Children of divorced Marriages

If the parents separate amiably the children usually learn to cope with the separation. Some children may on the outside cope all right, even if there is constant struggle between the parents. Children can probably cope all right if they happen to be totally in agreement with the parent they live with.

I do not want to make this too theoretical. So I just start with a bit of my own experience. I fall into the category of the child who is constantly torn between the parents. To my mind this is a pretty bad state to be in. I think I can say that my parents’ relationship was very much a love/hate relationship. The way I see it, it was not the right kind of love that led my parents to each other. Their outlooks and aspirations in life were extremely different. There were separations due to conditions under the Hitler regime and to the disaster of World War Two. After the war they just could not live together any more, that is my mother refused to live with my father. I constantly heard her saying bad things about him. Her hate was unrelenting. She showed not one iota of compassion towards him. My two younger brothers and I lived with my mother. There was no question that we could have lived with my father at the time.

My parents got divorced when I was sixteen on the request of my mother for she wanted to marry someone else. It turned out, the man, who wanted to marry Mum, was not the right man for her. She decided she would rather not marry him. Instead she made an enormous effort to get some secure employment and become independent.

When I was in my twenties, Dad married a second time. This time a widow who luckily was just the right person for him. Sadly they had only a short life together. Dad died of cancer aged 62.

My parents had been in enormously strenuous circumstances after the end of WW II. Till the end of the 1950s they both struggled enormously to make ends meet. Dad died in 1966, Mum died in 1994 aged 83.

Mum had two sisters and a brother. One of the sisters, who never had any children, divorced her first husband and had a very good marriage with her second husband. This was ‘meine’ Tante Ilse. She played a big part in my life. She was a very motherly woman.

Dad was one of six in the family. All his siblings married and had children. None ever got divorced. One of Dad’s nephews lost his wife after she had given birth to a little girl who was then raised by the second wife as though it was her own. The nephew also had a son with the second wife.

Mum’s other sister had only one child. This was my cousin Sigrid. Sigrid was four years my senior. She was a great person: Outgoing, fun loving, very musical. I adored her. She was such good company. She married a dentist. The dentist divorced Sigrid in a very amiable way. I think their two children were grown up already at the time. Walter, the dentist, then married his receptionist and had a child with her. Sigrid remained good friends with Walter and his new wife.

When I met Peter, my future husband, it turned out, his parents were divorced too. Maybe this is another story along with the divorce of one of our daughters.

My Thoughts on Divorce

Helen Mirren played Elizabeth II in the movie THE QUEEN. We watched this movie last night on TV. This movie made me think about the issue of divorce in our society. I contemplated what leads to divorce, and how it effects our lives, for example in my own family but also in families like the British Royal family. Often one can see the signs that lead to divorce, but sometimes a divorce can come more or less totally unexpected.

First I want to say how well I think Helen Mirren portrayed the queen. We already saw several movies with Helen Mirren as British queens.

Wikipedia says apart from Elizabeth II Helen Mirren portrayed these queens:
“The first was a queen consort, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in The Madness of King George (1994), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress; the second was a queen regnant, Elizabeth I, in the 2005 miniseries Elizabeth I. She also played a policewoman, under cover as the Queen, in The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu.”

THE QUEEN is a 2006 British drama film that depicts the aftermath of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, who died on 31 August 1997. I remember, how shocked we all were about her death. After her divorce from Prince Charles the media had kept haunting her unceasingly. I ask myself, did the public expect her to live like a nun after her divorce? Probably not. However the interest in Diana’s private life was kept alive by a very intrusive media. She was an extremely good looking, very kind woman. The public just loved her. The excessive media attention led to disaster. In the end not only Britain but the whole world was grieving her death.

I recall an interview with Diana as she opened up about her marriage. She said it was like there were three people in the marriage. She came across as being very honest and heartbroken about it. I think she felt as though she did not have a husband any more. She had fulfilled her duty to give the throne two heirs. Now Prince Charles felt free to follow his muse. Diana was too young and fun loving for him. She played no big part in his life. He probably had married her more or less only because she was young and good looking and likely to give him some children. But it turned out he had no real connection to her. She wanted some affection in her marriage. She did not get it the way she felt she needed it. How very tragic! Divorce followed after a long struggle. The rest is history, as the saying goes.

There were quite a few divorces in my immediate family:
First my favourite aunt was divorced, then my parents were divorced, my husband’s parents were also divorced, my favourite cousin was divorced, also one of my daughters did get a divorce (in her twenties!), one of my brothers got a divorce. And so it goes. It seems there were plenty of divorces within my immediate family. Have divorces increased during the past fifty or a hundred years? Probably. Is divorce always a disaster? And who benefits from a divorce?

These are very general questions. I would say more often than not one partner wants a divorce to be able to marry someone else. The partner who is left behind may initially feel quite deserted but in time adjust to the new conditions and possibly be able to find solace in being free again. Sometimes divorce may be due to difficult economic circumstances . . . .

Does a deteriorating love life necessarily lead to divorce? Yes and no. After a man has been married for a number of years, he may wonder what it might be like with somebody else. He may feel that some new exciting love affair would be quite a challenge. What man can resist if an attractive woman indicates to him that she could be willing? The man tumbles into a new relationship. The new woman is hopeful the man is going to leave his wife and marry her. So he needs to get a divorce. Then he can marry the new woman. As simple as this.

In the ‘old’ days some women would refuse to grant the husband a divorce. Then maybe the husband would just live apart from his wife with the other woman. Sooner or later the other woman might find another man who could marry her. Then perhaps the first wife would end up with her husband living at home again. Or not, if she found it impossible to forgive him. Or found someone else herself in the meantime!

If a woman falls in love with a man who is married already, is it morally right if this woman accepts the advances of a married man. They both might feel they are made for each other. It may turn out then that the first woman is left behind. The new woman might be married herself and end up asking for a divorce if she wants to stay with the new man.

So far I have never mentioned children of divorced marriages. If there are any young children involved this can complicate matters quite a lot. I’ll write about my thoughts on this some other time.

Sussex Inlet in August 2014

We spent last weekend at Sussex Inlet as you may have seen from my previous posts. There are some more pictures from that weekend that I still want to publish. We had a barbecue on Friday night as well as Saturday. On Sunday we had to leave for home soon after lunch.

Nighttime at Sussex Inlet
Nighttime at Sussex Inlet

It did get very dark at Sussex Inlet. Our Units were quite some distance away from the barbecue area. I found it a little bit difficult to walk along the dimly lit grass. I was always grateful when someone helped me to find my way.

Here are sausages, pepper steak, onions and mushrooms.
Here are sausages, pepper steak, onions and mushrooms.

Monika and two of her daughters enjoyed doing the barbecue. There were different salads, as for instance potato salad as well as rocket salad and bread rolls.


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This was the barbecue area on Saturday morning.
This was the barbecue area on Saturday morning.

On Friday night, soon after our arrival, we already did have a barbecue with all the family. On Sunday Matthew and Caroline cooked lunch for us. Sunday was a rainy day. This is why it would not have been such a good idea to carry all the supplies for lunch to the barbecue area. It was decided to have lunch on our verandah. Our family had rented four units. They were all next to each other. From every unit a table was carried to our verandah. And everyone carried their own plate, drinks and cutlery from their unit to the tables on our verandah. We had been sixteen people. But Mark had to leave early. Soon after it turned out that four of the young people could not stay for lunch either. In the end we were ‘only’ eleven people, including two year old Lucas’.






Beautiful Lasagne
Beautiful Lasagne
Red cabbage, potato salad and red wine which we did drink our of cups!
Red cabbage, potato salad and red wine which we did drink our of cups!
My lunch plate. I had rocket salad, potato salad, red cabbage and a real lot of lasagne sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
My lunch plate. I had rocket salad, potato salad, red cabbage and a real lot of lasagne sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
On Saturday Lucas met up with a wombat.
On Saturday Lucas met up with a wallaby.
On Sunday he did get to see some kangaroos.
On Sunday he did get to see some kangaroos.



Watching the kangaroos
Watching the kangaroos
With this bit of rain the grass that the kangaroos can eat for sure is to grow a bit more.
With this bit of rain the grass that the kangaroos can eat for sure is to grow a bit more.
A friendly visitor
A friendly visitor


Saturday night was card game night in one of the units. Expecting Ebony and Lucas needed a rest and went to bed early. Eight people were playing cards, always four at a time. The rest were just watching.











After the card games we asked everyone over to our unit for some drinks of sparkling wine. We had a few bottles of this and Caroline poured the sparkling wine into these blue wine glasses. We were able to use the glasses from all the different units. I mentioned that I was looking forward to my approaching birthday. I actually sang a song about my approaching birthday which may have impressed a few people!! Ha,ha. Anyhow, I was in a cheerful mood.

Here is the song (the German version);

Ich freue mich, dass ich geboren bin
und hab Geburtstag bald.
Man hat mich lieb
und schenkt mir viel,
zum Essen, Trinken und zum Spiel.
Ich freue mich, dass ich geboren bin
und hab Geburtstag bald.



The following day, Sunday, after lunch all the units had to be cleaned before we could leave. Some people were still cleaning while others were waiting outside. Here I am with the group of people who were waiting.



Ryan had come with a van and could take in it all of our stuff that did not fit into our car.
Ryan had come with a van and could take in it all of our stuff that did not fit into our car.



We drove back along this road. 40 means 40 kilometres.
We drove back along this road. 40 means 40 kilometres.

Reflections: World Humanitarian Day

I think this a very informative post by Elizabeth Obih-Frank for World Humanitarian Day.

Mirth and Motivation

“The moral authority of the United Nations depends on its ability to help people most in need and it must do so with the highest ethical standards and professionalism.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Council of Foreign Relations, New York, May 2006

Reflections: World Humanitarian Day, August 19th Reflections: World Humanitarian Day, August 19th – Honor Each Other

World Humanitarian Day 2014 Message

Today is World Humanitarian Day and it is particularly poignant because another brave soul, James Wright Foley, a photojournalist who dedicated his life to bringing photos and news to the rest of us from war torn zones was brutally executed today. My condolences go out to his loved ones… RIP James. Where is our humanity? What must we do to find common ground and respect for each other on this planet?  Are you familiar with this important day? Do you know what it is all about? I’ll shed some light and, hopefully, you will…

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More Photos from our Holiday Weekend


This is one of the photos we took on Saturday morning when we walked to the Lone Pine. Our “camp” was of course some distance away. Where we stayed there are modern units now, but we still call it camp. The site belongs to the RAIL TRAM AND BUS UNION. When Peter was a member it was just a railworkers union. Since 1985 we have often been staying at this holiday park. All our family have treasured memories about this place. It is situated in a National Park that belongs to the Capital Territory. After a 13 km dirt track we reach the “camp” which is right at the Sussex Inlet. If you want to reach civilisation you have to go by boat from the inlet to St Georges Basin or drive back along the dirt track until you reach some sealed roads.

We noticed that quite a bit has changed about this place over the years. For instance when we came to the inlet after our walk along Bherwerre Beach we could see a lot of devastation along the site of the inlet. They must have had big storms there. There was no space to walk on left near the water. We were tired after the long walk and me, old great grandma, needed some help to get through there. Nobody thought of taking pictures of this devastation along the water. Here is one picture that Caroline took of Matthew, Peter and me after we had made it through and were close to where our camp units were.


Caroline soon produced some lovely lunch for us with some quiche.


Caroline and Matthew had brought along lots and lots of food and stayed in our unit with us. They did keep us beautifully fed. All in all it was a great holiday for us. Friday night and Saturday night the whole family gathered for barbecues. There was an excellent place provided for this.


This is what Caroline got ready for breakfast on Saturday morning.


The salads are rock salad and pickled cabbage. To this a fried egg was added. We probably had some toast and butter too, as well as a good cup of coffee!


Caroline had brought bags of rock salad along. Delicious!
Caroline had brought bags of rocket salad along. Delicious!

I think I did not take many pictures after our arrival on Friday. But here are a few more pictures from Saturday morning:





This holiday park is right next to ours.
This holiday park is right next to ours.














Holiday Weekend

Hannemann Family Reunion
Hannemann Family Reunion

Including the photographer we were 14 people at this stage. A few hours later two more people arrived. Here in this picture the Sussex Inlet can be seen in the background.

We are the last ones on our way from the camp to the Lone Pine.
We are the last ones on our way from the camp to the Lone Pine.











On that same morning, which was a Saturday, we walked on to Bherwerre Beach and from there back to our camp, which was a long, long walk. We took of course a lot of pictures. I’ll publish some of them in my next post.