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Community Member

My husband has decided after 20 years to leave me. We have two young children, one with relatively high needs. We are ex-pay kiwis so at about the same time my husband said it was over my son’s NDIS application was rejected. I work full time in a relatively stressful job. The whole situation is a mess. At the moment he is living downstairs and continues to help with the day to day care of our children. I am very socially isolated in that our friends are probably more his, his parents are the ones close by whereas all my family are in NZ. I cannot see how financially we can actually afford to separate. He has been declared bankrupt and his casual employment was impacted by COVID. I don’t even know how he would rent a house. We own our home but it is not finished and he is the builder and will have to get it finished to sell which I don’t necessarily want to do. My husband wants the separation over and done with quickly, tends to live in la la land and I just cannot see how. I am so upset, have been very emotional and I am very concerned about my and my children’s future. I am angry with him because not much has changed but he seems to be picking the worst possible time to be doing this. I have asked for another chance but he is adamant. Any advice please.

4 Replies 4

Hi Leave,

A warm welcome to our forums, though I'm sorry to hear about the circumstances that have brought you here. It sounds like that you're (understandably) going through a lot of difficult emotions right now, and all of it's been compounded by the stress of finances and being away from your family. 

I want to open this up for the rest of our lovely community to pitch in, but please know that these forums are a safe, nonjudgmental space for you to talk about what's going on, and that you might also want to consider ringing our 24/7 Support Service at 1300 22 4636 for some extra support, as well.

Please keep us updated on the situation, and I hope you can do something nice for yourself, just to take care for tonight.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Leave, thank you for contacting the forum and appreciate the situation you are now in, facing several issues and in a time that no one had ever wished for.

If someone has been declared bankrupt, they are still entitled to Centrelink payments, as a friend of mine was and fortunately we were able to get him a one bedroom unit with Housing.

You can be separated by living in the same house, deemed by Centrelink but hope to hear back from you as there is more to discuss.


Can I ask you a question and please only answer if you feel comfortable, do you know why he wants to leave you?

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Leave

Welcome to the forum. This is a good place to talk about your difficulties.

Like Geoff I wonder why her has chosen this time to leave. You say he "tends to live in la la land" Does this have anything to do with his decision to leave? I find it strange that he has no income or other financial support but wants to leave. No need to answer if you prefer not. I see you wrote not much is changed which I presume means in your relationship.

It may b e a good idea to get some legal advice. The Women's Legal Service in your state may be able to help there. I understand you can have one or two free consultations so it's worthwhile checking out.

As Geoff has said, you can be living in the same home and still be classified and a separated couple. If he goes to CentreLink and applies for a benefit he will help both of you financial. For me that would be as far as I would go to help. I feel he must find somewhere to live by himself. Can he live with his parents and do they know about the separation? Selling your home is a huge step for you and your children. Can you talk about that with your husband?

How is all this affecting your children? Do they know your husband wants to leave? I think it will be hard on them to know their dad is leaving. If your husband is not working can he complete your home? As you say, it will be very difficult to sell a half built house and of course you will get very little for it and further stress to everyone's life.

How well do you get on with your in-laws? Again I wonder if they know he wants to separate. Can they support in some way. I know I am asking a lot of questions but I am at a loss with this one because of the circumstances.

Please look after yourself and post in here if it helps.


Community Member

He wants to leave because he thinks I am not warm and loving and haven’t been for years. He wants to find someone that is. To me it is a classic mid life crisis. He is extremely stubborn once he has decided on something.

He does have an income now as he has returned to his casual role but given these uncertain times who knows how long that will last.

The kids don’t know yet as I asked him to hold off telling them until we go through mediation as I want to ensure we have some clear guidelines on how we go about doing that.

i do have a good relationship with the in-laws we are there almost every weekend so that is going to be super awkward and adds to how upset I am.

He has it all planned out and is upset that I won’t necessarily agree to his suggestions for me. I have told him I feel like I am left with no good options and if this is all about finding our individual happiness, and we sell our beautiful house, I don’t think I will find it here and will probably move back to NZ. He of course is now upset about that.

Ironically he has already been to seen the mediator person. I have tried to tee up some counselling but that has been postponed and every day I wake up remembering the nightmare I am living.

Thanks for the suggestion re women’s legal service I will look into that.