What to say, what not to say, and the consequences of the divorce

What to say, what not to say, and the consequences of the divorce

Divorce has many challenges. Sure it's going to solve some problems, but it's good to be able to solve others that will come up. It's not just the necessary adjustments in life (for both parents) that need to be made. This is one aspect. The other involves the psychology of the child or children that have emerged from marriage.

In this article we will focus on how we as parents should talk about the other parent to our children after the divorce. We will even look at some basic principles that can also function as a 'scalpel' in our daily lives.


An ambitious goal, but necessary

The issue of 'how to talk to children about ex-spouse' should be clear, it does not depend on who may have caused or requested the divorce. If you feel wronged, betrayed, or angry by this development in your life, you will surely be much more tempted to starve your ex-spouse or children. It is definitely a serious challenge, but you should stand as sober as possible.

Children are usually psychosomatically affected - to one degree or another - when they receive offensive reports about their parent. They receive the charges as a personal attack, and as a result, this mental stress can affect their body, with stomach aches, migraine headaches and insomnia.

Children realize that they are 'made' by both their mother and their father, and that this is their core identity. When one of the two is rejected, it is the next thing for every child to feel that balance is lost in them, there is conflict and anxiety, which leads - in addition to physical problems - to long-term problems with parenting.

So it is more than obvious that there are many reasons to consider how you can talk to your children about your ex-spouse. When you force a child to choose the parent he or she loves the most, you are damaging your children, regardless of your motivation, this is perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind.

Certainly, behind such manipulations there are sensible arguments, such as that children 'need to know'. You may feel that you love your children more than the other parent or that you do not deserve your support. Or that your ex is a bad person or parent. At a deeper level, however, you may feel that your ex should be punished.

Unfortunately, there may be another, less conscious intention: to move the children away from the other parent or to love one another more. This is understandable given the anger, sadness and fear that often result from a divorce and these emotions can last for years.

It is an - perhaps - unconscious desire that comes from our "dark side" and is the part of us that has feelings that we do not really want to recognize or admit. Taking action to cope with these feelings will make it easier for you to put into perspective what your children really need to know.

It may seem important, even "morally right," that your children "know who your mom really is," or "understand that daddy is the one who caused all these problems". However, if there is no abandonment, serious abuse or neglect, the need for children to have a good relationship with both parents is more important than their need to know about the disagreement and conflict between their parents.

So let's take a brief look at the 7 tips we would encourage you, if not to follow in the letter, be sure to consider carefully and think productively and positively about your children and yourself.


1. Do not offend the other parent in front of the children

Keep in mind that children are listening, so be careful when dealing with important issues related to your ex-spouse, as well as important issues that may exist between you, eg diet, guardianship, etc.


2. Pay attention to your non-verbal communication

The twisting of your eyes, the big sigh, the annoyed facial expression - these communicate as well as your words. Try to push these spontaneous reactions aside. If you need to communicate directly with the other parent, you can send an email, or generally choose a way that you will need to have direct communication - especially in the presence of children.


3. Don't talk about the financial or legal issues of your divorce

Your kids don't need to be aware of these issues and talking about them just raises their anxiety. They are delicate matters, very important, and because children - especially those younger than them - may not understand exactly what or what their problems are and their size, it is clearly preferable to protect them.


4. Don't ask the children questions about the other parent's life

Nothing about your ex-spouse's life - other than those related to your own life and that of your children - and it is in no way appropriate to put your children in the process of conveying such information to you. You will soon lose confidence, and the child will be confused about the attitude he will have to keep up with any changes he or she may realize in the lives of both of you.


5. If kids want to share something about your ex with you, that's good

"Daddy lets us wake up late," or "Mom says I can't get a cell phone." If they are upset again with something the other parent did, help them understand how to talk to the parent about it.

If this is an important issue affecting your child's safety, you might say, "Let me talk to dad about having to wear a seat belt even for short trips," for example.


6. Don't hesitate to apologize to your child for something that may have escaped you or your ex

If you said something negative or unpleasant about your ex, you can apologize.

Something like, "It wasn't very nice of me to say that about your mom. I know she loves you, and sometimes we see things differently." Sorry, without exaggeration and abuse, is a sample of culture, of proper education. Especially in such situations it will not only create new problems, but it will probably come up with solutions that have been created in a child's mind.


7. Find ways to make positive comments about the other parent.

If we leave out the dramatic cases of husbands who have experienced violent situations, for the rest of the 'something along the way' or 'no interest' and overall the climate is somewhat peaceful, then you will surely have something good to find and express about the other parent to your child. In short, without exaggerating again, we can flatter the other parent in the eyes of our child, stating something they have in common. It may have something to do with eye color, height or some common talent they may have.

It is definitely a difficult thing, especially for the coolest cases. But when they hear some positive comments, they feel less hurt, they learn to embrace all parts of their body, their self-esteem rises, and love spontaneously nests in their hearts for both of you, without any recommendations or suggestions.


By Dr Angel,

Aggeliki Koskeridou

Holistic Doctor – Counseling Psychotherapist

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

MSc Health Psychology


insta: dr_aggelikikoskeridou_official 

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