Episode 5

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

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Knowing when to call it quits or when to give it another try can be tricky. I've been married twice to the same man, so I'll admit, I don't have all the answers on this one. Have you been in a similar situation? What was the deciding factor? Share your story with me.

Your stories

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  1. Should I Stay or Should I Go?

    by Karen At the end of the day, life is short and true love between a man and a woman is very rare these days. It is something that should not be taken for granted. What will make me stay is when my partner cares about me... cooks for me when I am sick, fixes my broken bicycle and kisses me good night. Caring is loving. Where there is no care in a relationship, that is when I will decide to leave. An abusive relationship for instance. I am divorced but reconciled with the same man. I was confused and distracted by too many things I thought were important and got the wrong advice from well meaning people. Perhaps I had a mid life crisis and finally found equilibrium!
  2. Pencils Have Erasers - or do they?

    by Jane I am such a fan Judge Judy. I love your no-nonsense personality. Watching the courtroom folks reminds me of my husband, the narcissist. I have learned so very much over our 12 year marriage; he is a narc and I am a co-dependent. Narcs have certain personality traits that can take a long time to reveal themselves. Only a person with weak boundaries can attempt to be in a relationship like this. You're constantly devalued and made to question "doing the right thing" is not right, when you know to your core, it is. You think you're sacrificing, turning the other cheek, etc., when you're really losing yourself. Pencils have erasers, but damage we let narcs do ourselves, never seems to end. Most on show are narcs, inability to be responsible for their actions. It's sad that they were prob victims as a child and know no better. They meld details together so the confusion is off the charts. I like how you break it down. I admire you and strive to do the right thing always! Best!
  3. My boyfriend broke up with me FIVE times already

    by Amy After FIVE break-ups (all initiated by him), many angry outbursts of yelling (he once called be the "C" word), and repeated lies, I'm getting closer to leaving him. He knows I want to move across the country to start a new career but he gets defensive and treats me like I'd be betraying him. I've put my career, my health, and my life on hold for him while spent our relationship telling me how he wanted to have sex with one of my co-workers, tried repeatedly to involve me in a 3-some (I didn't), and once told me the best $600 he ever spent was on two hookers. This is just the start. He also bad-mouthed me to my boss causing me to hastily quit my job (it was either quit or get fired). Now I'm out of work and yearning to start over without him. But it's hard when he says he loves me. I need to remind myself that he loves the submission, not me. He loves the idea of being in a nice, decent relationship but not the effort it takes.
  4. So sad when looking back...

    by Jane I loved my husband and still do. I went thru the drugs ..other women ..abuse. The turning point after 18 years is when he introduced the girlfriend at the time to our 8-year-old son as his soon to be step-mom. Our son was so confused.. My children, 3 boys, have all grown up to love women but disrespect them. Abuse and infidelity have been involved. I am now a very strong 53 year old woman. I sure wish I would have never acceped his ways because I loved him. At the first sign of disrespect...ok the second ..walk away. I did a great disrespect to myself and to the women that have been in relationships with my sons. To my sons. an even greater one.
  5. When the words finally come out...

    by T. It was an 10 year marriage that started out like many others. His 2nd, my first. I came in with children, he had none. A few years later we added "ours". His family never really accepted me and mine. My family lovingly took in all strays. So there were always feelings of inadequacy on my part. We built a home, moved away. I was resentful. He chose to be with work people and left me at home to hold down the fort. We didn't talk anymore. We fought. About money mostly. For the last 4-5 years of my marriage, I slept on a couch. I couldn't stand him. It was obvious to the kids. A year ago, I said the words "divorce is immenent". A month later, I found a place of my own to buy. Then, I left for good. We share custody of "ours" and he is coping pretty well. My house rule is no fighting. It's quiet and peaceful here. A child should get the best of both parents, and sometimes, it's in different homes. We are both dating others now, it's nice to feel appreciated...again.
  6. Military and Marriage

    by R.O. I married a Marine 10 years older than me at the age of 20. He asked me to marry him and I was very surprised...he never seemed that interested in me. I was excited to be engaged but I wanted to wait for a year or so to get married. I allowed my parents to place pressure on me and also my former spouse. He was in debt and I didn't know it. He didn't want to live on base and I didn't know the "strategy". He was paid more if married and he also received a higher housing allowance. Years later, I would begin to understand that I was a show piece for him. In public, he loved to show his love to me. Behind closed doors, I was ignored. He lied about odd things. Bottom line, he never loved me. At counseling, he was asked why he married me and he said because she puts up with me. Go with your instinct... 18 years of marriage can't give me back all of the things I missed out on and it can't take away the hurt. It is't worth the money or the pain.
  7. Look in the Mirror

    by Michelle We can be somewhere physically and not emotionally. We all know how to hide our feelings. We all have free time to go off somewhere and not be missed. We can be physically separate from somone we love but still considering them and working toward a reunion, or we can be with someone every day planning to walk away. It happens within and around us all the time. I believe the key to healthy relationships is self-discipline. When our motives are healthy and we can look in the mirror or look to our Higher Power and we are satisfied with who we are and how we're living. Going forward from a helathy relationship with ourselves and God, we would not be interested in anything less for ourselves from another person. If we first discipline and love ourselves, it will be easy to recognize and avoid undisciplined people and alterior motives in others.
  8. I knew the night I picked up the phone...

    by Tracy Hi Judge Judy, I will tell you this...the night I picked up the phone in my bedroom and heard my then 31 year old husband talking to a 17 year old girl from work, was the night that I marched downstairs, told him to get out and 20 years later have not looked back. The decision was made then and there in that moment, and I always knew it would be the right one. My children were very young, and I have raised them both on my own ( with lots of help from my Mom and Dad). They are both in college and have very little contact with their Dad. That part is sad, but he was obviously not ready for the whole responsibility thing.
  9. How bad does it have to be, before I go?

    by Paula I've made poor choices in men for most of my life. I know the reasons & family history that engineered those skewed perceptions of mates, & each time I thought I was making a "mature" decision. It was obvious down the road that I had once again fallen prey to those old, familiar & dysfunctional relationship guidelines. My 3rd husband was a narcissistic, manipulative, emotionally damaged crook. I, of course, rationalized & denied all the negative aspects of our pathetic marriage because I needed to be in a committed relationship, I would change him! But I put my children in a compromising lifestyle & watched my own emotional & mental health spiral downwards into a miserable & self-destructive existence. After many years, it was pending charges & proven illegal behaviors that convinced me that it had to be over. Court cases pending, ID theft & the possibility of losing my children finally pierced the thick veil of denial & forced me to wake up & end the misery of my family. & We survived.
  10. I thought 'Erroneous Zones' were 'ErogenousZones

    by Marian I bought this popular Dr Dyer self-help book thinking it was about sex. I was not happyily married and his book made me realize I was staying in the marriage for the wrong reasons. I knew Mom would throw a guilt trip on me, and he taught me how not to be caught in that trap. So after 20 years of marriage, I asked for a divorce. I am remarried, living about 400 miles away, and he is in a long-term relationship. He still comes to my home for Thanksgiving along with our kids and he and my husband of 23 years get along very well.
  11. Three-year-old weighs in on divorce...

    by Charlotte When my daughter and her husband were getting a divorce it was very friendly. They knew it wasn't working. They told their daughter that they wouldn't be living together any more in such a way that she was ok with it, so on the day they had to go to court she was only worried about one thing. I picked her up from daycare and she said "mom and dad are going to court today." I said "Ok, how do you feel about that?" She said " I hope they don't get Judge Judy, she yells a lot". I thought that was so funny.
  12. Letting go...

    by Yvonne Hi Judy!! I am a mother of four, and I have been with my husband for eleven years. He told me just two weeks ago that he does not love me. Now I may be dumb at certain things, but I am not dumb to stay in my marriage if there is no love! I recently got contacted by an old high school friend. He was my crush way back then, and now I have nothing but smiles! I wonder if it is too soon to open my heart again...
  13. Sheesh

    by Leah F My heart hurts when I think of him. He is my best friend and has been for seven years. But here I am. Getting my Doctorate and trudging through Practicum, working two jobs, and being a mom to two children and he is...not. Working part part time and "doing what he can" makes me feel as if I will unravel daily. Here is the deciding factor. Are you where you want to be? You can't change him. You can't "fix" him. But you can ask yourself if it's worth fighting for even when the fight is knocked out of you. In this case, through my cascade of daily tears from frustration I decided it was. He finally got the message. I need help. From you. Marriage isn't easy in a world that is too easy on us as it is with untold ways to con the system and make excuses. What really puts our feet to the fire and tests our character is to take a deep breath when things get tough and ascertain if it's worth saving. If it is, get to it and stop feeling sorry for yourself. If not, cut your losses.
  14. Three Times, Not a Charm!

    by Portia My experience can be easily explained in short order. I am single, never married. Life is too short to pick around. Most guys do not make it to the third date. My fiancé was in a car accident. He lived 6 months with brain damage, then died. I was happy with him. No, I have not found "Mr. Right". But I refuse to go out with someone that I do not connect with. Ladies, do not waste your precious, hours, days, months and years with someone that you do not love. Move on. It is ok if you do not have a Friday or Saturday night date.
  15. Til death do us part, part two...and three

    by Carl I married my second wife when I got out of the Army. We both had one young child going into the marriage and knew that it would be a challenge. We were married for approximately 18 years and had two more children, then my health started to deteriorate, I lost my job of 17 years and the marriage started to fall apart. She wanted me to get my health under control, and I, being in poor health and becoming quite depressed, basically just gave up. Well, she decided to leave and see if I could get myself under control before deciding if she wanted to try again. After six months I told her to either come back, or divorce me. She chose the divorce. I really missed being with her so I decided, after the divorce, maybe if I started caring about myself and getting my health under control she might just come back. Well....I got my health back in track and she did come back, though we are still divorced. We have now been happily re-united (living together) for the past 10 years.
  16. Trust!

    by R. I am a daughter to a father that beat my mother. I am a daughter of a mother that allowed my father to beat his children. I am the daughter of a mother that loved me but was jealous of me. I am the daughter of a father that never planned for me to be much. I am the granddaughter of a man that decided to touch me inappropriately. I was the wife of a passive aggressive man for 15 years. I have become: a college graduate, a business manager, an excellent wife, a good friend, a caring co-worker, a loving girlfriend, and a forever-accepting mom. I still struggle daily to trust. I still struggle daily with the scenes of my mother being beaten. I still struggle daily with "what is love". I still struggle daily "to figure it all out". I am now losing who I am and struggling ...once again to find my way. I have forgiven and have moved on but the thoughts still control me. I question who everyone is and would rather close my eyes than think they are hurting others. I now open my mouth to say STOP.
  17. Be a Grown-up....REALLY

    by e. As a blended family with resentful ex spouses, we learned early in our marriage that "surrendering to win" was much more beneficial than watching our children be pulled apart during the holidays. We began to celebrate Christmas Eve with the children together at our home, having dinner, opening gifts, from the very first year. We then dispatched them to the other spouses at 9 that evening so that they could have Christmas all over again on Christmas Day. No pressure, no angst, no guilt for the fun that they would have in their other homes. Best of all, our ex spouses had absolutely nothing to complain about. On Christmas Day, the two of us would have a wonderful time together walking the beach, eating leftovers and enjoying a truly peaceful holiday. I can't say that it has always been perfect or easy--raising kids isn't easy-- but refusing to fight over them makes their lives so much richer. They will always be our children, but their childhood was just a few short years.
  18. You may be wrong but you may be right...

    by Denise I married at 23 and divorced at 40. He was very jealous of any man that paid any attention to me, whether it was to ask directions or someone I worked with. His 1st wife cheated on him and I knew he had issues with self-confidence and trust but I just knew that time would heal this pain. I was wrong! We went to a couple of marriage counselors but he didn't accept that he had the issue and just told the counselors what they wanted to hear and always went back to the same old habits, accusing me of cheating on him. I was a stay at home mom and when I went back to work full-time it became increasingly worse. I fell into a depression and found my strength to stand up for myself when my youngest child, 7 years old told me "you aren't fun anymore mom". I stayed in the marriage for my children & left the marriage for my children. My children & I have a Great relationship now. I had accepted the fact that I was not going to grow old with someone. Wrong again, I met a man that is my soul mate.
  19. In retrospect...

    by Helen I had parents who, for as long as I can remember, were constantly bickering, mostly about money. It was so unpleasant that I wondered why they were not divorced, they were so incompatible. Many years later, after having grown up and being wiser, I am glad they did not. Life would have been even more unpleasant, especially from a financial perspective, and I would not have my wonderful father readily available for his love and counseling. As a much married woman, (58 years) mother of three, you have to consider your children, when thinking of divorce, except, of course, in extreme circumstances.
  20. Never be afraid to make the hard choice!

    by Kirsten My ex was an alcoholic, and his treatment of me varied between verbal abuse, physical threats, and ignoring me altogether. I struggled so much with whether to stay in the marriage, since if I just left him alone he would just ignore me. The lightbulb I had was twofold; 1) I decided that my children deserved a better example of what marriage should look like and even if I never married again, being single was better than being in a marriage alone. 2) I deserved to be married to someone who liked me- and wanted to be around me. I am so thankful I made the choice to leave. I am now married to the love of my life, someone who loves my children as his own. Our communication is such a blessing and our example of marriage is very different from their father and I. Never be afraid to make the hard choice...
  21. A little bit of everything.......

    by Pam You brought back a lovely memory....I can still hear my mother saying "Don't kvetch." Both my parents were immigrants to Australia in 1948 from Poland and Germany. They have since passed away. I am well into my second marriage, over 25 years now. We have yours, mine and our children; all are adults. Two have since passed away. (There is no physical abuse but plenty of verbal). We share a business and are building a home together. The problem is we have no shared interests, (our sex life is zilch - nothing) and has been for years, I can count on my left hand how may times we have gone out together this year. If I go out, it's always on my own. I go on holidays on my own or with the girlfriends. I feel like a single woman. I get quite pissed off when I see other couples doing things together. Several years ago, he made a pass at a mutual family friend we have known for a long time; the trust is gone. I'm not sure what I will do, or what I should do.
  22. 2 young 2B too OLD !

    by Lee I'm in a relationship with a man who has five children with two different women. Three from his previous marraige and two with another woman (while married). I know to some people I may be a straight-up fool for even giving him the time of day; however, we have been in a somewhat "good realationship" going on three years. He pops the marriage question every now and then, but I always find a way to avoid it. We recently visited the city where he use to live and it was as clear as day that his baby mother as well as his ex-wife and I could never co-exist because they are rude and disrespectful. Not to mention, we have an age difference to deal with. There are many trust issues between he and I, and I don't know how my family will accept his children, and I'm in no rush to have children.
  23. Get Out of Dodge!

    by Daci I married very young to a man the direct opposite of me. I'm spontaneous, he's buttoned up. I like surprises, he planned everything. I could not recognize our differences in my youth. He is still the way he was and I am still the way I was. We made it 22 years together before he left. At first I was sad because I believe with all my heart marriage takes work. I was willing but he wasn't. I tried four different times with four different therapists to get him to go with me. He refused. It was stressful for me while I was married and I always thought I was the one with the problem. It wasn't necessarily that he had a problem, we had just married the wrong people. Now as I look back, I'm glad it ended. Life is too short to be suffering and thinking "It's me!" Money is too hard to come by to be spending it on marriage counselors. I'm lonely sometimes but life is so much better for me. Go girl!
  24. Bad Choices

    by Mica When I was 15, I got pregnant by an older man, and I moved in with him. He wasn't the best boyfriend he could be; he started by saying mean things to me really often. I figured I would stick it out. I had a cancer scare a few years later and was told I couldn't have more children. Over the years, we had a total of four kids and after several deployments, he got worse each year. I love my children so I always hoped he would get better. I'm very hard headed and refused to give up even though he had started to physically abuse me. My children would ask when he was on his way home if their dad was in a good mood or a bad mood. I finally told myself if he doesn't change, I'm leaving him, and that scared me because I had always been a stay at home mom. I left him last year, and I have never felt better. I moved 1500 miles away and was able to get a five-year protection order against him. Now we're in the middle of a nasty divorce, and all I want out of my marriage is for him to just leave me and the kids alone.
  25. Caught in the middle!

    by Diane My brother-in-law and his wife continued to stay together, although there was nothing but turmoil in the home. Their son, my nephew, was just three years old when the marriage started falling apart. When my sister-in-law finally decided she'd had enough and left, my nephew was put in the middle of a vicious divorce. They both bad-mouthed one another to him, causing him tremendous stress. This has continued for the last ten years. They have never learned to love their son more than they hate each other. He is now 14 and has begun cutting himself, among other things. He has been in therapy, but his mother decides he no longer needs it. His father is now in jail, and his mother has turned to alcohol. I implore anyone going through a divorce to please think of your chidren's well being. Put aside your feelings for one another, and keep your children's best interest at heart. I never thought this would happen to my nephew, but it has. My sister-in-law has cut off all communication. Sad!
  26. Patience and Kindness

    by Debbie I've been married 20 years. It's got its ups and downs. You have to be able to trust each other. I figure he puts up with my faults so I can put up with his. We have a teenager but are of retirement age. A few years ago, I developed a chronic illness with no health insurance. I was afraid my husband would be financially wiped out so I offered to divorce him. He said no way! He'd married me for better or worse and he wasn't going anywhere. He takes care of me and we are best friends. He's never cheated, and he is very good looking and has an awesome sense of humour. I think everything works for us because we both are Christians and try and live that way.
  27. The Engagements

    by Mary I've been engaged four times and called it off four times. The first time, I was only 17. I went to college instead and said no ring for me. Second time I was 20. My parents loved him-his parents loved me. I thought I was doing the right thing but found out I was only getting married to make our parents happy. I didn't love him. Number 3 was my son's father. We were both 22. He did not want to get married and neither did I. Many people said we had to get married because of the baby. I said I didn't have to do anything because society/family believes I should. I changed my jobs to work construction with men and made more money to raise him. His dad and I are still friends, and he has always known how much we both deeply love him. The last ring was to a man I gave my heart and 10 years of life. He chose alcohol. I thought I could "save" him. In the end I was just a sinking life raft. In each case I thought long and hard about what type of man I would be forever bonded. Knowing the woman I am, I married freedom.
  28. Undecided...

    by Michele I was married for five years to my husband, but kept leaving him to go back home to my family due to drug and alcohol abuse. He would beg me to come back, saying he"ll change or get help, I believed him and would go back to him. This continued for the next two years, until it got physical and I left in the middle of the night with my three children and never looked back. Now, eight years later, he is asking me for another chance to become a family again, claiming he cleaned up his act and still loves me. I don't know whether to believe him or not. For the sake of his children, I am wondering if it would be the right thing to do.
  29. New Vows Are Quick Getaways

    by Christina Well I have been married for 26 years, and it has not been easy but I am committed for better or worse, until death do us part, for richer or poorer, and in sickness or health. These new vows people say to one another I thinkare just a quick getaway when things go bad. But I know there are some that are true. I have four children out of this marriage and again, though it has not been easy, nothing is when it is worthwhile.
  30. Fight like you would for everything else

    by Rose I have been married for five years (second marriage). Between the first and second marriage, I was single for 17 years. Life is hard when you are single juggling jobs, food, bills, etc. I fought to be very independent and to take care of myself and be proud of what I could do on so little. Marriage is no different. Two people who are different, joining together to make a life. Things will be difficult, stress from jobs, bills, family. But what better way to get through all of that than with someone? I love my husband. Can he be a pain? Yes. Can he be selfish? Yes. Can he be the best person who loves me? You bet. There will always be good and bad in anything you do...just work on the relationship like you do anything else.
  31. Mid-life crisis confusion and confession

    by Mari

    I'm not sure I am IN LOVE with my husband.  We have two small children. I have cheated on him; I think I have reached a midlife crisis. My husband would give me the world, BUT I'm just not happy.

  32. Don't stay for the kids!

    by Millie As a child of divorce I can say that my parents divorce was probably one of the best things that could have happened to me. I realize this sounds bizarre but, isn't staying with someone you aren't romantically in love with for the sake your children bizarre? Although I was too young to remember their divorce, my mom often tells me that they settled it peacefully out of court by a family friend who practiced family law. My mom remarried when I was 7 and my dad when I was 9 and by that time I'd seen what an unhealthy divorce looked like (my step-dad and his ex) but I saw what healthy relationships could be. Both of my parents remained good friends and still do to this day and I can say that because my parents didn't stay married for the sake of my brother and I, I didn't see a great build of resentment and fighting and I saw them go on to build healthy and happy relationships that I can now mirror in my adult life.
  33. 40 days at the Western Wall

    by Sandra I wanted an arranged match, but I became infatuated and let desire take its course. He was a good man, but we were ill matched. We had 5 gifted children, but troubled times gave us no choice. The Rabbi said to divorce and life will go on in peace. I went to the Western Wall 40 consecutive days, for help from G-D that it would be a peaceful divorce. We got divorced amicably, and are still friends. Almost all the children are married off, and happy. Go for the Peace, but stay connected with dignity.
  34. Back with my ex-husband...

    by Amy Hi Judge Judy! I, too, am back with my ex-husband. We divorced six years ago because I realized I married him for the wrong reasons. Yes I loved him, but I knew deep inside he wasn't ready to be a husband and devoted father to our THEN 3 children. Fast forward five years later, he began doing what is necessary to show me, not tell me, but SHOW me he is ready to be in a committed relationship. We are talking marriage again and for the first time since we met over 20 years ago, I feel confident that he has matured and grown in a positive way. Women need not believe what comes out of a man's mouth if his actions do not match. I learned that the hard way. Most importantly I learned to love myself more and if he can't walk the walk, I must move on. If things continue the way they are, I will also be able to say I married the same man twice. Love you Judge Judy!
  35. Divorce Experience

    by Amy I met my first husband at 14; he was 17. We married four years later and had two wonderful children. We divorced when they were young; my husband had an affair which resulted in a child with another woman. I admit I was not the best wife; I chalk it up to inexperience. Yes my children suffered through the divorce. He married her and divorced her. So where are they now? Both alone and never remarried. She had made my life a living hell, and after her divorce to him, she got pregnant from another married man. But still they are both alone and I am happily married again to a wonderful man. So my number one suggestion is to try harder to save a marriage. I had no one to give me advice, but if it does not work, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
  36. Married 40 years!

    by Shirley Getting married in the 70s was the thing to do. When reality sank in, I realized this was for better or worse. We have had some rocky times as well as good times. In this union, we had two children. And finally twin grandbabies on the way. The truth of our marriage is that we made a promise to God, that we would let no man divide this marriage. Now as I look back, I am happy and content and making the best of what we have. We might not be rich in money, but money cannot buy happiness. If you want to get married, make sure you're marrying because that is what the both of you want..not because it feels good for the moment, because the moment goes by fast and what do you have left...nothing.
  37. I keep waking up married...

    by Donna We recently married this year. Our courtship lasted five years, and then the big question came. Needless to say, I was elated. After running around like a chicken with its head cut off, we elected to go to the courthouse. I am a college student and he supported the family on a meager wage; we thought it would be best. Everything was roses, better than most of our pre-married days. Then that day came, our first argument. It seemed to set the ball rolling for some down right nasty fights with one another. I kept thinking, "This was a mistake. How could I marry this jerk?" No doubt my husband was experiencing similar thoughts. Our arguing got so nasty that he asked for an annulment. When he said those words to me, I thought, "This is it." We went the next few days not speaking even though he tried to reconcile later that night. My pride was hurt so I wouldn't hear of it. 1 day passed and then 2 and all I know is I am still married and happy to be. We love each other and I'm grateful
  38. Tired of settling...

    by Gina I have been married to my current husband for 17 years. At first, things were good but not great. I was not in love, but I went along with the flow because he was such a good man. He was everything I never had in my first marriage, respectful, loving, supportive, and a good provider. At the very young age of 21, I thought that as long as the friendship and respect were there that the love would be something that would grow in time, so I settled. Over the course of our marriage, we have broken up and gotten back together multiple times always with the same unhappy result. Why didn't I just stay gone the first time I left? Now I am stuck in a loveless marriage, unable to afford a divorce and completely miserable. I am a mere shadow of the woman I once was. In my opinion...if you're not happy and you've tried everything to make it work (compromise, counseling and so on) you need to go. Why be miserable? Even if you have children as we do, they don't need to see mom and dad despise each other.
  39. Daughter won't talk to me...

    by Nancy My husband of 40 years is a verbal abuser and a know it all. He always has been, and he said he will never change. For the most part, our family has learned to deal with it because he is a good provider to our family and extended family and a good man in a lot of ways. Our adult daughter has decided that she has had enough and has decided not to talk to her father anymore and doesn't want to talk to me because I have allowed myself to be abused. She blames her many failed relationships on this and that she was verbally abused by all of them. She trying to get her other siblings on her side and so far one son agrees with her. My family has fallen apart and I don't know what to do.
  40. I decided to stay...

    by Carrie I am almost married 40 years now. When I was in my 30's I had three kids. I was so busy since they were close in ages. My husband didn't get the attention he needed, so he cheated on me. I was devastated. I told him to get out if he was going to continue the relationship, so he did. The girl had children by different fathers and was working on another one with my husband. When he discovered that it sucked to live this way, he came back. Although it wasn't easy, we worked hard to hold it together, first for the sake of the kids, and then we finally got on track and we are doing well. I have to say that I have forgiven him, but the hurt and pain comes back to haunt me at certain times. I want to people to know that down the line, your adult children can suffer from the confusion of the past. I have great boys and open communication with them and we have successfully helped each other through the years to overcome the past. My husband feels appreciative of our family.
  41. As Judge Judy wrote in one of her books........

    by Virg I've been married to the same fellow for 37 years now. Of course marriage isn't easy, but then again nothing that is successful ever is, is it? As Judge Judy wrote in one of her books, ie. the first one if I remember correctly - because I've always felt the same way (2nd part of sentence paraphrased but NOT 1st) "Sometimes I could kill him but I'm never indifferent or don't love him." :-)
  42. BIG red flag! Time to go.

    by Denise I left when I found out he was cheating on me with his ex-girlfriend, and I realized that it didnt bother me. He annoyed me, and I liked it better when he was at work than when he was at my house spending time with me. I figured that was a big red flag to break up with him!!!
  43. He wasn't man enough for me...

    by Shirin It started as a love story; he was my prince. He protected me and my values. Then a year later, he became a shadow of something else. He was supposed to love me, but he had another woman or shall I say several women. He had an addiction to drugs and a whole other life that I knew nothing about. I stayed with this man, this devil in sheep's clothing for several years. I was scared to leave the only love I knew. Finally, I did leave this love. It was too painful, too hurtful. I had to let go.
  44. Don't Go With the Flow

    by Cindy I was in high school in the late 70s. After graduation, girlfriends were getting engaged and getting married and pregnant...surprisingly in that order! I dated a guy a year older than me. I thought we had a good time. My friends who were married started asking me "when are you two getting married? Oh the wedding is such a special time.. you'll love it.. you'd make a beautiful bride." It was also on my boyfriend's mind -- we dated eight years. When he asked, I said yes. Why? Did I love him?.. I thought I did. The wedding plans didn't excite me. Our mothers were changing our plans. My father told me just before going down the aisle "you can still change your mind." Did I ever want to! My groom was drunk...at 9 a.m.! I wanted to say "do I?" instead of "I do". I tried to be happy because he was. Big mistake. He drank BIG time...and was a control freak. A co-worker who had just married said to me, "if you're not happy stop pretending." I left after 21 years of "being happy". Now, I'm HAPPY!
  45. My guilt is eating me alive!

    by Janine I've been married for 15 years to the same man and neither of us has been married before. I've came so close to leaving him in the last five years because although he's never been an affectionate man, I'm finding it harder and harder to accept as I age and my body changes. I try not to be so needy but I can't help this strong urge in me that needs his kind words or reassurance. Over a year ago, I actually started an emotional affair online (IM, phone, emails, and everyday communication of some sort) and that just ended. During my emotional affair, my emotions seemed balanced, but he moved on and found another and I think it's because I would never agree to meet him, but anyway now I'm trying my hardest to open my heart back up to my husband and work things out with him, but now my guilt is eating me alive and I feel that by telling my hubby what I did will be selfish in easing my own guilt. Now I just wish I had never strayed and worked on my marriage instead of turning to a stranger.
  46. Second time was a charm

    by Sharon I've been with my husband for now 31 years, married for 17 of them. When we first got together it became passionate right away, and at that time I knew I wanted to marry him someday. As time passed I think I became too obsessive over him, and crowded him too much. Things really fell apart. We separated for about 8 months, and during that time, we dated other people. That gave me time to really mature, and when we ran into each other again, it was like no time ever passed. That break period improved our relationship. Through it all, I learned how to hold on loosely. If you treat a man like a king, you get treated like a queen. If you have a spat, say your piece and let it go, they listen better that way. Show them that you care, men really need, and want that: and if you have children you need couple time, even if it's an hour alone in a locked bedroom. This, I believe, is a terrific recipe for a long lasting happy marriage.
  47. Comfortable doesn't always mean happy...

    by Sarah Throughout my childhood, I always found myself trying to be loved. I didn't realize that I was doing this, but the broken home I grew up in made me grow up faster than any child should. Out of highschool, I was on the first train out of town and enrolled in college. It was a huge struggle for money and I didn't have a support system. So, when my high school sweetheart proposed to me, I said yes. Because "I need someone to lean on" "I need a partner in life." I was now an Army wife at 20 years old and was not prepared for the reality of war and what that can do to a young mind. He became mentally abusive after serving several tours. I was scared to leave a comfortable lifestyle. I had money and someone to share life with. It wasn't until I realized that at 22 years old, I had years of life ahead of me and I could not spend 80 years this way. I am married to a great man now. You don't really know happy until you force yourself to get uncomfortable.
  48. I wish my mother had left him!

    by J.K. From the time I was little, about 10 or so, my mother was telling me how terrible my father treated her. I've always said that I wasn't the oldest child in the family--she was. He was mentally and physically abusive to us kids and to her. "Just wait till you get married and you'll find out!" Oh yeah, like I'm going to sign up for something like that, without knowing what I'm getting into. (She was wrong.) Now, they're still married 60 years later, and she gets mad because I don't love him and let him treat me like a doormat, too. "I've been happy with your daddy--why can't you accept that?" Why? Because she wasn't happy and she should have either left or kept her mouth shut instead of telling me all that stuff. And she sure as heck should have stopped having kids, which she planned. None of us were accidents. She used to say, "Don't do what I did." I didn't and she can't stand it. She'd rather I be married to somebody who is mean to me, too.
  49. Afraid to get hurt...again...

    by Diane My first marriage lasted over ten years and my second just under ten. Both ended in infidelity on their parts. Needless to say that it left me with trust issues. My last relationship, I had problems in trust although it did last for quite a while. I lost this man to natural causes (a heart attack). We tried living together, but after a few months, we parted again because of my own insecurities. I am now with a gentleman who is very good to me, but there are times when thoughts of mistrust come to mind. I find myself working on not letting these thoughts overcome me. My new friend has told me that he is not sure where our relationship is headed, and not to put everything all in one basket. We both fear getting hurt, even though we tell each other on a daily bases that we love one another. We are both in recovery and I am back in school, so I am not really ready to call it quits, but at the same time I'm just a little cautious of how much I put into the basket.
  50. overlooked his flaws because I was in a bad place.

    by Lynn I met my second husband in an unlikely place. I was at a very low time in my life. I had recently become disabled, was losing my home to foreclosure, my ex-husband was stalking us again, my oldest son was in a mental hospital from the ptsd that was triggered when his dad popped up and then disappeared before he could be arrested, my other child was going through a rebellion. I needed someone to lean on. When I met my second husband, he seemed to understand my thoughts and feelings. He always knew the right words to make me feel better. In my neediness, many things were overlooked, including a considerable age difference, but I did truly love him. We married soon after meeting and a few years later, we had a son together. It started going south from there. I found myself begging for help and attention. He started lying, leaving earlier and getting home later from work. He stopped talking, and I finally told him to talk to me about what's wrong or leave. He chose to leave & I never saw it coming.
  51. If there's a glimmer of light....then fight!

    by Melissa My husband and I met when I was 18 and have been together for over 15 years now. We have been through hell and back a few times. We have had a child pass away, an affair and an emotional affair, a couple of separations, and deep depressions. We have had nothing at times but each other. Our love and faith in our family has gotten us through the hard times and made the good times that much better. We have two children, two cars in the driveway, food on the table and clothes on our backs. We are not rich in material things but all the bad has made us rich in the good things. Our love is strong. We have been able to get past a lot of what most can not. For that I will forever be grateful. Every relationship is diffrent and people have to do what is best for them. My husband and I grew up together and have learned a lot of life lessons, but I think if there is even a glimmer of light...then fight!
  52. Stay or go? Keep going!

    by Viola I find I have to GO because the men don't hold up their end so I can't keep them. It's either impotency, financially broke, or just plain taking advantage. Adios!
  53. I made a commitment for life...

    by Laura My husband and I have a tough marriage. I suffer from seizures that cause amnesia. I completely forget who he is and have no connection to him. I know I should love him, but don't feel it. Usually the connection to him comes back within a few weeks. We began dating ten years ago and got married a few years later. Since a recent seizure, the connection hasn't come back. In fact, I don't like him. However, I know that we made a commitment. I am a person of my word. I am seeing a psychologist to work on myself and we are treating our relationship like we are in the "dating" phase again. He hasn't given up on our relationship yet and I am not going to either. We have both promised each other we are in this for life.
  54. Sometimes It Can't Be Fixed

    by Sarah 20+ years ago, after four years of marriage, I realized we were both unhappy and after a girl turned up on my doorstep pregnant by my husband...well, that was final straw... especially as I had miscarried.  We separated. We were renting at the time, so I sold half of what we owned and left. I mailed the keys to his mother. He tried to find me and did after a while, but I started divorce proceedings. I laughed when my lawyer asked about about maintenence. I said no, as I just wanted a clean break. It crippled me for a year emotionally but I got over it. Sometimes you just can't fix things and it's best to walk away. I am now happily remarried although no children but I know I did the right thing, and I look at it this way: everything I have gone through has made me stronger!
  55. Finding True Happiness On My Own

    by Linda I was married twice, and both times I was the one who decided to end the marriages. Then, I lived with a man for 15 years. Several months ago, I decided it was time to end it & be out on my own for the first time in over 35 years. Now, at 58, I feel free, independent, with no worries, no drama, no fights, just peace & happiness. My children & grandchildren are the only ones in my life that matter to me. It's better to be without someone you're not happy with and act like an adult and live your life how you want to.  This is what I'm doing, and I've finally found true happiness !! P. S. I'm so happy I can see your show 7 days a week. It's literally the highlight of my day. Thank you for being you !!!!!!!
  56. Be true to yourself; it's your loss if you don't!

    by Julie My first marriage was a mess from the start. I stayed because I was young and then got pregnant. Now I had a child in the mix and thought it was better he had both parents. My ex had apron strings so tied to his mother tight. She had a say so in almost everything in our lives. Again too scared to leave, I stayed for over 14 years. After he lost a good job due to gambling and I was working 2 jobs to keep us afloat, I had the nerve to tell him to go back to his mom where he belonged. Shortly after, I met my 2nd husband and he was no mama's boy for sure. We had over 18 years together and I lost him to cancer. If you are not being true to yourself, you lose years to a dead end marriage you can never get back.
  57. Stay...?

    by CB It's a tough one. I have never been married, so even harder for me to say. My parents are divorced. They divorced after 29 years of marriage, when I was 28 years old. Surprisingly, I felt really disappointed in their decision to part, despite being old enough to know better. My parents never argued, hardly bickered. No one cheated. One day, my mum decided it was over and that she wanted a new life. And that was that. She tells me that she wasn't happy. Why stick to something when you're not happy? I feel that she should have communicated how she felt, before deciding it was over. I believe that people treat you how you allow them to and if you don't speak up about the things that bother you at the time, you can't resent the other person for not understanding or not being psychic. If she had communicated how she was feeling, maybe she could have got that new life she wanted, could have been happy. With my dad, instead of alone.
  58. Love on the Rocks

    by Angela My husband and I have two children, and after spending many years together, just he and I, it became hard to adjust to parenthood. We no longer had time for each other, never a babysitter when needed, and we were always tired at night because of work and kids. It was so tough, I threatened to move out and in with my parents, and that I was taking the kids with me. We ended up going to counseling and seeing more eye to eye. It wasn't each other to blame, it was just that life was harder now and instead of getting mad at one another we needed to work together. Our son is three now and things are much better, we still don't get that "alone" time together as much as we would like, but we have gotten creative with our dinner dates and move nights! We just do those things when the kids go to bed, and sometimes we put them down extra early! Judge Judy Rocks!
  59. Divorce is a death in the family...

    by Denise I have been married 40 years and there have been many times that I wanted out, or thought I did. The reason it has lasted is because I stopped to think about someone besides myself. Instead of what I felt, what I wanted, what I needed I chose to think what the effect would be on my husband and how he would feel, what he wanted, what he needed. I also thought about my children and how my decision would effect them. Amazingly, when I stopped focusing on my unhappiness and frustration things suddenly got better and my marriage got stronger. Looking back I can see that often my negative feelings were being fed by someone who was "drowning" in their own relationship and they were pulling me under and filling my head with wrong thinking. No one should put up with abuse or an adulterous spouse but everyone should think long and hard before entering into marriage and take their vows seriously. Go into marriage as if divorce is not an option.
  60. Go if you're unhappy

    by Shari Love you Judge Judy! Okay, so, I am married for the 2nd time & it is wonderful. My first husband and I got married when I was 22... stupid, young and a big mistake. I was not mature enough to know myself and what I wanted in life or in a man. After 7 years, I knew I didn't want him. Don't stay if you are unhappy. You may have made a mistake and it's okay. You need to move on. The 2nd time around I was older & wiser and knew myself better and knew what kind of man I wanted. However, don't beat yourself up over a mistake you made, don't be angry, and don't punish the children for your mistake. It's okay to realize that you're unhappy and make a decision to leave an unhappy relationship. You don't need an excuse to leave - if you're unhappy, go...Get out before you do stupid things. Just get out and forgive yourself. It's ok. Life is too short to be unhappy. Don't worry about what people will say or think. Live your life happy - even divorced - it's ok. Be happy.
  61. Marriage Is Just Like Anything Else, It's Work

    by Tawny Each situation is different, however, if it's an abusive situation I would say leave. I'm on my second marriage which was on the brink of divorce. Poor communication is apparent in many failed marriages and it contributes to their loss of love. My husband & I did the following and it worked for us. First, the only way you and your spouse will stay in love is to keep meeting each others needs. Give your spouse your undivided attention a minimum of fifteen hours each week, using the time to meet the emotional needs of affection, conversation, recreational companionship and sexual fulfillment. If you and your spouse are to be in love with each other, you must give honesty special attention. That's because it plays such an important role in the creation of romantic love. Also, never do anything without an enthusiastic agreement between you and your spouse. Set ground rules to make negotiation pleasant and safe. The right needs are so strong that when they're not met in marriage, peo
  62. Staying for the kids can be right.

    by Sam My husband was like a Jekyll and Hyde - sometimes mean to us all, sometimes good to us - there was no rhyme or reason. Yes, he was abusive at times, mostly emotionally. I was always prepared to leave. But where would I go? I had three young children to take care of. I could go home to Mom and Dad, but they had raised their four children. Plus it was because of my mother's emotional abuse that I had married someone so like her. I "knew" it and was comfortable. I got up every day asking myself the question: "are they (kids) better off with him, or without him?" This is a valid question because children do need a father. Any positive features that he offered might be worth the stay. Those features might only be figurative, as even his presence would be protection for the children, etc. Finally, after 25 years, he left me. My children were devastated and my daughter who was a teen at the time has suffered severe depression. She's in her early 20s now and stable. "Staying for the kids" can be right.
  63. Sometimes you have to fix what's broken.

    by Bonnie I have been with the same man for 30 years. Due to a bad divorce earlier in my life and two rough divorces in his life, we agreed to take things one day at a time. Twelve years ago, I was diagnosed Bi Polar. The Doctors began me on a series of meds, each seemed to have side effects and for each side effect, they added another pill. After six years I was a walking zombie. I know I went places and did things as there are photos of me doing them, but my memory for three years was shot. My husband made sure I took my meds as written but he found himself in it alone. I was not able to function as a partner in life. I decided I'd had enough and went into the hospital to get off of all the drugs. At that point, I found out he'd had an affair for 3 years. It nearly killed me to know he'd sought a friend elsewhere. I got over the hurt & anger. I accepted the affair was as much my fault as his. We were supposed to be there for each other. We managed to fix the damage, finding US again. It takes TWO to make it work.
  64. After 10 years.....

    by Gary My partner of 10 years was never faithful, and I was even warned about him the very night we met. For the most part during our relationship, we were well matched and got along well. We even owned a business together for a few years, but the trust was never really there. We parted and particularly towards the end I was guided by my instincts, and we were never really close in an intimate, physical sense. My partner became HIV positive about a year later, and went on to give his next partner HIV too. I think I had a lucky escape. It was terrifying the first time I went for an HIV test when I got into another relationship. The moral of the story is to check your facts and match this to your instincts....then make the decision based on the most favourable outcome...good luck....
  65. Bird in a gilded cage.

    by Sheila Fear kept me in my marriage. Fear of being on my own, lack of money, how would it affect the children etc, I was so miserable. One day I heard a voice in my head say "you are a bird in a gilded cage" This alarmed me; was I be coming unstable? So I plucked up the courage and left. Things slowly got better. I went back to college at night after working all day. I started a better job which I enjoyed, working with the mentally ill. All this took place between the age of 36 to age 39. Now at age 62, I own my own home, run a car and both children did well. I have three grandchildren; life is good. I have just retired and have acquired a small feisty dog that I named Judy and I never heard the voice again. Love the show.
  66. When love turns into a gamble .

    by Bennett I'm old fashioned and thought I was entering a parthnership when we decided to get married, a same sex union. First signs of trouble: just  months before the wedding, my husband-to-be lost his job. "We will get through this together". I became the provider. He collected unemployment and finally worked as delivery boy, part-time on minimum wages. I admired his determination to work. A year later, I was forced to realize that he was still at the same job with no effort to improve his income and was depending on me for his living expenses. "At least he's happy." Hard times hit. I got diagnosed with cancer and started chemo. He left me at my weakest and came home only to sleep. No explanation. It occured to me then that he kept coming back for his half of everything. I asked for a divorce. He asked for alimony. I got a liar; he got free legal aid. If a partnership is not equal, why should divorce be equal? Marriage is a gamble ...
  67. Kids need curfews...

    by Mary After years of thinking about leaving, I finally got the strength to end my marriage. But, he fought back hard because the kids were "his". The (teenaged) kids were subjected to interviews where they were allowed to choose which parent they wanted to live with -- the at-home mom with rules or the dad who now needed to be their best friend. The Judge ruled: our teen daughter was to live with dad, while our younger son was to live with me. Ridiculous. By 14, our daughter was routinely escorted home by police at wee hours because her dad refused to get out of bed. At 15, she dropped out of school and ran away. Now, at age 25, from behind bars with constant urges for more heroin, she talks about those early years when drugs became the most important part of her life. I wish I waited, regardless of my hell, so that my daughter would have had the benefit of a parent with rules. Kids need curfews. And, Judges need to be more mindful of the long-term impact of their decisions.
  68. I stayed.

    by Karen For our marriage to survive I moved our family half way across the world. We were in a terrible mess, but I just couldn't bring myself to leave. We were suddenly presented with an opportunity to start over and I grabbed it - husband in one hand, kids in the other. I had to get my life and our family's back on track. The saying "wherever you go, there you are" held some truth for us and our relationship didn't really improve too much. We took our baggage with us and some years later, out of frustration, I told my husband about the affair I had many years before. This pain was the foundation for our healing. I thank God every day that we decided to make it work. The three years that followed were enormously difficult and emotionally draining, but gosh it's been worth it. Our marriage is better than it's ever been; we are so much more aware of how we treat each other and our communication is open and honest, but always respectful. I have the man I always wanted.
  69. Why My Wife and I Called it Quits

    by Joe Ten years ago, I married a woman who already had three young children. The kids had grown up without a father by that point, and I had my ideas on a few subjects that were sure to come up with them in the coming years. I shared those ideas with my wife, and she seemed OK with them. Things went bad right after the marriage. The kids were defiant, talked back to their mother, and on occasion with me. The middle child was especially tough. As time went on I saw in my wife an odd reluctance to stand behind her rules etc, and so there was no real improvement with the kids.The reason my wife would later give to me when she ended our marriage was my lack of affection. She couldn't grasp the idea that I resented her because of her inability to deal with her kids. In the end, our therapist finally told me , "You have a choice, live with how things are now, or leave. Your wife is not going to change". But it was too  late. My wife had stopped coming to therapy saying I was the one with the problem.
  70. Trying to keep the marriage together...

    by Joanne I married my husband, now ex, almost ten years ago. We have had 3 children together. My mom and dad have just celebrated over 40 years together. Had my grandfather lived as long as my grandmother, they would have reached about 70 years or possibly 80 together. When my wedding ring was placed on my hand by the man I was marrying, I had no intention whatsoever to take it off, not even in the bath or shower, until my dying day when I wanted my daughter to have it. Some people have laughed at me for this. The only time I lost faith in my marriage was when he became abusive toward me and when he raised his hand to our infant son. So should you stay or go? I had to leave for my children's and my own safety otherwise I would have stayed because relationships have up's and downs.
  71. I stayed with stipulations and never regretted it!

    by Kara We got married at 19 and 20 and immediately moved away to college so there was no "running back". We had healthy communication until it got to the big problems where we realized the vastly different familes we grew up with infuenced how we did or didn't communicate. One day my husband, who had a temper threw something against the wall and broke it, took my car keys and glasses so I couldn't leave. I told him if he did not get professional help (I feared his temper would escalate) I would leave him. He did not, but we DID sit down and come up with a solution. Whenever we would have a BIG fight, at some point we would both walk away and write a letter to the other one explaining the problem, at our own leisure. When we were calm, we would read each other's letters and then reply, only when calm. That way we HAD to listen to the other side and not sit there coming up with a counter argument or in his case, have the time to actually articulate what was wrong. Has worked 19 years now!
  72. My heart verses my obligations...

    by Liz I've been married for 25 years. I have not been happy in my marriage for at least 20 years. I care about my husband, but I'm not in love with him. I have stayed all these years I suppose out of committment and my children. I did not want them growing up in a broken home like I did. Plus, my Christian convictions have remained strong. Last year, things just seemed to start getting really bad. My husband shows no affection and he is very prideful and says very cutting things to me. My children are now adults. Anyway, last year I let myself fall in love with another man. It started out as an innocent attraction. A couple of months ago my husband became violent. I left him that night and filed a police report. I stayed with one of my children for a few weeks. I saw the man that I was in love with some, but not much. I was dealing with a lot. After a week or so through E-mails, my husband pleaded with me to come back. I did and still feel no love.
  73. The heart fools the brain...

    by M. S. It took me a little over a year to finally get the courage to file for divorce after he left me for his first wife. He had my heart fooled thinking he was going to come back. He would text or email me, but only when he wanted too. He never once called. I cried for many months and drank myself to sleep. I couldn't even take care of my child anymore. Literally, one beautiful Spring morning, I woke up, as did my heart, and I realized I wanted more in life. I didn't want to cry and drink anymore. I stopped texting him and didn't return nor did I read his texts anymore. I deleted his number, blocked his & all his family's email accounts and I called around looking for a divorce attorney. He kept moving from state to state so it was getting hard to track him down. I didn't have much money, so I couldn't afford a PI. It took several years to get divorced, but it did eventually happen. Its been almost5 years now & to this day he calls me twice a year, but I've never answered my phone. Not once.
  74. Our Own Success Story

    by Lynn Although I was married to same man twice and that didn't work, I married someone else, and the 3rd time was the charm. For over 5 years at the beginning of our marriage, my husband's alcoholism got worse. My friends & family said that our marriage would definitely crumble, however I pushed for his treatment, and after, warned him that if he ever had even a teaspoon of alcohol, I would leave. He didn't, and we have been married for almost 25 years. I could not find another success story from others, but instead decided that we would have to work to create our own. We did, and for us, there is no looking back, but living and loving each other each and every day. He has cancer now, so our bond is even stronger, and I appreciate every precious moment. I am so glad that I did NOT give up. Marriage has its bumps, however, one must try before throwing in the towel. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. One Happily Married Lady, Lynn
  75. Marriage ----Work it!

    by Jean We have been married over 40 years. There have been good times and many, many difficult times. In many cases, you can get through them but you really must make the effort! You must work it! With our "disposable, throw away society," marriage has become another thing to throw out. Anything that is deemed worthwhile is hard work. You must do whatever it takes within reason(short of being physically abused) to maintain a good marriage. These are hard times! My son and his wife were married just 2 years when she left him. He didn't see it coming! She asserted that his PTSD was one cause. He served two tours in Iraq. He has been through living hell! Maybe she had just cause for leaving. We will never know..but she didn't even try to work it out. Take the necessary steps. Seek out a counselor. If it doesn't work out, so be it! Ever hear about the old saying, "The family that prays together stays together?" Try it. It just might work.
  76. Marriage = Family!

    by Barbara Stan was 8 years old. His dad told him that him and Mom were divorcing. His dad explained it to Stan. Stan said "Then I want to divorce my sister". Dad said "You can't do that, she is your sister". Stan asked his dad, "When you married Mom, you both became family so if you can divorce, then I can divorce my sister". Judge Judy, first of all I think you are great and I wish everyone could watch just one episode! This story was from a Southpark episode from the second season 14 years ago. I always remember it when me and mine have problems. The commitment is forever. There are reasons to leave (true) but I am reminded by this story of my commitment. Mothers love their sons after horrendous crimes! We stick with our children and family to the end so the commitment to a spouse should be as important. I chose and committed to this person. Then I look in the mirror and make sure I am treating him as I want to be treated.
  77. As far back as I can see

    by Debbie I come from several generations of marriages that have lasted. This past year we celebrated my grandparents 70th wedding anniversary. My parents and In-Laws are still married (48 years + each) and my husband and I are going into our 24th year of marriage. I have had wonderful, committed examples to watch and follow. I know this is not always the case.The hope for my four children is that the example we set will direct them to choose a spouse wisely and work at their marriages. The challenge these days is for them to find a mate that has similar values, background and a desire to "work" at making a marriage last. Time will tell how this plays out. The examples we see in the media, substance abuse, living beyond our means and an overall acceptance of looking out for "number one" have had damaging consequences on marriages. Unwise choices as young adults will impact your marriage. Seek wise advise and enter into marriage looking for ways to love someone more than yourself.
  78. If he has ever scared you...leave!

    by Cindy If he ever loses his temper to the point that you are afraid, you need to leave. It will start off as yelling, and putting you down, then by throwing and breaking things, dishes, pots ect. Then he might hit the wall right next to where you are standing and tell you that you have no reason to be afraid of him because if he wanted to hit you he would have just then, he has self control. Always keep your money separate or some of it anyway so you do not have to stay because you can not afford to leave.
  79. My husband once told me.....

    by Mary My husband once told me something interesting and I have thought about it many times when I listen to stories about break ups and make ups. He said " The trait that initially attracted you to your mate can later be the very trait that separates you." This couldn't be truer! My first husband got my attention by his cute & flirty way, I loved it until his cute & flirty way worked it's magic in another women's bed! Guess you can tell it how that one ended!
  80. Married to the mother-in-law

    by Terry My husband is great, but his mother has caused problems with us more than once. She doesn't like for any of her kids to be independant and happy because then they don't depend on her 24/7. One night while at a restaurant, she got onto me reagarding my parenting skills. My son had been on medication and it really affected his behavior. I told my husband that he should have given him a nap that day, and he would have been o.k. She jumped all over me and called me a bad mom for working, etc. I got up and left and my husband followed me and took her side. He always takes her side about everything. When we got home, I packed my son and I up and we left. I figured if his mom was so perfect, he could just have her! After a couple of days I came back because I couldn't stand the thought of sharing my son if we divorced. I have fought for this marriage ever since. People need to fight harder. Honor your vows. It's not always easy, but it can be done, unless you are being abused.
  81. Should I stay or should i go?

    by Jay We've been married for almost 20 years; he was 15 years older than me. The idea of being a pastor's wife was good but something that I lived to regret.. all eyes were on me... I was like a piece of furniture at home, walked on, talked down to, disrespected etc. I am not allowed to have my side of the family visit us, and I would have to work and support myself. I wanted a child and we were not compatible in doing so, and he did not believe in having a doctor help us. I got frustrate and I cheated and got pregnant and had a beautiful baby. I confessed everything to him about my one night stand and he said he forgave me. We both decided to register the baby in both our names, and he loves the child to death. The marriage has been 'over' for several years now; we choose not to be intimate and I am just in the house doing all the stuff that a wife does. I ask for a divorce and he said I should go get one but he will not give me one because of the ministry sake.
  82. Bad Marriage Mistake!

    by Evan I am a young man in my 20s who made the mistake of marrying the girl around the corner about three years ago. That lasted all of a year and we have not lived together or talked since. I have yet to get a legal divorce, and I am just now finding out the consequences of not doing so. All the credit card bills she has been racking up are now turning into OUR responsibility even though we have not spoken for several years. What a mess! I know I am stupid and need to get a legal divorce immediately, but at the time I did not realize the consequences of being married to someone you do not really love, or even speak to for that matter. By the way, I respect you so much and watch your show every week day. I look up to you, and wish I would have watched your show back when I made the stupid decision to marry her, because I know I would not have done it after seeing several people on your show with similar problems
  83. Leaving a marriage when it isn't a marriage

    by E. I was married for over 20 years thinking the "relationship" was "normal" - it wasn't. I was verbally, emotionally, psychologically and sexually abused. I went to get help as the blame was put onto me and found it wasn't my fault. It was the way the offender wanted to treat me and I had subconsciously allowed it. I was horrified. My children left home in their teens and then I left and obtained a divorce. Best thing I ever did. It's a terrible thing though when it isn't recognised much earlier how these situations can affect the children in their young lives and onto their adult lives.
  84. STAY OR GO...try and make it work!

    by Ann I got married young. My husband went into the Air Force, and we moved about 2000 miles from home. There were many times I should have left, but I didn't. Well I left once, but not for the right reasons. Back in our days, when you got married, you had to have a parents' consent to the judge. The judge told us we'd never make it, we were too young, but when you're out there and you have no family to help or go to, you just have to make the best of it. We have been married almost 38 years, and yes it's been hell, but my kids are out of the house, and he knows now that I have nothing to keep me here, so now he is very careful. The good thing about military life is you meet people from all over. Tick me off, I could go anywhere and never be found. We had very hard times as young people and no guidance. It sucked, but we stuck it out and here we are. Not bad for a 16 and 18 year old. Don't be quiters, try and make it work.

    by Leah I married my ex husband I had met while in the Navy. He had strayed once while we were stationed in different places. I forgave and we married. It took 8 years for me to realize that he wasn't to be trusted, he stoled money, he cheated and the final straw was his drug abruse. As the title says, "IT WAS TIME TO GO". We did end on good terms, he even helped me move. I am sad to say, as a result of the drugs, he isn't the same man I knew. I kept my sanity and my self esteem by leaving, I deserve better.
  86. Sometimes ya gotta go.

    by Aly I was married to my first husband for 8 years, we've been divorced for 10 years now. It was tough to leave him, but I felt like I had no choice. He was bi polar and wouldn't stay on his meds, so it was like walking on eggshells all the time. The least little things would set him off on a verbal assault that no one should have to endure. Our son was just a little boy, and he was the main reason I knew we had to get out and have peace on our own. Little did I know that it would take an additional 5 years for the war to finally end. My son is not a little boy anymore and my ex and I are older and finally we have a friendly relationship. I have no regrets.
  87. Don't walk, RUN AWAY!

    by Anne Life is tough. Romantic love is tough. The love that a parent has for her child is toughest and took presidence over my own vows to my new hubby. I remarried a man who brought his own young son into the marriage; I was carting in two of mine, who I had single-parented for their lives thus far. No sooner did we do the "i do" than dad expected to have the final say and the authority over my kids' actions. I became an amiable acquaintance to my stepson, with the hopes that even this would not be too traumatic for him. I did not ever tell him what to do, but offered only praise and encouragement when it was needed. I knew instinctively just to stand in the gap. New daddy became Hitler overnight and began grabbing the kids and shaking them. His anger caused him to plunge my son's face into the carpet because he could not get his snow pants on quickly. Hence, years later, and another child between us, more violence, and we are done, divorced and broken-hearted. Don't walk, RUN AWAY!
  88. You live and learn..

    by Jojo In my 32 years of marriage to the same ole coot, I must confess. I have been the cause of some of the arguments but I also am the one who gives in the majority of the time or finally just agrees because I don't like to fight. Life's too short for such nonsense. My husband is 10 yrs older than myself. He was married once before with one son before we met. And he was divorced long before I came along. I do wish that I had learned earlier on to keep some of my identity, that part I wish I had fought to keep. He was jealous early on and didn't want me continuing my education,having other friends, male or female, that was my mistake. When I lost my career in 2003 due to disease & doctors wouldn't release me to return to work ,he stuck by me except he treats me very different which truly befuddles me. I love him and probably always will but you live and you learn. I truly love your show and wouldn't miss it for the world. Would love to meet you in person and get some of your insighful wisdom.
  89. Bad marriage is a good teacher

    by Mike I grew up in a house with two alcoholic parents. There were fights, some physical. I watched what happened all my childhood and my parents never divorced. They are both dead now and I have been with my wife for over 32 years and I give the credit to my parents. I was able to see the destruction of substance abuse, lying, cheating and keeping secrets. I learned what happened when there was not trust, love and affection. They taught me EXACTLY what not to do. My wife and I still have an argument once or twice a year, I never call names and never, never get physical. Respect, love and communication and you will stay married a long time.
  90. The

    by Nevi I was married almost 13 years. My husband got more controlling ( not physical ) as the years went by. He had a bad childhood and was never able to get over the demons that followed. I was accused of cheating and had to explain everywhere I went . He thought since everyone in his past left him, I would do the same no matter how much I explained that he was the only man I wanted and loved. During our 12th year of marriage, it became almost a daily routine to accuse me of doing so which hurt after so many years and still no trust. I had already stopped going out to any events with friends and only left the house to go to work,the grocery store or school functions with our son. I threatened divorce in September not out of lack of love but I just couldn't take the emotional pain. He saw a doctor and started taking anti-depressant pills so I would stay. He took his own life 3 months later because he felt he was a burden to us. I sometimes wonder what if I never mentioned divorce, would he still be here...
  91. If you don't, it could be trouble...

    by Dot I agree with Jodie's story, "You should Go! Go! Go!": I stayed in a miserable marriage for 19 years...for the kids! I was miserable and so were they. When we finally did split, when I finally hit bottom, everyone was relieved. He remarried and I've never been happier. No strings attached...YES!!!
  92. Stay or go? I eventually went!

    by Joanne Timing is critical. I'd been married for 36 years. I was way too young (20); he was way too manipulative and older. Sometimes the 10 year difference in our ages was gaping, other times not so much. We grew a family, turned 58, and realized that neither one of us was very happy. We told each other often. Funny, my timing was off. I stayed way too long. I knew leaving could destroy him, but in the end staying would have destroyed me. I chose me. I had thought about leaving for years, and oddly enough, when I made the decision to follow through with the separation, I made that decision in less than 48 hours. In 3 days time I was packed and gone. Putting off facing the reality that our marriage was over cost me my youth, and prolonged the pain which was inevitable anyway.
  93. Our Childhood Determined by Mom

    by Anne I married an alcoholic. I knew he was, but hoped once the child was born he'd change. Before leaving for our out-of-state wedding, he showed his violent side and attacked. I was 5 mths pregnant. I did NOT want to marry this man, but felt trapped. My friends were gone, I had no family here, I just gave up my apartment so all my belongings were in this new big rented house, and the wedding was in 7 days. After 6 mths of marriage I wanted out but was ashamed of the stigma I'd face. Somehow, I found the strength to give an ultimatum. He "complied" for a while. Another baby came 3 yrs later (by my own choice) and the drinking resumed at an uglier pace. His drinking was now affecting our young child. Because I too was raised in an alcoholic home, I could not let history repeat itself. Should I stay or should I go? The last 6 yrs have been difficult, but my decision proved to be the best choice ever. Today my children have two parents. Had I stayed, they might not have any.
  94. It's never too late...

    by Callie Having a rough childhood, I self destructed all the way through life. I lived in the past and became a very ugly person and did not care about anything. At 48, on my 3rd marriage and a past full of anger, I woke up one day and realized what special gift God gave to me. Am I too late? I may be, but the time I do have, I'm going to live and enjoy and give thanks every minute. If I had let go and forgiven, I may have a lot more time left but with what I have I'm going to be who I was meant to be. After a marriage lasting over 10 years, I can finally walk out and not look back. He was an alcoholic, hid his cell phone, was always on it and freaked if I touched it. I knew what he was doing and with whom ie. a computer full of cyber sex, chats, web cams, texts, with very young women etc.. I found it all and it wasn't worth my time to try and work it out. I didn't have the time or energy to be lied to, disrespected and treated like I didn't matter. I do and I'm going to enjoy what I have left and start again. It's not too late to.........
  95. I'm overwhelmed with the day-to-day.

    by Barb We have been married for over a decade. Best friends. We have two young children. In the past five years, I get stressed and overwhelmed day by day..trying to keep up with the kids and the house. We have a house and live in it but forget the up-keep inside and out. We have tried, but with other priorities, it's getting impossible. He does help when he can but not the things I need him to do for me. In the last two years, I have felt I needed more. I have been pulling away wanting/needing a change or just need to get away. I have thought of working on the marriage but there is always something (the kids/the house/ the finances/the affair) and I am once again thinking this is it. I know I am not happy. I have had an affair on-going for the last two years. I just feel if I am going to be doing it all on my own I might as well be single. I am just so tired of crying every day. I am depressed about everything. I need to make a choice for my own sanity and happiness.
  96. Betrayal

    by C. It was my second marriage and I was madly in love. We had been married for 6 years and I was getting ready to leave work to drive home and I called my 13 year old daughter to see if she needed anything on my way home. She sounded, well, not right. I pressed her to see what was wrong and she finally told me "he touched me". She said she was lying in bed watching tv and her stepfather reached over and molested her. I asked where he was and she said he went out. I told her I'd be right home. But what I did first was call him and tell him he could not come home until I talked to my daughter and he agreed. When I got home, my poor baby said that it was her fault because she was wearing real short shorts. I told her that he had no right to touch her even if she was buck naked. She left with her older sibling for the weekend and I called my husband and told him to get his things. I reported him to the police and divorced him while he was doing time in prison. Kids come first!
  97. Married 44 years..feeling empty

    by Nancy After 44 years of marriage, I want to escape this life of doing nothing. I got married at 18..raised two great kids..I worked 30 years for a living at the same job. I had a nice house. But that's it. I got nothing from the man I was married to. I want to experience what life is all about before my time is up. I am in my 60's now and have done nothing, not even family vacations..work, work, work. I was never treated like I was a woman; I worked like a man. All these 44 years, I think being married to a vietnam vet was my biggest mistake. He was a hard man to live with. Weeks would go by without any conversation; that wears on you. I dealt with it, but as the years went on, it took everything out of me. I don't think I have been in love with him for over 20 years. I want to leave and find a place where I can find that connection in life wherever it may be. I just want to laugh and live a life I feel I have missed out on....
  98. A mother's nightmare revisited on her daughter...

    by J. My story is about my parents. I grew up in a household where there was no affection, no 'I love you', not even a 'GOOD job.' My parents would argue a lot and my dad drank a lot. When I moved out at the age of 17 to go to college, I began to wonder what was going on and realized they really had no love for each other at all. When I was divorcing my first husband because he cheated on me with MANY women and drank and did drugs, (by this time I was in my late 20s and my parents had been married for over 40 years), my dad made a comment to me that I should really think twice about divorcing. He knew how abusive my husband was and about the STDs he was bringing home to me, so I just didn't understand where my dad was coming from until years after my dad died. I was at the age of 60 when my mom opened up to me that my dad had cheated on her for many years, starting when I was 2 years old he cheated with my babysitter, then many years with other women in our town.
  99. As Life Goes!

    by Irene I experienced divorce twice: first my parent's and then my own. My Mother chose to leave and it was a bitter, ugly experience that tore my family apart forever. As a result of this, I decided that if I married it would be forever. My husband to be at the ages of 20 and myself 17, decided we would not be like our parents. We were married for 35 years when he asked me for a divorce and with mixed feelings I agreed. I thought we had done a good job at hiding our feelings but our children knew. My children have said many times over you should have left Mom, Dad made you miserable. So I don't know the answer either.
  100. Staying 'for the kids' isn't the best.

    by Christine My mom "stayed for the sake of the kids", but she and my dad should have divorced before then. I am not sure what the outcome would have been, but I do know they may have been able to find happiness with someone else sooner if they did. The constant tension between them and unintentionally toward me and my brother, did not make a happy home life sometimes. My brother remembers more happy times than me, probably because he is the younger. That was many years ago, but there are still times where I wonder what if...
  101. I will stay

    by Emily I've never been married, and I do not and will not judge people who have separated. That's not my place and not my business. I plan on marrying someday, and when I do I will take my vows very seriously. If I can't say that I'll stay with the same person for the rest of my life, then I won't say it. I always take what I say seriously, and always do my very, very best to do what I say I will. If my marriage falls apart, I plan to get help from someone wiser than I am, and refuse to take the easy way out. If someone asked me whether to stay with their spouse or not, I would ask them what their vows were, and whether their vows mean anything to them now. Then I would point them in the direction of a counselor.
  102. I didn't have a choice

    by Angie After 25 yr. of marriage he walked out. I didn't have a choice, he made up his mind and it was over. I thought the marriage would last forever, what a silly thought. No communication takes its toll. After an 11 yr. separation, we divorced. He was too weak to end it. I'll never marry again. I like living alone and only trust myself.

    by G. We will be married 47 years. I should have left him 28 years ago when I found out what a cheating liar he was but I was so financially & emotionally dependent then, I decided to stick it out. I've been regretting it ever since. At 70 years old, it's too late for me now. I could not make it on my own - I need his income & health benefits. Now I see him as a selfish old man. I just suck it up & go on. A life wasted!
  104. Love him but can't live with him

    by Carol I recently left my husband of 32 years. I now have my own apartment and he has his apartment. Best thing we ever did. He now knows what it's like to have responsibility. I've always said, you should be married 10 years and then have the chance to end the marriage with no legal commitments. If you choose to stay, you will be married for another 10 years.
  105. Run As Fast As You Can!

    by May I was married many years ago to an abuser. I didn't know he was one until after we were married. He quit his job, drank (that's when he got violent), and gambled. We, or should I say I, tried marriage counseling... he lied the whole time we went. Finally after an outrage, the counselor told me to have him committed. He was much bigger than me and strong so that wasn't happening. Finally after leaving him 6 times, (he always threatened to kill me if I didn't go back to him), I left for good. He found a new woman to beat. If anyone gets hit even one time, leave... you might not get a second chance. They say they won't do it again, but that's only to get you back so they can do it again, and again. Even after all these years, I still don't feel safe with my back towards a crowd. Run, run as fast as you can.
  106. Do What's Right!!

    by Krista I was married right out of high school and had my girls way too young. The man I married never treated me right, lied, cheated, hit, anything you can imagine and then some. I thought, "this is the man I married, I will give it 1 more shot for the kids"...What I did was waste my life. I am now a very happy, very strong single mother of 2 daughters. Yes I work 2, sometimes 3 jobs to support us, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I chose to leave a few times and finally after many tries left for good. I now have a life for myself and my daughters. It was a difficult decision and sometimes hard on my daughters when they have to go for visitation, but I know if I would have stayed, I would be dead. I had to do what was right and best for my girls and best for me. I am very blessed now and happy.
  107. Only you know when enough is enough....

    by Sara I stayed in a marriage far too long because I thought it was what was best for my daughter. I tried everything I could to make the marriage work, but it just wasn't. When my daughter looked at me and said "Mom, let's go." - She was 7. That is when the only reason I had to stay was gone. I can look my daughter in the face with confidence that that I did everything I could do. It has been about 7 years since we left. I am re-married, own my own home and both my daughter and I are truly happy. Since then, my ex-husband has racked up $30,000 in unpaid child support, will not hold a job, and had at least one more kid that we know of and has ruined his relationship with his daughter. Give them enough rope, they always hang themselves.
  108. The Decision....I should go.

    by Shelley I have such good intuition and am a really smart girl. So why did it take me years to see the truth about my husband and marriage? I get the meaning behind "Love is blind." I never believed that the man I promised to spend the rest of my life with, respect and honor, and love above all others in sickness and health couldn't keep the same promises he made to me. His priority and loyalty is to his family(siblings and parents) not to the family we created. He was jealous of me and competed with me at every turn, even sabotaging my relationship with our children and lying to prevent me from taking a good job. And forced me to rely on my oldest son for help, instead of him, during a 4 year illness. I did try 2 therapists with him...he lied to them about me in front of my face. I got the message - at the most critical time in the process of saving my marriage, he was not willing to be truthful. Obviously, I didn't mean that much to him. That still hurts. But leaving was right.
  109. I stayed for our kids...

    by Carolynn I was married over 25 years. I stayed because I didn't want to abandon our kids. Nor did I want them to take the heat because I wanted out. And I saw that as very possible. What I've realized is that I wasn't able to love him the way needed. And vice versa. And it became very lonely, I connected with old flames (not looking to stray, just enjoyed former relationships) I hadn't seen in decades who seemed to know me better than hubby. By the time I was getting the nerve to say neither one of us are happy with the status quo, he was diagnosed with cancer and was gone. And then finding out how he tried to save premiums by changing his birth year messed things up in a huge way, as I'm unable to work because I'm disabled. Makes me feel like I was never important enough. I am alone, but as lonely as it gets sometimes, I don't have 'loveless personified' to make it miserable. It didn't help when, after 26 years, he claimed he was ready to make a committment. And the earlier years were what?
  110. Soft Hearted

    by David My story starts in the early 80's when I moved to Florida. In 1983 I met a very nice young lady and got married. My first son was born in 1985 and 2 years later we were divorced. I was hurt for years and even tried to get her to go to counseling but, she refused. She then got remarried and I finally found a girlfriend and then she moved in and 4 years later we married. We had a daughter. We were married for 13 years then finally divorced. I moved in with my father and became his caretaker for 6 years. My father passed away in 2008. For the next year and a half my sister and I had to deal with his estate. I made plans to move back up north to take care of my mother when she passed away in 2010. My sister and I inherited her home and I moved in and because I still had strong feelings for my ex-wife. I asked her and my daugher to move in with me. We still have our differences but, we work it out. I dont know why I am soft hearted but, I wanted to put a roof over my daughter's head.
  111. The D Word

    by Nancy I am married over 40 years. Yes I could have run away many times. But in this life, running is now the easy way out. Yes in some cases running is the right thing to do, if there is violence. But if there is love, you should work it out. Talking out your problems is a lot harder than running. I'm glad I stayed. I learned to grow up. In any marriage you discover how to press each other's buttons. This is what I call the most common fight. Compromise is a great word. One should learn through life that a marriage is a series of such things. Learn to count to ten and look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself is this really worth the fight? I know over the years I can't even remember why we fought. So I hope my kids have learned a little from me..not all. Because God knows I did it wrong many many times. They take from me that in the end count your blessings not your fights!!!!
  112. He left...I got smarter!

    by Diane I was married for over 15 years when one Sunday afternoon my ex became abusive. He went to jail; I got the kids. That was over 3 years ago. I told him when we first got married, that if he ever laid a hand on me our marriage would be over. I watched my mom and dad be physically abusive to each other and I refused to be in the same situation. Since then, I put myself into college. I am now in my 3rd year, when I graduate, I will have a BA in Business Administration with a minor in Accounting. I went to school to better myself and to show my kids you can do anything you want as long as you put your mind to it. I now have a GPA 3.03 You can do one of two things when life throws you lemons. You can either make lemonade or eat the lemons and become the sourpuss no one wants around.
  113. Only The Strong Survive

    by Monica Well before we got married, my husband and I shacked for years and everything was lovely! We had money to blow and we never argued and people thought we were the perfect couple. When I found out that I was pregnant with baby #2, we decided enough shacking and got married. After the vows, we went through 6 years of hard labor. Everything was horrible. We could not even keep a steady roof over our heads. He was working 2 jobs and I was working and we were always broke. We begin to argue and a couple of times it got a little physical (I didn't hurt him to bad, lol). It seemed that we were at the end and decided that it was over. We were both tired and even though the kids were young, we did not want them in that type of environment. Before we could get to a divorce attorney something happened, everything changed. I don't know what it was, but everything turned around. So we decided to stay together. We are still together and happy and peaceful and celebrating 10 years of marriage this October.
  114. My best friends?

    by Wendy I have been with my husband since we were teenagers. When he returned from the Army, he was kind of a jerk, ran off with my best friend, and they had a baby. She ran off with someone else, and he called me to see if I would help him raise his daughter. I was 18 and not feeling generous so I said no. His sister adopted her which was the best solution. We argued a bit about who would pay for a divorce, not me because I didn't do anything, and he was cheap. In the long run, we worked it out and have been together for almost 40 years. We learned how to communicate and that you have to be responsible for your own actions. Love does not conquer all, but if you are stubborn enough you can work through anything.
  115. On the rocks

    by Jade I've been married twice. The first marrage was to an alcoholic; I don't drink and so I didn't like the fact that he did. As time went on, I got tired of the verbal abuse so I divorced him then I got married again and this was even worse. My 2nd husband could not keep himself out of prison. What a nightmare! He threw me down on the ground when he didn't get his way. If I didn't get his drugs, I was at fault, and when I said please don't do drugs anymore, I got beat. I  was scared and didn't know what to do. A judge granted me a divorce.  He only spent a year in prison. I used to not be able to sleep when he was away, but now I stay up thinking is he gonna look for me and hurt me some more.
  116. Stay if you can...

    by Debbie It takes courage to stay and I am glad I did, because eventually we sorted things out with the help of friends, family and God along the way. My 4 children benefited from our determination to work things out, even though it was not easy at the best of times. The fact that we determined to love each other was the best gift we could ever give our children and it paid off. We have been married 31 years now and know we are not perfect, but we are perfect for each other. And that is a goal that our children can work towards in their own marriages and they have seen it done first hand, through us. Marriage is never easy, but it is a journey and there have been chapters I would never want to go through again, but then because of them I am the person I am today. Because of the hardships I am better for them, less self centered and definitely more patient. I determined in my younger days that it did not matter who I married, everyone has baggage and the grass is never greener on the other side.
  117. married husband..... and his family

    by Sandra I sold my house to get married for the 2nd time and thought I had found Mr. Right. We had the best relationship and marriage for two years. I was sooo happy. Then my husband's mother passed away, and we sold our house to go into huge debt to buy his mother's estate. Along with the house, came his mentally-challenged sibling and his non-working alcoholic sibling. We support both. This threw us into bankruptcy and a marriage with separate rooms. That was 10 years ago. Now we live as companions and I lost my savings due to the above. I cannot afford to start over. I'm not complaining...just very unhappy over the wrong choices we can make in life. I now warn my friends & family to be extremely sure of whom you want to marry and both family circumstances.
  118. Can't believe I have to start over again!

    by Cheryl My story began almost 13 years ago when I met my now Husband. We met in a chat room and fell deeply in love sight unseen. The marriage was fantastic for 10 years. Suddenly, I look at my husband and think, 'who are you? 'why did I marry you'. I couldn't help but see how much he had changed. He has become passive agressive and always likes to put the boot in. I sometimes feel that the only purpose I have to him is to be his doormat for his sad existance. I am a very outgoing, proactive person but I am now trapped! I am American and my husband is British. We moved to the UK 7 years ago and I now feel trapped! Perhaps this is part of my problem with this marriage. I have lost my freedom, my car, my family, my friends, well my life. I am now saving to go home!
  119. After 29 Years of Marriage.....I Left!

    by Sheri After raising our only child, after my retirement, after his retirement, after turning 60, I finally realized that we really didn't (and never did) have anything in common. I didn't want to spend the rest of my life (where the years were less than the ones I'd already lived) feeling alone. I realized that living alone is a state of being; feeling alone is a state of mind. I realized that I needed to be loved based on my definition of love vs his definition of love. I also realized that holding on to material "stuff" wouldn't do me any good on the way to my grave....you don't see U-Haul trucks hooked to the hearse! I finally realized that life is not a "dress rehearsal" so that I may as well live it to the fullest....helping others and giving back to those coming behind me, especially our youth....without having a spouse constantly condemning me for doing so because he didn't share the same values (and never did). Lesson: Opposites may attract, but they don't STAY together!
  120. Leaving and waking up

    by Melissa I'm bipolar and had quite a few outbursts of anger due to my condition. I ended up leaving my Ex because I felt terrible for my behavior. He never left me because he was true to the relationship to make things work. He was a gem. But, relationships aren't for me.
  121. When it's time to go...

    by Lisa When it's over it's over but I believe nobody should walk without giving it a really good try especially if there are children involved unless there are constant arguments. I must admit being brought up a catholic made me more aware that marriage should be forever but by the time I gave in, I knew I would never look back and regret my decision. I haven't either .....2 years on and I have not allowed either of us to become bitter even though I walked away with nothing except a mountain of debt, however that was a small price to pay for peace......and I also avoided bankruptcy by leaving!! I am happily separated and yes I would get married again!
  122. It's okay for Dad to move on, but not Mom.

    by Cheryl I was married to the same man for almost 26 years. Through out our time together we had changed..Took each other for granted and in time I fell out of love with him...It was very hard to see and realize, till the change of life came at the same time for the both of us. We have both since moved on with out each other..The hardest part is our sons. It's okay for Dad to move on but, not for me (Mom).
  123. 50/50

    by Teri My husband and I have been seperated for 11 months. My husband had started drinking heavily, and I couldnt have my two great kids around the drunkeness and unpredicability. HOWEVER, I made a vow, for better or worse, and there is still so much love there.... so, we are living apart, but working together. Therapy, Rehab, AA.... its alot of time, alot of work, takes alot of patience, and there are alot of "2 steps forward, 1 step back" moments. But we believe our marriage and family is worth saving.... I dont know what will happen in the future. We still have to work on many things, but as long as we both are putting in the equal effort to put the pieces back together, I believe it can be done. I believe thats what it takes for a marriage to really work.... its got to be 50/50.... and though it hasnt been for us in the past, this is what we strive for now. :)
  124. Almost divorced but now happily married!

    by Deanna My marriage was in bad shape a few years ago.. we tried to fix things but no good. So I moved out, filed for divorce and 7 days before it was final.. we worked things out. We both realized we really did miss and love and appreciate each other while separated. But we both agree that we needed that split to realize how much we really do love each other.
  125. Marriage is forever but...

    by BETH I believe marriage is forever and the spouses should communicate and get outside help if they need it. Both should be saying "I will stay and work on this marriage". That is the path I chose. My husband had wanted something different and I had no control over his choice. He is the one who left the family. He moved out, moved to another state, then informed the kids and I. Now everyone knows which spouse cared about the relationship.
  126. So glad they went separate ways

    by Calista My parents divorced when I was 7 and I think that was the best decision they ever took. Being a child in a broken family is very sad. Nowadays I think that my mum did an excellent job raising up two children on her own as my father has never paid child support. As I am about to get married myself, I often reflect on what happened to my parents an I hope that I will be able to keep it nice and happy, otherwise...better separated!!!
  127. Second Try

    by Sherry I agree with GO!GO!GO! as far as my parents are concerned. They too, stayed together just because it was what people used to do. In my own marriage, I started feeling unhappy in my 40's. My kids were teens, and it seemed like things were such a struggle every day. My husband and I were not on the same page about anything except finances. After about 7 years, and the kids were grown, I decided to leave. As it turned out, I guess I just needed some time away to make me appreciate all that I had back home. We never divorced, though we came close. I came back home, and things have been better day by day, ever since. I guess I was having a "midlife thing". I am thankful that neither of us turned to someone else during this time. I am thankful that we didn't give up. Marriage is hard. Maybe people give up too easily sometimes. It is getting easier for us as we get older and really accept and treasure each other's differences. No matter how aggravated we get, we belong to each other.
  128. 21 years and....

    by Patti I have spent 21 years with my man (we never actually married) and they have been a bit traumatic at times. I kicked his sorry ass out many times for behaving badly and making poor decisions but I can honestly say now that he is 45, he is just starting to figure things out and how things need to be to live with me. Our children were miserable when he was gone, they tow the line when he is around so they do understand their boundaries because of his influence. Sometimes you got to let them go figure out what is important, if they come back to you ~ they are yours to mould however you see fit. If they don't, they never were worth your time. Follow your heart and if they cheat, kick them to the curb! for that is a trust that can never be repaired.

    by Jodie I did not have to make a decision regarding a marriage, but my parents did, and I'd like to speak to that. They divorced my senior year of highschool, and I know it's a terrible thing to say, but I wish they had made the decision to leave each other several years earlier. I'll never get back the time I lost listening to them argue endlessly, nag each other, and generally provide a negative environment for me and my siblings. Things were only slightly better after the divorce, but better they were. At least we weren't in a hostile environment. My parents were very old fashioned and thought it would be better to stay together 'for the kids' for as long as they could. It was the wrong decision as far as I'm concerned. Delaying the decision to end the marriage can be detrimental to the children. I speak from experience.

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