Mayim Bialik on Divorce

How I handle being divorced and frame it so it works as best as it can for me, for my ex, for my kids.

Comments (37)

(33) Nord, February 25, 2018 9:22 PM

Love for the your Husband/Wife avoids divorce

The divorced couples I know usually have one of them completely centered on THEIR OWN life. Marriage is NOT work as she says. Sometimes rough spots occur but NOT work if you love the other one. I did 61 years and loved her every day. She was a gem.. Her virtue was unselfishness. G-d blessed me.

(32) Daniel C. Baral, February 21, 2018 9:39 PM

If you can manage this, remarry.

Darn, it...remarry! If you can manage this, remarry. Make their lives complete and remarry.

(31) Elisabeth Stewart, January 11, 2018 5:48 AM

Good Advice

So simple to follow, so refreshing, and a huge help to anyone going through the devastation of divorce. Our children are our precious heritage. Love this. Thank you

(30) Bobby5000, December 29, 2017 6:04 AM

differences in divorce

Divorces differ. Some couples may just not get along and realize that divorce is the best course and after some legal wrangling work out something reasonably fair. Another group involved infidelity. If a husband leaves his 50 year old wife for his 25 year old secretary, working things out may be harder. Another group involves one spouse who still loves the other and particularly with men, that may manifest as anger, or court filings.

Advisers sometimes do not help. Lawyers are prized for being tough and nasty, yet understanding to their clients. Thus there becomes a ready market for telling clients what they want to hear. Psychologists may tell their female clients the husbands are borderline abusive or husbands that their wives are narcissistic and both can be told they are enablers.

Ultimately the entire group needs to try to get along and create a new life, and have emotional intelligence with their spouse though there can be barriers to doing so. A commitment to putting children first and realizing that having two parents is good is the first step.

(29) Anonymous, December 28, 2017 3:43 PM

beautiful

(28) Ron Ander, December 27, 2017 3:29 PM

Beautifully spoken!

Mayim. You just described my experience with divorce that happened 32 years ago. It does take two to make it work. It helps if both parties are menches.

(27) Phil Fisher, December 26, 2017 10:33 PM

Dear Mayim, how did you find words I wrote or spoke in 1985?

Now I am 77- former wife 75. Been divorced for 33 years. Why do 2 humans once deeply in love go from devotion to divorce as years/decades roll by? Each story is different, yet those who hold steadfast to love,respect,patience, understanding... as to family values which help to raise great kids, are those unto whom blessings of love will flow.....our 2 daughters and their children are the blessings of which I write. I, the fella, am blessed with a step-daughter as great as the 2 biological daughters—- and we are all part of ONE family...former wife gratefully included in family events....after all neither I nor former wife are former parents!

(26) Anonymous, December 26, 2017 10:04 PM

discipline

The amount of discipline that it takes to do what you are doing is amazing. Granted you are working and that gives you distance. Painful distance but distance. You are doing the right thing for yourself, your husband and your children. Yes, children should be first on that list and I'm sure they are in your mind and heart - I hope that your blessings are more than monetary. You sure are an achiever and an example (no matter what our profession - homemaker or CEO). Baruch Hashem.

(25) Dvirah, December 26, 2017 7:45 PM

Different Situations

Not all ex-spouses are that supportive and some divorces are due to real problems, like wife/child abuse, which preclude such continued closeness. Ms. Bialik is correct in that one should try to minimize the trauma for the children, but sometimes this can be achieved by distance, not continued contact.

(24) Chana Greenfeld, December 26, 2017 5:37 PM

But then, why divorce?

Not judging. Really really not judging. But wondering. I am the child of parents who divorced twenty years ago and have not managed a civil word to eachother since. any time the two of them are in the same room it is torture for us, their children. pesach together would have been misery. I wonder, if two people can manage to get along so well, what caused the divorce?

Nancy, December 26, 2017 8:57 PM

To commenter Chana Greenfield

I am so sorry that your parents are unable to behave civilly toward one another. How horrible that must be for you and your siblings. Re: What caused Mayim to get a divorce. With all due respect, that really is not and should not be our concern. It is possible that there were serious problems in her marriage which could not be overcome, despite a valiant effort on the part of herself and her former husband.

(23) Anonymous, December 26, 2017 5:21 PM

I loved your message but, it almost seems like you were angrily driving your point home; I'd hate to get on your bad side. Nonetheless, it was a powerful message delivered passionately with an open heart and a desire to help.

(22) Anonymous, December 26, 2017 4:25 PM

Wow!!

Wow!! Mayim...you are so brave. I admire your courage and a tremendous Yasher koach for focusing on what you do have and all of your blessings. Wishing you and your family the very best now and always?❤️

(21) frank morris, December 26, 2017 3:34 AM

outstanding courage

that took alot for her to do this , she is a movie star, but truly a caring person on a subject that is so real in our world. Her children will be very proud of her. may Hashem bless you so much in raising your child in the love of Hashem.

(20) renee, December 25, 2017 11:03 PM

I have great respect for you.

You took an imperfect situation, not what anyone wants; and by working on yourself, and being selfless, and keeping your children's best interest at heart you created a harmonious home.
I hope one day your children will appreciate what a great mother they have! I applaud you!

(19) Peter Herring, December 25, 2017 5:30 PM

So difficult to discuss and you did it so well

Divorce is such a sad thing and more often than not creates a bitterness between the couple with resultant damage to any children.
You and your ex seem to have navigated thru these unfortunate stormy waters avoiding at least some of the these negative problems.
I know in our faith divorce can be difficult. This has happened, life goes on for the both of you. It would seem that family unity
while no doubt temporarily scarred remains and most importantly the kids are still getting the love and attention from the both of you. Best wishes to all concerned for your future lives

(18) Freyda, December 25, 2017 3:27 PM

Disagree

I am a divorced mother of 1 child. I disagree with the part of being together for holidays, etc. I think that it is very confusing and uncomfortable for a child to go through a divorce with his parents and then be together with both of them for holidays and other occasions. It leaves the child fantasizing and thinking that you might get back together, or, if you can be together for all of these occasions and seemingly get along, then why did you get divorced in the first place. Also, it doesn't allow you to get on with your life and find another spouse. It's like you still have attachments to your ex and your kids are an excuse to keep seeing him. Although my son wishes that we all could be a family, it is very clear to him that we need to be divorced and apart. He accepts it and understands that I am much better without his father and he wishes for me to find someone else who I will be happy with. I just now asked my son (age 8) how he would feel if we were together for a holiday, sitting at the same table, and he responded that it would feel really weird and then I asked him if he would want such a situation, and he said ""really not." so there you are. Good luck, Mayim, and wishing you that you find your true love soon.

(17) Anonymous, December 25, 2017 3:01 PM

How did we get here?

Mayim and her ex are probably doing quite a good job raising their kids and that is praiseworthy.
And I won't judge, but I get the feeling that marriages like hers may be doomed because of unrealistic expectations. She says the things that annoyed her during their marriage continue to annoy her. So I get the impression that in today's society we expect to fall in love and never to feeel annoyance towards our spouse. And if we do feel annoyance, even if only occasionally, we conclude that the marriage is over. I've been married almost 30 years, and I've felt annoyance more times than I'd like to admit. But I recognize the fact that the annoyance is my own problem. Hashem has not created a being who would never annoy me. In fact, I sometimes annoy myself. The work of marriage is to focus on the positive in your spouse, and thereby generate feelings of love and appreciation. That, of course, assumes that there is sufficient positive to focus on. If you're dealing with a spouse of poor character, it won't work. And though, in my case, there is plenty of positive to focus on, it sometimes takes me a while.
When you live in a world where a huge number of people divorce, you can easily default on your marriage.
I believe that when someone chooses divorce, he/she should compare his/her married life to the single life. One should not divorce thinking he/she will find someone better. Only if it's so bad that you'd rather be single forever should one choose divorce, and that's particulary true if there are children involved.
That's my opinion based on what was presented in the video, so obviously I don't see the whole picture.

(16) Sophia Braun, December 25, 2017 4:00 AM

TERRIBLE STATEMENTS...

DIVORCE IS A BIGGEST TRAGEDY FOR EVERY CHILD, AND LASTS FOREVER.
THE MESSAGE FROM THE CHILDREN: IF YOU PLAN FOR A DIVORCE DO NOT GET MARRIED EVER!
WE SUFFER THE WHOLE LIFE.!

Heather, December 25, 2017 6:13 PM

Really?

While some divorces are traumatic for children, there is plenty of material out in the world for parents to separate and keep the child from suffering. People do not go into marriage assuming they will divorce so your statement is not helpful.
Parents can get therapy or help for children that are truly traumatized and help is a click away.

Divorce is better for some people than staying in a loveless, cheating, violent, etc. marriage.

Anonymous, December 26, 2017 5:40 PM

AGREED!

The day my mother told me she was divorcing my father, my reaction was: FINALLY!! I was over twenty, but had been waiting for the day for my whole life. I still wonder now if i might have had a better mother had she not been too busy surviving control and abuse.

(15) Ra-anan, December 25, 2017 12:28 AM

Putting yourself out there...

for others to learn, even though it may be uncomfortable & even painful...vulnerability, so pulls me towards your way of thinking & that's beyond the sensibility in your positions.

(14) Annette Lauer, December 24, 2017 11:51 PM

Simply Rational - may it stay this way for good

Great set of boundaries, it's all about looking for what does work. And working it. Married or not.
Then and only then let the emotions roam within that well established framework.
Yasher Koach

(13) K Leebhoff, December 24, 2017 11:13 PM

Find the good in your present situation

Your incredibly honest and humble reflection of your past ,present and future outlook is our collective ultimate goal - gratitude !

(12) Anonymous, December 24, 2017 10:56 PM

Well done Mayam.

Obviously not an easy or comfortable subject, but well worth your effort. Keeping the extended family in your and the children's lives will enrich all involved forever.

(11) Miriam, December 24, 2017 10:19 PM

Thank You Mayim for sharing

Thank You for sharing Mayim ,
it's nice to know what can be possible when a marriage dissolves .
Sadly co=operation and respect is not a common practice if ones Spouse is hostile and vindictive even after a long term 30 year marriage ends . In my situation my 3 adult married kids have adopted their Father's abusive attitude . But I am happy that you 2 are keeping things as normal as possible for yourself as well as your children. Kol hakavod Mayim <3

(10) Leah, December 24, 2017 8:59 PM

Beautifully put

I so appreciated your video. I have been married for 55 years, but our son has been divorced and did not have the problem of children. We have many nieces and nephews who have gone through divorce and I loved the advice you gave. I makes so much sense. Thank you for you time on this issue.

(9) Anonymous, December 24, 2017 8:43 PM

so glad Mayim went "public" as this will help many parents and kids and grandparents

Just to give a bit of feedback. Much of my work for the past 45 years as a psychologist has been dedicated to helping families go through challenging times. Many of the families I see are in the process of divorcing or trying to figure out how to parent after they have split. I was deeply touched by Ms. Bialik's heartfelt comments about her parenting experience after her divorce and was particularly moved by the examples she gave from her own family life. Although she is a private person, sharing her story and perspective will help many people and I thank her.

(8) Anonymous, December 24, 2017 7:45 PM

Important Lessons

i wish my divorce had been like that. i wish i had had the Maturity and the Concern for my kids to have focused on Minimizing the Trauma my divorce caused my kids. But there are Lessons there for our Everyday Living about making the Best of our circumstances.

(7) Anonymous, December 24, 2017 7:28 PM

Great advice

This was a very wise video with a profound healthy message. Of course it will only work if you have two willing rational parents (and extended family), who are not into causing drama, chaos and all that bad stuff. Unfortunately, when I first got divorced, my husband was furious and worked very hard to cause division in the family unit by trying to turn our children against me. It was a very difficult and painful time and I worked very hard over the years to rebuild that relationship with my children which thank G-d is a good one now. Several years ago, for the sake of the children (grown already), we decided to make peace and it really has been very good for the kids. No matter how old they are, they really appreciate their parents being able to get along and being able to share Simchas and Holiday meals together without all the tension and nastiness. I never would have thought I could do that, but time has a way of healing and peace for the sake of the family is really what matters in life. I hope this video is helpful to those out there going through what I went through. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and divorce is not necessarily bad, it can also be seen as a new beginning.

(6) Sgarib, December 24, 2017 6:52 PM

Such a great model of what to do in divorce

You did great! I love how you cope.
Marriage is for life, and he will always be the kid's dad.

(5) Mark, December 24, 2017 5:47 PM

Heartfelt

Amazing Strong Jewish persona

(4) Anonymous, December 24, 2017 4:56 PM

Agree

I wish my ex daughter in law would be like you. She does all of what you say not to do. My son is a great father and puts his kids first and never bad mouths his ex. Do what is best for your kids always.

(3) Laura Goldsmith, December 24, 2017 3:53 PM

Beautifully expressed!

Thank you, Mayim, for so capably sharing the complexities of divorce. Really well thought out and gracefully communicated!

(2) Anonymous, December 24, 2017 3:15 PM

I'm not divorced and your words were very helpful

I often think that my life is not what I pictured it to be. Your words about living in the present really help. So, you not only helped divorced people, but those who may be disappointed in what their life is now. We all should make the most of what we have. My Dad used to say, " A happy person is one who is content with his/her lot". You, Mayim, mirrored his words with your own. Thanks.

(1) Anonymous, December 24, 2017 12:21 PM

Most family's aren't like this!!

I'm already getting uninvited to family functions & I'm not divorced yet!! So Mayim's situation is quite nice & thats so healthy for her kids!!!

Annette Lauer, December 24, 2017 11:53 PM

most families don't have to be like this

Most families don't have to behave like this
but you do if that's what you want to have in your life
you need to become that change you want to see, regardless of how any one responds or reacts to you
you are worth it
doing what's right takes strength in emunah & bitachon and nothing else - all the best

 

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