Enabling, supporting, or just being taken advantage of?  

qship52 63M
187 posts
5/4/2006 3:26 pm

Last Read:
5/10/2006 12:54 pm

Enabling, supporting, or just being taken advantage of?

This is partly a vent, and partly a request for advice, especially from women that have been through something like this.

I'm separated, now over 5 months. During that time I've continued to pay (all) of the bills for my wife and kids, as well as trying to keep up with my own expenses in another house.

The divorce proceedings (we are mediating) seemed to slow down on my wife's part once she got projected alimony and child support numbers. Maybe she realized she could not make ends meet on those numbers without moving out, selling the house, and getting a job.

Since I've moved out, she has worked toward starting her own business, but she has made no money so far. I have no idea how soon her business is going to be able to make even a small amount of income.

I called her yesterday and broached the subject of selling the house. As well as getting the divorce done and over with.

Stunned silence, followed by tears.

When does the agony of divorce stop? First she virtually destroyed my life and drove me out of the house. My dream of retirement and financial independence was gone when I realized I could not move out and still have money to put to retirement. I also lose half the money I put into 401k's for years. Now it appears that I must destroy her dream of starting her own business, unless I continue to pay all the bills for however long it takes her to make decent money. (She has not worked since having children - that's 16 years now).

OK - the question is this. Am I just enabling her not to become self-sufficient by continuing to support her in the old lifestyle? Or do I bite the bullet and find a way to continue paying for her to live in the (nice, expensive) house, and drive the (new, luxury, 2.5 years of payments left) SUV? Is she ultimately better off being thrown into the real world here, with only whatever spousal maintenance and child support she can get (which is considerable)?

The problem with selling the house - where will she live, with 2 teenage kids, two dogs and four cats? It's obviously disruptive at best.

But, on the other hand I can be done with her, and she can be no longer dependent on me. She'll HAVE to find a way to support herself, which has got to be good in the long run.

She may not be able to get her business off the ground now, if I pull the financial rug out from under her. She may not be able to keep the pets and find a house to rent. The kids may have to get jobs. She's scared to face reality here, and I don't blame her. On the other hand, she is the one that asked for the divorce and drove me away.

I think she thought that somehow I would pay as much of the mortgage as needed for the next four years (even after a divorce) until my youngest is out of school. I had offered that as a possibility when I moved out, thinking that doing so would be a decent real-estate investment, and not have to disrupt the kids even more. I don't know that this was ever practical financially, but I wonder now how dumb an idea it would be to not cut all the financial ties I can and get it done with?

Any comments? This is my first divorce, after 31 years of marriage.

My main concern is the kids, really, but I have to get clear of this sooner or later.

saddletrampsk 54F

5/4/2006 4:20 pm

My heart goes out to you....there are no simple solutions..

qship52 replies on 5/5/2006 11:05 am:
Yes, this is another time I'm not able to find a win-win solution.

niceguy0865 66M

5/4/2006 4:22 pm

Anybody looking for a reason NOT to get married????........

qship52 replies on 5/4/2006 4:32 pm:
Well, we were happy together for years. Me more than her, I guess.

Mistakes were made on both side, and if communications had been better, things might have been very different.

GossipJunkie 40F

5/4/2006 4:24 pm

Whatever you decide, you're gonna come out the "bad guy." You need to do what is best for you and your well being. Do you really want to support two households when you get very little in return for maintaining the "original?" I would vote for getting rid of all the "community" property--they'll just be hassles in the long run; a financial drain. Your kids and pets will survive the "disruption"--all are amazingly resilient creatures. Good luck. Listen to your heart AND your mind.

"Dance like nobody's watching"

qship52 replies on 5/4/2006 4:36 pm:
My girlfriend (whom I met on AdultFriendFinder after moving out) votes for cutting the ties now. Is of the viewpoint that Iam just enabling her to be dependent, and doing no one any favors.

If only her business was doing SOMETHING by now - it's been 5 months since I moved.

Really, she had the ideal opportunity when I was living there, as I would take care of the kids, the pets, etc. But then it was 'I can't work because I'm too depressed with you in the house'. Now it's 'I can't start my own business if I have to get the house ready to sell, take care of the kids, and I'll have to have the animals put down'.



5/4/2006 5:05 pm

I know this comment won't be much help but this all does not do alot to encourage me in the direction of getting married or having kids. But I've never had much of a tendency to lean that way anyway.

Good luck resolving this and my feeling is that if you don't start pushing a little your wife will not budge and will fall back on her habit of letting you pretty well cradle her financially. I would tend to see her role in this now nearly like an addict who neads to be weaned off of drugs.


qship52 replies on 5/5/2006 11:06 am:
Well, having kids is absolutely the biggest joy you can have, though they can cause you plenty of tears too.

Sure makes it harder to break up.

But I think you are correct that there is an element of addiction here - her being addicted to my support, even though she can't live with me any more.

rm_wetfingeraz 53F
3012 posts
5/8/2006 10:14 pm

Wow, I feel for you. But, at the risk of sounding like a bitch, I would never dream of asking for alimony. I've always made my own way in life and have owned up to my decisions, both good and bad. It doesn't sound to me like she really considered what her reality would be. Also, as a small business owner myself, I can tell you that it generally takes 2-5 years to get a small business off the ground and self-sufficient, much less able to support it's owner as well. Are you willing to keep bleeding money into her lifestyle? Right now, your primary concerns are your own survival and that of your children. She's an adult. She needs to "put on her big girl panties and buck up."

qship52 replies on 5/9/2006 2:48 pm:
I'm sure she's thought about the reality of getting her business going (a New Age sort of thing).

She really had the ideal opportunity while we were together, as far as I can see, since I was there to take care of kids, and pets, and provide for her. But then she was too miserable when I was in the house to get it going. Now there is another excuse.

If the business is workable at all, it's time she was forced to make it work, or give up. Right now it is a dream, and everyone should have a chance to make their dream come true. But she's taking the slow road on this, when time was running out 5 months ago.

I don't think she wants indefinite alimony, but she thinks she has to take care of 4 cats, two dogs and two teenage daughters, and there's no way she could do that with a minimum wage job.

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