Monday, October 24, 2011

Right reasons for divorce

I am going to have to quit reading this stupid newspaper advice column, but my local newspaper prints it next to the comics page.

Today's advice:
She's Leaving for All the Right Reasons

Dear Annie: I am 29 years old, have been married for eight years and have two toddlers. I have decided to leave my husband.

When we met, I was in college and my husband had just graduated. I quit school with the assumption that he would pass his licensure exam. He has since failed it three times. ...

He has told me to quit school, knowing we would have to pay back every cent of the tuition. He said he doesn't believe it is God's will for me to attend school. (He's also said that if I don't have sex with him, it will be my fault if he fails his exam again.)

I don't have the resources to leave him until I graduate, ... How do I ensure that I get primary, residential custody of my kids? — Surviving in Virginia

Dear Virginia: In his desperation to control you, your husband's frustration has become emotional abuse. We are concerned that this will escalate. It is possible that joint counseling, particularly with your clergy, might help him realize that his attitude is hurting everyone.

In the meantime, custody arrangements do not come with advance guarantees, so please talk to a lawyer. And call the National Domestic Violence Hotline ( at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233).
Maybe the husband is a jerk, or maybe the wife overreacted to a couple of minor comments. There is not enough info to tell. I am posting this for the bad advice.

The husband supported the wife for 9 years, while they had 2 toddlers and she went back to school. Now that she realizes that he is not going to achieve the earnings potential that she expected, she is planning to bail out as soon as she can get a better job. But her plans depend on getting primary custody of what she calls "my kids".

The advice is to get a lawyer, make a phony domestic violence accusation, get a unilateral divorce, use the accusation to get primary custody, and sue for child support.

Maybe if he had passed that licensure exam, he would have made the big bucks and she would be happy as a housewife. But now, he is not good enough for her, and she would rather just collect the child support check, pursue her own career, keep their kids, and find new lovers.

This is marriage today in the USA. There is no mention of whether she loves him, or he loves her, or anyone loves the kids, or anyone feeling bound to a commitment. The comments at the above link are even worse than the advice columnists'.

The Santa Cruz paper used the headline "Husband is jealous of my success". The advice
columnists themselves suggested, "She's Leaving for All the Right Reasons". What right reasons? Her reasons are (1) he failed his licensure exam, (2) she regrets having dropped out of school, (3) he wants to have sex with her, (4) he made a couple of unkind remarks, (5) she will soon be making more money than him, and (6) she wants primary custody of their kids.


Anonymous said...

Now, George, we don't know that the wife isn't working. She could be doing what I did: working, going to school and taking care of the kids (4). The husband hasn't gotten his license. What has he been doing? He is either lazy or stupid - in which case he will never get it - or he just doesn't care about it. While I was going to school, working, taking care of kids and home, my husband went to work, part-time, school, part-time, and did nothing around the house or with the kids: these were 'woman's work.' I even had to write his papers for him. And then he would get angry when I was too tired to have sex with him! (It was never good, anyway) I took it for 10 years and then left. He knew I was gone because my books were missing!

George said...

She says that she does not have the money to leave her husband until she graduates. She also has 2 toddlers. I infer that she does not have a paid job yet.

The husband may well be too stupid to pass the exam. However, I would not call that a right reason for divorce, as this advice columnist did.

Anonymous said...

She sure seems disinteested in what might be best for her kids. She seems most interested in illiciting advice on how to "win" the kids and secure a sort of annuity as a result.

Probably, the most worrisome aspect is how domestic violence is interpreted and used as a strategy. Unless a man can prove that he has never argued or disagreed with his wife while his children were anywhere nearby, he will be deemed "abuive" and will lose his kids, and have to pay.

How can a father avoid any disagreement with a divorce oriented, wife when it's been pointed out to her and proven that any disagreement/argument will serve her objectives so well in court ?

George said...

Yes. In this case there is no domestic violence, and not even any emotional abuse. At worst, there are a couple of unsupportive or unkind remarks. But the advice is to try to claim some sort of domestic violence in order to take advantage of the legal system. The whole thing is disgusting.

Cynthia said...

First commenter, are you sure you are not just writing a parody of the mistakes women make with men? Give the poor man a chance to be necessary to the family. I feel bad for you kids whose family was broken up for what look like sorry reasons, but it looks to me like your ex is well shed of you.

Anonymous said...


She says that she quit school with the assumption he'd pass an exam. She made a "bet" on him. She could have imporved herself, and continued in school, and "hedged" her bet, She chose not to and rely on him.

She could have continued in school, assuming that he'd pass the exam, and they'd both be contributing as best able to the family's finances.

What she chose was the easiest. She quit school, while he continues to try to pass this exam, and now blames him for her decision on quittiing school.

Did the husband make a bad assumption or decision about the wife ? Yes. He believed her when she VOWED to remain married for "richer or poorer"

"I don't have the resources to leave him until I graduate, ..."

Well, with the student loan payments becoming due soon after her graduation, plus 2 households to be supported, the costs of a divorce, and the porspects for recent college grad.s in this economy, she'd better hope her assumptions/decions are correct about her being able to PASS some job interview, or test to obtain a job.

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