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calm in the middle of divorce chaos

How to Find Calm in the Middle of Divorce Chaos

calm in the middle of divorce chaos

 

Now that I’m in my 40’s what I know for sure is life is messy. Most of us are acting like we have it all figured out, but in reality, we are all just winging it.

You can’t ever really plan for the storms ahead, and whether you like it or not, they are coming.

Like anyone else, I’ve endured my share of storms: the death of loved ones, loss of friendships, family feuds. But divorce was the kind of storm that was off the charts, and the damage left behind lingered for years.

Finding Calm in the Middle of Divorce Chaos

There was a time in my life when my young arrogant self believed that once I was married I would never get divorced. I would have bet my life on it; that’s how sure I was—” Not this girl, she’s in it for the long haul.”

I ate every single one of those words, and it turned my world “outside in.”

For our 10th anniversary, my husband bought me a 2-carat diamond ring. We could have bought a car for the price he paid for it. And I remember the sales guy saying, “It’s been ten years now, you can buy her the ring,” meaning she isn’t going anywhere after all this time, it’s a safe investment.

Like I said, life is messy.

Divorce isn’t something you can prepare yourself for, at least not the emotional roller coaster that takes place after such a life-altering decision. Like all creation, divorce happens in the mind first. You don’t just wake up one day and say to your partner, “Hey, I think we should get a divorce.” Looking back on it now, I would say that I started feeling disconnected from my marriage a few years before I uttered those gut-wrenching words to my husband.

When I finally dared to say those words out loud, the storm inside me had already taken over. We had been together for 19 years and had two amazing children. That was half my life I built with this man. It was not a decision taken lightly. But the storm wasn’t letting up. It was trying to do what it needed to do to get my attention.

During this time, my body was paying the price for not living my truth. I went from being very healthy to getting high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, cystic acne on my neck from stress, and experiencing a full-blown identity crisis.

If this wasn’t bad enough, externally, I was unsupported by family members, was criticized and judged, lost many friendships, and was continually working to defend myself and prove myself worthy.

I never felt more alone.

From the outside looking in, I get what people saw. They saw a woman who was empty with eyes left lifeless. They saw through the fake smile and the tired soul. They saw what once was light now turned to darkness. They felt the heaviness of my marriage.

I had to do something because mentally and physically I couldn’t continue on that path. My kids deserved more. I deserved more. Living in the storm broke me, feeling as if every which way I turned, I could never catch my breath.

These were the conditions that left me no other option than to retreat from the outside world and journey towards the only place that felt safe— within.

There’s something about being in the eye of the storm. They say the eye of the storm is so calm because the unbearable surface winds never reach the center. Little did I know what was about to happen.

I think nature has a funny way of mimicking great truths. I had no idea that the eye of the storm brought a calmness I never knew existed. The moment I retreated inside myself was the moment my voice met my spirit, and their conversation was stillness. This stillness was the place I found my truth. It was a buried treasure I had been searching for my entire life.

I had no idea that what I had been longing for was this place deep inside of me. All I had to do was listen in silence. Wherever I went, no matter what anyone said or did, nobody could ever take this away from me.

I had been so conditioned to the storm, immune to its effects, that I didn’t realize I was giving away precious energy that I should have been conserving for my wellbeing. I didn’t have to get sucked in and react to everything that I allowed to trigger me. I could choose to retreat anytime I wanted.

Weathering the storm meant that eventually, everything would settle down if I gave it enough time, and what once seemed catastrophic would subsequently be a distant memory. John Maxwell said it best, “Learning to pause allows growth to catch up with you.”

Find your quiet place, take a pause, and watch what happens when you stop getting kicked around by the storm.

In case you missed it, I created a free guided meditation specifically for divorced moms that will help realign you back to your center.  As a divorced mom myself, this is what helped me become a conscious mom, and I know you will benefit from it too!

Get the free meditation guide here: mailchi.mp/9859fc96d7c6/a-mothers-meditation

The post How to Find Calm in the Middle of Divorce Chaos appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Avoiding the Mistake of the Middle Marriage:  Your Brain on Divorce

Avoiding the Mistake of the Middle Marriage: Your Brain on Divorce

Meditating for even a few minutes daily has been shown to positively calm anxiety and increase clarity of thought. It’s certainly better for you than rushing into a middle marriage!

The post Avoiding the Mistake of the Middle Marriage: Your Brain on Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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children are caught in the middle during divorce

What Happens When Children Are Caught in the Middle During Divorce?

children are caught in the middle during divorce

 

If you’ve been through a divorce or, you are thinking about divorce one of your main concerns will be how your divorce will impact your children. Study after study relates to the ways in which divorce negatively impacts children. It’s no wonder parents worry about their children’s welfare based on common information about the subject of children and divorce.

Divorce can negatively impact children but there are ways to keep that from happening. You should know that the impact your divorce will have on your children dependents mainly on how you and your spouse choose to treat each other during and after divorce and, how you choose to parent.

Children who witness conflict between their parents during and after divorce or, feel as if they have been put in the middle of that conflict are negatively impacted by divorce. If you want your divorce to do little harm to your children, it’s your job to keep down the conflict and keep them out of the middle of problems between you and your ex.

You may feel that conflict during divorce is unavoidable or the fault of the other parent, regardless of what you feel, it is imperative that you take the steps needed to keep your children from witnessing conflict and feeling stuck in the middle of two angry parents.

Below are 4 ways children are caught in the middle during divorce:

  1. When parents use their children as a messenger or a means of finding out information about the other parent’s home, dating life, and social activities.
  2. Negative comments about the other parent made by you, friends or family members.
  3. Sharing adult details about the problems between the parents. Details such as information about infidelity, legal divorce proceedings or the reason for the divorce.
  4. Garnering the child’s favor in an attempt to use the child to punish the other parent.
  5. Talking to the child about money issues. A late child support check, a lack of money needed to pay the rent…adult financial problems that children have no control over.

Divorce brings an end to your marriage, it doesn’t bring an end to your duties as a parent. One of those duties is to put a concerted effort into positively co-parenting with your child’s other parent. Below are a few suggestions that will help.

Choosing the parenting style that fits well for you and your ex will keep your child out of the middle:

Parallel Parenting After Divorce

If there is a lot of conflict between you and your ex, parallel parenting is appropriate. Why? Parallel parenting allows each parent to remain a part of the child’s life while reducing the need for contact with each other. When parallel parenting, there is very little communication which, in turn, keeps down the conflict and protects the child from being impacted in a negative manner.

When parallel parenting, parents:

  1. Communicate through email, a third party or an app like Family Wizard to stay informed about issues involving the children. Discussions are strictly about the children and no personal issues between the parents. Use of a phone to communicate is only done in cases of an emergency.
  2. Schedules such as visitation, vacations and holidays are strictly kept. There is no negotiating for different days and times to keep down the likelihood of conflicts arising.
  3. There is a set residency agreed upon or ordered by the courts. When the children are in the care of one or the other parent in their residence neither parent interferes with social activities, routines or anything that takes place in the other parent’s residence.
  4. Neither parent has any influence over the other parent and how that parent chooses to spend time with their children. If one parent has an issue with the way the other parent is choosing to parent in their residence, the court is used to settle the issue.
  5. Parenting is treated as a business arrangement. Common courtesy is shown at all times and agreements are honored because the sole purpose of parallel parenting is to do what is best for your children.
  6. When communication or negotiation is necessary, parents can choose to have a third party involved to witness and if needed mediate and conflict that arises.
  7. Child support payments are filtered through the court or a child support collection bureau to keep down any possibility of late payment or conflicts of over payments.

Cooperative Parenting After Divorce

Cooperative parenting works best when there is low conflict between parents and the parents are able to work together for the sake of the children. With cooperative parenting, there is more flexibility when it comes to visitation schedules and residency issues.

When cooperative parenting, parents:

  1. Parents form a friendly business relationship that revolves around the needs of their children. A courteous and polite relationship is one that will go a long way toward making sure children have what they need from each parent.
  2. Parents are able to talk, face-to-face about parenting issues as they arise. They are able to stick to the topic at hand without becoming distracted by old relationship issues.
  3. They don’t expect praise or emotional support from each other. They realize that part of their relationship has ended. But, they are able to show empathy and to support each other during difficult parenting issues.
  4. Keep all discussions about parenting, visitation, schedules and such to themselves and don’t involve the children. They come to a firm decision, as parents, before involving the children in their decisions.
  5. Are able to, at all times, put their children’s needs above their needs and feelings. Their relationship with the other parent is strictly about what is best for their children.
  6. Are able to communicate via phone or in person without engaging in conflict.
  7. Child support checks are mailed directly to the parent receiving the support. Due to their business like relationship, they both understand the importance of meeting their financial obligations to their children.

Whether parallel parenting or cooperative parenting, it is important to remember that one method is not better than the other. Each method will result in lower conflict and, as a result, better parenting. And, that is your goal as parents, better parenting and keeping your child out of the middle of your divorce issues.

The post What Happens When Children Are Caught in the Middle During Divorce? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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