Monday, May 17, 2010

Life has been really good lately. Something that I don't talk much about is divorce but today I want to talk about it. No one dreams of getting married and getting a divorce but it happens. 50% of all first marriages end in divorce. I read that 60% of second marriages end in divorce. I will be honest that number scares me. I have already seen my first divorce. My Mom was divorcing her second husband right before he died. Sweet. She made money off that he died before it was final. If I was talking you would hear how it's so wrong. She shouldn't have that money. My sister should, but I won't go into reasons why my sister should get the stepdad's money. My Dad is living in a loveless marriage. He is relying on his children for friendship and companionship instead of his wife. He wants to leave her but has been talking about that for years.
So, I admit that while I am scared about the numbers. However, I am not going anywhere. I am crazy in love with my husband. But I know times haven't always been easy. We have had some really rough times in life. Times where I was trying to get him to leave. I wasn't willing to walk away from my house. I used to think about leaving for a night or two, but we both were so full of anger that I was afraid that he would have gave away all my pets. I can smile about it now. :) I think deep down even without all that anger he wouldn't have but I love my dogs and other critters. I couldn't take the risk. Also, I am glad that I didn't test it. I am glad that when my husband was being told mean things that he refused to leave.

What I want to get at is this people. If your marriage is on the rocks and especially if there is young kids involved, divorce isn't easy. I know saving an marriage isn't easy but if you think you can jump from one relationship and deal with life and your kids easily you are wrong. I know divorce isn't easy at any age, but when you have minor child it can be life changing. I lost my daughter due to a divorce. So, I do know what I am talking about.

Sometimes, when I am full of self pity, I wish my first marriage made it. It's not that I want my ex husband. It's that I want my family intact. I wish my kids didn't have to grow up being the product of divorce. Alex, my oldest is the one who have been affected the most. Stephen was younger and accepted my new husband so much easier. Also, I won't say that my ex husband didn't love Stephen but he treated him different because of his special needs.

So Alex was more attached to his Dad and wanted to be with his Dad. It didn't help that I didn't I jumped right into another marriage. I am not going to go into details but holds head in shame that I didn't stand up more to my first husband. Alex did have a really hard time and after two years, I let him go stay with his Dad. Things here were so rough and the fighting was crazy. We were all crazy and things were out of control. The only one that was behaving himself was Stephen.

We went a few months where I couldn't even bring Alex home. I would visit him at the Ymca or taking him to the park or dinner. After, a while, it got old. It's not that I didn't want to be around him but it seemed all wrong. He is my kid and I couldn't even bring him home.

At that time, Stephen would continue to go to his Dad's every other weekend and I seen Alex once a week. I don't remember the time frame but I think about a year ago, I started bring him back home for a few hours but quickly worked it back into the weekend. As of right now, Alex spends Saturday morning to Monday morning with me. I hope to see him more in the summer.

My relationship with my sons' isn't something that I talk about often but I feel the need to express my thoughts. I am ashamed to admit that when Alex was around that there was so much tension going on that it made me so nervous. I felt like that I couldn't even leave the room in fear that all hell would break loose again. It's taken a lot of time, but I am starting to enjoy my son again.

Children of divorce have a hard time and especially if there is another person in their Mom or Dad's life. On average, the child is only with their other parent for every other weekend. I would like to point out some of the little things that I think helps my son feel more at home or the other way might make him feel not included in our family life. Some of it is so small but I think it's the little things that can or can't make the difference. Just for the record, Alex is almost 16 years old.

  • He likes a different style of music and with my permission programs my car radio so it can play it. My husband over and over would take it off there. Finally, I asked him can you please leave it be.
  • Alex doesn't have his own bedroom at either place and it's mostly Stephens things in the room. So, we gave Alex two shelves in the hallway closet for his things. If he leaves stuff there it's safe. Seems small but I think the meaning behind it is bigger.
  • I try to let Alex pick what we cook, because I only get to cook for him twice a month.
  • I try to encourage Alex to go outside and play. I feel that it's important that he try to think of my home as his home even though he don't live here.
  • I am starting to try to encourage him to have a friend over.
  • I have created the space in the basement to be an hangout.
  • We bought a few plants to plant to grow veggies and I bought Alex cantaloupe and my husband told him to where to plant them. They were out of sight and the dogs walked all over them trying to get the cats. I know it looks like a honest mistake but to a teen who isn't living here, I think it might mean more. So, I am going to get some more plants tomorrow and plant them in a better place.
These are just a few examples of what I have tried to do to make Alex feel more at home and wanted. I am happy to report that a lot of the tension is gone. It still bugs me though when my husband says that I don't like your kid. Besides voicing his thoughts on that he has been better on how he deals with my son.

Living with one child all the time and the other for the weekend thing is hard. You get into a routine of things and that other child gets into his or hers routine at the other parents and it's not always easy bringing the two together. Life is never easy. But the challenge I have been facing is making what I do have work.

I know looking back into my late teens and 20's and standing up to my first husband, life might have been different. but I didn't and we didn't last. In my pity, I do look back and wish it could have been different for my kids. However, I know that I have a good guy who loves me. He has made a lot of improvement in this past year. So guys, Life has been pretty good. I still have my struggles, but I been facing them and I have made some huge gains myself.

Tune in for my next post on how I surprised the kids with the wiii.

1 comment:

Leah said...

I think it's wonderful that you are creating a safe space for Alex when he does come to your house. Divorce must be so difficult, especially on children, and I think recognizing that and taking action to make things is good as possible is wonderful, and something you are obviously doing.