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Knowed Out
12-06-2004, 10:18 AM
I need to get something off my chest, and I don't want to put it on my LJ because some of the parties involved are on my friends list. I'm getting worried. Four married couples I know broke up this year.

Couple A had quadruplets 3 years ago. This past spring, he came home and found the house empty. She packed up the kids and moved back in with her parents in Delaware. This devastated him so bad he checked into a mental hospital for three days. He got the divorce papers last week. He's still not sure why she left him.

Couple B never married, but have a 3-yr old son. It was her house, but he made house payments, paid the bills, cooked, and cleaned. He never hit her, never abused her, and always went out of his way to provide for her. She moved 150 miles away and took the kid with her. Today is their day in court for custody hearings.

I got an email from the husband of Couple C. He said he and the wife are having problems, and he might need a place to stay for a while. I said sure. Never heard back from him, but heard through the grapevine that after a couple of marriage counseling sessions, she moved out.

Now I'm the middle of Couple D's eventual split. He drank and is bipolar. She is irresponsible with money and snorts coke. They had an argument and she left. He called around after her, and says he doesn't remember what happened that night. He left a message on her cel that if she didn't come back, he was going to kill himself. She got him committed, put a restraining order on him, then changed the locks on their house. I let him move in after he got out, and he's been going to AA meetings and taking his meds ever since. He finally listened to our advice and got a lawyer. So did she. She hasn't filed for separation yet. This coming court date is about a domestic violence charge. It's going to get ugly.

Another couple is trying to introduce me to a girl they know, but right now I'm scared of women. One blowjob, and I could lose my house 10 years from now.

So Doper couples, tell me how great your unions are so I don't lose hope. French Foreign Legion isn't looking too bad right now.

Sensualips
12-06-2004, 11:46 AM
I can't give you hope. But I can commiserate.

I posted an ad for someone to talk to about my failed marriage and to help deal with it. I was just thinking someone else in the same situation might see it and chat for a while.

I was so inundated with replies and sad stories I couldn't keep up with them. It is two days later and I am still getting emails. These are not men looking to hook up, they are men seriously sad about how their marrages have failed and wnat to know what they can do.

The world today for men and women is so divided, it is no wonder to me that so many are just looking for sex and want no commitment. I also understand why some men turn gay after many years trying to get it together with women.

If someone has the answer I would really like to hear it. I also have given up on trying. I have decided to be content to live alone for the rest of my life. Of course, I try to keep an open mind should Mel Gibson decide to come my way.

Lord Ashtar
12-06-2004, 12:25 PM
Divorces are almost always messy. My parents split up almost 17 years ago, and I still haven't gotten a straight answer as to what happened. My dad claims she was cheating on him with the next guy she married (then divorced), while she claims she left my dad because he was "giving money to some other woman." While I'm sure they exist, I have yet to see an ammicable split between a husband and wife.

As I'm sure you've already figured out, if you can get out of the middle of this divorce between couple D, then do it. Not your concern, you shouldn't be involved.

Green Cymbeline
12-06-2004, 01:05 PM
Wow, this reminds me of this thread: What do you think is the percentage of genuinely happily married couples? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=289471)

It was a sad and depressing thread, as is this one. Lately I have been worrying about the state of my love life, as I am almost 29 and would like to settle down eventually. However, after reading these threads, I am actually pretty happy about my situation. I can date all I want, have plenty of freedom, but don't have to deal with all the emotional turmoil. I've already gone through one heart-breaking breakup with a boyfriend of 9 years, I don't think I could ever go through that again, especially if it was a divorce.

yellowval
12-06-2004, 01:50 PM
I can totally relate. In the 11 months that was our engagement, my husband and I watched the many of our "couple friends" break up. Which was awkward because both members of two of those former couples were in our wedding. Not to mention another member of our wedding party who got divorced, and two other friends who broke off engagements. I expressed my concern to people, but all they said was "Oh, but you guys are different." So far they're right. We've been married for over four years (and together for 10).

So, I guess all I can say is that you can't give up hope that you'll have a happy relationship yourself based on others' problems. Otherwise none of us would ever start a new relationship or get married.

Just remembered that I wrote a poem about my pre-wedding experience above. It's called "Cold Feet." Here goes (Please be kind, I've never shared any of my writing here):

Our wedding day approaches,
And everywhere around us
Love falls apart.
On Sunday morning I go to his house,
My husband-to-be.
I find him there,
Asleep in his single bed.
I crawl in, and warm my feet
On his bare legs.

kittenlm
12-06-2004, 02:00 PM
I can give you hope!

My parents have been married for 27 years and still love each other more than anything. My dad gives my mom cards or presents for no reason. They are very, very much in love.

Hal's parents were together until the day his father died. They were married for 32 years. His mother still, to this day, loves her dearly departed husband.

Hal's oldest brother has been married for 22 years and they are still in love and very happy.

Hal's other brother has been married for 20 years and again, very happy.

Hal and I have been married for 5 years and we are happy and looking forward to hitting the same milestones others in our families have hit.

I also work with many, many men and women who have been married 10, 15, 20 years or more. It's not THAT uncommon to stay together forever. :)

asterion
12-06-2004, 04:51 PM
Yep. My parents have been married for the last 33 years. My maternal grandparents were married for 50-something, until my grandfather died.

zoog
12-06-2004, 06:19 PM
I've been married to Mrs. zoog for almost 10 years now. While we've had our share of rough times, none of them had anything to do with our relationship with each other. In fact, our love for each other is probably about all that got us through a couple of things with our sanity intact.

I really think that one of the keys to our success was that we were relatively mature when we first met (I was 30, she was 28). She'd been divorced after having gotten married too young for all the wrong reasons. I'd not been married, but had seen one engagement fall through (probably for the better, in retrospect).

I don't think that age alone is a good way to measure maturity. I know a few people in their 40's and 50's that I doubt could pull off a lasting relationship simply because they're too immature and selfish. I dunno, maybe immature and selfish is more common than not in this world, and maybe that accounts for the divorce rates...

Be willing (actually wanting) to give, be strong enough to know when you have to take. Give your mate space and time to be his/herself, demand that for yourself. Don't look for someone who is necessarily just like you, but rather look for someone who fills in some of the blanks in your own personality. Then have the good luck to meet that someone, and the sense to recognize him/her when you do.

It's that easy.

Suburban Plankton
12-06-2004, 06:51 PM
Don't lose hope; it is possible to be happily married.

Rhiannon8404 and I have been married 11 years now and are still going strong.

My brother and his wife have been married 32 years, my sister and her husband around 25.

Rhiannon's parents have been together at least 36 years, and mine just celebrated their 58th anniversary last week.

The Great Sun Jester
12-06-2004, 07:10 PM
My wife believes humans were not meant to breed for life. Although she says this, she has not "let me off the leash." She either does not believe this in her heart, or she has no heart. I tease her mercilessly about it.

Your examples seem like pretty clear cases of people going nuts, or of someone growing tired of someone who has been nuts all along. This could lead one to observe that mental illness is something to avoid in a potential mate. Well, I guess if it's obvious during courtship then yeah, maybe step back and visualize how life day in & day out with a loony is going to play out. And then throw in some kids, and the accompanying emotions which, unless you're a parent, you have absolutely no conception of. But nutballs aren't to blame for wrecked marriages, my friend. Some of us make very good spouses in fact.

MY beligerent and self-righteous position is that the marriage will die if either party attempts to remain or return to who they were prior to the union. Anyone can give up time, hobbies or money, but the successful (lasting AND not unhappy) marriages I've seen involve retention of about 50% individual self and the contribution of the other 50% into a third "person" that IS the union. "The Union" is an entity which has goals, ethics, standards of excellence, desires, etc...everything that a regular person has, it just happens not to exist in physical reality like the people involved. Once one partner begins to live for himself and no longer takes an interest in The Union, it dies just as surely as any person would who is deprived of 50% of its mental/spiritual/physical nourishment. It withers and it dies and the bond between the two people disintegrates. Once that happens you are left with 2 people living under the same roof. Posessions and children are no longer commonly owned, and all kinds of badness can ensue, depending on the character of the individuals involved.

I'm a nut, but I'm interested in my marriage. So's my wife. We fight like hell sometimes, about stupid crap and about really important crap. But it's not a problem. Any individual who is never so conflicted within themselves as to wage their own mental battle is either bestowed of Grace or just plain unconscious. Marriage needs not be any different.

"Wither thou goest, I will go." Of course you will. You could no more not go with me than the left arm not accompany the right--for they are joined at the body.

sinjin
12-06-2004, 07:26 PM
I started dating Mr. Pict when I was 17 and he was 19; I just turned 50. We've been married 28 years and things are going better than ever.

Mr. Pict's dad comes from a family of 9 siblings, all of their marriages lasted over 50 years and ended only with the death of a spouse. To all outward appearances they were all very happy. My side of the family was filled with long lasting evil hateful marriages. No divorce for us, we'll just make each other miserable till the day we die types. I was convinced that marriage sucked until I ran up againts the Pict family.

So there is hope out there. ;)

Zsofia
12-06-2004, 10:22 PM
My grandparents have been married for 62 years. Since World War II they haven't spent a night apart unless one of them was in the hospital. My grandfather turned 91 this past month; my grandmother will be 90 in August. Things have been tough for them in the past five years; my previously energetic grandfather had a massive stroke and is now confined to a wheelchair; they had to move from their condo in Florida to an assisted living place in Pittsburg, etc. But they're still very much in love and solid as a rock.

My parents have been married for 25 years, which isn't so much compared to others, but this is my dad's second marriage - so you can forget that "divorced once divorced six times" thing too.

Of course it dosen't work out for everybody; it dosen't even work out for most people. But it does work. (Also, it is work.)

CynicalGabe
12-06-2004, 10:30 PM
As far as War, we humans have laid down some rules to make killing each other more"civilized".

We really need a Geneva Convention on Love.


My failed relationships have just left me more cynical. Maybe some legally binding ground rules would help. <--Optimism shines through

Of course, Vietnam, Iraq, etc. have just proven that it takes more than words on paper - you need a willingness to follow the rules.






Ahh! Theres the good ol' cynicism