The Money Mustache Community

Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: K-ice on May 23, 2017, 12:16:47 PM

Title: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: K-ice on May 23, 2017, 12:16:47 PM
So there was an interesting discussion set up about divorce but it seams to have been removed. I hope the OP is OK. 

That thread was mainly about one person but I would like to open this up to everyone as lots of people need a sounding board.

I find the perspectives from the people on this forum are usually a good source of information. There are some serious number crunchers on this forum who could help with is it worth fighting for $xxx?

Remember, the opinions here are just from every day people, and divorce is a serious issue, so you should always consult with a lawyer before finalizing anything with your ex.   Every country, state and province has different laws and every judge will interpret those laws differently.

My perspective is as a child living through 2 divorces. Of course the way things were done in the 80's compared to now has changed a lot but some things are the same. I recently shared with a friend that I never felt at home at my Dad's because I didn't have a room. The odd sleep over I had was in the very white guest room. So I said make sure your son has a space of their own at your place. Not everyone can afford a room for their child (especially with blended families) but make sure they feel welcome. That may just be changing to "their" special sheets or sleeping bag when they spend the night. 

I also take an interest in my friends and I have seen it go smooth and not so smooth. Perhaps the experience on this thread can help give some people some hindsight.

I sat in on divorce court with a friend a few months ago.  The wife was complaining because they had 5 cars and he husband had only given her a collectors Mustang 1960's to drive.  She wanted another vehicle because she did not want to drive that vehicle in the winter.  The judge basically had no sympathy for her and said go ahead and drive it in the salt and slush. The judge did not care!


So what have you done right in your divorce?
What would you change if you had to do it over again?
What do you need help with right now?








Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: NewReality on May 27, 2017, 08:33:27 PM
5 years ago my divorce with my wife of 15 years ago was finalized. During that time (and after) I was very involved in the process, learning family law, and helped counsel others going through the process as well.

Here are a few of the most important lessons I learned about the divorce process itself, that are unfortunately not always intuitive:

1. When divorce proceedings begin (and sometimes even before), it is important to understand that the situation has become less a *personal* matter than a *legal* one, especially if minor children are involved.

This is the biggest problem I have seen for many folks. They expend enormous amounts of time and energy focusing on issues and aspects of the situation that have no bearing on the outcome or the path forward. For example, trying to gather information and argue that a spouse cheated, lied, was irresponsible, or in some way was horrible. Largely, the court does not consider any of these things in judgement. They will not listen or accept such in court save for very specific circumstances. This is a tough one since naturally people's emotions are involved--so much may be at stake--, and often there's long history of ill will leading up to this point. A good attorney that specializes in family law will be able to advise on what your judge and jurisdiction (your state's laws) might care about most in a contest. In a divorce with minor children, it is often what they deem in the children's "best interests". Those who recognize this early can save themselves much grief and work up the best strategy for moving forward.

2. Realize that from the time divorce is imminent, your spouse is no longer your partner but your *legal adversary*, and take steps accordingly to protect yourself. This is another tough one for people to get over, especially if they have been with their spouse for many years. They may still have strong feelings for them, and so switching over instantly to view them as an adversary in a contest may seem harsh and cold. Many couples break up swearing to divorce "amicably", all while at least one of the spouses has already laid plains to drain bank accounts, skip town with the children, or do other things that give them a strategic advantage at the other's expense. Often, by the time the person comes to realize just what the other is doing and is capable of, they're already in a deep hole.

3. If there are minor children involved, think of everything in terms of their long-term best interests. The great pressures and life changes that come with a divorce with children may cause otherwise well-meaning parents to do things that seem necessary or like a good idea at the time, but may have serious long-term negative consequences.

One example is a parent moving out of the house before the divorce is finalized in order to escape a hostile household situation, or else to attempt to "diffuse" it for the children's sake. What can happen in this scenario however is that the remaining parent petitions the court for exclusive use of the home as well as temporary orders to establish a parenting plan and support payments (in their favor, at the other's expense, of course). In this case, what the leaving parent may have thought was a considerate and pragmatic yet temporary act to relieve the situation in fact turns into a legal status quo in which they are banned from their household and diminished in their children's daily lives--a status quo that often becomes permanent when the final judgment is issued.

Another common example is parents getting involved in new relationships--sometimes before the last one is legally divorced--and introducing the children to these. They are doing it for their own sake, not wanting to be alone, but in doing so drag already upset and likely confused children into it as well, complicating an already overly complex situation even further.

4. Learn your states laws regarding divorce, but also retain an attorney to advise and represent you, no matter what. There are many commonalities between many states, but many important differences that may apply to your own circumstances. Do this in conjunction with consulting an attorney, no matter how simple or amicable you believe your case will be.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: K-ice on May 29, 2017, 12:45:29 AM
Thanks. Those tips are helpful.

Part 2 about the "amicably" but not really is ringing true for a friend right now.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Letj on May 29, 2017, 04:26:59 PM
I don't think too many people on this forum are divorced as most seem to be in their 30s or younger. For me,,I had a very good loving marriage of around 17 years (got married when I was 23 and him 21), and an equally amicable divorce. No kids, no debts, equal paying jobs and investments/assets so just split everything we didn't own separately 50/50 and did the divorce ourselves with no lawyer. Cost a couple hundred bucks. Sorry no real advice but the above poster hits on so many great things to do.

Forgive me if I am prying but just curious why would a very good, long, loving marriage end in divorce? I thought that those are the marriages that last. I have this type of marriage and I feel lucky indeed. We've been together for 31 years since I was 18.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: kayvent on May 29, 2017, 05:44:34 PM
The best divorce advice is this: don't have one. Sometimes it is unavoidable but often it is avoidable. For example, if all your friends and family members say don't get involved with a person, I've learned first hand that it is fucking brain dead stupid to not listen. Often warning signs of a dead end or signs of deterioration occur far before the sad collapse.

With that said, I consider divorce to be a matter of damage control.

So what have you done right in your divorce?

Here are some ways to keep damage under control.

Lawyers eat money. My lawyer, a long time family friend, gave me the family rate and a free consultation. Six hundred dollars for two hours of work. Three thousand to OPEN, just open, a court case. Family wealth gets obliterated in many divorces. Many people would gladly burn tens of thousands of dollars over a dispute of a few thousand dollars in CC debt. It is better to suffer an injustice than to burn everything to try to get a fair division. Life isn't fair. For my separation, I asked for nothing. For child custody, I asked for no child support. No splitting of child costs. Any items the ex spouse wanted she got without resistance.

Don't fight baseless accusations unless needed to. I will disagree with NewReality on one point only. The USA and Canadian legal system incentivize parties to lob accusations on the other. There is a plethora of case studies on lawyers compelling their clients to make up or exaggerate allegations of abuse, unfaithfulness, and neglect. It takes lots of time and money to defend against these. A lot of these can be ignored. When I separated and had to fight for custody, my lawyer basically ignored all the accusations but was upfront with acknowledging the one episode of a singular suicidal thought. Had we decided to debunk every lie, we'd have spent lots of time and money and in return would have only gotten more grievous allegations of unimaginable horror.

What would you change if you had to do it over again?

This is more so an issue with the Canadian courts: they have a status quo bias. If one spouse is the primary caregiver when the court meets, it is probable that they will be granted primary physical custody. As such, the best advice to give to get custody in the Canadian system is to deny access to the other parent until the court date (which will be a year away). This is disgusting. If I found myself back in time, I'd not have denied access. I'd just have denied unsupervised access. I was the primary caregiver from my daughter's birth until fourteen months. Relationship disintegrated at six. At fourteen months, the other parent had them for a weekend then refused to give them back. And refused access. For months. When we did get to court, it was impossible to overcome the status quo bias. I did get back primary physical and legal custody but that was due to externalities.

Status quo bias rears its head in other ways. If someone is driving a car or living in a house, the court will think of creative ways to keep them so (ex. Liens to be paid for at the property's sale). In other words, if you want something, keep it.

What do you need help with right now?

Had we not had a child, the separation would be over with and I would be content. We'd have no communication. The child complicates things. The parent goes through tidal pulls of not wanting to be involved at all (ex. literally moving to the other side of a continent) to wanting to be uncomfortably involved . Having limits or consistency would help.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Hotstreak on May 29, 2017, 09:49:50 PM
For those posting, did any of you have a pre-nup in place?  How much of a difference do you think it made?
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: kayvent on May 30, 2017, 09:19:05 AM
For those posting, did any of you have a pre-nup in place?  How much of a difference do you think it made?

I am anti-prenup. First, there is the issue of enforcement. Some jurisdiction may not recognize the agreement. Second, even if you are in a place that acknowledges them in separation proceedings, the prenup may not be sufficient. Third, this is a dangerous topic to broach to a fiancé or fiancée. Fourth, and this is a controversial opinion, I don't think you should plan around divorcing. It is better to plan, as much as possible, to not divorce than to have a contingency in the case of divorce.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: FiguringItOut on May 30, 2017, 11:48:43 AM
My divorce after 14 years of marriage was amicable.  We ended up hiring a mediator and doing everything through them.  Total cost was about $5K.  Money well spend.

Because one of the issues in the marriage was spending of the money, what I did was open a separate bank account in my name only and transferred all cash that we had into that account.  That was also the account where I was collecting all saved cash for about 18 month leading up to divorce. This was done by interbank transfers from out joint account to this separate account.  I told him about the account and gave him online access to it so that he could check and monitor balance.  But I didn't give him debit card or checks for that account.  It took about 18 months to save enough cash so that both of us could move on. Savings started from zero basically.  I believe this move was very specific to my marriage and our relationship.  I wasn't trying to scam him and he trusted that I wasn't doing that.  In the end that account was split 50/50 between us and I transferred half of it to his new personal account right before I moved out.  To be honest, I don't see this move working well in most other marriages/divorces.

We had no consumer debt but had student loans, mortgage, and car loan. I walked away with my own student loans and my portion of the house equity.  He kept the house with the mortgage, both cars (one paid for), and his student loans. 
I also have full custody of both kids for living and we have joint custody for medical and child raising decisions.  He pays me child support calculated according to NY State formula and half of other child related expenses as was agreed to.  He takes kids every other weekend and half holidays.

We split all 401K account in half and agreed on how much I would get from his account since his was larger.  My house equity was also added to that since there wasn't enough cash for him to buy me out of the house.  I am still waiting to receive my portion of his 401K, but hopefully it will come through the end of this year.  I personally liked that idea of receiving my portion of house equity in tax deferred money, so I think it worked out best for me. 

Everything was agreed to and spelled out in our divorce agreement.  There were no fights or major disagreements.  It really was as amicable as possible. 
What surprised me the most was that on the last day when we were sitting in the lawyer's office signing the documents we started reminiscing about the good times.  It was really unexpected.  I moved out right before we signed the documents.

Now 2 years later it's going well.  I get my child support and whatever else he owes me.  He sees kids.  It took kids about 6 months at the new place to adjust, but they seem to be ok now. 

There wasn't any prenup.

It's doubtful that I'll ever re-marry, but it that ever happens, there will be a prenup; no questions about that.

Also, my financial situation has improved drastically after the divorce.  This is  not very common as usually it is happening the other way.  But due to our particular circumstances, it worked out better for me to be on my own; which I knew it would.  Though the 'money' wasn't the only or even the primary issue that lead to divorce, it was a major contributor once it was obvious that other factors were not going to be worked out to our mutual satisfaction. 



Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: K-ice on June 01, 2017, 10:58:57 AM
Thanks for the comments.

It's nice to hear that financially it often works out better for Mustacians after the divorce.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: partgypsy on June 01, 2017, 12:55:20 PM
Thank you for starting this thread. I have already spent 4500 on attorney's fees, and we haven't gotten to the signed papers, and going to court part. So to me it seems very expensive for what has been done so far, and this team was recommended as being reasonable in costs. Ex is going to review papers today with an attorney, and get back to me. I hope we can come to an agreement soon. 
It has been traumatic past few years. I am still mourning and regret the loss of the break up of the family unit which was something really important to me, but am ready to move on. Things financially will be tight, but it will be a less stressful and emotionally uncertain situation.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: ladyinred on July 05, 2017, 03:34:39 PM
I'm a 34 yo woman in my first marriage. We've been married for three years, together for one before that. We have an amusingly high number of pets (cats and chickens) but no children. Our major mutual assets include a Denver area house and a car (bought with cash) and all of the things you fill those with. I have a $55k job, husband has a $95k job. Side hustles are my $1150 a month in US veteran's disability payments and we rent out our guest room on Airbnb for $7000 a year. Aside from our house, our big debt is his $35k in student loans.(My loans will be paid off within the next four months!) I have almost $70k in retirement savings (Roths and the like), most of which I accrued before meeting him. He has less than $10k in retirement savings. We don't really have anything in liquid cash right now because of a recent trip and his credit card spending habits.

I have been considering divorce for the last year, and very seriously for the last six months. To the outside, we are a remarkably high functioning, successful, and productive couple. We have a beautiful home, we're delightful and social, we run a successful Meetup group and Airbnb. What others don't see is are the painfully sore areas of misalignment that have plagued us for a while now - the incredibly cliche problems of sex and money disagreements. The problems have been going on for years and are not going to be solved. I fantasize about being freed of him and living a happier, more frugal life.

Since we are both independently successful and have no children, I'm of the opinion that we should separate. Cut our losses and move on to other lives and people who will be better for each of us and be happier in the long haul. No hard feelings - I just don't feel we're great for each other. He, on the other hand, doesn't feel he will ever be able to find someone as wonderful as me and is horrified at the thought of divorce (probably because he hates feeling rejected and is the child of divorce). When we've talked about it, he has explicitly said he will make the process difficult and made threats of suicide.

Yes, suicide.

I have no problems being impartial, emotionless and amicable in a separation, but that is wildly outside his ability. I've already mentally divvied up our stuff in what I feel is a very good split. I've started making lists of things I should do to "circle my wagons" before serving papers (download financial documents, take picture of assets, etc). I just don't really know how to start the divorce process so that I don't end up with $20k in lawyer's fees. Anyone have any suggestions?
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Holyoak on July 05, 2017, 08:17:22 PM
After 23+ years of marriage, my ex-wife had been committing adultery for at least a year, and looking back with new clarity, I'm pretty sure she had done the same 10 years earlier.  Two families were left utterly destroyed, my daughter suffered a type of hell at the hands of her mother, that caused her profound damage, leaving her broken.  I was completely and utterly devastated, and even in a state of pain and anguish that burned with no end, I had to take care of my daughter.  Looking back, I truly don't know how I am here, on the other side.  My divorce was final Dec of 2013, and how it had to come about, changes the very essence of who you were, forever. 

I filed, and had her served, and so started a chapter in my life that was needed, but very painful...  Kinda like going to a vet, but in this instance you are euthanizing a marriage.  I would strongly suggest if you are in a similar situation dealing with adultery, hit them very HARD, while they are in la-la land, with their co-cheater.  All they want is to get rid of you/their former life/children, and live a grand sleazy lie...  Let them have each other, and use this to your advantage, while the iron is hot.  My wife became a very formidable enemy, and was treated as such.  One day they go from being a person you know and love, to a dead eyed lizard being, capable of harming anyone in their path, to include their own children.

If I had it to do again, I would have insisted the reason for divorce was adultery, written on the petition.

Lastly, I learned that men are treated very differently in court, than women.  My attorney of over twenty years of experience, said if I were the female in this case, I would have received lifetime alimony, paid court costs, and a larger share of the assets...  His words, not mine.  I'll never do it again.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: kayvent on July 06, 2017, 04:14:18 AM
I would strongly suggest if you are in a similar situation dealing with adultery, hit them very HARD, while they are in la-la land, with their co-cheater.  All they want is to get rid of you/their former life/children, and live a grand sleazy lie...  Let them have each other, and use this to your advantage, while the iron is hot.

This advice is spot on. Without going into details, this worked for me in getting custody. Accidentally but it worked. They were far more concerned with their new boyfriend than raising our daughter. To this day, it shocks me how much a person will give up for the person they are dating. The relationship lasted three months. Maybe two.

Quote
Lastly, I learned that men are treated very differently in court, than women.  My attorney of over twenty years of experience, said if I were the female in this case, I would have received lifetime alimony, paid court costs, and a larger share of the assets...  His words, not mine.  I'll never do it again.

I think it depends where one lives. The USA I hear is a hell. Where I live (Eastern Canada), I earnestly believe the courts are blind to sex. They do have a status-quo bias that results in the primary caregiver, who is often the mother, getting the kids; however, male primary caregivers are given the same advantage.

That being said, the social services departments like Child Protection (CP) are horrendously sexist. Unimaginably. Once my daughter's mother was under investigation for child neglect and abuse. Her grandmother filed a complaint. I had filed numerous similar complaints in the past and CP actively ignored them. Fine. During the investigation of child endangerment, CP went out of their way to not interview and talk to people. And closed the case as fast as they could.

It was at that point I lost all faith in that department of the government because I knew from first and second hand experiences that when a woman would make any complaint, even if it was over an incident many years old, they would do a thorough investigation. I don't mind that but I wish they were balanced. /rant (Sorry, this frustrates me. Still bitter.)
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 06, 2017, 06:29:33 AM
The problems have been going on for years and are not going to be solved....

...Anyone have any suggestions?

My suggestion is to do everything within your power to save your marriage.  You say your problems cannot be solved, but I don't think that's true.  Anything is possible.  You must have loved each other at some point, or you would not have gotten married in the first place.  If the two of you are willing to work on your relationship, and more importantly to work on yourselves, then you can save your marriage.  People can and will change when faced with something as traumatic as losing the most important person in their lives.  I would advise you and your husband to read books on the topic and possibly also try counseling (either individually or together).  Though the two of you haven't physically separated yet, a good book to read is "Hope for the Separated".
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: prognastat on July 06, 2017, 09:11:02 AM
Since we are both independently successful and have no children, I'm of the opinion that we should separate. Cut our losses and move on to other lives and people who will be better for each of us and be happier in the long haul. No hard feelings - I just don't feel we're great for each other. He, on the other hand, doesn't feel he will ever be able to find someone as wonderful as me and is horrified at the thought of divorce (probably because he hates feeling rejected and is the child of divorce). When we've talked about it, he has explicitly said he will make the process difficult and made threats of suicide.

Yes, suicide.

Threats of suicide when feeling like you are being abandoned can be a major indication of psychological issues such as borderline personality disorder and have a great potential of being a form of emotional abuse and a way to control a partner. I would be very careful and evaluate your partners behavior if this is the case.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Holyoak on July 06, 2017, 09:30:32 AM
Threats of suicide when feeling like you are being abandoned can be a major indication of psychological issues such as borderline personality disorder and have a great potential of being a form of emotional abuse and a way to control a partner. I would be very careful and evaluate your partners behavior if this is the case.

Very true, and very common...  It can many times be used as a very powerful tool of psychological leverage/warfare, the ultimate trump card...  It can also be exactly what it is, and the person will carry out the threat.  Such a fine line, and threats of suicide being so serious, require intervention...  Be it going to therapy, or calling 911.  Tough spot to be in, and quite a shit-sandwich to be served when you wish to divorce.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: TartanTallulah on July 06, 2017, 10:39:01 AM
When I divorced, although the marriage could have been saved if I had wanted to save it (my XH was keen to salvage the marriage, as well he might be, because I had become his carer and his meal ticket), the nasty old man in his late 30s I was divorcing was not the same person as the bright, eccentric man in his early 20s that I had married some 15 years earlier. I've never had a moment's regret about the divorce, and I've forgiven myself for not realising that my XH's personality would disintegrate in the way it did.

It was a horrible episode in my life. Unspeakably unpleasant. And I was shocked to discover that several people who professed a desire to give me emotional support were nothing but vultures scavenging for gossip or, in the case of one close family member, wanting to fan the flames of conflict. I always advise people now to be very wary about who they trust.

The best thing I did was to realise that there was only one person who was interested in putting an end to the game of Courtrooms and Lawyers, and it was me. My XH had endless time on his hands and enjoyed whining at me in front of an audience. The lawyers had their eye on their fees. I had my life to be getting on with. So I pulled the rug from under their feet by agreeing to what were quite preposterous financial demands. I said, "You can have as much of the money and material goods as you want. In return, I want full custody of the children and a clean financial break." There have been times when I've thought, "Dammit, I wish I hadn't let him have that chunk of the pension I'd paid into before I'd even met him," but I walked away with my children (I gave him as much access as he wanted and he accused me of trying to use him as a free babysitter), my earning potential, and the rest of my life.

My poor second husband, though! It took about a decade before he stopped falling over the baggage of my first marriage, and he's such a lovely man. I always say that the best thing I ever gave my children was their stepfather.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 06, 2017, 11:41:52 AM
For those who have been through divorce (especially those of you who didn't initiate the divorce), how long did it take you to get over it?  Or did you ever get over it?  My wife and I are legally separated right now, and there's nothing in my life that excites me or makes me happy.  In fact, almost everything I see, hear, or do just makes me even sadder as there are so many things I encounter in my daily life that just bring back memories of good times I spent with my wife.  I can't even listen to music I used to enjoy because it makes me too sad thinking about how we used to enjoy it together.

A friend from church asked me if there was anything I looked forward to doing now that I was on my own.  I couldn't think of a single thing.  I've been getting lots of exercise, eating a healthy diet, and have cut way back on my alcohol consumption.  Everyone says I'm doing all the right things, but I don't think most people can understand what it's like when the most important person in your life just walks out on you and refuses to talk.  While I'm not suicidal, I can certainly understand how someone could make the decision to end his life at a time like this.  I've even thought to myself that going to sleep and never waking up again didn't sound so bad. 

There's a toxic combination of loneliness, depression, guilt, fear, abandonment, and hopelessness that kicks in after the initial shock wears off.  And the worst part is you know it's probably not going to get better any time soon.  I'd rather deal with a physical injury than this kind of emotional trauma any day of the week.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: partgypsy on July 06, 2017, 12:10:10 PM
For those who have been through divorce (especially those of you who didn't initiate the divorce), how long did it take you to get over it?  Or did you ever get over it?  My wife and I are legally separated right now, and there's nothing in my life that excites me or makes me happy.  In fact, almost everything I see, hear, or do just makes me even sadder as there are so many things I encounter in my daily life that just bring back memories of good times I spent with my wife.  I can't even listen to music I used to enjoy because it makes me too sad thinking about how we used to enjoy it together.

A friend from church asked me if there was anything I looked forward to doing now that I was on my own.  I couldn't think of a single thing.  I've been getting lots of exercise, eating a healthy diet, and have cut way back on my alcohol consumption.  Everyone says I'm doing all the right things, but I don't think most people can understand what it's like when the most important person in your life just walks out on you and refuses to talk.  While I'm not suicidal, I can certainly understand how someone could make the decision to end his life at a time like this.  I've even thought to myself that going to sleep and never waking up again didn't sound so bad. 

There's a toxic combination of loneliness, depression, guilt, fear, abandonment, and hopelessness that kicks in after the initial shock wears off.  And the worst part is you know it's probably not going to get better any time soon.  I'd rather deal with a physical injury than this kind of emotional trauma any day of the week.

It will get better. It will be different, but you will feel better than you do now. Not that you will forget, but it will go into perspective. At first everything I thought my life was, was ending, or being destroyed. Now I see I am being given a chance to write a new chapter of my life. I do feel bad for my kids, they didn't deserve this (neglect, broken home). But I definitely feel better than I did last year, when I would describe myself as in bereavement of the death of our relationship, and everything reminded me of what I had lost.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 06, 2017, 12:13:46 PM
It will get better. It will be different, but you will feel better than you do now. Not that you will forget, but it will go into perspective. At first everything I thought my life was, was ending, or being destroyed. Now I see I am being given a chance to write a new chapter of my life. I do feel bad for my kids, they didn't deserve this (neglect, broken home). But I definitely feel better than I did last year, when I would describe myself as in bereavement of the death of our relationship, and everything reminded me of what I had lost.

Thanks for responding.  I guess one of my big concerns is that I won't like the new chapter of my life as much as the old one.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: doublethinkmoney on July 06, 2017, 12:26:28 PM
It will get better. It will be different, but you will feel better than you do now. Not that you will forget, but it will go into perspective. At first everything I thought my life was, was ending, or being destroyed. Now I see I am being given a chance to write a new chapter of my life. I do feel bad for my kids, they didn't deserve this (neglect, broken home). But I definitely feel better than I did last year, when I would describe myself as in bereavement of the death of our relationship, and everything reminded me of what I had lost.

Thanks for responding.  I guess one of my big concerns is that I won't like the new chapter of my life as much as the old one.
Divorce was the best decision I made in my life.

It sucked my soul going through it. I felt like a worthless failure of a person and constantly wished I could escape to a remote island to escape the world.

But I am much happier after a few years and got a second chance at life. Now 6-7 years later I am happily married to my soulmate and living my life in a way I've always envisioned.

Once you get past the past, you can focus on who and what you want to be and that new concept could be very exciting as you hold the reigns.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 06, 2017, 12:30:31 PM
Divorce was the best decision I made in my life.

It sounds like you were the one who wanted the divorce.  My wife left me.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Bicycle_B on July 06, 2017, 01:45:43 PM
For those who have been through divorce (especially those of you who didn't initiate the divorce), how long did it take you to get over it?  Or did you ever get over it? 

Watching my Dad after Mom divorced him 30+ years in, it looked like the first year was the hardest.  The first 2 years he was just dragging himself through the day.  He started doing activities beyond divorce groups after 2 or 3 years.  Divorce groups up to the 2 or 3 year mark were very helpful, not to stop from being sad but to keep slowly pushing toward recovery.  Do the work and listen to everybody's useless-sounding advice and keep trying it is the lesson from watching that.  It looked like he turned the corner from being mostly sad to more often happy around the 3 year mark.  He looked like the pain generally faded around the 4 year mark. 

He met someone after 2 years but they were a bad replacement.  We all thought she was terrible.  She was after his money and treated him bad, so be careful and listen to your friends/family if you get pulled into something new. Thank God they didn't marry.  After that, at 4 or 5 years, he met a nicer lady for a year or two.  By then he was happy and stable, generally in all life areas.  Another year or two later, he met his second wife.  They remained in love to the end of his days and she still misses him.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 06, 2017, 02:02:05 PM
For those who have been through divorce (especially those of you who didn't initiate the divorce), how long did it take you to get over it?  Or did you ever get over it? 

Watching my Dad after Mom divorced him 30+ years in, it looked like the first year was the hardest.  The first 2 years he was just dragging himself through the day.  He started doing activities beyond divorce groups after 2 or 3 years.  Divorce groups up to the 2 or 3 year mark were very helpful, not to stop from being sad but to keep slowly pushing toward recovery.  Do the work and listen to everybody's useless-sounding advice and keep trying it is the lesson from watching that.  It looked like he turned the corner from being mostly sad to more often happy around the 3 year mark.  He looked like the pain generally faded around the 4 year mark. 

He met someone after 2 years but they were a bad replacement.  We all thought she was terrible.  She was after his money and treated him bad, so be careful and listen to your friends/family if you get pulled into something new. Thank God they didn't marry.  After that, at 4 or 5 years, he met a nicer lady for a year or two.  By then he was happy and stable, generally in all life areas.  Another year or two later, he met his second wife.  They remained in love to the end of his days and she still misses him.
I don't know that I can call your post encouraging, but I certainly appreciate you taking the time to tell the story about your Dad.  3 to 4 years is a pretty big percentage of your life to spend feeling sad.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Bicycle_B on July 06, 2017, 02:59:48 PM
For those who have been through divorce (especially those of you who didn't initiate the divorce), how long did it take you to get over it?  Or did you ever get over it? 

Watching my Dad after Mom divorced him 30+ years in, it looked like the first year was the hardest.  The first 2 years he was just dragging himself through the day.  He started doing activities beyond divorce groups after 2 or 3 years.  Divorce groups up to the 2 or 3 year mark were very helpful, not to stop from being sad but to keep slowly pushing toward recovery.  Do the work and listen to everybody's useless-sounding advice and keep trying it is the lesson from watching that.  It looked like he turned the corner from being mostly sad to more often happy around the 3 year mark.  He looked like the pain generally faded around the 4 year mark. 

He met someone after 2 years but they were a bad replacement.  We all thought she was terrible.  She was after his money and treated him bad, so be careful and listen to your friends/family if you get pulled into something new. Thank God they didn't marry.  After that, at 4 or 5 years, he met a nicer lady for a year or two.  By then he was happy and stable, generally in all life areas.  Another year or two later, he met his second wife.  They remained in love to the end of his days and she still misses him.
I don't know that I can call your post encouraging, but I certainly appreciate you taking the time to tell the story about your Dad.  3 to 4 years is a pretty big percentage of your life to spend feeling sad.
[/b]

It is. Though you might not be THIS sad the whole 3-4 years.  You might have this level only a very small % of the time. 

In my own my moments of despair, facts that showed a path were more helpful than smoke being blown up my heinie, so hey, just giving it my best shot. 

Fwiw, 3-4 years is only 10% of the marriage length.  Maybe the worst part will pass in 10% of the marriage time.  Was your marriage less than 30 years? 

Personally I think divorce must be like getting over a loved one's death, it's one the few times a person faces total despair.   In which case, the hopeful part is simply that the pain passes. 

If you're looking for minute to minute things to hang onto, most advice (exercise, keep in touch with people, get counseling, go to groups, etc) is worth following.  You can get through this.  The key to know is that you don't have to believe you can get through it, you'll get through it anyway.  Following the advice makes it faster, o' course.  But you don't have to believe or imagine that the pain will pass.  It will pass even if you can't believe it at all right now.  That much I can attest by mere analogy (have survived deaths of loved ones).

Now making space for people with actual divorce experience...
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Holyoak on July 06, 2017, 03:00:48 PM
how long did it take you to get over it? 

Not intending to be cliché, but you get/go through it...  A very hard fought slog on an unfamiliar field, won in battles that can span just moments, where you discover inner strength you never thought possible.  Sorry if militaristic terms seem out of place, but a battle it is, many times with yourself.  You can go from near suicidal despair and sadness, to white hot rage within the same minute, have overwhelming feelings of failure, self-worth feeling destroyed, and that a bleak, unhappy future is now your lot in life...  Bollocks!  In time, as what seems a long cold winter, gives way to the first green shoots of spring, so will you.  It creeps up on you, and as if by magic, you start feeling better.  You will smile again, you will experience real joy, you will feel love again, even if it's for yourself in a good way, and you will heal.  Without scars? Nope, but well healed, and I bet much stronger than before.

I really believe divorce uncovers what a person is truly made of, and I bet you will be proud of yourself when this terrible chapter is closed.  You are doing the right things, it's only that you can't see them for what they are...  I couldn't either.  How you are feeling is completely normal, and I felt many of them too.  The triggers will fade, and in time, and as hard as this may be to believe now, one day she could be just somebody you once knew.  Crazy I know, but it's true. Please, if you want to talk, I'm a phone call away...  PM me and I'll give you my cell #.  There is no shame reaching out to anyone, be it friends, family, or even strangers who have gone through this terrible situation.  A burden shared is a burdened lightened, and more people care about you than you think. 

Good luck friend. 

Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Zamboni on July 06, 2017, 03:13:01 PM
At first you just have to focus on doing what you need to do each day. The number one thing to do in a imminent divorce situation is to find someone to talk with who is qualified to help you with your emotions. In my case it was a counselor . . . it took two tries because the first person I went to see I really just didn't like (perhaps from body language?) But I found a different person who really helped me a lot, so please keep trying if the first therapist you see doesn't seem like a good fit. If your employer has an Employee Assistance Program or other free counseling, then I highly recommend that because the price is right and they help people get through divorces all of the time.

I read many books during my divorce process and found that by far the two most helpful for me were:
Getting Divorced without Ruining your Life by Margulies
Mom's House Dad's House: Making Two Homes for your Child by Ricci

I initiated my divorce and it still took me about a year of separation to not be in a pretty bad place emotionally. We had been together two decades, and it was a lengthy process for me to come to terms with the fact that things had gone wrong even though it was very clear our relationship had definitely gone very wrong. The unexpectedly hardest thing for me during the first couple of years post-separation was a business trip to the town where we had met and had our courtship. . . I had all of these happy memories of us there two decades earlier, and I had to mourn that.

Also, we had children, and I was extremely self conscious about the "single mom" label for a year or two. I didn't like checking "divorced" on forms (why does the doctor's office need to have that as an option?) I didn't like not having a ring on my finger. I'm over all of that now.

My divorce got somewhat dragged out and ended up costing about $10K in legal fees (for me, I suspect my ex paid a similar amount.) Most of this cost was really due to my ex needing time to deal with emotions, in retrospect. Because of his emotions, he just wouldn't agree to anything, and he wouldn't offer any counter proposal. He hired the biggest firm in town who assigned the most junior lawyer on the planet to the case, and she didn't do anything at all to help move it along. I don't blame him for this, but it did cost us both a bunch of money. He also went into panic mode when he realized I was probably leaving and took two large cash advances ($10K each) from our joint credit cards. This was strange to me, as he earned about quadruple my salary. He controlled all of the finances, so he tried to do this without me finding out about it. Don't do something like that, as it just made him look bad during the mediation; the lawyers both immediately agreed that the full $20K of debt should be assigned to him before considering the remainder of the assets and debts. The advice to be aware that something like this could happen is spot on . . . I wouldn't have thought he would do something like that, and I only found out about it by accident.

Also, my financial situation has improved drastically after the divorce.  This is  not very common as usually it is happening the other way.  But due to our particular circumstances, it worked out better for me to be on my own; which I knew it would.  Though the 'money' wasn't the only or even the primary issue that lead to divorce, it was a major contributor once it was obvious that other factors were not going to be worked out to our mutual satisfaction.

Me too. My ex- assured me that I would have to file bankruptcy if we divorced . . . nope. He is not a bad person. Rather, he has a high burn rate and doesn't comprehend that most people actually live differently than he does. We were poor students when we met and I never got spendypants, but it's like he has forgotten it is not only possible but desirable to run an entire household this way. The first year after the divorce was admittedly tight financially, but I got a part time job on the particular weekday evenings when he had the children and read voraciously about personal finance. With frugal living plus the extra money from the second job, I completely paid off my share of the debts in the first year using the snowball method. Less than 7 years later: I could probably retire right now if I didn't like my job so much.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Holyoak on July 06, 2017, 04:14:56 PM

Don't fight baseless accusations unless needed to. I will disagree with NewReality on one point only. The USA and Canadian legal system incentivize parties to lob accusations on the other. There is a plethora of case studies on lawyers compelling their clients to make up or exaggerate allegations

Absolutely true, and in ways that if you are going to flat out lie, at least don't make them so easy to disprove!  My ex-wife's attorney, submitted a signed document stating I had not contributed one penny in 23 years of marriage.  Here is the exact quote, attached in this post. 

Geez, my stack of W-2's kinda blew this bald faced lie out of the water, not to mention I was a military officer when we married, and supported her as a non-working spouse.  It was all to bleed me of $$$, and continue to lie, not to mention blowing off court deadlines, w/o any repercussions from the court.  The whole experience left me feeling as if I needed a shower, to wash of what could not ever be removed...  What a sleazy system it seems at times.

Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Bosco4789 on July 07, 2017, 06:11:36 AM
I love telling my story!  Way back in the 80's, my wife told me she wanted a divorce.  We had 2 daughters, a 3yo and an 8 month old.  We had a miscarriage between them.  I thought at first she was suffering from a post-partum depression.  There was nothing wrong with our marriage, the normal no money things, but she was also from out of state, and missed her family, and was generally depressed.

She told me that as long as I did whatever she wanted, she would see that I continued to have contact with the kids, but warned me not to fight her.  She was making plans to leave our house and signed a lease on an apartment.  I went to an attorney just to hear my options, and he basically told me not to fight her, the husband always loses, and to go along with her to keep things calm.

I convinced her to at least try marriage counseling, and we went a few times to a woman therapist.  In the meantime, I found another attorney and he basically said the same thing, not to fight her.  By now I was really depressed, as I was as good a parent as she.  I worked days, and she worked evenings.  I took care of the girls every night, and actually spent the same time if not more than she.

We each then talked to the marriage counselor separately, and when we were alone, the therapist asked me why I wasn't trying to get custody.  I told her what the lawyers had said, and she gave me the name of a young woman attorney and told me to talk to her.  This new attorney told me that I may or may not win, but either way my ex would make my life miserable and there was no reason not to fight her. Her plan was to let my wife move out, thinking all was okay.  The plan was to keep the kids while she got settled, then afterwards file for divorce and not let the kids leave.  My inlaws came to town to talk her out of it, but werent successful, and couldn't understand why I was not fighting her for custody.  When I suggested that I was, of course they told their daughter.  That was my mistake.  My wife then refused to move out, and we filed.

An advantage of filing first, is that my lawyer got the woman judge she had requested. We went to court the first time, each of us had witnesses, and I never had to prove she was a bad mother, just that I was as good a parent as she.  My MIL testified against me, that I left hairs in the sink when I shaved, and that when they visited, I took my daughter to watch cartoons, but the 3 yo got bored and left, and I continued to watch cartoons alone.  The judge said, "yeah, my husband does that all the time too"!

Our case was continued for a month, and we continued to live together in wedded bliss, like nothing was wrong.  The entire time I begged her for joint custody, at that time it was only granted if both parties agreed.  She refused. On the day we went back to court, she even adjusted my tie, it was surreal.

After another hour in court, things were not looking good. We were continued until the next morning at 7am, an unheard of time in the court system!  The judge said we have to get this done.  My lawyer gave me a list of questions she was going to ask, and I prepared for hours that evening.  When we began the next morning, my lawyer asked me none of the questions, I had no idea what was going on.  I actually had tears rolling down my face.

As the judge said she was ready to render her decision, my wife asked if she could speak. My lawyer jumped up and objected, but the judge said she would allow it.  My wife talked about the bond between a mother and her daughters, and even said to the judge, as a mother you must understand. By now I was actually crying.

The judge said, "You're right, Mrs. Bosco, I do understand the bond between a mother and daughter, and that's why the hardest thing I ever have to do is give custody to the father, but that is what I am doing here."

I barely heard it, I was in a daze, my wife was screaming, I was in shock. As my lawyer told me afterwards, the judge had told her that morning, that I had won, unless I did something stupid.  That's why she didn't ask me any of the prepared questions!

We have had a wonderful life. My daughters grew up to be wonderful young ladies. Their mother is been in and out of their lives.  I don't think there was a weekend that she didn't bring them home early, or I had to go get them because they were miserable.  She ended up moving out of state when they were in the 7th and 4th grades.  They were devistated, but we got through it.  When my daughter graduated from college, her career brought her near her mom.  After a few months, she asked me, "How could you marry this woman?"!!

Bottom line, don't ever give up the fight, whether kids are involved or not.
 

Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: loyalreader on July 07, 2017, 09:08:59 AM
The number one thing to do in a imminent divorce situation is to find someone to talk with who is qualified to help you with your emotions. In my case it was a counselor . . . it took two tries because the first person I went to see I really just didn't like (perhaps from body language?) But I found a different person who really helped me a lot, so please keep trying if the first therapist you see doesn't seem like a good fit. If your employer has an Employee Assistance Program or other free counseling, then I highly recommend that because the price is right and they help people get through divorces all of the time.

Besides having no kids and being a guy, Zamboni's story and mine are very similar. Whether you initiate a divorce or not, there is pain on both sides. Unless you are a sociopath...

I think the best thing you can do is focus on your own shit. I'm not talking about dissecting what went wrong with the marriage - too easy to find reason for blame. But divorces happen because there are problems with both parties. Read books and get counseling. Go into this next chapter of your life thinking 'how can I take responsibility for my own actions and how do I make myself a better person'. You will no doubt be surprised what you will find, and in retrospect I can almost guarantee the divorce will make sense. Plus you will be a much better partner (and know how to choose a better partner) if you decide to go down that road again.

My divorce was costly mostly because we split up during a recession. One thing I will give my ex credit for is she handled the legality of the divorce relatively reasonably. Not having kids made it a lot easier. And I am in a much better position financially, like some of the other posters, because my ex had a terrible relationship with money and we could never figure out how to get on the same page. 

 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: mm1970 on July 07, 2017, 11:47:45 AM
Quote
For those who have been through divorce (especially those of you who didn't initiate the divorce), how long did it take you to get over it?

I've not been through a divorce.  My parents divorced when I was a teen.  My in-laws divorced after 45+ years of marriage.  My "in the back" neighbor moved in RIGHT after his divorce, and my next door neighbor's wife divorced him less than a year after they got married.

It seems to be 3+ years, especially if you didn't initiate it.   We heard a LOT of bitterness from the neighbor in the back, for a few years, before he got over it.  And now, here we are 12 years later - he had a party last year, his daughter was singing at it and ... his ex-wife was there.  I believe it was the first time ever that something like that happened, that he invited her to his home. 

Similarly, my in-laws had friends who married and divorced, and *eventually* things got back to "normal".  But it was on the order of 10 years before families could be friendly again.  (My FIL wanted to "move on" even though he cheated on MIL, and it seems like he just wanted that kind of friendliness that comes back after a decade, without going through the decade.  They have both "moved on" because FIL had a honey on the side, and MIL has had a boyfriend for about 6 years.  But the separation was about 9 years ago.  They still aren't at that "normal" point.  MIL is still pissed, rightly so.  They do occasionally are together at grandchildren's events.  But it's not comfortable.

My parents separated in 1986.  My brother married in 2002.  My parents were able to speak to each other then, but it still wasn't awesome (mom was remarried by then, dad never remarried).

I have other friends who have divorced, and it seems like the hard part is a few years.  But as far as feeling "normal", it depends on what you define as "normal".
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 07, 2017, 12:03:26 PM
For those who have been through divorce (especially those of you who didn't initiate the divorce), how long did it take you to get over it?  Or did you ever get over it?  My wife and I are legally separated right now, and there's nothing in my life that excites me or makes me happy.  In fact, almost everything I see, hear, or do just makes me even sadder as there are so many things I encounter in my daily life that just bring back memories of good times I spent with my wife.  I can't even listen to music I used to enjoy because it makes me too sad thinking about how we used to enjoy it together.

A friend from church asked me if there was anything I looked forward to doing now that I was on my own.  I couldn't think of a single thing.  I've been getting lots of exercise, eating a healthy diet, and have cut way back on my alcohol consumption.  Everyone says I'm doing all the right things, but I don't think most people can understand what it's like when the most important person in your life just walks out on you and refuses to talk.  While I'm not suicidal, I can certainly understand how someone could make the decision to end his life at a time like this.  I've even thought to myself that going to sleep and never waking up again didn't sound so bad. 

There's a toxic combination of loneliness, depression, guilt, fear, abandonment, and hopelessness that kicks in after the initial shock wears off.  And the worst part is you know it's probably not going to get better any time soon.  I'd rather deal with a physical injury than this kind of emotional trauma any day of the week.
Let me start by saying I'm sorry for what you're going through.  And if you are feeling at all suicidal, get help immediately.  It is a terrible experience and one that I never wish on anyone, even my worst enemy.

Next, I would encourage you to find a good divorce support program.  I have been a DivorceCare leader for many years after my divorce and is one of the best programs I have run across.  I've participated in a couple others through other groups I was involved in.  They have a website and you can enter your zip code and likely find a local session that will start in a few months at most.  It's a 13 week program and we had people who came multiple times if needed.  I highly encourage it because it helps you work through every aspect of what you describe and more.  A lot of the information I will provide for the rest of the post is based on my experiences with that system.

So how long does it take?  Most counselors will tell you it takes about a year for every three years you've been married.  This is not what people want to hear, and not what friends who tell you to get out there and date understand, but I find it is a pretty good rule of thumb and those who try to short circuit it end up divorcing again or feeling a whole lot more hurt and taking someone else with them for the ride.  Obviously this can be different for people and if you knew your marriage was falling apart ahead of time and were dealing with it, then some of that time may have been spent while being married, but for most it begins when they divorce.

I've been where you are, and my wife also was the one pushing for divorce, but it was a fight for the last ten years of our marriage to keep things together so I was not blind sided, and ultimately when it ended, I was the one who finally agreed to stop fighting about it and actually filed (there's a whole long story there).  I cried myself to sleep many nights for months even though I knew for years before this day was coming.  What you are feeling is normal.  Take one day at a time.  Some days just getting out of bed is a win.  Some days just washing a dish is all you can do.  Do what you can, and you will see as time passes it does get easier.

Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: partgypsy on July 07, 2017, 12:55:54 PM
Yes. I had a friend when I was going through the worst of it (my husband left, and for the few months before and after, I really wanted to figure out how to save the marriage), they told me to have "a day". Not a good day, but "a day". Some days you just have to get through. For me going to counseling was very helpful, because the counselor was able to give me an objective view of the relationship, and that it was not a healthy relationship, in fact harmful to stay in it. And I had a lot of mulling over, what I knew of my ex, that he had not had a healthy, loving, mutually supportive relationship with me for years. And that he was probably not capable of it. Then there is the mourning, and bereavement (not all of it was bad, and we have kids together) you just have to get through it. Feelings, even bad ones, just show that you are alive.

Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 07, 2017, 01:01:21 PM
Responding to OP

Nothing we need help with right now.  Things are about where they can be.

My wife and I have two divorce situations that cover both sides.  Mine was relatively amicable and we filled a dissolution, were done in 9 weeks and spent about $4,000 on the attorney.  To avoid rehashing some items with custody of the kids or alimony on my end I ended up eating a ton of extra cost (to the tune of about $50K) in lost home equity and realtor costs when I sold our house after we had initially drawn up the paperwork to assume I was keeping it and just splitting the equity we had in it.  My wife's situation was extremely adversarial, to the tune of still being on record as the longest divorce proceeding in our state (they had over 31 full days in court) and she ended up having to file for bankruptcy when done and her ex was trying to go back for another custody hearing which was scheduled for another 10 days in court when she filed for bankruptcy, which stopped that proceeding.  This was after she had already spent $70K on attorney fees in a marriage that had no real assets to divvy up, it was simply her ex trying to cause pain through the legal system as he represented himself pro se so it was not costing him anything.

The obvious tongue in cheek answer to what either of us would have done differently is to not marry our exes to begin with, but other than that there really was nothing of note.  My process was quick and efficient and the financial bath I took by not following my attorney's advice to go back to the table and re-open the agreement but instead to press on and just eat it  I would do again for the same reason I did it to begin with; to avoid any adverse effects on my kids.  My challenge there is I still have a disengaged mother of my children on the other end who I have to push to spend the minimal amount of time she does with her kids but it certainly is still much better than other situations I have counseled others on as a support group leader.  Similarly on my wife's side, her ex is simply a manipulative con man who like to push every envelope he can for personal gain and he uses anyone he can, including his kids, as pawns, but there is little that we can do differently.  My wife has indicated that what she should have realized sooner was that the court system will do everything it can to avoid full custody by a parent because your ex is always able to just turn around and file again.  In her process she had been awared full custody at the end of their long trial, but she realized that the only way to get him to stop reopening proceedings was to agree to shared parenting, which is what she ended up doing, but the fight for full custody ended up costing her to the point of bankruptcy and she ended up not having the result at all, so it was a complete waste.  She also felt she made a mistake by getting a female attorney who was not able to stand up to her ex and therefore lots of things were going on and costing her money.  In subsequent court visits that have occurred since we have been married, we've used a bulldog attorney when needing to change residency and avoided further custody fights because of pre-emptive attacks from our attorney as needed.  We've been blessed to not have had any court costs in the last four years since the residency change, though there are occasional fees for OurFamilyWizard which is court mandated in their case, and when there are child services things stirred up that result in a fee but usually no useful action on the part of child services.  The last one was when the school called child services on her ex because he refused to allow his diabetic son to be treated for a high reading that the school nurse felt was dangerous.  A lot of activity, but ultimately nothing happened because you quickly find out that child services has almost zero authority unless you do something criminal, and he knows that, so it's another envelope he pushes.

I think what I did right on my end, was to immediately treat the divorce as what it was, a business transaction, and negotiate and move forward in that manner and keep my emotions out of it.  I helped get the division of assets together in 24 hours and get things over to the attorney to move through as quickly as possible and separate.  I got involved in a divorce support group immediately and that helped me process things much better than if I just spoke with family and friends who really could offer little of value and much, that in hindsight had i followed it, would have caused me more pain and agony.  My wife also got involved in a divorce support group quickly, and it actually led to her being saved and totally changing her lifestyle and perspective on the world.  We have taken the negative experiences and given back by helping co-lead divorce support groups for years and helping others learn from our experiences.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 07, 2017, 01:03:44 PM
Let me start by saying I'm sorry for what you're going through.  And if you are feeling at all suicidal, get help immediately.  It is a terrible experience and one that I never wish on anyone, even my worst enemy.

Next, I would encourage you to find a good divorce support program.  I have been a DivorceCare leader for many years after my divorce and is one of the best programs I have run across.  I've participated in a couple others through other groups I was involved in.  They have a website and you can enter your zip code and likely find a local session that will start in a few months at most.  It's a 13 week program and we had people who came multiple times if needed.  I highly encourage it because it helps you work through every aspect of what you describe and more.  A lot of the information I will provide for the rest of the post is based on my experiences with that system.

So how long does it take?  Most counselors will tell you it takes about a year for every three years you've been married.  This is not what people want to hear, and not what friends who tell you to get out there and date understand, but I find it is a pretty good rule of thumb and those who try to short circuit it end up divorcing again or feeling a whole lot more hurt and taking someone else with them for the ride.  Obviously this can be different for people and if you knew your marriage was falling apart ahead of time and were dealing with it, then some of that time may have been spent while being married, but for most it begins when they divorce.

I've been where you are, and my wife also was the one pushing for divorce, but it was a fight for the last ten years of our marriage to keep things together so I was not blind sided, and ultimately when it ended, I was the one who finally agreed to stop fighting about it and actually filed (there's a whole long story there).  I cried myself to sleep many nights for months even though I knew for years before this day was coming.  What you are feeling is normal.  Take one day at a time.  Some days just getting out of bed is a win.  Some days just washing a dish is all you can do.  Do what you can, and you will see as time passes it does get easier.
Thanks so much for the advice.  I actually just learned about the DivorceCare programs while searching the web for support groups yesterday.  There is one in my town starting in August.  I was considering signing up when I saw it yesterday, and after reading your post I just signed up for it.  I'm glad that it runs right up until the holiday season.

Though I'm not feeling suicidal, I am seeing a psychologist.  I met with him for the second time today.  While I don't generally enjoy asking others for help, in this situation I knew I needed the assistance of someone who's trained to deal with these types of situations.

I know what it's like to cry yourself to sleep.  I've cried more in the past 37 days (she left on June 1st) than I have in my entire adult life.  I was definitely more blind-sided by it than you were, but in retrospect there were some things she said that should have been huge warning signs.  I just didn't recognize them until after the fact.  I think that's partly due to her communication style versus mine.  She talked about feelings, and I like to deal in facts.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 07, 2017, 01:05:28 PM
Not intending to be cliché, but you get/go through it...  A very hard fought slog on an unfamiliar field, won in battles that can span just moments, where you discover inner strength you never thought possible.  Sorry if militaristic terms seem out of place, but a battle it is, many times with yourself.  You can go from near suicidal despair and sadness, to white hot rage within the same minute, have overwhelming feelings of failure, self-worth feeling destroyed, and that a bleak, unhappy future is now your lot in life...  Bollocks!  In time, as what seems a long cold winter, gives way to the first green shoots of spring, so will you.  It creeps up on you, and as if by magic, you start feeling better.  You will smile again, you will experience real joy, you will feel love again, even if it's for yourself in a good way, and you will heal.  Without scars? Nope, but well healed, and I bet much stronger than before.

I really believe divorce uncovers what a person is truly made of, and I bet you will be proud of yourself when this terrible chapter is closed.  You are doing the right things, it's only that you can't see them for what they are...  I couldn't either.  How you are feeling is completely normal, and I felt many of them too.  The triggers will fade, and in time, and as hard as this may be to believe now, one day she could be just somebody you once knew.  Crazy I know, but it's true. Please, if you want to talk, I'm a phone call away...  PM me and I'll give you my cell #.  There is no shame reaching out to anyone, be it friends, family, or even strangers who have gone through this terrible situation.  A burden shared is a burdened lightened, and more people care about you than you think. 

Good luck friend.
That was a very thoughtful and informative post.  I especially appreciate the offer to talk to me directly about what I'm going through.  It's good to know that these wild emotional swings are normal.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 07, 2017, 01:11:44 PM
Yes. I had a friend when I was going through the worst of it (my husband left, and for the few months before and after, I really wanted to figure out how to save the marriage), they told me to have "a day". Not a good day, but "a day". Some days you just have to get through.
I like your "have a day" jpeg.  That's all you can do sometimes.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 07, 2017, 01:47:12 PM

Personally I think divorce must be like getting over a loved one's death, it's one the few times a person faces total despair.   In which case, the hopeful part is simply that the pain passes. 


Research has shown it is actually worse.  With a loved one's death you have closure and it is much easier to grieve and move on.  Also, there is the psychological burden where with death, they did not "choose" to leave you.  With divorce it was a conscious decision and it tends to make it much more difficult.  Also, divorce impact every single aspect of your life.  It is not only the person that is gone.  So are the dreams and plans you had built with them.  Every aspect of your life is changed.  Death of a loved one is much more compartmentalized.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: wenchsenior on July 07, 2017, 01:58:24 PM
Yes. I had a friend when I was going through the worst of it (my husband left, and for the few months before and after, I really wanted to figure out how to save the marriage), they told me to have "a day". Not a good day, but "a day". Some days you just have to get through. For me going to counseling was very helpful, because the counselor was able to give me an objective view of the relationship, and that it was not a healthy relationship, in fact harmful to stay in it. And I had a lot of mulling over, what I knew of my ex, that he had not had a healthy, loving, mutually supportive relationship with me for years. And that he was probably not capable of it. Then there is the mourning, and bereavement (not all of it was bad, and we have kids together) you just have to get through it. Feelings, even bad ones, just show that you are alive.

That is a fantastic saying, partygypsy. I'm totally going to remember it.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 07, 2017, 02:01:48 PM
Let me start by saying I'm sorry for what you're going through.  And if you are feeling at all suicidal, get help immediately.  It is a terrible experience and one that I never wish on anyone, even my worst enemy.

Next, I would encourage you to find a good divorce support program.  I have been a DivorceCare leader for many years after my divorce and is one of the best programs I have run across.  I've participated in a couple others through other groups I was involved in.  They have a website and you can enter your zip code and likely find a local session that will start in a few months at most.  It's a 13 week program and we had people who came multiple times if needed.  I highly encourage it because it helps you work through every aspect of what you describe and more.  A lot of the information I will provide for the rest of the post is based on my experiences with that system.

So how long does it take?  Most counselors will tell you it takes about a year for every three years you've been married.  This is not what people want to hear, and not what friends who tell you to get out there and date understand, but I find it is a pretty good rule of thumb and those who try to short circuit it end up divorcing again or feeling a whole lot more hurt and taking someone else with them for the ride.  Obviously this can be different for people and if you knew your marriage was falling apart ahead of time and were dealing with it, then some of that time may have been spent while being married, but for most it begins when they divorce.

I've been where you are, and my wife also was the one pushing for divorce, but it was a fight for the last ten years of our marriage to keep things together so I was not blind sided, and ultimately when it ended, I was the one who finally agreed to stop fighting about it and actually filed (there's a whole long story there).  I cried myself to sleep many nights for months even though I knew for years before this day was coming.  What you are feeling is normal.  Take one day at a time.  Some days just getting out of bed is a win.  Some days just washing a dish is all you can do.  Do what you can, and you will see as time passes it does get easier.
Thanks so much for the advice.  I actually just learned about the DivorceCare programs while searching the web for support groups yesterday.  There is one in my town starting in August.  I was considering signing up when I saw it yesterday, and after reading your post I just signed up for it.  I'm glad that it runs right up until the holiday season.

Though I'm not feeling suicidal, I am seeing a psychologist.  I met with him for the second time today.  While I don't generally enjoy asking others for help, in this situation I knew I needed the assistance of someone who's trained to deal with these types of situations.

I know what it's like to cry yourself to sleep.  I've cried more in the past 37 days (she left on June 1st) than I have in my entire adult life.  I was definitely more blind-sided by it than you were, but in retrospect there were some things she said that should have been huge warning signs.  I just didn't recognize them until after the fact.  I think that's partly due to her communication style versus mine.  She talked about feelings, and I like to deal in facts.
Glad you signed up.  One of the reasons I decided to help lead the group was that I think men avoid going to these things because they are too "tough".  They feel they should be able to get through it without help, mainly because all their buddies are telling them so and trying to set them up with someone to "get over it".  While our attendees are mainly women, there have been several men as well, and usually the other leaders had me call them when they fill out the form expressing interest.  Several times I had to convince men to attend.  Sometimes it worked and sometimes it did not.  Hope to hear about how things are going as you go through it.  There is a special  "surviving the holidays" session that we would show in the sessions that went up to the holidays.  Hopefully your group leader(s) will do that.  You might want to ask them if you feel it is a hard thing for you.  The first year is usually the hardest because as each milestone comes around, you think about what it was like last year.  I do think it was an extra DVD, but I was not the one buying the material, it was already at the church that we held it at so not sure. 

If you want to talk about anything you're not comfortable posting in a public forum, feel free to PM me.  I'm always happy to do what I can to help anyone going through this awful experience.  Also be aware you will backslide.  It is not always forward progress.  People get really worried when this happens, but it is normal.  Sometimes it's two steps forward, five steps back.  Random things would trigger reactions in me.  Luckily I had an understanding boss.  There were some days that I closed the door to my office all day because I'd be tearing up off and on months after we were divorced.  All these things are normal.  I do not recall if you said you had kids or not.  If you do, do not under any circumstances, even if your ex is speaking to them, drag them into conversations about the divorce.  Obviously listen to them and respond to their issues, but do not bad mouth their mom.  So many people take the low road here and all it does is hurt the kids.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: wenchsenior on July 07, 2017, 02:09:19 PM

Personally I think divorce must be like getting over a loved one's death, it's one the few times a person faces total despair.   In which case, the hopeful part is simply that the pain passes. 


Research has shown it is actually worse.  With a loved one's death you have closure and it is much easier to grieve and move on.  Also, there is the psychological burden where with death, they did not "choose" to leave you.  With divorce it was a conscious decision and it tends to make it much more difficult.  Also, divorce impact every single aspect of your life.  It is not only the person that is gone.  So are the dreams and plans you had built with them.  Every aspect of your life is changed.  Death of a loved one is much more compartmentalized.

I think definitely worse than death in terms of the impact on the self esteem of the one being left.  My mother just shut down for about 10 years after my father left, and to be honest, she never really recovered.  That is not typical, btw, but it was the result of a longstanding pattern of her building an entire identity around him and his goals since they met when she was in her early 20s. She was also very overwhelmed by practical things like finance, and just avoided making financial decisions until she ended up in deep trouble. That made her feel worse and caused her to shut down more. 

There is a good lesson in my mother's situation: The partner who is being 'left' (if there is one) should absolutely understand that a period of grief and mourning is normal and healthy, but that if you find you are shutting down, withdrawing completely from the world out of fear, not working, etc... this is not healthy and counseling is probably imperative then. 

Also, I would recommend that you set a couple of manageable, practical goals to work toward during this period. You won't always feel like it, but you should try to inch toward it anyway because it gives a sense of individual purpose and self worth when yours is beaten down.   It's best if they are not directly tied to goals that you shared with your spouse, and do not directly remind you of your lost relationship.  Ideally, they can be developing new 'rituals' for the single you; or new fun things to do with friends or family that you didn't do with spouse; or taking up  a hobby that you meant to get around to, etc.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: blue on July 07, 2017, 02:54:29 PM
DivorceCare: wow! I wish I'd known that existed.

My ex and I separated in early 2013, after years of therapy and trying to make it work.

I will be the caveat to the advice above of "avoid divorce": I have never been happier, despite way more financial and other stressors. In my case, it was absolutely the right thing. And I was adamantly against it for a long time, or I could have found happiness sooner. I was in a terrible marriage and I had no idea how much it was affecting the rest of my life until I got out.

We ended up with lawyers, and I can't see how we could have gotten around that, but it sucked. So much wasted money.

Every time we were finalizing things at the end, I would think, "Is this worth it to pay my attorney $200/hr to do?" (Yeah, my attorney was cheap compared to some, a benefit of small-town living.)

For a family like us, with almost no assets, there was really nothing worth fighting over. I did fight tooth and nail to keep the house; he wanted to force me out and to sell it, out of vindictiveness and some mistaken idea that there was a ton of equity he was missing out on (I paid him his equity by taking on more CC debt and giving up my right to half his retirement pension).

I think it's important to disconnect your feelings/emotions around the failed marriage from how things shake out in terms of property division. There is no "fair" here. There is no meting out justice by "getting more" in the divorce. Just try to get out with your lawyer bill as low as possible.

And emotionally: yeah, it is tough. It does get better. Time helps, but definitely seek support and counseling. I got really good at "radical self-care." Lots of weekends soaking in a hot tub, watching good movies, sleeping in, and forcing myself to go out with friends at least some of the time.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 10, 2017, 06:31:56 AM
DivorceCare: wow! I wish I'd known that existed.


Keep in mind, you can still attend.  Lots of folks came through 5, 10, 15 years after their divorce because they still felt they could use some help to get past things they could not work through themselves.  In most cases it is just the cost of the book, which is $20 or so, for 13 weeks, so certainly not going to break anyone's budget and you might be surprised by what you learn even after you think you've got it figured out.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 10, 2017, 07:24:01 AM
Also, I would recommend that you set a couple of manageable, practical goals to work toward during this period. You won't always feel like it, but you should try to inch toward it anyway because it gives a sense of individual purpose and self worth when yours is beaten down.   It's best if they are not directly tied to goals that you shared with your spouse, and do not directly remind you of your lost relationship.  Ideally, they can be developing new 'rituals' for the single you; or new fun things to do with friends or family that you didn't do with spouse; or taking up  a hobby that you meant to get around to, etc.

Good advice.  Ironically, the biggest goal on these forums (saving enough for an early retirement) may be the one that makes me miss my spouse the most as we were planning to enjoy a long retirement together.  ER is still a goal of mine, but I do get sad thinking about it now.  Maybe I'll try to shift my focus to gaining financial independence instead of retirement for a while and see if that change of perspective helps.

I have developed some new routines related to my health, hobbies, and life outside of work and these new rituals seem to be helping.  I may set some career-related goals at some point, but I know that for now I need to have some constants in my life.  I'm also not emotionally ready to make a decision about a possible career change.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Blonde Lawyer on July 10, 2017, 02:10:14 PM
I haven't been divorced and fingers crossed, hope I never end up divorced, but I am an attorney and handle some family law cases.  My number one piece of advice is to leave your heart at the door and put on your business hat whenever you discuss negotiations.  First, you are paying your attorney by the hour.  Don't make your attorney your therapist.  Second, don't spend 10 hours of attorney time ($2500 for each side, so $5k of family money) to fight over a $1000 asset.  If there are kids, put those kids first.  The saddest cases for me are parents who can't get past themselves.  If dad cheated and broke your heart, that sucks big time, but he is still the father of your kids.  Suck it up and go to your kid's birthday party that dad is throwing.  Cry to your friends and therapist about it later but do it for your kids.  I had an entire hearing once over who had the kids for dinner on one particular special night.  My client begged and plead for mom to just skip the big legal fees and just spend the night together for just that one night.  The kids wouldn't be happy spending it with just mom or just dad.  They wanted both of them there.  Mom refused to do it and actually flat out refused to even discuss it, even with attorneys.  There was no abuse in this family, just hurt feelings.  Sorry, but once you are a parent, your kids come before some hurt feelings.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 10, 2017, 02:18:19 PM
I haven't been divorced and fingers crossed, hope I never end up divorced, but I am an attorney and handle some family law cases.  My number one piece of advice is to leave your heart at the door and put on your business hat whenever you discuss negotiations.  First, you are paying your attorney by the hour.  Don't make your attorney your therapist.  Second, don't spend 10 hours of attorney time ($2500 for each side, so $5k of family money) to fight over a $1000 asset.  If there are kids, put those kids first.  The saddest cases for me are parents who can't get past themselves.  If dad cheated and broke your heart, that sucks big time, but he is still the father of your kids.  Suck it up and go to your kid's birthday party that dad is throwing.  Cry to your friends and therapist about it later but do it for your kids.  I had an entire hearing once over who had the kids for dinner on one particular special night.  My client begged and plead for mom to just skip the big legal fees and just spend the night together for just that one night.  The kids wouldn't be happy spending it with just mom or just dad.  They wanted both of them there.  Mom refused to do it and actually flat out refused to even discuss it, even with attorneys.  There was no abuse in this family, just hurt feelings.  Sorry, but once you are a parent, your kids come before some hurt feelings.
+1

The advice we have to drill into people over and over in support group is that YOUR relationship with your ex is not your kids relationship with your ex.  They do not have the same issues with them that you do, and trying to make them feel they should puts them in a terrible situation of feeling they need to take sides.  Their relationship with that other parent is not changing because you are divorcing.  They are still their mom or dad and they need that to continue.  It is so hard when you see people who just do not internalize that and dump their crap on their kids.  Worse is when they make their kids their therapist and expose them to all kinds of things they should not be privy to.  Why you got divorced is not a topic you discuss with your kids at all, unless they are adults on their own with their own families, and I'd still encourage even not then.  It's really between you and your ex and I've never seen any value of dumping it on the kids.  Even as adults, they still want their parents involved.  It's sad when adult children are trying to plan life events like weddings or grandkids graduations around parents who still refuse to be in the same room together.  I had one bride who decided to get married at the courthouse versus the big wedding she had always dreamed of because she knew her parents would make a scene and ruin the wedding.  It's just sad.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Zamboni on July 10, 2017, 02:52:03 PM
Why you got divorced is not a topic you discuss with your kids at all, unless they are adults on their own with their own families, and I'd still encourage even not then.  It's really between you and your ex and I've never seen any value of dumping it on the kids.  Even as adults, they still want their parents involved.  It's sad when adult children are trying to plan life events like weddings or grandkids graduations around parents who still refuse to be in the same room together.  I had one bride who decided to get married at the courthouse versus the big wedding she had always dreamed of because she knew her parents would make a scene and ruin the wedding.  It's just sad.

This cannot be emphasized enough. My parents didn't divorce until I was an adult, they needed to divorce for their own sanities, and I still don't want to hear about it from either of them. I was there, and neither of them have an even close to reality version of the past (unless you think one person's perception is reality, but I always think there are at least two sides to every story.) No, even as an adult with adult processing skills, I don't want to hear their tales of woe or their bashing of my other parent. My brother (an adult with his own kids) nearly stopped talking to my dad and his current wife over their badmouthing of my Mom. Yes, she has issues. We get it. She likes to tell us all about your issues, too. We don't want to hear it. Thankfully, they were both well behaved at our weddings . . . they work in the wedding industry and had seen enough weddings ruined by feuding divorced parents of the bride or groom to know better than to put even a toe out of line around those events.

On the other hand, I have one friend whose dad wouldn't even go to her wedding because her mother (the mother of the bride) would be there . . . all I can think is "what an asshole."
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 12, 2017, 07:34:45 AM
Second, don't spend 10 hours of attorney time ($2500 for each side, so $5k of family money) to fight over a $1000 asset.

Good advice.  I don't think most people realize how much of a hit their finances would take if they went through a divorce.  That 6-month emergency fund you've built up becomes a 3-month EF overnight when one party files for divorce and takes half the money.  And then you have to give your attorney a retainer.  In my case, it was $2500.  There goes another month out of the EF.  It's easy to see how you can go from a comfortable lifestyle to living paycheck to paycheck pretty quickly if you're using your attorney a lot.  And then if you have to make alimony payments....well, let's just say that could be the end of your early retirement dreams.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: FiguringItOut on July 12, 2017, 07:48:35 AM
Second, don't spend 10 hours of attorney time ($2500 for each side, so $5k of family money) to fight over a $1000 asset.

Good advice.  I don't think most people realize how much of a hit their finances would take if they went through a divorce.  That 6-month emergency fund you've built up becomes a 3-month EF overnight when one party files for divorce and takes half the money.  And then you have to give your attorney a retainer.  In my case, it was $2500.  There goes another month out of the EF. It's easy to see how you can go from a comfortable lifestyle to living paycheck to paycheck pretty quickly if you're using your attorney a lot.  And then if you have to make alimony payments....well, let's just say that could be the end of your early retirement dreams.

It's even less than half of EF, since now the same income and same EF has to support 2 households because all of your 'living' expenses double overnight (rent/mortgage, utilities, car insurance, etc).
And for the party who will be paying child support and/or alimony it's even worse.

Speaking from experience, I highly recommend going the mediator route if you can come to agreement on division of property and custody.  It will save everyone a lot of money, time, and heartache. We ended up hiring a lawyer who was our mediator.  The whole thing start to finish cost us $5K and this included costs associated with QDRO which as I understand are usually separate from legal fees and run fairly high. 

I'm really glad we were able to resolve everything amicably, agreed to everything between ourselves using a list of questions/points we got from our mediator, met with her once at the beginning and once at the end to sign papers.  Everything else was done via email while we were ironing out finer points and sending a draft of agreement with updates back and force until we all agreed it was final and good.

Tips:  I also recommend to go to a few divorce lawyers separately for their free initial consultation.  You will learn a lot about the process and what you actually need from your legal representation.  I saw six and very happy I did.  Then we decided to go the mediator route we went to see a couple of them too (fee initial consults). 




Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 12, 2017, 12:33:09 PM
Second, don't spend 10 hours of attorney time ($2500 for each side, so $5k of family money) to fight over a $1000 asset.

Good advice.  I don't think most people realize how much of a hit their finances would take if they went through a divorce.  That 6-month emergency fund you've built up becomes a 3-month EF overnight when one party files for divorce and takes half the money.  And then you have to give your attorney a retainer.  In my case, it was $2500.  There goes another month out of the EF.  It's easy to see how you can go from a comfortable lifestyle to living paycheck to paycheck pretty quickly if you're using your attorney a lot.  And then if you have to make alimony payments....well, let's just say that could be the end of your early retirement dreams.
+1

We paid out attorney $3,000.  That was the least of it.

By the time I was done I was lighter by $125K retirement funds, $45K home equity, $70K lost real estate value because of market drop having to sell a year after we bought so I could get affordable monthly mortgage and paying the commissions for the realtor and $90K in alimony over 5 years.  Only the first two numbers were splits of assets.  The other $160K was out of pocket or savings.  I literally had to nearly borrow from family members to scrape together the $8K downpayment I need to get by FHA loan on my house for me and the kids, which at that time took all my savings down to $0, but I was able to get it done with no borrowing from family but as I said I think I had about $200 left in any bank account and my $125K in retirement funds.  I did not have any early retirement dreams at that time, but yes, starting over again in my late 30s from almost nothing compared to where I was at and having ongoing alimony for years to take savings rate to $0 for that time period other than putting enough in 401k to get match at work was it.  So yes, it an cost you a bit of money and almost certainly will move the FIRE needle to year 0 again.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 12, 2017, 01:33:34 PM
By the time I was done I was lighter by $125K retirement funds, $45K home equity, $70K lost real estate value because of market drop having to sell a year after we bought so I could get affordable monthly mortgage and paying the commissions for the realtor and $90K in alimony over 5 years.  Only the first two numbers were splits of assets.  The other $160K was out of pocket or savings.  I literally had to nearly borrow from family members to scrape together the $8K downpayment I need to get by FHA loan on my house for me and the kids, which at that time took all my savings down to $0, but I was able to get it done with no borrowing from family but as I said I think I had about $200 left in any bank account and my $125K in retirement funds.  I did not have any early retirement dreams at that time, but yes, starting over again in my late 30s from almost nothing compared to where I was at and having ongoing alimony for years to take savings rate to $0 for that time period other than putting enough in 401k to get match at work was it.  So yes, it an cost you a bit of money and almost certainly will move the FIRE needle to year 0 again.
Ouch.  I have a feeling I'm going to take a similar hit.  We were only married for 5 years, but we really built up our nest egg in those 5 years.  I have no idea how I'm supposed to pay her for the equity we built up in the house over the course of our marriage.  Another question for the lawyer, I guess.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 12, 2017, 01:49:51 PM
By the time I was done I was lighter by $125K retirement funds, $45K home equity, $70K lost real estate value because of market drop having to sell a year after we bought so I could get affordable monthly mortgage and paying the commissions for the realtor and $90K in alimony over 5 years.  Only the first two numbers were splits of assets.  The other $160K was out of pocket or savings.  I literally had to nearly borrow from family members to scrape together the $8K downpayment I need to get by FHA loan on my house for me and the kids, which at that time took all my savings down to $0, but I was able to get it done with no borrowing from family but as I said I think I had about $200 left in any bank account and my $125K in retirement funds.  I did not have any early retirement dreams at that time, but yes, starting over again in my late 30s from almost nothing compared to where I was at and having ongoing alimony for years to take savings rate to $0 for that time period other than putting enough in 401k to get match at work was it.  So yes, it an cost you a bit of money and almost certainly will move the FIRE needle to year 0 again.
Ouch.  I have a feeling I'm going to take a similar hit.  We were only married for 5 years, but we really built up our nest egg in those 5 years.  I have no idea how I'm supposed to pay her for the equity we built up in the house over the course of our marriage.  Another question for the lawyer, I guess.
My situation had a unique twist based on sub-optimal financial decisions I chose to make as a trade off to not renegotiating custody and just getting the kids out of a bad situation.

So the agreement as written in the court was I needed to give her her portion of the $90K equity we had when we filed within three years, which is a typical time frame in our state for this type of agreement.  I then decided I actualy needed to sell the house and the attorney wanted to draft a typical "we each get 50% of the proceeds after sale" but that would re-open everything and I said, no leave it as is and I'll suck up the costs.  With the then continued decline in the housing price (sold in 2011 while housing crash was still going on) along with all my costs, I still had to pay her $45K that I owed her and my $45K and then some (about $70K total in losses and cost) went bye bye when I sold and paid my realtor, so I had to dip into savings to pay her or the realtor depending on how you want to split the hair.  I was short money after I sold the house because I sold it for $25K less than I paid for it a year earlier and I had to pay a commission and fees.  If you know you are selling the house you will probably not get caught that way, but I traded cash for emotional sanity.

ETA:  Also I was married 16 years, so you will not be paying 5 years of alimony on a 5 year marriage.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 12, 2017, 02:15:07 PM

My situation had a unique twist based on sub-optimal financial decisions I chose to make as a trade off to not renegotiating custody and just getting the kids out of a bad situation.

So the agreement as written in the court was I needed to give her her portion of the $90K equity we had when we filed within three years, which is a typical time frame in our state for this type of agreement.  I then decided I actualy needed to sell the house and the attorney wanted to draft a typical "we each get 50% of the proceeds after sale" but that would re-open everything and I said, no leave it as is and I'll suck up the costs.  With the then continued decline in the housing price (sold in 2011 while housing crash was still going on) along with all my costs, I still had to pay her $45K that I owed her and my $45K and then some (about $70K total in losses and cost) went bye bye when I sold and paid my realtor, so I had to dip into savings to pay her or the realtor depending on how you want to split the hair.  I was short money after I sold the house because I sold it for $25K less than I paid for it a year earlier and I had to pay a commission and fees.  If you know you are selling the house you will probably not get caught that way, but I traded cash for emotional sanity.

ETA:  Also I was married 16 years, so you will not be paying 5 years of alimony on a 5 year marriage.
Thanks for the explanation.  Even if I have 3 years to give her her portion of the equity, I'll probably be forced to sell the house.  I can see why you traded cash for emotional sanity, though.  You can't put a price on good emotional health.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 12, 2017, 02:26:52 PM
Thinking about the financial stress involved with divorce got me thinking about what really stinks about this whole deal.  You're going through the worst time of your life and you're forced to do it without the support of the person who was your partner, best friend, and most trusted ally.  So, you've lost your biggest supporter at the time when you need support the most.  Divorce just plain sucks.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: FiguringItOut on July 12, 2017, 02:33:01 PM
Thinking about the financial stress involved with divorce got me thinking about what really stinks about this whole deal.  You're going through the worst time of your life and you're forced to do it without the support of the person who was your partner, best friend, and most trusted ally.  So, you've lost your biggest supporter at the time when you need support the most.  Divorce just plain sucks.

If you are going through divorce, then your soon-to-be-ex is most like hasn't been or is not your partner, best friend, most trusted ally, or supporter.  For people who hasn't been through or not likely to be through a divorce this is hard to understand, but as stressful as divorce is and as time and money consuming as it is, in the end it is probably for the best considering the alternative of living with someone who is not, as you put it, your partner, best friend, most trusted ally, or supporter.   Even if you didn't now this about them before the divorce was initiated.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 12, 2017, 02:39:32 PM

My situation had a unique twist based on sub-optimal financial decisions I chose to make as a trade off to not renegotiating custody and just getting the kids out of a bad situation.

So the agreement as written in the court was I needed to give her her portion of the $90K equity we had when we filed within three years, which is a typical time frame in our state for this type of agreement.  I then decided I actualy needed to sell the house and the attorney wanted to draft a typical "we each get 50% of the proceeds after sale" but that would re-open everything and I said, no leave it as is and I'll suck up the costs.  With the then continued decline in the housing price (sold in 2011 while housing crash was still going on) along with all my costs, I still had to pay her $45K that I owed her and my $45K and then some (about $70K total in losses and cost) went bye bye when I sold and paid my realtor, so I had to dip into savings to pay her or the realtor depending on how you want to split the hair.  I was short money after I sold the house because I sold it for $25K less than I paid for it a year earlier and I had to pay a commission and fees.  If you know you are selling the house you will probably not get caught that way, but I traded cash for emotional sanity.

ETA:  Also I was married 16 years, so you will not be paying 5 years of alimony on a 5 year marriage.
Thanks for the explanation.  Even if I have 3 years to give her her portion of the equity, I'll probably be forced to sell the house.  I can see why you traded cash for emotional sanity, though.  You can't put a price on good emotional health.
If you sell the house (and that is the agreement) that usually comes with a shorter time frame.  Usually 1 year.  The 3 years is if you intend to keep it so it gives you time to come up with what for many is a large chunk of cash.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 12, 2017, 02:57:30 PM
Thinking about the financial stress involved with divorce got me thinking about what really stinks about this whole deal.  You're going through the worst time of your life and you're forced to do it without the support of the person who was your partner, best friend, and most trusted ally.  So, you've lost your biggest supporter at the time when you need support the most.  Divorce just plain sucks.

If you are going through divorce, then your soon-to-be-ex is most like hasn't been or is not your partner, best friend, most trusted ally, or supporter.  For people who hasn't been through or not likely to be through a divorce this is hard to understand, but as stressful as divorce is and as time and money consuming as it is, in the end it is probably for the best considering the alternative of living with someone who is not, as you put it, your partner, best friend, most trusted ally, or supporter.   Even if you didn't now this about them before the divorce was initiated.

She may not have been my best friend on the day that she left, but we were talking about starting a family as recently as late April so I have to think she was still all of those things to me as recently as 3 months ago.  Being left like that is a hard pill to swallow.  Especially since I don't know why she left.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: FiguringItOut on July 12, 2017, 03:20:29 PM
Thinking about the financial stress involved with divorce got me thinking about what really stinks about this whole deal.  You're going through the worst time of your life and you're forced to do it without the support of the person who was your partner, best friend, and most trusted ally.  So, you've lost your biggest supporter at the time when you need support the most.  Divorce just plain sucks.

If you are going through divorce, then your soon-to-be-ex is most like hasn't been or is not your partner, best friend, most trusted ally, or supporter.  For people who hasn't been through or not likely to be through a divorce this is hard to understand, but as stressful as divorce is and as time and money consuming as it is, in the end it is probably for the best considering the alternative of living with someone who is not, as you put it, your partner, best friend, most trusted ally, or supporter.   Even if you didn't now this about them before the divorce was initiated.

She may not have been my best friend on the day that she left, but we were talking about starting a family as recently as late April so I have to think she was still all of those things to me as recently as 3 months ago.  Being left like that is a hard pill to swallow.  Especially since I don't know why she left.

I understand what you are saying, however, just because you thought she was your friend and had you best interest prior to leaving, she most likely didn't.  Or may be she though your weren't her friend or had her interests. That's the problem.  Your perception of the situation is not the same as the situation itself or how she saw it.  I know it's hard for you, I'm not minimizing your struggle.  What I"m saying is that in the end, it will be for the best, even if you can't see that silver lining right now.
May be try to find out why she left.  That could shine some light on the whole thing.

I know that when I started questioning my marriage and my happiness in it, it was a total a complete shock to my ex-h.  None of 'my issues' were issues to him, even though I"ve told him over the years many many times that these things were making me unhappy.  It was such a shock to him, that he couldn't even process the concept and extent of my unhappiness for a long time (months and months). And this was even before we attempted to 'fix' things, which also didn't work in the end.

It seems that your ex-w left out of the blue, but she may have been unhappy for a while (I'm just speculating here).  In my case, I didn't just leave, we tried counseling and other way to fix marriage and then when it was clear that it was done and over, it took another 18-24 months to save some money in order to move on.  The whole thing dragged on for 5 years.  If it wasn't for the lack of money and my concerned over custody of kids, I probably would've left right away.  In the end, my concerns over custody were a non-issue as he didn't even ask for it, just assumed that I'll take the kids, whereas I was mentally preparing for a court battle.

BTW, we were planning vacations and other family things for the next couple years at the time I realized that relationship wasn't working for me. 


Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: kayvent on July 12, 2017, 07:03:32 PM
Second, don't spend 10 hours of attorney time ($2500 for each side, so $5k of family money) to fight over a $1000 asset.

Good advice.  I don't think most people realize how much of a hit their finances would take if they went through a divorce.  That 6-month emergency fund you've built up becomes a 3-month EF overnight when one party files for divorce and takes half the money.  And then you have to give your attorney a retainer.  In my case, it was $2500.  There goes another month out of the EF. It's easy to see how you can go from a comfortable lifestyle to living paycheck to paycheck pretty quickly if you're using your attorney a lot.  And then if you have to make alimony payments....well, let's just say that could be the end of your early retirement dreams.

It's even less than half of EF, since now the same income and same EF has to support 2 households because all of your 'living' expenses double overnight (rent/mortgage, utilities, car insurance, etc).
And for the party who will be paying child support and/or alimony it's even worse.

Speaking from experience, I highly recommend going the mediator route if you can come to agreement on division of property and custody.  It will save everyone a lot of money, time, and heartache. We ended up hiring a lawyer who was our mediator.  The whole thing start to finish cost us $5K and this included costs associated with QDRO which as I understand are usually separate from legal fees and run fairly high. 

I'm really glad we were able to resolve everything amicably, agreed to everything between ourselves using a list of questions/points we got from our mediator, met with her once at the beginning and once at the end to sign papers.  Everything else was done via email while we were ironing out finer points and sending a draft of agreement with updates back and force until we all agreed it was final and good.

This is entirely anecdotal. In my home province, they had a mediation pilot for a few years to see if it would help reduce the backlog of court cases and the time (and therefore money) to the province. The program was cancelled after it was determined that amicably separations (oxymoron notwithstanding) were the ones that went through mediation; however, these types of cases were not the ones clogging the system.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 13, 2017, 08:34:20 AM
I understand what you are saying, however, just because you thought she was your friend and had you best interest prior to leaving, she most likely didn't.  Or may be she though your weren't her friend or had her interests. That's the problem.  Your perception of the situation is not the same as the situation itself or how she saw it. I know it's hard for you, I'm not minimizing your struggle.  What I"m saying is that in the end, it will be for the best, even if you can't see that silver lining right now.
May be try to find out why she left.  That could shine some light on the whole thing.

I'm sure you're right about the part in bold.  I was happily married, but she clearly was not.  And I would very much like to know why she left.  Unfortunately, she shut down all communications with me the day she left.

Why is it always the woman who initiates the divorce?  I've read that among couples where both spouses have a college degree, the divorce is initiated by the woman something like 90% of the time.  I guess men are just easier to please?
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: FiguringItOut on July 13, 2017, 08:43:59 AM
I understand what you are saying, however, just because you thought she was your friend and had you best interest prior to leaving, she most likely didn't.  Or may be she though your weren't her friend or had her interests. That's the problem.  Your perception of the situation is not the same as the situation itself or how she saw it. I know it's hard for you, I'm not minimizing your struggle.  What I"m saying is that in the end, it will be for the best, even if you can't see that silver lining right now.
May be try to find out why she left.  That could shine some light on the whole thing.

I'm sure you're right about the part in bold.  I was happily married, but she clearly was not.  And I would very much like to know why she left.  Unfortunately, she shut down all communications with me the day she left.

Why is it always the woman who initiates the divorce?  I've read that among couples where both spouses have a college degree, the divorce is initiated by the woman something like 90% of the time.  I guess men are just easier to please?

I'm sorry you are going through this.  It is hard and it will take time for you for process all of it and to get past it.
I don't know why it's women more than men.  At the time I was going through it, two of the women I know also filed for divorce from their husbands.  For one of them it was a long drawn out decision, like mine.  For the other one it was a fast and dirty once some serious issues came up in her marriage.
I do know for a fact that my ex-h would've never ever left me no matter the circumstances and no matter how unhappy he would've gotten, so in the end it was up to me to get out.

Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: snacky on July 13, 2017, 09:07:23 AM
I understand what you are saying, however, just because you thought she was your friend and had you best interest prior to leaving, she most likely didn't.  Or may be she though your weren't her friend or had her interests. That's the problem.  Your perception of the situation is not the same as the situation itself or how she saw it. I know it's hard for you, I'm not minimizing your struggle.  What I"m saying is that in the end, it will be for the best, even if you can't see that silver lining right now.
May be try to find out why she left.  That could shine some light on the whole thing.

I'm sure you're right about the part in bold.  I was happily married, but she clearly was not.  And I would very much like to know why she left.  Unfortunately, she shut down all communications with me the day she left.

Why is it always the woman who initiates the divorce?  I've read that among couples where both spouses have a college degree, the divorce is initiated by the woman something like 90% of the time.  I guess men are just easier to please?

I'm sorry you are going through this.  It is hard and it will take time for you for process all of it and to get past it.
I don't know why it's women more than men.  At the time I was going through it, two of the women I know also filed for divorce from their husbands.  For one of them it was a long drawn out decision, like mine.  For the other one it was a fast and dirty once some serious issues came up in her marriage.
I do know for a fact that my ex-h would've never ever left me no matter the circumstances and no matter how unhappy he would've gotten, so in the end it was up to me to get out.

Me too.

Someone mentioned upthread the experience of telling a partner over and over how unhappy they were, but not being listened to, then the partner being surprised when the marriage ended. I have seen this in my own life and in others' lives, over and over.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 13, 2017, 10:29:35 AM
I understand what you are saying, however, just because you thought she was your friend and had you best interest prior to leaving, she most likely didn't.  Or may be she though your weren't her friend or had her interests. That's the problem.  Your perception of the situation is not the same as the situation itself or how she saw it. I know it's hard for you, I'm not minimizing your struggle.  What I"m saying is that in the end, it will be for the best, even if you can't see that silver lining right now.
May be try to find out why she left.  That could shine some light on the whole thing.

I'm sure you're right about the part in bold.  I was happily married, but she clearly was not.  And I would very much like to know why she left.  Unfortunately, she shut down all communications with me the day she left.

Why is it always the woman who initiates the divorce?  I've read that among couples where both spouses have a college degree, the divorce is initiated by the woman something like 90% of the time.  I guess men are just easier to please?

I'm sorry you are going through this.  It is hard and it will take time for you for process all of it and to get past it.
I don't know why it's women more than men.  At the time I was going through it, two of the women I know also filed for divorce from their husbands.  For one of them it was a long drawn out decision, like mine.  For the other one it was a fast and dirty once some serious issues came up in her marriage.
I do know for a fact that my ex-h would've never ever left me no matter the circumstances and no matter how unhappy he would've gotten, so in the end it was up to me to get out.

Me too.

Someone mentioned upthread the experience of telling a partner over and over how unhappy they were, but not being listened to, then the partner being surprised when the marriage ended. I have seen this in my own life and in others' lives, over and over.

I assume you're talking about other women.  Did they give their husbands specific reasons for their unhappiness, or did they just tell them they were unhappy?  Thinking back on my relationship, there were times when my wife said she was "feeling" a certain way but she couldn't really tell me why.  If a woman wants her spouse to change his behavior, she needs to be able to tell him precisely what he's doing wrong.  Otherwise, how does he know what he needs to do differently?
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: snacky on July 13, 2017, 10:55:01 AM
I can't speak for anyone else, but in my case I kept expressing dissatisfaction with the status quo and he continually brushed me off. It took leaving him for me to go back to school, get a good job, and live in a more satisfying way.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Zamboni on July 13, 2017, 11:08:09 AM
I'm sorry you are going through this.  It is hard and it will take time for you for process all of it and to get past it.
I don't know why it's women more than men.  At the time I was going through it, two of the women I know also filed for divorce from their husbands.  For one of them it was a long drawn out decision, like mine.  For the other one it was a fast and dirty once some serious issues came up in her marriage.
I do know for a fact that my ex-h would've never ever left me no matter the circumstances and no matter how unhappy he would've gotten, so in the end it was up to me to get out.

Me too.

Someone mentioned upthread the experience of telling a partner over and over how unhappy they were, but not being listened to, then the partner being surprised when the marriage ended. I have seen this in my own life and in others' lives, over and over.

I assume you're talking about other women.  Did they give their husbands specific reasons for their unhappiness, or did they just tell them they were unhappy?  Thinking back on my relationship, there were times when my wife said she was "feeling" a certain way but she couldn't really tell me why.  If a woman wants her spouse to change his behavior, she needs to be able to tell him precisely what he's doing wrong.  Otherwise, how does he know what he needs to do differently?
[/quote]

I agree with you, Schaef's. There is a burden on both parties . . . one person needs to express things clearly, and the other person needs to listen and also acknowledge they heard what was said. Many (most?) people can improve how they communicate both in terms of expressing themselves and listening. Unhappiness in a relationship is rarely the "fault" of one person, I think.

And sometimes a person can't quite pinpoint what is missing. There is some void, but it's hard to articulate what exactly the other person can do differently. I was also taught that you shouldn't try to change other people, so it is particularly hard for me to say "I wish you would behave this way instead of the way you just did." A few suggestions or requests are made, and if these are rebuffed or ignored, then many people just stop trying.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: wenchsenior on July 13, 2017, 11:59:15 AM
I also think that, when relationships end, there is an intense and understandable desire on the part of both parties to have both logical AND emotionally satisfying explanation as to why the precipitating party is acting.  But in reality, people are often making the decision primarily for emotional reasons and then self justifying afterward with lists of ' logical' reasons.

Many relationships do end for objectively good reasons, of course. But I think the hard thing to accept is that sometimes people just stop wanting to be in a relationship, either because they fall out of love or they grow in a different direction in terms of values, etc.  In that case, there really is nothing the party being left can do...and no clear indications on how they might prevent their subsequent relationships from ending the same way. It can be extremely upsetting and also reminds us all unpleasantly that intimate relationships are inherently risky. There are certainly practices in relationships that create healthier and happier dynamics, but in the end we cannot always affect other peoples' emotions and behaviors as much as we wish or in the ways we wish. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 13, 2017, 12:06:27 PM
I understand what you are saying, however, just because you thought she was your friend and had you best interest prior to leaving, she most likely didn't.  Or may be she though your weren't her friend or had her interests. That's the problem.  Your perception of the situation is not the same as the situation itself or how she saw it. I know it's hard for you, I'm not minimizing your struggle.  What I"m saying is that in the end, it will be for the best, even if you can't see that silver lining right now.
May be try to find out why she left.  That could shine some light on the whole thing.

I'm sure you're right about the part in bold.  I was happily married, but she clearly was not.  And I would very much like to know why she left.  Unfortunately, she shut down all communications with me the day she left.

Why is it always the woman who initiates the divorce?  I've read that among couples where both spouses have a college degree, the divorce is initiated by the woman something like 90% of the time.  I guess men are just easier to please?
I do think there is some truth to the fact that men just live with a situation.  On the outside looking in our our divorce people would say I initiated it, because I was the one who filed, and in the last couple weeks when I had finally given up the fight, I did move forward because I knew she'd drag it along and I wanted to get the kids through it and on to the new normal as fast as possible.  But on the inside of our marriage, she was the only one threatening divorce for years on end.  I'm not saying that this is the situation of the other women on here, but there did become a little bit of the "boy who cried wolf".  I eventually got deaf to the whining about how she never had enough money, never had enough fun, never had enough of whatever issue of the month was coming up.  We constantly talked about how we could change things, and we'd make changes and it was never enough.  We'd make a change and then she'd move the bar.  Sometimes "unhappy" just becomes the excuse word to use when they just want out and nothing will ever work.  We went to marriage counseling.  What she claimed was her biggest issue, I literally changed in a week and never looked back, because the only reason I was doing it in the first place was that I thought that's what she was clearly signaling she wanted me to be like in the first place.  Therapist thought I was being a little overly optimistic about how easy it was to change it, but two months later he had to admit, it was changed and gone and even he was surprised, yet then the excuse became she could not forget how I had been before and it would be too hard to get over so it was just easier to keep moving forward with giving up.   Then we told the kids.  Tears all around, then a week later as we are getting ready to go to attorneys she gets cold feet and makes up.  Things simmer for a year then the week before Christmas she blurts out she wants to be done and she has determined she should never have gotten married and never have had kids, she only did it because society made her feel like she should.  She figured out she wanted to be single because she had never lived on her own and supported herself.  By the way she turned around three months after we were divorced and was living with someone and already pregnant, so it was all made up crap, or she was confused about what she wanted.  I called the attorney the next day and had the paperwork done two days later.  We worked out what went into the paperwork those two days.  Until my ex started dragging the kids into the crap, I was making due, so yes, I would not have initiated.  It was once the kids were being impacted that I finally said enough is enough and that's why I rushed it through at that point.  A year before we had told the kids, they were devastated and then we "made up" (meaning she said she changed her mind) and lived as a family for another year during which I took a new job and we moved several states away.  I was not going to have he kids go through another yo-yo ride of we are getting divorced, no we ain't, yes we are.  I had tried to listen and meet her needs for the better part of the last 5-10 years are she pulled away and came back, the feminine yo-yo and I was done.  So again, did I "initiate the divorce"?  I'd say I finished it, but she had spent the better part of a decade initiating it.  Now in the end, I'd agree with Figuring that I am much happier, but I had to do a LOT of work on myself and processing of my marriage, my part in it not working, to "fix myself up" to be ready for the next person I let into my life.  I deserved the shit marriage I got because I did it all wrong, listening to the world and how "love conquers all" and the other bullshit we are sold, instead of actually finding a woman that understood what marriage and family are really about.  If you can focus on yourself and make sure you are a whole person on your own, you can end up with an amazing second act, and it can get better.  The trick is to acknowledge and take ownership of what you were responsible for in the failed marriage and do something about it. 

Now I also feel that the "unhappy" tag is tossed around way to easily these days.  I think people expect marriage to be easy.  It's not and was never meant to be.  Two imperfect people living together in the same house is never going to be easy.  Talk to long time married couple and you start to figure this out.  There are always a lot of challenges.  My best advice if you chose to re-enter the married world at some point is find someone who you fight well with.  What I mean by that is that your disagreements are resolved in a positive and constructive way, not by belittling or name calling each other, or hurting each other.  That's when you've got something that can last, because you will have points in time where you are on other sides of the world in how you view an issue, and finding a way to work together on it is hard.  If you can do that, you'll avoid almost everything that causes issues.  Also, learn to be satisfied with what you have.  Stop having grass is greener syndrome with regards to your spouse, your finances, your job.  That does not mean do not try to make your life better, but do it as a team, and with realistic expectations that avoid stressing both of you out.  Affairs always start because someone does not know how to do this. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 13, 2017, 12:11:48 PM
I understand what you are saying, however, just because you thought she was your friend and had you best interest prior to leaving, she most likely didn't.  Or may be she though your weren't her friend or had her interests. That's the problem.  Your perception of the situation is not the same as the situation itself or how she saw it. I know it's hard for you, I'm not minimizing your struggle.  What I"m saying is that in the end, it will be for the best, even if you can't see that silver lining right now.
May be try to find out why she left.  That could shine some light on the whole thing.

I'm sure you're right about the part in bold.  I was happily married, but she clearly was not.  And I would very much like to know why she left.  Unfortunately, she shut down all communications with me the day she left.

Why is it always the woman who initiates the divorce?  I've read that among couples where both spouses have a college degree, the divorce is initiated by the woman something like 90% of the time.  I guess men are just easier to please?

I'm sorry you are going through this.  It is hard and it will take time for you for process all of it and to get past it.
I don't know why it's women more than men.  At the time I was going through it, two of the women I know also filed for divorce from their husbands.  For one of them it was a long drawn out decision, like mine.  For the other one it was a fast and dirty once some serious issues came up in her marriage.
I do know for a fact that my ex-h would've never ever left me no matter the circumstances and no matter how unhappy he would've gotten, so in the end it was up to me to get out.

Me too.

Someone mentioned upthread the experience of telling a partner over and over how unhappy they were, but not being listened to, then the partner being surprised when the marriage ended. I have seen this in my own life and in others' lives, over and over.

I assume you're talking about other women.  Did they give their husbands specific reasons for their unhappiness, or did they just tell them they were unhappy?  Thinking back on my relationship, there were times when my wife said she was "feeling" a certain way but she couldn't really tell me why.  If a woman wants her spouse to change his behavior, she needs to be able to tell him precisely what he's doing wrong.  Otherwise, how does he know what he needs to do differently?
Man are from Mars, women are from Venus.  Different ways of communicating.  Figuring out how to cross that divide is tough.  See my comments about fighting well in the last post.  At times it takes a lot of effort to make sure I really understand what my wife is saying, but that's a big part of what I learned after my marriage broke up.  I did not always seek to understand, I just took the words and figured I knew what they meant.   A very helpful book is "Love and Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: K-ice on July 13, 2017, 12:30:27 PM
I really do not know if it is best to get everything settled at once or to try and peg off different things as you can agree to them.

ie assets, custody, child support.

This could maybe be further sub divided.

It is my understanding, at least in Canada, but once property is split you can't go back unless someone hid assets.
Custody and child support can be reevaluated every year.

My friend and her ex came to a separation agreement quite amicably within 6 months.

They keep their respective retirements & savings, split house equity based on a number they agreed to 380K (380K city appraisal but one realtor appraised it at only 320K, mom foolishly said they had verbally agreed to the 380K so she wasn't going to change it now), the dad got $120 cash the day the separation agreement was signed, mom kept home, barely qualified for the new mortgage, Kids: joint custody for decisions but prime parenting with the mom, lots of visits for the dad ~35%, and NO child support or alimony as the mom makes more than the dad.

Anyway they were both quick to sign the separation agreement.  Lawyer fees only $800 for my friend.

One year later and time to make it official and the Dad says he now wants shared 50:50 parenting.  Tells the ex wife he has lots of money to fight her in court. (No kidding he just got 120K cash and only bought a small townhouse). The children do not seam to thrive after his visits so the mom is very against him getting more time.

3 years and $30,000 in lawyers later the dad has even less time ~20% but other than that things are unchanged.

Part of me wishes she had held onto the cash until custody and everything was settled. Since she didn't sell the house the 3y waiting period mentioned above would have been much better for her.

It was just so frustrating to watch thinking it was all over and settled and then it wasn't. ... Actually, I'm not even sure if it is officially over. I know they are close.


Oh and by the way the ex husband had an affair. At first they wanted to work things out but said he needed to get rid of the girlfriend. He refused. Ok it was over. There is no fault in Canada so it's not a huge deal, but he also refused to admit adultery which would have expedited the divorce.


Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 13, 2017, 02:08:17 PM
Now I also feel that the "unhappy" tag is tossed around way to easily these days.  I think people expect marriage to be easy.  It's not and was never meant to be. Two imperfect people living together in the same house is never going to be easy.  Talk to long time married couple and you start to figure this out.  There are always a lot of challenges.  My best advice if you chose to re-enter the married world at some point is find someone who you fight well with.  What I mean by that is that your disagreements are resolved in a positive and constructive way, not by belittling or name calling each other, or hurting each other.  That's when you've got something that can last, because you will have points in time where you are on other sides of the world in how you view an issue, and finding a way to work together on it is hard.  If you can do that, you'll avoid almost everything that causes issues. 

Good post.  I think that's why wedding vows say "for better for worse, for richer or for poorer, etc."  There are always going to be unhappy times and challenges to overcome.

I totally agree with your point about learning how you're going to fight with each other.  A buddy of mine in church said this was the most important thing he and his then fiancee discussed with their counselor in premarital counseling.  In hindsight, I really wish my wife and I had gone through that.  We have many things in common, but our fighting styles could not be more different.  I'll stay up all night trying to win an argument (because I enjoy it...it's almost like trying to win a game) but she just shuts down.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 13, 2017, 02:15:41 PM
I really do not know if it is best to get everything settled at once or to try and peg off different things as you can agree to them.

ie assets, custody, child support.

This could maybe be further sub divided.

It is my understanding, at least in Canada, but once property is split you can't go back unless someone hid assets.
Custody and child support can be reevaluated every year.

My friend and her ex came to a separation agreement quite amicably within 6 months.

They keep their respective retirements & savings, split house equity based on a number they agreed to 380K (380K city appraisal but one realtor appraised it at only 320K, mom foolishly said they had verbally agreed to the 380K so she wasn't going to change it now), the dad got $120 cash the day the separation agreement was signed, mom kept home, barely qualified for the new mortgage, Kids: joint custody for decisions but prime parenting with the mom, lots of visits for the dad ~35%, and NO child support or alimony as the mom makes more than the dad.

Anyway they were both quick to sign the separation agreement.  Lawyer fees only $800 for my friend.

One year later and time to make it official and the Dad says he now wants shared 50:50 parenting.  Tells the ex wife he has lots of money to fight her in court. (No kidding he just got 120K cash and only bought a small townhouse). The children do not seam to thrive after his visits so the mom is very against him getting more time.

3 years and $30,000 in lawyers later the dad has even less time ~20% but other than that things are unchanged.

Part of me wishes she had held onto the cash until custody and everything was settled. Since she didn't sell the house the 3y waiting period mentioned above would have been much better for her.

It was just so frustrating to watch thinking it was all over and settled and then it wasn't. ... Actually, I'm not even sure if it is officially over. I know they are close.


Oh and by the way the ex husband had an affair. At first they wanted to work things out but said he needed to get rid of the girlfriend. He refused. Ok it was over. There is no fault in Canada so it's not a huge deal, but he also refused to admit adultery which would have expedited the divorce.
You are generally correct.  Once the assets are divided you cannot go back unless you prove fraud.  So if you agree to a poor alimony payment for example, it is what it is.

The only time it is officially settled is when the kids are 18.  And in the US you can go back for custody whenever you want.  There is no time limit.  Child support as well, though the only time you get a change is when you have a "change in circumstances" which is clearly defined, but courts are happy to hear your case and then tell you nothing changed and payments therefore stay the same.  In the interim your lawyers got some more money.  This is where a vindictive ex like my wife has can bleed you dry.  If they represent themselves they have no costs other than filing fees of a hundred dollars or so, but if you want a lawyer, you pay them by the hour.  As I said above, they finished one custody hearing and he literally turned around the next week and filed again and court scheduled for 10 more days of trial.  Welcome to the legal system where only the employees benefit.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: BFGirl on July 13, 2017, 02:55:30 PM
Now I also feel that the "unhappy" tag is tossed around way to easily these days.  I think people expect marriage to be easy.  It's not and was never meant to be. Two imperfect people living together in the same house is never going to be easy.  Talk to long time married couple and you start to figure this out.  There are always a lot of challenges.  My best advice if you chose to re-enter the married world at some point is find someone who you fight well with.  What I mean by that is that your disagreements are resolved in a positive and constructive way, not by belittling or name calling each other, or hurting each other.  That's when you've got something that can last, because you will have points in time where you are on other sides of the world in how you view an issue, and finding a way to work together on it is hard.  If you can do that, you'll avoid almost everything that causes issues. 

Good post.  I think that's why wedding vows say "for better for worse, for richer or for poorer, etc."  There are always going to be unhappy times and challenges to overcome.

I totally agree with your point about learning how you're going to fight with each other.  A buddy of mine in church said this was the most important thing he and his then fiancee discussed with their counselor in premarital counseling.  In hindsight, I really wish my wife and I had gone through that.  We have many things in common, but our fighting styles could not be more different.  I'll stay up all night trying to win an argument (because I enjoy it...it's almost like trying to win a game) but she just shuts down.

I am sorry for all that you are going through.  Your comment of about staying up all night trying to "win" an argument is concerning to me.  Marital fights shouldn't be about "winning", they should be about addressing a problem together and finding a solution that both parties can live with.  If you are having a discussion with a partner who is only concerned about "winning" or being "right" you learn to shut down because nothing is being accomplished by the discussion and you feel that your partner is not hearing what you are saying.   It is one thing if you are debating a political issue, but quite another if you are having a fight about things that effect your life or relationship.  I wish you all the best.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: BFGirl on July 13, 2017, 02:59:25 PM
I understand what you are saying, however, just because you thought she was your friend and had you best interest prior to leaving, she most likely didn't.  Or may be she though your weren't her friend or had her interests. That's the problem.  Your perception of the situation is not the same as the situation itself or how she saw it. I know it's hard for you, I'm not minimizing your struggle.  What I"m saying is that in the end, it will be for the best, even if you can't see that silver lining right now.
May be try to find out why she left.  That could shine some light on the whole thing.

I'm sure you're right about the part in bold.  I was happily married, but she clearly was not.  And I would very much like to know why she left.  Unfortunately, she shut down all communications with me the day she left.

Why is it always the woman who initiates the divorce?  I've read that among couples where both spouses have a college degree, the divorce is initiated by the woman something like 90% of the time.  I guess men are just easier to please?

I'm sorry you are going through this.  It is hard and it will take time for you for process all of it and to get past it.
I don't know why it's women more than men.  At the time I was going through it, two of the women I know also filed for divorce from their husbands.  For one of them it was a long drawn out decision, like mine.  For the other one it was a fast and dirty once some serious issues came up in her marriage.
I do know for a fact that my ex-h would've never ever left me no matter the circumstances and no matter how unhappy he would've gotten, so in the end it was up to me to get out.

Me too.

Someone mentioned upthread the experience of telling a partner over and over how unhappy they were, but not being listened to, then the partner being surprised when the marriage ended. I have seen this in my own life and in others' lives, over and over.

This was my experience.  I told my ex for years what the problems were with specificity, but for whatever reason, he didn't care to try to work on the problems.  He just wanted to convince me that I was wrong.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 13, 2017, 03:10:08 PM
Now I also feel that the "unhappy" tag is tossed around way to easily these days.  I think people expect marriage to be easy.  It's not and was never meant to be. Two imperfect people living together in the same house is never going to be easy.  Talk to long time married couple and you start to figure this out.  There are always a lot of challenges.  My best advice if you chose to re-enter the married world at some point is find someone who you fight well with.  What I mean by that is that your disagreements are resolved in a positive and constructive way, not by belittling or name calling each other, or hurting each other.  That's when you've got something that can last, because you will have points in time where you are on other sides of the world in how you view an issue, and finding a way to work together on it is hard.  If you can do that, you'll avoid almost everything that causes issues. 

Good post.  I think that's why wedding vows say "for better for worse, for richer or for poorer, etc."  There are always going to be unhappy times and challenges to overcome.

I totally agree with your point about learning how you're going to fight with each other.  A buddy of mine in church said this was the most important thing he and his then fiancee discussed with their counselor in premarital counseling.  In hindsight, I really wish my wife and I had gone through that.  We have many things in common, but our fighting styles could not be more different.  I'll stay up all night trying to win an argument (because I enjoy it...it's almost like trying to win a game) but she just shuts down.
I think you said you are divorced already, so might not help, but it might help others.  My wife and I are the same way, somewhat, in that I want the argument resolved and she will walk away.  I do not get enjoyment out of it.  I will respectfully suggest you need to figure out how to deal with that viewpoint and change it because you'll frankly irritate anyone that way. 

So it is key to understand that fighting well has nothing to do with having aligned styles.  My wife and are are total opposites in our style, but we still fight well.  That is because we focused on how to work with each style and get a way to get positive results.  I did have to work to not follow her when she's ready to be done and think about it.  That just makes her mad and we then are not fighting well, we're just fighting.  That's when I might get something thrown in my direction.  What I meant by fighting well is that we do not name call or do things just for position in the argument.  We focus on the problem not on harming each other.  It is the problem that is the issue, not the person.  So in your situation, similar to what I need to do, I'd focus on first determining when something is not worth fighting over.  Some battles are just over dumb things.  Maybe you are good at this, but the "I enjoy it, it's a game" would seem to lead to relish arguments over anything and so you just look for battles because you thrive on it.  That would be a difficult environment.  Find some friends to debate with, but don't get your jollies on your spouse with that. 

Now we also "worked out" this with actual fights while we were dating, not in counseling.  I think there is not substitute for the real thing in this case.   Too easy to fabricate and say the right things in a counselors office with made up scenarios or where they jump in. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: snacky on July 13, 2017, 03:25:41 PM
Now I also feel that the "unhappy" tag is tossed around way to easily these days.  I think people expect marriage to be easy.  It's not and was never meant to be. Two imperfect people living together in the same house is never going to be easy.  Talk to long time married couple and you start to figure this out.  There are always a lot of challenges.  My best advice if you chose to re-enter the married world at some point is find someone who you fight well with.  What I mean by that is that your disagreements are resolved in a positive and constructive way, not by belittling or name calling each other, or hurting each other.  That's when you've got something that can last, because you will have points in time where you are on other sides of the world in how you view an issue, and finding a way to work together on it is hard.  If you can do that, you'll avoid almost everything that causes issues. 

I disagree. If a marriage is causing long term unhappiness why continue? A marriage isn't a bad tattoo; it's a reversible decision. Everybody (I hope) enters into it with the best of intentions, but the reality is that some people are badly matched, and people change over time. As  a person who values happiness, I'm not staying in a relationship that makes me miserable.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on July 13, 2017, 03:53:48 PM
I was probably the OP for the original divorce thread that THIS OP was thinking of! All the advice was well-intentioned but it became overwhelming. And I wanted to reduce my online footprint.

I have like a 300 page PDF of it.

While it has been over a year since we filed and some 9 months since we finalized, we are still working amicably and respectfully toward division of marital assets.

Some things that have been helpful for us are doing little favors for each other when time permits (ie, swapping one Sunday evening for another so someone can go to a concert; accepting an 11 AM pickup instead of 9 AM if someone has a meeting; etc.), backing off and using fewer words when things get heated (money is an ongoing discussion), and continuing to enjoy our shared children. We share information about home life and the kids' schedules pretty freely and "like" each other's FB photos of them.

The XFP is remarried. It is important that I do not see this as any kind of reflection on myself, and this takes work. She is prettier than me, and younger. Well, lots of people are. He always wanted to be with a hot girl and now he has one. I have a boyfriend, too. The XFP came over to drop something off and our children were sitting on my couch cuddling with my boyfriend watching a movie. Perhaps it takes work for the XFP to be OK with that?

It is not what I thought life would be but it's pretty OK. I am extremely fortunate that the XFP has been pretty chill. If your ex goes full-scale asshole, there doesn't seem to be much you can do to prevent it.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 14, 2017, 06:43:01 AM
So in your situation, similar to what I need to do, I'd focus on first determining when something is not worth fighting over.  Some battles are just over dumb things.  Maybe you are good at this, but the "I enjoy it, it's a game" would seem to lead to relish arguments over anything and so you just look for battles because you thrive on it.  That would be a difficult environment.  Find some friends to debate with, but don't get your jollies on your spouse with that.

I've never really looked for battles.  It's just that when a battle starts, I'm determined to win it.  Especially when I feel like I have the stronger argument.  I enjoy competition, and to me an argument is just a form of competition.  I realize in hindsight that I should have swallowed my pride on certain occasions.  While I don't think this was the only factor that led to our current separation (we can't get divorced until next June at the earliest), it is one thing I'm working on with my therapist.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: loyalreader on July 14, 2017, 08:20:51 AM
I do think...

Great post, Caracarn
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 14, 2017, 10:22:59 AM
Now I also feel that the "unhappy" tag is tossed around way to easily these days.  I think people expect marriage to be easy.  It's not and was never meant to be. Two imperfect people living together in the same house is never going to be easy.  Talk to long time married couple and you start to figure this out.  There are always a lot of challenges.  My best advice if you chose to re-enter the married world at some point is find someone who you fight well with.  What I mean by that is that your disagreements are resolved in a positive and constructive way, not by belittling or name calling each other, or hurting each other.  That's when you've got something that can last, because you will have points in time where you are on other sides of the world in how you view an issue, and finding a way to work together on it is hard.  If you can do that, you'll avoid almost everything that causes issues. 

I disagree. If a marriage is causing long term unhappiness why continue? A marriage isn't a bad tattoo; it's a reversible decision. Everybody (I hope) enters into it with the best of intentions, but the reality is that some people are badly matched, and people change over time. As  a person who values happiness, I'm not staying in a relationship that makes me miserable.
I will start I'm simply stating my opinion here, and I am sure many may disagree.  I'm not looking to start an argument, but felt I needed to respond to this with some key points.

Marriage should not be viewed as a reversible decision.  All the pain and heartache in this thread from people who have gone through it, in come cases because their selfish parents viewed it as reversible should not be viewed as OK.  Act like an adult and figure out the situation beforehand and understand that this is going to be hard work.  Any relationship, whether marriage or not, takes work to maintain.  If it does not then your not remotely connecting intimately, it's just superficial.  Figure out that the relationship makes you miserable before you get married.  People do change over time, but the trend of divorce being societally acceptable I feel is a major downfall in family stability.  Someone changing to the point that they are different person than they were is pretty rare, it is just a perception.  Many times the asshole was there, they were just great at hiding it while dating.  Nothing my ex did after we were married was not there before, I was just stupid enough to think that in a loving marriage things would change and I bought into that fairy tale.  That ended up with me becoming a divorce statistic.  When we are comfortable in public to say marriage is a reversible decision, it shows that people do not view marriage with the respect it should have as a covenant. 

When I was young I was too stupid to understand this and figured because we had dated for seven years that was good enough, but we had never actually had any hard conversations.  We were still kids living with our parents for most of the time, so when we got together for dates it was all fun and puppy dogs.  That's not enough to build a marriage decision on. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 14, 2017, 10:31:08 AM
I do think...

Great post, Caracarn
Thank you.  Hope it helps someone.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 14, 2017, 10:39:26 AM
Marriage should not be viewed as a reversible decision.  All the pain and heartache in this thread from people who have gone through it, in come cases because their selfish parents viewed it as reversible should not be viewed as OK.  Act like an adult and figure out the situation beforehand and understand that this is going to be hard work.  Any relationship, whether marriage or not, takes work to maintain.  If it does not then your not remotely connecting intimately, it's just superficial.  Figure out that the relationship makes you miserable before you get married.  People do change over time, but the trend of divorce being societally acceptable I feel is a major downfall in family stability.  Someone changing to the point that they are different person than they were is pretty rare, it is just a perception.  Many times the asshole was there, they were just great at hiding it while dating.  Nothing my ex did after we were married was not there before, I was just stupid enough to think that in a loving marriage things would change and I bought into that fairy tale.  That ended up with me becoming a divorce statistic. When we are comfortable in public to say marriage is a reversible decision, it shows that people do not view marriage with the respect it should have as a covenant. 

I totally agree.  "Til death do us part" is a serious commitment and should not be taken lightly.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: snacky on July 14, 2017, 10:44:22 AM
I think diverse family types are good for society. The breakup of a bad marriage is not a tragedy, and good marriages don't break up.

I got married as an idiotic 20 year old, and it was a bad decision. Rectifying that error is the best choice I ever made. At the time (both of the marriage and the divorce) I felt that it was a sacred institution and divorce was the ethical equivalent of murder. Now I look at how much better my life and my kids' lives are and I think that if something is bad and can't be fixed it should be thrown out, and moral judgments are misplaced.

Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Bicycle_B on July 14, 2017, 11:03:36 AM

I totally agree with your point about learning how you're going to fight with each other.  A buddy of mine in church said this was the most important thing he and his then fiancee discussed with their counselor in premarital counseling.  In hindsight, I really wish my wife and I had gone through that.  We have many things in common, but our fighting styles could not be more different.  I'll stay up all night trying to win an argument (because I enjoy it...it's almost like trying to win a game) but she just shuts down.

@SchaeferLight, earlier in the thread I think you indicated that you don't know why your wife divorced you.  Most likely, if your behavior in arguing wasn't the reason, then during the arguments, you either ignored or shut down her telling you reasons.  My personal guess is that she told you many times in many ways, but you hadn't learned to hear it yet.


I've never really looked for battles.  It's just that when a battle starts, I'm determined to win it.  Especially when I feel like I have the stronger argument.  I enjoy competition, and to me an argument is just a form of competition.  I realize in hindsight that I should have swallowed my pride on certain occasions.  While I don't think this was the only factor that led to our current separation (we can't get divorced until next June at the earliest), it is one thing I'm working on with my therapist.

If you write down a list of the "weaker" arguments she gave before divorcing, it might include some of her reasons for divorcing.

My mother had a similar experience to what your wife's/ex-wife's may have been.  Dad argued easily; she did not.  Finally she decided she'd heard enough, and filed divorce papers.  I was adult by this time, thus I heard the developing story from both sides in addition to witnessing some of the events.  Once she walked out the door and filed, she never did accept his requests to talk more.  She felt he'd had his chance.

I sincerely wish you the best in both learning and recovering from this experience.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: historienne on July 14, 2017, 11:24:13 AM

Marriage should not be viewed as a reversible decision.  All the pain and heartache in this thread from people who have gone through it, in come cases because their selfish parents viewed it as reversible should not be viewed as OK.  Act like an adult and figure out the situation beforehand and understand that this is going to be hard work.  Any relationship, whether marriage or not, takes work to maintain.  If it does not then your not remotely connecting intimately, it's just superficial.  Figure out that the relationship makes you miserable before you get married.  People do change over time, but the trend of divorce being societally acceptable I feel is a major downfall in family stability. 

The trend of divorce being societally acceptable is a major contributor to the decline in domestic violence in the United States.  I can show sources if people are interested; I am a historian of marriage and sexuality, this is a commonly accepted research finding in the field.

I assume you believe that divorce is ok in abusive marriages, just not in non-abusive ones.  But that's unfortunately not how the causality works.  Stigmatizing divorce leads people to stay in abusive marriages because, when you get divorced, people are not going to assume that your marriage was abusive unless it was a major news story.  Even if you try to convince people that it was, many will not believe you, because no one wants to think that their friend/acquaintance/coworker/cousin was actually beating their spouse.  Even if you have rock-solid evidence, just think how terrible it is for someone to constantly be explaining to everyone they know the details of the most painful parts of their life. So people stay in abusive marriages because they know that they will be judged by everyone around them for leaving.

If individuals want to adopt a personal code that commits them to staying in a non-abusive marriage no matter how unhappy they are, I'm fine with that.  But on a societal level, stigmatizing divorce has very serious consequences for victims of domestic violence. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Lady SA on July 14, 2017, 11:51:34 AM
I've never really looked for battles.  It's just that when a battle starts, I'm determined to win it.  Especially when I feel like I have the stronger argument.  I enjoy competition, and to me an argument is just a form of competition.  I realize in hindsight that I should have swallowed my pride on certain occasions.  While I don't think this was the only factor that led to our current separation (we can't get divorced until next June at the earliest), it is one thing I'm working on with my therapist.

This sounds like it could be a major contributing factor to the breakdown of the marriage. I know my DH grew up in a family where debating/arguing was encouraged and I did not. He views it as a fun exercise to push his competition muscles, and I experience it as an adversarial, aggressive rejection and like he views me not as a life partner, but as an adversary. Neither of us is right, in fact I think I'm overly sensitive to this because of a dysfunctional upbringing. But the fact remains that I get hurt when he tries to "win" arguments/debates; I tend to shut down and retreat. He knows how much I intensely dislike it and actively tries not to do it out of courtesy to me, but he can occasionally slip back into his friendly/competitive habits.

The difference is, I learned right away to interrupt when I see it's heading toward one of those arguments and say something like, "hey, I'm your partner, not your opponent, I don't like debating like this with you where one wins and one loses (and I always lose because I get so flustered and upset). Can we discuss this like partners and find a solution together, instead?" and he's emotionally sensitive enough to notice that I'm uncomfortable and is able to instantly switch gears from competition to cooperation because to him, its a game, but he knows to me, it's deadly serious. It happens so rarely now that I haven't had to do this in years, but he knows what my boundary is (I refuse to be a debate opponent with him) and he respects it. But it requires respect and communication from both sides. I needed to speak up about what was and wasn't ok with me, and he needed to actively listen and respect it.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 14, 2017, 12:15:16 PM
I've never really looked for battles.  It's just that when a battle starts, I'm determined to win it.  Especially when I feel like I have the stronger argument.  I enjoy competition, and to me an argument is just a form of competition.  I realize in hindsight that I should have swallowed my pride on certain occasions.  While I don't think this was the only factor that led to our current separation (we can't get divorced until next June at the earliest), it is one thing I'm working on with my therapist.

This sounds like it could be a major contributing factor to the breakdown of the marriage. I know my DH grew up in a family where debating/arguing was encouraged and I did not. He views it as a fun exercise to push his competition muscles, and I experience it as an adversarial, aggressive rejection and like he views me not as a life partner, but as an adversary. Neither of us is right, in fact I think I'm overly sensitive to this because of a dysfunctional upbringing.

Your husband sounds just like me.  You also bring up an interesting point in talking about your upbringings.  When I was a kid, my parents argued and yelled at each other from time to time.  I viewed that as normal and acceptable behavior in a relationship.  My wife was abused by her father as a child (which I have to think would make her more likely to run away from an angry person as she would be scared about the possibility of being abused again).  Given her background vs. mine, I wonder if our relationship was like a ticking time bomb right from the start.  She was overly sensitive to arguments and raised voices, and I was from a family where it was normal to argue and lose your temper. 

I do regret the times I lost my temper and didn't back down during arguments.  I felt like I was getting better about trying to hear what she was saying and working towards a resolution instead of simply arguing with her towards the end of our relationship.  I guess maybe I just lost my temper one time too many.  It's hard to say since she won't talk to me now.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 14, 2017, 12:33:44 PM

Marriage should not be viewed as a reversible decision.  All the pain and heartache in this thread from people who have gone through it, in come cases because their selfish parents viewed it as reversible should not be viewed as OK.  Act like an adult and figure out the situation beforehand and understand that this is going to be hard work.  Any relationship, whether marriage or not, takes work to maintain.  If it does not then your not remotely connecting intimately, it's just superficial.  Figure out that the relationship makes you miserable before you get married.  People do change over time, but the trend of divorce being societally acceptable I feel is a major downfall in family stability. 

The trend of divorce being societally acceptable is a major contributor to the decline in domestic violence in the United States.  I can show sources if people are interested; I am a historian of marriage and sexuality, this is a commonly accepted research finding in the field.

I assume you believe that divorce is ok in abusive marriages, just not in non-abusive ones.  But that's unfortunately not how the causality works.  Stigmatizing divorce leads people to stay in abusive marriages because, when you get divorced, people are not going to assume that your marriage was abusive unless it was a major news story.  Even if you try to convince people that it was, many will not believe you, because no one wants to think that their friend/acquaintance/coworker/cousin was actually beating their spouse.  Even if you have rock-solid evidence, just think how terrible it is for someone to constantly be explaining to everyone they know the details of the most painful parts of their life. So people stay in abusive marriages because they know that they will be judged by everyone around them for leaving.

If individuals want to adopt a personal code that commits them to staying in a non-abusive marriage no matter how unhappy they are, I'm fine with that.  But on a societal level, stigmatizing divorce has very serious consequences for victims of domestic violence.
I do understand that, and you are correct, your assumption about my belief is correct regarding abusive marriages.  My view of what we have made societally acceptable is not meaning that you need to be stigmatized, but we have made it so "OK" that I do feel marriage is absolutely viewed as snacky said; just a throw away and if it does not work out, eh, I'll just get a divorce.  I think the biggest driver for this is celebrities who truly have created this relationships as entertainment.  We have Bennifer and other cutsy names for couples and hey they are together for a year, then someone sneezes and hey it's not perfect and I want a new flavor.  This attitude has very quickly crept into the general populaces casual relationship with marriage.  For example, I view a prenup as another ridiculous and terrible tool.  If you feel the need to insure yourself against a break up to save money, then I'd strongly tell you that what you should be doing instead is to stop acting on your feelings of "I can't wait to marry this person" and instead figure out exactly what is making you feel like you need a prenup with them and do not marry them until you are confident and trustworthy and that thing is not an issue and you are not worried about needing a prenup.  Basically stop thinking about marriage with what's in your pants, and wait until your head is there and your not concerned. 

My wife came out of an abusive marriage, so I get the situation and it is awful.  There are just too many people who get divorced for "irreconcilable differences" when those differences are anything but irreconcilable, they're just too lazy to reconcile them.  Abuse is not one of those situations, but as my wife will tell you she stayed because of the things that cause people to stay with abusers not because she felt she could not divorce.  I am really curious about how these research studies purport to account for that.  I think you'd be hard pressed to show that any sort of divorce stigma is what would keep someone with an abuser, because as most who are abused will tell you there is a whole lot of mental health and other things going on that get played that keep them with the abuser.  That my wife got out was a miracle if you ask her, and even then there were one or two times she said she almost went back, and this was after he had threatened to kill her multiple times.  Took a lot of counseling for her to finally see him for what he was. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 14, 2017, 12:43:55 PM
I've never really looked for battles.  It's just that when a battle starts, I'm determined to win it.  Especially when I feel like I have the stronger argument.  I enjoy competition, and to me an argument is just a form of competition.  I realize in hindsight that I should have swallowed my pride on certain occasions.  While I don't think this was the only factor that led to our current separation (we can't get divorced until next June at the earliest), it is one thing I'm working on with my therapist.

This sounds like it could be a major contributing factor to the breakdown of the marriage. I know my DH grew up in a family where debating/arguing was encouraged and I did not. He views it as a fun exercise to push his competition muscles, and I experience it as an adversarial, aggressive rejection and like he views me not as a life partner, but as an adversary. Neither of us is right, in fact I think I'm overly sensitive to this because of a dysfunctional upbringing. But the fact remains that I get hurt when he tries to "win" arguments/debates; I tend to shut down and retreat. He knows how much I intensely dislike it and actively tries not to do it out of courtesy to me, but he can occasionally slip back into his friendly/competitive habits.

The difference is, I learned right away to interrupt when I see it's heading toward one of those arguments and say something like, "hey, I'm your partner, not your opponent, I don't like debating like this with you where one wins and one loses (and I always lose because I get so flustered and upset). Can we discuss this like partners and find a solution together, instead?" and he's emotionally sensitive enough to notice that I'm uncomfortable and is able to instantly switch gears from competition to cooperation because to him, its a game, but he knows to me, it's deadly serious. It happens so rarely now that I haven't had to do this in years, but he knows what my boundary is (I refuse to be a debate opponent with him) and he respects it. But it requires respect and communication from both sides. I needed to speak up about what was and wasn't ok with me, and he needed to actively listen and respect it.
This is very interesting.  While not exactly the same details, this is similar to what my wife and I have done and has resulted in what I described earlier as "fighting well".  I do not mind debating.  I do not enjoy it as much as Schaefer seems too, but I do not find it problematic.  I'll go toe to toe with anyone for hours if they want.  My wife on the other hand sometimes needs time to process alone (heavy introvert) where I am an extrovert so I just love talking all the angles.  Her "signal" is to let me know that she is done talking and needs some time to think about it.  We only fail in fighting when I ignore that signal and try to push to a solution then and there.  If I let her be, for a few minutes, an hour, on something very serious maybe even a day or two, she always comes back and we "finish" and get a solution.  We worked this all out before we got married and we got married a year after we met, so it was an intense courtship period covering a lot of ground.  But we both agreed this was an area we both very clearly understood from our previous failed marriages was one that had to work or we'd be divorced again.  This goes back to the "taking marriage seriously and not reversible".  These are not things or topics that are any fun at all to discuss when you're dating.  If you just make the decision on how you make each other "feel" and that "I love you" you run a huge risk.  You know virtually nothing about the person without a lot of deadly serious and boring conversations. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: pachnik on July 14, 2017, 12:46:19 PM
I've never really looked for battles.  It's just that when a battle starts, I'm determined to win it.  Especially when I feel like I have the stronger argument.  I enjoy competition, and to me an argument is just a form of competition.  I realize in hindsight that I should have swallowed my pride on certain occasions.  While I don't think this was the only factor that led to our current separation (we can't get divorced until next June at the earliest), it is one thing I'm working on with my therapist.

This sounds like it could be a major contributing factor to the breakdown of the marriage. I know my DH grew up in a family where debating/arguing was encouraged and I did not. He views it as a fun exercise to push his competition muscles, and I experience it as an adversarial, aggressive rejection and like he views me not as a life partner, but as an adversary. Neither of us is right, in fact I think I'm overly sensitive to this because of a dysfunctional upbringing.

Your husband sounds just like me.  You also bring up an interesting point in talking about your upbringings.  When I was a kid, my parents argued and yelled at each other from time to time.  I viewed that as normal and acceptable behavior in a relationship.  My wife was abused by her father as a child (which I have to think would make her more likely to run away from an angry person as she would be scared about the possibility of being abused again).  Given her background vs. mine, I wonder if our relationship was like a ticking time bomb right from the start.  She was overly sensitive to arguments and raised voices, and I was from a family where it was normal to argue and lose your temper. 

I do regret the times I lost my temper and didn't back down during arguments.  I felt like I was getting better about trying to hear what she was saying and working towards a resolution instead of simply arguing with her towards the end of our relationship.  I guess maybe I just lost my temper one time too many.  It's hard to say since she won't talk to me now.

This reminds me of my ex-husband and I.  I just got tired of arguing and I don't like to shout ever unless it is an emergency.  I don't much enjoy these things but it is clear from this thread that some people do.    He's also someone I wouldn't speak to now. 

My current husband and I have been together for 11 years and I don't think we've ever raised our voices at each other.  Sure, we have disagreements but it isn't adversarial.  We work towards resolution rather than me or him trying to prove who is right. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Lady SA on July 14, 2017, 01:20:52 PM
I've never really looked for battles.  It's just that when a battle starts, I'm determined to win it.  Especially when I feel like I have the stronger argument.  I enjoy competition, and to me an argument is just a form of competition.  I realize in hindsight that I should have swallowed my pride on certain occasions.  While I don't think this was the only factor that led to our current separation (we can't get divorced until next June at the earliest), it is one thing I'm working on with my therapist.

This sounds like it could be a major contributing factor to the breakdown of the marriage. I know my DH grew up in a family where debating/arguing was encouraged and I did not. He views it as a fun exercise to push his competition muscles, and I experience it as an adversarial, aggressive rejection and like he views me not as a life partner, but as an adversary. Neither of us is right, in fact I think I'm overly sensitive to this because of a dysfunctional upbringing.

Your husband sounds just like me.  You also bring up an interesting point in talking about your upbringings.  When I was a kid, my parents argued and yelled at each other from time to time.  I viewed that as normal and acceptable behavior in a relationship.  My wife was abused by her father as a child (which I have to think would make her more likely to run away from an angry person as she would be scared about the possibility of being abused again).  Given her background vs. mine, I wonder if our relationship was like a ticking time bomb right from the start.  She was overly sensitive to arguments and raised voices, and I was from a family where it was normal to argue and lose your temper. 

I do regret the times I lost my temper and didn't back down during arguments.  I felt like I was getting better about trying to hear what she was saying and working towards a resolution instead of simply arguing with her towards the end of our relationship.  I guess maybe I just lost my temper one time too many.  It's hard to say since she won't talk to me now.

This reminds me of my ex-husband and I.  I just got tired of arguing and I don't like to shout ever unless it is an emergency.  I don't much enjoy these things but it is clear from this thread that some people do.    He's also someone I wouldn't speak to now. 

My current husband and I have been together for 11 years and I don't think we've ever raised our voices at each other.  Sure, we have disagreements but it isn't adversarial.  We work towards resolution rather than me or him trying to prove who is right.

Right. There is a difference between raised, angry voices (definitely aggressive and adversarial) and calm debate (still adversarial) and problem solving as a team (cooperative). It's all about how you perceive the alignment between the two of you. People are much more likely to listen and cooperate with someone they feel is helping them, than they are to someone they feel is undermining or judging or looking for ways to make them fail.
I personally need to be with someone who is willing to calmly work WITH me to handle those little disagreements, not AGAINST me. All it takes is a quick reminder on how I don't work well when my DH slips into debate territory (he has never raised his voice to me, or get angry at all, really) and he apologizes for being a dunce and switches to a calm problem solving session that works MUCH better with my personality, and we usually resolve whatever it is in less than 5 minutes.

Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: partgypsy on July 14, 2017, 01:44:27 PM
I almost wish everyone was forced to go to marriage counseling before they get married, so some one else could listen to the couple's interactions, and point out possible red flags or bad interactions. Yes, I think the current culture, marriage is either glamorized (more by women, by big weddings or celebrity hook ups) or by men, seen a negative (ball and chain, wealth and time sucker). Both are not healthy ways to enter into a marriage or serious relationship.

I've only been married once, so I guess I didn't really know what I was doing. Having a good marriage was important to me, in particular after we had kids. Before that I didn't mind "living in sin" and having more of a bohemian life. But after kids, I wanted us to have a healthy, mutually supportive relationship both for ourselves, and create a loving environment and home life for the kids. A positive environment that included art and music, but also was responsible. If one wants that, you have to look for someone who values that enough as well, enough so to work for that, and feel rewarded and happy to have that kind of life. In retrospect I married someone who idolized the lives of artists and writers like Picasso or Keroac and Hemmingway, men who led interesting lives and had intense relationships with women, but where the woman was clearly second class in that "world". It should have been a sign when we both read the autobiography of Francoise Gilot about living with Picasso, how differently we saw their lives together. He saw it as cool and a "love story" while I was horrified for her. Part of my ex wanted the happy family life. But there was another part of him that felt trapped by it and saw that life as an enemy. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: BFGirl on July 14, 2017, 02:08:16 PM
I never planned to divorce when I married.  There were some warning signs before we married that I failed to recognize would cause significant problems later on.  I stayed in a miserable marriage for 18 years after the problems surfaced, because I had made a covenant.  I struggled for years about whether or not to divorce.  The ex refused to cooperate on anything.  I finally got out when I realized the toll it was taking on the kids who were teenagers.  They both wanted us to leave.  When my daughter thought I was wavering, she took me by the shoulders and said, "Mom, you have been emotionally abused for 20 years, it's time to get out."

I don't agree that marriage should be taken lightly, but have made peace with the fact that sometimes you just have to get out.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: wenchsenior on July 14, 2017, 05:39:52 PM
I'm interested by the people on this thread, divorced and not, that mention 'arguing' or 'fighting' in ways that make it sound like a regular type of event in their relationship.  This gets me wondering:  How frequently are people finding themselves in marital conflicts that lead to actual fights or arguments?  I don't mean a minor disagreement that lasts a minute or so over what to eat for dinner.   I mean fights or arguments where one or both parties are unhappy or emotionally disturbed during said interaction and possibly for a period afterward... 

Do these happen every few months? Every few weeks? Every few days?

I ask because, unless people are defining arguments and fights differently from how I do, this is a rare thing in my marriage.   I'm curious how many people view fighting as 'normal'.  Personally, I couldn't imagine being in a relationship where fights were a regular occurrence. Too stressful.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Bicycle_B on July 14, 2017, 09:30:26 PM
I never planned to divorce when I married.  There were some warning signs before we married that I failed to recognize would cause significant problems later on.  I stayed in a miserable marriage for 18 years after the problems surfaced, because I had made a covenant.  I struggled for years about whether or not to divorce.  The ex refused to cooperate on anything.  I finally got out when I realized the toll it was taking on the kids who were teenagers.  They both wanted us to leave.  When my daughter thought I was wavering, she took me by the shoulders and said, "Mom, you have been emotionally abused for 20 years, it's time to get out."

I don't agree that marriage should be taken lightly, but have made peace with the fact that sometimes you just have to get out.

This is a good example of where divorce is stigmatized (as breaking a covenant), and the stigma led to a bad outcome (staying too long in  marriage that could not work). 

Fwiw, consciously expressing this view as a man so that the stay vs go debate doesn't remain men vs women. 

Where this connects with SchaeferLight (edit - wrote OP, briefly forgot SchaeferLight is not OP) is that if he takes refuge in the claim that women who divorce are taking marriage too lightly, it would be unproductively easy to ignore the factors that must be faced in order to learn effectively from this experience.  Blaming others is not productive.  To some extent the whole "is divorce ok" subthread is not divorce help IMHO, though it may feel nice and I don't want to deny comfort to SchaeferLight.  Getting through the feelings of divorce, understanding the poster's role in the divorce and preparing for the rest of his life are all relevant.  Blaming doesn't help those items, it distracts. 

Just one man's opinion from watching divorces, peer counseling with a lot of people and having non-marital breakups.  Not a professional opinion.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Catbert on July 15, 2017, 12:42:39 PM
I'm interested by the people on this thread, divorced and not, that mention 'arguing' or 'fighting' in ways that make it sound like a regular type of event in their relationship.  This gets me wondering:  How frequently are people finding themselves in marital conflicts that lead to actual fights or arguments?  I don't mean a minor disagreement that lasts a minute or so over what to eat for dinner.   I mean fights or arguments where one or both parties are unhappy or emotionally disturbed during said interaction and possibly for a period afterward... 

Do these happen every few months? Every few weeks? Every few days?

I ask because, unless people are defining arguments and fights differently from how I do, this is a rare thing in my marriage.   I'm curious how many people view fighting as 'normal'.  Personally, I couldn't imagine being in a relationship where fights were a regular occurrence. Too stressful.

I've been married twice (widowed first time) for a total of 38 years and counting.  I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of fights/arguments I've had with a spouse.  Admittedly, I will go to great lengths to avoid conflict but I would never get into or stay in a relationship that involved arguments weekly or monthly.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Blonde Lawyer on July 15, 2017, 01:31:40 PM
For those of you that want your wives to explain why they left you... I think you could possibly have success with this tactic.

Write an email.  Something like this.  Dear Ex, if you choose to respond to this email, I promise I will not write back.  I will not make excuses or justify my actions.  I will not argue.  Since our marriage ended, I've been reflecting and working on myself. I realize you probably tried to tell me one hundred times what was wrong with our marriage but I wasn't listening or I wasn't understanding what you were saying.  Now that it is over with no chance of revival, I realize I need to listen and understand in order to be successful in the future.  I promise, whatever your reasons are, I will not write back to tell you I didn't do those things.  I won't write back to tell you I have changed.  I won't write back at all.  This is a safe opportunity to tell me again those things you tried to tell me many times before but this time, I promise, I am listening.

If you get a response, be thankful and keep your promise.  DO NOT ENGAGE any further.

ETA: keep in mind, your ex might have you blocked and never even see this.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: partgypsy on July 16, 2017, 02:21:06 PM
I never planned to divorce when I married.  There were some warning signs before we married that I failed to recognize would cause significant problems later on.  I stayed in a miserable marriage for 18 years after the problems surfaced, because I had made a covenant.  I struggled for years about whether or not to divorce.  The ex refused to cooperate on anything.  I finally got out when I realized the toll it was taking on the kids who were teenagers.  They both wanted us to leave.  When my daughter thought I was wavering, she took me by the shoulders and said, "Mom, you have been emotionally abused for 20 years, it's time to get out."

I don't agree that marriage should be taken lightly, but have made peace with the fact that sometimes you just have to get out.

This is a good example of where divorce is stigmatized (as breaking a covenant), and the stigma led to a bad outcome (staying too long in  marriage that could not work). 

Fwiw, consciously expressing this view as a man so that the stay vs go debate doesn't remain men vs women. 

Where this connects with SchaeferLight (edit - wrote OP, briefly forgot SchaeferLight is not OP) is that if he takes refuge in the claim that women who divorce are taking marriage too lightly, it would be unproductively easy to ignore the factors that must be faced in order to learn effectively from this experience.  Blaming others is not productive.  To some extent the whole "is divorce ok" subthread is not divorce help IMHO, though it may feel nice and I don't want to deny comfort to SchaeferLight.  Getting through the feelings of divorce, understanding the poster's role in the divorce and preparing for the rest of his life are all relevant.  Blaming doesn't help those items, it distracts. 

Just one man's opinion from watching divorces, peer counseling with a lot of people and having non-marital breakups.  Not a professional opinion.
(Raise my hand). My ex felt it was healthier for us to air things out than keep things inside, even if we might find there was a deal breaker. And that kind of airing of differences was healthy and productive because in previous relationships I was conflict avoidant. But say the last 10 years of marriage we would have unproductive arguments. I would bring up something important to me, and he would disagree, say it wasn't a problem for him, and usually personally attack me. Also highly critical of me in general. So we stopped arguing, because I hated the fights, I wouldn't respond, or bring up things (that had been brought up many times before) so he did his thing, and  I did my thing, but I felt alone in the relationship. Ironically when I stopped responding to him in arguments (because they were hurtful and fruitless) he claimed that we had lost passion in our relationship (he liked fighting, and apparently fought often with the person in his first affair).
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: kayvent on July 16, 2017, 04:49:59 PM
For those of you that want your wives to explain why they left you... I think you could possibly have success with this tactic.

Write an email.  Something like this.  Dear Ex, if you choose to respond to this email, I promise I will not write back.  I will not make excuses or justify my actions.  I will not argue.  Since our marriage ended, I've been reflecting and working on myself. I realize you probably tried to tell me one hundred times what was wrong with our marriage but I wasn't listening or I wasn't understanding what you were saying.  Now that it is over with no chance of revival, I realize I need to listen and understand in order to be successful in the future.  I promise, whatever your reasons are, I will not write back to tell you I didn't do those things.  I won't write back to tell you I have changed.  I won't write back at all.  This is a safe opportunity to tell me again those things you tried to tell me many times before but this time, I promise, I am listening.

If you get a response, be thankful and keep your promise.  DO NOT ENGAGE any further.

ETA: keep in mind, your ex might have you blocked and never even see this.

Sometimes the answers to that email is worst than not knowing. I actually wrote my ex almost that very e-mail. She didn't want to be a mother; she wanted to party, date lots of guys, and yeah, "other stuff". I wanted to have a mundane life; help her through college, raise our daughter together, and be a happy family.

It was more so salt on a wound than closure.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 17, 2017, 06:32:06 AM
I'm interested by the people on this thread, divorced and not, that mention 'arguing' or 'fighting' in ways that make it sound like a regular type of event in their relationship.  This gets me wondering:  How frequently are people finding themselves in marital conflicts that lead to actual fights or arguments?  I don't mean a minor disagreement that lasts a minute or so over what to eat for dinner.   I mean fights or arguments where one or both parties are unhappy or emotionally disturbed during said interaction and possibly for a period afterward... 

Do these happen every few months? Every few weeks? Every few days?

I ask because, unless people are defining arguments and fights differently from how I do, this is a rare thing in my marriage.   I'm curious how many people view fighting as 'normal'.  Personally, I couldn't imagine being in a relationship where fights were a regular occurrence. Too stressful.
I think so many factors go into this.

I certainly have less arguments now than I did when married to my ex.  But that is a result of actually selecting a suitable partner this time than overlooking glaring red flags in my first marriage.  I think it is obvious to everyone that you would argue less with someone where you do not have huge differences in core beliefs like religion, money and general expectations.

With that said, in a blended family with six kids who are not teenagers and difficult exes on both sides I'd say we have what someone would classify an argument at least weekly, because there is a lot going on.  I'm trying to be transparent, and I'd say most of them so resolve in a few minutes, and they are usually caused when we have to "think on our feet" because a kid is in some situation and we're both at work and having to figure out how to handle the grenade dropped into our day.  Sometimes these escalate to what I'd call a fight once a month once every other month if we're having a stable schedule with everyone in the house, which almost never happens.  I'd say the vast majority of our arguments are about something related to the kids. 

How we view this as normal, is we both do feel that in relationships that do not have healthy dialogue that outsiders might view as an argument, that things are simply being stuffed or ignored.  People are putting up with little things here and there instead of being honest.  That was a key item we agreed to early in our relationship is that we could rather communicate something when it is a small annoyance than when we are angry about it going on for months.  At that point, it's become a habit, the other person gets defensive about why it's a problem now but was not mentioned for six months.  Again, seen it over and over again in divorce group, the things that just kept going that are small daily irritants of living with someone that  then became huge when the relationship started to sour.  Then the effort to fix is not expended and energy is placed on getting out.  It's just an opinion, but my spouse and I both come from loud families where holiday dinners are affairs spent in constant cacophony.  It's all fun and wonderful for the most part, but for some it might be the most unpleasant experience ever.  Norman Rockwell it is not.  More like a romantic version of an Adam Sandler or Ben Stiller movie. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 17, 2017, 08:17:40 AM
For those of you that want your wives to explain why they left you... I think you could possibly have success with this tactic.

Write an email.  Something like this.  Dear Ex, if you choose to respond to this email, I promise I will not write back.  I will not make excuses or justify my actions.  I will not argue.  Since our marriage ended, I've been reflecting and working on myself. I realize you probably tried to tell me one hundred times what was wrong with our marriage but I wasn't listening or I wasn't understanding what you were saying.  Now that it is over with no chance of revival, I realize I need to listen and understand in order to be successful in the future.  I promise, whatever your reasons are, I will not write back to tell you I didn't do those things.  I won't write back to tell you I have changed.  I won't write back at all.  This is a safe opportunity to tell me again those things you tried to tell me many times before but this time, I promise, I am listening.

If you get a response, be thankful and keep your promise.  DO NOT ENGAGE any further.

ETA: keep in mind, your ex might have you blocked and never even see this.
I thought about sending an email like this, but she told me to stop contacting her about a month ago.  I tried calling 2 or 3 times the week after she moved out and then left one voicemail about 3 weeks after she left.  I wanted a chance to apologize for the things I thought I had done wrong and to see if she'd at least give me the reasons why she left.  She sent me an email saying that she got my voicemail, our marriage was over, and to stop trying to contact her.  So now all of our communications must happen via our lawyers, and I'm left to wonder about her real reasons for leaving.

To answer the other poster's question about how often we had "big" arguments, I'd say these happened on average maybe 3 times a year.  Looking back on things, a lot of them were caused by my own insecurities and lack of self-esteem.  I wasn't mad at her.  I was mad at myself.  When I lost my temper during an argument, it was usually because I was pissed off at myself for one thing or another and not because I had any serious issues with her.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 17, 2017, 09:27:08 AM
For those of you that want your wives to explain why they left you... I think you could possibly have success with this tactic.

Write an email.  Something like this.  Dear Ex, if you choose to respond to this email, I promise I will not write back.  I will not make excuses or justify my actions.  I will not argue.  Since our marriage ended, I've been reflecting and working on myself. I realize you probably tried to tell me one hundred times what was wrong with our marriage but I wasn't listening or I wasn't understanding what you were saying.  Now that it is over with no chance of revival, I realize I need to listen and understand in order to be successful in the future.  I promise, whatever your reasons are, I will not write back to tell you I didn't do those things.  I won't write back to tell you I have changed.  I won't write back at all.  This is a safe opportunity to tell me again those things you tried to tell me many times before but this time, I promise, I am listening.

If you get a response, be thankful and keep your promise.  DO NOT ENGAGE any further.

ETA: keep in mind, your ex might have you blocked and never even see this.
I thought about sending an email like this, but she told me to stop contacting her about a month ago.  I tried calling 2 or 3 times the week after she moved out and then left one voicemail about 3 weeks after she left.  I wanted a chance to apologize for the things I thought I had done wrong and to see if she'd at least give me the reasons why she left.  She sent me an email saying that she got my voicemail, our marriage was over, and to stop trying to contact her.  So now all of our communications must happen via our lawyers, and I'm left to wonder about her real reasons for leaving.

To answer the other poster's question about how often we had "big" arguments, I'd say these happened on average maybe 3 times a year.  Looking back on things, a lot of them were caused by my own insecurities and lack of self-esteem.  I wasn't mad at her.  I was mad at myself.  When I lost my temper during an argument, it was usually because I was pissed off at myself for one thing or another and not because I had any serious issues with her.
Oftentimes the best you can do is try to identify those areas you know you did poorly in and take that as the lessons learned.  Even if they answer your e-mail or phone call, do you ever really know if that was it?  Again, my ex said she wanted to be single, should have never had kids and wanted to prove to herself she could support herself.  Then she turned around and was pregnant months later and living with the guy.  She claims that it was an accident because his doctor has told him he was sterile and my kids say she is every bit as awful to that child as she had been to them, vacillating between doting mom and raving loon who complains about the demands her kids but on her, like asking for food or some reason.  So was she honest with me about why she wanted a divorce?  Probably not, or maybe not everything.  I know what we fought about and it was usually none of those things, so I'd have to assume the things where we disagreed were also reasons. 

It seems like you are trying to identify areas to focus on so if you decide to enter another relationship and get married in the future you will do so differently then you did with your ex.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 17, 2017, 10:17:35 AM
Oftentimes the best you can do is try to identify those areas you know you did poorly in and take that as the lessons learned.  Even if they answer your e-mail or phone call, do you ever really know if that was it?

That's a good point.  She had a hard time telling me exactly what I had done to break her trust, and when she did manage to come up with a reason it never seemed like nearly as big a deal as she was making it out to be.  I think it's possible that the reason she had a hard time telling me is that she herself didn't really know what was causing the lack of trust.  I don't want to blame this on her (because I certainly have my faults, and that's what I need to focus on), but I can't help but think the abuse she suffered as a child played a big role in this.

Quote
It seems like you are trying to identify areas to focus on so if you decide to enter another relationship and get married in the future you will do so differently then you did with your ex.

I am trying to identify the behaviors, thoughts, and attitudes of mine that need improvement.  While I may never know exactly which of them contributed to my separation, I want to come out of this a better and stronger person.  My focus isn't so much on getting ready for the next relationship as it is on making positive changes to myself.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: partgypsy on July 17, 2017, 12:41:38 PM
Oftentimes the best you can do is try to identify those areas you know you did poorly in and take that as the lessons learned.  Even if they answer your e-mail or phone call, do you ever really know if that was it?

That's a good point.  She had a hard time telling me exactly what I had done to break her trust, and when she did manage to come up with a reason it never seemed like nearly as big a deal as she was making it out to be.  I think it's possible that the reason she had a hard time telling me is that she herself didn't really know what was causing the lack of trust.  I don't want to blame this on her (because I certainly have my faults, and that's what I need to focus on), but I can't help but think the abuse she suffered as a child played a big role in this.

Quote
It seems like you are trying to identify areas to focus on so if you decide to enter another relationship and get married in the future you will do so differently then you did with your ex.

I am trying to identify the behaviors, thoughts, and attitudes of mine that need improvement.  While I may never know exactly which of them contributed to my separation, I want to come out of this a better and stronger person.  My focus isn't so much on getting ready for the next relationship as it is on making positive changes to myself.

This may sound goofy but the next time you get in a serious relationship, go to couples counseling with that person. It will be a way to get an independent objective of your relationship or way you interact with a partner, and at the very least may teach each of you better ways to communicate. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Psychstache on July 17, 2017, 01:34:48 PM



I've never really looked for battles.  It's just that when a battle starts, I'm determined to win it.  Especially when I feel like I have the stronger argument.  I enjoy competition, and to me an argument is just a form of competition.  I realize in hindsight that I should have swallowed my pride on certain occasions.  While I don't think this was the only factor that led to our current separation (we can't get divorced until next June at the earliest), it is one thing I'm working on with my therapist.

Glad to hear you are looking to use this crappy situation to work in yourself.

I came back to this post to offer an strategy that worked for me in this situation.

I shifted my thinking to focus on 'the war' (having a good, successful relationship) as my primary objective and keep that in mind during 'the battles' (individual arguments). Keep your focus on winning the war and let that be a guide to how to move forward during the battle, which might mean losing some along the way.

I liken it to the scene/events of the imitation game where the team cracks the enigma box and learns of an impending attack, but they let it happen so that they can keep tabs on German activity in hopes of bringing an end to the whole conflict.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: K-ice on July 17, 2017, 04:24:04 PM
I was probably the OP for the original divorce thread that THIS OP was thinking of! All the advice was well-intentioned but it became overwhelming. And I wanted to reduce my online footprint.

I'm happy to hear from you!

I think it is a good sign you are still FB friends.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 18, 2017, 07:25:55 AM
This may sound goofy but the next time you get in a serious relationship, go to couples counseling with that person. It will be a way to get an independent objective of your relationship or way you interact with a partner, and at the very least may teach each of you better ways to communicate.

I definitely plan to go to some form of couples counseling if I ever have another serious relationship that could turn into a marriage.  In hindsight, I really wish my wife and I had done this.  Not sure if it would have prevented us from being where we are today, but it couldn't have hurt.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on July 18, 2017, 07:38:09 AM
This may sound goofy but the next time you get in a serious relationship, go to couples counseling with that person. It will be a way to get an independent objective of your relationship or way you interact with a partner, and at the very least may teach each of you better ways to communicate.

I definitely plan to go to some form of couples counseling if I ever have another serious relationship that could turn into a marriage.  In hindsight, I really wish my wife and I had done this.  Not sure if it would have prevented us from being where we are today, but it couldn't have hurt.
A little input on this.  My wife and I did go before we got divorced.  The challenge is that counseling is only useful if people want to get help.  In hindsight, my ex used it to bash me and I did not see her really try to change things.  Counselor gave us homework and she was always not interested in doing it or she would go through the motions but you could see her heart was not in it.  We went to 20 sessions or so and really, other than exposing the fact that I did not need to be so hard on disciplining the kids, which was the thing I changed immediately and never looked back, it was not helpful mainly because I am pretty sure my ex just went because I suggested we should go and I did all the work in finding a well rated counselor in the area.  We went in between the time we had told the kids we would divorce, she had changed her mind and the year that intervened before we did divorce.  Was about three months that we went. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: partgypsy on July 18, 2017, 08:17:16 AM
Yes, counseling is not some kind of miracle cure. For example for my ex, I really felt we needed to go to couples counseling, because, yes I wasn't happy with the relationship. He didn't want to do it but didn't want to admit that. I set up one appointment with someone who was recommended. The session was hard; I was pretty emotional (I cried at one point) while my ex sat there with his arms crossed, pretty closed off. We left, and I thought it was a good start, but my husband said I was "too emotional" and that the therapist didn't like him. He first promised that he would make the next appointment (I kept trying to schedule and he kept saying he wasn't available). Then I said he needed to call to make next appointment. Needless to say he never did, instead said we could work on these things on our own, like going on dates again. Yes, this didn't happen either. In retrospect this all occurred while he was actively having an affair, so he didn't do it in good faith. I think that's something that people may not understand. It's not just the infidelity. It's the repeated lying, gaslighting, and breaking of promises that really causes the damage to the relationship. The lack of respect.

In the situation where two people are entering into a relationship in good faith, couples counseling may be helpful.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on July 18, 2017, 08:52:01 AM
This may sound goofy but the next time you get in a serious relationship, go to couples counseling with that person. It will be a way to get an independent objective of your relationship or way you interact with a partner, and at the very least may teach each of you better ways to communicate.

I definitely plan to go to some form of couples counseling if I ever have another serious relationship that could turn into a marriage.  In hindsight, I really wish my wife and I had done this.  Not sure if it would have prevented us from being where we are today, but it couldn't have hurt.
A little input on this.  My wife and I did go before we got divorced.  The challenge is that counseling is only useful if people want to get help.  In hindsight, my ex used it to bash me and I did not see her really try to change things.  Counselor gave us homework and she was always not interested in doing it or she would go through the motions but you could see her heart was not in it.  We went to 20 sessions or so and really, other than exposing the fact that I did not need to be so hard on disciplining the kids, which was the thing I changed immediately and never looked back, it was not helpful mainly because I am pretty sure my ex just went because I suggested we should go and I did all the work in finding a well rated counselor in the area.  We went in between the time we had told the kids we would divorce, she had changed her mind and the year that intervened before we did divorce.  Was about three months that we went.

Yeah, both parties have to be committed to doing the work.  If only one person is committed, it's not going to save the marriage.  I actually meant that I wish my wife and I had gone to pre-marital counseling back near the beginning of our relationship.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: K-ice on August 30, 2017, 03:32:20 PM
So with Divorce, kids and blended families what do you prefer with your schedules?

For example, second marriage, both have "their" kids every other weekend.  Is it better to have all the kids together and then a weekend "off" or is it better to spend quality time with just your kids?

Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on August 31, 2017, 07:37:23 AM
So with Divorce, kids and blended families what do you prefer with your schedules?

For example, second marriage, both have "their" kids every other weekend.  Is it better to have all the kids together and then a weekend "off" or is it better to spend quality time with just your kids?
Like anything in the fraught world of divorce the answer is.... it depends.  Mainly on what you find works.

So I will share out situation.  We've got my wife's ex who has been very aggressive in demanding every second of time he is entitled to.  Even though her kids would prefer to just head over to our house on the bus on transfer days, he insists they come by him (he picks them all up from their various schools each day he has them) for a couple hours and we get them at 6 PM.  My ex would prefer not to have the kids and does not care when she has them, so any movement to our schedules when we married was done there, as it was psychologically simpler. 

So yes, the first thing we did was align the weekends, which were the only commonality between the visitation schedules.  Her kids are 50/50.  So every two weeks The spend M-W at their dad, Th-Sun with us, M-W at their dad, Th-F with us, Sat - Sun (they then continue into the M-W of the next two week cycle) at dad.  All exchanges are 6 PM on either Wednesday or Friday nights.  My kids are mainly with us, due to lack of interest from their mom.  So the same two week cycle they are M at mom, Tuesday - following Thursday (so 10 days) with us, Friday - Sunday (and then continue into M of the next two week cycle) at mom.  They used to be Thur - Sun at mom but we shifted to Friday - Monday at this point because it works better with the kids activities (Thursday night is super busy and mom did not want to have to be involved in getting them places because it uses gas and time and she just leased a car and driving to the high school to get them 26 times a year will put her over her allowed mileage).  My kids take the "kid car" with them when they go to mom's so they can get to work and school and save us having to drive over to mom's and also because we do not trust my wife's ex to not do damage to our car or sabotage in some way.  So we do have every other weekend kidless (summer this can change depending on what is set for vacation times), which I do share tongue in cheek with people as the only real "benefit" of being divorced.  It is nice to be able to have couples time, which many families struggle to get, so it is definitely a blessing and helps keep our marriage strong.   With the holidays my wife's agreement gives her Memorial Day every year and him Labor Day (they were "big" holidays for them).  She also has Thanksgiving every year and he has the week when 4th of July occurs every year as a fixed vacation week each summer.  Other than that it's what would be typical, splitting Christmas.  With the summer they each get 3 vacation weeks (he also gets that 4th of July week as a 4th week for him).  They cannot take more than 2 of the weeks together, but he plays games with his in that he'll take a week and have it end on Sunday and then M-W is his "normal" time and then he'll start his next vacation week Thursday - Wednesday thereby getting 2 1/2 weeks.  She used to argue with him about it but it just became worthless.  On my end, my ex only in the last year or so (we've been divorced nearly seven at this point) has started to even care about any holiday other than Christmas.  She took them for Thanksgiving this last year for the first time ever.  Most other holidays she chooses to be out of town.  In the summer, I basically try to create an alternating week schedule based on what my wife ends up having.  Two summers ago we intentionally set it up to have alone time with each group of kids, but neither us nor the kids really liked it (I think there were only a couple weeks when there was some partial overlap), so this year we had more of a together schedule, in part because their mom was finally getting married to the guy she had been living with and we knew the kids would have some struggles with that transition so we felt a bit more family time on this end that was not changing any dynamics they have gotten used to might help.  The kids tend to like being here for various reasons including access to a vehicle for those that drive which they do not have at either of the other homes, reliable internet service, which is crucial during school times, and less drama. 

When the kids were younger we did have some time individually with each set, but now that they are all teenagers most of their time "at home" is spent on devices in their rooms with friends or out with friends, at school activities or at work.  Not sure that I'd say it's much different from what I did as a teenager which was see my parents at dinner most days and when they forced me to be home beyond that.  I have a good relationship with my parents but as a teenager it was the typical "I want my life and you're not part of it" that most go through.    Our kids also blended well after an initial rocky first year or so, so they do like being with each other.  They also feel less like anything is being missed (again less of an issue now than when they were younger).  It also made it easier to blend when we did things as a family versus continuing to foster two groups of people which we felt the separation would do.  From a finance standpoint it also made things like trips to the amusement park simpler because it was not we take her kids this weekend and my kids on a weekend two months later or something. 

At this point, we have come to take the kidless time as normal and when we go long stretches, as happened a few times this summer where we have at least a couple of them with us for weeks on end, we found ourselves getting a little grumbly or looking forward to those four days two weeks from now when they would all be gone.  I have mentioned that I do also feel it will make the empty nest transition easier because we already have figured out how to live life without a house full of kids all the time because we get to do it on a much more regular basis than an intact family  does where their only options are ship the kids off to grandparents for a week in the summer or hire babysitters a lot to get out.  So it lowered our childcare bills because we always knew we could schedule date night when they were gone already versus paying a sitter etc. 

Hope that helps.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Cpa Cat on August 31, 2017, 09:27:20 AM
My parents got divorced when I was 8 and my brother was 10.

My dad got remarried and had another baby within two years. We did not have our own rooms. At the time our step siblings lived with my dad, so we shared their rooms, which did little to ingratiate us to them. When my baby brother was born, they became a true family unit that we were never part of.

My mom did not remarry and we didn't really know that she was dating. But she did have a couple of relationships quietly - I recall meeting one boyfriend. We were a secure, three-person family and it helped to deal with the fact that our dad had another family.

My step-sister had it way worse. She didn't get along well with my dad, so she decided to move in with her dad. Her dad also remarried and had kids with his new wife. She told me later that she felt that she wasn't part of either family. She felt like an unwanted guest no matter what house she was at.

When my dad died, she and I went through family photos for the funeral, and it made it me sad to see all of the family vacations that they went on that I never even knew about (my dad, stepmom, stepbrother, half-brother were the family unit). They went to a lot of cool places and it would have been nice to be invited. It really struck home that they didn't really view us as part of their family. My brother and I even less so than my step-sister, who was invited occasionally. She told me that she wished she had tried harder with my dad, because if she'd made a different decision as a child, she would have been a full member of that family, too (a lot to expect from a 10 year old).

Whoever said upthread that your relationship with your ex is not your kids' relationship with your ex is absolutely spot on. My mom spent a lot of time complaining about our dad to me. As a kid, I kind of just absorbed it to keep the peace. But as an adult, it became difficult to deal with and caused a lot of friction between she and I. She admitted to me that she felt betrayed that I didn't "take her side", and couldn't comprehend how I didn't remember all of the bad things he did to cause the divorce. It took an argument after his death (20 years after their divorce) for her to finally realize that she and I lived different experiences with him.

One thing they did wrong: My brother acted out a lot, especially when my dad started living with my step-mom. A therapist suggested that my dad spend one-on-one time with him (like... father-son dates). It helped my brother a lot. BUT - no one thought that maybe it would be a good idea to do the same with me. I was quieter and more cooperative, so they figured I was doing fine. So they basically just created another way for me to feel left out of my father's life. It sucked, but my personality type caused me to internalize it and avoid rocking the boat. Later my mom said that it never even occurred to them that I was having trouble because I seemed to be doing so well - I was ultra pragmatic about the divorce and never seemed at all bothered by anything. It was a smack-yourself-in-the-head moment for her to realize that I was trying to be helpful!

I don't have all the right answers. My parents are/were human and I'm sure they did their best. The above are just some examples of how the kids accidentally fell by the wayside while my parents were trying to get through a difficult time.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: PoutineLover on August 31, 2017, 10:12:53 AM
Here's my point of view on marriage and divorce, just to add to the different experiences mentioned. My parents got divorced after my sister and I moved out, and in my opinion it was the right decision for them. My mom was the one who left, due to actions by my dad, which he says he now wishes he could change but didn't realize at the time. Now they have an amicable relationship, but they used to fight all the time when they were married. They were married too young, and weren't compatible for each other in many important ways, but were in a rush to get engaged and married for a few reasons, including overly religious parents and cultural expectations. It's not good for kids to have parents who don't get along, and only the stigma of divorce kept them together. I still love both of them and don't really blame either of them for what happened, I just wish they had separated sooner.
If I ever get married, I will do so with the intention of being married for life, but only after talking about and working through all the issues we possibly can beforehand, to make sure that we really are compatible and do share similar values. No "love is enough" bullshit or "we'll worry about it when it happens". Obviously shit could still happen, people and circumstances change, and you can't predict life. But with a solid foundation and eyes wide open, marriage has a much better chance of working out. Divorce has to be an acceptable option at all times, when we stigmatize it people stay in unhealthy relationships and it damages them and their families.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: patchyfacialhair on August 31, 2017, 12:17:43 PM
posting to follow
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on August 31, 2017, 01:04:02 PM
Here's my point of view on marriage and divorce, just to add to the different experiences mentioned. My parents got divorced after my sister and I moved out, and in my opinion it was the right decision for them. My mom was the one who left, due to actions by my dad, which he says he now wishes he could change but didn't realize at the time. Now they have an amicable relationship, but they used to fight all the time when they were married. They were married too young, and weren't compatible for each other in many important ways, but were in a rush to get engaged and married for a few reasons, including overly religious parents and cultural expectations. It's not good for kids to have parents who don't get along, and only the stigma of divorce kept them together. I still love both of them and don't really blame either of them for what happened, I just wish they had separated sooner.
If I ever get married, I will do so with the intention of being married for life, but only after talking about and working through all the issues we possibly can beforehand, to make sure that we really are compatible and do share similar values. No "love is enough" bullshit or "we'll worry about it when it happens". Obviously shit could still happen, people and circumstances change, and you can't predict life. But with a solid foundation and eyes wide open, marriage has a much better chance of working out. Divorce has to be an acceptable option at all times, when we stigmatize it people stay in unhealthy relationships and it damages them and their families.

I struggle with this even as I help in divorce support groups.  I do agree that when abuse (of any kind) is involved it needs to be viewed as an option, however I do struggle with the fact that by having in essence zero stigma now the trigger gets pulled way too often for things that really are not unhealthy, they are immature, lazy or not willing to compromise/stubborn.  There is easily as much damage done to families by people who got divorced because of (my favorite) "irreconcilable differences".  As one speaker on the topic of divorce says, everybody is irreconcilable to everybody else.  You are very different from your mate. You're supposed to be.  We need to take those differences and find ways for them to be complements rather than conflicts. 

That is where I have a hard time with no-fault divorce, because I think it makes it too easy.  There should be some difficulty, pain or something.  Another version of the same thing is "we grew apart" or "we fell out of love".  I get it can happen, but that usually involves not doing what you said that you will do next time.  I think that is a good recipe for what we did in our marriage, as I said above, where out dating was more like an interrogation process than dating.  These touchy feely divorce reasons occur because not enough work was put into the getting to know you phase.  No one's perfect, but you can improve the odds a lot more if you do the work.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: PoutineLover on August 31, 2017, 01:17:21 PM
Here's my point of view on marriage and divorce, just to add to the different experiences mentioned. My parents got divorced after my sister and I moved out, and in my opinion it was the right decision for them. My mom was the one who left, due to actions by my dad, which he says he now wishes he could change but didn't realize at the time. Now they have an amicable relationship, but they used to fight all the time when they were married. They were married too young, and weren't compatible for each other in many important ways, but were in a rush to get engaged and married for a few reasons, including overly religious parents and cultural expectations. It's not good for kids to have parents who don't get along, and only the stigma of divorce kept them together. I still love both of them and don't really blame either of them for what happened, I just wish they had separated sooner.
If I ever get married, I will do so with the intention of being married for life, but only after talking about and working through all the issues we possibly can beforehand, to make sure that we really are compatible and do share similar values. No "love is enough" bullshit or "we'll worry about it when it happens". Obviously shit could still happen, people and circumstances change, and you can't predict life. But with a solid foundation and eyes wide open, marriage has a much better chance of working out. Divorce has to be an acceptable option at all times, when we stigmatize it people stay in unhealthy relationships and it damages them and their families.

I struggle with this even as I help in divorce support groups.  I do agree that when abuse (of any kind) is involved it needs to be viewed as an option, however I do struggle with the fact that by having in essence zero stigma now the trigger gets pulled way too often for things that really are not unhealthy, they are immature, lazy or not willing to compromise/stubborn.  There is easily as much damage done to families by people who got divorced because of (my favorite) "irreconcilable differences".  As one speaker on the topic of divorce says, everybody is irreconcilable to everybody else.  You are very different from your mate. You're supposed to be.  We need to take those differences and find ways for them to be complements rather than conflicts. 

That is where I have a hard time with no-fault divorce, because I think it makes it too easy.  There should be some difficulty, pain or something.  Another version of the same thing is "we grew apart" or "we fell out of love".  I get it can happen, but that usually involves not doing what you said that you will do next time.  I think that is a good recipe for what we did in our marriage, as I said above, where out dating was more like an interrogation process than dating.  These touchy feely divorce reasons occur because not enough work was put into the getting to know you phase.  No one's perfect, but you can improve the odds a lot more if you do the work.
I don't think I agree with you on that. In my mother's culture, the woman is always blamed for a divorce, no matter what the real cause was. Her mother stayed in a physically abusive relationship until her husband died, because divorce was just not an option for her. I don't know if I would go as far as to say my mother was emotionally abused, but I wouldn't have put up with treatment like that, and my dad was unwilling to change/compromise/whatever. Yeah she wasn't being beaten, but she wasn't happy with him either.
I used to live with my partner, we were together for 6 years and common law half that time. We got along, but I wasn't really happy and I couldn't pinpoint why. After we broke up, I had no regrets and I wished I had done it sooner, but it was hard to make that decision because staying together was easy when we were both just going through the motions. Maybe that was "falling out of love". Not all relationships are meant to be, and sometimes it takes time to figure that out. You're not a failure for ending a marriage that isn't working, you don't have to be ashamed, and people shouldn't blame you, for leaving a relationship that does not satisfy your needs. What looks like trivial problems from the outside might actually be significant to those going through them, and the only marriage you can honestly judge is your own, and even then it's complicated. It's never easy to make that decision, and it's usually good to try and work on problems before giving up, but there's no need for any stigma.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on August 31, 2017, 01:57:35 PM
I think caracarn is talking more about cases like me and the XFP. He had a restless personality and just sort of got tired of me. Objectively, I was a good wife, but he wanted a different kind of wife, and now he has one.

I think it's worth noting that he had spent the winter previous thinking about moving to Arizona, and asked for a divorce shortly after deciding not to. I wonder if that's pretty common--people think something is wrong with their life, and look for an external source, and happen to settle on getting divorced as a solution.

It's very easy to get divorced here in CO. While the settlement is still being carried out, the time from first discussion to finalization was about 4 months. In other states, you need to live apart for a year (with proof that you have lived apart) if you have children.

I wasn't going to ask for a divorce. I was managing. But now that it has come, I am really, really glad that "managing" is NOT the best thing I have to show my kids.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on August 31, 2017, 02:56:53 PM
Here's my point of view on marriage and divorce, just to add to the different experiences mentioned. My parents got divorced after my sister and I moved out, and in my opinion it was the right decision for them. My mom was the one who left, due to actions by my dad, which he says he now wishes he could change but didn't realize at the time. Now they have an amicable relationship, but they used to fight all the time when they were married. They were married too young, and weren't compatible for each other in many important ways, but were in a rush to get engaged and married for a few reasons, including overly religious parents and cultural expectations. It's not good for kids to have parents who don't get along, and only the stigma of divorce kept them together. I still love both of them and don't really blame either of them for what happened, I just wish they had separated sooner.
If I ever get married, I will do so with the intention of being married for life, but only after talking about and working through all the issues we possibly can beforehand, to make sure that we really are compatible and do share similar values. No "love is enough" bullshit or "we'll worry about it when it happens". Obviously shit could still happen, people and circumstances change, and you can't predict life. But with a solid foundation and eyes wide open, marriage has a much better chance of working out. Divorce has to be an acceptable option at all times, when we stigmatize it people stay in unhealthy relationships and it damages them and their families.

I struggle with this even as I help in divorce support groups.  I do agree that when abuse (of any kind) is involved it needs to be viewed as an option, however I do struggle with the fact that by having in essence zero stigma now the trigger gets pulled way too often for things that really are not unhealthy, they are immature, lazy or not willing to compromise/stubborn.  There is easily as much damage done to families by people who got divorced because of (my favorite) "irreconcilable differences".  As one speaker on the topic of divorce says, everybody is irreconcilable to everybody else.  You are very different from your mate. You're supposed to be.  We need to take those differences and find ways for them to be complements rather than conflicts. 

That is where I have a hard time with no-fault divorce, because I think it makes it too easy.  There should be some difficulty, pain or something.  Another version of the same thing is "we grew apart" or "we fell out of love".  I get it can happen, but that usually involves not doing what you said that you will do next time.  I think that is a good recipe for what we did in our marriage, as I said above, where out dating was more like an interrogation process than dating.  These touchy feely divorce reasons occur because not enough work was put into the getting to know you phase.  No one's perfect, but you can improve the odds a lot more if you do the work.
I don't think I agree with you on that. In my mother's culture, the woman is always blamed for a divorce, no matter what the real cause was. Her mother stayed in a physically abusive relationship until her husband died, because divorce was just not an option for her. I don't know if I would go as far as to say my mother was emotionally abused, but I wouldn't have put up with treatment like that, and my dad was unwilling to change/compromise/whatever. Yeah she wasn't being beaten, but she wasn't happy with him either.
I used to live with my partner, we were together for 6 years and common law half that time. We got along, but I wasn't really happy and I couldn't pinpoint why. After we broke up, I had no regrets and I wished I had done it sooner, but it was hard to make that decision because staying together was easy when we were both just going through the motions. Maybe that was "falling out of love". Not all relationships are meant to be, and sometimes it takes time to figure that out. You're not a failure for ending a marriage that isn't working, you don't have to be ashamed, and people shouldn't blame you, for leaving a relationship that does not satisfy your needs. What looks like trivial problems from the outside might actually be significant to those going through them, and the only marriage you can honestly judge is your own, and even then it's complicated. It's never easy to make that decision, and it's usually good to try and work on problems before giving up, but there's no need for any stigma.
My point is not that people should not get divorced.  Your mom's situation is a great example why heavy stigma is a problem.  Your situation you were not married, you were still "exploring".  I get you were living as married (hence your use of common law) but in neither of the two situations that make marriage binding (legally or spiritually) were you married, so you did not get divorced.  I think your point was if you had gone ahead and gotten married that relationship would have ended in divorce.  And yes things do happen that no amount of research could have uncovered.  I get that.  But at least you gave it some effort.  I talk with too many folks in divorce groups who were left by someone who just decided that the relationship did not satisfy their needs, and those needs simply were that the wife put on some weight, or she simply aged (how dare she!) and was no longer hot and sexy, so her husband's needs were not being met.  That's where I think kids and spouses get screwed and a little pain might make people think harder about getting in to begin with or try harder before they get out.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Chesleygirl on August 31, 2017, 03:07:43 PM
In live in a common law property state.

Isn't it true everything is divided up in a common law property state, as equally as possible, after a divorce?

My Dad claims he got nothing after the divorce with my mom.

I have a hard time believing this.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on August 31, 2017, 03:10:22 PM
I struggle with this even as I help in divorce support groups.  I do agree that when abuse (of any kind) is involved it needs to be viewed as an option, however I do struggle with the fact that by having in essence zero stigma now the trigger gets pulled way too often for things that really are not unhealthy, they are immature, lazy or not willing to compromise/stubborn.  There is easily as much damage done to families by people who got divorced because of (my favorite) "irreconcilable differences".  As one speaker on the topic of divorce says, everybody is irreconcilable to everybody else.  You are very different from your mate. You're supposed to be.  We need to take those differences and find ways for them to be complements rather than conflicts. 

That is where I have a hard time with no-fault divorce, because I think it makes it too easy.  There should be some difficulty, pain or something.  Another version of the same thing is "we grew apart" or "we fell out of love".  I get it can happen, but that usually involves not doing what you said that you will do next time.  I think that is a good recipe for what we did in our marriage, as I said above, where out dating was more like an interrogation process than dating.  These touchy feely divorce reasons occur because not enough work was put into the getting to know you phase.  No one's perfect, but you can improve the odds a lot more if you do the work.

People do change, though, sometimes more than you'd think.  For example, my parents got together, got married, had 2 kids, and led a very happy, very successful marriage for the next 25 years.  Then we both went to college, and they realized that without kids to keep them aligned, their goals in life had changed.  They didn't want the same things anymore, and they were no longer happy with what the other had to offer.  That genuinely wasn't the case when they got married, but no amount of interrogation in the dating phase can read the future.

The other thing you have to consider is that some people enter marriage in bad faith.  My mom's first marriage ended because up-front, he agreed with all of her life goals, but after they were married, he said he'd changed his mind and didn't want children.  That was a deal-breaker for her, and he knew it was a deal-breaker, so he had lied about it to get her to the alter, figuring once they were married she'd just have to go along with it.  I'd say that's pretty "irreconcilable."
As I said in the last response, I'm not saying people should not get divorced.  Being deceitful (bad faith in your wording) is not what I'm talking about, especially about something as central to a family as having or not having children.  However, that said, really learning about a person can uncover some of these things.  No direct questioning will not, but observing situations to discern their character can.  That takes time.  While my wife and I did talk A LOT, we also spent time together doing really mundane things to see what was important to us and if we operated in the same way.

If this gets too personal and you do not want to go down this path, I get it, but you mention you mom divorced her first husband because he did not want kids.  Then you mentioned she had a happy marriage of 25 years that then ended after children left because they had no common identity without the kids.  What you did not mention is how quick this change from marriage one to marriage two happened and how truly discerning you feel your mom was when she found your dad, or if hurt from the pain and rejection of being lied to so got in too quickly before learning that the only things they really had in common is the desire for children and that overrode any other red flags that may have been there to avoid what happened at year 25.    My first marriage was similar to your mom's that when we finally got divorced my wife said she went down the marriage and kids track because she felt that's what the world wanted her to do, but that she never really did.  But I can look back and can see the signs clear as day now that I refused to see in our dating that telegraphed this clearly to me, but driven by hormones, sex and all the wrong things (love, but what was really lust) I got married.  That is what led to learning and understanding a whole different approach when I was courting my wife.  The school of hard knocks taught me well.  So point being, it may have actually been obvious to your mom and dad that when kids were out of the picture that there was not a lot that would keep them together but they were so focused on that part they bought into the fallacy that the rest would come and they'd grow together in other areas and they never did.  I did the same thing.  When we're married love will conquer all.  It does not and I should not have married my first wife.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on September 01, 2017, 09:11:59 AM
People do change, though, sometimes more than you'd think.  For example, my parents got together, got married, had 2 kids, and led a very happy, very successful marriage for the next 25 years.  Then we both went to college, and they realized that without kids to keep them aligned, their goals in life had changed.  They didn't want the same things anymore, and they were no longer happy with what the other had to offer.  That genuinely wasn't the case when they got married, but no amount of interrogation in the dating phase can read the future.

The other thing you have to consider is that some people enter marriage in bad faith.  My mom's first marriage ended because up-front, he agreed with all of her life goals, but after they were married, he said he'd changed his mind and didn't want children.  That was a deal-breaker for her, and he knew it was a deal-breaker, so he had lied about it to get her to the alter, figuring once they were married she'd just have to go along with it.  I'd say that's pretty "irreconcilable."
As I said in the last response, I'm not saying people should not get divorced.  Being deceitful (bad faith in your wording) is not what I'm talking about, especially about something as central to a family as having or not having children.  However, that said, really learning about a person can uncover some of these things.  No direct questioning will not, but observing situations to discern their character can.  That takes time.  While my wife and I did talk A LOT, we also spent time together doing really mundane things to see what was important to us and if we operated in the same way.

If this gets too personal and you do not want to go down this path, I get it, but you mention you mom divorced her first husband because he did not want kids.  Then you mentioned she had a happy marriage of 25 years that then ended after children left because they had no common identity without the kids.  What you did not mention is how quick this change from marriage one to marriage two happened and how truly discerning you feel your mom was when she found your dad, or if hurt from the pain and rejection of being lied to so got in too quickly before learning that the only things they really had in common is the desire for children and that overrode any other red flags that may have been there to avoid what happened at year 25.    My first marriage was similar to your mom's that when we finally got divorced my wife said she went down the marriage and kids track because she felt that's what the world wanted her to do, but that she never really did.  But I can look back and can see the signs clear as day now that I refused to see in our dating that telegraphed this clearly to me, but driven by hormones, sex and all the wrong things (love, but what was really lust) I got married.  That is what led to learning and understanding a whole different approach when I was courting my wife.  The school of hard knocks taught me well.  So point being, it may have actually been obvious to your mom and dad that when kids were out of the picture that there was not a lot that would keep them together but they were so focused on that part they bought into the fallacy that the rest would come and they'd grow together in other areas and they never did.  I did the same thing.  When we're married love will conquer all.  It does not and I should not have married my first wife.

I can't really say how much those factors might have contributed, since I wasn't around at the time ;)  It was not a quick transition from marriage 1 to marriage 2, but I can imagine that the biological clock may have been ticking.  I will say mom was probably too young to make a good judgement on her first husband, and probably did miss some signs - but I don't blame her too much for trusting the person she loved (not that I think you're saying that!)  She was not so young by the time she married my dad, but who knows what they might have missed?

It's not so much that they had no common identity without kids, but rather that the things they both thought they would want after kids were no longer the things they wanted once they got there.  I.E. the kind of retirement they pictured, the way they would live, downsizing, travel, etc.  When they discussed those things before marriage, they were aligned, but once they got there, they realized their wants were not what they had expected them to be.  I'm sure many FIRE types run into this, too.  For example, one spouse thought that after the kids were gone, that meant that the couple gets to switch to taking a fancy cruise or international vacation every year, but the other has realized they don't want to keep working forever and prefers to scale back and move to a smaller house (that's not the situation my parents ran into, just a more mustachian example).

Basically, I don't think my parents would be happier now if they hadn't gotten married in the first place, or had married other people instead, because their family and children were/are such a source of joy, and they did an incredible job of parenting together.  I don't think the fact that the relationship ended diminishes the success of the years they were together.  Am I making any sense?
Yes you are.  We've just headed a bit off the point I was addressing that started this part of the discussion which was basically "has divorce become too easy?"  No problem with the fork in the road. It's always interesting to hear about everyone's experiences to learn.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on September 01, 2017, 10:04:51 AM
The other thing you have to consider is that some people enter marriage in bad faith.  My mom's first marriage ended because up-front, he agreed with all of her life goals, but after they were married, he said he'd changed his mind and didn't want children.  That was a deal-breaker for her, and he knew it was a deal-breaker, so he had lied about it to get her to the alter, figuring once they were married she'd just have to go along with it.  I'd say that's pretty "irreconcilable."

I'm just replying to point out that people can change their minds about anything - including whether or not they want kids.  I think it's entirely possible for a person to enter into a marriage committed to having kids and then be against having kids a few years later.  They weren't necessarily lying or being manipulative when they said they wanted kids.  That could have been what they genuinely believed when they entered into the relationship.  Humans are terrible at predicting what will make them happy.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on September 01, 2017, 01:25:08 PM
The other thing you have to consider is that some people enter marriage in bad faith.  My mom's first marriage ended because up-front, he agreed with all of her life goals, but after they were married, he said he'd changed his mind and didn't want children.  That was a deal-breaker for her, and he knew it was a deal-breaker, so he had lied about it to get her to the alter, figuring once they were married she'd just have to go along with it.  I'd say that's pretty "irreconcilable."

I'm just replying to point out that people can change their minds about anything - including whether or not they want kids.  I think it's entirely possible for a person to enter into a marriage committed to having kids and then be against having kids a few years later.  They weren't necessarily lying or being manipulative when they said they wanted kids.  That could have been what they genuinely believed when they entered into the relationship.  Humans are terrible at predicting what will make them happy.
Yes people can change their minds, but I'm not going to give people a pass and pat them on the head and say that's OK.  We're not talking about changing their mind about what pizza toppings they like.  On significant things like "do I ever want to procreate or not" if you're waffly about it in anyway then not recognizing that points to such a lack of maturity that marriage needs to be off the table and most sane people understand that this type of item is core to a married couple.  As Raenia pointed out, right after the honeymoon is not based on the experience they had on the beach suddenly shifting such a major decision. 

It just keeps coming back to what I said about marriage not being viewed as as serious a commitment as it once was.  If it was, then the proper thing to do would be to wait until you've gotten answers to the core questions that drive a marriage.  Schaefer taking your wording literally, moving from being "committed" to having kids and then moving to the opposite end of the spectrum.  No, a well adjusted person does not make that swing.  I think it just provides excuses for people when we think swings like this as normal. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on September 01, 2017, 02:14:15 PM
The other thing you have to consider is that some people enter marriage in bad faith.  My mom's first marriage ended because up-front, he agreed with all of her life goals, but after they were married, he said he'd changed his mind and didn't want children.  That was a deal-breaker for her, and he knew it was a deal-breaker, so he had lied about it to get her to the alter, figuring once they were married she'd just have to go along with it.  I'd say that's pretty "irreconcilable."

I'm just replying to point out that people can change their minds about anything - including whether or not they want kids.  I think it's entirely possible for a person to enter into a marriage committed to having kids and then be against having kids a few years later.  They weren't necessarily lying or being manipulative when they said they wanted kids.  That could have been what they genuinely believed when they entered into the relationship.  Humans are terrible at predicting what will make them happy.
Yes people can change their minds, but I'm not going to give people a pass and pat them on the head and say that's OK.  We're not talking about changing their mind about what pizza toppings they like.  On significant things like "do I ever want to procreate or not" if you're waffly about it in anyway then not recognizing that points to such a lack of maturity that marriage needs to be off the table and most sane people understand that this type of item is core to a married couple.  As Raenia pointed out, right after the honeymoon is not based on the experience they had on the beach suddenly shifting such a major decision. 

It just keeps coming back to what I said about marriage not being viewed as as serious a commitment as it once was.  If it was, then the proper thing to do would be to wait until you've gotten answers to the core questions that drive a marriage.  Schaefer taking your wording literally, moving from being "committed" to having kids and then moving to the opposite end of the spectrum.  No, a well adjusted person does not make that swing.  I think it just provides excuses for people when we think swings like this as normal.

Over the course of a decade, I think a person can absolutely make that kind of a swing in their thinking.  I can't see a person saying they definitely want kids before the wedding and then not wanting them a week after the honeymoon, though.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: RetiredAt63 on September 01, 2017, 03:02:44 PM
No-fault divorce is a good thing.

There, I said it.  I know (not hearsay, I know) of divorces back in the 50's and 60's where one spouse had to fake cheating, (complete with detective to testify and cooperative 3rd person) to get the divorce. This is good?

Longer ago, men sometimes just took off (historically men were much more geographically mobile than women), and their wives were left high and dry, no idea what happened to the husband, no way to remarry ("grass widows").

"irreconcilable differences" can hide a world of hurt.  A divorcing spouse may not want to say bad things about the other spouse in public, this is a polite way of saying they just could no longer live with the other person for any variety of reasons.

If a person takes their marriage commitment lightly, isn't it better for all concerned to be able to get out of that marriage easily?  Would you want to have to stay married to someone who took the commitment lightly?

Remember historically marriage was about property and heirs and family alliances, not the spouses involved.  "Easy divorce" means more attention is taken to how the spouses see their marriage.

Society changes.  I remember a bunch of colleagues getting divorces in the 70's and 80's, all nice educated professional women whose husbands had cheated.  Now it is for a variety of reasons, and either spouse - but no-one who is not part of a marriage can know why.  People can be so different in public that the most "perfect" husband or wife can be horrible to live with, once they are not wearing their public face.  Sociopaths make up somewhere around 4% of the population, and most seem just like the rest of us on casual observation.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Cpa Cat on September 01, 2017, 07:10:03 PM
In live in a common law property state.

Isn't it true everything is divided up in a common law property state, as equally as possible, after a divorce?

My Dad claims he got nothing after the divorce with my mom.

I have a hard time believing this.

It's probably not true that he got nothing. If your father got nothing, in all likelihood it was because there was nothing to get, or because any assets belonged to your mother prior to marriage or through inheritance.

But here's a way to get nothing:

Unhappy family lives in a $300,000 house with a $280,000 mortgage. They have vehicles that have car loans and 0 equity. They have $10,000 of debt. Husband has a good income. Wife has no income or a low income and is the primary caregiver. They have two kids.

Divorce comes - their total balance sheet is positive by $10,000, but they'd have to sell the house to unlock it. Attorney's fees and the realtor eat up that little bit of money. Husband still has a good income, but now he has to pay alimony and child support. He feels that he got nothing.

OR - Let's suppose the couple has a positive net worth of $50,000, but otherwise same situation. Wife agrees to forego alimony if he gives her the equity in the house. He feels that he got nothing.

OR - The couple has a net worth of $20,000, but husband is 10 years into a pension. Wife agrees not to lay claim to his pension if he gives her some money. He feels that he got nothing.

The more time that passes, the less people seem to think they "got" in the divorce, even if their settlement seemed equitable at the time.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: happyfeet on September 02, 2017, 10:37:15 AM
Interesting topic and been a while since I posted on here.

But.... first started reading MMM about 4 years ago in preparation for my now XH retirement.  Got our food budget under control and really amped up savings.  I was the keeper of the money so to speak and he was the bread winner.  Married 32 years, and basically a SAHM.  Looking forward to a frugal and fun retirement, kids raised(really financially successful kids and frugal to boot- one an engineer) and no debt.  You get the picture. The life I had planned got blown to bits.

Forward to a year ago and X is in full blown work affair - co worked 12 years younger with a family of her own. He refuses to end affair.

My X wants a wife and a girlfriend basically.  OK.  This does not work for me.  Now divorced - after 32 years. The pain of leaving is less than the pain of staying.


Trust me - I tried to "save" our marriage but that takes two people - not one.

I was married to a narcissist sociopath - best therapist and I can come to. The full rage ugly came out when I discovered the affair. Literally the man flipped out overnite.  Still tough to process.  He was a great guy and husband until he was not.

So, what I learned - get a good lawyer.  In any fault state like mine - it is pretty cut and dry so don't get all caught up in the drama - the lawyers feed off of that in terms of billing. 

So grateful I found this site - learned so much on frugal living that I now apply to my life.Learned how to travel cheap - did the awesome credit card hacking stuff.  Haven't paid for an airline ticket in a long time and I travel quite a bit.

So grateful we saved money! LBYM is the key. My financial security is sound - I can work a small part time retail job and be ok.  Biggest unknown is health care as I am only 58.  COBRA for 3 years is expensive but compares to a decent ACA - COBRA is $543 for me and a BCBS plan.

Divorce is a weapon of mass financial destruction - everything in half.  I got half his pension also.  He pays me spousal support until he retires. Half of all assets. Got half his 401K.  We would have had an AWESOME retirement together - so not so much for both of us.  His GF is in debt and has 4 kiddos from 3 men. 

I stayed above the fray so to speak.  Glad I did.  Tried to stay classy through the whole thing.

Ours was not a normal we are gonna be friends divorce.  Those happen but not with us.  He viewed all the money as "his".

Onward to my new life .Firecalc is super helpful in planning my future also.
A big thanks to this site as it did really help prepare me for this path I am on.

We were that family that everyone admired.  Ya never know what life will deal ya.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on September 03, 2017, 06:34:19 AM
Yes, the whole story is always more nuanced than the public facade.  That's just human nature I think.

The thing I feel helpless with as a divorce group leader though is people wanting advice but then still not sharing openly.  So we provide advice and then get "no that would not work because...." and then a new detail they never shared comes out.  Well if you had told me that in your original story I would have given different advice.  Some people do just forget that detail, but most times they admit they felt it made them look bad, embarassed them, etc. so they withheld it.  It's just tough for people to get in that safe space even with resource like counselors or divorce support groups.

I'm not sure if some of these "things change overnight" are in response to the topic I started here regarding divorce being too easy, and then posters trying to show why it should be because of these scenarios.  I feel my actual point is getting buried in the hyperbole of what I believe people think I'm saying.  I'm not saying people should be trapped in marriage or even that divorce itself need to actually be harder, i.e. the removal of no fault divorce that I did mention in one post.  It is just a general feeling from what I see that people generally view marriage as much more disposable than it ever was before because of all the legal and societal changes and like it or not this actually creates more of these bad marriages because it gets to be too easy to just get hitched because I can get unhitched amytime I want.  It's more of a vent/frustration when I'm trying to counsel a woman/man who got left for a younger model or because they actually had discussions now about serious topics like retirement and their spouse did not marry them for serious they married them for fun.  The people I try to help usually come to us as broken shells unsure what they did and as we work with them a lot of it could possibly be better if they had systemic supports that would have not had them get married in the first place because their ex would have thought harder about getting married to begin with if getting out was more challenging, or they would have actually tried in the marriage.  These are all just hypotheticals and I'm not sure you could ever put an actual study together that would return any valid results.  After all we just spent the last several posts sharing how what really happened is not shared with others, so they are unlikely to share the truth with a researcher either.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Peony on September 03, 2017, 07:17:49 AM

If a person takes their marriage commitment lightly, isn't it better for all concerned to be able to get out of that marriage easily?  Would you want to have to stay married to someone who took the commitment lightly?


Amen on your entire post, @RetiredAt63, but especially this.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: firelight on September 03, 2017, 12:02:02 PM
Yes, the whole story is always more nuanced than the public facade.  That's just human nature I think.

The thing I feel helpless with as a divorce group leader though is people wanting advice but then still not sharing openly.  So we provide advice and then get "no that would not work because...." and then a new detail they never shared comes out.  Well if you had told me that in your original story I would have given different advice.  Some people do just forget that detail, but most times they admit they felt it made them look bad, embarassed them, etc. so they withheld it.  It's just tough for people to get in that safe space even with resource like counselors or divorce support groups.

I'm not sure if some of these "things change overnight" are in response to the topic I started here regarding divorce being too easy, and then posters trying to show why it should be because of these scenarios.  I feel my actual point is getting buried in the hyperbole of what I believe people think I'm saying.  I'm not saying people should be trapped in marriage or even that divorce itself need to actually be harder, i.e. the removal of no fault divorce that I did mention in one post.  It is just a general feeling from what I see that people generally view marriage as much more disposable than it ever was before because of all the legal and societal changes and like it or not this actually creates more of these bad marriages because it gets to be too easy to just get hitched because I can get unhitched amytime I want.  It's more of a vent/frustration when I'm trying to counsel a woman/man who got left for a younger model or because they actually had discussions now about serious topics like retirement and their spouse did not marry them for serious they married them for fun.  The people I try to help usually come to us as broken shells unsure what they did and as we work with them a lot of it could possibly be better if they had systemic supports that would have not had them get married in the first place because their ex would have thought harder about getting married to begin with if getting out was more challenging, or they would have actually tried in the marriage.  These are all just hypotheticals and I'm not sure you could ever put an actual study together that would return any valid results.  After all we just spent the last several posts sharing how what really happened is not shared with others, so they are unlikely to share the truth with a researcher either.
I agree with the trend you are seeing and I'm worried about it as well. In my part of the world, earlier, marriage used to be 'till death do us part' and families from both sides aided in a marriage's success. Even if there were problems, both the guy and girl were counseled by the elders to fix the issues. As a result families were more stable. But now, the couple just don't discuss about the hard parts of a marriage and I'm sad to see so many of my friends divorce due to immaturity. Many end up getting divorced within days of marriage (the shortest has been an hour). I get divorcing after trying to save the marriage but this is ridiculous. Both husband and wife don't really think through marriage and what it really requires. Some also don't stop to think about any advice they get. It's very sad to see.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: partgypsy on September 04, 2017, 10:37:35 PM
I think how heavily or lightly people take divorce differs by individual. For me, commitment in a marriage was very important. I think being (happily) married give both partners many benefits, as well as providing a stable safe haven to raise kids. It can be a beautiful thing, the shared memories and experiences. Hopefully before tying the knot, is to see what kind of person you are marrying, and whether they value marriage, to continue investing and nuturing that thing, and placing the relationship before other relationships. In retrospect, some of the actions and behaviors of my ex, were signs that he valued the instituion of marriage less, didn't see the value, and so was less willing to invest in it. It may have just been  me though; he seems to be making more of an effort to make his new girlfriend happy, including not wanting to take his belongings because they would make his new place cluttered, or even take our family pet there, because the dog might trample her plants, and going on a trip with her as a couple within 6 months because she wanted to.
I DO think that there are a lot of people out there that exit a marriage for trivial reasons boiling down to the grass is greener mentality. However once someone has mentally left the marriage, there is not anything that can be done about it. At that point there needs to be a way to unwind things with the least amount of suffering.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on September 05, 2017, 07:19:50 AM
What I am speaking of is a little different.

Let's use the analogy of buying a house, which I think is a similar commitment anywhere in the world and translates easily.

Everyone very clearly understands the "difficulties" of getting rid of house you regret, grow to dislike, wish you never bought.  They know all the hoops the need to jump through, the disruption in their lives etc. that happens by making a snap decision to buy something that is not easy to dispense with. 

I believe because divorce has become easier both from a logistics and a life impact (what your family, boss and friends think of you) it also means that there is less forethought about getting married in the first place and I think that is a bad thing.  Now the "stigma" from the religious perspective has not changed that much (in most Protestant denominations, divorced people are barred from having certain roles in the church) and perhaps that is enough because the legal implications of marriage came after that.  However, the impact to the family (read children and extended family) and finances falls in that gray area of being a concern of both your religious life and your legal life.  This gets into a controversial area of the definition of marriage in general causing some of the pressure we see.  From those I have spoken with concerned with gay marriage (and they include one my kids) the reason for wanting it has entirely to do with the legal life and nothing to do with the religious life.  The stance on sexuality in the religious front (how God views it) has not changed and therefore there is usually no care about getting married from that perspective.  The "benefit" comes entirely from the legal side of being able to apply for healthcare and other benefits available in their legal life from marriage.  So what does seem to be happening as we see an erosion in strong affiliation with a religious faith is that the legal aspect of marriage seems to be the focus.  And therefore, just like a business, or anything legally formed, divorce is then viewed as "it no longer works for me so I want out" in a very different way then when the focus was more on the religious side of the scale, which is how marriage was originally designed. 

So the shift I am talking about encompasses all that nuance and I do see that it tends to align that those who take it more seriously also tend to have a higher propensity towards non-secular views of marriage.  I do not think there is anything that can be done about it, as each individual determines their own views I just think the decline of marriage commitment correlates with the decline in faith/belief as a strong tenet in people's lives.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: snacky on September 05, 2017, 07:38:21 AM
LOL "how marriage was originally designed"... You mean like when a young woman had to marry her rapist as the rapist's punishment for spoiling the woman's father's property? Or when a woman found not to be a virgin on her wedding night was stoned to death? If we follow the Christian traditions, that's the original marriage. Or were you speaking of some other, non-biblical model of marriage?

Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on September 05, 2017, 08:29:44 AM
LOL "how marriage was originally designed"... You mean like when a young woman had to marry her rapist as the rapist's punishment for spoiling the woman's father's property? Or when a woman found not to be a virgin on her wedding night was stoned to death? If we follow the Christian traditions, that's the original marriage. Or were you speaking of some other, non-biblical model of marriage?
I assume this topic does not want to devolve into the discussions of what the biblical model of marriage is (it's neither of the things you described, those are the Law, not God's design) so that's all I'll say on that.  If you are interested in that discussion start another thread in off topic or PM me.

But yes, on a broad level what I meant was marriage as a covenant with God not as a legal agreement with the state.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: scantee on September 05, 2017, 08:55:07 AM
Caracarn, you seem to have a romantic and naive idea of what marriage was like for most of human history. People didn't sit around for years and years contemplating their innermost wants and desires, then undertake a massive search for the person who most fit their long term goals. Most people didn't think about these things at all, they didn't have the luxury to. They married whomever their family and community told them to. That's it. Given this, it is weird to me that you are recasting the modern luxury of partner choice as something intrinsic to traditional religious marriage. The transition of marriage away from a religious pact and towards a legal contract is part of the reason why we have any choice in the matter in the first place.

 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on September 05, 2017, 10:36:27 AM
Caracarn, you seem to have a romantic and naive idea of what marriage was like for most of human history. People didn't sit around for years and years contemplating their innermost wants and desires, then undertake a massive search for the person who most fit their long term goals. Most people didn't think about these things at all, they didn't have the luxury to. They married whomever their family and community told them to. That's it. Given this, it is weird to me that you are recasting the modern luxury of partner choice as something intrinsic to traditional religious marriage. The transition of marriage away from a religious pact and towards a legal contract is part of the reason why we have any choice in the matter in the first place.

I do not have that view of historical marriage, I understand it was a poorly thought out set of arranged marriages built as a business model in many cases to further the family's fortunes.  Incorrect interpretation and application of people has convoluted this to be in some way taught in Scripture (my context is Biblical as that is my background.  I cannot speak with any authority on what other religious texts teach).  Again, I do not want to send this thread down Bible study and interpretation as that is getting too much into the weeds on what the topic focuses on. 

As a brief overview, the customs adopted and written about in the historical books of the Bible (which are the ones referred to thus far) are ones that were picked up from customs of the day and of surrounding peoples.  They were not edicts passed down from God.  Having no choice in the matter (of who you marry) had nothing to do with the Bible (man-made religious systems created afterwards made up additional rules to add to it that created that, I do not disagree), it is silent on this issue.  It is not silent on the fact that marriage, once made is designed to be a lifelong covenant.  Therefore entering into it should be taken extremely seriously and not with a view towards having an escape hatch in the event I missed something.  I'd agree that the practice of arranged marriages, encouraging marriages to happen quickly because of other circumstances, creates barriers to this.  In the modern day western cultures having most of that done away with should allow for more analysis.  Once again, all I was pointing out is that I see much less consideration given to the lifelong commitment of marriage which I think would then drive more careful thought on entering to avoid divorce.  I come to that by the fact that I do not think that a normal conversation with someone hundreds or even fifty years ago would have included the phrase, "If it doesn't work out we can just separate (divorce)."  It's my opinion that courting and marriage have been adversely affected by the throw away nature of nearly everything in society.  We have disposable everything from razors to thoughts.  If something does not grab out attention in a few seconds, it is usually bad, so we created speed dating because we have no time.  Then sexting starts to replace actual physical intimacy.  My opinion is all this is bad for us.  I get I can't do anything about it, but that's just how I feel. That led to voicing that I feel maybe something that would introduce a little bit of soul searching back into the marriage process would be a good thing as I believe we've one too far down the line to the other side in making marriage are permanent as the flavor of my chewing gum. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: scantee on September 05, 2017, 02:54:51 PM
Quote
Once again, all I was pointing out is that I see much less consideration given to the lifelong commitment of marriage which I think would then drive more careful thought on entering to avoid divorce.  I come to that by the fact that I do not think that a normal conversation with someone hundreds or even fifty years ago would have included the phrase, "If it doesn't work out we can just separate (divorce)."  It's my opinion that courting and marriage have been adversely affected by the throw away nature of nearly everything in society.

The thing that has changed most about the institution of marriage over the past three decades isn't divorce, it's the rapidly decreasing number of people who choose to marry at all, even if they have kids. Qualitative research on this issue has shown that many of these people DO consider marriage to be a sacred institution, which is why they feel like they shouldn't get married unless they can do it "right." The people choosing not to marry aren't spread evenly across the population, they tend to be poorer and less educated. People with higher incomes and more education (who, coincidentally, also are less religious) are more likely to both get and stay married.

Of course, people continue to have sex, get pregnant, and have kids whether they are married or not, which is will the incidence of single parenthood has skyrocketed as the marriage rate has fallen. So, what's worse, people never getting married but avoiding divorce (which is indeed a surefire method!) or people marrying and doing their best but divorcing when it doesn't work out? I'm agnostic on this question, because I don't think that marriage is intrinsic to good parenting, but my guess it that most people would say the first scenario is worse.

Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: K-ice on September 06, 2017, 01:21:11 AM
Looking at custody schedules I think the 2-2-3 or also known the 2-2-5-5 schedule is one of the best I have seen for those who are working on 50:50 custody.

How it works is one parent always has Monday and Tuesday night, the other parent always has Wednesday and Thursday, and then they alternate the 3-night weekend Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Basically over the weekend the child is always 5 days with alternating parents.  The parents consistently know that they are taking their child to x-activity on the week nights.

I've heard parent comments that they also really like the schedule as they can better plan for themselves like Shinny Hockey every Tuesday or Volleyball every Thursday when they are alone.

Here are a few articles on it if anyone is interested:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/brahm-d-siegel/divorce-2-2-3_b_1242330.html

http://www.deborahtoddlaw.com/parenting-time/

http://www.womensvoicesmagazine.com/2015/07/01/dear-janet-the-5-2-2-5-child-custody-plan-parental-dating/

^^ this last one was negative but they mention the "primary parent". Myfirst assumption with suggesting the 2-2-5-5 schedule is that the parents have already agreed they are co-parenting and that equal time is important and best for the children. If you are not at that stage yet, that is a new topic. 


Has anyone tried this 2-2-5-5-? What did you think?
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on September 06, 2017, 05:58:22 AM
Quote
Once again, all I was pointing out is that I see much less consideration given to the lifelong commitment of marriage which I think would then drive more careful thought on entering to avoid divorce.  I come to that by the fact that I do not think that a normal conversation with someone hundreds or even fifty years ago would have included the phrase, "If it doesn't work out we can just separate (divorce)."  It's my opinion that courting and marriage have been adversely affected by the throw away nature of nearly everything in society.

The thing that has changed most about the institution of marriage over the past three decades isn't divorce, it's the rapidly decreasing number of people who choose to marry at all, even if they have kids. Qualitative research on this issue has shown that many of these people DO consider marriage to be a sacred institution, which is why they feel like they shouldn't get married unless they can do it "right." The people choosing not to marry aren't spread evenly across the population, they tend to be poorer and less educated. People with higher incomes and more education (who, coincidentally, also are less religious) are more likely to both get and stay married.

Of course, people continue to have sex, get pregnant, and have kids whether they are married or not, which is will the incidence of single parenthood has skyrocketed as the marriage rate has fallen. So, what's worse, people never getting married but avoiding divorce (which is indeed a surefire method!) or people marrying and doing their best but divorcing when it doesn't work out? I'm agnostic on this question, because I don't think that marriage is intrinsic to good parenting, but my guess it that most people would say the first scenario is worse.
I think the two scenarios you present are not presented on the same footing (perhaps, as you leave the key item out in the first one) on the topic I think is intrinsic to well supported families and that is if the parents stay together and are there as a family unit for the kids.  Other studies also show that children with intact families where both parents are present and raise them fare better than those whose parents divorce or who are in a single parent family and the other parent has totally abdicated.  Look at all the studies and laments of inner city youth without fathers.  It's not being or not being married that is at issue.  It's the absentee parent. 

So my decision on which is "worse" is if the parents in your first scenario stayed together.  Maybe you imply they did not either because you meant "it doesn't work out" to apply to both scenarios. 
In that case I'd point you to studies which we reference all the time in divorce support when people ask about when  they should think about dating again.  To a child, someone coming into their life and leaving, regardless of whether a marriage is involved are impacted exactly the same as a divorce.  They have still attached to that person, and that person has still left, and the impact gets worse the more times this happens.  So if the first scenario becomes more of a revolving door than the second one because all that is required to break up in the first case is a hearty "FU" and walk out the door versus having to involve legal systems which take time etc. than in that case, because of the impact to the children (and the leavee) it would be worse. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on September 06, 2017, 06:10:31 AM
Looking at custody schedules I think the 2-2-3 or also known the 2-2-5-5 schedule is one of the best I have seen for those who are working on 50:50 custody.

How it works is one parent always has Monday and Tuesday night, the other parent always has Wednesday and Thursday, and then they alternate the 3-night weekend Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Basically over the weekend the child is always 5 days with alternating parents.  The parents consistently know that they are taking their child to x-activity on the week nights.

I've heard parent comments that they also really like the schedule as they can better plan for themselves like Shinny Hockey every Tuesday or Volleyball every Thursday when they are alone.

Here are a few articles on it if anyone is interested:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/brahm-d-siegel/divorce-2-2-3_b_1242330.html

http://www.deborahtoddlaw.com/parenting-time/

http://www.womensvoicesmagazine.com/2015/07/01/dear-janet-the-5-2-2-5-child-custody-plan-parental-dating/

^^ this last one was negative but they mention the "primary parent". Myfirst assumption with suggesting the 2-2-5-5 schedule is that the parents have already agreed they are co-parenting and that equal time is important and best for the children. If you are not at that stage yet, that is a new topic. 


Has anyone tried this 2-2-5-5-? What did you think?
My wife's kids are on this schedule.  Now how they got there was far from cordial agreement, but not sure that matters to your question.  Just mentioning it in case it does and you have further questions from that end.

It seems to be fine most of the time.  As the kids age we have found it tougher as they got into high school because a lot of school activities occur on Friday nights or over the weekend and when one parent is less reliable, has sporadic transportation etc. then it creates stress, but almost always there are alternating weekends.  I've mentioned that my kids are on a 10-4 schedule, so even when the parent would prefer it be a 12-2 or most times a 14-0, the days on the low end are still weekends, so this would be a similar problem in both cases, as my ex is fine saying the kids just won't go to things on her time because she does not want to drive them.  In most cases if we can we then go get them and take them, which she's fine with, but it creates a lot of logistics issues for us. 

The kids also still get confused (just had the 18 year old as if they we scheduled at dad's this weekend) even though it theoretically is consistent, but it's still not intuitive when you live it because you are still back and forth, which is the biggest complaint most kids have about the aftermath of divorce, the lack of a "home".  I know our kids envy the consistency that intact families have regardless of which schedule they are on, as they've voiced it to us sometimes.  Stuff gets forgotten at one house, they need to decide to do without or if they need to have it for school or something.  Planning with friends always involves figuring out where you'll be and the 2-2-5-5 does not seem to make that any easier.  The first question we get anytime they plan anything is "are we at dad's or here".  In that regard, my kids with the 10-4 seem to have an easier time figuring it out on their own. 
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: expatartist on September 07, 2017, 01:51:27 AM
Thanks to those of you who recommended DivorceCare on p.1 of this post. I found a local group and, even though discussions will be mostly in Cantonese, the films and some parts of discussions will be in English. Eleven Monday evenings of emotions in Cantonese, maybe I'll learn a useful word or two, it's a colorful language to swear in ;)

My marriage ended nearly 2 years ago, and though many of the emotions are behind me, the paperwork hasn't started yet, is complicated and may involve two or three countries so may get expensive, and it looks like I will have to be the one to initiate (and perhaps pay for) everything.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on September 07, 2017, 07:29:33 AM
Thanks to those of you who recommended DivorceCare on p.1 of this post. I found a local group and, even though discussions will be mostly in Cantonese, the films and some parts of discussions will be in English. Eleven Monday evenings of emotions in Cantonese, maybe I'll learn a useful word or two, it's a colorful language to swear in ;)

My marriage ended nearly 2 years ago, and though many of the emotions are behind me, the paperwork hasn't started yet, is complicated and may involve two or three countries so may get expensive, and it looks like I will have to be the one to initiate (and perhaps pay for) everything.
Glad the DivorceCare program advice was helpful.  Sounds like you've got your hands full but hopefully it will give you some tools to help on your journey.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: actionjax on September 07, 2017, 08:08:13 AM
Looking at custody schedules I think the 2-2-3 or also known the 2-2-5-5 schedule is one of the best I have seen for those who are working on 50:50 custody.

How it works is one parent always has Monday and Tuesday night, the other parent always has Wednesday and Thursday, and then they alternate the 3-night weekend Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Basically over the weekend the child is always 5 days with alternating parents.  The parents consistently know that they are taking their child to x-activity on the week nights.

I've heard parent comments that they also really like the schedule as they can better plan for themselves like Shinny Hockey every Tuesday or Volleyball every Thursday when they are alone.

Here are a few articles on it if anyone is interested:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/brahm-d-siegel/divorce-2-2-3_b_1242330.html

http://www.deborahtoddlaw.com/parenting-time/

http://www.womensvoicesmagazine.com/2015/07/01/dear-janet-the-5-2-2-5-child-custody-plan-parental-dating/

^^ this last one was negative but they mention the "primary parent". Myfirst assumption with suggesting the 2-2-5-5 schedule is that the parents have already agreed they are co-parenting and that equal time is important and best for the children. If you are not at that stage yet, that is a new topic. 


Has anyone tried this 2-2-5-5-? What did you think?

We're doing this (2-2-3). We started sometime within the last year at the request of our child (elementary school aged) for longer stays at each house. So far, I think it works well. I always know which week-nights I can plan kid-centred stuff on and parent-centred stuff. Splitting/sharing long weekends (each has roughly equal number through the year) takes some preplanning but it always did.
That being said, I can still drive myself crazy thinking our child will not have a "normal" childhood because mom and dad live separately. I am aware that with teenage-hood may come the request to live full-time at one house.  I'll cross that bridge if and when we come to it but I will be amicable regardless.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: kayvent on September 09, 2017, 08:27:32 AM
LOL "how marriage was originally designed"... You mean like when a young woman had to marry her rapist as the rapist's punishment for spoiling the woman's father's property? Or when a woman found not to be a virgin on her wedding night was stoned to death? If we follow the Christian traditions, that's the original marriage. Or were you speaking of some other, non-biblical model of marriage?

Although it will sound inflammatory, I have an honest and sincere question: Do you think you are smart or do you know you're being an idiot?

Deuteronomy and Leviticus, at least in a verbal form, have been around for three and a half millenniums. Heck, even if you think they are anachronistic, they are two and a half millenniums old. Now, in all that time, do you think you (modern man) are one of the first sets of people to ever talk about those verses?

If you think so, you are grossly wrong. If you realize that you aren't a savant or that talking about the Bible isn't a modern concept, perhaps you need to realize that your comment is juvenile at best. When I hear comments like yours, they remind me when I hear a creationist say "Evolution can't be right because monkeys are still around." Both of y'all ignore that the community you are dissing has hundreds or thousands of years of explanatory history and discourse on a topic and your root criticism grazes something it dealt with in its infancy.

As caracarn offered, if you want to discuss this topic I am more then willing to in PM.

MOD EDIT: Forum rule #1
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: snacky on September 09, 2017, 09:03:52 AM
LOL "how marriage was originally designed"... You mean like when a young woman had to marry her rapist as the rapist's punishment for spoiling the woman's father's property? Or when a woman found not to be a virgin on her wedding night was stoned to death? If we follow the Christian traditions, that's the original marriage. Or were you speaking of some other, non-biblical model of marriage?

Although it will sound inflammatory, I have an honest and sincere question: Do you think you are smart or do you know you're being an idiot?

Deuteronomy and Leviticus has existed, at least in a verbal form, have been around for three and a half millenniums. Heck, even if you think they are anachronistic, they are two and a half millenniums old. Now, in all that time, do you think you (modern man) are one of the first sets of people to ever talk about those verses?

If you think so, you are grossly wrong. If you realize that you aren't a savant or that talking about the Bible isn't a modern concept, perhaps you need to realize that your comment is juvenile at best. When I hear comments like yours, they remind me when I hear a creationist say "Evolution can't be right because monkeys are still around." Both of y'all ignore that the community your are dissing has hundreds or thousands of years of explanatory history and discourse on a topic and your root criticism grazes something it dealt with in its infancy.

As caracarn offered, if you want to discuss this topic I am more then willing to in PM.

Rude.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on September 09, 2017, 12:00:05 PM
LOL "how marriage was originally designed"... You mean like when a young woman had to marry her rapist as the rapist's punishment for spoiling the woman's father's property? Or when a woman found not to be a virgin on her wedding night was stoned to death? If we follow the Christian traditions, that's the original marriage. Or were you speaking of some other, non-biblical model of marriage?

Although it will sound inflammatory, I have an honest and sincere question: Do you think you are smart or do you know you're being an idiot?

Deuteronomy and Leviticus has existed, at least in a verbal form, have been around for three and a half millenniums. Heck, even if you think they are anachronistic, they are two and a half millenniums old. Now, in all that time, do you think you (modern man) are one of the first sets of people to ever talk about those verses?

If you think so, you are grossly wrong. If you realize that you aren't a savant or that talking about the Bible isn't a modern concept, perhaps you need to realize that your comment is juvenile at best. When I hear comments like yours, they remind me when I hear a creationist say "Evolution can't be right because monkeys are still around." Both of y'all ignore that the community your are dissing has hundreds or thousands of years of explanatory history and discourse on a topic and your root criticism grazes something it dealt with in its infancy.

As caracarn offered, if you want to discuss this topic I am more then willing to in PM.

Rude.

+1.

Your question is not "honest and sincere," it is deliberately insulting. But you knew that when you typed it. Please stop.

We're doing this (2-2-3). We started sometime within the last year at the request of our child (elementary school aged) for longer stays at each house. So far, I think it works well. I always know which week-nights I can plan kid-centred stuff on and parent-centred stuff. Splitting/sharing long weekends (each has roughly equal number through the year) takes some preplanning but it always did.
That being said, I can still drive myself crazy thinking our child will not have a "normal" childhood because mom and dad live separately. I am aware that with teenage-hood may come the request to live full-time at one house.  I'll cross that bridge if and when we come to it but I will be amicable regardless.



I'd like to go to this schedule. Right now, we have a very awkward two to three day rotation--three days is the longest our five- and six-year-old kids are anywhere, and the days of the week are not consistent--because of my work schedule. I would like to ultimately settle into something more predictable for them. But their father and I are not always going to live 3 blocks apart and right by their school, so I don't know if it's going to be sustainable long term. But should work for elementary and middle school.

I struggle with the same issue of "normal." But hey, my kids get to have two different childhoods! One where they are part of stair-step boys (currently 3,4,5,6) at Daddy's house, where they have a beautiful young stepmom with tattoos and it's chaos and minivan rides and lots of TV and McDonald's trips, because, again, 4 stair-step boys under age 7. And one at Mommy's house where they are the only kids*, and it's lots of snuggles and reading time and Family Movie Night and Family Board Game Night and whatnot. Normal isn't everything.

*For now at least :).
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: Schaefer Light on September 11, 2017, 06:21:36 AM
Thanks to those of you who recommended DivorceCare on p.1 of this post.

I'd also like to say thanks for the recommendation.  I'm 4 weeks into a 13-week program now.  It helps to know that other people are going through the same thing and that we all struggle with similar emotions.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: RetiredAt63 on September 11, 2017, 06:57:01 AM
In all this discussion, let's stop and look at a slightly broader picture.  Once agriculture got established most people were peasant farmers, and never traveled more than a few km away from home.  They married within a small group of villages, people they knew, and the extended family was always there.  Families were economic units, they worked the farm, the kids were additional labour and the means of retirement.  In a sense they were married to the farm as much or more than they were married to each other.  Once cropland ownership was fixed, marriages could be arranged because the lands went well together, or to end a feud.  No-one was expected to be in love with their spouse (if you really liked each other that was a bonus), you loved your children and God.  Love was separate from marriage, William the Conqueror was also called William the Bastard, because his mother was his father's love, but as an ordinary woman not eligible for marriage to a noble.  Divorce was incredibly rare, look at the trouble Henry VIII had with getting rid of wives, it was easier to trump up treason charges and behead them.  On the other hand, in many cultures a man could divorce his wife because she was barren (in reality they figure lots of marriages are childless because of him, or the 2 together, or baby after baby dies because of Rh incompatibility).

So really what we are looking at here is modern marriages, in a post-agricultural society, and the rules for life have changed. Why should we be surprised that the rules for marriage and its ending have also changed?

Re the easy marriage and divorce, what I am seeing in my DD's circle (so only a small sample, I know) is young people who are establishing themselves, figuring out themselves and their lives and relationships, and being very careful about marriage.  If they are not the children of divorce themselves, they have lots of friends who are.  Good birth control (and legal abortion) means that "mistakes" don't force marriage, like the girls back in my generation who "had" to get married (and most of the ones I know about ended up in unhappy marriages and divorces, they should never have married).  The "married young" couples I know these days were the ones who didn't learn about birth control or had religious reasons not to use it, had sex once and got pregnant, and married.  Yes, my room-mate in hospital when I had DD was one (she was less than half my age), she had just finished HS and had to delay college a year for the baby and the wedding, and of course I have no idea if she ever did go on in her education.  At least their families and church were supportive.

Maybe this "easy divorce" thing is because it is super easy where some of you are?  Here (Ontario, Canada) you have to have a year's legal separation before you can actually file for divorce.  Ideally you go to court with a signed separation agreement, because otherwise it will be very expensive in court fees.  So easier than it was, but not easy.  From separation to divorce for me was over 6 years.  "Easy"  would have been to stay together.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: caracarn on September 11, 2017, 07:14:52 AM
Thanks to those of you who recommended DivorceCare on p.1 of this post.

I'd also like to say thanks for the recommendation.  I'm 4 weeks into a 13-week program now.  It helps to know that other people are going through the same thing and that we all struggle with similar emotions.
Glad it is helping.

I think one of the best benefits is getting enough solid information and skills to stay away from the uninformed advice of family and friends who think they understand but really do not.  It avoids making mistakes by taking that advice t "get out there and start dating" before you are remotely ready or to "just get over it" because they do not understand the level of grief this causes and the massive impact is has on all areas of your life, not just the ones they see and want you to move forward with.  You'll get to the statement in a later session, and I just was reminded of it with the hurricanes in the US these last few weeks where one of the counselors explains that divorce is like a tornado, except the tornado is happening in your living room and goes on for a very long time instead of blowing trough and going away.  It's tough to pick up the pieces as quickly as outside people think you should and DivorceCare gives you the knowledge as you said to see that what you are going through is normal and the process takes a long time.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: a-scho on September 11, 2017, 11:58:54 PM
LOL "how marriage was originally designed"... You mean like when a young woman had to marry her rapist as the rapist's punishment for spoiling the woman's father's property? Or when a woman found not to be a virgin on her wedding night was stoned to death? If we follow the Christian traditions, that's the original marriage. Or were you speaking of some other, non-biblical model of marriage?

Although it will sound inflammatory, I have an honest and sincere question: Do you think you are smart or do you know you're being an idiot?

Deuteronomy and Leviticus, at least in a verbal form, have been around for three and a half millenniums. Heck, even if you think they are anachronistic, they are two and a half millenniums old. Now, in all that time, do you think you (modern man) are one of the first sets of people to ever talk about those verses?

If you think so, you are grossly wrong. If you realize that you aren't a savant or that talking about the Bible isn't a modern concept, perhaps you need to realize that your comment is juvenile at best. When I hear comments like yours, they remind me when I hear a creationist say "Evolution can't be right because monkeys are still around." Both of y'all ignore that the community you are dissing has hundreds or thousands of years of explanatory history and discourse on a topic and your root criticism grazes something it dealt with in its infancy.

As caracarn offered, if you want to discuss this topic I am more then willing to in PM.

 pot. kettle. The plural of millennium is millennia.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: jo552006 on September 12, 2017, 12:48:38 AM
I have been considering divorce for the last year, and very seriously for the last six months. To the outside, we are a remarkably high functioning, successful, and productive couple. We have a beautiful home, we're delightful and social, we run a successful Meetup group and Airbnb. What others don't see is are the painfully sore areas of misalignment that have plagued us for a while now - the incredibly cliche problems of sex and money disagreements. The problems have been going on for years and are not going to be solved. I fantasize about being freed of him and living a happier, more frugal life.

Since we are both independently successful and have no children, I'm of the opinion that we should separate. Cut our losses and move on to other lives and people who will be better for each of us and be happier in the long haul. No hard feelings - I just don't feel we're great for each other. He, on the other hand, doesn't feel he will ever be able to find someone as wonderful as me and is horrified at the thought of divorce (probably because he hates feeling rejected and is the child of divorce). When we've talked about it, he has explicitly said he will make the process difficult and made threats of suicide.

Yes, suicide.

I have no problems being impartial, emotionless and amicable in a separation, but that is wildly outside his ability. I've already mentally divvied up our stuff in what I feel is a very good split. I've started making lists of things I should do to "circle my wagons" before serving papers (download financial documents, take picture of assets, etc). I just don't really know how to start the divorce process so that I don't end up with $20k in lawyer's fees. Anyone have any suggestions?

I did not see anybody explicitly see anybody mention this so I'll throw this suggestion out there.  This applies to other posts I saw as well, but I suck at quoting, especially across multiple pages.  Make sure your marriage is truly doomed, and give it your best shot for success.  You didn't say, "DH thinks he's perfect and thinks everything is my fault."  You literally said cliche issues which implies they are fairly common.  Do you guys just have different viewpoints or values?  I'm sure there are serious problems, but I ask because his view may very well be true that he WON'T find somebody as awesome as you.  Maybe, the inverse is true, but there are changes needed.  Especially with his viewpoint, maybe he'd be willing to work on his marriage harder?

Seriously, there's tons of ways to deal with money issues, splitting finances, sitting down and talking, allowances, budgets, partially joint finances, etc.  Maybe you sit down and make an agreement on things, and sign it. (note this is an agreement, not a document to control another person)  If he's the type of person who's word is his bond, maybe that could help.  Sex issues, well REALLY depends on the issue, but even on those issues there are options.  What about open and non-monogamous marriage?  What can either/both parties do to change whatever the issue is, sometimes sex lives get boring, but that doesn't have to be the answer.  With all issues, communication is key.  Good communication.

I ask all this because I see an underwhelming trend in this thread for people to talk about trying to save a marriage.  In a lot of cases divorce is the best thing, but I saw no giant red flags in your post clearly pointing towards that being your only options.  I'm *hoping* that given your viewpoint that divorce is better you've already truly given it your best shot to make it work.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: jo552006 on September 12, 2017, 01:31:55 AM
I separated my posts, as the first was more specific and less rant-y.  This is not in response to anything in particular, but ties well with Caracarn's view that in today's society divorce has become too acceptable.

Especially recently, I think each generation seems to have less personal accountability, and a worse work ethic than the previous one.  Caracarn seems to be coming at marriage from a biblical perspective, but even if you look at marriage as purely legal, it's too easy for people to give up.  I'm all for ending a bad marriage, and will not shy away from offering that option, but I feel like it's the easy way out in a lot of cases.

I don't think the lack of personal accountability is just in marriages but in everything.  We use the term accident so often to mean something that was unintended, but if an accident was preventable, was it really an accident?  If you're texting and slam into my car, I'm not going to be thankful that you didn't "mean" to hit me.

I bring up this topic because I think a lot of problems WITHIN a marriage come down do personal accountability (and also work ethic).  The ability to say "I fucked up" and own an action/mistake, seems to be almost devoid from our generation. The ease of which a marriage is dissolved, attests to that.  I am not proposing that marriages should be harder to end, but that when people want to get married, they should truly understand that they are making an oath to another person.  If people want a purely legal marriage, to be dissolved when it no longer suits them, why do people go through the ceremony, invite family and friends, etc?  I suspect that at least when most marriages start, they are not purely legal, but when they get hard, instead of working hard, suddenly they become purely legal.

TLDR, when in a marriage, work hard, act like an adult and own your actions, personal accountability is good for literally every part of your life, but is especially helpful in marriage where two people's lives are tied together.  When thinking about a divorce, make sure you tried to make your marriage work.  Marriages are hard; you took a lifelong oath to another person, not exchange promise rings.  Treat it as such.

Again... this is NOT directed at anybody in particular here in fact I'd like to believe people on this forum give greater thought to dissolving a marriage thank the average person.  Also for the record, I don't advocate stay in or working on an abusive relationship.

There's a lot of good advice, for people who are going through/thinking about divorce.  I don't feel like there's much to add except to pile on with anybody who says divorces are expensive.  Yet one more reason why trying to make  a marriage work can be a good thing.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: former player on September 12, 2017, 03:26:14 AM
I have been considering divorce for the last year, and very seriously for the last six months. To the outside, we are a remarkably high functioning, successful, and productive couple. We have a beautiful home, we're delightful and social, we run a successful Meetup group and Airbnb. What others don't see is are the painfully sore areas of misalignment that have plagued us for a while now - the incredibly cliche problems of sex and money disagreements. The problems have been going on for years and are not going to be solved. I fantasize about being freed of him and living a happier, more frugal life.

Since we are both independently successful and have no children, I'm of the opinion that we should separate. Cut our losses and move on to other lives and people who will be better for each of us and be happier in the long haul. No hard feelings - I just don't feel we're great for each other. He, on the other hand, doesn't feel he will ever be able to find someone as wonderful as me and is horrified at the thought of divorce (probably because he hates feeling rejected and is the child of divorce). When we've talked about it, he has explicitly said he will make the process difficult and made threats of suicide.

Yes, suicide.

I have no problems being impartial, emotionless and amicable in a separation, but that is wildly outside his ability. I've already mentally divvied up our stuff in what I feel is a very good split. I've started making lists of things I should do to "circle my wagons" before serving papers (download financial documents, take picture of assets, etc). I just don't really know how to start the divorce process so that I don't end up with $20k in lawyer's fees. Anyone have any suggestions?

I did not see anybody explicitly see anybody mention this so I'll throw this suggestion out there.  This applies to other posts I saw as well, but I suck at quoting, especially across multiple pages.  Make sure your marriage is truly doomed, and give it your best shot for success.  You didn't say, "DH thinks he's perfect and thinks everything is my fault."  You literally said cliche issues which implies they are fairly common.  Do you guys just have different viewpoints or values?  I'm sure there are serious problems, but I ask because his view may very well be true that he WON'T find somebody as awesome as you.  Maybe, the inverse is true, but there are changes needed.  Especially with his viewpoint, maybe he'd be willing to work on his marriage harder?

Seriously, there's tons of ways to deal with money issues, splitting finances, sitting down and talking, allowances, budgets, partially joint finances, etc.  Maybe you sit down and make an agreement on things, and sign it. (note this is an agreement, not a document to control another person)  If he's the type of person who's word is his bond, maybe that could help.  Sex issues, well REALLY depends on the issue, but even on those issues there are options.  What about open and non-monogamous marriage?  What can either/both parties do to change whatever the issue is, sometimes sex lives get boring, but that doesn't have to be the answer.  With all issues, communication is key.  Good communication.

I ask all this because I see an underwhelming trend in this thread for people to talk about trying to save a marriage.  In a lot of cases divorce is the best thing, but I saw no giant red flags in your post clearly pointing towards that being your only options.  I'm *hoping* that given your viewpoint that divorce is better you've already truly given it your best shot to make it work.
Ladyinred is clearly unhappy on the money front, but the giant red flag to me is the unresolveable differences on sex - being pressured into or out of sex, or into or out of a particular kind of sex, for the rest of your life, is not something I would press on anyone.  Particularly with an emotionally abusive partner who threatens suicide to keep the other partner in line.

If it's not possible for ladyinred to negotiate a sexually open marriage with separate finances, I would suggest that she lines up her successor if she can but sets a date and goes anyway if she can't.  What her husband does about that is on him, not her.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: kayvent on September 12, 2017, 03:50:39 AM
LOL "how marriage was originally designed"... You mean like when a young woman had to marry her rapist as the rapist's punishment for spoiling the woman's father's property? Or when a woman found not to be a virgin on her wedding night was stoned to death? If we follow the Christian traditions, that's the original marriage. Or were you speaking of some other, non-biblical model of marriage?

Although it will sound inflammatory, I have an honest and sincere question: Do you think you are smart or do you know you're being an idiot?

Deuteronomy and Leviticus, at least in a verbal form, have been around for three and a half millenniums. Heck, even if you think they are anachronistic, they are two and a half millenniums old. Now, in all that time, do you think you (modern man) are one of the first sets of people to ever talk about those verses?

If you think so, you are grossly wrong. If you realize that you aren't a savant or that talking about the Bible isn't a modern concept, perhaps you need to realize that your comment is juvenile at best. When I hear comments like yours, they remind me when I hear a creationist say "Evolution can't be right because monkeys are still around." Both of y'all ignore that the community you are dissing has hundreds or thousands of years of explanatory history and discourse on a topic and your root criticism grazes something it dealt with in its infancy.

As caracarn offered, if you want to discuss this topic I am more then willing to in PM.

 pot. kettle. The plural of millennium is millennia.

This made me laugh. So you are calling Snacky an idiot? Also, the plural of millennium is both millennia and millenniums. Crack open a dictionary. (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/millennium) I don't mind being corrected on things. I do find it hilarious to be corrected when I am not wrong.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: PoutineLover on September 12, 2017, 06:37:27 AM
I have been considering divorce for the last year, and very seriously for the last six months. To the outside, we are a remarkably high functioning, successful, and productive couple. We have a beautiful home, we're delightful and social, we run a successful Meetup group and Airbnb. What others don't see is are the painfully sore areas of misalignment that have plagued us for a while now - the incredibly cliche problems of sex and money disagreements. The problems have been going on for years and are not going to be solved. I fantasize about being freed of him and living a happier, more frugal life.

Since we are both independently successful and have no children, I'm of the opinion that we should separate. Cut our losses and move on to other lives and people who will be better for each of us and be happier in the long haul. No hard feelings - I just don't feel we're great for each other. He, on the other hand, doesn't feel he will ever be able to find someone as wonderful as me and is horrified at the thought of divorce (probably because he hates feeling rejected and is the child of divorce). When we've talked about it, he has explicitly said he will make the process difficult and made threats of suicide.

Yes, suicide.

I have no problems being impartial, emotionless and amicable in a separation, but that is wildly outside his ability. I've already mentally divvied up our stuff in what I feel is a very good split. I've started making lists of things I should do to "circle my wagons" before serving papers (download financial documents, take picture of assets, etc). I just don't really know how to start the divorce process so that I don't end up with $20k in lawyer's fees. Anyone have any suggestions?

I did not see anybody explicitly see anybody mention this so I'll throw this suggestion out there.  This applies to other posts I saw as well, but I suck at quoting, especially across multiple pages.  Make sure your marriage is truly doomed, and give it your best shot for success.  You didn't say, "DH thinks he's perfect and thinks everything is my fault."  You literally said cliche issues which implies they are fairly common.  Do you guys just have different viewpoints or values?  I'm sure there are serious problems, but I ask because his view may very well be true that he WON'T find somebody as awesome as you.  Maybe, the inverse is true, but there are changes needed.  Especially with his viewpoint, maybe he'd be willing to work on his marriage harder?

Seriously, there's tons of ways to deal with money issues, splitting finances, sitting down and talking, allowances, budgets, partially joint finances, etc.  Maybe you sit down and make an agreement on things, and sign it. (note this is an agreement, not a document to control another person)  If he's the type of person who's word is his bond, maybe that could help.  Sex issues, well REALLY depends on the issue, but even on those issues there are options.  What about open and non-monogamous marriage?  What can either/both parties do to change whatever the issue is, sometimes sex lives get boring, but that doesn't have to be the answer.  With all issues, communication is key.  Good communication.

I ask all this because I see an underwhelming trend in this thread for people to talk about trying to save a marriage.  In a lot of cases divorce is the best thing, but I saw no giant red flags in your post clearly pointing towards that being your only options.  I'm *hoping* that given your viewpoint that divorce is better you've already truly given it your best shot to make it work.
Ladyinred is clearly unhappy on the money front, but the giant red flag to me is the unresolveable differences on sex - being pressured into or out of sex, or into or out of a particular kind of sex, for the rest of your life, is not something I would press on anyone.  Particularly with an emotionally abusive partner who threatens suicide to keep the other partner in line.

If it's not possible for ladyinred to negotiate a sexually open marriage with separate finances, I would suggest that she lines up her successor if she can but sets a date and goes anyway if she can't.  What her husband does about that is on him, not her.
The major red fleg of threatening suicide over divorce is an indication of the unhealthiness and emotionally abusive nature of that relationship. Ok, people fight about money, sex, whatever. But coercing someone to stay by saying you'll kill yourself if they don't? Thats some twisted manipulation. I bet there are a lot of other little actions and gaslighting going on. Just because outwardly two people can look fine and convince themselves that they are fine does not mean everything is fine. Divorce sounds like a good option in that kind of marriage. Ladyinred, you are not responsible if he does go through with that, and i bet its an empty threat anyway. You deserve to be in a relationship that satisfies you with a partner who respects you, and from your post, it doesn't sound like you're in one.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: former player on September 12, 2017, 06:53:21 AM
LOL "how marriage was originally designed"... You mean like when a young woman had to marry her rapist as the rapist's punishment for spoiling the woman's father's property? Or when a woman found not to be a virgin on her wedding night was stoned to death? If we follow the Christian traditions, that's the original marriage. Or were you speaking of some other, non-biblical model of marriage?

Although it will sound inflammatory, I have an honest and sincere question: Do you think you are smart or do you know you're being an idiot?

Deuteronomy and Leviticus, at least in a verbal form, have been around for three and a half millenniums. Heck, even if you think they are anachronistic, they are two and a half millenniums old. Now, in all that time, do you think you (modern man) are one of the first sets of people to ever talk about those verses?

If you think so, you are grossly wrong. If you realize that you aren't a savant or that talking about the Bible isn't a modern concept, perhaps you need to realize that your comment is juvenile at best. When I hear comments like yours, they remind me when I hear a creationist say "Evolution can't be right because monkeys are still around." Both of y'all ignore that the community you are dissing has hundreds or thousands of years of explanatory history and discourse on a topic and your root criticism grazes something it dealt with in its infancy.

As caracarn offered, if you want to discuss this topic I am more then willing to in PM.

 pot. kettle. The plural of millennium is millennia.

This made me laugh. So you are calling Snacky an idiot? Also, the plural of millennium is both millennia and millenniums. Crack open a dictionary. (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/millennium) I don't mind being corrected on things. I do find it hilarious to be corrected when I am not wrong.
Thing is: words matter, and words have meanings.  The fact that a particular group has over time rationalised a particular set of words into a meaning which is different and specialised to that group doesn't give them sole rights to the meaning of those words.  And if those words are in the Bible (you used that word so I'm guessing Christian rather than Jewish), then they are the words of a proselytising religion which gives everyone the right to have an opinion on their meaning because their meaning is not contained to the particular group and its particular interpretation.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on September 12, 2017, 07:49:20 AM
+1 that ladyinred is in an emotionally abusive relationship.

I get that in the long term, divorce is not shown to make people happier. But that's a post hoc fallacy. Maybe the people who got divorced had different problems than the ones who stayed married (of course they did! That's why they got divorced!) so it hasn't been shown to NOT make people happier, either.

Suggesting that someone in an emotionally abusive relationship try harder is wildly inappropriate.

Maybe Mr. LIR is genuinely mentally ill and genuinely suicidal. You know what? STILL not her problem and STILL abusive. She is under no obligation to be his punching bag while he gets his head straight.
Title: Re: Divorce help and discussion
Post by: jo552006 on September 12, 2017, 08:21:36 AM
Suggesting that someone in an emotionally abusive relationship try harder is wildly inappropriate.

Yes it is, so let me be very clear.

Ladyinred, if you are in an abusive relationship, whether emotionally or physcially, please get out.  Also, if that is the case, you have my sincerest apologies for not realizing it in my response.

With only the post I quoted to look at I did not jump to abusive.  I did read this thread, but if Ladyinred made other posts, or posts on different threads I did not connect them to the post I quoted.  I realize the suicide point and promising to make it messy could point towards abusive and controlling, but I did not simply assume that.  I also noted the use of the word freed, but again, am not adept at reading between the lines as much as others may be.

If you (or anybody) is in an abusive relationship, please seek to get out ASAP.  This likely means doing whatever you need to in order to be prepared with an exit strategy depending on the level of control the other person has.  Who pays the phone bill?  Will you have a cell phone after you leave?  What money will you leave with, etc.  Where will you go, etc.  In your case if it's just division of assets, then I'm assuming mediation is a good way to go, but if my understanding is correct your spouse can basically make you pay the divorce penalty simply by not working with you.