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Trend in BS divorcing after the kids grow

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DoinBettr posted 9/11/2019 09:28 AM

I have seen in real life (IRL), that a lot of my friends who "Survived Infidelity" divorce once the kids leave the house or start driving.
2 couples I thought for sure made it out, both had the WW initiate. 1 the BH (JH) mad hattered, the other BH(JS) he seemed to move past things.
The mad hatter couple (JH) just filed in the last month once the youngest daughter took off for college.
The other BH, had their son turn 16, he is driving now. The JS is filing soon he says. I am friends with both sides of each couple. Which really makes this tough.
Both times the BS said they thought they were fine. Then once the kids left all this barried resentment surfaced. I didn't understand that because the 16 was in marriage counseling and they seemed better than before.
This is years later, 6 for the 16 year old JS, 10 for the 19 year old JH.
Are more BS white knuckling? I see it more in the JFO too.
The BS says they are staying together to not lose time with the kids. That is exactly what my friends were saying too. Then once the pressure of being there for the kids alleviated, all these emotions surfaced. I now worry about my other 2 friend sets that stayed together.
What do both sides think?
Should the WS surge the effort once the kid pressure leaves or something?

dblackstar2002 posted 9/11/2019 09:55 AM

That's why I always say it's bet to just divorce. You never get back what you had. Once trust is broken you can't get it back no matter how hard you try. This is not a trend it is what usually happens. Once the kids are gone, Most see the person for who they truly are, Once you cheat you are a cheater. You can't un ring that bell.....

nekonamida posted 9/11/2019 10:00 AM

I think we need more info to know what's going on. Are their WWs remorseful or are there things they aren't doing that the BHs need? Maybe the MC was to fix an issue that improved temporarily but then stopped. Maybe the A really was a deal breaker for both but they weren't ready to leave until now.

From what they have said, it really does sound like what issues they had surrounding the A were not sufficiently addressed by their WS which is why the resentment surfaced so what was a bearable situation when they had kids to focus on quickly became unbearable when suddenly they could only focus on their WWs. Also, how much do you want to bet their WWs were less than enthused to tackle A issues from 6 - 10 years ago?

I've seen some members go through this here and 9 times out of 10, it's exacerbated by a WS who isn't doing something that they want or need so staying for the kids becomes a compromise and a hope that things get better between then and the youngest's graduation day. Things aren't so terrible that they feel the need but things aren't good enough to stay if kids weren't in the picture either. But as we all know, nothing changes if nothing changes. It's no surprise that they want out after accepting something that's just "okay" on the best days and soul crushing on the worst.

sisoon posted 9/11/2019 10:13 AM

Sorry, I have to say this: life is full of self-fulfilling prophecies.

From what you write, it's the BSes who need to do more work (although I expect the WSes do, too). White-knuckling or rug-sweeping - I don't know, and it doesn't matter.

To R, BS heals BS. WS heals WS. Together they (re)build the M. Both partners MUST face their feelings to heal. Both must face and resolve their anger, grief, fear, and shame. That means individual work, and MC usually isn't enough.

It's true that the M is never the same, but ....

The 'same' means to me going back to a state in which the M is 'too vulnerable to an A,' just as it was too vulnerable to an A before the A started. So anyone who sees R as going back to 'the same' is very likely to be disappointed. Or devastated.

I'm really sorry for your friends. I know this is a very painful period for them, and I know it's painful for you to witness it. I also expect it's devastating for the kids.

My son split a year and a half ago, and my GS is beyond sad and angry. He really wants his mommy and daddy to be together. But he's in less pain than he would be if they were together. And he's taking the hit in elementary school, when he's more resilient than later and which gives him more time to recover.

There are conditions in which it might be wise to stay for the kids, but from what I've read and seen ... it's better to be from a broken home than in one.

Of course, when you're in the middle of a big mess, it's usually hard to see the best way out. I understand the pull to stay for the kids, but....

[This message edited by sisoon at 10:16 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

cocoplus5nuts posted 9/11/2019 10:20 AM

I am reconciled. My fch has done everything to address his issues. He continues to work on himself. I still consider divorcing for many reasons. I reasses my situation quote often. I plan to do a major reasses once all of my kids are older. (My 8 year old is still homeschooled.)

I think that is one of the prices the CP pays for cheating. You can't unring that bell. It will forever be a possible dealbreaker.

Rideitout posted 9/11/2019 10:50 AM

I'm sad to say, this isn't just BS's. I've seen stats on this before, not recently, but I looked them up years ago before I got married. I think it's safe to say that a whole lot, IMHO, most, marriages aren't the happy/Disney movie that they are made out to be. When you have some large fraction ending in D, that tells a lot of the story. And another large fraction with cheating. And then we have physical/emotional abuse/sexless marriages and a whole host of other things that could be wrong with the remaining (non-divorced) couples. I think it's safe to say that the majority aren't very happy.

I know that trend is certainly true for quite a few men I know. A whole lot of them are "staying for the kids" or "because I can't afford the D". I think if you look those impediments away, you'd see the D percentage rise (from an already alarmingly high number) dramatically.

I'm sad to say, and perhaps this is some of the reason for my general viewpoints on men/women and marriage, but I don't know many "happily married men". I know men who endure their marriage, men who love their kids, men who cheat every chance they get, and men that would D in a heartbeat if they won the lottery tomorrow. And yes, I do know a few (very few) men who seem like they genuinely love their wives and are relatively happy with most aspects of their marriage (most of these men only complain about sex). But "happy"? I'm not sure I know much of that in my personal life. I feel like I was (happily married) and, honestly, it was kind of ostracizing, when the men would sit and start b*tching about their wives, I wouldn't have much to say. And my wife has said the same, when her GFs would get together and start beating on their husbands, she'd often sit quiet (not so sure about this now, after the A).

Anyway, to your OP, I'm not at all surprised to hear this. Kids are just one more "reason" to stay married. As this need is fulfilled (kids leave home) it's not at all shocking that a lot of people hit the exits at that point. They weren't happy in their marriage, they were enduring it for the sake of the kids. Terribly sad, but, also, not at all uncommon from what I've seen.

Tentwinkletoes posted 9/11/2019 11:11 AM

How many couples divorce after the kids move out? Quite a high percentage. I imagine once your joint interest is gone if you dont have a solid M you drift and divorce. It doesnt always mean A is the reason. Maybe the lack of M is what resulted in A and stayed for the kids rather than proper R. It may have happened regardless of the A but probably made it more likely.

heartbroken3414 posted 9/11/2019 11:12 AM

I can speak from experience, if you think that you think that it was a deal breaker and you are waiting for kids to get older to leave, do it before the grandkids start arriving. My kids were older but when I found out my first grandchild was already in our lives and very involved with us on a daily basis. Then more grandkids arrived. My grandkids would be heartbroken if we split now. I do feel trapped at times. I am happy that we are a very close family and my kids and grandkids want to spend time with us, but it makes it so much harder to put myself first. I feel like I really did not have the option to divorce because it impacts the whole family dynamic. I put my family first and I hope in the long run my WS does not cause me to regret that decision.

crazyblindsided posted 9/11/2019 11:18 AM

I white knuckled it for a while. I am going to file for D soon. My daughter will be graduating high school next year and I'm just not sure I can wait it out that long.

sewardak posted 9/11/2019 11:42 AM

You never get back what you had. Once trust is broken you can't get it back no matter how hard you try

truth. but there are more to marriages than 100% trust. I'd rather have what we have now, than what we had then. it's better. And trust is about 98%. i'll take it. happily.

Oldwounds posted 9/11/2019 11:51 AM

You never get back what you had.

True, but what I had wasn't working.

What I have now is better. Blind trust is never, ever a good idea no matter who you're with. We've rebuilt a far more authentic partnership without all the old games, masks and bullshit we used to have.

For us, kids are already grown and gone. We don't need to be together for financial gain. Our sons were the focal point and likely the glue that held the marriage together in those not good years for sure.

But the only reason I can think of to stick around, is because you want to be with that person, they really want to be with you.

Darkness Falls posted 9/11/2019 11:56 AM

I have many many years until my youngest graduates HS, but I am 99% sure that Iíll be divorcing once that happens. I think my H would be content to drift along in our shitty status quo until death do us part, but I say fuck that shit.

nothisfriend posted 9/11/2019 12:20 PM

I had a distinct feeling at the time that had I not discovered the A that WXH was going to file and leave me as soon as DS graduated from high school. I can't remember if it was a comment in his text messages with OW or something else that put the idea in my head. Oh well...

DoinBettr posted 9/11/2019 12:25 PM

FYI - 1 had a great marriage before the cheating. She totally treated him like a chump. JH, he resented her I think. She did clean up her act, but I think he held that rock for 10 years. I think he swallowed all the hate and then once his daughter left, it took a trigger or 2 and he was out. That took a couple of months though.
JS - His WW really tried. She hooked up with a neighbor and JS had to see that idiot for 2 more years after the affair, before the housing market fixed. I think that cut him deep. He was really happy like I was in my marriage. Kind of that ignorant blissful feeling. Mickey at Disneyland is just a guy/girl in a suite when you grow up kind of feeling.

I am less worried about the friends. I am trying to fix them the best I can. The JH couple had other issues. She threw matches at a gas pump.
JS, I really am trying to figure out how to help her because she helped my WW get her head out of her ass. She tries as hard as she can, but he never got over the blow to the self esteem.

AbandonedGuy posted 9/11/2019 12:45 PM

Interesting topic because I've seen some WSes talk about divorcing after the kids grow, whether their BS is aware of their BS status or not. The WS sticks around for the same reason a BS would, to keep the family together, but there's no love left and so they have their own escape plan in the chamber.

64fleet posted 9/11/2019 13:38 PM

I see it an awful lot-I was best man to 3-only one couple still married. Others have dissolved due to cheating. My friend ended his as soon as the youngest left.
Was always my goal, but 4 more years seems forever.

lieshurt posted 9/11/2019 13:51 PM

**As a member**

I think it's cruel to the kids to divorce once they've graduated and are starting college. Hey kids, you are on your own in a different place with nobody around for support and you are about to start one of the most important chapters of your life, so now we are going to get a divorce. Good luck handling the devastation now.

waitedwaytoolong posted 9/11/2019 14:23 PM

I donít know if anyone here is old enough to remember, but this stage of life should come with loudspeaker yelling danger Will Robinson.

My wife affair coincided directly with our last girl going to college. My decision to divorce came right after the same daughter graduated and was settled.

I get the resentment. I buried mine for a long time.

I often get the feeling that many of the WS here who go on about how great their marriage is and how my BS loves me more than ever, would be shocked if they could really get into their BS brain and feel the lingering resentment.

When their BS finally pulls the plug in the situation above they are shocked. They shouldnít be.

Lies, I disagree with your statement. I acknowledge itís never a good time to break up a family, but is it better when they are in high school and have to shuffle between homes? Should a BS have to wait another 4 years suffering because their spouse decided to fu*k someone else? Was I cruel because they were just starting out in their lives and career when I did it ?

[This message edited by waitedwaytoolong at 2:50 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

numb&dumb posted 9/11/2019 14:37 PM

I think you need to look at the "empty nest syndrome" by itself before attributing that solely to infidelity. The As certainly did not help, but once the kids leave home it is not uncommon for the transition to put a strain on the healthiest of marriages. It seems that healing did not take place there.

Correlation is not causation. KWIM ?

I can see in my own situation where my kids and let's be honest, money, gave me incentive to "not D." That was not reconciliation. It was just agreeing not to pursue a D. It bought time to figure things out. My and I did a lot of work during that time and while we are not empty nesters, yet, I feel that our relationship is healed and improved.

Another thing to consider is that you can't reconcile without both people putting in the work. Maybe one of them did the work and the other didn't. Maybe they agree'd to give it until the kids went off to college and split amicably once they new the M was not able to be reconciled. Who knows what goes on behind closed doors ?

sewardak posted 9/11/2019 15:14 PM

why can't the BS be honest about this? Seems to me it would be more lying in the marriage, why contribute to that?

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