Making the decision to end a relationship is hard enough just having to deal with the emotions of both adults, but when you add in the feelings children involved may have, it makes it 10 times harder. There is no easy way to flip your life upside down, even if it seems the relationship was never right side up to begin with. Splitting weekends, holidays, finances, and even living space is not at all fun. No one goes into a committed relationship (married or not) expecting it to fail, but sometimes it happens...and that's okay!
I was raised in a Christian family that taught forgiveness, tolerance, and understanding, not divorce! My grandparents had been married since their teens, my parents and all of my aunts and uncles were married, and my big cousin was married in a Cinderella style ceremony when I was 6. For a little girl, with not much else to go on, marriage was the thing to do...or so I thought. Fast forward let's say about 20+ years, after I'd experienced my own share of good and bad relationships, I then understood that marriage wasn't always the happily ever after I thought it was.
Relationships aren't always easy, they require a lot of patience and sacrifice, and sometimes they end! Out of most of my family and friends, I am the last single woman standing (sometimes more proudly than others LOL), but I take advantage of being able to learn from their ups and downs. Throughout my adulthood, things that had been kept from me as a child about relationships, are now seen clearly. These couples aren't perfect. They deal with pain, heartbreak, infidelity...and stay. Abandonment...and stay. Addiction...and stay. Why? Is it true love that makes you forgive and forget? Do the goods outweigh the bads? So often I hear couples say "I'm staying for the kids", but is that always the best thing to do "for the kids"? Before I answer that question with my opinion, allow me to go back a little.
In 2009, I met and fell for a man that would go on to become the father of my only son in 2014. We were young when we met and had a relationship that lacked structure, but made up for it in the fun department. I thought then that he would be the man I would marry and have a family with. Boy, was I wrong! Looking back now, I understand that he and I did not have like minds or ideas of family that are necessary to maintain a strong unit. We loved each other enough to bring an amazing little boy into the world, but that was it.
After the birth of my son, I was left with tons of resentment towards this man that "left me with this baby". He would drop off diapers, clothes, shoes, etc, give our son a couple of hugs and kisses and "Poof!" be gone. He was being the only father he knew how to be, and I was beginning to hate him for it. Like I said, our ideas of what a family was supposed to look like were not the same. We didn't want the same things, and the things that were important to me, meant nothing to him. The arguments led to absences, and those absences created an emotional distance, that after a few months was irreparable.
We didn't work. Like a square into a circle, we just didn't fit. I fought hard to force some semblance of normalcy and ignored my own better judgement and allowed myself to stay and be worn down in this situation that I thought was better for my son, than to be raised without his dad in the house. I tried, I was miserable and I had to face it, I was a single mom.