Why Did You Get Divorced?
“Mommy, why did you get divorced from Daddy?” He asked me quietly as he sat down on his bed.
I inhale deeply and remember that night almost 5 years ago when I had to tell him that we are not coming back to the apartment where we used to live with his dad.
That night, he cried and asked to come home. I couldn’t tell him the truth so I just told him that we are staying with his grandparents for now.
He was only a little over 3 years old back then.
Gradually with time, I began to explain to him that his father and I are now divorced and we live our own lives, separately but we both love him greatly.
After his kindergarten graduation, I explained to him that being divorced means he now have two homes and he is lucky to have two homes full of people that love him.
As my boy gets older things change especially when Dan my fiance was introduced into his life.
He began to ask more questions.
“My Daddy said there is only one Dad and only one Mom” to which I agreed on and told him Dan will never replace his father but Dan loves him too just like his own.
This is why I stand firmly in asking my family to never speak negatively about his father, especially in front of him. Like it or not, he is still the father of my child and not even divorce can change that. I am grateful my family is doing much better at this. I understand it must be difficult for them considering what has happened.
“Why did you and Daddy get divorced?”
“Come here Alex…sit with me…” I patted the bed and he snuggled close to me. So close, I want to just hug him and transfer all my love so he knows that he is so loved. That his parents’ divorce has nothing to do with him.
“Sometimes, two people get married then they realized later that they are happier while they are not together. It was not a mistake to married your Dad. We have you and you are not a mistake. You are a blessing to us. Your Dad and I are happier now; we both have our own lives.”
I stopped and examined his face. Trying to find traces of understanding from his young soul.
Then the dam broke…
My boy cried big tears. Sobbed uncontrollably and my heart breaks for him.
He curled up in a fetal position on my lap. Oh, my heart…to feel the pain seeping through his tears, I wish I could shield him from the pain and the confusions.
“It’s ok to feel sad Alex. It’s normal to feel that way.” Ever so softly I rub his head.
And so I let him cry.
“You do know that I am happy with Dan, right?” his eyes looked straight into mine as I asked him this. “You do know that Dan and I are now engaged. We will get married soon.”
He nodded and wiped his face.
“Daddy is very happy too with his family now. You have a very cute little brother.” I’ve met the little boy before and he is so adorable and absolutely adores his big brother.
“Yes but he hits me sometimes…” here comes the ex only child again. I had to tell him that his little brother just wanted his attention and wanted to play with him.
Fast forward to just tonight, I had a chance to chatted with my ex for a bit. We talked about the arrangement for Alex’s birthday. He celebrated his birthday this year with his Dad. We take turns for Birthdays and the Holidays.
Then I asked him.
“Btw, did Alex ever ask you why we got divorced? He asked me the last time he returned from your place.”
“No, not yet but I’m sure he will.” He replied.
I told him what had happened and how I think Alex was just trying to understand what happened to his parents. Why are we not together like a normal family?
“Just have to make sure he knows it was not his fault. Sometimes children blame themselves.” He said.
“I guess the intact families things in school also make him feel different than his friends. I saw on his religion worksheet about the happy family, etc.”
“I guess maybe he was a bit worry that I’m not married yet. He keeps asking when Dan and I will get married.”
“Yes he does, because he mentions that here too. He wants to make sure everyone he loves is happy.”
I was surprised by this but clearly; he is bound to say things about me and Dan when he is over at his Dad’s.
“He said Mommy and Dan will get married and I said yes because they love each other and happy. And I am happy for Mommy.”
I had tears running down my face as I read his words. He and I both had come a long way. That’s what I had told Alex too before. That I am so happy for his father. That sweet boy must just want to make sure I am fine.
Oh, bless you, my boy.
“Yes, I’m sure he just wants you to be happy and make sure it’s ok with me.” He added.
We went on to discuss it for awhile and agreed that in his own little mind he is just trying to understand the whole concept of divorce and the aftermath which is how his parents are moving on with their own lives.
Divorce is never easy. Co-parenting is a hard business but it is a business of raising our son together and I am grateful my ex and I are in a much better place today. We are co-parenting together. We are doing our best to raise a happy healthy son together as a divorced couple.
I hope one day our boy will realize that even though his parents got divorced, he is still so loved and he has gained two important new people who love him just like their own children.
If you are divorced how do you handle your children’s questions? Share your experience in the comment box below. I’d love to hear it.
Picture credit: John Hain from Pixabay
5 thoughts on “Divorce: Helping My Son Understanding Why”
Thank you my daughter for writing this and It makes me understand more about our grandson. Wish I was there to give you a heart hug❤️
I Love you
Thank you Mom. Love you too 🙂
There will never be a 100% perfect settlement for a divorce. But you and your ex handle it very well. I’m sure Alex will grow up as a happy kid. :))
aku jg prnh ngalamin cerai dengan suami pertama dulu.. tp mungkin sesuatunya agak lebih mudah, krn kita tidak dikaruniai anak saat itu 🙂 . jd prosesnya cepat, ga bertele2, dan masing2 dr kita memang udh kepingin cepet2 pisah.. Jadi pembelajaran sih mba, krn aku bnr2 ga pengin pernikahan yg kedua skr hancur kyk dulu.. Apalagi ada anak untuk yg skr..
Hi Maureen, How is Alex doing?
You are an impressive mom. I love how you explained to him everything without letting him feel any resentment towards his dad. Co-parenting is as hard as it gets and it can only get harder when your child starts blaming themself for not having a perfect family like other children. I loved this article. Thank you for being a honest saul.