Going through a divorce can really rock your world, leaving you feeling confused and fragile. It’s tough to see the path that will lead you out of the fog…now that it’s over and you’re officially done with the whole divorce system, how do you let go and move forward?
How do you create space for your body, mind, and spirit to heal?
Spiritual Healing After Divorce
You are the author of your story. You are your own champion. You can turn your loss into leverage. Take charge of your happiness and feed your soul with these seven directives.
1. Allow yourself time to grieve.
Divorce can hurt physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. Allow yourself space to get through raw feelings of grief, to truly honor the struggle before diving into recovery and reinvention. Be patient and grace-driven with yourself in the healing process.
2. Learn to control your thoughts.
Our thoughts trigger our emotions. Our daily thinking patterns lay the stage for what we believe and how we live our life. During times of stress, we tend towards negative thinking. Try to notice when your thoughts lead you to shut down emotionally, and take time to reflect on those thoughts; how can you release and redirect them so you can make room to heal?
3. Free yourself from a victim mentality.
Many of us fall into a habit of blaming, especially when it comes to how we treat ourselves. Often, we self-blame because we see ourselves as the victim. Unfortunately, playing the victim can become a habit that excuses us from accountability and shackles us to shame. But do you really want to convince yourself that you’re at the mercy of other people or a situation? Or do you want to live an empowered life?
4. Notice your fears.
Common fears that result from divorce are abandonment, rejection, judgment, and isolation. Notice your fear “trigger points”, and think about how that played out in your relationship. Are there ways that you can learn to recalibrate and recover from these fears? When you’re conscious of your mind and body balance and you feel secure, you begin to deactivate your fear center which allows you the freedom to walk into spiritual healing.
5. Lean into your emotions.
To heal, it is necessary to face the pain of your divorce. There are feelings you ignored which became stored in your body. When you are in patterns of denying and storing emotions, your brain identifies suppression with trauma. To recover from trauma, you have to face the thing that was painful enough to make you deny these feelings and overcome it. By allowing yourself to honestly face reality, you’re starting the healing process. Facing your vulnerability makes you more able to grow spiritually.
6. Renew your mind.
Pray for the wisdom to discern truth from lies when it comes to your divorce. Surrender the lies, and fill your mind with truth, thereby lifting the burden of guilt. When let go of the parts of your circumstance that you can’t control, you create space to think clearly.
7. Be Present
After divorce, it’s easy to ruminate on where you may have gone wrong. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t be anxious about the future. Being in the present moment, taking part in vital energy that all human beings share, is the essence of spirituality. It enables us to escape from regret and anxiety. All you’ll get from dwelling on the past is bitterness, and that will only stunt your healing. Ground yourself in the present.
This process will take consciousness, choice, accepting responsibility, time to reflect, and an awareness of your energy and thought processes. But things will get better over time. You can heal from the brokenness and reemerge new, whole, and healthy.
The post 7 Ways To Make Room For Spiritual Healing After Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.
I spoke with a client last week who is working her way through her third divorce. We were on the phone for an hour and she spent forty-five minutes talking about problems she had experienced in her first marriage. Problems that happen to be the same problems she is experiencing in her third marriage.
She will soon have three ex-husbands that she still ruminates over, blames for her inability to have a successful marriage and spends an excessive amount of time talking about with anyone who will listen.
Why is her head still stuck in her three failed marriages? Because she didn’t do the work she needed to do after her first divorce before jumping into her second marriage and third marriage. She believes that love and marriage will solve her problems when all she is doing is taking those problems into each of her marriages.
My client didn’t get over her first divorce which only led to more divorces. To keep you from making the same mistake, I encourage you to do the work needed to get over your divorce before jumping back into another relationship and marriage.
Everyone who ends a marriage will grieve the emotional investment they had in the marriage. They will grieve the loss of plans, hopes, and dreams they had with their spouse and for their future. Some experience that grieving process before the divorce, some are left to deal with the grieving after the marriage is over.
Wherever one finds themselves in the grieving process, it’s important to move through it in order to move forward with life and become whole, emotionally, financially, mentally and spiritually. And able to have a successful second marriage.
How does one get over a divorce in a healthy manner? See below:
10 Ways to Get Over Your Divorce Before Remarrying
1. Controlled Communication
It’s probably best to avoid communication with an ex, if possible. If you have children, that won’t be possible so, when communicating focus on keeping the communication emotionally safe. If you must discuss child related issues, stick to talking only about child related issues. If you didn’t want the divorce and are hoping for a reconciliation, it’s important for your own emotional wellbeing to keep any communication strictly business.
2. Let Go of Unhelpful Thinking Patterns
It’s normal after a divorce to wander off into “woulda coulda shoulda” type thinking. Thinking about whether the marriage could have been saved only keeps you stuck and unable to move forward with your life. Indulging in “what ifs” and thinking about how things could’ve been will not help you cope with the reality of your divorce. Thinking about things that could have happened but never will happen is a waste of time and emotional energy. That kind of thinking promotes longings for something you can’t have, regret over something that is over and done with and more emotional pain that you don’t need.
3. Behave Yourself!
Sometimes divorce can make us behave in ways we normally wouldn’t and that can get nasty, quite quickly. Don’t badmouth your ex, don’t call them over the phone and express your anger, don’t use the children to punish your ex, don’t play mind games with child support and visitation. Anger is a difficult emotion for anyone to deal with and unfortunately, it’s a common emotion experienced after a divorce.
Fight the urge to misbehave. Screaming and shouting rarely makes an ex want to have a civil relationship with you. Name calling and finger pointing will make you look immature and irrational. If you need to scream and shout, do it alone or in the company of a close friend who you can trust to keep it to themselves. And, if you can’t get a handle on your anger, get into therapy so it can be worked through.
Have some pride and hold yourself to standards that would never allow you to let anger get the best of you.
4. Stay Away from People Who Don’t Promote Healing and Moving On
Surround yourself with people who are positive and willing to call you out on thinking and behaviors that hold you back from getting over your divorce. Steer clear of negative people who enjoy stirring the pot and encouraging your negative feelings. It’s natural to want to vent to those who will cheer you on and support your point of view BUT even though they feel they are giving you what you need, they are actually keeping you from focusing your energy elsewhere and in a more positive manner.
Spend time with friends and family that offer support and positivity, warmth and comfort. Those who will help you feel good about yourself, where you are in life and guide you in a direction that promotes growth and not stagnation.
5. Talk About Something Other than Your Divorce
Vent if you feel the need but know when enough is enough. Constant talking and thinking about your divorce saturates your mind and before long there will be room for nothing but negative thinking in your head. That can lead to feelings of depression and being overly emotional.
When it comes to getting over a divorce, your head and what goes through your head is your greatest tool. If you drown your brain with constant negative thoughts about your divorce, you’ll find yourself going down for the third time and unable to recover and move on.
Give yourself a certain amount of time daily to talk and think about your divorce. The rest of the day distract yourself with positive thoughts and activities. It’s making room for the good stuff in your head that will encourage healing after a divorce.
6. Don’t Drink Away Your Grief
Alcohol numbs, it doesn’t heal. Drinking to numb the pain of a divorce can have serious effects on your mood, your behavior and your overall wellbeing. Drinking is an easy way to avoid the pain you’re in but, it will only extend the grieving process and stall the moving on process.
7. Evict Thoughts of Your Ex from Your Head
You had a daily relationship with your ex. Even if you wanted the divorce it can take time to stop thinking about your ex. Wondering how they are and what they are doing will be normal thoughts that go through your head. If you didn’t want the divorce such thoughts may become obsessive for you. You’ve been forced to let go of a relationship you wanted to hold onto, it’s only natural that part of your grieving process will be focusing on your ex’s whereabouts, who they are with, how they are spending their time.
It’s important that you remain aware that an obsessive need to keep up with your ex will lead you into harmful and painful territory. Letting go of a relationship you’d rather be nurturing is one of the hardest things any of us is called upon to do. If you’re going to get over your loss and move forward in a positive manner with your life, you need to let go of the need to keep tabs on and constantly think about your ex.
8. Allow Yourself to Feel
Divorce brings with it difficult emotions. You will feel sadness, anger, confusion, fear, anxiety and many other negative emotions attached to divorce. It’s natural to want those emotions to go away and for you to do whatever you feel will soothe them.
It’s important to feel and work through these negative emotions. The biggest mistake you can make is to bury negative emotions or put a band aid over them. Divorce puts us all in a vulnerable position emotionally. Don’t fear that vulnerability, embrace it and work through it by expressing your feelings in a healthy manner. Talk to a friend, family member or therapist about how you are feeling. Allow yourself to feel those feelings, acknowledge them and in time they will fade.
9. Stay Away from Places That Were Special to You Two
To get over your divorce you want to avoid anything that will cause added pain. Visiting a restaurant that you two spent your first anniversary will bring up memories that can be painful. Seeing a movie at the same theater you two frequented may cause discomfort due to reminders of your ex. Consider places you two shared time together off limits until you can go there and it no longer hurts.
10. Focus on You!
Last but most important, focus on you, your immediate needs and your future. No one moves forward if their head and heart are stuck in the past. No one benefits personally if they don’t focus on their emotional and physical needs first.
Be sure you are eating and exercising properly. Daily, take the time to set goals for yourself. Goals that focus on what you want and need out of life going forward. Take the needed steps to meet those goals. Life doesn’t end with a divorce. In twenty years, you don’t want to look back and think to yourself, “I wasted years of my life when I didn’t accept and get over that divorce.”
Smile daily, work at personal growth and learning new relationship skills. Get rid of reminders of your ex in your home that evoke negative memories, treat yourself with patience and kindness. And, move forward rebuilding a life that promotes pride and contentment.
The post 10 Ways to Get Over Your Divorce Before Marrying Again appeared first on Divorced Moms.
Empowerment is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights. Becoming more empowered is something we all have the ability to do.
Family Court is set up to be adversarial. It pits one parent against another. This unfortunately feeds into the narcissist’s ego defence which is to win at all costs. They do this by masterfully playing the role of either hero or victim (often both at the same time). They will claim you are alienating them or abusing them. They will even manipulate the children to confirm their story thus proving their prowess.
I have worked with hundreds of parents who have sought support and protection for them and their children from Family Court only to be disappointed and disillusioned to see that the court is easily duped by the narcissist and given more time with the children. In many cases the narcissist manages to use Family Court to cut the other parent completely out of the child’s life.
How can this happen?
One would think that those highly experienced in law (solicitors and judges) would have what it takes to easily recognise deception, or at least know how to ensure that a person is examined thoroughly enough to make reasonably sure that they are telling the truth. But those in law are just as vulnerable to the highly skilled narcissist as the average person is.
Narcissists love the court arena because they get to take centre stage and express their grandiosity. It feeds their ego and they seek to control the process. Some will do this by not turning up, issuing last minute changes to mean you have little or no time to prepare. Others will keep breaching the order so you have to take them back to court. They will all threaten court repeatedly as a way to control you and get their own way – “if that’s what you want, then we had best go back to court”. The fact they get to financially ruin in the process is the cherry on the cake for them.
Because narcissist’s are naturally talented imposters, charmers, and deceivers, many judges get duped on a routine basis by narcissistic parents, who are simply using the court and the judge to continue to humiliate, exert control, and abuse their ex, and force their ex to react to them in some way. Narcissists live to manipulate and control others emotions, self-esteem, and behaviours. Many will describe the ‘high’ they get from manipulating others successfully, and if they get the judge to believe them, they will begin to brag that the judge is their ‘ personal friend’.
How Can They Get Away With It
Narcissist’s get away with what they get away with because they are so very talented at presenting themselves as innocent victims of their ex, their boss, their parents, etc. etc. They have an uncanny talent to manipulate situations and people and to twist the obvious facts to fit their lies. You know in your own relationship how they managed to convince you that they were worth falling in love with. This is their own personal superpower – manipulating others.
Part of the problem is that in the context of family court, no one really believes that a parent (especially ones who presents so well) can be so cold, calculating and abusive to use their own children to hurt their ex in such extreme ways. Nor do they believe that children would lie about such matters as being abused. I always found this very strange because, having worked in child protection, we know that child abusers ARE highly manipulative and deceptive AND that children will lie to protect the abuser.
Narcissists have survived by understanding people and how they tick. They know exactly how to get others to do their bidding and convince them it is all of their own doing. Charles Manson is a prime example of how charming and manipulative a narcissist can be at getting people to do the unthinkable. The problem in Family Court is that no judge (or professional) will ever want to admit they have been manipulated like that. It hurts their ego as well and so very often, they will continue on the path the narcissist has led them down to save their own ego. People are inherently selfish and so even those charged with protecting children rarely act from a completely unbiased and empathic place. It’s human nature. We all want to be seen to do the right thing and not be criticised. Narcissists use this to control others.
How can court recognise a narcissist
Firstly I would always advise against labelling your ex as a narcissist (unless they have an official clinical diagnosis). You are not a psychologist or psychiatrist and so you cannot diagnose them. To do so undermines you. There are ways however that you can alert the court and professionals to the behaviours which are problematic:
- Narcissists will continuously be going back and forth to court sometimes with issues which barely make sense or are fully nonsense or are taken back to court for repeatedly breaching the order
- They will be constantly changing legal representation
- They may attempt to act as an equal or friend to professionals
- They can be very demanding about the treatment they receive when attending court
- They present as being very agreeable but breach the order within days (sometimes hours) of leaving court
- They will refuse to take any responsibility for anything
- There will be multiple, unsubstantiated claims of abuse/harassment against the ex
- There may be a pattern of behaviours in past relationships
- There is inconsistency in what they say and how they behave
- There may be multiple allegations of abuse against the ex but with NFA’s from the police
- The children display very black and white thinking against the other parent (one is all good, the other all bad)
- The narcissist has cut contact with everyone involved with the ex including all the children’s aunts and uncles
How to make judges take notice
The reality is that within the court arena it is very hard for judges to decipher everything. They are reliant upon other professionals, usually social workers, to provide them with reports and recommendations. It is therefore important that, as a parent going through this process, you remain child focused and allow the narcissist’s behaviour to reveal itself.
- The court can order both parents into counselling towards the goal of effective co-parenting. Once a custody order is made, the court can monitor the compliance of both parents. This is often when the narcissist begins to show their true colours. They just cannot comply with any authority other than their own self-inflated opinions and will. In most cases, if they comply at all with the counselling (many do not even make it to one session), it only takes a short time before they will discredit the counsellor, petition the court for some other counsellor, and just stop showing up. What they really want is a counsellor that cannot ‘see through them’ and find one that they can manipulate for their own purposes, meaning supporting their position that their ex is persecuting them.
- Another option is for the family to undergo a psychological evaluation. Usually this will entail the psychologist spending time with each parent individually, the children separately if possible and the children with each parent. They will then evaluate the dynamics and make recommendations to the court about next steps. It really helps if the psychologist can include a thorough description of the IMPACT and capacity for change of the parents within these situations. Unfortunately I have seen time and time again where psychological evaluations identify the issues but fail to inform the court what this means. Again, judges are not mental health or child development professionals. They need guidance on what this means for the children moving forward and the impact of any action taken.
- As the other parent, you can contribute to this process by not biting when the narcissist tries to bait you. They will deliberately push your buttons in public to get a reaction out of you which they will then use as “evidence” of all the allegations they are making about you. It is therefore important that you prepare fully for court both in terms of how you feel on the day but also dealing with your own trauma from the relationship. We have specifically designed our Get Court Ready programme to help you with this. It provides you with tools, insights and activities to rewrite the narcissists narrative, manage your own emotions and protect the children. Find out more at the Get Court Ready page on our website.
Finally, it would greatly benefit all professionals involved in child protection (solicitors, judges, social workers, court workers) to undergo basic training on personality disorders, domestic abuse and parental alienation. This will at least provide them with an additional theory to examine the evidence against. I personally have developed numerous courses on these areas which are CPD accredited and available online. Head to my other website, Child Protection Centre, for more details.
What are your experiences of Family Court? What more do you think can be done?
The post 3 Ways To Make Family Court More Aware Of Narcissism appeared first on The Nurturing Coach.
Explain your divorce to your child in the simplest way possible. They do not need the sordid details of why you are separating or who broke whose heart.
The post Divorce Care: 8 Ways to Help your Child Deal with your Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
Learning to identify and cope with your emotional triggers is vital to a healthy second marriage. Recognizing the triggers that provoke extreme responses will lessen the risk of sabotaging your marriage by withdrawing or issuing ultimatums, such as threatening divorce.
The post 5 Ways to Cope With Emotional Triggers After Remarriage appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
We hear a lot about how women are favored during divorce but, in my opinion, the opposite is true. No one can hold onto resentment and anger like a man and nothing proves that more than the outrageous behavior by some during a high conflict divorce.
A woman’s only recourse is the protections afforded her by the Family Court and, bless our hearts, there aren’t many protections there.
I know a woman who has been divorced for over 12 years and still has legal issues with her ex. He constantly files a petition or motion with the court. It can be for something as simple as extracurricular activities her children are involved with to not liking the therapist her children are seeing. He makes NO attempt to negotiate and settle issues with the mother of his children. There is no emailing back and forth over a certain situation. He goes straight to the courts.
A woman has no defense against such a man. She is vulnerable to such a man’s whims because the Family Court allows the nonsense to continue year after year.
She has NO protection!
4 Ways The Family Court Fails to Protect Women During High Conflict Divorce
1. Failure to Protect Against Defiant Exes
If a woman is divorced from a man who defies court orders, she has no recourse via the Family Court. She can file a contempt of court motion but that’s like pissing into the wind. She will spend money on an attorney only to get a new order and listen to a judge tell her ex to “get it done or else,” and the or else never happens. The problem with contempt of court is this, a new court order means nothing to a man with a history of defying court orders.
2. No Protection from Crushing Financial Expense of Divorce
Most women going through the divorce process are stay-at-home Moms or the lower income earner in the marriage. They start the divorce process in a one-down position because they don’t have access to the best attorneys and experts to advocate for them. The Family Court takes none of this into consideration during the process and there is an old saying that is true, “the one with the money wins in Family Court.”
3. No Protection for Victims of Domestic Abuse
Victims of domestic violence are especially vulnerable in the Family Court system. Their main concern is naturally protecting their children from a violent man and with the courts’ main focus on not separating a child from a parent, the domestic abuse victim has to have substantial evidence of abuse to protect their children via the court.
What professionals fail to realize is that women in abusive situations don’t call attention to their abuse. Doing so can only lead to more abuse. So, instead of going to the emergency room so they’ve have a record of injuries or filing police reports, they stay quiet out of fear of inviting more abuse upon themselves and their children.
If a woman doesn’t have substantial evidence of abuse and brings up accusations of abuse in court she can be viewed as making false allegations of abuse and attempting to alienate a father from his child. Women all over the country are losing custody rights to violent men due to the lack of protection abuse women received in the Family Court.
4. Failure to Protect Children from Harm
If you’re divorced from a bully hell-bent on using your child as a pawn to punish you, the “best interest” doctrine, flies right out the window. A Family Court judge will NOT hold a man harming his children emotionally, accountable. I think they believe that a bad father is worse than no father so, purposely put children in harm’s way so they can tell themselves “at least the child still has 2 parents.” And, as someone who raised her children alone, with no contact from their father, I can say that, that belief is straight up BS!
The post Let’s Talk Divorce: 4 Ways The Family Court Fails To Protect Women During High Conflict Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.
Divorce is synonymous with overwhelm and not only due to the details of reaching a settlement. Collateral damage often occurs in divorce’s impact on a person’s health and is often neglected. It is something that might not even be a consideration, but must be one.
The post 8 Surprising Ways Divorce Affects Health and Wellness appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
My ex always tries to one-up me when it comes to gift giving. One year, he asked me to let everyone on my side of the family know that my son was not allowed to accept video games as a Christmas gift. He then explained that my son was grounded and unable to play video games until he began to mind his manners at home.
His Christmas wish list was mostly comprised of video games, but we scrambled to find him toys and books that he might like instead in order to respect his father’s wishes.
As I had done in previous years, I tried to coordinate shopping efforts to avoid duplicate presents. Up until Christmas Eve, my ex still claimed that he had not gone Christmas shopping. Later, I found out that he had lied and purchased the video games from the original Christmas wish list by my son.
Does this sound familiar? While I was baffled by his deception, it did not overshadow the wonderful memories we created that Christmas. So, how can you win the Christmas gift giving battle with your ex?
3 Ways to Win the Christmas Gift Giving Battle With Your Ex
1. Keep the spirit of the holiday season.
“Your children need your presence more than your presents” (Jesse Jackson). Gift giving is an essential part of the holidays, but not the most important part. Figure out what makes this holiday special to you. If you were raised in a traditional Christian home, you may have been taught to observe Christmas as the day that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ and participate in religious ceremonies. If you are not religious, you may simply dedicate Christmas day to celebrating love, kindness and togetherness amongst friends and family.
Either way, Christmas is a day to create loving memories with your children. Keep the spirit of joy. Do not let anger and resentment about perceived wrongdoing by your ex keep you from enjoying what is most important.
2. Master the art of unique gift giving.
It is not the gift that counts, but the thought behind it. Buying the latest video game is too easy. Think outside the box and locate unexpected gifts by actively listening to your children. Did they marvel at something as simple as a cool pair of house slippers you spotted one day while shopping in Target?
Make them feel special by putting together a gift set with the slippers, a matching robe, nighttime snacks and a pack of hot chocolate for a thoughtful Christmas Eve present. They will know you were listening and that you care enough to put some actual effort into your gift giving. Or, go for individual touches like preparing a Christmas stocking full of age appropriate trinkets you know they’ll appreciate (such as Angry Birds plush toys for young ones, or Apple iTunes gift cards for your older children).
3. Remember that it is not about you.
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe). What matters the most is that your children are happy. Focus on making their happiness the priority. Think back to your fondest memories of Christmas. It is impossible to remember every gift you received, but you probably remember the experiences you shared with those around you.
Keep that in mind as you strive to do the best you can for your children, no matter how much money you spend or how elaborate the gifts. Mark this as a time in which petty annoyances by your ex become less consequential and start to establish a pattern of positive thinking that will not only win you the battle but may even win you the war.
The post 3 Ways to Win the Christmas Gift Giving Battle With Your Ex appeared first on Divorced Moms.
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