After ten years of marriage, Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow have announced they are to bring their marriage to an end. They have stated that over the past year they have been working hard to live some of it together and some of it apart. They have now worked out that they are not to be together as a couple but they will remain as a family. They go on to say that they still love each other and in some respects are closer than ever.
What do you think of this statement? I personally think if they do manage to get along and still spend time as a family with their children then this is admirable. Many people may argue that if this arrangement was for the sake of their children then maybe they should have stayed together for the sake of them. I disagree with this stance. Children know when their parents are happy. Children benefit much more from two happy parents than spending time in one miserable and unhappy home.
I hope this arrangement works out for them. I would have given anything for things to have been amicable between my ex (father to my children) and I. It was never a possibility for me as my ex did not even wish to communicate with me for the sake of my children, never mind spend time as a family.
Good luck to them, I say! And for those that say ‘what a shame’ and ‘no one seems to last long these days’ I would respond with this: Ten years of marriage is admirable, it is a long time in anyone’s life, around one eighth or so. To commit to a person for this amount of time is in itself an achievement. Not much lasts forever, it is not the way of life, everything changes and evolves. People also change, we are not immune to this. If one changes and becomes so different to the other, it is unusual for them to break away and find a place they feel they fit, with another or others they feel at home with and where they belong. Life is too short to be unhappy. To be happy is not a selfish act. To remain in a unhealthy relationship or situation is a tragedy and a waste of the life you have been given.
I am struggling at the minute to write much for the ‘Diary of a Divorcee’. I know this is unusual, but for some reason I no longer see myself as a divorcee. I know I was once married, but now so much time has passed since we were together that I feel it never really happened. It is as if it was someone else who lived that part of my life. I have changed and grown so much in the last two and a half years that although the person I was then is still in there, it is only a small part of me. That small part is not significant enough to really have an impact on me any more.
The fact I have struggled to write for the diary is strange in one way because at the minute I have a real battle on my hands regarding contact with my children and their father. This is not something I ever anticipated I would be involved in (but then again I never anticipated divorce either did i?!) Not much of a psychic am I……god damn it, I really need to dig out that crystal ball!
So, anyway, due to some safeguarding issues for the time being I have had to make the massive decision to put a little bit of space between my children and their father. This is not a decision I have made lightly, and it is not one that I could make over night either. But when you are put in a position where you are actually questioning the safety of your children it is not something you can take a chance on really. I’ve had numerous meetings with solicitors and other professionals to ensure I am making the right decision. It truly has been one of the most difficult decisions ever.
Do not get me wrong…..I do not like the guy (my ex) one bit. For the past four to five years he has made my life a misery, or at least tried to. For the past two years I have learned to accept that this is the way he is and developed certain coping mechanisms. These are by no way ‘bullet proof’ but they get me through most situations. However, I would love some super hero on my side at the minute. If only there was such a character that could come and magically neutralize your feelings and emotions when it comes to dealing with your ex partners, especially where children are concerned. This aside, no matter how much I dislike him because of how he treats me and indeed communicates with me (in front of the kids), I have always tried to be reasonable. I have always realized that is is the children who would suffer otherwise (mainly because I saw it first hand with my parents so I have that hindsight). I have also seen the looks on their little faces when they are repeating to me what their father has said to them about me, and they are truly sad by the fact their parents do not get along. It hurts them.
This time though he has crossed a line which I simply cannot ignore. Things have come to light which when I have actually been able to consider their true meaning and seek professional advice I have been advised to stop contact. This has not gone down too well at all. Which is no surprise, if this happened to me I would simply die without my children. I was literally in tears writing a letter to him advising contact has to be stopped. As I said I do not like the guy, and I do not agree with what he has done either, but if I could not see my children then someone may as well rip out my heart, screw it up and feed it to a pack of dogs. Following that they may as well shoot me or take out my brain as I would surely go insane. As cliche as it is to say it, my children are my life (and I make no apologies for saying that). My ex will never know how difficult this decision has been for me as I know he thinks I am doing it for my own hidden agenda. Even when I have written a letter explaining the reasons for my decision and the fact that it is for no reason other that I do not believe our children are safe in his care. The sad thing is he does not have the capability to understand what he has done wrong. He does not understand the hurt and upset he has caused nor the impact this could have on our children long term. He blames me. Apparently I am the cause of all of this situation and he has gone so far as to say that he hopes I will explain to our children when this is all over why I have caused this upset to them, and indeed their father.
If he wants me to explain that he has put their safety in danger, that he has spoken about our children in a way that is unforgiveable, and decided to choose his bravado over his children’s wellbeing that sure, I can do this. But not until they are old enough to understand, and due to the nature of the incidents I am not sure when this will be, but it will not be any time soon.
Luckily, I have a strong network of family and friends behind me. This keeps me sane and strong. Without these people in my life I would surely struggle as an ordeal such as this tests even the strongest of characters. My advice to anyone who is going through something similar is, no matter how difficult things appear, keep going. Write down at the outset the reason why you are doing what you are doing. Because believe me if your ex is anything like mine, they will try and manipulate you and break you down, trying to destroy all your beliefs and reasoning. You have to be strong for your children. If you do not fight for them then who will? Your number one job when you have children is to be their protector. You always hope it will never come to it that you will have to protect them from their father (you ve probably never even considered it!), a person who once was supposed to protect you all. Sometimes, life happens and you just have to deal with it. One day it will all be over, and your children will thank you for what you have done. Never question your motivations as mother if you are truly putting your children’s welfare and well being at the center of your decision making. You can only do what you feel is right. Similarly though, this goes for men who have this the other way around. I know a man who is in exactly the same position with me and his ex-wife.
As a parent whether you are mum or dad, you have a duty to ensure your children are safe…..from everyone, including if the situation arises, the other parent.
May be I have struggled to write for this diary because I have needed time to accept the situation. (And it is a lot differnt to the posts about me and the stream of bad dates or nor so great propositions). It has taken a lot of digesting, strength, courage and adjustment. I know this is going to be a long-haul type of situation and not something which can be resolved over night. However, I am happy for this situation to be decided by a professional and not just be pushed into a decision by my over powering ex-husband. If the Court looks at all the information available to them and decides he should have contact, supervised or otherwise at least that decision is out of my hands and I have done my best to protect them. Cop out? May be…..but at least I won’t question whether or not I have fulfilled my chief role as parent: Protector