Dealing with divorce is never easy. In fact it is probably amongst the most stressful and grueling experiences one can go through. When we get married we start off with a tremendous amount of hope and expectation. Intellectually we know it will take work but it is truly impossible to really know what kind of work it will take until we are already down the path of the marriage. I believe the reason it is difficult to get an idea of what the work of marriage will look like is because I believe it is individual to each marriage and the specific issues which exist between the partners.
Whatever the issues are which end the marriage being divorced can often be harder than it ever was being married, especially if you share children. When divorced couples share children there is no ending to the relationship which makes moving on difficult because the children bind us together for our lives. We not only have to deal with our ex but we have to often deal solely with all the aspects of them that we tried to divorce. This can be the most frustrating aspect to cope with. Here we have divorced this person to get away from their negative traits and we seem to deal more with them post-divorce then we did married.
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This is where the children often become the victims because control (especially for the spouse who was left) becomes the big issue in these circumstances. When this happens so often does parent alienation syndrome. If children start distancing from the other parent we can be sure parent alienation is occurring. There is nothing more debilitating emotionally then when our spouse manipulates the children against the other. The loss of one’s children to manipulation is maddening and very difficult to recover from because the children are not old enough or mature enough to really see what is happening.
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When our ex is manipulating our children it can be the hardest thing to let go of. There is no greater pain then watching our children being poisoned. We often feel powerless and heart broken. The only cure for this is time. In time children always come to see the bigger picture. When these circumstances occur, which sadly is more often than not, it can feel impossible to keep any balance in our lives or in the lives of the children because there is so much manipulation being inflicted upon them that they cannot see or understand.
When this type of situation is happening there is only one recourse. We have to stay focused on the love we can give our children when we have our time with them. We have to stay focused on our individual lives and make them so strong that we have fulfillment individually which will make us a happier more emotionally available parent. When we have control in our own world it gives the children the space to feel their own emotions and go through their own experience of the manipulation. In scaling back and focusing on our own lives this will not only start to bring stability back into our world but it will also begin to slowly bring stability into the world of the children when they are on our custodial time.