Divorce: Lying Starts at Home

Image result for henry viii
At least he didn’t kill his own children. But the divorces did – how do you say ? negatively impact a whole lot of people. (BTW – doesn’t his face look like a code monkey’s? The beady eyes and beard?)  

Divorce is like having both your legs amputated. It might be necessary in some extreme cases, but only a madman would make it anything other than a desperate last resort. And, afterwards, you can never walk unaided again.

Via some Twitter feed or other, I was made aware of this testament to our culture’s love affair with comforting self-deception and willingness, almost eagerness, to make someone else suffer for our sins, a currently popular song called When You Love Someone

 

Come home early after class
Don’t be hangin round the back of the schoolyard
I’ve been called up by your teacher
She said she can’t even reach you cause you’re so far

You’ve been talking with your fists
We didn’t raise you up like this, now did we?
There’ve been changes in this house
Things you don’t know about in this family

It don’t make sense, but nevertheless
You gotta believe us, it’s all for the best
It don’t make sense, the way things go
Son you should know

Sometimes mums and dads fall out of love
Sometimes two homes are better than one
Some things you can’t tell your sister cause she’s still too young
Yeah you’ll understand
When You Love Someone

There ain’t no one here to blame and nothing’s gonna change with your old friends
Your room will stay the same cause you’ll only be away on the weekends

It don’t make sense but nevertheless
You gotta believe us, it’s all for the best
It don’t make sense, it don’t add up
But we’ll always love you, no matter what

Sometimes mums and dads fall out of love
Sometimes two homes are better than one
Some things you can’t tell your sister cause she’s still too young
Yeah you’ll understand
When You Love Someone
When You Love Someone

Come home early after class
Don’t be hangin round the back of the schoolyard
And if we’re crying on the couch
Don’t let it freak you out, it’s just been so hard

Sometimes mums and dads fall out of love
Sometimes the best intentions just ain’t enough
Some things you can’t tell your sister cause she’s still too young
Yeah you’ll understand
When You Love Someone
When You Love Someone
When You Love Someone
When You Love Someone

Oookay. I didn’t make it through the end of the video, but, from the lyrics and the bit I saw, if those kids didn’t eventually torch the house with mom and dad in it, mom and dad got off easy.

Some wit quickly linked to this masterpiece from the Onion:

Here are The Onion’s tips for discussing the often difficult topic of divorce with your child.

  • Preface the announcement by saying “I love you,” which will put your child at ease as they listen to you explain how love can crumble at any moment.
  • Begin with a simple, straightforward explanation of why this divorce is happening, what it will involve, and who Susan from marketing is.
  • Don’t resort to the blame game in explaining why you’re separating, as the kids will handle that part themselves.
  • Explain that divorce is actually fairly common. Your child might find it comforting to know that many of their classmates find themselves in the exact same hellish dungeon of pain, rage, and bitter, unending sorrow.
  • One easy way to expedite this whole thorny process is to tell one child and let word spread on its own.
  • Be patient, listen as much as you speak, and display other empathetic qualities that your marriage failed to incorporate.
  • Assuage your child’s concerns by reminding them that only a small percentage of kids from broken homes become murderers.
  • Remind your kids that while it may be difficult now, things will get easier with each subsequent divorce.
  • No matter how you decide to explain the situation to your child, the most important thing is to do so better than your spouse.

My mind went back to a hit song from my youth, about the proper use of lying and emotional manipulation earlier in the relationship.

Like all modern Americans, many of my acquaintances, friends and family have been divorced. I’ve seen exactly one ‘good’ divorce in my life, where the parents did their best to act like adults and shield their kids as much as possible from the adult-level passions and issues their parents were going through. That divorce was just as heartbreaking for the children as any other, and did a terrifying amount of damage to the kids. By modeling what is taken to be adult behaviour, the parent managed to convey to the kids how to act like nothing’s wrong when, in fact, those kids are, as the Onion puts it, in a “hellish dungeon of pain, rage, and bitter, unending sorrow.”

And that was the *good* example. I’ve seen first hand exactly *one* of those. More typically, mommy and daddy expect the kids to shield them from their guilt, use them to get back at the ex-spouse, manipulate and bully the kids into buying the party line, and otherwise lie, lie and lie some more so that they can pretend everything is, if not cool, at least no worse than anything else.

Then, faced with incomprehensible betrayal and misery, the kids act out as described in the song above. The dad – the singer – then tells the kid to buck up, “We didn’t raise you up like this, now did we?” Um, what? How did you, Mr. Grass is Greener,  raise him up, exactly? To do his duty even when times are tough? To honor his commitments even when he’d rather not? To love as an act of will and not a chemical process of the endocrine system?

This is the real root of the Culture of Death, right here. That we’d rather lie, lie, and lie some more than endure anything unpleasant. That we’d rather beat up our own kids than embrace suffering ourselves. That, ultimately, we’re willing to kill if it means we can keep living our delusions. Once you’ve set the bar this low, what’s putting grandma out of your her misery? Or anyone else for that matter?

 

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Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

8 thoughts on “Divorce: Lying Starts at Home”

  1. Yeah. Divorce is hell. For many years I resented my dad for moving out and leaving us kids with my mom alone, and later a stepfather. I came to find out in recent years (after my dad had committed suicide) that the whole thing was actually my mom’s idea. She had wanted to “find herself”. My dad had told me that years earlier, but I didn’t believe him. I don’t know what my point is, but when I had my own kids, the thought of leaving their mother and breaking up the family struck me as the most villainous crime I could commit. I simply can’t fathom how people bring themselves to do such a thing, to their spouses and to their children. If you can’t make a sacrifice for your wife and your kids, who can you make it for?

    1. So sorry for your experience. As I’ve mentioned occasionally, my family is involved in a tiny alternative school, where parents who got married – once – and stayed married are in a significant minority. Sometimes, I think many people have been permanently traumatized by whatever they went through as kids – they have had their emotional wounds cauterized. This leaves them unable to see the true horror of what it is they are doing, in turn, to their own kids.

      You have done well to refuse to rationalize, and reject this behaviour.

    1. Absolutely true. In three of the divorce situations I’m personally aware of, one side got it into her (happened to be the wife, in these cases) head that she was tired or bored of the marriage, or had found someone better – and that was that. The interests and feeling of the kids, let alone the husband, just didn’t matter – in a couple of these cases, kids were bullied to spout the company line: it’s no big deal, it’s for the best.

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