Let it go!!

When one has been divorced, it seems others seek you out to tell you their story. One thing I have learned – a lot of divorced people cannot let go. It doesn’t matter how long it has been or who was at fault, many cannot move on and live their lives in peace.

As frequent readers will know, I do not discuss details of my divorce or my ex husband on my blog. We have children together – I must be fair to them. Obviously things were not great in our house – we DID get divorced. But we have both moved on. We are both remarried and living our lives without resentment and bitterness toward the other. We have been able to put our children’s needs first and foremost – and we both did this from day one. We have made barmitzvahs together for our two oldest sons, and will do so for the two youngest. The kids are always the first priority. I will not pretend it is easy. But there are times when you have to behave like a grown up and just suck it up. I respect my sons’ relationship with their father. That relationship is a separate entity than our marriage and subsequent divorce. Yes, it was affected by it, but he did not divorce the kids. They are still his children and I encourage them to respect that bond.

The more stories I hear, the more messed up I think the world is. Ex-spouses calling the police to arrest their ex-partner based on some trumped up allegations, and when those are proven false, getting them arrested on some other bogus charge, just to make their life difficult. Such a waste of police time and money, and such unnecessary vindictiveness. The marriage is over – deal with it in a healthy way. Laws are different in every state and province, and some states have to arrest before investigating, apparently.

Using the kids to get back at the other parent, telling them the other parent is bad, useless and every negative adjective in the dictionary. The kids did not ask for you to get divorced, why drag them into your evil machinations? Why brainwash them so bad that they cannot even enjoy time spent with the other parent, because they are so afraid that having fun is disloyal to the parent they spend the most time with. These kids will grow up one day and hopefully realize the evilness of the words that were pounded into their soul. They will learn that there are two sides to every story and the truth falls somewhere in the middle. But by then these kids’ mental health will have been compromised, having been a ping pong ball in the middle of their two parents.

And what about those divorce(e)s whose goal in life is to destroy the former spouse? To do everything within their power to ruin relationships, to spread lies, or even physical harm?  There are ex spouses who are consumed with their former partner, to such a level that it takes over their life. They do not want to live with them anymore, but no one else should have them in their life. Obsessive behaviour. Their ex spouse is all they can talk about all the time. Their life exists just to plan another day of evilness and wretchedness.

Why are these people so stuck in their bitterness? I know we all need time to grieve for a broken marriage. I grieved. I cried, oh boy did I cry and howl and feel that my soul was ripped apart – but I made a concerted effort to move past it for the sake of my kids, and for the sake of my own sanity. Maybe that’s just me – practical. Maybe some people feel they need years and years to get over it, and part of their coping mechanism is to make their ex spouse’s life a living hell?

The more stories I hear, the more it sickens me. I want to shake some of these people. I know they are hurting. I recognize the pain and anguish within their anger. I do. But it is so unhealthy to hold onto it and harbour it for years on end.  Don’t these people want a life of their own where they can actually have a chance for happiness? Do they not want to model good behaviour for their kids, so the kids don’t grow up all messed up in the head? There should be mandatory psychotherapy with every divorce that comes before the courts.

Let it go, people! Life is too darn short.

Disclaimer – this is not directed to anyone specific or about any specific divorce case. It is an accumulation of frustration from the entire system after hearing many stories. Please, no emails flaming me for talking about YOUR divorce. Thank you.

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20 Comments

  1. batya from NJ says:

    it is probably easier to let it go & “let bygones be bygones” when both parties have moved on & found new love, remarried etc. i would imagine that it’s probably harder when only 1 spouse has remarried & the other has not. just an observation…

    • hadassahsabo says:

      I disagree. Even while we were doing the legal divorce thing, neither or us were remarried or in relationships, yet we were still civil to each other and about each other to the kids. We still worked hard to move on, even with no spouses lined up. it’s a mindset.

      • batya from NJ says:

        hadassah, it is certainly the mature thing to do to put the children first but not every adult does do the mature thing & sometimes that may be why the marriage didn’t work out in the first place!

      • Mark says:

        even with no spouses lined up

        OMG, “no spouses lined up” :-)

  2. IMA2FOUR7 says:

    I heartedly agree. In my life my children come first and my divorce come second. I have made 2 b’nai mitzvah with an ex and am staring at 2 more in the next few years. I try to remember that those days as everyday remain about the child.
    I am hopeful for a good future and that try as hard as I can to leave the past where it belongs ( not dragging it kicking and screaming into the present).

  3. MeiraD says:

    I have had my share of problems with my ex. They say you never really know a person until you divorce them and that was true for us. He put the kids into the middle and kind of hid behind their pain. But the kids are older and they understand it on a different level now. I wish my ex would remarry. I’d like to see him happy but he’s played the victim role for such a long time that he would need to really get swept off his feet.

  4. tila says:

    sounds like tehy are not able to move on. They need to work it out with a profesional to dave their friendships..

  5. I agree! You hit all the points: let go, move on and set a good example for the children! Divorce is a reality in the world we live in- it doesn’t have to mean “war”. It’s unfortunate how much the toxicity of one couple’s situation can infect those around them.

    Congratulations- it sounds like you and your ex (now co-parent) were able to handle the event like civilized adults.

  6. Z! says:

    I think that Batya from NJ got it right when she says that immaturity “may be why the marriage didn’t work out in the first place!”
    I have heard of some seriously heinous behaviour from ex-spouses. It’s truly disgusting.
    I must say that the example that you have set, Hadassah, is a true inspiration. For those of you out there who know Hadassah, you know that she has tried hard to be the mature one. For those of you reading this and thinking “no one can be that good.” I assure you that Hadassah has made it her priority to be “that good”.

  7. frumgoth says:

    I try so hard to live by the important values that you brought up in this post, Hadassah. Usually it works, and my ex. and I do all important kid-related things together, with everyone getting along, for their sake. But he is so inconsistent and will become cruel and disgusting for no good reason. Case in point: 2day a disagreement came up re one of our kids and he called me up at work, yelling and being completely nasty, followed by this text message: “you are such a cheap f*!k, even to your kids” So, honestly, it’s a little hard to continue to let it go when things like that happen.

    • batya from NJ says:

      FG, i’m sure that your ex’s cruel & disgusting tendencies contributed greatly to the break-up of your marriage…i wish you the strength & courage you need to deal with him esp when he acts so inappropriately with you.

    • Z! says:

      As long as his disgusting behaviour towards you is kept away from the kids, then the kids don’t have a tainted relationship due to your fighting.
      IF your spouse has a bad relationship with his kids, it SHOULD be because of his own short comings and behaviour that the kids experience for themselves.

    • hadassahsabo says:

      Frumgoth, I am so sorry you had to deal with this. the letting it go I am talking about is in general, and you said usually it works. We all have our moments, what’s important is that the nastiness is kept away from the children if possible…

      You don’t live your life to make his miserable, do you?

      • frumgoth says:

        In general it does work, and I agree with you about letting it go. No, i certainly don’t try to make his life miserable in any way. All I want is for everyone to have peace. The advice in your post is great – I wish more people had as good an attitude as you!

  8. Rainy says:

    I think it is possible to be of “two minds” about this one. I know for me, I maintain an absolutely firm line of positivity regarding their father, to my kids. I do not badmouth him to them. When we deal with them together, we keep a consistent front. We are partners in co-parenting and I try to model a respectful friendship for our kids. I go to a lot of trouble sometimes cleaning up issues that he has inadvertently created (he’s not a bad guy, just doesn’t always think) with our kids, so that they never know it was an issue in the first place.

    But to my girlfriends? When it is painful or hard, when he’s done something that has left me angry or hurting? I do vent. I do let it out.

    So that is where I am of two minds. One mind for my children, which is always the high road. One mind that my children never will see, for when it gets very hard. Overall though, I try to spend as much time as possible in the “good mind”, for my own well being too.

    • batya from NJ says:

      Rainy, that IS very impressive that you manage to compartmentalize like that with the kids & with the girlfriends. no doubt it is not easy however i think it would be harder to always talk nicely about one’s ex in front of the kids if he were to generally bad-mouth the mom in front of the kids. now, i don’t think that 2 wrongs make a right but it is harder when one is dealing with an ex who doesn’t play by the rules & tries to brainwash the kids against their mom. in that case, it is not always to put on a “happy face” in front of the kids b/c it can be so hurtful sometimes :(.

    • hadassahsabo says:

      Rainy – believe me, I vent if I need to, but always out of earshot of the kids. People do not realize that even when in a different room from the kids, door closed, that the kids can still hear their parent yelling on the phone or venting.

      Hang in there – it IS tough! Keep up the good work…

  9. Naftali says:

    Hadassah,

    Thank you for this important post. It is a must read for all divorced couples and those contemplating divorce. Like Z!, I know that you practice what you preach.

    In my case, I always put my children first, even when dealing with my late wife’s difficult relatives. In the end, the kids have grown up and recognize what havoc their maternal relatives wreaked in our family, and my children continue to shower me with love and make supportive statements that focus on my role as a father to them. This makes all the hard work raising three children (ages 14 to 11) alone worth it.

  10. Marla says:

    For every ‘story’ you hear, it’s important to keep in mind that there are 3 versions…his side, her side and the truth. It is human nature to see myopically our own experiences, but especially so in divorces.
    Unless I know both parties well, I presume that all stories I hear are skewed.
    That said, I couldn’t agree more that it’s vital to put the kids first and that moving on with one’s life is very very important.
    Thanks for your blog – I find it very intelligent and thought provoking!

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