I don't know what the magic age is that you decide you deserve LESS from your life and relationships....but there seems to be a figure in some peoples minds. A point in time when you throw in the towel on having a "fully meaningful relationship" with your spouse and "settle for a less meaningful relationship" with your spouse.
My question is this.....does the age of the BS factor into whether to offer R or not?
Is a 70 year old BS offering R using the fact that they have less years to invest in a better relationship with a new spouse making a healthy choice?
Is a 30 year old BS refusing to offer R based on the fact that they have more years to invest in a better relationship outside of their current M making ahealthy choice?
In my own relationship...while I was just engaged to my wife....my wife had a relationship with a previous male friend that I was not aware of....intimate emails were exchanged. He was 15 years older than her and a known player....but the fact is she was choosing to engage him and keep it a secret from me.
At that point in time I would advise blakesteele to, at the very least, postpone the M and seek good pre-M counsel. At that time blakesteele would most likely NOT have changed his ways...but my advice would be very different to him then it is to the 42 year old blakesteele.....so I get THIS part of the "age difference" advice. But I submit this is more of a factor of "level of committment" then it is age. Blakesteele then was just engaged....had not vowed yet. To me, this would be related to level of committment moreso than age.
If what happened before we were married happened....say 3 years into our M...I would NOT advise to cut and run....I would advise to do what we are doing. Provided the facts THEN are what they are NOW. KWIM?
But I almost get a sense from some SI members who have offered R that, if they were younger they would NOT offer R.
Just my take on these posts of late.....open to being off target.
Am I niave to feel that, at age 42, I have the same chance of having a "fully meaningful relationship" with my wife as I did at age 32 had we done the work we needed to do back then.... instead of 10 years later? At 29, at 27 when I got married?
Kind of a nothing post....because my age or the age of my wife is simply not a factor to my decision to R....but am curious what the basis for advising other SI members on what to do is using age as such a talking point.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 4:07 PM, January 31st (Friday)]
But I almost get a sense from some SI members that if they were younger they would NOT offer R.
If I had no kids and could leave the M and start fresh, I probably would have. No question in my mind. I could find someone else and start a family with them. Yes I would still have the memory of being betrayed, but I would still deal with that much in the same way I am dealing now.
The only reason my W got another chance, at first, was because we had kids together. I also found out how much money it would cost me and how much money I would have to pay her. I am a pragmatist. A small part of me longed for the woman I married, but in reality the "one true love," fantasy is just that. A fantasy over sold to us is popular media consumed by a population hungry to buy into monetized dogma.
Having kids means that you do what is right for them even though it may not be correct for you.
I know everybody's going to jump all over me and channel Dr. Phil, but my responsibilities to my children are utmost in my life. I want to give them the childhood I never had. It is what is most important to me. So I gave my W a second chance. At first for my kids, later because I wanted to.
Look, I could take a job that I would really love that made half of the money I do now. It would be right for me, but it would subject my family to much harder life than we have now. Therefore I work hard at job I can only tolerate most days because that is what adults do. We realize the decisions we make effect not only us, but those closest to us. We weigh our responsibilities and determine what is most important to us.
Why I stayed then, isn't as relevant as why I stay now BTW.
DS 1, DD 6
Dday 8/31/11. ONS that occurred 3 years earlier. Lied to for 3 years.
Every truth comes to light in a long enough timeline.
Why now then?
I, too, hung out for a while for many of the reasons you listed....but age was not one of them....never was, not then, not now.
I totally get your committment to your children....but also submit a great big piece of that "sheparding" is to demonstrate what committment is and what a healthy relationship is between a husband and a wife.
That is a primary motivator within me. The fact that our girls have had a Daddy-Mommy family for an additional 18 months post DD is good....but I don't have much desire to demonstrate to my girls that you just endure a M because you have to. I really want to demonstrate that, even when things are really really tough, two healthy adults CAN grow through those "things" to a higher level.
Lofty goal? You bet. Doable? Yes. Easier to find a girl half my age who strokes my ego and avoid self-growth....maybe get a solid 10 year run out of that "fun" relationship? Absolutely. But what would that demonstrate to my girls? What type of man would they seek out? Would they also enter into M with a "deficit planning" mentality?
Take children out of this equation.....so no child support and no emotional stress over what my choices were going to do to children.
If I D upon my DD....I personally dont think I would have had the motivation to do anything that didnt feel GREAT to me. And self growth, while rewarding, does not feel GREAT at times.
So I struggle with this counter-viewpoint.
I get what you are saying numb&dumb....will re-read your post to understand it better.
God be with us all.
The reality is, women my age, now 59, DON'T often find a new partner. If I had found out about his true life when I was in my 30s I may have still tried to R but I wouldn't have the same fears. I'd have my whole life to plan my finances differently, my youth, self confidence and health with which to try to think about a new Relationship.
Yes, I think age surely played into my decisions. I felt stuck. However, if he cheats again, he's gone....
Just like when I win the lottery when I'm 70, people will probably complain that I'm too old to enjoy it... well, I'll just show THEM how I'll enjoy it, ha!
Instead of advising, though, I do often state my own stance and sometimes share what I did do, and what I might have done in a different set of circumstances. As for me, personally, if the WS cheated while we were dating, not yet married, and I found out, I am certain I would cut my losses and run and NOT marry that person.
Now as for my own real life story, my XH cheated on me very early in our M when we were both quite young, but we had a one year old child by the time he confessed this to me. He seemed to express remorse, and I did stay with him, thinking it best for our DD. So for me, having a child or children together was a big factor in staying and trying.
After learning my XH had cheated on me all through our M, for many years I did not know it was going on, yes, my mindset changed, even hardened and so even though I try to be understanding to all newbies, my perspective is going to be influenced by my experience and I'm quite sure I come off as a tough love type to both BS and WS. But it is all relative, I guess I was still young when I divorced him even though we had three kids by then. I was 32 when we split. But I gave him more than enough chances and was not going to waste more of my young life like that.
My current H cheated when I was in my late 40's. We had no children together and our kids were grown and gone by that time anyway. We reconciled but it had little to do with age, really. For me, it had to do mostly with his level of remorse and my willingness to forgive him. I also don't regret giving him that chance. He has been a much better H for the past 7 years than he was for the first 11 years of our M.
A 60 year old woman may have been a SAHM for part or all of her marriage or may have given up opportunities or not have aggressively pursued opportunities in her career because of her children or her husband's career. At 60, she can't make up the financial loss of putting family before career. Penalizing herself financially with a divorce may not be her best option. Especially if she factors in his health and potential lifespan.
At least for women, I think age is a consideration when deciding whether to maintain the marriage.
But if I were in my early 40s I might have viewed this differently as my options and life were different then.
My personal belief is that in 20s thru 40s age range, BS should evaluate the probability of the cheating to occur again. And all bets are off serial cheating is involved. Libido is stronger in those years so cheating risks may be greater as well?
Most of my marriage will have this heartache in it. Recently I questioned if I had made the right decision in staying. I had no idea recovery would take so long or be so difficult. I had no idea it would be so hard to trust and love him again. Now we have two kids and the kids definitely influence my decision to keep trying now.
I am a firm believer you never know how you're going to react to any given situation until you're in it...regardless of age.
[This message edited by so_lost at 6:01 PM, January 31st (Friday)]
I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.
I did kick him out and decided that I would move on. When the fog started to lift for him and he asked for another chance he cited our years together as a reason to try R. I debated it for a couple months and ended up agreeing to give him a chance because I wanted to know that I did all I could before walking away. That was important for me because I often give up on things that are too difficult and I didn't want to add my relationship to that list. But I also knew that if I didn't feel like he was doing whatever he could I would move forward on my own.
Nailed it. If he was a douche I would leave because that is what would be best for my kids. He's not though. He's more devoted to them and us than ever. It would destroy my kids to see their dad every other weekend. To put them through a divorce, is dating, step parents etc. no way. The level of love I feel for him is secondary to my responsibility to them. We aren't promised an easy life I guess. As long as it's a healthy home for them, it's good enough for me.
I honestly think I would have an easier time leaving if I was older and kid were out of the house. Seriously, I'd be all over the singles 50 cruises, etc
I think in reading here the only ones I think they should cut and run the majority of the time are the unmarried young couples. Their lives are just not entangled enough to me to justify the pain. While I was in love with my husband when we were dating, it is nothing compared to the way I felt after 12 years, 5 kids and a life enmeshed. That new shallow love isn't worth this pain to me.
"You can't fix a broken man, but he can break you" Bonnie Kaye
If you don't have kids it's easier because you cut the WS loose and never see him/her again.
In regards to not having to see the WS, yes, but not having kids didn't make it easier for me. I do not want children. Being single in my late 30s would have meant a dating pool full of men wanting to start a family or divorced men who already have children. Finding another childfree partner gets harder as you get older and I did think about that when deciding whether or not to stay with my WSO.
I am not saying I would endure a M with children with an unremorseful WW. That doesn't do the kids any favors either.
Each one of our situations are different and lots of factors play into why we stay or why we D. Those reasons can change over time. That is what happens when you allow growth and change individually and in our Ms. If you get to a place that is a happy fulfilling life, does the reason you took that chance really matter ?
Staying for my kids isn't something I regret. I am proud of that. Luckily the time that I decided "not to D right away," was time my W used to show me that she could change and we could have a really great life together again. After awhile, I realized I wasn't staying just for the kids anymore. It was more about my M and what I believed it could be. My entire family will benefit from that.
Sometimes a BS needs a reason to stay and try. Mine was my kids. At the time, it was the only thing in my life that I loved enough to protect from further damage.
Without a depth of that shared history and other enduring responsibilities, the practicality of risking further hurt is questionable at best. The real goal is to be happy with your life again for most of the years you have left. If recovering from infidelity is going to take longer than that shared history and thus take up the lions share of the memories of that M, is it worth it ? For me, it wouldn't be. You can forgive, but you never forget.