Kids want their own parent, not their step-parent.
I was talking on the phone with my Mom, who left my Dad several years ago. The conversation included talk about my ex, to which my Mom stated, “Well your girls have your New Husband, and they have a good relationship with him, so that makes up for it.”
“No, Mom, they don’t want their Step-Dad. They want their Real Dad.”
“But they have New Husband.”
“But that’s not what they want. Kids do not want their step parent; kids want their own parent.”
My Mom then changed the conversation … cause she has, in many ways, abdicated her responsibilities to her four birth children and has “adopted” another (adult) child and her 1st grade son (as her grandson and the one she needs to live a healthy life for so she’s there when he needs her).
I don’t know how to state this so people get it. But the truth is that kids do not want a substitute parent; kids want their own parent … not only that, but kids want their own two parents living together, married, in the same home, with them. Period.
Is it better that beat-the-lights-outa-you-dad has moved out? Sure. But that doesn’t mean the kids don’t want their dad … it means they want their dad w/out getting beat up. Is it better that unfaithful-mom has moved out and isn’t living a double life anymore? Sure. But that doesn’t mean kids want a step-mom or a substitute mom; kids want their own mom, without the extra man (men). Is it better that the emotionally and mentally abusive parent, that the addicted parent, that the whatever parent, is gone? Sure. But that doesn’t mean kids don’t want that parent without the abuse, without the addiction, without the whatever.
I think people perceive that when the “bad” parent moves out that things are finally okay. NO! Things are NOT okay. Things are still bad. They are just a different kind of bad. Things are still hard. They are just a different kind of hard.
Divorce is not the solution. Divorce is not the answer. Divorce is sometimes the only choice, but it is still not a good choice. And when it’s all peeled back, what kids really want are their own parents, minus the extra boyfriend/girlfriend … minus the beatings … minus the drugs … minus the mental and emotional abuse … minus the addictions. Don’t buy into the lie that divorce is better. Divorce is not better. Divorce is always bad. Sometimes divorce is the only option, but that doesn’t make it better.