Friday, April 29, 2011

Divorce and Children

Divorce sucks. There's no other way to put it. It just does. It's messy. It's emotional. It's heartbreaking. It's a complete pain in the ass. Day in and day out you search for every avenue to take that will do the least amount of damage to your wallet and still stay sane. You stay awake at night wondering where you went wrong x amount of years ago when you married that person. I mean it was supposed to be forever right? I mean that's what the story books tell us. Big happy family, with minor bumps in the road because no one is perfect, and happily ever after. You wake up in the morning resenting the person who 'did you wrong' and ruined everything. You spend your day trying to figure out how to 'make them pay' for everything they did. How dare they mess up your happily ever after! How dare they 'do this to you'! And that's how it goes day in and day out for what seems like an eternity. You're full of spite and rage. You want to take it all out on them and make them learn their lesson for ever even thinking of hurting you. It's natural to do this. It's healthy to go through all these stages because one day you'll wake up and suddenly realize that you just survived all this. You just came out on the other side a stronger person. Pat yourself on the back, you just over came quite a feat.

Like I said its natural to 'hate' the other person involved in your divorce. And yes, I said healthy as well. And its hard to over come something like the heart ache that comes from divorce. You want to take it out on every person around you. All too often though, those people around you happen to be your kids, and that's not fair. I'm not talking about not fair to you, I'm talking about not fair to them. No one should EVER take out their divorce agressions and anger on their kids. It's not their fault and they shouldn't have to pay for your pain.

I have two kids, very young kids at that, and they are extremely impressionable. They pick up on the strangest things you could ever imagine. And that's why I'm hyper sensitive about anything I say to and around them concerning the donor. There are times when I wish he would slip on a banana peal and fall into a ditch, and I'm sure there are times when he wishes I would get hit in the face with a frying pan. That's ok, its natural remember? I've sat around with friends talking about all the bad things that went on during my marriage and all the crazy shit he and I have said to each other since I left him. I've come home in tears and shaking because I've been so hurt or angry because of things that have happened between us. I've screamed. I've kicked. I've melted into a heap of snot and tears on the floor. But the reasoning behind all this is something that my kids may never know, not until they are much much older at least.

I don't bad mouth the donor in front of the kids. I'm sure I have once or twice by accident (I am human after all) but never to them. I'm also sure they pick up on the tension between the two of us when we're 'passing the kids off' to each other. But for the most part I'd have to say that being apart and dealing with the kids together is probably the best we have ever worked together as a team on. I don't know if its because we both come from divorced families or we've both come to realize that being mean takes a lot more energy than being nice. All I know is that day in and day out I smile when my kids ask about their dad, and I get them excited to go see him. I'm not his biggest fan by far, but I still remind my kids that mommy and daddy love them very much even though we don't live together any more.

My biological father was abusive to my mother when they were together, and then he was a dead beat dad. I didn't see or hear from him from the time I was 2 until I was 20. That's 18 years living with a woman who had been abused by a man who had supposedly loved her. She was angry with him. She hated him. And I'm sure there were times she looked at me and saw him in my eyes. But she never once let on to any of that. When I would ask where he was she would just smile and come up with some excuse that never pointed a finger at him. As I got older she told me bits and pieces of what she had been through with him, but always followed it with, "Now don't you go basing your opinion on your natural father with what I've told you. You have to come up with that conclusion on your own if you ever get to meet him."

And that's what I did. Long story short, I found out he was dying of cancer and I made my way to him (with my mother believe it or not). And I formed my opinion of him. Not a bad one. When I met him I learned that everyone has their flaws, some more than others, but that's how life is. A flaw doesn't necessarily make you a bad person, and because you once had that flaw doesn't mean you will continue with it. As humans we have the ability to learn from our mistakes. I believe my biological father did just that and was genuinely sorry for everything he put my mother through. I made amends with my biological father before he died. I told him I understood and it was ok. I forgave him.

I believe that because my mother was so amazing through my life when it came to him i was able to forgive. And it was her attitude toward the whole situation that has given me strength to do the same with my children. Like I said, divorce sucks and yes, people get hurt. But its our attitude toward it that shapes our children's attitudes toward it. You as a parent have no right to sit there and turn your kids against the other parent. I don't care how hurt you are. You're the adult. It's your responsibility as the adult to act mature and not make your children the victims of your divorce. It's your job to sugar coat it as much as possible. You may have been abused physically/mentally, you may have been cheated on, you may have just gone separate ways. But there is absolutely no reason for you to sit there and use your kids as ammo. Get over yourself and all the bad things that happened and teach your kids love and forgiveness.


  1. yeah...all of this.

    We are a blended families. Negative words about the exes are never muttered. We concentrate on our family not the exes families.

    Good post.

  2. Thanks for the compliment! In regards to our spawns, we do work well. And just for the record, a little FYI, I have never "slipped" when speaking about you.

    P.S.- Unless that frying pan was cast iron it simply wouldnt do. ;0)