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Posted by: yep ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 05:59PM

Hello folks. Been lurkin' for a couple days, warming up
to post. I don know how I'm supposed to introduce myself here so…

I'm a 31 yr old RM who first lost his testimony about 5 years ago. It was really hard on my marriage, almost divorced. We probably should have. What did happen was I forced what activity I could and made a conscious effort to regain said testimony. Hasn't worked. Since then we've had one son and have another child on the way.

I'm pretty sure I knew I was making the wrong choice when I did it. I was dealing with some pretty heavy post mission PTSD and at 24 felt too old to be too picky. As a friend my wife is cool, as a lover…well I feel like I exacerbated a perhaps abusive relationship. I was desperate, dumb and worst of all, unstable. I had received a blessing outlining that I'd be made aware when I met my wife to be. I also kinda knew that I'd be meeting my wife that summer—I was prepping for one of those summer sales jokes. My apologies to anyone that loves those programs.

Anyway, I tried a few of times to get out and break the engagement etc. I wasn't confident enough to leave. I felt a lot of cultural pressure to a)get married and b)listen to the Holy Ghost. Whatever, effed that up.

So now it's seven years later without a trace of romance(she openly doesn't value it). I used to have dreams that I'd married my wife then wake up in a cold sweat only to realize it was true. @#$%&. I've tried a lot of things to get myself into the mindset that I love this relationship. I feel like all the romance, almost everything is so very one sided. The only good thing I feel like I've gotten out of the relationship is my son. I'm also quite stable, I give my wife credit for that. She's tough, and there wasnt room for me to be doted on. So I manned up I guess.

Ive been staying in the relationship for my son. But I think I settled on this shitty marriage because I watched my parents in a shitty marriage. How different will my children's experience be if get out of this relationship and into a healthy one—not that I have any prospects, it's all hope that I will find a woman I connect with emotionally.

Which I think I can, there have been a few friends that I've experienced amazing connections with, emotionally speaking. I'm upset cause I didn't get married for love, but I know it happens and I want to be in love.


How long can I last in this relationship, I wonder, before it's dysfunction negatively affects our children? Will I completely ruin my children's lives if we divorce? Is there a way for everything to work out? I realize all these questions can't be answered. But I will appreciate any and all non-judemental insight. I really way to right by my kids and myself.

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Posted by: schweizerkind ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 06:18PM

My first marriage was the most awful, wearing, seven years of my life. Religion wasn't much of an issue--just about everything else was. I didn't have the guts to call a halt until she said she wanted out.

But divorce from even a shitty marriage isn't a walk in the park. Thankfully, we had no kids, but it still took years, and forcing myself to find new friends and a support network to bring myself to an even keel. Fortunately, my second marriage is light years better. We celebrated our 30th anniversary this year.

I don't know that I have any real advice to give. All I know is that I would likely be dead now if I had staid in that first hellish marriage.

You've-got-to-preserve-your-health-and-your-sanity-ly yrs,

S

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 06:29PM

My sister walked out of her first marriage and never has to see her ex-husband again. That was oh SO MANY years ago. You put kids in the mix and you complicate it a thousand times over.

Like the above poster said--a divorce is no walk in the park. It can be a living hell. I know many people who are happy about the divorce. I would have rather avoided the fallout--even though I have gone on to be in a relationship with the "one who got away" when I was age 20 because he wasn't mormon. Was what I went through worth it? Was what my kids went thorugh worth it?

If you are going to do it--do it sooner than later. My kids were 10 and I've started seeing the fallout in the past 5 or 6 years. They are 26. I wouldn't wish what I went through on even my worst enemy.

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Posted by: rhgc ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 06:44PM

Don't quit on the marriage. And don't try to use mormon scriptures - they will destroy any chance you have of making the marriage work. But do follow the teachings of Christ. Part of the worst error of TSCC is that love is conditional. You must make your love unconditional. You have a wife who is having a child soon. This is one of the most important times to tell your wife you love her and that it does not depend on her actions or anything else. It has been said that the saddest word are those: "it might have been." But you are not in the past. You are in the present.

You know from experience that splitting puts incredible strains on children. And children of divorce are even more likely to either avoid ever getting married and, when the marry, have a higher incidence of divorce. To succeed, marriage requires a commitment beyond that taught by TSCC. It requires something as absolute of God's love for us which we reflect in love for our spouses. Doing this, children will be better off and will follow in your footsteps.

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Posted by: yep ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 07:06PM

Based on my parents marriage and mine now, I'm not sure I'd be upset if they didn't. I know it's negative but I truly think of they fall in love they'll figure out a relationship style that works. Besides what is a successful marriage if it teaches my kids it's cool to stay in a bad relationship? Not trying to pick a fight,but engage in further dialogue. Thanks for your insights.

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Posted by: rhgc ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 09:28PM

If one fully follows the advice, it will not be a bad relationship. Indeed, if a husband loves his wife as Christ loved the church (not meaning TSCC) both will be happy and the children will know that love and, when they marry, will do the same.

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Posted by: dclarkfan1 ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 09:19PM


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2012 09:19PM by dclarkfan1.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 06:46PM

My kids were 6-13 when I divorced and it was really hard for a while, but both their father and I remarried partners much better suited to each other and the kids all say it was worth it and for the best. Now they see what 4 happy people look like.

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Posted by: yep ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 07:01PM

This would definitely be the best case scenario. I'm glad to hear it's possible. I think I'd rather have happy role models than unhappy.

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 07:01PM

Divorce is a very personal matter and what might be right for one couple is not necessarily right for the next. I will never regret my divorce. My family is dysfunctional, but I don't believe it would have been better if I'd tried to keep a really bad marriage going.

That said, don't divorce because you think there will be something better. I divorced my hubby then remarried him and divorced again. The first time, I really wanted to remarry and just wanted to find someone so much better. What I wasn't prepared for was that no other man was going to accept my kids like their own. They had a father. I got scared and had a lot of pressure about the fact that I was still sealed to my ex and he wanted to get remarried, so I did.

Second divorce I knew it was what I wanted and the right thing even if it meant being single for the duration (which now is a gift not a curse). I would have done it if it meant being homeless. If a good relationship came along, it would be icing on the cake, but it wasn't what had to happen for me to be happy or believe I made the right decision. When I was in that frame of mind, I knew it was right.

The grass is not always greener on the other side. If you feel you need to leave your pasture, ask yourself if you would still do it even if there was no green grass ever again. If not, it's just a gamble.

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Posted by: yep ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 07:12PM

Yeah, well put. Pretty sound advice. To be honest, I expect to be single. I have no prospects, I'm not sure I'd let myself get serious for a long time. I've always thought if I were to divorced I'd proceed single. Not sure which is best.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2012 07:13PM by yep.

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Posted by: Tupperwhere ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 07:02PM

Life's too short to be miserable. Kids are resilient and it wouldn't be the end of the world if you divorced. I went through an ugly divorce but I'm now good friends with my ex and our relationship is better than ever and our daughter is just fine. Like I said already, life's too short to be THAT unhappy and unfulfilled. You made a mistake by marrying her but it's not too late to fix that. Just my opinion based upon my life experience!

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Posted by: lillium ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 07:42PM

I agree with Tupper. IMHO, the only way divorce messes up kids is if one parent tries to turn them against the other, or if the parents use the kids as pawns in their fights and make them feel responsible or feel like they're caught in the middle.

If you can have a civil, cooperative post-divorce relationship, the kids will learn more about good relationships than if you stay unhappily married.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 08:02PM

My ex and I get along great now and there wasn't anyone turning the kids against either parent. My ex just chose not to be involved in their lives for quite a while--as he burst out of the closet. They knew HE DIDN'T WANT THEM at the time. They felt as abandoned by him as I did.

I can't necessarily say that my kid are reacting to what happened to our marriage now--as other things have come into play--like my son's wife leaving him, he was molested as a child and that came out when his wife left him. My daughter chose to go back to mormonism, but other than that, is doing well.

I've seen parents of adult children divorce--where the adult children reacted in a bad way.

Every situation is different and UNTIL you have children of divorce, don't automatically think you KNOW anything.

And I agree with NormaRae--I actually am in a relationship that didn't start until my kids were 19 years old. I choose not to marry him. I put my children first and always will and I expect him to do the same. I never even dated not once in the years after their dad left until they had graduated from high school.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2012 08:07PM by cl2.

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Posted by: rhgc ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 09:33PM

But was it a mistake? Too often people second-guess themselves. May it not be that the decision was right and that the difficulties are mere tests of our ability to change ourselves and conform our different personalities to each other in a true marriage.

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Posted by: honestone ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 07:08PM

In one way you are lucky... you are still young...sorry tho that the second child came into being. If you knew it was not a good marriage, how in the world did that happen?? Well, let's start with your question...about if you will mess up your kids life now. Well, not anymore than if you left when they were 18 and 20. Mine were just a bit older than that when we parted and they were/are devistated, but know that he was not a good person to stay with. Lots to that story. They have adjusted and one is just fine with it. The other does not talk to her Dad. If you have not cheated and you have tried to be romantic I see no reason to stay.

You admitted you did not marry for love. This is all the "church's fault". You are recognizing your mistake and you wish to right things. Try to wait til the new baby is at least 7 0R 8 months old. Little babies need lots of care and it is best to have two parents at home. I do not recommend counseling since you clearly stated you do not love her and she is showing you no affection. You deserve to be in a loving relationship.

My convert daughter's brother in law was a sleezeball and cheated on his first wife when she was pregnant with the second child. In the end they did divorce and now the first wife is remarried and so is he and they get along with sharing custody. It can be done. All the best and just do what you know is right knowing how it will affect you financially.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2012 07:14PM by honestone.

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Posted by: rhgc ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 09:40PM

Yes, two parents at home are necessary for a newborn. BUT two parents are also necessary for toddlers, for pre-school children, for young elementary school children, for middle school children, for hight school children, and beyond. Indeed, two parents, having gone together through the vicissitudes of life, are a wealth untold for their progeny.

Very often, when couples with children get divorced, they later both have children with their new spouses. If sibling rivalry is a proverbial problem even in biblical times, think how much more it is with half-siblings.

We are reaping the whirlwind.

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Posted by: honestone ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 10:01PM

WEll of course two parents are helpful in all stages of a child's upbringing. That is not the point. The point is to leave a new mom when the child is not yet even crawling is a bit cruel. And who is to take care of the older child while the youngest one who needs nursed etc. is crying. I am only saying what will make things easier on the Mom - I assume the Dad has some sense of being thoughtful and curtious and trying to not make this harder than it will be.... even tho the wife seems very disinterested in making things easy for the DAD. He made a mistake....to stay is just continuing the mistake and the kids will know there is no love in that house.

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Posted by: Owl ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 07:11PM

Is there any way she will go with you to a (non-Mormon) relationship counselor? I would try everything, especially therapy, before throwing in the towel. Best of luck to you. If you try everything, and nothing works to make things better, then you know it's time to get out... but try everything first.

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Posted by: yep ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 07:23PM

I've asked her to go to counseling. Once last month and another time 6 mo ago after she screamed at me in front of my younger brother, and he said, "You guys sound like mom and dad." My mom is verbally abusive and my dad just takes it. It wasn't the first time, I feel so helpless in those situations. I just forget and move forward.

Anyway, we haven't gone and on Friday I had my first personal in many years. I'm trying to figure out what to do. And, if it is just me—see my brother's reaction above.

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Posted by: Owl ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 07:47PM

That's rough. So sorry. You seem like a good guy who's trying to do the right thing... this really sucks.

My thoughts are to tell her now that you're at the end of your rope and that you have come to the conclusion that divorce is the only answer. Either she will agree to therapy then, knowing that it's her only chance, or not.

If she doesn't agree to therapy, I think you have your answer. You must move on. You can still be a good father to your children. Make sure that you always live very near their mother and share custody... try to keep it amicable. You don't want them growing up around a miserable marriage or a miserable divorce.

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Posted by: rhgc ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 09:46PM

This is the problem with TSCC. Love itself is regarded as conditional. Rather, one should note that they can change but cannot demand the other person change. In this case the person making love conditional is the initiator of the thread. He can change and I reckon it will have infinitely more effect that any marriage counselor and will save much heartbreak.

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Posted by: fubecona ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 07:12PM

I can empathize. I had similar regrets after marrying my ex, it never quite felt right. We got along well and never had any major problems but something was just missing. Ultimately we divorced because he admitted to being gay (if that had not been the case I doubt I would have chosen divorce). In many ways I was relieved to get divorced and I think it was the right choice, but schweizkind is right, even if you're not happy, divorce is painful. And since you have kids, it will be more painful still.

But here's my take on the kids. They will adjust and adapt. The key to children not being super traumatized by divorce is to make it as amicable as possible. This is what I tried to do. Some people think I have been too nice to my ex (he did some pretty jerky things near the end and during our separation) but I decided I didn't want there to be a lot of drama, fighting and ugliness. That is what traumatizes the children most. I'm not saying it won't hurt your children, it will, no matter what, there is no way around that. But, if you and your wife can get along and you think you would be able to co-parent in a friendly, easy way, then your children won't suffer as much. I have made sacrifices so that my ex and I can get along and I do it for my kids. That's not to say I've been a perfect example, not by any means, but I do my best. So far they have done pretty well. Also, I think the younger they are, the easier a transition it will be for them. My kids were young, my daughter was 7 and my son was 2 he doesn't really remember anything different than the way things are now. But he does sometimes say things like "Where's daddy?" and such. But they see him 3-4 times a week and spend a lot of time with him. We did a pro-se divorce (where you just fill out the paperwork yourself and appear before a judge, you can only do pro-se if it's uncontested which means you each have to agree to all terms) and he did not fight me on the terms. But I do think our situation is the exception not the rule in divorce. Most divorces get ugly and there is a lot of fighting. That is what would damage your kids most. And, while we had a friendly divorce it was still very painful for me (and probably him too but I can only speak for myself). I went through a long period of depression and my emotional state did take a toll on my kids, especially my daughter. The truth is, I probably won't know all the effects the divorce has had on the kids until they are grown. Sigh. It's hard. No matter what it will suck.

Oh, also it is likely you will have to pay child support. This has been a huge burden on my ex but I had my reasons for requiring it (and he agreed to the terms willingly). He actually has yet been able to afford to make a full payment (the amount stipulated in the divorce decree) because he has been laid off a couple times, but even so, the state still takes as much as they can, they even took it out of his unemployment checks. I have actually given him some of it back on a couple occasions because he was flat broke. (This would be one of those things where people think I'm being too nice, but the guy's gotta eat).

Anyway...

I'm not advocating you get divorced. It's a really really tough call and only you can decide. But I just wanted to say that it is possible to have an amicable divorce and in that scenario your kids can do pretty well. So consider how you think your wife might act in a divorce scenario. I know you can't know, but what is your best educated guess? If you choose divorce, promise yourself to be fair, rational and not to be vindictive, but of course you can only control your actions, so if your wife is not going to be civil, it will be very very difficult, for everyone. It's not easy, trust me, but your children will be better off if you can keep it friendly. Best of luck to you.

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Posted by: inahurry ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 07:21PM

No advice, just my very best wishes for the smoothest, easiest, and healthiest disconnecting possible.

It can feel so hard to do...but it is SO worth it--for everyone.

Step, by steady step, by step, and you WILL find yourself on the other side...with a bright new world and a loving and healthy new life waiting for you, and for your kids.

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Posted by: yep ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 07:55PM

Thanks!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2012 08:16PM by yep.

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Posted by: rhgc ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 09:55PM

The other side is that some day YEP will conclude that a divorce, amicable or not, really screwed up everything. I ask everyone if they truly committed, under heavenly to abhor divorce as the Lord himself taught.

BTW, correctly translating what Christ taught, gay conduct would be a legitimate ground for divorce and may prevent the wife from being exposed to AIDS. This and adultery are allowed exceptions.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 07:33PM

I've no particular advice concerning your marriage, except to say that your post sends some mixed signals. You say, "as a friend my wife is cool." You also give her credit for helping you to stabilize and man up (it sounds like she helped you to mature.) Then you talk about wanting romance, and wanting to be in love.

Should you leave your wife, you might or might not get the romance. Even if you did, the "in love" feeling (limerence -- go ahead and google that term) is probably going to settle down to more of a friendship/partnership at some point anyway. I understand your wanting that feeling, but it doesn't always happen, and if it happens it doesn't always last, even in the best of relationships.

That's just something to consider as you evaluate your options. You might consider trying marriage counseling to see if that does any good.

Keep posting here and let us know how you are doing.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2012 10:23PM by summer.

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Posted by: Owl ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 07:58PM

You are so right, Summer. I'm a big fan of that book about Limerence (being in love). Im not saying that this is Yep's problem at all... but, no couple sustains that feeling forever. The book explains why not, and how it all works. I've been happily married for 23 years. Only the first 3 years were "madly in love". Then it slowly evolved into something warm, comfortable and happy. Anyone wanting to be "in love" forever will end up like Elizabeth Taylor.

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Posted by: yep ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 08:08PM

I apologize for any confusion. I'm thinking this through as I posted. It's true she has had a positive influence on my life and it hasn't been all bad. Just trying to figure this out so I reached out.

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Posted by: pamarnold ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 08:48PM

In two days my husband and I will have been married 15 years. There have been very hard times along the way. We were in love for the first 2-3. Then that goes out the window and reality of life sets in. He has evolved to be my friend. I would like to recommend the movie "Fireproof" It is a Christian based movie and it is what saved my marriage a couple of years ago. We have had 12 homes in 15 years; lived in 5 states; had 4 children; lost my father and his mother; lost my best friend due to leaving the church and not to mention leaving the church; suffered through being alone while he was on deployements; had 4 miscarriages and 3 surguries. It had been hard on us. The thing that helps is that we are 100% commited to marriage and because we know that, we decided together if it was going to continue to be a sucky marriage or were we going to do something about it together. I think great marriages are ones who focus on the positive things about each other. Try to serve your spouse. Is she someone who likes to receive love through verbal praise? Does she like it most when you do a task for her? (household chore) Or, does she like to be touched? (a back rub, holding hands, kiss her behind the ear) Try each set on a different day and she which one she responds to. And since this is a marriage topic lets dive into the sexual part of the relationship. Are you giving her enough warm up time to feel fulfilled? Do you openly talk abut exactly how to pleasure each other. Has she ever had an orgasim? Sometimes a great orgasim every once and a while can be a great hormone relaxer. Try to put a big smile on her face. The only thing is that if she is pregnant right now might not be the best time to work on the sexual part. Anyway...thats just my 2 cents. :)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2012 08:50PM by pamarnold.

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Posted by: dclarkfan1 ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 09:24PM

I got bad news for you, if his wife is as TBM as it sounds, Fireproof would be the last thing I would put into their house. Kirk Cameron (the star of Fireproof) is on record saying all LDS people will go to hell.

On top of that, the people that wrote The Love Dare are two baptist ministers, considered dark lord of the sith in the LDS religion.

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Posted by: yep ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 10:22PM

To me intimacy is part of the problem, there's never any enjoying sex for sex' sake. Let me clarify, when we do it's not love making, there's little to no attention given for the connection between us. It's always being made light of, which makes me feel like a child that needs take care of physical urges. Ive tried to have the conversation about what pleases her, she can't really answer. My suspicion(even before reading it here and MormonStories)is that it's residual from growing up programmed with sexuality as evil.

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Posted by: anonymo ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 08:56PM

As a child of divorce, I can speak from the kids' perspective. My parents dragged things out a bit, separating when I was 8 and then getting back together for a while before finally divorcing when I was 15 or 16.

Now matter how hard you try to put a happy face on things, kids always know what's going on, and when parents aren't happy together, the kids sense it. They know EVERYTHING, even if you don't tell them.

When my parents announced their first separation, I felt like it was the end of the world---for a very short time. But I fairly quickly realized I wasn't going to lose either of my parents, and would still have them both no matter what, The adjustment was fairly quick after that to a new normal.

In the end, the divorce was actually a kind of relief, because when they got back together, we kids could feel that things weren't right--a sort of deep sadness and unspoken tension was in the air that was so depressing I can still feel it to this day. It was like we were in the unhappy marriage, too. I didn't want to see my dad move out again, but, as I said. it was a sort of relief, because when he did, the tension was gone, and both we and the home felt freer and happier.

I think the younger the better for the kids. They are resilient. As long as they know you'll always be there for them and you and your wife don't make pawns out of them, arguing about visitation, etc., they'll bounce back,

It also helped us tremendously that my parents didn't shuffle us back and forth between their two homes for visitation. We had one stable home with our mom, and our dad was free to see us any time he pleased, without having to comply with a rigid, court-mandated schedule.

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Posted by: Anon for this ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 09:32PM

This! +1

You said what I was trying to - I was just much more longwinded about it.

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Posted by: Anon for this ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 09:28PM

I am a child of divorced parents. The process started when I was 10 and finalized when I was 11. The one deepest wish/regret I have is that I wish my parents had divorced sooner - even after basically becoming a social pariah because of it.

My house growing up was filled with random bouts of screaming matches, verbal and emotional abuse, and everyone walking on eggshells - for fear of setting my dad off. He would stand at the top of the stairs and berate my mom when she would practice playing the piano because it was "noisy." To this day - nearly 20 years later - even though music is the biggest joy in my life I cannot practice inside the house, nor can I listen to music through the speakers. My house is virtually silent most of the time. I still think my dad will come around the corner and start screaming at me if I play anything out loud. My parents' marriage was loveless, and I truly believe the 10 years of watching their dysfunction did more lasting damage to me than the years following the divorce.

I had no frame of reference for divorced families, save one - my best friend (at the time) had parents that divorced when she was 4. To this day, she hasn't seen her mother since. Her father was awarded full custody of all 3 girls - including one infant - that was incredibly rare in the 80s. Her mother just up and ran off with someone else, and I was terrified her experience was what happened to ALL divorced families. *That* was the most damaging part of the divorce, in my eyes. My parents didn't do anything to allay that fear - probably because they didn't know what was going through my mind - they never asked. Children now have so many examples of divorced parents I don't think that would be an issue for your son (and future child) - but if you *do* decide on a divorce, TALK to your kid - and *really* listen, especially at what he doesn't say. :-)

The two worst things in the years after the divorce were this: 1) My parents LOVED to rant about the other one, how abusive he was, how he was completely certain she cheated on him, how awful he/she is - and then they'd turn around five minutes later and say "you are so much like your mom/dad." THAT screwed my head up. 2) My father was, for a very long time, completely incapable of being single. Therefore he had a... variety... of girlfriends parading in and out of his life. Some I liked; his longest term girlfriend I hated - for good reason. If you do decide to get a divorce, my advice would be to take a very long time and focus on being happy and healthy ON YOUR OWN. Don't jump right into dating again - find out who you are as a person on your own, what you like, what makes you tick - when you are content being single, you'll be able to see problems in potential relationships much faster, and you won't be afraid of breaking them off. When you do start dating again, take your time introducting her to your kids, and if either of them have a problem with her - stop and talk to them and listen.

I truly believe it's not the act of divorcing in and of itsself that screws kids up - it's the circumstancing surrounding the divorce. The strained marriage, the fighting, the accusations, the disparaging remarks in regards to someone you were supposed to have loved once - those are the things I think screws the kids up the most. If you and your wife can talk things out and act like adults, I think your son will be fine. If you can, and if he is old enough, get him some sessions with a counselor/therapist so he can have a safe place to talk things out and so he can gain some coping skills. I wish I had been able to do that.

I don't generally believe ultimatums solve anything, so I wouldn't say "get counseling or we're divorcing." What I would suggest is setting out a time where you can talk without interruptions, and when you are both likely to not be too stressed out. Hire a babysitter if you have to. Then, ask her to listen to what you have to say, and to let you finish before she says anything - then, tell her what you've been thinking. Then ask her for what she has been thinking, and listen to her too, let her finish. You might be surprised.

I'm sorry you are going through this. The fact you can acknowledge some of her positive influences is a good thing - do remember though that ultimately *you* changed you. Her support was undoubtedly a great influence and made things much easier for you, but the only person that can change you is *you.* You are much stronger than you give yourself credit for.

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Posted by: anonymo ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 09:50PM

@ Anon for This

I know exactly what you mean about music calling things back from that time. There are songs I still can't stand to hear to this day because they remind me of silent, tense car trips with my parents in the last few months before the final split. Sometimes silence is worse than arguing when you're a powerless spectator.

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Posted by: yep ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 10:07PM

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I do give a lot of credit to her for helping me improve my life. That said though I wasn't fully back to "stable" until I decided I was over the church. I suppose that's a separate topic altogether.

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Posted by: wisewoman ( )
Date: May 28, 2012 09:49PM

Wish I had the guts to do it when I clearly should have. Hind site is 20:20 as they say.

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