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I am a marriage coach. And I am passionate about what I do. I will use every bit of the energy and talents I've been blessed with to help my clients save their marriages.

I read your stories and my heart aches for each and every one of you. But more than that, I hurt for your children. Because I have been where you are, and I didn't do the things I could have to save my own marriage. Daily, I see the damage caused by my misguided beliefs that leaving an unsatisfactory marriage would be better for everyone involved. I was wrong.

I was the WS in my first marriage. I had an affair with my husband's best friend, the man who stood as witness to our marriage before god, family, and friends. And worse than that, I didn't just fall into an affair as so often happens, I decided to have one.

We married very young; I was barely 19, and pregnant. We went on to have 6 children and to start what became a successful business. What we didn't do, was take care of our marriage.

My husband was and still is a workaholic. He regularly spent about 90 hours a week at our business or at another part time job. In the early years I complained about his absence, my loneliness and frustration with all of the home and family responsibilities. To no avail. As the years went on, I compensated by becoming involved in community activites, enjoying time with my friends, taking care of our children and home, and by being an active partner in the growth of our business.

It hurt that my children didn't have a father who was there for them. He didn't take the time to go fishing, play ball, or just be with the kids…. 5 of whom are boys. But still, my children lived in a secure home where they had 2 parents who loved them. Two parents who took pride in their accomplishments, were concerned about their school performance, and who loved them as only a parent can.

My daughter was on the fast track to a college degree. In the state where we lived, she was able to take college courses for credit during her junior and senior years. We saved regularly for the kids' future educational needs.

We lived quietly in one of the better neighborhoods of a small Midwestern town. We bought an older house, but one with a lot of history attached to it. We loved it. In fact, we had lusted after it for years when we were struggling with starting our business and with being able to buy bread and milk. Success was sweet.

As business owners, we enjoyed some benefits of involvement in a small town's economic health. Oh….. we didn't do the country club thing…. but if we needed a loan for business or personal reasons, a phone call to the VP at the bank and it was pretty much a done deal. We were well known and well thought of in the community.

Life was not perfect. But it was good. My children had a stable home and a chance to make the best of their futures. I had a home I loved, a business that afforded me personal satisfaction, and a husband who loved me deeply.

And then I threw it away. My affair lasted nominally 4 months. Six weeks really before it started to fall apart. And when it was over, all I could think of was that I didn't want to be married.

Somehow in the fog I thought I could keep all the goodies of being married and just lose the husband. It doesn't work that way. I was locked out of our business. My credit rating was trashed. I went from a very comfortable income to trying to support 6 kids on a little more than $1000. a month. And worst of all, my kids suffered.

Until you see the horror and the pain on their faces when they hear that mom and dad won't be together any more, you have no idea. It's been nearly 6 years, and that scene is carved indelibly into my memory. And it doesn't get better.

During the time we were separated, before the divorce, I began a relationship with the man who is now my husband. Yes, I know, that makes it affair number 2 for me. I didn't know about MB at the time, and I didn't see it that way then. I do now. If I had, I wouldn't have done it, but it doesn't change the fact of what is.

I moved my children 200 miles away from their home, their friends, and their father, to live with my new boyfriend. It was horrific. He was not suited to being a committed partner or a parent.

I was so arrogant and so blind that I thought loving someone would make it all ok. It doesn't. Those of you who have children and think that someone else can be a parent to them, you are wrong. No one can take the place of the mother or father of your children.

No one else will look at them with the same pride and joy when they bring home that first paper on their first day of Kindergarten or when they walk up the aisle in a cap and gown after battling through years of homework. No one else will understand the need to be there for them in the night when they wake from a bad dream. Very few will look at you and your child with love when he climbs onto your lap, face and hands covered with peanut butter and jelly. No other man or woman will have the biological drive to see that your children succeed in life. Not all biological parents do those things either. I understand that. But it's virtually guaranteed that a step parent will not.

Let me tell you where my children are today. My daughter who is now 21 works in a low paying job. Her brilliant educational career was halted by the fact that the money for her education dried up in the divorce. She has been through 2 long term relationships that have ended miserably. And she has 2 incurable STD's.

My son who is 19 barely finished HS, spent a year doing drugs and as accessory to dealing. He works nights in a low paying job, and has no plans or desire to go to school. His outlook on life is that it is painful and that nothing good will ever come to him. My son who is 17 struggles with school and relationships. He has anger issues, and is distrustful of people and situations.

My 11yo is extremely gifted academically and in sports. He had no dad there to watch him last spring when he received the highest academic award given in the US. And there is no man in his life cheering him on or discussing sports plays with him. No man to help him perfect his catching, passing, batting technique. My 9yo is the sweetest kid I know. He is a very talented student and one of the most sensitive children. He always looks sad. He misses his dad.

My youngest is 7. He was a contented happy go lucky baby. But all of this began when he was less than 2. His life has been constant disruption and loss. Today he is beset with anger issues, enormous amounts of fear and insecurity, and problems in school relating to other kids.

Would they have had these problems anyway, if our marriage had stayed together? It's possible. But the reports and the statistics all show that kids of divorced parents are disadvantaged throughout the rest of their lives. They suffer academically and socially. Their future relationships are less satisfying and more likely to end than those of children raised in homes with both biological parents.

I have the studies and the statistics, if you're interested. Would they have changed my mind when I was hell bent on ending my marriage? No. And I doubt they will change yours. Which is why I wrote this. My hope is that by sharing some of my pain and heartbreak, maybe …. just maybe…. you'll decide to go back to work on your marriage with renewed energy.

Call Steve or Jenn, call a coach, get help. No matter how bad it seems, or how long it's been since you felt those feelings of love for your spouse, there is hope. MB works, if you get educated and follow the steps.

Last night I woke up next to my husband. A man who loves me very much. A man who has worked his heart out to be the husband I need. And all I could think is, "I want to go home. I want my life back." I don't love my ex-husband. I don't even like him. I haven't for many years. Reconciliation is not an option. But had I known 6 years ago, what I know today, had I been able to see into the future to the pain I would cause across the lives of so many who are dear to me, well, I would have done things differently.

You still can. Don't give up. Get help from someone who know what they're doing. Believe me the cost is far less than the money you will spend on a divorce attorney. And the emotional savings cannot possibly be calculated.

Blessings to you….

<small>[ September 26, 2002, 10:00 AM: Message edited by: joan of arc ]</small>

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Hi Joa, my heart goes out to you, despite what has happened you are a hero to have gotten in the mirror and faced yourself and tell others how you have overcome, its amazing you see so many WS's walking down that same destructive path. Your story almost seems if you been to hell and back and trying to warn others please don't go there you'll regrett it, Thanks for sharing.

Your testimony is awesome, many need to hear it.

I'll be praying for you.

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Joan....thanks for the testimonial. I am standing for the restoration of my marriage as are many other people here. We all know the lives and dreams that have been crushed by our actions as well as others actions. The one thing that can and will restore the marriage is to have God in our lives. He is s God of reconciliation. I know I won't be happy with anyone else other than my wife. I too want my life back with my family. I know just how you feel about missing the one thing that you love.

Love in Christ
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During the time we were separated, before the divorce, I began a relationship with the man who is now my husband. Yes, I know, that makes it affair number 2 for me. I didn't know about MB at the time, and I didn't see it that way then. I do now. If I had, I wouldn't have done it, but it doesn't change the fact of what is.

I moved my children 200 miles away from their home, their friends, and their father, to live with my new boyfriend. It was horrific. He was not suited to being a committed partner or a parent.


He was not a good partner nor a good parent, yet you married him anyway?

<small>[ September 26, 2002, 03:16 PM: Message edited by: Chris (CA123) ]</small>

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I am glad you took the adversity and turned it around. But I am so saddened that you chose someone to committ to that did not have the proper skills to be a husband and parent.

In my case, my WH is like you were. He is trashing everything without regard, without any remorse. And why do you resent your XH? That is interesting. I was a psych minor in college and this is why. How could you resent a man who was by all accounts just showing maybe his love through acts of work? Working to many men is a form of love. My father was one. He worked long hours, was tired alot of the time, but I always knew of his love and heart for my sister and I.

I am sorry what happened to your kids. But it is like in the Bible, sin begats sin. You can't turn an onion into an apple. One will always smell. You say you resent your xh and reconciliation is not an option but you are posting here and are telling us to do just the opposite. Things are just not clear my friend. If you follow MB principles and are teaching this to your clients, then shouldn't the teacher lead by example? I mean, you betrayed him. You should understand how he felt. You said you had a good life and he loved you deeply. Then you threw it all away. You also referred to him as your "husband" while you are married to someone else. This is interesting also. H no 2 is not a great guy with parenting and other skills, but you are with him anyway. Has he helped with the education of your kids? You are helping other people with their marriages and your own kids are going through this still? I am firmly committed to despite whatever my WH is doing to making DAMN sure that my little boy will be as untouched as possible by this evil that entered into our lives. I am raising him morally and am making sure he will have all he needs to get an edge on life and to grow into a responsible man and hopefully husband and father one day.

Before you save the world, save your kids first. If the new H doesn't get it, doesn't help then realize that so now your first marriage and first committment is severed, but next came your kids. They were there before Man no. 2. They should be top priority. Greater than your H now. Greater than your clients.

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cerri2 Offline OP
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EC.... thansks, that was entirely my intention.

Cajunky.... the divine AND following the procedures that have been shown to work. MB works, whether you are christian, muslim, buddhist, jewish, or pagan.

No, I don't miss my exh. The marriage was NEVER good for me. I miss having an intact family.

Chris... by the time we were married, my current H had spent a lot of time and effort addressing the issues that stood in the way of being a good spouse and parent. And he has a lot more to look at. Which he is doing. With a perserverance that amazes me... and I tend to be a pigheaded, stubborn, don't give up sort of person.

I know now, that getting into this relationship was not the best choice for many reasons. I don't have a time machine. If I did, I would do a lot of things differently. Wouldn't we all???

Not Peachy....

Why do I resent my ex H??? That's a long story. Let's start with 90 hours a week working, never.. and I mean never there for the kids, no input or help with any of the things related to running a home (this includes vehicle, appliance, lawn and home repair issues among others), verbal abuse in the form of demands and disrespect, insistence on following his religious views (he belongs to a catholic/pre1958/latin only cult), refusal to support my dreams and goals in any area of my life, put business and customers first always... to the extent that at least one year he "forgot" to give me a christmas gift. He sure as heck didn't forget to get the customers' holiday projects completed to perfection and on time.

That's just a tiny bit of the neglect and abandonment that went on for something like 15 years. What I did was wrong. There are ethical ways to address those things in marriage. I didn't know then what I know now.

Reconciliation is not possible.

So, am I understanding that you are condemning my efforts and commitment to making this marriage work, based on the circumstances under which it began? I find that interesting. I may have finally got the "commitment thing" late, but I do get it. AND I finally have the skills and the knowledge of what works and how to do it. What a difference that makes!

I've had my kids in and out of counselling over the past several years. I've come to the conclusion that out is better. My efforts now are on spending more and better time with them. Engaging then in conversation, doing things that foster cooperation (like games and projects), taking them places that stimulate their imaginations and creativity.

The older 2 are somewhat beyond what I can do on a day to day basis. But they know that they can come to me and talk about their problems. It's not a substitute for having taken the right steps in the past. As a parent I will ALWAYS feel that pain. But it's all I have right now.

My hope is that anyone who reads this, will take a look at the options that are available to save their marriages. Not just staying together for the sake of the kids, but doing what it takes, even if it's scary and hard work, so that their marriages will thrive.

Oh, and H is doing things to improve his knowledge, skills, and understanding. I'm impressed with his efforts. My hope is that we will be able to work together the way a family should.

But my hope for anyone not in this situation is that you avoid the heartbreak and the pain and the guilt that I've had. If your marriage is still holding on, even if it's just with duct tape and a prayer.... don't go where I did. Get help. Call Steve, call Jenn... go to an MB weekend. Do what it takes.

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by joan of arc:
<strong>If your marriage is still holding on, even if it's just with duct tape and a prayer.... don't go where I did. Get help. Call Steve, call Jenn... go to an MB weekend. Do what it takes.
JoA</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Hmm ... interesting, most of us here are BS, including myself. I am done w/ plan A/B and there is no love left on my heart neither my mental stage could handle it anymore. I would not allow her to cancel the Dv and will not take back my WW ... What good does it do when WS is in the deep fog and all that you had mention has been exhausted ?. It is easy to say as a WS and years after the fact. Honestly ... would it make any diff. if your H does plan A at the height of your A ?. My WW talked to SH for a few sessions and use all MB's principal to chase OM ! and turn into OW from hell. She plan B'ng me since she filed.

It is good you put out your story but not all M worth saving, certainly not mine. I have seen many BS choose to stay in misery even after SH or Jennifer told them to DV their WS !!!!. Pain is given and misery is optional ... and we are not joan of arc, we are just BS that is hit w/ A and dragged on our belly w/ our face against the asphalt !. At some point we need to do triage ... safe what we can otherwise as a BS we are as gulity as WS if we allows WS's A runs over and wreck what is left of us and our precious kids.

I know my WW will regret this and her A would of succeed into happy M if it is w/ half decent man ... however OM is not. The writing is on the wall. What I will not allow is that her A will ruins my finances and ruins my mental state so that I would not able to take care my 2 D.

Don't get me wrong about giving up ... I made and agreement with SH that if she wants to talk about working on M I would told her to talk to SH at this junction I would not even trust myself ! I would count on SH's proffesional experience to gurantee me that I have a chance to have fullfilling M ... I would not settle for anything less and WW & SH better give me good reasons why I should not start fresh w/ someone new. Looking back my WW are not a good mom and resents my 2 D @similiar stage when you have your A. After my Dv is finalized, I am in plan C ... have no tear left, no love left and no energy left to work on this M. I am ready to move on w/ or w/o my WW.

This is just my counter point of view and my 2¢ to your post. Hope you will find forgiveness in your heart and use it as a reminder to keep working on your own current M. -RH-

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Hmm ... interesting, most of us here are BS, including myself.

As am I in my current M. So I've been on both sides.

I am done w/ plan A/B and there is no love left on my heart neither my mental stage could handle it anymore. I would not allow her to cancel the Dv and I will not take back my WW ... What good does it do when WS is in the deep fog and all that you had mention has been exhausted ?.

One of the most difficult things I encounter as a coach is convincing the BS to go to Plan B before it's too late. What is too late? When you feel the way you do now. Too tired, too hurt, too drained to care or to even want to try. Plan B needs to be while you still have feelings of love for your spouse.

Honestly ... would it make any diff. if your H does plan A at the height of your A ?.

In my case? Yeah. Looking back there were things that he could have done that might have changed the tide. He should not have left the house even though I begged him to, he should have done everything he could to spend at least 15 hours a week with me doing something we both enjoyed.... I would have gone along with that.... he should have begun to address the disrespect that was rampant. All those things would have made a huge difference.

After the A when I was in such deep w/d that I was barely functioning and extremely suicidal, there were things he could have done. But he didn't have the knowledge or the resources. And he was too interested in running a business.

My WW talked to SH for a few sessions and use all MB's principal to chase OM ! and turn into OW from hell. She plan B'ng me since she filed.

Technically she didn't Plan B you. Plan B is a stratgy to protect one from further pain and to preserve any feelings of love that remain.

How awful that she used MB to attract OM. Ick. You must have felt terribly violated.

It is good you put out your story but not all M worth saving, certainly not mine. I have seen many BS choose to stay in misery even after SH or Jennifer told them to DV their WS !!!!.

Well, I will disagree just a little. I think all marriages are worth saving, but it's just not possible to save them all. It takes two, and if you do all that you can, then you can't do any more.

My post was meant to point out that all is not rosy after a D, and that when you think you will be so much better off without your spouse, you might just be wrong.

I get a lot of newsletters and reports because of my business. Without fail, they state that the vast majority of people are NOT happier 5 years after a D. And that unhappy couples who stick it out report being much happier after 5 years. Even in cases with infidelity and abuse.

The stats on children are just as telling. Kids from divorced families are at a disadvantage across the board.

I know my WW will regret this and her A would of succeed into happy M if it is w/ half decent man ... however OM is not.

I think that being an OP and decent are mutually exclusive. You can't be both at the same time.

Don't get me wrong about giving up ... I made and agreement with SH that if she wants to talk about working on M I would told her to talk to SH at this junction I would not even trust myself ! I would count on SH's proffesional experience to gurantee me that I have a chance to have fullfilling M ... I would not settle for anything less

Good for you!

WW & SH better give me good reasons why I should not start fresh w/ someone new.

Because you have children.

Hope you will find forgiveness in your heart and use it as a reminder to keep working on your own current M.

Working my little heart out. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" />

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I am sorry to learn that now you are the BS. Glad you are following MB principles, but the fates of M resulting from A are not too good.

I am hoping and praying for the best, but if H is not a good stepdad or very involved as you have indicated, with the kids then maybe you should re evaluate everything. Two wrongs will not make a right.

Like Redhat, whom I would like to say hi to and to say call me, I am in agreement about being there for the kids and doing what is right for their sake.

Think actually if I re marry one day, I know without a doubt that I will choose someone who will be equally in love with me and love my son. Love but different kinds of love. Have to be able to if needed, fill the shoes of a Wfather and positive moral role model. That is whwat is important. My needs will not be placed above my son. I think that by him being around me the majority of the time that his outcome will be significantly better than if he stayed in a home where a man was mentally abusive and sometimes violent, where a man lies and cheats on a woman. A boy cannot grow up and become an ethical man this way. This way he will learn the kind of values and morals my family instilled in me.

Wishing you the best.

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In your line of work it's good to say "all marriages are worth saving" the reality is that all marriages are not.

Would you say the same to a woman being punched regularly by her H? How about a marriage where one of the spouses is sexually abusing the children? How about repeated affairs? How about the spouse who brings home veneral diseases to the other spouse.

It very easy as someone who works as a marriage coach to say all marriages are worth saving but in the real world it doesn't work that way.

<small>[ September 27, 2002, 05:36 PM: Message edited by: Nduli2 ]</small>

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by joan of arc:
<strong>As am I in my current M. So I've been on both sides.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Sorry to hear that ...

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"><strong>One of the most difficult things I encounter as a coach is convincing the BS to go to Plan B before it's too late. What is too late? When you feel the way you do now. Too tired, too hurt, too drained to care or to even want to try. Plan B needs to be while you still have feelings of love for your spouse.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Well I don't have the luxery to go to plan B (see below). I work on plan A about 6 months then she filed and put NC on me ... she doesn't even want to see my face which is fine w/ me. I called it plan B'ng me since I think she learn it from SAA to have NC and to "teach" me. Fell like being in plan B on the other side.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"><strong>In my case? Yeah. Looking back there were things that he could have done that might have changed the tide. He should not have left the house even though I begged him to, he should have done everything he could to spend at least 15 hours a week with me doing something we both enjoyed.... I would have gone along with that.... he should have begun to address the disrespect that was rampant. All those things would have made a huge difference.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Well, as most of BS here as ... our WS don't care and keep continue their A on our face. I offer clean slate to my WS but she is continuing it.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"><strong>Technically she didn't Plan B you. Plan B is a stratgy to protect one from further pain and to preserve any feelings of love that remain.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I know that I just use it since it is easier than using the correct term ... NC.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"><strong>How awful that she used MB to attract OM. Ick. You must have felt terribly violated.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Now you know where is my resentment comes from ... not because it is too late to be in plan B.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"><strong>Well, I will disagree just a little. I think all marriages are worth saving, but it's just not possible to save them all. It takes two, and if you do all that you can, then you can't do any more.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Willingness is the key ... as long as WS doesn't want to ... it is up to BS to make the call. Remember plan A ... followed by plan B and then make the call. Let the professional access the situation before Dv.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"><strong>My post was meant to point out that all is not rosy after a D, and that when you think you will be so much better off without your spouse, you might just be wrong.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I hear you well. I might be wrong since I am never Dv ... yet, however looking back even during supposely happy time ... I made a lot of trade off already. I have to make a call to take control of my life and move on w/ or w/o my WW. I am triage'ng ... and I know God have someone for me that will cherish & protect my best ... be that it is WS or not. But DV is the death sentence for this M.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"><strong>The stats on children are just as telling. Kids from divorced families are at a disadvantage across the board.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Do you know that FCS states that my 2 D has no impact on this Dv & they are already stabilized ? ... I know if WS is keep doing what she is doing & not taking care her job as mom, I have no control and gurantee that they would be on the other side of stats. I were at the point of Dv or hanging on this M & loose everything.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"><strong>I think that being an OP and decent are mutually exclusive. You can't be both at the same time.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Let put it this way, some OP also fails to protect themself to A and walk into it ... some OP is predator !. This OM had been abused when he is 13 yr old, having sex with 17 yr girl that later is having sex with his father and broke the family M. He married 3 x by now (the latest is by product of my WW), cheat on the last wife from the get go w/ the first W and multiple A ... looking into M woman so that he doesn't have to care about the emotional attachment. My WW tried to use MB principal to change him ... do a clean slate w/ him and fulfilling all top 5 ENs of his .... He still cheat & lied <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" /> . Major cake eater.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"><strong>Because you have children.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">The same reason push for Dv my WW. I need to give stability into their life and teach them that there is a bing different being a doormat while I am working on M (plan A) and being a doormat period. Financially I have to protect "US", me & my 2 D.

-RH-

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Joan , I appreciate you telling your story.

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You got to admit that this is one tough crowd.

JoA have any of your older children been exposed to MB principles? I ask because since you are an MB coach, it would seem that they would have been exposed to them. If they have been, what has been their reaction to them?

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I have to agree and disagree with you

During the time we were separated, before the divorce, I began a relationship with the man who is now my husband. Yes, I know, that makes it affair number 2 for me. I didn't know about MB at the time, and I didn't see it that way then. I do now. If I had, I wouldn't have done it, but it doesn't change the fact of what is.

If your choice in second H, would have been a committed partner and parent, your kids may have felt and turned out different. When you marry someone with children, you take on the responsibilities of parenting.

I have a friend who divorced he H because of his drinking, drugs and selling. It has been since the D,that the truth has started slowly coming out. Their kids are afraid of their dad. The oldest used to hide with his little brother under their bed, and he would cover his ears when dad was abusing mom, and telling him that he would take care of him. I'm sure their is more that I don't know about as far as the abuse goes, but how about throwing knives at her, threatening to kill her if she left, threatenting to kill the kids. I know this is true, he threatened to kill my son when he was 7 years old. He threatened to blow up our house because my H and his W played ball on the same coed team. There was nothing going on with them (I was at every game) You cannot generalize and say that all should try to make it work. This was a relationship that was doomed to ruin those boys. Now, she is in a serious R with a divorced man with custody of his 3 kids. This man comes to her childrens school events, comes to these childrens games, he is more of a father to these boys than their bio father was. I've seen this in other situations also. So, yes, it is possible for the step parent to love the step children and provide for them. If my M does not work, I would not settle for a man that will not take on the parenting role of my children. Yes, they have dad, who would be the weekend dad. This man would be the daily role model in their lives.

<small>[ September 28, 2002, 02:11 AM: Message edited by: Sue with hope ]</small>

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Well, I will disagree just a little. I think all marriages are worth saving, but it's just not possible to save them all. It takes two, and if you do all that you can, then you can't do any more
Is it worth saving a marriage with a drug taking, spouse beating, child abusing spouse?
How about a marriage where a spouse leaves (with the affair partner) and they have not had contact for 3 plus years with the other spouse & very, very little contact with the children?
How about a marriage where the spouse travels ALL the time and is far too concerned with business?

(I'm the 2nd one. I did wait 2.5 years before filing)

There are circumstances in which it is NOT goo/safe to stay in the marriage.

However, that being said, a divorce is not something which should be taken lightly without reviewing what the marriage was/is and the people involved.

Hmm ... interesting, most of us here are BS, including myself.
As am I in my current M. So I've been on both sides.

Sorry to hear about this. I was kind of wondering what brought about your first post.

I was in a divorced/separated men's group for a while. One of the guys told us he cheated on his 1st wife and they got divorced. He didn't marry the ow.

10 years later, when he was remarried, his wife cheated on him and was going through divorce. He was devastated and he (sadly) now understood what it means to be a betrayed spouse.

He went back and talked to his first wife and apologized (truly & heartfelt, not what most of us get from the ws) for what he did. He told her he had no idea of the amount of pain he caused her.

Just a thought...

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Joan,

Please don't think I'm doggin' on you. (Besides, I could do a MUCH better job, if I wanted to cause you grief. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" /> )

I' m glad your here to help out others and to give some help in any way you can. I'm very sorry to hear about your cicumstances.

I guess you post just brought up a few points worth discussing., albeit some people may get the wrong idea and go off on you.

<small>[ September 29, 2002, 12:23 AM: Message edited by: Chris (CA123) ]</small>

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Hey guys...
Thanks for your thoughts and your input. I haven't abandoned this thread. Just overwhelmed with kids and life today...

Back as soon as I can. Again, thanks for your thoughts. I value them all.

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Not Peachy…. My H was a terrible parent and a worse souse when I met him. He was abusive and he cheated… a lot. The how's of finding myself in that situation are long and have a lot to do with being an idiot. We can talk about that more if you like, but for now let's just call it the background info.

Anyway, that was 5+ years ago. Much has changed since then. The infidelity is long ago, and many of the steps to recovery have been addressed to the point of being part of our lifestyle.

The anger issues continue to be in the forefront. The extreme verbal abuse ended when we took an anger mgt. class together in March of 2000, but the demands and the attempts at control remained. Especially with issues relating to my kids.

We separated per Bill Harley's suggestion in August. An MB separation, one that is designed to save the marriage. There was no thought on either side that it was the prelude to divorce. We are now dating. And it is going marvelously!

There were some issues about accountability and we've worked them out quite well. Although he came to this relationship poorly equipped to be a parent or a husband, he is demonstrating his commitment to learning and implementing the necessary skills.

I am fully convinced, based on our history and my experience with other couples, that without the separation this marriage would have ended…. Badly.

My needs will not be placed above my son. I think that
by him being around me the majority of the time that his outcome will be significantly better than if he stayed in a
home where a man was mentally abusive and sometimes violent, where a man lies and cheats on a woman.


I agree that as a parent you are wise to look at what your son needs before rushing into what you want.

A boy
cannot grow up and become an ethical man this way. This way he will learn the kind of values and morals my family
instilled in me.


I sincerely hope he does. It seems he has a good role model in you. Does he see his father?

Hi Nduli……

In your line of work it's good to say "all marriages are worth saving" the reality is that all marriages are not.

You take that a little out of context, I think. I believe I said that all marriages are worth saving, not all are possible.

Would you say the same to a woman being punched regularly by her H? How about a marriage where one of the
spouses is sexually abusing the children? How about repeated affairs? How about the spouse who brings home
veneral diseases to the other spouse.


Here's the series of events as laid out by Harley.

1. Honesty. Tell your partner the things he or she is doing that are painful/offensive to you. This means how you feel, not being demanding, disrespectful, or losing your temper.
2. Eliminate your own LBers. Be pleasant, meet needs as best you can.
3. Go to Plan B.

In the case of physical/sexual abuse, I recommend almost immediate separation, as does Harley. But not the separation that says I want to end the marriage. The separation that says:
1. I love you.
2. I married you for life.
3. I want to stay married to you.
4. This thing you are doing (abuse, affair, control, not meeting needs) is too painful for me to bear any longer. It is destroying my love for you.
5. In order to preserve the love I have remaining, I cannot see or speak to you until you are ready to address this issue.

Once the offending spouse is ready to do that, then there must be rigid guidelines for recovery and reconciliation. In the cases of abuse, it takes about 2 years of hard work for the abusive partner to guarantee that he/she is safe. They should live apart and date during the time he/she is in treatment.
I think there should be a time limit on how long the spouse is willing to wait for the other to end the A, get help, or agree to a plan to meet needs and eliminate LBers. Two years, give or take. Then move on.

My husband did have multiple affairs. But not while I knew about it. When I found out, they ended. But part of the conditions of being able to remain in our home was immediate and complete accountability. With the knowledge that another one and it was over. Non-negotiable.

STD's? If the affair(s) are ended and recovery is in process? I wouldn't suggest ending the marriage because of that. If the a's were ongoing, then I would look at Plan B.

TMCM….. tough crowd, yeah…. But I have 5 boys, so I don't scare easily.. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" />
All my kids are exposed to MB philosophy in terms of respect, no demands, no temper tantrums. We talk some about how the things we do affect how others feel about us.

Funny thing, my 17yo just did an essay for school about that very topic, and yet he will argue with me that whether or not we like someone has nothing to do with their behavior. I guess it's the teenager thing.. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="images/icons/rolleyes.gif" />

Sue….. Certainly things would have been different for my kids had I met someone who had better skills. But I think the pain of losing a parent in a D, and the destruction of the family is relevant for all kids in that situation.

I'm waiting for a book I just ordered "The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce." It follows many kids of d'd parents over a 25 or 30 year period, and comments on the effects. I'll write about it when I get it.

have a friend who divorced he H because of his drinking, drugs and selling.

I still maintain that the steps I outlined above should be tried first. And I don't mean Plan A for years. Show that you can be a great spouse… do it in a letter. And then go to Plan B. With a letter, and no contact. Give it a year or so. THEN divorce.

The no contact protects the spouse, and in a case like your friends, the kids as well. Not all offending spouses will choose to do what it takes, but some will. I think it's worth going through the motions.

Chris…..

Is it worth saving a marriage with a drug taking, spouse beating, child abusing spouse?
How about a marriage where a spouse leaves (with the affair partner) and they have not had contact for 3 plus years with the other spouse & very, very little contact with the children?
How about a marriage where the spouse travels ALL the time and is far too concerned with business?


Same steps as above. Use the MB plans. My other sig line has a quote from Harley.. something like (and I'm close here but maybe not word for word exact..)
"Every one of us has the right to lay out the conditions under which the marriage continues…."
He went on to say that none of us should feel obligated to remain in a marriage that is painful, unhappy, or unfulfilling. But the steps he lays out are excellent in changing those conditions.

I said this in another place today. NO ONE wants to go to Plan B. Either we still have feelings for our partner and don't want to give up contact; or we feel nothing or hate then and want to go directly to ending the M.

MB flies in the face of what we feel like doing. It asks us to set aside our instincts… which are usually not in our best interests… and to use hard logical behaviors to address the problems in marriage. But it works, if we can override our emotions and our instincts.

Oh and 3+ years of abandonment and n/c….. move on.

I have apologized to my xh. It's been a few years, but I'd bet it was under the same circumstances as your group friend... when it happened to me.

JoA

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This thread has been very interesting, although I find myself struggling to relate. I selfishly wish my wife had some significant problem like abuse or drugs that would explain her absence. We were together for three years, including living together for two before we got married. I was gunshy from a previous marriage that ended with multiple affairs. My current "wife" promised me that she wanted us to be together forever, and it was more important than anything. Before we were married a whole year she decided that she was too young (23) to be married with a family, home, and all the domestic baggage that comes with that. I've been plan A'ing for three months now. She tells me in moments of lucidity that I am a good husband, and a wonderful father. That I've always taken very good care of her, but it's just not what she wants right now. I've tried a couple of times to tell her that I can't be there for her anymore, because it hurts too much, but then she calls for some help with whatever is her problem of the moment, and I find myself wanting to help her in any way I can. I know my story is not unique, but that doesn't seem to go very far in relieving the pain. I've been very dedicated to our marriage, but like one of the previous posts, I've beginning to think the only way for me to get back on my feet is to give up.

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Still don't agree with you, even Harley states on this very website that if his spouse committed adultery he would be gone. He says so himself so using Harley as a measuring stick for the proposed scenario is dubious considering the man's own words.

As for me, any of those I listed would ensure there would be no love left for the spouse to protect and in the case of sexually abusing my children he'd be lucky to be in possession of all his limbs if I found out.

One solution does not fit all problems.


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