The Last Thing Jennifer Garner Needs to Hear About Her Kids Right Now

ben affleck jennifer garner

After the initial shock of the reality that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are getting divorced after 10 years of marriage and three kids, many are expressing their sadness for their children. People feel bad for them as if divorce is some kind of ailment or disease or a maiming parasite. It's not. In fact, divorce could be something that helps a family, and is good for the kids.

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Divorce, at least in the initial stages, isn't a happy thing. But it is a resolution to a conflict -- something most people do with careful consideration. I'd bet that Ben and Jen thought a lot about this. The rumors of their splitting up have been happening for quite some time. It was reported they were in couples therapy for years. I can't imagine being in the public eye during such a private time.

I'm divorced. My ex and I have two children together. And when people said to me, "I feel so bad for the kids," it hurt my heart.

Now Ben and Jen are experiencing the same thing. People are saying, "What a shame for the children," or "Awww, what about the kids?"

Words hurt.

And no parent going through a divorce should be made to feel they are hurting their children. Divorce is hard enough. Those who have been or are going through it have thought about the kids, along with all the other factors involved. I know the pain involved firsthand. I know it wasn't easy for my ex, or my kids -- it wasn't easy for me. I experienced the uncertainly and being terrified over every decision that had to be made during those early days and months. Thankfully, my ex and I always put our kids first. We did everything for them, to make sure they were happy and they understood that we were still a family.

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I don't want anyone to feel bad for my kids. They are happy and healthy and have so much love in their hearts. I didn't get divorced because of my kids. But my ex and I didn't want to stay married because of the kids either. My divorce happened as a result of my marriage not working out. I can't see it as a failure. I have two incredible children as a result of being with their father. The relationship I had with him in that way simply ended. It changed. And as a result, we changed our lives to adjust to our new normal -- living apart, co-parenting. We divorced with the thought that it was the best thing for our family.

If the romantic love between two married people is gone, it's actually better for the kids that the parents are no longer together. Kids deserve to see a healthy, loving relationship -- they learn from everything they see. We are their examples. If they see their parents no longer in love, fighting, ignoring each other, disconnected, then they see that is the way a marriage should be. When, in fact, it is not.

We have to set good examples for our kids -- we want them to find love and experience real love, and know when to walk away from a relationship that is no longer working. We can divorce with dignity and love and respect. We can divorce thinking it's the best thing for everyone. The kids then (hopefully) see their parents finding a new way to be together as a family but not as a couple.

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Ben and Jen's kids -- Violet, 9, Seraphina, 6, and Samuel, 3 -- are young. It may be a challenge for them in the beginning, especially Violet, as the family navigates through the changes. But just because something can be difficult doesn't mean it shouldn't happen. It's all going to be worked out in the ways that are best for them. It's clear these kids are surrounded by love -- their parents' love for them hasn't wavered. The routines may change and adjustments will be made. Those kids are going to be just fine.

We shouldn't feel bad for them. We should feel happy that Ben and Jen are doing such a great job to figure out how to be the best co-parents they can be. 

Have you gone through divorce and experienced others saying they felt bad for the kids? How did that make you feel?

 

Image via Bauer-Griffin/Bauergriffin.com

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