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Brutal Honesty...

Old 03-21-2011, 10:58 AM
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Brutal Honesty...

Insane reasons I have stayed and that still tug at me making me question whether I "should" really divorce him...

I am admitting how sick my thinking is here so please don't berate me...

1. We have 2 sets of couple friends whose kids are our kids ages. One of those couples we go on vacation with each summer and I LOVE it... I worry that our friendship and things we do with them will change when my H is not a part of the outings...

2. Fear of no on else ever wanting me and spending the rest of my life alone and miserable like my mother

3. Fear of loneliness

4. Clinging to memories of isolated times that were good and feeling like there are places, songs, days of the year that will be miserable recollections forever if I divorce him bc they are things I associate only with him

5. Fear of my not wanting to ever try and get close to someone again knowing how much I've been hurt and wondering whether I will ever want to make the effort to be a part of a relationship again

6. Worry that I will make the "wrong" decision and should give it more time

7. Financial worry

8. Worry that my daughters will hate me for breaking up our family since AH is "happy" to maintain the status quo (even as miserable as it is) so for anything to change it will be me who makes that happen.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:10 AM
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Not trying to berate you, but one thing tips the scales the other way. He was physically violent toward you. It's your life, but there is no way I wouldn't divorce him.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:14 AM
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We all have crazy thoughts...best to get them out there and evaluate them rationally...that always helps me.

1. This definitely could change...no doubt about it. Do you want to put up with the other 51 weeks of the year in order to have this one week of fun? Only you know.

2. There's no way to know whether you'll find someone else, but being alone does not have to be equivalent to being miserable. Misery is a choice.

3. Tougher...would have to find ways to connect with others to avoid this.

4. Dwelling on these things is a choice.

5. Once again, you're in the driver's seat, and you'll know when you're ready.

6. Me too. My mom always tells me that no decision has to be forever. You can make a different one at any time.

7. This is a big one for me. I imagine if it gets to the point that I want to leave, I won't care anymore.

8. Me too...
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:16 AM
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Oh, forgot about the physical violence...sometimes hard to keep everyone straight. That would end it for me as well.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:22 AM
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Physical violence is a deal breaker for me.

I too am sad that my marriage is going to end. I will cherish the happy times but will gently remind myself that staying where I am will only lead to more misery. Sure the unknown of divorce is scary, and if I focus on all the scary "what ifs" - I'll never move forward.

Instead, I focus on the good things - my future peace, sanity, and HAPPINESS. I don't know if I'll ever have another relationship, and right now I don't care. All I care about is getting out of the one that doesn't work for me anymore.

It's a grieving process to let go of a marriage. It's the death of a relationship/dream/etc. BUT, I think it's much harder than grieving death... because death is final. The person is gone. You have no choice. With a divorce, the person is still out there... and it's a choice.

Give yourself some time and be patience... but be safe.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:26 AM
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Well, I recently left. I had those same fears/reasons for staying. I can tell you....it is a little lonely, but the trade off to have peace made that worth it. I reach out to friends. If they are really your friends, this won't affect that. One thing to point out....there was one particular family that I was worried about "losing". I am now closer than ever to them.
Everything that I thought that I would lose is still here. And on top of it, I have gained so much more!
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:27 AM
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oops, one other thing. The lonlieness........it's a GOOD lonely!
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:11 PM
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In my experience:

Being not-married is hard. Being married to someone who couldn't love me and who met my needs with aggression and abuse and made sure my children saw him "punishing" me was MUCH WORSE.

I was abusing my kids by having them see it. I might as well have sat them down with pornography and Quentin Tarantino movies and a bowl of popcorn and said "here, watch this."

I came to a place where I had to swim to the surface and take my babies with me. There was absolutely nothing more to it.

But yes, I had to be encouraged to do it, even then. My therapist had to say "he isn't going to change."

Life is full of joys that you and your children will never experience as long as you are married to him.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:30 PM
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I have no words of wisdom, because I am fighting myself with the same questions/reasons that you have listed.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:32 PM
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I honestly think that having said my list that I was embarassed about out loud took away a lot of its power... Sometimes mulling things over and over in my head makes them much worse than saying it...

I know that none of those are good reasons to stay and know all the reasons that I need to and will leave... I think I needed to just fess up about my fears and in doing so give them less power...
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:21 PM
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I think it's good to look at what you think is holding you back.

I'd keep that list and look at it a LOT.

You're not your mother.
Took me a LONG time to learn that for myself.
Women of that generation had a mortal fear of
being without a man
because that society made it near impossible
for a woman to support herself.
The old social stigma thing.

That doesn't exist any more.

It's good to pull out those anchors and take a look.

We all at some time preferred the hell we knew
to the heaven we couldn't imagine.
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:16 PM
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Your list looks a lot like mine did.

I "lost" most all of our mutual friends. Some of the friendships were 20-some years old. That HURT. But, I chose not to villanize him; and I can only imagine the stories he must have told them to explain why I left. It definately contributed to my abandonment issues.... But, without sounding like "sour grapes", how good of friends were they apparently???

I was soooo worried of being alone. But, have been in a new relationship for almost 2 years.... and getting married this fall.

My biggest fear is "what if" this relationship turns sour.... and I feel stuck again??? What will I do??? No alcohol issues... but I still have abandonment issues, and have a heck of a hard time enforcing boundaries.

I keep taking care of myself, and taking things one day at a time.
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:24 PM
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I remember when I was a kid in swimming lessons. Every week I would stand on the end of the diving board until the teacher came and threw me in. I knew the teacher was going to throw me in, I wasn't afraid to get into the water, but only to jump in myself. Finally, after months of confidence boosting from the teacher, I jumped in myself.
Ever feel that way? You wish he would push you into those waters because you don't want to be responsible for jumping in yourself?
Ever remember how afraid we all are as kids to swim, yet when we finally get into the water we find we love it?
Be that kid...and decide for yourself without being pushed, when it is time to jump off that diving board.
I'm sure it's the same for someone trying sky diving for the first time. Or snow skiing down a big hill. Or singing in front of a crowd.
But, nothing ventured...nothing gained, yes?
We're all kids at heart afraid sometimes to jump into the water.
You know what the definition of courage is? Being afraid to do something, and doing it anyway!

Thinking back on posts from others...
"physical abuse would be a dealbreaker". Common, that view, yes?
But for you, you've already been pushed off the abuse diving board. You've been there, done that. You have had the courage to keep going in the relationship despite that.
Yes, that's a type of strength, stamina.
You're not as lacking in courage as you think, although endurance courage perhaps isn't as self-esteem building as jumping into fresh new waters. One kind of strength hurts us, another liberates us.
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:34 PM
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BHF... I love that. Perfect.

I completely relate. I've been waiting and waiting for my AH to push me, but why not just jump myself? It kind of falls in line with what NoDayBut2Day posted...

So what if you're the one to end the marriage? It's no crime, it doesn't make you a quitter (seems to me you've given enough of your time and energy to this).

Perhaps it's time to close the door on this chapter of your life and let HP, instead of your AH, lead the way.
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:46 PM
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Wow- I absolutely HAVE been waiting for my AH to push me off that diving board bc A) I don't want to be blamed for being the one to make the first "splash" and B) I am afraid of what I don't know...

Neither are good reasons for staying in a marriage...
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:17 PM
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It sounds like the things that are keeping you stuck are fear, anxiety and attachments.

Fear is not a good enough reason to hold you back. There are many people here who have courageously moved forward in spite of fear and found a better life--better than they could have imagined.

Anxiety is not a good enough reason to hold you back. Do the "What's the worst that could happen" exercise with yourself. If you think ANY of those consequences are irreversible and not worth the risk, then don't do it. Otherwise, the best antidote for anxiety is action.

Attachments are not a good enough reason to hold you back. Every great spiritual leader will tell you that inordinate attachments are a great impediment to spiritual growth. What are you attached to, anyway? Friendships, old memories, hope for the perfect family life. If you can really detach from those things in your heart, and then make a decision based on indifference to them, that will be the best decision, I think IMHO.

I think it was great for you to list all of those feelings--I applaud your honesty! So I hope you don't think I'm being dismissive of them, but I've felt them all myself. I'm not saying you should stay or leave, but I would not make a decision based on fear, anxiety and attachments to things that are illusory.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:55 PM
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Your list looks similar to what mine was a couple of years before I left. Except for the "friends" part -- we didn't have any friends; he had scared them all off.

When I left, there was no longer a list. I was fleeing for my life. My advice is to not wait that long.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:28 AM
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No judgment here. I've been in my own situation for 6 plus years and have stayed for my own reasons. But I believe each of us has a tipping point - it just depends on what yours is.

One thing that you may want to ask your self is - would you want (your life) for your children?

Although I knew in my heart of hearts that I deserved better and that I was not planning on living the rest of my life in my situation, how it was effecting my children is what helped me to make my decision sooner then later.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:01 AM
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One thing that helped me, too, was to imagine myself, years from now, still living in the same nightmare. What kind of advice would I want to give my past self? Would I tell that poor, confused, person to get out now so she doesn't have to waste more years of her life?
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:08 PM
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You know though..for me, it's lonelier being married to someone, and having them completely emotionally unavailable. It's lonelier because if I go do something with the girls, I either have to bring the younger kids with, or make sure I'm home before oldest son(he's 15) goes to bed. The last time I just brought youngest with though, I heard(during a drunken rant) about how I had to be making friend and son up, they don't exist, I had to have been with some guy instead. Even though he's met this friend and her son. I brought it up a few days later, and he denied ever saying it. So really, I guess I'm supposed to stay home and wallow in self-pity and alcohol like he does.
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