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Complicated Divorce


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I asked my wife for a divorce after 20 years of marriage.   I have 3 step kids and one common child.  All are adults basically.  Our child is now in college.   I have only been married this one time and this is all new to me.   There are many factors that make my situation complicated.  One is my wife has nowhere to go so I agreed to let her stay with me until she gets on her feet.   Secondly, we had just moved from state to another, so I have to wait 6 months to actually file.  I did go see an attorney and he is all paid for at this time.   My wife has health issues, but they are not the reason I wanted the divorce.   I have been un-happy for a long time, and we haven't had intimate relations in a long time.   That isn't really the main reason, and I try not to talk about her to negativity.   We all have our issues, but I am struggling she has become even more hateful and verbally attacking me.   She constantly makes snide comments in front of family members and the kids.   I'll explain more about the kids.  My wife and I meet as a long-distance relationship.   I lost my father to cancer in July our child left for college a week after the funeral and I'm very close to him and then we move and then I asked for the divorce and trying to take care of my elderly mother.   So, I often cry and feel defeated.   I don't feel comfortable with counseling even though many have suggested it.  I'm very independent and don't try and burden other people with my problems.  

    I told my stepdaughters before I even told my wife I felt like I owed them that much.   They moved 2500 miles and I have been the only stable male in their life and that is their words not really mine.  I have tried to leave them out of the whole situation other than being honest with them when necessary.   My oldest stepdaughter and I have been close for a long time now and she was already bitter toward her mother before me asking for the divorce.   Now all the kids are refusing to speak to her because of her actions.    I wasn't as close to my younger stepdaughter, but our communication has improved since this all started.  I was going to leave her 10 years ago, but my son was young then and he begged me not to go so I stayed in a marriage where I was un-happy.   So now she thinks everyone is out to get her and I take the brunt of her aggressive verbal attacks.    I do my very best to just keep my mouth shut and not say anything, but I have lost my cool a couple of times and cursed her and yelled.  I don't believe in physical violence. My STBEW had a complicated childhood, so I do feel sorry for her, and I really struggle just throwing someone out in the street.   I just don't know if I can keep this up and maintain any sanity.   I cry a lot when I'm alone.   I never was able to grieve my father's death and with my son leaving for college, (I lean on him way too much) I just get depressed.  It's affected my job and I kind of re-coiled into my own little world, I guess.   I have been trying some self-help things and this is just another step.   Getting response from others that are more experienced with divorce than I.   I just want to file and get it over with and move on with my life whatever that may be.  

     I have tried to be compassionate in the sense I understand she is afraid and maybe hurt.   I told her I felt like I enabled her, and I'll explain a little on that.   My wife hasn't worked since 2011 and even then, she was part time.  Has no definable skills and she literally sits and watches television all day and has been that way for years.    I told her prior to moving that I would not tolerate that after having to take care of my father and now my elderly mother.  I came in one day and my 81-year-old mother was sweeping and mopping floors and there she sits.    That was the last straw.  Yet I'm the bad guy and I'm just throwing her out in the street.  I realize I have my faults and my issues, but I feel like I don't want another child to raise, and this is what I have had in my marriage the whole time.  

I apologize for the long post I guess my question is should I have agreed to help her get on her feet or was that a big mistake?  How do I approach the kids now that they are all angry at her for her behavior?  

Thank You

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18 minutes ago, BillyOH said:

.  I did go see an attorney and he is all paid for at this time.   .    I told have agreed to help her get on her feet or was that a big mistake?  How do I approach the kids now that they are all angry at her for her behavior?  

Only your Attorney can give you advice about the division of the assets alimony and your other expenses. It's not really your decision what the courts award her. And it's not really altruism that she gets "back on her feet". Please stop turning her children against her.  There's no reason to completely destroy your wife. 

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I did not turn the children against her, and I stated pretty clearly, I leave them out of it as much as possible.  As for the legal aspects it was just something I offered her and not in a legal way just as a kind gesture.   My attorney has advised me on how to approach that and I'm following his advice however my question was should I have done that in the first place.  

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3 minutes ago, BillyOH said:

   My attorney has advised me on how to approach that and I'm following his advice 

You are paying your attorney for advice so just follow it. Divorce is not a kind gesture, it's a lawsuit and she will get an attorney as well.  She is entitled to at least half the martial assets. And possibly because she doesn't work alimony etc. Why isn't your attorney informating to on these matters? 

 

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d0nnivain

You are the one making your divorce complicated.  If you are splitting, split.  Don't continue to live together.  In some states the couple has to prove they have lived separate & apart for some period of time before the judge can even hear the case.  In my state that is 18 months.  So the clock doesn't even start running until you have  different addresses.   

If your wife can't work, she should apply for disability.  If she's not disabled, she should get off her butt.  Everybody is hiring these days especially jobs that don't require much skill / training:  fast food, grocery stores, retail, ride share services etc.   She has adult daughters who can help her.  She may be entitled to alimony or pendente lite support from you until she gets on her feet.  That is a Q for your lawyer but it is a solution that gets you out of her day to day life & away from the screaming nastiness.   She can always go back to the state where you came from.  

In you are divorcing she's no longer your problem.  Stop taking on burdens that aren't yours to carry.  

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17 hours ago, BillyOH said:

I have agreed to help her get on her feet or was that a big mistake?  How do I approach the kids now that they are all angry at her for her behavior?  

Forgive me if I missed it, but I don't see where you wrote about helping her get back on her feet.  What have you done to help?   I can't comment about whether it's a mistake without knowing what it is.

Given that the kids are adults, there's really nothing you can or should do about the kids being angry with her.  This is between her and them and they have to sort it out.  I suggest you stay out of it.

You wrote that you've been recommended therapy and I agree.  But you also said that you don't want to burden others with your problems.  A therapist's whole job is to listen to your problems and give you strategies for dealing with your feelings about it all.  So you're not burdening them.   You can also tell friends and family what's going on.  It only becomes a burden on them if you start to lean on them too much.

Please reach out for help - you're sounding really out of your depth emotionally

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18 hours ago, BillyOH said:

  I really struggle just throwing someone out in the street. 

You can't throw her out of the marital home, please listen to your attorney. Please don't expect her to blow you kisses from across the room after you turn her kids against her, sue her for divorce and yell and curse at her.  Definitely get some support and help for your issues rather than burden your and her children with them.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/23/2024 at 12:51 AM, BillyOH said:

my wife has nowhere to go so I agreed to let her stay with me until she gets on her feet

This is a little confusing to me. Since you can't even file for divorce for another six months, and you also haven't separated into different physical addresses, she's not "staying with you until she gets on her feet." She's just residing in her own home.

Do you intend to allow her to reside with you after you've filed? As a previous poster mentioned, that might not be an option. Depending on your state, physical separation might be necessary to file for divorce.

Do you intend to allow her to live in your home for free after your divorce? Why? You said you feel that you have "enabled" her to not work and just watch tv all day. Wouldn't this be further enabling? How long would you allow this arrangement? And who gets to define "on her feet"? What does that even mean? What if she can't find full-time employment? What if employers only want to pay her minimum wage? Will these be your problems to solve, or hers? What if she finds a job making 500/week after taxes, and you feel she's "on her feet," but she can't get approved for housing? What about her health insurance? A vague and unstructured plan will only create more resentment in you. From your post, there seems to be an issue with lack of boundaries. That's something you need to figure out, and a good counselor can help you.

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OP you need to get a counsellor. I don't know why you're resistant to it, but you're not doing yourself any favors. You sound overwhelmed and you still have a long and hard road ahead of you. You need to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for the present challenges and the ones ahead, and you're not going to do that by being independent.

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