Tell Ruth the Truth

This is a moderated blog is a project of the Ruth Institute. Have a story to share? We're listening.

How Divorce Affected Me

I am a child of divorce. My parents were 19 and got pregnant with me, then got married. I was born in 1991. They had a strained marriage. She had an affair with my dad's friend, then ran off with him, taking me with her without his knowledge, then filing for divorce. She went out of state making visitation impossible. My now step father essentially of the last 25 years legally adopted me when I was about 4. My biological father was pushed out of the picture.

My mom had my half-brother in 1998 when I was about 6. We never discussed my real father. He was a taboo subject in the household. My brother didn't find out about him until he was 13 and I was 19.

I finally moved out at 21 with my now ex-husband, then at 23 I reconnected with my biological father. I thought for years he didn't want me and that he was this horrible man. I was fed lies and was not allowed to have any say in a relationship or opinion of the man. My mom and grandparents were angry at me for bringing it back up.

I married my ex the same year that happened in 2015. Then 6 months later he and I separated in June, and I left to go stay with my real dad in Alabama. It was a strange rebuild. I wound up moving back to Georgia permanently in 2018 after my divorce was final. Fast forward a year later, and I meet the most amazing man who is now my second husband.

My dad passed away suddenly in July of 2019. My mother was sympathetic when it first happened, but she still insists on calling my step dad my dad. I couldn't anymore after finding out about the depth of deception.

There are so many things the Ruth Institute talks about that resonate with me about the divorce issue and the fact that adults have to put their children before their sex lives. I am constantly questioning my marriage, that I don't feel good enough. That I don't feel I deserve him.

Submitted by HC.

The Effects of Divorce on Children's Mental Health

An Australian shares some heart-wrenching stories about the effects of divorce on children's mental health from cases he has seen first-hand:

Our son has a nine-year-old friend, who also has an 11-year-old brother. Their parents are no longer together. On weekends, the nine-year-old goes to his father's, who has a new love interest. She has two children from a previous marriage. My son's friend cries at school and particularly on Fridays when he knows he must go to his father's house. The 11-year-old brother does not go because he yells and flat-out refuses. Our son's friend is often upset, shy, and becomes very reactive to many things.

The other story is about a 53-year-old man with a 38-year-old Chinese wife he met online while teaching in China. He has three children from a previous marriage, one an autistic boy who is unable to talk. His children have very little to do with him, and they are angry at him for having a wife 15 years younger than himself and for leaving his previous wife. His autistic son, after being with his father, has very poor behavior. Where he is taken care of, they report he now has a much worse temper and other anger issues. The children call him selfish and want little to do with him except for catching up briefly at Christmas and birthdays.