Just wondered, were you guys in love when you got married?
There have been many ups and downs in my marriage - i"m still in it but I could never imagine being so indifferent to the break up of the marriage. I just wonder how did you both get to this place. I admire what you are doing but know I could never do it, I'm an all of nothing kind of person I guess.
Your friends reaction is because society usually puts the blame on the men. Aren't all men dogs but a woman is "empowered."
Anyway, your story saddens me. If you're able to go about this so amicably, then I feel there is enough to work through any issues.
I don't know your back story, if there was adultery on either side to cause the distance between you two but it just seems a shame for this to end. There is still something there worth fighting for.
Yes, we were in love when we got married. But we have had issues from the very beginning of our marriage. I won't go into details, but over the course of 20 years we dealt with issues including TERRIBLE fighting, untreated clinical depression, significant weight gain, lack of sexual and emotional intimacy, two long distance moves away from family/friends/support systems, porn addiction, and one case of an emotional affair, among a few other things.
In year 2 we discussed divorcing, but decided to keep trying. In year 10 we went to counseling and discussed divorcing, but decided to keep trying. In year 17 we went to counseling and discussed divorcing, but decided to keep trying. Four months ago we discussed divorce, but decided to wait a bit longer. Six weeks ago we both realized we were beating a dead horse.
I may have said this in a prior post, but when the emotional affair (which was on the verge of becoming physical) came out, that's when we dealt with our hardest emotions. Anger, bitterness, resentment - discovery of the almost-affair is when those emotions were spent. But then came forgiveness, counseling, and an agreement to keep trying. AGAIN.
But at what point do you say, "I'm done trying - nothing is IMPROVING for either of us despite all this effort."
For us, the only thing that improved was that we stopped fighting so much. But we were never able to improve our emotional vulnerability and intimacy with each other, which he and I both believe married couples need to have. At this point there is too much water under the bridge and it's time to cut our losses and allow each other to move on.
Trust me, we're not indifferent to it. There is definitely pain there - otherwise we wouldn't have cried with each other the night we made the final decision to move forward with a separation. But there's a greater sense that we NEED to be amicable and do this the "right" way for our kids.
ETA: I'll also say that when I told my friend the story, I did my best to tell a balanced, fair story that put no blame on one person. I was up front about the fact that we both made mistakes during our marriage and mutually decided to divorce. Admittedly, she was friends with me before I even met my husband, so she has greater loyalty to me in the long run, but it saddens me that she took a side despite my specific request that she NOT take a side because there was no side to take.