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Healing After Divorce

Knowing Your Limits is Critical for Successful Divorce Recovery

Divorce recovery requires you to know your limits.

Know what behavior you will - and will not - accept.

Life changes a lot when you separate and divorce. Things that used to be a regular part of life just aren’t anymore. And when things change in unexpected ways, everyone can get scared, frustrated and angry.

When my clients and I begin our work together, they’re usually experiencing some combination of fear, frustration and anger. One of the first things we do is dive into what’s behind or at the root of these emotions. What we usually discover on our deep dive are limits or boundaries that have been disregarded in some way. The limits could be behaviors, expectations, thoughts, beliefs or even habits.

The identification of your personal limits is a critical part of restructuring your life during and after divorce. Some people are quite adept at identifying their limits – what they can and can’t do, what they think and why they think it, what they expect and why they expect it, and what their habits of thought, belief, response and action are. Others aren’t as aware of their limits. They aren’t quite sure of what their limits are or even if they want to know. These people tend to do and think…

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3 Tips for Dealing with Divorce

Man surprised by the tips for dealing with divorce.

Overwhelm is common in divorce. Use these 3 ideas to beat it as you’re dealing with divorce.

Do you ever feel all tangled up on the inside and didn’t know which direction to turn?

Or maybe you feel that you’re stuck in quicksand and it’s taking all your effort to just make it through each day?

Or worse, you feel that you’re wearing a choke-chain of all your responsibilities and don’t really know who you are anymore?

Don’t worry. I’ve been there. In fact, everyone I know who has been through divorce has been there too. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you’re dealing with divorce. Overwhelm can be hard to overcome and yet it’s a common part of divorce. Knowing how to get through it or stop it all together is a critical skill to develop as you’re dealing with divorce. What I’m going to share with you today are some of the techniques I regularly use with myself, my family and my clients when things start to feel overwhelming.

1. Change your story.

When I was finding my way through the aftermath of my divorce, I used to tell myself really scary stories. They were stories of doom and I told them over…

Read more: 3 Tips for Dealing with Divorce

Ready To Get Over Your Divorce? Quit Playing This Tricky Game

The faster you move past blame the faster you'll heal from your divorce.

I was 8 when my family moved from Toledo, OH to San Jose, CA. I loved the adventure of being in a new place, being able to walk to school, the road-side stands selling bing cherries and I really loved cable TV.

Back in the early 70s, cable TV wasn’t a fact of life like it is today. Being able to almost always find something kid-friendly and interesting to watch whenever I wanted was awesome!

Some of the re-runs I’d watch after school were Password, The Dating Game, The Gong Show and The Newlywed Game. Of course being so young, I didn’t understand all of the jokes in these shows but I loved watching them because everyone was laughing so much.

All of these memories came rushing back last week when a woman reached out to me asking if there wasn’t something she could do to get all that should belong to her in the divorce. Of course I was confused at first because she was calling from Texas and Texas is a no-fault divorce and community property state. When I probed a bit deeper, she let me know that because her husband…

Read more: Ready To Get Over Your Divorce? Quit Playing This Tricky Game

Getting Divorced: Are You Still Lovable?

A celebrity break-up can help you discover that you are definitely still lovable.

I recently read an article ridiculing Robin Thick for giving his estranged wife, Paula Patton, gifts and public apologies to woo her back. What I found so interesting is the obvious derision the author had for his attempts.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning cheating. I’m also not ignoring the fact that it takes a lot of hard work by both parties for a relationship to survive an affair. What I am surprised by is how the author of the article assumes that Thicke’s attempts are obviously wrong.

Gary Chapman has done some important work on love languages that is important to consider before an outsider can make any judgments on the validity of Thicke’s or anyone else’s attempts at showing love and apologizing.

Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages, identifies five different ways that people give and receive love: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. We each naturally express love in the ways that we prefer to receive love.

Considering Thicke’s attempts to woo Patton back involve public apologies and lavish gifts, I’m guessing that two of his preferred love languages are words…

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Pesky Divorce Lies You Must Stop Telling Yourself

You are so much stronger than you think.

"I abdicated responsibility for myself." That’s what I heard every time I looked in the mirror.

"I abdicated responsibility for myself." I heard it again anytime I allowed myself even a brief break from being busy — way too busy.

"I abdicated responsibility for myself. I abdicated responsibility for myself. I abdicated responsibility for myself." It was a horrible, accusing chant that never let up.

It was also true.

When I got divorced, I had to face a lot of things — a lot of things that didn't make me feel so hot about myself. This one, giving up responsibility for myself, was one of the hardest because it was so embarrassing; because I was an incredibly responsible person when it came to everyone and everything else, and because I wasn't exactly sure how to take responsibility for me.

Like most girls my age, I grew up with a set of confusing expectations. My mom stayed at home. Her daily focus was on raising the five of us kids and taking care of our home. My dad was the breadwinner and took care of the yard and cars. Yet my parents were well aware of the social changes going…

Read more: Pesky Divorce Lies You Must Stop Telling Yourself