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How I Demolished My LIfe

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 Thumos (original poster member #69668) posted at 10:50 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

Just curious, but why is it that you think a person changing their mind about what they want and need is creating a disorder? To bring it back to infidelity-related thought - are your wants/needs/expectations of your wife the same today as they were the day you got married? I daresay they likely aren't. Because YOU have changed. She has changed. The dynamics in the relationship have changed. If you decided to divorce tomorrow, it doesn't mean you're 'disordered'. It means that things have changed.

Well, look, there's no daylight between you and I here on this. You're right, of course, in one sense. But in your case and my case, the driving dynamic here is that disorder was introduced into what had been a stable marriage before -- not by us, but by our partner. Now with that disorder in the mix (infidelity) we as betrayed spouses find ourselves in the position of having to decide what to do with this dysfunction.

In Honor Jones' case (and I just can't get over the irony in that name) she just had this vague sense of ennui, and the fancy kitchen and Cheerios and the fabulous husband were just such a burden for her, so she walked away from providing a stable marital home environment for her children. On purpose. She introduced the chaos. On purpose. That's basically dereliction of duty.

Betrayed spouses didn't do that at all. We're just trying to figure out how to put the pieces of our lives back together somehow.

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4527   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 10:55 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

Well I think my disconnect here is that I don't see a person deciding that they want to divorce because of that ennui as a 'disorder' tho Thumos.

Cheating? Yes.

Simply evolving as a human and deciding/realizing that you want something different? No.

I just don't put those two things in the same bucket.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

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 Thumos (original poster member #69668) posted at 10:59 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

Simply evolving as a human and deciding/realizing that you want something different? No.

If it didn't have practically guaranteed measurable long-term negative outcomes for her kids, I might agree with you. But too much data under the bridge at this point.

Well I think my disconnect here is that I don't see a person deciding that they want to divorce because of that ennui as a 'disorder' tho Thumos.

I meant "disorder" not in the sense of "a disorder" but in the sense of introducing chaos (uncertainty, confusion, sadness, instability, lowered material welfare, enforced divisions of locale and time, etc) into her children's lives where there was none before, and certainly without their consent.

She certainly did that, wouldn't you agree?

[This message edited by Thumos at 11:10 PM, Monday, January 3rd]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4527   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
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 Thumos (original poster member #69668) posted at 11:02 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

It sunk home deeply a couple of years later on my birthday as I was walking with my toddler son on my shoulders to cheer him up (he wasn't feeling well) and he puked on my head. You know what I thought in that moment? "This is exactly what I signed up for. I didn't ask him if he wanted to come into this world. I brought him here without his consent, and it is my honor and pleasure to give this chunk of my life to creating a stable and loving home for him."

I had a pretty similar epiphany when my daughter vomited all over me not once, but three times! laugh

And when there was Cheerios dust in my car (a lot of it, by the way) or I would find a sippy cup of curdled milk under a car seat, I would laugh to myself and take it in stride.

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4527   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 11:07 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

The author is epiphany-less. She didn't answer the question "What for?" She didn't even say it out loud because it's laughable. To feel the wind!

It's not poetic. It's a crisis minus the epiphany. "Chaos is a ladder" kind of shit.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 11:07 PM, Monday, January 3rd]

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 11:11 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

If it didn't have practically guaranteed measurable long-term negative outcomes for her kids, I might agree with you. But too much data under the bridge at this point.

I agree with you. To a point. Where I diverge on this is: if you have two married people that are in a relationship that is resentful and bitter and angry and acrimonious.... No I don't think that's 'better for the kids'. I think a lot of people stay in marriages 'for the kids' when it would be better for them and their children if they split.

Again only speaking for myself and my own history here but perfect example. My sister's dad had severe mental illness. He molested her and he apparently made suggestive comments about me to my mom. He had fits of rage, and fits of depression where he would lay in bed crying for days. He was watching my sister as a 6 week old infant and threatening to put a pillow over her face because she wouldn't stop crying (called my mom at work and told her that). he was physically and mentally abusive to my mom. Yes a two-parent household is nominally 'better', but thank god my mom divorced his crazy ass. He was not safe, and my mom was absolutely miserable with him, not just 'unhappy' but scared, and lonely, and sad, and angry. In cases like that? No sorry, but it ain't better for the kids for the parents to stay together.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 11:14 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

I think it's worth sticking to author's case of a massive house, fully functional family unit, weekly cleaning help, and nothing material to complain about but the cost of cabinetry and the difficulty of keeping up with child centered entropy.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 11:14 PM, Monday, January 3rd]

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

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 Thumos (original poster member #69668) posted at 11:20 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

But if you woke up one day and realized that you wanted that old life back and that you were no longer content in your married life, you too have a right to choose to divorce and forge a different path. That's not an easy choice, and yeah it causes inconvenience and pain and etc, but you are allowed to change your mind. You're allowed to realize that you want something different.

Yes, you do have the right. But I think we're having at least partially an interesting convo about rights and responsibilities. For a long time now, society has pretty much delivered a harsh judgement on men who would do this. It's considered exceedingly selfish and rightly so.

It's routinely lampooned in movies as self-involved mid-life windbags with bad toupees, sports cars and sweaty desperation. The satire of this moment in some men's lives goes back to at least Babbitt, an unflattering skewering of middle class American men written in the 1920s.

100 years ago.

Men who do this are not great men. Neither are women.

if you have two married people that are in a relationship that is resentful and bitter and angry and acrimonious.... No I don't think that's 'better for the kids'. I think a lot of people stay in marriages 'for the kids' when it would be better for them and their children if they split.

I agree. This does not appear to have been happening in the Honor Jones household at all, if her account is to be believed.

I think it's worth sticking to author's case of a massive house, fully functional family unit, weekly cleaning help, and nothing material to complain about but the cost of cabinetry and the difficulty of keeping up with child centered entropy.

Boom goes the dynamite.

[This message edited by Thumos at 11:23 PM, Monday, January 3rd]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4527   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 11:22 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

I guess I'm unusual in that I'm a WW coming down on Thumos's side in this argument. (Though honestly, Thumos, I think your pitch would be more effective without the F-5 sarcasm and hyperbole. A Pennsylvania farmhouse with peeling shutters and a once-a-week cleaning lady is not a level of privilege that would stun the Pharaohs.)

I agree that this is a shallow, selfish woman, and I also agree that she's just the latest in a string of equally narcissistic women who see nothing wrong with discarding vows and crushing stable homes with no particular interest in what it does to anyone else. It's been an issue ever since Eat Pray Love, which I loathed when it came out. I was so disheartened by the explosive following for its "I want it, and really, isn't that all that matters?" philosophy.

And it just keeps growing. I had to turn off the television during Adele's recent interview for the same reason. Basically, her self-reflection boiled down to "Yes, it was a good life, and good for my son, but it wasn't perfect. I'm sure he'll be happier because I'm happier." I mean... aren't there enough people on your staff already whose sole reason for existence is making you happy? You were an internationally acclaimed star at the age of 19, so maybe you can work on your pleasant marriage for a few more years for the sake of your child whose life is already lived around the edges.

(I see that I'm a hypocrite here for accusing Thumos of ranting.)

As someone who did Cheerio duty for many years (in a Pennsylvania house with peeling shutters, as it happens, though my cleaning lady was biweekly), I know how hard it is to live a life that is perpetual support staff. It can be numbing to lose yourself as an individual. But honestly, this author sounds like she ordered a family from Williams Sonoma. She looked at a Pinterest board and wanted the backdrop of a handsome husband, beautiful children, farmhouse kitchen... and when they didn't live up to spec, she traded them in for a different cliche lifestyle with herself in the starring role. She's not trying to build something real. She's just unhappy that what she received wasn't the exact color it looked in the pictures. God help those kids if they have any actual problems.

I'll add that this phenomenon exists independent of gender. It's just that women are now nauseatingly celebrated for assholery that was previously only celebrated in men. There have always been plenty of male narcissists out there whose narcissism is forgiven as ambition. Unfortunately, instead of decrying that behavior from both genders, we've normalized and even championed it.

I was hit hardest by this passage:

Twice, trying to keep track of the kids in the park by myself, I lost my oldest son. He ran ahead to the playground, and I lost him. I looked and looked, and then I shouted his name, and then I panicked. One time, someone else’s husband finally helped me find him. Honey, help that poor woman, his wife probably told him. They felt sorry for me and I didn’t care—I was abject with gratitude. I knelt and took my son’s shoulders in my hands and shook him gently, and talked in my serious, quaking voice about how we needed to be safer.

I mean, there is not a shred of irony or self-reflection there as she tells her son about the danger of running away towards the shiny playground without a backward glance towards the people who love and protect you. Looking back, her interest is more in how other people may have been evaluating her. She's always the only point of every story she tells. Everyone else is a prop.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

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 Thumos (original poster member #69668) posted at 11:25 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

without the F-5 sarcasm and hyperbole.

I mean, come on now, I would not be Thumos without it.

Anyway, yes Pharoahs would be stunned by even rudimentary things like central heat and air, streaming TV, a pick of cabinetry and a magical kitchen that practically cooks king's feasts by itself (at least from a Pharoah's standpoint) like the sorcerer's broom.

But honestly, this author sounds like she ordered a family from Williams Sonoma.

Lordy, I love this line, and wish I had written it. That's some good writing there. I hope you are doing at least a little writing for yourself on the side, BSR.

I'll add that this phenomenon exists independent of gender.

To your larger point, BSR, I couldn't agree more, and this is what grates about the spate of books and so on since Eat, Pray, Love. Which I equally loathed (you continue to line up with my expectations of what I picture when I read a BSR post).

It's not about gender at all, or it shouldn't be. It's like there's this weird cultural moment of "hey, look, women can be just as entitled and selfish as men! Isn't that great?"

It seems more about a culture gone a bit mad with self-centeredness of the individual as the highest good.

[This message edited by Thumos at 11:42 PM, Monday, January 3rd]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4527   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
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HalfTime2017 ( member #64366) posted at 11:34 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

Where I diverge on this is: if you have two married people that are in a relationship that is resentful and bitter and angry and acrimonious.... No I don't think that's 'better for the kids'. I think a lot of people stay in marriages 'for the kids' when it would be better for them and their children if they split.

But that wasn't the case here was it Ellie.... the Author had what I think we would all agree here on SI as a standard marriage, where life is life, cleaning, poopie diapers and bills to pay. She (Honor Jones) was just plain selfish. You don't go searching for yourself when you've just brought 3 young children into the world (all ages 6 and under).

I'm pretty tired of this quip about how a mother/women loses herself after marriage and kids. Shit, we men do too, and the good fathers out there spend just as much time with their children, helping with school projects, volunteering and doing play dates as do moms. My exWW had a career, friends, was encouraged to take up outside sports/hobbies/go out with her friends and colleagues.

She had a Masters degree and a solid career. You know what she didn't have, good boundaries or good self esteem. You know what most of these people do have in excess???? Selfish entitlement syndrome. That's what it boils down to. Selfishness. When my father passed, my mom didn't rush out to find a new man, or get remarried. No, she found a new career and way to help support her kids. Talking to her today, she'll tell you she never felt that she lost herself indentity. LOL. That's some Western notion about one self, self identity. When you sign up to be a mom, you have to be a MOM first.

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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 11:36 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

rights and responsibilities.

Thumos, don't get me started on duty...

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 11:36 PM, Monday, January 3rd]

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 11:59 PM on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

I agree with you. To a point. Where I diverge on this is: if you have two married people that are in a relationship that is resentful and bitter and angry and acrimonious.... No I don't think that's 'better for the kids'. I think a lot of people stay in marriages 'for the kids' when it would be better for them and their children if they split.

I do agree with you in concept. The issue with the article that started this thread is that she doesn't describe a bitter marriage infused with anger and acrimony. Rather, she describes merely a lingering ennui, a wondering "what else is out there"?

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 12:01 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

I'm conflicted about this one. Was she sitting around miserable not in love with her husband and had the choice to stay and pretend for the kids or leave and find some happiness? Because in that case, she did the right thing. If she just woke up and realized that no matter how much you love your kids, being a mom is a massive pain in the ass sometimes and decided to reduce her kid time to half, then...well. Parenting kinda sucks sometimes. Welcome to life.

I've been a single mom for most of my kids' lives and I get the feeling of exhaustion. I get the "seriously, more crumbs and clean your room and why are there dishes from a week ago on your floor and why didn't you tell me you had this project due tomorrow" and so on and so forth. How was I going to finish this project at work and still get my son to his Taekwondo classes and my daughter to gymnastics plus feed them and have even 5 minutes for myself to breathe, etc. Maybe it's the single mom in me, but part of me is irritated about this woman who had an involved coparent and a house cleaner finding it all just too much. I have yet to have a house cleaner. I've yet to pick out my cabinets because until the kids are on their own, there won't be money for me to even joke about renovating anything that I can't YouTube how to do on my own. I don't have the other adult in the house to take half of the parenting workload. I had many many nights where I didn't know how I was going to actually survive to parent my kids to adulthood because surely stress and exhaustion would just flatten me. I felt hopeless sometimes. No matter how much I love my kids, sometimes parenting is just too much. I was not always happy with my life. Are we supposed to always be happy with our lives? Is it supposed to not be hard? You don't get to live like a completely free person once you have kids. You've put a pause button on that until they're grown, whether you're single or married.

My guess is that she didn't love her husband and wanted to be single. That is perfectly acceptable. Obfuscating that with talk of cheerio crumbs and pantries is where she loses me. She's still doing mom stuff, so those cheerio crumbs aren't going anywhere.

I'm cynical enough to realize that this whole fall in love, get married and have kids thing is manipulation by our genes to reproduce. Not everyone is going to be happy or fulfilled in these roles. It's easy to imagine waking up in those roles and not wanting to be there. I'm perfectly fine not being married. Maybe that's all she's saying, I don't know. Maybe she really does just enjoy having the remote all to herself.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 12:07 AM, Tuesday, January 4th]

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 12:02 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Gotta be a way to vet people for this proclivity. Having kids with someone like this, somvapid and entitled is a nightmare.

Maybe ask for a writing sample before marrying. You see new age type language talking about " resonating" " soulmates", " connection" or some word salad combo platter, run. Same if you see an earmarked copy of "Eat, Pray, Puke" or any Harlequin Romance novels laying around.

There is, definitely, a type with this penchant.BTDT. Like someone with so little self awareness or empathy that she would try justifying cheating by telling her husband he is " sexually immature"( try performing with that rattling around in your head. Quite a feat. Good testosterone. )

posts: 146   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
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 Thumos (original poster member #69668) posted at 12:10 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Like someone with so little self awareness or empathy that she would try justifying cheating by telling her husband he is " sexually immature"( try performing with that rattling around in your head. Quite a feat. Good testosterone. )

laugh Tell me about it.

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 1:11 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

She elected to get married, young or not. Marriage is a commitment. It’s a contract. A legal contract in fact.

Business contracts, which are also legal contracts, can’t be abrogated in the absence of a contract violation. This woman admittedly had a great husband. No contract violation.

The law makes it very easy to get out of both good and bad marriages. However, it’s not so easy to get out of a business contract that’s not in violation.

Instant gratification rules the day in today’s world. IMO, it’s not a good societal development. When you sign up for something you stick with it. Dollars to donuts this woman has lectured her children about this dozens of times over the years. "You want to quit soccer after two months? No way. You signed up for this and committed to your coach and teammates. No way."

What kind of example is she setting for her kids?

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Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 1:23 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

What’s funny is when we DO put our wants and desires and unhappiness aside SOLELY for the sake of keeping the family intact for the children, we are criticized for that too. rolleyes Just can’t win, I guess.

[This message edited by Darkness Falls at 1:23 AM, Tuesday, January 4th]

WS - remarried to BH but not in R

D-day 2010

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HFSSC ( member #33338) posted at 1:35 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Reading the back and forth between Ellie and Thumos, I can’t help but wonder if you aren’t discussing different ideas. Seems to me that Thumos is referencing “disorder” and not “a disorder.” That the author catapulted herself from one form of chaos (cheerio dust) into another that she doesn’t seem all that much happier with.

Not saying that she is disordered or has a disorder.

Of course, I could certainly be wrong. I often am.

Me, 54
Him, 45 (JMSSC)
Married 24 years. Reconciled.

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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 1:58 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

I read this article and my reaction was a mix of infuriated, disgusted, and amused.

One of my favorite sayings is "Only boring people are bored." Her problem— which most people would kill to have— is that she clearly had too much money, too much free time, and too little imagination to think of the million ways she could’ve shook herself out of a malaise than ripping her family a part.

I don’t know how it happened, but when did it become a common expectation of marriage to keep your spouse entertained? Why is the personal happiness of adults considered fragile while children are expected to "be resilient"?

Although Honor never says she was unfaithful, I would definitely bet on the likelihood that she cheated on her husband. She has all the characteristics of an unrepentant wayward— including throwing a pity party in the pages of a prestigious magazine. She is too selfish and self-interested to have dropped her husband without having another man waiting in the wings. My guess is that the affair ended and Honor is struggling with the reality of her situation.

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

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