If anyone thinks that this long term anger at an ex does not affect their children they are very wrong. It lowers children’s standards in relationships. It allows children to see that one person attacking another person is OK and permissible.
I see a lot of articles about “letting go” after divorce or more aptly, “not being able to let go” of the hurt and anger after a divorce. Divorce is not easy but the marriage probably wasn’t all that easy either. I am always kind of floored when I read someone’s Facebook posts about their ex-husband or ex-wife and what he or she did to ruin the marriage and their life. I don’t doubt that the ex-spouse were jerks but I also know the old adage, “there are two sides to every story.”
My focus has always been the concept of moving on and moving up after my divorce. I made plenty of mistakes in my marriage and so did my ex-husband.
However, my ex-husband like a lot of those Facebook posts I read cannot and, more importantly, will not move on. My ex-husband refuses to let go of his anger, bitterness, and hate towards me. He tells our children over and over that I ruined his life and that his whole life was lost due to the fact he married me and had children. He tells our children he never loved me, I was mean to him, and I always expected too much from him.
Our kids are getting older and even though it is 5 plus years post- divorce my ex is still spewing hate. It really is poisoning the minds of our children. He knows it and our kids even tell him to “move on” and “get over it”. However, none of our kids can fully pull themselves away from their dad’s discourse. His hate for me seeps into their minds especially since two of them live with him. It
His hatred for me affects their feelings about me and their interactions with me. I can tell when my middle son gets in the car and there is this angry edge to him. He is angry at me and his comments border on rude. However, after a few hours, he is ok—back to his usual funny self and us, as mother and son are also ok.
Long-term hate has a nasty impact on children
If anyone thinks that this long term hate does not affect their children they are very wrong. It lowers children’s standards in relationships. It allows children to see that one person attacking another person is OK and permissible. It shows male children that a woman and a mother does not deserve respect. It puts children squarely in the middle of the problems in the marriage and the divorce.
If you are an ex who cannot let go of the hate and anger you need to ASAP. I really do not care what your ex did to you. It really does not matter. Unless he or she was an alcoholic, abusive, or on drugs, his behavior in the marriage does not matter. It is over—you are divorced and you still share your children together. Hanging onto bitterness and hate hurts you but, more importantly, it really hurts your children. Don’t say to me that your kids really don’t know how you feel or you only talk about your ex when they are not around. You are fooling yourself and are in a big boat of denial.
A word of warning for angry exes
If you are the ex who is encouraging anger and bitterness to come into your life and set up residence you really need to self- evaluate your feelings. Was there NOTHING in your marriage that you solely did which contributed to the demise of it?
Are you absolutely in the free and clear and your behavior for the ENTIRE marriage was self-less and blameless?
Were you the absolute most loving, gracious, and encouraging spouse EVER?
Instead of dwelling on all the faults of your ex why don’t you think about who you are now and where you want to be. How can you move forward and where do you want to go? Those questions and actions are scary and for some people, they would rather dwell in the hate and in the past. But, just know that your children are paying the price for your fears.