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Letter to my children

September 10, 2012

I write this less than 36 hours before I will meet your dad in emergency divorce court, in a day that will change all of our lives forever.

No matter what happens in court, I want you to know that I have done my best for both of you. It will be a hard adjustment to not have both of your parents in the same house but it will be for the better, eventually.

I know that statistics show that children with divorce parents do worse, but there is an exception, and that is for children from high conflict marriages – those children do better after a divorce. Sadly, that is you.

It wasn’t always like this. Your dad and I once got along and loved each other very much. But that isn’t the case anymore. I wish that you could live with the man that your dad was 3-4 years ago. He was fun and interesting, generous and kind. I don’t know what changed and if it is temporary or permanent. But I hope, for your sake, that “he” returns someday. That was the dad I wanted you to have.

I debated long and hard if I should just put up with your dad in order to give you a “stable” home. For me, the deciding factor was the hidden messages that our family life was teaching you:
– women do laundry, clean and pickup. Men do not. They make messes and leave them of others to cleanup.
– moms make you do chores, eat at the table, and clean up. Dads are more relaxed and do not.
– women organize, plan, prep and pack. Men just show up for the fun.
– men go out and have guy time. Women stay home with the kids at night and weekends.

These are not good messages for either of you to have in the 21 century. These lessons (in addition to the financial lessons you could learn when you were older…) were a huge part of my decision. I know that in a single parent household you will internalize better messages than those!

I didn’t choose to go to the courts to decide your future (custody, visitation, etc) but the think that it will be for the best. This way there will be clarity much sooner. And if the system works, the best possible decision for both of you.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 1, 2012 11:33 pm

    You will want to consider your own compassion. You may want to look at how forgiving you are of others. You can offer that same compassion and forgiveness to yourself. It takes strength and courage to refuse to accept the negative messages our culture often holds for women and their choices.

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