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That's All She Wrote

Parenting & Family > Divorce > The Right Divorce

The Right Divorce

My parents divorced when I was in the 4th grade. Done with minimal animosity between my Mom & Dad, it didn't seem like a life altering event at the time.

Looking back now, what I know for sure is, is that if there is a way to go through and live after a divorce that causes as little lifetime trauma to a child, my folks nailed it.

Though Mom & Dad lived in two different homes, they loved and raised me & my sister Pam together. My parents allowed, and most importantly encouraged, me and my sister to love and respect the other parent. Never in all my cataloged memories, can I recall either one of my parents utter a disparaging word in regards to the other parent. I didn't realize it at the time, but now know that their post-divorce behavior had a huge impact on my well being & self worth. Parents aren't supposed to make their children choose between them... and mine NEVER did.

Unlike some of the unfortunate children who rarely saw their Father's after a divorce broke their home, I was one of the lucky ones. My Daddy stayed close to me throughout his life. He saw us on Sundays when were very young, for weekends as we got older and eventually we'd stay weeks at a time with him during summer vacation. People will often use the words "never" & "ever" to exaggerate a point, but when I say that my Father NEVER EVER missed a single visitation with us, I am in no way exaggerating. And THAT says something about his responsibility, love and devotion for his girls.

My Dad's been gone for almost 25 years now, but to this day, I can still reminisce with my Mom about him. She will speak of him in a kind and loving way that's so gracious and wonderful. I adore her for that.

Even though my Mom and Dad couldn't get along with one another, they never robbed me and my sister the gift of loving BOTH of them.

posted on Nov 17, 2010 3:04 AM ()


Nice "tribute" to both your parents. My four children had to watch their parents divorce. They were between the ages of 5 and 15. I TRIED to watch my tongue, but I was bitter about her running off and leaving me alone with them. I should ask them now (27-37) how they feel. My ex and I get along just fine now, by the way.
comment by solitaire on Nov 23, 2010 5:26 AM ()
As Dr. Phil says, 'never say anything bad about your ex spouse to your children, because they are part of him/her, and in effect you are saying something bad about them.' Wonderful advice, and you are the proof of it, although I'm sure that the vast majority of divorced parents don't have the strength of character to restrain as your parents did from disparaging their ex partner to anyone who will listen, including the children, to make themselves feel better for a few seconds.
comment by troutbend on Nov 19, 2010 3:45 PM ()
Being divorced from my childrens Father, I took what I learned from my parents and applied it to my own circumstances. My kids are aware that their Father isn't perfect, but didn't hear it from me. And I am very close to all three of my children for it.
reply by shesaidwhat on Nov 22, 2010 4:16 PM ()
Wow! What exceptional parents you had. Other divorced partners could certainly learn a valuable lesson from your Mother and Father.
comment by gapeach on Nov 17, 2010 6:22 PM ()
It seems too difficult for most to set aside their hurt & rejection and do what's best for the children.
reply by shesaidwhat on Nov 22, 2010 4:14 PM ()
That is PHENOMENAL. I wish it was the norm...
comment by kristilyn3 on Nov 17, 2010 1:16 PM ()
It really is the rarity unfortunately.
reply by shesaidwhat on Nov 22, 2010 4:13 PM ()
Bravo to your parents!
How fortunate you and your sister are!
comment by marta on Nov 17, 2010 12:12 PM ()
Feeling blessed
reply by shesaidwhat on Nov 22, 2010 4:12 PM ()
to both the post and your parents!

My ex and I have done the same thing with our son. I never had a bad thing to say about his dad when we were together and it carried on into our apart.
comment by kjstone on Nov 17, 2010 10:55 AM ()
Good for you. Your son will benefit greatly
reply by shesaidwhat on Nov 22, 2010 4:10 PM ()
I love reading this post Terri. I can honestly say (and I believe my kids will someday too) that A and I are truly co-parenting and pretty much always on the same page with the kids. Although it is such a hurtful life change, and I know it's certainly been life altering for all of us...this makes me feel hopeful...that I'm not failing them after all
comment by firststarisee on Nov 17, 2010 10:13 AM ()
Stay the course Gwen. It's rocky sometimes, but you all will get there together and it will be ok after all.
reply by shesaidwhat on Nov 22, 2010 4:11 PM ()
wonderful story there about mom and dad.You are very fortunate.
comment by fredo on Nov 17, 2010 9:43 AM ()
Yes, thank you Fredo
reply by shesaidwhat on Nov 22, 2010 4:10 PM ()
Well, Terri, I think you nailed it.

Your Dad divorced your Mom, not his children.

That is not the case in many situations which might be why things don't go as beautifully as they should.My hat off to both of your parents.
comment by juliansmom on Nov 17, 2010 6:58 AM ()
The older I get the more I value the way I was brought up.
reply by shesaidwhat on Nov 22, 2010 4:09 PM ()
What an inspiring tale. You were blessed with loving parents and they gave you the greatest gift of all, each other.
comment by tealstar on Nov 17, 2010 5:17 AM ()
Yes, and being divorced myself, I realize just how mature one has to be to keep their mouth zipped
reply by shesaidwhat on Nov 22, 2010 4:08 PM ()

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