relationship-with-children

My Divorce Gave Me A Real Loving Relationship with my Children

A Real Loving Relationship With My Child

I really loved my wife, but she left me about 4 years ago. I can tell you that it was definitely the worst moment in my life by a long way and I don’t ever think I could possibly come close to feeling the sorts of feelings that I felt for the first 18 months after our separation ever again. Forgive me now as I reel off a number of very clichéd comments, but believe me, I did have no idea there was any problem with our relationship; it did hit me like a 10 tonnes of bricks and it did set me absolutely reeling. I was a complete mess.

Father's Kiss

If I had to name the one emotion that stood out as the most mind numbing, it would be the disorientation. I have always been a bloke that is on the front foot in life. I have always been so sure of what it was that I was going to do and then I went out and did it. I felt like I was the one who was reading the play and always 2 steps in front of the world. I don’t think that I was arrogant; I was just confident in being able to manage my life. And really that was the problem. My wife’s leaving me just knocked every tiny piece of confidence that I had from every corner of my body and that is a very disorientating feeling to be left with. I must add there, that it was not confidence in my abilities, but just the loss of confidence, that I had everything worked out. I found out that I certainly did, did, did NOT.

The Background

Our children were 10 and 13 when she left. My wife is a lawyer and I run my own business. My wife decided that after 15 years of marriage that she wanted to take off with her boss, the owner of the major law firm that she worked for. I knew the boss; we had been to dinner many times in some kind of work/networking of outings. I had liked him I think.

The thing that shocked me initially was how well she had planned it, she and him already had an apartment, they had discussed the children living with them, they seemed to already have a circle of friends, and the children even seemed to slot straight into their new surroundings. One minute we had a nice family home with plans and dreams that we were both working towards, and the next, not only did I find out that my wife didn’t share my dreams anymore, but she had been working towards her new ones and another man’s dreams for the past year at least. Once again I was just so shocked and so disorientated.

The Good News

But I do have to tell you the good news in this story because, if you have been divorced you already know all the bad stuff that happens and why you would never wish the experience on your worst enemy. The good news in this story comes from the story with my children and my relationship with them. I think I have always been a good father, whatever that means. I have provided for them, I have given them a stable home, and they have only seen me drunk once I think (and I was only a little bit tipsy and doing some crazy dancing on my 45th birthday). I think I have always been there for them and I certainly took an interest in their lives. But knowing what I know now I would say that I never really knew my children. It’s funny to say that, and I must say I don’t like to admit that even now, but it is definitely true. My wife was the parent who helped them with their homework; I mean she is the smart one. My wife was the one that they always confided in. My wife was the one that naturally knew exactly where our children were up to at any point in time. I think I thought I did, but really I know now that I didn’t.

Life Is Not All About Me

When my wife left and took the children, ( and I should preface this by saying or admitting that it did take a long while for me to get over it, like I said earlier) it was about 18 months before I became fully functional again and even then it was difficult. But what happened was that I missed my children, I didn’t see them all week and I only got to see them every second weekend and then for some holidays, but what this did was it changed me, and it made me focus on them for every single second that I was with them. I stopped working for the entire time that I was with them, and I gave them my complete attention. This is something that looking back I never did before the separation, and I took my children for granted. Now that I stopped being focused on myself and my work and my dreams; I actually found myself focusing on two of the most wonderful little, well not so little anymore, people I could ever meet on this planet. I really started to get to know them and I began to let them get to know me. We actually started to really like hanging out with each other. They started to be interested in me and I in them. I can tell you it is the most wonderful thing on earth, getting to know your children.

My Message

I could go on and on, but really that is the message (if there really is one in this article) that I want to tell every father out there: maybe you all know your children and aren’t a selfish, self obsessed madman trying to make all your dreams come true and believing that all your dreams are going to make everybody else happy. But if you are that man, believe me getting to know your children is completely wonderful; they are caring and interesting and loving and just so, so special to have in your life in the most real way possible. It will be the best part of your life, way beyond any of the other things that you might be gunning for. Honestly, get to know your children; you will not regret it and along the way, you might even save your marriage.

I recently read an article titled ‘What is Love’ by an Australian Biologist Jeremy Griffith; it deals with love and unconditional love and selflessness being the glue that holds the whole world together, and it has certainly got me thinking about the relationship with my children.