I Don't Want My Children To Grow Up Without Their Father
I'll be honest. This is the reason I stuck around for as long as I did. My parents have been married to each other for 43 years. They're amazing. They have always been there to provide whatever my sisters and I needed, whether it was great advice, a wake-up call or a kick up the backside! They have always been there TOGETHER. So when I married and started a family, I never dreamed my children would have anything less than what I had as I was growing up. Because really, who enters a marriage with the intent to divorce and raise their children in a "broken" home?
I certainly didn't. And to this day, it pains me that my children are growing up in a single parent home. Although single parent homes are sadly becoming more and more commonplace these days, it still hurts me to see other kids fortunate enough to have both parents come to their soccer games, school plays, dance recitals...and sit together without being forced to! I think most of you know that's not possible for my children's father and me. I hate that my children will never experience that. But it is what it is...
The reality is, staying in an abusive and unhealthy relationship takes a toll on you emotionally and in turn adversely affects your children. If you are unhappy, your children can sense that. I will never forget the petrified scream that came from my daughter's tiny less than 1 year old body when she saw Mommy's arm being held a little too tightly. Or the uncertain look on my baby boy's face when he saw Mommy get slapped across the face in the car. Neither of them knew how to process what they had seen, but they knew something was not right. I pray that time has erased the memories of what they saw.
The long term effects of being raised in an abusive household can range from anger issues, anxiety, depression, bed wetting and sleep disturbances. Many children of abusive households grow into abusers themselves and repeat the cycle in their adult life. Clearly these effects far outweigh the desire to raise your children in the same home as their abusive father.
Fortunately, my children were never mistreated. However, I knew I did not want my daughter to grow up thinking an abusive household was normal. And I certainly knew I did not want my son to turn into another woman's abuser 18 years down the line. These thoughts are what prompted me to make my big move. If you haven't already, read my post How I Picked Up the Pieces to learn how I made my move and began the process of rebuilding my life. It's not easy but it's definitely not impossible.
Your children deserve to be raised in a happy and healthy home. That does not necessarily mean both parents have to be in the same home at the same time. Sometimes it is more beneficial for the children to be raised in a single parent, happy home than a two-parent miserable and frightening home. I know that is definitely the case for my children and me. I am a much more effective parent to them now than when I was carrying the stress of my situation around with me 24/7.
I pray these words have touched someone, somewhere in a situation they feel they can find no way out of. All it takes is one call and you can begin your own, personal pursuit of happiness. A good starting place is the National Domestic Violence Hotline - (800) 799-SAFE. For my English friends, click here or call 0808 2000 247. You can even contact me through my Facebook Page, on Twitter or by leaving a comment below. You can also email me from the blog home page. I'm happy to help in any way I can. Just please, make a move before it's too late.