Since 1950, the number of one-parent families has increased substantially. Separation and divorce are high on the list of adult life traumas. Add to them shared custody and you’re dealing with a multitude of conflicted feelings especially when the children are still young. Money problems may become issues where they were never issues before. Working parents are no longer able to rely on the spouse to fill in if they have to work late. The single mom or dad needs to adjust to coming home to an empty apartment on those nights when the children are with the other parent. Also, the responsibility of raising a child without the support of the other parent in the home can be daunting. The parent with whom the child lives may find it difficult to begin to date due to the responsibilities of child care and feel the aloneness of being a divorced spouse. Those who can afford it often have help or enter the children in after school programs due to the demands of their professional life.
A 35 year old divorced mother with two children ages 7 and 9 was extremely torn between a promising legal career, a desire to begin dating, and parenting responsibilities. She felt that her ex husband had it easy as he only had the children every other weekend and one night during the week. While a devoted mom, she wanted more time for herself. In addition, having relocated here from the Midwest she did not have the support of other family members to help her. This loneliness is not uncommon for people living in New York, as is the expense of raising children here, even if the family has a lot of money. Entering a separation and divorce group with other single parents helped her to share her concerns and not feel so alone. For the first time she could talk about the ex husband having had an affair and the shame and rage she felt about his betrayal. Other single parents in the group were able to empathize with her and to give her the support she needed.
Dianne Heller Kaminsky, LCSW, BCD
Got thoughts or opinions on this topic? A helpful anecdote you want to share? Feel free to leave a comment below.
PARC © 2011. PARC (Park Avenue Relationship Consultants) is a group of highly skilled and experienced New York relationship therapists with private offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Riverdale and Long Island. Each PARC therapist is fully licensed and certified by New York State, and has extensive clinical training and experience working with couples, families and individuals. Privacy and confidentiality are guaranteed. Out-of-network only. For more information, please call PARC at (917) 340-7592 or visit parkavenuerelationshiptherapy.com.
Thanks for the post regarding the single parents. I too agree with you that the single parents are rising day by day with the hike in the divorce percentage. According to the recent data approximately 60% is the divorce rate which leads to the more and more single parents.
I think government should have to do some thing in this regard so as to decrease the divorce rate.
I salute you for being so brave in telling your story. I admire these single moms who push through with raising their children alone. You are an inspiration.
divorce attorney long island