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to think it's extremely naive to say: 'we'd keep things amicable if we split'?

(22 Posts)
terrificallytremendous Thu 27-Feb-14 13:09:12

So many married couples or those in LTR respond to stories about difficult divorces or child contact issues with: 'we'd keep things amicable if we split.'

Of course, everyone would like to keep it amicable, and in an ideal world everyone would. But when you discover your wife has been sleeping with her boss, or your husband prioritises going out shagging around rather than seeing his children or the various other million scenarios that could occur, I think it's naive (not to mention patronising) to say that you'd be different and keep it amicable. Aibu?

WanderingAway Thu 27-Feb-14 13:10:57

I just nod my head when people say this to me. There is no way to know what it will be like until after the split. Some couples will be amicable some wont.

meditrina Thu 27-Feb-14 13:13:15

It's the ideal.

People often fall short, but are NBU to hold it as the aim.

Dwerf Thu 27-Feb-14 13:13:55

I've been through two marriage breakups. The second was amicable and still is. The first was horrendous, but years on, we are amicable now.

I think it's hard work and definitely depends on the causes of the split, but if you can agree to keep all the shit out of decision making, you've got a shot at it. It takes both former partners to do that though. So I think it may be naive but I think it's meant to be optimistic rather than patronising. Who wants to go into a split determined to make it as shit as possible for all concerned?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 27-Feb-14 13:13:55


This is one of my pet peeves on MN.

It seems to be something that unmarried SAHMs are particularly fond of saying on threads where they are asking about how other people's finances are set up, and it transpires they don't have their name on the house deeds, have no job or other income, and their partner keeps all the money and doles out 'housekeeping'.

'Oh I don't need to worry, I know we would keep it amicable if we split up and he would never just stop paying for things'.

Er, you don't know that. Don't be so bloody naive is what I'm always thinking!

curiousgeorgie Thu 27-Feb-14 13:14:09

It's incredibly naive.

Splits are usually accompanied by string feelings which render everything that was said before useless.

Very sad.

Stinklebell Thu 27-Feb-14 13:15:43


A few years ago I remember a friend saying the same thing when some mutual friends split

Fast forward to last year when said friend split with her husband and all out war was declared between them.

There's no way of knowing what the future will bring, I'd like to think that DH and I would be amicable should it ever happen, but there's no guarantees

gordyslovesheep Thu 27-Feb-14 13:19:00

I can only speak from my own experience but we have tried very very hard to be amicable - he left me for another woman, 3 kids, youngest was 7mths at the time

He is their father so I make a point of never ever discussing him with 3rd parties or on the phone when they are around. I don't talk negatively about him in front of them

All financial and access was arranged between us - talking reasonably - again because it was in the children's best interest to do so

I could happily have killed him on many occasions but I wouldn't let the kids know this

so you TRY to keep it amicable because that's what grown ups do for their kids

wish some one would tell the OW that though!

WhereIsMyHat Thu 27-Feb-14 13:25:43

I agree OP, my parents separated and divorced when I was 7. It wasn't in the slightest bit amicable and was very messy. It has left me with, what I think, is a very realistic view on long term relationships and marriage. I am always aware thy things can and do change in relationships. I'm sure my mother and father thought it was forever when they got married and started a family, 10 years later it was all over. They still don't speak more than 2 decades later and my dad, despite being remarried with another two children, still harbours resentment towards my mother. I'm sure they thought their spilt would be amicable were it ever to occur.

Goldenhandshake Thu 27-Feb-14 13:37:14

I think YABU, yes it may be naive, but it is not a bad thing to aim for in the event of a relationship breakdown.

I was 5 when my parents divorced, it was horrendous, I heard far too many things I shouldn't have, witnessed nasty confrontations and rows. It has had a long term effect on me and my relationship with my parents. I have spoken to DH at length about it all, and we have both sworn that if we were to ever split up, there is absolutely no way DD would ever be allowed to witness or hear such things. If he were to break his promise in that respect I'd be devastated, but would do my utmost to uphold my end of the promise. I don't think it is naive at all to want that.
It is naive to think it would definitely be amicable, because emotions run high and people act out and cope in different ways.

steff13 Thu 27-Feb-14 13:41:25

I don't know, whether people get along after a break up is a choice, isn't it? You can either choose to get along for the sake of the children, or you can choose to not get along because of your own hurt feelings. Your behavior is always a choice.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Thu 27-Feb-14 13:55:35

Well, you can't control what the other person chooses to do after you split, but "I will do nothing that I know will hurt my children" is a good thing to aim for. Too often people are so angry and their children get stuck in the middle - visiting/access/money/badmouthing...

It is always good to tell yourself that you will do everything you can to compartmentalise in order that the children don't get caught in the middle of animosity between parents. If the other parent won't do the same, you can't do anything about that, but you can make sure you don't add to it.

Even if you hate the other parent with a passion and spend every evening fantasising about painful places to stick a hot poker.

ArsePastes Thu 27-Feb-14 13:56:23

Yanbu. I feel the same when peo

ArsePastes Thu 27-Feb-14 13:56:49

Yanbu. I feel the same when people bleat how their partner would never not see the children and would always pay maintenance if the split.

terrificallytremendous Thu 27-Feb-14 13:57:06

Yes steff, your behaviour is a choice, but you can't control the other persons behaviour. If they won't communicate with you then with all the best intentions in the world, it won't be amicable.

Dahlen Thu 27-Feb-14 14:05:54

I was once given a piece of relationship advice: Never marry (or cohabit with for the purposes of this thread) someone who you can't see yourself amicably divorced from. IOW carefully examine that person's behaviour with people who have angered/upset them and see how they behave as an indication of how they'll behave with you.

Very often the signs are there but ignored because people aren't on the receiving end of that behaviour while they're in the relationship. But as soon as you lose that protected status...

KurriKurri Thu 27-Feb-14 14:56:48

I think as others have said - it depends on the circumstances of the split. mine were pretty unpleasant and I feel very betrayed, and have completely lost trust in my STBXH. I think trust is essential if you want things to be amicable - if it is gone then it affects everything you have to sort out together.

Also in my case there is another woman involved and she has her own agenda and is trying to influence the settlement. So it is not even between me and STBXH any more - there is a stranger who I certainly don't trust also involved.

My STBXH and I remain civil, but amicable or friendly? -not at the moment.
And unfortunately for most people the sorting out of finances etc comes at a time when emotions are still very raw, so things get nasty because wounds haven't had a chance to heal.

MrsTittleMouse Thu 27-Feb-14 15:01:01

I have a horrible feeling that I know how I'd be, and it wouldn't be amicable. I am naturally a jealous person, and so is DH.
I would try my hardest for the children, but I think I'd be a seething mess and I don't know how well I'd do.

trampstamp Thu 27-Feb-14 15:04:43

Yes until of course the twat runs off with your sister

Pootles2010 Thu 27-Feb-14 15:04:46

I think its natural and tbh, good to feel like that. If you're in a relationship with someone, surely it's right to think you wouldn't want to treat them badly?

I do appreciate thats not how things always go, but you should feel that that's how that would go in your case, iyswim? Otherwise what's the point in being in that relationship.

10thingsihateaboutpoo Thu 27-Feb-14 15:16:43

YABU a little bit, just as it's a naive thing to assume "oh we'd stay amicable" it's also a huge generalisation to say "yeah right, that's never possible". A lot depends on the reasons for thd split. My sis and her ex are very amicable, neither ever bad mouths the other to their DC snd finances/ contact etc are discussed in an adult way. Maybe they both just chose a nice, reasonable partner to marry so the above poster who said look at how they treat other people might be right.

bochead Thu 27-Feb-14 16:29:26

It is incredibly naive, and sadly a lot of older women pay the price, suffering penury in their later years because of it.

It also depends who the ex hooks up with next. I'm always shocked at the number of women involved with men who already have children that bitterly resent the first family receiving ANY maintenance or the older kids coming on family holidays with their younger half-siblings etc. If you truly resent a man's existing children for gawd's sake don't get involved ffs!

Even if a couple manage to stay amiable during the initial split, the inevitable introduction of a 3rd party in the form of a new partner for one or both parties can totally destroy a delicate balance.

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