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This room is for supportive and informative discussion about divorce and/or the annulment process. All posters must have been previously divorced or annulled.

Saint Eugene De Mazenod is patron of dysfunctional families & Saint Fabiola obtained a divorce from her first husband prior to devoting her life to charitable works.
Learn More: Saint Eugene De Mazenod and Saint Fabiola

I left a marriage from a selfish, angry ex-husband. My kids understand that part. I know part of the reason I let myself get into the marriage was that I had a volatile father and was raised with, "love conquers all." So I assumed he would try as hard as I did to make our marriage work.
My parents never told me what to look for in love (they encouraged me to date my ex).


What do you tell your kids about how to approach dating, love and the decision to marry?

May 12 new

Mary, I am nowhere near that stage with mine but I have thought about it a bit. I would have to say just be yourself and truly be connected to the other person. Problem is, when you are at that point in life, you know no different and think this is what it is. Pre-cana can demonstrate your similarities and differences but it can't expose whether or not you've really let you get to be in each others lives and hearts. That's my rough two cents worth ;)

May 13 new
(Quote) Mary-943298 said: I left a marriage from a selfish, angry ex-husband. My kids understand that part. I know part of the reason I ...
(Quote) Mary-943298 said:

I left a marriage from a selfish, angry ex-husband. My kids understand that part. I know part of the reason I let myself get into the marriage was that I had a volatile father and was raised with, "love conquers all." So I assumed he would try as hard as I did to make our marriage work.
My parents never told me what to look for in love (they encouraged me to date my ex).


What do you tell your kids about how to approach dating, love and the decision to marry?

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I think my kids world was shattered as they knew it and am not sure they have any interest in marriage
May 13 new
The first thing I think they need to know is to truly know themselves. Not only where they stand on moral, theological and ethical issues, but how dontheynhandle day to day issues, what are their true interests, etc. they also need to ask and really listen to what other people say about their potential mates. Finally, I think it will be important to spend time in marriage prep in a potentially individualized setting. Finally, they need to know its never to late to walk away from the wedding plans if they have any doubts. That is much easier then a divorce.
May 13 new

(Quote) Cindy-681844 said: I think my kids world was shattered as they knew it and am not sure they have any interest in marriage
(Quote) Cindy-681844 said: I think my kids world was shattered as they knew it and am not sure they have any interest in marriage
--hide--


My son is more likely now to get a divorce since his mom left his father, but that will be my job to encourage him about marriage especailly since my parents are still married after 40 years.

May 15 new

I think of scripture, Corintians I think, about love being patient, kind, not jealous...........also other readings about how if someone loves you, they do not delight in wrongdoing. The story of Hosea talks of unconditional love.

The opposite of love is NOT hate, but USE.

I've also learned that love is a "choice" not a 'feeling'. Christ demonstrates this on the cross...........real love is sacrifical in nature and each is nourished through serving the other. It is shown through actions that serve the best interest of the beloved. ..both ways.

I have shown a great DVD by Pam Stenzel to my kids and my 8th Grade CCD classes years ago called 'Sex Has a Pricetag'. She said something in that video that I thought was profound ( and my own parents used to tell me): "Want to know if a guy loves you? Throw a boundry down, this far and no farther......and watch for respect '

So to sum up, love is a choice to cherish and serve the best interest of the beloved, and him to serve you in return. It shows itself with respect to meeting the needs of the beloved. We do this so easily for our kids. But we demonstrate it with-in our relationships with others: marriage, family, friends, co-workers, strangers. biggrin

May 15 new

So sorry............to answer question on what to tell kids.........

If someone you date loves you.........he wil show it through his actions . He will respect you as a person, not entice you toward wrongdoing, and want to service your best interest. And as a catholic christian, you will do the same in resturn.

Watch for character: how they treat parents, how he talks about others, how he treats people that have no benefit to him, or that he has nothing to gain from. I think this is a good place to start.

May 28 new
Wow, this is a tough one for me. I failed in marriage, ok, well she moved out and said she didn't want to be married. Now I deal with her telling my daughter that I kicked her out (which I did not) along with other lies to make me look bad. I think the first thing is to be open and honest with your children. I try to encourge my children to always be honest and that it is ok to have a different opinion than someone else. I also try to encourge them to be who they are and to not change because someone wants them to be a certain way. I teach them that God has a plan for all of us. I hope as they get older that they will be strong individuals with good Christian values. I tell them of my faults and that they will not be perfect either. As long as they are being the "best version of themselves" as Matthew Kelly says, I think they will make maybe better choices in marriage than I have. Did I answer the question, or just vent?
May 28 new
I never spoke to either of my children about marriage or divorce. I showed them the absolutely best father I could be and left the drama to others. Today they have both been married for over 10 years to spouses that are as wonderful and beautiful as they are. And I thank God everyday for that.
May 28 new
(quote) Cindy-681844 said: I think my kids world was shattered as they knew it and am not sure they have any interest in marriage
THis is how my kids feel at this time so I don't say much. There is no point in bringing up "what to look for in someone to marry" when they have no intentions of marrying. What I have said, more than once, is that IF they decide to marry they need to know that the person they marry can "change" at any moment and become someone they don't recognize. At that point they need to make a decision as to "do I stay or do I go?" I am Catholic and do not believe in divorce so we (kids and I) "stayed" as long as we could possibly tolerate it (multiple affairs/porn addiction/explosive anger). Finally, to protect our children, I told him he needed to leave or I would call the authorities. He left and I immediately filed for legal separation. He was such a spirit-filled, gentile man before he allowed Satan to destroy his soul (eventually being diagnosed with midlife bipolar disorder). He tried to come back multiple times but was still not seeking treatment for his mental illness. Thank God for the kids as they are the ones who kept me from allowing him back in our home.

So to answer your question; I don't think there is anything you can tell your kids about "what to look for and what to avoid in a future spouse". Chances are they are going to seek someone like one of their parents because that person provides them with a sense of comfort because they are "familiar" to that particular "character" (as in your case where you sought someone like your father). Case in point: my 21 year old daughter is dating a 33 year old man who was diagnosed bipolar when he was 13. My former spouse did not develop bipolar disorder until he turned 40 (very common) so for the first half of her life he was not bipolar, however during a very crucial developmental time in her life (preteen) he developed bipolar disorder, SO she will likely seek a person who is bipolar. The only way for her to avoid this situation is to be with someone who does not provide "familiarity/comfort" and be uncomfortable, for a while, which is not likely to happen. And so the "circle of life" continues.
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