A Memo To Single and Divorced Moms
You don’t need me to tell you going through a nasty breakup with the father of your children can be downright cataclysmic. There’s something about the complex combination of bloodsucking lawyers, wars of words and mental anguish that causes most women to channel the dark side with a vengeance that would make Darth Vader proud. At some point, every negative emotion under the sun rears its ugly head during the tumultuous and oftentimes heartbreaking process of dissolving your once-loving relationship. For the average woman, this means stratospheric levels of rage, spite and anger coupled with ample amounts of loneliness, depression and despair. You become your own worst version of yourself, capable of sinking to levels and behaving in ways you never thought possible as emotions run raw and tempers flare hotter than Lucifer’s lair on a searing summer day. One day you’re Doc Jekyll, the next Mrs. Hyde. Even if you’re so damn delighted to be out of the relationship you could do cartwheels and backflips of joy, the process of getting to the other side can be akin to undergoing an anesthesia-free root canal and simultaneous amputation of your favorite appendage. It’s no picnic and it’s no easy ride. The end result is almost always a woman who is in some way battered, bruised, beat down or broken.
Speaking of broken, a close friend of mine is a well-respected neurosurgeon and he tells me if you look at cranial CAT scans of people going through a nasty breakup, you’ll often find serious synaptic deficiencies in areas of the brain responsible for judgment, common sense and relational intelligence. It’s almost as if the decision to split induces a unique psychological condition that tanks the intelligence quotient of certain individuals a hundred points or more. For women, this means almost overnight, the man you once thought you wanted by your side for all eternity literally becomes the most mentally deficient person on the planet. Enter Mr. Moron. Virtually everything he says or does is nothing short of an unmitigated disaster in your mind. He can’t do much, if anything, right and it seems his very existence is custom made to get under your skin. And wouldn’t you know it? He feels exactly the same way about you. This is when you begin to look at each other and think…
Was I drunk and high for the entire relationship?
Sometimes it feels that way.
So when two people already grating on each other’s final nerve have to work together through a complex series of financial and custody-related challenges, it creates the perfect storm for a protracted season of Category 5 blowouts. No wonder we brawl like a bunch of coked-up Vikings more than half the time.
To add insult to injury, many men (and women) exacerbate this already tenuous and volatile environment by rushing headlong into a new romance with someone else faster than you can say ‘fresh beaver.’ We all know somebody like this. Some poor, emotionally traumatized tool who rushes from the still smoldering, disastrous implosion of his relationship and starts seeing someone new before the dust even begins to settle. I guess the old notion of time healing all wounds is out the window here. It’s a brave new world where it’s believed the best way to get over someone….is to get under someone else.
Instant gratification at its finest.
As if this weren’t enough, this affection-starved Casanova often makes matters worse by ‘blending’ his kid’s world with that of his new lover’s world at damn near warp speed. Sometimes it all happens so quickly it can make your head spin.
As a newly single mom, few things in life can be more difficult than the first time another woman swoops in and starts spending time with YOUR precious offspring. Just knowing another woman is ‘playing house’ with your kids can be the emotional equivalent of a gut punch to the uterus. Even if you’re relatively secure, the hideous specter of self-doubt can rear its ugly head and shake your confidence to its core. Before you know it, you find yourself tortured with every kind of self-inflicted mind game under the sun…
- Do my kids enjoy being with her more?
- Is she more fun than I am?
- Will everyone else think she’s an ‘upgrade’ compared to me?
If you’re a single or divorced woman who struggles with this, I have a very important message for you…
When it comes to your relationship with your children, the last thing in the world you have to worry about is being upstaged or replaced by another woman.
Assuming you are a loving and involved parent, no one is going to swoop in at the eleventh hour and unravel the bond you and your children have spent their lifetime building. It doesn’t work that way. There’s a reason the phrase, A Mother’s Love Has No Equal, stands the test of time. Because it’s true. Your role as your children’s mother is indispensable, invaluable and irreplaceable. And whether you realize it or not, they need you now more than ever to be their shining beacon of stability and light. You are the epicenter of their world, and they in turn, will be yours.
One of the most beautiful things about kids is the way in which they love. Children don’t have a limited or finite supply of love or affection. So the time they spend or attention they give to someone else doesn’t detract from their ability to love and cherish you wholeheartedly. Kids are fully capable of giving of themselves and just living in the present moment. So believe me when I tell you the presence of another woman in your child’s life will never take away or diminish the special place and unmatched love your children hold in their heart for you as their mother.
Speaking for myself, I’m very fortunate to have an ex-wife who places a priority on her relationship with our daughters. And though she and I still brawl like the aforementioned Vikings from time to time, I know the unique bond that links them together will never be disrupted by the presence of another woman in my life. Not now. Not ever. Not only because I wouldn’t allow it, but also because the woman I’m with will be wise and secure enough in herself to understand that NOBODY comes between a mother and her children.
Not even her.
I’ve always thought one of the best things about freeing ourselves from the bonds of a dysfunctional relationship is the chance for a fresh start. And contrary to what some people may think, just because you may be single or alone right now doesn’t mean you’re crazy or damaged goods. Oftentimes, it means just the opposite. It means you had the strength and courage to see your way clear to a new and better life for yourself and your children. Even if it doesn’t always feel that way. Not everyone gets this opportunity. Instead, countless women remain trapped inside lifeless, abusive or passionless relationships for the sake of money, children or just pure convenience.
That’s no way to live.
The famous German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, once said, “Out of chaos, comes order.” Talk about a philosophical notion that’s dead on the mark! While there’s no doubt some societal ills have their roots in the fragmenting of the family, just as often, the decision to end a marriage or other relationship is the catalyst to a brand new lease on life for millions of people. A brighter lease of joy, health, and happiness for men, women, and children alike.
And that, my friends, is The Unfiltered Truth…..