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April 27, 2008
A Positive Spin on Being Divorced
When your smack dab in the middle of a divorce, it may seem like a terrible thing.  However, I'm here to tell you, that in time, you may likely look back and think it is the best thing that could have ever happened to you.  Now obviously we can't all look back and realize that divorce turned into a career opportunity of writing, coaching, and speaking about divorce and shared custody living like I have.  But, you will eventually be able to see how the separation could be a gift in a miriad of other ways.  Perhaps you will finally be able to have a purple bedroom, or remodel the kitchen.  Maybe it will be as simple as you can take a class or go back to school.  Maybe you won't have to have the tv blaring in the background all the time and the silence will allow you to read a really good book, or listen inside of yourself to find your true passions again.  Maybe the best gift will be that you will find out that you don't need to look outside for love, and that like the ruby slippers you had it inside all along.  Maybe you will just finally be able to get past that sinking feeling of misery, and know that this change had to happen in order for you to get to that ultimate peace and happiness that we all deserve.  Just a thought....it may be just the stepping stone you need to find ultimate peace.

April 27, 2008
Positive Spin on Being a Divorced Mom

So many people act like it is the end of the world to be in a shared custody situation.  They just don't see how I do it.  Don't get me wrong, I love my kids dearly, but I think in many ways I'm a much better Mom because I DON'T have my kids full time.  I get plenty of me time, and when they are with me, I can try to focus my time on them much more.  For example, I get to take trips, knowing they are taken care of by their Dad.  I can read parenting books without them ever even knowing I"m reading one.  I can eat the whole pint of ice cream without hearing a peep of complaint.  I can light candles and play whatever music I like, however loud I like.  I have usually a built in babysitter when I need one.  I can enjoy a Sunday afternoon in bed (with or without company), and not be obligated to do one parenting thing.  I can hire a massage therapist to come to my house and give me a massage to relax, without undoing it ten minutes afterward because of sibling rivalry.  It is really a beautiful thing, and it all leaves me feeling like my own needs are fulfilled so that I can better relate to my kids.  So enjoy it, it really is a gift!

April 26, 2008
So where do the kids go to church after divorce?
Obviously life changes.  People change.  Isn't that why we are now divorced?  Because life and people changed.  So what do you do if as part of your change you begin to discover a new spiritual path that does not resonate with your ex spouse?  When I was married, we agreed to raise our kids as a certain religious affliliation.  However, during our marriage I began to question "the church" as being just that a church.  He did too.  So we stopped going.  Of course after the divorce, we both started back on a spiritual path.  His turned him back up at where we had agreed to raise our kids.  I found something that fit me better.  Enter kids.  My belief is that you can't force kids to have a particular path.  His is that you must instill faith in them, or they won't have a spiritual path.  Oh dear.  So that has been a bit of a tense discussion between us.  In fact, we've had a few UGLY arguments about it.  It has taken a long time, but we have finally agreed that he can take them to his church every other weekend, and I can take them to mine.  My kids are now old enough that they can decide to stay home.  So on my weekend, I make the offer for them to come with me.  Sometimes they come sometimes they don't, but I do know that when they come, it's because they geniuniely want to be there and it feeds their soul somehow.  I don't really know if they like going to his or not, but even if all they get is that they know it's something they don't want, then that is a good experience too.  And, if they happen to find something they like, well, that's okay with me.

April 22, 2008
How to cope with shared custody parenting

Being a single parent is no easy job.  However there are times that I think that being a single parent would be easier than being a shared custody parent.  There is so much stress that goes on with being a single parent, but at least you know that it's all on you.  When you are in a shared custody, sometimes it's a pain because you do still have to consult and figure out how to operate as a team.  This of course is not always the easiest.  There can be conflicts about everything.  My best advice is for you to realize you absolutely cannot control what goes on in the "other house."  If you are interested in joining a telephone "support" group where I will facillitate and do some group coaching for free, please see my page on coaching for more information.  http://www.acpublicationsgroup.com/Coaching.php  There are so many issues we can discuss.  It can be frustrating to realize that you get divorced and still have to have so much contact and even disagreements from the person you were trying to free yourself from.  So please join us...



April 19, 2008
Falling in love....in the middle of a Divorce
Beware!  All of you out there that are freshly divorced, or in the middle of it.  Falling in love seems to happen to all of us within about the first 6 months of our separations.  Oh, don't get me wrong it is great fun.  There is passion like you can't remember.  Your stomach is in knots.  You can't wait to hear that other person utter your name, or spend the night sharing pillow talk until morning.  HOWEVER, it is almost NEVER the real thing.  It is your crazy mind's way of filling in the gap.  Plugging the hole in the leaking heart.  It is bound to self-destruct because once the rose colored glasses unfog you will likely realize that it is exactly what it is.  A rebound.  Of course you might choose not to see it that way, but it is. So consider yourself warned.  It happens to the best of us.  We fall in love right in the middle of our divorces, and then after the fun wears off, we're right back where we were, picking up the pieces and mending our hearts.

April 16, 2008
Are You Really Going To Let Our Economy Lead to Your Divorce?
I don't know what it's like in your town, but in my town things are closing, and there are for sale signs everywhere.  Restaurants I adore are closing.  My favorite candle shop just can't keep the doors open.  Things are getting tight, and our frivolous items are just being tossed aside.  I keep reading though that divorce is on the rise because of the tight times.  Money is an issue in just about every marriage, but now just does not seem like the time to let it win.  If things are tight and you are having trouble making ends meet, it is bound to cause a strain on your marraige.  But what I wonder then, is how on earth do you suppose it is going to be any better supporting two households. You still will be stressed, probably more so, and now you have to try to communicate and parent separately.  To me, now seems like the time that we need to hunker down and support each other, and remember how fun it was when we were first dating, and thinking having a picnic was great fun.  See if you can find a spark, because I guarantee you if you think finances are tough when you are together, they are only going to get worse when you are apart.  Just think before you leap............if it's really just about the money, it's not worth throwing it all away.  This too shall pass........and you'll live to tell about it.

April 12, 2008
Is it Really Acceptable to be Divorced?
I've been divorced for quite some time now.  Yet, to this day I still get thrown off the track by some of the innocent comments people make, that somehow infer that it is a little odd that I haven't remarried.  It's as if that somehow some people think I'm not complete. Lately it's been about the fact that I'm traveling solo, or at least without a romantic partner.   I'm getting ready to take a wonderful 10 day trip to Italy.  I'm traveling with a male companion.  He is not a romantic companion, just a friend.  Yet, there doesn't seem to be a single person in my life who hasn't asked........are you sure he's not a romantic companion?  Are you sure he won't "try" something once you are in Italy?  A little vino, a little romantic city?  What are you going to do if he crosses the line?  I assure them that I'm going to have the time of my life because just once, I"m not going to worry about if my travel companion is having the time of his life.  Because if he's not.......well he can just ditch me and meet me at the airport when it's time to go home.  And as far as if he's going to make a move on me?  Well, I keep saying, that if I really believed that he would alter a friendship after this long, then he's not who I think he is, and if he does.............well, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.  What I'd really like to them when they ask is, 'Is it bothering you that much that I might really have a wonderful time without a romantic partner or husband?' 'Do you think I'm that incomplete without one?'  But I don't..........I just try to imagine that somehow they are living vicariously and wishing they could all take a wonderful trip with someone they don't have to "worry about if they have a good time or not"!  Stay tuned.....

April 11, 2008
Single Parent Penalty
I run into this every once in awhile, and it annoys me.  I wanted to purchase a membership to the local art museum.  If you are single, it is $50.  If you are a couple (or a dual membership for two adults) it is $70.  If you want a family membership, which allows two adults and their dependent children it is again $70.  I studied this very carefully looking for a reasonable explanation why a couple can take their children to the art museum for a year at no extra charge, but that I as a single person have to bump up to a family membership at an extra $20 to take my kids.  So I contacted the museum.  They assured me that they weren't trying to penalize single parents, but that yes, I had understood the pricing correctly.  They assured me that I could bring any adult I wanted with me when I came under the family plan, and that it didn't have to be a husband.  Yeah, like there are 50 people lined up to go with two kids and me to the Art Museum.  Were they out of their mind?  Somehow I finally convinced her to let me have the family membership at the $50 rate.  However, I wonder how many people would bother to go through the exchange I did.  It's just not fair..............but then again, life usually isn't.

April 6, 2008
His Friends, Her Friends, but what about Our Friends After Divorce

It's very difficult when we get divorced.  One of the saving graces can be our friends.  That is all easy to figure out when you have your friends and your ex has their own.  But what do you do when your friends are really "our friends"?  I'm reminded of this because just today I had lunch with a friend that my ex and I made as a couple.  That friend has taken vacations with my ex and my kids.  I have gone to share summer cookout, sometimes with my ex there sometimes not.  The only advice I can say, is it isn't your friend's fault that you are divorced.  If you care about your friend at all, don't put them in a position that they have to choose.  And also, don't put them in a situation where they have to feel uncomfortable.  Don't ask them not to invite your ex.  At the same time if you know that your ex is hell bent on going to a function, and you know it's going to be uncomfortable, bail out for awhile.  Later when the wounds have begun to heal it will become apparent that you can all be in a room, or it will become apparent who really needs to step aside and have a background friendship.  It's easy to get into the place of being so angry that you want to hurt your ex, even at your friend's expense.  Please be adult enough to know when your emotions are too raw and it's possible to step aside at least temporarily.  Friends are beautiful and we should treasure them, not drag them through our mud.

April 3, 2008
When your Marriage is in Trouble.......Speak Up!
If you are in a marriage that you are starting to be emotionally checked out of, I have one piece of advice.  SPEAK UP!  Not too many of us humans are bright enough to read hints, clues, or energy waves.  You may think he or she should get it, but if you haven't spelled it out in simplistic, straight forward talk, then you have no way of knowing.  I have on multiple occasions had friends that have been sitting in marriages getting fed up.  They are on the brink of walking out the door.  They are beginning to draw up the mental escape route, but they have not actually told their spouse that they are knocking on the escape hatch.  Obviously the two of you were in love at one point, so why wouldn't you lay all of the cards out on the table and see what happens.  The trick is to do this before you reach the point of no return.  Do it, when if your spouse actually hears you and takes action that you might actually be willing to stay.  It seems like they at least deserve to see the writing on the wall, in plain old black and white, even if you have to hold their hand to explain it.  Speak up........you have everything to gain!


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