My husband of nine years and I are in our second marriage, both seniors. He’s affluent, I have only my government pension.
I'm widowed and sold my house (at a loss) when we decided to buy a home together, each paying half.
He (divorced) was living in an upscale condo which he now rents out, plus had other properties/investments.
When living together before we married, he wrote a will leaving his half of our house to me if he should die first.
He also made me the beneficiary of part of his investments and savings account.
He left his townhouse, the rest of his investments and property, to his grown son.
Four years after we married, I accidentally discovered that he’d written another will which took away everything he’d willed to me and changed it all for his son, who’d since married.
I was shocked, saddened and angry. When confronted, he said he’d leave his half of the house to me if I left my half to him (no solution).
I explained that my half is willed to my only grandchild, 22, who’s struggling to make ends meet. My daughter died of cancer when he was age six. He means the world to me. My husband doesn’t understand this.
That’s when I almost walked away.
I know that his ex (very well off, owns several properties) and possibly his son had influenced him.
He wants to leave our home to his son as it has a basement apartment which he could rent out.
I’d never asked for anything from him... everything he gave he gave voluntarily. I didn't care so much about money, but I would’ve liked the security of having a home again, or being allowed to remain there until I pass.
He’s now taken away even that security.
Why would someone who swears he loves me as much now as he did initially, do this?
I cannot trust him anymore. I’m too old to start over again but don't seem to be able to get past his betrayal.
How do I make the best of the situation?
Feeling Betrayed and Hurt
P.S. We’d initially signed a pre-marital agreement with the option of a sunset-clause after five years’ co-habitation. Nine years later, no sunset clause.
You need professional legal and financial advice.
It seems likely that your husband’s son would want you out of the house soon after your husband passes.
Since you own half, he may pressure you and try to rent out the basement without acknowledging your part-ownership nor paying you half the rent.
It sounds like even your selling your share in the house to him is a negotiation that may also involve pressure.
You need to say all this to your husband now, to explain all the difficulties he’s created for you.
But make sure you’ve talked to a lawyer (not his) first, and to a bank’s financial manager (not his), so you know your rights and realities in this situation.
I suspect that trusting your husband in future won’t become easy.
If that difficulty enters into day-to-day life, you may even consider a divorce, where you’re entitled to receive your half of the house money when the marriage ends.
Approach this only with the guidance of your own lawyer.
Meanwhile, urge your husband to attend couples’ counselling with you, to help him understand how privately changing his will, without discussion, has affected you. He may still love you, but he hasn’t cherished and protected you.
Readers’ Commentary Regarding the woman determined to become a sole parent through donated sperm (June 26):
“I’m a "choice mom" of two amazing children (both have the same "open" donor as their biological father.
“When my son turns 18 he’ll get the name and social security number of the (American) donor.
“It’s been extremely challenging but we're doing well. One thing that I didn't realize previously is that it’ll be even harder looking for a partner as a single mom who has no time away from her kids (unlike many separated/divorced moms who have some form of shared custody of their child(ren).
“However, she’s starting at the right time. I've had too many women in their late-30s express interest in doing what I did but it doesn't happen overnight.
“My kids, 12 and 9, rarely ask about their "bio-dad." Why I chose to be a single Mom is harder to explain to them than I expected.”
Tip of the day:
When a partner sneakily changes a legal agreement, trust is lost and the relationship damaged.