Been willing to go to therapy and also be as kind to my struggles as I had been to his. And also not allowing his parents interject in our marriage.
I was married to the sweetest man. He was just.. always trying to prove himself to the world, always unhappy with his achievements, thinking he was not masculine enough, quite a nervous demeanour.. I can’t really explain. He also drank more and more over the years. By the time we turned 40 we decided to divorce. We chose to not have children, so we felt it was fine to just let each other be. We’re still friends, although over the past 4 years since the divorce we did grow apart of course. But we see each other regularly still. Then.. a few months ago, he told me he went into therapy. Because as a child he had been sexually abused by a ‘friend’ of the family.
So there it is. I wonder ever since he told me that if he had confided in me or had gotten therapy earlier, in any way let this ‘secret’ out, we would’ve stayed together. It makes me sad, all of it.
Absolutely nothing. We married young, and 8 years later we were fundamentally different people who would’ve never talked to each other in the first place, had we met then and there. Some marriages are not meant to last.
If he would have:
1. Gone to therapy and done the work
2. Had regular, annual reviews of our finances and been willing to work with me on a financial plan
If his family would have noticed that they were working against me, and our marriage, when they supported his pathetic, man-baby behavior.
They ‘get it’ now that he’s living with them.
Being aware that marriage should be us as a unit, not me vs them. It took me awhile to process the lesson, but I did better the second time around.
Should have been more aware of the them. I was a selfish prick. Emphasis on the was, as it’s been nearly 20 years and I have grown up a lot.
Never let contempt or resentment grab hold of either one of you. Whatever it is, fix it ASAP. Be vulnerable, be respectful. Once that contempt sets in, it’s pretty much over.
I used to travel 150-200 days a year for my international recruitment job. I would be gone to Asia or Latin America for a few weeks and then come back for a week, but I was never really present when I was at home because I was so tired. I never cheated on her when I was on the road (like a lot of my colleagues did), but that really wasn’t enough to keep the marriage going. She developed interests outside of the marriage and it ended.
I think i should have turned down a few of the travel opportunities with my job to balance things out and be more present. But the money was so good, I thought that would ultimately make us happy.
Hiring a house cleaner and having a list of handy men. I was stuck with all the chores and a full time job. It was exhausting and I got crabby. He’d be lying on the sofa smoking weed and there was no way I could convince him to help out. It did not occur to me that there are people you can hire to do all that stuff.
ProTip: If you and your partner have a good income and are both employed, hire people to clean the house, mow the lawn and do handyman stuff.
She really needed to work on her mental health, and refused to do so until I had been checked out of the relationship for about 4-6 months at that point. Had to deal with 3 years of temperamental mood swings, her wanting a divorce every 6 months because I wasn’t making enough money when already working 60 hour weeks, then when I was working 80 hour weeks I wasn’t cleaning the apartment (only time I was home I was asleep, so wasn’t making it messy…) and spending enough time with her (… or spending it with her so I didn’t have time to make a mess or clean). Then she also required me to cook and do the dishes.
Finally I told her the next time she says she wants a divorce I was done because I was literally killing myself to attempt to make her happy. I was so dead inside I was done, and then when she said she wanted a divorce because I was no longer the bubbly guy that made her laugh and smile I just said okay, got up from the couch and went to bed. She was so pissed off over the next two months I only treated her as a roommate she tried lying about how abusive I was. Lost a lot of mutual friends to those lies until they realized she was living with me still instead of trying to get out (they offered her rooms and her parents had a spare room for her that they knew about).
All it would have taken though was her working on her mental health that just kept deteriorating and creating unrealistic expectations. I wish her the best, but I really feel bad for her future partners unless she makes significant changes; she is going to burn them to the ground with those expectations.
Will say within 2 weeks of her moving out my mental health was significantly better. Realized it when I took a lunch break (been WFH due to the virus) and stood up to make lunch I felt light, and this was because all the stress I had prior due to her had been lifted. Don’t stay in a shit relationship if it is literally causing you to feel weighed down by the stress of it.
ETA: Thank you to everyone that has messaged, replied, or upvoted this. All I can ask since this has to do with mental health is please seek help if you need it. If a loved one needs it like my Ex did try to work them towards that, but if they refuse to do not be afraid to walk away. It does not mean you are weak, but instead strong beyond your imagination for walking away from someone you love that refuses to seek the help they need.
For men, do not be afraid to seek mental health help. You are so incredibly brave by doing so. I am proud of you for taking that step.
For women, the exact same thing. So to both genders now that we got that out of the way. Take care of yourselves! You must take take of yourself before you can care for others. I love you all, stay safe, and stay healthy. I’ll try to reply to those messages that keep coming in.
Her realizing that the things I experienced during my childhood weren’t my fault and didn’t make me crazy or less of a man.
Her realizing that it is wrong to hold my prior suicide attempt from me dealing with my childhood issues over my head for almost twenty years and, during one difficult time, encouraging me to try again.
Her realizing that her mother sexually assaulting me was not my fault and not something I should be punished for every day for over a decade.
Myself not fucking up for the first half of our relationship would have been huge. I have no excuses, fucked up past or not.
Myself moving on sooner from the anger at my past and then present abuses. Even in my twelve good years I was quite the ass in response to her being quite the cunt.
Some relationships are doomed from the start. We made it almost twenty years where either one of us had every reason to leave.
I am thankful for the family we made.
If my ex didn’t give up in therapy, once we identified my personal issues and I started working on it, and things didn’t magically get better. it became apparent that she had issues to work on as well. her response was, and these words are burned into my heart forever…”no…. I don’t want to work on it anymore….im done”
It didn’t need “saving” it needed to be put down, and was. I needed saving and I was . Saving a marriage is not automatically a good thing.
Him hitting me and cheating on me less? I should have never married him. I thought I was “behind” other people my age in life, didn’t realize then that it’s not a race and people hit milestones differently. I learned from my mistakes and made a much better choice the 2nd time around.
Me: letting him know what was bothering me before it turned into irreparable resentment.
Him: getting a damn job. I put him through school (3 degrees, 8years) while he didn’t work. Then after he graduated he didn’t get a job for seven more years. He finally started working when we got separated.
We are still friends, but he’s still not responsible for taking care of himself.
The better question is now would I want to have saved my marriage? We divorced very amicably and I don’t look back on my ex with negative feelings.
Around the time was a bit different. I did feel like a failure and was frustrated with them.
Basically, I wish we had just waited a lot longer to decide to get married in the first place. My ex was like a good friend that I shouldn’t have really been married to, just been good friends with. I don’t know that they really wanted to be married to anyone, and I’m not sure we were quite the right marriage pair.
I’ve since realized that my parents were right: if you’re with someone you could be in a good marriage with, waiting won’t hurt anything.
When he listened to me the first 467 times I told him I needed more communication or it wouldn’t work. Apparently divorce was the only thing that made that particular lightbulb click for him
My first husband’s friends told him never to compromise or let me have what I wanted, because then he would have “lost” control of the relationship. That…went about as well as you’d expect, if the “first” in husband wasn’t a hint.
If her doctor wasn’t handing out opioid prescriptions left and right. Why does a psychiatrist** get to prescribe Norco?
It’s a bit of an ouroboros honestly. If I had stood up for myself and valued who I was and what I wanted more than the fear that he’d leave me and no one else would ever want me, I would have been a lot happier and more well adjusted. Then again, if I had been happier and more well adjusted, we probably never would have gotten together in the first place, or wouldn’t have lasted very long if we had.
If I had stopped drinking and he kept a stable job. But honestly we are both much much happier now so it was a good thing.
Literally just asked for a divorce yesterday.
She didn’t tell me she was unhappy for 2 years. I didn’t hear about any real thing she dislikes about the relationship until after she kissed someone else and by then she was too unhappy to work on it.
I never told her I was upset either, I would bury it until everything all came out at once. Created an environment where she always felt she was walking on eggshells and cultivated the fact that she could never communicate what she was feeling. So she felt unhappy, unloved (despite always hearing from me how proud I was of her, scratching her back, hugs, whatever) and decided to get that attention elsewhere.
Both sides at fault, communication though.
Edit: Didn’t intend to give a timeline here but there’s some confusion.
Wife and Guy work together for 2 years.
Guys wife decides to move family 4 hours away, guy quits job.
During last 5 weeks at work, Wife and Guy have play dates for our respective kids, he has two daughters, we have a son. They go to zoo, children’s museum etc. During this time, she and him sneak out every day after work to parking lot to Hug, because he’ll be leaving. (Weirdest part of the story for me)
Last day of Work, Guy kissed her. She enjoys it.
A week later they have another “date”, she brings my son to his apartment to help him “pack” the last of their things. They also walk a local river.
Guy Leaves. I confront wife about him and express my discomfort. She denies but we both agree we’re unhappy. We agree to work on it, go to therapy separately to work on some issues.
She texts him daily for four months, “Are you okay” “I miss you at work” etc sending him screenshots of our arguments. Updating him on where we go places “We arrived at “x” talk to you soon.
She literally never leaves the house. We’re always together or at work. They were always with kids. I’m 98% sure it was just the one kiss physically.
These are the things I’ve learned in 26 years, still married but almost divorced twice. Don’t sweat the small shit, it’s absolutely not worth it to either of you. Be willing to make compromises and look at the things from your partner’s perspective, or simply in a way that doesn’t place your views and feelings on a pedestal. Try your hardest not to be an uncompromising asshole, that’s also not worth it and both your lives will be much happier and more laid back. Be honest about your feelings and concerns etc. Try your hardest to support each other and work as a team through the difficulties in your relationship and your life and you will be able to conquer anything together.
If he hadn’t had an affair with my “best friend” that I’ve known since the 2nd grade. Her youngest daughter is definitely his, and their daughter is 7 months younger than our daughter. The only time we are all together the was at my Mom’s house at Christmas time for a couple of days.
I found out 8 years later that my God baby was my husband’s child.. we had been married 17 years then. We tried to make it work as roommates for the kids and we had just bought our first house, but it didn’t work and we had a bitter divorce.
A little bit of effort on his part. I’m a touchy feely person. If you want to make me happy just let me cuddle up into you. New bf gets that and does this on the daily. For the last two years of our marraige, my husband barely touched me. Not even an arm around the shoulder. There was about a foot of space between us when we went to bed.
I will happily do 90% of cleaning and household tasks if my SO is regularly giving me the physical affection that I need. The ex just didn’t get that. So on top of no physical touch, he did not do any cleaning around the house, never made dinner, never took out the garbage, nothing. Any type of effort into changing ANY of that and I would have stayed, at least for a little longer anyway. But I’m happy now, and getting everything I need so I guess that’s all that matters.
She discovered she was lesbian so I guess my transition to a woman.
UPDATE: I just checked with her and she does not think me as a woman would have checked her boxes.
Him doing the fucking dishes once in awhile and not lying to me constantly about money.
I should have been more viciously blunt in communication, which was my mistake, but I didn’t understand why I had to constantly tell a grown man to help with house and child care. We both worked and I was also going to school.
That said, divorce made him grow up a little. He’s an excellent father, has never missed a support payment, and we are better friends.
Him being honest about not wanting to marry me but doing so only because he didn’t want to ‘fess up to his mother that he wasn’t ready.
Me trusting my guts that told me that no 26-yo should have *that* kind of “friendship” with a 16-yo. (clarification: my then-soon-to-be-husband was the 26-yo, his “church friend” was the 16-yo. She knew me and knew about the wedding).
A lot of personal growth on my part before getting married… But that would have prevented marriage rather than divorce.
The first time, a driver’s license might have saved us. We met in college, married in grad school, and the “what’s next” started looming. He had a humanities PhD and was happy being a barista on an edge of town with no bus service, and he had no desire to learn to drive. Somehow that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I have to drive you to and from work every day because you just don’t want to learn to drive yourself? (Obviously the issues in the marriage were much more complicated but I remember that argument being one of the last.)
The second one, not sure anything could have saved that. He had crippling insecurity that resulted in seeking validation from other women, and lying about everything he could conceivably lie about out of weird self protection (he lied about making a sandwich for lunch when I knew we were out of bread). Found Tinder on his phone for the 3rd or 4th time (“just to make friends”) and I was done.
The third one… jk. Hasn’t happened.
Him: better communication, better active listening, not putting video games or sporting events above me and our two kids, keeping his dick out of other women, not pushing for a “swinger lifestyle”, not going through my phone because he thought I was guilty of the same things he was, keeping his mom and mommy issues out of our marriage, not being so controlling.
Me: better communication, not thinking that having kids could fix him, not allowing my ex-MIL to be as involved as she was, realizing we only truly got along when we were high, recognizing the signs of his controlling behavior when they started, listening to my mom when she said it was a toxic relationship.
ETA: honestly, we never should have gotten married. I was put in a position where I had nowhere to go at 18, besides moving in with him. We were truly never really a good match. Our love of weed and metal music is basically what our relationship was based on. We weren’t good for each other, and we didn’t help each other grow as people. I was afraid of him when he was angry, so I had a hard time standing up for myself. I put up with a lot of bullshit to avoid confrontations.
I checked out of our marriage about a year before it ended. We tried moving away from the awful area we lived in, in hopes that we could fix our relationship. It took less than a month for me to realize it wasn’t possible. In good conscience, I couldn’t kick him out without a car or a place to live, especially with having young children involved. I had to wait until we got our income tax return before I ended things. I knew our marriage was over in September that year, we got our tax return towards the end of February.
To be honest, I started an emotional affair in December of that year. I knew it wasn’t right, but again, it happened. There was a lot in life that I was missing that I found with someone else. I am now disgustingly happy in my second marriage, and we’re awaiting the arrival of our first child together in the next 3 weeks. Our communication is fantastic, he puts me and my kids first in his life (unless someone needs him more in the moment), and he wants to see me be the best me that I can be. We’ve grown a lot together and we make a great team. Neither one of us needs to be high or drunk to be happy with the other person. We always check in with each other to make sure we’re happy where we are.
Nothing could have saved it. I should never have gotten married. I’m the kind of person that is ok in small doses but horrible to be around for long periods. I just don’t like being around people. I tried but it was doomed to fail.
The most honest answer is that nothing could have saved it. The problems were too numerous and we were too young to make good decisions. However, if she had been able to hold down a job and had contributed to the home, maybe things would have gone differently. I think everything else would have destroyed us, but that was the ongoing issue that caused the most strife.
Better communication. I worked too much and didn’t really listen to her when she indirectly said not to work so hard. She got fed up and left for someone else.
If you are reading this trying to save your marriage, here is my advice. Let them know that you appreciate them. If you are bad at showing it maybe express that and work on it.
-Communication is first. Not just talking, but actively listening.
-compromise. He was very one sided. His way only. Not even his way or the highway (because he won’t LET me leave). His way ONLY. Every single issue that came up I would communicate until my face turned blue but he refused to acknowledge my side of things. He wanted what he wanted. The end.
-intimacy. I just wanted to feel loved and desired. Honestly I could put up with all other other stuff. But not feeling appreciated or valued and never being touched has ruined my self esteem. I feel as though I lack any value. My opinion hasn’t mattered (as seen in point two) and I’m not even desired. I can’t remember the last time he even touched me.
More communication with me and less focusing on her family problems that she always tried to solve for them. My ex and I were together for 5 years she was 29 at the end and I was 27.
My ex’s dad cheated on her mom 10 years ago but they decided to stay together. However they would never be able to make decisions on simple things like paying property taxes or the mortgage payment. As a result every other month her parents always argued and end up threating about leaving each other and what not. Where my ex would then go over every day for a week to try to be the middle person and talk to them individually to calm the waters.
Her sisters were ages 21, 23, 25 and all had bachelors degrees with full time jobs. However, they chose to never want to contribute for paying bills or anything. As a result her parents paid their cell phones, internet, car insurance and her mom would cook for them.
What caused everything to end was when my ex parents wanted to buy a new house. They asked her siblings that live with her parents if they could co sign on the loan, they all said no because they didn’t want the responsibility. As a result my ex volunteered to do it, I was supportive with the condition that her parents would charge her siblings “rent” of $500 to lighten the load on her parents for the mortgage and other bills. (This all took place in Texas so the $500 seemed reasonable). Her siblings said no and the parents refused to enforce that. However her sisters loved to live this unrealistic life of having nice things, going out to eat, driving 30 miles for a coffee at some hipster coffee shop and all bought new cars in the previous years. So they clearly money was no issue.
My ex said she couldn’t make them do that and she would cover the mortgage payments if for some reason her parents couldn’t pay. I told her I didn’t agree with that, they shouldn’t be buying a house in that case then if they can’t afford. But my ex’s reply was: I need to do this for my parents relationship…at this point i knew that was her priority instead of our own relationship.
Other thought: I never shared that story with people until now, but now I realized how miserable I was…
My wife’s boyfriends not showing up at the house while I was home
If I was actually a man. Didn’t find out until after we had a child together that he was actually into men.
Communication has already be mentioned a lot so I’m going to toss in Respect for what each person brings to the relationship. We tend to inflate what we bring and down play what the other contributes.
Let’s use a generic, if maybe outdated, example: One person goes to work and earns the money while the other stays home and cares for the kids/house. The worker thinks they have the harder job because the responsibility to provide resources for the family is all on them. They see staying home and hanging out with the kids as the much easier task. The caregiver thinks they have the harder job because there is no start and end time. They are always on duty 24/7. They see going to work as a nice change of scenery, getting to interact with other adults and sitting all day at a desk.
Both roles are critical and they need to make sure they respect the value and challenges each role brings and faces. Lack of respect will erode the feelings of unity and eventually lead to a break down especially when the key component, communication, is not present. If your sex life is waning and there is no medical cause for it then that is your wake up call that you are not on the same page with your partner any longer.
P.S. the roles can be very different. One may be the dreamer that brings fun into the relationship while the other is the planner that makes sure the bills are paid. One may be the artist that make the house a home while the other is the engineer that keeps the pipes from leaking. The list is endless.
Probably if my ex wasn’t fucking all those dudes. The faintest attempt at fidelity would probably have done it.
He had a midlife crisis and began to think he was better than anyone else, so the prick got himself a younger model: “You would like her, she reminds me a lot of you…”
We grew apart.
It was, however, the most amicable relationship, marriage, childbirth and divorce that you could imagine, even 10 years later.
Hell, I go to Spain and stay in their house, I’m best-friends with my ex-father-in-law (we often holiday together), and they do the same when they come back to this country.
Grown adults don’t need to be bitter to split up, they don’t need to be nasty to each other after parting, they don’t need to avoid each other for the rest of their lives, and there doesn’t need to be anything “wrong” for you to realise that – even after a decade and a kid – it just isn’t working any more.
If she fucked less dudes.
Or if she had listened to either of the counselors we went to for therapy.
She still can’t see to this day it was her fault at all and has driven many people away. Some people are just shitty people and have their own realities in their heads.
First: If she hadn’t been an alcoholic. Second: If she hadn’t been a sociopath con artist who stole my retirement, and left me over $100,000 in debt.
We got married for all the wrong reasons, baby, he struggled with addiction and I thought baby and marriage would save him.
Narrator: it didn’t.
About a year after we split, he got sober. We are now best friends and great co-parents.
*Edit* to answer the question, our marriage likely would’ve been saved if he hit rock bottom sooner, but my rock bottom with him came before his rock bottom with drugs. That being said, I’m also definitely a lesbian, who had suppressed it for a long time, so I think eventually that would’ve come to light and our marriage would end anyway.
Not saved my marriage, but saved me from marrying (the first time): knowing my own core values and understanding my partner’s core values.
My first marriage lasted nearly 10yrs as we existed in parallel, as parents. Our goals and more fundamentally, our values, never aligned. We were in our early twenties when we married and didn’t know enough to have those discussions. We weren’t really introspective enough to even define our own values. While there’s always compromise in any relationship, I struggled with the compromises that infringed on my values. I realized this in couples therapy.
My second marriage has a much stronger foundation. We both value education/learning, personal growth, community (and community service), integrity, adventure, authenticity and compassion. I feel very at peace in my relationship even though we are both driven individuals. We both turn toward each other when there are external stressors and we are committed to the relationship. We are open with each other and curious to know the other person. We admire and respect one another. It’s quite nice.
I chose poorly – twice. I could blame my two former spouses, and both could certainly point their fingers at me. Few relationships involve one ‘great’ partner and one ‘bad’ one. Both parties usually contribute to the meltdown.
But in the end, I picked these women. That’s on me. I spent a significant amount of time solo after Round 2, and I’ve learned a lot about what makes these kinds of women (and people in general) attractive to me. Now I avoid these types. I’m learning…slowly…but learning.
I was willing to work on it and he wasn’t, so the only thing that could’ve saved it was him realizing he was a major part of the problem. My ex was a narcissist who was basically having an emotional affair with his daughter. He was emotionally and sexually abusive to me. I was the primary money earner but I was allowed no knowledge or control over our finances, so we were always “broke”. I became very depressed and couldn’t afford to get help. At one point I found an affordable marriage counselor but he didn’t want to put in the time or the work on himself. Eventually he couldn’t handle being around me anymore because my depression was so bad and he wanted out. (At least he said he did, but I think it was just another manipulation tactic.) Because of my religious upbringing, I didn’t think divorce was an option, but I’m so glad he gave me the out. Once I felt like saving the marriage was impossible and out of my hands, I managed to get the divorce finalized within two weeks. I feel horrible for his little girl, and wish that sweet child the best. But I hope he never finds happiness.
My wife told me I gave her the gift of bitterness. So maybe if I hadn’t done that things would’ve been fine.
If we were committed to treating each other as the partners we were supposed to be. He didn’t understand that he doesn’t get final say just because he’s older. Also though it was likely not his intention, he wasn’t super nice to me. He would talk down to me and treat me like my feelings don’t matter. For years, I just took it. Mostly. I’d get upset and tell him I wasn’t willing to be treated like this for my whole life but then I wouldn’t do anything more about it, and that’s on me. I got to the point where I just didn’t want to deal with it anymore. It was no longer worth it because after years of that, I no longer loved him.
**sorry the tenses are weird, we’re actually going through it now and it’s a lot.
Couldn’t be saved. Everything they said/did was duplicitous. Married to my true soulmate now.
My ex husband divorced me because I wasn’t ready to have kids and he wasn’t willing to wait. Although I told him before we got married it wont be soon as I wanted to focus on my career first
I would like to think if they had just agreed to couples therapy. And just talked to me instead of at me.
If she still cared, even a little bit.
It leaves me wondering if she cared at all.
I told her 2 weeks ago that I was moving out.
The first thing she said was: “Well I guess that means I’m going to loose my house!”
Stone fucking cold.
Nothing. We were too young and I pitied him. I truly thought he would mature if I tried to love him. He didn’t mature until long after the divorce and after his prison sentence. Abusive alcoholics and drug abusers don’t change until they personally want to.
Communication. My ex avoided conflict so would never express her unhappiness. She just started cheating instead. In hindsight, most of our marriage was a lie and I beat myself into the ground trying to make happy a person who was incapable of real happiness. So nothing could have saved it.
Not knocking up a 19 year old when we were in our 30’s might have helped.
Son of divorced parents here. I think we would still be a family if they would’ve got a home of their own and got rid of the in-laws.
Remember, first a home, then maybe a car, and then the marriage.