When You Should Leave a Marriage

I am not going to quote facts, statistics, or magazine articles from ElleGlamour, or Family Circle. I am not going to throw you advice from marriage therapists filled with terms that you may, or may not understand. I am going to talk about what has worked for us, the past two decades, as well as for both sets of my grandparents who had decades of successful marriages with their spouses, in the next few articles.

I have also seen what does not work in numerous marriages over the last three decades that I have been studying personal relationships. So, this I would like to share with you first.

There are times that a marriage, or relationship, should not continue.

Any relationship where a partner, or both partners are physically, or emotionally abusive, should be dissolved. THIS WILL NEVER CHANGE. GET OUT NOW! Trust me. Infidelity that happens more than once is a pattern too. Get out of this as well. This is emotional abuse as serious as any other abuse. YOU never cause the abuse issues. You may be blamed for them by the perpetrator, but if you were truly the reason, they should have broken off the relationship and left. This person should have never abused anyone.

Unmanageable mental illness that has not resolved itself to a healthy degree, via meds and therapy, should be considered difficult at best. It is a very sad state, because these beautiful people need a life-long partner more than anyone. They deserve to be happy as much as the next person. However, on the flip side, these relationships can be awfully toxic and abusive. The one with the mental illness often gets abused, because the partner loses patience and lacks understanding on what the illness really is and how to deal with it lovingly. On the other hand, I have been a victim of abuse by more than a few persons with mental illness. I don’t think they mean to be abusive in the least, but they are none the less.  It becomes a cycle of abuse from both persons after a while. It is an endless, unhealthy cycle. I find it rare, unfortunately, that this ever gets resolved with the same two partners. It is time to move on for everyone’s sake.

Abusive relationships end up affecting many more people than just the two involved. It seeps into the extended family and circle of friends. Individual partners will call individual family members with their marital problems. Sometimes these end up being monetary problems as well. The person trying to listen to, or help, the struggling persons may not want to take sides. They really shouldn’t. This gets ugly in a hurry. Holidays are tense. Kids get stuck in the middle of the mess; even nieces and nephews and cousins. They feel the tension, hear the arguments, and feel the absence of beloved family members at functions, when they don’t end up showing up. The sooner these relationships are dissolved, not resolved, the better.

“WHAT?!?!” (That was you.)

Yes, that is what I said.

“I thought you were FOR marriages!”

I am. I am for HEALTHY marriages.

The unhealthy ones are the relationships that continue to be rough, for long periods of time, month after month, year after year.

Abusive relationships that last for just months, need to be dissolved immediately. (I am not talking about arguments that can get a bit ugly. I am not talking about going through hard times of moving, job change, job loss, loss of a child, money issues, temporary illness, physical handicaps, etc.) I am talking about constant belittling, constant name calling, hitting, throwing things at, drug abuse by one or both persons, and a pattern of infidelity.

SO….what DOES a healthy marriage look like? WHAT does it take to have one? Do they REALLY exist?

How do we resolve issues that are long-term, non-abusive issues, but that may cause depression, anxiety, and a feeling of helplessness? Do we stay, or do we dissolve?

Please join me in the following articles to come! Better yet, please “follow” this blog officially, so you don’t miss out by getting lost in the waves and seas of the blog world.

I am here for YOU! Throw me a specific question in the comments below, and I will write you a specific article! See you soon!

Bunco for the Black Sheep

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When your neighborhood is full of teachers, including the high school principal, and you are invited to a ladies’ bunko night, you cringe. You cringe if you are a homeschool mom, because you KNOW that every conversation is going to surround high school/grade school events at the schools.

No matter how much you try to be excited about how well the high school football team is doing; or how interested you are to hear about the homecoming dance; or how much you sympathize with those soccer parents for the exhaustingly long and wet seasons of year-round soccer, you are not going to fit in.

You don’t want to fit in.

You just also don’t want to stand in the corner of the room, draining a glass of punch, while you listen to all of the conversations around you, feeling like that black sheep in the crowd.

I love being the black sheep. Just not in a crowd of parents who are excited about things that you are so thankful for not having to participate in.

It is a relief to not have to worry about your kids getting drunk after the dance. It is a relief to know your kids won’t be getting pregnant in high school. It is a relief to know that your kids are not growing up too fast in those mature, adult-like worlds. It is a relief to not have to sit in the cold rain again for those games. (We did so often in community sports.) It is a relief to not PRESSURE my kids to WIN the next football game. Kids have enough pressure in school. It is a relief to not have to test my kids every week on all of the subjects that they are in. (My kids are EXCITED about the subjects that they are learning. Tests would squash that right out of them.) Adding the pressure of whether or not your school has a winning team, is ludicrous to me. I know. I am a black sheep.

I snap out of my run of zoning out and drowning in punch when, again, I get the often asked question of when will my kids go back to school. Also, the winning question of, how in the world will they go to college, and without a class ranking! Let’s not get into the socializing subject. As if my kids don’t socialize in the neighborhood nearly every day, or in gymnastics, or at art, or during dance, or when participating in their preschool classes at the YMCA, or at the library, or on errands in the community with people of ALL ages, or on playdates, or in soccer, or at swim….you get it.

BLAH! Enough already!

After an hour of endless chit-chat about our offspring dating and winning, we sit down to play Bunco. Yeah! Now they have to sit next to me and interact on a mutual subject. Until it is all about what the last neighborhood party was about; what the teachers are doing now; what sorority everyone was in.

By the way, I was in one. I thought that I should prove myself wrong in what I thought of them. I didn’t prove anything different to myself. I got out after one semester. It is great for those that are into that sort of environment. They do great things for the community. I just felt so…suffocated and controlled.

Relief.

I suppose the way I felt at Bunco night, is the way adults who have no kids may feel like. I suppose this is what people who have tried to have kids, but couldn’t, feel like. I suppose this is part of the world of parents whose only children have passed away early. Black sheep.

I have avoided these get-togethers for this reason. It is icky. You come away feeling deflated and elated at the same time. Deflated because you have wasted a beautiful evening that could have been spent drinking wine with your spouse, or playing a board game with your kids. Elated because you have only spent a few hours in a world, that you realize, you would wither in if you had to spend your parental life participating in.

We were those school parents until October of 3rd and 1st grades. I still remember the day I pulled our kids out of school. They still did community sports, but it did not have the intensity of high school sports at that age.

It was one of the best days of our lives.

Relief!

**I DO understand that MANY kids LOVE sports and winning! It is GREAT for their self-esteem, health, and over-all social stance in society. It is AWESOME that SO MANY parents SUPPORT their kids at those hundreds of games, rain or shine. THEY should! Go get-em friends! I am SUPER EXCITED that it works for YOU! It just doesn’t work for us, or the millions (yes, millions) of homeschooled kids in the United States alone. That is why I wrote about our side, for once, after my night of Bunco, which my friend, so graciously and thoughtfully, invited me to. She is a sweetheart, really! We will just keep our friendship to a glass of wine at the fire pit.