/Dear Sara, I’m thinking about divorcing my verbally abusive husband but I’m concerned about my children…

Dear Sara, I’m thinking about divorcing my verbally abusive husband but I’m concerned about my children…

Dear Sara,

I am married to a verbally abusive man who puts me down at every opportunity. I have a really good job and I am greatly appreciated at work so my self esteem is still intact. I have an opportunity for a better position and much more money but I would have to move half way across the country. I have two children ages 8 and 10. They love their Dad and he is good to them. I want this job and to divorce my husband. What kind of an impact will this have on my kids?

Valerie

Dear Valerie,

It’s not good for children to hear their mother get put down and verbally abused by their father. It gives them the idea that this is the way men should treat women. You deserve their father’s respect.

This move would be a big upheaval for your children and I think you already know this. They will have to leave their father, their school, their friends and nearby relatives. Children at this age will usually adjust pretty quickly though.

If you decide to make this move, you can try to make it seem like an adventure and point out the positives that they will encounter. You probably won’t get any help from your husband if he is already making your life difficult. If you are in a position to take care of the children financially without his help, this might make a difference in his cooperation.

For your children’s sake, don’t try to shut him out of your life or theirs. Even if you are angry and hurt, don’t express this to your children. Be sure that you make it easy for them to visit their father and try to make him welcome when he come to visit them. This is not their problem and they need your help in getting through this. Let them talk about their Dad. It’s not fair to them to have to tiptoe around your angry feelings toward him.

Divorce is always hard on children at any age so be prepared for your children to be angry and depressed. You may have to seek some family counseling.

Good luck.

Sara