Fuck Them! Surviving Divorce.
I have an acquaintance who regularly reads this column, let’s call him Jim, who told me that last week’s column was really boring. We joked about it but it got me thinking about what I really want to say, scream, eat and fuck. So this week I’ve got the gloves off and I’m ready to take a swing.
This week’s column is for all the divorced, exhausted, weary to the bone singles out there.
I realise that I am always talking about improving your relationship when in reality many of us don’t have a significant other. The relationship we do have is with ourselves. If you are divorced and have children, I would stake your ex’s penis on it, that you are severely ignoring this primary relationship.
I am going to ask you to set aside everything you believe about your ex, whether they are certified or not. I want you to trust that he loves his children. Maybe not like you want him to or as much as you do, but he loves them and will not intentionally harm them.
I know it’s hard to believe when he is just such an arse hole. I have no doubt that he believes you are using the maintenance he pays you (regardless of how much or little it is) for luxuries for yourself. I am also sure that if he is paying the medical aid he believes that you are taking the children to the doctor to spite him and you never submit the bill so he can get reimbursed.
You are the spiteful, evil, money grabbing bitch and instead of laughing it off you are spending every moment of your being trying to prove him wrong. You are trying against all odds to prove that you above all love your children more than he does and that you will show everyone that you are supermom!
I recently asked a friend, who is going through a particularly torrid time with her teenage daughter, if she could do one thing to make her situation better, what would that be? Her answer was ‘Put her on a plane and send her to her Father and let him deal with it for a while!’ So why won’t she?
‘Because they will kill me!’ Now we know THEY are not going to do that. At worst he will send the daughter back (which in itself will be a lesson) and the rest of the family will think that she is a failure of a mother. Both of which I can live with. And for the judgemental THEY, I have two words for them.
Think about how different your life would be is you hadn’t fought so hard for custody. Imagine you can take your darlings for milkshakes every Wednesday after school and you have them every second weekend during which time you take them to movies, play Play Station, leave their shoes under the bed and then return them at an inappropriate time on Sunday afternoon. How different would your life be? You would certainly be less exhausted.
But no, we have to prove that we alone understand our children and care for them. We will never allow them to be with the psychopath you once loved and manufactured these children with. Why not rather remember the version of him you originally fell in love with and let him love his children.
I know he is never going to be the father you want him to be. The sooner you accept that you cannot change it, that his relationship and journey with his children is just that, his, the better for your own sanity. They will find a place for their relationship. If you think your siblings, children, family and ex will think you are a bad mother, here’s a newsflash, they already do!
Once you accept that you are a bad mother it is no longer a weapon that can be used against you. My response when I was accused of being a bad mother was, I know, that is why I have a therapy fund for my children and not an education fund. Argument over!
I want you to take stock of the relationship you have with yourself. When last did you do something just for yourself? No children, no ex husband, just you.
Start small, have a massage, mix yourself a martini, sit on the floor (move the Lego) and listen to loud music. Then do something even bigger, send the children to your ex for an entire month and go on holiday by yourself. Have a staycation if you don’t have the resources. Just be unavailable to children and the ex.
You will miss them very much. You will not know what to do with yourself and you will realise just how much of yourself you are giving away and not just the nurturing. Figure out what chores the children can do when they get back or even if you want them back.
Explore your own body, your mind and maybe even start to exercise. Take care of you.
If you really want your ex to understand what you have to deal with on a daily basis make all the required appointments during the period they are with your ex. Doctor, dentist, ballet lesson or teacher conference. Last minute projects, homework, lost rugby boot and daily grocery shopping and meal preparation. Birthday parties and gifts, haircuts, the morning get out of bed fight, the school run, sports game, where’s my? Bullying, broken heart, bones and cell phone bill. Disciple, comb your hair, brush your teeth and sulking. Let them have it all.
And if you are worrying about what THEY are going to say – Fuck them!