Every person who goes through a divorce knows how traumatizing it can be. I’m not only referring to the adults involved in the situation, but also to the kids. If there are any, children can be a problem because they’ll inevitably feel hurt and left out, especially when one of the parents ends up moving out of the house or apartment.
Almost the same happened to my ex-wife and me. When it was pretty much clear for us that we had to go our separate ways, we were confronted with the idea of being together only for our two boys. Unfortunately, our disagreements and the fact that we were eager to start our lives separately all over again has prevented us from doing just this. We tried talking things over, but nothing seemed to work out.
In the end, I had to move out and get my own place. While we do share the custody, I only meet the boys every weekend. For a while, it was obvious that they were affected by the circumstance and that it would be hard for me to explain to them that our divorce wasn’t my fault or my wife’s. All of this was particularly difficult, because they hadn’t reached that age where they could understand that people can grow out of love.
When I first moved out and started seeing the boys just on the weekends, they had the feeling that I was the guilty one and that they weren’t supposed to talk to me or love me anymore because I had abandoned them. I had many conversations with my wife about this and she managed to convince them that being separated was the best for the both of us.
It took us almost six months to reconcile, both my wife and I and the boys and I. it was a joint effort. To a certain extent, I think that it was what ended up getting my wife and me closer, which is why we ended up making peace. I found it hard to understand that I wasn’t supposed to break off my connections with the rest of the family and start living all by myself. My in-laws will still be in my life and we’ll try to spend as many celebrations together as possible. I still go to my ex-wife’s house on Thanksgiving and Christmas, because it’s important for our boys to understand that I am an active part of their lives and that I will support them no matter what.
Something that has especially helped my relationship with them was going out, spending time in nature, and bonding through sports. Once I installed a heavy bag in my basement, they started being curious about boxing, in general, and so I bought them some older comics and we began watching fighting movies together. Now they’re both into martial arts and boxing, just like me.
My point is that, to create a meaningful relationship with the people you love, you have to work on it. Develop strategies that can bring you together with your kids and don’t be wary when it comes to establishing cooperative associations with your former partner.