By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC
Get divorced? Or stay in an unhappy marriage? This is a complex and controversial subject.
There are no right or wrong answers, nor are there any simplistic black and white solutions.
I am sharing my own perspective, based on my own life experiences. I welcome you to contribute your own thoughts. That’s as long as you are respectful of the rights of others to see the world in a different light.
I am a Divorce & Co-Parenting Coach. I’m also the Founder of the internationally-acclaimed Child-Centered Divorce Network. In addition, I grew up in a family that stayed together for the sake of the kids, so I have a good perspective on both sides of this topic. Obviously neither option is one any family would choose – they both create pain and hurt.
However, I am opting in on the side of divorce when home life is getting toxic. Divorce is preferable to years of living in a home where parents fight, disrespect one another and children grow up surrounded by sadness and anger. That’s the world I grew up in and the scars are still with me today, many decades later. Dr. Phil often said, “I’d rather come from a dysfunctional family than be in one.” I firmly believe he’s right.
Children are scarred when parents are emotionally divorced —
yet stay married!
Staying in a marriage only for the kids is a physical choice . It doesn’t touch upon the emotional and psychological pain children endure when their parents are a couple in name only. There is no positive role model of how marriage can and should be lived. Happiness, harmony, collaboration, respect and joy are all absent when parents are emotionally divorced while still living together. Children feel it, are confused by it, and often blame themselves. They’re usually guilt-ridden and experience little peace in childhood.
That’s why I chose the other route when my marriage was failing. However, I intuitively understood what not to do in divorce. I consciously created what I call a child-centered divorce. I co-parented with my former husband, shared custody and maintained a positive relationship with my ex for the decades that followed. Most gratifying for me is the satisfaction of my now adult son writing the introduction to my book. He thanked me and acknowledged the merits of my philosophy and behavior.
An effective and positive way to break the divorce news to children!
The book is titled, How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide To Preparing Your Children – With Love! It provides an innovative new way to have the dreaded “divorce” talk. What makes the book unique is that I don’t just tell parents what to say. I say it for them! I use fill-in-the-blank age-appropriate templates. They show parents how to create a storybook sharing family photos and history as a successful way to break the news to their children.
Legal, educational and parenting experts as well as other professionals around the world have endorsed the book. They praise the value of my novel approach to this subject. Six therapists contribute their expertise to the book, as well. My purpose is to raise the consciousness of divorcing couples. I want them to stop, talk and create a caring plan of action before having that first crucial conversation with their children.
I also provide six essential messages every child needs to hear and understand when divorce or separation are pending. And I highlight all the short- and long-term advantages of choosing a “child-centered divorce” in the months, years and decades to come.
Protect your children from a dead marriage!
I wish all parents had the maturity and determination to re-connect, get professional assistance and stay together in a renewed commitment to marriage. That would absolutely be ideal. The entire family would benefit and the healing would be a blessing.
However, if children are being raised in a war zone or in the silence and apathy of sleep-walking through a dead marriage, STOP! Divorce may open the door to a healthier, happier future for parents and children alike. But only – and this is the key point – only if parents consciously work on creating a harmonious, collaborative child-centered divorce. A divorce that puts the children’s emotional and psychological needs first!
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Rosalind Sedacca, CDC is the founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, a Divorce & Co-Parenting Coach and author of the acclaimed e-book, How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide To Preparing Your Children — With Love! To access her coaching services, expert interviews, programs, e-courses and other valuable resources on divorce and co-parenting, visit: https://www.childcentereddivorce.com
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