Personally I swore to never be like them. But even with infidelity and all the bullshit that went with it I gave my M another shot. My XWW and I had a very short attempt at R. She tried lying her way through it and it did not work out. I left for good after I found out about broken NC. For me my parents M had nothing to do with my decision. I ended it because I could no longer be with a person who disrespected me that much. A person willing to lie to my face in order to cover up their behaviors. In retrospect it was not the actual infidelity that doomed my M, it was her behaviors afterwards that made me want out.
My Dad spent most of his 30’s suffering from kidney stones – at that time a life threatening condition – ending up with enough of one kidney to survive. Mum held things together and managed to see him in the hospital which was quite a journey for her at that time. The experience bonded them more fiercely than welded steel. Mum went back to work as soon as we youngest were at school. She had to, in case she ended up a young widow. Then she trained to be a teacher, which she did until she retired.
Dad had several bouts of serious illness over the years (cancers and stones) but they viewed each one as a problem to be overcome and resolved. Very pragmatic, stoical, rational, level headed. They made the most of life, travelling far and wide, first with my Dad’s job and then whenever and wherever the desire took them, the last being a Baltic cruise trip the year before Dad died. They were great community people, involved in all sorts of things and “elders” to whom people came for advice.
I don’t think either of them strayed. I think they valued each other too much. They were each others strength. They had, and appreciated they had had, a very good life. Unfortunately, fWH’s LTA (and probable other affairs) has made me doubt that marriages can truly be like that. No marriages can be that good – can they….?
fWH’s parents got m’d when MIL got pregnant. MIL had a 4yr LTA with her boss. FIL gave up his career to be nearer to home. Although they stayed together, I believe it marred their happiness. For some reason, MIL felt the need to offload and confess to me last month while she was here for a bit of respite after FIL’s death in January, which has thrown everything into sharp forcus again.
My IL's adored my parents, absolutely adored them.
I thought I had a good marriage. I’d had the example of a good marriage. I tried to follow that example – talk when there were problems, don’t hide anything, agree on important issues, make time for each other, put the other person first, show love by actions, share the load. I did it all “right” but it would seem I was the only one up for keeping the promises.
As for staying? I don't know if it helped or not. I never told my parents - they would have been shocked beyond belief and I don't think I could have taken their "disappointment" in Mr UKg. I think they would have been heartbroken. As it was, they were worried sick at my weight loss, probably thinking I was keeping cancer or something from them. I was stick thin. I felt and still feel bad about that.
I told my IL's though. Another grubby secret for them to keep.
Years after my dad died I have had a recurring dream once in a while. I'm looking for my dad ... don't know where he is ... looking and looking. I find him and I'm so happy to see him, yet I'm sad and I ask him why did he leave mom, how could he do that do her? In my dream he's left her and he's with someone else and I'm devastated. When I wake up I'm filled with relief and think - oh, thank god he's just dead. So I think I grew up learning to take my vows seriously and work hard to make that happen.
As for WS family - he came from a broken home - alcoholic abusive father. His mom came from a broken home as well and all her siblings are divorced. Hmmmm. FOO issues.....
It was BECAUSE I grew up watching two people who truly loved each other through thick and thin and knew that I didn't deserve any less that I asked for a D and never felt that was a bad decision. I also didn't want to model a dysfunctional relationship for our children, which is what I knew our marriage would be, so I knew I had to end it. They deserved better than that as well.
My dad had an A when I was a child, and my mom stayed with him. I "knew", but didn't really know until I was 30 or so.
When my Wxh had his A, my mother talked me in to staying. Her logic was "if he is remorseful, at least you know what you have". I was in such a fog that I just wanted someone to tell me what to do.... so I stayed.
I guess the key word in that conversation was remorseful. Because I file for D 2 years later, and the rest is history.
I feel like my mom settled because she had 3 small kids at home. My dad is very.....difficult to live with. Let's leave it at that.
I don't think any marriage can be wonderful ALL the time. There were time in that 40 years where things weren't easy. I'm not sure about infidelity, although I wouldn't be entirely surprised as my dad travelled a lot. But they had their share of problems.
I appreciate that my parents, as we got older, were honest about how hard it could be to make marriage work and work well. I never had any illusions about marriage (actually, we aren't even married!).
I think it was THAT realistic idea, that marriage is hard and must be worked at, that made me stay and try to R. Because as honest as they were about the hard work they put it, we (my sister and I) have also been privy to how wonderful the rewards can be. My mom and dad dote on each other at this point, and I really find their love inspirational. Not because it was ever perfect, but because it still exists and flourishes within the imperfections.
"Honey, I'm so glad that we brought you up strong enough to know when someone doesn't deserve you".
I think it was THAT realistic idea, that marriage is hard and must be worked at, that made me stay and try to R.
I have to say that I have been extremely disappointed in fWH’s glaring weaknesses and overwhelming desire to rug-sweep. He is a conflict/discussion avoider and hasn’t been prepared to do anything other than a bit of lip service. And I have been the instigator to do things for reconciliation. Everything he said in the first couple of years has been all talk and no action. If anything needed hard work, honesty, love, care, decisiveness and discussion, this catastrophic event was it. Instead he expected ME to do all the work, as I had in the past. Any problem and UKg would fix it. Took me a long time to realise that. And that the FOO habit of nonchalantly rug-sweeping was genetic.
Having said that, I quite like Mr UKg. He's okay. I'm not holding my breath that it will last forever though. No long term plans.
[This message edited by UKgirl at 9:53 AM, March 13th (Thursday)]
My IL's, on the other hand, had a picture perfect marriage. One that both I and WH emulated because they seemed so in love, and showed such caring for each other. That is, until FIL had an affair and almost killed their marriage. They somehow got through the process of R, and when she became sick, he doted on her until her death.
I always thought the IL marriage was the better one, but as I look back, I see the love my parents actually had for each other. I think until the day my mother died, she regretted her divorce from my father. I'm sure that's why she never acknowledged the divorce after his death.
I find it uncanny and unsettling that WH was the same age as his father when having the A, and I am the same age as my mother when she was "widowed".
If your parents are still together does it make it more likely that you will try and work it out with your WS?
I'm not sure that has any affect on things. That's just my opinion. We are all individuals and we have to come to a decision that is best in our situations.
My dad walked out after I graduated high school because he didn't want to pay child support. I remember all the fighting that went on and wished my parents would divorce.
In my situation I'm only here because I'm unemployed. It's a sucky situation to be in, but it is what it is. I don't like my kids seeing the fighting and fighting with him/each other. It's not a good situation. I also know that it is not giving them a true visual of what a healthy relationship should be and, when I can, I tell them that this isn't what a normal relationship looks like etc...
I'm also a firm believer that just because the family is intact (not divorced) doesn't mean that it's still not a broken home. Also, some families function better after a divorce and to me, that's a better situation for everyone.
Just my two cents.
To answer your question, I don't know if this made me want to work it out with my STBXWW more or less. It did teach me a harsh lesson though. Because I was raised the way I was, and because I watched my parents stay together through some rough patches, I really wondered why so many marriages end in divorce. You find that person who is meant for you, and you can work anything out. That's a big part of what marriage is about, right? It never really occurred to me that I may ever be with another woman for the rest of my life, and I found such comfort in that.
Well, I was wrong. I do hope, much like my Dad, that I do find that great woman who really will stick with me until death do us part. I can promise her that I will NEVER put her through the hurt that my STBXWW put me through. Like my dad, I'm just not wired that way.
"But you said your vows, and you closed the door
On so many men who would have loved you
My parents are together after 38 years of marriage , and they have know end each other for 25 years more than that , I have a photo of them that I love that has them holding hands at the beach when they were 3 & 5