I'm not sure if I agree. There is some things that absolutely do remain forever such as the financial consequences. I cannot live off of 30% of my income. I wouldn't even be able to live with 70% of my income. That's the facts. I refuse to live my life any lesser than I do now if divorced.
The support payments are temporary and the general trend of the courts is less support for shorter duration, something around 1/3 to 1/2 the marriage duration (unless your marriage is long duration and you live in a state that is prone to award permanent maintenance). So you'd have to tighten your belt for a period of time but not forever. And if you meet someone new who has money your financial situation will naturally improve.
I'm not going to penalize myself or my children for what my wife did.
Dude your life is one of daily misery, you've posted this time and time again. You're ALREADY penalized from what your wife did, and continues to do. That will eventually take a toll, I think you underestimate the impact it will have over time, not only on you but on your kids too, unless they're completely shielded from the conflict and dysfunction which is unlikely. Kids are smarter than we think.
I do not think that right away or 5 or even 10 years from now the financial impact would go away. I would never be able to buy another home that would be acceptable to me.
I obviously don't know your specifics or your finances so I will just have to take your word for it that you would be so close to broke and have so little to live on and your credit is so poor that you could never, ever buy a new house and get a mortgage. But having read many of your posts I'm going to wager a guess that you have a much more negatively skewed view than reality would suggest.
I simply do not agree that I would either be happy or financially stable in the future if I divorced. I've been over and over the numbers myself, with accountants and lawyers and the result is the same each time. I have maybe 10 more working years left. If everything gets taken away now I would never be able to build the amount I would need to finish my kids college and retire even at double my salary.
Ok, so you did the numbers and you've had neutral third parties agree that your financial situation would be dire. So you're going to stay with this woman in misery for the rest of your life, because you like your house? As far as retirement goes, she'll get roughly half of your retirement fund, but then you wouldn't be paying to support her anymore. And again, although you can't bank on it, there are lots of available women in your age group that have their own retirement funds.
As far as new relationships go, that's something I've thought over and over about and each time the conclusion is that I would not want another relationship where I would have to risk this happening again to me.
Well, you are your own worst enemy to simply dismiss the possibility of ever meeting someone else and getting involved. With that sort of self defeating attitude I understand why staying put makes the most sense to you, but it doesn't have to be that way.
70% of second marriages don't last. Those are odds I just don't like.
Who says you have to ever get married again? I sure don't.
I'm sure there's many many wonderful terrific women out there, but I'm not going to risk everything at a shot at a relationship with one. With my luck, I'd get stuck even worse than I did before.
Like I said, you're already the judge, jury, executioner, and victim of your own future. Isn't your avatar the main character from the Shawshank Redemption? If he thought like you do, he'd never have tried to escape, he'd just be an eternal prisoner.