Blogging A to Z April Challenge Day 4 - Divorce

I recently went through a bitter divorce. After many, many months of fighting and walking around on eggshells, hoping that telling Sawyer his dinner was ready (after I worked a twelve and a half hour shift, drove home, spent a few precious minutes with Colt, and cooked for all of us) wouldn't set him off on a screaming rampage, and just generally being miserable, Sawyer moved out at the end of last July. I took Colt over to visit him on my days off, sometimes staying and sometimes dropping him off to stay the day. I was not at a point where I felt I could trust Sawyer to keep our son over night safely.

Finally, I saw a lawyer and had divorce papers drawn up. After a little negotiation, Sawyer signed them and my lawyer filed them. Our divorce was final January 2, 2012.

After he first moved out, Colt cried every day that he wanted to see his Daddy. Then he slowly got used to seeing him once or twice a week. My very anxious child started to return to his happy self. It seems the constant fighting kept him on edge when Sawyer still lived with us. Gradually, Colt realized that people can get a little loud when they're happy, and not just when they're angry. My child had gotten to the point of trembling and crying any time anyone got a little too loud, even if it was obvious that they were having a good time and weren't fighting. No one could so much as hug me without him screaming, even though my ex didn't hit me or otherwise physically hurt me, especially in front of him.

Now, if it has been a while since he's seen his Daddy (especially if he has had to work all weekend and couldn't take him for an overnight visit) he'll cry that he misses him. Otherwise, he's fine. We try to call his Daddy and older brother each night before bedtime so he can talk to them for a few minutes and tell them he loves them.

I have been very careful to never talk about his Daddy in a negative way in front of him, and I don't allow anyone else to, either. Even though I don't love him anymore, he is still my child's father. I want them to have a good relationship, and I am not allowing anyone to undermine that. Thankfully, for now, he has kept his promise to act like a grown-up when he has our son.

I have full physical and legal custody of our son. According to our divorce papers, he only gets visitation as agreed upon between the two of us. Meaning, if I say he can't have him, there's nothing he can do about it. I didn't do this to keep my son away from his father. Any time Sawyer has asked to keep Colt, I have let him as long as there are no previous plans that involve him. I sometimes take the initiative and offer to let him keep him if I know Colt really wants to see him and he hasn't already asked.

I did this because my ex-husband has had alcohol abuse problems in the recent past. It was a major reason for our divorce. He drank every day. Sawyer knows that in order to keep our son for visits, he must remain absolutely, completely sober. If I ever truly suspect he has been intoxicated to any degree while he has Colt, the visits will stop. As long as he is a responsible father when he is caring for our child I will not keep them apart. I don't care how responsible (or not) he is when he is not taking care of Colt. It's none of my business, as long as our son is not with him. I have never used that clause of our divorce just to be vindictive or mean. It wouldn't be fair to my son. As a matter of fact, I haven't ever used this against my ex. He hasn't given me good reason to. I hope that trend continues. Colt loves his Daddy, and I would hate to have to keep them apart just to protect him and know he is safe.

Overall, the divorce has been a good thing for Colt. Truly, the only downside has been not having both his parents under the same roof. however, since we are both happier now, he generally is happier, too.

3 comments:

boysmum2 said...

Sounds like you have been very sensible in your process. Good for you.

candacegauger said...

Sounds like it was for the best for all sides. I hope your son continues to adjust well to his parents being apart.

Lulu said...

Thank you both for taking the time to read my post and comment on it. I really appreciate all the feedback I have gotten on my A to Z Challenge posts.

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