As you are about to see, this one is interesting because it’s not 100% black and white although I think there’s definitely a right answer…
So years and years of backstory here. Ex wife has BPD and life with her has been a continuous struggle. We are in the middle of a divorce because while she’s lied, stolen, abused, hit, etc… she never cheated. But she crossed that line and enough was enough. Divorce is bitter and ugly.
For financial reasons we had set kids college savings up with my wife as custodian. I implored kids to go to the brokerage companies to remove wife as a custodian now they were adults. The both blew me off and “yeah yeahed” me for almost a year. Ex cleaned out every penny of the accounts, probably to buy her new house. Instead of my kids even asking thier mom why, let alone taking legal action they both held their hands out to me and expected me to make up for it. Then getting mad at me when I said I had far too much on my plate to add another battle with thier mom, they had to handle it. Since there was no way to pay for school this semester, both have essentially become shut ins at home.
I’ve had it because niether shows an iota of interest in thier future. On a lark I called my college roommate who is head ski patrol at a small resort in NM. He said I’m hired. I talked to my partner and he’d gladly buy my half of the business. With the 50% id have to give my ex wife I could live modest and comfortably for the rest of my life. I could spend my summers hiking, my winters working and maybe just not spend 15 hours a day at a desk working for 3 people who just see me as a wallet.
Kids would be cut off. I wouldn’t be able to afford ANY help. They have avenues and legal recourse with thier mom, whether they take it is up to them. But they’d have to grow up and fast.
Would I be the asshole if I do this?
The first thing to keep in mind is that if he suffered because his wife had borderline personality disorder, the kids undoubtedly suffered as well. That being said, despite their dad’s warnings, I’m sure they never thought their own mother would do something like this. Kids never do. Additionally, since mom was probably never all that responsible or together, they probably got used to coming to dad every time they had an issue. He writes that off as seeing him just “as a wallet,” but it’s a hell of a situation to be in for a 20-year-old. You’re going to school on your parents’ dime, but they’re getting divorced and your flaky mom stole your money. Just the idea of taking your own mother to court is probably traumatic and who knows if you can get your money back or if you’ll have a relationship with her after it’s over. The fact your once reliable workaholic dad has decided to go be a ski bum probably wouldn’t help much with your sense of stability. It has to be a devastating situation for the kids.
That being said, they’re adults and the dad did try to get them to protect their money. Now they’re in a bad spot because of their mom, not because of him. He certainly doesn’t have an obligation to stay at a job he doesn’t want to do anymore to pay the bills for his adult children. If he wants to ease off the gas pedal and take it easy, it is his life to live. Would he be wrong to do that? No. But, I tend to think that if he decides to stay at the helm for a few more years to help his kids through college, he probably wouldn’t regret it. The last thing any father ever wants to do is feel like he didn’t do all he could to help his kids succeed.
There is no true right or wrong answer here, but the only thing I would add is that 20 years from now if those kids don’t go back to college and end up floundering, how is dad going to feel? Maybe he’ll feel just fine. But, if he thinks there is a possibility that he will be looking back, wondering if he should have put off his ski bum/retirement years a little longer for the sake of his kids, he may want to go in a different direction.