Divorced/Separated - Can of worms

ceph

Merriam-Webster lists "divorced" and "separated" as synonyms.

For many ex-marriages, being "separated" is simply a formality before the law will allow them to "divorce" or there is some other reason holding them back (financial, stubbornness, etc)

My brother, for instance, was "separated" for three years before he got "divorced" because his exW wouldn't sign the divorce papers because they said she cheated on him. She did cheat on him, and she admitted it, but she wouldn't sign. Eventually, he got fed up and changed the papers to not include the truth.

Was there any chance they'd get back together? A world of no. She was living with her new BF (TOM) and he was dating as well.

A friend of mine "separated" from her exH with no chance of getting back together, but the law said they had to live apart for a year before they could "divorce." So they did, but in her heart, they "divorced" they day she grabbed her car keys and ran out the door.

I know a couple who were married for 30+ years, grew apart and did a "trial separation" for three months. At the end, they decided they did not want to reunite, but didn't "divorce" for three years because of what the housing market was doing at the time.

I could keep going here, listing ex-marriages, who were "separated" and not going to reunite, but didn't "divorce" for one reason or another.

My point? We as outsiders, have no idea why people do or don't "divorce" immediately after they "separate." We as outsiders have no right or reason to judge people for these reasons. Their own lives and their own business are just that, theirs and not ours. Which synonym the papers used doesn't always matter; if a marriage is over, and the participants have split up, then what's passed is past and it's none of our business.

I realize I might not be able to change people's minds on this, but I can't not try.

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catlettuce

Exactly!

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kkny

Ceph,

Your dictionary may equate divorce and seperate, and in many uses of the word, outside of maritial status, they may be used the same.

I doubt I can change any one's mind that it is wrong to date a married person, but I would say I think it will likely have negative consequnces. If my DD were older, and told me was dating a man who was "divorced" v. "seperated", I would have different advice. I think people should wait until divorce is old and cold.

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dotz_gw

Ditto exactly....Many people , I think feel the same way, it sometimes takes many years for a divorce to wend its way thru the courts, if the emotional bond is gone and just practical reasons remain, there is no marriage....While I personally wouldnt advocate jumping in to the dating scene the day you leave, I felt divorced in my mind for 5 years before I left...Conversely, I find it curious that the defenders of the sanctity of marriage, wait for the ink to dry, then wait even longer to date, years I ve read,to heal, should be a case by case basis..Only you know when you re ready to get involved again....

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justnotmartha

So let me confirm this. A couple has been happily apart for 3 years - separate finances, separate homes, separate lives. The only thing keeping them together is that they have waited to finalize the divorce until their child graduated high school for location and/or money reasons.
On Monday the 1st they are still married. On Tuesday the 2nd their divorce is finalized. Truly, other than the obvious legal definition, what changed in their day to day lives? What made it okay to date on the 2nd but not the first? They are the same person, in the same situation, as they were the day before.

Obviously, I don't advocate jumping into a relationship with a recently separated person but I believe there are some cases where the world isn't black and white.

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june0000

I don't think there is any right or wrong amount of time and it depends on the person and where they are in the healing process.

As for myself, I'm recently divorced and I do not want to date for a while. I made this decision and it is actually kind of nice. I don't feel any pressure to date - I'm just taking care of me.

I'm also afraid if I went out with a divorced men at this stage, (and most in my age group are divorced), I would be wondering what hideous thing he did that made his ex throw him out!

But that was my experience. It is different for everyone. I have a sister who married very soon after her divorce was final and after several years she still seems genuinely happy with her marriage.

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stargazzer

You are right nothing is black and white, there is a lot of gray in between.

There is no way I would be separated and not divorce because of the financial responsibility. As long as you are married you are responsible for the other.

When people cheat I don't pass judgment on either because I have seen, marriages where the woman makes the man's life a living h*** and I wouldn't blame the man for cheating if he found someone who loved him and treated him with respect. It is not something I would do, but I don't judge others who do. When I divorced my first husband, I stalled for 10 years because there were no divorces in my family. Also because I just plain old didn't have the courage to do it to my husband and my boys. I was absolutely miserable after 15 years of marriage to this man when my sister finally gave me the courage I needed.

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theotherside

You are either married or not. It is absolutely black and white.

So would you say it is ok to date if you are "separated in your heart?" If the guy says he and his wife are living as "roommates?" If someone went home to mother for the weekend? If one of the spouses spent the night on the couch?

If you are engaged, you are not considered family if your fiance ends up in the hospital or dies. If you file taxes jointly you end up in big trouble. On Friday you are single, and on Saturday you are married. No one seems to have a problem with that concept.

You are either married or not. If you are separated and your husband is ill, you are still next of kin. You are his widow if he dies. My exH and I filed taxes jointly for two years after he left, including filing after the divorce was final, because we were still married at the end of the previous year.

Although dating immediately after the divorce is final is not immoral, it is a stupid thing to do, and unfair to whomever you are dating. The rule of thumb I have read in numerous places is to wait, starting when the divorce is final, one month for every year you were married.

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kkny

Dating while someone is legally married is wrong. But forget my opinion. If there are children involved, it isnt just the two adults involved. I think anyone who dates a married person is in for potential trouble.

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quirk

On Friday you are single, and on Saturday you are married. No one seems to have a problem with that concept.

As far as cheating is concerned? I certainly do have a problem with that concept. If my fiance were to sleep with another woman the day before our wedding, or continue dating other women behind my back right up until our wedding day, that would be cheating every bit as much as the day after our wedding, legally signed marriage license or not.

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theotherside

Sure it is wrong (it is wrong for that matter when a 15 year old who is going steady with someone dates another girl/guy), but it is not adultery, they are not married, and she would not be a widow if she shot him. If he committed a crime, a wife would not be required to testify against him; a fiance would. It is not that there aren't other circumstances where cheating is wrong - sleeping with someone else while married is a subset of the set of all times when it is wrong.

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stargazzer

TOS, you are right, you are either married or you are not, but the reason a person cheats is the gray area. As I said before I wouldn't do that under any circumstance, but I don't walk in the cheater's shoes, so I don't know what he or she has been through. My BIL cheated on my sister and left her for the younger, professional woman and I didn't blame him for that. My sis shut him out of the bedroom and he was far to young to live like a monk and believe me when I say her very presence is a criticism. She has been at my moms for a couple of months now and I will not visit mom until my sis goes home, can't stand her. But we don't fight and are not "estranged" What my BIL did that I can't forgive is that he took their life savings and left her with no income and $5,000. after raising his boys so he could stay in the service and he become an officer. the judge took care of the income problem.

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ceph

Also, we're not talking about whether cheating is right or wrong... (Obviously it's wrong)
We're talking about the difference/similarity between being married, separated or divorced.

There are many shades of separation...
The three month "trial separation" of the people who were married for 30+ years, well obviously neither of them should be dating anyone during that time!
My brother, who was split from his wife for a few years, but she wouldn't sign the divorce papers... I certainly wouldn't say he was cheating on her when he started dating!

So it just depends on where in the separation stages you are and why. We don't know where and why people who are "separated" but not "divorced" start dating and we can't judge them.

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kkny

Ceph, you are walking down a slippery slope. And I would suggest that children may not understand teh boundaries.

I would suggest that "dating" a married but seperated person can be fraught with issues. Even if you dont have morality issues.

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theotherside

As I have said previously, I do not believe that cheating is acceptable under any circumstances, even if your spouse is sprinkling arsenic on your oatmeal. The honorable thing to do would be to divorce first. Obviously your BIL was not concerned with honor, if he cheated on his wife and left her destitute.

It is not always necessary to walk in someone's shoes in order to know that what they are doing is wrong. I have never walked in the shoes of an organized crime boss, thank goodness, but that does not mean I have no justification for saying that what Al Capone did was wrong.

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theotherside

Since when does one party's refusal to sign divorce papers prevent a divorce from happening? It doesn't in my state. One of my children thought it did, and was upset with me for quite awhile (without mentioning it) because she thought her father could not have divorced me unless I agreed to it, and thought I could simply have said no, and we would have remained married forever.

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imamommy

"Since when does one party's refusal to sign divorce papers prevent a divorce from happening?"

I completely agree!!! (if you are in the United States at least, I don't know about Canada) I am actually quite glad that kkny said the following: "If there are children involved, it isnt just the two adults involved."; "And I would suggest that children may not understand teh boundaries." It reinforces my opinion that my stepdaughter's mom is wrong for staying married to her first daughter's father and living with her current boyfriend. I would think it is very confusing to her oldest daughter to see her go from man to man while being married to her dad all these years. They have been separated for eleven years but still legally married. Sure, the guys she's dated may have some blame if they know she's married, but I am not sure she tells them all. After all, she lied to my husband and told him she's divorced. As I speak, she is planning a wedding next May to her current boyfriend. (She's already passed two wedding dates she supposedly had for this same boyfriend) and so while it's easy to say her boyfriend is TOM because she is still married, he may not know she's married so how can any fault be placed on him? SHE knows she's still married so SHE is the one at fault if it's 'wrong'. The reason she gave in deposition, for not being divorced is that her husband refuses to sign the divorce papers. She then went on to say that she stands to get $100,000.00 once the divorce is finalized. (Let's see, she's never worked, lived with her mom at the time and has no money and her only income is the child/spousal support she gets from her husband and she wants to convince a reasonable person that she "can't" get a divorce [in a no fault state] and that she's going to get that sum of money but she can't because her husband won't sign the papers... BS!!!) But, I'm glad TOS agrees with me that BM's 'excuse' is bull crap!

But, I do have to disagree with one comment: "dating immediately after the divorce is final is not immoral, it is a stupid thing to do, and unfair to whomever you are dating." The only thing that is unfair to whomever you are dating is if you are NOT honest. If a man says he's living like room mates but he really isn't, THAT is unfair. I agree it's stupid (or really risky) to date someone that is still living with or recently separated because there is the greater chance they may reconcile and/or you are more likely to be a rebound, but I have to say that it's ridiculous to lump everyone into the same mold and each situation should be looked at on it's own merits.

Just as people are probably more picky when they are younger than when they are older.. all people are different and what is good for one person may not work for another.

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justnotmartha

"So would you say it is ok to date if you are "separated in your heart?" If the guy says he and his wife are living as "roommates?" If someone went home to mother for the weekend? If one of the spouses spent the night on the couch?"

Of course not TOS, and that's a pretty far stretch from the example I gave. Sometimes it would be nice if you could address the issue at hand rather than create another. Perhaps your answer to the original issue would contradict your overall stance, so the diversion of a new situation is needed? Smart tactic, but I'm on to you . . . .

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theotherside

ima,

I am surprised that you haven't mentioned the fact that your SD's mother is still married to the woman's boyfriend's exW when you chat with her.

If he had any common sense at all, he would ask to see the divorce papers. My exH voluntarily showed me his divorce papers after we had been dating a few weeks.

Just because something works out once in a great while doesn't mean it's not terribly risky. People have fallen out of third story windows and emerged practically unscathed, but I think it is safe to generalize and say that it is not a good idea. On another board, there was a woman who left her husband after he hit her in the stomach while pregnant. After her divorce, she met and moved in with a guy whom she had known for two weeks - not just dated for two weeks, but known for only two weeks - with her three young children. Most people would say that was horribly risky. Several years later they were still apparently happily married. A rare exception doesn't invalidate the rule.

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fiveinall

Personally I think it all depends on the situation and circumstances...some seperations are a "lets try and work this out kind of seperation" and some seperations are "we have to be legally seperated for X amount of time before we can be legally divorced"
I will probably catch crap for sharing but I will share it anyways...
I married very young (18) and within a year or two we both knew we had made a mistake, we knew that we were better as friends than as husband and wife, and both had very different goals in life..(he was a partier and just wanted to have a good time....I wasn't etc..) So we made a choice together that we wanted to divorce that we were not meant for eachother, we found out that we couldnt just divorce that we had to be seperated legally for 6 mos (no kids) in order to get divorced in our state..we signed our legal seperation and stayed in touch, both agreeing that we werent gonna get back together, and we were free to date whomever we wanted.....I started dating my now DH (we have been married for 6 years now) while we were seperated, he as well dated others.....A month before our Divorce would be final he was killed in an auto accident (he was drunk and high coming back from a party..) legally we were still married so everything that is a spouses responsibility was mine still, from paying for the funeral, to paying his bills to packing up his home, to finding homes for his pets, to collecting all of his articles full of blood from his car...all my responsibility still because we were legally still married...I am not complaining at all, those things needed to get done and his death was a tremendous loss to me, not like loosing a husband, but loosing a great friend....but it was definately a hard situation to be in especially going through a mourning process for an ex while having already started a relationship with someone else..I imagine it was also terribly difficult for the girl he was seeing..and uncomfortable for her when she came to the funeral....
So I guess I have mixed emotions about this whole thing.....I went to counseling for a while after his death...I do not regret my decision in dating my DH, we have a wonderful family and I am very happy...but I do wish the timing had been better....I know that if my ex were still alive that we would still be friends and that he would be happy for me..I mourn him still to this day...

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kkny

5inall, if your second husband also did not have children, I would be less upset. You made decisions, and mourned in your way. The problem I see with dating while married, or soon afterwards, it that the parent is giving the child time to adjust. And many times that will breed resentment of the situation.

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kkny

I meant to say if parent is not giving child time to adjust.

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newgardenelf

so let's turn it around..what do we say about a mother who leaves her husband and children for another man, moves in with him, doesn't see the kids for months then comes back and wants full custody and because she is the mother expects to not only get it but feels she deserves it?

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believer

No one knows what goes on behind closed doors. People make mistakes. What I take away from the original post is that every one's life situation is different and unless you have walked a mile in some one's shoes you cannot judge. It's none of your business and no one cares what you think. We don't answer to each other. Being held accountable by your children is one thing and even then they may not understand until they are older or until they have lived through some of what their parents have experienced.

Unless a member here actually posts....I have cheated on my spouse or I am dating a person whose divorce is not final yet, what do you think? Then stay away from that issue. What gives people here the right to dig unto some one's past or to rake some one over the coals? I doubt very much if anyone joined this forum to have this done to them. I do, however, feel that some have joined so that they could have the opportunity to do so. It appears that those so critical of others may be living their lives thinking that they have not ever done anyone wrong. If you base your judgements of others on a spiritual morality then sin is sin and we are all guilty of that. If you base your morality on man's laws then I'm certain you have broken a few of those also. .......My point is, as I stated before, unless someone here asks what you think of a specific situation, they don't want to know what you think and to them it doesn't matter.

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quirk

kkny, i happen to agree with you that children should be given a chance to adjust to a divorce before also having to adjust to a parent's new BF/GF. I just don't know that it has anything to do with whether or not the divorce paperwork has been signed... I actually never knew when my parents divorce was final. I knew when they separated (obviously) and when the *decision was made* to go ahead and divorce, but nothing about the legalities or when everything was final. That part was just logistics, had nothing to do with the status of the family. Of course it would have been different if one parent had been holding out the possibility of a reconciliation, telling the kids oh the divorce isn't final we might still get back together but that's why individual situations matter.

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doodleboo

Main Entry: infi·del·i·ty
Pronunciation: \Ëin-fÉ-Ëde-lÉ-tç, -(Ë)fî-\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural in·fi·del·i·ties
Date: 15th century
1: lack of belief in a religion
2 a: unfaithfulness to a moral obligation : disloyalty b: marital unfaithfulness or an instance of it

Infidelity is not a marriage only thing. A break in any bond is unfaithfulness. I do not believe one must be married in order to have a REAL relationship. I do not believe papers must be signed to BELONG to each other. I do not believe a couple is not a couple unless they sign a paper so the government can tax them accordingly. Marriage license are for FINANCIAL security. It has NOTHING to do with any real commitment....I think this is MORE than obvious by the alarming divorce rate.

Relationships can be dead before divorce papers are signed. It's only ink on paper not an accurate account of how strong the bond between the two people are. If the bond is gone, the respect lost, the partnership dead than the relationship is OVER. I'm not saying cheating is right. I am saying the stupid paper doesn't making cheating any less or more acceptable. It also doesn't make the relationship any more or less viable.

If a person has been seperated but can't afford a lawyer, or the state makes them live apart, or one party is being a stubborn cow or whatever....THE RELATIONSHIP IS OVER! The marriage is over. The promise to one another is gone. All the remains is that stupid little paper waiting on that one signature for financial purposes only.

People CLING to this paper and sadly it doesn't amount to a hill of beans once one member of the couple has decided to move on.

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theotherside

THe state doesn't have a mandated waiting period just to irritate people. The purpose of the waiting period is to give both parties time to reconsider and possibly reconcile.

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stargazzer

Doodleboo, you said that very well.

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doodleboo

"As far as cheating is concerned? I certainly do have a problem with that concept. If my fiance were to sleep with another woman the day before our wedding, or continue dating other women behind my back right up until our wedding day, that would be cheating every bit as much as the day after our wedding, legally signed marriage license or not."

My point exactly. What does the paperwork change in the moral fiber of the relationship? NOTHING! It is all legal mumbo jumbo. Marriage papers are GOVERNMENT documentations for financial and legal purposes alone. It changes nothing as far as the spiritual connection in the partnership is concerned.

TOS-
"If you are engaged, you are not considered family if your fiance ends up in the hospital or dies. If you file taxes jointly you end up in big trouble."

"If you are separated and your husband is ill, you are still next of kin. You are his widow if he dies. My exH and I filed taxes jointly for two years after he left, including filing after the divorce was final, because we were still married at the end of the previous year."

These are all FINANCIAL ties. It has nothing to do with commitment on a emotional wave link. This is precisely my point. Cheating is a crime of passion not a crime of finances. That being said, why would a legal documentation used for financial legalities make cheating more or less acceptable?

I think a relationship is over when one party tells the other party "Hey it's been real but this isn't working for me anymore." You have been LEFT! Homeboy has WALKED! The relationship has been turned from an is to a was. It is past tense and at that point it's better to take the "no use crying over spilt milk" stance because all the crying in the world (or ink on paper) won't clean up the mess.

Personally if J left me I wouldn't give a damn what he did untill the papers were signed. He would of broke my heart already the minute he walked away.

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kathline

A lot of times, separation means one thing to one person and something totally different to their spouse.

When I sought a separation from my ex, I was throwing in the towel. I knew there was no chance of it ever working, and I had lost any interest in trying. My ex, on the other hand, saw separation as a way to ease the immediate tensions , but enabling him to find ways to try to fix it. Separation seemed less threatening than divorce to him. He hoped, and thought, that it meant it wasnt over.

There is also a difference between legal separation and just separation. It is VERY common for men in particular, to claim they are separated, and the marriage is dead, when they are still living in the same house. They just sleep in a different bed, so in their heads , they are separated. People can, and will, do anything to justify their attraction to someone else, and some people cant stand to be partnerless. Women involved with those men tend to become the transitional woman.

On top of that, there are geographic distances. In Canada, you cannot divorce until you are separated for a year, although you can obtain a legal separation at any time. In Cephs case, it sounds like her relative wanted an immediate divorce without waiting the year. Its highly antagonistic to include adultery charge in a divorce petion, and the woman in that case was upset about it and refused to sign, so her brother had to wait. However, after one year, he could have gotten a divorce on regular grounds, so there was no reason for a three year wait unless he just wanted vindication by using adultery. If he had been able to PROVE the adultery, he also would have been able to get an immediate divorce, as t here is no necessity for the person who is not seeking divorce to sign anything. If you have grounds, the divorce is granted, if the grounds are proven.

On top of that, in some Canadian provinces, a divorce CANNOT be granted, regardless of the length of time, until all issues concerning custody and support are settled. Some people , who are unwlling to accept the divorce, will fight about custody, visitation or support issues constantly, delay court dates, change lawyers, anything they can to make sure nothing gets settled, thus delaying the divorce. IT can take up to five years before a highly contested case finally gets to the courtroom. No one wins, because by that time the animosity level is off the charts, and both parties are financially devasted by legal fees. Some angry spouses dont care. Its their way of getting back at the other person for wanting out.

In Arkansas, there is no "no fault" clause. If you want a divorce you must have grounds, but the grounds are vague and ambiguous. If you file with no grounds except for living apart and separate, you MUST wait three years. If you file using a vague "demeaning treatment" you can be divorced in three months.

I think its worthwhile to require about a year between separation and divorce, because its much too easy to divorce without dealing with the emotional consequences. It takes at least a year to put the emotional pieces back together for the one seeking divorce, for the kids to accept that it is going to happen, and for the person being divorced to accept it as well. THe person initiating it has an advantage because for them , it has been over for a long while.

And, it is stupid to date during that year of separation, but human nature is that people are going to date. People do stupid things all the time. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they dont. If it does work out for a couple that starts dating during that time, they do risk the fact that others will see it as if they were unfaithful. Dont forget, the ex spouse and kids need time to accept the situation as well, and if they see dating too soon, it can permanently affect how they view the person, because in their eyes, that person stole their dad, even though in dads mind, the marriage was over.

I am not going to jump all over anyone for dating their partner when the partner was separated rather than divorced, but I really dont think it was a good idea, and I think it is unrealistic to expect it not to cause problems in the people left behind. They should have been given time to heal and accept it. I dont blame them for nursing a grudge.

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doodleboo

Why thank you:)

Again, I am not JUSTIFYING the cheater. I'm just saying it is a hurtful thing whether you are married or not. That bonds CAN exist outside the paperwork and on the same line bonds can DIE with it.

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fiveinall

"THe state doesn't have a mandated waiting period just to irritate people. The purpose of the waiting period is to give both parties time to reconsider and possibly reconcile."

TOS: I agree, the state or government wants to give both people time to reconcile.....for me though, I dont feel "the state" should have a right to force you to wait a certain time period if both parties know it is over....As grown adults I really feel that it should be up to the people involved to determine how long they feel that they need to be seperated.....think worse case scenario a woman, abused and nearly beaten to death by her husband has to wait 6mos or a year to get a divorce and not legally be his wife again?
I personally feel that "The Stae" has way too much control over our lives on a personal level....

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doodleboo

"Dont forget, the ex spouse and kids need time to accept the situation as well, and if they see dating too soon, it can permanently affect how they view the person, because in their eyes, that person stole their dad, even though in dads mind, the marriage was over."

Reality sucks. It's hard for kids when parents seperate whether they were married or not. I think it IS best to wait but in the case of a divorce dragging out for years I honestly can not blame a person for wanting to move on. At some point you have to move on with your life.

The person who left was ALREADY ready to move on and any waiting they do is no doubt just for the sake of the children. It is extremely hard to live a lie for the sake of other people even if those people are your children.

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kkny

Newgarden, I think cheating is wrong by any married person. I dont beleive I posted just re men.

Beleiver,

We are all entitled to our opinions. I think children, even adult children, can become resentful, when parents move on too quickly, certainly before existing marriage is absolutely positively final.

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colleen777

There are tons of things a person could be resentful for in a lifetime. All the handier to be able to blame someone else for your resentment, but it doesn't solve the problem and the person holding the resentment still has it and causes a lot of pain in their own life and in the life of others.

If people choose to be resentful they will stay that way no matter how much time has passed from the divorce to remarriage. Especially if mother continuously cries about her lot in life and even and apparently especially when, it was her own choice.

Parents frequently maniuplate their children through emotional incest and it is criminal. Children are not responsible for mother's happiness, mother is responsible for that herself.

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kkny

Wow, Colleen, a bunch of generalizations. I dont think my DD is responsible for my happiness, but I feel for her unhappiness. I think many stepchildren can be upset with divorce without mom complaining. Parents "frequently" manipulate their children through emotinonal incest. I dont agree with that.

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imamommy

"Parents "frequently" manipulate their children through emotinonal incest."

I totally agree with this. It can be a subtle as asking the child if they had a good time with the other parent and not being happy if the child says yes. Children can sense when their parent is sad or unhappy, even if the parent is trying to hide it. They will feel guilty for wanting to be with the other parent if they sense that the parent that is alone is sad or lonely without them... then they will also feel guilty for having fun with one parent while the other parent is sitting home alone (and sad). Sometimes it's imagined in the child's mind and the other parent isn't really sitting home alone or sad, and then it really is up to the parent to let the child know they are okay and they are not sad or lonely. But, I've heard parents ask the kids "do you really want to go with daddy?" and of course the child can sense mom doesn't want them to go so they say no. or asking a child 'where do you want to live?'. Of course the child is not going to want to tell one parent they would rather live with the other parent (at least in most cases). They don't want to hurt ANYONE's feelings, least of all, their parents. (and I personally think they should never have to choose. It's the parent's responsibility to work that out together or let a judge decide. Of course, older kids that have an agenda such as HS friends, sports, or a good logical reason for wanting to live with one over the other is different than asking a six year old. Teenagers can sometimes make a logical rational decision about where they want to be, but sometimes an immature teen can't. It would depend on the maturity of the child and the reasoning)

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kkny

I think it is MUCH more common for dads to just showing up. A lot more "frequent"

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mom2emall

I don't think kids know the difference about their parents divorce being final and their parents being seperated unless they are teenagers (or their parents are telling them). My dh's ex left him and immediately moved in with the man she had been cheating on him with. The kids did not understand that the marriage ended because mommy cheated. They just knew mom moved out and in with _____.

My dh and I met before his divorce was "final". But they had been seperated and going to court for almost 3 years by then. Because of child custody issues it was dragging on. And it did not help that ex would never show up to court.

My skids never think of me as TOW because me and daddy dated before the divorce was official. In the kids minds their parents were divorced the day mommy left. I came around 3 years later.

I think that kids only care about the divorce being final or not when they are older or when one of their parents is discussing it with them.

With all that said though, I do think kids need time to heal after a seperation and divorce situation. And while the adults may take less time to heal because many adults are mentally detached from their spouse long before the physical seperation, I think that adults should not throw their new bf's or gf's into their kids lives right away.

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stargazzer

I think a lot of the problem with children and divorce is the way parents handle it. I have a friend who is still friends with her ex's family, still goes to family get togethers with her ex and his wife. No problems doing that with anyone. Now one of her children is going through a divorce and he told his mom he is trying to handle it the way she handled her divorce from his dad. That made her feel very good.

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kkny

Stargazzzer, My DD is upset because of the changes that divorce has meant to her life. It is not always the parent that drives these feelings.

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theotherside

Of course children are aware of the difference between separation and divorce. Do you think that they believe you can divorce someone by walking out the door? That would really terrify them, if they had parents who walked out of the room when they got angry, if they thought leaving=divorce.

How can the children NOT know? The sheriff shows up at the door with the divorce papers - you think they wouldn't notice? You think the older kids would keep it a secret from the younger?

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kkny

To continue, do you think the neighbors keep it a secret? Classmates?

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finedreams

both I and X dated when separated. we first were too lazy to file for divorce and then divorce obviously took some time. neither one of us wanted to get back together, and we truly weren't together anymore in every sense and frankly saw nothing wrong in dating. we didn't live together. we informed each other right away that we are considering seeing other people before divorce. DD knew mom and dad are not together anymore, she was too young to know if we are legally divorced, plus it wasn't her buisness. we didn't bring dating partners to our houses at that stage.

no young children are not aware. children know that mom and dad are not together anymore. that's all they need to know. Dd was not aware what legal stuff we have to do. she knew we are not together as a couple but remain her parents and good friends to each other. kids do not need to know details. DD is the only child and no, sheriff did not show up at the door. divorce was peaceful. ha

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stargazzer

Just think how much harder it would if the parents were fighting, asking questions about what happens at dad's house, questions about dad's girlfriends and being mad at one another because they didn't pick the child up. constant turmoil and children can't adjust to that. I can't adjust to that. I have a grand daughter that was glad that her parents divorced, the fighting stopped. When she got married she wanted her step dad to walk her down the aisle and bio dad objected so she walked herself down the aisle.

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serenity_now_2007

I think we can all debate this six ways to Sunday, but the people it will affect the most are the ones for whom the luxury of this debate is denied, with the decisions we're discussing being completely outside of their control. That is, the kids. It seems to me (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) that the precipitating circumstance which prompted the topic of this thread is when the kids from the former marriage have some resentment, needs and trust issues which may have soemthing to do with the "not yet divorced" scenario occasioning the BP and new partner's union and whether or not the kids have the right to 'still' consider those circumstances relevant or to be affected by them. Many kids try to cope with their knowledge of these types of experiences and to refrain from judgement of their parents' misdeeds, but even when both BP's and the kids strive toward nonjudgmentalism and independent opinion-forming for "the next geenration", this type of thing can be very hard for a kid (of any age!)to integrate and can result in deep lifelong issues with trust and self-esteem. My point is that while it may be the adults' prerogative to excuse and justify themselves by splitting hairs and pointing fault-finding fingers elsewhere, the kids will usually not want to spend the time, energy or thought doing the same. And it's the kids' prerogative to feel the feelings they feel in response to the situation. Should the kids eventually 'forgive' and get over it, be empathetic and understanding and see it from their perspective? Maybe that answer depends precisely/proportionately on how much their parents and step-parents are willing to forgive them for perceived wrongs, be empathetic and see things from their perspective.

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justnotmartha

Well, unless you through a party - or a hissy fit - on the day of the actual petition filing how the h$ll would the kids know what day it was filed? 'Mom and Dad are no longer together. We are getting a divorce." That the filing happens 2 days later or 2 months later isn't for the kids to worry about . . .unless they are way too drug into their parent's business.

And through 1 divorce and 3 different custody issues DH has never been served at home or any where else with any papers. If you ask his daughter when mom and dad divorced it was when she was 2, not 2 years later when mom quit fighting with dad long enough to sign the papers. SD knows it was 2 years later because mom had to drag her into it and tell her all about it, but she doesn't care. She left with mom when she was 2 - end of story.

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finedreams

exactly JNM we never felt a need to discuss divorce details wiht DD. and we didn't use process servers. what for? we are not a drama people. went to a lawyer, got papers signed, gave each other a hugh and moved on. no hissy fit or a party. haha but it was a happy day for both. LOL no, I am pretty sure DD does not know the actual day of divorce papers being signed and she does not care. Heck, i myself do not exactly remember the dates. Life goes on. i see no point in dwelling on what parents did years ago.

and I bet you many people who grew up in bad, unhappy marriages do not appreciate their parents staying together for the kids sake. I know plenty. I know people who are very happy that parents are finally divorced so everyone can have a better life. and once again there is more to life than thinking of what parents did or didn't do years ago.

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ceph

"On top of that, there are geographic distances. In Canada, you cannot divorce until you are separated for a year, although you can obtain a legal separation at any time. In Cephs case, it sounds like her relative wanted an immediate divorce without waiting the year. Its highly antagonistic to include adultery charge in a divorce petion, and the woman in that case was upset about it and refused to sign, so her brother had to wait. However, after one year, he could have gotten a divorce on regular grounds, so there was no reason for a three year wait unless he just wanted vindication by using adultery. If he had been able to PROVE the adultery, he also would have been able to get an immediate divorce, as t here is no necessity for the person who is not seeking divorce to sign anything. If you have grounds, the divorce is granted, if the grounds are proven."

My brother had emails between his exW and three different men she was having sex with. (She accidentally gave him her hotmail password after she said she was moving out, and he suspected she was cheating, so he logged in... Sure that was rude of him, but he now had proof she was cheating)
So he confronted her, she eventually admitted it, and he filed the papers for immediate divorce, on grounds of her adultery. She refused to sign them.
After the one year waiting period, he refused to change the papers to be that they were separated for year (because he is stubborn) and kept the adultery bit in there. She continued to refuse to sign.
Once one party files, the other can't, so she couldn't do anything about it, until he was willing to change what the papers said.
AFAIK, proving adultery has to be done through the court system, which was more money that he was willing to spend.

He eventually, with some pressure from his then-GF, got tired of waiting for her to legally admit that she cheated on him, and just changed the papers.

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kathline

"AFAIK, proving adultery has to be done through the court system, which was more money that he was willing to spend."

Exactly. Had he taken it to court, and been able to prove it, he would have been granted the divorce immediately, on the grounds of adultery, however, he didnt want to have to prove it, because it would cost him money.

Accusing someone of adultery is throwing gasoline on a divorce fire, and is almost guaranteed to create a legal battle that only ends up benefitting lawyers.

"After the one year waiting period, he refused to change the papers to be that they were separated for year (because he is stubborn) and kept the adultery bit in there. "

He wanted his vengeance. He wanted to be right more than he wanted the divorce. Finally, because he fell in love again, and his GF wouldnt tolerate him staying married indefinitely,and because he didnt want to spend the money to prove the adultery, he capitulated and filed the no fault way, as 98 percent of Canadian divorces do. In fact, no reputable Canadian lawyer will suggest that someone file on the grounds of adultery, without a compelling reason since a) it greately decreases the likliehood of a settlement being reached because of hostility, and b) it doesnt matter in terms of financial obligations anyway.

btw, emails are not proof of adultery in Canadian court. I dont know the rules in the United States courts. In fact, if the emails were not between your brother and his ex, and they were her emails, they would nto even be admissible. IT would be considered, under Canadian law, stolen mail, and not entered into evidence. There has to be actual evidence, such as pictures. Even a private investigator report that someone is in a hotel room with someone else is not considered proof of adultery. If the woman lied under oath and said it didnt happen, then your brother could have wasted all that money in court to prove something, so it is probably a good thing that he didnt try.

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theotherside

In my state, there is no option - if you want to divorce your spouse, they have to be served. In my county, at least, the serve is done by the sheriff's office.

Who would want their children to believe that all you have to do to divorce some one is walk out the door? Who would want them to grow up thinking that a decision that serious could be made so quickly and effortlessly?

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mom2emall

My point was that young children do not know the technicalities and legalities of divorce. They just know that their parents no longer live together and are getting divorced or have already gotton divorced.

When DH and I started being around eachothers children his divorce was not final. The kids had no clue....their parents had not lived together in 3 years!! Their bm already had another child with her bf(the other man). Nobody ever thought "mom2emall is dating a married man...she must have no morals!!" I was not the rebound relationship, my dh had begun dating other women a year after his ex left.

So my point is that divorces can take a long time and dating someone who has been going through a divorce for a long period of time does not make you a bad person. And kids have no clue about that stuff unless an adult tells them. My skids do not think badly of me because of when my dh and I began dating. In their minds their parents were divorced a long time before I came along.

And since my dh never filled the kids heads with unnecessary "truths" they did not think badly of bm. What makes them think badly of her now are her actions since the split and the way her bf has treated them.

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ceph

He didn't just accuse her of adultery! She did it! When he confronted her, she admitted it.

He didn't just put the adultery in the papers to spite her, he wanted to be legally rid of her as soon as he found out she cheated on him.
When she refused to sign them, then he got cranky and stubborn and didn't want to change them once the year was up, because it became a point of principle to him by then.
I said he was stubborn, I didn't say he was a vengeful a$$hole.

You have no idea about how he felt about finding out he was being cheated on for years or that she gave him an STD she caught from one of the many f*cks she met on the internet. You have no clue about how she left him (told him on his birthday). You have no idea about what his ex is like or why she would refuse to sign something she has verbally admitted to, just because someone else wanted her to.
So don't go assigning motives to something you know nothing about.

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kathline

I didnt say she didnt do it. I said, he had the option to prove it and get his divorce immediately, but it wasnt important enough to him to pay the legal fees to prove it.

He could have been divorced after one year, but he chose to wait three years, staying married to a woman he no longer loved, who cheated on him, rather than get the divorce over with. He refused to back down on the adultery in the divorce papers, but he also refused to prove the allegations and thus get his divorce.

Thats not stubborn. Thats vengeance. I never said he was an a*shole. I dont blame him for being hurt and angry. He wanted to publically humiliate the woman for cheating on him, which is very understandable. Maybe vindication would be a better word than vengeance. But by doing so, he remained married to her for two extra years, u ntil his GF put her foot down and showed him teh way to get over it.

I would say that until he was ready to let his need to have himself publically vindicated by having the adultery recognized in the divorce decree, go, he wasnt really ready to heal from the marriage and get involved elsewhere. YOu cant have a good relationship with someone new if you are clinging to the past, even if its clinging out of anger and, in your words, stubborness. I am glad he fell in love with someone else who helped him to release his anger at his former ex enough to get on with his life. We all can see on this board, what happens to people who cant get past their anger over their former spouses infidelity.

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theotherside

MY young children DID want to know all the legal aspects of separation and divorce. The only one who didn't ask numerous questions was the toddler who couldn't talk in sentences yet. Maybe other people have kids who pay no attention to what is going on, but my kids want to know details about everything - whether it is divorce, the process of buying a house, income taxes, etc. They also love to watch television shows that deal with the intricacies of something - new technology, dirty jobs, home repair and remodeling, Myth Busters, medical detectives - anything like that, and did, even when they were preschoolers/in early elementary school. They have always hated being kept in the dark about anything, and since I don't want their feelings to be hurt I have to be very conscientious about making sure that everyone is kept up-to-date on everything they could possibly want to know about - which is tricky to remember to do now that most of them are on their own or at college.

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mom2emall

"They have always hated being kept in the dark about anything, and since I don't want their feelings to be hurt I have to be very conscientious about making sure that everyone is kept up-to-date on everything they could possibly want to know about "

That is a cop out!! Of course kids are curious! But instead of dh saying to skids "your mom decided that she wanted to go have sex with another man instead of me and then she decided that she would rather live with him than with me" he instead told them that they were getting divorced and that there was nothing that they could do to stay married. What he told them was the truth and as much as they really needed to know. They asked how come they could not stay married and he told them that sometimes things happened and you just can not make them better.

It would have been a heck of a lot easier for him to come out looking like the victim and their mom looking like the whore she was, but he considered the fact that it would hurt their feelings. It is too bad you did not consider your childrens feelings when telling them the "truths" TOS. It is too bad you did not consider the statistics on children without fathers in their lives when you decided it was a good idea to help the kids dislike their father.

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finedreams

what about common law marriage or long time cohabitation when children are involved? could we assume that if people decide to end it and separate, they still cannot be dating because they are not legally divorced? Hmmm. It is over when it is over.

Reconcile? well people could reconcile after they are legally divorced too. i know people who were remarried to each other again after being divorced for number of years. so should divorced people not be allowed to date just in case they want to reconcile with exspouses?

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justnotmartha

If you were to ask my SD today if me walking out the door signified a divorce she would likely tilt her head to the side in the stereotypical 'dumb blond' way and say "HUH?" Of course walking out the door doesn't signify divorce. Her mom and SF fight all the time, and though now there is talk of divorce (another post for another day) she still didn't assume they would divorce each time one stomped out the door after a fight. It's a pretty big stretch to assume your kids will equate divorce to walking out a door.

FWIW, my kids are also the Myth Buster types (did you see they are 'touring'?) and my oldest son especially has to know the how and why behind everything. BUT, I know that his 7 year old mind can only hold so much, so rather than whipping out my tax returns I explain taxes in a general way that can be added to as his comprehension expands.Pretty basic common sense there.

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theotherside

"They asked how come they could not stay married and he told them that sometimes things happened and you just can not make them better."

And they accepted that??? My kids would never have bought that.

I wouldn't even want them to buy that. Except in cases of abuse, I believe that divorce is WRONG. Apparently according to you, other people don't get to raise their kids according to their moral or religious beliefs unless they coincide with yours.

How exactly would YOU have explained away his "female friend," especially after their older sibling had told them exactly what was going on? How would you have explained away their relationship after he had given one of the kids a guided tour of TOW's house, including "their" bedroom? All this occurred within weeks of his leaving, before I was even served by that sheriff I mentioned. HOW ON EARTH COULD YOU KEEP SOMETHING LIKE THAT SECRET EVEN IF YOU WANTED TO?

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justnotmartha

"Except in cases of abuse, I believe that divorce is WRONG."
But TOS, that is YOUR belief. It doesn't have to be the belief of your children. Shouldn't they be able to come to their own conclusions?

I honestly don't know how I would have explained it, and shame on your ex for doing what he did. I just know that I would have tried my best to keep the explanation from becoming one sided and opinionated rather than factual.

Again, I didn't say to keep it secret. I said to keep the amount of information given age appropriate and the context appropriate so that you weren't slamming their dad . . . whether he deserved it or not.

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theotherside

My children are able to come to their own conclusions, but it is my responsibility as a parent to teach them my core beliefs.

The vast majority of people who are Catholic, for instance, believe it is their responsibility to raise their children in the Catholic church. Of course the children may decide not to be Catholic as adults, but that doesn't mean the parents do not feel a responsibility to raise them in their faith.

By the way, one of my kids believes very firmly that if you divorce, you should never remarry under any circumstances - even if you have no children or your children are grown. Some of my other children believe "once a cheater, always a cheater," that forgiveness of a cheater is completely unjustified, and consequently they want nothing to do with him.

You can't assume that the conclusions the children will come to will be more generous than those of the betrayed spouse.

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colleen777

Wasn't that your second marriage TOS?

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theotherside

No, I have only been married once. It was my exH's second marriage.

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ashley1979

"Parents "frequently" manipulate their children through emotinonal incest."

This is completely true! In my life, my FDH does it, X does it and BM does it. So guess what? I constantly get put out in the cold because I'm the only one in the kids' lives that does not emotionally manipulate them.

For example, let's start with FSD since those are the most obvious examples: BM cheated on FDH, left him and moved her and FSD in with another man, then moved back into the house and kicked FDH out, divorced him, moved A DIFFERENT man in to the house, married him and then got pregnant less than 8 months after they got married. FSD was 4 or 5 when all this started and 7 when her mom got pregnant. FDH and I started dating a couple of weeks before BM shared with us that she was preggo. So one day BM says to FSD that she wished she was still married to FDH. So, instantly, FSD starts thinking that I'm the reason they aren't married anymore even though BM did the irreversible damage. Also, when FSD is here visiting, BM will call and tell FSD "Oh, well we went to (insert fun place here) today and it would've been so much more fun if you would've been here. But have fun with your dad". Tell me how that's not emotional manipulation? I really could go on and on about BM, but I think my point is made.

X does it, too. He's been grooming DS to come live with him for a long time now. He says stuff like DS needs to come live with him because it's HIS time and that I've had MY time.

FDH is pretty bad about it, too. He will text message FSD and say all this lovey-dovey stuff and then gets sad when she doesn't respond back the way he wants. So then he sends her a message back saying something like "you can't even tell your dad you love him". That is totally emotional manipulation. The difference is that BM's manipulation works on FSD, but not on FDH. And FSD has no regard for FDH. She barely speaks to him. I think it's because FDH is more of an emotional person and BM is pretty cold, unless other people are watching. So FSD knows she has FDH's affections, but is always trying to earn BMs.

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colleen777

Ya thanks KKNY for that great insight!! You don't "frequently" have any.

"Consider a scenario where mother is crying in her bedroom and her three year old toddles into the room. To the child it looks as if mom is dying. The child is terrified and says, "I love you mommy!" Mom looks at her child. Her eyes fill with love, and her face breaks into a smile. She says, 'Oh honey, I love you so much. You are my wonderful little boy/girl. Come here and give mommy a hug. You make mommy feel so good." ....Robert Burney M.A.

A touching scene? No. Emotional abuse! The child has just received the message that he/she has the power to save mommy's life. That the child has power over, and therefore responsibility for, mommy's feelings. This is emotional abuse, and sets up an emotionally incestuous relationship in which the child feels responsible for the parent's emotional needs.

A healthy parent would explain to the child that it is all right for mommy to cry, that it is healthy and good for people to cry when they feel sad or hurt. An emotionally healthy parent would "role model" for the child that it is okay to have the full range of emotions, all the feelings - sadness and hurt, anger and fear, Joy and happiness, etc."

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doodleboo

"Of course children are aware of the difference between separation and divorce. Do you think that they believe you can divorce someone by walking out the door? That would really terrify them, if they had parents who walked out of the room when they got angry, if they thought leaving=divorce"

In my girls case they have no concept of mom and dad being "divorced" All they know is mom and dad arn't togther anymore. They do not even refer to couples as husband and wife...it's always "are you daddy's girlfriend?" or "was mommy daddy's girlfriend when we were babies" etc. They have NO CONCEPT of marriage.

They don't even know what makes daddy their daddy. They know mommy is mommy because they were in her belly but have no clue as to daddys involvement. They don't understand those adult concepts yet and neither does most young children. I work with children and believe me...they don't get it. Not unless they have a parent pouring it into their brains constantly.

The only picture of weddings/marriage the girls (and MOST girls their age) have is the weddings they see in the Disney Movies. It is a fairytale as far as they are concerned and there is no reason to make them undertsnad it to be anything more. Thay are babies and don't need all the details of divorce and seperation.

Any two to six year old who understands the true meaning of Marriage and Seperation, their differences and the moral concept of each is a certified emotional genious! I'm sure at least a few posters will claim they gave birth to the next Freud....but anyway.

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doodleboo

"A healthy parent would explain to the child that it is all right for mommy to cry, that it is healthy and good for people to cry when they feel sad or hurt. An emotionally healthy parent would "role model" for the child that it is okay to have the full range of emotions, all the feelings - sadness and hurt, anger and fear, Joy and happiness, etc."

Agreed 100%! When BM would have her emotional meltdowns she would always tell the girls things like "mommy is all alone" or "everyone is always mean to mommy and it hurts her feelings". The latter was a reference made when the ex tried to choker her out.

She has gone into to detail about how she still loves daddy and she wishes they were a family still. She fails to mention, however, WHY the family fell apart in the first place. (She cheated.....alot.) She pours all of her emotional baggage out on the kids most notably her relationship disasters. She feeds them just enough so she knows they will come back home asking questions and we will have to answer them. The woman is sick.

When I am sad thanks to my marvelous hormones and the girls ask me if I'm sad I simply say " Yes I am. It's OK though. We all get sad sometimes. Have you ever been sad?" The conversation is then focused on the child's emotions rather than mine. They can't understand hormones...why would I even TRY to explain? It's better to have them just understand that these kindof feelings are normal and everything will be OK.

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imamommy

"MY young children DID want to know all the legal aspects of separation and divorce. The only one who didn't ask numerous questions was the toddler who couldn't talk in sentences yet. Maybe other people have kids who pay no attention to what is going on, but my kids want to know details about everything - whether it is divorce, the process of buying a house, income taxes, etc. They also love to watch television shows that deal with the intricacies of something - new technology, dirty jobs, home repair and remodeling, Myth Busters, medical detectives - anything like that, and did, even when they were preschoolers/in early elementary school. They have always hated being kept in the dark about anything, and since I don't want their feelings to be hurt I have to be very conscientious about making sure that everyone is kept up-to-date on everything they could possibly want to know about - which is tricky to remember to do now that most of them are on their own or at college."

So, if they ask you and want to know all the details of sex, do you rent them porn? Do you show them actual pictures of adults having sex? If they want to know all the details of drugs and it's effects, do you go buy a dime bag and show them what it feels like to get high? Hey! They wanna know and by darn, THEY SHOULD! Right?

There are LOTS of things kids are curious about and want to know, even when it's age inappropriate and it's NOT up to kids to decide what they should or should not see or do... that is why there are ratings on movies and now TV shows. That is why there are age laws for smoking, drinking & driving. My kid wanted to drive when he was 12. His dad let him steer the car when he was 9 and he thought it was so cool and he was upset that I wasn't as cool as his dad, because I wouldn't allow him to drive at 11-12. Just because kids are curious and want to know and they might even get upset when they can't know, see or do everything they WANT, doesn't mean it's the right thing to share with them, adult issues... like sex. In order for a child to understand what adultery and cheating is, they have to be old enough to understand what sex is. And most kids don't want to think of their parents as having sex with each other, let alone with different people.

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kkny

I think children want to know legal aspects as it relates to practical issues. Where we live? Will Daddy come back? Who is Daddy's GF? Why dont we have money for things anymore?

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imamommy

"Where we live? Will Daddy come back? Who is Daddy's GF? Why dont we have money for things anymore?"

'Where will we live?'. If a divorce causes you to have to move, is it necessary to 'blame' someone? Do the kids really need to know WHY? and if so, what do you say? "well, daddy left us to be with eye candy so we have to move to a smaller place because I can't afford to stay in our home because daddy won't pay for it because he says he can't afford two houses because his eye candy doesn't work, she just sits around the pool all day, living off daddy."

'Will daddy come back?' That isn't even a question most people can answer as an adult. If my husband left, there's no way for me to know if he will have a change of heart and come back. There may not be a way to know if I'd let him back if he did. What do you tell a child to that question? "well daddy cheated on mommy and he would rather be with his new girlfriend than with us." or "if daddy wanted to come back, mommy doesn't think I can forgive him because he's a cheater and I don't trust him"

'Who is Daddy's GF?' Most kids will meet daddy's gf when they go visit daddy. What are you going to tell them? "Daddy's GF is a lady he was working with that relentlessly threw herself at him until he broke down and left us to be with her"

'Why don't we have money for things anymore?' Kids don't always need to know everything about the parent's finances. Sure, it's one thing to talk about money with kids so they learn the basics. What do you tell them when you can't afford something (or you just didn't want to buy a certain item that might have been a waste of money) when you were still married? What do you tell them after the divorce? "well daddy left us for his new girlfriend so he took his money with him and now he would rather spend it on her than us."

Yes, I can see how these are things children want to know and hear. Must be very lucky kids to have a parent that explains to them 'the facts'.

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kkny

Ima, where did I say I was blaming anyone? Where will I live is a fair question? Who else will live there is a fair question?

And did I say I was getting all these questions? As a matter of fact, my DD knew most of the answers before or at the same time as I did.

As to kids not knowing about finances, I think you are naive as to how to hide it. Ima, I realize you are a mom, in addition to a SM, but I dont think you lived long term with your children's Dads, and may not quite appreciate the practical issues from the side of people leaving a marriage, as to your view or people joining a marriage.

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imamommy

I know that when I was a struggling single mom, if I had to say no, you can't have that because I don't have the money... my kids didn't need to know WHY I didn't have the money. "I don't have the money" is an answer. It doesn't need to be explained that I don't get enough or any child support, or any other 'reason' I don't have the money. Mom said NO. There were times I would tell the kids, nope.. we can't go to the movies because I spent more than I should have at the grocery store on extras they wanted, or I spent the money on other things that they wanted at the time and they can't do EVERYTHING they want. They have to learn to make choices and prioritize. (ie. if you spend your allowance on CD's, then you won't be able to get the designer jeans you want) I talked to my kids about money and finances (including the stock market, the economy, ways to use credit and how to find bargains) But, I never once told my kids I can't afford something because their dad wasn't contributing like he should or because he left me to raise my kids alone. I don't need to be in a long term marriage to understand that. My mom was in a long term marriage and when they divorced, I was a child of divorce that had a mother that blamed her financial struggles on my dad. It's a burden no parent should ever place on a child. Just like I have not told my SD that she can't take dance classes or karate because her mom hasn't paid her child support. If she wants something and I can't afford it, I simply tell her I don't have money to spend on that. She doesn't necessarily need to know everything about our finances. and I appreciate the practical issues from the side of people leaving a marriage. I drafted my sisters divorce papers because she can't afford an attorney and I am all for her making her husband be responsible to her and their kids after 22 years of marriage, but I would not agree with her telling her kids that it's all dad's fault they can't go to the mall and shop like they used to. In fact, I don't necessarily agree that she raised her kids to think they were entitled to run to the mall whenever they felt like it and buy whatever they wanted. I kept my niece here for a week and she & my other niece and daughter went shopping at wal-mart and my other niece was going to buy a shirt and my sister's daughter teased her and made fun of her for buying clothes at wal mart. In my opinion, my niece was being a snob and now that my sister is divorcing her dad, my sister can't afford to take her daughter to the mall whenever she wants. I think she did her daughter a great disservice. My kids were not raised buying clothes in thrift stores or discount stores, we'd shop at department stores (Mervyns, Macy's, etc) but they were not beneath going to wal mart or even yard sales. Teaching children to make choices and even be frugal is a good lesson to learn in life because even those that are financially well off can fall from grace and when they do, they won't know how to survive. I think that's sad.

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helenar

Ima, you are soooo right. Once Dad leaves, mom and the kids have to accept that. Stop whining. Earn a living.

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ceph

Good job Doodle!!!!
"Yes I am. It's OK though. We all get sad sometimes. Have you ever been sad?"

I'm totally impressed!

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theotherside

Porn and sex are not equivalent, and I am sure you know that, just as I am sure you know that your analogies are not valid. There is NOTHING that it is inappropriate to understand; there are lots of things that are inappropriate to do. If my children wanted to know about the effects of drugs, there are dozens of books in the library that discuss that topic in great detail; there are many books written for children and young adults that have diagrams and even photographs depicting sexual activity that are not in the least pornographic; if they want to learn to drive a car at 12, there are software programs and arcade games to teach them that.

As an aside - for someone who advocates thrift, you are rather biased against buying clothes in thrift stores. Why would it be ok to buy clothes at a yard sale, but not at a thrift store?

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imamommy

I never said there is anything wrong with shopping at thrift stores. I actually have found some really great things in thrift stores. However, I didn't want to buy pictures of SD in a tattered 'rocker' t-shirt her mom got her at a thrift store. It wasn't 'where' she bought it, it was the shirt itself. If she had gotten from an expensive store, it was still faded, didn't fit her, tattered and not the style I wanted to pay to have a picture of her in it. Her mom can put her in whatever she wants if she is buying the pictures.

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theotherside

Then why did you bother mentioning from whence it came?

Why do you even want a school picture - not to mention 48 useless wallet size photos - of her if she annoys you so much?

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justnotmartha

TOS, that was low. I had much to add to this, but you've spoiled it for me. Perhaps Ima could come lay at your feet so you could continue to kick her while she is down?

While I advocate for your right to be here, and even enjoy bickering back and forth with you, I can not understand your choices to be cruel so that the focus shifts.

Consider this one shifted - you are off the 'hotseat' and I will add no more to my posts last night to continue this thread.
Now back the hell off Ima.

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theotherside

I think calling a heartbroken child "selfish," and claiming that normal children/teens' worlds are not turned upside down by divorce is about as insensitive as one can get.

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doodleboo

Thanks Ceph:) I try really hard not to add any EXTRA drama to their lives. They have eough of that from the other end. That method really works. Everytime they go into a story about how "one time, when I was at the park this kid pushed me......"

I think it helps make situations relevant to the child and they realize we really do all get sad sometimes and it isn't the end of the world. They can apply the emotion to their own life experiences so it doesn't feel so alien and scary. Adult problems are larger than life to children and some adults sadly forget that.

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