Archive for the ‘divorce’ Category

Paying Down the Debt

February 23, 2011

After almost 3 years of struggles, I’ve finally paid off my martial credit card debt.

Of course, I wouldn’t have made it this far without an immense amount of luck and good fortune. I am grateful to have reached this milestone. I hope that, with time, I’ll improve my financial discipline.

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Divorce Aftermath: Selling the Apartment

October 20, 2010

A long time ago, in September 2005, we bought an apartment together.
In our divorce agreement we agreed to put it up for sale immediately, but until it sold my ex could live in the apartment.

Yesterday my ex called me to ask if it would be okay to delay the sale of the apartment. She gave these reasons:
1. She said at the moment no one is interested in buying the apartment.
2. She doesn’t think the children should go through the moving process “after everything they’ve been through”.
3. She can’t find an apartment that she likes
4. She can’t find an apartment that has as many rooms as our apartment has.
5. She can’t find an apartment that has room as large as our apartment has.

I was surprised when she made the request because I’d heard through the grapevine that she already chose a place to move into and she was just waiting for the agreement to do so. Also, she and her lawyer pushed for the most of the provisions in the agreement about the apartment, so it didn’t seem like she was eager to stay.

I didn’t see a problem with her staying in the apartment for a while longer, so I told her I’d think it over.

I called my lawyer to see if there were negative implications to allowing her to stay longer. My lawyer said there are. There are 3 options:
1. We sell the apartment immediately and split the net (as specified in the agreement)
2. She buys my portion of the apartment and lives there as long as she’d like
3. She gets her lawyer to write-up an agreement that extends the term from “immediate” to “one year”.

My lawyer seemed to imply that extending it beyond a year wouldn’t be in my best interest. I’m not sure why an extension of two years would be worse than an extension of a year. I do fully recognize the need to formally document

I tried to come up with a solution to this problem.

Today I called her up to discuss what I thought of before going to my lawyer with it and she suggested it might be better if she buys the apartment from me. I don’t know if she realizes all the ramifications of doing that, but that would certainly be a better option for me!

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April 8, 2010

April 9, 2010

It’s been a while, so here’s a quick rundown.

I stopped wearing my yarmulke at work. Only one person noticed and said something to me about it. (I simply informed her that I’m no longer religious.)
I don’t feel strange going without my yarmulke on the street, but I still feel weird without it at work. I also feel more honest. It’s strange to simultaneously feel both.

Last week I came home to a bill from my cable and internet provider. They demanded that I return an old cable modem or pay $100. I don’t have the modem they seek nor do I feel I should be responsible for its return. After discussing it many times, they made it clear that they weren’t going to do anything to resolve the issue. I told them since that is true I can no longer work with them either and I am terminating my service with them. They “shut down” my service 2 days ago. However, my internet still seems to work. (I’m confused.)

Last week I was in a neighborhood bar. The very nice bartenders were speaking with me. The woman bartender told me she thinks I’m ready to start dating. She wants to meet women, go out, keep it light, have a good time.
I asked her to explain how she knows that I’m ready. She gave good reasons. Maybe she’s right.

Last week I got a text from my ex. She said our son has high levels of lead and needs to take a supplement.
I called her up and asked how she arrived at that diagnosis. She told me that a chiropractor had a guy read his palm and feel his fingers and that allowed him to reach the conclusion that the child has high lead levels. However, he assured her that his supplements can reduce the lead levels.
Of course these supplements are very expensive.
I told her to get a simple blood test done. That would prove conclusively whether lead is an issue.
She responded that if I wanted to do so, I could, but she wasn’t going to.
Sunday, Chol HaMoed (Minor Holidays), I took him to a real doctor. The results came back Wednesday. His lead levels are normal/undetectable.
I informed my ex of the results. I hope she saves her money and doesn’t buy the supplements. Aside from the money, I have no idea what’s in the supplements. The supplements might be dangerous.

I had the children (at my parents) Friday Chol HaMoed until the end of Pesach (Passover). I was nervous to have the children for so long. (Sometimes over a short weekend by Saturday night they are anxious to see their mother. I did not want to deal with “homesickness” for a period of double that time. As it turned out the children had a great time.
We celebrated mine and my youngest’s lunar birthdays. (Not the same day.) My siblings bought Passover cakes (dreadful) and the children loved them.

Tonight I went to karaoke. As I’ve been doing recently, when songs came on with a steady beat, I danced (not well, mind you). Dancing in public is resolution for 2010. Whenever I successfully dance in public, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Tonight, I asked a woman to dance with me. It didn’t really matter to me what she looked like or what her interests in me (zero, probably), the experience of asking a stranger to dance was positive. (By the way, she accepted in general, but declined for that particular song.)

Shutter Island

March 17, 2010

I was not planning on seeing “Shutter Island” because the previews made it look like a horror film. I am not a big fan of horror films. However, when I was at the bar Monday night to see a free film, a nice couple mentioned that they saw it and enjoyed it. When I expressed my concerns with it, they said it wasn’t a horror film. They said it was thought provoking, like “Revolutionary Road”.
(When I first separated I felt like I should not be around people. I felt toxic and harmful. I planned on becoming reclusive. I figured my family would not want to deal with me because they loved my wife and because I was openly not religious. I was surprised when most, though not all, of my immediate family reached out to me during the process. They helped me in many ways. It was a very difficult process and I don’t know how it would happened without them.
I still had no plans on meeting new people. I didn’t really have friends, so it wasn’t an issue.
One night, I was speaking with an internet acquaintance on the phone. I expressed my view that I should stay away from people. Including phone conversations with her. She suggested I meet people. She gave me reasons, which I will guard.
As a result of that one conversation:
a. I learned how to bowl
b. I started going to movies
c. I started going to karaoke
d. I posted a platonic craigslist ad for a movie buddy
all in the grand experiment to see if I should be around people.
The ad that I posted got one response. A young lapsed Catholic woman from New Jersey. Our emails prior to meeting for a movie were very brief. We met at Penn Station and we got a quick snack at a nearby tavern. I found her very interesting and attractive. I knew I was just there to meet her and I had no plans on ever getting physical or romantic with her, but I began to worry, since we had not disclosed personal information prior to meeting. I wasn’t sure if I should tell her that I was recently separated.
We went to see “Revolutionary Road”. It was amazing. The plot was engaging. I saw so much in what was said. Without giving away the plot of that film, I saw that my marital status played a major role in how I viewed the film. So, as we were leaving the theater, I told her. I was surprised when she said she was also separated.
There wasn’t time for us to discuss the film that night. (Work in the morning.) So, instead we exchanged about a hundred emails devoted to analyzing it.)
You can, therefore, see why I was quite eager to see “Shutter Island”.

“Shutter Island” begins the way you expect it would. Leonardo DiCaprio speaks in a heavy Boston accent as he investigates the disappearance of criminally insane woman from a locked jail cell. I expected the film not to have an ending… meaning, I expected it to have an open ending where the people get to debate what happens next and motivations. I was pleasantly surprised with how it concluded.
I can’t say more about the plot without ruining it for you.

A couple of warnings:
a. There are a few intense scenes, but it’s not prolonged or extremely anxious.
b. There are some Holocaust scenes. If anything Holocaust related, even brief scenes, bothers you, you might want to avoid this film.

This was the best movie I’ve seen since December 31, 2009. It is extremely thought provoking and it raises questions of our memories and of reality.

I feel like this film deserves a 9 out of 10, but, I’m giving myself permission to amend it down to an 8 within the next thirty days.

Get It Done

March 5, 2010

It’s official!

I’m now divorced from a religious standpoint.

I still need the civil divorce, but, I think today’s event will allow my civil-wife to really start her new life.

I hope before too much time she finds someone who is truly right for her.

I wish her every success.

I was worried that the ceremony would be very heavy and I’d leave feeling depressed. However, the ceremony was nice. I am glad we did it.

Get yer “Get” here!

March 3, 2010

When: Thursday, March 3, 2010 at 3 PM
Where: Brooklyn
Cost: $600 ($300 up front, $50 per week until it’s paid off)
“Service” provided: Religious divorce

Unanswered questions:

  • How am I going to get $300 by tomorrow?
  • How am I going to pay $50 a week for 6 weeks?
  • I guess I can cut out lunch?


February 26, 2010

What’s the protocol?

After we successfully divorce, do I need to edit every post that I referred to (err) my wife as “wife” and change it to “ex-wife”?

Also, what about the time between when I give the Get (religious divorce) and when the Court processes our civil divorce? How should I refer to her? “My legal wife”?

Any thoughts?

Weekends: A contrast

February 26, 2010

The contrast between how I viewed weekends before the separation and how I view them now is stark.

Before my wife and I separated, I would dread Fridays and look forward to Mondays.
Friday afternoons I would stay at the office, so I wouldn’t get home until just before Shabbos.
I would try to work overtime on Saturday nights. (In the last year of us “living together” (before the housing bubble burst), I made about $15,000 on overtime. Mostly, as a result of trying to avoid painful interactions with my wife.)
I would go for long walks Friday night and Sunday evening. I didn’t have anywhere to go or friends to hang out with. I would just walk the streets and think.
During times that I was home, I tried to stay busy with books, newspapers, computers, and taking care of the children on my own.
We had very different approaches to childcare, so, when she was taking care of them, unless she asked for help, I didn’t mix in. Similarly, when I was caring for them, I preferred she stay out of the way.

Monday mornings were good, because it meant I had survived another weekend. I could stay late at the office and work.

Since the separation, I’ve finally discovered why many people say “Thank Goodness It’s Friday!”
On weekends that I don’t have the children, sometimes, I still work late on a Friday. However, that’s to make up for coming in a bit late or doing “non-work” activity during my work time.
I’ve come to dread Sunday evenings and the impending new work week.
(Since the economic trouble of 2008, overtime hasn’t been offered. Even if it were, I probably wouldn’t work extra.)

I frequently think of this contrast when people ask me if maybe I’ll regret getting divorced one day.

Take the Good, You Take the Bad

February 22, 2010

I think it’s important in life to not only focus on the negative, even though, often, it is more interesting.

As I described, last week we signed our final separation agreement. The agreement says that we each have the children on alternate weekends. Holidays are split up by a system that allows the children to spend time with both parents. This being an even year, she is supposed to have them Purim night, while I’m supposed to have them Purim day. However, this year Purim begins Saturday night and I’ll have them at my parents (35 minutes away by car).
She called me up Thursday evening to say that she thinks rather than me returning the children as soon as the weekly holiday ends and then getting them back Sunday afternoon, I should just return them early Sunday morning. I’m glad in this instance she’s being reasonable. I’ll not hold out hope that this is the beginning of a pattern, but, for now, this is good.

My dad came over to me last weekend, when I was over with the children, and told me about the graggers and masks he bought for the children. He told me he is going to lein in the house for the children. I could see his smile when he said that, an attempt of proselytization of me is going down. I am not looking forward to Saturday night. I think I’ll set the children up with their grandfather and then I’ll go someplace else. Someplace quiet or with a television. 😉

Out of the (Tiger) Woods

February 20, 2010

When the Tiger Woods story first hit, it was described as a car accident. I was very interested. Not because I’m a golf fan; I’m not. I’ve been a casual Tiger Woods fan since he burst on the scene, because he was a good winner. He excels at his craft and is a fierce competitor, but he’s not a sore winner. The way he goes about his business is impressive. (Edgardo Alfonso, former second and third baseman for the New York Mets, exhibited the same characteristics and I’ve been a fan since 1997.)
When more details leaked out and I started hearing snippets of a domestic situation, I refused to listen, read, or watch any coverage of the story. First, the whole incident is a private affair and is none of our business. Second, I’ve personally been involved in a public news story in which the media got many of the facts incorrect. I don’t trust many of the details the news establishment reports. Third, shortly before and after I separated from my wife, someone went around spreading a lot of slanderous lies about me. (I think they were hoping they could “scare” me into staying religious and not deciding that divorce is the only option in my situation. Regardless of their intentions, they were complete fabrications.) Just because someone comes forward with all kinds fanciful claims about a famous person, does not mean it’s true or that I should pay them mind.
When I picked up the paper this morning, I saw the first eight pages are devoted to a press conference that Tiger Woods hosted on Friday. I figured if Tiger is talking about it, he must not feel it’s solely a private affair. As such, I felt like he wanted me to read about the situation.

One thing I’m struck by when reading coverage of the story and editorials on the subject is the sense that Tiger was obligated to give a public apology. I don’t understand. Why am I entitled to an apology? Why do I even need an apology? Tiger hasn’t hurt me and I don’t really care about his actions. Who does he “need” to apologize to? His wife. Any woman he might have led on about his intentions with them. His sponsors. A second-hand apology to his in-laws and his family. That’s it. All of those apologies should take place quietly, one on one. The outrage expressed by fans, columnists, and women’s rights organizations is uncalled for, unnecessary, and infantile.