Are You Playing The Blame Game?

Some interesting facts:

While the divorce rate for first marriages in 2012 was approximately 40%, in the past few years divorce rates are actually going down! (According to the Vanier Institute of the Family). This should mean that it is somewhat safer to get into a long-term relationship, no? J

According to Dr. Terri Orbuch’s recent study, however, one of the primary things holding people back from moving on after a break up or divorce is some form of blame – either blaming their former spouse/partner, or blaming themselves. And, interesting to note, men typically blame themselves, while women more typically blame their former spouse/partner.

As a practitioner myself, who also has ample personal experience, I can attest to the fact that blame is among the top factors that keep people from being able to move on, and to develop a health new relationship.

How can one deal with blame?

According to Dr. Orbuch, it is important to move from blaming yourself or blaming the other person, to blaming “the relationship.” This way it evens out the finger pointing to be between you both, in some way, or to see the unworkable factor being outside of you or the other person, reducing the emotional charge.

Here is an approach that I recommend: to discover the underlying purpose of the relationship. The relationship had a reason for being in your lives – to provide an opportunity for you to learn, grow, heal, etc. When you can discover what that purpose was (and is) you can deal more powerfully and healthily with the ending of the relationship. It is then no longer relevant to point a finger at someone or something, which only has you expend unnecessary negative energy, which harms you in the long run.

I invite you to try on a new perspective, as you see fit.

I also invite you to join me for my upcoming FREE WEBINAR!

 

aweber2

In this Free Webinar you will get:
  • New Inspiration for What is Possible in Your Life
  • The Critical Steps To Attract The Love Your Really Want 
  • Clarity & Confidence To Make Decisions With Ease
  • Power to Be True to Yourself, Once & For All

 

I look forward to being with you!

Are You TRULY Happy?

happy-clouds
I was nursing my 13 month old son the other day. It was one of those really busy days – I’d just finished being interviewed for an up-coming tele-summit, there was a lot to do around the house, my husband had important deadlines to meet and needed my support with some things, and it was only 11am still… you know…THAT kind of day?
As I sat feeding my little guy, I stared into his eyes, he stared back into mine. It was a loving exchange of energy. I suddenly became aware of the amazing fact that here I am, amidst this (busy, full) life, with a new son after having 3 older children. And I reflected on the past where I didn’t think that I’d have any more children; simply given my circumstances at that time. And in that reflective moment with that sudden awareness, I had a profoundly euphoric feeling come through me. And then I had a wonder, “is THIS true happiness?”
How often do we talk about things like “I want to be happy (or happier)” or “I’ll be happy when ‘x’ happens in my life,” or “I’m not happy with how ‘x’ is going in my life,” etc. Happiness is an often spoken-of concept, but what does it really mean? And, how does one actually get happy?
I know there are a lot of books on this topic. And, I’m sure if you are reading this piece right now, you are the kind of person who has likely read at least one of those books, or been to courses or seminars that touch on the idea of creating happiness in your life. I’ve woman-eyes-closed-smilingpersonally LED those seminars! Those books and seminars will often espouse things like, “Happiness doesn’t only come with external things. We can cause it from within ourselves.”
But, as much as I KNOW that, I have to say, I feel like I’m an ongoing student of happiness. There’s always something new to discover about the idea of “being happy” – but REALLY happy.
I am sharing this wonder and thought with you today.
I invite you to join me in being a student of happiness in your own life.
What does that mean? Well, as you go about your regular, normal, busy, etc. day-to-day life, play the game of discovering moments of happiness. It may come with being grateful for something or someone. Or, it may come with appreciating and acknowledging an accomplishment of your own – big or small. And really let yourself connect to the feeling that comes with that gratitude or acknowledgement.
Explore. Wonder. Get present.
See what your access might be.
I’d love to hear from you: are you taking this on? And, what are you discovering?
smiling-baby

Divorce and Parenting: Teaching Valuable Life Lessons to Your Children

Parents Talking To Kid

By Guest Writer: Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

As a divorced parent, what lessons and behaviors are you modeling for your children?

The messages you convey will influence your children into adulthood.Here’s valuable advice on leaving a positive imprint on your innocent children.

Bad things can happen to good people. Divorce is a prime example.  Good people get divorced. Responsible people who are loving parents get caught in the decision to end a loveless or deceitful marriage.

The consequences of that decision can either be life affirming or destroying, depending upon how each parent approaches this transition. Parents who are blinded by blame and anger are not likely to learn much through the experience. They see their former spouse as the total problem in their life and are convinced that getting rid of that problem through divorce will bring ultimate resolution. These parents are often self-righteous about the subject and give little thought to what part they may have played in the dissolution of the marriage.

Parents at this level of awareness are not looking to grow through the divorce process. They are more likely to ultimately find another partner with whom they have similar challenges or battles and once again find themselves caught in the pain of an unhappy relationship.

man-on-laptop-by-a-lakeThere are others, however, for whom divorce can be a threshold into greater self-understanding and reflection. These parents don’t want to repeat the same mistake and want to be fully aware of any part they played in the failure of the marriage. Self-reflective people ask themselves questions and search within – often with the assistance of a professional counselor or coach – to understand what they did or did not do and how it affected the connection with their spouse.

These introspective parents consider how they might have behaved differently in certain circumstances. They question their motives and actions to make sure they came from a place of clarity and good intentions. They replay difficult periods within the marriage to see what they can learn, improve, let go of or accept. They take responsibility for their behaviors and apologize for those that were counter-productive. They also forgive themselves for errors made in the past – and look toward being able to forgive their spouse in the same light.

These parents are honest with their children when discussing the divorce – to the age-appropriate degree that their children can understand.They remind their children that both Mom and Dad still, and always will, love them. And they remember their former spouse will always be a parent to their children and therefore speak about them with respect around the kids.

By applying what they learned from the dissolved marriage to their future relationships,Friends giving advice these mature adults start the momentum to recreate new lives in a better, more fulfilling way. From this perspective, they see their former marriage as not a mistake, but rather a stepping-stone to a brighter future – both for themselves and for their children.  When you choose to learn from your life lessons, they were never experienced in vain. Isn’t this a lesson you want to teach your children?

*     *    *

Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is a relationship seminar facilitator and author of the new e-book, How Do I Tell the Kids … about the Divorce?A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! The book provides fill-in-the-blank templates for customizing a personal family storybook that guides children through this difficult transition with optimum results. For free articles on child-centered divorce or to subscribe to her free ezine, go to: http://www.childcentereddivorce.com

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Confessions of A Multiple Divorcée (Now Happily Married)

many wedding rings
It’s been a while since I’ve written to you! I’ve missed you!
But I need to tell you the truth about what’s kept me from you…
See, I have a new love in my life.
Yes, it’s true. But, it’s not because of anything you’ve done!
I still love you, too! And, I’m not ending our relationship!
It’s just that this very special person came into my life, stole my heart and we’ve been on, well, a sort of “honeymoon” since.
Actually, it’s been a “Babymoon” 🙂
You guessed it….I’m a Mom, again, for the 4th time!
Mom Dad Baby
We call him D.A. (his initials). He was born August 2nd. And, what can I say? He’s a real charmer! My husband and I are in a new kind of heaven.
To be frank, when I look at my life now and think back to just 5+ years ago, I am truly grateful for the love in my life today.
I want to share something personal with you…
As you may know, I’ve been married, had two beautiful children, and then divorced. Thankfully, we ended amicably. Although there were challenging times that could have led to an ugly legal battle, our better-selves won out and we worked things out peacefully.
Then, I later got engaged to one of my best friends: I thought we could turn that friendship into a romantic life partnership. When it became clear that we were not a match (for many reasons) I’d already become pregnant. We ended the relationship, which was a difficult break up. In time we developed a new relationship as parents, and even later became friends again.
While all this sounds sad but with somewhat happy endings, I was left with a lot of questions about myself and my ability to be in a relationship that lasts; about whether or not I even wanted to be in a relationship ever again!
I was scared. Scared to truly open up and give myself to another human being; to another relationship.
After a lot of transformational and spiritual work, I’d gone through a journey and discovered…
I needed to change.
As wonderful and talented a person as I am 😉 there are things about me that DON’T WORK in relationship!
For example, among other things, I’m an independent woman. From a fairly young age taking care of myself, travelling, living in another part of the world, having jobs to sustain a modest livelihood, went to university, started a global not-for-profit, etc. That’s all well for a strong-willed career-minded woman.
But there was something missing; a kind of fulfillment that I just didn’t have, no matter how good life was with all of my achievements. I really wanted to share my life with a close beloved soul mate. I had this vision of me and “him” lying down on a picnic blanket, facing each other, like two children, in love, looking into each other’s eyes, opening up about any and all of our deepest feelings,  desires and fears, while  feeling the comfort and safety of being with each other; having each other’s backs. But that vision was just that – something I could see but didn’t have a sense of how to actualize it.
One of my discoveries was that, while I CAN take care of myself and don’t NEED anyone to take care of me, I want to be taken care of. This notion was hard to swallow as a Must-be Independent Woman. But when I let go of the “Must-be,” and simply allow myself to be an Independent Woman who is open to receive and be loved and cared for, I was no longer limited. And, when I could be open to receive, I could also give, fully and unconditionally.
It was soon afterward that my sweetheart and I met.
There is so much more I can say about that, but, at the very least, had I not made this discovery, I wouldn’t have been open (both consciously and subconsciously) to my next relationship that would be with my life-long beloved partner.
I am grateful. After a significant amount of time having an underlying sense of doubt about whether it is possible to truly be in a fruitful, passionate, meaningful, fulfilling relationship, I can now say, YES, IT IS POSSIBLE. (not to mention I’ve coached others through similar journeys)
This is my wish for others: to have their own experience of complete fulfillment, no matter what their past experience was. This doesn’t mean there will be no “rocky roads” or that everything is some unrealistic version of “perfect”.  There is constant inner work to do. For me, that “Independent Woman” hasn’t gone anywhere. She is still right here. But when I am not cognizant and mindful, “she” can take over – and she does sometimes! – And life isn’t so pretty in those moments and there is some “clean up” to do.
Whether you’re in a relationship, or want to be in a relationship, I invite you to look at yourself and see what might be in your way of fully giving yourself to your (potential) beloved. Enter a comment below and share what you see – I’m very interested.

HOW TO LOVE IN ANY GIVEN MOMENT

Earlier this month in my blog, “How to Talk to Your Kids About Divorce” I introduced the concept of “Pouring On The Love” so your children feel nurtured, important and secure during and after the separation or divorce process.

A reader wrote in and asked, “How can I pour on the love when my situation is such that I have 4Busy Mom with groceries children between the ages of 5 and 15, who are with me all but 2 weekends per month, I manage a household, a full time job, doctor appointments, etc….How do I make sure they are getting enough attention?”

Busy Dad in kitchen

Seeing as many of us parents can relate to having this type of concern, I thought I would share this with you all.

Pouring on the love is not always easy, but it is simple and is not necessarily what it seems. Mostly we think we need more time: If we had more time we could be more loving. While that perspective seems to make sense, it is not the only possible way. Being loving can happen in a given moment, in the process of doing what you’re doing.

For example:

Scenario: Take 1!

You are busy making dinner after a full day’s work. Maybe on the phone hands-free at the same time. Your child walks in the kitchen and wants your attention – to tell you a funny story or to complain about their sibling’s wrong-doings. In that moment, how you respond speaks. The first reaction may be a thought in your mind, “Argh, I can’t handle this all right now” or some version of that thought or feeling. When you react from there what is likely is an annoyed, frustrated type of reaction (words, body language, tone of voice, etc.), leaving your child with some experience of being a burden or the like. Mom screaming at child - funny

I don’t think there is any parent who couldn’t possibly understand and completely relate to this kind of experience. And, while this is understandable and even justified, the outcome we are left with is less than satisfying, and if the truth were told, we as parents are left feeling pretty horrible, and not how we truly want to be.

Take 2!

Your child comes to you with the same interruption to your dinner-making. Instead of reacting with annoyance and frustration that may initially be there, you choose to be loving there and then.

And…Action!

“Can you hold on a moment?” you say to the person on the phone. You stop what you are doing temporarily. Look at your child in the eyes, and ask, “What is it?” And listen. (Often this takes less time in reality than our mind anticipates the interruption will be)

Then determine how to deal with whatever your child has said. If it was a story share, give them a kiss and say, genuinely “Thank you for telling me this. I’m getting back to making dinner; we’ll be ready to sit down together in about 15 minutes.” Or, if it was a complaint regarding a sibling, see if you can offer a word of advice for them to handle the situation and encourage them to go back in there and deal with it. Dad listening to daughter

How you deal with your child actually speaks, often more than the words themselves. In this scenario your child is more likely to be left with the experience of being important and loved.

And Cut!

Now, you may reflect on this and think, “how can I be this way, really?” or “How can I be this way all the time?”

Hold on. Give yourself a break. You are in the “practice of parenting” AND if you’re in the process of separating or divorcing, you are in the “practice of parenting through separation” now, too. The operative word is “practice.” Allow yourself some grace and space. You will have some successes and you will have some failures, just like anyone who is practicing being good at something that is important to them.

The key is: Stay The Course.

And, I recommend that you don’t “be alone” in your practice. Buddy up with another like-minded parenting adviceparent or friend to support each other.

 

Consider getting some coaching or training from a professional on mastering this craft so you have more wins than failures over time.

Did this help you? Please leave a comment or question.

How To Manage Other People’s Opinions About Your Break Up

why are we friends

 

 

 

I remember in 2009 finding myself sitting in a lawyer’s office after stating I want sole custody of my daughter.

It felt strange. Like an out of body experience. But it was clearly me, sitting in my body, sitting in that office.

The “wake up moment” happened after I told that lawyer that I’d just brought my daughter to her father’s house for a Father’s Day visit and was planning to take her over there the next day again. The lawyer responded, “Don’t do that”

I asked, “How come?”

He said, “Because if the two of you are able to communicate between yourselves, then you don’t need me.”

LIGHT BULB MOMENT!

At the core of my value system is Communication. What I heard the lawyer telling me (and I’m clear that he was just doing his job cause I asked him to ‘get me sole custody’) was to go against my core value….in order that I can have the lawyer speak for me.

I thanked the lawyer for his time, went home and proceeded to call my ex-partner. Within a 10 minute phone conversation that neither of us will forget, we ironed out a custody and visitation agreement that we and our daughter are all happy with. We sorted out our inter-personal differences over time, and, until today, we maintain extraordinary communication.

Why am I sharing this?

Well, what led me to seek out sole custody and end up in the lawyer’s office was the opinion of other people who love me and care about me, and who were worried about what might happen if I don’t get full custody. Friends giving advice - guy and girl

Were they wrong to express their opinion about what I should do?

Absolutely not.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that my emotions were clouding my vision so much that I was reacting to those opinions out of desperation, as opposed to listening to those opinions as exactly that, opinions.

So how should you manage other people’s opinions?

  1. Be open to listening to what people have to say, but remember it is their view based on their experience and knowledge. You want to weigh those views with your own carefully.
  2. Be clear about your vision for your self and your family life.When you have a sense of the end product you envision for your life personally and your family-life you can weigh those opinions against that vision. Ask yourself if pursuing those others’ approaches will lead you closer to your vision. The answer may be ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and that is for you to determine and pursue.
  3. Be grounded in your core values.Often we think we know what our core values are but we actually have them mixed up with something else. Take some time to connect to your inner core, your soul, or what you believe is really important, no matter what. These core values are the anchor that keep you being ‘you.’ When your friends and family express their views, tune in to your core values and see if their suggestions would be an expression of your core values or not.

This is a dance; a paradox. Yes – listen to what others have to say. And, Yes – listen to yourself.

Please leave your comments below as I’m always curious about your views….

For a FREE copy of “5 Ways to End Your Marriage Without Ending Your Life” CLICK HERE

 

 

 

How To Talk To Kids About Divorce

You or someone you know may be getting divorced and haven’t told the kids yet.
  • How do you know when is the right time?
  • How do you know what to say?
  • How do you know how to deal with their response?
Parents Talking To Kid These are the most common questions and concerns of separating parents.
Here is a brief guide to support you or a friend in need:
Choose your timing. Though there’s never a “good” time, there are not-so-good times: school days, right before you head off to work, just as your child is going to dance class or sport practice, or just before bed. When she hears the news, she may suddenly feel unsafe and alone. She needs you to be there. Choose a moment when you’ll be together afterward to offer plenty of hugs and reassurances.
Tell her together. Even if you disagree about everything else, try to agree on what to tell your child, for her sake. Ideally, you want to deliver the news as a team. Telling her together avoids confusion. It helps preserve your child’s sense of trust in both parents.
Keep it simple. Speak in terms your child will understand, limiting the initial explanation to no more than a few key sentences.
For example, you might start with “Mommy and Daddy have done a lot of thinking,” then explain, for example, that Daddy is going to get a new apartment/home. Aim to know what the visitation days and times will be before the conversation so you can share those details. It will comfort your child to know she’ll continue to see both of you and that there’s a plan.
Tell your child that it’s not her fault. Children may blame themselves for the breakup, even if they don’t say so. Your child might think the change is happening because she didn’t do something properly like clean her room or do as well in school as might have been expected. She might also assume some responsibility for trying to fix the problem.
Tell her flat out that the divorce is an adult decision and has nothing to do with her.
Avoid the blame game. However angry you might be, don’t blame each other for the breakup, and avoid arguing in front of your child. Also keep to yourself any details about issues that didn’t work in the marriage.
Sometimes one parent may feel so upset that they want to tell the child about the other spouse’s egregious or erroneous behavior. Refrain from this. Children will take this as a betrayal — or worse, criticism of them. For example, if one calls the other a “liar” or “cheat,” they begin to see themselves, half the product of that parent, as half a liar, half a cheat.
Answers to common questions from kids about divorce:
“What’s a divorce?” Your basic response could go something like: “Divorce means Mommy and Daddy won’t live together anymore. But we’ll always be your parents, and we’ll always love you.”Gently try to find out what she believes or knows about divorce in general and what friends or schoolmates they know whose parents are divorced. This will help you understand the notions she has about divorce and what fears she may harbor about losing friends, families, a parent, a home, or social standing. While divorce is common, it can be awkward for your child at a time when kids are comparing themselves to each other and fretting about fitting in.“Why are you getting divorced?” Don’t go into too much detail and keep the emphasis on “we.” Avoid saying anything like “We don’t love each other anymore,” because your child might assume you can also “fall out of love” with her. You might say, “we work better together living apart and we decided we would do what is best for everyone.”

“Will I still see Grandma and Grandpa? (or other family or friends) Let her know what to expect regarding seeing relatives. Ideally you can say with authenticity that she will continue to see relatives as has been in the past and even that on holidays like Christmas, Passover, Eid, Kwanza or the like, there may be times when you spend it all together.

“Where will I sleep?” At this age, your child will have a lot of questions about how her daily life will be affected: “Will I still go to my same school? Who’s going to take me to dance/skiing/soccer?” These are very real concerns for a child, so go over the details. For example, “You’ll still live with Mommy here in our house. You’ll have a home at Daddy’s new house; you’ll have your own special bedroom.” Depending on what you agree on, you can tell her she can be part of searching for the new place and/or picking decorative items, etc.

“Who will take care of Daddy (or Mommy, depending on which parent is moving out)?” Your child might have a sense of empathy that’s developed enough for her to actually worry about the parent who is moving out.
Reassure her that the other parent will be just fine. You might say, “Daddy might miss you when he’s not with you, but he won’t be sad because he would see you again very soon.”

Next steps:

Pour on the love. Divorce is difficult for children to understand and accept. While your child adjusts, she’ll need a lot of your affection and attention. Resist the urge to talk constantly on the phone or let TV become the sitter. Give her more snuggle time or extra time during bedtime routine. Just as you benefit from your support network of relatives and friends now more than ever, your child needs extra hugs and kisses from you.

Keep talking. Even after the news has sunk in, be prepared to go over the same explanations and answer questions again and again, for weeks or even months. Make sure she knows that you’re open to questions about the divorce any time, even if what you really want is to stop talking about it. One way to keep the lines of communication open is to read kids’ books like Ricci’s Mom’s House, Dad’s House for Kids, or Lallouz’s The Case of the Clown Who Lives in Two Tents.

Keep routines consistent. Sometimes divorce can make it difficult to maintain routines or even keep the house tidy. But continuing a child’s regular schedule, in Mom’s house and Dad’s house, makes children feel safe. As much as possible, make basic mealtimes and other rituals the same between the two households. Make sure the kids keep going to school and any classes or practices — the more things remain the same for your child, the more stable she’ll feel.

Be aware of signs of trouble. Your child may have difficulties adjusting to visitation and custody arrangements. Look for signs like misbehavior or withdrawal, particularly after a visit with the other parent. To open up a dialogue without putting words in your child’s mouth, say something like, “I’m wondering if you’re missing your Mom right now.” Your child might just need time to transition from one household to the next or a safe way to vent.

Consider seeing a family coach or counselor to guide you and your child through this transition. Other parents have said it is the best thing they could have done as it gives a safe place for each parent, personally, to have support, and for children to ask questions or talk about things, without worrying about upsetting their parents.

Make a point of remaining positive. If your divorce means, as it often does, that you’re taking a financial hit and they can no longer have every toy they want or take expensive vacations, let them know you’ll still do lots of fun things together.

PLEASE share your comments below…

Get Your FREE Copy of “”5 Ways to End Your Marriage Without Ending Your Life” @ http://www.familyforeverlifestyle.com

How To Keep The Love When You Leave The Marriage

When a marriage or long term committed relationship ends, in order to reconcile what happened, it is common to attempt to identify something that was wrong that gives reason for the breakdown of the relationship – either the other person, the relationship itself, or even oneself was somehow to blame for the failure.
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As we move on from our past relationships, we are likely moving into a future of avoiding making that same mistake again. This leaves us guarded, cautious, or in some ways, easily critical of any prospective new partner. In many cases, this may cause us to hesitate entering another relationship at all for fear of the same failure.
While it is valid to take the view that there was something wrong or at fault for the unworkability of the relationship, it is not the only view. Consider that our relationships are a place to grow, learn and, ultimately, evolve. In this view, each of us has something to gain from each of our relationships and, equally, something to offer, all for the purpose of evolution – both for ourselves and for our partners.
I have had several clients ask, “Is it really possible to have a peaceful divorce when one person wants peace and the other wants to fight?” And my answer is, “Yes, it is possible.” How? In many ways, by taking the view that you are in charge of your own evolution, and you have the capacity to influence another’s evolution in the process.
The first step is to make a commitment to viewing your relationship, including the ending of it, as an integral part of your evolution. Sometimes people say they are committed to learning, but truly they are still looking for ‘who or what is to blame?’ It takes consistent practice in noticing when you are blaming someone or something (including yourself), letting that go, and re-committing to discovering your evolutionary journey.
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The second step is to choose your core values. Values may be patience, compassion, love, honesty, forgiveness, collaboration, peace, etc. These values are your beacon, your higher-guiding light in those difficult moments when conversations get intense, or when you are not even with your ex-partner but battling in your mind with them. Arm yourself with the values that most ignite you and leave you feeling ‘real’ for yourself. Practice acting from your values more and more, and that ability will strengthen.
The third important step is to acknowledge the manifestation of your vision, even in the smallest of accomplishments. It is always easy to see the negativity, failures or disappointments. We often overlook the accomplishments that illuminate the path of continuous evolution ahead. It may be as simple as during a conversation, your ex-partner said something that you would normally react to with anger, and instead you took a deep breath, listened, and responded in a calm and peaceful way. Or, you may recognize your ex-partner for responding calmly when they would normally react with anger. Either way, it is worth acknowledging as part of the evolution of your relationship and yourself.
When you practice these steps – and it does take practice – you will support yourself to leave the relationship and keep the love.
Get a free copy of my e-book, “5 Ways To End Your Marriage Without Ending Your Life” at http://www.familyforeverlifestyle.com
Request a Free One-on-One consultation with Tallie:

Not crazy…after all these years!

10 years after creating a peaceful divorce, and maintaining a “Family Forever Lifestyle” I often take my accomplishments for granted!

This morning my first husband and I met with our son and our son’s academic coach. We met to discuss our son’s progress and create a plan for the next month of his work.

The whole thing was like a “no brainer.” I called him up and said, “….We need to meet and support Will’s progress…the coach can meet us at 8:30 in the morning” My ex said, “Sure, I’ll be there” Simple.

He and I operate as partners with a common goal: our children’s success and fulfillment. There were points in the meeting where he “took over” and I stepped aside and watched, supported, and listened. And, likewise, there were times in the meeting where I led and he listened and supported. The end result? Our son is supported and empowered! And….so are his parents!

It’s amazing to think that 10 years ago I could not have imagined this was what my family-life would look like. At that time, during our marital breakdown I spent days, weeks and months wondering and questioning “can I make this work?” “How do I get him to want to make this work?” “What have I done wrong? And how can I fix it?” and I had thoughts of “I have to make this work” “This can’t fail.” I was scared to answer these questions for I didn’t know what path the answers might lead me on.

Those were not easy times. But I not only got through that time, I even transformed myself in the process. I discovered a way to get my own sense of clarity and peace to be able to make the right choice, for me and my family. And, while separating was still sad and, at times, really difficult, I was able to do it with love and peace.

The process I developed is something I am now teach other people, in a 4-step approach. I developed this process because I see so many people suffer with these same types of questions. And, because it seems so difficult to answer these questions, so many people stagnate and take no action.

If you are struggling with similar types of marital or relationship questions, let’s talk.

I am offering a 4 – part Tele-class starting Aug 15 at 8PM Eastern Time. http://www.tallie.tv/sales

Or, you may want faster results, end the suffering quickly and begin to breath deep and feel at peace now. Then you might explore personal coaching with me on this topic – email me directly at tr@tallie.tv

Like always, I appreciate you taking the time to read and I trust you got value. Leave a question or comment below.

 

 

A Man’s Experience With Divorce: A Little Compassion Goes A Long Way

It is Saturday morning…the Saturday morning that David plans to tell his wife he wants a divorce.  David has been thinking about divorce for at least six months, but has been afraid to approach the subject.  man-sitting-on-his-bed-while-his-girlfriend-working-on-the-laptopStill apprehensive, he decides get up early, make a nice breakfast and set the stage for a civil conversation with his wife before the children wake. His wife rolls out of bed around 7:00 and greets him with a good morning kiss on the cheek as she grabs a cup of coffee.  Their eyes lock and in that moment, she sees there is something wrong. His eyes look puffy and bloodshot, his forehead has those wrinkles he gets when he is worried about something, and his lips are pierced like they are when he has something important to say.  Rather then sit in silence and wonder she says, “What’s up hunny?” He has already decided that the easiest way to tell her is to just ‘spit it out’. So, he says, “Jane, I would like to sit together over breakfast and talk about our relationship. I have decided that I want a divorce.”

 

Talking about divorce is an emotionally charged human experience that brings individual values and beliefs to the surface quickly. These may be grounded in a variety of things like personal experience, observations of others, spiritual beliefs, or feelings of fear, uncertainty, and self-doubt.  Many have a mental picture of how divorce looks, and often it is different for men than women. Most common is the picture of a man transitioning through divorce largely untouched, and the woman struggling to support herself and her children. For many men this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

 

David, like many men is:

 

Experiencing a range of emotions: He feels guilty for breaking off the marriage.  He already misses his wife and the way they used to love each other. He is grieving the loss of his friends, community, house, and daily routines.  He is afraid that he will not get to see his kids as much.  He doesn’t know where he is going to live, or how he is going to support himself while paying alimony and child support.

 

An active dad:  David spends a lot of time with his kids.  He wants to be involved in their lives and worries that he will have fewer and fewer opportunities.  He is even afraid of being replaced by another man.  He knows that his children will miss the stories he reads every night and the Saturday afternoon bike rides.

 

Worried about his future: He and his wife spent the last 10 years building a life together. He worries they will have nothing left by the time the divorce is final. He plans to let his wife stay in the house with the kids. But, he has no idea where he is going to go.  The future in front of him is one of completely starting over.

 

Isolated: He has nobody to talk to about the divorce. He feels like it is his job to stand strong, work hard, and make sure that his ex-wife and children are provided for.  Many of his friends are “their” friends and he knows that some will stop talking to him.  He may not even know that he is going to need a new support system and he struggles to ask for help.

 

Are you a man or a woman experiencing divorce? Is somebody close to you going through this transition? Do you work with people who are trying to move on and rebuild their lives?  Remember that every divorce is unique depending on the circumstances, resources, and personalities of the people involved.  In today’s world, it is too complex to make generalizations about men and women. Regardless of gender, people can begin rebuilding their life by having compassion for themselves.

 

The Dalai Lama said, “If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others. If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not able of developing compassion for others.”

 

When you have compassion for yourself, you can have an amicable relationship with your ex-partner and a fulfilling connection with your children. How do you develop compassion for yourself?

 

  • Allow yourself to have ALL your feelings, ‘good’ and ‘bad’, without judging yourself for them.  What you resist often persists.  As strange as it sounds, allowing yourself to be angry is often the first step toward forgiveness.

 

  • Find healthy outlets.  You are going to have to replace old routines with new ones. If you find yourself doing something unhealthy when you are sad, worried, or angry, replace it with an activity you like or the company of a close friend.

 

  • Treat yourself to something that makes you feel good. Maybe you like to read the paper in bed, take your dog to the dog park, or go to the movies.

 

  • Give yourself a break! You may be ‘off your game’. Adjust your expectations of yourself and then communicate those adjustments to those who might be impacted.  They will understand.

 

I would enjoy hearing your thoughts!  What are your experiences with divorce or separation? What do you do to have compassion for yourself?

 

Shelly D. Mahon, Ph.D. Candidate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Program Director for Apart, Not Broken: Learn, Connect, & Create! You can sign up to take advantage of this free, online, multi-media program to help fathers adjust and parent after divorce or separation at www.DivorcedDadInstitute.com.   Shelly also has 20 years experience working with youth and families. Follow her blog at shellydmahon.wordpress.com