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  • FIRST POST
    • Westminster
    • By Westminster 7th Oct 17, 4:46 PM
    • 812Posts
    • 497Thanks
    Westminster
    Considering separation from Disabled partner
    • #1
    • 7th Oct 17, 4:46 PM
    Considering separation from Disabled partner 7th Oct 17 at 4:46 PM
    Hi all

    Forgive me if this reads liked jumbled ramblings but this is my thought process so far.

    Background
    We have been married for 12 years.
    We own a mortgaged property together - it’s in both our names but I don’t recall (without digging out the paperwork) whether it’s joint tenancy or tenants in common.

    Draft letter to my wife
    I have been drafting some text to put in a letter to my wife as I expect it all to get very emotionally charged very quickly and I want to make sure I get everything across even if it’s much later that she reads it:

    Firstly I realise that while it is very difficult for me to say these things, it will likely be very significantly harder for you to hear them and for that I apologise. What follows is a rather rambling selection of my thoughts and decision making process over this difficult situation.

    I have been unhappy in our relationship for quite some time although have made several attempts to force myself to change my feelings / views but I have been unable to do so.

    I am finding the physical and emotional demands of helping you meet your daily needs too difficult and it is making me very depressed. However I am not ‘blaming’ you for this - I just feel that we have grown apart in the same way many ‘normal’ couples would, we just have an extra dynamic. In all honesty, if it were not for your MS, I would probably have left several years ago so I really have tried hard to make this work.

    While I still have affection for you and do care what happens to you moving forward, I have not felt love for a long time and have felt somewhat trapped by our situation and your condition as I would otherwise have probably done something about this a few years ago.

    I know you have been sad for some time (possibly also depressed?) but have avoided trying to confront it as I didn’t want all this to come out before I had got your situation as ‘ready’ as possible for my departure. To this end, I have been trying where possible to put on a ‘front’ to keep things together due to the above.

    Perhaps you are wondering if there is anyone else in my life - I can 100% percent say that there is nobody else and never has been anyone else. I haven’t as much as held someone else’s hand and I have no interest in finding anyone else at this time.

    The boys are the most important thing to me and to help secure their future I intend to do what I can to keep my flying career so that I can continue to provide you all with a secure home. I hope their sunny disposition can help you through this and will always be on hand to help as and when I can.

    I want to be very clear that I would love to have the boys living with me but its impractical with my work schedule and very unfair for you.

    I hope we can maintain shared custody so that some of the time when I am home (and when convenient to you) the boys could live with me for some of the time.

    I hope that we can keep a good relationship / communication going forward and while I fully expect this news to be extremely difficult, I also think you would very much prefer to keep the boys living with you and I am happy for them to do that and hope we can arrange an informal access program to fit in with my work etc. I intend to rent a property nearby so that I can help out with them as much as possible and so that we can share access / custody of the boys - particularly during the school holidays.

    I hope that once the initial dust has settled, we will be able to share the parenting decisions as much as is possible.

    Obviously the cats were a gift and I am happy for you to keep them. In fact there is very little I would want to take with me apart from those few items I would naturally see as ‘mine’ which would be laptop / server, my car etc. Everything else is up for discussion and I’m happy to leave you with pretty much everything else as you choose. While you may not want me back inside the house, if you do need any help with internet etc them I am happy to offer assistance. I will try to get as much as possible about the household accounts all together so there isn’t much you need to do.

    I’m taking my time over this process before I tell you as I want to make sure your situation is as stable as possible before I leave. I am hopeful that after the initial sense of loss from having to start using aids etc, that you ultimately feel better as your agency staff will be here solely for your needs so you won’t ever feel like you are ‘disturbing’ someone else when you need something.

    I haven’t yet had any professional advice on how the house / finances should be split but will probably do so before I tell you. My aim is to try to maintain the status-quo as much as possible. We don’t have any debts apart from the mortgage and I realise you won’t be able to buy me out of my part of the house so probably I will see if there is a way for me to keep my name / share in the property while you all continue to live there. I will then seek professional advice on what level of financial provision I will be required - but my intention is to fully meet my commitments.
    Last edited by Westminster; 07-10-2017 at 4:54 PM.
    Hi. Martin has asked me to tell you I'm a Board Guide on the following boards: Mortgages & Endowments, Mortgage-Free Wannabe, House Buying, Renting & Selling, Small Biz & Charities' MoneySaving and Charities.

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Page 8
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 10th Oct 17, 6:25 PM
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    Pollycat
    You need to talk to your wife. She could already be worrying about the impact her illness is having on the family. Either at counselling, or on your own you need to tell her you are struggling, aren't happy, not sure about the future - at least start her thinking that this may be over.

    If you don't do this, then you'll be fine as you've mentally prepared but for her it will be out of the blue. She'll have to deal with kids, illness, new carer, losing you - all of it. Soften the blow by communicating, you owe her that much. She is an adult and your partner, maybe she will have ideas for making things better, maybe separate lives but in the same house for instance, whatever, at least try and deal with it together.

    It may get to the point she absolutely doesn't want to split up, won't deal with any of it but at least you will have tried to do things the right way, and you may even surprise yourself once you back off from 'it's all over' and see something worth saving.

    Good luck.
    Originally posted by Ozzuk
    We may all be doing the OP's wife a disservice here.
    Maybe she's not as clueless about the state of the marriage as the OP thinks she is.
    Maybe the OP isn't as good at hiding his feelings and surreptitious future arrangements as he thinks he is.
    Maybe the 'news' that the OP no longer loves her and wants out will come as a relief to his wife.
    • takethemon
    • By takethemon 10th Oct 17, 8:14 PM
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    • 56 Thanks
    takethemon
    Cold, callous, self serving and condescending comes to mind.
    It takes a special sort of person to walk out on a disabled wife and two little children. You appear to be such a person.
    Those poor little children will be psychologically damaged for the rest of their days. Time heals, but the memory stays.
    At their age they live for the day.
    Father walks out that is when their grief sets in, unless of course you keep them in the dark too about your leaving.
    Your loyalty should be to your children's happiness, which is not just about ensuring that they have the physical things.
    • Helen2k8
    • By Helen2k8 10th Oct 17, 8:21 PM
    • 339 Posts
    • 1,961 Thanks
    Helen2k8
    We may all be doing the OP's wife a disservice here.
    Maybe she's not as clueless about the state of the marriage as the OP thinks she is.
    Maybe the OP isn't as good at hiding his feelings and surreptitious future arrangements as he thinks he is.
    Maybe the 'news' that the OP no longer loves her and wants out will come as a relief to his wife.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    I hope she is making her own plans and presents OP with the fait accompli. Perhaps it would remind him how that feels.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 11th Oct 17, 6:19 AM
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    FBaby
    Even then if he didn't want children, I know of two failsafe ways of not getting a woman pregnant. It's not entirely OPs fault these children are here, but he could have done more, even if his wife was absolutely insistent, don't mean you can't say no, she is chair bound, how much can she do without his consent?
    It's funny how when it comes to judging others, it is assumed that every actions people take/decisions people make are thought with an ability to see perfectly in the future and know exactly how they will feel then.

    We all know that deciding to have children can be a bit of a Russian roulette moment. We could almost come up with reasons at the time why it might not be good idea, but people do, fall in love with their kids, manage and are over the moon that they took the plunge.

    I expect OP has been confused emotionally almost from the time of diagnosis. It's very hard to go from thinking you're going to have a perfectly mapped future with all the things that people aspire to, to accepting that the reality might not be that dream. Also, I expect that the severity of the illness might have come to them as a surprise. MS is a very unpredictable illness, which can progress very slowly or very quickly, affect people only mildly, or very severely, and can hit sufferer suddenly, but then leave them able to live a normal life for many years in between.

    Many people with MS have children and are perfectly able to cope. I expect it's not has much the diagnosis that has made it hard for OP to cope but the severity of it. Being away is only going to make it harder. Many marriages fall apart because of physical distance that gradually becomes emotional distance too. Disability in the mixed is only going to make it harder.

    That letter was horrible but OP has made it clear that this was an exercise to allow him to get his feelings out, feelings that he has probably kept inside for a long time now and is starting to affect him psychologically.

    I think people are being very harsh and would probably be much more understanding if they were in OP's shoes.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 11th Oct 17, 6:24 AM
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    FBaby
    Those poor little children will be psychologically damaged for the rest of their days. Time heals, but the memory stays.
    Talk about emotional blackmail! Children are resilient and don't get damaged by events as much as how these events are managed and how they are supported through them.

    Why would these children be more damaged than any other children of divorced parents? The situation is hard, but it would always have been whether OP stayed in a failed marriage or moved on but remaining a great father.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 11th Oct 17, 7:09 AM
    • 2,710 Posts
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    cjdavies
    .

    I think people are being very harsh and would probably be much more understanding if they were in OP's shoes.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    Don't mean to quote you, but maybe don't get married if you don't mean it?
    • bugslet
    • By bugslet 11th Oct 17, 7:55 AM
    • 5,559 Posts
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    bugslet
    Talk about emotional blackmail! Children are resilient and don't get damaged by events as much as how these events are managed and how they are supported through them.

    Why would these children be more damaged than any other children of divorced parents? The situation is hard, but it would always have been whether OP stayed in a failed marriage or moved on but remaining a great father.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    Living with parents that carry on in a loveless marriage is psychologically no better than parents getting divorced. I certainly wish mine had stopped doing the 'right' thing and seperated, maybe they could have been happy.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 11th Oct 17, 8:06 AM
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    Pollycat
    It's funny how when it comes to judging others, it is assumed that every actions people take/decisions people make are thought with an ability to see perfectly in the future and know exactly how they will feel then.

    We all know that deciding to have children can be a bit of a Russian roulette moment. We could almost come up with reasons at the time why it might not be good idea, but people do, fall in love with their kids, manage and are over the moon that they took the plunge.

    I expect OP has been confused emotionally almost from the time of diagnosis. It's very hard to go from thinking you're going to have a perfectly mapped future with all the things that people aspire to, to accepting that the reality might not be that dream. Also, I expect that the severity of the illness might have come to them as a surprise. MS is a very unpredictable illness, which can progress very slowly or very quickly, affect people only mildly, or very severely, and can hit sufferer suddenly, but then leave them able to live a normal life for many years in between.

    Many people with MS have children and are perfectly able to cope. I expect it's not has much the diagnosis that has made it hard for OP to cope but the severity of it. Being away is only going to make it harder. Many marriages fall apart because of physical distance that gradually becomes emotional distance too. Disability in the mixed is only going to make it harder.

    That letter was horrible but OP has made it clear that this was an exercise to allow him to get his feelings out, feelings that he has probably kept inside for a long time now and is starting to affect him psychologically.

    I think people are being very harsh and would probably be much more understanding if they were in OP's shoes.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    You're talking about the OP being emotionally confused, about his future not being what he expected and MS being a surprise.

    I'll bet it came as a much bigger shock to his wife.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 11th Oct 17, 8:26 AM
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    trailingspouse
    OP, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    If you stay, you will have a lifetime of pretending that everything is OK. This is not good for you, for her, or for the kids, in the long term. Not really. And if you try to do that, then at some point in the future you might very well leave anyway, because it's unsustainable.

    If you go, you will always wonder if you could have made a go of it. You will feel enormous guilt. Every time your kids make a less-than-perfect choice in their lives you will blame yourself.

    I think you know all of this already, and you are trying (by writing it down and coming on here) to work out which of these hells is the least worst for everyone.

    No-one on here knows the answer to that question. No-one. Not even the ones who are so quick to condemn you for even thinking about it.

    And that's another thing - people are perceiving you as cold and clinical because you are thinking it all through before making a decision. Do they really think it would be better if you just walked out in a moment of madness? If you look at all the options, you are labelled as cold, clinical, and doing things behind her back. If you hadn't thought about it at all, people would be yelling 'Think, man, think!!'

    You have my deepest sympathy.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 11th Oct 17, 8:46 AM
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    seven-day-weekend
    I also have a feeling that the replies would have been entirely different had the OP been female.

    It is very sad, but it will not be the first marriage to break up and won't t be the last.
    Last edited by seven-day-weekend; 11-10-2017 at 8:48 AM.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    St. Augustine — 'In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.'
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 11th Oct 17, 9:02 AM
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    Pollycat
    I also have a feeling that the replies would have been entirely different had the OP been female.

    It is very sad, but it will not be the first marriage to break up and won't t be the last.
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    I have a feeling that the replies would have been entirely different if the OP hadn't posted that appallingly cruel letter that he had been considering sending.

    Speaking personally, I haven't made any comments to the OP that I wouldn't have made if the OP had been a woman.
    • bugslet
    • By bugslet 11th Oct 17, 9:59 AM
    • 5,559 Posts
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    bugslet
    I have a feeling that the replies would have been entirely different if the OP hadn't posted that appallingly cruel letter that he had been considering sending.

    Speaking personally, I haven't made any comments to the OP that I wouldn't have made if the OP had been a woman.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    I think it depends on the type of forum as well - I'm on another forum which is pretty small and all female. We had a forummer - as part of a larger thread - post about her circumstances, which in a nutshell were she was having an affair after being unhappy for several years in her marriage. She had been planning to leave her husband when out of the blue he was diagnosed with an illness, which saw her having to care for him for the forseeable future.

    It was years ago so I can't remember specifics, but I do remember feeling very sorry for her. Yes, it was wrong to have an affair, but it was a miserable existance, feeling that your duty was to stay caring for someone that you no longer loved.

    The general consensus was one of compassion for her - I don't think it was purely because she was female and so are the other forummers. I think it was more a recognition that life is not black and white and sometimes you are in a situation that is difficult all round.

    The OPs letter was harsh, but he posted on here to get a feel for how it looked to others. It's difficult to see clearly when you are in the thick of an emotional decision and I feel sorry for him, his wife and the children. There is no good solution whatever he does.
    Last edited by bugslet; 11-10-2017 at 10:12 AM.
    • takethemon
    • By takethemon 11th Oct 17, 10:06 AM
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    takethemon
    It would be far more gross if it was a woman walking out on her children in similar circumstances with a wheelchair bound husband.
    No matter how the OP dresses it up, he is contemplating walking out on his family, even if he plans to have his children at his own place.
    Not only will he be walking out on his family, I would imagine family friends would wish him to take the same path with them.
    As for the children, in later years they will look upon OP as the person who walked out on them when they needed him most.
    Lets cut to the nitty gritty. He is contemplating this decision to make HIS life better.
    It has been said that children are resilient. Indeed they are, on the surface. Who can read their little minds?
    It would be better if they split up from a loveless marriage, but in these circumstances what is OP leaving his children to cope with?
    Does he think they are old enough to realise that it is only the mother that he is walking out on?
    The OP is obviously in turmoil, but publishing that letter and his reasoning leaves me cold.
    He should get some professional help.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 11th Oct 17, 10:12 AM
    • 29,508 Posts
    • 55,168 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    I have a feeling that the replies would have been entirely different if the OP hadn't posted that appallingly cruel letter that he had been considering sending.

    Speaking personally, I haven't made any comments to the OP that I wouldn't have made if the OP had been a woman.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    I agree that the letter is not a good way to go, and said so in my first post, when I also recommended counselling.

    But we see it all the time on here. Bloke looks at woman sideways and there are immediate calls to leave him, take the children and take him for all he has got.

    Other way round, he's a cad and a bounder.

    I sincerely hope this marriage can be mended.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    St. Augustine — 'In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.'
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 11th Oct 17, 10:17 AM
    • 29,508 Posts
    • 55,168 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    It would be far more gross if it was a woman walking out on her children in similar circumstances with a wheelchair bound husband.
    No matter how the OP dresses it up, he is contemplating walking out on his family, even if he plans to have his children at his own place.
    Not only will he be walking out on his family, I would imagine family friends would wish him to take the same path with them.
    As for the children, in later years they will look upon OP as the person who walked out on them when they needed him most.
    Lets cut to the nitty gritty. He is contemplating this decision to make HIS life better.
    It has been said that children are resilient. Indeed they are, on the surface. Who can read their little minds?
    It would be better if they split up from a loveless marriage, but in these circumstances what is OP leaving his children to cope with?
    Does he think they are old enough to realise that it is only the mother that he is walking out on?
    The OP is obviously in turmoil, but publishing that letter and his reasoning leaves me cold.
    He should get some professional help.
    Originally posted by takethemon
    Isn't that the case in all marriage break-ups??? One person or the other, or both, thinks they will have a better life outside the marriage. Children are always caught in the middle, to a lesser or greater extent.

    I'm not condoning the OP's actions, just pointing out that the situation, in many ways, is no worse than any other marriage break-up.

    I agree he should seek professional help.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    St. Augustine — 'In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.'
    • pipkin71
    • By pipkin71 11th Oct 17, 10:21 AM
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    pipkin71
    Those poor little children will be psychologically damaged for the rest of their days. Time heals, but the memory stays.
    Originally posted by takethemon
    Melodramatic!

    How can you say, with any certainty, that the children will be psychologically damaged? For the rest of their days, to boot.

    A marriage break up can affect children, some more than others but on the whole, they are pretty resilient. Being young carers can be tough as well, but again, being in that position won't automatically lead to a lifetime of psychological issues.

    I would say, remaining in a loveless marriage can affect the children more than if the father leaves. It won't be easy for any of them but that doesn't mean they won't adjust to their new situation.
    There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you - Beatrix Potter
    • Westminster
    • By Westminster 11th Oct 17, 12:16 PM
    • 812 Posts
    • 497 Thanks
    Westminster
    Indeed I am grateful for the full spectrum of responses received thus far and certainly those that highlighted the very ill-advised nature of the letter.

    As surmised by a few people, this is a highly emotive process and it has been useful for me to get my thoughts down and shared in the partially anonymous nature of this forum.

    This is still very much a work in progress and as previously stated, if it were not for my concern over the short and long term impact of leaving on my wife & children (regardless of how that comes about) then it would be a much more simple decision process.

    Probably the elevated stress of the current carer resigning has pushed all this to the forefront and it does seem (on my part) to be abating now that we (both) are taking an active role in finding a solution to the immediate care requirements while I am away with work.

    I will be giving this more careful consideration as to whether I want to trigger the next stage or redouble efforts to deal with my own 'demons' regarding prospects for the future and may conclude that its better to continue with things as they are.

    Just bringing this up with my wife is going to cause significant upset and stress all around although clearly this would be the logical next step should I decide that I do need to share the burden if I can't cope with this by myself.
    Hi. Martin has asked me to tell you I'm a Board Guide on the following boards: Mortgages & Endowments, Mortgage-Free Wannabe, House Buying, Renting & Selling, Small Biz & Charities' MoneySaving and Charities.

    I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts on there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    • spirit
    • By spirit 11th Oct 17, 12:57 PM
    • 2,595 Posts
    • 5,617 Thanks
    spirit
    Indeed I am grateful for the full spectrum of responses received thus far and certainly those that highlighted the very ill-advised nature of the letter.

    As surmised by a few people, this is a highly emotive process and it has been useful for me to get my thoughts down and shared in the partially anonymous nature of this forum.

    This is still very much a work in progress and as previously stated, if it were not for my concern over the short and long term impact of leaving on my wife & children (regardless of how that comes about) then it would be a much more simple decision process.

    Probably the elevated stress of the current carer resigning has pushed all this to the forefront and it does seem (on my part) to be abating now that we (both) are taking an active role in finding a solution to the immediate care requirements while I am away with work.

    I will be giving this more careful consideration as to whether I want to trigger the next stage or redouble efforts to deal with my own 'demons' regarding prospects for the future and may conclude that its better to continue with things as they are.

    Just bringing this up with my wife is going to cause significant upset and stress all around although clearly this would be the logical next step should I decide that I do need to share the burden if I can't cope with this by myself.
    Originally posted by Westminster


    BIB - still not considering things from your wife's POV?


    If you are struggling to deal with this, surely couples counselling, as you agreed is a good idea and would be the next logical step.


    So you think that not bringing it up with your wife is in someway protecting her from it? As you've said, she isn't mentally impaired. You are doing her a disservice by not engaging with her.


    it all comes across as very one-sided.
    Mortgage free as of 10/02/2015. Every brick and blade of grass belongs to meeeee.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 11th Oct 17, 12:58 PM
    • 1,752 Posts
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    Red-Squirrel

    Why would these children be more damaged than any other children of divorced parents?
    Originally posted by FBaby
    With the best will in the world I think its highly likely that it will be harder for them. They won't be living the lives of most kids with divorced parents, they will be looked after almost entirely by people who are being paid to do it and will take on a lot of the responsibility for their mother's emotional wellbeing if not physical.
    • takethemon
    • By takethemon 11th Oct 17, 1:25 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    takethemon
    Indeed I am grateful for the full spectrum of responses received thus far and certainly those that highlighted the very ill-advised nature of the letter.

    As surmised by a few people, this is a highly emotive process and it has been useful for me to get my thoughts down and shared in the partially anonymous nature of this forum.

    This is still very much a work in progress and as previously stated, if it were not for my concern over the short and long term impact of leaving on my wife & children (regardless of how that comes about) then it would be a much more simple decision process.

    Probably the elevated stress of the current carer resigning has pushed all this to the forefront and it does seem (on my part) to be abating now that we (both) are taking an active role in finding a solution to the immediate care requirements while I am away with work.

    I will be giving this more careful consideration as to whether I want to trigger the next stage or redouble efforts to deal with my own 'demons' regarding prospects for the future and may conclude that its better to continue with things as they are.

    Just bringing this up with my wife is going to cause significant upset and stress all around although clearly this would be the logical next step should I decide that I do need to share the burden if I can't cope with this by myself.
    Originally posted by Westminster

    It appears to be all about you.
    Those little children didn't ask to be bought into this world.
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