Exit Planning

So things have progressed strangely. Wife seems to be making a real effort to try and do something - lots of unusual cuddling and touching - even in bed, but I'm unmoved by her efforts and seem to just not care any more.

We've discussed a number of things, including money (which after a period of introspection on my part considering everything thats wrong, is a huge issue for us). She's agreed to try and pick up more hours at work to lessen our financial stress - which can only be a good thing. Apart from anything else it means if we do split it'll work HUGELY in my favour. Lots of things are calculated based on the difference in income - so any increase in her income now pays huge dividends for me! AND the more time she's working her awkward shifts the greater the chances of a reasonable 50/50 child custody arrangement, rather than me being gently removed from the picture and paying for the privilege.

Another part of our financial re-work we discussed was the idea of moving away from running all our expenses through our credit card (joint account). Ostensibly this is because we just aren't tracking spending well and the frequent flyer points (which is the main justification for running expenses through a CC) just don't really represent good value these days. Converting all our regular spending habits into individual accounts seems like a good move from my point of view - and getting rid of a $15K credit limit that she has access to seems like a very good bit of personal security right now!

I keep trying to run numbers in my head to work out if its at all possible that either of us could in a 50/50 split manage to take on the house, but by my calculations it'd be almost impossible to service the house debts and keep a household running on 1 income - even my higher income, or hers boosted by CS payments. ON the flip side I look at the cost of property rentals in the area and they aren't much cheaper than the mortgage payments. I haven't really got my head around that yet in terms of what my perceived 'ideal outcome' would be.

At this stage I think I'm ready to make an appointment with a counsellor to see what I need to consider. Fortunately my work provides this service free of charge. I'm also considering talking to a lawyer - but concerned that once I do that the bill will be frightening. Either way I WILL NOT be grinch who ruined xmas - so nothing dramatic happening for a while... just a lining up a lot of ducks!
Incogneto Incogneto
36-40, M
4 Responses Dec 11, 2012

Sounds like you have begun the planning process. Also sounds like the wife has sussed out that the broom has had new bristles put on it.

It wouldn't hurt to gain legal advice now. You dont have to act or do anything drastic during the christmas new year period but having a plan and being prepared is smart.

Especially if the wife senses that change is imminent if she doesn't reform.

Stay Strong & Good Luck

Your missus has sniffed the winds of change, and knows that 'something' is afoot.

You'd do well to get this legal advice and exit strategy into do-able shape a.s.a.p. I reckon.

Got to ask. Is your main motivation the younger chick here ? - or getting out of the dysfunctional marriage for its' own sake ?

Tread your own path.

Main motivation - who knows?

I'm well aware that my brain is probably not at its best for rational decision making right now on the subject and theres no way I can make an objective call as to what my motivations are BUT if it werent for Miss24 its probably safe to say I wouldnt be thinking like I am now. There are a number of possibilities:

1) Miss24 is an evil 'homewrecking' temptress who is deliberately sabotaging my feelings and dragging a wrecking ball through an otherwise perfectly salvagable marriage.
2) Miss24 has opened my eyes to the reality of my dying marriage
3) Miss24 has given me the confidence to act on a dying marriage knowing there is a potential safety net in place
4) Miss24 has captivated me with her life spirit and enthusiasm and I'm blindly prepared to do anything to try and get 'more'.

I *think* the reality is somewhere around point 2) with a hint of 3) - but its an issue I will be discussing with someone more qualified than me to try and make sense of.

..all this 'treading your own path' is very confusing, scary and exciting

Please take this as just an opinion.
1 - looks very unlikely
2 - looks very likely
3 - that's a possibility
4 - there would have to be an element of truth in this one.

Truth be told, I was reading into all this, a headlong rush to Ms24 (and I was going to point out she might want kids (do you want more ?), potential issues between your kids and Ms24, and other "wet blanket" stuff.
But I am now reading into your story that such issues are ones you are examining anyway, gathering information preparatory to making informed choices.
You can't go far wrong with informed choice.

wet blanket would be good now to be honest.

We've had some pretty honest conversations between me and Miss24 about my kids, her future parenting desires etc etc and yes there's some serious issues that dont quite 'fit'. (More kids is simply off the table for me both psychologically and surgically!).

First meetings with lawyers are often free - can't hurt to call one and find out! That way you can get some basic information straight off the bat.

I'll give a "what I first thought" response: I'm a bit concerned that you're looking at optimal strategies and maximum advantage. Imagine how you'd feel if your wife was doing the same (it seems like she isn't). Protect yourself, of course, and make sure you're reasonably safe, but leave it at that. It's not a game and you shouldn't be trying to 'crush' your spouse. I'd even suggest - be generous.

Ah, screw her I say. Do your defensive planning. Obviously your marriage is over. But, her lawyer will be able to get at your social media if he/she really wants to, so cut it with the electronic paper trail. These things rarely get that far, but sometimes they do - especially if her lawyer perceives you as having deep pockets. So your electronicpaper trail needs to be all about how she devistated you by leaving the marital bed, how you love the kids and tried to stick it out for them, bla bla.

Further, isn't there a "I need a divorce" group who could give you the latest on hardball divorce tactics?

I like this joke:

As Oklahoma was settled, the growing population supported a small community of lawyers. One lawyer became quite successful, handling disputes between ranchers and farmers. He sent his son away for college, and was pleased when his son returned after graduation, seeking to work in his office to figure out if he wanted to be a lawyer. The lawyer welcomed his son into the firm, and gave him a job as a clerk.

On his son's first day, the first client to call on the lawyer was a man,deeply tanned from years of toil under the Oklahoma sun. His hand were rough and calloused, and he was dressed for the range. The man explained, "I am a ranch hand at the Smith Ranch, where I have worked since I was very young. For all of those years, I have tended to all of the animals on the ranch, including a small herd of cows. I raised the cows, fed them, and cared for them. It has always been my understanding that I was the owner of the cows. Mr. Smith died, and his son has inherited the ranch. He believes that, as the cows were raised on his family's land and were fed his family's hay, that they are his cows. I need you to help me."

The lawyer smiled, and put his hand on the man's shoulder. "I have heard enough, and I will take your case. Don't worry about the cows." After expressing extreme gratitude, the workman left the lawyer's office.

A short time later, the next client arrived. He was young, and well-groomed, and appeared quite wealthy. He explained to the lawyer, "My name is Smith, and I own a ranch near here. For many years, one of my ranch hands has taken care of my family's herds, including some cows. The cows were raised on my land, fed my hay, and they are obviously my cows. Yet the hand believes that, as he raised them and cared for them, they are his. I would like to resolve the matter of the ownership of the cows.:

The lawyer smiled and said, "I have heard enough, and I will take your case. Don't worry about the cows."

After the man left the office, the lawyer's son came over to his father, looking puzzled. "I don't understand," he said. "I may not know much about the law, but it seems to me that there is a serious problem with the cows, and you just told both sides not to worry."

The lawyer replied, "I told them not to worry about the cows, son, and they shouldn't worry about the cows." Chuckling, the lawyer explained, "The cows will be ours."

Totally agree with you tthetree.

Its not a game and I'm definitely not into the 'crushing' mentality. Adjustment of our financial position I see very much as 'win-win' territory. Cleaning up the financial lines would make any split cleaner. Having MrsIncogneto earn more means ultimately she'd be better off than earning less and relying on a larger slice of my income. It also increases the chances that one of us can remain in the family home and provide some continuity to the kids.

If the story gives the impression of vindictiveness I really dont think thats an accurate portrayal.My mood regarding my marriage is increasingly one of calm sadness interspersed with terrible anxiety, rather than anger.

My actions in this space are predominantly for security of everyone involved (including of course ME), but it does feel a bit like I'm trying to get everyone to put on lifejackets without causing a panic that accelerates the sinking of the boat!

As said, it was a first thought and based on nothing.

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