Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Rollercoaster to Whirlwind

As if the constant ups and downs of the rollercoaster weren’t enough I now feel that I’ve been picked up by a whirlwind and am being spun round and round, all the while being battered by debris that is also being spun round.

But let’s start with the good news, shall we? I am walking around cane free! I used the stairs instead of the elevator at work this morning! I am well on my way to full recovery from being run over by a car. Now, I will say that there is still pain in my right leg, but it is minimal and not constant. There is also the gaping wound on top of my foot, but it even seems to be healing up a bit and not looking quite so frightening as a few days ago. Hey, everybody ought to have something go right in their life, and for me right now this is it.

On to the tough stuff then. Grieving continues for both the lost love and the lost marriage. You can’t lose love without grieving that loss, and grieving takes time. I’m trying to be gentle with myself and not overly berate myself for the moments when I still fall apart and cry. The crying though is not as wrenching as it was at first. It also is easier to get under control and lasts shorter amounts of time than before. You can’t lose a 20 year marriage, even a bad one, without grieving that loss, and that grieving also takes time. As long as I stick to the practical aspects of the situation I am fine, but when W decides to trek down memory lane and remind me of the good times (and particularly early on there were a lot of good times) I lose it. I grieve for the loss of those good times and am saddened that we couldn’t hold onto that forever as we once thought we would.

I am kicking myself after last night’s counseling session. I agreed, against my better judgment and every piece of advice given to me by everyone giving me advice, to see if the living in the house together even though we are separate would work. Strength be gone, and let weakness overtake me. I caved. I am the Queen of Compromise. Sure, I’ll work with you. Sure, I’ll give this a try. Sure, walk all over me. I so deserve all that I get in terms of grief and heartache over this.

Then there’s the legal side of all of this. Since for all but one year of our marriage (actually that’s not even true because we were married in July and then he left his job the next February with me going to work that April so really he was the main breadwinner for less than eight months, followed by two months of unemployment by both of us that completely depleted both of our savings accounts), I have been the primary breadwinner in the household chances are good that W could ask for, and receive, spousal support awarded in the divorce settlement. Never mind that he has squandered money while I have tried to save. Never mind that materially what I brought into this marriage was as much or more than what he brought. Never mind that my income helped pay the spousal support he owed, and continues to owe monthly, to his first wife. Never mind any of that. The fact remains that I make the lion’s share of our household income and have for virtually the duration of the marriage, and he has become accustomed to a standard of living that he would not have achieved on his own. Now, by law here, he will have to, as non-custodial parent, pony up 20% of his income for child support. My attorney suggested that I might offer to forego child support if he is willing to forego spousal support. The good part of that is that legally once he gives up rights to spousal support that decision is irrevocable while child support legally cannot be given up irrevocably, but is always subject to revisiting. Besides, 20% of his income for child support will not be a very significant amount considering that his pension, social security and trust payments don’t add up to a ton of money.

I dread going home this evening to hear what new suggestion W has for our situation. The more time he is allowed to think the more ideas he develops for how we can work this all out, make nice, and continue on as a family. I pray for the strength to get through this. This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life because I am grown up enough now to face the problems head on rather than run away from them. Don’t think the urge doesn’t strike to just pack up and go. . . somewhere. . . anywhere. . . away to a new start. . . again. I can’t do that again like I have done before. I am an adult with adult responsibilities, including a precious child who deserves better, and I have to at some point start acting like an adult and live up to those responsibilities.


Bunny said...

I'm surprised your attorney even suggested the child support/spousal support trade-off. In my state, I wouldn't even think to suggest that. The child support is technically owed to the CHILD, not the custodial parent, so it can't be traded off like that, at least not openly. Never mind the tax implications too (child support is NOT deductible to the payer and is NOT taxable income to the payee; spousal support IS deductible for the payer and IS taxable income to the payee).

Like I said before, W is in the bargaining stage of grief. You need to stand your ground. It's too difficult to try to live together but be separate. What if one of you wants to move on with a new person - will you all three live together with N? No, of course not.

W needs a counselor or other third-party to help him see that he needs to accept the inevitable and move on with his life. Are any of his adult children or other family close enough to advise him? It really is in N's best interest to not drag things out and further confuse him, if reconciliation is definitely not going to happen. Not to mention that's it's in W's best interest, as well.

Hugs to all three of you. I know this isn't easy at all.

Al Laddin said...

....which you are dearest Tru, but dammit this crap makes my head hurt and my heart ache. I've got similar stuff going on and I just hate simply has to be dealt with.

All I can do is remember what I heard at one of my "meetings" once; "When you're going through HELL...don't STOP!"

Jaded Bunny said...

He is staying? Staying?

This time will be no different. He need to leave. And he needs to pay child support.

And if he grovels for spousal support? Despicable.

JMO, as always.

Summer said...

I honestly don't see how a seperation can move forward to divorce if a couple remains in the same house but "seperated". It seems like it would be very confusing to N.

The Silent Male said...

My take on spousal support, it should only happen in circumstances where one of the married couple made a specific economic sacrifice for the other spouse or children (such as skipping advanced education or missing out on work opportunities for advancement).
As for Child Support, there is nothing more important than making sure the child is taken care of (financially speaking of course). As he is a child of both of you, then both should participate in financially caring for the child.

Don't you wish I was the judge in your area?

Trueself said...

Bunny - Are any of his adult children or other family close enough to advise him? This question actually made me laugh right out loud. W has alienated both of his adult children. Surprise, surprise.

Al - Don't stop. Good advice. Thanks.

JB - Honestly, it never occurred to me to ask for child support. I had just always assumed I'd take 100% responsibility for N financially.

Summer - Confusing for N, and I think confusing for me and for W too.

SM - Yes, I very much do wish that.