Life After Divorce

3 Signs Your Ex Is An Emotional Bully (And How To Handle It)

Feeling beat up every time you talk to your ex? Don’t let them get to you anymore.

Do you feel drained after every conversation, text, or email with your ex? If so, you might be dealing with an emotional bully.

For most of us, divorce is already a very emotionally difficult time. We're grieving the losses and loneliness. We're afraid we're not good enough and we even wonder if anyone will ever really love us.

Brené Brown says that the twin fears of 'not being good enough' and 'fear of disconnection' are at the root of shame. Leveraging these natural shame-based fears against us during divorce is exactly the tactic emotional bullies use.

Emotional bullies manipulate through shame and blame. They're masters of creating even more misery during a time when we're already vulnerable.

So, how do you know if your ex is an emotional bully? Here are three of their tactics (and how to deal with them):

  1. Nothing you do is ever good enough. Your ex makes statements like "... and you say you put the kids first," "you should be ashamed of yourself," and, "you never were any good at ____."

    To deal with this type of bullying, you must do two things. First, remember you are…

Read more: 3 Signs Your Ex Is An Emotional Bully (And How To Handle It)

How to Add Some Happiness to Your Holidays

Forget the pasted on smiles. Here’s a practical way to add real happiness to your holidays.

Unlike Grandma’s fudge recipe, the first holidays post-split aren’t usually a recipe for happiness. More often than not, you’re trying to paste a smile on your face during the day and facing long nights of extreme sadness. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be like this.

A few years ago, Martin Seligman released his book Authentic Happiness, and in it he explained the Equation for Lasting Happiness. (An equation really appeals to my geeky side, but don’t worry if math isn’t your thing. I promise this is an easy equation to understand.)

The equation looks like this: H = S + C + V
H is Lasting Happiness
S is Inherited Happiness Set Point
C is Conditions of Living
V is Voluntary Actions or Daily Choices You Make

What this equation means is that to experience more lasting happiness, you can try to improve your inherited happiness set point, your conditions of living, and the daily choices you make.

Let's start with your inherited happiness set point, S. We all have one of these, and one set point isn't better than another. Your set point is just your set point. According to Seligman, adjusting S isn't so…

Read more: How to Add Some Happiness to Your Holidays

Special Occasions Can Still Be Special After You’re Divorced

Child celebrating special occasions after divorce

One of my clients recently asked me if it was weird for her to want to be friends with her ex-husband’s sister. I asked her for a few more details about the relationship to see if I could figure out why she was asking this question. She started squirming in her chair as she gave me the details. It turns out she was feeling weird about wanting to remain friends with her former sister-in-law because she thought she wasn’t supposed to.

The first special occasion I attended with my husband’s family was weird for me because his ex-wife was there and each of his siblings referred to her as their sister-in-law. I had all these thoughts about them sending me a message that I wasn’t welcome.

My client and I had both bought into the common belief that once you divorce, you’re expected to divorce the entire family and might even declare them enemies.

What I’ve come to realize and teach is that the common belief is WRONG. Each relationship you have is unique. Each relationship can grow, wither, and transform. Each relationship can do this independently of the others if you’re both willing to let it.

What all this means is that family occasions…

Read more: Special Occasions Can Still Be Special After You’re Divorced

3 Essential Truths That Will Help You Find Life Balance, FINALLY!

Self-care is essential to life balance the way inhaling is essential to breathing.

I’m turning 50 in just a few days. Honestly, I’m excited about it. This has honestly been the best part of my life because I’ve finally found balance, and for me balance translates to happiness.

But finding it and learning how to hold on to it took me years to figure out. And, I wish it hadn’t. So, I’m going to tell you the 3 best life balancing truths I learned so that you can skip to the front of the line and enjoy more happiness, too.

1. Having balance doesn't mean balancing everything at once. 
For most of my life I thought, just like almost everyone else, that balance meant balancing everything I was doing and getting it all done as perfectly as possible. While I was a child living at home, this was pretty easy to do. I just had to balance school, play and chores. Aren't there times when you long for those days, too?

By the time I was a teenager, I had a part-time job and boyfriends to add to my very simple balancing act. As most teenagers idealistically do, I thought I had the whole life balance…

Read more: 3 Essential Truths That Will Help You Find Life Balance, FINALLY!

30 Awesome Ideas for Valentine’s Friend Dates

Tip #20: Visit a pet shelter for some serious snuggle time.

Whether you're single by choice or circumstance, Valentine's Day can seem more like Single's Awareness Day instead of a day celebrating love. Rather than dreading February 14, why not try something different? Celebrating with your girlfriends is a great alternative to sitting at home alone or feeling jealous about the flowers that co-worker received from her boyfriend.

So in the spirit of love, here are 30 ideas to spark your creativity for celebrating this Valentine's Day with your besties.

  1. Host a karaoke night.
  2. Have a Wii dance party. You might want to try Zumba, belly dancing, disco or stripper moves.
  3. Go out for manis and pedis.
  4. Treat each other to lunch. Yes, you'll each still have a bill, but somehow it's still fun to know you were treated to lunch!
  5. Send each other a gift at work.  Who doesn't love to receive flowers or chocolate for Valentine's Day and letting the whole office see?
  6. Send each other "what I love about you" notes. This is your chance to tell her how much you love her brilliance or kindness or sense of humor or…  And you'll get to hear the same from her!
  7. You've…

Read more: 30 Awesome Ideas for Valentine’s Friend Dates

Articles Search