Author Topic: Divorce help and discussion  (Read 14529 times)

Schaefer Light

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #50 on: July 12, 2017, 01:33:34 PM »
By the time I was done I was lighter by $125K retirement funds, $45K home equity, $70K lost real estate value because of market drop having to sell a year after we bought so I could get affordable monthly mortgage and paying the commissions for the realtor and $90K in alimony over 5 years.  Only the first two numbers were splits of assets.  The other $160K was out of pocket or savings.  I literally had to nearly borrow from family members to scrape together the $8K downpayment I need to get by FHA loan on my house for me and the kids, which at that time took all my savings down to $0, but I was able to get it done with no borrowing from family but as I said I think I had about $200 left in any bank account and my $125K in retirement funds.  I did not have any early retirement dreams at that time, but yes, starting over again in my late 30s from almost nothing compared to where I was at and having ongoing alimony for years to take savings rate to $0 for that time period other than putting enough in 401k to get match at work was it.  So yes, it an cost you a bit of money and almost certainly will move the FIRE needle to year 0 again.
Ouch.  I have a feeling I'm going to take a similar hit.  We were only married for 5 years, but we really built up our nest egg in those 5 years.  I have no idea how I'm supposed to pay her for the equity we built up in the house over the course of our marriage.  Another question for the lawyer, I guess.

caracarn

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #51 on: July 12, 2017, 01:49:51 PM »
By the time I was done I was lighter by $125K retirement funds, $45K home equity, $70K lost real estate value because of market drop having to sell a year after we bought so I could get affordable monthly mortgage and paying the commissions for the realtor and $90K in alimony over 5 years.  Only the first two numbers were splits of assets.  The other $160K was out of pocket or savings.  I literally had to nearly borrow from family members to scrape together the $8K downpayment I need to get by FHA loan on my house for me and the kids, which at that time took all my savings down to $0, but I was able to get it done with no borrowing from family but as I said I think I had about $200 left in any bank account and my $125K in retirement funds.  I did not have any early retirement dreams at that time, but yes, starting over again in my late 30s from almost nothing compared to where I was at and having ongoing alimony for years to take savings rate to $0 for that time period other than putting enough in 401k to get match at work was it.  So yes, it an cost you a bit of money and almost certainly will move the FIRE needle to year 0 again.
Ouch.  I have a feeling I'm going to take a similar hit.  We were only married for 5 years, but we really built up our nest egg in those 5 years.  I have no idea how I'm supposed to pay her for the equity we built up in the house over the course of our marriage.  Another question for the lawyer, I guess.
My situation had a unique twist based on sub-optimal financial decisions I chose to make as a trade off to not renegotiating custody and just getting the kids out of a bad situation.

So the agreement as written in the court was I needed to give her her portion of the $90K equity we had when we filed within three years, which is a typical time frame in our state for this type of agreement.  I then decided I actualy needed to sell the house and the attorney wanted to draft a typical "we each get 50% of the proceeds after sale" but that would re-open everything and I said, no leave it as is and I'll suck up the costs.  With the then continued decline in the housing price (sold in 2011 while housing crash was still going on) along with all my costs, I still had to pay her $45K that I owed her and my $45K and then some (about $70K total in losses and cost) went bye bye when I sold and paid my realtor, so I had to dip into savings to pay her or the realtor depending on how you want to split the hair.  I was short money after I sold the house because I sold it for $25K less than I paid for it a year earlier and I had to pay a commission and fees.  If you know you are selling the house you will probably not get caught that way, but I traded cash for emotional sanity.

ETA:  Also I was married 16 years, so you will not be paying 5 years of alimony on a 5 year marriage.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 01:51:51 PM by caracarn »

Schaefer Light

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #52 on: July 12, 2017, 02:15:07 PM »

My situation had a unique twist based on sub-optimal financial decisions I chose to make as a trade off to not renegotiating custody and just getting the kids out of a bad situation.

So the agreement as written in the court was I needed to give her her portion of the $90K equity we had when we filed within three years, which is a typical time frame in our state for this type of agreement.  I then decided I actualy needed to sell the house and the attorney wanted to draft a typical "we each get 50% of the proceeds after sale" but that would re-open everything and I said, no leave it as is and I'll suck up the costs.  With the then continued decline in the housing price (sold in 2011 while housing crash was still going on) along with all my costs, I still had to pay her $45K that I owed her and my $45K and then some (about $70K total in losses and cost) went bye bye when I sold and paid my realtor, so I had to dip into savings to pay her or the realtor depending on how you want to split the hair.  I was short money after I sold the house because I sold it for $25K less than I paid for it a year earlier and I had to pay a commission and fees.  If you know you are selling the house you will probably not get caught that way, but I traded cash for emotional sanity.

ETA:  Also I was married 16 years, so you will not be paying 5 years of alimony on a 5 year marriage.
Thanks for the explanation.  Even if I have 3 years to give her her portion of the equity, I'll probably be forced to sell the house.  I can see why you traded cash for emotional sanity, though.  You can't put a price on good emotional health.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #53 on: July 12, 2017, 02:26:52 PM »
Thinking about the financial stress involved with divorce got me thinking about what really stinks about this whole deal.  You're going through the worst time of your life and you're forced to do it without the support of the person who was your partner, best friend, and most trusted ally.  So, you've lost your biggest supporter at the time when you need support the most.  Divorce just plain sucks.

FiguringItOut

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #54 on: July 12, 2017, 02:33:01 PM »
Thinking about the financial stress involved with divorce got me thinking about what really stinks about this whole deal.  You're going through the worst time of your life and you're forced to do it without the support of the person who was your partner, best friend, and most trusted ally.  So, you've lost your biggest supporter at the time when you need support the most.  Divorce just plain sucks.

If you are going through divorce, then your soon-to-be-ex is most like hasn't been or is not your partner, best friend, most trusted ally, or supporter.  For people who hasn't been through or not likely to be through a divorce this is hard to understand, but as stressful as divorce is and as time and money consuming as it is, in the end it is probably for the best considering the alternative of living with someone who is not, as you put it, your partner, best friend, most trusted ally, or supporter.   Even if you didn't now this about them before the divorce was initiated.

caracarn

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #55 on: July 12, 2017, 02:39:32 PM »

My situation had a unique twist based on sub-optimal financial decisions I chose to make as a trade off to not renegotiating custody and just getting the kids out of a bad situation.

So the agreement as written in the court was I needed to give her her portion of the $90K equity we had when we filed within three years, which is a typical time frame in our state for this type of agreement.  I then decided I actualy needed to sell the house and the attorney wanted to draft a typical "we each get 50% of the proceeds after sale" but that would re-open everything and I said, no leave it as is and I'll suck up the costs.  With the then continued decline in the housing price (sold in 2011 while housing crash was still going on) along with all my costs, I still had to pay her $45K that I owed her and my $45K and then some (about $70K total in losses and cost) went bye bye when I sold and paid my realtor, so I had to dip into savings to pay her or the realtor depending on how you want to split the hair.  I was short money after I sold the house because I sold it for $25K less than I paid for it a year earlier and I had to pay a commission and fees.  If you know you are selling the house you will probably not get caught that way, but I traded cash for emotional sanity.

ETA:  Also I was married 16 years, so you will not be paying 5 years of alimony on a 5 year marriage.
Thanks for the explanation.  Even if I have 3 years to give her her portion of the equity, I'll probably be forced to sell the house.  I can see why you traded cash for emotional sanity, though.  You can't put a price on good emotional health.
If you sell the house (and that is the agreement) that usually comes with a shorter time frame.  Usually 1 year.  The 3 years is if you intend to keep it so it gives you time to come up with what for many is a large chunk of cash.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #56 on: July 12, 2017, 02:57:30 PM »
Thinking about the financial stress involved with divorce got me thinking about what really stinks about this whole deal.  You're going through the worst time of your life and you're forced to do it without the support of the person who was your partner, best friend, and most trusted ally.  So, you've lost your biggest supporter at the time when you need support the most.  Divorce just plain sucks.

If you are going through divorce, then your soon-to-be-ex is most like hasn't been or is not your partner, best friend, most trusted ally, or supporter.  For people who hasn't been through or not likely to be through a divorce this is hard to understand, but as stressful as divorce is and as time and money consuming as it is, in the end it is probably for the best considering the alternative of living with someone who is not, as you put it, your partner, best friend, most trusted ally, or supporter.   Even if you didn't now this about them before the divorce was initiated.

She may not have been my best friend on the day that she left, but we were talking about starting a family as recently as late April so I have to think she was still all of those things to me as recently as 3 months ago.  Being left like that is a hard pill to swallow.  Especially since I don't know why she left.

FiguringItOut

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #57 on: July 12, 2017, 03:20:29 PM »
Thinking about the financial stress involved with divorce got me thinking about what really stinks about this whole deal.  You're going through the worst time of your life and you're forced to do it without the support of the person who was your partner, best friend, and most trusted ally.  So, you've lost your biggest supporter at the time when you need support the most.  Divorce just plain sucks.

If you are going through divorce, then your soon-to-be-ex is most like hasn't been or is not your partner, best friend, most trusted ally, or supporter.  For people who hasn't been through or not likely to be through a divorce this is hard to understand, but as stressful as divorce is and as time and money consuming as it is, in the end it is probably for the best considering the alternative of living with someone who is not, as you put it, your partner, best friend, most trusted ally, or supporter.   Even if you didn't now this about them before the divorce was initiated.

She may not have been my best friend on the day that she left, but we were talking about starting a family as recently as late April so I have to think she was still all of those things to me as recently as 3 months ago.  Being left like that is a hard pill to swallow.  Especially since I don't know why she left.

I understand what you are saying, however, just because you thought she was your friend and had you best interest prior to leaving, she most likely didn't.  Or may be she though your weren't her friend or had her interests. That's the problem.  Your perception of the situation is not the same as the situation itself or how she saw it.  I know it's hard for you, I'm not minimizing your struggle.  What I"m saying is that in the end, it will be for the best, even if you can't see that silver lining right now.
May be try to find out why she left.  That could shine some light on the whole thing.

I know that when I started questioning my marriage and my happiness in it, it was a total a complete shock to my ex-h.  None of 'my issues' were issues to him, even though I"ve told him over the years many many times that these things were making me unhappy.  It was such a shock to him, that he couldn't even process the concept and extent of my unhappiness for a long time (months and months). And this was even before we attempted to 'fix' things, which also didn't work in the end.

It seems that your ex-w left out of the blue, but she may have been unhappy for a while (I'm just speculating here).  In my case, I didn't just leave, we tried counseling and other way to fix marriage and then when it was clear that it was done and over, it took another 18-24 months to save some money in order to move on.  The whole thing dragged on for 5 years.  If it wasn't for the lack of money and my concerned over custody of kids, I probably would've left right away.  In the end, my concerns over custody were a non-issue as he didn't even ask for it, just assumed that I'll take the kids, whereas I was mentally preparing for a court battle.

BTW, we were planning vacations and other family things for the next couple years at the time I realized that relationship wasn't working for me. 



kayvent

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #58 on: July 12, 2017, 07:03:32 PM »
Second, don't spend 10 hours of attorney time ($2500 for each side, so $5k of family money) to fight over a $1000 asset.

Good advice.  I don't think most people realize how much of a hit their finances would take if they went through a divorce.  That 6-month emergency fund you've built up becomes a 3-month EF overnight when one party files for divorce and takes half the money.  And then you have to give your attorney a retainer.  In my case, it was $2500.  There goes another month out of the EF. It's easy to see how you can go from a comfortable lifestyle to living paycheck to paycheck pretty quickly if you're using your attorney a lot.  And then if you have to make alimony payments....well, let's just say that could be the end of your early retirement dreams.

It's even less than half of EF, since now the same income and same EF has to support 2 households because all of your 'living' expenses double overnight (rent/mortgage, utilities, car insurance, etc).
And for the party who will be paying child support and/or alimony it's even worse.

Speaking from experience, I highly recommend going the mediator route if you can come to agreement on division of property and custody.  It will save everyone a lot of money, time, and heartache. We ended up hiring a lawyer who was our mediator.  The whole thing start to finish cost us $5K and this included costs associated with QDRO which as I understand are usually separate from legal fees and run fairly high. 

I'm really glad we were able to resolve everything amicably, agreed to everything between ourselves using a list of questions/points we got from our mediator, met with her once at the beginning and once at the end to sign papers.  Everything else was done via email while we were ironing out finer points and sending a draft of agreement with updates back and force until we all agreed it was final and good.

This is entirely anecdotal. In my home province, they had a mediation pilot for a few years to see if it would help reduce the backlog of court cases and the time (and therefore money) to the province. The program was cancelled after it was determined that amicably separations (oxymoron notwithstanding) were the ones that went through mediation; however, these types of cases were not the ones clogging the system.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #59 on: July 13, 2017, 08:34:20 AM »
I understand what you are saying, however, just because you thought she was your friend and had you best interest prior to leaving, she most likely didn't.  Or may be she though your weren't her friend or had her interests. That's the problem.  Your perception of the situation is not the same as the situation itself or how she saw it. I know it's hard for you, I'm not minimizing your struggle.  What I"m saying is that in the end, it will be for the best, even if you can't see that silver lining right now.
May be try to find out why she left.  That could shine some light on the whole thing.

I'm sure you're right about the part in bold.  I was happily married, but she clearly was not.  And I would very much like to know why she left.  Unfortunately, she shut down all communications with me the day she left.

Why is it always the woman who initiates the divorce?  I've read that among couples where both spouses have a college degree, the divorce is initiated by the woman something like 90% of the time.  I guess men are just easier to please?

FiguringItOut

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #60 on: July 13, 2017, 08:43:59 AM »
I understand what you are saying, however, just because you thought she was your friend and had you best interest prior to leaving, she most likely didn't.  Or may be she though your weren't her friend or had her interests. That's the problem.  Your perception of the situation is not the same as the situation itself or how she saw it. I know it's hard for you, I'm not minimizing your struggle.  What I"m saying is that in the end, it will be for the best, even if you can't see that silver lining right now.
May be try to find out why she left.  That could shine some light on the whole thing.

I'm sure you're right about the part in bold.  I was happily married, but she clearly was not.  And I would very much like to know why she left.  Unfortunately, she shut down all communications with me the day she left.

Why is it always the woman who initiates the divorce?  I've read that among couples where both spouses have a college degree, the divorce is initiated by the woman something like 90% of the time.  I guess men are just easier to please?

I'm sorry you are going through this.  It is hard and it will take time for you for process all of it and to get past it.
I don't know why it's women more than men.  At the time I was going through it, two of the women I know also filed for divorce from their husbands.  For one of them it was a long drawn out decision, like mine.  For the other one it was a fast and dirty once some serious issues came up in her marriage.
I do know for a fact that my ex-h would've never ever left me no matter the circumstances and no matter how unhappy he would've gotten, so in the end it was up to me to get out.


snacky

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #61 on: July 13, 2017, 09:07:23 AM »
I understand what you are saying, however, just because you thought she was your friend and had you best interest prior to leaving, she most likely didn't.  Or may be she though your weren't her friend or had her interests. That's the problem.  Your perception of the situation is not the same as the situation itself or how she saw it. I know it's hard for you, I'm not minimizing your struggle.  What I"m saying is that in the end, it will be for the best, even if you can't see that silver lining right now.
May be try to find out why she left.  That could shine some light on the whole thing.

I'm sure you're right about the part in bold.  I was happily married, but she clearly was not.  And I would very much like to know why she left.  Unfortunately, she shut down all communications with me the day she left.

Why is it always the woman who initiates the divorce?  I've read that among couples where both spouses have a college degree, the divorce is initiated by the woman something like 90% of the time.  I guess men are just easier to please?

I'm sorry you are going through this.  It is hard and it will take time for you for process all of it and to get past it.
I don't know why it's women more than men.  At the time I was going through it, two of the women I know also filed for divorce from their husbands.  For one of them it was a long drawn out decision, like mine.  For the other one it was a fast and dirty once some serious issues came up in her marriage.
I do know for a fact that my ex-h would've never ever left me no matter the circumstances and no matter how unhappy he would've gotten, so in the end it was up to me to get out.

Me too.

Someone mentioned upthread the experience of telling a partner over and over how unhappy they were, but not being listened to, then the partner being surprised when the marriage ended. I have seen this in my own life and in others' lives, over and over.
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Schaefer Light

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #62 on: July 13, 2017, 10:29:35 AM »
I understand what you are saying, however, just because you thought she was your friend and had you best interest prior to leaving, she most likely didn't.  Or may be she though your weren't her friend or had her interests. That's the problem.  Your perception of the situation is not the same as the situation itself or how she saw it. I know it's hard for you, I'm not minimizing your struggle.  What I"m saying is that in the end, it will be for the best, even if you can't see that silver lining right now.
May be try to find out why she left.  That could shine some light on the whole thing.

I'm sure you're right about the part in bold.  I was happily married, but she clearly was not.  And I would very much like to know why she left.  Unfortunately, she shut down all communications with me the day she left.

Why is it always the woman who initiates the divorce?  I've read that among couples where both spouses have a college degree, the divorce is initiated by the woman something like 90% of the time.  I guess men are just easier to please?

I'm sorry you are going through this.  It is hard and it will take time for you for process all of it and to get past it.
I don't know why it's women more than men.  At the time I was going through it, two of the women I know also filed for divorce from their husbands.  For one of them it was a long drawn out decision, like mine.  For the other one it was a fast and dirty once some serious issues came up in her marriage.
I do know for a fact that my ex-h would've never ever left me no matter the circumstances and no matter how unhappy he would've gotten, so in the end it was up to me to get out.

Me too.

Someone mentioned upthread the experience of telling a partner over and over how unhappy they were, but not being listened to, then the partner being surprised when the marriage ended. I have seen this in my own life and in others' lives, over and over.

I assume you're talking about other women.  Did they give their husbands specific reasons for their unhappiness, or did they just tell them they were unhappy?  Thinking back on my relationship, there were times when my wife said she was "feeling" a certain way but she couldn't really tell me why.  If a woman wants her spouse to change his behavior, she needs to be able to tell him precisely what he's doing wrong.  Otherwise, how does he know what he needs to do differently?

snacky

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #63 on: July 13, 2017, 10:55:01 AM »
I can't speak for anyone else, but in my case I kept expressing dissatisfaction with the status quo and he continually brushed me off. It took leaving him for me to go back to school, get a good job, and live in a more satisfying way.
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Zamboni

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #64 on: July 13, 2017, 11:08:09 AM »
I'm sorry you are going through this.  It is hard and it will take time for you for process all of it and to get past it.
I don't know why it's women more than men.  At the time I was going through it, two of the women I know also filed for divorce from their husbands.  For one of them it was a long drawn out decision, like mine.  For the other one it was a fast and dirty once some serious issues came up in her marriage.
I do know for a fact that my ex-h would've never ever left me no matter the circumstances and no matter how unhappy he would've gotten, so in the end it was up to me to get out.

Me too.

Someone mentioned upthread the experience of telling a partner over and over how unhappy they were, but not being listened to, then the partner being surprised when the marriage ended. I have seen this in my own life and in others' lives, over and over.

I assume you're talking about other women.  Did they give their husbands specific reasons for their unhappiness, or did they just tell them they were unhappy?  Thinking back on my relationship, there were times when my wife said she was "feeling" a certain way but she couldn't really tell me why.  If a woman wants her spouse to change his behavior, she needs to be able to tell him precisely what he's doing wrong.  Otherwise, how does he know what he needs to do differently?
[/quote]

I agree with you, Schaef's. There is a burden on both parties . . . one person needs to express things clearly, and the other person needs to listen and also acknowledge they heard what was said. Many (most?) people can improve how they communicate both in terms of expressing themselves and listening. Unhappiness in a relationship is rarely the "fault" of one person, I think.

And sometimes a person can't quite pinpoint what is missing. There is some void, but it's hard to articulate what exactly the other person can do differently. I was also taught that you shouldn't try to change other people, so it is particularly hard for me to say "I wish you would behave this way instead of the way you just did." A few suggestions or requests are made, and if these are rebuffed or ignored, then many people just stop trying.

wenchsenior

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #65 on: July 13, 2017, 11:59:15 AM »
I also think that, when relationships end, there is an intense and understandable desire on the part of both parties to have both logical AND emotionally satisfying explanation as to why the precipitating party is acting.  But in reality, people are often making the decision primarily for emotional reasons and then self justifying afterward with lists of ' logical' reasons.

Many relationships do end for objectively good reasons, of course. But I think the hard thing to accept is that sometimes people just stop wanting to be in a relationship, either because they fall out of love or they grow in a different direction in terms of values, etc.  In that case, there really is nothing the party being left can do...and no clear indications on how they might prevent their subsequent relationships from ending the same way. It can be extremely upsetting and also reminds us all unpleasantly that intimate relationships are inherently risky. There are certainly practices in relationships that create healthier and happier dynamics, but in the end we cannot always affect other peoples' emotions and behaviors as much as we wish or in the ways we wish. 

caracarn

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #66 on: July 13, 2017, 12:06:27 PM »
I understand what you are saying, however, just because you thought she was your friend and had you best interest prior to leaving, she most likely didn't.  Or may be she though your weren't her friend or had her interests. That's the problem.  Your perception of the situation is not the same as the situation itself or how she saw it. I know it's hard for you, I'm not minimizing your struggle.  What I"m saying is that in the end, it will be for the best, even if you can't see that silver lining right now.
May be try to find out why she left.  That could shine some light on the whole thing.

I'm sure you're right about the part in bold.  I was happily married, but she clearly was not.  And I would very much like to know why she left.  Unfortunately, she shut down all communications with me the day she left.

Why is it always the woman who initiates the divorce?  I've read that among couples where both spouses have a college degree, the divorce is initiated by the woman something like 90% of the time.  I guess men are just easier to please?
I do think there is some truth to the fact that men just live with a situation.  On the outside looking in our our divorce people would say I initiated it, because I was the one who filed, and in the last couple weeks when I had finally given up the fight, I did move forward because I knew she'd drag it along and I wanted to get the kids through it and on to the new normal as fast as possible.  But on the inside of our marriage, she was the only one threatening divorce for years on end.  I'm not saying that this is the situation of the other women on here, but there did become a little bit of the "boy who cried wolf".  I eventually got deaf to the whining about how she never had enough money, never had enough fun, never had enough of whatever issue of the month was coming up.  We constantly talked about how we could change things, and we'd make changes and it was never enough.  We'd make a change and then she'd move the bar.  Sometimes "unhappy" just becomes the excuse word to use when they just want out and nothing will ever work.  We went to marriage counseling.  What she claimed was her biggest issue, I literally changed in a week and never looked back, because the only reason I was doing it in the first place was that I thought that's what she was clearly signaling she wanted me to be like in the first place.  Therapist thought I was being a little overly optimistic about how easy it was to change it, but two months later he had to admit, it was changed and gone and even he was surprised, yet then the excuse became she could not forget how I had been before and it would be too hard to get over so it was just easier to keep moving forward with giving up.   Then we told the kids.  Tears all around, then a week later as we are getting ready to go to attorneys she gets cold feet and makes up.  Things simmer for a year then the week before Christmas she blurts out she wants to be done and she has determined she should never have gotten married and never have had kids, she only did it because society made her feel like she should.  She figured out she wanted to be single because she had never lived on her own and supported herself.  By the way she turned around three months after we were divorced and was living with someone and already pregnant, so it was all made up crap, or she was confused about what she wanted.  I called the attorney the next day and had the paperwork done two days later.  We worked out what went into the paperwork those two days.  Until my ex started dragging the kids into the crap, I was making due, so yes, I would not have initiated.  It was once the kids were being impacted that I finally said enough is enough and that's why I rushed it through at that point.  A year before we had told the kids, they were devastated and then we "made up" (meaning she said she changed her mind) and lived as a family for another year during which I took a new job and we moved several states away.  I was not going to have he kids go through another yo-yo ride of we are getting divorced, no we ain't, yes we are.  I had tried to listen and meet her needs for the better part of the last 5-10 years are she pulled away and came back, the feminine yo-yo and I was done.  So again, did I "initiate the divorce"?  I'd say I finished it, but she had spent the better part of a decade initiating it.  Now in the end, I'd agree with Figuring that I am much happier, but I had to do a LOT of work on myself and processing of my marriage, my part in it not working, to "fix myself up" to be ready for the next person I let into my life.  I deserved the shit marriage I got because I did it all wrong, listening to the world and how "love conquers all" and the other bullshit we are sold, instead of actually finding a woman that understood what marriage and family are really about.  If you can focus on yourself and make sure you are a whole person on your own, you can end up with an amazing second act, and it can get better.  The trick is to acknowledge and take ownership of what you were responsible for in the failed marriage and do something about it. 

Now I also feel that the "unhappy" tag is tossed around way to easily these days.  I think people expect marriage to be easy.  It's not and was never meant to be.  Two imperfect people living together in the same house is never going to be easy.  Talk to long time married couple and you start to figure this out.  There are always a lot of challenges.  My best advice if you chose to re-enter the married world at some point is find someone who you fight well with.  What I mean by that is that your disagreements are resolved in a positive and constructive way, not by belittling or name calling each other, or hurting each other.  That's when you've got something that can last, because you will have points in time where you are on other sides of the world in how you view an issue, and finding a way to work together on it is hard.  If you can do that, you'll avoid almost everything that causes issues.  Also, learn to be satisfied with what you have.  Stop having grass is greener syndrome with regards to your spouse, your finances, your job.  That does not mean do not try to make your life better, but do it as a team, and with realistic expectations that avoid stressing both of you out.  Affairs always start because someone does not know how to do this. 

caracarn

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #67 on: July 13, 2017, 12:11:48 PM »
I understand what you are saying, however, just because you thought she was your friend and had you best interest prior to leaving, she most likely didn't.  Or may be she though your weren't her friend or had her interests. That's the problem.  Your perception of the situation is not the same as the situation itself or how she saw it. I know it's hard for you, I'm not minimizing your struggle.  What I"m saying is that in the end, it will be for the best, even if you can't see that silver lining right now.
May be try to find out why she left.  That could shine some light on the whole thing.

I'm sure you're right about the part in bold.  I was happily married, but she clearly was not.  And I would very much like to know why she left.  Unfortunately, she shut down all communications with me the day she left.

Why is it always the woman who initiates the divorce?  I've read that among couples where both spouses have a college degree, the divorce is initiated by the woman something like 90% of the time.  I guess men are just easier to please?

I'm sorry you are going through this.  It is hard and it will take time for you for process all of it and to get past it.
I don't know why it's women more than men.  At the time I was going through it, two of the women I know also filed for divorce from their husbands.  For one of them it was a long drawn out decision, like mine.  For the other one it was a fast and dirty once some serious issues came up in her marriage.
I do know for a fact that my ex-h would've never ever left me no matter the circumstances and no matter how unhappy he would've gotten, so in the end it was up to me to get out.

Me too.

Someone mentioned upthread the experience of telling a partner over and over how unhappy they were, but not being listened to, then the partner being surprised when the marriage ended. I have seen this in my own life and in others' lives, over and over.

I assume you're talking about other women.  Did they give their husbands specific reasons for their unhappiness, or did they just tell them they were unhappy?  Thinking back on my relationship, there were times when my wife said she was "feeling" a certain way but she couldn't really tell me why.  If a woman wants her spouse to change his behavior, she needs to be able to tell him precisely what he's doing wrong.  Otherwise, how does he know what he needs to do differently?
Man are from Mars, women are from Venus.  Different ways of communicating.  Figuring out how to cross that divide is tough.  See my comments about fighting well in the last post.  At times it takes a lot of effort to make sure I really understand what my wife is saying, but that's a big part of what I learned after my marriage broke up.  I did not always seek to understand, I just took the words and figured I knew what they meant.   A very helpful book is "Love and Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. 

K-ice

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #68 on: July 13, 2017, 12:30:27 PM »
I really do not know if it is best to get everything settled at once or to try and peg off different things as you can agree to them.

ie assets, custody, child support.

This could maybe be further sub divided.

It is my understanding, at least in Canada, but once property is split you can't go back unless someone hid assets.
Custody and child support can be reevaluated every year.

My friend and her ex came to a separation agreement quite amicably within 6 months.

They keep their respective retirements & savings, split house equity based on a number they agreed to 380K (380K city appraisal but one realtor appraised it at only 320K, mom foolishly said they had verbally agreed to the 380K so she wasn't going to change it now), the dad got $120 cash the day the separation agreement was signed, mom kept home, barely qualified for the new mortgage, Kids: joint custody for decisions but prime parenting with the mom, lots of visits for the dad ~35%, and NO child support or alimony as the mom makes more than the dad.

Anyway they were both quick to sign the separation agreement.  Lawyer fees only $800 for my friend.

One year later and time to make it official and the Dad says he now wants shared 50:50 parenting.  Tells the ex wife he has lots of money to fight her in court. (No kidding he just got 120K cash and only bought a small townhouse). The children do not seam to thrive after his visits so the mom is very against him getting more time.

3 years and $30,000 in lawyers later the dad has even less time ~20% but other than that things are unchanged.

Part of me wishes she had held onto the cash until custody and everything was settled. Since she didn't sell the house the 3y waiting period mentioned above would have been much better for her.

It was just so frustrating to watch thinking it was all over and settled and then it wasn't. ... Actually, I'm not even sure if it is officially over. I know they are close.


Oh and by the way the ex husband had an affair. At first they wanted to work things out but said he needed to get rid of the girlfriend. He refused. Ok it was over. There is no fault in Canada so it's not a huge deal, but he also refused to admit adultery which would have expedited the divorce.



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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #69 on: July 13, 2017, 02:08:17 PM »
Now I also feel that the "unhappy" tag is tossed around way to easily these days.  I think people expect marriage to be easy.  It's not and was never meant to be. Two imperfect people living together in the same house is never going to be easy.  Talk to long time married couple and you start to figure this out.  There are always a lot of challenges.  My best advice if you chose to re-enter the married world at some point is find someone who you fight well with.  What I mean by that is that your disagreements are resolved in a positive and constructive way, not by belittling or name calling each other, or hurting each other.  That's when you've got something that can last, because you will have points in time where you are on other sides of the world in how you view an issue, and finding a way to work together on it is hard.  If you can do that, you'll avoid almost everything that causes issues. 

Good post.  I think that's why wedding vows say "for better for worse, for richer or for poorer, etc."  There are always going to be unhappy times and challenges to overcome.

I totally agree with your point about learning how you're going to fight with each other.  A buddy of mine in church said this was the most important thing he and his then fiancee discussed with their counselor in premarital counseling.  In hindsight, I really wish my wife and I had gone through that.  We have many things in common, but our fighting styles could not be more different.  I'll stay up all night trying to win an argument (because I enjoy it...it's almost like trying to win a game) but she just shuts down.

caracarn

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #70 on: July 13, 2017, 02:15:41 PM »
I really do not know if it is best to get everything settled at once or to try and peg off different things as you can agree to them.

ie assets, custody, child support.

This could maybe be further sub divided.

It is my understanding, at least in Canada, but once property is split you can't go back unless someone hid assets.
Custody and child support can be reevaluated every year.

My friend and her ex came to a separation agreement quite amicably within 6 months.

They keep their respective retirements & savings, split house equity based on a number they agreed to 380K (380K city appraisal but one realtor appraised it at only 320K, mom foolishly said they had verbally agreed to the 380K so she wasn't going to change it now), the dad got $120 cash the day the separation agreement was signed, mom kept home, barely qualified for the new mortgage, Kids: joint custody for decisions but prime parenting with the mom, lots of visits for the dad ~35%, and NO child support or alimony as the mom makes more than the dad.

Anyway they were both quick to sign the separation agreement.  Lawyer fees only $800 for my friend.

One year later and time to make it official and the Dad says he now wants shared 50:50 parenting.  Tells the ex wife he has lots of money to fight her in court. (No kidding he just got 120K cash and only bought a small townhouse). The children do not seam to thrive after his visits so the mom is very against him getting more time.

3 years and $30,000 in lawyers later the dad has even less time ~20% but other than that things are unchanged.

Part of me wishes she had held onto the cash until custody and everything was settled. Since she didn't sell the house the 3y waiting period mentioned above would have been much better for her.

It was just so frustrating to watch thinking it was all over and settled and then it wasn't. ... Actually, I'm not even sure if it is officially over. I know they are close.


Oh and by the way the ex husband had an affair. At first they wanted to work things out but said he needed to get rid of the girlfriend. He refused. Ok it was over. There is no fault in Canada so it's not a huge deal, but he also refused to admit adultery which would have expedited the divorce.
You are generally correct.  Once the assets are divided you cannot go back unless you prove fraud.  So if you agree to a poor alimony payment for example, it is what it is.

The only time it is officially settled is when the kids are 18.  And in the US you can go back for custody whenever you want.  There is no time limit.  Child support as well, though the only time you get a change is when you have a "change in circumstances" which is clearly defined, but courts are happy to hear your case and then tell you nothing changed and payments therefore stay the same.  In the interim your lawyers got some more money.  This is where a vindictive ex like my wife has can bleed you dry.  If they represent themselves they have no costs other than filing fees of a hundred dollars or so, but if you want a lawyer, you pay them by the hour.  As I said above, they finished one custody hearing and he literally turned around the next week and filed again and court scheduled for 10 more days of trial.  Welcome to the legal system where only the employees benefit.

BFGirl

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #71 on: July 13, 2017, 02:55:30 PM »
Now I also feel that the "unhappy" tag is tossed around way to easily these days.  I think people expect marriage to be easy.  It's not and was never meant to be. Two imperfect people living together in the same house is never going to be easy.  Talk to long time married couple and you start to figure this out.  There are always a lot of challenges.  My best advice if you chose to re-enter the married world at some point is find someone who you fight well with.  What I mean by that is that your disagreements are resolved in a positive and constructive way, not by belittling or name calling each other, or hurting each other.  That's when you've got something that can last, because you will have points in time where you are on other sides of the world in how you view an issue, and finding a way to work together on it is hard.  If you can do that, you'll avoid almost everything that causes issues. 

Good post.  I think that's why wedding vows say "for better for worse, for richer or for poorer, etc."  There are always going to be unhappy times and challenges to overcome.

I totally agree with your point about learning how you're going to fight with each other.  A buddy of mine in church said this was the most important thing he and his then fiancee discussed with their counselor in premarital counseling.  In hindsight, I really wish my wife and I had gone through that.  We have many things in common, but our fighting styles could not be more different.  I'll stay up all night trying to win an argument (because I enjoy it...it's almost like trying to win a game) but she just shuts down.

I am sorry for all that you are going through.  Your comment of about staying up all night trying to "win" an argument is concerning to me.  Marital fights shouldn't be about "winning", they should be about addressing a problem together and finding a solution that both parties can live with.  If you are having a discussion with a partner who is only concerned about "winning" or being "right" you learn to shut down because nothing is being accomplished by the discussion and you feel that your partner is not hearing what you are saying.   It is one thing if you are debating a political issue, but quite another if you are having a fight about things that effect your life or relationship.  I wish you all the best.

BFGirl

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #72 on: July 13, 2017, 02:59:25 PM »
I understand what you are saying, however, just because you thought she was your friend and had you best interest prior to leaving, she most likely didn't.  Or may be she though your weren't her friend or had her interests. That's the problem.  Your perception of the situation is not the same as the situation itself or how she saw it. I know it's hard for you, I'm not minimizing your struggle.  What I"m saying is that in the end, it will be for the best, even if you can't see that silver lining right now.
May be try to find out why she left.  That could shine some light on the whole thing.

I'm sure you're right about the part in bold.  I was happily married, but she clearly was not.  And I would very much like to know why she left.  Unfortunately, she shut down all communications with me the day she left.

Why is it always the woman who initiates the divorce?  I've read that among couples where both spouses have a college degree, the divorce is initiated by the woman something like 90% of the time.  I guess men are just easier to please?

I'm sorry you are going through this.  It is hard and it will take time for you for process all of it and to get past it.
I don't know why it's women more than men.  At the time I was going through it, two of the women I know also filed for divorce from their husbands.  For one of them it was a long drawn out decision, like mine.  For the other one it was a fast and dirty once some serious issues came up in her marriage.
I do know for a fact that my ex-h would've never ever left me no matter the circumstances and no matter how unhappy he would've gotten, so in the end it was up to me to get out.

Me too.

Someone mentioned upthread the experience of telling a partner over and over how unhappy they were, but not being listened to, then the partner being surprised when the marriage ended. I have seen this in my own life and in others' lives, over and over.

This was my experience.  I told my ex for years what the problems were with specificity, but for whatever reason, he didn't care to try to work on the problems.  He just wanted to convince me that I was wrong.

caracarn

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #73 on: July 13, 2017, 03:10:08 PM »
Now I also feel that the "unhappy" tag is tossed around way to easily these days.  I think people expect marriage to be easy.  It's not and was never meant to be. Two imperfect people living together in the same house is never going to be easy.  Talk to long time married couple and you start to figure this out.  There are always a lot of challenges.  My best advice if you chose to re-enter the married world at some point is find someone who you fight well with.  What I mean by that is that your disagreements are resolved in a positive and constructive way, not by belittling or name calling each other, or hurting each other.  That's when you've got something that can last, because you will have points in time where you are on other sides of the world in how you view an issue, and finding a way to work together on it is hard.  If you can do that, you'll avoid almost everything that causes issues. 

Good post.  I think that's why wedding vows say "for better for worse, for richer or for poorer, etc."  There are always going to be unhappy times and challenges to overcome.

I totally agree with your point about learning how you're going to fight with each other.  A buddy of mine in church said this was the most important thing he and his then fiancee discussed with their counselor in premarital counseling.  In hindsight, I really wish my wife and I had gone through that.  We have many things in common, but our fighting styles could not be more different.  I'll stay up all night trying to win an argument (because I enjoy it...it's almost like trying to win a game) but she just shuts down.
I think you said you are divorced already, so might not help, but it might help others.  My wife and I are the same way, somewhat, in that I want the argument resolved and she will walk away.  I do not get enjoyment out of it.  I will respectfully suggest you need to figure out how to deal with that viewpoint and change it because you'll frankly irritate anyone that way. 

So it is key to understand that fighting well has nothing to do with having aligned styles.  My wife and are are total opposites in our style, but we still fight well.  That is because we focused on how to work with each style and get a way to get positive results.  I did have to work to not follow her when she's ready to be done and think about it.  That just makes her mad and we then are not fighting well, we're just fighting.  That's when I might get something thrown in my direction.  What I meant by fighting well is that we do not name call or do things just for position in the argument.  We focus on the problem not on harming each other.  It is the problem that is the issue, not the person.  So in your situation, similar to what I need to do, I'd focus on first determining when something is not worth fighting over.  Some battles are just over dumb things.  Maybe you are good at this, but the "I enjoy it, it's a game" would seem to lead to relish arguments over anything and so you just look for battles because you thrive on it.  That would be a difficult environment.  Find some friends to debate with, but don't get your jollies on your spouse with that. 

Now we also "worked out" this with actual fights while we were dating, not in counseling.  I think there is not substitute for the real thing in this case.   Too easy to fabricate and say the right things in a counselors office with made up scenarios or where they jump in. 

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #74 on: July 13, 2017, 03:25:41 PM »
Now I also feel that the "unhappy" tag is tossed around way to easily these days.  I think people expect marriage to be easy.  It's not and was never meant to be. Two imperfect people living together in the same house is never going to be easy.  Talk to long time married couple and you start to figure this out.  There are always a lot of challenges.  My best advice if you chose to re-enter the married world at some point is find someone who you fight well with.  What I mean by that is that your disagreements are resolved in a positive and constructive way, not by belittling or name calling each other, or hurting each other.  That's when you've got something that can last, because you will have points in time where you are on other sides of the world in how you view an issue, and finding a way to work together on it is hard.  If you can do that, you'll avoid almost everything that causes issues. 

I disagree. If a marriage is causing long term unhappiness why continue? A marriage isn't a bad tattoo; it's a reversible decision. Everybody (I hope) enters into it with the best of intentions, but the reality is that some people are badly matched, and people change over time. As  a person who values happiness, I'm not staying in a relationship that makes me miserable.
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frugalparagon

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #75 on: July 13, 2017, 03:53:48 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 have like a 300 page PDF of it.

While it has been over a year since we filed and some 9 months since we finalized, we are still working amicably and respectfully toward division of marital assets.

Some things that have been helpful for us are doing little favors for each other when time permits (ie, swapping one Sunday evening for another so someone can go to a concert; accepting an 11 AM pickup instead of 9 AM if someone has a meeting; etc.), backing off and using fewer words when things get heated (money is an ongoing discussion), and continuing to enjoy our shared children. We share information about home life and the kids' schedules pretty freely and "like" each other's FB photos of them.

The XFP is remarried. It is important that I do not see this as any kind of reflection on myself, and this takes work. She is prettier than me, and younger. Well, lots of people are. He always wanted to be with a hot girl and now he has one. I have a boyfriend, too. The XFP came over to drop something off and our children were sitting on my couch cuddling with my boyfriend watching a movie. Perhaps it takes work for the XFP to be OK with that?

It is not what I thought life would be but it's pretty OK. I am extremely fortunate that the XFP has been pretty chill. If your ex goes full-scale asshole, there doesn't seem to be much you can do to prevent it.
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Schaefer Light

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #76 on: July 14, 2017, 06:43:01 AM »
So in your situation, similar to what I need to do, I'd focus on first determining when something is not worth fighting over.  Some battles are just over dumb things.  Maybe you are good at this, but the "I enjoy it, it's a game" would seem to lead to relish arguments over anything and so you just look for battles because you thrive on it.  That would be a difficult environment.  Find some friends to debate with, but don't get your jollies on your spouse with that.

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.

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #77 on: July 14, 2017, 08:20:51 AM »

caracarn

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #78 on: July 14, 2017, 10:22:59 AM »
Now I also feel that the "unhappy" tag is tossed around way to easily these days.  I think people expect marriage to be easy.  It's not and was never meant to be. Two imperfect people living together in the same house is never going to be easy.  Talk to long time married couple and you start to figure this out.  There are always a lot of challenges.  My best advice if you chose to re-enter the married world at some point is find someone who you fight well with.  What I mean by that is that your disagreements are resolved in a positive and constructive way, not by belittling or name calling each other, or hurting each other.  That's when you've got something that can last, because you will have points in time where you are on other sides of the world in how you view an issue, and finding a way to work together on it is hard.  If you can do that, you'll avoid almost everything that causes issues. 

I disagree. If a marriage is causing long term unhappiness why continue? A marriage isn't a bad tattoo; it's a reversible decision. Everybody (I hope) enters into it with the best of intentions, but the reality is that some people are badly matched, and people change over time. As  a person who values happiness, I'm not staying in a relationship that makes me miserable.
I will start I'm simply stating my opinion here, and I am sure many may disagree.  I'm not looking to start an argument, but felt I needed to respond to this with some key points.

Marriage should not be viewed as a reversible decision.  All the pain and heartache in this thread from people who have gone through it, in come cases because their selfish parents viewed it as reversible should not be viewed as OK.  Act like an adult and figure out the situation beforehand and understand that this is going to be hard work.  Any relationship, whether marriage or not, takes work to maintain.  If it does not then your not remotely connecting intimately, it's just superficial.  Figure out that the relationship makes you miserable before you get married.  People do change over time, but the trend of divorce being societally acceptable I feel is a major downfall in family stability.  Someone changing to the point that they are different person than they were is pretty rare, it is just a perception.  Many times the asshole was there, they were just great at hiding it while dating.  Nothing my ex did after we were married was not there before, I was just stupid enough to think that in a loving marriage things would change and I bought into that fairy tale.  That ended up with me becoming a divorce statistic.  When we are comfortable in public to say marriage is a reversible decision, it shows that people do not view marriage with the respect it should have as a covenant. 

When I was young I was too stupid to understand this and figured because we had dated for seven years that was good enough, but we had never actually had any hard conversations.  We were still kids living with our parents for most of the time, so when we got together for dates it was all fun and puppy dogs.  That's not enough to build a marriage decision on. 
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 10:29:43 AM by caracarn »

caracarn

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #79 on: July 14, 2017, 10:31:08 AM »

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #80 on: July 14, 2017, 10:39:26 AM »
Marriage should not be viewed as a reversible decision.  All the pain and heartache in this thread from people who have gone through it, in come cases because their selfish parents viewed it as reversible should not be viewed as OK.  Act like an adult and figure out the situation beforehand and understand that this is going to be hard work.  Any relationship, whether marriage or not, takes work to maintain.  If it does not then your not remotely connecting intimately, it's just superficial.  Figure out that the relationship makes you miserable before you get married.  People do change over time, but the trend of divorce being societally acceptable I feel is a major downfall in family stability.  Someone changing to the point that they are different person than they were is pretty rare, it is just a perception.  Many times the asshole was there, they were just great at hiding it while dating.  Nothing my ex did after we were married was not there before, I was just stupid enough to think that in a loving marriage things would change and I bought into that fairy tale.  That ended up with me becoming a divorce statistic. When we are comfortable in public to say marriage is a reversible decision, it shows that people do not view marriage with the respect it should have as a covenant. 

I totally agree.  "Til death do us part" is a serious commitment and should not be taken lightly.

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #81 on: July 14, 2017, 10:44:22 AM »
I think diverse family types are good for society. The breakup of a bad marriage is not a tragedy, and good marriages don't break up.

I got married as an idiotic 20 year old, and it was a bad decision. Rectifying that error is the best choice I ever made. At the time (both of the marriage and the divorce) I felt that it was a sacred institution and divorce was the ethical equivalent of murder. Now I look at how much better my life and my kids' lives are and I think that if something is bad and can't be fixed it should be thrown out, and moral judgments are misplaced.

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #82 on: July 14, 2017, 11:03:36 AM »

I totally agree with your point about learning how you're going to fight with each other.  A buddy of mine in church said this was the most important thing he and his then fiancee discussed with their counselor in premarital counseling.  In hindsight, I really wish my wife and I had gone through that.  We have many things in common, but our fighting styles could not be more different.  I'll stay up all night trying to win an argument (because I enjoy it...it's almost like trying to win a game) but she just shuts down.

@SchaeferLight, earlier in the thread I think you indicated that you don't know why your wife divorced you.  Most likely, if your behavior in arguing wasn't the reason, then during the arguments, you either ignored or shut down her telling you reasons.  My personal guess is that she told you many times in many ways, but you hadn't learned to hear it yet.


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.

If you write down a list of the "weaker" arguments she gave before divorcing, it might include some of her reasons for divorcing.

My mother had a similar experience to what your wife's/ex-wife's may have been.  Dad argued easily; she did not.  Finally she decided she'd heard enough, and filed divorce papers.  I was adult by this time, thus I heard the developing story from both sides in addition to witnessing some of the events.  Once she walked out the door and filed, she never did accept his requests to talk more.  She felt he'd had his chance.

I sincerely wish you the best in both learning and recovering from this experience.

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #83 on: July 14, 2017, 11:24:13 AM »

Marriage should not be viewed as a reversible decision.  All the pain and heartache in this thread from people who have gone through it, in come cases because their selfish parents viewed it as reversible should not be viewed as OK.  Act like an adult and figure out the situation beforehand and understand that this is going to be hard work.  Any relationship, whether marriage or not, takes work to maintain.  If it does not then your not remotely connecting intimately, it's just superficial.  Figure out that the relationship makes you miserable before you get married.  People do change over time, but the trend of divorce being societally acceptable I feel is a major downfall in family stability. 

The trend of divorce being societally acceptable is a major contributor to the decline in domestic violence in the United States.  I can show sources if people are interested; I am a historian of marriage and sexuality, this is a commonly accepted research finding in the field.

I assume you believe that divorce is ok in abusive marriages, just not in non-abusive ones.  But that's unfortunately not how the causality works.  Stigmatizing divorce leads people to stay in abusive marriages because, when you get divorced, people are not going to assume that your marriage was abusive unless it was a major news story.  Even if you try to convince people that it was, many will not believe you, because no one wants to think that their friend/acquaintance/coworker/cousin was actually beating their spouse.  Even if you have rock-solid evidence, just think how terrible it is for someone to constantly be explaining to everyone they know the details of the most painful parts of their life. So people stay in abusive marriages because they know that they will be judged by everyone around them for leaving.

If individuals want to adopt a personal code that commits them to staying in a non-abusive marriage no matter how unhappy they are, I'm fine with that.  But on a societal level, stigmatizing divorce has very serious consequences for victims of domestic violence. 

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #84 on: July 14, 2017, 11:51:34 AM »
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.

This sounds like it could be a major contributing factor to the breakdown of the marriage. I know my DH grew up in a family where debating/arguing was encouraged and I did not. He views it as a fun exercise to push his competition muscles, and I experience it as an adversarial, aggressive rejection and like he views me not as a life partner, but as an adversary. Neither of us is right, in fact I think I'm overly sensitive to this because of a dysfunctional upbringing. But the fact remains that I get hurt when he tries to "win" arguments/debates; I tend to shut down and retreat. He knows how much I intensely dislike it and actively tries not to do it out of courtesy to me, but he can occasionally slip back into his friendly/competitive habits.

The difference is, I learned right away to interrupt when I see it's heading toward one of those arguments and say something like, "hey, I'm your partner, not your opponent, I don't like debating like this with you where one wins and one loses (and I always lose because I get so flustered and upset). Can we discuss this like partners and find a solution together, instead?" and he's emotionally sensitive enough to notice that I'm uncomfortable and is able to instantly switch gears from competition to cooperation because to him, its a game, but he knows to me, it's deadly serious. It happens so rarely now that I haven't had to do this in years, but he knows what my boundary is (I refuse to be a debate opponent with him) and he respects it. But it requires respect and communication from both sides. I needed to speak up about what was and wasn't ok with me, and he needed to actively listen and respect it.
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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #85 on: July 14, 2017, 12:15:16 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.

This sounds like it could be a major contributing factor to the breakdown of the marriage. I know my DH grew up in a family where debating/arguing was encouraged and I did not. He views it as a fun exercise to push his competition muscles, and I experience it as an adversarial, aggressive rejection and like he views me not as a life partner, but as an adversary. Neither of us is right, in fact I think I'm overly sensitive to this because of a dysfunctional upbringing.

Your husband sounds just like me.  You also bring up an interesting point in talking about your upbringings.  When I was a kid, my parents argued and yelled at each other from time to time.  I viewed that as normal and acceptable behavior in a relationship.  My wife was abused by her father as a child (which I have to think would make her more likely to run away from an angry person as she would be scared about the possibility of being abused again).  Given her background vs. mine, I wonder if our relationship was like a ticking time bomb right from the start.  She was overly sensitive to arguments and raised voices, and I was from a family where it was normal to argue and lose your temper. 

I do regret the times I lost my temper and didn't back down during arguments.  I felt like I was getting better about trying to hear what she was saying and working towards a resolution instead of simply arguing with her towards the end of our relationship.  I guess maybe I just lost my temper one time too many.  It's hard to say since she won't talk to me now.

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #86 on: July 14, 2017, 12:33:44 PM »

Marriage should not be viewed as a reversible decision.  All the pain and heartache in this thread from people who have gone through it, in come cases because their selfish parents viewed it as reversible should not be viewed as OK.  Act like an adult and figure out the situation beforehand and understand that this is going to be hard work.  Any relationship, whether marriage or not, takes work to maintain.  If it does not then your not remotely connecting intimately, it's just superficial.  Figure out that the relationship makes you miserable before you get married.  People do change over time, but the trend of divorce being societally acceptable I feel is a major downfall in family stability. 

The trend of divorce being societally acceptable is a major contributor to the decline in domestic violence in the United States.  I can show sources if people are interested; I am a historian of marriage and sexuality, this is a commonly accepted research finding in the field.

I assume you believe that divorce is ok in abusive marriages, just not in non-abusive ones.  But that's unfortunately not how the causality works.  Stigmatizing divorce leads people to stay in abusive marriages because, when you get divorced, people are not going to assume that your marriage was abusive unless it was a major news story.  Even if you try to convince people that it was, many will not believe you, because no one wants to think that their friend/acquaintance/coworker/cousin was actually beating their spouse.  Even if you have rock-solid evidence, just think how terrible it is for someone to constantly be explaining to everyone they know the details of the most painful parts of their life. So people stay in abusive marriages because they know that they will be judged by everyone around them for leaving.

If individuals want to adopt a personal code that commits them to staying in a non-abusive marriage no matter how unhappy they are, I'm fine with that.  But on a societal level, stigmatizing divorce has very serious consequences for victims of domestic violence.
I do understand that, and you are correct, your assumption about my belief is correct regarding abusive marriages.  My view of what we have made societally acceptable is not meaning that you need to be stigmatized, but we have made it so "OK" that I do feel marriage is absolutely viewed as snacky said; just a throw away and if it does not work out, eh, I'll just get a divorce.  I think the biggest driver for this is celebrities who truly have created this relationships as entertainment.  We have Bennifer and other cutsy names for couples and hey they are together for a year, then someone sneezes and hey it's not perfect and I want a new flavor.  This attitude has very quickly crept into the general populaces casual relationship with marriage.  For example, I view a prenup as another ridiculous and terrible tool.  If you feel the need to insure yourself against a break up to save money, then I'd strongly tell you that what you should be doing instead is to stop acting on your feelings of "I can't wait to marry this person" and instead figure out exactly what is making you feel like you need a prenup with them and do not marry them until you are confident and trustworthy and that thing is not an issue and you are not worried about needing a prenup.  Basically stop thinking about marriage with what's in your pants, and wait until your head is there and your not concerned. 

My wife came out of an abusive marriage, so I get the situation and it is awful.  There are just too many people who get divorced for "irreconcilable differences" when those differences are anything but irreconcilable, they're just too lazy to reconcile them.  Abuse is not one of those situations, but as my wife will tell you she stayed because of the things that cause people to stay with abusers not because she felt she could not divorce.  I am really curious about how these research studies purport to account for that.  I think you'd be hard pressed to show that any sort of divorce stigma is what would keep someone with an abuser, because as most who are abused will tell you there is a whole lot of mental health and other things going on that get played that keep them with the abuser.  That my wife got out was a miracle if you ask her, and even then there were one or two times she said she almost went back, and this was after he had threatened to kill her multiple times.  Took a lot of counseling for her to finally see him for what he was. 
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 12:45:28 PM by caracarn »

caracarn

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #87 on: July 14, 2017, 12:43:55 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.

This sounds like it could be a major contributing factor to the breakdown of the marriage. I know my DH grew up in a family where debating/arguing was encouraged and I did not. He views it as a fun exercise to push his competition muscles, and I experience it as an adversarial, aggressive rejection and like he views me not as a life partner, but as an adversary. Neither of us is right, in fact I think I'm overly sensitive to this because of a dysfunctional upbringing. But the fact remains that I get hurt when he tries to "win" arguments/debates; I tend to shut down and retreat. He knows how much I intensely dislike it and actively tries not to do it out of courtesy to me, but he can occasionally slip back into his friendly/competitive habits.

The difference is, I learned right away to interrupt when I see it's heading toward one of those arguments and say something like, "hey, I'm your partner, not your opponent, I don't like debating like this with you where one wins and one loses (and I always lose because I get so flustered and upset). Can we discuss this like partners and find a solution together, instead?" and he's emotionally sensitive enough to notice that I'm uncomfortable and is able to instantly switch gears from competition to cooperation because to him, its a game, but he knows to me, it's deadly serious. It happens so rarely now that I haven't had to do this in years, but he knows what my boundary is (I refuse to be a debate opponent with him) and he respects it. But it requires respect and communication from both sides. I needed to speak up about what was and wasn't ok with me, and he needed to actively listen and respect it.
This is very interesting.  While not exactly the same details, this is similar to what my wife and I have done and has resulted in what I described earlier as "fighting well".  I do not mind debating.  I do not enjoy it as much as Schaefer seems too, but I do not find it problematic.  I'll go toe to toe with anyone for hours if they want.  My wife on the other hand sometimes needs time to process alone (heavy introvert) where I am an extrovert so I just love talking all the angles.  Her "signal" is to let me know that she is done talking and needs some time to think about it.  We only fail in fighting when I ignore that signal and try to push to a solution then and there.  If I let her be, for a few minutes, an hour, on something very serious maybe even a day or two, she always comes back and we "finish" and get a solution.  We worked this all out before we got married and we got married a year after we met, so it was an intense courtship period covering a lot of ground.  But we both agreed this was an area we both very clearly understood from our previous failed marriages was one that had to work or we'd be divorced again.  This goes back to the "taking marriage seriously and not reversible".  These are not things or topics that are any fun at all to discuss when you're dating.  If you just make the decision on how you make each other "feel" and that "I love you" you run a huge risk.  You know virtually nothing about the person without a lot of deadly serious and boring conversations. 
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 12:47:50 PM by caracarn »

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #88 on: July 14, 2017, 12:46:19 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.

This sounds like it could be a major contributing factor to the breakdown of the marriage. I know my DH grew up in a family where debating/arguing was encouraged and I did not. He views it as a fun exercise to push his competition muscles, and I experience it as an adversarial, aggressive rejection and like he views me not as a life partner, but as an adversary. Neither of us is right, in fact I think I'm overly sensitive to this because of a dysfunctional upbringing.

Your husband sounds just like me.  You also bring up an interesting point in talking about your upbringings.  When I was a kid, my parents argued and yelled at each other from time to time.  I viewed that as normal and acceptable behavior in a relationship.  My wife was abused by her father as a child (which I have to think would make her more likely to run away from an angry person as she would be scared about the possibility of being abused again).  Given her background vs. mine, I wonder if our relationship was like a ticking time bomb right from the start.  She was overly sensitive to arguments and raised voices, and I was from a family where it was normal to argue and lose your temper. 

I do regret the times I lost my temper and didn't back down during arguments.  I felt like I was getting better about trying to hear what she was saying and working towards a resolution instead of simply arguing with her towards the end of our relationship.  I guess maybe I just lost my temper one time too many.  It's hard to say since she won't talk to me now.

This reminds me of my ex-husband and I.  I just got tired of arguing and I don't like to shout ever unless it is an emergency.  I don't much enjoy these things but it is clear from this thread that some people do.    He's also someone I wouldn't speak to now. 

My current husband and I have been together for 11 years and I don't think we've ever raised our voices at each other.  Sure, we have disagreements but it isn't adversarial.  We work towards resolution rather than me or him trying to prove who is right. 

Lady SA

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #89 on: July 14, 2017, 01:20:52 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.

This sounds like it could be a major contributing factor to the breakdown of the marriage. I know my DH grew up in a family where debating/arguing was encouraged and I did not. He views it as a fun exercise to push his competition muscles, and I experience it as an adversarial, aggressive rejection and like he views me not as a life partner, but as an adversary. Neither of us is right, in fact I think I'm overly sensitive to this because of a dysfunctional upbringing.

Your husband sounds just like me.  You also bring up an interesting point in talking about your upbringings.  When I was a kid, my parents argued and yelled at each other from time to time.  I viewed that as normal and acceptable behavior in a relationship.  My wife was abused by her father as a child (which I have to think would make her more likely to run away from an angry person as she would be scared about the possibility of being abused again).  Given her background vs. mine, I wonder if our relationship was like a ticking time bomb right from the start.  She was overly sensitive to arguments and raised voices, and I was from a family where it was normal to argue and lose your temper. 

I do regret the times I lost my temper and didn't back down during arguments.  I felt like I was getting better about trying to hear what she was saying and working towards a resolution instead of simply arguing with her towards the end of our relationship.  I guess maybe I just lost my temper one time too many.  It's hard to say since she won't talk to me now.

This reminds me of my ex-husband and I.  I just got tired of arguing and I don't like to shout ever unless it is an emergency.  I don't much enjoy these things but it is clear from this thread that some people do.    He's also someone I wouldn't speak to now. 

My current husband and I have been together for 11 years and I don't think we've ever raised our voices at each other.  Sure, we have disagreements but it isn't adversarial.  We work towards resolution rather than me or him trying to prove who is right.

Right. There is a difference between raised, angry voices (definitely aggressive and adversarial) and calm debate (still adversarial) and problem solving as a team (cooperative). It's all about how you perceive the alignment between the two of you. People are much more likely to listen and cooperate with someone they feel is helping them, than they are to someone they feel is undermining or judging or looking for ways to make them fail.
I personally need to be with someone who is willing to calmly work WITH me to handle those little disagreements, not AGAINST me. All it takes is a quick reminder on how I don't work well when my DH slips into debate territory (he has never raised his voice to me, or get angry at all, really) and he apologizes for being a dunce and switches to a calm problem solving session that works MUCH better with my personality, and we usually resolve whatever it is in less than 5 minutes.

« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 01:31:59 PM by Lady SA »
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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #90 on: July 14, 2017, 01:44:27 PM »
I almost wish everyone was forced to go to marriage counseling before they get married, so some one else could listen to the couple's interactions, and point out possible red flags or bad interactions. Yes, I think the current culture, marriage is either glamorized (more by women, by big weddings or celebrity hook ups) or by men, seen a negative (ball and chain, wealth and time sucker). Both are not healthy ways to enter into a marriage or serious relationship.

I've only been married once, so I guess I didn't really know what I was doing. Having a good marriage was important to me, in particular after we had kids. Before that I didn't mind "living in sin" and having more of a bohemian life. But after kids, I wanted us to have a healthy, mutually supportive relationship both for ourselves, and create a loving environment and home life for the kids. A positive environment that included art and music, but also was responsible. If one wants that, you have to look for someone who values that enough as well, enough so to work for that, and feel rewarded and happy to have that kind of life. In retrospect I married someone who idolized the lives of artists and writers like Picasso or Keroac and Hemmingway, men who led interesting lives and had intense relationships with women, but where the woman was clearly second class in that "world". It should have been a sign when we both read the autobiography of Francoise Gilot about living with Picasso, how differently we saw their lives together. He saw it as cool and a "love story" while I was horrified for her. Part of my ex wanted the happy family life. But there was another part of him that felt trapped by it and saw that life as an enemy. 
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 01:46:25 PM by partgypsy »

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #91 on: July 14, 2017, 02:08:16 PM »
I never planned to divorce when I married.  There were some warning signs before we married that I failed to recognize would cause significant problems later on.  I stayed in a miserable marriage for 18 years after the problems surfaced, because I had made a covenant.  I struggled for years about whether or not to divorce.  The ex refused to cooperate on anything.  I finally got out when I realized the toll it was taking on the kids who were teenagers.  They both wanted us to leave.  When my daughter thought I was wavering, she took me by the shoulders and said, "Mom, you have been emotionally abused for 20 years, it's time to get out."

I don't agree that marriage should be taken lightly, but have made peace with the fact that sometimes you just have to get out.

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #92 on: July 14, 2017, 05:39:52 PM »
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.

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #93 on: July 14, 2017, 09:30:26 PM »
I never planned to divorce when I married.  There were some warning signs before we married that I failed to recognize would cause significant problems later on.  I stayed in a miserable marriage for 18 years after the problems surfaced, because I had made a covenant.  I struggled for years about whether or not to divorce.  The ex refused to cooperate on anything.  I finally got out when I realized the toll it was taking on the kids who were teenagers.  They both wanted us to leave.  When my daughter thought I was wavering, she took me by the shoulders and said, "Mom, you have been emotionally abused for 20 years, it's time to get out."

I don't agree that marriage should be taken lightly, but have made peace with the fact that sometimes you just have to get out.

This is a good example of where divorce is stigmatized (as breaking a covenant), and the stigma led to a bad outcome (staying too long in  marriage that could not work). 

Fwiw, consciously expressing this view as a man so that the stay vs go debate doesn't remain men vs women. 

Where this connects with SchaeferLight (edit - wrote OP, briefly forgot SchaeferLight is not OP) is that if he takes refuge in the claim that women who divorce are taking marriage too lightly, it would be unproductively easy to ignore the factors that must be faced in order to learn effectively from this experience.  Blaming others is not productive.  To some extent the whole "is divorce ok" subthread is not divorce help IMHO, though it may feel nice and I don't want to deny comfort to SchaeferLight.  Getting through the feelings of divorce, understanding the poster's role in the divorce and preparing for the rest of his life are all relevant.  Blaming doesn't help those items, it distracts. 

Just one man's opinion from watching divorces, peer counseling with a lot of people and having non-marital breakups.  Not a professional opinion.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 09:34:17 PM by Bicycle_B »

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #94 on: July 15, 2017, 12:42:39 PM »
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've been married twice (widowed first time) for a total of 38 years and counting.  I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of fights/arguments I've had with a spouse.  Admittedly, I will go to great lengths to avoid conflict but I would never get into or stay in a relationship that involved arguments weekly or monthly.

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #95 on: July 15, 2017, 01:31:40 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.

partgypsy

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #96 on: July 16, 2017, 02:21:06 PM »
I never planned to divorce when I married.  There were some warning signs before we married that I failed to recognize would cause significant problems later on.  I stayed in a miserable marriage for 18 years after the problems surfaced, because I had made a covenant.  I struggled for years about whether or not to divorce.  The ex refused to cooperate on anything.  I finally got out when I realized the toll it was taking on the kids who were teenagers.  They both wanted us to leave.  When my daughter thought I was wavering, she took me by the shoulders and said, "Mom, you have been emotionally abused for 20 years, it's time to get out."

I don't agree that marriage should be taken lightly, but have made peace with the fact that sometimes you just have to get out.

This is a good example of where divorce is stigmatized (as breaking a covenant), and the stigma led to a bad outcome (staying too long in  marriage that could not work). 

Fwiw, consciously expressing this view as a man so that the stay vs go debate doesn't remain men vs women. 

Where this connects with SchaeferLight (edit - wrote OP, briefly forgot SchaeferLight is not OP) is that if he takes refuge in the claim that women who divorce are taking marriage too lightly, it would be unproductively easy to ignore the factors that must be faced in order to learn effectively from this experience.  Blaming others is not productive.  To some extent the whole "is divorce ok" subthread is not divorce help IMHO, though it may feel nice and I don't want to deny comfort to SchaeferLight.  Getting through the feelings of divorce, understanding the poster's role in the divorce and preparing for the rest of his life are all relevant.  Blaming doesn't help those items, it distracts. 

Just one man's opinion from watching divorces, peer counseling with a lot of people and having non-marital breakups.  Not a professional opinion.
(Raise my hand). My ex felt it was healthier for us to air things out than keep things inside, even if we might find there was a deal breaker. And that kind of airing of differences was healthy and productive because in previous relationships I was conflict avoidant. But say the last 10 years of marriage we would have unproductive arguments. I would bring up something important to me, and he would disagree, say it wasn't a problem for him, and usually personally attack me. Also highly critical of me in general. So we stopped arguing, because I hated the fights, I wouldn't respond, or bring up things (that had been brought up many times before) so he did his thing, and  I did my thing, but I felt alone in the relationship. Ironically when I stopped responding to him in arguments (because they were hurtful and fruitless) he claimed that we had lost passion in our relationship (he liked fighting, and apparently fought often with the person in his first affair).
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 12:35:50 PM by partgypsy »

kayvent

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #97 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 #98 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. 

Schaefer Light

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Re: Divorce help and discussion
« Reply #99 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.