lessons daughters learn from divorce

12 Lessons Daughters Learn from Their Parents’ Divorce

lessons daughters learn from divorce


Women, and especially daughters of divorce, can put undue pressure on themselves to find the right partner, marry, and develop a happy home life. But if they possess this goal, it can present many problems. For the most part, women from divorced homes don’t have a healthy template to follow when it comes to nurturing and sustaining a committed relationship, making it difficult for them to know where to start.

The following lessons were derived from my own experience and conversations with over 300 women I interviewed for my book Daughters of Divorce.

12 Lessons Daughters Learn from Divorce:

1. Revisiting the past as an adult can help you heal. In order to overcome the legacy of your parents’ breakup, it’s essential for you to get a more balanced, realistic view of your parents’ divorce. Many women in my study discovered that a lot of their assumptions about the cause of their parents’ split were false after they examined it from an adult perspective.

As a result of gaining accurate information, many were better able to move forward with their lives (and in some cases forgive one or both of their parents).

2. Reevaluate your view of relationships and adjust your expectations. The reality is that with time people grow and change. This doesn’t mean love has failed. Simply because love doesn’t last forever doesn’t mean there was something wrong with it. If you are hard on yourself or your parents, you may need to adjust your standards.

3. Learning to love yourself is an inner journey that involves examining your past from a fresh perspective. Take the time to investigate any carry-over from past relationships that might impact current ones. As a daughter of divorce, you can be your own saboteur. Write a positive intention to accomplish each day; boost your confidence by setting a goal and achieving it.

4. Self-compassion is a life-long journey. You may believe that you’re being selfish when you take care of yourself, or you may be left feeling you don’t deserve to be loved or have to earn someone’s love. But these feelings are based on low self-esteem and not based in reality. Change negative self-talk into positive statements such as “I am getting stronger every day.” You deserve to be loved and cared for.

5. Establishing a healthy level of trust in a relationship is possible but takes time. When your first reaction is to act out of a place of mistrust, this shows a lack of confidence in yourself and your partner. Trust is a skill that’s built over time by observing consistency between your partner’s words and actions.

Learn to trust your intuition and instincts and extend trust to someone who demonstrates trustworthiness. Consider how much your mistrust is a remnant of the past or as a result of your partner’s present behavior. Listen to his or her side of the story before making accusations or issuing an ultimatum.

6. Practice being vulnerable in small steps. Being vulnerable and expressing your thoughts and feelings to your partner will allow you to build trust and feel more connected to them. Does your fear of intimacy translate into testing a relationship by picking a partner who is wrong for you or picking fights to get your partner to prove their love? Setting a goal of being more vulnerable and accepting of nurturing and support from your partner is crucial to enjoying a happy long-lasting relationship.

7. Emotional dependency isn’t love. If your relationship causes you to feel anxious or to question your sense of self, it may not be the best relationship for you. Ask yourself this question if you’re in a relationship: Is there something about the way my partner treats me that makes me a better person? If the answer is no, you may be settling for less than you deserve due to a fear of abandonment or of being alone. These are the two most common reasons women stay in relationships that aren’t meeting their needs.

8. It’s OK not to rush into a commitment. In fact, getting to know a partner over time is wise and can help you to gain confidence in your judgment. It’s important for you to feel relatively safe and secure before you make a commitment.

9. You expect a lot from your partner but you’re also a giver. Sometimes giving too much can cause you emotional pain but being a giver is something you take pride in. However, it’s key not to morph into someone else when you’re in a relationship with a taker who looks to you as their source of happiness and fun (and may have trouble being alone). If you’re a giver, be careful not to allow a taker to zap you of your time and energy.

10. Counseling, reading, and blogging are helpful supports and can help you cope. As you experiment with new ways of relating to others, giving and receiving feedback is essential to your personal growth.

11. Relationships are your teachers. As a child of divorce, you know the sting of loss and are fine-tuned to the signs of rejection and abandonment. However, whether they last three months or three decades, relationships can provide their participants with the love, understanding, and intimacy they need at the time. Often, the courage to end a relationship that is no longer meeting both partners’ needs shows the greatest strength.

12. Both chemistry and compatibility are essential aspects of a successful long-term relationship and it’s possible to have both. Keep in mind that you can determine what kind of relationship works for you. Love is a leap of faith and there are no guarantees. This is true for all people, whether or not they are a child of divorce.

As a daughter of divorce, intimate relationships and marriage may present many challenges to you, but you must also realize that you are also armed with your own strength to face and embrace them. Truth be told, all relationships end: through breakup, death, or divorce. Why waste time being preoccupied with the fear of your relationship ending?

The concept of a wedding, or even a successful marriage, may seem alien to you but commitment and possibly marriage can be a source of stability in an uncertain world and bring you happiness.

According to researcher Nicholas H. Wolfinger, marriage is still the preferred state for most people. In Understanding The Divorce Cycle, he writes: “Doubtless, many people who remain single throughout their lives are happy to do so, but marriage remains the normative experience for most of us: about 90% of Americans will wed at some point in their lives.”

In closing, the best relationships are ones born out of trust and vulnerability. In positive relationships, each partner approaches one another as an equal. The relationship doesn’t drain its participants; instead, it nourishes. A successful romantic relationship is where you feel at your best.

It is possible to be vulnerable with others without losing parts of yourself. By doing this, you’ll be able to restore your faith in love, trust, and intimacy.

Follow Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW on Twitter, Facebook, and where you can purchase her book Daughters of Divorce: Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents’ Breakup and Enjoy a Happy, Long-Lasting Relationship. Her new book “The Remarriage Manual” will be published in the spring of 2020 by Sounds True Publishers.

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kids pet divorce

4 Ways In Which Pets Can Help Children Deal With Their Parents’ Divorce

kids pet divorce


Divorce is always hard on those involved. A marriage falling apart is something no-one likes to see. Often though, the party most affected by it are the children. The sudden loss of stability, perception of weakness in their parents who otherwise previously appeared so strong to them and the general confusion at what the future holds can leave children with serious emotional consequences, some of which could last their whole lives.

In those difficult times, children will often look for things to cling on to for comfort. One such comforting presence is a pet. Pets have proven themselves incredibly helpful to children going through any sort of trauma, including divorce.

When everything else around them is stressful and seems to be collapsing, pets can have a massive positive impact on a child as they try and deal with all of the problems that come with a parent’s divorce. Let’s take a look at the ways in which pets can positively influence your child’s experience of divorce.

Pets Can Help Children Deal with Their Parents’ Divorce

1. Consistent Love

Though the large majority of parents feel unconditional love for their child, in the stress and turmoil of divorce, children can feel ignored. There’ll be a lot of moments where it will be difficult for an adult going through this tough time to give their child what he or she needs.

“Having a pet, particularly a dog, gives a child a companion who, no matter what is going on around them, will be a constant source of love or at the very least the semblance of love that can imbue their lives with a needed sense of consistency”, says Ira Byrd, lifestyle blogger at LastMinuteWriting and Writinity. Having a pet there will allow a child to feel loved when they are uncertain about the concept itself as they witness their parents’ relationship fall apart.

2. Mental Health Monitor

It’s been proven that animals have the power to reduce stress in human beings. This phenomenon is what has bred the growth and embrace of therapy pets, animals that travel with humans who suffer from PTSD, anxiety, depression and other psychological problems.

Even if your child isn’t explicitly affected to that degree, the presence of a pet is therapeutic and can provide positive, soothing emotions for them as they try and cope with the divorce. It’s also a good motivator for exercise, as a lot of pets encourage children to run around. The proven benefits on stress and mood of exercise make this a bonus reason why pets are good for your child’s mental health in this difficult time.

3. Someone They Can Talk To

Even adults will catch themselves talking to their animals, it’s a common part of the owner-pet dynamic. For children, the sense that their pet is actually listening to them is elevated and so it can have an extremely strong effect on them. Children need to talk through things during a divorce and it’s often the case that they will feel unable to discuss anything with either of their parents. On the other hand, a pet will listen to everything in a non-judgemental way. “In a sense, a pet can be a bit like a therapist for a child.

They can absorb everything that the child is thinking about a situation in a non-judgemental, quiet way and not expect anything out of the child in terms of behavior or mood”, writes Myra Mcguire, psychology writer at DraftBeyond and ResearchPapersUK.

4. For Security

One thing that can be really frightening about divorce for children is feeling like they have been abandoned by their parents. Parents might change in their children’s eyes as they go through the divorce process and, with all of the stressful complications that can arise in divorce, parents might find themselves very busy, without much time to attend to their child. Pets help children feel defended and secure, temporarily making up for the lack of security from the parents.


Divorce is never going to be easy on a child and it will always leave a lasting impression. However, having a pet by their side during the process really can help to mitigate some of the hardest parts of enduring this traumatic family event and can help them recover faster after the fact.

The post 4 Ways In Which Pets Can Help Children Deal With Their Parents’ Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.


Custody Options for Non-Biological Parents

Custody Options for Non-Biological Parents

You have to prove you are truly in the position of a parent despite not being biologically or legally related to the child.

The post Custody Options for Non-Biological Parents appeared first on Divorce Magazine.



Parents, Protestors & Picketing Activists Focus on Judge Recalls And Indictments


Contra Costa parents successfully gathered enough signatures to place three judges on a recall ballot, tripling the threat to the security of complicit judges who have been separating and bankrupting families in California’s family courts for the past two decades.. 

Joined by children who are the product of divorce in Silicon Valley, activists are turning their attention back to Santa Clara County to focus on Judge James Towery, Judge Joshua Weinstein, Judge Stuart Scott, Judge Cynthia Lie, Judge Lori Pegg and Judge Roberta Hayashi who have pandered to corrupt lawyers and loyalties over families they are elected to serve. 
Weinstein , who has returned to the family court after corrupting criminal cases is a new focus of social media hit pieces. 

Check out this link and guest Q post.;postID=6491986878894969875;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=0;src=postname
San Jose, February 28, 2019- 
Honesty, fair play, search for truth, unbiased application of enacted law, are among the “must have” qualities of a American Judge when they make binding, life-altering decisions on U.S. citizen’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Complaints against the California judges, and in particularly the Santa Clara County judges, supervised by the California Judicial Council, have grown in recent past.. Lack of transparency, for example;  no recording of court proceedings, judicial immunity, tampering of records, judicial misconduct tactics, cover ups, et al., renders judicial misconduct almost invisible.

However, public has grown increasingly frustrated and began documenting and sharing with the world the crisis of judicial corruption. For example, recent Santa Clara County public filings reveal uncontroverted facts supporting Judge Joshua Weinstein’s misconduct, corrupt acts, fraud on the court, creation of false record, et al.
It is such gross judicial misconduct that led to California State Auditor being asked to audit of the hollow California judicial oversight body, the state’s Commission on Judicial Performance

Ironically public had previously complained that Judge Joshua Weinstein routinely cozy up lawyers and “He is especially unfair to self-represented parties” see

Please direct your comments and queries to– news source for collecting complaints on Judge Weinstein. 

Recall Judge Program  Contact :



Parents, Rape Victims & Children Use Social Media to Catch Dirty Divorce Lawyers


Mocking government lawyers and judges on social media brings victims together


Divorce Attorney Valerie Houghton was indicted three years ago and is rumored to being given special treatment by Rosen

Santa Clara County has been violating ADA laws and victims rights for decades. Judge Mary Ann Grilli was previously sued for her unconstitutional conduct, and Grilli’s favorite divorce lawyers; Bradford Baugh, Hector Moreno and Valerie Houghton engaged in rampant tax fraud, as well as abuses of appointments for private judges, custody evaluators and minor’s counsel. 

James Towery, former Chief Trial Counsel at the State Bar has been protecting lawyers like Houghton, Baugh and Moreno for decades. Jim Hoover, Donelle Morgan, Walter Hammon  and Bill Dok have been implicated as well, along with newcomers Heather Allan, Jessica Huey, Jennifer Mello, women lawyers willing to get appointments and discipline immunity the old fashioned way: On their backs. 

Judge Robert Hayashi  and Judge Lori Pegg have been drinking from the same water cooler with Towery and Jeff Rosen’s wife, Amber Rosen, excepting that disregard of the law would be protected based on the good old boy network operating Silicon Valley Courts. In return, Jeff Rosen has given judges a free pass on public corruption and taxpayer waste investigations. Front and center in the cover up is Jeff Rosen’s top prosecutors including David Angel, John Chase, Jay Boyarsky and even former reporter and public information officer Sean Webby.

One victim of attorney Nat Hales described who  Hales, along with other divorce lawyers including Michael Smith, Neville Spadafore, Robert Redding, James Cox , Ed Mills and Irwin Joseph have rigged divorce cases, bankrupted families and promised favorable outcomes for sex and cash payments in Santa Clara County divorce cases through private judging cases that gouged families and children for hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen has prosecuted parents for minor child support and custody violations, while he ignored systemic corruption in the county’s family courts. 

Victims subjected to years of abuse by divorce lawyers overcharging, selling homes and raiding retirement accounts and who were ignored by mainstream media have turned to social media and memes to tell their stories and expose corruption. 

Social media has also  drawn the attention of Facebook, Netflix , and Google, who have faced legal and media attacks for their publishing of stories that many victims know to be true. 

Q is seeking stories and support from union employees in law enforcement and county agencies, as well as Oracle, Cisco, Netflix, Google, Yahoo and Paypal in order to expose corruption in Silicon Valley’s family courts. Email us your story, or send us contacts to tech and social media companies willing to help catch these career criminals.



Pedestal or Pit? The extremes of narcissistic parents


Children of narcissists often experience extremes in the behaviour of the narcissist both towards themselves and others.  In fact there is often confusion over the diagnosis of bi-polar and narcissism due to the manic behaviours associated with both (Federman 2013).


These extremes can be experienced by the same child within the same hour, leaving children of narcissists extremely confused and insecurely attached (which we will look at later).


Children often find that they are either the Golden Child or the Scapegoat.  So let’s look in more detail about what these terms mean.


Golden Child


On the surface the child appears to be able to do no wrong.  They are the perfect child of the perfect parent (the narcissists twisted view of their reality).  They parade them around like a trophy.  Initially this may sound like positive parenting, being supportive and encouraging, but when you look a little deeper, you start to see the unrealistic and unhealthy parenting traits.


The narcissist will push the child to be the best.  They will coach them tirelessly.  Whatever skill the child has will be utilised to the extreme.  If they are academic, they may push them to read endless books, one after the other, until the child cries for a break and even then it will be “don’t you want to be the best?”.  If they are athletic, they will be up at the crack of dawn doing a punishing training schedule.  Again, whilst you may be reading this and thinking “that’s how champion’s are made” let’s look at the impact on the child in this situation.


The child may enjoy reading or running but they may also enjoy sitting eating pizza with their friends.  But the narcissist won’t allow that.  The narcissist is focused on ensuring the child becomes the best.  Because to them, that will mean that THEY are the best.  Narcissistic parents can see their children as extensions of themselves.  When their child gets praise, they believe it is them who is being shown adoration.  Every success is THEIR success.  And the narcissistic parent is desperate for people to see how clever/beautiful/skillful/powerful and ultimately BETTER they are.  And their children are the fast track to that.


So the child is placed on the pedestal (with the narcissist parent closely by their side) for all to worship.


But what about the child who isn’t naturally gifted?  How do they fit in?




This child is the epitome of all that is wrong within the narcissist.  The narcissistic parent will seemingly hate this child because they also see them as an extension of themselves.  But the parts the narcissist doesn’t want anyone else to see.  The child can do no right.  Everything is their fault.  Think Cinderella’s evil step mom but on steroids!


To the narcissistic parent, the scapegoat is their true self.  The parts of themselves they detest.  When they look at this child it is like looking in the mirror.  They see all their own failings in this child and can’t help but point them all out.  When they criticise the scapegoat, they are in fact criticising themselves.


I think it is important to point out at this point that gender is not an issue here.  Golden child or scapegoat can be either son or daughter.  Extensions of self are not about physical appearance (although any compliments paid to the child – “he/she is really cute”- will be absorbed by the narcissist).  They are extensions of their soul, their inner self, their subconscious.


Also, a child can be BOTH golden child and scapegoat and often within the same day.  One minute they can be on the pedestal, the next they are languishing in the pit of despair as they have caused narcissistic injury to their parent (although they may not know why).  The narcissistic parent has a very fragile sense of self, fleeting between self love and self hate with great intensity.  And the more stressed the parent, the more intense, extreme and regular those fluctuations occur.  This can be very confusing for a child who is never quite sure whether they are loved or loathed.


Impact on attachment and personality development


Our attachment style is a direct indication of how we were parented and so this element in the narcissist’s psychology is two fold when they become parents.


Firstly, they are usually unable to form secure attachments to their children because of their own internal battle between love and hate.  A child, who they co-created and is therefore part of them, represents the physical embodiment of all the parents’ hopes and fears (this is normal and natural).  To a narcissist, they see themselves in this little person and often feel terrified.  Terrified that they will turn out just like them.  So they may pull away.  Leaving the child feeling rejected and unsafe with the narcissistic parent who in turn will pull away leaving the parent feeling rejected and insecure.


For a child to develop a secure attachment, they need to have faith in their parent that they will be there for them when they cry, feed them and keep them safe (Bowlby 1969) but a narcissistic parent lacks empathy (the ability to read other people’s emotions) and so would not be able to respond naturally and instinctively to a baby’s needs.  This can lead to anger from both child and parent as they are “out of sync” and can cause long term damage to the attachment as they become detached from one another and eventually avoidant (Ainsworth 1970).


Added to that, a narcissist has an idealised view of love and has to be centre of attention.  A baby can take the other parent’s attention away from the narcissist which destroys their sense of importance.  They quickly become jealous of the child and “punish” both parent and child by withdrawing even further and reinforcing the avoidant attachment.


As the child grows up and may begin displaying some talents which the narcissistic parent feels they can use, the narcissist may try to get involved again.  The child, who has always craved the attention of the narcissistic parent, relishes this new interest and will “perform” as requested to ensure they remain involved (conditioning).  But as discussed above, the narcissist parent will prone to “push-pull” parenting and therefore the child is left feeling confused, rejected and often angry.  They struggle to trust and can self loath.  Thus repeating the cycle within their own adult relationships.


What can you do if you are a child of a narcissistic parent?


The most important thing you can do is to practice self love.  Work on your self esteem and change how you view yourself.

According to Bowlby (1969), early attachments act as a prototype for future relationships via the internal working model.

There are three main features of the internal working model: (1) a model of others as being trustworthy, (2) a model of the self as valuable, and (3) a model of the self as effective when interacting with others.

Start working on these three elements by surrounding yourself with trustworthy people, identify your value to others and society, and recognise the quality relationships which you have with those around you.  Daily affirmations to confirm these beliefs can help to re programme your internal working model and therefore improve your future relationships.


If you are struggling with dealing with a narcissist and would like some support please do get in touch:










Ainsworth, M. D. S., & Bell, S. M. (1970). Attachment, exploration, and separation: Illustrated by the behavior of one-year-olds in a strange situation. Child Development, 41, 49-67.

Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment. Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Loss. New York: Basic Books.

Federman, R (2013)