I post this question mainly out of ignorance. To those whom have been divorced or who have experienced divorce closely, Why did you ever get married in the first place? Was there ever a time of wedded bliss?, or Was it a mistake to marry in the first place? I ask because the marriages in my family have traditionally been “til’ death” , with only 1 divorce in the past three generations or so. Now, I have had several relationships/girlfriends, and my most recent one started out rather blissfully, but then deteriorated after that. However, I knew that that was a possibility and used the time that we were informally together to “test things out”. As it was, we were not the best fit for each other, but we did not rush things, or even truly consider marriage. So, Why did you now divorced folks get married in the first place?
I got married the first time because it was a time and place where if you were having regular sex you were supposed to be married. I knew it was dumb at the time I did it! However, I did also think that it might work out. Wrong. Lasted two years.
My second marriage is still going strong. It is possible to learn from one’s mistakes.
I have a great-aunt and an aunt who were married young and divorced early. In both cases the first husbands turned abusive. I obviously wasn’t there to see how the husbands acted before the marriages.
My husband is divorced from his first wife. They were both fundamentalist Bible college kids and getting married was the done thing, especially if you wanted to have sex. His ex realized before the wedding that she didn’t love him, but was young and her family pressured her into going through with it anyway.
He has a cousin, aunt, and grandmother who were all married extremely young (in their teens) and divorced early, all due to infidelity on the husbands’ part as far as I know. The aunt and grandmother (and my aunt and great-aunt) all remarried and have been with their second husbands for decades.
So it mostly seems to come down to being young, stupid, and getting poor counsel from families.
It was absolutely the right decision at the time based on the evidence available.
In her early 30s, she changed. A lot. For the worse. It surprised a lot of people, not just me.
Oops, to answer the OP’s specific questions in the case of my husband and his ex: no, it doesn’t sound like there was ever a time of wedded bliss, she was miserable from the start. Yes, it was a mistake to marry in the first place.
Things seemed great at the time, then creeping undisclosed and untreated mental illness destroyed our emotional connection.
I went out with my ex 7 years before we got married. It wasn’t always great but it wasn’t terrible either. She came from a wealthy family and was pretty and had most of the same values that I did. We both wanted kids so marriage was the next step. About two years into it, I realized that I absolutely hated being married and I am just not cut out for it. It has nothing to do with wanting someone else. It felt like literal slavery to me but we had our first child and I was willing to stay because of that. Things got worse and we had our second daughter and then things really blew up. I was having a mental meltdown knowing what my future held if I didn’t get out but divorce is messy and I didn’t want to go through it and especially mess with the relationship with my kids.
The divorce was as bad as I thought it would be but then things started get get better and now they are great. I consider being divorced to be my greatest asset and achievement so far. I don’t believe in staying in situations just because someone else tells you that you should. I don’t have any religious imperatives about staying in a marriage out of obligation either.
I think most men would be better off if they never got married or fixed that mistake with a well executed divorce as long as they have the means to support themselves well enough. It is a luxury though and can suck badly if you end up in poverty yourself while paying your ex-wife tons of money every month. I generally advise young men not to get married at all based on the general state of most marriages today. It is almost all downside for men outside of the reproductive angle. I am sure it isn’t great for the women either but I can’t speak to that side.
I don’t see anything I am missing by being divorced and I gained a ton from it. My ex and I co-raise the kids and I have them every weekend at least and I still spend holidays with her family because mine live far away. It is ideal.
I got married to my daughter’s father because I thought it was the best thing to do for her. I didn’t love him. I liked him just fine but there was no love. But, in my mind, I thought that for her to have a father in her life that I could ‘suffer’ through it. It was stupid to think that and my gut was telling me not to do it. But I didn’t listen and went through with the marriage. A month later, we were fighting constantly and I was utterly miserable. I got very depressed and it took another two months before I realized that this was NOT in her best interest and that I shouldn’t have to suffer through this. He was of the mind that we should ‘tough it out’ for her sake but I knew that wasn’t a good family life for her. So, we ended it. I wish that I hadn’t gotten married in the first place cause it’s caused all sorts of grief and stress even after the fact. But I’m happy that I finally did end it.
I got married to my ex because I thought that getting married meant I’d never have to date again. I was painfully shy, terrified of interacting with people, and the prospect of trying to meet new romantic partners was horrifying. Having found someone I didn’t mind screwing regularly, I thought marriage would put an unpleasant part of my life behind me.
As it happened, my ex and I had rather different ideas about the roles of partners in marriage. My ex was also a flaming jerk, and my being queer didn’t exactly help things.
This may come as a surprise, but some people actually love the woman they are married to and want to spend the rest of their lives together.
Look, here’s the deal. There is no “perfect situation” for getting married. Choosing one path or the other requires you to choose certain things and give up on others. And what people are willing to give up on or choose changes over the years. You make the best choices you can based on the information you have.
Also, try not to be a totally selfish asshole. That seems to be at the root of most marital problems.
Yeah, I’d say that last one tends to put a lot of strain on a (I assume hetero) marriage.
I’m familiar with your opinions on marriage, and I have no problem with your idea that that is what’s right for you, but I’m less convinced that what is right for you is right for all men.
I’d started dating him because he was tall, dark and handsome, and rode a motorcycle and wore a leather jacket. Naturally, my parents hated him, which made me adore him more, being as I was still in that young stupid rebellious phase. It was inconceivable that they might be right and he was a train-wreck in the making. I accidentally got pregnant, and pretty much everyone told me to run the other way, but that made me more determined to make it work out. Since we were staying together and breeding, a wedding seemed like a logical step to tidy things up and move in together and formalize our family.
Everyone else was right, I was wrong. We divorced a year later.
I got married because I thought I was in a forever relationship with someone who shared my feelings and values. I didn’t understand, at 25, that the dishonesty I witnessed when he was in an extreme situation wasn’t an uncharacteristic response forced from him by an extraordinary circumstance… It was his real character, revealed under pressure.
If I knew then what I know now, I’d have known he was selfish and weak and cowardly and dishonest, and any dim comprehension I had of those character flaws was clouded by my belief that he might sometimes seem careless or thoughtless but under it all he was caring and meant well. It was the other way around - a thin veneer of caring covering a deep well of selfcenteredness. I was taken in by his words, because he spoke at length about sharing my values, but I should have been paying more attention to his actions.
In short, I was a poor judge of character and married someone because I believed his lies and thought he was someone he wasn’t.
We were together 3 years before we married, and he left me four years later. I am one of the only divorced people in my family.
This sums it up nicely for me. My first husband turned out to be a pathological liar, and I am not exaggerating at all. He was good at it, and I think he believed his fantasy world was real, and the things that he made up really happened. There isn’t a single thing he told me that I still believe to be true, except that he was in the Marines. I saw his discharge papers and his mother visited him on base. Everything he said about his time in the Marines was either highly exaggerated or out and out lies.
I was young and immature and he was adoring and treated me like a queen. I didn’t know that would bore me to tears within 6 months.
Playboy Magazine once defined “bachelor” as “A man who never makes the same mistake once”.
On reading this later, it comes off as snarkier than I meant. I truly have no problem with your opinions on marriage; I just don’t agree that marriage is wrong for all men.
There is issue with what you said and no offense was taken. I know I have a really extreme view on the subject but it comes from experience not only from me but also countless others. I don’t think good marriages are impossible, I just think they are a lot more rare than people let on. It could work well in the long-term for some people but the odds aren’t good and the downside is really bad.
I was just went to breakfast this morning with a friend. He and his wife have it all but the kids are growing up and he doesn’t want to be around her anymore than necessary. They probably will stay married because it doesn’t make sense financially and logistically not to but they will lead separate and somewhat secret lives to keep it going. Whatever works is fine with me but I don’t think that is what the churches and wedding magazines are promoting.
My position is that most people who are married rely on some type of deception to their spouse, themselves, and others to make it work and there is no medal ceremony at the finish line even if you do make it to the end. I say bail out as soon as you go into that death spiral but other people don’t always see it that way.
The first time I got married was to my childhood sweet heart. We had been together for 10 years, since we were 13 & 15, and it was always a given assumption that we would be married, so when we were young adults we did so. As it turned out, people in their early 20s are still growing up, and we decided that we wanted diferent things from life, different directions, things we had never talked about in all those years. Of course there is more to it than that. She just dropped by a month or so ago to chat, some 34 years later. I introduced her to the third wife and then #3 went in the house and #1 and I had a nice talk in the garden.
The second time I got married was just a natural progression of me never going back to my appartment. After about 6 months of this, I went home and threw away the dishes that had been in the sink for months and made the move permanent. We never really had much in common besides sex, so after 10 years of that and a couple of great kids, that ended. She took a turn into hard drugs and even our grown children have abbandoned her now. Of course there is more to it than that.
Insert another 10 years as a single father raising two sons.
I am now married to a younger woman who is very intelligent, stable, likeable, warm, aggressive woman who is a perfect match, and this will be a match to the death. I don’t know what I might do when I out live her, but getting married again seems unlikely.
But life is what happens while you are making other plans. The important thing is to remain positive and move forward.
Such as most of the OP’s family… did you even read that first post?