DEAR ABBY: A writer signed "From the Tall Corn State" asked, "Are there any other children who want to thank their parents for splitting up?"
Count me in. When my father moved out of the house, it was the biggest favor he could have done our family. He should have done it a lot sooner. I was a teenager when Dad moved out. He and Mom never got along. After he and Mom divorced, believe it or not, they became good friends. They both met other people and eventually married. Their only regret was waiting so long to end a marriage that was all wrong from the beginning.So tell "From the Tall Corn State" she is not alone - there are many children who are glad their parents had the courage to split. Sign this . . . FOUR KIDS FROM THE LONE STAR STATE
DEAR KIDS: I received a surprising number of letters from grown (and some not yet grown) children voicing the same sentiments. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: My parents finally divorced after 22 years of "staying together for the sake of the kids."
They were just kids themselves when they eloped, and when they finally grew up, they grew in different directions. I don't believe people should be condemned to a lifetime of unhappiness because of one mistake made when they were too young to know any better. By that time, they wasted a lot of good years. As I look back, I realize that their staying together while we were growing up was no favor to us. We were affected more by their unhappiness together than we were by their divorce.
I wish parents would be more honest with their children instead of trying to pretend that everything is OK when in reality it's a mess. I can still remember my sister and I pulling the covers over our heads at night to drown out the yelling and cursing of those late-night family fights.
I'll bet you get a lot of mail on this subject. - ALSO FROM THE TALL CORN STATE
DEAR ABBY: Speaking of staying together for the sake of the kids, I think our parents probably hold the record. They split up at least a dozen times in my recollection. They were actually divorced twice during their first 15 years of marriage, but got married again. My mother said she'd rather live with the devil she knew than the devil she didn't know. Theirs was a very poor example of what a marriage should be.
They had all kinds of excuses for getting back together after they split. There were four daughters and two sons in our family, and my mother kept reconciling because she thought every father owed it to his daughter to walk her down the aisle. After each wedding, there was a big fight and Father moved out of the house for a while.
Deep down, we kids always had the feeling our folks tried to stay together for our sakes, which laid a terrible guilt trip on us. If I could give young couples one piece of advice, I would tell them not to have any children until they were absolutely certain they could get along with each other. Staying together for the sake of the kids is a big mistake. A lot of couples should split for the sake of the kids. And STAY split.
If you print this, please don't say where it came from. - ONE OF THE KIDS
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