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What It’s Like To Be Abandoned By Family After Divorce

Parents and Siblings are supposed to support you through thick and thin, right? After all, all that matters in the end is that you are happy…

Well, that’s what society has led many of us to believe. Just because we are blood related, we have an expectation that our loved ones are obligated to support us even if they don’t agree with our decisions…because that’s just what family does.
The past year has led me to the conclusion that the rule that family is supposed to stick by your side no matter what, is bullshit.
All that rule has created is an unrealistic expectation that my parents and siblings are supposed to put their own feelings and opinions aside to support mine. That they are going to be able to look past the fact that I called my husband while 8,000 miles away and told him I wanted a divorce. And when he pleaded to give him just one more chance for the sake of our son…I flat out, no questions asked gave him a certain no.
All that rule has brought is disappointment and resentment. Why would a family member abandon me in my time of need? How could they? How dare they?
I have put myself on a pedestal. I have led myself to believe that I DESERVE compassion and empathy.

Don’t Expect Anything

I have assumed that my family has the knowledge that I do. I have recently took into account that my family members had different life experiences that made them into the people they are today. Those experiences could POSSIBLY help them understand my situation, but I absolutely cannot expect it.
I have learned that if you expect something of your family (a birthday card, present, phone call, understanding, empathy…anything), you are setting yourself up for a world of disappointment, hate and anger.
Is it nice to get those things from them? Absolutely. But when you expect things from them, you have put yourself before them. I asked in “Stand Up For Yourself”, why should other people’s opinions/needs/wants/desires be more important than your own? Well, the same goes the other way around. Your family has just as much of a right to feel and act (or not act) the way they want to.

Everyone Is Different

Everyone has their own way of processing information and coming to terms with it, the way they want, in the timeline they see fit. Just because a family member says hurtful things to you does not mean they don’t love you. They merely just don’t know how to react, so they react with negativity.
The reason I feel the strong desire to have my family’s support and approval is because it will make me feel less guilty for my actions. It will give me reassurance that I handled the situation the best I knew how with the circumstances I had.
The reality is, I KNOW I made the right choice. I KNOW I handled it the best I knew how. I followed my heart and went with my gut. For the first time in my life, I went against the grain.
Was it absolutely terrifying and stressful? YES. But now, sitting in my cozy town home, doing something I am passionate about, with my son sitting beside me eating his peanut butter sandwich, the windows open and the warm breeze blowing through the house…I couldn’t be happier.
That’s how I know I made the right choice. I am actually truly happy for the first time in YEARS, maybe ever.

The Are Entitled To Their Feelings

When my family is ready to forgive me, I will be here. I will be ready and willing to accept their love and let the past be the past. I am no longer going to feel bad about my actions that led to Me, Caleb and my Ex’s newfound happiness.
Just because it wasn’t how my family would have done it, doesn’t mean it was wrong or right. It just WAS. It just happened. I can be sure that from this point forward, I am no longer going to feel sad or mad about how my family has reacted to my life decisions. They are entitled to how they feel, and I will continue to live my life to the fullest and take Caleb along for the exciting ride.
So to those in a similar situation, be proud of your brave leap of faith. Be confident in your choice. After all, no one knows your situation better than you do. And until they walk a mile in your shoes, they cannot possibly understand how and why you did what you did. You get ONE chance at life…don’t spend it dwelling on things you can’t control or change. Move on and move forward!
Take care!!!
*Malissa

Malissa

Welcome to my blog! I am a single working mom of an adorable preschooler named Caleb. I write about life after divorce and co-parenting. I gear my writing towards divorced parents and share my experiences and tips to let them know you aren't alone! You can get through anything, and you're stronger than you think.

One thought on “What It’s Like To Be Abandoned By Family After Divorce

  1. I’m a single mom of 3. You basically just described my life. I made a leap and chose to leave my marriage after 12 years. I am happier than I have been in a long time, but the one thing I am having a hard time getting past is that my family has not supported my decision, and rather than standing beside me, they are maintaining a relationship with my ex instead. I’m deeply hurt and confused, but trying to move on. It’s nice to hear I’m not the only one going through it. Thanks.

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