In Summary
  • Refuse to allow the negative experiences that you went through to define you.
  • Most couples fail to consider the emotional pain of the parting, more so on the children.

Pastor Kitoto,

Thanks so much for the good job that you have been doing. I am 26. I was orphaned at a very young age and grew up in an orphanage, an experience that I would not like to re-live. Over the years, a feeling of emptiness has come over me, and I feel unappreciated and lonely. Many times, I wish I was adopted and wish I had someone I could call ‘mum’. Although I have found a good church to go to, there is still a vacuum in me that I don’t know how to deal with that keeps me from forming relationships.

Hi there,

I have replied, in this column, to a couple of questions similar to yours.

An article in The New York Times, (2013) says: “If a son or daughter who loses a mother never receives adequate substitute mothering, the loss can do long-term damage to his or her self-esteem, ability to relate to other people, overall feelings of security and ability to trust others.”

CARE
God intended for children to receive the loving care of both parents for holistic growth - the place of parents in the life of a child is irreplaceable, and a child that grows up without a parent is bound to have some challenges.

Being orphaned must have had its share of negative experiences however, that space provided you the opportunity to mature to the person you are today.

MENTORS

It is important that you learn to make peace with the good and bad that you experienced.

Refuse to allow the negative experiences that you went through to define you.

Getting yourself spiritual mentors from church may be the right place to start.

Your pastor can guide you on how to go about this.

****

My estranged wife won’t let me see my daughter

Dear Kitoto,

Two months ago, my wife packed her clothes and some house items and left with our daughter, who is three years old, and who joined school at the beginning of the year. We agreed that I would support them, and in return, she would let me spend time with my daughter, whom I love very much. She however has not fulfilled her end of the bargain, and so I have not seen my daughter for the past two months. This has really affected me such that even my bosses and colleagues have noticed that there is something bothering me. I am not interested in knowing where she moved to or what she does with her life, I have accepted the breakup and came to terms with her even moving on with another man, but is it lawful to prevent me from seeing my daughter?

Hello there,

From the surface, separation or divorce may appear harmless and seem to grant the desired relief from all that could be hurting the marriage.

However, studies (and counsellors), are all in agreement concerning the negative effect that divorce or separation have on the couple and the children involved.

EMOTIONS

Even when the separation is amicable, there is still some pain involved.

When couples go separate ways, the aggrieved person may experience much-needed relief, but there are negative effects that are bound to crop up, like you have experienced.

Most couples fail to consider the emotional pain of the parting, more so on the children.

FAMILY

The social attachment God created within the family institution means that it will take time for those involved to adjust to the new living circumstances, the children especially.

Even in cases where they manage to adjust to their new life without one parent, some children end up looking for their absent parent in adulthood.

It is clear that you love your daughter, so I imagine that just like you are, she too is acutely feeling the loss that emanated from you and your wife’s separation.

RECONCILE
From your email, you have come to terms with your your broken marriage and are not looking for reconciliation.

What you need to come to terms with is the fact that even though you are no longer together, you and the mother of your child need some form of relationship for the sake of your child.

You therefore need to reach out to her and have a serious talk.

If she continues to deny you the right to see your child, (it is your right) there are legal ways to resolve this.

A less confrontational way is always best, but if it doesn’t work, you have no option but to take the matter before the court.

Page 1 of 2