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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Think again....

Yesterday we told our kids (12 and 15) that we are “considering divorce” (it’s actually decided). Expected some sad faces... instead, our girls had grins on their faces, like they were thinking “I knew it!....”.

We assured them that it’s not their fault and that we want to find two smaller houses not far from each other, preferably so they could walk or bike there. After that the most pressing issue was - what about our pets?...

When we asked them if they were expecting this, they said “yeah, like for the last ten years”.... which is basically their whole lives.... Kids understand more than we think.

Now they both downloaded Zillow and have a lot of fun looking at the houses for sale...very excited.

I’ve been on TAM for six years Trying to figure out how can I divorce when we have kids. worrying about it. And it is harder when they smaller, but they do live in a conflict. That reaction was completely unexpected. I hope that means they feel safe with us as their parents, and trust us. Chances are your kids have been expecting this "talk" for a while.
 

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I’m glad that talk went well for you all! Guessing that’s a huge weight off your shoulders.

Fear about what divorcing would mean to my kids, and my relationship/experience with my kids, has been the biggest worry/distraction/rationalization keeping me here. Even though, intellectually, I believe some of my worries are not justified.

My parents are still together, even though there were some very rough years growing up. I suppose my kids, now 17 and 20, are much more familiar than I with what divorce can be like, because of their friends’ experiences.

Thanks for sharing. It’s always good to hear of steps taken towards a better life, especially when they turn out to be gentler than one had expected.
 

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Wanda, I'm glad your kids are positive about this change. Honestly I have never heard anyone say their kids were worse off because of a divorce, though I'm sure it has happened somewhere to somebody.

Divorce is so common today that it is no big deal socially to kids. They aren't outcasts. Back 50 years ago it was a different story, and I think old assumptions hang on for a long time past when they should.

For my adult kids it was a bit of a non-event because they are so busy with their own lives. For my young grand-kids it was ho-hum. The 6 yr old asked why Grandma and I didn't live together any more. That was it.

My new home was a fun thing for them. I expect it to be the same for your kids. They can have and decorate 2 spaces.

It sounds like you do a lot of researching and thinking, so I am confident you will navigate the challenges just fine.
 

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You are right, that they understand more than we think. I'm from "old school", but I think the Lord Jesus described some marriages as the "camel", and the divorce as the "gnat". We can sometimes make the kids' life better by it.

"should I stay for the kids ??" - the answer is not one-size-fits-all.
 

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Children know what’s going on. Even if they don’t hear the arguments, they pick up on body language and tension and attitude and many other indicators that all is not well. I stayed with a cheater for my child because I didn’t want to break up our family. And then I stayed for my grandchildren because I wanted them to have their grandparents together. Finally, I woke up and got out. I’ve never regretted getting out for a moment but I do regret those decades I wasted because I was afraid to act.
 

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My sister and I were both very, very happy when my mom finally filed for divorce from our dad. I had been wishing for it for years. (I was 13, my sister was almost 20) So many people don’t give their kids near enough credit for being aware of what is going on.


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I stayed in a toxic, dysfunctional marriage for many years for my children.
It was the right thing to do at the time for my particular situation.

However, they saw and heard things that were not healthy for their young minds.
I sat on the fence for so long, should I stay or go. This was the most stressful part of the whole process.

A physical incident forced my hand and I decided it was time to leave.
Granted my sons were older( 27, 29, 32 and 35) so maybe a bit more mature to be able to take the news .
It wasn’t a shock for them, they had encouraged me to do it many times before for my own mental health.
They said I was doing the right thing for me and that I should have done it years ago.

The problem with my situation, just like many other women that endure abuse is the frog in the pot of water analogy. Living like this becomes our new normal and we minimize the destruction we are heaping on ourselves and our children.

Trust your gut, I went against mine and felt very guilty for what I put my children through, but also feel I did the best at the time with what I had to work with.
 

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The world needs to hear stories like this more often.

In my years and my experience I have gotten to the point where I do not believe divorce in and of itself actually harms or damages children AT ALL.

In fact, I believe there are many instances where divorce is the medicine and not the disease.

Children are harmed by abuse, neglect, abandonment, alcoholism/addiction and being in an environment of chronic hostility/conflict/violence etc.

I do not believe that children that have two involved, loving and supportive parents that happen to live in two separate houses are damaged in the slightest.

Sad = yes. Inconvenienced going back and forth = yes. Wish it was happy home with everyone getting along and loving together = yes.

But harmed/damage =No.

Now will there be religion-based studies and even marriage counselor based studies that show kids from divorced families have more trouble than others? Probably yes, but remember kids are impacted by abuse, neglect, conflict/hostility etc etc and often times those things are taking place in the home prior to divorce and those ripples can go on for a period of time.

But like I said above, sometimes divorce is the medicine but the religious communities and Marriage-Industrial Complex try to portray the divorce as the disease.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The world needs to hear stories like this more often.

In my years and my experience I have gotten to the point where I do not believe divorce in and of itself actually harms or damages children AT ALL.

In fact, I believe there are many instances where divorce is the medicine and not the disease.

Children are harmed by abuse, neglect, abandonment, alcoholism/addiction and being in an environment of chronic hostility/conflict/violence etc.

I do not believe that children that have two involved, loving and supportive parents that happen to live in two separate houses are damaged in the slightest.

Sad = yes. Inconvenienced going back and forth = yes. Wish it was happy home with everyone getting along and loving together = yes.

But harmed/damage =No.

Now will there be religion-based studies and even marriage counselor based studies that show kids from divorced families have more trouble than others? Probably yes, but remember kids are impacted by abuse, neglect, conflict/hostility etc etc and often times those things are taking place in the home prior to divorce and those ripples can go on for a period of time.

But like I said above, sometimes divorce is the medicine but the religious communities and Marriage-Industrial Complex try to portray the divorce as the disease.
I think you are right. My kids, unfortuately, learn that arguing constantly is normal part of conversation. They keep bickering all the time with themselves. When you tell them to stop that crap, they would say, "Why, you and dad do it all the time"...... I hope that with time this will get better.
 
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