Adventures in Divorce

I always wondered why people who murdered their spouses didn't just get a divorce.... I now understand why

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Location: Nap Town, Indie-anne-ahhhhhh!, United States

No, I'm not a prophetess. Cassandra, according to Greek mythology, spurned the advances of the Greek god Apollo and her gift of prophecy was cursed so that her predictions would never be believed. Such is my life. I tend not to think like most people, which is a gift... but also a curse. So step into my mind, take off your shoes and stay for awhile... you're always welcome, loved ones.

July 21, 2008

For the kids.....?

For anyone who is married with children, the #1 consideration in deciding whether a divorce is the right thing to do is how it will impact the kids. Despite what anyone may think, my feelings about my Ex (or lack thereof) were secondary in consideration. Of course it is ideal for children to be reared in a two parent household with both their natural parents, but in reality, that's not always possible for whatever reason.... whether that's because the parents never married in the first place or, like my situation, the marriage ends in divorce. I had the "ideal" situation despite the odds that were against us. We had our children at 15/16 and 20, but still ended up staying together and getting married. So if I had the ideal situation, why did I throw it away? Answer: I did it for my kids.

Yes, that sounds incredibly bass-akward. Normally "for the kids" is preceeded by "we're staying together". And many, many, many people choose to live their lives in constant conflict and turmoil for the sake of their kids growing up in a 2 parent household with both their natural parents, often because they themselves did not grow up with that. But I'd like to pose another viewpoint, that of someone who grew up with both my parents who, at least from my perspective, seem miserable with each other. I've written on this before so I'll try not to repeat myself, but growing up seeing your parents at each other's throats all the time is not a good thing. Even when no words are spoken and the parents maintain the fascade that everything is ok, as a child (and I'm talking about as an adult child here, too) you can feel it. Just yesterday I was at my parents' house and they were having an exchange about taking the kids to the movies, and I saw my mom make a comment to my dad and had the most lothing look on her face. My first instinct was to snatch up my kids and get them out of there and away from that. But that is exactly the sort of thing I didn't want for my kids.

Children need to grow up with examples of healthy relationships, whatever form that may be in. A two biological parent household does not by default translate into "healthy". The old addage "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" is one that rings true in these situations. I didn't want my kids growing up and only knowing me as depressed and stressed like I did with my mom. Even though the quantity of my parenting time has been reduced as a result of my divorce, I feel like the quality has been greatly improved. I am happier and more content with life, which has made me a more patient and loving mother. Stress and tension and turmoil radiates, no matter what type of front you try and put up for people. Likewise, peace and contentment radiate as well.

(Sidenote: When I was at the convention center this weekend, I was approched by a man who asked me if I used to work in the same building as him downtown. He said "I always wanted to approach you, but you were always looking so mean!" I told him that it was because I was miserable in my job and my marriage, but now I'm much better since I left both. He said he could definitely see the difference. That was one of those "ok, you did the right thing" confirmation moments.)

So my philosophy is this: Yes, divorce is very hard on children, but sometimes it is necessary so that everyone--children included-- can live peaceful, healthy lives. If you're trying to hold together a toxic environment "for the sake of the kids" you're really not helping them as much as you think you are. My kids will always have their mother and father there to love and raise them, but hopefully in the near future they will be able to experience all that truly loving, happy and harmonious relationships have to offer.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Tracy said...

Strange how when one lives a little you find less room for ideals and more room for reality. Wonderful post!

September 21, 2009 at 1:30 PM  

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Adventures in Divorce: For the kids.....?

For the kids.....?

For anyone who is married with children, the #1 consideration in deciding whether a divorce is the right thing to do is how it will impact the kids. Despite what anyone may think, my feelings about my Ex (or lack thereof) were secondary in consideration. Of course it is ideal for children to be reared in a two parent household with both their natural parents, but in reality, that's not always possible for whatever reason.... whether that's because the parents never married in the first place or, like my situation, the marriage ends in divorce. I had the "ideal" situation despite the odds that were against us. We had our children at 15/16 and 20, but still ended up staying together and getting married. So if I had the ideal situation, why did I throw it away? Answer: I did it for my kids.

Yes, that sounds incredibly bass-akward. Normally "for the kids" is preceeded by "we're staying together". And many, many, many people choose to live their lives in constant conflict and turmoil for the sake of their kids growing up in a 2 parent household with both their natural parents, often because they themselves did not grow up with that. But I'd like to pose another viewpoint, that of someone who grew up with both my parents who, at least from my perspective, seem miserable with each other. I've written on this before so I'll try not to repeat myself, but growing up seeing your parents at each other's throats all the time is not a good thing. Even when no words are spoken and the parents maintain the fascade that everything is ok, as a child (and I'm talking about as an adult child here, too) you can feel it. Just yesterday I was at my parents' house and they were having an exchange about taking the kids to the movies, and I saw my mom make a comment to my dad and had the most lothing look on her face. My first instinct was to snatch up my kids and get them out of there and away from that. But that is exactly the sort of thing I didn't want for my kids.

Children need to grow up with examples of healthy relationships, whatever form that may be in. A two biological parent household does not by default translate into "healthy". The old addage "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" is one that rings true in these situations. I didn't want my kids growing up and only knowing me as depressed and stressed like I did with my mom. Even though the quantity of my parenting time has been reduced as a result of my divorce, I feel like the quality has been greatly improved. I am happier and more content with life, which has made me a more patient and loving mother. Stress and tension and turmoil radiates, no matter what type of front you try and put up for people. Likewise, peace and contentment radiate as well.

(Sidenote: When I was at the convention center this weekend, I was approched by a man who asked me if I used to work in the same building as him downtown. He said "I always wanted to approach you, but you were always looking so mean!" I told him that it was because I was miserable in my job and my marriage, but now I'm much better since I left both. He said he could definitely see the difference. That was one of those "ok, you did the right thing" confirmation moments.)

So my philosophy is this: Yes, divorce is very hard on children, but sometimes it is necessary so that everyone--children included-- can live peaceful, healthy lives. If you're trying to hold together a toxic environment "for the sake of the kids" you're really not helping them as much as you think you are. My kids will always have their mother and father there to love and raise them, but hopefully in the near future they will be able to experience all that truly loving, happy and harmonious relationships have to offer.

Labels: