Will my Child Survive my Divorce?

posted 31 May 2011, 08:05 by Collaborative Divorce News   [ updated 31 May 2011, 08:09 ]
Getting divorced is hard on you and harder still on your children. Here’s a story from a mother who was pleased to have chosen collaborative family practice for her divorce...

Christopher's my son. At 12 - he's a great kid. I love him to bits, but then I would because I'm his mum. So that's only right and proper. It's not his fault his dad Dan decided to trade me in for a new model. I was concerned that Christopher would blame himself - kids don’t differentiate between their parents falling out of love with each other, as opposed to their dads not loving them anymore.

I know Chris is a sensitive child. I remember when he was 10 and I picked him up from school he asked, as he always did, "How's PC?" (PC, short for "pussy cat"). Unfortunately, PC had died of feline flu so I had to stop the car and tell him. I tried to do it as sensitively and gently as I could. The outburst was both instantaneous and shocking. His immediate reaction was to tell me that if he hadn't punched his little friend "Hunt" in the face then PC wouldn't have died. Now how obvious and logical is that? It clearly is when you're 10.

I got to thinking, well, if Chris thinks that his cat died because of some childish squabble he'd had at school how much more will he be blaming himself for Dan not coming home in the evenings any more?

I had been horrified one night when I knelt down by his bed to kiss him goodnight only to find myself kneeling on a bag containing something lumpy and very painful. When I opened the bag I found all my bits and pieces of jewellery in there. "What's this Chris?" It transpired he'd overheard his dad telling one of his friends that he knew that I would be taking "all" of Dan's money. Clearly Chris thought that if he gave my jewellery to Dan that would be an appropriate way to redress the balance between his parents.

Dan's not a bad man - clearly a little misguided - well, misguided enough
to have left me anyway, but we all make mistakes after all. I dearly wanted to tackle him about having opened his mouth in front of Chris but I knew it would end in disaster where both us would take the moral high ground and end up shouting at each other and then feeling rotten.

So I talked to my solicitor about it and he explained about "Collaborative Family Practice" - where Dan and I could sit down with our Lawyers together and work out the problems. If we felt it would be useful, we could also be referred to a Family Consultant (Counsellor/Psychotherapist). We could talk in a safe environment about the issues, and get professional help and guidance together. We could work out a financial solution so that Dan could stop worrying about me taking all of his money
as well! And anything else which was bothering us - great!

And do you know it worked! It wasn’t always easy - but we got through it and at least all three of us - Dan, Chris and me still have a working relationship. I can’t help but wonder how different life might be for our son Chris, if I had not resisted the temptation of arguing and blaming Dan for our son’s worries.

To find out more about Collaborative Family Practice contact a collaborative professional in your area via the links on this website.