Contemplating Divorce – 2 Small Kids

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
Post # 31
4067 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

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hikingbride :  Wow, this sounds just like my childhood and experiences with DH (I was terrible at communicating, and he got me to open up).

OP, I grew up with parents who fought all the time.  As an adult, I’d say that they hated each other most of my life, but I thought it was normal.  I never really realized that it wasn’t how marriage was supposed to be.  I have a lot of memories of my parents being great parents to my siblings and I, but those are coupled with memories of hiding under the sheets crying because I could hear them screaming at each other when they thought we were asleep. 

They are still together and seem to be doing better the past couple of years, but I do fear that they will have a lot of regrets.  My siblings and I have said countless times that we wish they would just have gotten divorced so they could both be happy, but they are very religious and refuse to divorce under any circumstances.  I don’t have any advice for whether you should get a divorce or not, but I do want to tell you that it’s ok for you to choose happiness if your marriage is broken. 

ETA: PP mentioned the guilt of parents staying together “for the kids.”  I share that to this day.  I overheard my Dad say once that he thought that many of their marriage struggles were because they had kids so young.  Guess who the oldest is?  I know it’s not my fault, but it’s hard to not blame yourself.

Post # 32
798 posts
Busy bee

I think you’ve gotten a lot of great perspectives from PPs about your children being affected by divorce. I definitely agree that it happening when their so young is much more beneficial than waiting until they’re older.


You haven’t gone into your relationship issues much, and I’m not asking you to, but I definitely don’t agree that if it’s not working it’s not working (unless we’re discussing cases of abuse or something like that). My husband and I went through a really rough time in our marriage and the word divorce was absolutely on the table. At the time, I wanted the divorce just because it would’ve been SO much easier than working through things at the time. I will say you have to have an amazing therapist and you both have to be equally invested in working on your marriage. We went once a week initially and our therapist told us that we had to do the work outside of therapy. Even after a couple sessions I still didn’t see us working but slowly things got better. Our marriage and relationship took a long time to get to that point and it took months to get back to a good place but slowly it started to be good more than it was bad. I couldn’t be happier that we worked through our issues. We’ve had a series of pretty devastating problems outside our marriage this year (a miscarriage, major surgery, family drama, etc) and I know without a doubt we wouldn’t have been able to make it through if we hadn’t gone through what we did. I’m not saying that you and your husband are meant to be together, maybe you’re not and you’ll both move on and be happier, but I do think that you should give counselling a chance for a couple months. You don’t want to look back and regret not trying. Plus, my therapist said that often, if you do decide to move on without working on your issues there’s a chance you’ll carry those same issues into your next relationship.

Post # 34
373 posts
Helper bee

I was you…I got divorced with my kids (who are 14 months apart) who at the time were 2 and 3 respectively. There is no need to be embarrassed. Sometimes, relationships don’t work out. While divorce is certainly not trivial, it is sometimes necessary. I did NOT want my children to experience the volatile relationship than myself and my now ex husband had. I remember growing up and waiting till it got dark to go home because I knew mom and dad would fight. I remember the anxiety…it’s crippling for a kid.

TRUST me when I say, the most ideal relationship for your children is a happy one where they can be at PEACE. Obviously the best model is dad and mom (but ONLY if it’s healthy). The BEST second runner up is mom and dad, while not together, co-parent peacefully and respectfully and wherever they are, it is filled with love, respect and goodness. You will do your children a disservice by staying together and displaying an unhealthy dynamic. And to be honest, your kids are so young and it is actually easier to separate now (assuming your marriage is at its wits end). I do not advocate divorce unless someone is abused or was cheated on (I was cheated on). However, I know life is not black and white and if you’re fighting and the children are seeing this, it can do a lot of damage to your children.

I survived. I was okay. You will be okay. The process is horrible but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. My kids are happy, healthy, and wonderful (now 8 and 9). And, I have a wonderful man in my life now (although I did not date for at least 4 years after I was divorced because I needed to invest in my children and did not want to bring a new man around at the time).

Post # 35
373 posts
Helper bee

should be ‘I got divorced from my ex husband’…goodness.

Post # 36
2710 posts
Sugar bee

Have you thought about seeing your own therapist, or at least seeing your couples therapist on your own? 

I think couples and family therapy is fantastic, I’ve been off and on since I was a little kid and it literally saved my parents (now extremely happy) marriage. But their goal is typically to keep you together and on your needs as a couple. It might be more productive to explore your options with someone who’s focused on your needs as an individual in a marriage, rather than on the needs of the marriage. 

Post # 37
2432 posts
Buzzing bee

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wolfeyes :  A VERY good point. When we were at our VERY WORST, I was in private therapy, and DH was in touch with MY therapist, totally with my permission because I was so depressed I didn’t give a damn whether he knew what I was talking/thinking about or not.

DH was learning how to help me manage the heartbreak (another story) I had experienced, and using the therapist in that way ultimately helped us individually and together to work through the stuff that wasn’t working between us.

Our therapist was sympathetic to our situation but totally candid. For us, it was a nearly perfect solution.

Post # 38
32 posts

I see that you received a lot of response, and someone may have already touched on this, but I will put in my 2 cents…

My parents were together for 20 years, my dad cheated on my mom pretty much the entire time and she knew it. They separated once when I was in the 2nd grade for almost a year, got back together and then moved to another state for my dad’s job and then the cheating increased, and she knew it. I am an only child, my dad wasn’t terrible but he was away for work a lot so my mom mostly raised me and he and I never really had a close relationship.

When I was a freshman in college my parents divorced. I wish they would have divorced when I was younger. As an adult you understand exactly what is going on. I was 19 when I found out about my dad’s infidelity. When I asked my mom why she didn’t leave him before her response was “because of you” and she pretty much wasn’t strong enough to leave him.

It would take days for me to go into all the feelings about this but I will sum it up as quick as I can…if you really feel this is the next step for you and your husband then I would not let the fact that you have two children get in the way of you getting a divorce. Your kids will adjust and the fact that they are so long there is a huge chance they won’t even remember any of it. They need to see what a healthy relationship is like in order for them to flourish and be successful in their own personal relationships in life. That includes family, friendships and romantic relationships.

My mom spent 20 years of her life trying to prove to my father she was enough. She put up with things she should have never put up with and tried so hard to make him happy in hopes that he wouldn’t stray. And she failed and now she has zero self confidence and is a bitter woman.

Now that I am in my early 30’s and I look back at my life and past relationships I realized that I did the same thing with anyone that came in my path. I felt like I always had to prove myself in some way, never felt good enough, etc. and I feel like I have mirrored her.

I was married once for 1 year to someone I was with for a total of 5 years. We never had any children, he was a child himself, and I feel (hindsight is 20/20) that I was attracted to this sort of relationship because I took care of him and it made me feel good. I felt needed. Well, we divorced exactly a year after we got married for various reasons. It was hard, but was the best and worst thing to ever happen to me at the same time.

A month ago I married the most amazing man I have ever met and we are starting a family. I too went through a phase where I thought I would be alone forever and it terrified me. You are right, people can tell you that you will find someone, and they could be right or they could be wrong. What sucks and is the most scariest part of it all is the unknown.

One of my best friends is 32 years old and has 3 kids with a guy she was with all through high school, college, and then they divorced 3 years ago. She was miserable with him for majority of their marriage and she would cry to me about wanting to leave him but she has 3 kids! She will NEVER find anyone! Who would want her with 3 small kids? Well, she found an amazing guys and has been married to him about almost a year now.

The unknown sucks. But does it suck as bad as staying in something that isn’t making you happy? The odds are pretty good that you will find someone else. And you will have this lesson under your belt that will help you in making a better decision.

If you feel like you have tried everything and your marriage isn’t going to improve then I would go forward with a divorce. It sucks, it’s hard, its oh so embarrassing but you will survive, and so will your kids.

In my mind deciding to get a divorce isn’t something to be embarrassed about…it is courageous in any situation. There are a lot of people who choose, for various reasons, to stay in something that makes them miserable. Choosing to be happy, and improving your quality of life is a good enough reason to call it quits. I know many people with completely disagree with me, that it is a vow, till death to us part….but if you are realistic…we are HUMAN, people change, experiences change you, life changes you. There is nothing to be ashamed of.

Hold your head up. Listen to your gut. And don’t be so hard on yourself.

Best of luck to you!

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