Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Children of Divorce or Those With Two Homes

I have had to pray long and hard on where my blog seemed to be heading. I had to make sure it was not about me and my hurts but what I am meant to expose from darkness to light. I want you to know I do not despise Jeff at all anymore. There was a time I could not stand him for what he had put me through. Thank God I am beyond that. Time really does have a way of healing all wounds.

I myself am a child of divorce. My father and mother married at a young age due to my conception. My brother followed me by a mere 10 months 10 days. Stress over finances I am sure did not help my parents. My father left us when I was only 3 years old. I did not see him again until I was close to 5. By age 7, I had been informed by my step mother how unworthy my mother was of my father's devotion. In response to something I had questioned, my mother unloaded a few things off her chest regarding my father. My point here is simply this. That was too much for a child!

My grandmother attempted to clear the muddy water for me by pointing out how young my parents were and how out of line Chris had been with her list of faults regarding my mother. I knew by age 10 this was something I never wanted to do to any child of mine should I have the burden of raising a child of divorce. This was such a big deal to me that when newly married to Jeff we had a discussion how if we did not work out, we were promising each other NOT to do this to our child. It is easy to promise something like that when you are getting along. It is harder to follow through when in the heat of the moment.

If you are a parent that has fallen out of love and are pursuing or have already gotten a divorce from your spouse, I beg you, rise above your own hurt, pain, anguish and judgement. You will Harm YOUR relationship with your child if you talk negatively about their other parent. You may win their love by destroying the other parent but it is Love by deceit. It will not last. Time will reveal truths. It does NOT matter how YOU feel about your ex. YOU don't have the right to bring up their weaknesses to your children. Eventually your child will grow up and they will begin to see things through a new lens. Trust me when I say you don't want to be on the end of judgement and anger from  your child because you felt it necessary to spout off about what a jerk, a looser, a cheater, a rotten provider THEIR father or mother was in YOUR eyes. You are doing yourself and your child as well as your ex a gigantic dis-service with this type of behavior.

I had the pleasure of having this confirmed by my oldest son recently. He thanked me for NOT tearing His Father down. He also mentioned how he had felt robbed of his relationship with me in his youth because of what His Father had told him. Turns out my son sees me for who I have always been. Praise God, I have been redeemed of all the lies and deceit and not by my own defense.

I know fully well how hard it is to bite your tongue when your child is informing you of your faults and failures according to your ex spouse. Especially when some of it is so far stretched from the truth that you find yourself biting your tongue til it bleeds. I know how the heat of that moment causes the human side of you to long to get up on your own soap box to defend yourself. I thank God for showing me how detrimental this type of behavior is. I mentioned once in one of my first few blogs how I wrote down what type of parent I wanted to be when God called me at a young age and informed me I would be a mother to many. This was one of the promises I made to myself. No matter how angry I was at the Father of my children, I would not tear him down in front of my children. EVEN if they stooped to that level, I would not. I stumbled a little when it came to the Father of my 4th and 5th babies. Children lurk around the corner. I warn you to guard your tongue and emotions if your children are close by. In time I will share how this made me feel. Let's just say none of it was warm and fuzzy!

I would also encourage anyone going through divorce to not use your children as pawns. Do not get in the way of your child's relationship with the opposing parent. It's not your place. If you have a spouse that is abusive pray for them. Pray they never hurt your child. The courts are not the greatest at protection. Remember you cannot control everything that goes on during visitation but you can keep your eyes and ears open. Keep a journal if you have just cause to worry. Ask questions wisely. Keep your focus on your child and not the other parent.

You should also know children of divorce have an edge over their parents. Yes. You heard me. We have an edge. If you stoop so low as to inform us of how you feel about the opposing parent, we will one day use this to our advantage. We will brag on how awesome the other parent is or how they do certain things for us. Some of it may not even be true. Stand firm in your own parenting and pray for strength. You are going to need it!

As I end this chapter I am going to leave you with this: It has been flashed to me several times that what was too much for Bruce was the craziness that was continuing between Jeff and I where our children were concerned. The last time I saw Bruce was after we had tracked down, found and removed Cassy and Billy from Jeff's new wife's care. They had up and moved during the children's summer visit. It was Jeff's mom that had alerted me to the situation. I will blog in detail what happened soon. I don't know how it took me so long to realize why Bruce ran and blocked contact. I get it today. I am still praying on revealing these shoes I walked in.

I leave you with this favorite phrase of mine. I came up with it when I walked out on Mike last November. I think I am going to use it as a title chapter . . . it is a bit long but I have been saying it for six months now. "You don't have to be beat up to be beat down."

Today I pray for all children of divorce. I pray for all parents going through the process and those still licking their wounds. I pray you rise above your pain. I pray you seek wisdom on the best way to raise your child or children in a split home. I pray you have strength to get through all the situations that come your way. I pray that you are able to resist tearing your spouse down to gain your child's love. Father I come to you today and ask you to meet those in their pain and lift them. Fill single mother's and father's with strength, peace and wisdom. Fill the children with your Love. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

Wendy, Mom of Many

© Wendy Glidden 2013 
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