TAKING THE HIGH ROAD DURING AND AFTER DIVORCE
This is not an easy one. Anyone who has been through divorce will probably agree with me on that point. After agreeing on that one point, there will be as many different opinions as there are people divorcing or divorced.
I can only relate to you what I’ve learned after living through my own divorce in my earlier life and through working with divorcing families over multiple years.
He’s A Good Guy
The father of my children was and is a good guy. He loved his kids unequivocally. He was, however, also an alcoholic. Good intentions as a parent were often waylaid as alcohol beckoned him and controlled much of his life. For that reason, some additional protection was warranted to ensure the safety of the children if they were to be with him.
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His visitation parameters were stricter than the norm. He was provided more than the average amount of time with his children but it was conditional upon his level of sobriety at visitation time.
Every case is going to have it’s own variations but the largest area of concern for both parents is, hopefully, how to lessen the impact on the children. Children love both parents and every effort should be made to maintain their relationship with both.
Even as adults, children are negatively impacted when they see their parents fighting. A young adult of recently divorced parents told me it, “hurts my heart,” to know that there is contention between the parents.
Put The Needs Of The Children First
In my case, my ex and I were to able to put the needs of our children first. Ahead of our disagreements with each other, ahead of any new relationships either of us may have entered into, ahead of opinions of others. Until those children were raised they were our primary concern. On that one point we agreed.
Holidays, birthdays, school events involving our children all were attended by both of us. Many comments were received from friends and family who seemed to think it weird that we were divorced and yet able to be civil to each other as we co-parented our minor children.
The end result, after years of making the effort to be civil to each other, respect each other and give a measure of grace to one another was, we actually became friends. We are now able to enjoy our adult children and our joint grandchildren as friends.
I’ve remarried and The Husband and my (now sober) ex are also able to be friends, co-existing peacefully at all family events. The ex remarried for a brief period but then divorced and has since remained single.
It’s Difficult But Worth It To Take The High Road
I know when emotions are running high and the hurts surrounding divorce are still fresh in your mind it’s difficult to take the high road but trust me, it’s worth it in the long run. Your children will be better for it and so will you.