For Some, Divorce is About Revenge

For Some, Divorce is About Revenge

When my ex and I were going through the divorce process, we were both focused on making it as “easy” as possible on the children. Neither one of us was out to get the other, to ruin the former spouse’s life. We weren’t continuing our marriage, but wanted to shelter the boys from as much anxiety and stress as possible.

But I am learning that this scenario is rare. I am learning that there are many ex (or soon-to-be ex) -spouses hell bent on causing the most havoc for their former spouse as possible. It’s not about safeguarding the kids, or making sure they are in a stable and nurturing environment, it’s about ruination.

False abuse charges, calls to CPS, calls to bosses to allege misconduct, calls to rabbis and community leaders, smear campaigns – apparently there is an ex-spouse handbook of some sort out there, giving a step-by-step guide of how to ruin the life of a former spouse / lover.

Not a day goes by that I don’t see passive-aggressive Facebook postings about spouses NOT doing X or doing Y. Facebook seems to have become the place to vent all the frustration. I have emailed quite a few friends advising them they need to remove posts – but they tell me they feel so useless as the ex-spouse is out to get them and they feel they have no recourse. But I am sure these postings can be used in legal proceedings, and it’s not a good idea to add fuel to the fire.

How is it that we were able to put the kids first above everything, above our pain, above our hurt, but other spouses are not able to do so? People tell me all the time what a great ex-wife I am, driving the kids up to see their Dad every third weekend, making sure the boys call him as often as possible etc. But, that isn’t about being a good ex-wife, it’s about the kids’  best interests. I don’t do it for him, I do it for them.

Part of any divorce proceeding that involves children should include a class on how to rise above the emotional pain and put their children first. After all, at some point the parents loved / liked each other enough to make children together!

I have heard so many stories like this – one ex out to ruin the other – and from what I have heard, when the ex in question is ruined, or has lost all s/he has to lose – the other ex still has an inability to move on. It’s a hollow victory. Life was about causing pain and suffering – now that the goal has been achieved, what do they have left?

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  1. Caryn says:

    Kol hakavod to you. What you are doing is the way it should be, not the exception.

  2. NRL says:

    Unfortunately, many times, a balance has to be struck to protect the abused spouse from the ex. The taking advantage, the emotional abuse, the psychological games, etc. They don’t always end with divorce and the happiness of the kids becomes yet another weapon to drain the abused spouse of any ounce of freedom and dignity that was gained with the divorce. Being required to sacrifice oneself for the kids in order to avoid and simultaneously feed the abuse is simply not an option for some. Kudos to you and your ex for having a “good” divorce, but not everyone is so lucky, as much as they may want it.

  3. Shorty says:

    I have a couple of friends whose divorce proceedings turned very very ugly. One person, a man, his ex-wife was hitting him, with pans, with whatever and he couldn’t fight back, because he knew, the moment he defended himself he’s the one who would suffer.

  4. It’s hard when the OTHER spouse isn’t considering the kids, but only him/herself, but piously spouts how wonderful he/she is behaving. It puts a terrible strain on the truly responsible parent.

    Shorty, I don’t know where your friend lives, but if your friend had the guts to call the police, she can be charged with assault. You don’t have to hit back to “hit back.” Women can batter too, and more and more jurisdictions realize that.

  5. Lady Lock N Load says:

    I always admire you Hadassah, how you are a great mother to your children, putting their needs first. You should only have great nachas from all of them!

  6. Babelfish says:

    I feel like you. Some time back, I think it was on your former blog, you linked to a blog who wrote very, very angrily and negatively about his ex-wife (even after court had ordered him explicitely to stop it). I was happy to see that most of your commentators advised him to conform to court rules and stop blogging about his ex.

    I am shocked how some father want to enforce visiting rights with the police, regardless of the new circumstances of their life, which often do not leave too much place for their children from the first marriage, who in turn a reluctant to come.

    I feel that the entitlement culture in the US reached also the parents who feel they are “entitled” to their children, instead of focusing on their responsibilities towards the children.

    As far as abuse allegations are concerned: it is hard to tell from the outside whether they are founded or not. In general, false allegations are quite rare, even in divorce procedures.

  7. SingleDad says:

    “Part of any divorce proceeding that involves children should include a class on how to rise above the emotional pain and put their children first.”

    My state does have court ordered parenting class for those getting divorced. If someone starts out a puke, a three or four session class is not going to change them.

    All to often the guilt or other issues of one parent allows the other to abuse the situation. No, what we really need are mandatory child raising, loving, understanding classes along side the birth classes!

  8. This sounds like my parents who definitely did not put their children first in their divorce/separation proceedings. I ended up being alienated from my Dad for a long time. And we didn’t really reunite until I was an adult. And there was so many games being played, I didn’t know which parent to trust.

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