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Can you pick up the pieces

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Empowerment
Can you pick up the pieces

 

The story is too familiar. You are involved in a long term relationship or marriage. It usually starts out wonderful, full of joy and excitement as you pursue your hopes and dreams. You are ready to take on the world together. Then life happens. Stress at work; money issues; children’s needs; losing a job; issues with in-laws; health concerns. The list goes on and on. The feelings of joy starts to fade. You didn’t sign up for this! You stop communicating with each other, I mean really communicating and connecting, not just talking at each other. The relationship and your life become a grind. You start going through the motions.

You start to think, there has to be a better way. Chances are your partner feels the same. One of you finds a kindred spirit, a friend, an associate, someone with whom you can share your frustrations. You tell yourself, it is nothing serious we’re just talking. The more you talk and share with your kindred spirit, the less you share with your partner. Sooner or later you cross the line. You are hoping to make things better, but they are about to become worse. Heart break, separation, betrayal, divorce.

Since my book When the Wife Cheats was released, I have spoken to dozens of men and women whose resolution is simply to “move on” from betrayal. This one is not so easy. Betrayal comes in many forms. We have all been betrayed by a friend or co-worker or a trusted employee. Although these betrayals hurt, we are able to move on fairly quickly. However, it is not so easy when the betrayal is your spouse or life partner. I wish I had the answer—I don’t. I can only share what has helped me.

Whether you want to or not, you cannot escape the grief process (shock, denial, anger, bargaining, guilt, depression, and acceptance). I know because I tried. Unfortunately, these stages don’t always go in order. I still find myself going back and forth between them. It’s OK. This process is not an exact science. Spousal betrayal is made more difficult because your heart isn’t just broken, often it is shattered. There is usually a set time to fix a break. A broken bone may heal in six to eight weeks. A shattered bone or heart has no fixed time to heal. It is going to take far more time than you expect. Give yourself time.

Before you can pick up the pieces and start moving forward you have to forgive yourself. Let me say that again; forgive yourself. You weren’t the worst husband or wife ever. While you may have done the best you could to make your marriage work, it didn’t work. You cannot make someone else happy or make them love you if they don’t. You may never forgive your spouse—that’s OK—but forgive yourself.

I used this quote in When the Wife Cheats. It helped me. I hope it helps you.

“There comes a point in your life when you realize: who matters, who never did, who won’t anymore and who always will…so don’t worry about people from your past; there is a reason they didn’t make it to your future.”

Now I know this is far easier said that done. You are going to find yourself in the depths of depression and sorrow; when you don’t believe you have the strength to even get out of bed; when you have no idea how you are going to survive the next hour—let alone raise your children. Believe me, you will have ALL of these feelings. When you feel completely overwhelmed, remember this: Look up… Get up… And never ever give up.

You will recover in time. When you are ready, pick up the pieces and start moving forward. There is nothing new to see in the past, so don’t look behind you; you’re not going that way. Even in your hardest day move forward. Better times and better people will come into your life.

Starting Over

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Empowerment
Starting Over

Starting Over

An excerpt from How to Create a Magical Relationship, The Three Simple Ideas That Will Instantaneously Transform Your Love Life

Click here for more information or to purchase this book

Have you ever found yourself in one of those moods where no matter what your partner says or does, it is all fodder for the fight? Where you are angry, disturbed, and nothing he or she says or does is right or good enough to relieve your sense of aggravation?

We recently met a couple, Hal and Mary, in one of these altered states of consciousness. They came to speak to us about their relationship and how, no matter what they did, it always ended in an upset and distress, and their fight never seemed to completely resolve. Oh sure, it abated from time to time, but the embers of disagreement were always just below a thin skin, ready to erupt at any time.

The funny thing was they were both right—from their individual points of view. From his point of view, “She would always . . . ,” and from her point of view, he was wrong and all of her friends agreed with her. This couple had a list of grievances dating back to early in their relationship, past events over which the two of them continued to disagree.

Hal and Mary had fundamental behavior patterns in their relationship that we have seen in other intimate relationships where nothing seems to resolve. No matter how much they tried to change or fix the situation, it stayed the same or became worse. So they came to us, looking at whether or not they should remain together. Their situation was further complicated by the fact that they had a sixteen-month-old child together. By now, the sense of intimacy between them had completely eroded, and while they were very devoted to their daughter, she had become the focal point for many of their fights.

The real problem was that Mary and Hal, for all of their strife, were obviously still in love. They just couldn’t find a way to sidestep the old grievances that kept resurfacing, incendiary mechanical behaviors that set them battling against their will.

Our usual approach is to find out where it all started and what happened that initiated the fight, but when we asked what had caused this pattern of behavior in the first place, Hal and Mary each had their reasons for what the other did or didn’t do that created the situation, and both of them were “right” from their points of view. Apparently, we had a stalemate. No matter what we came up with, each person felt certain that the other was the cause of their stress, upset, and dissatisfaction. This is normal for most relationships that are in trouble.

In situations like this, where the partners have been together for several years, the starting point of the disagreement is obscured forever. So what do you do to alleviate the pain when you are locked in a habituated way of relating that seems to have no beginning and no end—a way of relating that keeps accelerating in its frequency, intensity, and duration?

At some point, the reasons why you are upset become irrelevant because everything becomes grounds for the disturbance. It has been unresolved for so long that there is no way to go back and fix all of the grievances and transgressions.

So what do you do then? You can leave each other, which is the end result that a lot of loving relationships devolve into — it’s called divorce. You can punish each other perpetually and live a life of complaint and pain. Or you can start over.

There have been times in our relationship when we found ourselves fighting and could not find a way out of the disagreement in which we were locked. Finally, we came up with a device that allowed us to stop fighting. One day, we were driving into New York City, and for whatever reason, we were deeply engaged in disagreeing with each other. It escalated and was like a sore tooth that you worry with your tongue; we couldn’t seem to leave it alone. Our silences were noisy — very noisy. And each of us was certain that we were right in our own perspective and that the other was simply wrong. We each felt picked on and misunderstood. It didn’t feel good, but there didn’t seem to be a way to resolve the conflict. Finally, we came up with the idea of starting over. We picked out an overpass ahead on the highway and said, “When we go under that overpass, the fight is over.” This meant that as soon as our car passed that spot, we were going to operate as if this disagreeable conversation had never taken place. Onward we drove. It took discipline at first to resist thinking about the altercation that had just happened, but we kept bringing our thoughts and conversation back to current things, such as what we could see out the window and our plans for the day, rather than rehashing the past.

We can’t remember now what our fight was about. It seemed so important at the time, but now the details have faded into obscurity. We knew that the fight could fade away for Hal and Mary too, if given a chance, and so we suggested that they try starting over. We warned them it would be challenging not to keep going back to past gripes, but they grew excited and intrigued at the idea.

That night, Hal and Mary had a date. They had not been on a real, live date since before their child was born. The point where they started over was the opportunity for a new beginning. They grabbed this chance with both hands, and intimacy resulted. However, the next time an upsetting event happened between them or a similar type of disagreement cropped up over their child, it took discipline to resist the temptation to revisit old events. With practice, the habit of going back to touch on old events in your thoughts or in your actions can fade away.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, podcast/radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here podcast or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Being Here…Too, is available on Amazon.comBarnesandNoble.com and everywhere books are sold.

Books by Ariel & Shya Kane

Understanding and Using the Thoughts and Feelings After Divorce By Dr. Suzanne B. Phillips

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Variety
Understanding and Using the Thoughts and Feelings After Divorce By Dr. Suzanne B. Phillips

Despite statistics, divorce is difficult. Understanding the thoughts and feelings after divorce allows for use of them as lessons learned in going forward. This blog considers why intimate feelings can linger, the cost of re-writing history, the time for grieving, the cost of “tearing up” the good memories for children and way to find self and a better future.

More Here!

Family Mediation Group led by VoiceAmerica show host Virginia Colin wins legal services award

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Variety
Family Mediation Group led by VoiceAmerica show host Virginia Colin wins legal services award

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What does Dr. Virginia Colin, host of “Family Matters” on VoiceAmerica’s Variety channel, do when not on air? As Director of Colin Family Mediation Group LLC (CFMG), she provides family mediation services to families in Burke and other parts of northern Virginia. For 2015, the Best in Burke Award for providing legal services went to Colin Family Mediation Group. The Group is, naturally, proud, and also very happy to be able to provide valuable, low-cost assistance to families making decisions about marriage, separation, divorce, reconciliation, or other family matters. Best of Burke 2015 CFMG award v2

Stay True to You With Acts of Self Respect

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Empowerment
Stay True to You With Acts of Self Respect

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Our first and last love is self-love which is portrayed to the world through actions reflecting self-respect. Clint Eastwood once said, “Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that is real power.”

Now that I’m a parent, I often reflect on my own childhood and am so grateful for my parents teaching me self-respect from a very young age. It truly is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give to their children. I now know that self-esteem is built on self-respect, and showing respect is a skill that takes time to learn. When you are able to love yourself, it is much easier to take on challenges and bounce back from any fall. This resilience enables children to embrace opportunities in their path, and high self-esteem becomes their optimistic fuel for exploring the world. The good news is, it’s never too late to learn or hone this skill. That resilience that grounded me through my early life has been tested many times through parenting, especially now that I’m a single parent. Parenting through a divorce is one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I know there are many of you out there who know that all too well. I recently came across an amazing book on this topic entitled, Get the Behavior You Want… Without Being the Parent You Hate by Deborah Gilboa, MD. How many of you can relate to that title?  Parenting challenges us in SO MANY ways on a daily basis, and a major life transition can really make it difficult to push aside feelings of guilt and continue to discipline children through some rocky moments where it would be so much easier to give in. However, by staying the course, we are able to teach children a monumental lesson….A lesson in self-respect that will help them practice discipline in life and live a life they are proud to call their own.

Tune in Mondays at 7am PST to Intentional Living

Are You Contemplating Divorce?

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Empowerment
Are You Contemplating Divorce?

no-fault-divorce-georgia

Hi there,

If you are reading this letter, most likely you are contemplating a divorce. I can understand how scary this feels and have been in your shoes. My life was forever changed in September 2008. At the time, I was married with 2 beautiful daughters and preparing for my youngest daughter’s Christening when my mom told me she was feeling very sick and a recent ultrasound confirmed she had a large mass in her abdomen. As I looked at her, I could see the fear welling up in her eyes. It was at that moment I knew what she was thinking and I was thinking it too. A few weeks later, that fear was confirmed with her ovarian cancer diagnosis at age 58.

My mom fought cancer courageously with such grace and dignity for 5 years. In May of 2013, I held her hand as she left this world and all the pain and suffering cancer had evoked. I’ll always remember the peaceful veil that warmed her face in that moment she passed away. This image will forever comfort me and for that I am so appreciative.

The grief I felt that day was so intense. I remember thinking it would be with me forever. At the time of my mom’s passing, I had 3 young girls to take care of and I could not let this huge loss be my breaking point. My girls needed me. I had to be brave. I had to be courageous despite feeling like I was crumbling into a pile of sand. The journey was rocky but moment by moment life went on.

For years, my marriage had been contentious. In January 2014 and after 10 years being married, I realized that all that we invested was no longer enough. Our paths were no longer intertwined; our lives were not supporting the authentic people we were destined to become. This moment in time was extremely scary. I adored my children, and could not fathom spending any time apart from them as I knew a divorce would inevitably create. I had to make a decision. Do I stay to keep the family intact or do I leave, allowing myself to experience vulnerabilities far greater than I dreamed possible? I had to muster courage in the face of fear and reach deep inside my core in search of the answer. I had to stand tall when I felt knocked over and do what I felt was best for our family. It was then that I thought of my mom. You see, she had no choice. Her time was up. Her life story was not one she had the ability to change in the end. Mine was different though. I still had a lifetime ahead of me and I wanted to live it to the fullest. A new chapter of my life was on the horizon and although I knew the road ahead was not an easy one for me, I was thankful I had a road to travel.

Little did I know that these 2 events were life-defining moments. They opened a door that let in some light to reveal who I was. At 40, I thought I knew that answer but in fact I was just learning who I truly was deep down inside. I know now that sometimes it is the worst, most challenging, and often most hurtful experiences of our lives that are the ones that give the most shape and definition to who we become.

That was certainly the case for me. Part of the self-discovery process of my divorce involved me asking some tough questions such as, “Who have I been? What I have I contributed to this because of my own limitations and vulnerabilities? In what ways have I settled to live a life that is less than true and whole?

This soul searching was an opportunity for me to become a better, stronger, more aware and authentic version of myself. It was a choice and a door to a brighter future. It was a door I wanted to open. This took a strong faith and belief in myself. Thankfully I sought out a divorce coach to help me navigate the emotional ups and downs and keep me rational as I was confronted with difficult, life-altering decisions that impacted my children and my future. She was the person who was willing to hold the torch and lead me down this thorny path and inspire me to keep going despite any obstacles in my way. She was my companion willing to guide me through it all. She helped me move ahead with a sense of purpose and a clear vision. I was able to streamline my divorce process and make decisions with a rational mindset that lead to a beautiful new life post-divorce. Today I have a new perspective on life and what I learned was that life is too short to remain stuck. Life is experiential and full of difficult decisions. Every day holds new opportunities to learn and grow. By taking life in your own hands and trusting all you’ve learned and your inner wisdom, you are empowered to make daily choices that can lead to a brighter future.

Today I am so grateful to now be that guiding light for others as they navigate the bumpy roads that transitions can evoke. I offer free consults and can be reached at the contact info below with any questions.

Kristin Swarcheck, M.Ed., CPC

Email: Kristin@kristinswarcheck.com

Phone: 610-425-2440

www.kristinswarcheck.com

The Guide to Low-Cost Divorce in Virginia (and elsewhere)

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Variety
The Guide to Low-Cost Divorce in Virginia (and elsewhere)

divorce5 Kindle Cover

Divorce can be tough, scary, and expensive. You have to deal with emotional issues, financial issues, and legal issues. If you have children, you also have to address their needs. Virginia Colin and Rebecca Martin show you how to
• set the stage for an inexpensive divorce, gather information, and avoid some pitfalls
• get some free or nearly free legal advice about your specific legal questions
• take good care of yourself as your life changes in big ways
• make the family changes easier for your kids to handle
• find free or low-cost, good-quality therapy for your kids if they need additional help
• structure a solid co-parenting plan, and
• work with a reluctant or argumentative spouse.

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If you want a road map to help you handle your divorce mostly as a do-it-yourself process, thereby saving huge amounts of money, then this guide is what you need. It is useful in any state and gives particular attention to Virginia’s laws.

The New You Post Divorce By Margaret Jacobson

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Empowerment
The New You Post Divorce By Margaret Jacobson

Dating

Rediscovering yourself post-divorce can be incredibly challenging and overwhelming.  The Mother Rising’s show on The Empowerment Channel has not only taken on recreating yourself anew through out the month of June but will be spending the rest of July on Dating After Divorce.

The show’s host, Margaret Jacobson, Divorce Wellness coach has recruited fellow experts from the love and relationship site YourTango to join in on Preparing for Your First Date on 7/10/14, as well as Reframing Dating Fears and Understanding Dating as Self-Discovery on 7/17/14.

Then on July 24th, The Mother Rising tackles Sexual Play, Pleasure and Preventions as she brings on SexGeekdom guru, Kate McCombs, and wrapping up July, Margaret has The Real Matchmaker of San Francisco, Anni Powers with your inside scoop on Finding an Authentic Match.

Striving to provide listeners with access to everything they need to make clear choices as they journey through the fog of divorce, a health challenge, loss of loved one, infidelity and more. The Mother Rising will feature experts on Self-Care in August, Relationship Reflection in September, and Parenting Through Divorce in October. The Mother Rising hosts authors, coaches, parenting experts, and more.

Embrace your challenging circumstance in its entirety: mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually and be inspired to create the life you know that is authentically your own. Receive heart felt wisdom that will inspire and empower you to nurture the fire within that has been nearly put out.  Witness yourself employing simple tools and strategies that allow you to thrive in joy, love and freedom with your host Margaret Jacobson every Thursday.

 

 

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