Kids and Divorce Video

A fun and engaging App that helps parents support their children through the challenges of family separation and divorce. Join thousands of families, schools and professionals worldwide who trust and use our tablet apps, to express their feelings about divorce and family breakup.

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Designed for the child (4-11 yrs) and parent to use together, K&D’S Creative story making language has great potential for a child, to grow their emotional intelligence, wellbeing and social health in a safe environment.

 

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Familysteps Introduction

The New Apps technology offers highly visual animations which are ideal for personal life storymaking. MAKE MY FAMILY (trademark)  and KIDS&DIVORCE (trademark) are the first in a planned series of 6 animation apps from Familysteps.

For me the real buzz is to connect through global internet technology,to promote and empower the psychological well being of others.

Have great fun playing with our apps!

Simon Dermody
Founder and Creative Director

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Make Yourself Over After Divorce

You got a divorce, so now what? You cried many rivers and can’t cry anymore. You sold the house or they moved out, you came to an amicable custody agreement with the kids, your family and friends are asking to set you up with their single pal and your cringe, your Saturday nights are spent watching Netflix on the couch in your pajamas and you’re wondering if you’re ready for a fresh start. The answer is yes! Going through a divorce or life changing transition can be scary, cause anxiety and self-doubt. The break-up of a marriage isn’t easy on anyone or any part of our life. Giving and disciplining yourself in with extra TLC in your mind, body and style will help you step into the next chapter with confidence, encouragement, and hope.

3 Steps to Moving on From a Divorce

1. Primp Your Mind- Knowledge is key to taking your mind off the negative self sabotaging thoughts and filling it with something positive. Take a class that you wanted to take at the local community college, online school or a wine and painting event for a night. Invest in yourself. Make time for learning new things. Get your spirituality “on”. Find what workout regimen will keep you healthy and fit for life. Explore speakers (Elizabeth Gilbert, Joyce Meyer, TD Jakes, Oprah, Deepak Chopra) on YouTube that have positive messages and listen to them daily. Implement the tips they give to living a positive and purposeful existence. Get that certification to up your credentials. Hire others that know what you don’t to train you and give you fresh eyes.

2. Shock Your Body- I know this maybe your least favorite tip. Don’t panic. Start slow and your body will follow your lead. Regardless of weight, working out and physical activity releases chemicals called endorphins into our brain to make us feel good. In addition, endorphins also induce a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. For example, the feeling that follows extensive workout is often described as "euphoric." That burst of happiness, known as a "runner's high," can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life. Not into running or extensive boot camps? No worries, start slow. Go hiking with a friend, enroll in a dance class or social exercise group like on Meetup.com. Be social and meet new friends while getting in shape.

3. Revamp Your Style - Start with your hair and work your way to the toes. Get a fresh cut and complimentary highlights or lowlights for the ladies. Make an appointment at make-up counter to get a makeover or makeunder depending on your goals and ideal look. Next, invest in new pieces that fit your current lifestyle; healthy, active, social and polished. Make sure you have a quality core wardrobe(perfect fitting jeans, cashmere sweater, 2 dresses, slacks etc). Grab shirts or scarves in complimentary colors to brighten your face. Finally, get a mani-pedicure. And yes, this tip is for men too!

The trick to moving forward after a divorce is to discipline yourself in the three areas of your life. Your mind may tell you “I don’t want to learn anything new-- it’s too hard”. Your body may tell you “What’s the point? Let’s stay here all night where it’s warm, cozy and safe”. Your old clothes may say “Don’t discard me! We had so many great times together. I want you to wear me forever...who cares if I have holes and don’t fit. People don’t care what you like”. Try to push past the deterring self-talk and get into action whether you feel like it or not. Your mind, body and style will slowly start to transition with you to the next chapter.

For more tips on how to shop for your style personality, body-shape and lifestyle check out Ultimate Guide to Style:From Drab to Fab! on Amazon. If you would like more fashion wisdom check out www.StyleByRayne.com and follow her on Instagram @rayneparvis for inspiration to be bold and beautiful.

Post-Divorce Parenting: Bashing Your Ex is Bad for Your Children

Post-Divorce Parenting: Bashing Your Ex is Bad for Your Children

By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

We all do it from time to time. Make a sarcastic comment about our ex, criticize something they did or didn’t do, gesture or grimace our faces when referring to our former spouse. When we do it in front of, near or within hearing distance of our children, we set ourselves up for a hornet’s nest of problems.

Sure, we all know this, but it’s easy to forget or let slide. It hurts our children when they hear one of their parents put down the other. This is so even if your child does not say anything about it. With rare exceptions, children innately feel they are part of both parents. They love them both even when that love isn’t returned to them in the same way.

When you put down their other parent your children are likely to interpret it as a put-down of part of them. When both parents are guilty of this behavior, it can create a great confusion along with a sense of unworthiness and low self-esteem. “Something’s wrong with me” becomes the child’s unconscious belief.

I know it’s challenging sometimes not to criticize your ex, especially when you feel totally justified in doing so. Find a friend or therapist to vent to. Don’t do it around your children. And, whenever possible, find some good things to say about their other parent – or hold your tongue.

The lesson here is simple. Destructive comments about your ex can impact your children in many negative ways. It creates anxiety and insecurity. It raises their level of fear. It makes them question how much they can trust you and your opinions – or trust themselves. And it adds a level of unhappiness into their lives that they do not need … or deserve!

When you have a problem with your ex, take it directly to them – and not to or through the children. Don’t exploit a difficult relationship, or difference of opinion with your ex, by editorializing about him or her to the kids. It’s easy to slip – especially when your frustration level is mounting.

Listen to and monitor your comments to the children about their other parent. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine whether you might be guilty of this subtle form of parental alienation:

Are you hearing yourself say: “Sounds like you picked that up from your Dad/Mom.”
Do you make a negative retort about your child’s behavior and end it with “just like your father/mother?”
Do you frequently compare your ex with other divorced parents you know making sure the kids get the negative judgment?
Do you counter every positive comment your child makes about your ex with, “Yeah, but …” and finish it with a downer?
Do you make your children feel guilty for having had fun visiting the other parent or liking something in their home?
Do you throw around biting statements like “If Mom/Dad really loved you …”
Do you try to frighten or intimidate your kids during a disagreement by saying “If you don’t like it here, then go live with your Mom/Dad?
It’s easy to fall into these behavior patterns – and they can effectively manipulate your children’s behavior – for the short-term. But in the long run you will be slowly eroding your personal relationship with the children you love and alienating their affection. This will bite you back in the years to come, especially as your children move into and through their teens.

As a parent, you want to raise children with a healthy sense of self-worth. You want children who are trusting and trust-worthy – who are open to creating loving relationships in their lives. It’s not divorce per se that emotionally scars children. It’s how you, as a parent, model your behavior before, during and after your divorce. If you model maturity, dignity and integrity whenever challenges occur, that’s what your children will see and more likely the path they will take in their own relationships. You can’t make life choices for them, but you sure can influence their choices and perceptions about the world when they are young and vulnerable!

Minding your tongue around your children can be one of the most difficult behaviors to master after a divorce. It is also one of the behaviors that will reap the greatest rewards in the well-being of your family. Don’t let anger, bitterness and indiscriminate remarks affect and harm your children. Keep a “conscious” diligence on your commentary and your ex is more likely to follow suit, as well. If he or she doesn’t, your kids will naturally pick up on the different energy and gravitate toward the parent taking the high road. Ultimately that parent will win their respect and admiration. Shouldn’t that parent be you?

* * *

Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is a Divorce & Parenting Coach, founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network and author of How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! For her free ebook on Post-Divorce Parenting: Success Strategies for Getting It Right! free ezine, blog, coaching services and other valuable resources for parents, go to: www.childcentereddivorce.com.

10 Better Money Habits for Couples

10 Better Money Habits for Couples
by Mason Brown

Many people say that money cannot buy happiness.Although this is true, still money plays an important role in any relationship or marriage. The sad part, however, of having money as an important part of any relationship is that it also becomes a major cause of arguments and misunderstandings. With this, one of the ways to live a successful and happy marriage is to ensure that you have an understanding and arrangement of financial concerns in the relationship as early as possible.

When it comes to money, communication is very important. In many instances, problems take place not because of the money itself, but rather on the beliefs, habits and values about money. Usually, couples may become offensive to discuss about money when it is believed that romance and intimacy should be the center of the relationship.

For most couples, it is easier to discuss sex than money. According to many family backgrounds, money is a sensitive subject. Why? Because it can trigger feelings of shame or inadequacy centered on spending a lot, on not having any financial management plan, or on not saving or earning enough.

Couples are normally advised to be practical and not to be blinded by love. They have to begin an open and honest conversation about their finances. Most happy couples spare some time discussing about money and setting objectives for their own and shared money.

So, how do happy couples talk about money? Here are ten better money habits that can help couples handle their finances:

1. Keeping emotions out of financial discussions

Let us admit it! Marriages include various complex emotions, and being secure is one of the strongest. Unluckily, since money is an important part of a marriage, it has the ability to become a sensitive issue. Smart couples are able to manage this when they keep their emotions well-handled especially when talking about financial issues. Through it, they are able to minimize arguments and disagreements when talking about money.

Studies suggest that having frequent talks about money can help manage emotions along the process. This is because without communication, any financial concern or struggle can result in many arguments. Hence, topics like money should be talked about regularly.

2. Have a joint & separate bank account

Many couples share a joint bank account. This account covers their regular basic necessities like mortgage or rent payments, groceries, toiletries, utilities and others. Their monthly contributions are automatically deposited to their joint bank account. Their contributionsshould be proportional to their income. They also support each other when one is not earning well.

Besides the joint account, they also have their own separate credit cards and bank accounts. Most couples know the importance of independence, liberty of choice, privacy and mutual trust. They do not stalk every move and purchase of their partner. They believe that having separate bank accounts give room for personal responsibility, personal growth, and most of all surprise gifts!

3. Making budgeting and record-keeping a joint effort

It is recommended for couples to have good financial records. They should place in the record every amount that they earn, every purchase that they make and every item that they need.

For those couples who have no idea on how to do this, there are many websites that offer a way to keep track of their spending and easily plan for their budget. Couples may also opt to attend personal finance courses or read articles on money management.

4. Set aside fun money

Couples who have tight budget may find it hard to plan for a dinner date or go on a vacation because they think they cannot afford it. However, going out and spending some precious time with each other’s company regularly can help strengthen the bond between couples.

5. Understand each other’s money type

Do you love to hoard money? Do you spend a lot? Are you a happy-go-lucky couple? Are you the type who loves to spend an amount on broadsheet subscription? According to a study, there are different money types.

Many contended couples know their own money type as well as their partner’s. Despite the differences, they do not attempt to change the money type their partner is. What they do is to find a common ground where they can share their similarities.

For some couples, expressing their love does not come with a price tag. Instead,they believe that they can show their love and affection by spending time with each other and through appreciative words or acts. If one of the couples is fond of buying gifts to express their affection but the other half just wants a cuddle, then it might create a friction between them. This is why it is vital to understand each other’s money type and the motivation for saving, investing and spending money to help in cases of financial issues.

6. Create manageable goals & realistic expectations

Another ideal money habits that couples may practice is to break down big goals into smaller, realistic and more achievable ones. For example, having to retire at 60 years old with a million dollars may sound unrealistic to a couple ages 35 years old. However, sparing a hundred dollars for investment with an aim of obtaining a thousand dollars in the end is much believable.

Setting achievable goals can avoid regrets that may happen when goals are overlooked and one of the couples blame the other.

7. Know that money is a means, not an end

Couples must understand that money is a means or a channel to exchange services and goods. Money is used it to buy foods, to obtain assets, to experience the world, and to support a lavish lifestyle. Couples know that in the end, money will not give them contentment and happiness.

Money is an important thing in any married couple. Just what the famous cliché states, “Money makes the world go round”. This is so true even in families. It makes marriages rotate because it is used to cover the necessary expenses in the family. However, money should not be the center. It must not be the motivating factor in order for a couple to be happy. It must not serve as a fuel in order to keep the fire of love burning.

With this, money should not be a reason for them to argue and eventually separate.

8. Scheduling regular financial meetings

Regular financial meetings must be on the priority list of every couple. This can be an hour talk every month or a more exhaustive discussion every six months. During the meeting, the couple can talk everything about their finances and what need to be done. Even if there is no new topic about

their finances, they can still benefit from it since they are also ensuring each other that they are on the same pace when it comes to their finances.

9. Maintain a security blanket

Nothing worries a marriage more than a financial insecurity. In the list of family needs, financial security is said to be more than belonging and love. Couples plan for their budget, follow that budget, and make a security blanket on their finances that will help them feel carefree and optimistic. This does not, however, mean that they deny themselves of material things and fun. It only means that they only spend on things they can afford.

10. Keep a balance

Couples should be wise in spending money. They must be frugal but they need not hoard money. Couples need to be generous but not reckless when it comes to money. They should appreciate financial recordings, but need not allow numbers to overcome their lives. They must smoothly walk the line between play and work and the line between investing, saving and spending.

So, everything is settled, what will be next? Will it be an open and interesting discussion on money or prevent money concerns until they collapse? Couples who are contented and happy treat money as a means to an end. Money should not be a personality trait or a character flaw. Couples approach financial issues with an ease and smile. They search for arrangement of their common goals, instead of arrangement of their personal preferences.

Finally, money-wise couples are not afraid to seek help when the need arises. This may mean consulting a finance expert for guidance, or for serious problems.

You should keep in mind that money problems are not actually money problems. Rather, they are trust issues or communication problems. Studies reveal that couples should not avoid seeking aid to address such underlying concerns.

Talking to a marriage guidance counselor or therapist is important. You must be able to talk about your financial concerns and get a fair, emotionally calm individual who can understand and help drive you to your goal.

Lastly, couples who are wise spenders are happy about their financial stability. They work hand in hand to address any money problem that will

arise and make manageable goals for the future of their family. By following these habits, you can also avoid being a victim of a divorce.

Author Bio –

Mason Brown works at DeRoberts Law Firm . He loves to write well researched and high quality content on different topics related to marriage, family, financial issues and business opportunities. He also devotes himself to coaching and counseling clients.

Co-Parenting Goals For The New Year

Co-Parenting Goals for the New Year

Sara Klemp – Content Editor, the OurFamilyWizard® website

A new year is a great time to get a fresh start on so many things, especially that which you think you can improve. It is a time to contemplate on what went well and what went wrong in the previous year, and then make resolutions and goals based on these reflections. While many of these goals focus on our well being as individuals, such as eating healthier or learning a new skill, other resolutions we make have to do with improving relationships with others. For co-parents, this is a good time to consider how you could improve your efforts in parenting together. Here are three goals for co-parents to consider in the coming year.

Be flexible. Your parenting plan lays out many guidelines regarding your co-parenting situation including your parenting schedule, how important decisions are to be made, and much more. However, you've probably already had instances come up when something just doesn't go with the plan, in particular when it comes to your parenting schedule. Maybe your co-parent wants to take your child to a family picnic that would cut into a few hours of your parenting time, or maybe you need to go on a work trip over a night that you were supposed to have the kids. Co-parenting should be a team effort where parents collaborate to raise their children as best they can. As these moments arise, try and be flexible to accommodate the change or find a solution without conflict.

Stand united for your children. No matter how you may feel about your co-parent, they play a huge role in the life of your children. Kids want to have a close, loving relationship with both of their parents, and they certainly don't want to hear their parents badmouthing each other. As long as safety is not an issue, both parents should encourage their kids to have that close relationship with each parent. Stand united with your co-parent for the sake of your children. Do all your can to promote their well-being by working together instead of against each other.

Commit to respectful communication. The ability to communicate well plays a significant role in promoting any healthy relationship, including in co-parenting. Dedicate yourself to do all you can improve communication with your co-parent. Maintain a respectful, professional tone when discussing parenting issues. If you aren't able to do this well through the means of communication, you're currently using, try using a different tool for communicating. The OurFamilyWizard® website is one particular communication tool build to facilitate co-parent communication and reduce conflict by promoting clear, unambiguous communication. The OurFamilyWizard® web and mobile apps do this by providing co-parents with a variety of features for scheduling parenting time, manage expenses and facilitate reimbursements, share documents, and much more. These tools help to keep important family information organized, secure, and easily accessible when either parent needs it.

The coming year will hold new challenges and experiences for your family. Your positive co-parenting goals will hopefully help to set you off on the right foot as you face what the New Year will bring. Want more ideas for co-parenting goals for the New Year? Click here for more.

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren: Time Apart to Heal

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren: Time Apart, Healing Betrayal?

By Dr. Jane Greer: Marriage & Family Therapist, Author, and Radio Host

Tiger Woods opened up about his relationship with ex-wife Elin Nordegren this week. The couple ended their marriage in 2010 after Tiger's cheating scandal, but now they have managed to build an amicable friendship. With time, Elin seems to have gotten past the betrayal of her ex-husband's infidelity, which is a challenge for many couples, in order to do so. Tiger and Elin share two children, so this must be a welcome development for all of them.

While some couples are able to find higher ground and continue to make their marriage work after an affair, others realize that the intensity of the pain of the incident is just too much and that they are better apart, as was the case for Elin and Tiger. Either way, initially there can be so much anger that it takes effort to not drag the children into it. This can be especially difficult if the spouses have parted and find themselves alone. The one who was betrayed feels that their whole world is turned upside down, and wants to get back at the person who did this to them and caused so much unhappiness. It is tempting to say terrible things about them to the people who are closest to you – your kids. The natural inclination is to want to get them on your side and have them take up arms against the person who caused this upheaval. The impulse to have the children understand what you are going through and why can be powerful. How, then, can you avoid this urge, and instead let them know they still have two solid parents they can continue to depend on? How can you protect them from your own fury, and the negative energy that is coming from both sides, while navigating your way to a place of, if not forgiveness, at least of tolerance and understanding? How can you lead them to a solid foundation of security so that

even if there is trouble between parents, they know they can count on the fact that both mom and dad will continue to be stable forces in their lives?

To begin with, understand that they are not the ones who should be supporting you through this. They need your support, so the goal is to try not to burden them with your rage. Of course, that is easier said than done. The first step is to find an outlet elsewhere because you will need to talk about it, and choosing people other than your kids to unload on is a great start. You can find solace and confide in anyone from a therapist or counselor to friends and other family members. Work to insulate your children so they don’t have to go through the raw emotion that you are going through. Steer clear of sharing the bad things your spouse did to you with the kids as much as you can. Finally, give yourself time which will hopefully lessen the sharpness of the betrayal, and eventually allow you to share at least a cordial relationship.

The hope is to find a way to provide a harmonious family environment despite the rift in your marriage. When both parents can come back together and share an affable connection, as Elin and Tiger have done, this can become easier to do. The distance between Tiger and Elin may have been just what they needed to move past their relationship as lovers, then fighters, and eventually continue forward in a solid friendship.

Please tune in to the Doctor on Call radio hour on HealthyLife.net every Tuesday at 2 PM EST, 11 AM PST. First and third Tuesdays are Shrink Wrap on Call, second Tuesdays are HuffPost on Call, and the last Tuesday of the month is Let's Talk Sex! Email your questions dealing with relationships, intimacy, family, and friendships to Dr. Greer at askdrjane@drjanegreer.com.

Keeping The Kids First

Keeping The Kids First

Sara Klemp – Content Editor, the OurFamilyWizard® website

Co-parenting after divorce is a big responsibility that can be very rewarding when done right. However, it can be difficult when feelings of frustration and resentment get in the way of letting parents keep their focus on parenting effectively. Whether parents had an amicable or contentious split, it's always important that they put the best interests of the kids first.

To effectively put the kids first, parents should be aware of the effect that experiencing parental conflict can have on their young ones. It's a fact that all parents will clash at times and encounter moments of frustration. This isn't abnormal, but it can become problematic when the kids are constantly put in the middle of the conflict. Kids experience a multitude of emotions during their parents' divorce, and parental conflict can exacerbate their feelings anxiety and stress. Moreover, the emotions that kids experience at a young age stemming from parental conflict may be carried within them into adulthood, affecting their future relationships. For these reasons, divorced parents should seek ways to shield their kids from any conflict that does arise, but more importantly, they should be concerned about finding ways to improve their interactions to reduce the risk of future conflict.

Working on improving your co-parenting interactions may take time, but employing the right strategies and using helpful tools can help to advance this process. One such toolset that can aid co-parents in communicating more effectively is the OurFamilyWizard® website. Features and templates on OFW® are built to facilitate co-parent communication by keeping their conversations focus on the facts with less of the frivolous commentary that turns into conflict. It also creates a neutral space for co-parents to communicate about the things they need to discuss without putting the kids in the middle or making them the messengers for their parents. Even more, co-parents who need extra support to improve their communication can invite their family law and mental health practitioners to oversee their communications as well as have access to work with them directly through the website.

For fifteen years, the OurFamilyWizard® website has helped parents communicate and shield kids from conflict. Check out this article from OurFamilyWizard® that details five strategies for keeping kids first and how their tools can help co-parents do so.

Beyonce and Jay Z: A Balancing Act?

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Beyonce and Jay Z: A Balancing Act?
By Dr. Jane Greer: Marriage & Family Therapist, Author, and Radio Host

As Beyonce's career continues to soar, her husband Jay Z has taken on the role of full-time dad to their daughter Blue Ivy. After spending the summer mending their marriage, Jay Z seems to be okay with the idea of being a stay-at-home dad while Queen Bey continues her rise to even more success and fame. Their attempt to balance the responsibilities of parenthood and two careers is a great example of how spouses can support each other, but it isn’t always easy to reach that point. How can two people who each want what they want reach a place where they are both getting what they and their family need?

Managing all the responsibilities of a dual-career household can be daunting. It requires both adults to be willing and able to prioritize whose needs come first at different times along their marriage journey, and then be flexible and make the necessary changes as life’s challenges and opportunities shift. For example, you might start off your marriage with one of you being the clear bread-winner and the other taking on more duties close to home with the promise of taking care of the kids when they arrive. But then that could shift, and the one who was previously focused on your home might get a promotion, a new job, or the chance to take on a big project. That person won’t have the time he or she once had, and the other partner might have to step up and take on many of the daily tasks they used to do. In other words, one or the other must be willing at times to set aside his or her own personal and career needs for the greater good of the marriage and the family. This can sometimes inadvertently cause resentment. It can feel like a loss instead of a gain because the balance has shifted and one might believe they are doing more than the other, or there might be the perception that one is getting to achieve their dreams while the other is stuck at home.

Almost everyone struggles with this at times.
The key is to be able to talk openly, first about how committed and invested you are in making your marriage and family work, and establish that you will do what it takes to achieve that. Once that is agreed upon, try to figure out how you can compromise and both be happy. Maybe it means that one of you will take the year to pursue your career goals. Then you can switch and the other person will have a chance to move forward in his or her career. If it is all packaged in the context of “for now,” as in I’ll make the money and you stay home with the kids, or vice versa, for now, not forever, it becomes easier to accept. It is constantly a work in progress.
This appears to be what Beyonce and Jay Z are doing right now. They are balancing family responsibilities with career opportunities, and remaining open to changes and transitions based on what’s come along. It's important to be willing to make alterations to your lifestyle at times for your partner, and for him or her to do the same for you. That is the art of compromise, one partner pursuing their career while the other sits out the dance, so to speak, and then reversing that when the time is right. It requires constant checking in with each other to make sure everyone is comfortable and no one feels they made a sacrifice, but instead that they are making a choice. Deciding to do something to support and please your partner, and make them happy, is the buffer to bitterness and can help you avoid feeling robbed of your own aspirations.

Please tune in to the Doctor on Call radio hour on HealthyLife.net every Tuesday at 2 PM EST, 11 AM PST. First and third Tuesdays are Shrink Wrap on Call, second Tuesdays are HuffPost on Call, and the last Tuesday of the month is Let's Talk Sex! Email your questions dealing with relationships, intimacy, family, and friendships to Dr. Greer at askdrjane@drjanegreer.com.
Connect with Dr. Jane Greer on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/DrJaneGreer, and be sure to follow @DrJaneGreer on Twitter for her latest insights on love, relationships, sex, and intimacy.

For more on Dr. Greer, visit http://www.drjanegreer.com.

Overcoming loneliness after divorce – how long does it take?

One of the most common questions I see in divorce communities is this: “How long will it take? How much longer will I feel as lonely as I do now?”

Because that’s the feeling:

When you have lost your ex, who, everything else aside, was the person in the world who you were most close with and deeply attached to in all sorts of ways …
When you perhaps have lost friends as well, because they couldn’t cope with the divorce so they just withdrew, choosing him, or were embarrassed to invite a divorced woman to social gatherings…
When you, on top of that perhaps also had to move and in this way find yourself in strange surroundings, apart from the community that you were part of…

It hurts so deeply, the pain is so persistent, and you don’t know how to make it stop… The only cure you can think of is getting the life back that you have lost. But that is not possible. Plus you don’t really want it back…

And so, not seeing any options other than waiting for time to heal this, all you’re left with is one question:

How much longer?

There is no simple answer to that question, obviously.

The truth is, it can take weeks (it’s rare but it happens). And it can take years or forever, and everything in between.

It depends. Perhaps more than anything else it depends on understanding the post-divorce loneliness (and also the pre-divorce loneliness, for that matter) and then addressing it from that bigger perspective.

Because the thing is that divorce doesn’t just lead to loneliness:

Divorce also triggers the loneliness that was there already.

You see, even if loneliness is not something we talk much about in our society, it’s a state that most human beings, divorced or not, are familiar with. And, in most cases, it starts early in life.

But we – human beings in general, that is – are not aware of it. We tend to forget about it or we get used to it or we find ways to escape it. But the loneliness is still there.

And if it’s there in a significant degree then the emotional upheaval of the divorce will take you back to that pain. Except, you probably won’t be aware of it happening. Because pain is pain.

So, in essence, if there wasn’t much loneliness in you prior to the divorce, if you’re a balanced, independent person, it may not take all that long to move on. And, that’s quite rare.

Please know though that even if there are much more lonely feelings inside than you’re aware of, it still doesn’t have to take all that long to overcome it. It could be a matter of 6-12 months or so, rather than years or forever.

I’ve seen that in my life and I’ve seen that in the lives of my clients.

But it does require that you address it. To transform the pain of loneliness, appropriate inner work is needed, as opposed to emotional Band-Aids, however they may look.

The first step towards overcoming loneliness is to …

Acknowledge the reality of loneliness

Acknowledge that it’s not just about who and what you just lost. Understand that the new wound has also opened an old one.

This is, actually, truly empowering! Because once you realize it, you will also understand that you do not have to go back to your old life in order to heal the pain. On the contrary – you need to build a new life for yourself.

That’s the next step …

Do whatever it takes to heal

You are free to heal the new wound and the old as well.

In committing to it, and doing the inner work that it takes, you will experience not only that loneliness will gradually dissolve, but that it will be replaced by something entirely different: joy. Because joy goes even further back than loneliness!

Joy is our nature

As you heal the pain, emptiness inside will be gradually filled by joy, and love.

With that, you can create a more joyful life than you ever had before!

It’s absolutely doable. And, if you’re like most people, you probably need help for that process.

Which is a good thing! Reach out for support for this process too.

Just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean that you have to go it alone.


Halina Goldstein is a Love To Loneliness coach, based in Denmark, working globally over phone/Skype. She helps divorced women effortlessly connect with people who love, appreciate, and support them. Visit Halina’s blog or schedule a free Love and Support Discovery Session.

My Letter To Florida Governor Rick Scott
By Carolann Mazza, P.A.

Dear Governor Scott,

I am writing to thank you for signing the Collaborative Law Act into law and for vetoing the current version of the Alimony Reform Bill, specifically the provision on the 50/50 time sharing presumption. I believe both of these measures go a long way towards protecting Florida’s children and serving their families.

Representative Ritch Workman, one of the sponsors of the Alimony Reform Bill, is quoted as saying,

“The governor’s message is clear; we must tackle each issue in family law separately rather than lumping them all together.” He goes on to say, “I am committed to reforming these issues. Next session I intend to facilitate individual bills regarding alimony payments, child custody and other family law issues. The system has long been in need of significant overall [change] and Florida families deserve consistency and fairness in their divorce proceedings.”

I agree wholeheartedly with Representative Workman: the current system in place is in dire need of reform. It does not serve Florida families well; rather, it destroys families. However, while the system is in need of reform, piecemeal legislation that pits parents against each other and a system that discourages parents, instead of encouraging them to work together to make decisions about their children is not the answer. In fact, the last thing the families of Florida need is for their family conflict to be viewed as a bunch of separate issues. It is one issue, to be lumped together: divorce is a relationship issue with legal and financial components. The family must be viewed as a whole in order to properly address the issue of divorce and the related relationship breakdown. Acknowledging and addressing the core issue (i.e., the emotional pain and trauma) helps people move beyond the conflict and make better decisions. A process that focuses on the needs and interests of the family serves families and, in turn, protects children from the harm that occurs through a protracted litigation process.

Despite the best efforts of the Family Court judges and family lawyers and despite cases such as Diaz v. Diaz, 826 So.2d 229 (Fl. 2002), (recognizing the laudable goal of reducing the amount and intensity of adversarial litigation that can result in the dissipation of the parties' assets and that can have a destructive effect on the parties' emotional well-being), children suffer the consequences when their parents fight it out in court. I have seen so many children spend their childhoods embroiled in their parents’ litigation. Study after study show that children whose parents engage in litigated conflict do poorly in school, have low self-esteem, have difficulty developing strong relationships later in life, suffer depression, etc.

Families do not belong in court. The courtroom is no place for families to work through the emotions attendant to a relationship breakdown. In fact, emotions do not come into the analysis that happens in a courtroom. The elephant in the room is ignored and grows bigger because of it.

It is ironic that “no-fault” divorce was seen as an advancement when so many people want to go into court and prove to someone (the judge) that it is their spouse’s fault that the marriage broke down. They want vindication, revenge, salve, etc., relief from their pain---which does not come from a litigated process. In fact, the litigated process prolongs the pain and causes the emotions to get out of hand.

Judges (strangers) are not the best positioned to make decisions about people’s children and money. Parents are. Given the right support and tools to get through the emotionally ravaging changes divorce brings, parents are generally the best people to protect their children and to ensure that their best interests are at the forefront. Thinking about it in another way, it is really stupid that people have to sue their spouses in order to restructure their families.

We live in a society in which more than 50% of first marriages end in divorce; the percentages are higher for second and third marriages. I suggest that part of the reason the divorce rates increase is because people did not address their emotional pain the first time around.

In order to serve Florida families during the statistically likely event of divorce, our system must be changed drastically. Some changes I suggest are:

Mandatory waiting periods between separation and the date of filing
Mandatory counseling to address the emotional aspects of divorce/failed relationships pre-filing
Mandatory in-person parenting courses of more than four hours duration pre-filing
Untying time sharing from child support
Making out of court options, such as Collaborative Divorce and mediation, a requirement before filing in court is permitted
Making litigation the absolute last resort for divorcing couples/non-married parents whose relationships have broken down
These are just a few possibilities towards building a family system that supports Florida’s families and protects Florida’s children. I know there are others. There are organizations such as FLAFCC (Florida Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts) that have as members people from multiple disciplines whose sole task is to bring change to a system that has failed Florida’s families. This is a very important issue. The health and well-being of Florida’s families and children are at stake.

Sincerely,

Carolann Mazza

Learning to Become Yourself Again Through Travel

By Carmen Schaffer, Viva la Vida Travel

There are a lot of us, myself included, who are going through major life changes and wonder what on earth we are all about. How did we manage to lose ourselves while trying to create a life? Who am I anymore? Am I just a machine who robotically cooks dinner, washes clothes, scrubs toilets and tends to the family's needs? How is it that we became so disconnected from our very own selves?

I'm sure you've pondered such questions and have come up either blank or with a myriad of answers that you've ruminated on over and over again in your mind yet they still didn't manage to relieve your angst.

As parents, whether we be single or married, it's very easy to let ourselves dissolve into the needs of those who depend on us; our children need us, our spouses need us, our jobs need us, everyone needs us. What we tend to neglect the most in our rat race lives is the very entity that gets us through our days : our very own selves.

We forget what we love to do. We forget what inspires us and makes us feel alive. We simply feel like another face in the crowd . We feel lost, disconnected, withdrawn and lifeless. Our relationships fall apart and we begin to feel hopeless and machine-like in life. All of these things are devastating consequences of not paying attention to our inner calling and to what makes our hearts happy.

Let me tell you about finding yourself. Let me tell you how to find you again.

I recently came back from a 12 day trip to Peru and I'll have to tell you that it was life changing. I've traveled all throughout Latin America and I feel a deep connection to all things Latin-based but this trip to Peru left me with a feeling that I couldn't put a finger on. Aside from the breathtaking and humbling Andes mountains and the ever impressive Machu Picchu, the essence of the Peruvian people and the richness of it's culture filled my soul. I sat on top of Machu Picchu and marveled at the remains of an ancient civilization that lived and thrived there and wondered how they could have possibly done it all with the little that they had available to them. I felt inspired imagining the work and diligence it took the Incan people to create a thriving community built by hand. I vowed I would never complain again about the mundane chores I have to do in my suburban Minnesota home because it paled in comparison to what the Incan people had to do and still do to live their lives.

As I traveled throughout Peru, I felt a change within me. The best way to describe it is really a softening of my soul. I became less agitated by little things. I noticed the way the clouds drifted over and through the mountains. I stopped to pet the myriad of dogs and cats wandering in the streets. I tried new foods. I climbed mountains and didn't complain. I laughed and I even cried. I felt a patience inside myself not only for the world around me but within myself and I couldn't understand it given what my "reality" back home looked like. Given how stressful my world was on the home front, you'd think I would still carry that with me, but I didn't. I let it go. I chose to be in the moment.

Upon my return from Peru, the change that had occurred within me continued. My reality hadn't changed but my attitude changed. I began to feel empowered by what I alone can do. I began to embrace the softening of my soul and not reject it thinking it was a form of weakness. I'll admit it, I'm seeing a therapist to help me get through life and help make sense of it all. I explained this change within me to my therapist and tried to come to an understanding of what it all meant to who I was and what I was all about. This was her response, " Who you were in Peru is who you are now. You are the same person there as you are here. Yes, you have more stressors here. Yes, you have life's responsibilities to attend to but you are still the exact same person you were on top of Machu Picchu. You are a person filled with wonder. You are moved by the natural world. You are a generous soul who cares about those around you. You are curious and adventurous. That is who you are."

It seems like too simple of an answer to the big question, "Who am I anymore?" but truth be told, who you are in your moments of delight, sadness, and inspiration is exactly who you are right now. It's easier to embrace our joys while traveling but really what we are embracing is our true self ~ not to be disguised as the vacationing version of ourselves because truth be told, we are one in the same, the only difference being we ARE on vacation.

Sometimes we really have to step out of our situation to realize just who and what we are. There is no plan to find oneself in traveling, it simply happens. It happens in the quiet moments of reflection in a beautiful setting and it happens in crowds of people where we feel overwhelmed and stressed out. It's difficult to pay attention to ourselves when we are trying our best to get through life but if you ask me, getting through life is not enough. Getting through life is not a life well-lived. Understanding what makes you tick and what brings you joy will help you navigate your daily lives with less anxiety, more patience and a more fulfilled sense of being. Trust me on this. It's not an easy road but when the softening of the soul happens, you'll understand that you're becoming the you that you have always been and perhaps a much richer version of that person.

Traveling has such an immense power to change our lives. It gives us perspective, hope,it fuels our curiosity and drives us to do and learn more about what's around the next corner, not only on our travels but in our daily life.

Here's to you, my friends and here's to the travels that help you find you again.

Viva la Vida!

Is It Okay To Get Over The Old With The New?

Taylor Swift: Is It Okay To Get Over The Old With The New?
By Dr. Jane Greer: Marriage & Family Therapist, Author, and Radio Host

Just weeks after her split with Calvin Harris, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift jumped right into a new relationship with actor Tom Hiddleston. Photos first began surfacing in mid-June of the two of them making out on the beach, and since then neither has been shy about flaunting their love story to the world. Considering how recently Taylor’s last relationship ended, these events have raised speculation as to whether this is simply a ploy for media attention, an attempt to make her ex jealous, or actually true love. Whatever the case, Taylor appears to be moving on. It raises the question, is there a necessary timeline to follow when recovering from a breakup? If so, how soon is too soon to fall in love again?
When it comes to getting over a split there is a general sense that you should give yourself some time to heal from the loss of what you left behind before you explore a new connection with someone else. Some say that moving too fast is a way to ignore the pain. The truth is, though, that everyone deals with heartache in a different way. It is a very personal journey in terms of how each person manages the sadness of saying good-bye to someone they loved or sometimes even still love. Some people withdraw and go into emotional hibernation, unwilling to put themselves out there for a while and risk being hurt again. Those people have no immediate desire to meet someone new or even contemplate their next date or relationship. For others the opposite is true, and looking ahead to a new romance is just what they need to survive the heartbreak. Taking your personal inventory of what works for you, figuring out your own equation of moving faster or slower, can be helpful in gauging the best way for you to deal with the end of a relationship.
When moving on quickly is the choice, it makes sense to use your previous relationship as a barometer for what does and doesn’t work for you so you can enter this new romantic phase with self-awareness. Take some time to understand why your last relationship ended, and work to avoid those things in this new partnership.
For Taylor, it seems that swifter is better. Sometimes it takes courage to jump back into the pool again, to not let your heart harden and be willing to take a chance and open yourself up to someone you are just getting to know. It also takes bravery to begin to trust again. If moving on to replace your loss is what you want to do, then follow your heart – Taylor always does.

Please tune in to the Doctor on Call radio hour on HealthyLife.net every Tuesday at 2 PM EST, 11 AM PST. First and third Tuesdays are Shrink Wrap on Call, second Tuesdays are HuffPost on Call, and the last Tuesday of the month is Let's Talk Sex! Email your questions dealing with relationships, intimacy, family, and friendships to Dr. Greer at askdrjane@drjanegreer.com.
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