Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

Divorce Sucks

 

I wish I did not have to use the word “sucks” on this title but I can not think of a better way to express how divorce impacts peoples’ lives negatively.

I have seen too many stories and cases around me to affirm that divorce should be avoided if all possible, especially when there are children. When there are no children from the relationship, the impact is a lot less (in some cases if the couple has been together for decades there is an impact on the in-laws, nephews and nieces as well as common friends. And obviously on the couples’ finances).

I am not advocating that people stay in bad and unhappy marriages. I am sure there are many cases when it is much better for all if the couple splits. I have heard stories of children thanking their parents for splitting because the home atmosphere was too toxic.

I also think that in cases where there is drug and alcohol addiction without improvement, physical and emotional abuse, financial dishonesty and irresponsibility, neglect and contempt it  is all the better to move on to a more positive life.

So I repeat, divorce can be a savior in cases of continuous drug and alcohol abuse (after attempts to fight addiction), domestic violence (not once over a heated argument, but repeated physical assault), emotional abuse, mental ilness and infidelity (in a few cases even infidelity can be forgiven-this is very individual).

I for one would have a hard time forgiving infidelity. It is a total break of trust and intimacy between a couple. I cannot be “French” when it comes to these things (pardon me French people for the stereotyping).

Now, divorce can be avoided if the reason for the split is boredom, lack of sexual attraction or pure incompatibility.  These things CAN be worked on. A boring phase or a conflict ridden phase can go by. Most couples who stayed together will tell you that they had many rough patches. It is not easy to share a life together, you need to give up certain things (which people seem less and less inclined to do in an era of instant gratification), compromise and negotiate. It is also not easy to stay away from temptation, but if you tell yourself that you do not want to cheat, you will be able to escape temptation.

Many conflicts can be resolved. Passion can be regained. Sometimes some distance resolves that. Lack of sexual attraction is normal as we age, but both parties can do their best to look good-it’s a nice thing to do for your partner.

When people decide to divorce thinking that will be the end of all their problems, they forget that any of these things can happen:

 So I repeat, divorce can be a savior in cases of continuous drug and alcohol abuse (after attempts to fight addiction), domestic violence (not once over a heated argument, but repeated physical assault), emotional abuse, mental ilness and infidelity (in a few cases even infidelity can be forgiven-this is very individual).

1) Your children will be like ping pong balls from one house to another;

2) Your children will not have mom and dad together any longer-they will lose their original sense of family and have to be with one parent alone or share that parent with strangers; there is nothing sadder than a single Dad vacationing alone with his 2 smalls kids or sitting in a chain restaurant with his 2 kids, clearly sad and lonely.

3) Your children may resent any new BF or GF you start a relationship with and will sometimes create problems for you;

4) Your children will try to compete with your new GF or BF (girls are worse and try to compete with father’s GF’s);

5) Your new GF or BF will never love your child like their natural mother, unless she or him has never had children, raised your child since an early age and the original mother or father is dead or totally out of the picture.

Do not fool yourself that your new squeeze will have the same level of interest/worry that you do towards your children. It won’t happen. Even if they treat them well, they will never do for them what you and their real mother/father would do. It is not their child and sometimes they don’t bond with them. Sometimes the stepchild looks like your spouse’s ex and is a reminder of him/her. Your stepchild may also be raised in a very different way than you would and which you don’t agree with and can do nothing about. Sometimes you see how your stepchild is being manipulated by his or her other parent who is bitter and revengeful. Sometimes your stepchild is rude to you and your new spouse is afraid to take sides, endangering your new marriage.

Because of that, your kids will probably not have the same level of care and benefits if the parents had stayed together.

6) Situations like Thanksgiving, Christmas, NYE, birthdays and other family celebrations will always be difficult You will sometimes spend these occasions alone with your new spouse even if you have 4 children, because they might be with your ex and his new wife/husband.  And after your kids get married they will have to split their time between your household and your ex’s household and their own spouse’s family. So be prepared to spend many occasions without a sense of family.

7) Same for empty nest syndrome. When your kids go to College and come home to visit you will have to share the little time you have with them with your ex.

8 ) If you and your new spouse have separate finances, you won’t be able to provide for your kids or give them the gifts you could if you were married to their original parents. Especially if you have a spouse who is ungenerous with your kids and have the attitude that those kids are not his/hers.

9) Weddings and graduations and funerals are extremely awkward. Where to sit, some exes can’t stand each other, etc. In some occasions there is only space for one couple, how to fit 2 couples? And how to avoid hurting people, how to avoid ignoring the new spouses? Do you go to your ex-husband’s/wife’s funeral, someone you knew for years or decades and whose death you will likely mourn? Why not, because the new wife/husband does not want you to?

10) You will always miss the original nuclear family unit that you formed with your ex-husband/wife and your kids. No matter how happy you become with a second (or third or forth) mate, the first family will always be in your mind. Likewise, a man or a woman tends to be more committed to someone who is the parent of their child. When you do not have children with your spouse, it makes divorce a lot easier.

11) Be prepared for second marriages where your new husband does not want to share anything with you because he was “burned”-at least in his eyes-by his first wife.  You will miss the  sense of partnership and common goals that you had in your first marriage. Many have separate finances, separate savings. One spouse can accumulate money and grow financially while the other is stalled, causing the really awkward situation of a rich man married to a poor wife or vice versa. The implications of that are resentment, different lifestyles and control.

12) After a divorce your ex-in laws become strangers. There is no way you can continue having the same relationship with them as invariably they will take your ex-spouse’s side. The same happens with good friends you two had together. If they were lifelong friends, you will miss their friendship. When you hear that your ex’s new partner/GF/wife is now friends with your old time friends you will feel a bit sad. Like someone took something away from you. You will hear about events and occasions where your ex is together with relatives and friends you liked and wish you were there too, but you cannot be.

13) Additionally, your new in laws might still be connected to your new husbands/wives ex and resent you. If your new mother in law liked his ex, be prepared to always be a second rate citizen in her eyes, and that can poison your new relationship if your new husband does not take a stand for you.

14) You might date/marry a man who has an ex-wife from hell (sometimes an ex-husband from hell). This interference will create hell in your life and affect your new relationship. If the ex from hell cannot move on with her/his life he or she will try to make your life and your children’s life miserable. Exes from hell like to poison their kids against their other parent and against the new wife/husband. Exes from hell will resent if their ex-husband is spending any money with their new wives. Exes from hell will be jealous if the new wife gets anything. Exes from hell will live in an illusion that their marriage still exists and never accept its end.

15) On the other hand, new wives and even new husbands will resent how much you spend with the kids from your first marriage and your ex-wife if there is child support or alimony involved. Especially if there is not enough money left for the new family (single women, think twice, thrice and more before dating divorced men).

16) After several years living apart from their kids, many parents start feeling disconnected from them. They participate less and less in their kids lives until there is litle interest in common. That is sad for both parents and kids.

17) Kids suffer the most from divorce. When a parents gets remarried, they no longer will be as important. The new spouse and sometimes children born from the second marriage will come first, because if they don’t, the new marriage will not survive either.  These older kids sometimes become latchkey kids and start giving their parents trouble, like using drugs and alcohol, to get some attention.

18)  After a divorce, many adults with children feel free, young and single again. Some fall hard into the single lifestyle, with many parties, booze and drinking. They leave their kids with babysitters and relatives. They simply are enjoying life too much to do family type things with the kids.  No need to explain how the lack of a family life affects kids, especially the younger ones.  Teenage girls will have their 40 something mothers at bars dressed like 20 year olds, so much for the mother figure (think Dina Lohan).

19) You will lose the family continuity. You and your ex-spouse will never have the pleasure of together enjoying your grandchildren. You will have to share your children and your grandchildren with your ex’s new partner. You will always miss important moments in your children and grandchildren’s lives because you have to share them.

20) Half brothers and sisters (which genetically speaking are more like cousins), several step this and that, diluted finances, loss of family names and inheritances, etc, the big mess divorce causes is usually overlooked when a man decides his “sweet” co-worker is hotter than his boring wife or when a woman decides that the guy at the bar is more exciting than her old “comfortable slipper” husband.

I know there are many people who have successful arrangements, where everyone gets along with their exes and new spouses and the children are thriving. But is not prevalent, and the road to success is not smooth.

If you are contemplating divorce and you are not really sure, read this. And these are only some of the problems that might occur,  I am sure I overlooked some others. 

Men, don’t forget to tell your wives how you love them, pay attention to them, compliment them when they look pretty, try to make romantic gestures, continue with the PDA and show sexual attraction to them. 

Women, don’t get lazy and ugly just because you now are married. Stay in shape, kiss your husband, touch him, laugh at his jokes, compliment him often even if you are angry at some little thing he did.

Men and women, avoid yelling, avoid threats to divorce and NEVER call each other names. That is demeaning. Stay married and fight for your marriage is my advice.

And finally, recognize that life has ups and downs, and that if you treat your marriage like you would treat a house or a job or a car, which you can change at your whim or when they present  problems,  your marriage may end because of selfishness, impatience or materialism.

November 27, 2007 - Posted by | Relationships

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