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When my daughter looks exactly like my divorcee


Meirav Yerushalmi, mediator and parent counsellor.


I first met Limor when she came to my clinic after she and Yoav divorced. Limor and Yoav are already living in separate houses and have settled all divorce matters in an agreement signed in court.


Limor sat down in front of me, on the couch, alert and nervous, and the only sentence she could say was: "I can't look at her, the look in her eyes reminds me of him, her behaviour, the way she speaks, everything is his!" Limor said she has no problem with her other three children, and she feels connected to them and wants them near her. "The problem is Hila," she said.


These are hard feelings. But little by little, we learned how to recognise and validate the hard feeling toward Hila, peeled the shell and began to understand things, deal with them, and accept them. Then came the good things about Hila...


Limor remembered what a lovely and good girl she was, how warm and calm she was as a baby and young child, how she loved to put her head in Limor's lap to relax and fall asleep, how many hugs and kisses Limor gave her and how much love she returned.

We thought about her past with Hila, the shared experiences, and happy moments together, and then the present, the barrier and emotions that flood Limor and her future - strengthening and improving the relationship between Limor and Hila.


The goal of the training was to focus on the healthy parts of Limor and Hila and help them grow, thrive and overcome the unhealthier parts.



Here we paused for a second, we breathed, we remembered the good in Hila. Now, how do we proceed from here?

We came up with several things they can do together to get closer: sharing meals and one-on-one time conversations. Rebuilding the relationship while constantly remembering that Hila wants to be in the presence of Limor. Limor finally allows her to take the place of the girl who once fell asleep on her with a pacifier and blanket.



In situations like this, what do I suggest?

First, it is important to remember that our children are different from each other, and each of them evokes different feelings in us and "challenges" us differently.

It is important to give those feelings a place within us and to allow ourselves to feel them, not to punish ourselves for having them.


More appropriately - make a list. Stop and write down the good things that come to you from that child, come up with ideas for activities you can do together, and put things into practice (regularly - once a week or two weeks).

Take the task very seriously because you are building a healthy and renewed parent-child relationship.



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Meirav Yerushalmi, mediator and parent counsellor.

Email: merav@gishur-horim.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meravye/

Phone: 050-6136232

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