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Improper Divorce Behavior Hurts Children

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wash d.c.So, I was checking out Yahoo again this morning, and I came across an article about divorces, and what kids wish their parents would not do after a divorce.

The number one thing mentioned is that kids wish their parents wouldn’t badmouth the other parent after a divorce.  It seems (DUH) that the badmouthing makes the child feel sad, and it establishes an environment that is unsettled at best and downright hostile at worst.

I have said this and said this and said it some more, but the number one priority of the Living Simple lifestyle is to provide for the needs of family and loved ones.  Those needs not only include food and shelter but must include emotional security as well.

Quite frankly it pisses me off when divorced parents cannot grow up enough to stop this kind of nonsense.  Oh yes, I can hear the excuses now… should have seen what he did to me….you should hear what she says about me….and yes, I am quite certain that there is pain and anger and angst.

However, the children never caused any of it.  They are the innocents in a marriage, and they are the innocents in any divorce, and if a parent truly loves his/her children, there is no way they will subject them to emotional trauma by badmouthing the other parent.

You can have all the reasons in the world for disliking your ex, but the bottom line is your children do not need to hear about it.  It is incredibly selfish to hurt your child while you vent so that you can feel better.

Living Simple….getting down to basics!

If you would like to buy my ebook on Lifestyle Choices, some ruminations about making the right decisions in life, you can buy it here.

Thank you!


About Billybuc

A simple man who has found happiness as a functioning dysfunctional.

10 responses »

  1. Well said Bill. I was lucky growing up and had both my parents, who are still married to each other to this day, but remember having friends who were put square in the middle of their parents’s drama. One of my friends even went to a therapist for this very reason. I hope to god never to put my kids in the middle of anything like that and am thankful that Kevin and I have always said we too are in it for the long haul, but that marriage isn’t easy and we have our moments, but we do try to keep our kids out of any of that.

    • Janine, I wish you and Kevin many years of happiness. I have seen divorced couples who acted like adults and never involved their children in hurtful discussions….it is possible….but you sure don’t see it very often. 🙂

  2. Being a victim of that very issue, I can agree totally. My ex has alienated my daughter from me and used her entire family to brainwash my daughter. Honestly, I never said one word about the ex even when I was allowed to see my girl.

    • It is incredibly painful and selfish of you ex, and I will never understand that kind of behavior, Mark. I’m very sorry that you and your daughter have to live like that.

  3. Hey Bill,

    On the one hand, I totally agree. The parents are the grownups and they need to rise above the hurt and not undermine their kids’ relationship with the ex.

    On the other hand, there are also times where things do need to be said to the kids about the ex…things that are not “nice” and are hard to hear. The reason is that those kids are “learning” from the ex’s example — whether it’s a good example or a bad one — and will one day be parents themselves.

    When the child is dropping out of school and is drinking, smoking, doing drugs, getting in trouble with the law, getting into fights, breaking curfew (first yours, then the judge’s), etc then the parents need to step in and invade privacy, call in the runaway reports, and lay down and enforce boundaries.

    But oftentimes the ex wants to be the child’s “buddy” and will not only NOT make the tough choices for the kid’s sake…sometimes the ex will openly undermine the custody parents efforts. Then you have a teenager who’s fucking his life up and blaming the custody parents for meddling in his business, instead of realizing that substance abuse and truancy aren’t harmless and are in fact a major cause of the problem.

    When your 16 yr old addict/dropout blames all his problems on you and insists that if his dad raised him, then everything would turn out just fine because his dad would let him do what he wants…when that happens, you NEED to tell your son some things about his dad’s parenting viewpoints and parenting style that he doesn’t want to hear.

    This is all hypothetically speaking…of course. 🙂

    Aloha, Bill lol

    • Chris, of course, purely hypothetical. 🙂 I understand what you are saying and I do agree with you. This is not a simple issue with one answer fits all, and in the “hypothetical” situation that you mentioned, then without a doubt there needs to be things said.

      Thank you my friend and Aloha to you!


  4. Hear, hear! You know the phrase “all I ever needed to know, I learned in kindergarten”? Yeah, I remember learning, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all.” Why would a parent do that, knowing that they, together with the other person, made that little one? It’s like cutting the child in half. Oh and DON’T EVEN get me started on “the silent treatment” – I go nuts on that one. How is anyone supposed to get anything figured out if people refuse to talk? Personally and professionally, these are two good things to strive for: keeping it nice and talking it out. 🙂

    • Cyndi, you are in for a long and happy marriage if you can follow those two principles. Bev and I live them now, but in my former marriage it was a tough go. 🙂 Thank you lil’ Sis!

  5. Sigh. Good points Bill, and this one hits home for me a bit – a lot actually. I think it’s important that ANY couple who have children do not put one another down in front of the children, or bad mouth each other to their kids. My parents – as much as I love them and am so grateful that they didn’t get divorced – have had their problems, and still do. Both of them have bad mouthed each other to my brother and I over the years when we were growing up, but especially to me, and especially by my mom during my pre-teen years. I grew up and spent at least 10 years having bad thoughts about the most important man in my life. I shut him out, I was so horrible to him and I can never get those years back. I just sucked in whatever was said to me. Today, I’m trying to mend the relationship, but it’s hard. It’s also hard to try and mend the one with my mom…but we’re getting there. I’ve had to go to therapy for this. It’s not pleasant. You can’t believe how things like this affect you. So for ANY parent out there – please, please, please – keep your feelings about your partner to yourself – vent in a diary, to a friend or whatever, JUST NOT your children.

    • Thank you so much Mel! I know it’s not easy to share that, but that is exactly why I wrote this. I have seen it firsthand and it is so painful to see…and experience. No child should go through that kind of hatred, and I’m sorry you had to.


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