When a couple with a child or children separates it is a terrible thing. There are no winners in such a situation. There are only losers. The people who lose the most are the children.
Normally the decision to split is made by one person. They have reached a point where they feel they can no longer go on as a part of that couple. It is not an easy decision. Much thought is put into it. It is a decision that isn’t, and shouldn’t, be taken lightly.
Just to be clear. I am not discussing people who made the decision to get away from an abusive, unhealthy, relationship. The person that was the abuser was the one that put them in such a difficult position and as a parent our natural impulse is to do what we must to protect ourselves and our children. I’m truly sorry for the people with children who had to get away from such a situation.
I’m writing about ‘ordinary’ couples. Couples who, for some reason or other, have fallen out of love, have drifted apart, lost that connection they once had.
For the couples that fall into that category, those that had children. I have one simple message. One that will help you in the long run. Help you do what is best for your children. That message is this: Get Over Yourself!
There’s no sugar-coating this. If you are a parent who genuinely loves your child or children then always remember to put their needs first. Look, it’s bad enough that the only world they probably have ever known has fallen apart. You do not need to add further hurt to their lives.
At the end of the day, regardless of how you feel about your ex-partner, the father or mother of your children, remember that your child or children still love them. They might be confused and upset. They most certainly don’t understand the complexities of an adult relationship especially if they are young. They just know they love them.
I know it is not easy. Especially for the partner left behind. There is a lot of hurt, anger, resentment. You’ll probably want to punish them in some way. Make them suffer as much as you are. Do you know who is suffering more? That’s right. Your children!
When we are on that subject. You better make sure you tell them it is not their fault. Keep telling them if you have to. They need to know they are not to blame. They need to know their parents still love them, and will always love them.
Stop thinking about your own selfish needs. Never fight in front of your children. Never use your children against each other. They are going to feel bad enough without you making them feel they need to be more loyal to one parent over the other. Don’t add to their already overburdening worries.
Both you and your ex are going to have issues. There are going to be complications. You might end up completely resenting each other. Just don’t make it obvious to your children. If you have to fight. Do it out of earshot and eyesight. And that’s only if you have to.
What you really should be doing is behaving like the adult you are. Be respectful and rational no matter how much your emotional impulses might be driving you not to. Keep remembering what is really important. Because regardless of how you feel about each other. Regardless of how much you have drifted apart. It is the one thing you should still have in common. Doing what’s best for your children.