Author Topic: The Economics of Divorce  (Read 7613 times)

Bayou Dweller

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The Economics of Divorce
« on: December 31, 2018, 05:37:04 PM »
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2018/12/31/divorce/

Interesting write-up.

I was with someone and had a kid, but not married. Left them 3 years ago and mine and my son's life has been so much better since. No regrets. The part where he talks about it being "too late" hits home for me. I wish that on no one, but it's always best to know when to walk away. If I hadn't I wouldn't be on the path to FI.

marty998

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2018, 06:13:34 PM »
Thanks for letting us know.

I'm not really sure how to respond to it...  other than to acknowledge he delivered (repeated) broadsides to many of us here who had discussed it previously.

It's good to hear that they are all doing well and on face value appear to have engaged in a pretty Mustachian divorce all things considered.


Bayou Dweller

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2018, 06:42:31 PM »
Very true! I didn't engage in any of the gossip online, but it makes me wonder... this scenario is going decent for them since they're both rational people. My split was terrible because the other party was and still is irrational about, well, nearly everything. I know it's my fault for being with them from the get go, and I accept that, but it makes a big difference when it comes time to split.

mrmoonymartian

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2018, 07:01:06 PM »
Forget economics. Anyone who lives harmoniously with another ape in close proximity for more than a few years deserves a nobel peace prize.

use2betrix

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2019, 03:16:56 PM »
Thanks for letting us know.

I'm not really sure how to respond to it...  other than to acknowledge he delivered (repeated) broadsides to many of us here who had discussed it previously.

It's good to hear that they are all doing well and on face value appear to have engaged in a pretty Mustachian divorce all things considered.

He did indeed. Many of those broadsides were well deserved as some things said were pretty terrible.

I had made comments in that thread, mostly just that if he was truly getting divorced, he could use it as a guide to positively impact many of his readers lives with positive thoughts and suggestions of the process. As he mentioned, around 50% of marriages end in divorce, so itís inevitable that it will happen to some.

I can certainly respect his privacy, but I was very happy to see cease the moment as a lesson to help so many other readers that may be going through the same. Again, did he have to? Of course not. But if someone has an opportunity to potentially help a lot of people that may also be going through hard times, itís great to see them embrace it.

What I found very interestingly is that he mentions his spending will likely go way down after the divorce as thatís the lifestyle he prefers. Pretty awesome to see that despite the divorce, his popularity, and his income, he seems to still diligent hold strong in his mustachian beliefs.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2019, 03:18:32 PM by use2betrix »

MarciaB

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2019, 08:25:16 AM »

What I found very interestingly is that he mentions his spending will likely go way down after the divorce as thatís the lifestyle he prefers. Pretty awesome to see that despite the divorce, his popularity, and his income, he seems to still diligent hold strong in his mustachian beliefs.

I was reading through the comments and came across one where the poster wanted to set up MMM with her sister. And that got me thinking about whether Pete will be the target of gold diggers going forward (as a wealthy single man).

But here's how the conversation would go between a couple of gold diggers who have him in their sights:

GD#1     I've heard Pete is really wealthy!

GD#2     I don't think so, he couldn't be. He lives in a dumpy little house, is unemployed and doesn't
              even have a car!   


jengod

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2019, 07:36:41 PM »
It was a total shock to me. Very sad news, IMHO. I thought the passage about “nagging” was evocative although I’m not sure what to make of it, as I’m sure was Pete’s intent. He’s a careful and thoughtful writer.

My friend who got divorced a couple of years ago has no regrets. They have a very cooperative relationship re their one kid, and they live within a few blocks of each other, but she says she’s absolutely thrilled every time he doesn’t come home with her at the end of the day.

Which is to say, I hope the separation/divorce is bringing similar feelings of relief to one and ideally both of the MMMs.

SnackDog

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2019, 09:50:37 PM »
Not exactly a deep dive into the economics.  Just advice to minimize legal fees.  Sounds like she got the house and car.  He did declare "my own cost of living will do way down", which I don't quite understand.  Does it mean 1) she will cover the cost of the kids or 2) his own cost of living was inflated due to marriage?

StarBright

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2019, 08:03:03 AM »
It was a total shock to me. Very sad news, IMHO. I thought the passage about ďnaggingĒ was evocative although Iím not sure what to make of it, as Iím sure was Peteís intent. Heís a careful and thoughtful writer.

My friend who got divorced a couple of years ago has no regrets. They have a very cooperative relationship re their one kid, and they live within a few blocks of each other, but she says sheís absolutely thrilled every time he doesnít come home with her at the end of the day.

Which is to say, I hope the separation/divorce is bringing similar feelings of relief to one and ideally both of the MMMs.

The nagging is what stuck out to me as well. It made me think that if one party feels battered by the nagging (just for lack of a better word, no implications meant) and the nagger feels that something is SO important that it requires constant nagging - then it isn't necessarily about communications styles or love languages but rather a good clue that there is something that can't be worked out.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 07:37:44 AM by StarBright »

CheapScholar

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2019, 02:40:19 PM »
Being in the minority on this forum, as a religious person, I like how MMM didnít just finally speak about his situation and say ďwhatever, fuck marriage.Ē  I think marriage is an extremely valuable institution for society, especially for raising children.  Itís apparent that MMM feels the same way and itís clear this has been a painful process for him.  I donít blame him for taking a while to address the rumors - he needed to go through this at his own pace and do it privately.

Anyway, I wish him all the best.  Like he said, thereís always going to be haters and gossipers when you put yourself in the public forum.  I hope he realizes how many people heís helped and inspired, and I hope he has an awesome 2019 and beyond.  Keep doing your thing, Pete.  Be a great dad and continue calling bullshit on a society that constantly wastes.

use2betrix

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2019, 05:11:30 PM »
Not exactly a deep dive into the economics.  Just advice to minimize legal fees.  Sounds like she got the house and car.  He did declare "my own cost of living will do way down", which I don't quite understand.  Does it mean 1) she will cover the cost of the kids or 2) his own cost of living was inflated due to marriage?

I would say 2, but not in the sense that it was more due to more people, but in the sense that her standard of living was higher than what he felt necessary.

I donít think itís a bad thing since heís pretty spartan and she has always ďseemedĒ reasonable. I do admire that heís looking forward to a smaller house and no car for the time being. Especially when we all know he could easily afford a car or 12.

clifp

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2019, 07:42:42 PM »
Not exactly a deep dive into the economics.  Just advice to minimize legal fees.  Sounds like she got the house and car.  He did declare "my own cost of living will do way down", which I don't quite understand.  Does it mean 1) she will cover the cost of the kids or 2) his own cost of living was inflated due to marriage?

I may be reading too much into this, but I do wonder if his insistence on frugal lifestyle was a contributing factor in the divorce.

obstinate

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2019, 09:00:20 PM »
Not exactly a deep dive into the economics.  Just advice to minimize legal fees.  Sounds like she got the house and car.  He did declare "my own cost of living will do way down", which I don't quite understand.  Does it mean 1) she will cover the cost of the kids or 2) his own cost of living was inflated due to marriage?

I may be reading too much into this, but I do wonder if his insistence on frugal lifestyle was a contributing factor in the divorce.
Omg stoooooooooooooop. You are being the rude forum participant Pete was referring to.

ericbonabike

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2019, 09:51:31 AM »
I thought his analogy to war was apt.  Sorta
It's always a choice.  Sorta.

Let's say you have two million to split between the two of you.   Plenty of money.  And a kid or two.

Two rational people would say "you take a million and I'll take a million".   And the rational people would say "You have the kids for a week and then I'll have them for a week".  Etc etc.

And as long as those two rational people stay rational it works. 

But what happens when one person says  "I think I'm a slightly better parent and therefore need to have primary custody of our children".  Which translates to:  you won't spend as much time with your kids as I will AND you will pay me child support for a bit.     

At that point the aggressor has decided to attack.  And now the other party has to decide "Neville Chamberlain or Winston Churchill".   So the choice you (as the defensive party) get is:   do I adopt a strategy of appeasement or do I stand my ground? 

Sounds like Pete avoided most of that drama (thank goodness for him). 

Divorce is hard.  I suspect it could be a lot lot easier if people weren't such greedy assholes.     If I were judge, I  think I would just require one party to split the estate into two halves but I'd let the other party pick which half they get. 


« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 11:00:26 AM by ericbonabike »

SugarMountain

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2019, 10:48:47 AM »
Not exactly a deep dive into the economics.  Just advice to minimize legal fees.  Sounds like she got the house and car.  He did declare "my own cost of living will do way down", which I don't quite understand.  Does it mean 1) she will cover the cost of the kids or 2) his own cost of living was inflated due to marriage?

I may be reading too much into this, but I do wonder if his insistence on frugal lifestyle was a contributing factor in the divorce.

Omg stoooooooooooooop. You are being the rude forum participant Pete was referring to.

IDK, I think it's a fair question.  Pete has built a muiltimillion dollar brand and blog on the idea that the path to happiness is relentless spending optimization and optimism.  If the same was ultimately a significant contributor to the end of his marriage he should share that. The fact that he has not addressed the elephant in the room leads to speculation, which is where it does get rude.  I mean for years, the guy shared where every penny of his family's spending went and many other personal details, don't get shy now when it's not all sunshine and roses.

RelaxedGal

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2019, 01:10:27 PM »
I'm glad he talked about it.  The internet-stranger-rubbernecker in me wants the full details, and I feel they're owed because so many other financial details are on the blog, but I know that's none of my business.  Friends and family have had acrimonious divorces - I'm glad this is not that.  I also appreciate the "How to Stay Married" section.  It prompted a chat with my spouse and was a good reminder to let others know they are valued.  I'll read the Love Languages book some time this year and try to be a better partner.

Quote from: MMM
Most of us (myself included) drift through the years, assuming we are doing a perfectly good job at being married, while unintentionally making all the same mistakes that everyone else makes.

Bad idea.

You need to proactively nurture a close, loving relationship before things get too dire, and never take it for granted. Because many bits of damage you do to a relationship are permanent.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 01:14:40 PM by RelaxedGal »

Prairie Stash

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2019, 01:32:58 PM »
Forum Rules:

That includes, but is not limited to:
1. Don't be a jerk.
2. Attack an argument, not a person.
3. Your posts must not break any laws.
4. Be respectful of the site and other members.
5. No spam.
6. Use good taste. 

MMM is an infrequent poster but is still a member. Let's keep that in mind and be respectful. MMM was last on this forum yesterday, your comments are likely to be viewed directly. He has asked repeatedly to be shown some consideration, including in the article, lets support our fellow forum participant.

I suspect he will never divulge the reasons because he respects his Ex and will not use this platform to make either of them sound good or bad. Some people like to keep their life private, like his Ex who has always kept a very low profile on this blog and forum. If you read the blog, he doesn't post information concerning his friends unless they give permission, so ultimately, its up to his Ex whether anything more is ever said.

I'm impressed he and his Ex have handled it so well.  I'd like a follow up on the mechanics, $265 for a divorce is pretty impressive. Divorce attorneys should be nervous if that catches on.

mrmoonymartian

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2019, 04:24:09 PM »
Not exactly a deep dive into the economics.  Just advice to minimize legal fees.  Sounds like she got the house and car.  He did declare "my own cost of living will do way down", which I don't quite understand.  Does it mean 1) she will cover the cost of the kids or 2) his own cost of living was inflated due to marriage?

I may be reading too much into this, but I do wonder if his insistence on frugal lifestyle was a contributing factor in the divorce.

Omg stoooooooooooooop. You are being the rude forum participant Pete was referring to.

IDK, I think it's a fair question.  Pete has built a muiltimillion dollar brand and blog on the idea that the path to happiness is relentless spending optimization and optimism.  If the same was ultimately a significant contributor to the end of his marriage he should share that. The fact that he has not addressed the elephant in the room leads to speculation, which is where it does get rude.  I mean for years, the guy shared where every penny of his family's spending went and many other personal details, don't get shy now when it's not all sunshine and roses.
Except he has recently spanked the elephant in the comments section of the blog post, so it is no longer a fair question.

soccerluvof4

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2019, 04:26:51 AM »
I think for those that were so concerned and talked about there divorce he methodically took his time and tried his best to write it in away like a politician would. He touched on things but focused ones attention to the future and wasn't a whole lot of depth which to me the fact that he just addressed it at all was good enough. The end of the day the personal aspects of it our none of our business.

Shivan

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2019, 11:43:36 AM »
It is our business! I've been here for six years hearing that Mustachianism is the best way to live. I want to know if the end of the road is likely our spouses saying that we've "grown apart" and they're taking the house and heaps of money and are not letting us hold back their spending anymore.

Caoineag

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2019, 01:02:51 PM »
It is our business! I've been here for six years hearing that Mustachianism is the best way to live. I want to know if the end of the road is likely our spouses saying that we've "grown apart" and they're taking the house and heaps of money and are not letting us hold back their spending anymore.

My guess is that if you are concerned that a stranger's marriage failing affects your chance of divorce then you need to be working on strengthening your marriage now instead of waiting for divorce to blindside you. Marriages show signs of weakening long before they reach the divorce stage. Unfortunately a lot of people take their relationship for granted and miss those early warning signs.

Financial stability has been shown time and time again to make people appear more attractive as a mate and to help strengthen their relationships. Financial mismanagement is a major relationship stressor. If you think being mustachian means being a tight fisted miser, you should probably reconsider your money approach as that can negatively impact relationships of all types. Money is a tool for living life, not the end all be all.

doggyfizzle

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2019, 01:16:37 PM »
I'm impressed he and his Ex have handled it so well.  I'd like a follow up on the mechanics, $265 for a divorce is pretty impressive. Divorce attorneys should be nervous if that catches on.

Yeah, talk about an industry ripe for disruption.  On a different note, weíre all (or nearly all) just internet interlopers on the MMM site and arenít entitled to any personal information about the divorce.  If I were to split up, I wouldnít want any of my own details spread across the internet, and Iím certain that most everyone else wouldnít want that either.

caracarn

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2019, 07:04:18 AM »
While the blog post was good overall, I do think it was misleading to title it economics of divorce when there was almost nothing in it about that.  Keeps costs low and we did not spend a lot of money does not really provide any information that anyone could use.  Having worked with a lot of people going through divorce there is a lot to discuss about this and I was hoping for more analysis, including of things they may not have run into but are pretty common.  Perhaps my expectations were off, but when I saw the title I expected to see the typical engineering detail of how switching into two households changes the budget, how the logistics (and possible costs) change on having one parent deal with the kids activities.  Perhaps it is because their son does a lot of things at home still and is not into the typical organized activities that require you getting them there and back multiple times a week. 

It is terrific that they worked out something that is good for all of them, and I think this places them in a great space to keep costs low, but the comments above about rational and irrational are very relevant too, and not really tackled beyond a cursory mention.  I suppose writing about hypotheticals is not his thing.  At least make the title something like the "Economics of My Divorce" so that it does not set the expectation that it delves into anything other than that.

Villanelle

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2019, 07:32:11 AM »
I thought his analogy to war was apt.  Sorta
It's always a choice.  Sorta.

Let's say you have two million to split between the two of you.   Plenty of money.  And a kid or two.

Two rational people would say "you take a million and I'll take a million".   And the rational people would say "You have the kids for a week and then I'll have them for a week".  Etc etc.

And as long as those two rational people stay rational it works. 

But what happens when one person says  "I think I'm a slightly better parent and therefore need to have primary custody of our children".  Which translates to:  you won't spend as much time with your kids as I will AND you will pay me child support for a bit.     

At that point the aggressor has decided to attack.  And now the other party has to decide "Neville Chamberlain or Winston Churchill".   So the choice you (as the defensive party) get is:   do I adopt a strategy of appeasement or do I stand my ground? 

Sounds like Pete avoided most of that drama (thank goodness for him). 

Divorce is hard.  I suspect it could be a lot lot easier if people weren't such greedy assholes.     If I were judge, I  think I would just require one party to split the estate into two halves but I'd let the other party pick which half they get.

There are a lot of other possibilities.  What happens when one partner needs to return to work (or needs to or even just wants to get a better job) and that job is an hour away?  "One week here and one week there" no longer works for school age kids.  What happens when one partner give up a career to be a stay at home parent and thus has significantly less earning potential than the other?

There are dozens of possibilities outside of your overly simplistic take on this. Lots of territory between "greedy asshole" and "rational people who split everything including time with the kids 50/50".

obstinate

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2019, 07:37:22 AM »
It is our business! I've been here for six years hearing that Mustachianism is the best way to live. I want to know if the end of the road is likely our spouses saying that we've "grown apart" and they're taking the house and heaps of money and are not letting us hold back their spending anymore.
Itíll probably ruin your marriage. So I guess thatís it. Please stop being frugal and ideally stop posting on this site so we donít have to see more of this entitled bullshit, not to mention your walls of all caps you like to post.

RWD

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2019, 08:04:06 AM »
Except he has recently spanked the elephant in the comments section of the blog post, so it is no longer a fair question.

I had to wade through a few pages of comments before I found it. I hope it is okay to repost here:

Quote from: MMM
That was one of the speculations in the gossipy divorce threads Ė ďDid MMMís extreme frugality wreck the marriage!?Ē

The quick answer is: in general that could be a risk if one partner is being a cheapskate on the other.

In our case, of course not because we were a multimillionaire family living in a BATH of money (and a $600,000 custom built luxury house overlooking a park in the cityís nicest neighbourhood.) We bought whatever we wanted, but just didnít happen to want a lot of expensive stuff Ė plus I built the house so it cost far less than that amount to procure.

Our problem was more a lack of shared interests, a tendency towards accidental conflict over even things that were supposed to be friendly, and some high-demand life situations that perhaps took a lot of time and mental energy away from focusing on the relationship.

patrickza

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2019, 08:25:17 AM »
He did declare "my own cost of living will do way down", which I don't quite understand.  Does it mean 1) she will cover the cost of the kids or 2) his own cost of living was inflated due to marriage?
My cost of living is significantly inflated due to marriage, I imagine Pete's could be too.

In my case it's because my wife was quite spendy before we met, and I was super frugal. Since getting married I travel far more internationally for holidays, live miles from my office in an expensive apartment, and can't do some frugal things I used to do occasionally like replace all meat with eggs in my diet, stay in backpackers when travelling, drive to destinations instead of flying and a few more I can't quite think of now.

Fortunately my wife has picked up a decent amount of my frugality and has even started investing, so we kind of met in the middle.

I plan to stay married :)

moof

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2019, 02:07:58 PM »
I found the post worth reading, though it seemed fanciful and optimistic that an equitable split is achievable for more than the lucky few.  For most it is a fight over scraps after friction has turned to animosity.  I'd strongly advocate that even in an equitable split that both parties get lawyers.  You never know when the other party will decide to stop acting in good faith, or when good faith still will not result in agreements.

I did find the bashing of the forum speculators a bit rich.  MMM has a shtick of judging others' life choices as a business model, mocking everything from long commutes to turbo charged racing trucks (not that I disagree with him).  It seems that when others guess about his life situation and judge he finds that inappropriate, despite his voluntarily being a public figure.  I am however impressed that she even wanted the house given all the non-standard jury rigged stuff he put into the place.  I can't imagine the horror on the face of whatever poor HVAC guy comes to help with the floor heating system.

Shivan

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2019, 03:25:07 PM »
It is our business! I've been here for six years hearing that Mustachianism is the best way to live. I want to know if the end of the road is likely our spouses saying that we've "grown apart" and they're taking the house and heaps of money and are not letting us hold back their spending anymore.

My guess is that if you are concerned that a stranger's marriage failing affects your chance of divorce then you need to be working on strengthening your marriage now instead of waiting for divorce to blindside you.

Look, there are serious scientific fields that study peoples' motivations and behaviors (Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology) and I have serious scientific questions. How much stress does it put on a relationship when one person tries to be "mustachian" and one person is more "normal" and all their friends and family are "normal"?

Everyone loves to talk about "The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement" but I can't save most of my paycheck and also do everything my wife wants (buy a bigger car and a bigger house and go to restaurants and Amazon every day) at the same time. If I agreed to spend $100k/year, MMM would call me a consumer sucka and talk about face punches. If I decreed my family could only spend $10k/year, my wife would call me crazy and leave me. What should I do in the middle? That's a valid question.

And it's also a valid question to wonder if MMM went too far. For all I know, when MMM says that people "find that they want different things from life" that basically means that people get tired of their spouse having an attitude of "Is it Convenient? Would I Enjoy it? Wrong Question. If only your clothes were equipped with catheters and bedpans, then youíd really be set, wouldnít you!?"

obstinate

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2019, 04:36:30 PM »
It is our business! I've been here for six years hearing that Mustachianism is the best way to live. I want to know if the end of the road is likely our spouses saying that we've "grown apart" and they're taking the house and heaps of money and are not letting us hold back their spending anymore.

My guess is that if you are concerned that a stranger's marriage failing affects your chance of divorce then you need to be working on strengthening your marriage now instead of waiting for divorce to blindside you.

Look, there are serious scientific fields that study peoples' motivations and behaviors (Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology) and I have serious scientific questions. How much stress does it put on a relationship when one person tries to be "mustachian" and one person is more "normal" and all their friends and family are "normal"?

You're not going to get any scientific information from the single bit of anecdote that is the Adeney divorce. So I think you should stop being a jerk now, since it will not serve the purpose you claim to consider important. If you're interested in the science of it, talk to someone who studies the issue scientifically. Don't badger a recent divorcee just because they've written a blog you're interested in.

Personally I'm interested in the effects of not understanding social boundaries on marital longevity. Surely you won't object if I start my study with you? Tell me, how often do you and your spouse fight IRL?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 04:40:36 PM by obstinate »

Janie

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2019, 05:16:38 PM »
I agree with obstinate that there's not much to be gained from picking apart details of someone else's marriage/divorce. Attending to one's own real life relationship is no doubt worthwhile. I like your style obstinate : )

Maybe it's because I'm a long time reader of the blog and only an occasional reader of the forum but I mystified by the ongoing "we need an explanation" and "was frugality the problem?" posts. MMM answered in the blog comments. His reply was pasted above. It's weird to demand more info while simultaneously ignoring what's right there.

Back in the early days of the blog MMM credited his Mrs MM with encouraging him to start it. https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/10/shes-the-dj-im-the-rapper-1-million-page-views/ If I'm remembering correctly she was instrumental in setting up the forum when it was added. Her "forum ideas" thread is still pinned. She wrote a few frugal posts of her own on the blog. (I often make a squash soup from a recipe of hers that MMM posted--it's great.) None of this is mysterious or hidden away.

The blog has been helpful to me and I'm grateful for the time and energy that's gone into it. As far as I can tell both MMM and his former wife seem like good folks and loving, devoted parents. I expect the whole family will continue to do just fine and wish them well.

sol

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2019, 09:35:19 PM »
Everyone loves to talk about "The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement" but I can't save most of my paycheck and also do everything my wife wants (buy a bigger car and a bigger house and go to restaurants and Amazon every day) at the same time.

Sounds to me like you gave up the idea of early retirement the moment you got married.  Sorry dude, that kind of sucks.  Maybe she's worth another 30 years in a cubicle?

I agree that FIRE is not for everyone.  Some people prefer to work instead of live, spend instead of prosper, and that is absolutely a legitimate choice that they are legitimately allowed to make.  Or if not actually make, maybe begrudgingly accept because their marriage partner demands it.  Personally, I would not marry a person who wanted ME to work so that she could spend.  I know that arrangement is common in some cultures, I just hate it.  Is that what you're trapped in?

The patriarchy abuses everyone, my friend.

obstinate

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2019, 10:02:59 PM »
i do feel kind of awful posting this but curiosity has gotten the better of me.
You should feel awful. This was a bad thing to post. Delete it.

former player

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2019, 02:41:49 AM »
I am however impressed that she even wanted the house given all the non-standard jury rigged stuff he put into the place.  I can't imagine the horror on the face of whatever poor HVAC guy comes to help with the floor heating system.


Whaaat?  MMM had a stint as a professional builder, and has published not only the thinking and work in progress behind the heating system but also how it works in practice.

Underfloor heating may not be standard for the HVAC obsessed USA but is highly energy efficient, produces a lovely stable and comfortable living environment, requires a lot less in the way of maintenance and repair and should be standard for all new builds that aren't in the tropics or hot desert.

Villanelle

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2019, 03:12:00 AM »
It is our business! I've been here for six years hearing that Mustachianism is the best way to live. I want to know if the end of the road is likely our spouses saying that we've "grown apart" and they're taking the house and heaps of money and are not letting us hold back their spending anymore.

My guess is that if you are concerned that a stranger's marriage failing affects your chance of divorce then you need to be working on strengthening your marriage now instead of waiting for divorce to blindside you.

Look, there are serious scientific fields that study peoples' motivations and behaviors (Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology) and I have serious scientific questions. How much stress does it put on a relationship when one person tries to be "mustachian" and one person is more "normal" and all their friends and family are "normal"?

Everyone loves to talk about "The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement" but I can't save most of my paycheck and also do everything my wife wants (buy a bigger car and a bigger house and go to restaurants and Amazon every day) at the same time. If I agreed to spend $100k/year, MMM would call me a consumer sucka and talk about face punches. If I decreed my family could only spend $10k/year, my wife would call me crazy and leave me. What should I do in the middle? That's a valid question.

And it's also a valid question to wonder if MMM went too far. For all I know, when MMM says that people "find that they want different things from life" that basically means that people get tired of their spouse having an attitude of "Is it Convenient? Would I Enjoy it? Wrong Question. If only your clothes were equipped with catheters and bedpans, then youíd really be set, wouldnít you!?"

Frankly, you choose poorly if you want to RE.  There's not much anyone, Pete or the board, or really even you, can do to change that fact.  So part of what there is to take away from Pete's situation is "choose your spouse wisely and consider financial compatibility just as much as sexual and emotional compatibility".  That's very helpful for many people, not just you. 

And you can wonder if MM went too far all you want.  There's really no way to answer not, not least because there's no universal way to define "too far".  So work on defining "too far" for your own relationship.  It sounds like it's somewhere in between $10k and $100k. But that's not something Pete can help you determine.  It's something you and your wife can [hopefully] consider together.  Yes, what you should do in the middle is a valid question.  But for yourself and your wife, together, not Pete.

DH and I are moderately frugal.  MMM likely would facepunch us a few times [at least publicly, since it's part of his schtick].  So what?  It's right for our life.  DH wanted a watch that was nearly $1000.  He rarely spends money.  So yes, this is a consumer sucka thing.  (It's to commemorate a huge accomplishment in his life, and is also extremely sentimental.] We can afford it without even noticing the money is gone.  So I not only agreed, I encouraged him to do it.  Because while I follow the blog and the boards here, I also recognize the importance of living my own well-examined life and making my own decisions.  You and your wife should do the same.  Who cares if Pete approves or would mock you?   

Looking to him to solve the financial tension in your marriage is lazy.  So stop doing it.  And stop relying in his exact model for life.  Also lazy.  Gather information, spend time considering your choices and your relationship, and make your own decisions. 

Hamster

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2019, 12:37:16 PM »

DH and I are moderately frugal.  MMM likely would facepunch us a few times [at least publicly, since it's part of his schtick].  So what?  It's right for our life.  DH wanted a watch that was nearly $1000.  He rarely spends money.  So yes, this is a consumer sucka thing.  (It's to commemorate a huge accomplishment in his life, and is also extremely sentimental.] We can afford it without even noticing the money is gone.  So I not only agreed, I encouraged him to do it.  Because while I follow the blog and the boards here, I also recognize the importance of living my own well-examined life and making my own decisions.  You and your wife should do the same.  Who cares if Pete approves or would mock you?   


It's been a while since I have been on the forums, but it is anecdotes and advice like these that are what I always felt made the forums worthwhile.

It seems like you and your husband have a good thing going, and are approaching mustachianism and life in a great way.

It demonstrates the value of having a stash of FU money and living below your means so that the $1000 doesn't hurt. More importantly it demonstrates the value of not being a radical fundamentalist when it comes to mustachianism (or anything in life). And most importantly, it demonstrares the value of knowing that the well-being of the people in your life is more important than money.

Thanks for sharing!

caracarn

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2019, 02:28:53 PM »

DH and I are moderately frugal.  MMM likely would facepunch us a few times [at least publicly, since it's part of his schtick].  So what?  It's right for our life.  DH wanted a watch that was nearly $1000.  He rarely spends money.  So yes, this is a consumer sucka thing.  (It's to commemorate a huge accomplishment in his life, and is also extremely sentimental.] We can afford it without even noticing the money is gone.  So I not only agreed, I encouraged him to do it.  Because while I follow the blog and the boards here, I also recognize the importance of living my own well-examined life and making my own decisions.  You and your wife should do the same.  Who cares if Pete approves or would mock you?   


It's been a while since I have been on the forums, but it is anecdotes and advice like these that are what I always felt made the forums worthwhile.

It seems like you and your husband have a good thing going, and are approaching mustachianism and life in a great way.

It demonstrates the value of having a stash of FU money and living below your means so that the $1000 doesn't hurt. More importantly it demonstrates the value of not being a radical fundamentalist when it comes to mustachianism (or anything in life). And most importantly, it demonstrares the value of knowing that the well-being of the people in your life is more important than money.

Thanks for sharing!
I'd second this.

I've explained in other threads how we do not spend at levels that MMM would agree with, but it is what works for us right now.  I commented about how our kids did not choose frugality, we as their parents did, and they still want things.  Telling them they cannot participate in a school activity which costs us hundreds of dollars a year because it impacts our ability to retire faster is not a way to have the kids be happy with us and in turn would likely cause my spouse to not be happy with me due to the ensuing tension in the household.  So we discuss and compromise with an eye on what it all means for our FIRE date.  We could raise our savings rate by 25-40% a year if we just stopped spending any money beyond food, clothing and shelter on the kids.  Let them go without any gifts for Xmas and birthdays, forget about saving anything for college and never help them out with any discretionary spending.  That would make for a miserable life. 

The key here is the "well-examined life".  Learn those principles and apply them to your life and forge your own path to mustachianism or Shivanism or whatever you want to call it.  I'm in a similar yet different boat.  Similar in that we "spend" about $100K a year right now, but we are blessed that that is still about 20-30% less than our income.  It is different, in that my wife and I also understand and work toward a "kidless budget" that will be out actual spend rate once the two of use can work toward FIRE without the whims of kid costs and we count the days to when we can hit that.  The challenge Shivan has is that the spouse seems to not be on board.  Perhaps instead of worry about the "shockingly Simple Math" they should instead focus energy on the post about a year prior to that one "Selling the Dream Ė How to Make your Spouse Love Frugality". 

anon1234

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #37 on: January 15, 2019, 12:38:13 PM »
Not exactly a deep dive into the economics.  Just advice to minimize legal fees.  Sounds like she got the house and car.  He did declare "my own cost of living will do way down", which I don't quite understand.  Does it mean 1) she will cover the cost of the kids or 2) his own cost of living was inflated due to marriage?

I may be reading too much into this, but I do wonder if his insistence on frugal lifestyle was a contributing factor in the divorce.

Omg stoooooooooooooop. You are being the rude forum participant Pete was referring to.

IDK, I think it's a fair question.  Pete has built a muiltimillion dollar brand and blog on the idea that the path to happiness is relentless spending optimization and optimism.  If the same was ultimately a significant contributor to the end of his marriage he should share that. The fact that he has not addressed the elephant in the room leads to speculation, which is where it does get rude.  I mean for years, the guy shared where every penny of his family's spending went and many other personal details, don't get shy now when it's not all sunshine and roses.


I thought this WAS a valid question, until I read through the comments on the blog post.

Many will ask if it contributed, and I'm sure there are click hungry bloggers that will deposit their thoughts on how Petes frugality is inhuman and this whole FIRE thing is bad for you and blah blah.

I myself wondered, here are two presumably rational people, with no money stress, no free time stress, and they are willing to work hard to better themselves, if they can't make it what chance do us laypeople have. Please tell me it was (atrocity x y or z) and not something I have to worry about.

For awhile I thought Pete not telling was a cop out, as he has turned himself into somewhat of a public figure and profited handsomely for it.

Then I read a string of comments, and I can't find it now, but the general jist was, someone said
"This is BS generalizations, bleed all over the page and tell me the truth like you always do or people will assume the worst"
To which Pete replied
"This blog is a hobby, this is where I draw the privacy line, people can presume whatever they want"

I wanted to insert the actual comments, but I can't find them
Edit: update, found them, see the next post

So in summary, Pete has said he's drawn the line, even if it is at the expense of the blog.  People can say FIRE will doom you to divorce, you can abandon ship, his reader base could drop from millions to single digits, he doesn't care.  The blog is a hobby, he's not a totally public figure, he says frugality had nothing to do with it, you can believe him or not, he doesn't care, everybody stop asking.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 12:58:22 PM by anon1234 »

anon1234

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #38 on: January 15, 2019, 12:55:50 PM »

I wanted to insert the actual comments, but I can't find them

Found them

Quote
Quote
Aaron
January 3, 2019
I like everything you write Sir, all of it, except this one. You just grew apart? OK man, if you say so, but in my 42 years, Iíve never seen it happen like that at all.

I know itís awful, nearly as awful as death, and I know youíll be fine, and youíre coping and doing the best you can here. I get that much from it. I still like you and Iíll wait for your next article like a kid waiting for Christmas, but you blew this one being middling.

It isnít honest, not completely. If youíre going to write something, and you want me to give a shit, you better open up and bleed. No half measures, no euphemisms to separate yourself from reality. State the facts, whatever they are. We fought about money. Someone cheated. We made decisions that were dumb. Tell me the story. Life is unfair, whatever happened here included.

My point is that your premise must be completely honest. Donít lose your edge trying to write something middling like this is the Economist or the New York Times, youíre better than that and youíre free from any editor, so donít hold back. Bleed on the page. You donít need permission and you donít need the money.

I love your blog though. In fact, itís the only one I like at all because youíre a very good writer. So maybe I should comment a on the 100 other good posts. Sorry to be a dick, I just assume youíll understand itís meant to be constructive. You probably donít read 400 comments down anyway. And it sounds like youíre already through the worst of this and Iím glad for that.


Mr. Money Mustache
January 3, 2019
Yep, you are right Aaron that if I opened up and told you EVERYTHING, this would be a more interesting blog post.

But that would come at the price of the feelings of people in the *REAL WORLD*. My esteemed former spouse, our son, our families and friends. So of course I would never do it, for any amount of online ďsuccessĒ.

This blog is just a hobby. It comes at a far, far distant second to anything I do in the real world. If it has to be less juicy in order to avoid hurting people I care about, that is the easiest choice in the world to make.

Also, yes, people absolutely do just grow apart. The exact daily symptoms of how this affects your life will vary, but the underlying cause is just a lack of two people wanting to spend time together. Happens to millions or even billions of couples.

Blueberries

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #39 on: January 15, 2019, 01:23:13 PM »
Being in the minority on this forum, as a religious person, I like how MMM didnít just finally speak about his situation and say ďwhatever, fuck marriage.Ē  I think marriage is an extremely valuable institution for society, especially for raising children.  Itís apparent that MMM feels the same way and itís clear this has been a painful process for him.  I donít blame him for taking a while to address the rumors - he needed to go through this at his own pace and do it privately.

Can you explain this?  Is it just the religious aspect?  How is marriage valuable for society?  What value do people who marry offer that unmarried couples offer?  I'm trying to understand because I'm the type of person that would divorce on paper if it made sense to do so.  I married because we stood to make a substantial amount more money in taxes (of course spouse knows this).  I would divorce, on paper, if it made sense to do so.  My love and commitment has never changed.  And, we married while visibly expecting one child and already having had another child.  I can promise you, nothing changed after saying "I will". 

Also, I'm not sure MMM feels the same way. I didn't take anything in the article to suggest it. 



Frankly, you choose poorly if you want to RE.  There's not much anyone, Pete or the board, or really even you, can do to change that fact.  So part of what there is to take away from Pete's situation is "choose your spouse wisely and consider financial compatibility just as much as sexual and emotional compatibility".  That's very helpful for many people, not just you. 

And you can wonder if MM went too far all you want.  There's really no way to answer not, not least because there's no universal way to define "too far".  So work on defining "too far" for your own relationship.  It sounds like it's somewhere in between $10k and $100k. But that's not something Pete can help you determine.  It's something you and your wife can [hopefully] consider together.  Yes, what you should do in the middle is a valid question.  But for yourself and your wife, together, not Pete.

DH and I are moderately frugal.  MMM likely would facepunch us a few times [at least publicly, since it's part of his schtick].  So what?  It's right for our life.  DH wanted a watch that was nearly $1000.  He rarely spends money.  So yes, this is a consumer sucka thing.  (It's to commemorate a huge accomplishment in his life, and is also extremely sentimental.] We can afford it without even noticing the money is gone.  So I not only agreed, I encouraged him to do it.  Because while I follow the blog and the boards here, I also recognize the importance of living my own well-examined life and making my own decisions.  You and your wife should do the same.  Who cares if Pete approves or would mock you? 

Looking to him to solve the financial tension in your marriage is lazy.  So stop doing it.  And stop relying in his exact model for life.  Also lazy.  Gather information, spend time considering your choices and your relationship, and make your own decisions.

Holy shit, this. 

I have to chuckle at the way some view the website owner and his methods.  It's repackaged frugality, minimalism, etc.  There is no god here, people.  You always have to do what works best for your family/situation.

Shivan

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #40 on: January 21, 2019, 01:36:11 PM »
Everyone loves to talk about "The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement" but I can't save most of my paycheck and also do everything my wife wants (buy a bigger car and a bigger house and go to restaurants and Amazon every day) at the same time.

Sounds to me like you gave up the idea of early retirement the moment you got married.  Sorry dude, that kind of sucks.  Maybe she's worth another 30 years in a cubicle?

Actually I was married before I heard about early retirement. I used to spend too much money on car, house, electronics, and stuff because I thought that's just what you were supposed to do. I credit MMM for changing my perspectives in life. Also, I love my wife and I like my job.

Perhaps instead of worry about the "shockingly Simple Math" they should instead focus energy on the post about a year prior to that one "Selling the Dream Ė How to Make your Spouse Love Frugality".

Yeah dude, that's been one of my favorites for the last six years. That's part of why it hurt so much to hear that someone as smart, healthy, and happy as MMM and his partner split up. And it's part of why it hurts, after that many years, that my wife still says things like she's starting to agree with her mother that we'd be happier if we built on to our house. Or that she's starting to agree with her friends that we need a bigger car. Like... can't we all just appreciate that we have electricity and toilet paper and other luxuries that a hundred billion people never had?

In any case, MMM updated the article to say that there were not financial issues and I accept that.

Quote
Update: Some of the negative speculators have assumed ďyour wife dumped you because you were too frugal.Ē This part may be necessary to address because of the money theme of this blog.

The answer is NO. I was the one who asked for the separation so you can blame me for it. And no, there were no frugality issues because earning and accumulating money was always extremely easy for us. We spent whatever we wanted, we just happened to have finite desires. Plus I was not the ďbossĒ of the house. Mrs. MM has always been an independent-minded person who is good with money and decides on her own spending.

TheShinyHorse

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2019, 08:53:05 AM »
I was sad to read about the separation. But they are just people like you and me. Relationships aren't easy and lots of people get divorced.

As much as I'm (naturally) curious about the salient details of the break-up, Pete doesn't 'owe' us anything. I personally wouldn't tell anything either. Besides, I think he already explained things quite well in the post. I agree that the title of the article is a bit misleading, but whatever...

I'm wishing good luck and a lot of strength to MMM, MsMM and their kid.

elbowwilham

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2019, 11:49:21 AM »
You mustachians are funny. If MMM posted his yearly financials, which I find to be very personal, it is ok to ask follow up questions. But when he posts about his divorce, leaving out all financial specifics, it is not ok to ask follow up questions.

Well which is it?

I don't need to know the reasons they drifted apart, or whatever, but it would have been nice to see some actual numbers, like the entire rest of the blog.

Dabnasty

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2019, 02:20:30 PM »
You mustachians are funny. If MMM posted his yearly financials, which I find to be very personal, it is ok to ask follow up questions. But when he posts about his divorce, leaving out all financial specifics, it is not ok to ask follow up questions.

Well which is it?

I don't need to know the reasons they drifted apart, or whatever, but it would have been nice to see some actual numbers, like the entire rest of the blog.

That's nice that you find someone's financial specifics to be personal, but MMM has made it pretty clear that he thinks people should be more open about their financial lives. In addition, posts like the annual spending recap can be a very useful learning tool for people who can't imagine what a smaller budget would look like. Having significant assets from the blog and likely other variables that apply to only his situation makes any information he could provide much less useful. Any numbers he divulged would serve little purpose other than feeding the speculators.

Not to mention, he's stated several times that it's not just about him, there are other parties involved he must consider.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 02:22:33 PM by Dabnasty »

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #44 on: January 29, 2019, 03:45:41 PM »
His son is getting old enough that he may read on these forums soon.  I respect him for keeping the details private and not monetizing it like most "influencers" would.

MikeBT

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Re: The Economics of Divorce
« Reply #45 on: January 31, 2019, 08:29:17 PM »
Two things leap out at me from this thread. The first is that frugality has a degree of relativity. For someone earning $40k a year to buy a $1,000 watch is probably not frugal. For someone earning $400,000 a year to buy a $5,000 watch which to him or her has great value and will put a smile on his/her face is still frugal, in my view. To me, frugality is about paying the lowest cost for a given thing which gives you a defined value, assuming the cost is proportionate to your income.

Second thing - perhaps more on-point - is that divorce is a good way to halve your assets (best case scenario). Generally it does not halve your expenses, since a married couple does not have 2x the expenses of a single person due to various obvious factors. So, divorce is a very bad thing to happen, though it is not easy to predict or prevent. The best thing is probably to marry someone with as similar an outlook (to money, children, life in general) as you so that you minimise the major disparities.