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Old 12-26-2013, 01:30 PM   #41
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Keep us posted. Sounds like you have a good plan. Good thing you are not in California.
I have heard CA is a nightmare. Isn't there a mandatory lifetime commitment to support a lower income spouse you've been married to for 10 years?

Sorry to hear you have similar experiences. I can empathize on some level. I never in a million years would have thought this could happen to me.

I can think of a half dozen times over the last 8 years watching a movie with my wife where someone was cheating and smiling at her saying "wow, so glad that could NEVER be us!" ... I simply cannot imagine living with the stress of holding onto a secret like that. I'm a floored she was able to the last 7 years. We are certainly wired differently.
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:41 PM   #42
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A good friend went thru a "bitter" divorce ... when asked how the "split" worked for him he said "1/3 to her, 1/3 to me, 1/3 to the lawyers". That's reason enough to get a concentual aggreement ... keep it out of the courts.
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Old 12-26-2013, 06:00 PM   #43
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A good friend went thru a "bitter" divorce ... when asked how the "split" worked for him he said "1/3 to her, 1/3 to me, 1/3 to the lawyers". That's reason enough to get a concentual aggreement ... keep it out of the courts.

FWIW, there are lawyers who specialize in leading the two parties through an arbitration process rather than a legal confrontation. They explain the law, give general advice to both parties, never just to one, and make sure all the legal hoops are jumped through, the I's dotted and the T's crossed. Of course, this only works if both parties are looking for an equitable settlement. If one person wants to extract vengeance at any price then all bets are off.

The best advice is to settle as much as possible between yourselves and avoid the 'black robes' as much as possible. Given the cost of legal advice these days, there is a strong incentive to be reasonable.
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Old 12-26-2013, 07:43 PM   #44
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I have heard CA is a nightmare. Isn't there a mandatory lifetime commitment to support a lower income spouse you've been married to for 10 years?

Sorry to hear you have similar experiences. I can empathize on some level. I never in a million years would have thought this could happen to me.
On the mandatory support commitment, I don't recall that, but there certainly is an alimony formula that both sides have to work through, even for marriages less than 10 years from what I recall.

We went through that with the wife not employed and it all fell upon me since I was the bread winner. Even though my wife had a college degree, and the kids were in high school, I was not able to prove she was "employable" so that she could work full time and reduce the load on me. Child support is also done via formula so if there is only one spouse employed, it can be a huge burden.

Ca is "wife" friendly and it's tough to come out favorable on child custody and extras.

Alimony is not tax deductible like child support is. Keep that in mind. I know of a tax guy (CPA) that got divorced and set it up so that his child support and alimony were considered "family support" which at that time was fully tax deductible. However, you must pay that for the length of her life unless she remarries. BTW, his wife has not remarried in the 20 years they have been divorced so he has paid a ton (but it is still a tax deduction). This goes on even after the children are adults.

Most divorces usually have one side that never saw it coming. (Me too!)

I'm going to say this again: Get professional counseling for yourself (soon) and for the kids (at some point).
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:49 AM   #45
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I haven't read other posts under this thread but 1) your children should remain your top priority 2) everything you do regarding the divorce should be agreed upon with your lawyer 3) wait before embarking on new relationships.
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Old 12-27-2013, 08:16 AM   #46
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Pls be careful on your quest to find new romance.

A friend of mine who had been married several times often said that wives were like Sears Craftsman tools. If something goes wrong, they give you another one exactly like the first, only newer.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:39 AM   #47
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Been there myself

Your story makes me think of my divorce. I was 42 when I left her. 8 year old daughter. I left with nothing, other than my ability to earn. Telling my daughter I was leaving was the hardest thing I ever did. Went through a very bitter 15 year divorce including trial and appeal. Cost me millions. I pay her very significant spousal support and will continue to do so for the rest of her life.

On the positive side it was worth it. Now married to a wonderful woman for 19 years. Have a great relationship with my daughter, now 30. I have no financial worries.

I think the most important thing is to maintain a good relationship with your kids. This relationship will last long after the divorce is but a faint unpleasant memory. Trust me, life goes on and will get better. Good luck.
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:40 AM   #48
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I found out not long after that that my wife has borderline personality disorder and a bit of narcissism. She's also on depression meds.

We all know of people with personality disorders be it narcissism, obsession, possessive, ... I've dealt with a few myself (crazy neighbor, close family member). Despite our good nature, these folks can really push the limit of our patience and, sometimes, we don't see it coming until it's too late. Good luck and best wishes to your future.
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Old 12-27-2013, 01:57 PM   #49
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We all know of people with personality disorders be it narcissism, obsession, possessive, ... I've dealt with a few myself (crazy neighbor, close family member). Despite our good nature, these folks can really push the limit of our patience and, sometimes, we don't see it coming until it's too late. Good luck and best wishes to your future.
+1
Does you estranged wife take her meds and condition seriously? Some folks with disorders refuse proper treatment, making life very difficult for those around them.

A good DR. with a willing patient is worth a lot more than any attorney. IMHO.
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Old 12-27-2013, 02:37 PM   #50
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Could her behavior perhaps be excused, understood, forgiven given her psychological struggles? Was she otherwise a good wife and mother? Sometimes marriage is stronger after people go through struggles together.
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Old 12-27-2013, 03:17 PM   #51
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A good DR. with a willing patient is worth a lot more than any attorney. IMHO.
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They are rarely willing (in my limited experience with people with diagnosed/perceived personality disorders). One has to drag him/her to a Dr.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:43 PM   #52
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+1
Does you estranged wife take her meds and condition seriously? Some folks with disorders refuse proper treatment, making life very difficult for those around them.

A good DR. with a willing patient is worth a lot more than any attorney. IMHO.
Best wishes,
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Medication doesn't cure personality disorders.
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:04 PM   #53
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Medication doesn't cure personality disorders.
Nor would they take them unless closely monitored.

If one is married to a person with a PD, his/her marriage is going to be severely tested. Narcissistic personality disorder is the worst according to the experts. The OP's SO may have NPD (need attention, use others for her gain, feels no empathy toward others' feeling, drug abuse, depression, etc.) in which case, divorce may be the only sane recourse the OP had. If I sound like an expert, I am not. I had to study NPD and other PDs b/c I ran into a few of them, up close and personal in recent years.
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:07 PM   #54
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Nor would they take them unless closely monitored.

If one is married to a person with a PD, his/her marriage is going to be severely tested. Narcissistic personality disorder is the worst according to the experts. The OP's SO may have NPD (need attention, use others for her gain, feels no empathy toward others' feeling, etc.) in which case, divorce may be the only sane recourse the OP has. If I sound like an expert, I am not. I had to study NPD and other PDs b/c I ran into a few of them, up close and personal in recent years.

Very true, and this reminds me that another forum member, marathoner, went through a similar experience with a narcissistic spouse and was much happier after the divorce. The OP might want to search for the threads she started.
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:41 PM   #55
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We should also remember that the "evidence" for this diagnosis, if indeed a diagnosis was ever made is nothing more than OP saying " I have also learned that....narcissistic personality disorder, etc."

Most of the prisoners in the Gulag were also under some sort of ersatz psychiatric diagnosis. My guess is even if professionally made, these diagnoses are a long way from as secure and reliable as pulmonary TB for example. Go to the average public elementary school, and meet a frightening number of little boys with all kinds of dangerous sounding psychiatric diagnoses. A major purpose of psychiatry is to demonize and control personalities that society does not like or cannot easily control. One thing is clear- this woman is no dummy, to juggle all this for so many years, and not have DH or any of the boyfriends figure out what was going on.

Ha
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:52 PM   #56
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A major purpose of psychiatry is to demonize and control personalities that society does not like or cannot easily control.
Ha
Ha, your wisdom is endless. Absolutely true. What's considered a personality disorder in the US, can simply be a cultural norm in some other places. I've seen women crying, arguing, praying, shouting, singing loudly in public places in my travels. That would be considered schizophrenic in the US.
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:57 PM   #57
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We should also remember that the "evidence" for this diagnosis, if indeed a diagnosis was ever made is nothing more than OP saying " I have also learned that....narcissistic personality disorder, etc."

Most of the prisoners in the Gulag were also under some sort of ersatz psychiatric diagnosis. My guess is even if professionally made, these diagnoses are a long way from as secure and reliable as pulmonary TB for example. Go to the average public elementary school, and meet a frightening number of little boys with all kinds of dangerous sounding psychiatric diagnoses. A major purpose of psychiatry is to demonize and control personalities that society does not like or cannot easily control. One thing is clear- this woman is no dummy, to juggle all this for so many years, and not have DH or any of the boyfriends figure out what was going on.

Ha
I understand your point about inaccurately pegging people with different disorders - but you have to realize that just because someone may have a PD does NOT mean that they're somehow unable to function or live on a daily basis. From a casual observer's distance, they appear fine - and perhaps even seem to have some gravitational quality about them that makes them interesting in a completely normal way.

I was engaged to a woman who has histrionic personality disorder. I never sat down with a psychiatrist with her to get an official diagnosis, but I dated a woman (after the engagement) who diagnosed her in just 10 seconds of seeing her, given how 'unique' her behavior was.

She was able to do so because the ex-fiance was on tv. 8 years after we broke up. Using our engagement 'story' and the break-up to get any attention she could, anywhere she could. It doesn't matter if she has to manipulate or tell bold-faced lies to get attention - she'll do it any way she can. And reading the clinical descriptors of histrionic personality disorder, it fit her to a capital T.

Some people might be in a rush to label someone with some description that may or may not be completely true - but realize that there are quite a few more people out there in the world than we may first assume that have truly difficult personality disorders....and it doesn't mean that they're schizophrenic types that walk around mumbling to things that only exist in their mind, and are unable to function by themselves.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:27 PM   #58
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but you have to realize that just because someone may have a PD does NOT mean that they're somehow unable to function or live on a daily basis. From a casual observer's distance, they appear fine - and perhaps even seem to have some gravitational quality about them that makes them interesting in a completely normal way.
+1. They are among us and we would not know until we get up and personal with them. As part of management training, I had to study different personalities. Even with training, more often than not, I don't recognize them until something causes them to come out in the open with their disorder. In my life, I had to put two restraining orders on people - one had known bipolar disorder, and the other had NPD. There were no reasoning with them despite all of our trying.

Back to OP & OT ... I am not saying the OP has correctly diagnosed his SO's personality. But it isn't too difficult to figure that out.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:49 PM   #59
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Evr,

That's a tough hand. I won't pretend I know what's it's like, but I've got friends and family who've gone through it with young ones and it can test ever fiber of your being. You've got what will be a winning attitude if you can hold on to it through the trials ahead.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:33 AM   #60
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I would advise anybody going through divorce to get into a good divorce support group, preferably one that includes men and women. It's tough, but you will survive and come out of it stronger, better, and with a few scars.

Oh, the divorce group will give you some great stories to tell later in life.
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