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rachelc posted 10/9/2013 12:48 PM

I've been wondering how many of us didn't have the best role model of marriage growing up.

My parents divorced when I was 10. He left her for the OW, they've been married 30 years.
Mom was very bitter for a long long time.. he left her high and dry with four little kids. They struggled with money, but I don't remember that part. He was the nurturer and she was the disciplinarian. But I have no idea how they were together.

37 years later Mom is very happy. HE is not.

Husband's parents: still together, she is very resentful, they bicker all the time... she is a hoarder and my children have never been to her house. Apparently it is like a cave now. There is so much denial and rugsweeping I've never seen anything like it.

They were all so young, and so ill-prepared for parenthood. I have sympathy for all of them. Yet their choices have had a profound impact on us... and although the situations may be different, the coping methods are similar...

PrincessPeach06 posted 10/9/2013 12:52 PM

My parents met on a blind date, married 3 months later and have been married for 39 years. It hasn't always been easy - my mom is bipolar and my dad was an alcoholic but turned his life around and is the most awesome dad ever. :)

My H's family is dysfuntinal at best. His dad cheated on his mom and married the woman. She had 3 sons and no daughters so she treated H's sisters well but ignored him. His dad did whatever his step-mom wanted. His own mom coped with it all with drugs and alcohol.

h0peless posted 10/9/2013 12:53 PM

My Mom had an affair with the pastor of our church for the last 5-6 years of my parents' marriage. I believe it broke up his marriage. My Dad played the doormat for years and then went out and had an affair of his own, divorced my Mom and married the crazy OW two weeks after the divorce was final. My Mom married the pastor two years later.

I hate infidelity.

SuperDuperWonderboy posted 10/9/2013 12:56 PM


My parents married at 25. Had three boys. Loved and respected each other. From what I know there was no infidelity, but just a very loving marriage. Sadly, Mom passed away at 48.

All three sons have had wife's who had affairs. Both my brothers ended up divorcing their wives.

My wife's family.....her dad had upwards of 20 affair partners, and would often take my wife to their houses to play with the AP's kids while they were doing there thing.

Wife's mom had several affairs as well.

Funny neither one of them supported me when my wife's affair was discovered. It was all my fault and I needed to remember that my wife is a woman who knows what she needs and isn't afraid to go get it.


[This message edited by wonderboy at 12:57 PM, October 9th (Wednesday)]

Darkness Falls posted 10/9/2013 12:57 PM

My parents: unhappily married for 27 years. Divorced due to my father's refusal to be treated for severe mental illness that disrupted our home life and our family's reputation in hometown. He then died two years post-D after a short illness. No infidelity on either side. My mother: very rigid, uptight, perfectionist, controlling, and "wore the pants." My father: mentally ill, as aforementioned. Horrible temper; was a rager and a screamer. Extremely antisocial and awkward. Limited affection toward us kids. He and my mother were like oil and water. I have very, very vague memories of them getting along in my early years of life. More than anything, though, I remember them hating each other and treating each other with disrespect and contempt.

XH's parents: divorced when he was in middle school; I think his father had at least one affair and possibly left for OW. Was married several times after XH's mom. She has never been remarried. From what he tells me, they seemed to have a good relationship before the D. Somehow along the way, he learned to be conflict-avoidant in the extreme. As in, if there is ANY disagreement or difference of opinion expressed AT ALL, the relationship is doomed and horrible and "he can't live like this." No idea what happened there; he won't talk about it.

HormonalWoman posted 10/9/2013 13:00 PM

My parents were happily married until i was 18 (just under 25 years i think). I always wanted to have a marriage like theirs, it looked great. It wasn't until my wh cheated that my mum told me my dad did the when she was pregnant with my brother (who is 6 years older than me).

My wh side is messy. His mum was having an affair, he was a result of the affair but was passed off as her husbands baby for 5 years (i've no idea if he knew) until she left him for his dad. They have both cheated on each other at least once that i know of since being married.

Peaches2013 posted 10/9/2013 13:07 PM

My parents are still married and have been for 42 years. My dad is disabled, my mom refers to him as her soulmate.

My brother's first marriage ended with her cheating.

My husband's parents...they too have been married 40-ish years and are still together. They complain non-stop about each other, my mother in law is emotionally enmeshed with my husband, my husband has daddy issues from his dad not being around much until my husband was in his 20s.

LoveActually posted 10/9/2013 13:10 PM

My parents divorced when I was 10. He left her for the OW, they've been married 30 years.

Wow--so close to my story. My parents divorced when I was 18. They were married for 26 years. He left her for the OW 12 years younger than him-they had been having an affair for 3 years. He married the OW 3 months after their divorce was final--very painful for not only my mom, but me and my sister too.

My mother was a basket case for many years--very very angry--still is if she has to see my father for any family related event--which happens maybe once a year because of my kids and school stuff. She got married two more times after her divorce from my father. She is currently still married to her 3rd husband and seems really happy. He is a wonderful man and a big bonus, also a very wealthy man, she has financial freedom and peace for the first time in her life so I'm happy about that at least.

My dad is still married to the OW who has gone from the hot blonde with big hair that would get up on the bar and dance--to a conservative frump who hates to socialize and has spent loads of time in counseling and other really way out find your inner self activities--a one point she had a doll that she called Little <insert her name here> that she would rock and hold and say that she was learning to give the little girl in her love that she never got as a child--yeah, really.

The irony is that is one of the main reasons he told my mom he was leaving--she was no fun.

Raising hand--dysfunctional family here too.

Bikingguy posted 10/9/2013 13:27 PM

When my father M my mother she already had 3 kids from her first M. At one point he had a nervous breakdown and due to money issues was not able to seek help. He became very paranoid which only got worse as he got older.

He started working more and at first it was a town away so he would come home on the weekends. Over time that stretched to hardly ever coming home. On one such occassion I saw him at a pay phone. I was about 13 or 14 at the time and new what it meant. I confronted him and he lied. My mom must have heard my coversation as they D not much longer. He became a major hoarder. Had three storage units across two different states. Still think of him when we watch Storage Wars, or Hoarders.

Upon becomming a BS in January I became very angry at the POS thing dad did my my mom. He died a few years ago, but upon a recent trip to his grave gave him a piece of my mind.

Rarely heard my mom or day say "I love you" and not much physical contact. I can also recall one time when my dad hit my mom. We were in the car with me in the middle, I think my dad did something stupid in the car, mom called him out and he stretched out his arm and hit her. I also felt it! We then tried to eat out and pretend everything was OK.
So my parents M was an example of how not to do it. Somehow mom was able to raise 4 kids with 2 different dead beat dads!

Mack9512 posted 10/9/2013 13:28 PM

My parents got married for all of the wrong reasons, Mom wanted to get the hell out of her dysfunctional parents' house and my Dad thought it was time to start a family. Funny thing is that they were happily married for 52 years when my Dad died. My Mom was so heartbroken that she didn't even last a year. I believe I have told this story before but I'll tell it again because I love it so. Even though my parents were not in love when they got married, they promised each other that they would never be alone for Valentine's Day again. Every year for 52 years, my Dad bought roses for my Mom and my Mom made my Dad her famous meatloaf. My Dad died on Feb. 18th of 2008 and my Mom died Feb. 10th of 2009. They continued their tradition of always spending Valentine's Day together!! Of my 6 siblings, only one is D and that was due to domestic violence and not infidelity.

My fWH's parents on the other hand.... His father cheated on his mom so many times it literally made her go bonkers. For 40 years she has only dated one other man, she refuses to go out at night and she won't ever initiate contact with her children. (she also does this weird ass thing with her eyebrows but I'm pretty sure it isn't related to her husband's affairs. SCARY!!!) Every member of my fWH's family has either cheated (repeatedly) or has been cheated on.

roses303 posted 10/9/2013 13:30 PM

My parents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary next year. I always considered their marriage great. They are not huggy kissy overly affectionate but I always knew they loved each other. Sure there were some fights and periods of time when they barely spoke but they got through it because that is what marriage is all about. For better for worse and all that. They are now and have always been comfortable with each other. Maybe that is where my desire for a comfortable safe long term marriage came from. I never saw fireworks and raging passions as necessary more important was caring and respect. I was willing to work through the bad parts of our marriage because that's what you do. So you don't like each other much right now. Push through support each other and it will work out. I guess WH didn't see it that way. As soon as the passion left he found it from someone else.

WH's parents celebrated their 50th this past summer. That was a fun event coming less than a month after dday. Their marriage works for them but I wouldn't call it functional. My FIL is/was short tempered, could be violent and very self centered. I think he has some undisguised issues. Based on his difficulty with interpersonal skills, explosive anger issues when stressed or taken out of his comfort zone I think he may be on the spectrum and never learned coping skills. My MIL runs the household and keeps his routines in check. So much so that FIL doesn't do anything without checking with her and she lays out everything step by step for him so that there are no surprises. There is no physical affection at all in the household ( except with the grand kids). As a result, WH married someone a little like his mom. Strong, independent and codependent enough to take over what ever needed to get done. Then he felt resentful. He didn't want to be his dad. He wanted to be is own man. He craved attention and when it was given to the kids and not to him. He resented it more. He didn't get affection at home growing up so he sought it wherever he could get it and if he wasn't getting enough from one person he went to another. Someone who wasn't his mother. Someone who didn't want anything from him. Someone who didn't take care of him. Someone whose sole purpose was to feed his ego and "desire" him.

[This message edited by roses303 at 1:32 PM, October 9th (Wednesday)]

JustDesserts posted 10/9/2013 13:45 PM

My folks 50+ happy years. No infidelity. My inlaws the same.

Guess I'm the only cheater for miles around in my family.

heartache101 posted 10/9/2013 14:06 PM

My father cheated on my mom.
She tossed his ass out. He married "Thingy" and I was 12 at this time.
So they were married right at 15 years. Father never in my life after his marriage till i was 18.
Husbands parents celebrated their 50th before his mother passed. DYSFUNCYIONAL! My poor husband was never told by either parent I love you or I am proud of you after we had kids they never babysat or had any one on one with them just sayin weird fn people!
I may not be the best mom or spouse but I am better then both sets of parents.

catlover50 posted 10/9/2013 14:18 PM

My folks 50+ years together, retired early and travel the world (currently in Uganda!). Fought when we were kids but completely faithful.

H's parents divorced due to infidelity when he was 6. Mother dated married men. Mother's boyfriend abused him. Every other man in his life was a known cheater. He cheated on every girlfriend he had.

Kinda wish I had known all that before this last year! Yikes!

TheAmazingWondertwin posted 10/9/2013 15:18 PM

My parents had an amazing story. Love at first sight, 3 beautiful children, I remember laughter and unconditional love and undying respect for eachother. We were all heartbroken as my father passed away after a two year battle with cancer just before they were going to retire and finally get to spend all of their time together, like they always wanted. My mother was a broken mess and so were we for awhile. My father was the father my H never really had.
His family consists of a very ambitious woman who had him at 16 and always seemed to blame him for ruining her life. His real father denied his existence- even though he paid child support for all 18 years- but no contact even now. he thinks e has sisters a few towns away, but doesn't know for sure. My H was raised by dysfunctional grandparents and a teen mom- who eventually turned her life into something amazing professionally and materialistically, but often at the expense of her son. Emotional neglect and controlling behavior- a lot of yelling and deception his entire childhood - married his stepdad when he was 12 and tied to create the perfect family without putting in the emotional work. My H moved out at 17. It has taken years to reconnect with his mom and we are doing well now- but his mom and step dads relationship is admittedly not one of love but of convenience and routine and is now centered around our kids- which is great.
Oh the things our FOOs contribute, yes?

confused615 posted 10/9/2013 15:21 PM

My husband's parents were married for 45 years. I wouldn't call it a great marriage. MIL is passive aggressive and a bitch,and FIl was very kind,but a bit pushed around.

My parent's divorced before I was 2. I have only seen my dad twice since then. My mother has been married 5 times. All were abusive..some terribly so(husband #3 shot her in the head...and raped me when I was 15).

My mother had been the OW in her relationship for 8 years. He divorced his wife and they lived together for a few years before they broke up.

I had a lousy example of what a healthy,happy marriage should look like.

SadFlower posted 10/9/2013 15:22 PM

My parents had a wonderful marriage--very loving, and showed it every day through words and actions. They were excellent parents, and I cannot imagine having had a better childhood. I really did win the family lottery!

I also won the in-law lottery. My FWH's parents were warm people, fun to be with, and we got along very well. But...........sometimes I would pick up on some underlying irritation (especially from my MIL to my FIL), and then there were the twin beds. Even though on the outside they seemed solid, I sometimes wonder if my FIL had an affair at some point. I haven't had the courage to ask FWH.

BeyondBreaking posted 10/9/2013 15:55 PM

My parents met in college. My dad was my mom's first. They got married right out of college, both became teachers, and were married for 5 years before having children.

Dad cheated on mom growing up. I didn't find out until I was a teenager. I was so devistated- I felt like my parents who were in the process of teaching me how to respect my body and save sex until I was in committed, monogamous relationship, were SUCH hypocrites.

I didn't trust men AT ALL growing up except for my dad. Then, as a young teenager, I learned that I couldn't trust him either. It took me a really long time to work through that.

I don't think people realize how their negative choices have such long-standing impacts on their children.

blakesteele posted 10/9/2013 16:18 PM

My parents married for 17 years, money stress was a regular occurrence but no big fights ever. My Dad had an played a part in my parents D. Dad dissappeared from my life from 12 to 22 when I flew out to see him after college graduation. He never married his OW, but he did marry a very nice woman who is 20 years younger and she came from a very abusive marriage before. My Mom never dated, never re married.

My wifes parents divorced...her dad was an alcoholic, her mom finally had enough and left.

Throw us in the boat of knowing more about what we "didnt want in a marriage" then "what we thought a marriage could be".

Good post...I have wondered about this as well. Statitistics I am familiar with appear to follow the trends of this's repeat family cycles...but there are exceptions.

Here is to us who are trying to be the exception with regards to surviving infidelity.

StillStanding1 posted 10/9/2013 16:38 PM

My parents celebrated their 50th anniversary this spring. They are European immigrants and definitely had the "stick together" mentality. They never fought in our presence, nor were they very physically demonstrative with each other. Overall, great parents, however, I never learned to deal with conflict, just avoid it, bury any resentments. Hasn't worked out real well for me...

My WH... His mom cheated on his dad while he was in 'Nam and they D. She later was the OW whose AP left his family to marry her. H#2 abandoned WH and his mom when he was 15 due to alcoholism. She later became a LTA OW to another MM. I love MIL dearly, but she certainly planted the seed in my WH that A's are okay if the MM isn't happy! My FIL has been M 5 times to 4 different women. Almost each time, the lady had a son who was WH's age at the time of his D. (Feeling replaced much?) FIL swears he never cheated on any of his W's.

My WH hated being a child of D, so he rationalized that what he was doing was OK, as long as he stayed M and took care of the family. He deserved to be "happy", right? Sigh. Infidelity sucks.

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