Craigslist Confessional: "I gave myself to my children completely--but I never thought they would hate me."

I’ve seen my son, Alex, twice since the divorce five years ago. Once, for his high school graduation; the other, when I pulled up to my ex husband’s house to drop off Anna, our younger daughter. Alex was mowing the lawn. He saw my Volvo round the corner, and he ran into the house. His reaction was visceral.

I was a good wife right until the very end. We were fighting a lot, my ex and I. The kids knew it, too. Alex was old enough to understand; Anna was on the cusp. We were getting ready to sit down to dinner that night. I think I was at the sink, washing lettuce for the salad. My phone kept ringing and ringing, but my hands were wet so I didn’t go to pick it up.

That’s when it all fell apart. My ex wanted to work on our marriage. At the time, I didn’t. I’d been seeing Brad for a couple of months and things were going well. When everything blew up, I felt—weirdly—special. I was getting a lot of attention. I felt wanted, worth fighting for. But I didn’t have the strength to fight anymore. I wanted out of the marriage. I was excited by how new and good things were with Brad.

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