Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Keep this in mind about such forums: they CAN be gathering places for whiners. I don't say this in a mean-spirited way, but as an honest caution.

Naturally, people who did just fine following their parents' divorce (me, my daughter, my siblings, friends of mine, children of friends of mine) don't go to these forums, so you see ONLY those who feel short-changed by life and think of themselves as victims.

It bothers me how often you refer to families no longer having full contact, but I have seen MANY situations in which divorce did not mean a loss of family, but rather an increase in family. A stepparent often means additional siblings, grandparents, etc. My step-grandson thinks of my husband and myself as grandparents just as fully as any other grandparent he has, and my daughter's favorite grandparent was the mother of her step-mother, a woman I loved as well. My dad explained to me once, when I expressed just a bit of jealousy at how much my daughter loved her step-grandmother, that love is not a pie. You don't have just so many pieces to serve. Love is infinite and you can love as many people as there are to love and love them hugely without running out of love to give. This made beautiful sense to me, so I loved the step-grandmother even more for the love and time she gave to my daughter.

I think your most important point is that adults need to act responsibly. Don't parade your "auditioning" partners to your children, don't have your serious arguments in the presence of the kids, explain things to children and encourage their questions, etc. Love and nourish your children, treat them with respect. Behave with maturity and kindness. Everything else is extraneous (what job you have, whether you're divorced, where you live...). Your concern for children is admirable whether I agree with your feelings about divorce or not.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 02:13:38 AM EST
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