Question

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2011
Question
5
Sun, 11-06-2011 - 11:18am

I'm trying to help a friend, who is divorced.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2010
In reply to: chia2011
Sun, 11-06-2011 - 1:39pm

Very good questions...as a Mom AND a "Step" Mom..I have experience on both sides. And neither is always easy. I have been divorced for 7 years, my children are now 16 and 11. I have been a "Step" Mom for almost a year to two boys...9 and 8. Our 8 year old is also Autistic, which in itself, is a challenge.

1.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
In reply to: chia2011
Sun, 11-06-2011 - 3:40pm
Hi Chia--

Yes, it sounds like she would hugely benefit from a counselor----she's been divorced 4 years and it sounds like is having troubles moving on.

The answers to your questions would vary on the situation etc----esp on the nature of her civility with exH and the new wife etc.

There is a program called "DivorceCare" that has workshops all over----google it up, and see if you can interest her in that-----it gives her a support group to meet in and discuss all these issues.

Obviously she's not happy with the situation----but, it's what she's got. You can help her express her feelings , but maybe also help her problem solve how to deal with some of the issues, eg:

1. laying out her expectations to exH that exH will still be the primary "parenting" parent at his house for their kids (not that he is required to follow it, but some dads are clueless on this...doesnt hurt for her to lay out her expectations to him, anyhow.....as other poster pointed out, ....experts really DO recommend this)

2. (so much of this depends on thier amicability, etc), but meeting with SM (with dad there ) re: house rules at your place, and expectations of similar rules at dad's house----have things been "OK" this way so far? If so, then expressing your hope that this continues the same-------if SM parents her kids quite differently, how does exH plan to handle this? Again-----your friend really doesnt have a legal say in this (unless clearly negligence/abuse), but IF they are somewhat amicable/cordial/civil------then a discussion BEFORE the fact would (IMO) be a plus------like I said---SOME dads are clueless----and if new wife wants to jump in and "parent", some dads just let them------and if it's different than what happens at your place, dad will be placed in the middle, so might as well discuss this and get him thinkng on this ahead of time...., not?

3. If she IS really unhappy with things there,......and circumstances are changing in significant regards, it might be an option to consider filing for change in custody---doesnt sound like it's to that point yet.....

Her seeing a therapist would really be best, though........

keep us posted :)
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
In reply to: chia2011
Sun, 11-06-2011 - 10:01pm

I can kind of understand this. My ex was the one who wanted the div--our kids were 7 & 1.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
In reply to: chia2011
Mon, 11-07-2011 - 4:47pm
Hi Chia,

What a dear friend you are to try and seek out guidance to help your friend.

The other posters have already done a great job of answering your specific questions.

So, all I am going to add is this: just be her friend. Love her regardless of how she feels about all of this. This doesn't mean you have to constantly listen to her when she is in the "poor me" mode, but rather continue to suggest counseling and change the subject.

Sympathize "BF, I know this must be difficult...." Then remove yourself from the counselor role "Do you want me to help you find some support groups or programs for other parents after divorce"

Not saying it is easy for any of us in that situation (I am, also) but it is unhealthy to live in self-pitty around it.

Like another poster already said, it is another person to love my child.

Good luck with supporting your friend.
Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2011
In reply to: chia2011
Wed, 11-09-2011 - 8:59am

Thank you.