Protecting Parent-Child Relationships

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned is a famous quip about the ability of women to hold on to a resentment and attempt to make her offending past love pay dearly. I think that this can apply to anyone that has experienced a divorce-men included. Part of the recovery process takes us through the strong emotions of anger. If we are not cautious when dealing with our feelings of rejection and anger, we can make some serious mistakes.

Remember the movie “War of the Roses” where Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner try to one up each other in their treacherous acts of vile hatred all because they realize their marriage is over. This was an awful yet potentially realistic portrayal of what people can do to each other when they are angry. The Rose’s went completely overboard.

Consider how the same emotions can affect our children when they are also going through a divorce. What you say about the other parent can adversely affect your children and ultimately hurt your relationship with them.

In the late 1970’s professionals began to notice that children who were deeply conflicted by their divorcing parent’s criticism of each other began to show signs of siding with one parent heavily over the other parent. According to “Parental Alienation Syndrome is a response to conflict between parents, most often in divorce, in which one or more children become aligned with one parent and become preoccupied with exaggerated and inappropriate criticism of the other parent.” In some severe cases children have become physically violent with the non-custodial parent who was criticized harshly by the custodial parent. The destruction of a parent/child relationship seems like an extremely high price to pay for vengeance of a failed relationship.

Help your children avoid Parental Alienation Syndrome by venting about your ex to other adults while your children are not present or can overhear.