Divorce is a painful situation for everyone, especially when there are children involved. Feelings are hurt, tempers are aflame and mudslinging is common practice. Often times your old best friend has become your worst enemy.
I came across this quote the other day and it got me thinking that these words should be the oath that divorced parents must take.
There are a few different variations on this saying, but this is my favorite.
Four Things You Can't Recover
The stone after the throw.
The word after it's said.
The occasion after it's missed.
The time after it's gone.
Some of the most abusive things that occur during and after divorce are nasty and hateful words. It's true, you can't take back your words. Here is a little scenario to put it into perspective. You ex tells you that he never loved you. He tells you that he always fantasized about someone else during sex. He tells you he just felt sorry for you. Fast forward to three years later and he is begging for you back. Can you just forget the words he said three years prior? Even if he said he didn't mean them? Did they disappear from your brain? I didn't think so.
It's vitally important to be mindful of your words for three big reasons:
1. You don't want to live your life with regrets. You may hate your ex now, but in a few years from now, you might find that you both have a mutual respect for each other because you love your children so much. The environment a child lives in during divorce is critical in their emotional development. You don't want to live with the guilt of being a bigger part of the problem.
2. You want to model good behavior. You know it's true -- actions speak louder than words. You can fool a toddler, but once a child can read, their minds can pick up on inconsistencies. Just ask any adult child of divorce how many broken promises they have endured. Don't tell junior you are going to buy him a helicopter unless you have plans on dropping a few million. Don't tell your kids their father is a idiot when you know good and well he isn't. Your kids will soon think you the fool.
3. You want people to remember you in a positive light. What if you died in a car accident tomorrow? Would the last words out of your mouth be about how much your ex sucks? Would the final thing your children hear from you is how their mother is a whore? Trust me, you DO NOT want to be that person. Wouldn't you rather leave words like this --- he was always so kind and gracious. She never had a bad thing to say about anyone. He was a role model for everyone. She radiated kindness. What legacy do you want to leave for your children?