If you have minor children, divorce doesn’t end when the Judge drops the gavel. Divorce is a process, not a one time event. On behalf of your children, I challenge you to recognize that divorce doesn’t end your family – it transforms your family. If you fail to accept the transformation and decide to live stuck in the mind set that you have suffered a tragedy and you are a victim, you put your children’s physical and emotional well-being at risk. Your children need your permission to love both parents and all extended family – new and old. If you stand in the way of that healthy transformation by refusing to embrace fully your new reality, it will be your behavior and mind set that harms your children, not the fact that you are divorced.
You are now one family living under two roofs. Your children are still your family and your children live in two houses. Home is where the heart is, and I assert confidently based on years of experience with children and their families that hearts aren’t confined to solid ground. Hearts thrive everywhere, when given their freedom. Hearts thrive when love is freely given and conflict is infrequent and quickly addressed.
You don’t divorce your children.
Keep in mind: you don’t divorce your children. You do divorce a spouse and your adult relationship changes in full measure. You and your former spouse transform from spouses to co-parents. It’s a new job description, and it continues until the day you die.
The above realities may be tough to swallow, but they are your realities. Get used to them, learn to live gracefully with them, or curse yourself to a life filled with missed opportunities for love and acceptance.
Strong words, you say. Its not that easy, you say. I’m too broke, sad, angry, numb, confused, you say. I bet you also say your children are the most important thing and you would do anything for them. How do we square this particular push/pull? With the truth: these are strong words but you have everything at stake. What your children need from you isn’t easy, but it is free.