Monday, June 27, 2016 9:53:35 AM
Socio – economic challenges of single mothers and dealing with controlling and abusive ex-partners is a widespread phenomenon in every society around the world. Surprisingly this reality is not less painful in North America. Poverty of single mothers in spite of their education is highly unsatisfactory in North America. Lots of single mothers are trapped for many years to come in poverty and at the same time with ex-partners who control and abuse them through their common children. Staying happy in a constant distressful situation is a big challenge.
Talking to counsellors and going to educational workshops for bettering their lives could be part of a solution for single mothers. But staying happy in this constant stressful situation is a different story. They struggle to live with very limited resources while dealing with an ex-partner who does not live with them anymore. But traces of anger and aggressiveness of controlling ex-partners transmit via children who go back and forth in two different household constantly.
Sara attends a single mother meeting in one of the states in the U.S. She talks to two of them about the way they deal with their situation. She is curious to know how they stay positive in spite of all negativity going on. But she could not find a good answer.
Jamie is a single mother of two young boys; 5 and 7 years old. She separated from her husband five years ago. She used to live with a controlling man. Mike, Jamie’s ex-husband forced her to quit her job for raising their children. She became dependent on her husband without receiving needed financial or emotional support. Mike is a computer programmer. He works everyday from morning till afternoon at 5:00 p.m.
After his work, Mike used to go to different clubs with his friends. But now on the weekends, he locks the door and becomes absorbed in his office work.
Jamie considers herself a single mother from the time she lived with her husband; as Mike was not involved with raising children. Jamie could not receive any share from her ex-husband’s home and its content in the court.
She had to start from zero after separation. She is a strong woman and loves to read. After separation, challenges change for Jamie and boys. When boys go to their father’s home, they hear negative comments about their mother. It makes them upset and confused. When they come back to their mother’s house they become aggressive. Sometimes they swear at their mother or beat her. Jamie does not have time for herself as she is consumed with accommodation of one of the boys’ asthma and food allergy.
Angela is 41 years old single mother who used to live with an aggressive man. Her ex-husband was beating her. She has a 15 year-old son and a 17 year-old daughter. Angela’s son has been attacking her several times and she had to contact the Police. Family counselors suggested that her son carries his father’s genes. It makes her very upset that she is trapped.
Family counselors talk about challenges of single mothers but nobody talks about how single mothers could have a happy life when there is a controlling man still involved in their children’s life. Sara is perplexed by her observation of single mothers who struggle financially and emotionally due to exposure with ex- partner’s aggressiveness. She wonders how they deal with this stressful situation for many years as they cannot and will not give up their children.
Dora is a single mother who lives in Canada and she is in the same situation of single mothers who live in poverty and exposure to her controlling ex-partner. Her struggles are similar to Jamie’s but her child is not aggressive. She is hopeful that her child does not carry any aggressive and controlling genes from a father like Angela’s son.
Dora is a highly educated single mother who converses with many other single mothers in the same situation. Unemployment and constant negative energy of their ex-partners drain their energy. However, their main focus is to raise assertive and respectful children.
Dora attended many years of educational workshops for being a single mother with more positive outlook. Having very limited resources and dealing with her ex- partner who is constantly looking for confrontation makes her exhausted. But she is hopeful that one day when her child becomes a young adult, her ex- partner will no longer have power to manipulate her through the child.
Dora and Sara from one continent of North America wish they had a solid solution for single mothers who are marginalized due to lack of employment and a painful trap of controlling ex- partners.
By: Mansoureh Nasserchian & Shirin Moazen zadeh
Editor: Randy L Noble