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Show ALL Forums  > Over 45  > Did you "really" give it your all?      Home login  
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 Janet4ever
Joined: 4/14/2008
Msg: 1
Did you "really" give it your all?Page 1 of 7    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Most of us over 45 have been divorced... do you ever think that maybe you should have done some things differently to have stayed in your marriage?

At the time, it may have seemed an unbearable situation with no hope... but with years of being single under your belt, do you now begin to see some of the "errors of your ways" where you wish you may have reacted in a less destructive way?

I know we can't go back and change anything now and to try again with an ex is probably more challenging because of all the negativity that takes place during a break up...

... but do you ever (like me) realize that where you used to completely blame your ex for the demise of your relationship you now see in fact you had a whole lot to do with it?
 browneyesboo
Joined: 5/19/2005
Msg: 2
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 1:26:22 PM
I wonder if it ever occurs to anyone in these forums that not all topics pertain to them
or their situations?
Anyways, back on topic.
I understand what you are saying OP...and after having been single for a few years, I
can still say divorce was the best thing in my situation. We got married young and pretty
much grew up together...and in the end we just wanted different things.
We had 29 years together and two children together so I have no regrets.

I think if I could go back and do things differently? I wouldn't be so comfortable with
us always doing our own things. At the time it seemed like we were being independent
and allowing each other to explore our own interests...but in the end...we realized we
had no interests together for the most part.

I think we both share in the demise of our marriage...but the good news is...we
remained friends and we're both doing well....so it's all good.
 justcuzwhatever
Joined: 4/26/2009
Msg: 3
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 1:26:32 PM
Nope. I don't second-guess my divorce at all.

It WAS an unbearable situation and I protected myself and my daughter by leaving. It was the healthiest thing to do and I have no regrets.

Was it easy? Hell, no! Was it right? Hell, yes!

As far as blame goes, well, what happened, happened, and I can't change it. I look back now and and even from today's perspective, honestly, the only thing I can see that I could possibly have done differently was to leave him sooner. In hindsight, the end result was painfully obvious long before I admitted it.
 thecatsmeoww
Joined: 3/7/2009
Msg: 4
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 1:42:45 PM

do you ever think that maybe you should have done some things differently to have stayed in your marriage?


According to his father NO.. I really have to agree with him in retrospect.. He was not at all in favor of him marrying again after he had to mop up after his previous marriages.

My mistake was not listening to him when I should have. After all who knew him than his very own father.

thecatsmeoww
 thecatsmeoww
Joined: 3/7/2009
Msg: 5
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 1:45:06 PM
After all who knew him better than his very own father. Sorry I forgot to put in the word better. I type slower than I think.

thecatsmeoww
 Janet4ever
Joined: 4/14/2008
Msg: 6
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 1:58:39 PM
I know that when you get to the point of divorce, it has usually become so dreadful that it truly is the best solution... but there is an awful lot that happens between the "I do" and the "I want out".

To me it isn't so much about placing blame as realizing what you will do differently next time... I am somewhat leery of those that say the only mistake they made was to choose a scumbag.

Do you realize those things you'll need to do to be a better wife/husband next time... or are you completely relying on choosing that better spouse to create a more positive outcome?
 ForRumOnly
Joined: 3/16/2009
Msg: 7
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History
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 2:10:52 PM
I certainly gave it my "all". After many, many, many years of fruitless attempts to improve things, including rounds of joint and individual counselling, I finally decided it wasn't worth it. Oh, I'm sure I did things wrong, but my conclusion was that my contributions to the failure were far less than hers, and many of my so-called lapses were triggered by her intransigence. My therapist agreed. My biggest mistake was to keep trying as long as I did. And in the relationships I've had since, none of the issues that my ex supposedly had with me were ever raised by anyone else, and I'm really not doing anything differently. In fact, the only difference has been the people I've chosen to be with. I learned to make better - or at least more compatible - choices in whom I date.
 thecatsmeoww
Joined: 3/7/2009
Msg: 8
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 2:31:39 PM

I know that when you get to the point of divorce, it has usually become so dreadful that it truly is the best solution..


Can't say I went through anything dreadful to be honest.. He just left one night and never came back.. I do not believe we had more than two disagreements in the entire time we were together.

I do not think anything would have made a difference to be honest.. When someone wants to be onto the next adventure you cannot possibly stop them from going..

thecatsmeoww
 thecatsmeoww
Joined: 3/7/2009
Msg: 9
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 2:55:37 PM
but do you ever (like me) realize that where you used to completely blame your ex for the demise of your relationship you now see in fact you had a whole lot to do with it?


I do not think I blamed my ex but rather I came to understanding about life in general. I cam away from it know that one cannot chain a soul..

thecatsmeoww
 TheNightowl001
Joined: 6/29/2008
Msg: 10
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 2:59:48 PM

... but do you ever (like me) realize that where you used to completely blame your ex for the demise of your relationship you now see in fact you had a whole lot to do with it?
I never used to completely blame my ex for the demise of our relationship. I always believed that any marriage could last, so long as what at least one of the partners wanted was for the marriage to last more than they wanted anything else. It took me a long time, but I realized I wanted some things more than I wanted the marriage to stay together. I've always confronted that fact.
 thecatsmeoww
Joined: 3/7/2009
Msg: 11
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 3:23:17 PM

I think that you are inviting us to take some blame in the demise of our failed relationships. For some of us, this may be a good exercise. For others, especially those who bore the brunt of the blame within really bad relationships, this is emotionally dangerous. Our freedom has been to remove blame from ourselves...and yet you want us to embrace it again!


That is a very interesting point and one very well taken. I am in a sense to blame because I saw he was impulsive early in the relationship. But I was having myself one heck of a blast with him and eventually fell in love with this fun loving ways. He on the other hand fell in love with me the first weekend we met. Hello red flags should have been flying high and there were for me. But after 6 months of him asking me to marry him 3 plus times a day via phone calls I began to believe he was serious.

I did not listen to his father's wisdom. He that told me he should never be married again, because he was not the type of man that should be married. Love can be blind and there is a whole lot of truth to that once it hits.

So learn you cannot chain a soul that wants to fly free. I wish him a safe flight and hope he avoids the tin whiskers..

thecatsmeoww
 *Just Jim*
Joined: 7/6/2007
Msg: 12
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 3:41:29 PM

I do not think I blamed my ex but rather I came to understanding about life in general. I came away from it know that one cannot chain a soul.
.

imo,which is easier said then done, that a soul needs to breath under the best circumstances and vise-a versa. I feel you did your best and will continue to be just that.

I was only married once,20 plus years and have two great sons, so in retrospect I gave my all and she did too. And I still give it my all to my family,the love,wisdom and respect as they now grow, as young and productive men in this world.

That's Life, as Frank Sinatra said,regrets,I have a few,but to few to mention.
 U make it entertaining
Joined: 7/17/2009
Msg: 13
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 3:53:58 PM
As we all come from different situations, you will read many different answers in this type of post. The ones who have suffered in destructive and violent situations did the best when they left. Good for you, it is time to move on and upwards.

Myself… yes, I used to put full blame on my husband for the breakup of our relationship. Now, as I look back, I can take half of the responsibility for why my marriage did not work. I was wrong to stay and allow those things to happen. Had I have let go and let him learn his lessons, then possibly, we many have progressed to another level. I find that we as woman sometimes stay too long. Why....because we have children, and we feel that we have to try it all, from every angle, before we have the courage to say, enough is enough. Funny breed we women are, as that is so self-destructive.

I look at my ex, and still see so many of the endearing qualities that attracted me. Yet the years of negativity clearly shuts the door.
 Janet4ever
Joined: 4/14/2008
Msg: 14
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 4:11:56 PM

borneyesboo: I think if I could go back and do things differently? I wouldn't be so comfortable with us always doing our own things. At the time it seemed like we were being independent and allowing each other to explore our own interests...but in the end...we realized we had no interests together for the most part.


gentlemanjim4one: I know I did not do all I could have. I was the one who ended it. I shamefully gave up as I was going through what my ex-wife called male menopause. I believe she was right. It caused us to grow apart dramatically. But as much as I blamed myself, I can see that she perhaps gave up long before I asked for the divorce. So she did not do all she could have either. The divorce hurt her deeply. Something I had a hard time dealing with. She is to good of a person to have to suffer the pain I put her through by calling it quits. She has since forgiven me and we are today friendly to each other and can laugh together and even reminisce some of the good times we had over the years. For that, I am forever grateful.


thecatsmeoww: I am in a sense to blame because I saw he was impulsive early in the relationship. But I was having myself one heck of a blast with him and eventually fell in love with this fun loving ways.


U make it entertaining: I can take half of the responsibility for why my marriage did not work. I was wrong to stay and allow those things to happen. Had I have let go and let him learn his lessons, then possibly, we many have progressed to another level.

It's so rare to see anyone take responsibility for anything on here... I'm impressed with your insights! (and I can also relate with much of what you've said in my own relationships)

And I do understand that there are true sociopaths, mentally ill and violent people out there and there is no way (usually) to make these situations OK... but as some have suggested, maybe having acted sooner/differently would have minimized the damages... and a new-found sense of boundaries is what you take away from the experience. (and this too, I can relate to)
 Janet4ever
Joined: 4/14/2008
Msg: 15
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 4:26:09 PM

Each relationship is different, some are very one sided, aome are both sides, and some are very other sided. People who are victims in a relationship should never be made to even think they should have tried harder

True... but how can EVERYONE be the victim? Where are the scoundrels? Most of the threads on here blame the other's behavior for the breakup... and I have met several men who ALL blame their evil wives...

Doesn't it make you doubt the validity to these claims? Do we all see ourselves as victims? God... I hope not.
 Petrified_Wood
Joined: 7/29/2009
Msg: 16
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 4:28:35 PM
I don't think I could have tried harder with my ex wife - even the marriage counselor told us to get a divorce. I gave it my all - I can say this without question.

There are other relationships that I've had that I'm sure I didn't really give it my all. There were various reasons for that. In some cases it was immaturity, in others a growing lack of interest. Do I ever wish I worked harder to hold on to a relationship? So far - no regrets.
 OldFolkie
Joined: 6/8/2008
Msg: 17
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Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 5:01:06 PM
For those who are always on watch for Red Flags, I have been married three times.
In each of those failures, I can now, after years of soul-searching, recognize many mistakes and missed opportunities. In two of those marriages (first and third) I was the one who was left, and in the second I did the leaving. I acknowledge my mistakes and have tried hard to recognize how they happened so that I may never do them again. The last marriage dissolved because I could not deal with a major health issue and withdrew from the world. I don't blame her in the least for leaving, because I simply was not there for her.

I'm actually not all that bad a guy. For the record all three of my ex's are FaceBook friends now.
 Lovinlifeat44
Joined: 9/22/2007
Msg: 18
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 5:28:01 PM
Wow, I've thought about this many times in the past.

First husband, well, I believed we stayed together for the sake of our child. That was a huge mistake. Could I have done more to "make it work?" Absolutely! However, there truly was no love there anymore...

Second husband. I loved him with all my heart. He was 17 years older than me (now 63), but the baggage that came along with that marriage was just too much for me. His ex-wife, grown children and grandchildren always came first and I often wondered why he even wanted to marry me. If that sounds selfish, well, then so be it. But I believe that if you're married, your spouse comes first. He and I recently had this same talk and both of us agreed we could have tried harder. I could have been more accepting and he could have told the kids, it's time to grow up. In addition, did the ex have to come to dinner EVERY Sunday so it wouldn't hurt his grown kids' feelings? I just felt like the third wheel in the relationship and they should have stayed married. He understands that now and has chosen to remain single for fear of putting another woman through this.

So, to answer your question, no, I don't blame either one of my ex's for the demise of our marriage. I was to blame as well. But I'm going to learn from my mistakes and hopefully become more accepting of past relationships, learn to love the man I'm with and accept the fact that all of us have some baggage when we enter into a new relationship.
 Janet4ever
Joined: 4/14/2008
Msg: 19
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 5:32:38 PM

After much reflection and inner searching I have come to realize that there are times when I am much too ****y, shrewish even. No, that does not define me.....I am also very loving, generous, funny and sometimes down right charming, BUT I do have my horrible side. There, I've said it; I'm screwed now.

rosebuds57... I would rather enter into another relationship with someone who is aware of their flaws. (not liars/delusional)

It would seem if you don't know what you did wrong, you will more than likely repeat it with the next guy. (to me)
 CoolBreezez
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 20
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Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 5:36:02 PM
In my most significant relationship, I felt I did all I could do. No I was not Mr Wonderful every minute- and neither was she perfect either but it usually worked out. But we worked to keep things going, counsellors and talks and at the end got- "Your a very nice man...but". I blame circumstances as much as the two of us as well.

Was I hurt-of course. Maybe upset and blaming her for the loss and ranting - at first. But then I realized that we were young and grew up together too. I remember the good with the bad- there were a lot of good moments too. I had a lot of divorced buddies who screamed bloody murder about the ex - I really didn't want to get like that.

But- since that point in time, the relationships have been shorter, more about power struggles, trying to get what YOU what out of a relationship and trying not to fall into the faults of the last relationships. But relationships take two wanting to keep it together.
You see long term relationships all the time, some equal, some not- but still going along. Just makes you wonder- what do I need to do to get to the same place?

Demand everything from a partner or give myself over totally to someone else or compromise. I think we all want to feel we compromised, gave a bit of ourselves to someone great- but then it comes down to matter of degree- one end is a control freak and the other a doormat. I think most of us want to be neither.

I want to live in the middle- for a long time.
 mme_butterfly
Joined: 2/24/2009
Msg: 21
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Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 8:27:18 PM
My ex divorced me on the grounds of mental cuelty- I didn't like his girlfriend.
I wish I were kidding.
 Janet4ever
Joined: 4/14/2008
Msg: 22
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/7/2009 8:51:27 PM

i also completely agree that in healthy relationships (certainly in my other relationships) it's 50-50, and i'm happy to examine, improve and work on what i need to, as well as take responsibility where i go wrong. but people who haven't walked in the shoes of people who have been in abusive relationships-- well i totally hope you never do, and my heart goes out to those who have.

NPD is very rare, but I do know it exists and how there is NO relationship with someone like that as they are incapable. Many selfish, arrogant, delusional people exhibit some of the behaviors, but not to the extreme of a true NPD.

And MY heart goes out to those that have been victims of mental or physical abuse... my first husband spent a year in jail for domestic violence issues, so yes I have walked in those shoes.

This thread is not about that, nor am I trying to lay blame on anyone... only asking if others have, over time, come to realize in a greater sense their contribution of a break up... because frankly, I rarely (if ever) hear that.
 *buzz*
Joined: 6/1/2006
Msg: 23
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Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/8/2009 2:39:17 AM
How one can fight a tumour in brain that affected his personality and his memory?!

Do I ever wish I worked harder to hold on to a relationship?

I did more than my fair share - even on the other side of the world - all in the name of love, faith and beliefs that got us together in the first place. Sadly, after crucial two years of sheer destruction I came to conclusion that life is for living, and not suffering mental cruelty.
Just as "friendlyfreespirit" pointed ... I could end up in the same way if I hadn't "broken the chains".
 Bassbob47
Joined: 3/2/2009
Msg: 24
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Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/8/2009 2:39:31 AM
Well i tried to hold it together, marriage guidance etc, gave her some space, but i really think she had made her mind up.
 rheard
Joined: 9/8/2008
Msg: 25
Did you really give it your all?
Posted: 8/8/2009 3:05:27 AM
My two marriages - yes I gave it my all. But I can't really say I have the horror stories to tell some do either. One I chose to end and the other I was left behind. Being left behind hurt at the time and lost me some things I would rather have kept but I have always blamed that on my own unrealistic expectations - not my ex per se.

The one I left was due to her unstated belief that I would never have custody of my son - she didn't want kids. The problem was that she didn't say that until it was time for him to come live with us! There isn't a whole lot of trying you can put in when faced with a basic attitude like that! Not if you're a parent at least.

Luckily both marriages were short term and we all came through with the minimal amount of drama and pain. Despite having no reason to - we even stay in touch and remain friendly so as I said before - I just don't have the horror stories some can tell of.

The place I should have worked harder was prior to the marriages! A little more open eyed apraisal and a little less infatuation and I might just be able to claim single status on here today instead of divorced.

My longest term SO, I have to admit I stopped trying. We spent over ten years together with me mostly buried in work for the last three of them to avoid the problems I didn't have the strength to deal with any more. I finally left.

At the time I blamed all of it on her. I've since learned that there were other things I could have tried. Treatment options for the base causes of her behaviors that we never explored. Perhaps just forcing myself to deal with the issues instead of avoiding them could have helped. I'll never know because I gave up!

So yes OP, I have come to realize I COULD have played a greater part in saving a relationship than I would have admitted at the time. But at what cost? And were the possible rewards of saving it worth the cost of trying harder? I have no answers there beyond a simple belief that maybe some things just aren't meant to be!

Cheers
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