Please don’t stay together for the kids
|Native Sabahan Erna is (not) Malay but loves Malay literature. Her hobbies: cats/gaming/blogging at ernamerin.com/Tweeting at @ernamh.|
JAN 20 — Some time ago, I wrote a Facebook note with the very same title as this column.
It was very personal, so I won’t reproduce it in its entirety here.
What surprised me was the reaction I received to the note. First, other children of divorce left comments, saying they were glad their parents chose to split.
Then a total stranger sent me a Facebook message telling me she herself had been contemplating divorce but worried how it would affect her children.
I wonder sometimes if she actually went through with it and how her children are doing.
The following is an excerpt from said note and I hope wherever that woman is, she’s doing all right.
An excerpt from a long-ago note:
When people condemn divorce or divorcees, I wonder if they even know what they’re demonising.
I am a child of divorce and I think that my parents’ split was the best thing they could have done for their seven kids.
Divorce is a terrible thing for a child to endure. But it is far better for a child to deal with it when it happens sooner than later.
My parents, against all odds, held their marriage together for two decades.
But they were two decades of pain and turmoil in a situation so toxic that five out of seven of us children were, at various points in our lives, suicidal.
My two youngest siblings are the most well-adjusted because the divorce happened when they were barely old enough to remember it, being three and four at the time.
I love both my parents but looking back I can only say their marriage was a bad idea.
They were both emotionally volatile — my father with his anger issues, my mother and her manic-depressive tendencies. Individually, they’re both incredibly compassionate, gifted people. Together, they were oil to fire, always ready to combust.
Reminiscing with my sister about our childhood, I realise how we were so rarely happy growing up. Home was no safe haven but a pressure cooker and our memories were laced with anger, fear and pain.
I only knew peace at home the day my father left the house.
Ironically, the divorce gave me the father I should have had. He was no longer the angry man I feared yet loved, but just my father, who I still adore most of any man alive.
Sometimes, the best thing to do really is to walk away.
All I can say is think carefully before you commit yourself to a person. I believe in marriage for life but I also believe that it is difficult to be a good parent when you’re suffering a bad marriage.
Love, sometimes, isn’t enough.
* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.