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Thread: when a mother leaves her children

  1. #1
    david uk's Avatar
    david uk is offline On the verge of losing dog because I post so much!
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    Default when a mother leaves her children

    I was listening to Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4 today and they were discussing women who leave their families.

    I was wondering, is it worse for a mother to leave her children than for a father? I know on paper it should be the same, but my personal experience makes me wonder.

    As a small child, I was very close to my mother. When I was just 6, she left my father, brother and me. It was a total shock to me, it all happened with one phone call. I saw her once or twice after that but by the time I was 7 she had broken off all contact with us. I became deeply traumatised as a child and grew up not knowing where she was or even whether she was alive.

    I managed to track her down when I was in my late 30s, but altho we get on ok, finding her again unearthed a huge amount of turmoil to the extent I had to seek psychiatric help.

    That's just my personal experience, but it did get me wondering whether a child suffers more if the mother or the father leaves, and whether there is any moral difference? I don't really know myself, as the issue is too close to home.

    what do you think?

    open to all opinions....
    it's not who you love, but whether you can

  2. #2
    gisli is offline On the verge of losing spouse because I post so much!
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    Intresting thought David and well worth discussing fore there propably is no one solid solution that fits all in this agenda.

    My feeling it is that the person who spends more time with the infant the first years after itīs birth, weather it is the mother or the father is the one the infant bonds more to and therefore has more difficulties, or needs longer time to overcome when that parent leaves.

    On the other hand my feeling is that children thrive most and best in a secure enviroment where there they have the most stability we can offer them and that is an enviroment where both parents are at hand. That also goes for not moving around from one house to another, one town to another, one school to another etc.

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    David uk,
    I don't know if there is a real concrete answer to this. I think that both parents have a part in this...and what they say and what they believe is truly insurmountable. then what the children are told about the situation, what they secretly believe about themselves and their parents. every person a chlid meets for all of his/ her life, who knows a parent has left will offer an opinion adding to the whole situation. the children are always the ones who lose out, sadly. I'm incredibly sorry that you have had to face this in your life. and it may mean little, but you are a loved and wonderful part of this family and you always will be.
    peace
    hoops
    VIBE THE JOY!

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    Darlene's Avatar
    Darlene is offline Really ought to get married and settle down
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  5. #5
    stardust Guest

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    Wow, what sad things you both have survived. I would think that feeling abandoned by either parent could be equally traumatic. A lot depends upon the existing relationships and family dynamics. A lot depends upon the ability of the remaining parent to support and nurture the kids. I can't imagine that there is a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Moral aspects of the issue are even more nebulous, as morality is such a personal thing. What a deep question you have posed.

  6. #6
    aabram Guest

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    Wow, david, what you went through was very sad. I can only say how sorry I am that your mother didn't wait until you were grown up. Mine are now grown up, and I still don't want to leave...However, we can talk about this later....Gotta go, early bellringing practice tonight

    Annabel

  7. #7
    Mimi's Avatar
    Mimi is offline On the verge of losing spouse because I post so much!
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    Quote Originally Posted by stardust
    Wow, what sad things you both have survived. I would think that feeling abandoned by either parent could be equally traumatic. A lot depends upon the existing relationships and family dynamics. A lot depends upon the ability of the remaining parent to support and nurture the kids. I can't imagine that there is a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Moral aspects of the issue are even more nebulous, as morality is such a personal thing. What a deep question you have posed.
    I totally agree with you, Terri. There can't be the one answer for all.

    But there's one interesting phenomenon I saw again and again when parents divorced. For most people it's the "normal" thing that the father leaves and the kids stay with their mother.

    A mother leaving their kids will be judged by society, neighbours, realtives, friends etc. much more harshly than a father and most people don't take the time to look WHY a mother leaves. If she does she must be bad, unnatural, uncaring... - in the people's eyes. They don't ask how the relationship between the parents was and if the parent leaving had another choice. I don't think a mother leaves her children if she has another choice, another way out.
    I can imagine situations where a divorce of the parents is the lesser evil for the kids - well, but it remains a trauma anyway.

    MIMI
    Things work out, if you let them. It's the in-between that's hard. (Janis Ian)

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