Sep 1, 2020
#009: "I guess they were hidden." This is how Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW explains her lack of essential skills in managing conflict during her first marriage. Building a "take two" life after divorce, Terry shares how healing from loss after the dissolution of a marriage is critical for opening you up to generously rebuild a new chapter of your life after your relationship ends. What blew me away most of all is how applicable all of what she teaches in this episode applies to every marriage, because we all enter a life partnership with baggage. In fact, it is perhaps through deconstructing the challenges of divorce and remarriage, we see more clearly how to build stronger, more resilient first marriages. And she gives us a compassionate reminder that marriages, all of them, give us plenty of “opportunities for conflict.” Indeed. Download and start listening to Episode #009 of the Marriage is Hard podcast.
What you'll learn in this episode:
12:56 How accepting disagreements that cannot be resolved is critical to the health of your marriage.
14:18 A good guiding question to ground yourself when you start to spiral into unproductive thinking about your partner. Hint: It has to do with trust and abandonment issues
17:38 A key insight into how resentment makes repair work so much more difficult
25:17 Why assessing the complexity of your blended family matters before you get remarried
29:15 The best ways to communicate with your ex-partner, including Terry's quick email and text "sweep" before you hit "send"
32:31 How to repair negative interaction cycles with your ex-partner
46:05 Why coming from a place of loss keeps you locked in a negative dynamic
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Resources and Links
Terry’s most recent book, The Remarriage Manual: How to Make Everything Work Better the Second Time Around
Terry’s other book written with her daughter, Daughters of Divorce: Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents’ Breakup and Enjoy A Happy, Long-Lasting Relationship
Find Terry on Twitter
Find Terry on Facebook
Terry’s Moving Past Divorce website
Her post The Gottman Institute’s Relationship blog on waiting too long for couples’ counseling
Terry’s profile on The Good Men Project blog
Her husband’s post on being a stepfather
Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends, the book mentioned by Terry about healing from profound loss
Research Recap Studies
King, V., Thorsen, M. L., & Amato, P. R. (2014). Factors associated with positive relationships between stepfathers and adolescent stepchildren. Social Science Research, 47, 16-29.
Zagrean, I., Russo, C., Di Fabio, M., Danioni, F., & Barni, D. (2020). Forgiveness and Family Functioning among Young Adults from Divorced and Married Families. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 1-13.