For the Married Guys (And the Guys Who Have Been Married)


By BayArea   Follow   Fri, 28 Dec 2012, 10:55am   24,929 views   675 comments
In Oakland CA 94618   Watch (4)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

Hi guys,

As the old adage states, "Can't live with them, can't live without them."

For the guys that are married now or have been married, I'm wondering what your experience has been and if you could give a newly engaged man (hypothetical to me since I am not engaged) any piece of advise or wisdom, what would it be?

I love my GF, but for a few minutes I'm going to zoom out and look at things from a more technical, statistical, and less emotional point of view.

To be honest, I am a bit discouraged at just how many people I know who don't seem to be too happy in their marriages. It always seems to be the same story. Things started off great. There was excitement, adventure, strong physical and emotional chemistry. Then 2-3yrs into it, those feels started to fade. Some couples moved on to the next phase of their lives and had some glue, er I mean kids which kept things fresh and exciting.

I saw a plot in the newspaper several years back that showed divorce statistics as a function of time. There is a spike early on in the marriage (first couple of years), then one at 7 years (7-year itch), and one at about year 18-20 (when the glue is all grown up). If you make it past that, you are fairly safe (not necessarily happy, but likelihood of divorce is low). Some of that is influenced by the fact that you don't have the same options at 45 or 50 as you do at 25 or 30. Sucks, but that's the truth.

I recall reading a book by psycologist Scott Peck that studied the term "Love." He argues that 100% of relationships fall out of love, usually pretty early on in the first few years. The feeling of love is not true love then. The conscious decision to love someone once you lose the "in love" feeling is what real love is all about.

Regarding statistics, 50% of couples who get married in this country wind up in divorce (To be fair, some of those aren't 1st marriages so that 50% number isn't quite as bad as it seems - The reason is that 2nd marriages have a higher divorce rate than 1st marriages and 3rd marriages have a higher divorce rate than 2nd marriages). Moving on, if 50% of couples get divorced, then 50% of couples don't get divorced. Surely those 50% that remain together aren't all happy marriages? So then let's say that half of the marriages that stay together are happy. That means that 25% of couples getting married in the first place remain happy, lol. I really don't like the odds here!

But anytime you get into this debate, you have to get into the alternative, being alone into older age. As much as I see my folks fight and bicker, I tend to think it's better than the alternative (at least for the level they fight and bicker).

A while back Patrick argued that the average person remains in their purchased home for no more than 6-7 years. He said, you might think you are different, but statistically you are not. Same thing goes for divorce. Nobody goes into marriage thinking they will get a divorce. But statistically, 1 in 2 people do in the USA.

What do you guys think?

As a side note, I am really curious about the following. What is the divorce rate assuming the following:

Both Members are devout Catholic ?
Both Members are devout Christian ?
Both Members are devout Muslim ?
Both Members are Atheist ?
Members don't share religious beliefs ?

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  1. Oxygen


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    116   2:08am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    this thread cannot be complete without this

  2. bmwman91


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    117   2:12am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    But marriage is a contract. I expect people to respect it like they would with any other contract.

    Well shit, that explains a lot. People seem to respect the contractual obligations of marriage about as much as they respect, say, the contractual obligations of a mortgage! If it stops working the way you like, walk the fuck away and make it someone else's problem! 'Murica, fuck yeah!

  3. Oxygen


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    118   3:31am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    propitup1 says

    I totally don't get the divorce phenomena in America.

    it's not a country thing. it's a confluence of factors, mainly legal incentives and culture.

    legal marriage is about the state shifting power to protect (and now penalize) the parties. here is an example of no-fault divorce incentives across 2 countries.

    "American women file 70% of the Divorces and the American divorce rate is 50%. South Korea had a 1% divorce rate up until 1990. Until that time Korean men would get the house and children if he wanted them, and women would rarely if ever pay child support, but she would be forced to leave the marriage house unless she proved that there was something seriously wrong with the man. Until 1990, men usually filed for divorce and had to to prove fault with the wife. Since 1990, South Korean divorce laws became more similar to the USA. Since 2000, the South Korean divorce rate has been 45%, and Korean women file 65% of the divorces"

  4. rufita11


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    119   6:19am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    BayArea says

    Please elaborate on the affair definition recommendation.

    Simple. What is an affair to you? What sort of relationship outside of marriage would you consider a threat to your marriage? Would it be okay if your wife had a male friend with whom she shares her innermost feelings? Would it be okay for her to spend hours a day texting and calling this person? Is that sort of behavior an affair to you?

  5. lostand confused


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    120   6:52am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

    Oxygen says

    Until 1990, men usually filed for divorce and had to to prove fault with the
    wife. Since 1990, South Korean divorce laws became more similar to the USA.
    Since 2000, the South Korean divorce rate has been 45%, and Korean women file
    65% of the divorces"

    The same in China. On divorce , women would get half the apt , even though in most cases, it was the man/his family that bought it. Last year the govt recognized the phenomenon-as there were close to 1 million divorces and so changed the law- so that women won't get the houses.

    Now you have abunch of angry Chinese women !!! Whatever happened to living by your heart? Of course you have the feminists up in arms claiming Chinese women are now homeless because of the law and this is a civil rights violation. So a guy buys a home, you live in it free and don't want to be with him anymore-so you want the house and kick him out??

  6. Oxygen


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    121   8:21am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    lostand confused says

    Last year the govt recognized the phenomenon-as there were close to 1 million divorces and so changed the law- so that women won't get the houses.

    i am well aware of the marriage phenomenon in China (i'm Chinese and i read about socioeconomic issues a lot). The law was enacted to protect the man's parents' interest since they were usually the one to give money to the son. this trend also partially drives the housing market in China.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/MH20Ad01.html

  7. Oxygen


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    122   8:23am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    the funny thing is once the law was enacted, all the beta males quickly moved to add their wife's name on the deed as a sign of their love. lol

  8. mell


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    123   9:26am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    The hookup culture is not a new phenomenon, it is just a different manifestation of humans natural polyamory because it is now more accepted. This bullshit about how marriages were great and sanct in the (insert your favorite decade here) is just complete hogwash. Spouses were financially and socially dependent on their husband and took care of everything home and the husband was supposed to take care of everything financial. That and societal pressure just kept you married. Hook ups didn't exist, instead they manifested as secret and long lasting affairs. And even if those were busted, the societal contract demanded the parties working this out and keeping it secret. Man and woman's expectations of how their life would be shaped were reduced to very few possibilities. If you never leave your village you may never get bitten by desire or longing for the unknown. As long as we cling to monogamy and the exclusive and possessive nature of what we call marriage and family, all these conflicts and scams will continue.

  9. mell


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    124   9:31am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Oxygen says

    this thread cannot be complete without this

    Epic shit - hell yeah!

  10. joe blow


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    125   9:53am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (7)   Dislike  

    marriage is slavery if you are the breadwinner, and there is no way out -- divorce courts destroy your life. If you have a decent middle class job, marriage is like playing russian roulette with 3 bullets in the gun.

  11. HoumanGuest


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    126   9:53am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (5)   Dislike  

    An old woman was sipping on a glass of wine, while sitting on the patio with her husband, and she says.

    "I love you so much, I don't know how I could ever live without you"

    Her husband asks, "Is that you or the wine talking?" ... She replies, "It's me... talking to the wine."

  12. Oxygen


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    127   9:54am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

  13. Peter P


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    128   11:38am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    joe blow says

    marriage is slavery if you are the breadwinner, and there is no way out -- divorce courts destroy your life. If you have a decent middle class job, marriage is like playing russian roulette with 3 bullets in the gun.

    Middle class is a fragile way to live anyway. There is no other way to put it.

  14. elliemae


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    129   12:15pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike   Protected  

    Divorce is an easy out, so many people don't consider how difficult it can really be. There's always emotional fallout, which is magnified if children are involved. People even battle over pets.

  15. zzyzzx


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    130   6:38pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    BRP001 says

    Unfortunately for her, all of my investments were locked up tight and untouchable. She got nada.

    Exactly how does one do this?

  16. zzyzzx


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    131   7:07pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    turtledove says

    Having spent several years working on child support reform in Georgia, I know all too well how much the system is abused. Alimony is often flown under the flag of "child support" for tax and other purposes. Men have all choice taken from them, as custodial parents are NEVER required to account for their spending of c/s. Custodial parents often claim all kinds of special expenditures as a way of padding the award and never have to show proof that the money is used for the purposes claimed in their sworn testimony. Without a doubt, the system is very flawed.

    But that doesn't change the fact that each parent is responsible for meeting the needs of his and her own children in an equal capacity commensurate with each person's ability to pay... (Based on education level and previous work experience... not one's belief that she is entitled to be a stay-at-home mom for the rest of her life.)

    Already really high on my long list of reasons not to have kids.

  17. zzyzzx


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    132   7:21pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

  18. New Renter


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    133   11:22pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)  

    zzyzzx says

    Fantastic, I'll take 5

    Edit: Forgot to ask - how many before I can get the volume discount?

  19. justme


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    134   6:57am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

    Oxygen says

    "American women file 70% of the Divorces and the American divorce rate is 50%. South Korea had a 1% divorce rate up until 1990. Until that time Korean men would get the house and children if he wanted them, and women would rarely if ever pay child support, but she would be forced to leave the marriage house unless she proved that there was something seriously wrong with the man. Until 1990, men usually filed for divorce and had to to prove fault with the wife. Since 1990, South Korean divorce laws became more similar to the USA. Since 2000, the South Korean divorce rate has been 45%, and Korean women file 65% of the divorces"

    This ought to be front page news in the US. But I am not surprised that it is not.

  20. justme


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    135   7:05am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    lostand confused says

    The same in China. On divorce , women would get half the apt , even though in most cases, it was the man/his family that bought it. Last year the govt recognized the phenomenon-as there were close to 1 million divorces and so changed the law- so that women won't get the houses.

    Now you have abunch of angry Chinese women !!! Whatever happened to living by your heart? Of course you have the feminists up in arms claiming Chinese women are now homeless because of the law and this is a civil rights violation. So a guy buys a home, you live in it free and don't want to be with him anymore-so you want the house and kick him out??

    Marriage law in the US could need a similar makeover, too. When will Congress act to abolish slavery, finally? :-)

  21. justme


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    136   7:12am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    But marriage is a contract. I expect people to respect it like they would with any other contract.

    The problem is that the marriage contract gives the husband no rights whatsoever, and the wife all kinds of rights that will be enforced by law.

    As far as I can tell, the only right a man gets through marriage is the following: If your wife, during marriage, gets pregnant and has a child with another man, you have the right (actually obligation) to claim that child as your own.

    Some "right" that is. Don't believe me? Look it up.

  22. Oxygen


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    137   7:36am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    justme says

    Peter P says

    But marriage is a contract. I expect people to respect it like they would with any other contract.

    The problem is that the marriage contract gives the husband no rights whatsoever, and the wife all kinds of rights that will be enforced by law.

    As far as I can tell, the only right a man gets through marriage is the following: If your wife, during marriage, gets pregnant and has a child with another man, you have the right (actually obligation) to claim that child as your own.

    Some "right" that is. Don't believe me? Look it up.

    presumption of paternity

  23. Oxygen


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    138   7:44am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    this is the extent of hook-up culture. it is what it is. can't change it. bottom line is that marriage is not a reasonable bet for most males. it only makes sense for a very small minority of men at certain stages of their life (usually middle age and beyond)

    http://www.examiner.com/article/study-shows-female-porn-stars-have-higher-quality-of-life-than-average-women

  24. Oxygen


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    139   8:15am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (4)   Dislike  

    more gems on the presumption of paternity

    - This presumption of paternity is extremely self serving for women. When guys are ordered to pay child support and ordered to raise a child that’s not biologically their own, it’s fine. Women say it’d be fine in reverse. Look how upset females get when someone swaps babies in the maternity ward. I recall lots of women blow their stacks – suing hospitals from one end of the country to the other. So much for being the blood parents “not being important”.

    - The presumption of paternity is designed "to be fair to the child." However, in doing so, it is a particularly brutal issue for the man:
    1) If the wife has an affair and gives birth to a child who is not the biological child of the husband, the husband is still liable for child support.
    2) If a wife separates from her husband (but does not divorce him) and leaves him for another man with whom she has kids, the husband must pay child support for kids that are not his.
    3) Men who are the victim of rape are liable for child support
    4) Men who have a vasectomy and then their wives cheat and have another child with another man are still liable for child support.

    - Why does this unfair issue persist under the guise of fairness to the child?
    It reduces welfare. That's it. If you whine and cry about the cost of welfare in this country be sure to give yourself a pat on the back for ensuring the continuation of such policies - because you are responsible for their continuance. If conservatives and libertarians didn't whine so much about the cost of welfare, these policies would no longer exist. These policies exist because someone actually does have to pay for that kid. Since the actual fathers of those kids are probably no longer in the picture (if their identities are even known) and since conservatives don't like welfare, the only other source of money is the guys that these whores are married to. Want to put an end to it?

  25. lostand confused


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    140   8:25am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

    Oxygen says

    Why does this unfair issue persist under the guise of fairness to the
    child?
    It reduces welfare.

    Yup, actually CA is better than most in this regard. Once you prove through DNA, that the child is not yours, you stop paying. But many states-eg FL-force you to pay up , even though DNA has proven that the woman lied. Instead of the woman being charged with fraud, you pay up for the reminder of that child's life-until he/she reaches 18 . What fraud-back in the day, such women were tarred and feathered-now the govt under threat of arrest and seizure of your assets forces you to pay such a woman. Then you wonder many men are starting to lose respect for women in general.

    These laws brought on by the feminists-ironically under the guise of equality-are the sole cause of this mess. Govt should get out of this and marraige should be a private affair-if you split you move on and forge your own path. But of course, any suggestion asking women to act as equals and stand on their own two feet gets you labelled as a misogynist.

  26. Oxygen


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    141   8:33am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

    a factor that hasnt been discussed yet is dowries.

    as a Chinese American born here, I am also subject to Chinese traditions. so not only am I required to pay $75k to the wife's family, I also get subjected to American divorce laws.

  27. New Renter


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    142   9:51am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (1)  

    Oxygen says

    a factor that hasnt been discussed yet is dowries.

    as a Chinese American born here, I am also subject to Chinese traditions. so not only am I required to pay $75k to the wife's family, I also get subjected to American divorce laws.

    Go gay and neither of those will be a problem for you.

    (there's a reason the word for happy now means homosexual)

  28. Buster


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    143   10:53am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    BayArea says

    As a side note, I am really curious about the following. What is the divorce rate assuming the following:

    Both Members are devout Catholic ?

    Both Members are devout Christian ?

    Both Members are devout Muslim ?

    Both Members are Atheist ?

    Members don't share religious beliefs ?

    Religion % have been divorced
    Jews 30%
    Born-again Christians 27%
    Other Christians 24%
    Atheists, Agnostics 21%

    it appears if neither of you belong to a faith group, your marriage has a better chance of surviving. BTW, the 'non denominational' evangelical divorce rate is reported to be upwards of 34%. Ironic, huh?

  29. FortWayne


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    144   11:00am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)  

    Advice for a young man about relationships. First of all my wife and I have differing religious views and it has not been a problem as we never tried to force each other into it, we accepted our differences there.

    Things I've learned over years is that relationship is kind of like a full time career job. You go into it knowing nothing, and you learn it as you go with it. And you learn to accept each others little quarks and learn all the unspoken rules.

    You get out of it what you put into it. And most important thing is to never quit trying to be the best you can be for your wife and she'll reciprocate.

    Make sure you and your potential mate both have same goals for the family future, otherwise your boat will not go anywhere if you are rowing in opposite directions.

  30. FortWayne


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    145   12:45pm Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (1)  

    BayArea says

    To be honest, I am a bit discouraged at just how many people I know who don't seem to be too happy in their marriages. It always seems to be the same story. Things started off great. There was excitement, adventure, strong physical and emotional chemistry. Then 2-3yrs into it, those feels started to fade. Some couples moved on to the next phase of their lives and had some glue, er I mean kids which kept things fresh and exciting.

    Relationships are hard work, if you both don't work at it, it will fail.

  31. Oxygen


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    146   1:14pm Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    BayArea says

    As a side note, I am really curious about the following. What is the divorce rate assuming the following:

    Both Members are devout Catholic ?

    Both Members are devout Christian ?

    Both Members are devout Muslim ?

    Both Members are Atheist ?

    Members don't share religious beliefs ?

    Arranged marriages have the lowest divorce rate since it is a marriage based on finances, not emotions.

  32. New Renter


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    147   1:48pm Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Oxygen says

    Arranged marriages have the lowest divorce rate since it is a marriage based on finances, not emotions.

    So in an arraigned marriage your partner is less likely to complain if you fool around?

  33. zzyzzx


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    148   1:55pm Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike (1)  

    Oxygen says

    not only am I required to pay $75k to the wife's family

    Anyone here who actually does that is extremely stupid, and desperate.

  34. Bap33


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    149   5:32pm Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike (2)  

    my wifes dad gave me a 2 chickens and a mule for taking his daughter off his hands. Seemed fair at the time.

    this thread does make that whole go-gay thing seem more logical. It I hooked up with a rich dude, life is good ... well, other than date night. Date night would be a pain in the ass, and really suck.

  35. New Renter


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    150   6:08pm Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Bap33 says

    this thread does make that whole go-gay thing seem more logical. It I hooked up with a rich dude, life is good ... well, other than date night. Date night would be a pain in the ass, and really suck.

    See, I KNEW you'd come around ;)

  36. lostand confused


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    151   6:17pm Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    New Renter says

    Bap33 says



    this thread does make that whole go-gay thing seem more logical. It I hooked up with a rich dude, life is good ... well, other than date night. Date night would be a pain in the ass, and really suck.


    See, I KNEW you'd come around ;)

    Yeah, apart from the additional benefits like Social security, medicare, insurance etc. etc. not having the govt in your private business is a Godsend.

    You can be together 1 day or 15 years and it is the two of you who decide how you part -not some judge and lawyers or the govt. I think staright and gay marraige should meet half way-we take on their freedom and they get the benefits of straight marraige!

  37. rufita11


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    152   7:00pm Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    zzyzzx says

    BRP001 says

    Unfortunately for her, all of my investments were locked up tight and untouchable. She got nada.

    Exactly how does one do this?

    I am a woman and I want to know how to do this. I get anxious thinking that one day, he could walk away and take half of everything I have worked so hard for.

    This happened to a
    female executive I know. Her deadbeat husband promised to get a job after the kids were out. He decided it would be best to take a very, very early retirement. She was having none of that, but it cost her dearly.

  38. Oxygen


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    153   1:44am Tue 1 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    zzyzzx says

    Oxygen says

    not only am I required to pay $75k to the wife's family

    Anyone here who actually does that is extremely stupid, and desperate.

    operative word: required.

    also, guess who gets to pay for the wedding

  39. lostand confused


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    154   8:01am Tue 1 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    In other news, 86 year old Hugh hefner just married a 26 year old lady.

    http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20655820,00.html?xid=rss-topheadlines

  40. mell


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    155   8:59am Tue 1 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    rufita11 says

    zzyzzx says

    BRP001 says

    Unfortunately for her, all of my investments were locked up tight and untouchable. She got nada.

    Exactly how does one do this?

    I am a woman and I want to know how to do this. I get anxious thinking that one day, he could walk away and take half of everything I have worked so hard for.

    This happened to a

    female executive I know. Her deadbeat husband promised to get a job after the kids were out. He decided it would be best to take a very, very early retirement. She was having none of that, but it cost her dearly.

    There is no guaranteed way. If you can, don't get married and have a life union with your own contract(s) which you still need, just not being married is not enough. If you must get married, then you need an ironclad prenup and likely also a postnup. But parts of those can be tossed out when push comes to shove. Lastly, if you have friends you can trust you can distribute your money in business entities (better if they are foreign) not managed (owned) by you, but with some sort of guarantee that you get regular distributions from them, like from a trust or such. Probably best to pay a really good and expensive lawyer/accountant who has lots of experience with this.

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