I am 30, have been with my husband since I was 20, he was 27. We dated for 6 months, then I got pregnant.when my son was 8 months old we got married. I was married and a mom very young. As I said my vows, I knew this marriage would not last, but to please anxious family I went through it anyway. My 20's consisted of extreme lonliness, my husband hated to be around me. He would pay me to be able to spend time with his friends instead of me, I was very sick for many years and he would get angry with me because I was not able to work, he would call me names like "used goods", etc.I was determined to stay until I finished college, (even though he told me I was selfish to finish school) so I could support myself and my son.I finished and got the nerve to leave.now we own a house, and my son is 8. He tells me if we divorce he will run away, or live with the parent who did not cause the divorce which breaks my heart because i am the sole parent who has raised him since birth.I told mu husband he was toxic and it was over. Suddenly he is home all the time, telling me how much he loves me (of course, making a big productio in front of our son) he tries to kiss me and hug me etc. which makes me cringe. i can count the kisses we have had in 10 years on my fingers. It makes me angr that now all of a sudden he wants it to workI call him a fake,should I give this "new" person my heart again? I am so bitter, from no emotions or love in the past, that I dont feel like he even deserves it. Is it selfish to want to stay for your child, or stupid?
I would be inclined to give him a second chance. Your son is very bonded with him, obviously, saying he will live with whichever parent doesn't cause the divorce. What a wise son you have - is his name Solomon? I think if more 8 year olds said that, there would be a LOT more intact families!
Who knows. It may be that your husband has had a total change of heart, and has suddenly realized what he's done. Why divorce him now, when things are going exactly the way you've always wanted them to go?
Wow, it sounds like you've gotten the unluckier end of getting married too young :( And worst of all, your son is too young to understand. Things are always so much more complicated with kids.
I'd be suspicious too (of your husband's *new* behavior). If you plan on trying this out, take advantage a little and use this opportunity to assert the things you would like to see different in the marriage. For example, at the first hint of abusive behavior (e.g. you're used goods) assert yourself and say, "I never said I would tolerate this anymore. You can talk to me when you're feeling more mature" and walk out of the room. Show him that if he's serious about trying, then he has to be willing to adapt. The situation you've both been brooding in HAS to change.
Ultimately though, with a child involved, you'll probably end up choosing between your happiness and your son's. Another option may be to have a SERIOUS talk with your husband about how you really feel (wanting to divorce) and insist that you two maintain a stable relationship until your son is old enough to handle himself. I've known a couple who did that - fell out of love, but were civil enough to maintain a working relationship for their child. They slept in separate rooms. They had separate finances. They lived separate lives. BUT they were both home until their child was old enough to understand and see that it was better for the parents to be separated. I hope these ideas help - good luck!
This man has obviously treated you badly in the past and now is acting differently. Perhaps he woke up ? Of course I could see where you would be suspicious and hesitant, after all you've been through. Of course taking him back in, means you are risking him treating you badly again.
I would consider getting counseling. Maybe at first alone and then with him. And maybe the counselor would also later on want to meet with your son.
RR, the EIGHT-YEAR-OLD son is the WISE one? Obviously children do not understand the depths of the adult pain caused by years of emotional/verbal abuse (did you miss the part about him calling her "used goods" for years?)
I agree with the others that counseling is in order, and that perhaps it CAN work, but calling a child the wise one for threatening to run away to the "favored" parent is hardly the healthiest way to approach this. Adults cannot let children control their relationship decisions with threats. That boy has no true knowledge of the years of pain that man has caused her.
I'm inclined to throw my two cents here. Rockrose, you have really have no clue about life. You tend to give awful advice. Maybe once or twice you say something that's worth looking at. I would hate for you to be my mother.
I just think about the child who saw his mother stand by her man for many years and get mistreated. The child who had a depressed mother, because she was in a loveless marriage. My guess is that when that same child becomes an adult, chances are they may be an abuser, co-dependent or in an abusive relationship.
My question is: What example are we setting for our children when we stay in an unhealthy, loveless or abusive relationship ?
As far as the child, it is normal for any child to want their parents to be together. But if the relationship has been or is abusive and/or it is a loveless marriage --- that does have a negative effect on the child. The child's best interest, is two parents who love each other and who have a healthy relationship.
Jordy - I think you see it exactly backwards. Adults can not possibly understand the pain they cause children when they divorce. I think this child is brilliant.
And, sometimes you have to read between the lines in a post. She states she has functioned as a single mother to this child, but that doesn't seem to be the case. This boy is AS willing to live with his father as he is to live with her - he's completely bonded to him, as much as to the mother.
I'm really disheartned with how many people think little kids need to underrstand the whims/needs of the parents, and bend to their wishes. It's the opposite. Parents are supposed to put the needs of their children first, and themselves second.
I don't blame you for being hesitant toward your "new" husband. How can you trust he is being genuine after years of verbal and mental abuse? You obviously have a lot of resentment (and rightfully so) that you need to work on before you can even consider whether or not this will work.
I think you both need to go to counseling and really discuss what it is you both need and expect. It is possible that he has grown up and realizes his behavior could cause him to lose you, but that doesn't mean you are able to forget the past.
Whatever you decide I hope it works out for the best.
I did read between the lines, and saw a pattern of abusive treatment toward the wife by the husband. It's unrealistic to think that a child will never pick up on that as he matures, and inevitably watch his mother being treated badly by his father (the front is good for right now, but how long will that really last?)
I also happen to know, first hand, the damage done to a child by parents in a loveless marriage who stay together just for the sake of a child. And that was with NO abuse involved.
It's disconcerting that you didn't even acknowledge the emotional abuse this woman has had to endure.
Also...imagine a child growing up knowing her parents stayed together just for her sake and her siblings' sakes, and is enveloped by such guilt that when her own "time comes" to enter relationships feels obligated to ignore her own sense of needing true love out of guilt that her own mother sacrificed true love for her, and therefore embarks on a six-year empty relationship because, as she so often thought deep in her own mind and heart "why should I expect to get more out of a relationship than my own mother got?" And who has since spent more than a decade in therapy to work out those feelings of guilt at wanting more than she saw her mother get, and the pain of giving six years of her life to the wrong relationship out of not wanting to "show her mother up" relationship wise while at the same time struggling with the guilt of breaking up with him when she SHOULD HAVE just "settled" like her mother did, and who is still trying to learn that she DOES deserve REAL love and not just an "Okay" relationship for show.
Oh yes, I DO know it well!
Staying in an unhealthy relationship for the "sake of the children" can do far more harm than good.
I can agree with that, Jordy - the son turning and blaming the mom. That wouldn't be a modelled behavior now would it? (sarcasm)
I've been that child - thinking how selfish my mom must be and blaming her for problems in her marriage. Once I was old enough to understand, not only did I wish she had left, but I felt such guilt for not understanding her sooner. How selfish was *I* for not caring if my mom was MISERABLE? Even worse, I would model my dad's attitudes towards her because he seemed so strong and smart, while she seemed weak and stupid. I don't know how my mom managed through those years... what a waste of time for her...
To Nikki9: It's very natural for children to want their parents to stay together - that loss of stability is terrifying! If you do divorce, be sure to sit down and talk to your son - both with your husband and separately. Assure him that this is best for everyone. That it's not his fault. That you both still love him. If your husband can validate your feelings in front of your son, your son will probably start to realize it's not ONLY your fault.
But as things are, he probably only hears dad's "good" version of the truth, and knowing your husband, what role do you think you play in that? What is your son hearing/believing about you?
I never said my parents didn't get along. It's OBVIOUS to the children when their parents don't love each other, even if they do get along.
My own eyes water when I think of my mother's lost years. And I WAS that "child" sacrificed for.
I feel that if I had seen her take a stand for her own happiness, I would have felt empowered enough to do so for myself. But I didn't, and my formative years saw that "settling" was to be expected, and I am still screwed up about it. My own pain might bring tears to one's eyes.
In the writer's case, I am still disturbed an uncomfortable about the abusive undertones to the relationship. Of course the child would want them to be together. But, reading between the lines again, did you notice his tendency to turn on his mother and blame her ("I'll leave your for dad because YOU caused this!") Those are frighteningly early signs of what he's learning about how to treat his mother, and possibly women in general.
Can the man change? Again, I do agree with counseling to at least see where he's coming from. But I don't blame her in the least for being self-protective, suspicious, and resistant.
Studies are showing that children in homes with unhealthy relationships are likely to repeat the pattern. It may be woman allowing themselves to be treated as worthless or men growing up to be abusive. Or merely it may be a boy or girl growing up to expect no more from a relationship than existing. Maybe people years ago were brain washed to settle. Alot of woman did in order to continue to be provided for financially. Imagine not ever trying to make your life or the lives of your children fuller?? Imagine having to rent a movie to see what love is supposed to be or what a happy family looks and acts like. Following is one of many current research articles. Thank goodness there are woman smart enough to want the most out of life for their children and themselves. Who are willing to go through some hard times to teach their children what love really is and that they deserve it. And to the woman that are the first generation making that change - all the more power to you.
Is Divorce Always Bad for the Kids?
Battling parents who stay together for the sake of the children may be doing their kids more harm than good.
That is the finding from a Canadian study, which was one of the first to measure the mental health of children both before and after divorce.
Children living in very dysfunctional families actually exhibited higher levels of antisocial behavior before their parents divorced than afterwards. The more dysfunctional the family was prior to divorce, the greater the children's behavioral improvement following the event.
Researcher Lisa Strohschein, PhD, tells WebMD that the presumption that divorce is always bad ignores the negative impact of living in an unhappy, conflicted family........
Jordy - when we all read a post like the one above, we are kind of forced to "fill in the blanks" with our own life experiences, and kind of make a best guess as to what is going on.
In your experience, you lived with parents who didn't get along.
In my experience, I've known a LOT of kids who become "broken" because their parents divorce. The hurt is so awful, you can feel it. Makes my eyes water right now.
And these kids are coming from homes where the mother would state she was emotionally abused, or would recount some name she was called, or some failing of her husband, but the truth is each of them were treating the other badly. Right now one of my best friends is getting divorced (I still don't know why, although I've listened to her for hours tell me about it). Both are decent people, they just rip at each other for no reason I can tell, except they're in the pattern of ripping at each other. Each could tell stories like the one in the above post.
Brother and sister in law, same thing. What is wrong with them, that they keep doing this? Can't they see what it's doing to their kids?
We don't know how she was treating him, is the thing. All we know is, this boy is as happy with his dad as with his mom.
I think they should try to stay together. But she obviously doesn't have to listen to me, this is a public forum that's open to all voices.
My perspective, and your perspective. And you won't find me telling you you don't have the right to your opinion.
I think that sums it up and like Sparkeler I want to add that I am not giving an opinion on anyones home lives or choices - that's something only the person knows and can choose. At the end of the road we can only accept our own choices. Lord knows I've wanted to kiss myself in the a** for a few, but I'm not double jointed.
I realize I don't say always the kindest thing on these boards. But someone on here needs to say this stuff - that it's stupid and wrong to try to get pregnant if you're 19 and unmarried, and your boyfriend is a loser, and it's wrong to not try as hard as you can to make a marriage and home work if you have children. Someone needs to say this stuff.
I have a lot of clues about life, and you might be surprised if you met me at how different I come across in real life than on this board. But I understand the values that have stood the test of time - and people need to hear those values, even if it's not fun and it doesn't come off as "do whatever you want, you're doing great".
Someone needs to say this stuff. What is obvious to the general public gets lost on a board like this, where people with out of mainstream ideas can take hold and keep reinforcing each other, and it's not reality.
I don't mean to sound harsh. Certain things I just don't agree with. I don't think a parent owes it to their child to stay in a loveless marriage. Maybe you have a perfect marriage with a perfect home and perfect kids so it's hard to put yourself in someone elses shoes who is in an unhealthy or unhappy enviornment. But to suggest that someone put their kids *needs* before thier own is crazy when it comes to something like that. Kids are strong. They can handle divorce. What they can't handle is a messy marriage or a messy divorce for that matter. Parents usually handle their arguments/divorce with one another immaturely, forgetting that there are impressionable children around. This is what damages the kid, not divorce itself. If a couple who is estranged from one another, are able to have a mature & understanding conversation with one another & are able to hold thier composure around their children, then you usually won't find a kid with emotional baggage. You teach children how to handle life, not sweep it under the rug & act like nothings wrong.
Switching over to the 19 year old who wants to get pregnant with her loser boyfriend, I agree it should not happen. I am one to tell it like it is but sometimes people come on here for support because it's the only support they *have* Constructive criticism is beneficial, but not it should be done in a way where it doesn't scare someone off.
Sparkeler - we're just not going to be able to come together on this one, there is just no middle ground where we agree on this issue, in my opinon.
When you say you think it's a crazy idea to think that the parent put the child's needs before their own needs, we're too far apart to approach agreeing. I think that's one of the foundation blocks of parenting - the needs of the child come first. When they're babies, you need sleep, they need to be fed, guess what happens. They get fed, you lose sleep. I know you will agree on that, that their need comes before yours there.
Their need, in my opinion, for a stable homelife comes before the mother's or father's need for a passionately sexual relationship.
If one or the other partner is harmful or psycho, that's a cause for divorce. Losing that lovin' feeling that you had when you were madly in love, is just the way maturing works, no one keeps that crazy in love feeling. When it ends, you don't get a divorce and leave your kids shaken.
In my opinion, any couple who can have a respectful and amacable divorce, can have a respectful and amacable marriage.
Just me - Thank you. I am referring to a true union of marriage and not just whether or not you have good sex. I love my boyfriend with all of my heart, I can't imagine being with anybody else. However, if a day came where he didn't love me anymore or lost the desire to be with me, or we just DIDN'T get along & there were more tears than laughs, I wouldn't want him to stay, especially if there were children involved. I may be heartbroken, but we all have to endure tragedy at some point in our lives.
Children grow up to be adults. We as adults should give them the tools to be strong & indepenent; the ability to handle life's ups & downs. It builds good character. If a child is lucky enough to have two parents who really root for one another & work as a team & love each other & want the same things, than that's fantastic. By all means that it is a wonderful example. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Sad but true.
Rockrose - We will just agree to disagree. I really hope you are truly happy in your home. I'm not suggesting otherwise, I just wanted to wish you well.
I do not think that Sparkeler is saying to ignore the child's needs but raher to use ones wisdom as a parent to realize what the child's needs really are and how they can best be met. A child thinks they need the toy they see right now or they need to stay out and play when you know it is getting late. Do you not stop and impose your parental wisdom? A child wants Mommy and Daddy to be together and love each other. You can not give them that whether you physically stay together or not, if you do not really love each other. So is it better to give them an empty home where they see you cold and seperate with each other and teach them that is what mariage is, or worse yet to fight constantly. Or is it better to sit them down and to say that no Mommy and Dady can not physically live with each and to show them that Mommy and Daddy can still love them and still be their Mommy and Daddy that they always had and always will have? You say if you divorce amicably you should be able to stay married amicably? Is that what marriage is to you? You are amicable to the other mothers in the PTA meeting - in marriage you are your partners soul mate - the person they love and share their life with. I notice you keep refering to the sexual chemistry and again I do not think Sparkeler is referring to that. She's referring to the true union of a marriage. RockRose I am not going against you - I just think that from your posts you may have settled in your marriage for the sake of kids and can not understand when others feel that they want more for themselves and their children. But if that is the case - it was your choice and only has to be okay with you and no one else.
I too came from parents who never got along i love my parents the same but i knew my mom wasn't happy nor was my dad happy he would always put my mom down..my mom tried to leave twice that i remember and my dad started that weird behavior too acting like he cared but i later found out he just didn't want to pay the child support ..go figure.. i didn't want them to divorce becuase i didn't know what was really going on. But as i got older and realized what a jerk my dad was to my mom i'm glad she got out when she did. my parents got divorced when i was 13 and iwas so relived there was always so much tension in my house and when my mom told my dad it was time to leave it was great. everyone was happy. maybe the little boy won't understand now but maybe he will when hes older.
His past behavior would be the best predictor of future behavior. I would definitely seek to find out what prompted the change and test the validity of it. While he could be fearful he will actually lose you and your son, he might be more fearful he is losing control. Once he realizes you are not leaving, then he may fall into his old ways again. I would seek counseling and have a counselor honestly evaluate his change. Changes involve many positive actions building on each other in order for it to become a pattern. I would want to see a pattern of behavior, rather than behaviors in isolation of each other. No matter what you decide, put your interests of your son first. I hope this helps..all the best.
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