PARENTS

The Semi-Detached Parent: Rage, Fury And Pillow Punching

07/10/2011 12:50 | Updated 22 May 2015
The Semi-Detached Parent:PA

Ah, the emotional roller-coaster of break ups and separations and single parenting! How is it that some days can go by like Christmas and a birthday rolled into one, full of joy and laughter and fun, and others are spent – mentally, if not physically – rolled up in a ball on the bed, sobbing into (and punching) a pillow?

I went on Nick Ferrari's show on LBC earlier this week to discuss the ridiculous emotional swings you go through post split-up. The words rage, fury and hate tripped easily off my tongue, but then so did regret, sadness, jealousy.

The segment was inspired by a newspaper report on Chris Huhne's wife's reaction to his affair and their subsequent divorce. Vicky Pryce had told a reporter that she had felt like leaving the country when her marriage fell apart, and that she struggled to get through each day after their divorce.

Although the circumstances of her break-up were very different to mine, (they split after she discovered his infidelity) I understood why she would feel the way she described; a lot of her anger seemed to be focused on what she had invested in their marriage, what she had given up in order to make their relationship work, ultimately for nothing. She said: "One of us had to be there for the children so I took it. I didn't object to it. When you are a unit and do everything together... and I thought we were a unit."

One of the things that has caused me the most misery (not to mention fury) in my own separation are the gnawing feelings of what I invested in my 15-year relationship, and what I gave up for it. And the sacrifices I still have to make, because the reality of 'shared responsibility' and 'co-parenting' for me is that I still do the lion's share of childcare, have most of the financial commitments, and do 99 per cent of the day to day stuff having a child necessitates, rather than just the 'fun things' every other weekend. The emotional fallout from this - the ensuing mood swings and highs and lows - leave me stressed, angry and resentful, and with little time to enjoy my child.

Of course all the experts tell us we should all be dignified and grown-up about separation, and do what is in the best interests of the children, and maintain cordial and respectful relationships with our former partners, but that it is very hard when you feel you are the only person who has made, and continue to make, huge sacrifices.

And although I know I should just let these feelings go, accept things and move on, part of me feels that to do so would be allowing someone to walk all over me. And that's not right either, is it?

Do you harbour resentment over your separation? Or feel that the burden of responsibility for your child is entirely yours even if you have 50/50 access arrangements? What angers you most about your break-up?

Suggest a correction