*The title says married but this is to any couple with children*
So you’ve been married for quite a while, and things are just not the same. You went from having sex all the time, to maybe once a week if you’re lucky. Perhaps your wife gained a few pounds, or your husband has a beer belly. Maybe you’re so tired from running the kids all day long, that you no longer have time for one another. Or maybe you both work full-time and you don’t get to see each other often. Your marriage is struggling and you feel as though your partner is neglecting you, you feel unwanted and unappreciated to the point that you don’t know why you’re in this marriage anymore. . .But you’ve been together for a long time and you have children. . .
Lately, your co-worker has been shamelessly flirting with you. I mean you do deserve some attention, someone to listen to you, don’t you? I mean what is wrong with you making new friends, what harm could a little flirting really do? It’s just innocent banter with the opposite sex, and an ever so needed ego boost, I mean you have been neglected for so long. It’s just talking, it’s not like you are cheating. So you flirt, exchange numbers, start texting or emailing -maybe both. You confide in him/her about your problems at home, I mean you don’t have anyone to talk to right? He/She, your new friend provides a listening ear, a way for you to vent about life and all your frustrations. They listen and tell you how “You deserve better.” You believe this, you know this to be true. You deserve to have someone interested in you, right? I mean after all, you have needs that aren’t being met. . .Right?
You grow closer with this person, you spend all of your free time on your computer or phone. This can carry on for days, weeks or even months. But eventually, it happens. . .you either almost cheat or you have cheated. Your friend, the person you vented to is now someone YOU invited into your marriage. No you didn’t you say? You spoke about your marriage to this person and broke your vows with this person. Yes, YOU invited her/him into your marriage. You justify your wrong doings by reminding yourself that you’ve been neglected, that you and your partner never have any time for one another. You play the blame game. It’s not your fault, it’s your partners. But did you try to make the time for your husband/wife? You found the time to confide in another about your marriage, text another person and cheat. That time could’ve been spent fixing your marriage.
But again, you have needs that just weren’t being met. So you cheated. You may feel exhilarated or maybe guilty, maybe even a hint of both. But again, you had needs. . .that weren’t being met by your partner. Yes, keep telling yourself that. But in all actuality, whose needs should you be truly concerned with? Your needs or the needs of the children you decided to bring into this world. Do you think divorce is ok for children? Do you think children whose parents divorced or separated are just fine? If you do, then you’re blind, naive, heck you’re an idiot. Children of divorce are not fine, even if the parents *think* they do everything right. Even if they never fight in front of the kids or never speak ill of one another, I promise you, your kids are NOT Ok. Oh yes, they can seem fine, or even promise you they’re fine, but they will never be fine.
Children learn from their parents. They see and hear practically everything, they pick up on the tension in the household. No matter how hard we try to say “sweetie, everything is ok”, they know better. Toddlers, teens or adults, it doesn’t matter! Divorce will affect your kids! What does a child learn from divorce? They learn about infidelity, betrayal, lying, hurt, anger, etc. This is what they learn. This is what they will hear, this is what they will pick up on, this is what you’re subjecting your children to. You know, the kids that you love more than anyone in the world? But did you really? No, you didn’t. You were more concerned with your needs. In fact, you didn’t consider your children at all did you? Children learn by their parents example. . .Instead of teaching them how to betray, how to lie and how to hurt, you should’ve been teaching them how to respect, how to be loyal, how to love and how to be truthful. Children learn by example. . .they will follow in your footsteps. Children often become what you make them.
I am so sick and tired of adults, married couples or any couple, married or not, with children complaining about how their needs aren’t being met. If you have an issue in your relationship, in your marriage, talk about this with your significant other. Let them know how you feel. Make time for one another. Don’t just roll over in bed at night like everything is ok when it’s not. Talk to the person who you promised to love forever. The person you promised to be with forever, through sickness and in health, good times and bad. Let them know how you feel because it may be possible they don’t even realize how you’re feeling. Work your issues out together, not apart. . . and do NOT invite someone else into your marriage. In most marriages the betrayed person is often blind-sided, they had no idea their partner felt how they did, you know the reasons they use to justify why they cheated. Talk to your partner, get back to where you were when you two fell in love. Why so many people feel as though this is impossible is beyond me. It is possible. You’re a family. This is no longer two adults who are able to be selfish. You now have kids and are not entitled to be selfish. It is not just about you and your needs anymore. You have a family to think about. Fix your home, protect your kids and love one another.
Or don’t. . . be selfish and destroy your family, destroy your kids. . .Because trust me, they will be destroyed. Sometimes it can take years of therapy to realize your parents divorce is the root of your adult issues. This, I can promise you.
If you don’t want to settle down, and if you don’t believe in one person forever, don’t get married and don’t have kids. But if you make the decision to start a family, your only job is to protect that family. Sadly, I don’t see many people protecting their families anymore. . .just people constantly destroying them.
Child of divorced parents. 32 years later and still broken.