My brother and I were so glad when our parents split up. My name is Catherine and I am 20 and have just started University and my brother is Steven. He is 22.
Our parents split around 8 years ago, so I was 12 and Simon was 14. Looking back I think there was a slight relief that all the arguing would stop. I remember my Mum being really aggressive with my Dad on lots of occasions and as we got older it seemed to get worse. On one occasion we were on holiday and I remember an argument at a hotel door.
Dad couldn’t get the door open and Mum had a glass in her hand. A row started and she actually threw the glass at the door.
My brother and I were so frightened and as we were becoming teenagers, I think I must have been 11, I know it didn’t seem much before their “grand finale” where they broke up for good. I was embarrassed in case anyone had seen what my Mum did. Of course, there was then the silent treatment between them after that. Another holiday ruined. Me and Steven always lived in fear of the next row.
I remember Dad telling us that he was leaving. Mum was really upset and told us that he had had met someone else.
I don’t know whether he did or not. He said he hadn’t met someone new. Then we had to move out of our house and into another smaller house, but not a lot smaller. Dad looked after us financially. I don’t remember going without anything. Dad was the one who moved into a tiny studio apartment. I remember good times there. We all had to sleep in the same room like camping and I now realise that Dad was giving Mum all the money he could so that we could have as normal a childhood as possible.
I don’t know if he did meet someone else and that’s why he left, but ultimately he left as they simply didn’t get along. Now that I have had a couple of relationships myself I realise that if you don’t get on with someone, how can you stay with them? You can’t waste your life hating someone can you? Even if you have children together. Steven says that he remembers Mum and Dad fighting in the bedroom and when he questioned Dad he was told “Don’t worry, Mum and Dad are just having a pillow fight”. He thought at the time that they were lying to him.
Whatever was happening in their relationship, it wasn’t nice for us. We didn’t see our Mum and Dad hugging and kissing. Didn’t see them being role models for how to have a relationship. Far from it. They lived separate lives.
Now I look back I am so so glad that Dad found the strength to leave. I don’t know who’s fault it was. I don’t really want to know. Mum has had a few boyfriends since the end of the marriage and Dad had a really weird girlfriend for a while but now they both seem happy in new relationships and I look at these relationships as the place I want to be with my own relationship.
They respect the people they are with now and smile and joke around. Steven and I like their new partners and I think my Dad may even get married again! I would be happy about that. I just want to see my parents happy. I could be bitter and regret my childhood, but I have decided to feel grateful that my parents decided to break-up and get on with their lives. I also know now what relationship I DON’T want. I wouldn’t want my children to grow up in a house with arguing and fighting.
I know that a few of my friends Fathers left and didn’t help their Mothers out. They did things like not paying the bills or turning off the SKY TV to spite the Mother, but actually it was the children who suffered and now these children don’t like their Dad’s which is a shame.
My Dad did the right thing and made sure that my brother and I came first. We saw him every other weekend and went on holidays with him. We had a good time with him and my Mum when they were separate. I think that if a couple don’t get on, they shouldn’t stay together for the children. They should go and get new lives as long as they still put the children first and not play silly games. My Mum and Dad did the split the right way.
Thank you for reading my story and I hope it helps someone in one way or another.
Blog by Catherine B.
Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.