6 comments on “The 17-year-itch

  1. I just did a search on the 17-year-itch and your post came up. I can’t believe the similarities.

    I have been separated from my wife for 4 months now. We have 3 kids: 16b, 12g/b twins. I first got “the itch” at work where I could no longer stand the 9-5pm gig nor my boss and left the company. I started my own company in 2011/12 and, after an early upswing in profits, I lost everything…including all of our life savings. That’s why we’re separated.

    The strange thing is I was about 12 years old when my dad fell off a ladder and was paralyzed. At the time, I didn’t wonder IF they would divorce…I wondered WHEN. I was floored when my mom stuck with him and has been ever since. That was 35 years ago.

    Now I wonder if my estranged wife and I DO get a divorce, what kind of precedent are we setting for our 3 kids? That when times are tough, you run from your spouse? What validity to vows hold, then?That’s not what my parents did and I’m not sure that’s what we should do. If we split up, I’m afraid that, when my kids get married, they will feel free to get divorced from their respective spouses when times get tough.

    On the other hand, we haven’t been in love for about 2 years. She’s a control freak that mentally and emotionally abuses our kids and, as a result, I was a functioning addict. I’m clean now, but I’m torn as to what I should do. My wife and I don’t communicate anymore unless it involves the kids or finances. If I DO stick around, am I teaching my kids to stay in a dead-end relationship that is void of love and has a mother that abuses them?

    Most of us are in counseling (separately) and it’s coming to the time to make a decision on the future. I’m looking for a job and have been since we’ve separated. Oh, and we owe the IRS and state way over 6 figures.

    We’re probably in about the worst life situation (without anyone seriously hurt or dead) that you can be. The bright side is (I hope) there is only one way to go from here (up).

    Thanks for reading….


    • Dear Dave, first of all, thank you for sharing your story. Very common indeed. I don’t know if you continued to read my blog posts but you may find comfort in a severe subsequent struggle my husband and I have been going through for the last 5 months. You are not alone. Find my blog post entitled “pressed but not crushed” and you will see what I mean. Families all over, including mine suffer through deep significant trials and by God’s incredible grace and mercy, I believe many will persevere like your parents. I too wonder if my kids will learn valuable lessons through our trials. Can we model healthy responses for them at their tender ages? It seems like our struggles are more difficult than other marriages around us but I have come to learn that it is a myth. I decided to put my problems “out there” for that very reason. I couldn’t control my husband but I could control myself, change myself, through my circumstances, for the better. If I miraculously make it to my 16th anniversary it will be because love prevailed. Love is an action, you know, not a feeling. I made the choice to love because God loved us and sent His Son…an action. And in love, that Son died on the cross….action. This morning, in my prayer time, I prayed for you and your wife. Whatever plays out in your marriage, I hope your kids will be able to look back and see how you chose love in action and I hope you can live in the peace of those choices as well. Best wishes to you, friend.
      The poor little rich white Mexican.

      “And the Lord will continually guide you,
      And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
      And give strength to your bones;
      And you will be like a watered garden,
      And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.”
      Isaiah 58:11

  2. I pray for a long marriage that is happy and fulfilled – a true picture of the love between Jesus Christ and His church. May only death separate you two.

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