I have always been proud to be raised in a family of cops, firemen, and a priest.

I remember one day my friend “Lucy” saying to me, “Colleen, most people help their family and friends, you help the world.”

And why wouldn’t I? It was the example I saw growing up. I witnessed my uncle the priest being stopped in restaurants and hospitals and being asked for counsel or prayers. I watched my other uncles stop in the streets of New York City to help people even when off duty. My brother and brother-in-law and cousins the type of men who would rescue a dog from a frozen pond let alone a person in need.


I grew up with people who were the first men into the fire.

I grew up with leaders.

More importantly, I grew up with people who were so incredibly empathetic and caring they couldn’t stand to see even strangers suffer.

In divorce, my family and friends have gotten involved. They have done their due diligence in putting family first and most importantly my children first.

People shouldn’t have to get involved in divorce.

It should be two adult people putting their children first. It should be swift and then it should be put behind them. It should not be a person using divorce as a tool to punish even at the expense of their own children. Sadly, often that is not the case. One or both spouses carry out their vendetta and seek ‘retribution rather than resolution.’

It morphs into a ‘bullying’ environment or a more appropriate term would be ’emotional stalking’ in the hopes of destroying another person.

So what happens when a ‘war’ is declared by one spouse? 

And the other parent becomes powerless to protect their own children?

What happens in these types of prolonged and extremely damaging divorces? What is the responsibility of the family and friends of a person who is failing to put their own children’s emotional and physical safety first?

All bets are off – it is time for the family and friends to care enough about the children to get involved.

Family and friends comprise the checks and balances in our lives and cheer for us when we shine and caution us when we falter. 

They tell us they are proud of us or worried about us. They tell us when we behave and when we misbehave and they do this because they love us. They do not ignore bad behavior, especially where children are concerned.

They don’t ignore and encourage an individual to value money and revenge over their own children. 

Families get involved WHEN NECESSARY.

And if a divorcing person is reaching out because they are scared for their children then they listen.

I spoke to someone recently and asked for help. They politely declined because it wasn’t politically correct to get involved. Something rose up within me. An indignation at the willingness to watch children struggle at the hands of a parent because apparently some ‘people’ don’t get involved in the lives of those they love.

“I don’t even know what to say,” I responded. “I grew up watching strong, loving, caring, and empathetic men who couldn’t stand to see even a stranger suffer. I grew up with people who were the first men into the fire.”

I grew up with leaders.

The kind of people who know how to love.


(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist on Twitter @colleenorme
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E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com


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