Well. I have not posted on the forum for a little while. In the initial stages of all this I found myself here all the time. I needed to post, post, post, in order to alleviate and process the initial devastation. Thank you so much for being around while I did that.
You''ll notice in my last sentence I said "did" that...past tense. That''s because I feel like I might be moving out of the initial primal, raw emotional pain thing. Don''t get me wrong, this still hurts like hell...but SOMETHING has changed. Something feels different and I return with this post feeling like I made it to first base.
So what have I learned so far? Well, the lessons are simple ones. But lessons I truly did not appreciate before this all happened.
(1) Just because you did not love somebody the way they wanted to be loved does not mean you did not love them with all you had. So true. I loved my wife for 7-8 years. I still love her. In those 7-8 years I may not have been able to love her in accordance with her ideas of what love is...but I truly did love her with all of my heart and would have continued to do so. I may have suffered from anxiety and depression for a year...inevitably that changed how I was. But I do not blame myself for how I was in our relationship any longer. I am not perfect and I will never embody anybody''s perfect idea of what love is. The best I can offer is to love someone with all that I have and work with them as part of a partnership to try to work out the rest...my love alone won''t be enough.
(2)!Marriage meant something to me. I believe very strongly in sticking with it through everything. I believe very strongly in keeping your family together. Not seeing my son everyday is the highest price I''m paying for all of this. And not having my wife around to raise our lovely little boy together...as husband and wife, is a bitter pill. I believe the true value of a marriage is providing a solid anchor for you and your family through all that life throws at you. Happiness will come and go...as it will for everyone. But don''t hold a marriage solely accountable for it. And certainly don''t judge the marriage based solely on your current level of happiness. Marriage is much more than that to me. It''s a commitment, nothing more and nothing less. The life my wife and I had was tough for a while...but I think we could have got through it (maybe even stronger). She disagreed.
(3) Related to the above, it''s a commitment that two people make. Chances are, their individual ideas about what that commitment means to them won''t really match up. I''m saying that someone will probably eventually bail...when things get to a certain degree of difficulty. I would have fought for all I am worth to TRY to save my marriage and my family. But I can''t do it alone. Period. I simply did not recognize that.
A very thought provoking post... One this is certain: we certainly learn loads through this really difficult process - somethings about ourselves and our attitudes, and other about those who are around us. I guess it means that we acquire some wisdom.
The fact that you''re considering blame (and not accepting it) due to the actions of others is an amazing accomplishment. It does make me angry and sad in equal measure when I learn of one partner needlessly bailing out of something that could have worked out - but that, of course, is their loss.
One thing that I''ve learnt from this site is that love can be a choice which accompanies commitment. I was directed to a book by Scott M Peck, I think his name is. Although I found the final chapters of the book pretty weird and not my cup of tea in the slightest, what I took away from it was that I had implicitly made a choice ''to love'' another, and that was a part of the commitment that came through marriage. Without understanding emotional decisions in terms of choices, there turned out to be a huge discrepancy in my own marriage: my ex chose not to love.
I''m totally with you (as you know) with your words on happiness. Even thought it hurts like anything if a partner chooses to go, we eventually owe it to ourselves to let them go (in our heads): it''s up to them to make their own path and their own mistakes. It gets to a point when we are no longer have a responsibility for supporting them with their happiness and emotions.
I think it took me between 3 and 6 months before the shock of the changes wore off... And afterwards things remained tough (emotionally) for a very long time, experiencing huge oscillations of emotion. I''ve also heard it said that there''s a theory of working through a divorce, that it''s a process, with huge oscillations - and knowing this really helps when we''re just working through with everything.
Thank you Samchick , I think you have said a lot of things that I have been processing in the last few weeks .
It''s the happiness thing that gets me too .
if He wasn''t happy ,why blame it on the marriage or me .He should have worked on that with me not with someone else .
He said she filled a void ,but as His Dad said you shouldn''t find another person to fill that void but find what it is about you that is not fulfilled.
It is the onesidedness(is that a word?) of this that is so heartbreaking .The fact that some of us were prepared to try to make it work but they weren''t and just ran away into anothers arms.
This last week and after my ''confrontation''with Him ,I have felt calmer and am beginning to be able to distance myself from Him and accept that He is no longer the person I knew and I don''t want to know .
The kids and I will have a fun and happy life together ,just the 3 of us and He can do whatever He wants.He has lost so much but I feel stronger and am determined to make the most of the future .
I hope you feel strong too Samchick .The kids need us now more than ever .x
Ok Sam, interesting stuff. I think you''re just at the beginning of your learning though. What have you learned about you? You have described some outrageous behaviour from your wife and I am willing to bet that there were instances of that for years. What is it about you that allowed yourself to be treated that way?
What will it take for you to commit to taking care of yourself. Taking care of you. Loving you. Putting you first?
You''re very introspective it seems. So remember to lighten up as well. Do some things that make you laugh. Have some fun. Life does go on, you''ll see. Make sure you''re committed to living it!
Some very thought provoking replies here - thanks.
JJ - Yes. I was the kid who was pi%%ed off with his friends when they walked away from the "house" we were building in the forest because it was taking too long and was too much like hard work. They went off for some more immediate reward. I''m in just the same place here.
SS - I guess your point relates to the above too. I just can''t fathom how people can throw away something so unique and precious as a family unit WITHOUT giving it a damn good try first. I don''t think there''s an answer.
Donkler - This was a phenomenal thread. It opened my eyes massively...and I was also hit between the eyes by how this seemed to describe me. It''s amazing how these scripts play out in so many relationships.
Canuck - What have I learned about me so far? That I am who I am. Yes, I''m quite introverted, I''m very introspective, I have no great desire for huge numbers of social contacts, I prefer to sit on a bench under the rain (with an umbrella of course) chatting, over being in a club or a bar, I don''t pay huge attention to the finer details of a well-kept house, I value family life above most things. For the first time in my life I see that this is not a crime and that I don''t want to feel like I have to change these things in order for another to love me. If they don''t love me BECAUSE of any of these things...it''s their responsibility to do something about it (cope with it, adapt, or get out) and not mine (by trying to change who I ultimately AM). That''s a start at least.