Emotional security Tips

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What do I do with my life now, how do I survive/

Setting realistic goals

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.

   
What do I say when the children say mom has a boyfriend?

Accept that it's over

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.

   
How do I live with a half furnished home?

Dividing the furniture

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!

   
How do I trust the person who asked me out?

Ask your date questions

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.

   
How do I let the children know I am not divorcing them?

Children

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.

   
Do I have to tell people I date that I have children?

Honesty is the best policy

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!

   
I just want the fighting to stop, how will it end?

Separation, reunions and then the same old dance

If you have a spouse who uses your marriage like a revolving door you must be the door man. He\she only plays the game because you allow it.

   
Why do I cry when I go in my bedroom?

A bedroom for two is now a bedroom for one

When your ex leaves, change your bedroom! Move the furniture, add new furniture or get rid of some of the old stuff. Keep only the things you truly love, and change the rest to suit your taste.

   
When will this end?

Stop the fighting

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.

   
Why don´t our old friends like me anymore?

The social divorce

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.

   
What can I do when my ex buys my children´s love?

Don't compete

Don't compete for your children's love and time. They need and want to have a healthy relationship with both of their parents. The more you work for this, the better adjusted they will be.

   
Why can´t my ex and I be friends?

The death of an ex's family member

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.

   
Should I send my child a birthday card?

Remember Holidays

Remember the child's birthdays, holidays and all other important events. These times are important to children and indicate to them that you are there and that you care. It may be difficult to remember these dates in your busy life, so use a calendar and mark them down.

   
Why can´t my ex and I be friends?

Don't Expect Too Much

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!

   
What do I tell the children when they ask if I am mad at dad?

Don't put the kids in the middle

Do not put your children in the middle. Do not make your children the mediators for you and your spouse. Put your feelings aside for the sake of your children and handle all matters that must be decided directly with your spouse.

   
Who can I trust?

Develop a reliable support system

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."

   
Should I go to clubs?

Selective dating

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.

   
We are separated is he my ex?

Not my spouse but not my ex

When you are no longer living as man and wife but your divorce has not been finalized your spouse is your estranged spouse. They only become your ex spouse after the divorce is finalized.

   
What should I look for in a support group?

Dad's support groups

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.

   
Can I let my children meet my love?

Discuss your dating with your children

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.

   
What do I say when my child feels left out of my ex´s life?

Telling the children they are loved.

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.

   
Should I let the children sleep over at their grandparents?

Let the children spend more time with extended family

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.

   
My children keep crying what can I do?

Your children's feelings

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.

   
Why does it feel like something is missing?

Change patterns

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.

   
Why do the children sound like her?

Don't take it out on the children

When you and your spouse are angry with one another, do not take it out on the children. For example, "You are just like your father....your mother..." This will only hurt them in the long run.

   
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William Pirraglia