You and your apparent insignificant other have been fighting, playing the blame game and bad mouthing each other. Whether in front of the kids or not, they hear things and know something major is wrong with Mom and Dad.
This creates confusion, they don’t understand the complexities and possible dark side of what is creating such a battle in the house. Do you tell them what is going on?
Your bad behavior can manifest through the children resulting in fighting at school (aren’t you ashamed of yourselves?), a drop in grades, loss of appetite – any sudden change in personality can probably be attributed to the pending split. If the family is talking, it can alleviate some fear and confusion.
The kids can feel responsible and start blaming themselves, anything to find a reason for what is happening. They chat with friends at school and get crazy ideas based on another child’s interpretation of what they went through with their parents. On the other hand, I was told it was ‘cool’ to have divorced parents!
Maybe the kids are too young to understand and remember? Um, lucky you…
If teenagers are in the house, sit down and have a chat. Answer their questions honestly and respect their feelings. If the discourse has been going on for sometime, you might find they’ll be relieved to get it out in the open. Or, you just might find an angry teen screaming at you “it’s all your fault!”. In which case, you may have to admit, yes, it is. Be prepared to hear some raw truths from your eldest darlings!
You might worry how children of divorce grow up dealing with relationships. It’s a valid worry, how you two choose to handle yourselves during these difficult times will, without a doubt, help form their opinions.
It is hard to face the kids when you have trouble facing yourself. You can blame your spouse for whatever wrongdoings, but you must be culpable, as well. It might take time to see our own faults, but if we truly listen to the complaints against us…they could just be true enough to decide to change.
So, you’ve made it through finalizing the divorce. A typical scenario is Mom stays in the house with the kids and Dad gets a bare apartment. Money is tight, schedules are a mess, it’s tough raising the kids with only one parent at a time. It takes incredible organization and stamina, but many are making it happen successfully.
Money, which was limited to begin with, is split while the expenses double. Dad may be working more in order to meet child support if he takes his responsibility seriously, thus his involvement
becomes even less. Also, plan on your credit score being reduced.
Your financial situation might be strong. I won’t argue money helps smooth the road making decisions and moving forward can be easier without the threat of landing on public assistance.
It’s not going to be easy. The affects will shift up and down the scale, no warning or rhythm to count on. If happiness is your goal, be prepared to be flexible, work hard and always tell the kids you love them!