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Discussion Starter #1
After reading a few of the recent threads on relationships breaking down it sruck a chord with me. Mine is a story from a child's perspective when parents split.
My parents marriage broke down when my Dad had an affair. I was 10 years old. He moved out within weeks & moved in with the other women. I didn't want to visit him because he was living with someone else I wanted to see him on his own, but when my Mum tried to explain he thought she was making a scene & my lasting memory of my Dad was him handing the keys to my Mum & collecting his bags all in front of me. It was never really explained to me what was happening I was considered to young.
For the next 8 years I only saw him occasionally during the year & when he would come over on Xmas Day for a short while, the last time I spoke to him I was 18, that was 18 years ago. This was nothing to do with my Mum it was his attitude that I should get over it that was the problem. I was only a kid !!!
My oldest brother got in touch with him 10 years later, but my Dad still did not want to know, his saying became "she knows where I live" funnily enough I was still living at home (the home he left).
To cut this story short just over 2 years ago I had a call from my Mum to say my brother had called to say that my Dad had terminal cancer. My head was in a spin for days trying to make a decision, in the end I decided not to see him, I only have few happy memories of my Dad & those were the ones I wanted to remember as I felt he was a complete stranger now, he died 10 days later, the next few months were hell & my family & friends were fantastic as I came to terms with my decision, I finally realised that it had been the right decision for me.
So all I can say is to remember that the children are children, talk to them properly, but also listen and be persistant don't become a stranger. Any decisions you make will have lasting effects on everyone. I wish my story had been different & that my Dad hadn't been a stranger to me in the end.

Sorry for such a long post, but you will never know how much that it has helped to write it all down, it has been bottled up for so long.

On a much lighter note hope you all have a Happy New Year xxx
 

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After reading a few of the recent threads on relationships breaking down it sruck a chord with me. Mine is a story from a child's perspective when parents split.
My parents marriage broke down when my Dad had an affair. I was 10 years old. He moved out within weeks & moved in with the other women. I didn't want to visit him because he was living with someone else I wanted to see him on his own, but when my Mum tried to explain he thought she was making a scene & my lasting memory of my Dad was him handing the keys to my Mum & collecting his bags all in front of me. It was never really explained to me what was happening I was considered to young.
For the next 8 years I only saw him occasionally during the year & when he would come over on Xmas Day for a short while, the last time I spoke to him I was 18, that was 18 years ago. This was nothing to do with my Mum it was his attitude that I should get over it that was the problem. I was only a kid !!!
My oldest brother got in touch with him 10 years later, but my Dad still did not want to know, his saying became "she knows where I live" funnily enough I was still living at home (the home he left).
To cut this story short just over 2 years ago I had a call from my Mum to say my brother had called to say that my Dad had terminal cancer. My head was in a spin for days trying to make a decision, in the end I decided not to see him, I only have few happy memories of my Dad & those were the ones I wanted to remember as I felt he was a complete stranger now, he died 10 days later, the next few months were hell & my family & friends were fantastic as I came to terms with my decision, I finally realised that it had been the right decision for me.
So all I can say is to remember that the children are children, talk to them properly, but also listen and be persistant don't become a stranger. Any decisions you make will have lasting effects on everyone. I wish my story had been different & that my Dad hadn't been a stranger to me in the end.

Sorry for such a long post, but you will never know how much that it has helped to write it all down, it has been bottled up for so long.

On a much lighter note hope you all have a Happy New Year xxx
Aggi -

my sincere condolences. All that's right with life, and all that's wrong with life, is in your post. You must not feel the need to apologise for writing it down, if it helps channel your feelings. Many AO-ers have been spun through life's tumble-dryer - your emotions are in safe hands here if you need a bit of TLC, and an understanding ear.

i wish you all the best for 2012.
 

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Great to hear the view from the "other end" as it were, and to make the parents in these breakups see that the children involved CAN be very resilient, and CAN get through these events, and CAN deal with it BUT only if the parents do the right thing.

Kids are such an easy tool to use in a break up, but the damage if you do is so long lasting both for them as individuals and - as Aggi states so eloquently - for any future relationship the parents might want on their terms.

Sorry that Aggi had no happy ending, but that in itself is the clearest message.

As I found out when going through it, the hardest thing is knowing when to treat your kids as kids and when to talk to them seriously. I erred too much on trying to keep my daughter "protected" by acting like nothing had changed for her. Clearly she knew things had changed (she was 8) but we got through it. I also think girls are able to comprehend splits at an earlier age than boys.

Tough times for everyone when it happens - but there are right ways and wrong ways through it all.

Always, always, always protect your kids through it as priority 1. They will remember who treated them right.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the kind words.

Most of the time I feel like I have moved on but there are times when it all seems like only yesterday.

I was lucky in one aspect that the family on my Mum's side were so supportive to all of us that it got us through the first few years. I had a cousin that I coud turn to & my brothers each had someone to reach out to.

It is tough, but one step at a time helps & finally after 20 years I can finally write the word Dad!!!
 

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Great thread.
My parents are still married (aged 91 and 84!!) and so am I after nearly 30 years with my partner.

But I have experienced the break ups of quite a few families of friends and relatives, from childhood friends whose parents separated aged 10 or so to friends in their forties now doing the same.

The one thing I would like to say is (banal as it may sound) we are all people, regardless of age. Don't fail to communicate with kids because you think they can't handle it or understand. The only thing they won't understand is why you didn't communicate with them.
 

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I think sometimes children see things in black and white, rather than being sensitive to all the subtle grey tones in between. My kids see me as some kind of villain, without realising that there probably isn't a man on the planet who could have put up with their mother's behaviour. She has naturally encouraged their distorted view as it benefits her. There are always two sides to every tale.

I'm glad the OP has found peace though and I wish him all the best for the future. :thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I lived with my parents arguing for most of my young life so I know that there are always 2 sides to any story, my issues were that I did try with my Dad, I wrote letters to him & never got replies, he cut off our phone & cut us off from his family by telling them to stop letting my Mum visit, (I came as a package with my Mum) In that one year I lost a big part of my family my grandparents died within 3 months of each other, then my Dad left, then we stopped visiting the family that I had grown up with.
It was a lot for 3 kids to take on & my Mum tried very hard to encourage us to keep in touch, but it wasn't to be.
I forgave my Dad for not loving my Mum anymore, but I am not sure if I have ever forgotton the effects.
I am sorry for anyone who has split from a partner and has then had the children used against them, that is pure selfishness on the parents part, but my Dad never showed he cared.
 
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