Recently, I had to attend a class specifically for divorcing couples with kids. It turned out to be one of the most enjoyable experiences in recent memory for me. The reason relates to everything – yes, everything – I’ve mentioned about what’s going on in my life as of late.
The class was taught by two very nice men. Both were soft-spoken, probably in their 70s or 80s, apparently they have been teaching these classes for over 40 years (which amazed me), and they said the reason was because they actually enjoy it. I would think so, after four decades. These two did not have any malice in anything they said. No bitterness, no personal agenda, nothing. I say this with emphasis because it’s this very fact that is the reason I’m writing this post. These two proved something, to a tremendous degree, without wanting to.
What did they prove? Everything I’ve recently said about the nature of divorce cases, and more.
I’ll make my point later, but first, I’m just going to describe the things in the class that stood out to me.
One thing that happened early on was a demonstration. The two men demonstrated what it could be like for kids to hear their divorced parents arguing. The guy who was teaching that particular segment of the class said, “We will act out a typical scenario for a divorced couple. I’ll play the ex-husband, and he will play the ex-wife. We’re going to have an argument. Let’s just say the wife took the house, and the car, our three kids, and since our bank accounts were joint, she took all the money, and now I can barely afford an attorney. So, she’s got everything, and I’m just coming by to take our kids to a baseball game…”
That right there made me chuckle. But, I’ll continue. In their scenario, he knocked on the door, the ex-wife answered, they argued, and then he walked away. He then asked the class things like, “How do you think the kids feel after hearing that argument?” among a couple other things. One thing he said that also caught my attention was, “Many parents – well, it’s mostly fathers, because, well… But many non-custodian parents decide to throw their hands up and give up. Do they love their kids? Yes, but, sometimes walking away is easier on the kids than fighting about everything with the the former spouse.”
He made mention of the fact that parents who lose their kids, or even just feel they should walk away, are ten times more likely to commit suicide.
During our break, I approached these kind men and asked a question I’ve been asking a lot lately. I asked how our courts can possibly think women are always the more capable parent. They reluctantly explained that in the old days, it was always men who kept the kids because kids were seen as property and they were thought to be necessary to maintain the farm and such; then, they added that people saw that as a problem, and thus the pendulum swung in the complete other direction. At the end of their explanation, they said, “It’s starting to even out, though not quite as… not as much as it should.”
Then after the break, close to the end of the class, my favorite part happened…
I forget what the teacher was relating this to exactly, but at one point he provided an example of something with a story. Maybe he was answering someone’s question, I don’t know. Anyway, he told a very interesting story. One day, he finished teaching a class, and a girl approached him. She was the child of divorced parents, who was now going through her own divorce. She told him that her parents divorced when she was little, and she didn’t see her father during her upbringing. One day she asked her mother why her father wasn’t around anymore, and her mother said her father was a jerk (I’m sure the word she really used was ‘asshole’), and thus she believed it…. Until she turned 18, and she reached out to her father. She just wanted to ask him how he could have abandoned her. But, she said, as soon as she met him, she immediately realized her mother lied. After their lunch, and she got to know her father through a lengthy conversation, she learned for a fact that he was nothing like what her mother described. After that, she decided to never speak to her mother again.
As I wrote that, my memory of the context of that girl’s story returned to me. My teacher was telling the class that “kids always figure it out.” Meaning, no matter what the court decides, and no matter what one parent says about the other, kids will always figure out who was truly responsible for all the damage. They will always figure out the truth, no matter how many lies they’re told.
My Point in Telling All This…
Think about the random scenario my teachers decided to use, of the wife who took everything including the bank accounts. Think about how they accidentally admitted it’s fathers who get screwed over the most when it’s not deserved. Think about what they said about the suicide rate of parents who lose their kids by force or because it’s what’s best for them. Think about the story they told about the girl who realized her mother lied to her for so many years.
Even when using random scenarios as examples, these two kind-hearted men accidentally admitted, over the course of 3 hours, that women do some unimaginably shitty things, and they do it more than men. And it’s common. The teachers tried – they really tried – desperately to not make it sound like that, but they couldn’t help it without outright lying. But they didn’t lie. They couldn’t lie. They were actually trying to conceal what these things reveal. Women will damage their kids emotionally, they will damage the father of their children emotionally AND financially … all for the sake of being greedy.
My mother did this, my own ex-wife is currently doing this… Literally every single situation I’ve ever heard of in my personal life about someone getting divorced, or just simply no longer being in a relationship with the mother of their children, they all end the same way: Woman gets everything she wants, man suffers, and 20 years down the road, the kids suffer tremendously as well.
To be fair, one guy I know told me about a guy he knows (so, this is second-hand) who won custody over his ex. So, there’s this one example of it actually going the other way. Progress.
Again, as I’ve pointed out in other posts, this doesn’t mean all women, everywhere, behave this way. And even if I did mean that, I certainly don’t think it’s because of the simple fact they’re female. Well, not directly. I blame society for this garbage. It’s the same way I blame my ex-wife’s family for how she turned out, not her in particular. Yes, everyone is responsible for their own actions, and I hold people accountable for their own actions, but to some degree, human beings can only do what they know.
As a society, we indirectly, subtly teach women they’re weak and need lots and lots of help, while inexplicably telling them how empowered they are…… Yeah, makes tons of sense. We say, “Sure, post hundreds of pictures of your ass on Instagram for a living. No problem with that.” We say, “Sure, use divorce as a weapon and ruin lives in the process. No problem with that.” In a way, we teach them, “You’re always right, no matter what, princess!” It’s almost as if we, as a society, actively want women to lack virtue, lack skills, and even lack purpose. We only care about telling them everything they want to hear, and handing out everything they want to have. You don’t instill virtue through coddling. You don’t make women strong by simply telling them they are.
We need to raise our girls to be goddesses, not princesses.
Men would be equally as bad if the tables were the other way around. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is why society is so ridiculously biased toward women these days. It used to be just as biased toward men. Oh my god, society, stop replacing one extreme with another! This is why I’m such a strong supporter of ACTUAL equality. Balance. Putting all the weight to one side – men or women – is not equality. For now, the problem is with women, and everyone knows it. Often times I feel I’m the only person on Earth who will say it out loud.
Women do all this horrible shit because they can. It’s real simple: Stop letting them! You let a child do whatever they want, well, that’s kind of why they call such kids ‘spoiled.’
I’ve directly approached several people in my ex-wife’s family, asking them to try to get her to be reasonable. Every time – literally every time – they responded with utter cowardice. “Uhhh…. I don’t know all the details. Uhhh… Maybe I shouldn’t get involved.” Oh, my bad. Sure, go ahead. Please, continue to purposefully be uninformed, and please continue to hide in a corner. You did it with her stepfather for 20 years, and how fantastic that you’re now doing it with my daughter. Yes, staying out of things is always a recipe for bright futures. Why tell someone’s stepfather to stop being an asshole, and why tell someone’s mother to stop thinking only of herself?
In my own case, if I got to have everything and I wasn’t obligated at all to keep my ex-wife in my daughter’s life, I would still keep her around. I’d make damn sure of it. Growing up with minimal interaction with either parent, or not having any interaction at all, always causes damage. Always. Even if my daughter’s mother decided she didn’t want to be around anymore, I’d still fight my hardest to change her mind. In fact, I wouldn’t stop trying. None of this would be for her sake. I despise her now. It would be for my daughter’s sake.
When I heard that story about the girl and her mother, I couldn’t help but immediately think of my own daughter 20 years from now, maybe more, maybe less. It soothed my soul to hear these teachers, who have imparted wisdom upon divorcing parents for 40 years, to say that kids always figure out the truth. That soothed my soul because it assures me my daughter will know who broke up our family, and she’ll know I always loved her immensely, even if her mother successfully throws me out of the picture like she wants to. I won’t talk to my daughter about any of this, unless she asks. I don’t plan to, I don’t want to, and frankly, every time I’m around her, I forget what her mother’s doing to us. I forget her mother even exists. I’m thankful to have the reassurance that one day my daughter will know who caused all this, no matter how many self-indulgent lies she’s told.
Anyway, I wasn’t thrilled to have to attend that class, but after I took it, I was glad. Everyone knows this problem exists, but nobody can bring themselves to speak of it. Why? At least give yourself the satisfaction of knowing you tried.