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#215165 - 10/25/11 06:42 PM Justifying divorce to young children
Di Offline
Member

Registered: 11/15/05
Posts: 2798
Loc: NM, transplant from NJ
Even though I've not had kids, hence, never had to divorce from father, I'd like to know how you justify the fact that "Dad" will no longer be living with you?

So many friends lately have been divorcing, and I want to, hopefully, help them BEFORE the divorce happens. How do you tell the children? And what ramifications can you/do you live with? Or do you even think of them?

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#215166 - 10/25/11 06:59 PM Re: Justifying divorce to young children [Re: Di]
Ellemm Offline


Registered: 11/04/08
Posts: 601
I'm sure you only want to be helpful but my advice would be to tread very, very carefully in offering advice to others. None of us knows what's really going on in someone else's marriage and no one ever gets married hoping they can get a divorce someday. I have known some real horror stories, including people who were lucky to escape with their lives. My rule is to try and not give advice unless someone asks for it.

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#215167 - 10/25/11 07:08 PM Re: Justifying divorce to young children [Re: Ellemm]
Di Offline
Member

Registered: 11/15/05
Posts: 2798
Loc: NM, transplant from NJ
Yes, I totally understand that. But just curious.....how DO you justify it to the children?

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#215168 - 10/25/11 10:05 PM Re: Justifying divorce to young children [Re: Di]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3191
Loc: Illinois
Oh Di, I am sure most women consider the children in a decision to divorce. I know I did. And I ended up deciding that divorce was justified.

And, considering the verbal, emotional and physical abuse each one of us (three kids and my mother) experienced -- generally in front of the others -- I certainly wish my mother would have decided to divorce my father while I was still living at home. (She waited until the youngest kid was in college.) She says she chose not to file sooner because she didn't think she would have been able to support us as well as could be done if she stayed married. Instead, we all walked on eggshells as we all feared his temper - and never knew what might happen to set if off.

Then again, there are situations where one or the other parent up and leaves - abandoning the family. Sometimes drugs, alcohol or mental illness are involved in these sitautions.

Now in the case of my divorcing my first husband, alcohol and infidelity were involved. And he refused to quit either. The kids were 5 and 2. The marriage counselor told us NOT to tell the kids anything. She said they were too young to notice what was happening. Bunk!!

We told our daughter, the 5 year old, together, and it did not go well. We didn't tell our son -- I just moved out into an apartment and once moved, came and got both kids. Well, he certainly noticed that his surroundings had changed, and as a result, he refused to go to sleep alone. He needed to have me there, even during naps. And he would situate himself so that his leg was touching me, so that he could try to be alerted if I got up to leave!

I refused to tell the kids their father was cheating on me, but during their visitation times, they certainly noticed the woman and similarly aged girl who eventually moved in with him. (I had it stipulated in the divorce that she could not move in with him for 6 months, but that didn't mean that they didn't meet her and her daughter.)

So when you talk about justifying divorce to young children, I guess I'd say the need to justify depends on the situation. And many times, no justification is needed, the evidence is out there for all to see.
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#215178 - 10/26/11 02:33 PM Re: Justifying divorce to young children [Re: Di]
Ellemm Offline


Registered: 11/04/08
Posts: 601
Di, I haven't been divorced, but am going to assume that people justify it to the children because the family staying together is going to be worse than splitting up. Just as people justify moving the family because of a job, sometimes everyone isn't going to be happy and there's going to be dislocation. At the end of the day, someone has to earn some money and there has to be some order and peace in the home. If there's no hope of that, things need to change.

You know, when daddy has cleaned out the bank account and disappeared, I'm not sure where the justification comes in. I actually know 5 women this has happened to and I know a man who was abandoned with the kids. Sometimes the parent is left just trying to keep things together.

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#215179 - 10/26/11 02:39 PM Re: Justifying divorce to young children [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 10010
Loc: New York State
I'm not sure it can be justified. Sometimes people prefer to remain blind to TRUTH. Innocent people may tell the truth but
the guilty are behind their backs lying 'n saying the opposite.
And in some instances kids refuse to face reality, because lies are easier to deal with. My own experience is this: Sonny boy was age 13 when his dad left home. Our divorce was bitter. Afterwards, poppa immediately married his longtime girlfriend. My son is still buying into daddy and step-mommy's lies! And the lad is grown with 4 grown daughters. Di don't even bother your mind about trying 2 pad the blows for other people. If there's 1 lesson I've learned these past 6 1/2 years, it's, no good deed goes unpunished!
_________________________
"MOLLIE'S FOLLIES" by Bonnie Mill-Lemke, aka Jabber, is available at the Kindle Store and in paperback on Amazon.com.
URL - https://www.amazon.com/author/bonnie.mill-lemke

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#215184 - 10/26/11 06:05 PM Re: Justifying divorce to young children [Re: jabber]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3191
Loc: Illinois
LOL, Jabber! "No good deed goes unpunished," was the mantra of one of my good friends from college. I haven't heard it for years.

With young children, I think they need to be assured that the divorce wasn't a result of something THEY did. At least, I know with my daughter, who -- as I mentioned earlier in this thread -- was 5 when her father and I divorced, her biggest concern when we told her -- the thing that brought her to tears -- was her belief that she had CAUSED the breakup.

In her case, she had very good friends at daycare whose parents were divorced, and she had innocently suggested to me perhaps 6 months earlier, that perhaps we could get divorced too. The way she saw it, those kids got loads of extra attention from their parents -- and 2X as many toys at Christmas, because they celebrated twice, once with each parent.

Then, without my being aware of it, she'd changed her tune about the "benefits" of divorce after seeing the movie "Kramer vs. Kramer" on TV. (I had no idea she'd seen it!)

Based on my experience, I think kids can come out of a divorce without being too emotionally scarred if the parents are both willing to work at emotionally (as well as financially) supporting their children and working to build the children's self-esteem.

I just saw a website with a program devoted to building kids' self esteem called "High Self Esteem Kids" or something like that.

Joe Rubino, who is promoting it, is someone I have known for about 30 years. I respect him, and he's got some good people involved. But, in the spirit of full-disclosure, I don't know anything about the program, I am not personally involved with it, and I don't have anything to gain financially from that link.

However, if you want to help children, Di, one thing I think is really imperative is to build their self esteem. It's especially important in a situation where the kids are dealing with divorce.
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#215186 - 10/27/11 05:02 PM Re: Justifying divorce to young children [Re: Anne Holmes]
Di Offline
Member

Registered: 11/15/05
Posts: 2798
Loc: NM, transplant from NJ
Hey, I've been divorced before..and I now realize that it can also be the stubbornness of both parties to not get along. Other than the danger of things (yes I know that can happen, too), marital counseling CAN help if a couple do want to "save" the marriage.

I'm certainly not talking about dangerous situations here. Not long ago I spoke with a woman who divorced her husband years ago. She admitted to her adult child that the reasons were certainly things that "could have been worked out" had they been a bit more mature about it.

Kids suffer after divorce. Even if they "seem" ok later on. There are residual issues in everyone's life if their parents divorce. Ie: Insecurities, dis-trust, anger etc.

I watch my friends who've been products of divorce or abandonment..and I can pick them out!'

Heck, I even have issues due to having my mother die when she was 43 (I was 18)...but that was not a choice. Whole 'nother ball of wax!


Edited by Di (10/27/11 05:03 PM)

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#215188 - 10/27/11 06:59 PM Re: Justifying divorce to young children [Re: Di]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3191
Loc: Illinois
Hey Di,

You are correct that kids suffer after divorce, but don't you agree that they also suffer from living in a family where there is strife, anger, physical abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual perversion happening?

If these conditions exist, and counseling does not help -- I know that my first husband and I went to counseling, but he flat out told the counselor her was there because I dragged him there, and he also told her that nothing would change.

So in cases like that -- when counseling doesn't resolve anything -- I don't think staying together "for the sake of the children" makes sense.

I did an teleseminar some time back with a woman whose husband was a sex addict -- and in their case counseling DID help and the family was able to stay together. She wrote a book about her experiences, which NABBW reviewed. Name is slipping my mind right now.

So I do realize that counseling CAN help. But both parties have to want to change.
_________________________
Boomer in Chief of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
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www.boomerlifestyle.com
www.boomerco.com

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#215195 - 10/27/11 09:07 PM Re: Justifying divorce to young children [Re: Anne Holmes]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3191
Loc: Illinois
By the way, the book I referred to above is called Afterimage: A Wife's Story of Recovering from Her Husband's Sex Addiction and it is by Maurita Corcoran.

Her discovery rocked her world and resulted in a separation. They DID go to counseling.

The link here, is to my review of the book. As you can see, Corcoran DOES deal with how to tell the children and how they were affected. She also goes into great detail about how few professionals thought their marriage could endure.

These days, Di, you will be happy to know, they also counsel other families dealing with sex addiction, on what must happen in order to keep the family together and allow the marriage to endure.
_________________________
Boomer in Chief of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
www.nabbw.com
www.boomerwomenspeak.com
www.boomerlifestyle.com
www.boomerco.com

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