Your divorce need not ruin their lives


I listened to a topic recently where the issue of divorce was trashed extensively. Although the topic was about domestic violence, it was interesting to hear some people-adults themselves now, who said they were victims of their parents’ disharmony or divorce.

Some are already married and have come across instances where their childhood seemed to come back to confront them in their own relationships, while some confessed that life at home was that bad that all they had to look forward to was the fear that the nightmare of their parents’ arguments, physical struggles might be their inheritance.

One victim said that when his own wife wanted to make violence a part of their life, he locked himself up; that was the last day she chose amicable resolution to issues instead of arguments. Another confessed that her father battered their mother to the extent of throwing her into the street naked. Now these are not a good example to show your children.

After listening to the shocking stories, the question asked was: should people still marry?

But we here are asking: should violent people marry? Should you marry them?

They show all the signs at courtship; some beat their intended partner, even when they had not gone far into the relationship. The woman may be the violent partner but, most times, the male is the hostile one. And the woman not knowing that being battered is not part of love may go ahead and marry him because she saw her father beating up her mother.

Another question: should violent people raise children? When a couple fights violently, should they continue to live together with the children watching them? Many wives of domestic violence say they remain in their marriages because they do not want to be separated from their children. Imagine the case of a woman who would rather kill herself than leave her children behind. But when you and your partner fight all the time, it may be best to separate; it is unfortunate but you inflict a wound in the heart of your young ones when you punch each other in their presence.

A known fact is that when misunderstanding becomes common in a home, it gets worse instead of better. When you cannot reach an agreeable settlement and it reaches the point where you inflict injury on their mother, could you claim to have the best interest of your children at heart? When your wife is a punching bag; what lessons are you giving the children? That constant pain is part of the marriage deal? To your daughters, especially, you are saying that this is part of a woman’s life. To your sons, you say; “this is how you must beat your wives.”

Some mothers stay in violent homes because they also expect that a miracle could happen to turn their partners back to the nice man she married although it may never happen and the situation gets worse.

We are, therefore, bound to support those speakers who advised that an abused and battered woman should leave even when custody of the children becomes a contention. We stress that she needs not continue to stay until she experiences the worst part of her children’s father. When she leaves with still some good memory, she would have some good things still to talk about him instead of the painful things he did. It is the same with the man. As one of the victims said, “when my dad calls a family meeting, it is to say what my mother did or what my mother did not do.”

When you have a few good things to say about your spouse, your children would learn that every disagreement could be settled nicely. They are not happy that their home is broken up, but they have bitter memories to mar their future dreams either.

You may think that leaving when they are older was alright but you have placed a big responsibility on their shoulders. You may think that they would take care of you, but you are taking their childhood from them because they are going to see you as their responsibility. On the other hand, if the children did not know how bad the situation at home was and the divorce came as a surprise, because you have been covering up the extent of the rift between you and their father, you have not helped the children either; what you have done was to shake their confidence in their sense of judgment; ‘How could we not have seen this coming?”

A divorce leaves a child with a feeling of being alone; he/she may grow up to think that no relationship works and would not bother to build any. The ones who feel guilty that they are the cause of the trouble at home may try to keep a man by any means possible even if she has to be abused in turn.

If the separation came before the child was old enough to understand, the father may be perceived as a prince because they remember nothing of the bitter fights or words exchanged. What is more, you may have had the chance of making a happier relationship where the past is past. You may not even have any bad thing to talk about because you left before it got worse.

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divorceOzo Mordi
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