By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Children are affected by divorce Not surprisingly, guilt is often an integral part of the equation for parents coping with divorce. No parent wants their child to have to go through the turmoil of a parental divorce or separation. This is especially true for the parent initiating the divorce. Sometimes the internal battle over whether to move ahead with the divorce can go on for years before the final decision is made. Complicating matters is the anxiety connected to breaking the divorce news to children and fear of the consequences for each child. Often, parents don’t want to discuss the divorce after the initial conversation. It brings up anxiety about what our children will be saying and reluctance to hear feedback that will produce sadness, anger or guilt in us. In addition, it may also be difficult to listen to negative comments
Divorce can be devastating on many levels. In addition to the financial and stress toll on both partners, it can easily wreak havoc on one’s self-esteem. Even those who initiate the divorce process can experience tremendous emotional turmoil resulting in guilt, anxiety and insecurity. Those who were not expecting or in any way desiring the break-up can come away feeling psychologically battered, confused and questioning their own worth.
Many caring parents I speak to admit to feeling tremendous guilt during and after their divorce. It’s easy to understand why. Parents who are aware of the emotional toll a separation or divorce can take on their children feel torn about whether they made the right decision. Are they being selfish in moving ahead with the divorce? Will this experience psychologically scar their children for life? Will the kids ever forgive them – or their other parent – for initiating the divorce? Are they making the right decisions regarding co-parenting, visitation, communication and discussing all related issues with the kids? These are valid questions to ask yourself. The answers should be seriously considered before making any move in the direction of divorce. However, divorce is never a black and white issue. Changing the form of a family unit doesn’t necessarily mean destroying the family or the love between parents and