By Abdul latif Al Hourani
God has allowed for divorce to happen, to conclude a relation between a couple, in case continuing together has become impossible. Regardless of the reasons for divorce, which are many, sadly, many of these cases turn into a hardship and the once loving couple become kind of enemies, it could develop into real feel of hate and meanness, and trigger the will for revenge and control, which reflects negatively on the children, on the long run .
Our eastern societies are still relatively closed , and many divorced women would be prevented by their parents from communicating with their X- husbands , and any communication or coordination, becomes through the courts, or the father or brother of the divorced lady.
It is expected and kind of natural that the father or brother will also have hard feelings, and hate against the X- husband, and possibly wish to revenge or cause him harm, since he have divorced their daughter and caused her pain (in their opinion). Sadly again, the chaos thoughts, and ego mixed with exaggerated pride, win the battle over the proper and logical behavior that brings good to all in such situations.
If there were no children in between, the problem is solved, and the relation could be terminated completely, each one moves on with their life. But when children are there, both parties should in fact behave with responsibility and lots of consciousness, in order not to cause harm and pain to the kids, it is enough they have already lost their simplest rights , to grow with both dad and mom under one roof as a normal family .
Unfortunately, in our societies, many of the conflicts, could even develop to physical abuse, and revenge attempts, that could include attempts to destroy the image and reputation of the other party through spreading rumors. Many also target to benefit financially as maximum as possible from the x-husband, in addition to the selfishness and ignorance when it comes to acknowledging who has the right to make decisions associated with the children.
The X- husband is and will always be the father of the children, please understand that. He has rights and responsibilities towards his children , exactly similar to the mother, and he is as per the eastern countries laws and norms the decision maker and legal authority with respect to the children matters. This does not prevent that he discusses and agrees with his x-wife on what is the best decision to make and suitable for all to be happy.
Unfortunately, some of the recent legislations were formulated in a way, despite the fact it might suit few cases , it is actually not practical and not fair to the majority , and contain gaps that are being misused by some divorced people, allowing them to act with selfishness and impose control on the children, in an attempt to revenge and hurt the X-partner, which subsequently increases the hate and hard feelings between them, and make it kind of impossible to act with rational, and coordinate with good will and spirit in favor of the children or allow for forgiveness and tolerance .
In some advanced societies among educated and wise people, divorce does not mean “WAR”, and turning a couple into enemies, it is simply an agreement between both parties not to continue living under one roof , with maintaining respect and politeness, realizing that one of them could find more happiness and comfort by stopping this relation or being with someone else …it is tough, but they are mature enough to deal with it .
This does not stop them from working together in fairness and respect, combining efforts and coordinating matters in a reasonable and continuous way on all issues associated with the children, their education, needs, friends, personalities etc. Who gave the X-wife the SOLE right to act and decide on the children’s issues without going back to their father? In some cases, fathers are only approached when there are expenses to be covered, is this fair?
IF the X-wife behaved wisely and did not try to impose “SOLE” control on the kids, you will find the X-husband, mostly cooperative and will not withhold spending on his kids, within his financial capabilities, it is only, if the X-husband was of the true bad type who is irresponsible and careless about his children that the woman should take the full responsibility. And let us be honest here , “A conflict between you and your X husband doesn’t mean he is not good to his kids”
If we really carry out a fine level of analysis on cases we will find out that contrary to what many might expect; dads are more than willing to spend and participate in their children’s issues, subject to them being given the chance to be part of their children lives, and as long as they are granted flexibility and practicality in spending time and being with their kids, and to do so voluntarily without pressure or requests to spend more than their financial capabilities. Having custody of children does not mean sole ownership.
When things turn into stubborn and personal challenges, and grow to become a score counting practice, and revenge and acting with unrealistic pride it causes disasters, especially for the children, they end up being the biggest losers.
Again, in advanced societies, it is very normal that a divorced couple, get together in some shopping mall or a park, have coffee and discuss productively and positively issues related to the kids, holidays, requirements, problems etc., while the kids are enjoying their time in a play area or so.
It is also very important that both of them ensure the other is there for the special occasions such as birthdays and school parents day or celebrations etc.
In our societies unfortunately, selfishness and over pride are key reasons for unfairness, each thinking the children belong to her/or him only, and this forces them to go to courts for a solution, which again reflects negatively on the children, in fact on all .
Why should this happen? Both must realize that one day these children will grow old enough to understand and when one of them graduates from college or get married he or she would want both parents to share their success and joy, the divorced couple will most probably meet again under one roof .
It is not a battle over children, and who gains more of their love, each party should remember that he will be questioned for their behavior before God , and should be fair to the x-partner , and not misuse the laws or other sources of power that might have given more influence and control .
Children are very smart and soon enough they will realize that each parent is putting extra effort to win their love more than the X-partner, this will encourage them to act out, and fake it towards each parent, and take advantage of the situation to get whatever it is that they want from the other parent, who might give in just to spite the other X- partner.
Unfortunately this will also teach them to be liars, opportunistic, and with double faces. Other children might get too attached to one of the parents (usually the one they don’t live with) and this will make them feel different from their colleagues at school, and cause them the feel of sadness and turn them into isolated and aggressive kids.
Finally , I give this message to all divorced couples, especially women: “Please, please please, don’t act with selfishness, and don’t allow the negative feelings to control your behavior, regardless of the reasons for the divorce, you will cause misery and hurt to your children and cause harm to someone who was one day your love, partner and friend, don’t allow friends or family to impact your decisions and acts and charge you with negative feelings and ideas. It is God’s will that this relation is terminated and it is not the end of the world, but fear God when it comes to your children and their interests, and don’t forbid them to have any of the two parents as a major part of their lives, it is their right to get the direction and advise and care and passion from both of you.