Survival

SURVIVAL

Do you ever survive the effects of divorce? If you have experienced divorce,
or knew someone that has, this is a question you will ask yourself. Ron and
Lilly were married for fifteen years and during the course of their marriage had
three children ages 8, 10 and 12. Ron worked as a private attorney in a solo
practice and Lilly worked in the home as a homemaker. Although Lilly worked in
the home, she had a Bachelors degree in early childhood development. She had
always wanted to work outside of the home, but she and Ron felt that it was more
important to care for the children full time. When her husband announced that he
was leaving, she wasn\'t surprised that he didn\'t care for her the same way he
did when they first met, but she never dreamed he would leave her and the
children.

Ron packed his things the next day while the children were in school. The
children were not informed their parents were separating and one day would
divorce. Lilly was left alone to deal with the emotional upheaval this would
cause the children. When the children returned from school, they sensed
immediately something was wrong. They knew their parent\'s were not getting along
and that their father was spending less time at home, however they never thought
this would happen. When their mother told them that their father would not be
living at home and that nothing else in their life would change, the children
looked with disbelief. The children started to cry, and Lilly as best as she
could, tried to console them. The lives of this family would never be the same.

Ron never discussed with Lilly how the finances would be handled, or how much
money she would need for her and the children to live on. Because Lilly never
worked outside of the home, Ron was now having to manage two homes on one
income. The children attended private school and were in several after school
programs that were very costly. The money Ron gave Lilly and the children, was
not enough to pay the mortgage, utilities, car note, food, clothes and the daily
expenses for the children.

Ron and Lilly\'s divorce caused severe financial and emotional instability on
everyone. Lilly and the children had to sell the home they lived in because they
could not afford the financial cost, or the upkeep that was needed to maintain
the home. Lilly and the children bought a much smaller home, in a not so great
neighborhood. Because of the move and lack of finances, the children had to
attend public school and make new friends. The oldest started talking back to
her mother, grades started to fall and she started hanging out with kids that
didn\'t care if they went to school. The middle child started to isolate herself
and began to have nightmares about her parents dying. Surprisingly her grades
didn\'t suffer. The youngest child cried at the drop of a hat, she just wanted
her dad and couldn\'t understand why she didn\'t get to see him that often. The
three children blamed their mother for everything and took all of their
misplaced anger out on her.

Because of Lilly\'s financial dilemma, she was not able to afford she and the
children counseling. Ron was becoming more and more delinquent in sending
alimony and child support for his family. Lilly was still trying to maintain
being a stay at home mom although she realized the inevitable, she was not
emotionally ready to go out in the work force.

One and one half years after the divorce, Lilly was forced to become apart of
the working class single moms of the world, Lilly got a job as a first grade
teacher. This was an adjustment

for the children, because they had depended on their mom for everything.
Because Lilly was not able to be there for the children, Ron was forced to be
more responsible for the care of the children. Ron shared in the daily dropping
off and picking up the children. This also gave the children, the opportunity to
spend extra time with their father, something that was missing in their life.
Lilly and Ron began to work together with raising the children and the entire
family started to receive counseling. The children began to accept the two
households as well as their parent\'s significant others. Lilly and Ron have
learned to work together in rasing their family although it is not always easy.

The breakdown of a family affects the entire family in many ways