Choosing your own future after your divorce. A 12 weeks program that helps you to fulfill your potential and that of your children after the divorce.
Week 1 - Introducing the Complex Family
Life has changed, how to deal with your new reality?
Change happened when you divorced. Maybe you did notice. You are in a different situation now and as a consequence, you need to change your behavior and your attitude. Your husband has gone away, you left your wife or your wife left you.
What happened to the tasks that your partner did in the family? Did your ex bring in the money? If you are lucky, he will support you for a while. Face reality. You will have to pick up the tasks your partner did. If you do not earn your own money, probably you will have to earn money yourself sooner or later. The children will be living with you or with your ex or they will divide their time between you and your ex. Your life has changed.
The divorce will hurt. You are filled with emotions that try to take over from you. However, instead of letting yourself guide by the emotions, face the facts. Do not hold on to the past. It will not come back. Focus on the future instead. The future is in your hands. It is up to you to choose between making a success of your life and of the life of your children or to feel sorrow and to surrender to misery.
Emotions like anger, regret, feeling betrayed, feeling abandoned and failure will pop up during and after your divorce. Even if your ex is a jerk and you feel relieved after he has gone, you might think you failed because you chose to marry the wrong person in the first place.
These negative feelings can completely occupy your mind. They drag your energy. If you let them take over, you'll end up in depression. In fact, you have to get rid of these feelings. What happened is history. Don't become a pessimist.
A technique to neutralize a negative feeling is to think about the situation that caused it and visualize it. Focus on the facts. Ask yourself: How did you get into it? Face the outcome. What were the actual results? Was it really bad? What will you do next time? Finally accept that it happened. Repeat this process a few times once a day until the negative feeling has neutralized.
Negative feelings distract you attention and energy from what you should do: building a new and thriving future for yourself and for your children. Let it go.
Beliefs are formed and put into our unconscious mind from our birth. Most of the time we are not aware of them. Limiting beliefs stand in our way to achieving our goals and dreams.
An example of a belief is: the children of divorce will suffer from living in 2 different places.
If you belief this is true, you will try to do everything you can to avoid that their children will be living in 2 different places after the divorce. You will be prepared to fight for it.
Does it help you or the children to believe this? If it does not, it is a limiting belief. There is an easy strategy to get rid of a limiting belief. Simply turn your limiting belief into a supporting belief. A belief that will help you living your dreams.
The example can be turned around like this: “if we create the right circumstances, the children will benefit from living in 2 different places. They become more flexible, they will experience 2 different living environments from which they will learn more and faster. They will have the best of both worlds.”
This belief will focus your attention on creating the right circumstances. You will go with the flow instead of against it.
The power of positive words.
Words influence your unconscious mind. The use of positive words make you and your children think positive. Negative words have the opposite effect.
Try the following exercise:
Close your eyes and say aloud the following words: Divorce laywer, alimony, suffering, fighting, yelling, breaking up, punishment. How do you feel?
Now close your eyes again and say aloud: Caring, paying attention, giving, receiving, working together, happiness. How do you feel now?
The words you choose have an impact on the people around you and on yourself. By using positive words, you and the people around you become more positive. You become more optimistic. Instead of seeing problems, you will start seeing the opportunities.
A new relationship with your ex.
Your children are the binding factor between you and your ex partner. Maybe you are done with your ex, but your children deserve to have 2 loving parents. Together you should continue the job to raise your children. Your children will be the sole subject of the relationship. Let go the past. It will stand in your way. Trying to hold on to it and to build the new relationship on the things you had together in the past will bring up the negative feelings, arguments, blaming and even the fighting.
When you focus on your children in the new relationship, your children will realise that they are on the top of your agendas. They will appreciate it and they will learn from it.
Restricting the subject of your new relationship with your ex to the children, makes it much easier for both of you to maintain the relationship. Talking about other subjects and especially memories from your time when you were together is out of bounds.
The complex family.
“The boy is from a broken home”. What does it say? Something is broken. The implicit message is that something is wrong. It carries a negative judgment. It says something about the boys parents: they did something wrong. It suggests the boy is suffering from it, that he is in a disadvantaged situation.
The message enters our unconscious mind. It silently shapes our limiting beliefs. How does it help you to belief that divorce is bad for children?
Instead, we introduce the “Complex Family”. Complex family does not carry judgement. It is a neutral wording that is describing the new situation. The family still exists, but the situation has become more complex. The children might have parents and step parents, they live in 2 different places. They move from one place to the other at fixed intervals. The parents have more to organize. You have more relationships to deal with.
By saying Complex Family, your children will be affected in a positive way. The reality will be planted in their minds, not a judgment.
Next week you can learn about Focusing on the Children. Stay tuned.
Do you want to read more about the subjects covered in this article?
Please read the book:
by Jill Darcey.How to Successfully Co-Parent after Divorce
Go to the Home page of Children and Divorce