This topic contains 18 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Lotus20 3 weeks, 6 days ago.

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  • #113543
     Ebrunner 
    Participant

    Morning Ladies

    I hope you’re all doing well.

    I’m interested to know if any/many women over 50 have been able to leave the marital home with most (all) of their possessions and not had to ever return. I’m trying to figure out whether that’s a possibility for me as I don’t relish ever having to return once I’ve made that break. One of my concerns is that I don’t know whether my husband would actually be able to cope being left to pack everything once the house is sold and to sell off any furniture no longer needed. Through all his abuse and bravado I believe he has become actually very codependent on me and my support over the years.

    Does anyone have experience of using lockup storage and a rough idea of costs?

    I welcome any other hints/tips/tricks/experiences which may help me to formulate a plan. It’s a bit like the great escape 😂!

    Many thanks ladies

  • #113548
     Watersprite 
    Participant

    Hey I’m in the same age group – fled with two car loads and never been back. Stuff is only stuff. Leaving and after is the riskiest time. Get info of bank accounts benefits passports paperwork if at all possible put money away even a small amount. Safety is everything. It’s been really really hard but I don’t regret it – I don’t have much but I do have my own choices my children and we are safe and free. Im hoping it will get easier and I can build a future tho still police processes etc A solicitor can help with selling house and arrange for you or someone else to go back and get stuff if it is safe. Re him he is a grown up he made his choices do not let him be your responsibility when you are gone. First things first – safety and support – get as much support as you can it will be needed in the time ahead. Call women’s aid if you haven’t already and maybe speak with GP? Good luck with your great escape and baby steps into your future

  • #113551
     Lottieblue 
    Participant

    Hi @ebrunner,

    My goodness it’s a certain set of issues that we 50+ with long marriages have, isn’t it? This has been a big worry for me, too. My abuser is away a lot and recently I have resolved that I shall just say to him stay away, I’ll be gone by such-and-such-a-date and clear my stuff out. Furniture I don’t know. It will take longer. But I’ll leave that to lawyers. I’m actually living in LaLa Land because he’s not just going to sit back and let me go.

    But… I have looked into storage. I think it will vary a lot geographically. I got about 4 quotes – the one thing I would say is be very careful… while they say they can give you an immediate online quote, they still request info from you and they will chase up your enquiry. I had to get back to them to say please leave me alone, and thankfully had given false tel no’s. However to give you an idea, it’s looking like the best deal I can get (just for enough space for my “stuff” – bags/boxes) would be about £50 per month. There are offers for eg first 3 months at a special price, etc, so you just have to work out what might work for you. Shop round though as they vary a lot.

    I actually found it surprisingly cathartic having done this research, even though I haven’t done anything about it yet. It was one of those little steps that made me feel a bit more in control. Although I’m not, at all.

    @ebrunner, I started a thread a couple of months back which you might find useful. Go on to the 50+ board to find it. I can’t remember the exact title but it referred to ending marriages of 20+ years. Have a look – there are some really heartfelt replies on there and some useful practical advice too.

    Good luck. Keep us posted.

  • #113556
     Ebrunner 
    Participant

    Thank you For your responses @watersprite and @lottieblue. It has given me hope to believe that it’s possible to leave, never to return again. I do feel sad as I’ll be leaving behind what really was my dream home but I know that that means nothing when you’re living under abusive conditions.

    I’m really happy that you found the courage to change your life and circumstances @watersprite, you have no idea how much reading your message raised my spirits! I’m in the process of making a list of items that I just couldn’t bear to leave behind, sentimental things, hopefully I’ll still be travelling light though.

    Honestly @lottieblue, who’d have thought that women in our age group would find it necessary to plan with military precision our escapes! I think the cost of storage may well be prohibitive so I’m going to have to rely on friends and family, which makes things slightly more complicated but it’ll all be worth it in the end. I found the thread you recommended and it is certainly a very interesting read, thank you. I hope you find the courage to move forward, even though it’s really scary. Little by little we will take back control of our own lives!

    I find it very sad the lengths we have to go to just to live our lives without drama and pain.

  • #113557
     Beautifulday 
    Participant

    I remember when my Mother left my Dad she walked out with a suitcase, she left everything there furniture the lot and all of it she had bought herself. We had a lovely home and she literally just walked out, afterwards when I asked her did she not want any of the furniture or things she said no just her sanity.

  • #113558
     Ebrunner 
    Participant

    Wow, what a brave lady your Mother was @beautifulday, I just wish I had that sort of courage! She was absolutely right about the sanity though, I have only just started to understand the extent to which these mind games have affected me and the way I react to situations now. It makes me really angry because it’s going to take quite some time to learn to trust myself and others again.

  • #113563
     Camel 
    Participant

    Hi Ebrunner

    I’m so happy to hear you’re in the planning stage.

    A few thoughts…

    Property in the marital home is classed as assets and division of it will/should be decided in the divorce. Regardless of whether you think your partner will be fair/able to cope, take photos of every room, drawer, cupboard etc. Make lists of everything. Store the photos and lists somewhere safe – email them to a couple of trusted friends, for example.

    It’s important to remember that stuff can weigh us down.
    Picture yourself with hundreds of boxes and imagine how much harder it will be to squeeze through the front door. Then there’s the expense of storage and the limitations it will put on where you live next.

    Unless it has massive sentimental value (photos, heirlooms) or it’s paperwork, it’s honestly not important. We tend to define ourselves by what we own, especially as we get older, I really don’t know why. ‘Things’ don’t make us happy.

    Imagine you are a refugee (which you kind of are) or escaping an inferno and think only about what you’d be devastated to lose. Make arrangements to get these quietly away. Clothes too, as it’s expensive to restock an entire wardrobe. There shouldn’t be more than two or three boxes.

    At some point in the near future you will find yourself in town, browsing at your leisure for new stuff and things. I can guarantee your heart will be leaping at this simple pleasure. You won’t give a thought to anything you owned in your old life.

  • #113799
     Ebrunner 
    Participant

    Hi Camel

    Thank you once again for your response and invaluable and insightful advice. I’m not sure how you do it, but you seem to have a wealth of knowledge and the ability to come up with incredibly helpful and inspiring suggestions. I would never have thought of taking photos of my home but it makes complete sense.

    I had a bit of an emotional blip Yesterday following on from the outcome of the #backto60 Judicial Review Appeal, I guess I had put all my eggs in one basket in the hopes that it would at least answer some of my prayers, if not all.

    It’s so easy to get knocked off kilter and get discouraged when elements of your plan fall flat. It can feel like the world is conspiring against you.

    I’ve had a slightly better day today having managed to make a couple of information gathering phone calls. I need to keep reminding myself to take baby steps, slow and steady wins the race. I will get there…eventually!

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom and support.

  • #114175
     Camel 
    Participant

    Hi Ebrunner

    I really don’t have all the answers but I’m glad you find some of what I say is helpful.

    My situation was different to yours but I do remember clearly a couple of times when I wanted to escape, could have escaped, but didn’t. I came up with what I now see were ridiculous reasons.

    One occasion I was in an airport transit lounge, travelling back after a short break without him. I’d endured another confusing ear-bashing. I so much wanted not to get on the connecting flight. I had time. But I thought about the scant possessions I wouldn’t see again. And that I had no home or job, no money in the bank. I worried that I was over-reacting.

    Leaving is never the easy option. But it is the only sensible option.

  • #114178
     Lottieblue 
    Participant

    @ebrunner how are you getting on?
    LB xx

  • #114212
     Ebrunner 
    Participant

    Morning Camel and Lottieblue

    Thanks for your responses, I always appreciate your care and concern.

    I’m doing ok at the moment, although feeling slightly anxious most of the time. I have what would seem to be a window of opportunity looming in the next couple of weeks to try and find safe storage for a limited few of my prize possessions but need to do it in a manner that won’t be visually noticed, if that makes sense. My mind is still racing trying to figure out the logistics of everything but never actually settles on one particular solution. I guess I could consider that as fortunate, meaning that I have more than one option, who knows. I’m uncertain as to whether to tell my husband as I walk out or just to be gone when he arrives home from the pub. There’s still so many unanswered questions but I’m getting closer that front door!

    I have this thing about not liking to be self centred. I suppose it’s from a lifetime of making sure everyone else is ok ahead of myself, so coming on here talking about my problems doesn’t really feel so good.

    How are things for you ladies 😘?

  • #114220
     Wiseafter 
    Participant

    Hi where I live storage varies from £100 – £300 p/m. Be careful on promo deals as the costs can spike after the promo ends and you have to ensure you can afford it longer term just in case. Stuff is just stuff. It isn’t as important as peace of mind, sanity and health in the grand scheme of things. I do advise getting as much legal and financial advice as possible before you take any action and knowing the facts about what you are entitled to in terms of divorce/housing/finance helps put you in the control at a time when emotions may be running high. Please remember, you do not owe him an explanation and telling him you are leaving can actually be quite a dangerous time. You can just leave, call police if you are in danger, vulnerable or need to get away for your own safety or want him out, rather than you being the one to leave. Once you are apart, be prepared for the aftermath, this is often when abuse escalates or he will try and get you back through many different manipulative tactics such as losing weight, neglecting his self-care and complaining to all and sundry that you abandoned him, including your kids. You will need a support network, and to be emotionally resilient. Be prepared for no contact, or limiting contact to arrangements only, blocking calls, messages and getting a solicitor, or someone you trust to act on your behalf if you are being threatened. Also, keep a record, take pictures of everything you do, every room, anything you pack up, where it is and what you leave behind.

  • #114255
     Camel 
    Participant

    Hi Ebrunner

    If he’s like most other blokes he won’t notice when a few things disappear. Maybe move things around a bit after a huge ‘spring clean.’ See if he notices.

    Do these possessions belong to you alone or you as a couple? I’m asking because you should really avoid taking anything that he has a part claim on. Keep a list of it all anyway, in case it comes up later.

    I do hope you continue to post here despite feeling selfish. It’s fine to worry about other people’s feelings but not at the cost of your own.

  • #114265
     Wiseafter 
    Participant

    Agree and yes, definitely stick to what is yours outright to remove. I haven’t touched exes things apart from to box them up, lock stock and barrel but not to remove, or dispose of. Depends on what kind of bloke he is, mine had a photographic memory for exactly what was where, even down to old packaging he didn’t want thrown away. Also, it is amazing how quickly attachment I had to things I thought of as sentimental value has just disappeared. I honestly don’t care about any of it. As soon as he left I had a massive clear out of my stuff because before I wasn’t allowed to throw anything away, sounds nuts but that was my life, drowning in clutter. So great to wish it all goodbye. Four trips to the dump and multiple loads to charity shop. Gone, gone, gone. Out with the old, in with the new!

  • #114476
     Ebrunner 
    Participant

    Hi Ladies

    Thanks for your responses @wiseafter and @camel.

    I decided against storage for the time as I don’t have the available funds so I’ve opted instead to store my most prized possessions at a friend’s house, and I’m feeling good because I dropped off most of them today 👏!

    I’ve resigned myself to the fact that, worst case scenario, I may lose some of my belongings but have decided it’s a small price to pay.

    As far as I’m aware having spoken to a solicitor today, I know legally where I stand, although it’s difficult to know exactly what questions to ask a solicitor. Any suggestions gratefully accepted.

    I do feel that I’m going to need to go no contact once I’ve left because I’m a sucker for emotional manipulation, I don’t like upsetting or hurting people, at least not intentionally anyway.

    I’ve taken the brilliant advice of ladies on here and taken photos of everything in the home.

    So, I am making a little progress. It’s surprising how good taking those little steps can make you feel ☺️!

  • #114478
     Lottieblue 
    Participant

    Brilliant to hear @ebrunner, thank you for the update! Keep us posted x

  • #114500
     iliketea 
    Participant

    Well done @ebrunner!! Definitely go No Contact. It has really helped me. Not that he’s contacted me but even the miniscule things like hearing his voice have really not helped and triggered flashbacks. I can’t imagine what it would be like if he was trying to persuade me to come back!
    Questions – I guess the lawyer will know the basics for divorce so I wouldn’t worry too much, they should have it covered for you. Pensions rights and division of assets are the basics arent they, and children and pets, and spousal support going forward depending on your circumstances.
    I think if you’ve taken photos, as soon as you leave arrange to retrieve your other things with a third party to watch out for your safety. Or arrange a removal company to help you get them. They all do this and its not unusual to help with domestic abuse situations, I wasn’t charged when I told them the situation.
    Best of luck and stay strong. x*x

  • #114506
     Eggshells 
    Participant

    Hi Ebrunner. If he is away for long periods please make the most of that. Don’t tell him you are leaving. I spent months packing stuff up (that he wouldn’t notice) and storing it with friends. I planned which furniture to take. My solicitor said the courts weren’t interested in the house contents and she was right. On the day, I filled a transit van with what I needed and disappeared. I never went back. It was the best thing I ever did.

  • #114523
     Lotus20 
    Participant

    Hi and thank you for writing this posts and replies.
    I left with my the only cloths I had on and my baby without any of our belonging apart from our docs.
    I made a lovely home and garden and all my sentimental things and arts and crafts behind. I wanted our lives back and our freedom. It is really sad and I miss everything, apart from the abuse of course. But everything is replaceable and some are not but sanity, physical and mental health and freedom is surely not replaceable.

    I won’t worry to much but if I had a better chance I would have taken the most important things but I did not despite have palnned our exsit.

    All the best and enjoy your life hopefully after your free yourself from your abuser.

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