Really Looking Like My Years of Living Alone Are About To End

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RSteve

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Yesterday, my younger daughter said she's 99.9% certain that she'll soon be filing for divorce. Her soon to be ex spent most of May at a detox center to kick both booze and marijuana. He's also addicted to video games and if unabated will play all night. He's not a "bad" guy, just lazy with no ambition or plans for the future. Since he returned from detox, his interest in their children is minimal.

They're going to put their suburban home on the market, shortly. I made the substantial down payment on the house, so they could afford the mortgage payment and wouldn't have mortgage insurance. She'll get that back, but I want her to retain it for a future home purchase. I anticipated this for weeks and have been systematically emptying my house for the daughter and her three kids (6, 5, 2) to move in with me. While she says it's temporary, I expect that at some point, she'll offer to buy the house. That will require a rewrite of my will, so there is a fair split with my other (older) daughter.
My house is in the prefect location for her and the kids; close to a nearby elementary school, two city blocks from daycare, and 15 to 20 minutes from the school where my daughter teaches.

I'd really hoped that their marriage could heal, post my son-in-law's detox and had a long talk with him. He said, (exact quote),
"I have always been lazy and never had much real ambition, and I don't really think I want to change. I like my job because it's easy and I don't have to do much."
He works for a company that does IS services for a federal agency. He has no benefit package, no medical/dental insurance, 401K or pension, and has not established an IRA. (He's been in the same job for over 10 years.)
My daughter says he needs a mother, not a wife.
Fortunately, my modest city home is staggered on four levels. The basement level has a utility room and the rest is completely finished and heavily sound insulated. I'm converting that into a temporary bedroom suite for myself until my daughter decides what her permanent future housing plans are. If she decides that she wants to ultimately buy the house, I'll take the former down payment money and add a suite to the rear of the house.
 
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Brewdude

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Not unexpected Steve, as your son-in-law seems to not be interested in improving himself. It's a pity that his 3 young daughters, wife, and now you have to suffer through this and pick up the pieces. But it looks like you've been prepared for this for some time.

What a wrenching change it will be to go through this at your age. Yet it clearly looks like you've been prepared and have thought this through.


Cheers,

RR
 

GrampaGrossbart

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Best of luck to you, your daughter, and the grandkids during what will inevitably be big transition. Sorry it came to this but the next generations are lucky they have a parent like you, and I hope having a full house brings many unexpected rewards.
 

Ranger107

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There are times when it's just more prudent to walk away and this would seem to be one of those scenarios. I don't quite understand a father not wanting the best for his children but I know they are out there. Agree with Brew and Grampa, your daughter is fortunate to have a Dad like you. Wishing you the best and hope it all works out at some point. You are a good man Steve. May God bless you and the kids.
 

RSteve

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Thank you all for the kind words. I wish this weren't happening, but I could sense there were problems a couple of years ago. My daughter admitted that the youngest child (age 2 in August) was unplanned, and before she became pregnant with her, she feared that her marriage was becoming very unstable. I did not know, at that time, the son-in-law's addiction problems. I have no doubt that he will relapse.
 

Natch

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Taking care of family, it's what we do. They, especially the children, are lucky to have you smooth out the changes they're facing.
 

RSteve

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I did not know, at that time, the son-in-law's addiction problems. I have no doubt that he will relapse.
I made dinner for the family last night and ate with them. After dinner, my son-in-law left the house to socialize with some of his friends. I spoke with my daughter this morning. She said her soon-to-be ex stayed with friends last night. I'm guessing that he's already relapsed.
I don't know if I'm more angry or sad.

To me, what's most interesting in this whole situation is that my daughter has no malice toward her husband. She says she wants him to be happy and to be a solid responsible father to their children. She says she hopes that they can be friends and that the kids will grow up with no animosity toward either of them. I do want the kids to grow up thinking highly of both, yet my gut tells me that after the divorce, the ex will be largely absent from the children's lives. As I've written previously, he's openly admitted he's lazy and has no interest in changing. Raising kids is work and I think it's work that he'll do everything to avoid.
 
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Ranger107

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That's a bummer. I'm no psychiatrist but I think most counselors (my ex wife for ex.) would tell you that anger really doesn't help. May make you feel better for a while but doesn't relieve the situation. Hang in there. We are all, I'm sure, praying for a positive outcome for you and the family.
 

RSteve

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At this moment, I'm feeling rather numb mixed with sadness. Both of my parents died before I was out of my teens. My mother passed when I was nine and my father, while not abusive in any manner, really had no clue about parenting. I was intent on being a 100% participatory parent to my daughters. It pains me to contemplate that my grandchildren may grow up without a fully invested father. I know that I cannot assume a father's role. My daughter would not want that to happen and, frankly, I'm too old.
Fact: Life expectancy of a Vietnam veteran=66 years. I hit that mark a decade ago. Of those of us on the initial Agent Orange register, only about 12% (2020) are still alive. I know my time is limited; far too limited to be anything other than a grandfather.
 

ftrplt

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Steve, my condolences for all the turmoil at the moment. I wish your daughter and you all the best. That said, I have to say that I hope your daughter is "lawyering up" as these situations can get messy real fast!!! All the best for her and the children!! FTRPLT
 

Zeno Marx

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Not that it should make you feel any better...and it really shouldn't...you are not alone. I cannot stand when someone tries to reason with "so many have it worse." With so many not earning a living wage, and with the opioid crisis, this isn't uncommon. The family household dynamic is a-changing to look a lot like your situation, though the variables vary here and there.
 

Timbo

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Steve, I feel for you and your families situation. When my ex broke up with me we had two young kids, both of us were sensible enough to keep animosity out of the situation and they're turning out well.

Sadly the husband sounds like he's a bum, hopefully this might be a wake up call for him to get involved with his kids.
 

Ranger107

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Steve, don't get too wrapped up in statistics. I volunteer at the VA hospital here in Prescott and I can assure you there are plenty of Nam vets older than 66. Me for example. And being a good grandfather goes a long way with kids. Some problems you just can't "fix", so you just deal with them the best you can.
 
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