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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Irony of Divorce

When children are involved, you will never be able to separate fully from your spouse.  The bizarre truth is that more communication is necessary to bridge the gap between what happens during their time with mom and their time with dad.  Some of the very frustrations I experienced when married, I still experience when attempting to work out details with Daddy. 

Accepting that the connection and necessary dependence continues is tough, epecially when there are differences of opinion about what is best for the children.  I wish I had a great idea about how to work through and solve this scenario, but I do not.

Co-parenting requires me to get out of my own agenda and truly evaluate what is best for the children.  I try to look at things from their point of view and to honor the love they have for Daddy.  Also, I must consider the longer term ramifications for decisions made today and any precedents which may be set.  For me this is extremely challenging.  My tendency is to take the course of least resistance and saying, "No" often creates false guilt.  Isn't it strange how the issues I had in marriage are the issues I continue to deal with?  I guess there are some things I will work on my whole life. 

For me, my children are the greatest joys and investment I have.  Because of this, I weigh decisions deeply and I'm sensitive to their experience.  I'm quite sure I haven't made every decision 'right,' but I'm also confident I've done my very best, and will continue to do so.  I pray that they look on me with grace in their adult lives, forgiving where I've fallen short and laughing with me about the small things that feel so major right now. 

At the end of the day, I cannot parent away my children's need for a Savior.  Even if I was perfect, er "Flawless," they will need Jesus.  This truth enables me to be gentle to myself and allow Him to fill the gaps of my shortcoming with His goodness.  My ongoing prayer is that each of them turns to God when they face challenges and not away from Him in anger or rebellion.

Please share if you are co-parenting, is it a cooperative relationship?


  1. Hi Missy,

    This post touched a sore spot. (in a good way) I am not divorced, but my husband is in jail for a long time. I have Lupus and so even more than regular single moms I really can't do it all on my own, so I have the help of my Mom, Dad, Brother, and Sister in law - for which I am extrememly greatful. However there are times where the way they deal with things with the kids is different than what I would do, not horrible, just different. I struggle with bouncing between feeling like I am totally inadiquate( sp?) as a parent, so why don't I just sign the kids over to them and let them go too - and being over-protective and angry that others seem to me to think they can do a better job than me.

    Thank you for making me face this issue head on and think about my part in it. I need to remember that my family loves those kids as much as I do, and they love me. I need to focus on what is truly best for them, even if what is best is sometimes admiting that I don't know how to handle something and trusting God to work it out, even if it is through someone else being a little stricter than I can make myself be.

    Keep writing - your honesty and thinking through things is truly an inspiration!

  2. They're going to be okay. It's tough, for sure, but one thing I've learned is that as long as we keep being there for them, they will have all that they need.

  3. One of the hardest things I have done and continue to do is "co-parent". There are many times that I bite my tongue and let things go instead of blowing up and causing an argument. But I know in my heart that I am doing the right thing for my children. I am a child of divorce and I believe that God let me experience that in order to know what was the right and wrong things to do now for my children. I can remember being put in the middle while my parents fought over material items and petty things. I would never let my children feel they way I did growing up. Just keep trusting God and know that your sacrificies are for the betterment of your children. God gives us strength to get through this!

  4. There are times when the best thing for a child might mean that they not see someone that they are related to.
    My children were forced to see their Dad for quite awhile after our divorce to this day my daughter is in therapy and my son has major issues.

    The anger management classes did not help him and jail well that will remain to be seen.

    My son told a judge that if his father were any other person all the adults would tell him to stay away from this person/ yet the judge was ordering my son to see and speak to his Dad. My son refused.(The judge stuck me with a major bill but my son has grown more as a person due to his choice to keep the toxic person (even if it is his father out of his life!)

  5. I am 'celebrating' (?) my 10 year post divorce in September. I have five children ages 10 (she was only 6 mos when he left), 13, 16, 25 and 26. I feel that I am a successful single Mom because I've taken time over the years to enjoy every moment with my children--and a few stolen "it's all about me" minutes as well. It's all about balance. It's very hard but I am now 48 years old, the sole support for my children and I spend all of my time looking forward to all sorts of great things with my kids. (Dad remarried and two years ago decided he didn't want to be involved financially or emotionally--he travels about with his wife...and you's OK. I can't change people :) My oldest is now married and heading to grad school -- she's an RN going for her masters. She and hubs have a gorgeous home. Daughter two works in the legal field for CVS (yay! discount) and has her own home as well. My three at home are my world. I adore them, we laugh so much and muddle thru the days that aren't perfect. YOU will prevail. Smart, beautiful, savvy and your children will appreciate all you do -- it might not show every minute but trust me, they do! :)

  6. This is such an ironic thing, you are right. What we tried so desperately to get away from (the fighting and disagreeing) through divorce, we still have to deal with when we co-parent. Sometimes it feels like a prison life sentance. I wish I could never have to see or talk to him again, but my daughter loves her daddy (for now) and so what can I do but let him take her and do as he does. I am promising myself to never speak badly of him to her, but when she is older, I know the day will come where she will see how he truly is and take issue with him the way I did. I just hope she's not as heartbroken as he made me. Just to clarify, he is an alcoholic who refuses to get help. He never drinks around her (thus far) but it's those alcoholic traits that even when he's sober, make him a miserable person to be with. Thanks for sharing this post.