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Supacase's avatar

Is "dead zone energy" worthy of divorce?

Asked by Supacase (14490 points ) September 2nd, 2013

Inspired by @Coloma’s phrase in this thread.

That is exactly how I felt in the last few months before leaving. I spent a LOT of time in bed struggling with depression. I also know my daughter saw through attempts to ‘make nice’ in front of her.

The first thing people ask is if there was infidelity or physical abuse (there was verbal, but I never mention it) and they look at me funny when I say no. I can’t help wondering if my reasons were good enough.

Again, I don’t need to hear you can’t say anything specific to my marriage so that is not the question. Just in general, is leaving ever acceptable in this type of marriage?

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22 Answers

anniereborn's avatar

I don’t know what “dead zone energy” is?
oh, I see you referenced to it. Though I still don’t really understand what it is

ccrow's avatar

Do you feel better now that you’ve left? If the answer is yes, then I’d say it’s worth it. And all those people who look at you funny only saw your marriage from the outside.

gailcalled's avatar

Could you please give us a short definition of “dead zone” marriage? Using a catchy short phrase is fun sometimes but isn’t a useful tool when contemplating something as serious as divorce.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

A dead zone is an area of the ocean devoid of all life, usually due to pollution. Nothing is alive there. Yeah, a dead zone in a marriage would be a valid reason to change. Not living is a good reason for a divorce. I’m sure you get lots of funny looks when you try to explain it. I’d rather deal with the crap for the short term for a chance to live life the way it should be lived. Good luck.

Headhurts's avatar

How old was your daughter?

jca's avatar

I was never married, so I am far from a marriage expert, but to me, regardless of any situation, it’s hard to second guess someone’s decision. Only the person (or people, in the case of a marriage) who is involved in the situation and dealing with the circumstances knows what they themselves can tolerate. What is unbearable for one is bearable for another.

I have an aunt who married a rich man. He provides for them, they live in a beautiful mansion, she wears the best clothes, is always coiffed and manicured (she must be, as it’s expected of her to look the part), they drive BMW’s and Jags, and they go on great trips. I know he did not abuse her physically, but if he got mad at her, he would not speak to her at all for weeks at a time. I’m sure she was not a perfect wife, and I’m sure that he had many good qualities to equal out his silent treatment behavior. Some people might find the weeks of silent treatment intolerable, some would not mind paying that price in order to have the clothes, the mansion, the trips. That is my example of how it’s hard to second guess another couple’s situation and what goes on in their relationship.

zenvelo's avatar

Yes, it is worthwhile to divorce in that situation. It does necessitate a bit more introspection, perhaps talk to a counselor or therapist, to see if it is just a low patch or if it is irreparable.

It is the kind of situation that marriage counseling is called for, but even then it can be a short decision. A few counseling sessions can tell whether it is something you need to work through and that both will work towards repairing, or that the gulf between the two people is too wide and deep to reconnect.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t care what other people think are good enough reasons for a divorce. You and your reasons are all that matter, you have one life to live, you shouldn’t have to bother with a person you don’t want to bother with. I think it’s ridiculous when the only appropriate reason for divorce, in people’s eyes is, you know, being beaten or infidelity. Please. What bs.

Coloma's avatar

I think if any relational problem exists, unresolved for more than a few months, tops, that it’s time to think about serious change or serious counseling, which…often, comes far too late in the marriage meltdown. The straws to be grasped are so wispy they cannot sustain the pressure. lol
Being unhappy IS always a good enough reason to leave a relationship and verbal abuse IS just as bad as any other kind of abuse.
It doesn’t even have to be about bad treatment or affairs, people change, grow, grow apart.

If one feels zero passion or affection for each other anymore, share no common interests , feels annoyance and dread when having to be around the person, and worst of all contempt, the boats sinking and fast.
Best to toss yourself overboard before you get sucked into the vortex of doom. haha

gm_pansa1's avatar

If you feel better away from the situation, then the answer is yes.

augustlan's avatar

Being persistently unhappy in a marriage, for whatever reason, is a good enough reason to divorce. Not that you shouldn’t attempt to make things better first, but if that effort fails…time to move on. I don’t think we do our children any favors by staying in an unhappy marriage. We are, after all, modeling for them what a marriage looks like. Would we want them to have that kind of marriage?

Supacase's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe – You nailed the definition and the feeling.

@Headhurts She was and still is 7. It has been 8 months. She has been aware on some level since she was 3. I think she has dealt well with it, especially since both homes are more enjoyable and her father and I have been amicable.

@augustlan I didn’t want to model that for her marriage. I want her to think of marriage as love, friendship, mutual respect. He is a genuinely good dad, though, so she may well grow up to think she wants a man just like him.

To all who mentioned it, we had over a year of marriage counseling. He later told me he played along in the sessions but thought it was all ridiculous. I was out of things to try at that point.

I am happier. Or I have been. I’ve been a soppy sad mess the past couple of weeks, though. I don’t miss him. I miss doing things as a family and I hate missing half of her life. I wouldn’t say I’m depressed. Finally starting to grieve, maybe?

Dutchess_III's avatar

The dead zone is that point where you are devoid of all feeling, except maybe one: A deep, quiet, still, sense of sadness that runs through the bottom of your soul. You don’t feel angry any more, you don’t feel frustration, you certainly don’t feel happiness or love or even hatred. If he doesn’t come home after work because he’s spending the evening with another woman, you have no feeling about it. He’ll still come home and try to lie about where he was, but you don’t care. You don’t care about the other women, you don’t care if he lies, you don’t care if he gets mad. You just don’t care any more.

That’s where I was at when I filed for divorce. The only thing was, I assumed their father, who loved his kids, would continue to be a part of their lives. I was stunned when, a couple of years later he abandoned them, moved 2000 miles away, and started a new family. The kids didn’t see him again for 6 years. He quit calling or sending notes, he quit even acknowledging their birthdays.

It hurt them so very, very deeply….if I had known he was even capable of doing that I would have stayed in the marriage and lived with the dead zone.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dutchess_III That he wasn’t a decent parent isn’t on you, that was 100 percent on him. He made that choice. You did the right thing. If he could do that to his offspring how bad do you think it could have gotten for you?

Headhurts's avatar

Then I would say you got out while you could. A child that age doesn’t need to see their parents arguing or to feel the tension. It stays with them and they don’t forget. I wouldn’t feel guilty for going. I think you made the right decision.

SABOTEUR's avatar

If my first wife hadn’t left me, I probably wouldn’t be ambivalent about whether to leave or stay. It’s probably why I’ve endured my own “dead zone energy” second marriage.

What’s really awkward is my wife has cancer; her doctor informed me last week that my wife has reached the stage where treatment is no longer effective. The best we can do is make her remaining days comfortable.

As sad as I feel about this, for myself and my 4 daughters, how do you comfort someone once that “dead zone energy” has already been firmly established? Even now we can’t tolerate each other’s presence for more than a few minutes.

Perhaps it would have been better getting divorced.

Coloma's avatar

@SABOTEUR I’m sorry for your pending loss and all that implies.
All you can do is be as supportive as possible, get lots of outside support and don’t beat yourself up for your lack of deep feelings.
It’s okay to not have deep feelings for someone, it is what it is and dying does not change that.

If you do not have a good relationship with someone while they are living, imminent death is not going to be some magic elixer 99.9% of the time.
The best you can do is make peace with what is.
Peace to you.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@Coloma Thank you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I know it’s on him, not on me, but if staying in the marriage would have prevented it from happening, then that’s what I would have done.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dutchess_III A skunk always shows his stripe, somehow or another way.

Dutchess_III's avatar

He was showing them before we divorced. I just never, ever in a million years thought he would do something like that. He loved his kids. What he did was, he deluded himself into thinking he could see them several times a year. He left for Seattle. He had no job waiting, yet he thought he could get a job and then right away take a week off every other month to “come get them.” It’s a freakin’ 3 day trip each way. He thought he’d be able to fly them down a lot. He was able to convince himself of this, so he was able to leave with only a little guilt.
That tide is sure turning now, 20 years later. I think he’s feeling horrendous guilt now.

Supacase's avatar

@SABOTEUR I’m sorry for your situation. I can only imagine how difficult it must be.

@Headhurts Part of what finally made me take action was realizing my daughter had assumed responsibility for keeping the family dynamic going. She tried so hard to get us to do things together and for my husband and I to interact more. A 7 year old should not be in that position.

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