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New here...little worried. (Long)

Hey ladies,

So I've been having some concerns lately that are probably 100% normal for someone who's approaching their wedding date, however I wanted to get some opinions.

FI and I are getting married in November, and we'll have been together almost 6 years by that time. We have lived together since May of last year. We've always had a very strong relationship, and since we moved in together and got engaged it's only gotten stronger.

 My parents divorced when I was 7, after almost 22 years of marriage. My father had an affair with his secretary, came home one day and told my mother he just wasn't happy anymore and he wanted a divorce. ( I didn't find any of this out until I was 18) Both parents are re-married now(to different people), each for almost 15 years and completely in love and will probably be married to their spouses for the rest of their lives.

 Nobody really get's divorces on FI's side of the family. His parents have been happily married for 25 years and have (from what I can tell) a wonderful marriage. Same with his grandparents and they're going on 55 years.

We found out yesterday that his cousin is getting a divorce after 5 years of marriage. This was shocking to FI, although I saw it coming-call it woman's intuition. His whole family is going to be heartbroken when they find out. He said he didn't know the details, but from what he understood she was just tired of his job/career/family business which involved a lot of travel being more important than his marriage and I guess enough was enough. That's all either of us really know. FI kind of had the attitude of "well, if it wasn't working out..." And that bothered me a little bit.

So, enough back story. FI and I have always had a very open, honest relationship and we talk a lot about marriage, divorce, relationships, etc. We've always agreed that we didn't think divorce was an option, and that if we take vows, they're forever. But, I also notice when we talk about people we know getting divorces, or divorce in general he can be really casual about it and make comments like "well, if they want out what are they supposed to do? Stay in an unhappy relationship?" Comments like that lead me to believe he doesn't understand the full extent of how much work marriage is really going to be, even though we both talk about it all the time. I realize that you can talk about it all the time, but you won't understand until you experience it. But I think in any marriage there will be times when one or both people aren't happy and they'll have to work extra hard, but I think there is a huge difference in those ups and downs, and reaching the point of no return-like my father obviously did.

We made an agreement after we got engaged that if at any time throughout our marriage someone wasn't happy and suggested counseling that we would go without any questions asked, so I don't understand why when it comes to conversations about divorce he doesn't seem as against it as I thought he was. And I could be completely reading into little things he's saying because I over analyze things like crazy. He's said before that it's easy to talk about divorce like that when it's someone else, because he doesn't ever see that being us. I guess I just worry that what if that IS us. That's just my female side I suppose.

I love him with all my heart, and I know I'm in this for the long haul and I know (well, I think I know) how much work it will be. I know FI is in this for the long haul too, but I guess sometimes I just have the normal fears of "what if" he decides to give up when it gets tough. :-/  And I guess hearing his attitude about divorce sometimes brings those fears to the surface for me.

 Did anyone else feel like this before they got married? Or after? Or hell, now?

 

TIA ladies and sorry it was so awfully long.

Re: New here...little worried. (Long)

  • Well, frankly he's coming across as non-judgmental and easy going.  You don't know the pain and work of someone else's marriage.  It's refreshing that he isn't pretending to know their situation or what they should or shouldn't be doing.

    And honestly, you can have all kinds of personal goals for yourself without holding others to the same standard.  You can give other people a break or simply realize you don't know all of the details.

    And sadly, you have to take the risk.  There is no guarantee that someone fully prepared to 'go the distance' will quit.  It happens.  The most surprising people quit.  You could quit.  Even after all of these years of being shocked at other people. 

    You just have to make a leap of faith for yoursleves. 

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • I agree with livinitup- I didn't read it as him thinking marriage was just something you gave up on whenever, but rather him saying something non-judgmental about someone else's private pain- because even though the general public is aware of a divorce, the details and the circumstances are often only ever fully known by the people going through it. ?

    Is there anything else about him that makes you think he might throw in the towel where you would work it out? Also- to discuss with your FI if you haven't already- how far do you mean that "divorce is not an option"? ?I am very committed to our marriage, but if, for example, my husband came home one day and had had multiple affairs, shot someone, beat me, and stole a family member's identity, I would be covering my assets and beating feet out of there- and if I did those things, I honestly would expect he would do the same. ?Granted, I can't imagine any of those things ever happening, but many people who are now divorced never, ever suspected that their spouse was capable of doing something that was ultimately a deal-breaker. ?You might ask him what he would consider a deal breaker or a scenario in which he would consider divorce- it's easy to wave it off and say "Oh, never," but what if one of you has an affair? Two affairs? Twelve? ?Turns emotionally or physically abusive? No one's saying either of you ever would do those things, but a hypothetical discussion of how far, exactly, "never" means might actually show you how much on the same page you are, or calm some of your fears by showing you exactly how he feels about the subject. ?

  • I agree that he's probably just trying to be nonjudgemental about other people's issues. ?I think I'd think more about how your FI shows his commitment in other areas of his life - is he the type of person that quits a project when it gets hard? ?Or ducks out of personal relationships instead of trying to work things out? ?Is he honest and does he talk to you when he's having problems and disagreements with you? ?Those sorts of traits would concern me more than just some off-hand comments about?people who are getting divorced. ?

    Plus, if he was super-judgemental about people who divorce, he would probably have had a problem with your parents (and lots and lots of other people in the world), and you probably wouldn't love him as much as you do. ?I think it's a good trait that he's not judging these other people too harshly. ? ??


  • Thanks ladies.

     It's actually refreshing to hear that point of veiw because I hadn't thought about it like that.

    As for the person who asked about any other indications he's given me about just throwing in the towel, the only thing would be the fact that we had a break up after about a year of being together. It was his decision, and I was heart broken. We were both a lot younger, he was having a hard time deciding what he wanted to do with his life, he was a little depressed, etc and he felt that he couldn't give me 100% of himself because he couldn't even make himself happy at the time. He said it wasn't fair to me. It only lasted about a month, and he realized it was a mistake and that losing me wasn't going to fix any of his problems. That's when he realized I was "the one" and he didn't want to ever be without me again. And, ever since then he's said that was the dumbest thing he's ever done, and it wouldn't ever happen again. Obviously I still have some insecurities about it, and I'll be the first to admit it. And yes, FI knows this. It's just something I've got to get over.

    As far as the "divorce isn't an option" comment, I suppose when we say that we mean that we hope it won't be the first choice for us when things get tough. I understand there are situations like infidelity, and things that cannot be mended where divorce is the only option for some people. However, I also know couples who have gotten through infidelity and are happier than they've ever been. I think every situation and couple are different, and no two can be compared.

    FI is not a very judgemental person, you pegged him. I never looked at it as really judging people. I think the difference is when we talk about it, he's actually talking about the couple and I'm thinking more emotionally and talking about it as if it were us. I mean, if I'm being honest, that's more than likely where the problem lies.

  • As far as the "divorce isn't an option" comment, I suppose when we say that we mean that we hope it won't be the first choice for us when things get tough. I understand there are situations like infidelity, and things that cannot be mended where divorce is the only option for some people. However, I also know couples who have gotten through infidelity and are happier than they've ever been. I think every situation and couple are different, and no two can be compared.

    Do  you think divorce is the "first choice" for most people who go through one?

    You know COUPLES who have gone through infidelity and come out happier? that is a very RARE exception and you know more than one.....hhhhhhhmmmmmm.

    It sounds to me that you have it in your mnd that if your H cheated it wouldnt be a deal breaker for you, That you would stick it out even though he was porking someone else. hhhhhhmmmmmmm.......

    Im a lot older than you and i only know 1 ouple that stuck it out...they lasted about 10 more years and now are divorced.



  • No, I know several and they are much older than I am.

      No I do not think that I could ever stay with someone who cheated on me, even in a relationship, not to mention a marriage. That IS a deal breaker for me, and for him.

    Like I said, the divorce isn't an option was in regards to an "easy out" answer. We don't see that as the easy way out, and we dont' want to treat it as such. You can't deny that people do not take marriage as seriously these days, and get married for the wrong reasons, and are very quick to get divorced. All you have to do is look at the soaring divorce rate to see that.

  • Of course the divorce rate is high...we continueally have 18-23 year olds getting married, divorce is an option now and it wasnt 40 years ago, women have more power now etc...there are a LOT of reasons the divorce rate is so high.

    I don't know many people who go into a marriage and say "oh, well, it may not work out but if not we'll get a divorce"

    I think the problem is that people have a false reality of what marriage is NOT what divorce is.



  • "oh, well, it may not work out but if not we'll get a divorce"

    Unfortunately, I have heard people with that exact attitude before. And I think that of course has a lot to do with age, and that divorce IS so common in this day and age. Not that it's a bad thing, but it's a fact.

     I agree with the fact that it's a false impression of marriage, not divorce.

  • WahooWahoo member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker

    I took my vows very seriously, but I'm not a "divorce is not an option" kind of person.  I am a "divorce is the LAST option."  I agree with Dr. Phil...you have to EARN your way out of a marriage" (ie: try everything, counseling, etc. before you cut ties).

    But at the same time....would you want to be with fi if you were unhappy?  Aren't your parents better off madly in love with their 2nd spouses than they were with each other, with your dad having an affair with his secretary?

    I have seen DH's dad and his wife together.  They get no joy from each other's company, each is basically waiting for the other to die so they can be free...not the kind of life I would want.  I would rather be divorced than living like that.  Life is too short, and they're no prize for staying in an unhappy marrige.

    Talk to your dh about the way he feels.  My guess is if things were bad enough, you would want out as well.  I think you want that extra "it's not an option" because of your own childhood and divorce, but the reality is that its better for the kids if you and your h divorce amicably than if you stay together unhappily.

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • image livinitup:

    Well, frankly he's coming across as non-judgmental and easy going.  You don't know the pain and work of someone else's marriage.  It's refreshing that he isn't pretending to know their situation or what they should or shouldn't be doing.

    And honestly, you can have all kinds of personal goals for yourself without holding others to the same standard.  You can give other people a break or simply realize you don't know all of the details.

    And sadly, you have to take the risk.  There is no guarantee that someone fully prepared to 'go the distance' will quit.  It happens.  The most surprising people quit.  You could quit.  Even after all of these years of being shocked at other people. 

    You just have to make a leap of faith for yoursleves. 

     

    This 100%.

  • image futuremrsray2009:

    Like I said, the divorce isn't an option was in regards to an "easy out" answer. We don't see that as the easy way out, and we dont' want to treat it as such. You can't deny that people do not take marriage as seriously these days, and get married for the wrong reasons, and are very quick to get divorced. All you have to do is look at the soaring divorce rate to see that.

    The soaring divorce rate has more to do with women being more independent nowadays, and divorce being less of a taboo - both of which are good things, IMO.  We aren't reliant on men to take care of us.  People weren't necessarily happy back in the day, and divorce is not necessarily a bad thing.  My parents are still married and they are definitely not happy together!  You don't get a reward at the end of your life for being married continuously.  You really don't.

    No one gets married with the intention of getting divorced when things get tough - in fact, we see women on here going through hell and back before even considering leaving, and I've yet to see someone get divorced for a shoddy reason - it's all very serious, ugly stuff. I've never seen anyone think of it as an "easy way out."

    I think YOU should take a page from your FI's book and be less judgmental, and more realistic, about what marriage actually IS, and how difficult it can be.  Indeed, I've been here for years and it's often the people who insist that "divorce isn't an option" that are stuck in the sh!ttiest marriages.  You need a LOT more than good intentions to keep a marriage together - if all you have is the blanket statement "divorce isn't an option," you're in for a wild and painful ride.

  • I actually think its reasonable to go into the marriage understanding that there is a possibility that it won't last.  If anything, to me that shows realism and a willingness to address and work through problems.  Obviously I'm not marrying my FI with the expectation that we will ever get divorced.  I wouldn't be marrying him if we hadn't already been through challenges in our lives and come through it as a team.  But I also realize that we will not be the exact same people when we're 30, 40, 50 as we are today....can I say with certainty that my 40 year old self and his 40 year old self won't have issues that we can't resolve?  What I do know is that he's a wonderful man now, that we're committed to one another, that I trust him, and that I trust that we will both do our best to support one another and work through whatever comes our way.

    You seem to have a very naive view of divorce and of the problems people experience in a marriage.  In your relationship I would be more nervous that you're the one who doesn't fully get the work required in a marriage than vice versa.  Its one thing to say "marriage is a lot of work and I'm committed to doing it " and another to actually understand what 40+ years of being committed to one person actually entails on a day to day basis.  I'm wondering if this is an age thing....

    I also agree with mags that people don't go into marriages thinking they're not going to last, saying "hey!  this will be fun, lets try it for a little while!" and ready to bail at the drop of a hat.  I think the big danger is that people, and as she mentioned especially young people, don't consider all of the unexpected things that can arise during the course of a life or a marriage.  Which is why a lot of people on here don't advocate for beebee marriages.

    image "...Saving just one pet won't change the world...but, surely, the world will change for that one pet..."
  • image bcs00:
    image livinitup:

    Well, frankly he's coming across as non-judgmental and easy going.  You don't know the pain and work of someone else's marriage.  It's refreshing that he isn't pretending to know their situation or what they should or shouldn't be doing.

    And honestly, you can have all kinds of personal goals for yourself without holding others to the same standard.  You can give other people a break or simply realize you don't know all of the details.

    And sadly, you have to take the risk.  There is no guarantee that someone fully prepared to 'go the distance' will quit.  It happens.  The most surprising people quit.  You could quit.  Even after all of these years of being shocked at other people. 

    You just have to make a leap of faith for yoursleves. 

     

    This 100%.

    I agree and would like to add that DH and I have the same view on divorce- it is not an option. We realize that our relationship is something we are going to have to constantly nurture but it is something we have committed to doing together.

  • While my husband and I were having dinner one evening we actually overheard a lady in the next booth tell her friend that: "The only reason I'd marry him would be for the free vacation (honeymoon) and because I really need some new sheets."

    I wanted to warn him, slap her & cry all at the same time.

  • what you're feeling is completely normal. guys are annoyingly laissez faire when it comes to the important stuff like divorce and they'll get all bent out of shape over a damn basketball game. i have the same worries and fears and mine are only compounded by the fact that i have a seven year old daughter that will be affected by all my choices and his, too! my guy is younger than me and hes out partying right now (yes, its a going away party with coworkers since he is moving to a new state and a new job to be with me, but still...) and i'm in bed by 10pm! i'm worried that he'll move in and feel stifled by having to put parenting on the front burner. no, this is not about me, but my point is we all have problems...the difference is how or whether your willing to work on them. your father wasn't, and he did a crappy thing to you and to your mother that left you afraid. that's normal,too. (for parents to screw up their kids and for you to be scared). i think you've already won half the battle by thinking about it, aksing for advice and talking to your FI about it. good luck to you.
  • You post over on the Knot right? I think I remember you...

    I also used to think that "I didn't believe in divorce." I came to realize that it isn't about "believing in it" For me, it is more of a last resort like you describe.

    I think going into a marriage knowing it COULD happen is healthy. I also think that having that drive to want to WORK on your marriage is it progresses is also healthy.

    I also want to recommend pre-marital counseling in case someone else hasn't. DH and I went through a religious based one called Engaged Encounter, but you can easily do the same with a regular counselor. It doesn't hurt to talk things out and make sure your on the same page. It was interesting to fill out the questions and then compare answers without "judgement."  I'm sure there is even a book you can borrow from the library too. I will say that even though I THOUGHT we had discussed everything beforehand, there were some things that came up in counseling that I never thought about.

    GL to you!

  • My parents have been divorced since I was about 4, so I've never really known any situation other than having my parents not together.  I don't know the exact reason for the divorce, though I do know that my dad and stepmom worked together while he was married to my mom and that is how they met.  My husband's parents are not divorced, and I don't know of anyone in his family that is.

    Anyways, I was scared and nervous that my husband would just up and leave me.  We've both agreed that we don't want to get divorced, that we would really try and work things out unless one of us cheats, and then it's over.  Thankfully my husband is not suave with women and is incredibly dense (ie doesn't pick up when other women flirt with him), so we like to joke that the odds of that happening are slim. 

    I can't tell you how many times I cried to him about my fears and told him how scared I was that he would leave me for no reason, etc.  He would always calmly listen and reassure me that he wasn't going to do anything like that and he wanted to be with me forever.  Finally, it just sunk in that this was real and I just have to trust him (I think it was the time when he cried about how he couldn't bear to be without me).  No one gets married with the intent to get divorced, but it does happen, it's a fact.  I think that as long as you are both committed to each other and want to make things work, that's all you can ask for!
     

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  • I also want to recommend pre-marital counseling in case someone else hasn't.

    I agree..it is helpful, although I didn't learn anything too earth shattering.  We had to fill out questionnaires and our answers were pretty much spot on for all of them.  Although, by the time we went through the counseling, we had been living together for a year and a half, and we felt like we worked through many of the things discussed in the sessions - sex, money, etc. 

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