I have many friends who were born in two parent homes, who are now married and have children. And I die a little for their children every time I hear what they allow their children to witness.
I am a child of divorce. I now pronounce myself, speaker for those who cannot speak. For the children young and old who are witnessing their parents on the verge, going through, or post divorce. It doesn’t matter if your 5 or 35 being a child of divorce is painful. I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time until came across this that made me decide to actually do it.
Let me tell you why divorce is so bad. In Islam, the worst thing you are allowed to do is get divorced. As a child (not in terms of age, but in terms of having parents) divorce is the worst ‘permitted’ thing that you can go through. Even death is better because it has some type of finality and reason behind it. Don’t get me wrong losing a parent at any age of the child life horrible. But you know that it was not your parent’s choice to leave. It was their time to go, it was Allah’s (SWT) will.
I want parents and people who have not gone through divorce, to understand how it feels. Divorce leaves a gaping hole in all children. It takes years and years to try and re-fill it. But no matter what you do, you can’t. It feels like something is missing and you don’t quite know what it is and you don’t know why it hurts so much . It changes you. It changes the person you were going to become. Because from that day onwards your reality is different to the rest of the world. You have now become a casualty of war: A child of Divorce. Divorce turns children into adults in the seconds its takes parents to announce that they are parting ways.
Parents imagine this. Imagine that someone takes your child and tells you, you are only allowed to have half of your child. Then this person takes a knife and cuts your child down the middle and gives you half and gives your partner half.
How would you feel? Some people will agree with me that in the beginning that is how it feels for children. It feels like someone has taken a knife and cut you in half and your parents just watched and did nothing to stop them. Remember that your children have not experienced the pure love of having a child. So you are the most intense love that that child has experienced. For adults who are parents themselves, the hurt is just as severe if not worse. They don’t understand why they feel this way, because they have their own children. They experienced the pure perfect love of having a child. So why does it hurt so badly? I don’t know.
I’m not saying that people should never get divorced and then re-married. What I’m saying is that if you’re going through or went through or even thinking about divorce and you have children, you need a serious wake up call.
When you have children the rules change. It’s not about you anymore it’s about what is the best for your child. So that your child can grow up to be a well mannered, well adjusted, healthy member of society.
It is important for you to realise that the way you treat your partner is how your children will allow themselves to be treated in the future. They watch everything you do and then internalise it. Meaning it becomes the script in which their lives will run. (I mean script in the computer way, not the movie way). You can’t be a perfect parent because you are only human but how do you expect your children to have respect for you and your partner when you carry on like animals and have no respect for each other?
What parents don’t realise is that bad behaviour from children like teenage pregnancy, drugs, drinking, and promiscuity starts with the relationship between the parents and children. I don’t negate that some people do this even though they have loving, caring parents, but in my opinion that only happens in like one percent of the population. Most parents' reaction to finding out their children have abusive, violent relationships, or that their child is actually an adulterer or just a nasty person “I never brought you up like this”
Yes you did. Every time you disrespect your kid’s mother you teach your daughters, this is how a man must treat me. Every time you disrespect your kid’s father, you teach your son, this is the way a woman must treat a man. Every time you do not validate and show your children that they are worthy of love, through your actions not how much things you can buy them, you are creating an environment for them to rebel.
Some might say, well everyone has choices. If my child rebels its because he made that choice he is naughty. I disagree. As people we all have a hand in creating situations for others, a neglected child as two options. Looking for the love and validation by other people or looking for love in things.
This is the reason the world is so fucked up. You treat your partner like shit, then you treat your children like shit and then you expect them to grow up and get married and live happily ever after? I’m sorry but that is just not the way it works.
Many people think that Divorce is like a magic pill. Take one, with a glass of water and the person that irritates you will just magically disappear and you and your family will be much happier. Not so. That person that irritates you is someone you had children with. They are not going to just disappear.
Just because you are ‘unhappy’ and your new secretary or pool boy makes you remember what happiness feels like, does not give you the right to break your children’s hearts and change their lives forever.
When I watched one of the opening monologues in the movie Fame I was dumbfounded. One of the characters was auditioning and this is what she said:
My theory is that when parents get divorced, they're given some kind of a handout. When my parents told me that they were splitting, they told me three things. One, "It's not your fault.” Two, "It's not your fault.” And three, "It's not your fault.” Problem is, I don't buy it. No kid does. I've seen the pictures of when you got married. When you were good-looking, and you smiled at each other. Hell, when you even just looked at each other. So what happened between then and now? Me. I... I came along, and I made you tired and cranky and anxious and I made you lose your hair and gain 20 extra pounds and...Somewhere in all of that, I...You stopped loving each other. So I have my own idea for a handout. Next time tell me, "One, happiness is hard."Two, don't make the same mistakes we did."And three, okay, so maybe it is your fault a little." You want me to be honest? You go first.
It’s not about staying in a marriage that you are miserable in because you don’t want your children to be cut in half, even though your husband abuses you. Ask yourself; is this environment healthy for my children? For me and for my partner? So if not, then so be it. Because if you are not okay, and your partner is not okay, your children will not be okay. Divorce was created for a reason. But life is more than just being ‘happy’. If you have issues, sort it out before you take the divorce card out or run into the legs of someone else. If constantly being in the ‘in-love’ stage of your life is how you define being ‘happy’, you are in serious trouble.