The child stuck in the middle

Published 10:48 pm Friday, February 8, 2019

Father: when can I come pick up my son?

Mother: You can’t. He’s staying here.

Father: But he’s my son too. I have a right to see him.

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Mother: Talk to my attorney. “Click.”

Inside the mind of the child: I love my mom. I love my dad. I don’t like the way things are now. Why do mom and dad always fight? I want it like it was.

Having been through a bitter divorce myself, back in my younger days, I can fully understand, but not support, the back and forth shown above. I often found myself biting my lip, wanting to say some pretty bad things the more frustrated I became.

This scenario is not uncommon unfortunately. In fact, it is very common and happens almost daily to a child somewhere.

I have a very good friend who is going through this struggle as we speak. And it pains me to see it.

His long-time girlfriend became pregnant. Nine month later, he became a father to a bouncing baby boy. As with many fathers, his son became the center of his world. There was nothing more important that being a good father to this joy of life. 

He and his girlfriend never married. However, they did begin life together, raising their son the best they could. Both were very loving parents to their son.

After four years, as sometimes happens with young relationships these days, outside sources ripped them apart,  creating another broken home and family.

Doing what they thought was right for their son, they agreed to share custody of their son. One week with mom and one week with dad. Stand-up folks can make that work. My situation would not have been able to, but I was glad to see them try.

As what also happens when two individuals separate, other people enter their lives and get involved by sharing their opinions of how a situation should be, thus causing a clog in the working relationship of two separated parents.

As it stands today, the mother will not allow the father to see his son. No, they don’t have a divorce decree, as they were never married. So there currently are no legal custody papers on file.

The little 4-year-old asks daily to see his father, and does not understand why he cannot.

The frustration, anger and bitterness between parents brought on by the need to hurt the other can ultimately destroy a child and the child’s relationship with the parent.

I am no doctor when it comes to this topic, but sometimes first-hand experience is more important than a plaque on an office wall. Thus it has been my experience that the parent that incites the most friction in the relationship usually ends up being alone in the end.

Those negative statements made toward the other parent, that is completely loved by the child, will come back to you one day. 

The 4-year-old boy will not be little forever. One day he will have his own thoughts, create his own answers and voice his own opinions. All of which will be derived from this time in his life.

So to any parent or family member that is or knows someone who is going through a similar situation: Have them stop thinking about themselves and how the situation is affecting them and think about the long-term outcome of how this is will affect their child.

Love to you all…

Rich Macke is publisher of The Port Arthur News.