By Galtimer Michelle Strickland
In today's world it is so much more common to meet a divorced couple than find a couple that has been married for many years. It's sad, but so very true.
What's even sadder is that I'm a witness to it first hand with many divorces taking place in my own family; even my parents called it quits after almost 20 years. I thought for sure they were going to make it. They had their ups and downs, but who doesn't? As time went on it seems as though my sister and I witnessed more and more arguments, but I think it's just that as we got older and older we understood what was going on and the extent of the heartbreak more.
When my father decided to move out, it seemed as though he moved out and moved on leaving my sister and me behind. Later that year, he had us out for dinner to "ask" how we felt about him entering the dating scene. Now, I put the word ask in quotes because at the time we thought he was actually thinking of our feelings only to later find out he had already begun dating someone. I thought it was completely ridiculous jumping into it so quickly because he didn't even give himself any breathing room after his separation from my mom.
Not too much longer after that meal did my sister and I meet her... his new interest. At first, I gave her a chance, but after time went on I just didn't have a good feeling. After finding out she was in the picture even before my parents were separated, I REALLY didn't have any interest in having any relationship with her and hoped that one day my dad would have the same feeling... not so much to get back with my mother, but just not to be with HER.
At that time, knowing a bit more about the "behind the scenes" of my parents' relationship I felt like I had to be there more for my mom with love and support because of the betrayal and hurt from my dad. I guess you could say I was "team Mom". My dad's relationship with his new girlfriend grew stronger and stronger while his relationship with me started to fade more and more.
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The next "call" that I got was an invite to her house, which my dad had moved into, to announce to my sister and me that they were going to get married. It might have been wrong of me, but I chose to not attend his wedding day. They had a dress and everything for me to be in the wedding party, but I just didn't feel that it was something I wanted to be a part of or support because 1.) knowing how their whole relationship began - so quickly and in the midst of my parents' marriage and 2.) how it had affected the relationship my dad and I used to have.
About 2 years ago, I gave birth to my son, which strangely enough helped my dad and I connect again. I didn't act like nothing was ever wrong, but I did welcome back the opportunity of a relationship again with him slowly with my guard up. He was trying and I could see it. He was actually trying so hard to be a part of my life again (and my sister's) that his wife was not liking it very much. I'm sure they were having their own personal problems before, but his urge to want to have us back in his life must have been it for them because low and behold he filed for divorce not too much later.
I don't know if I'm supposed to sit here and say "I told you so Dad" or keep hating that there was so much time with each other missed because our relationship fell down the tubes, but where we are now is nice and I hope it stays that way.
Do you think that a parent should involve their children more in the choices they make when it comes to dating or getting remarried? I personally think it's a good idea because, in my case, I wish my dad did. It would have saved a lot of heartbreak and a lot of missed time and memories.What do you think-- should kids have any control or influence over who you date?
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