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Just need to scream at the unfairness of it all

Community Member

For 16 years I single handedly financially supported my husband and two kids. It wasn't my choice. My husband wanted to run his own business and I had a good job as a teacher and I always thought my turn would come and he would reciprocate.

When the kids were babies and toddlers he did care for them on some school days but complained all the time. He never did any household task like cooking or cleaning. I suggested he complete some further study, I paid for family daycare twice a week to give him a break. He did make a few thousand dollars but insisted on putting it back into the business. When the kids hit school I suggested he make a business plan and if he couldn't draw a wage in a few years he should look for work. This was taken by him as an insult and that I didn't believe in him. He brought this up every time I pleaded with him to help me with the household tasks, the kids, the bills or the mortgage.

We had marriage counselling a few times over the years. I would listen carefully to his complaints about how I didn't support his ideas enough how he was depressed because of me but as soon as I brought up the lack of support I was receiving from him, he withdrew from therapy. He also had a tactic, when I had become rundown or at the end of my tether to coincidentally become sicker than me with breathing issues or tooth aches and I had to look after him more.

A year ago he felt he couldn't live with me anymore. He moved into the garage, then 6 months later started couch surfing at friends houses. I just want to move on with my life. I have our 2 kids (one is ASD) living with me in the house I paid for. He has full access to the kids whenever he likes. I am still working. In March he withdrew from mediation of our financial settlement. I wanted to pay him out but he wanted the money all in cash and i couldn't afford to borrow that much money against the house. Now he is taking me to court and wants over half the house and my superannuation AND spousal support on the basis I financially and psychologically abused him to the extent he can not support himself. He is 53.

It just seems so unfair. I have been the responsible one paying off the mortgage and putting money into my super for the future and he can legally strip me of all the security I have worked for. I am just a high school teacher with a little house in the country, not a millionaire. The legal bills themselves will bankrupt both of us. How can I stop this from gnawing at me 24/7.

8 Replies 8

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor


Unfortunately, your husband is a mooch, he was a mooch all through your marriage, and he continues to be one now. It sucks and it’s unfair, but that’s the way it is. If he never had a proper job or helped pay the mortgage, it seems unlikely that the courts will support his bid for spousal support. But I would advise you to lawyer up with the most aggressive lawyer you can find and get your game face on. Let him know that you can’t be intimidated and you won’t be a free meal. You will lose some money to lawyers, which is a shame, but you are a hard worker and will get it back. These are the realities that you have to face. I sincerely wish you all the best

Community Member

Hi lilykitten

I've read some of your story before and i feel for you. It does seem to be as Juliet says, he is just one of those people. He's not going to take responsibility for himself or the problems that contributed to the end of your marriage. he was probably happy to coast along but when the kids were older and you asked if he could earn some money suddenly it's 'emotional abuse' with no ownership of how he didn't do housework etc during the marriage. I have a friend going through similar, after years of being the primary earner bec her hub was too 'emotionally exhausted' to work, but same, he didn't do jack around the house while he was at home, she's now separated but has to pay him child support which he uses to pay for a fancy unit better than the place she can afford. It's not fair I know, and I'm sorry.

I agree with Juliet you need a lawyer. I don't see how a judge would agree to taking spousal support off a high school teacher (my own hub used to be one I know what you earn), but unfortunately you never know. You need someone to protect your interests. If he's withdrawn from mediation and isn't being reasonable (he's not), it's time for lawyers, no way around it. I consulted one myself when I first told my hub I wanted a separation and the initial consult was around $220 for the hour. Prices do vary though and maybe different where you live. If you want them to negotiate for you after that, send letters to your ex and draw up custody papers, it will cost around $1600-$2000 IF you reach an agreement during that process. Unfortunately if it ends up going to court that's when it costs you but you SHOULD be able to settle something in those initial stages if your lawyer is worth his/her salt. You can check out google reviews for lawyers like any other service. The one I found was great and I have her as a back up plan if negotiations go south with my soon to be ex. At the moment he's still living with me but the time comes soon when I have to nudge him to leave AGAIN, and I dont' know how that's going to go.

I wish you the best. Happy to listen anytime you need to scream into the void.


Definitely "lawyered up" I started with the initial consultation a year ago and had several sessions to check what was fair as we went to mediation but it is my ex that has escalated and led the legal process. I received information last week he was knocking back paid work because it would effect his legal aid (not usually granted in a financial settlement unless there is abuse). My bills are over 10k and I just used my entire tax rebate to pay more thousands for a barrister. Does he know he is taking this money from his kids?

I'm sorry it's such a mess lilykitten. I'll never understand how some men can take the food out of their own kids' mouths to spite their ex-wives. It's selfish and childish, I don't get it. When you become a parent you're supposed to grow up but so many times it doesn't seem to happen. I'm quite sure my friend's ex has also intentionally not found work because it means she has to pay more to him. It's not right.

I hope this gets resolved for you soon. If he's pulled out of mediation I don't see how you're going to avoid court though, sadly. Unless he somehow has a change of heart.

thinking of you


Well the judge didn't accept his reason for not working as mental anguish from the marriage. He told him to get a job. Funny I've been saying the same thing for 10 years.

So today he rang to say he cant see the kids, not because he is job searching but because he has to get a report from his therapist to say he is so upset he has left his kids he can never work again.

Back to court next month.

Hi lilykitten,

At least you can take some consolation in the fact that the judge saw right through his bullshit!!! You can never make him change his spots unfortunately, but if no one falls for it then it’s totally wasted.

Back to court next month but at least they see through him. Wishing you a speedy resolution.

Community Member
The result was I had to pay him half my super and remortgage the house but at least I kept it. Strangely after all the angst over leaving the kids he is happy just to visit them and doesn't want custody. He claims zero income and pays $8 a week in child support.

Oh lilykitten that is so infuriating that you had to give him half your super 😬😬😬 unfortunately these rules are there to protect parents who stay home to raise their children but can be exploited by people such as your husband who do nothing and just refuse to get a job. But you are now rid of him and can finally move on with rebuilding your life. It’s horrible and it’s unfair, but it serves as a warning when we end up with someone who shows us that they won’t do the right thing by us. I think many of us have ended up in those relationships at some point but it can end up costly for us unfortunately. I like to think that karma comes around at some point though