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In June of this year I asked my wife for a divorce. We are very different and married at 18 yrs and have no children. I am now 24 years old. I realized that although she is a great person we probably should have never have been married. Soon after bringing up the topic of divorce her grandmother died. Then in quick succession she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The reasons for divorce never included her illness, at the time neither of us even knew there was one.

It seems like I am destined to live out the rest of my life taking care of a increasingly needy woman whom I do not love romantically. Worse the medication she is taking leaves the likelihood of having children slim to none. No children, No love, a lifetime of physical and financial hardship ahead. I see no hope. I feel trapped by an intense sense of obligation and guilt to stay because she is sick, even though in staying all my life's dreams will die quietly. At the same time I feel immense empathy for my wife. I am only 24. I just don't see a path to anything good. Does anybody ?
 

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Gosh, if you're feeling this now, I'd take a break and get some space for a while, if not end it entirely. You're too young, don't lead her on when you don't love her and waste each others youth. She will be fine and maybe you can just go on friendship status for a while.
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Has your wife ever worked and said social security? If so she can get social security disability. She can also get SSI.

With these she will get medical care.

This way her illness will not drain you financially.

Does she have family who can help her?

Staying with her out of obligation is not good for either of you. You can divorce her and help her get on disability.
 

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You asked for the divorce before you found out about her disability.

You are not obligated to stay in a marriage your not happy in. It seems like you really tried to work it out.

I'm physically disabled, but it happened 8 years into our marriage. I still wouldn't want my husband staying with me just because of it.

I wouldn't want to live with a man I wasn't in love with either. The choice is up to you. Good luck.
 

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Liam:

You have two different problems that you're mixing up into one.

1.) You want a divorce and HAVE WANTED ONE for months (years?).

2.) Your STBXW has RECENTLY been diagnosed with a chronic illness.

You didn't MARRY your STBXW because of her MS, and you're not DIVORCING her because of her MS. Her illness is NOT pertinent to the divorce. The divorce is based on causes that happened during the 6 years PRIOR to her diagnosis.

Her illness is unfortunate and will completely change your STBXW's life. That being said, your STBXW will HAVE TO FIND a WHOLE NEW WAY of living, a new way of doing everything because of her disease. If you stay, it won't be because you love her, it won't be because you're building a life together, it will be because you're CHOOSING to become a live-in nurse for someone with a chronic illness. You're CHOOSING to stay out of guilt (because she got sick and you didn't? because she's not going to have a 'normal' life and you are? because you COULD move away from her illness, and she can't? because you CAN have children, and she can't?) or out of fear (what will people SAY about me if I leave a sick wife), or out of low self-worth (I'll be a martyr to her illness and that will make up for past, present, future 'sins') NONE of which are positive attributes for a marriage.

NONE of these are a good enough reason to stay! Add to that the STRESS your martyr-act will lay on your STBXW who is already stressed enough with her new illness. NOW, she has to deal with allowing you to 'ruin' your life on her account? Can't imagine THAT will make her feel any better. You already TOLD her you wanted out BEFORE the diagnosis; staying now out of pity would just make her feel even cr*ppier about her illness, because now TWO lives would be sacrificed to her illness. Wouldn't want to be around for the resentment THAT is going to engender in both of you!

If your divorce had been FINALIZED (instead of presented) in June, would you now be running down the aisle to re-marry your ex-w BECAUSE she's been diagnosed with MS and her grandmother just died? ...I didn't think so! Because her MS was NOT germane to the issue of the divorce....and it STILL isn't!

If the postings here have not helped you to see that your idea to stay in your marriage is BAD for YOUR mental/emotional health, and BAD for your STBXW's mental/emotional health (would only be useful to her physically), then please see a counselor who will HELP YOU SEE that being a martyr in this situation will hurt EVERYONE, INCLUDING YOUR STBXW, and I am sure that was the opposite of your intentions when you suggested it here.

Hang on, Liam, and keep coming here. We're interested in helping you.

[As an aside, I have to add that I am TOTALLY blown-away by your age. I have noticed your postings in different threads and your advice is so mature and well-reasoned I thought you were probably in your mid-40s with kids and 1/2 way through a career!]
 

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My approach to the question would be pretty simple. According to my religious beliefs, adultery (or spousal physical abuse) are the only two legitimate reasons to divorce. There's been no mention of either. I'd assume that God had put us together for some reason. He knows more than I do, so, whether I felt naturally romantic toward her or not, it would be my duty to behave as if I did. God would have known she'd become ill and need someone pretty strong to take care of her. He might also have known you needed lessons which would be learned through the process. I don't run the world, I just ride on it. I do believe we are like kids. If we just followed our own desires, we'd eat only candy and leave the veggies; only harming ourselves in the process. Neither of you are very old and neither of you likely have a great idea of what you will actually need in the future. God had a plan for you before you were born. I don't know what that plan is but I do believe the closer you get to it, the happier you're going to be.
 

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There are some people who enjoy and feel valued by taking care of another person. Liam, you do not appear to be one of them, so go ahead and set her free to find someone who can love her as she is, illness and all, while she's still able to get out and meet that guy.
 

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There are some people who enjoy and feel valued by taking care of another person. Liam, you do not appear to be one of them, so go ahead and set her free to find someone who can love her as she is, illness and all, while she's still able to get out and meet that guy.
Agree.

People with MS can manage their symptoms & live very full lives.

Proceed with your divorce as planned & maybe go to counseling to deal with your feelings of guilt.

She is still young & healthy enough to find a man that will love & cherish her.
 
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