Could I be that woman?

(Mods, if this belongs in IMHO, please move it. :slight_smile: )
Ok, I’ve finally made an appointment with a lawyer to divorce my husband of 19 years. We’ve been separated for 7 years. A quick background on the man:

He is on disability for a bad back. Now, I’m not saying he’s faking it, but he has pretty much given up on life. He doesn’t work, obviously, but, all he wants to do is watch TV.

He was a heavy drinker when I was living with him. When I first left him, he stopped. He had an out of control temper, too. I let him come over and we were “together” for 6 1/2 years. When he would come over, he would lie on my couch watching TV and eating my food. He never spent the night and he made it very clear to me that he did not want to have sex.

I couldn’t cook because he had “delicate sinuses” and it would give him a headache. (Really I am a good cook.)

We would only watch the shows on TV that he wanted to watch. He turned them up loudly. He knew certain shows were upsetting to me but he would watch them anyway.

Pretty much, he would never pay for anything. He got rid of his cable TV and watched mine. He is probably the most self-centered, clueless man that ever existed. If I tried to say “I don’t like it when you…” (which is supposed to work according to counselors/psychologists) he’d turn it all around and tell me I was doing that.

I’ve been working on my self for the past three years. I lost 50 pounds (he was not all that impressed). I do a lot of yoga, and I have been reading a lot of books about metaphysics and positive attitudes.

Now, I spoke to him on the phone. He wants to refinance his house…and guess what? They don’t want to give him a new loan unless I cosign. I told him I wouldn’t do this until I spoke to the lawyer. He told me I’d be doing him a big favor if I did this. Since my name is on the old loan, I think he should sell the house and split the profits. That would be a huge hardship on him. I don’t want to be the cause of that, but I don’t want to leave a 19 year marriage with nothing.

I feel like I did all the giving in this marriage...anything I wanted I had to fight for.  He didn't even want me to get a Master's Degree, which is an investment for a teacher and results in a substantial pay raise.

So, there you have it...I think I'm going to be the evil bitch who causes the man to lose his house.  Any thoughts?

What could you think you could possibly owe him at this point?

Be the evil bitch.

If you cosign then your credit will get so effed up when he still doesn’t have a job and is late or not making payments.

The marriage is over. You have no obligation to him anymore. The best thing to do is slice all ties to him, especially anything credit wise, and walk away and never look back.

I’m divorced and luckily I had a responsible spouse and we cut all ties, except for taxes the next year, before the divorce was even final.

If she had asked me to cosign for a loan I would have laughed in her face. Doesn’t he have any family that can cosign for him?

Be the evil bitch. I know people who’ve tried to go really easy on deadbeats like that, and they ended up being considered evil bitches anyway.

Go after what you’re entitled to, you don’t sound like a person who’d ask for more than that.

Good luck!

Why in the world would you feel you needed to do anything more for this man? Yes, you would be doing him a big favor. Why should you? He doesn’t even want you to cook in your own home because “he has delicate sinuses”? Tell him to take his delicate sinuses and the rest of his deadbeat ass elsewhere, get a divorce, and don’t look back. You don’t owe him anything - you have done more than your share.

Yes, you need to do this. Pity is not going to help this man at all. (or you).

Time to move on. You were obviously the adult in the relationship–no matter the past you two share, it is up to him to get his future straightened out. It is not unlike leaving an alcoholic–this guy has to reach bottom, you don’t.

If you help him get the house you’re a shoe-in for the position of doormat.

You refer to it as “his” house. Is it his house, or the house of both of you?

Because if you are in fairness the part owner of the house, then you in fairness should receive the value of your part of the house. But if it is really his house, then no, you shouldn’t try to screw him out of it.

Okay…he doesn’t work but you want to co-sign a loan for him? What is his source of money to repay the loan? Can your life afford your credit to be forever trashed? Didn’t think so.

I don’t think you really want us to answer the question. You know what you should do. Split up your stuff and start a new life. He’s not losing anything. He’s getting 1/2 of the house. The other half is rightfully yours.

I can tell you might actually try to blame yourself for this. Don’t. Take what’s rightfully yours and let him figure out his future.

Not from personal experience, but from the perspective of having my shoulder cried on more than once for this identical issue, do NOT cosign for him a loan. DO make him arrange for his own refinance or to sell the house. In either case make sure you get your half of the equity in it. You lawyer will advise you. Listen.

Better that you be the evil bitch now than for (surprise) him to be the irresponsible asshole later.

Be the “evil bitch.”

I don’t think it sounds evil at all - you’ve essentially supported him for 19 years. You’re done - he needs to stand on his own two feet - if he loses the house it’s not your fault - it’s his.

One of the biggest reliefs when I divorced my first wife was discovering that she wasn’t my problem anymore. She had many self-destructive behaviors and for many years it was my job to fix the things she broke and pick her up when she fell down. I put up with it until I realized that it was destroying me.

You spent many years taking care of your husband. You were a good wife, it sounds like, or as good as you could be under the circumstances. Me … I tried to be a good husband.

But it’s over now and he’s not your responsibility. Make the break as clean as possible. Give him his fair share … don’t try to screw him out of what is rightfully his. But when it’s over, it’s over.

This is kind of “one hand clapping,” but… You do not help him by helping him. You help him only by not helping him. If you want to help him… don’t help him. Get it?

Be the evil bitch. Been said before but it’s still worth saying.

In his version of events you’re going to be the evil bitch no matter what. It doesn’t sound like he’s going to start taking any responsibility for his problems, so they have to be your fault, right? Cosign for the mortgage and you could end up the evil bitch with the trashed credit rating. But you’ll still be the evil bitch.

So embrace evil bitchhood. What have you got to lose?

Thanks, just what I figured, really. I’ve been off the board for a while and now I’m glad I’m back.
Now…maybe I’ll be able to take the Bikram teacher training… :slight_smile:

ryobserver is right. There is absolutely nothing you can do that will make any difference to him. If you cosign, he’ll find something else to blame on you, probably his inability to make the payments. Get what you can of what’s due to you, if you can. But walk away. If all you take from this is your ability to get on with your life and be less burdened, that’s a big thing. In fact that’s the essential thing. Do not let him use you any more.

Oh, and welcome back.

Be the strong, assertive woman and cut yourself free to make your own way. Stopping enabling him is in no way being an evil bitch, no matter what he thinks; you’d only be an evil bitch if you were messing with his life, instead of him doing it all himself.

Another vote for ‘sensible, smart, and tough woman’–sorry, ‘evil bitch’–here.

Seriously, you owe this man nothing. His credit is messed up and he can’t get a loan on his own? That’s his problem, not yours. Walk away.

Why is it if a man stand up to a leeching woman, he is being strong. But if a woman does so against a leeching man she is an evil bitch.

You cannot do for someone what they should be doing for themselves.

Be the evil bitch. (I know, hardly original.)

Get him out of your life 100% and forever!