Parenting After Divorce

Dear Dr. Darcy:

My husband and I just separated a few months ago as a first step in getting divorced. I tell you that because I don’t want you to harbor any delusions about the possibility of us getting back together. I’m writing because I’m about to lose it. My kids just got home from visiting him this weekend and the bastard had the audacity to inform them that I cheated on him which is why we are not living together. To add insult to injury, he told them that he was willing to forgive me but that I didn’t care about them enough to try and keep the family together. My blood is boiling even as I write this and what I really want to do is march into their room and tell them that I accidentally married an asexual who could barely get it up the two times it took to conceive them, and that their deceptive piece of shit father never had the courtesy to tell me that he was asexual until after they were born. I’m biting my tongue in the hopes that you’ll post an answer soon, but how in god’s name am I supposed to raise these kids without defending myself to them?


For the record, I received this question an hour ago and the sun isn’t even up yet, so hang in there while I attempt to deescalate you before I’ve finished my first cup of coffee.

Let me start by confirming that your husband sucks. Feel a little better? I thought so. And good for you for cutting him loose – you both deserve partners with whom you’re more compatible.

Now let me be the first to welcome you to the wild west of cooperative parenting after divorce. It’s ironic – the concept of cooperative parenting, because in reality if you were able to cooperate in any aspect of your life, you probably wouldn’t be getting divorced. Nonetheless, you chose to breed with this guy, for better or for worse, and while you can divorce him and move on from him in some aspects of your life, you’ve signed on for life as a co-parent, and that comes with a ton of responsibilities. Now, do your kids a favor and repeat after me: “I vow never to speak negatively about my children’s father.” It’s the best gift you can give them.

As a parent who is divorced from their father, you have a choice to make when you’re feeling compelled to speak negatively about him: Either selfishly express yourself or choose to put your love for your children above your momentary needs. That’s what it boils down to – and the choices are mutually exclusive. You cannot do both at the same time. Ask any child of divorce what the most difficult parts of their childhood was and they’ll all say that it was hearing their parents speak badly about one-another. Your soon-to-be ex-husband is as big a pussy out of the marriage as he was when he was in it. You can’t control him. But you can control the impulse to defend yourself to your children. Prove yourself to be the strong mother I know you are and find a friend to vent to.

Writer’s Stats: Female, Has A Sex Drive