Have you ever attended a wedding where the groom’s parents refused to be in the same photograph? Do you know a bride who had to keep her divorced parents separated during the reception? The resulting tension can be palpable to everyone and can taint what should be a joyous occasion for the loving couple.
A recent New York Times article
describes the additional stress felt by children of divorced parents both before and during their weddings. When exes have difficulty communicating with each other, planning the event is more complicated and stressful for their child, who may be forced to consult with each parent individually. If either parent carries lingering resentment about financial issues, conversations about wedding expenses can trigger unresolved anger. Questions about who will participate in (or even attend) the ceremony may arise if the child’s relationship with either parent was damaged by the parents’ split. All of this unresolved anxiety shifts the focus away from the bride and groom and the happy occasion.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Divorcing parents who choose the Collaborative divorce
process are asked to articulate their dreams for the future. These goals typically include aspirations for a healthy co-parenting relationship and financial security for both parents. Setting goals empowers them to co-write the ending to their own unique divorce story. Doing so restores some sense of control during a turbulent time. Less resentment means a more peaceful future for the entire family.
How a couple divorces has a ripple effect, impacting a wide circle of family and friends, with their children in the center. How they divorce will affect each and every future family event. What better wedding gift can any parents give their children than a day filled with loving support?
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