Most people turn to their friends and family for support and empathy when they are going through stressful family situations. Divorced parents that I speak with report that this is not always the best choice when it comes to discussing their high conflict divorce and parental alienation issues. In fact, most say that turning to their family and friends has been a big mistake.
When you share your personal divorce saga with your family and friends, it is very difficult for them to be objective. Most times they are incapable of seeing the situation neutrally because they are too emotionally involved. Friends and family members take your side without hearing the other side of the story because they want to be there for you. Unfortunately their bias may be your biggest issue in moving forward with your ex.
Although you might find your family and friends comforting, it can backfire miserably when it comes to dealing with your ex. Often times they will say, “It’s about time that you got rid of him or your kids will come back to you when they are ready, you need to move on for now.” All these responses do is fuel your hatred towards your ex even more and leads to even more emotional chaos that later affects your children. Once you open this door to accepting advice from your family and friends it is very difficult to close it. Instead of finding comfort, their advice often perpetuates more stress because you feel that you have to uphold their feelings as well when it comes to your ex.
When it comes to finding support from family and friends for parent alienation and divorce the better choice is to say, “Thank you for your advice but I need to figure this out on my own.” This statement will prevent you from your family and friends automatically taking your side or in some instances turning on you and taking your ex’s side. Less is more when it comes to sharing your story about your divorce issues with family and friends. Instead, the best thing you can do is turn to unbiased professionals.
Dr. Sue Cornbluth is a nationally recognized parenting expert in high conflict parenting situations. She is a regular mental health contributor for an array of networks and television shows such as NBC, FOX and CBS. Dr. Sue has also contributed to several national publications. Her new best-selling book, Building Self Esteem in Children and Teens Who Are Adopted or Fostered is available now. To find out more about her work, please visit Dr. Sue’s website.