Herald Journal Columns
Sept. 2, 2002

There is light at the end of the tunnel

By DENISE ROSENAU

I never thought the day would come, but I must admit that I have finally come to an understanding with my ex.

There is hope out there for those of you, like myself, who have dealt with divorce and the impact on the lives of both children and parents.

I must say that my son, who was about one-and-a-half years old when my ex-husband and I divorced, stayed pretty well-balanced throughout the whole ordeal, although, I attribute a lot of this to his age.

Now he is an 8-year-old, and has more than two parents who love and care for him.

As a child, I also grew up in a family with mom, dad, step-mom, and step-dad.

My dad always wanted to see us. I don't want to glorify divorce, but I did find that in my situation I felt more love, rather than less. My step-parents are great (still), and I was fortunate.

Now, for my son's sake, I am fortunate that my ex has always wanted to be a part of his life. He has been there religiously every other weekend for visitations, as well as holidays and important days. He has attended school events and extra-curriculars.

My son knows, without a doubt, that his father loves him. Even through the hard times, when I could barely so much as look at my ex without wanting to throw a rock at him, I was glad that my son wasn't sitting on the steps waiting for a dad who would not show up.

With the divorce rate as high as it is, maintaining a decent relationship with an ex when children are involved is not only preferable, it is essential. But it's also rare. Hense the divorce.

And as for myself, up until the last few years, we did not have a good relationship. I don't know what finally changed, whether it was that our son grew old enough to understand, the fact that I remarried, or that we were just plain sick of fighting (or perhaps we both just matured), but it's much better now.

And, believe me, I never thought that we would have an amicable relationship. I still don't think that we will ever get the point that we will call each other to have coffee (if that were the case, we should have never gotten divorced), but I do know that when my son has a choir concert or a sporting event, we can all attend, and even sit together, without a problem.

It feels good to finally get to the point where we can all feel comfortable with the past decisions that were made. I felt tremendous guilt when we decided that divorce was necessary, because there's always that worry that a decision that I made could ruin my son's life.

As time has shown, the fighting is what would have made my son's life difficult. Making his life more peaceful was the best decision that could have been made.

I can finally now look at my son and realize that the best decision for the situation was made. It took many years to come to that conclusion, but it is worth it now that I can see how his life is enriched, rather than ruined.

As they say, "And this, too, shall pass . . ."


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