The Sum Total

I went to my house yesterday to pick up some more things, and Hubby came home before I was finished.  It was all made clear.  He said he isn’t doing well, and that he doesn’t see any hope.  He would like our split to be permanent.  Honestly, I would too.  I don’t see how we could fight back from this.  We started the preliminary talks.  I get to the dividing in a second.

Right this moment, I’m shocked.  I don’t know why I’m shocked, because it’s what I’ve been thinking.  We separated and he hasn’t wanted to really talk since.  In his defense, I haven’t really either.  It’s been nice not dealing with someone’s constant hate.  The stuff he says is so patently false and strange.  I have hopes we can come to an agreement about our stuff, but I think it’s going to be a challenge because already I can see unreasonableness on his part.

Now about the stuff.  I need to total it all up.

We have a house here local and it’s at the about even or slightly below point.  It also has a nice big mortgage.  He can afford it and I cannot, so I’m willing to walk away.  He’ll make a pretty penny in a couple of years, but he’ll have to cover the mortgage with his big old salary to do so, so that seems fair.  Because he has this big old salary he also gets our dogs and a cat.  I’ll take the other cat.  (I can only have one).  The pets are additional financial burdens, but again, he can afford them and I can’t.  Makes sense if he’s taking the house that he should take most of the pets.  (This is by far the hardest part to divide)

Okay.  Then there is his thrift savings plan, which we put as much as we possibly could into it for the duration of our marriage, including all of his bonuses.  He didn’t want to start an IRA or whatever for me or us in those years as the thrift savings plan was such a good thing.  I think we should split this.

I also have a thrift savings plan with a much smaller amount in it.  I think we should split that too.

We have stocks and he thinks he should get those because he managed them, and I think we should split them.  He also thinks he should get these because he made most of the money most of the time we were married.  I followed him around and supported his Navy career, at the detriment of my own career.  I think we should split the stocks.

Then there is the money my father left me, that we put into a house in Cleveland that my best friend is living in.  Legally this is considered a separate asset, but I could see splitting it.  I mean.. it sucks because my father’s life savings was not supposed to go to my Husband, but to me.  I don’t think he’d want his life savings to go to his daughter’s husband, but whatever.

There is his retirement, which honestly I’d like to not touch, but I may have to.  I am 39 years old and have no retirement plan for myself yet, other that my very small thrift savings plan he wants half of and I’ve only contributed to for four years.  We made his career our priority and moved around to keep it and help him move up as he has.  I don’t want to take any of his retirement, but I may have to depending on how things work out.  I will in no way try to be unfair about that.  I will avoid taking it if I can justify if or it makes sense and even if I do take any, I will take as little as I can manage.   He’s worked very hard and should benefit from that as much as possible.

Then there is our furniture, much of which is expensive or nice.  I’d like my red leather chair, our really nice expensive mattress and boxspring, an end table, and maybe our TV.  (He wants a new one anyway and it’s nicer than what I could afford).  I’d let him keep the leather couch and loveseat, the coffee table, desk, dining table and 6 chairs, tv stand, bedroom set, trundle bed, other nightstands, other dresser, office chair, and such.

I would like most of our art.  Most of it is my passion.  He would like one painting and I’m happy to let him have it.

I would like at least one, maybe two of our four nice rugs.  I’ll let him keep the small silk one that is really expensive because he really loves it and found it overseas.  I’d like the one in our livingroom and the one by our front windows.

Other expensive items- he can keep his Rolex, the play station, his truck, his motorcycle, the good new computer, the extra TV, and the smaller tiffany lamp in the dining room, the file cabinet, his burr grinder, etc.

I’d like to take my paid-for car, most of the cookware and dishes, the tiffany floor lamp, the old dvd player, my food processor and knives, my big stock pot, my two coffee cups and the glass wine glasses (i like to drink out of fancy glasses even if I don’t drink wine) and all my art stuff and books.  I’d like to split the dumb stuff like the games and movies and other kitchen items and nick nacks.  My new place is tiny, so I won’t take TOO many of those things.

I will not take the hefty alimony I would be awarded either since he makes 100k a year more than I do, mostly because I don’t want to rely on him and I don’t think he could maintain that and the house and I don’t want to fuck him over.  I’d like maybe up to 300 a month max I think, to tide me over until I get my raises over the next year and a half to a living wage.  Doing just the calculations online, this will save him a FUCK TON of money, but I feel it’s the right thing.

I don’t want to fuck him over or make him pay.  I don’t want him to suffer for having replaced me, and I don’t want to take him to the cleaners or get rich.  I would like to equitably divide our things, with a few small concessions because I will not be taking heavy alimony and I cannot afford to replace things as easily as he can.  I’d like to have us each take our own bills.  I have one credit card and he has two.

I am worried already that he will be unreasonable about this, though I think this is a really fair plan.  His comments that he’s made the majority of the money in our marriage concern me.  It’s true that he has, and it’s also true that even if I’d stayed a biomed he’d still have made more than me, but we did sacrifice everything else to support his career, so I feel this is a little unfair.  Part of the reason he has done so well, not a huge part, but part, is that I was there supporting him and okayed every move he needed to help him advance.  He came and went to sea and deployments, and I maintained the life we created.  I managed our money very well and saved money and paid off debts every time he went to sea.  I arranged all of our moves and vacations and trips.  I took time off to get and return our daughters from his prior marriage for visits, and to take care of them on visits until they were older.  I picked up and moved each time his career demanded it.  I used my GI Bill to go to college and he supported me as I did so. I supported him right back as he got his degree too and began work on his masters.

divorceI think that that is worth something.  I think it’s worth an equitable division of assets.  It won’t be totally to the penny, as honestly he’s keeping pretty much all of the furniture and much of our expensive things, but it would not have me walking away with nothing either, and I would get to have a few of things I could never afford on my own.

13 years comes down to that.  Huh.  I want this and you want that.  A game of hungry hungry hippos.  It seems like not enough, like there should be more blood or more ceremony.  I wonder why we don’t have divorce ceremonies?

13 years.  2 stepdaughters.  1 foster daughter.  Countless times at sea.  3 dead children.  2 dogs and 2 cats.  6 cars.  4 motorcycles.  7 homes in 3 States.  My best friend and the last of my family.  All the talks.  All the love.  All the fighting.  All the accusation.  All the kisses and the mean comments.  The million little encouragements and years of stories.  1 open marriage that will be unfairly blamed for it all.  There is all of it.  And there it is, all tallied up.  There.


  1. Ugh! Such a hard time for you! I’ve been there… I was with my husband for 13 years when we split. I recommend mediation… This way you have an independent third party that can help the two of you reach an agreement that is suitable. Don’t let his comments about always being the higher earner upset you- in a marriage you share – which seems like a concept he has a hard time with. Fortunately the law is more reasonable. Keep your head up, know that the Triad has you in their thoughts and best of luck. We are rooting for you!


  2. Yeah divorce is a pain but I think its worth it. I think its nice and all to want to be fair but the only thing I disagree with is that you should not share your father’s inheritance with him. Doubtful he’d want it to go to someone who was emotionally abusive to his daughter.


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