What about the kids: Your Relationship Success/Failure Affects Them Too. Part I of II   4 comments

I’ve been talking a lot about things that go on in relationships but the one thing that no one wants to really talk about is the impact that it has on children if you are so lucky to be blessed with them.  During my 16 year self-induced coma, we were blessed to have two children.  I brought my oldest into the marriage and we adopted her from my mother (long story). 

In the beginning my oldest one had no issues with my DEH but it changed and I couldn’t figure out why.  It wasn’t until I had a conversation with her recently that I found out exactly what happened.  No it wasn’t anything like that, it was she didn’t like him as a person because she realized, as a lot of kids eventually do, that people aren’t always who they are cracked up to be.  By the time it came around for me to divorce my DEH she was so “done” with him she could have spit nails.  Needless to say, she was happy about the breakup, but what about the other two?

They were a little different.  As much as I tried to get them to talk to me about how they were feeling, the less they said.  Every so often things would slip out with the middle one who seemed indifferent to the whole thing.  My youngest one, on the other hand, was not happy about it.  For him, I could see in his eyes that his entire world was crashing down around his ears and he had no clue what to do about it.  I tried reassuring them all that it had nothing to do with them, because at the time I had no clue what was going on either.  I just knew it had nothing to do with them, because it never does.

Going over this in my head, I began to wonder if anyone else thought about how the kids would feel in this type of situation when tempers are flared and people are running on pure emotion.  All too often children are used as pawns in fights and vicious battles between parents, while my DEH attempted and probably still does attempt, to use our children against me, I refuse to allow him to do so by not saying anything.  He makes them feel uncomfortable asking him for anything so they always ask me; he has them convinced that he doesn’t have any money and that I am somehow “hoarding” and hiding money all the time when I clearly don’t have any.  He, at one point, had them convinced that the child support money is their money to do with as they please. 

I admit that in the beginning I used to fight and argue against him, but it got to the point that I explained what child support was for and they saw what I did with it.  I told them flat out, ‘you live with me and you see what I do with the money that is sent to me.  So in the future, do not tell me the stupid things he says to you about me, you see with your own eyes, hear with your own ears and you be the judge of what is really going on’.  From that point on, I argued no more.

But what about the parents who constantly do this to their children and use them to try and make them hate the other parent?  Does the parent ever stop to think that the whole thing could blow up in their face and the child, instead of hating the other parent, actually ends up resenting the one causing all the strife?  I’ve actually seen it happen and I’m watching it happen in front of my very own eyes.  He has already lost one child and from what I’m hearing, he has lost another.  Soon enough he will lose the third but I’m sure that will be my fault when I haven’t said a word.

For those parents out there so hell bent on revenge and are so filled with anger and resentment, don’t use your kids as pawns in the middle of your adult life.  They don’t belong there and it only confuses them until they are able to see what is going on.  Some pick up on it quickly while others it may take a while before reality sets in. 

I am the product of a divorced parents, but not one time did my mother “bad mouth” my dad in front of us (or that I know of at all) and he didn’t do that to her either.  Thanks mom and dad for thinking about us and not airing your “dirty laundry” to us or using us as pawns. 

If you don’t think you are using your kids as pawns, I offer you this:  If you are keeping them from seeing their parent because (1) s/he isn’t current with her/his child support; (2) you are mad at him/her for any reason; (3) you are saying mean and nasty things about the other parent in front of, within earshot of or directly to the children; (4) if you are telling the children that the child support you pay is their  money (instead of to be used to provide for them even if it’s paying rent/lights/food, etc.) causing strife in the other parent’s home; or (5) anything that isn’t a child’s business and that should remain between the two “adults” in the relationship.  All of these things and more are signs that you are using your kids as pawns against the other parent.

Think about who it’s going to hurt in the end.  It certainly won’t be the other parent and it may not even be you that’s hurt in the end, but it will always hurt the kids.  While you are “hell bent” on “making the other parent pay”, your kids are eventually going to resent you.  It doesn’t matter whether your were the best parent and the other was the worst parent, kids will find a way to idolize the absent one until they see for themselves what the other one is really like and it won’t matter whether they meet their expectations or they don’t.  It’s not worth your child hating you in the long run so stop and think about the bigger picture.

What I want to talk about in my next blog is how Mom/Dad’s revolving door of “uncles and aunts” affect your kids and why you shouldn’t do that either.

 

Double E

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Posted January 30, 2012 by doublee42 in Relationships

4 responses to “What about the kids: Your Relationship Success/Failure Affects Them Too. Part I of II

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  1. Liz, this is one of my greatest concern, I am not married but i have a child and I am in a relationship. Children are so perceptive and what they don’t see or hear they feel. I believe that adults should put the feeling of the child/children before their own feelings, because by right the child/children did not make a choice to be in the relationship, the adults did, so using the child as a weapon or a negotiations tool is not right.

    a point of note both parents will use the child has a tool, there are males out there who indicate that no other man (meaning someone that the female is involved with) will be a part of their child’s life. so this significantly affect the woman’s life going forward because basically he is telling her that there will be trouble if she enters a new relationship. Like you Lliz I believe both parties should be adult and handle the situation properly.

    • Yes that is why I stopped saying anything and instructed my children to stop telling me anything he said about me. They see, they hear and as much as he wants them to not get it, they do.

  2. it takes an intelligent mind to perceive the effects of ones actions on those around you. unfortunately, one of the things that gets in the way of that is the “me first” attitude of today. the self centered delusion of self importance in the world. basically the different levels of narcissism most of society has today. what gets me as they take affront to such comments when the behavior is so clear to others.
    using ones child to try to hurt another is low and should be recognized by the court systems (it isnt) and their parental rights should be removed on the basis that they are not acting in the childs best interest. they should be forced into parental classes and only allowed to see the child under court supervised supervision for a minimum of 2 years before any alone time with the child. all for the childs best mental well being.

    • Most courts do recognize it, you just have to have the proof of what you tell them like I did. This is how I gained custody of my son. I didn’t need him to tell me what his dad was doing, his gf was all too happy to do it. Children often can’t testify against a parent for fear of losing the love off ther parent who they expose. This is what makes it difficult to expose the bs for what it is.

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