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Author Topic: 3.02 | Is it better for the kids if I stay or leave?  (Read 21130 times)
Panda39
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« Reply #60 on: June 18, 2019, 08:56:15 AM »

Really good topic - lots of opinions and approaches so I thought I'd answer the questions (I come at this as a partner of a man with an uBPDxw) and bring this out of mothballs for others...

1.  Is the decision to stay or leave ever absolute? I think if you stay it isn't absolute but once you leave it is.

2.  There have been studies that show that kids who grow up in divorced homes have more problems in life than kids whose parents stay together.  Would having a BPD/NPD parent (or other abusive parent) change this outlook?

As others have mentioned in this thread it depends on who the married parents are.  Two happy healthy parents then that's great, but an alcoholic parent, or mentally ill parent or worse both then no that is not better than divorced parents.

3.  Who here has "stayed for the kids" and believes they made the right decision? 

I don't believe the kids were my partner's only reason for staying.  He believed in the commitment he made to his marriage, for a long time he did care about his wife, some of it was normalizing behaviors that weren't normal, I think on some level he enjoyed the conflict - enjoyed winning, enjoyed solving problems, enjoyed being the rescuer. There was also co-dependence and in someways issues with his own self-esteem. 

What where the catalysts that turned staying into leaving...Years of drama, an emotional affair that reminded him he was lovable/desirable, and seeing...really seeing an episode of emotional abuse by his wife against their oldest daughter.

6.  If you stayed (either are still together or until the kids are older), how have your kids been affected?

Both daughters have been affected by their parents marriage.  D22 was 14 when their parents separated and D18 was 10.  D22 was the golden child, care taker, parent to her parent and parent to her younger sister.  She can be Passive/Aggressive, and holds everything in...we have and do suggest she go to therapy.  D18 was the scapegoat, was infantized, is a people pleaser, diagnosed with PTSD. 

Both girls are bright, funny doing well in terms of work/school and have friends.

So it is a mixed bag, but I have no doubt that things would be worse if the family remained in tact.  When the family was still together all energy, financial, time, emotional etc. went into the girls mom and there was little left for anyone else.

4.  Who here "stayed for the kids" and wishes he/she would not have? 
Hind sight is 20/20 but I'm sure if my partner knew then what he knows now he would have left earlier.  It should be noted that he/we didn't discover BPD until he was separated over 2 years and in the final throws of the divorce.

5.  How has divorce affected your kids (if you left)... . and do you regret it?  Or do you think it was the right decision? See#3

7.  If you left, do you think your kids have been harmed by the friction between you and the ex?  Would the situation have been better for your kids without the "two homes" thing?

8.  Regardless of whether you stayed or left, if your kids are teenagers or older, do you regret your decision?  Or think it was the right thing to do?  What advice would you give other parents (with younger kids) in similar situations?

9.  If you are a man, do you believe that leaving your marriage means leaving your kids?

I have got to get to work...will answer the final questions later.  I hope others will add their stories to this thread.

Panda39
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"Have you ever looked fear in the face and just said, I just don't care" -Pink


Panda39
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« Reply #61 on: June 18, 2019, 11:43:22 AM »

Just Finishing up...

7.  If you left, do you think your kids have been harmed by the friction between you and the ex?  Would the situation have been better for your kids without the "two homes" thing?

I'd be lying if I said the divorce wasn't high conflict and things weren't really rough for my partner and his daughters during the divorce.  There was parental alienation, neglect of the girls by their mom, mom had the girls spying on dad, false allegations of abuse etc.  So much of what we fear did happen to my partner and his daughters. (my partner and his daughters now call these the "dark times")

Mom was evicted 3 times and convicted of fraud for writing a large bad check (she received probation). 

Once the divorce was final things began to die down in terms of conflict, we discovered BPD and later this site so we learned better coping strategies regarding my partners ex.  (Radical Acceptance, don't JADE, don't respond to the invalid etc.)  My partner was awarded majority custody, Education, Medical and Dental decision making.  The girls started seeing their dad more, they had a stable home.  Mom on the other hand just kept sinking.

The girls continued visitation with their mom when they could in between evictions, couch surfing and living in hotels.

The two households were/are very different one stable one unstable and if they stayed married they all would have been unstable.  The ex was dragging them all down with her.


8.  Regardless of whether you stayed or left, if your kids are teenagers or older, do you regret your decision?  Or think it was the right thing to do?  What advice would you give other parents (with younger kids) in similar situations?

It was absolutely the right thing to do, my partner and his daughters have stability, consistency, financial stability, emotional constancy, responsibility, have had/are receiving therapy/support  etc. 

My advice...show your children that you love them and want to spend time with them, let them know the divorce is not their fault, don't badmouth the other parent, be open to conversations about the kids feelings (keep these conversations private - sharing with the BPD parent can lead to the kids being punished and lead to them not trusting you), validate their feelings, own what is yours to own, parallel parent (co-parenting was an utter failure in my partner's situation), get your kids into Therapy...

9.  If you are a man, do you believe that leaving your marriage means leaving your kids?

Speaking for my partner...no.  Leaving the marriage meant leaving his wife.
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"Have you ever looked fear in the face and just said, I just don't care" -Pink
Arthur J
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« Reply #62 on: August 01, 2019, 06:26:58 AM »

9. If you are a man, do you believe that leaving your marriage means leaving your kids?

Even though this is an older thread it is absolutely relevant to my current situation. I am faced with this difficult decision at the moment and all your input has greatly helped me gain insight and perspective. Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to brace myself for the road ahead with my 3 little girls.
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