Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Following up on your comments

First of all, I'd just like to say thank you to everyone that has taken the time to comment and email us over the past many weeks, offering your sympathies for the passing of my Mom and to share your thoughts to Jen and I as we endured a very volatile period in our relationship during the past month or so. As you might expect, it has been a very difficult time for me and only now have I been able to pick myself up and address some of the points made by our loyal following during our breakup.

So yesterday's Recharging the Batteries post by Jen triggered a comment from Florida Dom, and I felt compelled to respond. FD: Your comment is a fair one and believe me when I tell you that thoughts of how fair I'm being with Jen, the Wife and the kids are all-consuming. Not to mention being fair to myself. I think about this almost non-stop.

But one point I feel obliged to counter -- a point made by almost everyone who has provided insight into my situation -- is that my kids are unhappy. They simply are not. And yes, I know the response will be that I'm just being blind to their unhappiness, but if there's one thing I DO know through all this is that my kids are some of the most balanced, well-adjusted kids I've ever known. Yes, my oldest is a teenager and has those issues to deal with, but there's no denying he's happy and content with his life. With my girls, it's unquestionable. Like I've told Jen so many times, I wish everyone could view a Web-cam into my world, and I think it wouldn't be long before you agree.

And that's what makes this all so difficult. If there was any hint whatsoever that any one of them was unhappy with their situation at home, I would make the break in a heartbeat. In fact, I would have done this months ago, probably before Jen and I even met. But at this particular moment - August 4, 2010 - my kids are the happiest kids in the world, and a sure-fire way of screwing that up would be for me to throw THIS hand-grenade in the room.

So please understand -- I know on the surface it appears that I'm being unfair to everyone, but its just not as simple as that. I never planned on getting myself into this situation, nor did Jen. It just ........ happened. And now we're both trying to work through it because the only thing we DO know is how much we love each other .. And in the end, that's what makes all the angst, all the heartache, and all the complications worth fighting for. I guarantee everyone -- this WILL work out - I've never been more confident of anything in my life.


  1. Only you and your family know how they really feel. I'm sorry you felt the need to justify your decisions to readers who only have limited insight into your situation. You're a good man Mark. I know you are doing your best for your family, Jen, AND yourself. It's just not possible to please everybody. *sigh* I'm glad to hear you are still so certain things will work out. Thinking of you, whatever the outcome...

  2. OK, I am back. I find it unusual that the kids are so happy when there appears to be so much tension in the house between their parents. But you are there and I'm not so I have to take your word for it.

    So I am curious how this is going to work out. It seems obvious that you are not going to leave your kids so that is going to leave Jen with half a loaf. Unless maybe you are thinking about leaving when they go to college. If I am missing something, let me know.


  3. I think that by you and Jen going through the break-up and the aftermath, you've both probably are now looking at the relationship you have in a different light. You both have more insight into the others needs/wants/desires and are in the initial stages of meeting those.

    Mark, no one knows your situation at home but you. Each person will have a different way of dealing because each family is different. Only you and Jen will be able to make yourselves happy. Hopefully, you love and respect each other enough to continue to talk and work on the long term.

  4. In our personal experience the teenager involved when we blended our family was way more impacted than the two 7 year olds. It was much easier blending our lil family with the younger two. Everyone seems to think that when kids are older they will understand/cope better with divorce. We personally feel this is not necessarily so. Our younger two are both almost 17 now and are both great kids. This can be a tough time for them (as well as us) as we all navigate the rollercoaster ride that is called TEENAGERS~!

    L & A

  5. Hi,
    I'm new to your blog, and will go back and catch up on the story, but KenDoll and I are in sort of the same situation...he stays married for his kids.
    I often feel about our situation like Florida Dom said above about yours...
    "I find it unusual that the kids are so happy when there appears to be so much tension in the house between their parents."
    BUT, you're right. You're the only one there. I wish all of you the best.

  6. OK, slightly different here because I'm the one who stayed married for her kids whilst Ruf helped me to keep my sanity.

    So many people kept telling me to leave years before but, having been deserted by my own mother as a teenager, I refused to let history repeat itself, no matter how much pyschological damage it was doing to me.

    Were my kids happy? Yes, for the most part they were. Naturally there were times when the tension boiled over - just as there is in other families but, mostly, we kept things together.

    It was only when his behaviour towards me impacted upon my ability to continue as a parent, when the situation became totally untenable and the kids were getting out of control because of his disrespect towards me... that was when I knew the time had come to leave.

    Ruf went through phases where he didn't want to be the other man, he desperately wanted a proper girlfriend and we almost broke up many times. But, through it all, there was this knowledge that what we had was too beautiful to ignore. A connection that some people go a life time without experiencing.

    A year after leaving the family home, my relationship with my teenagers has improved dramatically because I am a different person and they respect me for my independence. We are now looking to arrange for them to meet Ruf.

    Now this is the point where things start to get really tricky :)

    I remember being back in your situation, Mark. Some people said that, as kids, they wanted their parents to just stop arguing and if that meant splitting up then so be it. But others just wanted their parents to stay as a unit and maintain the family home no matter what. You cannot make unilateral decisions, each case has to be addressed individually.

    Do I wish I had left earlier? Well, yes, it would have been better for me. But would it have been better for my kids? I still think I made the right decision. I left when it was no longer for me to be a good mother if I remained.

    They know that I stayed for them, even when I was miserable. I hope that will be taken into account if they ever discover that I was an unfaithful wife.

    Good Luck to you both and listen to what is in your hearts, not what other people say - even when it is with the best of intentions.


Thanks for your thoughts... we always welcome them, negative or positive... so, fire away !