The Upside of Divorce and Children

It would be hard to disagree that a happy relationship, with both parents in one home would be the ideal for any child. However, in the case that this doesn’t work out, just know that all is not lost and there are many benefits to going your separate ways. This sounds like a bit of an oxymoron and it is understandable that if you are presently contemplating divorce or recently been through it, you may take some time to embrace the positivity in this sentiment.

Getting divorced was undoubtedly the most stressful time of my life. I had no idea what I was in for and certainly have empathy and respect for each and every person having been through it. The build up to making the decision and the discussions thereafter, filled me with fear and anxiety that was completely foreign to me. I felt cornered and paralysed at every turn and nights became a long nightmare of insomnia and worry. I had somehow lost a large part of myself during marriage and motherhood and my self confidence was at an all time low. In my previous life I was a Vet with a clinic, house and car. Now I was a lost soul, struggling to make sense of how that person had become this. Sad, angry and scared I moved out and so began a new journey… 

Months after leaving home I started noticing small benefits my new life path was taking and slowly but surely a change in perspective of what I was experiencing took place. It took a while to adjust to not being with my children every day as well as the letting go of who and how they were being cared for on the other side.

Parental benefits

And then one day it dawned on me that this was the absolute best of both worlds; I had my cake and could eat it too. I suddenly had time to reconnect with myself and was able to give attention to what else I wanted to do with my life. This gift of time meant I had freedom to explore and take back control. There were new work and study opportunities, as well as online dating where I met interesting people I wouldn’t normally meet in my everyday life. I got my power back and it felt good!

The more independent and fulfilled my life became the more I realized I was becoming a much better mom. I started appreciating my children so much more and they me. I loved having them here with me and also loved my space when they were not. 

After leaving home, their dad was able to become a lot more involved without my interference which meant his relationship with the children strengthened too. Getting to know and experience their parents as individuals has definitely given the relationships an added dimension.

Two homes for the children

The children are a lot more independent because I am not around all the time and because I am not with them all the time I have also stepped back even when they are with me, a win win. We have learnt from each other not to be codependent.

They are more flexible and versatile because their two homes are so different. They learn what works for them and start taking responsibility for their own needs being met. Other caring adults in the form of parents having new partners in their lives has been an unforeseen bonus and enrichment of theirs.

Yes, it is annoying moving from home to home however it means they have learnt to be organised and look after their stuff. (When they do forget things, we don’t make a big deal and just go fetch because it’s not their fault they have two homes).

Children adapt and see the benefits quite easily with a small amount of encouragement. They notice immediately that parents are happier out of the conflict zone. They will tell you it’s great because they get to celebrate twice for birthdays and other special occasions.  I suspect that the bond between siblings is strengthened by divorce. And a great upside of having two homes is taking a break from a sibling from time to time and spending one on one time with the other parent. 

And there are other benefits too, as we learnt yesterday during lockdown – when mom turns off the wifi and you are sulking in your room, it’s quite easy to text dad for an airtime top up and then convert it to data, hmmm..:).

And I’m sure you are wondering how this has anything to do with Hypnotherapy?

A large part of what we do in hypnosis is reframing happenings in a way that is useful to our subconscious thought processes. By focussing on the benefits and gains of any experience, we create space for more of those beneficial thoughts. This is how healthier neural pathways are created which in turn open us up to automatically start behaving in a more positive way. The spinoff of not forcing two adults to stay in a conflict situation will most certainly have a positive ripple effect throughout their lives and especially the children’s lives. The more we choose to focus on those benefits, the more benefits we start to notice. 

Hypnotherapy can be very useful in processing emotions and reframing beliefs around failed relationships and the feelings of loss and failure after divorce. As with any loss it is usual to experience the five stages of grief and it is most important to support and care for yourself in any way that works for you. Caring for yourself emotionally, physically and mentally is the best thing you can do for you, your children and anyone else that is part of your life. I would love to help you with this process, please mail me when you are ready. I’m also comfortable doing sessions online.

“Change is painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.” Mandy Hale