Story #1

In life there are major questions which are very important in understanding issues. They’re probably not even questions as such, but concepts from which it is impossible to deviate, and which must always be kept in mind. This applies to the relationship between a man and a woman, as well as other family relationships.

 Let me list these concepts in order: first of all, there is the ability to understand yourself, your true self. What do you want in your life, in all areas: business, standard of living, family relations, parenting, relationships with friends? This is very important and is in many ways the foundation of everything else.

 Secondly (and this depends on who is close to you and how your relationship develops) you should not expect anything else from a relationship that is different from all the other aspects of your lifestyle, habits, relationships with others, etc.

Third: the ability to see and understand the main thing that determines the essence of a relationship based on your mentality, as well as your established character. I do not intend to present certain templates by which everyone understands what is good and what is bad.

 In terms of the main thing: one of the main qualities for men is the ability to forgive. Forgiving what can and should be forgiven, the ability to rise above those petty situations that arise. The inclination to forgive is generally a sign of a great person- It is a very difficult demand that cannot be adopted and implemented in one day. This quality is the result of the formation of all the other qualities in a man and it is very important for the man to be ‘great’ in his relations with the woman.

Story #2

I divorced my wife. We had lived together for 25 long years; a quarter of a century, – a huge proportion of anyone’s life!

Those years were beautiful and … terrible. I know one shouldn’t say that, but if you read everything written, it becomes clear that you can. Unfortunately, you can.

In happier days, when we met, we wrote letters to each other every day, we fell in love, got married, started living together and it worked …Wherever we were, all our space, thoughts and actions were part of one single whole, and they were governed by our love for each other.

Then we flew many thousands of kilometres and from this our relationship became even better. Where is the evidence for my saying this? Primarily, in the responsibility, the keen understanding of the need to live together, communicating, shaping the culture of our family relationships.

Very quickly, our relationship evolved, and it was no longer necessary to explain many things; a half-word, from a half-look was all it took for us to understand each other. We quickly grew up (life forced us to), and both of us, individually, but together, continued exerting a tremendous influence on each other, driving our development in all directions.

The birth of our first child brought a new outlook on life into our relationship, mainly because of the responsibility we felt towards our child – and towards each other. We began to think not for two, but for three. All our plans – big and small – had the family at their heart; its internal values, the emerging life, our relationship with our friends and our opportunities.

The inner world of a family, the culture of a family begins with the personal relationship between a man and a woman. We lived on feelings, intuition and we followed the morals of Soviet society, its values having been inculcated in us from childhood.

Our work, professions, colleagues, friends and events had a huge impact. There were a lot of positives and unfortunately a lot of negatives too. It was not always possible to differentiate the main thing from secondary issues. Why? Because the knowledge we had already acquired in our youth from our parents, teachers, books and lessons did not always give us a true picture of what was happening and did not allow us to draw the right conclusions or avoid making mistakes. My job and what I had to do, who I had to communicate with, frankly caused me to develop unsavoury traits: callousness, indifference to the suffering of others, an obsession with death and risky or even dangerous situations.

I caught myself thinking that I was on the verge of going beyond the point of no return. But fortunately, later I managed to preserve what I needed not only in myself, but in everyone.

Character largely determines family relationships. If two leaders live under the same roof and try to constantly assert their dominance when they come home from work, then it is very difficult to expect peace and love. Of course, one may be wise and try to sort it all out, but people don’t always attain wisdom in a timely manner.

This did not happen for us and we began to drift apart. Our daughter grew up and went to university. What can bind a man and a woman? Love, common interests, the past, the future- undoubtedly. But the present, with all its ups and downs, is the main bond. Day by day, we lost our present and other relationships had begun to fill that space. They were blighted by what kills love straight away- disrespect. This can affect families in different ways: for our family, it spelt the end. Why? Because in my masculine understanding, inattention, neglect and rudeness kill love, and when love is no longer there, then that’s it.

Everyone is different, we all live differently, but we all want one thing: happiness. They want to become Olympic champions in family relationships. Of course, sport is very different to relationships, but in both there are rules and there is an end result. Practising fair play, analysis, daily work and understanding the person you love is how you win your Olympic gold medal, which life will either award to you or not.

Happy children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and, of course, your parents. But in many family relationships, love is like this…

This is our love: we carry it on a stretcher.

Who and what is it for?

We will understand nothing…

And spring is in the yard, the nightingales sing again…

The hands are about to open their fingers again…

For love’s stretcher needs four hands.

The sinews strain to the verge of tearing.

My heart is heavy, who offends us?

Who does not allow us to understand that love must wait?

And, waiting for love – there are Four Hands…

Story #3

An enduring family life or a change of partner and new impressions and emotions? Which is more interesting, more exciting, which makes you anticipate and worry, feel excitement or longing? What kills unrecovered nerve cells faster, causes hair to go grey, and the heart to wrinkle?

Everyone has their own answer, and there are very few options: Divorce (with 2 variants: the argument and the transformation of the beloved into a mortal enemy, or “be friends with new families”), living a lie – or a “happy old age”.

 I did not go through a divorce. And although such thoughts arose in my head a couple of times in more than thirty years of marriage together, I did not seriously consider them for even a moment. I think respect for the partner and the inability to offend or hurt them are at the root of a stable marriage-

Perhaps this is a somewhat outdated position, but it is the one I hold. I had a couple of affairs, which my wife found out about due to both her female intuition and the way my behaviour changed – like any man’s, when he’s having an affair. And here the second moment is the reaction of the second partner to the betrayal of the first.

Arguments, shouts, threats, it seems to me, will help little – and are likely to be counterproductive. Maintaining an outward calm, caring despite the desire to tear off the traitor’s head (or another organ which was particularly active in the betrayal) can stabilize the situation. This is how my wife behaved, although, as it turned out, she felt desperate inside.

 When you see love and care at home, although it is annoying at first, you begin to worry, it becomes like a childish shame in front of your partner, it becomes difficult to invent business trips, get-togethers at work, etc. I think these are the reasons that ultimately led to the ending of my affairs.

I know a few couples – not many – who initially had so-called open relationships. They live together, raise children, have a common household, but both partners ‘have the right to go left.’

There are also swinger couples, who once invited my wife and I to swing with them. This shocked both of us…

In the end, my male ego put paid to the idea. Of course, I was not against sleeping with a pretty blonde – a friend’s wife, but that my own wife would be in someone else’s bed… You can only imagine such a thing in a nightmare! However, I do not judge- to each his own.

Story #4

This is the story of a man who has been embroiled in a divorce for two and a half years. And this adventure, which fell on his head, is far from complete, as the  court case has just begun. Could I have foreseen how rough it would be? Not at all. I knew it would be hard. But I did not know that I would actually lose the friend whom I trusted the most.

Small quarrels can grow into great love or morph into big quarrels. We all choose which sails to launch with. But we find it difficult to summon the desired wind.

It took more than 6 months for my ex-wife to agree on common details. I wanted 50% of the time with the children- she convinced me that the judge would not grant this, so I compromised. The final proposal came from her lawyers, and I only disputed the time of the transfer of children from one house to another.

Even if we had minor differences, there was a lot of sense in reaching an agreement: so as not to waste resources. The whole thing had begun to negatively affect the children, so I made concessions.

Unfortunately, the other side saw this as an opportunity to seize more territory. She started playing dirty tricks, blackmailing me, reporting me to the police for no reason and slandering me to mutual friends.

This has turned me away from my ex-wife even more and now we feel disgust towards each other. Now we don’t want to communicate with each other at all, even though we should, for the sake of our two daughters.

The worst thing is that she began to turn the children against me, their father. And now they themselves don’t know what to do with me and I don’t know how to untangle this knot.

Instead of preserving the old bridges and moving further along the new path, she’s trying to erase the past. Sometimes people find it difficult to forget what happened, and they make their own lives hell and trash their relationships with other people. She flatly refuses to negotiate with the help of professionals and will not agree to our communicating and spending time together normally with the children.

Only God knows how long this conflict will last. I live in hope and start every day with a smile. I constantly remind myself that life is not given in order to empty it for nothing. To relieve stress, I look at new horizons and do things for which there didn’t use to be enough time: self-improvement and acquiring knowledge. It brings me pleasure and helps me walk and pray in order to remain a good parent and simply a good person.