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Author: Patzer Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 310533  
Subject: Re: What is the best way? Date: 7/23/2014 3:26 PM
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We don't have a rocksolid communicative marriage at any stretch of the imagination...and I have doubts of his ability to stick with this for very long but at the minimum, I can start paying stuff down sooner so there isn't so much when the courts get involved with splitting the debt.

I've thought about responding on this thread several times, and each time failed to come up with a post I was happy with.

I went through a divorce from 2002 to 2004. Yes, it took 15 to 24 months, depending on where I count the start and end of the divorce proceeding. Finances were a measurable, undeniable symptom of underlying marriage problems. Finances weren't the problem; but they were a symptom that I could not deny.

My issue with responding to you is, I could very easily project my own bad experience onto your example. In reality, what you face may or may not be similar to what I faced.

FWIW, I thought for a long time we had communications problems. It turned out that we had agreement problems. To oversimplify the financial part of it, I could not accept unrestrained spending with no thought to the future, and she could not accept any constraints on spending when she felt like spending. Other stuff in play made it take me far too long to recognize this.

I originally started frequenting this board in 2002, hoping to find a way to educate then-wife on why running up credit cards hurt us. I found an answer, but it wasn't helpful in getting her to change. That answer is most elegantly expressed by a classic light bulb joke:

Q: How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Only one, but the bulb has to really *WANT* to change.

Perhaps you don't face as hopeless a situation as I did. If you do, divorce is the only way to stop the financial bleeding. That's messy, emotional, and not anyone's first choice; but sometimes it has to be done.

If you do get to the point of divorce, here's a teaser: Prudent financial management in the context of a divorce, particularly when divorcing a spendthrift, is different from prudent financial management under the assumption that the marriage is viable. Been there, done that, and things look a whole lot better a decade after it's over.

I hope I don't need to see you on the divorce board; but if I do, it is what it is.

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