Half of a Whole

I recently ran across an article from a Minnesota Judge that was written in 2001, but resonated with me today. As I have discussed in some of my previous blog posts, my parents divorced when I was three years old and while I am very fortunate to have a loving stepfather, my parent’s divorce was definitely not easy on me. In the article by the Minnesota Judge, he states,

“Your children have come into this world because of the two of you. Perhaps you two made lousy choices as to whom you decided to be the other parent. If so, that is your problem and your fault. No matter what you think of the other party- or what your family thinks of the other party- these children are one-half of each of you. Remember that, because every time you tell your child what an ‘idiot’ his father is, or what a ‘fool’ his mother is, or how bad the absent parent is, or what terrible things that person has done, you are telling the child half of him is bad. That is an unforgivable thing to do to a child. That is not love. If you do that to your children, you will destroy them as surely as if you had cut them into pieces, because that is what you are doing to their emotions.”

-Judge Michael Hass

Believe me- I understand how easy it could be to bash the other person. In fact, there have been times that I have even asked my mom, “Why in the world would you have married dad in the first place?” not because I don’t love my father, but because, to be honest, there are just some people who should never be married. But, I can also tell you, that hearing my dad make a snide comment about my mom or vice versa really hurt me as the child. I would want to defend the other parent who was not there, but, at the same time, try not to make the present parent feel like I was taking the other one’s side. It was a constant battle of trying to please the other one and it weighed heavily.

So, if you can relate to this situation, I urge you to think about your child every time you start to say something unkind about their father or hurtful about their mother. As Judge Michael Hass wrote, “Think more about your children and less about yourselves and make yours a selfless love, not foolish or selfish, or your children will suffer”.