web analytics
November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



When Your Ex Puts Your Child In The Middle (Conclusion)


Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

Dear Mordechai,

When I decided to get a divorce, I resolved early on to take the high road. Whenever my children are in earshot, I am careful to refer to my ex in only posi­tive terms. I stick to blame-free explanations for why my marriage ended, and keep my venting phone chats with my sister, late at night, when the kids are asleep. It hasn’t been easy, and no I’m not perfect. I’ve slipped here and there, but overall, I’ve protected my children from the fallout of my feelings. Last weekend, though, my daughter returned from her mother’s house and said, “I know why you and Mommy divorced. It’s be­cause you lied to her!” Guess what? It’s not the first time. I’ve spoken to her about it, and she only defends her behavior; I don’t think she’ll ever change. Now what?

(Answer, continued from last week)

When faced with your ex’s bad behavior, you must be sure that your child understands the following:

• You are responding to your child’s feelings, not to those of your ex.

• Sometimes people – even parents – behave in ways that are inappropriate. You can be trusted with your child’s feelings and confidence; you will not fly off the handle and confront your ex.

• You will help your child find better ways to deal with these painful situations in the future.

• So how can you accomplish this without breaking the golden divorce rule of don’t criticize your ex? You stick with how your child feels about your ex’s com­ments instead of dealing with the comments them­selves. In your case, your ex told your child that the divorce ended because you lied. How do you think your daughter felt to be told that her world fell apart be­cause of your lying? You don’t want to say to your child equally venomous words like, “How dare she! You want to talk about lying. She should look in the mirror. You know your mother….” Why would your child ever come to you with similar issues in the future, if she knows that she’ll get more poison? But she is not seeking only answers, but someone who can help her resolve how incredibly awful it feels to hear a parent attempt to destroy her relationship with her other parent. Simply respond to her by telling her that you can imagine how she must have felt under those circumstances – “Wow, you must’ve felt somewhat sad to hear Mom say stuff like that.” This tells your daughter you really hear her “heart,” not just her words.

This opens up a conversation about how your daugh­ter can manage her feelings, and perhaps talk to her mother about the way she speaks about you, or simply for the two of you to be able to talk about this stuff in the future. Your daughter will be relieved to know that you truly understand what it’s like for her to be in that position. Give her the chance to respond, and don’t feel the need to “counter” her mother’s attack, if she says something like – “Well, yeah; I mean she’s always say­ing how you weren’t there for us and stuff.”

Understand, when just dealing with your child’s feelings, you allow her to open the conversation about many other things she’d never feel comfortable dis­cussing, had you just responded by countering her mother’s statement. So what do you finally say about Mom’s critical points?

Be gracious. Explain to your daughter that in gen­eral, it takes “two to tango” and of course, you made certain mistakes…telling her, for instance, “And when people are divorced they often go back – in their minds – and blame the other, so it’s not so unusual for one parent to pin it all on the other. But as you know, any relationship is so much more complicated than that. Imagine a simple argument you have with your broth­er. Both of you are convinced the other one is wrong, and the truth is generally that both of you could have done things to avoid the whole problem.”

With this type of understanding, your daughter will breathe a sigh of relief and continue to talk to you about her innermost thoughts for many years in the future.

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 “When Your Ex Puts Your Child In The Middle (Conclusion)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Channel 10 Poll on Arab Rule
POLL: Israeli Arabs: Under Which Government’s Rule Would You Prefer to Live?
Latest Sections Stories
Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Astaire-112114-Horse

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

L to R: Sheldon Adelson, Shawn Evenhaim, Haim Saban

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

South-Florida-logo

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

It was a land of opportunity, a place where someone who wasn’t afraid of a little hard work, or the challenges of adapting to a different climate and culture, could prosper.

Rule #1: A wife should never accompany her husband to hang out with his buddies at a fantasy football draft. Unless beer and cigars are her thing, that is.

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

The two World Series combatants, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, were Wild Card teams (meaning they didn’t win their respective divisions) that got hot at the right time.

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/when-your-ex-puts-your-child-in-the-middle-conclusion/2006/06/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: