Friday, May 14, 2010

divorce, kids & wicked stepmoms...

*WARNING!! this post is rather biased... just so you know, but i would love you insight, thoughts, experience, so please leave your comment (i mean everyone is always free to comment, but especially this time) in a polite & grown-up manner :) and well it's my blog and i can write about whatever i'm feeling, so enjoy!!!

it utterly infuriates me when a couple divorces, they have children and then one or both ex's make parenting decisions geared at punishing the other parent! their hatred for their ex is greater than their love for their kids... yep! i said it! a parent's choices are supposed to be centered around what is in the best interest of their children, and when their decisions are skewed by dislike for others, including but not limited to ex-spouses & their new spouse, then hatred has gained more power than love...

i hate divorce

did you know that the CDC reported in 2009 that there were 2,162,000 marriages.... that's about 7.1 per 1000 of the population.... there were 3.5 divorces per 1000

hello?!?!! that's at minimum 50% divorce rate.... what's missing here?! i have a thought but in a moment...

and i am not condemning anyone who is separated, divorced or remarried, but if you have experienced divorce you would most likely testify to the fact that is sucks...and that is the most appropriate word to describe it

i am not divorced, and so thankful for and blessed with My Amazing Man, however i am from what most refer to as a "broken home." quite frankly, i don't like that term... whomever coined that phrase obviously didn't live in my home when it was supposed to "un-broken" because if there was ever a Biblically justified case for divorce it was my parents.

so as a woman who has lived my parents divorce, remarriage and all the un-fun that comes afterwards, i have expertise in this field... it is undesirable expertise but has & will continue to be used for good and comfort and insight

so back to my original statement: parents who hate their ex-spouse MORE than they love their children

you might totally disagree, and you are welcome to that but here's an example:

a loving mom and loving dad, but they no longer love each other. ok... so they divorce and because dad is rather insecure with himself & not being able to make another relationship prosper he doesn't put up an argument with ex-wife when she wants full custody and dad gets every other weekend, one day each week and alternating holidays. mom soon remarries. dad begins dating as well.

new girlfriend isn't introduced to kids for quite some time, until dad & girlfriend are totally sure that this is relationship is long-term. when girlfriend is introduced in the kids lives it is slow-moving over time but kids respond well. mom isn't happy.

let me break-in here and say that i understand, as a mom, i wouldn't want another woman to come in and try to "play" mom to my babes. there would be jealousy and insecurities, worry and control issues. but should these emotions dictate visitation & parenting decisions? did you know that:

40% of mothers reported that they had interfered with the fathers visitation to punish their ex-spouse. ["Frequency of Visitation" by Sanford Braver, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry]

50% of mothers see no value in the fathers continued contact with his children. ["Surviving the Breakup" by Joan Berlin Kelly]

i have visited handfuls of forums & chat rooms this week dominated by moms (not many dad) debating issues of custody and visitation, some for legitimate reasons to withhold (drug use, abuse, etc) but many others for superficial reasons of anger & revenge. all you have to do is google divorce & remarriage stats or parent custody issues to see the pain of divorce and it's affects on kiddos. from my personal experience, that of my friends and what i've seen in some of these forums, too often custodial parents are punishing their ex because it makes them feel powerful and it comes at the expense of what is best for the back to my example

mom isn't happy with a new woman around her kids. dad marrys girlfriend. girlfriend is nice and kind, doesn't try to 'mother' kids but does have general household rules & does activities and general family stuff with kids. mom keeping imposing more rules and makes it harder for dad to get kids based upon her dislike of dad's growing involvement & inquiries for kids. no matter how dad trys to be involved, mom just creates new interpretations of custody rules. mom hates stepmom....

i am aware that this example goes both ways, it could just as easily be a jealous father imposing crazy restrictions upon a mama that remarried a wonderful guy. it isn't right either way. the hatred & jealousy overrules what is best for the kids. it is so insanely wrong to cut out a loving & involved parent... sorry but there are only ex-spouses in a divorce, no ex-parents!

and while this scenario plays out multiple ways it is typically starring the "wicked stepmother" who is cast by my the mom. i will admit to the fact that i don't feel sorry for some stepmoms (and yes i will be honest & admit i didn't and don't feel sorry for my father's wife), but many stepmoms out there simply want to fit in & be apart of the family, and well they are the recipent of resentment from an ex-wife who will never accept her right to love the children.

this whole "wicked stepmom" character makes it difficult to integrate the nicest stepmom into a family.... and when played up by an insecure, controlling and irrational mom who has decided her new family is all the kids need and who needs dad & his wife?! well i'll say it once more: that parent has chosen her selfish desires over what is best for her children.... and it disgusts me, it makes me physically ill. *and let me say again that i would just as disgusted (personally more so) when a father choses his desires & comfort over the needs of his kids... i mean come on! be a real man!

to see a dad slowly and methodically cut out of his kid's lives breaks my heart. i truly believe that we are seeing the affects today of a generation of women who thought dads were meaningless and kids were raised without a strong male in the home. with violent crimes increasing, gang activity, child abuse sickingly high, more kids born out of wedlock, kids with eating disorders, teenage drug abuse... i could go on.

noted sociologist, Dr.David Popenoe wrote this: "fathers are far more than just 'second adults' in the home. involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children that no other adult is likely to bring."

i hate divorce

i hate it when parents use their kids as a source of revenge... grow-up!

my thoughts on the out-of-control divorce stats... well that is a post coming up this weekend

yes, i'm biased... but i've lived it.... your thoughts?


  1. Click, click, click.

    (great post)

    <3 Love you!

  2. I hope you don't mind my dropping in as a total stranger, but I suspect you don't because you posted this on a public forum:)
    I completely agree. I hate divorce. I think there are extremely few cases that actually warrant a divorce and certainly not anywhere near 1 million+ each year. I see my brother in law going through exactly what you described with his kids because of his ex-wife. He fought hard for custody, but as a male in this state he didn't have a chance. It's heartbreaking to watch. Divorce sucks and I wish more people realized that.

  3. I am living your post. I am the step-mom. My step-son's mother does everything in her power to make us unhappy. We try to ignore it and just let it go. She and I have no contact (have not since I entered the picture due to her reaction to a previous relationship my husband had). We try are hardest to do the best for my step-son when we can and realize that when he is with her we cannot control things. We all (step-son, husband and myself) wish things were different, but know that unless she decides to change that this is what we have to deal with. My step-son is 10 now so he sees more and more what is going on. I just hope that in time he will see that his father and me always try to do what is best for him. I truely feel it is sad that things have to be this way, but realize that I can not change her.

  4. realdealmom, i will definitely be praying for your step-son & your family...what ever happened to acting like adults, huh?

    and lindsay the muse-r(i love that!!), i'm so glad you stopped by... i pray that your brother in law is seen for the good dad he is and is given every chance to be the involved dad he wants to be...

    and miss anonymous... love ya back :)

  5. I do hate divorce. It is truely unfair to the children because it confuses them:( But in some cases where abuse is, I do feel it just. I do believe that both parents should be involved in alls aspects of their child's life, finiancially,emotionally and to fulfill all the childs desires and needs, most of all with this the non-custodial parent must be consistant because these children need the stability in their lives and this lets the childern know that they are loved and put before the parents our desires and needs. Step moms/dads that promote a good relationship and not a danger people should accept becuase they will help you child do great things with more positive atmosphere.