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Old 04-21-09, 12:37 PM   #1
DataJunkie
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How long it took to destroy my marriage

Forgive the long post. I am a bit depressed at the moment.

My time line:
1) Kid is born in 2003
2) Wife goes loopy.
3) Wife cheats on me with another woman. Trust me, not kinky.
4) She is diagnosed being bi polar.
5) Attempts to commit suicide
6) Marriage counseling ensues
7) 5 years of terrible finances result due to her inability to control spending urges culminating with me removing all access to joint funds to keep from going bankrupt.
8) A few months ago she admits she took out several credit cards and is defaulting on them. Says a few $1000 dollars after I offer to help and turns my offer down.
9) We go through several months of marriage counseling. Admits it is more like $10,000
10) She ignores the money issue until she is served last Wed.
11) For the third time she admits to more debt. Now it is 6 credit cards and $20,000 of debt.
12) Finally goes to a CCS and arranges for help. The end result is a monthly payment of $550
13) In the meantime she blows additional cash and drains our poor account of funds.

After #13 occurred I decided enough was enough. She has pushed me over the edge.
Somewhere between #1 and #13 I just stopped caring and our son was the only reason I did not file for a divorce. After discussing the fact that I could not take it anymore, my wife and I both agree that the relationship has fallen to pieces with virtually no hope for recovery. In the meantime we are taking a few weeks to ponder everything and then will make the final decision. Oddly enough, so far we are not mad at each other and seem to be proceeding in a reasonable manner. I would like to be one of the odd divorces that are still on speaking terms after it is all said and done. Friends would be great. Despite all that has happened I harbor no ill will. I guess time will tell if that feeling is shared.
I would rather this not turn into a mess like my parents divorce. Even better would be if things would recover but that is highly doubtful.

I am still doubting the choice. It just seems so much easier to keep taking the BS and stay together.
It seems like after being married for 13 years we should be able to get over any obstacle in our way. I guess not.

Sorry for the downer of a post.
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Old 04-21-09, 12:39 PM   #2
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I hate that. I'm very sorry.
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Old 04-21-09, 12:44 PM   #3
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I feel for you. Uncontrolled bipolar disease exacts a toll on the patient's loved ones. I think that as soon as you come to the realization that you cannot fix your wife's problem, you will decide it is better for you and your child to cut your losses and move on. Based solely from your posts here, I am not optimistic about substantial improvements occurring. You have our sympathy.
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Old 04-21-09, 12:47 PM   #4
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Honestly, I wish she would cheat again and make things easier. It does not help that I am insanely stubborn. Thoughts like "I can make anything work. I will force this to work out." have drug this on and on.
She is in treatment with a psychiatrist and a psychologist but when you refuse to acknowledge you have an issue and snowball your doctors....
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Old 04-21-09, 12:48 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear about your marriage problem but you need to take steps to make sure she doesn't take you to the cleaners in the settlement. Do it now. It is to the benefit of you and your son. She obviously has money issues and all your assets are in play and she'll want them. Be careful, get a lawyer and keep your head on straight. If it turns out you're friends after it all washes out then great, but don't let that be your motivation going into the settlement proceedings or you will hate yourself when the dust clears.

BTW, do not get saddled with her debt. She rang it up in her name, she pays it off.
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Old 04-21-09, 12:52 PM   #6
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Bummer. I don't know what to say. It sounds like you 'could' work things out as you still love each other....but until she mends her ways, it can only get worse it seems.

Will you be keeping custody of your son or have you talked about that at all?
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Old 04-21-09, 12:52 PM   #7
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I am sorry you are having to go through such a hard time. When you make your decision you also need to consider the environment your son will grow up in. Children should not have to grow up in a stressful environment.

If you do decide to divorce and can remain friendly, I recommend using a paralegal or mediator as opposed to a lawyer. My ex and I remained friendly and worked out all custody and financial issues ourselves, then had the paralegal file the official paperwork. The entire thing cost about $700.
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Old 04-21-09, 12:52 PM   #8
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Damn. I hope good karma goes your way, seriously.
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Old 04-21-09, 12:56 PM   #9
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DJ...sorry to hear. I hope it gets better for you and she finds a way to get help.
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Old 04-21-09, 12:57 PM   #10
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sorry to hear that dj. i will be officially divorced next month (5/22, hopefully) and through it all, the one thing i really wanted was to do things in such a way as to remain good friends. and we have. good luck.

as far as our separation/divorce, we've done everything on our own,from filing the separation papers, to drawing up the divorce papers and filing.....saves a ****load of money.
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Old 04-21-09, 12:59 PM   #11
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Bummer. I don't know what to say. It sounds like you 'could' work things out as you still love each other....but until she mends her ways, it can only get worse it seems.

Will you be keeping custody of your son or have you talked about that at all?
We are in the very early stages of even deciding what we want to do. However, after all this turmoil I would not characterize our relationship as being in love. We do care about each others well being but love is not a word I would use.
The other issue is that besides the kid we have almost nothing in common anymore.
I enjoy a healthy lifestyle while she smokes and eats like crap. I want a clean house. She never cleans.
That reminds me, I do most of the cooking and all of the cleaning.
Jeeze... I am starting to feel like chump.
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Old 04-21-09, 01:00 PM   #12
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Old 04-21-09, 01:02 PM   #13
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Thank you all.
Keep the advice coming. I need as many opinions as possible to help me make the right decision.
I am also talking with coworkers, my family, looking up options on the net, and plan on reading a book or two. I prefer to not go into any situation clueless.
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Old 04-21-09, 01:06 PM   #14
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For the sake of self-protection, make sure everything financial is thoroughly documented. Do the same for the treatment of her illness - at least to the extent that privacy laws allow. What you've described is tragic, and hopefully you and the child can move on without your lives being totally out of your control.
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Old 04-21-09, 01:10 PM   #15
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Wow, I'm sorry to hear about the problems. My wife is bi-polar too. It took loosing her job to get her to admit that she had a problem. The year leading up to that was extremely difficult. Once she admitted she had a problem, she commenced to fix it.

She ended up taking about a year off to get stable. She's on a few meds, and remembers to take them. Thankfully, she's also willing to listen to me when I notice that something is wrong. She's been back to work for a year now and doing great. We're still paying down on bills accumulated during that year she was out of work, but slowly making headway. But it would never have happened if she hadn't been willing to seek out help.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 04-21-09, 01:12 PM   #16
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I understand you care about her and have tried to help her with these financial issues- I think its wonderful you are both still getting along, and that is in the best interest of your son.

Do not let your guard down, though. I don't think its too harsh to say you should consider her an enemy- If you decide to divorce, until everything is settled legally, be conscientious what information you give her, particularly in regard to finances.

I think now would be a good time to sit down and document thoroughly what you described in the OP (downfall of her mental state, downfall of joint and her finances, etc), to begin building a case against her if necessary.
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Old 04-21-09, 01:17 PM   #17
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I am documenting as much as I can and working on the finances so that I can survive on my own.
Unfortuately, I do not have any family out here. I am from WA state.
A local support system is a wonderful thing. However, I am moving my brother from vegas to Denver next week. That will be a good thing for me.
Now to research this no fault divorce thing that Colorado appears to have.
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Old 04-21-09, 01:20 PM   #18
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Damn! Are you responsible for the cards she took out on her own. Whatever happens publish in the paper that you are not responsible for any furthur debt. Get her on meds that you control. Then maybe things can work out.
Good luck
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Old 04-21-09, 01:25 PM   #19
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I am not responsible for her debt according to Colorado law. I have to be a cosigner with her on the cards. I have plenty of family debt to take care of. yuck
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Old 04-21-09, 01:29 PM   #20
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Sorry to hear that, best of luck getting through everything. ((hugs))
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Old 04-21-09, 01:40 PM   #21
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Sorry to hear that things are that tough. I went through a lighter-weight version of it with my ex. Hypochondriac, overspender, etc. and I tried for a few years to make things work.
At some point, you do have to look out for yourself: Sounds like you're doing that. Best of luck with a speedy resolution to it all.
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Old 04-21-09, 01:48 PM   #22
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It does boil down to the simple fact that I want to be happy.
I have had quite a few health issues the last year or so. My mother believes it is due to the marriage and I fear she may be correct.
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Old 04-21-09, 01:58 PM   #23
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stress kills....take care!

You're certainly not a chump, and you are not alone in thinking/wishing you could fix things. This can and does happen to lots of us.

I agree that you need to back up and consider what is best for your son. It sounds like she has serious issues to work out, obviously, and for her own sake she should seek individual counseling. Meanwhile you should move forward and do what is necessary to protect your child. If you guys have any amicable feelings between you I urge you to use that towards making his life as smooth as possible through this tough time...good luck and pls keep us posted.
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Old 04-21-09, 02:03 PM   #24
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Sorry to hear what you all have been through. Best wishes to work it out. Seems like meds are in her future regardless of how much you are. Might need to working on requiring it for her time w/ your son.
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Old 04-21-09, 02:05 PM   #25
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Hang in there, man. The one thing that's for sure is these things are never easy.

My first wife went through some very significant changes after we had kids, and we grew very far apart. Then she started drinking, eventually got addicted to some prescription meds. Lost her nursing license, a huge downward spiral. I knew things were never going to get fixed, and I had to get out. It was messy, combative, and insanely expensive. I once spent $12,000 in legal fees, and two months in court preventing this drunk from moving 1,000 miles away with my two kids. Finally, when she dropped the kids off at school one morning, and drove her car in to a light pole on the way home because her BAC was 3 1/2 times the legal limit, I actually got custody of my kids. At that point, she pretty much abandoned the kids for about three years, and I raised them with my second wife.

Even with all that turmoil, I think emotionally it was tougher on me when my second marriage ended, because I didn't think it needed to. My wife had put up a lot of barriers between us in an effort to keep things separate with our "Brady Bunch" assortment of kids, and we kept getting farther and farther apart until she just really didn't care any more, and didn't feel like there was anything worth fixing. Byt the time it was all over, I realized that there was alot of negative stuff there that was really dragging me down and even destroying my health, but it still just felt like a terrible failure. At least we were adults about it, there was no arguing over petty crap, we did all the paperwork on a $200 internet service, and at least the legal lart of it was cheap and easy.

You need to take care of your kid. That doesn't always mean staying together for their benefit, because if you're completely unhappy, you can't make a good life for your kid.

You need to take care of yourself. You need to protect your finances, and you need to figure out what resolution of the situation will allow you to have a good life. If that resolution means you need to split up, its better for all three of you if you can try to be reasonable and civil, and not make a huge mess of things. After investing that much of your life in something, it's not an easy decision to make. I hope it all works out for you.
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