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Death and divorce
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smacintush
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Jan 24, 2015, 02:21 PM
 
So let's say that your spouse has a close relative that dies. Due to a stroke of bad timing, this happens as you are seriously contemplating a divorce. How long do you wait to tell your spouse and why?
     
andi*pandi
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Jan 24, 2015, 02:31 PM
 
I don't know, but don't be like my neighbor's ex, and make zombie jokes before your wife's father's funeral. (they were already mid-breakup). He did not go to the funeral.

Be supportive. I would hate to go through such a horrible time without my spouse, who should be my best friend/support.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jan 24, 2015, 03:33 PM
 
One assumes they have no idea this divorce is coming?
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
smacintush  (op)
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Jan 24, 2015, 04:30 PM
 
Ok, here's the situation:

My father-in-law is currently on a ventilator. As things are going there is a decent chance that they will have to make the choice to take it off and let the chips fall where they may, per his instructions. So, he's not dead but there isn't much hope. Their attempts to wean him off of the machine aren't going as well as they should. If this happens, the decision will be made on Monday based upon the doctor's assessment. My wife is the one who is legally charged with making his decisions for him.

At the same time the notion of divorce has been in my head for a while. This is a place my wife and I have been before, several times. So it's not like a huge surprise. Plus, she's pretty perceptive and I'm certain she knows something is wrong. She won't say anything though because she's dealing with her father.

So yeah, there it is. This whole deal with her father is pretty upsetting to me as well, though we aren't very close. It is a terrible situation that I don't envy my wife a single bit. Other than his lungs (or lack thereof) he is perfectly healthy. Like, there is literally nothing else wrong with him, yet he's going to die. At the same time, I have been putting this off for a long ass time and would really like to get the ball rolling so I can move on.
     
andi*pandi
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Jan 24, 2015, 05:11 PM
 
Do you want to stay on good terms with her? How long has he been on the ventilator?

I would err on the side of being supportive, again, unless it seems like he's going to hang on for months/years and you are stuck.
     
OAW
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Jan 24, 2015, 05:23 PM
 
My 2 cents ...

Serving your wife with divorce papers with her father on a ventilator or his body barely cold in the ground would be a dick move plain and simple. Even if that's not your INTENT ... rest assured that's how it will be PERCEIVED. So one can argue that if you've been at this place before and chose not to pull the trigger you could do it again at least until all this dust settles. But OTOH if you have zero f*cks left to give about how she would feel about it or how it would be perceived by others then handle your business now. Just be prepared to deal with the inevitable fallout that will ensue.

OAW
( Last edited by OAW; Jan 24, 2015 at 05:40 PM. )
     
smacintush  (op)
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Jan 24, 2015, 06:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Do you want to stay on good terms with her?
Well, I have no desire to be on BAD terms with her. It's not like that.

How long has he been on the ventilator?
It has been a week. His lung (singular) was too weak to even risk a biopsy, but he deteriorated to the point where he had to choose to either go on a vent in order to get a biopsy with the hopes of figuring out a way to treat him, or just let go. He chose to go onto the vent with the understanding that he may not be able to get off. In that case he has chosen to remove the vent and pass.

I would err on the side of being supportive, again, unless it seems like he's going to hang on for months/years and you are stuck.
I intent to be supportive for as long as I can but for the purposes of this the question in this thread I am operating under the assumption that he will be gone within the next week or two, and that it will be the result of a very painful decision made by my wife and her siblings. He has a living will (which I guess means that the choice isn't really his kids' ) and his kids understand that there will be no indefinite life support.
     
OreoCookie
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Jan 24, 2015, 06:11 PM
 
Tough one. If I put myself in your shoes, I'd probably wait until he has passed, add two or three months and then have »the talk«. Basically, it's going to be a shitty year for her (and you), but I don't think remaining in an unhappy marriage is going to make it any better for her. Of course, I'm assuming here, you can hold out that long.
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smacintush  (op)
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Jan 24, 2015, 06:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
My 2 cents ...

Serving your wife with divorce papers with her father on a ventilator or his body barely cold in the ground would be a dick move plain and simple. Even if that's not your INTENT ... rest assured that's how it will be PERCEIVED. So one can argue that if you've been at this place before and chose not to pull the trigger you could do it again at least until all this dust settles. But OTOH if you have zero f*cks left to give about how she would feel about it or how it would be perceived by others then handle your business now. Just be prepared to deal with the inevitable fallout that will ensue.

OAW
Well, that's why I'm asking. Contrary to what you guys may think here on MacNN...I'm not really a dick.

How long SHOULD I be "required" (for lack of a better term) to be supportive? I don't hate this woman, there is no cheating (that I know of or have a reason to suspect), no abuse, no drugs. I have a very good reason to believe that this would, under normal circumstances, be an amicable divorce. With her father's passing, I don't know how emotional she will be. She is pretty upset (obviously) but she's also a reasonable, non-vindictive, mature person.
     
OAW
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Jan 24, 2015, 07:27 PM
 
Dude that's a tough one. Especially not knowing your wife. But if she is as reasonable as you say then assuming her father passes I would say a minimum of six months after that.

OAW
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jan 24, 2015, 09:01 PM
 
Yeah I think you might have to give it a while yet. Its a tricky situation but you didn't get in before her father went on the ventilator so you're stuck unless you want to look very very bad.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Jan 25, 2015, 02:16 AM
 
Wait a few months until things settle down, one way or the other. She's your wife, at least on paper, for the time being, and the noble thing to do is to at least give outward support during what has to be the worst time of her life.
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SSharon
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Jan 26, 2015, 12:57 AM
 
6 months for sure. There's a lot of dust to settle for something like this.

Have you considered asking your attorney whether it matters if you are divorced before or after your father in law passes? It doesn't sound like there is enough time to get everything finalized before he goes, but it may have financial implications if you wait until afterward. Again, not that you have much choice here. The point is, if you guys stand to inherit a fair sum of money, waiting until after he passes might be seen as just as much of a dick move as if you do it tomorrow.

I didn't intend to make this all about money, but just something to add to your list of things to consider.
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Waragainstsleep
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Jan 26, 2015, 07:54 AM
 
If you want to be really decent about it, you could draft a document exempting you from any claim over stuff she might inherit from him. So everyone knows you didn't just delay your decision to get half her share of his house or whatever.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Chongo
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Jan 26, 2015, 08:05 AM
 
     
osiris
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Jan 26, 2015, 10:14 AM
 
Wait until she stops talking about the death then dump her.
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BadKosh
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Jan 26, 2015, 11:30 AM
 
This is weird. Several years ago I was living with "She who cannot be named" and I had come to a point where I wanted the relationship to just end, she packs up her stuff and her dog and moves out/away. The early January day I decided to tell her "It was time to put a period and move on" she got a call from her beloved grandfathers family, informing her he had died. I had literally just inhaled before speaking when the phone rang. So I just STFU and helped her pack to go visit her relatives, realizing I would bring it up later, a few weeks after she returned. This turned into 6 months of hell, with me needing to sleep in my LOCKED office for 2 months, so she wouldn't do something crazy.
It became July 31 before I finally told her it was over. She moved out Sept 29, 2007, and my stress levels have been OK since.
     
smacintush  (op)
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Jan 26, 2015, 07:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by SSharon View Post
6 months for sure. There's a lot of dust to settle for something like this.

Have you considered asking your attorney whether it matters if you are divorced before or after your father in law passes? It doesn't sound like there is enough time to get everything finalized before he goes, but it may have financial implications if you wait until afterward. Again, not that you have much choice here. The point is, if you guys stand to inherit a fair sum of money, waiting until after he passes might be seen as just as much of a dick move as if you do it tomorrow.

I didn't intend to make this all about money, but just something to add to your list of things to consider.
Money is a reality in this situation, there's nothing wrong with bringing it up.

She will be getting money, but it's not going to be an issue. I don't want it.
     
Snow-i
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Jan 26, 2015, 07:58 PM
 
Might I pry into why you want out?

Timing and delivery I think are the two most important aspects to consider, a little background on exactly whats got you in this bind might help with that.
     
smacintush  (op)
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Jan 27, 2015, 06:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Might I pry into why you want out?
To make a long story short, I do not and have not loved her for years, maybe ever when I look back.

I have rationalized sacrificing my own happiness for a very long time now. We've split up several times and we filed for divorce about 9 years ago and then just let the matter drop and got back together. In hindsight I should have finished that process then. Problem is...she's a good person. I respect her, we get along, and since that time SHE doesn't seem to have any doubts about our relationship. It's pretty easy to live in denial under those circumstances.

Now I am at the point where the children are basically grown (grown enough, youngest is 20) and our only debt is my car payment. Before the situation with her father, I thought the timing was pretty good.
     
smacintush  (op)
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Jan 27, 2015, 07:07 PM
 
UPDATE:

First a little background: This all really started 17 years ago with lung cancer. He had surgery and no other treatments and he has been in remission ever since, and is still. He also has pneumoconiosis and COPD. Over the years these have progressed and repeated bouts of pneumonia have damaged his lungs further. When he entered the hospital a month or so ago, he had about 30% lung capacity. Now the permanent damage has that down to...significantly less. The bottom of his left lung is basically necrotic tissue and his right is functionally gone.

They are at the point where probably tomorrow they will take off the ventilator and put him on a BIPAP machine so he can communicate. He can't live on a BIPAP for very damn long, that's why he was on a ventilator. So his choices are a speeding the rest of his life in a nursing home with a tracheostomy and feeding tube, or take a morphine drip and go to sleep. What makes this so horrible is his health otherwise is really remarkable. Absolutely no issues from any other organs. One of his nurses says she's been in the ICU for 15 years and has never seen anything like it. He's laying there, basically dying, and he gestures when he uncomfortable, when he has to go to the bathroom, etc. He pointed at a letter board (my wife forgot the iPad at home) to spell out words and he has been laying there worried about his bills. Not just in general, but he has been keeping track in his head and knows what ones were due and are coming due.

I swear if not for his lungs this man would probably have another 20 years in him.
     
reader50
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Jan 27, 2015, 08:20 PM
 
You could be wrong about her knowing it is coming. Perceptive wife aside, she's got a lot on her mind and may have missed all the clues.

No advice since I've never approached, much less been in your situation.
     
smacintush  (op)
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Jan 31, 2015, 03:15 PM
 
My father-in-law died peacefully this morning about 7:20.
     
OAW
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Jan 31, 2015, 03:23 PM
 
Sorry for your loss.

OAW
     
   
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