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alcoholic ex

Alcoholic Ex? Practical and Legal Remedies For Protecting Your Children

alcoholic ex

 

Wash your hands. Eat your vegetables. Wear your bike helmet. Mothers direct much of their energy toward keeping their children safe and healthy. That’s why moms have such a hard time leaving their children in the care of someone else. It even can be hard for a mother to trust the other parent. And if the other parent has a problem with alcohol, a mother’s instincts are likely to be in full protective mode.

If your ex struggles with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), you may have wrestled with some or all of these questions: Can I legally cut off or restrict contact between my child and the father? If I can do so, should I? Is there a way to maintain contact but keep my children safe? What part can my children play in ensuring their own safety?

Every case is different, but generally, research shows that children benefit from contact with both parents, as long as they are emotionally stable and the two of them aren’t waging war with one other. Also, you may compromise your own legal position if you deny your ex court-ordered parenting time. But when AUD enters the picture, more serious concerns make an appearance, too.

Practical and Legal Remedies For Protecting Your Children From an Alcoholic Ex

Alcohol Use Disorder and Parenting Time

Generally speaking, alcohol use does not render a parent unworthy of parenting time. Courts usually consider drinking an issue only if there is proof, usually in the form of arrests or other legal records, that the parent drinks to excess. Even then, parents may be allowed contact with children, especially if they are enrolled in a treatment program.

A mother in the process of getting a divorce can try for restricted or supervised parenting time for the parent struggling with alcoholism. If the decree has already been decided, however, getting it altered can be a time-consuming process.

The practical outcome, in many cases, is that the mother is responsible for determining whether the father is using alcohol before or during his parenting time and for ascertaining whether his alcohol use affects his ability to care for his children.

It goes without saying that mothers can also struggle with alcoholism, but this article is specifically targeted toward moms whose ex-husbands have AUD.

Make Your Stance Known

Communication is still important even when your spouse becomes your ex-spouse. Your ex should not feel blindsided by any actions that you might feel are necessary. If your divorce decree is final and does not address the issue of your ex’s alcohol use, you need to let him know ahead of time how you will handle any alcohol-related crises that might occur.

It’s optimal if you and your ex can come up with such a plan together, but realistically that is not going to occur in most cases. If your ex-husband is in denial about his alcohol use, he may insist that he would never endanger his children. No matter what he says, you should make it clear that being intoxicated during his parenting time will not be tolerated.

Legal Remedies

If you are dealing with an ex-spouse whose abuse of alcohol is intractable, you may decide that gaining sole custody is your only workable solution. In order to have a chance of getting sole custody, you will have to present evidence that the father’s alcohol abuse puts his children in danger and that being in his care is not in the children’s best interests.

Parental rights are strong. Gathering and presenting evidence against an ex-husband is an uncomfortable role for many women, but without strong evidence, you have little chance of getting sole custody. You can hire a private investigator, but your input and testimony will probably be needed as well.

If what you are seeking is a modification of your original child custody decree, you will need to present evidence of a material change in circumstances. If your ex’s alcohol use was in evidence during the original divorce case, you will need to show evidence that his use has increased and that it is not in the best interests of your children for him to have physical custody at any time.

Some states have laws regulating how soon and how often you can request a modification of your court order. In order to file a request for modification outside of that time frame, you will need to show that your children are in physical danger or will suffer significant mental or emotional distress. The exact requirements and wording for requesting modifications vary from state to state.

A Practical Solution

A remote alcohol monitoring system, such as Soberlink, is another possible solution for you and your ex. This system combines a breathalyzer with wireless connectivity. The portable design and technology include facial recognition, tamper detection and real-time reporting. Soberlink proves sobriety with reliability to foster trust and peace of mind. The reliability of alcohol monitoring systems has been upheld in court.

Alcohol monitoring systems are quick to put into place and can reassure you about your ex’s sobriety when it matters most. Although the courts may mandate testing, you and your ex-husband could also work out an agreement requiring that he submit a test prior to and/or during parenting time. Using such a system could greatly increase your peace of mind while your children are out of your care.

The Role of Your Children

Most experts agree that children should not be put in the position of reporting to one parent about the other parent’s behavior. Still, once your children reach a certain age, they can be participants in ensuring their own safety. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Teach your child never to get in a vehicle with someone who has been drinking.
  • Give your children basic cell phones as soon as practical and be sure they know how to use them.
  • Be sure that your child knows your full name and physical address. Teach your children your phone number, even though it is stored on their phones. They may need to call from a different phone.
  • Designate one family member or friend as your first backup, to be called if a child cannot reach you.
  • Talk to your children about how to find “safe strangers” if they ever need help. Police officers and firefighters are the most obvious examples.
  • Occasionally role-play what they should do if they need help.
  • Consider counseling for children who seem troubled or who exhibit any of these 11 signs.

Other Considerations

Sharing your children with an ex with AUD is never easy, even when things are going well. You want your children to have the security of two parents who love them, but you may have trouble forgiving their other parent. You really need time away from your children, but you may find it hard to relax when they are gone. You feel that you should talk to your children about Alcohol Abuse, but you don’t want to portray their father as a bad parent.

There are no easy fixes for your situation, but it’s important to take care of yourself and get help and advice if you need it. Some people find direction and comfort in Al-Anon, an organization for friends and families of alcoholics that is based upon the 12-step approach of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Some hospitals, clinics, and churches also offer support groups for those affected by Alcohol Use Disorder. If you are uncomfortable with a group approach, consider one-on-one sessions with a spiritual leader or therapist.

While you are trying to work with your ex to keep him in your kids’ lives, don’t be naive. If you happen across any evidence that your ex-husband’s alcohol abuse is out of control, document it. Keep a record if he misses scheduled visits, shows up late, does not respond to phone calls or texts or otherwise fails to act in a responsible manner. This information could be helpful if you have to take legal steps to protect your children.

If you need legal advice, find an attorney. If you can’t afford a lawyer, use this list of resources for free legal help. If you or your children need counseling or therapy, this advice from Mental Health America may be useful.

The post Alcoholic Ex? Practical and Legal Remedies For Protecting Your Children appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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credit during divorce

10 Tips For Protecting Your Credit During Divorce

credit during divorce

 

Divorce isn’t pleasant for either party. While dealing with the emotions surrounding the divorce, the idea of entering the dating scene again, or starting a new life as a single person, financial issues can seem like an even larger problem to manage.

Don’t let finances be overlooked as you handle the relationship aspects of the divorce. When you separate or divorce your spouse, you need to protect your money and financial future as soon as possible. Here are actionable ways that you can keep your finances and credit intact during the divorce process.

Protecting Your Credit During Divorce

1. Close all joint accounts

If you and your spouse hold joint bank accounts, you’re equally responsible for them, especially any debts. Don’t risk your spouse accumulating more debt or making late payments. Because both of you are named on an account, both of your credit scores will be impacted by actions on the account itself.

2. Call your Creditors

Once your joint accounts have been closed, you should contact any remaining banks, lenders, or credit card companies about the divorce. Many institutions will require a certified letter. When you speak with the creditors, request a current account statement and let them know that you will not be liable for any debts after the date on the certified letter. You should also request the account be set as inactive. This will prevent any new charges from being made. Let them know that once any balances are paid in full that you would like the account to be closed entirely.

3. Request Monthly Statements

For any accounts that are currently outstanding, request that monthly statements be sent directly to you. You should also request this for accounts that are not able to be closed or accounts that will be remaining open. Keep an eye on the accounts and track that payments are being made on time.

4. Make a Decision about Owned Properties

Often after a divorce, women want to stay in the home especially if there are children in the picture. Depending on the housing market where you live, it may or may not be a great decision to keep the marital home. If the market where you live has consistently appreciating value, you may want to continue to build equity in the home. If you can afford to stay in the home and the market it good, you should consider doing so. However, if there is a large amount of debt in the home and you cannot afford it, it is more of a liability than an asset to you.

5. Keep Your Contact Information Up To Date

If you do move following the divorce, be sure that you submit a change of address request with the post office. You’ll want to ensure that your bills, financial statements, and any other important documents are being sent to your new residence. Missing payments on bills because you didn’t change your address is an overlooked way to damage your credit quickly.

6. Don’t Spend Money to Get Revenge

It’s common for people going through a divorce to try and “get revenge” on their ex-spouse by spending huge amounts of money on shopping sprees. This tactic will usually come back to haunt you financially or even in the divorce proceedings. Try to maintain your normal spending habits and get control of any debts that you have. A shopping spree during a divorce will likely be marked by a judge as marital debt and order the individual who did the shopping to be responsible for it.

7. Think before you use your credit cards

If you’re still using credit cards during your divorce, be wise about how you use them. Try to pay all of your credit cards on time, or at least make the minimum payments towards the balance. Don’t max out credit cards if you have large legal bills or other expenses that are divorce-related. A large portion of your credit score is based upon the credit card debt that you have. An individual with a high credit score will have low credit card debt. You’ll want to avoid any of your accounts from going to collections. For more information on removing collections from your credit report, read this blog post from Crediful.

8. Monitor Your Credit Reports

Once your divorce is completely finalized, you should continue to monitor your credit report. Check for any errors that might arise from the time you were married. There are many online options to request a free annual copy of your credit report.

If you believe you may be at risk for identity theft or your ex attempting to open joint accounts after the divorce is finalized, you should also consider utilizing a credit monitoring service, especially if your ex knows your social security number and other personal data.

9. Put a hold on any of your credit files

If you’re concerned about your ex going on his own revenge streak, you should put a hold on your credit accounts or a fraud alert. By doing so, any action that is made on your credit accounts will freeze your credit files and prevent your ex from opening new credit card accounts in your name or using your social security number.

10. Utilize civil court actions if necessary

Even if your ex was ordered to pay specific debts when your divorce was finalized, if they don’t pay you’ll want to pay off those debts or risk damaging your credit. While this doesn’t really seem like a fair situation, you can try and recoup the money by taking your ex to civil court for not following the court order.

After a divorce, both parties typically just want to move on personally and financially. If you can take action as soon as possible, you can mitigate potential credit and debt problems from adding more stress to an already stressful situation.

The post 10 Tips For Protecting Your Credit During Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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dating while also protecting your children

How Do You Tackle Dating While Also Protecting Your Children?

dating while also protecting your children

 

Being a single mother is the most rewarding, yet most trying job placed on a woman. Add dating to the mix and you are ready to throw your hands up in the air and call it quits. Why?

Your child becomes the most important factor in the equation. You don’t want to transform your front door into a turnstile, creating and severing attachments that your child is forming. You also don’t want to place your child in an unimaginable situation by bringing the wrong person around. So what do you do?

How do you tackle the obstacle of dating while also protecting your children?

First, it is important that when dating someone new, they understand this about you and embrace it. Many ask if bringing up a child on the first date is a big “no-no” and the how/when it should be discussed and when the potential suitor should be introduced.

For me, when I used to do match.com, my dating profile said, “Delicious Mom.” I wanted them to know right off the bat that I’m a package deal. So I don’t think you need to hide the fact that you are a mom whatsoever. I don’t think it’s a big no-no whatsoever. I think if you dominate the conversation talking about your children and nothing else, then you aren’t really a woman you’re just a mom. You are more than that; however, I get the importance of your children.

So I’d say just be real and up front. There’s nothing to resist; there is nothing to hide. Going into this conversation like it is something wrong makes it like there’s this big speed bump in front of you that you have to get over. Just level it. Just be you.

Your children are the most important things in the world to you. There is nothing to apologize about, it’s just how it is. Talk about other things that are the most important thing in the world to you–living your truth, your heart, what brings you joy, just anything. Just be a woman and be all of you.

Then, when you are completely authentic and you’re not overcompensating, hiding, or just doing the dance, you meet someone that is just like, “the most important thing in the world to you, that’s awesome.” When you meet someone like that then there is just a fit.

There isn’t a specific “timeline.” I think when you are dating someone exclusively and not dating other people and you’re thinking “I wanna see where this goes with him.” That is the time when I would introduce them. I would introduce your children to him in a non-pressure way, maybe out on a playdate or at a park with other people.

When you’re all out at dinner and you’re all looking at each other, there is nowhere else to look. This can be really intense. There can be a lot of pressure on both of them. So, just make it easy and fun. See how everybody gets along in a very non-pressured way.

In my experience, when someone is a good person for you they tend to bring the best out in you and your children. I’ve also had a client who was dating this woman and his two daughters did not like her at all. Yet, when I looked deeper with him on the coaching call, she wasn’t actually a fit. This is just my opinion but they were bringing to light what he was unwilling to see in the first place.

As you love your most important things in the world, your children, you make room for you to be loved and room for another masculine figure to gift your son in this world.

The post How Do You Tackle Dating While Also Protecting Your Children? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Protecting Yourself From Narcissists As A Highly Sensitive Person

Protecting Yourself From Narcissists As A Highly Sensitive Person

 

It is so DIFFICULT being a sensitive person, who feels another person’s energy acutely.

Most of us, who have been abused by narcissists, are highly sensitive people, including me …

It can make us feel TOTALLY anxious and unsafe.

ESPECIALLY when in the vicinity of a NARCISSIST.

We know they have dark moods and can turn into horrible people who hurt us, at the slightest provocation and without warning,

So … HOW can we navigate this?

Can we be a sensitive person, feeling their shocking energy, and still be safe?

Yes .. absolutely we can!

Watch today’s Thriver TV Episode to discover how.

 

 

Video Transcript

Sensitive people like you and I are magnets to narcissists, or at least I used to be … and today’s Thriver Tv episode is all about HOW as a highly sensitive person you can protect yourself from narcissists for good … forever and NEVER again have them suck your energy dry or tear you down.

In fact, I am confident that if you apply what I’m going to show you in this video, that you will discover, even as a highly sensitive person, just how POWERFUL you are and how POWERLESS a narcissist really is.

Okay, now before I go any further into this information to empower you today, please make sure to subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already, and leave a like if you enjoy this video.

Alright … let’s start by first understanding how our high levels of sensitivity have made us susceptible to narcissists.

 

Feeling Other People’s Energy Intensely

Narcissists emit stacks of weird energy. They feel unstable and ready to spin out on a dime. That’s if we have been around them long enough to start experiencing their mask cracking and their true narcissistic personality bursting through.

If we just meet a narcissist, they still feel ‘intense’. They use a lot of focus and psychic energy to ensnare, manipulate and deceive people – as do all people acting out a ‘role’ rather than simply being themselves.

Think about this, people who are comfortable to be themselves are authentic; they are easy and peaceful to be around. There isn’t the funky energy about them as there is with narcissists.

Our susceptibility to this, as highly sensitive people, is we feel funky energy drastically.  And, if we are intensely tuned into other people’s energy, trying to gauge them in order to work out what to say or do, we lose touch with ourselves.

Let me give you an example.

Joanne was a narcissist giving her partner Rob a hard time. Nothing he did was good enough. The moment Rob walked in the door after work, he felt Joanne’s black mood and immediately started thinking, Do the bins need taking out? Should I offer her a foot rub and cook her dinner? His mind was frantically searching … What I have I missed? What is she going to complain about now? 

Of course, with Rob, as a highly sensitive soul, the more he feels Joanne’s funky energy and tries to fix it for her so that he can feel at peace, the more he is in Wrong Town, losing more parts of himself – namely his voice, rights and life, whilst she is abusing him mercilessly and sucking his energy dry.

Here’s another example of a highly sensitive soul called Marcie, meeting the narcissist Greg for the first time on a date.

Marcie finds Greg to be charming, intelligent and confident. Even though his questions feel probing and a little uncomfortable she feels flattered that he is attracted to her. After their date ends, he asks her to go home with him.

She feels his energy intensely as if he expects this from her and is going to be offended if she doesn’t agree to follow him to his house. Marcie remembers the dating and safety advice from one of her best friends regarding not having sex with any man you don’t know and before getting a commitment from him.

Yet, against her better judgement Marcie capitulates, because she doesn’t want to risk his funky energy escalating.

So, this is the thing … when we are not as yet whole adults in our Inner Being, tuning into and aligning with our own values and truth, regardless of what other people are or aren’t doing, or will or won’t do, then we are always going to be catering to other people’s version of life, even if warped and abusive for us.

This is what handing our power away really means – a very common thing that highly sensitive souls do – hence why they are perfect fodder for narcissists.

Giving Up the Notion of ‘Keeping the Peace’

As a highly sensitive soul, I want to challenge your comfort zone of trying to keep the peace.

I understand this desire; you don’t want to rock the boat and experience people’s nasty and unpredictable behaviour. You just want peace and harmony, which not surprisingly was very unlikely to be the environment you grew up in.

I would love you to understand, just as I had to firmly face and realise, this comfort zone of trying to keep the peace is far from comfortable.

Us handing over our energy, kindness, service, money, resources, sexuality and souls in an attempt to ‘keep the peace’ with narcissists doesn’t work. Rather, it’s like bleeding out in water with a shark circling in on you.

Enough is never enough for a narcissist. When you hand over more pieces of yourself to try to keep them happy, calm or stop abusing you, it escalates their demands for more.

Give an inch they take a mile.

Give a mile they take a continent.

There is no deal to be made, loyalty to gain, reciprocity realised, or compassion earned … there is only the evidence to the narcissist that you’re dropping your boundaries and exposing more bounty for them to pillage from you.

According to the narcissist (a no-self who refuses to take any personal responsibility), everything that feels like suffering to them is your fault, and it’s your duty to tend to it, fix it or pay for it.

The regular rules of humanity don’t apply with narcissists at all. Nor does the notion people will treat us as we treat them.

To try to get a narcissist to recognise kindness, fairness and love is NOT the soul lesson we are undergoing as a result of being caught up with a narcissist.

Rather, it is this:

To have true soul peace, without the stress and trauma of other people’s energy affecting you, you must identify and align with your own truths, values and live them authentically – regardless of what other people are or aren’t doing.

How else are we ever going to feel safe and whole in our own bodies, instead of trying to tune into other people, catering to them fruitlessly in Wrong Town whilst they are abusing us?

We can’t …

 

Becoming ‘Ourself’

Earlier in this video, I said that narcissist’s energy feels funky to highly sensitive people because they are putting on an act, they are not being themselves.

This is where (as I always do) want us to get really real with ourselves and take our power back, inside us, so that we can change and heal the only person who we have the power to – ourselves.

So let’s do this. Let’s get really honest. These following questions are so important:

Why are we telling people what they want to hear instead of living in our own truth and healthy values?

Why are we dancing around someone’s wounds and subjugating ourselves in the process?

Why don’t we let go and risk losing that abusive person and life we had with them, and know and live out the truth that we deserve better?

The simple generic answer to these questions is because we have wounds in our genetic, past life and childhood history that are preventing us fully being in our own self-generative power – able to be a source of love, approval, survival and security to ourselves – regardless of what other people are or aren’t doing.

Rob was doing all these things in his relationship, because as a child he was punished if he disagreed with his narcissistic mother’s demands. He learned at an early age that to minimise the abuse, catering to her was necessary.

Marcie was doing all these things with repeat narcissists because as a child if she didn’t go along with whatever her father believed and wanted, he ignored her. She learned from an early age that her needs were completely irrelevant, and attention from him only came from serving his.

Personally, I handed my power away because of the terror of abandonment if I didn’t. Also, I believed that unless I proved my worth, I would never be loved. I was totally hooked on trying to convince narcissists, despite their allegations, condemnations and abuse of me, that I was worth loving.

Until I healed these inner parts of myself, I couldn’t stop dancing with toxic and abusive people.

 

I’d love you now to reflect – this is going to be powerfully healing for you.

Ask your Inner Being these questions:

Why am I telling people what they want to hear instead of living in my own truth and healthy values?

Why am I dancing around someone’s wounds and subjugating myself in the process?

Why don’t I let go and risk losing that abusive person and the life I had with them, and know and live out the truth that I deserve better?

I’d love you to stop this video, tune in to yourself and share in the comments below – this will help you and others so much (we are all in this together).

 

It is familiar for us to be hooked into people trying to get love, approval, security and survival from them; people who are self-absorbed in their own wounds and not available to grant this.

It is familiar for us to feel obligation or guilt and want to fix and rescue others who are not taking responsibility for themselves and who are being abusive towards us.

As children, we may have used all sorts of strategies to try to figure out what would make our caretakers less anxious and angry so that they could be whole to try to make us feel whole. If we did this, we became sensitive souls – people who feel other people’s energy intensely.

You may have thought this was because you are an empath and a kind, giving person. That’s very likely, but really where this came from is your necessity, as a child, to read other people’s funky energy to try to remain safe as well as trying to be loved based on how well you appeased this person’s wishes whilst forfeiting your own.

As children, we were powerless. There was no way to have our own values, opinions, wishes and dreams, and maybe even basic human rights fulfilled.

Now dear Thriver there is!

Let me explain …

 

Aligning With Self

This Thriver mantra is our focus today.

Okay… I want you to repeat this after me:

“I relinquish reading your energy and appeasing you to feel safe and loved. Today, I take my power back, by feeling into me and healing what I need to, to start generating my own truth.

You can kick, scream, shout, guilt and blame me, yet I no longer listen to you. No longer am I obligated to you and you have no obligation to me. Your happiness is your own job, just as mine is my own.

Today I stop dancing to and feeding your wounds. Instead, I turn inwards to heal my own – to know my values and truth and live aligned to them, no matter what, and detach and let go of who and what no longer is.

I take back my soul to generate my life with the people and resources who match my values, truth, heart and future.

I release you back to your truth and free myself and claim my own.

And so it is.”

Okay, I want you to feel the truth of this in your body, which always lets you know if something is right and true. Your body knows you are in soul truth after saying this mantra, even though you may feel some pain and doubt with it, which is your opposing inner programs that require healing to live the truth of this mantra.

Let’s have a look at what this truth looks like – in real time.

Rob after doing the inner healing work with NARP to release and reprogram his traumas from his abusive narcissistic mother, left Joanne, stood up to her legally, went No Contact and is in a new relationship with a woman he adores, who treats him with care, love and respect.

Marcie with NARP healed that part of her which had been without love and attention from her father, and when she became whole on the inside, she went on dates with men honouring herself by saying ‘No’ to their request for sex.

In fact, as soon as it steered that way, she easily deleted these men’s profiles and had no further contact. Suitors who were respectful and wanted to take their time to get to know her, started entering her experience, because they were the only ones she would participate with now.

After getting to know Mark for 3 months and establishing that he was a great guy with lovely values and compatibilities, she entered a committed, exclusive intimate relationship with him. Eighteen months later her and Mark were deeply in love, married and starting a family – a desire that Marcie in her late 30’s had never been able to fulfil until now.

The moral to these stories is there is real inner work involved – the finding and healing of our blocks and subconscious beliefs holding us in the pattern of handing our power away to narcissistic people.

When you do this inner work, I promise you that calmly and powerfully you will stand up and have non-negotiable boundaries.

You will stop trying to fix and get the narcissist to change, and feeding the monster who has been stripping your bones bare.

And, you will have no fear of what the narcissist can or will do to you anymore. There will be no more trying to negate, make deals or play it safe. Rather you will just honour and respect your rights and truth – delivering whatever is factually and unemotionally necessary to do this.

When you do this and are willing to lose this person and abuse in your life, the narcissist crumbles and leaves your experience. Your graduation has been achieved and the soul contract with this person has ended. It has delivered what it needed to …

This hands you back to BEING YOURSELF and being free to start generating your True Self and True Life, which was the only way to live that was ever going to truly gratify you and allow you to be in service to self, life and others in healthy and real ways.

I am very passionate about people understanding more about the essential inner transformational work, and trying it for themselves, so that they understand why it is vital and how it works.

If you have had enough of feeling other people’s funky energy as well as unsure of yourself and unsafe, I’d love you to join me to start unravelling and healing from this by signing up to my 16 Day free course.

You can do so by clicking the link here.

And … if you liked this video, please click the like button, and if you want to see more of my videos, you can subscribe so you will be notified as soon as each new one is released. Also, I’d love you to share this video with other highly sensitive souls, so that they too can heal their energy gaps where they were handing power over to abusive people.

And as always, I’m looking forward to answering your comments and questions below.

 

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