Episode 42: Kids: What and How Much to Tell? Will it Harm Them? Addiction and Divorce

How to navigate a child’s well-being when their parent is an addict as well as what’s the impact of the truth and choosing divorce. We cover all of that!

Episode Transcription:

(This transcript was created using software. Please be advised that it won't be 100% accurate, and it may contain formatting errors.)

Today we're going to be talking about something that you guys request all the time. You want to talk about the kids. You want to know how to navigate, what to tell them, how much to tell them what to do, how to protect them. And what is the right way to go about doing this. Now, first, I can't tell you the exact right way I can only give you tips and keys and thoughts to think about in this process so that you can be honest and open and truthful so that they have the best chance to heal and recover. Just as you need healing.

So do they. And it's important that we offer that to them, that we give it to them that we show them that there is a way through hard things. Our job isn't to protect them from having hard things, that would be impossible. I know, we wish that that would be that way. I know when we have our little babies and we're holding them when we're thinking I am not going to let anything happen to you ever. I want everything to run smooth.

As our kids grow up, we want them to choose good partners, we want them to be happy in their marriages, we want them to be good parents to their, to their children to our grandchildren, we can't control that. There's nothing that we can do or say that will make those things happen. We can't prevent terrible sad things. We can't prevent them from being hurt at school, or from bullies or from mean people or from bad relationships.

But we can walk with them, we can show them we can teach them. And we can even show more so by the example that we set on how we're choosing to live our lives and how we're making it through the hard things. Now, because my experience is addiction related, as well as divorce, there will be intermixing of those two things, because that's what I've been through. Those are the things that I have walked with my kids through.

And that's where I have learned where I wasn't telling them enough where I where I have told them enough the outcomes, how it works, what it looks like. And this is just my experience that I can share with you. And hopefully, you will find things in it that resonate that you'll go, Okay, that makes sense. I was doing it this way. But that thing that she said was exactly what I needed for the next step.

Really tune in and listen, listen to what God is trying to tell you in your heart, in your mind in your soul that says hey, wake up, listen to this piece. I know that you've been doing it this way. But I want you to add this, this will benefit you this will benefit them, He loves you and He loves your kids. He wants to protect all of us, He wants to show us each how to do it, and how to make it through the hard things that we face. Now, when we're talking about addiction related things, or divorce, we have a different experience than our kids do.

And so it's important to know that so that we can recognize what they need in their life, and that it won't look exactly like ours, so that we can actually be a support to them, and not hinder their progress and not try to save them or not try to show them so much of the terrible hard things of why we chose what we we did to defend our reasons or our answers. We want to come from a place of neutrality. We want to be clear, we want to be calm. And we want to state facts, not without emotion. But with not the I want them to choose me.

I want them to know that I'm right. It's not our job to do that. In both of these situations, our children, love both parents. They've been hurt, maybe by both, maybe just by one. That hurt needs to be heard and validated and healed. So what is it in your children that needs to be heard and understood? What's in you that still hasn't come out that needs to be heard and understood. You are only going to be able to help your children. As long as you're getting help. It's like you get help and you pass it on to them. You learn something new and you pass it on to them.

You're not going to do it perfect and it's totally okay. It's okay. If you mess up. It's okay if you don't tell them enough and it's okay if you tell them a little too much at times. As long as you're trying to learn and navigate and become a really healthy individual. They're very very forgiving. They will understand if you come to them and say, Hey, I didn't do that quite right last time. This is what I would have said, This is what I wished I would have done, had I known better, but I do now.

So I'm sorry for what that caused, and how can I help you now, you know how you have had to go through the awareness process to uncover what it is, it's actually going on, in your marriage or with yourself, you know how you have to like, come to terms with it, and then go, Okay, this is a problem for me, I need to work on this, I need to heal this, I need to talk to somebody about this. It's the same with kids. So when we think that we can protect them from everything, and we're going to make sure they don't have to do that, we are robbing them of this process.

Because their body and their insides their spirit, their heart, their mind is still trying to process and navigate their surroundings. Every one of us have our experiences that we're living in, they do too, even if you think you're protecting them, and they don't know about it, there's still certain things that are happening to them inside, that will come up at some point. So the key is, is when we walk with them when they're in our home still, or when our young adult children come and go. And we show them how to do it.

They have somebody with them, they can talk through it, they know it's normal, they, they realize that it's okay to be happy today. And then sad later in the afternoon, and be heartbroken and depressed and anxious and not know what to do. All the same feelings that we feel when we're trying to navigate through being the spouse of an addict or going through divorce. We are so up and down. We think we're crazy. Sometimes we have to accept and allow that to happen in our children as well.

Coming to that place of truth that it is happening to them also will help us go okay, I can let go of that protection mode that I have, and start really looking at it for what it is. That's a huge gift to them. When we can come forward and say, Hey, this is what's happening. So how do we go about doing that? How do we protect them from all of the details of something yet, tell them the truth so that they can go Okay, that makes sense. Every child is going to be different, you're going to be inspired with what to say for each child.

My four original children, not all of them know the same things. They've they've come to me at different times asking certain questions, or something has happened where their body is showing up in rebellion of some kind. They're getting sick with the same illness over and over. And as we look into it, as they meet with an energy worker, or I talked to mine about it, we can come down and narrow it down to Oh, this is a result of this addiction of their dad, this is what's happening. This is how their body is trying to process it.

And it's saying it's time to heal this. And we don't know how. So their body is responding. So in those cases, when they're ready, I share more information. And never in a way that is hatred, or resentment or bitterness. Always in a way of I'm so sorry, this is what happened. This is possibly why your body's responding this way. Does that feel true to you? Does that make sense to you? Because their body is going to tell them just like yours does. You know that feeling that you get when you know something's not quite right.

Or when you finally figure out what it is you're like, Okay, now I get that makes sense. When there's finally a disclosure, when there's finally some honesty, it's like everything settles even though it's terrible, and it's painful. It's like it settles in and it goes, alright, okay, we can handle this. Now we can deal with this. Now, one thing is that every single one of our children's stuff, their trauma, their experiences are going to show up at some point, just like us, we cannot keep things down forever. It might look like that around you.

You might see people that go through life and that everything is just happening to them. That's so great and, and none of their stuff even bothers them. That's only because they're continually pushing it down. Everybody's experiences want to be heard and seen and healed. When you can look at your, your ex spouse, or your addict spouse or your narcissistic spouse. And you can say it's unfair because their life looks perfect. It's like they get to still do everything that they want and they found another person and they look so happy and they have all the money that they need.

And here I am over here just struggling to make it every single day. It looks like that. But do you you remember how it felt when you didn't know all of the truth? Or when you didn't know how to discern through it? Or you were? You were in that crazy making? Because you were hearing one thing that seemed Okay, yet your body was telling you something different. Just because it looks one way doesn't mean it is. So our kids are having some of the same experiences, something might look right. But it doesn't feel right.

And their body's trying to figure it out. If we tell them over and over that things are fine. If we say, Oh, no, no, no, your dad and I were just we're doing fine. It's fine. Everything's gonna be fine. We just had a little disagreement. It's no big deal. But really, it is a big deal. They're trying to make sense in their body, and they can't. So they're unsettled. So as a parent, how do we go about doing this? How do we tell them? How do we say, this is what's happening? early on in the addiction process of my family. I said nothing. my extended family didn't know anything. My friends didn't know anything. My kids didn't know anything.

And or a lot of the the relationship, it looked perfect. And it felt perfect. And that was for me, what was so crazy making is that there were so much of it that felt so good. And like this could be the greatest family or the greatest relationship. But these weird things keep popping up. So I didn't say anything. As the years went by different things were happening. And after 2012 when when the addiction came out, and we started 12 step meetings and things were on the table, things got really hard. My ex husband, he would say at that time, I just want those 17 years back when everything was okay when things were perfect.

I've shared that before. But the therapist later would say, the 17 years you were lying. You were manipulating you were deceiving, you are gaslighting. I know but there was that piece and I understand what he was talking about. Because there was that piece that I experienced as well. That felt so perfect. We couldn't have loved each other more. But you cannot have all of that and have lying, cheating, manipulating deceiving. Can't have that that's not a full fulfilling relationship.

That is one of dishonesty. So in about 2013, a year after this came out, we had just gone on a cruise with our family and extended family and we came back and things were terrible things were terrible on the cruise. It was awful. There were things that I was seeing and finding that he was doing that were so in addiction, it was just crazy. And I didn't really know what it was. I just could feel it. And it was at that time when I was just like this is crazy.

And it was the first time my kids saw that something was wrong. It was the first time that any truth was coming out. I had been talking to them and saying, you have hurt me so bad. I feel like I'm going crazy. I just need a reprieve I need, I need you to just like go somewhere, go stay at your mom's for a couple weeks or something just I need to breathe because I feel crazy. Every day, I'm waking up with anxiety trying to navigate this and I'm going to sleep with it. Well, at that time, he was totally in addiction. He was fully in addict mode. His behavior, his talking to me was completely not him. It was the addict person in him.

And so I couldn't reason with him or talk about it. At that point. I said, I don't know what to do about this, I'm gonna have to have you leave then. And this is when I've shared this with you. I also wrote this story in cutting ties. But it was a time when he was like, I'm not leaving, you guys can all leave. And I said you're going to have me take our children and leave with them. And you're gonna stay here. He's, uh, yeah, if you want to leave you guys all leave. It was it just felt crazy, right? I was like, what is happening at that moment is my first initial piece of strength that said, Okay, I have got to say something.

So I brought my kids down. And I said, you guys, I'm so sorry. But there's some things that have happened. There's some really hard things that have happened. I've asked dad to just leave for just a couple of weeks, just to give me some space to heal and to figure things out and to gain some peace and some sense of calm, and he will not leave. And he's saying that if we want if I want to leave, we all have to leave. So the reason I'm telling you this is because we're I'm giving it through the weekend. But I want you to know so that you're not just sideswiped, and I just come in and say pack your bags, and we're leaving.

Now I know in some situations, that's how it is. And that would be the right decision. If there's something going on and you need to get out or you're going to be prevented from leaving, which is abusive to be prevented. You would need to pack your bags and leave. I get that in my situation. This is how I wanted to do it. And I didn't know any better. I didn't know how to do it. I had never expressed to them one piece of evidence that their life was not just perfect and that their parents weren't as happy as can be.

So he was still in that addict mode. And so he was talking to them like they had never seen before. And they're like, what their mouths were wide open, like what in the world and he was just going off about crazy things and about he's not leaving, and he gets up out of the family room and he goes into the kitchen, and he makes himself some pizza, and it comes back and he's eating pizza, while we're sitting in the family room talking about these hard things and asking him to leave. It was such a crazy moment, and I can still picture the look on my kids faces.

My youngest was 10. At the time, when I'm looking around, and their eyes are wide open, their mouths are falling open, and they're just in awe of what is happening. I have never seen this. I have never heard my dad talk like this. My mom has never asked my dad to leave. We didn't even yell and fight or slam doors or anything. And here we were in the family room. And this was happening. Now I wasn't yelling. I was talking calm but firm.

So I said to them, you guys, I just want you to know that if we have to leave, we will. But hopefully it doesn't come to that. My 10 year old has his hand kind of on his forehead a little bit. And he's kind of shaking his head just just a little bit like almost like, Okay, this is this is so crazy. I mean, he's only 10. And he's the youngest. He's the baby of the family. And he says to my husband, Dad, I just have one question for you. If you are the one that hurt Mom, why can't you just do that for her?

Why can't you just leave for that little bit of time just so that she can feel okay. And then you can come back? Why would you not do that if you were the one who hurt her so profound from a 10 year old, so insightful, full of wisdom full of like, Okay, this is weird. And this doesn't seem right. Obviously a gift that he has at that age. My husband says no, I'm not leaving, you guys can all leave as he's eating as pizza. That's one of those experiences that had to have caused some sort of trauma in my children's life.

There's no way that it couldn't, whether they remember it or not, whether they blocked it, whether they dismissed it, whether they've come to terms with it, it's in there because it happened and it was shocking. And it was something that they had never experienced before. So the first step of all of that is being truthful and honest, so that they know and are prepared. Life is not quite the way you guys think it is right now. I love your dad, I want things to work out. That's what we're striving for. That's what we're working towards.

But things are hard right now. I don't want you to take it on. And it's not because of you. Obviously we know this, but they don't know that they think Oh no, I was so crazy the other day. And that's probably why they can't get along with the talk them through that stuff. But this was the first time at least my kids knew. Now life went on, obviously. And they notice now things were not very good. And things kept getting worse, as you've heard, as I've shared as is written and cutting ties. By the time it was 2014.

And I had asked him to go to rehab, I still had not told them about the addiction. I didn't tell them about any of the things that I had found or what had happened or what was going on what was happening in counseling or in our 12 step meetings. But they did know something was wrong. He had become detached. He had become distant, he had been spending way more time on gaming than he normally had before. It's like now that things are out, things are even worse kind of a feeling. And sometimes it's like that you open up a wound and it oozes and it's terrible.

And it's it hurts, it takes a long time for it to scab over and heal. So we had cracked this open, we had cracked open the hidden secrets of addiction. And now everything was oozing out. So in 2014, and he goes to rehab, I wasn't even ready at that point yet to say, Hey, your dad's in rehab, because he has a pornography addiction. I couldn't say it. Instead, I still wanted to give some truth. And so I said your dad, as you know, has been having a really hard time. So he's going to a place where they help you with the things that you're struggling with emotional, spiritual, all different things. And it's kind of like the youth camps you've guys have gone to where they teach you new skills and helpful things.

He's gonna be there for 90 days. Now at that time, they had never heard of rehab really. And so they didn't know what that was. So that's how I explained it to them. So some truth the key was giving them something and my my kids will say, I'm glad that I knew something. And I'm also glad that I didn't know everything at that moment. Now every kid's different and maybe they'd feel different had I shared with them all of it and and really I probably could have and should have talked to them about pornography, but I didn't have enough skills yet.

So as you're doing your process, know that you're doing the best you can with what you know and every time you learn something, teach it to them. Every time you heal something, show them what that looks like. So they can do the same. Everything that has come out since has validated the feelings they've had inside, they all have different ones. Some of them all the traumas coming up for them now, and they have to deal with it.

And some of them it hasn't yet, knowing what I know, now, I would talk to them sooner, I would tell them, Hey, this is an issue in our family and in life, and I want to share it with you so that we can learn and show you how to protect yourself so that you can be healthy. We love your dad, we want him to choose healing, we want him to get the help he needs. This isn't something that we need to hate him for. But he does have a responsibility to heal it and not cause us any harm with it. Because addiction and infidelity is abusive.

Lies and manipulation and deceit are not okay. So our main goal is to be safe and protected. And we are so hopeful that he's going to do the work and we're going to cheer him on to do it. In the meantime, there's hard things and there's hurtful things that happen. And sometimes we have to talk things through sometimes we need to talk to a counselor. And sometimes we have really hard things that happen to us because of the experience that we're living in.

We want our children to understand cause and effect. We want them to understand consequence, and how when we do something, it affects other people. And even if we think it's only affecting ourselves, that's not true. By sharing it with them even at an early age. I'm so sorry, honey, dad made some mistakes that have caused some hard things and mommy is sad, but we're working on it, we're gonna get help.

And we love you. And we want to help you with anything you're feeling. It's important after anything comes out about anything, or if your children see abusive dialog, or lies or fighting or accusing or anything that we talked to them and say, How are you feeling about that situation? This is a really good spot to be truthful. I'm so sorry that you heard that. And you witness that tell me what your thoughts and feelings are right now. They might not know how to express them.

At first, they might not even know what the words are with their emotions, they might only know I'm happy, I'm sad, I'm mad. But as we talk to them, and teach them and show them that it's okay to be vulnerable. And it's okay to be upset. And it's okay to be mad at mom or dad. We'll give them new skills and new words to express what emotions they're feeling. As we do that, it allows them to see things clear. And it says, okay, parents aren't perfect.

They also make mistakes, and they make amends, they make it right, they fix the things that are hurting somebody else. When that doesn't happen. And the person or the parent doesn't fix their mistakes, we have to show what it looks like to heal and to move forward, we have to show that we as a person are valued and worth being treated the right way. One of the greatest gifts you can give your kids is showing them that they are worth being respected and treated the way that they should.

If you don't want your kids being treated the way you are, you shouldn't be in that relationship. You're showing your kids that it's okay and that this is what you deserve, which then teaches them that that's what they deserve. So it's a good way to look at your own relationship and what you're going through. Okay, oh, I don't want them seeing this. I don't want them in this kind of relationship. Now I'm not talking about hard things. I'm not talking about that just because there's been infidelity, or just because addiction has come out that you just leave no way.

We want to show them resilience. And we want to show them that they can make things right when they make a mistake, and how to work through it and do it. But when the person who's caused the abuse, or the infidelity or the addiction doesn't choose to get help, and they continue to treat the family in a way that's not okay. That's when you have to show your children how strong you are. It shows them Hey kids, you guys are deserving of a loving, healthy kind being treated right relationship.

Both of them teach them something. It teaches them skills and resiliency, making it through something hard, like addiction or infidelity. When when the person who caused it makes it and they're repentant and they are humble and they want to do things right. They see what love is. They also are taught that resiliency, when they see that, hey, somebody is choosing not to do these things. So therefore we have a choice to make. That's teaching them strength, value that you can stand up for yourself that you don't have to let people hurt you or be abusive to you in any form.

Now at times we think that if we do that if we walk away, we are harming our children. This is a one of the main questions I get how do you do that and not harm your children? Isn't it better to stay in the relationship so they have their mom and dad together than divorce? I'm not saying that divorce isn't hard. And of course, it's hard on children. Absolutely it is. But if you want to show them how to make it through their wounds and their hard times, you have to make decisions based on what is actually happening and what the actions of other people around you are, what the truth is, divorce is hard.

But when we live in truth, we can actually walk the kids through what they're feeling, they will absolutely 100% have to have hard things that they deal with coming out of divorce. But let me also tell you, if you don't choose to divorce in a situation that is unhealthy and unhappy, where they're not even seeing what a loving, good relationship is, they're not being modeled it, they don't know how to feel it or see it, they don't know how to recognize it, they're also going to have traumatic things happen in their life that they're going to have to deal with.

If you want them learning how to connect, and have closeness and vulnerability in their future relationships, you have to show them how sometimes that's letting go. Sometimes that staying, it just depends on two people's decisions. If you're not in the same place with somebody on the same page, moving in the same direction, with the same values, goals, vulnerabilities, humility, love, respect, forgiveness, not just one sided, both. If it's not like that, you have to still make the choices for yourself.

So what that looks like when we are talking about after the fact we've chosen divorce, we have these kids now at all different ages. What are we supposed to do with their pain, we are supposed to listen to it hear it validated, understand. Of course, they're feeling sad, I'm feeling sad. Of course, they're depressed. I've been depressed. Of course, they're acting out and being crazy and throwing tantrums, because that's all I want to do. Of course, they're having a hard time going to their after school job, or going to school, because they have had traumatic things happen to them.

So as we can accept that and say I am so sorry, you're hurting. Let's talk about this. Let's talk this through. Yes, that's what happened. As things come out. Like I mentioned at the beginning, about illness, one of my children had an illness that kept coming back over and over and over. And as we looked into that, we realized her body was responding because it had something to do with her dad's addiction. And her body was like, I have all this trauma, and I need to talk about it.

I don't even know what it is. So knowing the truth, talking with her through the truth, what that did is it opened up that old wound, and then her body could say, Oh, that makes sense. Now, that doesn't mean that healed everything. That means that opened it up even more. That means all of a sudden the truth came out, which felt better, because now she knew. So there was a settling feeling about it. And it brought out stress and trauma, depression and sadness.

That's okay. You didn't cause that happening. Just because you told the truth, you didn't cause that happening just because you chose divorce, or you didn't cause it happening because you chose to stay, these feelings are going to come out anyway, no matter what the situation is. So the key is, is seeing it and noticing it and then getting help and showing them how to do it. So for this particular child, now that that was out, they understood that, Okay, I need some help with this.

And they chose that now was the time to talk about this stuff in counseling, they're working on it, are they super happy Is everything going smooth? No. But it isn't for your life either when you're going through hard things. But this, the beauty in all of it is making it through to the other side. So you feel free. Otherwise, that turmoil and stress, those illnesses that pop up, are going to keep happening. If we don't sit there and figure it out, we have to open up the wound.

So whatever your situation is, however old your children are, truth is still good. When I said at the beginning, you don't want to harm them with all of the details. Sometimes details have to come out. Sometimes it has to be like I am so sorry. This is what's happening. And the truth will protect them so that they understand and they know what to look for. That's age appropriate. It's also circumstance, it's all sorts of things. Because what I have found is that kids love their parents. It doesn't matter to my kids that their dad was an addict, and that he went off the deep end for a little while and out of their lives.

And now he's back. It matters in the sense that those are hard things that we have to deal with them. But it doesn't matter in the fact that they don't hate him. They don't push him away. They still want a relationship. They still want those pieces to heal. They still want a semblance of something. Now as they continue to heal, that might change. They might have different times in our life when they're like I need a boundary right now. Because I'm upset about these things, that's okay too.

And as they heal those wounds, they'll be able to come back and be like, okay, I can have a relationship at this level with this person. These are things and skills that we want them to learn, because it'll help them in their relationships as adults, and in their careers and with friendships and with extended family members. Ultimately, when you think about yourself, you want peace, you want a sense of calm, that's what we want to provide for them.

And you know, when you're going through all this stuff, you don't feel that all you're thinking is I just want to feel okay, again, I am so tired of waking up with anxiety, I, I just want a peaceful heart and soul. They're not any different. They want the same things they want to feel okay. Addiction is important to talk about, because it makes people aware. I remember when my mom told me that my grandpa was an alcoholic, and that he had actually literally been found in the gutter. That's how I remember it. I haven't asked her about it in a while.

So maybe that's not totally accurate. But that's as a child how I remember it. I remember going, Wow, okay, this can be an issue. And I remember thinking about that through the years, with the choices I made throughout just thinking, Okay, I need to be careful with addiction in general, because it might run in my family. Pornography is so in our faces, that as we talk about it with our children, it only gives them power. Now there's that whole thing that says, Well, if we talk about it, then they're going to look at it. Yeah, there is curiosity.

But I'm telling you that it's being talked about around them anyway, it's being talked about at school as as young as second grade. even younger, sometimes, any children that have either been abused or, or seen it in their home, found it because somebody else in their home is viewing it, no matter how young they are, they're going to share it because their body doesn't know what to do with it. So they're going to be talking about it. So if you're not talking about it in your home, they're still hearing it, and they're still going to be interested in finding out what it is.

So the more knowledge and education we can give of the effects how our body feels, yes, you're attracted to it at first. Yes, I understand because our body is made to feel sexual feelings. But this isn't the right way. And this is why this is what can happen all the way up to my situation where a family was broken, where a marriage was lost, where it had to be changed. Educating your kids talking to them about the real stuff is only going to give them tools to make it through. It doesn't matter what the situation is, whether you stay or whether you go.

Where it matters is looking at what's true teaching reality, making decisions that show an example to your child either way, and that teaches them to be open and honest about their feelings. You cannot protect them from pain and sadness, you cannot protect them from having divorced parents, you cannot protect them for what that's going to cause in the future. If they take it and they choose to go off the deep end and rebel because of it.

That's not because you chose divorce, it's because of the circumstance in their life is that their family had some things that were hard, either addiction or infidelity or whatever. And all of those things did not work enough the family that's happening anyway, you can't prevent any of those things from happening. But you can offer them the tools and you can walk by their side. And you can say I understand that you'd want to rebel and do these things. And I'm so sorry, because it's so painful. There are other ways to deal with what's happened in our lives.

If you would like some help, I'm happy to help you find that help or talk you through it so that you can feel peace and hope. It's a really hard subject I know and we barely touched on it. There's they're just the very beginnings but just know that as you open your mouth with truth, as you say things with love and care and concern for the well being of your child, not into shelter or protect, but in to show them the tools and the keys necessary to deal with all of life's challenges that will continue to come their way. They will feel so good.

Wow, I'm now 25 years old, and I'm going through this hard thing but my mom taught me my dad taught me back when I was 10 years old, 15 years old, how to look at what's hard, how to make it through how to talk about it, how to feel it all and how to get on the other side. So I know now with what I'm going through today that I can do the same thing. So my answer to your questions that I get from you are what do you do and how do you tell the kids and is it even okay for me to divorce even though I think I should?

The answer is live your life in such a way that everything you learn you're teaching them. Stand up for truth and yourself. Fight for your life. Fight for your marriage, until you see that the other person isn't fighting with you. Then fight for your own life, your own well being your own progression. If you have an addict in your life, fight For that recovery fight for that healing, but as they show you that they're not going to fight with you, and they're not going to do their own personal work for their own recovery, then you make a choice for you.

All of those things will be so good for your kids, whether you have to stay or leave. That's not even the issue. It's just showing them how to do it, they will feel so much strength by watching you make those hard decisions. By watching you walk the hard road of accepting in a spouse that has betrayed you in some way. They will love that other person, the other parent that has betrayed when they see that parent choosing to do the work and change who they are and be repentant and humble and cry and love. It doesn't really matter to the kids what the problem is.

They just want to see how to get out of it and what to do with it. They want to see, oh, this is crazy. What are we supposed to do with this? Oh, we have to walk forward? Oh, we have to leave that person. Okay, that makes sense, because that is not okay. Or, oh, wow, they made a really bad choice. But we love that person. And we can stay because they're doing the work to change, and they're no longer abusing in some way. This was a longer podcast episode.

There's so much more to cover. And I'm sure we'll talk about it again. But this just gives you some small keys. To do this. If you need more help with this. Go to the website, RoxanneKennedyGranata.com and book a session. We can talk about it, we can see, you can tell me personally what's going on with you and I can answer more of your questions. I'm going to end today's episode with what I posted on social media. So you can go to my Instagram account, Roxanne Kennedy-Granata. And check it out but it's a picture of my husband and son shoveling snow.

As I read the post, you'll be able to visualize what this picture looks like. When I took this picture. They were shoveling the front sidewalk they'd already done the driveway. So I say "there is not one way to do something one has a coat. One is wearing a T shirt. One has pants one has shorts, one has shoes, one has slide on slippers, no socks needed. One has gloves. One doesn't need those. But one does have a beanie. They both have a shovel, they both get the job done.

They both make me smile and laugh. They both are really good men. This is the same with healing and recovery, there is not one way to do it. The thing to watch for is that it's getting done feels truthful and progression is happening. Those who truly want to heal and recover will find and commit to what feels best and get the job done. trust the process. Learn to trust your intuition, have discernment, make your decisions and choices based on the actions and the outcome. Recovery and healing is hard, but you can do it.

This picture is funny because my son is in his shorts, a T shirt, no gloves, no shoes, just slippers that slide on. So his heels are just showing he is wearing a beanie. And my husband has his full gear on. And it shows that there really isn't one way. And it's the same with teaching our children navigating through this, whether we stay or whether we go, what recovery and healing looks like for both you as well as your spouse, if your spouse has betrayed or has an addiction, there isn't one way to recover and heal. However, the job does need to get done. You do need to watch and make sure that each person is doing the work required.

Meaning that whatever it is they're doing will have the outcome of recovery, that there will be healing. Otherwise, you have to make the choice that we talked about earlier. But I just want to share that with you because my way is not everyone's way. But you can take tips out of it and go Okay, that's going to work or that doesn't work for me. But this will or I can't see me doing that yet. But I can do this. As you navigate with your spouse, if you have a spouse or an ex spouse, know that what you're looking for is action, not necessarily the exact way you wish it would be.

As long as there's progression and movement and it is you see the right way the choices are being made to no longer abuse lie, deceive, cheat, manipulate, gaslight, their progression is happening. So watch for those things and make decisions based on what is actually happening before you not what you wish would. I hope today was informative for you again, please come to me and ask me questions schedule a session and I'll see you next time.