- Gender and Relationships
Divorce-What men really think. The point of view of my husband
Why Write This Hub?
My husband has been a firefighter for over 20 years. He works a 24 hour on 48 hour off schedule. He and the guys on his crew are pretty close due to the amount of time they spend together. He has a friend, we'll call him Bob, who is in the process of getting a divorce. He and his wife have been separated for about a year and Bob no longer lives in the family home. Their two boys, who are 15 and 13, live with their mom and Bob gets to see them twice a week.
Chris, my husband, is disturbed by the whole situation and we talk frequently about it. Our discussions have really opened my eyes to the way he really feels about the issues of marriage and family. I've learned a lot about my man through our discussions and I wanted to write a hub about his feelings on the matter and his advice to both husbands and wives who may be contemplating on separating or getting divorced.
It's all about the kids
My husband grew up the child of divorced parents. He didn't see is father and was raised by a stepfather who cared more about keeping up appearances than building a relationship with him. His stepfather's attitude has carried on to the way he acts toward our children. He tells other's about his step grandchildren and their accomplishments when in reality he never sees them and has absolutely no relationship whatsoever $6 with them.
My husband understands personally how a divorce has a negative effect on children. In Bob's case his soon to be exwife is so angry with him she limits the contact he has with his sons. She has blocked his telephone number from all of their telephones and forces Bob to go through her when he wants to speak to the boys. She also controls when and how long he can see his boys and insists on being present when he spends time with them. His oldest boy is not handling the situation well and is growing more and more angry with the both of them as time goes on. He sees his parents acting like spoiled children instead of the adults he needs them to be and his insecurity is manifesting itself in negative behaviors. Boys, especially teenage boys, need to have a strong male role model in their lives if they want to grow up to be well adjusted men. Unfortunately in this case Bob and his wife have chosen to place themselves and their own wants and desires before the well being of their sons and it will be the boys who will ultimately pay the price for their selfishness.
You didn't marry to gain a roommate
The main reason that Bob said that the left his wife is due to her lack of participation in a physical relationship with him. (I don't want to get my hub's advertising flagged). He had not had "relations" with her in over four years and had moved out of their bedroom two years ago. It was important for him to have his needs met inside of the marriage and when his wife was unwilling to "accommodate" him he grew more and more frustrated until he got to the point where he felt leaving was his only option. That being said-after he moved out he immediately began a physical relationship with a friend of his wife and he is actually living with her now.
Ok lets deal with these two situations separately, the first issue being lack of intimacy in a marriage. My husband stressed to me that it is important for a man to have "relations" in a marriage. Males have a physical "need" that must be satisfied. He likens it to the need to breath, eat, and sleep. If a man is not being taken care of in a marriage it is in his biologic makeup to have those needs taken care of elsewhere. A woman on the other hand craves intimacy and longs for the closeness that "relations" bring. If she is not feeling close to her mate it often reflect in her bedroom behavior.
If a couple is experiencing issues in the bedroom it is the responsibility of both parties to address the problem. It isn't fair for one person to expect the other to abstain from sexual activity just as it isn't fair for one partner to demand physicality from the other when they are not providing them with the emotional support they need. Both partners need to take responsibility for their part in the problem and the whole issue needs to be addressed and dealt with before one of them does something that will ultimately cause the marriage to fail.
The second situation is more cut and dry. Both my husband and I agree that Bob was an idiot to take up with his wife's friend. He just succeeded in making a bad situation worse. To complicate the matter even more not only were Bob's wife and his new girlfriend friends, but their boys are friends as well. His poor judgement and lack of control has stirred up a whole new hornet's nest of problems that he has to deal with on a daily basis. Excuse my french but he is a dumb ass and deserves every sleepless night he gets.
You can't make someone come back to you by being unreasonable
Bob wants out of the marriage. He has offered to give his wife sole ownership of the family home, a $200,000 house that only lacks a few thousand dollars before it is paid completely off, the family Tahoe and Hummer, and pay her alimony and child support. He wants full ownership of his pension and joint custody of the boys.
Bob's wife doesn't want to get divorced. I am sure that she doesn't want her husband with her friend either, but her behavior isn't making things any easier for her. Rather than taking accountability for her part in failure of the marriage and working to change she is trying to make Bob come back to her by making things as difficult as possible for him. She wants to have sole ownership of everything that is currently in her possession-which is basically everything except for Bob's clothes and his truck. She wants sole custody of the boys and wants to dictate that the boys can not be in the presence of any female that is unrelated to them when Bob has them. She wants full alimony and child support and half of Bob's pension. She also wants Bob to continue to support her daughter from a previous marriage.
It is so obvious by her behavior that she is trying to paint Bob into a corner and force him to come back to her. It is also obvious that Bob doesn't want to be controlled and is not willing to meet her demands just to have divorce papers. They are currently in a stand-off where neither of them wants to budge an inch. They remind me of two Dr. Suess characters-The Northbound Zax and the Southbound Zax both of whom were unwilling to step to the side to let the other by. Their stubborness and unwilingness to change resulted in them being frozen in place while life went on all around them.
What's The Solution
Except in the case of abuse or addiction divorce is rarely the answer. The entire family unit suffers. When children are involved it is the responsibility of both parents to put the best interests of the kids first and do everything in their power to try to work things out. If they can't work it out then both parties need to be mature and make the transition as easy as possible on everyone. Divorce is never easy, but there is absolutely no reason it has to be painful.
Bob's issues with his wife have actually brought my husband and I closer. As we enter a new phase of our lives together, the phase of trying to discover who we both are after raising our children, we've come to the conclusion that we are lucky to have one another. Sure we argue sometimes and don't always agree, but we both have the others best interest at heart and love each other deeply-and really when all is said and done isn't that all that truly matters?