Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Girls and Their Daddies

I was watching a show last week called Being Erica where she is scooted back in time to right wrongs she's done in her past. In this particular show it showed the difficulties she was having with her family life. Her sister was angry with Erica, Erica was angry with her mother, Erica's mother was angry with her ex-husband. Erica believed that her mother was a shrew to her father and that the divorce was totally her mother's fault. Later when she is whisked back in time she discovers her father was having an affair. Her mother never wanted her or her sister to find out. She would rather have her girls think she was a horrible person then to have them hate their father.

When I went through my divorce my daughter had similar feelings toward me. It was very difficult for me, but I never wanted to say a negative thing about her father. The problems that I had in my marriage, I felt, should not influence the relationship the children had with their father. It wasn't easy. So many times I wanted to say something so I wouldn't be the bad guy. There are so many things that other people don't know, and my ex didn't seem to have the same compulsion I had in making allegations or telling stories. Still, right is right and truth comes out in the long run.

Today I have a friend going through a divorce. She has two teenage daughters. The daughters say hateful things to her and blame her for the divorce. There are so many things that she could tell them but she doesn't want to influence them negatively. They support their father and want his love and attention. For them this is a very important thing. You can see them vying for his attention and approval. So why not Mom? Because deep down inside they know they have their mother's love. I believe that they feel safe expressing their anger and frustrations to her. Is it fair? Not in the least. But still, they will do whatever they can to please their father even if it breaks their mother's heart, which it does.

Not all mother's are as gracious as my friend. She is frustrated and hurt and wonders if she's doing the right thing. She's constantly doubting herself and feeling horrible because her heart is breaking not only from losing a spouse and a family unit, but she feels she has lost her daughters.

My experience has shown me that daughters tend to come back around. Eventually they see that Mom isn't Satan in disguise, she's human and flawed but she loves her children unconditionally. Daughter's may strive to be Daddy's Little Girl but it's Mom that is there for heart breaks and chocolate ice cream.

Given time my friend will find that her daughter's don't really hate her - they are just a bit selfish, like all other teenagers around the world. They are discovering and finding their way in life. One day when the blinders come off and the demon of confusion leaves their bodies they'll look over and say, "Mom? Is that you? I was wondering where you were."

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