Question for Divorced Bees

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
Member
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Well I didn’t have the Happy Ever After Story (I was one of those Bees who ended up divorced because of my Man’s abuse & addiction)

BUT at the same time, I was in a longterm marriage… it just happened to end in Divorce because of a tragic turn of events.

In truth, I was married for 20+ years.. and the first 10 years or so were much much better than the last 10

I learned a lot in those 20 years… about what works and doesn’t and WHY

What I will say is the largest modern death toll for Marriage isn’t what most peple expect… certainly not the first 4 As that Dr Phil often talks about…

ADULTRY – ABUSE – ADDICITON – or AMORAL Behaviour

It is the more quiet 5th A found in APATHY

It is really really easy over time to become too comfy & complacient in a marriage.  Less about US and more about everything else going on…

Career – Mortage – Car Payments – Monthly Finances – Retirement Plans – Tax Returns – Household Chores – Kids – Kids School – Kids Activities – Family Vacations – the Inlaws – Holidays – Health – Sex (or the lack of it)

And on and on.

Till you end up so altho the Job, the Kids, the home, and your Bank Accounts might be doing alright…

You’ve lost track of yourselves… both yourself as a person (individual) and the person you are married to

The only way thru this mess…

COMMUNICATION.

Followed by LOVE – UNDERSTANDING – COMPASSION – RESPECT – TRUST – LOYALTY and a whole lot more COMMUNICATION

I truly believe that ANY MARRIAGE pretty much can be saved IF BOTH SIDES of the partnership have all these elements as a priority (even mine… but we were too far gone, and the Loving List virtually distroyed.  Communication couldn’t revive it)

And oh ya… take time for just the 2 of you.

There are plenty of jokes about Date Nights, Scheduled Sex, and Dirty Weekends away, but in reality they work.  They keep the flame going, and the world at bay (behind a closed door)

Mr TTR & I have been together going on 10 years now… we have a great relationship because we recognize what the As can do… and so have taken steps to protect ourselves from them as much as possible.

And we work hard to NUTURE each other and our relationship

Communication is key… but so is putting in the ADDED EFFORT and we continually have a calendar marked off with upcoming events we are looking forward to for the two of us…

We finish one… and immediately book the next (or two).

ALWAYS (lol another A) have something to look forward to in your life together… it is important.

(( HUGS ))

Hope this helps,

 

Post # 4
Member
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I think that @This Time Round‘s advice is spot-on and while I am not divorced, my marriage is totally on the rocks and I don’t know what will happen to us in the future. I can say that it is 100% apathy that has gotten us here, and also me not knowing myself very well when we got married. Also, a real lack of communication masquerading as “comfort.” Priorities shift over time, and it is really hard to motivate yourself to put a relationship first (and know when & why to keep putting the relationship first) during the difficult times if the feelings of love fade. 

Post # 5
Member
1574 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@KoiKove:  I’m divorced (and re-married, happily). I left my ex husband, but it was absolutely NOT an overnight feeling. I had doubts before we got married, but my ex would tell me that I didn’t have cold feet, I was just stressed about xyz. I’d been asking my ex to go to counseling with me for about 6 months before we got married, and he refused – he said it was only for couples who were ready to divorce and it’s too late. I stayed living in teh house, told him I went to see a lawyer and moved into one of the spare bedrooms. 

My ex was mean to me. We also never spent much time together (legit – we would be on different floors of the house doing different things, and since we were under the same roof he seriously considered it spending time together). I realized I was no longer in love. I tried to make it happen. I tried to improve communication, but it takes two. Then a very close friend of mine took his life and it was the push I needed. I realized how short life was and I no longer wanted to try to make this happen (I’d spent almost 1.5 years separated but living in the same house  – that was a mistake on my part). When I told him I was filing for divorce, THEN he wanted counseling. I went and it just cemented teh fact that I wanted to leave him.

Post # 7
Member
509 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I hesitate to answer since I am divorced because my ex was emotionally abusive and I know you wanted people that just grew apart.  But I do feel I learned a lot so I will throw in my two cents.

Once we had kids, it became all about the kids.  We didn’t make time for us, we stopped going out….life was centered around them.  It was exhausting.  We were tired and frustrated and took it out on each other.  And because we never had couple time, we never got to re-connect.  Then we stopped talking, although in all honesty, we never really talked that much but it became even less. 

So my advice is to make sure you keep the marriage alive – go on dates, flirt, talk a lot, make time for just the two of you to spend time alone, etc. and your marriage will probably stay great!  It becomes really easy to fall into a rut of watching TV and going to bed.  But couple time is so important to stay connected.

Post # 8
Member
2368 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

 Relationships take work. I  know that sounds cliche, but it’s true. If you’re not actively working towards improvement, you’re losing ground. It’s not the big gestures, it’s the little every day ones. Saying thank you, taking out the trash without being reminded, realizing your partner had a crappy day and cutting them some slack at home that night, making an effort to look decent for  your partner. It all adds up.

 Before my Dad  passed away, my parents were married for over 35 years.  He never forgot to say thank you when she made dinner, even if it was just spaghetti and meatballs. She always picked up his favorite candy  around Halloween and made sure  it didn’t make it into the trick or treaters bags (they got candy, just not the Reeces). Little things.

Post # 9
Member
518 posts
Busy bee

@KoiKove:  

I am divorced. Nothing “bad” really happened. I was 100% sure when I got married. I had ZERO doubts. I believed it would be forever. He was a wonderful man. He worshipped me. We never fought, ever. He was very thoughtful. He was so safe, he was so loyal. The problem was, there wasn’t really a passion between us. He loved me a lot and I knew that but he wasn’t affectionate with me. He didn’t try to connect with me. He didn’t call me to tell me he loved me. He didn’t txt me out of the blue to say he missed me. I made efforts for him, but he didn’t do the same. We worked kind of opposite schedules so it was important that he tried to communicate in other ways and he didn’t. I didn’t realize how much I was lacking in affection from him. I didn’t realize how attention starved I was. I felt very alone all the time, and it got to the point where I was considering turning to other men and that’s when I knew I needed to leave. I wasn’t unhappy, I just wasn’t happy. We went to marriage counseling and my ex knew what I needed and he still didn’t give it to me, I don’t know why, maybe he couldn’t. My ex was devastated when I left. I felt kind of nothing, because for a few years of our marriage I had felt nothing from him, no affection, no intimacy (and intimacy doesn’t have to mean sex, it just means connecting). We started to put other things ahead of each other, like career, family, hobbies.

Every person has needs in a relationship, and each person has different needs. What I need isn’t going to be what you need. My partner needs to know me and understand me and meet those needs just as I have to make an effort every day to meet his needs. It’s about knowing your partner and making sacrifices to give him what he needs, and exactly the same for him, he needs to sacrifice and compromise and go out of his way for me. That is the relationship I have now. Sometimes my boyfriend scares me how well he knows me. He reads my mind. He knows me better than anyone in this world. We connect, it’s important to both of us to really focus on one another and our relationship. I never feel alone even when we’re apart.

So my best advice is identify what you need and what your partner needs and make sure you are giving it to each other. Make an effort every day. I do, and so does my boyfriend. Your relationship should be your number one priority always. And this is a highly debated topic, but yes, in my opinion, even a priority over your children. You and your partner are the foundation of your family. If you don’t care for it, your whole family will crumble. Again, I know that is a 50/50 debate, but you are asking for my advice so I am telling you what I have found is really working now and what didn’t work in my first marriage.

Just the fact that you are thinking about it makes you ahead of the curve. You are conscious of it, that’s so important, people who take their happiness & relationship for granted will have a rocky relationship. You should be thinking about it and that’s how to keep it successful. A relationship is work, but it doesn’t have to be hard, you just need to make an effort.

Post # 10
Member
11379 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@KoiKove:  i agree with @This Time Round:   make time for each other and keep the communication flowing. 

a relationship breakdown can often occur when the marriage feels lopsided.  one partner feels like they are giving more than they are receiving and in turn, begins to give less to the marriage.  if left untreated, this may turn to resentment or just simply not caring anymore.  this is toxic and needs to be addresses immediately.

i know that they say a marriage/relationship is 50:50.  i disagree.  it’s 100:100.  i know that i will be giving my 100% and expect no less from my partner.

Post # 11
Member
4215 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

My parents divorce was totally about the apathy thing that @This Time Round:  describes. They both got caught up into always having to be right and not picking your battles as well. Also they totally did not fight fair, ever. Never just let it go. 

Post # 12
Member
1689 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Reading this resulted in me calling FI to set up a date night. 

We haven’t had much alone time together.  Rather than ending up on the couch tonight, I figured we could get a little romance in!

Post # 13
Member
1549 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I agree that marriage isn’t a 50-50 thing. You don’t give half and expect your spouse to give the other half.  You give 100% and your spouse gives 100%… If he does less, i do more. I don’t match it and say he only deserves what he gives. Its a partnership… marriage is a TEAM. If one falls, you help them back up…you don’t get mad at them for falling and hope they get back up on their own. If he’s not doing enough for you – then you do TWICE as much for him… He’ll take back his part – i promise.

And always always always do life TOGETHER. Work TOGETHER on your finances…. win together or lose together, just do it together. Develop long and short term goals and work toward them together as a TEAM. I know people disagree with me but i think Joint finances are very important… because when disaster strikes… you are strongest when your together… If we only have some of our moey in a joint account and we have no idea what the other is doing – we’re split. Your off doing separate things, spending separate money and living separate lives…. Money effects a lot more then you think. Developing a plan and setting mutual money goals were the BEST thing we ever did, not just for our money but for our lives. If you learn to work together on money – you’ll work together on everything else too. A plan with money teaches you how to have a plan with everything else.

Post # 14
Member
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Just came back to read some of the other replies… there is some FABULOUS info here from other Bees who have also seen a lot of life, and not all of it pretty.  I think all would agree that DIVORCE SUCKS… it is a huge feeling of emotional loss and failure (tears families apart, and extends outwards… eveyone is effected… Kids, GrandParents, Friends, Neighbours… EVERYONE in your life is effected by it… nothing is ever the same again).

I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy… so one of the reasons I am willing to share so much of my life experience here on WBee.

@MariContrary: is right the little things DO count.  More than we realize.  Saying THANK YOU is HUGE…

I say Thank You to Mr TTR all the time in our Relationship… he really appreciates it.

Makes the “mundane routine” stuff more worthwhile.

@lionsheart: also made some good points.  And yes it is a tough one to make a call on.  Kids vs Spouse.  In reality you only get one kick at the can with kids… 20 years at the most.  Then they are gone.  What you do everyday with them matters in their development and how they turn out as people… it is tough (and exhausting)… because you can’t just “let something go” with plans to get to it later / next week / next month / next year.  It doesn’t work that way.  They build upon everything / every experience.  It is a hard thing to manage, and the more kids you have, the harder, more exhausting it is (Moms are sleep deprived for a reason).

Marriage too is a balancing act.  Because in the end if you ignore your guy for those 20 years of childhood, he won’t “be there” (either at all… or emotionally) when the kids are gone and you are ready to reconnect.

That is WHY all those things like flirting, date night, and dirty weekends are so dang important.  You have to keep the spark / flame alive.  Then when the kids are gone, and you are still relatively young, you can reconnect like you did when you first met, and enjoy the those “inbetween years” … when you have your LIFE PLANS organized, and money figured out for the long term, kids away at college etc, and BEFORE the Grandkids come (once Grandkids come you tend to want to not travel as much, cause you WANT to for example spend Christmas with the Kids & Grandkids etc)

And @mypinkshoes: is soooo right about giving more than you get (and yet, not keep score).  I’ve always said that a Healthy Successful Marriage is about both Partners giving more than 50%… it is giving much more.  So that when times or bad, or the other person just cannot give as much as they’d like to… the other person can share the load, and carry the relationship forward.

But as I say, you cannot keep score.  Competition has no place in a marriage.  Keeping score on who did what… is deadly.

 @Kate0558:  makes a good point about joint finances too.  Having gotten screwed over in my Divorce after a “modern relationship” where things were split 50/50 (by percentages) I found that out the hard way.

My motto now is much closer to the Generation before me… ALL THAT I AM AND ALL THAT I HAVE I PLEDGE TO THEE.

If you come into a marriage and don’t believe that, then one is setting themself up for failure.  A Marriage is a Partnership / Team.  You can’t be a team if you are still retaining a huge part of “MINE” not OURS attitude.  And as Money is one of the leading causes of Disagreements, Fights & Divorce… I think that not being willing 100% to share is a HUGE RED FLAG

And as to make it totally an equal playing ground, no matter the time in ones Marriage… Newlyweds – New Parents – Stay at Home Mom – GIGANTIC Career Success – Illness – Retirement… whatever comes down the pipe, I am now in favour of an all in then 50/50 split to money (ie 2+4 = 6 / 2 = 3 each) no matter what the numbers… this is ALWAYS the most fair to BOTH people in the Marriage.  Together equally in good times or bad.  What I have come to call the A-L Method here on WBee that I first heard of from Gail Vaz-Oxlade from “Til Debt Do Us Part”

— — —

Lol, And as we’ve all said it comes down to COMMUNICATION.

For true longevity a couple MUST be on the same page all the time, and that means staying connected /  talking.  It is the only way.

 

Post # 15
Member
1018 posts
Bumble bee

@KoiKove: 

I am not married OR divorce and never have been so feel free to disregard my advice lol…

 

I’ve been with my SO for 8 years and I have the same concerns you do. We still feel like we’re in the honeymoon stage but I worry that “getting bored” and drifting apart are things that just happen and there is no way to avoid it and that worries me.

 

I have actually been worried lately that maybe we’re too complacent or stuck in a rut, (we’re not, but I don’t want to head that way…) and then this happened.

This past weekend I was kind of sick, cold/flu symptoms. I woke up late night/wee morning coughing and crying because I had been up all night (tough to sleep when you’re sick) and I was exhausted and frustrated. Without hesitation SO got up and said he’d go to the store to get me medicine and he’d be right back. He didn’t ask if I wanted him to go, he didn’t tell me to try and take something we already had.

 

He came back about 15 mins later with medicine and food for me (it was about 4:30 am now) lol

And I thought it was so sweet. Not just the gesture itself, but knowing that after being together for 8 years, he didn’t do it to “get in my pants” or to impress me. He did it because he genuinely cared and that’s who he is and who he always will be. I love him so much!

 

My point being…what’s keeping you together now and what is working now after all this time will always be there. You just have to make sure not to lose sight of it. Don’t stop appreciating each other because their random acts of kindness are “normal” now and no longer surprising. Look at how easy it is for a lot of couples to fall into complacency and take each other for granted and remind yourself not to do it!

Post # 16
Member
518 posts
Busy bee

@This Time Round:  Totally on the same page. Don’t get me wrong, the kids “usually” come first with us, but not always. They need to see that our relationship is a priority, too. We want them to see what love looks like. We want them to see a happy unity, a happy partnership. We want them to see how as important as they are, that our partner is just as important. Children of divorce, I feel, need to see that more than anyone I think. You are 100% right, it’s a balancing act.

I just feel like couples need to work on not losing the connection & intimacy that you need to have with your spouse. Like another bee said “time for date night” YES! We have a rule, we ALWAYS go to bed together, not necessarily to sleep but we spend some time talking every single night. Then one may read or go on the iPad but we always talk every night (we’ve been living together for 2 years).

I learned from my divorce, and I don’t plan on making those mistakes I made again. I won’t just ‘let the relationship go’, I plan on working at it and nurturing it every day.

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