After it’s all said and done, there’s some healing to do. After the divorce is final and the separation has taken place, there is a significant part of life that needs tending – the emotional life. After a family has been split in two, it needs to find its way again. Both children and parents need some healing.
This article will address some ways that a family can heal together – even if it’s a part of the family. It will provide some ideas to work with in order to bring love back into what might have been a difficult situation. Now that the chaos is over, you can bring healing to yourself and your children with these suggestions:
1. Attend a Divorce Support Group. What’s great about a support group is that you get to hear what you may not be able to express yourself. You might be feeling incredibly sad, and then when someone else in the circle says, “Gosh, it’s been so hard, and I feel so sad that my family is breaking up,” it might feel like a weight has been lifted. Plus, hearing this might give you the freedom to finally say what has been hard for you to express. And finally being able to say what you couldn’t up until now can be incredibly healing. The greatest part about a support group is the community. In a community of others who are struggling with the same life challenge, you and your family can find support, love, friendship, and safety they’ve needed.
2. Communicate the truth. Likely, your family has been through many uncomfortable situations in which the truth was withheld or feelings were not shared. Now that the circumstances are different, it’s time now to speak the truth to your children, to your ex-spouse and to friends, if they’ve been wondering about you and your family. But more importantly, it’s time to tell the truth to your children! They need to know that they are in no way responsible for the divorce and that they are loved. Children, especially younger ones, need to know they are loved and accepted and that there is nothing they did to cause the separation.
3. Let your child love the other parent. Sometimes the anger between a divorcing couple can spill over into their relationship with the children. Don’t let the disappointments and frustrations you have with your ex spouse get in the way of the relationship your children have with their other parent. And do your best to refrain from speaking about your ex-spouse in front of your children. They don’t need to know your feelings about that. If they do, they might feel responsible for your feelings, or worse, they may feel responsible for the splitting of the family.
4. Have fun together. When you have your children, enjoy each other’s company. Try to repair any relationship issues that the divorce might have caused. You can do this by having open and honest and loving conversations. You can spend time together by going to the movies, enjoying the beach together, or simply cooking a good meal together. Now that most of the heartache is over, enjoy the company of your children.
5. Move forward slowly. If your child is still showing signs of the divorce in his or her behavior, give your child time to adjust to the way things are now. Give your child support to get used to his or her new living situation. He or she might not be doing well in school or might be getting into fights or might be testing your limits. Be supportive as best you can while your child adjusts.
These are some suggestions to use to help heal from divorce. It’s a loss that every family member will need to grieve on one level or another. Having the time and opportunity to do that will facilitate moving on with life and finding happiness despite the family divorce.