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Old 01-10-2008, 05:42 PM   #101
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If all communication channels have been exhausted then I think you should get a divorce. Unless she decides to change, then you should get a divorce. Ideally, this is what would happen:

1) Divorce her and lose 50% of your assets.
2) Gain custody of the kids.

This is not as costly as people make it out to be. In fact, per capita, you have lost NO ASSETS if you don't use lawyers. In addition, if you re-marry someone who has similar assets as you then your total and per capita assets will be the same as when you were married to your now wife. Lastly, if you stay single you won't need as much assets as you would need with a dependent (your current wife).

The worst situation will be if you do not divorce your wife, FIRE, and then get hit with divorce papers in 10 years, which often happens in these cases. You want to be divorced and in control of your assets BEFORE you retire.

Finally, what is stopping you from moving closer to work?
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Old 01-10-2008, 05:46 PM   #102
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Green Bay She lives south of Seattle and claims being 'back home in the PacNW' is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

If your own family doesn't listen - how are you going to give a stranger advice on marriage.

heh heh heh - oh yeah I forgot - I'm a bachelor.
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Old 01-10-2008, 06:17 PM   #103
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I just called my wife, who is a stay at home mom, to tell her how thankful I am for her and all she does for us ( me and two kids, one of whom has now flown the coup), and how much I love her and appreciate her. I can't even comprehend life without her, even if I can also save 70% of takehome pay (no way to do that pre-tax) and even if she does not "w*rk" to support the finances.

HK you need to ibe grateful for what you've got. Get your head out of the sand and get it screwed back on straight!
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Old 01-10-2008, 06:51 PM   #104
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I just called my wife, who is a stay at home mom, to tell her how thankful I am for her and all she does for us ( me and two kids, one of whom has now flown the coup), and how much I love her and appreciate her.
You are totally screwed. She will now assume you are doing your secretary.

Ha
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Old 01-10-2008, 06:51 PM   #105
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Concerning two sides to every story. We had some very good friends, Tony and Nancy, who moved away. After a few years I talked with Nancy and found out that they had gotten divorced.

"Tony just didn't want to be married anymore," Nancy told me.

"Oh, that rotten guy, I'm going to call him and give him a piece of my mind!"

When I talked to Tony, I found out that they'd gotten a divorce because Nancy had had an affair.

---------

We only get a snapshot of the top of the iceberg here in the forums, but it's still fun, and maybe even helpful, to discuss this stuff.

For the sake of completion, there's this option: Go on a spending spree. If you can't FIRE anyway, and a divorce is coming...

Quote:
If a woman showed up on these boards, and told the exact same story ... we would be all over "what a bum he is, dump this lazy free-loading slob, talk to your barracuda of choice now!"
Well put.
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:52 PM   #106
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I agree that we should never pass any judgment until you hear both side of the arguments. Even then, we should not because of different values and views. Life would be simpler if we let go of our attachments or expectations and simply accept things as they are. As for HK, he needs to iron out the differences between him and his wife. As others have suggested, seeking help or counseling is a first step. With love and compassion, it is very plausible that they can resolve their differences.
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:24 PM   #107
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I agree that we should never pass any judgment until you hear both side of the arguments. Even then, we should not because of different values and views. Life would be simpler if we let go of our attachments or expectations and simply accept things as they are. As for HK, he needs to iron out the differences between him and his wife. As others have suggested, seeking help or counseling is a first step. With love and compassion, it is very plausible that they can resolve their differences.
And with that being said, I will defer to the GREAT Willie Nelson and Ms. Dyan Cannon, "Two sides to every story".


Just listening to the GREAT Willie Nelson play the guitar in this song and seeing the GREAT SLIM PICKENS is worth the price of admission to heaven.

GOD BLESS
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:40 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Wags View Post
And with that being said, I will defer to the GREAT Willie Nelson and Ms. Dyan Cannon, "Two sides to every story".


Just listening to the GREAT Willie Nelson play the guitar in this song and seeing the GREAT SLIM PICKENS is worth the price of admission to heaven.

GOD BLESS
Cool, Willie is doing his thing.
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:05 PM   #109
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If all communication channels have been exhausted
hardly.

OP, from your posts it doesn't sound like you love your wife.
Sounds like you love the idea of ER.
Sounds like you love the earning potential your wife represents.

You said you could barely get your wife to leave the kids for a date.
This kind of women will not easily leave her kids DAILY then to the care of a stranger for HOURS at a time.

Studies show that most trouble that kids get into occur mostly in the after school hours.

pp mention your wife divorcing you to take 'your' money.
my guess: Don't worry. Your wife loves her kids so much, she is not going to risk the potential damage to them by dragging them through a divorce, shuttling between parents, and single parent home.

Caveat: Really. Truly. Hopefully you do not make your resentment and downright despising of your wife as clear to her as you do here.
Because after the kids are grown, she then may very well divorce you.
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:06 PM   #110
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Once HK hears this he and his Honey will be good as new...

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Old 01-10-2008, 09:13 PM   #111
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OP - I'm sorry you are in so much pain.
A situation similar to yours contributed heavily to my parent's divorce. Regardless of your feelings for your wife, if you care at all about your kids, get couples counseling NOW, because I guarantee that your kids are in hell. Even if you and your spouse aren't screaming at each other yet, your kids feel the tension, believe me. If there's any way to make it up with your wife you owe it to yourself and your entire family to figure it out ASAP, and you are not communicating effectively yourselves so you need professional help.
Just like you, my job was killing me. I looked for a better job and didn't find it so I quit and took a year to relax with my DH (he quit too), accepting ER was put off for many years. Once health and sanity (well, I think I'm sane) was restored, the world was a better place. Without health, you have nothing.
Even with the time off we managed to ER.
You have options, but you have to take responsibility as an adult for working on your marriage and managing your work life.
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:24 PM   #112
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I agree that we should never pass any judgment until you hear both side of the arguments.
Not so.

Person A presents his side of the story and we judge "Person A you are an idiot"

What is the concern about only hearing one side of the story? Do we anticipate that Person B will argue more persuasively "No, I am the idiot" instead? Maybe if we have more information we may be better able to understand the issues, but hearing the other side doesn't seem to be the problem here.
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:56 PM   #113
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My point is not to judge period. Instead we need to listen to both sides in order to understand their perspectives before giving out any advices.
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:51 PM   #114
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I chose FIRE about five years ago. In retrospect, it would have been better for me, my wife, and my kids if I had chosen the latter. Once I realized my mistake I tried sincerely and with a great deal of effort to fix it. Unfortunately, it was, to quote my now ex-wife, "Too little, too late."
SecondCor.. do you mean "the former" of your two choices would have been better? [1=w&k, 2=FIRE]... Either way, thanks for sharing.

--
T. Al.. couldn't find (quickly) who you were quoting..
Quote:
Quote:
If a woman showed up on these boards, and told the exact same story ... we would be all over "what a bum he is, dump this lazy free-loading slob, talk to your barracuda of choice now!"
but..
a.) it's not clear how long and hard she REALLY works (we only have the cat-hair carpet and the OP's declaration of her not living up to her "performance" standards which, aside from the carpet and not getting a f*'ing job.. are not described).
b.) cleaning toilets and ironing shirts is not "the gravy train" some make it out to be. Once you've cleaned your share of toilets/carpets, it's not like you have the satisfaction of reaching new, unplumbed, toilet/carpet-cleanings depths/heights. No one asks you to author toilet/carpet-cleaning papers or conduct toilet/carpet-cleaning conferences in interesting foreign locales, all expenses paid.
c.) MY story IS "the exact same story".. or it COULD be, except it's different. My husband works when he can and when he feels it's worth it, based on the circumstances. His sacrifices and contributions, while not blinding or earth-shattering, I still appreciate greatly (the OP has ceased appreciating, apparently, many non-dollar-denominated family contributions). I still wouldn't trade my DH in for a "higher-performing model" (financially speaking). [Where performance counts, he's A-OK, btw ]

Just listen to the mechanistic sound of this:
Quote:
capable of making at least $80k annually if she went back to work now and more if she is able to excel (which she did when she was working right out of college). But instead she simply stays home most of the day and shuttles the kids around if they have a practice or something.
Quote:
I cannot bear the thought of me continuing to bring home hundreds of dollars each day while she stays home
Quote:
She is responsible for performing the household duties.
HE couldn't get through to HER:
Quote:
I think a strong man would have been much less tolerant of the behavior.
HIS choice was for the high-stress/high-pay/quick-ER job..yet now he presents HIS WIFE with the series of ultimatums in order to keep HIM on track.. even though a job with a lower salary could give him a breather +ER, just not as quick.. or he could work part-time himself and still save a goodly amount (thanks, not only to his hard work, but to her implicit thrift/non-spendiness on behalf of 3/4 of the family).

SHE is spending more modestly than 99.9% of stay-at-home moms with theoretical access to that kind of dough.
HE needs to cool his jets.


The BRIGHT light is:
Quote:
I have discussed with her the prospect of just quitting my job and living in squalor with her to equal things out (which she wasn’t totally opposed to)...
I glossed over this!:
Quote:
I was thinking a divorce notice burning party, coupled with a trip to Las Vegas or New York where we could renew our vows and not involve the state this time.
Yeah, THAT's a pretext ANY woman would LOVE for a party/vacation!!

-------
ok, I wrote all this and, reviewing it, had a flash of recognition.

Mr. HK1970.. may you be a person suffering from Asperger's syndrome?
My young nephew has this disorder (looking back, so do several college friends).. and has the same tendency to perseverate on arcane subjects (he is stuck on planetary moons for now; you are stuck on your super-ER finances and divorce calculations) in preference over other, more personal and subtle, life issues.

My nephew and old friends have the same tendency to a "utilitarian" perspective: "Mommy, I don't think I know how to use the cat." .."I just talked to XYZCorp's secretary, and she was completely broken." (i.e., "she didn't give me what I wanted when I called".)

Your first post on your wife mentioned that the one thing she was capable of was transporting your children to "practices or something".. it didn't sound like you knew or cared what.. maybe you do, but perhaps it is not in your nature to express it. You seem to describe her, not as a person.. but according to her functions, or marginal lack thereof.

This might even explain some of your wife's behavior, since I have read a lot of Asperger's message boards where posting spouses and other relatives seem to have a high frequency themselves of either Asperger's OR of OCD, ADD, and so on. It's possible you gravitated towards each other due to a subconscious sympathy based on your generally (proven) high capacity for achievement and intelligence.. yet persisting social different-ness?

Some signs of Asperger's can include perfectionism, and it most usually does comport trouble communicating and reading/interpreting other people's emotive states.

From my experience of my nephew, I can say that connection is difficult. He does see the world in 2 dimensions: "what's in it for me" and "what is Right and Wrong". He has VERY strong feelings as to what's Right and Wrong.. and they often cripple him, since he can't easily or fluidly modify his definitions based on context or circumstance. If a kid cut in line (even yesterday) he will abruptly punch that kid in the eye.. that kid is "wrong". If the teacher reprimands him, SHE is "wrong" and he will ORDER the principal, saying "you MUST replace or remove Mrs.X, because she is a bad teacher!". At age 5. You have to laugh and cry. I have a lot of stories.

Of course there is a whole spectrum of people who are afflicted with this to differing degrees, among whom many have perfectly fulfilling lives, loves, spouses, jobs, children, and the whole 9 yards. Yet an Asperger's sufferer (in my 5-cent Lucy vanPelt opinion) would consider -very easily!- a divorce-relinquishing party/vacation a completely normal, rational thing to be weighed and considered.. while most of us would recoil in horror.. It could be why the OP's kids play an invisible role in his description (not to say his feelings) of the situation.

They (Aspies, as they say) just don't understand "us" (the NTs.. the "neuro-typicals"), and we don't understand "them".

If anyone is interested, I found the site "Wrong Planet" to be a good introduction.. as many posters there are Aspies.
Wrong Planet - Asperger's and Autism Community
Some Aspies seem to be proud of being different, and think the world at large should operate differently to suit their needs. Others openly acknowledge desires and difficulties in learning (usually by rote) how to perform basic reciprocal social exchanges in order to get by, since everything for them is so literal and mechanistic.

If you, or both you and your wife, seek counseling it might be an aspect to raise or to keep in mind.

If, Mr. HK1970, you see absolutely nothing of yourself in any of this, I apologize. This condition has been on my mind lately. I hope I not to have offended you by reading too much into things.. and I sincerely wish you, your wife, and your children the best of luck in your life's journey.
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:10 AM   #115
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I am a little late to this thread but have read through the whole thread. A lot of interesting comments here. Some comments are from folks that have gone through a divorce and found a way to FIRE anyway. Me included.

HK,
I don't know where to begin. I won't rehash all the stuff that has already been said. Many folks have had some good input relative to the value of a stay at home mom. Having been a single working parent to a teenager I can attest to the value of having someone helping out. My divorce was due to many things....one of the biggest was lack of support of financial goals (getting out and staying out of debt), educational savings, retirement goals, etc. I payed dearly in many ways because of the divorce.

My wife made 50% of what I did and since the marriage was long term (15 years) and we had two kids I got the lion's share of the debt liability (100%); lost 50% of my retirement account; one of my kids; paid alimony and child support, my family was split up, I lost time with my son and I lost my family. Every day was a struggle to make ends meet for a few years.

On the other hand, my kids grew up outside of a toxic marriage. My ex-wife and I had a chance to heal and to meet new partners in life. We parted ways and ended what started out as a loving marriage.

My point is that you lose far more than money in a divorce. From the sounds of your marriage you don't have it all that bad. I know many other folks who had it much worse than what you have tried to tell the board. Don't go into a divorce...even a paper one...until you have tried everything else. My ex-wife and I went through 12 months of marriage counseling before she filed for divorce. We even had the oldest child in counseling for several months. We tried until there was no more energy or love left to try any more.

OCD can be in many people in many forms. Not all forms of it are impossible to live with. My second wife had it and we both learned to live with it and to laugh about it from time to time. We were both perfectionist so you can imagine the interesting "dance" we did organizing things and doing everyday activities. We had 10 very good years together and would have most likely had many many more but things don't always go as you think they will.

Try to step back from your current position with your wife and start talking with her. Get professional help now...not when it is too late. Being a partner in a marriage does not mean you have to share the "work" 50/50. It means you share a life together and you share the raising of your kids. Being a good husband and a good father might mean waiting a couple more years to retire. Save less and enjoy your life a little more. Maybe that will help you back off a bit on your negative assessment of your wife's position of stay at home mom. There is far more to life than money.

Good luck.
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:49 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by ladelfina View Post
-------
.. may you be a person suffering from Asperger's syndrome?.......

You seem to describe her, not as a person.. but according to her functions, or marginal lack thereof.............

Some signs of Asperger's can include perfectionism, and it most usually does comport trouble communicating and reading/interpreting other people's emotive states.

.......Yet an Asperger's sufferer (in my 5-cent Lucy vanPelt opinion) would consider -very easily!- a divorce-relinquishing party/vacation a completely normal, rational thing to be weighed and considered.. while most of us would recoil in horror..........

..........If anyone is interested, I found the site "Wrong Planet" to be a good introduction.. as many posters there are Aspies.
Wrong Planet - Asperger's and Autism Community

....... Others openly acknowledge desires and difficulties in learning (usually by rote) how to perform basic reciprocal social exchanges in order to get by, since everything for them is so literal and mechanistic.
Fascinating!! Whether or not it applies at all to the OP, this is interesting knowledge.
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:49 AM   #117
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Best selling men's author and activist Warren Farrell said it best ... "Women have three choices: 1) they can work full-time; 2) they can work part-time; or 3) they can stay at home. Men also have three choices: 1) they can work full-time; 2) they can work full-time; or 3) they can work full-time."

Your wife is a parasite. This is not about you. It is about the inability of your wife to live in an equal relationship. She is like a child. Your wife is taking advantage of you. Many women say they want equality, but their actions dictate otherwise. They want a man to take care of them, political correctness aside.

I sympathize with you. You are in a difficult situation. However, the courts will not treat you fairly. They will treat you as a walking wallet. The responses from most individuals in this forum is an indication of how you will be perceived. Your role in life is to provide "your little princess" with whatever she wants. As a man, your interests do not matter. If a woman posted that she was the breadwinner and her husband refused to work, everyone would call him a lazy bum (regardless of his emotional state). But this is a description of your wife.

If you divorce your wife, the financial impact on you will be significant. You are correct. "Best interests of the children" is a code word for "Best interests of the wife." You will have a legal obligation via child support to provide your wife with more money than both of you currently use to care for your children. However, your wife will have no legal obligation to spend these funds on the children. It will be her money, not the children's money. And you will be taxed on it. She will not. The children will be considered the property of your wife. You will be called a "visitor," not a parent. You will be placed in debtors prison if you do not or cannot provide your (ex)wife with the money the judge says she is due. However, your wife will not be placed in prison if she denies you parenting time with your children. Feminist groups have and continue to work at eliminating laws that give men equal parenting rights (e.g., presumption of joint custody).

Your "plan" is not a good option. Despite your dedication and desire for a marriage based on equality, unfortunately, your wife has the legal advantage. The best advice is for you is to reduce your employment and income. Wait until your children are out of school. Keep in mind that depending on the state, required payments to your wife can last until your children are 22. If you still feel like divorcing your wife, you can at that time, and it will minimize the impact on you and your children. Just because you love your wife does not mean that you should stay married to her. Your wife is in need of counseling, and you sound like a man who will support his wife if she seeks the help she needs. Marriage counseling is another good option. I get the sense that your wife is a good person. At this time, she simply doesn't want to make an equal contribution to your marriage.

Inferences made by others that your wife is making some sort of supreme sacrifice by staying at home are not logical. This is demonstrated by your wife's own actions. Your wife clearly believes that it is in her advantage to be at home as opposed to the workplace. Your wife is not making the sacrifice, you are. Your wife has choices, you do not. Your wife is choosing what's in her best interest. It is your employment and hard work that is allowing your wife to live her choice. Your wife is being selfish. You are not.

I'm speaking as someone who has never been divorced and doesn't have children (although I may adopt when I ER).

Responding to comments made by others ...

In 1985, Lenore Weitzman published "The Divorce Revolution." Weitzman reported that a woman's standard of living decreased by 73% and that a man's standard of living increased by 43% following a divorce. This result was the foundation for many draconian laws on divorce, child custody, and child support. It is where the term "deadbeat dad" came from. The media, government, and women's groups used Weitzman's results to their advantage. However, in 1996, after being forced to release her data by a freedom of information request, Weitzman admitted that her results were completely wrong. She claimed that a computer error resulted in faulty analysis of the data. Oops. My bad. But the damage was already done. Despite being countered by dozens of studies finding that divorced men end up on the short end of the stick, Weitzman's results, even though false, are still held as "common knowledge" and even have been reported as truth by posters here.

The 2006 Salary.com report that the market value of stay at home moms is $134,121 is simply ludicrous (BTW, it's 3% higher for 2007). The tasks performed by parents, while loving, tend to be menial. They can be performed by essentially anyone. This is obvious since most people are or have been parents. Why would anyone work at or near minimum wage at McDonalds or Wal-Mart when instead they could earn $134,121 performing tasks that many of them already perform. Now, it world be a solution to so-called "welfare mothers." Why give someone a welfare check when instead they could double their income by simply spending a few hours a week in the workforce doing tasks that they already perform at home. If it's really the market value, the unemployed should have no difficulty finding such jobs that utilize their all so important skills that pay at a rate of $134,121/yr.

And what about men? Don't men count? Studies consistently show that the hours men (and employed women) spend working both inside and outside the home is greater than that spent by stay at home moms. This is for studies that include household chores typically performed by men (lawn work, auto repair, etc). The disparity is larger when the long commutes that men endure are included.

More so, taking the ridiculous Salary.com approach, other traditional male roles such as protector (police officer), playing catch (coach), map reader (geospatial information systems expert), driver (transportation professional), fat assessor (doctor), and others, would be included. And lets not forget "sex worker," since these so-called studies often include this "task" when tallying up the market value of stay at home moms. I always thought sex was supposed to be mutual, but surveys like Salary.com consider women to be prostitutes. And of course, the husband should be paid extra when performing more than one task at a time (he gets simultaneous pay as a chauffeur, police officer, GIS navigator, and auto mechanic when he's driving the family in the car). I'm sorry, the Salary.com approach is simply stupid. A stay at home mom, or a stay at home dad, does not have a market value of $134,121. A stay at home parent may be priceless, but their market value is limited. They could not achieve this salary performing the same tasks in the workforce.

I realize this is a lengthly post. Although accurate, it will rub some people the wrong way. Feel free to call me all the names you want, but no, I'm not interested in getting into long arguments with people on the internet.
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:54 AM   #118
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I realize this is a lengthly post. Although accurate, it will rub some people the wrong way. Feel free to call me all the names you want, but no, I'm not interested in getting into long arguments with people on the internet.
What a croc.
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:14 AM   #119
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Well no hitlergodzilla has spawned yet.
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Old 01-11-2008, 03:28 AM   #120
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All I want to say is THANK YOU Shawn. I am glad I am not the only one who brings thoughtfulness, perspective, and rational thought to this community.

To further expand on a point that you made... The wife was given the option of switching roles with the husband for only a few years and this switch would be greatly beneficial to the husbands health. She refused, which indicates that she indeed does have the better deal. So much better, in fact, she is willing to sacrifice her husband to maintain it.

I truly do not understand how everyone can so easily minimize the feelings, needs, and health of the OP. Everyone keeps on talking about how HER perspective and views need to be understood, but no one is making an equal effort to empathize with the situation HE is facing.

I have to say, I do wish there were more people like Shawn and I in this world!
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