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Staying married for the sake of children.

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posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 05:44 AM
I married young, (19) and with nothing but good intentions and love in my heart. So that's where I'll start this thread and I'll only briefly touch on some of the problems I experienced both past and present. Being 19, married and in the military was the hardest combination in life I've ever experienced or at least that's what I thought. My wife was the same age as myself and already had a child from a previous relationship, which in itself made me an "overnight father". Now that's not all in all a bad thing but if you consider that I grew up without one, the lack of lessons learned becomes apparent.

Everything that I could do for ( we'll call him steven of course that's not his real name) I did, toys, trips, you know cool dad/son stuff, and being only 2 years old when I met his mother thats exactly what he started calling me! It was rough at times as I knew very little about raising a child but I got the hang of it pretty quick and began to enjoy it. The problems start at this point, We became pregnant with another child and as I was in the military this would prove to be a difficult pregnancy because my duties kept my working long hours and my wife did not drive (she never took the time to get her DL)

The Army made this as hard as possible on me for reasons unknown to me, and I got stuck with duty all the time even more so then some of the single soldiers. Of course this caused problems between my completly un understanding wife and myself quite frequently, the arguments, the namecalling, the general unrest that normaly goes with marriage only compounded by her tendency to hit and kick me. What was I to do, I loved her and had a profound desire to "fix" the problems that plagued our marriage so I signed us up for the next availible marriage counseling classs.

The class was a couples based class and I was excited to be learning some decent communication and problem solving skills, the only problem, my wife refussed to attend, so I worked through the 1 hour a day for two weeks with the instructor as my "spouse" during which I didn't argue with my real wife I just respected her wishes and attended alone. After the entire class concluded I had a newfound energy, a desire to use all the skills I learned to better my marriage and strengthin my relationship, but alas one person with newly aquired communication skills attempting to communicate with somebody who possesses no desire to do so whatsoever is a bit impossible.

I know that wars are not won overnight, and in a worst case scenario marriage, it's just that... war, maybe not everyday but most, as was the case with mine.The arguments got more and more frequent and more and more intense after our daughter was born. I was not alloud to persue any of my interests in life without severe reprecusions, and constant nagging that I associated with her lack of ability to understand life itself. Even though I wasn't, I was always accused of "eying up" other women or "staring" at other women and it got to the point where the jealosey on her part became such that I was not "allowed" to even speak with my mother on the phone. Because my wife believed I loved my mother more then her.

She always had a way of playing on my emotions, specificaly the ones dealing with my inability to leave her due to me growing up without a father and the dream I've always held on close to of one day "living the American dream" when I would mention the "d" word I would called any number of names as well as have my "manhood' brought into question. I finally was able to request some time off at one point to allow for my mother and sister to come out and visit! boy was I excited as it had been quite awhile since I last had seen them... The trouble with a jealous person is that they don't care who they are jealous of, they just are.

Just after 9-11-01, March to be more exact, my mother and sister took a greyhound bus to FT.Knox KY with 4 days availible to visit my family and I, boy was it great to see them after all that time I could not wait to show them all of the sights around the base. I noticed my wife becoming angry whenever I would sit by my mother or sister, and pretty much any time I showed them any attention, I wanted not to argue with her during the visit and avoided the confrontation many many times.One day I was called in to report for an 8hour shift at the front gate( gate guard) so I kissed my wife, son, daughter, mom, sister,and left for duty, for hours later I was told I had a "visitor" I walked up to the shack and to my surprise, my sister was standing there crying teling me that my wife had called the MP's on them and that they had to leave post right now.

After speaking with the NCO on duty I was able to persuade him to let me leave to attempt to quell the drama unfolding at home. As I arived at my appartment I noticed an MP vehicle in front, as I walked in my wife and kids were nowhere to be found only my mom sitting on the couch crying and slowly shaking, telling me [they] got into an argument and [she] called the "cops" on them. The officer then proceeded to inform me that they( mom and sis) would have to leave post immedeatly and there was nothing I could do,(skipping a long drawn out) series of events I found myself waiting at the front gate with my mom and sister as they waited for their cab ( I was not allowed to leave to take them to the bus station, and they had no money for a hotel) and I said my goodbye's with tears in my eyes as they got in the cab and drove away.

Scince leaving the military, after completing an overseas tour and my contract,Years of fighting and termoil have passed and the memory of the early days of our mariage still haunts my memories.up's and down's,job changes, promotions, demotions, Ive become numb and I guess I just accept the choices I've made and deal with the concequences of my own actions, I'm filled to the brim with regreat and I'm bitter all the time, and every day of my life seems worse then the day before.

At present I am still married to the same woman mentioned in the above short discription of a fractional amount of things she's t me through. We live in a nice suburb and I work hard for everything we have, she is unable to find or keep for that matter,any kind of gainful employment wich means I work twice as hard to support us after two lenghty seperations i have come to the conclusion that I only stay with her "for the kids' I have been told that this is acctually more harmfull to them then a divorce would be, at this point I am wondering if I have a codependency issue as I cannot bring myself to leave her, eventhough I'm misserable and bitter. I know I'm not the only one with a problem like this but it's sure unique and I'm not a 'perfect angel" by no means but nowhere near the vindictive spitefull person that is my wife, any thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated and thank you in advance.

posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 07:51 AM
I had a read of this and I think you guys really need to go through marriage counselling again. You really need to take the effort to get her off her butt and get her to attend. If she wants to work on this marriage then she needs to take part in the problem thats occured. It's not your fault, life always has its ups and downs and especially in relationships. I can tell from reading this that your love her and deeply care about her.

Hmm i read somewhere that to make a relationship last you should always spend at least 20min of the day doing something special for other half .

posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 08:42 AM
Wow. You have put up with far more than many would have.
I too married young, 17 in fact...and am no longer with my husband.
He displayed many wrong behaviors that included the jealousy of anyone i made friends with, and any family members. I lost touch with all as he kept me as isolated as possible, and of course, all problems i saw in the marriage were perceived as my fault.
Granted, i did stay for the sake of the children for many years beyond when i should have left. Children are more perceptive than you realize, and though i tried to hide from them much of what was going on, they noticed anyway, and approached me about separating with their father, because they could not stand to see me treated that way any longer.
I see now, the long term damage done to them as a result of my decision to stay. The dynamics displayed by them in their own relationships, closely mimic my own marriage for a couple of my son's, and my daughter will only get so close to a guy before pushing him away.
You deserve happiness, as do your children, and no one, ever should prevent you from attaining that, or keep you from others you want involved in your life.
Have courage, and it is a steep hill to climb. But once at the top, the view is beautiful.

posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 08:49 AM
reply to post by alyosha1981

I have a lot of sympathy for you, I really do. You are trying to do the "right thing" by a lot of people, particularly your children as well as your sister, your mother and anyone else who is involved.

It is an unfortunate fact, that while we think we are being "ultra reasonable" our children may not see it that way and might grow up resenting you for being "wimpy" and holding you in utter contempt.

I have undergone much the same thing. I also married when I was 19 - but my husband was 27, and I always worked and drove cars and my husband was also in the military (the Navy). It was not until he retired from the Navy (about five years later) that I realised that life wasn't going to be so rosy for us. We were both working and saving to buy a house so we couldn't have children for some time. Our first child was born eight years into the marriage, when I was 28, and we had bought and mostly paid for, a house and could afford a car each. It was then I realised that my husband had "a thing" about driving, he endlessly criticised my driving and it got to the stage where he demanded that he do all the driving and I wouldn't put up with that so we hardly ever went anywhere in the same car. Admittedly I didn't have the driving experience that he did, but I was hardly a dangerous driver so I simply can't figure out why he was so "anal" about driving.

I met his parents once (briefly) before we were married and a few times after the kids were born. I am not being critical for no reason at all, but I must say (and there really are no other words for this) his mother is vicious and has a nasty, horrible tongue and a nasty, horrible personality to go with it. She is now 86 and still as vindictive and acid tongued as ever. I had no family of my own to go running to so I had to put up with her.

She had been going on about a "granddaughter" for years (it had to be a daughter - she made it clear that she didn't want a son) and when the kid was finally born I took her to see my husband's mother only to be told "oh, I didn't want a baby, I wanted a girl of seven or eight". The next child is a boy (or I guess a man now as he is 23 and has his own children) and she barely acknowledges his existance.

The MIL has issued my husband with several ultimatums "her or me" (now how vicious is that?) and the only response I can get out of my husband is "I'm still here, aren't I". The latest is that I have been blamed for everything that has ever happened to my husband's mother, and the last time I saw her she screamed (literally screamed) at me to "get off her section and never come back because of 'what you did' when the kids were growing up (what ever it was that she was claiming I "did" was never specified) and how do you think that made US feel?".

My husband's response: "well, you shouldn't have done it, then, should you?"

Anyway, to get to the point: Quite often we can stay in a seemingly hopeless marriage "for the sake of the kids" and all of a sudden the "kids" are grown up, and we find ourselves thinking "why bother to do anything about it now??

My marriage at the age of 19, when I was far too naive and didn't know what to expect out of life, is now 35 years old, and we are now "staying together for the sake of the ......?? ........ dog, maybe.

And my solution is that I work looong hours, when my husband is at home I am working and I am only at home when he is working. But we'll be retired eventually, what is going to happen then?? An uneasy truce maybe??

The thing is that there are two sides to every story, reading about your wife "calling the cops" on your mother and sister, why did she do that?? There has to be a reason, and it cannot be all her fault.

Work it out now, you have to, or the kids will grow up to have nothing but contempt for you and you will all be unhappy.

posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 10:44 AM
Marriage is a partnership, and requires both to be active participants.
How old are the children involved?
Older children can be more resilient in this...but one of two things has to happen. Either she agrees to work on the relationship, or you need to get out of it for your own happiness.

The reason it's more harmful to stay in a bad relationship, is that children learn by if you're constantly fighting/arguing, the kids pick up on this, and learn that this is what a relationship is.

Then, the kids grow up to either shun relationships or they gravitate towards being in a similar kind of relationship. For this reason, it's important that children grow up in loving relationships....and that's a two-way street...even if you're doing all you can...

posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 02:22 PM
In no way am I a professional...But here is what I would do...

The first thing that I would do: Talk to her about your feelings. Let her know that you want to work on the relationship, because you aren't happy. Ask her if she is Happy. If you determine through this discussion that you are both not happy - the next question is - Do you want to be? and if so Do you want to be happy with each other?.

If you both decide that you want to give it a go, together, then you should enroll in Marriage Counseling. Having a third party sit in while you discuss your issues who can offer an unbiased opinion, and perhaps suggest things you both might have not otherwise thought of - is a good idea. The counselor acts as a mediator, a listener, and a professional advice-giver. It won't work - if she doesn't want to go with you. If she decides that she doesn't want to go with you, and that she would rather just not be involved - then you need to let her know - that the counseling will not work without her commitment. YOU can't be doing all the leg-work. As Gazrok said - Marriage is a partnership.

In counseling I would suggest bringing up ALL of your concerns about your marriage. Do not leave anything out. Anything unmentioned will not be dealt with, and in turn, you might harvest negative feelings about her, without even knowing. Mention the incident with your Mother and your Sister and how it made you feel. If you're having problems in any or all areas of your marriage - then these really should be addressed and dealt with. We're creatures of closure - and without it - we don't move on and grow. Small things can hold us back from moving on to the things that you both truly deserve. You both need to walk into counseling with a positive attitude - if you really are set on making it work, then this won't be hard (because you won't need to force yourself to go to counseling - you'll want to go).

If you try the counseling, and it works for you and your both happy - then you still have to work to keep the happiness. I would suggest not ending counseling as soon as things start to get better - but stick with it, for a long time afterwards as well. Once things start to get better and better and you're working things out - then you can probably cut your visits back to less often. Be in Communication with Each other. Communication is the key, otherwise, you're nothing more then two strangers sharing a house - and that is no way to live.

If you try the counseling and you find that still doesn't work for you - then I don't think there is much left that you can do. You could try and work out your problems at home, together, but without a third party to help keep the peace, that might prove to be un-helpful and even impossible. It is hard to be the mediator AND try to tell her how you feel all at once.

If all else fails, counseling and working out together at home - Then there is nothing left for you to do, but split the blankest. Honestly, I don't think it is healthy for you to remain in a relationship where you're the only one doing any work to maintain it. And its certainly not healthy to stay together when you're not happy, but mostly, it's not healthy to stay together for the Kids.

Children see, and do as their parents do. They can't help it, you're the only role models they have and they want to be just like you. The funny thing about children, is that the nature of the environment they grow up in - they will perceive as normal. For example: My mother grew up in a household that was full of fighting, arguing and beating each other up. For 20 years, she would fight with my dad, and argue with him, and try to physically fight him - because she witnessed that as a child - and to her, that environment is normal. When she met my dad, who worshiped the ground she walked on, told her she was beautiful every day, and did everything to make her happy - she was so confused. She had NEVER been treated so well - so what did she do? She created the chaos - because for her, that is normal.

I didn't see much of this going on, until I got older - but growing up my parents always seemed to me, the model of perfect. My parents were separated for 2 years when I was 19 - when my dad finally told her, that he couldn't keep fighting with her. He loved her too much to fight with her, and it was killing him to know the road they were headed down like this for the rest of their lives. In short, during the separation my mother attended 2 years of self-discovery courses. Those 2 years changed her life. She finally got closure on a LOT of childhood issues that were resurfacing, and she realized that SHE WAS WORTH it, and she was worth all the happiness in the world. She never believed or understood that she deserved to be treated like gold. She never understood that she deserved to have a man love her as unconditionally as my father.

The setting in which children grow up - has an amazing impact on children. If anything - you need to ask yourself - What is BEST for the children. Not, Should we stay together for them.

If you have a chance to make everything work - then I say take it. You married once, which shows me that you loved each other enough at one time in your lives to make that kind of commitment and take that kind of step. Then, you can't ever have it on your conscience that you "failed" or didn't try hard enough.

Separation is the answer if BOTH of you are unwilling to rebuilt your marriage. One of you can't do it, you BOTH need to be committed to it. In the event that she doesn't want to work it out - then I believe you have done all that you can do and that YOU have the right to ask for a divorce. You have the right to be Happy. She has the right to be Happy. And those children have the right to be raised in a proper environment, free from stress, hatred, and fighting. Those children deserve all the love in the world - and perhaps by being apart - that is how they will receive it; as you'll both be able to be happy apart from each other. And in turn, that is what the children will see: Two Happy loving parents.

Just some thoughts...

- Carrot

posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 11:55 PM
Wow, thank you for all of the advice. I see the majority favoring counseling and while I agree I have a less then faithfull feeling that she will take anything from it( I know I should have more faith in her) i also thought aboub counseling for the kids as well or " family counseling" and I'm actually leaning to that end a bit more, and I don't know if thats due to my feeling of put the kids first? or possibly that I think she might be " more receptive" to it.

I don't feel like I'm being the doormat rather the glue, in that I will do whatever it takes to "keep the peace" and thats hard but for some reason I can't not do that. All of the past baggage is weighing us down for sure but I'm able to repress most of it ( the worst of it) mainly but "it" as a whole sometimes comes up and I stuff it back down. The arguments of late have been mostley financial in nature as she can't seem to gain enployment, weather by secret choice or for other reasons unknown to me.

We live a very comfortable life and I don't know how much longer I can keep it up alone and when I "get on" her about this she plays the "be a man card" well thats what I am but even the strongest men need help sometimes right? so mentaly she knows how to put me in my place that's a weakness I know but I have issues with that (growing up with out a father) so I tend to subconciously "bite the bullett" The kids do hear the arguments on occasion and I'm carefull not to play the "name calling game" with her so they don't hear.

I've spent quite a bit of time trying to repair the "well mom said" damage as well (especially after the seperations and affiar) as they saw mw at my wors at those times, and they are pretty receptive to me in that respect. The fact that I know I love her yet haven't been "in love" with her for years also weighs on me, and everytime I think i'm leaning to leave her I see the kids and I all goes away, it's a shame.

posted by anonymous
Anyway, to get to the point: Quite often we can stay in a seemingly hopeless marriage "for the sake of the kids" and all of a sudden the "kids" are grown up, and we find ourselves thinking "why bother to do anything about it now??

This is the conundrum I want to avoid yet for some reason I can't seem to agree with myself.

[edit on 24-1-2009 by alyosha1981]

posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 07:48 AM
reply to post by alyosha1981

You might not want to hear it, however in my experience you should not hold onto something that is already broken, is it broken? does your partner still want to be with you.

Leave before they leave you, your partner might already be looking for someone else and if they come along and they go off together with your children your going to feel like a fool for along time.

Cynical it might be, realistic might be a better way to look at it, how long can you carry on like this? I hope it works out for you the way you want.

posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 08:04 AM
reply to post by nuisance value

I agree with this person, you really need to leave her as soon as is possible not just for the kids sake but also for YOUR sake.

There is a reason she was a single mother before you turned up.

I could go on and on about this but my main point will always be to leave her quick and swiftly then sort out what your going to do with the kids.

posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 11:02 PM
I really feel for you.

I've been married seems all my life and my husband resents me acting happy or laughing with kids.

I stayed because of the kids, now they are gone, and i'm still here.

I will tell you, people generally do not change. I dont care how good a marriage councelor you get. But i sincerely wish you luck!
Maybe in your case it will. At least try.

God bless.

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