What is a Broken Home?
The term “broken home” is often used to describe a divorce or ending of a long-term relationship especially when children are involved. What many people don’t understand, is that a broken home can just as easily be used to describe an intact marriage or live-in situation where arguing and fighting are a common occurrence. When children are subjected almost daily to fighting and yelling because they have parents who are unable to get along with each other, in my mind, that truly is a broken home.
Divorce or separation should never be the first solution for a couple who is having trouble finding the loving feelings that brought them together in the first place. However, it is sometimes the best solution when every other attempt to have a loving relationship has failed.
Marriage was a Battlefield
When I was married to my children’s dad, it was more like a battlefield than a marriage. The marriage went south only a few days after we were married. He physically assaulted me, called me names and threatened to “dump” me back at my parents’ house. In hindsight, I should have begged him to take me to my parents. Instead, I begged him to forgive me for whatever I had done or said. The truth is I hadn’t done or said anything that deserved that reaction from him, but my lack of self-esteem and strong desire to be married overruled my own inner wisdom. On top of that, my Catholic upbringing taught me that divorce is never an option which made leaving out of the question. Afterall, I didn’t want my children to be from a broken home.
Within four months after we got married, I was pregnant and doing my best to convince myself and everyone else that the marriage was a good one. I told myself it was my fault that my husband got angry so often. If I just tried harder not to upset him, everything would be fine. Two children and almost 7 years later I finally filed for divorce and got out of that marriage.
Our Home was Different
It was a major adjustment to go from a two parent household to a one parent household. The kids and I lived with my parents for a few months until a temporary court order made it possible for us to move back to the marital home. Having family around us helped tremendously. When we were able to move back “home” it made it even easier for the kids to adjust. Life became more calm, but not without challenges.
At the time of the separation, my children were too young to understand what happened to their life with both mom and dad in the house. It took awhile for the kids to get used to the new living arrangements. We all shed tears, but I don’t regret the divorce because it gave me the opportunity to provide my kids a peaceful environment in which to grow up. I don’t regret the marriage either, because it produced two wonderful children and I am proud to be their mother.
Not a Broken Home
My children are adults now with children of their own. I know I did the right thing when I divorced their dad. I believe that my children now know that I did the right thing too.
Let’s all stop referring to a divorced household as a broken home. The stigma attached to that term can lead people to believe they should stay in a toxic or abusive relationship. Divorce should rarely be the first solution, but sometimes it is the best solution.
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