“We are not a family…”

The other day I was at the playground with my daughter. There was only one more family at the park and I told my daugther once they left we have to leave too because it might get dangerous. She still does not have a grasp of what constitutes “dangerous” and I am finding it rather challenging to explain it to her without scaring her from everything and everyone…

I told her that as long as there were other “families like us” are in the playground, we could stay but otherwise it would be dangerous to stay (if you are thinking I am a coward, well, you might be right. But where we live, there have been horrific instances in the not too distant past so I have reason to be cautious!).

She said: “we are not a family” …. “daddy is not here” ….

That remark left me dumbfounded for a few seconds. It was just so adorable, and accurate, that she views family as a mommy, daddy, and child/children. Without daddy, there is no family.

Up until last year or so, divorce was something that I thought I knew. People get divorced. They go to court, decide custody, come to some sort of arrangement on a schedule to see the kids…etc. Everyone does it so what’s the big deal?

My elder brother who had a 1,5 year old daughter at the time had to get a divorce. And that’s when I had an epiphany. Most often than not, divorce is simply much more painful and detrimental to the couple but especially the kids than a disfunctional marriage. (I am talking about marriages that dissolve simply because couples cannot get along, claim to have fallen out of love with eachother…or some other petty reason that every single married couple goes through on a daily basis!)

Like it or not, if you have kids, even if you get a divorce, you are eternally married to that person. Every day they are part of your household conversation. If their names are not mentioned, they are implied. You are reminded of your guilt of depriving your child of their mother or father (in most cases father) and a normal family. Or in my daughter’s perception, you are depriving them of a ‘family’, period.

Again referring to cases where there is no physical and emotional abuse, being a divorcee is as painful as being in a less-than-ideal marriage. At least in the latter case, you are not putting your childen through an unbearable burden they will carry the rest of their lives.

Most people argue they are doing a favor for their children by divorcing. It is better than being raised in a household with constant bickering and fighting. Well, if we are thinking of our children, if they are honestly our first priority, then we should work on our marriage and make it a peaceful household. That is the solution. Not divorcing and than having a step-father with whom we will inevitably argue and fight!

If you are out there and considering this, I recommend trying really hard to change your paradigm; your frame of mind; how you see your marriage and your role as a wife and a mother. Nothing in life is meant to be easy. Everything is a training ground for us. If we escape this one, another one will be waiting around the corner. But if embrace this opportunity to grow stronger, wiser, and more compassionate, then we will conquer it and emerge from it more peaceful.

Also, if we always keep the idea of divorce as a possibility/an escape route in our mind, we will not be as dedicated to solving our issues. If you think a C is an equally acceptable option as an A, you will never strive to get an A.



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