The Big "D" and... Kids
Nothing can prepare someone for delivering the news to their kids that you are divorcing their mother, nor is there anything that can prepare a child that this type of news is coming. Sure, signs will most likely be everywhere, but if that is all they have ever known and they believe in prayer and that God can solve any problem in life, then divorce blindsides them. Getting the courage up to tell people about the divorce, especially my kids, was the hardest thing I have ever been through in my life. I too believe that God can solve any problem and was even myself a minister, which made my decision even that much harder. However, I was losing my walk with God, was not being a good husband, and most importantly to me in my decision, I was not being the kind of dad that I could be or should be to the most precious three soles on the face of this earth. It is true that you take things out on those you love even if it is not their fault, and that was sure the case for them.
One of the reasons the decisions were so difficult is that I did not think I would ever have to take my kids through this. As a dad, a Christian dad of all things, my job was to protect them from the big bad world and create a good image for them with a "normal" home living with their mother and father. I have heard several say that instead of doing this, I threw them to the wolves.
However, those people either very rarely, or never physically, witnessed the truth. I argue that my kids were living with the wolves, the very people who were supposed to be protecting them. We were not teaching them to grow and to love, but instead to be bitter. It ultimately came down to the realization that I could show them love and be a better father without the constant fighting and bickering that was going on within the home. Yes, I also made mistakes, but ultimately it was my decision too.
How are they now? From my perspective, they seem to be doing fine and have adjusted, but how do I know for sure that they are not just telling each parent what they want to hear? I can only hope and pray this is not the case. We share our laughs and good times, but at the same time, I am still their parent, right there drawing the line between right and wrong and being the enforcer. I am not here to be their best friend, but to love them, show them respect, teach them how to be responsible, and most importantly, to be their provider, shielding them from the wolves in the world.
At the same time, I am not blind to the fact that this past 20 months has been hard on them. Saying it has simply been hard is an understatement. This has been a huge change for all of us. I want them to know that I tried my best to ensure they have been shielded from the hurt as much as humanly possible, but there have been times that my emotions have gotten the best of me. I know I have not always made the best decisions during this time, been a little hard on them at other times, but I am happy to say that we have not only survived, but I honestly feel I am a better father now than I ever was before. I have learned so much about each of them this year, the most important being more about their character and their strength. I have also learned how to cook and do laundry too, a big perk.
I have told them over and over, and hope they realize that it is OK to share their emotions with me, ask questions, etc. I love my kids more than they could imagine, and am sorry that this happened, but I promise them that they are my number one priority in life no matter what happens and no matter what others think of me, and that I love them each of them with all of my heart and soul. I have already told them that although their mother and I will both be respectively moving on with our lives, that I will always be here for them, no matter whose day it is, because a dad is always there for his children.
I am very proud of them in how they have grown during this year. I have always known they were each intelligent, funny, and strong kids, and they have proven to me this year that this is truer than ever. Even so, they are human and they are still kids on the inside. I also realize that they may still be confused and need to know that none of this is their fault. Nothing that has transpired was their fault, but solely their parents. I am sorry for that. However, what is done is done and the only direction to go is forward, and in a positive manner.
I hope they grow to understand that the brother/brother and brother/sister bond is one that can never be broken. Of course what I see now is mostly fighting and disagreeing, but that is also normal brother/brother and brother/sister actions. I also see the sweet moments - the laughing, the smiling, the caring, and the love for one another. The three of them have the power to become a powerful force in this world. I hope they learn to always be nice to each other, love each other, respect each other, help each other, learn to work together, learn to play together, and always be there for each other, no matter what. And I do not just mean now as kids, but always in life. Learn to lean on each other. They need to trust me on this.
My kids witnessed a lot of bad stuff between their mother and I and have been the outlet for much of the venting and anger. I hope somehow they can learn from the mistakes that were made and capitalize on the fact that they are loved, have God in their lives and know what not to do in a relationship. They are my number 1 priority and my greatest creation. I hope and pray I will always be able to guide them to make the right decisions in life.
Divorce has been hard, as it has affected more than just the two people that divorced, but also their children, their extended families, their friends, and others. I would not wish it on anyone, but if it does happen, remember your priorities – those precious little ones.