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Old 03-29-2018, 05:26 PM
Location: Westchester County
1,096 posts, read 1,343,180 times
Reputation: 966


My ex wanted the divorce (a fact that only recently she freely admits to), but months before she even filed, when she determined the marriage was over she stepped out and had a "fling" with a subordinate at her job. The kids knew about it (she was even comfortable enough to go out to dinner with my daughter and her new man). Now I have to admit that my behavior was less than stellar as I had trouble taking the high road. So as to the damage we did to our children at that time I have to take responsibility in that as well. When she finally filed for divorce we managed to get it together and draw up a divorce decree without having to pay lawyers, or a mediator. As time passed we got along a lot better than we did when we were married, and I have learned to tune her out in such a way that doesn't cause the conflict that it once did. Even though the children see we are both happier, they have said that they wish we could have correction should have worked it out. This is where I feel the biggest regret. I did want to work it out, but once one person decides they don't want to be married anymore there is little the other person can do. Fighting would have cost us $$ in court and we would have probably spent up money we already saved for our daughter to go to College. Ironically I thought I would be the one who would never get over the marriage ending (it lasted 25 years), but about a year into being divorced a switch cut on and I made peace with it. This August will make 4 years since we were divorced. Remember the children are ALWAYS watching, and has hard as it is sometimes you have to take the high road.
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:13 AM
1,173 posts, read 731,222 times
Reputation: 2494
Other than infidelity, do you enjoy being married to your wife? Is it healthy and committed overall? Are you two definitely a team?

I know a number of couples in open marriages, and of those, a good percentage have at least one bipolar partner in them. I cant stereotype here of course, but it seems that many people with certain mental health issues have trouble with monogamy. But they also are good partners, they just can't be (or choose not to be) sexually monogamous.

Of course people like to poopoo the idea of open marriages but in your case it might be the answer? I've seen it work.
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Old 03-30-2018, 05:29 PM
1,779 posts, read 6,829,046 times
Reputation: 958
Originally Posted by magpiehere View Post
Other than infidelity, do you enjoy being married to your wife? Is it healthy and committed overall? Are you two definitely a team?

I know a number of couples in open marriages, and of those, a good percentage have at least one bipolar partner in them. I cant stereotype here of course, but it seems that many people with certain mental health issues have trouble with monogamy. But they also are good partners, they just can't be (or choose not to be) sexually monogamous.

Of course people like to poopoo the idea of open marriages but in your case it might be the answer? I've seen it work.
I enjoy being married to her when she is not on either of the extremes of bipolar. Lately I am not enjoying the hiding and deceiving of course.

I'm not comfortable with the idea of an open marriage. Partially due to just being relatively conservative when it comes to relationships, partially because I think she'd probably go out of control. But I do appreciate any ideas, whether they are right for us or not.
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Old 04-07-2018, 05:53 AM
Location: Planet Earth
2,768 posts, read 2,314,254 times
Reputation: 4956
Do not, not, stay married for, "the sake of the children". It is the worst thing you can do to your children. My children wish I divorced their father earlier than when I left him.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:46 AM
770 posts, read 564,770 times
Reputation: 1475
The absolute worst is then it's obvious they SHOULD be divorced, but stay together, and fight in the house every day after work, slamming doors, yelling, swearing , and do it on and on for an additional 5 years ... cause you know, it's good for the kids
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:35 AM
Location: South Carolina
13,116 posts, read 17,658,319 times
Reputation: 22465
Children survive divorce and some rather well and some not so much . I think the older they are the better they understand it .No staying married is the absoloute worst thing you can do . all the shouting and slamming doors and knock down drag out fights the police being called . NO don't stay married for the kids sake . I once had someone tell me divorce is like a band aid the sooner you rip it off the better .
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:01 AM
15,756 posts, read 13,184,034 times
Reputation: 19646
Originally Posted by coolcats View Post
Would it have been better if you stayed together, even it was a bad situation?

I've caught my wife sexting the same guy twice now, asking to meet up, etc.. I really tried after I caught her the first time. We did marriage counseling, I tried to give her more attention etc. We made it 6 months, and I just happened to find out she started it up again a few weeks ago. She also has bipolar, which is hard enough to live with because she does have mood swings and impulse issues. So I've given up on having a healthy marriage.

Personally, I want to be free and to move on. I got over being terribly upset after the first time. But fool me once, shame on you ... fool me twice, shame on me.

However, we have four kids. Ages 15,14, 6, and 4. The thing is though, we don't have a ton of shouting matches and terrible fights in front of the kids. My wife has her faults, but for the most part treats them well and is involved. So we can actually have a relatively stable home life. Far from perfect, but overall the atmosphere isn't terrible. And for the most part they are thriving ... with just some normal issues for kids their ages. They are doing well in school, involved in music and activities, have friends (even a boyfriend for my daughter), and seem happy.

I feel like breaking up the family would be more harmful to them, than the flawed, but not horrible parental situation. Just curious other people's perspectives.
It will be hardest on the teens. If you only had them, I would suggest sticking it out until they are in college but it is 14 years away for the youngest. It is a tough situation.

I would likely just stick it out and go the open marriage route assuming you both can be discrete.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:03 PM
Location: Dfw
324 posts, read 93,589 times
Reputation: 340
On speaking for my husband to say yes, it messes them up. He even feared getting married because his parents divorced. He also said he has memories as a child that he had to schedule 2 separate days for a parent/ teacher meeting...one for each parent....
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:09 PM
Location: Colorado
9,768 posts, read 6,282,029 times
Reputation: 17594
I don't think that there is one right answer to this. I think that there are 100 variables that can make things better, or worse, for kids...and ultimately, you just have to feel your way through it as best as you can.

I normally am not one for "ultimatums" but in this situation, I would sit the wife down and lay down some stuff you could do to protect yourself. For instance, I would not snoop and try to catch her doing anything. I'd just assume she is. I'd tell her that the broken trust, means I will not be intimate with you...or I will not without protection. I cannot feel safe otherwise. I would say "You are going to do whatever. I don't want to hear about it, see it, or know about it, but you had better be conscientious of your responsibilities to our kids and this household. We have a job to do here." I'd do a sort of open marriage with a "Don't ask/Don't tell" clause, perhaps. The traditional marriage you wanted and that you believe in, clearly isn't what you have here. You can't change her. The only way you can survive and get the child rearing mission accomplished, is to let go of the outcome, somehow. If you can still present a unified front as a team, even though your dreams of a wonderful committed romantic relationship have broken, then you might have a chance.

I worked to keep my marriage together for 18 years (I had our first kid at the 2 year point more or less, so they were teens when we broke up.) For the most part, we did not fight. There was no infidelity. We were just very bad for one another, personality-wise and I was unhappy with him. But I was determined not to be selfish, so I worked to make a happy facade as convincingly as possible for their sake. Unfortunately when he eventually had a pretty serious mental break and violence and addiction, refusal to work (or even volunteer or leave the house) and refusal to get help, came into the picture...I simply did not have enough stored up love and investment to stick it out. It was killing me, and harming our kids, so I had to end it. And the fact that he believed he had a great marriage for so long, and that rug got pulled out from under him, made him really bitter and angry and nasty. But by that point, the kids would suffer if I tried to keep us together and they'd suffer if I tore us apart. At least this way, I've moved on and found a happier relationship.

He bad mouths me to our sons a lot. I worry quite a bit about our younger son, who craves validation from him. He has made up lies, convinced himself I cheated on him, when I didn't. He is one of those who has to construct a narrative that none of his suffering was his own fault, and the worse he can paint me, the more righteous he can feel about it. I've stopped defending myself against these lies, because at the end of the day, no one can prove anything either way, and everyone will believe whatever they want. I'm too tired, and I don't care. But beyond that, he is determined to teach our youngest, who listens to him, that women are all betrayers and the only way to handle them is to use them for sex and then cast them aside, never let them close and never trust a woman. Nice, huh? Real healthy stuff for a 16 year old to be learning. Whenever one of my sons tries to talk to me about their Dad, I try to be as zen as possible about things. I just tell them that part of growing up, is realizing how human your parents are. Human beings, with issues, who make mistakes, but who can only do the best they know how with the tools that we have. And I have told them that I am innocent of their father's accusations, but to learn from this that sometimes, people will believe anything they feel they need or want to believe, and there's not much you can do to change their minds. And that they will also, as young men, have to form their own beliefs.

It's been ugly. But...I was balancing this...against a man who was threatening harm to himself and to all of us, fairly often, and who was throwing and breaking things, and constantly drinking and smoking pot at home... I had a far worse situation in my household, I think, than what you do.

Follow your gut. Sometimes divorce is the better scenario. Sometimes it isn't. Sometimes no one will ever know, if the other road not taken, would have been the better one. We all do the best we can with the tools we have.
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:52 AM
668 posts, read 230,136 times
Reputation: 1030
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
Kids are NOT meant to take on adult problems, and being "open and honest" about the ***** is not the kind of life lesson he should be teaching them.

My state requires a 4-hour parenting class as part of the divorce process, and 90% of it is "Don't badmouth your ex." Because they're still your child's other parent.
I wish our state had that law, I think that's excellent. People are so harsh with their words and the effect of them on their impressionable children.
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