Artwork by Sandy Welch
My #1 advice to family members:
Do not spew toxicity.
I share this with you not from something I read or made up, but because I experienced it firsthand. My parents did not breed or spread any amount of toxicity associated with my divorce and it was one of the greatest gifts of my life. I don't know how they did it.
The ugliness of divorce can just about do a person in. It can be so full of anger, unfairness, disappointment, fear, betrayal, disgust, shame, deceit, blame, hatred. Certainly the person going through the divorce is usually the most vulnerable. It can be near impossible to not feel broken, weighed down, even paralyzed by something toxic during that time. At times I literally could barely breathe.
And yet, my parents took it upon themselves to not dwell in or add to the toxicity themselves. My phone calls with them were never about my former husband or my unfortunate situation. Their words were always uplifting and they were always about me...
"We believe in you. You are wonderful. You will be better than ever because of this experience."
"You have so much to offer. We're so happy to be your parents. We think you're doing just awesome."
"We're so proud of you and all that you are."
"We know that you have a good and beautiful life ahead."
"See this experience as an investment in your PEACE."
I cannot even tell you how THANKFUL I was that my parents took that path. It was the greatest thing they could have done for me in my lowest moments. They so easily could have expressed hatred, disappointment, fear, anger, etc....but they did not.
Instead, they put their joint efforts into instilling confidence in ME and building me up over and over and over again.
To this day, I am so grateful and amazed that they did that for me.
Sending love to anyone out there who is facing something difficult in their family right now.
Have you experienced a divorce in your family? What worked and what didn't as you all were healing?