web analytics
February 28, 2015 / 9 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Adults Who Were Children of Divorce: Meeting With Your Parents Today

Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

As adults who were children of divorce know, healing does not occur through time alone. In fact, my research found that only 46% said they had a positive relationship with their fathers as adults.

This means most of you have been left with a feeling of isolation from at least one parent, and very often from both parents. It is the ongoing dream of the children of divorce, even as an adult, that their parent someday will finally understand and love them the way they’ve always hoped. Now that you’re an adult, you might have a relationship with a parent that is still strained. Perhaps you’ve considered expressing genuine feelings to your parent just to feel finally heard but don’t know how to go about it. Too often, these conversations end in acrimony and regret that you even tried to have them in the first place. In deciding to speak to your parent(s) today consider: What is my goal?

There are realistic and unrealistic expectations that go into the emotion of “finally getting it off your chest.” More often than not, our instincts and emotions take us on the wrong approach. Perhaps you’re angry and are just going to vent. This will end in a screaming match and likely not help you at all. Others are hoping their parents will say something that will provide instant healing and of course, then come to realize that there is no magic potion. Maybe you want to blame your parent and make him or her feel bad for the pain you were caused. Sadly, you’re likely to feel no better after that conversation.

The Right Goal: Being Heard

The best way to have a conversation about the hurt of your childhood is to approach your parents with the goal of being heard.  It’s the most you can realistically hope for, and a goal that can be immensely satisfying. You want that one moment in time when your parent can listen and begin to feel what it was like to be you as a child. Here’s how to set up this meeting for success:

1. Tell Your Parent You Want to Talk About Something Serious: Don’t sneak this conversation in at the holidays or some unplanned moment. If you want to get the best response from your parent, let him or her know you want to have a conversation about something important to you. Express your need for undivided attention and set up a time and place that will allow both of you to talk privately.

2. Set Up a Place and Time that Works: Just because your parent says he or she can have the conversation right now, even though the grandkids are running around the house and Thanksgiving dinner will soon be ready, doesn’t mean you have to concur. You don’t want to feel rushed, hungry, or tired while having this conversation. Plan a time when all of you are as clear headed and calm as possible. You also need a time limit. Keep the conversation to 30 minutes, then bring it to closure. If you spend more time talking, the conversation is likely to meander and that can lead to other touchy topics that aren’t purposeful to your goal.

3. Take Control of the Conversation: You made the request and you should be running the show. If you’d like, be prepared with written notes on the points you want to make. You want this conversation to be heartfelt, but you also don’t want to walk away feeling you forgot to say something important. Begin talking from the start, so that it’s clear that you have an agenda and a purpose for getting together.

4. Set the Agenda On What You Want: When you request the meeting, your parent likely will be unsure of what it is you want to talk about. Start off the meeting by making your agenda known.

Consider something like: Dad/Mom, I have some difficult things to share and I want you to listen. It may make you feel bad, but please understand I’m not looking for you to do anything about it right now. I’m not looking for an apology. That’ll be up to you, but you don’t have to apologize. I don’t want you to even speak at all until I’m completely finished with what I have to say. All I want is that you listen to me carefully and know that I want you to understand how I feel. I’m not looking to make you feel bad. I’m not looking to turn this into anything about you. It would just be so meaningful and such a gift from you if, for this moment, you can really hear what I’m sharing so that I feel you truly understand.

About the Author: Check out Gary’s web program where he interviews couples who share their struggles and innermost thoughts and feelings at mgaryneuman.com. Facebook or Twitter Gary at mgaryneuman. M. Gary Neuman is a NY Times best selling author and a frequent guest on the Oprah show. He lives in Miami with his wife and five children.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Adults Who Were Children of Divorce: Meeting With Your Parents Today”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
18,000 Iranian Centrifuges
Reducing Iran’s Number of Centrifuges Makes a Bomb More Likely
Latest Sections Stories
Niehaus-022715

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

Mendlowitz-022715-Basket

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Astaire-022715-Countryside

One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.

South-Florida-logo

Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.

The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…

The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.

It captures the love of the Jewish soul as only Shlomo Hamelech could portray it – and as only Rabbi Miller could explain it.

Erudite and academic, drawing from ancient and modern sources, the book can be discussed at the Shabbos table as well as in kollel.

I’m here to sit next to you and help you through this Purim with three almost-too-easy mishloach manot ideas, all made with cost-conscious paper bags.

Kids want to be like their friends, and they want to give and get “normal” mishloach manos stocked with store-bought treats.

Whenever he did anything loving for me, I made a big deal about it.

“OMG, it’s so cute, you’re so cute, everything is so cute.”

A program that started with a handful of volunteers has grown exponentially to include students from a wider array of backgrounds.

Tutor. Counselor. The doctor too,
Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with you.

More Articles from Rabbi M. Gary Neuman
Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

Sacrifice is the backbone of our souls. It indicates self-regulation for a higher purpose.

Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

Spoiler Alert: Going to see the movie “Saving Mr. Banks”, starring Tom Hanks is not like going to Disney World. Well, it is like going to Disney World if you go mid-August with your triplet toddlers, feed them all cotton candy, and lose your car because you forgot you parked in Pluto 7.394. It’s not a happy Disney movie.

Stacy and George walked out of the marriage counselor’s office angrier than when they arrived. It was their third session and this last fight over his ex-wife wasn’t going away. The fifty minutes spent embroiled in a detailed account of their battle only fired up their anger – and the counselor’s request to remember how much they love each other wasn’t helping. It would be a week before the next session and both of them were already talking about not coming back.

The therapeutic alliance has always been about a firm connection between patient and counselor. There has always been one primary standard – physically meeting in an office setting. There might be some phone calls in between sessions or to bridge some vacation gap. But therapy has always been about a feeling of connectivity and there is no better way to do this than face-to-face.

Cindy is 43, successful, attractive, a dedicated mom, extremely caring… and she hates herself. She doesn’t readily admit this, but spend a minute inside her head and you’ll discover the resounding messages revolving around negative rants – everything from “I failed” to “I should’ve done better.” You wouldn’t know it from her behavior. She’s a high functioning, regular member of society.

As adults who were children of divorce know, healing does not occur through time alone. In fact, my research found that only 46% said they had a positive relationship with their fathers as adults.

Stacy and Michael walked out of the marriage counselor’s office angrier than when they arrived. It was their third session and this last fight over his ex wife wasn’t going away. The fifty minutes embroiled in a detailed outline of the battle only fired up their anger and the counselor’s request to remember how much they love each other wasn’t helping. It would be a week before the next session and both of them were already talking about not returning for therapy.

From the moment they stand under the chuppah, newlyweds have two years to enjoy the special bliss that new love brings. This new finding, reported by the New York Times, is based on a study undertaken by American and European researchers. 1,761 people who got married and stayed married over 15 years were followed. The research shows that after two years the couples moved into a more companionable state in their relationships.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/adults-who-were-children-of-divorce-meeting-with-your-parents-today/2013/08/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: