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Author Topic: New Divorce Thread  (Read 323783 times)
drdice
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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2010, 3:12:08 PM »

What trb says -- the financial aspects of divorce can last the longest.  The sooner the financial relationship is ended the better (usually).
My mantra in the yucky pre-settlement period of my divorce was, "It's just money; I'll make more." And for me it was, and I did. Best wishes to all in their new lives!
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athena1
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« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2010, 3:14:35 PM »

What trb says -- the financial aspects of divorce can last the longest.  The sooner the financial relationship is ended the better (usually).
My mantra in the yucky pre-settlement period of my divorce was, "It's just money; I'll make more." And for me it was, and I did. Best wishes to all in their new lives!

This is a very good point. I'm (hopefully) in the final stages of settlement. I'll use that.
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shamu
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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2010, 3:43:01 PM »

Are you:
1) ever coming up with ideas to stay at work and not go home?
2) trying to nit-pick to start an argument so you can leave?
3) wondering what your life would be like without hu?
4) constantly being the adult of the marriage? Making all of the tough decisions and running the household?

I give you 1), 2), and 4), but what about 3) ? Never? I sometimes wonder what life as a Cottontop Tamarin would be like. Can't a person wonder? Just wondering. Wait, what is the meaning of that?
« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 3:43:47 PM by shamu » Logged
neutralname
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« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2010, 3:54:33 PM »


Are you:
1) ever coming up with ideas to stay at work and not go home?
2) trying to nit-pick to start an argument so you can leave?
3) wondering what your life would be like without hu?
4) constantly being the adult of the marriage? Making all of the tough decisions and running the household?


This seems overly dramatic to me.  Some of us -- me for instance -- are not quite sure how to do marriage, especially in the early years, and periodically later on.  Or we are married to people who are sometimes difficult to be with.  Sometimes we are difficult to be with, and our interactions with spouses are strained.  Marriage is really difficult, and is often a struggle.  If I started getting ready to quit every time I felt we were going through a difficult phase, I'd have ended years ago. 

Marriage and divorce are very personal decisions, and people's experience of marriage varies, although I've met only a few people who have been together a long time without going through times when they really questioned whether they should stay.  I don't think there are any strict rules about when to stay and when to go.
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t_r_b
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« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2010, 6:47:48 PM »

Are you:
1) ever coming up with ideas to stay at work and not go home?
2) trying to nit-pick to start an argument so you can leave?
3) wondering what your life would be like without hu?
4) constantly being the adult of the marriage? Making all of the tough decisions and running the household?

I give you 1), 2), and 4), but what about 3) ? Never? I sometimes wonder what life as a Cottontop Tamarin would be like. Can't a person wonder? Just wondering. Wait, what is the meaning of that?

Nothing wrong with wondering per se. But if the wondering becomes constant/overwhelming, and is combined with some of those others, you've got some issues to address. That doesn't mean the answer is necessarily divorce, and it certainly isn't only divorce, but these are important clues. In fact, paying attention to this sort of thing before it gets out of hand is probably one of the most important things you can do to save a marriage. But marriage saving is a topic for another thread.

And speaking of wondering: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiqiTrMVLdQ&feature=related

Some of us -- me for instance -- are not quite sure how to do marriage, especially in the early years, and periodically later on.  Or we are married to people who are sometimes difficult to be with. 

Some of us? You have just described everyone who has ever had a life partner.

Quote
Sometimes we are difficult to be with, and our interactions with spouses are strained.  Marriage is really difficult, and is often a struggle.  If I started getting ready to quit every time I felt we were going through a difficult phase, I'd have ended years ago. 

Same here. In retrospect, I probably should have quit years ago, and saved myself more "difficult phases" than I can count. It's all well and good to say that things get hard for everyone, but until you've been in someone else's shoes, you have no idea of just how "hard" their "hard" really is. And they may not realize it either.

One bit of wisdom I learned from hard experience: when things get rough, talk to friends and family about it. I almost never did, in part out of shame or self-consciousness, in part out of being pretty reserved generally, and in part in deference to my partner's (in retrospect excessive) demands that we keep our business private. The cost of that was that I never had a reality check. Because I didn't let anyone else in, there was never anyone there telling me, "this is crazy," or "this is not your fault," or "that's a very unreasonable expectation," or "you don't have to put up with this." It was only when I let myself get close to others that I started comparing our "hard" to everyone else's "hard" and noticing that for everyone else, there was a lot more happiness balancing out the hard stuff. That kind of external reference can be really helpful for figuring out that things aren't right.

I'll join in.

Spouse refuses to seek counseling and says it's all me.  After a year of therapy, I know it's not me.  Sure, some of it was/has been, but that's not the least of it. 

This part is quite familiar. . . really, it's what lead to the end.

Same here, with a few more wrinkles. It's not so much that I figured out I wasn't crazy, but I did figure out that I wasn't the only crazy one, and yet I was the only one making an effort to do something about it other than blaming everyone else in my life. That was an important realization.

But when it was new to me, I lived in the historic area of a historic city where just-married couples often took a carriage ride.  I had to bite my tongue to keep from shouting, "Good luck with THAT!" 

I feel exactly the same way when I hear someone's getting married!

No kidding. There is a rash of weddings unfolding in my extended family these days. I should probably keep my distance.
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mystictechgal
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One step at a time


« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2010, 2:50:04 AM »


One bit of wisdom I learned from hard experience: when things get rough, talk to friends and family about it. I almost never did, in part out of shame or self-consciousness, in part out of being pretty reserved generally, and in part in deference to my partner's (in retrospect excessive) demands that we keep our business private. The cost of that was that I never had a reality check. Because I didn't let anyone else in, there was never anyone there telling me, "this is crazy," or "this is not your fault," or "that's a very unreasonable expectation," or "you don't have to put up with this." It was only when I let myself get close to others that I started comparing our "hard" to everyone else's "hard" and noticing that for everyone else, there was a lot more happiness balancing out the hard stuff. That kind of external reference can be really helpful for figuring out that things aren't right.


Same here, with a few more wrinkles. It's not so much that I figured out I wasn't crazy, but I did figure out that I wasn't the only crazy one, and yet I was the only one making an effort to do something about it other than blaming everyone else in my life. That was an important realization.

[/quote]

I think these things are really important to keep in mind.  For those that don't know, I am not just a widow after 26 years, I also was divorced from my first husband after an almost 7 year marriage, a particularly hellish experience (no physical abuse, thankfully) that I rarely discuss.  I didn't share what was going on out of shame, embarrassment that I'd made such a mistake (and a desire to convince myself that it wasn't a mistake, at all), and the belief that, if I just working at it, things would get better.  Oddly, there was also a feeling of sorts that I'd made my choice and the bed that I realized later came with it--no change of linen allowed.  I didn't allow myself to discuss the situation because,among other things,  in my eyes, doing so was akin to whining or complaining and that wasn't allowed.  Somehow I just needed to suck it up, deal with it, and, if I couldn't make it better--even if I was working alone at doing so--that was my fault, alone.  Besides, if I told anyone what was going on it would make him look bad in their eyes and then, if we did manage to get it together, he'd continue with a stigma in their eyes that would be hard to overcome.

I'm still not entirely sure what started the change in my perception.  I think it was mostly just finally being around other people and beginning to recognize for myself that others didn't treat people that way.  They didn't live that way.  I started to be recognized for myself again by people that didn't really know us as a couple, and I started to realize that others wouldn't, and didn't, treat me the way that he did.  I grew my backbone back again.  I was still scared of what other's reactions would be when I announced my intention to divorce.  Hell, even at that point I didn't have the strength to suggest it to him--I finally raised the question, but asked only for a separation.  When he said that it might as well be a divorce as he "knew" I'd never take him back, I simply agreed (and privately rejoiced) to that suggestion.  Much to my surprise, it turned out that others (family and friends) had been wondering what had taken me so long.  It was at about that time that I found out that his Uncles had started a betting pool on how long it would be before I divorced him during our wedding reception.  Yet, I still felt so badly for him that I withdrew from most of our mutual friendships (and all contact with his family) so that he could "have" them.  Given that most of them (some including his family) eventually decided they didn't want him, I still regret cutting some of those ties.  I even tried to let him maintain some ties to me.  That got really ugly.

But, to comments about seeing others getting married and wanting to warn them off?  No.  I never felt that.  I hoped they'd chosen more wisely than I, but unless I saw a real reason for concern I was perfectly happy to wish them well.  Not all marriages end in divorce, with, or without, attendant ugliness.  Mine, and the divorce of one Aunt, are the only ones in my family that I know of--ever--throughout generations and centuries, on either maternal or paternal side.  And, so far as I know or have ever been told, they've all been mostly happy. Here, I am the outlier (perhaps part of what kept me in it as long as I stayed).

Mostly happy isn't the same as perfect.  My marriage to my late husband had its ups and downs, as did every marriage within the family that I've just said stayed together.  Every marriage does.  It's how the two partners deal with those ups and downs that matter most.    

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tanit
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« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2010, 11:21:03 AM »

Another great NDT post.  Thanks, Mystictechgal.

You know what has really helped here?  The perspectives of the divorce initiators.  You are helping me think about how I can better handle this change, which, if you don't recall, was not initiated by me - was a complete surprise, in fact.  Despite it being a surprise, many of the things you initiators describe I can see in my own marriage, especially those of you who came to the slow realization that what was happening in your relationship stood outside of the realm of normal, manageable, fixable.  Mine had that, too.  In spades.  The problem is that I was trying to work through it while spouse was apparently trying to make it worse so that it could just be over.  And end it he did. 

I don't want to be married anymore - and have started attending to the business side as mentioned upthread and am ready even to start casual dating (hello LHC thread!) - but I also don't yet "want" to be divorced.  I really want to want that in order to fight the sense of powerlessness and betrayal plaguing me know. 

So, please, share on!  It's really helping in ways that can't be quantified.
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buglet
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« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2010, 11:30:07 AM »



I think these things are really important to keep in mind.  For those that don't know, I am not just a widow after 26 years, I also was divorced from my first husband after an almost 7 year marriage, a particularly hellish experience (no physical abuse, thankfully) that I rarely discuss.  I didn't share what was going on out of shame, embarrassment that I'd made such a mistake (and a desire to convince myself that it wasn't a mistake, at all), and the belief that, if I just working at it, things would get better.  Oddly, there was also a feeling of sorts that I'd made my choice and the bed that I realized later came with it--no change of linen allowed.  I didn't allow myself to discuss the situation because,among other things,  in my eyes, doing so was akin to whining or complaining and that wasn't allowed.  Somehow I just needed to suck it up, deal with it, and, if I couldn't make it better--even if I was working alone at doing so--that was my fault, alone.  Besides, if I told anyone what was going on it would make him look bad in their eyes and then, if we did manage to get it together, he'd continue with a stigma in their eyes that would be hard to overcome.

I'm still not entirely sure what started the change in my perception.  I think it was mostly just finally being around other people and beginning to recognize for myself that others didn't treat people that way.  They didn't live that way.  I started to be recognized for myself again by people that didn't really know us as a couple, and I started to realize that others wouldn't, and didn't, treat me the way that he did.  I grew my backbone back again.  I was still scared of what other's reactions would be when I announced my intention to divorce.  Hell, even at that point I didn't have the strength to suggest it to him--I finally raised the question, but asked only for a separation.  When he said that it might as well be a divorce as he "knew" I'd never take him back, I simply agreed (and privately rejoiced) to that suggestion.  Much to my surprise, it turned out that others (family and friends) had been wondering what had taken me so long.  It was at about that time that I found out that his Uncles had started a betting pool on how long it would be before I divorced him during our wedding reception.  Yet, I still felt so badly for him that I withdrew from most of our mutual friendships (and all contact with his family) so that he could "have" them.  Given that most of them (some including his family) eventually decided they didn't want him, I still regret cutting some of those ties.  I even tried to let him maintain some ties to me.  That got really ugly.

But, to comments about seeing others getting married and wanting to warn them off?  No.  I never felt that.  I hoped they'd chosen more wisely than I, but unless I saw a real reason for concern I was perfectly happy to wish them well.  Not all marriages end in divorce, with, or without, attendant ugliness.  Mine, and the divorce of one Aunt, are the only ones in my family that I know of--ever--throughout generations and centuries, on either maternal or paternal side.  And, so far as I know or have ever been told, they've all been mostly happy. Here, I am the outlier (perhaps part of what kept me in it as long as I stayed).

Mostly happy isn't the same as perfect.  My marriage to my late husband had its ups and downs, as did every marriage within the family that I've just said stayed together.  Every marriage does.  It's how the two partners deal with those ups and downs that matter most.    



This is a great post.  It mirrors what happened in my first partnership too....Friends and family were relieved when I broke it off after a dozen years (I was a slower learner than mystictechgal).  And, getting divorced let me marry a really wonderful man.  Our fourth anniversary is in a couple of weeks.   Our marriage is not perfect, but it is 85% pretty darn good.
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t_r_b
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« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2010, 1:16:19 PM »

You know what has really helped here?  The perspectives of the divorce initiators.  You are helping me think about how I can better handle this change, which, if you don't recall, was not initiated by me - was a complete surprise, in fact.  Despite it being a surprise, many of the things you initiators describe I can see in my own marriage, especially those of you who came to the slow realization that what was happening in your relationship stood outside of the realm of normal, manageable, fixable.  Mine had that, too.  In spades. 

I also found (and find) that alternative perspective to be helpful. My best buddy from my divorce recovery class, with whom I have dinner at least every other week or so, has very little in common with me on the surface - female, my parents' age, a mother, extroverted, and definitely not the divorce initiator - but despite all that we've learned a great deal from each other's experiences. Our partnerships ended in strikingly similar (and very painful) ways, which included everyone involved more or less losing their minds. When most of what you believed about your life has been pulled out from under you, it's darn hard to get any sense of perspective, or to make sense of your own or your partner's feelings and actions. Part of the post-split recovery process involves getting a handle on and coming to terms with the attending insanity, and for that I found it very helpful (and sobering) to come to understand those aspects of my friend's breakup that paralleled my own, from the perspective of someone whose experience resembled that of my ex.

Quote
The problem is that I was trying to work through it while spouse was apparently trying to make it worse so that it could just be over.  And end it he did. 

This has me wondering about how much my ex and I were really "trying to make it worse" even as we were trying to make things better. I think both of us fantasized about being free of each other (as do most couples, I'm sure, but to a much greater degree), and both of us acted in ways, at some point or other, that an objective observer might well read as "trying to drive the other away." I don't think either of us wanted to be the one to make the big break, or even to admit that we wanted it, and as things unfolded I think we both constructed narratives that identified the other as the one whose actions drove the split. On the other hand, at a strictly conscious level, we both really really wanted things to work out, partly out of terror of the unknown, but also partly out of love for each other and the life we'd built together. And that wasn't enough, not by a long shot.
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Quote from: prytania3
If you want to be zen, then stay in the freaking moment.
Quote from: fiona
A lot of the people posting on this thread need to go out and get kohlrabi.
athena1
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« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2010, 2:31:33 PM »

Mystic, I think I've said it before, but I am sorry to hear about your loss.


But, to comments about seeing others getting married and wanting to warn them off?  No.  I never felt that.  I hoped they'd chosen more wisely than I, but unless I saw a real reason for concern I was perfectly happy to wish them well.  

I would never actually warn anyone off unless they directly asked my advice. Then, I might warn them about ways to protect themselves in case of divorce, but probably not tell them not to marry. It's just a gut reaction in response to going through this hell.


I don't want to be married anymore - and have started attending to the business side as mentioned upthread and am ready even to start casual dating (hello LHC thread!) - but I also don't yet "want" to be divorced.  I really want to want that in order to fight the sense of powerlessness and betrayal plaguing me know. 

So, please, share on!  It's really helping in ways that can't be quantified.

I'm going to suggest that you don't date until the divorce is done with. This is something my lawyer pointed out -- it could be used against you.

I hope I can find someone and have another long-term (healthy) relationship. I don't know if I'll ever get married again after the torture of trying to separate assets. I may forget though. I'm just too in-the-moment.
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alto_stratus
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« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2010, 4:25:48 PM »

I'm glad we have a topic about this.  In real life, people tend not to talk about divorce, and so in addition to the stress of the experience, you start to feel isolated, too.  Most of my friends are married, a few are single, and only one is divorced (a private person, who only talked process, not experience).  If not for a few supportive married friends, I would have felt very alone in the process.

I'm also of the group that thinks divorce can be one of the healthiest decisions you can make.  I did everything I could to make things work, but the writing was on the wall in huge letters.  It wasn't going to happen.  While it took me some time to accept, it was either that or continue on in the chaos.
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t_r_b
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« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2010, 4:47:28 PM »

I'm glad we have a topic about this.  In real life, people tend not to talk about divorce, and so in addition to the stress of the experience, you start to feel isolated, too.  Most of my friends are married, a few are single, and only one is divorced (a private person, who only talked process, not experience).  If not for a few supportive married friends, I would have felt very alone in the process.

I hear you. It occurs to me that I got a lot more support from friends and family during the process of separation and the legal mess than I have since the divorce became final. Now it seems like people's attitude is, "cool, it's over, now you can start being normal and happy." Um, no, it doesn't really work that way. At least not for me. Getting the decree from the judge was nice and all, but it didn't mark the end of emotional recovery - just the beginning of a new and in some respects more challenging phase.

And yes, almost everyone in my support network (local and long-distance) is currently partnered, and only a few have gone through divorce themselves. It makes a difference.
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Quote from: prytania3
If you want to be zen, then stay in the freaking moment.
Quote from: fiona
A lot of the people posting on this thread need to go out and get kohlrabi.
alto_stratus
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« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2010, 7:16:57 PM »

For me it's like watching waves come ashore.  I expected the experience to be more linear, but it comes in, and rolls out, and comes back in again, and rolls out.  Each wave a little different.  Sometimes easier.  Sometimes totally unexpected.  I'm starting to get the hang of it though.
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t_r_b
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« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2010, 7:37:21 PM »

For me it's like watching waves come ashore.  I expected the experience to be more linear, but it comes in, and rolls out, and comes back in again, and rolls out.  Each wave a little different.  Sometimes easier.  Sometimes totally unexpected.  I'm starting to get the hang of it though.

Great analogy. Especially when you consider that over the long haul, wave action on a beach both destroys and creates.
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Quote from: prytania3
If you want to be zen, then stay in the freaking moment.
Quote from: fiona
A lot of the people posting on this thread need to go out and get kohlrabi.
kedves
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« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2010, 9:35:00 PM »

Very little of what's been written here recently characterizes or relates to my experience, so I'll bow out and wish all of you who are going through it much luck.  I will look in and comment if I have anything relevant to say.
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