I just witnessed the failure of a collaborative divorce case for the first time. It is disheartening. They will now be going to court with their own lawyer.
Divorce is hard, yes?
Ask anyone who has been through it. It’s harder for some than others. I have observed divorce being most difficult for people in two specific life circumstances. One is the empty nest.
The Empty Nest
The feelings of abandonment and utter uselessness are exasperated when divorce and empty nest happen at the same time. It can be especially difficult if you were a stay-at-home parent who dedicated your life to rearing the children—one day your life was filled with purpose, and then it wasn’t. I’ve heard this referred […]
Divorce is hard at any time. Particularly difficult during the holidays. My former spouse told me he wanted to divorce on Thanksgiving Day and wanted to tell the kids at Christmas when they all came home. I just couldn't do that to them. What a way to ruin Christmas forever for our children. What it meant though is that I carried the emotional load through the holidays of knowing our marriage was ending, and I carried it alone. He didn't care and no one else knew. No one knew why my eyes filled with tears when the grandkids did something cute. I was fully aware it would be the last year for Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
One announcement. Beyond Divorce - Recovery class starts September 13 and 16. See "Services" on www.BeyondDivorce.com for all the info! You're in for a treat with this newsletter. Earlier this summer I met Sanam Pejuhesh is a play therapist, and a darn good one. I was so fascinated talking with her I asked her to write up something for us about the impact divorce has on kids and the ways kids move through the emotions, especially during play. I'm sure you will find her insights as interesting as I did. Here's a brief excerpt: As a psychotherapist who specializes in Play Therapy, many of my young clients are struggling with the residue and the emotional impacts of their parents’ divorce. Typically, the higher the degree of conflict between parents, the more stressed the child seems to be; but this isn’t always the case. Even in amicable separations, children can become quite anxious and overwhelmed by the change. Even in the most idyllic of separations, children feel the effects of divorce. They experience the stress of their caregivers, as well as their own anxiety and fears, whether conscious or unconscious, about a number of questions. Was it my fault? Will I get to see mommy or daddy when I want to? Will I have to change schools? Why am I the only kid among my friends whose mommy and daddy live in separate houses? Why can’t we all live together like we used to? Will they still love me the same?
Sometimes it's hard to know the right thing to do for children during divorce. It may be even harder to implement if it requires being civil to an Ex you'd rather never see again. A number of studies have been done about the impact of divorce on children. For brevity I’ve chosen five of the studies and their results to mention here. Notice that there is one conclusion in every one of the studies: Parental conflict harms children. Children need a safe container in which to grow. Parents are key components of that container. So is extended family, and as children grow older, community is also part of it. Without parents’ diligent effort to maintain such a container through divorce, it disappears - for a while or forever, with far reaching consequences. Divorce doesn’t eliminate the child’s need for such a container, it compounds it. Remember that your children did not ask for this divorce. It was handed to them. Your children have no say and no control in how things will turn out. Imagine being tossed out of an airplane and the parachute cord is just out of reach. All your stretching, straining, and fretting doesn’t help you reach it. All you have are the assurances of someone telling you things will be ok but you’re not so sure because even they don’t sound so convinced. That is the experience of a child of divorce.
Divorce Without War
I usually write my newsletters about something I’m learning in my own life that I believe will also be of interest to you. Today I feel it is important to talk about divorce, specifically an alternative to the war of litigation that allows for better outcomes. Better for you, your finances, your health, your kids, your future. I want to talk to you about collaborative divorce.
I am a member of the Collaborative Divorce Professionals of Boulder County in Colorado, a group of professionals who are, as I am, […]
Memories are for Sharing
I’m several years out of my divorce and many more years out of my marital home and it’s just starting to hit me. I’m sure I preemptively grieved the lost memories. I cried enough to have grieved everything that could possibly come up… but here it is again. This time for the lost memories.
Not long ago I heard a song on the radio that I used to sing to my kids, even as teens, to get them up in the morning. It was the Beatles ‘Good […]