Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hardest Thing You'll Ever Do . . . Move On

My husband and I are on our second marriage and we each have a son from our first marriage. While my divorce was very quick and fairly friendly, his divorce was a circus, think “Jerry Springer style,” and lasted for almost 2 years. My ex lives in another state and sees my son 3-4 times a year. My husband’s ex lives in town and their son splits his time between both of them. Our boys are 10 and 9.

We have been married over 2 years now and as I reflect on our time together as a family, I can’t help but reflect on the kids. My son has adjusted much better to the divorce and remarriage than his son has. This is due, in part, to my son’s personality, but also the fact that his father lives in another state, has moved on with his life, my attitude towards his father and our relationship today. I moved on too. I’m not bitter. I’m not angry that life didn’t turn out the way I planned it.

My husband’s son still struggles with his feelings over their divorce. It’s been 6 years since his mom left his dad and 4 since their divorce, yet he still asks why they can’t get back together. He gets upset nearly every visit with us (two weeks with her, two weeks with us) about their divorce and our remarriage. This is due, in part, to my stepson’s personality, but also his parents’ attitude towards one another and the fact that he goes back and forth between them. There is anger. There is regret. My husband has moved on, but I don’t think his ex has.

There are many divorced and remarried folks in the church and in the world today. Children are the casualties. As one who has not only chosen divorce, but is a witness of the results, I see parents as the biggest influence on their children’s ability to cope with it.

Parents need to be positive about the other parent, even if it hurts. Parents need to move on, let go, and refrain from bitterness. If you are a divorced parent, you’re not hurting your ex if you’re bitter and angry about the situation, you’re hurting yourself (because in order to grow spiritually you need to move on) and you’re sabotaging the future happiness of your kids. It will probably be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, but trust me, for your kids’ sake it’s worth it. Move on.


  1. I think this is good advice Cori, but I do not think the Lord puts a time line on how long it is supposed to take someone to forgive. Generally, it is very difficult to forgive if someone is still actively hurting you. Sometimes it is frustrating climb of two steps forward and three steps back.
    Of course it is imperative to refrain from criticizing your ex in front of your children. It is also so important to be honest with your children about the finality of divorce.
    Do we need to forgive? Absolutely. Do we need to feel guilty for feeling angry and sad when someone continues to make choices that cause us hardship, disappointment and pain (like not paying any child support)? No.
    Is it possible to have moved on emotionally without reaching the point where you can honestly say you have forgiven? I think so. I am six months into my separation. I have moved on, he has moved on - or back as the case may be. The weeks and weeks of constant crying and angry conversations in my head are over, but the realities of trying to support our children alone are unavoidable.
    I hope your husband's ex-wife can move on in her life - I cannot imagine living with bitterness for that amount of time. It is wonderful that you have settled into a new life that make you very happy and seems to work for your ex as well.

  2. Thanks for your comments Scrappycook. I knew when I posted this there would be flack on what I wrote and was tempted not to post it, but thought I should be brave. This blog is my opinion and my experience. Every divorce and the aftermath are different. What worked for me will not work for everyone. I agree with you on the "time limit" for forgiveness, especially if there are continuing conflicts (like no child support---what's up with that???) I'm also looking back on this after being divorced for 3 years and remarried in a happy, safe relationship.

    My mother-in-law, Rhodell, has been an awesome example of a woman who moved on. Her 1st husband was up to no good and they divorced. She later met and married my father-in-law. Together they had a combined family of 6 kids under the age of 5 and had them all full time! (Can you imagine?) They later had 4 more kids. My husband is their youngest son.

    I have been blessed by her example and advice---hours of discussion about divorce, emotions, and healing. For years she dealt with her husband's 1st wife (who sounds a lot like what I'm dealing with.) The difference in their lives and how they've turned out is like night and day. My mother-in-law is a happy woman, the 1st wife (at age 75+) continues to make waves.

    I've felt really prompted lately to reflect on all of this and write about it. Thanks for your comments and hang in there. :o) Corrina

  3. Interesting perspectives, ladies. I visited with my mom-in-law just a few days ago who has had her fair share of marriage, remarriage & divorce. I sit at her feet (as well as yours) and learn. There is so much to understand here, even as a sister/friend at the side lines.

    Love you, Cori!