So here’s the thing I have never written an open letter before; for several reasons, I’ve never really had the desire, nor the appropriate audience but there are a few things that I would like to get off of my chest so here we go…
Dear Newley Weds, Significant Others, Casual Daters, Domestic Partners, Exes with children, without children, dreaming of having children someday; this letter is for you (it may not be a letter for today, or tomorrow or ever in your future, hopefully it serves solely as a constant reminder or piece of advice)
When you met you obviously hit it off and you made the adult decision that you wanted to spend the rest of your lives together “for better or for worse”, you shacked up, got married, and maybe had a couple of kids. Life happened and maybe “for better or for worse” didn’t actually mean “’til death do us part,” so you separated/got divorced/moved out of the house/took space, whatever the situation was you again made the adult decision to end the situation that you were in. I am not interested in who to point the finger at, I honestly do not care who cheated emotionally/physically/mentally, who stopped loving who, who decided that men/women weren’t their ‘thing’ anymore. You made the decision; own it. I used to date someone who’s mother always would say to “feel it and f*ck it”. So please by all means feel the anger, the grief, the disbelief, the emptiness, the loneliness and yes even the happiness, and once you have all that completely out of your system I encourage you to “f*ck it!” Move on, date again, do something you’ve always wanted to do but for whatever reason never had the opportunity to do, remarry if you please, move to another Country, go backpacking in Europe, adopt a puppy, change your hair, get fit, climb Mt. Everest; pointblank do you.
Remember when you were in love (or maybe in even lust) and made that adult decision to get married, and maybe a couple years later (or months) you both decided you wanted kids. So you make babies, or adopt, get a surrogate, whatever you did your love was so big that you wanted to create other human beings in your image; you wanted mini versions of your own awesomeness roaming this Earth touching people’s lives, carrying on your namesake, making your proud, making you angry. You loved each other so much that you were willing to give up your body, your freedom, your free time, you traded in your weekends of late nights for every day early mornings, you traded your grown up dinner dates for places that were kid friendly and wouldn’t mind too terribly much if your kid cried and threw food all over the place. You decided that you were fit to be a parent, so let the journey begin.
So let me be honest, I am not a parent, nor have I ever been married, I do not have this burning desire to procreate nor to be married (I have a whole marriage theory but I won’t even get into at this time). I am a selfish person, I care about me a lot, and I care about my career a lot, I like to travel, I like spontaneity, I like sleeping in, staying out late, I like fancy dinner dates, I like R rated movies, I mean yes I like Disney movies as well but you get the picture. I like being my own person and not having to share me with anyone else. Maybe that is just the naive mindset of a twenty-seven year old or maybe this is how I will continue on with my life. I am sure that is slightly disappointing to my family that I don’t desire to have my own minis running around, or to have a big fancy wedding but hey let’s face it this is my life and this is how I am choosing to live it.
So you get that this is MY life right? Well you decided to have kids; no longer your life. Keep that in mind and read on.
You got married, had kids, got divorced and hey guess that what the kids don’t magically disappear when you and your spouse decided you didn’t love each other anymore. You got divorced and you still have kids, and get this your ex husband/wife is STILL going to be in your life FOREVER; scary right? You knew what you were doing, you are an adult and made adult decision so live with the choice that you made!
You don’t love your ex anymore, maybe being in the same room is revolting, or heartbreaking, or maybe it even makes your want to go Incredible Hulk on someone but somewhere underneath all of that emotion there is an adult who at some point was capable of making rational decisions.
Here is the thing that I am failing to understand, so maybe someone can help me out… You got married, had babies, got divorced, you have to spend certain days with your ex in the company of your children; days like birthdays, religious holidays, graduations, weddings, you get the picture. So here’s where I am confused, why when you are in company of your children and your ex must all of your rational, adult decision making skills fly out the window? Why do you make things like graduation about you, instead of about your child? Why can’t you be man or woman enough to be civil? Your ex moved on and is dating and more than likely so are you, so why can’t you move on, why can’t you be a normal human being, why do you act like other parties of your once family don’t exist? I know why; it is because you are a selfish person.
I am a selfish person and you are a selfish but here’s the thing we are different. I would never make my children, my family, my ex family, my friends feel alienated because I was uncomfortable in a situation. I would especially never make my children feel that they had to pick a side, that it isn’t okay to talk to mom or dad because they new boy/girl friend is around. These are just a few things that I would never do, this is because I am not the kind of selfish that you are and for that I am thankful.
Why in the world do you make things about you? Or even about your divorce, why do you talk badly about your ex? Why do you make your children pick a side? You do realize that once you are divorced that it is no longer about you or your ex it is about the children, always will be and that is the only thing that should matter until you die.
Why all of a sudden do you feel like the person that you were once madly in love with is no longer a suitable parent? Weird to me how that works. But you’re the better parent hands down right? You know what makes you the “better” parent, because you let the kids drink soda, watch TV shows that aren’t suitable for their age group, you buy them expensive things, you take them on vacations. You are better because what child or adult even wouldn’t mind being spoiled and breaking the rules a little bit. The better parent is the one who gives their child unconditional love, can you honestly say that you unconditionally love your child? In a divorce type situation I am going to say no.
By being the “better” parent you are only hurting your children, you may think that the things you do are going to crawl under the skin of your ex, that because you act like they don’t exist they will actually cease to exist. You are wrong, and you are selfish and you are the kind of person that does not mind the physiological injuries that you are inflicting on your children.
When you get married, have babies, and get divorced can you be normal? I know you don’t like your ex but can you for the sake of the children that you love be an adult, have manners and do the right thing. Your children are sponges at all ages of their life and they lead by example, are your actions the ones that you want your child to mirror? Would you want your child to treat their future spouse the way that you currently treat your ex? Do you want your children to grow up hating you for the things that you did to them when they were stuck in the middle? Because please keep in mind they are children, you are the adult, you made the decision not them. Why do they have to suffer?
The one other thing that I really need answered is this, do you want to be the reason why your child does not have a relationship with their mother or father? Who are you to decide that you are the only parent that they should have memories with and love for?
Children are not capable of making adult decisions, so stop making them.
Children do not want to be in the middle of a divorce battle, so stop making them.
Children do not want to hear about how much you dislike their mother/father, so stop making them.
Children do not want to have to pick a side, so stop asking them to do so.
Like I said I don’t care what went wrong, or who wronged who, stop making it your life goal to seek revenge or whatever, stop worrying about you and start worrying about the people that should matter to you more than yourself; you kids.
Stop being selfish, take a step back, take a deep breath, and rethink the current “adult” decisions that you are making because when it comes down to it you are no longer the only person that has to deal with the decisions you make. Your life is no longer yours. You need to grow up and get your shit straight. For your kid’s sake.
The current estimated rate of divorce is 40-50% Think long and hard about that before you embark on something that you are not prepared for, think even harder about that before you decide that you want to have children. And even if you get married and things don’t work out you unfortunately cannot divorce your children so be good to them because one day you might end up hating yourself for the things that you put them through when you were not thinking clearly.
I urge any person reading this and realizing that they are that person to make amends, change your ways, life is too short to be so full of hate especially for someone that you used to be so deeply in love with.
I also urge any person reading this that knows a parent that is this person to forward this post to them, sometimes people need a dose of tough love and they cannot see what is right in front of them.