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Drew: “I used to blame the kids for our problems”

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My story was a classic rebound. Both of us had been in unhappy relationships and a chance meeting allowed us to become acquainted.

What was at first a very intense love affair soon turned into a relationship that needed to go the distance. We got married. There was opposition from family and friends, but we were both able to win over doubters from both sides. If I am honest I did have doubts myself, but I put them to one side. It all seemed to be the way to go.

Every thing was rosy in the garden for a while. Our numerous mutual friends sought us out for fun evenings and life just felt like one long party. We were both enjoying the freedom and the fun that had been missing from our previous relationships.

I cannot remember what changed first. I think it was when her eldest son came to stay. I tried to like him but try as I did, I ended up hating him. He had encroached on this fun and carefree time that I was enjoying and I am ashamed to say that I took it out on him.

His half brother and sister then made an appearance. I hated them too. I allowed my wife to be the part time mum she seemed to want to be at least to build a relationship with her kids. I, on the other hand, was racked with guilt in that I was not enjoying time with my kids, when I was spending time with hers. When I had my kids, I know now that she felt the same.

The relationship was doomed when we both realised that we could not tolerate each other’s kids. The need to party and enjoy ourselves seemed more important than being the part time parents that we had become. The trouble was we started to do things separately with our respective children and this led on to doing things completely separately, and this in turn led to infidelities on her part.  I hated her children with an absolute vengeance and I blamed them for our break up.

Irrationally, I blamed them for their mother’s behaviour, as I believe that she was always looking for the lost youth she could have had if she had not had children so young.

They are now grown up with their own families and I truly abhor the way I behaved towards them. It was not their fault, and I suppose that their mother’s love for them was ultimately greater than the love she had for me, and who am I to argue with that?

I grew up very quickly from this experience and it is a time that I would not want to re-live, but it happened, and I learned from it. I have realised that I have shortcomings that I need to overcome and I am working on them. My new relationship is a good one, with no children in sight and that suits me and my new partner fine.

I think the lesson learnt is to realise what and who I am and to make my life choices according to that, so that I do not hurt other people or myself.

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