Today, I’d like to introduce you to LA Single Mama. She’s been divorced now for six years and was 33 at the time. She and her husband were together for seven years and have a son. He’s seven now and yes, that means he was barely a year old when LA Single Mama’s marriage ended. In fact, he was the catalyst for the divorce. Before you get upset about that, I will tell you that LA Single Mama and her ex are another successful co-parenting story and LA Single Mama believes her ex is a better dad now than he would have had they stayed married.
Although LA Single Mama knew her husband wasn’t entirely happy, the divorce came as a surprise. Here’s how she describes it.
Once our child was born, he wasn’t sure he could handle everything and he wasn’t sure he loved me any longer. It’s wasn’t like we were head over heels in love. Things had cooled down and I thought our relationship was just more of your everyday relationship. So it wasn’t an entire surprise to me he wasn’t happy but it was a surprise that he was so unhappy that he wanted a divorce.
think having our son pushed him in that direction. He panicked about the idea of having a wife and a child and being responsible for everything and everyone. So about two months after our son was born, he decided to move out. Then he moved in and out of our house several times for six months and finally, I put my foot down and said,
“Either you’re staying or you’re going.”
He didn’t know what he wanted to do so I decided I was going.
I think I put up with him moving in and out because I was willing to give him a bit of time. It’s so overwhelming to have a child and to all of a sudden be a grown up. But there were a couple of things that helped me see that things needed to change.
The first Christmas after my son was born, we were supposed to be at my family’s house and my ex at first decided he wasn’t going and then he finally did show up. When he was there, he was a jerk to everybody and it really upset me, not only because it was our son’s first Christmas but also because he’d never been as accommodating to my family or to anything I wanted, as I was to him. I don’t know why I was so surprised because he wasn’t much worse than usual. It wasn’t that he went out of his way to be rude but that he was never interested in anything I liked or wanted to do or my family. There was something about that one time, I guess it was having our son, that made me realize he was never going to change and that if I stayed then that was the way it was always going to be.
I wish I had been stronger at that point but it took him moving in and out all those times before I was able to put my foot down. I felt guilt to some extent because I did know what he was like before I married him although I didn’t think he’d be as bad as he was or as selfish as he was.
Having my son also really made me feel that I deserved a lot more than I’d ever thought before. I think giving someone else unconditional love made me see that I deserved that love too. I deserved to be treated well. I guess I thought would I want this for my child? And if not, then why would I want it for myself?
I think tolerating her husband moving in and out is very understandable. For starters, having a newborn baby to take care of absorbs most of your energy and those nights of disturbed sleep also impact your decision-making and judgment abilities. In addition, there’s huge societal expectations that the arrival of a new baby is a joyous occasion oozing with love and adoration. I think LA Single Mama was swimming against the tide and I give her more credit than she’s giving herself for confronting her husband and saying enough is enough.
I was married for almost 17 years and the belief that divorce was not an option, kept me from confronting issues between my husband and I. I just thought that since we were married, that was it and somehow I’d muddle through and we’d work it out. Obviously, that wasn’t a recipe for happiness and it wasn’t until I accepted that divorce was an option that I really did confront some of the issues. By then, it was too late to save our marriage.