Dealing with Divorce Catch-All

blackanchor wrote:

I won't lie and say that there isn't definite fear of being alone. Seeing my son everyday is a gift that I won't get back once I choose to leave. You are both right in that I'm in a toxic situation and I'm only enabling her to treat me this way. It's hard to know what the right thing to do is. My daughter is a first semester freshman in college and is already feeling homesick. How do I destroy the sanctuary that is home for her in order to make myself feel better? Sorry. I'm being dramatic. It's just hard for me.

You don't have to be the one to leave. Whoever provides the most stable living situation should be the one to stay, don't automatically assume that isn't you. If you are the one to leave, you don't have to be absent. You aren't destroying any sanctuary for your kids, either. You are taking care of yourself, that's a very important lesson for your kids. It's always hard, though - don't worry about being dramatic.

I'm sorry you're going through this, blackanchor. I think your kids may understand better than you think they will. That may be colored by my wishing my parents had gotten divorced rather than staying together for the sake of the kids when they obviously hated each other.

You may blame yourself, but if they heard the full story, I strongly doubt your kids would blame you. Don't make yourself miserable just for the sake of appearances. They likely know something is wrong, and they're not going to stop loving their parents just because they no longer love each other.

I’d suggest a therapist and some counseling...either together, separately, or both so you can figure out the best way forward.

blackanchor wrote:

My daughter is a first semester freshman in college and is already feeling homesick. How do I destroy the sanctuary that is home for her in order to make myself feel better?

My sister got divorced a few years ago when her youngest just started college. She felt the same way.

Then I pointed out that her ex had been sleeping in the basement for years and they barely spoke to each other or were even in the same room together during the day. That's not a sanctuary and kids aren't that clueless.

Part of being a good parent means taking care of yourself and not being in a position where you're absolutely miserable.

blackanchor wrote:

I won't lie and say that there isn't definite fear of being alone. Seeing my son everyday is a gift that I won't get back once I choose to leave. You are both right in that I'm in a toxic situation and I'm only enabling her to treat me this way. It's hard to know what the right thing to do is. My daughter is a first semester freshman in college and is already feeling homesick. How do I destroy the sanctuary that is home for her in order to make myself feel better? Sorry. I'm being dramatic. It's just hard for me.

As someone who came from a divorced household, let me share with you my experience.

You may think that the household you are providing for them now is better than if you were to get divorced. My parents thought that. My parents were wrong. Kids know. My brother and I sensed there was something wrong in the house, and it made life very, very unhappy and unpleasant for us.

It got, for us, much, much better once they told us what was going. Once we realized it **wasn't** something we had done, or could possibly do, or wanted to do that was causing issues in the family, my brother and I really, really relaxed and could get on with life.

So sorry you're going through all this blackanchor!

Everyone else has already basically said what I would have said. I can give my perspective, which is similar to mudbunny's, only I wasn't the kid - I was one of those parents who thought the most important thing was to stay together for the children regardless of my own feelings or the situation. That somehow two parents together in a toxic situation are still better for kids than two much happier but separated parents. Unfortunately, like others here said, the kids can tell when things are off, and it does affect them. Those feelings affect you, and they affect those around you.

It took a great deal of therapy before I finally got to the point of realizing that my son would be far better off living in two homes with divorced parents than to witness and be involved with parents in a relationship that was not working. Once he got older (he was only five when my ex and I first separated), he was actually able to put into words how much it helped him, and how much he appreciated having his parents separate.

blackanchor wrote:

Seeing my son everyday is a gift that I won't get back once I choose to leave.

Yes, this is going to be rough, there's no two ways about it. But when divorce is the right thing to do, everyone involved has to make adjustments and sacrifices that are hard at first, but a couple years down the road you find that it was the right decision for everyone. As others have stated, it's better for the kids to live in two healthier households than one toxic one, even if you think the toxicity is hidden. Kids adjust. Kids want their parents to be happy.

Separating may be the hardest decision you ever make, and of course it has to be your decision, but often putting it off, hiding behind denial and what-ifs about the future, just prolongs the pain. The sooner you start the process, as hard as it will be, the sooner everyone gets to a place of healing and acceptance. When you're ready, contact an attorney and stand up for your right to see your son as much as possible.

blackanchor wrote:

Seeing my son everyday is a gift that I won't get back once I choose to leave.

I know that feeling well, it kept me in a broken relationship and stopped me admitting to how bad things were. That was a good few years ago now, and although its no longer everyday, seeing my son is still the thing I live for. Yes its only weekends, and especially in the last year where ex moved some 90 miles away, I'm less involved in his schooling than I'd like, but our relationship is still very strong. We talk every night on the phone, a few nights a week we'll likely be playing Fortnite or similar together, and the weekends are very much spend doing what he wants. Yes I tend to spoil him rotten, but we talk, and the ex often times bemoan the fact that we're more like brothers than father and son, and that she's jealous of that. So not seeing him everyday may hurt, but its not the pit of despair it likely feels like now, or at least wasn't for me. Good luck with your situation Black

Coming up on one year since my wife and I separated. I moved out early on, but have been unemployed since our school shut down last December. S (my wife) got a job as a nurse, so I moved back in to take care of our three kids. That has been very rough. I now understand why everybody cautions against it. We went to couples conseling to see if we could learn to deal with each other and for the most part we have been able to. Except she took that as a sign that we are trying to get back together. I want none of that and have been very clear that we do not work well together.

In that time period I have regained old friends, made new ones, built a support network of amazing people, started dating a wonderful person and generally improved most aspects of my life.

Also in that year I have identified that I suffer from depression and have been having increasingly bad bouts of anxiety tied in with my still living there. It turns out that to make herself feel good when shes stressed, S starts fights with me. Once she's had the emotional release, she's fine. It puts me in an ever increasing spin. Two weeks ago I just laid down on the floor of the kitchen and didn't move for almost two hours.

I had enough of it and took myself to the mental health dept at Kaiser. I now have a weekly therapist. Thank goodness.

So my next steps are to finally get a job, move out and file for divorce. She's finally on the same page with me about that.

That's my story and I hope you enjoyed it.

I enjoyed that you seem to have a handle on things and a future you can embrace

I'm not sure I really belong here yet. But I've been reading along for a while and just wanted to offer my support to everyone. Things are rocky in my marriage and have been for a long time. I may very well be a legitimate member of this thread in the near-to-medium-term future, but we're having a go at counseling before we make any lasting decisions. Anyway, I just wanted to voice my support.

Good luck Anti.

Antichulius wrote:

I'm not sure I really belong here yet. But I've been reading along for a while and just wanted to offer my support to everyone. Things are rocky in my marriage and have been for a long time.

I don't know your reality. Just remember sometimes the hard choice is the right one, let the past go and allow yourself a different future.

Toddland wrote:

It puts me in an ever increasing spin. Two weeks ago I just laid down on the floor of the kitchen and didn't move for almost two hours.

Literally did this too, back when I was with my ex. I'm really glad you're getting the help you need, Toddland! Things will get easier over time.

Good luck Antichulius! You've come to the right place.

I appreciate this thread so much. When dealing with these sorts of issues, unrealistically, you tend to believe that you are the only one. This has helped me realize that there are others dealing with tough similar situations and have made it through. Thank you all for your supportive words and suggestions.

Antichulius wrote:

I'm not sure I really belong here yet. But I've been reading along for a while and just wanted to offer my support to everyone. Things are rocky in my marriage and have been for a long time. I may very well be a legitimate member of this thread in the near-to-medium-term future, but we're having a go at counseling before we make any lasting decisions. Anyway, I just wanted to voice my support.

I participated for a time, mostly supportive, when my marriage was on the rocks. Divorce never came to pass as we rekindled communication and became a partnership once more. I thus went back to lurking. It feels insincere to mix in. This thread, though, was such an aid, a refuge, during the rough moments that I continue to check in as a result. I hope it continues to help others so.

Yeah, I lurk on here because my brother's and friend's marriage were/are rocky and they contemplated or filed for divorce. So obviously I'm not going to participate, but it's good to see people's perspectives and the common hurdles. It's been really good for giving me advice on how to help my friend, as well as how NOT to help my friend.

Ugh. Just...ugh. At divorce in general, and all the unpleasant specifics as well.

Packed up the box of things from our wedding for my parents to take and store. It's so small. Size of a shoebox.

I should let him take a look over it and see if there's anything there he wants to keep. There's not much in there, but at the same time, so many things I'd forgotten about. Only disc 1 of a two disc set of wedding pictures that I'm heartbroken to discover is incomplete. A slideshow his uncle made for us. The homemade cake-toppers, his boutonniere. The ring pillow. One copy of the wedding schedule. A myriad of other small things. The photo from the center of the framed mural our guests signed wishing us well in our marriage. Just the photo. I threw out the frame with it's hand-written notes. I can't look at them.

This took me out today. It is a form of closure, I guess.

Amoebic wrote:

Packed up the box of things from our wedding for my parents to take and store. It's so small. Size of a shoebox.

I should let him take a look over it and see if there's anything there he wants to keep. There's not much in there, but at the same time, so many things I'd forgotten about. Only disc 1 of a two disc set of wedding pictures that I'm heartbroken to discover is incomplete. A slideshow his uncle made for us. The homemade cake-toppers, his boutonniere. The ring pillow. One copy of the wedding schedule. A myriad of other small things. The photo from the center of the framed mural our guests signed wishing us well in our marriage. Just the photo. I threw out the frame with it's hand-written notes. I can't look at them.

This took me out today. It is a form of closure, I guess.

One of the hardest things to do. I’m sorry. For me it was looking over all of the hopes and dreams that just wound up ending in failure despite our best efforts otherwise.

I ultimately got rid of everything relating to my life with my husband, so no pictures, no cards, no letters, nothing, not even digital. The only things I kept were a whistling tea kettle that he gave me at some point, because I regularly use it and it's not personalized in any way and an old tax return that has his info on it in case I need to file anything someday since the marriage was over 10 years (and technically still going since we aren't technically divorced despite absolutely no contact for many years.)

One day I just decided that I had no healthy need to look back on any of that stuff, that any reminder anywhere in the house was never going to be a happy one, and so why would I want any of it remaining in my life?

The better focus is on the here and now.

Thanks folks. We did our best for a time. Can't change what is now.
Don't want to dwell on failure, it doesn't bear fruit. Just trying to learn from it I think.

Much respect bekkilyn, sometimes that is the healthiest route by far. Decluttering bad from my life is something I aspire to.

Amoebic wrote:

Thanks folks. We did our best for a time. Can't change what is now.
Don't want to dwell on failure, it doesn't bear fruit. Just trying to learn from it I think.

Much respect bekkilyn, sometimes that is the healthiest route by far. Decluttering bad from my life is something I aspire to.

It took me a good bit of time to get to that point though, so don't feel bad if you're not there yet. A lot of that stuff stayed hidden away in dark corners for many months until I eventually got around to it. (And I even moved twice in the meantime.)

What if you could say the words inside your head?
Would you let them out or would they go unsaid?
What if you could say the words inside your heart?
Would you speak them true to take their part?

What of the truths inside that are deep within?
Do they hide in the shadows where the light is thin?
Or do you embrace them all in openness and in pain?
To open your heart and let freedom reign!

To speak your words, your heart and your soul,
To tell those you love your penultimate goal!
For there is one more who to tell these words to,
Don't look too far for that person is you.

I haven't made much progress since my last post. I started seeing a therapist with the hope that I can at least relieve myself of anxiety and avoid depression. With the holidays here i've decided not to make any life decisions until early next year. The relationship that my wife had engaged in is still alive. I have begun to focus on my well being which includes going to the gym, finding my faith again, and trying to spend more time with my son. I am trying to find myself again as this past year I have done nothing but ruminate in misery and fear. I can not control the things shes done or does, but I can control how I react and live my life. I am not a success but I do have a job I like and rather enjoy who I am. I need to remember that I am perfect just as I am and that her actions are not a reflection on me. If she follows through and starts seeing a therapist and lets go of that other relationship, maybe there is hope. But I will not live like this much longer.

Had my court hearing today, in and out in about 30 mins so that is good. Officially divorced in 30 days when I receive the paperwork in the mail. The house is going up on the market tomorrow and I am finally starting to get settled in my apartment. I feel like I should be more emotional or relieved over the whole thing but it just feels like another day.

I had a surreal post-divorce court brunch with my lawyer and my ex-wife, on the lawyer's advice, to let it sink in, because the whole thing took maybe 10 minutes for me. It was like running to the store for a jug of milk, that turned out to be a divorce. We needed a bit more time to process it...

I mean, going to an actual supermarket, and remembering what I like to cook, and eat, all by myself, took me months and months longer to process, in a way. Really lost my "self" towards the end of my first marriage.

That has been the weirdest thing for me. I had, over the course of 16 years, squashed or given up most of the things that felt like me in order to “compromise” so that the marriage could continue. Including my emotions. I got very good at hiding them because any time I would get anxious or worried or upset or sad or or or... my wife would freak out and go into a spin. So I just sort of ...stopped doing it.

Allowing myself to re-experience those emotions has been like a second puberty. Now that I’m letting myself feel everything, it’s all crazy big. The lows are way lower, the highs are way higher. I feel human again. And now I’m letting myself relearn what used to make me happy. It’s been a real trip In all sense of the words.

I am now getting back into doing the things that used to drive me. It’s been slow going, but I’m really enjoying it. Writing, drawing, making music, playing video games, etc. I’m starting to feel like a person again. Oddly, it’s all allowed me to connect with my children in a way that I hadn’t been fully able to, which had been the driving factor between finally declaring a separation.

First annual divorceaversary. Got the call from the lawyers one year ago today that the papers went through and it was official. Emotions are, mixed.

Well it looks like I am going to be another member of this group.

It is so crazy but this:

That has been the weirdest thing for me. I had, over the course of 16 years, squashed or given up most of the things that felt like me in order to “compromise” so that the marriage could continue. Including my emotions. I got very good at hiding them because any time I would get anxious or worried or upset or sad or or or... my wife would freak out and go into a spin. So I just sort of ...stopped doing it.

Really resonates with me. I don't particularly find anything to complain about on a long term basis, so I don't. Unfortunately, my wife lets me no about everything and I find myself in the spot of having to defend our marriage 3-4 times a year when these squabbles become "I can't live like this." "You don't support me." (mind you that the supposed solution to this is that being together without support is worse that being separate without support)

And go figure, we have intimacy problems. And I have no idea how to tell her that her body issues (100% not from me) and my self esteem (we have survived a lot of deaths in the family and my sporadic employment) are blocking intimacy. She doesn't know what to do so I have to fix her problems.

So yesterday as hard as it was to choke the words out of my mouth, I told her that I wasn't going to defend our marriage anymore. Of course the initial reaction was woah, woah, woah. If we are going to do this, we are going to need to contact our families because SHE is going to need support. Mind you, I am screwed in this situation: no car, no furniture, pretty much just clothes, a pillow and my computer. And I have to move out (after the last fight where she said she would rent a room with a friend)

And I am going to lose my puppy which is dear to us both but favors me a bit. Of course she says she will never take our puppy away from me but that is exactly what she is doing. I am going to have to turn the other cheek (I am really good at it) big time when things crop up that her perfect plan didn't anticipate. And TBH, once we've crossed that "move on" line I am going to find it hard to suppress feelings of abandonment and the urge to just keep swimming...