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GMD: Parental Divorce


Cory and Vanessa’s parents are going through a rough time and their mother wants to find refuge with one of her children… she wants some time away from her husband and is asking for Cory and Vanessa’s help.  However, Vanessa is strictly against the idea of letting her mom stay with her because she feels all she needs to do is talk to her husband and fix their problems together rather than enabling and facilitating her parent’s divorce.  On the other hand, Cory has already given his mom permission to stay with him because he wants to help her in any way that he can.  He understands his mom’s need for some space.

Slacker said that Vanessa and Cory have ultimately chosen a parent to back and support (Vanessa admitted to being a daddy’s girl and Cory a momma’s boy) and if the tables were turned Vanessa would probably not falter in allowing her dad to stay with her.  Steve feels that Cory’s action should be indicted because he’s simply letting his mom crash… he’s just being helpful.

Is Cory wrong for allowing his mom to stay with him or is Vanessa’s tough love approach the right decision?

In this situation I feel that, in the end, it’s the mother’s decision to do what she needs to do during this trying time.  I understand the possibility that she simply needs space and seeking help from her children isn’t a big deal.  I feel that her children should respect whatever their mom needs to do because- despite the fact that divorces affect numerous family members- in the end, it will be the mom divorcing the dad.  Speaking from personal experience, children, no matter how old, never know the entire story.  These two may understand the gist of what their parents are fighting about but certainly are not completely in-the-know.  Divorce is ultimately a decision made between spouses.

Stay classy!
Intern Kirstyn
(photo courtesy of

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01/10/2013 3:46PM
GMD: Parental Divorce
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01/10/2013 6:15PM
You're Not Your Parents' Keeper, Vanessa
I heard the entire show, and was waiting on hold during the show, but time didn't permit me to speak at the time, so I was encouraged to say a few things, here. First, understand that I'm over 50 years old, and have been married for over 30 years, so I have at least some understanding of your mother's and father's position. I'll make three points: (1) Vanessa, you accused Corey of inappropriately taking on a parental role, by letting your mom move in with him and, in your view, take on the dependent child role. But, in point of fact, it is YOU who are most definitively slipping into a "parent" role -- in not only rendering judgment on what your mother ought to do, but also by trying to manipulate the situation and her circumstances to "funnel" her into doing what you think she ought, YOU are inappropriately playing 'parent' to what you perceive as her childish choice. (2) I am personally offended and annoyed at your attempt to control your mother's path and choice. Though you of course have your opinions of her choices, you do not walk in her shoes. She is the architect of her own life and, until now, has chosen to live in a less-than-ideal relationship. At this point in life - take my word for it - you become very aware of time running out and the small window of quality time left for you to pursue what dreams you have left, and to reclaim the freedoms you previously chose to put aside. It is much more likely that your emotional reaction to her choice is borne of your own needs and preferences, not what she has determined will best let her pursue happiness. (3) You assume that separation from your father is an unalloyed negative. Instead, given the entrenched set of roles into which long-married folks settle, it is extremely difficult to get one's spouse to make any REAL changes of any significance, absent 'the nuclear option' Moving out may actually reinforce the need for deep reassessment, on both her own and your father's parts -- that act may (or may not) provide the respite and space required for reflection ... and can facilitate your mother's process of arriving at a sound choice absent the press of the everyday, the familiar, and the expectations of others (including yours AND your father's).
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