Was it the right decision to get divorced? OK, let’s move back a few years. I was divorced in 2013. OK, let’s move back a few more years. When I was in college, there were three things that I knew I absolutely was never going to do. One was get married, 2 was having a child, 3 was have life insurance. Well, fell in love, check one off the list. Then, we had a child, checked two off the list. Then I was divorced, and the lawyers insisted we get life insurance; check three off the list. Those three things were not the question. The question was, ‘did I do the right thing to get divorced?’ I have often heard people staying together, “for their children.“ I would like to think that I got divorced for that same reason.
As far as my ex-wife and I were involved, neither one of us were unfaithful. We both love our daughter and want the best for her. We had different views on how to achieve that as well as exactly what that (what’s best for her) was/is. But the faithfulness of what our desires were aligned. Even to the day that we were divorced I can speak for myself and suggest that I was not happy about the process, prospect, or the end ramifications of what was happening; getting divorced. Similar to my views when I was in college I had no interest in getting divorced.
So how was getting divorced what was in the best interest of our daughter. Although neither of us spoke ill of each other or even raise her voice in front of our daughter the relationship turned into navigating a landscape of landmines marked the terrain of sorrow. We would often argue at night, after our daughter went to bed, discussions of our future finances and each step of our parents involvement in our lives caused tension. When we were finally divorced our daughter was six years old. At that time our daughter was young enough not to be able to acknowledge or identify how we, her parents, felt toward each other. For me, I felt our marriage had turned into a series of bad dates. As a parent I view my actions as role model for my child’s life. I did not want our daughter to grow up thinking that what we were modeling for her was normal or something that she should be striving for. I did not want her to grow up thinking that the way that her mother and I interacted toward each other was something that she should strive toward.
I cannot speak for any other couple or any other parent; each person, and each couple needs to do what they feel is best for them in their situation. However, I feel that working toward a successful navigation of being a parent, for me, means that I will do everything I can to show my daughter the best of what life has to offer. Regrettably, that meant getting a divorce. There will always be a place in my life and my heart for my ex-wife as she is the mother of my child and at a point in my life I loved her dearly. I will always respect her and do what I can to work well with her for the benefit of our daughter. That said, I have moved on.
I dated several women after my divorce nothing that turned into anything serious; well almost nothing. I was in a relationship with a woman for about three years, in fact she was the only woman who I had been in a relationship with who I introduced to my daughter. Not getting into details about that relationship, because that’s not what I want to illustrate at the moment, but she and her 2 daughters all treated my daughter poorly (think Cinderella and the step-mother/sisters) so it ended.
I need is to show my daughter how to be strong, independent and smart. I need to show her how to love others but also how to care for yourself. I need to show her how to not be restrained and restricted by a reliance of any one person. I need to share with her ways to respect herself first and foremost and not limit her opportunities by living for the wishes and desires of others. Currently, I am engaged to a woman who, I feel, aligns well with those needs I have to provide for my daughter. I see my future, 7 years after my ex-wife and I separated, in a healthy relationship that shows my daughter a way (yes, that’s right, I want to be clear that there are many ways that are all correct) that a couple can be loving toward each other.