Hi - I just need some advice and support. I am considering separation/divorce and the one thing, the MAIN thing that is really so hard and is killing me, is my kids. (of course!) If I didn't have kids, I would have divorced years ago...that's another LONG story.
I have teenage boys and am terrified of that step...sitting them down and having that conversation. And then everything that comes after.
After reading books, reading forums, I have found that the general opinion is that divorce when the kids are young, is the best situation. That divorce when kids are teens is the WORSE time.
What am I to do? Sacrifice my happiness for my kids, which is what I've been doing for the last ten years and it's been so hard and such a struggle. I am so checked out of my marriage at this point, that every day is so difficult. So hard to be around my husband, but I am doing it because it's so hard to make that first step!
I am terrified and just need some support from people who have done it and have positive stories and outcomes. I think that may help me.
My wife and I divorced when my daughter was 17 and my son was 15. Yes it was hard on the kids but it can be worked through. She moved out and left the kids with me.
What I did.....never bad mouth their mother, not to anyone because it will get back to them. Never argue with the ex in front of them. Never put them in the drama, things like ask mom when she's going to get her stuff out of here, or maybe you can get your mom to pay for that. Show a united parenting front, kids get in trouble, they lose the same privilege at both houses. Report cards come, have missy or junior take it with them to show mom their grades.
Another thing I did was take both the kids to family counseling (their mom wouldn't come but oh well) Also I enrolled both kids in a life coaching program, this is a program run by a psychologist that focuses on teens and the things going on in there lives. They learn to set goals and how to achieve them, and also talk about personal issues.
You said you are considering divorce but have been sticking it out for the kids. The kids are much smarter than you think, they see mom and dad always angry and unhappy, not really a great environment. I am so much more relaxed now and am a much better parent.
Thanks for sharing and for the insight. You sound like you made all the right choices and are doing right by your kids. I know it can work, it is just so scary to make that first step. I am sure you felt that in the beginning?
Yes, I know the kids have picked up on our "drama" and unhappiness. I don't want my children to believe this is what a marriage is supposed to be like...because it is not a healthy one! Two parents who never touch, kiss, intimate, say I Love You, etc. It just isn't right and so sad for everyone.
I want to be happy, I want my husband to be happy and be with someone who loves him completely and I want my kids to see their parents happy and smiling, even if that means apart, as hard as that is going to be.
It's going to suck and it's going to be a long haul...but if we can do what you suggest...it can work, I know!
CarolinNE you do deserve to be happy, and you can be again. Keep coming to this forum for support, it was a life saver for me as I was going through my divorce. And read everything you can on parenting and divorce, most of the advise is obvious but we tend to lose focus during the stress of a breakup.
Making the decision to divorce was maybe the hardest step, as unhappy as we were in our marriage we thought staying together for the kids sake was the right thing to do. Honestly I would have stuck it out till both the kids were out of high school but my wife (ex) found herself a new man (men actually)
The ex and I will never be friends but there is no drama between us that the kids will ever see.
I think a single mother with boys can be hard, they are trying to be tuff little men. As I have been dating I see boys who are furiously protective of their mom and have seen boys absolutely out of control with anger and disrespect. Dad needs to stay involved as a parent if you divorce, not a buddy or conspirator to the boys but a parent. That is unless he's a bad parent now, then that's another thing.
Divorce can be hard hard hard, but also can be a rebirth. Good luck to you with what you decide.
Here is another site you may want to check out for legal questions, it is a free legal advise forum similar to this forum. I got lots and lots of good sound advise from the attorneys that post there. FreeAdvice Legal Forum. There are specific areas for divorce, custody and support, check it out.
Cooper: Thank for the advice and website for legal advice. Yes, it's going to be a hard road. We talked last night about a lot of things...It is hard for him to hear I am not happy and have been "checked out" for years now. He is being stubborn and trying so hard to make things work, continue with counseling, etc. I will do that as well, but know in my heart that it's not going to make a difference. But after 20 years of marriage, I have to at least try and give him that.
He is at a point where he can't or won't accept me telling him it's over and now we are at a point where we need to concentrate on the kids and co-parent together. That we are basically room mates at this point and that is no kind of marriage. He is convinced I am just "going thru a phase" and things will improve with time, me spending more time with him, sharing things with him, he can change, etc. I keep telling him, "great", I am glad he is working on himself and improving himself, going to his own therapy (as I am also doing), but it's not going to make a difference.
We will see what happens.
I did tell him the # 1 priority was the kids, not fighting in front of them, or having these discussions. He agreed.
We are going forward - hopefully with peace, civility, and respect. That is all I want at this point.
I have been divorced for (1) year now. My husband at-the-time checked out. I have a 16 year old and 22 year old.
I would have willingly stayed with my husband until my daughter graduated high school. It's not that we don't deserve happiness. It's that we have an obligation to our kids/family. I was on the receiving
It's a done deal now but here is what I have found, in my particular situation.
Dating: I have a boyfriend that I have been dating for many months now. She likes him but still has difficulty accepting the situation. He never sleeps over when she is with me...a few weeks a month. However, as my daughter told me...it very difficulty to accept someone else with your parent when you still want your family to be together.
Visitation/custody: My ex and I are very nice; positive people; great parents; and loving. We still love each other. However, it sucks for our daughter to go back and forth between households. I would hate it myself. Therefore, my ex and I remain flexible to her needs. If she wants to stay longer; shorter; etc...then no questions asked.
Single parenting: Not easy. You have to learn a new role, if you weren't the disciplinarian; breadwinner; housekeeper; lawn mower; plus agreeing with the other parent on curfew; rules; etc.
I have an 18 year old son and 19 year old daughter. They were 15 and 16 yrs old when I moved out from my now ex-wife. We went through an 18 month separation before the divorce was filed and it was finalized 6 months later...so I've been divorced a year now.
It was a very difficult time and my daughter even went through some counseling that helped her alot. My son refused the counseling, but is/has adjusted. Both kids go back and forth freely from their mom and I. My ex and I are amicable and actually attend the same events for the kids, such as Christmas and birthdays.
Interesting enough, neither one of us are in a serious relationship, just casually dating. However, the relationship is over between us and the kids understand why, even though we don't bad mouth each other to them.
We're both very supportive of our kids and active in their lives, as much as possible.
Looking back on it, after a 22 year (rocky) marriage, the divorce was the most painful experience of my life and I'd rather remain single than go through another one....so I'm taking my time finding the right person.