Posts Tagged ‘divorce’

Originally posted at:

By Tara Kennedy-Kline 

Divorce can really suck. Two people, at one time so in love they committed to spend the rest of their lives together, find themselves communicating through lawyers and dividing assets and possessions so they can start their lives over again — on their own. But for families with children, there’s a whole other layer of complication and planning, and too often kids don’t have a voice in what’s happening. The only measure of control kids may have (at certain ages and in some states/countries) is choosing which parent’s house they would like to live in. But that’s just geography. What about the feelings that accompany a house torn apart, and their unspoken expectations of a life lived with a whole family?

The most vivid and painful memories many kids from divorced families have of early childhood aren’t of playground scuffles, skinned knees or getting in trouble. Instead, they relive scenes from their parents’ divorce. Kids of all ages — some barely aware of their own roles in the world — are acutely aware of events, situations and actions in families divided.

After working with hundreds of families — and observing the behavior of kids as they struggled through the breakdown of their families — here are the top 12 things kids think about divorce, but don’t have the world experience to say directly. If they could find the words or the courage, this is what kids wish they could tell their divorcing parents:

1. You got divorced, not me. I know you hate everything about “your ex”, but your ex is still my other parent, and I still love both of you. Please stop talking badly about each other to me or in front of me; it just makes me disrespect you. Don’t gossip with your friends and family about them when I’m around. It makes me feel like crap and you look like a jerk.

2. I really don’t care which one of you gets the car, the timeshare, or Nana’s ashtray collection, so stop telling me about how pissed you are about it and how you feel it’s “unfair”. When you start putting all your energy into material things, you make me think that’s all you care about. Honestly, you should be more angry about losing our family than you are about losing your gym membership.

3. I trust you to protect me from bullies or people who would hurt me. I may need you to shield me right now from the stupid things other people say to me. I don’t have all the right answers, and my feelings get hurt really easily, so please stand up for me. Also, it’s not ok to let your newest “squeeze” discipline me. They don’t know me well enough to scold or even correct me. They have no idea what I am going through, and I lose trust for you when you let them push me around or hurt me — even if it’s unintentional.

4. When you’re talking to each other about visitation, please don’t talk about me like a project that needs to be “managed”. If it’s your weekend to spend time with me, consider the fact that I may really be excited to spend time with you before you let me overhear you say things like, “I have a date. Can’t you just keep her and I’ll cover your weekend?” And when it comes to big events, keep in mind that I have family that I love on both sides. So how about instead of letting a judge decide who I get to see on the holidays — ask me what I want.

5. Don’t use your failed marriage and bitterness toward the opposite sex as your reference when you lecture me about my friendships and relationships. I’m too young to bear your wounds. My friends are my escape from all the stress your divorce is creating, so you may want to not talk badly about them right now, that will just make me rebel against you more.

6. When you start dating again, don’t assume that I am going to love every person you bring home. I have my own opinions, and just because you like them doesn’t mean I’m going to automatically hit it off with someone you’re dating. Remember, you have a different set of criteria for this relationship than I do. Your new “friend” is not my friend, so maybe I don’t want to be nice to them. As a matter of fact, I might fight with them on purpose because I want you take sides — my side. If I’m getting upset please remember that I may be a kid, but I still have feelings. It might be time for us to spend some quality time together — just us.

7. Don’t insult or make fun of the gifts and things I receive from my other parent or the experiences I have with them and their family. This isn’t about you. If you’re jealous, then say that. But insulting the things I like, enjoy and am proud of just because they came from my other parent, only makes you look like a huge, petty brat. It also makes me think twice about sharing new things with you.

8. Quit telling me I’m “being dramatic” about what’s happening. Don’t dismiss my emotions. I’m allowed to be sad/angry/disappointed/depressed over the divorce of my parents. The family I knew for the whole of my life is ending, and I am scared to death. And from my perspective, you simply stopped loving someone who made you angry, so how long will it be before I do something to make you stop loving me? And on that note, now that I have realized your love has limits, be prepared for me to test those limits almost daily.

9. I would really appreciate it if the two of you could stop acting like children and come up with a plan that allows you to be in the same space at the same time without being mean to each other. For example: my birthday, sports events, recitals, concerts, and basically any time my other family, friends, coaches or teachers are around. If you could manage to put your own selfish crap aside and be civil with each other every once in a while, that would be great for everyone.

10. Please get on the same page when it comes to values, rules and discipline. When — out of spite for each other — you let me get away with stuff that even I know is wrong, you confuse and frustrate me. You teach me how to manipulate people and pit you against each other to get what I want. It is then that I stop taking either of you seriously. Just because you stopped being married, doesn’t mean you stopped being parents. I need you to teach me how to resolve conflict, not create it.

11. Please recognize that there are some things that my other parent is better at than you … and that’s OK! I won’t think less of you if you let Dad teach me how to catch a ball or Mom show me how to drive. I need to learn from both of you. When you take those experiences away, I can see right through you. I know you want to be able to do this whole parenting thing on your own, but I don’t want you to! I like making both my parents happy. I love seeing you smile when I do something you’ve taught me, and it makes me very happy when you compliment each other by saying things like, “You should ask your (other parent), they’re really good at that.” When you allow me to learn from and value both of my parents, that teaches me to appreciate the gifts in others and to ask for help when I need it.

12. When I do something to make you mad, don’t compare me to the person you divorced. “You’re a slob just like your father!” or “You whine and complain like your mother!” are statements that insult me, not the person you divorced. Remember, you left that person. You removed them from your life because of the very things you are identifying in me. Saying that you see things in me that make you think of the things you despise in them makes me feel unlovable and self-conscious — and it destroys my already damaged self esteem. If you want me to clean up after myself or speak more respectfully, then show me how, or make a rule, or talk about it. Just stop putting in my head that my actions are just as offensive to you as the person you divorced.

Divorce isn’t pretty or upbeat, but it’s also not a time to shut down. When kids are involved, it becomes necessary to open a door for conversation and realization of what your child(ren) are going through — and what they desperately need from both parents. It may be an “adult” situation, but the kids are very aware of what’s going on. Be there for them.

Originally posted at:

Terri Orbuch is a psychologist and research professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. She recently identified some of the top common regrets of divorced couples.

“Divorced individuals who step back and say – ‘This is what I’ve done wrong and this is what I will change’ – have something powerful to teach others,” Orbuch says.

Here are five things divorced couples regret not having done more of with a few comments of my own:

1. Boost your spouse’s mood

Encouraging and affirming your spouse in very simple ways can go a very long way. One study found that when a husband reported his wife didn’t express love and affection (not necessarily sex) the couple was twice as likely to divorce.

2. Talk more about money

As we’ve discussed on numerous broadcasts, money is a magnifier of problems but it’s also a common source of significant tension. Don’t keep secrets. Establish a family budget and stick to it.

3. Get over the past

Couples who can’t forgive past hurts grow bitter and resentful. Again, talk it out. Write a letter. Talk with a friend.

4. Blame the relationship

Studies suggest that 65% of divorcees blame the ex-spouse for the demise of their marriage. When discussing relationship problems, Dr. Orbuch suggests saying “we,” not “you” or “I.” For example, you might say, “We are both so tired lately,” not “You are so crabby.”

5. Reveal more about yourself

Dr. Orbuch recommends: Every day, for 10 minutes, the couple should talk alone about something other than work, the family and children, the household, the relationship. No problems. No scheduling. No logistics.

Do you resonate with these findings?  What might you add as # 6 on this list?

How Don came to watch another man love his wife and raise his children
by Patrick Morley, PhD

Volume 224

February 18, 2014

Mary divorced Don because he was unfaithful, but she had never been unpleasant about it. If anything she killed him with kindness, which only made him feel even more rotten.

Don was not a scoundrel. He didn’t set out to fail. He didn’t wake up one day and think, “Well, I wonder what I can do to ruin my life today.” Rather, his fall followed on the heels of thousands of small, daily choices he made in his private thoughts over several years.

It all started the day after he and Mary moved into their first home, when he fixed the blinds just right so he could watch the woman next door sunning in her backyard. What began as a single act of curiosity snowballed into a regular habit of lust. He was also a little too huggy-kissy around the office where he led in sales year after year. Don was no Brad Pitt but he could tell women found him attractive. This flattered his ego, especially since girls had not noticed him at all in high school. He tended to let his eyes fix a moment too long on his female associates. Often Don found himself engaging in sexual fantasies as he would creep along the freeway toward home after work.

Evelyn was an ambitious young woman also in the sales department. She was bright, a quick learner, and was already earning more commissions than most of the men in the office. By her ambition she was eager to learn from Don, and by her upbringing she was lonely for love. She had not been hugged enough by her daddy. There was a natural sexual attraction between Don and Evelyn. But for Don this was no more than most men felt toward a physically sensuous woman, which Evelyn certainly was–she had “the look.” Neither of them ever overtly acted on the physical attraction by flirting, but the chemistry was there.

One of the company’s biggest customers was interested in getting a quote for a privately labeled product. If the numbers worked, it could be one of the biggest sales in the history of their company. Four top sales people were assigned to work out the details, including Evelyn and Don. About two weeks into the project it became clear that the four of them needed to travel to the customer’s home office to work out kinks in the pricing.

After checking in at their hotel two of them wanted to hit the downtown entertainment district that night, but Don and Evelyn both declined. Don and Evelyn waved goodbye as their associates’ cab pulled away from the curb. As they walked inside, Don’s senses were alert. There was a sense of danger in the air, and he welcomed it. He said, “I’m going to get something to eat. Would you like to join me?”

She simply nodded as her eyes fell to the carpet, and they walked to the dining room. The maître d’ seated them in a booth near the back of the restaurant. Don had already made his first mistake, but not his biggest mistake. His biggest mistake was mixing wine with dinner. But his real mistake had been made thousands of choices earlier. The wine lowered both of their inhibitions, which led to exploratory questions. The questions became more and more provocative. Each successive answer signaled interest in going further. By the time Don signed the check he had pulled the noose tight around his own neck. They walked to the elevator, went up to her room, and Don became an adulterer.

Don woke up the next morning laden with guilt, remorse, and shame. The balance of the business trip was extremely awkward. He resolved in his mind that it was a one-time tryst and that he was going to change a number of his ways. Unfortunately, that thought came several years too late. Don was addicted, and he couldn’t walk away from his lusty habits.

Evelyn, his correspondent, was equally flustered by the affair but she was single. She was also highly attracted to Don, and that fed his ego. Less than two weeks later Don found himself at Evelyn’s apartment during lunch. For the next three months that became their regular rendezvous two or three times a week.

Meanwhile, Mary had been frustrated several times because she had been unable to reach Don during lunch, which he usually ate at his desk. He explained by lying to her that he had started taking key customers to lunch from time to time. Meanwhile, it didn’t take long for Evelyn’s and Don’s co-workers to add things up. Several of the women in the office felt scandalized. Don naively didn’t think anyone had noticed. One day Mary called and reached Susan, one of the scandalized women. She asked, “Is my husband there?” Susan, who could be vicious as a cornered cat, shot back in a villain’s voice, “No, and you may want look into  it a little further.”

Mary sat with the phone hanging limp in her hand until the phone company’s you-didn’t-hang-it-up-right ringer brought her back to earth.  The next day Mary–she couldn’t help herself–followed Don’s car from the office at lunch. When she saw him go into an apartment she didn’t want to see any more. She sped away sobbing hysterically.

As soon as she arrived home, Mary called her mother and spent ten emotional minutes telling her what she had just seen. “Mom, I’m just so scared. I don’t know what to do.”

“Honey, I am so, so sorry,” her mother began, then followed with twenty questions. After talking out every possible explanation and course of action, they agreed that Mary would tell Don that very evening exactly what had happened step by step, starting with Susan’s offhand phone remark.

After the children were in bed, Mary asked Don into the den and shut the door. She began trembling and tears streamed along the creases of her face. Don knew he had been caught before Mary said a word. The guilt had  been eating away at him. He started crying too. He made it easy for her by asking, “How did you find out?” For the next two hours they covered every angle. Don, a former altar boy, was defrocked. He confessed how it all got started, and hundreds of little sins that led up to the big one.

Mary heard more than she thought she could bear. That night Mary set her course and she never wavered from it once. She was a woman of faith–strong faith–but she would not be married to an unfaithful husband.

The divorce took six months. The awful pain didn’t begin to recede for two years. Then she met Sid. Sid was a lot like Don. After all, she had never found anything wrong with Don’s personality, just his character. At the end of twelve months of dinners and picnics with Mary’s three children, they both started thinking, This might work.

Four years after Don took Evelyn to be his unlawful mistress, Sid took Mary to be his lawful wife.

It took another year or so to work out the details of shared parenting.  Eventually, the children each had two toothbrushes, two beds–two of everything. The children spent every other weekend with Don and he could attend all their contests and concerts, which he faithfully did. One Saturday morning, he arrived a few minutes early to pick up the kids for the weekend. Don’s children–ages 14, 12, and 9–were sitting at the breakfast table when he knocked on the kitchen door.

Mary and new-husband Sid were scurrying around the kitchen fetching more milk and cooking scrambled eggs. Mary went to the door, swung it open, smiled a genuinely friendly smile, and invited Don to come in for a cup of coffee while the kids finished breakfast.

Don came in and, feeling quite awkward–this was their first time all together in the same room–sat down at one end of the kitchen table. The kids were at the other end of the table, with a couple of empty chairs between him and them. The kids didn’t greet him right away because they were arguing about who should get the last piece of toast. He felt like he wasn’t really even there–like he was a ghost, and he felt like a giant horrible, smelly toad.

Mary intervened and calmed the toast storm. Sid said, “Thanks, honey,” gave her a soft kiss on the cheek, then served the kids their eggs and asked if they wanted more milk. Sid tousled Tommy’s hair, and Tommy smiled that toothy grin that always melted Don. But today he was flashing it at Sid. Don was melting anyway, but for a different reason.  Then Sid turned to get the milk bottle and brushed his arm across Mary’s back and gave her a love pat. He poured the milk into Anna’s glass and she said, “Thank you.” Sid said, “You’re welcome, sweetie.” Sid turned toward Don and exhorted the children, “Okay now, kids, your dad’s here. Aren’t you going to say hello?”

I cannot believe this is happening to me, Don thought as he turned numb. Here is “another man” doing what I am supposed to do. Here is “another man” calling my wife “honey, “kissing her face, cooking for my children, tousling my son’s hair, touching my wife’s body, calling my daughter “sweetie,” and my children can’t seem to get enough of him. Meanwhile, it’s like they didn’t even see me come in. There must be some mistake!

There had been a mistake, but it was too late to do anything about it now. Don was going to watch another man love his wife and raise his children.

couple-argue1Research shows it’s how we fight—where, when, what tone of voice and words we use, whether we hear each other out fairly—that’s critical. If we argue poorly, we may end up headed for divorce court. Yet if we argue well, experts say, we actually may improve our relationship. “All couples disagree—it’s how they disagree that makes the difference,” says Howard Markman, professor of psychology at the University of Denver and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies. For 30 years, Dr. Markman has conducted research that looks at how couples deal with conflict. A key finding: Couples who argue well are happier. Or, as Dr. Markman says, “You can get angry, but it’s important to talk without fighting.”

DO IT: The problem will not go away if you don’t talk about it.

COOL OFF: Pick a time when you can return to the argument with less emotion—ideally, within 24 hours and in person.

DON’T ASSUME: You probably don’t know exactly what your partner is thinking, even if you think you do.

FLEXIBILITY ISN’T WEAKNESS: You can change your position without “losing.”

SEE THE OTHER SIDE: This is the best way to downgrade a heated conflict into a momentary disagreement.

HOLD HANDS: Sit close, make eye contact, which can help make your interactions more positive.

ARGUE IN FRONT OF THE KIDS: Do this only if you’re modeling good argument techniques.

AGREE TO DISAGREE: Recognize that you are in a partnership. Look for the middle ground.

CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY: You can never take them back.

By Wall Street Journal columnist Elizabeth Bernstein

“Any woman who is sure of her own wits, is a match, at any time, for a man who is not sure of his own temper.” – Wilkie Collins

The sad reality, as a consequence of our acting out behaviors, some marriages will end in divorce.  This post is for those men who have lost their wives in an effort to help them heal.

DivorceRecovering from any major loss requires a mourning period, and divorce is no exception. Grieving a divorce is an intensely personal process and is different for everyone depending on unique situational and personal factors. A healthy mourning process is typically thought to include recognizing and verbalizing the meaning of a loss and its associated feelings. However, men deal with relationships and stress differently than women, and often are not as verbally expressive. Should men really be expected to mourn in the same way as women? The answer appears to be ‘no’ according to Dr. Nehami Baum’s 2003 article, “The Male Way of Mourning Divorce: When, What and How. ” In fact, Dr. Baum found that men generally appear to mourn the end of a marriage quite differently than women. Men tend to start the grieving process later than women, sometimes even after a physical separation has taken place. This might reflect the fact that women are more likely to initiate the divorce process, giving them a head start on processing the emotions associated with it. Men also tend to recognize that a marriage is in trouble later than women, and they might prefer to wait until after they, or their wife, have actually moved out to address the emotional reality of divorce.  Men might not feel that their ex-wife is the greatest loss during a divorce. For a divorced father, losing his family life (owning a home, having a set routine, a sense of identity and security) and daily interaction with the kids can feel like greater losses than the relationship with his wife. Men might need to deal with the anger and other powerful emotions that often accompany a loss of custody before they can mourn a spouse.  They also might need to address the immediate task of adjusting to a very different lifestyle first. Some men never grieve the loss of a spouse directly; expressing it via the feelings of loss they have toward their children instead.
From “For Men: Mourning the Divorce?” by Dr. Tom Rogat

“A divorce is like an amputation; you survive, but there’s less of you.” –  Margaret Atwood

[Revealed] How Porn Affects Marriages
by evictrapeafrica

Hello buddies! It’s another great time to share some drinks over some real issues. As i said in one of my previous posts, the purpose of discussing pornography on this blog is because it’s been postulated to have links with the unbridled sexual passion that drive many men crazy.

You can check up our archives to catch up with the posts issues on this series. I remember hearing a married man say that he has bought a couple of porn videos to watch with his wife so as to boost her declining libido. Is this really a remedy? Does porn really help to spice up the sex life of couples? We will find out right now. Just as I have been doing so far on this series, I will show you empirical data obtained from thorough research and surveys:

According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, prolonged exposure to pornography leads to:

  • An exaggerated perception of sexual activity in society
  • Diminished trust between intimate couples
  • The abandonment of the hope of sexual monogamy
  • Belief that promiscuity is the natural state
  • Belief that abstinence and sexual inactivity are unhealthy
  • Cynicism about love or the need for affection between sexual partners
  • Belief that marriage is sexually confining
  • Lack of attraction to family and child-raising

According to sociologist Jill Manning, the research indicates pornography consumption is associated with the following six trends, among others:

1. Increased marital distress, and risk of separation and divorce 2. Decreased marital intimacy and sexual satisfaction 3. Infidelity 4. Increased appetite for more graphic types of pornography and sexual activity associated with abusive, illegal or unsafe practices 5. Devaluation of monogamy, marriage and child rearing 6. An increasing number of people struggling with compulsive and addictive sexual behavior

A press release from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (divorce lawyers) reported that the most salient factors present in divorce cases are as follows:

68% of the divorces involved one party meeting a new lover over the Internet. 56% involved one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.” 47% involved spending excessive time on the computer. 33% involved excessive time spent speaking in chat rooms. In 2003, a Focus on the Family poll showed 47% percent of families said pornography is a problem in their home.

In 2004, 42% of surveyed adults indicated that their partner’s use of pornography made them feel insecure, and 41% admitted that they felt less attractive due to their partner’s pornography use.

A brief survey on the effects of cybersex shows how wives of porn users develop deep psychological wounds, reporting feelings of betrayal, loss, depression, mistrust, devastation, anger, and sexual inadequacy. The same survey shows more than half of those engaged in cybersex lost interest in sexual intercourse, and one third of their partners lost interest as well

“I have also seen in my clinical experience that pornography damages the sexual performance of the viewers. Pornography viewers tend to have problems with premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Having spent so much time in unnatural sexual experiences with paper, celluloid and cyberspace, they seem to find it difficult to have sex with a real human being. Pornography is raising their expectation and demand for types and amounts of sexual experiences; at the same time it is reducing their ability to experience sex.” (Dr. MaryAnne Layden)

“Should pornography sufficiently arouse a biologically determined male predisposition for polygamy, then its informational system may be contributing to contemporary male frustration and even aggressiveness toward the female in general and monogamous patterns of sexuality in particular. It may be argued that if the visual data of pornography encourages distrust of female sexual fidelity and a distorted perception of female personhood, such data could encourage disdain and/or animosity toward heterosexual comradeship and the value of such comradeship for individual and social solvency.”


I guess you read through the statistics very well. Apparently, porn hasn’t helped any marriage neither in sexual performance nor in companionship. It rather impedes sexual performance and destroys the marital union. Porn makes its users burn with so much sexual passion but when it gets to the time to ‘do the thing’, their performance is almost equal to zero.

As we have seen also, pornography has been found to be connected to the high divorce rate observed in our times.

Pornography obviously has not done us much good. Don’t you think? Share your thoughts with me if you have a contrary view or an additional point to add.

We still have alot more to share on this series. We will definitely share some helpful tips with people who wanna break free from porn.

QUESTION: What suggestions would you offer a woman whose husband is hooked to porn and online sex merchants that he no more enjoys sex with her and this has left their matrimony at the verge of a break up?

I will be expecting your answers. Thank you for stopping by.

For a better world,