Worst Non-Nuclear, Non-Cheating, Non-Psycho Divorce Story?

This really belongs here 'cause I can barely define my own question.

A guy I know just separated from his wife of 20-some years. They have two kids under 10. And the reason his wife (who totally initiated it) gave was nothing overtly emotional or hateful, nor had they been fighting a lot or encountering functional “issues” in the relationship, or with the kids.

Rather, it was that, she said, she just thought she married the wrong guy, too young, and wanted to revisit that decision and hit reboot. Which is a pretty big (politely delivered, though I’m sure there was some bickering as she got more and more dissatisfied with things) F-you – effectively, “I really wish I had waited around to see if I met someone better than you, and it’s worth it to break up our family to go back to Go.” As one of my foreign friends says in her charming broken English – that’s ouch.

Anyone else have a oh-so-polite it’s-not-you-it’s-just-that-I-can-do-better-than-you tale of being rationally and calmly dumped well into a marriage in favor of the spouse playing the field again at 40+? “I’d rather be alone in the short-run than with you” is never easy to hear but after that long . . . gotta be a blindside.

That’s more or less why my mom divorced my dad. She’d married very young, without being in a lot of other relationships, and fifteen years later, was wondering if she’d made a mistake. I can’t say I blame her: on the surface, my folks don’t seem like a very good match, and some of my dad’s personal habits would drive anyone up a wall. So, they split up. She dated other guys for about five years or so, came to the conclusion that the problems she’d had in her marriage were actually pretty standard for romantic relationships, and there weren’t a lot of guys out there who were better than my dad. So they remarried, and are still together to this day.

Looking back, it was kind of a weird period in my life, but not necessarily traumatic. Hard to say if my mom made a mistake or not. On the one hand, they remarried, so that argues that the split was a mistake. On the other hand, those “what if” doubts would probably have just kept growing over the last eighteen or so years, and who knows what that would have done to their relationship?

I worked with two guys a few years ago who became friends outside of work (one guy’s wife also worked with the same company in a different department). One couple had been married 13 years with three kids, the other couple had been married some years with one young child. The man of one couple started cheating with the wife of the other couple, and two marriages ended and four kids were affected because, according to rumour around the office, the cheating wife was bored. It was hard to work with those two guys after that; if I recall correctly, they scheduled it so they didn’t have to work together, and they both got shipped off to other locations soon after, but damn! Come into work, and there’s the guy your wife moved in with sitting there, and there’s your cheating wife down the hallway! I liked the cheating guy, too, but I had trouble being friendly with him after this all came out.

ETA: Oh, sorry, I missed the non-cheating part of your OP - well, I typed it all, so I’m going to leave it. :slight_smile:

Friend of a friend story, although I met the guy and his wife a few times.

The couple met and married back in New York, and then after a few years, he had a business opportunity to move out here to Salt Lake, where neither one had any connection, (friends, family, etc.), but as it was a corporate gig, his wife reluctantly agreed and out they came.

After living here a while, they decide to start a family, and so then have a kid (a little girl, I think) even though the move to Utah was supposedly only a temp position, due to last for just for a couple of years. (recall, the wife was pretty hesitant to make the move in the first place, as her entire family support system was back in NY, so now she had no one to show her the maternity ropes or occasionally lend a hand with the baby)

Anyway, when the little girl was two or three, the dad comes home one day and announces to his wife, “Honey, I am really sorry, but I am not cut out to be a father. I have no paternal instinct, and I guess I have never really liked being around kids; I was hopeful that having a child of my own would change me, but I don’t want to be shackled to you and her any longer, and so I have filed for divorce. Wish I felt differently, but I am just not “Dad” material.” (again, it was HIS idea to move across the country, and HE was the driving force behind having a child.)

Within a year after the divorce (his wife took the daughter and moved back to NY) he was re-married to some new woman with 5 kids (she has full custody of all of them) and he was/is going thru the steps to legally adopt them all…

Again, this is a person who I met a handful of times, but don’t really know.

What I do know is that he deserves to have someone rub a handful of warm, fresh, pinworm-infested pigshit in his face every day until he dies.

I know one woman who divorced her husband because she didn’t like her kids. As she put it, “I don’t hate them. They’re nice kids. I didn’t abuse them, I just didn’t feel anything for them. They’re with their father now, and that’s better.”

And yes, the kids were nice, but they wound up with a lot of issues.

ETA after reading MPB’s post. No, she didn’t wind up marrying someone with a passel of kids. She never looked back at her decision.

Society accepts this as an excuse now.

Men and women don’t need each other anymore in the traditional breadwinner/homemaker sense.

You can flirt with 100 people a day on-line if you feel like it.

People live well into their 80s, and mid-40s leaves plenty of time to reboot.

I me mine. I me mine. I me mine.

A friend of mine just went through something like this a couple of years ago. After 25 years of marriage, the last of her kids left home and her parents died, not connected, just in sequence.

Her husband decided that (his words) it was too hard to be the one who ‘had to care’. If the kids had been home she could have turned to them for emotional support, he couldn’t be bothered.

Happy to report that there was an old flame of hers who had recently been through something similar. They seem very happy.

My dad’s friend Jim was told by his wife (Ginny) one day that she had never loved him and was leaving him – she literally rode off on the back of a motorcycle when her new man showed up a few minutes later. Oh yeah, and Jim and Ginny had at least one kid who was still at home. Ginny might have been cheating for some time, but Jim had never had any reason to suspect her, so this story MIGHT qualify.

Also, my cousin Ron and his wife Lisa had two sons. One day Lisa announced she was “tired of being a mom” in what was apparently the tone a normal person uses when explaining that he/she just got sick of a paying job after ten years or so and decided to seek greener pastures. Fortunately, Ron is now remarried to a woman who is more of a mom to his boys than Lisa ever was.

I found you standing there
When I was seventeen
Now I’m thirty-two
And I can’t remember what I’d seen in you
I made a promise
Said it everyday
Now I’m reading romance novels
And I’m dreaming of yesterday

I know the thing to be these days is happy and to hell with everyone else.

But just for the sake of decency, if you have kids and your spouse treats you well and faithfully, but you still aren’t happy, just stick it out until the kids get into college or get a job.

Because those kids are going to wonder why you didn’t love them enough to stay. No matter what self-serving bullshit you tell them, they’re going to think that.

Christ, you owe them that much.

Unspeakable. I feel vaguely guilty if I go out with the girls more than once a month. Yet I know of a family friend, married with two kids, and his wife met her soul mate online. A guy 12 years younger than she. She packed her stuff, left a note saying she was going to visit a ‘friend’ - went off to Colorado, I think. A week later called her husband and calmly told him she wanted a divorce, she just wasn’t happy being a wife and mother, she “found what she was looking for all her life”, and that. was. that.

My brother was mid-20s when he married. His wife was just a few years younger, but still living at home, so she moved from Daddy’s house to my brother’s place. After a few years (no kids, fortunately) she decided that she needed to know what it was like to live alone, so she left my bro. He tried to get her into counseling with him, let her try to find herself, and they even “dated” to try to reconnect, but while she didn’t necessarily want a divorce, she didn’t want to live with her husband. Bro finally had enough and divorced her. A few years later she was married with a couple of kids. My brother, who always wanted kids, has settled for being the favorite uncle, resolving never to remarry. He’s in his mid 50s now. I really ache for him…

Wow, you guys sure are committed to traditional notions of family, huh? You can’t make yourself feel other than how you feel. I’m not saying it doesn’t suck to be on the short end of that stick, but it’s not like these people just made a choice to be unsatisfied.


Good Og NO.

As a child whose parents stayed together for the “sake of the children” I was much MUCH happier when they finally gave in and divorced. They never fought in front of us, nor did either of them cheat but they were miserable and so we were too. It was just a quiet grinding misery all the time.

Think of the children, do what’s right for you as far as your marriage is concerned and do whatever is necessary to have an amiable relationship so the kids can have healthy relationships with both parents.

Thank you.

Speaking as a woman who left because I was “unhappy”, it was the right choice for me AND my kids. Kids need happy, functioning parents. Parents who are miserable are no fun. My ex and I get along fine, and we are able to do that because we split under mostly good conditions. We didn’t “stick it out” until we were both deeply depressed and hated the sight of each other. We married young, and when it became obvious that we weren’t compatible, we split up. The kids see us both 50/50, and we have a good friendship. THAT is the ideal outcome, IMHO.

I’ll never break my promise or forget my vow,
But God only knows what I could do right now!
I’m praying for the end of time,
So I can end my time with you.

Hey, as one of the occasional loud polyamorists on the board, I understand non-traditional notions of family–but I also understand promises (keeping of) and children (doing what’s best for). It’s got nothing to do with traditionalism and everything to do with A) being sure what you’re getting into before you make a promise and B) if you have to break a promise, be honest and respectful about it with none of this “find someone new first” or bullshit excuses like “I don’t wanna be a dad–oops, I’m marrying a new woman with five kids”. That said,

Both of these ladies are right–sometimes the right answer IS that you leave but the key word I’m seeing in both is “amiable”–something lacking from many of these stories.

While this is true I also think that people should, you know, talk about why they are unhappy.

This actually happened to me. My soon to be ex and I had a nasty fight one day over something stupid. The next week she said we needed to go to dinner. We hadn’t been on a ‘date’ in months at that time and over the years because of the kids we went out once or twice a YEAR.

She refused to talk to me about being unhappy and I had thought that things were at least going ok. I had noticed that things were going down hill, but when I asked if she wanted counseling she said no. I told her she could take some time off from work or even quit her job.

So at our dinner she tells me it’s over and hands me the separation papers she had made. She had known for months she was unhappy and wanted out but yet said nothing.

I get if you’re unhappy and you can’t work it out, but to not try at all isn’t good for anyone either. My kids see me every other weekend instead of every day now. How is it good for the kids to see their mother just up and leave their father for no given reason? Relationships, like everything else, has their good times and bad times and unless it’s nothing but bad times then both people should try and work it out without saying ‘the hell with it, I’m out of here.’

My parents divorced in 2002 after 30 years of marriage. They had never really had a happy marriage – both of them come from dysfunctional families and had no healthy models of married life, both of them have problems communicating healthily, and as long as I’ve been alive I don’t remember them kissing or showing mutual romantic affection even once – but there were no big fights or major warning signs of divorce. Until…

In 2000, my mom decided to go pursue a PhD…at a university 400 miles from our home. Naturally, she and my dad didn’t discuss this openly and maturely, but pretended that everything was still all right between them. My dad wouldn’t have listened to any complaints, anyway, since he always minimizes and dismisses any criticism he receives. And my mother wouldn’t have made them, anyway, since she can only deal with problems passive-aggressively. So she left home, and predictably, asked for a separation after the first semester. Two years later she filed for divorce, and the marriage was over.

They both blame the other entirely for the divorce. Now, my mom is the one who left and the one who filed, but she insists that my dad is the one who instigated the whole thing because he signed the papers first. Crazy. But my dad insists he was a perfect husband who did everything perfectly and it’s a complete mystery why my mother could ever have been unhappy with someone as perfect as he. Also crazy.
So basically what I’m saying is, the marriage imploded rather than exploded, because both of them are woman-/man-children who can’t confront problems or otherwise deal with reality in a mature and healthy way.

I will entertain offers in return for not posting the lyrics to “Dreams Of An Everyday Housewife”.