Monday, December 20, 2010

Divorced Families

Are any of y'all apart of divorced families? I know I can't be the only one...

My parents got divorced when I was just a baby. I know they did what they felt was right, and I'm not one to judge them for that. I believe they have always had my best interest at heart, and although times were rough without my mom and dad by my side at the same time I don't blame them.

There divorce has also brought a few special people into my life as well, without there divorce I wouldn't have a sweet (well hard-headed-bratty) brother, whom bratty or not-I love dearly! I also wouldn't have gotten a sweet step mother who is like one of my best friends...and my mom has a really nice boyfriend who cares so deeply for her. So although at times I often wish I could have my mom and dad back together just to see what a happy normal family looks like I stop and realize without there divorce I wouldn't have been blessed with some amazing people in my life...

Now with that all said...

Being apart of a divorced family stinks at times!!!

In fact, it absolutely kills me at times, I want to curl in a little ball and go into hiding.

I'm 26 years old, my parents have been divorced a good 25 years. I know there were harsh feelings between them in the beginning, but you would think after 25 flippin' years they could learn to get along for ME! I don't care if they continue to hate each other, that's there own issues...I just want a couple days out of a year with my whole family together, is that really too much to ask?!

My in-laws are coming in town for Christmas this year...they haven't spent Christmas in TX since Zach and I were married and they moved away. I would love nothing more to have his family AND mine together for one holiday, chances are with them living a few states away this won't happen often...so I honestly didn't think for my split family being together with his family for a couple hours was too much to ask....I guess it was.

I heard excuses after excuses....but the one that really broke my heart was 'well you know -so and so- will be there, and that wouldn't work out'...so and so in case your wondering is one of my parents...(although I can post whatever I feel needed on my blog, b/c its more like a diary to me, I do want to leave out exactly which parent was making a big deal over all of this...just for fairness, and because I don't want to point fingers...I just need advice and to vent about the situation!!)

You know my wedding was the last time I had my whole family together...and I can't tell you the last Christmas or holiday period I've had my mom and dad together. I know to some it may not be a big deal but to me it is, I truly envy children who can go home for the holidays and walk in to a big hug from there mom and dad!! My mom and dad don't even have to talk to each other, they could ignore each other the whole time BUT both be in my house with my inlaws on Christmas and I think I would be the happiest girl for that whole hour or two hours they were there...

Maybe it's selfish of me to ask them to put there pride away for just a couple hours to humor me and to make my day good...but that's how I feel!! Maybe I shouldn't worry about it so much, but I can't help it!

There is no secret my mom won't outlive my dad...in fact her Dr's have asked her to make sure her affairs are in order due to her health looking so bad...before it becomes my moms turn to fly away to heaven (which I can't even bare the thought of that) I would love nothing more than my family together at least one time! At least ONE time!

Am I bad for thinking this way? Am I selfish for thinking after 25 years no matter how much hate you have for each other you could put it aside for your child? For years I have dealt with being stuck in the middle, for years I was torn between my mom and my dad...don't you think there comes a time where they could half way come together for ME!?

I love my family dearly, divorced or not and like I mentioned above due to there divorce I have been blessed with some amazing people in my lives...however being apart of a divorced family is hard and it hurts so bad at times. I think sometimes the parents don't realize how hard it is on their children...even after 25 years...

Sorry to vent...but I would love to hear to hear from any divorced families out there...how do y'all deal with it? Will it ever end?

22 comments:

{N} Jones said...

I appreciate this post so much! Glad to know that I am not the only one at there like this. My situation is quite similar to yours - my parents divorced when I was 3. They didn't get along when I was growing up at all - mainly due to money (the root of all evil). Today I have a step-dad that I absolutely adore and so glad I have in my life. My mom and him have been together since I was 5. My Dad has had a wife that I didn't like in the past and a girlfriend now that can be rather bold. But for the most part I get along with her as well. Having divorced parents is one of the hardest things to deal with - making sure to spend enough time with each parents, being fair overall, etc. However, with my own experience the fighting that did exist has came to an end. Both sets of my parents can actually come stay overnight at my husband and I's house. They can go have supper and drinks together when I or my brother are not even involved. It's a HUGE weight off my shoulder. So this comment isn't just to tell you that you are not alone and no, you are not being selfish in anyway for wanting your parents to be together with you for the holidays but it is to share my story with you and give you some kind of peace that one day they will be able to get past the history and be there for special events that involve you. Good luck hun!

Rosie said...

OK, first of all, do not apologize for venting on your blog. You know first hand that this blog is a way to reach out to others in the same situation as you. And you will find you are not alone in this matter. I don't know about divorced family, but it is the exact same with my family and my hubby's family. They just CAN NOT get along. And you know what I've learned over the years of forcing them into the same room? It actually isn't worth it. The tension was so high. Everyone was pissed and glaring at each other. I was awkwardly trying to entertain everyone together and my smile was obviously forced on my face the whole time. And you know what I have to say? Let it ruin THEIR holiday, not YOURS! You will have the hugs as you walk in the door. You will have fun and family. And if it isn't everybody in your fmaily at once, you will still have that. I'm sorry you're feeling this way sweetie. And to that person who is being that way, they will have to live with the guilt of being a child during the holidays. NOT YOU!
Love you sweet friend, and I know you will have a Merry Christmas. With or without a certain someone being there. Please don't let them bring you down!

sunnyside up said...

I agree, do not apologize for your feelings.
My mom and dad had me when they were in high school and divorced quickly after being married less than a year. My life is totally different and not the picture I thought it would have been.
And I like you love them both to pieces, but I have chosen not to play the childish games with either of them. My dad has been there for me, distant, but has been there. As for my mom, her and I have almost no relationship and she has turned the majority of my family on her side against me. There were times I wish they could have put their feelings towards one another and remember that they have a daughter and make things work, that has yet to ever happen. At my wedding neither were there..due to their own stubborness. Sad, hey? Heart broken, YES! Empty and lonely - at times! Wishing I could crawl under a rock - yup! But you know what at the end of the day I have my husbands family and they are mmore then a girl could ever ask for. O also have to remember that I had the most amazing Nan, my mom's mom, and Grandma, my great-grandma. I was blessed to have them there for me and teach me the things a girls needs at a young age. Yes, my mom was a good mom but then a time came and we couldn't get along, no matter what. And although my Nan and Grandma are gone. I know my Nan is my Angel and my grandma as well and that gives me comfort more than anything.
So I TOTALLY understand all your feelings and emotions. They are natural and normal. Never feel bad for wanting two adults to be adults for ONE day!!

Sorry if I rambled a bit, but I just wanted you to know that there are other divorced/broken families out there and you aren't the only one.

hugs!
Mrs. Sunnyside Up

roadtoreproduction.blogspot.com

Chell said...

It is so frustrating around the holidays. My husbands parents are divorced/ re-married, I am divorced/re-married and both my brothers are divorced. Thanksgiving is a wonderful sweet mess. We do Thanksgiving at our place for both families. Everyone attends. Ex-spouses, new spouses, children from other marriages... ONE day a year, we put everything aside and eat, visit and have fun! To me, there comes a time when everyone has to step up to the plate and be nice. One day won't kill anyone.

Broken families are challanging yes. I agree with you. It would be great for everyone to get together for one day :)

Lauren said...

Oh, Tiffany..for your sake, I pray you get what your heart is desiring!!!!

Stephanie said...

I can definitely appreciate your frustrations. My husband's parents are divorced and it is something I still don't understand. The anger and bitterness from one side. Luckily, that side is able to produce a smile and come to family functions at times when need be. Just wanted to let you know you aren't alone in feeling crazed by immature parents!

Summer {Bisfor...} said...

One of the hardest things to deal with in life. This will be the first year that we won't have to visit both mom and dad separately, since Daddy is now in Heaven. At times, I think about it and think what a relief. MY mom can go to my Dad's house now and not have to leave before he arrives. But then I think, that is not a relief at all. I wish he was still here and both were still fighting over my attention during Christmas.

I am not sure it will let up. I am so sorry. But at some point, they need to come together again for you and your husband and those future babies of yours.

Jennifer said...

I completely get how you're feeling. My parents divorced when I was 18 and it's been nothing but drama ever since. They're both remarried and that has caused even more drama. My dad and I aren't as close as we once were because of everything. I feel really envious as well of people with parents that are still together. It just makes everything so complicated! I wish I could tell you how to make it work, but I'm still trying to figure that out as well.

twondra said...

I 100% agree with the others and I agree that you aren't overreacting at all.

And I just wanted to mention from the "other" side of things with Mark being divorced and the boys. There have been a couple occasions where all the family has gotten together and, although it completely s-u-c-k-s for Mark and me, I realize it's important to the boys to have the "whole" family together so we do it for the boys.....then are so relieved when we can go home. :)

But as a "parent", we realize it's the boys' feelings that are most important. Therefore we can handle a few hours of being around the ex.

I wish your parents could see it that way.

Thinking of you!!

Kim said...

Tiffany,

This post has touched me like no other. I am from a divorced family. My Mother and Father divorced when I was about 6. It remains one of the worst memories I have. My Father has remarried 3 times. I have had 2 Step-Mothers whom I became super close to only to see leave my life. Well, I still keep in touch with them but its not the same. My Mother moved from New York State, where I have lived all my life to Arizona about 4 years ago. I MISS HER SO MUCH. My father is now on his 2nd girlfriend of the year, and is only 9 months into his 3rd seperation which will finalize as a divorce in March. Now the kicker.... he has only been with this "new" girlfriend since October and is choosing to spend Christmas Day with her family and not go to My sisters as we usually do. My Heart is broken. Completly Broke. I am not sure I will forgive him for this selfishness. I do not for the life of me understand why he doesnt want to respect my feelings. It makes me so sad. I agree with you 110% our parents do not realize how much this still affects us even though we are grown and have been married. Divorce is not a fun thing to be a part of, but, I try to take it as a life lesson and to make me a stronger person and make my marriage stronger.

I am so sorry if I am rambeling, but your post just touched me and I think if we knew each other in real life we would have so much in common on this topic and would be a great support system. I have been following your blog for a little while now, and you are such a strong woman you are in inspiration. If you ever want to email me please do, kshoddy619 (at) yahoo (dot)com

May you have a Wonderful Christmas!!!

Hugs,
Kim

K C Anderson said...

Wow! Tiffany, thank you SO MUCH for posting this! My parents have recently (as in last month) officially decided to get divorced. Something that we didn't even know what a possibility until this past summer.

I've been so torn about it, especially because I'm closer to my parents than my sister, I've found myself in the middle more often than I'd like to have.

I'm so... annoyed by this divorce and all of their DRAMA that I don't have it in me to face Christmas this year OR to write anything in my blogs.

And worst of all I don't have the time (being that I work in retail and my parents live a few hours away) to go to two separate Christmas' so I'm not spending the holiday with ANY of my family! Just my hubby and I alone in our apartment... :(

Sorry I don't have any advice, but know that in a new way I can relate to you again!

Colleen said...

I needed this so badly right now! Thank you for sharing! I completely and totally relate!

Eleanor said...

What a great group of comments above! My parents divorced when I was a year old, and that was over 60 years ago, when divorce was kept secret, and often fathers disappeared so the children would be adopted by their stepfather. My father stayed in my life and my parents kept their dislike of each other to themselves, for which my brother, David, and I are eternally grateful. I have had stepparents and stepparent figures who were wonderful, impossible, and odd, but I learned from every one of them. Having more than two parental figures who loved us never seemed tragic to either David or I. I have now worked as a therapist for over 40 years, and my own experiences are now being validated by research. StepFamilies do not harm children; in fact many stepchildren grow up to be exceptionally creative, flexible people who often implement needed changes in the culture. What hurts children are toxic and enraged parents…..toxic marriages, toxic divorces, toxic co-parenting. Anger, hatred, and disrespectful behavior by parents (divorced or not) harms everyone. Love heals and helps people grow into all they can be. I recently wrote a book called StepWisdom which I hope would emphasize the gifts that step-families can bring to society and emphasize the positive outcomes that occur when honor love and respect guide co-parents in forming new stepfamilies. Yes, they are complicated and complex, but so are most things worth doing well. History is full of amazing stepfamilies and step-children: George Washington, Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, Ronal Reagan, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth I, Moses, King Arthur, almost all of the Greek Gods are stepchildren. We have been around since humanity began, and the present myth that such are new and that the structure harms children is bogus.
In this Christmas Season, perhaps we can celebrate the image of Jesus as a stepchild too. If you believe in the virgin birth, then God so loved his only son he gave him a stepfather named Joseph. If you don’t then Jesus certainly saw God as a non-biological father figure.
For any adult to love and raise a child is an amazing adventure in human growth and love, and to help raise a child not your own and spiritual commitment that I find awesome. Eleanor Alden, LCSW, BCD, Stepwisdom.com

Elisabeth said...

My parents aren't divorced but growing up it felt like they were. Our church had a major split in 1993. For a while my parents weren't on the same page then then an issue came up in 1999 and they've been attending different churches ever since.

When my sister graduated and had a graduation party my dad didn't come downstairs for the entire party.

When I got married in 2006, he said he wouldn't walk me down the aisle if I invited people from mom's church. My mom's pastor was our pastor from 1982-1990 so we are close and it was such a horrible decision to have to make.

Things are better now, My dad wasn't totally at fault our former pastor's daughter caused the great rift..... but he didn't help things either.

My husband and I attend a different church than my parents do. it still hurts though I wish I could have my whole family for once agree on something.

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Stacey said...

Totally understand your feelings about this! I was seven years old when my parents divorced. Just about every major event in my life has been pretty complicated because of it. I can't help but remember all the drama at my graduations and even on my wedding day because everyone had to be together. It always frustrates me, too, that holidays are never easy, but I guess I've learned to deal with it. Unfortunately I didn't have great stepparents, which complicated things even further.
I'm sorry that you and so many others face this in their families, especially during the Christmas season! I can certainly relate. ((HUGS))

Ashley said...

My parents are not divorced but my in-laws are. At times I wish we could get my husbands parents together every once in a while for THEIR kids sake but have not yet done that! Especially now that there are grandkids I think it is even more important. This is a really hard situation and everyone has such different personalities that it can be frustrating. So vent away girl!!! I don't have much advice but I hope maybe something will work out.

Ashley said...

PS- I love your new design look!!!

Nana's News said...

I'm also part of the club. Our parents "stayed" together for "us" until we we were all grown.
If your parent's won't do this for you, I believe they will all swallow their pride and do it when your little miracle gets here. I would seriously do anything to be with my grandchildren on their Birthday, Christmas, and every other day of the year.
Just tell them this is the way it's going to be this year and if you want to spend Christmas with me you need to come to my house and BEHAVE! There is something very liberating about speaking your peace.
Good Luck and I hope that you get your wish for a Big Family Christmas.

frannie said...

i loved your post! my parents are also divorced. they broke up and separated when i was really little. however the weird thing is that they get along really well. its still weird because its hard that they tell me everything each one of them did wrong in the relationship. christmas and holidays are tough even though they are friends, its always awkward and its always nice to hear about other people and there problems it makes me feel not so alone :)

Mr. and Mrs. Raymond said...

I come from a divorced family as well. My parents ended their marriage just a few weeks after I was born, and you know, even though 24 years have passed they still hate eachother and try to put my brother and I in the middle of them. It's hard and frustrating, but something that helps me is knowing that I can give my future children something more, something better than that. I want my kids to always come home for Christmas and have a Mom and Dad who love eachother dearly- I talk with my hubby about that all the time. I think that is another reason why infertility was so hard for me- because growing up I always told myself that I would do better with my children than my parents did with me. It really kept me "sane" when I was a kid to believe in my future children.
Hang in there- and vent all you need to! Alot of us are in the same bucket of water!

heartincharge said...

I understand the post and all the comments but I'd like to offer a different perspective. My parents separated when I was 10 months old. As a child, I wished they were together and hated the uncomfortable feelings at school events when mom and dad would both attend. My dad remarried when I was 11. As an adult, I stopped thinking of my parents main role in life as being my parents and started thinking of them as people whose feelings and comfort mattered just as much as mine. That being said, I truly expected and appreciated everyone's attendance at my college and law school graduations and at my wedding - the days that were about me. On days that are not about me, their comfort is just as important as mine, as I am no longer a child. I do not want to ask my mom to swallow her pride on Christmas. She should be completely relaxed and comfortable and happy on this day more than any other day. She gives to other people all the time. I do not expect my stepmother to suck anything up on Thanksgiving. She should be able to completely be herself and be with whoever she wants to be with on one of her few days off from work. I don't expect my dad to put aside his feelings on NYE to make me happy. It's his NYE too. And it doesn't make me happy to have them do what I want at their own expense. Even if they are not fighting - even if they are tolerating each other - who wants to spend their holiday that way You just want to let it all hang loose and enjoy.
I hope and expect them to be civil to each other at birthday parties for their grandchildren - because those days will be about my children (under 18) and not about the adults. But I don't believe that 32 year old children (my age)own the holidays and that my parents owe me anything but to love me on these days. I am okay if they love me over the phone or the week after Christmas if I spend Christmas somewhere else.


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