“Why is it that all of a sudden when we are getting divorced, my husband wants to have so much time with our children? Why does he want to take them away from me? While we were married, I was always taking care of everything for the children, and now he wants to be super Dad!”
I recently watched the movie “An Unfinished Song,” on Netflix. This is a beautiful but sad movie about a married couple where the wife has terminal cancer. She is part of a chorus, which has really become her support group, and though emaciated and weak, she continues to sing and wants to attend every possible rehearsal and audition. She needs her husband to take her there and bring her home. He is being very reluctant about driving her, claiming that people will make fun of her, and that she needs to save her energy, and therefore should just stay home and rest.
The wife – played by Vanessa Redgrave – eventually dies, leaving her husband – played by Terence Stamp – totally distraught. After she is gone, he attends her chorus rehearsals and starts singing himself, enjoying his newly found voice and a new group of friends.
The question is, why now? Why when she is no longer alive to enjoy his support and company is he doing this? To keep the connection with her?
When parents go through divorce, the parent least involved with the children during the marriage, (most often the father), suddenly wants 50/50 shared parenting time. The mother often gets very distressed and wonders, why now? Why does he want to take the children away from me? In fact, it’s not that he wants to take the children away from her, rather that he realizes that as the family life is falling apart, he does not want to lose his children as well, or be just an occasional weekend Dad.
Life is such that sometimes it takes a major disruption to awaken us and show us what we are missing. Let’s not wait until we go through a major crisis in our lives to live life at its fullest!
Parents, don’t let life take you over and prevent you from spending as much time as you can with your children. Whether you are faced with a divorce or not, remember that these moments with your children are precious and that they go quickly. All of a sudden, they are grown up and develop a life of their own, and you have missed a lot of it.
Are you taking the time to enjoy your children? How are you managing that? Please feel free to share those ideas in the comment box below.
jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator divorce and family mediation upper east side of manhattan (nyc) new york, ny (212) 472-8626 firstname.lastname@example.org connect on