Why get involved with a divorced man with kids? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 61 Old 10-19-2009, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It seems so hard, so fraught with the requisite 'difficult' ex wife they all seem to have, the custody and money disputes.

I know everyone will say love conquers all, but if a guy has been divorced once then is that not a massive warning sign to you? Do you think you'll be the one to magically make it perfect and do/be what the former wife couldn't?
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#2 of 61 Old 10-19-2009, 12:40 PM
 
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You never know about what went on in a prior relationship. You are putting the women higher than the guy saying he was all at fault. This is not true. Plus people change. I am glad my husband did not think of me as damaged and messed up because I had an ex. Nor did he take it as a warning sign.
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#3 of 61 Old 10-19-2009, 12:40 PM
 
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I'll bite. Your question assumes every first marriage is a perfect person with a clean slate. That's far from so.

Everyone, single, married or divorced, has baggage. I've never married before DH, but I've got loads of baggage. Also I know plenty of people who are married to someone who's never been married before, but has plenty of ex stress. There is still possibility of being a first spouse and having stepkids and other parents.

Each person decides what they're able to live with in a relationship. Not every first marriage works out perfectly. Not every second marriage is doomed because of ex stress. Not every first marriage has no ex stress. Failed marriages are not neccesarily due to someone being an abusive jerk that all must run away from screaming. And people do learn from their mistakes.

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#4 of 61 Old 10-19-2009, 12:46 PM
 
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Failed marriage = bad person to marry?

Not for me. People grow and change all the time. Should we assume the guy who got his g/f pregnant at 19, married her and tried his best to be a good husband, had 2 more kids and then realised she and he were really a poor match and makig one another miserable will also make ME miserable 15 years later? Not a very rational assumption.

If you believe that every single person that gets married (or seriously involved, i personally didn't marry XP and we have a daughter together) marries their soulmate and turns down a lifetime of happiness so they can leave them and cause misery all round then yeah, you would probably want to avoid having a relationsip with anyone who has been seriously involved with anyone else. That is going to significantly narrow the pool of choice as you leave your teens though!
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#5 of 61 Old 10-19-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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Each person decides what they're able to live with in a relationship. Not every first marriage works out perfectly. Not every second marriage is doomed because of ex stress. Not every first marriage has no ex stress. Failed marriages are not neccesarily due to someone being an abusive jerk that all must run away from screaming. And people do learn from their mistakes.
An interesting statistic:

Second marriages with children (i.e. one or both parties bring children from a past relationship into the marriage) are more likely than first marriages to fail in the first 3 years.

That's not a surprise, right? We always hear that the divorce rate for second marriages is higher than the divorce rate for first marriages (which is also scary high).

Here's what you never hear, though:

If a second marriage with children makes it through the first 3 years intact, it is 40% more likely to succeed than any first marriage. I think this statistic truly speaks to the fact that people learn from their "mistakes."

The bottom line is: it's really, really hard to carve out a life with children you didn't create (or adopt as an infant). Regardless of how much you adore your stepchildren (or how much your own children are adored by your second husband), it's the very fact that second marriages frequently include children that makes them more likely to fail in the first 3 years. If you can persevere through the "forming" and "storming" stages (the three stages of blended families being Forming, Storming, and Norming), you're in really good shape to make it all the way!

Re: ex-wives - you're right, they can be challenging too. But consider this, if your new spouse didn't have children, he probably wouldn't even KNOW where his ex-wife was, let alone be speaking to and interacting with her on a regular basis.

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#6 of 61 Old 10-19-2009, 01:06 PM
 
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Seriously? When a man reaches a certain age, I don't know what that is exactly so please don't ask me, if he hasn't been in a serious relationship ever in his life before me, then that right there is the warning sign. Not that he is some sort of failure who should be doomed to single parenthood his entire life.
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#7 of 61 Old 10-19-2009, 01:10 PM
 
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artgoddess, my DH is such a man (a few light hearted relationships in his early 20's and then nothing until me, in his late 30's) and he's not a monster i promise!
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#8 of 61 Old 10-19-2009, 02:11 PM
 
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Well, it takes two people to create and to maintain a relationship, right? Naturally, if I choose to be with DP, I think he was a great guy and a woman didn't behave as a true partner should. Is it that impossible to imagine that a guy is not always at fault? and why would a great guy not deserve a loving relationship afterwards?

I think DP is a superman.

The fact that he's been married before means that I had to work through my insecurities, find my role in DSD's life, and readjust my expectations of our life together, it meant our finances are taking a hit from the get-go.

BUT, it also meant that I knew how he handled conflict (without yelling or taking cheap shots at his ex, even when they disagreed and she wasn't nice). It also meant that I knew what kind of father he is (and believe me when I tell you, he is of the highest quality).


I'm not saying it's easy. Just saying it's worth it for me. We've been together three times longer than the faithful part of his marriage, and twice as long than his marriage from start to the final signature in divorce papers. Honestly, I can't get enough of him.

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#9 of 61 Old 10-19-2009, 03:49 PM
 
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Yep, the whole getting hit by a drunk driver, spending two months in the hospital and several more in rehab, shifting from husband-wife to patient-caregiver overnight, personality changes due to blunt force head trauma, learning how to walk, eat, work again, sticking it out for a few more years out of sheer stubbornness and then finally, mutually, relatively amicably calling it quits after realizing that stubbornness isn't enough thing is totally a red flag to me.

I have also been divorced once--never mind we never had kids, grew up together and grew apart, and are still good friends even though we made terrible spouses to one another and had the sense to figure that out before bringing two kids and 10 years of misery into the picture--and I'm sure it's a total red flag to my partner.

Oh well.

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#10 of 61 Old 10-19-2009, 04:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bits and bobs View Post
It seems so hard, so fraught with the requisite 'psycho' ex wife they all seem to have, the custody and money disputes.

I know everyone will say love conquers all, but if a guy has been divorced once then is that not a massive warning sign to you? Do you think you'll be the one to magically make it perfect and do/be what the former wife couldn't?
That's pretty harsh-not all marriages fail because the guy is a jerk. Many marriages fail because the wife strays rather than the husband-no one is immune from infidelity, abuse, etc. Relationships and marriages are two way streets-both sides have to work at it. Marriages don't fail simply because "the former wife couldn't do or be" what a guy wanted.

Not all ex-wives are psycho either. I've had plenty of friends where the "psycho" portion of the equation is the guy.
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#11 of 61 Old 10-19-2009, 04:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mild_adventurer View Post
An interesting statistic:

Second marriages with children (i.e. one or both parties bring children from a past relationship into the marriage) are more likely than first marriages to fail in the first 3 years.

That's not a surprise, right? We always hear that the divorce rate for second marriages is higher than the divorce rate for first marriages (which is also scary high).

Here's what you never hear, though:

If a second marriage with children makes it through the first 3 years intact, it is 40% more likely to succeed than any first marriage. I think this statistic truly speaks to the fact that people learn from their "mistakes."

The bottom line is: it's really, really hard to carve out a life with children you didn't create (or adopt as an infant). Regardless of how much you adore your stepchildren (or how much your own children are adored by your second husband), it's the very fact that second marriages frequently include children that makes them more likely to fail in the first 3 years. If you can persevere through the "forming" and "storming" stages (the three stages of blended families being Forming, Storming, and Norming), you're in really good shape to make it all the way!

Re: psychotic ex-wives - you're right, they don't help either. But consider this, if your new spouse didn't have children, he probably wouldn't even KNOW where his psychotic ex-wife was, let alone be speaking to and interacting with her on a regular basis.

Amazing quote. Very interesting!

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#12 of 61 Old 10-21-2009, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Look I don't know if I even really believe it myself but to me it just seems soooo hard to be in a relationship when there are kids and exes and custody issues. You start on a back foot. You have to blend things that maybe weren't meant to be or aren't ready to be blended.

Why not foucs on raising the children, away from the distractions of a new relationship? Instead of the kids having to figure out new daddy, new step-sibs, new abode, new everything...why not grow them up a bit first?

I focused here on marriage to men, as this board is called 'Mothering' so most failed relationships talked about on this board will be from the woman's perspective.

If you read here, so many women talk of the difficult ex-spouse. No one talks about how lovely and wise and fab that ex is. It just adds another level of hassle for your kids to be exposed to another man's issues whether he be at fault or not.
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#13 of 61 Old 10-21-2009, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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PS That stat is interesting but where does it come from?
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#14 of 61 Old 10-21-2009, 09:53 AM
 
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Look I don't know if I even really believe it myself but to me it just seems soooo hard to be in a relationship when there are kids and exes and custody issues. You start on a back foot. You have to blend things that maybe weren't meant to be or aren't ready to be blended.
I think that's a lot of assumptions. This means no one who was cheated on deserves to build a new relationship now because that would be "starting on the back foot", and they are damaged in some way? Who is to say the things are not meant to blend? I believe we were very much meant to blend, or I woudln't be here 9 years later. DP always referres to that song that mentions "a broken road that led me straight to you".

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Why not foucs on raising the children, away from the distractions of a new relationship? Instead of the kids having to figure out new daddy, new step-sibs, new abode, new everything...why not grow them up a bit first?
Who is to say that this child would be better off without me? Or that it would easier to raise a child without me? I know it's a bit too confident, but I don't think of myself as a "distraction". I am very much a helping hand, and a loving member of the family.

Without me her dad would have the stress of commuting to and from pick ups and drop offs, 1.5 hrs each trip. Twice a weekend. It is a very big deal when your daily work commute adds up to 3-4 hours a day.

Without me DSD would have still be in braces, as her mom never took her to appointments.

Without me she would have zero healthy loving relationships to observe.
Everyone else in the familiy either divorced, or live in a nasty partnerships that I woudln't wish on anyone.

Because I am here, her dad is happy.

Because I am here, her dad can offer her a nice place to live - a great townhouse where she's had her own room for the past 6 years, vs. renting a studio apartment.

Because I am here, she had a woman role model, and someone to talk to when her mom wasn't calling or picking her up.

Because I am here, she had a shoudler to cry on during her first break up.

Because I am here, she has her first job.

Because I am here, she has another person that loves and supports her.

Why is it that I shoudln't have entered her life again?..

New endeavor coming soon...
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#15 of 61 Old 10-21-2009, 10:17 AM
 
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Bits and Bobs, I understand the good nature of your question, but I have some problems with this way of thinking / living:

1) it makes it sound like raising children is something you do void of emotion and life, something you can "concentrate" on for a while or a few years. It's not like that. Life is a whole and raising children is part of it. My parents were and are amazing together, but you would not believe the drama we had for other reasons (illness, alcoholism, unfulfillment, etc.) You wouldn't want to and you wouldn't be able to raise children in a vacuum as if waiting for your life to happen. You will never be able to only expose your children to a perfect world; and it would be such a counterproductive proposition. Learning about life (the good and bad and how to handle things with grace and love) is an amazing lesson.

2) My second point is that if you are going to go through the trouble of dealing with those ex's and the money problems, etc, most of the times it means that the new relationship is a really wonderful one and that you are much happier than you were alone. To me, this is the most important part: people are for sure better parents if they are happy, if they feel supported, and if they have affection!

This self sacrifice theory doesn't work. It never does. What works is to be real.

And just one more thing: I can assure you that I add a lot of value to my dsd's life. There's a lot I have to offer that she wouldn't have if her dad and I were not together. On top of that, she also now benefits from a new sibling. Her parents were never going to get back together to give her a sibling, and with your theory of staying alone, that would've never happened with anyone else either.
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#16 of 61 Old 10-21-2009, 10:23 AM
 
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I think that's a lot of assumptions. This means no one who was cheated on deserves to build a new relationship now because that would be "starting on the back foot", and they are damaged in some way? Who is to say the things are not meant to blend? I believe we were very much meant to blend, or I woudln't be here 9 years later. DP always referres to that song that mentions "a broken road that led me straight to you".



Who is to say that this child would be better off without me? Or that it would easier to raise a child without me? I know it's a bit too confident, but I don't think of myself as a "distraction". I am very much a helping hand, and a loving member of the family.

Without me her dad would have the stress of commuting to and from pick ups and drop offs, 1.5 hrs each trip. Twice a weekend. It is a very big deal when your daily work commute adds up to 3-4 hours a day.

Without me DSD would have still be in braces, as her mom never took her to appointments.

Without me she would have zero healthy loving relationships to observe.
Everyone else in the familiy either divorced, or live in a nasty partnerships that I woudln't wish on anyone.

Because I am here, her dad is happy.

Because I am here, her dad can offer her a nice place to live - a great townhouse where she's had her own room for the past 6 years, vs. renting a studio apartment.

Because I am here, she had a woman role model, and someone to talk to when her mom wasn't calling or picking her up.

Because I am here, she had a shoudler to cry on during her first break up.

Because I am here, she has her first job.

Because I am here, she has another person that loves and supports her.

Why is it that I shoudln't have entered her life again?..
Well said Oriole! You are an amazing Stepmom and your DSD is very blessed to have you!


I was going to steer away from this thread, but Oriole's post spoke to me.

At first I was down when I saw this thread because my own DSD is going through some hard times right now with adjustment. And I couldn't help feeling a little guilty about that, as surely my involvement of entering her life, marrying her Dad, and bringing a half sibling into her life has been some very big changes that she is trying to cope with.

But I thought some more... and my being here may end up being the best thing in the world for her.

Her Dad and I have had some very rocky moments lately... but amazingly his eyes are opening, especially with the troubles his DD is going through. He is listenting and striving to be more gentle and loving all around.

My DH is reading gentle discipline books! I know he is trying and striving to be an even better Dad because I am in his life.

For those who know my story, know how big this is, and how big of a good change this is for DSD.

So while, we went through a storm for awhile... I think us weathering it and learning to work through it together is also going to be a really awesome thing for DSD.

Everything happens for a reason...

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#17 of 61 Old 10-21-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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Look I don't know if I even really believe it myself but to me it just seems soooo hard to be in a relationship when there are kids and exes and custody issues. You start on a back foot. You have to blend things that maybe weren't meant to be or aren't ready to be blended.

Why not foucs on raising the children, away from the distractions of a new relationship? Instead of the kids having to figure out new daddy, new step-sibs, new abode, new everything...why not grow them up a bit first?
It is so hard to be in a relationship with exes and custody issues (boy do I know it!). Likewise it is also soo hard to be in a relationship with someone who may have no exes, but have mental illness (boy does DH know it!). This doesn't mean that the hard work isn't worth it. It means it will be hard work. But exes aren't the only reason there could be troubles in a relationship. There could be many reasons for difficulties, we're all human, none of us perfect.

For the second paragraph, well sure parents could benefit from such a thing. But it doesn't mean it's the standard for all parents. Sometimes people don't find the things they need to work on until there's another person in their lives. Each situation is so different that it's hard to make a blanket statement.

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I focused here on marriage to men, as this board is called 'Mothering' so most failed relationships talked about on this board will be from the woman's perspective.

If you read here, so many women talk of the difficult ex-spouse. No one talks about how lovely and wise and fab that ex is. It just adds another level of hassle for your kids to be exposed to another man's issues whether he be at fault or not.
Umm, well actually I have. DH has 3 exes. 1 and 3 are well beyond difficult with substance issues and abusive tendencies. #2 is the self titled "good witch." She's one of the reasons I decided to stay with DH because she can see what I see and not just the hassles of the exes and custody battles, she reminds me that digging through all the hassles, this relationship is worth it. We get along very well, and I've said a few times how if she lived closer we'd do coffee dates all the time, I'm sure.



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I think that's a lot of assumptions. This means no one who was cheated on deserves to build a new relationship now because that would be "starting on the back foot", and they are damaged in some way? Who is to say the things are not meant to blend? I believe we were very much meant to blend, or I woudln't be here 9 years later. DP always referres to that song that mentions "a broken road that led me straight to you".



Who is to say that this child would be better off without me? Or that it would easier to raise a child without me? I know it's a bit too confident, but I don't think of myself as a "distraction". I am very much a helping hand, and a loving member of the family.

Without me her dad would have the stress of commuting to and from pick ups and drop offs, 1.5 hrs each trip. Twice a weekend. It is a very big deal when your daily work commute adds up to 3-4 hours a day.

Without me DSD would have still be in braces, as her mom never took her to appointments.

Without me she would have zero healthy loving relationships to observe.
Everyone else in the familiy either divorced, or live in a nasty partnerships that I woudln't wish on anyone.

Because I am here, her dad is happy.

Because I am here, her dad can offer her a nice place to live - a great townhouse where she's had her own room for the past 6 years, vs. renting a studio apartment.

Because I am here, she had a woman role model, and someone to talk to when her mom wasn't calling or picking her up.

Because I am here, she had a shoudler to cry on during her first break up.

Because I am here, she has her first job.

Because I am here, she has another person that loves and supports her.

Why is it that I shoudln't have entered her life again?..
Amazing post. Yes I've been a parent for 4 children that I never birthed. My oldest DSD has seen that not every woman has to rely on sex and men for her self esteem. DSD #2 has a stepmom that she calls "the coolest adult in the world" (that's no mere title coming from a teenager). My DSS has a stepmom who challenges him to be more than just the token boy. My youngest DSD tells people how lucky she is to have so many parents.

Life isn't ever neat. Not everyone meets in high school, has perfectly ok lives and stay sweethearts forever. In fact without the life I've led since my teen years I don't think life would have led me to DH, and same with him.

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#18 of 61 Old 10-21-2009, 06:54 PM
 
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Look I don't know if I even really believe it myself but to me it just seems soooo hard to be in a relationship when there are kids and exes and custody issues. You start on a back foot. You have to blend things that maybe weren't meant to be or aren't ready to be blended.

Why not foucs on raising the children, away from the distractions of a new relationship? Instead of the kids having to figure out new daddy, new step-sibs, new abode, new everything...why not grow them up a bit first?
It IS hard. Very hard. And it's true; you do start aways behind the starting line. There are handicaps. My DH and I were parenting from the moment we met. We never had those years in the beginning to form our relationship before we were mom and dad. We had to forge our relationship with each other, and simultaneously become step-parents, he to my DD and DS, me to his DS. Every step-family is built on a loss, either a break-up or a divorce, and occasionally a death.

I was single for almost 3 years when I met my DH. I had a good life that I had built for me and my children. I worked hard at a tolerable job and went to school on the days when my kids were with their dad. I had a good social life - close friends, a wonderful church, my parents close by. And I occasionally had a dream at night when I was screaming my face off to people in the library, "Won't anybody ever touch me?" I had friends, sure, plenty of good relationships, no shortage of people to talk to, but I needed a primary companion, a partner. I was so achingly lonely I found it hard to breathe sometimes. It would have been very wrong of me to try to fill that void with my children.

As difficult as it was in those early years, my DH and I have been married for over 9 years. I believe that our marriage is a gift to them. My ex-husband has been married and divorced twice more since our divorce. SS's mom moves out of her husband's house in a fit of anger at least twice a year. For all our struggles, my husband and I have shown our kids the meaning of real devotion and love. Plus, of course, we've met our own needs, and when our children are grown and gone (in just a few years the eldest will graduate from HS), we'll get those "just us" years we've never had.

So why? The same reason I had kids, even though they're expensive, messy, noisy, and often seriously annoying: for love. Because as awful as parenting can be sometimes, love is deeper than the awfulness most of the time.

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If you read here, so many women talk of the difficult ex-spouse. No one talks about how lovely and wise and fab that ex is. It just adds another level of hassle for your kids to be exposed to another man's issues whether he be at fault or not.
I'll answer this, because I'm one of those people who complains bitterly about my DH's ex-spouse. It's no big secret that I can't stand her. First, most of the misery there happened in the first 2-3 years. She finally learned that I wasn't going anywhere, and I finally learned how to avoid setting her off. My kids (incl. SS) have been pretty unaware of the craziness that has gone on over their heads. They're old enough now (almost 16, almost 14, and 12) to tell us what they remember, and they didn't know about the fighting and such. They do remember when my ex and DH's ex dated because they took them all places together (serious lapse of judgment on their part, but what could we do?), and they knew that there was something very not right about that, but they never heard the fighting or any of the rest. DH and I had our conversations about all of it behind closed doors.

As for whether or not people who have been divorced are somehow faulty models or "broken", my first marriage brought out the worst in my AND my ex. We're both better people now than we were when we were together. Ditto DH. The man that SS's mom describes to me as her ex-husband bears little resemblance to the man I know and love. FTR, nobody in either of those former marriages cheated, was addicted to drugs, or abused anybody. We were just miserable and wrong for each other.

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#19 of 61 Old 10-21-2009, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am truly thrilled for those relationships that make the distance. No-one wants the heartache of marriage and family breakups, so job bloody well done.

The gritty reality though seems to be in the figures I found, that around 67% of second marriages fail, then around 74% of third marriages. If you guys are breaking the mold, then that is wonderful for you, your kids and your step-kids. You are the exception though. Of course no one wants to go into a second marriage thinking 'well 67% of these fail'. We all want to be the exception, the one that makes a difference. Some of you are but most will not be in a sustainable relationship.

Given that, I wonder if the 67% of those who don't make it would've been better to focus just on themselves and their own stability, rather than adding the major possibility of more despair and upheaval. Who will be the 67% is unknown and everyone will claim they'd rather try and maybe they'll be the lucky 33%-maybe you will be! I sincerely hope you are.

I appreciate all your responses-your stories are heartfelt. May you go on being the ones that bring joy.
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#20 of 61 Old 10-22-2009, 02:40 AM
 
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You may be getting a biased sample, here, OP. This board is different than other step parenting boards I have seen - it seems to be more problem-solving and less complaining about the other house. For the most part, people want to know how to make it better. So this particular group of people may be more determined to make it work than the average.

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#21 of 61 Old 10-22-2009, 09:54 AM
 
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The gritty reality though seems to be in the figures I found, that around 67% of second marriages fail, then around 74% of third marriages. If you guys are breaking the mold, then that is wonderful for you, your kids and your step-kids. You are the exception though. Of course no one wants to go into a second marriage thinking 'well 67% of these fail'. We all want to be the exception, the one that makes a difference. Some of you are but most will not be in a sustainable relationship.
Ouch. That's not a correct assessment... (putting on my psychology research major hat).

You are looking at a board where people come to seek advice on how to make a relationship work. I would say their chances of making it work are NOT the same as of someone who just enters a relationship without realizing the effort and the difficulty it entails (ANY kind of relationship). You are looking at a sample where partners are trying to better themselves, and are reaching out for a support network when they need it. Therefore, for all you know, 99% of people on this forum succeed in sustaining their relationships. You can't generalize, and I hope I explained well enough why. You are looking at a "tainted" sample.

*Ahem*
Isn't it true that 50% of regular marriages will fail? What about the future kids that will have to suffer divorce of their parents? Wouldn't that mean that life is better lived when you don't enter any kind of commited relationsips?

I think the point here is not to judge a group because they chose to be with someone who was married before, but rather examine the validity of each relationship as it stands on its own. There are plenty of first time married and unmarried couples that shouldn't be together. Yet it doesn't mean that no one shoudl ever get married.

I think it's one thing to say "listen... you never spend time with the kids, you don't treat your partner with respect, you don't pull your weight in the relationship - maybe you should reconsider being in a relationship".

And it's a whole another story to tell someone "all I know about you is that you've been married before and have a child - you shouldn't be in a relationship".

That sounds very wrong to me, on many levels, ykwim? According to your view I should go through the following checklist as soon as may be to rescue DSD:

#1. run home and inform my sleepy DP that I just found out we shoudlnt' be together, because he's been married before. (The question is... should I eat the lunch he made for me the night before first? Should I throw away the sweet note he enclosed? Or is it okay to save it?)

#2. I should return the surprise he got for me last night, just because.

#3. I should tell DSD we are cancelling our special girls only trip in three weeks because apparently, she is not my child, and I am endangering her well-being and emotional stability.

#4. I should call up her mom and tell her to pick up her daughter from work tonight, because I shoudln't be here in the first place. (her mom wont' be thrilled... she never picked up dsd from work).

I guess the nature of your advice escapes me.

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#22 of 61 Old 10-22-2009, 10:31 AM
 
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Why did you post this OP?

Are you finding you have feelings for a man who was married before? Are you a person with an ex who is searching for justification on what to do next WRT other relationships? What made you come here to tell us our relationships were probably doomed?

I have never been married, i don't plan to marry. So i am not going to show up in the statistics anywhere anyway. My partner told me yesterday that when he's at work just now he's taking private pleasure in knowing he's expecting "another kid" and no-one else does yet (we're only just 8 weeks along). His first kid is not his kid. She is mine and XP's, but he still feels she's his. When XP is around he always defers to him in parenting matters (though actually we're all on much the same page in day-to-day terms) out of politeness, but DD knows she has 3 parents to rely on and goes to whoever. She frequently calls XP by her step-dad's name and vice versa (actually she calls me, her mother, by ther names too!). Since her step father and i moved in together a year ago, after dating for 2 years, she has come on in leaps and bounds. She really LOVES having another loving parent in her life. Because of him she will have a sibling next year, and can have her mother at hom with her longer, and can live in a nice house in a good area, and has another person who loves her, plays with her, listens to her and thinks of her. I cannot see what it has cost her. Likewise, the baby inside me, am i supposed to fret for it because it will inherit all it's mothers "baggage" with XP when it was not borne of that situation? Because i don't. When my own mother died my one full-sibling and my 4 half-siblings and I all shared the loads, all made the arrangements, all comforted one another. Maybe we weren't meant to mix, but like ice-cream in cola, we work!

I too am someone who talks about how great my ex is (i am the damaged goods in this situation, by your yardstick anyway). Yesterday he met me in town to help choose and half-fund DD's winter boots and coat, then after when i had a drop in BP and felt dizzy and blacking-out-ish he sat me in a safe place, ran to get me a cool smoothie to boost my blood sugar a little and carried all the shopping to the taxi which he got DD and I into safely. He also offered to come home with us to make sure we were ok, and when i declined he said ok, well call me hen you get in, which i did. The day before he was with DD and i when she went for some vaccinations, on Saturday he and DD made me a handmade birthday card together. We were HORRIBLE as a couple, but we're good friends, there are no fights, no bitter words exchanged. He has already offered to take the new baby overnight with DD when it's bigger so we can have a break sometimes. There are lots of wonderful people in the world, you just can't make a good relationship with all of them.
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#23 of 61 Old 10-22-2009, 03:45 PM
 
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Well my DH was not a divorced man but he was coming out of a significant relationship and he did have a child, this fact although something I needed to consider was not something that decided whether or not i had a relationship with him. Yes, at the time his ex was kind of crazy, yes at the time things were really complicated and yes at the time it was a hard adjustement to make from having no responsibility to having some responsibility for an infant. But 5.5 years later all of us (me , DH, DSS, DSS's mom) are better and our lives are better because we have each other and our kids know they have all of us to rely on. And believe me if someone 5 years ago had said that my DSS's mom would have play dates at her house with our kids I would have said there was not a chance and she I am sure would have said there was no way she even wanted to see the other kids, but things changed and we grew, and part of the reason all of us have such a great relationship is because we have been able to be a stable consistent force in the lives of both DSS and his mom. They both know they can rely on us and we will help when we can and ask for help if we need it.
We have actively blended our families and it made all of our lives better. Yes, it sucks that DSS does not have both of his parents living in the same house and I am sure this is hard for him but he does have a little brother and a little sister and he has a mom and a dad and a stepmom and a thousand aunts and uncles and grandparents that he know loves them, and his life has been stable, ever since he can remeber he had one house were his mom lived with him part of the time and one house where his dad and I lived with him part of the time.
So I think you need to rethink your presumptions about what is good for other peoples children and relationships.

Baby Mama, Law Student, Milk Maker:
Mom-type to DSS 10/12/03, Mom to DS 10/05/06 and DD 11/03/08.
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#24 of 61 Old 10-22-2009, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not offering advice-I'm posing a question, which people are answering! I am just interested in the responses.

Yes 50% of first marriages fail-totally true. yes and there is fall out from that. My pondering is why not deal with that fall out alone; focus on any kids from that relationship and finances, health, emotional well-being. Why go into another relationship that will then involve extra kids, extra problems that has an even higher chance of failing, and then potentially do all the mopping up again?

You don't need to answer that, it's just me trying to explain the perspective I am coming from.

I want your relationships 2nd time round to work, why wouldn't I-there are kids involved. I do wish you the absolute best. I am just posing questions.
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#25 of 61 Old 10-22-2009, 10:47 PM
 
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I'm not offering advice-I'm posing a question, which people are answering! I am just interested in the responses.

Yes 50% of first marriages fail-totally true. yes and there is fall out from that. My pondering is why not deal with that fall out alone; focus on any kids from that relationship and finances, health, emotional well-being. Why go into another relationship that will then involve extra kids, extra problems that has an even higher chance of failing, and then potentially do all the mopping up again?

You don't need to answer that, it's just me trying to explain the perspective I am coming from.
Well, since you are starting the thread and posting questions - I am only trying to answer them. I'm guessing you started the thread to get a perspective, and perspective is what I have to offer.

Why not deal with the fall out alone? I actually do believe that jumping into a relationship too soon is not a good thing, but it doesn't mean waiting 18 years until the kids are off in college, kwim? DP separated when DSD was 2, and the divorce agreement was settled when she was 4. How long do you think he should be alone? 14-16 years?

By "concentrating on emotional well being" you mean isolating yourself from any potential life long partnership?

By "concentrating on health" you mean living alone, and pulling all of the responsibilities of parenting and work alone?

By "concentrating on finances" you mean paying $700 in child support and not being able to afford a place of your own for the following 16 years? Paying rent, insurances, and every bill that comes your way on your own?

By "extra kids" you mean siblings? DSD loves hers on her mom's part. I sure hope she doesn't think of them as dead weight. They are people that enrich her life, and teach her lessons. I hope she has the same to offer to the little ones that DP and I will have one day.

By "not risking another mopping up" you mean avoiding any relationships for the fear of failing? Again, 50% sounds pretty high to me. Sounds like a bad idea to begin with, not just the second time around, kwim. Why not ask then "why get married at all? why have kids at all? 1/2 of you are going to fail anyway. Why put future children through the heartache?

I hope you can see it from a different point of view. I am not willing to admit that DP and I should not have gotten into the relationship, or that DSD would benefit from me being out of the picture.

Here is what I believe: people should not take marriage commitment lightly. When you say "I DO", you better mean "I DO". People should not taking moving in lightly. When you decide to move in with someone when the kids are involved, you better know that person. But to say that relationships shouldn't exist?.. Well, I sure as heck wouldn't miss last 9 years of my life for the world. And no one will convince me that DSD would have been better off if her dad was lonely.

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#26 of 61 Old 10-22-2009, 10:47 PM
 
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Instead of us explaining it to you, why dont you explain it to us why you think its such a bad idea and doomed from the start?
(not snarky, real question)

Eta: I agree with you Oriole!
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#27 of 61 Old 10-22-2009, 11:06 PM
 
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Why get involved with someone with a disability or chronic health issue, given all of the money and medical issues?

Why get involved with someone of a different race or of the same gender, given the societal issues of doing so?

Why get involved with someone who doesn't drive or works for minimum wage or still lives with their parents, given the social stigma?


Every relationship has its difficulties. If I ruled out everyone who came with baggage--be it from a past relationship, present challenge, intrinsic quality, whatever--I'd be single for the rest of my life.

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Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
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#28 of 61 Old 10-22-2009, 11:18 PM
 
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Well, since you are starting the thread and posting questions - I am only trying to answer them. I'm guessing you started the thread to get a perspective, and perspective is what I have to offer.

Why not deal with the fall out alone? I actually do believe that jumping into a relationship too soon is not a good thing, but it doesn't mean waiting 18 years until the kids are off in college, kwim? DP separated when DSD was 2, and the divorce agreement was settled when she was 4. How long do you think he should be alone? 14-16 years?

By "concentrating on emotional well being" you mean isolating yourself from any potential life long partnership?

By "concentrating on health" you mean living alone, and pulling all of the responsibilities of parenting and work alone?

By "concentrating on finances" you mean paying $700 in child support and not being able to afford a place of your own for the following 16 years? Paying rent, insurances, and every bill that comes your way on your own?

By "extra kids" you mean siblings? DSD loves hers on her mom's part. I sure hope she doesn't think of them as dead weight. They are people that enrich her life, and teach her lessons. I hope she has the same to offer to the little ones that DP and I will have one day.

By "not risking another mopping up" you mean avoiding any relationships for the fear of failing? Again, 50% sounds pretty high to me. Sounds like a bad idea to begin with, not just the second time around, kwim. Why not ask then "why get married at all? why have kids at all? 1/2 of you are going to fail anyway. Why put future children through the heartache?

I hope you can see it from a different point of view. I am not willing to admit that DP and I should not have gotten into the relationship, or that DSD would benefit from me being out of the picture.

Here is what I believe: people should not take marriage commitment lightly. When you say "I DO", you better mean "I DO". People should not taking moving in lightly. When you decide to move in with someone when the kids are involved, you better know that person. But to say that relationships shouldn't exist?.. Well, I sure as heck wouldn't miss last 9 years of my life for the world. And no one will convince me that DSD would have been better off if her dad was lonely.
Yeah that.
I tend to think that if you go into something anticipating failure, you will often fail.
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#29 of 61 Old 10-23-2009, 03:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My view is that it's not a bad idea but that I personally would be very hestitant for all the reasons I listed. I totally get all the good things a new relationship can bring, it just would scare the crapola out of me to go into a new relationship with all the extra things. If a first marriage fails 50% of the time and it happened to me, then *I* would be highly reluctant to go into a 2nd marriage with the odds against it succeeding being 2 out of 3. The added issues of step kids, custody, exes, blending etc to *me* make it seem really tough. I would hope to be the one who makes it but even with the best of intentions I am not sure I'd want to put my kids through a second marriage break up with the stats/reality being that way.
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#30 of 61 Old 10-23-2009, 03:52 AM
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I guess I should go upstairs and let DH know that marrying a divorcee with kids was a bad idea. Obviously, our great relationship is just a sham.
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