Raising teenagers is not for the faint of heart! The scheduling debacles, the lack of communication, the one word answers! It’s enough to drive a parent crazy! I’m not saying there is some magic solution to these issues, but I did find an article that I agree with wholeheartedly about raising teens and children in general. The main points I want to highlight:
- BE CURIOUS. When we judge our kids we naturally shut them down emotionally and make them less likely to share their true feelings.
- HEAL YOUR OWN TRAUMA! Raising kids is hard! One of the the things that makes it so incredibly difficult is that as we raise them, their actions and experiences often trigger our own unhealed wounds and traumas. This can be major things like the example in the article of the mom becoming anxious at her daughters potential sexual activity due to a past history of sexual assault. More likely, however, our children trigger more minor traumas from our past. As an example, lets say you were rejected in the past by a boyfriend or never felt your dad really cared about you. Your teen’s greater independence can trigger that past rejection and make certain normal teen behaviors feel painful and anxiety provoking for you. How do you heal this trauma? With EMDR of course! I do believe that is the best way, but certainly any practice that you engage in to raise your level of awareness is going to help a lot! This includes meditation, yoga, and any introspection or writing practice you might do.
- LEARN ACTIVE LISTENING. Learning to listen without finishing your child’s sentences, responding to text messages, or trying to teach them a lesson, is the most valuable parenting tool their is! If you don’t feel confident in your ability to listen deeply in a way that encourages your child to talk, “How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk.” is a great book on the subject.
- HAVE A SATISFYING LIFE OF YOUR OWN! This one is a no-brainer. It just makes sense that if we are living our lives primarily through our identity as a parent all of our parenting challenges are going to be magnified. We will unconsciously put a lot of expectations on our kids. This can make them less able to share their true feelings with you out of fear of disappointing you. If you have lost sight of your own needs and wants and don’t remember makes you happy as an individual, find a good therapist to help you! (Ideally working with me!) I specialize in helping moms reconnect with the parts of themselves that have been lost in the parenting process and create a life they love.
I hope this food for thought helps remind you of the great parent you already are! Maybe there are some tweaks you can make, but overall I think you’re doing an amazing job! Every parent has their own unique and difficult struggle. I truly believe we are all doing the best we can with the tools we have! For more information, inspiration and encouragement on the path sign up for my newsletter!
Read the full article here:
My teenage daughter was seeing a movie one night with a group of friends. When I called her to coordinate her Uber ride home, she didn’t answer. Finally, two hours later, she answered her phone and told me she was on her way home. Something felt off.
I let her know how worried I had been not to hear back from her. The next morning she came into my bedroom and said, “Mom, I wasn’t really at the movies last night. I was at a kickback.” For those parents who haven’t heard, it’s basically a casual party with a bunch of teenagers “kickin’ back.” Original, huh?
We live in a mostly peaceful, fairly suburban wedge of a pretty large and sometimes very tough city. I knew that raising my kids in a diverse setting meant they’d encounter situations that required skill to maneuver. I needed to make sure they could make good decisions on their own.
So, starting when my children were in preschool, we’ve been playing a game in which I would describe a situation, then ask whether it was a health or safety issue.
Can you eat a pile of candy for dinner? No, sorry, this is a health issue.
Can you cross the street without holding my hand? Sometimes, depending on how busy the street is.
Any issue that fell outside the bounds of health or safety was one they were entitled to decide for themselves.
Can you go to school with your hair in knots and unbrushed? Sure, if your fashion sense is to look horrible, so be it!
These are my parenting parameters — these rules determine when I step in and when I lean back. So when my daughter told me that she had lied about the kickback, I went back to that rubric of health and safety. I calmly explained to her, “Sweetie, if I don’t know where you are, I can’t keep you safe. And that can create a dangerous situation.”
I ran a few scenarios by her: What would’ve happened if the party had gotten rough? Or if you started to feel sick? Because of the lie, you might’ve felt hesitant to call me and ask for help. This is a safety issue.
I did not shame or interrogate her — I also told her that while I consider her “very smart and capable,” life can deliver curveballs, and I want to help her catch them. She agreed to always tell me exactly where she was going, including the address, in the future.
I told a friend of mine, who is also the mother of a teenager, what went down. She asked me repeatedly why I didn’t punish my daughter for lying. The thought hadn’t occurred to me. My focus was on keeping the lines of communication open.
Subconsciously I must’ve felt that harsh discipline would give her reason to shut me out and lie again to get back at me; I wanted her to learn to make her own decisions and always come to me when those decisions were difficult.
Teenagers need to individuate from their parents and test out their own theories, rules, and values. But how do we make a space for individuation while keeping them safe?
According to Advocates for Youth: “A major study showed that adolescents who reported feeling connected to parents and their family were more likely than other teens to delay initiating sexual intercourse. Teens who said their families were warm and caring also reported less marijuana use and less emotional distress than their peers. … When parents and youth have good communication, along with appropriate firmness, studies have shown youth report less depression and anxiety and more self-reliance and self-esteem.”
If we want our kids to talk to us about all their challenges — including sex, drugs, and situations in which they might feel preyed upon — and we want to impart our wisdom to open ears, we must work on making communication a two-way street.
1. Allow your children to have separate thoughts and values.
Our children are separate people and might have different values. This can be incredibly challenging to deal with. For instance, a transgender teen in our community tried for months to win the approval of her father, who repeatedly stated that her sexuality went against his religion.
It wasn’t until she attempted suicide that he saw the damage his rigidity was creating. Make an effort to see your teenager as a separate individual — and allow them to express their individuality — you don’t own your child.
2. Be curious.
The greatest gift you can give a teenager is curiosity about who they are. When my kids were in kindergarten I started a game. I’d say, “Vanilla ice cream or chocolate ice cream?” “A vacation by the beach or in the mountains?” “Getting angry with me or getting angry with your dad?” I learned so much about them through this seemingly pointless banter. If you show curiosity about the little things, it’ll open a portal into more open communication and connection.
3. Get a life of your own.
Are you hyper-focusing on your teenager to avoid your own life? Helicopter parenting is an epidemic these days. The revered psychoanalyst Carl Jung observed, “Nothing is a bigger burden on children than the unlived life of the parent.” If you want your kids to talk to you and confide in you, the first step is to make sure you’ve got your own life together.
Jung also said, “Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.” Are you modeling a fulfilled person? Or are you attempting to live out unfulfilled dreams through your kids? Kids will stop sharing their lives if they sense your motives are tainted.
4. Deal with your own history and trauma.
I have a friend whose teenage daughter initiated a conversation with her about potentially having sex for the first time. During the talk my friend started crying and saying she was “worried and fearful” for her daughter. My friend was molested when she was 15 and, without intending to, was projecting her trauma onto her daughter.
This girl has since stopped talking to her mother about sex. When my bewildered friend told me this, I encouraged her to spend some time in therapy so that she could separate her painful experience from her daughter’s very healthy natural explorations into becoming a sexual being.
Separate your history from the present-day experiences of your child. If you can’t talk about difficult experiences, how do you expect your children to?
5. Learn to listen actively.
Are you listening as much as you are talking? Do you use “I” statements (“I want to make sure you are safe” versus “You are screwing up your life!”)? If a conversation with your teen tends to evolve into a heated debate, step back and ask yourself whether you are disagreeing with your child’s feelings or actions rather than intently listening with the desire to understand him or her better.
It’s impossible to be a perfect parent, but if your intention is to guide rather than control, if you’ve examined your own motives and life, and if you really listen — you have a much stronger chance to have open, honest communication with your children.
People often assume that an amicable divorce is easy and that children do not suffer as much when there is less conflict. To a certain extent this is true. No one can argue that having parents who respect each other and are able to compromise and communicate are much better for children. However having an amicable divorce has it’s own challenges. It is often much more confusing for children when their parents don’t argue and they can’t identify a clear reason for the split. I found this article that raises a lot of good points about amicable divorce and children. Check out the full article here.
When divorce is an obvious solution to a disastrous marriage, it’s easier for kids to understand. If either parent is abusive to partner and kids, an addict whose habit has thrown the family into poverty, or a criminal in the world and a tyrant at home, it makes sense to children that the more balanced parent would want to take them away from all that. When home is a place filled with tension, where everyone has to walk on eggshells to avoid a blowup, where the primary contact between the grownups is fighting and violence or seething hostility, kids often want out as much as one of their parents.
But what can the kids make of it when the reasons for the divorce aren’t so obvious? Adult reasons aren’t always appropriate to share with kids. The reasons you can share may seem lame to them. You’re not happy. You and your partner don’t share the same interests, activities, or goals. You or your partner is attracted to someone else. Sex isn’t what you think it should be. Daily life is boring at best; clouded by low-grade hostility at worst. Little decisions get left to one or the other. Big decisions seem impossible. Maybe there is a hidden addiction (gambling, shopping, Internet porn) that is eroding the marriage but isn’t visible to the children. You and your partner aren’t a team. You aren’t in love. You think life has to be better than this. But you’ve been wise enough to shield the children from your growing unhappiness.
Adding to the kids’ confusion is that you and the other parent have managed to work out a way to be responsible parents in spite of growing apart from each other. Maybe you’ve divided the turf, with each of you taking on different tasks — one becoming the caregiver; the other doing specific routines. Maybe you can’t talk to each other but you can both talk to the kids. Most important, the kids know you both love them. Kids, being kids, think the way you are together is the way all parents live. They think your family is no different from anyone else’s. They think everything is fine.
Although an amicable divorce is what most adults would want and what is ultimately better for the kids, it only adds to their bewilderment. If you guys can get along so well, they think, why couldn’t you just stay married and keep our family together?
Make no mistake. For the children in such a situation, your divorce is their catastrophe. They can’t believe it. From where they sit, you’ve got a good family. They love you both and don’t believe that you don’t love each other. Their usual reaction is panic and protest. They don’t want it to happen. They worry it’s their fault. They fantasize they can do something to stop it or fix it. They worry their parents will divorce them, just as they are divorcing each other. They hate it. They may even hate you for disrupting their life, for making the other parent leave, for changing things that seemed just fine to them.
Helping your kids through your amicable divorce is a long-term proposition. Since there was no obvious blowup and blowout, the kids will return to questioning the decision at each stage of their development. If you expect it, if you respond with age-appropriate answers, if you can avoid being defensive, the issue will quiet down again until the next developmental milestone. It often takes until they are adults and have had experience with adult relationships for them to really understand.
There are some common and predictable issues at every “why did you have to go and get a divorce?” conversation along the way:
- The kids will wonder if somehow the divorce is their fault. Since they don’t understand adult reasons for separating, since they are by definition narcissistic little beings, they will assume that it is something they did or didn’t do that drove one parent away or made the other one unwilling to stay a couple. Little kids will think it’s because they did something “bad.” Older kids will think they didn’t do well enough in school or didn’t obey enough of the rules or weren’t the right kind of kid. Teens are especially vulnerable to thinking it’s all their fault. You and their other parent will need to reassure them many, many times that the divorce is not about them.
- The flip side is that they will fantasize that they can get you two back together. They may even try to engineer it. They will try hard to be extra, extra “good” so that you will want to be a family again. They will try to manipulate situations so that you and the other parent have to get together and talk. They may try to sabotage a new relationship. You and their other parent will need to relieve them of their imagined responsibility for recreating the family. You’ll need to explain many, many times that the divorce is permanent.
- The kids will worry you will “divorce” them too. Their reasoning is that since you once loved your partner but left, you could leave them too. You and their other parent will need to explain to them frequently that partner love is different from parent love and that there is nothing they can do that will make either of you stop loving them or being their parents.
- In their efforts to make sense of the situation, kids will sometimes decide that one or the other parent is really the bad guy. Sometimes in a moment of temper, they will say terrible things: “You’re such a ____, it’s no wonder my father/mother left you!” “My dad/mom must have an awful secret or you wouldn’t have left!” Whatever your own feelings about your former spouse, kids need to feel that they have two good parents. You both will need to explain many, many times that the other parent is a perfectly good person but wasn’t a good partner for you.
- Often kids will make threats in attempts to get their parents to stay together or reunite. “I’ll run away.” “I’ll hate you forever.” “I won’t cooperate with your arrangements for where I should live or who I should be with.” You and their other parent need to repeat many, many times that you understand why they are so upset but that threats don’t solve the problems. You’ll need to have many, many serious talks about what might make things work better for them.
There’s no such thing as an easy divorce when there are children. Divorcing amicably doesn’t guarantee that the children will go along with the new arrangement without turmoil. They need empathy. They need your support. They need you to acknowledge that you are disrupting their lives. They need to be validated that you are making the choice that, yes, you are really so unhappy that at this point your happiness comes before theirs.
When parents are honest about how hard the divorce is on their children, the kids usually eventually accept it. It’s unfair to expect them to like it. It’s unreasonable to look to them to support the decision. But when children and teens feel heard, they are more likely to join in constructing a new idea of their family. The parents’ job is to work very hard to be cooperative co-parents and to do as much as possible to accommodate the kids’ needs for predictability and stability in the midst of the major disruption that even the most amicable divorce creates for them.
Do you secretly hate mother’s day? This holiday is NOT about where are we going to get the best brunch. Here’s how you can start enjoying Mother’s Day again.
I have a confession to make. It’s kind of embarrassing. As much as I talk about gratitude and radical acceptance, Mother’s Day has (in the past) been a set up for failure for me. I even kind of dread it. Every year, it brings out a side of myself that I don’t like that much.
It’s become even harder since my divorce. As a single mom, there’s no other adult in the house to make sure the kids do something nice for you. Single mamas have to plan the celebration for yourself by yourself. To me, it feels lonely. My kids are awesome. It’s not them. It’s me. I want to be with my own mom, but she lives on the other side of the country. I feel resentful of all the ways that my life doesn’t match up to how I thought it should be…. You know, the Norman Rockwell image of family life I dreamed of. I get pouty. It’s not attractive or evolved.
So many of my clients also have problems with this day.
There are the women who are in relationships that lack appreciation and love. They feel even less appreciated on this particular day.
Even some happily married women suffer when their spouses don’t meet some minimum requirement. They usually have a lot of guilt on top of this because they think that they “should” feel blessed and happy all day.
Even tougher to bear is Mother’s Day for women who have lost their mothers.
And what about all the women out there who really want or wanted to have children and can’t…
And mothers who have lost a child…
Let’s face it, Mother’s Day is really awful for a LOT of women everywhere. There have been years that it made me angry that we even celebrate it. It seems like it just rubs salt in some of our deepest collective wounds.
This year, however, I came across something in a blog post by Marie Forleo that transformed my view of Mother’s Day and I hope it will help you too.
First of all, I learned that the original purpose of Mother’s Day was not about showing appreciation for your own mother. This really surprised me. I knew the original purpose was not buying cards and going to breakfast, but I did not know how truly distorted this holiday has become until now.
The original purpose of Mother’s Day was actually to bring recognition of the importance of mothering in the world. There is a movement going on now called “Take Back Mother’s Day” launched by the Compassion Collective. Here is a quote from their website:
Mother’s Day was not created by Hallmark, but by a revolutionary warrior for peace. Julia Ward Howe — abolitionist, activist and poet — was the founder of the original Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870. Tired of war, tired of tribalism being valued above the lives of the vulnerable, her pain became her mission. She called out for revolution.
She called the day of the revolution: MOTHER’S DAY.
This really hit me. It made me realize that….
A MOTHERING revolution is what the world needs in order to heal.
This is what Mother’s Day is about: REVOLUTION. How can we better mother the world? How can we appreciate that we as mothers are the ticket to healing the world? How can we take greater responsibility for all the children because, “there is no such thing as other people’s children.”
This holiday is NOT about where are we going to get the best brunch! This transformed my entire conceptualization of Mother’s Day. When Mother’s Day is about sending compassion, love and healing out into the world to help all the children (young and old), there really is no room for resentment or disappointment. I feel only gratitude for all the blessings that life has showered onto me and enthusiasm to share those blessings with others.
If you want to contribute to the movement, you can find their link to make a donation on my FB page. It’s called the Compassion Collective and they are doing amazing work to help both refugees internationally and homeless youth here at home. Their maximum donation is $25. Any amount helps. It is a zero overhead group so you can be sure your gift counts and goes right where it’s needed most.
Think about it for a minute…how would our world be better if we all, men and women, women with children and without, together, began to consciously and deliberately embody these qualities of the great mother in the world. What would the world look like? How would your own behavior change? Take a minute to write your thoughts in the comments below. Your Mother will thank you!
My intention with this blog moving forward is to explore and provide helpful content on issues of mothering, parenting, single parenting and co-parenting, spirituality in daily life, yoga, mindfulness, self-compassion, gratitude, healthy divorce, break ups, trauma, and getting through life’s big challenges. Please sign up below if any of this resonates with you and share this post on your favorite social media by clicking the share buttons above. Lets get this message out there in a bigger way and turn this Mother’s Day into an act of caring for the world.
I work with many people who come to me for divorce and break up support. One of the things that they struggle with the most is the awful feelings of rejection that they endure after a split.
One of the things I found most relevant about this article is the acknowledgement that this pain of rejection lights up the same exact part of our brains as physical pain. I think anyone who has experienced this can attest to how badly it hurts. This stems from an evolutionary wound carried over from cave man days. Back in primitive times, to be left out of the tribe meant certain death. In reality, our brains haven’t changed much since these times. We are all running on very outdated software.
The fact is, that most of the pain of rejection comes from these outdated neural pathways. When we feel rejected, we awaken a primitive fear of death. This fear leads to horrible self-criticism. We basically abandon ourselves from within. Next time instead of responding with harsh self-criticism, try a little loving-kindness and self-compassion. There are some useful tips in this article to soothe yourself when you feel rejected. If you need more help developing compassion and a deep loving relationship with yourself, get in touch here.
Psychologist Guy Winch shares some practical tips for soothing the sting of rejection.
Rejections are the most common emotional wound we sustain in daily life. Our risk of rejection used to be limited by the size of our immediate social circle or dating pools. Today, thanks to electronic communications, social media platforms and dating apps, each of us is connected to thousands of people, any of whom might ignore our posts, chats, texts, or dating profiles, and leave us feeling rejected as a result.
In addition to these kinds of minor rejections, we are still vulnerable to serious and more devastating rejections as well. When our spouse leaves us, when we get fired from our jobs, snubbed by our friends, or ostracized by our families and communities for our lifestyle choices, the pain we feel can be absolutely paralyzing.
Whether the rejection we experience is large or small, one thing remains constant — it always hurts, and it usually hurts more than we expect it to.
The question is, why? Why are we so bothered by a good friend failing to “like” the family holiday picture we posted on Facebook? Why does it ruin our mood? Why would something so seemingly insignificant make us feel angry at our friend, moody, and bad about ourselves?
The greatest damage rejection causes is usually self-inflicted. Just when our self-esteem is hurting most, we go and damage it even further.
The answer is — our brains are wired to respond that way. When scientists placed people in functional MRI machines and asked them to recall a recent rejection, they discovered something amazing. The same areas of our brain become activated when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain. That’s why even small rejections hurt more than we think they should, because they elicit literal (albeit, emotional) pain.
But why is our brain wired this way?
Evolutionary psychologists believe it all started when we were hunter gatherers who lived in tribes. Since we could not survive alone, being ostracized from our tribe was basically a death sentence. As a result, we developed an early warning mechanism to alert us when we were at danger of being “kicked off the island” by our tribemates — and that was rejection. People who experienced rejection as more painful were more likely to change their behavior, remain in the tribe, and pass along their genes.
Of course, emotional pain is only one of the ways rejections impact our well-being. Rejections also damage our mood and our self-esteem, they elicit swells of anger and aggression, and they destabilize our need to “belong.”
Unfortunately, the greatest damage rejection causes is usually self-inflicted. Indeed, our natural response to being dumped by a dating partner or getting picked last for a team is not just to lick our wounds but to become intensely self-critical. We call ourselves names, lament our shortcomings, and feel disgusted with ourselves. In other words, just when our self-esteem is hurting most, we go and damage it even further. Doing so is emotionally unhealthy and psychologically self-destructive yet every single one of us has done it at one time or another.
The good news is there are better and healthier ways to respond to rejection, things we can do to curb the unhealthy responses, soothe our emotional pain and rebuild our self-esteem. Here are just some of them:
Have Zero Tolerance for Self-Criticism
Tempting as it might be to list all your faults in the aftermath of a rejection, and natural as it might seem to chastise yourself for what you did “wrong” — don’t! By all means review what happened and consider what you should do differently in the future, but there is absolutely no good reason to be punitive and self-critical while doing so. Thinking, “I should probably avoid talking about my ex on my next first date,” is fine. Thinking, “I’m such a loser!” is not.
Another common mistake we make is to assume a rejection is personal when it’s not. Most rejections, whether romantic, professional, and even social, are due to “fit” and circumstance. Going through an exhaustive search of your own deficiencies in an effort to understand why it didn’t “work out” is not only unnecessarily but misleading.
Revive Your Self-Worth
When your self-esteem takes a hit it’s important to remind yourself of what you have to offer (as opposed to listing your shortcomings). The best way to boost feelings of self-worth after a rejection is to affirm aspects of yourself you know are valuable. Make a list of five qualities you have that are important or meaningful — things that make you a good relationship prospect (e.g., you are supportive or emotionally available), a good friend (e.g., you are loyal or a good listener), or a good employee (e.g., you are responsible or have a strong work ethic). Then choose one of them and write a quick paragraph or two (write, don’t just do it in your head) about why the quality matters to others, and how you would express it in the relevant situation. Applying emotional first aid in this way will boost your self-esteem, reduce your emotional pain and build your confidence going forward.
Boost Feelings of Social Connection
As social animals, we need to feel wanted and valued by the various social groups with which we are affiliated. Rejection destabilizes our need to belong, leaving us feeling unsettled and socially untethered. Therefore, we need to remind ourselves that we’re appreciated and loved so we can feel more connected and grounded. If your work colleagues didn’t invite you to lunch, grab a drink with members of your softball team instead. If your kid gets rejected by a friend, make a plan for them to meet a different friend instead and as soon as possible. And when a first date doesn’t return your texts, call your grandparents and remind yourself that your voice alone brings joy to others.
Rejection is never easy but knowing how to limit the psychological damage it inflicts, and how to rebuild your self-esteem when it happens, will help you recover sooner and move on with confidence when it is time for your next date or social event.
Divorce is hard. Anyone who’s been through it can attest to how difficult it is on so many levels. Having a healthier partnership with your ex can make things easier for both of you. I came across this article posted by a friend of mine that includes some powerful tips for avoiding the nasty conflict that sometimes goes along with divorce. The end of a marriage is a real opportunity to learn to rise above your ego, swallow your pride and focus on the positive in another person. These skills are valuable no matter what relationship you find yourself in!
Here is the original article, but I posted the content here for easy reading.
What about the kids? Every divorce parent worries about what divorce will do to their kids. It may keep you up at night obsessing over how you could prevent your children from experiencing such pain. As a clinical counselor, I want you to know that there is something you can do. It may sound like an impossible task, especially if the pain is still fresh. You might be thinking that I don’t understand. Based on my own experience, believe me I get it. I know firsthand the importance of creating a positive connection with an ex. We worked hard to lessen the impact by keeping communication open and eventually transformed our divorce into a working friendship. As a result, a harmonious (and yes, divorced) family unit was born. And my son loves it.
It only takes one
The secret is that it only takes one person to shift the energy and behave respectfully… despite what your ex is doing. What’s more; with continued effort, they often follow our lead. Unless there is physical or severe mental abuse, an amicable divorce is possible. Your ex’s name-calling and disrespectful comments don’t let you off the hook. Retaliating is never justified.
Studies show that the parents’ relationship after divorce contributes to the child’s ability to adjust afterwards. It is your actions that will minimize or contribute to their pain. It depends on how you choose to participate. Ironically, divorce is an opportunity to model healthy relationship behavior. As a parent, you want to do whatever you can to help ease your child’s pain. Here is your chance.
It starts with you
You can stop the cycle of blame and practice kindness all by yourself. You can refrain from participating in the fight. In order to stop fighting, you have to be willing to look at yourself.
Here are 7 keys to creating an amicable divorce:
- Be light and polite by remembering please and thank you. They go a long way towards being pleasant and are usually the first to go when divorcing.
- Ask your ex spouse’s opinion about the children. Don’t assume they’re always wrong. It’s easier than doing it alone, and even though you are no longer married, you have the joint responsible of raising and caring for your kids.
- Use time-outs to avoid blowups. Extended arguments increase the likelihood of frustration and even violence. Take a mental breather when conversations become too intense.
- Be accountable by acknowledging your mistakes. This creates a humble attitude rather than being right. Admittedly, this is not easy to do! But by recognizing and owning your problems, you’ll create a healthier and more productive with your ex spouse.
- Accept your ex spouse’s limitations. What drove you nuts when you were married isn’t likely to change. Don’t waste your energy trying to “fix” him/her.
- Stop talking about the marriage. Stop ruminating about the past (good and the bad). It’s over, right? Look instead to the future.
- Value each other’s unique strengths. Capitalize on where each of you parent most effectively and acknowledge areas where your former spouse shines.