Santa Monica Observer September 4, 2003


As seen in The Santa Monica Observer Weekly



 Do you worry about your children when you're not with them? Do you obsess about future potential danger for your children? Does it prevent intimacy with your spouse? Does your partner schedule all available free time to include the children without making your relationship an equal priority? Are you sleeping alone while your mate is falling asleep after bedtime stories? Which is the cause and which is the result of so many divorces?

While couples agree that Unconditional Love of their children is essential, how often do they forget the cost to these children when there is divorce, distance and disconnection between partners? What example of marital love is being offered to your children even if they become your “only priority? Here's what to do if your marriage leaves you nibbling on crumbs and “Love's Leftovers”

Is your partner's attachment to the children based on feelings of guilt from previous relationships? Can you differentiate between your partner avoiding you and connecting with the kids? Which need is your spouse meeting by the Mom-aholic or Dad-aholic behavior?

Dear Divorce Coach,

I am considering filing for divorce after 5 years. I have two stepchildren - 18 and 10 and my own biological 18 month baby. I have been emotionally beaten down and ready to walk - but I do want to protect myself and the baby. The 10 year old has tried 2 different times to try and hurt her. The few times that I have had to take a shower or have him watch her; he spaces watches TV and forgets about her. I have been keeping a log on what my husband does and how much time he is spending with the baby.


The Mom Police

Dear Mom,

Unfortunately, while you are feeling very frightened for your baby's safety, the court might be most concerned that you leave a 10 year old in charge of a baby for even a moment. From what you describe, I am guessing that your husband does not share your interested in this “second family” and may not have been a caretaker father his first time around. Have you considered your options of staying or leaving from your baby's perspective including the necessity of monitoring your child's care with complete attention? If you choose to divorce, will you and your husband be able to support two households?

Sincerely yours,

Ask the Divorce Coach, Susan Allan

CLIENT: “Susan, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. My ex-husband has pressured me into everything through fear about my children with this whole divorce process.” CLIENT # 299

THE 7 STAGES OF LOVE©: Attachment Phase:1. Dependency; 2. Need; 3. Control; Engagement Phase: 4. Support, 5. Intimacy; 6. Vulnerability and STAGE 7. Unselfconsciousness.

Dear Divorce Coach,

I'm married to a man who has no time for his wife. In 22 years, we've never been on a vacation alone. I've never gotten a piece of jewelry (since my wedding band) and few other gifts. He does everything with our 3 children; I am left to be mother and home maker. I'm tired...I don't need an extra it wrong for me to feel frustrated, unwanted, unloved? I want out.

Sincerely yours,

Me or the kids,

Dear Me,  

When I read about your marriage, I can understand your feelings of grief, rage and confusion. Often, each spouse has a different concept of marriage, love, parenting etc. Does your husband have a greater need for family life and less interest in sex and emotional intimacy than you do? Was there a time when you connected intimately with one another? Was it the addition of children that created a shift in behavior or has there been other issues that are causing him to create distance? During my free phone sessions, I offer techniques to begin to recreate loving communication with one another including and not including the kids!

Sincerely yours,

Ask the Divorce Coach, Susan Allan

What is the effect of this split in your spouse's behavior? When your children believe that one parent is perfect because of a total focus of attention on them and a total indifference to you, how will this affect their dating and marriage choices? Or if you criticize your spouse for being less devoted, what will result?

For 101 Divorce Survival Secrets , and free E-zine at , with Collaborative Divorce information For 1 hour free, private telephone coaching



Susan Allan COO of The Divorce Forum™