One of the things that sucks about divorce is that kids try to have two homes — but don’t


One of the many things divorced parents tell their kids to make them feel normal about their lives is that now they have two homes — one with their mom, another with their dad. That’s a sweet idea, but it’s a lie.

I roughly follow Penelope Trunk, a blogger who is equal parts brilliant and insane (her essay about what it’s like to have sex with someone with Asperger’s is beyond compelling). She is a remarried mom, yet takes a staunch stance against divorce in most cases — and I have to say that I agree with a lot what she writes in Divorce is immature and selfish. Don’t do it.  

That said, I’m divorced and you probably are, too. And we’re here to make the best of things. Which leads me to this of Penelope’s arguments:

The most damaging thing about divorce is that the kids don’t have a home; to say a kid has two homes is the same as saying the kid has no home. Because a home is your basecamp. If you have two basecamps you don’t have a home.

I don’t think it works that way. Regardless of how much time the kids spend at any one house, one address prevails as home — maybe it is because that place now has a stepparent and additional siblings, one parent is has a disproportionate share of time with the kid, or the child simply feels more at home at one place over another. That inevitably hurts one parent, and that is one of the very tragic fallouts of divorce that you can’t do much about.

But you can stop lying to your kids that they have two equal homes. Because they don’t. Yet parents insist this is true because you feel guilty for the divorce and its affect on the kids. You want to minimize their pain and make them feel normal, which is a very human desire. But when you insist your kids have two equal homes it dismisses their very deep, ancient need for home — and the very deep, real pain and confusion that comes with divorce.


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7 thoughts on “One of the things that sucks about divorce is that kids try to have two homes — but don’t

  1. Interesting article. After reading “Divorce is immature and selfish. Don’t do it.”, I have to agree she says some things I would also agree with at first glance. However, after reading some of her other blogs linked there, I think it’s important to note that she appears to be a very unhappily re-married mom. “The Farmer” sounds like a “delightful” husband, and she equally sounds like a “jewel” of a wife – and I’m being quite sarcastic. I’ll certainly give her credit for taking her own responsibility in the mess that is her marriage (and “The Farmer” is certainly doing his own rotten share.)

    I have to agree, Emma, she does seem brilliant, and also insane. She also appears to be yet another prime example of why marriage is foolish. “The Farmer” and her own self-admitted “insane” side are what men and women are more likely to find in their first and second (and third and fourth) marriages.

    Thank you for the reminder to stay blissfully single. Stay in the dating relationships while it’s fun and the sex is good, but steer clear of marriage – where it will all just be one tough slog for the rest of your life.

  2. @ Darth – Please read Iris Krasnow’s Surender to Marriage. I recently finished it and it really changed my perception of marriage. Let me know your thoughts when you’re done. We can have a little book club, you and me,

  3. I surely will if you’ll agree to watch the documentary “Divorcecorp”. While it’s more about the family court system and divorce, it will chill anyone with any sense to forget about marriage in the US. If they really really really want to get married – in the event they get divorced – they’ll want to live in Scandinavia for the rest of their lives.

  4. I finished Iris Krasnow’s “Surrender to Marriage” late last night. It was a good read, and thanks for the suggestion.

    I would say if Iris and I were to sit down and discuss the state of marriage we would both agree a great deal, and, although the content of her book seems directed at women, I’d say Krasnow’s book is a wise read for anyone, regardless of gender, who is considering marriage. It presents the institution in a very real, raw way.

    Near the end she has a 70+ year old marriage counselor tell his perspective on the clients he sees whose marriages are in trouble. Key notes from his comments was how the couples have too much a “sense of entitlement” creating a great deal of divorce. Hmmm, one of the key points I’ve been making myself, and I never had to read a book or see a marriage counselor to know it already. Man, I’m smart!!

    I would warn anyone who reads it that the Kindle edition has a TON of typos in it. I wouldn’t normally complain about such trivial things, but the misspellings, missed words, and dropped letters were so frequent as to be distracting at times. Perhaps the actual books were edited better.

    1. But as you say – the COUPLES have a sense of entitlement. Not the women/moms/single women as you love to repeat here.

      I do agree — been thinking how the expectations for marriage and relationships are just so high. Unreasonable.

      1. By “couples” I think the counselor actually meant “single moms” but was afraid to say. LMAO.

        Yes, I made the true statement that he states “couples”. Iris also makes the point that up to 60 percent of both male and female spouses are estimated to have affairs in marriage. That was a “6” and a “0” side-by-side with no decimal point before the “6” or between the “6” and “0”. What a wonderful statistic that one entering into a marriage can dream about the one they love, “There is s 60 percent chance that she/he will cheat on me. Yay!!!.”

        What I do agree with Iris, the author, is that one should have the real expectation of what marriage is: often boring, monotonous, tiring, weary, hurtful. However, I also agree that marriage can and should be loving, trusting, forgiving, growing, comforting, and more good things. In my mind an ideal marriage can be two people that “have each other’s backs even when they may not agree”. Thankfully, I’ve witnessed such in my own parent’s marriage. Marriage can be all those things both great, but also difficult, that are presented in the book. But being both the greatest thing, and the most difficult thing marriage takes two people of high character and decency to not be one of the 60% who will cheat, (or one of the 70 to 90% of wives who initiate the divorce – not my statistic, rather that statistic belongs to the universe). And on the issue of women being high in character these days is where, perhaps, my opinion and Iris’s opinion, ( and perhaps Emma’s opinion) begins to diverge and disagree.

        Now, when I speak of my single moms/single women I speak from my experiences, and those I see in the lives of men in my social and work circle. These are professional circles, not those in the ghetto and with thugs. These experiences are further formed by the multitude of statistics an articles that affirm that wives leave marriages more often than husbands, women love bad boys more than sensible, well meaning, trustworthy guys. The evidence and end result is that the large majority of women these days are not trustworthy, decent, or kind – note I say “majority”. By far the women I see aren’t interested in the equal partnership presented in “Surrender to Marriage”, nor in building trust, love, truth, or in “having the back” of their husband. An unfortunate, and ever increasing number of women feel entitled to the blood, sweat, and tears, of every man without gratitude, humility, or common decency. If he has money and is kind, most women view him as a mark to be taken advantage of, (and if he’s a thuggish piece of crap they’ll chase him to the moon.) The entitlement follows when it comes to children they’ve had with another man.

        Are their men who feel entitled? There surely are. But the men I’m around work hard, aim to have integrity, earn a decent living, and be there for their spouse/girlfriend and kids. Yet everyday most of them get a royal screwing (and I don’t mean sexually) from wives who don’t even try to meet their spouses’ needs, expect him to bend over backwards for kids that aren’t his, and meanwhile, 60 percent of the time their wives are likely pounding the unemployed druggy down a the corner bar. Then, after years, she walks out the door anyway.

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