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Divorce on the way .. Stress level is high

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by bearheart, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. bearheart

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    It has been while since I wrote an update. I'm 52, married to a woman, and have two adult kids. My wife has been treating me badly for close to 25 year of marriage. I started opening up to her about her behavior and how it hurts but she never listened. In December 2016, we separated, we lived under the same roof, but different rooms. Barely talked and never communicated. I was planning to file for divorce through my lawyer this January but she did it first. I tried negotiating the terms and finances of the divorce with her but she was extremely stubborn and insisted on collecting every dime and to run severe smear campaigns against me in my direct family and friend circle.

    I moved out of the house two weeks ago after she accused me of taking her jewelry from her jewelry box, it was like a stab in the back. She lies as easily as breathing. I was worried that she accuses me of something even more serious so I left. I live in a rental apartment studio where I can have the peace of mind and tranquility that I missed for years. But living alone takes some skills and getting used to.

    I am still not out to any of my family, but made a couple of gay friends through last year, one of them is close to my heart but it seems that he doesn't share the same feelings with me. And I am ok with it, it hurts, but its reality. We still talk every other week or so, he still keeps in touch and shows interest in hearing about my personal adventures at home.

    I don't really know why I'm writing this, but in the last few days I started feeling depressed, I try to occupy myself with work, cooking and taking care of my new home. But I am an impatient person, and I want to get over with this marriage as soon as I possibly can. My wife doesn't show that .. She asked for spousal support, although she lived in the house and paid nothing (mortgage, utilities, loans ...etc.) and I took care of everything. She is seeking revenge and is trying to get every dime from me just to break me down. I consult with my lawyer all the time and I still see my therapist on a regular basis but nothing seems helping my lump in my throat or my tight chest. I thought venting out here would help some.
     
  2. Sundara

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    Ini the name of Allah SWT, I support you my bro. Hope you have a good way to get your divorce. I know it is not easy but the gate is open for you to reach what you want.
    I don't have experience so I can't give you suggestions but my support is the best way for you. I wanna hear you happiness in the end of your journey. Please let me know.
    SL
     
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  3. greatwhale

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    Hey Bearheart,

    You did the right thing by writing here, and I can certainly understand where you are coming from, having been there myself.

    Without knowing your situation, I would urge you to nevertheless work with your lawyer to find an out-of-court settlement that can come as close as possible to fair. Going to court can be expensive and unpredictable. In the interim, keep all communications from her in a safe place, i.e. take screen images of her texts, and print out all e-mails. Nothing buries your opponent better than her own words...and yes, you have to consider her as an opponent, you have to be more calculating and more cunning than you may feel comfortable with, no matter; she is out to get you, so defend yourself!

    As for your morale, why not take the time to savor your freedom...it may appear lonely, but were you any less lonely while living under the same roof? Consider yourself delivered from this persecution. With your therapist, it might be good to explore how a spouse, who supposedly loved you, could breach what would normally be considered reasonable boundaries. Explore your own boundaries, create some where normally a Mac truck would have been able to drive through...

    Above all else, do not play her guilt-games, you have nothing to be ashamed of, and nothing to regret.

    Feel free to post here often, you have our attention, and that is not a bad thing!
     
    #3 greatwhale, Feb 5, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
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  4. Rana

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    Hi bearheart,
    I'm so sorry you're going through this tough time. There's no doubt that the transition of living on your own is hard to get used to, and a divorce is notoriously hard on anyone emotionally. The lump in your throat and tight chest are sadness and anxiety, both of which are tough but very normal in your situation. If it gets bad, try to breathe deeply and do something that allows you to take your mind off everything. Cooking helps relax me, and so does a good film. Do you have good friends you trust? It will help to go out and take your mind off things now and then.
    Financial aspects of divorce are hard to deal with but no matter what happens, know that your freedom to live an authentic life is so valuable.
    As for the guy close to your heart, I'm sorry it hurts. You just haven't found the one yet, but you sound lovely so I think you will meet the guy for you. Have hope. It's going to be okay. Feel free to post on my wall if you need to vent. I had lots of anxiety last year for various reasons and it helped to talk about it and let it go.
    Take care ❤️
     
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  5. MOGUY

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    Bear,
    My heart goes out to you. I’m so sorry that you are going thru this and please continue to post updates.
     
  6. bearheart

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    Thanks all for your supportive words.

    @greatwhale I appreciate your recommendations, I do enjoy my new freedom, and being lonely is way better than being under the same roof with her. I don't play her games any more and I did cut her off and blocked her from all of my social media. I am trying to get as close as possible to a fair agreement with her through my lawyer but she seems that she doesn't want to give up anything. We'll see, time will tell.

    @S i l a s thanks brother, I keep my prayers and wishing for the best. Acceptance and finding the inner peace are my goals for this period, hopefully I'll be able to reach a calmer and more serene space soon.

    Thanks @Rana, It is weird that when I think back, I was always looking for someone close to me, even during my marriage, and as conservative and strict I am, I fell for this man who showed nothing but understanding, support, respect and keenness about me, I mistook his nice traits for liking me, I opened up with him but he made it clear to me that he'd rather be a good friend and a brother. We kept it this way, and I am still working on my emotional bursts, it has been a year now. I stopped looking around for another man, I don't want to fall for another man again now, it is too painful for me to handle with all of the divorce issues I'm going through. Thanks for your best wishes for a better future.

    Thanks @MOGUY I can feel the sincerity and it means a lot to me.
     
    #6 bearheart, Feb 6, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
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  7. justaguyinsf

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    I can so relate to what you're going through but it sounds like you're talking all of the proactive steps you should. Unfortunately you're experiencing the way the legal system seems to punish people for getting divorced ... i.e., your wife's efforts to drag every penny out of you, which the law to varying degrees aids. Eventually things will get better once things are settled. The major blessing in your case is that you have no minor children.
     
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  8. bearheart

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    Sometimes I feel that this law is unfair, especially with my middle-eastern origins (my soon to be ex-wife too), we got married back in Egypt and we do have the contract, which, it seems, as it looks to the court system here in the US, very unfair to the woman. But it is a binding contract, in my opinion, no one forced her to this marriage, nor me, so if we honor the marriage terms, why doesn't the system here honor it for divorce? A question that I left my lawyer puzzled with! he didn't have an answer, but knew that the local court would never go with it. I tried to abide by our belief system and how we raised our kids for 25 years, but of course, to her, it is way better to fight over the money, and she enjoys it. I don't and I'm willing to give up whatever she wants just to leave me alone. We're blessed not having minor kids as you mentioned @justaguyinsf but still I'm working hard not to lose them in the battle, since her smear campaign against me already reached them, and it is extremely exhausting to explaining myself to them every time we meet. I'm really looking forward the "things will get better once things are settled" part!

    I spoke to a family member today and he mentioned to me that she is carrying on attacks on facebook and collecting sympathy from her friends and relatives this way. I personally don't care, and I'm glad that she is exposing herself to the world this way, and if people are following both of us, I never mention her on any of my posts, so anyone with a brain would know who the aggressor is. This family member even told me that he'll fight me if I changed my mind about the divorce!

    Feeling much better after venting out here, and having those supportive feedbacks from the EC community as well as from talking to someone supportive in my family. Thanks .. Hugs.
    :heart:
     
  9. slowmo

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    i too can identify with a lot of what you're saying. I moved out with one of three kids in my early 50s after 30 years of marriage. One kid was in college and the youngest staid with her -- until he couldn't stand it anymore. I didn;t begin to accept I was gay until after the divorce and I've still struggled on what next steps to take in that direction.

    It sounds like you probably persevered through the marriage with a sense of obligation to the institution, your wife and your kids. You should really take the time to congratulate yourself on having had the character to do that. While the impact may ultimately prove to be mixed for your kids, they'll probably respect the fact that you tried.

    I too went from a war zone in a big house to a tiny apartment, and the divorce ended up taking 2-3 years. They re were lots of periods of anxiety, sure. But there was also no more trembling had every time I opened the door and wondered what shit storm was on the other side.

    As for the divorce, try not to get tied to the intermediate milestones, and know that eventually it will be over. Trust me, it takes more time and money than is at all reasonable. However, I'm also guessing the more your wife believes she's pressing your buttons by making the divorce harder, the more joy she will get from dragging out the process. Mine was dumped by three different attorneys because they couldn't take it anymore. There;s some minor satisfaction knowing you're not the crazy one ... she is.

    A good divorce attorney is a great buffer and keeps things businesslike. By the way, remember your lawyer is NOT your confidant -- the fees really add up so keep your interactions with the attorney short and to the point. It's good that you already have a therapist; that can really help. You may have to prepare yourself accept that your settlement will be something less than you (or anyone else) would deem "fair," but remember that it's hard to put a price on your freedom, peace and sanity. Living happily will make it all worthwhile.
     
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  10. Choirboy

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    It can be so very ugly sometimes.... I still believe that deep down, my ex is not a bad person, but perhaps that's because either I still love her on some level, or else I'm too proud to admit to having messed up my life so badly by marrying her. When I came out to her I intended to stay living there for the 4-5 years till our youngest was out of high school and allow everyone to stay in the house and adjust. It didn't work out that way, but we're legally separated, I'm living with my partner, but am still paying the mortgage, second mortgage (which is mostly a failed business venture of hers), health insurance, car insurance, mobile phone and a whopping $2050 a month in child support. She still works the same piddly part time jobs she did 3 years ago, although fortunately she's dating someone. She's stopped being outwardly hostile and is often surprisingly friendly, but I know that her friends encourage her to squeeze the cash out of me and paint me as a rotten gay cheater, and she absolutely never defends me. She has custody of the kids (17 and 20) and they both think she's mean and greedy and foolish, and both have some of the same anxieties and neuroses from dealing with her since birth.

    Vent all you like. You need to. I'm not going to tell you it will all work out, because in a lot of ways, you will end up taking a deep breath, swallowing hard and deciding what is worth fighting for, and what isn't, and you won't win every battle. You may lose more that you'll win; I still feel that way sometimes. But I can tell you that freedom is a prize that's worth the price. I look around the tiny apartment I share with my partner and think of all the stuff that's still at the house, buried under her hoarder's bounty, and I miss some of it, but all in all, I'd rather have the freedom and the self-respect. Some day I may be able to reclaim some of it, but I find it means less and less to me as time goes by, and the real relationships in my life are what is really important.

    She still calls me regularly and treats me almost like a friend, unless the subject is money. Maybe we will build a friendship one day, or maybe once the kids are out of the picture, she will move on. But whatever happens, I will be in charge. And one day you will be too.
     
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  11. bearheart

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    That could not have been said better @slowmo ..Thanks.
     
  12. bearheart

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    @Choirboy I feel what you're saying. I wouldn't even think of returning back to this home, although she also is moving out soon. My studio has more freedom and is a joyful place than the 2,000 sqft, 2 acres house with whatever it contains. Here she has no control on me, and I deal with her through her lawyer only. I hope that my divorce wouldn't drag for years though, my lawyer is telling me that it should be over later this summer, but nothing is predictable with her. Of course she requested spousal support, although she works a good job but she makes almost half of what I make, and she did not recognize that since December of 2016 I was taking care of all of the house expenses. But again, I'll be the nice guy to my kids at least, and towards myself, I don't care what she thinks of me.

    I am really looking forward a healthy long term relationship with the right man .. something I really long for.
     
  13. BiBiBaybee

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    So much happening now, but it will pass. I am glad to heat that you realize that you cannot control the smear campaign on FB and with your children, and wisely realize that others will soon spot the aggressor.
    When I was divorced, we both were eager to end the court proceedings, and it took about 6 months to complete. I was in an emotional stasis, and afterward, continued that way for about 3 months. Finally, I resumed dating, and began to repair the damage to my soul, and NOT at anyone else's expense, either! Dating was very therapeutic, as I did not want to dwell on my divorce, and wanted to learn about the other person. I later came out to my ex-wife, and she has been very supportive.
    Hang in there.
    Keep posting.
     
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