‘Family heartache: Why should kids pay the price when relationships end?’

Jan 15, 2021
The marriage had been on the rocks for some time. Source: Getty (please note: models posed for photo)

This week, one of my nephews called to say hello to his Aunty Sue. He’s going through a really tough time in his life and I feel as if I need to write about it. So, here goes.

My nephew is beautiful, caring and loving – he gives me the best hugs. He’s about 38 years of age and his marriage has recently ended. Both parties knew it was ‘on the cards’ but he is suffering. They have three young children together and the infrequent access to his kids is what’s almost killing him.

His partner is a strong-willed woman, with wealthy, supportive parents who appear to have a good deal of influence on how she goes about ending the marriage. Leaving the marital home was no issue for her. Her parents have a large home, and she has a well-paid job.

My nephew is a hardworking, talented bricklayer but construction work has been somewhat unreliable lately thanks to Covid-19. Also, because he contracts to different companies, he has no sick leave or holiday leave but still has bills to pay. Their house has been sold and will settle soon, so he has to find somewhere to live that can accommodate his two dogs and has space for when his children visit.

Now don’t get me wrong, he’s no ‘Holy Joe’. He loves his ‘rumbo’ – not to mention a bit of the ‘wacky tobacky’ (or whatever they call it these days) – but he’s always been a loving partner and parent, and it hurts me to see his pain. It is so visible.

When my marriage ended well over 20 years ago, I was determined that my sons’ relationship with their dad would not be affected, regardless of the hurt I was feeling. And it wasn’t. So I find myself asking, why should children pay the price when relationships end? Couples call it quits for all sorts of reasons and the adults can inevitably deal with it, but children – especially young ones – often don’t.

What are your thoughts on this?

Become a Starts at 60 Member now.

Starts at 60 Members get a whole lot more value here. It’s free to join and you’ll get:

  • Exclusive emailers with the latest news and leading insights from retirement experts
  • Free online Retirement Masterclasses and other events
  • Amazing deals on tours, cruises, and community holidays from Travel at 60
  • And *new* an ecommerce marketplace just for over 60s with exclusive member offers

What are you waiting for?

Join for freearrow_forward

Have you - or has someone you know - experienced something similar?

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…
Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up