Did you grow up with two homes-Did you regret your parents divorce? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-21-2009, 02:02 PM
 
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I have experience with two divorces.

The first was bio dad and mom. It was a giant, complete and total relief when he left. Its not that he was awful. He was not abusive just completely disenaged, selfish and not interested in being a husband or father. Money issues created a huge amount of stress in the household.

No jumping household issues because he was more concerned about doing his thing than visitation.

She kicked him out, we lived better mentally and physically, on my mom's income alone than when they were married. I often think about this when I see posts about not being able to financially do it as a single parent.

Fast forward, Mom remarries and step-dad becomes my true Dad in every way. They divorced when I was well into my 30s and it was so awful in so many ways. It destroyed our family. It was like a death.

There is plenty of blame to go around but the biggest issue for me is my mom could have enacted positive change years ago but choose to "not rock the boat" because it was easier for her.

She sees herself, 100%, as the victim. I don't. Sometimes I have don't have a lot of respect for her and I struggle with that.

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Old 09-21-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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My parents seperated when I was 4 and divorced when I was 5. My father was mentally and physically abusive to my mother and brother.

While I absolutely hated my childhood and the going back and forth, it would have been much, much worse if my mother had not divorced him. If my father was a better man, it wouldn't have been so bad. But, then they wouldn't have divorced.

In the end, I think you have to be somewhat happy to be a good mom to the LOs, yk?

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Old 09-21-2009, 03:31 PM
 
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and when i read the sentiment, i wish m parents had split, rather than stay together," i think it lets the parents off the hook a little bit.
Are children responsible for keeping their parents on the hook? I don't think so.

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Old 09-21-2009, 09:10 PM
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My dh's parents divorced when he was 14. They really put him in the middle. As in, his mother saying, "Ask your dad for the support check when you go over there."
That was hard on him. Oh, and the fact that he met his dad's new girlfriend (now wife) for the first time when he went on a Christmas vacation with his dad to Mexico. It was SUPPOSED to be just him and his dad. But this "strange" woman AND her kids showed up, too. That was stressful for him because he hadn't met her/them before.

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Old 09-21-2009, 09:16 PM
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My parents divorcedn when I was 17. Divorcing earlier would have made little to no difference; they were both emotional cripples before and after it took place. The divorce itself truly showed me some things about my parents, such as how they put themselves as individuals first when it came to many things, which was pretty destructive to our emotional health as kids and as adults. It was also a royal pain in the ass after they divorced since it meant schlepping between homes, especially at Christmas. I hated Christmas for many years because of that.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:48 AM
 
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Haven't read the replies . . .

My parents separated when I was about 4, but didn't get legally divorced until I was more like 9 or 10. They tried the groovy co-habitating thing for awhile but it didn't work out.

I had a total nightmare experience, but it wasn't because my parents were divorced or because I lived in two separate houses. It was because they turned the divorce into a neverending nightmare. Not speaking to each other, talking badly about each other, court battles that never ended, putting us in the middle, etc. etc. Every way they could screw up a divorce, they did. They were in and out of court for, I am not kidding, over 20 years, over nothing more than trying to make the other one's life miserable. (Well, this was really more my dad's agenda than my mom's but she had her own screw ups). Duplicate holidays, duplicate birthdays, guilt guilt guilt. They weren't in the same room together until the rehearsal dinner for my wedding when I was 26, and at my wedding my dad refused to take a family portrait if my mom was in it. It tainted not only my entire childhood but my young adulthood as well.

I can't describe how much it sucked. If they had simply gotten divorced, and been civil, everything would have been fine. So, there is getting divorced, and then there is HOW you get divorced, and it's a world of difference.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:55 AM
 
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My actual biological parents' divorce was great. I was sad at first, but it happened when I was just 4, so I got used to having two separate homes pretty fast. It made it easier that they lived in the same town, too. But they got along great, which was the most important thing. That really determined how everything was going to go.

I only wish my parents had divorced their subsequent spouses as soon and as cleanly!

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Old 09-22-2009, 03:15 AM
 
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I'm so glad my mom left my dad. She was able to get herself together. He never did. We had one home, with my mom, while my dad floated around in his own cloud of self-pity and abuse. Too bad for him! They didn't get along but my mom let him have his own relationship with us and never spoke badly of him until much later, when he got into harder drugs when we were in our teens. She wanted to warn us in case he asked for support, that he was an addict.

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Old 09-22-2009, 03:40 AM
 
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So glad my parents divorced - they separated when I was 4 and the divorce took a long time to complete. It would have been hell to grow up in a house with my parents together. Our lifestyle took a huge dive, but it was well worth it. I am certain my happiness, and my brother's, played no part in their decision to stay together or split. I hated going between two houses, even though we only saw our dad every other weekend. But, it was better than all living together.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:35 PM
 
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I think an important distinguishing factor is whether or not the parents live in the same city. If kids can easily arrange to see the same friends at either house, that's easier.

No, not necessarily. My parents lived within a couple of miles of each other most of the time I was growing up. But my father's house what not a house to bring friends to. Even if I wanted to (and I would have rather died) he wouldn't have allowed it.

On top of that, dad's time was supposed to be time WITH HIM! Not time with my friends. And since it was HIS time activities had to be scheduled around it. The thought being he saw me so little (three days a week at one point- Tuesday into Wednesday and every weekend) that it could not be interrupted by other things.

So for me, an important distinguishing factor is not just that parents are close, but that the children are able to have a childhood and all their free time isn't used up visiting either parent.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:11 AM
 
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All I can say is be honest with yourself and your child. I too had a mom who never spoke a bad thing about my dad. Dad was a mean, suspicious man but as it turned out, dear old mom was torturing him while she was trying to decide what she wanted. She thought my dad's family had money. They dated for a few months and after a night of heavy drinking she told him HE PROPOSED to her and then insisted they go shopping for a ring. Yes, the family owned their own business but there was no big money. When the truth came out, she wasn't too happy but Dad worked really hard to help her keep up with the Joneses but when an old flame (a wealthy old flame) came back into the picture, dear old dad was useless to her. She was the picture perfect mom to us, the victim, etc. Dad was desperate, he would have done anything just to keep our family together. At one point, she asked him to buy "us" a new home in an affluent town but the kicker was he would have to live in the basement. He almost went for it just so he could be with me and my brothers. She was clever, she let us 'hear' certain arguments, witness certain behaviors and of course, as children and young adults we took her side, we thought he was a maniac and for years I didn't speak to him because of it. Long story short, her 'rich' new husband turned out to be a cheat and they divorced after a year. I lost many, many years with my father because I was manipulated into thinking he was something he wasn't. I will never get those years back and I will never be able to undo the hurt I inflicted on him by making him pay for mistreating my mother. My dad is a good person, yes he has his shortcomings just like anyone else but he was hurting and fearful when my mother was trying to decide whether she wanted money or a family so of course his actions seemed extreme. I don't think I will ever forgive her for not only removing my father from my home but then letting us believe for a long, long time that he was a selfish, controlling, sneaky man. To think he was willing to spend the rest of his life with HER
R just so he could be with his children is an act of selflessness in itself. Am I glad they divorced? No but I can't even imagine what kind of life we would have had because of who she was. At least I know my father loved me.....I think my mom only cared about herself.
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:05 AM
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So for me, an important distinguishing factor is not just that parents are close, but that the children are able to have a childhood and all their free time isn't used up visiting either parent.
Yeah, that's kind of what I meant, too.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:37 AM
 
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I didn't exactly grow up in two homes. My parents split when I was in high school. But we hoped they would sooner. See we, my mom, 7 siblings and I, grew up in a house where we were constantly in fear of the next manhandling session. So it would have been nicer for my dad to get out of the house earlier rather than later. Sure there were some issues for my younger siblings once the two house thign happened, but it's far different and better than living in a constant state of fear.

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Old 11-18-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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and when i read the sentiment, i wish m parents had split, rather than stay together," i think it lets the parents off the hook a little bit.
Are children responsible for keeping their parents on the hook? I don't think so.


I think parents should always be on the hook. A kid doesn't ask to be born. And my friends who grew up between houses are all divorced now in their adult lives. It's pretty tragic.

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Old 11-18-2010, 02:10 PM
 
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I regret my parent's divorce. It made our lives harder, not easier. Still does. I have several friends who are getting a divorce right now, and I feel bad for their children. I keep it to myself though...

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Old 11-18-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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Hi... I was hoping to hear from adults that grew up with two homes, meaning their parents divorced sometime in their childhood. Did you regret their divorce? Or did you think it was probably the best thing they did? When you became old enough to understand, did you appreciate your parents thinking about your happiness?

I'd just like some real feedback from adults who have lived it. I have heard various stories...

If you hated and regretted it... why? Could they have done anything differently to make it better or easier on you?

Thanks for sharing.

I don't remember my parents being married. My Dad cheated on my mother while she was pregnant with me, talked her into mortgaging the home SHE owned free and clear (given to her by grandparents), took the money and took off, filed for divorce and married my step-mother before I was 6 months old. I didn't know ANY of this growing up though... I just found out within the last 4 years. That being said, No, I never wished that they would have stayed together. Maybe because I never "knew" them together but never once have I been able to picture my father and mother together. They are COMPLETE and utter opposites. I can not imagine them EVER getting along, certainly not 10 years and enough to make 2 children but apparently, they did. I'm sure they did the best thing because their lives are now in complete opposites of each other. I don't think they EVER could have been happy together. From what I have heard, it was a constant argument with him picking on her for every choice she made and her loathing him for every choice he made.

 

I actually had it pretty easy growing up. Despite their hate for one another, they co-parented pretty decently. I always knew my mom disliked him strongly but she always stood up for him when I was upset with him. She always encouraged us to have a relationship with him and she always kept her dislike under wraps. As I got older and learned more about the man my father was, I formed my own opinions. My Mom had very little to do with those opinions.  I never minded living in 2 homes... I actually liked it because of 2 of EVERY holiday and birthdays!


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Old 11-18-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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Dh's parents stayed married (they'll celebrate 40 years in November) but he and his siblings (all four of them) have often said that it would have been easier if they divorced. Their parents always fought. MIL talks down to FIL constantly and yells at him all the time too. Even my 4-year-old has picked up on it and doesn't enjoy going to family things because "Grandma is going to yell at Grandpa a lot."

Just wanted to give you that point of view.
This is kind of what spurred the question...

My parents have now been together 30 years... and often I have wished my Mom would have left when she'd gone on about it...

But I guess I'm wondering if this is one of those "grass is always greener on the other side" kind of things...

Kids always wishing whatever situation they are in was the other way. What does anyone think about that?


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Old 11-18-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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I was a newborn when my parents split for the first time (six weeks old) and hated that I was the weird kid in school, hated that we were poor and dirty.  But I never really had a since of what it would be like if my parents were together.  I knew I wouldn't be an automatic out cast and knew we would have more money.  But what I hated most of all was visiting my dad.  When I had a school break or something I wanted to hang out with my friends and have fun.  Not be shipped to a strange place with no friends, no church, no fun. It made me really resent my dad.  and here he thought he was creating great bonding experiences for us.  but he was so busy being entitled to my time that he didn't notice how much he was hurting my social life (which was fragile at best) and making me resent him for stealing what little free time I had.


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Old 11-21-2010, 01:02 PM
 
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My parents divorced when I was 3 so really my only memory is of them being apart.  My dad remarried when I was 6 and my mum when I was 16.  I was very fortunate that my step-mum and step-dad are amazing people and are much better suited for my parents.  I cannot even imagine why mum and dad got married when I saw who they became as adults & parents.  However, they were married very young (mum was 18, had her first kid by 20) and still had a lot of growing up to do. 

 

I never regretted my parents divorce.  I am so thankful they made the adult decision to be happy apart rather than miserable together. 

 

I also think it really shaped how I entered relationships.  I didn't settle for someone who made me unhappy, I knew I was worthy of happiness and love. 


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Old 11-21-2010, 01:38 PM
 
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I think parents should always be on the hook. A kid doesn't ask to be born. And my friends who grew up between houses are all divorced now in their adult lives. It's pretty tragic.

 

You know... I think about this often.  But my mom's parents were married happily until the death of my grandfather when they were old.  And ALL her brothers and sisters were divorced at least once, several of them, several times!  They all said it was because they couldn't replicate their parents' natural ease with one another.

 

And I guess when I think, would I rather have my kids divorced or in a marriage like mine?  It would be divorced, for sure.  A million times over.  Yes, I'm a child of divorce and I thought I'd never get divorced.  That was partly because I had *no clue* what marriage looked like, and how to solve problems in marriage.  I thought you could just discuss it and it would be resolved.  Or that both partners would be equally committed to staying together, and willing to make sacrifices and changes.  That you could find room in the middle.  But usually divorce happens because one party just cannot compromise.  And it might be you: you don't know your limits until you hit them.  I had never said no as much as I have in this marriage, and it's sickening.  If only I'd do what he wanted when he asked, it would all be fine!  But I can't.  Or if only he would stop asking and form realistic boundaries.  :(  If only I didn't mind the yelling, if I could just accept it.  Or if only he could stop.  But we really cannot change.

 

It never occurred to me that I could make such a poor choice of a spouse!

 

Unless you have great taste in a partner and know how to choose someone that will respect you and continue to act like a decent person (apparently I don't), there's really no point even trying.  Because eventually you are going to get sick of getting sh*t upon and leave.  Either your partner is a decent human being, or s/he is not and you can't change that, and no amount of counseling or trying or "sticking it out" is going to change that.

 

Of course, young people will never believe this, so there's no point telling them!

 

But I sincerely think I'd rather live in a house with one happy person than two miserable people.


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Old 11-21-2010, 05:29 PM
 
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My parents split when I was 15 an my brother was 17. It was *not* a surprise - they'd fought off and on and talked seriously about divorce at least twice before but somehow or other worked it out. But anyhow. The thing that was awful (and for which I still, 11 yrs later, resent and hate my mother for) was that she (my mother) did not think twice about what I would like, or my feelings. Her whole entire world became making my dad miserable. As such, I only got to see him every other weekend for two years (till I got the guts up to move in w/ him when I was 17), and whenever she was home she did nothing but mope and groan around the house talking to her 'friends' about how nasty, mean and evil my dad was and how she had done *EVERYTHING* right and he had done *EVERYTHING* wrong in their marriage and he was just evil and blah, blah, blah. I even asked her once or twice 'you always told us it takes two to tango - two people to fight. So why is this different" - to which she had no response besides "it just is!" So, don't do that. Don't focus all your efforst on making your former spouse miserable and taking out much of your anger at him/her on your child (perhaps even w/o really meaning to). Just don't. 11 yrs later, and I'm still pissed at my mom for what my life was like for those 2 yrs, and the following year when I lived w/ dad but still had to see her occasionally while she lived in our house. She made my life a living hell for 2yrs. And has no regrets for it. From what I've heard, keeping my dad from being happy is still a continued goal of hers. So yeah. 

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Old 11-21-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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I'm not sure if I resent the divorce or not.  My Dad's recent death brought up a bunch of weird feelings. (like resenting my Mom for not trying harder to make it work)

 

What I definitely resent, is the psychotic biatch my Dad married.  She is mean and evil.  She really (even still) has affected me and brother.

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Old 11-21-2010, 10:05 PM
 
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My parents divorced when I was eight. I can now say, at 25, that I do think it was for the best. What I still have issues with, is the way they both handled it. My mother got remarried a year after her and my father split, and had my younger brother the following year. I still remember being in my bed one night, very sad and crying because I missed my dad and my mother coming in and yelling at me to just stop crying. I don't feel like she was very concerned about how I felt, unless I was directing anger at my father. Right around the time my mom got pregnant with my little brother, my dad moved to India for his job. I was not allowed to visit him. He quickly got remarried to a woman who had a daughter a few years younger than me. That stung really bad. He had made a promise to me, that no matter what, he would never move away. I am still waiting for him to come home, or I should say the little girl inside me is. I know now that he never will. I got very sick when I was 11 and my mother told me she wrote my dad begging him to come back home and he refused. I think that was a lie. She told me he had had many affairs and was a horrible liar. He says she lied and had an affair with my step-father when they first separated and he was trying to reconcile. I don't know if I can believe that either. There was emotional abuse on her part, and a lot of broken promises on his. He keeps telling me to not move out of state because he's trying to get transferred back. I worked up the courage to tell him I wasn't going to put my life on hold, waiting for him to 'come home' anymore.

I'm now trying to do my best for my dd while she is going through the visitation issues with her dad and I. I am VERY glad she won't have any memories of when her father and I were together and that she has a FANTASTIC step-daddy in my dh. I've told myself that no matter how many issues I have with her dad that I won't tell her what really happened until she is a full grown adult and stable and only if she asks me. It was like a second divorce all over again when my mom decided to 'tell me the truth about my father' when I was 21. Ugh, I can't write anymore, this is making me too sad :(


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Old 11-22-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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My parents split when I was in the 1st Grade. I never wished they stayed together, and at the same time I never felt "relief" that they split. It was what it was. I was not traumatized by it. I had just as much routine and stability after the divorce as I did before. I always knew where I was sleeping.

 

I am all for trying to work it out and staying together while you work on it. But if you can't/won't work things out, I absolutely do not agree with "Staying Together For The Kids". It robs everyone involved of pursuing and experiencing a truly happy life. And yes, I 100% believe many marriage are "unworkable".

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Old 11-22-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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I did not read this whole thread, at all. I just wanted to add my situation to tell you how extremely positive it was for me. I was young enough that I do not remember my parents ever being together, and I am so so so SO SO SO SO so glad that they did it the way they did. They realized they could not make it work in time to not cause me to have to deal with them fighting or ending up with a divorce I would remember. I loved visiting my dad on the weekends, etc. It was just the way my life was, and it was good. I had a good childhood, and I thank my parents regularly (with whom I have good relationships, on both sides) for being adult enough to make that decision. :)


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Old 11-23-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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My parents divorced when I was six. I remember them being happy and that was a great golden time but they were unhappy for awhile before separating and there was lots of yelling and anger. When people asked me at the time how I felt about the divoorce,I said it was a good thing so they would stop yelling at each other. My sis and I spent Sat evening to Th morning at Mom's and The post school to Sat with Dad. The 2 homes had pros and cons:

 

Pro:

They weren't yelling anymore.

We were exposed to 2 very different parenting styles which worked in the end- Mom was very achievement-oriented and expected alot. Dad just wanted us to be happy. The result is both my sis and I pushed ourselves hard enough to get excellent grades and went to one of the best Universities but we also took time to breathe.

We got  to enjoy each parent on their own terms and they really appreciated their time since it was limited.

My sis and I are both well-adjusted and married to committed husbands so we didn't turn out with commitment issues or anything.

 

Con:

Schleping clothes, documents,permission slips back and forth was a pain. Something was always forgotten.

Even now, 30 odd years later, its a pain to have to alot separate but equal time when visiting-separate holiday time etc.-the schleping never ends!

While the different parenting styles worked in the end, there were major issues along the way as each parent doesn't know what the other is doing. One parent had an alcohol and drug problem that we kind of covered for for years. With both parents in one place, an intervention would have happened earlier, I think. Also Mom was constantly monitoring and judging the food we ate with Dad.

I think there is something great for kids about being in the one home with their parents- but this wasnt modelled for me at all in childhood.EVERYONE's parents were divorced.

The worst was Mom insulting and putting Dad down in front of us to friends and family for years and years. This really dammaged our relationship with Dad and made us feel our loyalties were always being tested. I think the parents really need to be adult about the separation and be kind to one another and about one another in front of the kids.

 

Hope this helps. Good luck.

 

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Old 11-23-2010, 05:23 PM
 
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I'm another person whose parents didn't split and in many ways i wish they had.  They were happy, then she got ill.  She was mean after she became ill.  Twisted and manipulative.  It probably wasn't her fault, it probably was a result of oxygen deprivation during heart attacks and her stroke or changes from the chemotherapy and radiotherapy (she had 2 unrelated terminal illnesses).  It was a really hard thing for her to go through for sure, she took it all out on my dad.  She would turn him inside out with her destructive observations.  He was on anti-D's and in therapy for 11 years to keep sane while staying married to her.  He once went to stay with his mum for 6 weeks as his dad had been put into residential nursing care and she needed support for the transition to living alone, she told him not to come back then phoned all her kids and said he'd left her.  I cried wholeheartedly about it then felt quite optimistic.  I called him at gran's and he was shocked to learn he'd left her!  She twisted so many things - she bitched about him so often to me i once said "if it's so bad then stop complaining and leave him" and she later told him "your own CHILD thinks i should leave you!".  It really hurt and damaged him, but i guess i found his loyalty and kindness inspiring too.  He never left her, in the end she died, and he stayed up with her in the Hospice that night, holding her hand and lifting her back into bed when she screamed for her mama and fell out of it.  It has left him incredibly damaged.  I'm glad she had his love right to the end, but i wish it hadn't cost him so much.  She died nearly 6 years ago and he has told me he's too scared to ever get into another relationship in case it happens again (the illness, personality changes and death) or in case it happens to HIM and he puts someone else through it.  It kills me that this sweet, loyal, loving, amazing man is alone because of the damage not leaving did to him.  My mother had been divorced once before.  She stayed for 15 years with a man who beat her in front of her eldest 4 kids and finally walked out when he threw her down stairs and her eldest son saw it and didn't react at all.  She was horrified to think she had allowed them to be witness to it and become so numb to it.

 

So my parents stayed together.  I split from XP though, when DD was 8 weeks old.  She was not a planned baby, she was a cheeky wee surprise.  We would have split whether she came along or not and neither of us regret her or the split.  But then, we are friends.  We fought a lot and couldn't make it work (we tried, but things he couldn't relinquish, like drug use, were not things i could compromise on when we had a baby in the house).  Now we are good friends.  DD does go back and forth, but it is very worked out, very stable, but flexible to her needs.  She doesn't get 2 parties - we have parties together, ditto Christmas (he comes to us in the morning, then we drop him at his folks when we go to MIL and FIL for lunch), we talk daily, we eat together at least once a week, i frequently cook for him (sent him home with soup tonight for example).  I don't know what impact it will have on DD.  How can i?  But there's not a lot i can do about it.  It might make me unbearably selfish or a terrible parent or both, but my long-term unhappiness is not a trade i'm willing to make for my kids stability, and i don't believe it would be a worthwhile one if it was.  Children learn what they live.  I was never going to raise my DD to think love is indifference.  To believe control is a major component of a "good" relationship.  To think sacrifice of everything, even one's happiness, is a necessary expectation of a partner so THEY can be happy.  To think compromise is a one-way thing women do to make men happy.  We are great friends, XP and i, but we were NOT a healthy couple.

 

I'm not too sure on the "morality" of leaving/staying.  I was not and am not married.  I don't believe in a God.  I didn't promise anyone anything.  I believe as a parent i am charged with providing a stable, loving environment for my child and as far as i am concerned i am doing that, it's not a "make-do" situation, i am in another relationship but i was dating this man, who i had known for 5 years before we began dating, for over a year before i let him and DD spend any time together.  I was extremely careful.  I make my choices carefully, i listen to my child, i make changes wherever i see they are needful and i am always open to revisiting things as times change.  Decisions are made with the 3 parents and the kid all having a voice (DD2 will have a voice when she can talk too!).  Overall i like how we all get along.  That it doesn't fit the mould of a different person or society with a different moral code is...irrelevant.  I can't answer for the studies.  I am not a demographic.  I am a person, doing my best with the cards i got dealt.  I'm really proud of myself, of my XP and DH and especially of my little girl.

 

OP unhappiness is not a habit you want to teach your kids?  Is it? :hug

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