Author Topic: Divorce help and discussion  (Read 8904 times)

kayvent

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #100 on: July 16, 2017, 04:49:59 PM »
For those of you that want your wives to explain why they left you... I think you could possibly have success with this tactic.

Write an email.  Something like this.  Dear Ex, if you choose to respond to this email, I promise I will not write back.  I will not make excuses or justify my actions.  I will not argue.  Since our marriage ended, I've been reflecting and working on myself. I realize you probably tried to tell me one hundred times what was wrong with our marriage but I wasn't listening or I wasn't understanding what you were saying.  Now that it is over with no chance of revival, I realize I need to listen and understand in order to be successful in the future.  I promise, whatever your reasons are, I will not write back to tell you I didn't do those things.  I won't write back to tell you I have changed.  I won't write back at all.  This is a safe opportunity to tell me again those things you tried to tell me many times before but this time, I promise, I am listening.

If you get a response, be thankful and keep your promise.  DO NOT ENGAGE any further.

ETA: keep in mind, your ex might have you blocked and never even see this.

Sometimes the answers to that email is worst than not knowing. I actually wrote my ex almost that very e-mail. She didn't want to be a mother; she wanted to party, date lots of guys, and yeah, "other stuff". I wanted to have a mundane life; help her through college, raise our daughter together, and be a happy family.

It was more so salt on a wound than closure.

caracarn

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #101 on: July 17, 2017, 06:32:06 AM »
I'm interested by the people on this thread, divorced and not, that mention 'arguing' or 'fighting' in ways that make it sound like a regular type of event in their relationship.  This gets me wondering:  How frequently are people finding themselves in marital conflicts that lead to actual fights or arguments?  I don't mean a minor disagreement that lasts a minute or so over what to eat for dinner.   I mean fights or arguments where one or both parties are unhappy or emotionally disturbed during said interaction and possibly for a period afterward... 

Do these happen every few months? Every few weeks? Every few days?

I ask because, unless people are defining arguments and fights differently from how I do, this is a rare thing in my marriage.   I'm curious how many people view fighting as 'normal'.  Personally, I couldn't imagine being in a relationship where fights were a regular occurrence. Too stressful.
I think so many factors go into this.

I certainly have less arguments now than I did when married to my ex.  But that is a result of actually selecting a suitable partner this time than overlooking glaring red flags in my first marriage.  I think it is obvious to everyone that you would argue less with someone where you do not have huge differences in core beliefs like religion, money and general expectations.

With that said, in a blended family with six kids who are not teenagers and difficult exes on both sides I'd say we have what someone would classify an argument at least weekly, because there is a lot going on.  I'm trying to be transparent, and I'd say most of them so resolve in a few minutes, and they are usually caused when we have to "think on our feet" because a kid is in some situation and we're both at work and having to figure out how to handle the grenade dropped into our day.  Sometimes these escalate to what I'd call a fight once a month once every other month if we're having a stable schedule with everyone in the house, which almost never happens.  I'd say the vast majority of our arguments are about something related to the kids. 

How we view this as normal, is we both do feel that in relationships that do not have healthy dialogue that outsiders might view as an argument, that things are simply being stuffed or ignored.  People are putting up with little things here and there instead of being honest.  That was a key item we agreed to early in our relationship is that we could rather communicate something when it is a small annoyance than when we are angry about it going on for months.  At that point, it's become a habit, the other person gets defensive about why it's a problem now but was not mentioned for six months.  Again, seen it over and over again in divorce group, the things that just kept going that are small daily irritants of living with someone that  then became huge when the relationship started to sour.  Then the effort to fix is not expended and energy is placed on getting out.  It's just an opinion, but my spouse and I both come from loud families where holiday dinners are affairs spent in constant cacophony.  It's all fun and wonderful for the most part, but for some it might be the most unpleasant experience ever.  Norman Rockwell it is not.  More like a romantic version of an Adam Sandler or Ben Stiller movie. 

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #102 on: July 17, 2017, 08:17:40 AM »
For those of you that want your wives to explain why they left you... I think you could possibly have success with this tactic.

Write an email.  Something like this.  Dear Ex, if you choose to respond to this email, I promise I will not write back.  I will not make excuses or justify my actions.  I will not argue.  Since our marriage ended, I've been reflecting and working on myself. I realize you probably tried to tell me one hundred times what was wrong with our marriage but I wasn't listening or I wasn't understanding what you were saying.  Now that it is over with no chance of revival, I realize I need to listen and understand in order to be successful in the future.  I promise, whatever your reasons are, I will not write back to tell you I didn't do those things.  I won't write back to tell you I have changed.  I won't write back at all.  This is a safe opportunity to tell me again those things you tried to tell me many times before but this time, I promise, I am listening.

If you get a response, be thankful and keep your promise.  DO NOT ENGAGE any further.

ETA: keep in mind, your ex might have you blocked and never even see this.
I thought about sending an email like this, but she told me to stop contacting her about a month ago.  I tried calling 2 or 3 times the week after she moved out and then left one voicemail about 3 weeks after she left.  I wanted a chance to apologize for the things I thought I had done wrong and to see if she'd at least give me the reasons why she left.  She sent me an email saying that she got my voicemail, our marriage was over, and to stop trying to contact her.  So now all of our communications must happen via our lawyers, and I'm left to wonder about her real reasons for leaving.

To answer the other poster's question about how often we had "big" arguments, I'd say these happened on average maybe 3 times a year.  Looking back on things, a lot of them were caused by my own insecurities and lack of self-esteem.  I wasn't mad at her.  I was mad at myself.  When I lost my temper during an argument, it was usually because I was pissed off at myself for one thing or another and not because I had any serious issues with her.

caracarn

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #103 on: July 17, 2017, 09:27:08 AM »
For those of you that want your wives to explain why they left you... I think you could possibly have success with this tactic.

Write an email.  Something like this.  Dear Ex, if you choose to respond to this email, I promise I will not write back.  I will not make excuses or justify my actions.  I will not argue.  Since our marriage ended, I've been reflecting and working on myself. I realize you probably tried to tell me one hundred times what was wrong with our marriage but I wasn't listening or I wasn't understanding what you were saying.  Now that it is over with no chance of revival, I realize I need to listen and understand in order to be successful in the future.  I promise, whatever your reasons are, I will not write back to tell you I didn't do those things.  I won't write back to tell you I have changed.  I won't write back at all.  This is a safe opportunity to tell me again those things you tried to tell me many times before but this time, I promise, I am listening.

If you get a response, be thankful and keep your promise.  DO NOT ENGAGE any further.

ETA: keep in mind, your ex might have you blocked and never even see this.
I thought about sending an email like this, but she told me to stop contacting her about a month ago.  I tried calling 2 or 3 times the week after she moved out and then left one voicemail about 3 weeks after she left.  I wanted a chance to apologize for the things I thought I had done wrong and to see if she'd at least give me the reasons why she left.  She sent me an email saying that she got my voicemail, our marriage was over, and to stop trying to contact her.  So now all of our communications must happen via our lawyers, and I'm left to wonder about her real reasons for leaving.

To answer the other poster's question about how often we had "big" arguments, I'd say these happened on average maybe 3 times a year.  Looking back on things, a lot of them were caused by my own insecurities and lack of self-esteem.  I wasn't mad at her.  I was mad at myself.  When I lost my temper during an argument, it was usually because I was pissed off at myself for one thing or another and not because I had any serious issues with her.
Oftentimes the best you can do is try to identify those areas you know you did poorly in and take that as the lessons learned.  Even if they answer your e-mail or phone call, do you ever really know if that was it?  Again, my ex said she wanted to be single, should have never had kids and wanted to prove to herself she could support herself.  Then she turned around and was pregnant months later and living with the guy.  She claims that it was an accident because his doctor has told him he was sterile and my kids say she is every bit as awful to that child as she had been to them, vacillating between doting mom and raving loon who complains about the demands her kids but on her, like asking for food or some reason.  So was she honest with me about why she wanted a divorce?  Probably not, or maybe not everything.  I know what we fought about and it was usually none of those things, so I'd have to assume the things where we disagreed were also reasons. 

It seems like you are trying to identify areas to focus on so if you decide to enter another relationship and get married in the future you will do so differently then you did with your ex.

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #104 on: July 17, 2017, 10:17:35 AM »
Oftentimes the best you can do is try to identify those areas you know you did poorly in and take that as the lessons learned.  Even if they answer your e-mail or phone call, do you ever really know if that was it?

That's a good point.  She had a hard time telling me exactly what I had done to break her trust, and when she did manage to come up with a reason it never seemed like nearly as big a deal as she was making it out to be.  I think it's possible that the reason she had a hard time telling me is that she herself didn't really know what was causing the lack of trust.  I don't want to blame this on her (because I certainly have my faults, and that's what I need to focus on), but I can't help but think the abuse she suffered as a child played a big role in this.

Quote
It seems like you are trying to identify areas to focus on so if you decide to enter another relationship and get married in the future you will do so differently then you did with your ex.

I am trying to identify the behaviors, thoughts, and attitudes of mine that need improvement.  While I may never know exactly which of them contributed to my separation, I want to come out of this a better and stronger person.  My focus isn't so much on getting ready for the next relationship as it is on making positive changes to myself.

partgypsy

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #105 on: July 17, 2017, 12:41:38 PM »
Oftentimes the best you can do is try to identify those areas you know you did poorly in and take that as the lessons learned.  Even if they answer your e-mail or phone call, do you ever really know if that was it?

That's a good point.  She had a hard time telling me exactly what I had done to break her trust, and when she did manage to come up with a reason it never seemed like nearly as big a deal as she was making it out to be.  I think it's possible that the reason she had a hard time telling me is that she herself didn't really know what was causing the lack of trust.  I don't want to blame this on her (because I certainly have my faults, and that's what I need to focus on), but I can't help but think the abuse she suffered as a child played a big role in this.

Quote
It seems like you are trying to identify areas to focus on so if you decide to enter another relationship and get married in the future you will do so differently then you did with your ex.

I am trying to identify the behaviors, thoughts, and attitudes of mine that need improvement.  While I may never know exactly which of them contributed to my separation, I want to come out of this a better and stronger person.  My focus isn't so much on getting ready for the next relationship as it is on making positive changes to myself.

This may sound goofy but the next time you get in a serious relationship, go to couples counseling with that person. It will be a way to get an independent objective of your relationship or way you interact with a partner, and at the very least may teach each of you better ways to communicate. 

Psychstache

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #106 on: July 17, 2017, 01:34:48 PM »



I've never really looked for battles.  It's just that when a battle starts, I'm determined to win it.  Especially when I feel like I have the stronger argument.  I enjoy competition, and to me an argument is just a form of competition.  I realize in hindsight that I should have swallowed my pride on certain occasions.  While I don't think this was the only factor that led to our current separation (we can't get divorced until next June at the earliest), it is one thing I'm working on with my therapist.

Glad to hear you are looking to use this crappy situation to work in yourself.

I came back to this post to offer an strategy that worked for me in this situation.

I shifted my thinking to focus on 'the war' (having a good, successful relationship) as my primary objective and keep that in mind during 'the battles' (individual arguments). Keep your focus on winning the war and let that be a guide to how to move forward during the battle, which might mean losing some along the way.

I liken it to the scene/events of the imitation game where the team cracks the enigma box and learns of an impending attack, but they let it happen so that they can keep tabs on German activity in hopes of bringing an end to the whole conflict.

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K-ice

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #107 on: July 17, 2017, 04:24:04 PM »
I was probably the OP for the original divorce thread that THIS OP was thinking of! All the advice was well-intentioned but it became overwhelming. And I wanted to reduce my online footprint.

I'm happy to hear from you!

I think it is a good sign you are still FB friends.

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #108 on: July 18, 2017, 07:25:55 AM »
This may sound goofy but the next time you get in a serious relationship, go to couples counseling with that person. It will be a way to get an independent objective of your relationship or way you interact with a partner, and at the very least may teach each of you better ways to communicate.

I definitely plan to go to some form of couples counseling if I ever have another serious relationship that could turn into a marriage.  In hindsight, I really wish my wife and I had done this.  Not sure if it would have prevented us from being where we are today, but it couldn't have hurt.

caracarn

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #109 on: July 18, 2017, 07:38:09 AM »
This may sound goofy but the next time you get in a serious relationship, go to couples counseling with that person. It will be a way to get an independent objective of your relationship or way you interact with a partner, and at the very least may teach each of you better ways to communicate.

I definitely plan to go to some form of couples counseling if I ever have another serious relationship that could turn into a marriage.  In hindsight, I really wish my wife and I had done this.  Not sure if it would have prevented us from being where we are today, but it couldn't have hurt.
A little input on this.  My wife and I did go before we got divorced.  The challenge is that counseling is only useful if people want to get help.  In hindsight, my ex used it to bash me and I did not see her really try to change things.  Counselor gave us homework and she was always not interested in doing it or she would go through the motions but you could see her heart was not in it.  We went to 20 sessions or so and really, other than exposing the fact that I did not need to be so hard on disciplining the kids, which was the thing I changed immediately and never looked back, it was not helpful mainly because I am pretty sure my ex just went because I suggested we should go and I did all the work in finding a well rated counselor in the area.  We went in between the time we had told the kids we would divorce, she had changed her mind and the year that intervened before we did divorce.  Was about three months that we went. 

partgypsy

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #110 on: July 18, 2017, 08:17:16 AM »
Yes, counseling is not some kind of miracle cure. For example for my ex, I really felt we needed to go to couples counseling, because, yes I wasn't happy with the relationship. He didn't want to do it but didn't want to admit that. I set up one appointment with someone who was recommended. The session was hard; I was pretty emotional (I cried at one point) while my ex sat there with his arms crossed, pretty closed off. We left, and I thought it was a good start, but my husband said I was "too emotional" and that the therapist didn't like him. He first promised that he would make the next appointment (I kept trying to schedule and he kept saying he wasn't available). Then I said he needed to call to make next appointment. Needless to say he never did, instead said we could work on these things on our own, like going on dates again. Yes, this didn't happen either. In retrospect this all occurred while he was actively having an affair, so he didn't do it in good faith. I think that's something that people may not understand. It's not just the infidelity. It's the repeated lying, gaslighting, and breaking of promises that really causes the damage to the relationship. The lack of respect.

In the situation where two people are entering into a relationship in good faith, couples counseling may be helpful.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 08:23:22 AM by partgypsy »

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #111 on: July 18, 2017, 08:52:01 AM »
This may sound goofy but the next time you get in a serious relationship, go to couples counseling with that person. It will be a way to get an independent objective of your relationship or way you interact with a partner, and at the very least may teach each of you better ways to communicate.

I definitely plan to go to some form of couples counseling if I ever have another serious relationship that could turn into a marriage.  In hindsight, I really wish my wife and I had done this.  Not sure if it would have prevented us from being where we are today, but it couldn't have hurt.
A little input on this.  My wife and I did go before we got divorced.  The challenge is that counseling is only useful if people want to get help.  In hindsight, my ex used it to bash me and I did not see her really try to change things.  Counselor gave us homework and she was always not interested in doing it or she would go through the motions but you could see her heart was not in it.  We went to 20 sessions or so and really, other than exposing the fact that I did not need to be so hard on disciplining the kids, which was the thing I changed immediately and never looked back, it was not helpful mainly because I am pretty sure my ex just went because I suggested we should go and I did all the work in finding a well rated counselor in the area.  We went in between the time we had told the kids we would divorce, she had changed her mind and the year that intervened before we did divorce.  Was about three months that we went.

Yeah, both parties have to be committed to doing the work.  If only one person is committed, it's not going to save the marriage.  I actually meant that I wish my wife and I had gone to pre-marital counseling back near the beginning of our relationship.