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#1 of 31 Old 05-31-2014, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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he-said-he-was-leaving-she-ignored-him

http://theweek.com/article/index/995...he-ignored-him

I read this, and think its amazing. What do you think?
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#2 of 31 Old 05-31-2014, 09:46 AM
 
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I think it's pretty alarming.

Laura Munsun gets to do what she wants to do with her life, including exactly what she did. Her call. But I think her situation is unusual, and I would not advise other people to take this course of action even if they had all the things she did (including what must be really amazing self-control). Munsun was lucky that, in this period, her husband didn't attempt to appropriate marital assets, or make off with the children.

I don't want to hold Munsun up as an example to others, because I think she got really lucky in a situation where she could really have wound up badly hurt.
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#3 of 31 Old 05-31-2014, 10:14 AM
 
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Wow.....I think that is a very positive story. I can only imagine the fear of the unknown would take an enormous amount of faith to overcome.
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#4 of 31 Old 05-31-2014, 10:26 AM
 
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I'm pretty sure that if my husband said, "I don't buy it," when I was telling him about my feelings of unhappiness within our marriage, it would do irrevocable harm.

I understand the premise here, but I really don't think that- for most people- it would wind up with the happily ever after resolution. Really, I don't know that there was resolution here at all, and I am not sure that it was a healthy model to allow the kids to see.

It seems to me the tone wound up being, 'do what you want, we'll continue life without you until you are ready to treat us like family again." I'm not sure I want my kids learning that lesson. I want them to know that they never have to be ignored, discarded, treated like the anchor chain weighing someone down.
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#5 of 31 Old 05-31-2014, 05:31 PM
 
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I think it is a wonderful example of how knowing one's partner and having a solid relationship to begin with can get people through rough times. This strategy worked for Laura because she knew her husband and knew how to respond to his expressed dissatisfaction in a way that would strengthen their marriage. I can't think of a single other relationship I know that that specific strategy would work for, though, and I bet it has backfired on a number of people.

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#6 of 31 Old 05-31-2014, 05:52 PM
 
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I'm more likely to think that this strategy worked for Munsun because her husband made some decisions that worked out in her favor. She took a chance and it worked out. It was a really big risk.

Munsun didn't entirely step into the void, either. She gave the guy six months. What was month seven going to look like if he didn't come around? And it's lucky for her that they each appear to have been capable of being entirely self-supporting. If they'd been at all short of money on either side, she'd have pretty much *had* to file for divorce, because there is no legal mechanism for getting child support from someone you're married to.
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#7 of 31 Old 05-31-2014, 06:13 PM
 
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I found it an interesting story. He sounds very passive aggressive/manipulative. Disengaging and refusing to be manipulated can be dangerous in a verbally abusive marriage, and lead to escalation of abuse (I don't mean to sound like the victim is to blame...not at all). So I can only assume that this man had enough of a conscience to know that, and he just had some growing up to do.

Anyone know how this played out?
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#8 of 31 Old 05-31-2014, 09:49 PM
 
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I think it's really cool that it worked for her, not sure that it'd work so well for me though!
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#9 of 31 Old 06-01-2014, 06:56 AM
 
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Anyone know how this played out?
They're still legally married, and she got a book deal.

No word on whether his good stretch, from November of 2008, held up.
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#10 of 31 Old 06-01-2014, 09:21 AM
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I think the book deal is seriously overkill. She's not the only person to basically ignore a divorce-request and go on living life while the spouse changes his/her mind.
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#11 of 31 Old 06-01-2014, 11:44 AM
 
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I'm curious how her husband and children feel about the book. This is very personal, and she is making it very public. She wasn't willing to "suffer" over his suffering, but she is willing to make money off sharing his weaknesses.

How odd for her children, who no doubt have their own feelings about their father deciding he wanted out of their family, to get to read their mom's version of events.

Taking a "wait and see" approach to marital problems is the norm, not something out of the ordinary. I think it usually ends with one of the spouses finding someone who better meets their emotional or physical needs. I don't think that cheating is such a common cause of divorce as it often seems, I think it is the natural outgrowth of people doing exactly what Munsun did -- doing their best to carry on after their partner just isn't that into the relationship anymore.

May be he did cheat, and she just waited out his other relationship.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#12 of 31 Old 06-02-2014, 10:54 AM
 
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I'm curious how her husband and children feel about the book. This is very personal, and she is making it very public. She wasn't willing to "suffer" over his suffering, but she is willing to make money off sharing his weaknesses.

How odd for her children, who no doubt have their own feelings about their father deciding he wanted out of their family, to get to read their mom's version of events.
She says in articles that her husband is OK with it. I have to say, I'm appalled that she did this to her kids.

Also, someone recommended this book to me right after my husband left me. May I say, even if you LOVE this book.... don't do that. OK?
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#13 of 31 Old 06-07-2014, 10:04 PM
 
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She updated the article, at the very end. They did get a divorce.

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#14 of 31 Old 06-07-2014, 11:21 PM
 
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Thanks for updating. No surprises there. Passive aggressiveness, contempt, stonewalling, non-listening husband...all behaviours that predict divorce. At least it ended amicably. I wonder if the kids will one day write about it too.
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#15 of 31 Old 06-14-2014, 03:54 AM
 
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A relationship between someone who can shut out his entire family, including his children, and someone who dismisses her partners' feelings didn't last? Shocking!

I don't understand her update. Why didn't she just say "Okay, then" and seriously go through with the responsible separation thing? I don't understand why she waited this out as if she were expecting the relationship to continue. There's a difference between not feeding into his tantrum, waiting until he gets to a better headspace so the divorce isn't as nasty, and sounding like when he gets back you intend to continue your relationship. That's why this came off as so ridiculous/judgemental- because a lot of people would have no desire to be with this person after he treated his entire family like this. I know I wouldn't want to spend my life waiting for the other shoe to drop and him to decide to throw another tantrum because it's not like he faces consequences for it anyways.

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#16 of 31 Old 06-16-2014, 11:10 AM
 
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A relationship between someone who can shut out his entire family, including his children, and someone who dismisses her partners' feelings didn't last? Shocking!
She also totally dismissed her kids' feelings. Daddy deciding he doesn't want to be part of THEIR lives was something she could brush off with "daddy is going through a hard time." Seriously? Those kids are just all set up for healthy adult relationships now.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#17 of 31 Old 06-16-2014, 03:33 PM
 
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I also have mixed feelings on her comment about how kids shouldn't be concerned with their parents' happiness. Kids should not be responsible for their parents' happiness. Kids should not go without for their parents' happiness. But kids are directly impacted by their parents' well-being, and do better when they're raised by happy parents (again, so long as that happiness doesn't come at the child's expense). I don't know how I would have felt during the divorce if I'd been older, but I am incredibly grateful my parents got divorced and that they did so while they could still be civil. My quality of life would have been awful if my parents had stayed together, they constantly fought, splitting up for their happiness was definitely in my best interests.

I honestly don't see how this ended better than if she had been able to respond just as rationally and worked out an amicable divorce.

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#18 of 31 Old 06-16-2014, 04:11 PM
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In her follow-up essay, she states, "It was never about staying together."
http://theweek.com/article/index/262...#axzz34qaR21vm


But the original essay sure made it sound like it was about keeping the family/marriage together.
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#19 of 31 Old 06-16-2014, 05:38 PM
 
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I agree with Linda - I didn't like the excusing and rationalizing the dad 's neglect of his family and his children. It is ok to need space from a partner but never ok, IMO, to also distance oneself from the children. That's the biggest red flag to me that it was not a marriage worth salvaging.
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#20 of 31 Old 06-16-2014, 10:19 PM
 
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In her follow-up essay, she states, "It was never about staying together."
http://theweek.com/article/index/262...#axzz34qaR21vm


But the original essay sure made it sound like it was about keeping the family/marriage together.
That's what I thought when I read it too. I kept going back to the original looking for where she'd implied that it wasn't about staying together but I couldn't see it.
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#21 of 31 Old 06-17-2014, 04:07 AM
 
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I agree with Linda - I didn't like the excusing and rationalizing the dad 's neglect of his family and his children. It is ok to need space from a partner but never ok, IMO, to also distance oneself from the children. That's the biggest red flag to me that it was not a marriage worth salvaging.
There are times of illness where you need to. Recovering from serious injury, severe mental illness, etc. Times when you aren't capable of caring for your child until you can heal. These are exceptional cases, though, and were not the case here. Most people who face that situation hate being away from their child and find being away more painful than their injuries.

It's possible that this guy had a period of deep depression, it certainly sounds like it. That inhibits your ability to do ANYTHING, including parenting, but he refused to see a therapist. He didn't do anything to fix it. He could have just filed for divorce whether she liked it or not, but instead he just blew off his own children.

I've got depression. I still have periods where I can barely get out of bed. But I acknowledge it, I'm doing everything in my power to lessen both the depression and those times. Also, in such long stretches there are almost always small up times. They aren't nearly at the level of someone without depression, but they're enough that you can make it up to your kids, reconnect with them, make sure they know they're loved and important to you- it doesn't sound like he did this.

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That's what I thought when I read it too. I kept going back to the original looking for where she'd implied that it wasn't about staying together but I couldn't see it.
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandst...nson-interview The article "How I kept my husband" tells a very different tale than the one she's spinning now.

I can't find an exact date or any details on the divorce, other than that it happened, which means that I have a harder time believing that this was the intention. If she never meant to keep her husband, why isn't she talking about how her choice made their divorce easier and less difficult for the kids? Why isn't she writing a new book? I'm not going to pay for the book and really am not interested in reading all of it, but amazon has enough preview that I can see that, at the end, it shows them re-connecting as a couple. It talks about her telling her husband she's working on the memoir. There's no mention of them intending to separate, or even considering it.

No, I think she intended to keep her family together and when that failed, she was in a rough situation. She'd publicized her marriage. She'd made that her livelihood. Now she went through a very personal and painful time (divorce), and she's stuck in the spotlight. She also has to figure out how to spin it so that she's still able to make money off of this. I feel bad for her, a bit, but she made her choice when she chose to publicize this.

(although apparently they were struggling financially quite a bit while she was writing that- which I'm sure impacted her decision to go so public)

I wonder how much of the divorce is due to her decision to publicize and profit off of what sounds like a very dark time in his life (again- I don't agree with what he did to his kids). Yes, she talked to him about it and he agreed, but according to her own memoir she didn't expect it to get big or even be published- and it got huge.
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#22 of 31 Old 06-22-2014, 06:43 PM
 
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There are times of illness where you need to. Recovering from serious injury, severe mental illness, etc. Times when you aren't capable of caring for your child until you can heal. These are exceptional cases, though, and were not the case here. Most people who face that situation hate being away from their child and find being away more painful than their injuries.

It's possible that this guy had a period of deep depression, it certainly sounds like it. That inhibits your ability to do ANYTHING, including parenting, but he refused to see a therapist. He didn't do anything to fix it. He could have just filed for divorce whether she liked it or not, but instead he just blew off his own children.

I've got depression. I still have periods where I can barely get out of bed. But I acknowledge it, I'm doing everything in my power to lessen both the depression and those times. Also, in such long stretches there are almost always small up times. They aren't nearly at the level of someone without depression, but they're enough that you can make it up to your kids, reconnect with them, make sure they know they're loved and important to you- it doesn't sound like he did this.


http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandst...nson-interview The article "How I kept my husband" tells a very different tale than the one she's spinning now.

I can't find an exact date or any details on the divorce, other than that it happened, which means that I have a harder time believing that this was the intention. If she never meant to keep her husband, why isn't she talking about how her choice made their divorce easier and less difficult for the kids? Why isn't she writing a new book? I'm not going to pay for the book and really am not interested in reading all of it, but amazon has enough preview that I can see that, at the end, it shows them re-connecting as a couple. It talks about her telling her husband she's working on the memoir. There's no mention of them intending to separate, or even considering it.

No, I think she intended to keep her family together and when that failed, she was in a rough situation. She'd publicized her marriage. She'd made that her livelihood. Now she went through a very personal and painful time (divorce), and she's stuck in the spotlight. She also has to figure out how to spin it so that she's still able to make money off of this. I feel bad for her, a bit, but she made her choice when she chose to publicize this.

(although apparently they were struggling financially quite a bit while she was writing that- which I'm sure impacted her decision to go so public)

I wonder how much of the divorce is due to her decision to publicize and profit off of what sounds like a very dark time in his life (again- I don't agree with what he did to his kids). Yes, she talked to him about it and he agreed, but according to her own memoir she didn't expect it to get big or even be published- and it got huge.
I have the book, which is obviously much more in depth than her essay. I really like it, and I agree that the point wasn't about staying married....it was definitely the catalyst, but...it's not a "how to save your relationship" book at all.

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#23 of 31 Old 07-02-2014, 06:29 AM
 
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couldn't read the whole thing, but read half, and was moved to tears. so amazing.

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#24 of 31 Old 07-02-2014, 09:10 AM
 
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couldn't read the whole thing, but read half, and was moved to tears. so amazing.
They got divorced
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#25 of 31 Old 07-03-2014, 06:43 AM
 
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They got divorced
well, still must have taken so much courage.

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#26 of 31 Old 07-04-2014, 06:10 AM
 
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well, still must have taken so much courage.
I think it did take courage, and that was why people read it and admired her. I do admire her. She stayed self-confident in a situation that was very bad. She was also confident that her husband really loved her, no matter what he was saying.

I did not like having someone recommend this book to me when my husband decided to leave me. For one thing, I was not confident that he really loved me. In fact, having him leave was important to me regaining my self-confidence. It made me realize that I wasn't imagining that he treated me in an unfriendly way.

I did not want to hear that I should read about how to be a mountain woman who didn't cry and let her husband stay in the house while he acted like a total putz.

That makes it sound like, "if you don't cry and beg, then you can keep the marriage going until he comes to his senses." Which made it a mean book to recommend to me, because of course I did cry and beg, since I didn't want my kid to go through a divorce.

But I don't know that this was Laura Munson's point. I think her point was that she stayed confident that these were his issues, not their issues.

I think that's probably a good message for most women.
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#27 of 31 Old 07-06-2014, 08:36 AM
 
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I think her point was that she stayed confident that these were his issues, not their issues.
but in a marriage, his issues (or her issues) ARE the the relationship's issues.

And she was wrong. Her marriage was falling apart, and she didn't see it for what it was. Her children were losing their father but she pretended they weren't.

It sounds like she decided not to take it personally, may be that is a good thing.

I just don't see that she showed any more courage than any of my friends, who are just regular women, who've stayed strong and raised their children with love and compassion when their marriages fell apart.

To me, she seemed to lack the ability to look at reality for what it was. He was clear with her, and she ignored it. That's denial, not courage.
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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#28 of 31 Old 07-06-2014, 09:44 AM
 
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I think was good was that she was able to make the distinction between what is her responsibility vs. his and take it less personally (which would help with her own emotional healing).

However, the children would have been taking that in, seeing neglect modelled, and excuses made for it by mom. Hopefully they now know that it is *not okay* to do be rude to your children's other parent, and never okay to neglect loved ones when dealing with one's own issues. There is no excuse for emotional abuse (overt or covert) or passive aggressive behaviour. Maybe there are explanations and one can empathize and still have compassion for the person dealing with the issues....but at the end of the day, it is still not okay what he did. A sulking stonewalling partner who won't communicate is not a good model for the children.
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#29 of 31 Old 07-09-2014, 06:05 AM
 
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Having read both articles, I must say that I am very inspired by this reminder that we can always be centered and at-peace in every situation, if we just choose to let go of the things that we can't control and allow other people to own their own issues. I see it as less about following her. exact. approach. to her husband's unloving statements, and more about learning to go within when we're facing our own painful situations, and connect to the love that's always circulating through the universe, available to all of us.


And when verbally attacked by others, learning to calmly sort through the criticisms to see what actually might be constructive and helpful for us, and what is really more about our critic than about us.


As far as her choosing to write about her experience and actually earning money by doing so, I think everyone makes different choices in areas like this. And I don't imagine many of her children's friends are into reading books like the one she wrote anyhow. At any rate, coming from a divorced family, or a family in which the parents aren't exactly "in love," doesn't carry the extreme shame and stigma that it did many years ago. People are learning to stop defining single-parent families as "broken."
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#30 of 31 Old 07-09-2014, 07:45 AM
 
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I think I find her ideas so interesting because I've been learning more and more about the different ways in which many women seem to be more socially-conditioned to take responsibility for the happiness of the people closest to them, while many men seem to be more socially-conditioned to blame those closest to them for their own unhappiness or lack of success (success as they perceive it).


I understand that when we choose to share our life in a partnership with someone else, our lives do indeed become melded together to some extent -- but I think there still needs to be enough space for a spouse to determine which problems are really "our problems" and which problems are ones that only the other spouse can deal with, whether constructively or unconstructively.


I respect this author for bravely embarking on her own journey of finding the space to do just that.


As far as her explanation to her kids about Daddy having a hard time, I honestly don't know what the best thing is to say to kids in a situation where one parent isn't wanting to be part of the family. And I have a feeling that whatever she had chosen to say, there would be people faulting her for saying or doing something that would mess up her kids permanently.


Sometimes we simply say or do what we think is best at that moment, and later (even years later) our kids let us know that we royally screwed up. As long as we're willing to listen and genuinely apologize for the pain we've unintentionally caused them, and genuinely resolve to learn from our mistakes and do better in future situations -- I'm not saying this will make our kids instantly happy with us, but it will at least allow them the space to be able to feel whatever they're feeling, and safely express themselves to us.


One thing I say to my 14-year-old daughter now, when she comments on how messed up or weird our family is, is that I feel like I've progressed (mental and relationship-health-wise) beyond some of the dysfunctional patterns my own mom stayed stuck in, and in the same way, I think she (dd) is going to end up being a lot farther along than me. Mainly because she's able to put so much of what she observes into words, and to pick out tendencies she sees in herself to repeat some behaviors she doesn't like, and to realize she wants to change those patterns.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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