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Old 07-10-2014, 03:45 AM
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On Two Parent Families

For folks struggling with leaving a toxic relationship because of kids and social pressure: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/06/22..._r=1&referrer=
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:20 AM
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Florence...thanks for pointing out this article!

It is very thought provoking. I have noticed the delemma that some people on this forum have in trying to protect the children from addicted/abusive parents and how OBSTRUCTIVE the court system is to this process.

I'm glad that someone who is high-profile (nyTimes) is talking about it!

dandylion

p.s. I think we should all e-mail her a "thanks" for the article.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:42 AM
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That is a great article!!! Thank you for posting it, Florence! I normally detest the NYT but sometimes, even a blind hen finds a piece of corn...
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:56 AM
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Let me add this, too:

As a person who grew up in the church, this is one of the issues that has made it hard for me to continue going to church. The pastor who worked so hard at getting me to return to AXH (to the point of suggesting that I was mentally ill); the strong push for "marriage is a lifetime commitment"; the stigma that is still there in the church around being divorced.

I was recently invited to join a group but had to agree to a certain set of "commitments and behavioral standards" one of which was that I would keep my family intact at all costs and not be the one to initiate a family breakup through divorce. I told the woman who invited me that while I adore my husband and don't see us ever divorcing, I would not be able to commit to something like that, because I've been through one dysfunctional abusive marriage, and that I would never put myself through that again. I was uninvited to join.

Which led me to going on a long rant about how nice it must be to have your life be so perfect that you can't imagine anything that horrid ever happening to you, and how nice it must be to create a little club where everyone's perfect. I may or may not have had some thoughts about how I almost wished something really bad would happen to these people to teach them how little we are in control at the end of the day... because that's where my faith comes in. Not by being perfect, but by realizing how far from perfect I am, and how much I need my HP.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:26 AM
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Wow, that would send me right over the top lilamy.

I spoke to my pastor regarding leaving my XAH. He knows he cheated on me and he also knows of my husband's alcoholism. He encouraged me to do whatever I need to do to keep my family SAFE. He completely supports my decision.

I guess it's just finding the right church.....WOW.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:03 AM
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My mom is uber religious and is staying with me for a couple weeks. On day one, she started on a rant about how little girls without a father "in the home" are like, irreparably damaged because that's how they form their opinion of themselves? (wait, wtf?) Not that she thinks I did the wrong thing, she said, but children in single parent homes are obviously at a disadvantage and you can just TELL when a child "doesn't have a father in the home".
And I thought my head would explode. So, maybe I should have stayed with the drunk jobless man sleeping on my couch. I mean, he wasn't hitting me. Just taking my money and making no contribution at all. Because that would have been totally a good home model for my dd.

I lived with my parents fighting, being nasty, walking on eggshells my whole frigging life. They are together still. I remember them both discussing with us as children leaving the other. It was awful. Fighting and screaming all the time, everywhere. Hitting us, screaming at us, every time my mom would come home she would scream at me. I don't know why. There was always something I should have done that I didn't. Dinner wasn't started, dishes weren't done. Or something I did that was wrong, but I didn't know what/why. The store, restaurants, in front of family and house guests. All their weird religious hang ups, holiness standards, I couldn't do stuff because I was a girl and it wasn't "godly" for girls to do this or that. I hated living there with them. I thought about killing myself a lot because I felt so alone. Just like, black hole alone. I still can't resign the God side of their beliefs with the actions they had.

But yeah, now in her opinion MY kid is at a clear disadvantage because I don't live with mister no I can't get up to see my daughter before 3 pm, so I'll just squeeze a couple hours in on my one day off. No, I'm pouting that you are on vacation, so no, I won't answer the phone when she calls. Yeah, her life would be so much better if that guy were still living on my couch.
I was just like, I think that's a load of crap and I don't want my daughter to think that she needs to depend on the opinions of others to form her opinion of herself. That she is amazing and awesome and capable of making her own decisions, that her value isn't dependent on the opinions or actions of others.
Sorry for the rant, it's been rattling around in me for 2 days.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:42 AM
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^^^ I hear you. All my life my parents have acted like my accomplishments are invalid because I don't have a man at my side. Everything else is just a second to that uncompleted achievement. In their mind a woman's proper place is second and submissive to a husband, even a cheating, abusing husband.

It's a wrong-headed opinion. Wrong for kids, wrong for families. FUNCTIONAL households are to me the gold standard. Doesn't matter how many parents head it up, or what junk they have in their pants.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:13 AM
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That was so sad to read! I have seen the system work and fail within my family. Side note, I always thought it was strange when someone anounces that they have been married for XX amount of years. Everyone automatically applauds them assuming those were happy years I guess... We don't seem to get much applause when we leave an abusive marriage.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:29 AM
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now in her opinion MY kid is at a clear disadvantage because I don't live with mister no I can't get up to see my daughter before 3 pm
I have a friend going through a similar thing with her mom, Bodkin. Basically, her mom's message was "EVERYONE's unhappy so why do you think YOU should be different? Why don't you just do what the rest of us do and SUCK IT UP!?" -- which, I think, is the most horrid message to send your child.

I think her mom and yours both push the "children without a father are at such a disadvantage" agenda because they chose to stay in a ****** marriage and they need to justify that to themselves, somehow. To feel good about their choice. My friend told her mom, "Mom -- you made the choice to stay with dad, and that was your choice. I'm not criticizing that, so please don't criticize my choice to leave my children's abusive father. At the end of the day, I'm the one who has to live with my decision just like you're the one who has to live with yours."
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:34 AM
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I think her mom and yours both push the "children without a father are at such a disadvantage" agenda because they chose to stay in a ****** marriage and they need to justify that to themselves, somehow. To feel good about their choice. My friend told her mom, "Mom -- you made the choice to stay with dad, and that was your choice. I'm not criticizing that, so please don't criticize my choice to leave my children's abusive father. At the end of the day, I'm the one who has to live with my decision just like you're the one who has to live with yours."
Absolutely. And surprisingly once I left my alcoholic marriage, my mom started talking openly with me and my sisters about why she never left my dad, although she should have. Her answer: He was a good provider.

This was after crying to me multiple times about how we'd never had a divorce in our family (not true) and how I would be the first to "fail".

All this time it was about her own failure and what it would mean if one of us chose differently, how it would reflect on her choices, and how that affected us, etc.

Now she's all over me about how I can't date, presumably ever again, because it will ruin the children.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:37 AM
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Great article. It just burns me up. Why is it that anyone who can actually do anything to change this just buries their head to abuse and addiction? That is one thing I will never ever understand!
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:53 AM
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Now she's all over me about how I can't date, presumably ever again, because it will ruin the children.
Oh man. *sigh*
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:11 AM
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There are certain people who have opinions that we are forced to listen to. Sometimes it's best to see it as the quack it is, don't respond, and move forward in what YOU want to do with your own life.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:29 AM
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I love this article.

Its so true. I've looked at myself and thought that I was a failure if I left the father of my child. Somehow, I figured, this was taking away her experience of a whole family and it would be my fault.

But when I look at it like that, I'm reminded by myself or mother (2x divorced, rightly so) that its not me getting drunk every night. I'm the one that bathes, feeds, clothes, and teaches her, not "daddy" who can't be woken up to play or is too busy drinking while sitting on his boat in the driveway.

Its kept me stuck, I don't want to be looked down on for protecting my child's wellbeing. VA is very into the child having both parents in their lives, and often they over look the safety issues. My dad got full custody of my twin brother....and he got the same choking/punching and mental abuse that my mom received from my father. But...you know..."a boy needs his father"...
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bringiton View Post
Side note, I always thought it was strange when someone anounces that they have been married for XX amount of years. Everyone automatically applauds them assuming those were happy years I guess... We don't seem to get much applause when we leave an abusive marriage.


THIS is for all the folks I've seen here who have or are in the process of leaving a bad marriage/relationship and starting that journey towards being "happy, joyous and free", like the AA Big Book says.

A HUGE BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE to all of you!

(I originally put more clapping guys, but apparently SR will only let you use 5 smilies per post, so please feel free to multiply the clapping guys exponentially in your mind!)
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