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For many people thanksgiving is a time to reflect and give thanks and be grateful for life's joys and blessings. Easy to do when life is going well, but what about when things aren't so great. This can be particularly true for those contemplating divorce or who are in the midst of divorce or separation. How do you pull it together, have some semblance of happiness and get through the day without collapsing into tears or being consumed by anger or pain? The simple answer: with as much grace and dignity as possible. Here are some tips to help you get through;
Don't fake happiness just to make others feel comfortable. It is fine not to be in the best of moods; after all you are going through a tough time.
Don't stop celebrating. Marital problems are difficult but need not be all consuming. You still have some positives in your life; children, family, friends, career. You may need to dig deep to unearth the positives, but keep digging until you find them.
Discover a new way to celebrate; pot luck with friends, or a day of relaxation alone curled up with a good book or watching an empowering chick flick like Waiting To Exhale or Thelma and Louise.
Most importantly, take some time for yourself; have some fun and enjoy.
For more tips by Laurie Giles [Link Removed]
Happy thanks giving
Facing challenging life transitions can be overwhelming and stressful. For many people two of the most difficult transitions are divorce and becoming an empty nester. For some, particularly those who have remained in a marriage "for the sake of the children" empting nest is often the ending of the marriage. Imagine the stress and pain of facing these transitions at the same time. So how do you get through? One day at a time; step by step.
First, step back and take time to deal with the multitude of emotions you are likely experiencing. Having mixed feelings about your nest being empty is to be expected. Most of us do. It is also normal and perfectly acceptable to mourn the end of your marriage, even if you are the one who has made the decision to terminate the marriage. Reach out to friends for support. If you are having an especially difficult time, seek outside help from either life coach or therapist. Your feelings are yours and it is ok to have them.
Next; figure out your current financial and legal situations. Protect yourself, your family and your assets from financial or legal destruction. Know your rights.
Once you have figured out the here and now, consider the future. What do you need and want legally and financially to ensure a happy and productive futures. Determine what is really important. It's time to set new personal life priorities.
Finally, realize that becoming a single empty nester does not signify end of your life. To the contrary, it can and should be the start of a whole new life chapter. Now is your time. Time to finally do some of the things you have been putting off because of family obligations. Go back and finish that degree, or start college for the first time, write that novel, try a new hobby. This is a great time to rediscover and redefine you.
Going through tough life altering times such as divorce, ill parents, death of loved one or loss of job can be extremely painful and stressful, but having a personal supports network in place can often go a long way in reducing the burden. Now is the time to lean on your friends. Understandably it is often difficult to open up and share very personal intimate information with friends. However, it is often helpful to have people to confide in. The key is to determine who should be in your confidence circle. Not all friends and acquaintances are good confidantes so before you start confiding in anyone and developing a personal support network, take a mental inventory of the people in your life. Ask yourself who among those people should be confided in and who should not?
Many people have one or two very close friends with whom they share everything. For these people developing a personal support system is simple. It’s already in place. Others have several close friends who play different roles in their lives. If you fall into this second group, decide who will be in your support circle by taking stock of your friends and their roles in your life. Who should and can help you during what is going to be a very challenging time? There are many types of roles friends play. Among them are:
Historic friend: has been in your life long enough to help you look at things from a historic point of view.
Good time friend; fun to hang with, but not necessarily a confident
Logical friend: thinks logically and will keep you focused on the logic of your actions.
Reality check friend: clearly points out the truth of the matter, no holds barred.
Cheerleader friend : unabashedly supportive and will cheer you on.
It is important to be mindful of the individualized role of each of your friends. Don’t expect them to act outside of the established relational role. Your reality check friend is not going to just blindly support you; don’t get upset if she questions your actions. By the same token, don’t expect your cheerleader friend to let you know when you are being unreasonable. It just is not the nature of the relationship.
Many of us have people in our lives with whom we share a cordial friendship - situational friends. These are the people with whom there is an acquaintance because of a particular situation: work, fellow church members, the other team moms, or the neighbor down the street. Often these are the people with whom we spend the greatest amount of time. But, when it comes to friendship, time spent does not necessarily translate into closeness. Be mindful of the extent of the relationship when deciding with whom you should confide.
You may have some friends with whom you may want to limit your sharing: the always negative person, the overly judgmental person and the know-it-all person. Confiding in such people may serve to cloud your judgment and exacerbate your stress level.
Developing a solid personal support network will go a long way in helping you to get though the stress and pain of tough times. Take the time and put in the effort to develop your network
A dear friend, who personifies grace under pressure, was dealing with the final stages of her cancer stricken father's dying. Physicians had advised the family that it was only a matter of time before the end. Already stressed beyond what she believed was her limit, her brother then informed her that watching their dad suffer was too difficult for him to handle and therefore he could not bring himself to be there as their Dad made his exit. She calmly said to her brother "I didn't know we had a choice."
Aging and illness of those we love is always difficult. Emotions run the gambit from: relief at knowing the loved one is receiving appropriate care and living life as fully as possible to sadness over the changes in your loved one and changes in the relationship, to guilt at feeling you may have let down or abandoned a loved one and finally to overwhelmed. When a child becomes the caretaker, either literally or figuratively, there can be feelings of being overburdened. It is important to remember that you must keep it your own life going. Here are some tips that may help;
Find support: If additional help is needed, consider support groups or family counseling. Use available resources, such as respite care. Don't try to handle it all yourself. Set boundaries.
Keep Your Life Together: Remember there are other aspects of your life which still need your attention like your children, spouse and career. Don't let taking care of your parents become all consuming to the point of letting everything else suffer. Prioritize and plan every day to include the other aspects of your life. Maintain as much of the status quo in the rest of your life as possible.
Find some time and energy for yourself: Be sure to develop a personal indulgence ritual such as reading for an hour everyday, getting a weekly manicure or going for a daily morning walk. Anything that gives you a sense of relaxation and grounding will help. You deserve it!
Laurie Giles, JD
With fall fast approaching many of us will be facing the much anticipated empty-nest. The house will seem larger, it will defiantly be quieter, and the day to day juggling will be a memory. For many parents this is a very tough time; life will forever be different. The key to remember is different doesn't have to be a negative. Make it a new and wonderful chapter.
Here are some tips for coping with the empty nest syndrome:
5 tips for parents on coping with the empty nest
1. Find a new hobby or activity- something adventurous, out of the mommy- daddy box. Try one of your "someday when I get the time" projects. You now have the time. Just one word of caution; in the beginning stay away from things like scrap booking that will have you spending hours sparking memories of your child.
2. Let them go in small doses- Pre college programs are great for parents. While your child is away during the summer between junior and senior year of high school, you will have some time to get used to the idea of them being away.
3. Get over the fear that they can't handle things on their own - Let them take on more responsibility for themselves, laundry, cooking, shopping. You will be able to see where they are and help get them to where they need to be when they are off on their own. During my daughters last year of high school she and I developed a budget for her to live on: lessons, clothes, school lunches ect. At the beginning of each month I gave her that amount of money less any income she was making from part time jobs. The first month, her hair and nails looked great with her expensive new outfits, but I don't think she liked taking pb&j sandwiches to high school nor missing out on activities. After that she did great. And now as a college junior she is usually right on target.
4. Get support- Develop an informal support group of other parents same issues. Talk to someone who has been there.
5. Develop a new routine - If Friday night was family pizza and movie night, find something else to do on Friday nights. Get together with the girls, have a date night with your significant other.
Please add your comments, remember things are always easier when we help each other out.
Attorney, life coach, author, radio host.
For many couples who "stayed together for the sake of the kids", the start of the college career of the last child to leave the nest signifies the end of the marriage. Divorce is always difficult and fraught with emotions. In the heat of emotional upheaval it is very common for women to make mistakes which will cost them. Most of these mistakes are avoidable. Here are 10 of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
Mistake # 1: Failing to understand the divorce process. It is important to take the time to become educated about the divorce process.
Mistake #2: Confusing your emotional divorce with the legal divorce. The legal divorce deals with finances, dividing assets and debts fairly, care for your children. Emotional aspects should be worked out separately.
Mistake #3: forgetting to weigh the cost vs. Benefit of each decision. Some things are worth fighting for; others are not. Always weigh the cost of the fight against the benefit you will derive to ascertain if the issues issue is worth the expense of the fight.
Mistake # 4: Placing emotional value on wining the final contest with your spouse, or even worse, hurting your spouse-rather than assuring that you will land in a good place financially, legally and emotionally when the divorce is final.
Mistake #5: Comparing your situation to others. No two family situations are exactly the same, and no two divorce outcomes will be exactly the same. Don't waste time and energy comparing your case with other, the results are not going to be exact.
Mistake # 6 : Believing that to win the children, the children must lose the other parent. Wrong. The greater the parental conflict the greater the children's injury and loss.
Mistake #7: Deciding to fight everything. The more acrimonious the divorce becomes, the more financially and emotionally costly the process becomes.
Mistake #8: Believing you will get revenge for all the pain you believe your spouse has caused you. Every attack results in a defense that injures the attacker. The end result, vengeance will become self-inflicted injury and pain.
Mistake #9: Believing you do not need to protect yourself. If you believe your spouse will take care of you during or after the divorce you may be sadly mistaken. You need to take control of and make every decision based upon what will work for you after the divorce is final.
Mistake #10: Rushing into decisions. Understandably you will want to get through the process as quickly as possible; however you need to carefully consider each and every decision.
It has been said that a smart woman learns from her own mistakes, a wise woman learns from the mistakes of others, do you have a mistake to share to help our sisters be wise? Join in the discussion, your comments may help someone get through.
Laurie Giles, JD
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