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Sounds like she tried to make it work for the sake of the kids. There is a lot to be said for that.
Well, yes, but I think it was more because she was scared to be left on her on dealing with the kids. But she tried. I guess, I didn't understand her, but with no communication coming from her, I failed her. In hindsight, I should have been more patient and supportive, but I lost my way, also because of my abandonment issues. I have accepted my failures, but getting over them is completely different matter, especially because I still love her and it's difficult to accept it's over.
 

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Discussion Starter #62
Well, yes, but I think it was more because she was scared to be left on her on dealing with the kids. But she tried. I guess, I didn't understand her, but with no communication coming from her, I failed her. In hindsight, I should have been more patient and supportive, but I lost my way, also because of my abandonment issues. I have accepted my failures, but getting over them is completely different matter, especially because I still love her and it's difficult to accept it's over.
It sounds difficult for you to get closure.

I am fine with accepting that my situation is not going to be repaired. She did not try and we have different ideas of what we want in our lives.

She is angry with me about my anger/frustration/paranoia with the way she is handling the divorce. Her display of carefully planned power is less about being free from the sense that she was not given a voice and more about using power to force her will on me. It is an illusion that she was powerless to get her way in the marriage and a distortion of reality. We will finish up this divorce and that will fix the current power dynamic. I am not sure what will follow. I am angry with her about this mistreatment. Providing the loving assistance she will need going forward is not something I am feeling positive about right now.
 

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It sounds difficult for you to get closure.

I am fine with accepting that my situation is not going to be repaired. She did not try and we have different ideas of what we want in our lives.

She is angry with me about my anger/frustration/paranoia with the way she is handling the divorce. Her display of carefully planned power is less about being free from the sense that she was not given a voice and more about using power to force her will on me. It is an illusion that she was powerless to get her way in the marriage and a distortion of reality. We will finish up this divorce and that will fix the current power dynamic. I am not sure what will follow. I am angry with her about this mistreatment. Providing the loving assistance she will need going forward is not something I am feeling positive about right now.
Why would this be your problem?

Your only good path after divorce in no contact. You really want to keep yourself tied up in this? Why?
 

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If your point is that my children do not love me and see this divorce as good riddance, first of all what a callous unkind thing to think. Secondly, what difference would it make for them to tell me a day before the divorce papers were served? Would you do that to your mother if she came to you in her unhappiness and shared that she was divorcing your father?
I don't know OP, I think it was pretty callous of your kids not to give you a heads up.

Many years ago, my parents marriage was at breaking point and mum was actively seeking divorce. At the time my dad was seriously ill in hospital and had no idea what she was doing. I was fully prepared to take action to freeze their assets, to protect dad. I told mum that and she was shocked. Dad was then diagnosed with a terminal illness and they resolved things, mum cared for him beautifully - and genuinely loved him, still does, but she owed him.

I would never keep something like that from either of my parents, unless there was violence involved.
 

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I feel like you are sidestepping my discussion and questions. Are you suggesting that I am hiding something? This was not some abusive marriage if that is what you are wondering. At this point we can say that she was not on board with the move. In all actuality, she would have been right to suggest that we call off the move because of our lack of employment, but she stated that calling off the move would not help the situation when I tried to save the marriage. As for the renovation, she loves it. The house is now everything we could not make it when the kids were with us still.

She felt marginalized. She felt barely tolerated.

I also had feelings. I felt pushed away. I felt emotionally abandoned. She had withdrawn herself from the marriage. She had not been intimate for two years. There was no attempt on her part to tell me what she needed and ask for change from me.
This right here. I would have never even thought you were side stepping something until THIS post.

How well do you take constructive criticism?

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I appreciate your introspection...not everyone is capable of that.

I really think you guys are incompatible. I know that's a bitter pill because it's not clear wrongdoing like abuse or affairs. And while in theory I agree that one should have a chance to repair the damage there is some damage that can't be repaired and I really think this is an example.

Let's say you had talked about it. Then what? You may have toned down the criticisms but she was always going to have in her head that she wasn't good enough for you. Even if you told her it wasn't the case as a woman I'm telling you she wouldn't have believed you.

She doesn't want to share your lifestyle and you've made clear you're unhappy about it.

I encourage you to think about this. I detect a lack of empathy from you in that you seem to think that after picking at her for years you could've talked it out and everything would've been repaired. It may have come from your own frustration over the lack of connection but things are often received differently then intended.

That's now how things work where self image is concerned.
 

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Why would this be your problem?

Your only good path after divorce in no contact. You really want to keep yourself tied up in this? Why?
This was not a marriage of two years or ten years. We were together for nearly 40 years. I do not hate her. In fact, despite all that has happened, I will always love her. How we interact going forward will be dependent on how she acts toward me going forward. I will mind my boundaries and if treated as though I am being managed, the interaction will end.
I don't know OP, I think it was pretty callous of your kids not to give you a heads up.

Many years ago, my parents marriage was at breaking point and mum was actively seeking divorce. At the time my dad was seriously ill in hospital and had no idea what she was doing. I was fully prepared to take action to freeze their assets, to protect dad. I told mum that and she was shocked. Dad was then diagnosed with a terminal illness and they resolved things, mum cared for him beautifully - and genuinely loved him, still does, but she owed him.

I would never keep something like that from either of my parents, unless their was violence involved.
No violence involved. She required silence from most of them for less than 48 hours. I am not going to fault my children for being silent. It made no difference to the situation. It was bad form for sure for her to approach the children and to strategize a surprise divorce. The reality is that I think she just is not secure in her conviction. She did not want to back out and that is for good reason. She had chosen to stop loving me. Deep down inside, she knows that this is not an acceptable divorce for Christians and that withdrawing love was an emotional divorce that was wrong. But how could God expect her to stay with someone she no longer loved, someone who made her feel so bad that she removed her love? She planned this thing to be an escape, to remove me from her life with a vengeance, an action of personal strength. She wanted to be sure not to allow herself to have any feelings for what I might be going through, for how this action of hers was not the right solution. She needed a clean break to ensure that she would never sign up to ever be hurt again. That's the way I see it anyway.

I am sorry for the hurt she has experienced that was my fault. The solution is not another wrong action and certainly not a surprise attack divorce where her husband was the last to know.
 

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This was not a marriage of two years or ten years. We were together for nearly 40 years. I do not hate her. In fact, despite all that has happened, I will always love her. How we interact going forward will be dependent on how she acts toward me going forward. I will mind my boundaries and if treated as though I am being managed, the interaction will end.
This is about you not her. Not saying you should hate her but she divorced you.

Hanging around living on hopium will keep you in limbo. You want a life or not?
 

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The outcome doesn’t change because she made the plans to divorce you.

She did what she had to do to get the divorce underway. Most likely because she knew you would try and talk her out of it.

She felt the need to end the marriage - so likely there were too many hurt feelings that have happened throughout the 40 years you’ve been together.

from what you said here - you don’t seem to own the way you participate easily... you really do t take responsibility for your behavior. You act like she is just supposed to overlook her hurt feelings over and over but stay married. This is a lack of respect on your behalf.

but the end result is she wants to be free of this marriage - so try accepting that reality and move forward. Leave her alone - that’s what she wants, after all.
 

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This is about you not her. Not saying you should hate her but she divorced you.

Hanging around living on hopium will keep you in limbo. You want a life or not?
Look, I am not hanging around waiting on her for anything. Divorce is the end of our marriage. I have no interest in a relationship with her at this point. You don't go to therapy with your ex and she is not likely to suggest such a thing. The relationship needed therapy. It is too late now. We have four children together. There are bound to be interactions of some sort. I am not just going to act as though she has died.
The outcome doesn’t change because she made the plans to divorce you.

She did what she had to do to get the divorce underway. Most likely because she knew you would try and talk her out of it.

She felt the need to end the marriage - so likely there were too many hurt feelings that have happened throughout the 40 years you’ve been together.

from what you said here - you don’t seem to own the way you participate easily... you really do t take responsibility for your behavior. You act like she is just supposed to overlook her hurt feelings over and over but stay married. This is a lack of respect on your behalf.

but the end result is she wants to be free of this marriage - so try accepting that reality and move forward. Leave her alone - that’s what she wants, after all.
The outcome of losing the marriage would not have changed without the surprise attack divorce, but how it played out would be different. She could have chosen to take half of everything and leave the marriage. Instead, because she held money out of the marriage, because she waited until I was unemployed and because she waited until I remodeled the house, she was able to demand what she wanted in the divorce. I could not afford to maintain a lawyer to fight her all the way to court which in a COVID-19 world with no minors involved could take a year or longer. As a result, she is keeping the house. She is also getting the $30,000 of spousal support she is damanding. In the interim, I am jobless, saddled with legal debt, and burdoned with the task of finding housing that will accept my three dogs (she was not interested in helping out with our dogs) and an unemployed tenant. Was what she did really the only way she could do it?

This feels like perhaps you are projecting some of your own feelings here. I said that I take ownership for what I have done. That means that I own my criticism. That does not mean that I should accept that the logical conclusion is that she should divorce me as her pathway to a happier life. Just as it is likely that hurt feelings have happened throughout the entire marriage, it is also likely that she has responded inappropriately to attempts for her to respond to needs presented to her that often ended up in criticism. That's the part that happened to me, so yes, I have been dealing with the dysfunction of a spouse who withdraws and stonewalls for years. We were both doing things wrong.

A relationship has two sides. It may sound to you like I did not care about her feelings and it is not possible for me to get inside her head to know the full extent of what she felt, but I can say that I heard most of it after the divorce began. Yes, she actually was able to sit down and have a heart to heart discussion where she got it out. The most hurtful episodes were at the very end when she held me in contempt and no longer spoke during arguments. During the stonewalling, I definitely became more hurtful. I was trying desperately to get her to engage. Even her anger at that point would have been better than the silent world of her contempt. I told her how sorry I was for that and asked for her forgiveness. Things were very broken at the end. We were both hurting on another deeply with our actions.

You seem to make it sound as though I just intended to be hurtful from the beginning and I should realize that it is all my fault. It is far more complex than that. We had many wonderful years together. Things changed. The bottom line is that we both own the brokeness of our marriage. A broken marriage can be fixed. Divorce destroys marriage. There is no fixing that. I sought repair. She chose a divorce, one where the outcome would be exactly as she would demand. It was clearly not just about leaving.
 

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@Beach123 Actually I understand that he is taking responsibility and completely owns his role in this, and that he is also heartbroken, that’s ok. Yes he probably would have tried to talk her out of it, many of us would do the same.

whatever happened in those 40 years, I feel he owns it and regrets it. But there is an element of serious and calculated planning and she has left him really when he had limited options, and under the impression that they would be remodelling to move together to another place.
 

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He has said he owns it - but then he keeps typing and the words he uses look like he makes excuses for his bad behavior and tries to justify why he was mean to her.

that’s not right. Can you see why I am saying that?
There’s excuses all over the place for your bad behavior. That is not owning it.

and stop with the “projection”accusation... nice try. That’s just another attempt to take the focus off of what you’ve done. Manipulation.
 

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He has said he owns it - but then he keeps typing and the words he uses look like he makes excuses for his bad behavior and tries to justify why he was mean to her.
You are correct. The OP has underestimated the damage inflicted to his wife and now he is surprised she is divorcing him. Maybe the timing could have been better, but I can feel a lot of resentment there. It's happened to me (not quite a divorce, but withdrawing from our sex life) and it took me a while to realise the damage I had done. Not on purpose, obviously. And with little communication it's very difficult to gauge the situation. But from the OP's word, it seems to me that the marriage was over years ago. Like mine.
 

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Yeah, I agree she could've handled things better as far as the home renovations were concerned. I'm not sure how one plans for a job loss so unless that was a planned layoff or retirement she couldn't have seen that coming.

I agree that OP does take responsibility for his actions and he also display an impressive amount of introspection and understanding. But what bothers me is that he seems to feel that she simply "chose" to stop loving him even in the face of increasing nastiness and he gets to dictate how she should feel about it. It's almost mechanical....if she'd only informed him that nastiness was causing her to choose to not love him he could've toned it down and she could've chosen to love him again. That's not how human feelings work

Maybe its how he works, but its not how his wife works and it's not how a lot of people work.

Then when that doesn't work we end up with how God hates divorce. That one seems to get invoked a lot when one treats their spouse poorly but doesn't want a divorce. That's why you not only promise to stay married but also to love, honor, and cherish your spouse. Too often people focus on the staying married part but conveniently forget the rest.
 

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@Beach123 Actually I understand that he is taking responsibility and completely owns his role in this, and that he is also heartbroken, that’s ok. Yes he probably would have tried to talk her out of it, many of us would do the same.

whatever happened in those 40 years, I feel he owns it and regrets it. But there is an element of serious and calculated planning and she has left him really when he had limited options, and under the impression that they would be remodelling to move together to another place.
That's it. It would be one thing to just call it quits and walk away with your half. The way she did it felt like a vindictive betrayal. This was my soulmate, not some stranger.
 

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OP, why are you paying your attorney, AND hers?

wtf
No, I am not paying for her attorneyin writing. The way the settlement is structured makes it so all of her attorney fees will be covered within the extra equity ($30,000) she is demanding from the house. She made it clear that she wanted me to pay for the attorney and that was in her initial paperwork. In her mind, the divorce was necessitated by my actions in the marriage and therefore I should pay that cost. She stopped bringing it up. I am not sure why that is except it would make a poor narrative if it got back to the children.
 

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He has said he owns it - but then he keeps typing and the words he uses look like he makes excuses for his bad behavior and tries to justify why he was mean to her.

that’s not right. Can you see why I am saying that?
There’s excuses all over the place for your bad behavior. That is not owning it.

and stop with the “projection”accusation... nice try. That’s just another attempt to take the focus off of what you’ve done. Manipulation.
We will just have to agree to disagree. What you are saying seems to be that owning my part means acknowledging that what she did was a forced response. She could respond no other way than to attack me. Once I understand this then I will know that accepting fault means that whatever happens after my wrong actions is a just response. I have no right to have hurt feelings about it. It makes me wonder why you feel that way. You don't even know me.
 

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Yeah, I agree she could've handled things better as far as the home renovations were concerned. I'm not sure how one plans for a job loss so unless that was a planned layoff or retirement she couldn't have seen that coming.

I agree that OP does take responsibility for his actions and he also display an impressive amount of introspection and understanding. But what bothers me is that he seems to feel that she simply "chose" to stop loving him even in the face of increasing nastiness and he gets to dictate how she should feel about it. It's almost mechanical....if she'd only informed him that nastiness was causing her to choose to not love him he could've toned it down and she could've chosen to love him again. That's not how human feelings work

Maybe its how he works, but its not how his wife works and it's not how a lot of people work.

Then when that doesn't work we end up with how God hates divorce. That one seems to get invoked a lot when one treats their spouse poorly but doesn't want a divorce. That's why you not only promise to stay married but also to love, honor, and cherish your spouse. Too often people focus on the staying married part but conveniently forget the rest.
I would like to try to take a broader perspective on this situation for you. I failed to love, honor and cherish my wife. I want to make that abundantly clear. No excuses. I failed.

I tried to love my wife unconditionally. I really did. God knows I did. I still love her. I will always love her. My failing was not that I withdrew my love, it was that my love fell short. Along with the love, there was criticism for needs not met over and over and over again. Why could I not just let these things go? I do not know. I think I was asking to be loved, for her to care enough to do those things.

I was very unhappy. My wife was withdrawing as the years went by. She withdrew from nearly all household tasks, when she took a turn at laundry, mine was left in the basket or shoved in the dresser drawer instead of properly put away as we had always done. She withdrew from my birthday and our anniversary. She withdrew her intimacy all together over that last two years. This was her response to my criticism. I share it because it hurt. It hurt so badly that it is hard to explain. It was like a black hole opened up in my soul and all the love of our life together was being sucked down into it.

I really hate the casual perspective that people seem to have toward divorce. As a Christian, while I have failed miserably in some ways, I have not failed to understand the permanence of my marriage commitment. God hates divorce is not a cliche. Marriage is the knitting together of two people for life. One might just as well attempt to cut a sweater in half as to try to undo a marriage. Divorce destroys. Life will almost certainly throw at us things that will make the marriage relationship challenging at times. Perhaps a spouse gets an illness that requires their partner to become their caregiver for 20 years. Maybe a series of losses causes financial ruin. There are so many scenarios where we could conclude that God would not expect us to suffer any more of the unbearable pain. While God certainly provides the grace to forgive us for walking away from our commitment, our exit from what was created to be permanent is a destructive act.
 
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