BEL MOONEY: I'm skint while my ex jailbird flaunts his cash

This week, Bel Mooney advises a reader who goes unnoticed at the age of 82, while his ex-wife, who forced him to declare bankruptcy, is living a life of luxury, after hiding his assets during his divorce.

Thought of the week

Be wise, drink free, and in such a short space

It does not prolong the hopes of embrace to life.

While we are talking, envious time slips;

This day is yours, the next can be denied.

Horacio (Roman poet 65 BC – 8 BC)

Dear Bel,

I got married at 35, she was 25. We started a successful business and we love each other. But it began to change when our first child was born. She felt that he had taken his place in my affections. The arrival of our second was worse. She always treated this son terribly. He lives abroad with his family and can never forgive her.

We continue with the business and find the house of our dreams. But in 1976 he fell madly in love with a married man, and our marriage ended. The attraction was not reciprocated at all, but she was obsessed, and she blamed me and the children for ruining her life.

All I wanted to do was sell everything we had so we could buy something for the man and his children. We three could do whatever we wanted as long as we kept out of their way. Our oldest daughter was ten years old, the youngest of eight. I was 52 years old.

She was doing her job as well as being a single mother. He joined a group of middle-aged singles and started playing in the field. Then the money started to go from business. In the end, she had effectively misaid the money to force the company into bankruptcy to get rid of me. Obviously, I took my eye off the ball and should have been more ruthless, but I'm not like that.

My doctor hired me with a nervous breakdown for two years and I raised the children with the benefits. She was later arrested for insurance fraud: she received nine months for stealing at least £ 70,000.

In 1996 we reached a divorce agreement. By then, I was no longer in prison and had a new boyfriend in the south of France. It was full of money, but where? And she really escaped without maintenance of her own children. And half the house.

The boys never forgave her. Now I am 82 years old, with health problems and with little money. She has a property empire and a villa on the Riviera. It turns out that she lied about her assets. If they had been declared, I would have gotten the house. As things stand, I now live in a rented accommodation and she flaunts her wealth.

I insisted on keeping things in public order for the sake of the children and grandchildren, and I have not discussed this with them.

At my age, do I rake the old coal or just let it go? If he came and apologized and then offered, say £ 500 a month, which he could easily pay, he would thank him and let him rest. But despite continuing to protest her eternal love, she laughs at me.

I need the cash to increase my state pension, but I do not want any more problems. I'm certainly not going to beg. Any ideas?


This week, Bel Mooney advises a reader who goes unnoticed at the age of 82, while his ex-wife, who forced him to declare bankruptcy, is living a life of luxury, after hiding his assets during his divorce.

This week, Bel Mooney advises a reader who goes unnoticed at the age of 82, while his ex-wife, who forced him to declare bankruptcy, is living a life of luxury, after hiding his assets during his divorce.

First, I must tell readers that their original letter was four times longer and contained complicated financial details. It's a terrible story that leaves me in no doubt that she has been treated terribly by this woman she once thought was her "soul mate".

The saga of abandonment, manipulation and dishonesty does not leave me any doubt that there were too many times, sir, when he lay down and offered himself as a doormat for this woman. She intimidated and mistreated you, she was not the mother of her two innocent children, she lied and stole, and you continued to suffer without counterattacking. I'm right?

Two statements here reveal a lot. You say that I should have been more ruthless, but I'm not like that & # 39; And that you have "insisted on keeping things civilized", to the extent that you have not discussed your problems with your children, but that you suffer alone.

On one level, all this is very noble. However, you have given your ex-wife a free pass all the time, and all of her misdemeanors have been rewarded. Where is justice in that?

The problem is that I'm not sure what you're asking me.

If you're implying that maybe you could take it back to court to reveal your original deception about the assets, then surely the madness is that way, after all these years? So, what is the truth about his attitude towards you? Surely she does not "swear eternal love" How does that compare with flaunting her wealth and laughing at you?

And what makes you imagine that she would apologize and offer money? I'm sorry for you, but I think you should be realistic. You have become the victim of this woman since she fell in love with that guy and you agreed to go out with the boys and let her do what she wanted.

I'm afraid it's too late to imagine that miraculously it will become your savior. You have one child all over the world and another here, and you owe a lot.

So I think it's time to stop protecting them and tell them about their problems.

Then tell him that he is writing the real story of his life with her and making her publish, and see what she says.

He's an infidel bully and it's my fault

Dear Bel,

I am in my 50s, and I have been with the same man for 30 years.

My husband has not always been the most kind, possessive and self-centered man. We have always mixed with his friends since he was not interested in mine. Then I do not have any. I felt taken for granted, as if I wanted a wife for home and children.

Mostly we talk about your things. When I speak, he says he is listening, but he watches television or leaves the room. He can be quite aggressive if things do not go the way he wants, but over the years I accepted it and did not want to move the boat, or he would get angry and blame me.

Many years ago he had an adventure. To this day, he says it was a mistake, but I think it was my fault or that he feels it's my fault.

To be fair, he has softened a bit with age, but I wonder sometimes if it's too late.

I'm ashamed, but about four years ago I was surprised to be attracted to someone else. I always felt that I would NEVER want to get involved with another man since I do not want to be in the situation that I am now.

Anyway, nothing happened other than the slight flirtation. I should not feel this way (and it would never hurt my family) but I wish I had the guts to take it further. I've thought about him every day for four years. I'm sure he has moved on.

I liked him so he wanted me to be happy, but what makes things more difficult to bear is that I saw him recently and he barely recognized me.

Given my bad mood, that tore at me. Now I feel like he was using me while going through a difficult divorce. So most of the time I feel absolutely terrible.

When I wrote this, I thought I would see my problems as trivial, but no.

I feel so useless, unlovely and disloyal to my husband and children. . . and I can not continue.


There are few things sadder than the loss of dreams. This is a common source of pain, but it is rarely recognized.

Within the ordinary hearts of men and women lurk indescribable longings and disappointments, for the first love that escaped, the unfulfilled ambitions, the marital happiness that eludes, the children who disappoint, the dreams that seem foolish in the cold light of middle age, but once it shone like rockets in the sky.

This is the human condition, and most people learn to live with the deficit of happiness.

Surely you have never been "disloyal to your husband", but it sounds as if you have been disloyal to yourself.

Maybe you had low self-esteem when you married this man more than 30 years ago; Whatever the truth is, you let your friends walk away because they did not like you and your personality remained in yours. Could it have been different if you had confronted him?

You will never know, but the truth is that some people with a tendency to bullying (and also see the main letter today, for the woman of the species) manage to find their victims.

More from Bel Mooney for the Daily Mail …

I feel so much sympathy for your situation. You have wanted to be loved by yourself, and you clearly believed in the flirtatious man who could have been "the one". Your husband was not nice to you, so you were captivated by the attention of a man who was very kind for a while. If he was distant when he met you recently, he was probably embarrassed, and perhaps also guilty. Who knows?

What I do know is that you have nothing to blame, because many people flirt at their place of work, and some even believe themselves deeply in love and secretly appreciate nostalgic fantasies for years.

That is very common, and I beg you not to use it as a stick to beat. She says her husband is improving a bit, and obviously he has no intention of leaving. Is it possible for a marriage to revive after more than 30 years?

Well, nobody ever said it was easy, and yet now you are noticing a change in your husband. I would advise advice but that would be a waste of time, because he would not go.

However, I could help you talk to someone on your own, so I suggest that you try to tell your spouse that you feel very low (without going into detail about why) and that you would like to talk to someone.

If you have menopause, this will have a great effect on your mood, and I imagine that even he will be able to understand it.

He says he never listens, but if he does not want to leave, he has no choice but to ask for help. He may surprise you.

And finally … How new life unites generations

Last weekend I quoted readers' opinions about what should be expected from grandparents.

I did not say that just before that column appeared they made me a grandmother for the fourth time, when my very special and brave daughter-in-law gave birth to her second child.

Needless to say, there was much rejoicing on the farm where we all live.

Then, last Sunday, my parents came to lunch and met their fourth great-grandchild.

Seeing my mother cradling the child with sweet surprise on her face and my father (with his eyes seriously affected now) extended a finger for the last addition to the family to grab, it was very moving.

I thought about how miraculous it is to reflect on the years that separate those generations, united by a small pink hand that curls around an old finger.

Bel answers readers' questions about emotional and relationship problems each week.

Write to Bel Mooney, Daily Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT, or send an email to

A pseudonym will be used if desired.

Bel reads all the letters, but regrets not being able to enter personal correspondence.

When Dad was born in 1922, the British Empire was at its greatest extent, covering a quarter of the world and ruling one in four people.

David Lloyd George was prime minister; the Transport and General Workers Union was formed and also the BBC; Irish politics dominated the news; Gandhi was arrested in India, and the first woman was able to practice as a lawyer.

When Mom was born in 1924, George V still reigned, and the Conservatives, under Stanley Baldwin, won an overwhelming victory over Labor in the general election.

Margaret Bondfield became the first woman to be appointed government minister, and finally an international crisis over the German reparations of the First World War was resolved.

No one could have predicted that babies would see a second world war, that their adulthood would be tainted by the horror of Nazi Germany and the holocaust.

There are no crystal balls, thank God, only the indescribable joy of a moment of summer in which all generations are present to witness the exchange of a love that adorns our world.

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