Going through a Divorce, or the ending of a long-term relationship, is very traumatic to all involved. In some cases it can even be more difficult to get over than a spouse's death. For most, it is the death of a dream of a lifelong commitment. It is not only devastating to the individuals in the couple relationship, but can be very traumatic for any children involved as well. Many couples mean well and don't want to involve their children but the reality is that the pain and suffering can become too much to bear at times. The hurt and pain of divorce can cause parents to act in unhealthy ways that affect their children. It can manifest itself in the form of anger or shortness with children's misbehavior. Too much negative information about the other parent is sometimes shared with the children. They may think they are being manipulated to take one parent's side over the other. Negative talk about the partner puts the child in the middle and causes confusion. Children may be used to be the "go between" for couples who can't communicate. Visitations may be used in unhealthy ways to gain control or power. Support payments may be withheld (prior to court order) as punishment or for control purposes. The anxiety of the situation can cause acting out or self-esteem issues in children that may linger for years.
Therapy can help set the right priorities in the divorce. We can help you focus on the big picture of divorce and how it is currently affecting your children instead of using vengeance or malice to win every battle with your ex. We see many adults in therapy who, as children, experienced their parent's divorce and now are having difficulties in their own relationships. Please use precaution and restrain from emotionally harming your children any more than the normal effects of divorce will take. Together, good parenting during and after divorce may help your children thrive and live emotionally healthy lives. Learning from watching their role models (you) during childhood and adolescence will greatly affect how well they do in relationships in the future.
Let's work together to minimize the damages of divorce on your children.