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I Want a Divorce ... When We Can Afford It

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More and more couples are living with their exes to save money.


Exes David Snyder and Nancy Partridge have been forced to live together for months because they can't sell their place or afford to set up separate households in this slumping economy.

"We've had tremendous arguments over things like who gets to park in the garage, but at this point, it's kind of settling down into a routine," Partridge, 45, told Yahoo. "It's the lesser of two evils. I think the financial stress of a foreclosure, which would probably also lead to a bankruptcy, would be worse."

Jamie Kingston's parents got married in 1970 ... and separated in January 2005. But they are still living together largely due to financial reasons. "They basically can't afford to move out," she tells momlogic. "They sleep in separate bedrooms, but it's impossible for them to move on emotionally while they're under the same roof. The whole situation is extremely stressful for them ... and for me. But it's taught me some very important lessons. I am work hard to make a large salary and am extremely careful with my money, so I will never end up in the same position that they're in."

Momlogic and family therapist Shannon Fox says Jamie's parents' scenario is more common than you think. "People used to stay together for the kids, but now more and more they're staying together for the bank account."

If you have small children, this can be a particularly complicated situation. "It's very unsettling for the kids," Fox says. "They need to get used to the idea that Mommy and Daddy are not married anymore, but with them living under the same room. It's very confusing for them."

It can also be confusing for you ... and can hold you back in a major way. "Most people cannot move on or sever ties if they are under the same roof," Fox says. "Dating is practically impossible -- because he becomes part of your dating equation. He knows exactly when you are coming and going."

"Sometimes holding on to a house is just a way to hold on to the relationship, even on a subconscious level," she says. "It keeps you stuck. There is no way to really move on as long as you are living together."

But sometimes, especially in this economy, people have no choice. If you must cohabitate after separation or divorce, here are Shannon Fox's top three tips for keeping the peace:

Consider your options. "Part of what makes a situation like this so bad is that you feel stuck, like you have nowhere to go," Fox says. "But if you think about where else you could go -- to your parents, for instance -- but then decide not to go that route, then living together for the moment is more of a choice. That will give you a better feeling about it."

Exhaust all possibilities. "If you can't afford the house without your husband paying his share, have you considered having a friend move in, or getting a roommate on Craigslist?" Fox asks. "Leave no stone unturned."

If you can't be husband and wife, try to be good roommates. "Make a commitment to living in harmony," says Fox. "That means communicating, respecting each other's boundaries, and dividing tasks around the house."

Fox says that as the economy worsens, this trend will only continue to grow.

Are you currently living with your ex? Comment below.

next: 12 Worst Baby-Related Movies and TV Shows
4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jenthemom December 5, 2008, 11:57 AM

This is what I should have done looking back. I’m originally from the states but moved out of the country to be with my husband. Things were nowhere what I thought they would be for my self or for my children and after 5 years of marriage,pretending to be happy more than half the time I had had enough. I decided to leave and move back to my home state. The plan was to move in with a relative and get a job til I could save enough money to get my own place. Well that didnt work out and I ended up getting a small apartment. I found a factory job and worked for about a month not making great money but enough to scrape by. After a month I was laid off and after deperately seeking a job for the last 2 weeks have found nothing. I’ve been forced to apply for state aid which kills me to do, but even that isnt even enough to pay my rent let alone my electric and car payment. Times are ridiculousy tough right now. I guess my only point in writing all this is just for anyone else out there reading in the same situation so stressed and not knowing what to do that they’re not alone.

sistah44 December 21, 2008, 10:22 AM

I’m so sorry, Jenthemom. I’m thinking of leaving my husband (he’s not attracted to me but is attracted to other woman…sexless marriage for many years now). I want to work things out for my 12 y/o son, so I’m trying to figure out way to be happy with him (my husband), but it seems pretty impossible for now. I’m looking at apt. prices and that’s going to be hard to stay near my house and have my son come stay with me with his dog. The most sense is for my husband to move out, but for some reason, I’d rather be the one leaving. Probably just ego. I hope things get better for you…I think they will…too many people can’t make ends meet and something has to give. May god or whatever energy there is out there watch over you.

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