Things I Learned To Like About Myself

Things I Learned To Like About Myself After Divorce

Things I Learned To Like About Myself

 

I was married in 2000 and I thought we would grow old together on our country porch, rocking side by side and watching our grandchildren frolic in the yard. Now that reality has smacked me, wait, no it literally punched me and what I thought would happen won’t be happening, I’ve become a totally different person than I once was.

In October 2016 as I heard my ex saying, “we are done” with no warning, no signs, no explanation I felt as if I were having an out-of-body experience. I realized that was my wake up call. Once I found out he had an affair I was devastated and continued to ask why, what did she have that I didn’t?

I put the entire situation in the back of my head. I was not in denial. I was ready to be done. Now as I sat and thought about my situation I realized I needed to find out what kind of person I was. Somehow through all the mess of what I thought was a wonderful marriage, I lost myself. I did that, not him. I became him…negative, condescending, not wanting to stray from home, and generally hating people. That’s not me and I knew that. I had to fight to get back to the person I once was.

Here are some things I learned to like about myself once he was gone:

1. No matter what hurtful words he said, I refuse to allow that to be my truth.

He said some hateful things to me. Things he knew would rock me to the core. I allowed that to consume me. I am NOT what he said. I know now his hurtful words were his way of having the last move, stabbing me in my heart. I deserved better than that and I am not that gullible person anymore who believed what he used to say about me.

2. I need to keep busy.

I think a lot of people are shocked reading my statuses on Facebook. I am not your typical 52-year-old granny. I drive race cars, sing, am a gym rat, sit on granddaughter’s bunk bed and watch Spongebob, eat ice cream for breakfast, Gigi and mom. I found that the more I was with my friends, I didn’t consume myself with thoughts of him. I laugh and I know that is exactly the therapy I needed. Even when I am having good days, friends are always welcome and needed.

3. As much as some of my friends wanted me to be with someone, I knew that was not what I needed.

I did not need another person in my life clouding my judgment and feelings. I needed to love who I was and the person I once was. I don’t need someone to make me happy, I need surroundings to make me happy. My solitude has given me a much better perspective on life. I have learned to respect myself and that was the greatest thing I could have ever done. I had once thought I needed a person in my life to complete me but I know now I don’t.

4. I could manage my money in spite of what he said.

I paid off my SUV and my credit cards and my credit score soared. I got a promotion at work. Three years after we split I bought a brand new house. I drive my builder insane because my ex was a builder and I know way too much. When I pull into the driveway of my new home each day I smile knowing I did this. Not my ex, not anyone but me. I saved money for my down payment and I bought my very own home. He still lives in his two-bedroom apartment with his cats and drives a company truck and his dream was to build a home.

5. I love having family around me.

To say the relationship with my kids was strained is not enough. It was bad. They were ashamed of who I was and I don’t blame them. My oldest daughter and two grandbabies moved into my home for a year while her husband was deployed. It broke my heart to move them back to VA a week ago. I didn’t like being around people when I was married. Now I can not imagine my life without my family. I have a huge house with lots of room and I do not mind having my house full of company.

6. I work out at the gym 6 days a week.

I set a goal and I do it. At five am every morning I am working out. I then go to work. It has become my lifestyle. I never had a motive to do so, now I do. I have had so many compliments that I do not look my age. I love that. I have worked hard for the person I have become, I deserve this.

When my marriage ended I was fearful of being alone. I was more alone being married. I am happy and I am finally at peace with myself. I have my freedom from constant approval. My life has changed but so have I. I had the attitude to change my status quo and I am proud of that accomplishment.

The post Things I Learned To Like About Myself After Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Trouble woman

Single Moms: What Has Been Your Hardest Season?

Trouble woman

 

I live in L.A., and we are in the midst of a heat wave. The family dog with his thick shiatzu hair and the 90+ degree days we are experiencing has almost vaporized him.

Or at least it has almost vaporized his normal get-up-and-go spirit. I take him down to the beach so he can find his dog soul again, feeling invigorated by the ocean breezes, away from the heat of my house.

I am a single mom living with my college-age daughter who is in her last year of study. My son has graduated from college and has left to pursue his foreign policy endeavors in Washington, DC.

Life in our home is quieter these days. A kind of quiet I had not thought about when I was in the thick of raising my two children alone since they were both under six years old. You don’t think about those kinds of things when you’re just trying to survive the day-to-day stretch of your energies.

As I drove back from taking my dog for a walk by the ocean, I decided to turn up a hill. A hill that I hadn’t been on for over ten years. This was a steep hill that was part of my weekly life as I traversed to the daily drop-offs and pick up’s of children. At the top of this very steep hill was the elementary school my children attended. Glancing over at the welcome students’ sign on the front gate, a strange hollow feeling came over me, and I couldn’t quite figure out why I felt so strange.

Then it occurred to me that this was where I felt the most alone I ever had. It was the place I attended parent/teacher meetings alone. It was the place I attended the school carnivals and Halloween costume parades alone. It was the place I sat alone to watch my kids’ school plays.

And it was where I sat alone in the auditorium and watched my children ascend through their respective culminations. All of the above of which, my ex-husband wouldn’t even acknowledge me if he even attended at all. Most of the time, he didn’t.

It was the school I took my 6-year-old son to start First Grade. A child who was traumatized and had lost his sparkle because he was just utterly confused at the unrecognizability of his life now. We lived in a new home, in a new town, and he was attending a new school with kids who were not his friends from his old Kindergarten.

The Hard Seasons

I look back on that time as one of the hardest seasons of my life. A season that reflected a few storms of hurricane magnitude. As unfamiliar as my son was with his new life, so was I with mine.

I knew no one there. And though I’m sure there were other single mothers with kids there, I didn’t seem to find any in my children’s classes. It was also a school that was quite extraordinary for Southern California. It was a school that had very few divorced families. I am not 100% certain as to why. I assume it was because it supported the Air Force Officers’ housing and families. A tight-knit community of mothers who walked their kids to school and back each day. A community of intact families with a mother and father in the home.

And mothers that held on tight to each other because they had shared experiences that only they could know. It is only now that I realize they were all single mothers at one time while their husbands were deployed. They were strong, courageous warriors in their own right, and I did have a lot in common with them. I just didn’t know it.

As I drove back home, down a street that was sure to have my tire treads embedded in the road leading back to my house, I thought about how that season of my life was just hard, and it felt like it went on forever.

It lasted from 2001 to 2012. It was a significant chunk of time, for sure. But it was equally that long ago. And even though it somehow conjured up my personal feelings of loneliness, my children both ended up flourishing there. They were fine even if I wasn’t.

I suppose my ability to forge on and just fake it till I make it mentality somehow served them well. They have lovely memories of that school, and they gained lifelong friendships that are still intact all these years later. That makes me smile. Because even though I was dealing with a very tough divorce and I was learning how to be a responsible single parent, somehow I kept it all together.

Somehow I was still able to deliver them a good childhood. Somehow I made it to a time where they are now both flourishing as adults. One child with an intense thirst for knowledge about other countries, cultures, and ideologies, and another who expresses herself through art and film. Both live from foundations that I helped to forge.

Foundations started at that little elementary school on the hill where they were one of the few children being raised by a single mom.

So for all the single moms (and dads) reading this that have experienced these kinds of days while their children are in school, just know that even though you may be feeling your most vulnerable and lonely, it’s all worth it if you can see what your sacrifices, investments, and contributions will yield as I now can see.

It feels good too. In fact, it feels wonderful. As I drove past the school and looked back over my shoulder, I think I saw a woman standing there smiling back at me, saying job well done. I, in turn, gave a thumbs up to her, nodding that it would all be worth it! And it was.

The post Single Moms: What Has Been Your Hardest Season? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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ex's new wife

Do You Have to Like Your Ex’s New Wife?

ex's new wife

 You don’t have to like your ex’s new wife, but if there are children involved, we highly suggest you at least be civil. 

 

There are a lot of articles out today about divorce and how two women, an ex-wife, and her ex’s new wife, end up becoming friends, sometimes even the best of friends. That’s a huge change from the old dialogue and stereotype of the evil nasty stepmother, isn’t it?

Still, though, do you have to like your ex’s new wife? It seems like a lot of pressure now to not only be nice but also to be BFFs going to Starbucks. How close do you two really have to be?

If Kids Aren’t Involved

If kids aren’t involved, here is the good news: you don’t have to like her at all, nor will you ever have to see her or your ex much, if at all. If this is your situation, simply be polite when and if you see her.

You two don’t need to share lattes, and you don’t even need to fake smile much. A wave and polite hello work. However, if you think she’s a very nice person befriending her could really make your ex unnerved, which might be fun. If that’s the case, enjoy!

If Kids Are Involved

The rules are different, so let’s dive in.

First, you might like your ex’s new wife a lot, and if you do, don’t feel weird about it—be glad! It makes life much easier; however, two women may not always mix well or may clash horrifically, so depending on where your situation lies and of course, what role she played in your divorce, these rules apply:

You Don’t Hate Her, But You Rarely See Eye-to-Eye

Perhaps you and she are just two different beasts, so to speak. If that’s the case, don’t expect to be buddies. Instead:

  • Be polite and include her when applicable
  • Observe like an outsider: instead of nit-picking or getting irritated with her, try to understand how she operates as if you were simply a stranger that saw her in Target
  • Think before you speak always

You will never be best gal pals, and you don’t have to be, but as long as you both acknowledge that you’re both coming from different ends of the spectrum and try to be polite and not rude or excluding, that’s completely fine. Remember, not all of us will grab tea and cookies with our ex’s new wife, and that’s okay!

You Can’t Stand Her

No matter how hard you try, the woman gives you agita. Okay then. How do you manage?

  • Keep conversations brief
  • If necessary, contact your ex instead of her to manage problems
  • Do not exclude her from things involving the children (weddings, bar mitzvahs) but do manage to circle on the other side of the room or include others in on conversations to diffuse the bad mojo between the two of you because your kids will pick up on this cat fight if it gets ugly. Be an adult!

Bottom Line:

You don’t have to like the new wife. There is no constitutional law that requires you to do so, but being polite, including her in on matters involving the kids and respecting her is an absolute must, even if you hate her. And if you do hate her, ask yourself why:

Is she really so bad?

Or are you jealous?

Perhaps it’s just that you feel less than because maybe you’ve not remarried and feel that your ex can provide a “family” for your kids that you can’t.

Newsflash, it’s normal to be jealous, but your ex is no better than you are for giving the kids a stepmother while you’re single. You’re the mom and, as we know, mom is everything! Remember that.

What is it that she does wrong? Could you cut her some slack? Being a stepparent is hard. Have you ever taken on that role?

Maybe she’s not truly herself around you. She may be too nervous. If you think that’s the case, maybe you two should have tea together and talk.

Are you blaming your ex’s annoying actions on your new wife? She might be the catalyst for said actions, or maybe not. Consider your ex. Consider how he was in the marriage. Are his actions really that off for him, or is it right in character with the past?

Although you believe she is, she may not be influencing him.

If she is influencing him, consider that she’s most likely insecure and controlling. What a terrible way to live and a terrible way to feel! Not your circus, not your monkeys. Keep being you!

Divorce isn’t easy, and when new spouses enter the picture it can get sticky. Keep a cool head, smile often, and be kind, and that kindness will hopefully be returned back to you!

The post Do You Have to Like Your Ex’s New Wife? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Money stuffed in a mattress

Where To Look For Hidden Assets During Divorce

Money stuffed in a mattress

 

If you are in the midst of the divorce process, you may be concerned about multiple types of financial issues. You will want to make sure you will be able to support yourself after you separate from your spouse, and you will also want to be sure you can receive a fair share of your marital property.

However, you may be worried that your ability to reach a fair divorce settlement will affect your spouse’s attempts to hide money or other assets.

This can be a significant concern for many mothers who are going through divorce. If you have been focused on childcare and other household responsibilities, you may not be as well-informed about your family’s finances as your spouse.

This can put you at a disadvantage, especially if you do not have all the information you need about your household income and expenses or the different types of assets you and your spouse own. If you are concerned that your spouse is attempting to hide assets, here are some tips on where you can look to uncover these issues:

Where to Look for Hidden Assets During Divorce

Tax Returns

Hiding income from the IRS can lead to serious penalties, including hefty fines or even prison time. Because of this, most people take care to properly report their income when filing their annual tax returns. Whether you and your spouse have filed taxes jointly or separately, you should be able to access the returns that were filed in the past.

By closely examining tax returns from the past five years, you can search for inconsistencies between the income that was reported to the IRS and the financial disclosures made by your spouse during the divorce process.

Checking Account Statements and Canceled Checks

You should be able to access information about any joint bank accounts you have with your spouse, and during the discovery process, you can obtain information about separately-owned accounts as well. By reviewing bank statements, you can determine how marital funds were used to make purchases, pay expenses, or transfer money to others.

Canceled checks can be very helpful, and they may show that your spouse made purchases that you were unaware of or attempted to transfer funds to friends or family members to avoid dividing them with you during the divorce process.

Savings Accounts

By reviewing statements for any accounts you and your spouse own together or separately, you can determine whether any unusual deposits or withdrawals were made. Large deposits may mean your spouse is concealing a source of income, such as dividends earned through ownership of stock. Unexplained withdrawals may be attempts to conceal assets that should be included in the property division process during your divorce.

Loan Documents

If your soon-to-be ex-spouse borrowed money from a mortgage company or bank, you can receive a copy of their loan application from the courthouse, as well as other documentation related to the loan. These documents will list all of the assets reported when applying for the loan.

The estimated values of these assets can give you a clear idea of what property should be divided during the divorce process, as well as the financial resources available to your spouse through any non-marital assets they own. All of this information can inform the decisions made during the asset division process.

The County Auditor

If your spouse has made any real estate purchases, the county auditor will have information related to any money that was taken from savings accounts and used to purchase real estate. You will be able to find any homes or land your spouse owns and ensure that the value of these assets will be properly considered when dividing your marital property.

Lifestyle Analysis

If you are uncertain about the extent of your family’s finances, you may want to consider the lifestyle of your soon-to-be ex-partner. Does their reported income match the type of clothing they wear, the car they drive, and the activities they participate in? If you believe their lifestyle is more lavish than their reported income could support, they may be hiding assets from you.

A forensic accountant may be able to help you analyze the information available to you and determine whether it matches up with the lifestyle of your spouse and your family. They can use the abovementioned methods and other techniques to uncover assets your spouse has attempted to conceal.

Get Legal Help Uncovering Hidden Assets

You may be able to work with accountants or other financial experts during the divorce process to uncover any hidden assets and gain a complete understanding of your family’s finances. However, your best resource is likely to be your attorney.

An experienced divorce lawyer can help you determine the best ways to search for hidden assets, and they can advocate on your behalf throughout the divorce process to make sure you will be able to reach a fair settlement. With the right attorney on your side, you can achieve an outcome to your case that will allow you to meet your financial needs in the coming years.

The post Where To Look For Hidden Assets During Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Woman stressed out over finances

4 Ways To Rebuild Your Finances Following a Divorce

Woman stressed out over finances

 

Going through a divorce can take a toll on your mental and emotional health. It’s not uncommon to struggle with grief over your loss and excess stress when it comes to what you’ll do next.

Another issue many people face following a divorce is financial struggles. Maybe you’re going from a two-person income to paying for everything on your own.

One of the best things you can do is to protect as much money as possible during your divorce. Try to work out an agreement with your ex that fits both of your needs. Of course, to do that, you’ll likely need to hire an experienced attorney, which can end up costing thousands.

Luckily, there are steps you can take after the divorce is finalized.

You can rebuild your finances and feel stable and secure again.

Let’s cover four solutions that can help you with that rebuilding process, so you can get back on your feet and experience financial security as quickly as possible.

1. Continue Your Education

Going back to school might not seem like the easiest thing in the world right now, but it could be the first step toward a better financial future.

Yes, most higher learning institutions cost money. However, there are plenty of programs that allow you to apply for financial aid, so don’t be afraid to do your research. Additionally, you can usually find more inexpensive courses by looking online and taking virtual classes. Other ways to make going back to school as an adult more affordable include:

  • Looking for scholarships for adult learners;
  • Applying for experiential learning credits from on-the-job training;
  • Asking your current employer if they will cover some of the costs;
  • Transferring previous credits and degrees.

Continuing your education or getting a higher degree can make it easier to move up in your current place of business or find a higher-paying job somewhere else. If you’re struggling with a single-person income for the first time in years, boosting it with a better degree and more educational experience can help to fill in the financial gaps of a second income.

2. Divide Your Assets

You might have agreed to certain financial and property divisions during your divorce. However, between the stress of everything and you trying to move on to the next chapter of your life, it’s easy to forget “little things” that can make a big difference to your financial health.

Make sure that your former spouse is no longer on any accounts that you hold. That includes checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and even retirement accounts. In most cases, you’ll have to close those joint accounts completely and open new ones solely in your name. Doing so will ensure your ex can’t take any of that money. Taking yourself off of your ex’s credit cards can also help to boost your credit and make it easier to take out low-interest loans in the future.

3. Create a New Budget

You likely had a budget in place when you were married that took two incomes into account. Now, as you’re living on your own, you’ll either need to adjust that budget or start a completely new one. This is a crucial step to healing yourself and your finances after divorce.

Start with realistic expectations. Don’t panic, and cut all of your expenses at once. Instead, take a look at where you’re currently spending the most money and which small expenses seem to add up quickly. Some of the first things you should consider cutting include:

  • Dining out as frequently;
  • Cleaning products;
  • Car washes;
  • New clothes;
  • Cable/streaming services.

You might find that you can make swaps for the things you’re used to now to save a bit of money. For example, instead of buying a $5.00 latte at your favorite coffee shop, “splurge” on a gourmet creamer that you can use for a week or two. Small changes can make a big difference when you’re on a single, tight budget. Your budget should be flexible as your financial needs change. It won’t take long for you to discover what you really need each month to feel comfortable, and you can start to add in expenses little by little.

4. Start an Emergency Fund

If you didn’t have an emergency fund during your marriage, now is the time to start one. You don’t have to put a lot into it. Focus on adding a few dollars from every paycheck or a set monthly amount.

Life happens. If you own a home, anything from an appliance breaking down to a major construction issue can end up costing you thousands of dollars immediately. Cars need maintenance. Medical issues can arise.

While no one likes to think about these emergency situations, they can feel even more overwhelming when you don’t have the financial means to handle them. An emergency fund can help with that, offering you peace of mind when things feel chaotic.

Managing financial stress after a divorce isn’t always easy. However, as you can see, there are plenty of things you can do to rebuild your confidence as well as your finances. Keep these ideas in mind as you start the next phase of your life, and you can experience empowered financial freedom on your own.

The post 4 Ways To Rebuild Your Finances Following a Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Indefinite child support in Texas 

Raising children is a difficult task. It isn’t time-dependent, and it certainly doesn’t stop at 18 years of age. Most child support orders remain in place until the child turns 18 years old or graduates high school, whichever comes later.

For parents of children with severe disabilities, that disclaimer may send panic through your heart. You know that your child will require special care all of his or her life, and you need a plan to provide that care. Fortunately, in Texas, that need is recognized.

On-going support for children with disabilities

Under the Texas Family Code, support for a child with disabilities can be ordered for an indefinite term. Suppose your child has a disability that does or will require special care or supervision, either due to physical or cognitive disability. In that case, child support may fall under this code.

Children with disabilities require extra care and supervision if they can’t provide those things for themselves. Parenting a child with a disability may also require that you:

  • Find employment hours that line up with school hours.
  • Take frequent time off for therapies or other services.
  • Make regular visits to get specialized care.
  • Pay for childcare their entire lives.

If your child has a lifelong disability, these extra tasks and monetary requirements may not stop when the child reaches 18.

Getting indefinite child support

Going through a divorce and facing the prospect of becoming a single parent is hard enough in typical circumstances. If you’re going through a divorce and are the parent of a child with a disability, make sure you fully understand your legal options.

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Man Narcissist (2).jpg

Divorcing a Narcissist: Keep Your Expectations Low!

Man Narcissist (2).jpg

As long as you are in any type of relationship with a narcissist, you can bet the only person who will benefit from that relationship is the narcissist.

 

I’ve been accused, in the past, of being “disloyal” to my ex-husband when I write about my experiences with him either during the marriage or since the divorce. What some fail to realize is that when you experience divorcing a narcissist, feelings of support and allegiance toward that person are hard to come by, if not impossible.

Any loyalty I owed my ex flew out the window the day he walked away from his family. I have no sense of loyalty toward a person who left me in a truly untenable position with two children to care for and no concern for how his conduct impacted his children or me, their mother. Plus, why would anyone who takes a scorched-earth attitude toward those who loved him think he has the right to claim the protection of confidentiality?

I have to admit, though that it took time for me to realize that I owed my ex-husband NOTHING and that I had more power in our situation than he did.

I spent a couple of years capitulating, attempting to negotiate and fix the problems between us, believing that if I gave respect, I would eventually receive respect. I did what a lot of women who are dealing with the aftermath of divorcing a narcissist. I rolled over and over and over, playing nice doggy, hoping that one day he would rub my belly, begin to co-parent civilly, and we could put all the conflict behind us. You know, for the sake of our children.

What Does Rolling Over Get You?

You get nothing from all the effort you put into being civil with the narcissist. As long as you are in any type of relationship with a narcissist, you can bet the only person who will benefit from that relationship is the narcissist.

A narcissist has an inflated sense of his own importance. In his mind, you are supposed to roll over and often. You rolling over or giving in only cements his belief that he is all important and his needs must be catered to. And his belief that you are to cater to him only gets you more of the same emotional abuse you suffered in the marriage.

You roll over expecting a positive return on your emotional investment in your post-divorce relationship with the narcissist. A sensible expectation to have! He has his own expectations…you do as he feels you should do. Take it from me; his expectations will be met before yours if you continue to roll over.

Things You Should Not Expect When Divorcing a Narcissist:

1. Civil discourse.

He doesn’t have it in him, let go of expecting him to converse with you as if you are an equal. To feel good about himself, he has to treat you as if you are beneath him. Don’t buy into it!

Behind his mask of superiority lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism. He knows it, you know it but humbling himself and admitting it would be tantamount to emotional destruction for him. Take it from me; he will attempt to destroy you emotionally to keep from having to face his own emotional frailties.

He can’t feel good about himself unless he actively tries to make you feel bad about yourself. Every email you receive, every conversation you have will be him focusing on putting you down. Your best defense against his degradation is a “whatever” attitude. If he is nasty in an email, don’t respond. If he is disrespectful face to face, shrug your shoulders and walk away.

2. Healthy Co-Parenting.

This isn’t going to happen. The narcissist can’t separate his relationship with his children from his relationship with you. In his mind, you and the children are one package. And he has no qualms about using his children to further destroy you emotionally and financially.

The narcissist views his children as objects to be used to further his own agenda. This makes it impossible for him to engage in healthy co-parenting. He is a fine father if those objects (his children) fit into his agenda or reflect positively upon him. When those objects no longer fit into his agenda…when he moves onto another relationship, remarries, and needs to focus on his step-children or suffers the wrath of his own children after mistreatment, WATCH OUT. This is when your children will begin to feel the full force of his narcissistic abuse.

This is also when you have to put your guard up. It will be your place to guard your children’s hearts against the damage a narcissistic father can do. You are the healthy parent, the parent who will teach them what unconditional love is. The parent who will teach them their value by role modeling how to respond to those who do them emotional harm. The parent who will keep them from becoming adults with fragile self-esteem and emotional vulnerabilities. You are your children’s only defense against the narcissist. On Guard!

3. Concern for Your Well-Being.

Once you stop feeding the narcissist’s ego, your needs and the needs of his children become inconsequential to him. I’ve been divorced from my ex-husband for 14 years. Our sons were 7 and 14 when we divorced. Their father has not once shown concern for whether or not they have what they need since we divorced. No phone calls or emails asking, “Can I do anything for you, son,” or, “I’m here for you if you need me, son.”

I had custody of our children, due to this, in his mind, they were an extension of me, the woman he wanted to be destroyed. They became collateral damage in the war he waged against me.

Our youngest is now 21 and experiencing health problems. The other day I called my ex and left him a message…”Alan needs you, can you call?” I got no response. I expected no response, but the opportunity came up for him to do something for his child and the choice of whether to take that opportunity was his to make. He did as I expected, but by reaching out, I took away any ability he had to blame his children or me for the distance between him and his children.

My ex-husband’s refusal to respond when his child was in need is an example of the total lack of empathy that is characteristic in narcissistic personality disorder. I’m sure that if you asked, my ex-husband would tell you he has, over the years, attempted to have a relationship with his children.

My children would tell you that the total of ten years of no contact from him does not feel like an attempt by him to have a relationship with them. The narcissist doesn’t care about how someone else perceives a situation. Their perception of the situation is the only perception that is valid. They don’t care about the thoughts and feelings of others and are unable to listen to, validate, understand or support others.

My ex-husband and all narcissists are not capable of stepping outside themselves and seeing a situation from the other person’s perspective. The world revolves around them and their feelings, and due to that, others aren’t allowed to feel, unless of course, they are expressing concern for the narcissist’s feelings.

The narcissist, my ex-husband, for example, can’t view ten years of no contact with a child as abandonment or abuse because those ten years are not about his children, they are about him. And I’m certain that a narcissist would find it highly offensive that a child would not express concern for the narcissist rather than expect a show of concern from the narcissist.

Outfoxing the Narcissist:

You will never be as cunning as the narcissist. You can’t outfox him. You may be crafty, clever, and shrewd, but you also have the ability to empathize with others, and it is that pesky aspect of your personality that will keep you from ever being able to outsmart the narcissist if you engage in conflict with him.

The only way to get one over on the narcissist during divorce is to disengage, distance yourself, and don’t feed the tiger. As I said before, have no expectations of the narcissist. But the big one, the one I struggled with myself, was the need to do something, to find a solution, to fix the problems between him and me for the sake of our children.

Few things are as emotionally painful or produce as much fear and anxiety as being in a high-conflict relationship with a narcissist. It is the emotional pain, fear, and anxiety that spurs you into action, attempting to fix the situation. After all, how are you ever going to have peace of mind and heart again if the situation isn’t fixed?

No matter how much you try to fix him, outsmart him, or stay one step ahead of him, the narcissist will always trump, one-up, escalate and create more damage in response. To stop the continued emotional damage to yourself and your children, you have to exit the stage, step out of the ring and take back your power by letting go of your need to fix the problem.

When you do that, you show the narcissist who is in control of YOUR life. You show the narcissist that no one has power over how you live your life, and the narcissist is completely out of his league when faced with true power…especially YOUR power over his ability to cause you pain, fear, and anxiety.

FAQs About Divorcing A Narcissist:

Should I give in to a narcissist to save my marriage?

You will only end up reinforcing his beliefs that he is superior to you and his needs come first if you give in to a narcissist in an attempt to save your marriage. A narcissist will never stop emotionally abusing you no matter how submissive you become.

Can I have a decent conversation with a narcissist?

You can never have a decent conversation with a narcissist because he doesn’t treat you as an equal partner. He will keep on debasing you and make you feel insufficient so he can manipulate you to satisfy his narcissistic needs.

Do narcissists believe they are superior to those around them?

The very existence of a narcissist rests upon his need to feel superior to others. He cannot take slightest of criticism because it hurts his fragile self-esteem—masked under his false sense of superiority. He will gaslight you, manipulate you emotionally just to keep himself from facing his own emotional frailties.

How to deal with a narcissist when he is disrespectful?

Walk away without falling for an argument when a narcissist shows disrespect. Narcissists show disrespect deliberately to draw you in an argument you can’t win. They feed on your frustration and will not leave any stone unturned to make you feel miserable. Don’t respond to his nasty remarks either in writing or face to face.

Do narcissistic men use their children against their spouses? 

Narcissists are known to use children as pawns against their spouses. They consider you and your children as one package and will not spare any opportunity to draw them in a conflict to harm you emotionally or financially. 

Are narcissists healthy co-parents? 

Narcissists can never become healthy co-parents because of their need to feel superior and manipulate everyone around them. A narcissist is a father as long as he can use children to his own advantage—either to feel good or make you feel bad.

Should I take steps to protect my children from their narcissistic father?

You have to protect your children from their narcissistic father, who will eventually damage their emotional health. You need to understand the challenge and teach your children the virtues of unconditional love, besides protecting them against developing a fragile self-esteem and emotional vulnerabilities.

When does a narcissist stop taking care of his family?

As soon as you stop feeding his narcissistic ego, a narcissist will stop caring for his family. A family is more like a business relationship for a narcissist, which ends when you put an end to manipulation. 

Do narcissists ever see a situation from others perspective?

Narcissists are not brought up to see the situation from others perspective. A narcissist will cease to exist if he cares for others because his only purpose in life is to manipulate those around him.

How do I outsmart a narcissist?

Don’t try to outsmart a narcissist because you did not grow up perfecting the art of manipulation. You are brought up as a normal human being and carry emotions like empathy and love. These aspects of your personality will put you at a disadvantage if you try to outsmart a narcissist.

How to deal with a narcissistic husband during divorce?

Keep your emotional health in check and remain consistent in maintaining a policy of disengagement and distance with your narcissistic husband during divorce. 

The post Divorcing a Narcissist: Keep Your Expectations Low! appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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CoParenting: It Doesn’t Have To Be Difficult!

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Co-parenting is a modern term in the divorce world. When my parents walked out of the divorce court, they never communicated with each other ever again, and certainly not about me. Co-parenting implies cooperation and dialogue. The former spouses are no longer marriage partners but are so in raising their children.

Society today may be more complex with so many choices, or parents like mine did not consider the need to discuss children with each other post-divorce. Custody is usually joint, which means both parents have the right to decide what schools and activities their children will attend.

Cooperative Parenting Tips For Success:

There are ways to make co-parenting easier for the parents and more effective for the kids. Consider having a regularly scheduled meeting, perhaps monthly, to discuss issues or activities of the kids. Have an agenda, just as you would for a conference at work.

If one parent veers off course into blame or other toxic areas, calmly steer them back to the discussed topic, “We were talking about Jane’s wish to change schools….”  Keep emotion out of the discussion and treat the other parent as you would an excitable co-worker. These meetings do not have to be in person if it is difficult to be in their presence. Using Skype or the phone is fine, even if they only live a few streets away.

Co-parenting is easier when both are on the same page and do not feel left out of anything. There are various online calendars and apps which let each parent view and add activities or events in the youngsters’ lives. It is easy to put dance recitals, sports tournaments, and school concerts into a schedule. This way one parent cannot blame the other one for not notifying them of something. Remember to keep grandparents up-to-date on the kids’ events so they can attend.

Some parents have a notebook that goes back and forth between homes, which is particularly helpful with young children. This is good when a child has asthma or a food allergy so both know when an inhaler or Epi-pen was administered. This also is useful for medical conditions like seizures.  If there are incidents at school or other information that needs to be relayed, the notebook is another method of communication.

An important part of co-parenting is setting up consistent rules, routines, and consequences in both homes.  Kids require constancy in their topsy-turvy world. Going to bed and eating meals at vastly different times is like having chronic jet lag. They feel more secure with a routine, which is better for their well-being. This also avoids pitting one parent against the other one. No, “Dad lets me go to bed at 11, or Mom lets me watch TV all day.” Kids realize that their parents are on the same team and are less likely to try and get away with things when rules are consistent.

Work together when dividing up holidays. Some parents have the kids for part of the day, and others trade holidays on alternate years. There may be new step-siblings to work a holiday schedule around who also have to share them with another parent. Some co-parents have a get-together with new partners and grandparents and do okay in each other’s company. See what works out best in your situation.

The don’ts of co-parenting can mostly be avoided when thinking of what is in the children’s best interest. Yes, it is hard to put one’s ego aside or not to take part in a revenge fantasy. Getting back at an ex through the children is not healthy and can backfire. One father took his sons to a show during the divorce that he knew his wife would get angry about. The boys were upset seeing an adult-themed play with scantily clad women, and they told the interim psychologist, who put a stop to this behavior. Later they discussed this and more with the Custody Evaluator. The mother ended up with physical custody, and the father was not granted any overnights with visitation.

If co-parenting is difficult, consider having a third party handle all communication between you. One woman had her friend edit out any mean comments from her ex-husband’s e-mails and then send to her. Others have used a mediator or another professional to care for all messages and communication between co-parents. There is even an online company that does this too. Co-parenting is a learning process and generally gets easier as time goes by.

The post CoParenting: It Doesn’t Have To Be Difficult! appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Family Injustice: Exposing the Child Custody Racket



It’s time for Texas lawmakers to ask a simple question. Divorce lawyers can make a lot more money on long custody fights that …

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3 Myths Cheaters Tell Themselves To Justify Their Affair

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No one commits adultery without first being able to justify their reasons for doing so. The problem with such justifications is they are falsehoods, a way of engaging in bad behavior without having to think about the consequences of the adultery to others.

The adulterer lives in a mythical, storybook world. The realities of their actions are far different than the “reality” they create to justify the adultery.

Adultery Causes Emotional Pain

Myth 1.

If my spouse finds out about the affair, she will get over it. My spouse ignores my needs, shows me no affection, and acts as if she no longer cares. If she no longer cares, the affair won’t mean anything to her. This is mystical thinking because, unless questioned, the adulterer has no idea how their wife will react to them cheating.

Reality:

When a spouse is cheated on, there are feelings of betrayal, depression, and anger. A spouse will feel second-rate and undesirable. She will question her worth and value as a wife. A wife is emotionally harmed by adultery whether the cheater believes she is still invested in the marriage or not.

A victim of cheating will get over the betrayal of adultery but only after much suffering. Adultery hurts and can cause severe psychological damage. There is also a loss of trust and faith in the adulterer. So much so that it makes surviving adultery close to impossible.

Not only will a wife be injured by the adultery, but anyone close to you to the cheater will be affected negatively. Children, family, and friends, all those who care about the cheater, will suffer if they make the choice to engage in an adulterous relationship.

An adulterer may feel that the benefit of adultery to them is worth the suffering of others. That is wrong! Adultery hurts and it is never OK to hurt another person.

Adultery Means Breaking a Promise to Your Spouse

Myth 2.

I’m no longer in love with my spouse; the marriage has been over for years. If there is no longer love, there is no longer a “promise.” The adulterer has divorced himself emotionally from the marriage. In the adulterer’s mind, this frees him up from any vows of faithfulness.

Reality:

Granted, feelings of love are an extenuating circumstance for vowing to be faithful to a spouse. Love is not the only circumstance, though and a lack of love for a wife is not justification for committing adultery and broken marriage vows.

There is more to consider than the adulterer’s feelings alone. If the wife still has feelings of love, the adulterer owes her consideration before engaging in adulterous behavior.

Until there is a divorce, you are still living inside the marital contract, and that means upholding the vow to be faithful. There is more to consider than whether or not the cheater still feels love for their wife.

Committing Adultery Makes You a Bad Person

Myth 3.

I’m not a bad person if I have a relationship with someone other than my wife. I’ve worked very hard to save my marriage. I deserve to be happy and have earned the right to be happy even if I find that happiness with someone other than my spouse.

Reality:

Adultery is unethical behavior. It is that simple. Sure, as individuals, we are free to define ethical behavior on our own terms. Most of us choose to live according to society’s rules as far as what is and isn’t ethical behavior.

Kindness, consideration, honesty, and respectfulness are all ethical behaviors. I think it is safe to say that society views a person who is faithful to his spouse as ethical and virtuous.

In other words, if you commit adultery, you are not a good man. If you remain faithful, you are a good man. In the throes of passion and emotional need, you may not put much value on how society judges you, though.

When the bloom is off the rose, and the affair has gone south, you can bet an adulterer will begin to once again concern himself with how his spouse, family, friends, and co-workers view him. It is best to consider the reality of adulterous behavior before an affair than get caught up in the mythical, storybook idea you’ll create to justify adultery.

 

 

FAQs About Cheating:

Can adultery be justified?

Adultery cannot be justified under any circumstances. Adulterers, however, will always try to justify why they commit adultery by giving false reasons. It’s a way for them to justify their bad behavior without considering its destructive consequences.

Do adulterers believe their wives will forgive them for their affairs?

Adulterers believe that their wives will either never find out about their affairs or forgive them if they do. In essence, an adulterer has no clue about how his wife would react when she finds out about his adultery.

Do adulterers blame their wives for their actions?

The adulterers blame their wives for their actions, stating that their wives have been ignoring their needs. They create these justifications in their heads so they could commit adultery without feeling any guilt.

What happens to a spouse when cheated on?

A spouse when cheated on will first feel shell-shocked, confused and angry. She will struggle to find out why her husband cheated on her and think that she is not desirable or enough. An adulterer will emotionally harm his wife, and damage his relationship, at times, beyond repair.

Does adultery cause psychological damage?

Adultery is one of the most common reasons for women to file for divorce because it causes physical and psychological damage to the spouse, who has been cheated on. In most cases, surviving adultery becomes an impossible task.

Do adulterers end up damaging their family?

Yes, adulterers not only hurt their wives but also their children, family and friends as he robs them of their trust. 

Can adultery be justified because of a bad marriage?

Most adulterers justify their behaviors by creating this false impression in their minds that their marriage has been over for years because it’s devoid of love. They think they can commit adultery because they are no longer bound by the vows of faithfulness.

Is an adulterer a bad person?

Whatever be your reasons, you are not a good person if you commit adultery. Adultery is an immoral and unethical behavior, which causes pain and hurt to people around the adulterer. 


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The post 3 Myths Cheaters Tell Themselves To Justify Their Affair appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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