My divorce happened back in the year 2001. I had reached my decision to ask my husband for a divorce after his extramarital affair. Three years after said affair, after much soul searching and marital counseling, I simply felt we needed to move on. I had learned to forgive, but knew I could never forget, and that it would always be like an elephant in the room. I thought that is was the best solution for my ex and myself, but we also had four sons to consider.
I would say my oldest son took the divorce the hardest and acted out a bit within the first few months. The entire dynamics of the household changed as I now found myself a single mom with four growing sons, the oldest being 13, the youngest being 5 years old.
Having been a stay at home mother since my oldest was born, I now found myself back in the workplace. I took on a crazy third shift hotel job to keep my house and pay the bills. My parents had to step in to fill in the void left by my absence. I tried to play the part of Supermom, working the crazy night shift to make it feel like I wasn’t gone since I was home during the day. That lasted for about a year until I had to cave in and get a job with daytime hours. Thanks to the help of my parents, my kids were always with family while I was at work, and I worked only part time so I still had quality time with the boys.
The hardest part for myself and the kids was when my ex quickly began a rebound relationship that in the blink of an eye turned into a live-in arrangement. That caused issues from the beginning, both with my ex and myself, and my sons and their father. I then had to give him his weekends even when he and his new lady were doing things I didn’t approve of, such as having weekend gatherings where people were drinking. This was nothing they had ever been exposed to before and had not been our lifestyle.
Thankfully, we have all survived and moved on. One of the hardest things of the divorce was having to let go of a lot of the family gatherings we used to have on my ex husband’s side of the family. Eventually some of those relationships have been rebuilt, but obviously, things will never be the same and I no longer attend social gatherings on his side of the family.
My ex husband and I are now on friendly terms. I would say that even after eleven years, it’s still difficult when the boys visit their father on holidays, or are gone that week or two in the summer. Sometimes, even after the passing of years, I still miss the unity we used to have as a family that I know I will never have again.
I have gone on to remarry and have another child, and even though my children are siblings, sometimes they are still separated at holidays with the boys being away with their dad and her at home with me. It was always hard for my daughter to understand why her brothers were not here at Christmas or Thanksgiving on some years. This always leaves me with somewhat of an empty feeling, like I will never truly have all my kids with their parents together at the same time.
These are just some of the inevitable circumstances that happen with a divorce when children are involved. You have to deal with your ex getting involved with someone else, or even several others, and any children they might have, both step or biological. The dynamics of your family will never be the same again. Some aspects may be better in some ways, but even though the marriage needed to end, there are always going to be undesirable consequences you have to learn to live with. Divorce also affects the relationships you have with your ex’s side of the family and with mutual friends. Divorce is hard, but survivable.