Divorce is so prevalent in our society. Over 50% of all marriages end in divorce. When we, as adults, choose to marry and then divorce, that is our choice. The ones who suffer the most are not us, the adults. Our children are the ones who pay the price of our mistakes.
I have been divorced from my childrens’ father for over eight years. I have never looked back on our decision to separate. We were not a good match in many ways. I blame myself for getting married way too quickly. We had dated for five months when we got engaged, and we married after eight.
In hindsight, I have a two year, two month rule. I say that you really don’t get to know someone for two years and two months. Even then, people can be full of surprises, but I think there is a minimum limit to knowing someone before you commit to a lifetime together. Is it living together? The time spent with one another? I really don’t have the answers, even after all these years. It is so easy to be on one’s best behavior early on, to show only our good side, to hold our tongues and our opinions to ourselves until we have our partner “in the bag” so to speak.
My ex and I didn’t really know each other, particularly when it came to raising children together. We both knew that we wanted children right away, and that was one of the things that sealed the deal for us right away. Once our first baby arrived, though, it became apparent right away that our ideas of how to raise children varied greatly. There is nothing worse than being at odds with your partner over how to take care of your children — how to discipline them, how to care for them, how to put them to sleep — so many things really. We were two ships passing in the night.
Our children go back and forth, back and forth. We both feel that it’s so important for our children to spend time with both parents, particularly as they are the most important people in both of our lives. So they travel back and forth, forgetting phone chargers and tennis rackets along the way, but someone making due. They both know how much they are loved, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy for them. They are little troopers, taking taxis together, dragging small suitcases, hoping that their favorite jeans are where they remember them being.
I wouldn’t change a thing, because then I wouldn’t have the two children who make my life complete. For those of you who are just starting though, try to think ahead. Try to think of the little people that you may choose to bring into the world, the little innocents who did not ask to be born, and did not ask to be born to parents who will end up splitting, possibly even despising each other. Try to ask the right questions before you say, “I do,”, before you start conceiving. The world will be a better place if couples learn to plan ahead, and to really try to make lifelong commitments when they bring beautiful little babies to life on this wonderful planet.