If you clicked on this article, then you're obviously here for the mess, so let's just get right into it. Recently, I came across this story by Reddit user InColour-0331 — who we'll call InColor for short — about her wife's recent decision to file for divorce. However, despite wanting a separation in the relationship, she doesn't want anyone changing home addresses.
Here's the story in InColor's own words: "After 15 years, my wife, 39, told me, 37, she wants a divorce, but doesn't think it's necessary for me to move out. For most of our relationship, I have shouldered the bulk of our living expenses."
"After years of being in and out of work, she finally found a steady job in 2021. However, her contributions to the household have still been sparse. She is only responsible for the rent, which I recently found out doesn't always get paid on time or in full. Everything else, utilities, insurance, groceries, phone, car note, etc. are on me."
"When we first got together, she had a good job, but shortly after we started living together, things changed. She decided she wasn't fulfilled with her chosen career and wanted to pursue art, which I encouraged and supported because I loved her and wanted her to be happy. Thus, it is putting me in the position to be the only one with a steady income for the last decade. It hasn't always been easy, especially during the pandemic, but I've always kept us afloat while she has remained carefree and unencumbered."
"I have also raised my step-children (twins, 22) who still live with us and aren't currently working or in school. However, now that she wants a divorce, I don't think it is fair for me to stay and continue taking care of a household of adults. Plus, being in the house is painful for me, which she thinks I will get past once I 'find peace.'"
"Her argument is that she travels a lot now, so me moving isn't a big deal because she can just sleep on the couch when she comes home and that I'm still her best friend. But I believe her reasons are more likely that she knows she can't take care of the bills on her own, and she wants to keep me around so she can keep living off my salary. So, am I the asshole, if I start looking for my own place without telling her?"
I don't think you'll be surprised to learn that most readers were absolutely gobsmacked over the gall of InColor's ex.
"I would move out and 'find peace' in your own living arrangements," user Electronic_Fox_6383 said. "Best of luck to you."
"Not the asshole," user jdz-615 agreed. "If she wants a divorce, why would you still live together? ... She wants you to stay so her lifestyle doesn’t change."
And speaking of her lifestyle — most people were stuck on the fact that InColor is paying for her wife's adult children and their lifestyles as well. "Not the asshole. Your wife has been nothing but a freeloader, and her adult children are going in that direction, as they have learnt from the best," user Aggressive-Peace-698 said.
"The fact that she wants you to stay for the BS reason she has given, which just insults your intelligence, shows she wants to have her cake and eat it. However, go to a lawyer as soon as you can to query about the financial situation, especially the debts they have incurred, e.g. not keeping up with the rent, so as to see whether or not you are liable."
Seeking a lawyer, most agreed, was the most obvious and necessary next step.
"It always seems like the person initiating the divorce has their plan all figured out and tells the person they are leaving what they expect them to do. Consult your OWN lawyer before you do anything, then let your spouse know what you'll be doing. It doesn't usually match their plans for you, but that's not your problem," user Grilled_Cheese10 advised.
Separation, both physically and emotionally, are imminent, and wanting to move out does not make InColor the asshole. However, how they handle the move could affect their future. So, instead of moving out without warning, some suggested a concise conversation be held for the good of all parties.
"You need to consider whether you need to stay on good terms with the ex for reasons of: asset splitting, potential alimony payments, and whether you want a relationship with [your] step-daughters," user tsunamisurfer35 said. "If you wanted to be nice, you could provide a date that you will be moving out with XYZ items, and no longer be responsible for any financial commitments of the household from that date. We don't know your circumstances in detail but worth considering."