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New Jersey Divorce Support Group Message Board › What are your most challeging issues in your divorce right now?

What are your most challeging issues in your divorce right now?

A former member
Post #: 2
I've been divorced 5-1/2 years and I can relate to each and every one of the posts here. No doubt about it - divorce is a miserable state of affairs. What I don't understand is why so many men don't seem to have any idea why their wives left them. In my case, I think it would be awfully hard for my ex-husband to claim he didn't know, when I made it very clear to him that I desperately wanted to avoid divorce. I knew how horrible it was from first hand experience. My parents divorced when I was 14 and the misery of a broken family continues to this day. But I could not continue to live in a marriage that was being destroyed by alcohol and I told him so on many occasions. I had done everything I could possibly do to hold the structure of our family together despite his alcoholism and after 6 years I could no longer do it. He simply allowed me to divorce him, rather than confront his alcoholism. But we are all paying the price for this, and my son will never have the structure of an intact family again.

What I see and hear over and over again is that women feel unloved by their husbands, and we divorce them in a desperate attempt to find love again. Men speak of this as if it is something they had nothing to do with. Why do men stop loving their wives? Don't they realize that love is a verb? You can say "I love you" over and over, but it eventually becomes meaningless when you fail to act in a loving way.

So often women sense that their relationship shifted when they had children. I certainly felt that way. My husband distanced himself from me almost immediately after my son was born, and every attempt I made to draw him back just seemed to push him farther away. He no longer treated me in a loving way, rather he avoided me every chance he got, as if I was a nasty boss who wouldn't leave him alone. Any attempt to communicate how much I needed his love and support was interpreted as an irrational demand. His attitude went from "Look at me! I've got a good job, a beautiful wife and we're making a baby!" to "I work hard all day - I'm entitled to go out with my friends, ride my bike all day, sit in a bar all night or sleep all day." What just happened? What did you expect was going to happen when that baby was born? Did you think it was going to just be like having a puppy? Did you think your wife was going to raise that child and miraculously have all the time and energy for you that she had before?

Women with children desperately need emotional support - love - when they are giving everything they've got to their children. Yes - everything they've got - because that's what it takes to nurture a child. It's as if the moment we need love the most, our primary source vanishes. So what I would really like to know is why men lose interest in the very person who they need the most, when she is in the process of nurturing the miracle of life? Why do they allow their wives to struggle so hard to do what has to be done, without the fulfillment of a promise that was made - to love, honor and cherish?

And then when she stands up for herself and says "this is not fair - this was not the what you promised to do" the men sit there and wonder why is she leaving me? Why is she causing all of us such misery? What did I do to deserve this?

It's not what you DID, it's what you DIDN'T do, isn't it? So guys, help me understand that, won't you? If you really loved them, why did you stop loving your wives after they had children? Is it because they were no fun anymore? Is it because you witnessed their bodies push a baby out and you lost the ability to see them as sexually attractive? Is it because she spent so much time and energy nurturing your children that you felt ignored? Could you not see that she HAD to do that and that she NEEDED you to replenish her with love in order for her to provide positive attention to you?

I honestly wish I could understand this, and I wish even more that young married couples could be forewarned of the risk they are taking by having children.

A former member
Post #: 1
Without making this into an Al-Anon Board. My STBX is an Alcoholic. So in addition to the challenges that most everyone faces here, ie: financial woes, difficulty for my daughter, mounting legal costs etc.. I would say facing my responsibility in enabling her for the past 6 years and shedding the pattern of co-dependence that I allowed to control me for so long. Anyone who has dealt with this issue knows the madness that addiction is. It destroys not only the addict/alcoholic but the loved ones around them too, If they allow it...
I want to see her get better, I do not want my daughter to grow up without her Mom... But, I have to remember that I have absolutely no power over it...

Remember Nietzsche.. What does not kill you, makes you stronger
A former member
Post #: 3
Yes - I had to learn the reality of my powerlessness over other people's behavior a long time ago. With that knowledge I was able to hold my family together for the last 6 of 20 years of marriage.

My ex got sober 6 months after the divorce and I sent my son to live with him 5 months later. My son got the benefit of seeing his father recovering, and my ex got the benefit of seeing how important his sobriety was to his son. And I got the benefit of really confronting how utterly dependent I had been on my husband and child to fuel my self-esteem. I had to realize that my value can not be defined by anyone but myself. Although it was probably as hard of a lesson as I've ever learned, the result is priceless. And just as my ex will always have to resist the temptation of addictive substances, I will always have to resist the temptations of codependent thinking. These tendencies never really go away, but the 12-step programs are always there to keep us on track.
A former member
Post #: 2
Some very wise words Liza.. I am happy to hear that your Son is able to benefit from his Father's recovery.
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