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Collateral damage

Divorce is a nasty business. Despite the hassles, it has been said that over half of all marriages end in divorce. Right now, I know three people who are going through it. I know three others who are still dealing with the aftermath of it. I can see so much pain in everyone. It actually hurts me because these are people I love. I feel helpless because I cannot pull them out of the misery of their predicament. The absolute worst part of it all is watching one parent deny another parent access to the children. In all of my friends' cases, it's the mother who is denying the father. The dads are not monsters. They haven't been beating their wives or sexually abusing the children. They are the victims of love’s cruel nature. Just like the stars in the universe, love eventually dies out and when it does, it can sometimes go supernova.

I feel a special anger towards parents who use their children as weapons against their newly hated spouse. No matter how much the hate may be justified, if the spouse was not causing harm to the children, then they should be allowed to be part of the children’s lives, even if the ex-spouses hate each other. It doesn't do kids' psyche any good to poison them against their mom or dad. Children need both parents. I know because I grew up without a father. He left some time before I was born. I didn't miss the person who fathered me, but I most certainly missed having a father figure in my life.

If we think about it logically, it's much better to have a partner sharing the load of raising a child, even if that partner is hated. Doing it alone is very difficult. If the spouse who is not living with the children wants to be an active part of the children's lives, let them. If they want to help with the psychological issues associated with growing up, soccer games, dance recitals, and homework, it makes no sense to deny them. If it were me, I would welcome the time off and physical assistance.

I suppose, when it comes to emotions and matters of the heart, logic does not apply. One parent sees how much the other is hurting because they cannot be. with their own children and they use it as a weapon to drive the pain in further. There's a certain blindness there. It is a selfish lust for revenge that causes devastating collateral damage. The children who survive often crawl from the aftermath damaged. That's why if anyone out there is reading this and denying their children access to their father or mother, think carefully about how your decision is affecting your children.


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