Marriage After Divorce – 5 Tips to Help Your Children Adjust

Unfortunately, second marriages have an even worse track record than first marriages. Part of this has to do with the kids, yours, his/ hers. Don’t get me wrong, it has nothing to do with the kids as people, the kids are all right. It has a lot to do with our feelings about them. And I mean kids all ages, including adults. So here are some basic tips to help your children, you and your new spouse adjust:

Family  having quarrel1) Remind your kids that they were conceived in love.

It’s important to remind your children that you love them and that you once loved your ex very much. And that every time you see the child, you are reminded of how much you loved him/ her. And then things changed. Whatever happens between both parents has nothing to do with them. The divorce wasn’t their fault, you will always love them. Saying “You’re just like your mother (or father)” should be the highest praise! If you need to vent about your ex, do so in therapy.

2) Prepare your kids

Remind the children that their mom /dad will ALWAYS be their mom/ dad. Your new spouse is just that, your new spouse, and NOT their parent. I’m sure you’ve read in countless books not to rush the kids into meeting your new beloved. If you are in a new committed relationship, it is up to you to tell them about it. I’ve met people who didn’t talk to their kids (according to age) about their new partner, and then expected the spouse to “win” the kids over relinquishing all responsibility. Being a parent, among other things, means helping your children adapt.

3) Get over your guilt

Maybe you never wanted your marriage to end. Maybe you feel bad about not being around enough or about not being emotionally available. It could be you don’t spend enough time with your children, or you spend too much time with them. Rather than deal with guilt, we usually try to squelch it. Guilt leads to self-hatred and makes recovery almost impossible. It can be a symptom of holding on to anger (towards your ex and yourself) and a lack of self-forgiveness. Take a moment to ask yourself if your guilt is allowing you to move forward in happiness in love, or is it holding you back? Does guilt build a better relationship between you and your children? EFT, also known as Tapping, can be of great help with this issue.

4) Politeness & manners.

You cannot expect or demand that children like or love your new spouse. Their attitude is their attitude, and they have every right to it. What you can expect -and demand- is courtesy, respect and politeness. Politeness is simply treating others as you would like to be treated yourself; it is taught and modeled by parents. Children of any age can be expected to say “Hello”, “Good-bye”, “Good Morning”, “Good Night”, “Please”, “Thank You”.

Manners are in decline, but it is a pleasure to sit at a table where people sit up straight, chew with their mouth closed, talk when they have no food in their mouths and where people are conscious of what they are eating and of the other people seated at the table. You should never allow your children to disrespect your new spouse. For that, you actually have to pay attention to what is going on, and listen when your spouse says your children lack manners and are not respectful. Remember, your childrens behavior towards your new spouse is your responsibility, tell them how you expect them to behave. Teach children that while they cannot always control the outcome of every situation, they can control how they respond.

5) Spend time with your kids on your own.

It’s your date night with your spouse, and your adult son is visiting you. Out of guilt you insist he comes along with you to dinner, and then you spend all the time talking to him and hoping your spouse will join in the conversation instead of the other way around. Let me tell you right now, this is a recipe for disaster. On your date night, go out with your date: your spouse. Plan another outing with your son, or your daughter, or your kids. Go out with them without your spouse. Give them your undivided attention, do something they like or want to do, go to “their” places.

Maybe your spouse is someone your kids would have liked on their own, but the place he/ she occupies in your life tends to make the relationship harder. Children are fiercely loyal to their parents. Maybe love will come in time, maybe it won’t, but these tips should help ease the transition.


Breakups and Divorce from the Perspective of Family Constellations: 6 Key Points

Patzia Gonzalez

  Happiness has a very short attention span,
 it forgets what came before.
 Unhappiness, on the other hand,
 has a very long memory.
~Bert Hellinger 


“Sexual relations create a deep and binding bond. When a man takes a woman as his woman; and a woman takes a man as her man, sexual consummation creates a deep, unbreakable tie that affects the soul. This tie is stronger than that of parent and child and makes it hard to leave the relationship without feeling guilty.” 

 Break-ups hurt; love pain is one of the worst pains we will ever feel. When the relationship is over, we tend to forget that once we were happy, passionate, in love we forget we chose to be with that person. We ached to see him / her, talk to him, and go out with her. And suddenly we become enemies, with passionate anger, resentment and hurt pride. 

 We hire attorneys to help us get back, get even, get everything from our former beloved, and many times our children are pawns to this unfortunate game. We long to be right, have our complaints addressed and be avenged through the legal system. At some point, it’s important to remember several key points:  

 The couple is separating; parents do not divorce their children.   

  1. Many times custody is awarded to one parent, limiting the other parent’s access to his or her children. So it’s crucial to remember that both parents keep all their rights and all their obligations.   
  2. Children cannot take sides against one parent without part of their soul being affected. They need to know that whatever is happening, is being experienced between adults. They need to know that even if you now dislike your ex-spouse, you are happy that your soon to be ex-spouse is the child’s other parent.   
  3. The children need to know that you will both continue to be their parents, and that in him (or her) you honour your ex-spouse.   
  4. Children are not their parent’s confidants. Even grown children should never be put in this position… please find a therapist, a support group or friends with whom you can share your grief, your anger and your resentment.   
  5. Children are not messengers or go-between the parents. Adults can communicate with each other without using the kids. Fortunately, there’s email and Messenger, so you don’t necessarily have to do it in person or on the phone.   
  6. Saying “You’re just like your mother/father” should be heavenly praise for a child, not an insult.   

 Separations ere excruciatingly painful, and they bring up a lot of previously unresolved grief. When a person is willing to face the pain, and allows this pain to enter their heart, their body and their soul with all its intensity and bitterness, this pain usually—most of the time—is short even though it seems it will never disappear. Nevertheless, when a person goes through it, taking responsibility for their pain and their part of what went wrong in the relationship, suddenly they wake up one day and notice the pain is gone, it’s done. Even though they may still have to work through some issues, they can now start looking at the future, and finding the gift in the awe-ful situation they have just survived. 

Children also go through a grief process and need a lot of support, empathy, and understanding. It may be hard for a grieving parent to be able to be there for them, therapy can help. Usually children feel responsible for their parent’s break-up and feel very guilty about it. When we can respect our ex-spouse in the children we will help ease their pain. 

Counselling and EFT can greatly assist in the process of rebuilding your life when your relationship ends; and as a support during the legal process of ending your marriage. 

We Are The Stories We Tell About Ourselves

by Patzia Gonzalez

“To be a person is to have a story to tell.” — Sam Keen

We all carry within ourselves our stories and the stories of our ancestors. Add to that, our culture also shapes the stories we hear and how we retell them. We hear others tell stories of our early childhood. All these stories shape us, and our perception of ourselves and the world around us.

In a recent workshop I asked if anyone could remember a specific event in their life that still caused some distress. A woman shared that “she felt rejected” and was very surprised when I said that wasn’t an event; it’s a theme.

As a theme, it’s composed of a myriad of very specific events that lead to the conclusion “I always get rejected, that means I’m ….” Feel free to fill in the blank: I’m not important, not loved, not worthy, dumb, dull, etc., etc.

A specific event is, “I invited my whole classroom to my 13 year old party. There were 30 kids in that classroom and I was very excited to have them come over to my house for a party. My mom and I planned the food, the games, prizes and party favors. The day of the party, my mom baked a chocolate cake, we decorated the house, set out the food and drinks and waited, and waited… and waited some more. Finally, four of my classmates arrived. All five of us had a good time, but I felt hurt and sad that my other classmates didn’t come or call; my stomach felt queasy and I felt a knot in my throat that wouldn’t allow me to express how I felt… rejected.”

When enough events that have the same feelings and sensations occur, they lead to the development of a theme or core belief. This theme or belief becomes the filter through which we tell our story and influences our thoughts and actions. It’s like a “forest” composed of “rejection trees.” You can see the forest, but not the trees. This theme, or forest, becomes like a very tangled ball of yarn.

To unravel this tangled mess, we need to find a specific event to start pulling the thread. The level of entanglement shows up in the difficulty to find a specific event, any specific event. “There are so many.” “Can you tell me one?”

Many times this question provokes silence and a frozen look on my client’s face. We then go to the sensations that come up in the body when the client says,   “I always get rejected.” In this case, the sensations are “a queasy stomach” and “tightness in the throat.” These sensations bring the emotions of hurt and sadness with them, and a specific event. We can now work on releasing the constricted energy that will allow you a different lens to see the event through. What happened, happened. How you view the event can change radically. When the way the story is told and lived changes, the theme or core belief changes too. Suddenly, the trees in the forest become visible and a space can be made for something new.

(c) Patzia Gonzalez