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#121199 - 01/23/08 02:37 PM Re: Step 1, THEN step 2... [Re: Susan]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Where it concerns my wife, I have only one #1 rule to follow:

1. She's the most important thing in my life, the highest achievement I can ever attain, the closest I will ever come to heaven on earth. When she's not with me it's like losing my arms and legs, only more painful and debilitating. Making her happy brings me the greatest joy I can hope for. I need to think and act accordingly.

Marriage was never intended as a trial offer. Somehow our society has allowed it to be considered as such. This isn't a religious argument, but a question of character and integrity, for if you don't get this committment right, how can you be trusted to live up to any of lesser significance?

When I find out someone's been through a divorce, my opinion of them drops. Either they exercise extremely poor judgment, or their word can't be trusted, or they are vile deviants who are incapable of caring for anyone or anything, or a combination thereof. There is no circumstance imaginable that doesn't fit into one of those three categories.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#121208 - 01/23/08 04:32 PM Re: Step 1, THEN step 2... [Re: benjammin]
justmeagain Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/07/07
Posts: 67
Read Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars. All the listening to problems rather than fixing problems starts to make sense. It's just biology.

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#121210 - 01/23/08 05:13 PM Re: Step 1, THEN step 2... [Re: benjammin]
Andy Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 378
Loc: SE PA
Originally Posted By: benjammin

Marriage was never intended as a trial offer. Somehow our society has allowed it to be considered as such. This isn't a religious argument, but a question of character and integrity, for if you don't get this committment right, how can you be trusted to live up to any of lesser significance?


Ben has a real point IMHO. I've been happily married for 25 years and the other 10 haven't been too bad. (I can write that here 'cause my DW will never see it, she hates that joke.) But it does represent what happens in real life. Not every marriage is hugs and kisses every single day, maybe not any if people are truthful. You have to be willing and able to survive the bad times, the mediocre times and fun times to make a marriage last. And that takes committment to your spouse, to the kids, to the institution of marriage. It ain't for the faint hearted. The benefit is that when TSHTF as in when your parents die, or the job goes south or your kid calls to tell you she just spent a week in a hospital in Fiji, you have a partner who backs you up and vice versa. But you don't get to that point easily, it takes a lot of hard work and love and tolerance. (That sound you just heard was me falling off the soapbox and into the pile of laundry I've go to do.)

Back to the question of the topic, I'd suggest using a version of STOP when facing Blast's situation:

S=Stop and listen to what she means, not what she's saying.
T=Take a minute to think before opening your mouth, like a bullet leaving a muzzle, ain't no way to recall something stupid said.
O=offer to do what she wants regardless of whether it's what you think should be done (you can always fix it your way later).
P=Practice patience at all times, the hug you get at the end of the day is worth the wait.
_________________________
In a crisis one does not rise to one's level of expectations but rather falls to one's level of training.

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#121256 - 01/23/08 11:34 PM Re: Step 1, THEN step 2... [Re: benjammin]
NeighborBill Offline
Enthusiastic
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 385
Loc: Oklahoma City
My divorce was from my poor judgement--and I've owned up to that. Now, my ex and I are better friends than we ever were, share responsibilities for our ten year old daughter, and generally are the model for "if you have to divorce, this is the way it should be".

I didn't want to get divorced and was willing to work on every aspect of our marriage to make it work for both of us. She didn't feel the same way.

All I can say is, guys: don't marry your trophy (a lot younger than you) wife too early smile
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Member of the toughest, meanest, deadliest, most unrelenting -- and ablest -- form of life in this section of space, a critter that can be killed but can't be tamed. --Robert A. Heinlein

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#121310 - 01/24/08 01:23 PM Re: Step 1, THEN step 2... [Re: ]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Sorry, but if in the example you gave you had exercised better judgement before getting hitched, then the outcome would not have happened. The whys and wherefores won't change that fact.

This is not to say marriage is absolute. Some people will get divorced due to situations such as the one you cite. If the cheating spouse didn't take her committment serious enough to remain faithful and committed to the relationship, then I would say you chose poorly in a matter of the highest importance, and I would be reluctant to place trust in you for certain things. It wouldn't mean that you are worthless to me, likely it would never be an issue. For really critical matters, though, I'd be looking for a 2nd opinion.

I am glad to hear you are happily married, and my greatest hope for you is that it will only improve.

I guess growing up with a mom who's married and divorced 5 times now has me convinced there are certain constants regarding the human equation.

Were my wife to run off and leave me I would feel the same about myself.

If my wife was regretful about cheating on me and wanted to reconcile, I would take her back. I would not file for divorce if she left. That's just me. I doubt she'd come back to me, though. She'd have to sleep with one eye open the rest of her life I suspect.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#121341 - 01/24/08 06:06 PM Re: Step 1, THEN step 2... [Re: ]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Well, true, perhaps in my efforts to express the priority on making a thorough evaluation before making the comittment so that the expectation that dissolution or that either side would consider an alternative as a possibility is as low as practically possible (after all, no one can read the mind of another and truly know their intent), I have overly emphasized the consequence of making a making such a decision and entering into such an arrangment lightly.

There are varying degrees to which my impression of a person's character would diminish, depending on whether it was a poor judgement call up front by picking a bad partner being something that a person could overcome in time, with suitable demonstration that such judgement errors are not serial, vs. someone who was demonstrably insincere to their initial committment and chose to move on, in which case I would say their character flaw is fairly unredeemable.

For instance, to use your example, if I am to see a doctor, I would not ask if he's been divorced, basing my first impression on more moderate criteria as would be germaine to that sort of situation. Now if it should come up that he has in fact been divorced, then depending on what the nature of the separation might be I may or may not decide that his situation warrants seeking someone else's services. This is not to say he isn't well qualified to treat me. In fact, he may be the best doctor in the world, but as a human being he will be lacking in certain qualities I find crucial for me to place my trust in his care for. His expertise is not the thing in question, merely that he has demonstrated he may not utilize the knowledge he possesses to my advantage.

Most of life's mistakes are not important enough or carry the weight that would warrant such adamant scrutiny. My point is, marriage ought to be taken that seriously. If it were by more people, we wouldn't have nearly the number of social problems we have now. I don't know if that is old school or just the product of being forced to experience it over and over.

Having been divorced is not the sole criteria by which I would judge a person, just one of the most important ones. How would you judge a person who allowed their child to be abused, or committed manslaughter, vs a convicted pedophile or serial killer? There are varying degrees of judgement for each category, depending on intent and culpability. From a social perspective, I consider divorce, child abuse, and murder to be about as devastating with respect to like severity.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#121368 - 01/24/08 09:46 PM Re: Step 1, THEN step 2... [Re: benjammin]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
OK, while were on the topic of being "equipped for a relationship" I guess I can share another couple of things in our EDMK (every day marriage kit), we've sen a lot of couples come and go since we got married in 1996, so at this point, I only feel qualified to talk to the unmarried.

In no particular order....

My wife asks me, "Do you want to have dinner at my Mother's house?" and I often reply, "I don't care."

And that answer makes my wife very, very happy.

Why?

For me, "I don't care" means exactly, literally and without retroactive equivocation, "I don't care." It does not mean, "I think you want me to go, but I don't really want to, so I'll say I don't care, so I don't have to say no, but I hope you'll say you don't really want to go."

It means that given a choice of dinner at moms or sitting on the couch, either of these choices will leave me in the same basic mental state. And my wife knows that if I DO care, I'll say it:

Her: "Do you want to have dinner at my Mother's house?"
Me: "No, I'd rather stay home."
Her: "OK, well I'm heading over with the kids, I'll tell them you were beat from work."
Me: "Thanks."

And that's it. It's about not mindreading everything and simply accepting.

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#121413 - 01/25/08 12:28 PM Re: Step 1, THEN step 2... [Re: MartinFocazio]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Sweet!

Life is usually much better when we communicate with understanding.

Kudos.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#121422 - 01/25/08 03:06 PM Re: Step 1, THEN step 2... [Re: ]
GarlyDog Offline
τΏτ
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
Step 1, then Step 2. Sage advice. Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes I forget.


Edited by GarlyDog (01/25/08 04:49 PM)
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#121454 - 01/25/08 08:02 PM Re: Step 1, THEN step 2... [Re: GarlyDog]
DesertFox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 338
Loc: New York, NY

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