Well, I just read an article the other day that directed me to another article. They were both written by agents and told the story of two different listing appointments. They both involved the emotional feelings agents deal with when they are thrust into the middle of a divorce. We are often asked to step onto that battlefield when property has to be sold as directed by the court or property has to be sold because one party can not maintain the cost of what used to be the family home.
Both posts or blogs or articles or whatever the proper term for them is made me stop and think. This is not about real estate but there are times when each of us has to come face to face with it.
If everyone that has been divorced voted for the same candidate, they would win any national election. If everyone that has been divorced dropped dead tonight…….there might not be enough adults left alive to bury the dead. We not only divorce quickly, we have mastered serial marriage and divorce. It is not just Hollywood. It happens in every city in every state across the country.
Thank you for reading this far. I have not written anything earth shattering and it may be obvious that I am winging it as I get my thoughts together.
Let me go right to the point.
Divorce is a holocaust on our children. Adults grow tired of one another and go to war with each other and divorce one another. Innocent children are not the spoils of war. They are destroyed by the war.
I will save you a little time. I don’t have an answer. I will also share that I have been divorced. I had a wonderful little family of four….mom, dad, son and daughter.
For a long time, I was convinced I was the dope that finally left for good. Time has a way of healing your own self doubt and at some point I realized there were two dopes involved. We both failed to understand the importance of responsibilities to our children. We both were too self centered to focus on anything other than what we perceived as the way things should be. You could not tell it from our behavior, but we were the “adults”.
Now why would I go dragging out dirty linen when those that read my blogs are convinced I am a somewhat amusing and occasionally brilliant scribe? It makes little difference if most find this boring. If just one person stops and considers their course of action and decides to do whatever it takes, I will have succeeded. (Note : If you are married without children, read this as a cautionary tale)
Life at home may seem absolutely unbearable. That new friend may seem like the best thing that has ever happened to you. You may be convinced that you had completely lost your faculties when you entered the marriage. I am sure there are hundreds of things you can think or tell yourself that will justify walking away. Everybody has heard the questionable admonitions…”the children will be better off”, “kid’s know parents are unhappy”, “you will be a better parent if you are happy too” and the grand daddy of them all…”divorce is no big deal in today’s society”.
Don’t do it.
I will share that I was convinced that I could just leave and everything would be fine. I would provide all the money needed for the children’s welfare. I would visit during the week and on weekends. Nothing would change, I would still be their dad.
I was wrong. Everything changed……………and, I was still their dad.
The secure home that they knew was shattered in the blink of an eye. The thought that they hated it when my wife and I argued, so they would be better off if we divorced, was just another one of those lies we tell ourselves. It wasn’t better. Life would never be the same.
One night, a week or so after I left, I went back to “visit”. As I was leaving, my son was lying in what used to be my bed crying. I went and sat on the side of the bed and told him ” hey buddy, don’t cry. Everything will be o.k.” He looked at me with tear filled eyes and stammered “that’s easy for you to say, your father didn’t leave you when you were 10 years old.”
That was over 30 years ago and I remember it as if it were 30 minutes ago. It still cuts like a knife.
I was right that things would work out. Both the kids had a horrible teen years experience. There were more bumpy roads than they deserved. The divorce created a maze that was beyond adulescent skills to master. I am grateful to share that both of them are doing wonderfully now. I take no credit for their ability to climb over the fences I put around them.
I have seen other children that have suffered as well. I have seen friends drop the same balls I dropped.
There is nothing in my life that will ever balance out the pain I caused. I thought I was a good dad and I did not understand that a good dad needs to be a good husband.
Now before anyone responds with all the horror stories, I understand. If abuse is involved, you have to get away. The problems you have with your spouse are probably just the tip of your emotional ice berg. I just think when it is only a matter of selfish indulgence….you have to put the kids first.
Thanks for reading and try to understand, I wish I had the answer, the holocost continues.