I read the post about divorce that my friend Amy over at Mom Spark wrote. And it was a very powerful post about how her parents divorce shaped her. Go read it.
I decided that, instead of leaving a comment the size of a post, I’d just write a post. Because yeah, been there. Only, I was the parent not the child.
I grew up in a two parent home. My parents fought a lot. Sometimes I think that the yelling was just so that they could be heard. But they stayed together. They’re still together 42 years later, yelling to be heard.
I always assumed that marriage meant until death do you part. But after 5 years of marriage, death was looking really good and I’m not talking about my own.
I was miserable. The fighting was constant and shamefully, in front of the kids. It was starting to affect my son who was 3 at the time. He was taking our fights, putting them on his shoulders and making them his own burden. My daughter was an infant, practically incapable of realizing anything aside from her hunger and wet diapers.
I spent so much time wishing and praying for a miracle or an epiphany that I missed out on truly enjoying the first few years of my firstborn child’s life. And my son spent the first 3 years of his life not realizing how much more he deserved.
I would take my children to the park on the weekends by myself and stare longingly at other families that were enjoying their time together. My heart ached for what I thought I was missing. I would strap my babies into their carseats , cry quietly into my hands and with dread I’d head home.
Misery was my unwanted company. And it was taking over every aspect of my life. Especially my parenting.
We decided to go for counseling. We went for 2 years. It didn’t work.
It was hopeless. The marriage was over. I took my kids and left.
And 10 years later, I have no guilt. I know what the professionals say. It’s better to stay together, even if you fight all the time, for the kids.
I can’t believe that a home with two parents that so obviously hate each other could possibly be a healthy environment for children to thrive in. It just seems that divorce is oftentimes the best solution, especially if all the work that has been poured into the relationship is futile.
Sometimes the relationship is irreconcilable. There is no other choice but to move out and move on. Which is what I did. What I had to do. Amy ends her post by saying “Marriage with kids is hard. It takes constant nourishment, effort, and sacrifice. There are highs and lows, but the reward is so amazing! A strong marriage results in strong, healthy children. Fight for it-for them.” Sadly, and I can only speak out of my own experience but, not all marriages with children are even worth the trouble of saving. It’s harder to work on that marriage than to end it and start over.
Now? My children are growing up in a home kind of similar to the one I grew up in. It’s louder. And more chaotic. That is for sure. The parents yell a lot…mostly to be heard. But they also love a lot. Here, the kids are thriving. No one is internalizing negativity. Not any more than, what I would consider to be, normal.
If I hadn’t taken mine and my children’s destiny into my own hands and followed blindly where my heart led, I shudder to think of how unhappy our lives would have turned out.
Marriage and life is pretty darn close to the way I had imagined it when I was young(except with more money problems than I pictured). A cross between perfect and horrendous. Exactly the way it kind of should be. Because hey, I’m realistic. I know that fairytales only exist in books and imaginations. Not in marriages.