Over the last fifty years, there has been a quiet shift in the landscape of family life in America. Approximately two-thirds of couples live together before marriage; this number is compared to one-half of couples 20 years ago, according to The Pew Research Center.
Recently, Rand sociologists who study family demographics, surveyed 2,600 couples who lived together without marriage. One of the most important findings of this study is that young adults who cohabitated had lower levels of commitment than those who marry. Further, couples who cohabitate report lower levels of certainty about the future of their relationships, especially if they are males.
This “commitment gap” has been studied by sociologists Michael Pollard and Kathleen Mullan Harris who found that cohabitating males have a lower level of commitment to their relationship than their female partners. This “commitment gap” was also researched by psychologists Scott Stanley and Galena Rhodes who discovered that women who live with their future husband prior to becoming engaged are 40% more likely to divorce than those who are engaged before moving in together.
Interestingly, many couples in America today believe that living together prior to tying the knot will decrease their chances of getting a divorce. However, researchers Stanley and Rhodes have demonstrated the “cohabitation effect” – showing that couples who cohabit before marriage are less satisfied with their marriages and more likely to divorce.
According to Meg Jay, author of The Defining Decade, studies have shown that not all of the effect can be explained by demographics such as politics, education, or religion. Jay writes, “Research suggests that at least some of the effect may lie in cohabitation itself.” She posits that one of the main factors that put cohabitating couples at risk for breakup is “sliding not deciding.” This means that a couple gradually decides to move in together mostly out of convenience rather than discussing their expectations and plans for the future.
One thing is for certain, researchers have found that before you decide to live with someone, it is incredibly important that you and your partner are on the same page. Dr. John Curtis, author of Happily Unmarried highlights the “expectation gap” as a critical consideration before moving in with your partner. He states that the fundamental difference between men and women according to a recent Rand Study is that many women view living together as a step towards marriage while many men see it as a test drive.
It’s no secret that marriage rates are on the decline. In 1960, 72% of Americans were married. Today approximately 50% are. Understandably, there’s a lot of fear about marriage. Since the divorce rate has hovered around 50% for decades, the question for many is: Why marry when there is one in two chances it won’t work out? However, what many people forget is that just because a couple isn’t married when they breakup it doesn’t mean they don’t have issues to resolve such as financial claims (related to property or combined assets); as well as the custody of children.
As the rate of couples who live together without being married are rising dramatically, children in America are more likely to experience cohabitation than divorce, according to W. Brad Wilcox, Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. Many experts, including Wilcox conclude that cohabitation puts children at risk for psychological and academic problems as well as child abuse. Wilcox notes that cohabitation also creates more instability for children.
He writes, “A recent study from Drs. Sheela Kennedy and Larry Bumpass found that 65% of children born to cohabitating parents saw their parents break up by age 12, compared to 24% born to married families.” Since 40% of children in the US will experience the divorce of their parents prior to the age of 16, this is an important topic to explore.
If you’re a single parent who is considering cohabitation what are the risks to your children? In my opinion, you need to consider that your children may see your partner as an intruder – as a complication they don’t want in their lives – who is a rival with their father.
In addition, if the relationship doesn’t last, they may see it as yet another loss (in addition to your divorce) if they’ve established a bond. In What About the Kids, the late Judith Wallerstein writes, “If they genuinely grow to like or even love the person you’ve invited into your lives and that person disappears one night, it’s another loss. It’s frightening when people disappear and it’s awful to feel rejected.”
Let’s take a look at some statistics that shed light on this topic:
- Over 50% of couples who cohabitate before marriage are broken up within five years (Cherlin, 2009)
- Over 75% of children born to couples who are not married no longer live with both parents by the age of fifteen (Cherlin, 2009)
- 47% of American women who give birth in their twenties are unmarried at the time (Cherlin, New York Times, 4/27/2013)
Considering the research, if you’re a divorced parent contemplating cohabiting, proceed with caution. Ask yourself: What are your motivations for living together? If you want to develop a deeper bond, and most significantly, you see cohabitation as a step toward marriage, having differing expectations from your partner may be a problem.
If you decide to cohabitate these are steps to minimize damage to your children:
- Sit down with your partner and clarify your expectations about the future. This can enhance your chances of remaining in a committed relationship.
- Be careful not to bypass these discussions and fall into “sliding not deciding,” according to author Meg Jay.
- Don’t ask your children’s permission to cohabitate – this is too much responsibility for them and will be harder for them to recover from if you breakup.
- Discuss parenting strategies such as how you are going to handle conflicts that will arise with children and between them – especially if you are blending families.
- Prepare your children carefully. Make sure they’ve met the person many times and feel comfortable with them. Reassure your children that they are still a priority and that your partner will not replace their biological parent.
- Set household routines that accommodate your partner and your children. Have regular discussions and share meals together so you can check in about how household issues are going.
Before you make the decision about whether or not to cohabitate, consider the risks to your children if it doesn’t work out. Ask yourself: Am I selling myself short by moving in with my partner? Would cohabitation put my children at risk for instability, psychological, or academic problems?
Weigh the advantages of tying the knot before having children or delaying cohabiting until your children launch if you’re a parent. In the end, consider that your children may grow to genuinely like or love this person and if the relationship ends, it’s yet another loss. However, if you decide to cohabitate, approach your new lifestyle with optimism and confidence – because you’ve taken all the steps to enhance your chances of success.
More From Terry:
- 5 Ways To Stop Settling For Less than You Deserve In A Relationship
- Should I Take A Chance on Marriage?
The post What Are The Risks of Cohabitation For You And Your Kids? appeared first on Divorced Moms.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…except your kids are sprinting through the house, screaming like banshees and swinging from your newly-dusted chandelier. It’s enough to make you want to yell, “Bah humbug!” and head straight for the spiked eggnog.
But before you turn into a (slightly tipsy) Scrooge, try these 6 tips to stay blissful when the anarchy threatens to take over the house.
Tips For Surviving Your Kid’s Christmas Break
Break up that long school break.
Unplanned, unstructured days at home with your kids are necessary and wonderful… but an entire week of them will seriously test your sanity. Long school breaks need some balance and a plan. Alternate relaxing days at home with play dates, visits to the museum, and outdoorsy field trips. And extra time with their Dad!
Put your kids to work on Christmas morning.
Once the initial excitement over new toys wears off, sibling fights and cries of boredom tend to start. Redirect their energy by having them make mini smartphone videos, showing off their cool new loot, for family members who don’t live nearby. This task will keep your kids occupied, make the video recipients smile and buy you a little extra peace and quiet.
Say no—and mean it.
Turning down invitations and putting the kibosh on unrealistic plans doesn’t mean that you’re ruining the holidays (no matter what your kids say). It means that you’re being realistic about your limits.
Say it nicely but firmly, and you won’t be as likely to overextend yourself or argue with your kids. Here are three sentences to practice with: “No, we can’t go to another party tonight since we’re already committed to two this weekend.” “No, 7-year-olds can’t have their own smartphones, but maybe in another few years.” “No, you cannot have candy canes for breakfast.”
Take a deep breath before reacting.
A deep, belly-filing breath has the power to calm your body and your brain. Do this as soon as you feel general holiday anxiety starts to creep in… and when your kids push your buttons. It’s amazing how many conflicts can be avoided—or at least not escalated—when you wait a few seconds to respond.
Escape the room.
You may not think you have a spare second to spend on your own, but believe it or not, the world will keep spinning if you take an hour to get a massage, watch Stranger Things or indulge in a much-needed nap. Find the time by asking your babysitter to stay an extra hour, doing a kid swap with a mom friend, or giving your ex the gift of extra time with the children during the holidays.
Keep it all in perspective.
You won’t emotionally scar your kids if you don’t make the cookies from scratch or buy them matching reindeer pajamas. All this holiday madness is supposed to be fun, and if it’s not, take a step back, reevaluate and make a change. Your kids will be happy if you’re happy and if you’re truly present with them. That’s when the magic happens, and that’s what they’ll remember.
They either come back, dirty, clean mixed in with the dirty or, missing. How I solved the kid’s clothes and divorce saga.
The post Kid’s Clothes and Divorce: Dirty, Clean Mixed With Dirty, or Missing! appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
Holidays without your kids during divorce feels awful. The holidays will be different this year if you are going through a divorce. Painful, maybe, especially without your kids. You can survive and it will get better. Here are four tips.
If you are a parent struggling with helping your children after your narcissistic abuse situation, then I can’t recommend this episode enough.
Within it, you will learn what to tell your children, how to empower them and even how to help reunite with them if they have been smeared against you or alienated away from you.
My heart goes out to every parent suffering with co-parenting with a narcissist or trying to repair the damage that happened to their children after one.
It is Zac’s and my greatest desire, today, that this Q and A, offers you key tools to not just ease the pain, but truly overcome every fear, challenge, and heartbreak you have suffered with your children – just as Zac and I have together.
Melanie: Welcome to Thriver TV, the place to break free from narcissistic abuse with quantum tools and understandings. And today we’ve got a very special episode because this is a first-ever Thriver TV with my son Zac. And for those of you who don’t know Zac, Zac is my son and he is also the CEO of MTE. So welcome Zac.
Zac: Thanks mum. It’s so great to be here. It’s so great to finally be on Thriver TV, and hello.
Melanie: I know a lot of people have been asking for Zac and this is it, he’s finally doing it. It’s so good, and we’re both so excited about this episode because we’re going to be answering your questions that were posted on Instagram and Facebook a few days ago about how to help your children heal after being through a relationship with a narcissist. And one of our beautiful Thriver members requested this show so this is why we’re doing it. And we’ve had some amazing questions come through from so many of you and I’m so excited to share these answers with you. Now, just before we get into this show, I wanted to quickly tell you that we are running my premier abuse recovery workshop in capital cities in Australia in early December. If you’re an Aussie or you can get to Australia in December, I would love to see you there. Information and tickets can be found at the link at the top right. All right, so we’re going to start off with our first question, which is one from Instagram. So what have you got there Zac?
Zac: Yeah, so Restoring Hope Again on Instagram asks, “How do I co-parent with a narcissist, but try to make sure my son isn’t mentally abused, taken advantage of, lied to, et cetera. How do I also combat the lies that the narcissistic father tells my son? My son is only four and his dad and I have been separated for two years, but I have so much anxiety about how my son’s narcissistic father will affect him. Thank you for what you do and I hope you can help.”
Melanie: Okay, so all right. This is what I say to every parent who is co-parenting with a narcissist. The first thing that you need to do is do the deep, constant healing work on yourself. Because the truth is you can’t change a narcissist and what they’re doing, and the lies and the smearing, and the abuse and the manipulation. And the more that you actually try to combat that from a place of feeling traumatized by it, the worse it will escalate and the worse it will affect your child. And this causes so many problems. So when you heal you and you get centred and empowered and you’re able to start parallel parenting, which is a part of what we teach in the NARP community, and we also teach you how to not get triggered and traumatized, you start taking your power back and you set a very powerful template for your child to follow your example.
Melanie: And even at a very early age, children follow this example powerfully. Our most successful parallel parenting people in our community are not trying to combat a narcissist on a head level and on a strategy level, they’re actually healing and diffusing all of the triggers and the traumas within themselves so that you can be solid and centred and powerful for your child regardless of what the narcissist is or isn’t doing. So then what happens is the child will start feeling settled and calm because where you go, they go. They will start to pick up the difference and they will start to, even at a young age, they will see who to gravitate to and who not to gravitate to, and the narcissist will stop the games. You will see that happen as well. So I cannot suggest it enough, look up parallel parenting and look at the NARP program. It’s essential for people that are co-parenting so that you can do it effectively. I really hope that helps.
Zac: Okay, so I’ve got the next question from Instagram. Korean Atopy asks, “So Zac’s father was the narc whose covert abuse almost killed Mel, right? Has Zac forgiven his dad? Do you guys see him or is he completely out of the picture?” Yeah, so this is the important distinction to make. My father actually was not the narcissist who was in the relationship with Melanie. My father had a relationship with Melanie when I was very young and they split up when I was two years old. So no, the narcissist that was the first relationship that Melanie was married to, we have no contact with and yeah —
Melanie: Never will.
Zac: Never will. I’m very happy for it to stay that way. So I hope that answers that question.
Melanie: And if I can just say it wasn’t quite covert, it was very overt. But yeah, I hope that that’s cleared that up for some people. But I will say though that even though it was Zac’s stepfather, he did create a lot of smearing and alienation where I nearly lost Zac. So yeah, that part of it still played out very powerfully.
Zac: True, very true.
Melanie: Absolutely. Okay, so on to the next question.
Zac: Okay, so the next question is from Facebook. Mary Angel asks or she says, “Thank you so much for this. Here’s my question. My kids are 13 and 11 and they see their dad two or three times a year. When they stay with him for a few days, they come back the following days feeling frustrated, sad, guilty, and also angry at me. Should I talk to them about their dad’s narcissism?”
Melanie: This is such a good question. I’m just going to go straight to it. No, don’t talk about his narcissism to them. Because as soon as you start putting him down and you start saying your father is this, your father is that, what that is going to do is push your children away from you. So what you do need to do is have really good boundaries with them. Don’t overcompensate, because they come back like this and then you’re trying to smooth things over. You want to lead the way powerfully for them. And if they’re feeling guilty or they’re feeling sad or they’re feeling down, bolster them up.
Melanie: Empower them and say things to them like, “You know, I can see that you’re feeling sad or you’re feeling down, but this doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you. You know, sometimes people are like this,” and “Or that’s just your father, but that doesn’t have to affect you, because you’re amazing. You’re incredible. There’s so many things that are great about you. Now, let’s just put that aside and we’re going to have a great time. We’re going to have an empowered time. I’m going to have boundaries with you, which means that I don’t accept your poor behaviour or your bad behaviour, but I’m also not saying that you are bad or that there’s something wrong with you.”
Melanie: Where we go, our children follow. And what happens often as parents is, we feel bad for them and we feel sad and we feel guilty and we feel terrible and all that does is exasperate and accentuate what they’re feeling. We want our children to know they can feel empowered and whole regardless of what anybody else is or isn’t doing or being. That’s what we want to teach our children. That’s what thriving and empowerment is about. I really hope that helps.
Zac: Yeah. And if I could just say, really powerfully what you’re saying mum, like when you lead the way, don’t underestimate how smart your children are. When you’re leading the way, when you’re showing them how to be empowered, how to live your life the right way, and they see their father’s behaviour, they’ll quickly see who’s the right one. If you want to say right or wrong, but you know who’s the person they should listen to. They’re a lot smarter, you know, kids are very smart.
Melanie: I agree. Your kids are so smart and so intelligent. You know, they’re not stupid. And they gravitate to what feels good. If we’re being victims and we’re telling them how bad it is for them and how shocking it is and how bad the other parent is, you know, that’s going to push your children away from you every time.
Zac: More likely they’re not going to believe you if you start doing that and they’re going to side with the other one, I think.
Melanie: And it happens all the time. You know? That’s how parent alienation sadly and tragically happens. I hope that can really help you.
Zac: All right, so we’ve got the next question from Ieva on Facebook. Now Ieva was one of the wonderful Thrivers who came and saw us in February in the UK. It was so great meeting you there, Ieva. If you’re watching this …
Melanie: We love Ieva. Hello darling.
Zac: Your question was, “I would like to know more about proxy healing please. Thank you.”
Melanie: Oh, one of my favourite, favourite topics. Proxy healing is something that NARP members can powerfully do and it is phenomenal how powerful it is. Okay. So how it works is in quantum reality our belief systems about somebody affect them incredibly powerfully. And also, we have the ability to work on others through ourselves, because we’re all interconnected as one, especially with our children, whether it be a biological link or even in the case of an adoption, it’s a heart link that is so energetically powerful. So where we shift our beliefs and our DNA to, is where our children follow. I used this with Zac, healing by proxy, when Zac went through an awful phase in his life, in his teenage life where he was on a self-destruction path. I was trying to lecture and prescribe and fix and force him into shape, and the more I did that, the worse things got, which I know a lot of you parents experience with kids of all ages.
Melanie: When I finally let go and I knew the quantum truth, that I have no power to change anybody else. I only ever have the power to change me. I went inside myself with Quanta Freedom Healing with NARP, and I found all of the traumas relating to my trauma about him. And I shifted and I shifted and I shifted, and kept bringing in source until I came into source truth, which is that Zac has an inner being that can awaken into his power and health. That’s a source truth. And when I had hit that place, my fear about him was gone, even though his circumstance was dire. I didn’t know whether my son was going to live or die, it was that bad.
Melanie: Then what I did is I set the intention that I would work on his inner being through my inner being. And with NARP, we can do that. And how you do that is you ask permission to his higher self whether or not I’m allowed to do that. And the answer that I got through muscle test, you can do it through intuition, was a yes. So I got to work on that. Through my body I was able to feel his internal trauma, shift it out and bring in Source. And I did that work for only a few days. And then I hit a place where I felt this calm, peace and warmth for him, through me, as well as the calm I already had through me. And then Zac contacted me —
Melanie: Zac contacted me after three weeks of silence and said to me, “Mum, we need to meet down at the pub and I’ve stopped doing what I’m doing and I love you and I’m so sorry and I’ve seen the light” and he’s never looked back. And that experience has happened for countless parents that are working with this. Because if you see your children as broken, or narcissistic, or damaged or victimized, that’s exactly what they’re going to continue producing for you in your experience.
Melanie: When you change your beliefs and your knowing about your children then you can get to work by proxy working on their inner beings from your inner being, the results are beyond quantum. They are spectacular. They are miraculous. They create miracles every day in the NARP community. And in the NARP forum, we actually teach you how to do that healing by proxy. So if you’re already a thriver, you’ve already created incredible shifts in your life. The next step is you can work on your children by proxy if you want to. So I don’t know if Zac has anything more to add about that. Well, you were on the receiving end of that. You didn’t know I was doing that. You had no idea that I was doing that.
Zac: Yeah, I din’t know it was happening. And then sort of all of a sudden it’s just seeing this change get made and sort of, yeah. It’s sort of almost hard to put into words, but it’s —
Melanie: Something shifted, right?
Zac: Something shifted yeah and new opportunities opened up …
Melanie: Well, it was kind of like, because at 19 when I literally had Zac evicted from the home, things were so bad and I’ll never forget his parting words to me as he left. I mean, we can laugh now. At the time it was the worst. The police were coming in half an hour to take him. That’s how bad it was. And as he was leaving he looked at me, it was the worst day of my life, was worse than my demise, and he said, “The next time we lay eyes on each other is going to be on one of our deathbeds.”… and he said, “Never again are you my mother.” And that’s how he left. Three weeks later we were hugging. He’d stopped doing what he was doing, and had massively turned the corner and I know 1000% it’s because of the healing by proxy. I know that. So there you go. You had no idea at the time. You had no idea. It was a long time ago … we’re talking 11 years ago now that it happened.
Zac: Okay. So I’ve got the next question from Facebook. Amanda asks, “I want to know how’s Zac experienced his mum before she started thriving and then now.” Okay. So yeah, this is probably an experience that I haven’t had a chance to share with everyone on YouTube and you know, across the community. But it is a very important one. I definitely thought she wasn’t going to make it. I thought she was going to be traumatized for the rest of her life. At 16 years of age, I’d accepted that my mum was either going to be in a mental institution or she was going to be driven to her death. I was deeply afraid of him and what he would do, and I thought he was going to harm her and possibly me and other people. It was an extremely difficult time to say the least. The Mel you see now is nothing like she was. She is not the same person that she was back then.
Melanie: Or even before then.
Zac: And I don’t want to say any harsh things because I mean…
Melanie: Oh no, we can be totally honest with each other. For sure.
Zac: But she…
Melanie: I was horrible.
Zac: Yeah. She was a completely different person. You weren’t necessarily horrible. You were honest to me about what was going on and that was … I really appreciated that.
Zac: I knew what was going on. You didn’t try and hide anything. You didn’t try and demonize him but you were deeply struggling and you were hooked and addicted. I think maybe that was the really frustrating thing. We wanted to shake you. You know, and I think so many kids want to do this; they want to shake you and say snap out of it, this guy’s going to kill you. You need to get out of it. And you wouldn’t. So you would keep crawling back and seeing him again and again. And it was, you know, seeing your own mother do that and, and I guess, not having a good father, you know, having a father figure in the home that’s destroying your own mother is a really challenging thing to go through.
Melanie: Yeah. And also too, you know, there were a couple of incidences where you tried to protect me and you couldn’t because he was very big and strong and physically threatening. And that was horrific for you. But I know that I went through a lot of guilt because being so dishevelled and when you’re traumatized, you’re not available and you don’t have patience. And I wasn’t there for Zac through a lot of his teenage stuff and growing up and his challenges because I wasn’t even there for myself. So, my heart goes out to a lot of parents because I know the guilt and the pain that you feel. You know, I wasn’t really a mother’s shoelace (effective mother) and it wasn’t my fault. It’s just the way it was.
Zac: It’s never you. It’s never anyone’s fault, you know?
Melanie: No, no, it was just a really hard time for everybody. But it’s nothing like what we have now.
Zac: So, what is Mel like now? Words can’t describe how much she’s just … she’s not the same person. You give her a completely different character because of the person she is today, how she’s able to help change the lives of so many people. I think it’s very apparent how much she’s helping people, that she spends her entire day from the moment she gets up to the moment she goes to bed thinking about how she can help more people. It’s just so inspiring. It’s led the way for me and now we get to do this together. Yeah, I couldn’t be happier to have you as my mum.
Melanie: So sweet. Yeah. That’s so sweet, Zac. Thank you. Well, I know that as we Thrive and commit to releasing trauma and bringing in source, we literally rebirth. We become a new and a true self. So quite frankly, I don’t even recognize the person who I used to be. I’m happy to be a completely different, evolved, forever evolving being because, oh gosh, who I was, wasn’t working. Who I am now, does.
Zac: So the next question on Instagram is from Stockingstyle and her question is, “Zac, at what point did you realize and know for sure that you are thriving?” Now, this is a really good question, actually. For me, thriving isn’t so much a destination as it is a state. It’s something that I’m continually working on. It’s something that I don’t necessarily feel like I’ve arrived at that place and then I’m there. In the early days, like we were just saying, growing up, watching what mum went through, having this figure in the house that was not a good person to be around, it did leave me and as you probably know, if you have children that especially in teenage years or the developing years, I sort of, I didn’t know my place in the world. I didn’t have a supportive figure to sort of help guide me through that period. I felt very lost, alone and really lacked a lot of confidence, so I didn’t sort of have any belief in myself. I didn’t see myself going anywhere and a lot of that had been lost. Maybe I sort of had that at a young age, but now I sort of felt completely lost.
Zac: I think when I recognized that I was starting to thrive or getting into that state of thriving is when I had the self-belief. So when I believed I could actually do something in this world, help people, even do something meaningful, whether it’s a career or a hobby or a passion or just something that I was able to put so much of my energy and focus on and then see results, see something that actually positively impacted people. So the work that I’m doing at MTE, the things I do, how I can help people, that to me is thriving. That to me is living the life that I want to live. And yeah, it’s really getting back to that, that believing yourself, putting yourself into something that you’re passionate about, and then seeing the end result that comes from it.
Melanie: If I can just add here. A long time ago when I started doing the core inner shifts on myself, I set the intention that any shift on my trauma would be passed on to Zac. So he’s been kind of pretty lucky that he hasn’t had to do a lot of healing work on it himself, even though you do. Of course, he does.
Zac: But I do that as well.
Melanie: He does it as well. Absolutely.
Zac: I had an extra boost.
Melanie: You got an extra boost. But what I’ve seen happen so organically is that often when I’ve broken through and reached a confidence and a belief and an inner power, I’ve noticed it happens with him as well. It just happens organically. And I think that’s what’s so wonderful about … quantum theory, they call it the entanglement theory which is connected organisms and cells. When one shifts, the other will reflect the shift regardless of what the distance is between them. And I see it happen with Zac all the time. It’s just beautiful. People report that through the generations backwards and forwards with quantum freedom healing all the time. It’s pretty magical. Maybe that’s got a lot to do with it. I mean, he’s done so much of it himself as well. Absolutely.
Zac: Yeah. There were some long years of doing a lot of the personal work.
Melanie: Yeah. You did. And you really took responsibility and did that, which is fantastic.
Zac: All right, so we’ve got the next question. This is for Mel on Instagram. Honey Ruth asks, “I’m concerned that my 29 year old son is carrying trauma from the 20 years that he was subjected to living this lifestyle with my husband. It almost would appear that he’s acquired the behaviours now, the dark side of him. But I have to save myself and I’m working to help me and I’ve sustained my son to an enabling level. What do I do now?”
Melanie: Yeah. I love what Honey Ruth wrote, what you are saying is that you have to save yourself and you have to focus on you because this is so, so true. If we come back to the quantum premise that you cannot change anybody else, then you only ever have the power to change yourself. So what you’re going to do is change yourself into is a self-honouring, self-loving being where you’re creating boundaries. Where you’re saying to the world and other people, ‘I’m teaching you how to treat me.’ So with these boundaries, what will happen is … and it can be heartbreaking with people we love. But this is where if we enable, as Neale Donald Walsch says about this, ‘to allow an abuser to continue abusing is an act of abuse.’
Melanie: So what he really means by that is that … if we set a truth and a value for ourselves, we give other people the opportunity to move up into a space of being respectful, loving, decent people. And if we don’t, we allow them to continue defiling the integrity of their true self by being an abuser. So you have to do that regardless. Then what you can do, of course I’m always going to say, I would love you to be working with the inner healing powerfully because then what you can do is no longer be triggered, no longer feel guilty and no longer hand over power. To have very clear, calm, truthful boundaries. But also you could be doing the inner and possible proxy work to help de-traumatize his soul, if you have permission to do that work on him. So there’s a lot you can do, but you cannot keep going the way you are of enabling him, because everybody loses. You lose. He loses. Your life and the things and missions and people you love lose as well. I hope that helps.
Zac: Okay, so we’ve got the next question from Instagram. So Cal asks, “I would love to hear from Zac how he felt when he was in the throes of narc abuse and how he translated that hurt into his own life and then what prompted him to start making different decisions and start his healing journey?”
Zac: This is a really good question. Thanks for asking this. There was sort of a period like we spoke about before, the period before Mel had accepted what she was going through and turn inward to start healing herself. Before she did that, she was really difficult, honestly, difficult to be around. I sort of had to separate myself. I had to shut myself off. I didn’t really know boundaries very well back then, but I was trying to just separate myself, go by my own thing. I was in university, I was trying to study and just sort of make my way through the world.
Zac: But when Mel finally turned inward and sort of accepted the journey and started going through it, we connected, you know, we connected, and I saw I could see the change in her. I could see that she wasn’t going to go back to him. And maybe that was part of the frustration that I was hanging onto. When she’d finally let go and when she’d finally turned inwards, taking responsibility for what she was going through, I started to see my mother as a role model again, and we started working together and we would talk about workshops or books I was reading and we spent a lot of time together really working on things together.
Melanie: And I would do healings. Because before then I used to hide things and I used to say, “no, everything’s fine”. And I thought that was the right thing to do, but he wasn’t stupid. He knew I was lying to him. And then when I just came out and I just went, “you know what, I’m broken and I need to heal”. And I was very vulnerable and honest with him, and I’d say, Zac, I’m going to go and do a healing. You’re probably going to hear me wail and cry and do all sorts of things, but it’s perfect because I’m getting my trauma out because I have to get better. And rather than him being really distressed and disgusted by that, I know it gave him a lot of comfort.
Zac: It was inspiring.
Melanie: Yeah. And it really gave him permission to be real with how he was feeling, and to share that with me as well. So we really came together in this authenticity, which helped us both so much.
Melanie: Yeah. It was a powerful time. Well, this was your question. I’m sorry, I didn’t want to hijack that. Was there anything more you needed to add?
Zac: No, just to really support the honesty. I think it’s just so important. Don’t hide anything away. Just be … I mean it can depend maybe if they’re very young, there’s certain details that obviously you wouldn’t tell a very young child, but you don’t have to tell them everything. But don’t say everything’s okay. I think that sends completely the wrong message.
Zac: Be very honest, open, be vulnerable. And I think your kids will gravitate towards you and they’ll be inspired by that.
Zac: So our next question from Facebook. Jillian asks, “How can I connect with an alienated 20-year-old who’s convinced I’ve traumatized her? She tells the same to her siblings, although away at uni she’s still a flying monkey. It’s heartbreaking.”
Melanie: Yeah. Jillian, this is like, this happens all the time in the community and it’s one of the things that I really adamantly want to reach out to parents to help you with because I can’t imagine what, it nearly happened to me. I can’t, anyway, Jillian, I just want to say, you have to heal. Quantum law is this, so within, so without. The trauma of being alienated, if you can’t up-level and get yourself free of that in the inside, you’re going to keep receiving that from the outside. That’s the bottom line. This is what happens with so many parents in this community that have been alienated, that when they heal, when they release, when they’ll be able to come to peace, regardless of what’s happening out there, out there has to shift to match in there. It happens all the time.
Melanie: And the other thing about this is, is when we have the injustice of persecution and being smeared and set upon, that’s a huge, huge trauma. When that all releases and that all goes, this will never be about convincing her that you’re right and that he’s wrong or convincing her about how you’ve been traumatized and brutalized. That’s not what you’re here to convince her about. You are here to become love and let go of trauma and be able to allow the space and the love for her to move back into your life.
Melanie: We have had people in this community that have had five generations of dissension, fractures, decades of alienation who have healed. One family, five generations had been shattered and alienated and all came back together because one person in those five generations, and she knows who she is, and she’ll be watching this, she watches every episode, did the profound healing within her being to become love and feel and heal and know the family as love. They all reconnected. I promise you it’s the only way. And the thing is, there is no guarantee that that will happen, but there is the guarantee that if you do the inner work, the pain and the trauma will be gone. And from there everything is possible, including miracles. I hope that helps.
Melanie: I’ve really enjoyed doing this episode with you, Zac and I don’t think this will be the last one we do. You know, we may do this again, I’m really excited about the feedback and the questions and connecting to you all, and maybe, you might even ask Zac some questions on the blog or YouTube as well that he can answer.
Melanie: So, thank you so much for sending in your questions. And it is my greatest heart desire that we can help you. I am so passionate about our children and our future generations. It’s a topic so dear to my heart, I always get emotional when I talk about it.
Zac: It’s all right. It’s okay.
Melanie: I always do. This is the only thing I know, “Oh my God.” But it’s huge for me and I know it’s huge for you too. All right. So if you’re not already following me on Facebook and Instagram, please make sure you do, because we’re doing lots more exciting things there like this Q&A, and you can get daily inspiration tools and tips on there as well, 100%. So, so looking forward to your comments and questions on this really important episode that I’ve so enjoyed sharing with my dear son.
Zac: It’s been great. Thanks for having me on the show.
Melanie: Oh, that’s okay. It’s been, it’s a journey. It’s a few takes, but it’s fabulous. Zac’s not used to this. He’s done such a great job.
Zac: I’ve had a good teacher.
Melanie: Yeah, you’ve done a really great job. So anyway, people, you know how it goes, keep smiling, keep healing and keep thriving because there’s nothing else to do. And also too, I would love to see you at my live events. Zac will be there too.
Zac: Hope to see you there.
Melanie: The Thriver team and our MTE global team are going to be there and we’re going to hold you, help you and heal you and your future generations. And also, know that we have a $100 discount, which is going on the 18th of November so we’d love you to get in early and get your tickets. All right. Lots of love, everybody. Bye Bye.
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Arts and crafts can help kids sort out their feelings and remember that they are still part of a family that cares about each other, even if it’s changed.
The post 01/10 7 Thanksgiving Crafts to Help Kids Through Thanksgiving After Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
Arts and crafts can help kids sort out their feelings and remember that they are still part of a family that cares about each other, even if it’s changed.
The post 7 Thanksgiving Crafts to Help Kids Through Thanksgiving After Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
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