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How I Demolished My LIfe

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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 2:10 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Seems we cannot agree on the definition of strength:

Is it having the guts to leave when you are miserable?

Or stuffing your own feelings to stay even though you are miserable?

(My personal vote is that strength is the former; if you are miserable with me, then go ahead and go. I am not a charity case. But I do get the impression here on SI that the only thing more egregious than cheating on someone is cheating on them and then leaving them. Seems that's what some folks find highly offensive about the article--spouses are not supposed to give up. For many, this is worse than cheating.)

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 2:14 AM, Tuesday, January 4th]

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5349   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8707259
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 2:26 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

True the author wasn't in a 'bad' marriage. By most metrics, I wasn't either. I had a good job, owned a house, had money for groceries etc. Doesn't change the fact that I wasn't happy in my marriage. I didn't realize just how unhappy I was until after dday when I was forced into a more objective viewpoint, but still. And as sooooo many of us know first-hand, the "perfect" housekeeper-farmhouse-working-spouse picture isn't always the actual story.

"We" decided we wanted a bigger house. I thought it was what I wanted, but now? Now I think I'd be happier in my smaller condo with no landscaping to worry abouut. But I didn't know that until after I bought this big ol house. My thoughts and feelings changed based on new intel.

I get the rights vs responsibility thing, and as I've said multiple times on this thread, I don't necessarily agree with the author's choice, but I can agree with the fact that sometimes wants and needs change. And that if you're in a situation where you're unhappy and can't reasonably reconcile yourself to it, that choosing to divorce is not the worst choice you can make.

"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

posts: 3294   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 2:33 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

OIN, if a married person feels miserable, perhaps they should look inward first and decide if they are the source of and solution to their misery before deciding that their spouse is the problem.

If someone thinks that is too much to ask, then they have no business being married in the first place.

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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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 3:00 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

If someone thinks that is too much to ask, then they have no business being married in the first place.

True. Yet here we are, totally unable to control other people.

The real question is, if your spouse is miserable and won't/can't look inward, would you rather they cheat but stay? Or divorce you?

I read here frequently, "We promised we would never cheat on each other. If you are gonna cheat, then just ask for a divorce. Don't lie and pretend." I used to believe that I felt that way too. But no. To me there is no greater hurt than the abandonment of being left (my opinion). Me personally? I prefer you cheat on me in your dysfunction but want to fix yourself rather than leaving me outright (like the woman in the article). I have abandonment issues and cannot handle the powerlessness of being left (without hours and hours of therapy to talk me down from the ledge). So I get it 100%. But most/many people do NOT agree with me.

So which do I think takes more strength? Living honestly, even when it hurts your partner.

People disagreeing here in this thread seem to have different philosophies about cheating vs. leaving: which is more dysfunctional or immoral? I personally do not see divorce as dysfunctional or immoral, but cheating definitely is--the lying, denying, manipulating. Being left just freaking hurts and sucks, but it's not immoral.

When people marry, my advice will always be: hope for the best, prepare for the worst. That's life in a nutshell.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 3:26 AM, Tuesday, January 4th]

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5349   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
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gmc94 ( Guide #62810) posted at 3:15 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

[posting as a member]

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.

Let's be real here, MEN have been doing this FOR EFFING EVER. They left their wives like old dishrags in the search (more like quest) for younger/newer models.. or (more likely, IMHO), their lost youth (great line from "Moostruck" Why do men chase women? Because they fear death). Does NOT mean they cheated before D (and trust me, in 99% of these cases I personally worked on, I'd KNOW). It means they were bored with the same old sex, same old dinner, same old everything... and what did we call it for the last say 40-60 years (and I think I'm being kind on that front)? MID LIFE CRISIS. They dumped the wife, became every-other-weekend dads with the kids, often bought a convertible (or for the last 15-20 years, a Harley), and went on their merry way, bitching about alimony, bitching about the kids needing braces, and IMO really bitching about the inability to completely rid themselves of the vestiges of their former (or secure/family) lives. Articles WOULD be written about these dude's awesome new lives/wives... the photo spread in Architectural Digest or Town & Country or whatever.

Is this how every man behaved? Of COURSE not. But I know - personally and professionally - a TON who did (think the 1980s-2000s versions of "mad men"...)

And.... what does it really MATTER in OUR lives?

In my youth, it was chalked up to midlife crisis.. or to some male need to reconnect with / relive his youth or whatever. I don't remember seeing ANY chastizing or ostracizing of these men. Indeed, in my personal experience (it's no secret I was in the divorce biz for many many years), men were routinely given the "atta boy" for their new trophy wife (and the spiffy car and other toys), while the old hag / ball & chain / mother of his children are often left destitute (and truth be told, I helped some of them along their merry way).

My sense of this thread is there seems to be a desire to find some connection between a person leaving their spouse for their own soul quest (or whatever you want to call it) to the selfishness of infidelity. Ok. And - so what? Or the fact that someone who left their family/stable M (and possibly screwed up their kids in the process) had the audacity to WRITE about it and some editor had the audacity to PRINT it. Again - so what? People can be really selfish! People also often have As. My suspicion is that you, me, and every person on this site (BS, WS, MH), and pretty much every person on the planet has done some selfish crap that hurt someone else - including their kids. Years ago I took a job that I LOVED, but meant I was away from home for 4 days/week. My youngest was just starting high school. My choice had consequences for - and IMO - damaged my kid. I didn't cheat. I didn't D. But I did something selfish and someone else paid a price for it. Don't think that makes me an awful person or an awful parent. It does expose my imperfections and my HUMANITY (and FWIW, how many MEN do the same thing all the time, and are NEVER even questioned about it? As a woman in my particular role, I was routinely [like at least once or twice a month, for YEARS] asked "How can you take this job and leave your kid at home" and NOT ONCE was that ever asked of any of my male colleagues).

Thumos, I suspect I agree with you far more than I don't. However, even when I truly think you are onto something, it's all too often tainted by what feels to me to be a constant need to insert gender stereotypes into your point... to somehow having the point include being "about" what a wayward WIFE is/does vs a wayward SPOUSE. So some woman wrote an article about her experience in this respect - so what? What does that have to do with HEALING - which is really the goal/ long game / end game? How is pondering/arguing the similarities of selfishness of D post infidelity vs D "just because" helpful to self love? Self compassion? trauma healing?

How does someone else's quest for personal empowerment -in a manner you obv disagree with - help you or me or anyone else here on SI with our OWN personal quests for empowerment post infidelity?

ETA: as for another writing about the joy of D - may not be truly analogous, but see Brooks, David and his "second mountain" book (or how to come to spiritual/moral nirvana after dumping your wife of 28 yrs and later marrying your MUCH younger research assistant, a woman he swooned over in the acknowledgments section of his prior book, titled [I kid you not] "The Road to Character", but has apparently denied being his AP during his 1st M).

[This message edited by gmc94 at 4:36 AM, Tuesday, January 4th]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

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99problems ( member #59373) posted at 3:57 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

I can't say I've read all the previous responses to the original post, but here goes anyway.

Some people should never commit to a traditional marriage. They simply aren't built for it.

There is nothing wrong with that! And i get that there is societal pressure to do so.

But engaging in a "committed" relationship and blaming its failure on society doesn't do it for me.

Please own up to who you are and seek appropriate relationships for the committment level that you are comfortable with.

The blame game is boring and pointless.

Edit: gmc, the post above mine is on point. You bring up a lot of good points.

[This message edited by 99problems at 9:59 PM, January 3rd, 2022 (Monday)]

Got me a new forum name!<BR />Formerly Idiotmcstupid.<BR />I am divorced, so not as much of an idiot now- 4/15/21,

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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 4:08 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Well, speaking of gender stereotypes, the above post is full of them. I do not agree that men who jettisoned their wives for some younger model were slapped on the back routinely. In many cases, they were ridiculed " no fool like an old fool" etc.

In today's world, women discard their husbands just as frequently as vice versa. They chase power, status,looks and money just as much as men chase youth and beauty.

I would not advocate a person remain married if he or she is truly miserable. Heck, they are, probably making their spouse miserable, as well.
But, the reasons cited for this misery, often seem just complaints about boredom, lack of excitement or romance. Seems to me there is an expectation that life is supposed to be fairly constantly fulfilling and happy. But, that is not how life is for most people. It's a a struggle from birth to the grave filled with a ton of hardship, intermittently interspersed with times of happiness and contentment. Then, it is back to the struggle until the next interlude.

If you made a truly bad bargain, your spouse defrauded you in courtship, okay leave, hopefully before kids are on the scene.

Just seems the expectations are way too high, unrealistic as to what marriage can provide. We all desire some happiness. I doubt a person that leaves their kids in the dust is going to find some deep, meaningful existence vs just flitting from one fad to another.

I am projecting, somewhat. My XW was much like this author. After our divorce, she was just a pathetic word salad wielding, Namaste greeting, quasi- Buddhist. This lasted for a while until she refocused, and started looking for a rich guy to marry.

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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 5:43 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

I think everyone commenting should read the article to really appreciate how vapid and delusional the author is; it’s like she read Eat, Pray, Love and mistook it for The Bible. And as much as I dislike Elizabeth Gilbert, at least she had the decency not to drag children through her poor life choices, which cannot be said for this author.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 5:44 AM, Tuesday, January 4th]

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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HeartFullOfHoles ( member #42874) posted at 6:44 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Commenting from a previous page. In a good marriage 1+1 > 2 or maybe more importantly dividing the marriage does not equate to half of what you had in the marriage. This should be obvious from the financial side but also applies to many other things (e.g. we each have our strengths and can in general handle more as a couple than individually). As long as we each carry our share of the load and appreciate that while the other person may not be doing exactly the same tasks as us they are contributing in their own way.

This probably all goes to hell when people like Honor or my ex (or for that matter anyone having a mid life crisis) are involved because they don't know how to create joy internally. When I was married I gave everything I had to my family. I was either at work or with them. And you know what? Most of it brought joy to my life. I think for people like Honor and my ex they can't do this so they are always looking for this externally and when it doesn't happen as they want they need someone to blame and we all know who that's going to be. Add in some devaluation of their partners contributions and their life seems so repressive, so unfair. In their mind they deserve so much more, when in reality they are likely already getting more than their fair share.

It may be a bit extreme and idealistic, but if each partner can generate their own joy, gives everything they can and expects nothing in return then you are filled with joy and have a partner who is regularly doing extra things for you.

ETA: my ex loved eat, pray, love. I never read it. Sounds like knowing what was behind it could have been helpful.

[This message edited by HeartFullOfHoles at 6:52 AM, Tuesday, January 4th]

BH - Tried to R for too long, now happily divorced
D-Day 4/28-29/2012 (both 48 at the time)
Two adult daughters

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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 10:09 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

I was curious as to what SI thinks about the fact that women initiate approximately 70% of all divorces?

I have read some theories in different places, one being that women find marriage to be more burdensome and less fulfilling than men (like some posters have been saying) and another theory being that women are less likely to stay in an unsatisfactory relationship (as in they have a high standard for the quality of the relationship). The second theory is often framed as "Women see marriage as an ongoing creation (needs to be nurtured and altered to continue to satisfy them), while men see marriage as a destination (can now relax and stop working so hard)." These are just things I've read; I don't know that I personally believe them as stated.

But there is no denying the statistic: women initiate divorce most of the time. But why is that?

My views on marriage and divorce are probably the thing that has changed the most post marital trauma and infidelity, but I have not settled on my truth yet. I have much more respect for the intitution of marriage than I used to have, and I believe that I owe it much more than I was giving it. And that includes owing my H. I am ashamed of my previous attitude. However, the personal and emotional sacrifice is real--for both of us. I do think (even know because he has told me) that I feel the gaps in our relationship more acutely than my H. My H's IC once asked me, "What will you do if he cannot be the person you need?" And it's true that much of the time, he cannot be. Is that a him problem or a me problem? And do I really throw the whole family under the bus because my marriage is not perfect? I cannot answer what is right, but I do know that my family deserves me to work my ass off for them even if I, personally, might sometimes feel my life would be more enjoyable alone.

It's all really hard, all that "Eat, Pray, Love" stuff aside. I relate to her feelings of being lost even if I thought her methods of being found to be rather pretentious and extreme.

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5349   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 1:09 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

When the deal went through, my ex and I agreed that we could afford our own separate places.

What I see in this essay is actually a problem a lot of people seem to be dealing with, and that is a total lack of understanding what a marriage – and therefore a divorce – really is.

The above quoted sentence says it all:
If they are divorcing, then why do they have to agree that they could afford their own separate places?

What he can afford or what he does with the money for that matter is no longer of any concern for her, and vice-versa.

Plus they get apartments close to each other so the kids can freely go between…
Good sentiment, good thought, but are they defining their future based on their present? What if one gets a career opportunity in another city? Does she have to condone if he wants to move in with a woman in the Bronx? Or if she meets a guy in Albany?

We have this trend… or maybe it’s been around forever… where people either divorce and stay married or remain married but behave as divorced. To me that’s selling both yourself and the concept of marriage extremely short.

She’s free to divorce the man for whatever reason she has or imagines she has, and it’s great that they can do so amicably and with as much consideration to the kids as possible. I’m of the camp that thinks kids thrive best where there is love and happiness, and that can’t be found in an unhappy marriage, but definitely in a happy divorce. But divorce is what it its – the termination of a marriage and the disassociation of the combined emotions and control the former spouse had a say in.

Other than that, this article is about as relevant and impactful as most articles someone might read while getting their hair dyed. I would probably skip it for the article about "12 ways to know he’s into you". I’m guessing the writer would be astound to know it’s being discussed on an infidelity site.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

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HeartFullOfHoles ( member #42874) posted at 1:09 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

"What will you do if he cannot be the person you need?" And it's true that much of the time, he cannot be. Is that a him problem or a me problem? And do I really throw the whole family under the bus because my marriage is not perfect?

And maybe this is the crux of the issue. Personally I have never expected my relationship or partner to be perfect. Post affair I think this has been clarified even further. Maybe these imperfections and differences are actually a good thing because they often point to places we need to work on.

As an example. The pre-affair dynamic with my ex was she interpreted her thoughts and feelings as the true facts and completely dismissed mine if there was a difference. This resulted in me feeling my opinion, thoughts and feelings didn't matter so I incorrectly stopped communicating my feelings as I should have since I felt they didn't matter. Post-affair I demanded that we have an authentic relationship and that I be considered as well, but she could never get to the realization that there is your truth, my truth and the truth (or at least a compromise somewhere in between) and these differences can be healthy since they often help us to align our respective truth to be closer to the actual truth. Much of her thinking is significantly removed from reality since she will not accept a different perspective. For people like this being single likely makes them happier, at least initially, because they do not have a mirror to reflect their dysfunction back to them and our closest partner is certainly the best at doing this. Unfortunately this doesn't really work out long term because we all need some form of connection and with an attitude like this it's not really possible to maintain any real relationships. I witnessed this pre-affair as her not having any real friends, which was also blamed on me. It appears this has not changed after our divorce. Though I'm sure she has some excuse for that as well. Post divorce I have curated a number of new friends and strengthened my relationship with existing friends which is no easy task in your mid 50s.

Now if you have a partner that will not communicate authentically with you that needs to be resolved first, but have you like my ex taught your partner to not communicate?

BH - Tried to R for too long, now happily divorced
D-Day 4/28-29/2012 (both 48 at the time)
Two adult daughters

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HeartFullOfHoles ( member #42874) posted at 1:14 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

I’m guessing the writer would be astound to know it’s being discussed on an infidelity site.

Would likely be excited since people like this seem to thrive on thinking they have said something impactful.

BH - Tried to R for too long, now happily divorced
D-Day 4/28-29/2012 (both 48 at the time)
Two adult daughters

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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 1:21 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Personally, I did exactly as Bigger suggested. Cooperated re the kids but gave no thought or consideration to anything else involving my XW.

I read the article. It bored me to tears. Too verbose and pretentious. Could have said what she did in a couple of sent
sentences.

I would suggest it for anyone with insomnia.

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Walkthestorm ( member #72157) posted at 2:44 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

"I was curious as to what SI thinks about the fact that women initiate approximately 70% of all divorces?"

Several reasons I think. Here is just a few.


I do think that many of our gender roles are still traditional even if we appear to be modern. When I was a teen I said to my mom that I could never marry a man from my country of origin because there were certain gender based expectations that came along with that. In my culture men and women were expected to work full time. But only the women were expected to cook, clean and raise the kids and help out with agin inlaws. For many women stuck in those types of marriages they get to see there is another way to live and take the plunge.

I also get a sense that women in general don't mind being without a romantic partner. From what I have seen men tend to jump into the dating pool very soon after separation or divorce while women in general try out their new singlehood and some stay single.

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 Thumos (original poster member #69668) posted at 4:16 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

People disagreeing here in this thread seem to have different philosophies about cheating vs. leaving: which is more dysfunctional or immoral? I personally do not see divorce as dysfunctional or immoral, but cheating definitely is--the lying, denying, manipulating. Being left just freaking hurts and sucks, but it's not immoral.

This seems possibly like a false dichotomy. What many of us have said is Honor Jones decision to leave the marriage was not motivated, by her own account, by anything tangibly wrong with the marriage. As I pointed out earlier, it seems one of the common tropes of this subgenre to point out what a swell guy their husbands are (see Sandra Ling Tsoh for perhaps an even more self-involved example of this subgenre of "empowered" writing). We also know she elected to have three young children. We also know reams of sociological data suggest better outcomes for children in two-parent stable homes. Yes, if the environment is unstable or abusive, then children are better off not in that situation. For sure. On this we all agree.

But nothing Honor herself reported would suggest that dynamic at all; if anything, exactly the opposite. Therefore we can say with confidence that she made a willful and entitled, self-regarding decision that is most likely to harm her children over the long-term. I call this immoral, or at least deeply problematic ethically. TIF has alluded to Kant here. Honor (again with that name, oy) has willfully ignored her universal rational duty, as Kant would have it (and I think he's right).

As for the connection to infidelity that some seem confused about, I think Honor's entire tone and tenor and content suggests the kind of wayward entitlement we see so often that leads to infidelity. She elected to leave. Good for her, I suppose? But I think it resonates with a lot of folks here for that very reason. She alludes to having desires to hook up with other men and women, though she frames this in the context of being divorced. I think I'm not the only one here who catches a whiff of something, but of course we betrayeds tend to have our antennae perhaps overly attuned to that.

As for making this a gender thing, I have intentionally avoided that very thing, except for pointing out the rather bizarre media trend of celebrating female infidelity and this particular subgenre of "empowered" family demolition. In fact, I stated explicitly in the thread earlier

"It's not about gender at all, or it shouldn't be."

I don't think male infidelity has been uniformly celebrated. Yes, in some cases. Decidedly no, in others. It's been a mixed bag. In my region of the country, it is frowned upon. No one I know has been patting men on the backs for their midlife trophy wife acquisitions. In fact, it's viewed in my circles with contempt. As far back as 100 years ago, male midlife infidelity has been lampooned as something worthy of contempt (see Babbitt). But in our own era, male midlife infidelity was essentially a very terrifying horror movie (Fatal Attraction) that scared the crap out of many young men, including myself. It showed the toxic fallout all too well.

Anyway, good thought provoking discussion.

[This message edited by Thumos at 4:20 PM, Tuesday, January 4th]

"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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icytoes ( new member #79512) posted at 4:46 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Honor Jones sees her husband as an object - no different from a house or a kitchen cabinet - to be discarded when her tastes change or he is no longer useful to her.

She is truly despicable.

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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 5:04 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

So Thumos, just curious. But what in your mind makes a marriage 'bad' enough to leave? If the home is 'stable', should partners stay together at all costs even if one or both aren't particularly happy?

Like I said earlier - by most metrics, my marriage (before he cheated) was "good" - we had a house, I had a job, we laughed, we had similar philosophies/interests etc. But even with all that, I was still not 'happy'. With the benefit of hindsight, I can see where a lot of the issues were (and by no means were they all his) and I do think we would've eventually divorced anyways. But even if my marriage appeared 'good' to someone on the outside, it definitely wasn't. There wasn't anything major - he didn't beat me or get mad and throw things or anything overt like that, but the relationship was no longer serving me or adding the level of positivity to my life that I expect a romantic relationship to contribute. And I know sooooo many of my peers who had parents that stayed together for them, but they had parents that couldn't stand each other and were only staying out of obligation 'for the kids'. For my friends that had this situation, they would absolutely tell you that growing up in that environment, even though it was nominally 'stable', was not good for them in the long term.

I don't agree at all with divorcing out of boredom, but I do think that if you've grown apart or grown in different directions and the relationship just doesn't 'fit' anymore and you just have an underlying sense of sadness/resentment/dissatisfaction in it, then choosing to divorce is a reasonable thing. I think this is especially prevalent in marriages where the partners married very young.

As for the author of this article, I know you read it and see a wayward wife and that's okay because that comes from your history and experience and perspective. But what I read in this article is someone who made a really hard choice to divorce to even though her marriage wasn't 'bad', but she wanted more from her life. I don't see that as objectively immoral or selfish. I see that as someone who knows that she has hit a point where the marriage just wasn't where she wanted to be anymore. And rather than cheat on her husband, she decided instead to separate and divorce (as for the comment in the article about sleeping with a woman... IMHO you're too hung up on that and seeing the infidelity zebras - I think that was just a comment about a woman excited to see what life would have in it after a divorce, because D does open a whole world of possibility that is exciting. I read it the same as I would have if she'd said 'go on safari in Africa' or 'take up scuba diving'). For me, I think that is the more mature and loving choice to make for both her kids and her husband. I mean... Thumos wouldn't you have rather your wife done so rather than choose to cheat on you??

"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 5:17 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

But what in your mind makes a marriage 'bad' enough to leave?

I'll concede this in the eye of the beholder. But I think it needs to be a pretty high bar. Since we know marriage is both joyous and hard work, just throwing in the towel over some vague sense of ennui and superficiality does not seem to meet that bar. That's definitely the cause with Honor. She can't even adequately explain it, and tries to prettify a dull and gross decision with a bunch of purple prose. I don't know if I see a wayward wife in Honor, but I definitely see someone who probably tiptoed up to that line at the very least, and is perhaps one of the most navel-gazing self-regarding writers, man or woman, I've read in quite some time. Norman Mailer was perhaps more self-involved and definitely more loathsome (he stabbed his wife), but far more interesting.

And Ellie, I would actually position your own case in strong high tone contrast against that of Honor Jones. They are nothing alike. Have you thought about the possibility that your own discontent in the marriage (which you saw more clearly in retrospect after D-Day) might have really been driven by your husband, not you?

I mean to say, because he was in fact a wayward, maybe he was that way for a long time, and perhaps he drove an intimacy wedge into your marriage as a form of predictive programming for his infidelity. I don't know at all, you were there. But I must say this type of dynamic seems much more likely to be in most cases of infidelity than the usual "50/50" split on marriage problems formulation we see driven here on SI so often.

As for my own wife, there are really three options to consider, not two. She could have divorced me out of some vague sense of discontment (and really that's what it was, because she's never been able to articulate the why). She could have cheated and betrayed me (which she did). Or she could have turned her attentions ever more vigorously toward the marriage itself. Of those three options, I would have vastly preferred door number 3. She's striving mightily to do that now, and it doesn't go unnoticed, but I just don't know if it's too late.

[This message edited by Thumos at 5:21 PM, Tuesday, January 4th]

"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
id 8707361
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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 6:11 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Who is entirely happy in any form of existence, single or married? This pursuit of happiness at all costs vs living a meaningful life, satisfying one's s responsibilities to one's s family and community seems to me to be the right way to live.

This Honor woman seems oblivious to the likelihood that her husband has dissatisfaction and struggles, too. Her kids are 7 and under, she has material wealth, her husband is a good person and she blows up her family to navel gaze, as Thumos puts it?

Seems to me unlikely that she knows what a real struggle life is for many. She is dissatisfied and unhappy because her life is not like those she sees in the movies or reads about.

Don't get me started on "Bridges of Madison County " or " Kramer vs Kramer ".

posts: 145   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8707376
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