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I just remembered my aunt left my husband after over 20 yrs together. I didn't find that part crazy. He could be kind of a jerk so who knows what happened behind the scenes. I did have trouble understanding that she dropped contact with the kids. I don't know if there was more I didn't know (perhaps their supporting him was too painful- IDK) or there were some mental health issues on her end. It looked like she went with new man and had no interest in her former life. 

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Support systems make a difference. 

I do feel that I have spent a lot of the last twenty-five years subsuming my wishes to those of others.  I don't regret it, but there's no need for it to continue.  Because I have a loving husband and children who are excited to hear about my plans, the changes can be modest but are meaningful to me: having my own space in the house that we moved into, going back to university, taking charge of my health, saying 'no' more.  If I didn't have support then I might do something more extreme.

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11 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

I know of three different women who had been the leaders of homeschool organizations, pictures of religous, devoted wives and mothers, who left their husbands and had children with other men they were not married to. Three I knew personally in one small city. So I definitely have seen this and yes, it is more than a bit surprising.

In all of these cases these women had married very young to someone at least a few years older such that it was a man in his twenties marrying a teen. I think these women eventually grew into themselves as adults and found themselves in a situation that they wouldn't have chosen if they were older. Or they kept growing and the man didn't. Or the man had been treating them like a child and the woman grew up and the dynamic didn't work anymore. I don't really know, of course, other than the picture perfect outsides they projected were not exactly as everyone thought they were.

These women were in their thirties, though, not middle aged exactly. I have known women who got divorced after the kids grew up and I used to not understand that at all when I was younger. How could you make it 25 years but not longer? Now that I am in that life stage I totally get it. I'm not getting divorced but it makes alot more sense now than it did when I was in my twenties. 

I married young to someone who was quite a few years old, grew into myself, didn't like that he still treated me like a child, or didn't support me in any sense of the word and got divorced in my 30's.   

Now I'm in my low 50's, remarried, two more children, homeschooling, running a business, finished up multiple (all undergrad) degrees.   

I couldn't imagine if I hadn't left in my 30's.   I think I may have done some pretty extreme stuff to break loose and change my life if I had put up with that for another 20 years.    As it was, I was feeling like life was over and could never get better before I left (obviously not true), but doing it at a stage where more children wasn't possible, relationships could be harder to find, ageism becomes a real factor, less possibilities for finding fulfilling work - I could see maybe going a little bit "crazy".  

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2 hours ago, Laura Corin said:

Support systems make a difference. 

I do feel that I have spent a lot of the last twenty-five years subsuming my wishes to those of others.  I don't regret it, but there's no need for it to continue.  Because I have a loving husband and children who are excited to hear about my plans, the changes can be modest but are meaningful to me: having my own space in the house that we moved into, going back to university, taking charge of my health, saying 'no' more.  If I didn't have support then I might do something more extreme.

I love this, because this is really the way it should be, isn't it? In a healthy marriage, each partner will or should recognize that each will change over time. The life built together will change as children grow, as we grow. 

Of course change is hard when one is ahead of the other or moving in a different way. Look at how much we (I include myself) here complain about being in charge of cooking/shopping/meal planning. In my life at least, and I think in others' as well, that made sense at one time.  Now I am ready to change that, but I have to give everyone else time to adjust. And of course we are working together and adjustments are being made.  

My husband and I are in a delicate dance right now due to family circumstances. I am not content with my life right now, but we are slowly changing our ways. I'm making subtle changes in various areas of my/our life. Of course my husband is changing too. There are things we can't change of course. 

I think it's great for older kids to see their parents change and adjust together. They need to see that a long-term marriage can work even as people grow and change.

(Note I am talking about  healthy relationships, not situations with abuse, addition, infidelity etc.)

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My mother divorced my dad after 25 years, met a new guy, and moved 1000 miles away from us. She just said she fell out of love. None of it has ever made any sense. My younger brother was still in high school. Not long after, my dad and brother were killed in an accident and my mom will carry that guilt forever. I do not ever want to become my mother. I’m about to hit the age, and years of marriage, she was and it still boggles my mind. I love her and we’re close but I will never understand her. 
 

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6 minutes ago, Joker2 said:

My mother divorced my dad after 25 years, met a new guy, and moved 1000 miles away from us. She just said she fell out of love. None of it has ever made any sense. My younger brother was still in high school. Not long after, my dad and brother were killed in an accident and my mom will carry that guilt forever. I do not ever want to become my mother. I’m about to hit the age, and years of marriage, she was and it still boggles my mind. I love her and we’re close but I will never understand her. 
 

My mother did something similar.  She left my dad after 35 years for some guy she met online and moved across the country.  She sold their condo and everything in it dirt cheap because she was in such a hurry to move.  

I'm so very sorry about your dad and brother.  😞  

 

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It is interesting, isn't it?   Some people remain constant and others change so drastically we can hardly recognize them.

My best friend from high school married a pastor.   They had 2 beautiful children together and then, after 15 years of marriage, she had an affair, left her husband AND children, and moved in with this man (they were both still legally married to other people) and got pregnant before marrying him.   She had 3 children with husband #2, and then that marriage went sour.    She is now on marriage #3.

This is the woman who made a big deal about not having s*x before marriage or outside of marriage, said she didn't believe in divorce, etc....

There is also a homeschool mom who was very involved in our hs group and our (very conservative) church group.   They split and she ended up marrying her daughter's prom date who was about 20 years younger than she was!    That marriage (shockingly!) didn't last either and she is now on #3.

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My mother almost left my dad when she was well into her 70’s. I don’t know the backstory but it was clear she had been miserable for years. She had planned to move out after returning from an obligatory overseas trip with him, where she happened to have a heart attack. Upon returning she realized how dependent she was on him and never left.

She spent many years raging with anger. I get the feeling she has a lot of regrets and missed her chance for what she imagines to be freedom. 

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5 hours ago, MissLemon said:

I'm one of those crazy women that quit her sensible job, moved across the country for a "lesser job", and left her husband for some guy I met on the internet.  To outsiders, it looked like I'd lost my mind. My family told me I was ruining my life.  The judgement was harsh. 

The part that outsiders didn't know was that a) I hated my job and had never planned to make it a lifetime career. It was the thing I would do until I figured out what I wanted to do next b) I hated where I lived, and was only there because of the job that I hated, and c) my (ex) husband was a drug addict and an alcoholic, who was never, ever going to change.  The only person that knew all of A, B, and C was my therapist.  I don't know how most people would handle this sort of situation, but I didn't tell anyone how much of a mess my life was.  It feels humiliating when your life is in that much disarray. It's not something I wanted everyone to know about, so I'm sure it seemed like all of my changes were "crazy" and coming out of left field. 

From my perspective, life was already in ruin. I had absolutely nothing to lose by walking away.  My only regret is not leaving sooner, but then I might not have met my husband when I did, aka "some guy on the internet". We've been together over 14 years now and have a child together.  

I see that a lot and it has even happened to me.  People being harsh in their judgment when they didn't know the entire story.  What they don't understand is that just surviving is difficult, much less surviving and also explaining the situation to others.  

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Dh is definitely very different than he seemed to be a few years ago. Not a change for the better, sadly. Wondering if this is the reality that was underneath the surface all the time? We are mid 50's with young teens and big financial and health challenges, so life is getting harder for us, not easier. Pressure and struggle definitely changes people and reveals things that could be hidden or ignored during easier times.

I am two years from being done with homeschooling and looking forward to exploring what lies beyond. Homeschooling the younger years was great, but the last 3 have been exceedingly difficult and mostly filled with regrets and awareness of my failures. I will need to work full time soon and I'm excited about that in many ways. 

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17 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I see that a lot and it has even happened to me.  People being harsh in their judgment when they didn't know the entire story.  What they don't understand is that just surviving is difficult, much less surviving and also explaining the situation to others.  

Quoting myself to add that I resolved to become a more transparent person to the people who mattered to me.  For instance my best friend who thought I had lost my mind when I once left now XH when ds was a baby.... I started telling her all the gory details about the way he treated me.  By the time I left for good when ds was 9 she had nothing negative to say or think about it.  

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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

Quoting myself to add that I resolved to become a more transparent person to the people who mattered to me.  For instance my best friend who thought I had lost my mind when I once left now XH when ds was a baby.... I started telling her all the gory details about the way he treated me.  By the time I left for good when ds was 9 she had nothing negative to say or think about it.  

Yeah, I totally get that. My ex was not always horrible, we had some good few years before (insert host of issues) really boiled over. Some of his family understands, but many of them have no clue how bad/damaging it was for me. I don't talk to them (we were never super close anyway), but since my ex is now deceased, it's pointless. 

I can talk to ds about these things, he gets it and he's not blind to the shortcomings of his father while knowing it wasn't always that way. Unfortunately, he doesn't remember a lot of the good times because he was so little. My current boyfriend is really taken aback when I talk about some of the things ex-dh put me through, and he's the only other one who really gets it. It's made me realize how damaging and abnormal a lot of it was. But it took me being outside of the situation to realize that. 

 

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2 minutes ago, elegantlion said:

Yeah, I totally get that. My ex was not always horrible, we had some good few years before (insert host of issues) really boiled over. Some of his family understands, but many of them have no clue how bad/damaging it was for me. I don't talk to them (we were never super close anyway), but since my ex is now deceased, it's pointless. 

I can talk to ds about these things, he gets it and he's not blind to the shortcomings of his father while knowing it wasn't always that way. Unfortunately, he doesn't remember a lot of the good times because he was so little. My current boyfriend is really taken aback when I talk about some of the things ex-dh put me through, and he's the only other one who really gets it. It's made me realize how damaging and abnormal a lot of it was. But it took me being outside of the situation to realize that. 

 

For sure.  And yes XH and I were highschool sweethearts so we grew up together.  Definitely had a lot of good times, but his own demons overtook him.  I really think it took me leaving him before he got a grip on himself.  I mean I assume he is not the same person he was because he seems normal from a distance....and he and I have a very amical  relationship now.  Then again he always seemed normal and likable when I was married to him so who knows. I am just glad he is not my problem any more.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/2/2021 at 10:17 PM, katilac said:

How are you getting that she left her children? The OP said that she was pandemic schooling the younger set, which certainly makes it seem like she has primary or at least shared physical custody. She didn't leave them. And the OP said some of her children don't want to talk to her, which is unfortunate but not that uncommon when a parent breaks up a marriage (particularly when the children haven't been aware of any ongoing problems). 

If not really believing that Covid is real is a mental health issue, then America has a massive mental health crisis on its hands.  

So she didn't leave her children, and she has a viewpoint on Covid and the vaccine that is certainly not uncommon. Basically, she quit homeschooling and got a divorce. 

.

 

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On 3/1/2021 at 8:58 PM, mom2scouts said:

1. A woman who was ALL about homeschooling and raising her eight children. She always talked about wanting more children and she also did foster care. She was a conservative Christian who did mission trips and used very conservative curriculum. She lived on a rural property with animals and a pond and always talked about how she'd always known her husband and determined when she was a teen that she would marry him some day. A few years ago, she put her children in school and got a job. I was surprised, but I thought they might have needed her income. No, she left her husband, moved to the city, met a man of a different race on a dating site, quickly let him move in with her, and is now engaged. She doesn't seem to believe in either Covid or the vaccine and has been traveling and eating out often the past year. Several of her children won't talk to her at all and she complains about having to homeschool the two youngest since the schools are closed. It's so far from the woman whose identity was a Christian homeschooling mom and rural wife!

I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out why the fact that her new man is of a different race is worth mentioning... 
 

Does that imply that conservative religious women are always racist so the fact that her new boyfriend is a different race shows more clearly that she has “mental health issues”? Because otherwise I don’t get why it’s noteworthy. This isn’t the 1950s. 

 

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, bibiche said:

I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out why the fact that her new man is of a different race is worth mentioning... 
 

Does that imply that conservative religious women are always racist so the fact that her new boyfriend is a different race shows more clearly that she has “mental health issues”? Because otherwise I don’t get why it’s noteworthy. This isn’t the 1950s. 

 

.

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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

 I really think it took me leaving him before he got a grip on himself.

Women who leave/divorce men in these kinds of situations don't get enough credit. It's not unusual for the man to see it as a wake up call.  My mother divorcing my father because of his adultery and alcoholism probably saved his life, and absolutely saved his relationship with us.  He didn't get custody (not unusual in in 1974 with kids 1 and 2 years old) but he did get court ordered supervised visitation every other weekend, which made him finally see how out of control he was, so he got help and has been sober ever since. He got regular visitation a year or two later. Being a drunk is just a story to us about him because we don't remember those days. We've never known him as a drunk-it's unthinkable in our context.  We know it's true, it's just never been our problem, thanks to Mom doing The Necessary.

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7 hours ago, Laura Corin said:

 I do feel that I have spent a lot of the last twenty-five years subsuming my wishes to those of others.  I don't regret it, but there's no need for it to continue.  

Subtly phrased but very important. 

 

1 hour ago, mom2scouts said:

She did leave all but her two youngest. The others are in the full custody of her ex and refuse to do visitation or even talk to her. I don't think it's a mental health issue though. I think she just wanted a different life.

ETA: I want to add that I don't think the severed relationship with most of her children is what she wants at all. They are angry teens right now and she can't force them. She may just have to wait awhile to reestablish a relationship with them when they are more mature and maybe can understand why she left. It's a very different situation than my own aunt who left her six children, ran off with an ex-con, became homeless, and never again tried to contant them until she needed something. In her case it was mental illness and only one of the six bothered to visit when she was on her deathbed.

 Also, in the first situation, her husband was quite a bit older and some of the comments about older spouses who didn't allow the younger spouse to grow and change may be applicable in her case.

 

But she still didn't leave them; it sounds like they were old enough to have a say and they are choosing to stay with their dad and choosing to refuse visitation. Nobody ever says a father left his children just because he doesn't have or seek primary custody, but moms get absolutely hammered if they don't have primary physical custody, even if they have shared legal custody and visit/talk as frequently as possible, even if there are very good reasons for the custody decisions. 

I think these disparate reactions are important and something people should think about. You said right in that first post that the mom was pandemic schooling the younger children, so she clearly has physical custody of them a majority of the time, but more than one response referred to the mom leaving her children (when you didn't use that wording in the first post). 

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My dad's best friend went from being a man to being a woman in his late 50's. That was definitely the most surprising change I've experienced.

Now that my kids are nearly all on their way out of the house, I can totally see how people can make dramatic changes and marriages fall apart. I believe more than ever in encouraging young families to nurture their marriages AND themselves as individuals. If dh and I hadn't done both (imperfectly, and in a stumbling along manner but still with some regularity), I could see very easily how vulnerable our marriage could be. These are big transitions with big feelings. We've had some hard days, even with our investments into our relationship. 

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3 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Women who leave/divorce men in these kinds of situations don't get enough credit. It's not unusual for the man to see it as a wake up call.  My mother divorcing my father because of his adultery and alcoholism probably saved his life, and absolutely saved his relationship with us.  He didn't get custody (not unusual in in 1974 with kids 1 and 2 years old) but he did get court ordered supervised visitation every other weekend, which made him finally see how out of control he was, so he got help and has been sober ever since. He got regular visitation a year or two later. Being a drunk is just a story to us about him because we don't remember those days. We've never known him as a drunk-it's unthinkable in our context.  We know it's true, it's just never been our problem, thanks to Mom doing The Necessary.

Quoting myself to mention, for the sake of fair play, that while it's usually wives drawing a hard line for the husbands, I do know of a situation where it was the husband who divorced his wife and got full custody of the kids because of her drug abuse.  It's interesting to me that in my personal experience with these situations, it's the kids who have said they were grateful to their mothers for divorcing their fathers so their fathers pulled themselves together for the sake of the kids and were able to have healthy relationships with them. In the situation with the drugged out mom, she told me (and a congregation of people) that she is now grateful to her ex-husband and the judge for the divorce and losing custody as her rock bottom that prompted her to seek help and comply with help so she could have a relationship with her kids and spared her children the misery of living with an addict parent.

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12 hours ago, Scarlett said:

I see that a lot and it has even happened to me.  People being harsh in their judgment when they didn't know the entire story.  What they don't understand is that just surviving is difficult, much less surviving and also explaining the situation to others.  

People were horrendous with the judgement and would ask such personal questions, like they were entitled to know exactly why the marriage failed and whether I had worked hard enough to save it.  It was like they were evaluating whether or not I deserved compassion.   

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18 hours ago, mom2scouts said:

As a foster mother she did specific things to get minority children to foster or try to foster to adopt because "they had a harder time" and it always struck me as weird that she cared about the race of her foster children. There seemed to be an odd interest in having a family with minority children included, so the fact that the first guy she meets is a different race left me wondering. It's just another one of my "people are so weird and I don't understand them" issues.

This is actually common and compassionate. Many families will choose not to adopt or foster black children, and a disproportionate number of children of color leave the system at 18 without a family. 

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10 hours ago, MissLemon said:

People were horrendous with the judgement and would ask such personal questions, like they were entitled to know exactly why the marriage failed and whether I had worked hard enough to save it.  It was like they were evaluating whether or not I deserved compassion.   

Same.  But I have come to realize that most of the (few) people who asked were operating out of confusion and love.  I am not sure it was fair to present basically a lie about my marriage to my loved ones.  Sure all of the gory details aren't anyone's right to know...but I got better when I could be authentic with my closest friends.  

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4 hours ago, hippymamato3 said:

This is actually common and compassionate. Many families will choose not to adopt or foster black children, and a disproportionate number of children of color leave the system at 18 without a family. 

Yes, I have quite a few friends who foster and fostadopt and a friend who does placement and service connection for fosterkids; this is absolutely true. Thanks for pointing it out.  People who don't know anything first hand about fostercare should stop making assumptions about fosterparents and give those who do the benefit of the doubt. Like foster parents don't have enough to deal with.

I was certified as a fosterparent in my state and I'm the parent of an international adoptee who has to hear people who know nothing about one or both make judgements about me choosing international adoption instead of fostadoption of US kids. Adoption and its many forms and scores related and interrelated issues are a whole different, complex world that people who haven't gotten into it can't even imagine. We don't have the time or the obligation to compare, contrast, and explain it to everyone who makes comments about it and we certainly don't owe anyone an explanation. 

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2 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Yes, I have quite a few friends who foster and fostadopt and a friend who does placement and service connection for fosterkids; this is absolutely true. Thanks for pointing it out.  People who don't know anything first hand about fostercare should stop making assumptions about fosterparents and give those who do the benefit of the doubt. Like foster parents don't have enough to deal with.

I was certified as a fosterparent in my state and I'm the parent of an international adoptee who has to hear people who know nothing about one or both make judgements about me choosing international adoption instead of fostadoption of US kids. Adoption and its many forms and scores related and interrelated issues are a whole different, complex world that people who haven't gotten into it can't even imagine. We don't have the time or the obligation to compare, contrast, and explain it to everyone who makes comments about it and we certainly don't owe anyone an explanation. 

We adopted twice from foster care. Adoption is difficult, and beautiful, and life changing, and heartbreaking - no matter which path you choose. 

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On 3/3/2021 at 5:28 AM, Soror said:

I just remembered my aunt left my husband after over 20 yrs together. I didn't find that part crazy. He could be kind of a jerk so who knows what happened behind the scenes. 

Had to LOL at this probable auto-mis-correct several posts back.

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