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Male opinion on leaving a family
February 18, 2004
2:29 pm
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trose
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Really would appreciate some input on how males think regarding family, respect to children and wife. Treatment of both and how to deal with improper language and attitude.

February 18, 2004
2:36 pm
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artist 2
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Are you the recipient of the abuse?

February 18, 2004
2:43 pm
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trose
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Yes, I am. I am trying to figure out how to deal with the situation.

February 18, 2004
2:54 pm
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First route would be counseling to find out why this is happening. Any idea as to why she's angry?

February 18, 2004
3:04 pm
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trose
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Counseling is not an option. I must claify for you that I am the receipent of a man doing this to a women, Me. He the husband does not like counseling, feels that private matters need to be kept private. I found your comment of why is she angry interesting. I have pretty much gone through the angry and am just hurt that he has chosen to remove himself from the family both physically and mentally. Meaning he leaves every weekend (Friday from work and returns usually on Sunday night.) Doesn't feel the need to call or let anyone know where he is where he is going or what he is doing. What I am trying to figure out is, is he having an affair? I have asked the question directly and he has denied it. Since I am not a male I can not figure out what he is thinking and why he is reacting the way he is. That is why I am looking for male input to try understand. I have heard from the female sector who all feel that he is having an affair. I am either not willing to accept this answer or I am afraid of that answer or he isn't having an affair or something. I am not ready to toss in the towel. Please help me with the male thought process.

February 18, 2004
3:13 pm
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Zinnie
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Sadly,

Yes, he is having an affair. If he is not willing to go to counseling, and is abusive - pack yourself up and go.

February 18, 2004
3:32 pm
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trose
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Zinnie, why do you say this. Regarding counseling he wasn't willing to before, although he did for a while under the guise of my son, he didn't care for it at all, and had trouble saying anything. Other then to blame everyone else, especially me that I was the problem in the situation with my son and later in the marriage. It lasted about 4 sessions. Regarding being verbally abusive, that has always been. I originally contributed it to his drinking, but he has been dry for 16 years. He never went through a program for that. Just quit drinking. And if he is having an affair why can't he say he is? by the way are you female?

February 18, 2004
3:40 pm
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Zinnie
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Yes, I'm a female.

My Dad is why I say that. I love the man dearly, but he has been married four times... and that is his M.O.

Being abusive escalates - there is a thread called "Spousal Abuse" - although my daughter's story originally started it, Free and Ladeska go to great pains to go into further detail starting with the verbal abuse.

Why can't he tell you? He does not want to lose you. Most often you will find that they want their cake and to not only eat it too, but with ice cream and punch on the side.

Z.

February 18, 2004
4:47 pm
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artist 2
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I get it. Well, I won't ask the question why you're sticking around, because I understand why. As hard as it may seem, and impossible as it may be, you probably need to find a way to separate from this man. I have not heard one single thing he has done right for you or to you. Maybe he does want his cake, but more likely he doesn't want to look at himself in the mirror. So he lies.

Make plans for you and your children alone. Easy to say, easy to read, hard to hear, hard to do. I know... but I think you need to. You are way too valuable to wonder and wait around for him to be nice to you. Seriously.

February 18, 2004
4:59 pm
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Sorry, you were looking for a man's opinion. But, I'm not a man. From my experience they lie and misrepresent their feelings when they don't know what else to do.

If there was a man answering this, he'd probably say that what's happening is he "wants his space". Another way of saying "i don't want this relationship any more." but doesn't have the (excuse the pun) "balls" to say so.

Then again, my opinion is pretty damn tainted at this moment in time...

February 18, 2004
8:15 pm
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trose
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Artist2, actually what he has said is that we have grown apart. Which I won't argue, and why I wanted a man's opinion is only try to figure out how they think, and maybe men can be happy doing just man things. Like going to concerts, ball fields, sports arena's and the like. I haven't yet figured out why I am hanging on or want it to be resolved other then I don't feel like making another mistake with my life in regards to relationships with the opposite sex. I have two boys and four girls and I want them to have healthy relationships. I don't believe that marriage is bad, I know that it is hard work, but the bottom line is communication and apparently I am lacking, actually I know that I am or have not been good at communicating my feelings and I need to work on this. I do very much appreciate your input, and thank you for it.

February 18, 2004
8:22 pm
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trose
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Zinnie, I can't say that he is having his cake and eating it too. Only because the cake has been removed the pan is all that is here. Meaning, I had stated to him over a year ago that if he could not respect me and the children then I saw no reason to have sex, make love, or whatever other term there is for what happens in the bed. His response was, then what do you want me to do. I told him if he chose to find another person to relieve himself with that he could not come back to me until he had an aids test. He was very upset with that. So I guess he sees it that I told him to go and find it else where and none of this his fault. When what I was trying to get across to him was that I needed to be respected as a person and I wanted him to respect our children as well. Apparently that isn't going to happen. So where won't I just let it go?

February 18, 2004
9:29 pm
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artist 2
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You will let it go with time... just be easy on yourself and let it happen. You can do it. You can move forward.

February 18, 2004
9:45 pm
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torero
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I don't pretend to know, but being male, and having awakened to the world of human emotions beyond "male", I must say this. I have realized that spouses need to be loyal. I'm not just talking about marital fidelity. I'm talking about the loyalty and trust owed first and foremost to the spouse, that loyalty which includes honest communication,the courtesy to call and check in while away on trips, the courage to agree to be open to honest counseling, the forthrightness to face problems. Is it possible he is having an affair? Certainly. From my prespective, whether he is involved sexually with another woman (or man, for that matter) is the least concern. What is more significant is that he IS having an affair if he has chosen to place that loyalty and trust in someone else, the same loyalty and trust which he has given his word and honor to give to you. I wish you peace. torero

February 19, 2004
7:38 am
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trose
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torero, thank you so much for your insight. You pretty much hit the nail on the head of where I was coming from, so how do I move forward with this. One can not get another to have the same values or understanding. He feels that he has been betrayed and is hurt and I figure he is trying to deal with it in his own way. I just am having a hard time believing that he can throw away his vows with out trying first to deal with us or himself first. When I say betrayed, not in the sense that I had gone outside the marriage for something else, but that I had withdrawn from him intellectually and physically because I was looking for the whole. Like you stated loyalty and trust in all areas. If possible please respond. Thank you.

February 19, 2004
7:42 am
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Trose, I've been betrayed by my ex. But, I think it was because he didn't know what else to do. He felt backed into a corner. Is this possible in your case? I'm not sure that you did something wrong by wanting the best. It's possible he just didn't feel up to fulfilling you.

February 19, 2004
8:06 am
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trose
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Artist2 - yes it is possible that he feels backed in a corner. But isn't that the time where you open your mouth and start asking and answering questions? Just to ignore the situation doesn't make the situation go away. Does it? I realize somethings are not easy to talk about or even to express in words at the time that it is occurring, but there comes a time where one needs to deal with the situation, not just bury it. In burying it, it allows it to rise again sometimes when you least expect and that is what repeating history is, isn't it?

February 19, 2004
9:21 am
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artist 2
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Well yes, logically it's the time to say something. But, the men I've known are like little kids and get scared when faced with something they do not understand. The easiest thing to do is to run away and abandon it rather than stand their ground and figure it out. It seems they make a choice between survival or sacrifice. Unfortunately some men just aren't mature enough to see the benefit of sticking around.

February 19, 2004
9:43 am
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Zinnie
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HI TRose,

Sorry I did not get back with you last night, but went to bed early - for once.

First and foremost, each and every person on this Earth - has the God given right to be loved and to be treated with respect and kindness. Period. End of story.

As Torero states that in a marriage the obligation falls to the partners to give the same respect that they desire. Checking in when away on trips, making sure the calendar is clear for something, etc. My husband and I have been married for almost 14 years. For the most part - actually about 98% of the time, our marriage is great - the other 2% of the time? We are human!

Many times my husband and I work opposite shifts - so that really makes communication important. We both have high stress jobs, and we are not necessarily tied to our desks either. So, we communicate alot via e-mail, voice mail, and notes. Each year, I buy a great big calendar at Office Depot - it outlays the entire year. We hang this calendar in the hallway - and we write on there what we have going on with our lives. That way, if say I want to go to Los Angeles to visit my family and I want my husband to accompany me, I can look at the calendar and say "o.k. - we are both free from April 5th to the 10th - so we will plan for then." I know it sounds almost silly when you read this, but it works. There are not hurt feelings, or upset that the other person is not available, because we know in advance what is going on.

We have both had to travel extensively for work, and also in the last year due to some issues with our daughter, we have been running relays from Texas to Canada. We always "check in" even if it's to say "I'm here, things are fine, hope you are O.K." This is just common courtesy. If your husband is not even doing this as a minimum - then yes, you certainly have every right to be upset.

I know you are trying to hold it together for the sake of your children, for that I commend you. But, at the same time, are you really hurting the kids more than helping? Children know when things are not right, and what message are you sending them by him leaving every weekend, then showing up back at the house with no explanations?

Also, again if he is abusive to you, even just verbally - what message is going out to the kids? That it's O.K. to treat Mom like crap?

Think about what it is that you really want. Do you want to stay married? Do you still love him? Is he willing to work on the marriage?

I know these are hard questions, but I encourage you to think about them and honestly answer them to yourself.

Z.

February 19, 2004
1:12 pm
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trose
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Zinnie, I hear what you are saying and believe me I have played the whole scenio over and over through in my head, trying to figure out what is the best that I can do for my children and by me himming and hahing around I have probably given the wrong impression to my children.

I have had many discussions with female friends on this issue in regards to the children. Trying to do right by them and what I keep hearing is, if I don't take care of myself first then how am I any help to them in the long wrong. 4 of the children are basically out of the house, two on their own, two in college and then I have a high schooler and an eighth grader. I actually feel they have a better grasp on the situation then I do. But since I have already been through one divorce, hence the two on their own, I never wanted to go through another one.

Today is our anniversary date, he actually did remember the date when I asked him what today is, but he couldn't remember how many years. Not that that is surprising, he doesn't remember how old I am, and just recently has even remembered when my birthday is. He only knows one's child's birthday and that is his first born boy. I used to hold birthday's as something special until he continued not to remember anyone's. It is quite unfortunate, even though he was there for each of the children's births.

With this marriage I tried to be open an honest from the beginning. Problems started to arise when my children from a previous marriage started being teenagers and he set out such harish demands. When I would intercede on their behalf it was always a conflict of choice. As it would be I chose the children. I felt that he was being unfair in his treatment and didn't mince words in regards to that. Obviously, this was years ago. Regarding our children together, he has made it so obvious that he cares primarily only about his first born. He shows some interest into the other three but no where near the amount to the first. It is heart wrenching to me. I have discussed this many times with him, that he needs to interact with all his children. His response is I go to all their sporting events. I tell him that his children are more then just sports. They have thoughts and feelings. He just kinda looks at me.

His life appears to be sports, concerts, music and yes he does work which is great. He has always had a job.

I'm rambling, my fear is being out there on my own financially. I know that things will be tighter then they already are and I don't know if I am prepared for that. Not myself personally, but primarily in regards to the children.

I myself have worked my whole life until this past mid December when my employment was ended. Currently this is the best job market to be in.

February 19, 2004
2:40 pm
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Zinnie
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Hi Rose,

Sounds to me like you have tried, a lot.

It's hard when you are blending families. I know that, as I have five step-children. When their Father and I married, actually before we married, his ex-wife, him and myself sat down and said "O.K. - this is how we will handle things." Our agreement was if I told the kids something it was to be taken as if the directive had come from one of them, and we would always back the other. Which we did.

From what you are saying, he is essentially a selfish person, pure and simple. He has no interest in knowing when your or the children's birthdays are? He only pays attention to his oldest son? That is just not right, and I feel badly not only for you, but for your kids too.

If he is not willing to go to counseling - I don't know what else to suggest. Except possibly counseling for yourself to help your self-esteem and to help you come to grips with the situation so you can do what is best for you and your children.

How long have you two been married?

Z.

February 19, 2004
3:55 pm
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Hi trose. Just got a chance to read the page. Lots of great insight. I wish I'd had this when I went through similar struggles. It seems to me there has to be a bottom line. Both spouses need to decide what thay want. Do you stay together or do you go? If you stay together, then the only way to move forward is to go (together or individually) to counseling. If you decide you can't be together, then you go to counseling on your own, WHATEVER IT TAKES. Either way you begin to move forward. The difficult thing is the decision. And oftentimes we don't even know what we want, so we turn to others to provide answers, sometimes accepting advice which goes completely contrary to our beliefs and "gut feelings". And then try to sift out the advice from others which is less than self serving. I guess I was fortunate in my situation that I was able to see the BS I had kidded myself into believeing, and the BS I was being handed by my spouse. As a matter of fact, my first words to my counselor were "I am tired of the BS and I'm ready to move forward. I need help in doing this." Having said that, I must emphasize that I don't believe in divorce for so-called irreconcilable differences. If you have grown apart, you (both) have done this because you've chosen to in a number of ways. For me it was working a lot. And fishing. And my family. And TV. And on and on. If I chose to give these other things my attention instead of my wife, I could also choose to re-direct my time and attention to her, and still do things I love to do. I also realize that the pain I was enduring, and the effort I was putting forth were absolutely essential. And selfish. But I had to get my self right before I could get right with my wife. Ultimately, I guess, counseling is about self. I also realized that things happen for a reason, and that we are smarter and stronger than we think. Trust yourself. That feeling in your gut, what you think about when when you lie awake at night, when some guy at work, or some woman who's been divorced five times isn't giving you "advice". That feeling means something. Trust it. Study it. Go with it. I felt that I had finally begun to trust my spirit, and that it knew where I needed to go, and that it knew I had the strength to go there. And finally, I read voraciously. The one book which helped me the most I think, was one entitled "Love is Lettng Go of Fear". (By Jampolsky, I think)
OK I've rambled on. Sorry. Keep on reading this page too. Lots of very insightful people out here. Take Care, torero

February 19, 2004
4:08 pm
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Zinnie,

22 years married, 24 years together. I have a hard time in putting that all aside. Alot of time and emotion has been invested here and I believe that is what is holding me back from letting go. I realize by letting it go, let's apart of me to be freer (if that is a word) then I have ever been before) and maybe it is time that I grasp that freedom and really start doing something with it. I know that I tell my children that they should enjoy the freedoms that they have now, to be honest to themselves because in doing that you are more capable of dealing with the events that come upon you each and everyday. It appears I should start taking the advice that I hand out to them for myself. I have just really wanted to make sure that I have tried every avenue before letting go. Because knowing myself as I do, I don't want to have to look back and say I made a mistake in letting go to soon and trying hard enough to have it work.

February 19, 2004
4:21 pm
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torero, again thanks for the insight and yes it is very much the decision. You know when he proposed I asked him if he was sure. We had both been married before. I had children he didn't. He said he was sure. I actually ended up giving the ring back to him with in 24 hours because of a situation that occurred. He proposed at the twin towers in NYC, not that that is where we live but we were out there visiting his brother. Anyway, should I take this as a sign that the marriage wasn't going to last? Anyway as I have said to Z, making sure that I have done all that I am capable of doing and even somethings I didn't think I would do, I never wanted to have the marriage end. I wanted to be able to have a friend in my spouse, someone I could share my feelings with and who someone who would do the same. He is the oldest of nine children. I love his brother's and sisters and have had a really good relationship with them. I will miss them. I know the family well and even though they agree that some of his actions are not right, family is family and that does not change. So it is not only a dissolution of a marriage but of friendships. I realize there have been divorces where the in-laws or ex-inlaws have stayed in good contact but I do believe it would be hard on my children for me to be there along with a new individual and I am not about making people feel uncomfortable. His parents are getting up there in age and there has been a divorce in the family and a remarriage just recently. I love my in-laws I actually call them mom and dad, they seem more like parents to me then my own folks, who I have no relationship with what so ever. But that is another story all together. I do do a lot of reading and listening. One of the reasons I came to this sight is to get other opinions to help me sift through myself. So I do thank you so much for sharing yourself with me.

February 19, 2004
4:34 pm
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Zinnie
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Hi TRose,

24 years is a really long time.

If he is not willing to go to counseling with you, is he willing to have you go to counseling for yourself? Then possibly, can you approach him on what changes you need to have made in order to make the marriage productive for both partners.

For the most part, I agree with Teroro in the fact that I'm not one to leap up and say "get a divorce" - again, as I have said many times on this board - unless it involves abuse or infedility. But, I also think that a marriage takes two people.

Am I making sense?

Marriage is hard work, I will never say it's not. Even though my husband and I get along very well, and he is the person I trust the most in the world, and vice versa - we do have to work at it. Even then there are still times when we both get frustrated with each other. I see what Teroro is saying though - I work with a lady who has been married six times. Anytime my husband takes off to go hunting (his passion), she spouts off "if my husband left for two weeks each year to hunt, I would leave!" Well, O.K., maybe should would - but look what I have in the long run. I have a husband who is not out drinking, or drugging, chasing women, does not beat me. Takes care of the house, cars, me when I have been sick and in the past six years, that has been a whole lot. Gives me respect and treats me well. If he wants to go hunting for two or three weeks during the year... I'll buy him the stuff to do it with.

I guess the question now is, one will he actually sit down and communicate with him, and two do you want to remain married and work it out?

Z.

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