Single parent: Why I don’t want a replacement dad for my children
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Only after separating from her husband does Jule Spratte experience real family happiness and realizes what advantages it offers for her to be a single parent. Although she soon finds a new loving partner with a sense of family, she prefers to stay single. Recorded by Elisabeth Hussendörfer
Now more than ever – after the separation from my husband there was exactly this attitude in addition to all the disappointment. You want to prove what you can do. Does not want to be the second, incomplete half, gives two hundred percent so that this impression does not arise at all. For example in music: I had been active in gospel choirs with my husband, now I started to produce my own songs.
But also in the organization of everyday life: I used to take care that the cars come to customer service regularly, now I took care of myself when the brakes were changed. Or took the drill that my ex had left to mount the new blinds – as if I had always done it.
Frustration and stress were high
But above all, from the moment we were alone, I was there 200 percent for the children. So something surprising happened: we became a family, really. We used to be complete with mom, dad, two children on the outside, but the cohesion was missing. Feel children when parents are not happy. Frustration and stress levels in everyday life were correspondingly high, the children were neglected, seemed to me like lightning rods, where everything was discharged and who then argued constantly.
The trigger for the new harmony was that I saw how my two suffered from the separation and that I then took a lot of time for them to respond to their questions and fears.
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Over the past two years, this has resulted in us building a relationship that I have always dreamed of. We cuddle much, much more than before, we talk about everything. "You are the best mom in the world" and "Thank you for doing all of this for us" – I often hear such sentences now. It makes me happy. In general, I’m doing pretty well in my current situation. Why I started to look around in a dating portal for single parents a few weeks after the separation, I can no longer say exactly, I was probably mainly curious.
He works, she stays with the children
Marco ** was what others would probably call a winning the lottery: funny, good-looking, but above all obviously really interested in me and the children. I can still see him sitting on the living room floor with the two of them and building Lego for hours. Be warm with them – like my ex was rarely. I also see him standing in the kitchen with us and preparing all meals for us.
I enjoyed having such a homely, hands-on man by my side, because that’s what I had been missing in all the years before. But something felt strange from the start. Marco wanted to work on his past with us – so I look back.
"Look how beautiful everything is", he said a lot. To me it sounded like "now I’m finally doing better". He was in a similar situation, was also newly separated, his three sons lived with his wife. He works, she stays with the children – he had driven this model and because of his career, he often only came home on weekends. Now that his marriage was broken, he seemed to regret it.
Marco wanted a new partnership when it came to bending and breaking
Wanting to correct one’s past, albeit unconsciously – is something other than really loving and respecting. At the latest when my little boy was standing in our bedroom at night because he had had bad dreams, I could have realized that. Marco didn’t slide to the side, but a little further over to me and put Tamino on the edge. A man who puts your child on the wall and himself in the middle, that is not possible. Marco wanted me and on bending and breaking a new partnership. It was like a burdock, attached to my life and my small family.
I’m sorry for him today. At that time, I was one of him: increasingly annoyed. If he "food is ready" called through the apartment, for example – without first asking when would be a good time for a meal together. I was annoyed when I sorted the kitchen again after such cooking activities because there was nothing left in its place. Or if I found freshly washed laundry in completely wrong cupboards.
It is grotesque when, on the one hand, you feel the new freedom that separation brings after 17 years of marriage – and on the other hand you are pushed into independence. I only had to cough and Marco would have run into the pharmacy. And because this behavior is basically nice and laudable, it took me a long time to realize that it couldn’t be done. That I don’t need a guy around me to push my chair around when I want to sit down.
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My kids don’t need a replacement dad
That my children don’t need a replacement dad, even if it looks like they make them happy. As hard as that sounds: When I set Marco out at the door after almost ten months, it didn’t really affect my two. I explained to them that I am not ready yet and that I think it’s good if we find ourselves first. And that I have the feeling that we are already on the right track.
In the meantime, two years later, I am ready to say that a new love can come. But after what I’ve experienced, I’m vigilant. Above all, the many guys who already wanted to meet after the first two or three emails and who then went down when I didn’t go into it made me aware of what I didn’t want: namely, to put myself under pressure.
I don’t need a man because I can’t be alone. Above all, I don’t need anyone who wants to work something up with me or about me – and that, it seems to me, is the main motive for many singles looking for something.
Someone who says: I stand with both feet in life, I have processed the experience I have had and now something new is beginning with you – that would be a dream. As a nice encore, so to speak. As an encore to the shop that runs. And better than ever.
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