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Mother's Day Ended My Marriage

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When my husband decided to blow off Mother's Day, all hell broke loose.

upset wife and husband

Guest Blogger Cheryl: I love holidays and Mother's Day is no exception. I enjoy that one day where you are made to feel like a queen. The one day you are rewarded for all of your multitasking, effort, and dedication to being a mom. I usually get breakfast in bed, back rubs until I fall asleep, flowers, and help around the house. Mother's Day this year, however, will go down in history as my absolute worst.

I knew Mother's Day was off to a bad start when my husband informed me the night before that the holiday had nothing to do with him and it should be between me and the kids. Are you kidding me? Is this the way men really think and my husband just happened to voice it aloud?

In the morning, I was handed a cold cup of coffee by my husband. My card and gift were left downstairs. The card and gift had been bought hours earlier after my husband asked me, "So, what do you want anyway?" No thought, no advance planning, no special effort put forth at all. It was so disappointing.

What bothered me the most about the day was the fishing trip he took with the kids. I was expecting some help with projects, someone to pamper me, and kids around to make me feel like the most special mom in the world. Instead, I ended up at the gym burning off the upset while watching dads juggle their kids so their wives could go have some fun on Mother's Day.

Honestly, ruining a mom's Mother's Day is a really rotten thing to do because it is the one holiday that honors the sacredness of what we do day in and day out. It isn't easy being a mom. Do we make it look so easy that some men feel it requires no celebration at all some years?

My mother tells me to never let someone else ruin my day. She is right, trust me. But it doesn't take away the feeling of being emotionally robbed on the most precious holiday in the world to mothers. I chose to sleep on the couch that night. My husband chose to move out. Mother's Day essentially marked the end of our marriage.

Many people have asked me how I will handle Father's Day with my husband out of the house. Some offered horrible suggestions to make it as miserable on him as possible. Gotta love those girlfriends! But, because I am an exceptional mom, it will be a nice Father's Day for him because I will be sure my children know what true kindness is. I will have the kids make him the best homemade cards ever and bake and package up his favorite cookies in a nice box the kids can decorate with thought, love, and care.

I will do this because there is no room for anger, spite, or ill will when you raise children. Children model our behavior as they watch us handle conflict. I want my children to know they have a strong, loving, and kind mother now, yesterday, and every day, no matter what cards she is dealt. If my children can learn that lesson from this, then the crappiest Mother's Day in the world was well worth the pain.

next: Read Me Like a Book
74 comments so far | Post a comment now
Russell June 15, 2009, 12:23 PM

You people are ridiculous!!!! The Guy should be GRATEFUL that she gave him Children… He should Respect that She is their Mother and CELEBRATE the HELL out of Her Day! What’s the matter with you!? I hate my ex… and her new husband feels like the guy in this story, i’m glad, but i think it’s wrong… I always email her on mothers and thank her for the gift of my Daughter.

opal June 17, 2009, 8:40 PM

if Mothers Day ended your marriage, then obviously there are more underlying problems that aren’t being discussed here.

moonstarz June 18, 2009, 12:05 PM

My estranged husband started an argument with me on Mother’s Day. Prior to that he didn’t want to keep the children either. I work full time and was wrapping up a semester at school and really wanted to just enjoy the day.

I agree with the author. I am not going to be nasty on Father’s Day. I have already planned to get a card for him from the kids with his favorite candy, and movie gift card. I will most likely also make him breakfast. He may have been a jerky husband but that doesn’t have anything to do with his parenting skills.

Nicole June 23, 2009, 1:06 PM

I was surprised by the angry comments on this post. I don’t know anything about their relationship, but people don’t leave after one bad day. This was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Whatever the reason, I applaud Cheryl for putting her kids first when it comes to their father. I would love a follow-up to find out how father’s day went, actually.

Chika June 25, 2009, 2:46 AM

Ignore all these ignorant people’s post. I believe that you had ever right to be upset, bitter, mad. That is YOUR day and for him not to honor it, let alone make any gracious moves, you deserve to be treasured.

phil June 27, 2009, 6:01 AM

My word, about time you grew up - maybe all women think like you (me, me, me) and you just said it out loud?

Victoria May 6, 2010, 11:56 AM

My very first Mother’s Day was 17 years ago. Nothing. No one wished me even a Happy’s Mother Day. That is all I wanted was someone to acknowledge it. I sat there holding my daughter and cherished her the rest of the day hoping that this would never happen to her at all. Mother’s Day is over rated for the flower shops and card companies.

always hurt May 6, 2010, 2:38 PM

Ive been married 17years and a mother for 13. i cant remember a good mothers day, never a gift, card always bought on the way home. no matter the holiday, bday,anniv, valentne, mothers day,im always alone and lonely. nothing special. i used to love holidays now i HATE them. i dont want my sons to grow up and treat their partners better than I am. alone and lonely

Married 24 years May 8, 2010, 5:08 AM

People goof up ALL the time and go through very bad eras of life…when my h went through midlife crisis, he was awful for 6 years. Marriage and parenting require patience, forgiveness and humility. Disappointment happens regularly. If you saw the good life I have now with the same H who was awful for 6 years, you might say I am “lucky”, but luck had nothing to do with it…Im blessed.

Cinaed May 8, 2010, 8:09 AM

Sounds like this had nothing to do with Mother’s day. Obviously there were problems in the marriage…..
but honey, nobody can read your mind, and maybe you shouldn’t put your expectations anyone. You’ve been setting yourself up to fail, and so you blame it on a holiday???? Give me a break! Communication people!!!

AJ May 11, 2010, 6:08 AM

I don’t understand. The husband took the kids out, and she went to the gym and was bitter because she saw other men who had… taken their kids out?

Kikibo May 11, 2010, 7:07 AM

It sounds like there were other issues at hand prior to Mother’s Day and he was looking for a reason to leave.
And can anyone say “communications disconnect”? The disconnect has/had not been addressed prior to the Mother’s Day incident [or lack thereof]

@ Annette - you and your husband already AGREED not to celebrate Hallmark holidays… so it’s really not fair to mix apples and pineapples.

To all the commentators: there are ways to express your opinion to the writer without being so mean-spirited. Hopefully, she and her former husband are happier as divorced co-parents.

Whatever May 14, 2010, 8:08 AM

The cold coffee in the morning and the way the husband asked, “So what do you want, anyway?” wasn’t exactly nice… What the wife should have done was talk to her husband to let him know exactly what she expected on Mother’s Day. He apparently doesn’t realize it’s an important day for her - for whatever reason. Explain this and give him the chance to make it something she considers “special” the following year.

tricia May 15, 2010, 2:20 PM

Wow. I honestly feel bad for some of you moms out there. While i am not a mom I do everything I can to pamper my mom. I am usually the one out of us 3 kids to organize a mothers day event for our mom. this last mothersday I made my mom a homemade chocolate strawberry cheesecake. Completely homemade down to the crust and freshly cut strawberries. My older brother agreed to buy her flowers and my youngest brother agreed to take her out to dinner. so she got dinner, flowers and desert on us. A few years ago I bought her a necklace, older brother bought her the earrings and younger brother bought her the bracelet of a custom jewelry set and split the cost of dinner. We do something special every year and make sure to put actual thought into it so she doesnt feel like she is getting a hallmark holiday. I feel for this mom who had mothers day taken from her. It sounds like all she wanted to do was spend it with her husband and kids and he couldnt even honor that. but it also sounds like he was looking for any excuse to up and leave because people dont just walk out because of one bad day.

Liane May 15, 2010, 7:03 PM

Let me get this straight: you’re upset because he took the kids fishing AND you’re jealous of the women who got to have fun because their husbands were juggling the kids? That’s totally contradictory. I really hope this was just the straw that broke the camel’s back and you didn’t actually break up over something so frivolous.

cjc May 19, 2010, 12:36 AM

I had our son 4 and a half years ago. Basically the first 3 Mother’s Days I had after my son was born had me upset and crying by myself, since my husband said point-blank to me “There’s no reason for me to do anything for you - you’re not my mother!”, and said that his gift to me was our son. (The people who called me on that day to wish me happy returns etc. were my own mother and my best friend! Both asked what my husband did for me and I lied and said he did something - but he did not do anything at all.) I finally SAID to my husband “I want you to get me a card on this day and show me some appreciation by doing something above and beyond what appreciation you normally show. If you don’t, I will be disappointed and feel unloved. This is one of the TWO DAYS OF THE YEAR that you need to do this…the other one being my birthday.” If he was an attentant, loving, giving person that made me feel wanted and valued on a continual basis then Mother’s Day wouldn’t matter so much to me, but since he is whom he is…The last two Mother’s Days he has given me a card; we have gone out as a family for a meal at a restaurant of my choosing, and he has even watched our son so that I could do something I wanted to, like reading a magazine or taking a bath without a squirming toddler in it. (This is someone who refused to watch our boy even for 5 minutes so I could take a shower when he was younger - and who defaults to me in all parental responsibilities otherwise.)
I see where you were “set up” to expect something, and were let down when it didn’t occur - but even a cold cup of coffee and my husband taking our son out of the house for the whole day would be bliss for me.

I think a lot of people miss the point that one becomes a mother BECAUSE of their husbands - it takes 2, right?

Therefore, it’s the husband’s turn to say “thanks for going through all that to bring our child into the world, and thanks for doing what you do all the time as a mother to our child.” The gratitude should be two-fold, not just “You’re not my mom so it has nothing to do with me.”


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