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Assessing Relationships


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Obviously I know that it's not simple to break up a family...ya gotta consider..kids..finances..etc... and just not bein' happy may not be just cause for movin' on...

...But it can't help but strike me that when you have wonderful friends...and interests...and you're basically happy within yourself...

...and then the ONE thing in your life that is high maintenance and makes you unhappy is your relationship with your significant other...it may be time to move on.

My brother David said to me that when he came home and saw his wife Judy's car in the driveway..his heart sank.

That's what it's been like for me.

To quote Harry Chapin when you feel that..."Anywhere's A Better Place To Be"...It may be time to make some "Ch-Ch-Changes"..IMHO!

Do we deserve to shake things up 'cause life can be better?

Or are we responsible to stick it out for the sake of the family?

Waddaya think of my proclamations..EC.com IS a democracy ya know...I value your feedback.

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Ira, my friend, after living MANY years in an unhappy marriage (with seperate rooms) every time I considered divorce, someone rudely told me "if you love your children, you will love their mother for them".

That statement bothered me for a long, long time, used to eat me alive, but when it finally became unbearable living together, my kids were more thrilled than I to hear that we were divorcing!

I can honestly say, five years later, that I have never been more poor financially, but never been more happy in my life. My kids come home from work or school and have a confidence in them that they didn't have years ago when my ex and I were a "couple". Money cannot buy what I have in my relationships with my four daughters.

I once had an old boss tell me that "she wished she saw the twinkle in her own kids eyes that my kids have when they see me and that no money in the world could give her that". (I still think she was trying to avoid giving me a raise! LOL)

My greatest fear was disappointing my children and they were more relieved than I was when this farce of a marriage finally came to an end. Their mother stops in here and there, when it fancies her, and I will say that she pays more tuition for them than I do (but doesn't contribute to anything else). She beats to her own drum, but then doesn't understand when they don't fawn all over her when she shows up at the front door.

She left us, and I do mean "us", for a rich lawyer, who was going to marry her and solve all her problems. While they still live together, he STILL hasn't put the ring on her finger and they have been togther for seven years. (Wait, if we have only been apart for five, does that mean she was CHEATING? Ya think?) You can call me a hypocrit for that "us" remark, but she doesn't see them, so that's why I say it.

I have actually become friends with her, cautious friends mind you, but the girls pretty much want nothing to do with her and resent it when she walks in the door, unannounced.

In all honesty, I don't get any happiness from that, like some do. I tell them all the time, they should try and have her in their lives and that I would be a lousy parent if I wanted otherwise. (I make jokes here, but truly mean that statement for them.) Everyone fights during divorces, but why wouldn't I want the best for my kids in being able to have both sides in their lives?

So, while I don't know the particulars in your relationship, I do know that you seem like a good guy and you, like everyone, needs some form of happiness in your life and if being away from your spouse gives you that happiness, well, you owe it to not only yourself, but to your children to be happy!

Your kids want their dad happy, too, not one that is miserable. Just try not to ever be negative with regard to your spouse in their eyes, is the best advice I can offer. Sometimes, it can be EXTREMELY tough, but in the long run, it makes you a better person.

The funny thing is, every so often, she speaks to me about trying to rekindle our marriage, which is laughable, but if I can steal one of your song stylings from one of the great Brill Building writers, my response is "it's too late baby, now It's too late".

Hope this gives you some perspective. Oh, and by the way, the person who told me that statement at the top is now divorced!

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Guest Rachan

Dodgey subject Ira! (But a good one)

In the past four & a half years I have buried my mother,father,sister & closest friend...

None of us is guaranteed a tomorrow & we shouldn't waste the time we have here living in misery...

That said, the definition of misery differs from person to person.

Not having complete freedom,having to make concessions,sometimes being angry at your partner is part of spending everyday with someone....No two people can agree all of the time.I don't believe in just giving up on a promise I made easily.

I don't think getting married believing there aren't going to be hard times is realistic....BUT ..situations & people change with time.

When you stop supporting each other in hard times, when you bring out the worst in each other...when working on it is something that neither one of you feel is worthwhile..When you could care less if your partner is happy....what is the point of being together?

Kids pick up on more then we give them credit for..& two people hating each other in the same house is palpable even to a child.( That's how I grew up)

I am no quitter by any means...I'm very stubborn & don't like to admit I'm wrong (shut up)

My parents should have split years before they did.

Sometimes sticking it out benefits no one.

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I have to agree with Rachan. Divorce is hard on children, but at least in my case, staying together would have been far worse. My daughter when she was 8 actually told me "I just wish he would leave already". My ex-husband was never a father to his children. I only learned the depth of his abuse after he left for a woman ten years his junior. One night, we actually thought he was going to kill us all in our sleep as he left a shot gun and a round of ammo laying out on the family room floor. I think it was his own guilt eating him alive. This is all I will share and this may be too much, but believe me it only gets worse. If things aren't working out, it's best to get out while you can! There are too many fish in the sea to stay with one that makes your skin crawl!

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No one...but no one lives in another person's marriage.

Of course one would want to do what is best if they have children. But staying together isn't always the best.

Friends and family will always have an opinion on what someone else should do. But who the heck should stay in a relationship when one or both are unhappy? And who is ANYONE to say otherwise when they are not living in THAT marriage...

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I know one thing...I no longer have a single friend who is high maintenance...who stands on ceremony..gives terse answers till you ask what's wrong..gossips...and overall is indirect.

Ya gotta deal with this stuff at work...and sometimes with family...but with friends..Uh-Uh :twitch:!

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Some people have date nights, once each week.

Well Ira, I guess you can try this:

You can make things more fun in your life, by changing part of what you're used to.

With a board game, like monopoly, you can do this:

By adding words to each move on the board, you can have more laughs in your relationship.

Pieces of paper can be drawn from the middle of the board. Each piece has words on them. You tell this to other person playing the game.

One property might say, "And"; another, "If only". Another, "I should have said." And, "Yes". "You were the first to". Another, "You need to"

You can put these words one to eight times around the board. Four for each side, if you want. This is for more laughs:

"And", I'll take out the trash.

And, I didn't get you your favorite perfume, on your birthday.

And, what more can I do for you?

And, I should have taken you to dinner, again.

"If only", I could read your mind.

If only, I could talk more about it.

If only, I went to counseling.

"Yes", you have told me before.

Yes, I didn't listen.

Yes, I'll do that.

"You were the first to" propose to me.

You were the first to tell me about my breath.

You were the first to throw a plate at me.

"You need to" walk the dog.

You need to walk the cat.

You need to walk the turtle.

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The biggest mistake anyone can do, to them selves and to their loved ones, is to stay in a loveless relationship. It's not fair to anyone. And unfortunately it wastes time! Time that could be spent smiling, laughing, sharing, caring, and most importantly...at peace.

I spent years at war with my self, feeling bad about feeling bad about my marriage. It consumed me. All I could think about was how much I had failed.

Looking back I now realize I was an idiot!! What a waste of energy! What a waste of time! And what a waste of ME!! When I finally left the marriage people rejoiced! My kids rejoiced! Dad was back! That smiling Irishman with a Boston accent and punny sense of humor was back! Dave was back! I rediscovered the guy I always wanted to be. And ya know what? It felt good...and still does...every day!!!!

You deserve to feel good, Ira. It's okay. Love yourself first and the love of everyone else will come along for the ride.


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Dave...Sometimes Nice Jewish Boys...(And I got a feeling that Nice Catholic Boys...Nice Protestant Boys etc.) find it hard to realize that being incredibly unhappy is reason enough to end a marriage...

Adultery...physical abuse...substance abuse...may be more clear-cut reasons to sever a relationship..but Dave you're right...I was happy EVERYWHERE else but with my spouse....and that IS reason enough to end a marriage.

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Dave, what great advice. And I know it's coming from one who had no idea what happiness was just around the corner waiting for him with a brand new life!

That's what's so great about life--things can and do change in a nanosecond, and a lot of the time, it's for the better. I'm so happy the "punny" Irishman is back. I've always loved you since the moment I met you (as I have Ira), but I'm so glad you're happy. Your time is coming too, Ira. Take advantage of the peace and all the opportunities!!!


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Ira, this topic really hits home to me....I've been stuck in the "stick it out for the sake of the family" mode. I've always being the optimistic type, but 5 years later, and still living without any sort of recriprical love and respect has been wearing me down a little lately. It comes down to me doing what is in my heart and doing what is best for all involved (from my perspective) ...I choose to be positive and change the things I can and accept the things I can't. My personal happiness will always take the back seat to my firm belief, that by me staying, it will be what's best for my children.

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Harry, The last sentence in your post is exactly what I thought...and what I did. I've been there/done that. And if I could do it over again, I'd do it differently.

Everyone's situation is unique and I'm not judging...but believe me when I say your happiness should NOT take a back seat and your kids are WAAAAY stronger than you think. Having an unhappy dad is not what's best for your kids (ooops, sorry, that was a little judgemental.)

I'm not pro-divorce. I'm pro-happy. Life is too short to spend it in joy's waiting room.


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I'm pro-happy too.

But I'm also pro-responsible.

Sometimes responsibility has to take precedent to assure that down the line you will eventually be happy and have done the right thing for you and your loved one(s).

If Harry feels that putting his happiness 2nd right now is the right thing...than he is obviously happy with that.

And it doesn't seem that he has put a time limit on it, ie: for the next 5 years...just that right now he feels it is best for his kids. And that's groovy in my book.

And if he were to post tomorrow and say he's changed his mind...that would be groovy too!

I wish Harry the VERY best in the near future, when he feels that it is time to put himself first. And at that time perhaps he will know that it's now OK for HIM to be happy first and foremost.

I like that word, HAPPY...don't you?

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If that time ever comes, I will ask my kids if they would rather have mommy and daddy living together and always arguing and yelling, or living apart and sharing time with them...For now, I just tell my 4 1/2 year old to go tell mom to stop being a negative grump and chill out. He's smart enough to say that sometimes I need to stop being a grump too. He seems to like butting in and being a diplomat...So I say Go for it, my future little "Secretary Of State"...

Is it wrong to include your kids in the process? Before I used to punish the kid for butting into our arguments, yank him into another room to get him to stop interrupting. But that just got everybody more upset.

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Is it wrong to include your kids in the process? Before I used to punish the kid for butting into our arguments, yank him into another room to get him to stop interrupting. But that just got everybody more upset.

I personally feel children need to deal with kids things and not adult drama.

However, that being said, I suppose it would depend on the age and maturity of a child and if a parent feels it is extremely important that they (the kids) should be a part of this.

If I had kids, I don't think I'd ask them that question, Tony. (would you rather have mommy and daddy living together and always arguing and yelling, or living apart and sharing time with them). I would hope that decision could be made between the adults. It must be hard enough for the kids to realize that mom and dad are falling apart let alone for them to make a decision about mom and dad staying or splitting because of them.

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Guest Rachan

Everyones situation is so different.

I have to say that I whole heartedly agree with Wendy.

Kids find it hard to look past their own needs..they're kids!

My parents had a very dysfunctional,unstable relationship.

Eventually they pretty much asked that question of me.

Through the ears of a child I didn't grasp the "do you want mommy & daddy to stop yelling & be happy" I was used to the yelling.

What I heard was "we're going to take the little bit of stability you have,your home,your friends & we're going to pull you away from that,because we can't get along"

That probably sounds selfish,but I was a kid & it terrified me.

Now that I'm an adult & realize that Mommy & Daddy have their own relationship aside from the kids,the concept of that question makes sense....but it wouldn't be falling on adult ears.

Like I said...every situation is different

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I meant no disrespect to anyone, especially Harry. Of course everyone's situation is different. I am a mother and I have grown kids and I know what, when and where I would have or not have put them through.

All I was basically saying is that I do like the aspect of being pro-happy, whatever the situation should be.

Best to Harry and anyone else who may be going through this difficult dilemma.

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Guest Rachan

darn it ....maybe I stuck ,my foot in my mouth...not you!

I would hope that everyone is pro happy....& from the people I have dealt with here (well....most) I would say this is a pretty happy supportive group of people!

I was addressing Wendys response about pulling kids into the decision making process of a break up. Which is dodgey...

(I still luv ya & want your hair! smile )

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Guest Fresh

darn it ....maybe I stuck ,my foot in my mouth...not you!

I have also accomplished this dubious anatomical feat( inserting foot in mouth), mostly while in diner's dropping dvd players, baptizing my fellow lunch guests, and dissing the canadian chicks' sister!! hahahaha

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