Friday, February 26, 2010

Divorcing a Narcissist

This is a rather long read for my usual posts, but if you have ever been in the position of being abused at the hands of a narcissist, whether in a marriage or not, you may find some comfort in reading about how the mind of a narcissist works.

It may help you re-build your self esteem.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fit and Healthy

I haven't been sick in years.

While still inside my marriage, I was stressed and fearful a lot of the time and it manifested in my health. I never got away from my sinus infections - NEVER! And, I was no stranger to Tamiflu. I normally had a bout of the flu at least once a year. On a regular basis, I would wake up so sick in the middle of the night, that I would drive myself over to the Infirmary and get a steriod shot in my backside.

Since our separation, I (touch wood) haven't been sick - NOT ONCE!!!

Lesson here is that if you are suffering a lot with inexplicable illness, take a look at your emotional it toxic??

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Divorce Help

My doorbell rang this morning and when I answered it there was a young man standing there with a workman's toolkit draped from his shoulder. He looked at me, incredulously and told me that he was there from the gas company. He was sent to shut off the gas. He said, "You didn't pay your gas bill??" He said it with total amazement in his voice, and in his eyes.

I told him that it probably wasn't any of his business, but because of a nasty divorce and the fact that my soon-to-be-ex husband chooses to not abide by the court's orders, if he was sent to shut off the gas, then he should get on with his job.

I assume the gas has been shut off, and shortly I will be without hot water and heat - not to worry - this is not the first time I have had to dance this dance with the man I used to adore.

I explain these circumstances to provide support to anyone else that might be going through the same types of issues. Stay strong and remember that this is almost a normal reaction from someone that is angry. I don't really understand - I should be the angry one.....yes, I filed first, but only because of circumstances that were spiralling, rapidly, out of control and it was a safety issue.

Nevertheless, he is very angry with me.

If you are thinking about filing, or have filed, be prepared for some residual, fallout anger.

Remember that God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tiger Woods Speech

I mention this speech, only because I feel that it's content is informational to this website.

Is it really necessary for Tiger Wood’s to apologize to the world through the media for his inappropriate behaviours? Is it really anyone’s business but his and his wife’s? Or is it just more narcissism? Is it just more keeping the spotlight focused on him?

I believe that whatever happened between the two of them should have stayed right there. His apologies, as far as I’m concerned, falls on deaf ears. I didn’t care that he was having multiple affairs, and I don’t care about his apologies. I only hope and pray that he is as sincere with his wife as he begs for her forgiveness.

As Elin weighs her options, I hope she recognizes the work that is in front of her - no matter which way she decides to go.

Walking away from her marriage, whether it was because of his infidelities or not, will be difficult. Let’s face facts, there’s little doubt that when she walked the aisle, she had this scenario playing out in her head. When you marry, you expect it to be for life. When you marry, you expect your partner to live up to the promises committed to on that special day. Then to find out that your partner has decided to play another role.........

It’s my humble opinion, that Tiger should stay behind closed doors and figure this out with his wife and his therapists.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Going "Out of Bounds"

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by Garret M. Kramer, Principle Based Practitioner and founder of Inner-Sports, LLC
I have often mentioned Tiger Woods as the most clear thinking athlete alive today. To be clear, the fluent state of mind often discussed, was solely based on my observations of his on course resiliency and success. Honestly however, if you had asked me a week ago, I would have said that this high level of well being was mostly present in his off course life as well…I guess I was mistaken.
Simply a sad situation
To me the whole situation is just sad; sad for Tiger, sad for his wife, and sad for a mostly adoring public, many young fans in particular. In actuality, it is hard for me to even blog on the subject, for my blogs are always written about events or principles that I am passionate about and, whether or not I agree with the subject matter, this passion usually leads me to a positive perspective when I am through. Here I’m typing and trying to find the good at the same time. I’m not succeeding (so far) by the way.
You have the choice between judgment and compassion
In any case, as I have said before, I strongly caution anyone about judging someone else’s behavior. Not because you may be right or wrong but because when you judge someone else, it will always lead to a lousy feeling for you. That is, every situation we face or observe is an opportunity to react and apply judgment, or look deeper into what’s really going on and offer compassion and a possible solution. What is especially interesting, is that the choice between these two courses of action has nothing to do with the person or situation in question…It’s all up to you!
My colleague, Dr. George Pransky, whose consulting practice has had a profound impact on my life, once humorously said: “When I used to meet someone and they rubbed me the wrong way, I used to think there was something wrong with them.” Applied here, what Dr. Pransky is saying is that how we see Tiger Woods has little to do with him; it’s all about our own inner-state of mind. And while it might seem easy to scoff at or condemn Tiger’s behavior, believe me, when your mind ascends to a high level of psychological functioning, you will look upon the events of the past week with compassion and concern for all parties involved.
Message to Tiger: Apply your on course principles to your personal life as well
When Tiger was young, his father was insightful enough to remind him about the “out of bounds” stakes or the “water hazards” that existed on a particular golf hole. For, he knew that it was inevitable, during a tournament, that a thought about these danger spots was bound to pop into Tiger’s head. Hence, he would clearly be in trouble if he allowed himself to play victim to those thoughts. Today my message for Tiger Woods is to simply apply the same principles to your personal life as well. Like the public’s temptation to judge, Tiger needs to understand that (just like thinking you might hit the ball into the water) the lure to stray is merely a self created illusion at a particular moment in time, it’s not a call to action! And the doubt and insecurity that spawns from this type of deviant thinking is an obvious warning sign that you are about to head down the wrong track.
Finding the positive
Therefore, while there is no doubt that Tiger has been well trained (on the power of thought) to handle on course distractions, applying the same understanding to his life away from the game, will ultimately produce the same positive results…. Thankfully, I found the potential for good after all!
This article was originally posted at Join us every other Thursday morning on our radio show to learn more about Garret Kramer and Inner-Sports LLC.

Five Signs That Your Spouse Might Be Thinking About Divorce

This list can go either way. Five signs that your marriage might be in trouble could be another title.

1. A slow down in open communication. Let's face it, your spouse was your best friend and if the two of you are not communicating the way you did - there's a problem. That goes both ways - if you are not communicating as much with your spouse, that is a red flag.

2. More bad than good. Any marriage has trouble spots. Think of it as an iceberg, the good stuff is under the water and the rough spots are represented by the much smaller part of the iceberg above the waterline. At some point in time, if you realize that the iceberg has inverted and the bad times out weigh the good times, that should be a sign.

3. If your spouse is "too busy" to spend time with you, if you feel the contempt in the air, you may be headed to see a divorce attorney.

4. Do you feel like you have done everything in your power to try and save the marriage and there is no positive feedback from your spouse? If your partner is not willing to work on saving the marriage with you, that might indicate trouble ahead.

5. If the intimacy is gone from your marriage, then you probably have trouble.

Marriage is work! If you or your spouse often think about being alone, as in not married, you should probably decide if divorce or therapy is in your future. Whether you choose therapy or divorce - either one is going to be work.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ten Questions To Ask Potential Lawyers

Hiring your divorce attorney is a big step. It means, among other things, that you are probably more confirmed in your decision to file for divorce. Making sure that the person you have chosen to represent you is the right fit for you is paramount for the ultimate outcome for this action. Here are some sample questions that I would want to know from any potential lawyer.

1. ☐ Is Family Law your area of expertise?
2. ☐ How long have you practiced law?
3. ☐ How long have you been practicing law in this state?
4. ☐ When and where did you pass the bar?
5. ☐ How long have you been with this law firm/had a sole practice?
6. ☐ What is your case load now?
7. ☐ Do you feel that you can dedicate the necessary time to my case?
8. ☐ Are you licensed to practice law in this state?
9. ☐ Is your practice comprised mostly of Plaintiffs or Defendants?
10. ☐ Do you represent more men or women?

This is a partial list of interview questions. Divorce Educator covers a more in depth list.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Staying True

"And then there's the simple truth that I had come to understand and that I wanted to model for my four kids: What matters most is how you live your life, NOT WHAT YOU HAVE TO SHOW FOR IT. I ask myself if I have tried my best to love my family, to improve my character, to make a positive impact on the world in some small way. I know who I love and I know who loves me, and if I have made a positive impression on others, that's great. But if someone out there doesn't like me.....then that's okay with me too. I had come to understand it then, and I live by it still today: at the end of the day, I need to be happy with myself and my own behavior in light of the person I know I can be and in light of the person I want to be in the eyes of our Lord, the ultimate judge, the only one who matters."

"At every step along her journey, Jenny Sanford has made choice: She gave up her career, moved far from her home state of Illinois, even changed her religious practices. Every choice was a glad concession to harmonious married life and, in some cases, to the support of her husband's politic aspirations. But the one thing she never gave up was her sense of self, her inner moral compass. Her remarkable poise and decency make her a role model for men and women alike. Her story will empower anyone who has fought to maintain independence and integrity within a marriage."

She was successful in her own right before she gave it all up and moved across the country to be a supportive wife and mother. I bought Jenny Sanford's book today and just from what I read inside the cover, I already know I will enjoy the contents and feel safe recommending it to anyone going through or about to go through a divorce. It will reinforce the premise that in all the turmoil, you must remain true to who you are and maintain your heading with your own moral compass.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Divorce Sucks?? No way!!

Recently I picked up and read a book titled, "Divorce Sucks". It is written by a Canadian girl, and although she is very accomplished in her own right, you may not know her name. You may not know her ex-husband’s name, but you probably know the “other woman”. Her name is Tori Spelling. The author’s name is Mary Jo Eustace.

Do you know the name Gayle Haggard? She wrote a book titled, “Why I Stayed”, she is married to former evangelical leader Ted Haggard. While living life as a preacher, he was also having homosexual relations.

Do you know the name Elizabeth Edwards? She wrote a book titled, “Resilience”.

Jenny Sanford? “Staying True”.

All these women thought they had happy marriages, they had visions, just like you and me, about standing by your man. Standing in the shadows, being the supportive wife, helping HIM reach for HIS stars.

When it doesn’t quite turn out the way you were expecting, you are entitled to have your pity party…..for a while.

Time’s up! Let’s turn this into a positive. Start to look around at all the good things that surround you. Start to think about how you can take this situation and develop a plan to get yourself out of the funk that divorce can try to be. Think of it as a freedom, think of it as being given the opportunity to try something new!

Get out a notebook and start listing off good things in your life. Then make a list of things that you would life to try.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Post-Divorce Shift

I recently worked with person of great knowledge. She had access to tremendous volumes of information and she absorbed the knowledge like a dry sponge.

Unfortunately for her, she was also burdened with some conditioned beliefs about herself and her ability to create. It seems that she was raised by, while they were well meaning, less than "supportive" parents. And this is not to cast blame on her parents, because they were raised with the same set of beliefs, and their parents before them. Her parents raised the family from a place of financial lack. People repeat what they know, right or wrong. When a child grows up that way - they are naturally conditioned to repeat the same set of values as parents. - it can't be helped, it just is. The good news can be changed! She does not have to remain enslaved by someone's prophecy over her life.

No matter how successful this woman became in her job, she had a base belief that she shouldn't be doing as well as she was, so she self-sabotaged herself back in line with her core beliefs. I watched in amazement as she went from a somewhat solid financial base into losing her job then losing her home to foreclosure, living in a motel. Job interview after job interview, nothing was clicking. She was comfortable in her self-created uncomfortable-ness.

UNLESS there is a massive shift in consciousness to believe another set of values - especially surrounding money, this abysmal history is doomed to generationally repeat itself. The welfare system is full of people that are generationally addicted to getting the same as the generation before them because they know no different - it's the way they were raised.

You may have come through the ravages of divorce, but I cannot emphasize enough that while you may have come through battered and torn, you need to get up, dust yourself off, and get your mind going! Shift, shift, shift!

Where you are is definitely because of the choices you have made, good and bad! Please make the choice RIGHT NOW to not become a slave to "lack".

5 Ways to Look Younger!

Divorce isn't easy on anyone. It can become a burden and your physical body will show the signs of fatigue.

Wrinkles, dry patches on your skin, oily patches, dark circles under your eyes are tell-tale signs that you aren't looking after yourself.

Follow these five steps and over the course of time, you will see a difference!!

1. Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins into your bloodstream and endorphins are the "happy hormones". It's absolutely impossible to be unhappy with these endorphins surging through your veins. Exercise doesn't have to involve running marathons, a nice brisk 20 minute walk will work.

2. Sleep. Sleep is the time when your body does all it's repair work. Provide yourself, if possible, a delicious and terribly comfortable place to sleep. Keep electronics out of the bedroom, no matter how tempting it may be to sleep with your cell phone close by, or the television on. Lower the temperature and use more blankets, if necessary, you will sleep better with lower temperatures.

3. Laugh More. Again, with the happy hormones!! Just smiling will change your body chemistry, but those big deep belly laughs really do work!! Trust me - there will be a true shift in your outlook, if you can just LAUGH!

4. Breathe Deeply. This looks like sitting in the still and being calm. Take the time to relax in the storm. We all go through difficult times and in a divorce, that can feel overwhelming. "Tough times" is something that most people battle when going through a divorce. Breathe deeply and know that you will be okay!!

5. Control Your Thoughts. I homeschooled our daughter and we had a poster on the wall that reminded her (and me) of this gem on a daily basis! You've heard this before, but it's worth repeating.
What you THINK about becomes your thoughts and
your thoughts become your words and
your words become your actions and
your actions become YOU!!

Your face represents what you show the world. Take the time to EXERCISE, SLEEP, LAUGH MORE, BREATHE DEEPLY AND CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS!!

Timothy Ferris - 4 Hour Work Week

In finishing up my divorce and having a burning desire to help others through this process, I am reading, “The 4 Hour Work Week” – the expanded and updated version. I wanted to read this book to help me with the Divorce Educator and help refine the Educator series. But I got hit upside the head with a nugget of information that I think would help people that are considering divorce.

Divorce is a funny creature. When you first meet the person of your dreams, and you’ve got your rose colored glasses on, it’s like your perception is off and you allow this person leeways that you probably wouldn’t afford to others. Timothy Ferris talks about the 80/20 rule, I have used this rule before in business, but now, I am applying these same techniques to assess what happened in my marriage/divorce, or maybe justify what happened. I have heard it said before that failure is never failure if you learn from it and use those lessons when you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back in the race.

I am going to quote directly, (Timothy, I hope that ok with you).

“Who are the 20% of the people that produce 80% of your enjoyment and propel you forward and which 20% cause you 80% of your depression, anger and second-guessing?”
“Exact numbers aren’t needed to realize that we spend too much time with those who poison us with pessimism, sloth, and low expectations of themselves and the world. It is often the case that you have to fire certain friends or retire from particular social circles to have the life you want. This isn’t being mean; it is being practical. Poisonous people do not deserve your time. To think otherwise is masochistic.”

So when first in love, you look at your spouse with the rose-colored glasses and see things in them that are perhaps figments of the qualities that you are looking for in a partner. Time goes by and maybe you grow in different directions and are now no longer suitable for each other. Grown apart if your will – so why prolong the agony.

Use the 80/20 rule, if your spouse falls into the 20% of the people that cause you 80% of your depression, anger and second-guessing, then guess what???

Divorce = Drama

Divorce - Drama

Will you participate?

We all get caught up in drama at one time or another. It comes in many forms. You might be struggling with in-fighting between family members, roped into a legal hassle with someone who mistakenly sees the proliferation of paperwork as progress, or embroiled in a nasty divorce that keeps everyone living on the edge. Sometimes the drama occurs in our minds - obsessing over something we did in the past, worrying about whether or not we'll get an outcome we desire, or overthinking a problem to death. You know you're caught up in drama when you feel a sense of ongoing, emotional entanglement in a situation - a circumstance that seems to take over your life. While there are some events that will take time to get resolved, that doesn't mean that you have to suffer. If drama is on your plate, here are three things you can do:

1. Stop talking about it. Don't gossip with others, don't debate the situation to death, and don't allow others to bait you with inquiries about what's going on either. Talking about the details over and over again gives more energy to the problem rather than the solution.

2. Identify the button pushers. Oftentimes drama is fueled by unresolved past issues that get stirred up by present-day problems. If you feel like a five-year-old every time you find yourself in the company of your ex, for example, chances are he or she is re-triggering a situation from your past where you may have felt powerless or afraid. These are therapy issues that can be worked through with the support of an experienced counselor. If you can't afford that kind of help right now, check out John Lee's paperback book, "Growing Yourself Back Up," for great advice and direction.

3. Visualize a successful outcome for all those involved. Put energy into the solution by creating some kind of visualization (and verbal affirmation) that you can turn to when you feel frustrated, anxious, or fed up. Think of an image that helps you to feel cared for, powerful, and calm. One friend of mine used the image of a wise and loving grandmother as she went through her painful divorce. Each time she needed to take some kind of action, she followed it up by placing herself and the problem in the lap of this grandmother (in her mind's eye) while quietly repeating to herself, "I see this situation resolved for the highest good of everyone involved."

There's an old saying that you can't have a war when one side doesn't show up. Be that side. Do what you have to to address the situation and then walk away from the drama. Not only do you give yourself (and the problem) the greatest chance for a successful outcome, more important, you protect your peace of mind - the most valuable gain of all. Take the sail out of the wind as the saying goes. While everyone around you is blustering, take the sail out of the wind and then you won't be blown around by it, you won't be controlled by it!!

Divorce Success - its in the details

It's in the details.

When you are facing a divorce, or in the middle of a divorce, contentious or not, PLEASE pay attention to the details. I guess that you could apply that principle to life in general, but pay particular attention to anything you sign or are even asked to sign.

Keep copies of everything from contracts to bank statements, credit card slips and cash sales receipts too!

You can track all of your cash receipts the old fashioned way or NeatReceipt is a piece of hardware for your computer that will take the paper receipt through a feeder and record the information provided on the receipt straight into Quickbooks. You will no longer have to record each receipt by hand onto a spreadsheet. Tracking all your cash receipts might sound like a lot of work - but saving money is in the details! The information records into your budget too, so you can see where the crevices are. If you already have a business or if you think you might like to have your own business, keeping cash receipts is just a habit for you.

Countless stories of women that have toppled their husband's house of cards with just a disregarded piece of paper that may have, otherwise slipped through the cracks, fallen in the trash! So, PLEASE, pay attention to the details!!

Stages of Emotions through Divorce

Divorce is much like grieving over someone you have lost to death. In fact, it is a death ... the death of a relationship that once was filled with love, anticipation, honesty, hopes and dreams and certainly lot of good memories which often out weigh the bad ones. Grieving just takes time and every individual is different in the length of time they grieve. Bitter is actually bottled up anger and blaming oneself for not seeing the signs of a failing marriage, but, that's simply not true (as you will find out later on.) When you give marriage your all and love that person then you simply aren't looking for signs of cheating or other reasons for divorce. First comes the tears, then sometimes taking the total blame (when it wasn't 100% your fault). then the 'what ifs' or 'I should have done things differently.' The reality is two humans aren't perfect and couples can fall out of love. Then comes the anger. This is the time you use that anger to your own advantage. Instead of being eaten up inside by anger, realize this is a learning curve and learn from the mistakes both of you made in your marriage. That said, get out with friends, socialize and start dating again.

Mates that are vicious, abusive (verbal or physical) or used you and threw you away like so much garbage doesn't mean you are garbage or damaged goods at all! Get up, get out, get moving! I have a motto on my fridge that says, 'When you can forgive the person then they have no control over your life!' This simply means you can forgive them, but not like them and move on. If you hate them and are bitter this will eat your very soul away and you'll be the loser. Remember, all men/women are not bad and there is someone special out there for you. Life sometimes throws us curves we don't like, but when we look back we begin to understand if things hadn't happened that way we wouldn't meet the true love we are suppose to be with.

I was married for 3 1/2 years to a very verbally and physically abusive man. Why I put up with it for so long I have no idea. He also cheated and I followed him, got the goods on him and filed for divorce. I was more sad than bitter, and very angry at myself for not using the intelligence I felt I should have had, but when I went through the different grieving stages I realized that I was young and wasn't expected to be as wise as I am now and I learned from that relationship that he would never make me be a man hater or stop me from being independent. When you say you can live without a man (or woman) then you are ready for a relationship. Two years later I married a wonderful man and we've been married almost 36 years.

reprinted from Wikipedia

Friday, January 29, 2010

Cleveland Jewish News

I read a very interesting article about divorce and Grandparenting. As a grandparent that is going through a divorce, the support of family is important for anyone facing this challenge. Please enjoy the following:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

4 Hour Work Week

Divorce is a funny creature. When you first meet the person of your dreams, and you’ve got your rose colored glasses on, it’s like your perception is off and you allow this person leeways that you probably wouldn’t afford to others. Timothy Ferris talks about the 80/20 rule, I have used this rule before in business, but now, I am applying these same techniques to assess what happened in my marriage/divorce, or maybe justify what happened. I have heard it said before that failure is never failure if you learn from it and use those lessons when you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back in the race.

I am going to quote directly, (Timothy, I hope that ok with you)from Timothy Ferris' book - The 4 Hour Work Week.

“Who are the 20% of the people that produce 80% of your enjoyment and propel you forward and which 20% cause you 80% of your depression, anger and second-guessing?”
“Exact numbers aren’t needed to realize that we spend too much time with those who poison us with pessimism, sloth, and low expectations of themselves and the world. It is often the case that you have to fire certain friends or retire from particular social circles to have the life you want. This isn’t being mean; it is being practical. Poisonous people do not deserve your time. To think otherwise is masochistic.”

So when first in love, you look at your spouse with the rose-colored glasses and see things in them that are, perhaps figments or fragments of qualities that you are looking for in a partner. Time goes by and maybe you grow in different directions and are now no longer suitable for each other. Grown apart, if you will – so why prolong the agony.

I'm all for staying married. I enjoyed married life and having someone to share my life with, however when I look back and analyze the picture with the 80/20 rule, I realize that I did the right thing. If you are contemplating divorce, I really urge you to exercise all the options you can to keep the marriage together, but if your spouse falls into the category of the "20% that cause you 80% of all your depression, anger,and second guessing" - guess what time it is??

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What Type of Divorce Lawyer Should You Get??

What type of Divorce Lawyer should you hire for your divorce?

I read an interesting blog post recently by Constance Camus, a trial lawyer in Maryland. According to her article, there are a couple of different types of divorce lawyers and having been through the experience myself....I agree with her.

This is the Lamb Lawyer. A Lamb Lawyer doesn't want to rock the boat. A Lamb Lawyer doesn't want to have to go to court and defend their client. A Lamb Lawyer will try to convince a client to sign a deal that might be detrimental just so the Lamb Lawyer doesn't have to try the case.

By comparison is the Pit Bull Lawyer. Picture the other end of the spectrum, a Pit Bull Lawyer is more aggressive than what is needed by the client for the case. A Pit Bull Lawyer will take on a case and go for the juggler just for the sake of kicking someone's ass. When a spouse is bitter and angry over the circumstances of the divorce, they will typically ask around and find the lawyer with the most extreme reputation in town. Usually the Pit Bull Lawyer is overkill with aggression. There's a big difference between "aggressive" and "assertive".

Finally, the Fox Lawyer. Assertive, Cunning and maybe even conniving. Assertive when needed and able to compromise when negotiations are in order. Always aware of the bigger picture and how it will impact the clients best interests. A strong negotiator and advocate for the client, not afraid to present the case in trial, to a judge, but knowing that the faster, cheaper route is to usually settle.

It's up to you to chose your style of legal representation, The Lamb, the Pit Bull and
the Fox.