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#684499 03/15/01 05:14 PM
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I need some emotional support from my friends here. My stbx is going off the deepend. I just got back his response to my settlement offer, which I thought was reasonable.<P>He’s been paying me $1500/month child support for two small kids. I suggested continuation of that. He suggested paying me $6/month. He’s also asking for $1500/month spousal support from me. The state software that calculates this stuff supports his numbers given the assumptions he entered (our relative salaries and him NOW requesting 30% custody). The problem is that I earn quite a bit more income than he does, although everyone would consider his income quite solid. He just bought a brand new luxury convertible!<P>He walked out on me right after I gave birth to our second child. He barely saw her for two years. I plan Aed him for most of the separation, going back to Sept. ’98. He’s been having an affair with a subordinate the entire time. He’s always acted like the victim, apparently still believes it. Never a moment of remorse or acknowledgment of my pain from him.<P>I know I would never do it, but I understand how people commit murder in these situations.<BR>

#684500 03/15/01 06:10 PM
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In our society, you can open up the yellow pages and find page after page of telephone numbers, any of which you can call and say "There's someone I've decided I don't like, and I want you to destroy them emotionally and financially. Can you do this for me? Will you take the contract?" The answer in many cases will be: yes and yes.<P>You look these phone numbers up under "Attorneys - Divorce & Family Law".<P>Since no-fault divorce came into vogue freeing abusive and unfaithful spouses from the consequences of their moral misconduct, the state has become party to actions that make most criminal acts of theft, robbery, and assault seem trivial in comparison.<BR>

#684501 03/15/01 06:22 PM
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It was my understanding that in most states, spousal support could be adjusted based on fault, even in a no-fault divorce. (Although unfortunately in my state, it is rare to be awarded spousal support when ther is significant child support)<P>Are you filing no-fault? Would it change anything if you filed on the grounds of adultery or desertion? Why should he be granted 30% custody, when he had virtually no custody for years, of his own volition?

#684502 03/15/01 06:32 PM
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Great questions and points.<P>This is California. It's a no fault and community property state. The only grounds are irreconcilable differences and mental illness (we could argue the second, right?).<P>There are state formulas for child support and spousal support, but the judges also have discretion. My attorney seems to think spousal support is unlikely, but so far my attorney hasn't been very active. It could be because our case has been in wait mode until now. We now have a court date in two months, and the other side has been forced to respond to our settlement offer. This is what we got.<P>Nellie, I'd be delighted for him to take the kids 30% of the time. In the end, I guess his motivation (financial) isn't important. What I DON'T want to happen is for the child support to be calculated at 30% and for him to keep seeing them less than 10%.<P>I am starting to calm down. It's just more of the same victim **** from him. He may even be trying to get me angry, since he still hasn't seen that from me. More passive aggressive behavior.<P>I meet with my attorney tomorrow. I also want to explore whether I can leverage potential legal action surrounding his affair with the subordinate in our negotiations, or in influencing a judge. It seems like that should count for something. I'm not exactly lacking for witnesses or documentation. Even his own parents would testify to his failure to see our child and what he's put me through.<P>Thanks guys. I love you.

#684503 03/15/01 07:08 PM
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I get the same thing from my attorney about spousal support. It is based on marital standard of living, but most judges (at least according to what I have read) are awarding SS much less than they used to. Mostly time limited and mostly for retraining. Doesn't seem to be the case here.<P>I would document the time that he has spent with the kids, and base the CS on that. If you can document the time, the judge will probably look at time already spent, rather than time he is requesting, especially if there is a several year track record.<P>There is a good tool over at the FRTC site <A HREF="http://www.deltabravo.net/custody." TARGET=_blank>www.deltabravo.net/custody.</A> It is called the Parenting Time Tracker. It is an Excel spreadsheet with all the formulas for tracking the NCP time. Just enter the time he takes them and the time he returns them, and it calculates the %. I have been using this since before our separation and it never fails to impress the judge.<P>You wouldn't happen to be in LA county? What a kick if we were before the same judge.<P>Good Luck to you. Family court can be a bizarre place.

#684504 03/15/01 09:27 PM
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Grandpabri - can you send that link again? It didn't work for me.<P>I'm in Orange County. Can you e-mail me at solarcalc@hotmail.com? I'd like to get into some more detail about your experiences in family court if you wouldn't mind. Thanks so much.

#684505 03/15/01 10:51 PM
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All right Distressed...you don't have to keep living up to your name ya know!!!!<BR>LOL!!!!<P>How are ya' Hon? Other than this latest (and OH SO wonderful (HEAVILY sarcastic) aspect of our trips to Hades......<P>Was this sent from his lawyer or from him?<BR>May or may not be "his" ideas.....<P>Legalities were awful for me so my advice is to expect the worst case scenario....<P>No-Fault meant NO-FAULT in my case, nothing said or ALLOWED to be said about infidelity and I was denied knowledge that it would even be an option. Apparently divorce is an assembly line function of the legal system. Picture "Lucy & Ethel" on the chocolate line - eat 'em up and hurry along!!!!<P>I'm more concerned about your anger and emotions. How are they coming along? <P>Entwining H and You as a couple with "H and You" the plaintive and defendent will make things a lot worse for you.....do you want that? Can you separate? Try.....<P>I wish he would be that man again for you Distressed....I wish he would be that Dad he could be.....I wish it for mine too!!<P>They have to refind their integrity first. I don't think that they lost it on purpose though.....They don't reach deep enough inside themselves to see that it is missing. <P>I don't really know how it got away from them......easier to be shallow and self-serving in this world perhaps. Lack of self-esteem, strength of character, who knows?<P>He's the kid's Dad.....always will be. He is the man you loved very much and who loved you - and you know it : you felt it!!<P>Don't stay angry at this shell....remember and cherish and be proud of who fathered your kids for that is who you must cultivate for them (and yourself) and in how you resolve to hold him in your life's history. It was not for naught!!!<P>I know that you don't want to hear this, but your personality is something I just don't see as one of anger or resentment and I just hate the thought of you carying it with you about him. <P>Inside is the love.....find it, remember it, cherish it. DOESN'T mean that you accept what he's done.....simply means that your life will retain the good and properly wade through the bad.<P>I think of you often and your in my nightly candle ritual/prayers.....<P>BIG HUGS & LOVE,<P>Sheba

#684506 03/15/01 10:58 PM
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Sorry. The link is without the period <A HREF="http://www.deltabravo.net/custody" TARGET=_blank>www.deltabravo.net/custody</A> <P>Try that.

#684507 03/15/01 11:45 PM
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Distressed,<P>I'm in CA too (LA county), and my understandings are as follows (FWIW):<P>Child support is calculated according to strict formulas. It's based on a number of things, including (obviously) the custody percentage. Even if you guys agree to a different dollar value for child support in your MSA, the court ALWAYS RETAINS JURISDICTION over child support. In other words, you can always go back later and ask for the appropriate level of support (depending on the custody arrangement). <P>As far as spousal support, it is usually (as grandpabri said) very small and is time limited, especially if both spouses are making a decent living.<P>Finally, the issue of affairs has absolutely no bearing on anything in CA courts. Not on custody, not on child support, not on spousal support. Believe me, I looked into it, being the BS. No chance. Sad, but true.<P>Why are there so many of us here in CA, anyway? [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>AGG

#684508 03/16/01 12:54 AM
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Well, there's one thing I can still count on. I can come here and get great Cyber support from my friends. Thank you so much.<P>Grandpabri, thank you for the link. I will check it out and try to utilize it. The truth is, I would like him to take the kids 30% of the time and I really don't mind using that number for the support calculations if: 1) he actually TAKES THEM that much and it isn't just a financial ploy, 2) he assumes 30% of the expenses for them (so far, I buy all the clothes and everything else - they all share a single bed there), and 3) he sets up a proper environment for them at his place - meaning their own space and their own things. Right now, it's just a one bedroom apartment. Even if his motivation for taking them more is financial, it would still be progress for him to increase the visitation (and hopefully act like a REAL parent, not just a Disneyland dad).<P>Anyway, after my vent today, I spent some time tonight poring through the California statutes. I cannot imagine a judge granting him spousal support under these circumstances, or at least not much. The man has a six figure income! It's ridiculous that they even asked for it. It was either to get me mad (successful, but temporary) or to use as a throw-away for negotiation purposes. They are slime.<P>Sheba, thank you for including me in your prayers. Hey, when is it going to start to kick in : ) (just kidding, I love you babe). Really, I am not at all an angry person. This little outburst is already passing. The problem is, I can no longer believe that there was anything there worth loving, EVER. Sheba, it's completely gone now. I look at this man, not usually with anger, but often with disgust and sometimes pity. I see our life together as a big mistake, where I had very bad judgment for a long period of time. I don't know if I'll ever move off that viewpoint. The damage has been huge. I'm pretty clear that I made it all much worse by trying so hard to save the marriage. That drained every possible cent out of the love bank. The deficit is so huge that I can't even imagine anything close to friendship ever happening again. Maybe I'll get passed this when we're out of the heat of battle, but right now I don't see it.<P>He is the kid's dad and that will never change. I want them to love him, to feel that they have a dad worth loving. He is just not that right now. I do hope he finds it within himself to earn their respect. My son loves him still, but also sees the shortcomings. My daughter, well, she hardly knows him. Maybe when he boosts the visitation they'll all start to connect better.<P>Argh! I know that bitterness sometimes comes through in my posts. I hope it will fade.<P>Thanks also, AGoodGuy, for clarifying the statutes. Interestingly, the child support calculations are usually a MINIMUM. Look, I pay $1300/month in childcare alone. He needs to pick up some of that (most would say half). The $6 barely covers a single day of lunch. It's frustrating that nothing can be done with the infidelity. But I'm thinking that I may get negotiating leverage out of the fact that his affair is with a subordinate. There may be other legal issues at play, and he could potentially lose his job. Another topic for the attorney tomorrow. <P>Again, thanks for the great support. Today I really needed it.

#684509 03/16/01 11:42 AM
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IMHO, I would not bring up the affair with his employer. Loss of job=loss of income=significant change in circumstances=you pay HIM even though he only has the kids 30% of the time.<P>Child care is part of the CS calculation. So he would have to pay half.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>2) he assumes 30% of the expenses for them (so far, I buy all the clothes and everything else - they all share a single bed there), and 3) he sets up a proper environment for them at his place - meaning their own space and their own things. Right now, it's just a one bedroom apartment.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Don't hold your breath. When she moved out and was awarded the standard EOW, our son ended up sleeping on the couch for over a month and our daughter was in a playpen for longer than that. I tried to bring this up with the lawyer, and it was a no traction issue.<P>Also, according to her, I am to provide anything she wants in the way of clothes, and she doesn't have to return them. However, anything she buys stays at her house.<P>AGG, if you don't mind my asking, what has been your experience with the LA courts? And who is your judge. If you don't want to post, email me if you like at bmstern@hotmail.com.<P>In the words of Tiny Tim, God bless us everyone.

#684510 03/16/01 11:52 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Distressed:<BR><B>But I'm thinking that I may get negotiating leverage out of the fact that his affair is with a subordinate. There may be other legal issues at play, and he could potentially lose his job. </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Yikes, I'd be careful with that one... "Negotiating leverage" can probably be quickly turned into "blackmail"... Besides, like grandpabri says, his loss of job would mean more SS going his way... You can't win, can you?<P>My W also had her affair with a business associate, and if discovered, could cost them both their jobs. I figure that for now, I am in control of whether and when I disclose this affair, and I like having that knowledge and control [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>AGG<p>[This message has been edited by AGoodGuy (edited March 16, 2001).]

#684511 03/16/01 11:55 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by grandpabri:<BR><B>I<BR>AGG, if you don't mind my asking, what has been your experience with the LA courts? And who is your judge. </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>No problem asking, but I have no experience with the courts (yet). We've prepared and filed the Petition and Response (DIY approach), but have yet to go to Judgement. My understanding is that in an uncontested divorce with an MSA (which we have), you can get the whole thing done without ever seeing a judge or a courtroom. Is your divorce contested?<P>AGG

#684512 03/17/01 12:07 AM
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Contested is putting it mildly. <P>We have had, let's see, at least 8 hearings that I can remember. And child support is not even settled yet.<P>[short vent] She wanted this new life, damn girl, get on with it and leave me alone. You can't have your cake and eat it too.[end of short vent]<P> [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]

#684513 03/17/01 12:14 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by grandpabri:<BR><B>Contested is putting it mildly. <P>We have had, let's see, at least 8 hearings that I can remember. And child support is not even settled yet.<BR></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Wow.... I'm sure the lawyers are thrilled, watching your "nest egg" slowly (or rapidly) moving into their pockets... The attorney whom I consulted initially told me in no uncertain terms that if I want to contest anything, he'll be more than happy to represent me, but that all that will happen is that all of our life savings will go to the lawyers and the kids will be completely f*cked up... That didn't seem too appealing, and we managed to find common ground for the MSA. Sorry that yours has gone the other route...<P>AGG

#684514 03/17/01 12:25 AM
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We have both had to let our lawyers go because they were costing us too much. I have spent about $10,000 and I'm sure she has spent the same. Her lawyer fired her because she has not paid him anything but the retainer. I let mine go and still owe him around $4000.<P>I would love to have all of this settled between us. However, she is adamant that she wants the judge to make all the decisions. And she has lost every one of them. Go figure.

#684515 03/17/01 04:03 PM
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Distressed,<P>I had to come out of lurkdom to post to you. I have been skimming more lately, because I have seen you posting more and I do try to keep up with my friends.<P>You know, your story is alot like mine - the H who never expressed any remorse nor desire to work on the marriage. Hard to believe, but I have been divorced just short of 1 year, and he has been remarried to OW almost that long.<P>I am not at all surprised by your H's reaction to the "details" of the divorce. I think that your H's reactions really have nothing to do with the money, Distressed. <P>I firmly believe that a most significant component of affairs has to do with the WS going through a period in their lives where they really feel 100% out of control of their lives. Whatever the cause - MLC, sentinel life event (birth, death, loss of job, serious illness, etc.), financial problems, drug-alcohol-sexual addictions, manifestation of depression, OCD or bi-polar disease...........whatever! Makes no matter what the circumstances are - the WS feels "victimized" and 100% out of control of their own lives. I firmly believe this leads to the affair - or, the CHOICE of the affair, I should say. To this end, your H wants to be in a situation where he PERCEIVES himself 100% in control. <P>I remember you posted a week or so ago and he had responded in an email to you something about "control", intimating that YOU are the control freak. I can easily believe, no matter what the circumstances, your H would feel it necessary to be in control here and that control is the issue. <P>Remember, once you are divorced, the likelihood of him having as much influence and control over your relationship, albeit it by passive-aggressive behavior, will be greatly diminished. He is still controlling things by refusing to do what you have wanted all along, like work on the marriage, or to make what you deem suitable sleeping arrangements for the children, etc. He doesn't want to "give in" to your requests in any way, because I believe he sees this as giving away his power.<P>Seems to me from following your story for almost 2 years now, that your H was pretty amiable while you were Plan A'ing your butt off for what, over 18 months, I think. He was never going to end that "stalemate" - being married to you and having his relationship with the OW, too. Why should he? He saw himself 100% in control of the situation. You were in the background while HE orchestrated the interactions you two had to his prefences - more if he felt like it and less if he didn't feel like it. Oh, how I do understand, having been there and done this myself. We sat in the background of their lives trying so hard to win back our H's. And because we wanted so badly to save our marriages then, and our H's were well aware of this fact, they let the "stalemated" situation go on and on. The OW was still an integral part of their lives and our WS's never could bring themselves to lift a finger toward the marriage in any way. They couldn't even bring themselves to end it either, though, could they?<P>This harangue about the money is just the last ditch attempt to be in supreme control, Distressed. Try to put it into the perspective it belongs. Once you two are divorced and the terms of the visitation and money are legally determined, don't expect his attempt to control to go away, either. No doubt, and as evidenced by so many of our divorced friends on this board, the ex will continue to try to manipulate and work things to their advantage. Again, I think many of the incidents I read here concerning visitation, violated "rules", ex shows up late or drops kids off early, never feeding kids, etc., all these things -they are POWER PLAYS and nothing more. These people are just using the kids, religion or money as pawns in a game to make themselves feel in control.<P>My ex plays this game by pretending my kids (me, too) don't exist. They have not seen him in over 1 year! He only sends occasional email jokes to one of the boys. Didn't send a card or a gift to any of them for Christmas. But, you know, HE controls that...right??<P>Yes, I am 100% convinced the underlying reason for affairs in most cases revolves around the WS's perception/issues concerning the need to be in control of their lives. From most stories on this board, I should say to re-gain lost control of their lives brought about by whichever of the circumstances I outlined above.<P>Don't know if this will help at all. I pray for you and the 2 kids, because I know how you are feeling going through all this. It is infuriating that you have to go through so much because of the choices of another. I guess for me, and I surmise you as well, it makes you feel angry that the WS left and is off having the affair, but you have to be the one to file for the divorce and clean up the mess, so that you may go on with your life. I did have to do this, too. But, again, I believe it is all a part of the control game for the person who feels 100% out of control of their own destiny!<P>Best wishes, dear friend!<P>Desiree<P>------------------<BR>"Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things in which smiles and kindnesses and small obligations, given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart and secure comfort."<P>Sir Humphry Davy<BR>

#684516 03/18/01 12:00 AM
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Desiree, your post is amazingly insightful. I have been feeling the "control" you noted, but hadn't defined specifically what it was. Now we've got a reasonable label on it. What can we do with this knowledge to help my situation now?<P>I almost posted about my visit with the attorney yesterday, but I stopped myself for fear of lurkers. Too much to lose at this point if my legal actions fall into the wrong hands. So I'll keep these comments somewhat abstract.<P>I am clear that my husband and his attorney are either very stupid, or were intentionally trying to anger me (or perhaps some combination of the two). They manipulated the state software by loading it with a bunch of wrong information. Wrong income, wrong application of deductions, splitting child support costs when I pay all of them, inflated assumption of time percent with ncp, including a bonus for me but not my husband, need I go on? They got numbers they liked, but it won't hold up. There are rules about how income is defined, there are rules about how to fill out the lines on the form! There is no negotiation or judgment involved - it's a matter of law. Why do this? If it's not straight-out incompetence, then it's only to tweak me. It worked, but only briefly.<BR> <BR>To tell you the truth, I'm passed the point of being angry about his having the affair and me having to clean up the mess. I've come around to fully accepting that he is weak and cowardly. No point in being angry about it - it's just what he is (my fault for not seeing it years ago). But I'm still having problems with believing he's greedy, that he would actually try to grab the money we set aside for the kid's colleges for example. Sometimes I think he's crossed over the line from just being an emotional cripple into actually being evil. That's where I'm still having trouble believing and accepting.<P>I appreciate the support and analysis from everyone on this thread. We all do get through this, and most of us recover and eventually leave stronger. I am almost to the home stretch on this fiasco. I'll leave a bit poorer, but quite a bit wiser for the next time around.

#684517 03/18/01 08:21 AM
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Distressed,<P>What to do in your situation? Well, all I can say is what I would try to do, as of course there is no one right answer.<P>The formularies are fixed by the state, so your H can't get around that. Since you are contesting what he and his attorney are proposing as the actual numbers, you must do that with as much real information as you have. This does work, as I actually know someone who was able to refute the other party's contention of what they claimed they paid toward the children's support.<P>Use Grandpabri's great advice. From today, or as far back as you can go, document everything you can. Use the Excel spreadsheet link given or make your own tracking program. As in any business or legal transaction, and the divorcce and financial settlement qualify as both, proof is paramount! Keep receipts of everything and log them appropriately. In the end, I doubt if the two of you will be able to amicably settle outside of court. But, the judge will look at the records and the evidence and make her or his decision based on that. The party more able to back up their contentions of time and financials spent on the kids is the party who is more believable. <P>I know all that you have done for your children and I have no doubt with a little effort you can easily reconstruct what you have done and paid for them. Pull out the Palm Pilot, Daytimers, checkbooks, charge receipts, etc. I am sure that all that you need is there. Especially note times when you had witnesses - e.g. took kids to visit Grandparents, went to see Disney movie with son's friend, took Renee to the pediatrician, etc. There is no way he can come up with 30% time with both these kids. If you need to, separate the time by child. I do believe that he can show more time with your son, but definitely not with your daughter.<P>One caution - do try to leave the affair with the subordinate out of this. It is tempting to retaliate by bringing light to this unfortunate fact. In my case, my exH used his company's money to fly back and forth to FL to visit his OW, paid for hotels and meals out, under the auspices of "business trips". This is information that I could have used to get him in trouble or even fired from his job. But, why do it? It certainly would have gained me nothing but a brief sense of revenge. At that point, I just didn't need it. I always remember WhoDat's signature line - something like "Revenge is you taking the poison and then waiting for the other person to die." It only hurts you in the long run.<P>You know, all I can tell you is that once this is all over and done, you will probably feel so much better to have this dark chapter of your life closed. I have noticed in your posts over the past couple months that you just seem to be springing alive, again, and looking forward to spending your time and energy on positive and constructive endeavors and relationships. Go girl! <P>This whole affair business is one of the most emotionally draining experiences a person can go through. Not to mention all the "fallout" one must end up dealing with. Count the blessings you have, Distressed. You will still be in a great financial position, although a diminished one, when all is said and done. Look at so many of our friends here who have to go through the same things we have and are going through, who have some pretty severe financial woes to deal with on top of all this. You are also in a great place in terms of family support - both your family and his. Others here have not been so fortunate. You have your head in the right place and have done a remarkable job of being able to do one of the best jobs that I have seen here in executng the Harley principles. Your H just didn't want any part of it. Now, you are recovering in most healthy way - taking charge of your life and looking for the happiness within your self. You are trying to find compatible companionship by getting back out in the real world.<P>In my eyes, you are the epitome of success, Distressed! Use that fantastic brain of yours - ignore your H's and his lawyer's ploys. In the end, it is what the Judge says that matters! Do your homework and you will end up in the best place possible under these circumstances.<P>Take care, friend!<P>Desiree<BR><P>------------------<BR>"Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things in which smiles and kindnesses and small obligations, given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart and secure comfort."<P>Sir Humphry Davy<BR>


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Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
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