When I met my wife, both she and I were divorced, and I took her and her five-month-old baby daughter into my home. We married four years later. My job (though incredibly stressful and which necessitated me commuting from North to South on a weekly basis) brought an affluent lifestyle. My wife was a housewife, her little daughter called me Dad – and I loved her as if she were my own.
But, eventually, my workload made me tired and withdrawn, while she enjoyed a circle of new friends and slowly built a life without me. Sometimes I felt like a stranger in my own home.
After eight years together, including four years of marriage, I decided that I could not go on travelling up and down the motorway, living out of suitcase during the week. So I asked my wife if she would consider us moving nearer to my work, thereby reducing my travelling. I felt that I needed to spend more time with her and our daughter, but she wouldn’t entertain it – and within weeks had engaged a very expensive solicitor (whom I was to pay for) who wrote to me (at my hotel) asking for a divorce.
When we got together, she had nothing. Her ex gave her nothing, was unemployed and gave nothing towards Child Maintenance. I helped sort out her long standing credit card debt and loans. She had always said that we didn’t need a prenuptial agreement because she had too much respect for me to consider taking me to the cleaners if we split – and in any case, she assured me she loved me so much that this would never happen. How stupid I was.
I ended up having to give my house (worth £270,000) to her, on the basis that her daughter was a ‘child of the family’. The other option was to pay ongoing maintenance for the next ten years as well as a substantial lump sum.
So, after only four years of marriage I ended up losing the house and all my savings by the time I’d paid off the outstanding mortgage. I also had legal costs of £14,000 to pay, and had to move into rented accommodation, while she had the four-bedroom house. To top it all I then lost my job due to my health and the stress that the whole situation had created and now find myself in more debt than my ex had when I first met her.
And just to rub salt into the wound, I’ve tried to keep in touch with the little girl I treated as my daughter but never hear back from her. She sent an email saying she never talks about me, doesn’t miss me and she doesn’t want her to have anything to do with me; she’s met a new man and tells me not to contact her or her daughter again.
It turns out that she had been having an affair with her ‘new man’ since prior to us getting married.
How, in what I believed was a civilised society, is it possible for this to happen and people behave in such uncaring and selfish ways? I’ve tried to be balanced, but it is very difficult when I’ve been financially wiped out by a greedy and callous lady. I know nothing can change my situation but somehow I find it helps to share the pain of my story.
Having gone from having everything I ever wanted to nothing in the space of 2 years, I have learnt not to trust love.
With help from my family I’m now trying really hard to turn my life around. I’ve got a new job, But now have debts of over £27,000. It’s as though I’m now working for nothing and just making minimum payments to pay off interest.
I was advised by my sister not to lose faith in people and to give this a go.
If you can, please try to help me get rid of this debt by donating anything you can afford.
Thank you for reading this.
Daily I walk around my small town with a thought bubble over my head: “Person Ruined By Divorce.” When I look at other people, I automatically form thought bubbles over their heads. “Happy Couple With Stroller.” “Innocent Teenage Boy With His Whole Life Ahead Of Him” . . . “Young Kids Kissing Publicly.” Then every so often I see one like me, one of the shambling gaunt man, looking older than he is: “Divorced Man Wondering How It Happened.”