By Susan Murphy-Milano
When people start a new relationship, it is as though
Cinderella and her Prince stepped out of that childhood story.
A more realistic way to look at it is to think of it as two
people who are running for office, campaigning to be in the
other person’s life. Forget that it is not who they will be
later in life. We are too busy getting the other person to
“choose us” so we can live happily ever after. There is, bad
habits early on in the relationship we never see. For
leaving dirty clothes scattered, drinking directly out of the
juice carton, putting a dirty knife back in the drawer and
watching from around the corner as they lick it clean, washing
is too much effort. Both sides hide their bad habits when they
begin dating, because they are too busy running for the
office in the country, ultimately the office of marriage and
This fantasy life fades as people grow together in a
relationship. Unfortunately, about sixty percent grow apart
during the marriage.
When the marriage ends it is like a house set on fire. All
desired hopes, dreams and commitment cherished by both sides,
up in smoke. But, we forget that the child of this
has yet to lay the foundation of their lives.
Divorce on any level, is devastating. For children, their
safe world is suddenly shattered like a broken toy, in many
pieces. When parents begin to divorce, do they really stop and
think about the children? All too often, the children fall
under the invisible heading of “power base” or worse yet,
A child’s life during a divorce is like a roller coaster,
up minute and down the next. Parents are keeping score of
child’s affection as though they were at a sporting event.
parents fear losing ground as though their competition, the
other parent, chips away at there own individual “power base”.
This is an automatic reaction during a divorce. If only
would stop for a moment and realize, that children have
unconditional love for each of them.
Children were not beamed down from space to earth. They were
conceived and brought into this world with the greatest
expectations, and most of all love. By two people the child
calls mother and father. These two people have forgotten that
being a parent, role model and teacher, means not putting down
the other. Or using the children to emotionally beat up the
“competition”. Because, being a parent is a privilege!
A divorce is like a funeral. Of course, there is no casket or
service. But the process is the same.
“Funeral” services begin when the parties enter their lawyers
office, (I call them legal funeral representatives) they help
prepare for the death of their clients marriage.
The lawyers seek out personal, confidential information about
you, only to file it in a public record for the world to see.
Attached to this public record filing is a detailed financial
description, (yours) of personal property and assets acquired
during the marriage.
Somewhere between page 11 or 15 of the divorce agreement, your
children are listed, like an asset, by name and age. And on
another page, you will find the “children”, stating who gets
custody when, on what days, with specific times and for how
long. Can’t forget the holiday schedules, this appears on yet
another page of the divorce decree. This page looks more like
major event schedule, trading odd and even years off during
If parents would think for a moment and get off their “power
base”, they should be able to work out these very private
details among themselves.
Months, and in some cases years later a judge, who I refer to
as the coroner (no disrespect intended) sit before these
strangers, in a court of law, with people who once vowed to
love, honor and cherish each other all the days of their
ask if all parties are in agreement, with the tap of his
signs the death certificate (known more commonly as the
I for one think this process is a crime. We allow total
strangers to settle our once very happy lives. The greater
crime, however, is the children, divided up among the parents
like a piece of property. They are the “Voiceless Victims.”
© 2005 - Susan Murphy Milano www.movingoutmovingon.com
About The Author: Susan Murphy Milano, is a respected author
and nationally recognized relationship expert.Her new book
Moving Out,Moving On, when a relationship goes wrong is now
available.Susan's quest for justice has been trumpted across
the pages of newspapers, magazines, radio and televison,
including, Oprah, CNN, MSCNBC, ABC, NBC,