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Old 06-10-2008, 09:34 PM   #41
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If kids and ex are already moved away, then I'm not seeing much advantage to keeping a big old house. Are kids ever likely to move back there? Sounds like they are not. It's just a museum of memories and likely not going to be very helpful to him to hang onto unless maybe it's a family thing passed down from his parents/grandparents and so on. Otherwise I think he should get out from under it asap, get some counseling and get on with his life. Has he no roots in the area? Maybe a clean break and move would be energizing. I'd still strongly suggest avoiding any commingling with GF. He's just too messed up to think straight.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:42 PM   #42
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I think what we men need is a pharmacological temporary and reversible testosterone killer. So when we are about to do something really stupid, which is pretty much every day if I look at myself or any guy I know well, we could pop this pill for a few weeks and we would see our beloved Miss Universe as she might appear to a disinterested heterosexual female onlooker.

We could write down or record careful observations during this time. Behavioral quirks, unreasonable assumptions, overgrown expectations, emotional blackmail, etc. When we might decide to let the T kick back in we could read our notes. We should line up a bigger stronger buddy to beat the hell out of us if we seemed to be ignoring our observations as the T took hold once more.

Women sometimes joke about our testosterone poisoning. I hope that at least some of them sometimes don't quite perceive the full extent of it.

Ha
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:43 PM   #43
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Known the guy for 20 years +, and I am one of his few contacts on a regular basis. We speak almost daily now. Some of my data may be off, simply based on my recollections of conversations over the years and recent.

Good point though ... I'm of course only getting his point of view. There's surely bias there that will distort my impressions of his reality.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:17 PM   #44
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I'd still strongly suggest avoiding any commingling with GF. He's just too messed up to think straight.

I agree. Particularly with her having a high-school age kid at home, him turning into an instant step-dad would have its own emotional implications. Might be better to live separately and date for a couple of years until the younger son is out of the house, and then look at moving in together. That's likely what I'd do, anyway.

I know that he's burned out now, but a man with his experience should have no trouble at all finding a mid-management position that he could probably do in his sleep. He could probably easily make enough to support himself over the next couple of years while he gets his bearings.

Whatever happens, give us an update. Depression is no joke, and I hope your friend comes through this experience OK.
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Old 06-11-2008, 12:33 AM   #45
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Lots of interesting input, thanks.



The ex and children now live out of state, on the left coast, and he lives alone in the house in the SE. The house is full of memories, so that is an issue as well.

Was wondering about that- it sounds like the kids are grown and not really a factor in the geographic decision...

Yes, the marriage was dead for many years before the divorce. The ex did indeed become cold and controlled the children. As noted, she doesn't have it too easy either. Can't find a job, and she has tried. She has 20 months of alimony left, and then at age 59 she will have no income ... just the paid off house and liquid assets.

The girlfriend is an old girlfriend from 25 years ago. He had some contact with her before the divorce, but they weren't having an affair. She did provide some comfort to him at the end of a cold marriage.

Ditto- that is exactly the reason mine worked out so well- I married the woman I should have married the first time around...

According to the local attorney (who cost him about $15K) and others, his alimony / child support deal wasn't bad considering his income and net worth. Many are worse. Divorce is a killer.

On the house ... worth about $350K, needs some fix up to sell (new roof, interior / exterior paint), and the market is not devastated in his area, but it is tough. Very slow. If he puts the house up for sale, will probably take 12 months to unload. Monthly cost is pretty low ... $1,210 mortgage payment, plus utilities / maintenance / yard ... probably $2K in total.

You can't put price on the bad memories...

Back to your responses ... I'd appreciate a bit more color on your impressions of his idea to live on $5K/month. Is it really doable? $60K per year appears a bit higher than the median family income, but would be one heck of an adjustment for this guy.

I would look at 60K as a short-term solution- yes,it's doable, but this guy has skills that he can leverage into significant income when he gets his personal life back together. If they can ride it out until his alimony is over (only 50K or so) then things will get a lot easier- he should be back to work by then or the new GF will be getting tired of dealing with a basket case. Moving would give him a fresh start and a different set of expectations. If he stays in his old locale, he wil be dwelling on what he is missing out on - instead of what he is getting.


His real challenges are the sense of loss from giving away and selling so many of his personal possessions, his realization of how little he has to work with and show after this lifetime of work, and the perfect storm now of a declining economy / rising prices / lost job and disappearing severance. The guy has very few options left, and I know he is desperate.
The new GF sounds like she has her act together- she is employed, two grown kids in school, has a house, etc. On paper, she looks a lot better than the ex...And, they have both been down the wrong road before, so they will both be committed to getting it right this time around.

I'd move to the new location, rent an affordable apartment close by, ease into the new relationship to make sure it's what he really wants. If they both decide they are serious about the change, they need to figure out how to start living within their combined incomes, maybe it's only the 5K/month to start- as their situation improves over time- kids finish college, he goes back to work, etc. they will be able to invest for FIRE... which is only a few short years away.. Where there is a will, there is a way.

In my humble opinion, the poor guy is basing a lot of decisions on the snapshot of his life he has in front of him right now- he cannnot comprehend the big picture- it is easy for us to say do this/do that because we have objectivity. He is an emotional wreck right now, and until he finds a way to fix that, the $ aren't going to matter to him.
If the new GF can help him through the emotional side, then he can start to address the financial. If she can't, then he will be dealing with a whole different set of issues a year from now.

I wish him the best. I've been there and it isn't easy.
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Old 06-11-2008, 06:12 AM   #46
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Back to your responses ... I'd appreciate a bit more color on your impressions of his idea to live on $5K/month. Is it really doable? $60K per year appears a bit higher than the median family income, but would be one heck of an adjustment for this guy.

Sure he can live on $60k a year. Lots of people do it. Buy food, housing, clothing first. Everything else is "wants". Key is being able to understand the difference between needs and wants. Lord & Taylor becomes K-mart or a thrift shop. The new Benz become a used Chevy. Few if any restaurant meals. Cook his own meals at home, brown bag lunch.

"...one heck of an adjustment..."? Cry me a river.
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:58 AM   #47
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so she changes course mid-stream. their dream was never her dream. she only made out as if she shared his dream until she hooked her man. she never wanted to be a working mom. why should she. she deserved to be a kept woman. she deserved to be donna reed.

so the guy had to work even harder to make up for her loss of income. instead of remaining in partnership, he wound up working for she, the queen b*. she became arrogant in this, castrating her man at every opportunity. she took complete control over his children. he didn't have a say in how they were raised, all he had was a paycheck to deliver. in her state of entitlement, she stopped loving him in bed. he felt excluded from his own home during the day and during the night.
This quote alone deserves a separate discussion.....like when it's OK for a wife to be a SAHM or when to continue working instead. I'd be curious to hear men's perspectives/opinions in such situations or what they did in real life and why and how it worked out in the end.
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:27 AM   #48
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Back to your responses ... I'd appreciate a bit more color on your impressions of his idea to live on $5K/month. Is it really doable? $60K per year appears a bit higher than the median family income, but would be one heck of an adjustment for this guy.
We are a family of four and living under $50K yearly budget. If he is willing to adapt a new standard of living, he can definitely do it. "Where there is a will, there is a way".
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:30 AM   #49
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They didn't live all that high on the hog, but someone hit it above ... the ex never contributed much to the marriage. She played at being a real estate agent, and usually lost money doing it. She had a college education, and later a paralegal degree, but focused on raising the kids, which has its own benefits of course. But ... it is expensive.

Even when someone is earning $200K+, after taxes and supporting three other people that don't work, it isn't as much as you would hope. And, their oldest child is seriously mentally disabled (mid 20's now, will likely never work), which also drove up costs.

The ex and children now live out of state, on the left coast, and he lives alone in the house in the SE. The house is full of memories, so that is an issue as well.

Yes, the marriage was dead for many years before the divorce. The ex did indeed become cold and controlled the children. As noted, she doesn't have it too easy either. Can't find a job, and she has tried. She has 20 months of alimony left, and then at age 59 she will have no income ... just the paid off house and liquid assets.

The girlfriend is an old girlfriend from 25 years ago. He had some contact with her before the divorce, but they weren't having an affair. She did provide some comfort to him at the end of a cold marriage.

According to the local attorney (who cost him about $15K) and others, his alimony / child support deal wasn't bad considering his income and net worth. Many are worse. Divorce is a killer.

On the house ... worth about $350K, needs some fix up to sell (new roof, interior / exterior paint), and the market is not devastated in his area, but it is tough. Very slow. If he puts the house up for sale, will probably take 12 months to unload. Monthly cost is pretty low ... $1,210 mortgage payment, plus utilities / maintenance / yard ... probably $2K in total.


Back to your responses ... I'd appreciate a bit more color on your impressions of his idea to live on $5K/month. Is it really doable? $60K per year appears a bit higher than the median family income, but would be one heck of an adjustment for this guy.


His real challenges are the sense of loss from giving away and selling so many of his personal possessions, his realization of how little he has to work with and show after this lifetime of work, and the perfect storm now of a declining economy / rising prices / lost job and disappearing severance. The guy has very few options left, and I know he is desperate.
Well, my assumptions were almost correct except for the first 2.5 sentences...but it's the past now ...let's get back to Craig's questions.

When you say $60k/year, what area are we discussing here? SF, LA, NYC or some rural area in South? If it's somewhere cheap, it's VERY doable, but the issue here is his prior earnings and lifestyle. It would depend on his personality also. One person can find liberating to work for much less $$ and stress, but another will seek a job to stay a 'slave' in order to continue his prior image with BIG bucks.

Also, like others said, I wouldn't jump to the next marriage again so soon. I'd get my head together first. Right now based on your description it sounds to me that the man is seriously depressed, he feels as if he's drowning now and as if his old sweetheart will rescue him if he moves in with her. Maybe she will rescue, but if not what's then?? In any case, I'm not competent to analyze relationships but I've had long distance relationships. It drastically differs when you communicate personally vs. virtually or on the phone. Anyway, if I were him, I'd proceed very cautiously. Move to the same town, rent an apartment, but I wouldn't move into the same house with the GF. They were sweethearts 25 years ago, people change, they expectation change and in addition to that she's got her own kids. Won't they cause some tension in their relationhip? Or how will their rapport affect the kid who's still in HS (that's a sensitive age, I'd say)?
I'd be slow, but this is just me.....
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WAIT!!
Old 06-11-2008, 10:07 AM   #50
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WAIT!!

When I was 54 the ex ran off with the milkman. Eight months later my job pretty much evaporated, I could have worked for a pittance due to the changes in my retirement, so I quit. I'm now 56.

Unless he is the most together person on the planet, he is no where ready to make any decisions short of taking care of himself daily. Doing so would entail getting his finances in order and being able to function as an adult prior to dragging anyone else into his mess.

Providing non physical comfort in a cold marriage is commonly known as an emotional affair. This is just one more sign that he is not able to function as an independent adult.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:47 AM   #51
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Psychiatric help might get him thinking straight. This is a time when friend's have too much baggage to be the best source. Emotional support is fine but not directional advice.
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Old 06-11-2008, 04:27 PM   #52
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[quote=Craig;
His real challenges are the sense of loss from giving away and selling so many of his personal possessions, his realization of how little he has to work with and show after this lifetime of work, and the perfect storm now of a declining economy / rising prices / lost job and disappearing severance. The guy has very few options left, and I know he is desperate.[/quote]

His sense of loss is "selling so many of his personal possessions" and "how little" he has to show. How sad that he doesn't even feel the loss of his family and spouse.

As for living on 5000K a month. I live on a little more than that and I am single. I find it enough to live a middle class life, nothing more.
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Old 06-11-2008, 04:46 PM   #53
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Women sometimes joke about our testosterone poisoning. I hope that at least some of them sometimes don't quite perceive the full extent of it.

Ha
There are still a few clueless women, mostly under age 18.
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:53 PM   #54
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I didn't post it, but he certainly expresses missing his kids and even the ex-spouse as well. Tough combo.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:58 PM   #55
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aida,
...I apologize for being a sexist pig. It is just too bad that we men own everything and run the world. I too am betting the deal was real sweet for the lawyer. He probably got five figures for a couple hours of his work and several hours of the real work by hourly wage earners in his office. How many lawyer jokes are there? Only two, all the rest are true stories. Let's see now? In one post I have probably offended all the women and lawyers on this forum. I do have fun! I actually agree with most of what you posted.
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Frankly, if a woman were to give me the job of a Stay at Home Dad while the woman goes out to be C-level whatever, I'd take it because the C-level whatever probably comes with high stress, long hours, and endless pissing contests or, more precisely, not pissing contests since those meetings can get awfully long with no bio breaks in sight.

As a side note, unless Craig and Lazy are the same person, I cannot believe how close Lazy got it, considering that he's probably not lived the life of the people he described.
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