Posts tagged ‘separation’

February 6, 2008

Single mom and growing daughter…

by Rod Smith

“I am a single mother with a teenage daughter. This is very tough: earning a living, trying to be available for school activities, trying to have a life of my own, and trying to make up for the absent father who could get in his car and visit occasionally but chooses not to do so – claiming it upsets his new wife. Now my daughter is at an age where her friends are much more important than her family and yet, while I want her to be free, I also do not want to lose the sense of family we do have. Please help.” (Letter shortened)

Your load is not an easy one. I’d suggest you allow the natural process of separation to occur while also keeping some semblance of a schedule that allows your family to remain in tact. Get your focus off what dad is not doing. Celebrate your daughter’s growth, her desire for friendships. Make it easier for her to find her feet apart from what you have known together. Create some flexible arrangement where you share a meal or a movie on a somewhat regular basis. Enjoy your own freedom in the midst of domestic demands. This will offer your daughter something attractive to call home.

January 1, 2008

Single-, or solo-parenting will probably improve if…

by Rod Smith

1. Your courage, determination and your willingness to fully live; your ability and willingness to employ all of your skills and expedite your wildest ambitions – will go a long way toward compensating for the absence of the other parent.

2. Being debilitated by the absence of a partner and living as if a successful life is impossible to lead without a partner will stand to hinder your child and your relationship with your child almost as significantly the absence of the other parent.

3. Having your own life, pursuing interests and dreams that do not involve your child, is good for you and for your child. The laser focus that often comes with solo parenting is hardly helpful to the parent or child.

4. Try to get the focus off your child and how your child is doing in the wake of finding yourself single. Single parents have reared many very successful persons and, believing your child will be successful, despite the absence of the other parent, will set a healthy tone for your family. Besides, as stated by family expert, Rabbi Edwin Friedman, when studied under a microscope even an ant (a small issue) can look like a monster (a significant problem).

July 26, 2006

How do you fix a relationship (that has been) burnt out by “lack of space”?

by Rod Smith

(This post HAS NOT been “finished” for the newspapers. It is a work in progress waiting for YOUR input – please comment and help other readers with your insight).

There is ALWAYS hope....

There is ALWAYS hope....

Remember there are NO easy answers when it comes to love and humanity and toxic love and fallen humanity.

It is very difficult, although not impossible, to “fix” a relationship that has been “burnt out” by “lack of space.” Sometimes, for grievously toxic couples, it might be impossible and a complete break-up may be necessary.

In a dating relationship a complete break (without the promise of something in the future) might be necessary. Yes. I mean a real and full and proper end to what was, with no hope or promise about restarting the relationship in the future.

In a marriage, the necessary journey toward simultaneous separateness and respectful togetherness is a tough, but achievable, one.

When emotional over-crowding (“space invasion”) has occurred, when two people, and for clarity’s sake I will call them Jack and Jill, have reached saturation point with each other, the very presence of Jack can send cold shivers down Jill’s spine. If Jill has felt invaded (consumed, overwhelmed, drowned) by Jack, this will only serve to make Jack become stronger in his attempts to re-establish the proximity he once knew. And the cycle continues (usually with even greater intensity).

At least one of the more difficult things for Jack to understand is that Jill wants to be without Jack, after having been so very “close.” It is difficult for him to understand how Jill could want, even enjoy, being without him.

Some separation (real separation) is probably required.

Both persons, during such a separation, will benefit from gathering their community around them for honest support.

Both persons, during such a separation, will benefit from seeing that there is life after this relationship, even if it does not feel like it.

Remember SPACE is needed because it was not there (established, discussed) in the first place! Everyone NEEDS space (separateness) and if this need is not met, the relationship will begin to shake and rattle and symptoms will begin to emerge in other areas within the relationship.