Considering...seeking input from 10 guys that have made it

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Considering...seeking input from 10 guys that have made it

Postby Jim50andrecovering » Tue May 29, 2012 12:53 am

I'm seeking input from a few guys that have been there, because I read that if you are having chronic indecision due to a lack of experience, the best thing to do is ask someone who does have the experience. So, please, chime in if you've been through a divorce and have teenage kids.

Married 21 years, two kids, son 18 starting college this fall, and a daughter, 15 and apple of my eye. Both wonderful kids. I have a good job, pays well, and a nice home in the suburbs. My wife had a 4-yr business degree but has stayed home since our son was born. Some 10 years ago I became resentful towards my wife for not spending time with me, and after she refused to show up for a dinner at work where I was honored for a major promotion, I felt it was over. I had an affair. I'm not proud of it, but...it just grew out of the need to talk someone and as you know, that kind of honesty leads to the intimacy that I craved. Big mistake but I see howi got there and finally forgave myself. However, when the other woman called the house to 'out' us and force the issue, eight years ago, all hell broke loose. The screaming and violence my wife unleashed terrified me. I spent months trying to make up for it, all the while she was calling me worthless, sh_t, a cheat, and worse. She physically assaulted me several times. not breaking bones, but bruising and scratching me. One night it was especially bad, and I was trying to draw her away from the kids so they wouldn't hear the fighting, and she kept hitting me. So I said I was gonig to call 911 if she didn't stop. I called them, right in front of her, and she kept slapping me and the phone dropped and I didn't finish telling them what was going on. But I wanted officers to show up so she would see how serious this was and stop hitting me. At that time, I was unware of the DV laws in this state,or I woudn't have called. They took one look at me and arrested her. put her in jail over the weekend. I don't have space her to go into the horror of the next few weeks as I moved into a hotel, the judge issues a temp sep order, i had ot see her in cuffs and orange jumper in the courtroom. She hated me. I hated myself. But I kept trying ot make up for it. But every few months the violence would resurface, as well as name calling, emotional abuse, etc. I had to emotionally harden myself and distance myself to deal with it. I didn't leave because I was afraid of teh effects on the kids. Now I am afraid what my staying did to them. It has been two years since teh last violent outburst. I never turned her in again, as I promised her, but I cannot love her again either. I cannot trust her to share my feelings and concerns, and she cannot trust me to be faithful and she opens my mail, goes through my things, etc. I've had trouble keeping friends because she doesn't trust them and I never have anyone visit. But she also still does not want to socialize with me and try to rebuild. The last few months, she seems to be nicer, trying harder, but I can't seem to recover. I haven't been able to have sex with her in over two years, due to feeling repulsed and fearful, though I feel sorry for her and for what I've done. She refuses to consider marriage counseling. Esp after she was forced to go to anger management--which she got through early while she was still abusing me.

So the kids are older now, and I've survived, adn I think I can afford it. I'm 50. Maybe there is stil time. I just want to hear from a few guys that have made it through the divorce process. I love my kids so much. But I want to have a chance at a fresh start. Can anybody share that they made it. I am afraid to bring this isue up and still am not sure i can but I have to believe there is light on the other side for all. I am hurting her by staying and not being able to love her. My daughter welcomes me home every day and makes me so happy.

Thanks.
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Re: Considering...seeking input from 10 guys that have made

Postby Fatheroffour » Tue May 29, 2012 5:25 am

There is life after divorce. From your description, a better life. Now that your kids are older they are less susceptible to being victim of a keepaway mom since they will have a voice in which parent they want to live with primarily. It looks like your biggest risk is alimony, which can vary tremendously depending on which state you live in. You're looking at anywhere from not much to lifetime.

You may want to consider drawing up the purse strings so tight that if wifey wants something to eat that she actually likes she has to get her own income.
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Re: Considering...seeking input from 10 guys that have made

Postby Jim50andrecovering » Tue May 29, 2012 10:08 am

True. I think the kids would always want to see me. Also, I'm in a community property state, and the attorney I spoke with a couple years ago said I can expect to retain maybe 60% of my income. With one kid entering college this year and the 2nd in three years, I don't know what that means for me--probably not much, but I don't have much freedom now. She pays the bills and watches my spending closely, always questioning me about what i bought, who was there, etc. Wants to see my expense reports from work. I don't know a way to control the purse strings.
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Re: Considering...seeking input from 10 guys that have made

Postby Fatheroffour » Tue May 29, 2012 10:17 am

Open a new account and change your direct deposit.

Then duck.

Then have her arrested when she becomes violent.

Then use it to get what you want out of the divorce.
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Re: Considering...seeking input from 10 guys that have made

Postby jumbledone » Tue May 29, 2012 10:20 am

Jim50andrecovering wrote:True. I think the kids would always want to see me. Also, I'm in a community property state, and the attorney I spoke with a couple years ago said I can expect to retain maybe 60% of my income. With one kid entering college this year and the 2nd in three years, I don't know what that means for me--probably not much, but I don't have much freedom now. She pays the bills and watches my spending closely, always questioning me about what i bought, who was there, etc. Wants to see my expense reports from work. I don't know a way to control the purse strings.


Easy, move the money to a new account, give her a stipend, and start paying the bills yourself. Think outside of the broken dynamic you currently have. If she questions you, let her know you're taking care of the bills. Maybe a less drastic move might be in order by moving your checks to your own account, and transfer just enough for household bills, so she can continue to feel some control.

You've paid your penance multiple times over, now is the time to give her a shock. If she feels her gravy train is ending, it will go one of two ways: 1. She'll pay attention to you and try to make it right; 2. She'll try to f you up by lobbing DV claims against you. Be prepared for either.
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Re: Considering...seeking input from 10 guys that have made

Postby Thoughts? » Tue May 29, 2012 10:40 am

Whoa man you are being way too hard on yourself. She shut you off emotionally, you screwed around (yes, that was a mistake, but you can stop the self-flogging), she physically attacked you multiple times and got a good education on how the system works -- something she needed to get.

That she beat on you to the point where the cops had to haul her in is not your fault, ok? DV against guys is a lot more common than you think, and guys being guys think they have to sit there & take it. No you don't, anymore than a woman should take getting hit by a man. She was railing on you, you warned her, you called police, she got the joy of the handcuffing & fingerprinting & time in the local lockup. GOOD!

You both need some serious tough love. She won't forgive & let go and you are both sitting in a marriage of convenience where the tension can be cut with a knife. You really think your kids are happy in that environment? They cope, and they avoid the big elephant sitting in the living room. You're not, and she's not.

Re her opening your mail and what to do about money, you need to again stop flogging yourself and do what you need to do there. It's your money, that you earned. Do you have a legal obligation to not dump her in the cold? Sure -- she stayed home. Do you have a legal & ethical obligation to help her restart her life? Sure. But that doesn't mean forever. It means restart & get on a sound footing.

You are confusing community property with support. Community property goes to debt & asset division, as in how you carve up home equity, retirement plans, credit card debt. Although it is not a total vacuum from support, as sometimes debts are awarded to the party with the higher income, or debts plus off-setting assets are awarded to counter-act each other to the party with the job, asset & debt divisionn is technically a different topic than support, and doesn't represent any percentage of your income.

Support goes to cash flow for her (spousal support) and to support the needs of the children (child support). And it would be best if you disclosed your state, because alimony and child support, as well as support into the college years, vary hugely by state.

In TX, for CS you would likely be responsible for 25% of your net income until the oldest graduates HS, 20% of net until the youngest graduates, and rehabilitative spousal support, with a time limit, for your ex.

And honestly sir, there are many eligible women out there, and if you are decent, employed, reasonably healthy, no missing front teeth & shower daily, you will in all likelihood find someone better for you than the person you are sleeping with now.
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Re: Considering...seeking input from 10 guys that have made

Postby jumbledone » Tue May 29, 2012 10:44 am

Thoughts? wrote:And honestly sir, there are many eligible women out there, and if you are decent, employed, reasonably healthy, no missing front teeth & shower daily, you will in all likelihood find someone better for you than the person you are sleeping with now.


Even if you are missing teeth, and shower every other month, there's always the Appalachian back-countries. :twisted:
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Re: Considering...seeking input from 10 guys that have made

Postby Fatheroffour » Tue May 29, 2012 10:51 am

And Texas.
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Re: Considering...seeking input from 10 guys that have made

Postby Thoughts? » Tue May 29, 2012 11:57 am

Heard you were pretty proficient with the banjo, FoF.... :)
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Re: Considering...seeking input from 10 guys that have made

Postby Jim50andrecovering » Tue May 29, 2012 7:05 pm

Thanks for the support and input. I'm in the State of Washington. I had a breakdown from the attorney, and he did say she'd need a couple years of support to get re-trained, etc. I don't know--she's mid-50's--guess I figured she was done working and I was obligated to support her. Will I have to pay alimony till she's employed? She always talks about her aches and pains and how we're getting old, and I feel bad for her and kind of hopeless. But I'm in good shape and try to stay that way. I wish she'd try to do the same with me but she seems intent not to.

I fear she'll get nuts again and somebody will get hurt.
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