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    Old 10-21-2008, 07:40 AM   #1
    MSNik
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    When do you actually call it quits on the marriage?

    Hi all. Im usually found on another board here, but I wanted your opinions on this subject. Alittle background: I am 41 years old, been married for 4.5 years to a man who has 3 children from previous marriage who I am very close to, and have a great relationship with. 2 years ago, and 2 years into the marriage, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. To see me, you would never know that I have this disease. I work fulltime, I work out- Im in great shape physically; however I suffere from many of the "unseen" issues which accompany the disease, mainly fatigue and anxiety.

    Initially, i went thru all the testing and dx alone- my husband refused to take time off work until he learned that there 'really" was something wrong with me. Once we learned what it was, he immediately took the attitude that we would deal with "it" when or "if" we had to...that confused me. Im dealing with it now. Sure, Im not in a wheelchair- Im still able to work, but Im also terrified of my future. He is seemingly unconcerned.

    I married a very stubborn man. For the first 3 years of our marriage, I gave into everything he asked and did things "his way" because I think that I was afraid to lose my security. he supports us, holds our health benefits (very VERY important to me) and basically controls the income. About 8 months ago, I started questioning this....now more aware of my disease and less afraid of it- im also very aware that putting things off might not be in my best interest. 10 years from now, I dont know where Ill be healthwise- so why put off the things I want to do until retirement, when I feel that I should take advantage of TODAY and my good health? I started venting my frustration to him, asking for small things- having some money from my paycheck put into my own checking account (I currently dont have one) seeking the ability to travel across the country to go see my best friend who moved a year ago ALONE- all of these things started him on a tangent of "youve changed" lectures.
    Maybe I have. I guess I have. I have a chronic illness which Im trying to both control, learn about, and not let it "own" me. with that, i have things I want to do.
    I started making changes. I just accpeted a high pressure Directorship job, probably not a good idea with my disease, but necessary to line up my "ducks" in case I have to both support myself and carry my own health benefits. Actually Im pretty excited about this. I managed to finish my MBA and get this job after finding out I have MS and while working my butt off to manage this disease. Getting the job helped me gain back my confidence. I start it on Monday. Im also having my checks direct deposited into my own checking account- which he doesnt know about- yet. Ive signed up for health benefits, as I will have to wait a year for the "preexisting condition" to be covered...Ive set myself up to survive.

    Last night, my husband told me that he has been unhappy with all my changes- he wants his "wife" back. The truth is, I cant go back. I cant feel like a doormat any longer, cant take the fights about things like wanting to see my best friend, or have my own spending money...ive taken care of him and HIS kids for 5 years now. Ive done an excellent job, he agrees, but this is the person he wants back..not the person who Ive grown into. Im starting to wonder if he needs a wife or a mother . I still love him with all my heart, but i dont like him or the way he treats me. Im scared to start over and yet I feel that if I can make this job work, Ill really be able to do it.

    Does anyone have the answer to the question,. when do you stop trying to save it? By the way< ive been in therapy for this relationship for 2 months now, he refuses to go stating that this is "my problem" and " i need to get fixed" not him.
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    Old 10-21-2008, 08:09 AM   #2
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    Re: When do you actually call it quits on the marriage?

    Go to a QUALIFIED marriage counselor to discuss these issues. A third party can often cause one or both of you to consider where you are in your life, in order to determine if you or your husband need to make changes for a better marriage.
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    Old 10-21-2008, 08:30 AM   #3
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    Re: When do you actually call it quits on the marriage?

    I'm so sorry your not being supported during this time in your life. i know second hand how ugly this disease can be but the nicest things can come from such a thing. my sister was diagnosed with MS in 1996 when she was 24 the same year she got married to her now ex husband. i'm going to keep this short. she divorced him just 5 years ago and has been bound to a wheelchair for just a little over 2 years. she has the support of her children, myself, and our mother and father. You have to make yourself happy. you can't let anyone discourage you from what's going to make you happy. if seeing your girlfriend out of town is what's going to do it. DO IT! he's a grown man and he'll get over it. He'll be unhappy if you stay and unhappy if you go. Do you, do what's going to make you happy while you can because unfortunately you never know when you physically,mentally, emtionally, just CAN'T! Live for today! Take care.

     
    Old 10-21-2008, 06:15 PM   #4
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    Re: When do you actually call it quits on the marriage?

    Sounds like your husband is selfish and controlling and very unsupportive of all you are dealing with, which by the way amazing what you have acomplished. You are very strong and have the ability to not only make it on your own but thrive without someone like this bringing you down. Really think about the kind of person you want by your side should your illness progress or not. I would be strategic as you seem to be, get your ducks in a row and leave {removed} him! You are worthy of so much more.

    Last edited by Moderator BAC; 10-22-2008 at 09:44 AM. Reason: If a word has to be asterisked it is not appropriate for these boards.

     
    Old 10-21-2008, 10:44 PM   #5
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    Re: When do you actually call it quits on the marriage?

    I am very sorry to hear about your situation. Since you were very honest and open in writing your detailed post, I'll be honest and open with you.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MSNik View Post

    Initially, i went thru all the testing and dx alone- my husband refused to take time off work until he learned that there 'really" was something wrong with me. Once we learned what it was, he immediately took the attitude that we would deal with "it" when or "if" we had to...that confused me. Im dealing with it now. Sure, Im not in a wheelchair- Im still able to work, but Im also terrified of my future. He is seemingly unconcerned.
    Either he's incredibly naive, or doesn't care all that much. To me, I would be scared to death if my spouse showed any signs of this. Not sure what I'd do without him and to even think of it, is very distressing. Your husband probably "cares", but isn't big into demonstrating it. Is he aloof?

    Quote:
    I started making changes. I just accpeted a high pressure Directorship job, probably not a good idea with my disease, but necessary to line up my "ducks" in case I have to both support myself and carry my own health benefits. Actually Im pretty excited about this. I managed to finish my MBA and get this job after finding out I have MS and while working my butt off to manage this disease. Getting the job helped me gain back my confidence. I start it on Monday. Im also having my checks direct deposited into my own checking account- which he doesnt know about- yet. Ive signed up for health benefits, as I will have to wait a year for the "preexisting condition" to be covered...Ive set myself up to survive.
    Sounds to me that deep down inside, you know what the answer to your questions are already. Obviously, you wouldn't have done these things had you not been thinking of risk management. Very smart on your part, I might add. Even if things improve in your marriage, it's a good idea to keep things separate. And, in today's day and age, having two different insurance policies is very prudent. Hopefully, you'll carry each other on your respective poliices....Never know with today's escalating insurance costs. We have two policies and although I don't like paying for them both, they certainly come in handy. Quite often, one will pay for one thing while the other won't and then vice versa. We also bill both sometimes and when you do, your co-pay is usually zero.

    Quote:
    Last night, my husband told me that he has been unhappy with all my changes- he wants his "wife" back. The truth is, I cant go back. I cant feel like a doormat any longer, cant take the fights about things like wanting to see my best friend, or have my own spending money...ive taken care of him and HIS kids for 5 years now. Ive done an excellent job, he agrees, but this is the person he wants back..not the person who Ive grown into. Im starting to wonder if he needs a wife or a mother.
    This is the worst of what I read in your post. I can't believe the things that come out of some people's mouths sometimes. Not only is it very insensitive given what you're going through, but the sad thing is, he probably means it! You should tell him that you want your old husband back....The one who married you five years ago....The one who was supportive and pledged to stick by you in sickness and in health. I don't mean to stereotype, but because he's divorced once already, he probably has some relationship issues. This isn't the case for all divorcees, but it sounds like it is for him.

    Quote:
    I still love him with all my heart, but i dont like him or the way he treats me. Im scared to start over and yet I feel that if I can make this job work, Ill really be able to do it.
    This is the best of what I read in your post. If you truly love him and feel he's your soulmate, then he's worth fighting for. However, he needs to step up to the plate and start attending counseling with you. Ask him why is it "your problem" when he's the one saying he wants his old wife back. Like you said, you can't go back in time. You can't wave a magic wand and cure yourself. Surely he's not that big of an idiot? Sounds as if he's saying this just to be saying it.

    I really would try to get him into couples counseling, where a mediator can objectively assess things and make recommendations. Additionally, maybe a good counselor could really "reach" him so he could see actually what's going on. Tell him that if he truly loves you, he'll go at least once...For you. Get him there by any means that you can. You may even need to lay down the law in terms of challenging him a bit. And, make sure he counselor knows ahead of time that it may only be a one and done deal...That the session will have to be impactful for him to come back.

    Lastly, please continue to protect yourself financially "just in case." Who knows, maybe some of these comments are foreshadowing on his part....You really need have a back up plan and some money stored away. Hopefully, it won't come to that, but as you learned in getting your MBA, successful companies have contingency plans and good risk management. Successful people do the same. Certainly can't hurt.

    Take care, and please let me know if I can help further. I really admire you for who you are and how much you have accomplished given what you're going through. Obtaining an MBA is no easy task. It was difficult for me and I was healthy at the time....Can't imagine doing it with health problems.

    Regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 10-21-2008, 11:30 PM   #6
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    Re: When do you actually call it quits on the marriage?

    He's really threatened by your independence. You know you're doing the right thing, living for yourself... talk to him about it, if he won't adapt to his "new wife" then you guys will have to move on. If he can learn to accept that you're doing the right thing, then maybe you guys can work it out. Whatever you do, don't let him guilt trip you into becoming dependent on him again, which is what he's trying to do.

     
    Old 10-22-2008, 01:46 AM   #7
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    Re: When do you actually call it quits on the marriage?

    He needs to hear that he will NEVER get his former life back, because to get that, he and you will have to deny your illness, stick your heads in the sand and playact. Be the brave, awesome independent achiever that you have proven yourself to be and, if he is unhappy with that, then, diddums, divorce him and clean him out for spousal support (in a very fair and caring way, of course). PS I have read a lot of your posts on the MS board, and like many others seem to, I have found you an inspiration for your courage and optimism. Don't let this little person bring you down. Sera.

     
    Old 10-22-2008, 04:50 PM   #8
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    Re: When do you actually call it quits on the marriage?

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    While somewhat familiar about what's been going on in your marriage, I was still surprised at some of the things your husband said to you. I don't know when to call it quits, but I'm glad you are starting this new job, and very glad that you will be less dependent on him.

    Nikki, there's no way that you're the same person now than you were pre-dx. MS has changed my life in a million ways, including my relationship, and I don't see how it's even possible that MS wouldn't change someone. I think that in your (and my) case, MS has changed you for the better. I imagine that you were strong before, but pre-MS Nikki wasn't as strong as you are now; I'm sure of it. If he wants you to go back to his "old wife", that is an impossible request. The fact that he can't see how you really are now, sicker and with some limitations, but also strong as heck, smart as a whip, supportive, a wonderful friend who bring the best out in people (thanks!), a woman whose ambition has blossomed; it doesn't do him any credit. It sounds like he's completely blind and in denial of everything that is of any importance to you.

    I know he's been resistant to couples counseling before--didn't he go with you to one or two sessions before? Maybe he'll agree to try it again, if he realizes that there's dire need. There also may be the possibility that he could go to a really great therapist for years and not learn anything. You know what kind of work I do, and I've seen this lots of times.

    The fact is that you LOVE him. I know, my husband has said things to me that I can't believe, but I am still in love with him, and you know how MS is really a family/relationship disease. I totally understand that. What kind of reward are you getting for loving him? Are you in love with him, or do you see him as a good friend or brother that you love in a different way? I am concerned that he is not loving you in the way that you deserve. I am also worried that giving in to his needs and avoiding conflicts with him will prevent you from achieving and succeeding at all the plans you have, and having regrets in the end.

    You are very intelligent, strong, ambitious, and you know how to cope with extreme difficulties and how to support and show empathy to others in need. You saved me from sinking into a depth of despair that I may never have gotten out of. You have made an expert of yourself about your disease, and you have educated and soothed others, plus you have a great sense of humor! My goal in saying all this is to EMPOWER you. You have spent so much time empowering others, at home, at work, and the MS site, that perhaps you forget to empower yourself.

    You have done everything right, and you owe it to yourself to be happy. That's what you should aim for.

    I will be looking on this site for you, and I'll support you know matter what you decide. I also want to hear about the new job, and I was happy to read your feelings on putting in your notice!

    In any event, do what you need to do. I suspect you already know what that is. It may be the most devastating thing you've ever done--we've both said that MS is easier than Marriage with MS. Even though we haven't "talked" for awhile, I'll be on any site you're on to offer support and friendship.

    Let us know how things go, if you ever read this! You are in my thoughts everday!
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    Old 10-25-2008, 09:41 PM   #9
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    Re: When do you actually call it quits on the marriage?

    Wow, Hi everyone and thank you for the comments!! Id really love to especially say thank you to those who know me from the MS board- those who know me , know me well!

    April, thank you. As always, you are the one I depend on to really come thru with the truth, my mirror- you make me see things for what they are.

    Let me update you all and explain why I havent been here all week to see these responses. My husband gave me an ultimatum the night I wrote this and basically it was "be the old Nikki" or "get out". I spent the next 2 nights on a friends couch....thinking, long and hard. I came up with much of what I already knew, that this relationship was in such dire straights that if he wouldnt agree to counseling WITH me that there was no hope. So, I came home and asked, actually pleaded, for him to "prove his love by trying one last time to therapy". April, yes, we have done this before with no success..

    His answer was "no way". I actually knew it would be but thought that maybe, just maybe, he would give in this time and realize it was really hopeless to try to fix this without professional help. He refused and basically, I am finished crying over this.

    I start my new job on Monday (April, help!) I have no idea how I think I can handle this and what is turning into pre-divorce negotiations along with managing my health, but Im going to give it my best....We actually did go to the bank and close out everything from our safe deposit box to ALL of our monies this weekend. I now do not have enough money to pay one months mortgage on my house, but what money I DO HAVE, is in my name in MY new account....and my forthcoming paychecks will be direct deposited there as well....not a bad feeling. ...at this point, they can take away my house as long as they leave my sanity. I NEVER thought that it would come to this- I simply never thought that the man who DIDNT leave me when I got sick , would become someone I couldnt trust and couldnt look at without crying...

    what happened? And why am I alternating between KNOWING that the next move is a lawyer and divorce, and crying myself sick (and aggravating all my symptoms) wishing I could fix this?? I spent hours today with my mentor, a man from Germany who is probably one of the smartest men Ive ever known and a dear friend- even he is in complete shock wondering how this "husband' of mine who was once the light of my life is now the very thing which has me in turmoil...(April remind me to ask you about European men some time! This one has potential- a very long time down the road!! ))But anyway, can someone who has been there please explain to me how the pain of relationships like this, relationships which are completely sick- can make us feel so completely alone? This man (my husband) wants to control my every move, make me completely dependent on him and ITS WORKING. I spend 99% of my time wondering if its true- Ill be alone when Im old, sick and living in one of my own accounts (nursing homes and skilled livings) He makes me think I cant do this without him and that Im giving up the only security Ill ever have. Granted, his retirement plan is quite good and I wouldnt have ever had to worry about my future BUT, Im not sure I can live like this 5 more years....
    does anyone have anything to say about this?
    And yes, im still going to therapy for myself, trying to find answers...

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts.
    Nikki
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    Old 10-26-2008, 07:16 AM   #10
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    Re: When do you actually call it quits on the marriage?

    Sorry to hear that he's dug in and ready to change, but I am glad to see that you are handling it fairly well. Who knows...He may see the "light" at some point....You never know. Doubt it, but possible.

    Don't given up on what's yours financially. Half of all your combined assets are yours. I'd try and dig a bit and see if he's been hiding or taking money. Don't let him take advantage of you financially. He may try as a means of holding you hostage or making you hurt. Men like to do this.

    In addition, you get half of all his retirement savings, including future pensions, so you'll be fine. I'd be happy to advise where needed, but you'll need to take it one step at a time.

    Best of luck to you.

    Ex

    Last edited by Executor; 10-26-2008 at 07:17 AM.

     
    Old 10-26-2008, 05:46 PM   #11
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    Re: When do you actually call it quits on the marriage?

    Hi Executor, not knowing much about you, Id really like to hear more about "In addition, you get half of all his retirement savings, including future pensions, so you'll be fine. I'd be happy to advise where needed, but you'll need to take it one step at a time."

    My husband works for a local Union and Im being told that I get 1/2 of his annuity and pension for ONLY the years we are married, and since that is only 4 years, thats adding up to less then 30,000$....thats bascially my entire retirement plan in a nutshell right now. I have NOTHING except debt on this house, which right now, he is saying he wants to buy from me (he can have it) and a car which is paid off....
    He was divorced once before- and his ex wife got 1/2 of what he had earned during their marriage (which was 12 years). He has 3 kids with her, I have none with him biologically- and he pays child support out the ying yang! He also does NOT give her alimony and Im being told no alimony for me, either. Especially since (as my attorney put it) I went and got myself a good job with benefits..

    My biggest fear right now is my MS and what MIGHT happen to me and how Ill handle it if it does...I have no children, no husband and no one to "take care of me'...
    So yeah, any advice you want to throw out there is greatly appreciated.

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    Old 10-26-2008, 07:43 PM   #12
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    Re: When do you actually call it quits on the marriage?

    Divorce liquidation varies by state. Your state's guidelines will determine how assets are divided. Most states are 50/50...Your attorney will know all the ins and outs.

    Essentially, you get half of all the assets values at the time of your divorce. I doubt that the length of time has anything to do with it. For example, whatever your house is worth at the time you split, you get half....Not how much it went up in value over 4 years. All the assets, including his retirement is treated the same. Now, if your attorney is telling you something differently, then he would know.

    Personally, I would get a fairly aggressive attorney that will fight for you....Not fight so hard that you bite your nose off despite your face, but hard enough to get what's rightfully yours. Surprisingly, many attorneys are pretty passive and just care about billable hours.

    So, back to the assets, you get half of the house's value (minus the debt), half of all the house contents, half of your vehicles value, half of the retirement, half of savings, and so on. Now, when you start to divide things, people will often "trade" one asset for another. For example, if one gets the more valuable car (of the two), then the other gets something in return to balance it out. At the end of all the dividing, each party should get 50%. He probably wants to keep the house and will need the space for his kids, so he'll have to buy you out. This lump sum of cash could be "saved" via some form of savings / investment plan.

    One of the tricks divorcing spouses use is to hide assets, or make them disappear....Primarily liquid assets such as cash, savings, and etc. So, keep an eye on things and get copies of recent statements to verify where $ has gone and etc. If he's been divorced before, then he knows what he's doing.

    Re: Alimony, yes, if you recently got a job, then you wouldn't be eligible for alimony. Even if you hadn't gotten a job, the minute you do (or re-marry), the alimony stops, so this isn't a a big deal. You'll need the benefits that come with the job anyway.

    Quote:

    My biggest fear right now is my MS and what MIGHT happen to me and how Ill handle it if it does...I have no children, no husband and no one to "take care of me'...
    I can certainly understand your feeling and you are justified in feeling this way....It's only natural. I think he's probably banking on this as to why he's doing some of the things he's doing, including many of his comments.

    You have to remember that this goes both ways. Who says he's mr. wife magnet? Does he really think he can find a third wife easily....Good luck with that "sell" bucko! Many get divorced these days and it's nothing to be ashamed of....But a 3rd marriage....That's a different story. He better factor all of this in before he makes a decision. He may be playing mr. cool right now, but it will hit him like a brick,if and when you physically leave. Who knows....Maybe he'll change for the better once reality sets in. One would like to think that you need each other.

    Only you can decide if this route is the one for you. I really feel for you and am very sorry that you have to go through this....It's very sad and isn't right by any means. However, you seem like a very strong woman and you can do it! Everything happens for a reason and there is a plan for you. Stay strong!

    Take care, and please let me know if I can help further.

    Best regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 10-28-2008, 04:08 PM   #13
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    Re: When do you actually call it quits on the marriage?

    Thanks Ex, your advice is appreciated; however day two on the new job and Im ready to quit it already. OF course I wont, but its going to be too much for me. After two days, Ive already decided that if things dont get better in the next two weeks, Im history
    As for the house, we dont have a cent in it...we are mortgaged to the hilt and cannot possibly make a dime on it- the cars, both worth less then $1000 total and both need thousands of dollars of work- the savings- gone. He and I split the whopping 500$ in it a few weeks ago...the checking, less then 100$ in it and we are now splitting household expenses, with him carrying 60% to my 40%- I dont know how much longer I can do this.....there are no assets, no retirement, other then the 4 years worth of annuity I get...this is a fairly easy divorce to process. Unfortunately, I leave with less then I came in with..I did put my entire savings into a house which is currently worth nothing. We owe more then its worth.
    But I thank you. If ever there was a day when I felt it was good to know "someone out there" cares, its today.
    Thanks again.
    N
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    Old 10-28-2008, 06:08 PM   #14
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    Re: When do you actually call it quits on the marriage?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MSNik View Post
    Unfortunately, I leave with less then I came in with..I did put my entire savings into a house which is currently worth nothing. We owe more then its worth.
    Just curious...How did this happen? If you put all your savings into a down payment or whatever, how it that $ still not there? Has the house not gone up in value over the past 4-5 years? Did you take out a home equity loan and tap it out buying a bunch of stuff?

    Regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 10-28-2008, 06:24 PM   #15
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    Re: When do you actually call it quits on the marriage?

    Simple answer which isnt actually so simle. My husband has 3 kids from his previous marriage. Last year, he was laid off for almost 6 months...we took a home equity loan which was used to make child support- and yes, we TRIED to go to court to have it either reduced or delayed during the lay off, but lost the case, and added to our debt with legal bills....the house was ALSO refinanced a year ago...
    We own a small townhouse. It HAD increased in value at the time of the refinance, but we used the entire equity to refinance and lock in our "low 6%" mortgage...since then, the housing market in our area has completely tanked. WE had the house appraised by an independent appraiser less then 6 months ago, its now worth less in the area we live in then when we bought it, but our mortgage is the same and our value is less. ...our neighbors just sold their house (same model , same courtyard, same street) and it sold for about 20,000$ less then we paid for ours 4 years ago.....our debt on the home (balance) is exactly what it was 4 years ago at this time...and at that time, we entered into it with ony 3% down....

    Basically to sell it, we would get what we bought it for..and still owe on the home equity loan. Another 30,000$.

    The worst part is that Ive now spoken to my attorney about recouping my losses as far as what I "helped' with concerning child support and legal bills pertaining to such- he says that this isnt something I can go after to recoup. As of now, I no longer help with those, as we have completely separate accounts...but what I did previously, I did 'of my own free will". Im pretty much screwed. Live and learn on that one...

    We have nothing to divide. I have nothing to gain..and much to lose with this divorce. Eventually the housing situation will turn around, but Im not convinced I can wait that long..
    Eventually he will take me off his health insurance, which is my main priroity right now..
    And the new job- is killing me. 2 days in and Im compleltely shot and wiped out. But, it is only 2 days in. im hoping 2 months in and Il have it under control. im still optimisitic, but I wasnt at 4:30 this afternoon. We shall see how that turns out.
    Thanks Ex, its really nice to have someone to "talk" to about this
    Nikki
    __________________
    RRMS- dx 05

     
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