A selection of stories, based (loosely) on the stories clients tell us.
Moving out on the sly – Her story
I was 18 when I got married, we had been together for a year when I got pregnant. My man was funny, good looking, slim and laid back. What more could a girl ask for? He proposed, as soon as he found out about the pregnancy, and my parents approved of him. The baby wasn’t planned by any means. I have heard people say the pill can be affected if you have a virus, That was when Mick and I think it happened. On 1st Jan 1984, Suzie arrived, weighing in at 6lbs 4oz. A bit of a squashed up face to start with, but mum said all babies come out like that. She was right, one week later and Suzie was beautiful. We were given a council house, it was easier in them days. I wasn’t sure what I really expected of life. Mick worked in the local garage and worked part-time in Budgens stacking shelves from 7pm to 10pm four nights a week. Saturday night was spent down the labour club Beer was always cheap there, and you could take children in. Win-win as Mick said.
We did this life for 22 years. But I think it was around year 15, that I really tired of it. Mick telling the same old jokes to anyone who would listen. Now he was so laid back he was horizontal. I did everything. Cook, clean, wash, iron, shop, work, pay the bills, you name it I did it. Our life was ok, Suzie was now at University studying journalism. But I was bored. Can’t even remember when Mick and I shared the same bed. I started sleeping in the spare room when Mick’s snoring after a Saturday night on the beer kept me awake. That went into Sunday night, I worked Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and often on Friday. Mick would go out with the lads on his own, so I wouldn’t sleep with him then either, because of the snoring. He never said whether it bothered him. In fact, he never said much at all and neither did I. We were more like brother and sister.
I knew I would leave one day, which was why I had been putting a little bit of money away. “Fuck you money” my Dad used to call it. Always need a bit of that in case you hit a problem in life. I’d saved £6000 over the past 10 years and now I was ready to step out in the world on my own. I was forty, so still had a good few years in me yet. I wasn’t interested in being with anyone. Just wanted to be on my own. Watch what I wanted on the telly. Have fish on Tuesday if the mood took me instead of Friday. Be daring and having a roast on a Saturday, I wanted to break away from the tradition we had created.
Mick wasn’t a bad man, I’m sure he thought he was a good catch. Even though he admitted he was probably about 4 stone overweight. But I used to hear him tell people how he looked after me and I could have anything I wanted. Trouble was, I didn’t want for anything except not being with him. I just think I outgrew him. As I looked at him I could see my Dad, and I was turning into my Mum. If I stayed here for the rest of life, I could have another 40 years of this.
I rented a flat about a mile away and was due to pick up the keys on Tuesday. Today was Sunday. Roast as usual, and it was here I told him. Mick, I said, I’m leaving you on Tuesday and I’m not coming back. The life we have is boring, I’m bored. I like you, but I don’t love you and we are starting to look like my parents and that scares me. He didn’t say a word, just carried on eating his roast. When he finished, I cleared away, wondering whether he heard me or not. We watched Antiques Roadshow and then Big Brother. We went to bed at 10, him in our room, me in the spare room and still not a word was said.
On Monday he was up early, to go to work and I never saw him, I cleaned the house, prepared his last supper as I called it, and left for work before he got home. On Tuesday morning there was a note on the table asking me to leave my keys on the table. That was it, nothing, not anything else. I don’t know what I imagined, but it sure wasn’t this. I packed what I could in the car and dropped the first lot off. I did three trips in total but I never left the keys. I might not want to live there anymore but I sure had a right to.
I never heard from Mick for three years, and even when I did it was via a solicitors letter asking for a divorce. Suzie, bless her, had kept out of it. She never asked what was going on. Never told me, if her Dad had said anything and I never asked. I worry that mine and Mick’s lack of communication has rubbed off on her.
If this situation feels familiar, and you would like to talk about divorce, then please contact us on 0800 177 7702.