Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Going Through a Divorce: A Child's Perspective

A few thoughts on children going through a divorce.

Children usually feel a lot of pain and emotional conflict during and after divorce. Whether or not your children say it or show it, you can be sure they are deeply affected by the divorce and the struggles around it. The article below gives excellent insight into divorce from a child's perspective.

The Effects of Divorce on Children:

Dr. Deb Huntley, professor of psychology at Argosy University/Twin Cities says, "No matter what age a child is, he or she will have more difficulty adjusting to divorce if there is continued conflict between parents.

Other factors that add to this difficulty include, loss of contact with a competent, non-custodial parent; financial stress; a change of address; loss of continuity in school and home routines; psychological problems in the custodial or, non-custodial parent; and blurred boundaries between the parent and child.”

Going Through Divorce: From Your Child's Perspective

  • Don't put me in the middle. If you need to talk to each other, please do it yourself. Don't give me notes to carry to my other parent. Don't keep secrets about me from my other parent. Don't put me in the position of having to answer questions I don't have answers to just because you don't like my other parent.
  • Don’t make me take sides. You may not have a husband/wife anymore, but I still have a mom/dad. When possible, tell me something positive about my parent. And, don't expect me to hide how I feel about my other parent. I love both my parents, if you are an adult, you won't find that idea threatening. If you do, get help because I don't want to be harmed by your immaturity and anger.
  • Unless there is are problems with domestic abuse, allow me to have access to both parents. Take this into account when you are deciding where to live. I want to see my other parent as often as possible. If it weren't for the divorce, I'd be seeing them every day. Don't let your divorce damage my relationship with my other parent.
  • The better you are able to coparent with each other, the better I will be able to cope with the divorce. I don't want to hear you fight or see you exchange dirty looks. I don't want to have the police at my house just because you two can't get along. I'm more important than your anger at each other so, grow up and put me first.
  • Ask me how I am doing and what I need. Even though you are going through your own loss, I need help talking about the divorce and how I am feeling. I need it is hard on you to get a divorce, guess what, it is hard on me too and I'm not the one who wanted a divorce. Think about that, I'm hurting over something I didn't want in the first place. Make sure you help me work through my pain.
  • Try to keep everything else in my life the same. It is stressful enough to lose a parent to divorce, but even tougher to move to a different school, a new neighborhood, and a new home. The more things I have to change, the more emotional pain I feel. Keep me in mind when you are making major decisions about your divorce.
  • Remember that I am your child. Although you have gone through a divorce, my role is not to replace your spouse or be a friend. Continue to treat me as your child. I don't want to hear about your problems. I don't want to worry about how you are doing. I want you to take care of me because it isn't my job to take care of you.
  • If you need to talk to somebody about what you are going through, find a friend or a therapist. It is too much for me to carry your burden as well. If you don't like my Mom's new boyfriend, I don't need to know. If you don't like the way Dad parents when I'm with him, talk to Dad about it, not me. I'm not your sounding board!
  • No matter what my age is, this is still a loss for me. I may show my grief in many different ways, including anger, depression, anxiety, or acting-out behavior. Please get me help if I am having difficulty.
  • I long for continuity, routine, and tradition. Although our family has changed, keep as many traditions and routines the same as possible. I want to see all my Aunts, Uncles, and cousins on both sides of the family. I want time with both my parents and their families during the holidays. You are my parents, it's your job to make sure these things happen.

We've all heard how resilient children are and how quickly they bounce back after a divorce. I'm sure you've also heard that if a parent is happy the children will be happy also. Well, that isn't always the situation so, it pays to not project your own beliefs about the divorce onto your children. Give them a voice, view them as autonomous beings with their own take on the situation and work with them based on their feelings.

Source: https://www.liveabout.com/going-through-a-divorce-a-childs-perspective-1103247

Monday, 29 April 2019

5 Emotions You'll Experience When Your Child Divorces

Divorce is one of the realities of modern family life, but that doesn't mean that it's easy to handle. Other than a death or serious illness, news of the impending divorce of a child is probably the most devastating blow that a parent can receive, especially if there are grandchildren involved. If you’ve been on the receiving end of such news, you’ve probably experienced a wide range of emotions. These 5 emotional reactions are fairly standard for those in the situation of being a parent of a divorcing child.

Grief for Failed Dreams and Relationships

When a child divorces, a relationship dies, and their parents will typically grieve for that relationship. Your child will probably still have a relationship with the ex-spouse, but it will not be the loving and satisfying relationship that everyone hoped for when the couple married. Even if you had early doubts about the relationship, you undoubtedly hoped that your doubts would be proved false. That hope dies with the news of a divorce.

On the other hand, if you have a close and loving relationship with your daughter- or son-in-law, you are facing the potential loss of that relationship. Grief is a natural reaction to these circumstances, and you must allow yourself to go through the grieving process.

Guilt About Your Own Role

Most parents of a divorcing child have experienced trying to steer children out of a relationship that they think will not turn out well, and most have found it an exercise in futility.

Even though adult children are responsible for their own decisions, parents will almost certainly question themselves about whether they could have done something to avert this family disaster. If the parents of the divorcing child have been divorced or have had troubled relationships in their own pasts, perhaps they will feel that somehow they negatively affected their child's ability to sustain a marital relationship.

You should not allow yourself to fall into the trap of feeling guilty about the failure of your child's relationships. It’s impossible to go back and test what might have happened if things had been done differently, so feelings of guilt are non-productive and should be avoided whenever possible.

Divided Loyalties

It is very common to feel torn between your feelings for the divorcing parties, even though one is your own child. Parents know very well that their children have faults, and clear-eyed parents will recognize that their own child must bear some responsibility for the failure of the relationship. If you had developed a close relationship with your daughter- or son-in-law, you may even feel that your own child is largely at fault. On the other hand, some parents turn all of their sorrow and anger against the daughter- or son-in-law.

However you may feel that the blame should be portioned out, it is important to recognize two things. First, it is impossible to determine what really goes on between two people in a marriage. Second, it is not your role to determine blame. Try to steer your energies in more positive directions, such as spending quality time with your child and grandchildren during this difficult period.

Worries About What the Future May Hold

Uncertainty about the future almost always engenders worry. Suddenly, nothing in the future of your child and grandchildren seems secure. A divorce can impact employment, emotional stability, geographic location, and a host of other factors. You need to focus on what is constant: your love for your child and grandchildren. The classic advice to focus on the things one cannot change and accept the things one cannot change is certainly good advice in this situation. Those who believe in a higher power may find some solace in thinking of the future as being in the hands of that higher power.

Fear of Losing Touch With Grandchildren

Closely akin to worry, fear is also a natural reaction to a divorce in the family. One of the major fears of those in this situation is a loss of access to their grandchildren, especially if custody seems likely to go to the parent who is not their child.

This is not an unreasonable fear, as statistics show that many grandparents lose contact with grandchildren after a divorce. This is one area, however, in which you can take some meaningful action. Although you certainly cannot ensure a continuing relationship with your grandchildren, you can take steps to make it more likely, such as avoiding blame and staying as neutral as possible.

Other Grandparent Stresses

Stress in the grandparenting role is not uncommon in this situation. Grandparenting is not always easy or fun and many grandparents face major challenges in their grandparent roles. Long-distance grandparents experience significant emotional effects, as do the grandparents of grandchildren with special needs.

Grandparents who are dealing with the divorce of a child should seek assistance if their sadness becomes overwhelming, especially if it is preventing a normal life. Seeking counseling or joining a support group may be helpful. It's crucial that you take care of yourself so that you can help your children and grandchildren through this difficult time.

Source: https://www.liveabout.com/emotions-when-your-child-divorces-1695755

Saturday, 27 April 2019

How To Talk to Your Children About the Reasons for Your Divorce

Your kids may have questions and your gentle honesty is important

Every divorce is painful, for all members of the family. But that does not mean that life after divorce is always tough—in fact, as a parent, you play a big part in easing the fears and anxieties of your child. Most parenting experts conclude that what you tell a child about the reasons for her parents' divorcing depends a lot on the age and maturity of the child, and whether or not some of the reasons are obvious.

So, here are some good general rules and things to consider when preparing for one of those "Why did you get a divorce?" discussions that are sure to come.

Why Did You Get a Divorce?

Behavioral therapist Steve Kalas divides the reasons for divorce into three general categories:

  • Divorce as a moral demand. If your spouse was abusive, degrading, or a criminal, the divorce was necessary to prevent self-destruction or further evil to others.
  • Divorce due to betrayal. If you or your partner had one or more affairs, announced she was gay, robbed you blind or was mentally unbalanced and refused treatment, the divorce was likely due to a lack of trust and a desire to be free from such behaviors.
  • Divorce due to marital malaise. In these cases, spouses simply grew apart, fell out of love, failed to meet one another's expectations, or took some other similar action which resulted in the divorce.
How, what, and when you tell the children the reasons depends entirely on which scenario is most reflective of your divorce.

Generally speaking, the reasons for the divorce, if it is in the "moral demand" category, will be obvious and should be shared with the children. In the other two categories, it largely depends on the child's age, awareness and maturity.

  • For younger children, the discussion should stay general. When the question comes up, try not to get really specific with your younger children. You can say things like, "Dad and Mom just couldn't seem to get along well, and we thought you kids deserved not to have parents fighting all the time." Or "Mom and Dad's jobs took so much time that we didn't have much time to keep our marriage strong." 
  • If possible, agree with your ex on what you will tell the kids. Particularly when they are younger, children can be confused with too many details, and even more confused when the parents share different reasons for the divorce. If you can agree on the details you will discuss and share, it will help the kids process what is going on.
  • Don't disparage the other parent. Telling your child that their mom kept getting drunk or had an affair with the neighbor will generally not be helpful, especially for younger children. Even if the other parent was in your mind primarily to blame for the breakup, keep the attitude positive. This rule would not apply in cases where the divorce was a "moral demand," in that case, it would be OK to suggest the divorce was needed to keep the children safe.
  • Encourage them to talk with you about it. If the parents are not willing to talk with the children about their feelings about the divorce, they may go to other parties like friends, neighbors or grandparents, who often only have part of the story. If you avoid the discussion, change the subject or just refuse to answer questions, you will drive them to others for the answers.
  • As the children get older and ask questions, you can be more specific. For example, it might be inappropriate to tell a six-year-old that Mom had an affair, but when an 18-year-old asks, you can answer more specifically. Be sensitive to the needs and concerns of the child.
  • Answer specific questions specifically. When your children are old enough to ask specific questions, you can answer them specifically. It would even be beneficial to take responsibility and explain why your actions matter. For example, if your child asks about your infidelity, you could say something like this: "It was wrong of me to do that and I owed your mother total loyalty. I'm sorry that it broke up our marriage and hurt you. I didn't say anything about it sooner because I wasn't sure that you needed to know. But now that you do know, I want to make sure that I am honest with you."
  • Focus on the real reasons rather than the symptoms. Sometimes it is hard to look beyond the symptoms of a bad marriage to see some of the root causes. If you can look a little deeper, you will often find causes like not making enough time for each other, not being able to talk in a meaningful way about money, not listening to each other, or not being willing to get help when needed. Sharing these kinds of reasons for a divorce will be less incriminating and will also help your child see the need to do these things well when they are married later in life.

Talking with the children about the reasons for divorce is one of the toughest things for a father to do. But being as honest and straightforward as you can, while still respecting the child's age and emotional maturity, is the best way to approach a difficult challenge. And this kind of communication, with love, respect, and credibility, is the most important kind of communication a father and child can have.

Source: https://www.liveabout.com/talking-with-children-about-your-divorce-1270801

Friday, 26 April 2019

10 Advantages That Comes With Divorce

Divorce is viewed as a taboo by many people. This is because you vowed to stick with each other for better or worse and sometimes couples do fear on how the public will judge them. Well, here’s the thing… divorce can happen to anyone! Yes, it is quite painful and difficult to live apart with someone you loved, had a family with and lived with as well, and it gets even nastier when there are property, children, and businesses involved, as there is chaos on who should take what and who should have the custody of the children. Well, if your marriage is not working there is no need to stick around as there is an option of getting a divorce. Some advantages come with divorce include:

1. You get the chance to relax.
Marriage comes with so many responsibilities whereby you end up not getting enough time for yourself. You have to worry on what to prepare for dinner, how your children will get to school and if the children did their homework. After a divorce, you will realize that you have the time for yourself whereby you can invite your friends over for some drinks or even go hiking on the weekends.

2. You get your freedom.
When was the last time you went out to have some drinks with your friends or go to a spa or even go to the salon to have your hair done? When married, all you think about is your family and on how to save money, so your family does not lack anything. If you cannot get the chance to enjoy such activities especially with your spouse, you might consider getting a divorce. No one is going to limit you whether or not you come home late from your painting lessons or judge you if you drink the tequila the proper way or not. Everyone deserves to be happy, and if you are not satisfied while married, you can always ask for a divorce.

3. You can realize your dreams.
You might realize that your dreams are conflicting with the desires of your spouse. With divorce, you can work on making your dreams come true since you have the time and freedom to do your things.

4. You get your happiness back.
You may find that while married you were not happy, especially if you were in an abusive marriage. What is the problem of one pursuing their happiness? If divorce is the only way out of the abusive marriage and the key to your happiness you should not fear to get a divorce.

5. The person is not right for you.
You may have stuck with a person with the belief that they are the right person for you. Even after the many issues you have you still believe the person will change. After a divorce, you can realize and know what you expect in a marriage and how you should be treated as well.

6. There is always a person for you.
There is no need to stick in a marriage that is not working. If you are not happy in your marriage, it is okay to file for a divorce as there is always the right person for you out there. You might even end up meeting the person who makes you happy and complete.

7. You get to love yourself.
Due to the many chores that you have to do in the house, you may find that it ‘s hard to get the opportunity to work out or even cook healthy meals. You completely forget about yourself and all you think about is your family, and yet it is not a happy marriage. The divorce will lessen the chores you were performing making it easy for you to get enough time to take care of yourself.

8. You reunite with your friends.
It can be a lonely life, especially when you don’t get time to meet up with your buddies. You might find that your spouse does not allow you to go out and all you have to do is stay at home. After a divorce, you get the opportunity to meet up with your friends and play Uno cards or try out foosball.

9. Better relationship with your ex.
Did you know that some people get to have a better relationship with their ex-husband or wife after a divorce? This is because there is a mutual respect that is developed and you realize that you are better off being friends than married, as it works better for you.

10. You become a better parent.
Bad marriage drains away your happiness and energy whereby you are not able to look after your children as all your thoughts are on your marriage. After the divorce, you may realize that you have time to take care of your kids as you can get time for yourself as well.

Source: https://www.lifehack.org/531389/10-advantages-that-comes-with-divorce

Thursday, 25 April 2019

11 Guidelines For Dealing With a Child's Anger Surrounding Divorce

Help your child heal from your divorce with your love and support

Divorce can bring out the worst in people. It can cause even an exceptional parent to lose focus on what is best for his or her children, which in turn can cause the children to feel mistreated.

Some parents can’t separate their bad feelings for an ex-spouse from their feelings for their children. When those negative feelings bleed over, their relationship with their child(ren) is fractured.

A parent can turn their child’s anger over the divorce into acceptance if they are there to help their child cope with the stress of divorce.

It’s important that divorced parents put away their own anger and hurt feelings in order to heal the relationship with their child.

A parent needs to set standards for themselves that will help meet their child’s needs. These standards, along with the help of a therapist can be very helpful when attempting to heal a relationship with an angry child.

Below are 11 guidelines for dealing with a child who is angry about your divorce:

  1. Love your child and be there for them even if their words are hurtful. It's important to remember that your child's feelings, regardless of how negative, are more important than your feelings.
  2. Show your child love by expressing it openly. Show love by your words and actions when you talk to your child, no matter how hurtful you feel they are being toward you.
  3. Hold your child accountable but do not abandon them because the pain is too much for you to deal with. Be there to show them what is and isn’t proper behavior. As a parent, it is your responsibility to be available for your child and to take the low-blows until the issues have been worked out. You don't get to avoid your child or the anger your child is feeling.
  4. If they won’t communicate with you, write them letters on a regular basis. Keep a connection going, even from a distance. With technology, it is easy to reach out to a child who is refusing to communicate. Send a weekly text or email to reassure the child you love them and will be there when they are ready to communicate.
  5. Show an interest in their life, ask what they are doing and how they are feeling. Don’t allow your new life to cause you to lose interest in the needs of your children. Even if they are angry with you, showing an interest
  6. If the anger continues, be willing to go to therapy with your child.Show your child that you will stop at nothing to rebuild your relationship. If your child refuses to go to therapy with you, go alone. If your child is that angry, you will benefit from talking to a trained professional who will help you deal with the pain and stress.
  7. Don’t internalize and take things your child says personally. Keep in mind that the anger is coming from fear of losing you as a parent. Wear a thick layer of emotional armor but, don't allow disrespect for who you are as a parent.
  8. If your child has questions and needs to talk about the divorce be willing to listen and respond. You need to try and see things from their perspective. Do not tune them out because this will only cause the anger to grow and them to lose trust in you.
  9. Ask other family members to intervene. Ask them to talk to your child in a positive manner about the importance of the parent/child relationship. Only ask one or two, though. You don't want the entire family ganging up on your child, or that may push their anger further.
  10. Heal your own pain. You may feel rejected and hurt but it’s important you stay strong for your child’s sake.
  11. Do not put new relationships above the relationship with your child. You may have a new love interest and that may go a long way in distracting you from the fact that your child is angry. Just keep in mind that no relationship is as important as the relationship you have with your child. So, don't put new relationships before mending the fractured relationship you have with an angry child.

A single parent support group can be key to the survival of your relationship with your child. Talking and sharing ideas with parents who are experiencing the same problems will generate new options and ways to deal. Don’t bottle up your feelings and refuse to talk about them or deal with your children’s anger.

You stand to lose the most important relationship you have if you do.

Source: https://www.liveabout.com/guidelines-for-dealing-with-a-child-angry-about-divorce-1103083

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

The positive impact of divorce on children

Divorce is often perceived as a failure. The process of starting over can be difficult and overwhelming. A great deal of strength is required. It is rarely the ‘easy way out’.
When you have children, it becomes even more complex. While it is true some children face difficulties through this transition either emotionally or behaviourally, it is not all doom and gloom. Your daughter is not any more likely to be a crazy cat lady and your son a criminal just because their parents get divorced.

It is all going to be OK, so take a few deep breaths and relax while we discuss the positive impact of divorce on children.

It is better to live in two happy homes than one unhappy one
Your separation may have been sudden and unexpected or it may have been caused by years of unhappiness. Either way, if there is tension and arguing in the home it is not a positive environment for a child. Even if you think you are concealing the problems, kids have an uncanny way of picking up on them. Sometimes trying to save your children from a divorce can mean you sacrifice yourself and leave them feeling guilty. And, it does not necessarily mean they are happier for it. When children witness their parents being happy and confident in two separate houses it will help them feel positive about the situation. It will teach them that change can be for the better. For a child, routine, happiness, laughter and play is the best remedy for a parental breakup.

It teaches your children the values and morals you want them to uphold
You know the old the saying, actions speak louder than words. In this situation showing your little ones that you won’t settle for being unhappy and are strong enough to start over, will show them what you value and where your morals sit. It also says you can peacefully walk away from a bad situation; you don’t have to accept it at face value. People are allowed to come and go from your life as we all grow and change. Your partner should be your best friend, and you wouldn’t want your children replicating negative behaviour (either now or as an adult) because of how they see you treating your ‘friend’.

It creates a bond between siblings
One interesting outcome of divorce on children is a strong bond between siblings if they are lucky enough to have them. They are in it together, and no one understands a situation quite like someone else who is right there with you. My 5-year-old daughter has often stated adamantly she doesn’t want to stay with her father, but she always goes because she needs to look out for her older brother. If parents move on and new partners are introduced, siblings will support each other through the new transition.

Your children have a chance to build relationships with both parents
Family life can be busy, and with parents at conflict, it could be a full-time job avoiding one another. This, on top of work commitments and the daily juggle can mean quality time with one or both parents is overlooked. When you are divorced it can allow parents to spend more one on one time with your children and get to know them as individuals. If your children are in share-cared, you can use your time without them to catch-up on work/chores, meaning your time with them is more focused on them. For single mums doing it on their own, you will likely have an unbreakable connection with your children and feel like a lioness with your sense of protectiveness over your cubs.

Your children will learn empathy for others
When a child goes through a big life change such as a divorce, it teaches them empathy for others. Eventually they will understand their parents are only human and nobody is perfect. They will learn everyone is different and everyone feels pain. As an example, my 7-year-old son has a good friend at school whose parents have recently separated. He told me he asked his friend if he was OK and if he wanted to talk as he knew what he was going through. While his little buddy wasn’t quite ready to chat over coffee and cake, my son proceeded to distract him with a game of soccer. Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and this can be learnt from an early age.

Source: https://beanstalkmums.com.au/the-positive-impact-of-divorce-on-children/

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Don’t say these things to your friend going through a divorce

When my good friend confided last August that her husband had been hiring prostitutes and had a sex addiction, I launched into fighter mode. I berated everything about him — his judgment, his narcissism (my diagnosis, not a professional’s), his cowardice and his abdication of fatherly duties.

My friend nodded as if on autopilot. She was depressed, yes. But I also assumed she was in crisis mode and needing a rescue. So I tried to rescue her. I cooked meals, pitched in for a house cleaner, set up informational interviews between her and prospective employers.
In the months following her discovery of his addiction, she decided to file for divorce. As one of her sounding boards, I reacted with shock or fury each time he hurt her. I opined on her divorce settlements, urged her to put her kids in therapy and often circled back to what a jerk her ex was.

I thought I was being a good friend.

But when two more friends told me of their pending divorces, I had a reaction that embarrasses me: exhaustion. Even though their situations were not about me, I had no idea how I’d summon the energy to help them fight as I had for my other pal.

Once I stepped back, I understood that no one had asked me to fight the good fight; I’d ascribed myself that role thinking it was what a good friend would do. That reaction is common but not necessarily helpful, says Irene Lee, a therapist in Colorado who works with individuals, couples and families.

“People tend to make situations about themselves, so a well-meaning person will start doling out advice without knowing all the facts and circumstances,” Lee says. “Emotional situations can trigger our own feelings and prejudices, and we project that onto the scenario presented to us.”

My response probably stemmed from unresolved issues regarding my own divorced parents and, later, a stepfamily. But that’s my problem. And their situation, I realized, was not an appropriate time for me to work out my own issues.

So what’s a better reaction than telling your friend her ex is a loser who never deserved her? Listen. People going through divorce are bound to feel a world of emotions — sometimes all within 10 minutes — and a good friend listens to them and validates their feelings with empathy, not pity.

My divorcing friends are doing better now. They generously shared with me what was most — and least — helpful from their friends. Here’s what they had to say:

Don’t denigrate their spouse. Sure, they may be furious, and you’re welcome to affirm their emotions. But even when someone divorces over infidelity or abuse, they may still hold positive feelings for their partner. Often, an ex-spouse is still a co-parent, so it’s not helpful to label him a lazy jerk when your pal will be forever linked to this person. Lee advises focusing on your friend — not their spouse — and what your friend might need in the moment.

Don’t offer uneducated advice. Unless you’ve been through it, you probably don’t know what your state’s divorce laws are or what a fair settlement would be. “We tend to problem-solve,” Lee says. “It makes us feel better to be useful, but we often ‘solve’ a problem that hasn’t yet been declared a problem, which isn’t ours to fix anyway.” Better to listen to your friend and if there are areas where you might be able to help — such as a job search or finding an attorney — ask if she’d like help before diving in.

Don’t insist on silver linings. You might think losing that dude who’s been dragging her down for years is going to be the best thing ever, but your friend doesn’t need a Pollyanna. Meet her wherever she is emotionally. If she’s feeling hopeful that divorce is the right step, support her decision and praise her for taking positive action. If she’s apoplectic at her soon-to-be-ex, give her space to vent. If she’s struggling and negative, accept those emotions and assure her that you love her and will be there for her. Remember: This is her experience, not yours.

Don’t make vague offers of help. When she’s eyeball-deep in unraveling her life, it’s not helpful to say, “If you need anything, I’m here.” Instead offer concrete assistance. Tell her you’d love to watch her kids on Saturday to give her a break, or ask what day of the week would be good to drop by with dinner for her and her family.

Don’t tell them about someone else you know going through divorce. It may seem helpful to make your friend not feel like they’re alone. But, Lee says, they are. “Their situation is unique to them, and they don’t necessarily want to hear about someone else’s problems,” she says.

As for myself, I’ve always been feisty. Put me in a stressful situation, and chances are I’ll fight, not flee. And I want to protect my friends. But watching girlfriends go through divorce and land on their feet (without me orchestrating it!), I’ve come to an important conclusion: Most people going through a major life change simply want to be heard. More often than not, that means putting aside the boxing gloves and reaching out to hold a hand.

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/soloish/wp/2017/03/20/dont-say-these-things-to-your-friend-going-through-a-divorce/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0ee9b829f594

After divorce, shared parenting is best for children’s health and development

As a young psychology intern in the late 1970s, my first patients were boys from divorced homes, suffering from what was then called “father hunger.” In those days, when parents split up, dads fell by the wayside. Fathers saw their children at the mothers’ discretion. This customary fallout from divorce reflected the belief that mothers are supremely important while fathers are expendable. We’ve come a long way since then.

Observing the problems that were being attributed to divorce, my colleagues and I began conducting studies in the late 1970s to learn how to help children cope better when their parents parted ways. The results of our research in Texas, supported by the National Institute for Mental Health, converged with studies in California, Virginia, and Arizona. The message from this work was clear: children and their fathers usually (though not always) wanted and needed more time together than they were getting. All signs pointed to the benefits for most families of having two parents involved in children’s lives who jointly maintained responsibility for their care. This is what is now called shared parenting.

Toward the end of the 20th century, divorce decrees offered children visits with their father every other weekend. The term visits captured the transformation of dad into something like an uncle, where the children are guests in his home. Dad became an entertainment director: The contacts were fun, but the texture and depth paled in comparison to a realistic parent-child relationship. At that time, only a handful of studies had peered into families in which 

We now have more than 50 studies of joint physical custody. Using different methods, and examining families in the United States and abroad, the results are encouraging: children who spend at least 35 percent time with each parent, rather than live with one and visit the other, have better relationships with their fathers and mothers and do better academically, socially, and psychologically. As will be described next week at the International Conference on Shared Parenting in Boston, they get better grades; are less likely to smoke, get drunk, and use drugs; and are less susceptible to anxiety, depression, and stress-related illnesses.

Despite the obvious benefits of shared parenting, gender barriers don’t crumble easily and legal reform doesn’t usually happen without pushback. Although critics of shared parenting concede that children whose parents share physical custody enjoy many advantages, they reason that these children do better because their parents have more money and less conflict, not because their children spend nearly equal time with each parent. The critics also believe that if one parent opposes shared custody, it’s a bad plan for that family.

Linda Nielsen, a professor of educational and adolescent psychology at Wake Forest University, drilled into the research to test these ideas. She found that children whose parents share physical custody have better outcomes even when one parent initially opposed the arrangement and even when conflict between the parents was high. And the benefits of shared parenting were independent of the parents’ income. The lesson from her work? To ensure better outcomes for children of divorced parents, focus on improving the quality of their relationships with each parent by maximizing the time spent with each of them.

Most psychologists recognize the importance of keeping both parents actively involved in their children’s lives. But some draw the line when it comes to young children. Many people still think that moms should care for infants and toddlers and that we jeopardize children’s wellbeing if we trust dads with the job.

In practice, this means that young children whose parents split up spend every night in their mother’s home. Sleeping overnight at dad’s house is prohibited, even though the same child sleeps at day care, naps at dad’s house on Saturdays, and has sleepovers at grandma’s.

This blanket restriction continues even though dads push the baby stroller a lot more today than ever before in history. In dual-earner families, fathers account for 41 percent of the total time that both parents engage with their infants. This is good news for their children.

Fathers benefit from on-the-job experience just as mothers do. They learn to read their baby’s signals and respond sensitively. Fathers may even have a greater impact than mothers in some areas such as language development and persistence in facing challenging obstacles — the “can do” attitude that is essential to success.

To assess where science stands on the issue of shared parenting and overnights for young children, I spent two years reviewing the relevant scientific literature and vetting my analyses with an international group of experts. This work, published in an American Psychological Association journal, was endorsed by 110 leading researchers and practitioners.

Here are the two main conclusions: First, shared parenting should be the norm not just for children whose parents live together, and not just for older children, but also for children of all ages whose parents live apart from each other. Children need a father, not an uncle-daddy. Second, if we want to give children the best chance for normal relationships with their fathers, limiting fathering time to daytime hours until children enter kindergarten is not the way to do that.

To be sure, shared parenting is not for all families after divorce. But there’s a general consensus that it is good for many of them.

If we value dad soothing his fretful baby at 3 a.m. or reading “Goodnight Moon” to his toddler while the parents are living together, why deprive the child of these expressions of fatherly love just because the parents no longer live together, or just because the sun has set?

Richard A. Warshak, PhD, is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and the author of “Social Science and Parenting Plans for Young Children: A Consensus Report” and “Divorce Poison: How To Protect Your Family From Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing.”

Source: https://www.statnews.com/2017/05/26/divorce-shared-parenting-children-health/

Monday, 22 April 2019

How To Cope When Your Kids Have a New Stepfather

Your child's happiness and comfort should be your priority

Seldom is the decision is sudden; divorced dads typically know well in advanced when their ex will be getting remarried. Regardless of the details of their courtship, the new union will not sit well with any parent that does not have primary or sole custody. There are so many factors to this addition to the family, it can be hard to know how to react. The most important thing is always the kids, but where does their father fit in?

Some feelings are completely natural; men may feel a need to compete for the affection of their children or prove their worth through material gifts. It almost feels like this other guy, who has no connection with your kids other than being married to their mom, is barging in and disrupting the delicate balance that already exists in a separated family. While we frequently hear in our society about how hard it is for a divorced woman to see her ex-husband get remarried, it can be equally challenging when the tables are reversed.
Read on for some tips on how to deal with a new stepfather in your children's lives.

Dealing with Your Feelings
So, how does a dad deal with these feelings? How can he still stay the "father" to the kids when there is another man in their daily life? First, it is important to recognize that it is best for the children to have a positive relationship with their stepfather in their new blended family.

Regardless of how you feel, he has a major presence in their life.

Creating distance between the kids and the new stepfather is a sure recipe for failure. Having Mom remarry is already a difficult reality for any child, and it would be twice as hard if their father works to undermine it. So, talk to the kids about their new stepfather and help them adjust to the new reality.

Putting their well-being ahead of your new competitive feelings is a good first step.

Don't Compete with the New Stepfather
Sometimes dads who find themselves in this situation will try to compete with the new stepfather by being a "Disneyland Dad," and giving his kids everything they want and being really relaxed with rules and standards. It is natural to want the kids to have more fun with you than with him. But allowing the rules to go out the window and letting them get away with anything does not do the children a service. In fact, maintaining consistency in your relationships with the kids will actually be positive when so much in changing in their world otherwise.

Don't Put Down the Stepfather
You probably will not get along with or like to be around the new guy. Still, it is important for your children to see that you respect him and their mother. If you do the opposite, say, by giving the impression that this is a person that your kids should not respect or take seriously, you will find yourself struggling with the entire family. Say nice things about him and their mom whenever you can.

That said, if the guy exhibits risky behaviors, you have to protect your children. A custody challenge could be warranted if the stepfather is verbally or physically abusive, or if he is regularly overly intoxicated, or if there are other violations upon your children.

Talking to Other Dads Who Have Been There
Opening up to another separated father may be outside your comfort zone, but it is the best way to gain perspective. You will have the chance to see how others have handled this transition and whether the experience was good or bad, which will help you find your own best path. If you don't know any non-custodial fathers with this kind of experience, find a fathers support group near you.

Have a Great Life Outside of Your Family
Get involved in activities outside of work; service clubs, PTAs, and the like will give you some release. Stay healthy and physically active. A good life balance will help you, in the long run, to keep being a positive influence on your kids and will put many of these things into perspective.

Your children need their father to be a positive, fun and loving influence in their life.

While they should also have a good relationship with a stepfather, the best thing you can do is to be their real dad, to live up to your obligations and to be a positive and upbeat part of their lives.

Source: https://www.liveabout.com/coping-with-your-kids-new-stepfather-1270393

Saturday, 20 April 2019

7 Ways to Rebuild Your Financial Life Post-Divorce

For most people, nothing in their life will be as expensive as their divorce.

Divorce is one of the most life-altering experiences to go through. It not only changes our relationship dynamics, but in most cases, it completely alters our lifestyle.
No matter how hard we've worked to live the life we've dreamed of, more often than not, divorces are financially devastating. Many people lose half or more of everything they've saved over the course of their life. This includes their home, their savings, their retirement, business and other investments.

If that isn't painful enough, divorcing people often see their income wither and their expenses explode. We cannot forget to factor in the outrageous expenses for attorney fees on both sides, with the higher earning partner often having to pay for half or more of the lower earning partner's fees. No doubt about it, divorce is usually bad news financially. Having said this, all is not lost. There is much we can to do improve our financial situation significantly post-divorce.

1. Try not to waste energy panicking.

Obviously, this is much easier said than done. Nonetheless, we must be diligent in making sure every ounce of our available energy is focused toward saving and rebuilding our finances wherever we can.

Worry wastes the valuable time and energy we need, and it keeps our minds too jumbled to find reasonable solutions. As powerless as we may feel, we are never powerless. Where there is the will, and a little creativity, there is a way. After a divorce, we have a multitude of choices to explore, so as bad as things may seem, we will certainly not end up on the streets. We must do all we can to shift our focus onto solutions and away from problems. This mental shift puts us into a proactive mindset, which has the immediate impact of changing our mood to hopeful.

2. Take inventory.

Because divorces are so twisting and confusing, it may be difficult to understand how or what is going to happen with our finances and investments. Remember that knowledge is power. We must do our research and gather the information necessary to know how to rebuild.

It is helpful to create spreadsheets, making a separate sheet for our varying incomes, another for our expenses and another for assets and liabilities. On each sheet enter the type of account, who owns it, what the rate is and the contact information for each institution. As we gain more information through the divorce process, we become clear on where and how things are going to land. This gives us a better idea on the areas where we need to stay conservative, and the areas where we can afford to take some calculated risks to start rebuilding. It's astonishing how empowering it is to have one place to go when we feel stressed and need an overview of our finances. Our spreadsheets provide us exactly that.

3. Balance your budget.

After a divorce it will undoubtedly take some time to adjust to the income/expense story of our new life. This isn't fun, but feeling resentful doesn't bring any less stress and nor does it bring us more freedom.

We must accept what is and work with what we have. If we feel unclear on the average amount we can spend, we should be more conservative and start keeping track until things become clear. This is the most important piece of financial information we have. With it, we'll know if we need to cut back and take on a heavier load at work to increase our income, or if our situation is stable enough where we can live within the means of what we currently have and still rebuild.

If we figure out that our spending exceeds our income, this situation is dire and must change immediately. We are better off knowing this information than pretending it doesn't exist and driving ourselves into an even deeper level of financial ruin.

4. Set up accounts correctly.

Resetting our lives in an organized and simple way can be confusing while we're traversing a divorce. It is important to count on our legal representatives to advise us on how to take over the title of our accounts, and also who the beneficiaries on our accounts should be.

This topic is especially important when it comes to dealing with retirement accounts. We must learn and familiarize ourselves with the rules on this, but we must also be mindful not to act as our own attorney. Good legal advice is key when it comes to the proper vesting and naming our beneficiaries. All these steps are what help to bring us back to a sense of normalcy, security and balance in our life.

5. Organize priorities.

The realities that come with divorce include huge doses of emotional shock and disbelief. When we're divorcing it can feel as if everything is coming at us all at once, which causes us tremendous anxiety. When we are full of anxiety we start thinking in terms of dooms day. This type of thinking is highly dangerous because it leads us into emotional shutdown.

If we determine that we don't have enough money to survive month to month, then first priority will need to be our budget. If need be, we must seek a financial advisor who will help us to save and grow our income. If money isn't our issue, we must turn our focus on increasing our finances, moving and creating our new life.

6. Pick your supports.

Divorce separates our friends and family just as it divides the marriage. It is vital to pick the people who support us unconditionally, and who we know will have our back no matter what.
Part of the pain of divorce is that we not only lose a marriage, but we also lose many of the friends that were made during the course of the marriage. If our ex is talking poorly about us to everyone we love and care for, we must do all we can to stay quiet and not fuel that fire. 
Those who are true to us will not believe everything they hear, and nor will they put us in a position to have to defend ourselves or our decision- making.

It can also be important to get into some form of therapy, or a divorce support group, especially if we have children who have been placed in the middle. Our community of support is what keeps us resilient.

7. Learn

By taking inventory, balancing our finances, organizing our priorities and establishing our supports, it helps to keep us moving forward even when we feel as if we don't have the energy.

It is hard not to let the stress of a divorce kill our motivation and faith in people. However, the more proactive we are, the more we learn, reflect and take care of ourselves the healthier we are when going through the divorce and the more easily we move on after the divorce. We must put all of our energy into not letting our divorce cause us to lose direction. 
We must force ourselves to focus on staying on task and moving in a new and positive direction. Our happiness and continued success, at the end of the day, becomes our greatest retribution.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/307592

Friday, 19 April 2019

Positive Outcomes of Divorce

When marriages are untenable and there is nowhere else to go, in order to save your emotional and sometimes physical life, as well as secure the mental health and wellbeing of your children, sometimes the only place to go is "out."

Imagine that you're preparing your husband's favorite meal. He walks through the door at dinnertime and you greet him. Suddenly, and without any provocation at all, his mood changes. It's as if a dark cloud has come over the room. Your mind starts racing back, you wonder what did you say, what did you do? This scenario plays out over and over again in some marriages and can diminish self-esteem, wear down emotional resource, and kill your soul.

Or maybe you've hit a wall in your marriage. You've been here several times before with your spouse, and you both feel at wits' end. When marriages are untenable and there is nowhere else to go, in order to save your emotional and sometimes physical life, as well as secure the mental health and wellbeing of your children, sometimes the only place to go is "out."

It is at this moment, when you decide to change your life, to advocate yourself and your children, that a visit to a counselor, psychiatrist or psychologist is warranted.

Positive Outcome of Divorce #1: Self-Reflection and Self-Healing

With professional guidance you can discover what affected your choice of a mate and assure yourself that you will never make that mistake again. This self-reflection and self-healing is one of the most positive outcomes of divorce. By doing inner work, you can recognize and acknowledge your own patterns that led you to a dysfunctional relationship in the first place. Then, if you can integrate back into your psyche those early patterns from your family of origin, you can redeem them and never have to repeat them again.

At this time of greatest trauma, your defenses are cracked open, and for the first time in a long time you are your natural self. This is the undefended healthy core of your existence, and it is from this place of your natural resource that you can heal, renew and experience rebirth. By experiencing your authentic self, you will automatically build your self-esteem, depression will lift, and you are able to move into a happier and healthier lifestyle.

When you first fall in love, you may project onto the beloved your ideal: the best of who you are, those rose-colored glasses of your imagination. This is what we call a projection. However, by suppressing who you really are -- by going along to get along -- you are using up vital energy just to hold down your feelings.

You will still be compelled to move towards those old patterns that worked for you within your original family. However, because you are now conscious and aware, you will see red flags everywhere, and you have the opportunity, therefore, to override those impulses that compel you to move towards the wrong relationship and as a result make room for the right one. In essence, you're changing a habit, and as you grow and break your old habits, you allow yourself the opportunity to experience a different relationship with a new spouse. It's important to remember that we are different with different people.

This is restoration, how you bring yourself back to your full potential -- the you that you were meant to be. A healthy partner is the one who carries the positive characteristics of our opposite sex parent, and that's when second marriages can become fulfilling and mutual. Even your physical health can be restored.

Positive Outcome #2: Better Health

Now we know that telomeres, the little rings around your chromosomes that fall off as you age, also fall off when you are stressed. Miraculously, they can be restored through healthy lifestyle changes. Therefore, by releasing yourself from an unhealthy partnership, you not only can become healthier mentally and physically, but also add years to your life through happiness.

Positive Outcome #3: Self-Confidence and Empowerment

The first feeling you experience at the onset of divorce can be fear of the unknown. However, by moving into your fullest capacity, the real you, as I describe above, this will automatically rebuild your self-esteem, your sense of self, your capacity for intimacy, your creative energy and allow you to take back the power you surrendered in a poor relationship. In my work as a researcher, educator and human behavior expert, I've witnessed that poor marriages are often based on possessiveness, lack of intimacy, need for space and distance and need for control.

Positive Outcome #4: Giving Your Children the Gift of Modeling Healthy Relationships

Finally, as difficult as the process of divorce can be on your children, it also allows them to watch you make human mistakes -- and then grow from them. As you do your inner work and regain your true self, your children are watching, and they can learn the importance of valuing yourself. They also have the opportunity to learn how to properly behave and react should they find themselves in a similar situation down the road. And finally in the future, you can model, for your children, a true and healthy marriage.

The best relationships come out of strength, not weakness. When you are whole and know yourself, you will meet someone with whom you can be mutual. This is a marriage born of strength, not of lack. Once the negative and critical patterns of poor partnerships are released, you can expand into the undefended you. By rediscovering yourself, that inner you that you were before marriage, following your own rhythm of sleeping, being, staying home and going out, you act on your own behalf and by so doing find your own authority is empowered. This returns a sense of control, allowing you to grieve the past and embrace the future.

Source: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/positive-outcomes-of-divo_n_4768426

Thursday, 18 April 2019

When Your Ex-Wife is Getting Married

One of the hardest moments for a divorced man is when his ex-spouse remarries. Learn what you can do to prepare for her remarriage and how you and your kids will cope when your ex-wife remarries. Recently, I had a call from one of my good divorced friends who just got the news that his ex was remarrying, asking for some divorce advice. Even though their relationship after the divorce was not that great, it was still quite an emotional blow to him.

Steve told me, "I didn't think I would feel this way. I guess I just assumed that even though we were divorced, I would always be her one and only and that no man would ever take what had been "my place."

Steve was experiencing some of the feelings that many men know as his former spouse announces her engagement to someone else. While some men may rejoice when their ex remarries ("The end of alimony!"), others have feelings of loss and even depression.
"While I know that the marriage is over, I just hadn't thought about how it would feel to be replaced by another man," Steve told me. "I knew that she was dating other guys, but I just never thought she would remarry and maybe feel about someone else the way she felt about me once upon a time." So, if you have some weird feelings about your ex-spouse remarrying, how can you handle it and what should you do to make this moment of truth a little more manageable? 

Prepare to Mourn
You may think that you went through all the mourning you would ever need when the divorce became final. And it certainly is a tough transition from married life to being a single dad, whether you have primary custody of the kids or not. But there is a new level of finality to the former relationship when the mother of your kids remarries.

So be prepared to have a rough time, and take the steps needed to mourn the loss of a relationship all over again.

She Has Moved On - You Need to As Well
Having your ex remarry is the best evidence that she has moved on with her life without you. When it happens, you need to tell yourself that regardless of how you feel now or felt at the time of the divorce, it is time to move on with your life without her. Some good visualizations can be helpful here. See yourself happy and fulfilled, having fun with the kids or with friends, and see yourself without her. Try to associate some positive feelings with the remarriage rather than just the negative ones.

Get Her Out of Your System
On a related note, as you make the decision to move on, you have to work to change your thoughts about her. Whether you ever fantasized about reconciling with her, those feelings are often behind the scenes in your mind after a divorce. Her marriage to a new guy totally deflates that fantasy, and you have to find a path in life that involves her only as the mother of your kids, not as a friend, partner, or even an enemy.

Keep Your Distance
Even if you have maintained a good relationship after the divorce, it is important to draw some new boundaries around her new marriage relationship.
Even if you are invited to the wedding, find a good reason not to go. And don't plan to just hang out around her place waiting for the kids or whatever; the new marriage changes all of those old relationships. Keeping a distance will help you avoid many unpleasant things associated with her new family situation.

Prepare Plans for the Wedding Day
Often, the actual wedding day can be a particularly traumatic moment. If your kids are attending, make sure arrangements are made to get them there and back. Sometimes grandparents are a good option for the kids on their mom's wedding day. Then you make some plans to stay busy and involved. Go out with some friends, or find a group to go camping or fishing with. Find a sporting event or a cultural event to attend. But don't let yourself sit around and risk down feelings.

Listen to the Kids
Speaking of the children, they may have some feelings of their own about their mom's remarriage. For them, it may also burst a fantasy about mom and dad getting back together. This is a good time to do a lot of listening to their feelings. Often, in the midst of their mom's excitement and planning, the children can become an afterthought. There can also be some nervousness about now having a stepfather in their lives. So make sure you are there for them and that you are addressing their needs and concerns as well.

Put Some Distance Between You and Your Former In-Laws
Many dads I know who go through a divorce still maintain a good relationship with their former in-laws. Some are even invited to family events, whether or not the ex attends. After your ex's remarriage, however, those moments become much more difficult. You can even inadvertently torpedo the relationship between your ex's family and her new husband. So another good boundary line to draw is to step back from a continued relationship with your former in-laws.

Respect Your Ex and Her Husband in Front of the Kids
Sometimes feelings about your ex's remarriage can negatively impact the children. As we have seen in so many families involved in divorce, alienating the kids needlessly from their mother brings regrets and damages long-term relationships with the children. Certainly, if the ex and/or her new husband are abusive or drug users, you have to try to protect the kids. But if not, then show respect for your ex and her new husband. Making sure the kids have positive relationships with both parents works best for the kids and for mom and dad in the long run.

Find Someone to Talk To

Finally, don't try to deal with these feelings alone. Find a support group, a good friend, or a counselor or clergy to talk with. Often, verbalizing the negative or jealous or depressed feelings can help you put them in perspective. As important as a good support system is after a divorce, it is even more important when your former spouse remarries.

Source: https://www.liveabout.com/when-your-ex-remarries-1270174

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

5 Tips For Dealing With Anger During Divorce

After a divorce, most people go through a myriad of emotions. Hurt, disappointment, and grief are some of the more easily recognized emotions, but underlying all of these may be anger.

Anger is a fact of life, especially for most people experiencing a divorce. Because anger is a human reality, what can you do to deal with and use proactively the anger you feel during divorce?

Strategies for Dealing With Anger During Divorce

Below are 5 strategies that will help you understand and deal with anger in a positive manner.

Don't Give In

Anger is a legitimate emotion, it is your heart trying to tell you something hurts emotionally. Stuffing anger to avoid dealing with it can result in depression which, in some cases is your anger turned inward. Allow yourself to explore the reasons for your anger and to express the anger in a proactive manner.

Learning to respond in a healthy manner to emotional pain isn't easy. It's the first step you have to take if you are going to keep the anger you feel from becoming destructive. Our first response to being hurt or feeling powerless is to lash out. To attempt to get revenge and regain a sense of control. When that is your response, you're feeding your anger instead of exploring and attempting to understand it.

To lessen anger and fully understand what you are feeling, you need to allow yourself to feel vulnerable and hurt. Anger gives a false sense of empowerment, vulnerability causes feelings of helplessness.

Anger is an emotional fraud. It's there to trick you into not fully understanding what lies beneath the anger, a lot of hurt and vulnerability. Anger hardens your heart and, if fed, keeps you from ever getting in touch with what you are truly feeling.

There is no shame in admitting you are hurt and feeling out of control.

And, doing so softens your heart, leads to being in touch with your feelings and staying open to new relationships and a healthier life after divorce. Choosing pain over anger is hell in the short-term but, healthy in the long-term.

Don’t Fear Your Anger

Women especially may have been brought up to think that they should be “nice and agreeable” and not get angry. Everyone gets angry, and it is a healthy emotion, not something to be feared. Journal or talk to a friend to vent your angry feelings, so you can work through them.

Feared anger leads to stuffed anger which leads to you one day blowing like Mount Vesuvius and leaving a path of destruction in your wake.\Get in touch with the feelings causing the anger and explore appropriate ways to express the anger you feel.

Don’t Worry About Losing Control of Your Anger

One fear many people have is, if they let their anger out they won’t be able to control the rage that may be inside them. This is usually a fear with no basis in fact. Find a safe place to vent your anger.

Punch a pillow, scream, or do whatever makes you feel the release you need without harming anyone. And, that is the key, stop fearing your anger, express it in a way that leads you to a reduction in the anger you feel without it causing or exacerbating conflict and harm.

Don’t Worry About What Other People Think

If you feel anger, you have a right to your feelings. Individuals may think that it’s acceptable to express grief or sadness, but anger may bring on feelings of embarrassment or shame because it is generally frowned upon.

Anger can be an early warning system that something is wrong. Is someone mistreating you? Is someone trying to take advantage of you? Use your anger to build healthy boundaries and distance yourself from those attempting to do you harm.

Get Regular Exercise

If you are having a hard time processing the reasons for your anger, it may be resulting from your overall situation and the frustration you feel from dealing with stress. Taking a walk, doing aerobics or finding stress-relieving yoga poses, or even kickboxing can make a person dealing with anger feel much relief.

According to WebMD.com, "exercise acts like a drug, protecting against angry mood induction, almost like taking aspirin to prevent a heart attack." So, instead of working out to burn calories, work out to burn off those feelings of anger.

Do an exercise that you know is safe for you, and give it your all. Check with your physician if you have any questions about whether or not exercise is appropriate for you.

Nothing contributes more to divorce turning into all-out war than anger. Get it under check, explore what it is trying to tell you, and when needed us your anger appropriately to protect yourself during the divorce process.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

How to Deal With Your Parents’ Divorce

Dealing with your parents' divorce is never easy, no matter what age you are. And while you may not have to worry about some of the issues that can arise during childhood, such as custody battles, moving, or coordinating after-school pickups, having to deal with your parents' divorce during adulthood comes with its own unique set of challenges and obstacles. If you're struggling or trying to make sense of your parents' divorce at their age, there are steps you can take right now to deal with and overcome these overpowering issues.

1. Reach Out for Support
Even though you're now older and wiser, dealing with parents who are divorcing doesn't spare you from the wide range of feelings and emotions that children experience when their parents divorce. If you're feeling sad, confused, hurt, guilty, or angry about the situation, it's important that you reach out to close friends, siblings, and other supportive people in your life who can help you work through these emotions and tackle them head-on.

Many children often meet with therapists when their parents get divorced, and being older doesn't mean that you shouldn't reach out to trained professionals to help you work through your emotions. You'll get through this, so don't be afraid to widen your support system to help you in the process.

2. Don't Let It Ruin Your Vision of Your Childhood
When your parents divorce when you're older, it's not uncommon to look back at your childhood and carefully review every wonderful memory in search of clues of your parents' unhappiness.

However, you shouldn't let their divorce jade or cast a negative shadow on the times that you spent as a family while growing up, and you shouldn't try to scrutinize and pinpoint evidence of your parents' discontentment. Even if your parents are divorcing, you should still treasure those happy moments and let them bring you joy.

Happy childhood memories don't dissolve when your parents' marriage does.

3. Set Boundaries With Your Parents
As an adult, your parents may treat you more like a friend and confidant rather than as their child, and this means that they may individually turn to you to help deal with their grief, vent and lament about the other. If you find yourself having to listen to each of your parents complain, name call, and insult each other, you should speak up and put an end to this kind of behavior.

You need to remind them that you're still their child, and that you won't be put in a situation where you have to choose sides or speak ill about one of your parents to the other to appease their needs. They should still play a parental role and make sure that you're coping with the situation and dealing with your own whirlwind of emotions during this challenging time.

4. Don't Let It Ruin Your View of Relationships in General
If you're dealing with your parents' divorce as an adult, it's not uncommon that this kind of news start to influence how you view relationships in general. You may wonder how such a seemingly strong and happy relationship can simply crumble after all these years. However, every relationship is different, and just because your parents' relationship is now ending doesn't mean that your current or future relationships won't work out for the long haul.
Don't let their ending marriage negatively impact your view of dating and relationships. Staying positive and optimistic is the grown-up thing to do.

5. Understand That It Takes Time to Get Used to the New Normal
When you're dealing with your parents' divorce, you should recognize that it'll take time for you to get used to the new reality. It may be strange to split up during the holidays, see your parents living in different homes or even watch them date other people, and you won't suddenly feel OK with the situation overnight. By taking it day by day and understanding that there'll be highs as well as lows, you'll be better able to make sense of their divorce and settle into this new chapter of your life.

Source: https://www.liveabout.com/how-to-deal-with-your-parents-divorce-4156973

Monday, 15 April 2019

6 Tips to Help You Process Emotions When Your Ex Starts Dating

Whether the divorce was your idea or your spouse’s, most people find themselves experiencing negative emotions when their ex-spouse starts dating again. Does this mean you still love them? Are these feelings normal? These are common questions you may ask yourself when your ex-spouse starts dating again.

Here are six tips that will help you process those negative emotions.

Your Feelings Are Perfectly Normal

You spent a large part of your life with this person, and during the years you were together, dating and married, you came to think of that person as YOUR significant other.

You two were a couple and to see your spouse with someone else will trigger feelings in you that may be surprising and unpleasant.

It does not mean you are still in love but rather you are witnessing the evidence that your spouse now has someone else in the place you used to fill. Though you may not understand the feelings you are having, they are a natural part of moving on after a divorce. When you meet someone new, you will have a better perspective on how your ex is feeling about you and the relationship you both once had.

You Should Expect to Feel Jealous

Most people are puzzled as to why they are jealous of someone they didn’t want in their life any longer. It’s a common reaction. This was YOUR husband or YOUR wife, you expected fidelity, and now it may feel like cheating to see them with someone else.

Remember what you think and what you feel can sometimes be at odds, but it’s perfectly normal to feel some jealousy and even look for things to criticize in your ex’s new partner.

And, if you've not moved on to a new relationship of your own, your jealousy may stem from the mere fact that they have.

Remember the Reasons You Divorced

Divorce is not entered into lightly, and you probably have valid reasons for the divorce. Keeping this in mind will help you to accept the changes that have come as a result and the confusing feelings you are having over your ex dating again.

Every time you experience a negative reaction to your ex dating, stop and go through the list of reasons you are no longer married. Remembering the negative aspects of your marriage can go a long way in helping alleviate any the unpleasant idea of him/her dating again.

Move Forward in Your Life

Is it possible you are uncomfortable with the idea of your ex dating because you are stuck and unable to move forward with your life?

I’m sure you’ve heard that saying, “The best revenge is living well.” Well, it’s true! If you are feeling jealous, the last thing you want is for your ex to know. Instead of focusing on what he/she is doing, focus on living the best life you can and before you know it, you won’t be concerned with whether or not your ex is dating.

No Two Relationships Are the Same

The relationship that you had with your ex will never be reproduced with anyone else. Each relationship between two people is different, and what you had together during your marriage will never be reproduced with someone else.

The special things you had together were unique to the two of you. So, when you feel jealousy or discomfort over your ex dating, remember that no one can really take the same place in your ex’s life that you had.

So, keep in mind how unique you are and that you will also have someone new to share your life with one day.

Remember That Your Ex Deserves to Be Happy

No matter how much conflict you lived through during the divorce process, if you search your heart, you really don’t want your ex to not move forward. You also don’t want to stay stuck yourself. You really don’t want him/her to be miserable. Letting go is a process, and it may take you some time and effort to get there.

The time will come when you are happy again. More than likely, with a new partner. When that time comes you aren't going to waste time worrying about who your ex is with. Why not start not worrying about that now, instead of later?

Seeing your ex-spouse with someone else can be a shocking experience, but ultimately you will come to accept it, just as your ex will have to adjust to seeing new people in your life.
Concentrate on the good memories you had and the good times to come.

Source: https://www.liveabout.com/tips-to-help-you-process-emotions-when-your-ex-starts-dating-1103124