Whether you’re divorced or not, if you have children, it is really “until death do you part.”

The only other person in the world who feels about your child the way you do is your ex-mate. On the other hand, when your relationship is discordant and you’re in opposition to one another, you burden your child with feelings of anger, separation anxiety, pain, and suffering.

And, because your child is the sum total of you and your ex spouse, he may feel conflicted in his own identity when either of his parents is attacked. This puts him in a double bind, as he struggles with loyalty issues, guilt, and the hurt of being left behind. However, if you can make peace, you will gift your child with the chance for a happy and healthy childhood.

The great thing about being divorced is that you can create your own space for happiness without having expectations for one another. As a result, you can achieve friendship by understanding your wants and needs and recognizing that sometimes what you need, is just not what you want.

Because you are no longer married, the things that bothered you about your relationship and your partner, no longer exist. And while ending a relationship can be filled with negatives, creating a new friendship can be positive.

Many therapists believe that when the anger settles, something new can be born out of the seed of love that once existed. After all, everyone who stood in front of that priest, minister, rabbi or judge and pledged to love one another forevermore, still exists, and divorce gives you the opportunity to reclaim some of that commitment in a new form.

By following my Empathic Process, you can listen to each other without defense. This creates a safe environment in which you can both be invested. Thus, together you can collaborate and build a new structure that can work for both of you, without the expectations and demands of marriage. This will keep you out of trouble, by finding a small place back in each other’s hearts.

The empathic process creates a safe space for not only anger and resentment, but also for grieving, healing, and acceptance, investing both partners in the outcome.

By recognizing and acknowledging where you are in your own healing process, you can take back your projections of hurt and injury by integrating them into yourself. Then you can choose what you want your relationship to be. Many people who have had terrible marriages do create wonderful divorces.

Remember that your children are a combination of both you and your spouse, so what you think of each other can be taken personally by him.


  • Dr. Gail Gross

    Author and Parenting, Relationships, and Human Behavior Expert

    Dr. Gail Gross, Ph.D., Ed.D., M.Ed., a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and member of APA Division 39, is a nationally recognized family, child development, and human behavior expert, author, and educator. Her positive and integrative approach to difficult issues helps families navigate today’s complex problems. Dr. Gross is frequently called upon by national and regional media to offer her insight on topics involving family relationships, education, behavior, and development issues. A dependable authority, Dr. Gross has contributed to broadcast, print and online media including CNN, the Today Show, CNBC's The Doctors, Hollywood Reporter, FOX radio, FOX’s The O’Reilly Factor, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Times of India, People magazine, Parents magazine, Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine, USA Today, Univision, ABC, CBS, and KHOU's Great Day Houston Show. She is a veteran radio talk show host as well as the host of the nationally syndicated PBS program, “Let’s Talk.” Also, Dr. Gross has written a semi-weekly blog for The Huffington Post and has blogged at EmpowHER.com since 2013. Recently, Houston Women's Magazine named her One of Houston's Most Influential Women of 2016. Dr. Gross is a longtime leader in finding solutions to the nation’s toughest education challenges. She co-founded the first-of-its kind Cuney Home School with her husband Jenard, in partnership with Texas Southern University. The school serves as a national model for improving the academic performance of students from housing projects by engaging the parents. Dr. Gross also has a public school elementary and secondary campus in Texas that has been named for her. Additionally, she recently completed leading a landmark, year-long study in the Houston Independent School District to examine how stress-reduction affects academics, attendance, and bullying in elementary school students, and a second study on stress and its effects on learning. Such work has earned her accolades from distinguished leaders such as the Dalai Lama, who presented her with the first Spirit of Freedom award in 1998. More recently, she was honored in 2013 with the Jung Institute award. She also received the Good Heart Humanitarian Award from Jewish Women International, Perth Amboy High School Hall of Fame Award, the Great Texan of the Year Award, the Houston Best Dressed Hall of Fame Award, Trailblazer Award, Get Real New York City Convention's 2014 Blogging Award, and Woman of Influence Award. Dr. Gross’ book, The Only Way Out Is Through, is available on Amazon now and offers strategies for life’s transitions including coping with loss, drawing from dealing with the death of her own daughter. Her next book, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, is also available on Amazon now and teaches parents how to enhance their child’s learning potential by understanding and recognizing their various development stages. And her first research book was published by Random House in 1987 on health and skin care titled Beautiful Skin. Dr. Gross has created 8 audio tapes on relaxation and stress reduction that can be purchased on Amazon.com. Most recently, Dr. Gross’s book, The Only Way Out is Through, was named a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Silver Medal finalist in 2020 and Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Awards in the categories of Death & Dying as well as Grief. Her latest book, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, was the National Parenting Product Awards winner in 2019, the Nautilus Book Awards winner in 2019, ranked the No. 1 Best New Parenting Book in 2019 and listed among the Top 10 Parenting Books to Read in 2020 by BookAuthority, as well as the Next Generation Indie Book Awards Gold Medal winner in 2020 and Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Awards in the category of How-To. Dr. Gross received a BS in Education and an Ed.D. (Doctorate of Education) with a specialty in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. She earned her Master’s degree in Secondary Education with a focus on Psychology from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Dr. Gross received her second PhD in Psychology, with a concentration in Jungian studies. Dr. Gross was the recipient of Kappa Delta Pi An International Honor Society in Education. Dr. Gross was elected member of the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta.