Gregory Lehville is a resident of Ohio, where he lives with his wife and three children, two boys and one girl. He seeks to help families through Smart Divorce Network by sharing his experiences from his childhood family difficulties. This is in a bid to help them cope as best as they can in their respective situations.
Divorce is a challenging and emotionally charge period. If you have already signed divorce papers, well then you will already know this. But no matter your situation, regardless if you have kids together, a mortgage or some other ties, there is one thing that you know, you need to do. It’s time to change, experience where you are in the world and reinvent yourself. In this article we will reveal some tips that can help you move forward through a divorce and on to enjoying the other, sunnier side of life.
Tip #1 – Properly Mourn
You might be thinking how can I move forward if I’m mourning about the past. Well it is simple, the best way to get over an emotional and challenging memory is to confront them, experience them and naturally react to them.
It is only when you identify your feelings towards your divorce and go through the proceeding emotions that you will have the best chance to cope with what has happened and move forward. These feeling must be experience at some point and can only be bottled up for a limited amount of time. It’s better you finish your mourning before you start changing and reinventing yourself, as once you go through it, it will be easier to forget about it and you will be less likely to revisit it later on in the next couple months or the years that follow.
Tip #2 – Start Physically Reinventing Yourself
Sometimes it is hard to see progress emotionally, while this is all part of going through a divorce, some individuals respond better to physical changes. Take for example a change in appearance or a newer, fitter and leaner you. Not only can the physically changes like losing weight, increasing fitness, strength or toning up can promote a therapeutic feeling of progress, but also running and other exercises can help you emotionally push through the feeling of divorce. There is never going to be a better time to sign up to a gym, buy a weight loss / bodybuilding supplement, plan your diet and move forward in your new, single and full of potential life.
Tip #3 – Experience and Discover New Things
Often in a marriage, couples get into a routine, they experience and perform tasks that they might not otherwise have done without each other. To either support a partner or performing activities required as a result of the relationship, breaking this routine can be somewhat uplifting and therapeutic.
Understanding your new situation and surrounds can help open up the opportunity to experience new and wonderful things. It is not odd, to see individuals pick up new hobbies and love new activities that they otherwise would have never experienced. Continue experiencing the new and wonderful things in the world and soon enough this tough period in your life will be an experience rarely thought of.
Divorce can be the toughest life changing event to experience and will probably tear your heart into pieces. Healing after divorce can take long because it is a complicated wound given that few people get married with intentions of divorcing some day. Couples take vows to remain together until deaths do them apart. Unfortunately some do not last long resulting into heartache and intense pain. Healing after divorce is exhausting financially, physically and emotionally. Once divorce decree is signed and dust has settled on the ruins of what you intended would be your joy ever after, how do you pick up pieces and move on?
- It is worth giving yourself time for grieving because after divorce, you will have many things to deal with. Whether it is looking for a new place for living, looking for a job or you have kids who need your attention, be sure of giving yourself some time each day to be alone to scream or cry to let it all out.
- Looking for a good therapist is an important aspect of healing after divorce because therapists are trained to help you take the necessary steps to recover from a divorce. You will also feel better talking to a person who understands your issues and who will never judge you.
- Find support groups for divorced people online under social service associations or organizations. Your therapist can also help you find such groups which have individuals whom you have similar experiences. The benefits of these groups are that they make you realize you are not alone and members may have suggestions not known to your therapist which will help you move on.
- Engaging in new activities is an excellent way of healing after divorce. Do hobbies that you could not or did not do when you were married. The hobby should be something you do not associate with your spouse and should be interesting. The essence is to help you become hopeful about future as well as becoming more independent. You will, probably for the first time, feel that you are healing after divorce!
Wise blended family advice would certainly be helpful to a couple with children from a previous relationship and who are considering coming together to form one family. Unfortunately, blended family advice that is actually useful, realistic, and practical isn’t easy to come by. In fact, a lot of advice that parents in future or existing blended families receive are often misleading, giving rise to disappointment — or even worse — broken family relationships.
However, the outlook for blended families need not be so glum. Helpful blended family advice that could help the members of such a family deal with their unique situation actually exists. What’s important is that parents of such families, especially its parents who undeniably set the tone for the children, listen to the right blended family advice. Here are four truths that should serve as important and useful words of wisdom to parents of future or existing blended families:
1. No Two Blended Family Relations Are Exactly The Same
The problem with a lot of existing blended family advice is they mistakenly assume that blended families fit a singular mold. For example, advice like “Parents should avoid physical displays of affection while the children are still adjusting to their new family setup” wrongly presume that children will be uncomfortable with such showiness. The truth is that children, or the members of each blended family for that matter, handle various situations in their own unique ways. Thus, it’s important for parents to examine the applicability of each piece of blended family advice to their particular situation.
2. Blended Families Will Experience Rough Times
If parents in an extended family find that they’re going through rough patches in their familial relations, they shouldn’t panic. Conflict in families is normal, especially considering the unique setup that blended families find themselves in. What’s important is that rough times, while obviously unpleasant, are viewed as opportunities for an extended family to grow and to get to know each other better.
The best blended family advice for turning these negative situations into positive ones involves dealing with each difficult circumstance in the most mature way possible. The worst thing to do is to ignore such problems and hope they’ll go away. Like cavities in teeth, small cracks in family relations that aren’t paid attention to often blow up into much larger difficulties that definitely become harder to deal with. Therefore, when the slightest hint of a problem shows up, parents ought to address them wisely at the soonest time possible.
3. Forming Smooth Relations In Blended Families Usually Takes Time
This one is very much related to the previous item. All the wise blended family advice in the world will not create a family situation that is perfectly smooth and conflict-free. In fact, pleasant blended family relations may take months, even years, to develop. So while parents struggle to deal with issues that crop up, it’s best that they take the problems in stride and accept that they’re part of the family’s growing process. Parents should take heart in knowing, however, that many blended families eventually find a way to work out difficulties and find themselves in happy and productive family environments.
4. No One Should Create A Blended Family Without Prior Planning
The line “Failing to plan is planning to fail” is certainly applicable to blended families. When a couple with children from a previous relationship make the decision to create a blended family, it becomes absolutely necessary to discuss the current and future upbringing of the children and consider the best blended family advice available. Difficult issues like discipline, rules, religion and the like must be thoroughly deliberated and agreed upon. The more exhaustive the plans are, the more likely unsettling surprises will be avoided, and in turn, the smoother family relations will probably turn out to be. And of course, when the new family setup is finally announced to the children, it’s also essential that the parents discuss their plans with the kids and listen to what they have to say about the forthcoming changes in their lives.
Parents should, however, not fall into the trap of thinking that when things go wrong, parents are automatically to blame for not planning for the new family setup carefully enough or for not heeding the best blended family advice available. As is true for even the most meticulously prepared for projects, plans for the family often don’t turn out exactly as envisioned. When problems do come up — and they unfortunately will — parents should deal with them in the wisest way they know, consider the best blended family advice available to them, adjust their plans if necessary, then move on.
Lastly, when parents in blended families face situations that leave them frustrated and feeling hopeless, it would likely help them to remember that by no means are they alone in the problems they experience. In fact, the four pieces of blended family advice presented here could definitely be applied even to families with more traditional setups. Thus, parents in blended families should take comfort in the fact that problems are a normal part, not only of blended family life, but of family life, in general. What’s important is that parents face each challenge they are dealt with a positive attitude and in a forward-looking manner.
It’s great when you fall in love again after surviving a painful divorce. You and your new partner are blissfully happy, and you feel that this is a good time to get married and form a blended family with the children you have from your previous marriages.
However, since it can take a long time for blended families to feel comfortable and work well together, the road ahead can be a mixture of satisfying, challenging, and confusing situations, to say the least. The trick to making blended families function properly is to take some time before you remarry, and lay some solid foundations before you actually start living together.
The following steps will help everyone involved in the blended family, to get used to each other, used to the idea of living together, and most importantly, get used to the idea of being a part of a whole new marriage.
Foundations to lay for your new blended family
- Avoid unsettling the children with too many drastic changes – Studies have shown that blended families are more successful when the couple have waited at least two years before getting married
- Don’t have high expectations of loving your partner’s children immediately – You might be madly in love with your new partner, but you will need time to get to know his/her children properly, to allow the love and affection to develop.
- Take time to experience what “real life” will be like when you live together – Spending time at the beach with all the kids is a lot of fun, but it will not give them the true picture of what it’s going to be like to live together. In blended families, everyone should be given the opportunity to experience what it will be like living together in normal, everyday life situations.
- Make parental changes before you get married – You and your new partner have your own ideas about bringing up kids, so discuss any parenting issues you may have before you get married, and make any adjustments as to how you’re going to raise the kids together. This will make the transition a lot easier for both sets of kids, and they won’t become angry with you and your partner for initiating these changes when you’re living together under one roof.
- Do not allow ultimatums – There might come a time when your new partner and your kids put you in a position where you are expected to choose between them. Be firm, and let them know that you want them all to be a part of your life.
- Insist that they respect each other – There are no hard and fast rules that blended families have to like each other, but make it a rule in your home that they have to show respect for one another.
- Lower your expectations – You will probably put a lot of time and energy, affection and love in your new partner’s kids, but don’t expect these to be returned from day one, because it more than likely won’t happen. Children in blended families need time to get used to their new step parents, but the rewards are usually wonderful in the end.
Blended families must have clear, safe boundaries
Discipline plays a big role in developing trust, so parents in blended families should discuss their roles as step-parents in raising their respective kids, including the changes in household rules. Experts suggest that blended families use the following steps to make the transition a bit easier for everyone:
- Step parents in blended families should come across as a counselor or friend, rather than a strict disciplinarian
- The biological parent in blended families should discipline his/her own kids, until a bond has developed between him/her and the partner’s kids
- Blended families must have a set of new rules. These should be discussed with the children and displayed in a prominent place. If possible, be consistent, and try to make the new rules as close as possible to those that the children had in their former homes.
Some blended families find it extremely difficult to make things work, and if this is the case with you, your new partner, and your respective children, then it might be a good idea to get help from an outside source such as a therapist, which could result in immediate positive changes. You can get referrals for a good therapist who specializes in helping blended families to function properly, from friends and family members, mental health associations, or your family doctor.
Many bonds of matrimony between husbands and wives are often terminated not due to death of either spouse but on the ground of irreconcilable differences. Every day, couples who once promised to love and support each other in sickness and in health end up getting divorced because they find themselves incompatible with each other due to unavoidable differences. Divorce has a significant effect on the couple and their properties but also on the lives of their children. Being a part of a broken family massively breaks the hearts and affects the psychological and social well-being of children. Unlike some other problems which can be solved through conciliation’s, divorce is an irreconcilable situation where individuals involved find no other way but to cope and live with it and move on.
Irreconcilable differences, what it means
In American law courts, “irreconcilable differences” is a ground for dissolving marriage through no-fault divorce. This means parties do not have to show fault on the part of the other spouse to constitute ground for marriage dissolution.
Any difference between the spouses which they deem irreconcilable or unchangeable can be covered by the term “irreconcilable difference”. As long as this ground is provided for, US courts acquire jurisdiction and decide the case in favor of divorce.
Reasons ranging from simple couple fights to serious, incurable and destructive personality disorders can constitute “irreconcilable differences” as a ground for marriage dissolution. Since there is no need to prove any wrong-doing on the part of the other spouse, a lot of couples go to court to file for divorce. However, many do not recognize the devastating effects of doing such not only on them but also on their children.
“Irreconcilable differences” as a ground for divorce has been under controversy for several years. The term is too broad in its sense to the point that acquiring divorce now becomes as easy as eating a pie. However, as long as such measure is allowed under the law, there is nothing citizens can do but to abide by it.
No matter how difficult it may seem, parents and children belonging to a broken home must deal with the situation and continue living. Here are some effective ways on how to cope with divorce and living in a broken home:
1. Understand “Irreconcilable differences”
In most cases, divorced parents lie and tell their children that they are not getting separated just to save the child from extreme emotional pain. However, this is not the right way to deal with divorce.
As a divorced parent, you have to point out the fact and not keep on denying it. Your child may feel hurt at first but eventually, they will learn to deal with the situation of your “irreconcilable differences” with your partner. Hiding the facts from them does not protect them at all. Doing this will only make the pain greater.
As a child, you must understand that some things in the world are not for eternity. The “irreconcilable differences” of your parents may not bring good to the family if they continue living together. Although marriage dissolution through “Irreconcilable differences” breaks the family, you must put in mind that it may be for the greater good. Also, you should keep in mind that their “Irreconcilable differences” is not because of your fault. The situation is something out of your control and you must deal with it.
2. Talk to someone
Whenever you feel lonely because of the divorce due to “Irreconcilable differences”, you must talk to someone and share your burden. Unloading your burden will keep you sane even through this complicated situation. Do not keep everything to yourself; you must learn to release your hurts to someone.
3. Continue with your regular activities
Do not let divorce hold you back. Even when it may affect all the aspects of your life, you must continue each day with your regular activities. You may feel bad for quite some time and avoid conversations with other individuals but you should remember to move on. Continue living your life and put in mind that things will work out good only when you work them out positively.
“Irreconcilable differences” are difficult to deal with. If you are on the edge of deciding on whether to file for divorce or not on this ground, knowing the information above could help you cope with the aftermath.
Most parents contemplating divorce worry about how it would effect their children emotionally, sometimes to such an extent, that they decide to try again, to rather save their marriage. They probably know that divorce is unavoidable, but will agonize about the effect it will have on their children.
It is essential therefore, that parents considering divorce have a clear understanding as to how their divorce will affect their children emotionally. Knowing the emotional effects of divorce on children, will help parents to make a sensible decision about their divorce, and work together, to reduce the psychological effect it will have on their children, or even avoid them altogether.
Before moving on to some of the emotional effects of divorce on children however, it must be remembered that:
- These are only possible effects
- That some pertain to certain ages more than others
- The possibility and degree of these emotional effects of divorce on children are relative to several factors, the majority of which you have complete control over.
The emotional effects of divorce on children are wide and varied, some of them new, and twice as stressful to a child.
Insecurity and fear of the future
Divorce comes with many unavoidable changes which can weaken that feeling of security in a child, and make them afraid of the future.
Fear of abandonment
When one parent leaves home in a divorce, children are very often petrified that the other parent will go as well, leaving them all alone in the world.
The parent who leaves gives children the impression that they are unloved and are being rejected. Many people don’t understand this, until they realize that to themselves, children are the center of their own little world, and anything that happens in that world, good or bad, has got to have something to do with them.
The divorce is their fault
Again, the divorce is happening in their little world, so children assume that they are to blame. They are convinced that it is something they said or did wrong, and will feel extremely guilty for being the cause of what is happening to their parents. This applies to hard-headed teenagers as well, who will feel that it is the bad things they’ve done that is the cause of the divorce, and their bad behavior that has made it easy for the parent to leave.
When children imagine that they are the cause of the problem between their parents, they also have the idea that they can fix the problem. They might try to be a better child to their parents, in the hope that this will make their parents stay together. Children feel helpless when they fail, and become extremely sad when their efforts don’t make the difference they are hoping for.
Parents having a fight in front of their children, is one of the most damaging effects of divorce on children. If they take sides with one parent, then they feel that they are being disloyal to the other parent. If they don’t take sides, then they feel that both parents will reject them for being disloyal. This is a no-win situation for a child, who will get the idea that it is a bad thing to love both parents.
Sad and lonely
Children experience an enormous sense of loss and sadness when their parents divorce. To them, their one parent has left for good, and the close, family life they once had, is over. They will feel incredibly lonely too, and miss the parenting skills of the parent who has left home.
Apart from all the above emotional effects of divorce on children, there is also the stress that a child experiences too, when they feel that they are expected to do more than they are able to. Children also become angry when their parents divorce, not only because they are unable to fix the problem, but because of resentment towards their parents for doing something which to the child, is completely unnecessary.
What you can do to help your child cope with these effects of divorce on children
Most of the emotional effects of divorce on children, as mentioned earlier, are in your control, and one of the best ways to help your child to cope, is through constant communication about the situation. Listen carefully to what your child is telling you, so that you can fix these emotional problems as they arise.
Also, keep the problems which are causing you and your spouse to divorce between the two of you, and don’t badmouth about each other to your children. Remember, they love both of you, and shouldn’t have to take sides.
Having their marriage end is hard for the couple, but it is even harder when there are children involved. Children of divorce are scared and angry, and many times feel that it is their fault that their parents are getting divorced. So what can you as parents do, to help your children cope with the fact that your marriage has come to an end?
Listen to your children, and reassure them
The one important thing that children of divorce need is someone to listen to them, and gives them the reassurance they are looking for. Who better to do this, than the parents themselves?
Give your child your undivided attention, and really listen to what they have to say. Children get scared and angry, so let them show emotions without interrupting them or becoming defensive. Reassure your child, alleviate their fears, straighten out any misunderstandings, but above all, give them your unconditional love. It is imperative that children of divorce understand that they are not to blame for their parent’s marriage coming to an end.
Help them to express themselves
Having their parents decide to end the marriage is devastating for children of divorce. For them, losing the safe and loving life they have known up to now is the same as losing a loved one. Help your child to grieve about this lost life, and help them to adjust to this new life by supporting their feelings.
You will inspire trust in your child if you show them that you understand and acknowledge their feelings even if you can’t fix the problem immediately, or make their unhappiness go away.
Reassure your child that your divorce is not their fault!
The majority of children of divorce have the idea that they are to blame for their parent’s marriage falling apart. They imagine that it is because of poor grades at school, arguments that they had with you, or times when they got into trouble, which is the cause of you and your spouse parting ways.
Children of divorce are confused, so be as patient as possible with them. Explain to them again why you and your spouse have decided to end the marriage, and emphasize that they are not to blame for the divorce.
Children of divorce need to know above all, that they will always be loved unconditionally by both their parents; that both parents will be there for them always, even though they won’t all be living under the same roof anymore.