Something occurred to me recently. While divorce may have split up my family … we are still a family.
We are a broken family, but still a family.
Why is this important? Well, because it means not a whole lot has changed. My ex-wife and I still made a child, and we are still raising that child, and we are still raising that child together, even if she and I no longer live together or have feelings with each other.
This fact I have realized explains even further why broken families damage kids as they grow up. Deep down, and consciously, they feel they belong to Mom and Dad, regardless how Mom and Dad feel about each other, and thus if Mom and Dad are torn, they are also torn.
More specifically, though, my role as the father hasn’t changed. I still have to be strong, I still have to be the teacher and protector, and as circumstances have made abundantly clear, I still need to be the more rational one. I still need to be the better one, in every way.
Easy to get lost and blind when you’re filled with anger over your ex trying to screw you over in the worst ways she can… But still, the father’s role remains. Fathers still have to be better.
And you never know: Being better might repair the damage. If it doesn’t, well now you know it never could. As long as you know you’re not the one keeping things in shambles, that’s what’s important.