Tag Archives: marriage

…And You Wonder Why I Drink.

21 Apr

Drew Carey once joked: “Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar.” Is booze the solution? No, but when you’re caught in a situation you can’t get out of, it helps ease the transition.

As I’ve talked about many times on this blog, I’m a big fan of the local bar. Once you find one that you like–which is not easy–it’s a great comfort. An extended living room. A place to have friends you’d never want to invite to your house. But more importantly, it gets you away from your life for a little while.

Why I bring this up is because on Sunday morning, my wife says, “Hey, why don’t you come with me to the Home Depot.” Okay, this wasn’t part of my initial plan for the day, so my initial thought is one of annoyance, but I accept it and try to turn it into a chance to hang out with my wife, flirt. Initially, that works. Then God forbid I buy multiple copies of some tools that we invariably lose all the freaking time, and all my goodwill I’ve built in those few minutes evaporates. Great.

My wife and I are going to start counseling again because frankly, this is a bad situation. She’s pissed at me, I’m pissed at her; but frankly, that’s any marriage. You hit points where you’re better together and points you are not. I’ve picked up more chores, she says, “Why weren’t you doing that before?!” I just feel like she’s been in a high stress situation for a couple years and half of it IS HER OWN DAMN FAULT. Gee, you take an extra class AND a teaching assistantship on top of that and you complain you don’t have enough time in the day. How could that have possibly happened?! (rolling eyes)

So both of us have thought during our 15-year marriage, “Gee, why don’t we just divorce if we don’t like being together anymore?” The last time was last summer. The answer–we can’t afford to. My wife doesn’t have a regular job; she’s a grad student. Even if we both did, there’s still the kids. Both of us wants them to have a stable, happy home. My wife also doesn’t trust me to raise the kids under a joint custody agreement, and from all modern accounts, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

Mind you, things got better since then, but I still think she would be a lot happier if she chose to get out of the house more often. She has the choice; she has an office she can go to, I don’t (at present), but there’s few other people there. And without other people present, it’s just a pain-in-the-butt to get to in order to the do the same thing…

…but it gets you out of the house. I’ve been attending my local bar on a regular basis throughout this pandemic and it’s made things a lot easier to get through. I’ve also been attending there because the wife doesn’t want me to drink in the house. After all, if she can’t drink without messing up her system, then it must be the same for everyone, right?! (sigh)

But if I can’t leave my marriage, and my attempts to fix things aren’t working, then what else can you do but drink? Before I get into a diatribe you don’t have the context for, I’ll just ask what you think? What did you do in this situation? Let me know in the comments below! Then check out one of my books; they aren’t as depressing However, if $1.99 is too steep for your wallet, go ahead and download one of my stories for free. You’ll be glad you did.

The Headline is Not the Story

11 Feb

When dealing with the law and court findings, headlines are frequently misleading. Family law doubly so, because they have to deal with stuff that shouldn’t be handled outside the family. So this divorce story is a whopper.

The headline is “Mere Possession Of Higher Educational Qualification Not A Reason To Hold That Wife Can Maintain Herself : Karnataka High Court.” At first blush, that makes me think, “Oh, the gold-digging ex-wife doesn’t want to get a job,” but a little further reading makes that clear, that’s not the story. The wife’s lawyer (who is an “amicus curiae” lawyer–friend of the court–so I’m not sure if that means she was court appointed or doing this for free) pointed out that just because you have two advanced degrees doesn’t necessarily mean you can get a job with them. And as my wife pointed out, often these are designed as part of getting a husband, and were never intended to be used. It’s what we used to call it in the US a “MRS. degree.”

The next obstacle to get over is that this case is in India–based on the British model–so not only are there different rules, there’s a different culture and location to be considered. The ex-husband is asking to stop having to make payments of 3,000 rupees/month–which translates to $41 USD/month. Now you might think, “What a cheap-skate!” and… well, you might be right, but when I lived in India (albeit 15 years ago), I made the equivalent of $300 USD/month (Rs.13,000; back when 1 USD was 45 INR) and we were upper middle class for the “edge of civilization” town we were living in. So you can live off that… but not very well, and certainly not in the big city of Mysuru (Mysore).

In this case, the ex-wife lives with her brother, and has for many years. How long is not reported in the case brief. However, the couple was married in 2003. Sometime after, it was discovered that there was a medical problem with her uterus, and eventually, she had to have surgery to have it removed. Read: she can’t have kids. Now this would put a strain on any marriage, so when he starts going out at night, she starts thinking he’s searching for a new wife, and the yelling starts. Eventually, things get so testy in the home that she leaves and moves into her brother. She appeals to the family court and asks for Rs.5000/month. The husband then applies for divorce and finally gets it in 2013, where the alimony is now Rs.3000/month.

So eight years later, the ex-husband is trying to get out paying alimony for a wife he only had for… a year? A couple of years? So his argument is, “she’s got TWO degrees. Let her get a job!” Understandable, but then it’s revealed that our ex-husband owns two tailoring shops, pulling in Rs.3000-5000/day. Mind you, he still has to pay 5-10 tailors in that shop, and rent, and supplies, but this is not sounding good for the ex-husband, even if you assume the wife’s lawyer is exaggerating his income.

Because this is India, the ex-wife can never get married again. She can’t have kids and that’s a deal breaker in Karnataka state. In theory, she COULD get a job (and probably does something), but she is black-listed from ever having a relationship. That means she’s a dependent on her family for the rest of her life. The husband is also black-listed, the main problem being is that he’s currently 52 years old, which means he was 35 when he got married… so he was taking his sweet time getting a bride himself. It’s hard to convince prospective parents to let you have their daughter when he’s got “divorced” on his marriage resume (yes, they exist).

In the end, the court found in favor of the ex-wife, and recommended to raise the alimony to Rs.4000/month. But this story takes so many twists and turns… and I had to skim the actual case brief, which the article has at the bottom of the story, but the news left out so many juicy details that make this story more interesting. But what do you think? Is US$41/month too high a price to pay for a couple-year relationship? Can (or should) the wife get a job? Is the ex-husband a jack-ass? Let me know in the comments below!

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