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my bad marriage

My Bad Marriage: Why I’m Not Leaving…Yet

my bad marriage

 

Why I’ll “wait and see” about my marriage (even though we don’t have sex!).

Marriage is not going so well for my husband Tod and me. Our fifth anniversary approaches, and we haven’t had sex in more than a year. We’ve buried our feelings about that deep. We also avoid talking about finances and children, and anything else you could file under the category “future hopes.”

Outside of an hour of couple’s therapy every week, we go about our lives as if nothing were amiss—running our household, dining out with friends, and catching new movie releases on Friday nights. We’re good pals. (Yawn!)

When marriage promises so much more—stability, growth, intimacy—why am I content to stay put? In short, there’s work to do, and I’m not talking about forever anyway. For the near future—six months, a year, maybe two—here are the ties that bind.

My Bad Marriage: Why I’m Staying, For Now


1. I’m giving myself a break. 

I wasn’t always content to wait and see. In fact, I was nearly out the door earlier this year. Frustrated with our deteriorating rapport and needing space where I could think straight about the future I wanted for myself, I set out looking for an apartment of my own, crunching and re-crunching numbers to see what I could afford and worrying about breaking the news of separation to family and friends.

The worst two months of my life ensued. Stress, broken-record thinking, and fear of loneliness—and about what others might think—had me crying every night. I couldn’t get out of bed to face each new day. Figuring out how to rip apart a union, even an imperfect one, is agony. Needing a rest, I decided to focus instead on the silver lining of our relationship and to gather my reserves for another go at serious contemplation later.

2. He makes life easier and even sometimes more fun. 

Tod may not be my ideal life partner, but he’s a sweet guy who would give you the shirt off his back… or clean the bathroom even if he thinks it’s clean enough but you’re hell-bent on sparkling tiles in time for your visitors yet have no energy left to scrub them yourself. He’s also enthusiastic about checking out new restaurants with me, or just catching the ball game on TV from the couch, cold beer in hand.

While for better or worse we ignore our deep-seated issues around sex and money, we enjoy laughs together and keep each other amused. Life without him would require me to find new fun. If that sounds lazy, and you wonder just how much the bigger issues matter to me, remember, I’m giving myself a break at the moment. (See #1.)

3. It would be arrogant to think there’s no hope. 

The work Tod has done to improve himself in the last year is amazing. He went from avoiding any sort of therapeutic situation to undertaking both individual and couples therapy. And while I say I’m sitting back and relaxing at the moment, that’s relative. I always strive to make each day happier for us than the last. And in couples therapy we’re learning to communicate better. There’s potential, and to refuse it some time to reveal itself fully would not be fair.

4. I need to save some money of my own. 

Due to my admittedly insane and overblown need to “pay my own way” and not depend on a man, we’ve always kept our money separate. The thing is, Tod, earns three times as much as I do, and so after paying our bills, his disposable income is considerably higher. He is a generous guy, and he supports me in ways that remain well enough below the radar to avoid offending my independent sensibilities—he unassumingly picks up the check at dinner and forgets to ask for my share of the grocery bill.

If I leave, however, that’s the end of his help, and with no family to count on, it’s also the end of my safety net. It will be some months before I can save up for an apartment of my own. I’m not in any danger at home with Tod, so I have the luxury of being practical about this and can wait until I have more funds available.

5. Life is hard. 

Let’s face it: Life isn’t easy. Separating would be hard, but so would staying together forever. To think we can make it through life and without effort is naïve. So which challenge is the right one for me—rework this partnership into something more fulfilling, or separate and start anew?

If I’m at all uncertain (which I am), a bold move would be foolish indeed. With all the challenges life throws at us—for me, an alcoholic brother and father with rapidly progressing Alzheimer’s Disease come to mind—perhaps a supportive friend is more important than an intimate partner. Not sure I’d take that in the long term, but it’s something to think about.

So I’m biding my time, and meanwhile being kind to myself and gentle with Tod. After I’ve put in a good-faith effort in couples therapy and saved a bit more of my own money, I’ll reassess. If there’s a chance at all that in the next year or so I’ll be starting the long, painful process of extricating myself from a life lived together with Tod, I’d like to enjoy the calm before the storm.

The post My Bad Marriage: Why I’m Not Leaving…Yet appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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bad outweigh the good in your marriage

Does The Bad Outweigh The Good in Your Marriage?

bad outweigh the good in your marriage

Does the Bad Outweigh the Good in Your Marriage?

 

Does every situation, no matter how seemingly trivial, evolve into a fight?

Do you or your spouse continually refer to hurtful events in the past?

Is all the respect gone from your relationship? Do you feel it is impossible to bring that respect back?

Have your goals and directions changed but your spouse stayed the same?

Is your spouse no longer encouraging your independence and individual growth?

Have you and your spouse both changed so much that you no longer share moral, ethical, or lifestyle values?

Have you and your spouse lost the art of compromise? When you disagree, are you unable to create a path together that is acceptable to both?

Do you and your spouse have a basic sexual incompatibility?

Do you find yourself no longer attracted to your spouse?

Despite help from a professional therapist, marriage educator or coach have you stopped making love, continued to argue and seen no change in the dynamics between the two of you?

The above questions focus on the negative aspects of the marriage. You can’t say for sure that you are ready for divorce without first taking into consideration any positive aspects.

Conflict and frustration due to marital problems can skew our view of the benefits of marriage, especially when compared to some of the negative aspects of divorce.

Have you considered the following and come to terms with the changes divorce will mean in each situation?

Post Divorce Parenting and Isolation:

If you have a child have you taken into consideration the possibility of becoming the primary caregiver on a day to day basis? For the custodial parent, divorce means parenting on your on for the majority of the time. It is an intense responsibility; truly single parenting is the hardest job one can do so think carefully before voluntarily taking on that responsibility.

On the other hand, if you are to become the non-custodial parent have you considered the pain to both you and your child of no longer being part of their daily life? For non-custodial parents, divorce means a part-time, every other weekend relationship with children. This should be your most important consideration before taking any steps toward divorce.

Divorce doesn’t only end the marriage; it changes relationships that were established due to the marriage. Will you miss your in-laws, neighbors, if you have to move, and any friends who could be considered his /her friends?

The Downside of Being Newly Single

Have you given any thought to the solitude and loneliness that come along with being newly single? It takes time to rebuild a life, in the beginning, there will be more solitude and time to yourself. If you are someone who doesn’t like time alone make sure you have a good support system of friends and family in place before moving on to divorce.

If you can honestly say that you’ve taken all the above into consideration and are sure you are ready for the next step then, you are at a point of acceptance which is a significant sign that it is time to divorce.

The post Does The Bad Outweigh The Good in Your Marriage? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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5 steps to take when leaving a bad marriage

5 Steps To Take When Leaving a Bad Marriage

5 steps to take when leaving a bad marriage

 

Leaving a bad marriage is not easy so if you’ve decided you want a better life and are putting an end to a toxic marriage, bravo! Recognizing that you’re in a bad situation is hard enough but then respecting and loving yourself enough to say you’re truly done is daunting but doable if you are truly ready to leave.

Here are 5 steps to take when leaving a bad marriage: 

1. Therapy

Can you afford therapy? If you’re leaving a bad marriage, you will need support and to work through the issues that have built up during the marriage. Another great reason to try therapy? When leaving a bad marriage, you may be tempted many times to go back to your ex and a therapist can support you on your journey towards a healthy you and either rebuilding a healthier marriage or, a healthier life ahead outside of the marriage. Many therapists will work on a sliding scale and if you cannot afford it, try speaking to someone you trust like a pastor or rabbi, etc.

2. Finances

Are you working or, are you a stay-at-home parent? If you aren’t, will you need to support yourself?  Most likely the answer is yes so start applying to jobs, even if you find something that’s simply right for the meantime. Any bit of money earned is a step towards your independence, which is crucial when leaving a bad marriage.

If you’re already working and you are the breadwinner of the family, stop and consider how divorce will impact your earnings. Speak to a local attorney and find out your state’s laws on child support and spousal support.

Let’s also not forget any debt you and your soon-to-be-ex may have. Are you prepared for how that could be divided during a divorce? Important things to consider.

More financial factors:

  • Do you have a bank account in your name only? If not, open one. What about a credit card? Open one as well.
  • If you’re a stay-at-home parent, can you brush up your resume because you will need to work after divorce? And can you find family or loved ones to help with childcare when you return to work?

3. See a Lawyer

If you are determined to divorce and your spouse isn’t willing to use a mediator, which is a more affordable option than a litigated divorce. Most lawyers will do free consults and will give you a decent idea of what you are heading into financially and if you have children, with regards to custody. It never hurts to be prepared and no: don’t tell your partner you’re consulting with a lawyer!

4. Line Up the Troops

If you have kids, start lining up support now. It is hard being a single parent so having family and/or friends, who will help you and your kids through the transition, especially if it’s an ugly toxic marriage, will be immeasurable. Some family may have a hard time agreeing with your situation even if the marriage is that bad, so tell family members you can count on to be helpful on this journey.

5. Mantras/ Stress Outlets

Ending a marriage whether it was a good or bad marriage is emotionally taxing. Start finding ways to decompress whether it’s through meditation, yoga, reading, weekly meet-ups with a friend for a beer, coffee, a football game, or a manicure, or going for a run.

Even more pressing, start to work on your way of thinking and how you view yourself and your ability to handle divorce stress. Daily positive mantras such as: “I deserve a better life” or “This will get better” or “I am whole on my own” are good ways to mentally train yourself to want better for yourself and help you through the dark periods of separation and divorce.

The bottom line? You deserve to be happy and if your bad marriage is not fixable, don’t feel bad about walking away.

The post 5 Steps To Take When Leaving a Bad Marriage appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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