Do you know a divorced friend who refuses to get back into life? His child asks him to go fishing and he refuses as he no longer feels fishing is a good time. Another child asks her Mom to go to a “chick flick” and she says she can find no humor in life anymore. This may be understandable if these parents were recently divorced; however, if it has been a couple years or more, they are choosing to remain “stuck”. Overcoming divorce is hard but it is possible. Without confronting the heartache of divorce, one chooses to remain a victim. Sick people find some kind of comfort in this role. Perhaps this is because it requires nothing of them but the ultimate, continuous “pity party”. Unfortunately, this behavior is destructive to the children of divorce. Children want their parents to be happy. When that does not occur, their perception may be the following:
- It is my responsibility to entertain my sad parent.
- It is my responsibility to avoid any good times while my parent is hurting.
Our children’s purpose is not to rescue us nor entertain us. It is our responsibility to provide a safe, happy existence for them. Most importantly, it is important that parents strive to get the home (s) back to a form of normalcy as quickly as possible. The new family structure may look differently but a single parent home should still be welcoming, warm, loving, and happy.
This means that parents need to recognize that they are hurting but that they must face the pain, deal with it, and take positive actions to find wholeness. It is not fair to the children to live in a home where the single parent continues to be self-absorbed, depressed, and maybe even angry.
Divorce occurs in over 50% of the homes. Therefore, many parents have had to go through this difficult situation. Time will not heal this situation, although it may numb it. You must face the pain and ask God to help you heal for the sake of your children.
Remember: “The only thing worse than coming from a broken home, is living in a broken home.” (Dr Phil, TV series) You are the one that must heal this broken home for your children.
Read Chapter 28 in my book for further counsel regarding children and divorce.