Hi Dr. Laura,
I've listened to you for years and my children have often heard your program on the radio in the car. I am divorced after 26 years of marriage. My ex-husband and a co-worker both got divorced and then married each other. I have four children, ages 20, 16, 13, and 8. My 16-year-old daughter, who has always been wise beyond her years, came to me the other day and said the following:
"If you wanted to spend as much time as possible with your children, why would you get a divorce?"
I was not surprised she had figured this out, but I was somewhat sad that she had. It has to hurt quite a bit to realize your father doesn't want to spend as much time as he can with you. I smiled warmly at her and told her Dr. Laura would be proud of her because she figured out something that lots of people never do.
After my husband moved out, I remember asking a friend who was also going through a divorce, but was farther along in the process than I, how could she live without having her children with her (meaning sleeping at her house) all the time. I couldn't imagine not having my children wake up on Christmas morning in the same house they'd lived in all their lives. Her answer was you learn to live with it. Well, three years later, I've learned to live with it, but the pain doesn't go away...not for me and not for my kids.
They tell me their dad is primarily concerned with pleasing his new wife and they come in a distant second. That has pained them beyond words. My 13-year-old said she wanted to tell her dad, "You loved me before you even knew her." I hope any of your listeners/readers who have children and are contemplating divorce think really hard about that comment. I have promised my kids I will not remarry or even date while they're still at home. I have no desire to, but even if I did, I couldn't think using any of my precious time and energy on someone other than my kids. That's the security they need.
Thank you for all you do.