My husband and I have been married for 14 years. We are happy, it takes dedication and communication, among many other things. But yes, we are happy.
Lately it seems like there are people all around us who are splitting up. While I don’t encourage couples to divorce just because things get a little rough, I do support individuals making a choice to be happy. Especially if that person is a parent.
My parents split up when I was 6 years old. My brother, sister and I all have very different recollections of that time. I remember very little, my dad being around and then not being around. And it’s funny because as a little kid, I feel like I was unaffected at that time. But those circumstances and behaviors act like a template, establishing a pattern in a child’s brain. I can see now that the effects carried into when I was a teenager: mistrust, insecurity, guilt, shame, self-doubt and even fear.
Now I’ve gone a little off course here, but my point is to be a parent means to provide your child with a model for healthy attachment. That translates to the adults in that child’s life modeling healthy relationships. And sometimes, that means separation or divorce. When a child lives with healthy relationships in their environment, they develop trust, confidence, an ability to self-regulate, a sense of initiative, and self-worth.
These qualities are the foundation of a successful and fulfilled adult. It is our job as parents to create the most positive social and emotional foundation possible so that children can learn and grow. Sometimes that means making a change in your life. A 5 year-old child recently said to me, “I’m glad mommy and daddy don’t live together anymore. All they did was fight.”
And mom, thank you for wanting more for yourself, and for being brave enough to do it. We turned out ok, right?