25 Aug 2016

My Children Are Not Victims Of Divorce

When I realized my marriage was falling apart, I begged my ex to try harder for the kids, to go to therapy for the kids, to stick around just a little while longer for the kids. And he did. He tried harder – for the kids. He went to therapy – for the kids. He stuck around just a little while longer – for the kids. Neither of us was trying for us and our marriage. He, a child of divorce, wanted to do better and end the cycle. I, a child of happily married parents, wanted to avoid sticking the girls with that label. We were both so terrified of what divorce would do to our children that we tried for longer than we should have to save what wasn’t meant to be saved.

When we agreed to end our marriage, I sat in my therapist’s office, crying those big ugly tears one cries when they’re surviving solely on chocolate malt milkshakes. I cried to him in exasperation, terrified of the stigma that would forever follow my girls now that they were children of divorce. He looked at me as he often does when he’s getting ready to point out how irrational I’m being and said, “So, you’re worried about what stigma? The one of them being just like fifty percent of their peers?”

A few months after our separation, our oldest started kindergarten. At Open House before the year started, the teacher asked us all to share any information we thought she should know about our children. As my ex and I sat there together, wondering how we would all be seen by the school, we felt the need to explain that our intelligent and talented little girl was a child of divorce. We explained that she sometimes got sensitive and teary-eyed – this was because of her status as a child of divorce. Never mind the fact that she had been that way from the moment her personality began to shine through or that her dad had been the exact same way as a kid.

First grade came around, and my ex and I again went to Open House together. And again, when the teacher asked us all to share any information we thought she should know about our children, we explained that she sometimes got timid and shy and unsure of herself and that this was the result of her being a child of divorce. Never mind that she was one of the youngest in her grade or that her mother had been the exact same way as a kid.

During all of that time, I would also catch others’ comments. News of my divorce was often met with something along the lines of, “Oh, I’m so sorry. The poor girls. Are they doing alright? It must be so hard on them,” or, “Your poor girls. It’s always the kids who are the victims.” Yes, it was hard on them. It was hard on all of us. It’s not something I would wish on anyone, but I wouldn’t say that the girls were suffering because of it. Struggling? Maybe. Confused? Sure. In need of some good play therapy? Definitely. But victims? No.

Fast forward two years. My ex and I have worked hard to create a co-parenting relationship that works for everyone involved, especially the girls. We’ve gone from me having full custody to their dad having them every other weekend to what is now a true 50-50 arrangement. If you were to meet our girls today, with two years of being children of divorce under their belts, you would never label them as “Victims of Divorce.”

Our I. is almost 7 years old, and she is kind, compassionate, helpful, sincere, full of questions, and incredibly curious about the world around her. She is an amazing student, always following the teacher’s directions, obeying school rules, befriending those who most need a friend, and pushing herself to reach new levels academically. Her grandfather has always called her “Bright Eyes” due to her sense of wonder. She asks questions that make me think in ways I’ve never thought before, and she reminds to slow down, to do handstands and flips in the pool. She is careful and observant, weighing all of her options before making decisions. She is unswayed by the influences of others, and she stands firm in what she believes in and wants.

Read more about it here: http://huff.to/2bAm6GL

For more information regarding divorce, we recommend that you contact us at the Law Office of Alice Pare at 301-515-1190 or visit our website at: https://www.alicelaw.com

Do not at any time take the risky move of going at it alone. We have a wide choice when it comes to going it alone but with the professional advice, you will need.

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