There are NO Winners…

A common theme I have noticed in divorce situations is the desire between the exes to prove who is “the winner” and who is “the loser.” The conclusion I have reached is that if there are two parents who want to prove that they are the winner, then although the winner may be inconclusive… the loser is certain.

The KIDS are the losers.

Why do people have this innate desire to WIN? I know winning brings a feeling of euphoria, but why do these people choose this particular circumstance to try to win when the balance in the lives of their own children is the high price that is at stake?

The truth of the matter is that in divorce there are no winners. As I have written numerous times in the past, we are adults and we can get over ourselves and the situation. However, our ENTIRE focus should be on keeping things as balanced and normal as possible for our kids.

When I hear a child say, “I don’t want both parents there because that’s just weird,” then I immediately know that his or her parents handled the divorce wrong. Of course, this is assuming that there is no abuse present and that both parents are otherwise well-functioning people. The kids whose parents have put their own agendas aside for their kids are the kids who are comfortable loving both mom and dad, even in the same place – school performances, games, birthday parties. It’s the kids whose parents have tried their best to alienate their ex or undermine their ex who just want to avoid any contact between their parents because they know it won’t end well.

I get angry even as I type that because I just can’t understand how anyone who is any kind of a parent at all can purposefully put themselves and their own agenda above the happiness and security of their own children. I think those sad individuals are the ones who were probably never given role models on how to correctly behave in divorce situations. And I’ll take that even further to say they probably had no role model on how to be a respectable adult either.

Listen to your children. If they are not comfortable being near you both or they try to avoid situations where they have to invite you both to events, then YOU HAVE FAILED. You may feel like a winner because you have successfully convinced anyone who will listen how terribly you were wronged and how they too should despise your ex. Sorry, you can hang up your white hat because you don’t deserve it.

With that being said, it’s never too late to right the wrongs of the past.

Seek help. Even if your ex is unwilling, then you and your spouse need to attend co-parenting counseling on how to best help return some normalcy in the lives of your children. Therapists can be a great resource. I’ve gotten calls from two different friends who have recently started going to counseling with their ex and they both bring their spouses. If you can’t imagine doing that, then you need to rethink your priorities. In my opinion, those four couples are WINNERS. They are putting aside their own comfort to ensure the happiness of their children.

I’m excited about the future in our lives as we work hard to right the wrongs. At least I can go to bed at night and know that through it all we have given it our best. I’m hopeful. The kids deserve normalcy since they didn’t ask to go on this roller coaster with us. I want our kids to be the winners… even if it’s our expense.

What are you willing to do to fix your parenting failures??????


4 thoughts on “There are NO Winners…

    • While I agree with your post in theory, you are assuming that both parents in the divorce situation are relatively well-functioning adults. You have not taken into consideration those of us who have dealt with an abusive spouse and have succeeded in rescuing ourselves and our children from abuse. My children want nothing to do with their father and their therapists and I all know that to be in their best interest. I read the line in your post “you have failed” and I know that I have not, despite what you may believe. Fortunately, I am four years out of my previous marriage and have enough perspective on it to not let your harsh statement affect me. I write this post for those individuals who are more freshly out of an abusive relationship and may not have the clarity to recognize that they, in fact, have not failed. If you have rescued yourself from an abusive situation and your children do not want to have you and their other parent in the same room, then it’s almost definitely because they’ve witnessed enough mistreatment and abuse in their short lives and don’t want to see anymore. That does not mean you’ve failed. Instead, it means you’ve shown your child that you do not deserve to be treated the way your ex treats you. Good for you for taking the very difficult steps of changing your life and the lives of your children.

      • ABSOLUTELY, Alicia!!!! Thank you so much for your post… I should always have a disclaimer on my blog that I am referring to people who are just normal people who are not handling things well. Of course, abuse and mental health issues are completely different stories. I hope that you accept my sincerest apology if it felt harsh to you!!! I commend you on doing what you had to do to save your children from that environment. My blog is speaking to normal folks who split up and now don’t want to take responsibility for their actions by MAKING THINGS WORK. The parents who have no order in place to keep them from being near each other, but they still refuse to acknowledge the other parent even when directly spoken to in front of the kids. Thank you for speaking up and drawing my generality to my attention.

  1. No hard feelings. Over the years, I have found that people often generalize about how things “should” be with an ex. In an ideal situation, those generalizations are typically accurate. Unfortunately, some of us are dealing with mentally unstable individuals and can feel a bit sensitive to the seeming judgment that comes from those generalizations. Just felt I needed to say something for those folks who might be feeing judged by your words, but who haven’t yet fully recovered their strength or self-confidence to recognize that in some situations the generalization absolutely do NOT apply.

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