- March 23, 2014
Whatever you bring with you to your divorce will color your experience. Make sure you’re bringing what you want to have!
My husband and I are going through the process of selling our home and buying a new one. If you’ve ever gone through the sale and purchase of a home, you know how stressful this process can be.
We’d been talking about moving for a couple of years, but hadn’t done anything else about it because it was easier to just stay put and complain instead of being willing to do what we knew to be right for us and move.
Luckily, when we were making some minor remodels to our home, we mentioned to our contractor that we were thinking of moving. Well, this woman heard our deep desire for something different and challenged us to put up or shut up.
We rose to the challenge – mostly. We still had some bumps in the road to getting our house ready to put on the market and fully committing to the work necessary on our parts. But, we did get our work done.
And you know what happened? We had a full-price contract on our home within 48 hours of putting it on…
Read more: What Are You Bringing to Your Divorce?
- March 16, 2014
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
- March 3, 2014
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
- February 24, 2014
Think you can only call in a family therapist to piece back together your relationship? Think again.
When you got married, you created a family — a family of two. Over the years your family may have expanded to include a goldfish, a dog or cat, and kids. What if you you decide to get divorced? You may not think so at the time, but you're still a family — a family with two homes, but still a family. That's why working with a family therapist, a helping professional who specializes in looking at a family as a whole, may be just the person to help you and your ex navigate the choppy waters of divorce.
You're probably wondering something like "How do I know if a family therapist would be helpful to my specific situation?" My best answer is to look at each family member individually. Has any one of them had marked changes in behavior (especially exhibiting combative behavior), or started relying inappropriately on other family members? If even one of your family members fits these descriptions, chances are your family could benefit from working with a therapist.
When changes like these happen suddenly, it's easy to admit that professional help is called for. What happens…
Read more: Getting Divorced? Why You May Still Need A Family Therapist
- February 18, 2014
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