divorced dads

The Value of Divorced Dads: On Father’s Day And Every Day

divorced dads

Lessons of love always begin in childhood with the parent/child relationship. If children feel authentically loved by a father they will grow up knowing how to love others.

 

Father’s Day is just another day around my house. My father passed away13 years ago and my ex-husband has no relationship with our two sons. I was blessed with a loving father who earned celebrations every day of the year.

My boys, bless their hearts, ended up with the kind of father that perpetuates the old stereotypes about deadbeat dads. I’ve been divorced from their father for 19 years, during that time I’d venture to say that 90% of the time he has been a no-show when it comes to fathering.

When I began this article I was stumped, what can I, a mother whose sons don’t have a father say to divorced dads on Father’s Day? I then realized that the absence of their father has taught me quite a bit about the importance of fathers in a child’s life. Not just on Father’s Day but every day.

Whether you have full custody, 50/50 custody or you are an every other weekend Dad, when your little ones give you a gift and card this Father’s Day it isn’t because you are special to them on one day but, because you add value to their lives every day.

A Divorced Dads Value on Father’s Day and Every Day:

Showing up:

Showing up in spite of a difficult visitation schedule or conflict with your ex teaches your children persistence. If you continue to be involved in your children’s live after divorce, engage in quality time with them regardless of how little quantity, you are teaching your child that when something is important to them, it is worth pursuing with persistence. What a wonderful lesson to teach!

They learn they matter:

You not only teach your children that they matter but, by example, you teach them that what they do matters. You showing them that they matter teaches them to care about others. You teach them that actions, words, and deeds are the true measure of a person when you show up and you show them they can trust your actions, words and deeds.

You give them someone to go to:

If they are hurting or confused over a problem they know you are available. You make a difference when they are down and out. By being there for them, you teach them to be there for others. You have a direct impact on how empathetic and compassionate they become.

You impact their ability to learn:

Children with involved, caring fathers have better educational outcomes. Fathers who are involved and nurturing with their children impact their IQ scores as well as cognitive abilities, verbal skills, and intellectual functioning. So, show up as often as possible because you are raising geniuses!

You impact their mental health:

Children with good relationships with their fathers are less likely to experience depression or exhibit disruptive behavior. Boys with involved fathers had fewer school behavior problems and girls have higher self-esteem. In other words, by showing up you teach your boys the importance of proper behavior and your girls to never settle for that ne’er-do-well boy that every father fears.

You teach your sons how to be good fathers:

Fathering involves commitment, self-sacrifice, integrity, and unconditional love. Responsible fathers are concerned with the well-being of their children, and their desire is to see their children succeed in all areas of life.

Nurturing your relationship with your sons trains them “up right,” as my grandmother used to say, it educates them and fosters healthy development. Do this for your sons and your grandchildren will be rewarded with loving, attentive fathers.

You teach them how to love:

Lessons of love always begin in childhood with the parent/child relationship. If children feel authentically loved by a father they will grow up knowing how to love others. The ability to give love is directly related to the love we receive, especially during childhood. Showing up and filling your children with love will play a huge role in the kind of romantic relationships they involve themselves in as adults.

And that is just the short list! Raising two boys on my own has taught me a lot about the value of a father. Working through the years with clients and hearing from fathers via email, I know that my ex-husband is not representative of the vast majority of divorced dads.

We hear a lot about single and divorced moms but very little about divorced dads. We place value on the mother/child relationship and at times dismiss the father/child relationship. It is my wish on this Father’s Day that divorced dads know that, although others may not be paying attention, their children are.

They are waiting for your phone call, watching out the window, looking for your car, counting the days until your next visitation. They are eager to see you, share their lives with you and love you. And every time you show up your value to them increases tenfold.

If you are a divorced dad who shows up, every day spent with your children feels like Father’s Day to them.

So, Happy “Father’s Day” today and every day.

The post The Value of Divorced Dads: On Father’s Day And Every Day appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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move on after my divorce

How Taming My Ego Helped Me Move On After My Divorce

move on after my divorce

 

As a married woman, I lived a comfortable middle-class wife type of life. Life, if not always great, was easy. I took comfort and some pride in the fact that I had a husband by my side. Awful as it is to admit now – I was a ‘smug married’. Being a wife was a balm to my somewhat fragile ego.

I assumed I’d be married forever. I had no reason to think otherwise. Suffice it to say then I was completely blindsided when, during our seventeenth year of marriage, my husband announced that he wanted a divorce. I was paralyzed with grief – grief not just for the loss of him, but for the life I’d so carefully and neatly constructed.

And the funny thing about grief? It has a way of clouding judgment – of telling us things that simply aren’t accurate. In my pain, I somehow convinced myself that every successful woman who had ever lived had been married, and remained married, for the course of their entire lives.

Truth is, being ‘abandoned’ was a massive blow to my ego. And, I eventually realized, taming said ego was key to my healing and moving on from divorce.

Here are 3 things I did to tame my ego and move on after my divorce:

I removed my wedding and engagement rings

This was a BIG deal for me.

I used to take comfort in the fact that I had two rings on my ring finger, and would often find myself gazing appreciatively at them. To me, they were badges of honor. They were a symbol, to all who cared to notice, that I had made it in the world. That I hadn’t been left on the shelf. That somebody had clearly thought that I was good enough to marry.

And when that somebody suddenly decided that he, in fact, didn’t want to be married to me anymore, the idea of losing those badges of honor damn near killed me. I didn’t want to take them off. Yet in my pain and heartache and grief I still somehow instinctively knew that I had to let go. That there was no chance of reconciliation, and therefore no need to keep those rings on.

So reluctantly, I removed them. And for a time I acted a little crazy because of it. On very bad days I would scan the ring fingers of everyone in my immediate vicinity (usually the local shops) to see if like me, they were social rejects, or if they were lucky and whole and perfect enough to be married.

I would then construct ridiculous stories in my head about how happy and normal the marrieds must be, and how desperate and lonely the unmarrieds surely were. If a professional could have seen inside of my head during those moments, I am quite certain I would have been diagnosed with a disorder of some sort.

Eventually, I’m happy to report, I came to my senses and realized that I could not – and would not – be defined by a couple of pieces of jewelry. I accepted it was my EGO that had been telling me otherwise for years.

I eventually came to love the freedom of a bare ring finger. And I eventually moved on.

I reconnected with single friends

Let me be clear here – I never actually stopped being friends with my single counterparts. Over the years I guess I just fell into the routine or habit of hanging out more with other married people. It seemed that I had more in common with the marrieds – married since twenty-two, I actually had very little memory of what it was like to be single. And my ego liked it this way.

Suddenly single, I had no idea what to do with myself. I assumed that I probably just wouldn’t leave the house much. Then a single friend (actually my best friend since high school) suggested a night out with her. During the early part of the night, I was nervous. I just couldn’t shake the loneliness that came with the realization there would be nobody waiting for me at home.

Yet as the night wore on, I could feel myself loosening up. I ordered drinks on my own, I talked, I laughed. I saw couples being cozy with each other – this didn’t kill me. I saw singles mingling – this gave me hope.

Over time, hanging out with a variety of people – single, married, divorced, widowed, whatever – helped me realized that essentially we are ALL single. We are all single souls just doing the best we can with the life that we have been given. I realized that there are plenty (plenty) of unhappy married people on the planet – and PLENTY of insanely happy single people.

I realized that happiness does not come as a result of our marital status – it truly comes from within.

I practiced calling myself a ‘Single Mother’

In my previous life, I very much felt sorry for single mothers. I guess I unknowingly bought into the stigma and assumed that these poor women were more often than not sad, down on their luck, low on money and lonely. The thought that I may one day join their camp seemed incomprehensible to me, a married mother.

Then, just like that, I did join. With the breakdown of my marriage, I was a single mother. Needless to say, I had to work pretty quickly at letting go of my (completely inaccurate) notions about single mums.

As with most mothers, I love my children more than anything – being single changed nothing in this respect. This realization alone helped quell my fears and worries about single parenting. Yes, things got a little harder at home. Some days were a complete struggle – physically, mentally and emotionally. Some nights the loneliness was near debilitating.

But, it is in our struggles that we find our strengths and those early days of being a single mother taught me that I was a LOT stronger than I’d previously given myself credit for. In time, I came to relish my new status as ‘single mother’. Once I let go of both my ego and the stigma, I truly thrived. And now, I can’t imagine life any other way.

The post How Taming My Ego Helped Me Move On After My Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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8 Strategies: How to Keep Yourself Together When Your World Falls Apart

8 Strategies: How to Keep Yourself Together When Your World Falls Apart

It can take great courage to let in the possibility that we’re not doing okay in something fundamental—whether it’s marriage, parenting, a relationship, or a job.

The post 8 Strategies: How to Keep Yourself Together When Your World Falls Apart appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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How To Know If A Narcissist Is Finished With You

How To Know If A Narcissist Is Finished With You

 

I can understand totally how wondering if a narcissist has finished with you can haunt you.

And if we obsess about this, it can be very difficult to move on with our life.

Many people ask these things often…

  • Will the narcissist try to hoover me?
  • What does it mean when things suddenly go quiet?
  • What should I make of the narcissist contacting me now after (insert the timeframe from days to years)?
  • Could all the things that he or she did start up again?

So, how do you know if a narcissist is finished with you?

Or really is this even the right question for us to be asking?

 

Handing Our Power Away

I think a very important point to understand is that the question of whether a narcissist is finished with you doesn’t just apply when a toxic relationship is finished. When you are going through narcissistic abuse, often or even daily, you may wonder whether or not the narcissist is ‘finished with you’.

Let me explain…

You wonder if they are ‘finished’ with that bout of making your head spin or if there will be any reprieve from the lies, confusing behaviour, accusations, smearing and projections.

We all went through this – the clinging on; the trying to appease or minimalise their behaviour by us doing something different or lecturing and prescribing to them to try to get them to see sense and decency in amongst their nastiness and insanity … so that finally we could feel loved, safe and sane.

A powerful Quantum Truth of Life is: the more we try to control someone else in order to feel loved, safe and sane, the more we end up out of control and controlled by them.

And, even after the narcissist’s discharge of us or our trying to stay away and uphold No Contact, we can still be hooked into believing our ability to feel whole, safe and sane rests on their behaviour.

This is an illusion – it doesn’t.

When we are focused on what someone else is or isn’t doing in order to have our own inner solidness and Life, this is for a very important reason. Emotionally within we have unhealed parts that have assigned someone else to be our ‘Source’ of something. We feel dependent. We hope this person will stop what they are doing and instead grant us what we don’t yet know we are capable of generating ourselves (regardless of what they do or don’t do) – namely love, approval, security and survival (or all four). These are deep inner hooks we may not be aware of, even in the case of having no love or longing left for this person at all, yet still being hooked in by the nasty things they are doing to us. Or maybe we carry such guilt and obligation from our earlier programming that we can’t let go of trying to fix and help this person.

Wondering if a narcissist is finished with you, is such a common trap to fall into. However, I promise you that when you learn how to take your power back and heal the Thriver Way, you will know that your life is not reliant on what other people are or aren’t doing.

 

Trauma Is the Fuel

How can you stop wondering whether a narcissist is finished with you?

The answer is this: accept that the trauma of everything you have suffered and are suffering provides the grandest opportunity to turn inwards to heal yourself.

When you adopt the greatest mission of your life – to become a whole source of love, approval, security and survival – you won’t keep wondering if a narcissist is finished with you; you will be too focused on resolving and developing your own inner power.

Our consciousness is an incredibly powerful entity – an interconnected wave function that Quantum Science now knows is directly affecting our outer realities. I have said the following often in my blogs, YouTube videos and even in every response I grant to people looking for help…

The greatest understanding for your liberation, healing, and resurrection after narcissistic abuse is the Quantum Law of so within, so without.

If you can embrace that you are so powerful and magnificent that you affect The Field directly with your emotional resonance, then you know that to change your life you need to change your emotional resonance.

The goal of your entire life is to BE everything at an emotional level that you seek. Then you will be the person who chooses and engages with healthy people and situations, and easily distinguishes and leaves alone who and what isn’t good for you.

That is what taking your power back REALLY means.

I believe at the core of our spirit we are already whole. It is just the human experience collectively, generationally and through unconscious parenting created a pressure cooker of emotional trauma that we absorbed. And this causes dysregulation to our beliefs and subconscious wiring.

Trauma, when released, allows us to reset back to our organic, already existing inner coded wholeness – the knowing of Who We Are and How to BE in The Field.

How do we release our trauma to BE this?

Neuroscientists have proven that you can’t think and talk your way out of inner trauma; that you need to take your attention off your outer experience and into your inner experience to address it. By doing so you are in contact with and activate the areas of the brain and nervous system necessary to resolve your trauma.

Another startling thing happens when we do this – we create an inner relationship that puts us back in the driving seat of being our own Source. It means that we are so much less co-dependent on people providing for us what, as healthy whole adults, we need to generate ourselves.

Even before anything shifts, we start to feel the love, security, solidness and peace that ‘all is well’ in ourselves and our life, which we had always been searching for just in all the wrong places.

The truth is, as adults no one can provide us with this. We can only be-come whole and healthy emotionally and then share a healthy and whole life with healthy and whole others. When we ‘be’ it then ‘comes’ – that’s what be-come really means.

When we understand the Quantum Law of so within, so without, there is no option other than to be-come whole in the means of self-love, worth, security and survival – otherwise we don’t get people turning up to take care of this wholeness, rather they turn up representing the evidence that we are not yet whole.

If you are still questioning if the narcissist has finished with you, then you have not yet turned inwards to know and partake in the truth – your only true mission is to clean up within and then all you seek can and will follow.

 

Painful Beliefs to Up-level

Many of you lovely NARPers have expressed how much you are getting from my sharing of certain beliefs that we can heal for big evolution results.

If you know that you are still handing power away to the narcissist, even just by still thinking about him or her, you may want to check these beliefs and see if they can be felt in your body – meaning that the traumas generating these beliefs still exist there.

  • This person can derail my life.
  • This person can affect me.
  • I am missing this person and I still feel like I need them or want them in my life.
  • I need to be on guard because I am scared of what may happen or what I may do if this person contacts me.

Please know these are all incredible normal obsessions that we have when we are in No Contact with a narcissist – but they don’t serve us. They keep us stuck in a holding pattern of trauma and the victimised peptide addictions coursing and multiplying through our cellular being.

We don’t get well and we can’t seem to go forward in our life.

Here are some goal setting statements you may wish to use with the NARP Version 3 Goal Setting Module.

  • I am solid in my body, truth and power, impervious to what others do or don’t do.
  • I am my True Self with no need to change anyone’s behaviour or opinion towards me. My power lies in what I believe, am and do.
  • I lovingly partner with and adore me eternally. Real love, power, and safety become my reality everywhere.
  • I accept and release my triggers, fill with Light and keep evolving into grander, more abundant and joyful trajectories.

If you are determined to shift yourself on the inside into this level of personal evolution – I want you to write below, ‘By healing me – my True Self, Life and Love be-comes real’.

In the first group of belief systems above the narcissist is still living on inside of you, insidiously controlling, limiting and defining your life.

In the second group you are taking your power back by becoming the internal shift that you want your outer world to reflect.

Now let’s get to where this is REALLY all leading to.

 

Have YOU Finished With the Narcissist?

I love this question for a variety of reasons – the main one being that this is the real question you need to get very interested in.

Being finished with the narcissist means we are in No Contact and we are purging this person psychically, mentally, emotionally and physically out of our Being. We do this by addressing all the traumas they have triggered within us, releasing them and living free of them.

Then what we discover is that our inner unconscious programs were hooking us to these people. All our unfinished trauma histories in our beings, including collective, generational, past life and childhood traumas, are released and reprogrammed as well.

What this literally means is that energetically and emotionally we are no longer a match for this person. We are finished with a narcissist when they no longer mean anything to us.

The incredible irony is that when there is no longer any energetic energy to extract from us mentally, emotionally or psychically, then they are finished with us too – because there is NO narcissistic supply available for their efforts.

People may think this is just a grey rock thing. It’s not – it must be on so much of a deeper level than grey rock. Quantum Science now knows that consciousness is connected through unseen wave functions. And this means that the narcissist is getting a feed from you even if you have had twenty years of No Contact but are still stuck in the trauma of what happened to you.

That’s why a TOTAL emotional, subconscious and cellular detox needs to take place.

When we get very dedicated to our cellular trauma detox, this transition can start to happen more powerfully and quickly than we could have ever believed. Some people literally achieve it in weeks, even after decades of repeat trauma.

I really hope this blog has helped put all of your wonderings about knowing for sure if a narcissist has finished with you into deep Quantum perspective for you.

I’d love to help you achieve vital emotional and energetic detoxing, so you couldn’t care less if a narcissist is finished with you, because you are claiming your True Self and True Life with both hands – regardless of what he or she tries to do.

You can do this by signing up to my free inner transformational resources, which grant you two free ebooks, my 16-day free course, and a free workshop where you learn how to release your trauma and live free from it.

I look forward to your comments and questions below.

 

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support and understand your teen

21 Tips to Help You Support And Understand Your Teen During Divorce

support and understand your teen

 

It’s normal if a teenager doesn’t know what to think when their parents get a divorce. It can be very shocking. The thoughts and feelings going through their mind are usually confusing and scary, having very little idea of what might happen to them or their family.

Some questions they might have are …

“Do we have to move?”

“Will I be able to go to college?”

“Is this my fault?”

“Will I see my father?”

“What will my friends think of me?”

“Why me?”

In many instances, teens might feel like they can’t talk with their parents about how they feel. They might be embarrassed or might not know how to express themselves about it.

But, most parents and a lot of other people want to be supportive of a young person as they go through such a challenging time. The hard part is being sensitive when approaching the situation or knowing what to say.

I think sometimes keeping it simple is best. All a parent might need to do is simply tell their teenager … “I’m here for you.” This will give them an open window to talk when they’re ready.

Below are 21 tips to give you more ideas to help you support and understand your teen during divorce.

1. Provide quality and simple support at a time when everything seems chaotic.

2. Be patient with their behavior.

3. Keep both parents involved.

4. Respond with consistent support and set boundaries.

5. Do more listening than talking. Teenagers going through divorce are usually confused and need to be listened to and heard.

6. Keep visible conflict, heated discussions, and legal talk away from your teen.

7. Support their feelings even if you don’t agree.  Emotions aren’t always logical.

8. Acknowledge their emotions and continue to guide them with conversation helping them talk about their present feelings.

9. Teens need to know you care and that they are worth being cared about.

10. Find another person they can talk to such as a mentor, friend, therapist or relative.

11. Keep your teenagers routine as normal as possible.

12. Find them a support group with people their own age who are experiencing something similar.

13. Giving teens the time they need to think and experience divorce is ok. Sometimes it takes a long time for teens to process what they have been through and for healing to take place.

14. Divorce can be a big change, adjustments and living arrangements should be handled gradually.

15. Parents need to understand and be ok with what is comfortable with your teen with living arrangements. It can be tough to decide especially when couples disagree. But also keep in mind that some teens are able to thrive by spending half their time with each parent, others need the stability of having one “home” and visiting with the other parent.

16. Whatever arrangement is chosen, your child’s needs should come first. Avoid getting involved in a tug of war as a way to “win.”

17. When deciding how to handle birthdays, holidays, and vacations, stay focused on what’s best for your teen and what they want.

18. It’s important for parents to resolve issues themselves and not ask your teen to choose.

19. Get help dealing with your own painful feelings about the divorce. If you adjust, your teen will too.

20. Recognize stress. Talk with a child therapist for guidance on how to handle specific problems you’re concerned about.

21. Any type of change can be challenging. Believe everything will be OK.

The post 21 Tips to Help You Support And Understand Your Teen During Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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An Example of the Power of Positive Co-Parenting

An Example of the Power of Positive Co-Parenting

The results of our positive co-parenting revealed themselves in how our daughter feels she can now talk about her parents in the same sentence; this never occurred in the past.

The post An Example of the Power of Positive Co-Parenting appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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leave a narcissist

Why It’s Hard To Leave a Narcissist

leave a narcissist

 

When we fall in love, it’s natural to become attached and form a romantic bond. But once in love with a narcissist, it’s not easy to leave, despite the abuse. Although you’re unhappy, you may be ambivalent about leaving because you still love your partner, have young children, lack resources, and/or enjoy lifestyle benefits.

Outsiders often question why you stay, or urge you to, “Just leave.” Those words can feel humiliating because you also think you should. You may want to leave, but feel stuck, and don’t understand why. This is because there are deeper reasons that keep you bonded unlike in other relationships.

Why it’s Hard to Leave a Narcissist

Narcissists, especially, can be exceedingly charming, interesting, and enlivening to be around. Initially, they and other abusers may treat you with kindness and warmth, or even love bomb you. Of course, you want to be with them forever and easily become dependent on their attention and validation. Once you’re hooked and they feel secure, they aren’t motivated to be nice to you. Their charming traits fade or disappear and are replaced or intermixed with varying degrees of coldness, criticism, demands, and narcissistic abuse. (See “Narcissus and Echo:  The Heartbreak of Relationships with Narcissists.)

You’re hopeful and accommodating and keep trying to win back their loving attention. Meanwhile, your self-esteem and independence are undermined daily. You may be gaslighted and begin doubting your own perceptions due to blame and lies. When you object, you’re attacked, intimidated, or confused by manipulation. Over time, you attempt to avoid conflict and become more deferential.  As denial and cognitive dissonance grow, you do and allow things you wouldn’t have imagined when you first met. Your shame increases as your self-esteem declines. You wonder what happened to the happy, self-respecting, confident person you once were.

Research confirms that it’s common for victims to attach to their abuser, particularly when there’s intermittent positive reinforcement. You may be trauma-bonded, meaning that after being subjected to prolonged belittling and control, you’ve become childlike and addicted to any sign of approval from your abuser. This is referred to as Stockholm Syndrome, named for hostages who developed positive feelings for their captors.

You’re especially susceptible to this if the relationship dynamics are repeating a pattern you experienced with a distant, abusive, absent, or withholding parent. The trauma bond with your partner outweighs the negative aspects of the relationship. Studies show that victims of physical abuse on average don’t leave until after the seventh incident of violence. They not only fear retaliation, but also the loss of the emotional connection with their partner, which can feel worse than the abuse.

Additionally, codependents, who are usually preyed upon by narcissists and abusers, often feel trapped and find it hard to leave any relationship. They can be loyal to a fault due to their codependency.

After You Leave a Narcissist

Narcissists and abusers are basically codependent. (See “Narcissists are Codependent, too.”) If you distance yourself from them, they do what it takes to pull you back in, because they don’t want to be abandoned. Narcissists want to keep you interested to feed their ego and supply their needs (“narcissistic supply”). Being left is a major humiliation and blow to their fragile self. They will attempt to stop you with kindness and charm, blame and guilt-trips, threats and punishment, or neediness, promises, or pleas―whatever it takes to control you so that they “win.”

If you succeed in leaving a narcissist, they usually continue their games to exert power over you that compensates for their hidden insecurities. They may gossip and slander you to family and friends, hoover you to suck you back into the relationship (like a vacuum cleaner). They show up on your social media, try to make you jealous with photos of them having fun with someone else, talk to your friends and relatives, text or call you, promise to reform, express guilt and love, ask for help, or “accidentally” appear in your neighborhood or usual haunts.

They don’t want to be forgotten but keep you waiting and hoping. Just when you think you’ve moved on, you’re reeled back in. This may reflect their intentional spacing of contacts. Even if they don’t want to be with you, they may not want you to let go or be with anyone else. The fact that you respond to them may give them enough satisfaction. When they contact you, remember that they’re incapable of giving you what you need.

You might feel guilty or tell yourself that your ex really still loves you and that you’re special to him or her. Who wouldn’t want to think that? You’re vulnerable to forgetting all the pain you had and why you left. (See “Why and How Narcissists Play Games.”) If you resist their attention, it fuels their ambition. But once you fall into their trap and they feel in control, they’ll return to their old cold and abusive ways. Only consistent, firm boundaries will protect you and disincentivize them.

How to Leave a Narcissist

As long as you’re under their spell an abuser has control over you. In order to become empowered, you need to educate yourself. Come out of denial to see reality for what it is. Information is power. Read up on narcissism and abuse on my website. If you’re unsure whether you want to leave, take the steps in Dealing with a Narcissist to improve your relationship and evaluate whether it’s salvageable. Regardless of your decision, it’s important for your own mental health to redeem your autonomy and self-esteem. Take these steps:

  1. Find a support group, including a therapist, 12-Step group, like Codependents Anonymous (CoDA), and sympathetic friends―not ones who bash your spouse or judge you for staying.
  2. Become more autonomous. Create a life aside from your relationship that includes friends, hobbies, work, and other interests. Whether you stay or leave, you need a fulfilling life to supplement or replace your relationship.
  3. Build your Self-Esteem. Learn to value yourself and honor your needs and feelings. Develop trust in your perceptions and overcome self-doubt and guilt.
  4. Learn How to be Assertive and set boundaries.
  5. Learn how to nurture yourself. This is a life skill and also insulates you from abuse. See “12 Tips to Self-Love and Compassion.” Get the Self-Love Meditation.
  6. Identify the abuser’s defenses and your triggers. Detach from them. On my website, get “14 Tips for Letting Go.”
  7. If you’re physically threatened or harmed, immediately seek shelter. Physical abuse repeats itself. Read about the cycle of violence and actions to take.
  8. Don’t make empty threats. When you decide to leave, be certain you’re ready to end the relationship and not be lured back.
  9. If you decide to leave, find an experienced lawyer who is a family law specialist. Mediation is not a good option when there is a history of abuse. See “Do’s and Don’t’s of Divorce.”
  10. Whether you leave or are left, allow yourself time to grieve, build resilience, and recover from the breakup.
  11. Maintain strict no contact, or only minimally necessary, impersonal contact that’s required for co-parenting in accordance with a formal custody-visitation agreement.

The post Why It’s Hard To Leave a Narcissist appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Joe Cordell Receives Missouri Lawyers Weekly ICON Award

Joe Cordell Receives Missouri Lawyers Weekly ICON Award

Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner and DadsDivorce sponsor Joseph E. Cordell recently was named selected as one of 27 attorneys to receive the ICON Award from Missouri Lawyers Weekly for notable and sustained success and leadership both within and beyond the field of law.

Launched in 2018, the ICON Awards are presented to distinguished
attorneys age 60 and older in recognition of their exemplary careers and
commitment to the Missouri legal community. Honorees must hold or have held a
senior position with significant decision-making authority with the firm or
organization.

The list of 2019 honorees includes founding partners,
judges, and public officials. Mr. Cordell and the rest of the 2019 honorees
will be celebrated at the second annual ICON Awards luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2
p.m. Friday, May 31, at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo. Honorees
also will be profiled in print and online in a special section of Missouri
Lawyers Weekly published May 27.

Throughout his career, Mr. Cordell has worked diligently to
better the legal community in Missouri.

Fighting for fathers’ rights is what motivated Mr. Cordell
to become a divorce lawyer for men. In 1990, while practicing general law, he
realized 85 to 90 percent of his clients were coming to the Cordell &
Cordell firm for domestic relations help.

“I was galvanized by guys who were my clients and trying to get
primary custody of their children. Even though they were the better parent,
they still couldn’t get across the finish line in the courts,” Mr. Cordell
said. “The more frustrated I became, the more incentivized I was to help them.”

As the Co-Founder and Principal Partner of Cordell & Cordell,
Mr. Cordell took this passion and created the largest family law firm focused
on representing men in divorce in the world. The firm has represented tens of
thousands of clients and is powered by nearly 300 attorneys and more than 100
legal staff in more than 100 offices throughout the United States and United
Kingdom.

In 2016, Mr. Cordell founded Cordell Planning Partners, an elder care law firm that provides individuals the resources and information needed to make responsible decisions concerning their estate, assets, health, and well-being as they age.

Mr. Cordell is an active member of the American Academy of
Attorney-CPAs and was installed as the organizations 51st president
in 2014. In 2017, he was elected the AAA-CPA Missouri Chapter President.

Philanthropically, Mr. Cordell and has wife, Yvonne, have
continually given back to the legal community. They generously made a gift
commitment of $1 million in 2014 to establish and endow the Cordell & Cordell
Visiting Professorship at their law school alma mater, Washington University
School of Law in St. Louis, Mo. In 2018, the Cordells pledged $5 million to
Washington University to establish a new institute, the Joseph and Yvonne
Cordell Institute for Policy in Medicine & Law, to study issues of
ethics, medicine, and law. Additionally, the couple will provide annual support
to the establishment.

Mr. Cordell also has prioritized continuous learning and
education throughout his career and is committed to providing these opportunities to
other attorneys through ongoing education both internally and externally.

He is the driving force behind Cordell & Cordell’s annual
daylong CLE Domestic Litigation Forum, which each year gives the local legal
community the opportunity to earn a year’s worth of Missouri CLE credits in one
day for free.

He also developed Cordell College to provide an additional layer
of practice development for Cordell & Cordell attorneys. The internal
curriculum program ensures Cordell & Cordell attorneys are not only highly
skilled in domestic litigation but also in areas such as organization, time
management, and providing communication to their clients that is transparent and
easy to understand.

Click here to read more about the ICON Awards or to purchase tickets to the Awards Banquet.

The post Joe Cordell Receives Missouri Lawyers Weekly ICON Award appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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introducing your kids to your new guy

5 Rules for Introducing Your Kids To Your New Guy After Divorce

introducing your kids to your new guy

 

One of the most common questions divorced parents ask me is: When should I be introducing a new partner to my children? My best answer is to take your time dating after divorce and don’t introduce your new love to your kids if you are dating casually. While it’s normal to seek solace, companionship, and a sexual relationship after a breakup, it’s crucial to take it slow so you can assess whether this relationship is casual or might be permanent.

When Introducing Your Kids to Your New Guy, Timing Is Key

The number-one thing to keep in mind when deciding when to introduce a new partner to your kids is timing after your divorce. What’s the hurry? Even if both of you are in love and seem to have a lot in common, breakups are common and kids get caught in the crossfire. Next, the setting and length of the first introduction is crucial to success. Meeting in an informal setting may help your kids feel more relaxed. Rather than planning a long visit, it’s best to have a brief, casual meeting with few expectations.

Another important consideration when introducing your kids to a new love interest is their age. Truth be told, younger children (under age 10) may feel confused, angry, or sad because they tend to be possessive of their parents. Renowned researcher Constance Ahrons, Ph.D., who conducted a 20-year study of children of divorce, concluded that most children find their parent’s courtship behaviors confusing and strange.

On the other hand, adolescents may appear more accepting of your new partner than younger children, but they may still perceive that person as a threat to your relationship. Dr. Ahrons also found that teenagers may find open affection between their parent and a partner troubling – so go easy on physical contact in front of them. Do you want your teenager to model their behavior after you? If so, you owe it to yourself and your kids to build new relationships thoughtfully.

Introducing a New Partner Can Be Painful If the Kids Are Hoping Their Parents Will Reconcile

I’ve witnessed many new relationships go sour when a partner is introduced to children too quickly. It can cause anguish for everyone – especially children who are probably holding on to the idea that their parents will eventually get back together. It may take time for your children to accept a new person in their life.

For example, Caroline, a 36-year-old teacher, described her new partner Kevin as thoughtful, affectionate, and a great match for her. They had been dating for a little over two months and she was head over heels in love with him. But she began questioning their relationship when her daughter Baylie, age eight, starting complaining about Kevin coming over – especially when his nine-year-old son, Ryan, came along for the visit. She didn’t understand why Baylie didn’t share her enthusiasm for Kevin because he was so perfect for their family.

As Caroline spoke, disappointment was apparent in her voice: “Kevin’s just so ideal for our family and I can really be myself with him. He has a son and is a great dad. I figured that Baylie would like him because he’s a lot of fun and I was blindsided when she started complaining about him.”

During our second session, I asked Caroline if she had thought through any disadvantages of introducing her daughter Baylie to Kevin so soon. She paused and said “not really” and so I asked her to write down a list of pros and cons for her homework assignment. When Caroline arrived for her next session, she reported that she was having second thoughts about whether she had rushed into including Kevin in so many activities with Baylie, and she realized that Baylie was seeing him as a rival for her attention.

Here are the 5 Rules for Introducing Your New Guy to Your Kids

  1. Timing is essential to healthy family adjustment after divorce. Children need time to adjust to their parents’ split and it can take a year or two for them to get over anger, sadness, and other emotions. If you introduce your children to someone who you are dating casually, this may complicate their adjustment to your divorce.
  2. Keep in mind that your kids may view your new love as a rival. Just because you are smitten with your partner, it doesn’t mean that your kids will share your positive feelings.
  3. Consider your children’s needs for security and reassurance. Introducing a new partner to your kids too soon can increase stress in the house and take energy away from your kid’s ability to grieve the loss of their intact family. Be sure to give your kids lots of reassurance that you have plenty of love to go around.
  4. Ask yourselfIs my love interest a good fit for my family? After all, you might have great chemistry with someone, but they might not be best suited to become part of your family.
  5. Invite your children’s feedback for ideas about how and when they meet your new partner for the first time. If you’ve been dating someone for a while and feel relatively confident that you are heading toward commitment, talk to your children and explain that you are dating someone who you care about and that you’d like to introduce to them. Ask them if they have any questions. Keep the first meeting short and low key. Going to a restaurant or neutral spot for the first meeting is best. Ask your kids where they’d like to go and don’t invite your partner’s children to join you on the first few visits.

Be sure to be careful about sleepovers with your partner when you have children living with you. It’s not wise to plan an overnight with your new love interest in your home right away because it can increase rivalry between them and your kids. If you co-parent, it should be easy to spend an overnight with them when your children are with your ex. Having your new partner spent the night should only be an option once you are fairly sure that your relationship is permanent or you are engaged.

Let your children know that you have an abundance of love to go around. It’s crucial that you assure your kids that your partner will not replace their other parent or change your relationship with them. Don’t be surprised if your children reject your new partner at first. Some kids express anger or defiance and may even threaten to move out – or go to live with their other parent full-time. Adopt realistic expectations about your children’s acceptance of your new partner. Just because you are enthralled with this person, it doesn’t mean that your kids will share your enthusiasm.

Wait Until Your Kids Have Healed from the Divorce Before Introducing Your New Partner

In sum, the key to successful parenting post-divorce is helping your kids heal from your breakup, and introducing them to a new love too soon might complicate, delay, or damage this process. You can simply tell your kids that you’re going out with a new friend and that’s enough information. Consider the amount of time since your divorce, the age of your children, and the level of commitment to your partner. Waiting on introducing a new partner to your kids will pay off for everyone in the long run.

This article first appeared on DivorceMag.com

The post 5 Rules for Introducing Your Kids To Your New Guy After Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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divorce doesn

Divorce Does Not Need To Be Devastating, There Is a Better Way

divorce doesn't have to be devastating

 

I envision a world where peace and love are part of every encounter. And I get it, that seems like a pipe dream at this point. If you look at the state of our country and the world, some would say we’re moving backward. But what I’ve learned over the past two years is that peace and love are possible in any situation, even if it seems impossible or if it’s never been done before.

When I realized in the summer of 2017 that my marriage of almost ten years was likely going to end in divorce, I was prepared to go through the worst experience imaginable. Not because we had extensive problems or because I thought we couldn’t work through it; I knew it would eventually be ok, but I thought it would take years to move through the muck and sadness to get to the happy ending. I truly didn’t know it was possible to maintain peace, love, and well-being throughout the whole process, because I was so attached to the stigma of divorce.

Our society views divorce as a failure, something wrong, something horrible, a disaster.

It took a long time for me to realize that it doesn’t have to mean any of those things. Thankfully, I had an amazing spiritual mentor to open me up to new possibilities and an amazing partner who was also willing to walk the peaceful and loving path.

Over the course of 6 months, my husband and I were able to process the grief and sadness that divorce brings and move through the process of dividing our life to build a new future for our family as friends and co-parents, all done with peace, love, and faith.

There were obviously many sad moments and lots of emotions to process, but I was astonished at how easeful the process was and how non-disastrous it was.

Divorce Does Not Need to be Devastating:

Our divorce was not a tragedy.  

It was not the worst time of our lives.  It was not something that I wish I could forget. In fact, looking back at what we were able to do, I wanted to shout from the rooftops what was possible. I wanted people to realize what I now know, that peace and love really are possible in any situation. It’s how you show up that matters.

When we started sharing the news of our divorce, many people actually didn’t believe the “real story”. They were convinced that it must have been horrible and were viewing it as most people do, a tragic event. This made me realize how much unnecessary pain surrounds divorce and I felt called to share our story and what is possible. I also realized that there is so much involved in divorce, from emotional to logistical to financial issues, no wonder it’s often so difficult and so painful.

The amount of work that goes into this process is staggering. From simple things like who will take the couch, to complex issues like splitting retirement savings, creating a co-parenting plan and figuring out where everyone will live, the choices and questions seem almost endless. When you add in the emotional aspect, it becomes almost overwhelming. I realized in early 2018, that not only do I feel called to share with people what is possible, but I am also uniquely positioned to help others navigate all these issues.

With more than a decade of experience in the financial industry, I have helped people with everything from retirement planning to everyday budgeting, in addition to splitting assets. I also have the unusual combination of being able to help people with the emotional and spiritual side, as when I was pregnant with my daughter in 2015 I began to focus more on my spiritual journey and have spent the past several years studying meditation, spirit, unity consciousness and love activism. I received my designation as a Spiritual Teacher in late 2015 and have led a Spirit-led life focusing on peace, love, and oneness since that time.

I have also spent the past several years as a foster parent to many children, working through the complexities of scheduling visits, differing parenting styles, creating dual homes and the logistics of co-parenting.

All of these things have prepared me for my calling, to bring peace, love, and light into the process of divorce and to help women create a new life after divorce.

To further my financial knowledge, I received my designation as a CDFA® (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®), which allows me to help people work through the complexities of the financial aspects of divorce like dividing assets, tax implications and transitioning into a new financial situation.

I now couple this with logistical and emotional support to provide holistic guidance through this often-difficult process. As a Divorce Consultant, I help individuals, couples and families find a peaceful path to their new life and help women thrive after divorce.

Divorce does not need to be devastating. There is a better way. Hope starts here.

The post Divorce Does Not Need To Be Devastating, There Is a Better Way appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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