Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Divorce's Loving Betrayal

Sometimes circumstances bring a very bitter taste of devastation. I want to share one of those experiences with you, an experience that literally felt like a punch in the gut. It was one of those rare moments when emotional pain turned into physical pain. Even now, I'm shocked at how I reacted.

A long time ago I had two friends that were perfect lovers. They oozed love for each other. They had beautiful children. Every communication between them was loaded with admiration and enjoyment. Life was wonderful.

Then, abruptly, life changed.

Things got in the way. Ideas and feelings morphed and another beautiful marriage and family was severed. It was crushing for everyone involved. Heck, I was crushed, and I didn't have to deal with any of the consequences.

The husband moved on and found another suitor and would enjoy time with her while in partial custody of the children. One day I saw all of them together. I saw one of these beautiful angel girls lying on the chest of this woman. She was being loved and comforted, but in my heart it felt like a betrayal. I can't explain the emotion that I felt, but this wasn't her mother, this was some other woman who had taken here place. It felt wrong to me. It was one of the most conflicting emotions I've ever felt.

As my heart broke at having to witness this all-too-familiar scene, of blended families coping with the destruction of divorce, I felt a glimpse of what it must be like as a mother, to have your family broken apart and have another woman comfort your child. If I put myself in their shoes, the thought of my wife leaving me for another man, and him tenderly holding my child...

NO. I can't even imagine it. And a mother's love is so much deeper.

I realize that these are emotions many families are dealing with due to divorce and separation. I don't know how they do it. In my mind I know I should be happy that this little girl is being loved, but my heart needs convincing.

To all those who are trying to make the best of a bad situation, thank you. Thank you for the children's sake. To those of you who can make some changes and avoid an unhappy ending, please do it! To you divorced mothers and fathers who had no other way out, I'm sorry. Only a glimpse of the pain you suffer daily has caused to to shrink.

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At November 21, 2012 at 2:56 PM , Blogger ldsconvertblog said...

I've seen so much divorce it's become almost more than normal. My dad's been divorced three times. My mother just finalized her third last week. That was also the third for my ex-step-father. My brother went through his second this past spring.

I wish I could help, but I don't think I know any different.

At November 21, 2012 at 7:17 PM , Blogger Ben said...

It's becoming an epidemic. At my last job, every women had been married at least twice.

At November 23, 2012 at 11:22 PM , Anonymous Katheryn said...

While I can imagine that it would be difficult knowing that someone else was taking care of and loving my child, that would be so much better than knowing that I had to send my child to spend time in a place where the opposite was true. Imagine the nightmare of not knowing if your small child is being loved or beaten, fed or drugged, watched or left alone. Hoping and praying the whole time, every time that they are gone that they come back to you alive and well...scared to death that they might not. Divorce is devastating. It is very sad that so many people choose that route. I believe that there are many relationships that could be saved that aren't, but I also believe that there are times when divorce is the right decision. Either way, it is never easy, especially when there are children involved.

At November 24, 2012 at 10:14 AM , Blogger Ben said...

Katheryn, thanks for the comment. I agree with you 100%, there are times when divorce is the right decision. Anyone who has had a family member mistreated feels the same way too. If the only option was divorce, I would definitely prefer knowing my child is love as you mentioned. Still makes it really hard though.

At November 28, 2012 at 10:01 AM , Blogger Amy said...

Some things to consider...... anyone can put on a good show and not all women are natural, nurturing mothers. Yes, it's typically in our gender to feel that love so deeply we would do anything for our little ones, but more and more I hear of women deciding that's just not what they want and good men are left behind picking up the slack. I spend a lot of time with two young girls whose parents are divorced and they often tell me they wish I was their mom simply because they don't receive the same warmth, affection and attention from the female that's supposed to be providing it. So, while it's always painful to see a family break apart, and I agree wholeheartedly that people should fight to protect the sanctity of one, that this little girl you know was receptive to being so loved and comforted may be an indication of her need for that kind of tenderness.....

At November 28, 2012 at 10:23 AM , Blogger Ben said...

Amy, such a sweet comment. I definitely don't understand all the perplexities of the situation, that's why I'm glad people are commenting. I should be glad that any child can feel love when they need it.

At November 28, 2012 at 1:47 PM , Blogger Katie said...

Your reaction assumes that this mom was taking something away from the birth mother....when in fact she isn't. Having two mothers actually increases the love that a child is able to receive and have, not that that love is split in two....much like adding a child to your own family doesn't split the love of the parents between the children. Make sense? If it has to be, it has to be....but it doesn't have to take AWAY anything from either parent if they can both be humble and civil with each other and not pit that child against the other.

I am extremely grateful for Dominic's step-mom and that she parents him and loves him in the way that she does. Though she ripped my family apart at one time in my is our reality now. And because of that, we do what is best for Dominic. When she married my ex he told me, "Don't worry. I won't ever let him call her mom. I will make sure he always calls her mommy Teresa or Step mom." I almost laughed in his face and told him that THAT was not his choice. Dominic gets to choose what he wants to call her. If he wants to call her mom, then he can. I am not threatened by her love for him because it does not weaken his love for me. If more people realized this after divorce then blending families would be so much easier on the children.

In saying this, realize it took me time to get to that place......had he married her in that first year it would have been a LOT harder for me to see this.....but I would have seen it eventually. Much like perhaps gleaning information from friends who have already been through this might help you process your internal feelings towards this step-mother.

ps. I like your blog and agree with many of your philosophies. Will be back to read more for sure =)

At November 28, 2012 at 2:36 PM , Blogger Ben said...

Katie, thanks for the comment. You are obviously in a much better place than I am. I'm glad you can feel the way you do, that's awesome. It's helpful to see people's perspectives, especially those who have gone through the experience. I could only describe what my heart was feeling as I witnessed the scene. I'm glad to know I'm not always right about things!


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