Looking for insight: Did you contemplate divorce before or after having your second child? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 04-13-2013, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
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My DD just turned one year old.  DH and I have been having a very rough time (since before DD was born, but the dynamics of raising a child have certainly put an even greater strain on our relationship) and I contemplate divorce almost daily.  Without going into too much detail about our relationship, etc...what I would really like to know is if those of you who are divorced with 2 children had already been contemplating splitting up before DC #2. 


I get really sad when I think about my DD not having a brother or sister and sometimes I wonder if I should get pregnant again even though our marriage is not great and I really can not imagine living my whole life with this person.  On the other hand, common sense tells me that I shouldn't have another child with a man I am not sure I even love anymore.  It doesn't help that I'm heading into the latter part of my thirties with biological clock ticking, etc.


I went to visit a divorce attorney a few months back and she told me divorces with one child are markedly easier than with multiple children.  Have you all found this to be true?


I worry about my DD being the only child of likely-to-be divorced parents...I can't help but think life would be so much better for her if she could share her experiences with a sibling.


I would be grateful for any insight and/or shared experiences from you wise mamas out there.


Thank you,


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#2 of 10 Old 04-14-2013, 08:04 AM
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don't have another child with a man you don't love.  I knew I wanted a divorce when dd1 was 1 year old, but x had me in a legal trap and said he would get 100% custody.  Gaslighting b.s. but...dd2 was a complete accident...I only had sex with him because it was our anniversary and I couldn't find a way around it.  Got pregnant.  It took me 4 more years to get out (2 financial catastrophes in those years kept me in).  X did lots of mental damage to dd1 in those intervening years, and dd2 of course.


You can always have another child, when single or with your next partner.  If you get to age 45 and haven't, you can adopt or foster.


It is a lot harder to be a single parent of multiple kiddos, for many reasons.  Keep your pants on!

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#3 of 10 Old 04-14-2013, 09:23 AM
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I agree with Provacativa. Seriously. I knew well before having ds2, but I had ds2 anyway thinking it would be better or then I wouldn't mind leaving so much because I had two kids. It got worse and I was more stuck. Then I did the same with ds3. It did not get better and my kids, especially ds1 have suffered. I love my children and am eternally grateful for them, but I would have done things differently. I don't recommend doing what I did at all.

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#4 of 10 Old 04-14-2013, 10:18 AM
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Divorce wasn't even a thought when I got pregnant with my second.  If it was, I wouldn't have gotten pregnant.  Being a single parent is hard.  And the more kids that you have, the harder it is. 

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#5 of 10 Old 04-14-2013, 02:54 PM
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I don't fit into the category of people you are asking, but thought I'd add my experience in case it helps. With both of my kids at about one year were the hardest times in our relationship. Splitting up was on both of our minds and we often talked through the possibilities separation, down to details about custody, finances, living situations, etc. I should add that both times we moved at 9-10 months, and I went back to work after a year long maternity leave (new jobs, because of major moves). All of the transition was in part spurred or pressured by the new child and the way that they changed our lives and plans. My kids are 3 1/2 years apart because it took us a couple of years to get our lives together after our first child. And given the experience of number two, we're gladly moving forward to an older kids, less sleep deprived, less totally insane and intense period of life in our relationship and parenting.

What I'm saying here is that parenting, especially the first couple of years is *hard*! Adding another child to an already stressed family is probably not helpful to any of you, and may be the "nail in the coffin" in your relationship. Likewise, if single parenting is a near-certainty, life with two very young children on your own is extra hard!

"Guess what? It's a magical world. And when I sing, my songs are in it."
Madly in love with my 7 and 4 year old daughters

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#6 of 10 Old 04-14-2013, 03:19 PM
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I contemplated divorce before having any children but we got back together and then had one child and then divorced after 3 years. I think its easier and better to have one kid rather than more. Im an only child myself and there are a lot of benefits. I don't get sad about my child being an only child. I consider her lucky that she gets more attention and just more devoted to her with everything in general rather than having to split attention and other things with another child. That's one of the big reasons why I've had two abortions after her so that I could devote more to her rather than introducing a new kid. Me and her dad live near each other and do split joint custody. It works out fine. From a spiritual perspective I believe that we all choose our parents before our souls enter into human bodies so i think that her soul knew that divorce was highly likely to happen and it was her souls's choice.

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#7 of 10 Old 04-14-2013, 07:22 PM
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Ex and I never married, we were common-law, but I knew that we would not have a future before #2 came. She wasn't planned but I am so happy I have her and that my DCs have each other.

I've always wanted a big family and though #2 was not planned and I knew ex and I would not work out, I knew I wanted to have another child and I don't have any regrets. TBH, I wish I had more children, even knowing I'll be going at it as a single mom. I have a good paying, stable job and great family and friend support.
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#8 of 10 Old 04-22-2013, 12:47 PM
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I totally sympathize with the age and ticking clock issue.  Adoption is not an easy process.  Nor is trying to conceive via sperm bank.  Both are insanely expensive and stressful....probably more stressful than single parenting two kids on your own.    


I say if you know you can handle single parenting with two young kids (have a strong body), have lots of family support and your eyes are wide open to this potentially being the nail in your coffin for the marriage, go for it.  But also be prepared for the realities of the stress of divorce, custody battles, etc.  Know your local laws.  For example, know if split custody (kids separated) is ever ordered.  Know how the courts consider breastfeeding (if bottlefeeding there's probably a lower chance of you having sole custody).


And of course, be prepared that getting pregnant might not be an option (secondary fertility can come as a surprise)....or that trying to conceive might help bring the marriage on track for a while.  Trying to get pg helped our marriage....but the day I announced the positive pregnancy test to him - finally after a lot of bfn's - was the day that the downhill slide in our marriage worsened.  As soon as I had needs (fatigue, morning sickness, etc.) he became more resentful of his sorry lot in life being tied to a woman who was just no fun anymore because I was too busy being a mom and growing a baby, and of course I had just used him as a baby making machine (I guess there's a bit of truth there, but I honestly still wanted our marriage to work and had hope he would change)....eyesroll.gif


Looking back I wouldn't have done things any differently.  I don't regret having my second baby...and I know in my heart I would have had a lot of regret if I had stopped at one.  Her still breastfeeding has worked in my favour for custody matters so far (but I don't know for how long).  dd1 has a best friend for life now. (dd1 was my faithful companion at every prenatal appointment that my X never attended).


Obviously you know yourself and your situation best, and will make a choice that's best for you.

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#9 of 10 Old 04-22-2013, 04:59 PM
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I only have one child but I want to suggest basing the decision on what you personally will be able to afford. Men don't always pay their child support and daycare costs and the state enforcement agency can take years to get around to enforcing support. If you can afford two kids in daycare on top of food and shelter then go for it. If you can't I suggest getting a divorce now while your child is young enough not to remember the fighting.
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#10 of 10 Old 04-22-2013, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I want to thank everyone so much for their responses and for sharing their personal experiences with me! It has been immensely helpful to read a multitude of perspectives.  I still don't know what road I will take. I am tremendously lucky that money/security/housing is not much of an issue in making my decision.  I also have a ton of family that lives close by and is willing to help out.  My main concerns would be custody issues down the line.  I also have many concerns about the difficulty of trying to start a relationship with someone new and blending our families.  That sounds just as difficult as being in a difficult marriage, but I don't know. There is a part of me that craves a more fulfilling relationship, but it's easy to put that need on the backburner when I'm taking care of a one year old round the clock.  I am trying to turn this rocky point in our marriage into a transformative experience in reflecting on myself and trying to change my own behaviors and be more aware of my triggers.  I figure if we can't work well together at the moment, some good should still emerge from this difficult place we are in.

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