New York, NY–Earlier this week I told readers that a producer for a nationally-syndicated TV show was looking for a father “currently undergoing a divorce with kids who might be interested in participating to provide the father”s perspective.”
Many of you wrote to me about wanting to be a part of the show. The show was the Mike and Juliet Morning Show, on which I have appeared several times.
The producers picked Mario, a Texas reader, and he appeared on the show this morning. He was in a tough situation, due to his angry and accusatory ex-wife Brenda, but I thought he handled himself well.
I’m sure Mario was not a perfect husband/father — we men aren’t as perfect as women are — but she threw accusation after accusation at him and little seemed to stick. Mario and Brenda are pictured.
The divorced couple’s two teenage children also appeared on the show, as well as a couple of psychologists/experts on divorce. It is very sad to see these young people have to go through something like this, and it will probably always throw a shadow over their lives.
Mario’s main gripe with Brenda is that he says there is little or no discipline in her home, and the two teenage children are allowed to run wild. There seemed to be at least some truth to this.
This is, of course, a common conflict between mothers and fathers — fathers think mothers don’t enforce rules, whereas mothers think fathers are too strict. It’s an argument I’ve had with my wife many times.
To be fair, I can also sympathize to some degree with Brenda. In the latter part of their marriage she was injured in a car accident. Her mobility was limited, at least for a while, and she put on a lot of weight. She also had significant scars on her body from the accident and the subsequent surgeries.
She had once been very attractive, and she seemed to be very angry that her husband did not find her as attractive after the accident and surgeries. It sounds as if Mario did his best to try to reassure her, but he was in a very difficult position.
I believe that much of what drives Brenda’s anger is simply this — once privileged with beauty, she found herself feeling unattractive and undesirable, both to her husband and later to men on the dating market. Unfortunately, whether she wants to admit it or not, she is focusing her hurt and anger on Mario, and it’s hard to see that he did much to merit it. Of course, one never knows what goes on behind closed doors.
One thing I’ve noticed in women is that when they feel abandoned, they become very angry and lash out, which drives men away and increases their feelings of abandonment. Not only was Brenda stripped of her beauty via this accident, but her husband was often out of town for his work. I’m sure Mario believed that he was doing the right thing for his family and doing what he needed to do to support them. However, Brenda probably saw this as abandonment also.