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Old 01-01-2013, 11:06 AM   #1
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Default Guilt thing....

I find myself wondering at times if I will keep my guilt at a balanced manageable level. I feel guilty I gave my kids such a miserable dad, yet, I know those are his shortcomings. However, sometimes I feel that I gave them alot to handle. I sound like I think I am all knowing or something and I really know I am human too. Yet the guilt wheel tries to keep going at times and is a struggle to stop. Its gotten better over the years. My actual divorce was not a guilt experience, the struggle came when he walked away from them, and they struggled to understand his accusations that everyone else was at fault for his shortcomings.

I really am more confident as time has passed, 3 years since his walking away from them. The kids are bright, mature, and with a listening and loving ear from family and friends, they can walk through the divorced parent maze with sound minds and hearts. Do others of you have any thought about this ?
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Guilt thing....

I never had any guilt over the loss of my marriage. Each one is different thou, and so is each person. I picked the wrong guy. I was young.
For me, it was more about how my kids would perceive what a marriage is supposed to be. I didnt want them to grow up thinking that the way their father and I was was "it". Ya know?
I think the one commonality parents definitely have is we all want our kids to be happy. Happy in life, happy in love....and my ex and I werent.
The fighting, not talking unless we had to, his lack of motivation or dedication, emotionally/verbally abusing me. Thats not what I want my kids to settle for in their lives.

Glad to hear your trying to let go of that guilt. You didnt leave. You stayed. Tough or not, your doing it. Thats a lot to be proud of!!
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: Guilt thing....

Of course! For different reasons, I carry guilt of bringing my daughter into this family situation. She didn't ask for it. I feel guilt and fear that since I stepped out of the role of enabling her father, that she may someday feel the need to fill that role. I feel guilt that she still has to have a relationship with him- he's made enough improvements to satisfy the courts, but the changes are surface changes only and he continues to be the same manipulative person he's always been, and she has to learn how to navigate that, and I worry about the impact it will have on her... and feel the guilt that I put her into it.
But you know what, you CANNOT live in your guilt. You just can't. I can't. I have in the past, and it has made me a miserable, frightened person, and quite frankly just a drag to be around. I cannot be the person I want to be if I am operating from a place of guilt and fear. The only thing I can do is acknowledge it, process through it (writing works really well for me) and realize that the best thing I can do for myself, my daughter, and for everyone around me, is to live my life with a joyful attitude rather than guilty and fearful.
And recognize how your kids are doing and what they need from you. You say yourself that your kids are bright and mature and are doing quite well. Celebrate that and build on it.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Guilt thing....

Yep. 12 years later and I have feelings of guilt. It changes and morphs. I feel bad that my daughter has a piece of slime for a father. I feel guilty that she has no relationship with a father, and does not know what it means to have one because he is such a creep. For a long time I let that control how I responded to her. But that stopped when she started behaving terribly and feeling entitled because I was over compensating.

I even felt guilty that I got a divorce..... Not anymore. I know that no one would expect me to live under abuse.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Guilt thing....

I think the ones who don't have the guilty feelings are the ones who should.

I feel bad a regret my divorce. At the same time I am happier and less stressed. I also see my sons dong much better with the Motherthing gone from their lives most of the time.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Guilt thing....

Yes, Coup, I do have some guilt, I wonder if sometimes I had the brains God gave me the brains He gave a billy goat when I picked my daughter's father. However, I cannot let that guilt consume me or color my relationship with my daughter and/or her father. I waited a long time to get married and still made a bad choice. But I take comfort in the fact that once I realized things were bad, I made the best choice and filed for divorce and had him out of the house. She sees him minimally and eventually will realize that there are issues with her father that no one can fix and it's my job to help her navigate that road. And I can't do that if I still feel guilt ridden.
I totally agree with Dad, those who should feel guilt don't always feel it, but I can't make her father be a better father for her, I have to learn to let it go and live our lives together as joyfully as we can.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Guilt thing....

Hi Megsmom,

There was something I read once that states, you can trust yourself for your future not so much because you haven't made mistakes but because you are making it though the rough mistakes...I guess your post brought that to my mind, and I find comfort in this view of things. I find it takes me alot of work to get my mind away from guilt, not that anything bad happened to the kids. Actually I think they navigate my ex better than I do, I tried so long to 'help' him be someone he wasn't and may never want to be. So I am with you in creating joyful todays and tomorrows for myself and the children I love. Thanks, Christine
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Guilt thing....

Christine,
Glad it helped, I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment you expressed. I would not be who I am today without the struggles I went through over the years, with my marriage, my health, our adoption of our daughter, etc. There was never anything bad that happened in my marriage, just a matter of realizing the situation was not healthy and moving to change that as quickly as possible. I try very hard to live my life without regret, I have my beloved daughter because of my marriage to my ex, who's to say if I had married someone else or never married, that she and I would have found each other. Everything happens for a reason and that which has not killed me has definitely made me stronger.
Take care,
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Guilt thing....

I, too, have had those guilty feeling. Not so much for giving my kids a mother that they can't depend on. I feel guilty for making them grow up with just me as a parent. I know that I'm a better parent without her. I'm a better person in general. However, it can get crazy around here and I'm always forgetting something that needs attention with how they are raised, or doing things in not the best way just because it's easier. I don't like taking shortcuts, but sometimes it's hard to work around. Plus, there are days that I just can't handle the stress and probably get on them for something that I should let go. I try to remember that they are better off this way in the long run, but it still makes me feel guilty.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Guilt thing....

I hear you Scott...working on giving myself a break. It's a bit easier for me b/c I have only one and she's older(10) but sometimes I get so mad at myself for snapping at her when I am stressed about something completely unrelated to her
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: Guilt thing....

I know we all do it, myself included, but guilt and worry are useless, futile emotions. Especially when it is something from the past or something you cannot change. Think about all of the POSITIVE messages you are sending to your children. You are teaching them they can stand on their own 2 feet. They can survive and hopefully even prosper without a partner.
If you look at the state of marriage in this country, upwards of 50 percent are going to end in a divorce. That's not likely to change any time soon. In fact our kids will be faced with a more mobile and transient society than we were. That isn't going to make it any easier to sustain a relationship.

Hopefully our kids will be able to stand on their own and marry someone they love because they want to, not because they feel they need to or there is pressure to be in a relationship.
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