Kids just want you both in their life. Do it. For them. Not you. This picture is our older daughter at her championship basketball game a few months ago. I always wanted a pic with me and both my parents. Never happened. They were both selfish fucks.
You decide…IF, and I mean if divorce is the only solution. Dr. Laura is adamantly against it when young children are involved. Ok. I get it. I listen to her. I like her. She has many valid points. But I can’t say staying in the marriage until your kids are 18 is the ONLY answer. Two loving homes is far better than one destructive home. So, you take that route to the big D (Divorce…not Dallas). Ok. I get it. Emotions are flying high. Especially, if an affair is involved. Trust me. I know. However, our behavior is a choice.
So, I asked my 16 year old son today what’s the difference between “mom and dad’s divorce” versus your friends. (Not trying to be competitive. Just curious.) His response was, “You and dad get along. And you are friends.” I’m lucky and I know it. I didn’t marry a narcissist. That’s an entirely different issue. And, I’m just grateful, I don’t have to deal with that.
Not sure if “friend” is the word I would use to describe my relationship with my ex. But we are “family.” We share four children. Why should we punish them because we couldn’t make it as a couple? Divorce is a decision. One not taken lightly. And so should your behavior after the divorce. I choose to invite him to dinner with the kids. I choose to treat him with respect, ESPECIALLY in front of my children. I choose to NOT disparage him in front of my children. Hello? He is THEIR father. What do I have to gain by talking bad about him. If I even mention one thing that bothers me about him in front of my children, the backlash is horrific. SO NOT WORTH IT! They immediately go to his defense. Lesson learned. It’s a choice to be nice. And, it’s a choice to be an ass.
When you spend the better part of 20 years with someone, he can certainly get on your nerves and you on his. Bitch about it ALL you want. BUT NOT IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILDREN. To them, he still hung the moon. Don’t fuck that up by being an asshole about him.
According to my kids, here are their rules to a successful divorce (things they have actually said to me):
- Be nice to Dad.
- Don’t ever talk mean about Dad.
- Eat dinner with the whole family. (ok…sometimes)
- Be Dad’s friend.
- Help Dad decorate his house for Halloween and Christmas.
- Can we go on a family vacation? (That’s a stretch and hasn’t happened but not ruling it out.)
- Don’t take food out of Dad’s pantry.
- Thank you for not fighting in front of us.
- Don’t make Dad take us shopping. That’s your job.
- And, don’t get mad at me cause I left my clothes at Dad’s. It wasn’t my choice to live in 2 homes. (True).
So many divorce stories I could share. From the extreme to the mundane. One of my favorites….Blaming your ex for your kid’s poor grade on a test because they were at their house the night before the test. Ummm. Really? Simply ridiculous. Yes. That happened to a friend of mine. I can’t make this shit up. Pettiness is rampant in divorce. I just don’t get it. It’s as if, we go back to being children. Name calling. Blaming. Acting out. Being irrational.
There is almost always hurt in divorce. You. Him. Them. It’s never a win win. Especially when one decides to be selfish. When they make it about them and not their kids. My advice to you…LEARN TO BITE YOUR TONGUE. And, remember, failing at marriage doesn’t mean you have to fail at divorce. You don’t want him anymore. Fine. But don’t make your kids suffer because you’re a selfish fuck.