My little brother opened his LDS mission call tonight. For those of you unfamiliar with this custom, it is a huge milestone in the lives of these young men. They prepare from the time they are little boys for this moment. It takes a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication and is a momentous occasion in their lives. Sadly, my brother’s father chose not to attend this special event. He was too bitter about a divorce that happened nearly fifteen years ago to come to an event where his ex-wife, our mother, would be present. My brother puts on a good face, but I know how deeply he was hurt by this decision. Despite his desperate plea for his father to be there, the man still refused.
It broke my heart to watch what my brother was going through, as such a wonderful occasion was tainted by someone’s inability to set their feelings aside for even just one night. I vowed then and there, that my son would never go through such pain on my account. As much as you dislike your ex-spouse, nothing should come between your relationship with your child. Your child should never be put in a situation where they are forced to decide between the two of you. They deserve to have the love of both of their parents, whether they are together or not. It may be uncomfortable for you and your ex to be in the same room. This is normal. You are divorced. However, it is important to set aside whatever feelings you may have for your ex, to focus on your children. They need both of you in their lives. They should never have to choose which parent to have at these momentous occasions.
This night was a special night for my brother, but his memories will always be tainted by the pain of his father’s absence. Don’t let this be the case for your children. They deserve better.