Post # 1
So I am looking for advice from those of you whose parents are divorced, and I would love to know your point of view when deciding to get married/engaged.
My SO should be proposing soon, though after having another discussion about an engagement, he told me that the biggest thing holding him back is that he struggles with his parent’s ugly divorce. They divorced when he was about 7, in an ugly battle for custody. His parents are great co-parents now, and they have a strong family bond, but my SO struggles with the past. I can’t blame him, being that his best example of a marriage was a terrible one.
I am looking for advice on how to help him understand that our marriage would be different, I don’t want him to be affraid to walk together in life. I want to help him feel ready. Though, my parents have a strong marriage so I have a hard time helping him.
What helped you feel ready to be married even though your parents’ marriage ended in divorce? What advice could I take from your situation?
Thanks in advance!
Post # 2
My FI and I both have divorced and remarried parents. His parents being divorced was a small reason he had reservations about getting married. It took my FI 4 years to propose, but that was also due to his own personal reservations and as he said “not feeling ready” or “it wasn’t the right time yet.” I understand that parental divorce is a big issue for some, but I would be curious if he also has some other reasons holding him back as well. I told my FI there are no “guarantees” in life, the only guarantee I could give him was that I love him and will do my very best to keep our relationship strong. Ultimately, these are his own insecurities/issues and the best thing you can do is love and support him as he works through them himself. My FI said that the biggest thing that helped him was knowing he simply had my love and support, even when he was driving me absolutely insane with waiting for a proposal.
Also, has your SO ever been to counseling, or would he even be open to it? It might be a good idea for him to go and get some help in figuring out why these issues are holding him back, and give him tools to move forward.
Post # 3
My parents had a really, really, really terrible divorce. The divorce proceedings lasted years and it was very tramatic for me. For a long time, I didn’t want to get married because I’d seen how horrible marriage (and divorce) could be. Hell, seeing how badly my mom got screwed over in the divorce made me think badly of men in general, and clued me in to the power gap between men and women. What helped me reconcile to marriage was realizing that my husband is nothing like my father, and I am not my mother. Completely different people in a completely different dynamic. Even if we do end up getting divorced in the future (and I hope that won’t be the case), I know that our divorce wouldn’t be like my parents’.
Post # 4
MrsClumsy: Thanks for your reply! I do feel that I’m having a hard time trying to balance supporting him and trying not to rush him with my wanting a proposal. We discussed counseling, and I am going to look into it further. To be honest, I think if I made an appointment and told him, he may have a real “lightbulb” moment and think “Wow, why am I making this such a big deal when we have such a solid relationship.” I think he just is getting a bit scared now that an engagement is really looming, since we moved in together and he knows it’s time. I think the fear of divorce may be coming to a head. I think I just need to work my hardest to remind him that just because we are going to get married as his parents did, that we are not his parents. It’s nice to know that you have managed so well in your relationship 🙂
likewoah: I love how you said that, about how your divorce couldn’t be like your parents’. My SO has said that he remembers being a little boy and he would hold his mom every night as she cried, and he can’t fathom ever doing that to me. I have to help him to believe that he and I are not at all the same as his parents, and that type of sadness CAN’T and WON’T happen to us.
Post # 5
Well, my partner is about to propose to me an I am soooo excited, time seems to be going extremely slow whilst I wait haha. We will be picking up my ring that has been getting custom made on Saturday!! :D<br /><br />Anywho, my parent’s got divorced when I was about 12 years old. My partners parent’s are still happily married. Yet before I met my partner I never really adapted with relationships very well, and of course, that must of come from my parents situation. It was only when I turned 18 that I stumbled across my amazing partner who changed everything. Yes, I saw a few people whilst I was 18 yet never could ever grasp that connection with them. But for some reason my partner never gave up, even when I said ‘no, I’m not ready for this kind of commitment’. This was where the fear kicked in, due to only knowing that relationships end (as in my parent’s relationship) Yet here we are now, after 3 years extremely happy and about to get engaged. Yes, I get scared sometimes, but I’m going to make my life different to how my parent’s life went. We are both in love, and we are good to each other. That is all that matters.
I think your partner needs to start thinking about himself and what HE wants. People shouldn’t base their life on other peoples’ experiences. <br /><br />I hope this helps 🙂 Good luck for the future!
Post # 6
My parents’ divorce also made me skeptical toward marriage for a long, long time. Throughout my 20’s up until now, I never really considered marriage to be something I strived for because in the back of my mind I always thought “what’s the point?” Why get married when I could simply spare myself all the potential grief of divorce by avoiding it altogether?
But now I know that marriage is important to me. I love my SO deeply and he knows it, and he loves me too. The way he treats me is the way I always envisioned a potential husband to treat me. And I realize that he is NOTHING like my father was to my mother, and I am NOTHING like my mother (in a realtionship capacity).
I am also much older now than my mother was when she married (I’m 30 now; my mom was 22 when she married my Dad. That in itself I guess says alot). So as long as you look at the differences between your relationship and you as an individual compared to your parents, it should help you to feel more confident going into married life.
Post # 7
Vitana: I think your feelings and my SO’s are very similar. Before I came along, he never planned to marry or settle down. I”ll do my best to discuss our differences from his parents with him, and hopefully he will really see that avoiding marriage isn’t a viable option, it would only be out of fear. Thanks for your advice.
Post # 8
Honestly my parents divorce never really effected my opinion on marriage. My parents divorce wasn’t ugly though. They mutually decided that they weren’t working as a couple and thought they should split. They’re still friends, and they’re both much happier apart. I don’t even think my mom even cried about it, if she did I was never aware of it. So I’ve always just had the mindset of sometimes people aren’t meant to be together. You move on. It happens.
I don’t really have good advice. I think there’s nothing you can say to him that’s going to change his mind ultimately, he needs to believe that it’s going to work with you and that it won’t end in an ugly divorce. Perhaps counseling would help, but ultimately you’re in the waiting game right now.
Post # 9
I was very fortunate that my mom remarried a wonderful man after her and my bio father divorced (I was 2). They have a wonderful marriage and that has been modeled for me my entire life rather than the divorce from my bio dad (who I currently have no relationship with). I think my own desire to be married and have that commitment comes from the relationship my mom and step-dad modeled for me. However, I understand why someone whose parents went through a bad divorce at an age where the children could understand what was going on would leave lasting scars. Hopefully he can get past that and realize your marriage’s success or failure will be based on the two of you alone, not the past failings of his parents marriage.
Post # 10
edepp2010: It took a long time for me to be ready for marriage with FI. My mom had been married twice and both ended in divorce. My grandmother married multiple times and my uncle was still single. On my bio dad’s side of the family divorce was rampant as well. The only people who had managed to stay married for a long time was his sister (my aunt) and her husband. But since I don’t have much of a relationship with them, all of my experiences with marriage came from my mom’s side.
Yet on FI’s side, no divroces. His family was full of happily married couples.
I was scared to death to get married. I sometimes wondered if marriage was even worth it as I felt like I was doomed to divorce just like so many of my relatives had. Thankfully, FI was immensely patient with me. He knew he loved me no matter what even if I never wanted to be married. He repeatedly reassured me that we were not my relatives and that we could break the divorce cycle. I even went to counseling to deal with this fear of marriage and it really helped. But you know what helped me the most?
After 7 years together, FI and I are finally engaged and I could not be more excited to marry him. He’s stuck by me through so much and I love him for it. Please don’t rush your guy and definitely encourage him to seek counseling.