Befriending After Divorce

Going To Bat For Your Ex? Why?


Marriages come and go, but divorce is forever

Recently I was on a radio talk show speaking about my new book, Befriending Your Ex After Divorce: Making Life Better for You, Your Kids and Yes, Your Ex. Someone called in and in an irate voice asked: “Befriend your ex? Why? What if you hate your ex? What if your ex hates you? What if you were betrayed and cheated on? What if your ex was verbally abusive to you?”

I paused. I took a deep breath. And I wondered what to say. Continue reading →

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10 Secrets To a Friendly Divorce

By Dr. Judith Ruskay Rabinor, Ph.D.

 

Fifty-two year old Rona arrived distraught and tearful to a recent therapy group I run. Her 31-year-old son Joey was getting married. Although he and his father were distant since the divorce decades earlier, and his father had lived across the country for years, Joey had decided he wanted to include his father in the wedding. Rona had been looking forward to this big day, but now she was filled with dread, anticipating feeling awkward, sad and alone.

Rona had been a devoted single parent. Now, she was conflicted. On the one hand, she knew her son’s desire to reunite with his father came from a deep longing. She wanted to honor his request. On the other hand, she hadn’t seen or spoken to her ex since Joey’s college graduation. Warren had left when Joey was young and only rarely and irregularly sent financial support. And now, he was remarried and Rona was not. Continue reading →

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When Divorce Expands a Family

Divorced families are often described as disconnected, diminished and cut off, but last week I met an old friend, Brandy, who reminded me that this stereotype is often unfair and inaccurate. Brandy’s story offers the opposite lesson: that while divorce brings with it many losses, it can expand and enrich a family, sometimes in incredible ways.

Twenty years ago, when Brandy married Joel, his active, energetic two year-old son Brian came to live with them.  One morning, late to work and racing to get out of the house, Brandy burst into tears trying to get Brian’s sneakers tied to get him to daycare.  Working full time and juggling their new domestic lives, she and Joel had quickly moved from the romantic stage of their relationship to “Did-ya-dump-the garbage-and-what-are-we-having -for dinner?” How had her life become so overwhelming? Continue reading →

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Co-parenting After Divorce: Making it Work

Greg and Elana are divorced for three years. Greg wants to enroll his gifted thirteen year old son, Alfonso in a special program for musically talented children. His ex wife, Elana, objects: it’s too expensive. Greg and Elana can argue for their separate positions, each accusing the other of being too extravagant or too cheap, too selfish or too unrealistic. Or, they can do what all the research on divorce advises parents to do: Communicate in the spirit of compromise and collaboration.

But as most divorced parents will tell you, communication between exes after divorce is generally challenging. Not only are children overwhelmed by the turmoil of divorce, but one or both parents is apt to experience a host of complicated emotional responses, including sadness, guilt, anger and /or resentment. Learning to manage their emotional responses—in the midst of creating a new life—– is not easy. And creating a new co-parenting relationship with one’s ex  is yet another challenge. Continue reading →

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How and Why Dads Can Befriend Their Ex

  How and Why Dads Can Befriend Their Ex

In a recent talk I gave to  divorced parents, after I finished speaking about the benefits of creating a friendly divorce, an angry voice called out, “Befriend my ex? You must be kidding! Truly, I’d like to behead her- not befriend her!” You may be asking this question, too:  Befriend someone who cheated on me with my best friend? Who has driven me to financial ruin? Was a flat our liar? My advice is both simple and complex:

    Why Befriend Your Ex? : Continue reading →

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Befriending Your Ex–My Personal Experience

BEFRIENDING YOUR EX AFTER DIVORCE: Making Life Better for You, Your Kids and Yes, Your Ex      By Judith Ruskay Rabinor PhD

 

Although a great many books have been written to help soothe a divorcing couple’s wounds and spare their children, the surprising discovery that ex-spouses can have positive, meaningful, and supportive relationships with one another is sorely missing from popular and professional literature. Befriending Your Ex:Making Life Better for You, Your Kids and Yes, Your Ex  helps to fill that gap. Story after story—including the author’s own personal story—reminds the reader that once the tsunami of divorce quiets down, exes can be friends who share a major joy: loving and raising their children. Continue reading →

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10 Secrets To Befriending Your Ex

Much to my chagrin, just six months ago my ex-husband, Arnold Rabinor was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was in the process of completing my book, Befriending Your Ex After Divorce: Making Life Better for You, Your Kids and Yes, Your Ex and Arnie and I had frequently joked about going on a book tour together with our current spouses! When he called to share the news of his diagnosis, he ended our conversation on a light note and said, “I guess we’ll have to put off the book tour for now.” Both of us knew that pancreatic cancer was deadly. Neither of us knew that within 10 weeks he would be gone.

My book had not yet gone to print, so I had the opportunity to dedicate it to him. Here is an excerpt I would like to share with you…Click Here for full article.

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Ex Spouses Get a Bad Rap

Debunking the stereotypes of the deadbeat ex-husband and the money-grubbing, vindictive ex-wife.

I recently had dinner with three college friends I hadn’t seen in decades, all of us now divorced. Before we knew it, we were talking about our ex-husbands. Ruth casually mentioned she was looking forward to having lunch with her ex-husband. They speak frequently, not only about their two children, now grown, but about old friends and family. Laughingly, she told us they still argue over current events.

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Hump Days: Befriending Your Ex Book Review by Patti Cakes

A few years ago when I was going through an amicable, uncontested divorce, my friends asked me why it was taking so long. Since we didn’t have children and weren’t using attorneys, they thought the process should be a snap. Well it wasn’t. If you’ve had two plants growing in the same pot for many years the roots as well as the vines will become intertwined. You have two choices: you can dump out the plants and yank them apart, or gently disentangle them so that they will each thrive once they are transplanted in new soil. Separating a couple is no different. When you’ve intertwined your lives for a number of years, let alone a couple of decades, ending it as painlessly as possible is no easy task. Moving a step beyond pain avoidance, it can take some effort to remain friends, but it is well worth it in the long run. You may be asking yourself “If we couldn’t stay married, why in the world would I put any effort into being friends?” There is a new book out by Dr. Judith Ruskay Rabinor that explains why. The book is called Befriending Your Ex after Divorce: Making Life Better for You, Your Kids, and Yes, Your Ex, and I, for one, am thrilled that she’s published it. I recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Rabinor regarding her new book which was published earlier this month…. Click here for full article

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