My son was just over two when I left, and my daughter wasn’t even born yet. I knew at the time that it was the best thing – and I still do. However, the problem with leaving a situation like that when your children are too young to have formed any lasting memories is they get ideas.
I’m very, very careful to keep them as far from the conflict between their father and I as possible. They have very little exposure to any animosity between my ex and myself. And as a consequence, they simply don’t understand why we can’t live together.
I remember having the same feelings after my parents divorce. Any two people can live together if they work hard enough and love each other.
How wrong I was.
The kids see Hubs and I together – and the great relationship that we have. I know (because they’ve said as much) that they wonder why I couldn’t have been just as good a wife to their father.
Neither of them can remember living in one home all the time. They’re constantly shifted back and forth between us. I’m sure they see their friends who live with both their parents and wonder why not us?
They asked me one day in the car. My son said “Dad says you left him.”
It’s a question, but it feels like an accusation. I struggle briefly, trying to get words out.
“Why did you get divorced?”
My daughter jumps to my defense “Grandma says it was both their fault.”
I’m grateful, although slightly surprised – as she’s referring to her father’s mother.
You don’t remember, I think. I don’t want you to. Ever. I don’t want you to know who I was then.
I wish you never had to know – but I know that you’ll figure out who your dad is on your own. You don’t need my help. For now, he’s as good to you as he’s capable of.
How can I explain it without telling you? Without casting a shadow? That I left because I was slowly being suffocated. My spirit was being extinguished. I didn’t know what else to do – but I knew to protect you both, we needed to get out.
I find my words. I still stumble. “Your father and I weren’t very good at being married to each other.”
I don’t know if they accept my explanation – but a new song comes on the radio – “I love this one!” my daughter shouts.
And I’m let off the hook again. Until next time.
The questions are getting harder. I don’t know if I can give you answers that you’ll accept. I don’t think you can possibly understand yet. I hope someday you will understand that it was for the best.
|Image Credit (edited): artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
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