Saving the most important point for last…
This may come as a surprise to many in my audience, but I don’t think I have ever clearly established why my opinion of my ex-wife shifted so radically, so quickly. It’s not simply because she left me; a failed relationship is no reason to have negative feelings toward someone at all. It’s not because she’s immature, it’s not because she’s a liar. Sure, all of these things are irritating, and they are connected to the main reason… The main reason is that my ex-wife broke up our family, and did so without an even remotely legitimate reason. She broke up our family for herself, as if marriage, as if being parents, has any room for selfishness…….
She never so much as pleaded with me*. Nothing like, “Please, I need you to do this more, or do that less.” All she did was sit on our bed one night, look me in the eyes, and said, “We should get divorced.” And that was that. She didn’t even think of going to marital counseling until her family basically ordered her to consider it.
See, the difference between a girl and a woman is one simple thing: Family.
Think about it. I wrote a book about this recently. Mother Nature decided long ago that the entire point of being female is to make a family. This is true for insects (like queen ants or bees), and this is true for mammals like humans. The one who physically creates new life has the job of … doing exactly that. But there’s far, far more to it than just making new life; it’s about caring for that life, and giving that life proper circumstances in which to grow up.
What other animal has a system as stupid as humans? Does a queen ant lay a bunch of eggs all over the place and then say to the workers, “Stay out of my hive, but drop off some food every month so I can support my babies!” Of-fucking-course not! The hive stays together. Lionesses don’t give birth, then tell the males to leave but drop off food once a month for her cubs, either. The lioness remains in her pride, and the father of her cubs is always present.
I could talk extensively about how humans, in the distant past, could not possibly afford to have a system as stupid as ours today, with things like “alimony” and “child support.” You would think that, at least with child support, it would only be used for the most extreme of situations. Nope! It exists whenever a mother feels like never growing up.
Study after study after study shows that kids who grow up in broken homes, whatever form that comes in, especially with divorced parents they have to be juggled back and forth between, damn near guarantees the child will develop severe mental and behavioral problems.
Likelihood of landing in prison as an adult (even for girls)? Skyrocketed. Likelihood of never having a permanent stable relationship? Skyrocketed. Likelihood of becoming addicted to a substance? Skyrocketed. Likelihood of depression and even suicide? Skyrocketed.
A woman is not a mother if the best she can do for her child is give birth to it. If she gives birth, ditches the father, and then proceeds to depend on government assistance to support that child, she is not a mother. If she can’t support that child alone without the father throwing money at her, or having a family to leech off of, she is not a mother.
Giving birth is only half the equation, for a mother. Just like for a father, providing his sperm is only half the equation.
My wife and I had a few thousand dollars saved up by the time she chose to be my ex-wife. Thanks to her, after she left, I had to blow that money in just a couple months, paying for my own car, and a new apartment, and that’s of course including taking care of my baby when she was with me. Driving back and forth just to exchange our daughter is quite a financial strain. Point is, we had a long journey ahead of us for finding true success, but we were still doing fairly well for beginner parents. We were off to a good start; better than many. But my wife was never interested in helping me start a business. (I’ve never heard of a successful business being started by a man who didn’t have the support of his wife, like Jeff Bezos, or Bill Gates.) Even if my wife had been a supportive wife, the fact remains that she still left me very shortly after our daughter was born as if she planned it.
She is only technically someone’s mother, but she is not a real mother. Not even close.
It is not enough to just make sure your child is still breathing. Kids need a place to grow up where it feels familiar, where they feel safe, where they form memories, where they learn important lessons, where they can see things that ought to be emulated… Kids need to be taught important lessons. They need to grow up surrounded by proper examples. Kids learn from the people around them, and this applies to their parents most of all. I’ll say it again: This applies to their parents most of all.
What is my daughter going to learn from observing her mother? She’s going to learn:
- It’s okay to leave the father of your child as soon as you don’t feel happy enough in the relationship.
- It’s okay to run away from your problems if it’s not convenient enough to work on them.
- It’s okay to lie and emotionally manipulate everyone around you to ‘justify’ your selfish decisions.
- It’s okay to leech off all the people you possibly can.
- And so, so, so much more.
I don’t claim to be a perfect parent myself. There’s no such thing as a perfect parent. But I live by what I believe. And I do the best I can while having a parasite attached to my neck (figuratively speaking). It is an undeniable fact that I was not the one who made this mess.
I look at what’s happening to our country, with the riots and the constant whining about things that are offensive and ‘triggering,’ and I think to myself: This is exactly what happens when an entire society thinks it’s okay to abandon standards. How many of these immature adults were raised by a wholesome family, in a stable household? Probably none of them.
People like my ex-wife only care about what makes them satisfied in the moment. Nobody gives a damn about long-term consequences anymore. We think that most marriages can end in divorce and that will somehow have no effect on future generations…….
Final and most important point:
Anyone, literally anyone, who wants to pretend I’m the bad guy here, cannot work around a simple fact. If my ex-wife approached me with any kind of peace offering, with any kind of reconciliation, with any kind of mature action, things would drastically improve for everyone, especially our daughter. I’ll even go as far as to say this… If my ex-wife approached me and said, “For the sake of our daughter, do you want to try to make it work again?” my response would be a yes. Not an enthusiastic yes, but it would be a yes. I’ve known couples, firsthand, who stayed together for the sake of their kids, and planned on separating as soon as the last child moved out. My ex-wife and I could coexist, but probably have relationships outside the house, would probably sleep in different beds, etc. Or hell, maybe we could make things work out for each other emotionally and be a real couple again. Who knows? Point is, everything would improve if she showed a little maturity for the sake of our baby.
The longer she takes to grow up, the more permanent damage she will inflict on our baby’s development.
There are so many mature approaches my ex-wife could have taken, and still could take. But she won’t. And that’s where my anger stems from. It’s not just because she’s a liar, it’s not just because she’s childish, it’s not just because she can never admit when she’s wrong. It’s because she broke up our family, consciously chooses to keep it broken up, and will never do anything to even nurse the wound. She can’t even bother to put a bandaid on the situation, figuratively speaking.
These days, my feelings toward her stepfamily has drastically improved, because I have taken the effort (for different reasons, but still) to remain in proximity to them, and it’s because I did that that I have warmed up to them. I learned some things in the meantime. I certainly don’t care at all for her stepfather still, but pretty much everyone else. That’s what maturity looks like. That’s what doing what is necessary looks like. That’s what putting my child first looks like. I consciously chose to remain involved with people I openly – openly – disdained. I didn’t do it to learn to like them, but I still accept that result.
She’s not a real mother. She’s a girl who will never be a woman, mentally.
*Technically, there was something she asked of me. She frequently demanded that I stop trying to help with our daughter’s caretaking and just leave it all to her.