Friday, September 18, 2009

Future Divorce of a Sterling Silver Findings Designer I

My husband and I have decided that, when this starter marriage ends (I am a sterling silver findings designer, and we're happily married with 2 small and beautiful children, but you never know how it will turn out), we'll keep the lawyers totally out of it. We have seen how legal fees can get out of hand and the children are the ones to suffer, financially and emotionally. We've agreed that if there was to be any disagreements on money, we'd put it in a trust for our daughters.

I know we can plan for all eventualities, but when it comes to matters of the heart and one party becomes embittered, all rules of engagement are thrown out the window. I am quite self-reliant when it comes to happiness, and I am happy designing sterling silver findings forever. And I already know the only way I will become bitter is if he has an affair behind my back. We have discussed this, and like any business negotiations, much better to talk about it before relations sour. I think I can accept an affair if he told me before hand that he was struggling in our marriage. We have promised to do what we can to fix it, if it comes to that point. And if there is no fixing, then we can decide our next steps together. We can even have an open marriage. You can always be attracted to others outside of the marriage. It is human nature. However, in my opinion, how one decides to act on that attraction is fully within one's control. Mind you, that is just us. My husband and I made our wills shortly after we got married in our late 20's, and we got the deluxe package from our lawyer, spelling out all possible scenarios we could think of at the time. I know that this is not for everyone. My artistic outlet is in sterling silver findings and jewellery designing, and everything else, I am morbidly serious.

Our goal as parents is to provide the best upbringing we can for our children. I want to provide them with a safe and happy environment within which they can thrive. I understand there are no guarantees and although many parents try their best, terrible conflict and sadness can exist. At the same time, I have also seen difficult circumstances turn out well, where parents at conflict with one another share the only common interest of doing their best for their children. Divorces are commonplace in current times. We can certainly learn some lessons from our family and friends who have divorced, even breakups in business partnerships, which I had done before I began designing sterling silver findings. I will share these and other stories with you over a few articles.

I have a story of a successful divorce. The ex-husband is in the trade show transport business and had helped me move my jewellery trade show booth from show to show for years before I began designing sterling silver findings. He was a former professional rugby player who went into customer service in the transport business. He had three young daughters and divorced when the eldest was ten years old and the youngest was four. His ex-wife was an English teacher who cheated on him with a fellow teacher. He noticed something strange about their behaviour when they were at a work party. He confronted his wife, who admitted that she had been having an affair for a number of months. He felt partly to blame because he was traveling a lot for work, and thought perhaps he had neglected her. He decided to work on their marriage.

However, when he found out later that the affair was still going on, and she wanted two more months with the other person because he was "leaving anyway" for a new job, my friend decided to end the marriage. He first had a chat with his daughters to explain that he had to move out, but that he loved them and very little would change. Then he had a more in-depth with his older daughter, and made a promise that it would not affect them negatively and asked her to be a support to her younger sisters and be his ears and eyes looking out for them. He moved out and later bought a house down the street. They decided to have joint custody and not to involve any lawyers. Although my friend went through two years of immense pain, he kept the best interest of his daughters at heart. He did not tell them of their mother's affair even though the children were upset he moved out. Instead he encouraged their affection for their mother and remained supportive of her when the girls were upset with her. He did not fight for any of their joint assets because he felt that it was there for his daughters and he could always earn more.

Seven years on, his daughters are happy and healthy, and he still lives within walking distance of his ex-wife, who has since re-married. He still talks to his ex-wife regularly when they have to schedule pick up and drop off duties now that their daughters are busy with full schedule of extracurricular activities. His daughters spend just as much time at his home as they do at their mother's. He made a deal with his employer to work flexible time to spend more time with them. He is about to get remarried, and it was difficult to find this perfect person because he, his daughters, and the joint custody with his ex-wife all come in a complete package. It is a success story and I know it is more of an exception than the norm.

To continue reading part two of this article please click here

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