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  1. Divided loyalties:

People generally, and children especially are good at sensing when something is wrong, and they are especially deft at picking up on hostility. Post-separation families typically struggle with knowing how to balance divided loyalties, feeling disloyal if they still love one person when the other is upset, and vice versa. When grandparents and/or other members of your extended family are conflicted over whether they should take sides, this only reinforces that feeling of confusion and can often damage relationships beyond repair. Now is not the time to choose sides and put pressure on those around you. What is needed most at this point is unity and understanding not only for the benefit of your family but also for you and your peace of mind. 

2. Emotional Distance:

The unfortunate reality is that divorce often creates an emotional distance between children and their parents. Divorce leads to a decline in the frequency and quality of parent-child contact and relationships and is sometimes more difficult for non-residential parents. As it is, many parents find that their relationship with their children is strained as a result of the divorce. This lockdown only exacerbates an already untenable situation. As time passes, the conflict between families decreases and the ultimate goal of divorced people should be to try and find a way (as trying as it may be at times) in which you can function as a separated family with as little animosity and confusion as possible.

3. Communication is key:

Whilst you may still be in the process of trying to understand and navigate your new life, children and extended family members are also affected by the divorce. The breakup of a parental unit brings with it many changes. The changes may be physical – the literal separation of each parent to different residences – as well as the emotional: primarily the confusion of not understanding what is happening and why. It is essential to communicate with those around you, not only for you to receive the necessary support, but also to provide the much-needed support to those around you who may also be struggling with this new normal.

Though there are a number of issues which may be difficult to manage whilst you are in the throes of separation or still experiencing conflict and frustration post-divorce, it is important to remember that there are solutions and remedies available to you.   

Author – Jessica Gooding

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