Have you ever failed?
I know I have…
It’s an important part of life…
But, what does failing actually mean?
Two definitions are:
- To be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goals
- To neglect to do something
Splitting up with the mother of your children may leave you feeling like a bit of a failure.
Like you haven’t lived up to societies expectations of what raising a child ‘should’ look like.
Or like you haven’t lived up to your parent’s/loved ones expectations of what a happy family ‘should’ be… Of course, no one plans to split up with the mother of their children, but sometimes it happens.
So, let’s look deeper…
What are these so-called societal expectations/beliefs? That to raise smart, confident, ‘grade A’ children, Mum and Dad need to be in a relationship?Or that when parents split up the father is automatically the bad guy?
The thing is…
Societies expectations are completely arbitrary, made up and in your head.
Let me explain.
A scenario… A man who has been with his partner for 6ish years and they have a couple kids. The man knows that his heart is not in the relationship anymore and that they have grown apart. He has lost himself.
The man makes the hard decision to split from the mother of his children.
His parents and some of his friends are shocked because they didn’t know anything was wrong, although will support him nonetheless. Being true to himself, however, the man learns to find himself again through self-reflection and being alone.
A man who has been in a relationship for 30+ years with a woman he stopped loving a while ago. Every interaction he and his partner have turns into a fight, some of which occurs in front of their children. He resents his partner and himself for being in this situation for so long and not doing anything about it. He’s partly scared because of what might happen to his kids and partly scared of making a hard decision.
He also has lost himself.
He continues in the relationship, however, unhappy and never finding a solution. Who is the real failure?
The latter man has failed himself because he has neglected to take any action at all. To an extent he has also failed his children because he has neglected to be present with them and showed them that being unhappy in a relationship is ok.
Now, that’s real.
I’m sure you know of someone like this, who stayed in a relationship for years because of the kids. They thought even if you’re unhappy in a relationship, the mere fact that you sleep under the same roof as their mother, your kids would be unaffected. Sometimes what’s hardest is facing what you truly know. Don’t fall into the trap of:‘ Maybe things will get better’. ‘Once we get through this patch things will be different’
‘I can’t do that to the kids’
For the most part these are the kinds of things people say to make life easy… So they don’t actually have to deal with something hard or real. Listen to yourself, Lord.
Take action if you know that’s what you really need to do.
Tell me a time when you had to make a hard decision below…
This article originally appeared on The Boss Dad Movement
Photo credit: Getty Images