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Question
Posted by: Julie | 2007/05/06

Divorce's impact on children

Hi, I have been married for over ten years to a man I care deeply about in a brotherly kind of way, and have two children 2 and 3 with him. I fell in love with another married man many years ago but did nothing about it until six months ago when we discovered the feeling was mutual. He is everything to me, permeates every thought I have - he's my passion and my soul mate and I would truly do anything for him, other than compromise my children. I would like to leave my husband - our relationship has deteroirated without my effort, but not beyond repair, and I battle to touch him feeling guilty that he is not the one I should be with. Obviously my greatest concern is for my children and the impact it will have on them - they are well adjusted and happy. My husband and I do not fight terribly and are generally respectful and good to each other. I am concered that the impact of a divorce on them will be greater as they get older, that my husband and my relationship will deteroriate to expose them to unpleasant fights and I am concerend that by delaying divorce I will lessen my husband's chances of finding another partner (he's now 40). Am I just trying to justify a selfish cause or are these reasonable considerations? My husband adores me (although we have little left to say to each other now that I do not make a proper effort and most of our family activities are initiated by me) and seems to have no idea of my feelings.
I understand that by divorcing my husband I have no guarantees with another man who is already married and loyal to his wife (he cares for her deeply and is loyal to his marrige vows although I am his passion and who he says he would rather be with but will never make any promises for the future). I feel that I will be a better person by leaving my husband and being true to my feelings at least even if it means never being with a true partner again.
Would be grateful for an experts objective opinion.
Thank you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

YOu say your own maerriage has deteriorated to the point that you find the idea of divorce to be acceptable --- but what of the marriage of this new man in your life ? Children need not be adverself affected by a divorce IF it is properly explained to them ( and its made clear that nothing that is happening is THEIR fault ) , and if the parents part amicably and without involving the kids in any conflict between the parents.
From your description, it sounds as though in fact your own mariage could be reparable, but that you actually don't want to do so, because you would rather be with this other man. It sounds as though you actually recognize that the problems within your own marriage are largely your own responsibility.
In fact you illustrate one of the dangers I see as associated with the whole "soul mate" myth --- you speak of your lover as the man you "ought" to be with --- as though simply nominating someone as a "soul mate" exampts you from the normal criticism of a married person who starts an affair with another married person. It doesn't. And you have convinced yourself that you "would be a better person" for leaving a husband who dearly loves you, for the possibility of an affair with a man who loves his wife who in turn loves him ? What am I missing here ? What about this would make you "better". I think you are romanticising and making excuses for the desire to have an affair, and trying hard to make it sound a romantic and heroic effort --- it isn't. YOu are constructing a web of dishonest martyrdom and excuses. I agree with John.
See a marriage counsellor with your husband, and work honestly to sincerely try to improve the loving marriage you already have. And if you care for this other guy, leave him to his loving wife.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Shae | 2007/05/07

Julie, im a bit confused - you're in a stable, loving (albeit plutonic only) marraige, however, you're considering throwing that out the window in exchange for either being alone or playing second fiddle to someone else's wife. Perhaps im missing something here but that doesnt sound like an intelligent trade off to me.

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do for your kids is be happy but i question whether the route you're prepared to take is a very healthy one for them. I mean, what kind of message are you sending out to them? What behaviour are you modelling? Thats its ok to be someones bootie call! If your aim is to teach them a lesson on how to not value themselves then this would be the way to do it.

If you leave your husband because you have tried absolutely everything but theres nothing left to salvage, then do it for that reason, not because you want to be another man's play thing.

Reply to Shae
Posted by: M | 2007/05/07

John, I agree on hundred percent with you. I have been this route after my wife had affairs. We also never had screaming matches, fights etc but still the kids are the biggest losers and they do lose. There is no win win situation going the divorce route. We got divorced over a year ago and we now need to take my son to see a child psychologist.

Julie - you need to stop and make your marriage work, it is a commitment you made in the beginning.

Good luck

Reply to M
Posted by: John | 2007/05/07

Ooops - above posting is mine.

Reply to John
Posted by: Julie | 2007/05/07

Julie,

Oh dearie me. Your quest to be true to yourself is bit hard to swallow amid the adultery you are committing, emotional, physical or otherwise. The sense of martyrdom that oozes throughout your posting seems a little too self-serving. Lets look your facts: your kids are happy, your husband loves you and treats you well, you love him like a brother, you love another man that assures you he won't leave his wife for you (he is loyal to his vows but he has passion for you?) and you are seriously considering getting divorced to be alone?

Divorce is not the splendid isolation you think it to be. It is messy, it is hurtful, it changes people's lives (generally for the worse), it stuffs your finances up and should be the LAST resort and not one of a few options.You want to sacrifice yourself and be true to something really noble? If so, stop ALL contact with the other man immediately - he is a louse that all other lice will shun (think about it - all this dedication to his vows while feverishly fondling your bosom smacks of hypocrisy) - and you must go for counselling so that you can make the marriage work for your children's sake, bearing in mind that you are considering divorce for own sake.

If you really want to be a better person you should stop cheating and stop thinking about yourself and your own needs only.

Reply to Julie
Posted by: Maria | 2007/05/06

The best situation for your children to be in would be a family with a mom and dad that love each other, don't you agree? Love is not just a feeling, it's also a verb. Why don't you make an effort to LOVE your husband. Go see a counsellor to help you deal with the feelings for the other man. Then see a counsellor together with your husband to work on your marriage. Don't through away the chance at a stable, happy family for all of you without at least making an effort to preserve it.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: RMC | 2007/05/06

Jules - is there nothing left at all to salvage in the marriage? You sound really noble but at the end of the day where will that get you? You sound like you may have jsut grown apart from each other? Did you ever get time alone together?

Reply to RMC

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