Just been listening to a radio broadcast regarding divorce and separation and it has left me infuriated. Whilst acknowledging the panel of ‘experts’ were talking in general, I profoundly disagreed with much of what was discussed.
The panel…all of them to a man/woman, concurred that divorce or in today’s climate of unmarried parents who are cohabiting, separation was becoming more the norm than divorce. But whichever term they were using they all agreed that the children should come first, but in reality rarely did. However the point that I found infuriating was the generalisation that parents should never just stay together for the sake of the child as ‘that would be living a lie’.
What utter nonsense. its only a lie if you chose not to inform the child/children of the situation. I defy anyone to remain with their partner/wife and pretend to play happy families. Not only is that an unrealistic scenario I imagine it would be impossible.
But there is another way: how about, explaining to the child that you and your partner don’t see eye to eye but are willing to put up with each other no matter the difficulties because you feel your child deserves to have both parents living in the same house as opposed to the nightmare scenario of one parent living miles away, usually the father.
My situation is a case in point. I put up with the mother of my child not because its the easy option. Not because I have lied to my daughter – she knows exactly what I think of her mother – not because of finance or anything else. I have made the decision because as an unmarried couple, the chances of my being awarded custody in this country and the way the courts operate, I would lose. Not only that, those who chose the easy option of separation in my experience have not considered the effects on the child. If not today, then later in life.
I have lost count how many friends have recounted the tales of misery as their parents went through a messy divorce – divorce is always messy. The feeling of abandonment, the feeling that one or the other parent put themselves first above them. The list is endless. Its something most have carried through to their middle years. And now, I watch as some of them go through the trauma of separation and I hear from one side or the other how the children are coping or not.
I don’t have this problem. Perhaps I’m lucky in the sense that my daughter has never seen her mother and I together. She was only two years old, when I gave up any hope of our relationship progressing. But left with the choice of separating and losing my daughter or making the best of a bad situation and keeping my daughter, it was a no-brainer.
My daughter, now a teenager, has seen me with three subsequent partners of which I am now in a stable relationship of six years and who has been away on holiday with my daughter and I more times than her mother. The point being, my daughter has a wonderful relationship with my partner. We go out together, play, travel, eat do all the things a family should. Yes, its awkward at home when you have two women in the house. And no, my daughter has not been psychologically damaged. A straight A student, speaks several languages, reads more books than anyone I know, watches bizarre videos on youtube mostly relating to Manga and, has even learnt the rudimentary of Japanese. So before anyone else starts to bemoan that children watch too much television, I say, it all depends what they are watching. Oh, she also doesn’t use bad language. Is extremely polite and yes, just perfect.
No, of course she’s not perfect. As anyone who has read any of these blogs will know, trying to get my daughter out of the house is something of a challenge. Now, some may jump on that claiming, ‘see, she is scarred by your peculiar situation.’ But I wonder, as truth be told, I loath leaving the house unless absolutely necessary. As I work from home, mainly because I have had to raise my daughter, I do find large unfamiliar crowds troublesome. Is that a form Anthropophobia? Maybe it is, but it looks like my daughter has it too.
So, before these experts espouse the virtues of separation or divorce for the sake of the children, stop for a moment and think what’s best for your child and leave these experts to their academic books and case-notes because I don’t recognise anything they say.