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Old 01-18-2008, 09:19 AM   #241
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Again, thanks to all of you for the advice. It seems like this whole dialogue has frustrated some and inspired others (and made me wonder what risks Al is talking about that are present in a laddered Treasury portfolio... but that is a discussion for a different thread). For me this dialogue was a way to share my thoughts and feelings in an anonymous way and invite others to do the same. When I first posted, I wondered if anyone at all would reply. I did not expect that so many people would have responded. My overall feeling from the exchange is that the issues my wife and I are experiencing may be difficult but are not out of the ordinary.

The bottom line to me is that I simply love my wife ... That is why I named this thread, “Alternative to Divorce”, instead of something like “How to Best Get Divorced.” We may benefit from some counseling (who wouldn't?) but no matter what a counselor may say, I'd rather live together with her under a bridge than live without her and have ER'd no matter how unbalanced, one-sided or unfair things may or may not be. The thought of not having her with me, would make all the other plans (ER or otherwise) worthless. Some of you who wrote thoughtful and considerate posts helped me organize my thoughts and make my mind clearer (as opposed to unnecessarily hostile and sometimes inconsiderate posts which are easy to recognize when one is searching for some truth). Of course, speaking about these things with my wife is what provided immeasurable benefits for both of us.

Lastly, all of this made some of the stuff that not long ago seemed impossible to overcome not all that important. During the early years of our marriage, I remember thinking that I'm lucky I am older than she is and that women have a longer life expectancy. This means I will likely die before she does, which is good for me because I wouldn't want to be alive without her. The thought came into my head again today during my 96 mile commute.

It is the most pleasant thought I have had in months.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:23 AM   #242
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The division of assets? The assumption generally is for a 50-50 division. You were partners in marriage, the partnership breaks up and you each get half. No one is presumed to be more or less deserving. Probably best all in all. We used to have fault based divorce and the ugliness and cost in general outweighed any good.
If it was that simple, why do couples and lawyers fight so hard and spend so much time and effort?
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:25 AM   #243
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HK,

Sounds like a good start. Gook Luck.

Spanky
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:39 AM   #244
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This is a board made up of control frieks, and OP is a guy with almost no control or at least no perceived control over his life.

Yet there doesn't seem to be much compassion sent his way. Why?

De-Nile would be my nomination.

Ha
True as toasted toadstools! (two points if anyone knows about that one..). Completely correct. We are all ultimately the architects of our own lives. And if you do not rise up and claim that your life is your own, then in short order someone else will try to lay a claim on it.
As an unmariied man there are certain things that frighten me about the prospect of getting married. I have had years of horror stories from friends of mine of the trials and tribulations of marriage. Most of them for me seem workable, understandable, and seem to have room for a certain amount of give and take. But the one thing that frightens me the most is getting married and then something unexpected happens to me. I get hurt, laid off, etc. (unexpected things happen everyday). And then my wife looks at me and says... "So.... what are you going to do to fix this?" As in my only job, my only purpose in the relationship is to earn money, and that somehow if I cannot do that temporarily (through no fault of my own) that I have no value to her. I would WANT the response of my future wife to be... "Do no worry, I can go back to work for a while..... I can cut way back on spending..... we do not have to go on a vacation this year, etc". Taking the approach of wanting to help, wanting to be a part of whatever the solution might me, and willing to get involved in whatever that action might be. I have seen WAY too many relationships (and this goes both ways... men as well as women), that look to their spouse, and take the point of view that they are entitled to the lifestyle that they currently are living, and that the only job of the working spouse is to fund their lifestyle.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:46 AM   #245
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True as toasted toadstools! (two points if anyone knows about that one..). Completely correct. We are all ultimately the architects of our own lives. And if you do not rise up and claim that your life is your own, then in short order someone else will try to lay a claim on it.
As an unmariied man there are certain things that frighten me about the prospect of getting married. I have had years of horror stories from friends of mine of the trials and tribulations of marriage. Most of them for me seem workable, understandable, and seem to have room for a certain amount of give and take.
Many folks on this board have been married longer than me (12 years), however our marriage has gotten stronger over the years due to working through "squabbles" we have had over the years.

For instance, I changed careers about 11 years ago, resulting in a 60% pay cut year one. Although she was concerned, it enabled me to have flexibility and be home when our kids were small. We worked hard at LBYM and things, and it all worked out. It was a pretty scary time, but we had 12 months expenses in cash, so I guess the fear was lessened somewhat.

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But the one thing that frightens me the most is getting married and then something unexpected happens to me. I get hurt, laid off, etc. (unexpected things happen everyday). And then my wife looks at me and says... "So.... what are you going to do to fix this?" As in my only job, my only purpose in the relationship is to earn money, and that somehow if I cannot do that temporarily (through no fault of my own) that I have no value to her. I would WANT the response of my future wife to be... "Do no worry, I can go back to work for a while..... I can cut way back on spending..... we do not have to go on a vacation this year, etc". Taking the approach of wanting to help, wanting to be a part of whatever the solution might me, and willing to get involved in whatever that action might be. I have seen WAY too many relationships (and this goes both ways... men as well as women), that look to their spouse, and take the point of view that they are entitled to the lifestyle that they currently are living, and that the only job of the working spouse is to fund their lifestyle.
Most times I have seen marriages fail is when one or both partners either refuse to work it out, or there was some irreconcillable thing like an affair. "Normal married folks" have their issues, but come to agreement eventually.

Just because the divorce rate is over 50% doesn't mean folks should stay away from it.
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:39 AM   #246
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If it was that simple, why do couples and lawyers fight so hard and spend so much time and effort?

It isn't near as much time and effort and cost as it was with a fault based divorce system. People still argue about valuations and who will get what issues. Also, non-marital property like inheritances can be an issue, but that doesn't apply to the OP.
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Old 01-18-2008, 01:21 PM   #247
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That's true if her husband had little or no assets.


That's too bad. It does not make any sense to stay just to have a roof over your head. If feasible, get an education and prepare to leave the relationship when the time is right.


Good idea -- I remind my daughters periodically to focus on their education and skills development so that they can be independent.
My friends and I know 2 women in our town who were married to business men. One's husband was an attorney and the other owned his own successful business. They were both able to move their accounts around and throw the wifes out without a penny. They were both stay at home moms and housekeepers. They really had no outside activities and when the papers were served, they were blindsided. Both men had found new women. I don't know how they got away with it, but it can happen. These two women are living on very, very little now.
I think all women should know all aspects of a family's wealth. In my house I handle all of it, and have always done so, because my husband had no patience with it.
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:08 AM   #248
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I think the most urgent factor here is your health. My father died at 39 years old - from complications of an ulcer. He lived under unbearable stress from trying to support a family of 7 (on a $4 an hour factory job). My mother was (and still is) impossible. There was no easy solution for him. But believe me - nobody gained (and nothing was made better) from his death. A body (and mind) can only take so much. At some point, something just has to give.

What I hear from your posts is that your health is at risk. Your decision to take care of yourself is a separate issue from your marriage and your finances. If you started there - who knows how the rest would unfold.
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:34 PM   #249
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248 posts in this thread and counting. I hope to heaven the OP was no troll.

Does show though, people care.
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:58 PM   #250
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Does show though, people care.
Or that people really enjoy telling others how to live their lives.

Ha
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