For the past three months, ever since we told our kids we were divorcing, I've been dealing with some anger from both of our children.
The good news — if it can be called that — is that the anger has been directed at the mother. The bad news is that I have struggled with how to handle it.
Here is the situation: There's a 19-year-old and a 14-year-old involved, and ever since their mom moved out, they've been vocal at voicing their displeasure about her.
To be sure, they're mad at me as well, and they have every right to be. A failed marriage takes two.
But for reasons I'm not sure I understand, most of their anger has been directed at their mom, and it's made the situation more difficult for me.
You'd think I'd be happy with their anger, but I'm not. She is still their mom, and they need to have a good relationship with her as well as me. I've told both of them, "You're both great people; Don't let your parents screw you up."
As much as I'd like to jump in and agree with them, I've bitten my tongue and told them they need to consider that we're both going through a difficult time and that splitting up should eventually make everyone happy.
At first, I was unclear as to what to say, but taking the high road will pay off in the long run.
My fear — and I have a lot of them lately — is that the divorce has permanently tainted their relationship with their mother.
The older one, for example, didn't want to visit with his mother when he recently came home from college. She wanted me to intervene and talk to him, but I resisted, telling her I had my own issues with him.
Finally, I arranged a lunch between the two of them. That helped, but there's still some bad feelings on both sides.
The younger one would like to do more with his mom, but their interests don't seem to coincide very often. And they don't seem to be connecting while spending evenings while watching TV. When he comes home, and I ask him what they did, he simply replies, "Nothing."
I realize that teenage boys are probably more attracted to spending time with their dad than their mom.
But their anger toward their mom, ironically, is affecting me more than anyone else. I'm worried about everyone's relationship more now than when we all lived under one roof.
Next Up: Scheduling Nightmares
Just joining Chris' story? Check out what you've missed here:
Chapter 1: Out of the Blue
Chapter 2: The Fear of Being Lonely
Chapter 3: Telling the Kids
Chapter 4: Did we Make the Right Decision?
Chapter 5: Splitting Things Up
Chapter 6: Anger from the Kids