Therapy, It is not for You, it is for Your Child

The marriage or relationship is over. You tried, you tried really hard in fact. But at the end of the day, the two of you have parted ways. You feel like this is the end of the relationship and it is time for you to cut all ties. However, don’t forget about one very important piece of your life: your child. You had one or more children with this individual that you know you can no longer be in a relationship with. Maybe the two of you are on good terms; however, more than likely you are not.

Therapy After Divorce

The reality of the situation is, regardless if you like it or not, that other parent is going to be in your life for the rest of your child’s life. The very first step: deal with it. Otherwise, your child is going to be the victim of more aggression and harm than any child should ever experience. And if you are reading this article, I know you do not want to harm or abuse your child. Sigh, okay it is out there. I have to deal with the person who is the parent of my child, but of whom I am not very fond. Maybe the two of you are at least civil in each other’s presence, but when you get home you can’t even say the other parent’s name without a grimace or frown. Or maybe the two of you absolutely hate each other, never want to see each other, have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on attorneys to make the other parent’s life an absolute nightmare, and yet there is your child, yup he is still there.

So what do you do? You can’t go to the courts. Why? Because the courts are not going to make the other parent into the co-parent you have always dreamed of. Rather the courts are only there to make sure the child is safe and to ensure legal rights of all parties involved are protected and upheld. A court cannot make a person a better parent, sorry but you are out of luck. And although you think that person is not a good parent, well the court would simply respond with “he/she is good enough.”

With all of that stated, my piece of advice is to seek assistance from a family therapist, counselor, or other certified mental health professional. And no, this is not so you can rekindle the romance with the other parent, it is so you can figure out the ways you can be the best parent you can be. And if the other parent realizes the need to be a good parent as well, then he/she can be involved as well.

The best case scenario is for the two of you, with your child’s welfare at the heart of this entire endeavor, to see a therapist together and figure out ways to either co-parent or at the very least create boundaries to ensure stability and nurturing for the child. You only have control over yourself; but truth be told, I bet if you better yourself as a parent, somehow the other parent may also become a better parent when seeing your example.

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Angela McIlveen
CEO/Partner Attorney
Angela McIlveen is a founding Partner Attorney at the McIlveen Family Law Firm. As a partner at the McIlveen Law Firm, she handles cases in family law including child custody and support, divorce, alimony, adoption, separation, domestic violence and equitable distribution. She is often called upon to teach CLE classes to other attorney and to speak at events.

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