I think that Title IV-D is an unconstitutional scam and a fraudulent marketing scheme. In fact, I think that most of “family law” is a …
Brooks McKenzie is a Ph.D. and a recognized expert in parental attachment theory. He does NOT provide custody evaluations or …
Central Texas Family Court Corruption
Topic: Host Mike Lee and guests discuss the unfair and oftentimes damaging outcomes handed down in family court cases that involve minor children.
If you have issues that you feel are unjustified or corrupt please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Narcissists are not brave individuals. Despite their puffed up chest, they are scared little paper tigers that can easily be blown away by anyone who catches wind of their antics.
In this article, I will go over 10 things narcissists hate & fear the most.
I think you will find that their fears and hatred are comical in nature, as well as outstandingly pathetic.
10 Things Narcissistic Men Fear the Most
Shame is unpleasant for everyone but for the narcissist, it’s absolutely horrifying. The main reason is that shame could negatively impact his reputation and give him a lower status in his social circle.
Since narcissists live for being admired and their pride is of great importance doing something that could make the narcissist look bad in the eyes of others or make them feel ashamed is one of the most dreaded experiences for them.
The narcissist usually puts on a mask so that they can be accepted and liked by others. They wouldn’t admit that anyone could be put off by their egotistic character.
If a person decides to leave the narcissist’s life, the latter will take it personally and will surely try to bring the other person back.
However, if they don’t succeed they’ll probably start slandering about their former friend.
The reason for such a behavior is that behind the narcissist’s fake attitude lies a frightened, little soul who is terrified that they aren’t good enough, but they would never say it openly. They’ll be likely to do whatever it takes to keep their reputation.
Narcissists fear failure or being outshined. They just can’t accept there’s someone out there who’s better than them. On top of that, if a narcissist can’t achieve their goal, they will always blame someone else about it, even if it is obvious that it’s entirely their fault.
They usually blame their closest people to have hindered them from succeeding. This is actually the only way to feel a bit better about their failure.
4. Getting Called Out on Their Lies
Narcissists are famous for lying or exaggerating certain things to make themselves appear more important or impressive. They also do this to make themselves feel better about their own standing in society.
So it’s only logical that one of a narcissists’ greatest fears is having those lies and exaggerations exposed. It’s not just that getting called out would bring them shame, or show them as less than what they are – it’s the fact that it reveals to the world how weak and insecure they really are.
It brings their whole fake world crashing down around them, and as already stated, narcissists think the world revolves around them. And while they are spinning their lies and exaggerations about their own accomplishments, part of them knows deep down that they’re stretching the truth. And from the minute they start telling these lies, they become incredibly paranoid about the fact that someone might one day uncover them.
5. Feeling Remorse
Another key characteristic of narcissism is the inability to feel remorse. It’s not just that they can’t feel remorse, it’s that they actively refuse to show remorse. This fierce rejection of the very notion of feeling bad about hurting others is indicative of very deep fear.
It’s a total denial of remorse. And why do they fear remorse so much? It’s simple. To them, remorse is a characteristic of weakness. Remorse, to them, shows vulnerability and emotional frailty. And to feel remorse is to open yourself up to that weakness.
Remorse is also in its basest form the acceptance that you have made a mistake. And for proud and haughty individuals such as narcissists, this can be unthinkable. More than that – it can be a major source of fear. Remorse is also a way of apologizing, and this is also unthinkable for self-aggrandizing people with narcissistic traits.
6. Feeling Gratitude
Another feeling that narcissists reject and fear is gratitude. Gratitude, like remorse, is another emotion that is perceived as a sign of weakness by people who are narcissistic. To the narcissist, gratitude is in a sense giving other people power over yourself.
It’s the acceptance that you owe something to someone. It also forces you to come to terms with the fact that you might have needed someone else’s help. To narcissistic people, they think of themselves as these all-powerful beings that rise far above others in superiority.
The acceptance that someone else did something valuable for them brings them crashing back down to earth. The notion that someone else gave them something they needed not only puts them on the same level as others, it also makes them feel like they’re weaker, or lower down on the social ladder. And this is one of the narcissistic man’s greatest fears.
7. Public Humiliation
When a narcissist feels that he’s losing face or failing at something in front of an audience, it creates a lot of psychological distress and cognitive dissonance. Narcissists are unable to tolerate failure of any sort and public humiliation is considered the worst type of failure that could happen.
A narcissist’s ego is an extremely fragile thing and when he feels he is being laughed at or is losing the respect of others, it can be tremendously upsetting. The narcissist’s ego is the only protection they have from the world and when their ego integrity is breached, narcissists often respond in ways that seem markedly out of proportion to the circumstances for average people.
Unfortunately, the ego of a narcissist is already so inflated that they never focus on self-growth when in relationships. Their own self-assessment of their worth and value confirm to them that they are already significantly evolved and accomplished.
They are unable to fathom why a partner may be disappointed in their behavior or in the relationship. By being so out-of-touch with the realities of relationships, their reaction to the dissatisfaction of their partners is driven by fear.
8. Abandonment and rejection.
Narcissists are afraid of being rejected or abandoned. That’s why they fly into rages and punish and threaten you if you threaten to leave them, and love bomb you if you do manage to get away.
To reject a narcissist means you are rejecting the false self they have so carefully constructed to impress you. To reject that false self negates their entire reason for existing since whatever true self they may have left is completely inaccessible to them and the false self cannot survive on its own; it’s completely dependent on the approval and attention of others, who it feeds from like a vampire.
When you reject a narcissist they are forced to confront their own emptiness and nothing scares them more than that. They will fight tooth and nail to avoid it, even if it means they have to destroy you in the process.
9. Being ignored.
This is a no-brainer. Ignoring a narcissist means giving them no supply at all, and without narcissistic supply, the narcissist dies a slow death. Or believes they will.
That’s why some narcissists would even rather being hated to being ignored. Negative attention is still attention, and at least it provides an acknowledgment that they still exist.
When you ignore a narcissist, it’s as frightening to them as being killed. They’re no longer confident they exist without your attention.
Exposing a narcissist and their false lives cause deep anger in them. Their anger might be expressed in rage or in more covert means such as the silent treatment or gaslighting you. They don’t like to be held accountable for the things they do to others, because that means they have to admit they are less than perfect.
It also means they have to acknowledge the humanity of someone else, which they aren’t capable of doing. Narcissists are all too aware of their imperfections, but only at the subconscious level, and the way they handle this is to project their own imperfections onto you.
So a narcissist might tell you that YOU are the narcissistic one, or that YOU are the abuser. They’re also good at getting others to side against you, and those people become their flying monkeys. They will accuse you of doing things that they themselves have done and everyone believes them and not you.
We’ve rounded up DivorcedMoms top 10 divorce articles from the year, with expert advice on narcissism, psychological abuse, divorce and teens, the family court system and more.
What kind of divorce resources are you interested in? If we’ve not covered it here, leave a comment and let us know.
DivorcedMoms Top 10 Divorce Articles From 2019
1. What can you expect from a narcissist during a relationship?
“While you may not be physically hit or physically abused in a relationship with a narcissist, your heart will be broken 10,000 times. Even if you think you are a “strong” person and can handle it; your strength is not really strength, but rather, denial.
“The following list is not exhaustive, but it is informative. If you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist you’ll recognize them all. If you’re presently in a relationship with a narcissist, buckle up because you’ll eventually experience them all.”
2. Teens often refuse to visit a father during visitation, what should you do?
There are many teens who have difficult relationships with a father. There are also teens who have friends, an active social life and better things to do than hang with parents. If you’re faced with a teen who doesn’t want to spend time with their father, what you do would be based on the situation.
“Michael and Jennifer have been amicably divorced for six years. They have three children ages 6-14. As outlined in their final decree of divorce they split custody of the children on a 60/40 basis. The children are with Jennifer 60% of the time, with Michael, 40% of the time.
“Until recently this arrangement worked well for both the parents and children. Jennifer worked weekends as a Registered Nurse and felt secure knowing her children were with their father and well cared for.
“Michael traveled with his job during the week and worried less about his children knowing they were safe and sound with their mother. The children benefited from the quantity and quality of time with both parents.
“Problems started when their oldest child became a teenager. Craig turned 14 and became less and less interested in spending Friday through Sunday night with his father.”
3. Family courts are ill equipped to protect women during and after a high conflict divorce.
Not only women but women’s children. Women deal with lawyers, judges, therapists, and court-appointed experts who are less than knowledgeable when it comes to the damage an ex with a personality disorder can cause.
“My divorce was tame compared to some. There were no domestic abuse issues, no custody battle issues; we went our separate ways with no physical harm done. I can’t say the same about emotional harm but, as I learned the Family Court System is ill-equipped to handle the conflict created when a man has a personality disorder or is hell-bent on using the system to punish their ex.
“As a matter of fact, it is my opinion the Family Court System is ill-equipped to protect anyone whose divorce is high conflict. Judges, Attorneys, Psychologists, and other court-appointed personnel EXPECT divorce to be one size fits all and when it isn’t lack the skills to support civility. What you get are platitudes and an attitude that if you are engaged with an ex who creates conflict you must be playing a role in the conflict also.”
4. If you’re divorcing a narcissist, you’ll want to get ready for the reality of co-parenting with a narcissist.
“Co-parenting with a narcissist is like being the tin man from the wizard of oz, having motion sickness, on the downward spiral of a roller coaster, with a loose harness, after eating ice cream and 5 corn dogs – doing the tango with a peg leg and an eye patch all the while sewing back together and re-stuffing down feathered pillows your dog chewed up and scattered throughout the back forty – it’s freaking difficult!!”
5. Fathers have a right to equal parenting time. The problem is most don’t follow through with their desire for equal parenting time.
We all hear about how the courts are biased against fathers when it comes to child custody. Men, especially hear such nonsense from men’s rights groups. When you go into court believing the deck is stacked against you, you’re less likely to fight for what you want.
“Before and during the divorce process each parent has the same legal right to custody of a child. Mothers and fathers are on legal standing until one or the other gives up or is denied full custody rights.
“What does this mean? It is complicated! Even more complicated if you don’t know your state’s child custody laws. Bottom line, until you have signed a custody agreement or a judge has handed down a custody opinion, each parent has the same legal rights when it comes to where a child lives, who the child lives with and anything regarding the child.
“I’ve found that most fathers do not have a clear understanding of their legal divorce rights where the children are involved. “
6. What does more damage to relationships than codependency? Not much. Here’s our tongue-in-cheek look at codependency.
“According to Melody Beattie, author of Codependent No More, “As professionals began to understand codependency better, more groups of people seem to have it. Adult children of alcoholics, people in relationships with emotionally disturbed people, people in relationships with irresponsible people and people in relationships with abusive people.”
“Basically, a codependent is a person who gives more in a relationship than they get and holds onto the hope that their partner will change. Codependents enable, make excuses and make the relationship problems worse due to their inability to care more for themselves than they do their relationship partner or, the relationship.”
7. Defiance of court orders by men; it happens often but what’s done about it?
My ex defied every aspect of our final divorce decree. EVERY ASPECT. It’s common practice for some men to be defiant and not believe orders handed down by the court apply to them. So, what happens to them? In my case, nothing. He got away with it over and over again.
“Over the years, I’ve spoken to many women whose ex-husbands were defying divorce court orders to pay child support. What most of them have learned when they take their ex back to court for contempt is that judges rarely throw a deadbeat in jail. They threaten to do so, but in my opinion, it isn’t often that a judge will follow through on a threat.
“Not enforcing a court order undermines a woman’s ability to care for her children. For some reason though, a judge seems more concerned with how being jailed will negatively affect a deadbeat father. It isn’t only child support orders that aren’t enforced — in the Family Court System, it’s any order.”
8. Narcissists are emotional and psychologically abusive. If married and divorced one, you’ll spend time wondering why.
“If we’ve been hurt by someone we love it’s only natural to want to find understanding in what happened. We believe that if we can only understand our pain will lessen.
“So, whether you’re a therapist, researcher or victim, there is an interest in knowing why the narcissist emotionally and psychologically abuses.
“There are many theories. Probably as many theories about why the narcissist is narcissistic as there are people wondering why.”
9. Psychologically abusive relationships rob you of your ability to trust in yourself to make proper choices and have faith in yourself.
Gaslighting, belittling, demeaning, undermining are just a few tactics used by a psychological abuser. When you’ve been on the receiving end of those tactics for years it only makes sense that you’ll lose faith in your ability to make choices that are in your best interest.
“Many assume it is simply the idea of breaking up a family that keeps us in the cycle of abuse. But I am here to say … no… that is not what made me stay.
“Forgive me as my ability to express myself in writing has never been my strong suit… but here goes.
“We stay because we have been controlled and manipulated to believe that we have no other viable options. There are often elements of financial control among a lot of other seemingly simple reasons that keep us in “it”. But they are not simple…not simple at all.
“I can only speak on my own behalf here, but I suspect that others will be able to relate on some level.”
10. Everyone’s story is different but when dealing with a narcissist, you can bet they all include damage done to children.
Narcissistic fathers discount the damage they do to their children during and after divorce. They view their children, not as an extension of themselves but as pawns to be used in their fight for control over a woman they feel stands in their way of having total control. If you’ve divorced a narcissist, you’re familiar with the damage they do to children.
“There is nothing more heart wrenching than having no recourse against someone who is doing grave emotional harm to your children. If a stranger had done what their father did, I would have had recourse. But, since it was their father, the family court system turned a blind eye to his behavior.
“It started from the beginning, the very beginning before I even knew there would be a divorce.
“I’m sharing this information in bullet points in order to keep my thoughts straight and not running together. We’ve been divorced for nearly 2 decades, there is no way I can share the entire story but, these are issues I remember as being the most damaging.”
Originally published by The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Blog.
Once you have hired a licensed real estate appraiser, real estate agent or done a comparable home search on the county appraisal website to determine a likely value for your home, you have done most of the work that is related to value your house for the purpose of selling it. The next thing you to do is consider whether or not you need to remove “incidental” costs associated with the sale of the home from that appraised value.
Incidental costs are things like closing costs and realtor fees. From my experience, these costs are way too speculative to include in the value of the house. Closing costs vary across properties and title companies. There are no specific cases that I am aware of in Texas that say one way or the other how this subject is to be treated. However, I would be willing to argue based on the previous couple points I made that they should not be deducted from the appraised value of the home.
Fair market value is what you are going after when looking for the value of your family home
Anyone of us who took high school economics is likely familiar with the term “fair market value.” This term can be defined as the amount that would be paid in cash by a willing buyer who desires to buy but is not required to buy, to a willing seller who desires to sell but is no under no necessity of selling. That definition is one that is pulled from something called the Texas Pattern Jury Charge. There is no mention of realtor charges or closing costs in that definition. Closing costs vary from transaction to transaction. Realtor costs may not even come into being if a realtor is not used or if the house is never actually sold.
Reimbursement claims and the family home
This is a subject that is near and dear to the heart of almost every person who goes through a divorce. Reimbursement claims can be a difficult subject to explain to clients because it is a concept that tugs at concepts of “fairness” and “equity.” If you contributed income to the separate property of your spouse, in a divorce you have a right to be reimbursed for those monies. However, it can be very difficult to calculate those kinds of claims.
There is nothing in the Texas Family Code that instructs a family court judge on how to calculate to proceed on a reimbursement claim made in conjunction with a divorce case. The judge has full discretion on determining how much reimbursement to award to a petitioning spouse or even whether or not to acknowledge the claim.
For instance, if your spouse has a separate property home with a mortgage on it that has been paid during the course of your marriage then you are in a position where you will need to prove how much of the principal of that mortgage has been reduced during the course of your marriage in order to proceed with a reimbursement claim. Mortgage statements pulled from the internet or requested directly from your lender are a means to do so. Many websites have amortization schedules that show how much of each mortgage payment goes towards principal, interest and escrow funds. Tax returns that show mortgage payments as well.
Finally, another relatively common reimbursement claim that we see in divorce cases is when community money is used to make improvements on a separate property home. An example could be if your spouse and you used your combined incomes to make an improvement on a home that you owned before you two got married. The value of your reimbursement claim would be how much the value of the home increased due to the improvements that were made.
As you could probably guess based on the time we devoted in yesterday and today’s blog posts to determining how to value your family home, this can be quite a difficult job. It is not readily apparent how much a new kitchen, pool, updated bathroom or solar panels on the roof actually added value to the home. A real estate agent can serve as an expert witness in this capacity if it were an issue brought up at trial.
How can your family home be divided in your divorce?
There are many options available to a judge when it comes to dividing up your family home in a divorce. Keep in mind that these options are only available to a judge if you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on your own when it comes to valuing the home and then either dividing it in a sale or allowing one of you to remain in the home while the other has their community property interest bought out.
Option number one is the clearest cut and simple for a judge: he or she would simply determine that the home is the separate property of either you or your spouse. No muss, no fuss. Next, the house could be awarded to either you or your spouse. Along with this option, the judge could award you the house but allow your spouse to reside in the home for a specific period of time after the divorce. This option could be chosen in the event that your spouse showed that it would be difficult to locate suitable housing quickly after the divorce.
For those of you who reside in rural areas, your real estate could be partitioned by the judge. For instance, consider that if you were awarded the home, your spouse could be awarded the majority of the land surrounding the home to compensate him for the loss he would take in his community property interest in that residence.
Finally, your house could be ordered to be sold and the equity (after closing costs and realtor fees) would be split between you and your spouse based on a percentage.
What happens with the mortgage on your home after a divorce?
This is a very relevant subject to discuss in conjunction with a divorce case. Most of us reading this blog post live in a suburban/urban environment in a single family home. Whether or not you would consider your immediate surroundings to be a neighborhood or not, it is likely that you and your spouse own a home in a neighborhood-type environment where the mortgage on that home bears both your name and that of your spouse. What many attorneys fail to do in connection with a divorce is properly explain what can happen with the mortgage once your divorce is over with. I will seek to provide you with some clarification on this subject so you enter your own divorce with a bit more knowledge.
Let’s say, for example, that your spouse is awarded the family home in your divorce case. He is also ordered to pay the mortgage going forward- a mortgage that has both of your names on it. Here is what I would tell you if you were represented by our office. First, the divorce decree is a legal document that is binding upon you and your spouse but it does not affect your personal obligation under the mortgage contract. If you’re soon to be ex-spouse fails to make payments on time for the mortgage then your credit score gets dinged.
Next, if you do well in the financial portions of your divorce and have a down payment ready to go for your next house you may have trouble qualifying for a mortgage. The reason for this is that your name is already on a mortgage to your former home. Your debt to income ratio will be skewed as a result of your technically owing money on another home. It is theoretically possible to not be able to qualify for a mortgage on your new house if your spouse is not current on payments on the “old” mortgage.
How can you get your name off the joint mortgage to your old house?
That discussion should lead you to ask the question of how, then, can you go about removing your name from the old mortgage to your former home?
One option that I have seen implemented in a final decree of divorce (the final orders for a divorce case in Texas) would be to order your spouse to refinance the home within X number of days from the date the divorce becomes final. No refinance is possible until the divorce is finalized since ownership of the home before that time is still in both your name and his. It is possible that your spouse, while able to be awarded the home in your divorce, does not qualify financially to be able to refinance the mortgage into their own name. A low income, low credit score, bad debt to income ratio or a combination of all of those factors could play into the reason why this is the case.
Another option to pursue could be that your spouse can sign documents that cause him to assume complete responsibility for the mortgage moving forward. The availability of this option depends on your lender. Your spouse should contact the mortgage lender as soon as he becomes aware that he is going to get the house in your divorce to see if this is an option that he can pursue. Again, however, your spouse needs to show that he can qualify for the process of assuming sole responsibility on the mortgage.
If neither of these two options is available then the home will likely be ordered to be sold by the judge. Most judges will not put you or your spouse in a position to fall behind in the mortgage payment and put both of you in a bad financial position. As a result, if no suitable arrangement can be made it is very likely that a sale of your home will commence.
Pulling equity out of your family home in a Texas divorce
Selling the home is by far the easiest method of pulling equity out of your home during a divorce. The equity can then be split between you and your spouse without much fuss, according to the terms of the judge’s orders or your mediated settlement agreement. Usually, if your spouse is awarded the home in your divorce then the equity can be pulled out in the following manners.
If your spouse gets the house, then you will be awarded a community property asset that equals the share of equity that would ordinarily be yours had the house been sold. Or, if there is insufficient community property to divide you may be able to get some portion of your spouse’s community property share as well as a separate property bank account of your spouse’s.
We will discuss the additional ways to cash out the equity stake in a family home in tomorrow’s blog post. We hope that you have enjoyed today’s blog and we will return tomorrow to finish up where we left off by talking more about cashing out equity in the family home.
Questions about divorce and dividing up the family home? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan stand ready to assist you with any questions or concerns you have regarding your Texas family law case. Our attorneys have represented clients in every family court in southeast Texas and we do so with a great deal of pride.
To learn more about your case, our office or family law, in general, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We offer free of charge consultations six days a week. These consultations are a great opportunity for you to ask questions and receive feedback about your specific circumstances. Thank you for spending time with us today in reading our blog post.
And remember- the Law Office of Bryan Fagan is On Your Side!
“There is no future without forgiveness.” Desmond Tutu
The single most important step you must take in order to move on after divorce is to forgive.
Over the course of your marriage, things must have been said and done by both yourself and your husband that were hurtful and toxic.
Hanging on to these hurts will perpetuate their destructive effect, unless and until they are released.
Hanging on to past hurts is like strapping an anchor to your neck and dragging it wherever you go.
Unforgiveness will bring you down and prevent you from rising up to your highest potential. It will deprive you of the peace that you need to create a happy life.
You won’t be able to start over with a clean slate if you’re still obsessed with the wrongs of the past.
When you forgive, you release yourself from the bondage of blame and resentment and break free from the spell past hurts have placed on you.
Forgiveness is freedom from judgment, ill feelings, and being “right” at the expense of being happy.
Sometimes we adopt a posture of righteous indignation because we mistakenly believe that not forgiving the other person makes him or her the bad guy while making us the victim, the nice guy. We feel morally superior.
But being unforgiving doesn’t make you good and the other person bad. It makes you unhappy! The other person can very well go on with his or her life untouched by your anger and hatred.
Remember, you deserve to be happy. So, tap on the power of forgiveness to set yourself free.
You need to forgive your husband for every wrong, real or perceived.
Yes, every single one of them. You need to forgive yourself for all the things you regret associated with your marriage and in every area of your life.
You need to forgive every person who, in your opinion, contributed to the breakdown of your marriage. That includes friends, relatives, in-laws, even “the other woman.”
This is hard stuff, I know, and don’t get mad at me for saying so. But as hard as this may be, it is essential to your happiness. Release the charge. Stop thinking about it, or at least think about it with neutral feelings.
We are often unwilling to forgive because we assume that forgiving turns us into doormats. That forgiving is condoning offensive behaviors. That, by forgiving, we are making them acceptable. We are enabling the perpetrator. We are inviting more of the same.
But that isn’t true.
Forgiving is not about condoning bad behaviors, especially forgiveness after a toxic marriage.
Some behaviors, abusive ones, in particular, are wrong and unacceptable, and should never be tolerated.
Those behaviors may have given you good reasons to end your marriage. But they do not justify ending your peace and depriving yourself of the happiness that is your birthright.
Forgiveness opens the door to a life of freedom and possibility.
Forgiveness makes room in your heart to allow love to flow in.
Maybe you’re not comfortable forgiving because you fear it makes you seem weak.
To the contrary, forgiving is empowering, because it dissolves the grip past hurts have over you. It allows you to face your vulnerabilities and gives you the opportunity to heal and dissolve them.
When you hang on to past hurts and resentments, you are giving your power away.
Holding on to resentment actually poisons you. It keeps you bound to the person you badly want out of your life.
Every time you think about the hurtful event, you are allowing it to continue hurting you over and over again, even after the conduct has stopped.
Some people hang on to hurts that happened long ago, by people who may no longer be alive. Who do you think is hurt by the unforgiveness? Not the dead guy, for sure!
You are not alone.
We have all been hurt, often by people we love. By people, we thought loved us. And we have to process feelings of betrayal as well.
Perhaps you have endured vicious behaviors that were totally uncalled for. You may think you have been inflicted the unforgivable. I understand.
I am not trying to minimize your pain, but open your mind to the possibility that other people have endured horrifying experiences, even worse than yours, and have found it in their hearts to forgive. Through forgiveness, these people have achieved freedom, and inspire us to allow the power of forgiveness to heal our deepest wounds.
Louise Hay had been sexually abused as a child. Yet, she turned her painful experiences into an occasion to heal herself and to help others heal through a lifetime of inspiring works. Likewise, Immaculee Ilibagiza, in her book “Left to Tell: Discovering God in the Midst of the Rwandan Holocaust,” shares her stirring story on achieving freedom through forgiveness, after her family members were murdered by friends and neighbors during the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s.
Their examples underscore how forgiveness can serve you.
Forgiveness doesn’t stop with your husband. Also, forgive yourself. The past is over and done. You cannot change it, but you can choose again. Learn your lessons and be the better person from it.
Consider incorporating a forgiveness practice into your life.
It will support you as you examine your relationship, decide whether to leave or stay and start your life anew, with or without your husband. It will pay dividends in every area of your life and will enable you to enjoy better relationships and a serene existence.
If you’re not sure how to go about it, there is plenty of help available. The subject is so vast and complex that you could fill a whole library with books about forgiveness. There are lots of amazing teachers, all of them courageously sharing their personal stories and unique forgiveness techniques. Find one that resonates with you. Or feel free to create techniques of your own if you can’t find one that is right for you.
My favorite book on the subject is “Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything” by Iyanla Vanzant. This fabulous little book comes with a built-in, 21-day workbook and includes a CD with guided meditation exercises for every day of your forgiveness journey. By day 14, I felt considerably lighter and more peaceful.
I have also found inspiration in Louise Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Life,” as well as Colin Tipping’s “Radical Forgiveness: Making Room for the Miraclewww.amazon.com/Radical-Forgiveness-Miracle-Tipping-Paperback/dp/B00OX8BXFG.”
You can also join forgiveness support groups at a local church or online.
The key is to allow the power of forgiveness to release you from the wounds of the past and pave the way for a brighter future.
If You’re Not Ready to Forgive Yet
Maybe your spouse or others have engaged in very damaging behaviors that you need to process. Perhaps your emotions are still too raw, and you are not yet ready to forgive. Be kind to yourself and honor your feelings.
Forgiveness requires you to be ready and receptive. You may want to wait until the heat is off, the dust settles and you are out of the emotional danger zone. That is perfectly okay.
Take baby steps down the road to forgiveness. Louise Hay taught that you can start by being willing to forgive. Take the first step now and get ready for a life in which your husband’s misdeeds are not even worthy of a passing thought.
Now you’re ready to begin anew. Rebuild your life on a clean slate with the power of forgiveness.
Note: Excerpt adapted from the book Solve the Divorce Dilemma: Do You Keep Your Husband or Do You Post Him on Craigslist? by Sonia Frontera.
The post Forgiveness After a Toxic Marriage: Here’s Why It’s Important appeared first on Divorced Moms.
Originally published by Family and Criminal Law Blog.
What is the Castle Doctrine and when might it apply in a Texas criminal case?
Texas’ so-called Castle Doctrine has become a topic of interest for people across the country due to the widely followed criminal case against Amber Guyger. Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was charged with murder after shooting unarmed Botham Jean in his apartment in 2018. At trial, off-duty police officer Guyger claimed that at the time of the shooting, she believed she was in her own apartment. Guyger lived exactly one floor down from Jean and was coming off a long shift. She claims she accidentally entered the wrong apartment, saw Jean’s silhouette and believed he was an intruder. She fatally shot her neighbor.
Guyger’s defense was multi-faceted, first requiring that the jury accept her assertion that she was operating under a mistake of fact. The jury had to believe that she indeed thought she was in her own apartment. Next, Guyger’s defense rests on the Castle Doctrine, which authorizes deadly force in the defense of yourself while on your property. Evidently, the jury did not accept Guyger’s defense, as she was convicted and recently sentenced to ten years. The case, however, raised interesting issues regarding the Castle Doctrine and when exactly it may prove successful.
What is the Castle Doctrine?
The Castle Doctrine is a term that describes the 2007 Senate Bill, which was passed to authorize the use of deadly forces under limited circumstances. The law states that if you are within your castle, which is defined as your home, business, or car, then deadly force used is presumed to be reasonable. The state bears the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the force used should not be deemed reasonable.
In the state of Texas, a defendant charged with murder or another crime of violence may be able to raise the claim of self-defense if they believed someone was illegally on their property; they reasonably believed deadly force was necessary; they did not provoke the person; and they were not engaged in criminal activity at the time the force was used.
In Guyger’s case, it is unclear whether the jury rejected the Castle Doctrine or the essential mistake of fact. Texas criminal defendants who acted in self-defense will want to ask their attorney about the castle doctrine to find out whether they may wish to raise this defense at trial.
In my work as a divorce coach, I’ve had a front row seat to all kinds of situations. Situations from easy to navigate divorce, amicable separations to crazy and antagonistic splits between couples. The tips below are based on, not only personal experience with divorce but, the knowledge that comes from years of working in the divorce industry.
I hope these tips help you before you say “I do” again and keep you from ever saying, “I don’t anymore” again.
7 Things You Should Consider Before You Get Married Again
1. Talk About Money Early in Your New Relationship
It is important that you and a potential future life partner have similar financial goals and habits. Even if the relationship is new, if you believe there is the possibility of it turning into something serious, how he deals with his finances is something you need to know.
If you find he is less than careful with his money, it could help you decide whether or not he is someone you want to consider becoming more involved with. And, don’t make the mistake of believing that you can change someone who has spent their life running up credit card debt or being less than responsible financially.
2. Make Sure You’ve Had Enough Alone Time
Even if you are confident about the way you feel, rushing into marriage is not a good idea. Sometimes people meet each other, and within three or four months, they say, “Oh this person is the one for me.” In my opinion, if you don’t know a person at least a year, you don’t know them well enough to marry them.
How long is long enough between marriages? That answer will be unique to you and your situation but, as a standard, I recommend waiting at least a year before believing you know exactly who your new love is and before jumping into a new marriage.
3. What Impact Will Marriage Have On Your Children?
Nothing torpedoes a second or third marriage like conflicts over the kids. His, hers, and yours together. Be realistic! Seriously realistic! The relationship you have with each other’s children will play a HUGE role in whether or not a marriage will last.
Spend time with each other in the company of your children. Make sure the children are familiar with each other. Allow yourself time to assess any problem areas and come up with a game plan on how to deal with those before marriage.
Children who are happy about a parent’s choice in a new mate before the marriage or, more than likely, going to be happy with the situation after the marriage. Be compassionate if your children struggle with your new love. All that means is, they need more time whether you do or not.
4. Consider What You Want to Do Differently This Time Around
You don’t want to take into a new marriage dysfunctional relationship skills that helped kill your last marriage. Consider things like, how did I communicate? What could I have done differently in my last marriage? How much energy did I put into nurturing our love? Was I more of a giver or taker? What makes me happy in a relationship?
These are questions that will help you identify areas you need to work on and what you need to change to make sure the next marriage doesn’t end in divorce also.
I recommend any person considering remarriage take an introspective look into why their first marriage failed and even consider therapy to make sure those old wounds have truly healed and aren’t being taken into a new marriage.
5. Discuss The Tough Questions with Your New Love
Don’t avoid talking about how you will create a successful marriage in the midst of challenges that come along with second and third marriages. Children, ex-spouses, ex-in-laws will all play a role in your new marriage.
Ask each other questions like, “What will be the rules for both of our children in our new home? What kind of relationship will each of us have with our exes? Is your spouse going to be spending time alone with his/her ex to discuss the children and how do you feel about that? How will we deal with conflict with our exes if or when it arises?”
No one likes baggage but, if you’ve been married before, like it or not, you will bring baggage into a new marriage. You both need to have a clear understanding of how that baggage will be dealt with.
6. Make Sure You Are Remarrying for The Right Reasons
Women marry for a myriad of reasons. They want financial security, they want a father for their children, they are afraid to be alone, they feel pressure from friends and family. All horrible reasons to remarry, reasons that will only lead to another divorce.
If a marriage doesn’t have a strong foundation or love and respect, it will be an exercise in futility. Hold off marrying again until you’ve fallen in LOVE regardless of how lonely you are, how much pain you are in financially and how much pressure you feel from friends and family.
7. Do You Need to Protect Yourself with a Prenuptial Agreement?
Finally, the most important decision before you remarry is deciding if a prenuptial is right for you. When remarrying you should consider having a prenuptial agreement if you have substantial assets or children to protect and/or want to avoid some of the financial problems that could occur if your marriage ends.
Prenuptial agreements are important and can spell out what assets and liabilities each partner is bringing into the marriage and determine how the assets brought into the marriage, and those acquired during the marriage, will be divided should there be a divorce.
The post 7 Things You Should Consider Before You Get Married Again appeared first on Divorced Moms.
In many marriages, one spouse may decide to earn an advanced professional degree to start a new career path or further an existing career. The degree might be for medicine, law, accounting, or another similar path, and earning an advanced degree is necessary to obtain a license to practice in many different professions.
The problem is that professional degree programs can be lengthy and rigorous, so it is imperative to have the support of a spouse while someone is pursuing this type of educational program.
Is Your Husband’s Professional Degree Marital Property?
How Wives Might Contribute to Professional Degrees
There are many ways that a wife can contribute to a professional degree for her husband. First, it can be difficult for a husband to work while pursuing a degree, so the wife may accept the full bread-winning responsibilities while her husband is in school. Her income might cover all of the household expenses, as well as educational expenses. After the degree is earned, a wife’s income might go toward paying off student loans and other educational costs.
An advanced degree and professional license can increase a husband’s income once he is done with school, which can improve the standard of living of both spouses moving forward. However, what happens if a divorce occurs? Does the husband get to solely enjoy the future benefits of his degree? Does a wife get reimbursed for her contributions to the professional degree?
How Degrees are Treated in Divorce
How a degree will be treated in your divorce will depend on the specific jurisdiction overseeing your case. Different jurisdictions have their own approaches regarding how degrees are treated in divorce. For example, for decades, the State of New York considered a degree to be marital property, and the value of the degree would be divided between divorcing spouses. However, New York reversed this policy as of 2016, and a degree is no longer treated as marital property.
That a degree is not marital property is the majority view of courts throughout the United States and Canada. Most states in the U.S. follow this principle, and the precedent in Ontario and other Canadian provinces is the same. Generally speaking, a degree or license cannot be sold or transferred like property, and the degree itself has no guaranteed future value without the choices and acts of the degree-holder to earn a living based on the degree.
However, this does not mean that a wife should get nothing in return for her contributions to a husband earning a degree. There are different ways courts handle this situation, depending on the specific circumstances at hand and the jurisdiction.
Options for Wives Regarding Professional Degrees
Courts can take different approaches to ensure that wives are fairly compensated for their sacrifices and contributions to a husband’s success. A couple of examples of how this matter might be addressed by a divorce court are as follows.
This approach acknowledges that a wife used marital assets to pay for the educational program, and requires the professional spouse to replace marital assets a wife lost as a result. While a wife does not necessarily have the right to a degree as property, she might have a right to reimbursement for her investments, from which she received no lasting benefits. This could be in the form of a larger property distribution, a lump-sum payment, or an alimony award.
Alimony as Compensation
In many situations, a husband’s professional degree will give him a higher earning potential for the future. On the other hand, a wife may have put her career aspirations on hold to support the household and husband while he earned the degree and professional license. When a divorce arises, the two spouses may have a discrepancy in their earning abilities.
A wife should not have a lower standard of living than her spouse after contributing to his professional degree and making sacrifices regarding her own career for the good of the marriage. In this situation, a court may award the wife alimony to accomplish one or more of the following:
- Compensate her for her contributions
- Help her enjoy the standard of living she had in the marriage if she cannot afford it based on her current earning power
- Allow her to obtain her own education or training needed to boost her career and earning potential
Overall, the law in most jurisdictions generally supports the fact that spouses have the duty to support one another, including to help them obtain professional degrees and meet other goals. For this reason, a degree is generally not considered to be marital property, though there are other ways that wives can be reimbursed for their selfless contributions to a spouse’s professional future.
When you and your spouse are discussing property division and possible alimony awards in your divorce case, it is important to know your rights in your jurisdiction. This can help avoid agreeing to a property division resolution that fails to properly compensate you for your contributions and sacrifices. It is always a wise idea to discuss the complicated property and financial issues, such as professional degrees and income discrepancies, with an experienced divorce lawyer who can advocate for your rights.
The post Is Your Husband’s Professional Degree Marital Property? appeared first on Divorced Moms.
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