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.
Image: D. Sharon Pruit via Flickr
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. 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. 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?