Last week I attended a court ordered divorce class. It is a mandatory class for any person going through a divorce in the county that I live in.
Oh wait! Maybe I should bring you up to speed about this subject as I haven’t yet blogged about it. Here’s the scoop…I am going through a divorce. Now that you are caught up we can get back to the subject at hand, the divorce class.
As you can imagine, I was not looking forward to the class. Sitting around with a bunch of other people who are going through a divorce, including my husband, is not my idea of a fun night. However, I recognized that it was a necessary part of the process and I was receptive to any information that I might receive that would make the process easier. Especially any information that would make the process easier on my son as he is the one losing the most and is the most affected by the divorce.
What first struck me about the class was how HUGE it was. There was a TON of people there. On one hand that made me feel a little better about myself but on the other hand it also made me sad. Interestingly about 50% of the people there were sitting next to their soon to be exes. (The court encourages both parties to attend the same class.) I fell in to the other 50% as my son’s Dad and I are still struggling to find some middle ground most days. It was definitely encouraging to see so many people sitting next to each other though! In a perfect world, I would love for my son’s Dad and I to be friendly and get along with each other as I think that would benefit my son immensely! Time will tell if that can or will ever happen.
The first half of the class was focused on information in regards to navigating the court system during a divorce and what role the Friend of the Court plays in a divorce. The second half was spent discussing the effects of a divorce on the divorcing parties and their kids. I wish they would have delved more deeply into the effects the divorce has on kids and what you can do to help them cope with the changes that divorce brings. However, they did pass out a booklet which was not thoroughly discussed during the class but I perused it while I listened to the speakers. While looking through it I came to this page.
And I breathed a sigh of relief.
That pretty much sums up my son at this point.
I mean, I knew that those behaviors were probably stemming from the divorce but I found some comfort in seeing them listed in black and white in the book. And I know that with time these side effects will resolve themselves as he adapts to his new life.
I often feel very guilty for my son having to endure his parents going through a divorce. In fact, he is the main reason I tried to make it work as long as I did. But despite all of the challenges he is currently going through, I am confident that he will turn out to be a well-rounded and well-adjusted kid and adult. And above all, my hope is that I am showing him that when life doesn’t go according to plan (which happens more often than not) it doesn’t mean that the plan was wrong, it just means that the plan no longer fits you and the life that you want to lead. As life evolves so should your plans.