Sunday June 16, 2013
We all want our children to succeed academically whether they are in grade school, high school or college. Divorce of a parent puts a child in a one down position. Life is stressful enough for students, add the divorce of their parents and you add extra stress.
Research suggests that parental divorce has the potential to create considerable emotional turmoil in the lives of children. That isn't to say that all children will be negatively affected by a parent's divorce, children vary in their reactions. Divorce, especially in the case of a home that is high in conflict will benefit a child. But it can cause other children to experience a temporary decline in their emotional well-being. And then there are those children who spiral downward emotionally and never fully recover.
Your child may experience a short-term, temporary emotional upheaval. Or, your child may be the child who is forever negatively affected. None of us can predict how our child will respond to their parent's divorce.
We can, however behave in a manner that will lessen the possibility of divorce having long-lasting negative consequences to them. Consequences that follow them throughout their academic careers.
The most important thing you can do to promote your child's emotional well-being during and after divorce is to parent cooperatively with your child's other parent. The post-divorce relationship you have with your ex will greatly determine whether your child is temporarily affected or suffers long-term emotional problems after the divorce.
Wednesday June 12, 2013
For those left behind, just remember, the pain, confusion, self-doubt, guilt, anger and whatever else you are feeling is very natural in this process. And, if you can remember that there are thousands of people who have gone through an unwanted divorce and survived AND came out the other side better off, you may gain the strength to get through this.
In the end, this is a life phase, an unpleasant one but one you will pass through. Accept your emotions as normal. You will feel surreal, nothing about the situation can or does sink in, you go through the motions and wait it out til it starts to get better again.
And once it is better again you will look at your ex and clearly see just how much they have lost. Or to put it more politely, just how inferior in quality and condition they are when compared to you, the one who wanted to save the marriage.
So, chin up!
Monday June 10, 2013
It looks like Russia finally has modern leadership and all the trimmings...divorce included. Mr. and Mrs. Putin are now joining ranks with the rest of the Western world, a milestone in Russian history has been reached. No longer will post-Soviet spouses be forced to wait until their husbands keel over from liver failure (all that vodka).
As a woman and spectator, one who has seen the many photos of Mr. Putin shirtless I have to side with Mrs. Putin and what I can only image has been her long-suffering marriage. Yes, I know that it takes two to break a marriage but, one has to assume that while Putin may be the "Party" leader, he can't exactly be a party to live with.
I wish her well. As for him, let the chips fall where they may, both politically and otherwise.
One less bell to answer
One less egg to fry
One less man to pick up after...onward and upward Mrs. Putin!
Sunday June 2, 2013
Our emotions can spin us in all directions while our mind is creating all kinds of crazy illusions when we are feeling despair. Since we have no way of knowing what our future holds it is fear of that unknown that causes us to anticipate the worst. Instead of opening ourselves to the limitless possibilities that surround us NOW we waste a colossal amount of time worrying about what might happen down the road. This is never more true than when going through a divorce.
In other words what we focus our attention on is what takes center stage in our head.
Shortly after my divorce a friend suggested I read Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning. The book had a strong influence and shaped the way I think when feeling despair. In his book Frankl recalls his years in a concentration camp where he witnessed many Jews dying in gas chambers, from starvation, forced labor and executions. Everywhere he looked he was surrounded by death and despair.
In spite of his circumstances Frankl was able to find meaning in the midst of tragedy and despair. To lift his own spirits he willed himself to imagine his release, to imagine that he would one day be giving lectures about having survived the concentration camp to thousands of people. He imagined it so well that he actually practiced his lectures to blank walls during his imprisonment.
Frankl later wrote that no matter how difficult one's physical realities are, one can find a way to access their mental life and find refuge, hope and meaning in the spiritual domain. It was from this belief that he developed Logotherapy, the school of therapy that believes that finding meaning in one's life is the most powerful driving force for living.
Some would say it is silly to compare Frankl's experience with the despair one can feel when working through marital problems or divorce but pain is relative, despair is despair and regardless of what is causing it we can all learn from Frankl's experience.
When you feel yourself caught up in the fear of what is too come and what seems like impossible realities remember, there is a redeeming space within you. Your mind, your imagination, and your spirit, they are available to you.
It is up to you whether or not to use it, to visualize and to fill it with uplifting thoughts, hopes and visions of peace and a fulfilling future.
Don't beat yourself up for feelings of despair, it is only natural. The key is to not dwell. It will not serve you well. Use your mind to shift from despair to repair and focus on the hope that is ever present in all of us.