The boys and I have been on our own for over a year now. For the most part, we’re doing okay. Financially, things are tough but should be getting better in the near future.
There’s a great many things that upset me about getting divorced, especially the high price my kids have had to pay.
That being said, when it comes to me personally, I’ve found that there is one area that I very much struggle with.
I’m very family oriented and things like the holidays are really important to me because they’re all about family.
Rather than being able to celebrate the holidays as a family, I now have to split my family even further by sending my kids to be with their Mom.
Look, I absolutely believe that the boys need to see their Mom and have as healthy a relationship as possible. No matter what she’s done, she’s still their Mother. Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying because this is very important to me.
Their Mother should be an important and permanent fixture in their lives.
Here’s the problem I have.
She walked out. She choose a life that didn’t include myself and our children. Does she love them? Yes, I don’t doubt that. Is she involved in their lives since she left? No.. Not really.
She sees them every other Friday for less than 24 hours and than every other Wednesday night for dinner. That’s it….
She doesn’t help in any way shape or form.
The boys Mother isn’t a bad person but she’s made horrible decisions. While we’re civil, she’s no longer someone I consider a friend. I have to be able to trust my friends and I can’t trust her.
What makes this even more difficult for me is that there are serious mental, physical and emotional issues involved. While these don’t excuse her actions, they can provide a little better context.
As much as I try, I can’t not have compassion for her. Who she is now and the decisions she’s made/making are incompatible with marriage and honestly, even being a parent but I’m still the same person.
For better or for worse. For sickness and in health. To death do us part. . That means something to me.
Look, I’ve gotten off track. Let me steer the car back on the road.
This will be the very first Thanksgiving that I won’t be with my kids. We have to rotate holidays…and I have very mixed feelings about that.
It’s the right thing to do and the kids need to have that contact. My soon to be ex-inlaws are fantastic and I will always involve them because they are an important part of both mine and the boys lives.
That being said, there’s an angry, hurt and confused part of me that feels like having to miss a holiday with my kids isn’t right, especially considering she isn’t helping to raise them at all.
It’s childish of me to feel that way but I would imagine it’s probably not that unusual, especially considering the circumstances.
It’s kinda weird but I can relate more to single Mom’s than single Dad’s. I think that if a parent walks out on their family, typically it’s the Dad’s. That’s certainly not the case for everyone but it’s more common for the Mothers to be raising the kids while the Dad moves on with his life.
Don’t get me wrong, if this had to happen, I’m eternally grateful that my kids are with me 24/7 because I couldn’t do it otherwise. I couldn’t be without my kids.
Anyway, this is weighing kinda heavy on me right now.
Like I said, my wife and I are on good terms. Unfortunately, my definition of friendship is such that it no longer includes her.
Hurting me is one thing. Hurting the kids is something all together different.
Frankly, each one of the boys is experiencing the same thing on some level. They know she’s different and they’re trying to reconcile that against all the memories they have of her.
It really is a very challenging situation that I’m hoping will become more manageable once the divorce is finalized.
In all the important ways, nothing is going to change for the better. The way things are is the way things will likely always be. That’s a tough pill for me to swallow.
While nothing is likely to change in the dynamic between the boys and their Mother or myself and her, I will become a stronger, healthier person, that is better able to adapt to this major life change.
My ambition is to make the best if this situation.
I shouldn’t have to be away from my kids for Thanksgiving but I’m happy that they will be able to spend the time with their Mom and extended family. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to do as well as I have thus far, even if it’s perfect or even close to perfect.
I’m really grateful that we have a civil relationship because that’s so important for the boys to see and not have it be entirely fake.
While I truly hate the fact that I will soon be divorced, it could always have been worse.. At least that’s what I tell myself anyway.. ☺
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