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On the Edge of Divorce

Updated on August 18, 2010


I wrote these words with the intention of encouraging any man or woman to consider carefully the fallout caused by divorce. Choosing divorce may be a personal decision, but it affects many people; family and friends.

Please don’t misunderstand; I am not in any way considering divorce from my beautiful bride. She's stuck with me until I die! :)


A few weeks ago my little boy entered the house with a downward stare. His chubby red cheeks smudged with dust and sweat, he attempted to slip through the living room without attracting my attention. A simple question stopped him in his tracks, “What’s going on little buddy?” He turned his back to me, arms tightly crossed, his little feet firmly planted and said, “Nothing… dad.”

I realized it was going to take some careful prodding to get the story out of him, so I proceeded with caution. After convincing him to crawl up on my lap, he recounted the events that had upset him. It seemed that in his 3 year old perception of the world he had been terribly wronged by his little friend Austin. The affront was so severe that he concluded that he could no longer “be his friend.” Austin had taken his favorite truck without permission and broke it. To my boy, this was an unpardonable crime.

After a few tears, he clinched his fist and proclaimed, “I am never playing with Austin AGAIN!” I reminded him that Austin had been his best friend since he had started walking. After a few words of encouragement and a reminder of times when he, too, had broken a few of Austin’s toys he began to soften a little.

“Are you sure you want to cut him off because he broke your truck? You can always get another truck, but best friends are much more difficult to find. Sometimes best friends are a lot of trouble, but they’re always worth it.”

He still wasn’t sure he was ready to forgive Austin. My attempt to reason with him didn’t sink in quite as neatly as I had hoped, but I could see the wheels turning in his sparkling grey eyes. He has his mother’s eyes and, thankfully, her beautiful thick hair.

After about 30 minutes of playing alone in his room, boredom encouraged him to give Austin another chance.

Reasoning with a three year old can be a challenge. His logic is based on a world view that is simple and pure. The complications and intricacies of adulthood tend to skew those simple, pure, and logical thought processes that we possessed as children. It’s a shame, really.

Today I sit in a house that does not belong to me. I needed a place to stay away from my little guy’s mother for a while. She and I have been at odds for months and I am not sure we will be able to make amends. She has broken my will to work on our marriage and I am not sure I am able to forgive her for that crime. And even if I could forgive her, she isn’t going to stop breaking my ‘things’ and I don’t think I want to be her friend any more.

Man does that sound juvenile! Even as I write the words I cannot help but ask myself if I am a man or a three year old. Maybe a few months of boredom in my ‘room’ here at my own place will bring me back to my senses.

Maybe not. Maybe I don’t want to behave like a grown up!

A little over 10 years ago I made a promise before man and God to love, honor and cherish this woman until death we did part. I was pushing thirty when I decided to leap into marriage. I was young and idealistic, yet a little wiser than some of my friends who married much earlier in life.

Today I find myself teetering on the edge of a life changing decision. I really don’t know what waits at the bottom of the cliff I now find myself standing on; I’m not even sure if I’ll survive the fall. 

How I got here is complicated. Life has a way of altering the best laid plans. You see, I thought I had everything figured out. I thought my wife would always be supportive. I was cocky. I knew I could figure out any of the unexpected things that might surface as we navigated through the intricacies of marriage.

The specifics are irrelevant. Truth is, I am not sure I am committed enough to tackle the current issues that have pushed my marriage to the brink. My wife’s demands are nearly impossible to meet. She is far too controlling. Her disrespect stifles and emasculates my will to commit to our relationship.

I’m not saying I’m perfect. I’m not even saying I’ve lived up to the promise I made at the marriage alter. I’d even go as far as to say I’ve been a terrible husband at times. I won’t try to justify my actions. I just wish she would bend a little and work with me, rather than push me out of the way so she can control the direction of our lives.

She’s reckless! She doesn’t consider any of the consequences for her actions until after the fact! She tells me to take control then fights me every inch of the way when I attempt to do so. She’s an anomaly that I do not have the patience to unravel.

Well intentioned friends give me their considered opinions. They say things like, “Stay for the sake of your kids. You made a commitment. How will you explain your decision to your children? Do you want another man to take your place in their lives?” They don’t know what I have put up with for the past ten years.

I can survive without her. She smoothers me to the point that I hardly recognize my own reflection. Marrying her was a huge mistake and now I must decide how to proceed.

Today I sat watching my children chase each other around my parent’s backyard. My dad (a very proud grandpa) commented on how my little girl glides when she runs. Her little brother hops and lumbers after her, trying to keep up. He giggles as he rumbles along as fast as his little legs will go. I drink in the sights and sounds, yet I find the whole scene surreal. This is just one of the many events I will miss out on if I end my marriage.

I love my children more than anything in this world. I cannot fathom living my life without them- or worse yet- allowing another man to be a part of their shaping their ideas, morals, and life decisions. Yet, I am not sure if I love them enough to put up with their mother. Is the resentment and abandonment they are certain to wrestle with later in life worth my short term happiness? It sure does sound selfish when I think of it on those terms. Will walking away now for a little relief be worth it 10 years down the road? I’d rather not think about it. I’ve always been a “live in the moment” kind of guy and those tough questions can be dealt with later…

The thing is I have ten years of memories. Memories are nasty little buggers. They have this insidious tendency of weaseling into my mind no matter how hard I try to squeeze them out. I hate the fact I cannot control their relentless bombardment.

Don’t misunderstand, not all of them are bad: the birth of my children, buying our first home, first birthdays, vacations alone with my wife, and with the kids, are all memories I once cherished. Trips to the emergency room, first steps, watching my son step on to the bus the first time; these are just a few of the memories that sear my mind as I stand on the edge of this cliff.

Divorcing the mother of my beautiful children will bring me immediate deliverance from her onslaught of manipulation and free me to do the things that I want to do. Am I really too selfish to consider what is best for the three people in this world to which I have pledged my life?

In the end, it comes down to a one question; what do I value most?


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Sounds familiar.

    • chamilj profile image


      7 years ago from Sri Lanka

      Interesting hub for married people or going to be married. Thanks!

    • ChristineVianello profile image


      7 years ago from Philadelphia

      I am very interested in this hub, I did notice that it is not about you. I hope that your friend can make his marrige work. Life is interesting in how you can be amazinly happy one moment and question it years later. One can make the decision to be with one person for the rest of their life and feel completly wrong the next. I believe in marrige and hope they can work out the differences.

    • Stay at Home Dad profile imageAUTHOR

      Stay at Home Dad 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      My wife had to do the same thing. Her first husband would not seek help for his anger issues and she had no choice.

      And... I have always believed (and it has been proven to me many times) that God takes care of those who do the right thing.

      My first wife left me for another man, and God put Tina and I together and we have a beautiful family. Everything I ever wanted out of my first marriage was given to me when I met Tina. I do not believe in luck... so how else can you explain it? (=

    • Karen N profile image

      Karen N 

      8 years ago from United States

      Divorce in most cases is very sad, so I was glad to see that you wasn't actually writing about your own situation.

    • Healing Touch profile image

      Laura Arne 

      8 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

      I really liked this hub. I did serve my ex back in 02 because he was so very verbally and psychologically abusive. It was the hardest decision to have to make. I did enter into therapy and rated all pro's and con's. In my case, I knew it would be best if we were apart since then my children could get some peace of mind, as I.

      This was eight years ago, and even as a christian woman, I never look back, because I did not die inside anymore and my children are stable and happy kids and they know we both love them.

      I dont mind that this was not about you at all. I think it should be applauded that you value the sacridity of marriage and care enough for your friend that you would suggest looking at all the pros and cons.

      Healing touch

    • Stay at Home Dad profile imageAUTHOR

      Stay at Home Dad 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Hannah Ministries-

      God always takes care of His own and it sounds as though he has done so for you. God bless you and your ministry and thank you for taking the time to comment.


      Forty Years! Wow! That is awesome. I hope I live long enough to celebrate my forty year anniversary. And you are so right about love and respect. Those two things can definitely "make or break" any relationship.

    • stars439 profile image


      8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Dear create a page : I like this hub. My wife and I have ben married forty years. I am not perfect and neither is my wife. Respect is very important in a marriage. Both should respect each other. People will always fight. Frustration causes a lot of weird behavior in most people.

      I take love and respect seriously. I think my wife does too. God Bless You.

    • Hannah Ministries profile image

      Hannah Ministries 

      8 years ago

      I really felt sorry for you, and now I understand that it was not you!

      Divorce is a sad thing because even the 'bad' person, (meaning selfish,adultred or ....) is hurt by it!

      not to speak about the children!

      I nver have been divorced but widowed and even as a widower I felt betrayed for some time by my desesed husband. We were 33. I felt that he took the 'easy way out' but he was sick and died of natural causes. I'm now happily married with a great guy. Missionary for God. Bye

      I became fan

    • Stay at Home Dad profile imageAUTHOR

      Stay at Home Dad 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Emilina,

      Your observations are dead on!

      I, too, have been through divorce. My first wife and I were married for nearly 12 years before she walked away from our marriage.

      It would be safe to say my ex-wife left me because of pure selfishness. I was not a perfect husband by any means, but I had done nothing that warrented divorce.

      Call it Karma, but I am now married to a wonderful woman that I could not love more. She and I have two beautiful children together, and a third on the way.

      My 2 cents worth... Do the right thing at all times, treat people with kindness and respect, do your best to live the Christian life and things will work out fine for you. It worked for me... =)

    • Emilina profile image


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      This is very interesting i am knew i just joined and was just trying to learn how to use this hub thing and got to you like that, maybe because just that word divorce is so different its cold and scary when you have been through one so when i read your hub i was curious and you are right if there is something that destroys marriages or any kind of relationships that would be selfishness i think if you want to involve someone in your life whether it would be a friendship or relationship always consider that the moment someone else comes to you life you would have to stop been selfish as at that moment you are committing to that person.

    • Stay at Home Dad profile imageAUTHOR

      Stay at Home Dad 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      I almost included the emotional abuse. This is one of those case by case ones for me because it can be subjective. I will not deny that extreme emotional abuse exists nor that it is detestable.

      Thanks again for your thoughtful comments... SHD

    • create a page profile image

      create a page 

      9 years ago from Maryland, USA

      I agree with everything you have written here. You have given a totally unbiased synopsis and I really appreciate your openness here. You mentioned 'I do believe there are circumstances that do justify divorce', and you proceeded to state that in the event of infidelity and physical abuse. I agree with you wholeheartedly, and may I also add emotional abuse is just as dangerous in a relationship.

      I had to get that out of you, because I did not want anyone to feel guilty about their relationship terminating when they were not at fault.

      Thanks for taking the time to explain.

    • Stay at Home Dad profile imageAUTHOR

      Stay at Home Dad 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      The first consideration is; are there children involved? What message is sent to the children if the marriage ends? Well kids, yes… I did promise your mother and God that I would love her and stay committed to her until I am no longer alive. However, your mother is not the person I thought she was, she has gained a little weight, she isn’t a very good mother, she doesn’t treat me like I want to be treated, yadda – yadda - yadda. Or… the real reason; the one you don’t share with the kids, “I met another girl that I like much better than your mommy.”

      If spouses decide to get remarried, those precious children become precious stepchildren. When I remarried, my wife’s 7 year old son and I bonded almost instantly. Now that he is 14 and my wife and I have two children of our own, and another on the way, the relationship I have with my stepson has become a little strained. As any normal teenager would do, he now questions my position of authority in his life. He reminds me from time to time, when I don’t let him do something he wants to do, I am ‘not his real father’. Then there is the added dynamic of another parent that wants to assert his/her influence over decisions that involve his/her child.

      I am not saying that marrying a person with children or bringing your own children into a marriage is an impossible situation. I will tell you that the addition of stepchildren and their ‘other’ parent, does add another layer of stress. There are times when I lose patience with my own precious babies. There are times when they are disobedient or disrespectful and I do not like them very much. However, there is a bond that cannot be broken between flesh and blood that is not as strong between stepparents and their stepchildren.

      Let’s suppose there are no children involved. Let’s say two young people get married, and about 5-6 years into the marriage they decide that would rather be on their own. Let’s say it’s mutual. Those two young people have invested time and energy into each other for a number of years and those memories will never completely fade. On top of that, if they do get into another serious relationship, and their partner finds out that their previously marriage simply faded over time, what assurance do they have that the same won’t happen again. I look at it as investing in a corporation that you know will eventually fail. You put your hard earned capitol and effort into something knowing all of your efforts will yield absolutely nothing. Where is the incentive?

      After my first marriage ended in 2002, I was pretty certain I would marry again someday. I was only 33, and I still wanted very much to have children. One of the first questions I asked every girl I dated after my divorce was, “What caused your last relationship/marriage to end?” The answers were very enlightening. If I had the feeling that a relationship ended because the girl I was dating simply ‘grew tired’ of her past spouse, I moved on. Hey, I am pretty good guy, but I am not so naïve to think that someone won’t ‘grow tired’ of me at some point as well.

      I do believe there are circumstances that do justify divorce. Cases of physical abuse and infidelity, of course, are two where I do not believe there is any question. I am not saying that divorce should be the automatic choice, but I certainly believe that an individual has the right to walk away from a relationship if these two abuses are present. There are other scenarios where divorce may also be the only option, but they are case by case and I do not feel qualified to give an absolute yes or no on those.

      Finally, there is that whole karma thing. My first wife of nearly 12 years walked out on me for another man. She gave me the worn out spiel about never being in love with me and she even went as far as to say I would be better off without her. I vehemently disagreed and desperately attempted to convince her not to go through with divorce. In the end, from the information I have gathered, things didn’t work out very well for her. I, on the other hand, met a wonderful woman and have three wonderful children (two of which are my own) and another on the way. Everything I ever wanted out of life has been fulfilled with my new bride. Simple logic would illustrate that karma (actually God, in my opinion) has a way of taking care of things in the end. I am convinced that things worked out the way they did because of the actions taken by me and by my ex-wife. It was she that wanted out, it was she that had an affair, and it was she that hired a divorce attorney.

      Well, that is a ‘brief’ synopsis of my take on your question. I know there are people who do end their marriage and move on and do just fine. However, if those people are honest, they will tell you that there are thoughts and emotions that linger and never completely go away.

    • create a page profile image

      create a page 

      9 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Thanks for your timely response. I would like to add also that I think the photo with the man on the cliff is beautiful and it makes a significant point. It was a great choice.

    • Stay at Home Dad profile imageAUTHOR

      Stay at Home Dad 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Hey There c.a.p! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I love to write in first person and I feel as though I have lived through this myself with my friend.

      Now to your question: the short answer is yes. I absolutely think that marriage vows are sacred and not to be taken lightly or discarded on a whim.

      The long answer is much more involved and subject to individual circumstances. I will take a little time and give you a considered response as soon as I am able.

    • create a page profile image

      create a page 

      9 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Stay at Home Dad I enjoyed reading your hub. I felt just like the other readers that you were referring to yourself throughout the hub, but I think I like that approach. It was unique and you made your point. I was relieved that you were not the one contemplating divorce.

      I have a question for you though. Would you encourage a couple to stay married if they have both drifted apart to the extent that they have nothing in common? In addition, do you think it is worth it to reconcile if they are living separate and happily moving on with their individual lives? I am not asking a fictitious question, the situation really exists for a couple that is living apart.

      Thank you for a well written hub. Have you written a book? You have an awesome writing style.

    • Stay at Home Dad profile imageAUTHOR

      Stay at Home Dad 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Hey There poetlorraine!

      I certainly have a wonderful wife. I am no doubt fortunate to have the life I have today. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond... I am off to read your hub you wrote with your granddaughter... :-)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i kinda thought this was about you at first, glad it is not, having read your profile page.....

      You sound like a really lovely understanding person, with a wonderful wife, and well just everything kinda sussed out. Looking forward to reading more of your hubs... i wrote one with my grand daughter today, if you have time i would love to know what you think of it.....

    • Stay at Home Dad profile imageAUTHOR

      Stay at Home Dad 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      I appreciate your candor. My intent was never to betray or gloat, but I can definitely see how my approach could be viewed as such.

      My first wife and I divorced after nearly 12 years of marriage and I have experienced many of the emotions I worked through in this piece. Fortunately, we had no children together and have no need for additional communication.

      I have a very significant person in my life who is contemplating divorce. I feel as though I have lived through this with him and I am so frustrated at his inability to look at the situation more objectively. This piece was my opportunity to vent as well as -hopefully- give him a little perspective and something to mull over.

      Again, I apologize for causing you to feel betrayed. I really do appreciate your willingness to not only share your considered opinion, but to also take the time to explain your thoughts. I will make a few adjustments and hope that you will keep reading.

      All the best to you... SHD

    • Storytellersrus profile image


      9 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      I've been thinking about this hub a lot. I don't like to make discouraging comments. I think the reason I felt betrayed is because you made your disclosure at the end. Here at hubpages, people do tell their stories. So reading this initially, I assumed you were telling yours. I felt compassion and yet there weren't the normal ranting details. When a person is in this situation, there are so many raging details. I was a bit overwhelmed with your mature approach. But then I discovered why. No one really knows what goes on behind closed doors. I like that you are trying to understand your friend. I do. I like that a lot. But it's almost like at the end you gloat. If you were to put the disclosure at the beginning and then write the piece, I think it could be pretty significant.

    • Storytellersrus profile image


      9 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      I feel let down. Not that I wanted you to get divorced. I did not. But to discover it was all a lark? I feel betrayed. You see, I've been there, done that and not gotten divorced. If a friend of mine had written something this... self righteous... attempting to make me change my mind? Wow. Can't even fathom it. Sorry, but I feel really let down.

    • Stay at Home Dad profile imageAUTHOR

      Stay at Home Dad 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      I apologize for doing that to you... :)

      This hub is intertwined with experiences from my own life and things I made up to support the topic of the story.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment...

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You know, I was reading through your hubs because of the one you posted about Akitas, and after reading a couple of your others and your bio I was heartbroken to read this one!

      Then I read the end. :)

    • Stay at Home Dad profile imageAUTHOR

      Stay at Home Dad 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Olivia...

      I wrote this hub specifically for someone I know. He is acting very selfish, and his wife is not helping much, either.

      Fortunately, my wife and I have a wonderful marriage.

      I have learned through the years that selfishness is perhaps the most destructive force on any relationship.

      The whole idea of marriage is the giving of one's self to your spouse. Selfishness robs the relationship of that vital core element.

      If you do not mind, I will add you and your husband to my prayer list. I will pray that you will both realize the value of your relationship and work things out. It looks as though you have a beautiful baby girl to consider as well. She needs you both in her life!

      Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment. All the best to you and your family... :) SHD


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