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Greetings to all the Readcashers that make life in this Community, in this opportunity I wanted to share with you my experience on this subject, which I consider of great importance and sometimes, we take for granted or perhaps we do not dedicate the due importance to it, , especially in the form of how to approach it with our children.
To begin with, I must confess that I was the typical "Susanita" of the Mafalda cartoon (cartoon of Argentinean origin), who thought of marriage "until death do us part", the idea of a divorce never crossed my mind and even less that I was going to raise my children in a family nucleus without such an important member: Dad.
It was for me a really difficult decision that took me about two years, even I must confess that until the last moment I resisted and tried everything I could do, however, my heart knew that there was nothing to save and when I managed to understand this I could let go of that toxic relationship that paradoxically ended at that point of death, but not a physical death but of Love, of that state that once united us and that had vanished in us forever.
It's a very hard situation to process for adults, imagine then what it represents for children who have the illusion of living with mom and dad together every day, sharing every moment with their great loves.
Being in that situation I knew that I did not have the tools to explain the situation to Miguel, my son who was 4 years old at the time, and I wanted to help him in his grieving process, to take care of his personal world, because he was very closed to dad. Therefore, I had a clear priority that I had to make use of the necessary tools to give him all the support I could.
I sought guidance from a wonderful family psychologist; I followed her work closely because she is dedicated to the subject of conscious motherhood and she was my great salvation at that time. I remember that she gave me very clear indications, which I share with you in my words:
1. The only thing that is mutating with the divorce is the couple's relationship, the father-child and mother-child bond should not be broken by the separation and it's the first thing you should take care of and also transmit to the child.
2. Each one of the parents must take care to maintain this bond intact, each one is responsible for their relationship with the child.
3. Neither parent should interfere or limit the bond of the other, so you cannot use the child as a flag to inflict harm to the other, nor force the bond that does not fall within your sphere of responsibility.
These were the keys to our first conversation, she told me that under no circumstances could I lie to Miguel to paint a different reality to the one his has, nor try to replace with my presence the spaces that corresponded to the father.
She also told me that I should speak to him clearly, with few words, in a conversation no longer than 5 minutes, which is his attention span, emphasizing that the love of his mom and dad is still the same and that he continued to be the center of our attention, that he as a being was the sum of the best of mom and dad.
Another recommendation was to approach the subject not from the point of view of something that was fractured or broken, but rather, that a new family was being born, changing shape and that it was also perfect for us if we accepted this new reality that was presented to us.
This guide was very important to me, not only because it gave me peace and was a great point of support, but also because it allowed me to see divorce in a different way than I was seeing it at the time. For me it was a kind of existential failure and I was sadly stuck to that idea of a broken illusion.
The support I had from that family psychologist to change the perception I had of the subject was healing and liberating, it was no longer an existential failure but an opportunity to live other experiences and renewal. After the divorce, and even being alone with the upbringing and all that this may imply, I felt a Peace that I cannot describe in these lines, it turns out that I had lost it and I did not even realize it.
And I think that the understanding of this was what helped me to transmit the situation to Miguel, he also realized that days of calm came, and that despite the circumstances his mom and dad would always be there for him.
I'm still building this dialogue, Miguel still has some questions or concerns and we talk about them openly. It is extremely important to answer all their questions and concerns, even if they are repetitive, as well as to accompany them with love and patience in the adaptation and acceptance phase.
I hope these guidelines can help you in case you are going through a similar situation. The only thing I would like to add is to advise you not to get carried away by the emotion of that moment and always put your children first, act with maturity thinking that every word and action you say or do has an impact on their welfare and therefore it is of vital importance to always protect them in their process.
And of course, answering the question of the title of my post, the divorce has been a great opportunity for renewal in my life, of many learnings and personal growth, because after that I found myself again, and I am infinitely grateful for having done it.
Thank you very much for your support, see you soon!