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The Forum > Article Comments > For the love ... > Comments

For the love ... : Comments

By David James, published 2/10/2006

When you love your family, but you donít love your spouse

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Well done and thank you for sharing. I suspect there always were many people who put the family first and others need to be made aware of this option.

It is not an alternative that the family law industry would suggest because it does not result in jobs for counsellors and lawyers (buzzards who feast on the limited family cake).

Maybe if we put as much resources into family studies as we do into women's studies the alternative of family first (no, not the political party) could be better promoted. At least I hope so.
Posted by Cornflower, Tuesday, 3 October 2006 2:53:31 PM
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I must say I found the author's candour refreshing. In these kinds of situations, common sense and respect for your former partner tend to be the first things to fly out the window, so I'm glad to see that a rational solution is possible.

I just hope more people out there have the fortitude to attempt this kind of solution. With so many marriage breakups occurring, a sensible outlook is sorely needed.
Posted by TurnRightThenLeft, Tuesday, 3 October 2006 3:54:32 PM
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My father gave my mother a hard time in all sorts of ways. He died when I was 16 and life became much easier for my mother and for my young sister and I. [My elder sister was already married and out of it.] Long before his death, I was begging my mother to either leave him, or kick him out. This was in England in the 1940s. According to my mother, neither of these options were feasible in those days.

I married a very pretty girl. What do young people often do? "Wow, I like the look of THAT one". We wouldn't buy a car or get a dog on that basis, would we? No, we'd check out the specifications or temperament.

We weren't suited and after trying very hard to make a go of it [our generation married for keeps!], I found that the only way we could stay married was for me to work away. Some people seemed to assume that it was me working away which caused the rift, but it wasn't like that at all.

So I had no home life, no family life, no love life and no social life, except for socialising with my clients. My only source of appreciation was the compliments I got from clients and regular mentions in company literature for good sales results. Obviously, this couldn't go on for ever.

We split when I was 43. I was young looking and had kept myself in good shape. I was a light drinker and total non-smoker and non-gambler. And I was a good dancer. Men who can dance and are otherwise presentable are always in demand. So all of a sudden I had a great social life and it did me a lot of good.

cont
Posted by Rex, Tuesday, 3 October 2006 7:53:03 PM
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After a while, I met a lady who had also got out of a bad marriage and we were very good for each other. We were together for 22 years until I lost her a few years ago. I have been fortunate to meet another delightful lady who is also out of a bad marriage and we do each other a lot of good.

I feel very confident that neither I nor these two ladies could have stayed in our respective marriages.

There are children of all three marriages, but all have readily accepted that what happened had to happen. Incidentally, all three ex-spouses re-married, so hopefully things became better for them too.

Some friends of ours have just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They've lived together, worked together, raised their children together and still go dancing together. They are obviously a very loving couple. To me, this is the ideal. But many of find ourselves in a far from ideal situation and have to choose the best option for ourselves.
Posted by Rex, Tuesday, 3 October 2006 7:54:51 PM
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Wow, I feel in awe of your family's effort to make such a difficult situation workable. I am going through a similar relationship breakdown at present and we have 1 toddler to consider. I am hoping that our situation turns out as successful as yours, as I know that we both love our son unconditionally, we just dont love each other anymore. What wonderful role models you both are to your children, and I applaud your courage in making your situation work for yourselves and the children. Thankyou as you have been incredibly helpful and insightful to me.

cheers
Posted by rebel_girl, Tuesday, 3 October 2006 8:54:32 PM
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Wow! That reminds me of Nicola Tesla's oft quoted comment "They said it couldn't be done."

A third option for people who love their children but don't believe in the sanctity of marriage. With sheer guts the author and their wife lived up to the saying "where there is a will there is a way".

That isn't exactly what I'd consider an ideal for marriage and children but it is light years better for children than the usual approach. It demonstrates a profound love and committment for children within the context of a particular perspective on marriage. Normally children's welfare is ignored for convenience and children are dealt with by way of rationalisation rather than valued. For example "what is good for us is good for the children". The approach used was to ask "what is good for the children?" and then pursuing the answer with grit and determination.

Truly a tough journey of the heart.

Ironically, if such a beyond the call of duty passionate determined energy had been directed by both parents toward improving the relationship rather than maintaining the family it would have been easier (theoretically). I recognise though that that would not be possible for people with the author's perspective (believing that loving relationships "irretrievably break down").
Posted by mjpb, Wednesday, 4 October 2006 10:26:59 AM
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