Pain is an inevitable result of almost all divorces and hardly anyone in a family escapes it. The enduring stress, the separation period preceding the divorce, the event itself and the process of adjustment all impact family members. When divorce is regarded as a process, its impact is likely to be somewhat eased.
Out of the ruins of a broken marriage people do not easily embrace such principles. These are goals to work toward. Doing so is likely to ease the impact of divorce upon the children. It is worthwhile noting that remaining married is often easier than getting divorced. There will be times when the divorce is more difficult than the marriage.
Assuming no sexual abuse has occurred, the following attitudes expressed by the adults will allow for the best outcome when two adults divorce:
1. We will discuss the divorce with you, together, on a regular basis.
2. We are divorced and are no longer husband and wife. We are still both your parents.
3. It is our divorce, not yours. The implications affect everybody, but it remains our divorce.
4. We were once happy as husband and wife and you were born out of our love. We found parenting to be rich and rewarding.
5. We will always help and protect you and cooperate with each other concerning you.
6. You have done nothing to cause our divorce and nothing you do will make us get back together.
7. We will say nothing negative about each other.
8. We will not use you as a go-between, between us.
9. When you face inevitable choices, we are committed to communicating with you about your options as clearly as possible. When this is impossible, we will talk about why it is so.
10. When choices cannot be made easier, we will do all we can to make options clearer.
11. We will support each otherâ€™s values and rules and will try to establish a similar atmosphere in each home.
12. We want you to do well in life. Our failure at marriage does not have to become your failure at life.
13. We cannot predict the future, but we will both talk about it with you as we see it developing. You will have as much information as possible about youself and your family. We will do what is possible to reduce your need to employ guesswork regarding what is going on around you.
14. You will have as much power over your life as is age appropriate.
15. You will be able to visit both extended families. Your extended family will be as helpful to you about our divorce as we are. They are also committed to speaking only well of each of your parents.
16. You have permission to embrace any person each parent might include in his or her life.
17. Accepting and loving a stepparent some day, will not be regarded as disloyalty. You might even choose to call that person mother or father without resistance from either of your parents. All the adults (step and biological parents) will regularly meet to discuss matters relating to you.
18. We will try to lessen the amount of travel between homes so that you might be as settled as possible.
19. Failure at any venture on your part is not because of the divorce. Many people with divorced parents have lived very successful lives.
© Copyright Rod E. Smith 1998 / All rights reserved