My brother has recently left his wife. This was in some ways surprising news and in other ways not. It would not be fair of me to share anything in particular about his private circumstances. All I can say is that these were very different from mine. I will say though that I recall hearing how some in my "extended / wider family" simply rolled their eyes and acted rather tired of hearing about my break up and the tails of wow I had at the time. These very same people are now the ones who are hurting badly and whose world has just been turned upside down. Hasten to add, I'm not referring to my brother who I love dearly. I'm sad for him and his ex. I'm also v sad for his son who is finding it all difficult and upsetting. So again, I know now that my deep troubles only existed because I am human and because I cared so much. I'm reminded also how each and everyones circumstances are unique to them. My brother having taken the action but only after a long time of being unhappy. And yet, it troubles me to think of how entitled we all feel in this day and age. How "female entitlement" has become a common cultural phrase of the times. But how in general we seem to accept now that if we are not "happy" in a marriage that we can just choose to walk away. Might we not accept and really know perhaps as generations did in the past that people change and we ourselves change as we get older and have more life experience? I know and can see v clearly how men & woman are v different and can have a different relationship than when younger. I know how both sexes can suffer from being "controlled" too much in a marriage. But should we not have the strength to stand up to our partners and ask for changes when we think these might help? Either way its interesting to see the phases of a break up played out that are v recognisable: 1) No one thinks about the finances 2) When they do, the mud slinging starts about pervious spending 3) Demands appear for "Support" 4) People find it hard to put the children first 5) The person that leaves can be too passive in settlement arrangements 6) There is never enough resources it seems 7) A 3rd party in the break up is either a catalyst to it or an infatuation that may not last 8) People can be so cruel because they are hurting so much 9) Its a time when you start to see the true colours of a persons personality 10) Social media is a dangerous thing for people to use at this time! Christmas is especially hard for people under these circumstances and my heart goes out to any who dread its coming when once they loved it so much. This year my daughter will be with me, last year It was hard, the year before v hard, the year before extremely hard .. and I don't actually remember the first one. RockSteady
I think people are communicating less since social media, everything has become more public and people are wanting not to work on relationships.This time of year is very hard for most,people re either happy in their relationship, or putting on a front, finding the courage to leave abusive spouses,its no coincidence that all the divorces start happening more so in January than any other time of the year.Its a sad sign of the times, the government doesn't do much to help the family unit,in any shape or form..
Stem I have just started to read that book and I too recognise the powerful chimp my ex had
I agree that it is now very easy to walk away from a marriage without having to think about all the other stuff that goes with a divorce but it is also difficult to stay. If getting married was as difficult and hard as divorce would this make people think twice?
Great post. Really great post. Even after my wife's affair I didn't want to walk away, maybe it's the old fashioned view of marriage that I had that things test us but when you are married you are like one and anything can be sorted out.
What hurts me the most is my stbx admitted to me that she wouldn't of just left me because she was unhappy, she would've lived a lie but temptation came her way bang at the right time for her to jump.
RockSteady, I always enjoy reading your blogs as I find them very thoughtful. Funnily enough I am just reading a book by Prof Steve Peters on 'The Chimp Paradox' how we think rationally (our human brain) and irrationally (our chimp brain). Our internal chimp seems to take over in times of divorce. One thing I would say about your blog, it is terrifying to split up when you are financially dependant on the other person. The inevitable change of status is very difficult to manage so requests for support are inevitable if one person has been dependant on the other. In my case my ex's chimp took over big time and as he rode off over the hills to his new lady love, taking his very large salary with him, all thoughts of his previous kingdom were conveniently blanked out of his mind. Responsibility was not a thought process that fitted his new life. If he could, he would have burnt the past to a cinder. He has an extremely large and powerful internal chimp!
I do agree with you about the ease with which people divorce these days. If we do not work on ourselves, we end up having similar relationships. There is so much that can be done, negotiated, communicated. I enjoyed your last comment about social media being avoided at these times.
I am sorry to read about your recent experiences of recent Christmases but there has been some change. I echo your process, Xmas is still not a happy time for me, it's still pretty hard but slightly better than last year when I was down the docs a few times.