- February 20, 2015
The path to move on from divorce and divorce recovery isn’t straight and narrow.
I recently got a new computer. And if you've ever had to transfer files from one computer to another, you know that it can be kind of fun to take a peek at what has been hogging up space on your hard drive.
Well, on my expedition through all of my files, I found emails in my inbox that were more than ten years old! Some of these ancient notes even had details about the negotiations my ex and I went through to settle our divorce in 2002. Not really anything I need to have hanging around any more, right?
Believe it or not, I paused before hitting delete and trashing all of that ancient correspondence. I was flooded with a variety of thoughts and questions. "Those emails were part of my personal history," I thought to myself. They were part of what defined me — back then. "Would I be throwing away a piece of myself if I deleted those emails? Would I be disrespectful of that old relationship?"
Yes, ten whole years after my divorce was complete, seeing those emails brought up some of the turmoil that I went through when…
Read more: There’s No Finish Line For Divorce Recovery
- January 30, 2015
Simple ideas for finding the hope you need.
When you’re in the depths of divorce despair and you’re wondering whether or not you can stand the pain for one more second, you need to find hope. You need to find hope that you will stop hurting so much. And, you need to find hope that you can be happy again.
Some people find hope through prayer and their belief in something larger than themselves. They can find comfort in their faith. They know that no matter how alone they are feeling in any instant, they’re never truly alone.
But not everyone has this kind of faith and some find their faith faltering in the face of their grief.
How else can you find the hope you need to heal from your divorce?
You might find hope by spending time outdoors and connecting with nature. You might find hope by enjoying your children. You might find hope by playing with or cuddling your pet. You might find hope by talking with someone who understands the pain of divorce because they’ve been through it and survived to create a happier life for themselves. You might even find hope by reading inspirational quotes.
When I went through my…
Read more: In the Depths of Divorce Despair? Here’s How to Find Hope
- January 20, 2015
Love and respect is earned from a child, not demanded.
If you're thinking of marrying someone with kids, or if you've got kids and you're getting married, your kids are going to gain a stepparent. Blended families are challenging and cause stress on your marriage.
However, here are five rules for being a stepparent that help improve harmony in both your marriage and your blended family:
1. A stepparent is NOT the parent. A stepparent is a "bonus" parent in a child's life. As a bonus parent, giving gifts in an effort to buy a child's affection will not gain the status of new best friend. Your role is as another safe adult for the child to interact with. Your job is to model healthy life perspectives that complement those of their biological parents.
2. A stepparent co-creates the rules for their house with their spouse (the child's parent). By co-creating the rules and supporting each other in their enforcement, you avoid becoming the evil stepparent. You'll also create a home that you and your spouse will enjoy.
3. You can—and should—expect respect from the child, and showrespect as well. As in any relationship, there will be times of struggle in the stepparent/stepchild relationship. Mutual respect…
Read more: Want A Happy Blended Family? 5 Rules Stepparents MUST Follow
- January 5, 2015
The surprising reason is happiness.
A divorce can feel like a tornado has come through and wiped from the face of the earth everything you thought your life was. You’re walking around in a state of shock trying to make sense of what has happened. And you’re just not finding much of anything to rebuild your life upon. The grief can simply be overwhelming.
Why is it like this? Why do divorces hurt so much?
As odd as it may sound, we experience such profound grief after divorce because of our search for happiness. The search for happiness is in our DNA. It’s one of our primal drives. We’ll find temporary highs of happiness through movies, TV shows, thrills, adventure vacations, and even songs. But none of these totally satisfy our drive. The real path to happiness is both much simpler and more complex than that.
Relationships — profoundly meaningful relationships — according to a 2012 AARP Survey, are a key enabler for happiness. Seligman, the author of Flourish, further states that positive relationships are not only key to happiness, but well-being in general. And yet different types of relationships provide us with different types of happiness. Obviously, this begs the questions: What are the most meaningful and…
Read more: What Makes Grief After Divorce So Hard?
- December 29, 2014
The article “Why marriage can be good for your health” doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story.
TimesOnline recently published an article “Why marriage can be good for your health”. After reading the article, I believe the conclusions they reach and the research they cite may not tell the whole story.
The article looked at a 2006 study that found married people tend to have longer lives than people who are widowed, divorced/separated or have never been married. What’s most interesting to me about this statement is that there is also research that disputes this fact for women.
In 2010, the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research released a press release about a study they did which explicitly states “The downside of marriage for women: the greater a wife’s age gap from her husband, the lower her life expectancy.”
Safety is another reason the TimesOnline gives for marriage being good for your health. I agree that being in a committed, monogamous relationship will decrease your chances of contracting a disease through intimate encounters, but there are plenty of people I work with who believed they were in a committed, monogamous relationship who find out their spouse has cheated on them. Marriage in and of itself…
Read more: Is Marriage Good for Your Health? Maybe. Maybe Not.