I Wish As A Child I Understood That Sometimes Two Houses Are Really Better Than One

I Wish As A Child I Understood That Sometimes Two Houses Are Really Better Than One

A broken home isn't always a bad thing.

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I can't sit here and pretend to know anything about marriage. I've heard that "marriage isn't easy; it requires a lot of give and take." I can, however, tell you about divorce. Growing up you never think that your parents will fall out of love. How could they? And while you may always be too young to understand the ins and outs of your parent's relationship, divorce affects more than just the people married. Researcher Judith Wallerstein proved in her well-known study on divorce that an unhappy marriage is better than no marriage for children. Not only are kids oblivious to the flaws in the marriage, but no marriage at all can have negative long-term effects on the children, especially in future relationships. However, a limitation of this experiment was that Wallerstein did not study high-conflict marriage, where divorce is not a problem that needs to be fixed; it's a solution.

Parents often tell their children that "mommy and daddy don't love each other anymore," even if there are other reasons for splitting up. Divorce is difficult for children to understand so this is the line that is fed most often to them. Therefore, the one concept children struggle with the most is how could parents fall out of love? To answer this question we have to define love. The internet defines love as "an intense feeling of deep affection," but I think TIME is more accurate with their article titled "We Are Defining Love The Wrong Way," in which Rabbi David Wolpe states that Too many women have told me, bruises visible on their faces, that the husbands who struck them love them.

Since they see love as a feeling, the word hides the truth, which is that you do not love someone whom you repeatedly beat and abuse. You may have very strong feelings about them, you may even believe you cannot live without them, but you do not love them. When I was growing up my mom always told me that it was her job to teach me to distinguish between "a man who flatters me and a man who compliments me; a man who spends money on me and a man who invests in me; a man who lusts after me and a man who loves me." I never realized how important it is to be able to distinguish between lust and love. These two words are so different, but society uses them interchangeably.

So how should love be defined then? I believe that 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says it best: "Love is patient and kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. It does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love never fails."

So now try to put your spouse or significant others name as a substitute every time those verses refer to love. Can you do so without laughing? If not, then your relationship might be based more on lust than love. This doesn't mean that it will never have a firm foundation of love; it just means that it will take time to build this kind of sturdy foundation. The problem is not divorce; the problem is the lack of willingness to foster the type of love a marriage requires. The biggest misconception about divorce is that it causes a home to be broken when in reality the home was broken, to begin with. Divorce allows there to be two strong support systems that are much healthier than one dysfunctional family unit. Coming from a divorced family, this is something I wish I understood as a child.

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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10 Father's Day Quotes To Share With Your Dad

"Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad."
— Anne Geddes
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Fathers are peculiar figures in our lives. They lack the frantic affection of mothers, yet display a certain tenderness of their own toward their children. They've done some crazy stunts of their own, yet fuss over their kids' tiniest mishaps. They're there for the ride of child-rearing no shorter than mothers, and yet their emotional experience isn't exactly the same.

Fathers are our parents, teachers, and providers. It only seems right to take a day out of each year to honor all that they do for us. And so in the spirit of the holiday, I've listed ten Father's Day quotes below for you to share with your own dads.

“The power of a dad in a child’s life is unmatched.” —Justin Ricklefs

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It's true: a father's emotional presence in his relationship with his children can make all the difference in how the child turns out as an adult, for better or worse. A dad receives his parenting "report card," so to say, once the child reaches adulthood and either chooses to continue visiting home or stay away.

However, for a large portion of a child's youth, a dad has most of the power over his relationship with his children. The development of the relationship is entirely dependent on how he chooses to treat his children.

“It is a wise father that knows his own child.” —William Shakespeare

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You can't deny this one, either. Most good fathers know their children better than they know themselves. My own dad frequently knows what I'm feeling before I do. The best fathers are tuned in to their children's emotions, and they certainly try their best to help you when problems arise.

“A father’s smile has been known to light up a child’s entire day.” —Susan Gale

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Remember way back when the most exciting part of your day was when your dad came home from work? It's a magical feeling to reflect on those days and recall that the simplest things our fathers do can bring smiles to our faces. It's healthy to retain a bit of that childlike wonder as an adult, and we can't ever forget that.

“Fathers just have a way of putting everything together.” —Erika Cosby

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Although it may be somewhat begrudgingly, you'll admit that you're almost never disappointed when you seek advice from your dad. Your dad is truly great at piecing together puzzles that you can't solve yourself, and you're grateful for his invaluable input. You wouldn't be where you are now if it weren't for his words.

“A father carries pictures where his money used to be.” —Steve Martin

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For the father who has what it takes to be a dad, children teach him that there's much more to life than money. Matters of the heart exceed the value of money, and wallet photographs most likely serve as a reminder of the children for whom he must provide.

After having kids, a man no longer works for his own livelihood, but for that of his own family. And for this, your father certainly deserves much more recognition than he may receive at times.

“Dad: A son’s first hero, a daughter’s first love.” —Unknown

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From the moment a child sees his or her father for the first time, a heavy responsibility is placed upon his shoulders. A dad must be a role model for how his son is to behave and a standard to which a daughter sets herself to seek out a partner. Hence, a father is a son's first idol and a daughter's first love, as the saying goes.

“A father doesn’t tell you that he loves you. He shows you.” —Dimitri the Stoneheart

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Oftentimes, a father uses his actions rather than his to show you that he loves you. He works to put food on the table because he loves you. He teaches you how to drive because he wants you to stay safe. He shows you how to change a tire so that you aren't stranded anywhere. Everything he does, he does with love.

“My father didn’t do anything unusual. He only did what dads are supposed to do—be there.” —Max Lucado

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And what more can you ask of a good dad?

"I'll never forget how I felt at that moment. I felt that my father was a great man." —Kevin Arnold

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Every child has a moment when he or she realizes that the sacrifices that a father makes are all for their children's benefit. Every child has a moment at which he or she understands that a father is only human, makes mistakes and has more aspirations than meets the eye. It's eye-opening to comprehend that our father is a normal people like you but somehow makes him all the more of an inspiration.

“A dad is someone who wants to catch you when you fall. Instead he picks you up, brushes you off and lets you try again.” —Unknown

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If there's one thing your fathers teaches you, it's perseverance. And you couldn't love him more so for it.

Father's Day is one of our greatest holidays, so this father's day, remember to thank him for all he's done for you.

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