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5 Ways to Find Yourself Again

  • admin
  • January 4, 2022

Divorce can challenge the essence of our identity as we move from married life to single life.  Sometimes we don’t even recognize ourselves anymore. If you’re feeling a little lost, here are five ways to rediscover yourself and reclaim your happiness.

1)Recapture the Joy of Your Youth.

Think back to your childhood. What did you enjoy doing? Is there an adult version of that? Take a moment to revisit all the positive experiences of your youth.  What events did you like attending? What hobbies did you have? What types of activities did you participate in? What special interests did you explore? What holidays, traditions and celebrations did you most look forward to? Can you re-create them now as an adult? If you were a high school soccer star, think about joining an adult soccer league. Was art always your favorite subject in school? Sign up for a painting class.  Did you love playing outside? Find activities to do in the fresh air like hiking or biking.  What brought us joy as a child can be rekindled in our adult lives.

2)Get Out the Old Photo Albums.

Go back in time and reminisce with old photo albums.  Through pictures, you can revisit the events in your life that have made you uniquely you! Seeing images of ourselves over the years, helps us connect with our life’s journey.  What revelations will unfold as you turn the pages? As we become the observers of our own lives, we will get to know ourselves on another level.

3)Talk to Your Loved Ones.

Survey your friends and family. If you are feeling lost or sad, your loved ones are always good for reminding you of how special you are. Ask them questions.  What was I like as a kid? What do you think I’m good at? What do you consider my best traits? What do you like about me? What are three words you would use to describe me? What do you think makes me happy? If I were an animal, what would I be and why? If I were a color, a food, a tree, a car, etc. We can often find ourselves by reconnecting with the people who know us best.

4)Take Inventory of Your Values.

What standards do you live by? What are your core morals and values? Really think about this, then make a list of all your values.  Are you behaving consistently with your values? If you value friendship, are you actively cultivating and nurturing your relationships? If you value spirituality, are you taking time out to worship and pray and connect with your higher power? If you value success, are you working hard toward your goals?  If you value good health, are you living a fit lifestyle?  An overall sense of fulfillment and calmness is achieved when we live in accordance with our values and beliefs.

5)Unlock Your Dreams.

What did you dream about as a child? How have those dreams changed over the years? Which dreams did you fulfill? What are your dreams now? What do you want for your future? What excites you? What do you look forward to? What kind of life would you like to create for yourself? Defining our dreams gives us something to strive for and something to look forward to.  The human spirit is lifted by purpose and progress.

5 Tips for Surviving the Holidays

  • admin
  • November 2, 2021

It’s that time of year again. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is often approached with a combination of dread and cheer.  Add a divorce to the mix, and the holidays can turn into a complicated mess. Here are five ways to save the celebrations.

1)Plan Ahead and Stick to the Plan

The holidays are such a hectic time, especially when you no longer have a partner to rely on for help. You can avoid some of the chaos by having a good plan in place. Don’t wait for the last minute to figure out all the details. If you are hosting, keep a daily calendar and schedule what has to get done by when. Assigning a deadline and time slot for each chore makes things so much more manageable and will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. Sticking to the plan will also help you maintain your sanity. If you have planned out your menu, don’t go to the supermarket and buy 50 other things not on your menu. If you planned to clean the house on Tuesday, don’t wait until Wednesday.  If you planned dinner for 5pm and Uncle Fred is running late, dinner is still at 5pm.

2)Communicate with Your Ex

Even if you are not on the best of terms, try to maintain the holiday spirit with your ex. Put any bitterness and resentment aside.  You want to enjoy this time of year without that heavy weight on you. If you have children, honor the terms that were set forth in your divorce agreement concerning parenting times during the holidays. Make sure you and your ex communicate clearly about plans. Who will have the kids when? Set firm pick-up and drop-off times. Find out what festivities they will be participating in. You may also want to discuss gift giving in advance to make sure your kids don’t receive duplicate gifts. And remember, gift giving is not a competition between you and your ex. The most valuable gifts— gifts of time, attention and love—are heartfelt and free.  If you will be without your kids, don’t sabotage their time with their other parent. Work together to ensure your children have a joyous holiday.

3)Combine Old and New Traditions

If you are newly divorced, holidays can be especially rough. The family unit has changed and everything seems different now. This may leave you wondering how to celebrate. Think about all your family traditions. Keep the ones you actually enjoy and toss the ones where you feel like you would just be going through the motions. Maintaining some of your old traditions will add to your sense of stability, while creating new traditions can signify your fresh new start. Sounds like a good combination!  Of course, let your kids have a say too. They may cherish traditions from past holidays and simultaneously enjoy coming up with their own new traditions.

4)Remember What’s Important

Don’t put pressure on yourself for the holidays to be perfect. It’s not all about fancy meals and presents and decorations and parties. Remember the true meaning of the holidays. Revisit the origins of whatever holiday you are celebrating. Pause and connect with that. Then, ask yourself what are you truly thankful for? Grateful for? Even in the midst of divorce, we have blessings to count.

5)Know Your Limits

Holidays stir up all sorts of emotions and expectations.  Allow yourself time to adjust to your new life circumstances. If you aren’t feeling very festive this year, that’s ok. Know your limits and set boundaries accordingly. It’s ok to turn down invites. It’s ok to say you’re not up for hosting. It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok if you don’t get holiday cards out. It’s ok if you’re feeling blah.  It’s ok to say no to family and friends.  If you are having a case of the holiday blues this year, just remember there’s always next year and there will be plenty to celebrate in the future.

5 Things to Consider When Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce

  • admin
  • August 5, 2021

5 Things to Consider When Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce

Telling your spouse you want a divorce is one of the most difficult conversations you will ever have.  Be prepared. Enter this discussion with your thoughts organized and your emotions in check.  This conversation can have a long-lasting impact, setting the tone for your divorce process as well as your life post-divorce. Here are five things to consider when telling your spouse you want out.

1)Keep the Conversation Simple and Brief.

Chances are your spouse is already aware of your marital issues, so there is no need to re-hash every problem and argument you’ve ever had. Remember, this is an initial conversation. There will be many more divorce discussions to follow. Don’t overwhelm yourself or your spouse at this time by reliving your entire past or by trying to figure out your entire future.

2)Find the Right Time and Place.

Try to be tactful concerning when and where this discussion will take place. Seek a calm, quiet setting free from distractions and interruptions. No phones!  Obviously, children should not be present. Be cognizant of the timing. Is your spouse more approachable in the morning or the evening? Are there other stressful issues or important events going on in your partner’s life right now?  Stay clear of holiday times, birthday weeks, and other major life events. Negative associations can deepen and prolong the hurt for years to come.

3)Avoid Blaming, Threatening and Criticizing.

These tactics will just fuel anger and other nonproductive, defensive behaviors. Your spouse is already feeling vulnerable and under attack. There is no need to further heighten emotions.  Soften the blow with “we” statements.  Some examples: We can’t seem to make this marriage work any longer; We can’t go on like this, it’s not good for either one of us; We need to find a way to peacefully end this; We both know this marriage is not working.  Avoid blaming statements beginning with “you.”   In addition, avoid superlatives such as “you always…” or “you never…”  Remember, your goal is to end your marriage as peacefully as possible, not start a war.

4)Stay Calm. 

Prepare for and respect your spouse’s reactions, which can vary greatly depending upon whether they were blindsided by your decision to divorce or expecting it. Your spouse may immediately shut down or may bombard you with questions, insults or threats.  Be prepared to maintain your composure even if they lash out. Regardless of their initial response, your spouse deserves an explanation. Fairly answer questions, but don’t engage if a battle ensues. You have already made your decision to divorce. You are no longer fighting for your marriage, so hang up the gloves.  No need to test emotions and waste energy fruitlessly trying to prove your position. Break the cycle of conflict. Release the need to be right. Release the urge to retaliate.  Agree to disagree. Most importantly, be kind. Remember, at one point in your life, this person meant everything to you.

5)Be Firm.

When confronted by divorce, your spouse may promise to change, or plead for one more chance, or try to convince you that divorce is not the answer.  If you have already weighed this decision over and over again for months or years and are absolutely sure this is what you truly need and want, don’t waiver.  Be firm about your decision. Don’t allow yourself to be persuaded or guilted back into a relationship you no longer want. Hold your ground and don’t give your spouse false hope.