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Mistie

Damaged goods?

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I'm 35 and been married and divorced twice and have 5 kids, and neither man is/was LDS (nor was I for that matter). I recently became active again in the church (after converting in 2000 and being inactive almost ever since). What I'm wondering is if my situation will keep me from meeting an LDS man, falling in love and getting married? From my perspective it's as though I'm "damaged goods".

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Nope, it won't keep you from meeting/marrying an LDS man. "Damaged goods" is an evil thought and against the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of repentance and the atonement, there is no such thing as damaged goods.

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I had similar thoughts after my divorce about being "damaged goods". Know that no matter what happens in your life you always have your Savior to turn to and your Father in Heaven loves you! Live your life to make them happy and everything will fall into place. Don't let the search for "mr. right" become your goal. He will come when you are ready. Good luck sweet sister!

Mags

Edited by skippy740

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Mistie,

Both posts are correct. However, I'm going to interject something from the "male-probably-soon-to-be-divorced" perspective. This is a practical thought that a man who should provide economically for a family should be thinking:

"How would I take care of 5 kids? How would I work with my (future) wife working with her 2 former spouses in raising these children? Would I have a say in how they're raised? Will they listen to me? Or would they say "You're not my Daddy!"?"

If you have sole custody of your 5 kids, you have "baggage". You're not "damaged", but whoever dates you and marries you will also be committing to your 5 kids (and your family and in parental relations with your 2 former spouses)!

Good, faithful LDS men will be committed to the entire family. That's part of our commitment to family. Yet, it's not just a commitment of faith. There's MONEY! They need to be sure they can MAKE enough money and support a family well.

Not enough money = a strained marriage. Money can help patch a lot of things, but if there's no money, there's not much security or admiration for the father figure of the household.

So, just something to think about - from the male perspective.

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Yes, I know I have a lot of "baggage". And yes, I have had a difficult time dating because (before I became active again) the men were either thinking I was, um, (how do I say this w/o making it sound bad?) an easy person to be with or they were freaked out because I have so many kids. It has been a very dateless 3 years (but mainly by my choice). I refuse to lower my standards, morals or character for anyone or anything less than what I'm looking for.

Skippy, thanks for your brutal honesty :) There is no doubt in my mind that those points are exactly what men think right off the bat. But when it comes to money, I'm not looking for a man that's loaded or has money. Families and marriages can be happy even if there isn't an abundance of money. Just need to have faith, love, honesty and willingness to make things work. Unfortunately not everyone realizes this.

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But when it comes to money, I'm not looking for a man that's loaded or has money. Families and marriages can be happy even if there isn't an abundance of money. Just need to have faith, love, honesty and willingness to make things work. Unfortunately not everyone realizes this.

Mistie, I'm going to be brutally honest again: You need to understand how a man of his word thinks. Faith, love & honesty are great... in fairytale land. This is a baseline requirement. You can't live on faith, love & honesty.

Money will strain a relationship. Now let's define how much money it would take? Having an extra $200/month above your expenses is probably enough.

Otherwise, you can marry a homeless man.

The nerves required for a man to deal with 5 kids... to raise them... discipline them... teach them... and to possibly feel outnumbered... it would be very intimidating. Remember, they're not HIS kids!

My recommendation would be to attend dances from single's wards. Interested men won't come up to you when you're attending church with your 5 kids. (Just a guess.)

Also, be very mindful of your kids. Your kids don't need to meet every man you date.

Your time that you spend at dances, getting ready for dates, thinking about these matters is all time that you're not spending with your kids.

I think before you introduce your kids, you need to talk with any date about marriage & money. You need to show how you're already taking care of them and your financial expectations of someone you may want to marry. Otherwise you WILL intimidate him and he'll wonder how he got himself involved with such a situation.

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I'm going to agree with Skippy. It's not that you're damaged goods, OP, but that there's a lot there to deal with in the real world, not some idealized situation. If you are like most divorced women w/children, you will never see most (any) of the child support to which you are entitled. I used to do support cases. I know what I'm talking about and I know the statistics. If both your men support the kids, wonderful; you're a statistical outlier. But if they don't, that means that the new Mr Right will have to take that on and many men will feel uneasy about doing that for 5 kids.

You might consider LDS dating sites. I don't believe the right guy is going to necessarily walk into your life. Sometimes you have to make things happen. I live in a ward with mostly grad students, married grad students. The older folks all seem to be married and I haven't found an activity yet for older singles. There's no shame in using these sites, as long as you keep your wits about you and don't get taken in by a smooth talker. Many people, including young people my son's age, meet and marry via these sites. Don't dismiss them out of hand.

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We've seen plenty of people on this site who sincerely believe in "damaged goods" and they don't tend to be very popular.

The fact is that you have five kids and I highly doubt you're going to get rid of them in order to improve your dating life.

However, I would like to offer some positivity to a complete agreement with Skippy: You're 35, your dating pool will include quite a few people who are divorced/widowed/have kids/would not be surprised to see women in the dating pool with kids/maybe even want kids.

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You might consider LDS dating sites. I don't believe the right guy is going to necessarily walk into your life. Sometimes you have to make things happen. I live in a ward with mostly grad students, married grad students. The older folks all seem to be married and I haven't found an activity yet for older singles. There's no shame in using these sites, as long as you keep your wits about you and don't get taken in by a smooth talker. Many people, including young people my son's age, meet and marry via these sites. Don't dismiss them out of hand.

My only complaint with those sites is that I wound up dating three guys from the same ward accidentally (not at the same time, mind you) after meeting them online and then later on moved into that very ward...

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Mistie, you are not "damaged goods". But, I do have to agree with some of the "brutal truths" that skippy740 and Dahlia have talked about. I married a man with two children that he had full custody of. He never received any child support from his ex-wife. I know that might seem insignificant to some because he is the father, not the mother. But, we have always struggled financially, and it would have been a help to have had some sort of financial help from his ex for the kids. She had visitation rights, but was never required to pay any support for the children, and she could have because she has always had a stable job. (I hope that doesn't sound like sour grapes on my part). I'm just thinking that back then (30 years ago), my husband was pretty darn lucky to get full custody, and the courts probably felt that the woman didn't need to help provide for the children's support--imo. But, our financial struggles truly did put a strain on our marriage. And because of the children, the ex truly does remain part of the equation. It's just the way it is. It takes a strong person to parent and love another person's children, have the ex be part of their lives, and deal with all the stresses that come along with it. It can be done. But, it will take a special person. If you find someone--count your blessings. There are men out there who would be willing to do it. My brother, who had never been married before, married a wonderful woman who had been divorced two or three times before and she had six children. I'm not saying they don't have problems--they do--especially with the two youngest who are teens. But, they are making it work.

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I have long been of the opinion that people have the right to marry whomever they choose (assuming the other party is amenable, and assuming their choice fits the reasonable definition of a marriage partner). Moreover, they have the right to refuse to marry anyone, for any reason they find sufficient. Don't like fat chicks? Don't marry one. Don't like skinny guys with poor posture? Don't marry one. Don't like people with blond hair, or people with dark skin, or people with lots of kids, or people with massive debt, or people with whatever other trait you find objectionable? Don't marry such people.

This doesn't mean your prejudice is right, of course, just that you have the right to make such a determination, as does everyone else. Trying to "guilt" someone into marrying a person s/he doesn't want to marry doesn't make sense to me. If a guy doesn't like blonde girls, I don't want my blonde daughter marrying or even dating the guy.

Edited by Vort

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Since I think the idea of 'damaged goods' has been dealt with already I will move on to another part.

I have heard many single sisters complain that a good (unmarried) man is hard to find. I don't know how that works out demographically for your area, but I do know that the general trend is in that direction. So much so that single sisters have been promised that as long as they remain faithful no blessing will be denied them, even if it takes after this life to get it.

I would highly encourage you to grab a hold of that promise and make it yours. Focus on taking care of your kids, focus on taking care of you and your faith and spirituality. Then if at some point in the future some man enters your life, you will be ready, if he is good and faithful and right. Or you will have the strength, power and faith to reject him if he is not.

As beneficial as having a man around to help out would be, if you make that your focus, you run the risk of pushing out of the way or ignoring other important factors in your desire to reach that goal.

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As beneficial as having a man around to help out would be, if you make that your focus, you run the risk of pushing out of the way or ignoring other important factors in your desire to reach that goal.

That is no lie.

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Thanks everyone for your input. I guess I should have stated that 1) I don't think of myself as "damaged goods". I guess what I meant was that my life before becoming active has been less than stellar. While I was a good, decent person, I didn't live the life that a true, good Christian should live. 2) I'm not out looking for a man. I know it will happen when it is meant to happen (although I wouldn't complain if it happened sooner than later...lol). I'm not giving up any traits or characteristics that I'm looking for in someone just to be with someone. I've been married and divorced twice.. I learned my lesson there! :)

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Mistie

I am in my 60's divorced and get to see some of my kids every other week. My youngest kids are 4 and 5 years old. I have found so many women think at my age I should walk away from my kids so we can have a life. I understand that there is a point in your life you would not want little kids around, but for me they are the greatest thing that has happened in my life.

I will not deal them out of my life and some day i will find someone who has the guts to want to be a part of our life and if not then so be it.

I have a friend who lives in China and there yes you would be "damaged goods", Chinese men don't like women who have been married, if you have kids it is even worse for you as no Chinese man (typical I have to add as there might be a few who would not mind) would even go out on date with you. They want new and unused women so there are thousands of Chinese divorced women looking for partners all over the world who don't think being divorced is bad or that having kids is bad.

What I am saying here is that you bring a lot to a marriage both good and bad. So don't get hung up on the " damaged goods" thing as this is supposed to be a family church and you have the family and there is some guy out there that is just dying to have a large family and all its challenges.

My ex is married to her new guy and they now have 10 kids in the house. Five are mine and 5 are his so it does happen.

best of luck

It is old guys like me that have little kids in there lives that have the real challenge. I didn't even think about it until I ended up divorced and yes it seems that to few women that are in my age range are done with kids unless they are grand kids. So I will look to enjoy my kids and just maybe find someone who can accept that life hands us challenges and we have to either enjoy the journey or hate the trip. Me I wish I had my little guys in my life everyday and if no wants us so what. I love them with all my heart and if I am to find someone heavenly father has already taken care of it and it just me finding them or them finding me.

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Mistie

I am in my 60's divorced and get to see some of my kids every other week. My youngest kids are 4 and 5 years old. I have found so many women think at my age I should walk away from my kids so we can have a life. I understand that there is a point in your life you would not want little kids around, but for me they are the greatest thing that has happened in my life.

You’ve mentioned this before, and it completely baffles me. Why would a woman want you to leave your kids? How could she respect a man that doesn’t fulfill his obligations? You don’t have them full time, so it’s not a matter of her not wanting to raise them. That’s just crazy.

When my husband left, the thing that upset me the most was his lack of communication and involvement with our son. I think that walking away from a child is a real character flaw in a man. I’ve stated several times that I could never be involved with a man that isn’t a part of his children’s lives (at least voluntarily. I understand that some ex’s make involvement difficult).

The Christmas after our separation, I took my son to Utah to visit my parents. My ex lives there now, so I emailed him and gave him the dates that we would be in town and asked if he wanted to spend time with his child. We were there for 9 days and he spent 8 hours with him. If I had been away from my child for 5 months, I would want to see him for more than 8 hours!

When his new wife received a substantial settlement from her ex-husband, I was shocked that they wouldn’t use that money to catch up on his child support (because it was her money and not his). She’s a mother herself. How could she not want her husband to support his child? I suppose that since she didn’t really know my kid (she had only spent 8 hours with him), it was easier to ignore him…but it’s still incomprehensible to me that she doesn’t insist that he support his child—and I mean emotionally as well as financially. The emotional abandonment is more of an issue to me.

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the only thing I can figure is that they have had enough of kids in their lives and just want to travel and enjoy life. I am just glad they told me upfront that kids were not going to be any part of the relationship.

I don't judge folks as we all have wants, desires and what we will and will not accept in a relationship.

Could be that having kids around until you are in your late 70's or early 80's just doesn't fit into their view of life.

Could be they don't like kids, had a bad relationship that dealt with kids

Could be they just didn't like me and the kids issue was a good way to turn me off

Doesn't really matter as I have already decided the kids stay in my life until they choose to leave.

One of my kids is having issues in the new home setup with the ex and her new husband so I don't get to see her but can talk to her sometimes on the phone and I agree with the ex and new guy she needs to get with program at the new house. She is blind which doesn't help but she is going to be there 98% of the time and she needs to follow the rules of the house.

The kids are upset enough without making things harder on them and it doesn't help to be the stinker in the deal so I support the ex as much as I can.

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Let me speak from the other side...

Almost a year ago I met a wonderful lady online. She had 3 kids and was divorced. We chatted and talked on the phone for almost a month when we decided to meet. Before I drove the distance (she lived quite a way away) she confessed some things to me from her past. When we met she was again active in the church.

To make a long story short, I didn't really know the person she told me about. I fell in love with who she was now and last Saturday we were married in the temple.

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Here's my little bit of advice to you as a single mom with one. At this point in your life, dating is more like giving guys an interview than going out to have a good time. You are past the "fun" stage of dating. Any guy you date you are considering as a possibility for taking on the job of husband and father. If you don't think he can cut the mustard, don't even bother going on a date.

This means your dates will be limited. There will be days you will feel lonely. More likely than not, you will end up being a single mother for quite some time, might not find a good marriage until after your children are grown. Finding a man to accept that role, though, is not to be your top priority. Sometimes I find myself wishing I had a man in my life, that I could just speed the timeline and get to the point where I have a good marriage, but that desire is always fleeting and always comes during my "lonely" moments. My top priority is my son, and because I've made him my priority that has actually made it much easier for me to reject men I might have dated only to find out he wasn't a good candidate for my life anyway. I've become much more skeptical and analytical... maybe too much so, but I'd rather do that than make another mistake.

When we are young, dating is more of a fun social activity than anything else. We use it to get to know others and identify the traits we like and dislike in others. It is an opportunity to have good experiences and build friendships. As an adult with children, the purpose of dating is very different. So if you are finding yourself with very few dates, I wouldn't be too worried about it. It means you are doing a good job of focusing on what really matters right now, your kids. :D

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