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07-07-2005 06:57 AM
ThomasSherwin Hello again, Tom here. I thought I would just share some of my thoughts and feelings. I don't want to sound like I am "making a case" for anything here. Upon reflection, some of my first post sounded defensive , and I want to avoid that tone.

I want to tell you how much I love my wife. I am in love with her. I am deeply committed to her. I believe in her, even when she does not believe in herself. I encouraged her to go back to college, to complete a degree, because I think she has a lot to give. I think she is far more loving than she wants to believe. I think it hurts to love that much. I think she is the most beautiful woman in the world. I trust her with my very life and with the lives of our two precious children. And I don't think that makes me a doormat, I think trust is what marriage is.

I have gone to great lengths to change the way I behave in order to help her feel happy, safe, and loved. I know I still have things to work on, but I have admitted where I need to change, and I am taking concrete steps to bring about these changes. I'm willing to do more. I'm willing to do whatever it takes. I still believe we can work it out.

Having said all that, if she doesn't want to be a mother, all this affair stuff is really beside the point. Only she can decide what the right thing to do is.

I want her to be happy. I told her that the girls and I would miss her terribly if she left, but that we would be okay. I am just turning this whole thing over to the care of whatever-you-wanna-call-it. We will always have a relationship of some kind, whatever form it takes. I'm willing to go to great lengths to work things out, but I am also willing to accept it if she doesn't want to work things out. It really is up to her what she wants to do with her life.

In a strange way, it was kind of a relief to hear about this deep and basic issue about mothering. For so long, I have felt like I am bending over backwards to make her happy, and it never seemed to be enough. It all makes more sense now. That's not to say that I have no part in her unhappiness, but it has been very healthy for me to detach myself from feeeling responsible for her emotional state. It causes nothing but more trouble when I try to "read" her feelings or (god help me) "fix" the way she feels.

I am just going to keep doing the best I can to be the best father I can, the best husband I can, and let her figure out what the hell she wants to do.

My tears are for my precious, beautiful children. They are the most beautiful girls in the world, and I don't know what it would do to them if their mother left. Still, I don't want her to stay out of some "guilt trip". I want her to do what is going to make her life meaningful and fulfilling. If parenting is not her path, so be it. For myself, I have known since the first moment that i held my first child that I am a father, that i will always be a father, that it is the single most important aspect of my identity from here on, that everything I have been through up to this point has been so that I can be a good father to these children. I accept that not everyone feels that way, but I can't imagine it any other way.

I feel great compassion and sorrow for my beloved partner right now. She is going through so much, she is in so much pain. I hope she can find some peace soon.

As for me, the waiting is really hard, but I don't want to rush her, either. I want her to make the "right" decision, I just have to remember that I don't know what the "right" decision is for her. Only her higher self knows that. Part of me wishes that she would just decide so I could make plans, but in the grand scheme of things, a few months is really nothing. I can wait, and give her the time and space she needs to be true to herself. I do not want to force the issue, but I did say that she has to decide. I have made my choice. I have a family. I am committed to my family, for the rest of my life. Our relationship may be altered drastically, but we will always be connected.

We celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary last week. I couldn't find a card that said what I wanted at the last minute (I'm a last minute person, drives her nuts), so I wrote her a message in a blank card shaped like a chicken (because she is so fond of chickens):

Four years ago
I told the world
I will always love you

Many things have changed
But not that

I will always
love you
07-05-2005 09:26 PM
matts_mamamama I can't vote yes or no on this one - it depends is my vote. Was it the right option / choice / decision for MY parents? YES. A resounding yes a hundred times over. Did I suffer as a kid (and adult!) because of it. Sure. Would I want them back together, then or now to alleviate my suffering. NOPE.

For me, is it an option? No. It is a last resort and one that I can't ever see happening. Of course, that's easy to say now.
07-05-2005 08:52 PM
Mommy StormRaven Well, Just got told that I was beign kicked out by my emotionally unavailable/abusive PITA Not So DH.

Guess it was more of an option than I thought.... .
07-04-2005 01:34 PM
Storm Bride
Quote:
Originally Posted by willsmomm
But... I don't think divorce is wrong either. I agree with Dr. Phil's "children would rather come from a broken home than live in one" and many stories I read hear leave me thinking the same thing.
That's one of the many things I absolutely love about my dh. DS doesn't really come from a broken home anymore. He's still got a lot to carry that no child should have to...his dad will probably be dead in the next few years from his drug abuse, and we probably won't even know, as his dad hasn't even seen him since New Year's Day. But, at least he's got a supportive, loving home base to work from. I can't see how anybody would have been better off if I'd stayed - or kept going as a single mom after the divorce. I met someone who loved me and my son totally and was willing to do all the hard work that ds's dad wasn't willing to do. I couldn't just throw that away.
07-04-2005 02:28 AM
willsmomm
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama
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 feel the same way. I used to think that if my dh was unfaithful I would be gone in a split second, but now I know I would still not leave. I would not stay in a cold, loveless marriage because I know we could pull through that and make it good again. We've done it before.

But... I don't think divorce is wrong either. I agree with Dr. Phil's "children would rather come from a broken home than live in one" and many stories I read hear leave me thinking the same thing.
07-03-2005 10:53 AM
MrsMoe
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesMama
Even if my DH had one affair I think I'd be able to move on,

You think you would be able to, until it actually happens... trust is a very important thing, no trust tears a relationship apart. I would know, my ex that I divorced had an affair.
07-02-2005 02:13 PM
JamesMama I agree with most of the pp's (didn't read the whole thread) IMO, divorce is rarely an option. Even if my DH had one affair I think I'd be able to move on, but I know my DH and he would never cheat on me, he's just not that type of person. Also, even though I know my DH would never do it, if he ever hit me or my son that would be a deal breaker. I'd leave no if, ands, or buts.
07-02-2005 01:56 PM
Storm Bride
Quote:
Originally Posted by alicia622
I believe most things can be worked out and you really need to be thoughtful when you choose your partner so you pick a 'good one'.
I agree, but I have to say that's not always an option. Take a man in the early 60's who had worked things out with his wife ahead of time. She was having a baby, and they were both going to university and working part-time. They'd worked out ahead of time how they'd manage to complete both of their degrees, and look after the baby. Everything was planned.

The day after they got married, he started telling her that she should quit university and go back to work, so that he could finish his degree. (The unspoken part being that his was more important.) She'd be able to work more hours and still take care of child care - and he could finish school. Can you imagine the sinking feeling in your stomach when you realize you've just made a major commitment to someone who's been lying to you from the get go?

I went through similar things with my ex. We had agreed on many things ahead of time (who would manage the finances, division of labour/housework, etc.). Once the ring was on my finger, the whole deal changed. There's really no way to tell ahead of time with people like that.
07-02-2005 10:55 AM
alicia622 I voted divorce is not an option although I will clarify to say there are a few situations where divorce would be- abuse/addiction/adultery (straight from the mouth of Dr. Laura I believe most things can be worked out and you really need to be thoughtful when you choose your partner so you pick a 'good one'. When children are in the picture, I think you have to work twice as hard at getting through the tough times.
07-02-2005 03:10 AM
MrsMoe If you are unhappy, and you have tried all means neccessary for repair and it's not working or the relationship is controling or abusive, why waste your life?
05-25-2005 03:59 PM
Emzachsmama I assume we are talking about problems that don't include abuse, so I voted 'no'...divorce is not an option for our marriage. We are commited to making it work. I think society takes marriage and divorce much, much too lightly. We have had our problems for sure, but we work things out instead of just giving up.
05-24-2005 09:18 PM
Heffernhyphen i find it very interesting that you feel you can make these sorts of value judgments about people that you don't even know and whose lives you know nothing about. you really *don't* know if people worked hard to save their marriage before they decided to divorce.

Actually, I don't spend much time contemplating the marriages of strangers, so yes, I was talking about people I know well. I was thinking of close friends of ours who are at this very moment separated and talking divorce because "she's too controlling" and he "wants his freedom to come and go as he pleases." They have two kids under 7. They went to counseling twice. I was thinking of my brother, whose wife left him because "he was too boring." They have three kids; she took the baby and left the others. They got no counseling. I was thinking of my sister who had one fight ever with her husband and they divorced because she can't cope with conflict. They didn't even bother to talk about it.

I'm forty; I could go on for quite a while here . . . .
05-24-2005 08:50 PM
Storm Bride I can understand that...but it's not what these people were talking about at all. The whole attitude was like they couldn't even understand why I'd be nervous about making a lifelong commitment, because they simply couldn't imagine anyone seeing marriage as such a thing.

There are many divorces under the no-fault rules and the one-year separation that really haven't got a lot to do with abuse or adultery or anything like that. It really boils doesn to "marriage is more work than I thought it would be". I've seen a few of them in action, and I don't understand why they ever bothered to get married.
05-24-2005 08:46 PM
Greaseball I wouldn't have gotten married if there were absolutely no way out but death, given, as I stated previously, the high rates of spousal abuse and infidelity. Oh, and the high rates of child sexual abuse.
05-24-2005 08:20 PM
Storm Bride I actually do think our society has a "marriage is disposable" mentality, and it bothers me a lot. I do think there are good reasons for divorce, but I can't help remembering how many people said "why are you so nervous? If it doesn't work out, you can always get a divorce" when I got married the first time. I don't understand getting married at all if you're thinking that way.
05-24-2005 07:38 PM
Greaseball But we don't know what went wrong in those marriages. Remember, the stats for battered women are very high. So are the stats for infidelity. It's likely that many of those marriages broke up over stupid petty things and people not being willing to work, but what about the rest?
05-24-2005 07:36 PM
EmmaJean
Quote:
Originally Posted by abac
I think it's pretty safe to say that with over half of all marriages ending in divorce, our society views marriage as "disposable." It has nothing to do with judging individual people; it's a judgement about our societal views of marriage-and a pretty accurate one IMO.
:

That's what I was trying to say! Thanks abac. Sorry if I offended anyone. That was not my intention.
05-24-2005 01:13 PM
Storm Bride
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalou
I voted yes, but divorce for certain issues is definitely an option to me. I'm another child of a loveless marriage and my parents didn't think we knew but I think both my sister and I said, "About time" when they finally got divorced.
Uh, huh. My mom stayed with my dad for years after his drinking became a huge problem. They didn't split up until I was 23, and getting married to the man I ended up leaving. My only reaction when they finally ended it, and my mom got into a relationship with my stepdad was "thank God". She should have left ten years sooner, for everybody's sake. Having a mostly absent and usually drunk father isn't any better than having no father at all...except that you spend a lot of time walking on eggshells, and lose all sense of what a normal life is.
05-24-2005 01:07 PM
Storm Bride
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamapoppins
We have survived drug abuse. Parental loss. Extensive travelling with the other sex. Multiple moves. Bankruptcy-mixed in with parental loss, cross-country moves, I was Buddhist, then converted to Catholicism, INFERTILITY,AND CHRONIC ILLNESS.

I can think of very little that would be worthy of divorce-but then again----I AM A CHILD OF 2 DIVORCES.

Flame me all you want, but I think when you become a parent, you give up the right to sleep through the night, and the choice to split from your partner. Your dc come first.

Given no abuse, I would encourage every couple lots of counseling and giving up aof pride and practicing lots of forgiveness.
Again...I agree. But, the couple has to do so. You said you've survived drug abuse. Is the abuser still abusing drugs? Because, I survived my ex's drug abuse for years, too...until it became very obvious that he had no interest in giving it up. (We were together for 15 years, and married for 9. I can't match you there, but it certainly wasn't a short-term relationship.)

We were never actually bankrupt, because I refused to accrue any debt - ever. But, we often couldn't put food on the table for a couple of days (that was back when ds was b/f...so he ate, although I can't swear the quality of my milk was the best), despite the fact that I worked full-time.

I found out after the breakup that he'd "played doctor" with a friend's daughter when they were "both kids"...he was 15, and she was 8. This was just before we got together, and I had no idea until after he turned 30!! Divorce is an option when the marriage doesn't really exist in the first place.

I think when I became a parent, I gave up the right to stay with a man who would starve my son so that he could smoke pot and snort coke. I think when I had ds, I gave up my right to stay with my ex (not that I wanted to by the time we left).
05-24-2005 12:27 PM
lisalou I voted yes, but divorce for certain issues is definitely an option to me. I'm another child of a loveless marriage and my parents didn't think we knew but I think both my sister and I said, "About time" when they finally got divorced. I know my husband and I would try to work through any issues that come up not for dd but for us. And I can't imagine dh abusing me or becoming a drug addict or us not communicating with each other. Although having a child has strained that at times. I made a commitment for forever and intend to keep it as does my husband but I also know better than to say "never".
05-24-2005 11:25 AM
abac I think it's pretty safe to say that with over half of all marriages ending in divorce, our society views marriage as "disposable." It has nothing to do with judging individual people; it's a judgement about our societal views of marriage-and a pretty accurate one IMO.
05-24-2005 10:03 AM
mshollyk
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heffernhyphen
You don't know how many times I've used those words . . . marriage is disposable. We live in a disposable society . . . from Swiffer sheets to styrofoam to spouses. Don't do any real work, just make it easy on yourself. It's the American way.
i find it very interesting that you feel you can make these sorts of value judgments about people that you don't even know and whose lives you know nothing about. you really *don't* know if people worked hard to save their marriage before they decided to divorce.

and, "marriage is disposable"? huh?
05-24-2005 09:20 AM
Heffernhyphen
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmmaJean
When we got married, part of our DIY counseling we did included promising to each other that divorce is not an option . . .

Marriage is so disposable in our society...



During our premarital counseling, our pastor told us, "Never utter the 'D' word. Once you say it, it becomes an option." Well, in the heat of the moment, we have been known to toss the word about, but I'm hoping we'll never really consider it an option.

You don't know how many times I've used those words . . . marriage is disposable. We live in a disposable society . . . from Swiffer sheets to styrofoam to spouses. Don't do any real work, just make it easy on yourself. It's the American way.
05-24-2005 01:31 AM
EmmaJean I'm surprised (kind of) that the results are so close! I voted no. When we got married, part of our DIY counseling we did included promising to each other that divorce is not an option (except for cheating or abuse). Our POV was that when you go into a marriage knowing that there really isn't an option out, you're more apt to work harder at it. Worked so far! There are several times I've had the *fleeting* thought that being on my own would be better (hey, life can get crazy sometimes! I know everybody's had "those days"!). But just remembering that "divorce is not an option" is somehow comforting and grounding. Knowing that dh believes in it too makes it stronger too. Marriage is so disposable in our society...
05-23-2005 11:58 PM
Myboysmom
Quote:
It's been years since I read it, but Scott Peck makes so much sense to me in The Road Less Traveled when he says that early relationship lust HAS to end so we can get on with the business of real love . . . you know, the part that includes conflict and disagreement and intimacy and growth and trust . . . and happiness.
YES YES YES!!!!

Problem was, STBX thought the EARLY relationship was the way it was ALWAYS supposed to be.

yeah, right :
05-23-2005 02:55 PM
Greaseball And I disagree that it's not reasonable to expect happiness. I believe one should not expect the whirlwind romance, the passion, the great sex every day...but I think happiness is reasonable. There will be hardship, there may be times when you wonder what other choices you could have made...but I think underlying that, there could be happiness. And always love.

Sometimes people make mistakes. People get married for the wrong reasons to the wrong people, and I don't think they should be punished for their mistakes by having to remain together when their hearts are not in it. Sometimes personal happiness is more important than the sanctity of marriage. If one member of a couple is sure that she or he would be happier married to someone else, or being single, why not go for it?

When I hear that people with certain characterisitcs have a lower divorce rate, I think, but are they happy? Do they just not get a divorce because of social norms, or are they truly loving toward one another and don't want to live without the other?
05-23-2005 02:47 PM
Silliest
Quote:
Originally Posted by abac
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?
If I make a commitment to walk through a particular house; in the front door, down the hall, out the back door, every single day for the rest of my life, and then some bastard sets the house on fire, you can be absolutely certain that I will abandon my commitment! Likewise if someone starts jumping out from behind the door and hitting me over th ehead every time I walk through.

Yes, marriage is a commitment, but it's a *TWO PARTY* commitment, and can only be maintained if *BOTH PARTIES* continue to be willing to hold up their end of the bargain.

Staying "committed" to a partner who is not commited to you (and/or your children), is just pure foolishness.
05-23-2005 02:27 PM
wasabi
Quote:
Originally Posted by WinterBaby
Well, first I think that leaving rather than divorcing is only arguing the semantics rather than the core. And perhaps those semantics are bound up in religion. But in my opinion, if you're not living as husband and wife, you're not husband and wife. ANd if you are living as husband and wife, well, then you are. Regardless of the legal bits of paper. (But those legal bits of paper can get to be important.) And you can divorce someone you love.
:
05-23-2005 02:19 PM
wasabi
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I just don't think anyone can say divorce is not an option at all!! That is unbelievable...

It is not an option for us, for all I know of my husband....however, if he turned out to be completely sick and like, RAPED our child or BEAT me senseless or something---yeah, I would divorce him...

I guess if you guys mean that if that happened you would literally kill him before divorce, then technically, fine...you wouldn't be *divorced*...but to hear some of the posters, you are implying that you could love your way through anything...

And yes, provided my husband stayed the man I know him to b (with respect to things like NOT molesting or NOT beating etc) divorce is NOT an option...but again, I digress...
This is how I feel. I don't see my Dh doing anything that would make divorce acceptable to me. However if it turned out that he was capable of doing something I can't even fathom right now ie beat me, molest our children etc. then yes divorce would be the absolute choice. Adultery I could try to work through, drug use again workable, criminal activity it would depend on what it was but abuse would be a dealbreaker. I don't really care what could be so wrong in his life that he would beat me or rape my children it would be over.

My inclination is to vote no divorce isn't an option when there are problems in your marriage because I wouldn't consider those issues to be "problems in my marriage" I'd consider them serious criminal activities for which divorce was an option. I wouldn't consider divorce for any of the numerous ways my DH disappoints me or doesn't live up to his end of the bargain etc. It seems though that the OP would want me to vote yes.
05-23-2005 09:55 AM
WinterBaby
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heffernhyphen
Aren't we supposed to make ourselves happy, not put that responsibility on our partner's shoulders?
Yes! And it's tough when a partner thinks this is his or her job. I've been prone in the past to bouts of depression. Don't know how many times I've had to tell DH that making me happy isn't is job, he's not the reason I'm not happy during those times, and all I need him to do it be patient while I deal with it, yk? My happiness = my problem, his happiness = his problem. I only expect that we work at not becoming sources of unhappiness to each other, lol. (But divorce is still an option )
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