How many times have you been thrown a curve ball when you least expected it? Losing your job, divorce an unexpected health emergency, death of a loved one, family estrangements and more — all these can be devastating, scary and unexpected. There is an enormous adjustment to make, mainly because things are different and you are in a new situation you never experienced before. How can you find your peace so you can deal with the complexities of your new challenge?…
Going through a divorce is not easy on anyone, especially the kids. As parents, we want to help our children experience as little or no anxiety about the situation. After all it’s not their fault. www.firstwivesworld.com published a very helpful article with some great tips for parents to use when their children experience different emotions through the divorce.
Minimize the Anxiety Your Kids Experience During Divorce
No matter how much anger and disdain you may feel toward each other as a couple, kids can’t divorce their parents. And while you probably know that it’s never good to badmouth your ex in front of your child, here’s something you may not realize: When you direct anything negative toward your former spouse — including snide comments, eye rolling and any other disapproving signals — your kid is put in an impossible position.
Your child suffers from a stream of emotions too powerful and contradictory for a young mind to process. A child wants — and deserves — the freedom to love her two parents. When your child receives mixed signals from either of you, it forces her to question her very identity. Here, the most common feelings kids face when they witness negative interactions between their parents and practical tips to help you avoid hurting them:
Fear and confusion: When you bicker with one another in front of your child, he feels overwhelmed with emotion. And the younger the child, the more he feels as though he is the cause of your fights. When children watch their parents fight they feel helpless and blame themselves. They want to stop their parents from fighting but are powerless to do it.
Try this: If your child is in earshot of a heated exchange between you and your ex, it’s not easy — but it’s essential — to put a stop to it. Tell your ex this isn’t the time or place. Then acknowledge your child’s feelings by saying: “It must’ve been frightening to see mommy and daddy fight. Sometimes grown ups lose their temper and say things they shouldn’t. It’s not your fault. We both love you very much…”
Guilt: Even when you avoid referring to your ex with a stream of raged-laced profanity, it’s still easy to make your child feel conflicted. It’s not just your words; your tone of voice and body language are also at play, giving your child this message: “If Mommy hates Daddy then I’m doing something wrong by loving him.”
Try this: Need help keeping your tone and body language in check? Remind yourself that, even if you don’t think your ex is worth two cents, your child definitely deserves a loving relationship with both her parents. A parent told me that even though she thinks her ex-husband is the most immature, irresponsible person she knows, she says to her daughters: “I love my Daddy and I want you to love your Daddy. He loves you and can’t wait to see you.”
Divided loyalties: One mother in my workshop reported that she and her ex thought they should let their 10-year-old decide with whom he’d spend the holidays. When she asked, her son said in an anguished voice: “Mom, please don’t make me choose!”
Try this: Instead of putting your child in the middle, broker a solution on your own. Then tell your child something like, “We both want the joy of spending time with you. This is what we’ve worked out…”
When you keep your feelings of hostility toward your ex away from the kids, you’re giving them a timeless gift.
Divorce is a crucial decision, which will affect your life and the lives of your family for unknown and countless years. Instead of improving your life, a divorce may give you another set of problems to deal with. Getting ready for a divorce transition begins by evaluating your relationship’s facets.
If things aren’t going smoothly between the two of you, here are 8 ways to know if it’s time to think about ending the relationship. These key components of healthy relationships may be just the knowledge you need to make the right decision.
- TRUST. Have you stopped sharing your individual worlds with each other?
- TOUCH. Does intimacy exist between the two of you?
- FEELINGS. Do you have positive feelings for your spouse anymore? Do you feel uncared for, isolated?
- BALANCE. Does the good outweigh the bad? Are there more negative interactions than positive between you?
- RESPECT. Do arguments get hurtful, accusing, or disrespectful?
- COMMITMENT. Are both parties committed to working on solutions to the problems?
- EXHAUSTION. Do you feel cut off from your spouse? Do you feel emotionally drained?
- FIDELITY. Are you or your spouse engaged in an extramarital relationship?
You must be willing to be responsible for the possibility of reconstructing your ailing marriage, in the same way that you must be mature about the choice to end it. Hurts, disappointments, and anger don’t go away with divorce. These negative emotions need to be acknowledged and dealt with, with each other or apart.
Marriage counseling can be initiated with the aim of mending a hurting marriage, or preparing for its ending with a calm and conscious choice. Become as informed as possible of these 8 ways may help you through this difficult time.
Written By Ruby Holder Moseley, Staff Writer, FizzNiche
“He makes me so angry”! “She is so unreasonable- no wonder we got divorced”! A good guess is that as a divorced parent you have made these statements – statements made in a tense situation involving visitation, custody or shared holidays. You divorced as a result of not being able to communicate, compromise, get along, and now, a divorce decree forces you to do all of these for your children.
Your children who are “caught in the middle”. These confrontations leading to such statements are emotionally painful for your children. It is very typical for children to have the hope that their parents will get together again, return to the family composition that “was” before the divorce. They have loyalties to both parents.
Our responsibility is to assure them that, although, dad or mom will not be returning to the home, mom and dad still love them. If we criticize, bad mouth, put down our former partner in front of our children (children conceived with both parents), we are very likely to impact their ability to have healthy intimate relationships as they get older.
How can you trust in love when your parents who once loved each other are now so spiteful, angry with each other? No matter how the marriage ended, badly, quietly, with animosity, you owe it to your children, to their future, to let them know they were conceived in love, and will always be loved, even though, mom and dad have fallen out of love.
- Criticize your former spouse in front of your children- tell your friend, tell your co-worker or a neighbor, but refrain from expressing, “your dad is a loser” to your children.
- Don’t name call: “she is a tramp, a liar”.
- Don’t ask your children to agree with you in “putting down” the other parent- “isn’t your dad a jerk for not coming to your soccer game”?
- Always assure your children, that even if mom and dad are no longer in love- they will always be loved by both parents.
- Listen and don’t be “snide” when little Susie tells you about the “neat” restaurant dad took her to. Be glad he is spending time with her.
- Do remember the good times, cherished times that you once had as a family. And, there is always something worth remembering, and your children need to know that.
Written by: Patricia Bubash, Successful Second Marriage
Divorce can be traumatic to the strongest of people, and in many cases it doesn’t matter whether we’re the one leaving the marriage or the one being left; for many the end of a marriage is similar to the death of a loved one. And in a way it is – it’s the death of a relationship in which we placed hopes and dreams and to which we looked to fulfill wants and needs.
So it only makes sense that we’d experience a wide range of emotions during the divorce process, ranging from disbelief to anger to denial to intense pain. And not getting a handle on these emotions can make the process even harder and the future look even bleaker than it already looks. Letting our emotions control us can cause us to make bad decisions, say things we wish we hadn’t said, and make everyone around us as miserable as we are.
Now, this isn’t to say we shouldn’t feel these emotions. There’s no should or shouldn’t when it comes to emotions, except in regards to how we express them and act because of them. We feel what we feel, and there’s no right or wrong to what we feel. But if we act in a way that causes our kids to be caught in the middle of a war of the parents because of our anger towards our spouse then we make it harder on them than it already is.
Or if we allow ourselves to be taken advantage of during the settlement because of the guilt we’re feeling over our part in the failure of the marriage that we fail to advocate for ourselves, our financial futures may be drastically and adversely affected.
So what can we do to make sure our emotions don’t cause us to come out of the divorce any worse off than we go into it? How do we protect our kids from becoming collateral damage?
Here are a few suggestions from Cathy Meyer, author of the article “How to Let Go of Emotions During The Divorce Process”:
• Let go of the “should haves” and look to the future. Replace the beliefs surrounding a situation over which we no longer have any control with beliefs about the future, over which we do have some control.
• Use the anger we’re feeling in a productive rather than destructive way. We can use our anger to fuel assertiveness or aggressiveness. Assertive is good, and can help us to negotiate a fair settlement. Aggressiveness can just make things worse.
• Stop trying to control a situation that is no longer ours to control.
I know, easier said than done, right? Right. But there are some things we can do to help us get to a place where we’re in control of our emotions rather than being controlled by them.
Here are my suggestions:
• Have or create a good support system. But this does not include the kids. They are not there to support us. We should be supporting them not the other way around. I’ve seen too many kids take on the role of parent when the parent can’t cope with the divorce, and all this does is deny the child the opportunity to be a child.
• Watch the alcohol intake. While a drink or two may help us forget our woes for a few minutes, too many can also cause us to make decisions we’ll later regret, interfere with our sleep, and contribute to a worsening of any depression already being experienced.
• Vent. Keep a journal. Or if you have a good friend or two that can handle you venting, talk to them. But know when to stop. Venting can turn to bashing very quickly, and can keep us stuck in the past rather than looking towards the future.
• Understand and find a way to accept the fact that we may never have an answer to the question “why.”
• Exercise. It’s good for the body, good for the soul, and can be a good and healthy outlet for our anger.
• Don’t ignore or be afraid of the emotions being felt. Ignoring them can lead to health issues, and being afraid of them can cause us to bury them, which isn’t healthy over the long term either. But if they’re beginning to cause more damage than we can cope with, ask for help.
Written by: Tricia Doane, FizzNiche Staff Writer
Keeping an amicable and respectful attitude towards each other when going through a divorce creates a workable atmosphere that benefits everyone: spouses, children, and other family members. And yes, it can be done.
Before you let emotions take over your common sense, make a plan and the decision to get past the situation. Keep in mind this is only a glitch in the road, a glitch that does have an ending.
Here Are 5 Things That May Help Keep Your Divorce Amicable:
- Make a list of things that you “did” like about this person when you were in love.
- Decide that you will not fight in front of your children. They are already experiencing a difficult time as it is.
- Don’t talk “trash” about your soon to be ex. It only generates negativity and doesn’t help you or him.
- Remember that revenge is not sweet, it only hurts you and any “amicable” relationship that you might have.
- Forgive rather than harboring ill feelings, which only hurts you.
Written By: Patricia Bubash
About the Author:
Patricia Bubash received her M.Ed. from the University of Mo. – St.Louis with an emphasis in counseling and testing. For more than thirty years she worked in the school setting as a teacher, counselor, community college instructor, and parent advocate. Her passion has been working with students and their families. Mrs. Bubash has served on several boards, one that specifically worked with children of divorce. She spends her time writing articles for a variety of websites, on topics including divorce and remarriage. Her book, Successful Second Marriages, is on Amazon. www.successfulsecondmarriages.com
You got divorced, now what?
The truth is you may not know what to do next.
Your emotions may range from anger to relief. And you may even experience the seven stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, guilt, depression and acceptance and hope.
When you have kids, you may worry about how they’ll cope. All of this worry stresses you out. It’s not good for your mind, body and soul.
The good news is that you can take your power back by not giving into the stress of your divorce. You can take control and deal with your situation in a healthy way. Listed below are tips to deal with the stress of your divorce.
Speak with a life coach and/or counselor
You may want to hire a life coach and/or counselor and speak about your divorce. You can get all of your feelings out and open within a safe environment and be given steps to de-stress from your divorce. You don’t have to deal with it on your own.
Join a divorce recovery group
Speaking with others who are or have experienced a divorce will give you a sense of camaraderie. For example, you may feel that you’re alone and no one understands what you’re going through or feeling. Being surrounded by those who can empathize and sympathize will help you heal and move forward with your life.
Surround yourself with understanding family and friends
Only surround yourself with thoughtful, gentle and kind family and friends. Those who judge you will add stress to your life. What you need are people who support you through good and bad times. When family and friends point their fingers or whisper behind your back, get away from them. You can easily find people who are willing to support you, no matter what.
Be kind to yourself
Do not beat yourself up over your divorce. It happens. In fact, it may have been the best decision for you and/or you and your kids. Do something nice for yourself such as getting a massage, mani-pedi, haircut and color or whatever it is that will ease the stress of your divorce. Make taking care of you and your emotional health a priority.
Go on a retreat
Maybe it’s time for you to get away. Book a retreat where you can clear your mind and hear yourself think. A retreat can be as simple as booking a hotel room for the week or weekend or signing up for a divorce recovery treat. Getting away can give you some perspective. Pack a journal and write down all of your thoughts – do not censor yourself. Allow your emotions to flow freely so you can clear out the old, stuck or negative energy surrounding your divorce.
Volunteer and give back
Believe it or not, volunteering can help you get through your divorce. For starters, you won’t be focused on the fact that you’re no longer married. You’ll be focused on helping your favorite nonprofit. You can get involved with events or donation drives. Meeting people and getting out of the house will be good for you. And… you never know who you’ll meet. You could meet someone who becomes a dear friend or something more.
Use the above ways to de-stress from your divorce. Give yourself plenty of time; you don’t have to rush the process. Take advantage of support groups and counseling because they’ll help you sort out your emotions. Also, read a couple of books on coping with divorce. Allow yourself to heal.
Written By: Amandah T. Blackwell, owner of Savvy-Writer
About the Author:
Amandah T. Blackwell, owner of Savvy-Writer, provides small and medium businesses and nonprofits with content writing and marketing and social media management, including: blog copy writing (SEO), article writing, eBooks, marketing writing (newsletters, e-blasts, press releases, etc.), web pages, ghost writing, creative writing and travel writing. She’s the author of several books and writes for The Huffington Post.
I will be one of many friends that will tell you: It’s OK to be angry, hurt and mad about your divorce. But, I’ll also be one of many friends that will tell you: It’s not OK to allow this anger to rule your life. You’re better than that!
That’s why I asked divorce experts to share their tips on how women can best manage that swelling anger that seems to take over all areas of life after a divorce.
I think you’ll like what they have to say in the tips below:
Tip #1: Resolve your resentment and hurt as fast as you can
Resentment hurts you not him. I can distinctly remember how angry I was during my divorce and after. The anger had no place to go so it festered in me like an illness. When I realized what was happening, I started working on ways to simply stop being resentful. This was not easy, but it was so worth it. Once I had gotten to the point where things did not bother me, I was truly free then to go on with my life. How long did this take? It took me about a year for the worst of it, maybe two to be mostly at peace. It was also good for my children to have one less angry parent in their lives. I was rewarded by being in a good frame of mind when the new man in my life came along.
Tip #2: Always take the high road!
Divorce is hurtful, it’s creates anger and bitterness, it’s painful, it’s rejection at it’s very core. Divorce can easily bring out the worst in us. Taking the high road means refraining from retaliating with low road behavior. It means being a role model for your children. It means not throwing your ex- under the bus and making your kids feel guilty. While low road behavior may feel good in the moment, it won’t in the long run.
The applications of taking the high road are endless. It’s a concept that applies across every boundary gender, age, race, nationality, profession. Taking the high road is a goal for which to strive. The benefits are too numerous to quantify. The high road is ultimately a way of life. It means making the elevated decisions. It’s opting to do something that may not always be the easiest choice, but is always the more thoughtful choice. It’s making decisions that will make your kids, your family, and your friends proud. It’s living your life so that you can look yourself in the mirror every day knowing that you aspire to greater ideas and ideals! Taking the high road isn’t always easy. You’re not always coasting on the high road. And, to the surprise of many people, the high road can be bumpy and full of pot holes to navigate and avoid.
Nobody ever said making some tough choices, doing the right thing, and taking the high road was going to be easy. Perhaps that’s why the high road often has less traffic.
Tip #3: Forgive Him? Are You Kidding?
Learn to forgive. Harboring negative feelings will only slow down the progress of moving forward. Gather the tools and skills to find forgiveness through your church/synagogue, counseling, books and tapes, family and friends.
If you’re considering or proceeding through a divorce, information is key. Please take some time to educate yourself using the free information here at www.womensrights.com.