JSTN-Utah County: Winston Churchill said of second marriages that it was the
triumph of hope over reason. In either case, the good Lord wants us to be
happy. Liked your comment!
I agree with others, you need two mature and emotionally stable parents to do
this. My parents started their divorce when I was 10. The divorce lasted for 6
years because it was so nasty thanks to my mom. My parents have been divorce
for almost 20 years now. I’m very glad that they didn’t do things
together. My mom is a narcissistic person and highly abusive. On the
other hand, my step mom would have her ex husband over for family events. It
worked out great. He was a nice guy and it seems natural to have him around. I
also had a friend in school that had her divorced parents doing things together
all the time. It would be great if all divorced parents could be civil, but
it’s a pipe dream for some. It can also be very unhealthy. I am very
grateful my parents didn’t do family events together. It would have been
far worse. Tons of fighting and swearing....and more damaging.
This is a really important article and I agree with it 100%. I have been married
for over 20 years now, and the first ten years or so were very difficult. My
husband has ADD, which can be very hard to live with. I often felt lonely and
disconnected from him. There were long periods of time, even years, where we
sadly didn’t seem to like each other much, but my conscience would not let
me leave, because he was a good Dad, and I didn’t want to screw up my kids
lives. I felt the marriage had been our decision, not theirs, and we owed it to
them to stick it out, at least until they were raised. I’m glad I made
that decision, because as time has passed, I feel as if my husband and I have
learned to understand and appreciate one another much more, and we get along
much better. I understand that there are certain serious situations such as
abuse, addiction, or adultery, which make divorce necessary or appropriate. But
unless it is something like that, I really wish people would think carefully
about putting their own temporary personal happiness before their
children’s long term welfare.
My ex and I divorced 13 years ago after 25 years of marriage. We didn't
have a good marriage but we decided that we might as well have a good divorce,
so we agreed on how to split things, used the state website to get our divorce
(and not lawyers) and not only saved a lot of money but feelings as well. After
we were divorced first more by accident than anything but lately we just accept
it, we started having all our holidays together with our children. We've
both remarried and it's just a bigger family now. I'm happy she found
someone that is more compatible and she feels the same way for me. It's not
worth the drama.
All I can say is, hahahahaha. Not!
How much more guilt can be heaped on an already difficult season? When one
"parent" is so physically and emotionally abusive that a restraining
order has to be obtained...3 years post divorce, articles like this shame the
remaining parent for "not doing enough for their children". Even now
grown children reading this begin to wonder why "mom didn't try hard
enough to include dad". There is a reason for the divorce and sadly no
matter how hard one parent tries the others will have none of it. 10 years after
having NO contact with their father (HIS choice) my children have now been lead
to believe I did not give them enough of their father. Now that he is back in
their life as adults with families of their own....they have chosen him to be
with ONLY. I wish every day that this would have been possible. :'(
My current wife wouldn't dream of me speaking to my ex for any reason, much
less doing so for the kids' sake.
That is highly, highly situationally dependent.
So the ex in this family's case died three years ago, and she included him
for the first two or three years after the divorce which means she wouldn't
have to say goodbye to them on Christmas Day. I'm not following who this
article is saying included in their Christmas now, since the dad died. For ex's who have moved on with their lives and maybe even have a
new family, going to someone else's house for Christmas to see their kids
would be extremely difficult. I could see a conversation like: --"Would you (and your spouse) like to come join me and the kids for
Christmas this year instead of just picking them up?" --"No, but I
(or we) would love for you to come join me and the kids for Christmas instead of
them spending time at your house." --"Let's just stick with
the original plan."
UtahBlueDevil, did you actually read my post or the linked article? How on earth
did you draw that kind of impression?I'm certainly not saying
that divorces shouldn't happen. I'm saying that in most cases where a
divorce should happen, attempts to spend lots of 'amicable' holiday
time together afterwards are likely to be dangerous for divorcees' and
kids' physical or emotional health. The serial cheater would fall under
that category.If amicable shared holiday time is really as wonderful
and healthy as the article makes it sound, one has to wonder whether the
marriage should have been repaired. There are cases where people really needed
to be divorced yet can be this amicable, but I think these are exceptions.I don't know how to make it clearer without repeating myself.
Again, expecting amicable divorces to be the norm can trivialize the seriousness
of divorce and the danger and trauma divorcees have faced that brought them to
that serious decision.
Prodicus - so my mom was married to a serial cheater.... your saying she should
have just sucked it up. May work for you, but many women don't choose to
have their dignity made a joke by those who step out on their marriages and
disrespect the mother of their kids.But thats just me. I am glad
you would put with a spouse that sets an example to their kids that having
affairs is worth looking past. It's just not for everyone.
Not in this lifetime or the next.
Count me with those who find the many articles in recent years about amicable
divorces to be concerning. In many cases, the divorce happened for
reasons which make such 'together time' either unsafe or emotionally
destructive.If neither parent is a danger to the children or to the
other parent, if the two parents can both be mature and amicable and work
together for the best interests of their children, then why not repair the
marriage in the first place? That could benefit children vastly more than can a
few hours on Christmas Day.I'm not judging the couples in the
article; there are circumstances that can justify such arrangements. For
instance, if the divorce had to happen to protect one spouse and the kids, the
primarily-not-at-fault spouse moved on with life and remarried, and then the
primarily-at-fault spouse improved his or her life enough to be a friend rather
than a danger.But expecting amicable divorces to be the norm can
trivialize the seriousness of divorce (it isn't, or shouldn't be,
about "falling out of love") and the pain and dangers many divorcees
have gone through.
In some cases it might work real well. Might depend on the circumstances of the
divorce. If your spouse had cheated on you, mistreated you mentally
and physically, tour your soul apart to the point of irreversible damage, you
wouldn't want to be within eyesight of your x-spouse for any reason. Some people never divorce even though they are miserable, for the sake
of the children. The children can feel the contention, and they too become
miserable. If you obtain counseling and really trying to make things
better, yet one or both of you are unhappy, you are not doing the kids a favor
by staying together. But, as the article states, if it's possible keep
things amicable after divorce for everybody's sake.
My ex and I always put the children first, my kids were confused as to why their
friends parents weren't doing what we were. Sports, parent teacher, plays,
We even have thanksgiving with extended family on both sides occasionally.Your right though, many prefer to hate and hold on to anger, to me it
made no sense to follow that path.
While I was attending college, my parents divorced. It wasn’t pretty.
After the divorce, my parents never spoke to one another again. It was very
uncomfortable for me and I ended up siding with my mother and her new husband. A
couple of decades later, my mother passed away. My stepfather promised her that
when he died, everything would go to me. A couple of years before he passed
away, my stepfather changed his will and gave everything to someone else.
Although we spoke weekly, he never told me he had changed his will. After his
death, I got nothing, including my mother’s belonging. It was very
painful. Fortunately, after my stepfather passed away, my father reached out and
we are trying to rebuild our relationship. Looking back, I wish my mother had
worked things out with my father. Children, even grown children, often pay a
heavy price for their parents’ decisions.
At Long Lost:"What can I give my children now?"You've given them a prefect parent without blemish - what else could they
I feel greatful.No ex to be concerned about.
A lot of readers will not like this comment, but an even better path would be to
not divorce in the first place. I think this article gives good advice for
those already divorced, however, I wish I had read something that encouraged
society to toughen up more in marriage. FYI, I put up with all sorts of bovine
manure in my marriage and family and it ain't rainbows and butterflies. I
realize there are extreme examples out there, but divorce is way too common and
accepted, and is usually based on selfishness.
A fairy tale.
Let me tell you about a woman that I admire a great deal. Couple got divorced -
dad got the kids. Mom got them on weekends. Knowing how important it was for the
kids to have stability and continuity, she intentionally moved into the same
area as dad so that they could go to church with their friends and see the rest
of the extended family on the weekends, even though she wanted to move out of
state. She and the kids sat on the same pew with dad, even after dad remarried.
All of this must have been very difficult, but she did it for the kids'
benefit. I have seen a lot of divorces in which the kids end up getting really
screwed up. But in this situation, the kids turned out really well. They
benefited greatly from the stability that came because their mom was willing to
put up with some awkwardness and pain. I admire her to no end.I know this
won't work in some situations, but her example was to put the
children's welfare above her own preferences.
Good article. I know of a family that shares the kids on most activities.
Whenever one adult picks us his/her children for a visit, all the kids from both
families come along. Kudos to those who can do this! And yes, it does take two
mature adults to do this.
Gee, I feel so left out - I don't have an ex since I've been married
to the same woman for over 55 years. What can I give my children now?
My Ex-Girlfriend? Probably not :)
Great. Now someone write an advice article on dealing with divorced parents who
behave like children, bicker when they're in the same room together, expect
me to ensure that they're getting exactly equal time with the
grandchildren, and complain when they think it's unbalanced.
While my parent's divorce was far from amicable, they both shared a firm
belief that I shouldn't be punished for their poor choices. Most parent
teacher conferences had both parents (and often step-parents). Holidays were a
whirlwind of organization and coordination but they did it because family is
family. One year, after my dad divorced from his 2nd wife he even
came to my ma's side's Christmas. He didn't have anyone to spend
Christmas with. It was an excellent example to me on what family means and how
to teach my kids by example.
What this article so correctly proposes requires that the parties be mature. If
people were mature, the number of divorces would drop to minimal levels. Despite
the incorrect saying, it doesn't take two to get divorced, it only takes
one. And if the one, that did everything they could to hold the family together,
forgives, and then continues to put the children first, a much better situation,
like this article suggests, can happen.
My younger sister got divorced a while ago. She and he ex actually set a great
example of how to do a divorce. She has since remarried - happily. Neither
side excludes the other side from "family" events as they both realized
that no matter their feelings, the other side and their extended family were
their kids family. It doesn't mean they still don't
occasionally disagree.... but they set a great example of putting the kids
This is a wonderful idea, but it can only work if both parties have the maturity
to put their differences behind them -- and, alas, that's rarely the case.
I was divorced from my wife more than twenty years ago, but she's never
moved on from that and wouldn't dream of inviting me to spend Christmas
with my children. "So it goes," as the late novelist Kurt Vonnegut so
eloquently said. I do, however, wish everyone who comments on the DN's
site a very merry Christmas!
Perhaps it would help the kids too if their divorced and remarried parents dated
on a regular basis.