Read these 25 Emotional security Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Divorce tips and hundreds of other topics.
Letting go of your marriage is not easy. For years you thought of yourself as one partner in a two partner relationship. You planned on growing old together and now you have gone your separate ways. Set realistic goals for yourself. Start small: changing your routines, doing things that you have enjoyed but were blocked from doing as your mate did not agree. Use the time of healing for finding yourself. Look to the positive side of yourself not the negative side. Build your new life by building your sense of self.
Accept that your marriage is over and proceed with your own life. Don't try to obtain information about your ex-spouse's private life through your children. The best thing you can do for yourself and your children is to move ahead with your life and find happiness in a new relationship.
If you have to divide the furniture, plan ahead. Do not look at this as a time of loss, but look at it as a time of redecorating. If you can afford it, paint or put up wallpaper, and rearrange the furniture that is left. If you cannot afford to buy new furniture, then get some recycled pieces; they will be new to you!
When you begin dating someone, the focus should be to find out as much as you can about the individual to see if you are compatible. After all, dating does many times lead to an eventual marriage. So find out all you can, and the way to do that is to ask questions. There are a number of questions you can ask to give you insight into the other person. A good reference tool is a new book entitled "Hollywood Dating Blunders" by Jim Carroll and Dennis Foose, LPC. These two individuals have taught marriage seminars and provided relationship counseling for a number of years. A list of sample questions is posted at www.skywardpublishing.com, the book's publisher. Find some questions and start asking.
Let the children know you both will always be their parents and you will always love them. Don't be long distance parents, physically or emotionally. If you must live in another town, stay in touch with frequent letters and telephone calls. Make sure your child has your address and telephone number so they will always have easy access to you.
Before you ever agree to date someone, be open and honest with them and explain that you have children. To many individuals, this will make no difference. Don't try to hide your children from your date, but readily introduce them and watch carefully how they interact with each other. Is there open resentment or hostility on either face? If it is on your child's face, then the reason for it should be discussed with the child later. Many times it is rooted in fear of losing their parent's love to someone else, or it could just be jealousy that someone else is taking their parent's time away from them. Discuss your intentions openly and honestly with your children and reassure them your love for them will never diminish. If it is on the face of your date, ditch them!
To begin to feel emotionally secure and in charge means to end the fighting. Most people fight over the assets only to end up losing them to attorney fees. If you are engaged in a battle, ask yourself if what you are fighting for is worth more than your emotional well being. You cannot start a new life until you end the old one.
The social divorce is the ending of relationships with friends and inlaws. This divorce is often difficult, as people feel they can only be friends with one of the partners, or may cut off relationships with both partners. Often the inlaws feel they must side with your spouse; the old saying that blood is thicker than water applies here. Do not mourn your old friendships, develop new ones. Be civil with the inlaws and do not discuss your negative views about their family member, especially if there are children in common. This too shall pass and you will be whole once again.
Often when a couple divorces and there is a death in their ex's family they are left feeling torn. Do they go and show their respect, or stay away? It is best to speak to your ex and ask how they would feel about your going. If you cannot approach your ex on this issue then do not go. Send some flowers or a card, and do not keep the children from attending.
Be realistic in your expectations. You were married to this person and probably know them better than they know themselves. Therefore you can probably predict their behavior and response to certain situations. Don't deliberately try to antagonize or upset the other person to get revenge. Learn the true meaning of forgiveness and get on with your life. If you harbor unforgiveness and bitterness, it will hinder your future. Let go of the past and look forward to the future. Give your ex time for his/her wounds to heal. Don't expect too much from them. Take it one step at a time and try to work toward a harmonious relationship for your children's sakes. Sometimes you may be able to compromise on issues, other times you may have to agree to disagree, but try to find a workable solution. Just don't expect too much cooperation too soon. Be sincere at all times and don't play games!
Tip from Shellee Darnell in an article entitled
"Single Parents Raise Good Kids Too!"
"Develop a wide network of people who can provide you with emotional support, companionship, help in emergencies, childcare, reality checks, etc. Be selective and choose caring, reliable, trustworthy people who will be there for you in times of need. Single parents with healthy support systems usually feel better mentally and physically, and demonstrate to their children that it is OK to ask for help. Support groups for single parents offer an excellent opportunity to socialize and share with others in similar circumstances."
Be selective when dating and introducing your dates to your children. Children do not need an endless parade of potential step-parents marching through the door. Each time they start to care about someone and decide they would be a good step-parent, they may find that person dumped and another one there in their place. Not only will you be hurt when a relationship ends, but your children will be hurt by the separation also. Keep relationships with your children to a minimum until you find someone special who blends in naturally.
When you are going through a divorce it helps to find a group that understands your pain. More fathers are creating support groups. When joining a support group for dads make sure it is a healing group and not a group that envisions revenge. Revenge will only make you feel worse. Look for a group that is supportive of dads being involved with their children for the sake of continuing a parent/child relationship.
Single parents who are dating find there is an added dimension to the dating process. In addition to trying to find someone with whom you want to spend some time, you also must consider the effect dating will have on your children. Remember your child has already lost one parent through divorce or death, they don't want to risk losing the other one. Talk to your children about your desire to date. Assure them that your spending time with someone else does not diminish your love for them-sometimes adults just need to spend time with other adults just as your children need to spend time with others their age.
Telling your child that both parents love them, will insure a healthy sense of self-esteem for your child. Never tell your child anything that will lead them to feel that their other parent does not love them. Do not tell them that their other parent is too busy with their new partner or new child and has forgotten them.
If you have a supportive extended family, allow your children to spend more time with them alone. Often children find comfort in knowing that they have a special place in the hearts of their grandparents, aunts and uncles. It helps to lessen the loss of their intact family. It also allows you to have time to spend on your own.
Expect that your children may have sad, angry, depressed feelings following the divorce and allow them to tell these feelings to you without criticism. Just being able to talk about what they are feeling will go a long way in helping your child adjust to the changes in his/her life.
Change the family patterns. For example, do not allow yourself and the children to look at the empty chair at dinner where your significant other always sat. Change the set-up of the eating area, even if it means removing a chair or adding one. You can no longer hold on to past rituals, so establish some new ones.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|