When you and your partner decide to get divorced, there are quite a few decisions to make. One of which is if you move out or remain living together. What you do is up to you. Your partner has no right to make you move out.
I decided to remain living with my wife during the divorce process. The two main reasons for this were:
- Renting is expensive – If I was to move out from the family home I would need to rent a 3-bed house, for me and my two kids, who would live with me 50% of the time during the divorce.
In my local area, I would be paying at least £1700 per month in rent! Which was just unaffordable with all the divorce costs.
- Kept the pressure on – If I moved out, my ex-wife would be living mortgage and rent-free, and I would be out of the picture. For her, this would have been ideal, and she would have little incentive to move the divorce forward.
Living with someone during divorce is pretty tricky, but there are a number of things that I found you can do to make things considerably easier.
I found in the early days of the divorce process, we actually got on OK’ish. I think this was partly because it was quite a major decision and both of us were in mild shock that we were actually going to get a divorce. However, as time went on, a month or two later things rapidly deteriorated.
Avoid Each Other
This can best be achieved by trying to schedule your daily life so you do not cross paths. For example, agree on times that you will have meals; one does earlier and one does later. Definitely do not sleep together in the same room. If you don’t have a spare room, then sleep on the sofa
Only Speak When Necessary
After a while, I found that literally every conversation was becoming an argument. The conversation would start off okay, but within minutes, things would turn south, and a full-blown argument would erupt.
Only speak to your partner when absolutely necessary. To start with, it feels a bit weird to ignore your partner to avoid conversation, but it will become the norm and not feel weird after a while. If you do have to speak to your partner, keep it really simple, with ‘yes’ and ”no’ type responses.
Communicate Using Text or Email
Using written communication is great because not only does it mean you don’t have to speak to your partner, but you also have a record of what was said.
For more in-depth stuff, I used email (my ex-wife loved getting those emails….not) and for everyday practical type things, I used WhatsApp.
My ex-wife often said the most stupid things that often made my blood boil. I really wanted to tell her how f*cking stupid she was and in the early days, I sometimes did. However, I learned that it was a complete waste of time. So when your partner says something that really grates, just walk away. You’ll get a barrage of abuse as you’re walking away, but it is the best thing to do.
Let It Go
My ex-wife hated the fact that I didn’t move out and went through a phase of doing stuff that she knew would annoy me in the hopes that I would eventually go. Some of the stuff she did was really quite odd and I genuinely thought she was having some serious mental breakdown.
When she did one of her dumb ass things, I asked myself, does it really matter? if not, then I just rolled with it, not responding or retaliating in any way. Not only did this make it much easier for me, as I wasn’t getting stressed, but my ex-wife began to realise that what she was doing was not going to make me move out.
Booze Is Not Your Friend
Do not turn to the bottle! it might help in the short term, but I can guarantee it will ultimately make a bad situation much worse. Booze f*cks with your emotions and all logical reasoning goes out the window. Unfortunately for me, my wife started drinking in a big way and it made life so much harder for everyone.
I think it is important that you agree on some boundaries with your partner. My ex-wife and I agreed that our bedrooms were our personal space and neither of us was allowed in the other’s room, ever.
Try to keep yourself busy, find a new hobby, go to the gym, or do anything that gets you out of the house and away from your partner.
This tip should probably be higher up on the list, as it worked wonders for me. I joined my local health club. Initially, it was just something to do that was away from the house. But the more I went, the more I enjoyed it.
If I ever felt stressed or angry, I’d go to the gym, and all the stress and anger would vanish. The gym also had many other benefits, including keeping healthy, meeting new people and women in tight-fitting Lycra is always nice to see.
Think About The kids
If you have kids, do not use them as a weapon against your partner. It is totally unfair to the kids and your partner. Divorce is between you and your partner. It should impact the kids as little as possible.
Money and Bills
This is an area that you really need to agree on with your partner. Otherwise, it will cause a lot of conflicts, as I found out. As the breadwinner, I had always paid all the bills (they were all in my name). But, as we were getting divorced, I didn’t see why I should pay for my ex-wife.
Initially, I suggested that the bills be split based on our income. So, if I earned twice as much as my ex-wife, I would pay for two thirds, and she would pay one third. Unfortunately, I never got an agreement on this and she basically ended up paying for most of the food bill and paid all the bills.
Don’t Be A Dick
On many occasions, I found it very tempting to do things that I knew would annoy my ex-wife, especially if she had intentionally done something to upset me. The problem is it just escalates things and ultimately achieves nothing.
Conclusion: Living Together During Divorce
Living together during a divorce is not fun. But, it might be necessary for a number of different reasons. In my situation, living with my ex-wife during our divorce was the right choice. It saved me nearly two years’ rent (about £40,000!), it meant I saw my kids every day and I’m fairly sure if we had lived separately the divorce would have dragged on for even longer.