When parents get separated changes will happen. I would like to tell you about things I have learned about people around us after our separation. Just 3 main things. Sad, but also eye-opening. From my perspective, a husband, father, friend and a partner.
Almost three years ago our marriage finished. It was, more-less, decision of both of us as. With time, being together 11 years, we just grew apart more and more. I wasn’t ready for that, I knew that we lost spark a long time ago, but with children, day to day duties of a parents, I just wasn’t ready. It was the right decision to make but it just came too fast. Big changes, many questions and most of all fear.
Today I see things differently, I’ am much more settled and I can be happy. The beginning wasn’t easy, I struggled with my own emotions, felt lonely and scared. I was afraid that my relationship with children will become weak and that my life will become one sad journey. I learned a lot though.
About so-called friends, about myself, also about other people. Judgements passed and stereotypical ways of thinking about fathers after divorce.
What did I learned?
People take sides.
This is awkward and painful at the same time. No one had reasons to take sides and none of us wanted this. As soon we spit up, people decided to take sides, usually without reason as we, myself and my ex, never argued, never talked about anything to do with our relationship to others. We didn’t fight, we did not had any history of abuse, violence or anything. We were couple of very peaceful people whom loved their children and led simple life in UK.
People are not listening and you’re the one to blame.
Trust me, some people will judge you and blame you for anything. Just to prove that you are responsible for something, that you weren’t good enough husband or you pushed her into arms of other guy (that wasn’t the case at all – to be clear). Man is always guilty and it’s no way you will not be judged. I had to explain myself to people, like someone who done something wrong. I had to prove to everyone that I didn’t do anything to deserve this and I don’t have a reason to be miserable.
I couldn’t believe that people who called us their friends could just write an email to me saying that I’ve changed or that they hate me ‘cos I left my wife (I didn’t) I have lost majority of friends who used to come to visit or who used to come in need of any help. So sad.
Most people will assume some horrible things about you. They will come to false conclusion that you will also break up your relationship with your kids, because you’re no longer with their mum. Even when you seeing them 5 days a week, you’re the bad one. It’s not fair, but it’s not uncommon, get used to it and move on. Be there for your children and don’t worry about the opinion of people, who don’t have the decency to ask you how you doing in all this. They could just call and ask if you’re alright. But no.
For the past 3 years, our kids have 2 homes, 2 loving parents and people around them who care about them dearly. We talk about life, play, we are supporting each other with parenting, I can visit them at their mums, she is also welcomed in our flat. Children have their rooms at mine and mums too. We can be civil, go for Christmas parties together and we are communicating well. It takes two people but separated parent’s need to think first about the wellbeing of their children, not maintenance money, not parental alienation or about making other parent life, miserable. It’s not easy when we still buzzing and our emotions overtake our mind.
Separated or divorced you are still a parent. You have a right to be a parent, but also a responsibility to your children and another parent. If you’re abusive, aggressive, playing mind games or using your children as a weapon you shouldn’t be doing it, as this will have a huge impact on the wellbeing of your own children and other co-parent.
Remember – as a father or as a mother you have rights, but also responsibilities.