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Discussion Starter #101
As a fellow Christian, I would like to propose that the WS, BS, offending spouse, whatever he/she is, may often use their "Christianity" as proof, in some strange way, that their marriage is OK. That they're not screwing up. A false sense of security that allows them to completely overlook their own issues. Allows them to truly believe they are in a happy marriage, without taking into consideration the views of their partner. That the fact that they have been married for 10, 17, 25, 40 years... that that alone is proof of a good or happy marriage.

It is so weird. But I think I'm seeing some of this in your own writings.
Woah, you are assuming WAY too much. My discussion of my Christianity has everything to do with the expectation of the commitment and nothing to do with how the marriage was going. If you have read all of my posts it would be obvious that from my misery and that of my spouse that neither had some strange delusion that as Christians we were exempt from problems or that we were blind to them. Nope, I am fully aware of my failing to love my wife as God expected me to love her, but before you think that this somehow nullifies my Christianity I would like to remind you that Christianity is not about being perfect. We try and we often fail. Failing is part of the human condition. It's what Christ's sacrifice is all about.
 

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Woah, you are assuming WAY too much. My discussion of my Christianity has everything to do with the expectation of the commitment and nothing to do with how the marriage was going. If you have read all of my posts it would be obvious that from my misery and that of my spouse that neither had some strange delusion that as Christians we were exempt from problems or that we were blind to them. Nope, I am fully aware of my failing to love my wife as God expected me to love her, but before you think that this somehow nullifies my Christianity I would like to remind you that Christianity is not about being perfect. We try and we often fail. Failing is part of the human condition. It's what Christ's sacrifice is all about.
I think you're missing my point. This isn't at all about dismissing problems. It's about thinking that momentum can carry you through, and since (some) Christians have that "I'm in it for life, thick or thin" thing going on, which seems to be part of your messaging... it allows one to gloss over issues and just keep going.

Look at it another way. If your belief is that marriage is a life-long thing, then maybe you don't work on it as you should. You feel too much freedom from earning the respect and admiration of your partner, and vice versa. Because you shouldn't have to, right? We've seen many threads here extolling how a more-rigid religious doctrine is actually "freeing" because there are so many things you don't have sweat the stuff others do.

Basically, you get lazy. You pay attention to too many selfish things and not enough to the relationship. And that is not truly Christian. Not at all. But it can be an unintended byproduct of doctrinal belief.
 

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Discussion Starter #103
I think you're missing my point. This isn't at all about dismissing problems. It's about thinking that momentum can carry you through, and since (some) Christians have that "I'm in it for life, thick or thin" thing going on, which seems to be part of your messaging... it allows one to gloss over issues and just keep going.
It sounds like we may not have the same understanding of Christian marriage. As far as I am concerned marriage is an in it for life thick and thin proposition. It is not about the commitment getting people through. It's about the commitment driving people to make their marriage work as God intended once again. That does not mean that things can't go off the rails so badly that two people are not able to restore their marriage no matter how hard they try. That does not excuse them from trying and it does not give them permission to see failure as normal. Failing is tragic.
 

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Some things you need to consider:
Your wife clearly doesn’t think like you. She may say she isn’t interested in looking for another man, until she does. It’s a divorce. Stop analyzing who’s fault it is and why she did it. It’s over. Done. Accept that she is gone and treat her as if she were dead as you said. You are saying you still feel that you must do this or that. If you don’t want to remarry, don’t. Just don’t believe she thinks the same way. If either of you meet the right person, you’ll change your mind— as you should. Don’t doom yourself to refusing the gift of another person to love. That’s crazy.
Just my thoughts. Hate it for you both. 37 years is a long time. Still life to live for you both. Don’t hang on to the hurt on this. It’s too easy to do. Let it go.
I never heard you say how you’ll make a living. I hope things work out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #105
Some things you need to consider:
Your wife clearly doesn’t think like you. She may say she isn’t interested in looking for another man, until she does. It’s a divorce. Stop analyzing who’s fault it is and why she did it. It’s over. Done. Accept that she is gone and treat her as if she were dead as you said. You are saying you still feel that you must do this or that. If you don’t want to remarry, don’t. Just don’t believe she thinks the same way. If either of you meet the right person, you’ll change your mind— as you should. Don’t doom yourself to refusing the gift of another person to love. That’s crazy.
Just my thoughts. Hate it for you both. 37 years is a long time. Still life to live for you both. Don’t hang on to the hurt on this. It’s too easy to do. Let it go.
I never heard you say how you’ll make a living. I hope things work out for you.
I am processing this whole mess. Yes, it hurt and for a long time all I could do was hurt all day and all night for months on end.

I have three dogs to care for and bills to pay, so reality is pushing me forward. By the kindness of others I was able to find a rental where I could keep the dogs,

I am in an awkward spot from a career perspective. I lost a job that was a unicorn position in a highly specialized corner of my field due to COVID-19. That means that the remaining years until retirement may be spent working a dramatically lower wage. That's fine as long as I can pay the bills and feed the dogs.

Life goes on. Thanks for the encouragement.
 

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Let me start off by saying that prior to being served with divorce papers, my wife and I went to couple therapy. We were not making great progress there and during COVID-19 protocols, we just stopped our therapy. In hindsight we did not have the right therapist. I was aware that our marriage was in a bad way and we were clearly both unhappy with the situation.

One day she just handed me divorce papers and left the house without returning for several days. I was shocked. We had not discussed divorce. She did not tell me that she was going to be divorcing me. It turns out that she did meet with each of our adult children to tell them a few days prior, but not me.

I felt the the trust of our relationship had been betrayed by this surprise divorce. I had been working frantically on remodeling our home since losing my job. The plan was that we would sell the house and move out West together. The plan was not without risk since she had been out of work for six months. After I worked a month of 12-hour days on remodeling the house, she handed me the divorce papers, knowing full well for that entire month that we were not moving out West together. With the savings spent to remodel the house, I had no money for an attorney. She, on the other hand, had an inheritance she received three years prior and held out of the marriage. This gave her money for an attorney and to buy the remodeled home from me.

Her take on the situation is that she just had enough of the marriage and the timing was not some devious plan. She felt like she suffered in the marriage and now she was done suffering. She clearly has no interest in sharing half of her inheritance in the divorce.

Is my experience typical? Did most of you have a surprise divorce? If so, did you feel betrayed? If you were the person doing the surprising, did you do so in order to have an upper hand in your divorce strategy?
I’m sorry you’re going through this, especially after 37 years. It seems like a long time to be with somebody, and then you feel like you’re taking advantage of. As a female I can tell you it doesn’t look calculated, so it may feel that way to you. Sounds like she was just done. In any event it’s painful as the work might’ve been it will benefit you in the end if all roads lead to divorce. At least she’s buying you out on a remodeled home instead of one in disrepair.
Regardless this is causing you some pain and you have children involved which is sad on both parts, that she went to them with her plan, and that they never mentioned it to you while you were busting your hump.
by any chance if you noticed the statistics of divorce in older marriages? It looks like over the years they’ve gone up tenfold. I only make mention of this because it’s a consideration of my own and I’m 55 years old. It seems to be that in this age bracket the baby boomers have begun to take on divorce and exponential rates.
I also understand your plight regarding eating healthier and exercising. I recently started and I AyurVedic school and changed my diet completely, but my husband won’t have any part of it. I guess after that many years people just grow apart. It was kind of ****ty for her to drop the papers in your lap like that. It’s probably something she was telling with all along but not necessarily premeditated. She has made her choice. Go on and live your life joyfully. It can be done!
 

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Discussion Starter #107
Thanks. I am processing and moving on.

One of the harder parts is that if feels like she is changing to a different plan with a book of the month club, stating that she now sees me as she would a friendly neighbor, like she is out of the marriage, but will continue with the aspects of the relationship she likes (me solving problems, fixing things, helping her take care of practical needs that she does not wish to tackle or can't). You don't get to change the relationship status like the other person is going to accept the destruction of 37 years together as though it should be just fine with them.

I often hear women comment about how men do not understand how hurtful it is not to be supportive of their wives and acknowledge them without expressing displeasure because it is so harmful to self-esteem. I do not often hear mention of how harmful it is to men when women remove intimacy from the relationship as though it is no big deal.

I digress. Time will allow healing. I will find a way to present to my children that their mother and I will have some boundaries going forward that may feel uncomfortable to them.
 

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My father spoke fluent Yiddish and he had a saying that translates to "man plans and God laughs".
I appreciate the humor in this!

.......................................................................................

More so, man does his planning and God spins them, His way.
We are part of any equation that affects us.

Laughing is human, that Spirit only knows interacting consequences, those laid at your feet, or not.

You have some influence over your own actions, and your families actions, but, not so much, the action of others who are outside your circle.
We are said to be one of many.

God is said to be ONE, not many.
Yet, God has many feelers and many dimensions.

Matter is his Realm, and matter is like the wind and the weather.
Complex, and yet Unpredictable to the wind-driven.

Those little souls in the middle of a hail storm cannot know its boundaries and its overall, that ending direction.

All of us are absorbed, permeated into this life.
We think individually, yet do en-mass.
We are a wave, a human one.

While in motion, we are often dashed against the rocks, squarely.
Many times felt unfairly, according to our thoughts and plans.
Our plans are mixed in with all those other plans and schemes.

The resultant force is always that compromise with God.
 
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Women do know that intimacy is important to men, and it's important to a lot of women too.

But one of the issues many men face is that there tends to be a lag between disconnect and withdrawal of intimacy. Because men tend to feel love through intimacy many develop blinders so when its withdrawn all they think about is the intimacy and not the possibility that there are larger issues in play.

But women have sex when they feel loved.
By the time a woman pulls intimacy she's often been withdrawing for a long time but the guy either had no idea or figured it couldn't be that bad because he was still getting sex.

This disconnect can make it very difficult for women to communicate with their men because he may not hear her until he stops getting intimacy, and even then that remains his focus.

We see it on here all the time. Guy comes on complaining of no sex but as you get more details you realize his marriage is falling apart on many levels, but all he knows is that he's not having sex.

I wonder of that was a factor here? This is a tough one because of different communication styles.
 

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Discussion Starter #110
Women do know that intimacy is important to men, and it's important to a lot of women too.

But one of the issues many men face is that there tends to be a lag between disconnect and withdrawal of intimacy. Because men tend to feel love through intimacy many develop blinders so when its withdrawn all they think about is the intimacy and not the possibility that there are larger issues in play.

But women have sex when they feel loved.
By the time a woman pulls intimacy she's often been withdrawing for a long time but the guy either had no idea or figured it couldn't be that bad because he was still getting sex.

This disconnect can make it very difficult for women to communicate with their men because he may not hear her until he stops getting intimacy, and even then that remains his focus.

We see it on here all the time. Guy comes on complaining of no sex but as you get more details you realize his marriage is falling apart on many levels, but all he knows is that he's not having sex.

I wonder of that was a factor here? This is a tough one because of different communication styles.
No, I get that the marriage was falling apart. The communication piece was lacking her part. She tends to shut down and not communicate.

There was an elephant in the room in all of this. I think that she just did not want to address it. There is this aspect of I am who I am and just love me as I am thing. We got older. If you continue to eat like you are 20 years old and you become more and more sedentary, you will become obese. That is what happened with her. It is not ok to say out loud, "I do not like how fat you are getting." However it was ok for me to express my concerns that we should eat healthier and exercise. I did that. She became diabetic and began to walk so slowly that it was difficullt for me to walk slow enough to go anywhere with her. She clearly resented the fact that I was no longer on the same life path as she was. I continued to buy flowers every month. I continued to create scavenger hunts with clues that she loved for her birthday and Valentine's Day. She was not hearing how attractive I found her to be and how beautiful she was. I know she wanted to hear that, but I was not happy with her life choices. I grew up with an obese father who spent his last 20 years pretty much stuck in a chair because of weight and health issues. I did not want to affirm that in my life partner.

The criticism she heard from me was not about her weight or eating habits. She read it in my silence, in my changed eating habits and in my continued activity level. I am not discounting the feminine need for expression of acceptance. I do not get how the failure to talk it out instead withdrawing intimacy is just a fine. It somehow represents the failure on the part of the man alone.

I keep coming back to the point that it is very difficult to fix a broken relationship. It is much better to guard the health of the relationship by constantly making sure the healthy things are being done that nurture that deep friendship. Perhaps what sunk us was that I wanted change from her as life changed and she wanted to be fully affirmed as she was.
 

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No, I get that the marriage was falling apart. The communication piece was lacking her part. She tends to shut down and not communicate.

There was an elephant in the room in all of this. I think that she just did not want to address it. There is this aspect of I am who I am and just love me as I am thing. We got older. If you continue to eat like you are 20 years old and you become more and more sedentary, you will become obese. That is what happened with her. It is not ok to say out loud, "I do not like how fat you are getting." However it was ok for me to express my concerns that we should eat healthier and exercise. I did that. She became diabetic and began to walk so slowly that it was difficullt for me to walk slow enough to go anywhere with her. She clearly resented the fact that I was no longer on the same life path as she was. I continued to buy flowers every month. I continued to create scavenger hunts with clues that she loved for her birthday and Valentine's Day. She was not hearing how attractive I found her to be and how beautiful she was. I know she wanted to hear that, but I was not happy with her life choices. I grew up with an obese father who spent his last 20 years pretty much stuck in a chair because of weight and health issues. I did not want to affirm that in my life partner.

The criticism she heard from me was not about her weight or eating habits. She read it in my silence, in my changed eating habits and in my continued activity level. I am not discounting the feminine need for expression of acceptance. I do not get how the failure to talk it out instead withdrawing intimacy is just a fine. It somehow represents the failure on the part of the man alone.

I keep coming back to the point that it is very difficult to fix a broken relationship. It is much better to guard the health of the relationship by constantly making sure the healthy things are being done that nurture that deep friendship. Perhaps what sunk us was that I wanted change from her as life changed and she wanted to be fully affirmed as she was.
Weight is a tough one to discuss especially for women. It strikes me that men are more open to it.

My bf and his brothers will tell each other they're getting fat and nobody seems to bat an eye. I've seen other men do it too as well as had men tell me its no big deal to be told they're getting fat because they already know.

Women are more sensitive. I have a group of running gf's and we don't understand this sensitivity....we'll tell each other that we're looking a bit pudgy and we'll respond with yeah....damn chocolate.

You really were in a no win situation here. The irony is that one could argue its you who moved the goal posts by shifting your habits but you did the right thing. It rocks the balance of the marriage though....that's why a lot of marriages fail after one loses a lot of weight. The dynamic of the marriage changes and someone is usually unhappy about that.

Honestly while it sounds like you could've toned down the criticisms im not sure there was much you could do that would've resulted in both of you being happy. You just became incompatible. I understand....as an endurance athlete I don't want a fatty. I'm planning to run 15-18 after work....why would I want someone who stuffs their face with crap?

Probably doesn't make you feel better, but try to remember it when you feel down.
 

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Discussion Starter #112
Weight is a tough one to discuss especially for women. It strikes me that men are more open to it.

My bf and his brothers will tell each other they're getting fat and nobody seems to bat an eye. I've seen other men do it too as well as had men tell me its no big deal to be told they're getting fat because they already know.

Women are more sensitive. I have a group of running gf's and we don't understand this sensitivity....we'll tell each other that we're looking a bit pudgy and we'll respond with yeah....damn chocolate.

You really were in a no win situation here. The irony is that one could argue its you who moved the goal posts by shifting your habits but you did the right thing. It rocks the balance of the marriage though....that's why a lot of marriages fail after one loses a lot of weight. The dynamic of the marriage changes and someone is usually unhappy about that.

Honestly while it sounds like you could've toned down the criticisms im not sure there was much you could do that would've resulted in both of you being happy. You just became incompatible. I understand....as an endurance athlete I don't want a fatty. I'm planning to run 15-18 after work....why would I want someone who stuffs their face with crap?

Probably doesn't make you feel better, but try to remember it when you feel down.
Thanks. I am by no means eating 100% healthy, but I do watch what I eat and exercise daily.
As my fifties draw to a close, I am aware that although I may no longer be able to run distance as you do, I can reduce the impact of arthritis and prevent other ailments by staying fit.
 

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I'd use the work you did on the renovations as part of divorce negotiations. You should receive some sort of compensation for that.
Yes. He should get compensated for what was done but do nothing further without assurances in writing that he will be compensated further, unless advised otherwise by his attorney.
 

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Discussion Starter #114
I have discussed this with others here. We have a tentative agreement that I can live with. I will not be compensated for my labor. Because she held out her inheritance, she has plenty of money to push me around with legal tactics. Once we got an agreement, I let my attorney go. I just do not have the resources to continue with representation.

I received her finalized pleadings today. Changes that I requested are missing. That concerns me. Now I will need to go back and make everything air tight. Every last detail will need to be written into the agreement. Then if it comes back again with things missing, I will know that it is intentional.

I hate this legal stuff, but it has to be dealt with in order to draw this to a close. If she keeps this up, I will be forced to move back into the house with her. Without any resources of my own, she will just have to live with me until she decides to be done with this nonsense. I am hoping that she will decide to stop dragging this out.
 

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She met with them over the course of three days and asked each of them not to say anything because she was planning to talk to me shortly. Nobody wants to see their mother unhappy or their father for that matter. Three of my children have a very similar interaction style to my spouse. They had seen our dysfunctional interaction. They could relate to their mother's emotional flooding and withdrawal because they each had their own anxiety and similar relationship experiences. The one child who has a different interaction style was still living at home. He made it a point to be gone on the weekend that the divorce was announced. He felt that his silence while living at the house was going to be seen as taking a side. He was visibly uncomfortable. I assured him that my only expectation was that he support, show respect and pray for both of his parents. I gave that message to all of my children. My son who lived at the house through the divorce saw how the demands for me to complete the remodel work tore me apart. I wailed and sobbed the whole time I did that work.

What I am trying to get at in this discussion is the aspect of the divorce as a planned attack. I guess it makes sense that I someone decides that divorce is ok as an option, then it is a weapon to be wielded against someone who is now seen as an oppressor, one who deserves to be held in contempt.
I feel so bad for you feeling you had to finish the remodel work. You must have felt like a hostage.

I have a similar situation where my ex is trying to force me to do something that will make him money. The fact that slavery is illegal doesn't always seem to matter in the family law courts.
 

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Discussion Starter #116
I feel so bad for you feeling you had to finish the remodel work. You must have felt like a hostage.

I have a similar situation where my ex is trying to force me to do something that will make him money. The fact that slavery is illegal doesn't always seem to matter in the family law courts.
Thank you for your care.

Divorce can be a very strange experience. I am sorry that your ex is behaving that way.

When someone decides to initiate a divorce, it seems that in most cases there is this disconnect that happens. They feel that the other person forced them to have a divorce and by that reasoning they no longer owe their life partner any care. Instead, they turn their attention toward themself and decide that any harm they cause to their spouse is of no concern to them. In other words, their goal is not to simply end their legal connection to their spouse, but to care solely for their own benefit, using resources at their disposal to impose their will. In so doing, an adversarily environment is created. It is sad.
 
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