I Don't Want This

my wife left after 17 years of marriage .  absolutely none of the usual culprits for ending a marriage, other than that we just grew apart.  i always hoped that we would reconnect somehow.  and i certainly had no worries about divorce because we both said our entire marriage that we were dead set against the idea.

no discussions about the possibility, no request for marriage counseling, no foreboding whatsoever.  Jan 4, 2008 she just grabbed the kids, went to her parents and filed for divorce.  the papers were served on my birthday.  she has treated me horribly in the past year by doing everything possible to try to alienate me from our children (twin boy and girl 9 yrs old).

she hasn't even spoken directly to me for over a year now.  i harbor no illusions whatsoever that she is the sole cause for this divorce or the sole culprit in everything that led to this.  i take my responsibility seriously.  but i can say with confidence that i took the advice given to me - to take the high road and never say anything negative about her to the children.  i am very proud of myself for returning love for hate, kindness for ill-treatment.  i'm not in any way normally complimentary of myself as a person but these things i recognize as truth - as my family and our mutual friends have said they are proud of me for accomplishing.

the first few months i was in literal shock.  emotional and physical.  i tucked my children in every single night.  i raised them for 8 1/2 years and am again confident by all accounts that i'm a good dad.  my son was my shadow from the day he could crawl.  and my daughter and i have a bond that only fathers of girls can fully appreciate.

i'm on disability and spent the first few months just barely surviving.  the grief was so overwhelming.  they are everything to me.  i love them so much.  and i feel robbed of being the head of my family.  for directing and teaching them.  for demonstrating to them the qualities they need to develop to be a positive influence on the people they touch throughout their lives.  now i'm just a every other weekend pseudo dad.  its still heartbreaking.  i don't get to be part of watching them experiencing every new thing on a daily basis.

i've recovered to some degree but still fight a profound depression every day.  i just haven't accepted this 'new life' yet.  i'm self-training to get certified as a medical transcriptionist.  it would be a perfect job in every way - especially in how i can provide well for my children and work from home and set my own hours which is key to resuming responsibility in spite of my disability.

they are an hour away, so i'm hoping that as i get my feet under me, get the house sold, etc.. that i can move much closer and get involved with their school, etc as much as i used to be.  right now i'm seriously dedicated to spending the necessary gas money to go see every soccer game, choir performance, etc.  i want to be in their memories as supportive and interested in *them* as much as possible.  even though i cry on the way home just about every time i have to leave - and when i have to drop them off from staying with me for a weekend.

i'm also determined that although my stbx has betrayed me and the children in the worst possible way and utterly abandoned me - that i will not give her permission to change my love for womankind.  i love femininity and everything about women.

i just have a hard time seeing myself trusting someone that much again - especially enough to get married again.  and i'm 48 and fairly unsure that me and my baggage would ever be desirable anyway.

so that's my story.  there's more to me but i just wanted to get this down and done.  i don't write long posts so this will be the last.  unless you want to talk about kids!

roadkil roadkil
46-50, M
2 Responses Feb 13, 2009

Loss always feels devastating in so many ways. If you grieve divorce as you would any other loss in your life it will help you and your kids in the long run. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/grief_loss.htm<br />
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Sorry about the loss of time and physical closeness with your kids, you sound like a great dad which will not change just because you are not there like before it just makes it different. As long as they know you love them and want to be with them if and when you can that is what's most important and they will remember that more then you being there every day. Very happy to hear you are not putting your kids through the hate/blame game most people who get divorced do. All it does is puts your children in a really no win situation and causes a continuation of a bad situation for them. That alone is half the battle the other half is grieving the loss of your marriage and learning to move on from it. Being alone doesn't have to be lonely so just take your time their is no reason to rush into a new relationship. Staying focused on making your life the best it can be for you and your kids is more important. Hope you get your house sold and are able to move very soon. Good luck getting certified as a medical transcriptionist sounds perfect since it travels well.

I can only imagine. The first time I left it wasn't in the best of ways. I am ashamed that I didn't fight harder for the marriage from the get go. I realized my mistakes about 4 months too late. Though we did get back together it only last 4-5 months and he was making plans to move off with some woman he had never met. Things have been very amicable with us but its still hard. Almost worse because you can see you do get along but that the other has no interest in making things work. <br />
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Baggage I guess is a normal part of it. I know I deal with that myself. But we just got to know that somewhere is somebody that will accept all the baggage. It helps to be healed from the divorce. Kids though I never considered baggage, they are simply gifts. I dated a guy long before I ever got married who had 5 kids, was 10 years older than me(though I found more immature LOL) too.