Wednesday

Divorce - Fun for the Whole Family!

I should probably explain my last post so I don't just look like Debbie-Downer over here.

I went to my parents house on Sunday, like I do every week. My parents are getting divorced but they still live together, like they have for 27 years. They each have their own living room, and they don't sleep in the same bedroom - it's been like that for years.

They still eat meals together with my younger sisters. My dad does most of the housework since he's semi-retired and my mom resents him for it since she's 9 years younger and still has to work.

My mother is an alcoholic but even when she isn't drinking she can be truly mean. The last three Sundays I've been over there she's found a reason to start a fight with me. Not just a minor fight but she starts yelling at me, slamming doors and generally just makes me cry.

Then she has the nerve to ask my younger sisters why I haven't been spending time with her lately, and tells them I'm on my dad's SIDE (like we're children and have to choose sides).

The difference is that my dad almost never talks about the divorce. When he talks about my mother, it's like he feels sorry for her. He reminds us that she loves us and he never says anything about her unless she is being particularly mean.

My dad is not by any means perfect. He can be controlling and he has a short temper. You can tell his way of "fighting" against my mom is by being the calm parent. I don't see anything wrong with that.

The reason I don't like hanging out with my mom lately is because all she talks about is how bad of a person my dad is. Or she'll talk about some aspect of the divorce, throwing it out there like it's such an improvement in her life.

She sorted the Christmas ornaments into "her" pile and "his" pile, organized hers neatly in special boxes and left his in a jumbled pile. Then she felt the need to show off how much bigger her pile was. She acts like a child.

I think my mother is pushing me away because she knows if it came down to it, I would hang out with my dad more then her. She's hard to deal with and I'm so sick of hearing about how bad of a person my dad is.

I'm sick of hearing her plans for divorce, I'm sick of hearing about how my dad plans to screw her in the divorce proceedings (he doesn't want to hire lawyers, he wants to just settle it - "you take your things, I take mine". She has a divorce lawyer and it seems like she WANTS things to get nasty. She wants him to be miserable). I'm sick of hearing about SIDES and whose SIDE we're on. I'm sick of being around her.

If that means I've chosen my dad's side, well so be it.

23 comments:

Angela said...

I don't know much about divorces since my parents got divored when I was little and it all happened without me. But, if the children are older (adults, even), do they get a say in what happens during the court proceedings? Like, does the judge ask your opinions? If so, be honest.

Matt said...

This is the EXACT same way my parents are.

almost to the T.

Matt said...

I mean, about their divorce situation anyway.

Dr Zibbs said...

Thats too bad Alice.

debi said...

My parents were similar when they got divorced almost 18 months ago. Not entirely the same, but close.

I hate when my mom talks about my dad. The thing is, I don't like my dad, but I don't think she should be bad-mouthing him constantly in front of me and my siblings.

I think we are still the children in the relationship and should be kept that way...

Elle Bee said...

Oh dear, that sucks. (big hug)

pistols at dawn said...

I've been told by many kids of divorce (who isn't one these days?) that the best way to handle everything is to say nothing and let the kids figure it out, which they will. It's not a strategic game of alliances, and trying to make it one never works.

Chin up, kiddo.

Essentially Me said...

I'm so sorry you need to deal with this.

DocElectron said...

I grew up with parents who divorced when I was pretty young. I actually think in some ways it would be much harder to go through a parent divorce as an adult because you have a different role as an adult with your parents.

I think this sounds like a very complicated and painful situation and it's really only the tip of the iceberg of your history with your family.

I'm so sorry you're going through this and living this stress right now. Please know I'm thinking of you.

Maxie said...

Oh Alice. That freakin sucks. I hope that things get better.

insomniaclolita said...

im so sorry this happened to you *hug*

The Alleged Ringleader said...

I'm so sorry you're going thru this! I too have parents that act like children and it's just not fair. If I were you I would have already REALLY had it out with my mom and told her what a baby she was being and why would I hang out with her? You don't want to hear her bad mouthing your dad, their problems are their problems and they shouldn't drag you into it.

So@24 said...

Eek.

alexa - cleveland's a plum said...

i'm sorry you are going through this right now, i've been there so it does get easier even though you don't think it ever will.

Errant Gosling said...

Divorce brings out the worst in people. When I clerked for a judge that shared a civil / criminal bench with the other judges in rotation, the common joke among the courthouse was that one couldn't wait for the divorce docket to end and the murder docket to begin ... it would finally be a chance to meet some nice people.

I don't mean to make light of the situation and I know it's hard, but take comfort in know that you (they) are not alone in this exercise.

Fabulously Broke said...

I am so sorry to hear about the divorce. Although, I find that the only people that win, are lawyers.

I think your mom is feeling very hurt about the whole ordeal, thinking that she wasn't the one in the wrong and your dad is trying to be the guy to keep it all together but isn't able to.

What they don't understand is that a divorce means it was the both of them. Not just one person, that cause it to happen.

Good luck!


Fabulously Broke in the City

"Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver."

Anonymous said...

Why do you even bother to go over anymore??? Live your own life...they have ruined theirs..don't let them ruin yours. See your younger sisters somewhere else. Move on or you will be a mess.

momcat said...

You need to say to your mom that you don't want to discuss the divorce, hear bad things about either parent or be accused of or forced to choose sides. Otherwise you will not be able to visit very often because of the atmosphere. Throw the ball back in her court. Dont allow her to emotionally blackmail you (that is something I am familiar with).

Kez said...

Ugh. I'm so sorry you have to live with that.
I don't think "sides" even comes into it. You're just trying to survive. If your mum wasn't being so mean, you would spend more time with her!

d said...

My mom is really difficult too and picks fights constantly, so I completely understand that part of this post. I'm sorry you're going through this though, it sucks :(

Tova Darling said...

That's really difficult. I'm so sorry. Mr. Darling's parents are like this. Ten years after their divorce was final, they got into a several-month-long fight over who should get to keep a lunch box. Seriously. You just want to freaking shake people sometimes.

There's an award for you on my blog, though!

family affairs said...

That is so interesting reading it from your perspective. My children are much younger than you, but I have always been aware that kids at any age don't want to hear one parent slag off the other. Trust me, sometimes I find that extremely difficult but it really isn't in the kids best interests and I see that it doesn't improve as they get older! Thanks for writing about it. Your mum must be a bit scared? The alcohol aspect is not going to help at all - would she get help for that? (my mum won't) Lx

CatsPuke said...

You could've been talking about my family there. THey were the same a few years ago. Being stuck in the middle of a divorce sucks, no matter how old a kid you are.

CP x