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by Abigail Van Buren

Couple Tosses and Turns Over Sharing the Covers

DEAR ABBY: My darling husband, "Darren," and I are soul mates, yet he has asked me for a divorce. He says it's not because he doesn't love me, but because he does.

Abby, we may be facing bankruptcy. Darren doesn't want to drag me and my credit down. He doesn't want to leave, and thinks that after we divorce our life can go on as it has been -- although on paper we'll no longer be husband and wife.

My first thought was, No! We are husband and wife. I MEANT "for richer or poorer." We're in our 50s, and Darren says he is looking out for my future.

I am committed to my marriage and believe we're in this financial situation together. I didn't marry Darren for his money, and I certainly don't want to divorce him over money.

Darren swears this isn't an excuse to get out of our marriage. He says we can be married again as soon as we're back on our feet. Am I wrong about this, Abby? Should I "suspend" our marriage? It's breaking my heart to even consider it. -- IN TEARS IN TUCSON

DEAR IN TEARS: Dry your tears and make an appointment for you and Darren to consult your CPA. Your husband is either misguided, or he MAY be making an excuse to get out of the marriage.

Because the bills were run up during your marriage, divorce may not relieve you from liability. Of course, laws vary from state to state, however, it may be possible for your husband to file bankruptcy on his own. Furthermore, there needs to be a reason for divorce, and there are penalties for making false statements. So I don't recommend it.