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Deciding to break up with your partner is hardly ever easy. Especially if you’ve been together for years and built a shared life. It’s such a monumental decision to make that it’s hard to know if you’re making the right decision. Sometimes, asking for advice on the internet can give you some perspective.

Reddit user u/ajmacbeth started a very open and honest discussion with the r/Divorce online community after asking them to share whether they regretted initiating their divorce. Their answers were incredibly candid and showed a very human side of the internet. Read on for their stories. 

#1

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories No. No regrets. Only regret I have is that I wasted so many years trying to make it work and that I allowed my kids to be in such a hostile environment.

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Lauren K
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3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My brother is staying in it for the kids. He said he doesn't want to be the weekend dad in a crappy apartment down the block. I guess he doesn't remember how our parents used to fight. His wife is awful, she's destroyed his self-esteem.

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#2

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories I don’t regret it. I had a husband that put no effort into the marriage, everything became my responsibility because why should he do anything when he has a perfectly good wife that could do it except mow the lawn. He did do that. Fix things, put together furniture…woman’s job. Anything related to food, cooking, children…woman’s job. And I worked a more demanding job, it’s not like I stayed at home all day. Come home late and he’s been home all day, guess who gets to now cook dinner? Me! It was exhausting. It is my soapbox.

Now, when I work late, my boyfriend has a homemade dinner waiting. I’m not paying for every single thing. I have someone that goes places, makes plans, does literally everything my ex-husband did not do. It’s nice. It makes life more enjoyable. I’m a better parent because before I didn’t deserve to have time away from my kids so unless I was at work, I had the kids. He deserved a break though….days, a week while I took the kids on vacations alone. Off.my.soapbox.

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Anxious&Bored Bear
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3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Upgrade! I used to know a woman who would work extra hours to make sure her live-in boyfriend had what he needed. One day, she realized that he didn't care enough to make sure she had a winter coat. She left soon after.

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#3

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories Bishop bullwinkle: HELL NAW, to the NAW NAW

I’d rather be alone with myself and daughter than alone with someone so toxic and downright uncaring. I think at times I try to rationalize their personality as a mental illness, or a brain disorder. But then I think of how much I pleaded and explained and asked. There was never any true apology. Just ones that were rehearsed. I was the problem for being so sensitive. Yes. Me.

anon , Brittani Burns / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

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Adrian
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3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Mine was eventually diagnosed borderline. Very difficult people to live with.

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According to Divorce.com, 40% to 50% of married American couples file for divorce, meaning the United States has the sixth highest divorce rate in the world. Meanwhile, the vast majority of all divorces are initiated by women. Based on the data, 69% of all divorces are started by women vs. 31% by men.

Generally speaking, there is a higher likelihood of your relationship falling apart if it’s not your first marriage. 60% of second marriages end in divorce, while the same is true for 73% of third marriages in the US.

#4

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories My wife went cold, and eventually initiated it. Only 6 months or so later am I really emerging back into who I once was. I still have dreams that we are together and happy, but I wake up to memories of complete unhappiness.

I just truly wish we could go back to when we loved each other. But that ship has sailed.

So forward I go.

anon , cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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#5

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories I regret that I didn't start the divorce when I discovered his first affair. Believed he wanted to reconcile and things got much, much worse.

username987654321a , RDNE Stock project / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Jay Scales
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3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think so many of us will - in hindsight - wish we'd got out earlier when we had more life left to live.

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#6

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories I regret my divorce from my first husband. We were young, and we did have some problems. But it was probably things that we could have worked out, had I been willing to try harder, but my pride got in the way. So, I wouldn't take him back. Years later, I thought we were going to give it another go, but then, he got with his current wife. That hurt... a lot.
But I probably deserved it. So, I have remained silent these last few years, while he is happy with his second family, and I am alone.

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Anxious&Bored Bear
Community Member
3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Don't give up! You have grown a lot since your "first love", and while he might always have a special place in your heart, there is room to love another.

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Divorce.com states that the average American couple goes through their first divorce around the age of 30. Meanwhile, young couples between the ages of 20 to 25 have a 60% chance of seeing their marriage fall apart. 

Forbes notes that the number one reason for American couples getting divorced is a lack of family support. A survey conducted by Forbes Advisor showed that 43% of people listed it as the main reason for the marriage ending.

In second place was infidelity (34%), while 31% of respondents listed a lack of intimacy, lack of compatibility, and too much conflict as the driving factors behind their divorce. 

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#7

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories I regret not doing it sooner. I exited with a bunch of built up trauma from dealing with an emotionally abusive partner who didn't really care about anything beyond what I could do for them for almost a decade and a half.



That said, I felt immense guilt for leaving even when I did it. I regret that I was in a place where that was my mindset.

latrovius , RDNE Stock project / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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JK
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3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hey BP, the 00's want their stock photo back

#8

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories I loved my husband very much, I think I still love him for the sweet memories we had together. He left me with two little kids, saying that he no longer felt he was important to me or that I was giving him enough of what he really wanted. Plus, he did not want a second child and felt betrayed when I did not have an abortion. This coincided with postpartum depression, mood swings, and weight gain, which was bugging him very much. He now sees the children and takes care of them, but he lives at his mom's home. The only thought I constantly have in mind is what is the mistake I made that made him leave.

He was a super dad to our son; we could be a good team, but we failed. I blame myself too and want to find out my own mistakes that could have been avoided.

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Mariaf
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3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He îs man going back to with his mommy after his wife had a new baby and he didn't feel the center of attention anymore. This guy was never an adult.

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#9

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories I regret it. After being separated for nearly three years, my true feelings were suppressed by anger that the effort wasn’t there. Divorce just seemed like the right thing to do at the time. I am still in love with him and I always will. Our divorce was finalized in March of this year. If I could take it back I would.

4art1st , RDNE Stock project / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Papa
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3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I know there are times when divorce is absolutely justified, but I am also convinced that many happen because it's easier than putting in the work to fix the marriage.

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In the meantime, financial stress accounted for 24% of divorces, a lack of commitment was a factor for 23% of marriages failing while parenting differences were an important factor in 20% of people’s divorces. 

What do you do to keep your relationship strong and stay on the same page with your partner, dear Pandas? Do you know anyone who regretted breaking up? How did you help them if they were struggling to move on after this? If you feel up to sharing your thoughts, you can do so in the comment section at the bottom of this post.

#10

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories I absolutely had regrets, we were together for 9 years married for 5. I decided to move out and start the divorce process because I just truly felt like I didn’t love her anymore. I mean I know I did, I still do but not like a husband and wife but more like best friends. It’s been about a year and a half and I still very much miss that friendship we had. There were times I thought I made a mistake because I was so lonely. I had to realize that just being lonely isn’t a good reason to keep trying to force love where it really shouldn’t be. If I could choose I would still be friends with her, but she has no interest in that and I just have to respect that. I have recently started talking to someone and it is the first time I’ve had that “butterflies in my stomach” feeling with someone in a long time. It feels good but it’s terrifying at the same time. However, feeling that is kind of a sign that I made the right decision in the long run. I just didn’t feel that way for my ex anymore, no matter how bad I wanted to. I truly wish we could have worked it out and there are times that I wish I would’ve just tried to suck it out a bit longer but I just truly don’t think we were right for each other in the long run.

YogSlngr , Dexon Dave Silva / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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JLo
Community Member
3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The butterflies in the stomach feeling goes away pretty quickly. Don't quit on a marriage just because that feeling is gone. Loving someone is different from being in love with someone. If you have children, and the two of you can get along without it being toxic and there is no abuse, then keep the marriage.

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#11

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories We have been separated for over 2 years, divorced for over 1, and I don't have any regrets. My decision to leave, while probably selfish, was for my own personal well-being. And the fact we have 2 kids together made it tougher, but I was miserable and I would unfairly take it out on her and the kids.

Like you, there were definite fears, but we didn't have a natural connection. It got to the point where it literally felt like a job to keep the relationship "steady", and I just always felt that while, yes, relationships take work to keep them strong, it shouldn't FEEL like work. Also, like you, I knew I could make it work... But, honestly, it just got to a point where I didn't want to.

It was awkward during the separation period, but my ex and I get along totally fine now. We coparent with no issues, and the kids have adjusted as well as I could have hoped. I haven't started dating yet (just didn't feel like the timing was right), but I know she has joined some online dating apps and whatnot and I'm honestly happy for her if she can find someone that truly makes her happy effortlessly.

Best of luck with whatever you decide. It definitely isn't an easy decision, it definitely gets lonely at times, but it eventually just becomes life and you move on (hopefully for the better).

ThatUsernameSucks11 , Siora Photography / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

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#12

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories Yes, I regret initiating the divorce from my first husband (am currently remarried for over a decade). I regret it for many reasons, specifically because I don’t think I tried hard enough to save it. I regret what the kids had to go through too. Looking back, I made a lot of Mistakes. Having said that, I have beautiful children and a good husband now, both of which I wouldn’t have if I’d stayed in the first marriage.

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StretcherBearer
Community Member
3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I was quick scrolling and read this as "I have a beautiful chicken" and was like chickens are a great replacement.😁

#13

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories I signed the papers today. No kids. No assets. But my heart is hurting so bad. I don’t want to get a divorce, but he and I want different things.

I know this is what’s best in the long run.

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Mrs.C
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3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have to wonder how you ended up married to someone who wants "different things" without having discussed those things before marriage.

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#14

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories All I can say is that I feel the pain, regret, and sadness resonating in all of the accounts. I got divorced after 12 years, and it nearly broke me mentally and spiritually. I was mostly to blame, but she wouldn’t accept any responsibility and would not go to even one counseling session. Her two daughters (both from her marriage to her first husband who had left her shortly before we met) poisoned her against me.

To any person who is thinking about marriage to someone who has their own kids, think long and hard. I was doomed from the onset.

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Alexandra
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3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

With a divorce rate of 70% when both spouses have children from a previous marriage it's something to think about. Friends of mine decided not to live together as long as their children were living at home, because the kids did not get get on together.

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#15

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories None. Was the best decision for the kids and my self. Getting knocked around in front of them was terrible. I was lonely for a bit but it's never came in my head that it would be better to be back with the ex. Just got to keep the fight up to make sure I can get the kiddos so I can keep them in school.

Inevitable_Health_63 , Andrea Piacquadio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

#16

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories F**k no.

JackNotName , cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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#17

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories I regret it and I initiated it. Luckily though he agreed to start dating me again.

Kinky_Eskimo , Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

#18

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories It's been almost four years since my partner of almost a decade left me for another person (I think they got together before he even left). I have not felt like myself, or like I have a home, since the last time I saw him.

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Valerie Brillhart
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3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Things do get better. Don't try to do alot of overthinking. Love yourself

#19

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories Personally, I just regret getting married in the first place. I knew he wasn't right for me, and I was just settling. It took getting married to really show me it wouldn't make me happy and just caused him a lot of heartache.

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#20

The only regret I have is not doing it sooner.

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#21

I have none and wished I’d done it much sooner but I also don’t regret that I tried to make it work for as long as I did.

There were times I wanted it to work and times that I wanted out ASAP. I was in process of starting divorce process just before discovering ex’s affair which finished the process to say the least. Had been really unhappy for at least a year and thought of divorce for probably five years prior to that.

It’s a big and difficult decision but was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

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#22

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories Oh man! I totally regret it. I miss her and the kids so much. Divorced in May separated 5 months earlier. Married 16 years and we fought and fought she was horrible. But she was an alcoholic and I was a junkie. But we also had a lot of laughs! I am a comedian, she is a realist.
Clean now and we are friends I guess? I pay for everything anything she wants. I ask her to lunch or dinner. She won’t even reply. I am 53 got a great kick a*s job where I travel and have a good support system with a lot of friends. So I am lucky in that regard. Well blessed actually.
But I don’t know how to start over? Learning how to do that now one day at a time. But I miss her face and I miss her smile. Think it through hard before u make a decision. Not everyone is compatible and that can make life hard.

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Me Oh My
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3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm sorry? You pay for whatever she wants, but she won't go to lunch or dinner with you? You're not a friend, buddy. You're an ATM.

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#23

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories I regret getting married, I just have to figure out how to get thru the divorce.

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#24

I initiated because it was the worst year of my life leading up to it. A year of no change and I begged for “what we once had” or him to want to be home sometimes with me and our son and he never tried. Even when home he would stay outside. It was terrible. I don’t regret it. I regret falling in love with someone I didn’t know and letting them take advantage of me, but that chapter was to give me my son. I am so much happier now. With someone who is all I ever wanted and more.

Imo, like is too short to “make it work”… stop shoving a round peg in to a square hole just because it fits; doesn’t make it right.

Only you know if this is “forever”. If you feel it in your gut after giving it your all (which includes letting your emotions and pride go to truly understanding them) that it’s over, then I’d say move on.

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#25

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories Not regret per se but there’s a deep sadness. It’s interesting because on balance I’m as happy as ever. My feelings become more complex as time passes.

Unlikely_Tank_3284 , Sofia Alejandra / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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#26

I didn’t want the divorce. I was going through things that on the surface seemed that I was just not taking care of myself, but in reality, there were things that were actually making me the way I was — postpartum depression and undiagnosed thyroid cancer. Not everyone is willing or capable of going through that. It broke me to my core, losing and having to let go of someone who I believed, and still do believe, was my soulmate. But you can’t force anyone to be with you who doesn’t want you or doesn’t see you the same way you see them; so if you truly love them, letting them go is best. I didn’t fight, not because I didn’t want to, but because I thought it was the last loving gesture I could give him.

If I could do it over again, I would have made better decisions that would have helped my depression not spin out of control. You can’t avoid postpartum depression, but having better control over your mental health can make it manageable. Maybe we would have still been together, who knows? All I know is that while I’m better than I was, I feel like I lost a piece of me that day. It’s partially why I don’t pursue relationships because there’s no one out there for me.

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#27

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories Yes. Still trying to convince myself it was the right move.

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#28

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories I regret getting married in the first place..we had zero chemistry in any category you could name, everything was an uphill battle. Always fighting, no sex, we didn't even touch eachother and we were only 30. I feel guilty about asking for the divorce but i knew it was the right thing for both of us.

Ok-Patience7446 , Leah Newhouse / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

#29

I absolutely didn't want to divorce. It was 1000% her choice. Regrets? I can't feel regret because she didn't leave me with much choice. Mostly, I just feel sadness. Sadness over losing what we had built together and for what could have been. All my dreams for the future were crushed. I tried to be the best husband I could be. I felt like I was kind, caring, loving, and supportive. I was proud to be the partner to my wife. We built a relationship, a family, and a home together. It was absolutely heartbreaking to be the one that had to file.

She claimed she wanted the divorce, but made no moves to make it a reality. I was in purgatory, begging for her to work things out with me, and she refused to do so. Eventually, I had to face the reality that she was attempting to manipulate me in order to gain financial advantage. To this day, I don’t understand why she did what she did.

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#30

Can you talk to him about it, tell him you aren’t feeling the connection, ask if he feels the same way, and then actively try to connect with each other? Have you tried couples’ therapy? You can save it as long as you’re both willing. If one of you isn’t willing to try, though, it’s not going to work, as much as the other wants it. And it is okay to decide that you just aren’t happy, and it’s not worth trying to save. If that’s the case, letting the other person go as gently and quickly as possible is the kind thing to do.

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#31

This is my fear. Even though I have wanted this divorce and have wanted it for a long time. Now that it is looking like it could be a reality, we are in counseling and talking about it, I am starting to have cold feet and am forgetting all of the reasons why I wanted it. Even though every evening they are right there in my face. I still think may e we can change and get back what we had.

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Alexandra
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3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Your fear is clouding your judgement and that's absolutely understandable. At the same time, it might ease things a bit if you could articulate to yourself what exactly you're afraid of in order to judge whether your fears are justified and then go on from there. Whatever you decide to do, know that, in this case, not making a choice will lead you nowhere. Perhaps talk with someone who can listen and can help you clarify things for yourself?

#32

Don’t regret it at all. But I knew in my gut for a long time that it wasn’t a healthy relationship. I was just too scared to pull the plug. So glad I did.

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#33

“If I Could Take It Back, I Would”: 35 People Share Their Divorce Stories My regret is that I wasn’t enough. He remarried a few years after the divorce to the woman he was having an affair with.

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Anxious&Bored Bear
Community Member
3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sounds like nothing you did was ever going to be good enough for him.

#34

No I don't, I couldn't live with the betrayal.

I tried but I couldn't I was limbo and I couldn't see clearly until she moved out ( her decision)

Them I realised I needed to take control of the situation as it wouldn't change. I would be perpetually hurting. Control , dictating when things would happen.

It might sound like I'm a s**t but I told her I wanted her clothes out of the house she had to have it done by 1pm the next day or I would put them in the bin.

That sense of control helped me to start rebuilding.

I'm know with a women who is intelligent , emotionally so as well and gorgeous. I'm very lucky.

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Svenne O'Lotta
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3 weeks ago

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#35

Divorce was not my choice. My ex wanted to do it, and I do regret it very much, but I cannot make someone stay in a marriage. Quarantine was not good for us, especially for me, since I am a high extrovert with ADHD. My mental health was fatigued, and I was uptight from being lonely. We argued about dumb stuff all the time and never had any serious issues, but the small arguments got us. We are both anxious people and then, add in a first grader and chihuahua to the mix. I pleaded with her to finish counseling with me and to even speak to our pastor, but she quit on me.

She had some trauma in the past with family arguments, which led to her comparing our arguments. We submitted the paperwork, and it was over in 30 days. We sold our house and are now co-parenting our child. I regret our divorce, but I am only 50% of the marriage. It takes her side to fight for it. Am I waiting to date again? Sorry, I know my worth and dating. However, my son will never meet the person until marriage.

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