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If you've divorced from a lengthy (15+) marriage, I have some questions.


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:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: I'm sorry you're dealing with this.

 

I haven't but my parents divorced after 35 years. There were a lot of issues that led to it - money, lack of emotional attachment, control issues, etc.

 

I know for them it was the best thing that could have happened. They still live in the same house (long story) but they're both very happy just being friends. My Mom dates occasionally and my Dad just does whatever. It works for them.

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What was the last straw? How long did you put up with whatever it was? How did you manage financially, especially if you hadn't worked prior to the divorce?

 

If I think of others, I'll ask.

 

Well..not sure if I count. We were together 12 years, married for 7. Last straw? When he refused to get further help for his depression, and when he said he didn't want more kids because they would distract attention from him. Other giant issues were him ignoring our son all day while i worked to support us, lying about attending classes...long list.

 

He was like that when I married him...really before that, but I thought he would change.

 

I moved in with my parents, worked part time for a while, then full time. Then eventually met my soulmate and got married. Life is 100 percent better.

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Despite what others may say, it does take two people to make a marriage. And some people are not mentally healthy enough to be a spouse. Yes, divorce is awful. But watching your children be injured daily by their father's dismissal, watching them take on that meaning of manhood, etc...that can be worse. Divorce is not something to do lightly. It is more like an amputation than the breaking of a contract. But sometimes, as awful as ampuation is, it can be life saving.

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Well we didn't make 15, but near, and for me it was 6 years of NO affection, no kind words, his friends all being more important than me, sarcasm, never knowing when he'd come home, and, when I finally asked what this marriage meant to him and he replied: its okay as long as you aren't difficult or get sick. If either of those happen, I'm leaving.

 

I thought about it for 48 hours and decided that I wasn't actually married anymore, except legally. We parted without a hostile word. It was very hard for me, because I adored him, but I felt I would be dumped when I was down. Intellectually, I decided I didn't need that kick in the teeth when I was sick, so I purposely peeled away from him with a very heavy heart. We were in business together, too, so there was that upheaval as well.

 

I don't wish it on anyone.

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Thank you for the perspectives. I will say that it's not the mundane little things of life that have killed my marriage. It's some big serious issues that I don't think I can live with anymore.

 

Can you see a counselor? Mine was really good at helping me see what my options were, walk through everything, etc.

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I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. I thought my DH and I were going to be done a few years back. I'd had enough and gave up, many mistakes were made on his part and then on mine. We have since worked through what we thought would be unworkable.

 

I pray you (and your family) all the strength you need to go forth with whatever decision the Lord helps you to make. I wish no one to be where my DH and I were some years ago. I only pray that more hearts could be turned as ours were. It was not easy and there are still the occasional time when things are remembered and feelings come up, but we now know how to discuss them and move on. We did see a good counselor together and I saw her by myself (as did my husband a couple of times). It was a challenge to put us back together, but we both wanted it. That was the key...

 

Many :grouphug: and prayers.

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Can you see a counselor? Mine was really good at helping me see what my options were, walk through everything, etc.

 

I'm quite disillusioned with the whole counseling thing at the moment. We/dh have tried 4 different counselors over the last 18 months and things have only gotten worse.

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I did not divorce, but was tired of writing the notes inviting him to understand my hurts and feelings, tired of saying the same things with the same dead end results. My boys (3 of them) began taking his side (not because I was bad, but because they are desperately trying to model a man and build their little identities). When the boys began to take his side...OMG--I felt so disillusioned that "all these years what have I done? Made your supper and your daughter and your son...and I'm still here and soooo confused..." those are the lyrics to the Sawyer Brown Song "All these years" and I would hear songs like "Take your cap and leave my sweater, cause we have nothing left to weather, in fact I'll feel a whole lot better...but youuuuu'lll think of meeehee" Oh and Rascal Flatts "I'm movin' on, at last I can see, life has been patiently waiting for me, etc" It has been a real roller coaster. I had 5 years of college, three boys, no support really, BUT I was a STRONG Christian woman that knew the Word. I went to a yard sale and this lady was talking about the movie Fireproof and I was curious. She helped me to the car with my goodies as she explained about the movie. She spoke life into me that me a hard heart soften and cry--my tears shocked me. When she looked into my face, somehow, it pierced me when she said I BELIEVE God can and will breathe life into your marriage. That was nice, because I had given up, ya know? I am proud to say that today...He is so in love with me now! This past Christmas, my jaw dropped as he bought me every gift for every facet of our lives, asked me to forgive him (this is a man that let me do without to buy and drive fancy racecars and made me ask for money much of the time). He just had a total change in his heart. It was very strange and I felt resistant to it but his love was sincere and overwhelming. Now, he loves me MORE than I love him and it's a little awkward. It used to be me loving him, serving him with NOTHING! My personal email is HomeEduc8@gmail.com--if you feel any desire to talk with me, I would be glad to share more. Our lives are not perfect, but God is Love and you don't have to go to church for God to heal your marriage--but you do have to love someone that does not have a clue how to love you. I loved my husband because I relaized God loved him more than I did. I watched 23 minutes in hell by Bill Wiese and imagined him there--I took my focus off of me. If the Word says that there is no greater love than he who lays his life down for a friend--then I would lay my life down for THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON in my life (though he was my least favorite). Respect for Position and respect for their character do not always match. I was not around well meaning girlfriends downing him and dividing what God put together. I was around godly women that prayed with me for my family. When you look at marriage and imagine what God was trying to express when he created it--it is a picture of our relationship to the Father. That's why adultry is just like idolatry. I had a breakthrough. I am glad it wasn't a break up. One last thing--I cried out to God and said, "YOU are Love. I do not love him and I do not even want to pray for him! So, put your Spirit inme for HIm." He did.

Wow, that's a great story, Melanie. Glad you made it and it all turned around.

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I'm quite disillusioned with the whole counseling thing at the moment. We/dh have tried 4 different counselors over the last 18 months and things have only gotten worse.

 

Well...maybe on your own? Mine was never able to help my dh change, but he really didn't want to change. But she was instrumental in me dealing with what I needed to deal with...getting over my fears, etc. She never told me what to do, just asked a lot of questions.

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She and her husband had been married 16 years. They spent every penny they had ( including thousands in the bank) on counseling. He had become abusive verbally and physically. She loved him dearly and didn't want their children to not have mom and dad together. But He didn't want to change. And he still hasn't.

 

They divorced. She asked her church members and family if anyone knew of a a house to rent. She found a house. Put her home schooled children in public school and got a job (dental hygienist). This past year she found a former homeschooling mom who agreed to help home school her kids while she works.

She is off on Fridays and spends it with her kids.

 

It has been really hard, but she has taken her children out of an abusive situation. Her ex is somewhat better towards her now, but has made no permanent changes.

 

I don't know your situation, and I don't advise divorce. But if you are in dangerous situation you may have no other choice.

 

Don't know if this helps, but thought I'd share my friend's situation.

Sorry you are in this situation.

:grouphug:

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She and her husband had been married 16 years. They spent every penny they had ( including thousands in the bank) on counseling. He had become abusive verbally and physically. She loved him dearly and didn't want their children to not have mom and dad together. But He didn't want to change. And he still hasn't.

 

They divorced. She asked her church members and family if anyone knew of a a house to rent. She found a house. Put her home schooled children in public school and got a job (dental hygienist). This past year she found a former homeschooling mom who agreed to help home school her kids while she works.

She is off on Fridays and spends it with her kids.

 

It has been really hard, but she has taken her children out of an abusive situation. Her ex is somewhat better towards her now, but has made no permanent changes.

 

I don't know your situation, and I don't advise divorce. But if you are in dangerous situation you may have no other choice.

 

Don't know if this helps, but thought I'd share my friend's situation.

Sorry you are in this situation.

:grouphug:

 

 

That helps a lot! Thanks you

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Despite what others may say, it does take two people to make a marriage. And some people are not mentally healthy enough to be a spouse. Yes, divorce is awful. But watching your children be injured daily by their father's dismissal, watching them take on that meaning of manhood, etc...that can be worse. Divorce is not something to do lightly. It is more like an amputation than the breaking of a contract. But sometimes, as awful as ampuation is, it can be life saving.

 

I am not divorced, don't expect to ever be, and believe that divorce should be rare and is a decision to be made very, very carefully.

 

BUT

 

This post rang true to me. The amputation analogy seems fitting--an amputation will always have permanent negative consequences, will make life difficult in many ways--but it can be life-saving.

 

:grouphug: to the OP. I wish I had some deep wisdom to offer. I have seen marriages brought back from the brink of disaster and continuing to thrive years later. I would hope for that ideal for you. But I recognize that such a transformation can't happen without the participation of both spouses. Often there is one spouse who takes the lead, but at some point the commitment to change must be mutual. You have my prayers for guidance and support wherever the road ahead leads you.

 

--Sarah

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Janice, I'm so sorry you are going through such a difficult time. I have no advice about whether or not you should get a divorce, because I don't know enough about your situation, but I will suggest that the first thing you should do is schedule a consultation with an attorney who specializes in divorce, and who has a lot of experience with families with multiple children (because custody and child support issues can get very complicated, very quickly.)

 

Please do that before you say anything to your husband about a divorce. I know it sounds sneaky, but you need to get your ducks in a row and know exactly what your rights and options are, before you take any definitive action. There are certain steps you should follow (like not being the one to move out of the house!) and if you're prepared, you'll know what to expect, and you will feel more confident and less frightened.

 

Again, I'm so sorry.

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I'm not divorced, but my parents did after 30 years of marriage. It was very painful, but I truly think it's better for my mom to be away from his verbal abuse. I don't know all the details about your marriage, but wanted to offer you some :grouphug::grouphug: With the counseling, I'm going to assume this isn't a decision you're taking lightly. One person cannot make a marriage work; both need to work at it. I truly hope everything works out as best as they can:grouphug::grouphug:

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I'm quite disillusioned with the whole counseling thing at the moment. We/dh have tried 4 different counselors over the last 18 months and things have only gotten worse.

 

Before it goes to a legal divorce, there is sometimes the option of separation. This can wake some people up when they realize what life would be like without a spouse.

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I'm quite disillusioned with the whole counseling thing at the moment. We/dh have tried 4 different counselors over the last 18 months and things have only gotten worse.

 

If abuse of any kind is present, marital counseling is contraindicated.

 

From a personal perspective, my 15 year marriage had severe emotional/verbal abuse and infidelity. It was an episode of abuse that was the last straw ~ but it took years to get there in terms of understanding the dynamic of abuse.

 

I can't post about the episode here, but it wasn't the episode exactly, it was that the episode finally corresponded with a time in which I was educated, informed and ready.

 

Financially, it was and continues to be devasting. A (re)marriage that had both love and utilitarian components has turned out to be an additional challenge. The last 7 years have been the hardest of my life. But I'd do it again to be free and out of what I was in.

 

I lost me in a profound, fundamental way.

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My husband left yesterday after almost 20 yrs of marriage. I believe alcoholism, depression, and anxiety along with a refusal to seek treatement were involved on his part.

 

We struggled to leave each other for almost 2 yrs. The final straw was the third time I had to go to work the next day after being threatened with divorce over things such as my not allowing him to go to bars or the stress I caused him by discussing how I budgeted things for the month. The repeated roller coaster I guess was the last straw.

 

How am I going to cope financially? After the first divorce threat I got a job and enrolled in school. Now I will have to borrow against my retirement to pay for school. I have 1.5 yrs left. So far he's being very generous by allowing the girls and I to stay in the house rent free along with child support.

 

If you need to pm someone I am here :grouphug:

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My husband left yesterday after almost 20 yrs of marriage. I believe alcoholism, depression, and anxiety along with a refusal to seek treatement were involved on his part.

 

We struggled to leave each other for almost 2 yrs.

 

:grouphug::grouphug:

 

For me, it was hard to admit "failure", and I missed the writing on the wall for a long time. I was used to overcoming challenges by being strong and persistent. However, it really does take two. And it is hard to admit the most wonderful thing that happened to you as an adult was really just a pointless waste of 14 years.

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For me, it was hard to admit "failure", and I missed the writing on the wall for a long time. I was used to overcoming challenges by being strong and persistent. However, it really does take two. And it is hard to admit the most wonderful thing that happened to you as an adult was really just a pointless waste of 14 years.

 

Yes, I'm very persistant too, I worked really hard to try to do everything "just right" so he would be happy.

 

The hardest part for me is realizing that I wasn't enough.

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If abuse of any kind is present, marital counseling is contraindicated.

 

From a personal perspective, my 15 year marriage had severe emotional/verbal abuse and infidelity. It was an episode of abuse that was the last straw ~ but it took years to get there in terms of understanding the dynamic of abuse.

 

I can't post about the episode here, but it wasn't the episode exactly, it was that the episode finally corresponded with a time in which I was educated, informed and ready.

 

Financially, it was and continues to be devasting. A (re)marriage that had both love and utilitarian components has turned out to be an additional challenge. The last 7 years have been the hardest of my life. But I'd do it again to be free and out of what I was in.

 

I lost me in a profound, fundamental way.

 

I was kinda hoping you would chime in here. Can I ask why counseling is contraindicated with abuse?

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Yes, I'm very persistant too, I worked really hard to try to do everything "just right" so he would be happy.

 

The hardest part for me is realizing that I wasn't enough.

 

That part stuck out to me. No one can "be enough" for another person who is not participating in the relationship. It takes both people giving of themselves and receiving from each other to make a functioning relationship. You can't blame yourself for not being enough to make it work. :grouphug:

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I was kinda hoping you would chime in here. Can I ask why counseling is contraindicated with abuse?

 

Here's an excerpt from the "Encyclopedia of Counseling" that explains why: Google books link -- "Couples counseling is contraindicated if counseling is court mandated for treatment of violent behavior either toward a partner or toward children. If the abuse has been revealed in a private session, bringing it into the couples or family work my risk the partner's safety." Basically this is saying that calling the abuser on the abuse in a mutual setting may make the abuse worse. Probably mostly because it threatens the power dynamic.

 

Here's another article called "When marital therapy helps and when it hurts" that explains the why behind it: Marital therapy link

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That part stuck out to me. No one can "be enough" for another person who is not participating in the relationship. It takes both people giving of themselves and receiving from each other to make a functioning relationship. You can't blame yourself for not being enough to make it work. :grouphug:

 

It isn't so much blaming oneself, it is not being loved/wanted when you have put body and soul into being fair, kind, loving, generous, supportive, neat, gentle, witty, welcoming, passionate, etc. etc.

 

And, amusingly, I'm a lot less of those things with my current husband, and yet I don't feel at all like I'll be dumped. It had more to do with the ex than it had to do with me. Still, I am bummed I wasted those years trying to get blood from a turnip.

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I was kinda hoping you would chime in here. Can I ask why counseling is contraindicated with abuse?

 

There are other times when it can be unhelpful. I know of a situation where one asked the other for couples counseling, and listened and listened and gave very little up ("I have to think about it"). After enough listening this partner came up with enough info to completely trash spouse and get friends and extended family on unhappy spouse's side. Because of religion, this person could only keep good standing in the church if the spouse left behind was thoroughly vilified.

 

Meanwhile, the poor spouse who wanted to keep the marriage was desperately spilling guts, being frank and honest, in a last grab to keep a beloved spouse.

 

I believe the wanting-out spouse was very convincing to the counselors about sincerity of "working things out" and had them all buffaloed.

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I was kinda hoping you would chime in here. Can I ask why counseling is contraindicated with abuse?

 

The short answer is that *everything* in an abusive marriage is subject to fodder by the abuser. Abuse is present constantly ~ because it is about power and - if it serves them.

 

The abused person is often unaware of the abuse dynamic (often, if there is not physical abuse, they are unaware of the abuse). As such, the hurting abused person tries desparately in treatment to get answers, take responsibility for their part, support their partner in changes. But unless the abuse is intervened on (with specific, tailored interventions for batterers), they will not change.

 

It takes 2 to make a marriage work ~ but only one to tank a marriage. Abuse needs to be addressed individually, and is a stand alone primary issue. If addiciton is present, and you treat the addiction successfully, you simply have an abstinent abuser.

 

http://www.ncdsv.org/images/powercontrolwheelnoshading.pdf

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First of all :grouphug: to any of you going through this. I was married 9 years when we divorced. I probably don't count but I wanted to offer up this advice.

 

Seek an attorney and get you and your children protected with explicit custody and support guidelines. Cover ALL of your bases. Keep records of EVERYTHING. Determine if your state is a 'one party' phone recording state. Yes, I know this sounds crazy but it's unreal how ugly these things can become.

 

Praying for you. :grouphug:

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First of all :grouphug: to any of you going through this. I was married 9 years when we divorced. I probably don't count but I wanted to offer up this advice.

 

Seek an attorney and get you and your children protected with explicit custody and support guidelines. Cover ALL of your bases. Keep records of EVERYTHING. Determine if your state is a 'one party' phone recording state. Yes, I know this sounds crazy but it's unreal how ugly these things can become.

 

Praying for you. :grouphug:

 

:iagree: Absolutely, and I agree with the amputation analogy.

 

I am in the middle of getting divorced after 11+ years (almost done, we just finished the one year mandatory separation).

 

Our divorce was a few years coming. My ex definitely suffered (suffers) with depression and was less and less involved in our lives. The last straw was when I caught him having an affair.

 

As far as how I did it...

 

Once I made the decision I started to plan. I set aside money, gathered ALL of our financial information (account numbers and balances, asset info, etc) and documented everything (copied emails, copied phone records, etc). Found a storage unit and moved the things that were most important to me out of the house (he didn't notice) and found a rental. I also met with an attorney to go over everything and get an estimate of what I could expect in the divorce settlement.

 

Once I had everything in place I told him I wanted a divorce and laid out everything I wanted. I asked him to leave the house for a week to decide whether he wanted to do it amicably or in court (he chose amicably) and we sat down with a mediator to go over everything and prepare a separation agreement.

 

Financially it has been okay (not great). I get quite a bit of child support because of his income as well as significant spousal support that will last for 6 years (half the length of the marriage). It allows me to stay home and go to graduate school without worrying about a job. I also got half of all retirement investments we had made during the time we were married and a portion of his pension equal to half of what he earned during our marriage.

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Cera, do you mind telling us how much it cost to go to an attorney to just have imput regarding what is a fair settlement for you?

 

I've only seen one and he wanted a $5000 retainer. We would like to do our divorce amicably too through mediation, but I want to see a lawyer 1st to know what is fair to expect.

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Cera, do you mind telling us how much it cost to go to an attorney to just have imput regarding what is a fair settlement for you?

 

I've only seen one and he wanted a $5000 retainer. We would like to do our divorce amicably too through mediation, but I want to see a lawyer 1st to know what is fair to expect.

 

$5000 is a common retainer.

 

If power, control, and or abuse is involved, please, please, please do not trust stbxh in the mediation process. You will NOT be the exception.

 

Google Lundy Bancroft, abusers in custody battles.

 

If a current love interest is involved, there are predictable behavioraln patterns as well.

 

Be wary of mediated divorces in these cases.

Edited by Joanne
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If power, control, and or abuse is involved, please, please, please do not trust stbxh in the mediation process. You will NOT be the exception.

 

I have addiction involved: Alcohol (30+yrs, cigarettes and computer games). No abuse except for emotional: as in repeatedly telling me I'm crazy for normal rational reactions, dangling abandonment in my face every 2 weeks to 2 months knowing I already had deep abandonment issues, refusal to accept my opinion in any important business or financial matters, and about 6 months of I don't know if I want to be married to you or not, please just wait it out until I figure it out.

 

On the other hand, he's always been very generous with money and material things don't matter to him. He seems very guilty for putting us through this and insists he'll take care of us.

 

Does this seem enough not to go to mediation? A lawyer would eat up almost all my savings.

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Michelle... be very careful. This is painful to admit. I opted not to get a lawyer the first time. I had no income, no savings, no money. I actually lost custody of my kids. Not because I was a bad or unfit mother. But because I didn't have an income. I had been a stay-at-home mother. My life was my kids. But they were taken from me.

 

It happens EVERY day. After 2 years of visits every other weekend (can you imagine???) I finally won my children back. In the end it cost about twice as much as it would have cost had I hired an attorney initially. The highest price paid was the emotional damage done to my children in the process.

 

:grouphug:

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I did not divorce, but was tired of writing the notes inviting him to understand my hurts and feelings, tired of saying the same things with the same dead end results. My boys (3 of them) began taking his side (not because I was bad, but because they are desperately trying to model a man and build their little identities). When the boys began to take his side...OMG--I felt so disillusioned that "all these years what have I done? Made your supper and your daughter and your son...and I'm still here and soooo confused..." those are the lyrics to the Sawyer Brown Song "All these years" and I would hear songs like "Take your cap and leave my sweater, cause we have nothing left to weather, in fact I'll feel a whole lot better...but youuuuu'lll think of meeehee" Oh and Rascal Flatts "I'm movin' on, at last I can see, life has been patiently waiting for me, etc" It has been a real roller coaster. I had 5 years of college, three boys, no support really, BUT I was a STRONG Christian woman that knew the Word. I went to a yard sale and this lady was talking about the movie Fireproof and I was curious. She helped me to the car with my goodies as she explained about the movie. She spoke life into me that me a hard heart soften and cry--my tears shocked me. When she looked into my face, somehow, it pierced me when she said I BELIEVE God can and will breathe life into your marriage. That was nice, because I had given up, ya know? I am proud to say that today...He is so in love with me now! This past Christmas, my jaw dropped as he bought me every gift for every facet of our lives, asked me to forgive him (this is a man that let me do without to buy and drive fancy racecars and made me ask for money much of the time). He just had a total change in his heart. It was very strange and I felt resistant to it but his love was sincere and overwhelming. Now, he loves me MORE than I love him and it's a little awkward. It used to be me loving him, serving him with NOTHING! My personal email is HomeEduc8@gmail.com--if you feel any desire to talk with me, I would be glad to share more. Our lives are not perfect, but God is Love and you don't have to go to church for God to heal your marriage--but you do have to love someone that does not have a clue how to love you. I loved my husband because I relaized God loved him more than I did. I watched 23 minutes in hell by Bill Wiese and imagined him there--I took my focus off of me. If the Word says that there is no greater love than he who lays his life down for a friend--then I would lay my life down for THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON in my life (though he was my least favorite). Respect for Position and respect for their character do not always match. I was not around well meaning girlfriends downing him and dividing what God put together. I was around godly women that prayed with me for my family. When you look at marriage and imagine what God was trying to express when he created it--it is a picture of our relationship to the Father. That's why adultry is just like idolatry. I had a breakthrough. I am glad it wasn't a break up. One last thing--I cried out to God and said, "YOU are Love. I do not love him and I do not even want to pray for him! So, put your Spirit inme for HIm." He did.

 

Thank you for sharing your testimony!!

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I have addiction involved: Alcohol (30+yrs, cigarettes and computer games). No abuse except for emotional: as in repeatedly telling me I'm crazy for normal rational reactions, dangling abandonment in my face every 2 weeks to 2 months knowing I already had deep abandonment issues, refusal to accept my opinion in any important business or financial matters, and about 6 months of I don't know if I want to be married to you or not, please just wait it out until I figure it out.On the other hand, he's always been very generous with money and material things don't matter to him. He seems very guilty for putting us through this and insists he'll take care of us.

 

Does this seem enough not to go to mediation? A lawyer would eat up almost all my savings.

 

The bold is abuse. It's not mitigated because he hasn't hit you. It's flat out abuse. Please read "Why Does He Do That" by Lundy Bancroft.

 

http://www.lundybancroft.com/?page_id=279

 

You would also benefit from The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans.

 

Yes; his power and control makes a mediated divorce a risky venture for you, especially since you have a superficial understanding of the abuse dynamic.

 

Also, you are MORE at risk right now that leaving/ending the relationship is overtly on the table.

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The bold is abuse. It's not mitigated because he hasn't hit you. It's flat out abuse. Please read "Why Does He Do That" by Lundy Bancroft.

 

http://www.lundybancroft.com/?page_id=279

 

You would also benefit from The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans.

 

Yes; his power and control makes a mediated divorce a risky venture for you, especially since you have a superficial understanding of the abuse dynamic.

 

Also, you are MORE at risk right now that leaving/ending the relationship is overtly on the table.

 

Thank you for those recommendations. I'm going to look them up.

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In case this gets deleted, I want to post these suggestions for readers. These are in case you are leaving an abusive relationship, with or without the physical component.

 

This is what you need for the danger zone when leaving is out on the table but you don't have protection.

 

 

  1. Number of a DV house.
     
  2. A family law attorney on retainer and working on a decree/temp orders.
     
  3. A packed bag.
     
  4. Copies of all pertinent family info (ss numbers, birth certificates, shot/medical records.......) stored in an accessible place, preferably with one safe person.
     
  5. A (short and every select) of safe people.
     
  6. A perspective to remember to not share info/content with stbxh ~ limit content and conversations. Assume he WILL use whatever you say or do against you in ways you can't imagine.

 

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I have some questions for those that are going through a divorce; my best friend has just been completely blindsided by her husband. They grew up together in a conservative christian community and after 15 years of marriage, he announced last week that he was done with everything. He has been having an affair, and he says he is done with their marriage and being in the church. He doesn't even want to discuss counseling. The are financially well off and I have no idea what she is going to do; all she has ever wanted was to be a SAHM (their kids are 11,9, and 6). Our families are very close; we eat together at least once a week and usually vacation once or twice a year together. I knew they were going through a rough patch, but don't the best way to help her through this (Or him..I am very mad at him, but I know he needs help as well)

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Cera, do you mind telling us how much it cost to go to an attorney to just have imput regarding what is a fair settlement for you?

 

I've only seen one and he wanted a $5000 retainer. We would like to do our divorce amicably too through mediation, but I want to see a lawyer 1st to know what is fair to expect.

 

I used our states lawyer referral service (run by the state bar association) and was able to do a half hour consultation for $35 (I did two this way) and then made an appt with a lawyer that a friend recommended and had a free half hour consultation with him as well. I wanted a few opinions so I was comfortable that I was getting a true picture of what to expect and I wanted to make sure that I had someone on trusted (and felt I could work well with) at the ready in case things got ugly.

 

eta: We paid $500 to have an attorney draw up the separation agreement. He gave us a worksheet to fill out that included quite a few points we had to address such as custody, visitation, division of physical property (household goods), etc. He also had a standard calculator for spousal support based on what our state normally awards (35% of the husband's income-55% of the wife's income per year for a number of years equal to half the length of the marriage). Child support was figured using the state child support calculator and assets and debts were divided equally as were retirement savings. Once we gave him all of the financial information and the filled out worksheets he gave us a 15 page separation document that detailed everything. We both had to sign it with a notary and when we filed for the final divorce decree (our state had a 1 year waiting period) the lawyer charged $250 plus court costs ($86) to handle it all (all he had to do was file saying we had been separated a year and wanted our separation agreement entered as the official divorce agreement).

 

I disagree with those who say you need to hire lawyers and fight it out from the start. If you can move quickly and get everything you want in writing while he still feels guilty (and before he has a girlfriend or family influencing him) you might do much better than you would with a lawyer. I know in my case a lawyer would have made my ex much less likely to give me what I want (because he gave me more than he would have had to).

Edited by Cera
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I used our states lawyer referral service (run by the state bar association) and was able to do a half hour consultation for $35 (I did two this way) and then made an appt with a lawyer that a friend recommended and had a free half hour consultation with him as well. I wanted a few opinions so I was comfortable that I was getting a true picture of what to expect and I wanted to make sure that I had someone on trusted (and felt I could work well with) at the ready in case things got ugly.

 

eta: We paid $500 to have an attorney draw up the separation agreement. He gave us a worksheet to fill out that included quite a few points we had to address such as custody, visitation, division of physical property (household goods), etc. He also had a standard calculator for spousal support based on what our state normally awards (35% of the husband's income-55% of the wife's income per year for a number of years equal to half the length of the marriage). Child support was figured using the state child support calculator and assets and debts were divided equally as were retirement savings. Once we gave him all of the financial information and the filled out worksheets he gave us a 15 page separation document that detailed everything. We both had to sign it with a notary and when we filed for the final divorce decree (our state had a 1 year waiting period) the lawyer charged $250 plus court costs ($86) to handle it all (all he had to do was file saying we had been separated a year and wanted our separation agreement entered as the official divorce agreement).

 

I disagree with those who say you need to hire lawyers and fight it out from the start. If you can move quickly and get everything you want in writing while he still feels guilty (and before he has a girlfriend or family influencing him) you might do much better than you would with a lawyer. I know in my case a lawyer would have made my ex much less likely to give me what I want (because he gave me more than he would have had to).

 

In the case of the OP, the marriage is subject to an abuse dynamic. As such, she will need the protection of a a family law attorney ~ especially since she is under-informed at the moment about the abuse dynamic.

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I have some questions for those that are going through a divorce; my best friend has just been completely blindsided by her husband. They grew up together in a conservative christian community and after 15 years of marriage, he announced last week that he was done with everything. He has been having an affair, and he says he is done with their marriage and being in the church. He doesn't even want to discuss counseling. The are financially well off and I have no idea what she is going to do; all she has ever wanted was to be a SAHM (their kids are 11,9, and 6). Our families are very close; we eat together at least once a week and usually vacation once or twice a year together. I knew they were going through a rough patch, but don't the best way to help her through this (Or him..I am very mad at him, but I know he needs help as well)

 

A current affair gathers momentum and has many elements similar to addiction. As such, the husband and his mistress will re-write history, rationalize and justify. They will not think reasonably, and they will be outrageiously behaved.

 

Your friend needs to expect him to not resemble the man she thought she knew. She needs to anticipate that he'll convince people to his side. She'll likely meet people that will suggest that "it takes two" to destroy a marriage. They will suggest she focused too much on the kids, and not enough on him.

 

It will not be a pretty process for her.

 

She needs to find a select few of safe, supportive friends and develop a script for the kids.

 

She'll need excellent self care. She'd benefit from very well chosen, *gracefilled* supportive faith community.

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My husband left yesterday after almost 20 yrs of marriage. I believe alcoholism, depression, and anxiety along with a refusal to seek treatement were involved on his part.

 

We struggled to leave each other for almost 2 yrs. The final straw was the third time I had to go to work the next day after being threatened with divorce over things such as my not allowing him to go to bars or the stress I caused him by discussing how I budgeted things for the month. The repeated roller coaster I guess was the last straw.

 

How am I going to cope financially? After the first divorce threat I got a job and enrolled in school. Now I will have to borrow against my retirement to pay for school. I have 1.5 yrs left. So far he's being very generous by allowing the girls and I to stay in the house rent free along with child support.

 

 

:grouphug::grouphug:

So sorry, I remember you sharing your story several months ago. I hope that you are ok. I will continue to pray for you!

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:iagree:

I'm not divorced, but I think this has always been a hard concept for me.

 

 

 

:grouphug::grouphug:

 

For me, it was hard to admit "failure", and I missed the writing on the wall for a long time. I was used to overcoming challenges by being strong and persistent. However, it really does take two. And it is hard to admit the most wonderful thing that happened to you as an adult was really just a pointless waste of 14 years.

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