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Shattered. Divorce Nightmare

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Hi, I am English male mid 46 and getting divorced. I live abroad in Dubai, middle east. I have just been let go from my job. I am not overly concerned about the job as I will find something else soon and I have savings to keep me going for quite some time. Mentally I really wasn't up for that job, however I was not let go because of this- it was a restructuring and I got paid out.

The divorce is the reason for my stress. I have two small kids aged 4 and 5. They are traumatized and that is heart breaking. 

My wife is really being nasty, to a point I question her sanity. She doesn't work I pay for her rent, car etc. She looks after the kids so I have no problem doing this, I don't want the kids to suffer. She is going for full custody purely for financial reasons (she even admitted this). Its really nasty and the lawyers are in full control- making all kinds of accusations against eachother. Abuse, Alcoholism, Neglect, Drugs etc. (all exaggerations). Its horrible- my hand was forced her as she was advised by her legal team to play certain angles and I had to fight fire with fire. My lawyers would want her in jail! What would that achieve , kids your mommy is in prison. 

I see the kids a few days a week, they cry so much when they leave my house its soul wrenching. I sometimes wonder is she cruel to them. 

We sold the family house and I am renting two properties, one for her and me. Actually I am renting 3 ( will explain!). Initially when I moved out I just looked for a townhouse in a new neighborhood. This was a year ago. The area is beautiful so boring, its on a golf course. There is nothing to do except play golf and go to the golf club! Sounds good? It is not. Its like groundhog day. There is a group of about 5 western divorced men that spend way to much time in the bar at the golf club. There is nothing else to do. We are all similar age, "work from home" and with resources and  it has become to easy to  just go up there every day and drink. I had to get out of there so I rented another smaller apartment in the downtown area. I cant move there yet as I am being assessed for custody- I only found that they would inspect the property to see that it is appropriate for children after I had rented the other smaller apartment the  townhouse on the golfclub is much better for children. So I am stuck here (at golf club) for another 6 months while wasting money renting the other place. Especially now that I am not working, I am so lonely here and the drinking has gotten out of control. I have started drinking by myself in the morning and its not good at all. I am so stressed over everything, it is the only relief I have. 

There is no clear end in sight for the divorce- everything moves slowly with the courts. My plan to get out of here has failed. Mentally I cant stay here  any longer, but if I leave I stand the chance of loosing the custody battle.  The summer gets to 45 degrees here so even golf is not an option. I cant sleep, I look like crap, feel like crap. No interest in dating or anything. 

I am in no state to look for a new job until I get this (and me) sorted, I have resigned to the fact that I will have to live off savings for next few months. I will have to get work again to look after the kids as they are so young. 

This probably sounds like a good situation, being stuck on a golf course, drinking beers with the guys, no job concerns. Look at Gaza or Ukraine-I have first world problems right? I am absolutely miserable and thing just seem to be spiraling out of control. I am just exhausted, not sleeping, completely stressed out, hung over- repeat. Kind of a non stop FEAR that needs to numbed. 

I will get it together but right now I just feel trapped. It is easy to say just stop drinking but the reality is much harder. Next court hearing is in 6 weeks. 

Also hanging over me is the heartbreak of divorce and just how nasty it has got. When we settle also she will not get as much as she thinks and that cases me anxiety as she will then not be able to look after the kids properly. Obvs I want to give her as little as possible, but the reality is she always will use the kids against me. She has no money or qualifications. I will be unable to fund her current lifestyle. 

Assuming that I do get joint custody my lawyers will be there "great result, high five" but even then it will still be awful as I will have them week on, week off- that will be so stressful for the kids and how am I supposed to look for work in this situation. She has completely overestimated the settlement she will get and she has no plan in place to deal with visas, health insurance,  school fees etc. So even if I get joint custody its only the start and I am sure she will appeal. 

My 5 year old son is truly traumatized and I feel so sad when I see him sad. The questions he asks- "why did you leave us Daddy". She has been with several men and had them living in the house (that I am renting for her). I am very suspicious and unhappy with strange men and adults around my young kids. My ex-wife is just a pathological liar and just lies about her having anybody in the house. I know for a fact that she has had a guy living there. Also the kids tell me.

I would seriously consider rehab or AA but hardly the best time to sign up for rehab with custody assessment ongoing. I am just hoping things will get resolved soon. 

I guess the reason I came on this forum was to ask the question, does anyone have any advice. I really could do with some guidance or words of help. It just feels good to write it down. 

Its kind of like a horror movie. OK off to the golf club............






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One hour at a time. I'm sorry you are going through this. How long have you been married? Did your wife want to be the SAHM? Does she have family help with the kids? What she's doing is hard work so that's why I ask how you both came up with the arrangement. I am sorry this is so ugly.

Please get help for  your drinking -you seem to be very concerned about the best interests of your children so please show up for them sober and stable.  They need that so badly.

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Stay strong sir.

Lets start with the low hanging fruit, work on your sobriety, for your kids. With the ex having a parade of men wandering through, your kids needs you now more than ever. A small step to consider is putting a picture of your kids on the refrigerator or bar, remind yourself of them when you want that drink.

With the divorce, you need to clean yourself up to prove how wrong the soon to be ex is. You need to show how good and stable you are, don't let her maliciousness cloud your judgement and muddy the waters of your actions. When you want that drink, think of defying her by putting it down.

It's all very easy to say, I wish I had more; but you need to be your best to deny her yet another victory over you and your kids.



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Is she English too, or not? Just wondering if you plan on remaining in that country or moving back to your home country. It'd be so helpful right now to have supportive family around right now to help with the little ones, if in fact you have a kind family.

You might also ask for mediation in hashing out rules that are in the best interest of the children. Perhaps it could be agreed upon that the children not be around adult partners until a certain timeframe has been met.

Just because you're living at the golf course doesn't mean that you can't do outings solo or with the children when they are with you.

Since writing things down made you feel better, make a list of priorities in order of importance. Whenever you can tick things off that you've completed, you might feel some accomplishment. Sometimes it's good to get a few lower on the list ticked off to knock a few off, even if they are not as important as the ones higher on the list.

Maybe you can also get some child psychologists for the children and have a 3rd party, impartial professional to gauge why exactly they are so upset at their mother's place.

Take care.

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