Divorce and the Kids

By Martin and Josie Brown

March 10, 2013 3 min read

Dear John, After three years of marriage, my husband informed me that he has never truly loved me. I come from a very stable family, and I've never been exposed to this sort of behavior. He comes from a family background of divorce. My immediate concern is the well being of our 2-year-old son. As an adult, I can accept the relationship ending, but I don't know how this will impact the life of my son. I am worried that I won't know how to acknowledge his feelings or even know if he comprehends what is happening. I realize my son may need counseling for this in the future. How do I help him through this transition? —Feeling Numb in Dayton, Ohio

Dear Feeling Numb, At this moment, you are devastated about your situation and for good reason you're feeling hurt and angry.

The issues a parent may have about relationships don't have to be repeated in our children as they grow into adulthood. To nurture your son having a positive outlook on relationships, please always remember that children have very strong emotional "radar." They pick up on your anger, fear, hurt and disappointment.

The message you want your child to receive in the coming years is that both you and your husband love him, and that neither of you is leaving him. Ideally you'll avoid making negative statements about your husband in front of your child, and you will be able to encourage your ex-husband to stay active in the boy's life. Family counseling at some point in the future may well be beneficial for all of you.

Dear John, I just met a man online, and he sounds and looks like my type. However, he has accomplished a lot in life. That intimidates me because I just lost my job, and I am living with my mother. Actually, I haven't been able to move out of her home since my divorce five years ago. How can I overcome my feelings of inadequacy? —Hoping for Better Days in Springfield, Mass.

Dear Hoping, I'm sure that you have many accomplishments and that, in the past, you've made lots of contributions to your professional life, your community or to causes that are important to you. Do you have any hobbies or special talents? Do you have any long-term personal or professional goals? Self-assurance is what keeps others interested in us. Don't be afraid to be yourself. In the final analysis, you will find that the only thing holding you back is you.

2013 John Gray's Mars Venus Advice. Distributed by Creators Syndicate. John Gray is the author of "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus." If you have a question, write John in care of this newspaper, or by email at: www.marsvenus.com. All questions are kept anonymous, and will be paraphrased.

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