Divorce in the world today is forever on the increase. There are probably a number of reasons why it’s on the rise. The pressures of life are far greater than ever before with work and money worries, which also seem to be greater today than ever before.
Generally speaking the pressures of life and relationships in particular can be immense. It appears nowadays that people split up and file for divorce very quickly, because it’s easier than ever to get divorced.
If I’m honest, divorce being easier to achieve is actually a good thing, and of course nowadays it does mean that people do not stay in a very unhappy marriage, whereas 40 years ago people getting divorced was a difficult process, and so often people were looked down upon when you told them you were divorced. It was almost considered shameful. Thankfully life and attitudes have moved on. This also means many people don’t stay in unhappy marriages.
I’m a twice married, once divorced father of five children, and I have experienced first hand of how children can become weapons in a relationship/marriage that has gone wrong. I am also the child of divorced parents that used three children as missiles to try and destroy each other. However, that experience taught me how to deal with divorce when you have children involved, as was the case in my first marriage.
When a marriage or relationship breaks down, invariably it’s not amicable. One person has usually done something that has caused things to go wrong, so there will always be one of two people who feels bitter and on a regular basis will look for revenge. Sadly this is where children become the perfect weapons to gain revenge.
What I simply don’t understand is why a grown adult would want to use their children to hurt an ex husband/wife/partner etc, because the truth is you are only hurting the children. For me it’s tantamount to child abuse and is completely unacceptable.
When I was growing up in a family that divorce had affected, my parents, mostly my mother I might add, used three children as weapons against our father. The biggest use of us as children was denying him access to see us. Even though no court said he wasn’t allowed to visit, I have often questioned if this was the reason why my father finally gave up making an effort to see us.
If that was the case that is very sad, but of course he could have been stronger and not rolled over and just accepted it. Even though he passed away some two years ago, I will never forgive him for not trying harder, because it meant I grew up without a father in my life, and that simply is not right. Every child deserves to have both parents in their life.
Fast forward to 2003 and my first marriage was ending, very difficult times, I had many personal issues to deal with, but amongst all of this turmoil, I was determined to keep an ongoing, stable relationship with my children.
My ex-wife put many obstacles in the way which could have been denying me access such as introducing boyfriends into their lives just weeks after I had moved out, something I might add, I never did. I wanted to give myself a solid bond and relationship with my children first. I was actually with somebody, my now wife and at times it was difficult to live what felt like two separate lives.
Ultimately my children grew up with me being a major part of their lives. I never missed an arranged time to see my children because that was my time with my children. They stayed over with me every week. I always attended all the major events at school, parents evening, sports days etc. This I believe gave us a solid bond between us all.
I’m always there for them no matter how old they get. They also come to me for advice on a regular basis, which I know is a product of standing by them even though I was divorced from their mother.
With my recent health scare, it was proved to me without any doubt how strong the relationship is between my older children and myself. They were instantly there for me. My 20 year old daughter even came home from university for a couple of days which really gave me a wonderful feeling inside my heart. She also said something on the phone to me the other day and that was that I need to look after myself, because you have five children that love you very much, and we would like you to be around for a bit longer. This brought a tear to my eye.
I have never used my children as weapons, but believe me there were many occasions when I was tempted to, just to basically hurt my ex-wife. I’m now glad that I didn’t because I decided to just concentrate on building a solid relationship with my children that would last forever.
If you are going through divorce and you have children involved it would be good to remember that you are divorcing your partner and not your children, so don’t use your children as weapons to hurt each other. They will be the ones that get hurt and quite possibly affected or traumatised for the rest of their lives.
If you’re going through or have gone through a separation or divorce, try and come to an amicable arrangement when it concerns the children involved. The people that will benefit from this are the children, even though their parents may no longer live together, it will help them have a happy childhood knowing that a good and stable relationship is in place.
Have you gone through a divorce and the children have been used as weapons against each other? I would love to hear.