Civil, Respectful Divorce? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Civil, Respectful Divorce?

I'm looking for input from those who have been through a divorce. My H always says "if anything happens to our marriage I hope you know I just want you to be happy, and for us to be the best we can for the kids".

Does this happen? Has someone experienced a scenario where you just don't fit any more, decide to divorce, and can be civil, respectful, communicative co-parents, who always have your kids' backs, never let them see you be negative to one another? Where you just pay the money you owe, share the parenting tasks, etc? I just need to know if this can or can't happen.

I'll add - I don't think my H is capable of this behavior despite these claims. Mostly just because, despite threatening divorce ALL THE TIME, he also won't file for divorce, stating that if it's going to happen it's on me - he won't be responsible for ruining our family. I'll have to be the bad guy that he can hate. So he can look like the victim. Definitely not the behavior of someone who can be mature and respectful.

Link to my original thread describing my relationship for those that care:

At a loss, need to vent....

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 04:08 PM
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Re: Civil, Respectful Divorce?

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Originally Posted by pygmalioneffect View Post
I'm looking for input from those who have been through a divorce. My H always says "if anything happens to our marriage I hope you know I just want you to be happy, and for us to be the best we can for the kids".

Does this happen? Has someone experienced a scenario where you just don't fit any more, decide to divorce, and can be civil, respectful, communicative co-parents, who always have your kids' backs, never let them see you be negative to one another? Where you just pay the money you owe, share the parenting tasks, etc? I just need to know if this can or can't happen.
Not when there's a significant amount of money involved especially when one spouse is a high income earner in a state that awards the custodial parent with generous amounts of child support.

Just about everyone says "If things ever don't work out with us I just want you to be happy" when things are going well. When things go south, people turn into animals and the attorneys feed the frenzy.

Edited to Add:

After reading your post that describes your husband in great detail, especially the part about how he blew up over you accusing him of taking another cell phone charger (after he took the first one that resulted in you and the kids having to walk for miles for help after a flat tire), and his constant threats of leaving you, and the silent treatments for a week or so, he appears to be exactly the sort of guy who will tell you all those sweet things and then when you file for divorce because he's so unreasonable he'll turn the whole process into a nightmare just to get revenge on you for leaving him.

Reminds me of my volatile exwife. "If we ever divorce I won't hurt you, I will just want enough to live comfortably". She avoided working during the divorce process so she could get more maintenance, at one point she was requesting $13,000 per month in addition to the several thousand per month she was receiving in child support.

Last edited by browser; 11-29-2016 at 04:15 PM.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 04:22 PM
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Re: Civil, Respectful Divorce?

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Originally Posted by pygmalioneffect View Post

Does this happen? Has someone experienced a scenario where you just don't fit any more, decide to divorce, and can be civil, respectful, communicative co-parents, who always have your kids' backs, never let them see you be negative to one another? Where you just pay the money you owe, share the parenting tasks, etc? I just need to know if this can or can't happen.
Let me preface this by saying that I divorced my wife because she had an affair and I don't think highly of her. We also had a very good relationship before the affair.

But to answer your question, YES we are like this. We co-parent well, communicate about the kids (that the only thing we talk about), don't speak negatively about each other, and I pay her child support every month (I set up the auto withdrawal from my paycheck so it's easy). I make a ton more money than her so if there is a kid thing that she might not be able to afford I offer to pay the whole thing because it is for my kid's benefit. We split custody 50:50 and attend child activities together. I'm civil because being anything less would reflect negatively on my character.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 04:25 PM
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Re: Civil, Respectful Divorce?

My divorce went smooth. I gave her the house, her car, and paid for her expenses for 6 months in exchange for no alimony. I took my truck, camper, retirement, and started a new life. I separated 1/10/16 and was divorced 6/10/16. I paid $3,500 for my attorney and $4,000 for hers. We didn't go to court, did it all through one mediation appointment. Kids split 50/50 and I pay her $480m in child support and $300m in nanny. Every cent I spent and lost was worth it!!!!
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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And how do you only see your kids half the time? My heart breaks at the thought of this. I don't know how to be ok with not kissing my kids good night after I read to them every night. How do I be ALONE 50% of the time? The mere thought of this makes me sick to my stomach. My kids give me so much happiness. I don't want to miss even a minute. How do you bear this?
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 05:45 PM
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Re: Civil, Respectful Divorce?

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Originally Posted by pygmalioneffect View Post
And how do you only see your kids half the time? My heart breaks at the thought of this. I don't know how to be ok with not kissing my kids good night after I read to them every night. How do I be ALONE 50% of the time? The mere thought of this makes me sick to my stomach. My kids give me so much happiness. I don't want to miss even a minute. How do you bear this?
My kids stopped talking to me when we divorced, they were young teenagers at the time. After years of being together, doing things, sharing a life they were suddenly gone. It took several years but eventually they came around, but it was never the same. At first, it was unbearable, but you adjust and you move on with your life. What other choice is there? Some people get involved with a new person and either inherit their kids or start a second family. Others can't adjust to being a part time or no time parent and losing most of their money and barely affording to live, so they jump off a bridge or eat the business end of a revolver.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 05:56 PM
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Re: Civil, Respectful Divorce?

I'd agree with the idea that relative earning power is a big factor. Take two people who earn similar money and a big bone of contention is removed from the equation. It can still go off the rails, but money is so easily quantifiable that it is too easy to see if you're on the winning or losing side of the equation. Even in a fog, people still want money.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 06:05 PM
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Re: Civil, Respectful Divorce?

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Originally Posted by pygmalioneffect View Post
I'm looking for input from those who have been through a divorce. My H always says "if anything happens to our marriage I hope you know I just want you to be happy, and for us to be the best we can for the kids".

Does this happen? Has someone experienced a scenario where you just don't fit any more, decide to divorce, and can be civil, respectful, communicative co-parents, who always have your kids' backs, never let them see you be negative to one another? Where you just pay the money you owe, share the parenting tasks, etc? I just need to know if this can or can't happen.

I'll add - I don't think my H is capable of this behavior despite these claims. Mostly just because, despite threatening divorce ALL THE TIME, he also won't file for divorce, stating that if it's going to happen it's on me - he won't be responsible for ruining our family. I'll have to be the bad guy that he can hate. So he can look like the victim. Definitely not the behavior of someone who can be mature and respectful.

Link to my original thread describing my relationship for those that care:

At a loss, need to vent....
For the most part my parents were this way. My Dad cheated my mother was the bigger person, though he did apologize to my Mother. My Dad was a good father to me (besides the cheating) and that took precedence over his nature in that respect. They would argue over money a little bit but not much. I eventually refused to be the go between. They handled it. Now they come to all my sister's kids birthday parties and are very civil and talk like old friends, not sure my step mother likes it so much. It actually grosses me out a little. I think depending on the circumstances it can happen. It's all in how you treat the other person even if you are breaking up.

Does your husband truly get the gravity of the situation?

Last edited by sokillme; 11-29-2016 at 06:11 PM.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by pygmalioneffect View Post
And how do you only see your kids half the time? My heart breaks at the thought of this. I don't know how to be ok with not kissing my kids good night after I read to them every night. How do I be ALONE 50% of the time? The mere thought of this makes me sick to my stomach. My kids give me so much happiness. I don't want to miss even a minute. How do you bear this?


This is something that young people just contemplating marriage cannot fathom.

I've been there and it's the worst part of life for quite awhile.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 06:57 PM
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Re: Civil, Respectful Divorce?

Seeing the kids 50% is bittersweet. I get them every other weekend plus a couple days during the week. I'm free 50% of my weekends to live it up. I've gone on road trips, quick trips to Vegas, concerts, sporting events, etc that I would not have done prior. I get to go out late with a woman that I can't get enough and have awesome sex with multiple times during the night/day. The kids adjust and get to see their parents be happy again.

He may not want them 50% of the time and pay you more in child support.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 07:17 PM
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Re: Civil, Respectful Divorce?

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Originally Posted by pygmalioneffect View Post
And how do you only see your kids half the time? My heart breaks at the thought of this. I don't know how to be ok with not kissing my kids good night after I read to them every night. How do I be ALONE 50% of the time? The mere thought of this makes me sick to my stomach. My kids give me so much happiness. I don't want to miss even a minute. How do you bear this?
I have been divorced 9 years. My kids were 6, 11, and 12 at that time. We shared every-other-week custody. Now my 2 oldest are out of the house and my youngest lives with me full-time (by her choosing).

What we did was make sure we were BOTH available for the kids 24/7. They had phones (yes, even my youngest) and could call or text at anytime, no matter who they were with that week. I also moved into a house only a couple of blocks from my ex, and they knew they were welcome to ride their bike to my place (or vice versa) when they wanted to visit.

Also, it does make you appreciate that time more. I actually spent more quality time with my kids after the divorce than I did before.

It can be done. But you have to really work at it. For example, if your ex tries to pull you into an argument, you shut down. You don't respond. You say "We talk about the kids only'. It takes two to argue. Eventually things evened out and we get along very well now - we are actually friends and I will go there sometimes to share a glass of wine with him.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 09:04 AM
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Re: Civil, Respectful Divorce?

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And how do you only see your kids half the time? My heart breaks at the thought of this. I don't know how to be ok with not kissing my kids good night after I read to them every night. How do I be ALONE 50% of the time? The mere thought of this makes me sick to my stomach. My kids give me so much happiness. I don't want to miss even a minute. How do you bear this?
That does suck (what do you expect from a divorce???), but as long as the other parent is taking good care of them you will adapt quickly. Also, I've become a much better and more involved parent because I have to utilize the limited time I have with my kids. Because of the half time custody I also skype with my kids regularly when I don't have them even if we have nothing to say to each other.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 03:44 PM
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Re: Civil, Respectful Divorce?

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And how do you only see your kids half the time? My heart breaks at the thought of this. I don't know how to be ok with not kissing my kids good night after I read to them every night. How do I be ALONE 50% of the time? The mere thought of this makes me sick to my stomach. My kids give me so much happiness. I don't want to miss even a minute. How do you bear this?
I am one of the outliers that actually had an amicable divorce. We paid no money to Lawyers and drew up our own agreement. The first 12 months were very difficult, we really hated each other but did our best to put the kids best interests first. We had been together for around 20 years and our marriage had become sexless and passionless, it had come to its natural end and we both knew it.

After the first year and things had settled down we became a very functional two household family, we co parent extremely well together and our kids seem relatively unscathed from it all. I honestly believe in my heart that divorce was the best option, if we had of stayed in an unhappy marriage the kids would have been far worse off emotionally.

Caveat is that ex and I are both decent people with good mental health. We care about each other and neither of us were hell bent on destroying the other. We both want peace in our lives and love our children deeply. An amicable divorce is very possible for some people but from the description above of your husband I think you may be in for a hell ride, I hope not.

As for being a co parent, well it is dame hard at first but we have carved out a very nice life for all involved. It broke my heart for a long time but I always had faith in my ex's parenting and love for his children. After I came to terms with co parenting it dawned on me that in fact my life was structured in a way that was very beneficial to me. My kids were loved and very well looked after and I finally had the "me time" I had been missing. Co parenting (if done with a decent ex) can be a great lifestyle, for me it is the best of both worlds.

So yes it can be done, I wish more people saw the value in amicable divorce but we humans are our own worst enemy and often divorce brings out the sub par behaviour in people.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2016, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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And how do you only see your kids half the time? My heart breaks at the thought of this. I don't know how to be ok with not kissing my kids good night after I read to them every night. How do I be ALONE 50% of the time? The mere thought of this makes me sick to my stomach. My kids give me so much happiness. I don't want to miss even a minute. How do you bear this?
I am one of the outliers that actually had an amicable divorce. We paid no money to Lawyers and drew up our own agreement. The first 12 months were very difficult, we really hated each other but did our best to put the kids best interests first. We had been together for around 20 years and our marriage had become sexless and passionless, it had come to its natural end and we both knew it.

After the first year and things had settled down we became a very functional two household family, we co parent extremely well together and our kids seem relatively unscathed from it all. I honestly believe in my heart that divorce was the best option, if we had of stayed in an unhappy marriage the kids would have been far worse off emotionally.

Caveat is that ex and I are both decent people with good mental health. We care about each other and neither of us were hell bent on destroying the other. We both want peace in our lives and love our children deeply. An amicable divorce is very possible for some people but from the description above of your husband I think you may be in for a hell ride, I hope not.

As for being a co parent, well it is dame hard at first but we have carved out a very nice life for all involved. It broke my heart for a long time but I always had faith in my ex's parenting and love for his children. After I came to terms with co parenting it dawned on me that in fact my life was structured in a way that was very beneficial to me. My kids were loved and very well looked after and I finally had the "me time" I had been missing. Co parenting (if done with a decent ex) can be a great lifestyle, for me it is the best of both worlds.

So yes it can be done, I wish more people saw the value in amicable divorce but we humans are our own worst enemy and often divorce brings out the sub par behaviour in people.
Thank you. This gives me some hope...though I'll be honest I'm not sure I can see my own divorce going this way. It's nice to know it happens and not all families are as screwy as mine.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2016, 12:25 AM
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Cool Re: Civil, Respectful Divorce?

More often than not, "a civil, respectful divorce" is largely just another infamous oxymoron!

Greatly like the once prolific Kiwi bird, I'm afraid that it's now considered pretty nonexistent!

"To love another person is to see the face of God!" - Jean Valjean from Les Miserables

My Story! http://talkaboutmarriage.com/going-t...andonment.html
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