marriage break up.....

Seeing one of my oldest mates this weekend- his wife has left him with their young son (7 I think). He’s seeing the boy and I don’t yet know what happened. 
We can’t talk about football, hot birds, and cars for four hours.....


He’s got no career and no money- he went off the rails bigly in his teens through to early thirties. She and he seemed to me and the missus to be solid as a rock, genuinely happy and complementary to each other. AST on house where they lived - she’s moved out - ends in a month and he can’t find anywhere to live (that he can afford) near-ish to boy’s school. She has a decent job but it doesn’t pay hugely well.

chin up mate.... 



Err, ask him how he’s doing after his marriage break up?

Have you considered not saying much and just listening to him?

Get him to the CAB immediately to find out what his options are in terms of housing.  The priority is to ensure continuity of shelter for him and his kid.

Children are surprisingly resilient, if they have to move areas, so be it, kid will have to go to a different school.  Better that than constant fear of bailiffs, not enough food for proper nutrition etc.

Also get him to book in a GP appointment as soon as possible to explain the situation and ask if there is a local mental healthcare team who may be able to offer counselling.

has she taken or the child or left the child with him? Your op is unclear 

If the latter and she's working and he isn't, and the child is living with him she should be paying him child support. The CSA website has a calculator if he knows how much she earns. 

if she's taken the child then what they said 


This is one of those rare situations where you have to be a really good m8. Establish early on if he want to talk about f'ed up situation and bounce ideas about what to do or... Now is not the time, let's get some beers in and feel normal for an evening.

she’s a lovely person - as is my mate - but he’s a bit of an idiot. a reckless and self destructive streak. intrigued to know what happened but all v sad ( esp to their little boy). suspect he nobbed some fluff - or drifted back into old substance abuse habits. chicks were all over him when we were teenagers, always hoped I’d pick up something by association.... never really worked  - was so jealous. 
sounds like a porn movie plot but one summer when we were about 17 we got temp gardening jobs at a posh girls boarding school - he was like catnip I was like a thistle. 

will find it hard to be normal - elephant in the room - pretty sure he wants to talk about it but things are pretty bleak for him and I don’t know what to say. 

I'm sure you already know all this, but wot invictus sed - listen to him if he wants to let it all out (he probably does); just be a mate and take the lead from him start with - if he doesn't want to talk about it at all ensure he knows you're there whenever he does then just play it by ear. Main thing either way is you're there for him and he lets off steam however he wants to and knows he can do this again with you soon if he wants. Don't see this as a 'thank God that's over' endurance test - he needs this. Be there for him and be a good friend - he'll let you know whether and how he wants the evening to go. And it's fine to just chat football, women and cars for 4 hours if that's genuinely what he really only wants to chat about - you need your friend 'spidey sense' to work that out though. If in doubt, take 5 mins out halfway through to do the serious 'Are you okay and do you want to talk about it' and let him know if as and when he does to give you a bell and you're there for another meet if he doesn't want to there and then. Good luck. I honestly think the key is letting them know they have a friend who's not involved or judging anything as and whenever they want or need one without condition or caveat.

just listen is good - he’s not expecting me to sugar coat things or come up with a solution is he

Don’t worry I think the marriage break up story will last the four hours...frown

re: Your 19:44 - just address it halfway through as above if it doesn't come up before. It's important to at least raise it in case he doesn't want to bother you with it - he needs to know it's okay to unload (yeah, yeah, fnrrk) on you and to go away from the evening knowing he can do so again whether over the 'phone or in person (and always meet him in person if he asks for it and you can possibly make it).

Do you suspect he's suicidal over it?

re: Your 19:46 - don't know him, obv, but doubt it. He just wants a mate. Listen and chat and just be a mate - the mate you've always been. That's all he'll want - be yourself.

Just get absolutely spectacularly shitfaced.  A friend of mine had his wife walk out on him with no warning a few years back and I met him for a drink on a Friday afternoon and six bottles of rose later he seemed much more cheerful. No idea what we talked about apart from the initial small talk over the first bottle!

I have seen people go spectacularly downhill after marriage breakup.  We are talking self-harm and suicide.  

Understanding 'the grief cycle' is the key to long-term recovery, which could take a couple of years.

Would shagging the estranged wife help in any way? If so, do that.

Take a crate of ice cold carlsbergs round and talk about football like a real bloke.  

Basically what the others said and let him guide the conversation and talk about whatever he wants to talk about.  I take the same approach to dealing with people when they've had relatives die as there will be times they are sick of tea and sympathy and just want a normal everyday chat without discussing how they feel, etc.

Just be kind to him and listen. Although he might have a right to spousal maintenance for a short period as his wife earns more and he might want the children to live with him I suspect the wife does not have high enough earnings to cover 2 households and the father doesn't sound that great in terms of being the best person for the boy to live with  so may be he wouldn't get an order for the child to live with him, child maintenance and spousal payments from his wife.

To be honest, there isn't really anything you CAN say. Having been on both ends of this fairly recently you just listen and chime in with variations of "I'm sorry" and "This is really shit." If he wants your opinion on anything specific he'll ask and you can bumble your way through it. There's no right thing to say.

what does it mean that this thread is a "Featured Discussion"?

It means that it features on the links on the side, so if it is out of view people can click straight through to it.

must be a very popular concept in the legal industry with max number of divorces compared to any other industry

hence the featured stature

what meh said. whatever you say it will be twisted into something else. 

I don't know why people get married any more.  

If you have wealth you are basically taking a 50% gamble that you are going to give 50% of your stuff to someone you hate, probably in about 7-10 years time.

I know Courts are now starting to be far more realistic, i.e. divorce should not be a meal-ticket for life, but the sooner we get statutory prenups on the books the better.  



I see the CofE have carried on their progressive modern stance by declaring that people in civil partnerships should not bonk.  Genius.

"..Courts are now starting to be far more realistic..."

not so sure about that. 

They’ve said that chaps together in civil partnerships can’t bonk


they sort of had to hold that line for heterosexual relationships to avoid being accused of homophobia 


but now it just makes them look stoopid 

You'd think they'd have got that nailed with the whole old men in dresses thing