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Thoughts on love

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Hephaestus2 posted 5/31/2020 11:26 AM

Q What is more excrutiating than living with two people who hate each other?
A Living with two people who hate each other but who pretend to like each other.

Darkness Falls - assume for the sake of discussion that your husband and your children are able to survive the poisonous atmosphere at your house without going stark raving bonkers. What will be the effect on you of maintaining that kind of deception over the course of several years? What happens to you if you continue to deceive your children over a large part of their lifetimes? Do you emerge unscathed? After they leave home, do you then move on to a happy, healthy marriage?

Darkness Falls posted 5/31/2020 11:33 AM

Yes, H2, the plan is for each of us to move on eventually. I would very much like to have a happy, healthy marriage someday. It is the dream of my heart. However, itís not possible to have that with my childrensí father, nor for him with me.

I lived the situation you describedómy parents did hate each other, and as I grew up, it became very clear that my parents were ďstaying for the kids.Ē No, itís not ideal. But I believe, with the hindsight of a grown adult with kids of my own, that the experience was better than it would have been to be shuffled back and forth between separate houses. To have the financial crisis that single parenthood would have inflicted on my mother and father both. Etc., etc.

My husband and I are currently doing what we think is right for everyone involved, including our children (ESPECIALLY our children). There are a lot of relevant factors that I havenít put into my replies on this post.

Hephaestus2 posted 5/31/2020 12:15 PM

Darkness Falls - I don't know if you don't understand the question that I'm asking or if you are pretending not to understand because you don't want to answer.

My question is not whether you and/or your husband will move on eventually. I expect that you will. My question is about the impact on you (Darkness Falls) of living the way that you are living. When you (Darkenss Falls) eventually move on, what kind of person will you be?

You have spent a large part of your life bamboozling people (your husband, your children, etc). After so much practice, will you suddenly stop or is it a habit? How will you be able to stop yourself from bamboozling your next husband?

Your ultimate achievement could be that you have deceived yourself into believing that deceiving others is good for them. Your parents deceived you. You deceive your children. Your children presumably will believe that deceiving their children will be "right for everyone involved" also.

Darkness Falls posted 5/31/2020 13:54 PM

After they leave home, do you then move on to a happy, healthy marriage?

This was what you asked, and what I answered.

I am not bamboozling my husband. As I told you, we are in agreement. Nothing is hidden, nothing is covert.

As for my children, at 2 and 4 years old my personal wah-wah tiniest-violin feelings about their father are obviously not their business and certainly not their concern. They are babies. To say I am ďbamboozlingĒ my children by raising them in an intact home with both parents where we are both pleasant and politeóGTFOH. What a horrible childhood. (/sarcasm)

[This message edited by Darkness Falls at 1:55 PM, May 31st (Sunday)]

Darkness Falls posted 5/31/2020 14:03 PM

And I hope I can talk to the one who actually has a chance of getting married someday and tell her Iíd prefer she not make the same mistakes I did, and how and why.

Hephaestus2 posted 5/31/2020 14:17 PM

So ... at this point, you (Darkness Falls) and your husband plan to remain in this "not ideal" configuration for about another 14 to 16 years, give or take.

And yes ... I suppose we all hope that our children can somehow avoid our mistakes. Good luck to all of us on that one.

Darkness Falls posted 5/31/2020 16:31 PM

That is the current plan, yes. We had a conversation about how it must be possible to get along for their sake.

Our older daughter will probably never be able to live independently so eventually weíll be dealing with guardianship and visitation of a disabled adult, but yes, the plan is to not make them trade houses and parenting time until then.

Hephaestus2 posted 5/31/2020 16:46 PM

It seems that you have made a priority of avoiding trading houses and parenting time. For you, it is important that your children be raised in the same house with both parents. It is definitely true that sharing custody and having children move back and forth between two households is nobody's idea of fun.

Darkness Falls posted 5/31/2020 17:18 PM

We have agreed that at this time, their mental, emotional, and financial stability of them growing up in an intact home is more of a priority than our feelings; correct.

Darkness Falls posted 5/31/2020 17:23 PM

In other words, itís not our unwillingness to share custodyóitís our unwillingness to make THEM be away from the other parent 50% of the time. Itís not about OUR feelings.

hikingout posted 6/1/2020 08:32 AM

H2- are you a ws? I have looked at your post history and it doesnít seem to be clear. There is a stop sign on my post which means only other ws can respond to it.

I write this for reflection, not to have people needing to defend their choices that we can only pretend to understand. Sometimes the alternatives are not better when small children are in the picture. There are also many BS who have to choose the route to stay for very similar reasons.

Darkness Falls posted 6/1/2020 12:22 PM

Hikingout, I should have said this yesterday but I apologize for my extensive contribution to jacking your thread.

hikingout posted 6/1/2020 13:07 PM

Not at all DF. You have a different voice about the matter but you were trying to share your experience. I donít recognize H2, and I am sometimes leary if itís not clear from the perspective they are writing from, especially in a closed post. I didnít put the stop sign up for me, I did it to have a conversation with other ws, as peer sharing is just a different type of thread. Not all couple reconcile, it doesnít mean there isnít something to be learned from others experiences.

Hephaestus2 posted 6/1/2020 14:04 PM

Darkness Falls said "Hikingout, I should have said this yesterday but I apologize for my extensive contribution to jacking your thread."

I too apologize for jacking your thread, Hikingout.

Hikingout said "H2- are you a ws? I have looked at your post history and it doesnít seem to be clear."

The answer to your question is yes. Sadly, regrettably, I am decidedly a wayward, cheating, unfaithful spouse. I betrayed and deceived my wife for about a year before she discovered my extramarital affair. I am also a betrayed spouse and also a madhatter. I am gratified that, by looking at my post history, it isn't clear what kind of person I am. Perhaps that means that I have made progress.

Hikingout said "There are also many BS who have to choose the route to stay for very similar reasons."

Since you mention it, there is no doubt in my mind that what you say is true. No doubt unfaithful spouses, betrayed spouses, and people in general stay in good marriages, in bad marriages, and in mediocre marriages for all kinds of reasons. "Staying for the kids" is probably one of the more common reasons that couples give for staying in a bad marriage. As reasons for staying in a bad marriage goes, it might be one of the best. It is easy to think of far worse reasons for staying in a bad marriage.

On the other hand, I would be petrified for my grandchildren if my daughter ever came to me and said "Dad. My marriage has collapsed to the point that my husband and I thoroughly detest each other. However, we believe it best for everyone if we stay married for another 10 or 15 years, at least until our kids leave for college."

MrCleanSlate posted 6/1/2020 15:51 PM

HO- Sorry to keep the threadjack going...


Darkness Falls may or may not be in love, or whatever, but that does not make it a 'bad' marriage.

I too have a special needs son, he is an adult now and still home with us, and I can fully and truly appreciate what Darkness Falls is may be dealing with.

There are greater commitments than our own personal pleasure (and yes I get the irony in that statement) and trying to look after a special needs child is one of them. 24/7.

Don't judge others for their mutual decision.

hikingout posted 6/1/2020 16:12 PM

Thank you for clarifying H2.

I can appreciate the sentiment that you are trying to express. When we married, my husband and I had been married previously. Mine was a young, short lived type of marriage. His was a more mature marriage that included two kids. We started dating about two years after both of our divorces. He had been around the block and while after two years of dating he wanting me to move in and a long term commitment but he didnít want another marriage. I didnít feel that set the right example for the kids and I also wanted a child if my own eventually. At that time I had idealist views of marriage and examples and all sort of things. He relented and said he would marry me but that he would always be happy. Our marriage would never preclude him from hanging his mind and divorcing of it wasnít working. I understood that he had been miserable in his other marriage and had continued to stay for the kids until his wife decided it was over and asked him to move out. He said he was devastated but then relieved because the door had always been open but he was too scared to see it. To change the momentum.

In the end I think those kids were damaged by the divorce and confused by the two households. And the divorce was amicable and the step parents that came afterwards were both long term marriages who took those kids hearts very seriously. It was a constructive coparenting relationship between him and the ex. Very few kids really get through with an idealistic childhood. Our child together did come pretty close but I donít think she is as mature or as adjusted as the two who went through the things they did. In all situations the most important thing is to put the kids first no matter what is decided. Unfortunately staying for the kids might mean economically or from another resource perspective. Very few Of is have had marriage ideally modeled for us and we do turn out okay and figure it out.

I donít mind a thread jack, and I do understand sometimes we come at things from our own experiences. But all ws have already failed their children in some way. Mine were grown, but I betrayed them too. So itís difficult for me to see how all ws havenít damaged their kids and modeled a bad marriage in some way. Even when the kids are not aware they are aware.

[This message edited by hikingout at 4:18 PM, June 1st (Monday)]

Darkness Falls posted 6/1/2020 16:57 PM

MrCleanSlate, thatís exactly what it is, a mutual decision. I would understand the ire if I were a.) still cheating and planning on running off with an OM or b.) planning some sort of underhanded subterfuge where Iím pretending to love my H and the marriage is grand but secretly planning to blindside him and take all his $$ or whatever. Those things are SO not the case. We donít have sex. We donít even see each other naked. We arenít in love (and we both know it). We argue sometimes but we try to keep it away from the kids. We have agreed to get along for their sake.

Hephaestus2 posted 6/1/2020 17:31 PM

Hikingout said "But all ws have already failed their children in some way."

You might go a step further and say that all parents fail their children in some way. It is also true that those of us who have been unfaithful have failed our children in a very specific and important way.

Hikingout said "Even when the kids are not aware they are aware."


Take for example the child who grows up with an alcoholic parent. The child learns to participate in the conspiracy to convince the outside world that at home everything is normal. In fact, living with an alcoholic parent is anything but normal. The child becomes inured to deception. Deception become a normal part of life and that is the kind of dysfunction that can be transmitted to succeeding generations.

I wouldn't want my grandchildren raised by parents who secretly hate each other. If saying that makes me judgemental, I'm fine with that.

hikingout posted 6/1/2020 18:38 PM

I donít think itís judgmental. We should want the best for our kids and our grandkids. I donít think anyone is saying itís ideal. I think we are just saying there are times that what is needed for those children override our own happiness. Itís judgmental when you donít have all the information and you decide how someone is proceeding is wrong.

Yes we all have our own shortcomings as parents. But I donít think all those shortcomings are equal. Being an alcoholic for years? Not the best. My dad was. But he was also a good dad, he wasnít violent, he didnít make us complicit. I always understood his issue was about him. Not every child gets to separate themselves in that way and some are very damaged by their parents addictions. Parents staying together to pool their resources for a special needs child? I think they can grow to understand that as well.

Itís not bad to want the best for people you love, or to even encourage someone towards a happier way of life. I understand the argument that ideally the kids see a loving marriage. But, infidelity takes years to get past too. H and I chose to stick it out in the really unhappy parts from that, a I suspect you did the same. That goes on for years before itís right if we are lucky enough to get there.

[This message edited by hikingout at 6:38 PM, June 1st (Monday)]

Hephaestus2 posted 6/3/2020 03:45 AM

MrCleanSlate said "Hephaestus2. Darkness Falls may or may not be in love, or whatever, but that does not make it a 'bad' marriage."

Darkness Falls says that she and her husband hate each other. How is that not a bad marriage?

MrCleanSlate said "Don't judge others for their mutual decision."

That is a good point - I should not comment on whether Darkness Falls and her husband should divorce. That kind of decision is too difficult for anyone except (possibly) Darkness Falls and her husband. As Darkness Falls said "There are a lot of relevant factors that I havenít put into my replies on this post." I believe her. Also, "staying for the kids" isn't a bad reason to stay and who knows? Five years from now the two of them could feel differently about each other. I'm not sure what difference it makes if the decision is mutual. If only one of them hated the other and wanted to divorce then it would be okay to recommend divorce?

I would say (again) that in general, one thing that could be worse than being raised by two parents who hate each other is being raised by two parents who hate each other but who pretend everything is fine. Children are not spared their parent's hatred simply because those parents refrain from yelling and throwing heavy objects. For children (and adults too), it is the pretense that can be especially painful and bewildering. Deception relentlessly poisons the environment while robbing people of the possibility of resolution. Healing begins when people start telling each other the truth.

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