04 Oct Divorce Step Family Style: Dr. Hokemeyer quoted in New York Times
In today’s Style section of the New York Times, Elissa Gootman penned a great article on how to negotiate relationships with step children in a divorce. I’m honored that she closed the article on a positive, up beat note that contained my discussion of how in the midst of the turmoil, make sure you are guided by love- Love of self and others! Here’s the section I’m referring to:
WHAT’S YOUR MOTIVE?
The decision to nurture former step-relationships can mean accepting certain awkward situations, like waiting in the same hospital as your former husband while your former stepdaughter-in-law gives birth to a baby who would have been your stepgrandchild.
When a client of Dr. Hokemeyer’s expressed a desire to be present at the hospital while the daughter of her longtime but now former husband gave birth, the therapist worked with her to answer what he considered the key question: what was her motive?
“When there’s a divorce, there’s a profound sense of loss, and people try to mitigate that loss by holding on to relationships that they would be better off letting go,” Dr. Hokemeyer said. “Make sure that you are acting out of genuine love and concern for the other person, and not out of anger and attempts to manipulate.” In the birth case, Dr. Hokemeyer and his client determined that her motives were pure. She genuinely cared for her ex-stepdaughter-in-law and wanted to preserve their relationship, which was meaningful and deep, though convoluted to describe