Author Topic: divorce/child care/early retirement  (Read 21972 times)

ericbonabike

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #50 on: May 03, 2018, 08:02:32 AM »
Your resentment of your wife's ten years of "part-time" work is tough to read. What was she doing the rest of the time, lazing on the couch eating bon-bons? Of course not. She was raising your daughters.

Is your new wife planning to work full time after the baby is born? Or will she work part-time or be a stay-at-home parent? Will you resent her too if she doesn't pull her weight financially?

Someone has to take care of the baby. You can stay home with your new son, your wife can, or you can both work full time and arrange paid child care for the baby. But you pay with either time or money, or some combination of both. Having another kid at 41 will delay your FIRE plans as much or more than paying the $700/month for the children you already have.

I don't resent it at all.  I do not think (like I seem to understand from some of the comments) that it was purely a one way transaction. 

That is:  Poor exwife who couldn't work full time and therefore couldn't make as much money as she otherwise might have.   

She was provided the option of not working, working part time, working full time.   At least some of that option was provided because I worked my ass off.  Yes, I understand that me working my ass off was possible because she could take care of the kids.  I get that. 

That's why she:  walked away with 100% of her 401k, 15% of my 401k, 50% of all non-retirement accounts, 53% of home resell value, a paid for 2014 minivan.

In my mind that squared that up.  15% of my 401k was about 150k that she received.   That means that I was contributing to my 401k at a tune of 18500 per year, and she got 8 years of contributions.  Don't you think that brought us up to parity?    How much more should I have given her for that terrible assignment of spending quality time with the kids? 

Padonak

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #51 on: May 03, 2018, 08:07:58 AM »
This whole tread is an advertisement against getting married and having kids.

begood

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #52 on: May 03, 2018, 08:14:29 AM »
Your resentment of your wife's ten years of "part-time" work is tough to read. What was she doing the rest of the time, lazing on the couch eating bon-bons? Of course not. She was raising your daughters.

Is your new wife planning to work full time after the baby is born? Or will she work part-time or be a stay-at-home parent? Will you resent her too if she doesn't pull her weight financially?

Someone has to take care of the baby. You can stay home with your new son, your wife can, or you can both work full time and arrange paid child care for the baby. But you pay with either time or money, or some combination of both. Having another kid at 41 will delay your FIRE plans as much or more than paying the $700/month for the children you already have.

I don't resent it at all.  I do not think (like I seem to understand from some of the comments) that it was purely a one way transaction. 

That is:  Poor exwife who couldn't work full time and therefore couldn't make as much money as she otherwise might have.   

She was provided the option of not working, working part time, working full time.   At least some of that option was provided because I worked my ass off.  Yes, I understand that me working my ass off was possible because she could take care of the kids.  I get that. 

That's why she:  walked away with 100% of her 401k, 15% of my 401k, 50% of all non-retirement accounts, 53% of home resell value, a paid for 2014 minivan.

In my mind that squared that up.  15% of my 401k was about 150k that she received.   That means that I was contributing to my 401k at a tune of 18500 per year, and she got 8 years of contributions.  Don't you think that brought us up to parity?    How much more should I have given her for that terrible assignment of spending quality time with the kids?

You're still talking about fairness. I'm talking about your attitude. You seem to reduce the value in the marriage to a financial perspective, and in that perspective you don't think your wife deserved what she got in the divorce. It's not fair, in your view, because she didn't work full time for ten years, and you did. You had to give her money you earned while she took the option of not working (full time, outside the home) for those years. You now refer to it as "spending quality time with the kids", when in truth, there's just a whole lot more to it than that.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #53 on: May 03, 2018, 08:28:51 AM »
I'll try to reply to everybody.  Regardless if you think I'm a dbag, I appreciate your input.  I was trying to be brutally honest as I want unfiltered advice.

1)  I take care of my kids 42% of their lives.   Annually, my ex gets my kids 52 more days per year than I do.   When I agreed to pay her 700 (we settled and this was not mandated by court), I had no inkling that I could retire if I lived more simply.  I have 1.2 million at 4% spend down = 50k annually.  We spend about 60k annually.  and that means I have a bit of gap. 

2)  At the 11th hour of divorce, my ex inserted a bit of language that made me responsible for 100% of transportation.  I did not appreciate the extent to which I would resent this, as my ex uses this as a weapon against me.  During one of the handovers, this driving was costing me about an hour so that I can pick up girls clothes (that she was responsible for providing).  I asked her to compromise and meet at work for this transfer (we work less than 2 miles from each other).  She refused.   She was expecting me to drive an hour to pick up a volleyball jersey for my girls.  So, I said that I can't continue to pay for expensive extracurricular activities if she can't compromise.   I also went out and bought a bunch of clothes for my girls, at no small cost to avoid this drama.  When I have the girls, I don't ask my ex to subsidize OUR extracurricular activities.  My daughter signed up for a swim team for the month that I have them for summer...I paid the fee.  My other daughter signed up for a volleyball camp...I paid that fee. 

3)  At my full salary, I make about $20k more annually than her (120 versus 100k)  which in her mind requires me to give her about half of the differential.  REGARDLESS of how much time I spend taking care of kids.  I don't understand this, as it seems irrational to me.  If she found I got a huge raise, would she hit me up for more money???? I dunno...divorce is irrational. 


4)  Why does it matter?  I'm loaded right? I dunno...if I make 120k and owe her half of the differential, it seems that if I start drawing down my income, then maybe that number should change a bit?  I'm not sure...I've come to terms with the notion that the money I send her MIGHT be used for things like housing, food, etc or MIGHT be used for frivolous things.  And I've come to terms that it's none of my business how she spends that money...it's hers.  It rankles me a bit that she got to work part time for 10+ years, walked away with half of our savings, I have to send her that much child support, AND I can't reduce that cause I want to work part so I can spend time with my newborn son and daughters when I have them.   

5)  Somebody said I was spending 100k annually and therefore not mustachian....Really?  We are saving 60k annually in after tax income, saving 37k annually in max 401k savings, and 11k in roth IRA.  I reckon we could save a bit more, but it's getting pretty lean.  We don't have car payments, live in a very small home, we don't eat out, we stopped drinking when my wife got pregnant, I ride my bicycle to work when I don't have the girls, bike to grocery store occasionally. It might not be 100% mustache, but we probably live within 10% of that ideal.

6) I understand that this is an emotional subject for me, and maybe some of you.   I want what's best for my girls.  I don't want them to resent me (that's something I hadn't considered in my math).  I want them to grow up to be:
 Independent, Kind, and Happy. I think the problem is that I want what I consider to be fair.  Ex might disagree with that last part I reckon.

You agreed to several things without understanding the ramifications, and it sounds like now you have buyer's remorse.  Unfortunately, but the time for that was before you gave your word.

I think you need to stop thinking about what is "fair".  As you said, you and your Ex (and probably your kids) are all going to have very different versions of that, so you will never, ever get there.  Instead, think of what is tolerable (without using "fair" to influence that--forget what she does and says entirely, and just ask, "are my girls worth sending $700 a month to?  Is that an acceptable expense for maintaining a relationship with kids I love?").  Focus entirely on the girls, and them alone.  Forget what your Ex pays and says and does and spends her money on.  It is all no longer part of your sphere of influence.  What you can influence is your relationship with your kids.  And yes, that may mean delaying FIRE.  Are the relationships worth that? (And at a time where you are having a baby with your new wife, your kids are likely to be hyper sensitive about the idea of being "replaced", so this is even more true in light of that.  Right now would be a good time for behaviors from dad that very, very strongly reenforce they are not being replaced and are not going to play second fiddle to the new baby with the new wife.)

You'd also be delaying FIRE if you were still married to a spendthrift.  Or if you got sick and had major medical bills.  Or if you lost your job.  Life happens, and it often costs money.  In your case, "life" includes a divorce and a shared custody situation, and the resulting child support.  Perhaps if you think of that as comparable to a job loss or pay cut or car accident, it will help reframe it.  It's a thing that costs money and thus will delay FIRE, just like every other thing in our lives on which we spend money.  Even needing to eat and going to the grocery store for frugal food is a thing that delays FIRE. This is your path.  You can't go back and marry a different woman or not get divorced or not have kids.  You signed a contract, and trying to rework that contract may well damage your relationship with your girls, which it's clear you don't want.  So accept that this expense is part of your path, pay it just like you do rent/mortgage, utilities, the grocery bill, your travel fund, and expenses for your new baby.


You make a lot of good points. I like this perspective.

Here's what I think I'm gonna do:

1)  I will continue to work full time for the next 2-3 years.  Socking 100k a year away.   
2) I will continue to pay full child support without seeking an amendment to that when I begin phasing into early retirement.
3) I will not agree to paying for any extracurricular activities while
     a)  I am not given a say in those activities (equal pay for equal say)  (My daughters have played rec league volleyball for 4 years (And I was the coach)).  This year my exwife decided to have them play club volleyball and it was super expensive AND deprived me of the ability to coach my kids)
     b)  I am required to make absurdly time consuming trips across town for trivial clothing exchanges when we work less than two miles apart.
4)  I am going to start carrying my youngest daughter to a counselor.  I will give my exwife the option of paying half of that cost.  If she declines, then it will impact my desire to fund other non-medically necessary expenses.
5) I will drive my daughters to and from all extracurricular activities and I will continue to strive to be a good father.  My wife and I believe that when the girls are with us, that we focus on them.  We don't watch TV, don't play video games, don't play on our phones.  We interact with the girls in meaningful ways when we have them.

There is A LOT going on in this thread, and it's really hard to read some of this. Your perception of your wife's financial & family contributions feel really one sided, but ignoring that for the moment. . . Addressing the bolded part (counseling). . . Can I assume the divorce was your idea? Are you really going to tie extra curricular funding to counseling for your daughter??? Really? You're not going to say, divorce is hard on kids. My daughter needs counseling, and all of the life changes we are about to embark on (new wife, new baby) will be a difficult transition for her. At the same time, staying involved with her friends & activities is also good & healthy for her. For my $.02, I wouldn't be thrilled about having my ex coach my daughter's volleyball team, forcing me to have to see him on a more regular basis than as planned, particularly if he's going to be bringing along the new wife & child.

Captain FIRE

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #54 on: May 03, 2018, 08:32:18 AM »
I have no idea if the financial breakdown was fair based on the numbers you describe, but here's what I see as fair for Amy & Bob (both full-time working parents) and Charlie & Danielle (one works full-time, the other part-time): 50% each of the pie.  In other words, the exact same for Amy and Bob as for Charlie and Danielle.

I don't see it as poor wife/poor husband. I see it as an agreement you made that has repercussions after you end.  I ALSO see it as being more difficult on the part-time working spouse to get full-time employment/with longer lasting career impact on that person.  (Go read frugalparagon's thread of her challenges in securing full-time employment, eventually successfully after a year or so.)  That's why in some cases, temporary alimony may be appropriate.  Sounds like you're lucky to avoid that.

> 3) I will not agree to paying for any extracurricular activities while
     a)  I am not given a say in those activities (equal pay for equal say)  (My daughters have played rec league volleyball for 4 years (And I was the coach)).  This year my exwife decided to have them play club volleyball and it was super expensive AND deprived me of the ability to coach my kids)
     b)  I am required to make absurdly time consuming trips across town for trivial clothing exchanges when we work less than two miles apart.

a is reasonable.  I suspect your wife wanted them out of the rec in part because you *were* the coach.  Did you consider asking her if you did not coach, if she'd agree to keep them in there?

b, I think you are obsessing over a one time incident.  That said, I would just point out the ex-wife if she forgot to send appropriate clothing with the child, it doesn't directly relate to participation in the activity.  I'd also get a set of clothing for each house as suggested by other divorced parents, to minimize this type of interaction (and stress on your daughters).

> 4)  I am going to start carrying my youngest daughter to a counselor.  I will give my exwife the option of paying half of that cost.  If she declines, then it will impact my desire to fund other non-medically necessary expenses.

This is punishing your daughters for your wife's behavior/choices.

SimpleCycle

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #55 on: May 03, 2018, 08:38:24 AM »
I haven't read every reply, but I have been through a divorce.  Divorce sucks, and it's hard to not focus on how unfair the whole thing feels, financially, emotionally, logistically.

But you need to work on putting that aside for the sake of your kids.  Even if your marriage was a mess, you got two incredible children out of the deal, and I would suggest trying to switch to a mindset of gratitude that something so good came out of a marriage that in the end didn't work.

$60k over 7 years is nothing.  You say you save $60k a year right now, so work a year to sock away an extra bit of stash for the kids and be done with it.

The rest of the stuff (transportation, kids activities, therapist for the little one) is stuff that needs to be worked out diplomatically, with the best interest of your kids always in mind.  I really do believe the best interest of your kids is your priority, and I understand it can be hard to keep that front and center when negotiating with an ex.  Always take the high road.  Always set an example for your kids of how to treat their mother.  It is hard, but it is part of living a values centered life rather than a reactive one.

I wish you the best.  Divorce is not fair.  The best you can do is rise above the most "fair" outcome to try and get to the best outcome.

ericbonabike

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #56 on: May 03, 2018, 09:02:07 AM »
For my $.02, I wouldn't be thrilled about having my ex coach my daughter's volleyball team, forcing me to have to see him on a more regular basis than as planned, particularly if he's going to be bringing along the new wife & child.

And therein lies the evil.   

Mom:  "My ex is a terrible father so I need primary physical custody of my girls"
Mom: "OMG, my ex wants to coach my daughters rec league volleyball.  GASP.  He'll get to spend MORE quality time with them than the paperwork says".


Bracken_Joy

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #57 on: May 03, 2018, 09:04:23 AM »
For my $.02, I wouldn't be thrilled about having my ex coach my daughter's volleyball team, forcing me to have to see him on a more regular basis than as planned, particularly if he's going to be bringing along the new wife & child.

And therein lies the evil.   

Mom:  "My ex is a terrible father so I need primary physical custody of my girls"
Mom: "OMG, my ex wants to coach my daughters rec league volleyball.  GASP.  He'll get to spend MORE quality time with them than the paperwork says".

You're being incredibly dismissive of the emotional impact of all this, on both your ex and your children.

You don't think it's difficult for your wife to see you head off and immediately start a new family with a much younger woman? A woman who, if I'm doing my math right, was FOURTEEN when your ex got pregnant with your first child?

Relevant: https://youtu.be/MJEAGd1bQuc

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #58 on: May 03, 2018, 09:16:06 AM »
For my $.02, I wouldn't be thrilled about having my ex coach my daughter's volleyball team, forcing me to have to see him on a more regular basis than as planned, particularly if he's going to be bringing along the new wife & child.

And therein lies the evil.   

Mom:  "My ex is a terrible father so I need primary physical custody of my girls"
Mom: "OMG, my ex wants to coach my daughters rec league volleyball.  GASP.  He'll get to spend MORE quality time with them than the paperwork says".

You're being incredibly dismissive of the emotional impact of all this, on both your ex and your children.

You don't think it's difficult for your wife to see you head off and immediately start a new family with a much younger woman? A woman who, if I'm doing my math right, was FOURTEEN when your ex got pregnant with your first child?

Relevant: https://youtu.be/MJEAGd1bQuc

This. No one said you're being evil (although, you may want to step back & look at some of the things you've said). This sounds like an incredibly challenging situation on all sides. You can either accept that & try to partner with your ex to work around this, or fight each & every step of the way. Also, have you spoken to your ex wife about the change? Perhaps it's your daughter who prefers you no longer coach. It very well may be your wife (which, again I think is a reasonable feeling for her to have), but it would be worth asking.

Give people time to adjust & transition. You have moved on, but the rest of your family is still adjusting to all of the changes, and that's not going to be resolved tomorrow or the next year, just because you want it to be so.

SaucyAussie

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #59 on: May 03, 2018, 09:24:19 AM »
For my $.02, I wouldn't be thrilled about having my ex coach my daughter's volleyball team, forcing me to have to see him on a more regular basis than as planned, particularly if he's going to be bringing along the new wife & child.

And therein lies the evil.   

Mom:  "My ex is a terrible father so I need primary physical custody of my girls"
Mom: "OMG, my ex wants to coach my daughters rec league volleyball.  GASP.  He'll get to spend MORE quality time with them than the paperwork says".

You're being incredibly dismissive of the emotional impact of all this, on both your ex and your children.

You don't think it's difficult for your wife to see you head off and immediately start a new family with a much younger woman? A woman who, if I'm doing my math right, was FOURTEEN when your ex got pregnant with your first child?

Relevant: https://youtu.be/MJEAGd1bQuc

Everyone says "do what's best for the kids", so OP wants to coach volleyball, sounds good right?  But no, that's too hard for the ex to deal with.  Poor OP can't win with you lot.

JanetJackson

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #60 on: May 03, 2018, 09:32:35 AM »
This whole tread is an advertisement against getting married and having kids.

+100,000,000,000 NEVER.

charis

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #61 on: May 03, 2018, 09:37:15 AM »
For my $.02, I wouldn't be thrilled about having my ex coach my daughter's volleyball team, forcing me to have to see him on a more regular basis than as planned, particularly if he's going to be bringing along the new wife & child.

And therein lies the evil.   

Mom:  "My ex is a terrible father so I need primary physical custody of my girls"
Mom: "OMG, my ex wants to coach my daughters rec league volleyball.  GASP.  He'll get to spend MORE quality time with them than the paperwork says".

Wow, you are really focused on how terrible your ex is.  And it really shows throughout your posts.  I don't know if she's terrible, but I'll take your word for it.  But please stop taking it out on your daughters.  Try looking at each scenario by taking your ex out of it completely.  Ask only how will my actions affect my daughters, in direct or indirect ways?  Am I considering their feelings, in light of trauma that they've been through and my good financial circumstances (with my new family)? 

As an aside, club volleyball is a common and often valid step for volleyball players that are progressing in their skills.  How might your daughters' benefit from participating, even though it's more expensive?  How might they benefit from you not being their coach at this point? Be honest.  These are questions that parents ask.

honeybbq

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #62 on: May 03, 2018, 09:37:21 AM »
For my $.02, I wouldn't be thrilled about having my ex coach my daughter's volleyball team, forcing me to have to see him on a more regular basis than as planned, particularly if he's going to be bringing along the new wife & child.

And therein lies the evil.   

Mom:  "My ex is a terrible father so I need primary physical custody of my girls"
Mom: "OMG, my ex wants to coach my daughters rec league volleyball.  GASP.  He'll get to spend MORE quality time with them than the paperwork says".

You're being incredibly dismissive of the emotional impact of all this, on both your ex and your children.

You don't think it's difficult for your wife to see you head off and immediately start a new family with a much younger woman? A woman who, if I'm doing my math right, was FOURTEEN when your ex got pregnant with your first child?

Relevant: https://youtu.be/MJEAGd1bQuc

I agree. At the moment he is very cavalier about the whole thing. I'm surprised there aren't more questions involved from the OP, considering he is wading through a mine field unaware of what he's doing.

I say the rest as the second wife to my spouse, who has played a similar game before and seen the consequences (though our circumstances were very different). In H's circumstances, he basically paid for everything and would do anything for the kids and it still wasn't enough. Reading through the OP's attitude expressed here makes me very, very sad for his existing kids.

Right now he has everything he wanted. The new young wife, the new house, the new baby, and the new dreams of FIRE. Meanwhile his other children are probably reeling, and the new baby isn't here yet. The kids went from 2 parents to one at a time, and when the new baby is along, they will get even less. They will now have to share Dad with the "new" family which of course is preferred to the "old" family by definition. The ex-wife is probably blindsided by this whole thing. I'm making assumptions here, but I'm thinking the OP wasn't upholding his marriage vows given the speedy pregnancy and remarriage to wife #2. Now, all this is fine and dandy, the OP gets to make his own choices and to do what he wants. He's not asking for judgement or opinion on that.

But what he is asking for is ways of getting out of paying for his choices. And I'm not down with that. Getting what you want costs a price. Wait til you have to fight about college expenses. The children will forever see their quality of life go down. They will focus on why Daddy can't take them this weekend, why Daddy won't pay for this and that. While the ex- wife shouldn't speak ill of the Dad, chances are time and time again the words will be spoken "I'm ok with you doing this but Dad won't pay his half of it and I can't afford it without." The OP is going to be the cause and responsible party for all bad things from now until eternity, whether it is his fault (and a reasonable denial) or not.

OP, you need to start picking your battles and picking very carefully. Otherwise you are going to completely alienate your children, and probably end up in court. Best of luck to you.

shelbyautumn

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #63 on: May 03, 2018, 10:04:24 AM »
For my $.02, I wouldn't be thrilled about having my ex coach my daughter's volleyball team, forcing me to have to see him on a more regular basis than as planned, particularly if he's going to be bringing along the new wife & child.

And therein lies the evil.   

Mom:  "My ex is a terrible father so I need primary physical custody of my girls"
Mom: "OMG, my ex wants to coach my daughters rec league volleyball.  GASP.  He'll get to spend MORE quality time with them than the paperwork says".

You're being incredibly dismissive of the emotional impact of all this, on both your ex and your children.

You don't think it's difficult for your wife to see you head off and immediately start a new family with a much younger woman? A woman who, if I'm doing my math right, was FOURTEEN when your ex got pregnant with your first child?

Relevant: https://youtu.be/MJEAGd1bQuc

I agree. At the moment he is very cavalier about the whole thing. I'm surprised there aren't more questions involved from the OP, considering he is wading through a mine field unaware of what he's doing.

I say the rest as the second wife to my spouse, who has played a similar game before and seen the consequences (though our circumstances were very different). In H's circumstances, he basically paid for everything and would do anything for the kids and it still wasn't enough. Reading through the OP's attitude expressed here makes me very, very sad for his existing kids.

Right now he has everything he wanted. The new young wife, the new house, the new baby, and the new dreams of FIRE. Meanwhile his other children are probably reeling, and the new baby isn't here yet. The kids went from 2 parents to one at a time, and when the new baby is along, they will get even less. They will now have to share Dad with the "new" family which of course is preferred to the "old" family by definition. The ex-wife is probably blindsided by this whole thing. I'm making assumptions here, but I'm thinking the OP wasn't upholding his marriage vows given the speedy pregnancy and remarriage to wife #2. Now, all this is fine and dandy, the OP gets to make his own choices and to do what he wants. He's not asking for judgement or opinion on that.

But what he is asking for is ways of getting out of paying for his choices. And I'm not down with that. Getting what you want costs a price. Wait til you have to fight about college expenses. The children will forever see their quality of life go down. They will focus on why Daddy can't take them this weekend, why Daddy won't pay for this and that. While the ex- wife shouldn't speak ill of the Dad, chances are time and time again the words will be spoken "I'm ok with you doing this but Dad won't pay his half of it and I can't afford it without." The OP is going to be the cause and responsible party for all bad things from now until eternity, whether it is his fault (and a reasonable denial) or not.

OP, you need to start picking your battles and picking very carefully. Otherwise you are going to completely alienate your children, and probably end up in court. Best of luck to you.

I'm gonna have to pipe up and wholeheartedly disagree with this. My parents are divorced and I AM SO GLAD. I cannot imagine how terrible it would be to have them married to each other. I hit the jackpot on step-parents and half-siblings. I love my step-siblings, too, but we're not super close (I never lived with them). Sometimes divorce is the best thing for the children IF all parties involved decide to do what is best for the kids. My parents did that. My mom and dad have had some gnarly fights over the years, but it's always been because they don't agree on what's best for me, not because they hate each other. And then they come to an agreement and it's fine. Also - paying for college was awesome for my parents - they split it 50/50 and it became way more manageable. She took the fall semester, he took the spring semester, I mostly paid for books.

I really do think OP wants what is best for his daughters, he is just not communicating that very well. He has definitely said some things that reflect pretty poorly on him, but he's also said he wants to contribute, but not to things his ex is punishing him with. Their agreement clearly states that they split costs of AGREED UPON activities. She is the one who signed them up for activities an hour away from him without giving him a heads up and then asked him to pay for it. That is a dick move. He also paid 100% of the activities he signed them up for. Because he didn't get an agreement from her first. 

Just because his ex doesn't want to see him at volleyball doesn't mean he doesn't have a right to be there. Why does he have to look out for her feelings and she doesn't have to consider his? She also participated in the unhealthy marriage and the divorce, and assuming that he cheated is not fair to him when you have zero evidence. I feel like OP is being made to be the villain because he moved on really quickly. That can be painful for the people involved, but that doesn't absolve his ex from any responsibility. SHE is the one that started using the children as a way to punish him while refusing to compromise on anything. To me, that's a lot uglier than knocking up and marrying a younger woman.

Captain FIRE

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #64 on: May 03, 2018, 10:34:23 AM »
Just because his ex doesn't want to see him at volleyball doesn't mean he doesn't have a right to be there. Why does he have to look out for her feelings and she doesn't have to consider his? She also participated in the unhealthy marriage and the divorce, and assuming that he cheated is not fair to him when you have zero evidence. I feel like OP is being made to be the villain because he moved on really quickly. That can be painful for the people involved, but that doesn't absolve his ex from any responsibility. SHE is the one that started using the children as a way to punish him while refusing to compromise on anything. To me, that's a lot uglier than knocking up and marrying a younger woman.

If they've mutually agreed on participation, then yes, he has a right to be there, within any limits they agreed upon.  If he's paid for it and is taking them on his own time, then he has a right to be there.  But he doesn't have a unilateral right to be there.

In this whole long thread, I think there has been only one insinuation of cheating prior to the divorce.  (I certainly wondered if that might be the case and thus cause for rancor on her part given the timing, but didn't inquire/mention it.)

Can you point me to what he's said she's done that is using the children to punish him?  I don't recall any, but it's possible it was buried in the thread.  (Beyond the uniform example, which 1) he has repeated over and over but seems to just be one isolated incident rather than a pattern and 2) we lack full details on why the clothing exchange needed to happen to know if it was "punishing" or not.)  Or failed to compromise?

honeybbq

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #65 on: May 03, 2018, 10:35:47 AM »
OP's post talked about his new family, his new baby, and his new wife. He doesn't sounds like the type who is trying to go 50/50. Maybe because his is emotionally charge about all this and the way he is talking about i. I dunno. Maybe he is concerned and it's just the internet filter. I'm not saying he shouldn't be divorced. Too late, water under the bridge. I'm saying he should try to bend over backwards right now to preserve his relationship with his existing children. He also needs to realize he may need to give more than 50% right now since (my assumption) is that he wanted the divorce and it was not amicable. So the ex is angry and not fulfilling her end of the bargain right now (whether she asked for it or not). He needs to compensate, not come up with an escape plan. I hope it all works out and his children feel as you do in the long run.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #66 on: May 03, 2018, 10:44:53 AM »
OP's post talked about his new family, his new baby, and his new wife. He doesn't sounds like the type who is trying to go 50/50. Maybe because his is emotionally charge about all this and the way he is talking about i. I dunno. Maybe he is concerned and it's just the internet filter. I'm not saying he shouldn't be divorced. Too late, water under the bridge. I'm saying he should try to bend over backwards right now to preserve his relationship with his existing children. He also needs to realize he may need to give more than 50% right now since (my assumption) is that he wanted the divorce and it was not amicable. So the ex is angry and not fulfilling her end of the bargain right now (whether she asked for it or not). He needs to compensate, not come up with an escape plan. I hope it all works out and his children feel as you do in the long run.

Yep. Fair does not matter. If his ex isn't playing fair? Then guess what, he has to try EVEN HARDER to maintain the relationship with his kids. It isn't about fair, it's about the girls.

mm1970

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #67 on: May 03, 2018, 10:50:48 AM »
This whole tread is an advertisement against getting married and having kids.

Not really, but you have to go in with your eyes open and realize that at some point, you don't have 100% control.

shelbyautumn

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #68 on: May 03, 2018, 11:13:24 AM »
Just because his ex doesn't want to see him at volleyball doesn't mean he doesn't have a right to be there. Why does he have to look out for her feelings and she doesn't have to consider his? She also participated in the unhealthy marriage and the divorce, and assuming that he cheated is not fair to him when you have zero evidence. I feel like OP is being made to be the villain because he moved on really quickly. That can be painful for the people involved, but that doesn't absolve his ex from any responsibility. SHE is the one that started using the children as a way to punish him while refusing to compromise on anything. To me, that's a lot uglier than knocking up and marrying a younger woman.

If they've mutually agreed on participation, then yes, he has a right to be there, within any limits they agreed upon.  If he's paid for it and is taking them on his own time, then he has a right to be there.  But he doesn't have a unilateral right to be there.

In this whole long thread, I think there has been only one insinuation of cheating prior to the divorce.  (I certainly wondered if that might be the case and thus cause for rancor on her part given the timing, but didn't inquire/mention it.)

Can you point me to what he's said she's done that is using the children to punish him?  I don't recall any, but it's possible it was buried in the thread.  (Beyond the uniform example, which 1) he has repeated over and over but seems to just be one isolated incident rather than a pattern and 2) we lack full details on why the clothing exchange needed to happen to know if it was "punishing" or not.)  Or failed to compromise?

I guess I don't understand why he doesn't have a unilateral right to be there. He's her dad and has nearly 50% custody. Why wouldn't a dad be allowed to go to a child's activity? My mom, dad, step-mom, and step-dad were always welcome to anything I was participating in and they would even suck it up and sit together. Because it was good for me to have all of my parents there cheering me on.

I don't think he said she is using the children, that's just how I see it. If my dad used to be a big part of an important activity in my life (volleyball), and my mom signed me up for a new class that meant it was hard for him to come, I would be really bummed. The ex didn't consult OP in the decision (which she is supposed to), and in doing so removed something that used to be a big part of his relationship with his child (he used to be her coach), and then asked him to pay for it. She used the child's activity to punish him - both in his relationship with his daughter and financially. If his daughter had said "Dad, I really think I want to take this volleyball thing to the next level. I'd like to join a club team." I think he would have understood. If the daughter said that to her mom, she should have passed that message along. Also, I think if the ex was petty enough to not meet for the uniform, he's probably got a slew of other examples.

OP's post talked about his new family, his new baby, and his new wife. He doesn't sounds like the type who is trying to go 50/50. Maybe because his is emotionally charge about all this and the way he is talking about i. I dunno. Maybe he is concerned and it's just the internet filter. I'm not saying he shouldn't be divorced. Too late, water under the bridge. I'm saying he should try to bend over backwards right now to preserve his relationship with his existing children. He also needs to realize he may need to give more than 50% right now since (my assumption) is that he wanted the divorce and it was not amicable. So the ex is angry and not fulfilling her end of the bargain right now (whether she asked for it or not). He needs to compensate, not come up with an escape plan. I hope it all works out and his children feel as you do in the long run.
OP is obviously a poor communicator, which probably doesn't help in his dealing with his ex. When I read his first post I thought "wow, this guy is a douchebag", but the more he explained the more I started to see his side. I think his main problem is that he is a 50/50 type and doesn't feel like his ex is contributing her 50 (which then makes him think he shouldn't have to contribute his 50). However, you're right, he needs to get over the 50/50 fair agreement thing and compensate for his ex. I think he's having a hard time seeing that it's for his kids and not for his ex. In my first post I told him to suck it up and fork over the money. But I also don't think he's a deadbeat dad for seeing this as unfair. People have come after him like there isn't another responsible party involved in all of this.

I was a little younger than his daughters when my first sibling was born (I was 9 and 11 when my brothers were born and 13 when I met my step-siblings). I went from being an only child to the oldest of 5 in less than 4 years. It was a big, uncomfortable, change and I certainly didn't feel the way I do about my parents when I was younger. However, the older I get the more I can see how selfless my parents have been and how good my life is because they ended their marriage. Those feelings won't happen overnight for his girls (or any child of divorced parents), but if he and his ex can figure out a way to get over themselves and COMMUNICATE, his daughters can get there. And that might mean he has to do the heavy lifting until his ex is no longer angry.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 11:18:08 AM by shelbyautumn »

Jouer

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #69 on: May 03, 2018, 11:13:58 AM »
Quote

If they've mutually agreed on participation, then yes, he has a right to be there, within any limits they agreed upon.  If he's paid for it and is taking them on his own time, then he has a right to be there.  But he doesn't have a unilateral right to be there.


My parents divorced when I was an early teen. If one of them didn't allow the other to attend my events I would have flipped the fuck out at them. Hard. And I'd still be talking to my therapist about it today, 30 years later. Talk about doing something shitty to your kids.
Wow.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #70 on: May 03, 2018, 11:39:12 AM »
Holy moly. That's a thread.

Some observations:
1) Dude...slow down. The math says you got your GF pregnant a couple months after a divorce was final? So you were dating while separated? I get it...what's done is done...I shouldn't harp on the past...but I think it speaks to a little bit of your character as well. Be deliberate with your decision making in the future so you don't find yourself in this situation with two ex wives and two sets of custody agreements.

2) Someone commented about how this thread is a PSA for not getting married or having kids. Semi-agree. It's more of a PSA to not jump right in and out of relationships especially when there are children involved. For once, put your selfish desires to bed and put the kids first, then once things are settled, put yourself out there again.

3) I can now confidently say that if my wife and I ever split...bringing another woman into my kid's life is the last thing I'm going to do. Give the kid time to adjust before adding a potential stepmom for goodness sake. I can seek companionship when she's not around. It's not right to make her process the newness of a new girlfriend/stepparent when she just went through seeing her parents split.

4) If you're really saving 100k per year, then you're almost done. Save to where your 60k spend is covered by the 4% rule, then save an additional $X, referring to how much child support you have left. Be sure to include taxes and health insurance in that 60k if you haven't already, or increase it to cover.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #71 on: May 03, 2018, 11:41:48 AM »
Quote

If they've mutually agreed on participation, then yes, he has a right to be there, within any limits they agreed upon.  If he's paid for it and is taking them on his own time, then he has a right to be there.  But he doesn't have a unilateral right to be there.


My parents divorced when I was an early teen. If one of them didn't allow the other to attend my events I would have flipped the fuck out at them. Hard. And I'd still be talking to my therapist about it today, 30 years later. Talk about doing something shitty to your kids.
Wow.

OP should correct this, but I don't believe the ex wife has actually said that. Rather, the wife changed a sport for the daughter (from a parent coached, to a club sport). There was speculation (including by me) that she may have done that because she was uncomfortable seeing him all the time. Of course, it may have been a bunch of other reasons. The request of the child involved. Her skills evolved beyond parent led teams (this is the right age for that, etc), ex was unclear if OP would have time/energy to coach with new family. In an ideal situation, this would have been discussed & agreed upon as a parenting team. I don't think there's any disagreement about that. The question is, how do you want to manage it now, and minimize drama/do the right thing for the kids involved.

Captain FIRE

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #72 on: May 03, 2018, 11:46:21 AM »
Just because his ex doesn't want to see him at volleyball doesn't mean he doesn't have a right to be there. Why does he have to look out for her feelings and she doesn't have to consider his? She also participated in the unhealthy marriage and the divorce, and assuming that he cheated is not fair to him when you have zero evidence. I feel like OP is being made to be the villain because he moved on really quickly. That can be painful for the people involved, but that doesn't absolve his ex from any responsibility. SHE is the one that started using the children as a way to punish him while refusing to compromise on anything. To me, that's a lot uglier than knocking up and marrying a younger woman.

If they've mutually agreed on participation, then yes, he has a right to be there, within any limits they agreed upon.  If he's paid for it and is taking them on his own time, then he has a right to be there.  But he doesn't have a unilateral right to be there.

In this whole long thread, I think there has been only one insinuation of cheating prior to the divorce.  (I certainly wondered if that might be the case and thus cause for rancor on her part given the timing, but didn't inquire/mention it.)

Can you point me to what he's said she's done that is using the children to punish him?  I don't recall any, but it's possible it was buried in the thread.  (Beyond the uniform example, which 1) he has repeated over and over but seems to just be one isolated incident rather than a pattern and 2) we lack full details on why the clothing exchange needed to happen to know if it was "punishing" or not.)  Or failed to compromise?

I guess I don't understand why he doesn't have a unilateral right to be there. He's her dad and has nearly 50% custody. Why wouldn't a dad be allowed to go to a child's activity? My mom, dad, step-mom, and step-dad were always welcome to anything I was participating in and they would even suck it up and sit together. Because it was good for me to have all of my parents there cheering me on.

Quote

If they've mutually agreed on participation, then yes, he has a right to be there, within any limits they agreed upon.  If he's paid for it and is taking them on his own time, then he has a right to be there.  But he doesn't have a unilateral right to be there.


My parents divorced when I was an early teen. If one of them didn't allow the other to attend my events I would have flipped the fuck out at them. Hard. And I'd still be talking to my therapist about it today, 30 years later. Talk about doing something shitty to your kids.
Wow.

I want to clarify, because I think my comments are being misunderstood.

Just as he has the right to sign his daughter up for an activity on his own time *and pay for it*, his ex has the right to sign them up and pay for it.
Just has he has the right to refuse to agree to an activity (and thus pay for it), his ex has that right to refuse to agree to a joint activity and pay for it.

Thus, if his ex doesn't want the kids on the rec team, she doesn't have to agree for them to be on it (and pay for it).  If it's during her time with the kids, he can't make the kids participate.  They have to agree for that to happen.  Hence my "not unilateral right" to be there comment.

And, she might agree to the team, but only if he doesn't coach (that's my "within any limits" comment, but I made it generic because it could be any limit).

I also believe that if it is her time, and the kids are in an activity, that although he can attend, she could refuse to let them interact with the dad if she wanted (e.g. he can watch the volleyball game, but she could decline to let the kids join him at halftime to hang out).  It's likely not best for the kids, but it is legally an option.

As a side note, shelbyautumn, I think you're making some assumptions about this volleyball that we don't have enough facts to make, to conclude the ex made the change to punish him.  We don't know why his ex wanted to switch teams. 
- It could be she didn't want him to coach them anymore. 
Pro him perspective: Maybe she's pissed about the divorce/quick remarriage. 
Pro her perspective: Maybe he's a shitty coach who is too aggressive and she thinks that's bad for the girls. 

- It could be the girls didn't want to play on team anymore. 
Neutral: Maybe they were being bullied by their teammates/had a falling out. 
Neutral: Maybe they are becoming teens and don't want to be seen with parents (dad as coach).
Neutral: Maybe they wanted to move up leagues.
Pro him perspective: Maybe because the ex complains about it all the time and they just want to reduce the conflict.
Pro her perspective: Maybe he's a shitty coach and they don't like it.

Point is, we don't really know.  (We do know that he could have refused to pay for the new team though as he did not agree to it in advance.)

partgypsy

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #73 on: May 03, 2018, 12:24:56 PM »
Well, if this is how a person who identifies as mustachian divorces and re-marries, then maybe I'll be looking for non-mustachian men to date from now on. 

Perhaps i'm cynical, but the fact that the biggest thing you fault your ex for is her spendiness "stereotypical consumer" , and also that she didn't work ft when the kids were young "It rankles me a bit that she got to work part time for 10+ years, walked away with half of our savings, I have to send her that much child support, AND I can't reduce that cause I want to work part so I can spend time with my newborn son and daughters when I have them."  and "that means that I was contributing to my 401k at a tune of 18500 per year, and she got 8 years of contributions.  Don't you think that brought us up to parity?    How much more should I have given her for that terrible assignment of spending quality time with the kids?" OMG the contempt toward the mother of your kids is showing.
 
Yet at the same time he himself says that he is 41 years old and almost financially independent AT THIS POINT! His own words "Good news:  I'm LOADED!" And, you've only been divorced a year. Well it makes me doubt his views of her spendypants, and hence his other comments as well. For example inputing that since she wants the kids to play club volleyball it MUST be to somehow punish him.

I do not like is the tit for tat attitude, for example if ex does not pay for half of therapy, then he will not pay for other medical expenses? Do you see how this is going down a road that is NOT good for your children?

Don't forget the saying of the man who "knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing".

ps, some of the stuff you are complaining about are trivial. Clothing. My kids have go-bags for when they are switching from one parent's place to the next. It is their responsibility to have the clothes and items they need. Or if your kids are still young, just buy a couple duplicates so you don't have a reason to bitch one more time how unreasonable your ex is.

My Dad divorced my Mom and because he felt uncomfortable around my Mom, blew off major things in the kids lives, including my college graduation. It didn't feel like my Dad was mad at my Mom. It felt like he didn't care about me. And did it occur to you, it might not just be the ex who may be uncomfortable with you showing up to volleyball with new wife and soon to be newborn? It might be your kids. I know I didn't want to be around my Dad's new girlfriend. It was UNCOMFORTABLE. So be the bigger person and if you do go to these events, go solo so you can focus on your kids from your first marriage. They will appreciate it that you put them first.
 
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 12:34:08 PM by partgypsy »

ericbonabike

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #74 on: May 03, 2018, 01:00:45 PM »
I'm going to decline bashing my exwife anymore than I already have. We stopped being right for each other years ago.  She would agree with that.  My single regret in life is not asking for a divorce many years ago.   I thought (at the time) that things could be fixed.  But that wasn't the case.   

I understand that I can't dictate to her how she spends her money.  I think it's slightly ironic that people here think that I shouldn't have remarried so quickly, that I should have considered her feelings in it?  Why?  We ain't married and she certainly didn't consider my feelings when she blew $30,000 on brand new furniture three weeks after the divorce was finalized.     That's her choice.....

My beautiful wife has a masters degree in engineering (like me), she's active/outdoorsy (like me), she's frugal (like me), she loves adventure and is unafraid of the world (like me), and we share similar religious views to boot.  In short, she's perfect for me.  And she loves my daughters. And my daughters like/love her.     I understand how/why this would cause some small amount of stress on my exwife, and I wish that wasn't so.  I'm not gonna live my life afraid of stepping on her toes.   If my exwife had moved on and married some fancy doctor/lawyer big spender type, how many of you would be telling me that I need to just accept husband #2 as it's her choice?   But, if that big spender type loved my daughters and they love/liked him, I'd walk up to him shake his hand and say "thanks man".  Cause I'd much rather have a stepfather in their life who helps/nurtures my daughters than somebody who is either apathetic or an asshole.   

Lastly, if you think that two consenting adults can't/shouldn't have a relationship because of a 13 year age gap...well, then I really don't want to continue this conversation. 

Meh, thanks for all the fish.  I've settled on path forward, which I enumerated above.   
I will amend that plan with the following caveat:  All money that I decline to pay my exwife for "non-mutually agreed upon extracurriculars" will be put into my girls 529 plan.  They can have that money when they go off to college.   

partgypsy

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #75 on: May 03, 2018, 01:05:29 PM »
We get it. Your new wife is young, and beautiful, and perfect.

shelbyautumn

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #76 on: May 03, 2018, 01:08:13 PM »
I'm going to decline bashing my exwife anymore than I already have. We stopped being right for each other years ago.  She would agree with that.  My single regret in life is not asking for a divorce many years ago.   I thought (at the time) that things could be fixed.  But that wasn't the case.   

I understand that I can't dictate to her how she spends her money.  I think it's slightly ironic that people here think that I shouldn't have remarried so quickly, that I should have considered her feelings in it?  Why?  We ain't married and she certainly didn't consider my feelings when she blew $30,000 on brand new furniture three weeks after the divorce was finalized.     That's her choice.....

My beautiful wife has a masters degree in engineering (like me), she's active/outdoorsy (like me), she's frugal (like me), she loves adventure and is unafraid of the world (like me), and we share similar religious views to boot.  In short, she's perfect for me.  And she loves my daughters. And my daughters like/love her.     I understand how/why this would cause some small amount of stress on my exwife, and I wish that wasn't so.  I'm not gonna live my life afraid of stepping on her toes.   If my exwife had moved on and married some fancy doctor/lawyer big spender type, how many of you would be telling me that I need to just accept husband #2 as it's her choice?   But, if that big spender type loved my daughters and they love/liked him, I'd walk up to him shake his hand and say "thanks man".  Cause I'd much rather have a stepfather in their life who helps/nurtures my daughters than somebody who is either apathetic or an asshole.   

Lastly, if you think that two consenting adults can't/shouldn't have a relationship because of a 13 year age gap...well, then I really don't want to continue this conversation. 

Meh, thanks for all the fish.  I've settled on path forward, which I enumerated above.   
I will amend that plan with the following caveat:  All money that I decline to pay my exwife for "non-mutually agreed upon extracurriculars" will be put into my girls 529 plan.  They can have that money when they go off to college.

I don't hate that plan. Just make sure you tell your daughters (and your ex) that you are doing it and WHY you are doing it. Communicate often and well. Paint clear pictures so that they know and understand why things are being handled the way they are. Try to communicate with your ex, even if it is fruitless. I'm convinced that I turned out happy with my parents' divorce because everyone learned how to talk to each other without contempt.

Best of luck to you, your daughters, your wife and son, and your ex. I truly hope all of you end up feeling like the divorce was the best thing that ever happened.

charis

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #77 on: May 03, 2018, 01:14:18 PM »
I'm going to decline bashing my exwife anymore than I already have. We stopped being right for each other years ago.  She would agree with that.  My single regret in life is not asking for a divorce many years ago.   I thought (at the time) that things could be fixed.  But that wasn't the case.   

I understand that I can't dictate to her how she spends her money.  I think it's slightly ironic that people here think that I shouldn't have remarried so quickly, that I should have considered her feelings in it?  Why?  We ain't married and she certainly didn't consider my feelings when she blew $30,000 on brand new furniture three weeks after the divorce was finalized.     That's her choice.....

My beautiful wife has a masters degree in engineering (like me), she's active/outdoorsy (like me), she's frugal (like me), she loves adventure and is unafraid of the world (like me), and we share similar religious views to boot.  In short, she's perfect for me.  And she loves my daughters. And my daughters like/love her.     I understand how/why this would cause some small amount of stress on my exwife, and I wish that wasn't so.  I'm not gonna live my life afraid of stepping on her toes.   If my exwife had moved on and married some fancy doctor/lawyer big spender type, how many of you would be telling me that I need to just accept husband #2 as it's her choice?   But, if that big spender type loved my daughters and they love/liked him, I'd walk up to him shake his hand and say "thanks man".  Cause I'd much rather have a stepfather in their life who helps/nurtures my daughters than somebody who is either apathetic or an asshole.   

Lastly, if you think that two consenting adults can't/shouldn't have a relationship because of a 13 year age gap...well, then I really don't want to continue this conversation. 

Meh, thanks for all the fish.  I've settled on path forward, which I enumerated above.   
I will amend that plan with the following caveat:  All money that I decline to pay my exwife for "non-mutually agreed upon extracurriculars" will be put into my girls 529 plan.  They can have that money when they go off to college.

This entire post is about you, your new wife, and your ex wife.  So there we have it.  But I can't help myself, what about the extra curricular activities that your daughters want to do now?  What about their feelings?

haflander

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #78 on: May 03, 2018, 01:19:40 PM »
Do we really need to spell this out for you? Ok I guess I'll be the one to do it. I don't think people have a problem with you remarrying because of your ex-wife's feelings. Rather, it's the rapidity of it all.

Moving on that quickly suggests an unwillingness to be alone for even a short time. This could be caused by low self-esteem, fear, no confidence, but ultimately zero true independence. Constantly needing someone other than yourself to validate your worth to the world and make you feel better about yourself is a very sorry way to live if you ask me. Ask anyone in the world and they'll tell you that it's best to wait a while after a breakup before starting a new relationship, especially one that produces yet another being into this world (while figuring out child support for the previous ones!!!!!). This time between relationships should be multiplied for someone who is going through a divorce with kids involved. It's just good to take time and figure out life and your own emotions, so you don't make more decisions that you may regret later.

I'm not saying the first few sentences of the preceding paragraph is you necessarily. What I'm saying is that all of the above is common sense for anyone over 21 years old. You are twice that age.

You like your new wife. Great. Congrats. However, I find it hard to believe that these feelings will last for 30 years considering they were began in the midst of a divorce and quite possibly even during the end of your marriage, as the timeline implies. And to think you've already brought another child into the world during all the rest of this turmoil...sigh.

Gronnie

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #79 on: May 03, 2018, 01:37:44 PM »
Grunch after reading the first ~20 responses:

LOL at all of you that are disparaging OP for not "supporting" his kids when he has them essentially half time and his and ex's incomes are almost the same (did any of you even read that detail? if so, I am having trouble understanding your responses...). If anything, there should be very small support payments or none at all needed.

caracarn

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #80 on: May 03, 2018, 02:18:41 PM »
Do we really need to spell this out for you? Ok I guess I'll be the one to do it. I don't think people have a problem with you remarrying because of your ex-wife's feelings. Rather, it's the rapidity of it all.

Moving on that quickly suggests an unwillingness to be alone for even a short time. This could be caused by low self-esteem, fear, no confidence, but ultimately zero true independence. Constantly needing someone other than yourself to validate your worth to the world and make you feel better about yourself is a very sorry way to live if you ask me. Ask anyone in the world and they'll tell you that it's best to wait a while after a breakup before starting a new relationship, especially one that produces yet another being into this world (while figuring out child support for the previous ones!!!!!). This time between relationships should be multiplied for someone who is going through a divorce with kids involved. It's just good to take time and figure out life and your own emotions, so you don't make more decisions that you may regret later.

I'm not saying the first few sentences of the preceding paragraph is you necessarily. What I'm saying is that all of the above is common sense for anyone over 21 years old. You are twice that age.

You like your new wife. Great. Congrats. However, I find it hard to believe that these feelings will last for 30 years considering they were began in the midst of a divorce and quite possibly even during the end of your marriage, as the timeline implies. And to think you've already brought another child into the world during all the rest of this turmoil...sigh.
Yes, I've not commented about this because the thread was not there and at this point the guy is married and expecting a child so if the damage is done it is done, but now it has and I would like to add my input from the standpoint of being a divorce group counselor, perhaps to help someone else who is earlier in the process to understand the massive red flags here.

OP did not say how long he was married, but judging by the kids ages (13 & 11) and that he was divorced a year ago, I'm going to say over 10 years, probably closer to 12.  As many people have properly indicated divorce is a massive, massive drain on a person at all levels including emotionally.  One of the sections we cover is on relationships, and the advice from professional counselors on it.  The most unhappy news almost all our attendees get is how long it takes to properly process your divorce and work through it, during which time you should stay away from relationships.   That measure is 1 year for every 3 years you were married, so in OP timeline, yes the red flag went up for me from post #1 as his timeline should be about 3-4 years before he's involved with anyone again, let alone married and expecting.  Yes, we hear all the "life is short", "I'm different", "That does not apply to me".  And the counselors address that.  The world is full of those people and that's why the divorce rate for second marriages is 65+% and third marriages is 75+% and keeps going up from there.  People do not take the time to learn how they contributed to the divorce, what they did wrong.  The example given is someone with a broken leg.  They break their leg and then pump themselves up on painkillers and then say "Wow, my leg is fine!  It's great!"  All the while doing damage to their leg that they can't feel.  When they finally come off the painkillers they see how things are much worse because they did not allow things to heal right.  The counselor indicates that a new relationship is like the painkiller for the leg.  All it does is mask the healing that needs to happen and makes you feel like everything is great.  After all, OP just told us how awesome everything is.  Of course it is.  You're barely in and everything is still new.  I just pray that I'm wrong and you are not just setting up to ruin another set of lives (your new wife and kids) because of the haste to latch on to the new sports wife.

And that is the second massive read flag, and perhaps the poster just did not go there, but my gut tells me I'm just trying to be nice, because all the comments lean in the same direction.  OP sees nothing really wrong in himself that needed to change, it all is just the ex and how she could not move to his new found mustachian world and all the other pieces of discord he raised.  The kids are almost an afterthought and the phrases saying he wants to do what is right for the girls are directly contradicted by his own words that show he is planning on doing anything but.  It will take a very mature 13 & 11 year old to appreciate the point that I could not do activities now because Dad did not want to spend the money due to fairness, but he did HAVE THE MONEY and instead chose to save it in a 529 for me later.  In no world is this anything else than punishing your children because you are pissed at your ex.  You're not having them miss their activity because you can't afford it, you are deliberately withholding money YOU HAVE AND ARE ALLOCATING FOR THEM, but just not now, because your ex makes you mad, when they would like to enjoy some activity versus having some extra college savings.  I believe this is a very poor plan and will do nothing but upset your kids.

I'd really suggest the OP go to a solid divorce support group.  Everything you've said in this thread shows that you are far from having processed this in a healthy way and healed.   Don't write it off because you feel you are past that point or you run a very high risk of heading down a similar road with your new marriage.  These unresolved issues will likely come back to haunt you.

I could go on, but I'm guessing the OP has moved on as he said.  Hope this can help someone else.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #81 on: May 03, 2018, 02:52:13 PM »
I'm going to decline bashing my exwife anymore than I already have. We stopped being right for each other years ago.  She would agree with that.  My single regret in life is not asking for a divorce many years ago.   I thought (at the time) that things could be fixed.  But that wasn't the case.   

I understand that I can't dictate to her how she spends her money.  I think it's slightly ironic that people here think that I shouldn't have remarried so quickly, that I should have considered her feelings in it?  Why?  We ain't married and she certainly didn't consider my feelings when she blew $30,000 on brand new furniture three weeks after the divorce was finalized.     That's her choice.....

My beautiful wife has a masters degree in engineering (like me), she's active/outdoorsy (like me), she's frugal (like me), she loves adventure and is unafraid of the world (like me), and we share similar religious views to boot.  In short, she's perfect for me.  And she loves my daughters. And my daughters like/love her.     I understand how/why this would cause some small amount of stress on my exwife, and I wish that wasn't so.  I'm not gonna live my life afraid of stepping on her toes.   If my exwife had moved on and married some fancy doctor/lawyer big spender type, how many of you would be telling me that I need to just accept husband #2 as it's her choice?   But, if that big spender type loved my daughters and they love/liked him, I'd walk up to him shake his hand and say "thanks man".  Cause I'd much rather have a stepfather in their life who helps/nurtures my daughters than somebody who is either apathetic or an asshole.   

Lastly, if you think that two consenting adults can't/shouldn't have a relationship because of a 13 year age gap...well, then I really don't want to continue this conversation. 

Meh, thanks for all the fish.  I've settled on path forward, which I enumerated above.   
I will amend that plan with the following caveat:  All money that I decline to pay my exwife for "non-mutually agreed upon extracurriculars" will be put into my girls 529 plan.  They can have that money when they go off to college.

Nobody has said that. I posted that you rushed into things very quickly with the new woman, and that you should consider your kids feelings before even considering new relationships. In fact, I think everyone has been clear that we don't care about your ex-wife's feelings.

I really hope that it's just your written communication that needs work, and that things are amazing for everyone. You come off as holier-than-thou and without fault, yet I'm sure that's not true. I say this as a young, married father... just don't let the negative experience of a divorce impact the kids more than it already has. Part of me wonders if the excitement of Daddy's New Wife and a new half-sibling is still in its honeymoon phase. When the girls start testing more boundaries, you'll hear plenty more about the age difference, or why they can't play the sport they want to play, and hopefully you have already thought of how you're going to answer that.

nessness

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #82 on: May 03, 2018, 03:39:03 PM »
Since you seem to have a contentious relationship with your ex this might be tough to do, but it would be best for the girls if you presented a unified front on extracurriculars.

For example: Your daughter asked to take ballet lessons. If you're willing to pay for it 100% AND lessons take place during your scheduled days, you can say okay. Otherwise you say you'll consult with the other parent. Then the two of you talk about it, come to a decision, and one of you presents the decision to your daughter as a mutual decision. "Your mom and I decided that..."

And please don't make the decision on what you'll pay for for your daughters contingent on whether their mom shares counseling costs with you; that's just crappy.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #83 on: May 03, 2018, 04:11:05 PM »
It will take a very mature 13 & 11 year old to appreciate the point that I could not do activities now because Dad did not want to spend the money due to fairness, but he did HAVE THE MONEY and instead chose to save it in a 529 for me later.  In no world is this anything else than punishing your children because you are pissed at your ex.  You're not having them miss their activity because you can't afford it, you are deliberately withholding money YOU HAVE AND ARE ALLOCATING FOR THEM, but just not now, because your ex makes you mad, when they would like to enjoy some activity versus having some extra college savings.  I believe this is a very poor plan and will do nothing but upset your kids.

THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS.

It's not about "fair".  It's about what's best for the children. 

My ex asked for our divorce, he remarried very quickly, and he was totally, totally pissed at me for YEARS (I neither know nor care why).  I continued to communicate in as businesslike a way as I could about the kids so that he was properly informed.  I bent over backwards to coparent and to do what the kids needed - even paying for things completely on my own rather than fighting about it.  After about three years, he started coming around and communicating more and now we have a much better coparenting relationship.

Maybe your xW can't do that.  That means it's up to you to be the bigger person.  The kids notice this stuff.

I'm glad you're going to get counseling for the younger child (not the elder?), and I second the suggestion that you might also get some for yourself to make sure that your current marriage is going to remain strong and stable.  Getting counseling doesn't mean you're admitting there's anything wrong with you -it is a way to make sure you're building a solid foundation.  My ex has already divorced the wife right after me and remarried again (and rumor has it this marriage is on the rocks, too).   Don't be a statistic.

Jrr85

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #84 on: May 03, 2018, 04:21:56 PM »
My current wife and I both want to drop down to 75% as soon as our son is born.  But that would drop my income below my exwife, which was her primary justification for pursuing child support.  [...]

I could just suck it up and keep paying full support? 
I don't care if you're getting US federal minimum wage cleaning public toilets and she's the CEO of Exxon. They're your children. You pay.

man, that's sexist.  We spend a lot on my kids, and we don't spend over a $100k per year on them (and $107k is what you get if you apply the support he is paying per day she cares in excess of what he does; and that's ignoring providing insurance).  I think the mother making $100k a year can maybe bear some responsibility for the costs of raising the kids? 

And to your hypothetical, if the mother is the CEO of Exxon, maybe she could even actually pay some towards making sure the father can provide a reasonable lifestyle when the kids are with him? 

snapperdude

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #85 on: May 03, 2018, 05:00:52 PM »

... because of the haste to latch on to the new sports wife.




Wow! And you're a divorce group counselor?

Awesomeness

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #86 on: May 03, 2018, 05:07:13 PM »
Sorry but your posts just read to me that you cheated on your first wife with this “younger perfect woman”.  I see lots of resentment towards her which in your mind justifies all that you did.  Dude I really hope you did a prenup. Not too late for a postnup especially while you’re still in this honeymoon phase. Odds are not with you on this second marriage. 


I could be completely wrong and I’m sorry if I am and I offended you.  Don’t mean to be rude with this assumption but it looks obvious to me. Of course you don’t even need to acknowledge this at all. It’s your life.

Yes I just went through a nasty divorce and he cheated on me.

charis

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #87 on: May 03, 2018, 05:20:25 PM »
My current wife and I both want to drop down to 75% as soon as our son is born.  But that would drop my income below my exwife, which was her primary justification for pursuing child support.  [...]

I could just suck it up and keep paying full support? 
I don't care if you're getting US federal minimum wage cleaning public toilets and she's the CEO of Exxon. They're your children. You pay.

man, that's sexist.  We spend a lot on my kids, and we don't spend over a $100k per year on them (and $107k is what you get if you apply the support he is paying per day she cares in excess of what he does; and that's ignoring providing insurance).  I think the mother making $100k a year can maybe bear some responsibility for the costs of raising the kids? 

And to your hypothetical, if the mother is the CEO of Exxon, maybe she could even actually pay some towards making sure the father can provide a reasonable lifestyle when the kids are with him?

What is sexist? Who said the wife wasn't paying? Where are you getting any of this?

Kyle Schuant

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #88 on: May 03, 2018, 05:44:39 PM »
This whole tread is an advertisement against getting married and having kids.

No, it's an advertisement against getting married, having kids, and then divorcing.

Reynolds531

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #89 on: May 03, 2018, 05:45:52 PM »
Or possibly an advertisement for a new sports wife!

Sincerely though NO ONE including OP got married expecting to end up divorced. And strain breeds bad decisions before, during, and after. I can't throw stones.

One day, one good decision at a time.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 05:49:00 PM by Reynolds531 »

Kyle Schuant

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #90 on: May 03, 2018, 06:16:41 PM »
man, that's sexist. 
Boohoo. "Men are oppressed, they should go their own way, it's all a conspiracy against men, maybe there should be a paternity check just in case, damn greedy spendy ex-wives, women don't understand men's struggles, now where's my fedora?"

I'm a man, addressing a man. A father, addressing a father. A woman can address women's responsibilities. I'm talking to a man. Well, I'm talking to a boy, but I'm encouraging him to be a man.

I don't care about his ex-wife and whether she was a meanie or whatever and the ifs and buts used to weasel out of taking responsibility. What's important here is a good relationship with the children. Now, in a divorce typically the children feel that whichever parent left the household - particularly if they hooked up with someone else straight away - is abandoning them, too. Children are not accountants. They don't know "fair". They just know whether someone is giving, or holding back.

Now if the children see their father evading responsibility and quibbling over a few bucks here or there, will that make them feel more or less abandoned, do you think? Do you think feeling abandoned contributes to a better relationship?

As he spends more time with his new wife and newborn baby, he will by necessity spend less time with his older children. Even in intact families, older children can be jealous of younger children. Will his spending less time with his older children make them feel closer to him? This is a very, very risky point in his relationship with his children. He must do everything he can to let them know he still cares. Everything.

If they see him doing absolutely anything he has to so he can contribute, handing over cash without regard to balancing it all up, not evading or making excuses, then they know their father loves them.

There's a scene in Cinderella Man where it's the Depression, there's little or no work and they're poor. The mother makes some pancakes for breakfast, they don't have much flour and all, so it's one each. Her daughter eats one and asks for more. "Sorry, there is no more." The father tells the daughter a story that he had a dream he was at a big fancy hotel eating a huge steak in a restaurant. "And the meal in my dream was so good, I'm full now. You have my pancake." And then he head out to try to find work that day, and if he found work it'd be physically tiring, and more so with no food that day.

That daughter did not feel abandoned, and did not doubt her father loved her. A daughter whose father argues accounts and quibbles over a few dollars here or there while spending time with his new wife and baby - that daughter will doubt her father loves her.

Is that sexist? I don't give a damn. I care about the man's children having a good relationship with their father. It's not the money, it's what it represents. And that is why I say, I don't care if he's working minimum wage cleaning public toilets and she's the CEO of Exxon. He should show up at the mansion once a week with a few bucks for his children. Because then they know their father cares, and will do anything for their welfare. Anything.


Man up, OP. It's shameful that you're even asking these questions.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 06:18:20 PM by Kyle Schuant »

bogart

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #91 on: May 03, 2018, 09:52:36 PM »
I married a man older than me, than the OP's new wife is to him.  He had 2 teenaged kids, and an ex-wife.  They'd been separated, and divorced, longer than the OP has by the time we married, but it was still a pretty recent, and of course, big, change in everyone's life.

I was really, really, really clear that the single most important thing I could do was try to minimize the ways in which my stepkids' lives changed.  Obviously this was challenging (one was heading off to college by the time DH and I married, the other was a bit younger and still had a few more years at home) for ALL of us and certainly not something anyone achieved perfectly, but it was sure a priority.  And yes, it involved all kinds of stupid expenses, like paying for half the cost of each kid to have a car while they were in college (a shocking extravagance, IMO, but something their mom decided they should have, and yes, we -- well, really DH, but me in marrying him -- had said we'd cover half their expenses through college.  We paid.  We didn't complain.).

I delayed having kids until DH's kids were grown and out of the house (and out of college, as things worked out, though that was partly due to a struggle with infertility, which my own age may have contributed to).  Because introducing a sibling (or half-sibling) is its own set of changes which, I don't care how happy those siblings are about the new baby, are extreme.

So -- yeah.  Abide by agreements you've entered.  Focus on your kids, not your ex.  You've already complicated your daughters' lives enough by adding a wife and with a baby on the way, and this is so no matter how much they like/love your wife and like/love the new baby.  Don't mess around with things at the edges -- the benefit to you is small, and the damage to them large.  I watched friends of mine go through their parents' divorces and their own resulting life changes as teens, and it was just a mess.  Minimize that. 

Jrr85

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #92 on: May 03, 2018, 10:19:09 PM »
man, that's sexist. 
Boohoo. "Men are oppressed, they should go their own way, it's all a conspiracy against men, maybe there should be a paternity check just in case, damn greedy spendy ex-wives, women don't understand men's struggles, now where's my fedora?"

I'm a man, addressing a man. A father, addressing a father. A woman can address women's responsibilities. I'm talking to a man. Well, I'm talking to a boy, but I'm encouraging him to be a man.

I don't care about his ex-wife and whether she was a meanie or whatever and the ifs and buts used to weasel out of taking responsibility. What's important here is a good relationship with the children. Now, in a divorce typically the children feel that whichever parent left the household - particularly if they hooked up with someone else straight away - is abandoning them, too. Children are not accountants. They don't know "fair". They just know whether someone is giving, or holding back.

Now if the children see their father evading responsibility and quibbling over a few bucks here or there, will that make them feel more or less abandoned, do you think? Do you think feeling abandoned contributes to a better relationship?

As he spends more time with his new wife and newborn baby, he will by necessity spend less time with his older children. Even in intact families, older children can be jealous of younger children. Will his spending less time with his older children make them feel closer to him? This is a very, very risky point in his relationship with his children. He must do everything he can to let them know he still cares. Everything.

If they see him doing absolutely anything he has to so he can contribute, handing over cash without regard to balancing it all up, not evading or making excuses, then they know their father loves them.

There's a scene in Cinderella Man where it's the Depression, there's little or no work and they're poor. The mother makes some pancakes for breakfast, they don't have much flour and all, so it's one each. Her daughter eats one and asks for more. "Sorry, there is no more." The father tells the daughter a story that he had a dream he was at a big fancy hotel eating a huge steak in a restaurant. "And the meal in my dream was so good, I'm full now. You have my pancake." And then he head out to try to find work that day, and if he found work it'd be physically tiring, and more so with no food that day.

That daughter did not feel abandoned, and did not doubt her father loved her. A daughter whose father argues accounts and quibbles over a few dollars here or there while spending time with his new wife and baby - that daughter will doubt her father loves her.

Is that sexist? I don't give a damn. I care about the man's children having a good relationship with their father. It's not the money, it's what it represents. And that is why I say, I don't care if he's working minimum wage cleaning public toilets and she's the CEO of Exxon. He should show up at the mansion once a week with a few bucks for his children. Because then they know their father cares, and will do anything for their welfare. Anything.


Man up, OP. It's shameful that you're even asking these questions.

It is sexist, but the problem is probably more with what a messed up view it reflects of money and how it plays into a relationship with kids? 

As if giving the mother money, regardless of need and regardless of what proportion of child rearing costs the father is already bearing, is the only way a father can have a good relationship with his kids.  I'm more traditional than most as far as my views/expectations of fathers being able to be breadwinners, but even I think that's a messed up view.  If a janitor father is keeping his kids roughly half the time and being an attentive father and paying for the costs when he has them, and the kids can't appreciate him doing that because he isn't sending a check to the CEO mother on top of that, then that's a big parenting fail, but it's not in failing to send a check to the CEO mother.  It's in failing to raise kids that understand there are ways to show love other than cutting a check and that understand that parenting obligations of a father in an split household cannot be reduced to simply cutting a check to the mother. 

Kyle Schuant

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #93 on: May 03, 2018, 10:57:59 PM »
Yes, time is more important than money. I'm a stay-at-home father, I realise that. But as the OP has a newborn, he'll be spending less time with the other kids. That leaves money. It shows an effort. Kids don't expect perfection, they expect effort.


The kids will be sceptical of him, because if he can't keep his promises to their mother, why would he keep his promises to them? And when they see him trying to avoid even token money payments, they'll be even more sceptical.


The OP has to be around. He's in bad need of manning up. He fucked things up because he couldn't keep it in his pants. Well, that's life, you make mistakes. But he can at least get it right with his children.

caracarn

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #94 on: May 04, 2018, 09:17:44 AM »

... because of the haste to latch on to the new sports wife.




Wow! And you're a divorce group counselor?
Yes, I am.  Part of what you have to do in that case is state things directly, when you get to the point that it is warranted.  This would be a person we'd speak to individually and directly and find out if the group made sense for them.  Part of our job is to watch out for the impact to the group.  Also, this is an internet forum on money topics and not a divorce support group.  Am I to imply by some of your responses on the internet that you must communicate badly at work because you said something on a dating site? 

The OP has been called out multiple times before I made that statement and it was simply made as an example to may or may not be true.  I have no idea, but it may get someone to think.  I hope that was not the case, but when most of the group is seeing the same warning signs, things point a certain way for a reason.  Otherwise you validate to the group that poor decisions are the way to go.  I'd hate to provide the advice to any group I led that the solution to a divorce is to go out and find someone new.

caracarn

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #95 on: May 04, 2018, 09:23:26 AM »
I'm a man, addressing a man. A father, addressing a father. A woman can address women's responsibilities. I'm talking to a man. Well, I'm talking to a boy, but I'm encouraging him to be a man.
Kyle, this is a much more succinct response that I wish I had come up with to respond to @snapperdude feeling somehow my comment reflected poorly on me being a divorce support counselor. 

We have some conversation using these exact words ("you need to stop being a boy and be a man") as we counsel people saying what the OP is saying.  I used an analogy of trading up to the new sports car but it was deemed to hard by snapper, but at some point the only way to get through to someone is to be direct and maybe say something that is not PC but may be accurate.

caracarn

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #96 on: May 04, 2018, 09:53:48 AM »
@Jrr85 not really wanting to wade into these sexist waters but wanting to add some perspective.

I have found in support group discussions that a lot of the "Men are from Mars, women are from Venus" really does come into play in areas of high emotion like divorce.  As a man (divorced or otherwise) seeing another man shirk responsibility it hits a different nerve than a woman understands.  I have this discussion with my wife about my contempt for her ex who is the OP times a thousand.  She does not understand why in some cases I get so upset for her kids about what the jerk is putting them through.  And it all revolves around what Kyle seems to be upset about.  A good father has a really difficult time cutting a bad father any slack, and this is what we see when we listen to the OP and we understand to a woman that it may seem we are jumping to conclusions, but as I'm sure there are with ladies, guys can read between the lines with another guy much easier and we're seeing a jerk.  A guy will normally be very forthcoming with his fatherhood badge is he has anything to back it up.  On the internet this guy could tell us anything he wanted and how could we validate it?  We couldn't.  As a guy seeing this in a forum that would be so easy to show us otherwise, we read between the lines and see a guy that has very likely done what Kyle says and more, and it gets the reactions you see as harsh. 

I have seen everything in my stepkids reactions that Kyle mentions and many, many more.  Kids are excellent at reading effort.  Kids in divorce seem to be hyper tuned.  It is very, very hard to communicate with them what is appropriate and what is not.  It is exceptionally hard when you are trying not to bad mouth their father when he is being a total tool.  I walk that line every day.  We pay 100% of that deadbeat's expenses because we is unable and unwilling to, because he is willfully unemployed and uses his time to pick up women, live off their money and move on to the next one.  Again, I'm not saying OP is this type of guy.  But he's dropping the ball big time with his kids as one father to another.  As guy's we start with nice, but eventually we get to not so nice and then realize they just do not want their minds changed.  That's where we appear to be with OP. 

What Kyle suggests is something I totally understand and would do, so I get his point.  When I was out of work for three months, I did everything I could to cut everything else in my expenses before I would consider any impact to my commitments for my kids.  It was not a janitor and and CEO and Exxon, but it was a form of that.  And the difference between what we are seeing with OP is that it never entered my mind to be resentful or finding a way to avoid.  As I've said earlier we pay 100% for both sets of kids.  Our exes do very little.  My ex has told the kids she thinks they should have no activities and that she will not pay for them.  These are school teams or band that might cost $150.  I could never imagine telling my kids they will not do the activity because mom won't pay her share.  That's part of what sticks in my craw of the OP attempts to stop paying what are basic expenses.

mm1970

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #97 on: May 04, 2018, 10:34:33 AM »
We get it. Your new wife is young, and beautiful, and perfect.

Sometimes it's not about that.  Sometimes it's about finding the right person.

I found the right person on the first go...yay me!

A lot of people don't.  In my late 40's, I know a LOT of divorced people.  And at this point I know lots of divorced couples who have remarried happily and have kids...and in some cases - I find out later that people in each half of the two couples used to be married!  Meaning, I'm friends with both of them, and they are both great people, but they were not a good match TOGETHER.

I also know people who WERE a good match but grew apart and were much happier after divorcing.

mm1970

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #98 on: May 04, 2018, 10:43:13 AM »
My own perspective in the "rushing into marriage thing" - just observational.

That's what men do.  I don't exactly know why.  I'm sure people who study such things know why.  Just not me.

When I look back to everyone I know who split or divorced...when a man ended the relationship - he already had someone on the side or waiting in the wings.
When the woman ended the relationship, she just wanted out.
Generally, this meant that the women were single for quite a long time, usually, before another relationship.

This was true for my college friends, my friends in my 20's, 40's, my in-laws (60s).

When I was in my 20's, I used to think that it's because the men liked to have that "fresh new relationship feel".  After 3-5 years with a girlfriend, it wasn't like that.  So they broke up and married the next woman they dated, often within the year.


The other tricky thing (to me) is measuring how long you should be single by the length of the marriage.  A lot of people stay married in name only, when the relationship is long dead.  So how do you measure that?

Jrr85

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Re: divorce/child care/early retirement
« Reply #99 on: May 04, 2018, 10:53:31 AM »
@Jrr85 not really wanting to wade into these sexist waters but wanting to add some perspective.

I have found in support group discussions that a lot of the "Men are from Mars, women are from Venus" really does come into play in areas of high emotion like divorce.  As a man (divorced or otherwise) seeing another man shirk responsibility it hits a different nerve than a woman understands.  I have this discussion with my wife about my contempt for her ex who is the OP times a thousand.  She does not understand why in some cases I get so upset for her kids about what the jerk is putting them through.  And it all revolves around what Kyle seems to be upset about.  A good father has a really difficult time cutting a bad father any slack, and this is what we see when we listen to the OP and we understand to a woman that it may seem we are jumping to conclusions, but as I'm sure there are with ladies, guys can read between the lines with another guy much easier and we're seeing a jerk.  A guy will normally be very forthcoming with his fatherhood badge is he has anything to back it up.  On the internet this guy could tell us anything he wanted and how could we validate it?  We couldn't.  As a guy seeing this in a forum that would be so easy to show us otherwise, we read between the lines and see a guy that has very likely done what Kyle says and more, and it gets the reactions you see as harsh. 

I have seen everything in my stepkids reactions that Kyle mentions and many, many more.  Kids are excellent at reading effort.  Kids in divorce seem to be hyper tuned.  It is very, very hard to communicate with them what is appropriate and what is not.  It is exceptionally hard when you are trying not to bad mouth their father when he is being a total tool.  I walk that line every day.  We pay 100% of that deadbeat's expenses because we is unable and unwilling to, because he is willfully unemployed and uses his time to pick up women, live off their money and move on to the next one.  Again, I'm not saying OP is this type of guy.  But he's dropping the ball big time with his kids as one father to another.  As guy's we start with nice, but eventually we get to not so nice and then realize they just do not want their minds changed.  That's where we appear to be with OP. 

What Kyle suggests is something I totally understand and would do, so I get his point.  When I was out of work for three months, I did everything I could to cut everything else in my expenses before I would consider any impact to my commitments for my kids.  It was not a janitor and and CEO and Exxon, but it was a form of that.  And the difference between what we are seeing with OP is that it never entered my mind to be resentful or finding a way to avoid.  As I've said earlier we pay 100% for both sets of kids.  Our exes do very little.  My ex has told the kids she thinks they should have no activities and that she will not pay for them.  These are school teams or band that might cost $150.  I could never imagine telling my kids they will not do the activity because mom won't pay her share.  That's part of what sticks in my craw of the OP attempts to stop paying what are basic expenses.

You are not just jumping to conclusions, you are letting your emotions prevent you from seeing stated facts (assuming the OP is not lying).  I get that the OP comes off as if he is on the spectrum.  That could be a function of him being a stereotypical engineer combined with the sterilizing effect a typed communication has compared to verbal communication.   Or maybe he actually is a sociopath.  But the negative reaction to a person that is providing $269 per day for the care of their two children (on top of providing health insurance) is not explainable by being a man; if you insist on tying it to any sex/gender stereotypes, it's a sign of the opposite, a feminized, overly emotional response.  A person with a healthy understanding of obligations of parenthood and an objective, not hyper-emotional response would realize that as far as finances go, he is meeting his obligations and then some.  We spend a lot on our kids (probably an unhealty amount), and outside of health insurance (which again, he is providing), and housing, food, utiliites, etc. (which they are basically splitting, except for a 26 day difference), we probably don't spend more than $32,000 for three kids for an entire year.    He's providing $8400 for less than a month for two kids.  He's meeting his financial obligations as a father, and any shortcomings he has are not financial related, even if he tried to cut the money paid to his wife in half.  (from the tenor of his posts, I suspect he has some other issues with being hyper rational to the point of seeming aloof and uncaring to his kids, but it's also possible that's simply a survival mechanism necessary to cope with an ex with a cluster personality and that his kids understand or even mimic the coping mechanism if they truly like the step mom; there's just not enough info to tell).

And kids in divorce are not hyper tuned to effort.  They are hurt and damaged emotionally and overly sensitive period.  Maybe there are times where doing something personally destructive actually is emotionally helpful to the kids as tangible proof that you care and on net the sacrifice is worth it; but that's because the kids have been emotionally damaged by the divorce.  You should not start with the premise that that will be the case, nor pretend that it's not a sign of a problem that needs to be healed over time rather than a "duty as a man".  The duty as a man is to figure out how to best help your kids heal while also ensuring the best you can that you are in a strong enough position to continue to provide primarily emotional support and parenting, and secondarily financial support. 

And yes, your lack of perspective and inability to remain objective even to a blog post is certainly concerning with respect to your fitness to being a divorce support counselor.