If you know somebody who has been divorced or know someone going through it; you know that it isn’t easy for anyone involved. The couple getting divorced, the kids, the extended family all struggle to comprehend the newly occurring change.
For my family, this divorce process took over three years and finally finished in November of 2017. Our family will never be the same due to the tragedy that occured in an unfortunate manner. We could have only wished that they were getting divorced due to disagreement but the motive was so much worse: cheating. My ex-uncle had an ongoing affair for nine months before my aunt caught him.
My aunt was very suspicious knowing he was taking a lot more weekend “business trips” and “late nights” than usual. She finally worked up the courage to snoop through his phone and find text messages from the mistress, who happened to work at the same hospital that my aunt and ex-uncle worked at. She angrily marched into her bedroom where she saw her husband. Screaming and yelling, she threw his suitcase on the bed and was packing it for him. My cousins came downstairs wondering what was wrong because they were as clueless as she was.
As my aunt saw his jet black BMW pull out of the driveway she knew that it was the end; the lifetime of love and bliss had come to an end in a blink of an eye. She turned around and saw her kids standing barefoot on the driveway, tears streaming down their rosy cheeks. Seven year old, Ben, mumbled “When is daddy coming home?”
My cousins’ life changed forever and they will never accept their father back in to their life again. Ben, was seven at the time and he couldn’t comprehend what was really going on. Ben cried and screamed and begged for his parents to get back together. When he realized that the possibility of them rekindling their love was slim, he started giving up on school and his hygiene. My other two cousins, who were 14 and 15 at the time, immediately sided with their mom. They understood that what their father did was wrong and they know that they will never forgive him. The oldest cousin went as far as uninviting her dad from her High School graduation and her future wedding. Those two monumental moments in someone's life are things that no one wants to miss but because of his inexcusable actions, he was excused.
My cousins had a childhood that no one should have to go through but unfortunately 41% of first marriages end in divorce and one of the top reasons is cheating. The amount of money and time spent on separating the burned out love will never able to be recaptured. Ending this unhealthy marriage was something that was necessary for not only my aunt and ex-uncle, but for the whole family.
There are many other tragic love stories like theirs but here are some ways that we managed to get through ours:
1. Communication is key. Make sure everybody is informed of recent changes and adjustments so that everyone is on the same page.
2. Don’t ask the couple getting divorced too many questions. Especially if they are very personal. Keep your space between you and them or you might get yourself in a sticky situation that you don't want to be in.
3. Make yourself available to help them in any way that they ask you. For my family, we would have our cousins stay with us every other week for two months, so that their parents had alone time to try and figure out legal issues without the presence of their kids.
4. Lastly, appreciate the successful and loving relationships you are in now because you don’t know how they may change in the future.