DISCUSSION: Love, Marriage…Divorce

In news this week, one of our favourite celebrity couples – Heidi and Seal – split. After a seemingly perfect marriage (and a perfect body after all those babies), Heidi has filed for divorce and that is that.

The statistics in this country are something like 1 in 3 marriages ends in divorce which is quite astounding when you think of how many weddings we attend. My parents divorced when I was young and even now sometimes I wish they would get back together.

divorce

These days, all my friends are getting married and witnessing them walking down the aisle I can’t imagine their love for their other half ever fading…and I really hoping it doesn’t. I’m married, and we have two kids and it isn’t always easy and takes work but I can’t imagine ever being without him.

The wedding itself can blow any reasonable budget out of the water, and on many occassions if you can survive the stress of planning a wedding your marriage can survive anything. But do we put too much emphasis on one day and not enough on the rest of our lives?

This week we are talking about the high divorce rate, do you have friends who are divorced or are you divorced yourself? Or are you living happily ever after? Marriages used to last forever, why do you think that has changed? And for those of you who aren’t yet married, how do you feel about the issue? This isn’t a place for judgement, just an open discussion where every opinion is welcome.

What are we going to give away this week? One lucky winner will receive a Colour Me Happy Noodle Box from Rainbow Designs, it’s packed with lollies! Participate by commenting below. The winners will  be contacted by email so make sure your address is current. Competition closes 31st January 2012 Midnight AEST. Australian residents only. Check back next Wednesday for a new weekly discussion.

24 thoughts on “DISCUSSION: Love, Marriage…Divorce

  1. My parents got divorced when I was only 18mths, so I don’t even remember them being together, they both got re-married, then divorced again around 25yrs later. I have very limited people that I know that have parents who are still together (who are the same age as me anyway). I have been married for nearly 6yrs, there are some hard times when I admit I think life would be easier alone, but the good times outweigh that and I couldn’t imagine going through the breakup, divorce and disappointment of it not working.
    Marriage is a committment, something everyone should think really hard about before following through with.
    I was in a previous relationship for 7yrs, never even wanted to get married, obviously I was just with the wrong person, as soon as I met my now hubby, I knew straight away I wanted to get married, which we did after 6mths!

  2. Marriage isn’t always easy. It’s something you need to work on, especially with kids and careers and the constant juggle of life. It always seems that romance is the first ball to be dropped. It’s so easy to lose each other and yourself and forget what it was that made you fall in love in the first place. I have learnt the hard way. We are still together and are making a big effort to work things out but divorce has been discussed.

  3. Marriage, unfortunately is something that doesnt seem to last these days. My parents were married back in 1943 and lasted till dads death in 2006….a whopping 63 years…..they meant their vows…..till death do us part. I have’nt been so lucky myself, going through two marriages both ending in divorce. However on both occassions I was more or less forced to make the choice of marriage which is most likely why they ended. I tried my hardest with both, the first ended up being an alcoholic, the second a drug user so I had good reason to walk out. I am in a steady, happy relationship now with someone I choose to be with and its very liberating. My next time around tying the knot will be with love in my heart and great joy……which is how it should be. I think there are alot of factors in why marriages end these days, one being that theres alot of sexual liberty now. Theres more temptation with the changing of fashions, theres more usage of drugs, alcohol and people are just not as modest as they once were. Im not saying all people are like this, but alot are. Then theres financial problems that can lead to disaster too, people are wanting more and more these days. I would recommend couples live together for a couple of years before rushing into marriage as it takes a year to get to know someone properly. If all is well after that and you get along quite well and feel like soul mates- that they are your kindred spirit and you cannot bear the thought of living without them….I wish you the best of luck. Marriage takes alot of work, key words being: Compromising, patience, understanding and making sacrifices for the other…..never let the sun go down on your anger. Make up before going to bed. I know that one well.

  4. It doesn’t have to be about divorce. I really think in this day and age people give up to quickly.
    I’ve been happily married for 21 years this coming April and we have 5 amazing kids that fill our lives with joy.
    My parents also have been married for 54 years and also had 5 kids. Everyone goes through hard times in their marriage and I think you just have to support and take care of each others needs all the time and learn to laugh often with one another. Marriage isn’t easy and the best part is knowing you can shape and nurture your lives together so you grow old happily with one another. 🙂
    Financially it can be a struggle, but that is no reason to give up. We struggle often, but it’s the “knowing” that we have each other for support and love through it all.
    Another reason why it works well for us is that we make sure we plan to have alone time and special date nights organized so we don’t forget that there is “US” time there to be had.
    Marriage vows should not be taken lightly and when we got married we really believed in our vows and took them seriously. I would not have gotten married if I wasn’t ready to be with the one I had chosen and if I wasn’t ready to take the vows to heart. This is my only marriage and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My life is happy and content although a little extra money would be nice, but I’m happy. 🙂 xx

  5. As a lawyer, I have seen enough divorce to last a lifetime and have had one of my own as well (I was unfortunately married to an alcoholic who resented me not drinking).

    I believe that we as people are on a life journey – that people come in and out of our lives as we need them – or as we need to grow.

    Over 80% of our happiness depends on who we marry and who we associate with in life.

    We need to realise that a divorce is like a death in a lot of ways – it is the death of a relationship, of promises, hopes and dreams, of social standing, of companionship, a person to rely on when you need them, losing a friend, a lover, a husband, a father of your children, and creates a financial burden, extra costs, emotional issues to deal with, a profound sense of loss and a grieving process.

    Most people, are barely able to function in the early stages – especially if they were the ones that where left – while the other party that left – has usually planned this ahead for a period of time and has already experienced the emotions over the course of a least 12 mths prior to the other party – that then has to deal with these emotions and the ramifications of the separation and the divorce.

    When dealing with a divorce and all the emotional issues and baggage it brings with it. I have found that the best way to deal with it – is to realise that this was a part of the journey – that in 18 mths time you will be usually divorced and moving on – that the kids will all grow up to be normal adults – just stop fighting over them – as they will grow and get on with their own lives as should you.

    The average time to get over a divorce = the length of the marriage divided by 1/2 is about the time that you really do get over the divorce and forget about the past and the baggage that went with it.

    I have found that on average, men – tend to have the wife replaced before they jump from that relationship into another one.

    Women on the other hand need to feel secure – however sometimes the don’t have choices due to aggression or violent – in these cases – I strongly urge them to get out sooner than later – because the mental scars are just that scars and sometimes physical as well.

    At the end of the day – no one should be in a relationship that makes them unhappy, or were they feel threatened or fearful for their wellbeing or life – sometimes fresh start is just that a fresh start we often can not see it at the time – but if we could see our own future what sort of future would we have at that point in time.

    A divorce is not a death nell – or it is a reason to give up on life or love – there is someone out there for you – you just have to love yourself first, in order for them to love you – so stop beating yourself up and wondering were you went wrong in the relationship – it was a two way street – you just have to realise where you gave them permission to go down that wrong street – sometimes it was the act of not standing up for your rights, or it might have been when you gave up or it became to hard to communicate – once you realise that you know that any relationship from hereon you will treat differently as you have grown.

  6. After I married my husband when I was 22, we tried for children for two years, then did a couple cycles of IVF and got told we would never have children of our own due to my eggs not being good quality. We changed doctors and had our first child when I was 38 and another when I was 40.
    Now we have been married for 25 years and have two kids aged 6 and 9. If we had not have had kids, we probably would have been much happier because now we feel like we are staying together for the sake of the kids. My sister has been married 3 times, my parents divorced and my other sister has given her child to foster care.
    I feel some people don’t get to know their partners well enough these days before having children with them and when their marriage hits a rocky patch, it’s much easier for them to separate than resolve the problems, learn from them and grow as people.
    My husband and I don’t have family close by to help look after our kids which adds to the pressure.
    If I left my husband, I fear I’d have nowhere to go and we would have four unhappy people and no just one!
    I wish after 25 years marriage I could live ‘happily ever after’.

  7. My parents divorced and it seemed like everyone I knew well for a time was divorced and I always said marriage was just a piece of paper. I was never really a believer in the sanctity of marriage and was never going to do it.
    Why get married when I can live with the man I love forever without a piece of paper and save thousands of dollars?

    And then I met my husband…

    I truly believe i would never remarry, but i also can’t imagine life without my husband so let’s hope i never have to think about it.

    Things have been hard and there’ve been times that I wonder why.. but we have worked through everything and i have never seriously considering leaving.

  8. I’m happily married and hopefully forever after! I simply cannot imagine ever being apart and I dread to think what it would do to our three kids. I do feel so sorry for children whose parents divorce. It really is sad when families break up.
    However….. if I was in a marriage and was no longer in love and no longer happy, yes I would consider divorce. It is important to be happy yourself too!

  9. My parents split up when I was 4, it sucked bigtime! I get along ok with them both now but there’s still that huge resentment there towards my Dad for not being as big a part of my life growing up as he should have been.
    I think they let their own feelings get in the way when it came to custody and it meant that my sis and I often went months without seeing Dad and we both blame him for that even now 20+ years later – it may not be totally fair as no doubt Mum didn’t make it easy on him but all we know is that we didn’t see him and to us that means he gave up 🙁
    I’ve been married for only a couple of months now (actually 2 months in 2 days!) and it’s not easy but I didn’t expect it to be! we’ve been together a few years now and my husband truly is the one man I can see myself spending my life with, I look at him and I can picture us growing old together, we have our arguments and we can have our fights but I still go to bed each night knowing that he loves me and he that I him and as long as we remember that and keep sight of the big picture I think we’ll do ok 🙂

  10. I agree with Amanda that divorce is like a death. When I got divorced, I got sick of the incredibly insensitive comments like “oh it’s not like as if he died”.

    Because that’s right – in as much as that if he had died, I would have only had to deal with the loss of him. Instead, not only did I lose the man I loved with all my heart, I lost everything I owned (debt collectors took it all because of the debts he ran up in my name, mostly behind my back), I lost people who had been my family for a decade because his extended family wanted nothing to do with either of us because of his bad behaviour and his only surviving immediate family showed her true colours – when his sister had her husband run off with his mistress, she used to beg him every day to come visit her to help her get through, and every day he used to drop me off there while he went and got stoned with his dealer and wouldn’t even spend five minutes with her. Eventually she stopped asking him to come over and just asked me. My daughter was a toddler then, and I was studying part time, and I ended up dropping subject after subject at uni because I was with my sister in law every night comforting her for nearly a year.

    Yet when my husband was cheating on me, what did she do? She let him bring over his mistress to her house and allowed him to introduce the mistress to the kids as his “new girlfriend” long before we seperated. And why? because I kept telling my then-husband not to “lend” her the small amount of money he left for us to buy food on payday after he spent most of his pay on drugs and old debts of his – for her and her partner to buy drugs – knowing full well that if we got anything back, he’d get back in drugs not money and I would have to go hungry myself and go begging for food for our young daughter.

    I lost friends, because I found out one of my “best” friends was one of his long term mistresses. Even worse, while she’d been trying to split us up by telling me to leave him for his violence, she was the one telling him to bash me and that wife beating is “ok” and that “everyone” does it.

    I lost my home – not even because of money reasons, but I had to move because I could no longer take the stalking from him and my former friend who became his main lover a few months later as she chased off most of his other mistresses, as well as the abuse and threats from them – mainly my former friend. As well as harassment online from his druggie friends, and the friends from his car club (ie hoon club) doing burnouts in front of my house every night in the early hours of the morning.

    And dealing with abuse from my own family because he ripped off my pensioner retired parents of all their savings – over $70,000.

    And after all that, he had the audacity to go around telling everyone that it was me who borrowed the money, even though my parents can show he borrowed much of they money before we were married (before we were living together, before we shared finances, before we were a couple in any legal way at all) – and it was money they lent him to keep him out of jail for defaulting on community service for drug possession, when we were only dating, because they felt sorry for him.

    His sicko mistress, now wife number 2, continues to stalk and abuse me online and spread vile lies. I don’t get it – they did the wrong thing, they had the affair, I have done nothing to them despite the fact that I’d have every right to seek out justice for everything they have put me and my daughter through, and yet after more than 5 years, they are the ones continue to abuse and stalk and harass me – why? I don’t get it.

    I have been the victim, I did nothing wrong. I worshipped the ground my ex husband walked on while we were together. Our whole relationship was me making sacrifices for him and doing everything for him. And even after we split (because he violently attacked our then 5yo daughter), I did nothing except ask him and his psycho mistresses and friends to leave us alone.

    Surely his mistress has got what she wanted? She got her married lover, she got her own child to abuse (to replace the one she had taken because of her abuse), she has got her steady stream of drugs to support her habit and money so she can sit at home and do nothing all day except go out and shop. Why continue to harass and stalk me?

    What disgusts me most I think is a tie between her disgusting lies that I’m the one who has abused them – I have done nothing despite horrific abuse and threats from her (including her threats to harm my young daughter) – and her disgusting lies that I’m stopping my ex from seeing our daughter. I fought in family court for the visits to be supervised because he is so abusive and started hurting her (which is why we split) – he has mental health issues made worse by his serious drug habit, and he flies into violent psychotic rages where he hurts anyone in his way and he is very capable of killing her in one of his psychotic rages. And because of his threats that if he didn’t get equal shared custody, that none of us would ever see her again – a threat to kill her which I also know in one of his paranoid delusional episodes where he deludes himself into thinking I’m “out to get him” he would hurt our daughter (or worse) on purpose.

    But I also made it very clear I wanted him to stay in her life, just under supervision so he couldn’t hurt her.

    While he fought for equal shared custody, and when he got every second weekend on a temp order, he cut it back to just one day a fortnight (many of which he skipped to work a 7 day week to support his mistress’ drug habit) and when he got the final order he was asking for(the one day a fortnight), he stopped seeing our daughter altogether. Why? well you could say it was because he got what he wanted – he proved to everyone he could do what he wanted in family court, he could be caught out in lie after lie and still be given what he wanted, he could admit to being a daily illicit drug user and still get his own way. Family court was only ever a way for him to abuse me.

    But another big part of it was his psychopathic mistress (her official professional diagnosis) gave him a choice – her or his daughter. And I thank God everyday he chose her not my poor baby. Yes my daughter missed her dad despite the horrific abuse he put her through, but she is safe now and thriving. It boggles the mind why any man would choose a woman who cheats on him and violently abuses him, over his own young child who loved him dearly, but some people are just messed up.

    Yes, divorce is worse than death – in death you lose the person you love, in divorce you lose the person you love, you lose the love that you thought you shared with them, you know they never really loved you, you lose friends, you lose family, you lose money, you can lose your children part time or even full time – or your children can even lose their lives when you’re with a violent unstable man like my ex – in fact, I’m very grateful to my former friend – if it wasn’t for her insane jealousy that she can’t bear for him to spend a second with his daughter, my daughter would probably be dead at her father’s hands.

    But whether death or divorce, you can be happy again. I had several wonderful years where I loved every minute of being single and free to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. And I have met a wonderful man who is the total opposite of my ex and is a wonderful partner and father and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with him.

  11. The grass is always greener…..when I was single I pined for a partner. Now I have one I think back to the good ‘ol single days. Ungrateful much? LOL

  12. As all the other girls here have said, marriage is tough and a bigcommitment. I am also married -this is my second year- and sure, i have many days where i question my marriage. But as with everything else in this life, to make it work, you gotta put in the effort. Marriage has become something so fickle in this day and age. Long gone are the days where vows actually had meaning- purely because it’s way too easy to file for a divorce these days which unfortunately has become a sign of the times. But although we all ‘naaaay’ at the people who so easily give in (such as ahem…ms kardashian and countless other celebs) there really are two sides to the coin of marriage and divorce. On one hand yes, maybe alot of us DO rush into marriage way too quickly but there’s also that sad side where the marriage actually does break down for one reason or the other and the only fitting resolve is to just part ways.
    We all have our reasons for doing what we do, and unfortunately we’ve all become ‘experts’ on what we think is right in this world and passing judgements on people we know nothing about. If someone gets a divorce, so what? Big deal! As long as we are true to ourselves, what does it matter what everyone else does? 🙂

  13. My Parents have been seperated for 2 years & have started going through a very messy divorce.. As an adult child (21) I know all the awful details but in the end My Parents grew apart – I understand that.. and I am not naive enough to believe that marriage and love lasts forever.. (AMAZING If it does, but it doesn’t happen every time) People grow & grow apart – People fall in & out of love everyday that’s nothing new.. (I Promise im not cynical – i still believe in love!) What needs to change is the stigma surrounding divorce.. Its okay to change – but I just wish the nastiness wasn’t there..

  14. My parents seperated numerous times throughout my life…then got back together numerous times? It makes me doubt everyday my relationship will last. I have however learnt from their mistakes and instead of running (like I want to at times) discuss everything good and bad with my partner who I love dearly, sometimes the issues discussed are bad and we fight like everyone does but it stops me from running away like my parents did. I don’t know what makes for a perfect relationship (or marriage) but I think it’s being open and honest. I’m in a de-facto relationship and one day we will get married but right now it’s not our number 1 priority. Its really sad to think that 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce and I truly hope my relationship stands the test of time 🙂 I have heard the secret to a successful marriage is embracing the ups and downs..knowing that not everyday will be great and accepting that.

  15. I’m not anti-marriage but I’m not religious. To me, and that is what counts, marriage is a piece of paper and a special ceremony to show-off your love for each other. It has no more basis than that these days. I have a partner of over ten years, we have had three children and many rocky moments but have never really thought about marriage. My sis got married after living with her fella for over 10 years, my brother would love to get married but because his partner is also a man the law won’t allow it. My parents divorced when I was 6, it affected me little. My superhero mum put herself through TAFE night school while working for anyone through the days, she graduated got herself a decent job and went to University part-time and is now facing a comfortable early retirement. One of the main reasons that ‘marriages used to last forever’ was because people would turn a blind eye and things were left unspoken so often. We have fought for our right to stand up for ourselves so much that we are at the point where we are in a ‘throwaway era’ … don’t like it, get another one as there are plenty out there.

  16. I have been married twice, almost once, all were abusive relationships, so it was really easy to walk away,
    all said that I would not manage by myself, and guess what, I DO NOT, have any Debts, and I own everything in the House, So, I CAN MANAGE, BY MYSELF!!!!!!!!

  17. My Gran and Granpa were married when Gran was 20 and Granpa was 33. Granpa had a massive heart attack and died when i was 4. Gran never remarried and stayed without a partner until she was reunited with Grandpa when she turned 100.
    My parents were married when Mum was in her late 20’s and they were married for 25years and then divorced.
    I was married when i was 20. I gave thanks daily for such a wonderful husband and couldnt imagine anything ever going wrong.
    We had 3 wonderful daughters. Sadly it doesnt matter how much you love someone or how much you try to help them, be supportive, etc. Alcohol become more important to him then his wife and children and without any real warning i found i was married to an alcoholic. I battled through those times where we had no money because he had drained the bank account for booze and I would have to go to the Salvation Army for help so that my children would have food for dinner. I begged and begged for him to get help. I pleaded with tears streaming down my face. I told him i loved him and would stand by him. Nothing worked. The day that my inheritance from my Dads estate went into our joint bank account he spent it all. That was the day that I gave up and sadly anger and yes…even some hate started to grow until it got to the point where i said “I care about you but im not in love with you anymore and Im not happy…I dont want to be in this marriage anymore”……
    Just thinking about the day those feelings hit me still makes me feel sad and i just want to cry.
    They always say that it takes two and things are never onesided but i honestly felt that i tried so hard and i remember just after our last daughter was born and my Fathers Partner said to me one day “You put up with a lot more then i ever would”…But I didnt want to give up…I wanted to fight. I realised in the end that for a relationship to work it takes both parties to want it and work for it. I could fight to make it work all i liked and it wasnt going to make it work unless he tried.
    Many, many years ago i think woman just dealt with it. They might be miserable but at least they had a man that was bringing money into the house so you just dealt with it.

    The scary thing for me is that I thought I had the worlds greatest guy. I idolised him and it all went wrong. So how can i be sure that another guy that presents as Mr Perfect wont crush my heart to a million pieces again???
    I have children that still live at home and for now they come first with me and I will never put them at risk.

  18. Marriage is about compromise. You give, you take, you find a happy medium you can live with. It’s not perfect, it’s not fair, but it will do.

    In our Me Me Me culture, we’re not told to accept anything but the best. We’re told compromise is for the weak and needy. Unless it’s my way and perfect to boot, that’s it, forget it. This seems to be the philosophy for clothes, careers, even marriage.

    This said, it would be interesting to interview couples who’ve been married 40+ years. Would their marriages have lasted if divorce had been more accessible? Would they have gotten married at all if women had greater resources to live and raise a baby by themselves?

  19. We’ve been married for almost 19 years and have had truckloads of misfortunes such as multiple miscarriages, infertility, a disabled child, no grandparent or extended family support, unemployment, court action, hateful in laws and also come from completely the opposite family and ethnic backgrounds and yet are still married because we made a conscious decision to stick it out. No matter what.
    There are times that we may feel like leaving the marriage but we made a commitment and will see it through. After some bad times the good times and positive feelings return.
    A sense of humour in both parties is a must!

  20. It’s about the personal relationships of everyone involved. You are an individual, not anyone else’s dream person or other half. Be true to yourself, not other people’s expectations. Self respect will see you through.

  21. Marriage is a partnership that requires input & direction from both people. It seems to not mean so much anymore as divorce is just so easy. I do wonder sometimes if people get married for the right reasons to begin with. I lived with someone for nine & a half years but in the end I just became fed up with the whole relationship. It seemed to get more & more one sided. It then became volatile & aggressive & I was not prepared to put up with this any more. My current hubby also was in a marriage that left him feeling vulnerable & used.
    We have now been together for 24 years & are still very happy. We never take the other for granted & although we don’t always agree on everything we try not to go to bed until we call a truce. We have so much in common & I think this help when you are a couple. We would love another 24 years as the past lot have just flown by.
    I really think for a marriage to work you must try & also never take your partner for granted. You get out of a marriage what you put in.

  22. Perhaps marriage should be a little more difficult or at the very least we should all become a little more discerning. I believe that the high divorce rate is due to the fact that it is often much easier to give up than to put in the hard work necessary to make a marriage work. Very few of us have the luxury of being able to say that our relationships are constantly blissful with little or no maintenance required. Marriage is a lifetime commitment and requires lifetime effort from both parties

  23. I was married at 16 (very silly) & divorced at 19 , it was a very violent marriage & i probably saved mine & my children’s lives. My only regret is that it hurt my children deeply. They can’t remember the violence as they were so little. But then he passed away when they were 8 & 10, they hardly ever saw him (his choice) the only problem was they then worshiped him & seemed to hate me for so long, i did understand that this was their grief. I have remarried now & he is the most gentle , wonderful man i could ever hope for 7 the kids & now grandkids all love him to bits.

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