The paperwork has all been signed and the decree has been entered. Your divorce is final. But those feelings of hurt, anger, resentment, or shame are still present. While understandable (and perfectly normal), it is important to move past these feelings to a place of forgiveness and healing to ensure the health of any further relationships, particularly the relationship of your children.
Joint Custody Forces Continued Contact
Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the likelihood is that you and your ex-spouse share joint custody of any mutual children. This requires you to stay in contact and interact. It also opens up time and space for further arguments. You may feel like acting on those lingering emotions when forced to connect with your ex, and you might even notice the desire to be the “winning” parent in your child’s life. Make no mistake: whenever there is continued strife after a divorce, no one really wins, least of all your child.
Post-Marital Arguments Carry Negative Consequences for Children
Children have this uncanny ability to see and hear everything. Oddly enough, it is often the things you do not want them to see or hear that they are most attuned to. Whether it is comments under your breath, hushed arguments over the phone while making visitation arrangements, or even downright manipulation of your children, know that your child suffers when you utter hurtful words about their other parent.
The truth is, your child still loves their mother or father, and they always will. Demeaning that love can lead to a number of adjustment issues for your child, including depression, anxiety, anger, aggression, and even isolation or self-harm. And, while some children may heal from the turmoil caused by angry parents after a divorce, others carry their scars for life.
Happy Parents Lead to Happy Children
When parents are able to rise above and give their children the reassurance that, despite the changes, they are still loved by both parents and will never have to feel as though they must choose one over the other, their ability to adjust after a divorce increases dramatically. This does not mean that you have to placate your ex or even go back to caring about them. In fact, this is not about you or your ex: it is about your child. So strive to be the parents that are capable of developing a healthy post-marital relationship.
Rise Above for You
Regardless of whether or not there are children involved, forgiveness and healing are essential in the months and years after a divorce. Though not to be expected immediately after a divorce, the work toward such emotions will allow you to eventually move from victim to survivor, self-righteous to self-accepting, and resentful to peaceful. Long-term, this will provide you with better emotional health and maturity which could, in turn, positively impact any of your current or future relationships.
Filing for Divorce?
If you have not yet filed for divorce or have just started the proceedings, a qualified DuPage County divorce attorney can help ensure the rights of you and your children are protected. With more than 200 years of experienced, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, provides superior service in family law and divorce matters. Contact our offices for a free consultation by calling 630-932-9100 today.
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