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Old 18.07.2006, 10:45
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Tips on Divorce

Has anyone here gone throught a divorce? If so, i would really appreciate a few tips on the what and how's to do.

I am 4months pregnant and my husband (Swiss) decided that he does not want a child, he subsequently left (3weeks ago) to live at his moms place.
I have contacted a lawyer but feel so dum when it comes to a the range of things i think i am supposed to know, i.e.
- We are married for about two years, how will this affect my stay? (I am employed)
- He indicated that he wanted me to abort and if i keep the baby he would not pay maintenance...
- He went as far as threatening my life a few weeks ago. For some obscure reason he now changed his mind and wants to sue for full custody of the baby. Does he have this right?
- He wants me out of our apartment, even though I pay for it and i am the pregnant one. Does the law protect pregnant females and the right of the unborn child?
- I was told that i do not have the right to refuse him access to the apartment because we are married but yet he is posing a threat not only to me but to the my unborn child.


Any help/tips would really be appreciated.

Regards,
Rene
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Old 18.07.2006, 11:04
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Re: Tips on Divorce

Hi Rene
Sorry to hear your husband is behaving like a prize prick

http://swisswiki.ch/index.php/Divorce is some (limited) information about divorce here. IMO he's always going to be seen to be the one in the wrong but I would consider keeping a diary of his (mis-)behaviour, especially if he's trying to threaten and intimidate you.

In fact, see someone sooner rather than later if you do feel threatened.
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Old 18.07.2006, 11:14
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Re: Tips on Divorce

Thanx a million:-).

I did get the police involved but they've told me that it (a life threat)is a hard case to prove and since he did not do anything yet, there is nothing they can do for me.
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Old 18.07.2006, 13:30
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Re: Tips on Divorce

Quote:
Has anyone here gone throught a divorce? If so, i would really appreciate a few tips on the what and how's to do.

I am 4months pregnant and my husband (Swiss) decided that he does not want a child, he subsequently left (3weeks ago) to live at his moms place.
I have contacted a lawyer but feel so dum when it comes to a the range of things i think i am supposed to know, i.e.
- We are married for about two years, how will this affect my stay? (I am employed)
- He indicated that he wanted me to abort and if i keep the baby he would not pay maintenance...
- He went as far as threatening my life a few weeks ago. For some obscure reason he now changed his mind and wants to sue for full custody of the baby. Does he have this right?
- He wants me out of our apartment, even though I pay for it and i am the pregnant one. Does the law protect pregnant females and the right of the unborn child?
- I was told that i do not have the right to refuse him access to the apartment because we are married but yet he is posing a threat not only to me but to the my unborn child.


Any help/tips would really be appreciated.

Regards,
Rene
Hi,

firstly sorry to hear about your dilema and let me answer your immediate questions...

1. Your permit situation will not change and you will have full rights to stay in addition to having the right to keep on working. Be very sure your employer does not try and get you to resign. Here the law is on your side and it is illegal to be sacked or more to the point if you are then it is not legitimate and it is as if it never happened!

2. He is obliged to pay maintenance and I am pleased to say it is not insignificant ie it is rather a lot of his income. Furthermore if he or you are pressing for divorce be very sure to have a good lawyer with experience in these matters you are entitled to all of what you brought into the marriage plus half of what was earned during your marriage plus a percentage of his pension, plus a percentage of whatever he inherits - although this part belongs to your unborn baby.

3. Any parent has the right to custody of a child. The question here is what the court decides and as he is the estranged party it is very likely they will find in your favour. Be aware though that if it gets this far then you are likely to be called all the names under the sun in an attempt to show you would not be a good mother eg whore, alcoholic, druggie etc.

4. The law is very much in your favour with respect to the apartment and unless his name is on the rental agreement he actually has no say. You might want to change the locks though, in fact if you have not done this I would strongly recommend it.

5. Yes, you do have the right to refuse access if you feel in any way threatened. If it has got that far that you do not want to see him and you feel he is threatening then you can go to court for a restraining order.

There is a group in Switzerland for helping threatened mothers I will try and find out its name and mail it here. If you have not got a lawyer yet also let me know I do know one or two.

Cheers

Richard
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Old 18.07.2006, 14:03
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Re: Tips on Divorce

HI Richard,

Thank you very much for your helpful advice.

I do have a lawyer and have contacted the Gemeinde today who was quite kind to return my call. I have an appointment with them tomorrow morning to discuss the rights of the unborn child.
(The good thing is that i took a week holiday off work in order to arrange things)

The name calling has started already and is concerning me. He and his family started spreading that i married for permit only and falling pregnant was part of the plan.
Yes i know it is plain madness to even give time to slander but what happens if someone would believe them? I cant believe people think like this or even why people behave this way. Should one's responsibility and life not come before material assets? I mut admit never had i imagined that i would ever find myelf in a situation like this or be married to a mommy's boy.

I would appreciate the name of the women's group. Thank you again for your advice.

I feel totally screwed over but one must remain positive

Regards,
Rene

Last edited by Rene; 18.07.2006 at 14:14.
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Old 18.07.2006, 14:23
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Re: Tips on Divorce

I am lost for worlds. For him to marry you and be prepared to do what married couples often do in their spare time - and then bleat when you get pregnant.....

I'm guessing you and he met in S.A. and things have changed upon return?
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Old 18.07.2006, 14:48
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Re: Tips on Divorce

Yes, we've met in Cape Town. Its two completely different guys if one ha to compare. I guess life was easier i.t.o me having my own aprtment, we had a full time domestic, gardener and within walking distance from the beach. That is middle class life but of course all is not perfect at home and we've decided to come here for a few years before travelling further.

What i cannot understand is why his mom, a person who has a daughter would not encourage him to behave differently instead this destructive behaviour seems to be encouraged so much that they thought they had the right to call me and suggest abortion.

I am certain it will turn out ok as long as i have a good lawyer
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Old 18.07.2006, 14:52
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Re: Tips on Divorce

Two things:
1. I can't even pretend to be surprised about you meeting outside the centre of the world
2. Given that life in Caapstaat was nice and comfy, surely the "married just for permit" bullshit is, erm, bullshit

There's lots of folk in and around Zurich here and I am sure if you need to rant (or hide from the f--ker for a while), people will be only too happy to help.
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Old 18.07.2006, 15:08
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Re: Tips on Divorce

Thank you for the chat. Got to run to the shops before closing time.
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Old 18.07.2006, 15:19
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Re: Tips on Divorce

Hi Rene,

I wouldn't be too concerned about the name calling and rumours. At the end of the day it is a judge and the law that should decide these matters, and your soon to be ex-husband is certainly going to be in the losing position on this one, he is most likely terrified and feels he's looking down the barrel of financial ruin as well as a lifetime of having to fight for access to a child which he doesn't want to see now, but will after it is born. Try to ride out the name calling and think about the best way forward.

Regardless of your feelings for the father of your unborn child, it will still be important that he/she has some sort of relationship with him after the birth and as they grow up, so any hostilities or break down of the relationship now will ultimately affect the child. I guess this is no news to you at all, I simply wanted to throw in a bit of background info which might help to throw some light on his behaviour.

Please note that what I am about to say is in no way judging or second-guessing your situation, so if anyone wants to jump on me for saying it, please bear in mind that I am attempting to say it with the best of intentions.

In order to say this I have to unfortunately highlight two stereotypes which I have often seen and heard about in Switzerland. I don't like to stereotype the Swiss (ok, this is a lie - you've read my other posts in the complaints corner), but I'm going to anyway.

Unfortunately there do seem to be quite a lot of mummy's boys around in Switzerland. Naturally this is not just limited to Switzerland, but there do seem to be an awful lot of them. It might have something to do with the fact that kids here seem to spend an awfully long period living at home before they finally move out compared to other countries. Heck, my next door neighbour (in his 40's) used to go home to his mum every weekend before he got himself a live-in girlfriend. So if you married one - I'm very sorry. If you married him in SA then you probably didn't know this was the case.

Now there is also a strongly held belief among many Swiss men that Swiss women are out to trick them with unplanned (well unplanned from the man's point of view) preganancies. I first heard about this from an American woman who had major relationship issues with a Swiss man who was constantly paranoid about this. She did some asking around to try and figure out what the problem was, and this is what she turned up. Anyway their relationship didn't last, and there was no pregnancy to worry about.

As a man, you never know if it really was an accident or not, and if your husband also carries the same paranoia as described in the previous paragraph he may genuinely feel that he has been done over. I know he isn't really dealing with his feelings in the most constructive way - but people who feel as if they have been wronged seldom do!

Am I to assume that you hadn't really discussed the baby question and that this was an accident? Would he have reason to believe that he has been tricked? The point I am trying to make here is that if you can find some way to understand where he is coming from, and help him to understand that you also feel powerless and scared because of the situation there might be some way to improve the situation - for the benefit of all three of you.

Hopefully my remarks have not been taken the wrong way - just wanted to put in another perspective before the calls for a lynch mob begin!

I sincerely hope you all manage to find a more amicable solution to all of this - for all of your sakes! Maybe suggest discussing the situation with a mediator?
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Old 18.07.2006, 16:35
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Re: Tips on Divorce

Quote:
The name calling has started already and is concerning me. He and his family started spreading that i married for permit only and falling pregnant was part of the plan.
Well obviously the logic is a bit flawed here - since you are married you already have the permit - so pregnancy may bring other consequences, but it can't help to get you a permit that you already have!

I just wanted to add a point here - so what if they tell everyone you married for the permit - people do this ALL THE TIME. Why? Because Switzerland does not recognise defacto relationships. What other possibility would you have if he wanted to bring you to Switzerland? You would have been an illegal immigrant, and without getting married you would have had to remain in South Africa. I'm sure this is a conversation that you two already had, and I see no reason to see shame in it at all! Your husband should blame the system for that accusation, not you! In any case whatever your reasons (and by this I mean both of you, not just you!) for getting married, it has absolutely zero to do with the legal position in your current situation.

And in any I'm sure half of the people on this forum who are married probably got married a little sooner than they otherwise would have due to the fact that they wanted to be in Switzerland and not have their partner classified as an illegal immigrant! I guess such a discussion could be thread on its own

By the way - whose idea was it for you guys to move to Switzerland - I bet it was his, right? In which case I bet the marriage idea was also his, he just figured that this wouldn't involve kids, at least not right away.

I'm off to a marriage this Friday - A swiss friend of mine is marrying his girlfriend of just a few months. She comes from the Philipines and therefore it is difficult for her to even get a visitors visa (since she comes from a "bad" country). Without getting married she'd have to leave, and would not be allowed to return for some time. They seem very happy together, but they haven't been together very long. I hope it works out for them.

Hang in there...
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Old 18.07.2006, 16:35
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Re: Tips on Divorce

Hi Rene,

I guess we all (or at least I hope "we all") feel extremely sorry for the situation that you now find yourself in.

There is not a lot most of us can do apart from express our sympathy and extend to you the hope that things may calm down a bit given time.

It is at times like this when you are a long way from home that such problems can seem even bigger and more frightening. You will already have read that people here do want to support you and help in anyway they can. Believe us that you are not really alone and you will get through this no matter how bleak things look right now.

I am sure we would all like to send you a comforting hug and hope that despite things you continue to express a positive attitude, it can only help.
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Old 18.07.2006, 16:54
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Re: Tips on Divorce

I don't have much advice, either, but I wanted to also chime in with my support.

You've got more rights than you were probably aware of. If the lawyer does not help enough, consider also speaking with an immigrant rights group. I know of one here in Basel, if you can't find one in Zurich (I'm sure they could refer you to the right people in Zurich).
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Old 18.07.2006, 17:02
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Re: Tips on Divorce

Hi Mark,

Thank you for you post and i can see your point

Yes, we've discussed the baby situation, and decided both that we wanted two children but in 2/3 years' time. That would've given us time to travel (it is still possibe with a baby) and explore the world and each other. We were from what i can remember, quite happy with the prospect of having kids together, the reality however proved different.
Pregnancy now:
I was hospital for more than a month after kidney and liver disease. Naturally because of treatment and my body sensitivity birth control is ineffective and was not recommended. This all facts my husband was aware off. I was perhaps more shocked than he was when i found out that i was pregnant. (He kept telling me that i was and i did not want to believe him). Even after it was confirmed by the doc i did not want to believe and the ultrasound finally did the trick. We were both stressed as i am working and studying and so is he. But the pressure for abortion only came after he spoke to his mom.
(I have no relationship with my mother-in-law because of her continual and persistant inferance in my marriage. Not the good interferance the very negative one. Encouraging her son to keep financial matters from me, pick him up after we have a minor dispute, she thinks i am too independant, etc)

On tricking the man:
We live in a very liberal world, why is that men always tend to feel tricked or use the ' i have been tricked' excuse when it comes to something they have been part off. No one forces a man to not use a condom.
Does the onus not rest on the shoulders of both parties?

Can a women not claim that she was tricked too. Especially when she is career minded and independant? Can one also not argue that because he is well aware of what he is doing he tricked her and made her pregnant in order to slow her career growth and to get her to be pregnant and barefeet in the kitchen?

In a maritial relationship can one still resort to such cheap and immature arguement when you have already decided that you want to spend the rest of your life with the person?

So why not abortion?
Why should a women go the through physical, emotional and phycological trauma of actually killing a life? It is after all our choice?
Would i be unfair if i say that guys get off lightly and perhaps they should go and volunteer at one of the 'Clinics for Termination of pregnancy' before suggesting such measures to their partners?

I have tried ad nauseam to suggest a mediator or therapist because i do believe that perhaps with the amount of stress that we are both under one tends to be more emotional and make irrational decisions. Needless to say, we now both have legal council. I one the hand took my own advice and seeked therapy and am much more ok with my decisions.

A mediator would have been great but how do you encourage talking when that is not what the other person knows? When screaming and blaming is their normal how do work from there?
How do expect a decision from someone who seem not to be able to make his own decisions. He used to call mommy after every single small petty arguement. Mommy picked him up from home took him for coffee and at the best of times, took him home with her. Where to from there.

I am not angry, just hurt and awfully disappointed that i have to go through the pregnancy in my own and at the same time deal with threats from my life to now him taking away the baby from me. Why does it have to end in a senseles fight.
I am of the opinion that i am quite a fair person, that sometimes i am unfair to myself in order to be fair to the situation.
This type of behaviour goes way beyond my comprehension but as i was taught, we understand best what we've learned from our parents.

Last edited by Rene; 18.07.2006 at 17:23.
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Old 18.07.2006, 17:27
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Re: Tips on Divorce

Quote:
Hi Rene,

I guess we all (or at least I hope "we all") feel extremely sorry for the situation that you now find yourself in.

There is not a lot most of us can do apart from express our sympathy and extend to you the hope that things may calm down a bit given time.

It is at times like this when you are a long way from home that such problems can seem even bigger and more frightening. You will already have read that people here do want to support you and help in anyway they can. Believe us that you are not really alone and you will get through this no matter how bleak things look right now.

I am sure we would all like to send you a comforting hug and hope that despite things you continue to express a positive attitude, it can only help.

Thank you Terry and everyone. Kindness always humbles one. A chat forum is perhaps the last place i thought that i would get support. Thank you guys so much.
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Old 18.07.2006, 17:34
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Re: Tips on Divorce

Hi Rene,

Sounds like you've got a reasonable grip on the situation, and are able to deal with some of the issues in a rational way - good job you got some therapy, certainly can only help in such a situation. I'm glad you saw my remarks in the way they were intended - just to try and throw a little more light on the situation. I was only trying to find some sort of explanation for his actions (without trying to justify them). Someone very wise once told me that everybody does what they think is the right thing, no matter how evil it may seem to others. This person also said that Hitler also did what he felt was the right thing to do. When I thought about this and applied it in other situations it helped me to try and understand others in difficult situations. Was just trying to figure out what might be going on inside his head.

Ok, so I guess we can rule out hostile feelings due to suspicion of being tricked. If he knew full well that the pill wasn't working, and you (as in either of you) weren't using any alternative form of birth control then of course it should come as no surprise to either of you and you both should put your hands up for that one. But you did say in you post that you were more shocked than he was. Why? Surely you were both absolutely aware that there was a strong chance you would fall pregnant? Anyway, I guess it's not so important now - it's water under the bridge at this stage!

My own personal opinion is that both partners should discuss the options with regards to continuing with the pregnancy or not. Don't be angry with him for suggesting it, but ultimately the final decision rests with you and he has to respect (and bear the consequences) for it. What I don't agree with is if he tries to force you to make a decision that you don't want to, but I think he has a certain right to discuss options (in a non-violent, non-threatening manner) with you. But I guess all that has passed too.

I'm sorry to hear that it is not possible to get him to mediation. The problem with mummy's boys is that they aren't particulaly emotionally mature, and they often have difficulty respecting women. It's a curious irony that in order to respect women men have to break away from their mothers - but some mums also don't want to let go... But I guess this doesn't help you right now either.

I hope we've been able to provide some support even if it means getting some stuff off your chest. Who knows - maybe with time he might see the situation differently, and maybe once the baby is born if you allow him to see the baby and try to take an active part in its life he may change?

Regarding the threats on your life - am I to understand that this was only done once in the heat of an argument? If so, you may not want to take this too seriously - he probably felt cornered and afraid and since he isn't too good at dealing with not getting his own way (is he an only child by any chance?) he probably said some stupid stuff.
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Old 18.07.2006, 17:40
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Re: Tips on Divorce

Quote:
Well obviously the logic is a bit flawed here - since you are married you already have the permit - so pregnancy may bring other consequences, but it can't help to get you a permit that you already have!

I just wanted to add a point here - so what if they tell everyone you married for the permit - people do this ALL THE TIME. Why? Because Switzerland does not recognise defacto relationships. What other possibility would you have if he wanted to bring you to Switzerland? You would have been an illegal immigrant, and without getting married you would have had to remain in South Africa. I'm sure this is a conversation that you two already had, and I see no reason to see shame in it at all! Your husband should blame the system for that accusation, not you! In any case whatever your reasons (and by this I mean both of you, not just you!) for getting married, it has absolutely zero to do with the legal position in your current situation.

And in any I'm sure half of the people on this forum who are married probably got married a little sooner than they otherwise would have due to the fact that they wanted to be in Switzerland and not have their partner classified as an illegal immigrant! I guess such a discussion could be thread on its own

By the way - whose idea was it for you guys to move to Switzerland - I bet it was his, right? In which case I bet the marriage idea was also his, he just figured that this wouldn't involve kids, at least not right away.

I'm off to a marriage this Friday - A swiss friend of mine is marrying his girlfriend of just a few months. She comes from the Philipines and therefore it is difficult for her to even get a visitors visa (since she comes from a "bad" country). Without getting married she'd have to leave, and would not be allowed to return for some time. They seem very happy together, but they haven't been together very long. I hope it works out for them.

Hang in there...

Yes the marriage was his idea. The funny thing though - is that i needed time and left for Ireland when i came back his mom and dad literally begged me to marry their son...
We spoke about kids right from the start. Like you said, we just got married earlier than anticipated. He studied full time at first but now works and study. I took the role of breadwinner of our 'family'.
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Old 18.07.2006, 17:56
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Re: Tips on Divorce

Quote:
We spoke about kids right from the start. Like you said, we just got married earlier than anticipated. He studied full time at first but now works and study. I took the role of breadwinner of our 'family'.
Sounds like he probably wanted to be a little more setup before he heard the pitter-patter of tiny feet. Since he has no experience in being a bread winner he is probably feeling like he is in the deep end and trying to run away from the situation. Not the most mature way of dealing with it, but probably not the most mature individual by the sounds of it. I know one thing - this is a very expensive place to bring up kids
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Old 18.07.2006, 17:57
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Re: Tips on Divorce

You are so right. We all do things which we think i right even at times when they are down-right evil.

No he is not the only child but he is the first son. He comes from a financially well to do family. I family where he knows no matter what happens mommy or daddy will take of it.
I hope i can teach baby better
I he will definately be allowed to see the baby. Not allowing him access will only be detrimental to my child unless he goes totally unstable. However i do not want his family anywhere close to my angel.
The world is challenging as i but its not black. I cannot let my baby be in contact with people who will teach him/her that the world just came to end because his/her bicycle was stolen. Or that because there are not enough money to buy our usual expensive brand of ice cream we have to start feeling sorry for ourselves. THere are options and one has to see them in order to use them, right?

I am quite independant and am considered by many to be strong but for me, i feel so weak. There are times when i just sit down and cry because my situation feels hopeless but of course i do not stop to seek new solutions.
I too just for once want to weak and taken care of. I too want to just enjoy without thinking how will i survive the next onslaught from my husband and his family.

Now, i feel awfully challenged and as you probably know, pregnancy is not quite helpful when is comes to not being emotional.

Last edited by Rene; 18.07.2006 at 18:14.
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Old 18.07.2006, 18:03
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Re: Tips on Divorce

Rene, I've got nothing useful in terms of advice but just wanted to post something in a moral support sort of way. Switzerland can be a lonely enough place for a foreign woman and having to cope with an acrimonious break-up combined with a 'surprise' pregnancy is a huge amount to cope with. If you weren't feeling tearful then I'd be amazed - as it is I think that you sound remarkably together. Good luck.
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