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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Divorce and the Elegant Family Dance

Divorce sucks. 
It doesn’t matter if the divorce was a tragic mistake or long overdue, it just plain sucks. 
I have been through divorce so many times, five to be exact, but only one of those divorces was my own.  So I suppose you could say I am a connoisseur of divorce, I know when to hold em’, know when to fold em’, etc.  My parents were not fans of commitment, or perhaps they were just terrible at choosing partners.  Each divorce was unique, just like every relationship is different, but one thing always stayed the same, loss.  I hated losing family, and without a doubt, I always did. 
When my first marriage started to go south I fought as hard as I could to keep it going.  I didn’t want it to end, but not because we had some great romance (I think that part ended within the first couple of years of the nine year marriage).  No, I think it was because I desperately did not want to be like my parents.  I wanted to break the cycle of dysfunction.  So after many years of differences, many years of arguments and many heart breaks, I finally let go.  As divorces go, ours wasn’t too bad; in fact we ended up sharing the same lawyer.  We parted ways and have both remarried, I am happier in my second marriage and it appears that he is in his too. 
If I can give out any advice to the world it would be this.  Please think of your children when you are divorcing.  Understand that while you may never want to be close with that person again, your child has a bond with them and needs (not wants) to keep that bond intact.  It is important that the child see all of his or her family get along.  My parent’s fought so viciously when they divorced that I was court-ordered into therapy, I didn’t want that for my son.  Because of this, I try to never fight with my ex and I have maintained a relationship with my former in-laws.  I don’t think that was easy for anyone at first.  There was too much hurt and uncertainty for us to know how to interact.  But we have all prevailed.  We now visit fairly often, we are all facebook friends and we can all resolve conflicts without incident. 
Originally, my main concern was for my son.  I did not want him to lose his connection with his father’s family.  But I was surprised to find how rewarding it is to still be able to connect with them.  They were my family for so long, and honestly, I still consider them family.  And while I do not know my sons step-mother very well, I would be open to becoming friends with her.  We are the community raising my son, if that cannot bond a group of people, I don’t know what could.
 My son thrives in what he calls his “Gavin Family”, he just knows he is loved and that is all he cares about.  I wouldn’t want it to be any other way. 


  1. It was quite good to read your starting days of marriage life. But i couldn't understand why you didnt know your sons step-mother

    Divorce forms

    1. Hello Ruby, The reason I do not know my sons step-mother well is that she stays very distant from me. I understand, that has to be awkward, it is for me too. But we also have a culture barrier to contend with as well, she met Gavin's father online and came to the United States from the Philippines to be with him. She and I are very polite to each other but do not hold conversations. Now they live in California and I have not actually seen her or him for two years. So I think the opportunity to become friends is lost. But I will always remain open to the possibility

  2. Hi Martie,
    You and I have a common bond. I was the child of a divorce. My dad, philanderer that he was, left when I was 6. He subsequently remarried twice, but my mom never married again, instead devoting her life to me and my brother. Although my brother, chose to be aloof, and stay outside with his friends, rather than have a relationship with us. This all changed in later years, with my brother seeing the devotion Mom had to both of us, while dad flitted in and out of our lives. Come the 19th of this month, my Martha and I will have been married 30 years. It's been rocky at times, but she has seen me through many crises, included the death of both my parents. I have 2 wonderful children, whom I am very proud of, and a precocious granddaughter.

    I know that Gavin is loved, and if you hadn't said anything, I would have continued to believe that Brandon was his birth father. You are a dear family, and I'm blessed to be your neighbor.

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  4. Hey Jeff, Thank you, as always you are too kind. I am glad you had a mother who was devoted to you and cared for you and your brother. I am certian that is what made the difference in your life. I am happy to be your neighbor too! :)