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Examples of unconventional family living

Examples of unconventional family living

Old Jun 25th 2020, 1:44 pm
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Default Examples of unconventional family living

Has anyone experienced, either through their own childhoods or as parents, what could be described as an unconventional family set-up.

i.e. did your parents serve in the armed forces which caused you to be moved around alot as a child? Are/were you yourself in the forces, which caused you to be 'away' for continuous extended periods of time from your family?

Has anyone ever worked in a career in some other city/country causing you to be away for extended periods from your husband/wife/kids?

Or worst case, (maybe more directly and relevant to my source of the question and for this forum)...

Has anyone had to make the horrible decision to move back to the UK whilst their husband/wife and kids stay in Canada, whether that was due to economical, emotional reasons or marital issues?...

Looking to hear relevant stories, from what caused you to make any of those difficult decisions, how you coped during it all, if your marrige was affected, how your children dealt with that unconventional dynamic and lack of physical presence from one parents and how it all turned out.

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Old Jun 25th 2020, 2:50 pm
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

You seem to have gone to a great deal of effort (lots of words to explain a fairly simple question) to exclude familes split by divorce from your question, but that is by far going to be the most common reason for (your definition) "unconventional family living".

I think you should be aware that children are very flexible and resiliant, adapting to circumstances, so if you remove yourself from their daily routine your influence will decline and you will become increasingly marginalized.

From the title of your thread I was expecting to see a question about situations such as cohabiting families with a mother and two fathers, or other weirdness, not merely split or broekn families, which are very common these days.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 25th 2020 at 3:04 pm.
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Old Jun 25th 2020, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by no good name View Post
Or worst case, (maybe more directly and relevant to my source of the question and for this forum)...

Has anyone had to make the horrible decision to move back to the UK whilst their husband/wife and kids stay in Canada, whether that was due to economical, emotional reasons or marital issues?...

Looking to hear relevant stories, from what caused you to make any of those difficult decisions, how you coped during it all, if your marrige was affected, how your children dealt with that unconventional dynamic and lack of physical presence from one parents and how it all turned out.
There will be a number of appropriate threads on the moving back to the UK section. There are a few such cases in the relevant 'country' parts of BE but you'll likely find more in "moving back".

No matter which other country is involved, the issues are likely to be very similar so it needn't be Canada.
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Old Jun 25th 2020, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
You seem to have gone to a great deal of effort to exclude familes split by divorce from your question, but that is by far going to be the most common reason for (your definition) "unconventional family living".

I think you should be aware that children are very flexible and resiliant, adapting to circumstances, so if you remove yourself from their daily routine your influence will decline and you will become increasingly marginalized.

From the title of your thread I was expecting to see a question about situations such as cohabiting families with a mother and two fathers, or other weirdness, not merely split or broekn families, which are very common these days.
There was no "great deal of effort" to exclude families split by divorce. I did write marital issues though?

Regardless, there does seem to be a great deal of effort however to respond to my thread with a negative undertone. Not for the first time.

If my threads/posts (where I am trying to claw my way out of, and find a solution to a bad personal time) bore or irritate you in any way, please feel free to ignore and scroll on by
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Old Jun 25th 2020, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by no good name View Post
There was no "great deal of effort" to exclude families split by divorce. I did write marital issues though? .....
No, but that's precisely my point, you used an awful lot of words ("great deal of effort") to describe many sorts of broken family situation in such a way as (apparently) to avoid mentioning "divorce", when what you are describing actually aligns closely with divorce or legal separation.
.... Regardless, there does seem to be a great deal of effort however to respond to my thread with a negative undertone. ...
I am sorry you see it as "negative"; I see it as objective, and your perception is common when someone gets replies that don't fit their expectations. You are obviously expecting people to reassure you that "everything is going to be fine".

What you are describing is likely to have several negative consequences for you, your children, and your relationship with your spouse. What you are describing might be "managable" (obviously some people do), but the negatives are going to outweigh the positives, probably considerably, and that is just reality.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 25th 2020 at 3:16 pm.
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Old Jun 25th 2020, 3:21 pm
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by no good name View Post
Has anyone experienced, either through their own childhoods or as parents, what could be described as an unconventional family set-up.

i.e. did your parents serve in the armed forces which caused you to be moved around alot as a child? Are/were you yourself in the forces, which caused you to be 'away' for continuous extended periods of time from your family?

Has anyone ever worked in a career in some other city/country causing you to be away for extended periods from your husband/wife/kids?

Or worst case, (maybe more directly and relevant to my source of the question and for this forum)...

Has anyone had to make the horrible decision to move back to the UK whilst their husband/wife and kids stay in Canada, whether that was due to economical, emotional reasons or marital issues?...

Looking to hear relevant stories, from what caused you to make any of those difficult decisions, how you coped during it all, if your marrige was affected, how your children dealt with that unconventional dynamic and lack of physical presence from one parents and how it all turned out.
I effectively split with the mother of my children in the late 80s. We decided not to divorce as we thought that would cause lawyers to have all the money and we had children to support. We decided that we'd look into that when the children finished being educated. My wife retained the family home and I borrowed against it to buy another house. The children went to school quite near my place and drifted back and forth between the houses according to their schedule of extra-curricular activities and, later, evening work commitments. Since both locations are served by transit they got themselves around from the beginning of high school. I mainly worked away, primarily in the US but sometimes in other locations.

I lived with a couple of women, one after the other, for about seven years each. I imported one of them as a common law spouse from the US despite being married. One of the children is disabled and in the late 2000s it became obvious that she would soon age out of the support systems in Canada. She needed to go to Europe and, by implication, my wife had to go too. She was fine with that as she had no attachment to Canada anyway. The other children had by then grown up and moved away so we gave the lawyers their $100,000, divorced and I discovered how much money I had wasted on income tax for the previous twenty years. My taxes fell dramatically. In the course of the divorce I gave up my interest in the family home which, over the course of the separation had increased in value ten fold, that allowed the ex to set up in Europe.

Through the 2010s we, the ex, the children, the grandchildren, all met every couple of years at my mother's house in England. That didn't happen this year for obvious reasons. I can't say how the children would have turned out had they been raised in a respectable law abiding household. I can say that relentless exposure to alcohol, drugs and fornication caused them to raise their eyebrows and adopt a more conservative approach to life than that they saw before them.

How did I cope? I didn't have to cope. I had a blast. You should ask the woman who maintained the house, looked after the children and depended on her feckless husband for income about how one copes.
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Old Jun 25th 2020, 4:04 pm
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
No, but that's precisely my point, you used an awful lot of words ("great deal of effort") to describe many sorts of broken family situation in such a way as (apparently) to avoid mentioning "divorce", when what you are describing actually aligns closely with divorce or legal separation.
.
No, I am sorry but I believe you are wrong.
I was in no way avoiding using the word divorce. If people wish to respond with that example, then I would be happy to hear about it.
I really dont see why this is an issue with you.

My genuine intentions of the thread was to hear stories/examples of families who made the best of MANY situations that were a little 'different' by 'normal' standards. As I mentioned, one example could be a life in the armed forces - where a parents postings caused the disruption to a 'stereotypical', settled family home life...

Did I mention "broken"?
A mother who is serving in the Air Force, goes away on operations for 6months, is that equate to a "broken" household by your standards?

A father who works away on the oil rigs every few weeks, who sees his kids less than a 9-5 office job, is that "broken" in your eyes?

A businessman who's head office is in another State/province where he is forced to spend alot of time in hotels away from faimily... "broken"?

These were the type of real life examples from anyone on here.

All a little less 'conventional' by stereotypical family life yes, but why does any of them default to "align with divorce or legal separation"?

Last edited by no good name; Jun 25th 2020 at 5:05 pm.
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Old Jun 25th 2020, 4:13 pm
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by no good name View Post
No, I am sorry but I believe you are wrong.
I was in no way avoiding using the word divorce. .....
I think it's subconcious, and did from the time of my first post.

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Old Jun 25th 2020, 4:43 pm
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I think it's subconcious, and did from the time of my first post.

Feel free to 'think' what you want mate.
As I said, a lot of effort here to go out your way to pick holes with someone's thread.
Whatever floats your boat.

Have an awesome day
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Old Jun 25th 2020, 8:13 pm
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

I have to say that is the most long-winded OP that I think you could have written to ask a very simple question.

I agree with Pulaski about that!

I have a very serious question to ask you.

You have told us how you feel, and it has become very obvious that you really want to get away from Canada, and if that involves leaving your wife, then so be it. But you seem to want approval for your actions.

You have told us what you think your wife is feeling, and that is staying in Canada because she likes it, and the children "are settled in school".

My question is ................

Have either of you sat down with the children, all together or with one of them at a time, and really truly asked them what THEIR feelings are?

Are they REALLY settled in school, or are they only telling you that?

Do THEY want to stay in Canada or go back to the UK?

Did you even ask them before you moved over here what they felt or wanted, or did you just bring them like part of the household belongings??

I can tell you from experience with family and friends that children are always very much aware of what is going on with their parents and in the home, no matter how much you try to keep it quiet and "all is fine and dandy".

Do not believe that they are not aware that there are problems between you and your wife, children are experts at keeping quiet and keeping out of the way when trouble is looming in the home.

You may not find out until years later that one of the children (usually the eldest) became expert at gathering the others around them and keeping them out of the way of the arguments, the shouting, or just the uncomfortable atmosphere around Mum and Dad. Yes, I know at least one family where that happened.

A child may become very empathetic with the parent they identify with most when trouble is happening ........... you may remember long ago that Princess Diana said that William was very empathetic with her, pushing hankies under the door of the bathroom when she was crying and asking if she was alright.

I've experience of a child of similar age to William back then who behaved exactly the same way with his mother.

The mother may not have been the one to start the trouble, but that was the person they identified with at the time.

Ask those children of yours what THEY want ............. and come back and tell us what the response is.

The last thing I would say, is that I think most of us have given you whatever advice we can do with our experiences.

But don't damage those children any more than you have.
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Old Jun 25th 2020, 8:51 pm
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

I haven't read any of your other posts so not sure what you're after but I'll share my experience.

My father worked away for most of my childhood (and many years beyond); there was little work for him in the NE. Initially he was away during the week in the UK and then he went off to the Middle East, Africa, and a couple of inhospitable rocks in the South Atlantic. Sometimes he didn't get leave for 9-12 months at a time and we didn't have Skype back then. As a family we just got on with life without him; as children we didn't really respect his authority when he was home. Did it affect my parents' marriage? I expect so, although it wasn't great to begin with. They should have divorced when we were small but it wasn't seen as "the done thing".

My Dad lived in some crappy conditions to send money home for us to have a good life - even the ME wasn't a cushy posting like it is now. I've always had a good relationship with him but as an adult I appreciate him more.
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Old Jun 25th 2020, 9:13 pm
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by no good name View Post
..... All a little less 'conventional' by stereotypical family life yes, but why does any of them default to "align with divorce or legal separation"?
Do you really need that explained to you? .... Because functionally, from a child's perspective, they are very similar to divorce or separation: Mum and Dad rarely, if ever sleep under the same roof, and the children get to spend most of their time with one parent, and rarely see the other, except perhaps in calendar blocks such as during school holidays and perhaps holiday travel.
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Old Jun 26th 2020, 12:27 am
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

My step sisters husband was in the Navy, spent a lot of the last 20 years not at home, probably spent more time not home than at home. The kids seemed to be okay, but who knows really, has to be hard for kids to hardly ever see one of their parents, might even be worse than a divorce as at least in a divorce if both parents are close by still, the kids probably end up seeing their other parent more often, where if living overseas or military might only be a few times a year with long stretches of not seeing the other parent.

I can say as a person whose parents stayed together because of the children, never stay together just for the kids, I wish everyday my parents had divorced 10 years earlier, life would have been a lot better.
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Old Jun 26th 2020, 10:36 am
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

I think I mentioned in an earlier post on a thread by the OP that I have, practically always, been separated from my husband for the 20 years we’ve been married and it's worked. However, I knew exactly what I was getting into and am a very independent woman. I didn’t have a home and children with a man who suddenly had a MindShift and decided I would be happy if the absented himself for long periods...that would suck.
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Old Jun 26th 2020, 10:20 pm
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
I effectively split with the mother of my children in the late 80s. We decided not to divorce as we thought that would cause lawyers to have all the money and we had children to support. We decided that we'd look into that when the children finished being educated. My wife retained the family home and I borrowed against it to buy another house. The children went to school quite near my place and drifted back and forth between the houses according to their schedule of extra-curricular activities and, later, evening work commitments. Since both locations are served by transit they got themselves around from the beginning of high school. I mainly worked away, primarily in the US but sometimes in other locations.

I lived with a couple of women, one after the other, for about seven years each. I imported one of them as a common law spouse from the US despite being married. One of the children is disabled and in the late 2000s it became obvious that she would soon age out of the support systems in Canada. She needed to go to Europe and, by implication, my wife had to go too. She was fine with that as she had no attachment to Canada anyway. The other children had by then grown up and moved away so we gave the lawyers their $100,000, divorced and I discovered how much money I had wasted on income tax for the previous twenty years. My taxes fell dramatically. In the course of the divorce I gave up my interest in the family home which, over the course of the separation had increased in value ten fold, that allowed the ex to set up in Europe.

Through the 2010s we, the ex, the children, the grandchildren, all met every couple of years at my mother's house in England. That didn't happen this year for obvious reasons. I can't say how the children would have turned out had they been raised in a respectable law abiding household. I can say that relentless exposure to alcohol, drugs and fornication caused them to raise their eyebrows and adopt a more conservative approach to life than that they saw before them.

How did I cope? I didn't have to cope. I had a blast. You should ask the woman who maintained the house, looked after the children and depended on her feckless husband for income about how one copes.
Appreciate you taking the time to give your example
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