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Anyone got divorced, stayed single for a long time and then regretted the divorce?

(5 Posts)
confusedperson Tue 05-Jul-11 12:37:11

Here are lots of threads encouraging to split up or divorce for one or another reason, because "life is too short", "you deserve to be happy", "children will pick up on your resentment to DH" etc. My own marriage is no good anymore, DH is distant, barely does anything with children or in the house, I disrespect him for having no values (in my opinion). However, we cooperate on some levels and living as a couple is definitely easier than on my own. I don't suffer emotionally either, because I am emotionally/financially independant and have a great circle of friend support. What stops me from divorce is the children, they love him even if they get a smallest fraction of his time, and I just can't bear of an idea of being a lone parent. Also I read on lone parent threads about mums that stayd single for many years and I am really afraid to end up thinking that I could have stayed with my husband because he was no good, but no harm, too.
Any experience on that?

tadpoles Tue 05-Jul-11 17:01:12

I have a friend who divorced a long time ago and she has some regrets. They had three children and they split up very acrimoniously when they children were still young. It was very, very hard and although she has had a number of relationships since, she has not met anyone she has really clicked with. The eldest son, in particular, was quite badly affected by the divorce and was difficult as a teenager (and still is quite tricky).

I think her regret is not so much that she is no longer with him (he was emotionally quite bullying and they didn't have much in common) but she regrets not having worked through their difficulties in a more amicable way. eg: either accepted that they wanted to stay together for the children, the marriage wasn't perfect but better than nothing especially when children so young OR accept that the marriage wasn't worth saving, but it was important to remain civil and work out how they would co-parent together.

In the event, there was a horrible divorce for which he blamed her (despite his bullying). He stitched her up financially and hardly ever had the children (dumped them on his mother whenever he could). He remarried indecently soon after the divorce, although apparently is still not particularly happy and wife no 2 frequently moans about him to her step-children smile

Guess what I am trying to say is, which ever way the relationship goes, it is worth getting to a place where you can at least be amicable and adult about the whole thing - IF only the for sake of the children who really can be badly affected by an acrimonious divorce (however equally, I know they can be badly affected by a miserable marriage).

Proudnscary Tue 05-Jul-11 17:45:20

I think you are so right to question this...and ask this question.

You are right there is this blanket 'it's much better for the kids if you leave an unhappy marriage' 'life is short' - how do these posters know this with such breezy confidence, knowing very little about the OP?

I think my mother would definitely admit she regretted divorcing my dad if I asked her (I never would it would be too painful for me to hear).

She was unhappy, but like you, had a nice life, nothing 'really wrong'. I don't want to belittle or downplay unhappiness/frustration/lack of fulfillment. But be wary of thinking the grass will be greener - it might not be. It wasn't for her emtionally or financially - and worse still it damaged her relationship with her kids.

And children are, inevitably, affected by divorce. Not always terribly, occassionally not at all. But often deeply and negatively.

I was, my brother was. We are in our 40s and we still bear the scars of dysfunctional step familes (and so much more - I could write 600 pages seriously). I am not talking terrible abuse either, I am talking about the fairly mundane tensions and stresses and angst of living with strangers - a step parent and their children.

Don't rush into anything. Sorry to ask the bleeding obvious but have you talked to your h and have you considered counselling?

Pigglesworth Tue 05-Jul-11 22:45:35

Yes, my boyfriend's mum regrets her divorce. She married young and in her late thirties/ early forties had a bit of a "mid-life crisis" in which she wanted to prove to herself that she was still young and could do all of the things that young people do - e.g., going out late with younger friends, listening to current pop music, etc. Her husband (my boyfriend's father) is a very nice and gentle man but struggles hugely with expressing emotion due to a very difficult childhood. At that time he presented as very inactive, detached and depressed. It was an unhappy marriage and an unhappy home environment. She insisted on divorcing him although he desperately did not want it - she was wondering, "Is this it?", and she definitely hoped to find a partner who made her happier. They made no efforts to resolve their problems through counselling, but went straight to divorce at her insistence that she did not want to remain with him.

Anyway, ultimately she regrets the divorce and has never had another relationship. He moved on quite quickly to a new partner/ stepfamily. She is unhappy and lonely and it hasn't helped her mental health to be alone.

Pigglesworth Tue 05-Jul-11 22:47:27

Oh - she is also struggling financially and it affected my boyfriend badly.

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