I am working in Mexico until early December then I pack in work and head off to Thailand for my annual 4 months holiday with Nit and Deng, which I am so looking forward to this year.
I am writing this e-mail to let you know I am going to make a few changes next year. Deng is 5 in December and she starts at Chiang Mai International School in January. She loves her horse riding and goes twice a week now along with dancing classes which she also really enjoys, all of which are not cheap.
I have looked at my budget for next year and I will have to make a few savings. For a start, my 2-year phone contract which your daughter is currently using ends in March and I have decided not to renew it. She is 17 now so she will be able to get a contract of her own and I will leave it to you and her to finance it.
Secondly as your daughter turns 18 in July next year, you will no longer be entitled to child maintenance and I am going to instruct my bank to cancel the monthly £260 maintenance payments after I make my final payment in June 2013. The above savings amount to about £3500 per year, which I will put towards the cost of Deng’s school and hobbies.
My job is going well and I am a lead engineer now for South East Asia, the pay is good and I still get 5 months holiday per year, unpaid of course but the flip side is it gives me lots of time off to spend with Nit and Deng. It is pointless earning too much these days anyway as it just gets taken in tax so I make sure my salary stays well under the 40% tax limit… which also has the side effect of limiting how much maintenance I have to pay you, but that’s the CSA rules, not mine.
Time seems to fly by these days. I get my 25-year, long service award in September next year and as I have been paying into company final salary pension schemes since I was 16, I can retire in 5 years when I am 55, but I want to keep working as I really enjoy my job. Instead, I am going to change my working pattern to 6 months on/6 months off taking some of my pension as a top up.
Most of the guys I know who are a similar age to me are working all hours to pay for their children to go to university, driving lessons, buying cars, car insurance, mobile phone contracts, clothes, holidays, wedding preparations… the list goes on and on so in a way I am lucky that you have taken over that role and I can get on with providing for my family in Thailand. I know that having grown up kids living at home must be expensive and in 13 years time when Deng is 18, I will be in the same position as you so my turn will come, but I will be 63 then.
By the way Nit has made a cracking job of the two bathrooms using that £13,000 endowment policy you signed over to her. She has had them fitted out along the lines of the bathrooms in the 5-star Landmark Hotel where we normally stay when we go to Bangkok, though I did question the two toilet brushes she bought for £45 each… I didn’t think it was possible to pay that much for a bog brush in Thailand, but she insisted it was the only one she could find that would match the rest of the fittings.
Hope all goes well with you and your kids. Sorry I can’t help out any more with the finances but you are doing a brilliant job bringing the kids up on your own, providing them with a nice house and everything else they need and you obviously don’t need me interfering. I still don’t understand why you are renting though – surely the £45,000+ you made from our divorce and the kids' savings that you ‘borrowed’ 14 years ago was enough to buy a nice house; I can only guess your second divorce wasn’t quite so lucrative.
In some ways it's a shame that we never stayed together, the mortgage on that 5-bedroom house we had would have been paid off years ago and I think the kids would have preferred having a mum and a dad who lived with them, loved them and provided them with the things they want now they are growing up. On the other hand I don’t miss them at all, as I never really knew them. If I remember correctly our three kids where 6, 4 & 2 when lesbian Tina moved in and I was told to leave. In hindsight it was good that you split our family up early as it would have been more difficult for the kids and me if you had left it until they were older. I would be devastated if I was to split from Deng now. I video chat with her nearly everyday on her IPad and she loves showing me what she has done at school / her new dress / shoes / toys etc. Only 7 weeks now until I travel to Thailand then Deng gets my undivided attention for 4 months so I can fuss over her, buy her stuff and take her out to nice places like I did with our kids when they were little. Deng loves swimming, riding her bike, a ride on an elephant or a simple picnic by the lake; kids are so much simpler to please than adults.
On another note, I work with a couple of guys whose wives have got bored with them like you did with me; they also have had everything taken from them and barred by their wives from living with their kids… it’s quite a painful experience from what I remember. I just tell them to wait a few of years until their ex finds out how expensive it is paying the mortgage and bills along with keeping up with the demands of the kids, her finances will fold, the house will be repossessed and these guys will be able to sit back, and say “I had a lucky escape there”. It’s a bit hard on the kids but sadly, it appears that’s the way a lot of UK women view marriage these days… buy a house, have a couple of kids, tell their husband he is not good enough, then take everything and “move on” to someone else, leaving ex-husband with nothing. Strange though how often these confident, self important women end up alone like you, on anti-depressants, living in a council house on benefits moaning about how other people have messed up their lives, while their ex-husband enjoys his freedom which he probably didn’t want and was happy with the life he had providing for his family.
My advice to both these guys was: ”Get your self off to Thailand, spend a couple of years having a good time with the bar girls to get over the divorce, then find a good looking, sensible girl with a nice personality 10 to 15 years younger to settle down with. Provide her with a nice home, spend time with her, show some commitment and maybe have a nipper to complete the family. With the cost of living in Thailand 1/3rd that of the UK they can look forward to a comfortable family life with a genuine, honest lady without all the hassles and baggage that comes with demanding, overweight, middle-aged UK women”… they are already looking at flights and are planning to meet me in Thailand next year. I am sure they will have a good time as Pete did last year when he came to visit me in Chiang Mai – he enjoyed it that much he is planning a return trip next year.
Maybe getting divorced isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be… providing you know where to go.
Anyway, all the best, maybe bump into you somewhere in Birkenhead next year.
I am sure many can relate.