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Were you the child of divorce?

I'm currently talking to a guy but it's nothing serious yet. When he was 14, his father abandoned the family and married another woman. It affected this guy profoundly, it seems (he didn't talk to his father for years).

How does divorce affect people as adults, particularly their relationships? I'm genuinely curious to hear your experience. I have a lot of trust issues of my own and wonder if this is not a recipe for disaster.

by Anonymousreply 104March 22, 2023 3:16 AM

Didn't the Idaho Killer used to frequent social media sites to get strangers to discuss their traumas?

by Anonymousreply 1March 1, 2023 9:54 AM

r1 is an appropriately cunty r1

by Anonymousreply 2March 1, 2023 10:00 AM

No, OP. My parents remained married.and continued to fight, which can be just as bad. They should have divorced a long time ago.

by Anonymousreply 3March 1, 2023 10:03 AM

I am not a child of divorce, but I fervently wished my parents would separate and spare us from their constant drama. My aunt and uncle finally divorced after years of unhappy marriage when my cousins and I were teenagers. My cousins used that as an excuse to go completely off the rails and behave like selfish, immature brats. We're now all in our 40s (but only I could still pass as 28 😉) and they still blame their parents for every single thing that goes wrong in their lives. Frankly, I think it's an absolute cop out. Our parents screw us up regardless of their relationship status. When I hear adults complaining about being children of divorce, I want to viciously slap them and tell them to grow the fuck up.

by Anonymousreply 4March 1, 2023 10:05 AM

My mother abandoned my father, younger sister and I several times beginning when I was 8 to run off and live with a couple of different men. I have never been able to feel comfortable enough to stay in a relationship, although I am a very loyal friend who has maintained healthy longterm friendships . My sister on the other hand has been happily married over 30 years to the same man. Even though my sister and I are only 15 months apart age wise , we are polar opposite in how the abandonment has affected us individually.

by Anonymousreply 5March 1, 2023 10:06 AM

Condolences to you, R3. I know that feeling too well.

by Anonymousreply 6March 1, 2023 10:06 AM

I wish my parents had divorced but it wasn't even legal in this country for the first twelve years of their marriage.

by Anonymousreply 7March 1, 2023 10:12 AM

[quote] My mother abandoned my father, younger sister and I …

Oh, dear. I’m sorry for your troubles, but would you really say, “My mother abandoned I?”

No, I think you would say “me” — as in, “My mother abandoned my father, younger sister, and me.”

Why do people think “I” is always correct?

by Anonymousreply 8March 1, 2023 11:03 AM

^ there’s a scene in “Up The Down Staircase” where this very vulnerable teenager pours her heart out to a teacher that she has a huge crush 😻 on. He corrects the grammar in the letter in front of her but never mentions the deep, deep feelings she conveyed. You should see what happens next!

by Anonymousreply 9March 1, 2023 11:13 AM

Another OP relying on THE DL to do their Psych 101 homework for them.

by Anonymousreply 10March 1, 2023 11:23 AM

Imagine enduring a traumatic childhood only to be cunted on DL by the likes of r8

by Anonymousreply 11March 1, 2023 11:33 AM

Marry me, r9!!!

by Anonymousreply 12March 1, 2023 12:39 PM

Ok, it’s a deal! 💍

by Anonymousreply 13March 1, 2023 12:53 PM

My parents separated when I was 9. My Mom and sister (age 11) cried constantly and my sister was constantly being picked up from school by Mom because she would cry hysterically over the split. I could hear my Mom crying herself to sleep at night. Mom lost her virginity to Dad and they "had" to get married. Mom wanted to be a homemaker (old term for stay-at-home Mom) so she didn't work when we were young (4 kids; 2 grown when Dad left). He had moved us from NY, where both had family, to the boondocks of NJ so she was essentially alone. He moved back to NY.

Because of my sister's hysterics and my Mom crying herself to sleep, I didn't share how I was feeling. I just ate my feelings as was a fat kid in grade school. By middle and HS, I was thinner.

My Dad got a shark for a lawyer so Mom only got alimony for 2 years since she was young enough (in her late 30s) to get a job and support herself. He actually told my Mom that he never loved her. Dad paid $250/month each for my sister and I until we were 18. and she got, I think, $500/month in alimony .I watched Mom go to community college to get her AA and then college for her BS in Accounting. She eventually got a good job, was able to save money, and take care of herself, pay off the house and buy new cars with cash.

When she died in 2016, I was looking for her huge smoky topaz ring. All I found was the setting. At some point, she had had to sell most of her really good jewelry to take of the house and us girls. I was so sad to learn that she never let us know how we were really struggling. My sister and I went on class trips and always had nice clothes. We had no clue.

Because of the way my Mom was treated, I never let myself rely so heavily on a man. In fact, one guy a dated for a couple of years actually told me I didn't need him. I didn't understand what he meant. I can fix general things around the house. No one needs a man for that. I think what he meant was that I didn't seem to need him emotionally. After seeing what my Mom went through, I never wanted to be in that position. I have a great job, a condo that's almost paid off, my eldest sister nearby and we are close. I may die alone but who doesn't?

by Anonymousreply 14March 1, 2023 1:03 PM

I was not. My parents have been happily married for 62 years. My siblings have all been married for 30+ years. I have been in a LTR for nearly 20 years. However, I do not know a single person who was a child of divorce who has had a long-term, stable marriage.

by Anonymousreply 15March 1, 2023 1:16 PM

r15 how do you define "long-term"?

by Anonymousreply 16March 1, 2023 1:23 PM

",,, nearly 20 years."

by Anonymousreply 17March 1, 2023 2:05 PM

r16, a long-term, stable marriage I would give 10 years. I don't believe that all marriages are intended to last forever, and that people will hit rocky patches. It depends on whether or not they make an honest go of working through it, or cutting losses before things get worse.

I've been to four weddings in the past 10 years before Covid, both gay and straight, where I could tell the couples were planning a wedding and not a marriage. At least one half of each couple was a child of divorce. All couples divorced within five years. It's a very sad and expensive mistake to make.

by Anonymousreply 18March 1, 2023 2:10 PM

Interesting, r18. I have two cousins (sisters) whose mother abandoned them when they were very young (under 5). They're both currently married, and although I'm not close to them, I'd be surprised if either of them are still married within ten years.

by Anonymousreply 19March 1, 2023 2:56 PM

I persuaded my father to leave my mother after she had the audacity to put cut up hotdogs in her macaroni & cheese.

I hope she landed on her feet.

The very idea.

by Anonymousreply 20March 1, 2023 2:59 PM

After she got pregnant, my Mom started to have misgivings about her marriage to my Dad. He was in the Navy and they were overseas. She left him and went to live with her parents.

They attempted reconciliation before I was born, but it didn’t work and they were divorced before my first birthday.

One of my first childhood friends had “cool parents” that were friends with my Mom. Us two kids were close and did most everything together. When he was about 10, his parents split up, devastating him. I had moved away, but we still wrote each other and his letters grew more and more strange. He had vigilante ideation, withdrew into comics and video games, and became more anti-social.

Fast forward 35 years and we’ve reconnected. He seems much better adjusted and admitted just what a number his parents did on him back then.

I’ve always thought that the earlier the divorce happens, the better.

by Anonymousreply 21March 1, 2023 3:47 PM

[quote]I’ve always thought that the earlier the divorce happens, the better.

Interesting observation r21

by Anonymousreply 22March 1, 2023 4:02 PM

Was a child of separation where the parents ended up living in different places with different people but marriage was maintained so that everyone was still on my dad's autoworkers' benefits plan.

by Anonymousreply 23March 1, 2023 4:47 PM

The children of divorce are forever scarred. Disturbed. Like introverts, or those on the spectrum, gingers. The tattooed. They all must be avoided.

Only then can peace reign.

by Anonymousreply 24March 1, 2023 4:55 PM

My parents "stayed together for the kids," but they fought all the time and were very unhappy. As soon as we were all grown and gone, they divorced.

I wish they had divorced much earlier, and no, I've never been able to maintain a LTR. The longest relationship I've been in was 5 years -- and I should have ended it much, much sooner than that.

Still, I love being alone and living alone (especially since I lost my sex drive after menopause).

by Anonymousreply 25March 1, 2023 4:56 PM

[quote]r5 My mother abandoned my father, younger sister and I several times beginning when I was 8

Were you all really THAT terrible?? Jeez.

by Anonymousreply 26March 1, 2023 4:58 PM

No. But my mom died when I was young. My dad hit the dating scene a year after she died and went nuts with it until my grandma intervened and told him to knock it off and settle down for the sake of us kids. He did. But it sucked. All of it. The random women, our stepmom, it was a constant feeling of being the least important person in my dad’s life, with no support or nurturing.

My partner never knew his dad. Dad bailed a few months before or after he was born. And partner’s mom was married 5 times, 3 during partner’s childhood, with many boyfriends scattered in between the marriages. The dude has some serious issues with relationships that we’ve had to work through during our 18 years together. He has a few siblings and relatives who did exactly the same thing as his mom, and all their kids are struggling.

From this experience I’ve realized that cunt Dr.Laura was actually right about something: just fucking wait until your kids are grown to start dating openly, and definitely wait until your kids are grown before marrying again. Boyfriends/girlfriends and kids don’t mix very well. And multiple boyfriends/girlfriends and kids really don’t mix. There are exceptions of course, but most people are too selfish and lack the intelligence and compassion needed to navigate dating relationships with their kids.

by Anonymousreply 27March 1, 2023 5:09 PM

I told my mother to get a divorce (I was 18). And, yes, it has affected my relationships with men - I stay the hell away from drunken jackasses like my father.

by Anonymousreply 28March 1, 2023 5:12 PM

[quote] told my mother to get a divorce

Why? Did your father put cut up hotdogs in his macaroni and cheese?

by Anonymousreply 29March 1, 2023 5:15 PM

No, R29. He smacked her in the face in a drunken rage.

by Anonymousreply 30March 1, 2023 5:23 PM

My parents divorced when I was 8. My father was abusive and scared the shit out of me, so I was initially happy when he left. He missed a lot of child support payments, and we struggled financially. We rarely had food in the house, My mom ended up taking him back, because she couldn’t afford to support us on her own. He was pleasant for the first six months or so, then went back to his abusive ways…yelling, screaming, name calling, and slamming me against walls and the refrigerator. He was never abusive towards my mother. They split up again after I left for college, and my mother turned our home into a senior living facility. My siblings and I will never forgive our parents. My father was an evil man, and my mother was greedy and lazy. Every one of my 5 siblings has been divorced at least once. My sister and I are both alcoholics. I have been with my (very sweet) partner for 16 years, but have been cheating for 2. I realize that it is self sabotaging behavior. I had therapy years ago. I should probably go back.

by Anonymousreply 31March 1, 2023 5:33 PM

I want to second R21’s conclusion. (Paraphrasing a bit: If you’re going to get divorced, do it as soon as you both realize it’s what you want.)

I’m a child of divorce and it fucked me up royally for a while. But just to be clear, it was NOT the fact that my parents divorced that affected me so horribly. It was the WAY they managed it.

First of all, they spent years alternately screaming at each other or sharing family meals in silent anger. No rational middle ground. They should have divorced long before they did.

Plus, when they finally committed to getting the divorce, their unwillingness to be reasonable and negotiate in good faith meant that the whole process dragged on in and out of court for years… in my case, from the time I was in junior high until I was in my first or second year of college. That, of course, doesn’t even account for the years prior to deciding to divorce, when they were merely constantly fighting.

That was bad enough. But the worst part was when each began pitting me against the other, badmouthing each other, asking me tons of personal questions about what the other was doing and with whom. And blaming me for not loving them enough.

I could share some pretty hair raising stories about that time of my life. But you get the gist.

I’m much older now. They’re both dead now. I stopped holding them responsible for my happiness as an adult — or my failures, for that matter — decades ago.

But I’m certain that how my parents behaved back then had a huge impact on my adult relationships. Perhaps not a definitive impact. I mean, I’d like to think through a combination of maturing and therapy and increasing empathy, I’ve learned something about how to make a relationship work. But to experience what I did, to go back to the OP’s premise , how could all of that not have affected how I relate to other men?

by Anonymousreply 32March 1, 2023 5:43 PM

Separated when I was 16 and should have done it a lot sooner. Spending your whole life watching your parents be cold to each other really fucks up your ability to be warm in relationships. Remember going to a friends house and seeing his parents kiss and my jaw dropped, the flagrancy! In their own home!

by Anonymousreply 33March 1, 2023 6:01 PM

When I was about 24, I went to a derm doctor (in NYC no less) because of a nasty persistent skin rash. Doc starts asking some personal questions (it was 1992), and discovered my parents live in different cities because they're divorced. He then IMMEDIATELY assumes my rash is a result of my parents splitting up. See I am so stressed that mommy and daddy are no longer together I broke out in a rash!

People complain on and on today about medical professions, but most of you weren't around when doctors came up with psychological reasons for your ailments. MDs like this pinhead weren't uncommon.

by Anonymousreply 34March 1, 2023 6:49 PM

I was a child of the 70s. My parents remained married, but many of my friends' parents did not. This was when the divorce rate skyrocketed, from 25%-30% to almost 50% of married couples.

Straight couples got divorced back in the 70s/80s as if they were blowing their nose. Very casual, very little concern for the children's emotional and financial well-being, especially over the long-term. Very disturbing.

by Anonymousreply 35March 1, 2023 6:56 PM

Yes. Among the factors that wrecked me emotionally. When my parents got divorced (1970), it was rare. I was ashamed and tried to hide it.

by Anonymousreply 36March 1, 2023 6:59 PM

My parents fought a lot—a lot—and very dramatically when I was in middle school thru high school. It was scary and traumatic. But once we left the nest, things calmed down and they genuinely enjoyed each other until the end of their lives.

I’m a step parent now and u derstand the crushing pressure raising kids. My spouse and I fight almost exclusively because of kids—not the kids themselves but of all the pressures related to raising—especially financial and balancing responsibilities of kid management.

Our youngest is about to go to college and already things have improved between us. I’m very glad we gutted it out because I’m seeing a very happy light at the end of the tunnel. I know the kids are glad, too. By staying together we’ve given them financial and emotional stability.

I’ve got tons of respect for couples who can survive the kid years. You have to table all your own needs for theirs. No wonder you take it out on your spouse. It’s almost impossible to raise kids without going nuts.

by Anonymousreply 37March 1, 2023 7:00 PM

R14 here. It's interesting reading about those of you whose parents constantly fought. If my parents did, I never saw or heard anything and my bedroom was next to theirs. It was a total shock when my Dad said he was leaving. Looking back now, they weren't super affectionate by did have pet names for each other.

I, too, was embarrassed about my parent's separation and divorce. I was one of 3 Black students in my middle and high school, my parents were older than most, and I was the youngest whereas many of my friends had younger siblings.

by Anonymousreply 38March 1, 2023 7:18 PM

Interesting comments RE age at time of divorce

by Anonymousreply 39March 1, 2023 10:45 PM

I'm not just the child of divorce, I'm the grandchild, great-grandchild and great-great-grandchild of divorce! Yes, my great-great-grandparents divorced in 1901. I told my friend from Ireland this and he was astonished - no one in his family had ever been divorced.

by Anonymousreply 40March 1, 2023 11:13 PM

Interesting r40. How have you and any siblings or cousins fared in long-term relationships?

by Anonymousreply 41March 1, 2023 11:19 PM

R42 - well, I've always been single, but my two brothers are in 25+ year marriages. My other brother got divorced after about 10 years. My dad was one of 10 children and almost all of them were divorced. Two of my aunts were married 5 times each!

by Anonymousreply 42March 2, 2023 12:25 AM

R42, you're talking to yourself

by Anonymousreply 43March 2, 2023 1:28 AM

I wholeheartedly wanted to be a child of divorce until I learned that the child normally goes with the mother, at which point I lost hope of rescue ever coming.

by Anonymousreply 44March 2, 2023 1:36 AM

Yes, my sister Barbara and I were children of divorce.

by Anonymousreply 45March 2, 2023 1:38 AM

I'm not a child of divorce, but my parents and cunty siblings treated me like I was not a part of the family. I wished long and hard my parents had put me up for adoption instead of suffering living with them.

by Anonymousreply 46March 2, 2023 1:46 AM

Both sets of grandparents divorced and remarried before I was born, so I knew the concept since I was old enough to understand things. My parents bitched at each other all the time until Mom got a well-paying job when I was 12. Shortly after that, my brother, with whom I shared a room, were awakened by a ruckus downstairs. We ran into the kitchen where Dad was choking Mom, holding her in the air against the wall. My brother pulled him off of her, and before you know it, she grabbed a cast iron skillet and smashed his head.

I woke up sick one morning when I was 15 and, despite knowing it was strep throat, Mom pressured me to go to school. I told her I just could not, so she told me to go back to bed and stay there. A couple hours later, I felt cold wind in my bedroom, so I went downstairs to find the furniture gone, the front door propped open (in January), and strange men carrying stuff out the front door. Mom's best friend saw me and ordered me back to bed, so I did. A while later, I went back downstairs to find ... well, nothing. Mom moved out and left my brother and me. No letter, no verbal explanation, nothing.

I was more in shock than traumatized. My brother came home from school and cried. When Dad got home from work, he just told us to get in the car and we went out for dinner. And I was sick as a dog.

40+ years later, Mom still blames everything bad in her life on Dad. Dad was her second husband and she has been married to #4 for 38 years. She holds grudges longer than anybody I know and, sadly, lives in the past. Her passive-aggression is monumental. It took decades, but I now understand why there was so much tension in their marriage and that it was not all Dad's fault. Her current husband is wishy washy, so I guess that works for him.

by Anonymousreply 47March 2, 2023 2:58 AM

My parents usually only fought over which one drank the last beer. Hilarity did NOT ensue.

by Anonymousreply 48March 2, 2023 3:19 AM

[quote] my parents and cunty siblings treated me like I was not a part of the family. I wished long and hard my parents had put me up for adoption instead of suffering living with them.

Oh, Smitty, that’s a good one! You really know how to cheer a girl up!

by Anonymousreply 49March 2, 2023 11:37 AM

Some really terrible stories on this thread; my parents divorce was more like a passive-aggressive cold war. They got married very young & I think at some point just got sick of each other, thinking the grass was greener elsewhere. When my dad moved out, it was a huge relief because you could cut the tension in the house with a knife. Both of them went on to even more disastrous marriages and while it impacted me as a kid (like other, I ate my feelings), as an adult it gave me an appreciation that being alone is better than being in a bad marriage/relationship & you can't try and take responsibility for other people's choices.

My mom had a bad relationship with her second husband & I think in retrospect she confided in me way more than she should have. But at some point, I just tried to listen, but also know that she'd ultimately never leave him. It kind of gave me a mental toughness that has served me well in life.

by Anonymousreply 50March 2, 2023 1:16 PM

I have found that sons of philanderers tend to be unfaithful.

by Anonymousreply 51March 3, 2023 9:42 AM

100%, r51. You would think that they (we) would see the hurt that it causes, and try to avoid it. It doesn’t happen that way,

by Anonymousreply 52March 3, 2023 5:38 PM

Bill Clinton's biological father William Blythe was a philanderer. But he died before Bill was born. Genetics?

by Anonymousreply 53March 3, 2023 6:12 PM

I wonder if certain inheritable personality traits make one more likely to cheat, r53.

by Anonymousreply 54March 3, 2023 6:31 PM

My mom left my Dad when I was 5 years old and my brother was 3 for a much younger man. New stepdad was only 23 when they decided to move in together. They had a baby 2 years later and even got married. It was very hard when my mom left my dad and this new guy was suddenly our new "father". They seemed happy at first, but were always fighting bc stepdad wanted to go out and party with his friends and mom constantly told him he had a family and responsibilities now. Stepdad did not care all that much about us and probably regretted that he married a woman who already had two young children. They eventually separated when I was 14. It was really hard for my stepbrother, but I was glad the fighting was over. Stepdad moved on quickly with a 22 year old. He was still in his early 30s and my mom already 40. Stepdad enjoyed life with his 22yo girlfriend and never looked back. My mom got bitter and life was hell till I gonally moved out and went to college. A lot of crying, blaming and financial instability followed. Got another stepdad a few years later who didn't care about us either. I wish there was more stability, but I guess it's normal now that people move on quickly. Almost all of my friends had divorced parents, a bunch of step siblings or step parents.

by Anonymousreply 55March 3, 2023 6:44 PM

I thought it was completely outrageous in "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" (if I remember correctly) when Barbra introduces Jack Nicholson as her "ex-stepbrother". And thirty years later, here am I with several ex-stepbrothers.

by Anonymousreply 56March 3, 2023 8:46 PM

OP, has your guy worked through his issues or is it still an open wound for him? If he has mostly worked through it all but admits it affected him profoundly, you two will probably be okay. If he still seems to dwell, maybe you need to find someone else.

Divorce is a major life event, but it shouldn't cause too much damage if both parents are decent. There's just too many selfish, broken people out there having kids.

by Anonymousreply 57March 3, 2023 9:15 PM

My parents were married for 71 years; dad died July 2021 and 5 months later my mom died. Good people, solid upbringing and 10 kids. They were 91 and 88 when they died; I miss them, but they lived a good long life. Siblings all scattered after they died; everything you held your tongue about when our parents were alive came out. Lol, I’m the last by a lot, 8 years, I really have nothing in common with most of them.

by Anonymousreply 58March 3, 2023 10:14 PM

10 kids????

by Anonymousreply 59March 3, 2023 11:29 PM

Your parents didn't do things by halves, eh, R58? Ten kids and a seven-decade marriage.

by Anonymousreply 60March 3, 2023 11:53 PM

Nope. I'm a bastard.

Literally.

by Anonymousreply 61March 4, 2023 12:07 AM

r24, thanks for forcing an excellent Estate Cuvee 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet to become sprayed across my laptop screen via my nostrils. Thanks a lot.

by Anonymousreply 62March 4, 2023 1:57 AM

r31, somewhat similar here, but continued therapy (on and off, for years) until I was finally able let go of anger towards the parents and be at relative peace, by mid-life. Am old now. I learned to understand that they were troubled, narcissistic humans who made mistakes (including having 5 children) and that it was up to me to stop blaming them for later in life circumstances. Moved on. Am not a shrink, but know that self-destructive behavior doesn't fix itself -- that's your job. You can start by asking for and accepting help, but the hard work is all up to you. Do you really want to be in a relationship where you're cheating? That's going to become a toxic mess that you -- not your parents or your partner -- created. Good luck.

by Anonymousreply 63March 4, 2023 2:31 AM

R59, 60 across 3 states and 2 countries, no less.

by Anonymousreply 64March 4, 2023 7:57 PM

[quote]OP, has your guy worked through his issues or is it still an open wound for him?

It's hard to say, r57. His father died a few years, and they were estranged at the time of his death. On the one hand, he seems to regret he never made amends and genuinely misses his dad and the lost potential for a relationship with him. On the other, his mother developed a serious drinking problem after the divorce, and eventually developed alcohol-related dementia. He thinks his father essentially ruined his mother's life, and it's clear he never let that go, and still harbors resentment about the divorce, 40+ years later.

by Anonymousreply 65March 5, 2023 1:08 PM

Bump

by Anonymousreply 66March 16, 2023 5:52 PM

My parents were together for 40 years, until my dad died. I'm glad I had happily married parents, almost all my friends growing up had divorced parents

by Anonymousreply 67March 16, 2023 5:56 PM

I was a child of abandonment, but not divorce.

My mother kept getting knocked up by this funny and gentle nerd who was fun to be around but not at all equipped for marriage or parenthood. Mom was herself raised in a broken home, so when she met a boy who was nice to her and made her feel secure, she clung to him like Katie Winslet clung to that shithouse door in "Titanic." Father wanted no part of this, of course, and just wanted to get laid. So when the stalker-chick turned up pregnant and insisted they try to be a young and poor family together, he bolted. Then he came back a few years later to do her up again, and she got PG again, and he left again.

She raised us to think he abandoned us and it was entirely his fault, but as an adult, I see now that they were both flawed and stupid kids who really had no business reproducing.

Even still, it's given me deep abandonment issues. I've seen how happy my father is, and how rich a life he's lived without us. And I wonder "What was so awful about me that he never even tried to be there for me?" It makes me a clingy and suspicious boyfriend, always assuming it's only a matter of time before my guy leaves me for someone easier or hotter. I wasn't good enough to keep my sperm donor around, so why should a boyfriend be any different? It takes therapy to heal.

by Anonymousreply 68March 16, 2023 6:21 PM

Yes but not between my parents.

by Anonymousreply 69March 16, 2023 6:44 PM

[quote] My parents were married for 71 years

R58, this is a thread about children of divorce.

by Anonymousreply 70March 16, 2023 7:08 PM

R68, I'm sorry, I can't follow that 1st paragraph. There's your mom, a nerd, a nice boy, and your dad. Were your parents already divorced by the time your narrative begins?

by Anonymousreply 71March 16, 2023 7:11 PM

R71, I was confused too but I think that the nerd, the nice boy and the father are all one person.

by Anonymousreply 72March 16, 2023 7:13 PM

And then, out of nowhere, stalker-chick shows up.

by Anonymousreply 73March 16, 2023 7:16 PM

Yes, and it tore our family apart. It really affected my younger brothers. It was probably for the best, but it was hard to understand at the time.

by Anonymousreply 74March 16, 2023 7:24 PM

I'm the product of my mom's 2nd marriage. My dad legally adopted her 2 children from her 1st marriage. There's a 7-year age gap between me and my 2 older siblings.

My older, half-siblings are hard to get along with, IMO. After all these years, I realize it's plain resentment. They resented the younger sibling (me) being born. Even though my / our dad adopted them, I think they still realized that I was the biological child of our dad (and they were not).

We all look like full siblings, so it's not even that.

Both of my older siblings picked on me and are still assholes, somewhat. I'm tired of trying to figure them out.

by Anonymousreply 75March 16, 2023 7:37 PM

Yes. My parents divorced when I was around 3 and I don't remember any of it. It's always been myself and my mom. She never remarried or had any more kids. My parents were 18 when they got married, my mom was pregnant and it was the "right" thing to do. My mom left him because he was immature and selfish. Ha! go figure.

I don't think it affected me since I don't remember.

by Anonymousreply 76March 16, 2023 7:54 PM

R71 R72 R73

Sorry about the bad writing. Yes, all those terms describe my mother and father. My father was a nerd and a nice boy, but then left and became somewhat less nice. And all the nonsense turned my mother into stalker-chick.

by Anonymousreply 77March 16, 2023 9:01 PM

R77, thanks for explaining.

[quote] I've seen how happy my father is, and how rich a life he's lived without us. And I wonder "What was so awful about me that he never even tried to be there for me?"

Not trying to be mean, I'm actually hoping you feel better. Your dad sounds like a bit of a jerk. He had "rich" life, maybe. Easier to do when you can just discard all your responsibilities as you go.

There was nothing awful about you.

by Anonymousreply 78March 16, 2023 9:24 PM

I have discussed this before on threads like this one, but my parents were horrible parents. They met in High School in Michigan and when my grandfather died, my grandma was over living in Michigan so she moved to California. My father, who was obsessed over my mother, followed her out to CA. They were married young, early twenties. They had me and my sister quickly after marriage and around the time I was born, my mother started flirting with the mailman, who was just home from Vietnam and who was also married with two little girl close to our ages. Those girls were at my first birthday party (I have my baby book where my mom recorded who was present). They would later become my step sisters. My parents were “friends” with the mailman dude and his wife and kids obviously, but one day, the mailman dude announced that he and my mother had feelings for each other but that neither wanted to break up their families so they ended the friendship. My father went ballistic, screaming, crying, breaking things all over the house in his violent tantrums. He would often storm out, slamming the door behind him and he would disappear for days with us not knowing if he was ever coming home. I remember crying by the door with my sister, scared that he would never come home. He did but then he started driving with us to the mailman's house with my mom in the car where he would honk his horn and tell my mother to get out and wave to her lover. He would do really cruel things to her like drive past a pasture of cows and say, “Look at all the Diana's” because my mom was slightly overweight. They stayed together but fought constantly. One day, he lit the family car on fire and said he was going to get inside and kill himself. I remember it vividly and I was maybe 4 years old. (continued)

by Anonymousreply 79March 17, 2023 2:12 AM

My parents fought a lot about sex and we could hear them at night. He wanted my mom to wear makeup when they had sex and to basically dress like a Dom. She was a good Christian girl and didn't want to do that. She tried to join an all female gym and my father had a fit, accusing her of trying to lose weight so she could cheat on him. Somehow, they managed to have two more kids, my younger brothers. They stayed married for 18 years until my father lost his job and couldn't find another one. He then decided to try to kill himself again which I predicted he would. He locked himself in the garage one day and turned on every engine he had...lawn mowers, car engines, etc. I distinctly remember going to the garage door to tell him that my brothers and I were going to my brothers' little league game and hearing the engines but not thinking much about it. I was around 11 I think. My older sister was going to stay home. We lived right down the street from where the game was being played so while we were driving home, my mom saw my sister riding one of my brothers' bikes frantically towards the school, in hysterics saying that my dad was trying to kill himself. Mom drove as fast as she could home, opened the garage door and found my father wearing a mask, lying on a trailer bed. He jumped up and she went crazy, hitting him and calling him all sorts of names, He left and the police later found him in his van where he had turned on all these pesticides and was trying to kill himself. They took him to a mental institution where he met, and later married my crazy step mom.

At this point, mom says she contacted the mailman dude I guess to tell him she was going to divorce my dad. Mailman dude had tried to kill his wife but ended up shooting a hole in the ceiling. His wife had already left him. My mom started dating him around this time she says, but who knows what the real story is. Mom filed for divorce but my father kept showing up at the house crying and screaming at her. He would also show up at my brother's little league game and ask my mom to come to the car because he “had something for her.” When she refused, he would peel out of the parking lot in anger and then return 20 mins later repeating this whole, “I have something for you” bullshit. Turns out, what he had for her was a gun. (Continued)

by Anonymousreply 80March 17, 2023 2:13 AM

One day, my grandma picked me up from school early and told me my father had tried to murder my mother. He had shown up at the house with the gun and she fought him for it. Dad was taken into custody by the police, but this was during the time when the police couldn't do anything unless my mom filed charges and for some reason, she did not. So he was let go and a few weeks later, he tried to run my mother and the mailman over in a Toys R Us parking lot as he had borrowed a friends' car and was stalking them. Again, the police did nothing.

Finally the divorce went through but my father refused to continue to pay for the house we all lived in so we had to move out in the middle of the night after the police came and told us we had to as the house was in foreclosure. My step father somehow found us a house to move into as renters but when we arrived in the night, people were still living in the house. Step father went in and physically kicked out the couple who was living there with a baby. There were dirty diapers and dog shit all over the floors. My sister and I were up until around 2am cleaning it up. ( Continued)

by Anonymousreply 81March 17, 2023 2:14 AM

My step father was a violent alcoholic, fucked up from Vietnam but he was a cowboy from Texas and wore cowboy hats. Suddenly my father started wearing cowboy hats. My mom and step father were married about 5 months after the divorce was final and my father married the crazy lady he met in the mental institution. The divorce itself was really ugly...Dad took everything and fought paying child support. He made us go to court to say which parent we wanted to live with. We were terrified of him so we all said my mom. He had my mom and my step dad followed by private investigators and constantly called social services on them because my step father would get drunk and beat my brothers. One day, my mom came home in a rage and told my brothers (who were around 9 and 7) to get all their shit because she was tired of my dad and she dropped them off at my dad's house and told him they were his responsibility now. To spite her, my father never made either of my brother's go to school. They each have an 8th grade education but have since got their GED's.

by Anonymousreply 82March 17, 2023 2:15 AM

One summer, my sister came home from college and my mom and step father went through her things, found a bottle of wine and some birth control pills and told me to tell her when she came home from work that she was kicked out. They took all phones out of the house so she couldn't call anyone and she walked to the liquor store and called my dad and had to live with him that summer. She never came home again. They did call her and ask to borrow money from her financial aide that she was getting from UCLA. My step father had a gambling habit and he had often had my sister and I drive to a parking lot of a grocery store where we had to pay his bookie. We were probably 16 and 14. So finally I was the only one left and I was terrified every night because my step father would be drunk and would lecture me about what a terrible daughter I was every single night. I knew if I didn't follow his rules I would be a gonner too. One time, I forgot to put the cap back on the shampoo bottle and he took all the shampoo and I had wash my hair with bar soap for a week. I was fighting with my mom one time and she told me that if she had to choose between me and my step father she would choose him. When my brother turned 16 he got a part time job at a CB radio shop and she and my step dad had him emancipated so they didn't have to continue paying child support to my dad. My step dad once called her from the scene of an accident where he was driving drunk and he had hit a woman and her kid and they were hospitalized. Mom went and picked him up from the accident scene and brought him home where he puked his guts out and passed out. The police came looking for him and she told me to hide under my bed and she refused to let the police in and they promptly broke the door down, came into my room with their guns pointing at me and I told them where he was. I was so fucking pissed. (Continued)

by Anonymousreply 83March 17, 2023 2:16 AM

I moved out when I was 19 and have been on my own ever since. I rented a tiny room in a house while I went to Junior Colleges and worked two jobs. I finally applied and got into UCLA where my sister had gone. Took out student loans which took me 18 year to pay back. I live in one room places my entire life until I got breast cancer last year and finally moved into a nice 1 bedroom apartment.

Over the years, I'd listen to my dad telling me about his fantasies of killing my step father and my mom. At one point he told me he bought a long range gun that could be used as a sniper rifle. He also asked if a girl I had been seeing wanted to join him and his wife in a threesome. I should have cut him out of my life completely then but all of use kept him in our lives because were were terrified of him.We all suffer from PTSD and not a holiday went by when I didn't envision him showing up at my mom's house to kill us all. My sister had those same thoughts. Cut to just this past year while I was undergoing radiation treatment for breast cancer. Dad calls me one day telling me he wants to kill himself. It's something I'd heard my entire life and he didn't even bother to ask how I was doing. I had been going through EMDR therapy to process all of the shit I'd been through and I had finally had enough. I said, “So it's not enough that you terrorized your children when we were younger, you think you have to do this to us as adults? Go ahead and do it.” I hung up and he called me back, leaving a message saying he wished he'd never had kids and that he'd been having financial troubles. I blocked because he literally called me over and over and over. This was in May of last year. Around two weeks before Xmas, I told my therapist I had a feeling he was going to try to kill himself again but that he would do it either on or before Xmas. Sure enough, the weekend before Xmas he took a bunch of sleeping pills and all his high blood pressure meds and tried. My step mom tried to wake him and she finally did and he told her to call 911. THIS time they finally called his bluff and kept him in the hospital for weeks on suicide watch. He didn't die because he doesn't really want to die, he just wants attention...and money. He just reached out to my sister and asked her for money and when she said no, he called her back and said he wants each of us to pay for one utility bill per month. None of us would do it even if we could which we can't. He has a reverse mortgage on his house that is falling apart and he claimed bankruptcy at least 4 times that I know of. He lied on his taxes every year so he gets very little in Social Security and my step mom refused to work for the past 30 or so years.(Continued)

by Anonymousreply 84March 17, 2023 2:17 AM

So how did divorce affect me? Well, it made me a hell of a lot stronger as a person and fiercely independent. It made me realize at a young age that I was never safe and I there would never be anyone to help me in life. I lived in fear of change. I got breast cancer last year, my sister had it 10 years ago and my youngest brother, who now OWNS the CB shop he was working at when he was 16 has MS and is almost wheelchair bound. (That doesn't stop my dad from calling him constantly wanting him to come over and help him out of chairs etc). My other brother is married to a insane woman who has Munchausen syndrome My mother has dementia now and my step father is still with her, still drinking and refuses to put her in a home but when I talk to her she tells me he calls her names all the time. That's nothing new as I heard it all the time but hey, she chose him over all her children.

My sister has been married for over 20 years to a woman. My youngest has been married about the same amount of time and has two kids. Other brother is married but I think he's thinking about leaving his crazy ass wife. He should. Me? I've been single for long periods of time but also in some relationships throughout the years. My longest has been for 7 years. I've never lived with anyone even though that's rare for lesbians. I just have a hard time trusting anyone who says they love me. I do have a lot of friends who I am deeply grateful for. I would love to have a partner in life, but I don't think it's in the cards for me. I get lonely a lot more often as I get older. I'm 53 but I'm a fucking survivor. I know, too long, get a blog.

by Anonymousreply 85March 17, 2023 2:18 AM

Jesus christ, r85. That's horrific.

I really don't have any other words. I'm glad you survived.

by Anonymousreply 86March 17, 2023 8:27 AM

[quote]I know, too long, get a blog.

I wouldn't say that to you, R85, as your story is actually worth hearing/reading. I've read it twice. What a story! Everything but the bloodhounds snappin' at your rear end.

Seriously, though, I am glad that you realise that your father never wanted to kill himself. Putting myself at risk of being called a pop-psych frau, your father sounds very Cluster B, i.e. no compunction about using whatever means possible to get his way (suicide threats, death threats). The circumstances in which such people would ever kill themselves are limited.

And, yes, you are a fucking survivor!

by Anonymousreply 87March 17, 2023 11:30 AM

I wish.

by Anonymousreply 88March 17, 2023 1:14 PM

Thank you, r88 and r87. I've never actually wrote all that out before and it actually felt cathartic. I realize there are many typos but whatever. I'm so grateful for EMDR for helping me deal with all of this. My siblings are just starting the healing process by also cutting off our father. And yes, Cluster B is likely my dad. Manipulative and takes no responsibility for his own actions. The hardest part is that there is a part of me that actually feels really sorry for him now as I realize he likely had his own trauma in his childhood. But everyone is responsible for their own healing and he simply went on anti depressant after anti depressant without really doing the work.

And the cluster B thing is interesting because even while he was hospitalized for this latest suicide attempt, he called my step mom and told her he was being molested at the facility and needed to go home. The facility overheard him telling her this, called her back and said they have cameras everywhere and that he was flat out lying. He's a real piece of work.

by Anonymousreply 89March 17, 2023 7:12 PM

Sorry, that was a thank you to r86 too.

by Anonymousreply 90March 17, 2023 7:15 PM

R85, hugs to you. Dang girl, you have been through some shit!!

by Anonymousreply 91March 18, 2023 2:15 AM

R14, when my sister's husband left her, he also told her he never loved her. Why twist the knife and say something like that?

by Anonymousreply 92March 18, 2023 2:20 AM

Because humans are cruel, r92

by Anonymousreply 93March 18, 2023 4:59 AM

r92 I had an ex who, during a difficult breakup, said the same thing. What bothered me was the disingenuousness of it all. Of course you once loved me -- or were you lying then?

by Anonymousreply 94March 18, 2023 8:48 AM

i should have been. Instead they stayed together creating the toxic environment which ruined n still ruining everyone in the family.

by Anonymousreply 95March 18, 2023 8:53 AM

Uh. I'm the only person in my entire extended family to go through anything like a divorce. And we were never married, just together for over ten years. On my mom's deathbed, she insisted that me and my ex (who really is my best friend. We talk every day and we now live on opposite sides of the country) would get back together. I told her we'd try, but we're never going to be a couple again. She just wanted to think that we would. She really loved my ex and he's still very much part of my family.

by Anonymousreply 96March 18, 2023 10:32 AM

R96 Prince Andrew, is that you? Fergie only ever loved your mummy’s money!!!

by Anonymousreply 97March 18, 2023 10:38 AM

My parents married when they were very young. My mom got pregnant with me when she was 16 and my dad was 17. This was in 1964, and my grandparents on both sides made them marry. My dad always loved my mom and he never stopped loving her, even up until he died. I have 2 younger brothers, and my mom became mentally ill at about the age of 22, right after my younger brother was born. Her diagnosis was schizophrenia, and her illness put us all through hell. A lot of pretty bad things happened and my dad and mom ended up divorcing. My dad remarried 3 more times and my brothers came to really resent my dad. When I was 19, I got my own apartment and had a good job and finally my own car. Both of my brothers came to live with me and lived with me until they were in their late 20's. When my dad died, the hospital gave me what he had on him at the time. He had, a Kroger card, a library card, some money, and my moms address and photo. They'd been divorced for about 20 yrs already. I went to go see my mom and told her dad has died. She told me they had been dating again. I was stunned by that. She said we'd lay in bed and talk about you kids. I said, why didn't you TELL us? It could have helped to know they had reconnected and that they really did love us. My youngest brother wouldn't go to my dads funeral and he never talked to my mom again again either ( since he was 9) yrs old. Jesus, R85, and everyone else, I'm just sorry about what's happened to you all too. We've all survived, but we all have wounds and for me, some just don't heal.

by Anonymousreply 98March 22, 2023 2:28 AM

My parents were happily married. 54 years until his death.

by Anonymousreply 99March 22, 2023 2:32 AM

So this thread wasn't for you, r99.

R98, I totally understand about wounds not healing.

by Anonymousreply 100March 22, 2023 2:51 AM

I've been married for 40 yrs now, and we love each other. We have 2 kids but have raised 5 others, including my best friends son and our God son. I've seen what divorce, addiction, mental illness and being secretly closeted has done to people. Some people just don't give a damn about their kids and the kids really pay the price. Especially when they've been rejected and abandoned.

by Anonymousreply 101March 22, 2023 2:53 AM

R98., 🙏

by Anonymousreply 102March 22, 2023 2:56 AM

I was the child of a marriage, not a divorce.

by Anonymousreply 103March 22, 2023 3:06 AM

Sorry I'm R98 and R 101.

by Anonymousreply 104March 22, 2023 3:16 AM
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