what is the value of a partner?

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what is the value of a partner?

Postby carolsue » Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:37 pm

My husband is leaving me after 22 years of what I thought was a healthy and good marriage. I was blindsided by this. He feels that he has fallen in love with someone else. I do not think his reasons are at all related to my MS. Instead, I think this is a full-blown mid-life crisis complete with a variety of cliches and well known syndromes.

I was diagnosed 4.5 years ago. I was never disabled, nor have I missed work due to MS. My early symptoms were mild and I have been symptom-free for about 3 years. I know this could change, and I have counted on my husband being there to provide for me in the event that I could no longer work or became disabled.

He claims to still love me and feels guilty about this. We are negotiating the division of property and debts and trying to do this fairly. I am asking for some additional financial security out of the settlement to account for the fact that he will no longer be there for me. But I have no idea how to put a number on this. Do any of you have any ideas? How much work is missed by a typical exacerbation? How much shorter is the typical career for someone with MS? How much does it cost to pay for a home health aide?

It is bizarre to me to try quantify the unquantifiable. Any thoughts are appreciated.

carolsue
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Postby catfreak » Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:37 pm

Wow, This is a the unanswerable question. Do you have an attorney or financial planner that could help do the math? Medical bills, medication etc are so expensive.

Or you could split it this way. He gets the debts and you get the property. Best of luck to you. You are in my prayers.

CF
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Postby Terry » Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:42 pm

Carolsue,
I am so sorry. I am in my 40's and have watched as so many of my friends have experienced what you are experiencing. I'm sorry it is happening to you.
My advice on the money split is DON'T DO IT WITHOUT A LAWYER!
Find one who has experience and who will help you. A good lawyer will have the experience to look at your situation and make sure you are fairly compensated. A good lawyer will have access to the info you need, and the ability to set things up for you correctly. Also, when a trusted lawyer advises you of something, DO IT! I have friends who, out of guilt, have said no to advice from a lawyer, and are sorry later.
Hang in there. You are definitely not alone.
Terry
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Postby cheerleader » Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:23 pm

Dear Carolsue-
Thoughts go out to you...like Terry, I'm in my 40s and have watched many friends and family go thru this. Mid-life crisis, adultery, change of heart...it's always heartbreaking to see.

I live in a community property state, which makes it a little easier to divide property. Are there children involved? Childcare or spousal support? Who was the main breadwinner? Did you make career sacrifices to help his career? All of these things are quantifiable by a good lawyer. Your future needs would fall into the category. Ask friends for legal referrals.

Most importantly, find support, and take care of yourself. I was home with my Mom when my Dad left her after 23 years of marriage...she turned to her girlfriends and they rallied around her.
I wish you all the best,
AC
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby Loobie » Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:32 am

Carolsue,

That sucks and I hope that you get through this without having your MS to deal with. Everyone on here is right, it's an emotional time, but a time to 'stay in your head'. I'm my wife's second husband. Her first was pretty well off, but she was emotional and just wanted out and took basically just the dining room table. She said she regretted it not a week after it was done. The emotional scar started to heal and she was left realizing that she was 28 and living in her Mother's condo; and she was employed!

How hard it must be to seperate you heart from your head on something like this, but it looks like everyone's advice that has been through it has a common theme. Get a lawyer and take care of your future to the extent that you can from this.

All that being said, ending a 22 year marriage when you didn't see it coming has to really hurt and I wish you well in getting 'through it'. Seek solace in your friends and family and know we are all behind you.
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Postby MrsGeorge » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:51 am

I don't really have anything to add that hasn't already been said. I just wanted to say that I am sorry that this is happening and that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
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Postby notasperfectasyou » Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:54 am

You need to separate the emotional from the objective.

I know this is very hard to do, I have been there.

Honestly, you need to get as clear and objective as possible, like you're about to fire an employee. You need security and he's taking the security he provides away, so you need to battle for as much as possible. Scrap fairness, he has taken something from you that is priceless. You deserve and should get 100% of everything. Seriously.

You need a very good attorney and you need your attorney to be a shark. It's worth the money, absolutely. You need to gently manipulate your exhusbands guilt to maximize the outcome for you.

If all this sounds ugly, it's because it is. You ought to be angry and raging mad. Don't allow yourself to get unhappy and down. You need your energy up and your awareness on high. You might not want to think of this as a cat and mouse game, but if you turn out to be the mouse, there's no renegotiation. Play the game well to get what you deserve. Ken
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Postby scoobyjude » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:46 pm

Carolsue,
I'm so sorry to hear what is happening to you. Two weeks ago my boyfriend of 9 years, who was my rock in every situation, told me he just couldn't deal with being in a relationship right now. It was not MS related either. I know it is not the same situation but I do feel a fraction of your pain. I thought that we would always be together and I never worried about how my MS might affect me in the future because I knew he would be there. Boy was I wrong. I agree with what everyone else has said. When you are let down by someone you put your whole trust into it can definitely cloud your judgement. It is a very emotional time but you need to think with your head and if you can't, find someone who will be able to put your needs first. We are all here for you.
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Postby carolsue » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:15 pm

Thank you all for your replies. I have a wonderful network of supportive friends and family, but I don't think any of them really understand the undertone that MS casts on all this. I am grateful for this community because you do understand.

I am indeed getting a good lawyer, as I have a lot to protect. I hope to resist vindictiveness, however. I live in a no fault state, so it doesn't matter who violated the marital agreement. But I think there is still a shred of decency in him and that he will agree to a settlement in my favor. And apparently, there is legal precedent for added compensation for chronic illness in divorce cases. I'll know more in a couple weeks.

Although I am putting it "on the shelf" for now, I know that I will have to face my fear of MS all over again when I'm alone. But that's for another day. It's one day (one hour) at a time right now.

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Postby TwistedHelix » Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:56 am

Carolsue,
I've only just read your post and my heart goes out to you: it really does. The advice that the others have given is the best and I can't add to that except to agree that a lawyer is the best bet: when you are in such emotional turmoil you need the help of someone who can approach matters in a distant and calculating way… you mentioned a legal precedent which should hopefully work in your favour.
You also mentioned clichés, well, among my female friends and acquaintances an alarming number have found themselves in a similar situation to yours, (minus the complication of MS, of course), and it is staggering to hear how the departing husbands do the same things, act in the same way, and even say almost exactly the same words as each other. It sometimes sounds as if they are all following a script: (" I can't take this any more"… blah, blah, blah…).
But, even though he was there to support you before, remember it is you who has dealt with the devastating emotions of having MS, and if you were strong enough to get through that you will, eventually, come out of this,
Dom
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Postby Slumby » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:57 pm

I also only want to say that you will be in my thoughts. I wish you the best.
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Re: what is the value of a partner?

Postby HarryZ » Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:14 am

Carolsue,

I was on vacation and just read your message today.

I was married to my wife (had the MS) for 32 years before she passed away last year from the complications this lousy disease can give you. I can imagine the pain that you are going through at this moment.

I would suggest two things....obtain a good lawyer and seek some kind of counseling to help you through the grieving process of separation/divorce. DO NOT attempt to negotiate this separation with your husband directly. It will likely cause you nothing but more grief and with MS, you really don't need that!

The next several months will be difficult for you and I sincerely hope you can move on with your life as well as you can.

Harry
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Postby carolsue » Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:24 pm

Harry,
I've followed your posts and felt that you were a wonderful and priceless partner for your wife. I hope you are healing from your loss.

I have obtained a good lawyer as well as a good therapist. And friends bought me some acupuncture (hmmm...do I really need friends who buy me the gift of more needles?!). Fortunately, I think our marital estate can be divided fairly simply. No children, one house, one car, and some retirement savings. I am taking action this week that will first and foremost protect me, but also help me slow things down. You see, he fell in love and decided all this in the course of a few days in mid Oct, blindsided me with the announcement Oct 17 and got an apartment with his new love Nov 2. I still haven't had a chance to catch my breath!

I'm told I'm doing really well, but this is by far the hardest thing I've ever gone through. I know it will get worse before it gets better, but I know it will get better.
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Postby HarryZ » Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:21 pm

Carolsue,

Thank you very much for the kind words. I have spent the past 13 months moving on with my life and am doing very well.

While dividing the marital estate can seem simple, you want to legally insure that it is followed. I have heard of some nasty stories when it comes to this and that is why a lawyer is required to protect you.

Belonging to the "male species", I can pretty much figure that your husband was working on this relationship for a while and it didn't appear suddenly. That's only my opinion but you are wise to proceed slowly. The best of luck.

Harry
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