It’s very nearly three years since my ex-husband left the family home. From the point it became clear that this was permanent, one of my most fierce battles has been to maintain as much stability and as little material change for the children as I can muster. This has included hanging on to the family home, whilst ultimately knowing that I couldn’t afford it long-term. As a condition of the divorce, I had to get my ex’s name off the mortgage. I’d been paying it single handed for the last 2 years and although I could clearly keep up the payments as they were, the mortgage provider was insisting that I couldn’t just remove his name, I would need a whole new mortgage. Which I couldn’t afford on my own.
This is a beautiful house, don’t get me wrong. We had 10 years here as a family… most of which were happy according to my memory (don’t get me started on his re-writing of our married life… that’s a whole different post!!). Just months before the separation, we had completed a lovely extension and had a beautiful (and expensive) new kitchen. I have my music room, looking out over the garden that we fell in love with when we first viewed the house in 2004. But the time had come to sell up.
It has taken the best part of a year to sell it though, with my first attempt resulting in no offers, lots of ‘feedback’, and a couple of thousand pounds worth of cosmetic upgrading. Take two went rather better, with a number of offers in April, one of which I accepted.
Just re-read that a moment. April. It has taken the best part of 5 months, but finally, yesterday, we exchanged contracts on the sale.
I have to say that next to the early months of separation, these last few months have been the most stressful and difficult I can ever remember. A combination of the normal stresses of a house sale, the uncertainty of where we would go, and all of the emotion that has resurfaced at the prospect of moving… All of this combined with a number of very pertinent stresses at work and ongoing acrimony with my ex has (perhaps unsurprisingly) made me quite unwell 😦 I am keeping going in the belief that this is all temporary and intend to resume normal service as soon as possible. For now though, I’ve stepped briefly off the treadmill and am giving myself a little TLC.
I am aware that my children and I have begun to detach from this house. We’re living in a kind of limbo at the moment – existing here, but not really living here. Not feeling that we belong, and actually now wanting to get out and start afresh. We’re in a veritable mess, with half-packed boxes and piles of stuff left to sort through. Lots of stuff sold, donated, car-booted, and still lots of stuff left to dispose of. I know we’re not out of the woods yet, but there is only one way forward…
We have a moving date, and I hope that soon we will have a moving place too! For now, I hold on to the belief that we will be okay… no, we will be happy wherever we end up. And I’m holding on tight for the ride.
Further updates to follow. #brave.