We live in a society where divorce is somehow touching every family. If your parents weren’t divorced and you aren’t divorced, chances are that you have a sibling, cousin, aunt or uncle who has gone through a divorce.
Divorce is ugly. Divorce is awful. No one wins in a divorce. I think we would all agree with this. I think that we could also all agree that the people who truly get hurt through a divorce are the innocent children. They didn’t ask for the divorce; they didn’t want their parents to get divorced. And there is nothing they can do about it. They are innocent and yet they have to deal with the consequences.
That is why it is so vitally important that the parents never put the kids in the middle of their divorce relationship. There are going to be moments of intense anger when going through a divorce. This is not a time for you to tear down your ex in front of their children. It is never okay for parents to speak badly of their former spouses in front of their children.
What good does that do? Why would you tear down the character of the person you chose to have children with? They may be a bad person, but your children don’t need to learn that from you. Let them figure it out on their own. It only makes you look like the worse person when you are speaking evil of their other parent.
I was blessed to grow up in a home where my parents loved each other very much. They never even spoke about divorce and there was never one second of my life when I feared that my parents may get divorced.
Unfortunately, my children can’t say the same. Their father and I got divorced when they were two and three years old and to say that it was hard would be an understatement. It was ugly, and painful and everyone cried. He did. I did. And sometimes even the children did. We tried to make it as painless for the girls as possible, but there were definitely times of intense battles that touched the girl’s lives.
We’ve now been divorced for five years and our lives look dramatically different. I’ve remarried and have added two more beautiful little girls to my family and he has remarried and added a daughter and son to his family. We have every reason that every other divorced couple has to fight, but we try our best not to do so.
We talked openly, from the beginning of our divorce, about how we would refer to each other in front of the girls. We promised each other that we wouldn’t tear each other apart and we would never put each other down to our daughters.
There have absolutely been times that we have failed on these promises and our mouths have overridden our brains. We’ve both apologized for these times to the girls and to each other.
But the underlying fact remains that we created these children together, and no matter what, we are raising these children together. Our child-rearing days won’t stop when they turn 18. It won’t ever stop. Our children will one day have children, therefore we will be helping to raise our grandchildren. We will forever be in each other’s lives, whether we like it or not. So what good does it do for us to fight and argue every little chance we get? It makes both of us miserable and it brings so much hate, confusion and hurt to our children. No child wants to hear that their mommy or daddy is a bad person. Just don’t say that. No child wants to be caught in the middle of their parents.
Your children love you both very much and you hurt them worse than you hurt your ex when you argue and fight around them. They are watching you, Mom and Dad. They see your personality and all of the good things you are trying to instill in their personalities will mean nothing when they see you dishonoring their other parent.
Also, if your ex has re-married, don’t be mean or hateful to their new spouse. Again, it puts a strain on your children because they are expected to respect and love their stepparent, but if their biological parent is mean to them and about them, it’s tougher on the children.
My ex is remarried and I think we get along great. I know she would probably not prefer our situation, but she married a divorced man, therefore she got an ex-wife with the ring. I try my very best to be a good ex-wife to her and him. We even sit together at Thanksgiving lunches with the kids at school and talk and laugh together.
Again, if you are being rude and mean to your ex’s new spouse, who are you really hurting? Sure it hurts the ex, but it hurts the children too. Don’t trash talk about them to your children and surely don’t make a scene in front of them, at any cost.
Do the right thing and treat your ex with respect, whether they deserve it or not. Do it for your children. Never fight in front of your children. Never speak badly of your ex in front of your children. Show them how to be the bigger person. Show them true character.
I have been so blessed to be able to get along with my ex-husband. We have our bad moments, but we try our absolute best to keep it in check and we never, ever fight in front of our kids. Your children deserve better than that. Don’t make them pay for your mistakes. They didn’t want your divorce and they shouldn’t have to deal with the awful consequences of it.
Divorce is not the end of your life. It’s not the end of your children’s lives. It’s the beginning of a new dimension of your life. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it to do it right. Put your children first and then put yourself and your ex where you should be. It is never right to just be mean to someone. No one wins when you let bitterness control yourself and your household.
Be the person you want your children to be when they grow up. Be mature. Be caring and loving, even to your ex-spouse. And above all else, show your children the right way to act, and don’t make them pay for the decisions that you and your ex made together.