Mommy, do you still love Daddy?

Mommy, Do You Still Love Daddy?

 

“Mommy, do you still love Daddy?”

 

The question took me by surprise. I had navigated through the aftermath of the divorce as well I could, but I wasn’t prepared for this.

 

I looked at the little faces staring up at me, where I could see the confusion and hurt that filled their dark eyes. What was I supposed to tell them? They were too little to know the hurt and betrayal that ended our marriage. I had struggled to keep my pain private, and not expose the reasons behind the divorce, but their deep questions kept probing for answers.

 

“Well, Honey, what does the Bible say? We are to love our neighbor as ourselves, and Daddy is my neighbor. So, yes, I do still love Daddy.”

 

My answer satisfied them, and they went on playing their game on the living room floor.

 

I felt as though the wind had been knocked out of me.

 

What does it mean to love him – the man I was married to for seven years, the father of my children? He had broken my heart and our little family – and even though my explanation had worked for my boys, I was still at a loss as to how to actually go about loving him.

 

My heart has warred over this question in the years since he first asked me, but it wasn’t until this week did I look at how I could truly love their father, and really set out to find my own answers. I wanted to look at a familiar passage of the Bible in a new light. So without wanting to change the words of Scripture, I’m sharing with you how I am learning to apply the Love Chapter – 1 Corinthians 13 – in my own life…

 

 

If I only bite my tongue instead of bad-mouthing their father, but do not have love for him, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I am a good ex-wife and take our children to buy him gifts for his birthday and let him have more time on Thanksgiving, and if I seek out his opinion on a discipline issue, but do not have love for him, I am nothing.

Love is patient… when they are late and your children are wondering where they are.

Love is kind… and wishes them a happy Father’s Day, even when the words catch in your throat.

It does not envy… the fun that your children have with the other parent.

It does not boast… when your children confide their little hearts in you.

It is not proud… when you feel like the better parent.

It is not rude… even when you find yourself fighting an emotional custody battle in court.

It is not self-seeking… These are not just your children. Even when you no longer need him in your life, they do.

It is not easily angered… when you hear the things he says to the children about you.

It keeps no record of wrongs… It is impossible to forget, but healing begins when you release all of your hurt in forgiveness.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth… And the truth is that those little ones love you both so very much.

It always protects… their relationship with their father.

Always trusts… that you are parenting together to raise amazing human beings.

Always hopes… the best for the father of your child.

Always perseveres… for the sake of the precious little lives you were both given.

Love never fails.

But where there are weekend visits, they will cease; where there are parent/teacher conferences, they will stop; where there are hurts, time will pass away. For we do our part in co-parenting, but when the years fly by, our little boys will be grown. When our marriage ended, I talked about my hurt, I thought about what could have been, I reasoned through the pain. But when I became a single mom, I put my broken heart behind me and allowed it to heal. For now we see our small children’s reflection in a mirror; then we shall see the young adults that we have raised together. Right now I can’t see how it will all work out; but then I will look across at him when our boys have their own children, and I will know that it was all worth it.

And now these three remain: faith in what is good, hope – even when my faith is weak, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

(Photo credit – NZ Portraits by Joanne)

How about you? I would love to hear how you have set about loving “your neighbor” in your own life.

Thank you for coming along with me on this journey. Your encouragement, love, and support mean more to me than you’ll ever know!

*Hugs*

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookPin on PinterestPrint this pageTweet about this on Twitter
Email this to someoneShare on FacebookPin on PinterestPrint this pageTweet about this on Twitter

Written by ginger


Website:

66 Comments
  • Ana says:

    Wow, I admire you so much writing and sharing this. What a great reminder for me to keep loving the difficult-to-love people in my own life. Thanks!

    • ginger says:

      Thank you so much, Ana! Your encouragement means so much to me!

    • Stacy says:

      My husband left after twelve years of marriage. We have three young boys and after his affair he didn’t want to work on our marriage and family. He is now engaged to the girl he left us for. I find myself, two years later, knowing and believing with all my strength that I must put my anger and hurt aside in order to lead my boys on a path of peace. It’s best for my boys to know their daddy and I will always be friends who work together for them. I certainly have my moments of anger and hatred towards him, but I always turn my head up to the Holy One who saves. His peace and strength through the Holy Spirit is astounding. Let us always put our children’s emotional needs before our anger. Thank you for all your amazing posts!

      • ginger says:

        Oh Stacy – my heart is going out to you right now. You are so right – we need to put our children’s needs before our hurt and anger. Sending you bug hugs!

  • Crystal Paine says:

    This was incredible. AMAZING post. Beautifully written. And what gift to other parents who are walking this journey with you.

    I am so proud of you and so inspired by you. And so honored to call you “friend.”

  • Claudia says:

    Ginger, I faced this very same problem when my marriage ended due to my ex husband’s affair with the woman to whome he is now married. I was so hurt and felt so betrayed for a long time. I couldn’t even think of them being together without it twisting me into a knot. My counselor suggested praying for him and his new wife. She said, “it can be as simple as ‘God bless them'”. So, I started to pray for them in very simple ways and, you know what? It worked! Over time, my praying for them worked on my heart and soothed my soul and I was able to come to terms with the situation. And although I will never forget that pain, it no longer rules me which helps me to be a better mom and a better person. It takes time no it’s definitely a process, but it will happen with God’s grace. (((Hugs)))

    • ginger says:

      Hi Claudia – First of all, I wish I could give you a big hug! Thank you so much for sharing what has helped you along the way. What wonderful advice – and I will definitely remember that as I try to love those people in my life! *hugs*

  • Toni says:

    That is really lovely. Thank you for sharing.

  • Alysha says:

    Ginger, thank you for sharing your heart. I cannot imagine what you have been through but can tell that your desire to honor God in the most difficult of times is bigger than any pain you have endured. It also speaks to others who may be struggling with bitterness and resentment in the wake of a divorce. We are always called to go above and beyond the desires of our flesh and this post will encourage others to do just that.
    Abundant Blessings
    Alysha

  • Diane L. says:

    Thank you so much for writing this lovely post. My kids are adults now, and I haven’t seen their dad in several years. But I clearly remember those painful years and how very difficult it was to try to “love” and forgive my ex-husband for the sake of our children. I plan to keep a copy of your amazing verses to share with other single moms who are facing this challenge. Hugs to you!

    • ginger says:

      Thank you so much, Dianne! I can’t tell you how much you have encouraged my heart! It was my prayer that it would help other single moms who are also facing the same struggle! *hugs*

  • What a beautiful post, you are an amazing lady and mom. And honest to admit that loving your ex is something you struggled with.

  • […] shared my struggle with finding ways to show love to my ex-husband, and I received so many kind and encouraging responses from you! I can’t tell you what that […]

  • Amanda says:

    Hi Ginger,
    I came across your blog a little while ago and have been enthralled with your posts. You are so genuine and honest – I am up here in Canada, but I feel a strange connection to you. Although our paths are quite different – I am actually married to a man who has a child with his ex-wife, I feel like I understand your desire to do what is best for not only your children, but yourself too. It’s been a 4 year journey so far, but I struggle with my step-daughter’s mother on a regular basis and I am constantly inspired by your responses to the hard things that come your way. I try my best to keep my head held high and do what I think is best for my step-daughter, but you have become a true inspiration for me and I want to thank you for that. Thank you for being honest and genuine. And thank you for lovingly pushing us all in that direction. If you can treat your ex the way you do, after everything you have gone through, then surely myself (and my husband) can find it in ourselves to continue to show love and compassion to those who may not return the feelings.
    I am truly happy that you have found peace and such love in your life and I pray that you continue to guide us down our own paths through your personal journey and encouragement.
    Wishing you much happiness from Canada,
    Amanda

    • ginger says:

      Oh Amanda, I wish I could give you a big hug right now! Your message really made my whole day – thank you so much! I hadn’t thought about how this could apply to step-parent relating to their step-child’s biological parent. I really appreciate your kind encouragement!

  • Dear Ginger … I have never heard anyone apply 1 Corinthians 13 to the situation you find yourself in. I am awed. Touched. And deeply marvel at what God is teaching you.

    I’m a pastoral counselor and talk with many women who share this difficult journey with you. Please know that I will be sharing this link with them. You are not alone. And by sharing your learnings, you will pull many women toward the Lover of their souls who will never leave them, never forsake.

    Blessings …

    • ginger says:

      Linda – your message brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement! I would be honored if you would share this with the women you counsel! *Big hugs*

  • Hi! I found my way here through the Chatting at the Sky link-up. Sure glad I did.
    Wow. This is a powerful post.

  • […] We began the process for the boys and I to be able to go with Joe when he was stationed in California for the first year after our wedding. We hoped against hope that we’d be able to begin our married life together on the West Coast, and we were crushed when that couldn’t happen because the boys and I needed to stay near their father. […]

  • Neyssa says:

    Wow! Absolutely beautiful. I have three daughters and they sometimes still ask the same question. And even though he makes my life hard at times, I love him because he loves my girls as much as I love them. The love we share for our daughters is what keeps me from ill thoughts. Thank you so much for this lovely eloquent post!

    • ginger says:

      Hi Neyssa! Thank you so much for stopping by. I am so sorry that you are on this journey too. Please know that you aren’t alone in this! *Hugs*

  • This is a mindset more divorced families should have!

  • lauryn Hock says:

    I can’t even imagine what I would do in that situation!

  • Theresa says:

    What a beautiful post and lovely message. You’re a great mom and person and it’s evident in your reasoning.

  • Debbie says:

    I admire your ability to stay focused on love in this situation. It’s a beautiful account of forgiveness and healing!!

  • I am separated from my husband, and my son has asked that same question from me. With the time, he has also asked if it’s OK for him to love his father.
    That one is even more hurtful.
    Am I really such a hate filled person that he feels that he needs to choose between his two parents?
    I was able to tell him that, of course he should love his dad. And see the joy in his eyes and how the worry went away.
    But it has been a hard road. And loving his dad does seem like a huge challenge. Will it ever be possible?

    • ginger says:

      Oh Joanna, my heart is aching for you, friend. It really is a hard road – but our little ones really are worth it! *Hugs*

  • oh, my dear, dear sister… i have just been asking my Papa how to open my heart to what His girls look like all over the body – and now you’ve written this and i am so moved and so honored to be reading. such humility – such courageous honesty… such beauty in the real-life, pain-in-the-offering application of God’s truth as He spoke (speaks) it through His word. as a daughter of a divorce in which the mama used her children as weapons against their father, i am so encouraged to see redemption in your brokenness. it will be mightily used, sweet and brave sister. i will be sharing this, and i am honored to “meet” you through your blog, and through women with intention.

    • ginger says:

      Angela – Your message really touched my heart. Thank you so much for your encouragement and for sharing this post with others! It’s my prayer that it will be used to help even more women who are walking this road! *Hugs*

  • Tamra says:

    It’s been a journey for me the last three years. Husband left, remarried, lost his job, moved 2400 miles away, filed a motion which would have turned our lives upside down and… and… now that the court battle’s ended (in my favor and with no legal basis for appeal). It seems like the dust is truly beginning to settle. God has been faithful to me/us in this time. He has truly become my Husband. I home school the children. I’ve been in the “ark” and there are signs of life, receded waters and the door is opened… everything is different… whole new landscape… a little scary, but I know God walks with me and I do trust that He is good. My path has been marked out for me, now to work the new land and DO this new life.

    I wish I could say I handled my situation with more grace than I did, but I can give God the glory for the many graces he did give me… Recently – when they visited this past Christmas, God DID give me grace to: buy thoughtful gifts, to provide them with a few things for the time they were here, to be genuinely KIND and caring, to give his new wife a home made lotion bar, and to bake them the most amazing vegan pumpkin cheesecake. It was nothing short of a miracle! My heart is beginning to heal. Your story is encouraging. Thank you for sharing it. I single parent three kids now too… will be reading more here, I am sure.

    I don’t know how to do it yet, but I am going to repost this post on my new blog. This is so good and the Lord’s word for me for this season is Faithfulness and Forgiveness. I am so happy I found your blog. I love your heart. I share the desire to honor everything that is worthy of honor. I share the desire not to be ruled by bitterness and unforgiveness. I do not want to raise my children to hate their dad. I do not want to make their relationship harder. I do not want to hinder a turn toward God in anyway.

    • ginger says:

      Tamra, I share many of the same experiences that you’ve mentioned. You’ve had a lot on your shoulders, friend! I’m sure there are many things that we all wish we had handled with more grace – but it sounds like you are really rocking it! Good for you for making them soap and a cheesecake! 🙂 That is so sweet of you to share this on your blog – It is my prayer that it will encourage more moms who are walking this journey with us!

  • Beth Shaub says:

    Beautiful. And quite humbling. While it is hard to heal from all of the pain, it is necessary to be this kind of mom so that our children can begin their healing. Thank you so much.

  • Amanda says:

    Thank you for sharing this post, I was so blessed by it! I am going through a painful divorce after learning of my husbands multiple affairs a few months ago. God has held me up time & time again over our 2 yr separation and especially through this divorce process. Thank you for sharing your heart!

    • ginger says:

      Amanda – sending you big hugs today! Thank you for your sweet encouragement! My heart aches for everyone who has gone through this journey – but please know that you’re not alone in this!

  • Christy says:

    Came across this shared by a friend on fb. I also felt the desire to bring your message to other moms in this difficult situation….
    As I shared on fb “Beautiful and powerful look at a very familiar Bible passage….. This is a question I have been asked so many times by all 3 of our children and this mom’s feelings echo mine for years. Something I have fought so hard to do and now have an answer for myself as I answer them. This one brought my day to a halt, tears to my eyes, and some peace in my heart….I love you with all that I am, kiddos….and yes, I do still love Daddy.”
    Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your thoughts. I will be printing this and rereading it often. We have had a very amicable divorce in comparison to most (almost 4 years ago now) and I am blessed with an amazing husband and stepfather to my kids, but I have always struggled with how to approach this question on a deeper, more meaningful level. I can’t think of a better way for me to process this for both my children and myself. Much love to you!

    • ginger says:

      Oh Christy, thank you SO much for your sweet encouragement and for sharing this post on Facebook! I just said a prayer for you and your precious family – we’re walking this road together, friend! *Hugs*

  • Christabel says:

    Dear, Sweet Ginger – As tears roll down my face and flow raw from my heart, your words have pierced a deep shadow of struggle in me. After 21 years of marriage, I have been single for a little over a year. We have an adult daughter and 15-yr-old son. My heart breaks at the pain my children endure as a result of their father’s poor choices. I struggle with loving him through the eyes of our heavenly father, but I know that is the only way I can pull it off. I have printed off your prayer and will read it daily as the cry of my heart and reminder of where my focus on this journey needs to be. Thank you so much for allowing God to use you to be a blessing through this.

    • ginger says:

      Christabel, thank you SO much for your message – My heart is hurting for you. I am so glad that this post encouraged you. I am right there with you – I need to remind myself of it all the time. Your encouragement made my day. Sending big hugs your way!

  • Jim says:

    Well said.

    I am not a Mom, but I am now Granddaddy to three wonderful girls. My Ex and I split 21 years ago,, leaving our three kids with he,r but we did agree to do our best to make the divorce about US, not them and to put them first.

    It hasn’t always been easy or smooth, but, for the most part we have succeeded.We attended all events that they were part of, participated in Scouts and sports, too. Sometimes it was very hard for me to do, but I had worked in an agency that dealt with divorced parents and saw that this MUST be in order for the kids to get through it.

    We still have Thanksgiving and Christmas meals together as a family, something that I believe is the result of the very same thing happening with my own maternal grandparents when I was a child. It didn’t occur to me until I was almost an adult that my grandparents living in different houses was different, it was just the way it was.

    Now my ywo daughters and son are all grown and our oldest has two wonderful little girls and a college student stepdaughter who remained with her after my daughter and her husband divorced. My daughter has often told me that she knew she could get through it because she watched us.

    Today my Ex bought a car at car place that is one of my regular customers and I, along with my two daughters, had helped locate and check it out before she looked at it. I didn’t do it for any kudos, just because it was the right thing to do.

    So, to all of you who are newly single or farther along the rugged trail, badly bruised, terribly hurt, angry and bewildered, it gets better IF you decide you will do the right thing because it is best for YOU and your children, because of whom you are tied to that other parent, even if they totally disappear, for the rest of your life.

    Do it for the kids and yourself. Don’t waste energy hating or berating, running them down or making snide remarks about that person. It hurts you and your children will remember those things for long, long time.

    Think, then speak.

    • ginger says:

      Jim, I can’t thank you enough for your kind message. I applaud how you and your ex have handled this situation – and I hope know that it is something we can all learn from! You are right on. I loved this part – “So, to all of you who are newly single or farther along the rugged trail, badly bruised, terribly hurt, angry and bewildered, it gets better IF you decide you will do the right thing because it is best for YOU and your children, because of whom you are tied to that other parent, even if they totally disappear, for the rest of your life.

      Do it for the kids and yourself. Don’t waste energy hating or berating, running them down or making snide remarks about that person. It hurts you and your children will remember those things for long, long time.” May I please that part of what you wrote in a future blog post? It said so well what hurting parents need to say.

  • Noma says:

    I stumbled into your blog from MOB and l am already grateful. I am going thru separation now. After 2 beautiful children and 8 years with on and off relationship with same woman, they welcomed baby Love just before Christmas. I am still raw …angry…emotional and hurt
    I asked him to leave as he wanted all of us in the same boat. Reading through this post l realise l have a lot to learn. Thanks for ladies like you l can gain sanity and let God lead me thru it all.

    • ginger says:

      I am so touched by your message. First of all, I wish that I could give you a great big hug right now. Please know that it will get easier. I promise. Saying a prayer for you and your precious little ones right now.

  • Great post, Ginger and I have been there, too! I’ll be sharing on FB tomorrow and thanks for linking at Women With Intention Wednesdays. Hope to see you back this week!

  • ray says:

    I have dreaded this question for a long time. My ex committed the worst sin you can commit in a marriage. Having an affair. Then my ex lied under oath with an order of protection stating I was an Iraq War Vet with payc issues. I was in the Navy and never went there. I have two degrees and now I have a criminal record and cant get a decent job. I am a Christian but cant seem to forgive her and I am afraid I would have to tell my little girl “No honey…I don’t love your mommy any longer…”

  • Adriana says:

    Hi Ginger, Thank you so much for sharing this! I am in the beginning of a divorce and will be filing in the morning and I have been struggling with how to tell my 11, 9, & 2 yr old that Mom and Dad are getting a Divorce. I am still so very angry, hurt, and disappointed about my husbands affair that resulted in another child! I am trying to research how to show my kids to still love even when it’s hard. I want to be the best Mom I can be to my kids and show them the right path and this post was hard to read b/c i can’t see myself still loving the man I have been with for 12 years after this. BUT I know that I HAVE to for my kids to know better. Thank you for sharing this and I will keep this to reference when times are rough. 🙂

  • cristin says:

    Hi Ginger! This is EXACTLY what I needed! In fact, I’m sure God put this post in front of me (via Pinterest) on purpose! My story is almost identical to yours but with one daughter instead! The divorce came out of no where and all his reasonings were so uncharacteristic of him that to this day (a year and a half later) no one still understands why he did this. I’ve never experienced such dreadful hurt in my life! And it continues to hurt with each stab he takes at me (taking my little princess to Disney World for the first time without me…) and the games he continues to play. Originally my 2015 New Year’s goal was to work on forgiveness – to help ME heal and let go of the weight and experience God’s freedom. But then he pulled a major game on me and I declared I’d never forgive him! But I’ve felt God prompting me to continue to work on forgiveness – for me, not for him. (Cuz I can’t for the life of me see why he deserves forgiveness, and right now I’m afraid that forgiving him is equivilant to saying that what he did to me and our family is okay – even thought I know that’s not the truth!) Anyway, thank you for this post. It came at the exact right time! I can’t wait to read more of your posts!

  • Kate says:

    Ginger,
    Thank you for posting this. I don’t really have the words to express how this makes me feel but it lifts some weight. Thank you.

  • Lorelee Gonzalez says:

    Hi Ginger,
    I am a child of divorced parents. My dad had an affair with my mother’s best friend when I was 7, leaving me and my 6-month old sister without a father. He tried to be present, but wasn’t really being a dad. One good thing abou the divorce is that through it my family met Jesus and decided to follow hiim. I am now 19, in college, grown-up now in a sense, yet out of nowhere the pain of abandonmet hit me again. Memories of all the times my dad did not defend me with my step-mom, or other times he would force me to go to the Catholic Church with him. All these things that happened in my childhood, now are resurging. The more I pray, the more I realize the pain has always been there, but so well hidden. This blog post has impacted me, I’m not done healing, because I’m not done crying. I have so much bottled up inside me, but what most stood out to me was “it keeps no record of wrongs…it is impossible to forget, but healing begins when you release all of your hurt in forgiveness”. I know this will be a process. I’m trusting the process because Jesus is the one who is going to help me go through it. But I just wanted to thank you for being part of it. I hope to be able to get your books one day.

  • Karri says:

    I came across this today on Pinterest. I really needed to read this. My ex is refusing to support my kids financially, didn’t see them on Father’s Day and even took them on one of his dates. I am struggling emotionally, spiritually and financially. This post soothed my soul. Thank you.

    • ginger says:

      Oh, Karri – I wish I could give you a great big hug right now. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through this. Just know that so many of us are going through it with you – and that you aren’t alone. Keep being a great mom to your little ones… *Hug*

  • Heidi says:

    THank you so much for writing this….Tomorrow marks one year since my husband of fifteen years left our family for someone 10 years younger than me. I am struggling a lot today, and needed the reminder of how to love him, inspite of the anger and hurt I feel for the sake of our three kids. I have been working hard on the forgiveness portion of all of this, but the closer I get to the divorce being finalized the more raw it feels.

  • Zeen says:

    Im sorry I cant. I cant pray for him I cant forgive him !!!

    I have 2 sons I lost the 7 year old in a car accident still he didn’t realize his mistake! Its just me and my boy now who is 5 years old. How do you forgive someone who has manipulated cheated and lied. Who was never around for emotional support and comfort for his wife and kids after he put his son 6 feet under!! He found comfort and solace in the arms of another woman whilst the 2 of us grieved alone! And now he wants a to be a part of his sons life!!

    I know anger only hurts me , I know GOD has a bigger plan but the pain is too much why should we be left to compromise after he chose to live a life of sin!!
    Why should my child be split between 2 familes and have the frustration of having to go between mum and dad when I tried to hold on for so long tried so much to make it work despite his 6 years of unfaithfulness.

  • Zoe Rosales says:

    I really needed this today as I am struggling with my ex and his new girlfriend right now and this truly uplifted my spirits and gave me hope. I will be going about things very differently now thank you so much for your inspiration you are a remarkable woman ❤️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

Join the fun!

MY GIFT TO YOU!
Read previous post:
Dear Ginger… Why Homeschooling?

  Hey, Y'all! I am always beyond thrilled to hear from you! Your questions, comments, and messages always brighten my...

Close