This adult child of divorce shares their story on PAS. Learning the truth about a parents’ tactics to deter the relationship from one parent will not last forever. The truth will come to light. Not working together as parents is not in the best interest of the child.
For several years, Mel persisted in trying to make contact with Ned. He wrote letters, sent gifts, tried to phone, but Marla foiled every one of his efforts. During this time, Ned struggled through high school and took a job as a delivery boy on the streets of Manchester.
Ned’s visit to his father
Shortly after Ned’s eighteenth birthday, the boy phoned Mel and asked if he could visit him in Arizona. He wanted to check out the monster his mother had described to him. Mel was elated at the prospect of seeing his son and not surprised at the negative image Marla had painted. Perhaps the visit would dispel some of Ned’s suspicions. But to Mel’s great disappointment, their time together was a disaster. They “just didn’t click.” Ned was wary and reticent. Father and son could not seem to find any common ground. There was only one topic that interested Ned: the divorce and its aftermath. He asked countless questions about why, when, and how his parents had quarreled, and why Mel had never tried to contact him during all those years. Mel explained that he had written, he had sent gifts, and most important, he had contributed to Ned’s support. These revelations baffled Ned, since they contradicted everything his mother had told him. Put off balance, he became more morose and confused. Now he felt compelled to “choose” between one parent and the other, unsure of whom to believe or trust. It became clear to Mel that a true reconciliation could not occur at this time. After waiting so many years, it seemed that he would never have a genuine role in his son’s life.
The impact of a contentious divorce often ignites many “brushfires” in the extended family. It creates hostilities that spread to other relationships and spawn additional cutoffs. In Mel’s family, the divorce resulted in estrangement, not only from his son, but between Ned and the older generation, depriving Mel’s parents of the role of grandparent. Because of the bitter antagonism between Mel and Marla, Ned grew up without a father. They connected only after he reached adulthood. In many divorced families, there are complex patterns of separation and re-alignment, interspersed with repeated accusations and retaliations. Mel’s story was played out over a period of more than thirty years. It took a long time for the bonding between father and son to develop. We cannot know if Marla has resolved her anger and moved on to build a new life. We do know that in many families in which a divorce has occurred, no complete healing or repair is possible. For Mel and Ned, there is the gratification of knowing that a prolonged separation has been transformed into a meaningful, harmonious relationship.
Read full story of Divorce and the ripple effect: http://fragmentedfamilies.com/stories.html
#271, Revelations of Divorce