A Parent’s Obligations During a Divorce

Dear Coming Through The Rye Staff,

My husband and I have been married for five years. I am 24 years old, and he is 28 years old. So there is a decent age gap between us. I will start with a short background.

I had my first child when I was 16 years old. I decided not to give her up for adoption. So I got my life together – I graduated a year early, started college, and in a semester, am graduating with a physics degree. After I have my undergraduate degree, I will be continuing my education through a doctorate program and will work as a teacher while I get my Ph.D. I met my husband through church about six years ago. At the time, I didn’t think anyone would ever be able to love and accept me, because I was so young and had a child. So, I was eager to settle down. To this day, I’m not so sure why I was so eager. My sister believes I was scared that my then-fiancé would leave me when he really realized what he was getting into… by marrying a woman with a child. So I married. And one month into our marriage, we discovered we were expecting. (end background information)

When I married, I knew we had differences. I just thought, “Hey, everyone has differences, but we’ll make it.” As I got older, and dare I say, as I discovered more about myself, those differences seemed to become tremendous. I feel like we don’t make each other happy. A few examples of some major differences are as follows: I am atheist, he’s Christian; I have a lower than normal sex drive, he has a super high sex drive; I love being outdoors, he would rather watch t.v. all day; I seek knowledge constantly, he could care less. I don’t feel like we have meaningful conversations… I don’t feel comfortable around him anymore… I don’t feel happy. I don’t feel like he’s happy. I don’t think that we make each other happy.

I see him lust after other women. I find my mind drifting and thinking about my future. And when I think about my future, I don’t picture him in it. I believe that I should stay in this marriage for my children. I am so scared to break up my family, despite my unhappiness. So what do I do? Do I stay for my child, or is it better to leave have my child be brought up in a divided household? I am so torn on what to do. I cry about it constantly, and I have read article after article after article. Are my only two choices either to stay unhappy for the sake of my child or to put my children through the pain of a broken family for my happiness? I feel like it would be terribly selfish of me to divorce my husband because of the pain my children might go through. Please help me. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. Even if you don’t respond, it’s been nice just typing it all out. Have a great day.

Sincerely,

Marissa

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My Nightmare: Parents Living Out Dreams through Their Children

Dear Coming Through The Rye Staff,

I’m a general engineering student in a well-known engineering school here in the Philippines. This course is what my parents dreamed for me ever since I was a child. Out of respect, I followed it for them since was a child. It’s my obligation to follow what they want or else they won’t send me to school. To be honest, I find it hard solving those complicated problems – so many computations, sines, cosines, logs, everything. I hate wasting my time torturing myself with these. I hate algebra, trigonometry, and chemistry. I hate everything about mathematics. I’m tired of failing exams. I’m tired of having lower grades (which my parents don’t know). I get nothing but headache, depression, bad days. All that they know is that I’m a good student with good grades, because I always lied. Every time they ask me about my studies, I always said it was okay. Otherwise, they will be disappointed.

Math is not really my passion – art is. These days, I’m thinking of shifting into another course. My parents will surely disagree. I would like to get a B.S. in Fine Arts. I have always loved the arts. I love expressing myself. However, this would be hard without expressing it first to my parents. All that comes to my mind is to runaway. After that, I’ll study what I want. I’ll be a scholar or a working student. I will stand by myself. However, I’m afraid I might fail and come to regret all of these choices for the rest of my life.

The closing of the first semester is already coming. I can’t keep lying to my parents and myself. The truth will come out, which will surely disappoint them. After the first day of our semi-final examination, which was today, I walked out. Alone. Thinking… I just don’t have any of the answers again. Tomorrow, the second day, I will surely not have any of the answers again. And the third day will be the same.

I don’t have any idea where my life is going – no direction. I don’t see any glimpse of tomorrow with me as an engineer. I can’t do this. I don’t want this. Sometimes, all I want to do is just listen to music and forget everything. I want to stop time, so I won’t have to attend school anymore – no more sleepless nights. I just want to be with friends and laugh all day. I want to return to my childhood days where there are no problems to solve. I’ll just play and dream. I wish I could escape from the reality. Stay in my bed all day. Sleep forever and dream. It’ll be a place far from reality. I’m just being hopeless with my life. I don’t know what to do. Could you help me?

Sincerely,

Wilson

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