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Switch to Forum Live View Compassionatly Seeking Divorce?
6 years ago  ::  Jun 27, 2008 - 10:24PM #1
starchild33
Posts: 21
Hello All
I am looking for input to what might seem an odd question.  How do you tell your spouse in a loving and compassionate way that you want to be separated and maybe even divorced?  There are plenty of emotionally charged examples out there, but none seem to show this in a more balanced light.  I am asking because I have been trying tell my husband this very same thing for a few months.  I know the obvious answer is to just be blunt, but he is prone to violent outburst when we argue (hence the need for separation).  Also I authentically want to be able to express this in a way that we can come to a greater understanding instead of waging WWIII.  I have already wasted years of my time on a marriage that is dead.  I don't want to invest anymore energy into dodging the attacks that an ugly breakup can bring.  I have given HUGE signs that this is a possibility.  A few months ago he wanted to move and change jobs.  I sat and told him that I was not interested in moving and that if he wanted to change careers he should.  I said I thought that we were in a place that he should consider doing what was best for him and would make him happy. What did he do? He stayed and blames me every day for ruining his opportunity.  Then he wanted to move a few weeks ago to which I responded that the reason I don't want to move now or in the future, just to be with him, is that all of our problems were just going to move with us.  I have told him I am done walking the path we are on and need serious changes. Can he really be that oblivious or is he just waiting for me to pack my bags before we even talk about this?  I would like to come to some sort of resolve between us because we have kids together and are never going to be 100% free of some sort of relationship, even if it is just as parents.  Any input appreciated.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 28, 2008 - 5:12PM #2
dakota
Posts: 126
I would suggest going to a counselor. They will help you to see if this marriage can be saved if that's what you two decide, or they could make the problems come out in the light and your husband could get a clearer picture of the whole thing. If it comes out there than at least your in a safe environment and the counselor can help both of you deal in a more constructive way.

In my case though, the ex would not take any advice that the counselor suggested, so at least I knew in my heart that it was over. I couldn't do all of the changes that needed to happen without him doing his part. It was a one sided effort and as you know it takes two to make a good marriage.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2008 - 10:27AM #3
starchild33
Posts: 21
Thanks for your reply Dakota.  My husband will not go to counselor. I have asked many times.  Even when I have phrased it in a way that would make it seem like the problems are totally on me and he would just be going to support me.  Otherwise, that would be an excellant idea.  Coming to the conculsion that we need to part ways is not easy and is a HUGE deviance from the values I was raise with.  I was raised very Evangelical Christian, and Southern, which meant in my family that a women 'stands by her Man' no matter what.  I now relate more to the holistic spiritual realm.  If someone showed me a way to change the way that we relate to on another, I would certainly be open to staying in the marraige, but as you pointed out 1 person can't do the work for both involved.  I have gone through a thousand emotions before coming to this conclusion. I was enraged, hurt and wounded, depressed and saddened and paralized with fear.  Latlely, I just feel peace.  I don't want to continue blaming him for not having what I need.  I do not want to hurt him or get even.  I want a peaceful parting.  He is not happy either and the sometimes the dynamics between us are like oil and water.  We are so different that sometimes it is a stretch of the imagination to understand where the other is coming from. This after 12yrs together.  Over the years, I have made a habit of bending on my beliefs to "keep the peace."  I am almost 30yrs and I feel like I have lost little bits of myself because of that choice.  So I am looking for insight to holding compassion and bringing peace into what is normaly a very charge situation.  Thanks Again : )
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2008 - 10:47AM #4
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407
starchild33,

Welcome to the Divorce & Separation forum, and sorry for the pain in your marriage that brought you here.  There are many caring members like dakota who have gone through or are going through hurting marriages and even divorce, and they are happy to share their thoughts and feelings.

You asked whether it was possible to bring up the topic of ending the marriage, or at least separating, in a compassionate way; perhaps you believe that when you have brought it up before it was not done compassionately.  I suspect it was done in a heartfelt and loving manner however - the problem is that it was not received in that way.  What you observed was anger in response.  So perhaps the real question is whether there is a way to bring this up without experiencing an angry response.

The difficulty is that both your feelings and his feelings are yours.  If he feels angry, then that is neither right nor wrong, but simply is.  The same is true for you - your feelings are neither right nor wrong.  One area where relationships get into trouble is when we try to control our partner's feelings instead of allowing them to be what they are.

If it would be possible to communicate a message like this without receiving anger, then it would have been possible to have resolved the issues about where to live and employment without lingering resentments.   If it would be possible to part peacefully, then it would also be possible to heal the relationship, because that's the level of communication and trust that is necessary.

It may seem odd, but the anger you see is evidence that there is still a stong emotional connection.  The opposite of love is in fact indifference, and if that were the case then there would be no anger.

If there is a genuine desire on both your parts to heal the marriage, then that is possible.  Counseling actually tends to be relatively ineffective however; there are other ways, but again without that desire and willingness to work, then it is not possible.

Perhaps you would be willing to express why it is so important that the separation be done peacefully and without resentment.

Blessings,
ArnieBeeGut
Beliefnet Community Host
Divorce & Separation
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2008 - 1:00PM #5
starchild33
Posts: 21
ArnieBeeGut

Thanks for the welcome and the food for thought.  It brought up some truths that I have known, but have not applied to my current situation.  Just one reason its always nice to have people to bounce things off of.  I do believe that you don't have to own others feeling, they are neither right or wrong and you can't control them either.  Now I just need to apply that to myself.  Perhaps I am off target in thinking that by being a certain way or presenting this in a certain way I can control his reactions. I hadn't really thought of it quite like that.  Maybe I do just need to let him and his emotions be. 

You are so totally on target with saying that if we had the kind of relationship that we could communticate on that level, there would be no need for separation.  I hadn't thought of that either, but it makes sense thinking about it. We have lost two of the most vital things in a relationship: trust and respect.

I feel very strongly about trying to separate in the most peaceful manner possible for several reasons.
1. that is the life I am trying to create. I already have turmoil and conflict in this relationship,
2. I do not want to hurt anyone else in the process of moving towards my own needs (I believe in first do no harm)
3 I still do care and love my husband, but we are deeply hurting one another and I want to stop the cycle.
4. we have children 
5. His responses to my requests in the relationship is usually to meet them with threats and violence. Up until recently he would make threats and I would back down. Now I don't, so he is becoming more violent.  The funny thing is that I am not afraid anymore. Instead of becoming fearful and upset I just get calm and tell him I am not doing that anymore and he does not get to threaten me.  He is reacting to this more wildly than before when I would sob and beg him to stop and submitt. The last time this happened was last week.  I have never seen anyone loose such control over themselves.  I should have been petrified for my life, by most standards. I wasn't I was calm.  I looked into these raging eyes and saw a totally broken soul.  Please don't be mistaken, I am not excusing this for a second.  Quite the contrary.  He says "I make him act this way." Of course I know that is not true and I choose to have no part in a life and a relationship that is based on fear. 

Thank you so much for your insigts
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2008 - 5:55PM #6
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407
starchild33,

Thank you for the thoughtful response.  You are so right about trust and respect being so important to a relationship - without them, there really is no relationship, at least not the kind of life-affirming one that gives joy to each of you.

In the past you have tried tears and submission, which have led to a temporary respite but have not solved the underlying problem.  Now that you are less wedded (soto speak) to the outcome and the relationship, you respond with calmness and detachment, which results in even greater anger and the threat of violence.

Please, consider seriously whether you are in actual danger of physical harm, and if that is the case please consider contacting a woman's shelter or other support.  Take any threats very very seriously - your safety is by far the most important thing.

There is also another, more effective way to respond when you hear angry words - instead of staying calm, it involves raising your own energy and volume of response (not to become angry yourself of course).  This forum is not the appropriate place to go into that, but a discussion group that addresses interpersonal communications issues and ways to be effective in them.  But just to give a sense, can you remember a time when you were angry and expressing it, while the other person stayed very calm.  How did you respond - by getting more calm yourself, or by getting more angry?  If you're like most people, it was the latter - which perhaps could help understand the reaction when you respond calmly.

It is still completely possible to heal the relationship - and it does require the desire and willingness to work, as previously mentioned.  Perhaps at this point you are clear that you have no desire to do so, and just want the best way to get out with a minimum of fuss.

Blessings,
Arnie
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2008 - 9:47PM #7
dakota
Posts: 126
I didn't realize there was violence in your relationship. Like the other post said, "please don't allow that, get out and go to a safe place if need be. He sounds similar to my ex. They don't want to let you go, they can't control you. Please be safe and know that unfortunatly it doesn't sound like he will respond the way that you hope.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2008 - 8:57AM #8
sharon_bivens
Posts: 658
JNo...He will not respond the way you want.  He sounds like my ex....Controlling and head of the house!  I told him I was unhappy many times and he never heard me.  When I talked him into going to counseling he sat there and told the counselor I had never said anything and he didn't know why we were there. 
(and he was the nice one) lol.
(I have been married and divorced twice).

The second one cheated on me.  But, he was emotionally and verbally abusive.

Then....I had a real lulu that tried to love me to death.  He got worse and worse every time he got violent with me.

My advice, start getting your important papers together, shot records, birth certificates, S/S cards, etc.  Put as much cash together as you can, also.  Then when you are ready have a family member or family friend with you when you tell him and then leave the house. 

There is no nice polite way to ask for a divorce.  His pride will kick in immediately and he will be angry.  Give him some time without you or the children there. 

Then seek legal counseling immediately and establish custody of your children. 

Possessions are just possessions, you can replace them, but, you and your children are vulnerable and must come first.

God bless,

Sharon

P.S.  Make sure this is what you want, and if it is, go through with it,  Do not yoyo him back and forth.  That hurts worse-false hope.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2008 - 10:19AM #9
starchild33
Posts: 21
Thanks Dakota and Sharon for your concerns.
It is nice to hears other peoples stories.  It is becoming apparent that, sadly this is a more common situation than I would have thought.

I can see the value in being clear with my actions and not "yoyoing back and forth."  There is also a lot of truth to the whole pride thing.

I am glad I have a lifeline like beliefnet to reach out to.  It really helps me get things straight in my own head, before I start to proceed.  It also allows for new light on the subject and thats always a plus

Thanks Again
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2008 - 8:50PM #10
dakota
Posts: 126
I had to laugh just now. Sharon, I was reading the beginning of your post and I thought I wrote it. Where is said, "he will not respond the way you want, he sounds like my ex". and so on. Man this is a common problem. Yeah, when your going through it, you feel so alone.

Starchild it is a very difficult decission. You know deep down in your soul what you really need. Sometimes it is so hard but, just rememeber to be true to yourself.
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