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View Diary: My Ex-Husband Is Homeless (91 comments)

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  •  It happens even when you are fromt he same country (1+ / 0-)
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    Laura Wnderer

    I honestly beleive that pre-marital counseling should be required before getting a marriage license. People generally don't talk about things like money--who makes it, how it is spent, whether you contribute equally or according to earnings-- children (how many IF any, how to raise them,  discipline, religious training ), who will work (both, only one), role of each spouse (husband as provider and wife as homemaker, both working,  one working while other stays home while kids are young), values (lots of money or job satisfaction, political values).  

    People avoid talking about the hard stuff, and go on assumptions--because talking about it just seems so unromantic.

    Some churches are requiring couples take a test which can pinpoint the problem areas which eed to be talked through. I tend to think a secular counselor is better than a minister who usually have only a couple of courses in counseling with  a leaning toward religion.  Frankly it is better that people know where there are problems and break up before kids arrive--than to wait and end up with a sad and angry divorce.

    Won't solve all the problems--my husband developed PTSD 5 years into our marriage--but it can help by creating awareness.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 01:46:51 PM PST

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    •  I think a professional is a good idea— (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch

      because knowing how to talk about things is as important as talking about them.

      Example: We talked about kids, and agreed that we wanted at least one, maybe two, and that we'd wait until we were settled and financially secure to have them.

      Sounds great! Agreement! (We thought.)

      But what she took that to mean is that we'd both quit our Ph.D. program right after getting married, look to buy a house immediately, and I'd get to work making a bank so that we could have them ASAP. I took it, of course, to mean that we'd continue on the career paths we were on and when the balance sheet was right, we'd think about kids. I took our quantity discussion to mean "no more than two," but she took the "maybe" to mean that we hadn't actually decided yet.

      A lot of this didn't come out for some time—as we both set about doing what we thought we were supposed to do and waiting for the other person to do what they thought they were supposed to do.

      Someone with experience needed to be there to say:

      "Let's stop the abstract talk. You, how many years out do you envision having a first kid? And you, how many years for you?"

      and also

      "Does this mean you're actually drawing a hard line at two, not just thinking about likely limits? Is a hard line like that okay with you?"

      Only years in have we discovered that in the first case it would have been:

      Her: Within the first year or two. As soon as we can make ourselves financially secure and settled, and that's all we'll be working on until it happens.

      Me: I expect it to take a decade or so until we're financially secure and settled, so sometime in our late '30s is likely.

      And in the second case it would have been:

      Her: I think two is a likely limit, but if it turns out that we love raising children, we might always decide that 3 or even 4 would work. But no reason to get carried away right now; two seems like a good number.

      Me: One, certainly. Two I'm not sure about. We'll see. But definitely no more than two, ever.

      When you don't have experience in this area, you ask the question, you get an answer, maybe you even discuss it back and forth, but you don't have the knowledge and practical experience to understand how to tease out the lurking differences—and that would be oh-so-helpful to have as you're getting together in the first place.

      -9.63, 0.00
      "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

      by nobody at all on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 02:11:47 PM PST

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      •  That's why the test helps. (0+ / 0-)

        It's fairly specific. And the trained pro is IMPORTANT. Because they know how to get to the subtext which is often more important than what is said--the unspoken underpinnings of what you really mean. My husband was coming out of an angry divorce (he left her, and she went bonkers, though if she had been the one to leave, she'd have expected civility and pleasantness from him) and was in therapy. We went into counseling together and went into great detail.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 02:21:30 PM PST

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