DEAR ABBY: My ex-husband and I have two sons together who are 14 and 16. I have always kept things amicable for the kids' sake, but it came at a high price. I took a lot less in the divorce than I was legally entitled to because he threatened that we "would not have a good relationship." I didn't want the kids to suffer and, since they were going to live with me, I thought that was the most important thing, so I caved.
The kids have no idea what I gave up in order to keep the peace. We've always spoken kindly about each other in front of them. Now that one of my sons is older, he wants to live with his dad because he feels he missed out on that relationship growing up.
How do I not feel resentful that he wants to live with the person who was so emotionally abusive during our marriage and divorce? I sacrificed a lot for this harmony, and now it almost feels like I did it for nothing. Part of me wants to tell my son how he acted, but I know that wouldn't be right. Any suggestions? -- KEPT THE PEACE IN ILLINOIS
DEAR KEPT THE PEACE: Yes. I "suggest" you continue taking the high road and resist the urge to trash your ex. Don't resent your son's decision, because he may have no idea how his father treated you. Your son is likely to get not only an eyeful but also an earful while he stays with his dad. Leopards don't usually change their spots, and emotionally abusive people tend to act out with anyone they perceive to be defenseless. Remain in close contact with your son. If the pattern holds true, he may be back before you know it.