Selfishness in Divorce…

On Monday I noticed the attorney in the office across the hall was making a lot of questionable noises in her throat – hacking sounds to be exact.  On Tuesday I asked her if she was feeling better and she said, “I went to a concert this weekend and I think my throat is just messed up from it.” (uh huh…)

Also on Tuesday I noticed my sweet husband Joe was making the same noises.  He started blowing his nose a lot that night and when I asked him about it he said, “My allergies are flaring up.”  His son came home on Wednesday and was also coughing – “Allergies.” (uh huh…)

All week I have been surrounded by hacking and sniffing and coughing and snoring… by people who claim to not be sick.

I convinced myself yesterday that I was beginning to feel a little iffy, so I made a trip to the CVS next door to my office.  For the record, I should not be allowed to go to the drug store when I am feeling a little under the weather.  Apparently my mind convinces me that my body will feel better if I consume every bit of junk food possible.

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I am hoping that the Emergen-C will do its magic and I won’t end up like this:

ImageWhy is it that people have such a hard time admitting that they are sick?  We work so hard to convince ourselves that what we want to believe is true that we fail to actually see the truth.  This is not just related to sickness.  We do this is multiple areas of our lives.

Parents going through divorce are exceptionally bad at admitting the truth.  So many parents claim to know what is best for their children, but they are merely reflecting what is best for themselves.  Divorce is capable of producing such a detrimental selfishness.  Otherwise normal parents can behave in such an alarming way – allowing their children to get away with murder because they don’t want to ever be the bad guy, talking bad about the other parent but convincing themselves it’s not harmful “because it’s the truth,” saying no to activities that the children want to participate in because it takes away from their time, not letting the kids talk to the other parent.

My personal favorite (and I have heard this one A LOT) is keeping the kids away from the other parent because “things are so contentious between us that it would be harmful for them to be around us together.”  Because it’s impossible for an adult to act like an adult at a birthday party for the children?!?!?! GROW UP!! How hard is it to fake a smile for an hour to show solidarity in support of your children?  It’s about THEM, not YOU.

When you fail to admit that you are indeed sick, then you risk putting everyone around you in danger of getting sick.  And if we fail to recognize the truth in the situation as parents in a divorce, then we are putting our children in danger.  They need both parents.  And they need both parents to be mentally capable of putting their best interests in the forefront.  We need to try to make our children the priority – not our own comfort, not our own ego.  This is a harsh statement, but I firmly believe it is abusive to your children if you fail to put them first.  Sadly, some people are just not capable of that and only see the divorce as a competition between parents.  The children will see right through it and it will backfire.  As they grow up, they will love, respect and admire the parent who puts them first.

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That’s one of the many things about their childhood that our children will never forget.

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