This article is written for married couples in different stages of their marriage; rocky or otherwise. It’s not for those who are in an abusive marriage, a spouse who’s a serial gambler or cheater, etc.
It’s also for those of you who are thinking of getting married.
Let me begin with the lamest duh-mest statement: Divorce is not pretty.
Of course, it’s not pretty, one would say. Breaking up is painful, and it’s a bloody mess. But after the divorce, it should be a happier future, right?
Well…for some of us who haven’t experience living the mess; months on, years on, I will attempt to share a glimpse of life after divorce.
First up, let me clarify, I ain’t divorced. My husband is. I married a divorcee with the sole custody of his beloved daughter.
Secondly, this is a reflection of my personal experience. If you are living a happily-ever-after unscarred life after divorce, I’m happy for you.
With that said, let’s dive into the most important message of this article:
The consequences of a broken family last a lifetime.
Let me repeat, l-i-f-e-t-i-m-e.
If you don’t read on, just remember the above statement.
Here’re the side-effects of divorce which I’m still dealing with after almost ten years, and on a regular basis.
In no particular order:
- Trying to reduce the pain of the divorce for my step-daughter with more love, but.
- Daughter is tired of going back & forth two houses.
- Daughter is coping with having no say in bio-mum & dad’s plans in moving her around.
- Daughter misses bio-mum and misses dad, but they are not together. Torn.
- Me trying hard not to feel rejected, but.
- Handling the backlash that surfaced from years of the daughter being shuffled back & forth her dad & bio-mum.
- Getting angry at bio-mum for regularly not keeping to her words of sending daughter back on days that she said she would, but.
- Feeling helpless when bio-mum insists on her plans and we can’t confront her because we don’t want daughter to be caught in-between.
- Learning to suppress disappointment when we made plans with daughter but bio-mum decided on a whim not to send her back.
(So you think it won’t be complicated to arrange for your kids to be shuffled over the weekends, or holidays to see the other parent?)
- Me feeling like an idiot when husband talks with daughter and the word ‘mummy’ came up and to the eaves-dropper, that word is obviously not referring to me.
- Daughter during her tender age of seven comes home from seeing her bio-mum and cries her heart out because she misses her. And there’s NOTHING I can do to take that pain away.
- People making statements to me like ‘oh, she’s not your daughter, is it?’
- People making statements to me like ‘why don’t you have one of your OWN? It’s different, you know.’
- People asking ‘does she like you’?
- People ‘advising’ me as a stepmum to leave the raising and disciplining of the child to the father.
- Mother-in-law said a few years back ‘when daughter grows up; she will go back to her mother’.
- I’m scarred. Still not able to rub those statement off my mind.
- Me feeling that because there is no bloody umbilical cord, we may not have that kind of bond as mother & child.
- Whenever I chose to believe otherwise, statement 12-16 came back to haunt me.
- Rinse & repeat.
My ultimate pet peeve is the naivety of parents thinking (hoping?) that their kids will be fine eventually.
Yes, they cope.
No, they are affected and will be for the rest of their lives.
And so will your life.
Note: Item #9 happened today. I was angry. Not at the situation per se, but angry at how the world makes divorce a norm; to end what can be reconciled. So it prompted me to write this article.
I’ve Snapchatted and asked the permission of my daughter if I can share this post because I don’t want to embarrass her. She said yes—it would help other families. And ended her message with I love you, and I miss you. My darling daughter, I will always love you.
18 Oct 2016—I’ve received good response and comments not only on Facebook but Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger as well. Thank you to everyone who took the effort to comment. It encouraged our family. If you think the article will be helpful to someone out there, feel free to share it. Never know who may need it and read it. God bless.