05 Aug Stay Together – Even If It Means Doing It Seperately
Half of all marriages end in divorce. It can be hard getting divorced, but it doesn’t have to be difficult to BE divorced. I am a single parent, but I am still together with my ex-husband.
Even though many kids wish for their divorced parents to get back together, and even though it is deeply embedded in our cultural views on family that you should fight for love, it is not always the love between a mother and father that needs fighting for. It is the love for the children and this fight is best fought together. Also after the divorce.
I have been there, when my children come home and happily describe what a wonderful time they have had with my ex husband’s new partner. I have bitten my tongue many times when the kids come home and tell me how great my ex-husband’s new girlfriend is. I have absolutely been there. And so has my ex-husband. I have been there, when it hurts being a single parent. Really hurts. Because even though we agree the separation it is for the best, it still hurts tearing a family apart.
But the most important thing is that the children are happy because then, so am I. My children are first and foremost happy because my ex-husband and I have decided to stay together. Not as lovers, but as partners. This means that I have packed away all the hurt and confusion I have experienced during the break-up from my ex-husband and chosen to keep it in a different place where it cannot hurt my children nor complicate my new and fragile relation with my ex-husband.
You can say that I have decided to keep a level head when it comes to living as a single parent. For the sake of my children, for my own sake and for everybody’s sake really. Because so many horrible things can happen during a divorce, you get to a point, where these terrible things cannot be erased. And all these horrible things are the responsibility of the adults. Yours and mine – Never the children!
Our children know that we are divorced – of course they do – but they do not see themselves as 2-family-kids. They very much think of us as one family with 2 houses.
It is the responsibility of the parents to make sure the children are ok. This is a huge, complex and difficult responsibility. Every now and again you need to take on smaller issues to avoid the larger ones. Obviously I am not talking about cases where there is any form of domestic violence or neglect involved. I am talking about the average, everyday divorce where all the sand has run through the hourglass and there is no point in turning it over. When the everyday life has turned into a constant argument about dishes and laundry and it never seems to end.
I fundamentally believe that a divorce where children are involved can absolutely be a happy one and the end result is a close friendship. This is my message and it is the foundation upon which I have chosen to let my ex-husband be an active part of the rest of my life.
I have decided; along with my ex-husband that we will not let our children feel like they are in the middle of an emotional tug-o-war. They are absolutely not responsible for us drifting apart. We can give our children a much better life separately than we could together. We can give each other and ourselves a better life apart than we could together. And that is why we decided to do it separately.
This is not a pro-divorce rant. I wholeheartedly believe you need to try and work things out and stay together if there is something there to fight for. This is a viewpoint for the positivity of life post-divorce where respect is much more important than hurt feelings and the welfare of the children trumps everything.
Call me a hopeless post-divorce-romantic, but I absolutely believe that lots of love and creating a safe-haven for the feelings, which kids of divorced parents carry around, is so incredibly important. Our children deserve to grow up knowing that love is not to be feared and not something to be afraid of loosing either.
My theory is that the more the parents don’t get along the more they inadvertently express fear of loving to their children. I do not want my children believing that a lost love has enormous consequences. I want them to know that falling in love is not something to be fearful of.
It is hard to get divorced, but it doesn’t have to be hard being divorced. There is no point in waiting ‘until death do us part’ if everyday life has already done so. And it is actually so much easier to make plans with someone who you are not annoyed with. I don’t care where my ex-husband throws his dirty washing or how he merges onto the freeway. The only thing that interests me, and him is the welfare of our children. It is actually incredibly simple.
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