I think it is safe to say that divorce is not fun for anyone. I don’t think I am breaking any new ground saying that. And honestly I don’t have any answers on how to make a bad situation better. Of course, it is possible that the situation in which we find ourselves is unique (although I highly doubt it).
Now it is with much begrudging honesty that I admit my Brother-In-Law is a screw up. He has been for a long time, and he shows no signs of change. When his wife finally left him, most thoughts from the family were along the lines of “What took her so long to come to her senses?” and “It is about time.” Brutal but probably true.
What ensued though was not as well anticipated. Thanks to her deep rooted hated from her now ex-husband, and his inability to get his act together, naturally the mother tries to protect the child from any harm. Understandable. Any caring parent would do the same. But in doing so, she has also cut her daughter (I’ll call her Cremora, just to give her a name) off from his entire side of the family. And this both hurts and cuts both ways.
Grandparent’s, aunts, uncles, etc get to see Cremora, maybe once or twice a year, for an hour or so to give her birthday presents, Christmas presents etc. That is it. No invitations to events, no sharing of information except in the discussions that occur during those brief windows of opportunity. No relationship has any sort of ability to grow, on either part.
It has been especially hard on LatteGirl. Cremora and LatteGirl attended the same Pre-School, so they spent a lot of time together. When the brother-in-law split up, he came to live with us for a while (a whole other story that maybe I will go into another day about that debacle), and Cremora was allowed to spend some weekends with him since he was at our house and we were “trusted” (then). The were more like sisters than cousins, and shared a lot. They were very close, and still to this day love each other very much.
As the Brother-In-Law continued his downward spiral, we were eventually forced to ask him to relocate as it was getting to a point of having an adverse effect on our family. That is when the doors slammed shut. I can only guess (as she will not outright admit it) that she has concerns that we would allow her ex-husband to see Cremora, so visits are… well… now “supervised.” The mother and child come over for a play-date once every 2 or 3 months, usually for an hour or two at most, since she is always busy with something. Hey we are all busy at times, I understand that as well as the next person. But if you are so busy, and somebody offers to have your child over for the afternoon so that the children can play and you can go about doing whatever you need to do, then take them up on it.
I understand divorce is messy, and that at times there is “collateral damage” that occurs. But, I’m sorry, I just don’t feel like the kids should have to suffer because of their bad relationship. They really are just little victims of circumstance.