12 Classes Daughters Study from Their Mother and father’ Divorce
Women, and especially daughters of divorce, can put undue pressure on themselves to find the right partner, get married, and develop happy homes. But when they have that goal, it can pose many problems.
Lessons daughters learn from divorce
For the most part, women from divorced families do not have a healthy template to nurture and maintain an engaged relationship, making it difficult for them to know where to start. The following lessons were drawn from my own experiences and conversations with over 300 women I interviewed for my book Daughters of Divorce.
Looking back at your past as an adult can help you heal.
In order to overcome the legacy of your parents ‘separation, it is important that you get a more balanced and realistic view of your parents’ divorce. Many women in my study found that many of their assumptions about the cause of their parents’ separation were wrong after examining them from an adult’s perspective. By receiving accurate information, many were better able to get on with their lives (and in some cases to forgive one or both parents).
Re-evaluate your perspective on relationships and adjust your expectations.
The reality is that people grow and change over time. That doesn’t mean love has failed. Just because love doesn’t last forever doesn’t mean something is wrong. If you are doing yourself or your parents hard, you may need to adjust your standards.
Learning to love yourself is an inner journey where you look at your past from a new perspective.
Take the time to examine possible carryovers from previous relationships that could affect current ones. As the daughter of a divorce, you can be your own saboteur. Write a positive intention to accomplish each day; Boost your confidence by setting a goal and achieving it.
Self-compassion is a lifelong journey.
You may feel that you are selfish in taking care of yourself, or you may feel that you don’t deserve to be loved or to have to deserve someone’s love. But these feelings are based on low self-esteem rather than reality. Turn negative self-talk into positive statements like “I’m getting stronger every day.” You deserve to be loved and cared for.
Building a healthy level of trust in a relationship is possible, but it takes time.
If your first reaction is to act out of a place of suspicion, it indicates a lack of trust in yourself and your partner. Trust is a skill that is built over time by observing the consistency between your partner’s words and actions. Learn to trust your intuition and instinct, and expand that trust to someone who shows trustworthiness. Think how much your distrust is a holdover from the past or your partner’s current behavior. Hear his or her side of the story before making allegations or issuing an ultimatum.
Practice being vulnerable in small steps.
Being vulnerable and expressing your thoughts and feelings towards your partner can help you build trust and feel more connected to them. Does your fear of intimacy mean that you are testing a relationship by choosing a partner who is wrong for you or choosing fights to get your partner to prove their love? The goal of being more vulnerable and accepting your partner’s care and support is critical to a happy and lasting relationship.
Emotional addiction is not love.
If your relationship is causing you to feel anxious or to question your confidence, this may not be the best relationship for you. Ask yourself this question when you are in a relationship: is there something about the way my partner treats me that makes me a better person? If the answer is no, you may be settling for less than you deserve because of fear of being abandoned or of being alone. These are the two most common reasons women stay in relationships that don’t meet their needs.
It’s okay not to make a commitment.
Indeed, over time it makes sense to get to know a partner and you can gain confidence in your judgment. It is important that you feel reasonably secure before making a commitment.
You expect a lot from your partner, but you are also a giver.
Sometimes giving too much can cause emotional pain, but being a giver is something you are proud of. However, it is important not to transform into someone else when in a relationship with a taker who views you as a source of happiness and fun (and may have trouble being alone). If you are a giver, be sure that a taker is not holding you up with your time and energy.
Counseling, reading, and blogging are helpful supports and can help you cope.
As you experiment with new ways of relating with others, giving and receiving feedback is critical to your personal growth.
Relationships are your teachers.
As the child of divorce, you know the sting of loss and are prepared for the signs of rejection and abandonment. Regardless of whether they last three months or three decades, relationships can give their participants the love, understanding, and intimacy they need at that point in time. Often the courage to end a relationship that no longer meets the needs of both partners shows the greatest strength.
Both chemistry and compatibility are essential aspects of a successful long-term relationship, and it is possible to have both.
Remember, you can determine what type of relationship will work for you. Love is a leap of faith and there are no guarantees. This applies to all people, regardless of whether they are a child of divorce or not.
As the daughter of divorce, intimate relationships and marriage can present many challenges, but you also need to recognize that you are also armed with your own strength to face and accept them. To be honest, all relationships end: through separation, death, or divorce. Why waste time dealing with the fear of the end of your relationship?
The concept of a wedding, or even a successful marriage, may seem alien to you, but commitment, and possibly marriage, can be a source of stability in an uncertain world and bring you happiness. According to researcher Nicholas H. Wolfinger, marriage is still the preferred state for most people. In understanding the divorce cycle, he writes, “No doubt many people who remain single all their lives are happy to do so, but marriage remains the normative experience for most of us: about 90% of Americans will get married at some point in their lives . ”
In conclusion, the best relationships are those born out of trust and vulnerability. In positive relationships, each partner approaches equally. The relationship does not exhaust its participants; instead it nourishes. You feel best in a successful romantic relationship. It is possible to be vulnerable with others without losing parts of yourself. In this way, you can restore your confidence in love, trust, and intimacy.
Terry Gaspard on Twitter, Facebook and Movingpastdivorce.com
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This blog previously appeared on HuffingtonPost.com