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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Giving Up On Marriage

Giving Up On Marriage
Is there an age at which we can stop trying to make it work?  Is it proper to bail out as soon as we feel unhappy or should we stay and try a little harder to make it work?  Once the children arrive should we stick around for the sake of the children (applies to either gender)?  Disclaimer: This is one man’s opinion, with no special qualifications other than one early failed marriage, and one very long lasting second effort that has all the makings of a marathon.
In times past the long courtships were the norm (anywhere form 6 months to a year or two), some parents insisted on a certain age for the lady (somewhere between 18 and 21).  Any older than 21 and it seems that every relative was trying to get her introduced and out the door (at least in my culture).  For long term relationship, maturity can’t possibly hurt, but I must say that I have seen more maturity in some 16 year old girls than in some 35 and 40 year old women.
This post comes to mind because a close friend, just told me that his 82 year old father just informed him that he was leaving his wife of some 55 years.  The mother is in her 70, and apparently the reason for the break up is her need to control everything.  I don’t know the couple personally, but I do know two of their sons and they are very quality people, whatever else they did wrong, they at least raised some good children.
As we get on in age we need to be able to either have some control for ourselves or at least the appearance of control.  I am very fortunate that my wife and I believe in a true partnership, and not just lip service.  We also take time to have conversations about more than just fluff.  Our most popular conversations revolve around our children and grandchildren.  I am always trying to convince my wife to add to her wardrobe, because if I don’t say anything she is happy to spend her time and money shopping for the granddaughters.
I can’t imagine walking out of my wife’s life, because we are so intractably interwoven.  As an example, I couldn’t imagine having limited time with my grandchildren, or keeping my little partner (Toy Poodle) away from my wife.  I further wouldn’t want to place our children in a position of taking side between their mother and father.  If something ever were to happen to my wife I couldn’t imagine life without her, she has me way beyond spoiled.
I will try to give a response to the questions I posed in the opening paragraph.  Every situation is different and we shouldn’t judge unless we are being affected.  The best tool to deal with a troubled relationship is communications.  Counseling can be great, but I have seen some pretty bad and as far as I am concerned un-qualified counselors.  The best policy to practice in any case is to not say what you don’t mean (meaning negatively) because once the words come out you can’t take them back.  While a bad comment can be forgiven, it will never be forgotten.
Sticking around if you are unhappy:  Some relationships can be made to work, but some were never meant to be.  If you have taken the time to discuss your feeling and you still want out, remember that it takes the effort and caring of two individuals.  One person might be madly in love, and the other not ready to settle down.  You can’t force anyone to feel the way you do, it has to be natural.  I suppose your can grow into love, but it seldom works.  For the sake of the children, is not reason enough, (keep in mind my qualifications or lack thereof).  Not much hurts as bad as leaving your little ones because you can’t get along with their other parent.  You can however be a responsible non-custodial parent and meet all your obligations.  If you stay around for the children’s sake you will learn to hate your spouse or partner.  No one should ever tell you what to do, you and you alone will suffer (pay) the consequences of your decisions.  The best is yet to come….

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