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1st post on this forum
Hello everyone

I wasn't sure where the best place to post my initial message would be so have decided to put it here. I hope this is not the wrong place and I apologise in advance if it is.

I also apologise if this ends up being a long and rambling post but I really need to get a lot off my chest.

I was in a relationship for 13 year, married for 8. We separated a month ago. Her choice. I was asked to leave the family home. We have 2 kids, aged 4 and 7. I am currently officially homeless but have some amazing friends that have allowed to me live in there spare room and have said I can stay as long as I like.

My wife and I had defiantly been drifting apart for a number of years. We stopped making each other happy a long time ago and I guess kept it going for the children. It eventually became to much and it ended. I am willing to take a lot of the blame. For so many years (and this has been an ongoing problem of mine) I covered up small fuck ups by lying and planning on fixing it. 95% of the time I did. The rest, I was stuck in a situation where I can already lied and was faced with the dilemma of admitting I lied or containing to try and cover it up. None of these issues were really that major. I never cheated or did anything really bad. It was always small things that then just grew.

I have had ongoing battles with mental health issues. This started about 6 years ago. I suffer from depression,anxiety and also have lots of issues with self confidence/esteem. My wife was always very successful and kept getting promotions and moving on to new and better jobs. As this happened to her I suffered numerous setback which fuelled a sense of worthlessness that took hold of me and my depression fed upon it. I used the typical 'man' response to this and bottled it up inside instead of talking about it. Unsurprisingly this only made it worse. I got my self in to a situation where I felt so embarrassed that I was unable to provide for my family that I thought of myself as a complete failure as a person. The more I thought about this I made it a self fulfilling prophesy. I was so set in my mind that I was going to fail that I gave up trying as I didn't see the point. I turned to booze as a way of blocking it all out. Eventually, after a lot of hiding the real financial situation the truth came out that I had spent 6 months out of work, had run up huge debts in childcare cost that I had told her I had paid (this was all paid for by my parents though who stepped in and bailed me out) and that any money she thought she we had been saving actually wasn't there.

Shit was bad. I wasn't thrown out but spent 4 months living in the spare room. I sorted my self out, stopped drinking and we repaired it and moved one. Things were ok in this time and me moved house. The area we where living in had gone through a huge gentrification. Our house went from £130k to £330k in 8 years. We took advantage of this and moved further out from the city, buying a place for £350k. At the time of the move due to my metal health problems and the extreme cost of childcare we decided it made more financial sense for me not to be on the mortgage whilst I was only working part time. We did the numbers and as my credit rating was worse than hers it was cheaper for us to have the house just in her name. We currently have about £250k in equity in the house on a 15 year mortgage but with £35k of that coming from a gift from her dad from the purchase of our 1st house.

We moved and pretended everything was great for a while. During this time as I wasn't in full time work I took over all of the childcare duties so that she could continue with her full time work. The divisions was already there though. She became increasingly more distant.  We got ourselves into a negative feed back loop where I would do something tiny wring (like not cleaning the kitchen right) and she would get annoyed and pull away from me. This would then fuck with my head and increase the chances of me doing less to please her. I realised in this time how dependent I was for my own mood on simple amounts of affection. The negative feed back loop meant less and less of this was offered every day which only accelerated my problems. We got to the stage where for several months she would leave the lounge to go to bed without even saying good night to me. I have to quickly add that she is the only person I have ever been in a relationship with. We met when I was 22, I am now 35. No one had ever shown any interest in me before her and after what was several years of  a lot if fun, I basically proposed to the only women in my life the that had every shown interest in me.

I mentioned above that the breakdown was due to me lying about small things that I tried to cover up. Pretty much all of those lies stemmed from the fear due to my mental health problems made me feel like I was a failure. That I I did was let her down and disappoint her. I would make a small fuck up and rather than admit to her that I had failed again I covered it up. I basically built a delusional world that I could live in where I wasn't a complete fuck up and failure. I did that because my wife had progressed into such a important job where I felt scared to admit that that there where problems at home as I did't want to increase the stress on her life. I honestly thought I was protecting her and I only did it, with my twisted view upon it with her best interests at heart.

As I am sure that many people on this forum know and understand, you can build a relationship on lies.

Unsurprisingly everything came out.  I was asked (told) to leave the family home and am now staying at a friends house. I left with about 1/2 my clothes, my bike and my pc.

The last month has been hell. As I mentioned, I was already suffering from mental health problems. 2 weeks ago I was stopped by a stranger who stopped his car in the middle of the road and prevented me from jumping from a bridge. I am past those thoughts for now. I took told my wife that I could do no childcare for a week with the main plan that I would stop all contact with her. I have felt so much better this week but had increasing anxiety attacks in the run up to the weekend when I knew I would have to return to 'our' house to pick up and drop of the kids.

A part of the discussion we had, mostly centred on the plans for what is going to happen with the kids for the next few weeks was the fact that we are defiantly getting divorced. She then told me that, with the best interests of the kids, that when I prove myself to her that I am stable and can afford to do so, she would be happy to release £15-20k from the house to provide me with a deposit for my own place. I told her that I didn't think that was enough. I didn't add how insulted I felt that she added that she would only do so when I could prove that I deserved it

Another quick note, during the entirety of our relationship I have never argued with her and have always did what she wanted to to make things easier even if I disagreed as I hate conflict and dont know how to deal with it. Today though I finally stood up for myself and said I dint think that is fair.As proud as I was for finally doing it I was also so devastated by the look of complete anger/sadness/disappointment that swept across her face. She actually shouted at me 'you choose now to finally stick up for yourself'.

I have no idea where I stand. I cant afford a lawyer to give me any advice. I guess we need to go into mediation but I dont know how I am meant to approach that when I can barely afford to feed myself.

I have written a mini essay here. I have spent so long holding everything inside me. I have finally realised that the best thing to do is talk about my problems and have been more honest in this post then I have to anyone that I actually know who I have spoken to. I dont know whether I will actually get any useful advice but it has felt so good to type out and tell people exactly how I have been feeling.
You should only leave the house when ordered to by a court.
You've put yourself at a massive disadvantage now.
She's got everything she wants, the house, the kids and you out of her life.

You need to see a solicitor now.
If there's £250k equity in the house, you should be looking at a lot more than what she's offering.
The names on the mortgage are irrelevant - the house is an asset of the marriage.
But again you've not helped yourself by moving out.

Hopefully you're seeing someone regarding your health issues.
Your goals should be 50:50 access to your kids.
You're not going to get that living in someone's spare room.
I had to leave the house though. Not just because she demanded it but because of the mental strain that seeing her is having on me. I went 7 days without seeing her and was able to start thinking positively. I go back to the house and see her and within 4 hours I was on the phone to the crisis team again to get the urgent emotional support that I needed.

I have been having panic attacks all day as I know that I am going to have to see her again this week and I am already scared about how I am going to cope. I accept that I have disadvantaged myself by leaving our house, but in the circumstances I had no choice. In order to keep myself safe I have too minimise contact with.

I am currently signed of work due to my mental health problems and and surviving on ESA. I cant afford legal advice.
Your first post says you were asked to leave the house and now you say you left because you had to???

If it's the second reason I would say that if you were female, you would probably be seen as being a victim of abuse in that she seems to be triggering this reaction in

Unfortunately you're not and as the system is focused primarily on the welfare of the children and mother, your issues won't be given much consideration.

A council will only provide a one bedroom flat for you. They don't take into account kids if you're the non resident parent.
Given your state of mind at the moment I could perfectly understand her not letting you have the kids at all.

My only advice would be to seek help and not be pressurized by your wife into accepting any financial settlements.

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