Gossip at work following a divorce is inevitable. Unfortunately, it can be a big problem, and it’s important to be able to handle it the right way.
The post Here’s How to Deal With Gossip At Work After Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
Gossip at work following a divorce is inevitable. Unfortunately, it can be a big problem, and it’s important to be able to handle it the right way.
The post Here’s How to Deal With Gossip At Work After Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
When going through a massive life change such as divorce, most of us would like to think that we have a support network reasonably close by. These are the people we automatically turn to for support – a listening ear, a helping hand or to provide us with a little comfort and hope when we feel that we have neither.
So what happens when the crap hits the fan and the people that we think will be there for us are actually not there for us?
I was chatting with a newly divorced woman recently. She told me that she had been shocked, and slightly hurt, to find that several women she had previously considered friends had not contacted her since she had told them of her separation.
This lady has a wide circle of friends and it was one little group in particular (girls she had known since high school) that had reacted this way. Conversely (and weirdly) some of the people that she had NOT considered herself to be especially close with had been the most supportive!
This scenario got me thinking about change, upheaval, and grief and how different people deal and react at such times.
Sadly, people who we once called friends may not be there for us in our time of need. If this is the case, it’s vital to remember that this has nothing to do with you, and EVERYTHING to do with them. Who knows why people react as they do?
In all likelihood, these people are struggling with their own demons and our situation has struck a note of FEAR into them.
Some people are afraid that divorce is contagious. Some people feel safer hanging around other married people. Some people genuinely don’t know what to say and how to act when faced with such change. And you know what? All of this is OK.
We can let these people be and accept that maybe they just aren’t our people. Maybe they were never our people. Maybe we stayed with them out of habit and convenience and now that the chips are down we realize that actually, we have very little in common with them.
A good way to assess whether or not we consider such people to be our true friends is to evaluate how we feel when faced with the possibility that we may never hear from them again. If we feel deeply saddened, we may want to consider reaching out to them and talking to them about what is happening.
But if instead of deep sadness we feel ‘hurt’ or ‘shocked’, there’s a good chance that we won’t truly miss them, and that it is time to let them go. I believe that this was the case with my friend. Once she took the time to assess how she really felt about the situation, she realised that she was, in fact, OK with it. That it was probably habit, circumstance and convenience (and, maybe some ego) that had made her want to hold on to these people.
I’ve been there too. I’ve wanted to hold on to people and situations that I’d outgrown, and that had outgrown me. But I’ve come to learn that holding on to people and things that are simply no longer there not only keeps us stuck in an old story and an old life – it seriously delays our healing.
Because in order to move forward and become who we are meant to be, we need to heal from what we’ve been through.
In order to heal, we first need to grieve. And to grieve properly, we need to do the inner work. We need to learn to ignore meaningless distractions; we need to learn to give ourselves the love we crave; we need to spend time alone.
As a newly separated woman, I was a grieving, crazy mess. Yet I somehow instinctively knew what I had to do. I knew that I had to work on healing myself. I knew that I couldn’t rely on anybody else to do this work for me. This is not to say that I isolated and had no friends or support whatsoever – it is to say that I focused on the people and things that I loved the most.
I learned to spend time alone (one of the greatest things I have ever done for myself). I spent time learning how to become a single mother. I did my best to get up, get dressed and go to work each day. And I spent time with the people that mattered the most – some family and three or four close friends who, again instinctively, I knew would always have my back.
In time I made new friends – something I didn’t do a lot of when married – and formed a new relationship. There are people I was once close to who I now have either very little or no contact with. And I accept this, hard as it was in the early days of my divorce.
I know that similar to my marriage, these friendships have served their time and their purpose. They weren’t deliberately killed; they died a natural death. And there is no shame or regret in that.
It is frighteningly COMMON how often people suffer narcissistic neighbours!
I know this because many of you write in about it, and it has also happened to me!
What happens when you are living next to a deranged person who is NEVER happy, constantly complaining and even doing TERRIBLE things to you and your property?
How DO you stop these people ripping the sanctity of your home, hearth and health apart?
Does a narcissistic neighbour mean that you have to move home?
Or … can you defeat them and return your life back to HEALTH and PEACE?
In today’s Thriver TV episode, I share with you my journey regarding a narcissistic neighbour, and the sure-fire way I learned to deal with it, to help you get free of the horror and bullying of this kind of narcissist.
One of the horrors that many people in this Community have experienced is Narcissistic Neighbours.
Maybe you are battling with one right now.
You are not alone … I have been through this too!
It’s awful because our homes are supposed to be our sanctity; our soft place to relax, unwind and recuperate. It’s delightful when we have lovely neighbours – people who we can connect to for support, community, friendship and even a helping hand when in need.
But what happens when you have the nightmare neighbour, whereby you can be perpetually on edge or even terrorised in your own home, literally?
How do you survive these people?
Can you turn it all around?
Or do you have to move to a new home?
Let’s get into it and find out in today’s TTV episode.
But before we do…
Thank you everyone who has subscribed to my channel for supporting the Thriver Mission. If you haven’t yet subscribed, I want to remind you to please do. And if you like this video, please make sure you hit the like button.
Okay, let’s dive in.
A common trait of narcissistic neighbours is their victim mentality, when they think that other people are always encroaching on them or doing the wrong thing by them.
They may state that your bins should not be placed where they are for garbage removal, because it affects them driving in or out or getting access to the mailbox.
They may complain that your pet walked across their lawn, without their permission.
If your child’s ball goes over the fence and lands in their garden, they may rant and rave about it – and even refuse to return it.
If you, or someone visiting you, parks across their driveway, even if they only overhang an inch or are there for a moment, this neighbour may knock on your door and blast you for it.
Your narcissistic neighbour may even go to authorities, such as the council or a body corporate, and make petty or fabricated complaints about you.
I used to live next door to a horrible narcissistic woman who would complain incessantly about everything on the unit block. Being her immediate wall-to-wall neighbour, I copped it the most.
The depth and breadth of her complaints seemed endless.
At the time, it seemed like this woman was showing up at my doorstep every day, complaining about something I had or hadn’t done. Even poor Tiggy, my cat, was targeted by her. She told me that he hunted birds, but he is seriously too well fed and lazy to be bothered.
I spent a great deal of my time on edge. Every time I saw her walk up the driveway I would feel the distress. This was especially true when I had someone over, in case they made a noise that she could hear.
But not only did I have to deal with these day-to-day complaints. She once tried to report me to authorities for several things, and often she would make unrealistic demands to try to get things done to her property for free. Quite frankly, she made my life a living hell.
It’s so interesting that people like this – especially narcissists – live by the rules ‘Do as I say and not as I do’.
Commonly, if not always, this type of person will be a serial offender themselves, doing similar or even worse things than what they are accusing you of doing.
This was certainly the case with my horrible neighbour, who constantly complained about any little thing out of place on my property whilst hers looked like a tip.
Narcissistic neighbours, like all narcissists, have all the justifications for what they accuse you of doing.
Maybe your nightmare neighbour regularly blocks your driveway, starts power tools up late at night, or dumps rubbish on your property. Or perhaps he or she plays loud music into the early hours of the morning or has raucous fights with their partner or family, which disrupt your peace.
Maybe this neighbour’s yard or front porch is full of rubbish and mess, and they don’t care about how it affects other neighbours.
Perhaps they have started erecting, building or modifying things on your joint boundary without your permission.
Possibly your narcissistic neighbour has a pet, who is creating damage or serious noise pollution and he or she refuses to do anything about it.
This neighbour may ask to borrow things from you and then return them damaged, saying that they were already like that (and that’s if they return the items at all).
The truth is narcissists don’t have a peripheral sense of others. They don’t care about other people and their comfort needs – it’s all about them and their own agenda.
I know that some of you have had to deal with narcissistic neighbours with zero conscious and truly criminal intent, and my heart goes out to you.
Maybe your experience with a narcissistic neighbour has been so terrible that you have been physically threated, or suspect or know they have broken into your home. Maybe this sociopathic person has performed malicious acts designed to intimidate and harass you, or have even hurt your loved ones or pets.
Naturally, this could be terrifying and cause you a great deal of trauma and distress.
As Thrivers learning to be healthy, healed, authentic people in every area of our life – we need to raise up and get past the fear of confrontation.
Let me explain to you with this example.
Many years ago I had a neighbour who was constantly blocking my driveway. It disturbed me greatly, and I felt violated. If I was on the phone to a girlfriend, I would look out the window and tell her how terrible it was that this was happening to me.
But … was I being responsible for my own boundaries and wellbeing? NO, I wasn’t!
Back then I was terrified of confronting people and having the difficult conversations, because I was dealing with my own inner terrors of CRAP – the feelings that if I spoke up about my needs I would be criticised, rejected, abandoned or punished.
After doing the deep inner work to heal these fears, I knew it was my responsibility to knock on the neighbour’s door and have a conversation with that houseowner and ask for what I needed.
Nowadays, if I have friends in my life complaining about people in their life I ask them, ‘Have you gone to this person and told them honestly what is going on for you?’ Invariably they haven’t, and I know exactly why. They are terrified of asserting their truth and maybe pissing others off. Instead, they make excuses for not speaking up – just as I used to do.
But here is the thing… With anyone in our life – narcissist or non-narcissist – it is up to us to confront them and to be honest and solid about what we need, in clear and powerful ways.
This person may or may not respond healthily, however, by confronting them we grant them the opportunity to respond and for the situation to be rectified.
If the person is non-narcissistic, he or she will generally acknowledge you and work with you to rectify a situation. And in most cases the result will be wonderful.
People aren’t mind readers, and we need to get past the righteous belief that ‘people should just know what the right thing is to do’.
The truth is that it’s our job to teach other people how to treat us. People who don’t treat us respectfully are A.I.D.s (Angels In Disguise posing as thoughtless people). These A.I.D.s are awakening us to anchor into our own inner power of authenticity, self-respect, and truthfulness, in accordance with the care, value, and respect we should have for ourselves.
All of us as Thriving Adults have to be able to heal and mature ourselves up enough to speak up honestly and truthfully, and we must be prepared to have the difficult conversations.
After working on your inner terrors of NOT being able to put your best foot forward while speaking up for what you need (my Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program (NARP) is the Quantum Tool to help you breakthrough in this area) you will know whether this person is capable of working with you in harmonious ways or not.
Traditionally a narcissist will refuse to be remorseful or take responsibility. He or she may reject any notion that they did anything wrong, or that there is any need for them to correct or cease what they are doing. He or she will commonly throw back at you tit-for-tat comments about what you have been doing to them.
This is where the inner work is so important.
People ask me all the time, ‘How does doing “that” (whatever “that” is) work with this narcissist in my life?’
I want you to understand that the foundation to HOW we deal with ANY narcissist in our life is identical.
These are the steps:
By creating this inner foundation first and foremost, you are no longer able to being derailed and emotionally hijacked. You can be clear, systematic and methodical in how you challenge the situation.
When my narcissistic neighbour upped her anti and started pulling in authorities and neighbours to bully me, I knew I had to do something.
I knew I needed to Go Quantum.
So I did…
I stopped playing victim and complaining to everyone about her, recognising that this was an incredible opportunity for me to evolve into my own power and truth, and to generate my healthy life regardless of her attempts.
Below is what I did. It has helped clients and NARPers to combat their troublesome narcissistic neighbours as well, and I know it will help you too.
However, please note, without the inner work and keeping on top of purging and detoxifying all inner trauma triggered, this method may not, and usually won’t, work.
We have to get very CLEAR. It doesn’t matter what you are DOING to combat a narcissistic abuser in your life, if you are not taking care of your BEINGNESS, as your first point of action, then your results (so within, so without) will reflect MORE of your traumatised beingness and won’t reflect any of the doingness – regardless of how much effort you are putting into it.
Okay, having worked on yourself to lose the fear of your narcissistic neighbour, here is the powerful formula I followed.
First, I created an email regarding all her complaints against me. I then unemotionally listed her grievances and the dates and the times they were made, and copied in on the email the other owners and the body corporate.
I then wrote down what I was prepared to do to resolve the complaints and what I wasn’t prepared to do to comply. I made sure the tone I used was calm and logical.
For every unresolved point, I asked for her to respond to the group email with her suggestion for resolution.
I then hit send!
I enjoyed creating and adding to the list, sending a new email with each and every new grievance and threat she inflicted on me, each time stating what I wished for as resolution and inviting her feedback as a solution.
She was now exposed. Other eyes were watching. She had no suggestions for resolution, and suddenly she stopped complaining to me about things.
As well as this, the other owners, to whom she had been smearing me, came to me shocked by her behaviour and what she had been demanding and threatening. They apologised for believing all the horrible things she had said about me.
I then wrote another group email, regarding my grievances with her and asked for what I wished for as resolution and invited her input for a solution.
Again, nothing was forthcoming from her.
I was doing so many shifts on myself with the NARP processes about her – any time I felt any triggered emotion within – that it was no longer uncomfortable bumping into her on the apartment property. I was just simply going about my life, holding my head high, without feeling any dread about her whatsoever.
I was, by this stage, revelling in the opportunity for my up levelling inner solidness, boundaries and the knowing of how to live powerfully narc-proof. It was an exciting time for me!
She, on the other hand, switched from stalking and terrorising my every move to leaving me alone.
At the next Body Corporate meeting, I was armed with all the facts – my email correspondence and invitations to seek resolution, and her non-compliance with any of it.
She unravelled in front of everyone, as I unemotionally and factually read out the details. She got nasty and blamed her behaviour on her health problems. She had nowhere to hide.
Not long after that she put her house on the market, sold up and moved out.
Just another narcissist not getting narcissistic supply and not being able to operate as a narcissist. As with all narcissists, she had to get out. There is no other option.
My new neighbour is BEAUTIFUL! I couldn’t ask for a more delightful lady to live next door!
See what happens when we change ourselves from the inside out and then show up in life as our New Self?
We generate a soul-graduation and then everything shifts to match that.
This is the thing – narcissistic neighbours, like all narcissists, trigger off within us our unhealed terrors. And when this happens, they grant us the incredible opportunity to heal these terrors and evolve ourselves. The healing we generate means not just emerging safely from what we are going through, but also living free of these terrors forevermore.
I am so grateful for my narcissistic neighbour and her shenanigans. It was because of my time with her that I was able to release, heal and resolve my inner fears of authorities – being thrown out by my community and people, feeling guilty, bad or wrong for things I was or wasn’t doing, and also my terrors of trying to have my rights to my own privacy and life – whilst people were violating my boundaries.
I really want you to understand that every narcissist in your life is granting you a soul journey of incredible power, divinity and evolution – when you are prepared to turn inwards and do the work. This soul journey then allows you to enter the arena with a narcissist in a way that you have never before.
A way that works.
I know you may feel like the narcissist in your life is TOO bad for you to do this with. Yet I promise you that the person behind the mask will be powerless once you heal within you the traumas that they have been using as the bullets against you to keep firing at you.
This goes for ANY narcissist.
I so hope this video has helped.
Now, if you know it’s time to graduate, stand up and get powerful – I’m here to help you. Let’s make this happen together. All you need to do to get started is to click this link to my free 16 Day Recovery Course.
And if you want to see more of my videos, please subscribe so that you will be notified as soon as each new one is released. And if you liked this – click like. Also, please share with your communities so that we can help people awaken to these truths.
Does this information about narcissistic neighbours resonate with you? Are you excited about up levelling and taking this newfound power on to combat any narcissist who is bullying you?
I’d love to hear about this in comments and questions below.
“Can you and daddy get married again?”
“Why can’t I stay with you”?
“Do you and mommy still love each other?”
“Whose decision was it to get a divorce?”
Children in divorce often have questions; they can come at the least expected moment.
For parents struggling to adjust to the challenges of single parenting in a two-home family, such questions can strike at the heart of their own emotional vulnerabilities and trigger uncertainties regarding their relationship with the other parent, their own parenting, and the wellbeing of their children.
However, such questions, if responded to thoughtfully, can be valuable opportunities to help children adjust to real changes and instill hope and confidence in both parent’s continued commitment to listen, guide, and give comfort.
Be prepared before questions arise. Understand that:
When questions arise:
Take a deep breath and calm yourself before responding.
“You sound worried/sad/mad is that right or is it something else?”
“That’s an important question, tell me more”
Ask yourself what they are really expressing/wanting/needing.
Respond with care and follow with comfort:
“No I will not leave, both daddy and I will always for you even if we live in different houses”
“No mom and I are not going to get married again, but we both love you and will always be here to take care of you- we will always be your parents”
“I think you’re asking if you were made from love- you were. Even if dad and I care for each other differently than when we were married- our love for you will never change”
“It sounds like you are asking if anyone is to blame. I know you want to understand, but marriage and divorce is adult stuff and we are okay. Know that we love you and you don’t need to worry or take care of either of us”
“I wonder if you are really asking if because we got a divorce that you question if love lasts. Every relationship is different and you will get the chance to make your own choices about love and who you marry”.
Children’s ability to navigate the shifts of daily life and make sense out of the bigger questions are essential parts of healing in divorce. With each question, children begin to build a framework of understanding and learn what divorce changes and what it does not change.
They develop a more flexible, durable, concept of family and love. Children’s questions can be hard, but listening and responding with care and gentle guidance is one of the most loving acts a parent can provide.
The post How To Deal With Children’s Difficult Questions About Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.
In my divorce mediation practice, I often work with couples where one party is still, deeply in love with the spouse who wants a divorce. In this article, we’ll focus on advice for wives who find themselves in this painful situation. To be honest, I’ve found it’s just as often true that it’s the wife who wants to end the marriage and the husband who is still in love.
In any event, these are heart-wrenching divorce cases and over the years I have given this topic a lot of thought. Here are my thoughts.
1. Do not retaliate or act out
The momentary urge to “get even” or act on hurt feelings can be difficult to resist. Taking action in the midst of hurt or anger may be satisfying and feel good in the moment, but be aware that acting on this urge will have consequences. In one of my early cases, I observed the consequences of a young wife and mother who acted on those feelings when she was angry at her husband whom she deeply loved. During a marital argument, he moved out and demanded a divorce.
In the midst of their argument, he had made a caustic comment about her haggard appearance and post-pregnancy weight retention. The comment was understandably deeply hurtful to her. Reacting to the pain of his callous remark and his decision to move out, she retaliated. She had a short fling with one of her husband’s close friends.
A few weeks later the couple patched things up and he moved back home with his wife and their two young children. A few weeks later she discovered that she was pregnant (…the pregnancy was not the result of make-up sex with her husband).
They stayed together for a few more years rationalizing that since he was the one who had left, he really shouldn’t complain about her behavior during the breakup. Meanwhile, the husband’s former good friend was paying child support every month and had visitation with the baby. As you can guess, this arrangement just kept reminding the husband of his wife’s retaliation; eventually, the marriage failed.
So my best advice is to avoid taking any action which will harm the man you love or the marriage you say you want. Examples of what NOT to do may seem to fit a stereotype. Even so, I’ve found them to be very common in cases where the husband seeks divorce and the wife is still in love, but hurt and angry. (Could this same advice be given to husbands who still love their wife who’s asking for a divorce? You bet.)
Here is a partial list:
I do not mean to promise that he will come back to you, but I can attest that you make it a lot harder if you retaliate or act out when he delivers the news that he wants to leave.
2. Try not to escalate
If while still married you and your husband are fighting and he threatens divorce it is imperative that you remain as calm as you can. Yes, he may truly want a divorce and be committed to that path. However, it’s also possible that while he may have said that what he wants is a divorce, what he may truly want is to stop fighting with you.
Divorce may seem like the way to get the fighting to stop. He may also be yearning for the dynamic that existed in the early years of your relationship but not know how to reclaim it. When arguments escalate it’s common for one or both parties to say things in anger they later regret.
Of course, when the prospect of an unwanted divorce raises its head, it is wise to protect yourself and look out for your own interests, even if you still love him and would prefer to stay married. Depending on the circumstances, hiring an attorney at this stage may seem to be the best course of action.
Just keep in mind that hiring an overly aggressive lawyer may preclude a smaller step like one-on-one mediation. Being a divorce mediator, I may be biased, but I’ve seen mediation work wonders in these situations.
Remember that divorce attorneys make their money by litigating divorces. Mediators thrive by creating harmony through mutual effort to resolve conflict. Many men have told me they find divorce mediation far more satisfying than marriage counseling because it is focused on problem-solving, (often their strong suit) rather than therapy which is focused on exploring feelings (often their weak suit).
If you need legal perspective, talk with a mediator with legal experience or call a lawyer from a town far away just to get some general advice. If you still love your husband and the marriage still has a chance of survival, jumping into litigation is highly unlikely to yield the results you seek.
3. Consider whether addiction is a factor and if so, get help.
One of the frequent coping mechanisms of couples going through the hard times prior to a divorce is to escape the pain of their lost romantic feelings using addictive behaviors. If your husband has shown any signs of addiction, then it is likely that you have reacted with your own countermeasures. Sometimes they are co-dependent behaviors like nagging, trying to shame him into good behavior, lying to cover up problems and so forth.
Whatever the details, when a couple is in this addictive cycle the marriage has almost no chance to thrive unless the addictions are addressed. If you have addiction anywhere in your marriage, then start with an honest assessment of your own reactions. If he has a problem behavior, and you still love him, there are proven ways to maintain your dignity and sanity in the relationship. Try Alanon or another 12–step program geared to support the friends and family of someone with an addiction problem.
4. Explore Your Deepest Truth
The hard truth is that I have seen cases where there are wives who love their husbands and there are other cases where the wives are attached to being married but seem to be indifferent toward their husband as a person. These might seem the same, but there is a world of difference.
Explore your deepest motivations about your relationship and your marriage because at some level your husband can probably tell how you really feel about him. If you are clinging to the idea that you love him but actually, deep down, you are insecure about not being married, that will tend to energetically push him away.
On the other hand, if you truly love him and that is the priority in your heart and soul, then living in accord with those emotions may have the effect of drawing him toward you.
What might this look like? Every relationship has its own qualities and dynamics; there are as many ways to put this advice into motion as there are couples. It takes some self-examination and wisdom to know what is a kindness you can genuinely offer without feeling like you are being taken advantage of or becoming a doormat. Healthy boundaries vary from individual to individual and relationship to relationship. This is definitely not a case of one-size-fits-all.
Here are a few approaches I’ve seen succeed in drawing a couple back toward each other rather than driving them further apart:
It may be counter-intuitive but sometimes making it easy for him to leave, makes it easier for him to come back. At the same time, only you can determine what crosses the line into unhealthy co-dependence and being overly generous for the situation.
Every case is different because every couple is different. If you still love your husband and he says he wants a divorce, you will have many opportunities to choose how you show up when whatever happens next unfolds. Over the course of my mediation practice, I’ve witnessed couples move toward reconciliation after one or the other, or both, initially thought divorce was inevitable. Of course, many couples do complete the divorce process, even when one of them really wants to stay married.
Either way, these four principles help provide the best chance of moving forward with a positive outcome. 1) Don’t retaliate, 2) try not to escalate, 3) if addiction is a factor, get help and 4) explore your deepest truth.
The post 4 Ways To Deal With The Divorce Process When You Still Love Him appeared first on Divorced Moms.
Divorce is always hard on those involved. A marriage falling apart is something no-one likes to see. Often though, the party most affected by it are the children. The sudden loss of stability, perception of weakness in their parents who otherwise previously appeared so strong to them and the general confusion at what the future holds can leave children with serious emotional consequences, some of which could last their whole lives.
In those difficult times, children will often look for things to cling on to for comfort. One such comforting presence is a pet. Pets have proven themselves incredibly helpful to children going through any sort of trauma, including divorce.
When everything else around them is stressful and seems to be collapsing, pets can have a massive positive impact on a child as they try and deal with all of the problems that come with a parent’s divorce. Let’s take a look at the ways in which pets can positively influence your child’s experience of divorce.
1. Consistent Love
Though the large majority of parents feel unconditional love for their child, in the stress and turmoil of divorce, children can feel ignored. There’ll be a lot of moments where it will be difficult for an adult going through this tough time to give their child what he or she needs.
“Having a pet, particularly a dog, gives a child a companion who, no matter what is going on around them, will be a constant source of love or at the very least the semblance of love that can imbue their lives with a needed sense of consistency”, says Ira Byrd, lifestyle blogger at LastMinuteWriting and Writinity. Having a pet there will allow a child to feel loved when they are uncertain about the concept itself as they witness their parents’ relationship fall apart.
2. Mental Health Monitor
It’s been proven that animals have the power to reduce stress in human beings. This phenomenon is what has bred the growth and embrace of therapy pets, animals that travel with humans who suffer from PTSD, anxiety, depression and other psychological problems.
Even if your child isn’t explicitly affected to that degree, the presence of a pet is therapeutic and can provide positive, soothing emotions for them as they try and cope with the divorce. It’s also a good motivator for exercise, as a lot of pets encourage children to run around. The proven benefits on stress and mood of exercise make this a bonus reason why pets are good for your child’s mental health in this difficult time.
3. Someone They Can Talk To
Even adults will catch themselves talking to their animals, it’s a common part of the owner-pet dynamic. For children, the sense that their pet is actually listening to them is elevated and so it can have an extremely strong effect on them. Children need to talk through things during a divorce and it’s often the case that they will feel unable to discuss anything with either of their parents. On the other hand, a pet will listen to everything in a non-judgemental way. “In a sense, a pet can be a bit like a therapist for a child.
They can absorb everything that the child is thinking about a situation in a non-judgemental, quiet way and not expect anything out of the child in terms of behavior or mood”, writes Myra Mcguire, psychology writer at DraftBeyond and ResearchPapersUK.
4. For Security
One thing that can be really frightening about divorce for children is feeling like they have been abandoned by their parents. Parents might change in their children’s eyes as they go through the divorce process and, with all of the stressful complications that can arise in divorce, parents might find themselves very busy, without much time to attend to their child. Pets help children feel defended and secure, temporarily making up for the lack of security from the parents.
Divorce is never going to be easy on a child and it will always leave a lasting impression. However, having a pet by their side during the process really can help to mitigate some of the hardest parts of enduring this traumatic family event and can help them recover faster after the fact.
The post 4 Ways In Which Pets Can Help Children Deal With Their Parents’ Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.
Breaking up is hard to do. And, when there are children involved it can be harder still. The break up of a family can be traumatic and, studies show, that it is something that greatly affects children. But this distress can be minimized as we now know that it is not the separation itself that does the damage, but the way in which it is done.
If you can remain calm, keep any conflict away from the children and talk to them honestly about what is happening it can really go a long way in helping them cope with divorce.
Divorce can be devastating but how you handle it with your children can go a long way to buffering the impact. Dr. Judith S. Wallerstein, the principal investigator of a major study assessing kids of divorce (California Children of Divorce Study), emphasizes the importance of this, saying:
‘It matters very much what happens in the post-divorce family’
1. It wasn’t your fault
Children often mistakenly believe that the fact that Mummy and Daddy are breaking up is something to do with them. Perhaps they were too naughty or said something wrong. It’s important to reassure your children that it is not their fault and nothing to do with anything they have done.
2. We both still love you very much
Hand-in-hand with the common misconception that they are to blame for the divorce, children worry that the reason a parent is leaving means they don’t love them enough to stay. It’s vital to stress that you both love your children just as much as you have ever done. And that’s not going to change.
3. We’re all going to be OK
Children can react in very different ways on hearing about their parent’s separation and this varies according to their age. Some children show a lot of distress and ask lots of questions right away, others hardly seem to react at first and it is only later that they show any distress or anxiety. It’s important that they know that everyone will be OK. That you’re fine and you will help them adjust too.
4. We’re still a family
Things will change but one thing that will remain is the fact that you are still a family and you will continue to be one. Let your kids know this.
Paula Hall, a Relate family therapist says :
The important message to get across is this: Mum and I might not be married anymore, but we’re still a family. We might live in different houses, and life might be different, but our family still exists, and although we aren’t married, we are still co-parenting you, and you still matter to us more than anything else.”
5. Here’s what the plan is
Change is unsettling for us all. It’s even scarier if you’re not in control of what is going to happen. That’s why it’s important to be very clear and explain to your children what will happen and outline the plans you have put in place.
Address some of the major concerns your child might have, such as when and how they will see each parent, where they will go to school and how they will still keep in touch with other family members.
Very young children might need constant reminders of when they will see Mummy or Daddy next. Visual clues can help. JoAnne Pedro-Carroll, author of Putting Children First: Proven Parenting Strategies for Helping Children Thrive Through Divorce , suggests using a colour coded calendar to help them keep track of their week:
“Like preschoolers, early school-age children also benefit from a calendar with different colors designating ‘Mom days’ and ‘Dad days.”
6. It’s OK to feel sad and angry
Sometimes it is easier to show your child through actions that it is OK for them to not feel OK about the changes happening. Be patient and loving if they express anger, sadness or anxiety and make sure you give them lots of extra love and cuddles. Be aware of their behaviour and be available to listen to them if they need to ask any questions or talk about how they are feeling.
7. How do you feel about?
It can be hard for children to talk about how they are feeling. Especially if they worry that if they admit what they are really feeling it might upset Mum or Dad. So check in often with your child and ask them how they are feeling. Let them know that it’s OK to talk about anything to do with the separation. Including how they feel about going to Daddy’s house, if they feel sad when they miss Daddy or Mummy and if they have any worries.
8. Is there anything we can do to help make it better?
You can’t wave a magic wand and your children need to know that you won’t be getting back together but there are many things you can do to make the transition to your new lives easier. Ask your child what you can do to help. If they are struggling with staying over at either house maybe taking a photo of Mummy or Daddy to put on their bedside would help. If they are worried about the dark at a new house, maybe going out to buy a nightlight would help.
If they are just feeling a bit down maybe an impromptu day out to play on the beach and eat ice cream would go some way to cheering them up. Keep brainstorming ways you can help your children through the changes in little ways that can make a big difference.
Separation and divorce are never easy. But the way you deal with it when it comes to your kids can make a significant difference. If you can put your own feelings to one side and find a way to process them away from your children and present a united front when it comes to making sure your children are supported every step along the way, then it really does pay off.
There’s no getting away from how devastating a divorce can be but how you handle it in front of your children can make a huge difference. It takes compassion, communication, and kindness. If you can get those three things in place then you’re well on your way to smoothing the path to make sure your children survive it intact.
The post 8 Things You Can Say To Help Your Kid Deal With Your Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.
I’ve recently met someone and we’ve fallen pretty hard for each other. Ben and I have so much in common, it’s crazy! We’re both in our 40s. We both have two kids in middle school: a girl and a boy. We’re both engineers. And we both love mountain biking. There’s one big difference, though. I’m divorced and he’s…well…not yet divorced.
You see, I separated from my ex two years ago, and our divorce was final about eight months later. Ben also separated from his wife two years ago (yet another thing we have in common), but neither he nor his wife filed. Ever since she left him, he’s paid for his household expenses, she’s paid for hers, and they co-parent their kids without any drama. So, for all intents and purposes, it’s like they’re divorced, they just haven’t done the paperwork.
My best friend can’t get past this technicality. She says dating him is wrong because he’s still a married man. Plus, she’s totally hung up on the fact that he said he was divorced on OKCupid. She thinks he was being untruthful. I think he was just being practical.
Do you think it’s wrong to date him?
Head Over Heels in Love
Dear In Love,
I realize this happens all the time, but I think misrepresenting one’s marital status on a dating site raises legitimate questions about a person’s veracity. But at this point, that’s water under the bridge. The bigger issue here is not that Ben said he was divorced on OKCupid, it’s that he is in fact still married.
For reasons more pragmatic than principled, I am opposed to people dating before they are divorced. Simply put, dating has a zero percent chance of making a divorce go smoother, and a bazillion percent chance of making it more contentious. Even I can do that math.
I get that Ben has been separated for a couple of years and that it was his wife’s decision to move out. And you might think that means his divorce will be smooth, simple, and unemotional. But there’s nothing like a not-yet-ex finding someone new to make the person who wanted the divorce in the first place have second thoughts about splitting up. And when that happens, it’s anything but smooth, simple, and unemotional.
Even if that doesn’t happen, a divorce, no matter how civil, is nobody’s idea of a good time. Sure, they’ve been living separately; but the devil is in the details, and no one has sorted through those yet. Is the house going to be sold? How will they divide the proceeds? What about the retirement accounts? Will anyone pay child support? Who’s picking up the tab for the kids’ braces? Hammering out all of this can get messy.
Ben will be preoccupied with the twists and turns of his divorce at times – and that’s understandable. You will have opinions about how things are or are not getting resolved at times – and that’s also understandable. As a result, your fun, new relationship with Ben will get bumped and bruised in the process of Ben’s divorce. That’s wear and tear on your relationship that would never have happened if Ben had wrapped up his divorce before you two started dating.
So, yes, in a perfect world, people would conclude their previous relationships, paperwork and all, before entering into new ones. But you’re not living in a perfect world; you’re living in Ben’s world. Since it’s not likely that the two of you will take a hiatus while Ben gets his divorce done, let’s develop a practical plan to get you through this.
Up until this point, Ben’s been content to let his ex-wife call the shots regarding their separation. She left him. She didn’t file. He sat on the sidelines waiting to see what she would do next. Some people (especially men) take this approach because they are holding out hope for reconciliation. Other people (especially men) think it will result in a kinder, gentler divorce.
But now that you two are involved, Ben needs to demonstrate respect for both you and your new relationship by taking the reigns on his divorce. Ben should talk to a divorce lawyer and figure out what constitutes a reasonable time frame for getting his divorce done. Then, he should commit to doing what he can to get things squared away within that time period.
And you should commit to staying out of his divorce drama. Don’t expect him to report to you on how things are progressing. Don’t weigh in with your opinions about property settlements, custody matters, and other details. Remember, if this had been done in the proper order, you wouldn’t have been around for any of those discussions, anyway. His divorce is his project, not yours.
The best way to protect your new relationship from any fallout from his divorce is by staying out of it.
If Ben’s divorce is not final within the time period that he commits to getting it done, you will then need to identify what the hold-up is. Were there unexpected complications? Is Ben dragging his feet? Or is his wife still calling the shots? Once you figure that out, you’ll know whether to stick around a little longer or cut your losses.
Christina Pesoli is the author of Break Free from the Divortex: Power Through Your Divorce and Launch Your New Life.
This blog post first appeared on DivorceMag.com
The post Is Your Boyfriend Still Married? That Might Be a Deal Breaker! appeared first on Divorced Moms.
It is possible to navigate your divorce well despite the fear and uncertainty and the use of your support anchors is a key strategy in your success.
The post How To Deal With Fear and Uncertainty During Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.