The divorce process is a long and challenging process. It’s not like you decide, go fill out some papers and it’s over in six months. Not for most people. It’s more like you are agonizing “Should I or shouldn’t I?” for about five years, experience a few split ups and getting-back-together times, and eventually turn from warm to ice cold in your feelings and finally, when all else fails, drag yourself to the divorce attorney. Or it may go like this: You hear:
“I want a divorce, and you can’t talk me out of it this time; I’m done.”
What is profoundly different is the overall sadness you may feel after being together and feeling somewhat secure in a family to the alonene. It is sitting in a place that once the decision has been made there is usually no going back. All the counseling in the world will probably never convince your ex that you should get back together. The finality of separation is that you and your ex are no longer a couple and you lose your place. Believe it or not, many “leavers” do not realize the impact of that decision. They focus on the fact that it is not possible to deal with the relationship any more, for various reasons, and yet they don’t have a crystal ball that lets them see the outcome of their actions. But those who have left also feel that side effect of profound lonliness and isolation.
Few people look back on their decision to divorce as one that was mutual. Usually someone was blindsided, or someone was desperate to make the other person change and couldn’t do it, no matter how hard they tried.
Our goal is to see that your child does not cringe when he sees his parents together, isn’t exposed to drama at exchange times and doesn’t have to watch fear or anger in his parents’ eyes when they talk on the phone to each other.
In our therapy sessions and parenting classes with fathers and mothers at our F.A.C.E.S. centers for children of divorce and their parents, we picture each person arriving with a huge band aid on their hearts. The broken hearts arrive with bad attitudes, sadness or fatigue, depending on the day.
At F.A.C.E.S., we don’t discriminate for bad attitude; we know how difficult this journey in Single Parent Land is. We use professionalism, respect for diversity and compassion as our guidelines.
The founder of FACES' authored the book Parenting Solo .
tavailable online as an ebook through amazon. It is written as a result of years of collecting good ideas from parents, children and therapists who worked with children. I have supervised dozens of therapists who work with single parents and their ideas are also woven into the stories in this book. The families mentioned here are fictional, with themes from many of the families we have seen. If you can relate, that is great. If not, be glad you have avoided their pain.
We would like you to know that there are many counselors and friends who are available in your area who are willing to listen, help absorb your pain, and help you continue on your life’s journey. There is a list of resources on our resources page.
Because your children are listening, watching, and desperately wanting to have peace in their lives again, we hope you will take up some of the ideas presented in counseling and make small changes. You are motivated by your desire to see your child become happier and less stressed and we support your journey.