ANON – In my case it was financial.
1991 My children stayed with me until after the divorce until the financial settlement.1992 – My ex husband went for residency order for each child on their twelfth birthdays, I was encouraged to go along with this by a so-called long-term local friend who said it was for the best, so my ex husband would be able to take them holiday without always asking for my permission.(They never got to go on holiday in all the years they lived with him) Unknown to me the so-called friend was sleeping with my ex!!
He used the residence orders in court to make claim over the house. My ex then moved back into the marital home (after the divorce) claiming that he should not sell the house and make a financial settlement as he needed the house to live with the children. This horrendous situation continued for another 6 months with all of us sharing the house, and my ex husband and the children shouting abuse at me. I was forced out after 6 months by him and my children.
1993 – After nearly suffering a nervous breakdown I moved away to Switzerland to try to start a new life and career as I had no children, money, home, husband or career.
3 months later I returned to find all the letters I had sent to my children via a friend had been opened and left in her home and shown to my ex husband. Every letter, birthday and Christmas card had been kept from my children. This was when I discovered the friend had been sleeping with him throughout.
I moved back in with my mother at 34 years old and started temping work locally along with college and some computer courses. Within 1 year I had been offered a full-time well paid job and had a boyfriend. I continued to try to contact my children but was refused by my ex husband to go anywhere near the marital home.
I had 8 years of hell with my children spitting at me, calling me names,and much worse. I was even shot at whenever I approached the house to try to see them. They were not allowed to see any of my relatives in case they told them the truth.
The social workers involved were totally useless and my ex even managed to pull the wool over their eyes. I have had brief spells with my children over the years (6 weeks with my son) (8 years with my daughter) where they confirmed my worst suspicions over their childhood. They were both frightened to mention my name or speak to me because their father would make their life hell – they both told me this in the short space of time I have spent with them. They did not have the family outings or days out that their friends had, they both admitted that their childhood was very sad and lonely.
I managed to save enough money to buy my own house. I was promoted to higher position at work which involved a lot of international travel. My relationship developed and I moved in with my boyfriend who lived quite close to my ex husband and children who I could observe from a distance. Luckily I have a great relationship with my husband’s children which continues. I started my own business and bought a new convertible car – not bad for someone who was going to end up in the gutter without my ex!!!!!!!
When the children reached the age of 18 I finally managed to receive a financial settlement. After 8 years of fighting in the courts my total solicitors bill was an astonishing 33,000 pounds!!!!! This was paid from the proceeds of the house sale (as I had been on legal aid) and very little left.
I am now retired and enjoying life in France (9 years) We visit the UK as often as we can to enjoy my husbands children’s and grandchildren and to spend some quality time with my own family, mother, brother and sister and my handsome nephews and their children.
My own children are now in their mid 30’s and it goes on!! Even with my grandson they are still controlled by a manipulative father.
I speak out in the hope that it will bring awareness and things may change in the future.
It’s too late for me now, many lost years.
Lets hope things improve so others can enjoy being a parent or grandparent, like they deserve.
Here’s to change!