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#228261 - 05/10/07 08:27 PM Get divorced or stay together?
supermansdaisy Offline
addict

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 658
Loc: SC
I know this is an age old question. Many people say it is better to stay married for the sake of the children than to get divorced.

My parents had a bad marriage....but stayed together. They separated when I was 23. I have always wondered how that has affected me. And was it harder to see the marriage fall apart when I was an adult and had been so used to things as they had been?

I got divorced 4 years ago. At least it was finalized 4 years ago. I have since wondered countless times, wouldn't it have been easier to stay married and miserable than to have put the boys through the divorce and to see them shuffled from home to home each week?

How many of you, if you could do it all over again, would have done things differently?

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#228262 - 05/10/07 08:47 PM Re: Get divorced or stay together? [Re: supermansdaisy]
JennyLynn Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 31656
I think it's better for children to have two parents who are happy and separated, then miserable and married. I can only imagine how it would have harmed DS even more had he seen STBX and I remain married.


Edited by JennyLynn (05/10/07 08:47 PM)

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#228263 - 05/10/07 08:50 PM Re: Get divorced or stay together? [Re: supermansdaisy]
onerose Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 12/30/05
Posts: 3154

I really wished I had divorced way before I did. My kids saw so much unhappiness from all of us during those years. They know! And they hate it.

The kids and I have never been happier since the EX moved out. Not just because of all the horrible things they saw him go through, but because we are all so much more relaxed and happy.
I would never recommend staying together for the kids.

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#228264 - 05/10/07 09:26 PM Re: Get divorced or stay together? [Re: onerose]
Avaya Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/06
Posts: 9850
Loc: Arkansas
Except in cases of extreme abuse (and I don't mean 'he said I was ugly and hurt my feelings') I think the spouse does NOT 'make' one miserable. I think you should stay married. I don't think people should divorce 'because I just don't looooovvvvveeeee him/her anymore.' So what, you love your kids and THAT should be enough. I LOVE my husband, but there have been PLENTY of times in our 12 years of marriage that I could not stand for him to touch me, I could not tolerate even looking at him, that if not for our son, I would have left him. And I'll even admit, that sometimes I stayed with him for the sheer fact that BM didn't. I have stayed with him on some occasions because I could not stand the thought that BM would gloat about our marriage not working. And you know what? EVERY single time I made the decision to stay with him, "I" changed my attitude and the problem went away and we got our marriage back on track and 'liked' each other again. Love and even like are CHOICES that we make every day. So when people say they are miserable, I am a [censored] believer that THEY make themselves miserable, it's not the spouse doing it. Yes, there are exceptions, but IMO, not many. People divorce because they are selfish. SOMETIMES they divorce because the other person is selfish (alcoholic, drugs, abuse, adultery).

I can honestly say that if my husband were to become any of those things, I would leave him and live separate from him, but I would not divorce him.
_________________________
Eternity is too long to be wrong.

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#228265 - 05/10/07 09:33 PM Re: Get divorced or stay together? [Re: onerose]
Avaya Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/06
Posts: 9850
Loc: Arkansas
I remember when my parents got divorced. He was not my biological father and I despised him. He and his girlfriend ran away together and that day when he didn't come home from work was the happiest day of my life! My mother about lost it - she was so dependent! He was horribly abusive for 18 years. And I'm talking about trips to the ER for stitches and to set bones. Black eyes, bruises, etc. He sexually abused me, but I learned to keep my distance finally. He was an alcoholic, drug addict and just a horrible horrible person. So, this is certainly one of those exceptions I mentioned above. But still the foundation is the same - he was a terribly selfish man and his selfishness has caused his two sons to be addicts and in and out of prison, caused a divorce, and caused me to have warped ideas about sex and marriage on occasion! LOL. I thank God that while I suffered physically, He has put me in a much better place today.
_________________________
Eternity is too long to be wrong.

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#228266 - 05/10/07 11:34 PM Re: Get divorced or stay together? [Re: Avaya]
WNCKen Offline
recently joined

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 13
Well, my ex was diagnosed bipolar. I then spent nearly a year trying to save my marriage. My moment of clarity happened when my then four year old daughter pointed to a corner in my bathroom and said, "Is that mommy's crying place?" Wow. I knew right then and there that my children were going to possibly miss out on childhood if it continued.

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#228267 - 05/10/07 11:45 PM Re: Get divorced or stay together? [Re: WNCKen]
Dee78 Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 11820
Loc: TN
Yep, I left my ex because I didn't want the girls growing up in such a volatile house. As much as they have to go through being a child of divorce I know in my heart that it is MUCH better than the childhood they would have had if I had stayed with their father.

I do NOT believe in staying together for the children. I don't think that divorce is selfish, I don't think that staying together for the children makes you a better parent. Each situation is different, there isn't a cookie cutter answer. You take each set of circumstances and make the best decision possible, then you hope that your children are better off for it. I know that mine are, I don't question that though I do sometimes feel bad that they have to go through what they do.

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#228268 - 05/11/07 02:00 AM Re: Get divorced or stay together? [Re: Dee78]
WNCKen Offline
recently joined

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 13
Dee, I agree. Actually, if it weren't for the children, I'd probably still be married. I'd been with her for sixteen years - it was really the only life I knew - being with this woman. It was a horribly difficult decision for me. I consider myself rather old fashioned in my values and this was going against everything I believed in.
It wasn't for me, it was for my kids.

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#228269 - 05/11/07 02:25 AM Re: Get divorced or stay together? [Re: supermansdaisy]
BeckaLeigh Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6879
Loc: Texas
My parents are still together to this day, April amde 32 years. I wish to God they would have split a long time ago. They fight all the time, and it has made me miserable. They dont even know each other and dont really want to.

If I could do it over again with the X, I wouldnt change anything except my own ignorance for staying so darn long. The kids suffered from us fighting more than we did. Still did up until recently.
_________________________
I tried being normal once. Worst five minutes of my life.

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#228270 - 05/11/07 02:26 AM Re: Get divorced or stay together? [Re: WNCKen]
preemiemom Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 19391
Just replying to whoever happens to be last poster simply so I can read ALL the replies when I type.. drives me crazy when I can't see what I'm replying to.

Want to first address Avaya... with whom I rarely agree ;) I very much agree with the things you said.

I don't believe one party MAKES the other party "miserable". I believe you make what you have what it is. In my case, with this marriage that is ending, my stbx simply lacks the ability to commit to a relationship with ANYONE since he's far too busy covering his a$$ relative to his FIRST wife. A wife, by the way, that in learning more about him and the situation and knowing what happened with US, he NEVER should have divorced in the first place. Root cause? He refused to have sex with her. And if she ASKED, then he'd further refuse because he WAS asked. Evidently she may (or may not.. depending if you believe HIS version) have gotten a lover. But after having experienced this treatment by him myself (seems to be a baby thing.. you have a kid with him, sex stops) BUT knowing better than to ASK.. I made bigger deals out of OTHER things, ie: his first wife's control of OUR life.

Long story short... there wasn't a single issue we had that wasn't FIXABLE!!! It merely required TWO people, and not just ONE (ME) who WANTED to fix them and was WILLING to fix them. Ultimately, it was easier for him to quit the relationship than to put any effort into FIXING it.

I mentioned in another thread (the Mother's Day one) about my family history of NON divorce (prompting the question posed in THIS thread). Now, while no one ever got divorced, didn't mean these folks were super happy either.

My father's parents were together.. gosh 40 years? Before my grandfather died (in his 60's, cancer). He was a Baptist minister, she a schoolteacher... bedridden by MS in the 1960's. TWENTY YEARS the man lived and breathed for the care of that woman. Lifting her day in, and day out, out of a hospital bed in their living into a wheelchair. Cooking her every meal, changing catheter bags.. cooking every holiday dinner I ever had there. The man was a freakin' saint and when he died (having converted to Catholicism), a former Baptist minister had an entire Catholic congregation, not to mention pretty much every resident of the 5th ward of Newport Rhode Island at his funeral (I was 12 and I can tell you every minute of that funeral). From THAT relationship, or from him specifically, I learned the true power and conviction of what TRUE love means. At that point he was still a young enough man (when she got sick), his children were grown, he could have moved on... and she wasn't an easy woman to live with either (yes,a recurring family theme will emerge, lol).

Even MY parents. Married 42 years this September. My mother was ALSO afflicted with MS, right after my birth in 1969. She spent the 1970's in and out of a wheelchair. And desperately desperately resents her condition and what it robbed her of in life. Why is that important? It didn't make her a very nice wife, nor a particularly nice mother either. But for 42 years, my dad has stood by her. Even when, even I could say as a child, she probably didn't necessarily do a lot to DESERVE being stuck by. But he has provided her a home, he has stayed with her through an addiction that bankrupted them, and he will continue to do what he needs to do to support her til he dies. THAT said, my father has different issues. He's a manic depressive/recovering alcoholic. Without HER, he would have spent his entire adult life in a 1 room apartment with no friends, no social life and a thoroughly empty existence. She has provided him those things, and some interests he's adapted as his own over time. While they may lack "passion", over the years, (even though she still threatens divorce basically weekly), they have a mutual respect and caring and devotion that will never go away.

I guess I can't say that the relationships in my family were "hilariously happy", but nor can I say they were "morbidly miserable" either. They were marriages born of a mutual respect and caring.. that even if "passion" waned (or maybe never existed), they had a core of that respect and caring that saw them ALL through some tremendously hard times.

I thought, when I married this time.. that I had found someone who had similar convictions. No one was more shocked than I when, considering all WE had been through together, and experienced.. experiences which SHOULD bind a couple for life (something his own stepfather said to his face when it was happening), meant, ultimately, nothing to him.

Some folks here have questioned me when I've said I'd never remarry again. And I have trouble putting into words why I won't.. maybe the above does. When you've put the kind of faith in a relationship that I did with this one.. when you put a child out there.. something you wouldn't do were it not THE right relationship.. and to have the other person, the person you absolutely KNEW was THE person.. you never put THAT kind of faith in another human being ever again.

For me now? What existed in my parents and grandparents generation is dead. It doesn't exist in this one. At least certainly not for me. Even if it DID, I'm not exposing myself, at a minimum, ever again, to the kind of pain I've undergone with this split.

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