How to get out of this long term Marriage
July 18, 2010 4:17 AM   Subscribe

How to get out of this long term Marriage?

Stuck in a rut. Help me get out of this relation ship with my Wife.
It became clear that we're just not right for each other about 10 years back. I had to stick with her for my children or social stigma.
I don't have relatives here in US, but she has cousins.I Live in MD we have been married for 20 years and have two children. One is 18 yrs and the other is 6yrs.

I make around $95k she works make about $80K and she is on my medical insurance.

Here are the things which I find problem with

1) She does not pay any bills. I pay around $3500 each month for mortgage and utilities when asked money she begins to shout!
The list of things I pay Mortgage($2700), Gas, Electric, Water, Satellite TV, Cell Phone, car insurance, my son's 597 plan($150)
The list of things she pays, Telephone bill and my daughters 597 plan ($450)

2) I have her name in my joint checking account, she does not have. She have invested in stock trade on my back. I know this
because I am doing our tax return.

3) She does not do daily chores starts shouting. If she starts doeing some works she nitpicks.
Does not keep thrash, showel snow , does not mow etc.

There are other issues, I tried to adjust with her. Here are some
When I use to work around 40 miles away, she around 8 miles. she used to call exactly arounf 6PM at that time I use to be on the
DC beltway. People who commute know how difficult it is.
now she works for 9 hrs she had work When I bring that up she says those are past issue.

Now I work nearby.I have to pick kids during early release days or other school activity even though she works nearby.

I love my kids. We have property in abroad.

I want a Divorce. How fast it will we done? Being with her is nightmare. Recommend a good lawyer in MD (Gaithersburg area).

I appreciate any suggestion
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (15 answers total)
None of the details here about your grievances with your wife are relevant to your questions. There was really no reason to list them other than to tell people that your wife is a bad person. Don't do this. Your grievances with your wife are nobody's business; you have kids, whom this will hurt; and you surely have your faults, also. All that matters is that it's not working out; don't run around telling people what's wrong with your wife (or saying or implying that there is something wrong with your wife). It makes you sound bad, not her.

Get a lawyer to answer your questions about how it works. How long it takes will likely depend on how acrimonious or complicated things get.

For the record, I have no idea whether your marriage is salvageable or whether you should try to salvage it or not, so I'm not taking a position on that, but it's worth remembering that as far as chores and parenting go, you'll still have to do all those things after the divorce.

Again, you have kids, don't run around badmouthing their mother needlessly even if she really is the world's worst person.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:41 AM on July 18, 2010 [32 favorites]

You asked two questions:

1) How do you get out of your marriage - Fill out the required paperwork. You can do this yourself or through a lawyer. Because you have children and property, I recommend using a lawyer.

2) Recommend a good lawyer - You can find some good information here, as well as a link to your states bar association, which will have great referrals.
posted by Sufi at 5:38 AM on July 18, 2010

Don't file for divorce when you're upset and angry. Give yourself time to really think it through and calm down. You're going to have to be civil and friendly to your wife throughout the divorce process and afterwards. You will still have a relationship with her for many years because of your children. It would be in your best interest to do everything you can to be calm and rational with your wife concerning the divorce. You will regret it later if you say anything in anger or in front of your kids.
posted by Nixy at 5:43 AM on July 18, 2010

IANAL, and what you really need is one to talk to. I do not have recommendations, either. But you may want to start with the State of Maryland's divorce FAQ. It looks like, unless you have some specific basis/cause to cite, you need to be legally separated for two years. Your case is obviously going to be complicated by shared assets and custody.

The facts that she does not currently pay a share of the bills, pick up the children, or do chores are not really relevant to us; they might possibly be to your lawyer, but at the moment it just looks like you're venting. Grab a buddy, get some beers, and do it with him. Doing it in public where your wife's future divorce attorney might possibly find it? Probably not a great idea. I hope you don't have any real life identity tied to that username, or you might want to ask a mod to make this anon.
posted by asciident at 5:46 AM on July 18, 2010

Could you clarify what she shouts about?

My ex used to shout and there was no constructive resolution to problems - hence ex.

If you present to her that you think its more fair if money/chores were shared, what exactly does she say?

It doesn't look like she fights fair.

Another point I have is that both you and her do not have family here. One question that comes to mind is if she would act that way in front of her family or your family.

Maybe she thinks she can get away with her behavior because you are being so accommodating.

Is she open to counseling? I have a feeling that she isn't.

I can only say that your relationship doesn't sound healthy.

Its possible that your behavior causes her to act like a child. Not your fault but perhaps after being fed up with her, your tone of voice and demeanor makes her act out in defiance.

Just a thought.

I just hope she is aware enough to change and perhaps there are things you would like to change for yourself too.
posted by simpleton at 7:01 AM on July 18, 2010

Just a note to other readers - this reads to me like a certain cultural background where arranged marriages are the norm and divorce is unheard of or very rare particularly in the age group that they would be in. If the gentleman in question is articulating his reasons its because these are very rarely considered as valid within the conservative social norms of the region - one often has to establish "real" reasons.

My suggestion would be to offer pragmatic advice on divorce and issues. Such as the fact that in the US, one person can file for divorce as "uncontested" if the wife agrees to it. If she fights it, then there will be a problem. How would he deal with these issues?

The mere fact that he is contemplating this after so long and such an effort informs me that its not something that can be solved or is being done in anger, rather I sense the despair and the last ditch effort. His society will not support this move.
posted by infini at 7:27 AM on July 18, 2010 [16 favorites]

I am going to be a bit nasty here. Pardon. Though I agree with all that has been said, the money thing mayh well do you in. Get your own spearatge account and move at least 50% of your money into it. Why? Start a divorce proceeding and she may empty the account.
Lawyer by all means and ASAP...your "anger" in fact has built up over time and is not something that a colling off is going to cfhange.
I had been married 21 years before I got divorced. Asked my lawyer, a good personal friend, why it took me so long to do it. He said: you do it only when you are ready.

Now happily married 27 can be done.
posted by Postroad at 7:31 AM on July 18, 2010

Talking to a good divorce attorney, ASAP, is kind of a no-brainer. Remember, though, that lawyers are paid by the hour; it's in the lawyer's best interest, at least financially speaking, to drag your divorce proceedings out so that they will make more money. That may not be in your own best interest.

Two things, before you head to a lawyer:

First: is there someone else? Your list of grievances sounds as though you're just searching for an excuse to leave her. If there is, be prepared for this to (possibly) get messy.

Second: if you're going to end this marriage, you need to leave all of this petty anger and frustration out of the negotiations, especially if there is a 6 year old child involved. If you show up to meditation and tell everyone that you want a divorce because your wife used to call you every day at 6pm, and that was inconvenient for're going to look spiteful and irrational. Do whatever you have to do to proceed in a calm, reasonable, and logical fashion. If that means waiting another 6-12 months until some of this anger has subsided and until you can explain why you want a divorce without just trashing your wife, do it. You claim to love your children; don't do something that's going to permanently alienate their mother. Remember that it will help your children if you can maintain a positive, adult relationship with their mother, even after your divorce.
posted by pecanpies at 7:33 AM on July 18, 2010

Postroad is right on the money (no pun intended). Get your finances in order.

I'm kind of shocked that you don't have fully joint finances but that may be a good thing. Begin separating them more by removing her name from your checking account and start making her pay her way. If she refuses, start dropping luxuries that you currently pay for.

Your checking account is the most important thing to lock her out of though, especially if she won't give you access to hers. That is ridiculous and infuriating.

you do all of this though, find a good divorce attorney and consult them ASAP. There are kids and assets involved and this could likely get messy.

In the end, remember that your obligation is not to her, as it seems that ship has already sailed. Your obligation is to your kids and to making sure they come out of this mentally sound and financially secure.
posted by Elminster24 at 8:24 AM on July 18, 2010

In the spirit of infini's note:

I have been divorced in Maryland, though I do not have children. Having children complicates and lengthens the process, but the state's rules still apply the same:

You have to be separated for a period of time before you can file divorce papers. "Separation" in Maryland is not a legal filing. You are separated from the date you move out of the house (or she does) AND you stop having sex.

You file for divorce based on a reason you select from the state's options, called "grounds." Whoever files the divorce papers will have to state the grounds. A list of grounds is at the Maryland divorce FAQ

You cannot file for divorce until the separation has reached the length of time required in the grounds you select. It will be either one year or two years. You cannot live together or have sex during that entire time, or the time period starts all over again.

In that list, "voluntary separation" generally means that you and wife both agree to be separated and that you will divorce (commonly referred to as uncontested). In this case the separation is only one year. If you intend to file for divorce and she does not agree (or is non-responsive), then the separation must last two years.

Lastly, here's a quote from that FAQ that I think everyone contemplating divorce needs to hear over and over again: "The least expensive divorce is one in which the parties agree on how to divide property and how to care for their children after divorce."

I didn't use a lawyer because we didn't disagree on anything, so I don't have any recommendations for you. Good luck.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 8:51 AM on July 18, 2010

ImproviseOrDie has it right about separation/divorce in MD. I was divorced in Rockville, next door to Gaithersburg and in the same courthouse you'll use if you pursue this. Check your MeFi mail for contact information for the attorney I used. He was thoughtful and fair, and recommended/facilitated communication rather than litigation whenever possible.
posted by headnsouth at 9:19 AM on July 18, 2010

I've sent you a lawyer recommendation over MeFi Mail. They deal with a lot of immigrant clients which may be helpful to you. They are located in Baltimore which isn't that close to you, but I think you can get a free first consultation wherein they can refer you to someone closer should you need it.
posted by bluefly at 9:50 AM on July 18, 2010

I am going through a divorce right now, although in California so specific legal things aren't relevant. If you're curious about cost, I'm paying a lawyer about $1000 for a no-fault, reasonably amicable divorce (no real fighting over how to divide things) [and then between the two of us it's another $710 to the state for the processing]. Technically we could do it without, but I have enough assets that it was worth the money to me to make sure everything was perfect. Given that you have kids and make a fair amount of money, and that you appear to not be getting along at all, a lawyer is definitely what you need.
posted by wildcrdj at 2:31 PM on July 18, 2010

I think you should discuss this with your relatives. You're painting a weird and negative picture of her and that makes you sound angry. Make decisions when you're calm and don't threaten divorce. Why not go to her and say, "I'm unhappy and I hoped things would be like this and I feel bad when you shout."

I don't understand some of what you've written. Your main problem seems to be her money and what she's doing with it. Fine, I get that. But you guys didn't seem to discuss what her income should do to support the family.

You guys are better off seeing a marriage counselor. You have kids, you're angry and unhappy, and you guys need to get a hold of the situation and do what you can to work it out. Honestly, you might be surprised at how you can be happier if you two learn to communicate with each other. If counseling doesn't help, then call of quits, but there's a huge stigma against divorced men in cultures with arranged marriages and though it seems that everyone is dating and remarrying, you might end up with the same problem if you don't learn to express that you feel stressed and burdened in a way your partner can understand.
posted by anniecat at 4:49 PM on July 18, 2010

this reads to me like a certain cultural background where arranged marriages are the norm and divorce is unheard of or very rare particularly in the age group that they would be in... His society will not support this move. (from infini's comment)

*Rolls eyes* Not to get all chatfilter-y, but I really hate it when people make these types of assumptions about people from "other cultures" -- the OP said NOTHING about an arranged marriage -- and therefore make further assumptions about his "culture" ("his society will not support his move"). Who made you the expert on "his society" and what they will do?! In this case, it doesn't matter if the OP is in an arranged marriage and the assumption was correct; the OP did not mention it. So I don't see how making that assumption will help him, other than to show that to assume something makes an ass out of u and me!!! And in fact, the marriage that he describes could happen to a LOT of people, not just to people in arranged marriages - getting married for the wrong reasons, realizing that you shouldn't have married that person, communication problems, financial issues, and social stigma for getting a divorce. All of this isn't unique to one particular culture, it happens all the time everywhere. Please open your eyes, people.

Anyway, shankara: you've got some good advice here specific to your question - how to get a divorce and lawyer recommendations. I just want to add that if you get a divorce, it sounds like it will be a big challenge to negotiate a fair division of assets, and custody of your 6-yr old, because it sounds like you and your wife have really big communication problems. I think it's going to be very stressful for your children, so please don't lose sight of what your children will have to go through as well. Don't be afraid to get support for them, such as having them talk to a therapist. You might also want to consider seeing your own therapist (or someone to talk to through your church or community), or even suggesting marriage counselling for you and your wife before you start filing procedures for getting a divorce. The problems you describe sound like they can be fixed if you two talk about them in a calm manner with perhaps a neutral third party - the both of you need to hear each other's reasons for acting and reacting the way that you do, and find solutions and work together. But, you have to want to fix them, and you have to develop the communication skills to do so. Whether you think that's easier or harder than getting a divorce is your decision. But it's just another option for you to consider.
posted by foxjacket at 5:57 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

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