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September 8, 2015 at 12:16 PM #2363
The Worst Divorce Advice I’ve Ever Heard
This is a piece of divorce advice from one divorced man to another:
“Separate yourself as fast as you can. Limit your contact as much as you can. With kids it’s tough but try not to communicate. Trust me. Just move on and move on fast.”
Honestly, reading this guy’s advice made me sad, depressed, and angry, and left me with a feeling of hopelessness. Here’s why:
When men and women get divorced, it’s very understandable that they don’t want to talk to each other for several reasons. Tensions are high, anger and resentment are ever present, and the feelings of shock, hurt, anxiety and fear are at their highest. They basically want the other person out of their life.
The problem is, if the couple divorcing has kids, they can’t just live as strangers, or their children will suffer greatly. By “separating yourself as fast as you can,” you are deeply hurting your kids, who like all children of newly separated parents are traumatized enough as it is.
Getting divorced is something that adults have to realize means being SELF-less and means sucking it up and having a relationship that is cordial (at the least) to meaningful and productive as far as co-parenting in a best case scenario. This guy needs to remember that his children need him more than ever, so if he separates himself fast, his children will be deeply touched by it in a negative way.
Limit contact? Uh, I don’t think so. I have to hope he wasn’t referring to his kids, but even limiting contact with the wife could have a negative effect on the kids. The bottom line is, he needs to be around whenever the kids need him, especially at the beginning, and if that means seeing the soon-to-be ex wife, (since she is most likely going to be around the kids) then so be it.
Couples who because of selfish attitudes won’t communicate with each other (even about the children) end up with kids who don’t feel a unity in their parent’s opinions, which I believe is very unhealthy. Even if the parents aren’t living in the same house, having the kids live by the same rules in each house is crucial in a child’s upbringing.
For example, homework hours, amount of permissible time on electronics, bathing habits and bedtime should be the same at both houses. This promotes structure, a regimen, and discipline, and kids thrive in this kind of environment. If parents refuse to talk to each other, it is impossible to implement this kind of schedule.
Move on and move on fast?? It seems to me that this guy is telling this other guy not to grieve the breakup. That he should run from it and not let himself feel the heartbreak and the sorrow that is happening in his life. If he moves on too fast, he will not heal. He will most likely rush into another relationship, or pick up some other negative coping mechanism (alcohol, drugs, gambling, excessive work, etc.) which will lead to problems down the road for him–it’s like covering up a wound that needs stitches with a Band-Aid.
The bottom line is, if this guy takes the other guy’s advice and treats his soon-to-be ex wife like a cab driver treats a customer, everyone will suffer: the kids, the wife, the divorce process (it will go more slowly) and the guy himself.
Here’s the thing. I have written about the importance of treating a divorce like a business deal, and I think that is a very smart approach. Taking emotion out of financial decisions and what you think is best for your kids makes sense.
That said, remember that there is a huge human element to a divorce, which makes it unhealthy to “move on fast,” or “limit contact” or “separate yourself as fast as you can.” There is no good breakup. Everyone is walking away hurt, angry, scared and though I hate to say it, maybe a little bitter.
It takes a long time (sometimes years) to learn how to live with it, and the only way to get to a really good place is to let yourself process it, grieve it, and that usually means sticking around for a little bit. I’m not saying the guy should be at his soon-to-be ex’s house for dinner every week or call her 7 nights a week, but running away and pretending it didn’t happen is never a healthy option for anyone in the family.
It’s not easy to have a relationship with your ex. Any divorced person will say that. But the ones who do the right thing, who develop a relationship with their ex that they know benefits the kids are the ones whose kids have a chance of coping/adapting better. And, they themselves end up happier because they know they are handling it in a positive, productive way. Those are the ones who possess self-love that perpetuates a happier, new life that they feel good about.
The choice is yours and it’s pretty simple.
Culled from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
September 12, 2015 at 1:25 PM #2417
- This topic was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by kristine.
Two Truths about Divorce that everyone going through it should know!
Hello, I found this great piece and thought to share with anyone going through divorce, it just might help….
Truths (according to me):
#1: Divorce is one of the most traumatic events in anyone’s life. If anyone tells you they had an easy divorce, they are either lying or in denial.
#2: Divorce is better than staying in an unhappy marriage. As painful as it is to “rip off the bandage” or crack open your life, it’s a lot better than being in an unhappy, unhealthy relationship.
As Louis CK said, “Divorce is always good news. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true because no good marriage has ever ended in divorce. That would be sad. If two people were married and … they just had a great thing and then they got divorced, that would be really sad. But that has happened zero times.”
Now if you’re in the middle of a divorce, let’s go ahead and get the bad news out of the way: Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it can.
But here comes the good news:
Ultimately, it will propel you into places you could never imagine. Even if you’re in court, wondering who the hell it is you thought you were married to while essentially handing all your money over to lawyers, in the end, if you stand up for yourself and then take all the lessons you’ve learned on standing up for yourself, you can use it in your life to achieve more than you imagined. Nobody said boot camp is easy — and that’s what you’re in, Life’s Big Boot Camp. But you won’t be there forever.
Divorce shouldn’t be rushed. I have a friend in Germany and they make you separate and then wait a year before you can even get a divorce. My ex was already making an appointment with a mediator before he had moved out. In just a matter of weeks, while my head was filled with the grief of so much loss–my mother died, daughter moved away, my job downsized (to nothing), all while I had to find a new place to live–he wanted to “get it over with.”
Divorce is a period of being insane. Trust me. Two years for most people is the time it takes to pull yourself together. Go with it. Don’t fight it. Be crazy. Cry. Eat Ben and Jerry’s. (In moderation, or a little more). Or don’t eat, that’s what happened to me, the Divorce Diet, best perk of divorce.
“Conscious uncoupling” is just another way of saying, “We are crazy. And choose to remain unconscious/comatose about what’s really happening to us. See? We’re smiling!”
Date. Or don’t date. Whatever you feel like. I dated. I got naked as soon as I could (within six months). It was fun and it was also not fun. I slowed down on the dating front after awhile and focused on my career, which was a wise move for me. You decide what you need most.
Get support. My girlfriends came with me to court. Each time we met at Family Court my lawyer would say, “Who’s coming today? Cathy? Barb? Abigail?” Those are good friends. You need good friends.
Married friends who have never been through a divorce have no idea. I was clueless before I stepped into the divorce arena. I also was married to someone who had been divorced twice before. He had a PhD in divorce and I was in pre-school. I had no idea.
Fight for yourself and your kids. If you just think you’re fighting for yourself, you will give in too fast. If you know you’re fighting for the future with your kids, you will stick around and negotiate much longer. A friend of mine who went to Harvard Business School said that women tend to walk away from negotiations faster than men. I stuck around. It helped.
In the end, I wasn’t rich, I didn’t get the best deal, but I got the best lessons: I am strong. I can manage difficult times. I have a voice, I have friends, I know how to ask for help, we all are stronger than we think we are. Standing up for yourself is one of the greatest experiences of life–it helps you know who you really are and who you really can be.
We all go into marriage hopeful and hopefully in love. About fifty percent of the time, it doesn’t last. When it ends it can feel like a primal loss, and in many ways it is. But regrowth comes out of those broken places, difficult as that may be to believe at the time.
After a few years, with any luck, you will both be sane again and eventually you can be friends too. My ex and I are friends. We’re not best friends, but we remember why we liked each other. This does not happen all the time, I know that.
For us, it’s a tiny miracle that we are grateful for. I’m grateful for all of it. As Nora Ephron used to say, “It’s all copy.” It’s the kind of thing a writer would say–but just think of it, you’re writing your own story too. Why not give it a better ending?
Culled from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
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