I'm sorry, (ok, not) but this post is not going to be politically correct or even very nice. For the second time (and I have the sinking awful feeling it won't be the last) I am watching a friend endure the tearing apart of her family because her husband has decided to quit trying. I was careful not to express this fury when Sarah and her husband separated, because I know how hard she worked to keep her heart focused on praying for her husband. We still call Brian and Sarah dear friends, so I kept these thoughts to myself. My goal was to edify, support, and help her see the best in him and draw it out. But I'm fairly sure that my friend Jennifer doesn't read my blog, so I think I'm safe to vent.
I am well aware that marriage problems are never one sided. But when a man decides to walk out on his family and feebly say that he thinks his family is better off without him, it really gives me the strong urge to take a pair of cleats to his toes. And then his shins, knees and upper thighs.
I've only done the single parent thing once and it was only for two and half months, and it was not the result of my husband withdrawing his love at all. Rather, he left to work in California for a while, and we decided together that he should do so. I was not without financial support. I didn't have to move. I didn't face uncertainty about my future. I simply had to do the parenting thing with no help.
Even as easy as my situation was, it was awful. And as hard as it was on me, it was harder on Danny, who didn't understand why his Papa wasn't around anymore. Even with video chat and phone calls and all the efforts we made to connect, he just didn't get it. It was rough on him, and it took a while to settle down and feel secure and safe after that. It was incredibly hard to hear him ask for Papa all the time. It was even harder, when he quit asking for Papa all the time. And then when Papa came home, we had to adjust all over again.
When my own parents divorced, I was an adult, on my own and married. It still ripped my world to shreds and pieces and made me question everything I thought I knew was solid and dependable. I was an adult, people.
Kids need Dads. Moms need help. So to husbands who are even tossing around the idea of leaving their family, I say...
Suck it up. Figure it out. And work it out.
Your kids need you.
No matter how hard whatever it is that you have to deal with right now,
it doesn't compare to how hard it will be on your kids when you walk away.