Anger, frustration, pain, betrayal, all of these are normal and understandable feelings to experience during a divorce. But it is important to pick an appropriate time and place.
Robert Emery posted an article on Psychology Today discussing the consequences of speaking ill about your former spouse in front of your children. In previous articles, we have outlined how alienation can adversely affect not just your case but your family. While alienation is a real outcome, it may not be the target of denigration who suffers, but the source instead.
In his case study, Emery found subjects who lived in a home where one divorced parent spoke ill of the other parent, the child swayed more towards alienating the vocally negative parent. Referring to this as a “boomerang effect.” Unfortunately, this boomerang effect often alienated both parents from their child.
It is important to remember, both during and after a divorce, children are watching their parents. Anger, frustration, pain, betrayal, all of these are normal and understandable feelings to experience during a divorce. However, parents are not the only ones coping, so too are the children. This is not stated to cause guilt but as a reminder during a trying time. While venting frustration, it is important to pick an appropriate time and place. Close friends, or perhaps therapy, are a far more effective and constructive group to voice pain than in front of children.
The problem with speaking poorly about the other parent and former spouse is that everyone is hurt. Both parents could become alienated, the children will have a less happy childhood, and it can cause long-term irreparable damage to all involved.
If you face a divorce or alienation, speak to a St. Louis family law attorney to find out how to approach your case. An experienced Missouri lawyer can help guide you through the process and provide perspective.
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