Thursday, December 28, 2006

Some of you may be surprised to hear this, but I have been contemplating getting a divorce from my husband. My emotions are really mixed right now. I am struggling with myself. This is my jihad an-naafs. I don't know what to do? Believe it or not; things between Lisa and I have never been better. We have become very close in the past month and she has really been there for me, but I guess my shaytan has been working on me. Or is it really shaytan? Yes this is the week before my period, but it isn't that. Here are the thoughts that flow through my head.

The negative thougths......

1. My time with my husband has been cut in half. This includes my husband's time with our kids that has also been cut in half.

2. I share my husband with a woman who doesn't have small kids in her house. My house is full of noise and action and her house is the getaway from that noise and action.

3. I have to share my days with my kids and when the day is gone we are zonked. She doesn't have to share her days with anyone. She shares her days with him which allows her more quality time.

4. Intimacy is not the same. I will not go into details, but it has changed. I am the one being effected of course because I am the one with the kids.

5. I recenty found out that Lisa and my husband have been trying to have a baby for the past 4 months. WHAT THE H*** are they thinking??? Shouldn't he be emotionally and physically able to be there for another child. Has he been capable with his other children? NO!!! Take care of the ones you got buddy before you go and make some more.

6. Life is so unstabe. It feels like the house is a stop and go. He comes and he goes. We have no stability. It doesn't feel like a marriage any longer. I feel drained emotionally.

7. He is not abe to be there for me and the children as we need him to be. I feel like if it isn't my day I have to ask for other people to be with me to help me care for my kids. It's not easy.

It all goes back to this thought.....Don't get me wrong......I love my kids and I would die for them, but as far as he is concerned I feel as if I am the nanny and she is the wife. She gets to be his companion and I am the children's caretaker. I know that probably is just shaytan, but I am just trying to stay true to my thoughts. I want to be his wife and the caretaker of his children like I once was. Is that too much to ask? I don't feel that it's fair that when the kids are sick I have to worry about them, when they scream in the middle of the night I have to stay awake with them, and so on and so forth while he gets his quiet nights rest at her place. Am I being unrealistic???? Am I being unreasonable???? Someone tell me. Am I in la la land hoping that he helps me in raising these girls. Is it truly only the responsibility of the mother to take care of the children while the men should care for them financially? If I am getting something wrong then tell me. should I toughen up? You always here of how our grandmothers took care of 10 kids at a time by themselves and didn't complain and time and technology was not as advanced. They cooked from scratch, they did heavy duty cleaning, and at the same time they taught and raised their kidswith good morals and a quality education. These women held the family together without whining as I am. Did they have help???? what is different now? I must get a grip!!!! I feel like I am losing it. I am overwhelmed and I don't know what to do about it. Please help.
Ok here are the positive thoughts.......

1. The ajr (reward) for being patient will be so great, but only if I am sincerely patient.

2. At least I do not have to worry about finances. He provides for my every need.

3. He is fair when it comes to time.

4. He is very loving and tries very hard to make me feel loved.

5. Having him part-time for the kids will be better than not having him at all. He loves his kids so much and they are crazy about him as well.

6.This is my test and I must pass it.

7. How can I give up a man that I am in love with?

8. They are both dounia and I must strive for the Hereafter. Instead of letting shaytan distract me with their marriage and what they do, I must focus on my eman, strengthen it, and focus on what I do.

My poor husband seem to be really getting effected by the thought of us leaving. I am at my mom's right now taking a break from things. He seemed really upset and sad at me leaving even for a few days. I told him that I can no longer live like this. I am not going to ask him to leave her. She is more of what he was looking for in a wife, but that he should allow me to move on and be happy as well. He reminded me that if I get remarried he will take the girls from me. So I assured him that it would be over my dead body. Not really, but you never threaten a woman with her kids......NEVER!!! If I have to stay single the rest of my life to keep from giving my kids up I would. Seperating my girls is a very big deal for me as well.

Anyways remarriage is not in my mind right now anyways. We'll discuss it if it happens. He tried to also tell me that I could not take the kids out of the country or to live far from him. I told him that according to the shari3ah he was right in me having to give him the children should I choose to remarry, but that he could not tell me where I can and can't move to. That would not be his right once we are divorced. He told me that If I didn't agree to not move out of the country then I would have to get a khula because he will not agree to it. Anyways we are ok and we are slowly discussing things, but it's about time he sees what he could lose and what price he paid. This week that I will be with my mom will give him a taste of what his life would be like without us. Anyways I am becoming numb and that is my sign that things have to change. Which way will we go??? Only Allah knows!!!!


UmmAbdurRahman said...

salamu alaikum,

i have read your blog for quite some time, but I believe this is my first time to comment.

I totally understand what you are feeling. Well, not totally because I am in a monogamous marriage but I do understand your frustrations because they are the exact fears that I would have if my husband took another wife.

My husband works in another state and if I'm lucky i get to see him every couple of weeks. The longest stretch apart was 7 weeks and if he took another i could be separated for up to 14 weeks? NO THANK YOU!

I find that I cannot accept a father who doesnt take part in his children's life 24/7. they need their father to be around and a part-time dad isnt good enough. So, it seems your choice is part-time father/husband or no-time father/husband.

For me, I would rather be alone.

I dont think that anyone in the blogging world can make this decision for you. You have to decide what is the absolute most you can handle. If you can deal with it then by all means stay, but if you really cant then do what you have to do.

A good friend was telling me the other day something that is really relevant to your situation: muslim women sometimes forget that they have a right to be happy.

this is so true, nowhere in islam does it say that you have to sacrifice and suffer without ever being happy. I'm curious how being patient is working for you? Is it making anything better or any changes?

Sometimes being patient wont change the situation especially if it means wanting your husband back full time.

Queenie said...

asalamu alaikum. sooner or later this was bound to happen. this whole situation was about to explode if u ask me. the whole thing with u and lisa being friends. i dont think thats right. how can u be friends with a woman who married your husband. a woman who is the cause of ur unhappiness and misery. i think u need to re examine ur relationship with lisa.
as for your hubby, well thats a different issue . u love him. thats true. but do u love him more than u love urself and ur peace of mind. he was selfish in marrying lisa and the manner in which it all happened. it was so decietful and under handed. will u ever be able to trust him again.

and now they trying to have a baby. damn. thats a low blow for anyone to deal with. especially for u, cos u have been so patient and understandiing.

the decision u now face is one that many of us in polygamy struggle with. im glad that u have taken time out. use this time to clear ur own head and make a decision. u have to do whats right for u and your girls. u deserve to be happy.
a piece of advise on divorce: its a long bitter lonely road with mixed emotions and regret for some people. i dont want to see u travelling on that road unless u are ABSOLUTELY sure that its waht u really want.

muslimbint said...

assalam alaikum, so if you would remarry, he would take the girls, right? why doesn't he take them now from time to time, to give you a break?

PM said...

Salaam Alaikum Sweet Vena,

Your post doesn't really
"surprise" me because I know firsthand how difficult polygyny can be, but it does make me feel bad for you. I can imagine your hurt upon learning that your husband and Lisa are trying to have a baby. On one hand, it is understandable that they might want to have a child together. But on the other hand, it seems your husband has too much on his hands now. Even if a man can meet the financial needs of a lot of children, how can he meet their emotional needs -- especially when he doesn't even live in their home half of his time? How many kids does your husband have now and is he really meeting their emotional, physical and financial needs?

I can also understand your worries about how the quality of his time in your home is different than in her home. However, I would point out that if he has a baby with her that will all change. Also, you cannot assume that just because their time isn't defined by children's presence and needs that it represents any stronger attachment or bond than your marriage. I don't have children with my STBEH and in all honesty underestimated the power of that bond between a man and woman. In my own case, it was just a matter of the mother of his children knocking herself out to show him that she could be all things to him and that he didn't need to look elsewhere. I am not saying that you should or shouldn't do that; just that it is something to consider.

As for comparing yourself with your grandmother's generation don't forget that she probably DID have help (at least if she was in the ME) and certainly probably had lots of her amily close by to help her. And who knows? She may have also had a husband who pitched in a lot. I have seen the men around here doing all the things that take place outside of the home, including the grocery shopping. In fact, for my first few years here it was rare to see an Arab woman in the grocery store! Don't be so hard on yourself for being human and YES, fathers should be more involved especially if they have several young children in the home. Why should he be on-call for an 8-12 hour workday while you have a 24 hour one.

You do seem to to have a lengthy list of reasons to stay married and reasons to divorce and ultimately only you can weigh them out. As for your husband's response to divorce, a few things came to mind. First, you are in the US, aren't you? In other words sharia doesn't really apply there so how can he be so certain about custody? Also, if you are an American citizen I don't see how he can think he has the right to determine your right to remarry AND maintain custody. Most men are very nasty when it first comes to discussing divorce and custody issues but insha'Allah with time it eases.

Whatever you decide, take your time. Lean on the strength of your mother and of course, pray istakhara.

Take care, dear,

vena said...

As salamu alikum dear sisters....Yes Sis PM I do live in the US, but my husband knows that Allah's law is what stands with me. I would never try to go fight for custody in a kafir court so long as he is a practicing Muslim and is asking for his Islamic rights. I know that there is wisdom in Allah saying the an takes the children even if I may not want to adhere to it. In islam we Hear and we Obey, so if I was to wish to remarry ad if he was to choose to ask me for the children then I would have to do it or else I would probably face Allah's punishment. Whenever I see people who decide to go to the kuffar court to get rights not given to them in Islam; it always back-fires. Subhan Allah.

Salam sis Muslimbint...You make a very good point, but to tell you the truth I do not feel secure enough having her play mommy to my kids with him there. If I am there I do not mind having the kids around her, but if it is just her and my husband then I say NO WAY!!!

salam Queenie! You know it's funny that I get the same sentiment from my friends here about my friendship with lisa as I did in your comment. everyone is always waiting for the moment when it all explodes. It's almost as if they do not believe our friendship is sincere. My problem is not mainly with her....What happened happened and yes I will always hold some resentment at the way it all happened, but that's because I am human, but I have the choice to not be her friend and I choose to be. She is not a bad person. This is our Qadr and who are we to argue it. I am not gonna lie to you and say that sometimes I don't feel anger towards her....I do, but then I realize where anger comes from (shaytan) and then I put it check. I disagree that our friendship is not right. I believe that if we want to follow the sunnah then we should at the very least attempt to be friends. I do love her and I am glad that she is a part of my life, but hey we're women. Even the best of friends....sisters by blood infact fuss and fight. We're not any better. Wouldn't you have loved to at least be given a chance to be friends with your husband's first wife? Wouldn't you love for her to talk about you as I am talking about Lisa? Do you think it is right for her to treat you as she does because she is angry. In Islam she has no right to behave in such a manner. Yes we can sympathise for some time because all people have emotions they must work though, but all in all we must use Islam as your guide and treat others as we would wish for them to treat us because wallahi what goes around comes around and we are always shown the error of our ways sooner or later. Sis I pray that someday your co-wife would have a change of eart towards you and welcome you and your children into her family in order to save both families from being destroyed. Another thing is that I don't think they intend to hurt me by having a child. It is her right to have a child. I cannt take that from her. One thing that came to mind was....Would I be so upset if I was the one to become pregnant? Yes I don't think we are ready for another yet, but we would have to make due with what Allah has given us. One of the purposes for Polygamy is to multiply the numbers of Muslims. Are the first wives the only ones allowed to have babies. lol. Me expecting for them to not have a baby because of my feelings would be as unjust as it would be for her to expect me not to have a baby because of her feelings. We have our friendship and we have our marriage and in a lot of things they should stay seperate.

Salam sis Ummabdurrahman....Jazaki Allah khair for your comment. You are right....My choice is whether or not I want to have a part-time father and husband or no husband. You said you'd rather be alone, but I've been there and done that and it's not that easy either. Especially since I did not continue with college. I am thinking of going back to school. When all my kids are grown....what will i do? How will i fill my time? I guess this is one of those times when we should look at those who have less than us instead of those who have more than us. At least I have a husband to support me financially. Some women have four kids, are single and have to work and stuggle to keep food on the table. I don't have to worry about that. He shops for me and my bills are paid and if I need money he gives it to me. I don't have to worry about that. That is just one of the things i have to be grateful for, but there is many more. You get my point. That's the best thing I love about matter what befalls us wether good or bad we can still be thankful and be positive.

Man I love this form of therapy!!! Looking at your comment makes me take a look at what I really want and what I really feel. Subhan Allah. May Allah reward you all and give us all peace and tranquility within our marriages. AMEEN!!!

Hasnah said...

Do you really think if you leave he will take those kids? I don't think so and she probably can't handle all those kids.That is just him threatening you to make you stay.Not saying that you should get a divorce or anything.Make istikharah.

FaithInAllah said...

Asalaam alaikum sis,
you have a very good list for both sides. Of course it is your struggle and your decision to make. I just wanted to point out that whether or not you remarry those children will probably stay with you. If he doesn't have the time to care for them now, is he going to if you get divorced? Did he take the kids from his first marriage (the step-kids you love and adore)? They even moved far away with their mother. Look at the history of his dealings with his other children. Just some other things to consider. May Allah bless you with whatever you decide. You seem to be a very caring and compassionate person. Your husband and Lisa are very lucky to have you.

Anonymous said...

Asalamalaykom Sister V,

I'm going to try hard not to post this comment 4 times LOL

You've already been divorced. Me too. Peaceful also. There is nothing suckier than feeling like you have a chance at a successful marriage, then realizing you don't. Those two people, whom you love, have made your marriage more difficult--not impossible, but difficult. In my situation, my marriage was made impossible. You know the difference.

I don't think you're leaving. Nope. Because you know how hard it is to truly be single. I am RIGHT NOW and it bites big time. There is no help and I really mean no help. You, at least, get half time help. You can plan your life around his aid--both physical and financial. So, come on. You're upset, but you're not seriously leaving.

I think you want to find out what really happens between him and Lisa. They have that "young love" going on and you want to see if it sours, or matures, or dwindles. You want to wait it out. I wanted to do that too! There's no shame in that. If the train is speeding down the track, you don't know where you are. You need to wait until things slow down for you to get your bearrings.

And part of what needs to happen is for them to start a family. It is soon...too soon really, but I'm not her. She has her reasons for wanting a baby. And she has her rights. And you are so curious as to how that will affect them and their life.

So, stick around until you get the picture. Eye the door, if you need to. Figure out just what you would need to do in order to get out. But, if you ever feel that you aren't really in the picture any more, then leave and don't regret.

May God show you the way and may your husband and Lisa be gentle with you. Ameen.

JamilaLighthouse said...

Assalamu alaikoum Sister,
Recently when my husband started to try and reconcile with his first wife, i got really irritated...not because of the attempt at reconciliation, i encouraged him to do this, but because it meant him going out to dinner with her! Yes, I admit, i was jealous! not of him being with her specifically but of him having a meal out with someone with no screaming children present!

i would love just a few hours alone with him...the thing is, this is what i would love, but i don't really think it matters to him...he seems quite content with the screaming children, in fact i know how much he adores to be with them.

So are you so sure that his "peaceful" time with her is preferred by him? Perhaps its something that you would love because you need a break.

I guess the other thing is that even if it is something he likes, maybe it means he is able to focus more on you when he is with you because he has had some time out. But if you need time out, you need to stress that to him too. As far as my own thoughts go, you are not in la la land, they are his kids and he needs to help raise them, he is not just a bank. Problem is many Muslim cultures see the mother as the servant. As for the grandmothers with ten kids....i know, i know, but their circumstances were very different. Obviously having ten kids is hard however, you look at it but life in the village did not have the same pressures as life in our cities....and you weren't left raising kids by yourself...the whole community helped one another and the environment was safe. And who's to say these grandmothers didn't complain from time to time. They didn't have a choice about their lives or how many children they would have...given a choice they may have made different decisions.

Musleema said...

As salaamu alaikum Vena,

First, on the custody thing depending on the age of the children a qadi (muslim judge) could be called on to judge who is best to have them. In cases where children are very young they usually stay with the mother until puberty. After puberty boys have the right to choose. This is the sunnah. The shari'ah does not automatically just take the children from the mother. I suggest you look up custody laws and all of the ahadeeth pertaining to them as soon as possible for your own knowledge. Also, keep contact with ahlul ilm.

Now I agree with AH. I don't think your going to divorce. BUT, I think your are getting drained. This is a warning sign that your intellect (aql) is giving you, nothing to do with Shaytain, dear sister. Allahoo ta'ala said the Muslims are those who think and relflect. Patience is good. Being a pushover is not.

You seem to need more than what your husband is able to give. This is a problem. You didn't really have much alone time with him (you brought a child into the marriage) before more children came and then subhannallah now polygyny and still you haven't even been married a good five years. This I think is a problem amongst the Muslims. Shahwa. Desires. We want everything fast before any frame work has been laid, but when everything comes to us we are unprepared to deal with it.

Start talking up. Listen to yourself. If you need to step away to your mother's house for a weekend, a week, 2 weeks - a month, do it. You deserve it. You really do. Stop worrying how your husband will feel and all of that. Worry about you and what you feel. Or those feelings will become too big and swallow you up.

Inshallah your husband will learn and do better. But I do think its a huge problem that he is not more active in his children lives. That is a huge turnoff actually. Subhannallah. There is nothing worse a father can do than not spen time with his children. Especially daughters. In that regard, I think it would be better for them to not have them then to have a part time father who is emotionally and physically unavailable. Right now they are learning that women in their father's life is more important than them. Hopefully they won't grow up and attract the same type of men to treat them like that....but that's what happens usually.

Faith aka Muslim Mommie said...

As-salaamu Alaykum, sweety.

First I would like to say that I think you should try to work it out and stay married. From what I have read your husband seems to be one who strives to please Allah and isn't intentionally making things difficult.

My advice to you (and myself too)would be some that you have mentioned in your post. And that would be to try your best to focus on your part of the marriage. I also have this issue my self at times. As far as not having any alone time with my husband or very little because of the boys. Our alone time comes when we are sleeping, wal alhumdulllilah. While i still struggle with this issue i have come to appreciate whatever time together Allah blesses us with. Like your husband my husband doesn't fall short when it comes to providing and maintaining for us,masha-Allah. But of course there is the issue of his time which is limited as always, either because of his other marriages, work, studying etc. There is always something it seems like. So insha-Allah try and make the best out of whatever time you do get together whether it be discussing the children, laying together, observing the beautiful family that Allah has blessed you both with, studying, etc. I know its hard esp. when you so desperately crave that alone time. I've been there and like i said previously I still struggle with the issue of having quality time with my husband esp. when I know him and co-wifey get so much of it, masha-Allah. Insha-Allah you and I both and all other sisters like us will strive to make whatever time we get with our husbands quality time whether it be alone or not.

And when your spending some of that quality time then try discussing with him the time he spends with his children and how an improvement can be made. I pray this helps. I feel like I'm rambling and not making much sense, forgive me. But I do understand your frustration and will keep you in my duas, insha-Allah. Just continue to be patient with whatever it is that Allah has in store for you.

"Seek help in patience and As-Salat (the prayer). Truly, Allah is with As-Sababirun (the patient)." (2:153)

Safa said...

I read all ur negative comments, and except for # 5....I'm suffering thru all of those. Your explaining about being the babysitter instead of the wife, hit me to my heart. I've felt like that for the longest time. And I know the pain of that. I'm the worst one to advise you, or even comment here.....but just know that Allah's Will be you.

OmAbd said...

Assalamu Alaikum:

Think for a very long time before asking for or initiating a divorce. But most of all, pray istikhara - sincerely. Remember that even if you are divorced from him, he will be connected with you forever through your children. You will not get rid of the pain by having a divorce decree. And you will be even more lonely and he will be even less involved in your family. The other wife may or may not last but your connection with him will still be there through the children you share. You will still experience the jealousy, pain, feelings of abandonment...etc. Also, divorce is nasty. You have been through it before, right? It doesn't solve much if you are not being really abused. Perhaps reevaluate what you expect from your marriage. I went through the same thing but it didn't last. It was done deceptively too. I still can't get over that and I can't trust even now and it has been years. I take it one day at a time and try to improve myself and my situation so that when or if it comes to it, I won't feel so devastated and afraid of my future. I also have developed a different type of marriage. Instead of him being the center of my worldy life, he is merely a part of it. He lost a very special love I had for him [more because of the deception than because of the wife] and now he claims a more normal type of love--more a combination of respect and fondness I think. It helps when I suspect he is 'looking' or thinking about marrying again. It helps a LOT! Perhaps we should understand that this is the kind of love we need to develop for our husbands instead of putting them on a pedestal they are sure to fall from [in one way or another]. I do respect him for his dedication to Allah. I was married three times before and have learned NO ONE is going to be exactly how we want them. We should choose our battles and realize our blessings. Your are doing a SUPERB job working through all of this and I pray for Allah to strengthen you and keep you strong on the right path. You will be rewarded for every suffering especially if you purifying your intention. Keep you eyes on the prize--Jennah!

Relief said...

Salamu alaykum,

Stay strong and don't despair - our spouses and our children our tests for us so don't give up. Inshallah it will get better in time.

ummukatheer said...

As salaamuAlaikum wa rahmatuAllahi wa barakatuh,
good comments mashaAllah. I went thru that same feeling that you vena are discussing here, even before the new marriage knowing the new one was a virgin and having no children, etc. The main diff btwn my situation and urs is that me and him have been married a little while longer, and that we were both young when we married, also I was a virgin and we have alot of children together now mashaAllah. I felt those feelings intensely (notice past tense of 'felt') and also told him all those things that I was feeling, based on reality and/or emotion. Alot of things changed when I saw the effect it was having on my outlook on my marriage because I only felt those feelings when the marriage actually took place and not a single moment before subhaanAllah. If we both made an effort to spend time alone together before she came in the pic,then why not after a new marriage? When the kids are sleep (put those kids in bed on time and chill out), make a more active plan in how U want to spend the time when he is there, not depend on him to always sway how the time will be spent. If you want him to come home to a good dinner, clean house, a beautiful you,happy neat clean children, then do it really for the sake of Allah and your own happiness in your marriage. My focus is on me and him, not her. Personally its easier for me to focus on me and him because we dont know each other and have never met, and its not really an issue for us that we dont interact. We are not enemies, and we are not best friends mashaAllah. We are sisters in islam and thats where the rights exist. In your case its difft bc u know the sister b4 the marriage, its not like he married someone who is like a person on the street, like a complete stranger to both of you. But even then, you might want to deal with her in healthy limitations so you dont end up focusing on what relationship she has with him that you 'assume' you dont bc honestly you dont know what is going over there, good or bad, but its not our place to worry about it. What concerns us is if we are pleasing and obeying our husbands and striving to jannah.

Its something also to think about that the men dont think about these thins like us, and dont feel the same way. They alot of times have an increase in the love for his wife when he remarries but for us, we beleive the opposite is true. As for the children, again, try to get the most out of your time the best way you can. Plan activites so that the children have at least an hour of his undivided attention. As we know its not the quantity its the quality. May Allah reward you for your trials and patience and may He turn those into rewards for us all in this life and the Next. Ameen.

musulmana said...

AA wa ra wa ba,

I didn't read all these comments, and probably there's a lot of good advice in them.

It is a common misconception that in Islam the man keeps the children. This is interpreted differently by the scholars. You need to do some heavy duty research. The children cannot sever the ties with their mother even as adults so I am not sure where this comes from. He does however have to pay child support for them.

It will be sad for your children if in the end you told them that you stayed with their daddy just for them. Your unhappiness on their shoulders is a lot of guilt for a child to carry.

Actually, your husband probably is using this as a threat. What a way to break up his second marriage. Having all your children plus the new baby for his new wife to take care of. Do you really think that will happen?

Nasirah said...

As Salaamu Alaikum...I know i am two years later, but have come across this blog as a means to educate myself more on polygyny outside of the norm (quran, hadeeth, books, etc.). I think it is quite SAD that you and so many of you that have commented are left alone with your children on the days that your husbands are with their other wives who don't have children at all or any together. Your husbands time IS NOT to be divided amongst you, her, and his children, ONLY his wives. His children are his 24/7. So pack those children up and send them on their way and put down your kibr for only wanting your children to be around her when you're there. You NEED the peace of mind. And if he refuses to take them with him, then well, drop them off and K.I. M. (keep it moving) and have your own party every few days, YOU DESERVE IT! Men are a trip! They want to follow Sunnah but not FARD. Taking care of his children in ALL ways are FARD and not just in a financial sense. And just because your bills are paid by him DOES NOT mean Lisa's are. She works! WHY?! Because your husband most likely cannot afford both of you. So instead of doing what Allah subhannahu wa t'ala says is FARD (to maintain the women) he instead overrides that and takes a wife cuz it's Sunnah. And he/she/you thinks this is JUST? By all means this is not JUST, this is a man chasing after his own desires and a woman who allows him to lay up in her house while he does the bare minimum. If I am wrong in saying this may Allah azza wa jal forgive me. I see/hear this too often and it's sickening and a sad state of affairs.