As I contemplate the thought of another divorce (sadly, I do say that with a tinge of embarrassment, like I am somehow a bad person…but that’s another post), I worry about how my husband will treat me and my children if we are no longer together.
I worry because my first husband (my decision to divorce), simply no how, no way would even entertain the idea of being my friend. I asked him why once and his response was, “Divorced people can’t be friends; it’s not normal”. Seriously? That’s the reason? I just simply do not understand this. Of course, I understand people get hurt, betrayed, etc., but we are adults. WE ARE ADULTS! Put away all the anger and hurt, at least in front of them. As parents, it is a wonderful opportunity to show our children how to properly treat others. They are already hurting and scared so why make it worse? After divorce, there is only one common ground and that is the kids, so I recommend making that the “free space” to make a united front.
I do have to give my ex some credit. We, for the most part, have been able to communicate well when it comes to the kids. I am very much grateful for that fact. However, when he was reeling from the divorce, he let the kids see it. He let them see his pain all too often. They became afraid to talk to him. They became afraid to ask him for anything they needed because they felt bad for him and did not want to “bother” him. Years later, they have maintained this type of relationship.
I am sure anyone going through divorce has heard the saying, “Kid’s are resilient. They’ll be fine.” That really always bothered me. It seems to give someone permission to act poorly. I read somewhere once that the affects upon children from divorce become most apparent during their adult life, meaning their relationships. I interpret that to mean it is extremely important to show our children what a loving relationship looks like. Many people stay together for the kids, which is great, however, I feel it is only great if you are demonstrating a healthy relationship. How we treat our spouses WILL BE how they treat their spouse someday. I ask myself all the time in my relationship, “Is this what I want my child to imitate?”
So that brings me back to my current situation. My husband runs when he is hurt, like an out of sight, out of mind sort of thing. If I choose to divorce, I am afraid he will not keep his connection to my children. He is very close to my oldest but I am not sure that is enough to keep him around. Is it selfish of me to expect him to maintain that bond? Is it selfish of him not to? I know I will be hurting my children by divorcing. I know they also see my suffering. My first husband denied me of my one true goal and that was to be friends. I just don’t want to be denied that again. I want to divorce a grown-up. I also want to show my kids what a great relationship looks like. I fear I am too late.