Divorce at Christmas time

Leslie - posted on 12/12/2009 ( 33 moms have responded )

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Well here it is only "12 days to Christmas" and there is no "True Love" to give a partridge or anything else, to or from me.

I have been trying to prepare my children for the inevitable, because I just can't stand it anymore.!!! The best Christmas gift I can give myself is the ability to control my own destiny away from a marriage that has been miserable for at least 11 years. My New Years Resolution.

Needless to say I'm finding it challenging to maintain the "Christmas Spirit" you know (charity and all of that) because the thought of having to spend another Christmas with "him" just makes me gag.

Am I the only one?

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Anna - posted on 12/19/2009

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You aren't the only one Leslie. I am currently in the same situation. My work keeps me "busy" enough to avoid him for days at a time. My son just wants us to stay together, probably because he knows his Dad would "disappear" for days on end. Finally told my husband want to sell the house...tired of living with someone who ignores me in every sense. The things this man does make no sense to me at all.
He claims to be a Christian, but is very different at home. He complains about everything, what I choose to cook, my job, the dog, you name it. I keep promising myself to get out, but stay for the convenience of a place to live I suppose. The bad economy hasn't helped matters at all.
I used to LOVE Christmas and all the joys the holiday would bring. Now I just go through the motions. I have found some joy in taking the money I would traditionally spend on the husband and adopting families to give something to instead. I force myself to buy something for him, but lately it has become a gift for the home, usually something I inevitably want to have I suppose. Last year he didn't even open the present! I'm just trying to "be the better person" in my son's eyes.
My family is hanging out at arms length it seems. They support whatever decision I make. I just think it is so unfair that I have to be the bad guy in my son's eyes and do the leaving...I know that is what he (the husband) is holding out for.
The misery is pronounced I suppose because we remember what we used to have. The love is gone now, but we have to think there will be something better for us, the heaviness weighs on my heart and mind always.
If you every want to "talk", just call on me. Maybe we can support each other.

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Debra - posted on 12/20/2009

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There is no true love for me either. i was married for 19 yrs Dec 2 1983 and on our 19th wedding anniversary I was served with seperation papers. It was a huge blow not expecting it so soon. It was going bad for a really long time and i was just pretending along the way. It has been 7 years since our divorce and I wish I could find someone to love but no luck in that department. All I seem to find are players or married men who lie. Holding out hope and my 20 year old is very optimistic and very supportive for me.

Laura - posted on 12/19/2009

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Find your joy in spending the holiday time with your children...and be thankful for them. Even though you have the plan to sever ties with your husband, the holiday season is not the time to dwell on unhappiness. You can best prepare your children by letting them know that despite the separation, there is still happiness in the fact that you have them! I hope you find some peace during the holidays!

Lisa - posted on 12/19/2009

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Quoting Anna:

You aren't the only one Leslie. I am currently in the same situation. My work keeps me "busy" enough to avoid him for days at a time. My son just wants us to stay together, probably because he knows his Dad would "disappear" for days on end. Finally told my husband want to sell the house...tired of living with someone who ignores me in every sense. The things this man does make no sense to me at all.
He claims to be a Christian, but is very different at home. He complains about everything, what I choose to cook, my job, the dog, you name it. I keep promising myself to get out, but stay for the convenience of a place to live I suppose. The bad economy hasn't helped matters at all.
I used to LOVE Christmas and all the joys the holiday would bring. Now I just go through the motions. I have found some joy in taking the money I would traditionally spend on the husband and adopting families to give something to instead. I force myself to buy something for him, but lately it has become a gift for the home, usually something I inevitably want to have I suppose. Last year he didn't even open the present! I'm just trying to "be the better person" in my son's eyes.
My family is hanging out at arms length it seems. They support whatever decision I make. I just think it is so unfair that I have to be the bad guy in my son's eyes and do the leaving...I know that is what he (the husband) is holding out for.
The misery is pronounced I suppose because we remember what we used to have. The love is gone now, but we have to think there will be something better for us, the heaviness weighs on my heart and mind always.
If you every want to "talk", just call on me. Maybe we can support each other.


My 17 y.o. daughter blames me for leaving her dad, but I just can't take any more. He's not a bad person, we are just a bad fit together, esp. the past 12 years or so. I know exactly what you mean about the complaining--my husband and I tried some counseling for almost a year before finally deciding to give up. He said that I was not meeting his needs & that's why he complained so much. I felt ignored, have felt that way for years. He chose drinking and computer games over me for a long time. It's no way to live.



I figure that I will try to find my "happy place," be available to all 4 of my kids (the 3 youngest have chosen to stay with their dad while I get on my feet over the next few months), and we will see what the future holds. I know I'll be a better mom when I'm no longer going through the motions of staying in a relationship that is not working. 



Hang in there Anna & do what your heart tells you is right. There is hope for a brighter future, whenever you're ready to go find it. It's scary as hell, especially the money fears, but I have to believe that what I'm doing is going to work out alright eventually.



Lisa

Deedee - posted on 12/19/2009

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no you are not the only one i m not happy anymore either so the best gift i can give myself is getting back to me too.

Pearlann - posted on 12/19/2009

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No true love here to give either,except to my kids n family!However,i do thank him for that,without him,i would never have had them.Im leaving a 29 year marriage and you are right leslie,its time to control my own destiny.I also want to be a better person,and i think i can do that now as well!As for christmas spirit,that isnt gonna happen,next year,i know i will!This is way to hard and consuming right now.Good luck hun,we will do this! PEARLANN ALIOTO ROMANI

Wendy - posted on 12/18/2009

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My ex claims to be a christian man, but refuses counseling and tells me he is glad two of our grown children have nothing to do with me and hopes they never do. He is very stubborn and bitter and even had family meetings during our divorce to see how much he should give me. As if it were up to him and the kids, we were married 28 years, and he was very selfish. I begged him to get our youngest daughter into counseling and he said she didn't need it I did. He still cries on there shoulders whenever he has to pay me support. The problem is mom's try hard to protect their children and keep them from the hurt. Men on the other hand want to feel vindicated and pull them in. Women aren't suppose to leave men, it's a huge kick to there ego. I went for counseling by myself and my couselor helped me realize that you can't make spouses change if they don't want to and mine had even been told by my family members that he needed to pay attention to his wife and children or he would regret it. Women who leave their husbands usually have quit loving their husbands years before they leave, they just are too scared to go earlier. Women who leave are usually seen as a cruel and heartless, when in fact it's probably the first selfish thing they have done in there life since they were married. Getting out of a bad situation and moving on with a life takes guts, I was scared stiff and to be honest it would have been easier to stay and live my life in seperate rooms of the house,. Now I have a boyfriend and found out what a real relationship is about, give and take and honesty and respect, things I never experienced before and life is good. I still pray for my kids but the one works for his dad and my youngest at 21 lives with dad because he needs someone to take care of him.,( in her words), They after 2 1/2 years are still so bitter and they don't realize that it is damaging to them and there health and if they would forgive and move on life could be good again.

Kristen - posted on 12/17/2009

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Umm... i may be all alone on this one, but may i post a concern? It seems that people today consider only themselves in these decisions. What about the husband... does he needs counselling? More support from his friends? More input from his wife on how she feels etc.? Maybe he is just clueless about what is troubling you. Maybe he could be cajoled into attending some seminar there - Mark Gungor is hilarious btw. He has lots to say to the guys, while making it helpful to the women as well.

I just hate to see something valuable be thrown away if it can be salvaged, that's all. Hope this helps, even though it is not the most popular opinion posted. A marriage is a terrible thing to waste. God bless you as you make the best choice possible, with His guidance.

Wendy - posted on 12/17/2009

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Don't wait until they are adults that's what I did and after 3 years two of them still won't see me. I should have left when they didn't feel the need to take sides and they would have adapted better. Hang in there and smile until Christmas is over and get yourself into counseling with your kids while you go through this. My own siblings where angry with me, I was all alone for the first year of holidays. It's a hard process and you need all the help you can get so do yourself a favor and join a divorce group also. Keep your chin up and be in the moment for your kids sake and then decide your Christmas present will be later when this is done.

[deleted account]

I ended my marriage after 21 years. I had to leave at the worst time in my life: My twin sons had just moved out and I broke my back at work ,ending my Nursing career. I was afraid to be all alone without the only family I had ever known and to be financially destitude on top of it.I decided I would only be able to heal in a healthy environment and my marriage hadnt been healthy for a long time. That was 4 years ago and none of my fears came true I am at least happy now and the Anxiety i felt for so long is gone. Financially i struggle but God always makes a way. I am onlysorry i didnt end it sooner so my sons could have had a better childhood. Fear held me captive for far too long! Be strong Have Faith. One day we look in the mirror and wonder how the years have gone bye so fast.. We cant get time back... Use it wisely!!!!

Cora - posted on 12/16/2009

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I am so sorry to hear that you have being unhappy for so long, but I can tell you it is hard to be on your own with kids, but so worth it in the end. I just ended a n 8yr relationship that I was unhappy in for the last two years and I am so much more happier. I have never being so happy. Life is to short to be unhappy your children probably know that you are unhappy. Talk to them you have options to help you get out. Good luck!! Thinking of you try to have a Merry Christmas!!


Cora Welch
Southwest Harbor, Maine

Nancy - posted on 12/15/2009

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Not the only one, going throught it myself... Not able to stomach another yr. (26 now) with the person that has made my last 15 yrs. miserable...Hang in there, we will be better off without the toxic relationships!!!

Rose - posted on 12/14/2009

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my ex left me on the 21st of dec a couple of years ago for another woman after i helped raise his two daughters. it really tore me up because i thought i still loved him but realized i was with him because he was taking care of me. he married his 3rd wife wife on the 4th of december and it felt so good when i realized i had no feelings left for him. i got the best thing out of the marriage his two daughters still think of me as their only mom and i am grandma to their 4 kids. i have learned to take care of my self even when at times it is scarry. we will all make it through

[deleted account]

Hi Leslie,

No, you are not the only one. I am certain that there are many people around the world in a similar situation. I was in a similar situation many years ago (early 1990s). In fact, I ended up leaving my husband on 27 December after a horrendous final Christmas with him. At the time, my three eldest children were aged 10, 6 & 5. However, after I plucked up the courage to leave (temporarily staying at a friend's house until he moved out, because I had no family nearby), I felt as though a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders and hope appeared on the horizon.

I knew that it was far better for my children to be raised by one, loving parent, than by two who clearly didn't have a future together. Following the divorce, we were all a lot happier.

Several years later, I met my current partner and we had our daughter Lauren together (when I was 40), who is now 10-years-old.

Leaving my ex-husband is, without a doubt, one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

Everyone comes into our lives for a reason, but not all are meant to stay. Once a relationship has outlived its usefulness, or makes you feel constantly drained of your mental, physical and emotional energy, then it is time to move on.

I wish you all the best Leslie.

Jan :-)

Leslie - posted on 12/14/2009

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Elizabeth, I really appreciated your words today. I dont have any relatives in this country, that has always been a sacrey thing for me. But my oldest sons are really men now and that is comforting, but the younger two, well..they understand. I asked them today if they minded of we celebrated Christmas in a Hotel..one said yes and one said no and finances dont really allow for it anyway. I just know I dont want to be here with the Dr. of Doom and Gloom on "MY" Christmas, so Im thinking of packing up picnic basket cause its supposed to be really hot on Christmas and a bunch of sunscreen and just spend the day at the beach swimming eating and surfing. As I write it sounds, "Divine".

Elisabeth - posted on 12/14/2009

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Just 2 years ago I was in your position. No Hon you aren't the only one to go through this. Just muddle through this Christmas season as best as you can and remember that in perspective it is just a phase you are going through.
Let the kids do the decorating and you just hang out with them while they are entrusted with it all. That is what I did when I just couldn't bring myself to do it. And ya know what they did a great job, after all they had been watching me do it for years.
Also, I made sure that we weren't actually there at Christmas and we went to stay with my Dad and his wife. It was a wonderful time we all had. Maybe you can go stay with a family member who lives a few hours away for a few days at Christmas.
By the way I had been married for 24 years...There are many of us who put up with many years of pain before we were just "finished".
Wishing you the very best, peace and growth into the person you are.

Barb - posted on 12/13/2009

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thank u unfortually he lives 15mins away not far enough all the names in the world from him dont upset me i have my life and thats that

Anne-Marie - posted on 12/13/2009

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Hi Leslie

Not at all!! The best thing I did for myself (and my children) was walk away from that. It took me 8 years to build up the courage, and my family were not supportive (divorce is WRONG), but I left and although times are tough financially and I cannot give my children any presents at Christmas I know we are happier on our own. Hang in there, think of yourself and your future, be strong.
Anne-Marie

Barb - posted on 12/13/2009

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thank u dont know y he still bothets talking crapp abouty me he is a christin and preaches 2 a lot of people mayb he should swallow his own advice

Toni - posted on 12/13/2009

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I am sorry you are going through all this no matter the time of year. Make sure you don't forget to breathe as well. After you get everything in motion you will feel better and that will reflect in your children. My first marriage at the end was a disaster. Not all the years were bad and even though since the divorce he has done some pretty low stuff I no longer hided my true feelings about him from my children they are adults and can see it themselves. I wish you all the best on this endeavor you will come out stronger.

Leslie - posted on 12/13/2009

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Thankyou Ruth, my counsellor read a page from a book called, "Feel the fear and do it anyway" i dont know if you've heard of it. But it became my motto last year after two of my brothers died suddenly. I've been able to overcome a number of previous fears. But of course the biggest one right now is that I do not want to launch my children in to a life of poverty just because I cant stand their father. But they "know everything" anyway so Im just living a lie if I stay any longer. I know this, but Im not a spring chicken anymore and I will have to reinvent myself once again. That's the hard part!

Anyway thanks for the encouragement. I hope you have great Christmas!

Leslie - posted on 12/13/2009

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I've lived here for 22 years but I am originally from the USA, the Pacific Northwest Area.My true support network all live back in the US, but I just cant afford to live there anymore so I just have to stick it out. At least God has been gracious enough to let me live out what at times feel likes incarceration (in relative paradise) in a "kid friendly" neighbourhood. I do thank God everyday for what I "Do" have but sometimes women just have to marry lemons to survive in the hopes that we can make lemonade. I have been making an abundance of lemonade for 11 years, but now its time to "get out" and start growing better "fruit" I want my energy to be used for positive pursuits not just maintaining an unfullfilling existence. yes I will get the kids to help me decorate, good idea, and its really them that matters anyway.

Ruth - posted on 12/13/2009

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I live in NY and in my first marriage I was with my sons father for 12 yrs not all where bad but the ending was. My son was 11 yrs old when I left his dad and even though I struggled with my son with no support from his dad at all I made it with no regrets or looking back! ...

Debra - posted on 12/13/2009

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There is a fantastic book you should read, "SOMETHING MORE, Excavating Your Authentic Self" by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It helped me immensely make decisions, get to know myself again and regain confidence and self esteem, through some of the same decisions you are faced with now. I am recently divorced after a 33 year marriage.

The holidays are a tough time anyway for everyone, but especially in a circumstance such as this. Make decisions that are right for you, that represent your authentic self,

not in a negative way, but in the essence of who you truly are as the magnificent human being you came into the world as. Sometimes I found it incredibly hard to promote a positive outcome, but I was determined to never speak negatively about my childrens' father. They are smart kids and saw things firsthand, they knew. But when I spoke to them lovingly about things, it helped them to be more relaxed and positive. Divorce and separation are difficult for us all. With children, it will be hard at first, change always is. But eventually they will understand and come around.

The best Christmas gift you can give yourself is to learn to love yourself, understand yourself, take care of yourself and be compassionate to yourself, and that is a gift that will last forever and be passed down to your children. They will see an incredibly strong woman and they will learn to make true decisions for themselves as they grow. Charity begins at home, in your heart towards yourself.

My thoughts are with you as you consider which direction to take at this "crossroads".

May you be filled with peace this Christmas season!

Barb - posted on 12/13/2009

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i have been divorced from my ex 4 a long time now andstill 2 this day he still is saying bad things to the kidsabout me kids r 21 20 17 14 y do they do this life is 2 short 4 crapp like that we cant stand each other but y cant he shut his mouth i cant b bothered he thinks im a evil bitch i dont care my son who works and lives with him gets crapp from him about all the time i just tell him 2 keep ignoring him what is rong with ex husbands life is 2 short

Linda - posted on 12/13/2009

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AUSTRALIA IS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL PLACE, I'VE NEVER BEEN THERE BUT HAVE SEE PICTURES AND WATCHED PROGRAMS ON TV ABOUT AUSTRALIA...

Linda - posted on 12/13/2009

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WELL HANG IN THERE... DON'T GIVE UP AND LET YOUR KIDS HELP YOU DECORATE... MY SON LOVES TO PUT ORNAMENTS ON THE TREE.. I HAVE TO TRY AND STAY POSITIVE AT CHRISTMAS TOO, SINCE I'M A SINGLE MOM AND LIVE OFF OF DISABILITY, I HAVE LITTLE TO NO MONEY TO BUY CHRISTMAS FOR MY SON THIS YEAR, HIS DAD DOESN'T PAY ANY CHILD SUPPORT, LIKE HES' SUPPOSED TO... IT'S VERY HARD FOR ME TOO ON HOLIDAYS... AND MY FAMILY DON'T EVEN HELP ME... BUT I LOVE MY SON AND DO THE BEST THAT I CAN FOR HIM AND WE HAVE A LOT OF FUN TOGETHER.. HE'S 11, WILL BE 12 MARCH 5TH OF 2010..

Leslie - posted on 12/13/2009

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Being positive is the hard part I cant even get into decorating, and I usually love decorating! But its really hot here (Australia) thats why. The heat gets too much for me. But Im planning to get up early in the morning tomorrow and finish the decorating before everyone wakes up cuz today I just couldnt get into it, partly heat and partly depression.

Linda - posted on 12/13/2009

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WELL I SURE CAN UNDERSTAND WHERE YOU'RE COMING FROM... MY LAST MARRIAGE, WAS A NIGHTMARE, MY EX IS BI POLAR AND WAS ABUSIVE. SO I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL... MY SON AND I ARE SO MUCH HAPPIER SINCE WE GOT A DIVORCE, AND HE'S IN AZ AND WE'RE IN IL... I DO ALLOW MY SON TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH HIS FATHER, BUT I TRY TO HAVE AS LITTLE TO DO WITH HIM AS POSSIBLE.. I REALLY CAN'T STAND HIM... WELL, GOOD LUCK TO YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN... KEEP YOUR HEAD HELD HI AND TRY TO BE AS POSITIVE AS POSSIBLE THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS, FOR YOUR CHILDREN....

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