The other day I was spending time working on my craft and this song came into rotation. For some reason, this song captured my heart right away. After a moment, I realized what she was singing about it brought tears to my eyes. This song was talking about a love triangle between divorced parents. The artist is singing about divorce and how it impacts children. This song made me think about my daughter.
In this song her lyrics are talking about the child being happy to see her father and sad to leave her mother (and vice versa). Our children have two separate lives with different bedrooms and household rules. They get stuck in the middle of whatever type of relationship the parents are going through. Children love both their parents and sometimes are expected to choose. Not only do I understand this from my daughter’s perspective, but also from my own as a child of divorce. The artist discusses this very thing when she describes the facts about this song.
Some mommas and daddies
Are loving in a straight line
Take forever to heart
And take a long sweet ride
But some mommas and daddies
Let their heart strings tear and tangle
And some of us get stuck
In a love triangle
My parents divorced when I was about three or four years old. My daughter was about the same age when I divorced. As a child of divorce, I had every intention of making my marriage works so our daughter would not have to experience that. Although, the marriage with my ex-husband was so toxic I eventually had to go forward with a divorce. It became all too clear that getting out was the healthiest thing I could do for our daughter and myself. The marriage was so toxic that it began to take a toll on my health and body.
Unfortunately, getting divorced did not end the conflict. In some ways being divorced was worse than being married to him. It created additional conflict, chaos, and drama from my ex. During these years, I continued to work on improving myself by reading self help books, going to Alanon, and counseling. Today, I can say I am healthier and stronger for all that I did. These steps also did not prevent my ex from using our daughter to try to hurt me.
Anyway, there is no reason for divorce to be so nasty or high conflict. There is nothing you can do to prevent someone else from behaving the way they do. Over all these years, there was never any control on what happened outside my house. You cannot stop them from questioning or sharing inappropriate topics with your children. There are people that I know well that share too much with their children because they believe they are mature enough to understand it. These are not bad people or bad parents who do this to their kids. High conflict divorce situations are impossible to understand for adults, so why would we think children could understand it.
It will be a sad day when our daughter realizes that she was being used in a game of manipulation. There are times I refer to my ex-husband as an alcoholic or narcissist. The truth is that I am not sure what is wrong with my ex. He has never been officially diagnosed with any specific illness. The behaviors he exhibits are those of an alcoholic. My experiences in our marriage were consistent with those from domestic abuse. His behavior seems to match how they define a narcissist.
Perhaps we add labels to people to help us understand behavior that is just not rational or reasonable. It certainly seems more comforting to think something is wrong with my ex-husband compared to thinking he was deliberately doing all the things he was doing. My own father is mentally ill and has been officially diagnosed. There are so many times when I believe I married someone just like my father. My father’s comments and behaviors remind me of the behaviors of my ex-husband.
Hopefully, all the self-help books and Alanon meetings helped me raise our daughter to think a little differently. Just maybe she will not have to go through a divorce herself or deal with an abusive ex situation. It is impossible to grow up as a child of divorce and not have lasting impacts. Obviously I know this all too well.