Terry Gaspard (MSW, LICSW) is a licensed therapist, college instructor, and non-fiction author specializing in divorce, women’s issues, children, and relationships. As a therapist, she helps people heal from the pain they experience related to divorce and other losses. Her interest in the lives of women who grew up in divorced families began with her own experience with divorce. Terry and her daughter Tracy recently published a book entitled Daughters of Divorce: Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents' Breakup and Enjoy a Happy, Long-Lasting Relationship (Sourcebooks, 2016); you can order a copy here.
Terry became a published writer while attending graduate school in the 1990s, where she began researching the long-term impact of parental divorce. Her initial research study in 1995 included 198 women; during the study, she discovered that the loss of access to both parents was associated with low-self-esteem in daughters of divorce. Following that, she studied a larger, diverse sample of more than 300 adults, examining issues such as interpersonal relationships, family climate, and self-esteem. Both studies were published in the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. Her other publications focus on parenting. Her current research, described in Daughters of Divorce, discusses findings from interviewing more than 300 women raised in divorced families from 2009 to 2014.
For adults who grew up in a divorced family, the holidays can be a challenging time. One of the most helpful approaches is to develop your own traditions and invite family members to join you!
Divorce presents challenges to parents and children, and living at a distance is difficult for everyone. When you see your children, be sure to focus on your relationship and develop new traditions – such as movie nights – that can help to solidify your bond.
The first step to reducing approval-seeking behavior is to examine your self-sabotaging beliefs and patterns of relating to others. The following steps will enable you to exercise personal power and gain control of your life after divorce.
Know that no relationship is conflict free, but you're worthy of having a relationship that makes you happy. Face your fear of commitment and take risks with someone who is a good match for you if you're ready to take the plunge.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to overlook someone’s faults in the early stage of a relationship. Infatuation and chemistry can prevent us from seeing red flags even if they seem obvious to others when we are dating. Rushing into commitment and marriage will increase your chances of divorce.