Single Parenting in Marriage vs. Divorce
Since I’ve been a single mother, I’ve had so many people comment to me, “It has to be SO hard to be a single parent!” Even though I don’t say it out loud, my answer is always, “It’s a thousand times better than being a solo-parent in an abusive marriage!!!”
I had almost sole responsibility for the children during our marriage. The only time Bubba helped with the kids was when he was angry with them and then he would just explode. Bubba would not just do something that needed to be done. I had to specifically ask him for help. If I had two children asking for two different things, he would just sit there and let me do everything unless I specifically asked him to help one of the children. Most of the time, he would act extremely put out that I’d asked him to help with his own children.
Anytime we would go out of the house, I had to make sure the children were up on time, fed, and ready to go at the appointed time. I would make sure that whatever supplies we needed for the day were packed and ready to go. I would have all of us ready and in the car at the appointed time and we’d be there waiting for Bubba because he was still inside fixing his hair.
So many times, one of the children (usually Shane since we was so little) would decide he needed to go to the bathroom one last time. As I was in the house, helping Shane, Bubba would go out to the car. When we finally got back into the car, he would blame me for being late! He would say, “See, I’ve been out here, waiting for you. I was ready to go and you weren’t.” Meanwhile, had we left when we should’ve, Shane could’ve used the bathroom at our destination.
Family vacations were a nightmare for me. I did all the laundry and packing before the vacation and I did all the work during the vacation while Bubba did all the fun things. I would end up sleeping on the bathroom floor because Bubba would snore so badly then yell at me if I woke him up to ask him to roll over. When we got home, I had to do all the laundry again and put everything away.
I came back from every vacation we ever took tired, sleep-deprived, and resentful of, once again, not really having a vacation.
Not only did Bubba not help with the children, but he continually criticized and questioned my parenting. He wasn’t helping me to parent but he always had a comment about how I was doing things incorrectly. He was also very good at disagreeing with me about parenting ideas, even after I’d done extensive research to reach my conclusion and he’d done no research at all.
My job was to parent my children and I took my job seriously. I read and did research about many different ideas and he’d just decide something was right because he thought it was.
We had one set of rules when I was home with the children, then we had basically no rules when Bubba was home. He wouldn’t reinforce rules and would let the children get away with doing things he knew I didn’t allow when he wasn’t home. He would complain about not having a say in the house rules but would never actualy sit down and discuss the rules with me when I offered to sit down and talk about them with him.
Now that I’m single parenting, I have one set of rules for my house ALL THE TIME. I made it clear to the children from the time we separated that I would have my rules at my house and their dad would have his own rules at his house. Their dad would have no say over what the rules were at my house and I would have no say about the rules at his house.
Single parenting is very, very difficult. It is also so very much easier than solo-parenting in an abusive marriage.
Yes, I have sole responsibility for the kids now, but I’m not answering to anyone about my decisions. I have my rules and they are respected and followed for the most part (not perfectly of course because they are still children, after all).
It is actually easier now that there isn’t another parent in the home undermining my rules at every turn.
- Posted in: As Life Continues - My Story Now ♦ First Year Divorced ♦ Male Privilege ♦ Using Children
- Tagged: abuse, abuser, authority, blame, blaming, children, divorce, effective parenting, family, intimidation, marriage, married, no help from spouse, parenting, permission, permissive parenting, punishment, responsibility, undermined, verbal abuse