The Real Victims of Divorce

Lately I’ve been feeling quite concerned for the young people in our world, since they are dealing with so many struggles as they come of age. As they grow and develop, they are drawn into the issues of the previous generations, through no fault of their own.

To better understand ourselves and move through the rocky divorce process with greater clarity and awareness, I’d like to mention some things that I’ve learned along the way.

I feel quite secure in saying that very few of us received any real instruction or education on how to be married. We never learned how to manage conflict when it arises within our relationships, which it inevitably will. We were not taught how to communicate in a way that is calm and mindful, especially when we are experiencing something infuriating or triggering. We didn’t learn techniques for keeping the lines of communication open, particularly during painful discussions. We almost certainly were not schooled in accepting and honoring our spouse’s unique qualities, which are completely different from our own, of course. No one talked to us about the natural DRIFT that occurs in most marriages as the stresses of life come along, or how to nurture each other to keep our love alive.

When we learn to acknowledge even these few truths, we begin to get clearer about why we experienced such a difficult time in our marriage. Hopefully this allows us to move into true forgiveness for ourselves, becoming aware of what a strenuous task it was to keep our marriage intact. It’s important to recognize that although we went to school for years and learned many life lessons, most of us were completely unprepared for the challenges and difficulties of married life. From this new vantage point, we can begin to see our failure to “complete” marriage with greater clarity, developing compassion for ourselves, with a healing dose of forgiveness and understanding.

As we develop this level of compassion within ourselves, we can ease the burden of guilt we feel and hopefully begin to maneuver through divorce in a mindful way that causes as little harm as possible. If you are a parent, this is of the utmost importance, as our children struggle through the break-up of their family in ways that we can’t even comprehend.

We are the reason our children are here, and, as parents, we are ultimately responsible for their wellbeing. We said the wedding vows and then chose to become parents. We may have failed as a married couple, but we do not have to fail as parents.

Please keep in mind that if we choose to knowingly hurt our ex, (our child’s other half) we are then responsible for hurting our own child. It is imperative that we, the parents, do everything in our power to create the healthiest environment we can for our child/children. Unless there is actual abuse from a parent, any attempt to keep our child away from their parent in any way, is harmful and damaging to our child/children. It is essential that you remember that your child forms a forever link between the parents and that will never be broken, divorce decree or not.

Our children desperately need both of their parents. It can be difficult to honor and respect our ex, but for the wellbeing and health of our children, this is exactly what we need to do. Our kids need us to be the strongest, healthiest, kindest versions of ourselves that we can be, and this means never forgetting that we inflict harm on our children when we are not honoring their other half.

Weekly Dose Divorce Support Group

Denise Palmer


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