Revenge and the Divorced Parent

Expert Author Susan Leigh
Divorce can cause many difficult emotions to come to the fore. Even if our divorce was handled well, with tact and sensitivity, we can still feel hurt, have a strong sense of failure or disappointment. If we feel that we have been treated unfairly other more negative emotions can become evident.
Jealousy can be very strong if we feel that our ex has come out of the divorce relatively unscathed. If he/she has a new partner, has managed to find a lovely place to live, appears to have a comfortable lifestyle whilst we are struggling to make ends meet then jealousy can make us want revenge.
- Children can be used as one way of getting revenge. By withholding access, presenting obstacles that stop him seeing the children the custodial mother can make father's life very stressful. The reality is that children become less willing to spend time with their parents as they get older and their lives become more interesting. If they have absorbing friends, hobbies, are studying for exams then there may be genuine reasons for them not finding time to see their non-custodial parent. But discouraging impressionable children from building a close relationship with either parent is, in the longterm unfortunate. One parent may exact revenge by influencing the children about the other, but ultimately no one benefits.
- Time is often a problem area after a divorce. The mother usually has the main childcare responsibility and can rarely guarantee a break. The father can control his ex wife's freedom by committing to have the children for an evening or weekend and then reneging on the agreement at the last-minute. He knows she will have to cancel her plans. Many divorced mothers have little social life whilst the children are young. The father can exact revenge by leaving the ultimate parental responsibility to the mother. Conversely the father may live a significant distance from the family home. The mother can be vengeful by cancelling his visit if he is late in picking up the children, or insist that he travel miles for a relatively short visit.
- Grandparents can become victims of revenge in a divorce. The role of grandparents often changes after a divorce. One set may be required to become more involved in childcare, be relied upon for financial support, perhaps provide a home for a time. The other set may be denied access and effectively become estranged from their grandchildren. Grandparents are uniquely placed to provide valuable support to children after a divorce. They are often in a position to provide time, love, wise advice, all things that can help children settle after the upheaval of a divorce. They can even provide a safe, familiar place where the non-custodial parent can call and see the children if necessary.
- Possessions need to be divided after a family breakup. Destroying possessions of sentimental value can feel cathartic after a divorce, but may devastate their rightful owner. Possessions do not have to be priceless family heirlooms to be important. Withholding or destroying another person's property can ultimately turn you into someone you don't like very much, someone who is trite and spiteful. Returning things can provide a positive sense of cleansing and clearing out of your life.
- Money is often difficult after a divorce. Often the family home is sold but then needs to finance two operational homes. Both parties have to become more circumspect with their expenditure, but many families struggle if the (usually) father withholds his maintenance support. This can be especially galling if he appears to be living a good life with smart clothes, lifestyle, holidays and new girlfriend in tow. Feeling vengeful about the divorce and making the children and ex struggle financially can cause real hardship. Deliberately keeping the family short of money or conversely being unreasonable and excessive in financial demands is both vengeful and unfortunate behaviour.
- Lavishing treats and money on the children is another way to exact revenge. Financing expensive gifts, holidays, visits, may appear as if one parent is more loving. The other parent may witness this display and feel inadequate, unable to compete. After all her money is spent on invisible costs, like rent, clothes, fuel, food. The reality is that children are aware of what is happening. They know how to benefit from an opportunity and if they can get the latest phone, trainers, fabulous trips they will. But they also know that the less affluent parent loves and supports them on a daily basis.
Revenge and the Divorced Parent Revenge and the Divorced Parent Reviewed by All Buzz on août 22, 2019 Rating: 5

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