Letting go of the Anger and Other Things

I’ll start with an updat on last weeks update – I spoke to the mother of the girl allegedly dating a drug dealer and she is making some discreet enquiries.  She was grateful for the heads up and I guess time will tell whether the story is right or not.

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I’ve been asked to run for another committee and I’m weighing it up.  I have to find the passion for the sport again.   I find that I have lost a lot of respect for people involved and although I think I can do a better job than some of them I worry about the impact on available time.  I am enjoying having weekends off and spending time in the garden.   That will likely change if I take this position on and I am not prepared to do it unless I am 100% committed.  Maybe I still need some more time away from it.   Maybe I will never fully embrace it again.

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My contract is up in about 8 weeks so I am going to ask the boss tomorrow what his intentions are.  I look back twelve months and realise how much I have learned in this role but recognise that there is still a lot more to be done.   I remember the first couple of months when I was floundering not knowing anything at all about ISO 9001 or 27001, being a novice in Business Continuity Planning and Risk Management, but as the months wore on and my background knowledge increased and I was able to call on my former experience both in the police force and as CEO of one of the largest not-for-profit sporting groups in the country, I started to realise that I could make a difference and I like to think I have.   I guess I’ll find out soon if my boss concurs.

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I do keep dwelling on anger and an incident yesterday made me think a bit more about the impact of a marriage breakup on the kids and the log term impact on them.  I won’t go into detail of the actual comments made to me here because that’ll just get me into more trouble but I thought I’d make a few general comments.

I know better than some how comments made to children can have a profound impact on their lives, as can the actions of others.   Often there is no malice in the comments and no actual forethought about the long term impact of those actions.  I started to think about what impact it may have on kids to find that their parents no longer love each other and I have come to this conclusion.   Younger kids, if they are lucky, get the unconditional love of their parents, and that love is something totally different to that of the love between a husband and a wife.  Maybe to those who haven’t gone through a marriage break up this is not something that is true.  But I think for those of us who have it ought to be self evident.

I think that kids can feel threatened by that.  For them the love of a mother and father is the same as that of the love for their brothers and sisters and it is unconditional, just like that of a parent for a child.  But when a marriage goes wrong, particularly when they don’t see what was wrong, then it is something that is very hard to understand.  Perhaps in those cases, the worry is that if one parent falls out of love with the other, it is not a big stretch to think that they may also fall out of love with their children.  They don’t understand, maybe they can’t understand, that the love is different.

It seems to me that the parent who has the bulk of the custodianship of the child has a great responsibility to ensure that the child is protected from the detail of the breakup.  There are some things that children don’t need to know and both parents should do their absolute best to ensure that kids know that they are loved by both parents equally.  If they hear criticism of one, then the fears of losing that love creep in and the kids can hang onto anger about the breakup far longer than they should.   Maybe they can never really understand it until they get older.   It is difficult for the parent who is seen as the instigator of the breakup to defend themselves in those circumstances without bagging the other parent.  And as tempting as that is at times it is far better to keep quiet about things even when it means they still cop the bulk of the flak from the kids.

Sometimes the whole truth and nothing but the truth ca do way more harm than good.  Why be vindicative enough to drag the other parent off the pedestal.   There may be a future time and place for everything to be told, or maybe not.

I know that I have often referred to Don Miguel Ruiz and his book “The Four Agreements”because it had such a profound impact on me.   Back in the early days of this blog I wrote a piece about The First Agreement – Be Impeccable with your Word and I think it applies here.  It’s an orphan piece that drew no comments at the time so I would be interested in any comments on that now if anyone has the time to read it.

I know that there are a lot of readers of this blog who have gone through marriage breakups.  Tell me how your kids coped with it and how you may have tired to protect them from the detail.

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Letting go of the Anger and Other Things

I’ll start with an updat on last weeks update – I spoke to the mother of the girl allegedly dating a drug dealer and she is making some discreet enquiries.  She was grateful for the heads up and I guess time will tell whether the story is right or not.

******************************************
I’ve been asked to run for another committee and I’m weighing it up.  I have to find the passion for the sport again.   I find that I have lost a lot of respect for people involved and although I think I can do a better job than some of them I worry about the impact on available time.  I am enjoying having weekends off and spending time in the garden.   That will likely change if I take this position on and I am not prepared to do it unless I am 100% committed.  Maybe I still need some more time away from it.   Maybe I will never fully embrace it again.

******************************************
My contract is up in about 8 weeks so I am going to ask the boss tomorrow what his intentions are.  I look back twelve months and realise how much I have learned in this role but recognise that there is still a lot more to be done.   I remember the first couple of months when I was floundering not knowing anything at all about ISO 9001 or 27001, being a novice in Business Continuity Planning and Risk Management, but as the months wore on and my background knowledge increased and I was able to call on my former experience both in the police force and as CEO of one of the largest not-for-profit sporting groups in the country, I started to realise that I could make a difference and I like to think I have.   I guess I’ll find out soon if my boss concurs.

******************************************
I do keep dwelling on anger and an incident yesterday made me think a bit more about the impact of a marriage breakup on the kids and the log term impact on them.  I won’t go into detail of the actual comments made to me here because that’ll just get me into more trouble but I thought I’d make a few general comments.

I know better than some how comments made to children can have a profound impact on their lives, as can the actions of others.   Often there is no malice in the comments and no actual forethought about the long term impact of those actions.  I started to think about what impact it may have on kids to find that their parents no longer love each other and I have come to this conclusion.   Younger kids, if they are lucky, get the unconditional love of their parents, and that love is something totally different to that of the love between a husband and a wife.  Maybe to those who haven’t gone through a marriage break up this is not something that is true.  But I think for those of us who have it ought to be self evident.

I think that kids can feel threatened by that.  For them the love of a mother and father is the same as that of the love for their brothers and sisters and it is unconditional, just like that of a parent for a child.  But when a marriage goes wrong, particularly when they don’t see what was wrong, then it is something that is very hard to understand.  Perhaps in those cases, the worry is that if one parent falls out of love with the other, it is not a big stretch to think that they may also fall out of love with their children.  They don’t understand, maybe they can’t understand, that the love is different.

It seems to me that the parent who has the bulk of the custodianship of the child has a great responsibility to ensure that the child is protected from the detail of the breakup.  There are some things that children don’t need to know and both parents should do their absolute best to ensure that kids know that they are loved by both parents equally.  If they hear criticism of one, then the fears of losing that love creep in and the kids can hang onto anger about the breakup far longer than they should.   Maybe they can never really understand it until they get older.   It is difficult for the parent who is seen as the instigator of the breakup to defend themselves in those circumstances without bagging the other parent.  And as tempting as that is at times it is far better to keep quiet about things even when it means they still cop the bulk of the flak from the kids.

Sometimes the whole truth and nothing but the truth ca do way more harm than good.  Why be vindicative enough to drag the other parent off the pedestal.   There may be a future time and place for everything to be told, or maybe not.

I know that I have often referred to Don Miguel Ruiz and his book “The Four Agreements”because it had such a profound impact on me.   Back in the early days of this blog I wrote a piece about The First Agreement – Be Impeccable with your Word and I think it applies here.  It’s an orphan piece that drew no comments at the time so I would be interested in any comments on that now if anyone has the time to read it.

I know that there are a lot of readers of this blog who have gone through marriage breakups.  Tell me how your kids coped with it and how you may have tired to protect them from the detail.

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Father

I was talking to a colleague yesterday who is struggling bigtime with personal issues at the moment. I’m not sure exactly how old he is, but older than I he must be because he has children to his first marriage who are in their 30’s.

For a number of years he has been a visitor in his own house, sleeping on the couch, cooking and doing most of the housework, but unwilling to leave the family home for the sake of his kids. In recent months he moved from the couch onto a mattress on the floor of the study and over that time his wife gradually packed up everything belonging to him and placed it in boxes in the study.

A few weeks ago he decided to finally leave and his children have not spoken to him since. He is lonely and depressed and I can empathise to a degree.

He admitted that he is going through a grieving process but the major issue for him is that issue with his kids. He is bewildered and hurt and I think a large part of that may be due to what his wife is saying to them. Fortunately for me, whilst some of the issues may be the same, that has not happened in my situation.

Of course children are going to all react differently to these sorts of events, and at some stage we should expect sadness, anger and hopefully one day acceptance. But I can’t help thinking that people assume a few things about how the man in the situation will react and cope. One thing we discussed yesterday is that women often have a much bigger support network than a guy. That they have people they can talk to and talk through issues with. For blokes, though, we are often expected to grin and bear it. To actually be open and speak about how you feel is something that is not encouraged. In fact if you do, you risk ridicule and ostracism in some quarters, or at the very least have people think you are a bit strange.

Because feelings are hidden it is often difficult to even find someone in the same situation to talk to anyway. The public face is very different to the private one. Yesterday the conversation began quite innocuously and moved into what might sometimes be called a D & M. Pretty unusual for blokes, but I did find it valuable for myself to understand how someone else was dealing with a similar situation. It also helped to be able to talk about it with another male rather than a female.

It does not matter who is to blame for a marraige breakup and it certainly doesn’t help anyone to sheet blame upon someone else. In a sense, everyone is a victim, irrespective of whether they were the initiator or not, and that is particularly true when children are involved. Any parent who suffers the ultimate hurt of losing touch with their children, even if that is only for a short time, will know what I mean by that.

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Father

I was talking to a colleague yesterday who is struggling bigtime with personal issues at the moment. I’m not sure exactly how old he is, but older than I he must be because he has children to his first marriage who are in their 30’s.

For a number of years he has been a visitor in his own house, sleeping on the couch, cooking and doing most of the housework, but unwilling to leave the family home for the sake of his kids. In recent months he moved from the couch onto a mattress on the floor of the study and over that time his wife gradually packed up everything belonging to him and placed it in boxes in the study.

A few weeks ago he decided to finally leave and his children have not spoken to him since. He is lonely and depressed and I can empathise to a degree.

He admitted that he is going through a grieving process but the major issue for him is that issue with his kids. He is bewildered and hurt and I think a large part of that may be due to what his wife is saying to them. Fortunately for me, whilst some of the issues may be the same, that has not happened in my situation.

Of course children are going to all react differently to these sorts of events, and at some stage we should expect sadness, anger and hopefully one day acceptance. But I can’t help thinking that people assume a few things about how the man in the situation will react and cope. One thing we discussed yesterday is that women often have a much bigger support network than a guy. That they have people they can talk to and talk through issues with. For blokes, though, we are often expected to grin and bear it. To actually be open and speak about how you feel is something that is not encouraged. In fact if you do, you risk ridicule and ostracism in some quarters, or at the very least have people think you are a bit strange.

Because feelings are hidden it is often difficult to even find someone in the same situation to talk to anyway. The public face is very different to the private one. Yesterday the conversation began quite innocuously and moved into what might sometimes be called a D & M. Pretty unusual for blokes, but I did find it valuable for myself to understand how someone else was dealing with a similar situation. It also helped to be able to talk about it with another male rather than a female.

It does not matter who is to blame for a marraige breakup and it certainly doesn’t help anyone to sheet blame upon someone else. In a sense, everyone is a victim, irrespective of whether they were the initiator or not, and that is particularly true when children are involved. Any parent who suffers the ultimate hurt of losing touch with their children, even if that is only for a short time, will know what I mean by that.

True Confession Time

For a number of years I worked long hours in two jobs and neglected my family in doing so. Several years ago I had an affair with a lady over a period of 6 months but out of guilt I ended it. A year or so after that my father died and I started to question all sorts of things about my life and I came to the realisation that I could maybe have a future with that lady. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail but I will say that it was never my intention to hurt anyone despite the fact that it was inevitable that my wife and family would suffer and that I am truly sorry for their pain.

But that relationship began as a friendship and through that friendship I found myself opening up to that lady more than I had to anyone else ever in my life. She knows my deepest darkest secrets and I know hers.

Eventually I confessed to my wife and in February last year we separated. I guess I had the intention to pursue a relationship with that lady but I wasn’t very good at it. I seem to only excell at hurting people sometimes, so whilst I felt that I was moving along emotionally and starting to sort through all of the shit that comes with midlife, there were times when the lady got sick of me and said that she would wait no more for me. So the relationship was on again off again in many ways and that wasn’t fair to anyone.

One night whilst her car was in my driveway, my daughters passed the place i’m living at and saw it. I received a phone call from the youngest and when I asked her how she was I was told “Not good, I don’t think you should come around here anymore!” And then she hung up on me. I then also got an email from the older daughter telling me that the kids had discussed things and that they would never accept that other lady, blaming her totally for my marriage break up. Now I have to say that the marriage break up was solely due to me and no one else, I made choices and I think sitting here now I would make those same choices again.

I heard a friend describe his marriage breakup by saying his wife told him that she loved him but wasn’t in love with him anymore. And that was how I felt. I honestly think we sometimes look too much to see what was right and what was wrong and not simply accept that things change.

No matter the reasons, it again made me step back from the lady and again she accepted my distance and the fact that I needed to talk to my kids about things, and, hopefully sort things out so that we could move forward as free of baggage as possible.

But over the past couple of months things happened that put a strain on things and its not fair to go into detail here so I won’t. Suffice to say that the lady decided to go on an overseas trip with other singles. I feared what might happen but I believed that she needed to go so that she could decide once and for all whether or not we were meant to be together.

Now contact on the trip was minimal but she did manage to phone me a couple of times and we did chat on messenger and each time she professed her love for me and that I needed to trust her.

I was supposed to pick her up from the airport today but last night I got a phone call from her telling me not to bother, that she wanted to catch the train. I knew there was something wrong and I spent the night tossing and turning, not sleeping a wink and I convinced myself that she had found someone else. I figured that if she still cared for me she would contact me quickly on her return and early this morning I got a phone call from her asking me to come and pick her up. Everything was alright I thought.

But when we did meet, there was a wall there, and not long into the trip home I found out that she had commenced a relationship with a guy in the past four days and she wanted to pursue those possibilities.

She tells me that she wants to do that because she has no confidence that we will move forward. I deserve that criticism.

Hence the title of the last post and this one should maybe be “Slipped Away”.