One of my friends, who got divorced four years ago, told me she found an agreement with her ex so she could move out of their house. She was fired from her job at the time, and had zero savings to start again on her own. She didn’t ask for help from her friends. She didn’t tell me at the time she was in such a difficult situation. I would have helped her if she asked.
But luckily for her, her ex-husband has inherited an old apartment from his grand mother, and offered to my friend to move there, while she could stay in their house with their two kids. She found a new job quickly after. And one year later, she could buy her ex’s part in the house, and has remained in it ever since.
Not everyone has that chance when we choose to separate from our ex-partner. Couples who don’t have children and who have each their own job and a little saving can start fresh with a new life. But it gets complicated when one member of the couple is financially dependent to the other one and has no place else to go. And it’s even more complicated when there are kids involved.
Of course, when we get married, we hope it will last forever and we don’t necessarily think about our capacity to bounce back if it’s over.
That’s why some divorced couples are forced to live together. And it’s difficult to live under the same roof than our ex. It doesn’t help us to move on at all.
L.,38, told me she was forced to share her apartment with her ex. She had no place else to go. And she was unemployed at the time. No one was willing to rent her an apartment. Her ex did start to date other women. And L. felt humiliated and jealous of course. She was depressed, and had a hard time to bounce back. It took her three years to get her life back together. In between, there were fights all of the time with her ex. How did she got out of this? Thanks to one of her ex’s one night stand. That woman was a social worker. And was horrified to run into L. the morning after. She asked L. who she was, and L. told her about her story. That woman offered her to come live with her for a while and did everything she could to find a job for L. Since then, L. has slowly recovered. And managed to find an apartment in the same block than the social worker, who became her friend.
I’ve read somewhere that for some couples, it’s difficult to live apart because they lose their social status. So, even couples with higher means can end up in such a difficult situation.
“My ex and I found it difficult to sell our house and start our life fresh again after all we went through together. We were really proud of our house, where we received a lot of people. We both knew this would end, and we didn’t see ourselves living with friends or back at our parents’s place. So, we found an agreement. We would still receive people in our house. But we would live in a separated area where we didn’t cross each other during the day and night. It went on for five years like that, until he found someone else and asked me to find my own place” K. 45, said.
It’s never easy to leave. That’s why it’s important to be financially independent. If it’s possible.