Divorce’s Goal: Put the Kids First
It takes two people to agree to marry and only one to decide to divorce. Regardless of how you’ve come to divorce and who made that decision, it likely wasn’t something taken lightly and the underlying causes didn’t occur overnight.
Conflict and emotions, often elevated during a divorce, tend to cloud our judgment. You may feel hurt, scared, angry, even betrayed. You may even have conscious (or subconscious) desire to punish your soon-to-be-ex. It’s important not to inappropriately act on these feelings, as they may lead you to make decisions that feel good at the moment—but, in the end, hurt your children.
It’s long been said: “you may win a fight, but lose a relationship.” In fact, it may have played a role in your arriving at this place. However, like it or not, when a couple has children together (regardless of their age), their family still exists after the marriage ends. Your parental relationship doesn’t end along with the dissolution of your union. Therefore, consider whom a loss of your coParent relationship harms most. When children are involved, you can’t “win” a divorce or aspects of a divorce, regardless of how you believe such a “win” may feel. That feeling is typically short-lived, and the win-lose paradigm in a divorce tends not serve your or your children’s best interests in the long run.
A divorce doesn’t end the chronic conflict between two people who will be tied together for life through their children. For the benefit of your kids, doesn’t it make more sense to resolve or otherwise manage conflict with your ex, than to exacerbate it?