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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » So I am getting divorced (Page 1)

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Author Topic: So I am getting divorced
Marek
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After being together 8 years, and having two amazing sons. I have come to find out my wife wants a divorce, and can't be talked out of it, because she is no longer happy with our life together. After much soul searching, I realized I haven't been happy with it for a long time either.

So we agreed to get divorced. Any words of wisdom, or advice, from the wordly and experianced minds of hatrack, would be welcome

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Stone_Wolf_
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Well, crap sandwich!

Well, a least now you have a shot at that happiness which has been missing for a long time.

My heart goes out to you!

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rivka
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Have the two of you tried counseling at any point?
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TomDavidson
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It seems to me that it is probably easier to change two lives together than maintain two lives apart.
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Marlozhan
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I am sorry to hear your marriage is ending.

I am a couples counselor and here are some important points:

1) Make sure you each aren't running away from your own personal issues and expecting them to be solved with a new partner.

2) Definitely try couples counseling, if you haven't already. You may still decide to divorce, but it is usually a good idea to give it a shot so you can be sure.

3) Understand that ALL marriages go through times of testing and feelings of doubt. Falling out of love or not feeling happy are not very reliable indicators for whether or not there are irreconcilable differences. These feelings can be a sign of serious problems, but people can also have these feelings simply because they don't know, or have forgotten, how to form intimacy within a relationship long-term.

4) If you go through with the divorce, never put the kids in the middle. Make sure their relationships with each of you are kept intact as possible. They need reassurance that their world is not falling apart. Divorce, even when it is the best thing, is still traumatic for children. They need to go through a grieving process because the dream of an ideal family has been lost.

Of course, if your wife is completely unwilling to consider any other options, and it sounds like she may be, then points 1-3 are out of your control.

My heart goes out to you and best wishes to you.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Marlozhan:
Definitely try couples counseling, if you haven't already. You may still decide to divorce, but it is usually a good idea to give it a shot so you can be sure.

I would add, that even in cases where reconciliation is not an option, couple counseling can help you build a healthy co-parenting relationship. And with two kids, that is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL, to the kids, and also for the parents.
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Goody Scrivener
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Some jurisdictions will require couples counseling and/or parenting classes as part of a divorce proceeding when children are in the picture.

I'm getting ready to go through this myself. We've been separated for 10 years now because neither of us could afford to file. I just found out recently that the county has a process in place to file as an indigent when you can't afford the court fees or counsel. And my boss assures me I can handle this on my own (he doesn't do family law and I wouldn't want him that involved in my personal life anyway).

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Stone_Wolf_
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Someone much older and wiser then me told me something that has always stuck with me.

A relationship only dies when no one stands up and fights for it

I have let a few of my friendships die, knowing that I was not standing up, and accepting it. And I have fought for my marriage a couple of times where I was the only one standing up.

While your wife most certainly has a say if your relationship will continue or not, remember that you have a say as well. Decide what you want, and then go after it, no matter what it is.

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Lyrhawn
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I can't speak to the particulars of divorce or counseling, but I can tell you what it's like to grow up in a one-parent house.

There were two boys in my house, my brother and I, as in yours. My brother suffered a lot more from my parents' divorce than I did, I think because he was just right at that age where it hits harder. I honestly don't even remember when they were divorced, I think I was 8 and my brother 12, maybe a little younger.

But my parents made an overwhelming effort to make sure even though we only lived with our mom, we saw our dad regularly. He wasn't a weekend parent. He was at the house so often that my friends didn't even know our parents were divorced, for years. From the point of view of my brother and I, it was incredibly functional, and we grew up a bit perplexed at the horror stories our friends with divorced parents told us about feuding parents and weekends with dad or weekends away with mom.

So it is possible to make it work for the kids, but it requires a lot of effort and tolerance on the part of the parents.

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brojack17
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I went thru a divorce this year too. My heart goes out to you and your two boys. My wife ran off to find a better life and is now regretting it. She has begged to come back multiple times but I have moved on. Here are a couple of pointers:

1. Try to be nice: it will not be easy, but will be best for the kids.
2. Stand your ground: sounds like a conflict with the first but it's not. You may have to fight for what you want (kids). Stay away from mud slinging but fight for your rights.
3. Get the kids in counseling: most states require a certain amount of group counseling, but one on one therapy with a great counselor will go a long way.
4. Stay positive to the kids: they will wonder if it's their fault. It is never their fault. My daughter had a real sense of abandonment after my wife left. I told her every day that I loved her and I wasn't going anywhere. We just had to adjust to our "new normal" (I used that phrase before the TV show came out, I should have trademarked it).
5. Get counseling for yourself: you're in survival mode now. You have to take care of yourself or you won't be any good to the kids.
6. Negotiate the terms on your own: of course get a lawyer, but working out custody, visitation, property distribution, alimony, child support, who claims the kids on taxes, etc. will save you a lot of money. Check on your state guidlines for these things, many are pretty standard. If you write it up, both sign and notarize, then give it to your lawyer then you will save a bunch of money in lawyer fees.
7. Document everything: EVERYTHING!!!! I mean it. If it turns nasty, and it could, you will need this ammunition. Save every text message. Document money spent. Who has the kids when. Who said what when. I started a word document and just kept it handy. EVERYTHING!!!!

If you need anything else, don't hesitate to contact me. My e-mail is my username at the Microsoft free e-mail service. (Think summertime+letters).

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Bella Bee
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I would add, that although it is tough and disruptive, if you are really sure that this is the right thing to do and are sure you've tried everything, then go for it and try not to guilt yourself too much.

My grandparents stayed together for thirty-odd years 'for the children', miserable for about twenty-five of them, before they finally divorced in their late fifties. They suffered mental health issues, and so did their kids - especially depression and anxiety - related to their unhappiness and by the time they finally separated they were unable to make their lives into what they would have wanted. Both they and their kids wish to this day that they had just divorced when they were all younger.

Oddly enough, after years in the same house hating each other, they became best friends again in the last few years.

So if you're sure, you might find it really is the best thing.

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Marek
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She has absolutely refused counseling, no matter how much I insist. She says she is miserable with me, and nothing can fix that.
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Stone_Wolf_
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The really great thing about that kind of conversation is you only ever have to have it once.
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:

A relationship only dies when no one stands up and fights for it

Bullshit.

Bullshit bullshit bullshit.

You can fight for a relationship with everything you have for months or years. You can spend hours every day trying to talk to her, trying to understand her and find ways to communiate. You can pour out your heart, and dedicate your time, money, life and soul to her happiness. You can break your heart and lose your mind trying to make things work, and drive yourself into such a deep, obsessive depression that 5 minutes *not* thinking of her comes as a blessed relief. But at the end of the day, if she's not willing to stay with you, it's not going to happen.

I've never married nor divorced, so I don't have any advice on how to go about it, but I'll just say keep your head up and remember that there's only so much you can do - your wife's inability to be happy with you isn't necessarily a reflection of your ability to make someone happy, it's a reflection of her own failure or deliberate unwillingness to work things out. I know how destructive and soul crushing breakups can be, because of how much your own sense of value and worth can be tied to her. Don't forget it's her responsibility, not yours. It seems like you've already done all that you can in that regard.

Also, in the words of the great warrior-poet Ice Cube, "bitches be crazy, yo." That is all.

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Stone_Wolf_
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How about:

For a relationship to survive, someone has to stand up and fight for it.

Better phrasing?

Also...language dude!

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El JT de Spang
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quote:
Originally posted by Marek:
She has absolutely refused counseling, no matter how much I insist. She says she is miserable with me, and nothing can fix that.

She's just miserable, in general, and is making the common (but stupid and really annoying) mistake that changing her situation will change that. Sorry you and your kids lives are going to be turned upside down because of that.
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Szymon
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I think kids are most important now. Get divorced with as much dignity as possible. My parents did and I am very grateful for this. As parents you have to stay united in their eyes, lay ground rules you can never break.

If there was no unfaithfulness, I think you can stay in very good relations, which will benefit your children and you.

And I am very sorry.

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Marek
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quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
quote:
Originally posted by Marek:
She has absolutely refused counseling, no matter how much I insist. She says she is miserable with me, and nothing can fix that.

She's just miserable, in general, and is making the common (but stupid and really annoying) mistake that changing her situation will change that. Sorry you and your kids lives are going to be turned upside down because of that.
I think so too. She says she is unhappy with her whole life, and wants to rebuild herself, and does not want me in her new life. As she says she is no longer happy around me. I still think the affair is her way of forcing a split, and am willing to forgive it. But she doesn't want that, and doesn't want to stop. She is also trying to change jobs. I really wish she would give counseling a shot, instead of throwing away all our time together.
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Aros
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I told my wife I wanted a divorce. She wanted to try counseling. I agreed, but I argued quite adamantly that it wouldn't change my mind. She stopped trying to push counseling, as the only reason she wanted it was try to get me to change my view.

Sometimes the relationship can't be saved. I had been the tentpole for years. Once love is gone, respect is gone, the situation can become very unhealthy. My situation was unhealthy for years. Her infidelity was just the spark that set off the dynamite. There was no love left. No trust. No amount of begging would ever make me take her back.

As a product of divorce, I feel that two healthy parents apart are better than two unhealthy parents together. If my parents had stayed together, I would have been miserable. I also wouldn't have had a positive male role model, and I would have no idea what a healthy marriage looks like.

As the spouse who left, I can guarantee that any attempts to make her change her mind will be in vain. Sure, she might change her mind. That's a distinct possibility. But holding on will only drive her away. You need both need to be strong, whole, healthy people apart. That's the only way you can ever be healthy together again.

Maintaining whatever friendship you can is key. The children are more important than money, than girlfriends, than anything. Get counseling yourself, talk to people, read books about co-parenting. Regardless of whether your marriage is over, you're both still parents together. That won't change unless one of you bails.

There isn't anything more difficult. But once the wreckage of a bad relationship is clear, I think you'll find that a healthy relationship is so much sweeter. Just make sure that you and the kids are stable first.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I was 20 when my parents split, I had been rooting for it for years, and they are both SO much happier now.

Yikes! She's cheating on you? That shows such a fundamental lack of respect. Someone seeking happiness and wanting a fresh start is something that can be understood and respected, but to crap on marriage vows is neigh on unforgivable.

And as hard as it will be for the kids, it still sounds better then them being raised in a household where one parent has murdered the trust and respect of the other.

Good riddance!

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scifibum
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"nigh on unforgivable"

"murdered the trust and respect of the other"

"Good riddance"

That's kind of...ugly. People make mistakes, and sometimes they are really big ones. That doesn't turn them into wholly bad people. It doesn't invalidate all that is valuable about the relationships they damage.

On the other hand, sometimes people endure more disrespect than they should have to. Sometimes they can't actually repair what is broken.

I'd never tell anyone they were required to forgive and forget a betrayal of marital trust, but I think it's also proper for us to refrain from telling them they must not.

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Stone_Wolf_
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The last time infidelity was discussed here, the vast majority of people came down in the "it's possible/preferable to forgive and forget camp".

I am not one of them.

If my comments at all offended Marek then I retract them and apologize. I in no way know your wife or your reaction to your situation beyond what little you have shared, and only share my opinion as opinions were asked for.

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Marek
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
The last time infidelity was discussed here, the vast majority of people came down in the "it's possible/preferable to forgive and forget camp".

I am not one of them.

If my comments at all offended Marek then I retract them and apologize. I in no way know your wife or your reaction to your situation beyond what little you have shared, and only share my opinion as opinions were asked for.

I did ask, and I do disagree, as I would gladly forgive her, if she would stop seeing him. But I am not offended, it is pretty bad, and a lot of people would say that they could never get past it. She means more to me than that, I can't throw her away.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I am very glad to hear there was no offense, as I meant none.

I tend to think that in this particular situation, -you- aren't throwing -her- away, rather the opposite, which is a rather large shame.

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Szymon
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I envy you, then, Marek. Call me a small man, but for me it is unimaginable to forgive such a thing.
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scholarette
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A marriage takes two people who care. One isn't willing to work, it won't work. It doesn't sound like this is about marek which is small comfort. I think that therapy is useful though since divorce is hard and there might be other issues that still need to be addressed.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
I told my wife I wanted a divorce. She wanted to try counseling. I agreed, but I argued quite adamantly that it wouldn't change my mind. She stopped trying to push counseling, as the only reason she wanted it was try to get me to change my view.

As I said before, when there are children (and thus there will be an ongoing co-parenting relationship) I think counseling is the best move even when the marriage cannot be saved.

In fact, I strongly recommend that Marek see a family therapist by himself, if his wife is refusing to go with him.

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ScottF
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Marek, first off, this is very sad and I'm sorry you have to deal with this. Second, and more importantly, you need to focus on the most optimal outcome for your boys (I'm assuming they're both minors). If that means fighting like hell to stay together - which often it should - then do it. If it means figuring out how to transition into the least disruptive version of separation, do that.

Either way, they didn't sign up for this dysfunction and they should be at the top of your (and hopefully hers) list when considering next steps.

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brojack17
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I was in your exact shoes. Multiple affairs over multiple years. Each one I forgave... and forgot. Never to be mentioned again. I chalked it up to her abuse as a kid. Maybe, maybe not. She always told me it was just sex. She wasn't in love with them. She loved me, but was never sexually attracted to me. Really kicked me in the nuts with that stuff. I stayed because of the kids but did try with all I had. If you're the only one trying then you'll never win.

I said the exact same stuff you did, just a year ago. At some point it has to be enough. For you. Right now, you have to focus on you and the kids, that's all. Over the past few weeks, she has txt and called begging for me to let her come back. No way in hell. Now that I am free of that burden, I will never go back. I'm sorry she is in the situation she's in with an alcoholic, abusive, a-hole but this is the life she chose and I am living the life I choose.

I always thought I would get some satisfaction in telling her to kiss of when she came back and begged. I don't though. I just pitty her. I tried to be the one to fix her past but wasn't able to. I truly hope the best for her but will not be a part of the drama ever again.

My situation is probably different. She moved back to our home town (700 miles away). Now she only gets the kids 8 weeks a year, but this is what she agreed to if I wouldn't ask for child support, pay for her car, give her about $9k in cash, and assume all marital debt. Great deal for me not for her, and she's realizing that now.

The kids are doing fine in their "New Normal". They have sad times and happy times and talk to their mother about once a week. She could talk to them daily but doesn't usually call that often.

Again, I'm here if you want to talk more specifics.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
The last time infidelity was discussed here, the vast majority of people came down in the "it's possible/preferable to forgive and forget camp".

I have similar feelings, but in my estimation, I don't have the insight into others to know if they could really rebuild trust that way. You can't know. I know for me, I've been cautious with my affection to the point of it being a negative, because I would handle something like this so badly. But I know other people who don't seem to work that way.

I am extreme enough in my feelings about trust to cut loose from friends who cheated on their partners. Not because I thought they were bad people, but because I knew I could never trust someone who did that, and more, put me in the position of knowing it. I hope I would always, always leave whoever I was with if the temptation to be with someone else was too much to bear. It's a sign that there are other issues in play.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:

A relationship only dies when no one stands up and fights for it

Bullshit.

Bullshit bullshit bullshit.

You can fight for a relationship with everything you have for months or years. You can spend hours every day trying to talk to her, trying to understand her and find ways to communiate. You can pour out your heart, and dedicate your time, money, life and soul to her happiness. You can break your heart and lose your mind trying to make things work, and drive yourself into such a deep, obsessive depression that 5 minutes *not* thinking of her comes as a blessed relief. But at the end of the day, if she's not willing to stay with you, it's not going to happen.

I've never married nor divorced, so I don't have any advice on how to go about it, but I'll just say keep your head up and remember that there's only so much you can do - your wife's inability to be happy with you isn't necessarily a reflection of your ability to make someone happy, it's a reflection of her own failure or deliberate unwillingness to work things out. I know how destructive and soul crushing breakups can be, because of how much your own sense of value and worth can be tied to her. Don't forget it's her responsibility, not yours. It seems like you've already done all that you can in that regard.

Also, in the words of the great warrior-poet Ice Cube, "bitches be crazy, yo." That is all.

as, uh .. weirdly as this is propositioned, the general sentiment is true. If someone is telling you "your marriage is only falling apart because neither of you are fighting for it!" or any variation on the theme of the idea that you can always save your marriage solely through your own willingness and effort to do it — disregard.
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Stone_Wolf_
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More the negative image of that thought, that a relationship -will- fail if no one fights for it, not all relationships can be saved -if- someone fights for it.
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Xavier
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As worded, it states that if your relationship fails it necessarily means that you didn't fight for it. Also that if you fight for a relationship, then it can't possibly end.

Sort of lays blame on those who are divorced against their will and enables stalkers to continue to pursue someone who has attempted to end a relationship.

I know your advice was coming from a good place, but it could use some heavy modifications.

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Ron Lambert
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Sad to say, sometimes divorce is the lesser of two evils.

I like the counsel given by brojack17. I would only add that it is important that you stress to your children that the divorce is NOT THEIR FAULT. So often children tend to get this idea.

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rivka
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Marek, a book suggestion: Helping Your Kids Cope With Divorce: The Sandcastles Way.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
As worded, it states that if your relationship fails it necessarily means that you didn't fight for it. Also that if you fight for a relationship, then it can't possibly end.

Sort of lays blame on those who are divorced against their will and enables stalkers to continue to pursue someone who has attempted to end a relationship.

Correct. I have seen situations in which someone has obsessively pursued a relationship based on the bad notion that YOU can ALWAYS save your marriage if you try hard enough. And, of course, rather than resulting in renewed godly covenant, it usually results in restraining orders and police escort.
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rollainm
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Marek, my heart goes out to you. I got divorced a couple years ago myself. It was a devastating experience for me, and we (luckily) didn't even have kids. I can't imagine how much more painfully complicated this must be for you and your children.

I don't know how helpful or even applicable my own advice would be for you. I'll just narrow it down to this one thing, and it may not even be something you'll be concerned with for awhile since your children are your first priority and they'll especially need you there for them during this transition period. Anyway, here it is: Whenever you do get around to some personal time, remember to embrace who you are. Sounds cheesy, I know, but it's important. Do the things you love to do. Listen to the music you like to listen to. Eat the food you like to eat (within reason, obviously). Pick up that hobby she thought was a waste of time. Even if these are things the two of you shared, or things she introduced you to, that doesn't mean you have to give them up. Remember that you like it because you like it, and what she thought about it is completely irrelevant.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:

Also...language dude!

I apologize for the... intensity of that. I didn't mean it to be insulting (I used to hold a similar opinion), it's just a personal issue that makes me react strongly to statements like that. Sorry for being weird about it.

Sam: Even if it doesn't result in restraining orders/police (because the person in question isn't crazy...) it can still cause a person who would otherwise be able to grieve and move on spend months feeling like a failure for not fighting hard enough, for not being good enough. It can be incredibly destructive emotionally and mentally. Especially if the other person in question is a psycho who feeds off of making you feel horrible.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I wasn't insulted, it's just I'd hate to see you get in trouble.

I think people haven't really paid any heed to my further explanations, and that is starting to grate.

Some relationships end no matter the effort put in, my point was that a relationship in trouble will 100% of the time die if no one fights for it.

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scifibum
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FWIW, SW, I noticed and appreciated the restatement earlier on when you first made it.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Thanks bum!
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Xavier
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I actually hadn't noticed the restatement, so sorry for the unwarranted dog-pile [Smile] .
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Stone_Wolf_
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Thanks Xavier!
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Marek
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So in update, I gave her a week to think about things, and went to my parents' house. She said she would consider counseling if I did this, about half way through the week, she emailed me that she had decided not to even try, and that she doesn't want to fix our marriage, just end it.

So now I get to try to figure out how to live with way less money, and by myself. I kind of knew she would not change her mind, but her deciding not to try, still sucks. So yeah, I am definitely getting divorced.

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Bella Bee
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Sorry to hear that. At least you will always know that you tried. [Frown]
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scholarette
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I'm about to that point in my marriage. I'm tired and I don't see much point in fighting anymore. He is content living with things as they are but I want more. I want love and kindness and all those thing, not just tolerance. And because I did truly love him, seeing nothing more in his eyes kills me. I'd rather be alone and stulruggling than this. Therapy was useless but we had a horrible therapist. Her only concrete advise was for me to have the house clean and tidy and ideally dinner on the table when he gets home (at the time, I was also in the midst of post partum depression which therapist knew about). She thought the clean house would remind my husband why he wanted me around. Buy that is kinda the point. I dont want to be around as a servant or anything else, I want to be valued as me and I dont feel that at all. So, I get how it is to reach that point where you no longer believe any amount of fighting for the marriage will matter. I just haven't figured out the logistics of actually ending things.
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Marek
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Yeah, I think I am more in your position, as I still love her, and she treats me like a butler/babysitter most of the time. But she decided to end things, in a very unkind way.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
So now I get to try to figure out how to live with way less money, and by myself.
I know everyone is throw out emotional advice but, if it's not uncouth or rude to ask (and tell me if it is), what about alimony? I had no idea what each of you makes, but the growth of wife to husband alimony payments (instead of the traditional other way around) has grown quite a bit in the last half decade. It's not so unusual now. I'd never push for anything that would make the divorce more rancorous, but on the other hand, don't let yourself get manhandled for the sake of good feelings in the aftermath.
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DDDaysh
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Seriously??? THAT was her advice?

Lol, my ex would probably still be around too if I'd taken care of anything and not asked him to have any responsibilities. *eyeroll*

Maybe try with a better therapist... I'd hate to see you give up with someone you love before trying all options.

quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
I'm about to that point in my marriage. I'm tired and I don't see much point in fighting anymore. He is content living with things as they are but I want more. I want love and kindness and all those thing, not just tolerance. And because I did truly love him, seeing nothing more in his eyes kills me. I'd rather be alone and stulruggling than this. Therapy was useless but we had a horrible therapist. Her only concrete advise was for me to have the house clean and tidy and ideally dinner on the table when he gets home (at the time, I was also in the midst of post partum depression which therapist knew about). She thought the clean house would remind my husband why he wanted me around. Buy that is kinda the point. I dont want to be around as a servant or anything else, I want to be valued as me and I dont feel that at all. So, I get how it is to reach that point where you no longer believe any amount of fighting for the marriage will matter. I just haven't figured out the logistics of actually ending things.


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scholarette
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To be fair and completely honest, right now my husband is in therapy. The therapist we went to was recommended by my husband's prior shrink, who he left because the shrink was not listening to him. Looking back as I type this, I wonder if some of our problems were related to his other problems. We thought at the time his meds were under control, but he was not unfaithful, but he really wanted to be. His new shrink did not think meds were under control and had been changing them so maybe it is more than just us.
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