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Old 11-12-2007, 10:35 AM   #41
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:39 PM   #42
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Hi Raygun,
It is a difficult situation for you.
I divorced 12 yrs ago. My present DW also divorced years ago.
We both had to deal with young children, which you won't if you divorce. It will be much cleaner for you if you go this path.
I do not advocate divorce, especially at 56.
I do not advocate living like the broiled frog either, even if it is an urban legend.
You should put everything in your life on the backburner for as long as it take for you and focus on a solution for your quamire.
It is too simplistic to read a few paragraphs and think we have an appropriate recommendation for your particular situation. But then if we all felt this way, this ER board traffic will cease.
Heck we can't even discuss something much more cut-dry and data-driven like investment strategies without name-calling.

So here goes.
Seems to me, your biggest issue is grown kids in your house.
I emphasized your house is because you are the payee of the house. Without your nice salary, would there be a house?
Why don't you start to flex your financial muscle in domestic matters?
You don't like your grown kids squatting in your house, tell them.
But tell them first in a nice manner. Then set a time frame, if no desirable action, ratchet up the tone and urgency. At some point in time, it would resort to making hell look comfy to the rascals then to live at your house.
You, with the mulah, is the boss and they need to be reminded of it.
If you are at all effective, then maybe 2 of them will move out in due time. Now your problem is much more manageble.
It is tough-love. 25 year olds can flip burgers and live with roommates. Isn't that what most of us did?
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:47 PM   #43
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The comments come down to commentor personality. For the men, what did you enjoy when you played HS football? If offense, you will favor counselors, if defense you will just want to mess some stuff up and end the status quo.

Maybe best not to take internet board advice in matters like this! At least do not pay any attention to what I say, I was a DB.

Ha
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:02 PM   #44
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Just a few comments.

1. Highly approve of counselling. In my experience, the counselor doesn't tell you what you should do, but facilitates a reasonable discussion between two people. Especially with a 30+ year marriage between you two, conversations can be incredibly automatic. Having someone else there can make your mind re-engage in conversations. As someone mentioned, your wife may just be reacting to the emotions of having a huge life change, and isn't actually thinking through the whole situation.

2. I think no matter what happens, retire soon. Here are all the options which may occur:
a. You two stay together, kick kids out, and cut budget to live within means.
b. You two stay together, keep kids around, and cut budget to live within means.
c. You two separate, you give half your reduced cash/pension to her, and you live within your means.

Here are the options if you don't retire (look at this great organization, I can't help making bullet lists)
a. You two stay together, kick kids out, and you keep working and die of a heart attack.
b. You two stay together, keep kids around, and you die of a heart attack.
c. You two separate, your wife gets half your current salary/retirement savings, and you're forced to work until you are dead.

So at least semi-retire asap.

3. I was child #2, the lazy one (at least from your brief description that's how I see it). I wasn't quite as bad as you described, I did manage to get through college on time - age 22 (barely). However, during the summers I really wasn't motivated to look for a summer job. I was given just a few chores (including mowing the lawn), and I remember numerous occasions where my dad came in yelling about how I didn't mow the lawn. I just didn't have any ambition to change my situation because my housing was paid for, I got cash handouts while in college, and I had some nice video games to play. Eventually our fights got bad enough that I wanted to leave, but it was hard to drag myself away.

Once I moved out after college, I received motivation from myself (wanting better housing, toys, etc), and have done very well for myself. I think that his pushing helped me get where I am, and perhaps if he had been tougher (less cash during college, etc), if I may not have done even better.

4. Enabling doesn't help anyone in the long run. You will eventually retire/die, and the kids will need to fend for themselves. What is better, they become independent at age 27, or age 45? I'd say the sooner the better. Do it while you still have cash to "save" them if necessary. As others have mentioned, they can pool their money and rent a place for 1k. Surely they can find a little cash so they won't be homeless. Then they can flip burgers, etc until they turn their own life around. Paying their expenses does nothing except enable them to screw up their lives further.

5. Being a stay at home mother usually lasts while the kids need a mother at home, IE ages 0 -> 5ish. Once a kid is in school full time, many mothers go back to work. My own mother went back to school & work once my youngest sister was in school. It is a hard step, but she felt it was her job to continue to contribute to the family. I have known many families (such as your own), where the mother just stayed at home, taking the easy path. Is there a reason you've let her stay home all these years? As someone else asked, what has she been doing? There is not a full time jobs worth of work in an empty house. Perhaps some of your issues stem from feeling like your wife is not contributing? Relationships are supposed to be partnerships. If you make the cash, you should make the decisions on where/how you will make it. If you wife wants more money, she can work. If she thinks you need more cash to keep the kids in the house, she can work to pay for them. Then she can get what she wants, and so can you.

Anyway, hope you reply and fill us in on how things are going
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:53 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
The comments come down to commentor personality. For the men, what did you enjoy when you played HS football? If offense, you will favor counselors, if defense you will just want to mess some stuff up and end the status quo.

Maybe best not to take internet board advice in matters like this! At least do not pay any attention to what I say, I was a DB.

Ha
I am not onboard here. Wouldn't the game of chess be more analogous than football?
It is you and your spouse. No teammate to blame for fumbles. And you can sacrifice your pawns to get something better.
In my mind, offense in football is about formulating a plan of attack, roles/repsonsiblities and execution.
Defense - there is a plan also, but it is more reactive.
You generally see what the offense throw at you then try to snuff out the play.

Games have written, concise rule books and even refererees.
Rules in marriage? I can see the reception already if I am stupid enough to present to DW arulebook for expected behavior.
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:40 PM   #46
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At least do not pay any attention to what I say, I was a DB.
Crap, I was a defensive lineman. Although I played OL a couple of times. I guess that means I'm out too.
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:42 PM   #47
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Crap, I was a defensive lineman.
Amazing. With one post, everything suddenly becomes crystal clear...
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:24 PM   #48
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Crap, I was a defensive lineman. Although I played OL a couple of times. I guess that means I'm out too.
Speaking of messing things up, I was in the marching band...
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:18 PM   #49
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I have a major quandary.. This is honesty all up front .. Ill try to make it simple but factual> I am 56 Married 33 Yrs. 3 Grown Children. Spouse a stay home mom all her life. I have spent the last 9 years grinding it out in MEGA corp. The job put me in the hospital 2 yrs ago. (Me and stress are less tolerant than in my earlier yrs)... Now here is the problem.
Financials- 401K 650K IRA 150K Cash and stock 100K Mortgage 250K no other major debts. (Basically need 80K to make bills) Pension @ age 60 estimated 30K per yr. Military Pension age 60 @ 8 K + Medical (Retired Reserve)

My problem: I had been dreaming of stopping next year and getting off the stress wheel. I anticipated my wife felt the same. I would do some part time job to bridge my yrs to age 60.

All 3 of my "GROWN KIDS" have migrated back home for various reasons. Youngest age 25, middle age 27, oldest age 29 with 2 kids --(separated)

I have never really gotten along well with my children and the stress of them all being here is making life miserable.

I told my wife we needed to start controlling our expenses because I plan on stopping next year. She said no way we could afford to etc..

I had thought we were on the same page but these grown kids in all reality are her love not me. And yes they are mine too.. but as I said it has never been a great relationship.

Should I just acknowledge we are no longer the same, go to an attorney and figure out how to split in a fair manner? or Just find a separate apartment and grind it out? I can't stay here much longer....The sad thing is I really dreamed of retirement with her.. just not the kids//
Thanks to ALL that have provided advice: It is certainly not a simple answer. And also thanks for not stating the obvious. I must have been a real wimp in managing my affairs to be in this mess! Reality: Divorce is a very expensive and ER ender. Texas would saddle me with support, division of assets, and pensions. Neither of us would survive in the style we are dreaming for after retirement. and 33yrs is a long time to just give up.//

So I am going to pursue counseling with or without her-- Yes I will try to get her involved, but I think she will balk. At least my Mega Corp pays for the initial sessions. Next no matter what, I am going to start pushing these kids MY way with her support or not. At least they will know my half of the story.

I will check in when I have something productive to report on for resolution.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:26 PM   #50
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Good luck to you Raygun!

Remember, your core intentions are good ones: *get kids on own two feet, *increase personal happiness/decrease unhappiness and stress, *Retirement, *acknowledge long partnership etc...

Keep those crystal clear and it will help you along this bumpy path!
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:19 PM   #51
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I just happened on this thread and thought I might add another alternative to Counseling.

I divorced eight years ago and hadn't known about this alternative to counseling until way afterwards when I was trying to re-invent myself after 23 years of marriage and dividing up the marriage assets for better or worse...and the resultant unhappiness of dividing the families.(Plural...remember it's not just your own marriage but the in-laws as well...)

The main problem is lack of communication and understanding.

1) You think she hears and understands,... she doesn't.

2) She thinks she hears and understands...she doesn't.

3) You think you've expressed yourself fully but somehow she is not understanding.

Why not cut to the chase and enroll in a long weekend seminar called the
Landmark Forum? It is literally 'lifechanging'...and definitely I promise will
make a difference in your marriage! You will learn how to make yourself understood in a way that will move, touch and inspire your wife to the harsh realities of what may be ahead if you should decide to divorce...or to move, touch and inspire her for a 'New and better partnership' with you in Early Retirement together...which was the original plan when you first were married.

There is a Landmark Forum in Dallas Texas not far from you...check out some info at the website www.Landmarkeducation.com

If you can....try to have your wife and kids attend as well...the experience they all will have will change their lives even more than yours....they will be able to see a future for themselves, bury their own mistakes as the past and go on independently.....and happily on their own.

Kind of a Dr. Phil approach.....and faster than months of therapy.

Just saying....
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:51 AM   #52
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I suggest some time alone in the quiet with your wife. Go for long walks, go fishing in a small boat, go for a long drive or a motel with a view and no TV. Take time together not a scheduled talk just time walking, holding hands, dreaming and sharing dreams even if you are only feeding ducks at a lake or sitting in an empty room with a fire. Then when the moment is right tell her how much you are looking forward to spending more time alone with her. Talk about moving to Paris or Austria someday and having endless summers to play together Summering in Arizona and Wintering in Alaska or vis versa. Ask her how she would like to spend your golden years, were she would like to go and what she would like to do. Maybe renting a condo in Aspen or golf courses all over the world. Don't make deadlines or talk about the kids except to say after they grow up and leave home you can travel or move the world is your oyster.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:58 AM   #53
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A mother is forever driven to protect her offspring.

But help her see that she is infantilizing them, not raising them to be independent. She may be suffering guilt wondering what in the world she did wrong as a parent that has caused this outcome and is trying to make up for it (albeit in the wrong direction).

Don't underestimate romancing your wife during this time as well. This is the time to try to reach her at a soul level.

When you walk in at the end of the day, instead of saying "Hello" - say, "Hello. How's the love of my life today?"
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:22 AM   #54
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What it comes down to is whether your family is better off with you dead or alive. If the situation stays the same, you will eventually have a stroke or heart attack from the stress and then they have no real income other than your savings. Sounds like that would be burned through real fast. We have 2 kids - grown and off on their own, but also several rocky years until they learned to fly on their own.

There is nothing wrong with helping your kids - our daughter went though a few months unemployment recently and we helped her get through it - but moving home was not an option asked for or offered.

It sounds like you are last on the list of people to be considered in your family. Being the only earner, you should be first - if you don't take a tuff love stance with the 2 younger ones, they will be parasitic all their lives. Being on welfare is rough, but maybe they will be more motivated. Not all poor people end up in jail - in fact, very few do.

Based on your current situation, I don't see any way out other than to force the 27 and 25 year olds to be on their own. If not, you will be working forever - until you die - which may not be that far away with the stress you have.

Don't think your situation is that unique - many of us have faced the same problems and made the tough choices. If I had the choice of saving the life of one of my kid's life by giving up my own, I would probably do it. But I did not let my children be dependent on me once they achieved their educations - which, in this case was the expenes of 2 degrees each.
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Old 11-20-2007, 12:38 PM   #55
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Sounds like your family isnt hearing your concerns and i think you need to lay it out there so that whether they do anything about it or not you know that they know that you arent liking this.If they choose to ignore your concerns after some period of time i would get creative about a new future as all i can see in your future is some one who is tolerated due to financial necessity.
As other posters have said it seems like your options are limited to 2
Get counselling and hope that the entire family participates and all your problems are in the near future eradicated.
Or go with the attitude of =I've only got one life and i'm running out of race track,its time to walk away start a new life and enjoy what amount of time i have left.
I sure dont envy your options.
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Old 11-20-2007, 12:56 PM   #56
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Or go with the attitude of =I've only got one life and i'm running out of race track,its time to walk away start a new life and enjoy what amount of time i have left.
I sure dont envy your options.
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Do you travel full time? Just curious! We do and we recently upgraded our RV. The guy who bought it just couldn's handle his family situation any longer...wife who is determined to save adult children...who are addicted to drugs. They have paid for several drug rehab programs for them, but they keep hitting rock bottom again and turn up on his doorstep. He said he loves his wife and kids but he just can't keep up the never ending cycle. He's traveling full time now and DW is still taking kids in and trying to save them. Sad.
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Old 11-20-2007, 02:04 PM   #57
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Not full timing yet but its an appealing option thats been on my mind for many years and its always been the plan B.
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:18 PM   #58
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Okay I am going to be the lone wolf here and say that you need to change your perspective.

Work it out with your wife. Try to get her to see that the kids need to be prodded out, but if not, then I think you should eat **** and like it. They are, after all, your kids, not someone else's. Whether you like them or not, they came from you.
I'll be the second lone wolf and agree with the above. Also, a marriage demands honesty. Talk to your wife candidly about YOURSELF. Tell her how stressed you are. Work out a plan between the two of you, with counseling.

Do not plan your out secretly and go to Abu Dabai or whatever. You will not be happy with yourself in the long run.

Think about how you will view your actions from the distance of time. The old cliche, "On your death bed, you wished you would have . . ." Family is everything. Don't minimize that because you are stressed right now.
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:21 AM   #59
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Well, I don't know how much y'all helped the OP, but I'd like to thank Gumby for my new holiday mantra: I am not required to tolerate bad behavior from someone just because they are related to me. If I wouldn't take it from a stranger, I won't take it from a relative.

Needed it last week, but it will be helpful for the next month. sigh.
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:47 AM   #60
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I'll be the second lone wolf and agree with the above. Also, a marriage demands honesty. Talk to your wife candidly about YOURSELF. Tell her how stressed you are. Work out a plan between the two of you, with counseling.

Do not plan your out secretly and go to Abu Dabai or whatever. You will not be happy with yourself in the long run.

Think about how you will view your actions from the distance of time. The old cliche, "On your death bed, you wished you would have . . ." Family is everything. Don't minimize that because you are stressed right now.
You make a lot of sense. One of DW's friends is a family practice therapist, and she believes if some people put as much time into their marriages as they do buying a car, more marriages would be saved..........
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