web analytics
March 4, 2015 / 13 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addresses a joint session of the US Congress on March 3, 2015.
‘Alliance Between Israel & US Must Always Remain Above Politics’
Latest Sections Stories
Yarden Merlot

Bottles of wine accompany the Pesach storytelling – each glass of wine represents the four expressions used by G-d in describing the redemption of the Jewish people from Egypt.

Schonfeld-logo1

There is a point that many parenting books miss: children do more for us than we do for them.

Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte was a nine-year-old girl when Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base and destroyed her home.

The husband needs to make some changes!

Purim is a fantastic time for fantasies, so I hope you won’t mind my fantasizing about how easy life would be if kids would prefer healthy cuisine over sweets. Imagine waking up to the call of “Mommy, when will my oatmeal be ready?”… As you rush to ladle out the hot unsweetened cereal, you rub […]

‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.

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

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.

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.

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 was only in the reign of George III (1760-1820) that Jews became socially acceptable in Britain, and Nathan became music master to Princess Charlotte and musical librarian to King George IV.

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

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: