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silly romantic notions

4 Silly Romantic Notions You Don’t Want To Take Into Your Next Relationship

silly romantic notions

 

I enjoy reading, taking in a good movie, and chair dancing to the “top ten.” Who doesn’t enjoy being entertained, distracted and taken away by fantasy, music, and great prose? So, what’s the problem?

The influence these distractions have on how we view love and relationships can be detrimental. We learn lessons that don’t promote a realistic view of love and relationships. Ain’t it time to get real? Ain’t it time to stop taking unrealistic ideas about relationships into every relationship we enter.

Let’s face it, you aren’t going to kiss a toad and turn it into a prince. There is no night in shining armor going to ride to your rescue, and the only person who can complete you is YOU. So, let go of silly romantic notions and get real in your relationship.

Unlearn These Fairy 4 Tale Lessons:

Prince_Charming.jpgDisney Movies: Seriously? Prince Charming, a Knight in Shining Armor? If you are waiting to be rescued or believe your next relationship will be with some Disney movie “Prince” whose only wish is to fulfill your every need, you need to move on from such beliefs. It’s time to evict that notion, get it out of your head and get real. No one will rescue you, better than you can yourself. No one can fulfill your desires other than you.  Waiting around for a Knight in Shining Armor to do for you what you can do means never discovering your own strength and independence. Choose independence, not dependency! And, for goodness sake, no more frog kissing!

 

4 Silly Romantic Notions You Don’t Want To Take Into Your Next Relationship 1Mad Men: Yes, Don Draper is easy on the eyes and Robert Pattinson really knows how to protect a damsel in distress BUT one is a cheat, the other a bloodsucker. And lest I forget, both are emotionally distant. I bet you think you could tame that bad boy side of them, though, huh? You can’t so, why keep trying?

Angst-riddled, bad guys look good on film and love always wins out but in real life, bad boys are big trouble. Thinking you are the woman who will bring out the good guy is pure fantasy. Snap out of it!

 

 

complete me.jpgHe Completes Me: Ugh! The definition of complete is, “to make whole or perfect.” When you buy into the romantic idea that you are not “complete” until you meet Mr. Right what you are actually doing is selling yourself short. And, you are giving a man way more power over your emotions and well-being than he will ever earn. You aren’t ready for a new relationship if you don’t feel whole or perfect. Therapy maybe, new relationship, I don’t think so.

Stop with the Jerry McGuire thinking! Ask Katy Holmes how good Tom Cruise was at “completing” her. That didn’t turn out well! A successful relationship is attained when you go into it feeling whole and perfect as you are. And I suggest you do your best to find a man who feels whole and perfect in himself. He is going to have so much more to offer than one who isn’t “complete.”

love story.jpgLove is Blind: Or, means never having to say you’re sorry. Loving and being loved is about as good as it gets. Loving and being loved doesn’t mean there will be no conflict.

It doesn’t mean there aren’t things about that guy you love that drives you crazy. And there aren’t things about you that drives him crazy. Never turn a blind eye to hurts caused by your loved one. Never trust a loved one who turns a blind eye to your faults.

This is the real world, and a couple has to join together and face reality as partners to be successful both with each other and in surviving and thriving in a sometimes harsh environment. A real partnership grows stronger with adversity overcome by mutual effort; if one or both partners think life should be easy because they are expecting a fairy tale romance, the normal setbacks of life will have them blaming their partner and running for the exit sign.

Happiness or great sex or a perfect house is not the goal of a successful relationship; the goal is a bond that strengthens both of you and helps you be more the person you want to be. Happiness in marriage, when it happens, is a byproduct of love and loyalty and accomplishments together over time. It isn’t the result of “expecting” your “happily ever after.”

The post 4 Silly Romantic Notions You Don’t Want To Take Into Your Next Relationship appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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What a Tangled Web We Weave By Signing Documents We Don’t Read

What a Tangled Web We Weave By Signing Documents We Don’t Read

Originally published by Kim Hegwood.

One of the questions we ask our estate planning clients is what documents they have already signed that might dictate …

The post What a Tangled Web We Weave By Signing Documents We Don’t Read appeared first on Hegwood Law Group.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



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Don’t Fall For The Love Bomb! What It Feels Like To Date A Narcissist

Don’t Fall For The Love Bomb! What It Feels Like To Date A Narcissist

 

Narcissists like to love bomb! They like to shower you with gifts, turn on the charm and move things on very quickly.

When it comes to dating a narcissist how do you NOT fall for the love bombing?

How do you know the difference between love-bombing and real healthy attention and consideration?

Find out if there is a way to tell the difference between someone who is genuine, attentive and generous and a wolf in sheep’s clothing in this episode.

 

 

Video Transcript

What does it feel like to date a narcissist?

Heady. Exciting. Intoxicating.

(Before being healed up of course…)

How does all your sensibility go out of the window?

Why does it feel like you are on The Love Train Express, on a one way track, even though you sense there is something terribly dangerous about this?

Don’t real people show up as loving, genuine, trustworthy and caring as well?

You bet they do, and in today’s Thriver TV Episode I am going to explain to you what dating a narcissist is like, as well as what it is like to date a DECENT, loving and genuine person who is showing up interested in you and attentive towards you.

As well as HOW you can put this to the test!

Okay, before we get started, thank you everyone who has subscribed to my channel and for supporting the Thriver Mission. And 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 this episode begin!

 

The Feelings of Dating A Narcissist – When We Don’t Know!

What goes on with the narcissist and us when love-bombing happens?

The narcissist’s manoeuvre:

I’m going to try to hook up with this person. I’ll ask questions. I’ll find out what they are looking for and what they feel hurt about in their past. Then I’ll appear to care deeply about them and be everything they have been searching for.

The unsuspecting target’s feelings:

Oh MY GOD! This is the person I’ve been dreaming about, visualising and putting up on my vision board. He/she has arrived!

The narcissist’s manoeuvre:

I know this person is trusting and believes me. Now I’m going to snare this person quickly. I’ll take over their heart and infiltrate their body, soul and life. Heck, I’ll even connect financially with them as soon as they allow me to.

To get them to give me the key to the fortress, I’ll make them think I’m taking my time and have great respect for them. That is if sex and chemistry doesn’t get the better of them.

The unsuspecting target’s feelings:

Oh MY GOD! This person is everything I have ever wanted; I’m so attracted to him/her and he/she is so sweet and considerate. This is it – this is my beloved. There is no point wasting time, I know he/ she is the real deal and would never hurt me. I’m in!

(Mind you, this person’s intuition, their Inner Being, is dinging warning bells. Yet that niggly feeling is pushed aside by the over-enthusiastic reckless neediness to enmesh.)

The narcissist’s manoeuvre:

I’m SO high on new narcissistic supply that I am getting off on this. I know this person thinks we are crazily in love.

The unsuspecting target’s feelings:

Oh MY GOD! I feel so in love and attracted to this person I can’t even see straight.

That, in a nutshell, is a classic narcissistic love bomb. It is no more complicated than that – find out what a person craves and pretend to be it.

This is why narcissists get new supply in the time it takes to boil an egg.

The odd person reports that they didn’t feel head over heels when love-bombed. They didn’t feel the big chemical reaction to the narcissist – yet they still got hooked in because of some neediness within, like: ‘I’ll be on my own if I don’t accept this person’, ‘This person has the contacts, intelligence, wisdom, spirituality, money or lifestyle that I need to be happy, whole and safe’ and the list can go on and on and on.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, especially when we believe it is about ‘love’, that connections with narcissists are a dual interior subconscious game of neediness and supply. The narcissist NEEDS significance and someone else’s energy to survive, and we NEED what is missing in ourselves and our lives to try to feel whole.

Hence, why our connection with a narcissist ends up being as painful as anyone’s relationship is with a drug dependency that is killing them.

We don’t believe there is any other option than the narcissist, who originally appeared as our saviour to ourselves – until we realise that our entire lesson with narcissists is to let go, detach, turn inwards, heal and become a FULL source to self.

The narcissist who will never become a source to self believes that people are just objects and that they are dispensable sources, when necessary, that can be mined from virtually anywhere.

It’s true there are many unhealed people who feel empty about something on the inside.

 

Dating Fearlessly

Please hear me when I say to you – it is SO not true, that it will never be safe for you to date because narcissists are everywhere.

Yes, narcissists are everywhere – that is totally true, and so are great people who you can have healthy, fulfilling relationships with.

Your future relationships are never about what other people are or aren’t doing (oh gosh I promise you this).

Rather, they are about WHO you are BEING.

Beingness is not something you can just logically decide – it’s the work you do inside yourself to heal, so that you can show up, not CARING who other people are, because you know who YOU are, what YOUR values are and how powerfully (and not needily) you can take your time to get to know people and put yourself (and them) to the test.

I really want you to discard the ridiculous romantic notion that love is all about being swept off your feet into an instant relationship.

Fairy-tales, sitcoms, novels, plays, advertising and blockbuster movies have made us believe this – but truly, if you want to be safe, healthy and happy then you need to GROW UP and take your time when dating.

If you do, you have narcissistic repellent working powerfully in your favour from the get-go.

Narcissists HATE to take time; they need narcissistic supply to survive – like yesterday.

If you can get it through to yourself TO TAKE YOUR SWEET TIME to get to know someone, rather than be like my previous self who used to put more thought into buying a pair of shoes than I did into choosing a relationship, then watch on – because we are not going to leave any stone unturned.

Your Criteria to NOT Fall For the Love Bomb

I want you to ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your life whole enough, as a single person, to NOT need a relationship to feel happy and have a fulfilling life?
  • Do you feel like you are established as your own generative source of love, acceptance, survival and security – and no longer feel like an empty, broken child in an adult’s body looking for a partner to be a pseudo parent for you?  (I know that is such a tough question and one I want you to get really honest with yourself about – because it is NO one else’s responsibility to give you your happiness and life – it is yours.)
  • Are you healed beyond the beliefs ‘all the good ones are gone’, ‘I have to accept who turns up because there may not be another’ and ‘if I have a connection of (whatever it is) with someone, I may never experience that with someone else again’?
  • Are you healed and truly over the trauma of your past relationships?
  • Are you very clear on what you will and won’t accept and, so, will not compromise yourself because of neediness and feelings of lack?
  • Are you prepared to ask for what you need and want? And will you, respectfully without resentment, walk away if this person does not meet your values and truth, and accept that you are just not a match for them – regardless of what stage the relationship is at?
  • Have you evolved past the beliefs of ‘going on dates with the wrong people is annoying, terrible, disappointing and a waste of time’?
  • Are you healed beyond capitulating to other people’s demands even if it means you lose this person?
  • Are you able to accept someone discarding you because you didn’t go along with their version of dating (such as having sex too soon), without blaming yourself and wondering what is wrong with you?
  • Do you now accept that what comes up via dating grants you the perfect opportunity to heal beliefs and release even more trauma, show up in truth with healthy boundaries and become an even greater generative force of true, healthy love?

I promise you, I used to be a ‘No’ in all these areas. Today I am a ‘Yes’ because I know not just healthy love depends on it – my life literally does.

I worked my BUTT OFF with the inner work to get myself there.

Okay, so I’d love you to be honest and share with the entire community below – how many do you score a ‘yes’ out of these ten questions I just asked you?

I promise you this…until you stop dating trying to find someone to heal you, or deciding that you could never date ever again because you are too broken, and instead heal yourself in your key inner areas to become whole, not only will you date effectively, you will have a total blast doing it – no matter how many narcs you initially come across.

I also promise you that once the Quantum Mechanics of so within so without, get clear so that you are solid within and taking wonderful and powerful care of the sovereignty of your soul – the seas will part, the narcs will all get washed away, and great people will start flowing towards you.

Before then, you will be susceptible to a love-bombing narcissist. If you are starving or dying of thirst, you will eat crap on a stick or drink your own urine if you have to. With a narcissist who was originally wrapped in glamour, you’ll see that when the mask falls you will be left with the chilling truth of who they really are.

The total solution is to heal you, then you will never accept that again, and you won’t put yourself in a position to even start a narcissistic relationship.

When you heal, you will put as much thought, time, diligence and care into a relationship decision as you would any other impactful life decision – even more so – and certainly more thought than purchasing a pair of shoes.

The Difference Between Love-Bombing and Real Healthy Attention and Consideration

I love that I get to live so many experiences for myself AND this community.

Sometimes I feel like a crash-test dummy, in a good way!

‘Love’ has certainly been a journey for me, full of richness and experience, and I am very blessed to have enjoyed being able to have my heart open to receive new relationships even after narcissistic abuse.

EVERY relationship since the two N’s, has been a wonderful step up for me in certain areas.

You may ask what the difference is between decent caring people who are lovely and being love-bombed.

I promise you I KNOW the difference. And the reason I was able to enter a healthier relationship trajectory was because I was DIFFERENT enough to attract and accept this into my life.

My current partner of just over a year is a lovely man. From the day I met him, I felt a familiarity, a soft warm feeling. It was like putting on an old sweater that I adored. It was a feeling like ‘coming home’. It wasn’t the high anxiety, blood pumping ‘thrill’ of hanging out with a narcissist.

(Which for a long time I have been quite repulsed by!)

In the past, leading up to this man, I had been adamant about NOT being with men that were at all love-bomby! Because I knew how narcissistic that can be. I have to laugh about how the Universe says, ‘your wish is my command’ as I had been experiencing ungenerous relationships.

Meaning they were NOT romantic or caring, even though I was clear (previous love-bombing or not) with what I wanted, ‘I want romance. I want to feel like a revered woman. I want to MATTER!’

From day one I received flowers every time my partner picked me up on a date. He would send me beautiful thoughtful messages, including poetry. I was being beautifully romanced.

I still am to this day.

And I was totally allowing things to unfold whilst sizing him up, as well as evaluating how I was Being in this.

A dear girlfriend asked me ‘How do you know this isn’t love-bombing?’ My answer was ‘Because if I am busy and can’t get to his text, he waits respectfully until I do. And if I have other plans, and can’t meet up, he is totally understanding with this’.

This man was NOT needy, pushy, demanding or sulky. He was being a real romantic steadfast man. He respected my space and never encroached on it.

He didn’t play ridiculous ‘let’s throw caution to the wind in the name of passion’ games.

And, I was not giving up my life to completely fall into his arms. As it turned out, he didn’t want that either. We took our time through a friendship and courting process to get to know each other, as two whole people seeking another whole partner, to share a life with, rather than to self-medicate with or take away our emptiness and loneliness.

We remained platonically dating for three months before the relationship deepened.

In those three months, I watched and waited, as did he.

The other values I was very clear about included consideration for people, and one’s word being backed by real action, or taking responsibility if not possible (such as when stuff happens).

He has integrity. He is a really good person at his core.

I was clear on what character and kindness looked like and I was totally prepared to say ‘Okay, if he isn’t it, this has been a beautiful exercise in developing a relationship for both of us, and the next man will be even better.’

I truly believed that with all of my heart.

I still do, and if for whatever reason we decide our journey together wasn’t compatible with what we wanted any more, then that would all be totally okay too.

Right now, it is wonderful.

The Only Relationship That Creates All Others

I know there is a lot going on in this episode, and I hope that it can truly and deeply help you.

You know I am always banging on about the inner work, and that is because I know without it, after narcissistic abuse, just how hard it is to heal our fractured relationship with ourselves and life, let alone be powerful, solid and wise enough to engage in healthy relationships with a non-narcissistic intimate other.

What I love about truly cleaning up the relationship that we have with ourselves and feeling whole and satisfied in our own body and in life, is that we are no longer dependent and needy in relationships.

That is when we are TOTALLY free enough to choose and engage in ones that ARE healthy.

I can’t tell you what a relief it is to get there, and I know it will be for you too.

If it’s time for you to put an end to the narcissistic madness and fear, please click this link to start your trek on your true love path today.

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.

As always, I am greatly looking forward to answering your comments and questions below.

 

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divorced dad

Why Don’t Divorced Dads Turn To Each Other For Support Like Divorced Moms Do?

divorced dad

 

My Facebook feed is filled with divorced or almost divorced women turning to each other for support and there is one thing you won’t find on there:

Men.

Single dads and divorced dads are not gathering in tribes on social media boards or in person to chat about their plight and experience with divorce even if they want to.

Why not?

Why Divorced Dads Don’t Turn to Each Other for Support

A study published in 2000 in the Psychological Review, showed that stressed women “tend and befriend” while men go for the “fight or flight” option. Researchers suggest that this is due to the fact that when stressed, men’s brains omit less oxytocin, that feel-good love hormone than women. And according to statistics produced by the American Psychological association in 2011, women (70%) are more apt to do something to reduce their stress than men (50%) are.

No matter which way we slice it, research shows that men tend to go the solo route when it comes to working through stress while women look for company along the way.

Men don’t want to raise their hands and say, “Hey everyone, my life sucks,” or “I miss my ex-wife,” or “It’s really hard raising kids in a single-parent home.”

Doing that would mean admitting pain and hardship, something that isn’t considered a masculine trait and let’s face it, while women have been the oppressed gender from the start, men also suffer from unfair stereotypes and expectations. Men aren’t oppressed, they are REPRESSED emotionally!

It’s not OK for a man to cry.

Be a man, suck it up.

You’ve heard those phrases tossed around and so have I.

We tell men to be brave and strong and to keep a straight face. This doesn’t leave a lot of room for grief and sadness.

So it isn’t surprising then that single dads and divorced men are not looking for a support group, but to me, this limits divorced men and single dads from moving past divorce in a healthy way.

If men could form groups or did form groups, it could help them grieve divorce and learn new parenting strategies from other dads. If a man did reach out to another man to say, “Hey, how did you find a good custody schedule,” or “Is mediation the better route?” it would be beneficial for that divorcing dad.

Going solo on such a huge adventure like becoming a divorced, single dad seems risky, from my female-wired brain. It could also be the reason men seem to jump into new relationships, faster.

A new partner might just be the divorced man’s support group, but that is problematic too. Someone you’re romantically interested in shouldn’t be a springboard for grief and renewal.

So for all the divorced dads out there, why not see befriending or growing your support network of other divorced and single dads in a different light, rather than seeing it as a “b*tch fest” or gathering like a group of old ladies?

See reaching out for support as a:

  • Chance to network: Maybe your new friends will have good business contacts or even better, cute single female friends.
  • Chance to mentor: If you’re a single dad mentoring a man who’s going through the divorce process, you can be a father figure to someone going through the experience—an adoptive son or little brother, as it were.
  • Chance to learn from others: Use your man brain and be logical: someone who has been there or done that will know certain pitfalls to avoid as you go through the divorce process that you wouldn’t have known without asking someone in the “know.”

To all the divorced dads or “going through a divorce” dads, why not do things a little differently in your life this time around? Making contacts and building a support network isn’t just for women. It’s for smart people who want to make a huge life adjustment a bit easier or in other words, it’s for you!

The post Why Don’t Divorced Dads Turn To Each Other For Support Like Divorced Moms Do? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Is Dating After Divorce A Requirement

Is Dating After Divorce A Requirement? I Don’t Think So!

Is Dating After Divorce A Requirement

 

I’m not dating. I’ve been divorced for seven years now, and I’m not in a relationship. I’m not looking to be in one, either. There have been a few boyfriends, a couple more serious than the others, some purely physical. But right now, and for the past year, I’ve been absolutely, completely, 100% unattached.

And I’m totally fine with this. Am I the only one?

Everything I read about divorce seems to have a message: if you are divorced, you need to date.

Pronto!

Fresh divorcees fret about it, as though there is a deadline for finding new love, a relationship version of the old biological clock that is ticking ominously in the background. That their lives will not be complete until they have someone on the other side of the bed every single night. To this day, people still ask me, “Why aren’t you dating?” or “You should find a man” or my favorite, “You know what you need? You need to date.”

There are plenty of things I need to do: I need to work. I need to parent my children. I need to do laundry and get groceries and walk my dog. Do I need to be in a relationship?

I don’t think so.

Is Dating After Divorce A Requirement?

There is something very liberating in being single. I have learned how to be alone, but not lonely.  I feel as though this is one of the weird little parting gifts of divorce, one that took me a long time to discover and even longer to appreciate.

The gift of learning how to be by yourself.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t spend all of my free time alone. I have four kids, a neurotic dog and a gaggle of amazing friends. I could be out every night of the week if I wanted.  But every once in awhile, I find myself alone. And I kind of like it.

Before my divorce, I hadn’t lived alone other than a month when I was a flight attendant back in 1989. I’d lived with my parents, and then with roommates, and then with a boyfriend who became a husband. And technically speaking I am not living alone right now, what with my four roommates- five if you count the sweet shedding boy who shares my bed. But for the first time in my adult life, I’m single and not looking.

Part of it may be me guarding myself, my heart. My ex husband did a major number on me when he left. I’m not naive enough to think that there wasn’t some damage done, but I am smart enough to know that it wasn’t permanent. Me not actively seeking love right now isn’t a matter of not wanting to be vulnerable again, nor is it a matter of not trusting men (or my choices in men).

Part of it may be good old fashioned insecurity. If you find yourself failing at marriage once, it’s hard to think of trying it again. Who’s to say I won’t invest another 15 years of my life into another person only to be left again?

It might be those things, yes. But I’d like to think that my steadfast-singleness is an education of sorts. I’m learning, you see. Learning to enjoy my own company, which, when you think about it, is laying some pretty good groundwork for any future relationship I may find myself in.  Personally, I think it takes some courage, and some cajones, to face life solo. Some days I feel brave.  I’m learning how to weather life’s storms on my own, which is something I think all women should know how to do.

Now, don’t think I’m dissing those of you who have jumped right back into the thick of things. I have friends who found new and improved loves before the ink on their divorce decrees dried. And that is WONDERFUL. We all have our very own ways of doing things, of growing and recovering and living. Truth be told, there are some moments when I feel some envy.

I see them with their boyfriends or husbands and it reminds me of all the good things that come with couplehood. The companionship, the comfort, the warm strong arm draped over your shoulders on a cold walk to the car. The security one feels when there’s a trustworthy man snoring next to you in bed.

But then I see friends who have gone through a virtual parade of boyfriends, watched them fall in and out of love, or something that kinda/sorta feels like it. They’ve introduced their kids to some of them, brought them to parties and gatherings and then one day, they show up alone. Or with a new guy. I’ve comforted them when things go bad, when they realize that this wasn’t Mr. Right, it was Mr. That’ll Do For Now.

There’s something to be said for their sheer determination to find someone, and I commend them for that. I have to wonder, though, is that the best way to find your happily ever after, or is it simply a way to keep your dating muscles toned and in shape, to avoid atrophy?

I was talking to another single friend the other night, she joined this club by way of widowhood. I told her that I was writing an article about “embracing your singleness” and she plopped down next to me and told me her side of it: “People were asking me about dating within a week of my husband dying” she started. “I mean, look-“ she held up her left hand, her beautiful wedding band shining brightly on her ring finger. “I took this off for about a week…I had been lifting weights and it was bothering me,” she continued. “And right away, I noticed raised eyebrows and the ‘you go, girl’ comments started.” My friend motioned towards the kitchen, where her kids were laughing and messing around with their friends. “Those people in there? That’s my focus right now. That’s my job. I’ll figure out the dating thing later on.”

My widowed friend and I may have found ourselves in this spot via very different paths, but we both landed on the same page. Love is something we both want, both look forward to…but front and center in our lives are our lives. Being moms, taking care of households, nurturing friendships. Taking care of ourselves. Finding our sea legs in order to ride out the rest of this crazy voyage.

Who knows..I’ve heard that love will find you whether or not you’re looking. And if that happens? Great. I haven’t sworn off men and dating and sex and all of that good stuff…I’ve just decided that right here and right now, it’s not my number one priority. I may meet my Prince Charming while grocery shopping or out on the trails while walking my dog. I might meet him at one of my son’s hockey games or while out on the town with my friends. Or, I might not.

Either way, it’s fine with me.

The post Is Dating After Divorce A Requirement? I Don’t Think So! appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Questions Kids Have About Divorce

Mother May I? 10 Questions Your Kids Want To Ask About Divorce But Don’t

Questions Kids Have About Divorce

As a mother, you inevitably feel a grave sense of concern about how divorce will affect your children.

Kids of all ages are deeply impacted by divorce simply because they feel the same sense of disillusionment that you do around the loss of an intact nuclear family.

Your instinct will be to protect your children from pain, and you may feel that they are better off not knowing too many details about what’s happening.

Talking to your children about divorce is delicate and needs to be age appropriate in nature, but they definitely need a forum and safe opportunity to express their experience and ask questions.

Their instinct will be to mind their own business, and to feel unsure about what’s permissible to bring up or discuss.

They look to you as the gatekeeper of what is allowed.

Protection can often come across as guarded or defensive to your kids so you need to be mindful and cautious about your non-verbal communications, and what kind of message you’re sending.

You obviously don’t want to expose them to toxic interactions, and you never want to use them as therapists.

What you do want to create is the space for them to feel comfortable asking you pretty much anything.

Getting your children to open up in a healthy way shouldn’t be hard. The one trick you’ll want to use is what I call “going first.” You basically ask them directive questions about their feelings and experience to send a message that questions are helpful and welcome.

Avoid general inquiries like “Are you ok?” or “I’m here if you need to talk.” Be specific with questions like “Are you sad about what’s happening?” or “Do you feel scared with what’s going on?”

Even if you don’t get answers your children will still know that you’re interested, and that curiosity is a good thing.

You can also explicitly tell them that you invite their questions, and that you’ll answer as well as you can. Your goal is to build trust so they are eager to share with you.

Questions Kids Have About Divorce But Don’t

1. Is this divorce my fault?

Children are quick to blame themselves for divorce. It’s too scary for them to blame you because they depend on you and need you for their survival.

You can be sure that they are wondering if they are to blame for the divorce so it will be important to address these feelings.

2. Am I allowed to tell my friends about your divorce?

When and how to tell friends about the divorce is tricky for everyone in the family. This is a good question and you will have to answer it based on your own family values.

Whatever you decide make it the same rule for everyone if possible so there is no hypocrisy or misunderstandings.

3. Do I need to pick a side?

Many divorces are riddled with parental alienation and blame. Children get caught in the middle and wonder if they need to protect or take the side of one parent.

They are very perceptive and observant so if you don’t address this they will just automatically pick one parent because they feel they need to even though they should never have to.

4. Does this mean I won’t see one of you?

Fear of loss and the reality of less time with each parent is upsetting for kids. They want to know that they will be minimally affected by the divorce so it’s natural for them to wonder whether they will lose time with one or both of their parents.

Even if your custody is not yet determined they need to know that the goal is equal time with both parents (barring any unusual circumstances).

5. Will we have to move?

Another loss for children is connected to their home. Worrying about being displaced and feeling anxious about change is prominent for children going through a divorce.

You may not have the answer, but what they are really wondering is if they will feel safe. You can always assure them that you will make sure they do.

6. Will you stop fighting now?

Some couples remain in a very toxic marriage for years before getting divorced and kids witness this.

There may be a sense of relief in knowing that there will be a peaceful household, but they may also feel guilty for the sense of relief they feel.

7. Will I be able to live with my brother/sister?

Siblings are the saving grace for children going through divorce. It makes sense that they would think each child might go with one parent.

Assuring them that they will stay together will ease their anxiety and bring them closer together as allies.

8. Should I be mad at one of you?

In line with the idea of taking sides your children might feel they need to pick one of you to hate. Someone has to be to blame because their limited cognitive ability makes it hard for them to imagine anything else.

9. Will you still love me as much?

The loss of an intact family can easily be grouped with a loss of love for a child. Anything split in half means less of something for them so they will wonder if they will get the same attention and love they always did.

Kids don’t like to share and they don’t have a sense of abundance.

10. Can I be angry and upset about your divorce?

Your children will be very confused about their feelings. They may believe that they are supposed to just accept the situation because they have no power over whether it happens or not. Even though they are innocent victims they still need to have and feel the power of emotional expression.

Most importantly you want your children to know that they are loved, safe and protected. You want them to express their feelings, talk to you about everything inside of them, and to feel like they are part of the process without feeling like the problem.

You have the power to help them heal, but only if you know how they’re suffering.

The post Mother May I? 10 Questions Your Kids Want To Ask About Divorce But Don’t appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Don’t Let a Limited Belief System Hold You Back After Divorce

Don’t Let a Limited Belief System Hold You Back After Divorce

Make today the day to stop saying no because of what has happened and choose yes because it happened because you owe it to yourself to thrive after divorce!

The post Don’t Let a Limited Belief System Hold You Back After Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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divorce and life insurance

Getting Divorced? Don’t Forget about Life Insurance

divorce and life insurance

 

If you’re a divorced woman, chances are you’ve got a lot on your plate right now. The chaotic and difficult process of getting divorced means you’ll spend lots of time weeding through the marital assets, separating finances, and sorting out vital things like custody of children. Getting financially stable after a divorce is no easy feat, and there are lots to manage.

One area many divorcing couples overlook is life insurance. As a divorced woman, the challenges addressed by securing life insurance are two-fold. First and foremost, any existing policies will need to be adjusted to change beneficiaries and ensure the protection of child support or alimony payments. Secondly, you’ll need to consider the best kind of life insurance policy for your situation and how much coverage you’ll need moving forward.

Here are a few items to add to your to-do list as a divorcee to ensure you and any dependents are financially protected, both in the short term and the foreseeable future.

Getting Divorced? Don’t Forget about Life Insurance

Changing Beneficiaries

When you were married, your spouse was probably listed as the primary beneficiary on your life insurance policy. After all, the entire point of life insurance is to shelter your family and loved ones if your income is lost through a tragic death. A life insurance policy is a crucial contingency plan for meeting financial obligations like mortgages, car payments, and putting food on the table.

After a divorce, much of that calculus changes. If you are divorced without children, chances are you’re not keen to see your spouse benefit on the event of your demise. No matter your marital status, life insurance companies don’t dispute who receives payouts on a policy. For the company, it’s a simple contract between the insurance carrier and the policyholder. The beneficiary is whomever you documented when you took out the policy, and that won’t change unless you file a specific request with the company.

Changing beneficiaries is usually a straightforward process of contacting your life insurance carrier. Unless you have a policy with irrevocable beneficiaries, you can specify someone new to receive the payout upon your death with minimal paperwork and fuss. Some insurance carriers provide ways to accomplish this online, while others require going through a broker or submitting notarized documentation.

And remember, life insurance isn’t the only thing you’ll need to update. Remember to switch over other insurance policies, including health, home, and auto insurance. It’s also essential to change the beneficiaries in any legal documentation that might survive you, like a will and a power of attorney.

Policies with Cash Value

Some permanent life insurance policies, such as whole life or universal life policies, accumulate cash value. As you pay premiums, a portion of the money goes into an investment fund that can expand as the stocks rise. If you’ve had such a policy and recently divorced, you probably discovered the balance in that fund is considered part of the marital assets. You’ll typically have two options—keep the policy and continue paying premiums or cash out and divide the spoils.

For typical term life insurance policies, no payout is made until death occurs or the policy period expires. However, for whole and universal life insurance policies, you can choose to decline any potential death benefit in lieu of taking the current cash value of the policy. Therefore, these kinds of permanent life insurance policies are considered part of your net worth as a couple and get divided as assets during the divorce settlement accordingly.

You may also want to speak to a financial advisor in addition to your divorce attorney before making any critical decisions about dissolving or dividing assets. Financial experts can give you advice about how to handle transitioning not only insurance policies but also other assets like 401(k) and retirement plans in a way that’s equitable for both spouses and avoids tax penalties.

Protect Your Income

When you get divorced, life insurance isn’t solely about covering your lost income for the dependents you leave behind. It’s also about replacing any potential child support or alimony payments if you or your former spouse should die. For the parent who retains primary custody after a divorce, a life insurance policy is a crucial safety net that can cover the costs associated with raising children, including future financial necessities like supporting them through college.

There are several ways to handle securing life insurance coverage on your former spouse. Some couples choose to make the stipulations about the policy and premiums part of the divorce decree. The court may even order the head of the household to take out a life insurance policy as part of the settlement. In cases where the court requires a spouse to maintain a life insurance policy after divorce, the coverage and duration mandated usually reflect the obligation. For example, if the life insurance is intended to cover a significant loss of income and child support for the custodial parent, the policy term will usually need to extend until the dependents are 18 or 21.

Financial Security for Children

If you carried a life insurance policy during the marriage to provide for your children in the event of a death, that need still exists. Plus, in an acrimonious divorce, things don’t always work out according to plan. If you have concerns about whether your former spouse will follow-through on making payments, take control of the life insurance policy yourself and pay the premiums to avoid any risk of coverage lapse. Even if the coverage was specified as part of your divorce decree, it may take time and significant hassle to get follow through on those stipulations enforced by the court. In the interim, you want the assurance that your policy is paid up and your coverage current.

When you’re raising children as a single parent, protecting your own income becomes doubly important after a divorce. In the event of your death, while arrangements may be made for someone you trust to care for your children, you’ll still want them to enjoy financial security through a generous life insurance benefit. The simplest way to calculate how much life insurance coverage you’ll need is to take the number of years until your child turns 18 or 21, then multiply it by your annual income. That amount is the bare minimum of insurance coverage you should be securing per child.

You can name your child as a beneficiary, but be aware that policies typically don’t pay out to a dependent under the age of majority. Instead, the court will appoint a custodian, usually the surviving parent, to supervise holding the funds in an account until your child is of age. If you don’t want your former spouse to be appointed by the court, specify a custodian as part of the policy.

A Word of Warning

If you’re still in the process of finalizing a divorce or in the beginning stages of filing for one, consult with your divorce attorney before taking any action. In most cases, assets are frozen during the process of a divorce and both parties are required to be fully transparent about any financial obligations, including insurance policies. Changing beneficiaries or coverage during divorce proceedings could raise red flags and unnecessarily prolong and complicate your settlement.

You should, however, do your research and be prepared to suggest any policy changes or premiums you want specified as part of the divorce decree. While divorce can be a painful process, it’s also an opportunity to take charge of your financial future and secure stability for both yourself and your dependents.

The post Getting Divorced? Don’t Forget about Life Insurance appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Don’t Be Bitter After Divorce: Be Better!

Don’t Be Bitter After Divorce: Be Better!

I want to fully let go of that bitterness and resentment. I can’t carry it for thirty some years—it’s too heavy.

The post Don’t Be Bitter After Divorce: Be Better! appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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mistakes when dating after divorce

Don’t Make These 7 Mistakes When Dating After Divorce

mistakes when dating after divorce

 

If I had my way the word “date” would not be part of the English language. There would be a less stressful way of finding a future mate. What, I don’t know, but definitely less stressful. The “dating game” and the mechanics of it set most of us up to make this one huge mistake…appearing desperate.

In Dating Is The Worst Way To Find Love And We Should All Stop Doing It, Jessica Blankenship pretty much says it all up.

Look, I don’t care how perfectly self-aware and secure you are, when you focus too much attention on how you’re coming off to someone else, especially if you’re attracted to that person, you’re going to f#@k it up. Somehow. You’re going to be a little too calculating with your words and actions, a little too nervous, and then a little too boastful to compensate for it, and then self-deprecating to compensate for the arrogance (and you’re not even typically an arrogant person! WTF is this date doing to you?) and by the end of the night, you’re back at home with a nauseating certainty that the lovely person you just shared a meal with has the completely wrong impression of you and you pretty much want to die.

We try desperately to make a great first impression. To such a degree that we can’t help but come off desperate in our search for new love. And, let’s face it, desperation stinks! So, to keep the odor down and the crazy at bay below are a few suggestions for those who want to start enjoying dating after divorce and possibly finding a new relationship.

You Don’t Want to Make These Mistakes When Dating After Divorce

1. Persistent Talking Is a No, No:

A solid relationship will take time to form. In other words, you’ve got plenty of time to tell your life story if you’ve made a match. It doesn’t have to be done on the first date. And, if it isn’t done on the first date you’ve got a better chance at a second date.

Relax, chill out and keep somethings to yourself. Don’t talk about your high conflict divorce, your dysfunctional childhood or that nuisance of a co-worker you deal with daily. We all have baggage we lug around but it’s best if you don’t unpack any of it on a first date.

Live your dates in the moment. Focus on your surroundings, activities and the person you are with. You will find plenty to talk about by making the choice to talk about the “here and now.”

2. Keep Your Scary Skeletons In The Closet:

Seriously, no one wants to know how many times your ex cheated on you before they get to know YOU. Did you spend a night in Juvie at sixteen or, shoplift a lip gloss at twelve? We’ve all done things we’re not proud of, most of us have done something a bit sketchy in our past. Save it for the third or fourth date when you are more certain of how they will respond.

3. Don’t Drop Your Standards:

When thinking about a future mate or a new love relationship we all have a list of “must haves.” Traits like honesty, security, work ethic, physical attraction, compatibility, and intelligence. The desperate dater, the one who feels they are kissing a lot of toads and not coming up with a prince may be tempted to lower their standards.

Big mistake!

Someone who is not worthy of you, knows they are not worthy of you. They know you are settling for less than you want and need and will take advantage of that weakness.

For example, I have a friend who just broke up with her “boyfriend.” She dated this man for seven months. During those seven months, he had never picked up a dinner tab or paid for her drinks. He never called ahead to schedule a date either. He would text or call at the last moment wanting to meet for drinks or dancing.

He was a “busy” scientist who traveled a lot for work, she was a lonely divorcee who wanted attention and company. He played on her desperation and she allowed herself to believe that someone who was using her for a booty call was a “boyfriend.” When she learned he was a scientist who wasn’t “busy” or traveling but married, she ended the relationship and reevaluated what it was about herself that allowed her to lower her standards.

4. Don’t Be Too Available:

This is a mistake my friend made. If you are ready to go out with thirty minutes notice for a “date” what message are you sending the other person? Don’t allow anyone to believe that you can be their afterthought or last minute “go to” when bored or other plans fall through.

Unless you are in an established relationship with this person set a pattern that lets them know you are worthy of making plans with days in advance. If you don’t, you’ll never move beyond the “afterthought” phase of a relationship.

5. Don’t Complain About Being Single:

Want to put your date in their place, really let them know why you are there in the first place…to find a new mate, complain about being single. Yeah, do that and there definitely won’t be a second date. You may be seeking empathy but you aren’t likely to get it from someone if they feel the date is an audition for the role of future husband/wife.

6. Contact Overkill:

If a first and second date goes well, it’s important to keep in touch but it is possible to go overboard. Emailing, calling and texting two or three times a day is a good way to scare off someone with potential. Nothing says, “Borderline stalker” like constant texting or calling. Back away from the iPhone!

7. Not Create Some Space:

Last, but certainly not least create space between your life and a new relationship. If you get lucky and make a great connection with a date don’t become consumed by that person and the new relationship. The goal is to find someone new to share your life with, not to make the new relationship your entire life.

You have your own life and they have theirs. The point is to come together and create something that is beneficial to both parties…your life plus a little something new.

Dating, as daunting as it is, is the main way most will find a new relationship. New relationships have natural phases, there is a beginning, a middle and if you are lucky, a “happily ever after.” Desperation causes some to rush through those natural phases which, in turn, works against them finding the “one” they long to meet. Relax, don’t come on too strong and enjoy dating. Doing so will promote the goal of finding new love.

The post Don’t Make These 7 Mistakes When Dating After Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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