weight without trying.  

Her friends were supportive and she had her first night out as a single mum just before Christmas. With her weight loss and devil may care attitude she danced the night away. Some bloke took a fancy to her and danced with her, oh she was so flattered, after her complete rejection that she thought what the heck and when he tried to kiss her she didn’t say no. Wow it felt amazing to be desired again, but when a friend pointed out he had a wedding ring on she was mortified and ran away.  

She sent out the Christmas cards without his name on and her new address, the first most friends knew of it, as he hadn’t wanted anyone to know.

She nodded as he lied to the children (2)

It might seem strange after such a short conversation to know it was over but she did. She told the kids dad had gone on another work trip, the kids were not phased he was always doing that. She met a divorced girl friend in the supermarket car park after dropping the kids off who just held her. She asked if he was on drugs, had a brain tumor or another woman. 

‘No no no he just doesn’t want me anymore.’

She googled what to do and decided that he had to decide if it was over and called him, he said it was but wanted some time to think about it. How long she asked? Six months he said, maybe more, she was thinking more like the weekend! She said if he needed that long he had to tell the kids. He agreed and came round in the evening and told the kids lies while she nodded.
‘It will be amicable’
‘I still love your mum’
‘There’s no one else’
‘If we split up everything will be divided equally’

I can’t do this anymore (1)

‘I can’t do this any more’
‘If you feel like that you had better leave’.
‘You mean the spare bedroom or …’
‘No. Just go’.
He left, it was probably their third or fourth major argument in their twenty five year marriage and still no raised voices. With the gift of hindsight she realised the argument a couple of years before was when she knew it was over, he had explained that he was only staying for the children. She thought it was just a blip. Now she realised he couldn’t even do that. She still loved him. He had been out the night before like he often did these days and when he got home she had complained that he never wore his wedding ring. She cried all night and in the morning they had this four line conversation and it was over.

Freedom is scary

Four years ago my life as I knew it ended, he left and ended my love, my children’s childhoods, my sense of where I was in my world, my home, my job, my security, my ability to trust. I survived and slowly I’m rebuilding but now I face another period of endings.

My youngest will soon leave home, my poor dog is on her last legs and the cat not far behind, even my dear mum is struggling. My menopause is here and I’m losing my youth and probably my libido too. My partner is moving to the other side of the country.

With the loss of things In the past I gained freedom, but it’s scary stuff. I can move to almost anywhere, start again except I’m starting as a middle aged person, not a mum with kids in the same school. It’s going to be hard to break into the inevitable middle class, middle age cliques, a place I don’t fit at the best of times, but, I can reinvent myself – Madonna style. I don’t think I have the energy to be anyone other than me though.

My last enforced freedom had me jumping out of planes and into bed with near strangers, luckily one of those strangers saw through all that and had the patience and understanding to hold me.

I’m worried I’ll have the strength to face the next set of endings that seem to be converging, beyond my control to the same few days in my near future, a real punch to my belly. Can I face the horrors of loss and stand up again somewhere new, I won’t be alone this time but my gallant knight has a few rust spots and belly wounds as well, that’s why he was so understanding.

It’s a chance to move away from the pain, but the pain has a certain familiarity.