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brendalee here.....been holding back on everyone or my REAL issues and need an HONEST slant from ya'll:
December 7, 2004
8:13 pm
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brendalee
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(deep sigh....) whew. ok.....here goes. Not-so-hidden-agenda...am looking for honest answers to validate why I filed for divorce 10+ years ago. sigh. this is hard. Bottom-line: I just felt like my huband was NOT in my corner. Both of us were raised catholic and both parents have never divorced. The only way I saw out of my marriage at the time was through "death" do us part because I didn't and still don't take vows lightly. The decision to dissolve the marriage was mine because I felt the only choice I had at the time was suicide. So, OK - here goes...God, I've never even been so honest as to even tell a therapist this. My ex-husband was one of 4 boys in the family. His mother's favorite and the first male to get married....thus - me resuming the coveted Mrs. XXXX. God, this is hard. When my husband (then, my fiancee) were planning our marriage and had set a date....his mother CHANGED it...not once but twice citing his grandmother health concerns. OK - I went along with that.....sort of. Then, (God...I've never really unloaded all of this before...) there was a time when his brother was in a bad motorcycle accident...and the whole family from GA (with the exception of his father) went down to Fl to stay in his apartment. I'm talkin 'bout his mom, sister, and two younger brothers all cramped up in a 1 bedroom apartment. Well, just so happenned at the time that I had a sister in Miami (we were in Deerfield Beach) and I called my sister just to talk. The phone in my brother-in-laws apartment was a combo answering machine/telephone...and somehow...the mundane conversation I was having with my sister was recorded on the machine. One day - when my husband and I left the apt to go get some food for everyone (he was always the family "giver") we walk in...and sure enough - his mom, sister and 2 younger brothers were sitting around actually LISTENING to the conversation I was having with my sister!!!!) I just froze. My husband...on the other hand - didn't do a DAMN THING!!!! Had the tables been turned and I found MY family listening to a personal conversation of his...I would have stood up for my husband and let them know in no uncertain terms that they crossed the boundary. But he didn't say shit! I had told him in the past the problems I felt with his mom...like she was judging me or something...and he never took up for me. Then, another time when he and I and his friend were on our way back from an outing in NC.....his friend's car broke down. This is the friend, mind you that my husband felt he "needed" to help him fine-tune his fucking $3,000 truck engine...and when all of us were stuck on the side of the road because the engine or something or other conked out....I simply said: "They just don't make 'em like they used to....and HIS friend jumped my shit. Starting yelling at me and all. AGAIN....my husband didn't say SHIT. I wanted to just leave his sorry ass on the side of the road and go home....but we didn't. So after that, I told my husband that his "friend" was no longer welcome into our home....and I could tell that I was made out to be "the heavy." So, I ask you, do you feel that my divorce was justified? On the other end of the spectrum...I have to admit that I was drinking a lot. Sure was not a pleasant sight for my husband to come home to a drunken housewife in the middle of the afternoon with her housecoat still on... and another thing that I could not get past..was how in the world he could look at me with love pouring out of eyes??? It didn't make sense to me. Friends and family of mine have told me that he just worshipped the ground I walked on and were shocked to hear of our divorce. OK. there it is folks. Been bound up inside of me for many years. I hit upon the highlights. Would greatly appreciate an honest slant on the whole situation. Thanks. Brenda

December 7, 2004
9:08 pm
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brendalee
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How come no one is responding to me???? I spill my guts....and nothing! I "ain't" afraid of negative comments....but please, PLEASE some damn body respond!!!! Feel like a sail waitin for a wind here...........

December 7, 2004
9:21 pm
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am wondering...in all this time as being an active member and sharing my views if it wasn't a mistake to spill my guts?

December 7, 2004
9:21 pm
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DTEE
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So did you divorce your husband for not standing up for you? You almost committed suicie because he did not make a stand for you? I hope you don't take my questions as belittling your issue. Your husband not making a stand for you is all I am hearing. Did you discuss this with him?

December 7, 2004
9:28 pm
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brendalee-

I've been in that position with a former boyfriend of mine. He would never stand up for me no matter how right I was, etc... he claimed always to be acting in the interest of "keeping the peace" but there are more dignified ways of doing that than completely disregarding the feelings of your significant other.

The way your husband acted in the incidents you described was cowardly and inconsiderate. He could have handled it without starting a war between you and his family or friend, he may have been able to even act as a peacemaker. However, not everyone possesses these skills- though an attempt would have been nice.

I agree it sucks. When stuff like that would happen to me, I'd be afraid to even talk about it cause I thought no one would understand why it made me feel so hurt and why it made me feel as if my bf was more worried about other people than me. It must be even harder when you are married. You in no way acted in anyway that should have embarrassed him or hurt other people, so that's what must be so infuriating. It must be even harder when you are married.

I hope you are able to feel like your feelings and actions are validated, and that you are worthy of more respect.

You're certainly not going to get any negative comments directed toward you, from me.

in empathy,
-ella

December 7, 2004
9:29 pm
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opal
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hi brendalee,

I think you did the right thing, you were not happy and even if your husband did not want a divorce, it would probably have only been a matter of time before he too would think it was best.

It sounds like you were not respected as much as you should have been by his family and I can understand how hurt you are because he did not say anything in your favour.

I'm in Australia, and it's 1.00pm here, maybe no one else is on line at the moment, but I will be for a short while, if you would like me to respond some more.

ps, I think you explained yourself very well, I could learn a lot from you.

December 7, 2004
9:37 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Just getting warmed up for the night, brendalee--post is a little hard to read w/o carriage returns. Back to you soon.

December 7, 2004
9:37 pm
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wow, i may be in bankruptcy but putting that aside i can definitely relate to what you are saying. i was married to someone who would not stand up for me. his mother even took my wedding dress for Christs sake, his sister took my poodle and wouldn't give her back to me. well depending on just how much this went on i can tell you for me it was awful and it still affects me today as far as getting close to an en law per se. it was emotional abust to me, his family (women, mother, sister) would be deliberately mean to me and later admitted such, this played a major reason for our breakup. the scripture speaking of "paraphased, he is to leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife is just that. and what you described was that he did not do that. but you know what, the wonderful thing is, that was a long time ago, and you need to forgive yourself if there is anything you possibly did. just for you. do you have some contact with them today? i mean do you ever see your X and wonder? i have made mistakes in relationships and i or anyone can't go back. we can learn and forgive others and ourselves. i am sure you know this and i will quit talking now, but i just wanted you to know that i was there and it was awful.

December 7, 2004
9:46 pm
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brendalee
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thank you for responding. tis a bit overwhelming for one night to digest. will sleep on our responses. thanks.

December 7, 2004
9:48 pm
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Hi Brenda:

Just walked in the door.

When he didn't stand up for you was he saying hateful and hurtful things that nobody else could hear?

My ex used to whisper a word or two to me and have me in tears and then tell my family I was having a breakdown. Just wondered if he was playin the "see look at her fall apart" angle.

Or, did you fall apart or yell at him when he wouldn't stand up for you? That is another way of making you look like a lunatic and him look like the poor little victim.

Those are forms of emotional abuse and you had no reason to take that.
I'm sorry you held that in for so many years and let it fester and hurt you.

December 7, 2004
10:56 pm
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workinonit
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br4enda, I so-o understand what you mean. All I ever wanted from a significant other was the same as I would do. What's to understand?

You are not wrong and for all the advice you offer here to myself and others, you should feel validated!!

Be strong and sure of yourself because no one should be with another person who they feel is not on the side. It sounds to me as if he never was on your side. Maybe he only needed someone on his side and wasn't willing to go the extra mile. Or didn't know how?

Who knows.

December 7, 2004
11:07 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Well, the Mom and Sster in Law were just creeps, no doubt--did you let 'em have it? I would.

I can understand about wanting to be stood up for in those two situations, but it's just two anecdotes, hard to get a feel for the realtionship from just that.

Some people are really bad with conflict and confrontations--they just shut down. Maybe your husband was one of those. HArd to say.

December 7, 2004
11:12 pm
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brendalee-

WD brings up a good point, are those two stories just examples of behavior that is a constant? I hope it wasn't wrong to assume so. Can you give us a little more info? This way we can understand better.

-ella

December 8, 2004
3:51 am
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hi guys !!!!!!!("enjoying another day in paradise like me, hm??")

brendalee - I can 'hear' your anger - even from that very far away place where I am standing (europe) - am smiling here - what I'm thinking now - maybe it's worth considering (how) to be loyal to you first before expecting that from anyone else - exhubby or not - gotta a feeling - unvalidated I must admit - this 'loyalty' thingie having something to do with your past - and - maybe even present - "stance" or "attitude" (line of acting or behaving) - whatever "drives" you to do what you decide to do - regarding this issue of (how-to)'balancing' your 'agenda' - meaning - whether to cover up (let it stay hidden) or uncover or expose it. Try to be honest with you above all. Be in your corner. I'm not saying or suggesting here that you aren't already. So - please -don't misunderstand me here.

You wrote :"God, I've never even been so honest as to even tell a therapist this" - what's the 'deal' here ? - why do u feel u cant be honest with or to you therapist - or ? - perhaps you feel this holds for anyone else as well ? dunno - u tell us, hm? Why u being so hard on yourself in alot of ways ??

"The decision to dissolve the marriage was mine because I felt the only choice I had at the time was suicide" - so - did you felt 'suffocated' - even slowly "dying" - by how you perceived they (family-in-law) were treating you at the time ?

You say - brendalee - "I just froze" -I somehow get the impression from what you've been saying here that you appear to not trust your ex and maybe even his family members - and you ... in some intriguing and smart way - trying to look for or trying to discover proof backing you up in deriving that conclusion - or .... outcome. A betrayal outcome?

Aso - I read - "the problems I felt with his mom...like she was judging me or something" - u ever shared your feelings about that with her - asked her straight or directly if she were indeed being or acting judgemental towards u - like appealing to her for validating u with respect to your feelings (your 'source' of validation) - if not , why would that have been difficult or hard for u to do ?

Just wondering - can you come up with 'not-so-very-nice' ways ("being a baddie") to vent and express your anger - whether u wanna be making kind of a passive-aggressive impression or not, I mean - how would you go about doing that ? Why is it you never like u say - really - unload ? I'd like to watch you there and enjoying your presence when u do .... sounds like fun to me - so, asking u to lift the veil a bit more here ... let the 'hidden' brendalee come out .... ever seen a movie pic of bruce lee ? ... he sure kicked ass when he felt like it - lol ....

brendalee - u said too - "So, I ask you, do you feel that my divorce was justified?" - u the only one capable of answering that question - at the end of the day - it's you having to live with your decisions and actions -with your life - not us - nobody can tell u what is right or wrong - and in my view - shouldn't aspire to do so either - but - okay - grant u this - maybe you did go the extra mile for him - putting ur head on the line for him - and - in the end - he might just not have been worth it. Besides - some men just have those "puppy-sweet" eyes - that's all - end.

Bye, 'highlight'-girl, wishing u well, true

December 8, 2004
4:51 am
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Brendalee:

I'm glad you were able to open up and be honest w/ us. How are you feeling today?

Just finished reading [email protected]'s post above. Sure do know how to bring things out true. Maybe coz I have problems w/ these, but the trust, judgement and validation thing w/ the mom-in-law and even getting along w/ her was a point that stood out and then justification of your divorce. Are you still having problems w/ those areas?

You are to hard on yourself. You have kept such hurt inside. If there is any left, let it out also.

Here for ya.

December 8, 2004
6:18 pm
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brendalee
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wow. such an outpouring of love and concern. thank you everyone. i guess that all of these years i have felt so guilty standing up for myself....battling with the fact that well - maybe I wasn't worth it though, i did, by the way, shortly after the divorce send my ex-mother-in-law a note telling her that she had no right or business to change my wedding date or listen to the conversation i was having with my sister. at that time - my ex-husband and i were still talking and he brought it up in the conversation that his mom had rec'd my note and they had a argument...and that he sided with me. wow. this is hard to discuss - even now. i'm looking back at my papers and can tell you that we were married 11-1-86, seperated 11-9-95 and divorced 8-8-96. because of my dissociation/depersonalization i have never put all of those dates together in writing and know that it was just one person involved in all of that....in all of that time...me.
i think that he did not like confrontations at all. i remember once when we were married he was privvy to what other people made in his office - and it was much more than him - yet, he had the #1 account. it tore him up! I hated seeing him like that - so one day we sat down with pen and paper and i said ok.....you determine what you are worth to this company - so he picked an annual salary, perks, company car etc and go to your boss. i was in his corner 100% - told him that we ate beans and franks before...we can do it again if we have to. he did go to his boss and got his demands met - though it wasn't easy. he almost broke down in tears talking to his boss as he had his company car keys ready to turn over to him. his boss was shocked and said he had no idea that he felt like this. my ex said that he had benn coming to him asking for a raise and there was always some excuse. my ex told me (actually he was quite animated) as he told me the news when he got home...is was like putting his balls on the chopping block. he did later, after our divorce thank me for that. we haven't spoken in years. i understand that he got married a couple of years or so after our divorce. i seem to remember one time when i thought that i might be pregnant when we were married how he just lit up!!! then - i was diagnosed with invasive squemicell cancer and had to have an immediate radical hysterectomy. i didn't receive any counseling during that time. (have never been pregnant in my life...and now - never would be.) i think that on some level - that might have had something to do with my getting a divorce - though not sure. i have never spilled my guts like this before. whew. i guess i want to now because i've only had a small handful of dates/encounters since the divorce and have met someone recently that i really like and would like to not carry lots of baggage into this relationship - so - i'm kind of trying to come to terms with it and indergo closure from my divorce on 8-8-96. i still have a shoe box full of slides that i haven't been able to bring myself to look at and send him back the slides with he and his family. maybe i'll get the courage to do this soon. maybe with one of my close girlfriends. sorry such a long post. again - thanks for the sincere love and caring being set my way. brenda

December 9, 2004
11:28 pm
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brendalee
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Any additional thoughts since last post from anyone? (thanks.)

December 13, 2004
6:00 pm
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brendalee
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Will someone...anyone PLEASE respond to my last gut-wrenching post? I feel so vulnerable here!!!!!

December 13, 2004
6:05 pm
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lostforever
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what was your first post

December 13, 2004
6:13 pm
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willitgetbetter
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Brendalee, I can just feel the pain and anger you re suffering at the moment. I can't really help much at the moment but it sounds to me like you are carrying a lot of guilt about your divorce. B - it happened and at the time the decision you made was the right one. Whether now it would be different is irrelevant. We all make decisions that are right "at the time". Had circumstances been different you may never had made that decision but you did and as i say it was the right one to make at the time. Don't knock yourself out with guilt. Leave the baggage in the 'lost baggage' office. As for the slides, seal them away. You don't have to send them to him or go through them. They are a part of your history and our history is what makes us what we are.

December 13, 2004
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Brendalee,

You have really had a full plate w/ that family. More than most would have taken. I understand coz I've had issues w/ my hubby's mom. She didn't speak to me for a year once. That was hard going to functions and her acting like that. I don't think my hubby really took sides either.

I'm sorry about the cancer. Is it all taken care of now?

So now you are on your own? Anyone special in your life? How are you getting along? (sorry, nosey)
Actually, just want to know how you are dealing w/ life in general. Took alot to get all that posted. If you have more, feel free to post.

December 13, 2004
6:25 pm
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willingetbetter,

THANKS so much for your sage advice. I want to move on - for the first time since my divorce - but have to come to terms with it all before I can move on. I did what was best for me at the time. period. hindsight is always 20/20. I don't want to feel guilty anymore! I want to welcome relationships with other men without having to think I was a "wrong" or a "dirty" person in the past. Why is this so hard? Catholic crap can really lay a number on ya! I really like the guy that I am involved with now. We are both around the same age - both divorced..and both very loyal to former spouses - from what I can gather. this is getting hard to write anymore. Brenda

September 16, 2017
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