Is divorce an option? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Is divorce an option when you're having problems in your marriage?
Yes 164 49.10%
No 170 50.90%
Voters: 334. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-13-2005, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've noticed in a lot of threads here, when women post about problems with their dh, many who respond suggest leaving/divorcing the dh. This is usually suggested as the solution "if he doesn't change," or "if things don't improve." Although I sometimes see other suggestions, this seems to be very common and I am frankly quite surprised.
I know this is not always true of others, but for me, when I got married, I made a COMMITMENT. I understand that there will be hard times, even times when it seems that nothing will ever improve, but I work to get through those times. Divorce is not an option for me.
Is it for you?
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Old 05-13-2005, 01:37 PM
 
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Thanks for the poll and thread.
I voted.
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Old 05-13-2005, 01:48 PM
 
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abac,

while I appreciate your poll, I think your answer might affect the results. The judgement comes through that you think anyone who answers "Yes" is somehow less committed than you. I answered yes. Although I made a commitment when I got married, part of that commitment involved two people making each other happy. If we reach a point in our marriage at which we can no longer make each other happy, then I think we have to reconsider our commitment. We also have a small child's well being to consider. And if we are providing her with a negative example of marriage, then we need to reconsider.

There are many, many instances in which divorce is actually the better option for couples, and for children. I don't mean to suggest that couples should run to the lawyer at first hint of problem. Of course, they should attempt to work through their problems, and seek counseling. But, if all else fails, I find it very pointless to stick it through just because of some abstract idea of commitment. Life is way too short to hang on to a failed marriage that is making at least two, and maybe more people very miserable.

Of course the best case scenario is that the couple works it out. But, it's also okay to say "this just isn't working."

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Old 05-13-2005, 01:48 PM
 
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DP & I agree there are a few reasons to consider a divorce. Primary being abuse of the children. Other than that, we would mostly work it out. Of course, both of us are very open to the idea of individuals and couple's therapy, so that is one issue right there.

 

 

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Old 05-13-2005, 01:56 PM
 
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I don't think divorce is a first choice if you are just having "problems". I think when you get married you make a commitment to try to work thru issues as they arise. However if those problems continue to grow and cannot be resolved and both parties have tried to no avail than absolutely divorce is an option.

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Old 05-13-2005, 02:01 PM
 
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Never a realistic option for me. Though there have been times when I've thought about it. But short of abuse, it won't be happening.
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Old 05-13-2005, 02:54 PM
 
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I don't think it can be answered by a simple yes or no. There are situations when I'd definitely get a divorce - adultery, serious substance abuse, a long prison term, domestic violence, sexual abuse, other criminal behavior...divorce would be one of my first options in these cases.

I used to believe that anytime someone was not happy they should get a divorce. Before we got married, I told dh that if it didn't work out we could just get a divorce. I no longer think of that as acceptable, at least not for me. I think divorce is messed up. I made a commitment and I think as long as nothing on the above list is happening, I should stick with it.
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Old 05-13-2005, 03:25 PM
 
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I voted "no", with the qualification that I am talking about my marriage, to my husband. When I read about other people's marriages, I am often thinking--"GET OUT!!!"

I know my husband well, and barring some tragic head injury, I just can not imagine him ever doing any of the things I would consider grounds for divorce (abuse, mostly). I would divorce over habitual adultery, but, again, I can not imagine dh ever doing that. I can imagine him, once over the course of our life together, screwing up and having an affair....but I would not divorce over a single affair.
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Old 05-13-2005, 03:35 PM
 
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i voted yes by accident I meant to vote no. I think that divorce isnt necessarily an option (of course this is for me). Separation is, being apart is. I dont want o be married to any one else and If I mess this one up i dont plan on trying again.

I think (hope) IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT abuse of anykind is grounds for anything a woman needs to do.
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Old 05-13-2005, 03:57 PM
 
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Quote:
There are many, many instances in which divorce is actually the better option for couples, and for children. I don't mean to suggest that couples should run to the lawyer at first hint of problem. Of course, they should attempt to work through their problems, and seek counseling. But, if all else fails, I find it very pointless to stick it through just because of some abstract idea of commitment.
:

Having lived with two parents who "stayed together for the kids" I know about this firsthand- I went through years of therapy because of the screwed up view of love and marriage I got from seeing my parents daily interaction. No there was no major issue- no abuse, etc but they just stopped loving each other, they didn't spend time together, they just didn't care for each other. It took me so long to realize marriage doesn' have to be like that- I was totally opposed to any sort of commitment for a long time.


I totally believe in trying to work out the problems and work through trying times, but there are some things that I know I am not capable or willing to working through (namely adultery)- and because I can't, rather than stay in a cold, loveless marriage I would divorce.

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Old 05-13-2005, 04:00 PM
 
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I admit that I think about it when we are having a really rough time. It's not that I don't want to give the effort to make things work, but sometimes I think there might be someone better for my husband. Maybe there is someone that would make him happier. I wish these thoughts never occured to me, but coming from divorced parents I guess the possiblity is in my mind.
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Old 05-13-2005, 04:01 PM
 
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I voted no.. And I don't know of anything that would make me divorce my husband.. I told his mother very straight faced.. And dh too.. That I would SEE HIM DEAD before I would divorce him.. And I most assuredly feel it.. The only things that would make me divorce my husband are things soo awful that if I found he was doing them he would meet with an untimely end.

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Old 05-13-2005, 04:02 PM
 
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I wouldn't stay in a cold loveless marriage...but I think a lot of the time people divorce when the marriage is just not fun and exciting. Also, one big reason I hear people give for divorce is that they later decided they wanted to marry someone with whom they could talk about their career! OK, I'm not a big career woman so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about...but I can't imagine leaving the father of my children so I can talk about work with someone else!
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Old 05-13-2005, 04:15 PM
 
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I voted no but the issue I cannot work with is cheating.
that is my "do not pass go, do not collect $200"
I won't do the physical violence either or total lack of love or respect.
I do hear many constantly complaining about their spouses & I have to wonder what's that about? i mean, they never have anything nice to say about their DH/DP/SO & that can't be a good sign either.

I believe most other things can be worked thru.

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Old 05-13-2005, 04:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greaseball
There are situations when I'd definitely get a divorce - adultery, serious substance abuse, a long prison term, domestic violence, sexual abuse, other criminal behavior...divorce would be one of my first options in these cases.
I am not flaming you Greaseball....
However....I have been through two of these very serious issues in my marriage....
We worked our butts off to get through these issues and continue to do maintenance so they don't happen again.

I think it is really hard when one hasn't been through these types of issues to assume they "know" what they would do....
For example, I can't seem to understand domestic violence at all. I know all about it, etc.....the warning signs, why people stay, etc....
But for me...no way in hell I would stay, esp. with my kids....

It is true to say that it is different for eveyone.

Also...what is considered serious substance abuse? Just wondering....

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Old 05-13-2005, 04:55 PM
 
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I'm with Twilight Girl. I have made a committment to my husband and he to me. However, without being able to see into the future, I cannot tell you exactly what my options are. Assuming no major breech of "contract", then most every issue is worth working out. Luckily I have a lovely man with whom working it out is quite easy.

That being said, I've noticed lately that when I have major PMS, I seem to swallow the words "I want a divorce" a whole lot. They are on my tongue (possibly because he forgot to unload the dishwasher) and I make myself swallow them because I know deep down that I'm being a little (or a LOT!!!) irrational. :LOL
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Old 05-13-2005, 05:19 PM
 
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I would like to vote no, but it would be an option to me if there was sexual, physical or verbal abuse going on or an affair. Everything else we could work thru, but the rest are deal breakers.
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Old 05-13-2005, 07:07 PM
 
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Divorce is 100% called for in certain situations.

I, too, am a victim of my parents staying together for the sake of the children. It was no bed of roses. I had no idea what a good relationship was. My sister and I had no idea how to interact with one another because our parents did not set an example.

If you are not happy in your relationship and have truly exhausted all avenues of working it out then you should get out of the marraige. It is not fair to yourself or to your partner. Staying in a bad marraige is because you made a commitment is, in my opinion, not the smart thing to do. Commitment is a 2 way street. If you are the only one committed to the relationship then eventually you end up as a bitter, angry person. That is not what commitment is about.

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Old 05-13-2005, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
I know this is not always true of others, but for me, when I got married, I made a COMMITMENT. I understand that there will be hard times, even times when it seems that nothing will ever improve, but I work to get through those times. Divorce is not an option for me.
Is it for you?

That is exactly how I feel and divorce is not a FIRST option...key word, first...

HOWEVER...

We discussed things in great, great detail before we married and they come up occasionally within the marriage, that are definate *deal breakers* for us...and we both have agreed on them....for instance, abuse of a child (as been mentioned) is a DEAL BREAKER...I am not talking about *oh you yelled once* ... I am talking hitting, sexual abuse...things that cross the line and that I could never *get over*...

Things like adultery, divorce would be considered, but it wouldn't be the first option--it would depend on so many factors...but let me make it clear..IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!! The thing is though, that is the last issue on my mind ya know?

If one of us thought we were gay (hey I watch Oprah :LOL ) ...well, we would probably divorce--no one wants anyone living a lie!! I don't feel that is of any issue either!

Same with drug abuse etc...

The thing is though, I don't ever foresee any of those things ever happening, so while on one hand I can completely say "divorce is NOT an option!!" I only speak in terms of within the confines of our marriage as I know it to be...if you threw in those factors above...it may be an option... make sense??

I honestly though feel that we will never get divorced--it would take something like, AWFUL, I mean like, my husband hitting me or something...which I couldn't see EVER!!!
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Old 05-13-2005, 08:09 PM
 
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I said no although long term seperation until some problems are solved is an option for us. there are certain things I will not stand for (abuse, infedelity and substance abuse) and feel that time away until partner decided to heal might be the best option if tey are not ready to work on it. But it would not be liscence to move on. just space to work. And saftey for all parties involved.

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Old 05-13-2005, 08:53 PM
 
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Divorce was NEVER an option for me; I commited for life. Alas, my now-ex-husband felt differently... :LOL

I don't mean (just) to be flippant, but to point out that often a woman doesn't have the choice of whether to divorce.

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Old 05-13-2005, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twilight girl
while I appreciate your poll, I think your answer might affect the results. The judgement comes through that you think anyone who answers "Yes" is somehow less committed than you.
Well, first, I don't think my answer affected the results since more have answered "yes" than "no." I absolutely am not judging anyone; I am merely posing a question. And I wouldn't say that those who voted "yes" are less commited than me, just that they have a different commitment than I do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by twilight girl
Although I made a commitment when I got married, part of that commitment involved two people making each other happy.
See, this is the difference. This is a conditional commitment. There is NOTHING wrong with that if that's what both partners want. However, when I got married, I made a commitment without conditions attached. I honestly am not judging and find it very interesting to see how other people feel about this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greaseball
I don't think it can be answered by a simple yes or no. There are situations when I'd definitely get a divorce - adultery, serious substance abuse, a long prison term, domestic violence, sexual abuse, other criminal behavior...divorce would be one of my first options in these cases.
Well, that would be a "yes." I noticed that a few people voted "no" then listed the things that they would divorce over. The reason I didn't list an option saying "it depends" is because I want to know if people would consider divorce AT ALL. Because, for me, it is not an option AT ALL.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama
I voted "no", with the qualification that I am talking about my marriage, to my husband...I know my husband well, and barring some tragic head injury, I just can not imagine him ever doing any of the things I would consider grounds for divorce
This is how I feel too. And if by some stretch of the imagination dh DID do something awful, (cheating, abuse) this would be an indication to me that something awful is going on with him, that he is not "himself," and that more than any other time he needs my love and support, not abandonment. Lilyka, your post pretty much sums up how I feel about it.
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Old 05-14-2005, 01:13 AM
 
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divorce was not an option when I married my first husband. I stayed way too long, trying to fix something that was never fixable.

Yes, divorce is totally an option if I ever find myself or my children in an abusive situation, whether it's physical, emotional, or spiritual abuse. No, I do not think for one second that my current DH would ever do anything like that (or I'd never have married him to begin with), but IF he did, yes, I'd leave him. Nobody ever gets married thinking, "well, I can always divorce him if it gets too bad" Nobody ever thinks their significant other is going to bust out a window with their head (for example), but it happens, all the time, to all sorts of people, unfortunately.
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Old 05-14-2005, 02:03 AM
 
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Oh most definately divorce is an option. I made a commitment, and I absolutely intend and hope to be married to my husband we are parted by death... but life is messy and crap happens. While I wouldn't run out and get divorced because we are arguing or due to some rough patch, I would get a divorce if I felt the circumstances dictated it. Some of those circumstances would be:
*Abuse from my spouse to me or my children. Verbal, physical etc. Not cool, not ok, not ever. I would hope that he could get some help for it, but I am not sure I could ever "be" with him again.

*Serious narcotic/alcohol addiction. I would likely do a lengthy seperation (being there to support them however I could) while they worked on getting clean and sober. If they didn't get clean I simply couldn't stay in the marriage.

*Serious illegal activity.

These are just the first things that pop to mind. I married to be in a loving, respectful, emotionally healthy partnership with the person I want to spend my life with. If my marriage became cold, frightening, unsafe, or otherwise damaging I would leave it.

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Old 05-14-2005, 02:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greaseball
I don't think it can be answered by a simple yes or no. There are situations when I'd definitely get a divorce - adultery, serious substance abuse, a long prison term, domestic violence, sexual abuse, other criminal behavior...divorce would be one of my first options in these cases.


. I made a commitment and I think as long as nothing on the above list is happening, I should stick with it.

:

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Old 05-14-2005, 06:42 AM
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Because, for me, it is not an option AT ALL.
I have a hard time believing that if you walked in on your husband RAPING one of your children you would do this:

Quote:
something awful, (cheating, abuse) this would be an indication to me that something awful is going on with him, that he is not "himself," and that more than any other time he needs my love and support, not abandonment.
(emphasis mine)

You say you husband would never do that, and I am sure he wouldn't, but you keep making big proclamations that you would stay through ANYTHING and divorce is not an option AT ALL...

Sorry, things like child rape and beating me are things I couldn't *love* my husband through....so if that makes my marriage a "conditional" one, then so be it.

If you would stay through that, well, I would be breaking MDC rules if I said what I *really* thought of that...
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Old 05-14-2005, 09:29 AM
 
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: I would also really like to know if the OP would consider divorce an option if her dh hit or sexually molested her child (or someone else's).

I very much admire a strong commitment to marriage; I am very strongly committed to my marriage but since both dh and I have parents who divorced to get out of bad marriages I also see the benefits to divorcing IF YOU DO IT RIGHT. I hope if my dh and I ever get divorced we do it right - i.e. no huge bitter recriminations and blaming the other person in front of the kids. I know people who are better co-parents divorced than married.

My parents never should have gotten married in the first place. They certainly shouldn't have stayed married for 33 freakin' years "for the kids" (really, more like apathy interspersed with passive aggressiveness and emotional abuse). As with some PPs, it didn't do a whole lot for me and my sisters to grow up in that kind of dysfunctional household. It has been very difficult for me to be in a committed marriage with my dh because of the patterns I imprinted on from my parents' marriage.

I would say to any woman (or man) who wants to stay married in a bad marriage for the sake of the kids - make very, very sure you are doing what is actually best for your kids, and that you're not martyring yourself and them to some ideal of "commitment no matter what" at the expense of love, happiness, communication, and self-respect.

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Old 05-14-2005, 11:36 AM
 
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I'm fairly offended at the wording of some of these posts, but I'll chalk it up to ignorance. (by ignorance, I mean simply the dictionary definition: The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed.)

I used to say that I'd kill my husband before I divorced him. My parents were (and are) still married and I meant for better or worse, and all the other vows. We had three children together and had gone through the wringer.

Until, that is, everything I thought I knew about my husband, shattered. First I found out he was cheating on me. Still I stayed. Then I found out it wasn't the first time. Still I stayed. The verbal abuse escalated. Still I stayed. He threatened to smash my computer. Still I stayed. He raped me one night as our children slept in the other rooms upstairs. Still I stayed. He chased our kittens around one morning threatening to snap their necks, crush their skull. And everything changed in the space of a one minute phone call. About an hour and a half later I got a phone call from the school My 7 year old son was crying at school because he was afraid that "daddy was going to kill my kittens." I reassured him that daddy had not caught the kittens or killed them.

It was a shattering realignment of my viewpoint. How in the WORLD could I allow my children to grow up with a man that would do that to them? My husband came home from work an hour later to pick something he forgot up. I told him to get out. And I never looked back.

Later I found out that the adultery was ongoing. And that he had been accused by a 15 year old client (he was a probation officer) of forcing her to perform sexual acts. I also realized that the "infection" i had had two years before wasn't just a yeast infection. The one that spread into PID. THe one that brought me withing ONE WEEK of a hysterectomy. Chlamydia wasn't just some bug I happened to get. My husband had given me a STD. Yes, I really WAS that naive.

Basically I found out that he had been pretending to be a different person than he was. He was a deputy sheriff, then a probation officer. He was very involved in martial arts and talked about "honor" all the time. I honestly believed he'd never cheat on me.

I hope you never find out what its like to see the last 10 years of your life dissolve into dust. I hope you never have to realize that the man you loved, the man with whom you bore three children NEVER EVEN EXISTED.

So, 8 years ago, I'd have agreed with. I married "for better or worse" dangit. I knew my husband. Right? Seven years ago it was 2 weeks after I kicked him out. Three and a half years ago, I remarried to a REAL man.
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Old 05-14-2005, 11:37 AM
 
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I would divorce my husband if he started acting like his father -- "the man is the head of the household and gets his orders directly from Jesus Christ."

And I'd take my dd and run like hell.
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Old 05-14-2005, 12:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twilight girl
abac,

while I appreciate your poll, I think your answer might affect the results. The judgement comes through that you think anyone who answers "Yes" is somehow less committed than you. I answered yes. Although I made a commitment when I got married, part of that commitment involved two people making each other happy. If we reach a point in our marriage at which we can no longer make each other happy, then I think we have to reconsider our commitment. We also have a small child's well being to consider. And if we are providing her with a negative example of marriage, then we need to reconsider.

There are many, many instances in which divorce is actually the better option for couples, and for children. I don't mean to suggest that couples should run to the lawyer at first hint of problem. Of course, they should attempt to work through their problems, and seek counseling. But, if all else fails, I find it very pointless to stick it through just because of some abstract idea of commitment. Life is way too short to hang on to a failed marriage that is making at least two, and maybe more people very miserable.

Of course the best case scenario is that the couple works it out. But, it's also okay to say "this just isn't working."

Judi


I agree. I went into my marriage with the full commitment. Then I slowly realized how toxic C and I were to each other, especially during the good times, when we both should have been happy. We tried EVERYTHING, including some things I'm none too proud of {not of a sexual nature or anything, just general stuff I wouldn't normally do/advocate} but have now reached a point where even the open concept we were considering may or may not work out. So for now we've called it quits. He's still one of my best friends, one of the greatest loves of my life, and we will likely as not live in the same home until the girls are out of school, {high school} and T has asked him to be Em's godfather {T is our girls' godfather, has been Bug's since she was born, last summer we asked him to take over as Kait's as well since her godfather has become rather much an agnostic} Things are better now, the stress relief that is evident in both of us is amazing. And there is a peace knowing that we will always be there for each other, but not have to be responsible for each other {well, I'm still responsible for him, but that's not his doing, just the way things happen}

There are many reasons for divorce. I am going against everything I was raised to believe in saying so, but there are. Spousal abuse of any sort, child abuse {though in my opinion there should be a justifiable homicide certification not a divorce on that one} religious differences, or anything that puts undue stress on either party or the minors.....
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