I wrote this article about divorce and depression sometime ago, and noticed that it had been getting a few visits lately, so I went back and did a quick edit (some of the links included from years ago were broken).
Since then I have been doing a lot of thinking about separation, and the effect that it has on children.
In fact, I woke up during the night thinking about it, and it was still on my mind this morning, so buckle up, I just have to let it out!
Over the years I have worked at different things, including being a part time school bus driver, and leading a mens’ group.
Tying those two things together, often times on the bus I had to deal with kids going through a divorce with their parents, including one extreme case where the Dad committed suicide.
A good percentage of the men in the group had also been through at least one divorce!
Seeing the effect that it had on them was an eye opener.
Yes, there was a tough facade, and yes, they tried to pretend that it didn’t affect them.
But as we opened up the truth came out, and there was a chance for people to open up, and talk forgiveness.
You can’t undo the past, but you can form new relationships, and if you aren’t completely honest you can end up making the same mistakes again.
On the school bus, I would hear kids talking about which Dad was better, and which one they were spending the weekend with this week.
Then I gave thanks for my parents, and for the fact that they’d stayed together until the end!
I understand that things can go wrong.
And I understand that it can be downright dangerous to stay in a relationship, dangerous for both the spouse and the children.
There is no way that I would justify domestic violence, or any of the many other things that cause relationship breakdown.
But if the relationship is broken, try not to damage the kids further!
Telling them what a bitch their mother is/was, or how much of a mongrel dog their father is/was may make you feel better, but it isn’t doing much for them. Parents need to provide security for their kids, not shatter it further!
Custody battles based solely on parents’ rights are another thing that have bugged me over the years.
I know that parents need to spend time with their kids, but the terms of access, and custody, need to be in the best interests of the child/children.
And using them against a former spouse is unfair to the child as well.
Cutting off access for revenge could come under that category.
A measure of stability needs to be reintroduced into their lives.
Maintaining communication, and building some sort of bridge is essential!
Building bridges, i.e. building communication takes time and effort, and definitely isn’t easy when everyone is hurt, but it is essential.
Both for the couple, and children in the relationship!
Now, I’m not claiming to be a professional here by the way, I’m just a Dad who watches and learns, and shares as he sees it.
If you are going through a divorce, or are struggling with relationship problems, then I urge you to seek professional help.
See your doctor, your pastor/cleric/counselor, but get help.
The paragraph below is from the English Standard Version of the Bible, and is from Isaiah 42:22:
But this is a people plundered and looted; they are all of them trapped in holes and hidden in prisons; they have become plunder with none to rescue, spoil with none to say, “Restore!”
You see, I believe that everyone involved in divorce has been ripped off.
The couple involved, their children, grandparents, and the rest of their families too.
In fact, the whole of society bears the cost.
We aren’t time lords, and don’t have the benefit of Dr Who’s Tardis, or even Doc Brown’s DeLorean, and so we can’t go back in time to fix things, even though we may wish to at times.
What we need to do though is realize that things have gone wrong, and that maybe both parties hold at least some degree of responsibility for the situation, and start communicating in the best interests of the children.
While that communication may be too late to save the relationship that was there, it may help to stop things getting worse!
Disclaimer: I am a parent, and someone who takes a keen interest in social issues.
If you need help in getting issues sorted, or are depressed after a relationship breakdown, please seek the help of a professional counselor.
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