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Divorce Is The Easy Way Out.

From time to time we see the claim that "Divorce is the easy way out". Those writing this insist that they are made of sterner stuff and will not take this "easy" resolution of their issues.


As a person who has survived two divorces, I imagine these people would look on me with pity or contempt.  Maybe both . . .   The following is my story - the story of why I think "divorce is easy" is a false statement.


I cannot speak for others but I can say that, for me, divorce was the most difficult and heartbreaking thing I ever did.   And I speak as a person who has survived many other serious life challenges that have brought their own shares of grief and pain. 


For me, the challenges of divorce were the same as those that face most people.  I truly loved both my husbands.  I made my commitment to them (at different times!) with the absolute intent of honouring my vows and of being their loving partner for life.  Leaving someone you love is very VERY painful - and, regardless of the other issues, very hard to do.


I was a single parent the first time - my children were six and seven years old.  I had a part time job.  I owned nothing - not a home, not a car, just some old second hand furniture.  At that time (thirty years ago) divorce laws were in their infancy with regards assets and child support.   I struggled mightily with very little financial or other help from my Ex.


My parents in law and other in-laws discarded me and my children like dirty rags.  The pain this caused me was largely for my children's sake.  I fought the urge to tell my parents in law about the numerous affairs and the physical and emotional abuse I suffered at the hands of their son.   At the time I felt it was not right to come between them and their child - today I may not have the same scruples!


After several years of struggling alone and coping with a series of other family disasters, I married my second husband.  By now my children were twelve and thirteen years old.


My second husband was (is) a very different person from my first husband.  He loved me - and still does.  He was (and still is) a good step-father to my children.  But he came complete with his own set of serious issues.  And I bought into this situation without sufficient awareness of how his very differences (from Husband No One) were in themselves red flags - albeit for different reasons.


I was so glad to be loved (and to love) a man who did not cheat on me, that I did not realise that he was without any interest in sex or intimacy.  I was so pleased to marry a man who was not a spendthrift or a heavy drinker, that I did not realise his need to control everything would seriously impact EVERY aspect of his life - and thus of our relationship and of my life.


In some ways it was harder to leave the second time - he was/is a "good man" and his issues are deep seated and apparently beyond his ability to deal with.  I thought, as many of us do, that I "could not leave over something as minor as sex".  That was back in the days when I thought "everrything in the marriage is great except for the sex" . . . I've come a LONG way since then!


Yet leaving my first marriage was really WAY more difficult, because I was so much younger and my experiences of life had not prepared me as much as I was prepared the second time.  I had good reasons to go - abuse is abuse.   But I dreaded separating my children from their father; I was terrified of being financially totally responsible for my family.  I feared the rejection that occurred with his family and some of our friends.  And I simply did not know if I could SURVIVE the stresses these things placed on me.


But I did survive - twice.  I raised my children.  I earnt my living.  I cared for my children and other family members.  I remained on civil terms with my first husband's family for the sake of my children.  I progressed in my career.  I made new friends.  I faced and overcame new challenges in my life.


Was it "easy"?  HELL NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Would it have been easier to stay in either of the marriages?  Maybe - I certainly stuck at both for FAR longer than I should have, when I look back on them now.


Was it all my husbands' faults?  No.  I accept that I was (am) far from perfect and that I overlooked red flags and accepted all sorts of behaviour that should have clearly indicated to me that my marriages were on shaky ground.  I stayed for years because I believed things would get better if I "just tried harder".   I didn't realise (the first time round) that you cannot fix something if your spouse is not prepared to cooperate.


Now that I am out of my marriage and living a blissfully happy life  with Baz, I sometimes hear from people:   "Well, it is all right for YOU . . . but I am facing xxxxxxxxxx and yyyyyyyyy and zzzzzzz.  That makes MY situation so much harder / more difficult / not NEARLY so  easy as it was for you!"


Well, as one of my friends would say: "Whoop De Doo!"   It was NOT easy for me.  It was NOT something I could do without a great deal of pain and heart break.  I did NOT have any reassurances of success before I left either marriage.  I forged my way, sometimes well and often by making more mistakes.  At various times I was lonely; ashamed; financially broke and heart-broken for the sake of my children.


So, if YOU are considering leaving your marriage, know this.  It is NO cake walk!   It is NOT "easy to divorce".  There ARE no guarantees of success or happiness or anything else.  Life is what YOU make of it - and even with your best and finest efforts, it may fail to take you where you want to go . . . .


But if you choose not to divorce, then you would be wise to have some pretty good strategies in mind for re-inventing your present relationship.  Because without these you will be living a miserable life - and not even have the hope that being free of such a relationship brings.


My purpose in writing this story is not to boast about my success.  Rather, it is to show you that you CAN survive and make your life better and happier.  And that divorce is NEVER "easy", but sometimes it is the better choice open to you.
enna30 enna30 56-60, F 34 Responses Jul 13, 2012

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Enna - I am at that crossroads right now. Divorce… yet, scared because I love my kids so much. I am not worried for me or for her… but for them. I want to be happy again and I don't want them to endure ANY pain I may cause them trying to get there. That's my sticking point as we speak.<br />
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Here's to me having clarity in the near future.<br />
<br />
VK

Good to see you back. You only walk this journey alone if you choose to.

VK: Your love for the kids won't change, only the ways in which you might show it. Lao Tzu has written nicely about this, so check out his stories.

Missed you, friend...glad to have you back...well, sorry you have to be back....oh, you know what I mean!!

XO

-MR

VK, I'm delighted to see you again - but sad you still need to be with us. Like PM and MR, please know your old friends are here to support you. And Lao is a great person to PM with about this issue - he has great clarity about most things and especially this one. {{{hugs}}}

Yes. Kids are the hardest thing. I asked myself what kind of role model did I want to be. I also know that there is no research that says divorce does not badly affect them. It will be really painful for them. It will affect their future and future relationships. And you can't live in that much pain (or at least I couldn't) and be the best dad you are capable of being. Feel for you buddy. Check out the Imago work by Harville Hendrix before you make your final decision.

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I agree divorce is one of the toughest things I've done... and possibly about to do again... the first relationship was horrible... the second lacks physical, emotional and for the last three years sexual intimacy... I've talked till I'm blue in the face but with no response... just reaction... so I've been evaluating it with a good therapist and I'm learning even more about me... it may be time to leave again... which really saddens me... so yes it is really tough and for those who consider it fully really hard and painful... not something I do lightly

I always thought that it's too easy to get divorced. But I can only speak for my life and marriage. I've survived two affairs, yet something keeps me hanging on, something tells me to tough it out. I've been justified to walk away many times. I'm so Fraid of making a mistake that I will always regret.

Problem is, that the choice you are living right now is highly likely to be one that you will (later on) regret.

So true! Stormy, challenge your thinking. What is so "good" about your unhappy marriage? What would you seriously regret if you DID walk away?

Thank you Enna

WHAT? When did this happen? I go for a month and you hook up with BAZ????<br />
I'm joking,thanks for the insight, as if I wasn't terrified all ready!.

Thank you enna... There are some great thoughts to consider,,,,

Enna-<br />
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I have also been married twice - once in my 20's and once in my 30's. My situation was slightly different as my X and I had no children. But he was a philanderer and emotionally abusive. I was lucky to get out with only debt and the emotional scars, some of which I still carry. I also struck out on my life and career and made my way on my own.<br />
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I also though my current H was so different than my first. He was loving, kind, gentle and honorable. Sadly, he also has issues that are not readily identifiable nor easily fixed. So, we have lived a parallel life in many ways.<br />
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Leaving any marriage is difficult - one of the most difficult challenges of life. The other day I was with a girlfriend who said, "You know there are so many people who will never be brave enough to do what you are doing at your age." I don't know if it's bravery or lunacy, but living the rest of what I imagine will be a very long life without intimacy is a not a condition I can continue. <br />
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I make the choice to live a life that I wish to live - and choices always have consequences. <br />
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There is no easy path. The pain of staying was killing me - and the pain of reinventing the family I've so savored for 25 years also feels like death. <br />
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But, the choice I make is mine - right or wrong, good or bad. Time will tell.

MTT, I have often thought we were "twins"! So much of our experiences reflect those of each other! I agree with your girlfriend - you ARE brave! And I think in many ways, it IS like a death. Especially when your partner is essentially a "good person". I have great confidence in your common sense and wisdom, so I'm sure you ARE making the right choice! {{{hugs}}}

There is NO "easy way" of ANY of the choices open to resolve a dysfunctional marriage.<br />
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Whereas this story focuses on torpedoing the "divorce is the easy way out" lie, it needs to be said, in CAPITALS, that the other options are NOT EASY EITHER.<br />
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enna30, you have written this sory about the difficulty of the divorce option.<br />
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You have also written one ("Outsourcing Your Needs") about the cheat / affair / open marriage option which is terribly difficult too.<br />
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Best you (or some-one) round it out with a piece on the "staying" option.<br />
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It seems to me that any "Newbie" needs to know that there is no "easy" option. NONE. ZERO. ZIP. <br />
<br />
There is NO "magic bullet".<br />
<br />
What there IS, is hard unremmitting difficult painful work ahead of you - WHICHEVER one of the uniformly shithouse options available.<br />
<br />
The main saving grace of the horrendously difficult divorce option, is that it brings things to a full stop. An end. A conclusion. A finish. An end. An outcome.<br />
<br />
And from that, one can move on.<br />
<br />
The staying option, the outsourcing option, do NOT offer this. They only offer a distraction, a defferment of dealing with the dysfunctional situation. They do not deal with the underlying problem.<br />
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And, the rare rare "tear down and rebuild" option probably warrants a piece as well. <br />
<br />
Tread your own path.

So many good comments here it's tough to add much. I will say that I find that not only is divorce NOT the easy way out but many times staying in the marriage is actually the easy way out. People have all kinds of excuses to stay in a lousy marriage; "for the kids" or "I can't afford to leave" and many others, but really it's to avoid the difficulties of leaving and fear of the unknown. Often one or both parties will not make the necessary efforts to make the marriage livable "for the kids" and this is the ultimate act of cowardice; they don't make any tough decisions, they don't make tough efforts, then they can be martyrs since they threw away their whole life for the kids, poor them.....Leaving a marriage is horribly difficult; I did it for my kids and I didn't even like my ex, but it was still a horrible experience. People are free to make their own decisions and if their decision is to stay that's their business but anyone that would simply say that divorce is the easy way out is sitting on a self righteous soap box to make themselves feel better. Good luck, it sounds like you're strong and have survived!

According to Jewish law, I can divorce my husband if he doesn't have sex with me---and I've reminded him of that! I'm not religious, but I am very proud that's in the ketubah, or marriage contract, that is signed in every Jewish wedding.

There is no absolute comparison between divorce and staying that is independent of the person/s involved. People usually choose what's less painful to them. Perhaps they do not look ahead as many years as they should. That's all.

Nice read here. Appreciate you posting this<br />
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I feel that if a couple does not take the time to do some therapy and to get to the root of what their individual problems are and then renegotiate the relationship and do couple therapy if needed then they are taking the easy way out with divorce. I am sure that this is the reason bitterness worsens after a divorce.<br />
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It was the case in my first marriage.<br />
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This one I have spent a long time learning what type of personality my wife is and now identifying my personality as we speak with the help of our psychologists.<br />
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I feel that once my wife understands me from my personality standpoint we will have the knowledge to work on us in a much more effective manor . <br />
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I fear the divorce is inevitable knowing she is who she is but if I just split and bail on it I will most likely not get all resolved issues delt with and bitterness during and after a divorce will be the case. <br />
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If we run this corse she and I will be able to resolve our differences and if we can not establish a redefined relationship that we both can recognize our areas needed for change are met then at that point we will know we did the work needed to make a joint decision of divorce. <br />
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If she does not get it and does not work at it with this approach then it will be all my decission to make and I know that I did the right thing to its entirety.<br />
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My first divorce just ended with me bailing and it turned out to be the right thing for me no doubt. She and I did not do the right work and the kids picked up the tab for it. Not good at all.<br />
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We don't understand why our loved one hold out sex on us but there is a reason, so if they look at the there selfs with the right help taht answer will come out. If we are supportive in there efforts, just then something good might happen?<br />
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I know a lot of you will disagree and that is understandable. When we are abused to a point sometimes there is no return. <br />
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I operate on a lot more hope than I should but know what codependency is and how it has landed me where I am in this relationship I know if I get a grip on me and the wife learns our dynamic for a mix then maybe my hope will pay off. If not then I will by then be much more understandable of change and be able to avoid from getting myself into another bad relationship.<br />
<br />
Good luck!

I very much support the idea of doing as much as you can to remedy the situation - and I am in favour oftherapy. I particularly like individual therapy, because it can help each of us understand ourselves so much better. However, in a marriage, it takes two people who want to "fix" it before you can make real progress in that direction.

Yes it does take both to fix it! I hope my wife will go with the flow when it comes time. She has been in a whole lot of therapy so it's not new to her. Her deal is personality type. Personalities are what they are.

I really enjoyed reading your column, and was very drawn into your pain by the excellent way you write - you definitely have a talent for expressing yourself. I am also headed for a divorce - currently separated, and am encouraged by the forward looking perspectives of the replies you received. I guess I have to admit that I also am motivated by trying to save what there is of me, rather than stick out what is a common situation in this article, of oppression and abuse. It's interesting that as time goes by, I realize that I was meant to be in intimate relationship (and I think most of us are), by way of the pain, loneliness and difficulty of reinventing myself, by myself, I'm experiencing in this separation. And yet, it does not succeed in convincing me I made a mistake in separating, although I second guess myself a lot, up to the point of sitting bolt upright, and coming to the stark realization, what am I thinking - of course it's not going to work! What am I a glutton for punishment?!! Hugs to you, and thanks again...

I think part of the reason people say this is divorce is certainly EASIER than it used to be. No longer do you need to catch someone in adultery or have a full trial or an identified co-respondent. No longer does a woman have to relinquish property and her children or languish abandoned for without the possibility of re-marriage. Thank heavens for 'no fault'. <br />
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Marriage should be difficult to get out of. Contracts are sticky for a reason. We should have pause before we abandon ship. Certainly no one I've seen writing in this group has walked away from their marriage with a shrug, but some people do. <br />
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But I do think it's easier to look back and say "I made it. It was hard, but I did it." than to look forward and wonder if you can. <br />
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And some people's circumstances are more difficult than others'. My mom divorced my dad. I'm sure it wasn't easy, but she had a house she could move into and support from my grandfather who did school runs and financial support and did housework and did stuff with us. I live in another country in one of the most expensive cities in the world with no family support. On the other hand, I'm not destitute, I have skills a professional network and a healthy child. Other people have it worse than me.

When I decided to pull the pin, the stbx accused me of giving up on our marriage, of destroying it, of not trying to make it work. There was a tantrum and more. I said nothing. Three years of counselling and prior to that, talks, counselling and books, etc. More than fifteen years of apparently not trying to make things work. No, calling time is not easy and it is not done lightly.

Enna<br />
<br />
Never been through it and never likely to be, yet even I know it can't be easy. Every time I exclaim to a poster here "Just get out!" I do it knowing it can't be easy, it isn't going to be easy, for all the reasons you quote and maybe more.<br />
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It really infuriates me when people come out with trite, fatuous and vacuous one-liners like that. It just smacks of a lack of any real concern, any real consideration. It smacks of a holier-than-thou attitude, superiority, condescension, "Here now, pleb, I know what's best for you."<br />
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You can either ignore, it, find inordinate levels of tolerance, smile and say "You're not really helping", or you can just think "Why don't you **** off and die", preferably with a fixed grimace-smile.

If divorce were easy, this forum would be a hell of a lot less active.<br />
<br />
But like the lawyer I spoke to said, "I'm not a "Fan" of divorce, I'd rather it didn't have to be done...but the same as a doctor sometimes needs to amputate the limb to save the patient, I do what's necessary".<br />
<br />
Sometimes amputation is what it takes to live.

Thank you for this, enna. <br />
<br />
I am still married, and I grapple daily with the feeling of "Don't be so weak and so willing to 'give up' on 23 years of marriage." <br />
<br />
Give up? Am I really giving up because I've had it up to my eyeballs with a lack of sex, lack of intimacy, lack of connection, lack of family participation, lack of interest, ****** attitude, ****** behavior? No. <br />
<br />
Did I do all I could to "save" the marriage? I don't know. But I do know that it took every ounce of strength I had to not put a gun in my mouth when I realized I was stuck in a sexless marriage and that my sex life (with my husband) was over and I was only in my early 40s. It took every ounce of strength to get up in the morning and take care of everyone in the universe while I suffered. It took every ounce of strength I had to not bad-mouth my husband in front of others because of his neglect. It took every ounce of strength I had to keep the household running (barely). It took every ounce of strength I had to claw my way through the severe depression I was in. <br />
<br />
So yes, I did do all I could to "save the marriage." I've never been the nagging type. I don't beg for affection. I don't beg for sex. If someone doesn't want to give it, that's their problem. I have no more strength left to fight for a relationship that will be tolerant at best. I have no strength to pretend I sexually desire someone I really would rather not be around. <br />
<br />
Let me tell you, it has been hard to STAY!! Divorce is not the least bit easy, but neither is staying in an unhappy situation.

Thank you for sharing this.. I only lurk in this group because I found EP, after leaving my marriage. It also wasn't a sexless marriage in so many words. He cheated, suffers from ptsd and depression, and is struggling with accepting/figuring out his sexual orientation. However, I find so much comfort in reading these stories in this group, and see the similarities. Stories like this give me the strength that I still need in these early stages that it's right, that i'll be ok, and that i am not bad for finally accepting that i can't fix my marriage by myself. i tried (especially when i thought it was all just due to his ptsd, and depression). Once I learned the whole story, it didn't take me long to leave... but i think because of that, my processing is happening on the other side of it. I was one that believed that you did whatever it took, and divorce just wasn't an option unless he asked for it. And he wasn't going to ever do that..for fear of losing our boys (which is ludicrous), but also because he had the best of both worlds... Now that i'm facing divorce (eventually it is inevitable - we're not rushing it as there are financial benefits to staying married, but seperated for now (military posting us back home next year), and it seems like everytime i'm on facebook somebody else is posting a photo of an old couple with a quote about how they're from a time when you fixed something that was broke - and i just want to scream. Now i get it - you can't fix something on your own, you can't fix something when it's just the way they were born, and you shouldn't have to deny yourself happiness. Anyways - thank you again for your words and letting me lurk...

It's good to be happy....for however that means, for whoever finds it.

It's good to be happy....for however that means, for whoever finds it.

It's good to be happy....for however that means, for whoever finds it.

It's good to be happy....for however that means, for whoever finds it.

It's good to be happy....for however that means, for whoever finds it.

Divorce is never easy but sometimes it is the only way to make a decent life. My own divorce was not easy and now that I am out, I can say it was the right thing to do. I sleep alone but I was doing that anyway in my marriage. At least now I do not have the pain of having someone close to me physically but not sharing any part of themselves.

Much of the "Religious" to-do is the devotion the the idea that exiting a marriage is "breaking ones vows", that the marriage was blessed and the union somehow also entered into by the god/God that has his book in the building the faithful meet in, and that (for Christians at least) Jesus commanded that only for the cause of Adultery by the other party could one leave the union and re-marry.<br />
<br />
Ummmm.......<br />
<br />
Addressing Vows and the use of the word adultery (fornication in some translations)...<br />
<br />
#1 An abusive spouse that does not his/her responsibilities to the marriage has already broken their vow just not the same one folks quote at us here. (for better or worse ...yeah it was there......but so was love, honor and cherish.) Is the breaking of vows limited in the scope of breaking marriage to only those involving getting some elsewhere....seems sketchy?<br />
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#2 The original words used by Jesus and reported on by at least two of the disciples in attendance was not the word that translated only as adultery to the marriage itself.<br />
for an explanation that I find satisfactory read link - http://christiandivorce.1hwy.com/<br />
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#3 In another verse we are cautioned that defrauding each other (by denial) is equally to be avoided as it causes the incidence of the word used in my point #2 - to increase - thus the denying party is causing the problem - and the refused is not by any just interpretation the guilty party. And may then still under the understanding of the actual wording - take advantage of the relief offered under point #2.<br />
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I am a Christian....you may choose to berate me for that choice if you like. I will not in turn berate you for any other choice. I also note that it was the intolerant "religious leaders" who measured even a tithe against their table salt, that then laughed at a widow that gave her last two pennies. (A person of lower social stature who very likely had never had salt as it was very expensive) .....It was the "religion legal minds" that he often was most angry with. That is was these same idiots that he reckoned with, on the very chapters those that would burn a divorced person at the stake will quote. I think he would have been very careful to reply so as to eliminate their trap.<br />
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The religious leaders of today are not different - and their argument still is made to increase themselves.<br />
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The translations were done some 400 years after....and by persons that would later imprison folk for not embracing a flat earth theory......think about it......huh?

Thanks for sharing your feelings and emotions and thoughts.<br />
I have been in a sexless marriage for 41 years with the person that shares my "path".We have 3 kids and 8 grandkids.We share an incredible story but we do not share what we do not.<br />
It can be done.We respect each other and share our kids and grandkids and have avoided the divorce pains.<br />
I am a crossdresser and she was raped twice as a child.<br />
We also share God and the knowledge that we did decide to share this life experience.<br />
Their is a way to get the sex and maintain a relationship.Maybe you should try living your life with sex and be happy also.<br />
Best wishes.<br />
Sincerely<br />
Louise CD

A wholehearted "woohoo!" to you and your success. Your maturity, intelligence, and sincerity resonate in this post, and in others. Happy for both you and Baz...

Your comment "For me, the challenges of divorce were the same as those that face most people. I truly loved both my husbands. I made my commitment to them (at different times!) with the absolute intent of honouring my vows and of being their loving partner for life. Leaving someone you love is very VERY painful - and, regardless of the other issues, very hard to do." <br />
I can relate with I truy loved both of my prior wives, and intented in honoring my vows and being a loving partner for life. And I still loved them when it was over, and it was painful. <br />
One thing I have learned, just because you love someone, does not mean you can live with them and be happy.

"We are not meant to be with everyone we love" - courtesy Vegas. This is a very true - and sad - statement.

Religion is one reason we hear this statement. Another reason is that some people convince themselves that they are staying because it is the "right" thing to do. Often this view of what is "right" is not actually their OWN view, but one they have adopted without thought from society's teachings. . . . <br />
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Many here start off with this unthinking adherence to society's mores, but once they challenge their own thinking and begin to REALLY think about their own situation, they realise there is little or no value in staying together just because "society" (or religion) say it is "better" to do so.<br />
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Is anyone a "better" person for withstanding an awful marriage? For suffering daily through lack of emotional closeness and sexual intimacy? There may well be arguments for staying together (such as kids, finances, etc.) but to hold the view that you are somehow a "better" person because you have not chosen to leave your marriage is flawed thinking IMO.

I was so caught up in the religious side. Drilled into me from a young age. Nothing against those who still choose to go that route but I no longer understand the idea behind living a lie. Being in denial about what you want out of life and refusing to say it's just not working out. My mom and I discuss it here and there because she is soooooo against my decision to move on. I refuse to believe that God would require that I stay in an abusive marriage simply because I have no evidence that he has had an affair.

I don't care if people decide to stay in their marriage for religious reasons: that is their choice, and not mine to make. I do however feel irked when they then think they have the right to then sit in judgment and go "the easy way out". --- And, I am not tarring everybody with the same brush, there are lots of people who consider themselves Christians or Buddhists or whatever who do not take the dogmatic view, but actually bother to look at what's in front of them. f.w.i.w. hooray for them ;-)