General Question

janbb's avatar

Divorced people: What surprised you the most about getting a divorce?

Asked by janbb (59210points) November 19th, 2013
31 responses
“Great Question” (16points)

What is most surprising to me is how little the fact that we have two (grown) children together serves as a bond. I thought it would always be something we shared. What practical or (especially) emotional consequence was the most surprising to you?

Topics: ,
Observing members: 0
Composing members: 0


Lorna's avatar

The fact that I know nothing about him. We were married for 15 years. He was my world. I thought we were one, and I thought we were perfect. He cheated on me, and when reading the things he said during our divorce, it was like it was a different man, talking about a different couple.

Jeruba's avatar

I can’t answer for myself, but someone else told me that he was shocked to discover this: divorce is not about the dissolution of an emotional bond, as he had expected, but about the division of property.

janbb's avatar

Having said what I said above, I do believe that if a kid of ours was in trouble, we would pitch in together to help but the regular joys and sorrows are not shared.

And it’s true @Jeruba, it’s a bit of a shock to be sitting with a lawyer across from this person talking about who gets what.

ucme's avatar

Never been divorced, but my parents were when I was six & I remember being most surprised by how easy it seemed. One minute it’s like “hi Dad” & the next “bye Dad”
I foolishly imagined parents stayed together for life, no matter what…if only.

josie's avatar

What an easy decision it was.

janbb's avatar

@josie How long were you married and did you have kids together?

marinelife's avatar

I was shocked to discover that I had to mourn the loss of the marriage even though it was a bad one.

laurenkem's avatar

That I was getting one. Came out of nowhere. Husband #2.

gailcalled's avatar

That we were able to remain friends and comrades since we had two children together. The parental marriage is never over. We stayed buddies until he died, several years ago. The children were very grateful in the long run, even though the divorce was very difficult for them when they were young.

We attended and/or shared every birthday party, graduation, ninth grade D squad lacrosse game, and drama club performance together. Neither of us resented the other’s new partner. My ex always spent the night at our house (with my second husband) in the guest room and had breakfast with us before we drove him to the train to return from Philly to NYC.

janbb's avatar

Maybe there’s more aof a bond potentially when the kids are younger?

zenvelo's avatar

That it took so damn long. 6 years. And all she did was stall to cost me money.

syz's avatar

How much better life was, even with no money and no house.

syz (35649points)“Great Answer” (16points)
gailcalled's avatar

@janbb; I am sure that the ages of our children (2 and 7 when we first separated) made a huge difference in our attitudes. We did live about five nYC blocks apart so we were in and out of each other’s pockets all the time.

After I remarried, there were many occasiona when we had birthday parties with my second husband, his former wife and her boyfriend (who was everyone’s dentist) and my ex- with his second wife. Our daughter and my second husband’s third son had birthdays a day apart; we always had one joint celebration.

When I went to the dentist’s, he had a lovely photo of my then-husband’s ex on his wall, staring me in the face as the drill approached.

Don’t try to keep the cast of characters straight; it was everyone’s attitude that mattered.

anniereborn's avatar

That for the most part we did it all ourselves. We ordered all the paperwork and filled it out. All we had to do was file it, wait for a court date, and go.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

How little he cared to actually get it done. Like he’d just never divorce me…not because he didn’t want to but because he didn’t care.

Coloma's avatar

I experienced something similar to @LornaIove
I was married for 17 years when I found out about numerous indiscretions with my ex. There had been other issues, mostly his narcissism and gross selfishness, lack of emotional connection but I was shocked beyond comprehension to find out about his secret affairs.
It took me 4 more years to initiate the separation but after it was all over and I moved into my own home the JOY was immeasurable!

I discovered how ecstatically happy I was all by myself and I looked and felt about 10 years younger unloading that 180 lb. baby. Seriously I was GLOWING! lol

ETpro's avatar

What surprised me was that it happened. My first wife just left. I thought we were doing fine. I loved her and fully expected to live out my life with her. One day she announced she was going from our California home back to our birthplace of Virginia. She left our older child, my daughter, with me and took the younger with her. And she was gone. I was in total shock. How could she have been so unhappy? Why didn’t I see the warning signs and try to fix things before she hit the point of no return?

Smitha's avatar

For better for worse, in sickness and in health, ‘till death do us part’.
These words are familiar to all of us. But one fine day when we realize that the life we lived with a strong focus centered on the family and marriage that we valued dearly has become polluted, definitely our world will literally fall apart.
I have never divorced, but my friend is planning to. I was just shocked when she said that. After 11 years surely the reasons won’t be silly. But they always looked like ‘made for each other couple’. Even good things have to come to an end.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Nothing surprised me but hubby #3 was surprised when I left and had saved every threatening, bullying phone call and email he ever sent me. I also had documented when and how he pulled a gun on me, so of course he settled.

dabbler's avatar

The biggest surprise was what a very good idea it was to divorce my first wife, but especially that is was ok to do so. The world did not fall apart. We did not have children.
I was not in touch with my first wife for almost two decades but she recently found me on facebook. I am a bit wary about that but so far so good, all harmless.

Katniss's avatar

@marinelife Me too! I thought it would be so easy. It wasn’t.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Decades later, even though I haven’t had contact with him, his second wife seems like “the other woman” to me, and it still feels like he is part of me. I don’t think about, obsess about him, but somehow, the connection just stays there. When I got the divorce papers seeing them felt like reading an obituary, but as the years go by, I have felt like there never was really a complete severance.

anniereborn's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers I can relate to this. Did you have children? My former husband and his second wife do (we didn’t). They almost feel like the should be ¼ mine or something.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

We lost a baby. That’s what broke us up. We were still newlyweds. The trauma, the heartbreak was too much for either of us to know how to help the other.
I have heard he has hundredy million boys now, grown. It took a few years of miscarriages before I had any. I wish he could know my baby. He wanted a daughter terribly bad, and she would be nuts about him.
After him, everyone else seemed tied for second place. Rich, poor, older, younger, (Although younger runs a darn close second, heh heh).

janbb's avatar

What also surprised me is how many different feelings I still feel about my Ex. I realized just this morning that I don’t have to resolve them all into a neat package.

gailcalled's avatar

^^ Spend a few minutes with Sir Misbehaving and laugh hard. That should negate any OCD need for packaging the unpackagable.

josie's avatar

Only long enough to have two kids in quick order.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That two years after the divorce my ex would move 2000 miles away and pretty much lose all contact with his children. He really loved his kids too, and they loved him. It was a horrible shock for them.

Dutchess_III's avatar

He came to visit in October. The last time they saw him was in 2005. Before that it was 1996, a couple of years after he left. I could tell he was so regretful. Why in the hell couldn’t he foresee the regret way back when?

Lorna's avatar

My ex was killed just over a year ago. Although he had a new family, and he broke my heart, I still miss what we had, and the illusions it gave me.

VS's avatar

The biggest surprise for me was how not being part of a being a couple made for the decline in social invitations. Everyone is paired and if you don’t have a partner, other couples who were always so anxious for your company treat you like a pariah or like having a single woman along for dinner or a cruise vacation would make them off-balance somehow. Surprising since even when I was part of a couple, the girls would pursue one activity like shopping or a movie and the guys would go golfing or deep sea fishing, etc. I’ve learned to enjoy solitary excursions. I still love my friends but don’t expect to be included in their paired activities.

Answer this question




to answer.

Mobile | Desktop

Send Feedback