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Old 07-20-2016, 12:45 AM   #61
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Depending on the circumstances that can be very reasonable. My younger sister was a SAHM for ~22 years (2 kids) so her employment opportunities were limited. The ex-BIL was an FAA flight controller, then a supervisor and retired a GS-15 with a CSRS pension - the good one. DB COLA, health insurance, etc. He fought it (the jerk) but for once reason prevailed in the court.


I'm younger, and on FERS, but this is similar to my situation. I don't know their details, but I never would fight against her share of the pension. It is a tough career, but the money is there, enough for us both to be ok in retirement, so long as we mind our p's and q's.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:33 AM   #62
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I got divorced after 20 years of marriage. It was hell (the divorce, not the marriage). I was the one who initiated the split-up. I was 42 at the time. I had been increasingly unhappy in my marriage for at least 7 years. Among the many mistakes I made was keeping that unhappiness to myself thinking it would go away. Nobody knew. Amazingly, even my wife did not know, and when I finally told her, she was devastated. I don't know if I was that good at pretending, or we were just that disconnected. To this day I don't know how I could have been that miserable for that long and have her so unaware of it.

Anyway, we did the counseling, etc. all aimed at trying to find out what was "wrong" with me. Turned out, what was wrong with me was that I was married to a person I did not love enough to be married to. And my "ah Hah!" moment was when I realized that for me, the only reason to be married to a person is because you love them enough to want to be married to them. Not fear of financial consequences, not "for the children", not because you don't want to burden your parents or your friends, etc etc. My ex is a fine person, and that just made it harder. But, 20-some years later I am convinced we are all better for it. Our kids have recovered, have good relationships with both of us, as well as with our subsequent partners, and now that we are "gray", we are all in a better place. And we both had 20-some years to recover from the financial hit we BOTH took to finance our divorce, so we are now both enjoying financially secure retirements.
It was hell to go through, but I'm so glad I didn't live a lie for another 20 years.
One other note, most struggling marriages put on one face for friends and family, and have another reality behind their closed doors, which is why friends and family are often so shocked when it becomes public that they are splitting up.
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:01 AM   #63
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I got divorced after 20 years of marriage. It was hell (the divorce, not the marriage). I was the one who initiated the split-up. I was 42 at the time. I had been increasingly unhappy in my marriage for at least 7 years. Among the many mistakes I made was keeping that unhappiness to myself thinking it would go away. Nobody knew. Amazingly, even my wife did not know, and when I finally told her, she was devastated. I don't know if I was that good at pretending, or we were just that disconnected. To this day I don't know how I could have been that miserable for that long and have her so unaware of it.

Anyway, we did the counseling, etc. all aimed at trying to find out what was "wrong" with me. Turned out, what was wrong with me was that I was married to a person I did not love enough to be married to. And my "ah Hah!" moment was when I realized that for me, the only reason to be married to a person is because you love them enough to want to be married to them. Not fear of financial consequences, not "for the children", not because you don't want to burden your parents or your friends, etc etc. My ex is a fine person, and that just made it harder. But, 20-some years later I am convinced we are all better for it. Our kids have recovered, have good relationships with both of us, as well as with our subsequent partners, and now that we are "gray", we are all in a better place. And we both had 20-some years to recover from the financial hit we BOTH took to finance our divorce, so we are now both enjoying financially secure retirements.
It was hell to go through, but I'm so glad I didn't live a lie for another 20 years.
One other note, most struggling marriages put on one face for friends and family, and have another reality behind their closed doors, which is why friends and family are often so shocked when it becomes public that they are splitting up.
Congrats on doing so well. I cannot really understand the thesis about "loving someone so much...". For most of human history there really was no concept of romantic love.

I think a couple needs empathic understanding, cooperation on big things, especially children, sexual desire for one another, but "love" seems like the least solid thing on which to base a serious long term project like marriage.

I love the feeling of love, but I should never have done and will never again mortgage my life to something so evanescent. Remember, love is often described as temporary insanity.

Can we count on the two partners staying insane for life?

Ha
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:29 AM   #64
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I got divorced after 20 years of marriage. It was hell (the divorce, not the marriage). I was the one who initiated the split-up. I was 42 at the time. <snip> It was hell to go through, but I'm so glad I didn't live a lie for another 20 years.
I was divorced at 43 after 13 years of marriage, with a 12-year old son. Smartest thing I ever did. I shudder to think what shape DS would have been in if we'd lived in that war zone any longer.

I feel sorry for people who stay together till the kids are out of the house because they think they're doing the kids a favor. In most cases, they're not.
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:38 AM   #65
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I feel sorry for people who stay together till the kids are out of the house because they think they're doing the kids a favor. In most cases, they're not.
In DW's case there were no 'fights'; she made a point of never running down their father to the kids, so they thought, (and perhaps still do), that he was great........she simply bided her time until they were autonomous.
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:30 AM   #66
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"we stayed married for the children. She didn't want them, and neither did I"-Rodney Dangerfield.
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Old 07-21-2016, 02:19 PM   #67
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Seems like I have read that divorce is one of the biggest reasons that retirement plans end up being blown up.


My advice? Have your affairs and flings in such a manner as to not get caught by the other.
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Old 07-21-2016, 03:50 PM   #68
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My kids actually thanked me for not divorcing their Dad until they were grown up.
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Regretting Grey Divorce
Old 07-21-2016, 04:47 PM   #69
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Regretting Grey Divorce

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My kids actually thanked me for not divorcing their Dad until they were grown up.

Your unhappy marriage must have been more civil than mine. Every case is different! I'm glad your kids agreed with your choice.
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:06 PM   #70
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"They raised three kids in a stable loving home (the youngest has recently moved out like her older siblings)."

I have seen dozens of divorces as soon as the last child leave the nest. The kids were the only glue holding the thing together
I'm a retired military guy. I've noticed that it's not uncommon for a divorce to take place about the time of military retirement. My sense is that it's normally the guy/military member opting out of the marriage leaving behind the wife who has stuck it out with him for 20 years or more. Sad.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:54 AM   #71
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I'm a retired military guy. I've noticed that it's not uncommon for a divorce to take place about the time of military retirement. My sense is that it's normally the guy/military member opting out of the marriage leaving behind the wife who has stuck it out with him for 20 years or more. Sad.

Then half the retirement pay goes to the spouse, plus child support and in some states alimony and child care costs. It's cheaper to find a way to make things work.


Enjoying life!
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Old 07-22-2016, 12:40 PM   #72
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I divorced my ex at age 50, after 23 years of marriage, due to the usual stuff. Not infidelity, I'll give him that, but he was an alcoholic and not working or even doing anything helpful around the house. Meanwhile I was working hard and trying to survive in a "publish or perish" environment at the university. Enough was enough, and something had to give.

Our daughter was in college and she still took it pretty hard even though we never argued in front of her.

This is a sad topic overall.

We had essentially nothing and half of nothing is nothing. That is what I got from the divorce. A sofa (to sleep on), an old k-car with 100,000 miles on it and serious unpredictable electrical problems, my books and clothes. He got the house, but he also got the credit card bills which were about equal to our equity in the house.

Anyway, divorcing him was a turning point, of course. Surprisingly divorce has led to much happiness for both of us, even though he did not want the divorce initially.

I would not be retired if we were still married, because he was spending every dime I put aside. On the other hand, I also learned a tremendous amount about LBYM while married and trying to save money under those conditions. So, I might not be retired if I had not been married, either.

I regret neither my marriage, nor my divorce. Why would I? I made these decisions after much deliberation, and while in full possession of my rational faculties.
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Old 07-22-2016, 12:54 PM   #73
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I'm a retired military guy. I've noticed that it's not uncommon for a divorce to take place about the time of military retirement. My sense is that it's normally the guy/military member opting out of the marriage leaving behind the wife who has stuck it out with him for 20 years or more. Sad.

I know of two gals that are divorced and both were married to WP grads, who retired as Lt. and FB colonels. Both gals seem miserable and somewhat bitter. After following their husbands all over the world and raising the kids, I can understand why. Sad, sad sad.
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Old 07-22-2016, 02:45 PM   #74
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My parents came close to divorce in their 50s (financial infidelity and some neglect) but stuck it out because they were super religious and my sister was very young, then things got really good between them again and now that my father has hit 80 they fight quit a bit..and my mother mentions divorce more often. They are spending too much time together for sure, my dad doesn't have enough to keep himself busy and is driving my mother nuts...nothing like having someone come into your garden and start throwing out "weeds" that were your entire crop of sweet potatoes. They also fight over money (ie. my father is of the adage I MADE the money so I control the money) and my mother put up with it for decades.. however as they age, that isn't flying any longer as she realizes she may outlive him by 20 years and he talks about giving it away upon his death to charities without regard to her very real need of it.

So divorce is definetly on the table and I waffle if it would be a good thing given my mother really does need to protect herself financially. Given she is 10 years younger than my father, her "1/2" of his SS is substantially smaller as I never knew it didn't account for inflation. So yeh, up to now there was always a kid at home (many returned multiple times) but now that they have all left, there is a lot of "perfect family" moments from the outside but internally, I know my mother may reach her limit one day and talk to an attorney. It happens..

I assume this is true with many grey divorces, you put up with stuff and life gets in the way and you just let it go.. as you get older, empty nest, those things seem bigger issues and your around each other way more time without any buffer and you either deal with them or you snap.. enough is enough.
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Old 07-23-2016, 07:29 AM   #75
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I regret neither my marriage, nor my divorce. Why would I? I made these decisions after much deliberation, and while in full possession of my rational faculties.
I don't regret my 1st marriage either. Without it, neither of my 2 DD's would be here today! I do wish my ex had made better decisions, and would now make better decisions. As for being happier, there is no doubt I am.

I don't know if she is happier or not. In my mind, her being still unmarried, living with numerous guys over the years, having addictions, and her parents and siblings helping her out financially, I don't see how she could be happier. But that's not for me to determine, and we have no relationship. She has minimal relationship with our DD's.

As I look around the world, however, I am not sure that she isn't happy. My sister and I were talking about a month ago that some of our family and others we see in the world seem to go through their lives not even thinking in the least about how they are going to make it financially in retirement years, while we constantly do. Sometimes they seem much happier "in the moment" than we do!

Ignorance is bliss?
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:46 AM   #76
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Karen, my parents marriage has always been fairly volatile, tbh, and now that they are in their 70s and dad just retired from teaching, their arguments have increased.

Frankly they are both intractable and do a lot to irritate each other, and they aren't particularly well prepared financially for retirement. Dad came by my office yesterday to complain about mom and I just shrugged and said pretty much good luck with that.

They won't divorce, but they aren't much fun to be around.
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Old 07-23-2016, 04:18 PM   #77
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A high profile grey divorce 4 Theories About The Al And Tipper Gore Divorce | YourTango
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Old 07-24-2016, 03:32 PM   #78
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Seems like I have read that divorce is one of the biggest reasons that retirement plans end up being blown up.


My advice? Have your affairs and flings in such a manner as to not get caught by the other.
Absolutely. In fact, divorce is one of the key retirement risks:

https://www.nctreasurer.com/ret/Acti...ementRisks.pdf

I can't fathom the idea of going through the financial, emotional, and psychological negative life event of divorce in my 50's or later. As I posted above, I got all that out of my system in my early 40's. Per Ha's post above (which I wholeheartedly agree with), were I "insane" enough to mortgage my life/finances to such a choice (which ain't gonna never happen again), I'd follow the advice of the above publication to manage the risk:

Quote:
Older couples who marry, especially those with children, may want a
prenuptial agreement that defines each party’s rights to distribute or
dispose of property as they wish,not as a court would decree
I can't speak to marital bliss as I'm too busy living in "singles bliss".
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Old 07-24-2016, 04:30 PM   #79
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Older couples who marry, especially those with children, may want a
prenuptial agreement that defines each party’s rights to distribute or
dispose of property as they wish,not as a court would decree
My mother signed a prenup with husband #2 and husband #3. In the case of husband #2, there was a huge asset imbalance in favor of her husband. In the case of husband #3, it was the opposite situation. In both cases, the experience was exceptionally unpleasant for the person with relatively fewer assets. For husband #3, my mother's lawyer implied that prenups are an imperfect vehicle for protecting her assets, but nevertheless it was certainly appropriate for her situation. I preferred that she just continue to cohabit unmarried, but unsurprisingly she never asked my opinion.
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Old 07-24-2016, 10:48 PM   #80
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My parents came close to divorce in their 50s (financial infidelity and some neglect) but stuck it out because they were super religious and my sister was very young, then things got really good between them again and now that my father has hit 80 they fight quit a bit..and my mother mentions divorce more often. They are spending too much time together for sure, my dad doesn't have enough to keep himself busy and is driving my mother nuts...nothing like having someone come into your garden and start throwing out "weeds" that were your entire crop of sweet potatoes. They also fight over money (ie. my father is of the adage I MADE the money so I control the money) and my mother put up with it for decades.. however as they age, that isn't flying any longer as she realizes she may outlive him by 20 years and he talks about giving it away upon his death to charities without regard to her very real need of it.

So divorce is definetly on the table and I waffle if it would be a good thing given my mother really does need to protect herself financially. Given she is 10 years younger than my father, her "1/2" of his SS is substantially smaller as I never knew it didn't account for inflation. So yeh, up to now there was always a kid at home (many returned multiple times) but now that they have all left, there is a lot of "perfect family" moments from the outside but internally, I know my mother may reach her limit one day and talk to an attorney. It happens..

I assume this is true with many grey divorces, you put up with stuff and life gets in the way and you just let it go.. as you get older, empty nest, those things seem bigger issues and your around each other way more time without any buffer and you either deal with them or you snap.. enough is enough.
Time for your mother to seek the advice of a lawyer who specializes in elder law. She needs to protect herself financially before he starts giving their joint asserts away. Pay the attorney's bill to keep your father from knowing about the consultation.
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