You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
Dear Dr. Sherry,
My former husband and I were separated and he began dating another woman. During this time he was not spending any quality time with our two children. He also attempted to file for dissolution of our marriage without my knowledge. The marriage ended several months later and the following month he married this woman and did not tell his family until afterwards.
Needless to say our children were impacted. How do I help my teenage children and other family members through this?
Deceived and Betrayed
While I hear you say that you want to help your teenage children and other family members, I really hear you asking for personal help dealing with your ex husband. I am sure the situation is tough for you, given how he chose to handle things. However, do not allow your hurt, anger and pain to shape your children's view of their father or other family members’ views of him. Your children and others will form their own opinions of him. You must separate your issue from those of other people.
Regardless of how your ex husband chose to deal with ending the marriage, that has nothing to do with your relationship with your children. You must take the high road here and be a mom who is now a single mom. You can be supportive of your children by validating their feelings and listening to them, if and only if, they bring up the topic of their father. Anything beyond that should be discussed and processed in a therapist’s office. If you truly believe that your children are having problems related to their father, get them professional help. I would also recommend that you seek help from a therapist too. This will provide an opportunity to process anger and/or other feelings you have regarding your ex husband and your new role as a single parent. You are not alone when dealing with marriages and other relationships that end less than amicably. It is not how it ends; it’s about what you have learned from the experience. Remember, life goes on with or without the person you once loved. – Dr. Sherry
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