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Old 04-29-2008, 03:57 AM
 
Location: England
1,171 posts, read 2,187,015 times
Reputation: 1007

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Shuke - you are such a strong person and a good person, your wife is lazy and selfish! I cannot believe that she just goes up to her bedroom when the kids are home from school!! They are too young to run around unsupervised, it's dangerous! Kids of that age are too young to do intesive cleaning, they can help tidy up but your wife needs a rocket behind her - what is wrong with her?!!

Looking after my two was hard work - but the best days of my life when they were really young. You are working and trying to hold the home together - a truly mighty task indeed. I understand how you feel, my hubby gets the kids hoovering and tidying which is ok, but he isn't exactly Mr Dynamite himself! He has such high expectations of them. He gets annoyed if there is any swearing on the TV - but the kids hear more swearing from him.....that's how crazy my hubby is.

I stand up to my hubby, probably creates more arguments, but I do tell him how it is. Once in 2003, he was acting all depressed, I had worked a night shift and been asleep - woke up at lunch time, kids were at achool, went downstairs, there was hubby, sitting in a total mess - curtains closed, pathetic! I told him to stop feeling sorry for himself, to open the curtains clean up the mess, take the dog for a walk and stop moaning. He told me to F...off. But he curses me all the time anyway - so what's the point in stepping around him......but he did get off his backside and do some work - so my telling off helped.

You have a difficult situation because - I can walk out and take the kids, it is a bit more difficult for you. I would monitor the situation with someone, keep a record of the way she is, maybe you could prove her neglect to the kids? It would help you get custody of them. And you SHOULD get custody of them. She is not fit to look after a rabbit let alone 3 children.

Keep going to church - I go to church alone and it's not easy - hopefully you will find support and encouragement and like me, you will find your way forward too.

 
Old 04-29-2008, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Lots of sun and palm trees with occasional hurricane :)
8,292 posts, read 14,578,409 times
Reputation: 6980
Shuke! I didn't realize this thread was a couple of days old already and I am just finding it.

I had been quietly waiting for something like this to happen. I am glad that you are finally coming to your senses. Please don't let that thing (read wife) take you for a ride through hell.

Yes, document everything. Geez even these posts here could be documentation I guess. At least they will remind you of things to bring up to the attorney/judge/courts, whatever.

I don't like the idea of your wife having custody of any of them. They are too young to be left alone with that thing.

Good luck and keep us posted!
 
Old 04-29-2008, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,692,782 times
Reputation: 2977
I missed the other thread and I was just wondering, was your wife always like this before and after the wedding, or did something happen in your lives to change her attitude and behaviour?

You don't have to answer if you don't want to, it's none of my business anyway.
 
Old 04-30-2008, 04:12 AM
 
Location: England
1,171 posts, read 2,187,015 times
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Sounds like she finds looking after the children too wearing. Tough luck! They are here, we all find childcare hard work - but she doesn't want the responsibility and has given up. It's selfishness - pure and simple. Most mothers give and give and keep giving because their love is a pure, selfless, mother love - where is this lady's heart? Maybe she needs counselling.
 
Old 04-30-2008, 05:54 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Kentucky
820 posts, read 2,528,743 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuke View Post
Sounds like the voice of experience there... she hasn't worked in the hospital since roughly 1996. Since that time, she's been a visiting nurse and I don't think she would have a hard time getting back into that field.

As for the rest of the legalities... thanks for the heads-up and quick explanation on how it works in general. I'm sure this whole process will be a learning experience!

Thanks for the kind words!
No, she won't have a difficult time finding a full time job as a home health nurse. I am a nurse and actually do the hiring for my home health agency. The national statistics on home health agencies and the shortage is astounding. This field typically pays less than the hospital for instance, so it's often not a nurse's first choice. An experienced home health nurse is a blessing to that company. Also, depending on the company, she's had to keep her nursing skills up and that's a good thing for both of you... she should be able to get a job in other settings as well if that's what she chooses.
 
Old 04-30-2008, 06:15 AM
 
Location: In the sunshine on a ship with a plank
3,413 posts, read 7,837,480 times
Reputation: 2214
Shuke! I'm so proud of you! The header on this thread made me smile because I knew exactly what you were talking about and it is SO time.

Follow the advice about documenting. You can have a mental health professional talk to the kids and they will have no trouble learning that the primary caregiver in that household has been you. It would not surprise me in the least if you were to get full physical custody of all three kids. Don't rule that out- the girls might feel abandoned if you take their brother and not them. And judges don't usually like to separate siblings.

I hope you took some pictures of the basement to use in court. Same with the laundry.
 
Old 04-30-2008, 07:54 AM
 
Location: New England
786 posts, read 802,322 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
I missed the other thread and I was just wondering, was your wife always like this before and after the wedding, or did something happen in your lives to change her attitude and behaviour?

You don't have to answer if you don't want to, it's none of my business anyway.
She never was a very tidy person, and I never have insisted on keeping the place ****-n-span, either. Just... when you're done eating, pick up your dirty dishes and put them in the dishwasher. Don't leave dirty pans on the cooktop. Put the dirty laundry in the hamper and run laundry at least weekly.

Before we had kids, we shared the chores... I have always done the laundry, but she would pick up and clean up around the house. She would make dinner and I would clean up afterwards. But after we had kids, things changed... and after we had our third child, things had changed A LOT. Basically, before we had kids, she got her share of attention from me. As we had more kids, she got less and less attention from me, and she did complain about that, and that's where the story starts to get more complicated.

When we got married, I worked for a Big-4 public accounting firm ("The Firm"). As a principal, I put in some pretty big work hours year-round... always in the office by 7:30am, and never home before 7pm, often home quite a bit later, with weekend demands on my time, etc. But I was a good performer in that firm... good performance under pressure, recognzed nationally for superior performance, etc. Yet, I don't think I was a workaholic... there were others there who put in a lot more time than I did. I feel like I did what I had to do to keep my position in an up-or-out type of situation.

Well, shortly after we had our first baby (a boy in 2000), an opportunity arose for me to leave The Firm. This was an opportunity to get in on the ground-floor of a newly formed multi-family office comprised primarily of people with whom I had worked at The Firm.... I not only knew all but maybe one of the people, but had worked with all of them for several years while at The Firm. It was an opportunity - and a risk - to leave The Firm, hopefully make more money, but definitely have less aggravation and office politics that goes along with a place like The Firm.

I talked this opportunity over with my wife... told her that in order for me to advance at The Firm, I would very likely need to take a transfer somewhere (I had already turned down one such opportunity), and the work hours would never get better. So with the opportunity to work with a bunch of people I knew and liked, probably make more money, definitely have better working conditions, fewer hours, have my weekends back, and not have the nonsense that goes along with a big firm, the new opportunity was a no-brainer. Above all, many of us who started the family office had young kids, and we viewed this as an opportunity to be able to see our kids grow up rather than miss it all by selling our lives to The Firm. I am still at this multi-family office today... I still like where I am very much, and I feel this was, in hindsight, a good move for me.

Well, my wife, I think, interpreted this to mean she would get more attention - and she did, but probably not as much attention as she would have liked. One consequence of moving to the multi-family office, though, was that I quickily realized I needed a little more diverse skillset than what I came in with to really be successful. I came in as an accountant - a CPA, with MST degree - to handle the tax planning and compliance of the firm's clients, but I soon saw others in the firm were attempting to handle more sophisticated financial planning matters - like asset allocations - and they really weren't doing that great a job of it, imo.

So... I felt I needed to expand my skills. I quickly completed the requirements for CFP certification (I had plenty of experience already.. all I really needed to do was to pass the exam, which wasn't very hard for me). Then I started looking at graduate programs for investment management. I found one at Boston University (BU) specifically geared toward working professionals such as myself... and 18-month fast-track program (MSIM), with no electives and all courses required - that also integrated the CFA (chartered financial analyst) curriculum (http://www.cfainstitute.org/cfaprog/index.html - broken link). So....

I talked this whole thing over with the missus in the fall of 2002. I described to her how I felt my career would advance both with and without the BU program. I was willing to forego the program if she was willing to live with much more modest growth in income. She and I jointly decided it would be best if I just forged ahead with the BU MSIM program. She was pregnant with #3 at the time, and, at age 44, I very much viewed this as a "window of opportunity" that would not be nearly as attractive a few years down the road and would basically be a closed window in 10 years.

Well, that program demanded A LOT of my time. For those 18 months, I was probably as busy as I would have been had I remained at The Firm. Not only did the MSIM program demand a lot of time, but preparation for the 3 levels of the CFA Exam (which must be taken in sequence and, at the time, was offered only annually... and which has a relatively low passing rate) also chewed up a lot of time in addition to the MSIM curriculum. But I did it.... passed Levels I, II, and III of the CFA series each year in sequence (2003, 2004, and 2005), and wrapped up the the MSIM degree in May of 2004. She didn't get the kind of attention she wanted to get during this time... work and school and the kids took up pretty much all of my time and she got what was left over, which wasn't much.

But during that time, "things" changed quite a bit in the house. After I "came up for air" after completing that degree in May of 2004, I found the missus had run up some $3k to $4k in credit card debt that I didn't know about until June of 2004. She started seeing her shrink for treatment of... depression, bipolar, or whatever the diagnosis turned out to be. We had our first experience in marriage counseling starting in December of 2004 and have given it the ol' college try with a total of 3 counselors since then.

To pay off her credit cards, she started working part-time (weekends, every other weekend) starting in July of 2004... a move I fully supported. But then she had opportunities arise, too... eventually she found herself working 12 hours on every Saturday and Sunday, making decent money, but she never managed to pay down those credit cards. In fact, the credit card spending only accelerated. But because I was working during the week - and after I completed the MSIM program and the CFA series, my work hours returned to a much more manageable and normal workload as I had anticipated back in 2001 when I left The Firm - and she was working all day every weekend, we hardly saw each other at all for perhaps a year from February of 2006 to February of 2007 when she finally quit working completely. Still, the credit card spending continued until she had maxed out her $18k credit limit this past February. I padi that off in full in March of 2008 and, since then, have paid another $2k or so on account of new purchases.

I have gone into this detail because it illustrates exactly how the relationship changed over the years. I will take the blame for perhaps not giving her the attention she needed since I left The Firm. But we only had one child, who was about 6 months old, when I left The Firm, too. As they grow they require more attention, and as more kids get added, they require more attention. So, yeah, she got less attention from me than she would have liked (or perhaps needed). But I didn't make any career moves or make any major time commitments without first discussing them with her, either.

At the end of the day, what we have is an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage. She resents me, and I have my resentments towards her, but we both love the kids, and they love each of us. And, while I hold some resentments towards her, I really don't want to hurt her... I do want to get on with my life, and I don't think it's unreasonable to expect her to work to do her share to support herself and any kids she may wind up with custody of.

I meet with my attorney tomorrow, but I have already been told that, unless she's grossly incompetent - a "crack *****", as I used to say back last fall before my hiatus (and she's not that) - it'll be a tremendous uphill battle for me to get custody of any of the kids - unless she agrees to it. I could see her agreeing to allow me custody of our boy because he can be a real challenge to deal with and she doesn't get along with him that well anyhow. But my expectation is that it would be prohibitively costly for me to go for all 3 kids... that's one of the things I need to discuss tomorrow in more detail, but my attorney has already told me he's seen such fights run into six-digit costs, I simply cannot afford.

Anyhow, that's the bird's-eye view of the history in a nutshell.

Last edited by shuke; 04-30-2008 at 08:06 AM..
 
Old 04-30-2008, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Lots of sun and palm trees with occasional hurricane :)
8,292 posts, read 14,578,409 times
Reputation: 6980
So Shuke, it looks like you were climbing that ladder to the glass ceiling and the wife was relegated to the corner. You were pushing for ultimately more money and more time with the family and instead, the plan came back and smacked you flat in the face.

You know, you can't win 'em all. You just never know which is the best way. Even though your wife and you discussed the immediate future so that the long term future would be brighter, she, and probably you too, didn't realize how much commitment and patience it really demanded. You were just going and going full steam ahead after the mega bucks and position and she basically was plain bored out of her mind.

I don't understand though how she could keep charging and not paying down. Did she go to collections or have purchases denied or anything? Did she just make minimum payments so that the balance never disappeared?

You say you both love the kids and vice versa but I don't see how she can love them so much when she totally ignores them (from what you say) and pays no attention (or enough) to them. Who's raising them? How? They only get love, care, and discipline from the few hours that you have for them while the mother is off on her own trance?

It would seem to me that it should not be THAT difficult for you to get custody of the kids. She can have visitation rights and not even unless she gets her act together. If she's bipolar, that comes into play also. What happens when she doesn't take her meds and one of the kids needs her? Another Britney Spears?

I feel for you. I can understand the history and the greed and the reasons but I don't understand how any of it gives your "wife" an excuse for acting like a disgrace of a mother.

BTW, she did get attention. You have 3 kids to show for it!
 
Old 04-30-2008, 09:14 AM
 
Location: New England
786 posts, read 802,322 times
Reputation: 553
Quote:
Originally Posted by vpcats View Post
So Shuke, it looks like you were climbing that ladder to the glass ceiling and the wife was relegated to the corner. You were pushing for ultimately more money and more time with the family and instead, the plan came back and smacked you flat in the face.

You know, you can't win 'em all. You just never know which is the best way. Even though your wife and you discussed the immediate future so that the long term future would be brighter, she, and probably you too, didn't realize how much commitment and patience it really demanded. You were just going and going full steam ahead after the mega bucks and position and she basically was plain bored out of her mind.
This is mostly accurate. But it's a distortion of the facts to say that I was just going after the "mega bucks", as you put it. I think it is more accurate to say I was focused on long-term goals. I saw 3 kids needing college educations in 18 years.... I saw visions of retiriing in maybe 25 years or so.... I saw aging parents going into a nursing home... and so forth. I left The Firm to allow myself more time with the family, but once I got in my present position, I realized that someone in this office needed the skills that I eventually acquired. What I saw was a two- to three-year timeframe during which I and my wife would both have to "suck it up" a bit and work hard in order to realize the goals of being able to fund the kids' college educations, our retirement, etc. In the end, I think it is more accurate to say that I am long-term goal oriented and willing to make present sacrifices in order to achieve long-term goals, while she is much more of a live-for-today type of person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vpcats View Post
I don't understand though how she could keep charging and not paying down. Did she go to collections or have purchases denied or anything? Did she just make minimum payments so that the balance never disappeared?
Yes, I think she just made minimum payments. And ever since she quit work, she has drawn funds for weekly expenses.... started out at $120/week and she's now drawing $150/week. That money does not pay for groceries or gas or medicines or clothing other necessities... that was just if she wanted to take the kids out for lunch or to a movie or whatever, that she would have money to do it. Well, she never has accounted for how she spends that money... I strongly suspect she was not using it as I had intended, but instead used it to pay credit card charges. And the debt run up for the credit cards was largely stuff for her. I know that because she was pretty good about getting me to pony up for any necessities that she charged - like kids clothes. And after 2004, I took over the purchasing of kids' clothes, anyhow, because I didn't think she was getting very good value for her money. [Case in point: this past Easter of 2008.... she dressed the girls up in nice, frilly dresses for Easter church services. Not sure how much she spent on those outfits, but with shoes and tights and pocketbooks and all, I'm sure it was somewhere between $100 and $200 per outfit... and the only time those girls will ever wear those dresses was that one time, for Easter church services a few weeks ago. She used to do that kind fo stuff a lot before I took over clothing purchasing. Another instance I remember is when she got our youngest some nice sneakers to wear to summer camp last summer. I was dressing them to get dirty, but she insisted the youngest girl wear these nice, sequined sneakers. Came home completely caked in mud and basically ruined.] But to answer your question, she was making minimum payments from money I had intended she use to pay for other things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vpcats View Post
You say you both love the kids and vice versa but I don't see how she can love them so much when she totally ignores them (from what you say) and pays no attention (or enough) to them. Who's raising them? How? They only get love, care, and discipline from the few hours that you have for them while the mother is off on her own trance?
That's a good point. I do think she places her own desires ahead of those of the kids. In many respects, I feel she is very self-centered. And she does have a habit of disappearing to her room, leaving the kids to run around on their own. If she's really tired or otherwise "out of it", those kids quickly learn they'd better not disturb her when she's isolating, too! But yesterday, for example, seemed to be one of her better days. I know she went out and spent some money, but I don't really know much of what she did before I got home. When I did get home, she was up in the bedroom, as usual, and the kids were down in the newly cleaned playroom watching TV. Our boy was looking for me to come home, and he greeted me outside, while the girls came up from the playroom after I came inside. The wife had some frozen lasagna baking in the oven for dinner. I have a meeting every Tuesday night from 7:30 to 8:30pm, so my boy and i changed, put ran a couple of miles together, shot a few hoops outside, then I got changed and left for my meeting. When I left, she had served dinner to the kids and was eating her own dinner. My main meal is at lunch (we have catered lunches), so I usually just grab a quick bite after my meeting. When I got home, all the dirty plates were left on the table, half a pan of baked lasagna was left on the counter, and all 3 kids were watching tv in the playroom, while she was upstairs in the bedroom watching her own tv. I put the 3 kids to bed and cleaned up the worst of the mess in the kitchen, and got the kids' laundry running. That's about the best it gets in our house because she was relatively functional and there was no yelling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vpcats View Post
It would seem to me that it should not be THAT difficult for you to get custody of the kids. She can have visitation rights and not even unless she gets her act together. If she's bipolar, that comes into play also. What happens when she doesn't take her meds and one of the kids needs her? Another Britney Spears?
We shall see.
 
Old 04-30-2008, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Lots of sun and palm trees with occasional hurricane :)
8,292 posts, read 14,578,409 times
Reputation: 6980
OK to clarify my wording. I didn't mean "mega bucks" in a derogatory way. I meant it exactly the way you were intending and needing those mega bucks.... Life is expensive and you do need to plan. It's good to plan to avoid devastating surprises and last minute changes. Yeah, kids need college, although some can work their way through it. Parents should have planned for their old age, we need to plan our retirement so we don't need food stamps and all that.

So you work your tail off to have the means ($$$$) to accomplish everything.

I think it takes a certain type of person to think like that and actually perform to fulfill the strategic plan. It's amazing when both people in a marriage can think alike. Usually it doesn't happen that way and I think your wife may have lost sight of the original agreement.

Well, look forward to hearing more. I sympathize with you.
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