Parent’s fighting keeps them from understanding how the divorce affects their children and knowing how to help their children. The fighting usually does not stop when the parents are divorced.
My parents separated/divorced 4 years ago when I was 13 years old but it feels like they have been separated forever. It’s hard for me to remember when they were still together.
Since I was young it has been a fear in the back of my mind that they would get divorced. I felt like that wouldn’t happen in my family though. I believed my parents really cared for each other. At first they would fight occasionally over stupid things like money or taxes. They would fight the most when there were big events like family vacations. Dad would make charts, tables and lists for what he wanted to do on vacation and when. My mom would flip out about that. For the last two years it seemed like they fought all the time. We had to sleep at a friend’s house some of the time. Things seemed to get better for a year but they still said they were going to get a divorce. They tried marriage counseling and it seemed like they had stopped fighting. We thought they were getting along better but now we think that they just weren’t talking to one another at all.
Since my parents divorced they don’t fight directly. They use lawyers, courts, legal documents and emails instead. They don’t scream at each other. This type of fighting doesn’t affect me or my siblings as much. I just accept they will fight with each other but it bothers my older brother the most. He is the angriest at mom and dad. He’s angry that the marriage didn’t work, and that mom left and got remarried. He had the closest relationship with mom and had the best relationship with our parents. As the years went on, mom was less able to tolerate anxiety and stress and for example, stopped reading with us.
After the divorce, dad felt guilty and took a lot of the parenting upon himself. Mom was very angry while dad was very guilty. They are both trying to save the family by fighting with each other. They blame each other for ruining the family in the past and present. If they win this battle of egos they will save the family by defeating the other one. The fighting that they are consumed with though, is what ruined the family in the first place.
After mom left I only saw her once a week so she wasn’t really there for us. Dad was depressed so he wasn’t really there for us either. They are trying to get it together by fighting. They realize that they didn’t pay a lot of attention to their children. If they really get it together and stop fighting they may be able to help us out.