For 16 years I single handedly financially supported my husband and two kids. It wasn't my choice. My husband wanted to run his own business and I had a good job as a teacher and I always thought my turn would come and he would reciprocate.
When the kids were babies and toddlers he did care for them on some school days but complained all the time. He never did any household task like cooking or cleaning. I suggested he complete some further study, I paid for family daycare twice a week to give him a break. He did make a few thousand dollars but insisted on putting it back into the business. When the kids hit school I suggested he make a business plan and if he couldn't draw a wage in a few years he should look for work. This was taken by him as an insult and that I didn't believe in him. He brought this up every time I pleaded with him to help me with the household tasks, the kids, the bills or the mortgage.
We had marriage counselling a few times over the years. I would listen carefully to his complaints about how I didn't support his ideas enough how he was depressed because of me but as soon as I brought up the lack of support I was receiving from him, he withdrew from therapy. He also had a tactic, when I had become rundown or at the end of my tether to coincidentally become sicker than me with breathing issues or tooth aches and I had to look after him more.
A year ago he felt he couldn't live with me anymore. He moved into the garage, then 6 months later started couch surfing at friends houses. I just want to move on with my life. I have our 2 kids (one is ASD) living with me in the house I paid for. He has full access to the kids whenever he likes. I am still working. In March he withdrew from mediation of our financial settlement. I wanted to pay him out but he wanted the money all in cash and i couldn't afford to borrow that much money against the house. Now he is taking me to court and wants over half the house and my superannuation AND spousal support on the basis I financially and psychologically abused him to the extent he can not support himself. He is 53.
It just seems so unfair. I have been the responsible one paying off the mortgage and putting money into my super for the future and he can legally strip me of all the security I have worked for. I am just a high school teacher with a little house in the country, not a millionaire. The legal bills themselves will bankrupt both of us. How can I stop this from gnawing at me 24/7.