In response to my post, “Newly separated man seeks custody advice,” I received this comment from a guy offering some divorce advice of his own: I think the only…..
In response to my post, “Newly separated man seeks custody advice,” I received this comment from a guy offering some divorce advice of his own:
I think the only part of Jackie’s advice I’d disagree with is letting your ex into your house. Be nice, don’t make negative comments, but don’t let her in to Your house. It’s a space that you need to create and define with your kids and make it a home with their help. Get their help to add personal touches to their rooms. Go on excursions and take pictures. Make collages that you can hang in their rooms. Put pictures on the fridge so every time they go to get a favorite snack they have a happy reminder of the things they’ve done with Dad. Have a sleepover with their friends. Peer support becomes stronger than parental influence as they grow up. Have the custody schedule modified (if it isn’t already), to be four on, three off then four on again. Having them for a greater block of continuous and consistent time should help. That way you and your ex are both staying in touch with the school schedule and alternating having weekend time with them. Stay engaged with them. They will get better over time as long as things are consistent.
“Be nice, don’t make negative comment’s but DON’T LET HER INTO YOUR HOUSE??!!!??” I literally wanted to scream and tell this guy how damaging this kind of advice is.
He then goes on to say, “It’s a space that you need to create and define with your kids and make it a home with their help….” I love that and the entire rest of what he says. But let’s back up and talk about why I am astonished that he would tell someone not to let his ex into his house, especially a person whose children are traumatized by the separation of their parents and having a hard time transitioning!!
First I want to make it clear that I’m not expecting any man (or women) to open his or her home to the ex, have him or her come over every night or have a key. I’m talking about letting children show their mom their new rooms and all their stuff, their pictures and all the other wonderful things mentioned in his comment.
I personally have never seen the inside of my ex-husband and his new wife’s house. I have driven there and dropped off my kids and picked them up at least 200 times and I’ve never been invited inside. Does it bother me? Only for this reason: it bothers my kids. Immensely.
EVERY SINGLE time, I drop them off or pick them up, I can see it in their faces, how weird and uncomfortable they think it is that I have never seen the beds where they sleep, never seen the table where they eat, never seen the closet their clothes hang in, and never seen the pictures they’ve chosen to put on their walls.
When children of divorce see their parents get along (even just civilly) it makes them beyond joyous. It makes them feel loved and secure. When they see their parents give each other dirty looks or act like strangers, it kills them.
So, what I want to say to this guy who seems to have his children’s best interest in mind (with the exception of the deep resentment he harbors for his ex-wife, to the point he won’t even let her in his house) is that being a divorced parent (actually, just being a parent) means being selfless and for lack of better words, sucking it up every now and then.
So, if your child asks, “Dad, can mom come see our new bunk beds?” and you say no, then shame on you.
I’m so tired of hearing single parents (men and women) talk about how much they love their kids and how they are trying to make things good for them, and then putting their own need to “stick it to their” ex ahead of the kids, causing them pain.One example includes a couple who has separate birthday parties for their 8 year old daughter. The same set of friends has to go to each of the parents’ homes for a birthday party because the two have so much hatred they can’t even be in the same room together. It’s quite disgusting.
In closing, I don’t know how to tell people to let go of bitterness. I once had a woman say to me, “I really want to let it go, but I don’t know how.” One step in the right direction is to let the love you have for your children conquer the pettiness and the clinging to the past. I know it’s really hard, and I’m not telling anyone to forgive and forget and be best friends with your ex. Just be civil and kind enough for the benefit of the kids. In any decision you are trying to make, ask yourself one question: What is best for the children? If you base your decisions on this, you will never make a bad decision.
Like this article? check out, “Can’t Get Over My Ex-wife” Says Divorced Man