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The world turned upside down thread
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Sep 7, 2013, 05:22 PM
 
Ok so this is all new.
After 20 years of marriage and two lovely girls I find myself on my own. I can't imagine a bigger change.
It's been my decision and it was a strange combination of hardest one ever and yet the only one to make. So I'm staying with friends having had to move out and leave my wife and girls in the family home.
Am expecting a roller coaster ride of emotions and very many black days so please feel free to share your advice. I'm determined to be as graceful and careful with those I have hurt as is possible given the awful place I have put them all into.

But there we are. Not exactly a deeply planned situation but one I have to make the best of.
     
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Sep 7, 2013, 05:49 PM
 
That...sucks.

I'm very sorry to hear it. It's good to hear that you're making a concerted effort to not hurt those around you with your own internal pain, though. That takes a strong person.

The only advice I could give is from the perspective of a child whose parents divorced later in life, and it seems like you've already got that one under control (keeping your kids out of it).

Good luck. <3
     
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Sep 7, 2013, 05:56 PM
 
All I can say is it's okay if shit wasn't meant to be.

There's lots of shit which isn't meant to be. You're not alone.
     
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Sep 7, 2013, 10:40 PM
 
Indeed.

Take care, sir.
     
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Sep 8, 2013, 12:35 PM
 
Ultimately you have to do what's right for you. I walked away from a 17 year relationship. We were the "perfect couple" as far as everyone was concerned but I was dying inside.

Good luck.
     
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Sep 8, 2013, 05:53 PM
 
It's quite mad how up and down days are and how that colours absolutely everything about the day and the people in it. Reality is quite bendy.

Had parents visit today to check I wasn't mad, wife thinks I've gone crazy, but was pronounced sane which is comforting.

Saw eldest daughter for first time in 3 weeks for lunch. was nice. Told her she was loved, she managed to say she still loved me. Youngest daughter still not talking or returning texts but I try every day.

Have found appt to rent in home town so still near children. It's going to be super weird being not in home.

There is another person involved, long term plan is to be with that person after everything settles down but that's going to be a long time hence as so much rubbish and pain and stuff to wade through before new things can happen.
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 10:49 AM
 
Wait, so you left your wife for another woman?
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 12:56 PM
 
It generally tends to happen that way...or a man I suppose
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Sep 9, 2013, 01:02 PM
 
The twist is she's a windows user.
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 02:11 PM
 
*rimshot*
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 02:13 PM
 
It also might be a real big reason why his kids don't want to have anything to do with him.
     
Doc HM  (op)
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Sep 9, 2013, 02:57 PM
 
It was certainly a catalyst but no it was a decision on it's own. Have not jumped from one relationship into another. If anything happens that will be a way down the line, certainly a long way down the line.
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 03:30 PM
 
If you turned it upside down yourself, is it still upside down? Whose world is more upside down, yours or your wife's? I'm having a little difficulty empathizing, sorry...

How old are your kids? Chances are, they will protect their mom, as she is the "injured" party.

I suppose if you haven't actually "cheated" yet that is something, but being interested in another person so much that you leave your wife, unfulfilled or no, not good form.
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 03:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
If you turned it upside down yourself, is it still upside down? Whose world is more upside down, yours or your wife's? I'm having a little difficulty empathizing, sorry...

How old are your kids? Chances are, they will protect their mom, as she is the "injured" party.

I suppose if you haven't actually "cheated" yet that is something, but being interested in another person so much that you leave your wife, unfulfilled or no, not good form.
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 04:07 PM
 
That's how it goes, isn't it? If you have a wife and two kids, even if you're not happy or thrilled with your choices, you very likely stay status quo because of the momentum of Life.

Breaking up almost invariably means someone is "interested in another person". Doesn't necessarily have to be someone else you're sleeping with; it could be someone else you love more; it could be someone else you think you love more; it could be someone else you think you could possibly love more but aren't quite sure and want to find out.

Either way, if there's a break up, pretty high odds that at least one of the parties feels "interested in another person". That blossoming hope is the impetus for taking such a drastic step.
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Sep 9, 2013, 04:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
If you turned it upside down yourself, is it still upside down? Whose world is more upside down, yours or your wife's? I'm having a little difficulty empathizing, sorry...

How old are your kids? Chances are, they will protect their mom, as she is the "injured" party.

I suppose if you haven't actually "cheated" yet that is something, but being interested in another person so much that you leave your wife, unfulfilled or no, not good form.
Wait a sec...

You end a relationship because you realize you would be many times happier somewhere else.

Why is it not okay to have that realization based on knowing a person?


I broke up with someone after a long relationship because I had met someone else. I realized I would be much happier with this person or someone like them.

I'm not supposed to break up? I need to find a better reason?
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 04:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm not supposed to break up? I need to find a better reason?
I think the general idea is that breaking up with someone because you found someone better (i.e., trading up) or breaking up with someone because meeting someone else gave you an epiphany as to how bad things have become are indistinguishable.
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 04:43 PM
 
I was thinking this thread was a Will Smith parody and didn't expect it to be serious.

Sorry to hear about this. Been in a similar place, but I was in your wife's shoes, and it's a shitty situation to be in either way.
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Sep 9, 2013, 04:45 PM
 
My point was not that people should be trapped in unhappy relationships forever... but that they shouldn't jump ship so suddenly. It is only considerate, of your partner of 20 years, to have discussed your unhappiness, and give the relationship a chance to heal -- PRIOR to meeting Ms Newthang. Therapy, couples counseling, even a good alone-time vacation. Otherwise, the shock is unfair.

Not knowing the good Doc, perhaps he did all that. Maybe Mrs Doc is a huge PITA. Or maybe he's having a midlife crisis.
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 04:48 PM
 
Or I could waaaaaay off
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 05:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
My point was not that people should be trapped in unhappy relationships forever... but that they shouldn't jump ship so suddenly. It is only considerate, of your partner of 20 years, to have discussed your unhappiness, and give the relationship a chance to heal -- PRIOR to meeting Ms Newthang. Therapy, couples counseling, even a good alone-time vacation. Otherwise, the shock is unfair.

Not knowing the good Doc, perhaps he did all that. Maybe Mrs Doc is a huge PITA. Or maybe he's having a midlife crisis.
Along with the difference between trying to work through a sudden shift in the relationship and jumping ship at the first sight of greener grass, the game is completely different when there are children in the picture.

It's real hard to not pass some judgement on Doc HM over what he's said so far. This probably wasn't the best audience to post about such a thing, unless you're going to give the whole story on what actually happened.
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 05:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
the game is completely different when there are children in the picture.
Indeed.
It's not at all simple, though, because this goes both ways.

There is a LOT of shit I would NOT have needed to go through if my mom had followed her gut impulse and left my dad back in the early 80s.

Exposing your kids to prolonged infighting and power games (played out in part via the kid) and just bad vibes is something parents should have the vision to stop by breaking up before the kid is broken beyond repair.

Though of course, depending upon the family, splitting up is no guarantee that this won't continue to happen.
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 05:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Indeed.
It's not at all simple, though, because this goes both ways.

There is a LOT of shit I would NOT have needed to go through if my mom had followed her gut impulse and left my dad back in the early 80s.

Exposing your kids to prolonged infighting and power games (played out in part via the kid) and just bad vibes is something parents should have the vision to stop by breaking up before the kid is broken beyond repair.

Though of course, depending upon the family, splitting up is no guarantee that this won't continue to happen.
I agree wholeheartedly.

On the other hand, abandoning your family for someone else can have catastrophic effects on the children if it's an on-a-whim sort of action that wasn't precipitated by anything that the children might be able to interpret as predicting the end of the marriage.

My parents were miserable most of their marriage. When, after 23 years of it, my mom finally told me my dad was leaving, it was a relief more than anything else.

On the other hand, my ex's parents were married for 20 years and when he found out his mom was cheating on his dad with another man (and eventually ran off with him) it absolutely destroyed him to the core because his parents seemed very happy and in love.
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 05:55 PM
 
No matter what happens, don't neglect your kids.

Best of luck.
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 07:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Along with the difference between trying to work through a sudden shift in the relationship and jumping ship at the first sight of greener grass, the game is completely different when there are children in the picture.

It's real hard to not pass some judgement on Doc HM over what he's said so far. This probably wasn't the best audience to post about such a thing, unless you're going to give the whole story on what actually happened.
He's given more than enough information to show your judgement as false.
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 08:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
He's given more than enough information to show your judgement as false.
I haven't said anything about my own judgment of the situation.

All I said is that children add an additional level of complexity, beyond just "is the divorce long in coming or did it come out of nowhere".
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 09:29 PM
 
How was "jumping ship at the first sight of greener grass" meant to be interpreted if not as a judgement?
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 09:31 PM
 
Kids don't care about what makes you happy, they want/need stability. If you can keep up some semblance of civility and cohesion, try to stay together until the kids are past their formative years. Otherwise, break it off as quickly as possible, no matter who is largely "to blame".
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Sep 10, 2013, 12:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
How was "jumping ship at the first sight of greener grass" meant to be interpreted if not as a judgement?
Levels of complexity are added when a long-term relationship ends. Complexity is added depending on the length of the relationship, whether or not the parties involved have tried to work through their differences or just gave up at the first sight of trouble, the presence of kids, financial investments, etc.

I wasn't saying anything about the OP. Just pointing out that it's not a black and white situation.
     
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Sep 10, 2013, 12:45 AM
 
Ah.

I thought you were jumping Doc's shit.
     
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Sep 10, 2013, 04:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Kids don't care about what makes you happy, they want/need stability. If you can keep up some semblance of civility and cohesion, try to stay together until the kids are past their formative years. Otherwise, break it off as quickly as possible, no matter who is largely "to blame".
While I basically agree that kids don't care about what makes you happy, they are extremely sensitive to when you are NOT happy.

Keeping up "some semblance of civility and cohesion" that is in all other ways a charade will **** up the kids.
     
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Sep 10, 2013, 05:53 AM
 
There are degrees of ****ing them up, and unless you're obviously dysfunctional as a couple, having both parents in the house is better than not. No, it isn't ideal, but you're there for them.
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Sep 10, 2013, 07:47 AM
 
The numbers and the research on this are pretty clear and exhaustive. You get divorced, you **** up your kids to a degree. They in turn will be more likely to get divorced, that's just one of the unfortunate consequences.

Question is of course, will they get more ****ed up if you stay together, as indicated by Spheric.

Every time I hear the story "there's somebody else but we aren't sleeping with each other" I can't help but roll my eyes a little, sorry. Men rarely leave their wives without having a parachute lined up.

Wome, on the other hand, frequently leave their husbands knowing they'll be single
     
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Sep 10, 2013, 08:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
The numbers and the research on this are pretty clear and exhaustive. You get divorced, you **** up your kids to a degree. They in turn will be more likely to get divorced, that's just one of the unfortunate consequences.
I'm not so sure that's necessarily "****ed up".

The generation of our parents stayed together come hell or high water, abusive relationships, alcoholism, grievous bodily harm, whatever.
I'm sure that the kids that come from those families are more likely to get divorced as well, due to the fact that they can, without the social stigma attached to their lives the way it used to be.

A trend towards higher divorce rates could indicate a lack of seriousness, or an inability to stick with it and work it out, or it could be a tendency to better look out for oneself. Or all of the above.

My parents used us kids as an excuse for staying together, to which I whole-heartedly say: Bullshit.
Bullshit for having chosen the option that was MORE damaging to us, and bullshit for implying that your lack of balls to make a life-changing decision was our fault.

I've also seen couples that weathered crisis like affairs and such, and were all the stronger and cooler for sticking it out forever.

People are so different.
     
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Sep 10, 2013, 10:47 AM
 
There's also the fact that when it comes to marriage and divorce statistics, nothing is simple.

The conclusion that "the children of divorced parents are more likely to divorce" is oversimplified. It doesn't take into account other divorce factors - for instance, if divorce rates are disproportionately high among lower income levels, then you could also conclude that financial stability contributes to divorce rates just as much as inherited divorce, so to speak.

Not only that, but look at why divorce happens. If a child comes from divorced parents who were extremely abusive (physically and psychologically) and manipulative, that child is more likely to grow up and be more attracted to partners like their own parents - which means they're more likely to end up in abusive relationships themselves, which immediately puts them in a demographic that is statistically very likely to end up in divorce.

Marriage is not an accurate measuring stick for whether or not your offspring will be successful in their own relationships and marriages.

SH is right - staying together for the kids usually results in the kids figuring out, as they grow up and become more aware of their parents' relationship, that mom and dad are staying together because of them, which puts a huge amount of guilt and responsibility on the child (e.g. "It's my fault mom and dad are so unhappy and can't get divorced yet").

My parents' long-in-coming divorce didn't mess me up. It was their horrible relationship that caused problems for me later down the line in my own relationships. A lot of dysfunction could have been avoided if they'd just gotten divorced early on like they intended to.
     
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Sep 10, 2013, 10:49 AM
 
I'd like to apologize to Doc for mucking up his thread, for putting my own insecurities into play here when it's his life in the OP.

Marriage and family is hard, you are not going to feel lovey dovey all the time. Right now, my marriage is busy, tiring, stressful, and we don't spend enough time together as a couple. I can see where some people would get to this state and jump ship. I worry about that, but I also know that we are partners, we are in this together, need each other. Part of the vow is in good times and bad. I couldn't do it without him. I can't imagine.
     
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Sep 10, 2013, 11:46 AM
 
Statistics for those who are interested: Statistics on Children of Divorce in America
If there's interest to discuss this further, maybe a new thread?

Otherwise, back to the OP's thread. I agree with andi, sorry.
     
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Sep 10, 2013, 12:18 PM
 
That's still a one-sided view. The fact is, there's far more of a story behind those statistics than "divorced" or "married" or "remarried".

About 40% of children who do not live with their biological father have not seen him during the past 12 months; more than half of them have never been in his home and 26% of those fathers live in a different state than their children.
What percentage of children who do not live with their biological fathers are born to mothers who have multiple children from different fathers? How many of those children were a product of rape or incest? How many live with mothers who refuse to let the father be involved in the child's life? How many have fathers who are incarcerated?
     
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Sep 10, 2013, 03:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I'm not so sure that's necessarily "****ed up".

The generation of our parents stayed together come hell or high water, abusive relationships, alcoholism, grievous bodily harm, whatever.
I'm sure that the kids that come from those families are more likely to get divorced as well, due to the fact that they can, without the social stigma attached to their lives the way it used to be.

A trend towards higher divorce rates could indicate a lack of seriousness, or an inability to stick with it and work it out, or it could be a tendency to better look out for oneself. Or all of the above.

My parents used us kids as an excuse for staying together, to which I whole-heartedly say: Bullshit.
Bullshit for having chosen the option that was MORE damaging to us, and bullshit for implying that your lack of balls to make a life-changing decision was our fault.

I've also seen couples that weathered crisis like affairs and such, and were all the stronger and cooler for sticking it out forever.

People are so different.
I didn't say "come hell or high water", more like if you can do it and still be decent to each other, despite your changing feelings.
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Sep 10, 2013, 03:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
I'd like to apologize to Doc for mucking up his thread, for putting my own insecurities into play here when it's his life in the OP.

Marriage and family is hard, you are not going to feel lovey dovey all the time. Right now, my marriage is busy, tiring, stressful, and we don't spend enough time together as a couple. I can see where some people would get to this state and jump ship. I worry about that, but I also know that we are partners, we are in this together, need each other. Part of the vow is in good times and bad. I couldn't do it without him. I can't imagine.
That's very sweet.
     
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Sep 12, 2013, 06:20 PM
 
Interesting takes. After 20 years I'm fairly sure I have a good take on marriage. Of course, it's not all been "lovely dovey" there's been ups, downs, ins outs etc. We've had good times, bad times, hard times. The usual. And certainly only an idiot give up on 20 years without thought and attempts to avoid this. There's been councelling too, although I'm not sure how effective this ever is.
The issues seem fairly summed up by andi's post above. It's not the stress, etc that's resulted in this it's the failing of the rest over time.
I'm surprised at the idea that men line replacements up while women are happy to leave to be single. It seems very much harder for a woman to leave, especially if she has children too.
I guess that men are just generally less self reliant?

I figure that the divorce f**king up kids will depend on so many factors. I can see just how easy it is to let them fall into the general carnage. It's hard to have one relationship breaking down but trying to negotiate a new concord AND have the children not exposed to any hurt and flying crap. I guess most people fail at this to some extent.
     
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Sep 12, 2013, 06:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
That's very sweet.
yes, it is.
     
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Sep 12, 2013, 06:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Interesting takes. After 20 years I'm fairly sure I have a good take on marriage. Of course, it's not all been "lovely dovey" there's been ups, downs, ins outs etc. We've had good times, bad times, hard times. The usual. And certainly only an idiot give up on 20 years without thought and attempts to avoid this. There's been councelling too, although I'm not sure how effective this ever is.
The issues seem fairly summed up by andi's post above. It's not the stress, etc that's resulted in this it's the failing of the rest over time.
I'm surprised at the idea that men line replacements up while women are happy to leave to be single. It seems very much harder for a woman to leave, especially if she has children too.
I guess that men are just generally less self reliant?

I figure that the divorce f**king up kids will depend on so many factors. I can see just how easy it is to let them fall into the general carnage. It's hard to have one relationship breaking down but trying to negotiate a new concord AND have the children not exposed to any hurt and flying crap. I guess most people fail at this to some extent.
How are you and your wife now? Are things really acrimonious?
     
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Sep 12, 2013, 07:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
How are you and your wife now? Are things really acrimonious?
No not really. It's "difficult" as you would expect and if she's having a bad day then it shows. All I can do is understand that a lot of the pain comes from her being "done unto" an from having no control over the situation, which adds stress and feelings of powerlessness.
Eldest child is talking to me, youngest not.

Before hands, friends who had been through this explained that however awful, however sh*t you imagined the whole thing would be you would be wrong. And they were right. It is all simply awful.
     
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Sep 12, 2013, 10:03 PM
 
Oh, I do want to add one thing, coming from my own personal experience.

If it takes your younger daughter years to come around, don't shit on her once she does want to reconcile. Kids deal with divorce a lot differently than adults or the couple getting divorced, and it can take a long time to get over it, so to speak.

Put the past behind you and just move forward if she wants to reconnect in the future.
     
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Sep 13, 2013, 03:29 AM
 
Doc doesn't strike me as damaged like that.

It is good to hear it sounds more like your daughter is confused rather than being weaponized by your wife.
     
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Sep 13, 2013, 08:13 AM
 
Another Dad leaves home...

Guys, we gotta do better than this. I'm sorry if this comes off as judgmental, but we just have to be able to do better than this. A marriage is bigger than the two people involved or their individual perceptions of "happiness", particularly with children. You see this all the time -- a claim of unhappiness, spouse leaves home eventually for the other party that was going to make it all better, only to melt into the statistic of increasingly failed, subsequent marriages. In short, "happiness" is not something you hinge the lives of three other people on as you'll be leaving the next one even quicker. Again, I know this sounds terribly judgmental, but it is so.

I don't know all the ins and outs, Doc HM and if I'm wrong in my conjecture, I'm wrong and I apologize, but...

Don't feel you've entirely sabotaged this relationship. Believe it or not, you can still make the marriage work. Let's say you were caught doing something untoward with another woman or you admitted to your wife that you've been seeing someone else and you feel the only option at this point is to remove yourself from the home so she can "move on". This is guilt talking. You don't have to do this. If you're not absolutely 100% certain there is no way you can maintain a relationship that has already sustained 20 years, give it another chance. Default to that option. If she'll take you back, do it yesterday. Leave this other girl even if it means seeking employment elsewhere or losing friends. Get back on your knees and beg your wife for a chance like you did when you first sought her hand in marriage. It's going to hurt, my brother. There will be long nights of weeping on the other side of the bed or in the other room. There will be at least two years of misgivings and it will be tough. The kids might be skeptical about you, but that passes in time and you'll be amazed at how supportive they are to make things work. After all, as crazy as it sounds they're going to feel as though they were partially responsible for the break-up. Show them that you don't give up on important matters. Seek counseling so that you two can deal with issues (that likely exist on BOTH sides of the ball) and what has just happened to the relationship.

And realize that happiness is temporal. Look for other perspectives. Talk to people who've done this for 40+ years. Find that elderly couple and interview them. At 7 years, there were periods of unhappiness, but you made it through and there is at least one "whopper" of disappointment in every marriage -- the relationships that stand the test of time pass those tests. She hasn't always been enamored with you either. Learn what truly motivates your wife. If she doesn't respond well to flowers, but loves it when she comes home to a clean kitchen or living room -- clean the kitchen and living room. If she doesn't respond well to the fact that you've repaired the fence, walked the dog, changed the oil in all the cars, and cleaned the gutters; you're spinning your wheels in vain and thinking to yourself; "I show her I love her all the time, but she just doesn't reciprocate!". Maybe she just wants a hug or to talk or a surprise date. Learn what that is in your wife and she will learn this of you.

After this test, you will have broken through to an exponentially stronger, more honest relationship and you'll be amazed how fulfilling that can be. You will have found your happiness.
ebuddy
     
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Sep 13, 2013, 01:05 PM
 
That's an impressive post. Excellent advice.
     
Doc HM  (op)
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Sep 13, 2013, 05:45 PM
 
yes that is a very impressive post. Thank you for taking the time and the thought.
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 14, 2013, 04:57 AM
 
@Doc

Can you tell us a little more about what's precipitated this?

I want to counterpoint ebuddy's points but for all I know he's nailed it.
     
 
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