Children of Divorce

I never liked the idea of marriage. The white gown, the pink flowers, the fake smiles from distant relatives. The commitment to another person for the rest of your life. It’s just not realistic, really.

I never fantasised about marriage as a little girl. Dressing up in a white sheet and pretending my girlfriend was my husband was never a game I played. I would have rather climbed a tree or sled down a mountain. The joyous ringing of the wedding bells never rang in my ear.

This could be because I am a C.O.D., Child of Divorce. I witnessed a very messy divorce and grew up with parents who couldn’t even co-exist in the same country let alone the same room. The passionate love for each other quickly transformed into passionate hate for each other.

COD marriage photo

The beautiful life they built together smashed into pieces. The big white house, the off-to-work morning kiss, the beautiful diamond ring, the Mercedes Benz birthday gift, the six-year-anniversary spangling gold necklace, the pool in the backyard for the kids. To everyone else they looked happy. Beautiful home, two blonde-haired bright-eyed kids, perfect marriage, everything you could ask for. They were the Jones’. But to me, even at the young age of six, it felt empty.

COD family 2

My Mother’s smile was no longer genuine and her bright blue eyes looked dull and faded. Even though I couldn’t express what was wrong, I knew in my heart something was not right.

My Dad moved into an even bigger white house and filled it with even more empty promises. An empty Step Mom and an empty Yorkshire Terrier.

I remember feeling scared in the even bigger white house. I looked out the square window next to the top part of my bunk bed at the sparkling lights of San Francisco whilst my brother slept peacefully below me. The buildings looked so innocent and small, so far removed from the rest of the world – like me.

COD SF lights

I yelled for my Dad but he couldn’t hear me, he was on the opposite side of the even bigger white house, down the deep hallways and past the numerous vacant bedrooms and meaningless framed art. The art full of colour, felt colourless.

I knew at that moment I never wanted to get married.

I knew that love wasn’t real. I knew that two people in love are the same as two big white houses and two big feelings of loneliness and emptiness. I knew that Cinderella and her Prince were big fat phoneys.

Fast forward twenty years and here I am – not married. Yet, to the biggest of surprises, I am in love. Big time. We even have a child together. The ultimate act of love.

COD love with hudson

Even though I never truly witnessed a strong, healthy relationship, I feel like I have found the one. Not that I believe in soul mates, but I do believe in being practical. Right place, right Hockey tour, right time, “shall we do a Jagerbomb together?” He asked me right when the thirst for a Jagerbomb struck. “Yes, please.”  BOOM “soul mates”.

The concept of “love” is hard for me to grasp. Love isn’t always happy, giddy, and warm. Love can be annoying, hard (…not that kind of hard, jeez), and itchy. So itchy that it makes you want to scream.

If I could rewrite Cinderella I would make sure to include a scene where Cinderella hasn’t shaved her legs in two weeks and the Prince is sitting on the couch watching Football all day. Although it isn’t glamorous, it is love.

In a way, it’s a good thing I am a C.O.D., Child of Divorce. I learned the real meaning of love. Sometimes it doesn’t last, sometimes it does. Sometimes you want to hug each other, sometimes you want to hit each other.

So, when the decision to have a child with my boyfriend arose, I went with my new concept of “love”.

Although I don’t believe in happily ever after. I do believe that right here, right now, I am happy. I believe I don’t need a wedding to prove my happiness. I believe that in order to have a lasting relationship – however long it may be – you have to work for it.

Through trial and error, I’ve learned relationships are work. Both people need to have the same end goal, they have to want to be together. It’s like any job, you have to love being in it so that you want to work for it in order for it to be a success.

And you never know, maybe I will get married one day. At least I’ll be realistic about it.

The product of our love….

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 18.22.45

Petite Pudding

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40 thoughts on “Children of Divorce

  1. And what a lovely “love product”…! 😉 Gorgeous.
    It’s funny, I’m currently going through a divorce (not funny ha ha, funny weird) and yet I am absolutely determined that this will not turn me into a cynic about love. I was very committed to my marriage, and the concept of marriage, but unfortunately things didn’t work out this time. But I really do hope that I don’t become bitter and twisted, and that I can still “love love”.

  2. This was a really powerful post. I am with you in that I don’t believe in love ever after, I hope to have love ever after but realistically I am happy to settle for a right here, right now 🙂 #puddlinglove

  3. in this day and age, this is such a good post! I flip between the 2 sides….We don’t live in an age like our grandparents where no matter what we stay together, which, although is no bad thing, we live life of choice, whereby if we are truly unhappy we don’t stay, and where this is by no means the ideal choice, we DO have a choice. I too am a COD and Im with you, I didn’t need to be married to be happy, I chose to be married, but I absolutely think we would be happy even if we weren’t.We all have to find what works for us, and divorce or no divorce we all have to make the right choices to be happy. #puddinglove

  4. I’m married, but I don’t see any reason why people need to be if they don’t feel like it works for them and their relationship. Besides, having a baby with someone is a WAY bigger commitment than getting a marriage license. We all need to do what feels right for us, and it sounds like you’ve done just that. 🙂 #PuddingLove

  5. Loved this post! Really beautifully written and love all the old photos. I’m not married (obviously) and have genuinely never been in love with anyone. Possibly I have a heart of steel, or maybe I’m just unlucky, I’m not sure. My parents were happily married literally until death do us part though, so I can’t blame them! #puddinglove

  6. This is such a beautiful, honest, and thought provoking post! And I really felt a juxtaposition reading it today-because today is my wedding anniversary!! I felt really sad for the younger you, feeling such a hollowness and a void in the concept of love and marriage, but I can easily see how this happened in the circumstances. I always wanted to get married-I was the girl who had been planning her wedding since the age of 3, and wanted tulle, flowers and vintage teacups!! And I’ve read the statistics, and the psychology-a lot of marriages end in divorce, and humans aren’t designed to stay with the same person for life, but luckily, right now, I can never imagine my life with out my husband! I’m excited to see him as soon as I wake up and clap eyes on him in the morning, miss him all day, and sit and wait for him in the window to get back from work. He still phones me several times a day, and we constantly send each other articles/videos we know the other will find funny-he is literally my favourite adult human being in the entire world!! But I do worry that he might meet someone else, fall wildly in love, and forget all about me. I worry that we will grow apart and end up hating each other, but at the moment he’s the best person ever!!
    I felt sad looking at the old pictures in this post, knowing what you were all going through, but the picture of your little boy at the end was so adorable, and I hope the love you have with your boyfriend will last a lifetime!!
    #stayclassy

  7. Wow, what an incredibly emotive and thought provoking post. Although, I’m not a COD, I often wish (and I’ve never openly admitted this) that my parents had gotten a divorce as I’ve never seen them happily married. I don’t believe in happily every after, like you, but I do believe in the right here, right now and if it’s working then great, enjoy it.
    Beautiful photos. #stayclassy

  8. Beautifully said! I believe in LOVE and I believe in the here and now and how I feel. I am married, have been for 14 years, I remember my friend asked me the night before my vows if I was nervous, if I was sure? I said I am not nervous, because to me it was just another day I was choosing to spend with him, I make that choice every day! Marriage does not garnet happily ever after, but each day we choose to be together and to me that it real, that is life! I wake up each day knowing I still want to be with him, and not because we have kids, no because we took vows I just actually LOVE hm, I am crazy in love with him. I am not naive, I know that could change I just bloody well hope it never does! To me having child is a bigger commitment than marriage, that really is a life long commitment! And the product of your love is so precious I am so happy you found the man who deserves your love! #stayclassy

  9. What a beautiful post hun! My parents aren’t divorced but they did have a turbulent relationship whilst I was growing up and you’re right these things stay with you. But I am so glad you found love and more importantly had your beautiful baby. We can learn some things from our parents even from a pessimistic point of view xx #stayclassy

  10. awww your little one is so gorgeous those little eyes cute! divorce is such a tricky one. my parents didn’t divorce but really should have done as it wasn’t fun growing up in that house. I got married young and had my first child and we divorced when my son was 2. I’m now remarried and it is the best thing ever, it was the right decision. Divorce was hideous xx #puddinglove

  11. This is so well written and very moving. Plus Bear looks adorable in that last picture. My parents are still married and very much in love and I was brought up a Catholic, but for some reason the idea of a wedding has never appealed to me either. My boyfriend and I are very much in love, the unshaven legs, watching TV on the sofa kind of love, and I don’t need a day in a big white dress to seal the deal. But he is getting a bit old to call a ‘boy’friend and I hate the term ‘partner’, so any other suggestions welcome. #StayClassy

  12. I’m a C.O.D as well, although I was really happy when my parents split, it was a toxic household and now thinking about it, I think my parents are the reason why I am married, and got married at 24, and we’ve been together since I was 16. I needed and craved stability and love- my husband was able to give me that so I clung on with everything I had. And here we are happy and with a little boy of our own. Marriage isn’t for everybody, and I completely get your ‘here and now’ mentality. I think I’m a sucker for the happily ever after 🙂 #stayclassy

  13. Oh this made me so sad, my eldest is a C.O.D and I would hate to think that it would put him off marriage. Our divorce was quite messy, he had an affair, but my son was only four at the time and tells me that he can’t really remember very much of it other than us arguing in the hallway and him crying up the stairs, that thought breaks my heart. BUT he has also witnessed me fall in love and marry his Step Dad, and his Dad marry his Step Mum and I hope that will be enough to show him that marriage is a wonderful thing when it’s with the right person. I do hope so. #stayclassy

  14. I too am a COD. My parents hates each other and it resulted in me not speaking to my dad for 15 years and now we are back now touch and my mum is no longer here to defend herself I have to way of knowing the truth of alot of what I grew up believing. This and my own first failed marriage make me appreciate my own marriage all the more and beige married to me best friend #stayclassy

  15. Just popping back over from #StayClassy. 🙂 My husband is also a COD and we didn’t even discuss getting married for years because of it – wed been together for 7 years before we eventually tied the knot. I love that we’re married now, but I don’t think we’d love each other any less if we weren’t.

  16. What a lovely, brave post. I’m not a COD – my parents were married for nearly 60 years and were devoted to each other. But there were hard times and challenges along the way. Relationships, however you have them, are never easy.

  17. What a lovely, honest post. I don’t think marriage is at all necessary in this day and age ‘love is all your need’! You pictures are adorable!

    #StayClassy

  18. my partner is a COD and we have a loving relationship a home and a daughter and we are not married. its a piece of paper it really doesn’t make a difference in my eyes.#stayclassy

  19. Love and relationships are hard work. And you do have to work at them. I come from parents who are still together and still in love but i still have a little cynic in my heart that thinks that not all relationships are forever. Although I obviously hope my marriage will be..I don’t know how i will feel in 20, 30 years time. God…i hope that doesn’t sound damning!!! Also i wanted to say OMG the cuteness of the product of your love! <3

  20. I was one if those girls who did dream about the handsome prince and the big white wedding dress and I did end up marrying the man I love five years ago even though he didn’t believe in marriage when we first got together (his parents were married for over twenty years before they split and like you that had an effect on him). My parents divorced when I was three so I don’t remember my dad ever living with us. I guess marriage isn’t for everybody and I think it’s far more sensible bot to marry if you’re just not sure about it. It sounds like you are very happy and in love regardless. I think when you have a child and a home together you’re pretty much married anyway just without the marriage certificate. Your product of love is absolute gorgeous by the way. The picture at the end made me smile.

    #stayclassy

  21. It’s all so tricky isn’t it! I’ve been with my oh for 10 years, but still not sure I want to be married. It is funny how marriage means something different to everyone. For me happiness is the key – and if that’s not bang married then that’s the way it’s gonna be.
    P.s your product of love it very cute!
    #stayclassy

  22. I love this – it’s so well put. I’m not a C.O.D but my half brother is and its always been tricky. I also don’t believe in soul mates and me and my husband (what can I say I wanted a big cake often say that if we hadn’t worked to stay together we’d probably be perfectly happy with someone else (or not) right now. Love is less about champagne and roses and more laughter and grim determination.

  23. What a beautiful product of the love you share with your boyfriend.
    I may not be a COD, but I definitely knew and understood love wasn’t like the fairy tales from a very young age. I was the kid who BEGGED my parents to get a divorce because I couldn’t stand them coming to us to choose sides, I couldn’t stand the fighting, the arguing, the secret affairs, and the secrets they would pass down to me. Sometimes though, people stay together in a marriage for some reason other than love. I’m not sure what yet, I guess the kids? #StayClassy

  24. What an honest post Meagan. It sounds like it was really difficult for you as a child. Your boys are absolutely adorable by the way, love the pics of them. I was always a bit ambivalent about marriage but in the end I did get married – my husband wanted to and I knew I intended to spend my life with him so it made a lot of sense. We both have parents who’ve been married for a long time – over 40 years for his parents and almost 38 for mine. I guess that does make a difference as we both saw a strong marriage and had good role models in that department. But I don’t believe you need to be married to show commitment – having a child together is far more an act of love than a piece of official paper and a big party! I’m not religious but I know it means something different to those who are. Fab post lovely, thanks for hosting #StayClassy

  25. Wow, this post left a massive impact on me. I am not a child of divorce my parents are still together… I think the problem is the Disney image of marriage that we are sold gives us a false hope or sense of what marriage actually is. I love the quote; A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other. I feel this sums up my marriage. I wanted to be married for the security as I totally upended my life moving job, home, country for my husband… but each to their own. Thank you for sharing your fab post with us #ablogginggoodtime

  26. The fact that you say even as a six year old you felt that something was wrong just goes to show that children are a lot more perceptive than we might realise. It’s good that you’ve opted to do what makes you happy to provide a happy home life for your child. Also the descriptions of the even bigger empty white house with the empty stepmum were very thought provoking. x
    #stayclassy

  27. I am also a child of divorce. My dad left us all during my GCSE’S. My 8 year old sister helped me revise. Weirdly i even passed them! I have been through many failed relationships when i was younger but i have been with my children’s dad for 16 years, we married 2 years ago. I believe in the here and now as no one can guarantee what is round the corner. Thank you for linking up to #puddinglove

  28. I am not a COD but I still think there is a lot to be said for living in the moment and enjoying what you have when you have it.
    And your little product of love is GORGEOUS
    #stayclassy

  29. What an interesting and thoughtful post. Marriage is a commitment but I can think of few bigger commitments than having a child together. I love the line at the end. Mother and Father always say to yours truly: ‘you’re made out of love.’ And gorgeous pic at the end. #puddinglove

  30. Good for you – you are with someone because you choose to be and you work at it every day not because of a piece of paper. I’m not a COD and I am married but I completely get this and having a child with my husband has made us have to work harder at it than ever before. A child is about the biggest commitment you can make

  31. Ow.

    I recognise a lot of what you write in the first few paragraphs. I felt the same reluctance about marriage as you for similar reasons. Even after 25 years the aftermath still ripples through and colours everything.

    I’m glad you found what is right for you all.

    A beautiful post.

    #StayClassy

  32. A deeply moving post. I think you’re right though, we all make our own pathways in life and use personal experiences to give us insight. We are shaped by family, society and friendships but ultimately these important life decisions are ours. I love how you live in the right here, right now mindset and your bubba is a true reflection of your commitment to love.
    I really enjoyed reading this! X

  33. Life is about love and not about marriage – the two shouldn’t be so closed and ensconced with each other – love can be without marriage and as many will support – marriage without love too – each should find their own and do what makes them happy – it’s wonderful that you’ve found love as so many think they have but haven’t – a great thought-provoking post #triballove x

  34. I have no real experience to draw on as I am not a C.O.D, but I can imagine it must have been very hard and it must be difficult to think of marriage without a certain level of sceptism. I never dreamed of marriage, but like you I fell in love and we had a child, soon marriage seemed like the next logical step. Not a huge white wedding but a small intimate affair where we made that commitment to each other. Love the picture of the product of your love – so very cute! Thanks for linking up with #PuddingLove

  35. Also a COD I thought my parents divorce hadn’t effected me as i was two when it happened . My mum never remarried. It has only just hit me that I don’t know how to have arguments , because I never really saw that modelled in a relationship . So everytime my husband and I argue , I think we should break up. It’s exhausting .

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