You are not winning your children's respect or building up a quality relationship with them; instead you are running away using your job, church, other children, extracurricular activities, shopping, etc. Anything but facing the truth at home, right? Secretly, your children don't like you or your partner very much. If their confidants could tell you how they really felt, they would. But you wouldn't listen or accept the truth; instead you would pretend like you didn't hear the messengers or downplay what they told them. You might even quarrel with them or attempt to put your hands on their loved ones like what was done to you by your mate.
In a child's world, adults should have their lives together. Grown-ups are supposed to be teaching children how to get along in society and at home. What is really going on at home? Good grades don't reveal much. Some children can still perform well irregardless of how crazy parents make them feel. But bad grades tell the tell and this is why some parents (possibly yourself) lose it when those grades start declining. It's not just about the child doing well in school, but you and I know it says a lot about the ongoing stresses at home. Sport involvement doesn't tell your secrets as long as the athlete is doing well. However, if you ride him or her to hard, someone is going to suspect something. And so the parent orchestrates a public relations campaign for one's household that is supposed to make others think, "Everything is okay with that family." Aren't you tired of putting so much time and energy into a farce?
Red faces, crying, bad-mouthing the other parent, making threats, wishing to be anywhere but at home, yet you keep going to a house not a home. You keep tolerating your abuser's crazy-making behaviors! You keep telling your offspring, "Things will get better..." knowing deep down inside you don't believe it. Have they really in the last five, 10 or 20 plus years? You have a list in your mind of all the wrong things a partner continues to do, but you say, "I forgive him. " You know he or she doesn't respect you. But you say, "He's just having a bad day." Be honest, you are just putting up with one another, right--for the sake of the children? "She means well...She loves us," the abused man says. Are you sure about that while you are ice-packing yet another bruise? You wouldn't want to let the world know you are being beaten down by a woman, and so you stay. Pride is going to kill you.
I recall a period in a past marriage where I was feeling like, "This is it. Stop lying to yourself. Cut the act. Your children are starting not to like you...he is blaming you for everything that is wrong in this marriage. No matter what you do, it will never be good enough." So I took my son's advice who wasn't in Kindergarten yet, "Mom, you and daddy need to break up. Maybe you will stop arguing." He was right.
When we look back on that dark period of our lives, we all realize it was for the best. The kids are mentally strong and have zero tolerance for people disrespecting them. As they mature, they express their thoughts without losing it. I use to think, "What if I stayed..." But when I weighed the evidence since then, either he or I would have been dead. Don't take the rage within lightly or wave off the desire to hurt back as if it is an annoying fly, those emotions are real and they will kill mentally, physically and or spiritually if you let them.
Don't stay for children and cause them further harm, do what's right so that they can see a better you and not that person who has a heart that has been shattered in a million pieces over and over again.
Nicholl McGuire is the author of Socially Sweet, Privately Cruel Abusive Men, Say Goodbye to Dad and Tell Me Mother You're Sorry.